My Flock, Henhouse, and My Stalker (lol)!

I've been trying to get pictures of my flock to show- so I can join in on the Hen House Hop thing...lol. But they won't stand still together or they won't separate and beside that- I can hardly tell them apart so I'm not sure if I'm getting a photo of the same one I took the time before I got the next one... well, it can drive you crazy trying. 
So here are a FEW that came out well... not sure exactly who is who yet, but there are 7 hens and Roo...
(notice that 3" long 'spur' on his leg!)

  (Doesn't she look like Henny Penny running because the sky is falling?!)

(Her neck is all stretched out- it's her 1st day in the yard and my dog is just on the other side of the fence)

(My one white speckled hen, same breed as the others: "Blue Cochin". They came as chicks from McMurray's Hatchery - 25 originally, out of that 9 were roosters, and 2 hens died from a Doxie dog attack later, before I got them.)

(GAG! Notice the feather coming out, bottom first? THEY ARE MOLTING!)

(all 8 together bedding down in the yard, because it's their 1st day
 and they don't know any better) 
So I have to shoo them in.
Every day, for a month...
(this is only 7 showing here, because there is ALWAYS a straggler)
You know, I always have to count them to make sure that they all get in.
 It's my nightmare that I leave one out alone all night!

So here's the coop set up, (but you can explore my blog if you want to find out the background/history and all that):
BEFORE:

AFTER:
(The shed has 'skids' built on the bottom to drag it around by truck- so we moved it to where southern sun would shine into the 3'x3' window in the back.)

(view from my office window - after 1st snow this October)

(A side view of their yard with overhanging wire with sheet strips to keep predatory birds away- since we have both prolific eagles and hawks)

(pallet made into a gate, but 4x4 posts are set into cement using metal spikes that go 2 feet deep!! So no matter what- we'll be keeping a gate at THIS location -forever!) 
Note to self: never send a man by himself to Home Depot to get supplies.

(a pic of the 'latch' set up, using what I had on hand -and a lucky hole in the gate!)


(the 'roost' I built - but haha on me-  they don't know how to use one! That's ok with me- they all sleep together in a sort of mosh pit of feather-love...it's better that way when the only heat source is a halogen lamp.)
(as seen from the back window at night, all piled together behind the door - if it were open)
Awwwwww....

(the ORIGINAL nest box setup... 6 plastic crates, stacked, on a shelf with a ramp...and eyesore too-heavy-to-move 5-gallon paint buckets the lst owners left here.)
The hens were afraid of the ramp- and they didn't walk down and they didn't fly gracefully down to the floor, but FLOPPED on their chests when they jumped off! 
So... they laid a couple of eggs in the corner, under the shelf, and I moved  the rows of boxes there (hoping they would 'accidentally' lay in a nest).

 (you can barely see the nests along the bottom here, but they tramp the straw down quickly! They suddenly quit laying then, so I figured somehow I had scared them or they'd had too many changes over too many days as I tried to figure things out. But no, they were just going into MOLT!
So, aside from the straw and the golf and ping-pong balls (nest lures), there are some nice soft feathers lining the nests now): 
 I took time during their evening calm period to get them used to them - and had lots of laughs- since the hens would invariably set calm in the nest a few moments before getting back out and sitting on the ledge, and then getting out and looking back an examining all of the nests as if they'd never seen them before.) And since I put a ping-pong ball in the center of each nest- I KNOW they've been in there since the balls are moved around. 
Or missing. And the straw in the nests is all compacted now.

(it wasn't just ONE hen in the nest checking it out- the whole FLOCK had to come and see, lol)


(and here's a hen that's been in a nest, now GAWKING at it  LOOKING BACK to make sure she saw it right- because you know, she never did notice those before...) 
I didn't see that egg until I uploaded the pictures- by the time I went out to get it- they'd eaten it!

But, I beat them to it a few times...
The beautiful 3-1/2 eggs that I got before Molt began -LOVE the color! :
(The white egg is store-bought! The mocha egg is like 2 eggs, fused - you can even see a kind of 'fuse' line around it, making it 1-1/2 eggs in size with 2 yolks (she normally lays 2-yolk eggs I heard), and it's cracked on top, because she laid in that corner before I got the nests moved down).

All I can say is, I can't wait until they are able to lay again!  Well, I can also say I wish I'd gotten chickens years ago! I'm hoping to get some hatchlings come spring... even though they'll lay enough eggs for just us... but of course Roo hasn't shown himself to be all that cocky, if you know what I mean; I don't even know if they'd be fertile. Maybe being in Molt is causing some different behaviors in them all. We'll just have to see.

If you have chickens and want to show them off, or you still dream of having chickens and want to see what others are doing- check out the sidebar link to the Hen House Hop! (Oh I do hope you will)
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Now I believe most chickens will chase down a lizard, spider, or mouse (YUM, right?!) so you don't really need to bother keeping them out- but the deer... not so much.


Today I went out and tossed some old stale crackers to the flock after I let them out into THEIR yard.
Then I turn around and I see this:
Yeah, only about 7 feet away! Yikes! 
She apparently heard the sound of the cracker package as I was crushing the crackers on the way to the coop. 
How long had she been waiting for me- and how close was she to hear that package- and how did she know it was food?!?

I think I have a stalker!


So we stared at each other a minute. Then she moved a step or two closer so she was maybe 6 feet away. I reached my hand out toward her and could tell she was as nervous as I was...she was a bit shaky. 
So I hurriedly threw a few crackers as far as I could THATAWAY....if you know what I mean!
And made a quick exit, stage left. 
AFTER I captured a few shots of her young bucks...




You can only wonder what they're learning here...

Now, "Miss Piggy" in particular, makes herself at home here all year round. There are deer trails literally every 15 feet or so on our property (which helps us navigate thru the trees and brush). Some parts of the year lots of does will travel together-a herd survives better in winter if they stick together I guess. We'll see the same group all thru winter. In summertime they break up into smaller groups, and you can see where they've been laying in the taller grasses.
(They walk all around and make the bad dogs bark, then act like they don't like it).

They often lay near the house too, perhaps where they might find something laying around like old peaches or apple cores, or old pancakes tossed out onto the compost heap (pre-chickens). 
Try to ignore my mess, getting things put away for winter!


But today... after I made my escape back into the house... (because you never want to see what a deer might do if your back is turned and she thinks you have cookies)... is this:

My chickens, all happy to see what those crushed crackers might taste like!
And then... they were suddenly all hiding in the bushes, because...

...someone else thought they should have them instead!
And not a minute later.......

I have to admit I've never seen a doe act 'innocent' before.
Somehow, I wish it was funnier...

*If you're interested in seeing all those tiny details of the chicken-getting journey it took all summer to accomplish... feel free to explore, or click on any of the late summer months thru "October" (when I actually got them), in the blog post archives.

I hope to share in your dreams come true, too!

Homesteading on the Open Sea?

I know this is a little off the beaten track to begin with, but if you'll bear with me, I promise it all ties in, and you may be considering the question:

Dirt, or water? (This will make sense later).

For now, forgive me for explaining this with a little bit of economy-talk. (I hate talking politics, and I hate hearing it, but when it comes to the financial picture I'm afraid I can't help my fascination and the following 'horrification'). 


I’ve been reading economic news for the past year every day from multiple sources (nothing off TV or mainstream media sources - unless you count Huffington Post and NPR. Start with John Mauldin (.com) and his book “Endgame: The End of the Debt Supercycle", and ZeroHedge.com multiple times a day to stay on top of breaking news- relevant, real, news).

*For insight, help yourself to a special video of John Mauldin, president of Millennium Wave Investments, as he gives a powerful presentation on 
This important speech was filmed at the Strategic Investment Conference 2011 and it’s about 45 minutes long. But it'll get you up to speed if you haven't been immersed in things.

My point is that after a while you start to feel like you ‘get it’; that the absurdity of our new reality is REAL - and just when you think it is impossible to get worse, (more convoluted and crazy), it begins again in some other (previously thought of as reliable) corner. There are simply no more rational or reliable corners of the world left... 

Now it is becoming more evident, and seems to be every man for himself (so to speak, meaning the Gov’t is useless to us). Perhaps one day soon enough it will really be every man for himself, but in a literal sense. As it should have been all along, but in a different way than now. (We should always have been self sufficient!)

Meantime though, there is a lot of humor to the responses to those who follow the political-economic world news, and sometimes there are grains of truth - the grains of truth hit you right in the stomach.


And sometimes too, aside from getting a good view of those who understand what’s really happening globally behind the scenes (aside from conspiracy theory)... you land on something completely unexpected.

Something that makes you stop and say, "Duhhhh".

Today for instance, I read a story about yet one more crazy bankster idea for repopulating their failing (yet unaccountably having record profits) institution with more cash. 
By making up yet one more phony money-making scheme and involving the Gov’t in it.
As Dow Jones reports:
“JP. Morgan Chase & Co. next year plans to issue the first U.S. commercial mortgage-backed securities supported by defaulted loans since the 1990s as it revives a practice that regulators used to extricate the nation from the savings-and-loan crisis.
The investment bank has approached rating agencies with two pools of distressed loans that it acquired from European banks and other financial institutions, according to people familiar with the matter.”

They are basically going to create a derivative security (fake useless asset) using defaulted loans (fake useless asset), and have the Gov't buy it. 
Those who understand such things say that this has "desperation" written all over it. And, that this would also seem to portend a tidal wave of new foreclosures and actions for deficiency judgments (on commercial, not residential loans). 

And a fair chance of Congress doing something blatantly unconstitutional to save the banks from the defective property title scandal that they created.
Right?

Are you surprised? (I’m over being surprised, but my head sure hurts anyway.)

Some of the following comments really hit the nail on the head.

Theta_Burn:  "Human adaptation and ingenuity at its best- The absurdity isn't the creation of yet another pile of s**t but that there is a market for it. Honestly i was getting worried that the Europeons were on the verge of 1-upping us on the surreal...Ok, what the heck. Game on!"

junkyardjack: "I'm expecting to get my first issuance out of Bridge Backed Securities (or “BBS”) as in: backed by the Brooklyn Bridge."

But really there is nothing new here. It's just more yachts and champagne for the banksters while the rest of us roll around in the mud they left behind (our underwater loans, unemployment, etc). All of it is legal enough to be done right in front of everyone. (It's not hubris on the part of the malefactor if the observer is too stupid to understand or apathetic to do anything about it.) Is that how we've become?

Anyway- I thought this line of logic was good.... regular readers of this stuff will encounter all kinds of sarcasm & fear-mongering... but you know, NO ONE KNOWS how bad the banks’ books really are, because they are not divulging their whole books. This means a lot and it’s worth taking note of.

And, it is becoming more apparent by the week that not one country’s Gov’t. is addressing the core issues at the bottom of the whole mess or making any changes that will stop the problem in it’s tracks- so what they are doing, bailing out these banks/banksters, will continue until there is no more to lend (except to print more money). 
And that IS what we’re doing.

The problem with that, as most see it, is that this mess of printing more cash will eventually lead to terrible inflation and deflation and ruin the dollar’s worth (no gold backs up the dollars at that point). 

As someone else said, "It's not true until there's been an official denial that it's true". 
Then you KNOW it's true. If you listen real hard, you might eventually hear those denials (like has been happening in Europe lately).


All fiat currency collapses have ended in hyper-inflation. Even then some things will deflate and others inflate. Staples and needs will hyper-inflate and discretionary will deflate. You won't be able to buy a bushel of grain with fiat but the spare TV won't be worth $5. This brings a currency to ruin, and the country with it. So is that where we’re all headed? No one really knows, but it looks likely that we're headed down the drain together. 

Once again, I'll point to someone's comments on what's currently happening:

"We pledge allegiance to America,
 and to the 700 cable channels of which it spans,
 one nation under Ben, (Bernanke)
 insufferable,
 with poverty and delusions for all."

 And that's one more reason why my head hurts.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Yardstick of Civilization (said): "Can anyone suggest another country for me to move to, with:

1. Beautiful women

2. Opportunities to invest capital for real growth

3. A system for establishing credit and obtaining business loans

4. Good beer

? ? ? ?

If there is not one with good beer, then maybe I will start a brewery, but there MUST be beautiful women."

LawsofPhysics: "Don't know about countries, you might want to try another planet."

Cyrano de Bivouac: "I would say Singapore or Hong Kong."

Mad Max: "Try Uruguay.  Hope the neighbors don't start coveting your country though."

youngman: "Colombia.....I live there"

koperniuk666: "well my mum USED to be beautiful -and she SMELLS of beer... So you could try the UK??"

CORNGUY: "I would say your only hope is moving out to sea, in international waters.    You can choose which beautiful women come with you and you don’t have to answer to any government. You may want to put a small distillery on as well.   Too bad we can't do it yet......."

Hey Cornguy, it may be that you’re wrong!
Yes, Theta_Burn, this IS the good side of human adaptation and ingenuity:

Nooo, not launching into outer space and creating pods on Mars... 

The search is on for pioneers willing to build their own or create, build and sell... in international waters-  a seastead community – a floating city - which will allow the next generation of pioneers to peacefully test new ideas for government. The most successful can then inspire change in governments around the world.

The Poseidon Award is our prize for the establishment of the first independent seasteading community, and the seed for the world's first ocean city-state.

The Poseidon Award will be awarded to the first seastead which:
Has at least 50 full-time residents.
Is financially self-sufficient.
Offers seastead real estate on the open market.
Has de-facto political autonomy.

Our goal is to present the Poseidon Award by 2015.
The Poseidon Award will include the Poseidon Monument, a physical tribute to the first seasteading pioneers. It will have inscribed on it the names of The Seasteading Institute Argonauts -- major donors who have helped make the seasteading movement a reality.


Sooooooo, what do you think? 



A Farmdreams Fix

So far I've finished up garden plans, and 2 versions of illustrated outlines for the dreams (plans) I have for my future dream farm. 

Of course I can’t just paste them to this blog, sooo many photos - and I’m a little bit leery too (something about copyrights makes me feel uncomfortable sharing all the photos I’ve collected without their sources, for my own inspiration and how-to’s. I don’t want to step on anyone's toes!!)
But if you want to try this, and I HIGHLY recommend it, if you’re in my shoes with just starting out with your plans and dreams... here’s what I did:

I simply cut & pasted all my favorite pics into a document, and then described what they were- such as: “I'll have a pantry that's 24'x24', that looks like this" (show pictures of what the ideal pantry is)... "that is full of" -paste a photo or more, of whatever you’d like to fill your pantry with:


Pretty jars of homegrown goods and a winter’s worth of potatoes stacked in layered shelves you built from pallets, and herbs hanging to dry from the rafters, and aprons on hooks along the wall...
Heck, spend a whole page just on your favorite aprons! Then plan to get sewing!

Cover every aspect of your dream, from your property entrance (picture a mailbox surrounded by wildflowers?) to your ideal office set up (the colors you want? The Pottery Barn 'look'?) to what your garden might look like (and what special things you want to grow there) –with notes like: "put bird runs around the garden as war strategy against the grasshoppers, or dog runs around the chicken yards so they can protect the birds"...lol. 

It helps you prepare, so you know what supplies to look for at yard sales and also gives you a visual when you need to show your husband what you’re talking about... most of all, it’s so fun!

Taking a moment on this farmgirl/ farmlife/ farmdreams fix.....

I love to look for farms on the internet, at barns, and chicken coops, too!
For the time being, my dream of real farming is severely limited- but that’s ok- I’ll have my hands full enough with what I can accomplish without the real farm.
What I’ve found though is that I’m sharing the farm dream with so many others out there...



Even Martha Stewart has farm dreams: ”my dream is to have a Christmas tree farm”.
And we all know she’s got her hands full as is – 
but there is always something else to add to the dream!

Angela, the “Parisienne Farmgirl” recommends this site. She visits there for her 'farm fix', as she ‘clicks and prays’ to find her own dream farm. 

Speaking of farm dreams, Sara, currently a teacher, writes at “Roots of She” and says,"I'm done chasing my dreams":
“...Why have I been spending all this time not working towards my dream, when it is so obviously what makes me happy and what I want to be doing? Why should I wait even another minute to begin working on this?
.... I am starting to work on my dream right now....Because I'm not here to chase my dreams, I'm here to live them."
(italics, mine)

One of the commenter’s said: “...I realized recently that I, too, have been chasing my dreams for a very long time and wishing and waiting rather than doing what I can now to catch them.”)

We can all do something toward this end


If you’re dreaming of farm life or you’re a farmgirl at heart, you can always make some attempt. Learn to can your produce- or someone else's, (make your own pretty labels), raise some chickens, start sewing aprons and hanging laundry on the line, start seeds in the windowsill, start collecting the supplies we want from yard sales, etc.,  and do research 1000 other things that will one day, when we’re ready, become the first steps forward.

At Pioneer Living they featured a letter from A City Girl with Country Dreams – (a writer, clothing designer, artist and all around absurdly busy mama of 6 children with another on the way...... really!) who talks about this same dream:
“My ideas didn’t stop there though. My day dream grew and grew over the years and is now a full fledged obsession. My days are consumed with looking for large parcels of land, 500 acres or more, spending time reading more ‘back to basics’ books than I believe there are hours in a day. I have studied everything from planting a basic garden to building a full irrigation system from scratch. And read books about chickens, pigs, sheep, horses even bison and llamas! I have drawn out plans, sketched ideas, doodled countless fun things. I have crunched numbers, researched land, been kept awake many nights by the hundreds of wonderful ideas buzzing around in my head. I have made it my constant priority to find the best information out there on everything related to self sufficient farming. And boy have I found a LOT!”

Why, here’s someone else with wonderful farm dreams... of course she would be just as happy with a B&B up in the mountains...
"To be honest, I’d be so so happy with something small and simple. A cute little old house on  a beautiful piece of land where I could have a few farm animals and plant a vegetable garden, a small apple orchard and a tiny little vineyard...”

(I wish I could find a ‘Comments” button on her site to share with her the story of Cathi, who currently does run a B&B in the mountains...
According to her it is 24/7 hard work:
“While many people have romantic visions of buying a Bed & Breakfast to “retire” to, nothing could be further from reality!” 


Also Cathi writes for MaryJanesFarm!
Mary Janes Farm is the perfect place for ‘farmgirls at heart to meet up online.)

Teresa, IS living the farm dream at Eden Hills. It’s not done yet- but she’s in the process, and it’s wonderful already!

Amy’s blog, Homestead Revival, is one of my ‘go-to’ places for farmgirl information and inspiration. (Lots of good chicken stuff / links from her below). 



She features a Barn Hop- on Mondays... see you there I hope!





Now it's time to "flaunt your farmgirl spirit" with the Farmgirl Friday Blog Hop! You can share what you’re doing toward any farmgirl/farmy dreams on a blog hop hosted at the Dandelion House. Or like me, you can be inspired there.
"Everyone is welcome to join in! Link up every Friday for your weekly dose of farmgirl soul-food!"-Deborah Jean (she also writes for Mary Janes Farm). 

“Farmgirls love anything to do with making things with their hands, keeping chicken's, embroidering, sewing, knitting, spinning, quilting, natural home remedies for health care and cleaning, horses, goats, cows, organic gardening and cooking, caring for their loved ones and friends and are community minded. Re-purposing and UP-cycling are high on their list of " fun things to do too"! They are enterprising and creative! Many of us love being part of the amazing MJF farmgirl sisterhood, earning merit badges, and chatting on the farmgirl forum too!
Some live on farms, but it's not necessary given farmgirl is a condition of the heart."  ~ Mary Jane Butters (of Mary Jane’s Farm/Magazine, et al)



I am seriously wondering, isn’t it strange? So many people with the same dream!?

(Maybe it would help to modify my searches online- instead of doing a search on “farm dreams” etc., I could search: “ballerina dreams” or as I did before, something less distinct like “sugarplum dreams”. THEN it wouldn’t seem like the whole world is bending toward this agrarian lifestyle dream.)

Silly me!

(i went around to the back window of the chicken coop to take a peek at how my flock spends the night all huddled together in one group to 'cuddle up'. They are so cute! Truth is, they never learned how to use roosting bars, but this keeps them warm so I won't spend time 'training' them to use the roost).

Now I’m going to digress and share a little ‘fix’ for those of us who share a fixation on raising chickens...

The sweetest (and some of the best landscaped) chicken coops- for your pleasure:

Deborah Jean at Dandelion House is doing a Henhouse 'Blog Hop' on her site. Lots of cute ideas!

From Amy, at Homestead Revival – Stuff on CHICKENS!
Start withcoops-to-love
and: urban-chicks if you don't live in the country!
Check out her other posts on: “Poultry Basics: Shelter, Roosts, and Nesting Boxes”, “Keeping Chickens” and "Keeping the Coop Tidy”!

They suggest some support for your venture in urban chicken keeping:
Urban Chickens Network Urban Chickens Network and Urban Chickens 

Try to visit the website Backyard Chickens (an amazing source of information on chickens. From coop designs to breed information to solving your chicken mystery delimmas, to photo sharing - if you are thinking of getting chickens this should be your first stop.
You can also visit My Pet Chicken for supplies (and chicks),and get ‘Backyard Poultry’ magazine, a must for anybody thinking of or owning chickens.
 It wouldn’t hurt to get “Storey’s Guide to Raising Chickens Care / Feeding / Facilities” for general care/set up/flock maintenance (Paperback). A complete guide to everything you need to know (especially just in case you can’t get online).
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Now to switch from dreams to reality... and other possibilities. Some food for thought... 

Jill at the Prairie Homestead The Prairie Homestead posted about winter preps (specifically blizzard preparations), and I think that’s worthy of some good research and effort. The time to start on that is during the summer...

Most of the real problems I foresee come from lacking electricity (assuming most of us know that being snowed in or road closures would mean a full pantry at all times). 
No heat (unless you have a wood stove and wood and matches), no light, no cell phone service or satellite, no TV, no PC, no water pump for the toilets to flush-  and no warm water or heat or light for any animals like chickens.
It might be 15° degrees for a few days running, and walking thru 2 or 3 feet of snow to the barn or a henhouse would be hard when you’ve got to lug buckets of warm water 4 or 5 times a day...especially with a flashlight . Believe me, walking thru 2 feet of snow is a workout by itself. 

I just don’t know how one would prepare for that without a LOT of forethought
For instance, we have a wood stove and wood for a month at a time (it costs too much to buy more). We have a months’ worth of propane for heat if that runs out and the electric stays on... plus kerosene lamps (2), a few candles, flashlights, and lots of buckets. (Buckets hold snow, you pour snow in a pan, heat it on the woodstove and wa-la: water for flushing the toilets – or making coffee!) 
I generally feel comfortable about those supplies, but seriously, without TV or radio or a good book you haven't read before... ugh, time passes by all too SLOWLY.
Beyond a few days, then you might start putting your frozen foods outdoors to store them because it would be colder. Good thing the bears are all hibernating!
Or just give it away to your neighbors who may not have stocked up. If you can get to them.
(hen house 1st snow this year)

Well it would have to be a really epic bad storm for this scenario. Still, the East got a bad (if not epic) storm already, and spent a week without electricity. I'm sure some roads were blocked by fallen trees, and stores didn't have a lot still cold. Cash on hand would be helpful if you can arrange care for animals while you stay in another state... because you have a full tank of gas to get you there, right? 
Ha! 
But you see, there really is a lot to consider. When your electricity goes, not only do you lose your water pump system, you lose the gas station pump and the ATM!! How many of us could even buy milk and bread?

Nov. 7th 2011 posted on AccuWeather were/are some pretty awful events and forecasts:
Winter got started early this year...
A storm from the Pacific may slam the Northwest with high winds, heavy rain and mountain whiteouts in time for the weekend. 

But here it’s still ‘Fall’ in some places:
Multiple tornadoes, including a large, long-track twister, have been reported in Oklahoma. An outbreak of damaging thunderstorms and tornadoes is under way in the southern Plains and will continue ...

[This is after their biggest earthquake ever- Didn’t you hear about the 5.6 magnitude earthquake in Oklahoma this week?
They suspect it MAY be caused by FRACKING!
(I hope it is that - rather than the fact that earthquakes have been edging ever closer to that super volcano in Wyoming...)

While of course, elsewhere in the world there are floods going on and in Antarctica - a Monster Iceberg is apparently separating from the glacier (an area of about 340 square miles.)

The point is, there’s always something to prep for, no matter where you live.

Anticipation is mounting that soon the world will be treated to an incredible aurora caused by a massive sunspot activity. (Spaceweather.com reports)
The sheer size of this sunspot (it is three times wider than Earth and almost ten times as long) makes it an easy target not only for backyard solar telescopes but also for off-the-shelf digital cameras. A bit of natural filtering provided by sunset clouds and haze is all a photographer needs to turn a gnarly-edged sunspot into art.

REMARKABLE SOLAR ACTIVITY: There haven't been any strong solar flares in days. Nevertheless, some impressive activity is underway on the sun. For one thing, an enormous wall of plasma is towering over the sun's southeastern horizon. Stephen Ramsden of Atlanta, Georgia, took this picture on Nov. 11th:
"Solar forums all over the world are buzzing with Sun-stronomers proclaiming this to be the biggest prominence that many of them had ever witnessed

CME’s can come after the sunspots (they don't always) and create the pretty auroras but they can also be 'bad' and knock out radio and other signals we rely on. (Anything with complex electronics could be toast, like power grids, modern cars and satellites).
The other point here is it never hurts to think about your reasons to prep, and though the bad CME's are rare – if you want to know how bad it could be... last one came in 1852 I think- knocked out all the telegraphs –imagine how dependent we are on satellites and electricity now.  

... Enjoy the light show if you can!




View from my office window

My head was reeling with all the economic turmoil and events of the world I've been getting up to speed on...I was about to drift into despair territory (but I promised not to)... so I decided it was time to shift focus and I did a simple Google search this morning, just for the heck of it - to see the view from someone else's perspective!
What I found was astounding- there’s LOTS of sharing going on!

I’ll show you mine... will you show me yours? I'll take you on a little detour here. Lets take a peek at what others' views are like! (I encourage you to do a Google 'images' search on "view from my office window"!)

Here's a pretty scene from the office window of a Trucker (he stopped to prepare and checks his brakes before taking a long steep descent). I suppose if you’re going to do that, then you want to take note of the last thing you might see?

From the office of a disabled dog rescue – a winter wonderland under the White Mountains.

Some excitement  at the office that day: Here's a video of  a tornado from the office window!

Views from “Airline Pilot Guy”, Captain Jeff, from his office window in the cockpit -cool
(In one of them he looks sacred! That’s one sight you never want to see from the passenger seat!)
Sheesh, I just realized I did a typo and put sacred instead of scared! But you know... that must’ve been a Freudian slip... he IS kinda 'sacred'- he also has a podcast he does by himself called the Catholic Pilot- in which he shares all sorts of industry insider info., without  much of his ‘sacred’ position.

Beautiful fall NYC view – from someone who has a black widow spider avatar picture (do I say yikes! or iew!?)

Gorgeous  view- and double rainbow over boats at dock in a city on an island in the Norwegian sea.... One responder said “I would trade views with you anytime!” and she responded back: 
“Somebody did trade. This is not my window anymore.: o("

She gets to watch little baby bluebirds from her office window...

An Indie author’s view (interesting description)

Video of snow falling outside home office in the 'burbs'...

A lucky country dweller shows us her view deer in snow. 
One responder says they have a basement office in which to see “the neighbor’s asphalt driveway and the tires on their cars”, and another one commented they get a birdseye view of an industrial park (“ick”).

Amy gives us the view from her office – inside of big farm machine- a “windblower?”-in the Black Hills of South Dakota? 

And here is a Flickr group of people sharing their office window views over 450 of them!

Here’s mine today,

-although I’ve got windows on either side of the desk, this one had something other than little icicles and trees, where, if I stand up to look-  there is the eyesore propane tank, the unused particle board rabbit hutch that was moved out of the way when we moved the shed to turn it into a chicken coop- and all the scrapwood and tires... which will be dealt with some day after the snow melts, lol. So I'll stick with the driveway window...

I have LOTS of pictures of this view... some with my dog sunning himself on the windowsill, some of the deer herds wandering thru or lazing on the lawn, or of a particular doe looking up at me with the funniest face. Well I'll share them if I can locate them. if you want me to (let me know).

Maybe this hasn't been  the best post ever- but it sure gave me something else- something NEUTRAL to focus on. Sometimes that's worth sharing!

I’d love to see what your view is.

Hey, I have an idea- NEXT week we can share our DESK view (view OF THE DESK area!)

Hmm, does that give you a sudden sense of panic or despair? At least with that one, you have nothing to lose-  when we share, we can get ideas on improvements- or (in case you jumped on this idea)...complements... lol.