Monday, December 23, 2013

Note and Gift to Self....

How is it that I seem to purchase myself gifts at Christmas time?? Happens... every year... each time I set-out to shop for others. I'll give myself a little break this time...hhhaa - I've seen the writing on the wall, knowing that this old (by Silicon Valley standards - ANCIENT) computer of mine that I tap away on for this blog was set to collapse any moment. It needed to be done - computer shopping - the "pulling of teeth" of the technology world. I detest this sort of shopping.. yet, here I am doing my first post on a beauty of a new laptop... NOTE TO SELF: computer shopping has some benefits!!

This is one gift that won't make it under the Christmas tree.... gifts to self are best used immediately!

I have plenty to learn on this new gadget. Time to play. Well, actually time to get ready for the next round of Christmas parties. So, I hope to get back here soon.....

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Using the Word Thankful.. STILL....

Turkey leftovers and forgotten mash no longer sit upon the shelves of the fridge. Thanksgiving has come and gone. Christmas seems to be "hot topic" now! Maybe I'm slow on the take... but, I'm still pausing to reflect and give thanks for all that I've been gifted with.

Non-traditional observances aside - Hubby & I enjoyed a beautifully warm, seaside to mountain top week of Thanksgiving observance. What began as a "time to unwind" post-Goat Hill getaway to the ocean, ended up being the start to our holiday.

Just past the hills, and sitting in the low-lying farming area of the California central coast is a cluster of tiny towns that are quite the slow paced, verdant, oceanic paradises of my dreams. We visit Half Moon Bay when our bodies say "rest".  Hubby & I frequent this place, and my parents traveled over these hills to bring their four children to sandy playgrounds when I was young. Their fist home was nearly purchased here.


Hunkered down in the San Benito House, an inn that hasn't seen much updating in years, we plopped ourselves on wooden benches and watched the world go 'round us. Taxidermy heads-'n-horns line the walls of the pool hall. A happenin' pub serves up a mean Bloody Mary. My brother joined in for an ale at the outdoor fire pit, and a lobster roll down the Highway.


Ocean smooth as glass ... the oddest of sights! I don't know that I've ever witnessed nearly nonexistent wave action at this portion of the coast. We took in some local fare.. as in - artichoke soup from Duarte's (I've posted on this before), and we backroad-ed to see country stores, shops and... here's another strange curiosity - fence posts trimmed in dried fish heads!!  what?? yep....

Two days of beachy bliss! Thankful for every minute of it...


Travel with me to the next Thanksgiving stop....

I hope to continue regular posts.. at a much more regular pace! Until next time...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving & Three....

Abundant Life...

Abundant Love...

Thankful for all that I am blessed to have, and all that I work for ~

ABUNDANT PICNIC...  on this Thanksgiving day, my words here have reached their 3 year Anniversary!

Three years ago on my first post {click link here} I spoke of having three Thanksgiving festivities to attend. This year I am sitting in my parents warm ( a tad too much so) house in the pines. Hubby & I have walked through the pinecone and needle laden streets. We've watched the New York parade, and now the television is tuned to football. The four of us will join a few of my parents friends for turkey dinner out. A whole new experience - and just such the sort of thing I consider the filling of an ABUNDANT PICNIC!

As time passes it is easy to reflect and wish for more time with our loved ones, many more hours on this earth, and in this beautiful life. How very thankful I am that my parents are still here.  How sad it makes me feel that my other Pops has left a wistful feeling in our hearts, as we near the one year anniversary of his passing.

Blessings of abundance and wishes of joy to all....


Monday, November 25, 2013

Do Goats Sleep Standing?

There is hope yet that I will come back to this little secret place of mine to tap out some memories, and get journaling back to some regular frequency.  Goat Hill Fair completed the 5th show - our fall event.

cows sleep standing or sitting...

Tell me, do goats sleep standing up? Being a "goat-ess"... it sure seems right now that I could!!
This work that I do - the assisting, selling, marketing, designing, decorating, photographing, greeting for Goat Hill Fair - is such fun, yes time consuming, and after awhile, us goats need a rest. I'm at this moment sitting in a cafe at the beach for a couple of days - resting my weary self!! hhhaaa 

It is Thanksgiving week. From the beach, travel up the Interstate to rest, eat and visit with family is on our itinerary.

me & goat at previous show...

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

One Red Hen

The garden I tend at the back of our home is long, shade-filled and barely manageable. Full days can be spent outback and one would never know that work had been done. A happy pleasure of mine while toiling is to have the next door neighbor chickens cluster 'round my shovel to see what delicacy I may gift them. These girls are a delight - ruinous - but, a delight!

Years ago the first hen to breach her confines and master an obstacle course path over the fence to a ladder on my side was a statuesque, snow white clucker. Hubby named her Clarabelle. We decided to name the hens, since no one on the other side of the fence had. I always felt Clarabelle to be a daring, independent adventuress!! My, she solo-ed the rough terrain and decided our garden was the place to forage and dust-bath in the sun - that is worthy of an Amelia Earhart flying-wings pin!

News traveled over-top of the neighbor fence last night, as I gardened. Clarabelle and another hen {we called her Maria-Tomasa-Conchita-Alonso-Vergara} tussled with a nighttime stalker, and LOST! Tears welled in my eyes while I spoke over the fence to sweet Italian neighbor-next-door. This stalker that we're sure is a raccoon, had been to the coop on another occasion - but I always felt that Clarabelle was a strong fighter girl and with her hearty spirit would find her way out of the clutches of the bandit. I was wrong. And it took another with her.


our Biloxi

Our very own hen, Biloxi, went missing more than a year ago. Funny that chickens in your yard become family in your heart.

Penny - the One Red Hen


3 hens all in a row...

One red hen - Penny - alone in her sanctuary spot (our garden) watched me last night, waiting for the worms I would dig. She was skittish - and rightly so! The sweet-Italian-lady neighbor says Penny isn't eating, and won't go back inside the coop. She darn well knows what happens in there, me thinks ! Penny left via the ladder, back to her home and stayed there amidst fig leaves that shelter the rooftop while the sun began to set. If she won't go inside -  that rascal raccoon will take my last garden pal.

A melancholy morn at the ol' home today.

Friday, September 27, 2013

To Do or Not To Do.... That is the Question!

Tonight while flipping back the calendar pages, I realize just how much I haven't written. Many photos of beauty and pleasure, laughs, and faces I love sit in computer memory never to be seen. These are memories so current, yet seemingly many months ago.

While keeping up a quick pace with my life, as it whisks along each day... well, then I drop the ball on keeping time with journaling here. Something, somewhere has to give. I've noticed this is how life seems to go - two steps forward, one step back. I'll feel so productive and energetic - happy with all the accomplishments of a day, or a week. Then .. WHAM! on a Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday morning (or whichever day one may choose)  I 've lost the momentum and the need to drop one item from the daily to-do list is a necessity.

The beauty you haven't seen lately? ... here's some of it ~

There ya have it... a full life; a full calendar - keeping me busy, and happily so. Thinking that possibly when the calendar says it's winter and days end much more quickly.. possibly then I'll sit on the sofa with a little less to do, and I'll drop gardening from the daily to-do and spend more time here posting on the blog!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

So It Goes....

September makes me feel as if it is the beginning of the year. I felt this much more strongly when I worked for a school district, but to this day - as summer winds down and the kiddos head off in the early morn, there is a definite rustle of newness to the days.

Still, days and nights are filled with simmering summer. Downtime of celebratory shenanigans, and much that keeps me from sitting down indoors to type out a post in this little spot. Sorry for that - I've definitely lost momentum in journaling at Abundant Picnic. So it goes though - as the air swishes and the trees drop their brittle-sun dried leaves... Autumn nears and cozy time on the couch will begin. I expect that posts will be more abundant soon!

final days of sunbrellas on the beach...

ete is French for Summer


Tell me it isn't nearing fall.......  harvest, much?? look at these beauties from our neighbors ^

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Butcher, Baker... Where's the Candlestick Maker?

More stores need fresh butcher shops! I'll put my request in now! Something about them that  I find so fresh, yet so old-school. I think I've spoken of this place : el Salchichero in Santa Cruz? It's a small but finely stocked charcuterie. I adore the owner and his fellow-choppers - they're dynamic, informative, and tattooed! Tiny place, big + for a perfect food field trip with the Organic Chef!
{Cousin Rick}

Hubby kissing the ceramic pork

Meat was bought! Cousin was happy. Butcher ... then Baker... in the same courtyard is Kelly's French Bakery! Yuuuummmmy  decadence...

this little starling had his "sweet" spot staked-out

 Next?  other California scenery - especially while in the Santa Cruz area. One must visit the beach - of course !!

Pleasure seeking, food indulging, and completely seizing the day - we truly DID!!