Tuesday, November 24, 2015


It's starting to feel like a real farm house now!

Boom! Tiny chickies!

So our bathroom right now is... ummm... unconventional. The tub is basically unusable anyway, and it's super frosty outside, so it really only made sense to turn the tub into a brood box.

They're so adorable!
We ordered 12 Australorp chicks. Basically, we're aiming for 8 chickens. It's sort of expected that not all 12 are going to make it. We also ordered all female because we're not sure we want to deal with a rooster just yet. When we picked them up, the guy said they added some males just for extra warmth, no extra charge. As I pulled them out of the box, I counted.

Oh, my. 

We have 21 peeping chickies. That was a bit more than we had planned.

I think we're going to need a bigger coop.

Not sure if he wants to protect them, or eat them. 
We also have the world's hairiest nanny. Toby is fascinated by the new additions.

Although they are protected by the top of the "brood box," we'll be keeping the bathroom door closed when we're not in there.


Monday, November 23, 2015

One of those rare perfect moments

We’ve had frosts for the last two nights, which has been wonderful because it’s killed off the biting bugs, but not so wonderful because it may have killed off some of my plants, but ok because I was prepared for it to kill off some of the plants, and wonderful because it’s encouraged the beasties to come for cuddles which I love.

Last night, it also led to a rare perfect moment.

We’ve been going in the spa well before the sun goes down to avoid the biting bugs, but since they’re all gone now, we decided to have a soak after the boy went to bed. So, by 9pm, we were outside, in the spa, with a candle and moonlight, stars, and a glass of wine. Sitting in warm water, under that big Texas sky, absolute silence, it was humbling and empowering at the same time.

Life sometimes gets crazy hectic. Like now, we’re rushing headlong into the holidays, frantically trying to finish some things to sell at the market coming up this weekend, bumbling through creating an ad campaign, and staying on top of all of life’s other requirements. Sometimes it all feels like it’s spiraling out of control. Last night I gained some perspective, and a little bit of peace. This morning, I started thinking of everything we have to get done this week and was getting overwhelmed, but I thought about the feeling of sitting out under the Texas sky, and slowed right down. I may not get everything done, but I’ll get enough done. And that’s all I can ask.

I also have a cat that needs extra cuddles. I just wish she'd leave the turtle's light alone.  

Friday, November 20, 2015

I have a rich fantasy life

Tonight, I gave an interview on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.

Just for the record, I have never given an interview to any show, let alone Ellen, probably never will. This is part of the amazing world inside of my head where I actually make a difference in people’s lives.

So anyway, I was on Ellen for doing amazing things that in real life no one actually notices. And whilst we were laughing and talking about how amazing we were I said:

“No, really! My life could be made into a sit-com. But it would be one of those tediously boring sit-coms where something good only happens often enough to keep it going for a season or two. You know, like that one from a few years back… what was it called… oh yeah! Ellen! Do you remember that show?”

And Ellen would try to keep her cool, but she’d be laughing so hard internally at her own expense, but the audience wouldn’t really know if they should laugh or not, and I’d be worried that I crossed the line but it was too late to turn back now…

“I mean, don’t get me wrong! I actually quite enjoyed the reruns of Ellen. I was too young to watch it when it came out, but after I had my son, I watched it on day time tv when I was on maternity leave.”

That’s about when my shower interview ended.

I think the weird thing about depression is sometimes it’s much more terrifying in my head than the outside world, and sometimes it’s much better. In my head, there are times we all get along splendidly! 

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

So, apparently I have become complacent in the apparent lack of evil invasions lately.

Autumn has been a long time in coming to Central Texas. The nights are slowly getting cooler, but not cold enough (yet) to knock off the flying vampires who swarm in the early evenings threatening to turn every inch of exposed flesh into an itchy, swollen, anemic wasteland. Also, my son has discovered a show called Monsters Inside Me. They talk about parasites and all the joys that mosquitoes and the like heap onto people, so not only is there now physical discomfort from bites, there’s also the psychological certainty that you’re about to die.

Still, it’s been a while since I saw an Overlord of Evil (scorpion) in the house.

That is until yesterday morning.

Every morning, Steve and I sit on our back porch and drink our coffee/have breakfast while talking and watching the birds and wild life. There’s a buck that has graced us with his presence a few times now, which is pretty freakin’ magical. So yesterday, I opened the back door to go out, when an Overlord of Evil made a mad dash towards me! He was running at full steam letting out a war cry of “AAAAIIIIIEEEEE!!!!” Of course, you couldn’t really hear it because they’re tiny and scream at a frequency that humans can’t really hear, but trust me, it was there!

Did I mention it’s been getting colder? Well, like many females, I have a condition that my husband refers to as ice cube foot. Actually, he doesn’t say it out loud, but I know he’s thinking it in the middle of the night when my feet turn into heat seeking missiles and find him. The point is, I’m now wearing slippers in the morning. Slippers with soles. Slippers that had a squelched Overlord of Evil on the bottom of them because it’s just not ok to run into a person’s house before they’ve had a sip of coffee screaming, “AAAIIIIEEEEEE!!!” This is not a polite thing to do!

Honestly, etiquette is not dead. Manners matter people!

I don’t care the particular brand of evil anymore; I’ve had enough of it. If evil comes tearing into my personal space, be it an Overlord, a minion, ISIS, the IRA, the MLB, whatever! It will become a squelch on my slipper that will subsequently be ground into the grass because I don’t even want that shit touching my foot covering of blissful warmth. Unless it’s a flying harpy of blood sucking demons, and then that’s getting squelched on my hand and washed off ‘cause that’s personal!

As an aside, it was 4 degrees Celsius last night. There is hope spreading throughout the land that it’s getting cold enough to stop the flight of the harpy blood sucking demons. Possibly even the Overlords of Evil will be forced to their winter retreats in, I assume, the Caribbean. Although, I’m not sure because I’ve never seen them having a swash with which to buckle. (If you get that joke, congratulations. You’re as crazy as I am.)

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

The Tale of Jade and the Curse of 3:30am

I almost slept through 3:30am this morning. I was dreaming, though I can’t remember what, when the dream took a sudden dark turn with what sounded like a gun shot that jolted me awake! I lay there for a minute trying to decide if the sound had been real, or just in my dream. Slowly, I realized both the dogs were still happily asleep. Just as I decided it was just a dream, my son knocked on my door and asked what that loud noise was. Hmmm… ok, not a dream.

I told him it was probably nothing, since the dogs couldn’t care less about whatever it was, but he was still freaked out. Maybe it was something outside, still no help. So, I made a patrol of the house. I came into to the lounge to find the cat sitting next to the couch. She looked at me and meowed, which would be normal except she didn’t stand up. Normally when I wander into the lounge at some ungodly time of the night, she gets all excited that she might get a scratch. So I looked beyond her, to where the turtle’s heat lamp was on the floor.

Damn cat.

I got him a new lamp last week because we were going through bulbs faster than… something you go through really fast. I’m tired and my metaphors are suffering for it! I thought maybe the old lamp had a short in it, or something. The only issue is that this new lamp doesn’t have a clamp. The old one clamped onto his box, but this one just rests on the mesh cover.

The cover we put on to discourage the cat from stealing the turtle’s chicken, and using his bark as a litter box!

Damn cat.

Apparently, the mesh is not working. She managed to get caught stealing his chicken because her fat ass knocked the lamp off! At 3:30 in the morning! And yes, all the chicken was gone.

Damn cat.

And then, she had the nerve to follow me back to the bedroom, curl up on my slippers, and go to sleep. Well, yeah, because she had a lovely 3:30am snack!

The night before last, she woke me up running up and down the hall like a herd of wildebeest chasing a lizard. I don’t know if wildebeest actually chase lizards, probably not, but the cat sure does. And she was imitating a whole herd of wildebeest while she did it. Heck, I don’t even know if she was chasing a lizard. I’m sort of giving her the benefit of the doubt here, because if it was for anything less… well, actually I’d probably react the same way. She’s an annoying little beastie, but she’s still my annoying little beastie.

Damn cat. 

Monday, November 9, 2015

Musings of an (ex) dancer

I hate saying I used to dance. I still dance all the freakin’ time, it’s just the only ones who see it are the dogs. Occasionally the cat, but she usually sleeps through my impromptu performances.

And occasionally Steve when he sneaks up on me.

Anyway, back when I was performing, my stage name was Amaya (ah-MY-uh). Not that it got used very often because the only places I ever seemed to get a gig at always seemed confused when I submitted my stage name. Heck, half the time they’d forget and just introduce me as Jade. 

I read somewhere years and years ago that the meaning behind Amaya was "Night Rain." I love the sound of rain at night. Even here in Texas where it is usually accompanied by thunder and lightning, branches, parts of the roof lifting up... For a while I thought Nyte Reign could be a cool stage name, but I like Amaya. It's simple. And besides, I practiced the autograph so that the "A" kind of looks like a star! 

I haven’t performed in over 3 years. So, it’s possibly a bit weird that yesterday, relaxing in the spa, I finished my stage name.

Introducing Amaya Lone!

This is what happens when Steve’s out of town. I have way too much flitting around in my head. 

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Oh Deer!

This morning, I had to take Steve to the airport. He’s going away for a few days on a business trip. I hate when he goes away. I hate it even more when we have to be at the airport at 5-something am. Yep, we were out of the house at 3:45am! I am not a morning person, so it takes a small miracle to make that happen.

On the way into the airport, I was on deer watch duty. We live in the Deer Capitol of Texas. There are more deer per capita here than anywhere else in the state. There are a LOT of deer here. Hunting season just started, so all the deer are still out and about, running amuck because they haven’t gotten the memo yet that the guns have arrived. Which reminds me, we really need to post our “No Hunting” signs. We don't have any "Deer Welcome Here" or "Deer Safety area" signs because deer can't read. Obviously.

Eighteen deer. That’s how many I spotted this morning. Steve only saw one or two, which just goes to show that having a deer spotter in the car is a good idea.  On the way home, I spotted 12 live deer, and 4 dead ones. The scary thing is that I didn’t see any dead ones on the way in! This proves a few things: 1. Given more light (the sun was coming up), a paranoid driver can still see lots of deer, 2. Dogs do not make good deer spotters because they never even reacted, or if they did see them, they suck at counting, 3. my new glasses really do help me see, and 4. I know I had a fourth point, but I’m too tired to remember what it was.

There was actually more than 12 deer on the way home. I spotted six (one, then another, then another, then two more, then another), then I spotted a whole group! I think there was probably around 10 deer all milling around together, but it’s incredibly difficult to run a head count of wild deer hanging out while doing 70mph. And calling roll never works with deer. They just aren’t very good at following directions.