Thursday, July 31, 2014

What's in my email inbox?

Too much that's for sure, but I can't bring myself to get rid of most of them because they are all important to me on some level.

Let's take a look at the first 10 I see...

  • This just popped in, Market Watch. I don't follow the stock market, but my husband does, so by me following I get updates about all events that feels is moving the stock market in what ever direction it's going at that moment. So if Terry announces that the stock market is down today, I can insert the email headline and say, "Yep, the "Us Concern Over Federal Rate Policy" is probably what's to blame for the drag on the Dow." And I sound so smart, lol.  Sometimes I am really amazed at what Market Watch feels will impact the stock market enough to generate an up-to-minute email post like, "Happy Birthday Harry Potter!", or "Wozniacki to Run NYC Marathon!", yeah I'm going start selling (or buying?) stocks based on that exciting news!

  • Then there are a few emails from Amazon telling me my items ordered yesterday will be delivered TODAY! Oh how I love Amazon Prime and having a shipping center just a few hours south of us in Phoenix. The problem with being rural is that it is almost faster (and costs less if you factor in fuel) to buy most things on Amazon rather then drive over 100 miles (one-way) to the city that has the stores that sell the stuff.

  • The next few emails are updates from Twitter about who followed me, RT'd or DM'd me since yesterday and similar updates from Pinterest and Facebook.

  • There is an email from "Wendy Davis for Texas" (hey Wendy, just an fyi, "I don't live in Texas").  Wendy Davis for Texas is telling me it's the '13th Hour' and they 'need to reach $35,000 in donations by midnight!'  I guess because I'm a Democrat they feel I should donate to all democrats everywhere.  Well, I have nothing against Ms Davis, I actually like her and would vote for her here in AZ but I can't donate to every democrat in the country...I didn't make enough money in the stock market selling stocks on Harry Potters Birthday.

Once my first-of-the-morning chores are done I get to sit down and relax a bit to drink my morning coffee while I skim through the emails.  If I get through them fast enough there is time to read some of my favorite blogs. Sometimes I leave a comment, but often there just isn't enough times if I want to read lots of them. But either way, I do enjoy the posts and feel inspired by the wonderful bloggers who have written them.

So what's in YOUR Email Inbox?

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!

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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Almost Wordless Wednesday

The hubby is learning how to weld (and trying out his new plasma cutter).  For his first project he made this for me.  How Sweet is that?

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
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Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

5 Facts About Me That You Probably Didn't Know

I enjoy reading blogs on subjects as varied as chickens & backyard farming to techy how-to's, and from living green to entrepreneur networking, but that isn't one of the 5 Facts.  While reading all these various blogs, that have been written mostly by women (and a few men), I've had the opportunity to learn a little something about the people behind the blogs.  In the past I kept my own personal stuff to myself.  Partly because my husband was leery about me sharing too much personal information on the world wide web, but also because some of my beliefs don't fall in line with many of the bloggers that I follow or who follow me.  I was afraid of losing those virtual friends if they knew more about the real person behind the Backyard Chicken Lady.  But as I said in my recent come back post, I've come out of hiding in the closet and I am ready to share more of myself with you.

So here we go...

5 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Me...the Real Backyard Chicken Lady.

My first name is Anna.  But that wasn't my birth name. I was born PollyAnna. But try growing up with that name.  By the time I finished school I was so sick of hearing children chant, "Polly want a cracker?" or having the nick name "PollyWog."  Throughout my childhood I'd never met another child with my name. However I did meet several old women with this name.  When I was of legal age, and working as a Paralegal, I legally changed my name by dropping the 'Polly' completely.  Now that I am an old lady myself the name Polly doesn't seem so bad, but I'm kind of fond of Anna now.

Family story is that my mother saw this movie the week I was born.

I ride a motorcycle.  When I was turning 39 (but thought I was turning 40) I went through a bit of an early mid-life crisis.  I didn't fear growing older, heck I was celebrating my 40th when it was actually my 39th birthday. (I didn't figure that out until the next day).  Anyhoo...on this monumental birthday I decided that I was not going to live my next 40 years like I had my last 40 (or 39).  Nope, things were going to change.  Yep, I was going to do something I had always wanted to do...I was going to learn to ride a motorcycle.  My new husband rode motorcycles since he was a little kid so we were already surrounded by bikes.  I just needed to learn to ride.  I took a beginners riding course at a Phoenix motorcycle training school and got my license.  Since then I have been through 4 bikes and ridden over 30,000 miles on my own bike.

One of my favorite bikes (#2) a Suzuki Intruder 800.

I am afraid of birds.  Not chickens, I'm afraid of the sky-flying birds, but not just the really scary birds like buzzards and hawks, I am also afraid of crows, sparrows and parakeets too. I can thank Alfred Hitchcock and his movie 'The Birds' for this.  I watch it now and it seems so corny, but when I was a little kid it terrified me.  Still to this day I go into a bit of a panic if a bird flutters its wings near me.

Are you old enough to remember this movie?

I own guns, but believe we need gun control.  I would like to see guns registered like we do cars.  Then if you sell or give away your gun you have to report it so that you wont be held responsible for what the new owner (or thief) does with it.  And like driving cars, if you don't have a license to operate it, you don't get to legally use it.  I think too many people believe all the scare tactics being promoted by gun sellers, that gun control means taking away our guns.  That is so far from the truth, but the truth doesn't sell guns in record numbers.


We need gun control because not everyone is a sane, responsible gun owner like you. This image is from a very funny blog I read.
I believe I was born an Entrepreneur.  I have been self-employed most of my life.  I started my first babysitting business at the age of 12.  It truly was a business, I was the only girl in my neighborhood that carried a calendar and was booked up for weeks in advance during the summer after the 8th grade.  I was so sought after because I wanted to be a mom SO bad that I would literally pretend the kids in my care were my own children.  In addition to playing with the kids I would cook their meals, fold laundry, do dishes, vacuum, and still get the kids bathed and in bed on time.  One parent, a single mom, even hired me to just come help her clean house on occasion when her kids were gone to their dads.

I've had multiple businesses throughout my life.  I've been self-employed at everything from being a paralegal to a pet sitter, from a eBay power seller to owning and operating a brick & mortar baby store.  I have had businesses that did well and I've had businesses that failed.  I am currently self employed in a passive business but still find myself constantly thinking about different businesses that I could start today.  I sometimes feel the need to create businesses like you might feel hunger.  My two favorite magazines are "Backyard Poultry" and "Entrepreneur."

[Disclosure: These two are affiliate links.]

So now you know a little more about me.  I will continue to open up about myself in the future so you will learn more about my thoughts and feelings on lots of topics other than just chickens.   But don't worry, I still have lots to say about chickens...and the donkeys I am thinking about raising!

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!
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Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!

Disclosure: In an effort to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendations, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Thank you for your support and please know that I will only feature products I absolutely love!. Unless of course its a product review for a product that is terrible, and in that case you will NOT find any affiliate links for that product.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Social Media ~ My Follow, Friend, and Fan Policies

I love Social Media in general because it's really opened the world up for me.  I can find fast facts (or opinions) on just about anything I am curious about, I can get inspired by others who are halfway around the world, and I feel more connected in this big world, even though none of it is face to face. 


My top three favorite social media sites are Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

  • I like Facebook for sharing my pictures, personal information and updates, my blog posts, and current events with my close friends and family.  It makes it easier to stay connected to those who are not close enough for regular visits.   It also provides me with a Landing Page for my blog readers and chicken people to get together to share and learn information, offer support to one another, and just enjoy chatting about chickens.
  • I love Pinterest because I am always being inspired by things other people share on their wall.  I also love when I can share something then I see that lots of other people enjoy what I've posted and shared it on their walls too.  And talk about inspiration...Pinterest is my fav for expanding my creative side.  
  • I'm sure I'm addicted to Twitter.  I go there for learning about things that are going on at this very from around the world and within my own community, discovering interesting websites or articles, and sharing quick conversation with like-minded people.  

For each different social media site you can have friends, followers, and fans.  Which can get a little overwhelming if you are not careful.  To keep things in check I have developed my own personal Follow back policy for each of my top social media sites.

My Pinterest Follow Policy:

On Pinterest I only follow particular 'Boards', not a persons entire 'Wall' because with each new person I follow it could quickly get overwhelming.  For example, if I find a 'Pin' from someone who has consistently added cool things to a particular 'Board' such as mine here, "Re-cycle, Re-Use, Re-Purpose" then I will follow that board.  Each time I visit a new persons 'Board' through a Pin that I discovered, I may add their Board to my follow-list as well. 

My Facebook Friend & Fan Policy:

Like I said, I have a Facebook Page for this blog and I have a personal facebook account.  I rarely ever 'friend' one of the Page Fans, but I do converse with them as my friend on the page.  If one of my friends or fans has a Page of their own, I hope they will tell me about it because I love to visit new pages.  If the content is of particular interest to me then I will 'Like' their page as well.

My Twitter Follow Policy:

Twitter is a whole different critter and therefore will require a much more detailed policy description.  I have probably never met any of my followers, or those I follow, in person and probably never will.  But that doesn't make the relationships you make on Twitter any less valuable.  I follow people on Twitter for many different reasons as I am sure they follow me for just as many if not more.

Generally I will follow back just about anyone who follows me.  But not forever...

 The Top 10 Reasons I Follow people and organizations on Twitter are:

  1. I have interesting conversations with like-minded people.
  2. They post valuable leads to websites with information I am interested in.
  3. They keep me updated on local and world news.
  4. They are funny, entertaining, informative.
  5. I do business with them.
  6. I may in the future do business with them.
  7. They are following me and ReTweeting my Tweets.
  8. They post inspirational quotes that are of interest to me.
  9. I hope they will follow me in the near future.
  10. They are following me.
So as you can see I am an easy Follow..."But not forever."  

The top 10 reasons I 'Unfollow' people and organizations on Twitter:

  1. They stop replying to my tweets that I specifically posted @ them AND...
  2. They start spamming me in tweets, @'s or DM's.
  3. They start tweeting mostly angry, hateful, rude tweets. (or falsehoods to generate any of these)
  4. They have no real content of their own (only RT's or quotes they googled that day)
  5. They tweet in support of Fox 'News' (sorry, I just really cannot stand Fox 'News'
  6. They unfollow me.
  7. They don't follow me back after a reasonable period of  time.
  8. They mostly post "Buy My Product!" tweets.
  9. They tweet racist or prejudice comments or jokes.
  10. They are a Pervert, I don't mean tweeting a sexy comment...I mean "Hey babe, what are you wearing?" DM's, or sending me pictures of your body parts.  Or if your profile picture is a body part that is normally covered by underwear. This one will get you Blocked as well as Unfollowed.

You are probably asking yourself "WHY does she follow-back folks who she doesn't appear to have much in common with?"  I will tell you why...because you just never know who the real person is behind that social media profile image.  Like just today, I discovered an older male African-American retired postal worker who mostly tweets about basketball, but we have the EXACT same stance on abortion and politics!  We have something to talk about, this brings two people into a conversation with someone they might otherwise never have crossed paths with.  So there you have it, now that you know how I roll, I hope you will go Friend Me, Fan Me, or Follow Me, and I will return the favor as I've outlined here. 

Here's where to find me in Social Media Land:
(I haven't quite gotten the hang of G+ yet, but I'm working on it.)

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!

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Did this post stir something inside of you? If so, Please leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

I'm Coming Out of the Closet

I've known I was a democrat as far back as grade school when I first learned the differences in the two primary political party's platforms.  I have not wavered on that position, although I have not always voted democrat.   Yes, I have on occasion voted for a republican, because I felt that person would've been a better president. (you are welcome Mr Reagan).

Over the last 30+ years of being of legal age (to vote) I have pretty much kept my political opinions to myself.  I was taught that your votes were secret, hence the secrecy around the polling place and privacy while in the voting booth and turning in your secret ballot.  So I only shared my democrat preferences with very close friends or relatives.  As a self-employed person for most of my life, I never showed a preference one way or the other about politics in my business establishment because I figured that approximately one half of my customers were like me and the other half were not, and I didn't want to offend the 'other half'.

DONKEY: The donkey is arguably the noblest beast in all of the animal kingdom. The donkey is sober, patient, cautious, intelligent, sure-footed, has good stamina, and contrary to common belief it is not stubborn -even though they were formerly referred to as an Ass. [Source]

It seems that of late (since the 2008 elections) people have become more outspoken about their political opinions...from what I see the most outspoken have been the republicans and tea party members.  My neighbors, community leaders, and the businesses that I frequent don't seem to think it's a problem to publicly rant about the opposing party, or fill their yard (or business windows) with posters and signs supporting their choices and strongly opposing the other, as if 'their' choice was the only 'right' one.

None of my democrat friends, democrat neighbors, or democrat owned business that I frequented were doing this.  If you drove around in my neighborhood it would appear we were 100% Republican, when in fact we are nearly a 50/50 split. My husband even succumbed to the pressure and asked me to remove the small magnetic bumper sticker that supported Barrack Obama before we left the house so no radical republican/tea partyist would scratch up my car (they were actually doing that).  We democrats kept silent, we didn't boast loudly that we were voting democrat. We didn't stand on street corners shouting political propaganda at passer-byes, we didn't have huge rally's with Fox Channel celebrities making hate speeches. And we certainly didn't post signs in our businesses meant to offend one half of our customers.

But I feel a change coming on. I personally (and I'm not alone) am fed up listening to the nonsense that people are repeating as fact because they heard it on a Fox station. (I refuse to call it Fox 'News'). I am tired of keeping silent when a loud mouth racist republican insults or disrespects our President.  I'm tired of shopping at businesses that make it clear they don't like democrats.  I'm tired of not expressing my thoughts in mixed company because I don't want to offend someone (who has NO trouble with offending me).  I am tired of being a closeted Democrat.

I am coming out of the 'Democrat' Closet!  This next election season I am going to proudly share my choice in who I feel should be our next President and who should fill all of the other political positions beneath him or her. I am not going to remove my bumper sticker. I am going to host an election night party.  And I am going to speak openly about my beliefs.  But I am going to be a better, more respectful citizen, by doing all of this without becoming an offensive jerk like the people I have quietly tolerated for the last 6 years. 

Yes, in the next election season you are going to see a whole new Chicken Lady who ain't Chicken anymore!  


Thursday, July 24, 2014

Oh Boy, Has a Year Rreally Gone By Since My Last Post?!?!

Oh boy, has a year really gone by since my last post?!?!  I am sorry for being away so long but I felt I needed to take a sabbatical for a while, I just didn't plan on it being this long.

You are probably asking "Why did you need a sabbatical from a simple Chicken Lady life?  Well, because it wasn't always so 'simple', and I needed to sort out some things within myself.  I originally created this blog to share my journey getting back into chickens, back to country life and living more nature, after being away from that lifestyle for most of my adult life.  But after a while I began to feel that I was boxed in to just blogging about my chickens, gardening, and my living green experiments.  I didn't feel that I could share more about the personal side of 'me' in this journey.  I had so much more I wanted to share and express but felt my readers that came here because they were interested in chickens wouldn't be interested in the other aspects of my life.   This left me feeling that I was being two people -the chicken lady AND the middle aged woman struggling with being middle aged, finding my way career wise or retirement wise, surviving in this hostile political time, and finding place within all of this.  I didn't feel like I was being my true self in only sharing one aspect of myself with you, so I took a break to sort this all out.

During my break, I considered starting a new blog where I would blog about the other 2/3's of my life, but that just felt inauthentic.  So I did what a deer does when faced with headlights of an on coming car...I stood there doing nothing, waiting for the car to hit me.  Fortunately for me the metaphorical car went around me.  Leaving me just standing there still confused as to what to do next, which direction do I go?  So just like that deer, I wondered off into the woods and pondered my decisions.  I doubt that's what the deer really do when they are barely missed by a speeding vehicle, but I would like to think that they at least learn something from the event and stay off the road in the future.

For me the time away gave me some clarity.  I began to realize that to be my true self I had to be willing to take a chance that my readers wanted to know ME, not just the Chicken Lady part of me.  So after much thought, consideration, and soul searching, I am back!  I loved this blog so much.  I loved interacting with my readers, and reading your blogs.  I just hope my readers are still around somewhere willing to give me another shot at this.  I have decided that I am not going to box myself in to just talking chicken (which I do love to do) because there is so much more to me than just that.  This was suppose to be about sharing my journey... chickens were just the springboard to that journey.  You can now look forward to me sharing my thoughts on other subjects, my opinions, and my personal feelings about things other than just chickens.  But don't worry, I will have lots to say about chickens!

Thank you for coming back and understanding that I just needed some time to figure out what direction I wanted (needed) to go in.  I hope you are willing to get to know the true me and take this journey with me fully! 

Keeper of 1 husband, 2 grandkids, 3 dogs,
3 cats, and 17 Chickens!

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Did this post stir something inside of you?  Leave me a comment, I would love to know what you're thinking!!!