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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.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

How does your garden grow?

About five years ago I started a veggie garden but working a full time job and some health issues I grew weeds instead! Here in the Gulf Coast area we have hard gumbo soil and sometimes the best way to have a garden is to have raised beds. I started the beds with one row of cinder blocks and added a flat stepping stone on the top. That was the last thing I did...five years ago. Now that I am retired I am trying again. I wanted the cinder blocks but for ease on my back I decided I wanted the bed two rows high. BUT the weeds were very well established. Since my son is now in the air force (he was my cheap labor lol) I had to hire someone to help. In two days this young man had the beds weed free and stacked two rows high! Look to the left and you will see the weeds in one row. My DH added the wood raised beds for me and I was ready to go!

So I got busy and planted away...

I planted straight-neck squash, tomatoes (one heirloom and 2 better bush) and cucumbers...

Here you see the english peas and green beans peeking through the soil...

I decided to use loose hay from the hay barn for a natural mulch and put some cattle panels on t-posts to help things grow vertical to make the most from the small space I have.

I have a four year old satsuma orange tree and this year I added a pink grapefruit and a texas orange (for juicing).

So now all I have to do is to sit back...and water...and weed...and nurture my veggie garden.

Just for fun I added these red knock-out roses last spring. So pretty.

That's my garden (so far) so back to my original does your garden grow?

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

Friday, April 1, 2011

Justin fix

A riding buddy called this am to see if I still wanted to ride today and at first I had a small pity party about yesterday but decided nope...not going to happen. I needed to take my horse Justin out for some great horse therapy. He is my love. I have loved all my horses over the many years I have had them but there have been only 2 that I had a truly deep wonderful bond with and Justin is one of them. I got him when he was 3 years old and he just turned 15 this year. He is a registered appaloosa. I know, I know he looks like a paint but really he is a red roan appaloosa with liver spots. See if you can find the 3 liver spots lol. These pictures where taken after our ride this morning. He and I are out of shape and yes that is sweat from the ride in the arena not the trailer ride which was only 10 minutes long. The first one he is listening to his buddies from the back pasture and the second he is pawing to show his impatience. So he is like his mom what can I say.

The reason I call this my Justin fix is because I can count on him to be an honest ride and after yesterday I needed that pure honesty that you get from your animals. He is the type that I usually just throw the halter on and ride bareback in the pasture whenever I have negative thoughts. After the ride this morning I feel much better and will think about the antiques another day.

We got Justin from someone years back. My DH says I bought him to get him away from that owner. He is correct. When I went out to ride Justin he could barely walk. The good ole boy was a roper who was "training" him on stopping quickly. I do not have anything against ropers just ropers who are macho against the horse. Justin's knees were swollen from over doing the quick stops and to top it off the good ole boy just learned how to trim hooves and had poor Justin sooo short. So in reality, I bought a lame horse. I took a gamble. Sure enough his knees went back to normal size and his feet grew out nicely. The problem with the knees was that he were not quit closed. Most close around 2 years or so but I guess Justin was a late bloomer and the previous owner was riding too hard. He will probably have problems later...I hope much later. He does have one bad quirk but they all do and I have chosen to live with his. He "moves" quite largely to the side if someone or something approaches him from the side or head on. Mostly the right side which is the side the ropes are thrown from when roping. He gives you lots of signs so I just move with him. I love him even with that quirk and just have to be an active rider. Anyway, he is a cuddler too. He is reassuring Cyrus here on his first day to our barn. He loves on all the new babies around it goats or chickens or cats or actual kids!

After his rinse and a roll in the dirt here is what his favorite thing is...eating!

That is it about the horse therapy but this day continues to a wonderful day. An old friend that I used to work with was in Alvin and stopped by for a visit and when we went to the barn Ms. Bea (one of my banties) hatched out 4 new chicks!

I love my barn, my animals, my old and new is good.

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

Oh and Sly says "I see you! and will talk to you later"