Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mutant of the Year Award

I know everyone has been waiting for this one! The Mutant of the Year is a coveted award to the most deformed carrot of the crop. Last year I had several "little men" crop up in the......crop. This year was special because there was only one candidate.

The quadruplet carrot was of massive dimensions and wrinkles. It reminds me of the radishes that went far and beyond and looks like thighs that have gone far and beyond.

So it's not really mutant, just chubby and cute! There are four distinct legs from the one top which are distinctive, nonetheless.

And Cheyenne thought they were delicious.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Pegasus and Heroes

I had the privilege of visiting Sandy Gilbert at her Refuge Farms last Saturday in Spring Valley, Wis. and as this is the time of year the Great Square of Pegasus is visible in the sky, this is where my promised story of Pegasus and Heroes begins.

Pegasus as the mythical winged horse and the Hero is in Sandy Gilbert. I have always thought of her as the Mother Theresa of horses. She takes in the ill, the abused, and binds their wounds and heals their hungry frames. As I was graciously invited into her clean and orderly barns, I could drink in the harmony of comfort, food and water, and the renewal of equine souls. The first barn held those who were suited to be with each other. Healthy and ambulatory. The next barn took in those who were so elderly and/or blind (the Helen Keller Wing) that they were best among others who had the same afflictions. The huge gentle horses that Sandy guides outside to the sunshine, and treats with such affection were once scorned subjects receiving the abuse only humans can dole out. Yes, I am out of my comfort zone -- which is where most people would be. And that's why it is so easy for people to tune it out.

Sandy is pictured with Babee Joy--who you can see is a big baby--like 18 hands worth and 4 feet across her massively voluptuous butt! A rare blue roan who is truly a gentle giant. She was born of a PMU mare. I found myself explaining to a visiting friend what a PMU foal is--not many people know. You can read all about it on this link. Anyone who is taking Premarin, or other menopausal drugs should know where their false relief is coming from. I accidentally took a picture where the flash triggered and sent the horses into a fast retreat. Sandy patiently explained that some of these horses have been abused with electricity. The electric prods that sent them from one place to another have made permanent marks on their psyche. I felt sorrow for them. In a minute they returned to their food and the comfort Sandy brings to them.

I hope my readers will follow the link to Refuge Farms because there is a wealth of information about all of the 18 horses who reside there. I wouldn't be doing justice to describe their stories here. Each horse has a story--and each one is a unique individual. Ironically it takes people to pass along their stories along to other people. And we hope people who care about their existence will be as touched as I was about their stories.

Sandy will be telling an important stories at the University of Minnesota Equine Center on November 7th at the Refuge Farms Gala fundraiser event. She will be joined by supporters to hear the story of Dr. Don Hoglund, DVM, who was rescued wild horses living on the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico.

Sandy is the Hero and all of the other horses at Refuge Farms are the winged horses, like Pegasus. Sandy, of course, is not a horse. She has the wings of an angel.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

A New Trick

The pedestals have been a favorite for the ponies. Put two feet on, Neat--put on four feet--GET A TREAT! That has been going on all summer and Cerra (in the photo) has been taking this all in. Unfortunately, she has taken it to the next level and has now been climbing into the feeder bid by the barn.

I went out to feed this morning and found her hoof droppings in the feeder bin. Hmmm.

I had an hour this afternoon with Cerra and we rode around in the pasture, playing patterns and having fun after our long break. She was really good on the weave pattern and was reading my body and responding well without reins. We went in the round pen for figure eights at liberty. She was all dressed up in her saddle and bridle while I tried directing her with the fragment of a slashed plastic grocery bag and one of my appendages. She was OK with it. But....

She is the most deliberate horse--her actions are like "and you want me to do this?.... because?" and then she will do it--in the slowest of terms and will question my sanity at every turn. The left brain introvert in it's most absolutely questioning state ----just like her mummy. She is insulted by the most basic of aids and thinks it is beneath her to have to do anything that is asked. Why should she be asked? She offers---when no one is looking.

Our horses are our mirrors.

Early this evening I heard this commotion out at the barn and she is STANDING in the feeder bin and pawing at the plywood covering. Then she moved to the other side and did the same thing. Then she went back to the original spot and tried AGAIN! This continued for several turns.

The feeder bin is a 4 x 8 box that Don built to push up against the outside of the barn where the water line travels. It was designed to be a buffer against the water line next to the workshop and we have always stuffed it full of straw on the back and underneath. Then we put plywood over the box and used it as a feeding station under the protection of the overhanging eve.

Cerra is putting this idea to the ultimate test by climbing it like the pedestal. I don't think it is a horse-proofed concept.

Look outside tonight. The Great Square of Pegasus is to be observed overhead in October. Look for a lopsided square. It is to inspire poets and heros. I'll tell you more about this later!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wild Horse on Glass

I have been itching to get etching on this particular glass vessel. I had it in mind to do a horse with a wild mane and today was the day.

I am practicing my stage blasting techniques and wanted to use my small blasting unit for some details. However, I found out that Paisley found the air hose was the perfect prey. Several holes were bitten into the line that went to the foot pedal. It would still work, but it definitely needs to be replaced. Thanks, Pais.

I like how this turned out and will be planning more projects as time permits.

More proof of global warming

I'm not sure when we last saw sunshine and I am fairly sure we won't be seeing it today.

The 40 degree days have been mighty chilly. The ponies have sprouted nice winter coats that seem to get fuller everyday. It looks like they gain about 50 pounds a day as their coats start to fill out!

Monday, October 12, 2009

Quick Draw - the finale

This was my three hours effort at the Quick Draw yesterday at the Wings Over Alma event.

It isn't big, just a 8"x16" canvas that I did the oil painting on. It was bid on by my friend, Sandy Madsen, who visited here last night, but ultimately won by another bidder at the silent auction after the fund raiser spaghetti dinner.

It was won by former Buffalo County Judge Gary Schlosstein.

Winter arrived..briefly

The colors had only started to bloom when the snow came in this morning. The poor little buffy hen was hiding under the burning bush as the snow was falling this morning.

It didn't pile up in our area, but up the hills on the bluffs it did stick and everything was white.

60's are predicted for the weekend, so our little taste of winter won't last long.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Moving Day

I had to move the thirteen layers to the main hen house today. The 26 Cornish broilers are over twice as big as the little Gold Stars and I was getting worried they might be overtaken by them. Tough chicks! I borrowed this picture of a mature Gold Star chicken. Ours are still in their preadolescent stage at five weeks old. They still have the remnants of baby fluff and are still mottled. Several of them are quite friendly and will let me scoop them up on my palm and sit on my knee while I say appropriate chickie type words of encouragement to them.

I felt it was only right to take them to their hen house so they can get bonded to their space and the rest of the flock. The Broilers will have only another few weeks with us. I don't want to traumatize those little Goldies who will be left behind after the others are asked to spend winter in the freezer.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Quick Draw

I have an event coming up on Sunday that I am participating in. It's at the Wings Over Alma and it's an artists "Quick Draw" which give us each three hours to start and finish a work of art. The finished pieces (dry or not!) are then put on silent auction at the spaghetti dinner later that evening. The fund raiser has been done for a couple years now, but this is the first time I am involved in it.

I figured that I can do anything after last weekends event!

The best part of all is that our friend, Sandy Madsen, is coming from Luck on Sunday and will have dinner with us and stay over in the lavish Catfish Corner Guest Suite! (Now complete with that new rustic denim and bandana rag quilt!)

New Looks For Fall

Time to put summer away. The fall colors are overtaking Catfish Corner and we are donning a new look.

The blog has a new background color. Evidently a black background is too hard to read on lots of computers so I hope this makes it more readable for y'all.

We have both been nursing sore throats and sinus headaches this week. I hate to say it, but a good frost would take care of all the pollen, mold and mildew and would finally finish off the last pesky flies.

I got to have two hours of PONY TIME yesterday! The first in a couple weeks. It was really nice out and after so many rainy days it was fun to play. Chy and I had an hour of ground, pedestals and trailer practice. (No, not yet.) Cerra is getting four feet on the short pedestal and Emmy is volunteering to do it, but not when I ask. We went through a whole pouch of treats and fun was had by all.

The weather is expected to be 20 degrees below normal in the days to come so it looks like it's time to get out the woolies.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Fall Art Tour - The Wrap Up

What a great weekend it was! The weather was iffy all three days, but it didn't stop about 300 really nice people from visiting my studio at Catfish Corner. I talked myself hoarse--I'm just not used to talking that much. (When I talk to myself I try to do it silently!)

Our visitors really liked the chickens and geese, they spoiled the horses with constant attention, and some folks were even treated to hoot owls chatting in the pines. What a wonderful experience to meet so many great people. Some of my high school friends, Frederic 1974, and Norm & Jan and Sarah, surprised me by making the two hour trip! I wish they could have stayed longer so we could catch up! Veteran studio elf, Loie, and Wanda were here as well --it was so fun to have friends visit. Just like the old days!

The "Gourd Fest" was a big hit and thanks to those who made generous contributions I have $216 in donations to pass along to Sandy Gilbert and her Refuge Farms for abused and abandoned horses. It was amazing how the investment of $1.39 for a packet of seeds and a little effort in the garden could be transformed to a nice return for a good cause. And I still have plenty of gourds, pumpkins and squash left!

I was goofy and didn't get the camera busy right away so I didn't get pictures of all my angels who helped pull this event off. Bonnie Anderson, Pat and Ione Timm, MaryAnn and Al Ormson.
Tom Hogue's beautiful daughters, Madison and Taylor and the lovely Fran Latane all spent their time meeting and greeting--helping with the demonstrations, directing traffic, etc. What a great support crew.

My love and husband Don, likes a more low key, behind the scenes support who made sure the signs were up on time and taken down at night and took care of Helga all day. He was also the head BBQ chef who served us steak dinners after "work" for three nights in a row. Wow, those steaks were great!

Now--I know what everyone is waiting for: WHO WON THE STAINED GLASS PANEL?

The drawing took place this morning on the front porch of Funk & Wagnell's where the hermetically sealed mayonnaise jar was unsealed to reveal the name of the lucky winner, who is,-------drum roll, please!.....................

Amanda Lindbo of Baldwin, Wisconsin!!!!

Congratulations, Amanda!

Thanks to all who entered and I hope you had as much fun on the tour as we did!

Ione Timm, MaryAnn Ormson and Taylor Hogue were "angels" to help!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Friday at the Fall Art Tour

We had a rainy first day, but that didn't stop people from getting out on the tour! We had visitors from Rochester, Osseo, St. Paul, Shakopee, Illinois, Iowa and lot of local folks, too. About 50 people entered the drawing for the mission panel--and there were many who chose not to.

Thanks so much to Bonnie, Pat and Frances for being such good studio elves! You really made my job easier and I sincerely appreciate your help! You did a great job helping people sign up for the drawing, pushing gourds (!) and directing the parking and explaining how stained glass is made.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

'twas the night before art tour.....

and all through the shop, all the creatures are working, they might never stop.

Mom's hanging the stained glass, with all so much care, and Papa's with Helga, and aren't they a pair!

Paisley has chewed all the leaves off my plant.

The horses are restless--they're all on a rant.

Chickens are scratching and laying their eggs.

The geese are out plotting their final revenge.

OK, I've lost it--I'm as ready as I'm going to be. The rain is pouring and more is expected for tomorrow. It might be a reprieve to have a slow start to the morning. For better or for worse, look out--here it comes!

Falling Leaves of Ginger

Didn't get as many made as I wanted, but I at least have some homemade thin cripy ginger cookies for the Fall Tour.

My cookie cutter came from T C Latane. Fran Latane's (the horse trainer) mom is a talented designer and creator of tin cookie cutters. The good ones--made by hand. She can make anything you dream up. She and her husband, Tom, have a whole shop of their handmade works in metal, tin and other artists who do pottery and weaving. They have been original participants in the Fall Art Tour.

I like how each leaf is an individual--not "cookie cutter"ish at all. That's what comes from an original handmade cutter. And the burnt ones--well, they're pretty special, too.