Saturday, February 26
When the laptop revolution began, those companies with a little foresight began offering a Digital or Online version or subscription to their product. Thus allowing you the consumer to read your NY Times or something "blue" at your convenience, on your PC, perhaps concealed in another window while at work or school, even in another boring tedious meeting... right? (read on to learn how this tool can help Artists & Crafters)
Tuesday, February 22
There is an interesting selection of Embroidery Machine Software on the market. Each one seems so different from the others. Some are seem very complicated at first glance. Some are very user friendly. I find that the easier 1 is to use the more limited it is. And, those Software packages generally have components.
We bought my 1st Embroidery Machine 1 1/2 years ago, almost on impulse.....(Software Link is in this article)
Sunday, February 20
Thursday, February 17
Ever seen a Giant Desert Centipede? The 1st one we saw was over 10 in long - no lie - and rounder than a 25 cent piece. Not as large as a 1/2 dollar. Regardless i took the garden loppers to it. Cut it in half it still came at me in full charge! I proceeded to sushi the prehistoric monster. Bits of white meat everywhere, it's pincers snapping away, YUCK. By the end of last season i was merely stomping on them and sweeping them off the patio. There are some very nasty spiders here. More prolific and venomous than the snakes. The hens will eat them joyfully.
Yesterday morning, my dearest wheeled into the bedroom doorway and whispered "Hey beautiful, guess what? The chickens are loose..." Ahhhhhhh Adrenaline over dose Now! Heart racing, blood pressure soaring... My first thought was to the where abouts of Ellie, our Aussie Blue Healer - Border Collie mix. Those hens are her charge. Her obsession. she counts them several times an hour. Studies their behaviors for hours. Can open the doors to their egg boxes (she learned that day 1 watching me). Our Lab, Kachina, loves to chase anything that moves. But she is in it for the joy of running. Ellie is on duty, the chase and the kill, she lives for it. Merely killing a snake is not enough for her. Once dead she totes off her kills and shreds them into tiny bits. Aussie cattle dogs were bred to herd cattle and take down 2000 lb. Bulls. They are fearless and operate in stealth mode. No barking. Intense, focused, lethal.
We have had countless discussions on releasing the hens, building a run for the hens, penning the dogs, chaining the dogs, electrocuting the dogs... never agreeing on a method, or time, always agreeing the chickens need to be free during the day. Caged for protection at night.
Yes, the Hens were loose. For he had simply opened the door and let them out. He was really having fun with them, before coming to wake me and the Killer Hound from hell. It's was not fair that he did not warn me, yet it was a good thing for my protective instincts kept putting it off. The time had come to free the hens so i had to deal with it. To train the dogs to leave the birds alone. Get it into their protective herding brains that hens roaming the yard is a good thing and OK with Mom and Dad. I bound out of bed, muttering, cursing, shaking, still sleep blind hunting for glasses, pants, and boots, jacket.
The dog was at my feet, on the bed as usual. The other 3 dogs were not impressed with the hens cautiously strutting in the yard. in fact the older two came in the house, retreated to their own beds. But Ellie sensed my panic and reacted accordingly.
I was able to leash her before the door opened. Once we were all out i gave the leash to John so i was free to get feed to the birds. Ellie turned inside out, pulling him around in the wheel chair hell bent to get the chickens. Kachina barking, Game on!! Me still cursing.
Finally i was able to sit in my chair on the patio hauling on the leash sometimes with two hands until Ellie settled. Her birds were loose and that was not cool. There we sat for a good 20-30 mins with her whining and drooling. Eventually she sat down on her own and began to relax. We spent some time just like that, sitting watching the hens, stroking the dog, reassuring her. Enter the wild quail.
We took the dogs into the house. John stayed in there with them. I went back out with coffee, fianally, to watch the quail i have been nurturing for almost 2 years. Being ever selective to provide food and water without increasing their dependency on humans.
We have wild Scallies and Gambles. They have mixed flocks for protection. Have grown from 3-4 birds to a flock of over 50 consistantly. The coyotes take their share, and the numbers change seasonally. We have had well over 100 here.
Once quite, the quail came to scratch with the hens. I was enthralled with the interactions. The hens guarded their coop door aggressively, but otherwise acted happy to have guests.
All of a sudden everyone ran for cover, chirping, alarming away. The bushes rustled with activity. A good thousand feet overhead a pair of hawks were gliding on the winds. So far up, a good mile south. None the less, they were spotted by a Quail Scout, who sounded the alarm and sent everyone into safety.
Our hens were in their coop in a flash. All day i marveled that the drooling snarling death machine was of no concern - but silent Death from Above, a mile off, that was a different, serious matter. Who knew Quail were so alert? Who knew Chickens spoke Quail?
This morning I walked Ellie on her leash as the hens and quail enjoyed their Freedom! It's going to take a long time to get her to comply and be comfortable. Hopefully, my shoulders and hands will hold up!
How does that song go? "Life on the Ranch kind of laid back... nothing an ol' country gal can't hack....." what a load of BS!!
Can I PLEASE go sew now?
Friday, February 11
Article on Selecting Turqouise!!
Wednesday, February 9
for those of you following along – another interesting wild, wild, west experience.
I have lived most of my life on the North East Coast. I remember practically every Hurricane to hit from the ‘70s forward, Have lots of great Survival stories such as 1 from “Lily”. remember her? She shut down the world series!!
We were camping at a Powwow – my entire clan slept the night away as we took a direct hit – me and my warrior in-standing kept all the tents (8), fires, and tarps secured – using my Grand Wagoner as wind break – bailing water – all 20+ slept like lambs and awoke to total elimination for the campgrounds were totaled – all but us – Many Many stories like that.
OK –Same scenario with regard to winds, evil sky glaring down, mysterious and frightening debris garbage, tools flying thru the air – Warmer – deceivingly warmer – and sand so thick in the air it reminds you of a while our.
Drivers responding as if they are under attack in bumper cars – Hi-way Patrol in stunning numbers, 1/2 a new pre-fab home blown off the trailer on the road – trucker driver scratching his head – and just as I realized I can handle this – its just a warm, dry hurricane, right? A Tumbleweed came out of the center zone with a vengeance, determined to take me and my large diesel pick-up out. We Won!!
Monday, February 7
Thursday, February 3
Wednesday, February 2
I don't. Ever. But right now 50 miles east of Tucson, AZ at 9 am it is 19 degrees F. Last week we were enjoying morning coffee at 70 degrees.
Before coffee this morning, I was removing ice from the Chickens water bowls. I had placed them below ground level in pits the hens had dug themselves. It helped. There was only an inch ice vs. a solid block.
Oh the memories of my Stable in Massachusetts - hours upon hours of ice removal from every surface, every container.
This year's storms in the east have broken all records set some not too long ago. A few years back we had the highest snowfalls in recorded history in Massachusetts, most of New England.
I, owning the Riding Stable, had an F-250 with an 8 ft plow, and a John Deere 318 with a 4 ft. plow. All areas had to be cleared for safety and liability. Snow left on the ground turns to ice. That season we had 28 storms. 25 i had to plow.
We had a Super system complete with radios to control traffic as we cleared all our elderly neighbors drives and the Riding Arenas, Parking lots. Sometimes it was fun. But mostly that year i remember finally finishing a storm. Undressing, all 4 sets of sweat soaked Cuddl-Duds in the washer - and before the dryer had finished a NEW storm was in top of us.
The kids and I spread by hand 2 Tons of Rock Salt and 8 tons of Sand.
That year i broke 2 vertebrae in my neck plowing. That was the season i firmly committed to leaving New England.
I am so grateful. 19 Degrees in Dragoon AZ is AWESOME
Walk in Beauty
Tuesday, February 1
I have a new line I am about to debut. I put hours of mind work, then research into a new product before I create it. It includes knowing my target market, what is Hot, What the Seasons colors are, and what makes me different - desirable - not like something everyone else has.. more often than not I am copied. That is always a good thing. I see it as a compliment. My husband doesn't, until I point out to him that those that are copying me are not using Quality Stock. I refuse to compromise on my materials. The difference between a Crafter and an Artist.
Early Saturday i ran into a shop that carries items i can use - sometimes. I found 2 pieces that i wanted - 1 i had been looking for at the right price point for quite some time. The Shopkeeper was very busy and i was in a deep line when the phone rang. I took the call and returned home immediately, placing the items back on the shelf.
My thinking was that i would be back on Monday morning - with more time and more cash - as i had a bakery delivery early Monday.
When i returned the items were gone. 1 was an entire bolt of fabric, over 10 yds. GONE.
i was very disappointed to say the least.
Lesson 1: Maintain a working monthly budget. Know how much you have to spend on supplies at all times. That needs to be divided into repeat items or replenishing; and money for New Items for Growth.
Lesson 2: 10 minutes in line will is sometimes the best time you can spend.
I should have waited.
Growth is a wonderful thing!
Walk in Beauty!!