December 30, 2011
From Grass Valley, unincorporated area of Nevada County, California. My husband, Rick, and I have lived here on our 2.5 acres for 19+ years and raised two children here. We've had 2 dogs, Calvin and Snoopy and inumerable cats, many who lived to 16+ years. As of now we are down to 2 cats, a turtle (aquatic), 1 goldfish and 9 Guinea fowl. Our property borders 400 acres of wildness that leads to a major river. Cattle are kept there.
A year ago I started a commercial lavender farm. With only 55 plants I have enough lavender buds to keep myself busy creating sachets, bath salts, soaps and lotions along with my very popular eye pillows. I am planting another 50 plants when the rains begin again.
My Guineas keep me company while I'm outdoors, following me around as I always have a little birdseed for them to snack on. In a "neighborhood" of rural parcels the Guineas are a thread that tie everyone together. They are noisy but everyone likes them. Of course they are free range and visit everyone on their tour each day. Many neighbors offer lettuce or seed, but they are happy just eating bugs, ticks and chasing snakes, which is the benefit for us humans.
It is winter now so we aren't getting eggs and the birds go into their coop precisely at 5pm. Our nieghbors are wonderful and if we are not home by dusk we can count on one of them to tuck our birds in. When it begins raining they will spend most of their days inside the 10x10 coop. The door will be open, but they like their cozy habitat. Come April they will start laying (we have 3 hens) and the daily hunt will begin for the location of nests since they nest in tall grass and under my large rosemary bushes where it stays cool during the day. For now we are enjoying the respite.
Life is good. God Bless, Betsy