I told myself I would never turn into one of those slacker bloggers, those people who only update on a weekly basis. Oops. Evidently I've let things slide a bit around these parts. I think my "gone all the time" time is finally over, so I'll be staying home and putting pencil to paper, and needle to ivory, a lot more. But for one last adventure I took off last Thursday and headed north, with two chickens, to Jen's place (200 miles).
On Friday, she and I went over to the coast for a poultry show in Eureka (170 miles). Have you ever driven on highway 299? I have many times, but I seem to forget from one time to the next just how windy that road is! Here is the one photo I took on the whole trip, because this entertained me ever so much, in a sad way. This was at a rest stop on 299:
So it was strange to wake up to cool foggy weather in Eureka on Saturday morning. Cool and foggy are not things that one experiences in the central valley in July. It was a small poultry show, around 100 birds, and really it's just an excuse to get together and see people on the "off season." I have missed this show for the last several years due to various date conflicts, so I'm glad I could go this time. It was really great to see people! And of course in keeping with tradition I had to walk to the back of the fairgrounds and see all the horses and play with the many cats that live at the boarding stables. One of my birds won reserve of class, but in a show of this size that's not really anything to brag about. My friend Dan won the show with one of his Golden Sebrights. Lunch was amazingly delicious as always, and it was a great day.
Oh, get this! It was a moment I thought might never happen, a moment I have awaited for YEARS. Drum roll please.... I GOT MY STANDARD!!!! For reals! Yes! The 2010 American Standard of Perfection that I drew all those chickens for all those years ago! I now have one! And therefore I finally, FINALLY, believe that it truly exists. I was a tad giddy, and I just have to say it's kind of amazing and freakin cool and still a little unreal to see my drawings in there. I grew up idolizing that book. And now I'm in it. *Squeal!*
Here I am modeling the large Buff Cornish, only because I happened to open that page and conveniently I think the sponsors of those illustrations might just happen to read this blog.
Anyway... we headed back over the mountains on Saturday afternoon (170 miles) and it was about twelve billion degrees in Oak Run. We went trail riding on Sunday morning, I rode a very adorable Gypsy gelding named Clancy. He's beautiful, headstrong, food-oriented, and rather lazy. Hmm, yes, sounds like a male equivalent of Shylah! The ride was nice aside from being stupidly hot, and I did see a juvenile golden eagle. Monday morning I got to help with the cows, which were brought in the night beforehand for vaccines and deworming and castrating... Ah, it was like going back to my roots waving my arms around and thwacking cows with tree branches to keep them from running me over... Aside from that, well, since it was stupidly hot we watched a lot of movies!
And then on Tuesday, I got to do the really exciting (not) drive back to Wilton (200 miles). Boy have I seen a lot of I-5 lately. It's uncanny how so often within a week of driving to San Diego I end up going up north as well.
Meanwhile, back at the ranch, everything is just chugging along. I have oodles of "pet quality" birds to sell. I will have show/breeding birds available in a few months, but I don't yet know what varieties and in what quantities, so please don't ask. And of course as with the past few years, my bird outlook right now is "I don't know what to do." I really don't.
I've been baking all sorts of goodies from the wedding list (I talked about that in a previous post). It's lots of fun, I post all the pics on facebook but I'll post a bunch here too eventually, just to make you drool.... The apricots in the orchard are just about ripe. It's an ugly crop this year, and not a lot. I think I'll be grinding them all up for either jam or puree (for my infamous apricot kolachky pastries). I started picking blackberries tonight. 2.5 pounds so far, and it should be a HUGE crop this year because we had so much rain.
I started writing this a few hours ago and then got sidetracked with about a zillion other things, and now I don't remember what the heck I was going to say anyway, so I'll just stop, because I really could ramble on an on for quite a while in some sort of long run-on sentence that would lead you to believe nobody ever lets me talk even though that's really not the case; I just happen to write quite a lot compared to how much I talk.
HA HA! OH I crack myself up! ;-)
Yeah, I'll stop now...