Saturday, January 31, 2009

Boys Night Out

About 5 pm last evening we were visited by a herd of six assorted size bucks who have already lost their antlers. You can see the spots where the horns used to be--maybe we can find some this spring. One tiny little fellow had one antler left - looks like a 2 pointer. Taking pictures through the windows wasn't optimal but at least I had the light on my side. We haven't seen any bucks during daylight hours so it was a special treat to have them visit so early. 

The last photo I have dubbed Mr. Whiteface. He looks like he might have been a "uni-horn" with the spot in the middle of his forehead, but he also has the side spots where his real antlers used to be. 

Friday, January 30, 2009

Wings Over Alma and other Studio News

The artists reception will be next Sat., Feb. 7th from 4-6pm at the Wings Over Alma. The five of us have the option of having a table of wares for sale. In my case I hope to use part of the window and I'll bring along some smaller non-eagle-related stained glass items.

I had a really satisfying week which was the result of the past month's work cleaning and organizing the studio, and finding I had LOTS of salable pieces ready to go. I was very fortunate to have placed work at two -- YES, TWO-- shops! 

The first one, the lovely Shepherd's Nook in Wabasha now has a collection of crosses, and related bevel glass in the big front windows! Thanks, Jacki! 

Longtime customer, Beth's Cafe, was one of the first shops I ever sold to and when we closed the shop in Luck, I quit making items for her. Beth is Don's cousin, and we had her for dinner over Christmas when the subject of suncatchers came up. She missed having them, and once I got all my parts and pieces organized I realized that I had more than enough to get her started again. So I brought her two boxes of stained glass items for her front windows in the restaurant. She was tickled and so was I. I guess this means I'm in business again!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Aca's Red Feather

Aca wants her picture taken now, too. These blooms are so pretty, a picture doesn't do it justice. Hot pink with a purple edge--probably the most exciting color combination of my collection. I have about 30 violets on glass shelves in the living room and another 20 under lights in the basement and they're almost all in bloom right now. Twenty gloxinia bulbs are in varying states of sprouting in the basement, too. They're a little trickier but that's mainly because I don't have an ideal place for them yet. 

Not So Shy Violets

I just had to take a minute to stop and sniff the violets! Well, there is no scent, but today these lovelies asked me to take their picture to share with you. Her name is "Southern Delight" and she's all decked out in her flouncy pink pinafore and parasol. As you can see from the size of my thumb, she is putting on quite a show. 

Friday, January 16, 2009

Eagles Exhibit

I've been shy on posts while I have been preparing to participate in an art exhibit at the "Wings Over Alma" in Alma, WI. They are having a winter show of eagle related art and I was invited to display some pieces. I am choosing to show stained glass which involved a big repair on a piece (pictured) that was damaged the last time it was on exhibit (frown) and creating a couple new bevel glass eagles. Thankfully the install date has been changed from today (too cold) to next Tuesday.

It's been a kick in the seat to get myself organized to do this exhibit. The studio was in a mess from the last project so my first job was to start a big dig. (I know I have enough glass to last 17 lifetimes.) Much of the glass and stuff I brought with me from Luck five years ago has been virtually untouched. So a purge has begun and I have piles of stuff that I posted on Freecycle, recycled the old computer components and other paper recyclables, made a pile for ebay. This is fun! I have almost filled our dumpster and I have more to do, but I needed to get going on the glass projects for the exhibit. 

The past few days of soldering have left me stiff and achy (just like the old days!) but feeling motivated and purposeful. Cerra likes peeking in the studio window and watching "Hay! What's for dinner?" It's just like Mr. Ed!

Deeper Deep Freeze

We've been in a brutal cold spell and this morning is supposed to be the lowest low and I hope this is it for a long time-- minus 30 degrees below zero! It's clear and still and so incredibly cold. Had a chance to experience it at 2 am, too. I was on a rare no-sleep night with a pesky pain, probably from being bent over the solder table, when I heard the pump running every few minutes. Something must be running out at the barn. So Don and I pulled on all the winter gear and trudged out to the barn in the creaky squeeky cold. I checked the waterer to find the rim was tilted off and pushed against the edge of the bowl causing it to continually try to fill. It was frozen to the side and after some jostling it was righted, the frost washed off and it was back to normal. Nice it was only that and not a broken pipe. The ponies came over to help and were so frosty and funny, mugging me for treats. The event called for an extra leaf of hay to carry them through a very cold night.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Mommy, I don't feel good.....

...there is an intuition that develops from being around my horses. It's about anticipating their needs, what they want, when they want to play, or eat, and today was a day that I read, "Mommy, I don't feel good".

It came from Cerra, my 6 year old QH mare who has had two big colics and one little one and today, thankfully, was another little one.  It is a strange time of year for a horse to get a belly ache, but Cerra has always been my little problem child. She and Cheyenne started the day with the usual tiny amount of grain and sunflower seeds which serves only as a distraction while I put out the hay. I had extra cleanup by the box stall and instead of going directly to the hay she hung out at the stall. Not normal. I went in to visit and had my stethescope out immediately to listen for gut sounds. Gurgles. Good. She put her head into my body and just stood there while I stroked her head and said all the right things.

A horse with a belly ache can be a deadly event and I wasn't taking any chances after her previous scares and having lost Beau to an obstructed bowel.

I left her after our cuddle and went into the house and spied on her through the kitchen window. She left the box stall and started nibbling on breakfast while I made our own. We were only slightly done with our eggs when I saw her lying down and slowly looking at her left side--once...and again. The sick feeling in me was now beginning. I told Don I needed to get out to be with Cerra and told him about my suspicion about her and quietly prayed that she wasn't going to be having a vet visit today. Her last colic wasn't resolved until 15 hours had passed, she had a vet visit with a tubing, painkiller shots and constant walking for almost all of those hours. 

I was thankful I had replaced my supply of Banamine last month after helping out a friend with the last of my tube. I gave her a dose of the muscle relaxant and hoped it would get straight to work. We started walking up and down the driveway--I gave her a belly message and it seemed to be annoying to her and decided a phenylbutazone dose was necessary for pain.  By now she is getting used to me shooting gooky stuff down her throat and was relieved to find I had mixed the bute with molasses. 

All of this activity and, quite frankly, all I need to know is if she could poop. Please POOP! We needed to go do some chores and I hit on an idea. If I can't watch her constantly I need to monitor if and when nature does call. I determined I could call on the ultimate fix-it-all to help me. You've got it--duct tape.  A carefully placed stripe of duct tape across the area would tell me if she had any activity while I wasn't looking. Don and I did some outside chores and a run to the recycling center and returned to a horse with her duct tape still in place. 

It was a nice day, so I decide it might be a good time to walk the "loop" with the girls. Cerra thought I was going to halter her to put more icky stuff into her and decided to head out. Cheyenne was more than willing and eventually Cerra came around to go with us. It was a great day for a walk and while I would have normally ridden the path, it was much more exercise walking through the snow. This was all fun and games but there was no poop--from either of them in the course of our 1.5 mile circle trail. 

Fast forward--three HOURS later when the duct tape was finally disturbed. By then she was eating hay, drinking from the fountain, and napping in the sun. I'm so happy she didn't have a big issue of it this time but I still wonder why this is a reoccurring theme with her.


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sky Blue Pink

Red sky at morn- ing, sailors take warning. We have, you guessed it, snow coming in but before that happens we had a spectacularly colorful sunrise this morning. Sky blue pink is one of my favorite colors and is unique to nature. It's really hard to paint the combination without getting a muddy mix of purple. The sky and clouds know enough not to mix themselves up and the effect is most pleasing.......and fleeting. I barely got the camera out in time before it was gone. Thanks, Mother Nature, for a beautiful start to the day.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year arrives at Catfish Corner

Our first day of 2009 was a big one with the annual lutefisk feast with the Benson's. Don's brother-in-law and nephew with his wife and three kids under 8 made for a very full, active and noisy, house! I made foods galore, because not everyone will eat lutefisk, which included a big lasagne, ham, mashed potatoes, coleslaw, relishes, dips, chips, pecan and lemon pie for dessert. 

The kids had fun with their shooting gallery toys Don picked out for Cade and Carter. Unfortunately the digital camera for Paige refused to operate so I have to look into replacing that in the coming week. 

We fed the horses carrots and picked eggs out in the hen house for the whole rural experience. The kids are used to going to their other uncle's farm so it's not a big deal for them, but they do get to have the pony experience here. This year they were brave enough to feed carrots by themselves to those big bossy noses.

Friday was clean up day and Saturday Fran came over and we took the horses out for the first ride of 2009. I only rode once or twice in December so I felt pretty out of shape. We went out to our snowy 66 and let the girls have a run. All was fine until Fran took Cheyenne on a turn and she lost her footing. They both landed in the snow and weren't hurt, thankfully! Glad it wasn't me--I would have probably broken in two! The footing isn't that bad.  The problem is that the snow cover has hidden the icy spots so we had to just generally be careful. It was sunny so we didn't really notice the cold until we got into the blue shadows of the woods. Then the fingers and toes told us it was time to go in for tea.

Fran leaves for the Parelli center in Ocala on Tuesday and will be gone for a month so I'll be without my riding buddy. It's very motivating to have a youngster around to get the old lady out to ride so who knows how much ponying I'll get done while she's gone.