Friday, December 30, 2011

Anna and Cherish Update

Hold on to your hats, People! One of my New Year's Resolutions is to be back in the saddle with blog posting!

Today's entry is a little update on Cherish and Anna. These two came to us suffering from SEVERE neglect. Cherish, the horse, had broken her hip  and been discarded and nearly starved to death. Anna the mule was also starving, on top of being kept in a too small enclosure that wasn't tall enough for her to fully lift her head . She had never had her hooves trimmed so they laid out on the ground in front of her feet about  8-6 inches, impeding her ability to walk correctly. They were both covered with sores and infested with parasites. They were both about as big a train wreck as you could get and still be alive.  But look at them now!
 Anna's hooves were trimmed back much more quickly that was originally thought possible and her legs are getting stronger every day. After slowly being reintroduced to food, they both have gained weight and have been given the meds they need for parasites and pain.
 You looking at me??!?!?
 You looking at ME!!!!!???
I think Anna looks just like a female moose in the face.  But she is 100% mule and then some lemme tell ya! She's the epitome of stubborn  and not above kicking and biting to get what she wants.  In fact, in my experience, she would just as soon bite you as look at you if you are just standing in her general vicinity, but if you give her an apple slice, you can put your whole arm in her mouth up to your shoulder and she does this 'rubber lip' thing like she would never dream of biting you. After starving for so long, both girls are VERY food oriented. It's not that Anna's mean.  She's just a mule. And if I had been through what she's been through, I'd be standing up for myself too! You just have to care for her with that understanding or you could end up getting hurt. Hopefully as she continues to learn about the people who care for her and trust us more, she will calm down a bit.
Cherish's pretty blond mane was originally braided to keep it out of the open wounds on her neck but I think it's a good look for her!  She still has a significant amount of rain rot, which is a fungal skin infection from not being kept dry, but it's slowly clearing up . She is a beautiful girl; very gentle and loving.

I so admire this pair. They embody the true meaning of survival. They are the essence of what Heartland Farm Sanctuary is all about !

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Great Possum Debaucle of 2011

I got to the barn last night and went in the water room to check on the cat, Miss Leroy, first.  I worry about her; she's such a sweety but is deaf and getting up in years so I always pop my head in her 'bedroom' and make sure she's OK.  She was there alright.  She was cuddled in her open cat bed on the work bench...right beside her enclosed cat bed which contained... a possum!  He was all snuggled down in the assorted blankets that are stuffed in there, toasty as could be.  They both blinked at me grumpily in the glare of the bare, overhead bulb, no doubt trying to telepathically tell me to turn the light back off so they could get back to their slumber party.

I am one of those rare folks who thinks possums are finorkin' adorable. They can't help it that their tails look like that.  I went and got a cat crate and put it gently up to the opening of the enclosed cat bed and tried to entice the possum into the carrier by crooning compliments about how cute he was and how I wasn't going to hurt him. He immediately put his wrist dramatically to his forehead, swooned, whirled twice, eyes rolling back into his head,  and collapsed into a heap in the blankets, playing dead (or 'playing possum' ...if you will).  If you have never seen this, I strongly encourage you to go scare the crap out of one and watch. It's hilarious!

ME: Come on Mr. Possum, get in the cat carrier so I can take you outside and set you free.
POSSUM: No. I'm obviously dead.  Have a little respect.
ME: Come on now, you can't stay in here. Other people aren't so accepting of your kind.
POSSUM: Nope. Still dead. Besides it's cold out there.
ME (changing tactics): Get in the cat carrier or there will be a rake or other farm implement involved!
POSSUM: Move along. Nothin' to see here.

And the EMMY goes to...! He even had his little mouth partially open, drooling.  Clearly he had played this gig before. I finally fixed his little, red wagon by tipping the entire cat bed up on it's end, thus sliding him to the bottom, threw a towel over the opening so he couldn't attempt any Vampire Possum shenanigans and lugged the whole works down to the compost heap. 

The way things go in my head and the way they go in real life rarely match up. I set the carrier down with visions of him taking one sniff of all that garbagy goodness and scampering happily away. Not so much. The lure of the crocheted woobies and other assorted, soft, blankets in the warm, enclosed cat box was too strong.  He wouldn't budge. Still dead. So I unceremoniously dumped his fuzzy butt out. The  'Thank-you-kind-lady-for-not-impaling-me-with-a-hoe-and-instead-setting-me-free-to-continue-my-wonderful-little-critter-life' moment I anticipated didn't happen.  What I actually got was a 'Seriously? Sheesh-lady-we're-only-40-yards-from-the-barn-like-I-can't-find-my-way-right-back-in-there-the-nanosecond-you-leave' look before he bumbled, huffily off.

So... in review...Awesome Possum? Lost 'im! Possumectomy successful!  I now I can add 'Marsupial Removal Specialist' to my resume of oddities!
Note: No possums were harmed in the making of this blog entry.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Thor: Overseeer of All

Yowza! How 'bout them holidays, huh? I haven't posted forever it seems. Nothing outstandingly exceptional happening, just lots of little stuff. I took some pics for you.
Now that the girls have opened them, I can show you the headbands I knit them for Christmas.
Their high school colors are orange white, and black  I think.  And now I've dug out the Irish Cable (Alice Starmore-St Enda) sweater I've been working on for two years and am determined to finish it before St. Valentines Day.  So SEE! There HAS been knitting!

I've also been drawing since another goal is to have my Etsy Shop up and running in the next couple of weeks or so.  Here is the piece I did last weekend:


But I will be concentrating mostly on the more saleable bags, note cards, bookmarks and jewelry on my shop site. Maybe I will add prints of the larger pieces once I figure out how to do that.

Glass Pendants

I worked every day of my Christmas break at the farm since I couldn't get home to Maine this year and volunteers who live around here have families and stuff.
It wasn't hard to go every day since Santa brought us this little present.  This is 4 week old Tobias Valentino (Valentino for the heart on the top of his head and forehead.)  He had a rope halter put on when he was very small and then not removed as he grew so it cut into his skin. That's what the scar is about between his eyes. He eats from a huge baby bottle and loves to jump around and play. Then when he gets tired, he snuggles and suckles and kisses. What a sweetie! Nope it wasn't hard to go in at fact, it was difficult to leave him.

I was putting feed hay out in the back enclosure so that I could let the llamas outside on Sunday. There is no grass in the pasture now that it's winter so we put 3-4 pats out and scatter it around for them. I felt like I was being watched. There is a hunter guy that roams the fields a lot and I thought it was him...I looked all around and nothing....and yet....I still had that weird feeling. It wasn't until I finished with the hay, was brushing off my jacket and turning to go inside that I realized who my supervisor was;Thor...watching me from the plastic- covered, barn window to make sure I got every last piece of hay off my jacket and into his pasture for him  to eat.  All I could think of was that 'Weet, weet, weet' suspenseful sound/music things that they put in movies.  You when you're going to get stabbed while you're in the shower....


I hope you all had as wonderful, peaceful and gratitude-filled, Christmas break, as I did, and that you are looking forward to welcoming in 2012 next weekend! Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Merry Christmas! May The Force Be With You

We are having a snowflake decorating thing going on at work.  The first one I made was a seahorse. I saw one out on the web but didn't like the clunky seahorse design so I designed my own.  Encouraged I made an octopus one...and mistakenly cut it's head off thus turning the hose on my desire to spend too much more time designing my own.

 So I hauled these out. I have been holding on these templates because I absolutely abhor all things Star Wars (No offence George Lucas; it has absolutely nothing to do with you or your stories).  A lot of my  friends don't, feel similarly, I thought I'd make them for their amusement. 


Some Kinda Trooper-not Storm
Storm Troopers

I have no idea WTH this thing is!

Merry Christmas, you I wish!

Monday, December 12, 2011

Company Art Show

Every December my company puts on an Employee art show. I put in several entries this year.

 I put in 4 tote bags but only managed to get a picture of two.

 A Tangled Lobster
 The Tangled Cubes that friend Brian Stum framed for me. Did a great job didn't he?
 He did these too. 9 tiles, cut apart and drawn in no particular order, and then reassembled.
 Here's a little closer look. It was a fun surprise to see how it turned out when it was put back together!
And this is called "It's The Little Things"  The entire thing is done with a small repetitive motif. Brian did the frame on this too. It won 3rd prize in the show!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Fly Away Home

This guy lives in the prairie across the street. For the past three years I have been trying to get a decent picture of him...any picture of him really.  I usually see him when I am walking Ben and don't have my camera. The following pictures are blurry and awful but they ARE pictures...and you can see his beautiful markings...

Tree top sentinel

 Fly away!
 Beautiful markings
(Insert theme to "Top Gun' here!)

Monday, December 05, 2011

Chrismas Season Has Begun!

The Christmas Season kicked off in a big way this week. My cards were done, most of my shopping is done, now is the time to enjoy all that the holiday has to offer. On Saturday night I got all tarted up and we went to the Promega Christmas Party:

We had a lovely dinner, played blackjack and listened to music until Midnight. Didn't win any 'major awards' but has a wonderful time.  Steve is such a sweet guy. Handsome too! Winning!

Sunday afternoon was time for my favorite Midwest holiday tradition....Caroling in the Caves at Mt. Horeb's Cave of the Mounds.  There's seating for about 50 people per concert inside the first cavern of the cave. This year they put candles everywhere. It was really beautiful and the acoustics are amazing.

 Beautiful light in the darkness...
 Reminds me of religious grotto's I've visited.

 Candles and Christmas lights up the stairs

The singers stand on the stairs.  This year's group was 'Tangled Up In Blue' a women's a capella band from the UW.  They only sang 2 Christmas songs, but all of the other songs they sang were so  beautiful, I didn't mind. Those little ladies have some pipes, that's for sure!

Hard to believe all of that was going on under this pastoral scene no?

I hope you all take time to do things during the next few busy weeks that make you happy !
Happy Christmas Season All!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

How to Photograph a Llama

I think llamas are beautiful mystical creatures.They are a study in opposites. They look so delicate but are really sturdy. They look friendly at a distance but are really shy and stand-off-ish. That said, they put aside their demure, retiring attitudes when the cameras come out apparently. Llamas, at least some llamas, are media hams...

Hey there Thor and Mick. You boys are looking particularly handsome today!

Mick, since you're already standing up,
do you mind if I take your picture?
Just hold still for a minute...

 Oh. OK.  I guess a little closer wouldn't hurt . 
That's just stand still.

Uh, now you're getting a little too close there, Mick. 
Can you please  back it up just a bit?

Uh, Mick...which part of stand still don't you understand?
Oh probably you don't speak English, being from South
America and all. How do you say 'stand still' in Spanish?
 OK-Now we have to have a serious talk about personal
space and boundary issues, Mick. Plus you need a tissue.
 No, you can't see me by looking in the lense.
 You do have beautiful eyes though.
 Back up now....that's it, that's a little better.
Don't you want the ladies to see what a handsome boy you are?

 I thought so.  You're a rock star, Mick!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving With A Twist!

Had another first to mark off my life list today: prepared Thanksgiving dinner for the turkeys at the barn. That's right. Thanksgiving FOR the turkeys! I was surprised at how like a human Thanksgiving it was...

The feast was prepared by cutting up acorn squash and filled them with yummy things like pumpkin puree, cranberry sauce, string beans and grapes. The dishes were arranged on a linened table. Pretty no?
The guests started to waddle in...
 The guests of honor arrived. At first they were more interested in visiting with guests than eating.
Other guests started hovering around the table waiting for the feast to begin.  Crazy Phil was particularly anxious to dig in!
 Finally the feast began and guests started coming to the table.
Eddie prefers to be served rather than dine 'buffet-style'.
 It's just not Thanksgiving until someone jumps directly on the table to eat the pie is it Rosie?!
 Food coma commencing in 3...2...1...

Rosie takes care of the bill!
The best part of this feast was not having to wash the acorn squash dishes. Maxine and Beatrice were glad to do them for us!


DaVinci DaVotion and Lunchtime Luck

Although a lot of other groovy stuff happened, the main reason for going to the Mississippi River Museum was to see the traveling DaVinci e...