Our neighbors are moving. It is a good thing for them, but sad for us. It means their house is for sale and real estate agents get grumpy when they have to sell a house next door to chickens.
We’ve been through this with the neighbors on the other side. We prayed and prayed and God sent a single woman who loves the chickens. She even comes outside to watch them.
The new neighbors on the other side will not have that pleasure. A privacy fence is going up.
I don’t take it personally. Not everyone loves chickens the way we do.
The process is actually very stressful for the entire Miller farm. Strange people are walking around next door, which requires a certain amount of barking on the part of the dachshunds. Of course, some of the dachshunds (Bella) believe that life requires a certain amount of barking all the time.
Then there is the dreaded air compressor.
Fortunately, I have experience with air compressors. Experience being that there is one in the garage, which moves on the front porch when Bee Keeper Brian is building something.
I know that it randomly comes on and makes noise so I’m not startled. The chickens, on the other hand, have never seen the air compressor in our garage and so when the one next door started making noise, they all rushed to the opposite side of the yard.
The fence is finished now.
No more strange people or noises next door. We actually can’t tell what is next door. All we see is this beautiful fence.
Tucker is confused. He can’t see his friend Gus, the miniature schnauzer who lives next door, anymore.
Bella keeps barking at the fence hoping to scare it away.
The good news is the chickens won’t be flying into the neighbor’s yard on that side. They can’t see that the grass is greener.
As I stood in our back yard I couldn’t help but think of the show “Home Improvement” and wonder if our new neighbors will be named “Wilson.”
Today is the day set aside to wear and enjoy a hat of your choice and style.
It’s not really a “National” day. There’s been no act of Congress declaring it so. Some hatter wanting to sell his product probably originated the celebration.
Hats do come in all sizes, shapes, colors and styles. There’s a hat to fit every head size and personality.
Hats can …
make a statement.
identify your occupation or promote a cause or product.
keep your head warm or the sun from your eyes.
In the early 19th century, a woman didn’t go out without her hat.
Today women can choose whether they wish to wear a hat or not unless they are attending the Kentucky Derby then a hat is necessity. After all, The Derby is a chance for a woman to express her inner Southern Belle.
National Hat Day is a fun day to express yourself. Wearing a hat is much like getting into costume, you might be pleasantly surprised to see what type of character you become.
Grab YOUR chance to display your favorite headgear. From the fantastic to the sublime, no rules or no limits.
Why not wear several different hats throughout the day?
It’s been an upsetting week around the porch. You know one of those weeks where if it could go wrong, it did.
The black screen of death appeared on my husband’s laptop.
We received bad and sad news from friends and extended family.
Satellite cable went out, which meant none of our favorite programs would be recorded until Direct TV can find our little mountain hideaway sometime next week. No Downton Abbey, no Castle, no Good Wife, no NCIS. Now that’s too much!
Unsettled and struggling for a blog topic, I surfed the web mindlessly for inspiration.
The soundtrack is licensed by Kenny G. who just happens to be my most favorite jazz saxophonist. The music alone is awesome.
The short video, shot on location in Yellowstone National Park, Grand Teton National Park and the National Elk Refuge in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, won Best of Category at the International Wildlife Film Festival in Missoula Montana.
It’s a gentle and soothing reminder of the wondrous world around us. A dose of peaceful nature. Watch and see if you don’t agree.
An extra special thank you to Patti Shene for sharing on her blog.
Tucker has a ball – an orange jingle ball to be exact. He actually has several balls – a blue one, a green one – but the orange one is his favorite. Perhaps it’s the jingle noise it makes that is so attractive.
Whatever it is, Tucker has been known to fall asleep with this ball between his paws. Whenever he is feeling stressed, he finds his jingle ball.
If you throw the ball, he will bring it back – again and again.
Rachel trained him to drop it right at her feet.
For a while, our morning routine consisted of whoever sat in a particular chair threw Tucker’s ball for him. If I happened to be in the kitchen fixing breakfast, the thrower would yell “incoming” as a warning.
On several occasions they forgot and I got pegged by the infamous orange jingle ball.
If he is feeling ignored, Tucker will throw his ball under a piece of furniture or the stove. Then he will bark until someone retrieves it. I would say he has us well trained.
One time a visiting young boy accidentally threw the orange jingle ball on the roof. Tucker was inconsolable. We lasted about two days before someone had to climb up and get it.
After that we insisted that the orange ball be his inside ball.
Unfortunately the green ball was too difficult to see outside in the yard, so I allowed Tucker to bring his orange ball outside for me to throw as I took care of the chickens. I did accidentally throw the ball into the chicken yard a couple of times. The chickens thought it was food.
This fall the leaves in our Texas town were particularly pretty. Not quite as stunning as when we lived in Connecticut but beautiful for here. It did present a problem – though. The orange jingle ball was difficult to spot.
We have begun the search for a replacement ball in case this one really disappears.
So far we have had no success. So we will continue to guard Tucker’s security ball for everyone’s sake.
AARs (After Action Review) are already a major component of my goal-setting method so following Bunting’s advice works well for me. Click here if you aren’t sure what an AAR is.
So without further ado, here is my 2013 in review (with AARs):
Writing:My second novel, Love in the Morning Calm released in November. For a list of all my books on Amazon, click here.
AAR for novel writing: It’s taking too long to get the stories out there! I need to write faster.
I wrote 143 blog posts, which drew 6,400 views and 96 followers. According to WordPress, my blog visitors came from 113 countries.
AAR for blog writing: Thank you, blog readers for stopping by now and then.
Travel: My husband and I traveled to Ireland with a tour. The idea was to research my book set in Ireland that will coming out this year. Traveling with twenty-six other delightful people does not leave much time for writing research.
AAR on overseas travel tours: Guess we’ll have to plan another trip.
Not exactly travel, but major locales change. We sold our Houston, Texas, home of thirty-three years and moved to our summer home in Colorado.
AAR on our move: Loving it!
Around the house: Life has been crazy since our move with projects! We remodeled our little cabin and added a garage, which is still not complete.
AAR on home improvement projects: Patience, patience, patience.
Life in General: We survived the June 2013wildfire in the Rio Grande National Forest. We are so thankful. So many lost homes and lives in Colorado wildfires last year.
My dear sweet aunt, a shining light in my life, went to heaven to join her husband, her parents, and her sister. Her passing brought home the reality of mortality and established me as the oldest living relative on my maternal side. Now that’s a sobering thought!
AAR on life: Cherish every moment!
Whether you choose to end the old year by setting goals or making resolutions or reviewing your accomplishments, I wish you a 2014 filled with success and happiness.
Thanks for starting your New Year with me.
YOUR TURN: So how was your 2013?
To celebrate 2014, I’m offering a free copy of Love in the Morning copy to one lucky commenter.
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