Saturday, April 28, 2012


At the end of our Hoover Dam experience we wanted for nothing more than good old fashioned Vegas hydration. No, I do not mean consumption of beverages of the Sinatra sort. Hydro as in poolside fun!

Soaking, sunning, floating... but most of all being completely blown away by a desert sirocco!! One mighty wind... nearly impossible to keep on a hat!

When it was five-o'clock-somewhere and  group consensus said yes to a "Sinatra-tini" then we became the the usual suspects of Vegas travelers - we headed to the Strip!  Many sights to see ~

Dinner on the banks of a Venetian canal courtesy of Hubby and his Strip winnings. {no, he didn't  take off any clothes} hhhee

A full moon and the brightest lights this side of Paris... and we saw that too!

Walking for physical therapy again on our second day... well, sort of walking... most of our tour of Red Rock Canyon was done on a paved loop in the car with spurts of viewing and pictures along the route.

The desert has a distinctively barren-not-my-cup-of-tea look. This canyon did hold my interest though.

And, then - just like that{insert snap of fingers}, the writing was on the wall....


Desert adventure of a whole new kind was over....

The new equation worked too... we visited Las Vegas and didn't do much of the standard hoopla, yet enjoyed this city in our own way.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Math... or A Changed Vegas Equation

Vegas = Calm ????  I equate time spent in Las Vegas with nightlife + drinks = Dancing and staying out late. Gambling + debauchery and  over-the-top EVERYTHING! Well, that is how I saw it years ago when I visited. I had only been to Vegas twice, and we were asked to join my brother and sis-in-law. Alrighty then - we could enjoy some time at a resort, but party, drink and debauch??? hmmm - doesn't sound like the life we have been, or should be leading right now. Ah, heck - Just go for it... we'll make it a new Vegas.... designed just for our "changed" lifestyle.

Colorful sunsets = sense of calm ~

Rather than dancing, we changed it to walking. Our first days walk was while sightseeing at Hoover Dam. OH, WOW! that Dam is more than over-the-top....

Art Deco design ~

We even entered another state ~

Upon completing our mini walk {in which Hubby did very well}, we headed back to the resort for some relaxation and hydro-therapy. I'll go collect my thoughts & shots and post them next time....

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Desert Visit in BRIEF...

Sun in Sin City

What happens in Vegas???....  Stays in Vegas!!!

Only kidding.... just too late to post tonight! Will give full details and photos next......

TRULY - nothing to hide!

Friday, April 20, 2012

Lunch Break

In order to get out of the ninety degree sun for an hour or two, I came inside to have me some lunch. Now I've decided that since I'm inside, I may as well write a quick post and just for prosperity sake add some pretty photos too.

It's heating up around here! Scrumptious days of beach, flowers, chickens and sun!

Lot's more to write about. Fragrant, frilly, flowery splendor everywhere. Back soon....

Monday, April 16, 2012

Small Step

Aside from this computer, that gadget of Hubby's is one of the only pieces of modern technology that is used in our household. SO very far behind the times! In a lot of ways remaining virgin to these new norms is quite okay! I frequently witness sad displays of communication - actually NON-communication between people because of their gadgetry. Many beautiful ways of discovery with the technology available nowadays... and yet, such sadness in what we have lost too.

I'm still intrigued and thoroughly enjoying the Instagram app. Just one more creative way to dabble with photography.

Here's a collage to share of some of the pretty things I've witnessed in the last few days ~

Doesn't take much to make me click, click with that Instagram.....

Sunday, April 15, 2012

A Brownie

Can't say as I realized just how smart a miniature size chicken can be. Our Biloxi Brown has lived on the streets for an unspecified amount of time. Fending for herself against all manner of tough obstacles.

Bil-B. appeared in our yard one winter day and was determined to stay here. Assuming that she was part of the flock next door, the objective was to get her back over the fence to her proper home. Catching an intelligent, quick footed, street wise chick is no small feat. My heart was pained each evening when she had eluded us again, and found her way to the tippy-top of a tree to roost. She was dutifully following "her instinct" to be at highest ground for safety against nighttime predators, we were informed by many.

So, I dutifully followed my instinct and ran to the feed store to get her munchies for her sleep-overs.

Her food?... It's called SCRATCH ! Dunno why, but I just adore that! scratch, chicken-scratch... so apropos when you watch their feeding movements.

She gets other fresh items and food too.... but, I swear I wasn't trying to keep her here! I just didn't want her to starve while hanging out in our yard and sleeping in trees.

Eventually we were able to spook her into flying and up over the fence into her "real home" she went. We knocked next door and told them that their lost hen was back, and they invited us in to go see the rest of the hens and their coop. What a surprise to find that our neighbors had only one breed of chicken and Biloxi was definitely the black sheep of the clutch! She was not theirs.

Then where had Bil-B. come from? Ah well, she was with other chicks and she would be safe from harm having a coop to roost in at night. The first couple of nights she stayed in their tree also. Smart one she is, she didn't want to push her luck with the "BIG" girls who didn't know her yet. No
"hen-pecking" for her! It seemed a compromise had been worked out when she was able to lay eggs in the coop and rest there too.

Coop residency lasted about one week. Biloxi found her way back into our yard! Not sure how, as flying is not her forte. No one had coaxed {ahemmm - scared} her over the fence as we had. OH SO SMART!! She was bound to get back to the luscious grounds of our garden... {if I do say so myself}
Next door has safety, we have an open world waiting to explore! Free range of the ultimate kind....

she just kills me when she runs & waddles down the path!

Attempts were made in the middle of a rain storm {so blustery that I swore she'd fall out of her tree-house in the middle of the night} to make her a temporary coop-cage....

A construction worker, I'm not! Biloxi would not be enticed. Planks to the front door, worms, straw bedding... nothing worked. Each morning, the walk through the yard to find her was painful. Had a raccoon come in the night?

Instinctively she found safe, quiet areas to nest. Some quite funny - a lying down barrel filled with twigs and leaves. A wooden planter with only fallen leaves from the fig.

She graces us each day with her own type of chicken-magic... and that tiny being can even nourish us too!

The intention at this point was still not to view her as OURS. Yet, why had she found our haven? And where did she belong?

There's still more to this chick's story....

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Enamored With Party Hens

Seems I've been remiss in fully introducing and writing a post dedicated completely to my newest love.
Or, LOVES, as it were.

tap, tap, tap... {drum roll, please}... Say hello to    Biloxi Brown, Clarabelle & Penny ~

This Bantam (small size) is Biloxi ~

You've seen Clarabelle a few times, nearly always in photos and posts where I'm gardening. She is the next-door-chicken, aka: party-in-my-yard-chicken. Clarabelle is part of a clutch of seven or so hens. She is a stand-out as the only white one. She also stands alone because of her ability to claim a party house when she sees one!! Clarabelle has been hopping the fence to our yard - numerous times daily for the last few months. She also brought along a cohort in crime.... that is Penny.

Clarabelle & the girls in the dusty yard next door :-)

maybe Tony's ladder is how she found her way?

Penny is a tall lady with silky copper "Penny" colored feathers. I think she's now in recovery, as she only happens by the party house periodically. She dances in the raised box {vegetable bed} and goes home once she's Watusied all over the tomatoes. Penny's a great one for pole dancing too .... well, I mean dancing on the pole beans 'til they're pulled up by the roots. Thank goodness she's trying to maintain some dignity!

Here's the chicken dance {only that's not Penny, it's Biloxi} and Clarabelle has joined too ~

Penny doesn't seem to stop by the photo booth too often... can't seem to locate many shots of her.

Then, there's this gal - Biloxi Brown - with a longer name than she's got legs ~

You're wondering what she's doing sitting in a tree, aren't ya? This is the first day I spotted her. Looking out the window, I couldn't help but notice the way this bush was moving. Biloxi was quite a surprise from the skies! Like a gift from the chicken-Gods. I'd always thought of the fun of raising chicks. Hubby & I have discussed it on numerous occasions. The timing never seemed right. Was this it now?

Check back soon and I'll spin a tail {purposeful mistake} about this sweet Banty who has much more moxie than size!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Slug Farm

Slug Farm. As in - UC Santa Cruz mascot {Slugs}, and their on-campus agricultural farm. I realize I haven't posted in more than a week, but my last promise was to share the photos I took on my self guided tour of the farm. So, here we go ~

This reminds me of the dramatic difference from neutral-nearly-colorless to technicolor brilliance
{as in my fave: Wizard of Oz} ->

to this beauty just beyond  ^, and also this full view of color with all that the world has to offer out beyond your safe "den" ->

So happy the Slugs have a farm!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

How Many Can I Pick {pic}?

Did you, as a child, walk along and pick flowers out of any ol' yard that you chose? I sure did! I remember doing it. Wonder how I would react if I saw a child picking flowers from my garden? Hope that I'd just smile thinking that they were bringing their Mama home a bouquet. My Mom was always the recipient of my five-fingered-floral gift....  sorry Mom!  But then, you knew I hadn't grown them myself... ha!

Still walking about, spying the neighborhood flora, instead of picking it - now I PIC-ture it!

On a duty-free day, my wish was to go nursery and garden browsing. I visited UC Santa Cruz' botanical garden.....

Some of the strangest looking species, huh? The garden was a "sun" type with plantings from Australia and New Zealand.  Far from the garden I tend, and the ones I'm usually fond of. This made for a good learning experience.

UC Santa Cruz also has an agricultural farm. I walked the tractor path through the garden gate {without gathering wildflowers!} and found the farm... and I'll share that beauty next time.