Friday, July 23, 2010

My Cast of Characters - The Animals

While sitting here feeling sorry for myself because I'm not in Salt Lake City at the center of the stamping universe this week, I realized that I organized this post way back in May but never finished it.

So, after introducing you to my human cast of characters, I've pulled this out of the draft pile, shaken off the moth balls and will now introduce you to the four-legged crew that roams this place of ours.

This is Nadia.

Correction: this is Nadia about 10 minutes after arriving at our place and enjoy what was quite possibly the first ever pile of hay in a clean stall she had ever had. She was roughly six months old when she came to us. The Peanut named her after Nadia Comaneci...of course. What else does a little gymnast name her horse? I'm sure Ms. Comaneci is very flattered. She (the horse) has been here for almost two years now and is no longer this skinny, though still on the small side. We love her to death and I'm starting her ground training this summer.

Then there's Classy.
Classy is MY baby. She is the horse that brought me back into the equine world and I am ever so grateful. I've learned how to train on a whole new level with Classy. We've learned together and she is the perfect training partner. She is the Trigger to my Roy Rogers. Oh, how I love this horse.

We've got a bunch of smaller furry creatures around here too. This is Oliver.
As you can tell, Oliver has quite the personality. He was the first pet that we got as a family. He was a five month old kitten at the time. Now, he's ten and has burned through most of his lives. His age is starting to show...but he still sticks his tongue out when he sleeps.

This is a very sad picture. This is Jazz.
Jazz was the sweetest little Hemingway cat in the universe. About four years ago he just showed up in our barn. After a few weeks he got the nerve to venture up to the house and decided he was home. We called him the Bean Bag kitty because, when you picked him up, he would go totally limp. Unfortunately, on Father's Day last month he took a nap right behind the wheel of our car and Maverick didn't see him when he was leaving. I should probably take his picture out of this post but I can't seem to do it. We miss the little fur ball.

When my son (aka the Calm) was 12 he wanted a rabbit SO bad. Not for the normal reasons a child might want a pet, to love and play with. No he wanted a rabbit just so he could name him:
Mr. Scruffims. And I gotta be honest with you here. The name fits.

Last, but never ever least (in fact, he will tell you that he is the closest thing to a people animal we've got around here) is the newest addition to our little menagerie:

This is Mario. Mario Kart Brown to be exact. While working a booth for our family business last summer, a volunteer from the Humane Society was walking the event with Mario who had a little jacket on that said "Adopt me". He went straight up to Maverick and put his head in his lap. The next thing I knew I got a text message, not from one of my kids but from my husband, saying "can I have a dog". We picked him up from the shelter the next day and he wasted no time making himself right at home.

So there ya go, our family zoo. There have been other animals along the way, a couple hamsters, another cat, the occasional fish, but this is our brood as we exist today. Everyone is a rescue and everyone just sorta. . . fits.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fun Contest on another blog

For all you stampy/crafty type people, my Stampin' Up! upline is having a contest on her blog. She is currently having a fabulous time in the "Center of the known Stampin Universe" (that would be Salt Lake City, Utah) at Stampin' Up!'s annual convention.

She's got a little trivia question posted and anyone who leaves a comment with the answer will be entered to win a little taste of the goodies she is encountering this week.

Friday, July 16, 2010

BEHS 2009 Before/After

Horses have been a passion of mine since before I have memory. When I was a kid, if someone had give me an option of spending a month at Disney World and just one week on a ranch working horses, my boots woulda been packed and Mickey kicked to the curb. About six years ago, I found a group of people associated with an organization that not only shared my love of all things equine but worked to save, rehab and rehome abused, neglected and abandoned horses.

This group of people later became Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society (BEHS) and through them I've learned and done things with these animals I never thought possible. If you had told me 10 years ago that I would ever get into a stall with a horse and administer meds through an IV into his eye, I would have asked where you got whatever it was you were drinking. But I've done that and many other things I never thought I'd do.

Among this group is a wonderful lady by the name of Norma. Every year Norma documents some of the horses from the point of rescue through rehabilitation. She puts music to her pictures and comes up with a kind of video yearbook. The following is 2009. Some of the before pictures are heartbreaking but the after pictures? Oh wow, that's what it's all about.

Please watch and if you're able, click on the link and see what you can do to help.

Before & After 2009

Norma | MySpace Video

Sunday, May 30, 2010

I'm a Business Owner . . . Again

Up until last Spring I enjoyed being a Stampin' Up! demonstrator. I've always been a crafty type and being a demonstrator offered the perfect outlet. Last Spring when my husband lost his job after almost 20 years at the same company, my focus was forced to transfer to building our family business to cover the bills. My little business had to go on the back burner . . . until now.

Stamping and card making rank up there with quilting and scrapbooking in my world. I enjoy both the designing and the creating. With that in mind and seeking a profitable outlet to fund my hobbies, I created Patchwork Heirlooms: an Etsy shop. I'm excited! Go ahead. Click the name and check it out.

I've got eight cards listed right now but don't intend to be limited to just cards. That would get boring, and I don't do boring. The plan right now is to weave the shop into this blog where I can offer the occasional tutorial, give aways and special updates. For those of you in Central Texas, a calendar is in the making for workshops and craft nights. These will either be held in my home or a more central location depending on interest.

The coolest part of this is the horses! Yes, I said horses. I've partnered with Bluebonnet Equine Humane Society to help raise additional funds to help the horses taken in by the rescue. For every western/horse themed card sold, whether through the shop or me personally, $1 or 10% of the sales price will go directly to BEHS.

This is just the first of what I hope to be many more to come.

SO, If you love horses, occasionally send cards, notes or invitations, please team up with Bluebonnet and me to help make a difference.

By the way, if you see something on my site that you like but need more or if you DON'T see something on my site but have a need, please contact me. I do special, custom orders and personalization.

Friday, April 30, 2010

I was Lost Without Li'l Red

Last fall I got a little netbook as a graduation present. It's little and it's red. Hence, Li'l Red. Brilliant, isn't it? Li'l Red was to be my writing computer. I had all of my blog posts, ideas and works in progress on him. As well as my horse training logs, event lists, card and scrapbook designs. Sadly, I didn't realize just how much I had entrusted Li'l Red to hold for me until a couple days after my last post. Isn't it amazing how much we discover we depend on things AFTER we lose them?

I went to boot Li'l Red up one afternoon and . . . nothing. Just the blue screen of death. He was simply gone. The hard drive totally crashed, not to be revived. The good news is Maverick was able to reinstall windows and all things functional, thus resurrecting Li'l Red. The bad news is, everything that was on Li'l Red is gone forever. The good news is, my brain is always going and my creative juices are once again flowing. I'll be posting about the animal portion of my motely crew shortly.

Welcome back, Li'l Red!

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

My Cast of Characters - The People

Since this is the last day of February and I haven't made a single post yet this month, I was thinking this might be a good time to introduce the wonderful insanity that surrounds me. Don’t get me wrong, I love insanity. I don’t know what I’d do with calm, orderly and quiet people in my house. It would be incredibly boring, that much I know.

First up, there’s the man I have spent the last 19 years partnering with in all my madness. He’s a pretty amazing guy. I discovered long ago that he can take absolutely nothing and make the most amazing things. For instance, when our oldest was six and I found myself sick beyond function on Christmas Eve, he took a cardboard box and made the most incredible city for the little guy’s Matchbox cars. It remains one of the coolest Christmases in memory.

The eldest child, aka “The Dude”. When he was in grade school, the kids nicknamed him Taz. Let’s just say he was a little on the active side. He liked the nickname so much that, not only did he do everything possible to live up to it, he started collecting Tasmanian Devil stuff. He had figurines, stuffed toys, clocks, even a cookie jar. If it had the classic cartoon connected with it, he wanted it.
He is now 22 and living in Houston having finished school last year. Still wild and crazy but all about cars and his motorcycle now. I just wish they were still of the Matchbox variety. (I’ll highlight the “body art” in another post.)

Son #2 two is the total opposite in activity level than his brother. When he was little and I looked up to tell him it was time to get his jammies on and get ready for bed, I usually found that he had already done it. In fact, it wasn’t all that rare to find him already in bed asleep without ever having said a word. Shortly after our daughter was born, he earned the title of “The calm between two storms.”

We often call him our Johnny Carson kid because he is the shiest and most quiet kid we know but has won several awards for acting and loves all things movies and theater. This picture was taken this past December when he played Bob Cratchet in a community theater production of A Christmas Carol (another post that is long overdue)

Then there's The Peanut. She just turned 13-years old a couple weeks ago but is two to three years behind in growth. No worries, though. She is right on target to grow exactly as I did and I’m a massive 5’3”.
Every bit as active as her oldest brother was, her pint size makes her a perfect fit for gymnastics. But she also likes to help me work with the horses and rescue every animal she comes in contact with…even if they already have a home.

There you have it: My brood, my clan, my posse, the insanity that surrounds me… not to mention, the topic of several of my posts.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

How to blanket a filly who has never seen a blanket ... or not

1. Bring blanket into stall and let her sniff and lip and rub said blanket until she decides it is not going to eat her.

2. Slowly get her used to being touched with blanket until you can throw it over her and she is relaxed enough to let you buckle it all up.

3. Allow her to enjoy a good breakfast while getting used to blanket being on her.

4. Stand back and admire your training ability convincing yourself that Clinton Anderson and Pat Parelli would be SO proud.

(by the way, if either Mr. Parelli or Mr. Anderson ever read this post, please feel free to stop reading at this point. Thank you.)

5. Open stall door letting her walk out and realize there is something strange around her legs, therefore reasoning that "THIS THING'S GONNA EAT ME!!"

6. Forget to close butthead's stall so that she sees baby freaking out and decides it would be fun to chase her . . . . . straight through the pasture fence.

7. Spend the rest of the morning, in sub freezing temperatures, chasing down filly and getting her back on your property while butthead stands on a hill watching the whole thing and laughing her horsey head off.


And thank you to my wonderful neighbor Inga who saw little Nadia on her property and came out in her jammies, robe and fuzzy slippers with a handful of apples to help get everybody back in their stalls. Inga gets homemade bread this afternoon. 8^) Everybody else is grounded until the fence is there.

Side note: There was not a mark anywhere on the filly. She may be a little sore but she is otherwise without injury.