Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Oh-My Phone

Things are changing at TJ Ranch. Some people actually have cell service and internet. Years ago it was easy. “There’s no signal here”, I would say and watch the look of panic. Then our guests would take a deep breath, put their phones away and say, “it’s OK, probably good in fact, now we can have a real vacation!”

Now a days we have the worst of all worlds. There’s signal here and there. “Try the fourth step; go to the pool; you can text in the yellow casita…” Phones ring…..”can you hear me now?” It’s a little disconcerting having your phone with you on vacation. I almost feel like making a place setting at the table for the newest member of the family…the know it all. And it does know it all: point at the stars and it’ll tell you what constellation you’re looking at; point at a sign and it can automatically translate it; take a photo of the flower and then it can be identified including all its medicinal properties.

The new phones are technological wonders, but do you really want to spend your vacation looking down? Isn’t a vacation supposed to rid you of that neck ache? Isn’t part of the fun on vacation getting lost and asking for directions? Is it that important to have you phone with you at meals, at the pool and in your cottage at night?

Please people….show me your phone and all that it can do, because it’s new to me and I think it’s really cool….then put it away and enjoy yourself. Make all your calls, e-mails, etc. at one stop (where you have a strong signal) and then look around, talk to people, eat food…and relax and enjoy your vacation!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Talkin' Chicken - TJ Ranch Farm Update

Our chickens are loose; they run all around. I guess now a days the term is “free range”. Our chickens, like all chickens, lay eggs; but finding them is an Easter egg hunt all year long.

In the “old days” there was ‘candling’ to find out if the egg was edible. We put our discovered eggs in water and if they float, it’s time to toss them. Sometimes we let the hens sit on their eggs and then watch her leading her baby chicks around. There will be various hens with their chicks behind, each day the number diminishing due to various obstacles in the life of chicks here on the farm. Our chickens are known for breeding fighting roosters. I’m not sure how we started with them because we don’t raise roosters, but they are tough and do survive the elements. The eggs are small and cream colored with dark orange yolks.

Periodically the roosters fight on their own. It’s their nature and although I don’t believe in adding power to their battles with sharp spurs, etc., cocks are pretty brutal and fight whether you bet on them or not. Periodically we kill a gallo (rooster) and make soup. Too tough to eat, they make an excellent broth which we freeze for future use.

We’re thinking of getting some “ponedoras”…egg layers. It takes about 6 months of careful care before the chicks lay eggs, so it’s usually better to buy older chickens ready to lay…but for now…come join us at TJ Ranch and hunt for some fresh eggs. You won’t regret it. See ya………..