Friday, May 30, 2014

Why did the chicken cross the road???

Why DID the chicken cross the road?  I do not have the answer to this, but for whatever reason it decided to cross the road was probably hilarious!!  When we finally moved out of tract housing and into our home that sits on a little over an acre in a horse property neighborhood the economy was struggling!  Now that we had an acre we were going to try and live off the land we had acquired and put it to good use.  Frugal living if you will.  I researched edible plants and trees.  I planted a small garden, some fruit trees, edible cactus, and started collecting mesquite pods to make my own flour for bread.  We decided we would purchase a few chickens for free eggs, and my life as never been the same!!

Now when I said FREE eggs, we would come to find that is not quite accurate!  If you are in the market for chickens to provide you anything but entertainment for free you are mistaken!  It is actually probably cheaper to buy a dozen eggs at your local grocer than it is to own your own chickens!  You see once you buy your chicks, the lumber and materials for your coop, the monthly egg maker and scratch feed, you are already out a good amount of cash!  Chickens during their peak laying time, lay about one egg a day.  During the winter months our chickens quit laying all together.  Chickens need at least eight hours of daylight for their egg production.  So this means you feed them all year long and get eggs only half that time.  Chickens are also victims of many predators both on the ground and in the sky!  Often times their lack of a bigger brain also affects their lifespan!

When we first got our chicks, we were so excited!  We had them in a little box inside our entry way, with a little heat lamp, and enjoyed picking them up and petting their fuzzy little bodies.  The next morning the smell was horrendous so they moved to our garage.  we cleaned out their box, food, and water daily to no avail!  The stink was making its way through the walls in seemed, so their now bigger box moved out to our shed!  The cute little fuzzy chicks grew so fast and were ready to move outdoors as soon as their down feathers were replaced with exterior feathers.  We built them a chicken coop, with laying boxes, and covered the whole pen with wire to ensure no flying predators could swoop down and get them.  Then the waiting game began!  We checked daily for any eggs.  I remember the excitement we all felt when we found our first egg!!  as the days went on we began finding more and more eggs from our seven chicks we had purchased.  To our surprise we received eggs in every color possible!
                                                                                                                                                            We started getting more eggs than we could possibly eat so we started giving them away!  As the chicken grew they started finding ways to hop out of their coop.  We would see them in the yard and we would run out there and chase them back in!  It soon became the talk of the town to the local hawks that our yard was full of chickens and we unfortunately lost a few due to being swooped up into the sky by another bird...Crazy!!  Over the years we have had to replace several of our chickens due to predators, age, heat, etc.  We have learned we don't keep replacing them because we want free eggs it's because Chickens have got to be one of the most entertaining pets you can own!  Their walk, their talk, and their overall personality is an absolute joy to watch!  Our chickens now are free range, they go in their coop at night to sleep or during the day to lay their eggs.  They are pretty good at hiding in cool places when they see a hawk fly over and I do believe they think they are one of the dogs!  Our chickens have been known to play fetch with the dogs! Although I don't believe they know what the heck is going on, they take off running with the dogs when you throw the ball then come back and wait for you to throw it again.  They lay on the porch with the dogs, drink the dog water, and food, and dig holes next to the dogs to cool down in the summer!  This video although maybe short and hard to see was one of our chickens playing fetch with our dogs :)
I just want to warn you if you are in the market for some cheap eggs, wait for them to go on sale in your local grocer!  If you want to add to your pet family, a pet that is truly enjoyable to watch and have around, go buy yourself some chicks!!  I guarantee a giggle or two!
Now what came first, the chicken or the egg??  In our case the chicken, a whole lot of preparation, money, anticipation, waiting, and then the egg :)  Have a wonderful day!!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Camping with the family "Box Wash" at Vulture Peak Wickenburg, Arizona!!!!

Memorial day weekend my family and I had no plans for the weekend.  Saturday morning I started becoming antsy to get out of the house, so I started looking up places to visit that were not going to be overly crowded with people.  We live in Buckeye, Arizona which is about 35 miles west of Phoenix.  Everyone and their grandmother it seemed were going to the nearest lake and there were Wildfires burning in the local mountains, so both of those were out.  I came across Box Wash which is about seven miles south of Wickenburg, Arizona.  There was not a lot of info on it, but what I had read is there were good riding trails, it was close to town if you needed anything, but far enough from everything to find serenity.  We packed up some food along with our Rhino in the back of our toy hauler trailer and headed for Wickenburg!

Most of the drive was on a two lane road, I think we passed about three cars the whole drive.  There were lots of cattle guards, we did see a few dead cattle along the side of the road.  So if you are heading out that way keep an eye out for cattle!  Hitting a cow is a good way to ruin your weekend!  We continued up Vulture Mine road and actually came across Vulture Mine which was perched up on the hill on the left hand side of the road.
 Vulture Mine was a gold mine and settlement which began in1863 and became the most productive gold mine in Arizona history!  From 1863 to 1942, the mine produced 340,000 ounces of gold and 260,000 ounces of silver.  The mine attracted more than 5,000 people to the area, and is credited with founding the town of Wickenburg, Arizona.  In 1942, the Vulture Mine was shut down for processing gold.  This was a violation at the time because all resources were to be focused on the war effort.
Today the Mine and Ghost town are privately owned, and tours are offered!  There is a two hour, dirt path, guided walk tour at the historic Vulture mine and through the remaining buildings of Vulture City, a booming mining town.  While we were there for the weekend the Vulture mine tours were only running on Saturday mornings form 8:30-10:30.  Unfortunately we were unable to visit the Vulture mine, but plan on going back and making this part of our itinerary!  The Vulture Mine also was part of the travel Channel show the Ghost Adventures as one of the Lock Down sites for the show!!

Approximately seven miles north on Vulture Mine Road, on the right hand side you will find Vulture Peak Road!  This is BLM land.  Vulture Peak road is a well maintained dirt road with lots of big pull outs and areas for rigs as well as some nice secluded areas for tent camping. There are no restrooms or facilities in this area!

I think we saw about three other campers our whole weekend!  We drove down to Mile marker 1 and there was a really nice big open area with lots of trails surrounding and easily accessible with our trailer.  This land is littered with mature mesquite trees that offer shade, as well as lots of beautiful Saguaro Cactus!  Memorial day weekend all the cactus and trees were in full bloom!  There were wild flowers everywhere!
The weekend was very peaceful.  We did a lot of trail riding in our Rhino, and a lot of star gazing at night!  We drove into Wickenburg which is only 7 miles up the road a couple times to stock up on ice!  While there we walked around the town and looked at all the sculptures along the streets.  We stopped in The Chaparral Home made Ice cream shop for a sweet treat before heading back to camp.  The Chaparral is the oldest homemade ice cream shop for miles and a MUST stop in Wickenburg, AZ  My son had Prickly Pear Ice cream and LOVED  it!!

We returned home Monday.  The whole drive from Buckeye, AZ to the Box Wash BLM campground towing a trailer only took us an hour!  It was a nice getaway, It was free, It was not packed with people, was close enough to town for supplies, but far enough away to find that Serenity!  A great star gazing area and OHV playground!  My only complaint is during the spring everything is in bloom which means lots of bugs!!  I hope everyone had a beautiful Memorial day!  

Friday, May 23, 2014

The monster living in my closet...ANXIETY DISORDER!

To most people I meet I may look like a confident young woman,  yes I said young shhhhh don't tell I'm actually almost 40!  Forty is the new twenty right!?  Now that we got that cleared up, back to the monster in my closet!  Most people who meet me may think I am a confident woman, who is friendly, has a successful marriage, and family, and has everything going for her!  As a young girl my parents were good at making me say Hi to people, tell them my name, show good manners and just be an overall giver and friendly person.  My parents put me in every extracurricular activity possible!  I hated them all!  I was in brownies, 4H sewing, we had to sew complete outfits then model them on a runway in front of hundreds of people.  I was also in 4H cooking class, FFA (raising and showing animals), t-ball, volleyball.  You get the point!  I never understood why they made me do these activities.  until now!

     My entire life I have struggled with an intense fear of society!  Call it what you want, Introvert, shy, social phobic.  I constantly feel like all eyes are on me and I am clearly doing everything wrong or awkward.  I believe my parents were trying to (without knowing it was actually a thing) do Cognitive Behavioral Therapy on me!  They thought if they put me out there to do all these activities, I would find out nothing was actually going to happen to me and I would get over it.  What happened is I learned to live with it.  I learned I would be scared to death, I would cry and act hysterical, I would do it, I would survive, and it would be over....until next time. The only way I got through any of it was knowing it would be over!   During school I was always known as the quiet "shy" student.  The teachers loved me! HaHa!  I had friends, because I was always nice.  When you don't talk a lot your other senses become heightened and you grow a very big emotional heart!  I was friends with the popular kids, the athletes, the awkward kids, and the kids everyone teased and made fun of.  Deep inside I was a little of all of them, and understood what each person was going through.  I have always been a good listener and observer.  I was happy as a lark getting ready for school in the morning, come time to get on the bus I dreaded walking down the bus aisle looking for a seat.  Arriving at school stepping off the bus I felt like I was stepping on a big stage.  I would smile at all and push my secret monster as deep down in my soul as I could get it, and focus on being friendly and normal.  people always just said I was shy, and I liked that!  Shy seemed like a nice cover up to the actual terror I was going through.

     I have went through life this way.  This monster I have hidden in my closet affects my daily life constantly, but I have found a way to work around him!  I cannot do things that involve one on one interaction.  Going inside the bank, I might as well be thrown into a snake pit!  I visit the drive up ATM!  walking up to a counter to order food, No way!!  Again I go to the the drive through or have my dear husband pick it up for me.  Another thing I can not do Is talk to people on the phone.  Thank goodness for text messaging!!  I have missed out on parties, events, and even quit a job, because I literally felt like I was dying inside from such overwhelming fear!

What is Anxiety disorder?  Anxiety is a normal reaction to stress and can actually be beneficial in some situations.  For some people like myself Anxiety can become excessive.  The person who is experiencing the anxiety might realize it is too much and know deep down they are over reacting, but have no way to control it.  It may affect their day-to-day living.  Social anxiety or Social phobia is not caused by a traumatic event like PTSD.  Several parts of the brain are key actors in the production of fear and anxiety.  The amygdala is an almond-shaped structure deep in the brain that is believed to be a communications hub between the parts of the brain that process incoming sensory signals and the parts of the brain  that interpret these signals.  It can alert the rest of the brain that a threat is present and trigger a fear or anxiety response.

     Anxiety disorders affect about 40 million American adults  in a given year, causing them to be filled with fearfulness and uncertainty.  Women are 60% more likely then men to experience anxiety disorder over their lifetime.  A large national survey of adolescent mental health reported that about 8% of teens 13-18 have an anxiety disorder, with symptoms commonly emerging at around age 6.  Only 18% of these teen have received treatment.

I have chosen to live my life with no treatment.  I am not a fan of taking pills everyday.  I know I'm strong and I will not let this monster bully me!  Never been a fan of bullies either!  In a few weeks I am going to attend my first ever Blogging conference! I am honored and humbled to have been selected to attend The Disney Social Media Moms Celebration in Orlando, Florida.  I will meet other women and have to interact. I am really excited, but  nervous as all get out!  But I will survive, I will Rock it, and I will live to tell you all about it...I hope :)  This monster will not define me!  Have a brave day everyone!!

Keep an eye out for my upcoming posts on The Disney Social Media moms celebration!!  I can't wait to share with all of you everything I've learned and experienced during this once in a lifetime opportunity!!

Thursday, May 15, 2014

Zulily Phil & teds Stroller Sale and GIVEAWAY!! 5/15-5/18

**This post contains affiliate links and I will be compensated if you make a purchase after clicking on my links.

zulily phil & tedsStroller Sale and Giveaway 5/15-5/18!

Hey everyone! From today, 5/15 at 6am PT – 5/18 at 6 am PT, you can save up to $150 on a phil & tedsstroller. Plus, I am entering a contest to win a stroller for myself and one for a lucky reader. (It could be you!) If you are interested in winning a new stroller please: comment below things you have heard or like about Phil & teds strollers!  Thank you, and good luck!!

phil & tedsis the brand of choice for parents who seek to stroll the streets in style. The brand focuses on creating agile, adaptable products that support busy parents' active lives. 

Save up to $150 on 4 stroller styles in this zulily sale:
Smart Stroller

phil & teds Navigator Stroller Giveaway!
I'm entering the zulily stroller giveaway contest and if I win one, so can one of you!

A little about the Navigator:
• Buggy and Second Seat that can adapt to changing needs with 26 riding options spanning birth to toddler for one or two children.
• Infant Car seat compatible with one or two car seats
• Highly maneuverable frame with compact one-hand fast fold
• The world's first Auto Stop(TM) inline(TM) stroller 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Congratulations to Dayna from! You are the winner of the zulily phil&teds stroller contest. You and a lucky reader will receive a brand new phil&teds stroller shortly. Thank you to all who participated!

Friday, May 9, 2014

Disposable garbage or resource? Lessons we should all take from the Great Depression...

When did life become so disposable?  It always warms my heart when I hear of folks who have been married for 50, 60, 70 years.  It makes me smile when I see an old model T driving down the highway.  It makes me stop and think when I see an elderly person wearing homemade clothes or saving the syrup from the end of a can of fruit.  These folks grew up during the times where things were not disposable!  When they married they married for life!  For better and for worse, richer and poorer.  When they purchased a home they lived and died there.  When they bought a car they drove it and repaired it when it broke down.  Folks who survived having nothing learned to value everything!

During the Great Depression folks saved everything, they didn't have a choice!  They used old flour sacks to make clothes, washed them by hand and then hung those clothes on a line to dry.  They did not go out and buy a new washer and dryer every time a new cooler model came out!  These folks made their own soap, repaired old tires, used old socks and shirts for dish clothes, and fixed things when they were broken!  Children made their own toys and dolls.  We can learn a few things from these wise folks!  This year the world will generate 2.6 trillion pounds of garbage!  Why?  We do not fix things that are broke, we do not grow our own food, do our own dishes, we have become disposable!

It is not just goods that has become so disposable but life as we know it!  People marry and if it's too hard they divorce.  Women get pregnant, it's too much they abort or put their children up for adoption.  Life gets rough...suicide.  An old friend says something on social media we don't like we unfriend them with a push of a button.  Delete...delete...delete...delete
We wonder why so many school shootings?  I think because kids are growing up in a world that has become so disposable, there is no value left in anything including life!
Life is hard!  No one ever said it was easy!  I understand the convenience of paper plates, I get that.  I understand disposable diapers and wipes make life a whole lot easier.  I just ask that people stop and try a little harder when it comes to people!  people are not disposable, we are not garbage!   Marriage is tough, try a little harder to make it work.  Kids are a lot of work, but should never be disposable!!  Stop deleting old friends with a delete button,  Life and people should not be disposable!  With a little elbow grease and hard work we can fix things that are broken.  Live, laugh, and love.  Stop generating garbage!  Have a beautiful day, smile at a stranger, call an old friend, love your spouse, plant a garden!  Then maybe we can start believing in tomorrow...