Monday, April 16, 2018

The opposite of New Mexico*

*Alternate titles for this post: 
"58 hours on another planet"
"Rainy days in Portland"
"The post with 39 pictures, 14 of which include me. WTF?" 
"Babyllamalettuce" (some people might think that's funny, otherwise please disregard)

All good vacations start at midnight with great friends, a shot of tequila...

...and playtime at the barn.

 Kai the llama is not a hugger and her ears are magnificent.
That's about all I know so far.

Please note the absence of rain in this picture.
It will be the last dry one you see.

Eddie the cat and I were the first ones awake the following morning.
It was raining. I didn't mind a bit.
Eight hours in and my skin was already less flaky.
If the state is looking for a new slogan, I humbly suggest:
"Oregon...where New Mexicans go to rehydrate."

Chet: Who's the chick with the camera?
Beau: Why isn't she wearing boots?
Princess Buttercup: I hear she comes from the land where it does not rain.

Once Danni's donkeys figured out I knew about butt scratches and ear rubs,
we became fast friends, there among the moss-covered everything in the rain.

Kai: You may take my picture but don't even think about touching me.

I didn't take it personally. 
As farm guardian, Kai has better things to do than
succumb to my need to hug every animal I meet.

Why are the chickens waiting at the door?

Because their mom was on the other side.

Here I am, taking pictures of Danni's happy chickens in the rain.

Here is Danni, taking pictures of me taking pictures of her happy chickens in the rain.

Alan the rooster voiced his opinion about getting left out of the pictures in the rain.

Danni knows the names of all 25 of her chickens.
It will take a much longer visit for me to remember them, but Pixie is unforgettable.
Can you tell that Danni loves her chickens? Even in the rain.

A rare sighting of Danni taking a break, eating the lasagna that Tall Paul made for us for lunch
before he went to work and after he iced that chocolate cake on the stand.
Who does that? 

Roxy accompanied us on a trip to the farm store in the rain.

I made Danni stop the truck so that I might take a picture of the sun,
which emerged for about 30 seconds.

Danni said we were going to the farm store to buy feed for the donkeys,
but it was just a ruse to check out all the baby chicks. And get out of the rain.

You know where this is going, right?

No hats were purchased and we didn't get kicked out of the store.
Good thing, because it was raining.

All the way to Portland and where do I find myself? Walmart. The horror.
But Danni had a decorating dilemma, and I suggested tension rods, 
and the next thing I knew, there we were. In the rain. At the Walmart.

But the tension rods were the wrong color so we bought spray paint
and I wasn't up for a spray tan so I wore gloves. 
Bottom line, Danni's decorating dilemma was solved but I didn't
take a picture, so we'll all have to wait for her to show us

Here I am wrestling hugging Reggie the the rain.

Actually, I was holding him so that Danni could trim his hooves.

Wait for it...

Walking up the hill from the house to the barn.
Say it with the rain.

Danni's barn is a very comfortable place to hang out
in the rain during inclement weather. I should note that it isn't easy 
to raise donkeys in this climate, but Danni has it nailed 
and I now understand from whence comes her strength.

Something has grabbed their attention.

Just me, trying to convince Chet that he'll get a treat if he takes one more step
across the scary concrete.

Never having been to Danni's farm, I had no idea of
the amount of work and energy required to keep it running.

The woman is always on the move.

Please note that even though the sun is out in the two photos above, 
it's still raining.

The few rays convinced us to sit down and soak them up.

We didn't sit for long, though.
I was afraid of moss growing on my jacket.

Happy hour in the living room.  

Tall Paul made chicken piccata.
I watched.

Then Danni's mom and two sons and their accompanying other halves 
came over for a big family dinner. 

And I got to be surrounded by all this love and happiness.

Thank you, Danni and Paul, for the best vacation ever.
I loved every bit of it, and every drop of rain.
And thank you, Brigitte, ranchsitter extraordinaire, for allowing this to happen.


  1. What a wonderful array of photos, it’s almost like I was along, lol. So glad you had a short getaway Carson, and, by the way, you look fabulous!!!

  2. Oh what moist fun! Such a very relaxing trip with good friends and animals. I loved seeing all the greenery.
    (I counted only 39 photos by the way)

    1. Ooops. Forgot to update that after I pulled one at the last minute. It's fixed now. Would hate to be accused of presenting fake news.

  3. So glad you had such a good visit. In the rain.

  4. i love love love love this post, animals and people OH MY.. what a vacation IN THE RAIN.. see I learned how to say it... my 2 friends and I went to visit a local rescue called Big Cat Habitat, the rescue big cats and bears and donkeys and even a camel, 2 llamas, all the things you have here. i reached out to pet the llamba, Lola started to pet him and he was loving it, but when Barbara touched him he BIT her. who knew they bite. the hat thief today made me laugh out loud


  6. Excellent portrait of vacation at Danni's IN THE RAIN. Kai is a personal favorite of mine on Danni's instagram posts. When I think to look for one. So much personality.

    I visited Portland in September 2011 for a few days. Temps in the mid-nineties and no rain. Decided it was a Twilight Zone anomaly, or maybe X-Files since Pacific Northwest. Welcome home.

  7. What a glorious vacation. Danni and Tall Paul have an equally beautiful spot on this planet. My hunch is that you’ll be returning sooner than later for replenishing in more ways than just skin hydration and more wonderful photos. Such a great friendship you have.

  8. Thanks for taking us along on your lovely, damp, vacay. Great to see Danni in her own habitat. xoxo Oma Linda

  9. Love the pictures. I can't get Instagram at my work so i have seen Danni's farm since she had a porch chicken. That's a lot of moss in those woods.
    -- in the rain. LOL

  10. I know Danni enjoyed having you for the week as much as you enjoyed being there. Just having someone put food in front of you for a week is awesome. I did notice who had the most tequila in their glass :) and who knew your hair was so long? Thanks for sharing your vacay. Looks like a great place to live.

    1. I was excited when I poured the tequila and got a little excited when filling Carson's glass. ooops!

    2. Ah, no worries Paul. Everyone loves a generous man!

  11. What a wonderful break from your dry New Mexico! My cousin grew up near Roseburg and every summer I would visit her and her family. YES, they get a LOT of rain!!! Enjoy it while you can!

  12. Oh I just loved your photos and the commentary that went along! I could never live in such a rainy climate! She does work gosh!

  13. Agree with everyone! Can't say it better than all of your fans already have! In the rain.

  14. Karen K in Portland4/16/18, 12:49 PM

    What a lovely post. I grew up in New Mexico and now live in Portland, so can appreciate both sides of the story! The last time we were in NM, my husband remarked that it was so clean -- like someone had scrubbed all of the curbs and sidewalks. (No moss!)

  15. Beautiful homestead Danni has there. I love rainy gray days. I feel like I get a free pass on doing nothing on those days. I bet Chet, Beau and Buttercup would have been happy to come home with you if you'd told them where you lived.

  16. What a wonderful trip! Sometimes it's good for your soul to get away, even if you love where you are and what you're doing. My favorite photo is of Chet, Beau and Princess Buttercup checking you out through the moss-covered trees. If Danni makes a Critter Farm calendar it is cover worthy. The closeup of Pixie would deserve a page. Of course, all the happy people make the pictures extra special, too. What great memories you'll have! Thanks for sharing, but Portland can keep their rain. We've had enough of our own. You appreciate the sunshine after days of grayness. Welcome back.

  17. who is Short Paul, by the way?

    1. I'm fairly certain there is only Tall Paul :-)

  18. If you would like a vacation in some freezing rain, swing on by Michigan on your way home.

  19. Thanks for taking us along on your vacation in the rain! Looks like you all had a great time. Hope your ribs were up to the laughter -- of course tequila helps. And loved Brigitte's photos too! /Gretchen

  20. The animals are adorable but the food,mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

  21. This makes me so very happy to see. I've been so excited for the post and you did not disappoint. So much love and so much happiness in all these pics. And I know there was tons of belly laughing :-) What a wonderful time!

  22. Michelle from rainy Vancouver BC4/17/18, 8:59 AM

    Been waiting for this post since you mentioned your vacation......great pics and commentary. Looks like everyone had a great time.

  23. WOW, your post of your vacation in the Pac NW Rain Forest did not disappoint...Of course, none of your posts do that....LOVE the beauty of both the Pac NM Rain Forest and the desert....Glad you had a wonderful time with friends and furry friends...
    Thanks for taking us along...Miss the beauty of Oregon.
    Love from NC

  24. When you get to a new environment, that camera really gets worked. Thanks for sharing the beautiful pictures of what love and friendship looks like.

  25. While the photos and the blog and everything were beautiful and wonderful as always.....

    I am logging on from the Portland area, and I was hoping for my daily dose of dry. All that mud and rain is hitting a little too close to home (we've been raining for 15 days straight here.)

    I'm gonna go bask in the photos from your archives of dry sand, and dry ground, and dry horses and blue sky :D

  26. I was in Portland all last week when it rained all day everyday. But goodness is it ever green! Hope you had fun. I ate until I couldn't eat anymore. Portland is a food lover's paradise. Then I get home to California and rain! The irony. I sure wish Danni would resume her blog.

    1. We were all so close and we didn’t know it! That would’ve been fun to meet up. I’m glad you enjoyed Portland food so much - I’d love to know where you went because we’ve been hard-pressed to have a good dining experience downtown lately!

  27. Say Linda,
    When you were on vacation in Oregon, did it happen to rain?

  28. Wow, so many fun pics - the time with you seemed jam-packed yet oh-so-short and I wouldn’t trade a second of it for anything! Thanks for coming, Carson - It meant the world to me to have you here!
    Oh, and I giggled out loud in a room by myself yesterday just remembering the parking lot moment. :-)

  29. A wonderful vacation indeed. Looks like you all had so much fun!

  30. Love the tour of Danni's and Tall Paul's. What a nice getaway!

  31. An American in Tokyo4/24/18, 12:43 AM

    Wow, looks like a fun vacation!!!
    Thank you for sharing all the photos and stories with us!
    Tall Paul looks like he can cook up a storm!