Tuesday, April 10, 2018

How to Improve Your Daily Happiness in 2 Simple Steps...Confessions of an Impatient, Anxiety Ridden Farm Girl

Sometimes being positive is hard.  Life is a bit of a shit show.  But from watching way too many historical crime shows, I am realizing it kind of always has been throughout history.  From my humble, super duper educated opinion (sarcasm), the only thing that changes over time is what kind of poo is being thrown your way. But you will always be dodging something.

Which is why I am trying to throw out a little positivity instead.  I have to do this from time to time partially to remind myself that as long as I am trying to inject a little good into the world, I am doing okay.  (Even though people may give you a look that indicates that they either a) have no intention of returning said kindness or b) have rarely been shown said kindness and don't know the correct way to act. I always kind of hope it is b, but also, I have to remind myself that, who cares?  I did what was right and if they can't see that it is their loss, right?)

I know, easier said than done.

Which is why you gotta make it work for you, too. 

Initially, I was going to tell you some "Chicken Soup" or "Don't Sweat the Small Stuff" or "Do a Little Something" sort of thing...

Which, actually, is great.  You should think about the small things in life.  Like after it rained the other day here, we actually had water in the river.  That is a rarity here.  Usually the water flows underground, so we never see the Salinas with actual flowing water.  And on my way to work, I took a moment to pull off the side of the road and take a quick snap shot and look out.  Work was kind of crap-tastic that day, but I just kept thinking about how cool the water was.  It may be the only time in 2018 I get to see that.

I also wanted to share an idea for something that was unique, something that was totally me, something that would make me (and hopefully a few others) intentionally smile.  Some intentional happiness and silliness.

While I was looking out my kitchen window thinking about this, I saw the Amtrak train go by.  This made me think of how much I love waving at the folks on the train.  I love when people wave at one another.  A small connection, a moment out of their day to recognize another individual, which is nice but fleeting. I wanted to make a wave that would last, like when I was a kid and my grandparents lived right by the railroad.  They had a train whistle for me, and every time the train went by I'd blow my whistle and wave. How could I recreate this feeling as an adult?

Two words.


Here is the kicker...the day before I was going to set up my tea party by the side of the railroad tracks with the hubby, I happened to tell a woman I met that I have a farm.  AND, she happened to tell me she was a photographer looking for somewhere fun to photograph.

(Side bar and important creds- I did not ask her to our place to come take pics of the following.  I know, as a maker and artist, that it sucks when someone wants you to do something for nothing.  But she was interested in the animals, and I told her I love being the crazy animal mom and showing them off.  However, once she came over and heard out our crazy idea, she was totally down to come take some photos...and we could not have asked for more!! All the following photos are credited to Keren Lynn Photography - an awesome full time RV'er documenting her travels and more.  Check her stuff out here!)

So, we loaded up the friend-lords' truck and drove down to the tracks (which are located just down the hill from us) and set up shop....

 After we set up (I mean, can it be any more perfect?), we sat down to sip on our 'tea' and wait...

Ok, ok...tea or beer...a relaxing beverage either way...

Now the waiting begins.  Here we joke about the cool winds, the scenic backdrop of the vineyard next to the track, and sip our beer while ever vigilantly checking on the Amtrak app for the departure of the train from Paso.  

A hilarious side effect were the cars driving by in the mean time!

When it was time for the train, cheers went out from all our bystanders...

After a small, soft 'toot toot' from the Engineer, it was time!  Time for #trainwaving! (I am starting the hash tag.  Let's totally make it a thing.)

If you look close at a few of these pics, you can see a few waves!

And as fast as it came, it was gone. And we could NOT stop laughing!

The tracks lay quiet while we packed up, shivering in the cool wind and laughing.  

It was all the perfect way to make us intentionally happy.  To have a new experience that would make all of us smile when we saw the train. And we had met a new friend who was more than happy to join in the madness. She added so much to it, including documenting this entire experience so much better than we could have!

So moral of the story?  (AKA...TLDR...)

Sometimes you have to take the teapot by the handle and do a little something fun and silly to have a great experience that you will think back on and make you smile. And why not ask a friend to join in? As long as whatever you do does not hurt another, why not go for it? 

Cuz life is hard, and if you don't inject a little fun in sometimes, it is crazy easy to only see the piles of poo and not the flowers growing out of them.


PS - If you want to do some train waving, tag yo' shit with #trainwaving so we can see, or share in the comments!!

Saturday, March 31, 2018

It All Comes Back to Chickens...Podcast Episode 28

It is time for the 2nd episode in our series on chickens!

As we continue to talk chickens, we realize that everything comes back to chickens, including our 10 minute foray into a cult in southern Cali led by a 90's heart throb. You know...just the norm.

So come have a little listen about the genetics of the modern day chickens and how they gained popularity through history.  

Click here to listen directly on SoundCloud, or listen on your favorite podcast listen-y thing-y like iTunes, Stitcher, etc!

This week we learned a ton from these great sources/articles...

Smithsonian Mag (also you have got to check out the epic picture they have of a chicken in royal clothes. I am def framing that sh*t.)


Of course we always wanna give a shout out and thank you to All the Apparatus for letting us use their song 'The Aeronaut' for our Intro and Outro!  Show you love by checking out their BandCamp here!


And if you love what we do and would like to support us, please like and share with your friends!  

(And if you are so inclined, you can even check out our Patreon page to support the podcast even more!)

You can also follow us at...

Friday, February 23, 2018

Modern Dinosaurs this week on the Fiberton Podcast!

In this episode we begin a series on what many call the gateway drug to farming/homesteading...the chicken! These modern dinos have quite the history, and in this first part we discuss where they come from and their religious significance through time.

Check out this episode here on Soundcloud or on your favorite podcast player like iTunes, Stitcher and more!

This week we learned a ton from these great sources/articles...

Smithsonian Mag (also you have got to check out the epic picture they have of a chicken in royal clothes. I am def framing that sh*t.)


Of course we always wanna give a shout out and thank you to All the Apparatus for letting us use their song 'The Aeronaut' for our Intro and Outro!  Show you love by checking out their BandCamp here!


And if you love what we do and would like to support us, please like and share with your friends!  

(And if you are so inclined, you can even check out our Patreon page to support the podcast even more!)

You can also follow us at...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Another part of the Jolene the Franken-Chicken Saga...

We had to do one more addition to the saga that is little Jolene, our Franken-Chicken (aka Fiberton's Monster.)

If you missed the previous posts, you'll find why she received that name here and her health updates here.

In our latest installment, we must reveal a new name for Jolene.... Joe!  Now that Joe has grown up, we now know that Joe is a rooster!  And as for Dolly, who we thought was his sister, well, we are now calling him Donny. (As you can see by Joe crowing below...)

Ric was not having it....

"Ric, I think the combs and wattles on Jo and Dolly are really big. They might be roosters." I tell him one morning.

"Nope.  That is just their breed.  They are fine.", he says defiantly.

Later that week...

"Ric, I need you to watch this video of Jo." Here I produce video of Jo crowing...

Here's the thing, and probably why Ric was trying to pretend otherwise, but last month we had to do the not fun task of culling 4 roosters , as at that time we had 6 that we knew of.   They were fighting, and would not give the girls any peace, so they were not able to free range.

That being said, Joe and Donny are very domesticated and let us pick them up no problem.  And so far, it seems that the roosters have taken on their own family units.  Our hope is that it stays like this, and we can keep all 4 roosters.

Our family units include:
  • The two Kevins (the sorta wild roosters) and their hens: Girl Kevin, Falcor, Artax, Donkey and Giraffe
  • Donny and his 2 girls: Barbara and Dixie
  • And finally Joe and his gal, Atreyu
So far so good!  We hope to add some more chicks to the mix very soon!  Today my job is the get a special space set up for the new additions that is outside and not in our bathroom this time.

- Ash

PS - And speaking of chickens, keep an eye out for our new podcast episode coming out very soon on....Chickens!

Monday, February 12, 2018

Confessions of an Impatient, Anxiety Ridden Farm Girl

I have been encouraged (mostly by Ric) to start my own Farm Girl Confessions.  But in my promise of keeping it real, I will put an honest title on this series...

To be clear, this series will give a little insight into my personal brand of crazy, but I am sure (or maybe should say, I hope that) others will find it interesting or useful or comical or maybe just a diversion while bored at work.  I will be totally content with any of the above.

I think the title may have clued you in to two of the first confessions, and the prologue for this Confessions series. (I like to think that I cover these things up well, but those of you that really know me, this likely will come as no surprise.)  

Who has two thumbs and pretty hardcore anxiety? This girl! 

And who can't wait to do pretty much everything?  This girl!

I have lived with anxiety my whole life but will admit that only recently did I really realize I had it to a pretty good extent after reading and learning more about others that share in the fun.  I have never gone in to chat with someone about it, (mostly because that makes me anxious) but luckily I have a very understanding husband and family, who deals with my litany of 'worries' quite well.  I am pretty sure if they played a drinking game where you had to drink whenever I said "I am worried about..." or "I'm anxious about..." or "Everything is ok, right?", they would be pretty smashed most of the time.  

And I am also impatient. I have been jonesing so bad to quit the day job and go full time on the farm.  Part of it is that I know we are on the cusp of being able to do it, that point of "you need the time to make it over that hump but don't have quite enough resources (i.e. money) to quit the day job and make it happen yet", which is making me crazy.  

These two things combined make for an at-least-weekly meltdown about "wanting to spend more time on the farm and with the animals and making stuff!" and "why can't it just work?!" and "how do we get more resources right now?!", which Ric patiently listens to and mostly understands.

However, I work hard to combat my crazy with little things.  Little things are both calming and under appreciated, and are how I stay sane in this complex and crazy world. 

So I will end this first week's Farm Girl Confessions with some of the little things that make me smile and keep me from ripping someone's arms off...

... Did you know that I have a cup holder on my hay cart?  I mean, how cool is this.  This makes taking my coffee on my morning chores a breeze! Personally, I don't know many who have such a luxury.  You should add a cup holder to whatever you are able to. That is just sound advice.

... And speaking of my hay cart...it is great for making me a giant at night.  Well, not a real giant of course, but I can use it to cast some sweet shadows.  When I have to feed at night, I sometimes wrap my headlamp around the same spot my cup holder is. (Which typing head lamp made me just think about old school head lamps.  People are pretty ingenuitive, someone was like, "You know Bob, it would be way easier to see if the light was sorta near our eyes." and Bob was like "You know what, Jim, we should totes create the first hands-free device." and then Bob shoved a candle on Jim's helmet and they were probably seen as hero's in their town. Good on you, Bob and Jim.)

Anyway, when I wrap the headlamp, it makes a little head light for the cart.  But it sits back behind where I pull it around from, so it casts this great shadow that makes me look like an absolute giant.  So while I go feed I lumber around the yard, doing my best Gamera. (Sorry, Gamera is way better than Godzilla).  It is kind of the best.  

... And that is one of the reasons that I love tarantula's.  They are a giant of the spider world.  I know there are other giant spiders, and I might love them, too, but I have only ever met tarantulas and I imagine them tipping their little hat hello when I seen them.  I always sort of imagine that the other spiders are sorta mean to them for being so big, but in the end the tarantula has the upper hand when that little spider needs to reach for something on the top shelf or something.  Theeen they need tarantula's help... 

Also, I really want to start a comic strip that is "Champ and Rancho" all about Champ, our silly little ram lamb solving mysteries with Rancho, the tarantula.  Of course, Rancho would be the brains of the team.  (You should totally let me know if this needs to be a thing.)

Here I am working on my contortionist act with a tarantula...

Well, that seems like a good glimpse into my brain for the day, but stay tuned for more soon, kids, in next week's "Confessions of an Impatient, Anxiety Ridden Farm Girl!"  

- Ash