Two young Coopers Hawks (I think) were taking a break from practicing flying. They had taken a perch on the fence as it runs over the top of a water trough. It is amazing how completely unconcerned they were with me shooting away. I was about 20 feet from them when I took this.
Ok boys and girls here’s proof that I’ve been doing more than just working and the rest of life. While I don’t get the camera out everyday to take pictures, I am attempting to (1) take more pictures, and (2) take better pictures.It seems that flickr is the place to be… for now. I hear Instagram has a few followers there too – give me time to catch up though. So, if you are itching to see more of my pictures, check me out on flickr at http://www.flickr.com/photos/cowgirlizWith some dedication and a bit of determination I’m hoping to grow my portfolio there. Which I will share here as well. Please note, this does not rule out the occasional official blog post rambling that was my normal fare here. So, consider yourself warned.
Remember when I talked about becoming a crazy cat lady? It has really truly officially started to become reality.
Here’s what happened. A couple of months ago the guy and I were outside and a gray stripey kitty come wondering around. It looked to me like she had just given birth. My thought was, no, no, no more cats.
Thankfully, the momma seems to have since disappeared. Heartless? Maybe. Practical? I think so. I mean in one sense with two dogs, five cats, ten horses and about thirty chickens, what’s one more cat? Except I would have had to get her tame enough to catch and go pay to get her fixed. Otherwise, she would have had more baby kittehs here.
Trapping her wouldn’t work here as the other ones would probably trap themselves first. Also, it’s around $150 to spay a female cat around here. No, cheap vet options. It is a sad thing, but probably for the best that she’s gone.
It has been a few weeks since I last say her. However, now there are two kittens in addition to the other three from last year and their momma and the big kitty that showed up about the same time she did.
That puts my cat count at seven. For the Magnificent 7, right? Except the guy says they can’t stay. NO. MORE. CATS. I have an out though.
First a little about the little fuzzy-wuzzies. They seem* to both be boys. (big plus for them – cheaper to get fixed and not a huge problem if that doesn’t get done right at six months.) They are both black, more or less, with a little white spot on their bellies. They are darn near identical looking.
At first I was calling them Thing 1 and Thing 2. Easy. Except I never knew who was 1 and who was 2.
I’ve been working on getting them tame. So far one of them is taking to it. He actually may end up being Bruce’s cat – which the guy can’t deny the dog a pet cat, right? Then the other one has to stay, because they’re brothers.
Anyhow, that one has a motor when he’s around the dog. He’ll also purr like a great american made car when I’m petting him too. So, I started calling him Detroit (Motor City). The Motor City part was mostly just in my head, but I found myself silently adding it to his name all the time.
The other kitten is a bit more skittery. He tends to scamper off when I try to pet him. He still gets hissy with the dogs.
Today it all came together. I have Run and DMC!
*Quick update on the kittens from last year. George, Chunk and Smudge are all doing well. They have grown up to be sleek stretchy long kitties.
As it turns out, I should have named them Larry, Darryl and Darryl. When I went to get them fixed, it turned out Smudge was a boy after all!
This post is hugely overdo for several reasons. One, it’s been months since I’ve put anything – even a re-blog – out there. Two, I just miss you all. Three, this is something where I’ve changed my mind.
It’s allowed. Really. Changing my mind. I figured I should set the record straight(er).
Way back when I was doing a series for Horse Nation, I wrote a piece on Aromatherapy. To sum up, at best I was ho-hum about it all. I think I wrote that article just after bashing homeopathic remedies and was trying my darnedest to be really nice. Honestly at that time, I thought essential oils were hokum. Now, I’m pretty gung-ho for oils.
What happened? I started using essential oils. Diffused, applied topically, taken internally. I have noticed positive effects. I have not noticed negative effects.
I’m going to link to an article that attempts to explain the differences between essential oils and traditional pharmaceuticals. I do this a little hesitantly. Why? I’m not sure why. Maybe just pure skepticism. There are a few sweeping claims and the tone towards allopathic medicine is a little negative. Even for me.
If you want to, here’s the article. Read it if you like, then come back. Or wait and read my mental meanderings then read the article. Or, skip the link all together. Whatever works for you.
At my very core I am a skeptic. Anything that promises all good and no bad leaves me wondering how real (and effective) that thing could possibly be. Until I try it and notice results (or not) my own skepticism is not satisfied. Even then, I have been taught that if something can not be proven scientifically, then it must not be “real”. Not just that it works, but how it works. Once it can be explained, it’s “real”.
There are studies showing that essential oils work. However, it seems that the really real sciencey sorts find issues with the studies proving that essential oils work. So, if it hasn’t been scientifically proven to be “real” then any results must have been due to the placebo effect.
Do I care if any results are due to placebo effect? Ummm… let’s see if I feel better and haven’t been bothered with any bad side-effects, then no. I don’t care.
As an aside, I suspect I will always be a skeptic. Even with witnessing the lightest touch making huge, gigantic changes for people during body work sessions. Whether as the therapist or the recipient – I can’t explain how some of the therapies work to help, or why… they just do. I can’t explain why the light bulb exploded (not fizzled and died - literally exploded in the socket) at my last session. It sure did though.
I guess I’ll just go with it. I can question how and why things work, but still know that they do. Somehow. I could choose to try to explain things and end up attempting to baffle with bullshit, or dazzle with shiny words. I could get all excited about the difference between natural and synthetic molecules, but really I don’t know if that’s where the effectiveness is coming from. So, I’ll just go along with calling it the placebo effect. At least with the essential oils it is a nice smelling placebo.
If I’m in a dire medical emergency am I going to forego a doctor’s care in preference for essential oils? Most likely not. I may use some essential oils prior to going to the doctor though. If I feel better by the time I can get medical care, then I guess it must not have been that dire of an emergency.
Here’s the thing though. The oils do have positive effects. So far I’ve been using them for a couple of months. The biggest side-effect I’ve noticed is that I’m happier. Really. What a pain in the ass, right?
Maybe it’s because I’m less achey. Oh and there was that night when I used a blend that completely stopped some serious muscle cramps in my legs.
My moods are more stable. My energy level is more sustained.
I’ve tried them on my horses. Pretty sure I managed to avert a colic episode.
Are they a cure-all. No. They aren’t hurting though.
If you are curious or interested in trying some essential oils for yourself, feel free to check out http://www.mydoterra.com/lizbarnard/
The fine print… yes I am an Independent Product Consultant for dōTERRA. My IPC# is 410520. If you click through to my website and purchase something, I will make some money. At least that’s what I’ve been told.
Another aside – It is a direct sales company. I’ve been told I seem to be smarter than to get hooked into all that. I do believe I am smart. Most of the time. So, why did I get tangled up with dōTERRA? Simple answer is the oils. I tried their peppermint oil and it was all over. I didn’t realize peppermint oil could smell that amazing. I didn’t realize all the other peppermint oil I had tried in the past had most likely been diluted with sub-par (even synthetic) oils. I figured if other companies did that with a relatively inexpensive oil like peppermint, what might they possibly be doing to some of the more rare and expensive oils. Most of the oils from dōTERRA can be safely ingested. (The oils that can not be taken internally would not be safe to do so, no matter the source.) I figure if it’s safe for my body to digest, then it would be more than safe to apply topically or breathe in.
I could gush on, but I think you get the point. Have you tried essential oils? Have they been Certified Pure Therapeutic Grade? Good, bad?
Happy Spring! Just thought I’d drop in and give a quick hello! Been busy, but haven’t forgotten about everyone out in the blogosphere. Instead of creating new content to stop by with, thought I’d share one of the articles I … Read more
While I will happily admit that this has not normally been (much of) a food blog, today I’m going to talk a bunch about food.
I have been gluten free for about a year and half now. That has helped me feel better. There have been a couple of times I have been on more of a paleo eating plan and found that I felt even better. So, this January I very quietly did a Whole30. I lost ten pounds.
I thought that was pretty cool.
For the most part now I am abstaining from grains (there have been a few slices of gluten free toast and some wild rice in the chicken soup, so less than two meals per week have some grain) and dairy (again mostly – dabbled with cheese, that ended badly – butter seems to be ok though). As long as I stay clear of the chocolate I can keep the refined sugars to a minimum – not as easy to do for me at the moment though.
Because I wouldn’t mind loosing another ten pounds, I figure I’ll stick with what’s working for me.
The best part of the Whole30 for me was how it got me thinking about food differently. I feel as though I am thinking about and planning meals better. Flavors matter more. I keep having these sensations in my mouth. So much taste. It is not about how much I can stuff into my face and how full I can feel. Trust me, I still feel full. But instead of a third helping of noodles, I’m hovering over the dish of roasted vegetables all but licking it clean.
I’m also trying more new (for me to prepare) dishes. The other day I made a pork tenderloin dish my sister in law recommended. It was the first time I made a pork tenderloin. I loved it. Tonight I roasted a chicken for my first time. I have done turkeys before, no idea why I hadn’t tried a smaller bird. Silly me. Again, loved it.
Now instead of scouring the internet looking for ‘legal’ sweets to try to bake, I’m excited when I find a recipe for good protein and veggies that promises lots of flavor.
I thought I’d share what I think is the best roast chicken I’ve ever had. Well, how to make it anyhow. I don’t think you want the one I made now. It’s kind of a bony bird now – next stop soup!
I started with this recipe. Why that recipe? Because it seemed cool to have to butterfly my chicken. Ok, I had to test out my kitchen sheers. They did the job. And, I didn’t want to find string to truss the bird. The way my thinking runs, I would’ve just gone and grabbed some baling twine and I’m afraid it would have melted with the roasting. So, a spineless bird was required.
What did I change though? I simplified things, I think. I greased a 9×13 pyrex baking dish pretty liberally with butter – because I was too cheap to use the rest of my store bought ghee and too lazy to clarify any butter today. Then I threw in one red onion sliced into about 16 wedges. I added a couple of coarsely chopped carrots and celery stalks as well as two sweet potatoes sliced/chopped to match the sizes of the other veggies. I sprinkled the veggies with salt and pepper. The chicken I sprinkled very liberally with salt, some pepper and herbes de provence. I also smooshed about three pats of butter on each side of the chicken breast, under the skin.
Why herbes de provence? I bought a jar of it one of my last trips through Costco. It has lavender in it. Lavender smells so good, how could it not taste good? Oh and there is fennel and savory in it. And thyme and basil. Fennel is one of my favorite herbs to pair with sweet tastes, like applesauce. You would not believe how yummy the carrots were that picked up the fennel taste. At any rate, you need to own some herbes de provence. Because it has lavender in it.
Back to the cooking demo…
The chicken and veggies spent a little over an hour in a 425 degree oven – because my oven tends to run hot. About half way through I turned the pan the other way and stirred the veggies around to coat them in the juices more evenly.
Such a simple meal and absolutely heavenly. The guy seemed to like it. Although he didn’t get many of the veggies. But, he would of had to fight me for those. Especially were they got so caramelized crunchy yummy. Mmmmmmmmmmm. Oh, give me a moment.
He did say the chicken was good. When I told him I might have to make this once a week he didn’t cringe. That’s the true measure, right?
As usual I didn’t measure out my seasonings or spices – it looked about right when I did it and came out of the oven just perfect. While I was doing my afternoon chores outside I would catch whiffs of it baking – it smelled divine.
I wonder if it would be overkill to do one again tomorrow?
I’m often a scrooge of sorts come Valentine’s day. Do we really need a commercially promoted day to fess up (in often sickeningly saccharin sweet ways – bleh) to our love?
Ok, I’ll admit…. once in a while I need an external nudge to see the good in those around me. Just a quick call for a different perspective and to appreciate those we love for the reasons why we love them. But, really – pink and hearts and flowers and chocolate? Well I’m alright with the chocolate. You can keep the frilly froo-froo crap though.
At any rate – lotsa love to all of you out there, whether I know you or not.
Here’s a picture of my Valentine…
This gallery contains 4 photos.
After nearly a year of waiting… and my complete and utter failure to do baby watch updates. Here he is at a few hours old. I’m pretty sure he will be palomino like his mom. I think. His mane and … Read more
“I’m not dead yet. I feel happy!!!”
That concludes your movie pop-quiz of tonight’s post. FWIW, it’s been so long since I’ve watched that one, I am not certain if it is an accurate quote or not. Any guesses?
So this is the point where I should probably update everyone on all the stuff that’s been going on and why I’ve been very absent from the blogging scene. Yeah well, maybe another day.
Suffice it to say, I’ve missed you all. I’ve missed the semi-regular almost disciplined approach to recording some of my activities. Mostly, I feel like a schmuck that I let this almost completely drop off my radar. If nothing else, it’s cheap therapy.
For now, I’m going to share a photo. I took it the other day. It is of one of the kittens. Yes, I still have five cats.
With that, I’m off to edit more photos. With luck, I will return to my semi-regular randomized schedule with absolutely no rhyme or reason to my topics of posting.