Our Tiny House

Wednesday, January 31, 2018

This Place is Going to the Birds




Yesterday, on an overcast morning, as I went out to feed the chickens, I saw there on the chicken yard fence a creature disguised as a weathervane.

Soon the sun came out and I got a good look at his glorious color. And I was honored to feed him.


This peacock roams the neighborhood, and I hadn’t seen him for a couple of months. I was worried. Seeing him, though, tail intact and all beautiful, I wonder if perhaps he, like my hen, was molting.  She looked as though she had been attacked by a mountain lion. Maybe neither he nor she wanted to be seen in that condition.

Now both are beautiful--new feathers, happy countenance.


 Lookin' good

You probably read my peacock story, about the first day I saw him here at the empty house before we moved in last December. He was sitting on the fence outside a bedroom window

I had brought boxes of dishes from the other house. I was washing cupboards, putting dishes away, putting up knickknacks, and of course, I had to look in every room. There in the bedroom, out the window, what did I see on the fence, but a peacock!

I was beside myself, calling our dog: “Sweetpea, come look!” She came, she looked but thought I had gone bonkers.  (Yeah, I knew what she was thinking.) “But, Sweetpea, this is my totem animal.”

Can you imagine, this is the third peacock I have seen associated with a new home. One in Riverside California, One in Marcola, Oregon, and here in the sleepy little town of Junction City.  

I would never have thought it.

Blonde has recovered from her molting where she lost her tail and three-quarters of her feathers but look at her now—Isn’t she beautiful?

 
The three baby chicks I acquired last October are grown up birds now.  



I’m afraid I goofed on these chicks for they are skittish and not tame as my other two hens were. Harriot and Blonde would come and sit on my lap. Especially, Harriot, the hen who laid the green egg, but alas, she disappeared one night without a trace.

It could be that I didn’t hold these three baby chicks as much as I did the others. Another possibility is that these three chickens were about a week old when I got them, and they had already imprinted on each other, or learned about life— that one ought to run in the face of danger—real or imagined.

When we lived in Temecula, California, I volunteered to feed our landlord’s chickens and turkeys, for a reduced rental fee of course. The turkeys knew me and whenever I called out,  'Hello guys," they answered with a chorus of "Gobble, gobble gobble." He also had a dozen or so quail that were so tame they poured as a unit out the door when I opened it. I had to push them inside to get into their pen. Later on he got another group of quail that were so wild they fluttered and squawked and ran from me whenever I approached their pen. He had enclosed them in a little pen with a door on the top. One day I opened the door and one quail high-tailed it out of there, never to be seen again.

You are the first person I have told. Confession time.

“Sharing enhances everything you experience,” –
-Tony Robbins.

Yes, Tony, but do people want to hear it?  It is rather one-sided, isn’t it? But words need eyes, and that’s where you come in. I suppose every writer wonders if their words are worth reading. Are they engaging, enlightening, educational, or entertaining? 

There’s the rub.

I wonder many times what I am doing here. And then Maria Forleo comes along and says, “Give your gift.”

Yes, but, what’s under that wrapper?  I’m afraid to look.

"The author & the reader know each other: they meet on the bridge of words.”--Madeleine L'Engle  

                                                                                         
  Suggestion Box, click on the box and let me know what you would like to hear/read.
jewellshappytrails9@gmail.com

Thursday, January 25, 2018

You Make My Day




"This would taste really good covered with chocolate."

Daughter number one had just given me a little heart-shaped morsel that was the color of chocolate but didn’t taste like it.

It was pemmican. Have you ever heard of it?

Pemmican is survival food.

It’s an old preparation used by the Native Americans, the early pioneers, and the cavalry to keep them going on long treks.

Now it could keep a backpacker going like the Energizer Bunny.

Daughter and I were attending a conference and didn’t bring a lunch—and found none that suited us, but she, being smarter than me, had a snack in her purse.

Heart shaped? From a candy mold? How deceiving, but it tasted, well, better than I expected. Okay really.

I learned of pemmican from a book called The Lost Ways by Claude Davis (Hey, is he related to my husband?), and watched a man preparing the concoction on Youtube, in a modern kitchen using all the gadgets we have at our disposal—seemed like an oxymoron.

Daughter’s pemmican began as lean hamburger, and when dry she ground the meat it in a coffee grinder, making the texture fine as a chocolate bar. (Guess I have chocolate on the brain, and I’m not a chocoholic.)

I wasn’t as smart as she when I prepared mine yesterday.

 It took me four days.

 I began with steak as I had seen the man preparing it on Youtube.

It’s a simple recipe: dried lean meat, dried blueberries, ground together and moistened with tallow to play dough consistency.

Stir up your three ingredients, place the mixture in a plastic bag or air-tight container, and that food has been known to last for 50 years without refrigeration.

Truly a survival food.

Pemmican is packed with protein, fat, vitamins and antioxidants.

(Fat will make you feel full, is essential for energy, for the brain, and the absorption of some vitamins.)

I asked the butcher to cut the steak into strips, but they were about an inch wide. I  was embarrassed to ask him to cut them smaller, and too lazy to do it myself, instead I stuck those thick strips into the food dryer.

Four days later they were still moist in the middle. I ground them, making a total mess of the kitchen, using a tiny little grinder than smeared grease, and threw shards of dried steak, looking like wood splinters, all over the countertop.

I put the ground meat in the oven for another day (at 250 degrees) and a day later it was done.

The blueberries were easy.

I bought tallow from the same butcher. It was spaghetti-fied and melted easy. After pouring off the clear oil, I gave the pan (with cracklin’s stuck to the bottom) to the dog.

Lafayette chased that pan all over the kitchen floor.

At heart, I’m a vegetarian, at body, I’m not.

Okay, this is not a food blog, but I have learned that survival seems to be the name of the game, and without food, you don’t survive.

And I know that our two-million-year-old brain has been designed to help us survive.

So, eat your food, and let’s get on with it.

The rub is that beautiful two-million-year-old brain of ours looks for what is WRONG.

No wonder fear controls it.

You know that. Look around.

But here—we’re not going into fear.

Life’s too short to suffer.

I learned from Tony Robbins that thoughts are vibrations that have been around for eons. You know those thoughts :  “I’m not good enough, I can’t make it, it’s not my fault. I’m poor, stupid and ugly.”

STOP IT!

You think you were the first person to think such thoughts?

Nope. They’ve been through many brains before yours.

Let them pass through. 

“Thanks for sharing.”

Instead, say this: “ I am a magnificent being, full of hope, joy, and happiness.”

Don’t be afraid. Say it. You are magnificent.

When you are in worry, frustration, anger, irritation, resentment, look around and find something to appreciate. This is not positive thinking. Really find something to appreciate.

I appreciate you coming here, reading this.

You make my day.

“What people really want is a masterful life, a magnificent life, which is life on their own terms.”
—Tony Robbins

Yep, sounds good to me.

Aloha (Hello, goodbye, I love you. Thank you.)

P.S. Daughter's birthday flowers with Zoom Zoom appreciating them.

Monday, January 22, 2018

I Wish I Had Been There




When my eight-year-old grandson came running into the room telling me that Patrick Stewart played the character Poop in the Emoji movie, I went “What?! Captain Picard?”

Yep, he did it.

My grandson said, “I fear for his acting career.”  

I laughed. Not to worry Grandson, I believe Sir Stewart the British/American/Shakespearean, actor is clearly established. That just shows he is not taking himself too seriously.

When my grandson said, "Look it up,"  I did.  

Do you do this—rummage around the Internet, get involved? Some people say it is wasting time, but then I hope you aren’t wasting time by reading this.

We want to know about people—celebrities especially, thinking they are golden people. Yet they came from backgrounds similar or worse than ours.

What happens behind closed doors is sometimes shocking and shameful.

From The Guardian:

"I witnessed terrible things," said Patrick Stewart about his childhood, “which I knew were wrong, but there was nowhere to go for help. Worse, there were those who condoned the abuse. I heard police or ambulance men, standing in our house, say,’She must have provoked him,’ or, ‘Mrs. Stewart, it takes two to make a fight.’ They had no idea. The truth is my mother did nothing to deserve the violence she endured. She did not provoke my father, and even if she had, violence is an unacceptable way of dealing with conflict. Violence is a choice a man makes, and he alone is responsible for it.”
  
“This violence is not a private matter. Behind closed doors, it is shielded and hidden, and it only intensifies. It is protected by silence – everyone's silence

Most people find the idea of violence against women – and sometimes, though rarely, against men - abhorrent, but do nothing to challenge it. More women and children, just like my mother and me, will continue to experience domestic violence unless we all speak out against it.”

 In 2007, Stewart became a patron of Refuge, the national domestic violence charity.

Why-why-why? I don’t understand it.  Patrick Stewart’s father was a war hero—but then,  no one escapes war unscathed. Violence is built in sometimes, trauma always.

You who read my blog know that I want to take the high ground. I want to spread sweetness and light, but once in a while a shaft pierces my golden ceiling and strikes me right in the solar plexus.

I follow Instagram and am impressed. There are really nice people here. I see wonderful quotes, daily affirmations  about living the good life, on raising chickens, loving animals, being successful, on taking one’s power back, on standing one’s ground, making a difference, being happy, trotting the globe. These are the things I want to focus on. 

If I hadn’t popped into Facebook I wouldn’t have known the woman’s march on Washington happened.

Why oh why oh?

 

Sunday shows barely mentioned the 2018 Women’s March

The longest mention was a meager 20 seconds on NBC’s Meet The Press. Other shows were worse.
Blog ››› ››› NINA MAST
I wish I had been there.
I feel as though I am sitting here with my head in the sand.
From Media Matters: The day after the start of the second annual series of Women’s Marches all over the world, the major Sunday political talk shows were nearly silent on the historic protests, only briefly mentioning the topic across all five shows.
On January 20 and 21, one year after President Donald Trump’s inauguration, hundreds of thousandsof protesters turned out in hundreds of marches and other events in the U.S. and worldwide to unite to support women’s rights.

 And here we are in 2018.