Cucina, Happiness Project, Therapy Thursday

The Heart of Our House

The table has always been the heart of our house. We eat our dinner together and our breakfast. Many life changing designs have been made at our table. When the children were younger we asked them what they wanted to do. Our son told us he wanted a hotel with a vineyard. We used to go to Napa often, and the children went with us. He would tell us in great detail about his hotel and vineyard. There was a nice restaurant at the hotel. He would tell us how he would engage with some of the guests.

Ou daughter wanted a farm, and she would tell us elaborate stories of her farm. We used to laugh so hard when the two of them would talk about how he would buy his organic food from her. She would tell her prices, and he would threaten to get his produce from other sources. She would tell us how she would protect her pigs from her father. He would tease her telling her how he wanted to make prosciutto. She would tell him that she did not want her pigs in wheel chairs. If they were in wheel chairs she would have to help them get their wheels out of the mud.

We still have that table, it even has a heart carved on the table by my daughter. It is at the table that we decided to sell our properties in the Bay Area, and start following our dreams. My husband wanted to live on a piece of property that had no other people close to us. When we lived in the city, there was a guy that cut his grass every Saturday at 6PM. Which was super annoying! We were just tired of the crime, traffic, and not feeling satisfied. My dream has always been to have my own campus with a museum. I have had plans for it since I was a teenager. Our county allows ag-tour businesses.

Today, we still gather around our table, and the mornings are filled with funny stories from our iPads as we eat and read the news together. I would rather have my breakfast and listen to everyone, than sleeping in for a little while. Here is our heart of the house. How often do you gather at your table?IMG_5248

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Terreni D' Oro Tuesday

10 Things I Have Learned From Living In The Country

We moved from the city to the country, and have lived in the country almost two years now. So we have learned a lot of information I did not know as a city dweller.

1.) Always close the gate behind you. There are animals that are fenced in for a reason. Then again, there are some the owners don’t want in.

2.) Free range chickens will not avoid pooping on the porch. UGH! I have to sweep the porch everyday, since they also want to poo on the porch. Our chickens are so darn happy, they run around everywhere, I just don’t want them on the porch.

3.) Ticks, yep, you better know how to remove them. The dogs will sometimes have a few. I prefer to use a damp paper towel. I don’t want to touch them. I really need to invest in some surgical gloves to get my Doctor groove on.

4.) Snakes, know your snakes. We have rattle snakes, gopher snakes, and California King snakes. I love the California King snakes. They will eat the rattlesnakes. The rattle snakes don’t hiss, but the gopher snakes do hiss. I leave the rattle snakes alone that are not near the house. If they are too close to the house I decapitate them with a shovel. Yep, I have also become a murderer.

5.) Gloves are great! Honestly, give me a pair of gloves and my sissyness melts away. I become one butch chick with gloves. I have picked up alligator lizards, snakes, handful of worms, and bunnies.

6.) Getting over phobias is easier. I used to hate birds flying anywhere around me. I was really worried that I would not be able to go around our chickens since the wing flapping freaks me out. We got our chickens as chicks, so it has been easier to transition. The buff chickens are the ones that will peck at my hand when I get eggs…I leave them alone.

7.) Buckets are super useful. Not only do I use them to fill with food to give to all the animals. I use them for water to add to water tanks, and turn them upside down to sit on them while watching the animals.

8.) No matter how pretty your office is, you’re going to get hay in the office. Someone is going to track in hay, chicken poo, or something else on their boots. Just have your vacuum cleaner ready.

9.) Don’t trust any egg carton that says “Vegetable fed, grain fed only” UHHHH, people, chickens are just like little dinosaurs. They make sounds like them too. Wow! I am going to have to record some of their sounds. It is crazy! Anyway, they eat bugs! They love bugs, so if they are only eating veggies and grain they are missing out on what is really natural. Scratching and hunting for bugs. If you are ever lucky enough to have chickens…never use pesticides around them. They are your pest killers.

10.) There are owls, coyotes, and foxes that want to get your chickens. As sad as it sounds, sometimes you have some losses. You have to accept that nature is not going to change just because you have moved to the country. Deer want to eat the yummy fruit off the trees, and sometimes they will even eat the bark. So, accept it as it comes, and move on.

Fountain of Youth, Galleria, Happiness Project, Museum Monday

Sheila Vaughan

I am constantly looking for great artists, I love to support art. It is always my hope that they are able to continue to do what they love doing. This is why I usually buy at least two works of each of the artists I am lucky enough to collect.

One of my favorite subjects is transportation. I love bicycles, it was a large part of my life in college. Sheila This painting is titled “Summer Rain”, and it drew me in with the romantic feel. A female bike rider in an European country. Slight reflections on the pavement. One could almost feel the sprinkles from the wheels, as she rides through the little bit of water. The clouds linger around, but the rain has moved out of the area. She has short sleeves on, so we can guess that it is a warm day. An enjoyable ride through the city is a little escape, and viewing the painting lends the escape to the viewer. If only for a few minutes, one can allow themselves permission to become the rider.

If you are interested in other works of art by Sheila Vaughan go here

Fountain of Youth, Happiness Project, Saturday Special

Pasture Paradise

Recently, we added our donkeys and goats in one pasture. The donkeys are the Livestock protectors of the goats. If a coyote would come on the farm to do harm to the goats the donkeys would attack and stomp the coyotes. I understand that the donkeys will also head butt the coyotes too.

The other day, the donkeys, goats, and some chickens were all in the pasture at one time. They all looked so peaceful. The chickens do a nice clean up job, they go down to the pasture every afternoon about the same time to clean up after the donkeys and goats. They eat all the scrap food that has not been enjoyed by the goats and donkeys.