A California Visit

Last week I flew to Los Angeles to visit my son who is attending college on the West Coast. It was to be a quick trip, but I stayed a few extra days to meet someone that I met on the internet. Now, I know that people get in all sorts of trouble with internet “friendships,” and you’ve got to be cautious. But, I was pretty sure that the person that I’d been communicating with really was a librarian with chickens named Donna. When she heard that I’d be in Los Angeles, she invited me to visit. Seeing Donna’s beautifully kept chickens was tempting.

I had always wanted to feed a carrot to a friendly llama.

I wanted to meet the other Temecula librarians who were all Tillie Lays an Egg and HenCam fans.

Donna said that she’d take me to a winery.

I’m not a big drinker. I still might have said no, but then Donna bribed me offered to take me there on horseback. I couldn’t possibly refuse.

(In the above photo her husband is leading their colt on the winery trail. I’m riding Gus.)

I love the internet.

Who, you might ask, was taking care of the animals back at LIttle Pond Farm? Steve stayed home. Except for the two days that he went on a Boy Scout camping trip. It snowed.

He didn’t have wine. I texted him photos from California to warm him up.


  1. Looks like you enjoyed your visit to the West Coast. Nothing like visiting winerys on horseback (no tipsy driving – horses will always find their way home!) Now that you will be visiting her more often when you son is in college, maybe you should plan a “meet & greet” for those of us who can’t make it back east. Of course, we couldn’t meet your beautiful girls, Candy and the boys, it would still be great to meet and talk with you. I know my daughter and I would make the long drive to Southern California to attend! Maybe when your cookbook is out?

  2. I second Laura’s idea! Glad you had such a wonderful experience and thanks for the beautiful way you shared it.

  3. It was lovely having you and we are still talking about your visit! Thank you Terry for the darling post…Even Pasco the llama looks good!

  4. How wonderful!! I have to ask, what does she have on the ground in her run? Thank you for sharing your trip> I enjoy all your stories, and your Hen Cam is a delight. I have picked up so many great ideas from your pictures.

  5. The next time you come west you can stop by San Diego for a nice visit. We’ll put you up and take you to see some other hens and two goats that live in North County. I’m glad you enjoyed your trip to the “other” wine county. It is quite nice there and they have added more wineries in recent years. Although I must say, I have never gone wine tasting via horse ride before. That would be an adventure in itself. Welcome home.

    • I love San Diego. Very fond of Balboa Park (Japanese garden and koi as big as the Beast!) I’ll let you know if I’m ever out that way.

      • Please do Terry. We (my friend who also watches) would love to show you around. It would be our pleasure.

  6. Does Steve milk the goats, too, or do you have some help with that? I have to hand-milk twice daily and so this prevents me from traveling. My husband and I rarely get away together… Just trying to think about solutions. Thanks for sharing about the practicalities / logistics of homestead living!

    • That’s one reason why the goats are neutered boys! No milk here. Pip and Caper are pets, and they help to keep the back meadow from being all briars (I like to think they’re good for something.) We pay a pet sitter to come 3X/day when we are away. Costly, but worth it.

      • I hear ya, and will take it to heart. My marriage seemingly depends on it. Many thanks, Terry.

        • I think I have an idea that might help you Myra Joe. Their is a lady I watch on youtube called Michigansnowpony and this summer she took a family vacation with her family for the first time with goats. She has two milking alphine does, well she saw on ebay a product that is basically a hand held milking machine made for goats. She got her husband to build her one and she loves it. The product is really easy to use and easy to pump for those who have arthritis, or are handicaped to be able to milk goats alot easier. Here is the link to the video, maybe this can help you and your husband.

          • Milking machines do make life easier for many. But automatic feeders, waterers, or even milkers, are no substitute for a watchful human eye over your animals when you go away. Machines break down, and if you’re not there to fix them, then the animals can suffer. Certainly 2x/day milking is more than I have to do, but when I’m away I still have to have some one come 2x/day to let the animals in and out, feed, water, and make sure that all is well.

            • Oh no Terry, this a hand held pump, you definitely need the people and someone coming by twice a day. I just meant to share this with her, so that maybe someone with weak hands or arthitis might be able to help her out. Like Michigansnowpony’s mother, as she talks about in the video. The pump is just basically a bicycle pump connected to a jar.

              • Michigansnowpony is very bright and appears to be grappling with the same issues as our homestead. Very interesting; I will check it out! Thank you, Kit!

  7. Whoops! Just noted yours are bucks (I believe). Ah, well. But have concurrently found a glorious cucumber salad recipe. Happy Holidays!!

  8. Love going to Danza del Sol winery and I frequently see horses at the hitching post.