Posts Tagged ‘Family’

postheadericon America’s National Park Week Starts Tomorrow

Once again it’s time to join thousands of other Americans as we celebrate our nation’s heritage for National Park Week. Make a plan to visit one of our country’s most valuable assets – our national parks between April 15-23, 2017.


Hiker in Yosemite at Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week


Every year, the National Park Service partners with the non-profit National Park Foundation to highlight our national parks. This is designed to encourage people to take advantage of special programs and events. With over 400 parks to visit, there is a park close by for everyone to enjoy. Hiking and walking along the thousands of miles of maintained trails are a favorite activity for all ages and abilities.


Marmots in Yosemite at Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week

National Park Week Schedule

  • April 15-16 – Free Admission Weekend for the 117 parks that normally charge a fee – the other parks are fee-free all year.
  • April 15 – Junior Ranger Day – Kids big and small can have a blast learning about the park and its residents while earning a Junior Ranger badge.
  • April 22-23 – Free Admission Weekend for the 117 parks that normally charge a fee – the other parks are fee-free all year.
  • April 22 – Earth Day just happens to coincide with this weeklong celebration. Be a part of it and join in conservation programs and celebrate our natural world.
  • April 23 – Park Rx Day is celebrating its 2nd anniversary as the idea of parks being a gateway to good health is explored and encouraged.


Mirror Lake at Yosemite Red Barn Blue Skies for National Park Week


Our National Park System offers a lot of programs and fun activities for the entire family.  The annual National Park Week is just one of the many great offerings to be had. Be sure to check out their calendar or that of your favorite park to find more events coming up. Whether it is watching wildlife or just relaxing in the fresh air, you won’t be disappointed.


Bighorn Sheep at Yellowstone for Red Barn Blue Skies National Park Week


National Park Week isn’t the only time the parks offer free admission days. Many events such as National Public Lands Day are included.

postheadericon Cowboy Up!

We had a fun time out at the ranch today.  After having a lively breakfast, horseback riding was the scheduled event.  The star of course was Rowan!

Our favorite little nephew dude dragged his parents and his Grandma up to visit Aunty Julie, Uncle Mike and Papa Bill.  He was sporting his brand new cowboy boots and told them he just had to go on the long drive to see us.  We weren’t fooled though, he really came to see the horses, the chickens and Adolph the dog!  We’re all aware of our place in line 🙂  I think the tractor we call “Greenie” has also moved ahead of us..

Rowan was all dressed up for the occasion
-Uncle Mike, not so much


Rowan on Hailey, Uncle Mike on Ace


“Tickle, tickle Hailey!”


Rowan showing Papa Bill how to drive “Greenie”


He’s a natural farmer!

It was a fun way to spend a sunny morning with loved ones who don’t live close enough to see as much as we’d like.  We’re already looking forward to Ro’s next foray into cowboying.  Look out Hailey!

postheadericon Woman Eaten by Chickens or Stuff n Such

So, as usual I’ve been a flake.  I guess my only excuse for not posting is that I didn’t really feel like I had anything to say.  I figured I’d better give a brief update on what’s been going on around these parts or you’d think the chickens truly had eaten me.  Bad birds.

Mr. MoonCat has been working six days a week, keeping very busy.  I’ve been working on my new business which is in the infant stages.  I’m excited about getting it off the ground and I’ll have more on that at a later date.  The garden is starting to see some activity.

The hubby’s uncle passed away a few weeks ago after a very long battle with cancer.  We’ve spent a day up in Sacramento for the last two weekends helping his parents clean out the house to get it ready for sale. While it was a sad reason for us to all be together, we really enjoyed visiting with his parents.  Hubby’s best friend/brother from another mother Chris went with us this last weekend to help us move all of the furniture.  We were grateful for the help as there was a lot of heavy lifting involved.

Most of the critters are doing well.  The dogs and cats are happy that Spring is pretty much here.  The chickens are keeping us snowed under with eggs and attitude.  We have a great bartering deal going on with my “other parents” – my best friend Becky’s folks.  They keep kitchen scraps saved up and I weigh them down with eggs.  Everyone’s happy!  Especially the chooks – it is hysterical to watch them dig through the goodies.  They recognize the large plastic ice cream tubs that the scraps are saved in.  When I walk out carrying one of those it is a large squawking herd of mini-monsters meeting me at the gate.  (Remember the Velociraptor Chickens?) They get quite rude and scary!

All is not great though as we do have some cause for concern.  Wedgie’s leg isn’t healing like we had hoped.  Since I posted about his injury we’ve had him x-rayed and found that he had actually fractured his leg.  The vet seems to think it will heal just fine in time, but it’s sure making us worry.  He has to stay in the small box stall and not move around too much.  Poor little guy isn’t taking confinement well, he is horribly bored. It’s really hard for such a curious and mischievous little dude to deal with forced inactivity.  We try to keep him entertained, but it’s a challenge. He is such a good baby though.  He allows us to change his bandages/semi-cast with a minimum of fuss.

That’s about it around here at MoonCat Farms and the ranch.  I will try to post some photos in the next few days – truly.  Wedgie really is getting cuter all of the time.  I know he sends his love to all of you who love him from afar, especially his honorary auntie Lemon Verbena Lady 🙂 (Phantom kisses being blown your way)

postheadericon Happy Thanksgiving

I hope our American holiday finds all of you, in whichever part of the world you’re in, well and happy today.

My family has a lot to be thankful for this year.  Even though we are lost without Mom this Thanksgiving, we are so grateful that we were able to get to spend that extra time with her before she passed.  The doctors had only given her a few days or weeks to live when we brought her home in January and we were blessed with eight extra months.

Dad and I are especially happy to be here today as we were involved in a traffic accident on Tuesday evening.  We were in a rental car (my truck was in the shop) driving back to the ranch when a van ran a stop sign and drove directly in front of us.  I stood on the brakes, but had nowhere to go as there was a car to the right of me and a curb on the left.  The fact that it had been raining all day and the roads were wet didn’t help the situation.  The tiny little Ford Fiesta that we were in is no more.  It did what it was supposed to and protected Dad and I by crumpling up around us instead of into us. 

We are both pretty sore and banged up, but are very much alive to tell about it.  The ironic thing is that a few minutes before the wreck we had been discussing how uncomfortable we were in the minuscule little car.  Dad and I both drive big Ford F250 pick-ups and don’t feel especially safe in smaller vehicles.  I was comparing this car to the one Fred Flintstone drove where he could put his foot out to stop it.  Thank you little Fiesta…

BIG (probably politically incorrect – BUT I DON’T CARE) RANT ALERT!  Of course, being that this is California – the driver WHO BROKE THE LAW is unlicensed, had NO ID and is here ILLEGALLY.  The police could only give him a citation and let him leave the scene, with the SIX little kids that he had in the van with him.  THAT I am NOT thankful for.  He almost killed Dad and I and put all those little kids in extreme danger and he just toodles on his merry, LAW IGNORING way.  While we, as law-abiding, tax-paying CITIZENS, have to make arrangements for a now totalled rental car, have to find a ride home, and then take care of all of the LEGALITIES and FINANCIAL ramifications of being in an accident/CRIME VICTIMS – PLUS we both hurt like HELL.  Our state is so messed up, it is scary.  We have no rights or protections.  Sorry about the rant and if it offends you, but these are the facts and it just hit me while I was trying to share how grateful I am that I am also pretty pissed and sore today.

OK, back to the reason for this post.  I truly am thankful for my loving husband, for my family and all of our health.  I am grateful for hubby’s job and that we are well-provided for.  I am grateful that we will be spending this afternoon with my Dad and Mr. MoonCat’s parents who are up visiting for the holiday.  I am thankful that they are all relatively healthy and that we are all together.  I am grateful for all that I have, my family and friends, my most beloved animals and their health, and most definitely, ALL OF YOU.  Please be happy and safe.

And to end on a light note, my chickens would like you all to know that THEY are thankful to live here at MoonCat Farms and that they are not TURKEYS!

postheadericon Another Conquest for Swifty & Cattle Sorting

Mr. MoonCat’s horse Swifty has yet another admirer……

Does this photo make
my nose look BIG?


He really is a looooooooong horse

A couple of weeks ago the hubby’s folks stayed a few days with us and we dragged them along to a cattle sorting with us and my Dad.  Mr. MoonCat talked his own Dad into getting up on Swifty for a few photos.  They got along really well and make quite the pair don’t they?  ~Mr. MoonCat took these photos so Swifty can’t blame me for the big nose shot… 🙂

So now I’m thinking we need to get the hubby’s Mom up on Swifty too!  We’ll have to work on that when they come up to see us again at the end of the month…
Here are some other photos from the cattle sorting that day:
Everyone waiting for their turn


Mr. MoonCat & Swifty calmly strolling
Moi & Fella not so much


The hat’s on backwards….
he must be seriously concentrating


Dad and Petey sorting the cattle….fast!

Sorry, no action shots of me this time.  But..I did end up placing 5th out of 102 teams!!  Not bad for a rusty old fat woman and a rather hyper horse 🙂  We had a lot of fun that day surrounded by family, friends, and furry creatures.  Great food finished off an almost perfect day.

postheadericon Humming Hummers and an Update

Sorry I’ve been so absent lately.  We’ve been pretty darn busy.  This week was a great one as my Ant (intentionally spelled-she’s very short!) and my Unk came down to visit from Idaho.  We had a lovely time with them.  Their stay went too quick though.  It seems like the time just blows by during the summer months and I can’t seem to get everything done that I’d like to.

Mom is doing ok, not great, but ok.  Last week we had a 112 degree day with dangerously unhealthy air.  It just knocked her for a loop and she’s still just starting to recover a bit from those three or four really bad air/heat days.  We’re a bit cooler now and soooo ready for the fall.

The garden had such a whacked out spring and summer.  We are just now getting the bulk of the tomatoes ripening.  We planted them in stages hoping to spread the harvest out a bit, but NOOOO they’re all hitting at once.  I’m up to my eyebrows in tomaters!  Of course, we’ll be loving it in the winter when we have those sun-dried tomatoes and the sauces..yum.

I decided to show you some of our busiest residents here at MoonCat Farms. ( I am working on getting better photos.)
We’ve rearranged the furniture on the front porch so we can sit out there in the evening. 
The bonus is getting to enjoy the activity at the new feeders we’ve hung for out little flying friends.  They’re just now getting used to us.

postheadericon A Day of Rest..Finally

Bugsy demonstrates how to relax
I hope all of you had a lovely Christmas. We did, but I’m staying home today. Not getting out of my jammies either. Our last two days seemed to be all about rushing from one place to another.

Even though it was extremely hectic, we ended up having a really good time with family and friends. Dad and I actually had fun doing his last-minute shopping, we were quite speedy and successful! Mr. MoonCat and I were able to visit with our dear family friends and eat way too much good food. Mom was feeling a little better and we had dinner with her in her hospital room. The food was pretty dang good, even her diabetic meal was appealing. She enjoyed unwrapping her presents and is anxious to get home and get sewing as I bought her a new bobbin winder among other things.

After we left Mom, we had to take care of the horses & critters at the ranch. Dad was going to be late so we didn’t want him to worry about rushing home. We ended up really rushing ourselves as we had made a date with my best friend & her someday (soon I hope) hubby to see Avatar in 3D. The two of them hadn’t seen it yet, but their kids had and of course, loved it. We don’t spend near enough time with these two so we jump at the chance when we are all able to be in the same place at once.

I’m really glad I got to see this film at the theater instead of just waiting for the DVD like we do on a fairly regular basis. It is one that is definitely meant to be seen BIG. The 3D version was great also, but to be honest, it hurt my eyes at a couple of points. Usually when everything was going by at full speed. The 3D did really make the spectacular scenery POP. We caught several things that we missed when we saw it the first time. We did get to sit in the middle of the theater even though we got there a bit late. It seems other people were running even more behind than we were.

I’m really happy that our friends saw it with us. We were all yakking about it afterwards and they both got the same messages we did when we first saw it (see my first post HERE ). It was funny that Greg said the very same thing I did about the majority of the people in there would probably miss the points. I’ve really enjoyed the replies and some of the discussion that this has brought about. The biggest deal is that is a movie very well worth seeing at the theater with the ecological theme being icing on the cake for me. Now on to New Year’s…………………….

postheadericon Merry Christmas

Nothing really exciting to share today, I just wanted to get in my Christmas tidings to all of my beloved readers before we get swamped tomorrow. I hope you all have lovely memory-making with your families and dear ones. Cherish the time together.
We have a really busy schedule ahead of us as Hubby & I are going to my other Mom & Pop’s house (my best friend’s parents) for an early Christmas lunch/dinner on Christmas Eve. That is after I meet Dad for breakfast and help him do his shopping. He cracks me up because he always Bah-Humbugs until the night before and then suddenly wants to get gifts. I should be more prepared for his un-Scrooging by now, but oh well… Then on actual Christmas Eve, Dad is going with us to hang out with Mom at the hospital for a bit. She’s feeling a bit better, but still can’t come home. Please keep her in your prayers. We all appreciate the warm thoughts.

Christmas Day is still up in the air. We’re invited with Dad to our friend’s house for what will be a fun and yummy dinner. I just don’t like the idea of Mom sitting there by herself at the hospital too long on this particular holiday so I may just send Dad and the Hubby and go hang with Mom. We can watch A Christmas Story over and over again. (Love that movie!) Fortunately, the food at the hospital is pretty tasty so we won’t be deprived anyway. I will probably have to sneak her one of my cookies in anyway, but we won’t mention that to Nursey-poo…
Well, I’d love to leave you with photos of our lovely decorated home, but #1 – it’s not really decorated, and #2 – I have no clue where my camera is! I did decorate Mom’s hospital room though, so I hope that counts?
Merry Christmas my lovelies and I will be back in a few days, fatter & probably not much wiser!

postheadericon Favorite Guest

We’ve decided to not let our current house guest go home. We are kidnapping her.

We are enjoying the heck out of her visit. She is fun and entertaining. We don’t have to cook for her, she eats what we put in front of her happily. She doesn’t complain, doesn’t care what the house looks like or what time we roll out of bed in the morning. She doesn’t pass judgement on anything we say or do and just enjoys being with us. I’ve decided to keep her, she is the perfect company!

Meet Abby:
Abby (aka Lady of the Abbey) is my sister’s newest addition. Sis calls my dogs her “dogphews”, but I’m not quite sure how to combine niece and dog. Miss Abby is visiting her Auntie and Unk while Sis and the family are at Disneyland this week. Mr. MoonCat and I were supposed to go on the trip with them, but with Mom’s health so poor (she is back in the hospital again as the fluid has built back up in her lungs very quickly), we couldn’t be that far away from her. We insisted Sis continue with the trip as it is #1 nephew’s first time with Mickey Mouse. #1 niece hadn’t been in 10 years so she was due also. We’re very bummed to have missed it, but there will be other chances to go play with them, hopefully soon.Little pooch felt right at home the first day she arrived. Pretty much took over the house and all of the inhabitants. Unfortunately, Porkchop hates her. His little nose is out of joint because Abby likes to sit on my lap just as much as he does. He can bully the other cats & dogs, but not Abby Sue. It’s been a nightly battle to see who gets there first and can claim the space for the evening. So far they’re 2-2. Porkchop hunkering down and vying for position on my lapSo, we’re moving. No forwarding address. Sorry Sis, Abby decided to go with us. You can’t have her back! (Porkchop is sending you directions now…)

postheadericon Happy Thanksgiving

Our family has quite a bit to be thankful for this year. We really have so much to be thankful for EVERY year and ALL year long, but it seems this year has been very trying with job loss, moving, and Mom’s illness. So we’re especially grateful to all have each other right now.
Mom is finally home from the hospital. Took them three weeks to get her to the point where she could come home and get her “doctoring” on an outpatient basis. It’s been a verrrrry long three weeks for us all. She’s home and doing quite well. Looking forward to a real turkey dinner (made by moi of course). She is also amazed and touched by all of the lovely comments and good thoughts sent by so many of you. It’s so nice to feel the care and concern that is still out there in this world of ours.
Another very bright spot for us right now is that my sister and her family will be rolling in from the state of Washington tomorrow. While Mom goes up to see them about every 6 months or so (via Amtrak – hate it..), Dad & I along with the rest of the clan haven’t seen them in 3 years! I can’t wait any longer… Our new home will be filled with family, friends, and lots of furry critters all vying for some of that turkey with all the fixings.

Bugsy demonstrates what he thinks his Daddy, his Uncle, both Granddads, etc (males) will look like after the meal…

So dear friends in blogland, know that I have missed you greatly and am looking forward to getting back in the groove with you and catching up on all that has gone on while I’ve been trekking back and forth to the hospitals.

Have a safe and satisfying Happy Thanksgiving, I am grateful for each and every one of you!


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