Sister Golden Hair

It's been quite a while since we got down to Chehalis to visit Rick's cousin, Melinda and Danny, and their mini-donkey farm. No, the farm is not mini, it's the donkeys that are!

They have a shindig every year and always have the best food, Danny is a great BBQer. They seem to have seafood a lot but this time it was ribs and bread and salad. They also had munchies so when the meal was served we were already half full. But we thoroughly enjoyed the food nonetheless. I was so stuffed by the end that I could barely take a couple bites of the red velvet cake (which was amazing BTW!).

While we always enjoy the food it's the farm that we look forward to. You just never know what will be the "star" this time, one of the dogs? Or maybe the horse (which was recently sold)? This year it was a chicken named Sister Golden Hair.

I was so happy to see the chickens all out scratching the ground where the garden has been and will be again this year, once the weather warms up enough to plant. And Danny and Melinda kept pointing out one chicken, "Sister Golden Hair, she follows Melinda around and likes to ride on her shoulder even!" they'd say.

Part of the visit always includes having the border collies bring the herd of donkeys into the barn. This year was no different, it's always fun to watch those dogs work the herd. But when Melinda started to get out some of the yummy grain mix that she gives, I think mostly as a treat, the chicken began to take notice.

The first group to get the oat mix (does it have molasses on it?) was too large for the chicken to weave through but the next group only numbered 3. Melinda was walking toward a feeder while the dogs rounded up the 3 geldings but between Melinda and the donkeys was a cute golden chicken. They were all in a line and the chicken was in front.

Melinda scattered the feed into a metal trough feeder and the chicken jumped right in. She began pecking and you could hear every "peck - peck, peck!" The donkeys stayed at the opposite end of the feeder and when she had to shake her feathers they all scattered! "Wild chicken in our feeder!"

Besides the antics of the star chicken Danny kept demonstrating his new ring tone - a donkey bray! In response to the ring tone all the donkeys would chime in - most, if not all, the 15 or so of them! What a hoot!

And, of course, the dogs. Sweet Sadie finally died a year or so ago with her bedroom slipper feet, we miss her. But they have a cute pair of border collies, brother and sister named Fly and Rex (after characters from the move "Babe") and the newest addition, a border collie mix named Annie. Annie is a little too tightly wound and is always involved in everything. Her eyes are a little too wide open which goes along with her hyper-personality. She has a cute trick that they had to teach her to help cool her off since even heat exhaustion doesn't seem to slow her down. They tell her to go get in her "hot tub". Not hot, just a large drinking tub full of water. Silly girl goes over and lays down in it!

An extra object of entertainment this time was Melinda's cute blonde, blue-eyed 2-year-old nephew, Archer. He was a busy boy but pretty good for a 2-year-old. He was quite the mockingbird, he repeated EVERYTHING!

After everyone left Rick and I stayed on for another hour going over our Iceland picture book and giving some pointers on how to use their new DSLR.

Can't wait for next year's wing-ding! Thanks again, guys!

Another Grandbaby - Another Baby Shower!

Yes, I mentioned back in December that Shirley's pregnant, due in late August. And with the progress in technology now you have to ask to NOT be informed of the sex of the baby. Well, that's what Shirley did - for a while.
I don't know whose idea it was but the plan was for Rachyl to throw a shower for Shirley and make the sex of the baby known to Shirley at the shower. All the guests would know and be able to buy gifts accordingly and the surprise wouldn't be the shower itself but rather the color of the shower.

So a Garden Tea party theme was chosen and the hunt was on for all the appropriate decorations and food for the party. I didn't realize it til recently but the location was also determined - my place. Rach says "Well, yeah, YOU have the garden!" OK, I'm glad my yard is finally appreciated and being used for special functions but this is now 3 years in a row: Rick and my wedding in '09, Kevin and Shirley's "Re-I do" last year and the baby shower this year.
We all visited thrift stores regularly looking for teacups, teapots, saucers, pretty serving platters, etc. We got a nice collection and other decorations were planned. Rach and I had a weekly "Survivor in the hot tub" time that we switched for the last couple weeks to watching in the living room and working on decorations. Rach wanted tissue paper poof-balls and then the apparently now-mandatory diaper cake. I knew how to do the poof-balls from my youth, we made a dozen of those and looked for nice diaper cake designs on the web, we made a BEAUTIFUL diaper cake!

Part of a tea party of any kind is flowers and it was a perfect time of year for that! I just visited a couple of the multitude of empty houses around and picked the flowers left to fend for themselves in the neglected yards. In the process I discovered a house slated for demolition that had not one blade of grass on the whole lot - it's covered with blooming plants! Now we have a plant digging expedition in the plans, Denny, Rach and me someday soon! Ooh, fun!

The day of the shower arrived cool and threatening to shower but, for the most part, stayed dry. The guests arrived with all their pink bags and decorated onesies. Rachyl had to text Shirley that she could not leave her house until 10 minutes after the hour, to assure as many guests present as possible to witness the unveiling of the sex of the baby to Shirley.

Kevin met her at her car, blindfolded her and led her into the yard facing away from the party. Rachyl gave her a gift, a onesie with the ultrasound picture showing the baby's gender that we family members received weeks prior attached via an iron-on decal and wrapped in 3 layers of tissue paper. She had the appropriate squeal when she finally got through all the paper and turned around and screamed at the pukingly-pink party that greeted her! Then she yells "it has a vagina!" OK, I guess you could say she was thrilled with the news. She researched how to improve the chances of conceiving a girl and pulled it off!

The party was very nicely done, the decorations were beautiful, the food was delicious (Shirley made most of it, to keep her occupied) and I believe everyone had a decent time. The hot tub was the gift table and it was covered. She got a beautiful hand-me-down bassinet as well as bags of other hand-me-downs.

Near the end of the party Heather brought a gift and then the men and children also came to help un-party my house. All in all a very good event.

The very next day Denny asked me to come down to his house. He had an ultrasound picture to show me - Heather's pregnant too! Due in early January!

Uh-oh, that means another shower.....

About Me

My photo
After 2 unsuccessful marriages I spent 12 years as a divorcee, only to fall prey to another man's wiles. We had a fun 5 years together and then he decided he wanted more freedom so once again I'm single.

So I'm freshly divorced at 57 and have 5 great kids and now 7 grandkids. My kids are still a major part of my life but I'm busy helping my aging parents on Kauai.

I've lived in California, Hawaii and Oklahoma before finally settling here in Washington. I love Washington and come back to visit family, friends and take care of my garden often but will be temporarily a resident of Kauai.

I've moved 30 times in my life (no, my parents weren't in the service, at least not since I was about 2) and finally planted roots when I got my little house that I've owned since '91.

My family are Jehovah's Witnesses, I've been one since '72.