Sunday, January 29, 2012

My Guideposts - Week81

There are costs and risks to a program of action, but they are far less than the long-range cost and risks of comfortable in-action. 
~John F. Kennedy

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Every Silver Lining Has A Cloud

It's true, y'know. 

Beautiful warm sixty degree day with sunshine? The cloud is the complete lack of winter precipitation and a looming drought.

 A freezer housing five assorted cartons of Ben and Jerry's (a gift from someone who didn't know my favorite)?  I'm undecided if the cloud on this one is the five hundred gazillion calories involved or the birthday that involved a zero.

Anyway, you get the idea.  It's too bad that the silver linings come with their own personal clouds, but they do.

There's lots of random smooching at our house and slow walks while holding hands.  It's very nice.  The cloud, however, is named non-Hodgkins lymphoma.

I have all day tomorrow off work.  The cloud is that I'll be spending it with my better half while he has his first chemo treatment.

This isn't going to turn into a cancer blog but I wanted you all to know what's been going on.  CT scans and biopsies and wishing we could get answers more quickly.  Also holidays and laundry and brushing the dogs.  A birthday, a bit of painting and some January decorating.  A lot of blog drafts that aren't publishable yet due to overactive brainwaves on a totally unrelated subject.

I know.  Some bloggers will use any excuse to explain why they haven't been posting as much as usual.

I'm stocking my Kindle with books to read and sorting through my projects for portable crafts--things to distract my mind and let me accomplish something productive when we're stuck in Doctorland.

Good vibes, positive thoughts and fervent prayers are all welcome! 


Sunday, January 22, 2012

My Guideposts - Week80

 Don’t wish away your days waiting for better ones ahead.
  ~Marjorie Ray Hinckley

Trying to enjoy the rain rather than wishing for snow.  Trying to enjoy the soft grey clouds rather than wishing for more sunshine.  Trying to enjoy sewing inside rather than wishing I could work in the garden. 
I'm trying!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hippo Birdies Two Me's...Again!

Fun yesterday with the Queen Mother for my birthday present.  

I needed to trade in a sporty simple blue pullover (Christmas present) that was the clone of one I already had. There was nothing wrong with it--except that it was sporty, simple and I already had one similar.  

I wanted something different.  I was in a girly mood for something ruffled or rhinestoned. Something that was cute right this instant and would look completely dated in a couple of years. 

Something not classic, not necessarily functional, maybe a little fun and artsy.  I didn't care if it was cotton or wool or something completely synthetic.  I wasn't waiting till I shed the ten extra pounds that are my perennial excuse of not buying something.  It didn't even have to match anything else I own.

After trying on half of Macy's stock, I ended up finding a trendy little deep-chocolate sweater with ruffles on the collar and sleeve bottoms in the I.N.C. section.

Obviously this is the purple version and I'm not planning on wearing it with white slacks and a sequined top in our kindergarten. Can't imagine why.
And I look way better than this in mine. 'Cause I have attitude and I rock it.

The price tag said seventy dollars, yikes! was twenty-five percent off and the Queen Mother got another discount on top of that plus I returned the other top and I had a store credit  I totally deserved it.  

A girl only has a birthday once a year!

And I'm not indulging in a birthday dessert this year.  Not even a scoop of peanut butter cup ice cream to celebrate (I can get a bit focused when I'm serious about losing some inches and gaining muscle definition).

I'm looking forward to creating chic combos.  Birthdays and new clothes are fun!

Somewhat older than last year, but definitely cuter,

Monday, January 16, 2012

Hot Off The Presses

Dere pOgonip, 

The frsh water is appericiated. Mostly we Lik the roosterz. We used them all up. Plees send mor. 

Hope yu lik the eggz. 

Yor henz. 

p.s. also we deemand suett and seeedz like yu giv the birdeez.


It might have been twenty-two degrees outside this morning with fresh snow powdering the brick patio and icy pond, but one of these eggs was practically steaming in my hand it was so fresh!  

I don't know what made the Bombshells change their mind, but they got a whole sunflower head and free range time in the sunshine as a reward.  

I guess the soup pot will remain empty.


Sunday, January 15, 2012

My Guideposts - Week79

To be astonished is one of the surest ways of not growing old too quickly. 
 Perennially amazed,
p.s. Don't you love the threaded comments that Blogspot now allows? You rock, Blogger!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

The Chicken with the Dragon Tattoo

Chickens should not be allowed anywhere near computers.  They are hackers!  Who knew?  The Bombshells must be hiding an iPad somewhere in their run and tapping into my wireless system.  Is tapping even the right word?  It's pathetic that my chickens are more computer savvy than I am.  I think I now recognize Sophia's uncanny resemblance to Lisbeth Salander.  Those eyes...brrrr.

This post was going to be titled Eggs-Stravagant Layers. One of my worst ideas. I can only surmise the Bombshells hacked my system, read about the Oregon and SoCal hens who aren't laying during these cold dark winter months and immediately decided to follow suit here in Nevada.  Because I was getting close to an egg a day from each girl until I started bragging, er, drafting this post.  You know how many eggs I've gotten in the past two days?  Nada.  I'd gotten used to having eggs magically appear. I was spoiled.  I realize that now.

"What am I doing right? I wish I knew."   
That's what I was stupid enough to type in my original post.  I went on to wonder about why they were laying with only ten hours of light each day.  I wondered if their devotion to laying last winter might be due to their youth and vigor. Maybe, like many females, the Bombshells didn't like me mentioning their age  (I should have known better.)  They're almost two--I wonder how old that is in chicken years?

I think my biggest mistake was the following paragraph:
"My best guess why we're getting winter eggs?  I'm lucky to have a breed that channels all their energy into eggs. They are skinny females and all of them together wouldn't fill a soup pot, so they must be converting all that chicken chow right into lovely brown eggs.  They were supposed to be Buff Orpingtons but turned out to be something like Red Comets. I'm not complaining. They may not have the Orpington good looks, but looks ain't everything!"
I can see how I might have accidentally hurt their feelings. 
Actually I think I'm lucky that after reading that they didn't decide to lure me into their run and attack me like the little raptors they are.

Dear Carole-Amelia, Rita and Sophia,  

My sincerest apologies.  You are young and gorgeous.  You lay the best eggs in the whole world.  No one has ever loved their chickens more.  What can I do to make it up to you?
Fresh organic veggies and leafy greens?  Perrier water?  More free range time daily?  Sunnier dust baths?  Heated nests? Swedish massages given by roosters?
Name your price.  You have me at your mercy.  
Humbly yours,

The former Number One in the Pecking Order
Any and all suggestions are welcome from the Blogosphere.

Party Girl: Romantic Home's Show and Tell Friday
and Met Monday at BNOTP

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

My Inspiration Word for Twenty Twelve

Focus:  v. to direct toward a particular purpose or point ; to concentrate energy or attention.  

synonyms: sharpen, concentrate.

It's a good goal for someone who likes to procrastinate, inevitably gets sidetracked because she's ruled by bursts of enthusiasm and sometimes fiddles around with minutiae instead of working on the important priorities.  This is going to be an eventful year and I want no regrets to seep in.

Life can be as boggling as this image if I let it.  I'm determined not to allow myself to over-think and get overwhelmed before I've even started. 

I'm determined to live by the Four Agreements as well.

So far, so good. 
I haven't actually hit the "publish" button yet on my inspiration word, but this is my kind of post.  What a joy it is to be able to write and publish without having to wait for sunshine to take more photos, or scouring my Pinterest site to track down my inspiration, or work out the kinks in a project!  If you think that sounds like five stinkin' unfinished posts that I've recently been working on are still in the draft stage, you're right.  Hang in there--Picasa 1-2-3, Chickens in Winter, UFO's/PIG's/PhD's, January's Mantle and/or Thrift Store How-To's will be coming soon to a blog near you.  Consider this a sneaky peeky preview!

In focus,
Sharing my word with the Blogosphere at Layla's place: The Lettered Cottage

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Effortless Tick Removal

Let's list ticks among Kharma's least-favorite things about California, along with fleas and heartwork mosquitoes. January's neither flea nor mosquito season, but apparently the ticks are active since Kharma brought back a souvenir from our brief trip to see the in-laws. 

The tick passed unnoticed at the vet visit just a day after we returned. The not-so-little bugger survived our nightly canine brushing (New Year's resolution #3) but thankfully not my sweetie's sharp eyes. 

A quick Google search to ensure we removed it correctly turned up the improbable suggestion that we simple rub the body using a circular motion and the tick would disengage voluntarily. Given that no tweezers or pulling was required, we gave it a try.  

Thirty seconds later. Bingo! 

I know the entire tick was out because it was (shudder) crawling around in the jar afterwards just before I poured acetone over it.  Simple alcohol would have worked, but I was in the mood for a bit of overkill (and an extended session of soapy handwashing.) Then we sent it to tick valhalla via burial at sea. 

Here's the Instructables site complete with a video showing actual removal

I'm so glad we live in the flea-free, tick-free, heartworm-free high desert!  I love my in-laws but right now I'm happy we don't visit more often!  

Kharma might disagree given the amount of petting she receives from G and G, the hot-and-cold running squirrels available for her entertainment and the half-acre of yard--fortunately border collies haven't figured out how to drive.  


Sunday, January 01, 2012

The Four Agreements

Happy New Year!

 The last day of 2011 gave me a gift which dropped softly and unexpectedly into my lap at the perfect time. 

1.Be impeccable with your Word.
Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of the Word in the direction of Truth and Love. 

2. Don't take anything personally.
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream.

3. Don't make assumptions.
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness, and drama.

4. Always do your best.
Your best is going to change from moment to moment. It will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Simply do your best and you'll never regret it.

~Don Miguel Ruiz
from The Four Agreements: A Practical Guide to Personal Freedom

More than a weekly guidepost. Perhaps a roadmap for the challenges 2012 is bringing my way? Anyway, a good start to this New Year. 

Love, Peace, Blessings, Smiles,