Sunday, September 27, 2009

Chickens - yup, not the brightest bulbs in the box!

Okay, I had to start this post with fluffy chicken butts - our chickies have the most beautiful fluffy chicken butts ever. And, it's just so cool that these fluffy chicken butts produce such wonderful eggs!

Now onto the post ... I love our chickens, don't get me wrong, but I do have to admit that what they say is true. Chickens are NOT smart, and in fact, are quite the opposite. Our beautiful Buff Orpington chickens are now laying - at least it seems like 3 of them are. Today, for the first time, we got 3 eggs in one day! However, yesterday I think we would have also gotten 3 eggs, but 2 of them were laid from the roost! So, what do you think happens when a chicken lays an egg from a roost several feet in the air?! Hmmm, doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure that out. Anyway, it was nice to see that they managed to figure out where the laying boxes are (or at least the floor) and so today we got 3 eggs! Yay!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Fire photos

A picture taken by someone else, but our house is shown in the background on the left.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

a super cool spider!

You can kind of see him here - he has a fuzzy back.

But can you find him here?

Or here?

More fire pictures ... after all, what else is there to do?!

If you click on the first two pictures I think you can see flames - that's from our front yard.

And, a few pictures of the helicopters that were circling above the house.

'Bob the Builder'!

A few pictures of our finished chicken coop built by our very own 'Bob the Builder' - our 4 chicky babies like it (Eeny, Meeny, Miney, and Mo) - they've been laying about 1 egg a day for a week or so (actually we think that Mo is our layer). However, with the fire and the helicopters buzzing overhead, I think they might go on strike!

And our picket fence - I helped put that together - it looks pretty cool!

Fire in Southern CA - it's just a way of life ...

Yes, it's just a fact of life when you live in Southern California - fires. Especially when you've got Santa Ana winds. While it's great to watch our SCE meter turn backwards because it's so windy, it's not a great thing for the fire.

A shot from our back yard ...

... and from the front of our house

here are some flames ...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The boy has a blog!

Matthew has a technology class during his Advisory period at school, and right now they're talking a lot about iWeb (something I don't understand!). Anyway, I suggested maybe a blog would be a fun thing for him to try out, so we're working on one together for him. He's already written a couple of posts - 2 poems he wrote - one at Writer's Camp and another in school this year. He's quite the writer - he sure does make a momma proud!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

'tooterull' - what is that?!

Ah, talking with my boy last night - he's telling me what he had been doing on the computer last night - he's learning about iWEb and iMovies and stuff in school in his Technology class, so he was explaining some of that to me. He then asks me if I know what a 'tooterull' is.

Well, I know a lot of things, but that was a new one on me, so I respond with a 'no, don't know what that is'. Ah, being the Middle Schooler he is now, he proceeds to laugh, saying he can't believe I don't know what a 'tooterull' is! I get a bit, well, grumpy that my getting bigger, not a baby anymore is trying to show me up. At this point, I start spouting off about teacher stuff, bookkeeping stuff, anything I can think of that he doesn't know anything about. He then proceeds to point out that the stuff I'm asking about isn't in the dictionary, but his is. All the while I'm thinking he's talking about something that's a proper name, not just a word.

And, then the light bulb moment for me!
He's not actually meaning to say 'tooterull' ...

he's meaning to say 'tutorial'!

Ah, now who got the last laugh dear Middle School son of mine?!

(by the way, this story was put on our blog with permission from that wonderful boy!)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Richie in the Fresno Bee!

Clovis High football's Sept. already best in years

Published online on Monday, Sep. 14, 2009

The post-game celebration suggested Clovis High had won another Central Section title in football, something the Cougars have accomplished at least once in each of the past four decades.

Yet it followed a 14-7 nonleague win at Atascadero on Friday in the team's second game of the season.

"I had to calm them down a bunch," first-year Clovis coach Rich Hammond said. "The biggest thing for us: It can't be the pinnacle of the season, just another win in the course of the season."

Still, the Cougars could be excused for being a bit giddy.

The victory was their first in September after 10 consecutive losses in the month since the 2006 season.

And it also came after an 0-1 start this year and a 2-19 overall record the previous two seasons.

"Everybody's extremely excited," Hammond said of a win that carried extra value, in that Southern Section Division II power Atascadero had opened with a 33-21 win at the section's then-No. 8 Clovis East two weeks ago.

While Clovis has returned to what was once commonplace -- The Bee's Top 20, at No. 16 -- the challenge of sustaining that success will be daunting while opposing No. 2 Bullard on Friday night at Chukchansi Park.

Regardless, the future has brightened considerably for the Cougars, who had three sophomore linebackers -- Ryan Davies, Zack Nevills and Nate Palomino -- come of age at Atascadero, which was stuffed on three fourth-down attempts.

They were complemented on defense by senior lineman Joe Gustafson and junior safety Gil Ornelas.

The offense was guided by senior quarterback Trey Mitchell, who completed 22 of 33 passes for 268 yards, without an interception, while also rushing for both touchdowns.

"We were fortunate -- we got some breaks," said Hammond, referring to six Atascadero fumbles, four of which were recovered by the Cougars. "But we held them to 180 yards. And we had seven plays over 20 yards, which was huge, changing field position. This was definitely a confidence builder."

Quite a mission for Gambini

Mark Gambini walked away from the Central Valley Christian football program after coaching it to a third straight section Division V championship in 2005.

But he's finding life a little more challenging in his second stint as a head coach at Tulare's newest high school -- Mission Oak. The Hawks, in their first varsity season, are 0-2 after losing to Lindsay (66-0) and Hanford West (58-0).

"The kids are resilient; they bounce back," Gambini said. "We try to keep practices light and fun. Everyone knows the situation we're in."

Mission Oak won't have a senior class until next year, and the Hawks' 24-man roster features only 14 juniors. Six of the juniors didn't suit up Friday against Hanford West either because of injury or eligibility, Gambini said, forcing several sophomores to play both ways.

Mission Oak will have to grow up in a hurry. With the addition of their first seniors, the Hawks move into the East Yosemite League next season, alongside established city schools Tulare and Tulare Western. Mission Oak -- like fellow first-year programs Kennedy-Delano, Mira Monte-Bakersfield and Independence-Bakersfield -- is playing as an independent this season.

Mission Oak's junior varsity and freshman teams are off to strong starts this year, and Gambini expects to have a roster of 40 to 45 players next season, full of experienced juniors.

"We'd like to say the future is bright," Gambini said. "If we continue to build the right way and lay the foundation, I think we will be good in a few years."

Gambini went 51-10 during his five seasons at CVC before spending two seasons as an assistant on the varsity staff at El Diamante. He then jumped at the chance to launch the Mission Oak program, starting by coaching the Hawks junior varsity last season.

"It's been a lot of work, probably a little more than I expected," Gambini said. "But I'm enjoying it because you're building it from the ground up."

Dinuba officials probing locker room theft

Dinuba administrators are reviewing three hours of surveillance video shot outside its girls locker room, searching for clues pertaining to an alleged theft of personal items belonging to members of the Washington football team.

The alleged theft occurred after halftime of the Panthers' 21-20 loss to Dinuba on Friday.

Dinuba athletic director Martin Tovar said any findings on the surveillance tape would be turned over to the police.

"We pride ourselves on being good hosts," Tovar said. "We're very upset about this and we're looking into procedures to make sure nothing ever happens like this again."

Washington athletic director Jeff Cardoza said he would file a report with the Dinuba Police Department after talking to his school's players.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Is it really only 15 days to go?!!!!

Only 15 days until our 6th Annual Girls' Weekend?! It seems so strange that this year will be the 6th year! Our weekends are the best - we sit around and drink coffee, knit, drink wine, knit, drink beer, knit, occasionally get tattooed (actually, more than occasionally - almost every trip has included that), and talk, talk and talk!
And, to think it all began with a birthday celebration in 2004!

The first destination was Santa Barbara ...

Next, we hit Coeur d'Alene ...

From there it was Tahoe ...

After that, Santa Barbara again
(and sadly one of the five couldn't make it that year ...
maybe that's why I can't find that picture!)

Next, to Reno ...

And, this year back to Santa Barbara!

(Pictures coming SOON!)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Dear, what are you doing?!

This afternoon, I thought Bob was outside beginning work on our garden fence. However, when I walked outside I found this ...

Bob said he had to move the rock anyway (he loves to collect rocks in our orchard - he's made some beautiful pathways in our front yard, too).

And, here it is with the view of the orchard behind it. We've been wondering what to do with this area - we'd like to put in a firepit and a patio, but maybe something that incorporates a labyrinth - I kind of like that idea!

Good job, Bobby!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Friends at last!

Thank goodness our new Malcolm dog is now a part of the 'pack'. It took a few months, but I believe the bonding process is complete.

A little snooze time with Osa ...

... and some snooze time with Tiger (he was the hardest to win over - such little dog attitude!)

We knew all was okay when Tiger started licking Malcolm's gooey jowls and eye goobers (he used to do that with Lukey).

Monday, September 7, 2009

The view from our front patio ...

This is the beautiful view we often see from our front patio.
Pretty gorgeous, don't you think?

Our first egg!!!!

Yay, the first egg (and check out our ladies in the background!)

Do you know which egg is the one our chickens laid?

Just had to post it - last night one of our almost 5 month old Buff Orpingtons laid their very first egg! I heard commotion in the chicken coop, but lately they've been pretty loud at times so I didn't really think much of it. Matthew went out, and lo and behold he came back in holding our very first egg! It was little, and brown, but quite tasty! By the way, do you know how to tell what color a chicken's egg will be? They have a small patch on the side of their head near their 'ears', and that is almost always the exact color their eggs will be - pretty cool!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Nature's beauty

Poofy clouds ...

The sunrise behind our wind turbine ...

Ahhh ... Life is Good :-)

Saturday, September 5, 2009

I sold our home!

A day after my horrible fiasco with my email account, I sold our home! Yes, you heard me right. And, you ask, is this a good thing? Selling our home? Of course it is! But, what home you might ask?! Well, it was our home for 5 months (while we remodeled our now gorgeous beautiful new home).

The home I sold was our 1987 Alfa Gold 29' trailer!

We've been using this 'home' for storage since we moved out of it in September 2007. Seemed like it was time, we knew it was time - we even just managed recently to get the items out of it that we had been storing. What kind of stuff do you store in a trailer such as this? Well, boxes and boxes of glassware - yup, drinking glasses, wine glasses, glasses of all shapes and sizes! I mean, how many glasses can one actually use?! We kept enough to fill our dining room hutch, but it was time to let a lot of it go. Even got rid of a set of Normal Rockwell mugs, a beautiful teapot and plates, 2 punch bowls with cups, and a mish mash of other stuff (some were sold at Relay for Life rummage sale, the rest to a Soroptomist Rummage Sale - I felt better as they are both good causes).

Anyway, we've been talking about clearing it out and selling it, but as I find often, everything happens in its own time. And, everything about selling this trailer just fell into place - getting rid of the stuff, and finding a buyer for it! I had just put a 'for sale' sign in the window a week or so ago, and it just so happened that someone driving by saw it, stopped, and I happened to look out to see them looking at the trailer - we spoke for a short time, and about an hour after that they brought me cash! I have to add though, that in between the time they said they'd buy it and they brought the cash, I spoke with the vet ... and all I can say is 'easy come easy go' - looks like one dog needs a biopsy, the other needs a ruptured cyst removed. But, hey, at least we have the cash to cover it (almost)!

On a last note - it's going to be so strange looking out the window and not seeing that old trailer out there. I can see the trees now, but that trailer has been there for years - literally! And, it's like selling an old friend, like selling memories ... hubby's parents traveled quite a bit in that, camping at a variety of Thousand Trails RV Parks, and the kids all have fond memories of Grandma & Papa and the trailer. It is just a 'thing', and we are still blessed to have those memories. (Besides, we still have the truck!)

Here are a few shots of our trailer driving down the road ...

Bye bye, trailer!

Friday, September 4, 2009

If it seems too good to be true ...

I suppose I shouldn't have opened my mouth so soon, spouted off about how great our SCE bill was - after all it came in 2 months in a row at just over $1! I knew, I just knew it was too good to be true. And, yes, sadly it was. Since we moved 3 years ago hubby kept thinking there was something we could do with the wind machine that hadn't been used for many many years. He thought and thought and thought - he figured we get a good amount of wind here, and that somehow it could be turned into energy. Well, the day finally came where that did indeed happen. We became proud owners of a wind turbine. The wind machine is no more, and now every time there is a breeze I can just hear the sounds *cha ching cha ching*. And, for 2 months that sound was LOUD because I thought our bill was a mere $1. I kept looking at our bill, wondering where the hidden information was, and finally I found it. I didn't realize that when we switched over to the wind turbine that we would be paying our actual bill only ONE TIME PER YEAR! The $1 we pay each month is just a tax portion, but the rest is just waiting to be paid, I'm not sure when, but when SCE decides. Thankfully, I'm fairly meticulous in my money management and had been putting away our savings in an account to help pay off the wind turbine so the money hadn't been spent, just put aside. I had proudly posted on FB that our SCE bill was super low, but sadly I now have to take that back. Our beautiful wind turbine is definitely saving us money, but not in the bucketloads I thought it was for those 2 months. Oh well, it was a fun 2 months, and we are still making a difference, savings some energy, and making a difference in our energy consumption and our environment. Better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick, right?!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Did I really do that?!

I can't believe I did that! Did I really? And, it can't be undone? Really? Wiped out completely?! Of what am I talking about you ask? My family's email accounts - yup, wiped clean, irretrievable information, off into cyberspace. I cannot believe I did what I did. I was trying to save money, trying to simplify. I had decided we didn't need our family website, it was a pain to update, I only updated about 3-4 times a year, I had looked and looked and looked at how I needed to make my account changes, spoke with a customer service person on the phone, and still managed to screw it up! Oh well, I had been meaning to clean out my email inbox anyway ... hmmm, guess I did that didn't I! And, my 2 step daughter's, my son's, and my husband's as well. I'm sure there wasn't anything in there that was of any huge importance, but I also know that I won't really know what's missing for months. Ah, technology - the question is, how wonderful is it really?! The next question is ... will my step daughters and husband forgive me?!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Our dog, a lemon?! Certainly not!

Our Malcolm, dear sweet, lovable Malcolm, a lemon?! I spoke with the vet today because dear sweet lovable Malcolm is having some skin fungus issues (bleh!), as well as some other weird stuff. I'm at my wit's end with his skins issues because it's in between the folds of his neck skin and it doesn't get any air! I'm supposed to keep it clean and pray he doesn't scratch at it which makes it worse. At night when he starts to scratch at it, I launch myself out of bed to stop him, and after a few too many launches I just bed down with him on the floor (well, not exactly - I do have a tempurpedic style bed pad on the floor).
Anyway, talked with the vet today and she is baffled by our beautiful baby. He has skull atrophy, and it appears his whole front end is muscularly atrophied. She's really trying to figure out what's going on with his atrophy issues and skin issues (she even said she wondered if he had a brain tumor - yikes!). I don't think she meant it as badly as it sounds, but she said something about us kind of getting a 'lemon', but she said it didn't seem like it mattered because he's such a lovable dog. We think he's a hunka lunka love, but we are finding out that maybe he has some 'disabilities'. It doesn't really matter, it's just important that he found his way into our home and our hearts.