Friday, December 28, 2012


I missed posting this photo from our second plowable snow before Christmas. Luckily it was fluffy this time and I got my shoveling done without killing myself! Don looked like a snowman himself when he came in. The wind really whipped it around and the horses were more than happy to move inside after their paddock was scraped out. They were barely visible in the corner of the pasture while Don plowed but they were out standing in the wind. Don't know why when they can be in.....but that's their choice.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Cardinal

A beautiful and chilly blue sky Christmas day. This magnificent cardinal was enjoying his Christmas dinner on our gigantic Burning Bush. The little red seed pods are just delicious! Enjoy the bounty, pretty one.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Video up of Snow Ponies

The latest edition of Snow Ponies.

We moved lots of snow yesterday and also had fun with the horses!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Snow Day!

Here are the snowy ponies this morning! Our first real snow of the year and everyone was pretty excited about it.

I'm excited about it, too, because we will have a rare DAY OFF from working the woodpile! Mr. Anderson has been on a tear with cutting and since we got a wood splitter our rows have been steadily growing.

The snow is supposed to continue all day so I think I'll have a chance to do some cookie baking and probably some shop time to make angel ornaments. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Zipping By The River

Friend Jan Brunkow snapped this shot with my handy-dandy little Canon on our way up to the Refuge Farms Gala earlier this month. The setting sun was just peeking through the clouds and this happy little accident was caught as we sped by the river. I like to take pics in a moving vehicle. Sometimes you get a gift, like this one, that is a shot you couldn't set up if you wanted to. I think it makes a statement about  the mystery of the wide spot in the river called Lake Pepin.

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Failure of the Week

It might be easy to think that everything at Catfish Corner just swims along merrily, with man and beast living in perfect harmony. Where creation is a daily occurrence and all is peaceful and productive. A place where perfection reigns. not at all. We are pretty normal here which means not all goes according to plan. 

I had been saving a large cylindrical vase....1/4" thick glass for a very special production. Didn't know what, but knew that some day the right image would make itself known for a stage-blasted glass etching.

The image emerged and the project was set to be completed. The drawing was in place and the image was x-acto bladed through the mask. It was to be the image of Ladee, Sandy Gilbert's beloved and departed Belgian mare. 

The plan was to do the first stage on a set number of placements that would require a lot of time in the blasting booth. This would be the foundation for the next four layers of carving. With a 1/4" of glass I felt confident there would be an easy hour of blasting to get to the required depth.

Well......surprise, surprise......

as the media was sent through the sandblasting nozzle an ominous black spot appeared only minutes into the first layer of carving.

What the????? A hole appeared right in the middle of the section I was working on. No 1/4" inch of glass here....more like a 1/16th! I had just wrecked the whole piece.

Glass is a very unforgiving medium. You either get it or you don't ..... and I did NOT get it. Change of game plan. Now it became more of a lesson than a creation. Instead of having four layers of blasting to plan, I was thinking of how to salvage this piece to be a vase that couldn't hold water! 

Of course, there was no way to make it into anything that I had imaged for it to be. Let alone something for a special occasion. So, back to the drawing board! I don't know what I will have to offer for the Refuge Farms Fall Gala! But I WILL have something for the silent auction. It just won't be this!!

The Saturday, November 3,  Fall Gala is the event of the year for Refuge Farms. It's a time to gather supporters and volunteers, and those who are curious to want to learn about the place that saves horses. It's held at the University of Minnesota Leatherdale Equine Center at 6:30 pm. 

The Fall Gala is set for November 3rd so please call 715-772-3379 or email  and get your tickets reserved!

Friday, October 5, 2012

Photo Session Friday

Also known as the day the circus came to Catfish Corner....

We were contacted by locations scout Stuart Skrien about using our place for a photo shoot earlier this week. The ad agency, Colle+McVoy was looking for a smallish modern style barn and Barbara O'Brien, local connection to the stars, suggested our place. Then more stars came into alignment after our site was selected.
Two moving vans full of equipment, an Airstream with "the talent", props and wardrobe folks, photo assistants, and carloads of agency people later, we were in business. There was even a woman who brought four border collies. "I brought a few backups!" The dogs were well trained. A vast difference from our own wildebeast.
The best part, as far as I was concerned, was that they wanted to use two horses! Just happen to have three and Cerra (l) and Ty (r) were selected as the equine stars (sorry Chy, not this time). No guys! Not that kind of shoot! This was the good kind. The kids were a big help in setting up expensive photo lights and equipment.....gads, don't break anything!
Renowned Toronto-based photographer, Chris Gordaneer, had a chat with the equine talent before the session. The horses and Chris got along so great! Ty especially was following him around like a puppy. Chris, the Horse Whisperer, as he was dubbed by his associates.
Paisley was in his glory with all the people around. Here he is lovin' up the producer, Tom.
The set-up was a mom and daughter, by the barn, Cerra with her head poking out of the box stall. Ty was so clever, I had to call him UN-TY since he got free of his lead two times. Chris then asked him to stay and took some shots of the models putting the blanket and saddle on him.
Ty was such a superstar! What charisma. A happy accident that my only colorful blanket matched the young ladies jacket. Cerra was getting restless cooped up in the box stall but she emerged from the shadows when the camera started snapping.
Here are the professionals at work. 
From 7:30 to about 10:30.....and now it all goes back into the trucks.
Paisley adopted lovely Robin Pheifer from Colle+McVoy while they soaked up the sun on the very chilly morning.
Once it was all over I let everyone go and then the REAL photo op occurred! Wild horses running and kicking up their heels. "We're done with work....LET'S PARTY!" They are going to be so bored tomorrow when they aren't being the center of attention and getting the boatload of treats they had today.

Cerra managed to unlock the gate by the stalls and let everyone out not 5 minutes after everyone left. Maybe she was just trying to join the circus, so I took everyone out to pasture to play in the wind for the afternoon.

What a great morning! It was really fun and the people were just great. I find I have a new appreciation for the amount of work it takes to get an ad produced and hope I get to see the finished product one day. 

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Changing Season

The leaves are starting to change at Catfish Corner. Our beautiful soft maple tree in the backyard is always so brilliant. The drought this year isn't apparent from this photo, but know that it's dry everywhere......except the bottoms!

Crops are being harvested and the dust clouds have to be choking for those on the tractors. Even our little home paddock is reduced to being a sand pit now.

I'm trying to keep my little patch of annuals and mums the colorful dot in the brown lawn!

I have an interesting phenomenon out at the horse's a GOURD TREE! Last year's bumper crop of gourds were hauled off by rodents and some sprouted and climbed a tree. I didn't even notice it until recently and found some good sized bicolor gourds ripening in the limbs. 
I've been having a weekly lesson with Fran and Ty now that the weather has turned. The "still" photo option on the video camera doesn't have the quality of my little Canon ELPH camera, but I sure appreciate Micky Dusek for taking photos during our lesson time.

The Canon camera had a problem and had to be sent in for a repair. Luckily it was still under warranty (unlike the Chev Silverado....another story). They had a new, well, reconditioned, camera to me in 5 days so I hardly missed any early fall photos!
Last week I had friends, Jan Brunkow (l) and Warren and Ramona Bradshaw over for a ride through the pines and around our place. I have ridden with Ramona at her place many times but this was a first time for them riding here. Too bad my horse, Cheyenne, was a BRAT! hahaha! She pulled the same tricks a year ago on the "trail ride from hell". I was glad not to be on narrow, hilly, rocky trails this time. It's so embarrassing when your KID doesn't behave when you have company over!
Lisa Johnson, on Cerra, and I was on Chy for the Pepin Laura Days Parade in early Sept. Thankful Cheyenne decided to be a good girl that day for her first parade. 

It has been many months since we have seen any deer around here, but one afternoon during the tree thinning, these two beauties came across the creek. 

And so goes early autumn at the little bend in the creek that we call Catfish Corner.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tree Processing Starts

Mike Anderson (no relation) and his son, Travis, started thinning our pines and hardwoods last week. The HUGE forwarder grabs the tree at the base and cuts it off, tips it and a debarker takes off the limbs and moves the log through to cut it off at 8', 10' or whatever length necessary for the longest log possible. 
Don's truck by the big pile of 8 footers
The pines were thinned about 9 years ago with the goal of having more sunlight available to those that were remaining. The tree rings tell a different story though. The outer rings are very tight....which means the tree did not increase in size but was still in a stunted stage. (Notice the inner rings that are wide apart indicating rapid growth.) We will have to wait a couple more years to see how the current thinning will affect tree growth. 

Travis and Mike Anderson, Anderson Logging, Dallas, WI

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Young Goose's Hard Life

The remaining young goose, dubbed Baby Huey, has had a bit of a turn lately. Sadly, his matronly protectors have abandoned him. It's as if one morning they awaken to realize "OMG.....HE'S A GOOSE!" "Edith, you fool, get him out of here!!"
The poor little soul was running from hen to hen...."Are you my mommy?" until one red hen decided with all certainty that it most definitely was NOT his mommy. She started attacking! Then another joined the fray and had I not been out at the barn in that moment I think he would have been pecked to death. His little neck was bleeding and he was in utter panic, running, screaming, to the back of the barn where I finally managed to catch him. Which had to be pretty scary for him, too. 

He's now quarantined in the Liz Taylor condo in the barn and has an outdoor screen pen where he spends his days until he gets bigger than the chickens. Then we'll see who the boss is going to be!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Life's Little Mysteries

Today, pondering.....


Why did the mother hen protect her goose babies by running them into an enclosed space and in the process smother one of them?

Why do things disappear in our house?

Two black duck bill visors have gone missing in the past week.

Socks.........just where do lost socks go?

It has been discovered that Don has 12 orphaned socks. I have 7. Two of the orphans are "new" socks acquired in the past few months. We don't travel, but they do.


What possesses people to ride imaginary stick ponies in public? mmmmmm

Friday, July 20, 2012

New Arrivals and updates

Another "surprise" arrived this week when I found two baby geese had hatched under the tender care of the Austrolorp hens. The adult female goose had no interest in sitting on her nest so I took the last four eggs and put them under a hen! About 4 weeks later.....ta daa! They are doing well and have had the protection of the coop. As the days have passed they are now getting bolder and have been out wandering with Mama keeping guard. The hen shows them how to scratch and look for seeds, but they just aren't catching on! The adult geese are getting more curious each day, and I had to intervene when they were trying to herd Mama and babies to the woods today. That wouldn't end well.

As it didn't end well for the #3 chick hatchling. Butterfluff turned out to be a rooster and Spotty is a hen. The third pure white chick turned up missing last week. An owl? Hawk?.....who knows, but it was sad to have her disappear. These two are learning their way about the place and the adults have been leaving them alone. Soon they will be as big as they are but they will always have their distinctive colors to distinguish themselves as the firstborn chicks of Catfish Corner.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

GRRVC Show Tomorrow!

It's been another busy week getting ready for the solo show at Great River Road Visitor Center in Prescott, WI. I went up on Friday in the blistering heat and managed to get 20 paintings hung, the print rack stocked and a jewelry display set up in and hour and 15 minutes!

The Visitor Center is beautiful! Right on the river with beautiful gardens, paths, picnic areas and large shade trees. Inside are great exhibits of eagles, logging, wildlife and other natural and historic features of the area. There were many people passing through while I was setting spite of the horrific temperatures and humidity.

The 101 degrees on the way home was scorching and I was relieved to have gotten there and back. I ran out of lemonade and thought it was silly of me not to have had a GALLON of water with me.

The artist reception is tomorrow and it should be a much cooler trip this time!

Saturday, June 30, 2012

My, How Time Flies!

It has been brought to my attention that I haven't posted for awhile. I would say so! The woman who was so smug about not having had a cold for the past couple years was blindsided with a dandy that laid her low for a good two weeks before she crawled back to life. Don shared in the fun and we pretty much just did the basics for survival.

So a quick update is in order!
The three chicks are getting pretty big now and have been staying in the coop with the big boys and girls. There is one rooster (center) and two pullets. The little fellow is going to be a son of the Gold Star variety. The young lady on the right looks to be of Wyandotte heritage. The one on the left is all white so I don't know what form of genetic heritage she is. She is the only pure while hen on the farm.

Visitor from the North!

Sandy Madsen visited on the weekend of the Spring Tour and we got to visit several of the artist sites in Pepin county. Oh, was involved! Sandy is a longtime friend from Luck who worked in the studio with me for years. It was so good to have her stay with us for an overnight and hope she can get here again soon.

There were beautiful gardens at many of the sites we visited and the photo ops were abundant.
Irises at Diane Millner's pottery studio

Cool chicken coop at the Linda Day-Bruce Dunlap studio at Porcupine.....note the chicken run up into the Metro bus! Talk about some pampered peepers!
Diane Millner's shelves of greenware.

Stained glass project is complete........

The Manore Eagle window is complete and awaiting installation.
This will be installed on Monday and then I can get a photo of the whole deal.

So, that's it for now...... Time for a HOT, HOT, HOT, pre-4th of July weekend. Guess there will be two celebratory weekends this year!

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Keeping Slightly Busy....

This major project has been occupying my time these days. The 13"x 60" transom window will be in a beautiful new home being built on Lake Pepin, just a mile or so up the road from Catfish Corner.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Visitors at CC

High school friends, Suz Thomson and Lori Lundquist, visited me last Monday. We went to Pepin and had lunch by the river and had a really enjoyable visit. 
Suz and Lori in front of Smith Bros. Landing - garden and metal works shop.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012


One of the Black Australorp hens went broody early this spring. She protected her eggs like they were gold and bloodied my hand more than once when I tried taking eggs from her. So, hey, go ahead and SIT!!! And sit she did for weeks and I had just about had enough this morning. I told Don....those eggs have to go. She's been sitting way too long and obviously the eggs weren't fertile or they would have hatched by now.

Imagine my surprise when I heard the loud PEEP PEEP after everyone had left the hen house this morning. Mommy left the nest for awhile and these two were left singing in the nest; with about a dozen more eggs that are yet to hatch.

As they say....."Don't count your chickens until they hatch." I didn't and now I have two little darlings. These are the first hatchlings at Catfish Corner. My previous attempts at using an incubator were a failure so I'm pretty happy to welcome these two special little ones. In honor of the event---and because they will be distinctive by being DIFFERENT from the rest, I have named them. Butter Puff for the one in the foreground and Spotty for the one in the back. It has two black spots on it's back...don't know how to sex them, so I will have to wait and see what they turn out to be. 

Now that these eggs have started coming to life it will be interesting to see how many do actually hatch.

Came by it honestly.......

I found this old tattered photo of my Grandma Anderson with her cute little chicken coop! I'm not sure where this was taken but at one point she had a nice flock of hens. I don't remember chickens at their place as a child, so it must have been earlier.

Maybe it was all the chicken poop that helped fuel the GORGEOUS flower and vegetable gardens she tended.