Thursday, March 31, 2011

Dirty Hands come with the Territory

Just have to share.
Went to the auto shop in a slight panic today.  Oil in truck looked extremely low and had to make an important trip down to San Francisco today.  Poor truck has not been driving well the last few days.
It was ok for now...just going to take it in tomorrow for a more thorough checkup though.  Over 200,000 miles on my girl.

The funny thing... the mechanic looked at my hands and said, "oh, watch out, your hand is filthy"

I looked down expecting my hand to be black!   And all I saw was a slight smudge of grease that got on the top of my knuckles while checking the oil before coming to shop.
Honestly... had to look for it.

I wiped it off on my jeans.

I looked at him rather inquisitively and he said something to the fact..."'re a woman."

Nice for him to notice....
But yes, just clinches it.   I am most definitely a farm girl...and always will be.
A little grime does not register.

Brings to mind a little incident when I was a teenager between me and my brother in the barnyard... slinging 'mud' at each other...................

Saturday, March 26, 2011

A Farm Story - Farm Cats

Speaking of ignoring humans.

I grew up with farm cats. 
Not just one or two or three. 

About half way through milking, I would go outside and yell at the top of my young lungs "Here Kitty, Kitty, Kitty!!!"

...and there would be literally 5 cats running up from one direction down the hill towards the barn, 4 cats from another direction and 10 from 2 other directions...coming on down for their share of milk in the bowls.

I never knew anything about spaying or neutering back then.  I was just a farm kid.  Farm cats bred and then disappeared mysteriously.  A hard life...all the way around.

I had names for them all.
And I loved them all.

Matt was one of them.  A beautiful yellow striped tabby.

Matt was tame as farm cats go and I remember once we shared a nice sunny, warm afternoon in the interior of an upside down chicken coop on the hill... me reading... and him stretched out beside me.
 (yes, I did say upside down chicken coop....tornado took it up, flipped it over, and brought it right back down in the exact same space.)

Farm cats are a different breed.  Tame, but extremely independent. If you saw them at milking coming in for a milk chow down, so be it.  But I do not remember being anytime worried if I did not see one for a few days.
So I remember being very surprised how Matt just settled beside me that afternoon and was just a cat. So nice.  Wonderful, special memory.

Then again it is funny how when  cats are away from the familiar settings, they are their "real" cat selves.

I had gone for a walk....I walked alot around the farm.
One time I came upon Matt maybe a 1/2 mile away in a ravine.  I could see from the road his yellow shape hunkered down intently watching a certain spot in the tall grass.

I came up closer to where he was and he saw me.

His ears went back, he crouched down and was ready to spring away and I shouted to him..."Hi Matt!" 

It was so surprising to see him almost shake himself and kinda take another look at me and then ..all of a sudden his whole demeanor changed.

He recognized me.
He was back to being Matt.
And when I say he was back....he was.  He had been a totally different creature before the recognition hit him.

A hunter and a survivor.
A farm cat.

                                                                                                                                       copyright 2011

Draft Horses in Napa

So here are the beauties I told you about yesterday.
Just magnificent beasts.
Ignoring the human as usual.
Then again it was raining, so I would not be in a good mood either.

Did get a couple face on.

I call this one Yeti.

And this one Suspicious.
                                                             all photos copyrighted 2011
                  Please do not use without written permission.  Thankyou!

Friday, March 25, 2011

What the Heck was that!?

Exactly my sentiments when I was rolling down Silverado Trail Road from St. Helena to Napa this afternoon.
I had to turn around and go back!

                                  Not many times do you happen upon a pink and green cow. and green cow. 

Biding her time

Grass so close and yet so far when you have a fake mouth.

                                                                                                            photos copyrighted 2011

            You too can see her at the entrance of Quarry Vineyards North of Napa.
   Made my day!

And wait and see what beauties made me stop and turn around a few more miles down the road.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

King of the Pasture

So far, this blogging thing has been very relaxing. 
It's been a great excuse to go out and take photos, and very nice to sit down during or at the end of a busy day, relax and write and post.

This guy was chewing his cud right outside of town yesterday,
on the same road I found my Fitz on a few years back.

               He looked quite annoyed that his eating was interrupted by the prescence of a human.

                                                                 all photos copyrighted 2011
Handsome guy!
Filthy, but handsome.

Right up the road, I found his herd of offspring. 

There's dad...right around the eyes and nose!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Muddy Walks

Was walking past a hiker the other day who was looking up a wet dirt hill path and commented half to himself..."wonder if it's muddy."

I say...embrace the mud.
Be a child again.  Splash it!

And just be happy it's not a manure filled barnyard that you have to muck out.

                                                              The walk is worth the view.

                                                                                                              all photos copyrighted 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011

Buzzards flying below

Too much people stuff today.

So looking back at my walk yesterday....first day of Spring.

Sun came out.

Buzzards flying.

Breathing again.
                                                                                               photo copyrighted 2011

Sunday, March 20, 2011

First Day of Spring

                                             Rainy first day of Spring in Northern California.

                                                     photos copyrighted 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Deer outside my Window

I have a beautiful view outside my home office window...of a hillside of green this time of year.

Fitz, my fabulous cat, goes and sits out on the metal dothingy that the builders actually added as a planter, but makes a fantastic kitty look out, and watches the world go by.
One thing I truly love is watching the little group of deer that usually wander on by towards evening and settle in the tall grass near by.

... One evening some years back, I saw my boy, Fitz, still young and inquisitive, wander closer and closer to the visiting deer on the hillside.  At this time, it was late summer and there were fawns.

Slowly, slowly he inched towards the nearest fawn.  The fawn saw him and came over ever so slowly towards him...

...and they touched noses.

Where is that camera when you need one!
But it is forever etched in my memory.

                                                                copyright 2011

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Linda St.Clair, American Artist

I so admire artists who can render the essence of an animal so extremely well.
Linda St. Clair is one of them.
Take a look.

                                         Article about Linda St. Clair, Southwest Art Magazine

For the Love of Orange

This is from the April 2011 issue of Better Homes and Gardens

                                                       Lovely Peaches and Oranges!
                                                                        Love it!!!

Someday....I will have a cottage full of fresh and fun looks!
Just need to do it with vintage, flea market and thrift store finds.

Take a look at the issue on pages 96 and 97.  A living room makeover by Elaine Griffin.  This time in beautiful fresh blues and greens.  Crazy fun green ceramic lamps on end tables!  Can't show everything here....BHG will get peeved!

So go down to your local bookseller...who needs your business in this topsy turvy economy... and buy an issue. 

Great recipes in this issue too...............and LILACS!

Don't have a lilac photos in my stash but....
Have a beautiful Peony one.

                                                           copyright 2011
And not one ant in sight!
 Farm gals in the Midwest know what I mean!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Goat who stole my Heart!

The wonderful part about the small towns in Northern California...they still have country fairs and 4H parades. 
This little guy stole my heart as I saw him trotting down a ways back from the float and his owners....lagging behind.

and I did not see this till he was past...

How cute of a BUTT can he have... and what a cute costume!

                                                                                                                 all photos copyrighted 2011
And just to let you know...the owner saw him lagging, came back, swung him up around his shoulders, and carried him the rest of the way to catch up.

Longhorn in the Rain

Miserably raining, but still holding up those horns.

                                           all photos copyright 2011

Monday, March 14, 2011

For the love of Pink!

Now anyone who knows me - knows I am not a girly girl.
I am an outside, hiking, get messy, who cares if I pet a smelly dog, kind a gal, who has mucked out cow stalls and worse.

So even I can not understand why I love pink.

I can't say I really have anything really pink in my home.  I have shades of raspberry red, which is close, but that does not explain why, when I came across the March 2011 issue of House Beautiful magazine, why I got this glorious chill of joy looking at the March cover with the lovely pink and white sitting room.

                                                       All I can makes me happy.

More thoughts on pink later.
For now....enjoy some pinks found in nature!

                                                                                                             all photos copyrighted 2011
                                     Be you Farm Girl, Ranch Girl, or City Girl...who can Resist PINK!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

The woods are lovely, dark and deep - Robert Frost

With all that is going on with the world...
 This is the time to go into the woods, commune with Mother Nature
 and breathe a little. 

Look at all the wonders below

And the surprises above.

It's amazing what a walk in the wood will do for the soul.

Just Breathe in the Green!

                                                                                        all photos copyrighted 2011