Posts Tagged With: chickens


DSC07843 (Copy)Spring is trying to spring, but the weather turns from warm with spots of sunshine to cold to windy to rainy to stormy to gale force downpours,  all within a short time. The last two days were wet and miserable. I feel guilty when I complain.

DSC07858 (Copy)Whenever something blooms, I take a picture before the rain washes it away. Forsythia is one of three plants I have that bloom on the branches before it leafs out.

DSC07859 (Copy)That is, excluding the fruit trees, like this wild Indian peach.

DSC07850 (Copy)Dancing between the drops, I caught Karen, the Pied Piper with the chickens. They adore her and vice versa. They love getting out and wallowing in the green, grass. I love the green, too.

DSC07847 (Copy)Paul was back in the hospital. Now he is in a convalescent home. Living is sometimes an uphill battle.

DSC07851 (Copy)Pam, Wanda, John and I with our CCTV manager, Ed Lark had an important board meeting over the studio. Hopefully we’ll get it transferred to new owners by the end of the year, freeing us to do things we like better. None of us produce television shows anymore. We are just cogs in the management wheel.

DSC07852 (Copy)These last two years, we’ve taken to having dinner meetings. It makes things pleasantly social. John told us a great history about Hazel Fischer, a teacher who taught “everybody” in the old days, in a one room school-house. There are many stories about her quirky personality-some he claims are untrue. John is an “old-timer” to this area and he knew Miss Fischer.

DSC07857 (Copy)I read in my local paper that the state is subsidizing low flush toilets. They’ll reimburse you $100 for each toilet. So, I managed to put one in for me and one for my rental. I had already put in a low flush several years ago, but the new ones are better. It boggles the brain that they work. The engineering is so smart. I also have on demand water heaters in both houses. But the gas one needed a new computer board, which the company mailed to me free by Fed Ex. In all this cold, it was nice to have hot water again. The rain kept me inside long enough to read two days worth of newspapers and put a dent in my taxes. No, I can’t complain about the rain.

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I grew up with chickens on our family farm. When I married and moved to our first house, I got my first chickens. We lived in a tract home with close neighbors, but no one complained about my chickens and I’ve owned chickens everywhere I’ve lived since.

I’ve never kept chickens in a coop during that time. This summer,  my son built the Taj Mahal of chicken coops, open and airy.  Easy to clean, no odor. We enjoyed a fun summer with this small batch of three. My housemate, however regards them as pets, while I think of them as livestock. She has been after me to close up the coop as the weather has gotten colder. (The picture above shows the fully open side)

Then we had a 12 hour storm, a real gully washer, badly needed, much appreciated, except by my housemate who was practically in tears and calling me cruel for not providing more shelter for the birds.

I finally gave in and had a handyman  begin the process. And, I’ll admit she is right. Even though all of my chickens through the years  flew into trees to roost, and were never attacked by wild animals,  I did lose my last batch to hawks. Thus the coop.  If you have a coop, it should not only protect, but, since it isn’t their choice of a place to roost, it should also be dry. The storm wetted half the coop. I’ll show some after pictures when its done.

I’m ferociously busy because I’m downsizing and filling my storage building. And, revamping my office to be less crowded. No time to go through everything and toss much. I say I’ll do it later. Jim says I just move stuff around. I find it funny and fun, so I keep at it. It is certainly more fun than all the money begging going on in the political arena where every candidate is now addicted to lots of cash. I wish we could throw them all out and start over with better rules.



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I’ve been accused of hosting this family reunion  just to get my yard in shape. Doug came up and painted the deck and rebuilt the horseshoe pit and the new chicken coop. The coop came about because daughter Virginia is moving to Australia with her family for a semester. I inherited the chickens from her.

Ken removed trash, went to the dump, did some weed eating, moved heavy tables and umbrellas off the deck and into the yard.  His boys, helped out by bagging excess leaves, and myriad other routine but neglected maintenance. It was a massive effort because—I blame Jim— I travel so much I have little time for yard work. I had trees overhanging the house, foot deep leaves, little repairs, my orchard unfertilized and mostly unwatered. Aarrgh!

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The first to arrive for our big soiree was my recently widowed cousin, Gary, from Southern Cal. He came on Wed. July 2nd, so I told him I’m not cooking. He took me to an Italian restaurant and since Italy was on the wall, he said we could pretend we went to Italy. We were very close as kids.  On Thursday, I put him to work painting benches.

Hey, Mom? I don't have paws.

Friday Afternoon, Kristanne and Austin arrived, hamming it up. She has a newer car and a new license plate reflecting her dog rescue volunteer project.  The license plate holder reads, “All my children have paws.”   Austin looks a bit skeptical about that.

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Bev and Ted arrived later, and set up their tent as usual.

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Tyler, their youngest, got the job of stomping all the plastic bottles to make room in the recycle containers for the stuff to come.

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Cedric & Virginia were the last to arrive on Friday. We have a measure grid on the wall, and Owen was proud to tell me he is taller than his dad. They were jet-lagged, having just returned at 3:00 a.m. from New York where some of Cedric’s family lives. We spent the evening playing a new dice game, called Left, Right, Center. Great for all ages. When it got dark, everyone moved inside and we played one of the kids favorite games, Black Magic. Since we celebrate on Saturday, the only celebration of the official Independence Day was the hanging of the flag.

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Saturday morning, Virginia and Kristanne took their traditional morning walk at 5:00, and did 8 miles. By afternoon, jet-lag caught up with Virginia and she slept for two hours in a chair.

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Daniel and Owen had dish duty Friday night. In the morning, it was Theo and Austin’s turn. Because of the water shortage, no dishwasher was used. The dishwasher is used as a drain board.

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Laurie and I worked on some salads to go with the barbecue.

Helping Doug cut veggies for the shish ke bab

Kristanne helped Doug cut veggies for the skewers while they discussed favorite tunes.

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Alec works and attends college in So. Cal. He flew into Sacramento, and Cathy picked him up and brought him to Murphys. The boys inflated all the tubes for the flume.

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Abbie loved feeding snacks to the chickens. DSC07057 (Copy)

Niece, Rena came directly from FLorida to the reunion, her first time. Her boyfriend Chris, suffered some jet-lag too and took a long snooze, too.  Before the big feast, we headed for the flume. We waited for people who said they were coming to show up, and didn’t. But, it is late in the day, I’ll finish this blog tomorrow. I was having too much fun to take thorough pictures, so, there are big gaps in our event.






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Yesterday, I crossed the river (without my camera,) and a woman plowed into me in a shopping center. Typically called a fender bender. The front passenger door could open but the back door, no. When I called the insurance, I told them, I have to have my little Prius back because I bought the first one in the state. Toyota shipped three to each dealership from Japan in 2000, and they gifted me and took my picture for the news. I love my little Prius, not only for its good mileage but because it fits in my small garage. The sticker on the back fender was proof of an electric, and used to allow me in the diamond lanes without the two-people-in-the-car requirement. Since, rescinded. Thankfully, it is fixable and neither of us were hurt.

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I normally let my chickens out about 6 a.m. or even a tad earlier. But, yesterday, I heard a commotion and the chickens had scattered to all parts of the yard. When I got outside, I had to chase a fox out of the yard. I scolded him, but a hungry fox is likely to return. Because these chickens were in a small yard, their wings are clipped and they don’t have much defense. Hopefully their wing feathers will quickly grow. They think I’m God. I only give them a treat at night, whatever greens, or compost stuff I have. Yet, the minute I let them out in the morning, they follow me like I’m the pied piper. I think it is interesting that I’ve had chickens at every house I’ve owned, from 1961, except this one. And, I’ve never had a coop. They can basically take care of themselves, but always before, I had a rooster.

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So, here I am, with the Taj Mahal chicken coop; it still needs paint and a few other modifications, like automatic water, and so on. These girls get all organic feed and let me tell you, these are the most expensive eggs I’ve ever eaten. And, that fox is NOT going to get them. I’m going to build a yard roost they can fly up to for protection. Hey, I’m having fun. My housemate loves watching them from the deck. They follow her around too and one of these days I’ll get a picture because it just tickles me to see them following her. I guess they have two Gods. Life is never dull.


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Cape Blanco Lighthouse Point – Oregon

Mary has safely returned home from a trip to Turkey. She’s resting, catching up on emails and unloading and editing the many photos she took on the trip. I expect her to catch up with me sometime in mid-May somewhere in Oregon.

The motorhome is parked in a friend’s yard at Sixes, Oregon. Yesterday Cheryl and I rode in her car to the Cape Blanco Lighthouse Point four miles distant so I could take some photos. I’ll depart later this morning.

I started with a few in her yard…

As always you may left click upon an image to see an enlarged view and then click once again to see an even larger view…






The next sequence of photos was taken about one mile south of the lighthouse…










The next sequence from about 1/4 mile south of the lighthouse…




And finally, from the top of the lighthouse looking north along the coast…


You can read all about this place where winds of 100 miles an hour are not uncommon by clicking this link…

Yesterday was cloudy/sunny at 63 degrees. Today’s forecast is cloudy/sunny and 58 degrees. A bit cool, but delightful compared to the three days of mid-90’s I was in a few days ago!

Enjoying nice weather is another joy in the life of a full-time RVer!

The red dot on the below map shows our approximate location in the State of California. You may double left-click the map to make it larger…


Enjoying 65-75 degree temperatures with low humidity most of the year is a primary joy in the RVing lifestyle!

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance you must keep moving”…Albert Einstein


On October 27, 2012, I created a two-minute video titled America The Beautiful. The music America The Beautiful is by Christopher W. French. The photos, which I randomly selected, are from the states of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Mississippi, Montana, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Texas, Tennessee, Washington and West Virginia (not shown in that order)…are mine. Yup, That’s me standing in front of the Post Office in Luckenbach, Texas…Y’all!

Click this link to start the video. Make sure you have your speakers turned on and go to full screen asap.

If you would like to see my YouTube videos, click this link…

There are more than 500 photo albums in my Picasa Web Albums File. To gain access, you simply have to click this link…

If you have not checked out my Ramblin Man’s Photos Blog, you can do so by clicking this link…

For more information about my books, click this link:

All original material Copyright – Jim Jaillet 2014

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I stole this photo by Ross McDonald from Mother Jones Magazine.

And this quote from Josh Tetrick a vegan and founder of Hampton Foods Company:

United States’ eggs are produced by birds pumped full of corn, soy, and antibiotics in giant rows of cages. “Female birds are packed body to body in tiny cages so small they can’t flap their wings, They never see the sunlight. They never touch the soil.”

Tetrick has two engineers, six biochemists, and 11 food scientists  on a single-minded quest to hack the egg and its 22 functional properties.  The goal is to replace all factory farmed eggs in the US market. The team has looked at nearly 1,000 plant proteins.

These entrepreneurs are determined to realign plant proteins into tasting and feeling exactly like meat. After the egg, the chicken, pork, beef.

He asks, when you eat a muffin, do you know, or think about the fact you are contributing to the way animals on megafarms are treated? Since a third of US eggs are used in prepared foods, muffins, pasta, dressings, breads, mayonnaise, that is their first market goal. Then, egg-beaters style eggs that people will use in their omelets.

He attracted venture capital from Bill Gates ,Twitter founder and other rich guys because they tasted and believe in the product. They also believe that most Americans do not like the corporate megafarm way their food is raised. And if they can realign molecules in plant DNA to mimic animal DNA, it won’t taste like tofurkey, it will taste like the real thing. Getting it to mimic hard muscle is still difficult, but, they are betting on it. There are many companies who have tried beyond eggs and beyond meat, some failed, but many are improving the quality of fake meat. China is highly invested in creating vegetarian meat. It is only a matter of time.  In 2014, whole foods will begin selling meatless chicken strips. It is 55% more economical to produce vegetarian meat than the megafarm way.

Not everyone will give up muscle meat. It is a choice. But, vegans and carnivores can shake hands on some things and share the progress toward a better planet.

Now,  if I can find the company on the Stock exchange? I’m ready.

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