Be sure to check out my other blog!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Just a little rock

See it...

Hiding in the bottom of my purse...

It does not look special or different sitting among the other rocks...

Nor special among the leaves...

But it is very special to me. My OH and I have been married for 26 years and that little rock has been with me the entire time. My OH loves to collect rocks from various places and he picked this one up from a deer lease. This deer lease was one of his favorite places to be and is located outside of Vanderpool in the Texas Hill Country near Lost Maples State Park. He found this one, polished and shined it up, sealed it with something to keep it shiny and during our first year of marriage he gave this rock to me. He told me it was just a little rock but he wanted me to carry it with me and whenever I saw it to remember that he loves me and will always be there for me. So even though this is just a little rock to some folks, this little rock is special to me. And my dear OH continues to be my rock that I lean on and love very much. Thanks honey for being my rock.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Painting furniture

It was such a beautiful weekend this past weekend and with the weather being not in the triple digits I got some furniture painted. There are a few ladies at the antique store that have been selling shabby chic furniture so I decided to give it try. Actually I have been collecting "practice" pieces for awhile and my OH wants his garage back. The final push was the fact that I got a new booth in Galveston and needed a locking cabinet to display small items. I didn't want new furniture (plus did not want to pay high prices) so my first piece was a old buffet top that had seen better days many, many days ago. I wanted 3 doors to open and to be able to lock. Of course the piece I had found had 1 door that opened and the two others were stationary. Enter my wonderful husband who can do wonders with woodworking. He cut the doors so I could have 3 doors and added locks. Then it was my turn. I have been wanting to paint furniture for awhile and was afraid to start, afraid to mess things up, just afraid to try something. But I needed the hutch so with brush in hand I dove right in. I didn't think to get a before picture but here is what we came up with.

We had to add glass to the centers of the shelves and all in all I am pretty pleased with the results. There wasn't a bottom so my OH also built a simple bookcase that I painted white and stained the top a golden oak. I wanted alittle more for the bookcase so I added blocks and put cutouts stained on the top. I think displays well in my Galveston booth.

Well...since I got over being afraid (my OH says he doesn't know why I always doubt myself) I can't seem to keep my paintbrush dry! Over the weekend I also completed a sweet little octagon table. Of course I didn't take any before pictures of this project either but hey...I was busy painting! Anyway, for both pieces I used primer first, then painted a light grey color latex paint. I then used a sander to add the distressed used appearance. After that I used a blue wash followed by a brown wash. Here is the top of the table after the brown wash.

The door of the table has great details which really show up after painting.

Of course before painting I removed all the hardware and while I had the items off the furniture, I spray painted a dark brown and highlighted with a copper metallic paint. The contrast is so pretty.

After everything was dry, I put a water based poly coat on the table since this piece would probably be used and I wanted to protect the paint.

Not too shabby if I so say myself...wait...I mean pretty shabby blue table! I am working on a twin bed that yes I remembered to take a before picture! I plan on shabby chic white for this piece. I really like painting old furniture and changing old, damaged, needing work pieces into new useable pieces.

By the way...I am having trouble posting comments on some of the blogs I anyone else having that problem and can anyone tell me how to correct that problem?

That's all for today...come back soon.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Life Does Get In The Way

Hi all! I know I have been bad and have not been keeping up with this blog and I apologize and I am going to try to do better. But as it is said - life gets in the way - of things we enjoy. For a quick update...3 months ago I was so very, very, very tired all the time. It seemed that I could be driving and would almost fall asleep, mid-day naps that would last for hours was starting to be the "norm" for me. I had gone to the doctor for a check-up and mentioned this to the doctor and she ordered tests because this was not the way I wanted to continue my life. Sooo...the diagnosis came back that I am a diabetic. So for the last 3 months I have been trying to get a handle on this new way of life that has hit me. I have been put on a low dosage of medication, ordered by the doctor to lose about 25 lbs and exercise and if I do well and get this under control and I can get off the medication. So me being me...I started an exercise program, have gone to a free nutrition class and when that didn't seem to help with my trying to change eating habits, requested and have attended an nutritional class that was great! I am happy to say that I have more energy than I have had in years! No more naps, getting things done, creating new meals and am finally able to accept that this is going to have to be my way a of life. I have to go to the doctor in 2 weeks to check the ACL levels to see if I am headed to being off meds. So that's why I haven't posted to this blog or have been able to read others.

To be honest...I was very depressed and felt like a failure because I had become diabetic and didn't want to do anything. But, my oldest daughter sent some books that explained this disease...and it seems that I have had many of the pre-existing conditions. She also encouraged my by saying that I have the ability to manage this and not admit defeat. I had gestational diabetes with all 3 kids, have be pre-diabetic for years and when I mentioned to my mom that I was diabetic...she said oh me too! You would think that she would have told me years ago but our relationship is rather...shall I say...different. The last factor is that stress can push you over and the last 2 years of my job was unbearable and I think with all the pre-existing conditions I have, that's what pushed me over the edge. So I decided that I love the outdoors, horses, painting, riding, my eyesight and toes so much that this diabetic thing was not going to control my life...I was going to manage it. So there you have it.

Now on another note I want you all to see my Cyrus now. I posted about him on my first blog and want you to see him now. He has now become my trail horse and we are once again looking for my husband a good trail companion. Cyrus is just alittle much for a beginner. On the trails if he gets nervous he will start a little dance and chomping on the bit which will lead to his little meltdown. If you ignore this and sit down a little further in the saddle he settles down but will get wound up real fast and pop off the ground about 5 inches which is alittle scary to say the least. I think he did this to get the rider off and probably did this in the past and I really feel a rider who is not confident will get shaken up a bit. Not good for the rider or horse. I love riding him on the trails and decided to keep him. What's another horse right?

Here he is the day we picked him up in February 2010

And this was taken in July 2010 before a ride. I think he has gotten so much better looking with the exercise of being ridden and proper feed has given him.

Well that's way for now...come back soon!

Friday, June 17, 2011

I'm Back in Business!

Yippee!!! My new computer is here! I have been out of commission for the last few weeks when my old, very old, computer bit the dust. I can now post blogs (hopefully), post comments to your blogs (hopefully) without feeling the need to toss the laptop under my horses feet as they are running! I have to get my blogs and thoughts in order and will start back with my blog...but for now I am going to catch up on my fellow bloggers!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Eclipse - we will miss you

Part of life on a farm and of having livestock and pets is the hard part of losing one. I have always told my children, and everyone else, that when an animal comes into your life you have to realize that they will probably not live as long as you do so it is your responsibility to give them the best, kindest, most loved life possible while they are with you.

Before we moved to Alvin I boarded my horses with a friend who had her own horses and pgymy goats. That was my first time to be around these inquisitive creatures. In March 2000 a set of twins were born at the barn. My daughter and I were there and after they were born my friend let Marissa name them. One was Star (because of the star on her forehead) and the second one had a half moon on both of her sides so her name became Eclipse. Marissa looked forward to visiting "her" goats when we went out to the barn. When we purchased our place in April 2001 my friend gave us Eclipse and Star as a housewarming gift. Greatest gift ever! Star got sick and we lost her early on but Eclipse has been with us all this time.

I read up on lifespans of goats and it is generally 10 to 12 years and Eclipse had started slowing down about a year ago. She was the boss...she loved to play chase with Marissa and Tyler and anyone else who would push her horns then run! If you tried to walk across the pasture she would get in front of you to make you stop and give her a rub. She was just a fun being to have around. She got hit by one of the bigger goats last week and the hit must have been just too much for her. She seemed to be getter until yesterday. We had to ease her pain because she couldn't get up or move without pain. I also believe although hard our four-legged companions leave it up to us to make hard decisions on their behalf and I could and would not let her suffer needlessly. It was hard but I know she is not in pain any longer. She was surrounded by us and we were with her until the end. We gave her hugs and I kissed her forehead. We were so blessed to have known her from the day she was born until she passed. We love her and will miss her.

That's all for today...come back soon.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Perfectly good feed bucket - now it is

My goats are fed grain in their outside pen twice a day with hay inside the barn. Here is one of the 10 feed buckets that are lined up on a wire panel on the goat's outside pen. (don't know why the picture shows up at this angle but you can get the idea)
I was looking at the goat feed buckets and thinking while watching my OH work on a small banty chicken pen...which my OH hates because my thinking generally means more work for him...and I decided to do this...
with the results being this!

I bet you are wondering why I would go a put holes in a perfectly good feed bucket and it is because of these lovely ladies and their very hard, knee level horns. See how hard they look? Well they are!

I feed the goats on the outside of the fence because they think they are starving at feed time and even though there are 10 buckets they think there is only one bucket with feed so a calm moment of each at their on bucket
can quickly became this!

and it doesn't matter if another goat or a person's knees are in the way of the only perceived bucket of food is in the way. This works great when it is dry outside but when it rains - if it ever will it seems - the water would have be dumped before adding feed. Which means either trying to dump the water from outside the pen (with water ending up on your foot) or going inside the pen (bad move).

So...ta-da...the water drains from the bucket!

I really hate to admit that it has taken me a few years and a bunch of bruises around my knees to fiquire this out but's done now!

That's all for today...come back soon.

Friday, April 29, 2011

All grown up - well not to me

Today my youngest daughter turns 23 year old! I don't know how that happened since I am still 30 years old! She still lives with us while she is finishing up her business management degree and works a 40 hours a week to pay for her college classes at the University of Houston. We are very proud of her and love her very much. She loves animals almost as much as I do and has her Arabian mare, a couple of show goats, her dog, and cat living with us too! I guess the more the merrier right?

She loves her mare Sly. They have been to shows together and have done quite well but with the college and work schedule there is no time for shows so basically Sly is retired.
A birthday kiss from one of the goats...
Well I just wanted to share what a wonderful daughter I have with you on her birthday! I will let her continue to think she is all grown up but she will always be my baby girl.

Thats all for today...come back soon.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

An unusual request

I have a very dear friend, Sharon, who runs her own dog grooming shop and I help her on Tuesdays. If no one has ever seen the behind the scenes of a good groom shop check it out. It will certainly make you appreciate your dog groomer more. First you bathe and dry the dogs (which is what I do) and many of them do not like this so it can be a small challenge with some dogs. Then Sharon puts clippers and scissors to, in my opinion, mold the dogs into such cute creations. Many dogs do not like this either. And clipping nails...well I leave that to her because I could not do it. She has to deal with some that will not stand up, some that cry out if she looks at them and some even that will try to bite her. Sharon has much patience and deals with the problem dogs in a quite, calm manner which I admire. She can take poodles like this...
to this...

Cute little schnauzers from this...
to this...

Here are some happy campers with their summer cuts...a spitz and a yorkie. I love the little yorkies!
There is alot work before, during, and after the bath if the dog is extremely matted or has burrs throughout their coat. Sometimes Sharon or I have to carefully brush the mats out and still have to brush more out after they are dry. There are even times the coat is so matted that Sharon has to shave the dogs down below the mat before the bath so she really is grooming the dog twice. All this is very time consuming but Sharon takes pride in making sure that the customer is happy with as little stress to the dogs as possible.

Most folks come in for regular cuts or baths on their pets but we had a customer come in with an unusual cut request. Well I think it was unusual.

Yes a poodle with a mohawk from his head all the way to his tail. The owner was so happy...I don't know about the dog being happy.

That's all for today...come back soon.

Friday, April 15, 2011

An honest moment

In the midst of dealing with most people in the antique/resale shop came a refreshing moment yesterday. With the turmoil at the shop some of the working dealers have quit "working" so I told the managers I would help out on Thursday's until they found someone else to work on that day. Most people come in the shop and even if the price is low - which I believe everyone at the shop has great prices - they want to haggle the price. Some do quietly but I have found most folks want to critique and a piece to it's smallest fault or get downright rude about prices or condition of the item. Anyway...everyone has an opinion. But yesterday a man came in and was looking at all of the paintings, prints, and wall art in the shop. He was very pleasant and I found talking with him to be easy. Later he came to me to talk about a piece of art in my booth. "What's the best you will take for this piece" which is the standard opening line. I offered him 30% off the watercolor print. I have had this print for a few months and was ready to move it. So he went about shopping for awhile longer.

He came back and ask me to come to my booth that he wanted to show me something about the print. I thought oh great...he wants to lowball me on the price. I thought nope I am staying firm on the price.

He starts to tell me with great detail that I had a etching not a print...ok. He took time to show me the difference between a print and a etching and the process used to do the watercolor over an etching...ok. And he wanted me to know I had an etching not a print...ok.

Well a short time later he came to the front desk and said he had an offer for me on the etching. I thought here goes the lower price offer. He stated that I had an item that was worth well over the price I had listed. He would give me the price I quoted him or I could keep the etching and go home and research the item to see what I really had and stated that's what he would do (research the value).

I was dumbstruck. I thought about the offer and told him that I really appreciated his honesty and because of that I would sell it to him on the agreed price. I told him that the way I see it the person I got it from got the price they wanted, I got the price I wanted and made some money, and because of his honesty he got the etching at a great price. Everyone happy. But most of all I sold the piece to him because he was gracious enough to be honest. It was so refreshing.

That's all for today...come back soon.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Saturday Garage Sale success

With the warmer weather comes the little signs at the roadside corners pointing to garage sales! My friend and I went to a community garage sale on Saturday to see what "treasures" we could find to put in our shops. Kim has just started her booth and we were looking for goodies to help fill her space. Spending her money was fun...but I found a few items that will eventually make it to the shop.

I found a silver napkin holder with matching salt and pepper shaker, retro vase/decanter, red scent dispenser, book "box" and wooden shoes.

I love salt and pepper shakers and I am always looking for vintage pairs. This one has the holder tree with the salt and pepper shaker hanging from the branch. The napkin holder came with the set. Love the detail.
The red scent dispenser is not vintage or antique but I will be reusing the red glass for a garden project. The book box isn't very old either but it looks like books and is a wooden storage box when opened. I will probably be using as a display in the shop. The wooden grandmother had a "dutch" scene hanging on her kitchen wall and these two pairs reminded me of her so I had to get them right? I really like the detail of the smaller pair.
Now for the retro vase...I love retro items. The clean lines of this piece really appealed to my retro senses. I believe this was originally a decanter but the stopper is missing so I can see this as a vase...imagine bright orange flowers! So retro...
Now for my most favorite find of the day...these pen and ink drawings of 2 arabians. I love the simple design and detail. These were draw by the same artist in 1978 and 1979 respectively. These originals will not make it to the shop anytime soon but will reside in the new guest room we are finishing up.
I truly love hunting for antiques and vintage collectibles and really enjoyed the company of my friend during Saturday's hunt.

That's all for today...come back soon.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Anna and her girls

On one of my first blogs I had said I was going to write about three of my goats that are out of the breeding business and into being only my pet business. In the picture from left to right is Macy and Anna in the back and Tippi taking up the front.
Anna is the mother of both Macy and Tippi. While my children were showing goats at the local county fair, my friends who showed goats at major shows talked me into raising babies and showing. So along came Anna with another doe and a buck in 2006 and I was in the breeding business. Little did I know how attached I would be to these wonderful creatures. Like any new mom I took alot of pictures of my first set of babies and kinda fell off taking pictures with the later groups. So I have plenty of pictures of Macy and not Tippi.

Anna is a registered fullblood boer (registered name FFB Anna) who was born on 01/08/05 who was bred to FFB Bentley and produced 2CF Macy along with her brother 2CF NOS born on 01/27/07. Bentley was a nice buck and I eventually sold him to Mr. Knape to improve his stock. NOS was my first buck born on the place and I used him for breeding for 1 year then sold him to a gentleman last year.

I took several pictures of Macy and NOS. Macy is goat with the white on her ear. I love my baby goats!
Here is Macy at 6 months...

Now Tippi is one of the last set of babies born on our place on 04/03/09. Her brother went to an FFA kiddo who showed him in a few county fairs (won first at one and 3rd at another) and went to a major show and did well. Tippi got her name because she has a white spot on the tip of her nose and a brown spot on the tip of her tail. Her dad is JRA Agnew's Bullseye who is close to being ennobled which is a big deal in the Boer goat world. I sold Bullseye to the ag farm to improve their stock. He was the most gentle, sweet buck I have ever known.

Last June I was laid off from the shuttle program for NASA and had about 26 breeding stock goats left after selling the babies and had to make a decision. I did not want to keep animals that I would not be able to feed or promote so I thought I would sell all but 5 to keep as pets. I had 3 does that I had retired from breeding, 1 pgymy doe and 1 that should not be bred because of confirmation faults but was real sweet so those were the ones I was going to keep. I sold the 3 wonderful bucks I had and the nice breeding does to places that would take care of them properly and thought...and thought..and thought. I could not get down to 5 because there were 10 ladies I just could not part with. DH said to quit worrying and just keep the 10. Whew...

Anna was always on the 5 list (along with Macy) because although she gives the best kids she has problems kidding and I always had to have the vet deliver because she carried triplets. The last 2 times with the first kid was turned backwards and born dead and the vet delivered the others. They would have all died had the vet not been called in. That was her last kidding because she was retired because of her complications and I did not want her to go to someone who would breed her because of her bloodlines not take her to the vet if it happened again.

Tippi stayed because she has great confirmation and looks just like her dad!

Anyway that's the story of Anna and her girls. I sure miss the babies but I will visit my friend's farms and visit goat blogs to see these beautiful creatures.

Ok...Eclipse says "what about me? I am the oldest". Your story next Eclipse...promise.

That's all for today...come back soon.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Homemade "Automatic" Chicken Feeder

I saw this somewhere a few years ago and decided I would give it a try. The price of large chicken feeders are a bit pricey for me and since I like to recyle and reuse items this really appealed to me.

First you will need to purchase (or use one you have around your house) a five gallon plastic container with a lid. I purchased this five gallon plastic container from Firehouse Subs - a local restaurant - for $2.00.
The reason I didn't mind the purchase is because Firehouse Subs donates the money earned from the sale of these buckets to the local fire station to help benefit the families of fallen firefighters. I had my DH drill 2" holes around the bottom of the bucket trying to space about 2" apart very close to the bottom.

Next you will need to have a 16" round water tray used for potted plants. This one was on sale for $3.99. Drill a hole in the center of the water tray.

Next I attached the bottom to the bucket with a bolt with two washers. Make sure you put the bolt through the bottom and attached bolt on the inside so the bucket will sit flat.

Make sure you clean up all the loose plastic pieces after you assemble and before you add the feed.

Then fill with feed, set out bucket and watch the chickens enjoy their homemade "automatic" feeder. It cost only about $5.99 with $2.00 being donated to a worthy cause and the chickens do not notice it isn't a fancy store bought feeder. Not to mention keeping the used buckets out of the landfills. Win-win situation for everyone and everything.

That's all for today...come back soon.