New Discovery for my Kindle

I read daily and love my Kindle.  I take it with me everywhere I go, and as a result the amount I read has gone up over prior reading habits when I only read print books.   I have found new authors and tried books in genres that I don’t normally choose.

I was a person who spend hours and lots of money at the used book store.    I now needed to find similar ways to prevent spending hundreds of dollars a year in books for my reader.   I get free books from Amazon, and check out books the local public library.   One of the mysteries with a Kindle is how to leverage the loan option when I am not sure who would want to borrow a book or how I find a book I want to borrow.

Enter two websites who match make for loaning ebooks possible.

Neither one has a huge database, but I have signed up for both.   I am not sure it is the right thing to do because ebooks can only  be lent once.   How do you manage lending if you have the same book registered on two sites.    Many publishers and authors don’t allow any lending at all.   It is a new area and they are feeling their way around the ereader concept.  No  books being recycled like at the used book store over and over.

So far here are my impressions of the two lending sites.  At this point I am leaning toward using only lendle, but the are both in their infancy so will likely hang out with both for awhile longer.  I have lent 4 books, and borrowed 3.


    • Love the information showing how many books are available, or if there is a waiting list. 
    • love that I know where I am in a waiting list after I requested the book
    • Borrowing was easy, and I loved that I got to thank the lender.
    • the number books on the database is displayed and you can see that it is growing.


    • Website feels cluttered/layout not as clean or as intuitive
    • keeping track of your lends isn’t as easy as booklending I have lent 2 books, and have not been able to borrow any books.


    • Cleaner, easier to navigate site. 
    • single step loan and tracking


    • You have no idea if there is an abundance of books when you ask to borrow or if you could wait an eternity. 
    • I don’t seem to be making any matches for my benefit, only as a lender

If you are the owner of a reader, let me know your thoughts.   Have you found something else out there to help fulfill your reading needs without breaking the bank?

My Favorite Ankle Biter

Me training with my favorite ankle biter.

Me training with my favorite ankle biter.

I am training for a half marathon.   It means I must do more than just casual walking that I normally do.  I have a treadmill, but only use it as a necessary evil.  I prefer to walk outside.     I am careful when I walking, know that bad things can happen to good people.   Last year a Montana woman was nabbed when she was out running.  She was going much faster than I will ever be able to move.   It happened in a small town with an oil boom.   It doesn’t stop me from being out there trying to get ready for my race.   It means that I am conscious of the choices I make and try to make choices that lower my risk.

One of my risk reducing activities is walking with  my little Cairn Terrier.   He is not much to look at as far as a protector goes.     He does not strike fear in people the way a Rottweiler, German Shepard or other full-sized dog may.   In spite of that he is my guardian when I walk.   He keeps watch and lets me know what is going on long before I notice.   He was a rescue  dog and is not everyone’s friend.   He is unsure of men, folks with boots and folks who sneak up on him.   He has terrier energy and is glad to walk miles with me.

He is a perfect companion for me  as I train.   My dog and my favorite ankle biter.

Vacation of Uncertain Kind

My husband out there in the elements trying to adjust that little antennae

My husband out there in the elements trying to adjust that little antennae

Last fall  we  planned our vacation for this week.  We had made  lots of plans that we were quite excited about.  We had hotel reservations that ensured we were going to be leaving Dodge and take a “real vacation.”  Something we seldom do.   Then life happened.  My husband is a federal employee and sequestration and the debt ceiling suddenly made things uncertain.   My employer had a tough year and I may have reduced hours.   It no longer made sense for us to take off.   That vacation fund might just be needed for other things.   We decided that we would stay home  finish up projects in our kitchen that we had planned for later the year.

This vacation has been a comedy of errors.   We tried to replace the lights only to discover that the conversion kit need for the vaulted ceiling cost more than the new lights did.   They went back to the store.   We discovered that the salesman for the flooring was not fully informed and it could not be laid on the existing subfloor in our kitchen .   The new flooring is going back next week.   Our old range  had died beyond repair.   We had waited  ten days for the new one to be delivered, only to discover it had been damaged in transit,  again beyond repair, and would have to be replaced.  Another two weeks without a range  is on our horizon as our old one was already on the way to the recycle center.   Our TV quit working because they changed the “repeater” towers for our over the air TV.   My husband spent the cold day out in the wind trying to get the over the air antenna to pick up three stations.  No such luck only two or one the towers are just too far apart to work with our little antenna.  We had planned to hike and ride our new bikes.  Instead we have had snow two days already, when it has not been snowing, the wind has been howling.

This could be a disaster.   My husband and I could be fighting about all our frustrations.   Instead we are somehow enjoying the time for what it is.   Every time we drive two hours to the city to buy or return something we treat ourselves to a nice lunch.    We are foodies and love to enjoy food that we can’t easily find in our neck of the woods.   We love to sit in a restaurant and compare how we saw things and our plans.    One day we split a Cubano sandwich and salad, another I had a Thai chicken salad with mango, and he had a southwestern style sandwich, yesterday we found a Mediterranean café and split a trio/combo lunch.

No this wasn’t how we had planned our life, but it is ok .   It is a vacation of a different kind.  A vacation to reconnect.  A vacation to enjoy simple accomplishments.   A vacation not to be spent hurrying trying to squeeze as many things a possible things in a five-day-long holiday.  It has been a holiday that we have savored the time together, and the trials that have reminded us that together we are stronger than we are alone.

Introductions – Buff Orpington

10 day old Buff Orpington

10 day old Buff Orpington

Over the next weeks I will posting photos of my assorted flock and sharing with you information about the various breeds   I have pages about what I have done on past years with tabs at the top “Backyard Chickens.”  I am sharing this to help inform folks who have never had a flock about what you might expect…the good…the bad…and the ugly.

Buff Orpington is supposed to be the Golden Retriever of the chicken world.   Golden, friendly and plays well with all others. It is a solid golden bird, with a heavy build.     It is a breed that originated in the UK.  It is considered a dual purpose bird, meaning that it lays well and could just as easily be Sunday dinner.     It is a favorite of backyard flocks because of these traits.   Up until now I have not tried it because….it was solid in color and I really like my little flock to be “interesting” feathered.   It is also known to be a broody, it would like to hatch some eggs, something I am not interested in.   

At this age the feathers in her wings are coming in at that amazing golden color they are known for.   We are not seeing any chest or tail feathers.   In the flock of birds she is in she is one of the crowd.   She is neither wild, nor timid.

More than Livestock, Not Quite Pets

web-chixThis year when I could not tell the packing peanuts from the keepers, I ended up with 20 baby chicks for the first time.  My normal number of chicks is between six and ten.    When you have as  many birds as I do this year the are too many to name, and “really get to know.”  So they are a flock of little chicks.   This has been a learning experience

They are living in a brooder in my studio space and in less than a week I am ready for them to move outside.  They have generated more dust and are already getting stinky.     Unfortunately the weather is still so cool here that I don’t feel I can set up an appropriately warm brooder yet outside in the shed.   This flock is almost 4 weeks earlier than usual, and this inability to move the out to the shed and keep them healthy really sucks.   But I am charged with their welfare so for now they will continue to live in my favorite personal space. .

Twenty chicks in a brooder, means the weaker chicks have less chance of survival.  On the first night I had one chick who by all outward appearances looked fine, never found her groove.  She was by far the smallest.  No matter what we did, she would not drink or eat.   She passed away the first night of what I call failure to thrive.   It has been several years since I have had that happen to me, but it does happen.     I now have a chick that arrived in good shape, but some other bigger bully or maybe it was just curiosity picked at her eye  and  she is now blind in one eye.   She isn’t doing so well any more.   She is not putting on weight, and is hanging in the corners.    The human nature in me says isolate her and work with her, but a single bird taken from the flock is hard to reintroduce and much harder on the bird.   We are keeping an eye on her and trying to coach her along to eat and drink.  If she continues to fail, the humane thing to do may be put her down.   This really sucks too.

It is some of the hard realities of having animals.   These chicks living in my studio are not some anonymous chickens that arrive in the Styrofoam containers at the supermarket.   Yet they are not my pets.   I am charged with practicing good animal husbandry.  Sometimes that sucks.


Harley’s Chicks

Untitled-1My dog is a Cairn Terrier, which means he loves things that dart around…mice..gophers…vermin.   Now for some reason he does not go crazy when we have little chicks that dart around the brooder.   Instead for some reason these chicks are his charges.   He will sit for hours just watching them race around.   I always think at some point he will bolt into the crate that is holding all the baby chickens.

I don’t kid myself if there was a loose one he would likely gobble them up, so we need to be careful that doesn’t happen.   In the meantime this process makes him a good companion for our flock of chickens because he is integrated with them like a good sheep or cattle dog is with their heard.  He hangs out with them from their first days, until their last


Chickens in a Box

chix-boxNo I am not talking take out chicken dinner, I am talking baby chicks.   On Friday morning at 8:30 I got a call from the local post office to come pick up my box of baby chicks.   I pulled on my shoes and got in my rig and drove to town to pick up my box.

When I got there, everyone was fascinated by a box that came through the mail that was full of loud peeping.   Chicks in a box always cheep and peep, but this box was the loudest I had ever received.  They wanted to know if I had done it before, which I had.   They pepper me with more questions which I freely answered as I took my box and headed home.    It is a fun time to introduce others to the process of chickens and eggs.

My 15 baby chicks  they were all sorts of  colors.   Just the way I like it, pretty, different layers.   My invoice was stamped with males for warmth.   Bummer!   For the first time of having extra chicks as packing peanuts, I  could not tell who they were.   I could not tell the difference between the chicks I wanted and the boy chicks I did not want.  Bigger bummer!   It means that I am going to have five boys that will be strutting around with testosterone fever shortly.   It means nothing but trouble.  So I am hoping  they don’t fight much, leave the girls along and grow fast so they can go off to freezer camp in a few weeks.