Giveaway: Nite-Guard Solar Lights & Repellant Tape (Save The Chickens!)

380The lovely people at Nite-Guard have offered us a giveaway to showcase their wonderful products. These solar powered lights flash, providing a deterrent to coons, possoms and other critters who are after your chickens (gardens or anything else). They’re also providing one roll of their deterrent tape for daytime use (great for hawks).

I first became aware of Nite-Guard’s product through Chickens magazine. It looks awesome. I haven’t updated our own ‘coon saga, but suffice to say this willy critter has figured out where to stay so he isn’t in danger, yet can sneak in the coop at night to eat anything the chickens scratch out of their feed pan. Silly critters!

Would you like to win a protection package from Nite-Guard? Two lights and a roll of tape?

Simply enter using the Rafflecopter below. The contest will run through 11:59pm on May 17!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

And don’t forget to check out their products, like them on Facebook, etc., using the links below!

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Book Feature: Betting on Love by Jan Scarbrough

Betting 200-300I love horses and watching the Kentucky Derby has been a family tradition for ours. So I am so pleased to bring you Jan Scarbrough’s book, Betting On Love.

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Sarah Colby believes in fairy tales and wants to find her Prince Charming. Encouraged by her girlfriends and a matchmaking aunt, Sarah sets out to catch eligible bachelor Lane Williams, a guy with an aversion to settling down.

A wealthy Bluegrass chef, Lane can’t be bothered with romance. He’s spent his youth taking care of and providing for his younger siblings. Clearly, the sexy, young woman, who wants only marriage and commitment, is trouble for Lane and his new freedom. As the two work together to pull off a Kentucky Derby party for charity, Lane finds himself susceptible to Sarah’s charms…and much, much more. How was he to know she was a virgin, especially when she seduced him?





Read an excerpt:

Book Feature: Breaking Free

breakingfreefrontonlyToday, I’m bringing you news about a book by a friend of mine. I’m so pleased to be able to share it with you. I hope you enjoy!

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Samantha Green’s father died when she was very young. Her mother was bedridden before she was in middle school and passed away while she was in her teens. Sam learned from an early age that life was easier if she didn’t let anyone in. She built up walls and closed herself off to protect herself from the possibility of being hurt. That is… until she started to struggle with her own mortality. Sam struggles with a question that eats away at her soul: did her life ever mean anything if there is no one left to mourn her after she is gone?
This is a book about finding your own soul, about accepting life’s losses and allowing them to color your world. It’s about sharing your light with not only yourself, but also allowing others in to bask in it.


“It’s your mom,” he said, and she followed him silently to his car. It felt like he was driving 90 miles an hour on the short drive to her house. There was an ambulance parked in the front yard, and no-one was moving. Samantha walked into the house alone. Her family members were sitting, standing.

They were silent, still, and had somehow pained and vigilant expressions like saint statues. Her mom was lying in the bed and if you couldn’t feel the energy in the air, you would have assumed she was sleeping. She found out later that the ambulance workers had covered her head, but Sam’s uncle had uncovered it. She looked so peaceful. Sam wandered into her grandparent’s bedroom, where her aunt was on the phone, “I think she just got tired,” she said.

The next week was a blur for Samantha. She picked the casket, she chose the outfit for her mom, and she asked people to sing, and to preach. Flowers had to be chosen and other preparations kept her busy. It was a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and life went on.

Sam knew that this made her different at school, she now stood out in a way that she had not asked for. She was now the girl without a mother. She had never been the popular girl at school, but this created a chasm that was absolutely uncrossable. Pity was something that Samantha had never been able to stomach, she was suspicious of anyone who tried to befriend her from that point on.

She didn’t want their sympathy, she put up her walls. She built defenses that kept everyone out, and that is how she finished her high school years. She protected herself from their pity, but mostly Sam protected herself from letting people in who would only end up leaving her and breaking her heart.

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How To Green Up Your Coffee Habit

It is easy (as with this article) to dismiss all single-serve coffee makers as environmentally unfriendly. After all, those little plastic cups or discs usually end up in the landfill and create a lot of waste. Plus, it is expensive, even with my love of CoffeeGiant to buy individual K-cups all the time for my Keurig. So what’s a girl interested in being environmentally friendly while loving her coffee supposed to do?

Several things, actually. First, I compost my actual coffee grounds and the filter papers for my K-cups. And I bought My-Cap discs to go on the top of the cups so I could reuse the ones I buy in the store. (I also believe they sell fully recyclable plastic cups, which the store-bought ones aren’t. So there’s another green option.)

I also have an older Senseo machine out in my office. Mostly I use it for hot water, but there are pod maker machines, and given that a pod is literally a coffee filter and grounds, the whole thing is able to be composted. There are pod holders for Keurig machines, so this would be an even more environmentally friendly way to go. I’m currently looking into it.

Want to be even more environmentally friendly?

That’s Farming…or RIP hen and white rooster buddy

Sometimes the circle of life is a beautiful thing, with the innocence of a newborn foal or wobbly-legged fawn. Other times the circle of life can be brutal and ugly and played out so very close to home. Such was the scene when I woke up this morning.

After what we went through last year, I had built a if not stylish, then very workable box with a sliding door for the chickens at night. Their pen was a mix of chain-link and chicken wire. Yes, I know for predator proofing that hardware cloth is the only way to go. But, we were using what we had on hand. And I shut them inside their box at night.

Well, after nearly eight months or so of this setup, a coon figured out how to get into the coop. And figured out how to get into the box.

Coop Building Commences

Our chicken coop building project began with a bit of a scavenging project. I was able to score some packing crate sides for free. They were about 4′x6′, which make great starts for the sides of a walk-in coop. We also had several 4×4 posts, enough to frame in the bottom and the posts.

Chicken Coop Project - North WallThis past weekend building began.We had already assembled what would be the north wall; we just hadn’t set the posts yet. So we began by setting the two posts. There was a bit of a learning curve with this wall and the sloping ground, but we will be resolving that when we pour the concrete floor.

Once we cemented in the posts, we worked on building the next two walls. We thought we’d need to wait 24 hours before attaching anything to the posts; however, the concrete set up nicely. So, we put up the other two walls and posts. The south wall we are leaving unframed at the moment as we will be framing in an actual walk-in door (also up-cycled from a really nice screen door left on the property.)

Why I choose the chickens I did? (Or diving into history)

Gathering the eggs with my great-grandfather was a really fond childhood memory of mine. I remember the chicken house and reaching under chickens to get eggs. I got pecked a few times. But having land of my own for my horse and chickens was strong on my dream. So when we moved down to the Ozarks, I knew I wanted chickens.

After a long journey and a cold, hard winter, we emerged this spring with three chickens, a hen and two roosters. My hen is a Ameraucana (as described by this awesome article by The Chicken Chick) and gives us lovely blue eggs. Hooray! Although my great-grandfather kept Rhode Island Reds and other standard egg production chickens, ever since I discovered there were chickens who laid “easter eggs”, that was what I wanted.

I’ve ordered chicks from the feed store. Although they are listed as Araucaras, it sounds like the five pullets of that breed are more likely Easter Eggers. We’ll see.

However, I also ordered 5 Silver Laced Wyandotte pullets. Why?

Life on Muse Mountain: Eggs! Eggs!


A sample picture of Arancaura eggs, also known as the “Easter Egg Chickens”

When chickens procreate it’s a pretty funny thing to watch, a spectacle of balance and feathers and flapping. So when we were working on the new chicken coop and saw this happening with our current flock (Two roosters and a hen and that’s a story in and of itself.) I knew that even though the calendar didn’t read Spring that the season had arrived. I also knew that I needed to check the coop box.

Low and behold, the next day I went out and there were ten blue eggs. Now, because it had been cold and I hadn’t been checking the box, I had no idea how old they were. So these eggs went over the fence to help feed the local wildlife. I’m sure they thought they hit the jackpot. But it reminded me of that saying, “don’t count your chickens before they hatch”, or in my case “don’t dismiss your eggs because you aren’t checking the nest box.”

Oh the weather outside is frightful…

gift_sm_stripesI don’t think it’s supposed to snow like this in the Ozarks. After sleet and freezing rain yesterday, we have a good 8″ of snow on the ground and more is coming down. We moved down exactly 11 months ago today. And though last winter had it’s cold and snowy (and icy) parts, most of the weather was balmy enough to make me taunt my family back in Iowa. Oh how the tables have turned today.

It does, however, look like the proverbial holiday card outside. I left the lights I hung on my office going over night and it sure looked pretty!

I have to confess that winter is still one of my favorite seasons. For starters, my allergies finally calm down enough so I can breathe. Next, I love the anticipation, the knowing that the world is sleeping, ready to awaken in the spring again. I find it soothing and calm. The “shush” of snow against the house, the stillness that comes from a crisp, clear night.

I feel the potential the comes with planning the seeds we’ll plant in spring. And I love the giving and joy that comes with the holiday season.

Right now my mare is heavy with foal, one that will be born in April. And I love the thought that the new life (a paint filly please, Goddess) is nestled warm and nourished by her, just as she warms and nourishes my spirit.

This Yule I look forward to homemade cookies, gifts that come from the heart, and the sharing of love with friends and family members.

To celebrate winter, I want to give away a copy of my holiday ebook, This Divine Night, to one lucky commenter. Good luck!

This entry is part of a Winter Blog Hop. To see all the blogs, visit here:

How NaNoWriMo Returned My Mojo

I thought I was crazy for trying NaNoWriMo this year. To say it’s been a year of crazy is an understatement. And yet, I was pulled–compelled even–to write this year’s NaNoWriMo. There’s a novel, one I wrote about two to three years ago. I told the story from the wrong place, got tangled up in historical dates and not the characters, and in the end, with a mentor-ship from an author, it was determined that I needed to completely rewrite the story, finding the proper starting place. So I plotted it out again. And then the story sat…and sat…and sat…. until I couldn’t stand it anymore and said come hell, high water, or craziness I would write the story again!

Maybe it was because this world and the story has stayed with me for all this time, never losing its allure. Or maybe it’s because I finally decided I’d had enough and this was the one thing I was going to do for myself to feed my soul, I decided to take the plunge.