Tuesday, May 30, 2006

new image

Finished today, this is other entry for Draft Horse Classic (Sept 06).

"The First of Spring"
colored pencil and graphite on gray stonehenge paper
10.5" x 13.5"
May 2006
will be for sale at DHC if it's accepted

Just for interest sake, here's an extreme closeup of part of the mare. This is way more detail than you'd see just looking at the original drawing. Color and form are created by laying the colored pencils. That can mean layering one color to create a gradation of light-dark, or layering many colors, going from light to dark--building up to create a form that appears to have depth. There are 10 colors used in the body of the mare (not including hooves, muzzle, eyes): white, cream, beige, sand, goldenrod, terra cotta, tuscan red, black cherry, burnt umber, indigo.

new image

Again, not new, but newly scanned. I am entering this one in Draft Horse Classic (Sept 06).

"Oregon Wade"
intaglio etching (dark brown ink on cream paper)
printed in late 2005
plate size ~4.25" x 5.75"
edition size: 20
for sale: prints 1-20
$145 plus tax unframed

new image

This isn't *new* persay but I finally got around to scanning it today.

"Oregon Wade" (negative image)
intaglio etching (white ink on black paper)
printed in late 2005
plate size ~4.25" x 5.75"
edition size: 4
for sale: prints 2-4
$200 plus tax unframed

Monday, May 29, 2006

Up and Running!!!

Woo hoo, the computer is back!!! I got the call Friday late afternoon telling me that the new hard drive was installed and I could come pick it up. Since I was heading out of town for the weekend I figured I could either get it on the way and take it with me or wait til Tuesday. Of course waiting til Tuesday would mean not having it today.. So yeah, I took the computer on vacation! :-)

The really good news here is that NOTHING was lost from the hard drive (at least not that I've discovered yet). Woo hoo!!! The guys at Core Care in Sacramento are awesome.

So, I spent this weekend at a Clinton Anderson horse training clinic in Red Bluff, and I stayed with J.C. and D.C. about an hour northeast of there. The clinic was great, I feel like I learned a lot and I sure like the way he presents information. I'm excited about really getting going and applying this training to Shylah, and I realize I need to do a lot more groundwork before I think too hard about riding. It was very informative, and funny. And he's really really hot stuff so that's always a good thing too. ;-) If I was brave I would have gotten a picture with him and posted that here, but... alas I am not brave.

I think it may take a while for my butt to recover from sitting on bleachers for hours and hours and hours. Bleachers, I think, would be a pretty effective torture device. Ugh!

I did take a gazillion pictures of horses and other things at J.C.'s place, and actually took a bunch of landscape shots too. It's rare that I'm visiting there when it isn't either ankle deep in mud or over 100 degrees, so this was pretty much a perfect weekend, and the clouds were really neat. It is so gorgeous there.

"Objects in viewfinder are MUCH closer than they appear" The photo below is cropped down a fair amount, the horses didn't take up that much of the frame in the original photo, but I was standing there shooting a series of running pics, and when I looked up away from the camera I realized the mare was right in front of me! I think I said something along the lines of "oh crap!" The horses are Andalusians, and the bay colt that's pictured above and below (not the one with the white markings) is for sale (thought I'd throw a plug in there for you J!) :-)

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

La dee da

It's going to be a miracle if this posting actually survives. Exploder was telling me that cookies were disabled (um, no they're not, I haven't touched the cookies and they worked beforehand!) so I've resorted to writing this one in Netscrape 4.7. It looks really really weird. We'll see...

Still no good news on the computer. I talked to Apple directly and was told that "most backorders are filled in ten business days or less." Well, even that would put it into early June. They said if it takes longer than ten business days "there are steps we can take." I am not sure what that means but I think we're gonna be taking some steps... I have work to do!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

It doesn't really occur to me to take photos lately since I can't post them on here at the moment. Not that anything exciting is going on anyway.

I moved the oldest batch of chicks outdoors today. Dang I have a lot to get rid of, I wish I could get rid of them now but they are too little to take to auction.

I am almost done with a drawing that I am entering in Draft Horse Classic. When I am able to scan it and post it here I will do so. I feel a bit guilty for drawing horses instead of chickens but it's a necessity, that's a very important show for me.

I attended an art club meeting tonight and we learned about drawing caricatures. Those are tough. Mine ended up looking more cartoony than caricature-ish (is there a difference? I guess overly-accentuating features isn't something I do well). Maybe I'll post those here some day too.

When I was backing up all the files off the hard drive I realized I never posted any of the figure drawings I did either... I could do that too some day. Should I add fig leaves? I suppose some people might find them offensive. I don't, it's art..but hey, whatever....

Enough rambling, I think I'll hit the publish button and see if this thing self destructs.

Monday, May 22, 2006

BBRed Rosecombs

This is the only part of my website I can edit right now which is the only reason I am posting this info here, on the off chance that some interested person will read it. A buyer was supposed to send payment for BBRed Rosecomb eggs and has not (yet?) Eggs don't keep forever. There are 18+ ready for IMMEDIATE shipment, would need to go out by Wednesday the 24th. Email me for info.

Nope, not yet...

I called the computer repair place this morning, still no word from Apple on when the new hard drive will be in, so I have NO idea how long this could take... my fear is it may turn into weeks. The guy told me I can take my computer back home if I want to, and it may come to that.. it was still working (to an extent) and I could continue to use it until the new drive arrives, and then I'd just take it back for repair. I need to think about that. There are things I need on there, and even though I have them on backup, I can't open them on this laptop. Plus I can't print anything from here, or scan anything, or get images off my camera.... However, I am still most grateful to be able to do email, thanks again JJ!!! :-)

Oh! And I need to be able to update my website!! I sold the three kitten paintings over the weekend and need to change that.. no can no now.

We had a decent amount of rain over the last two days, which was actually kind of nice since it had been miserably hot there for a while. I feel so sorry for people who have hay down in the fields though, ugh! My 60 bales of hay was delivered last week, but the bale wagon doesn't fit into the barn so they had to drop it out front. It took me two days to move ALL the hay into the barn and restack it. 21 bales into the extra stall (6 bales high on one end), one large stack in the aisleway, 8 by 8 feet and 5 bales high, and then a few leftovers along the wall. I was sooooo sore by the end of that. They are heavier this year! It's not exactly a fun job but there's something immensely satisfying about doing it alone. Well, to be fair, E.H. (Patrick's owner) did show up right at the end and help with a few bales and that was nice since I was about to croak.

Things are still weird with the horses, and more and more I think it will not work for Patrick to stay here, it's dangerous out there. I've been turning the three of them out together. Gwen acts like a stallion. She charges at him, kicks him (he did fight back at one point, that was dramatic) and will NOT let him get near Shylah. Gwen is always between them, and I can tell this is starting to annoy Shylah, I've seen her make a run for it a couple times but she can't get away from Gwen. If Patricks ends up in the middle it's NOT pretty, Gwen pretty much tries to kill him (pissing and swishing her tail the whole time, it's really gross). I've ridden her with other geldings and she's never been like this before. There is just something about him that has a strange affect on her. It makes them hard to be around. *sigh* They are so weird.

I'm debating setting one more batch of eggs or just stopping now (there is one more batch due, in two weeks). Hmmmmmm........

Ok, back to work.

Thursday, May 18, 2006

something borrowed and orange

I'll keep this short and sweet.

My computer's hard drive decided to stop working...or was on its way to making that decision, so it's being repaired and I have been computerless. The new drive is backordered with no estimated date of arrival... I don't like the sound of that. I think I was able to back up all my documents. I miss my computer! If I'm going to not use the computer I need that to be my choice, and not just that it's not here!

J.J. has loaned me this cute little orange iBook because I was suffering from the lack of internet. So at least I can email (well, if I happen to have memorized addresses, since all that stuff was on the old hard drive..) I keep spelling everything wrong because the keyboard is way different! And the screen is so tiny! IE 5.1 (tee hee, old!) is a little quirky with the blogger site, and Netscape (hoo hoo ha ha!) didn't work worth squat, so I probably won't be blogging much til I get my computer back.

There is a lot to talk about though, so we'll see, I may be compelled to deal with the quirks anyway.

I know, you're all missing me terribly. ;-)

Hasta pasta!

Saturday, May 13, 2006

One of those days....

It's sorta been like that for the last couple days, very Murphy's Law-esque. *sigh*

I moved the pipped eggs into the hatcher last night right before I went to bed. 4 of them were pipped but the rest were not (there are always over-achievers!) I've found they hatch best if I wait until they pip before moving them to the hatcher.. So all was well, no problem. This morning a few more were pipped in the incubator and one was hatched out there, but it sounded weak and acted lethargic. Hmm, not good. I opened it up and took the tray out, and immediately I could feel that the inside of the incubator was no warmer than the room. CRAAAAAP, not again! I quickly moved all three trays of eggs into the hatcher, just for safe keeping. Although "room temperature" in there is about 85 degrees, eggs need to be just over 99..so that's a problem, and I really really really hope it didn't kill the next two batches of eggs or take too heavy a toll on those that are due to hatch this weekend. I took the top off the incubator and fiddled with the wires again, but there's really nothing to fix--nothing is broken! Ack!! I don't know what the issue is! This the same thing that happened a few months ago, but at that time there was some corrosion in the wire connector. Everything's clean, I fixed that issue way back then! So.. I don't know. It started to work again and seems to be fine. We'll see... Arg!

A couple days ago the computer started to act much slower than normal and stall while opening programs and whatnot. The little colored wheel would spin and spin.. eventually it would come back to live, but this is not normal, it's a very zippy computer. And then it started to click. OH NO. I emailed a Mac guru and he confirmed what I was dreading, sounds like the hard drive is failing. CRAAAAP! I hope I don't lose anything. I will be taking it in for service next week, I hope that doesn't take too long, I feel pretty worthless without computer access (not just for incessant email checking, but also for legitimate work, graphics, scanning, etc.) Arg!

And then there was a broken water pipe too but that's pretty small potatoes compared to this other crap. I can't spell-check this posting, the computer I'm on (am house-sitting) won't let the window pop up so I hope I didn't make too many errors.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Something I've never seen before

I have always wanted to see a Praying Mantis egg case hatch, but I had never been that fortunate. I would find them on the side of the house, or around the barn, and I'd try to be diligent and check every day but I always missed the big event. Until today... I was coming back in from the pasture, having just brought Patrick in from an hour turnout with Shylah, and when I reached for the gate latch in the corral, I realized just before I grabbed it that there were some sort of little bugs crawling all over it. Eww gross, I thought, and yanked my hand back. But then I took a close look and practically shouted with delight! Baby Mantids! Soooo cute! Mind you I am not a big fan of bugs in general, but I do have exceptions to this rule, and Praying Mantids are on the exempt list. I ran in and got my camera and took some pics. It was really hard, these little guys are about 1/4 inch long and FAST, very jumpy. Within a few hours they were all gone. I hope to see some of them all grown up!! I'm sure it's a small percentage that makes it to adulthood though. :-(

This is the egg case and a few hatchlings. It's on the underside of a gate latch on the pipe corral, I'd never even noticed it, you can't see it unless you get down underneath it:

I got one to hop up onto my hand, here it is on my pinky:

And on my pointer finger:

"Here's looking at you, kid."

What's funny is just the other night I was admiring this website and all the wonderful photos!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Meanwhile, back at the ranch...

I don't know what that phrase is from but I've always liked it.

It's been getting mighty toasty here. I do like to complain about the weather, in case you hadn't noticed. All that rain cheated us out of the really nice spring, so we seem to be moving rapidly into summer. Woo wee, can't wait for those 100+ degree days (me? sarcastic?)

Things are still tense in the horsey world here. Patrick and Shylah are getting along spendidly. They have been turned out together a few times and after the initial kick-and-squeal-fest all is well between them. But then there's Gwen. Oh Gwen... I don't understand her. She seemed to be in heat at first, and therefore spent most of her day trying to murder Patrick over the fence (that is, after all, her response to horses of the opposite sex, although I guess she exempted Sampson from this rule). She's calmed down somewhat, but is still being a complete weirdo. Normally the three horses are separated--Gwen in the big corral, Patrick in the small corral, Shylah in the pasture. Patrick's corral is in the middle, so if each horse stands at their gates, they can be about 30 feet apart. If Shylah is out of sight, Gwen can be civil. She still looks a bit pissed off and swishes her tail a lot, but she won't actively try to kill anyone. If Shylah is near Patrick, Gwen gets super agitated, runs around, pins her ears, major tail swishing. If Gwen and Shylah are together (I turn Gwen out for a couple hours every day on the pasture) she will NOT let Shylah get near Patrick. Gwen will make extraordinary efforts to keep herself between the two of them. This just boggles my mind, she has never had the slightest interest in what Shylah does, and Gwen has never seemed interested in another horse (other than to beat them up). So why she's doing this, I don't understand. Is she jealous? Insecure? Does she want Patrick all to herself? (I thought she hated him!). I don't understand, this is not the Gwen I know.

I've certainly never thought of Gwen as an athlete, but her skills at "cutting" Shylah are quite impressive. That mare can herd!

I think the cause of this is that he acts "studdish" although he is gelded. I don't know if there is some sort of residual leftovers there, or if he's just a dude with a 'tude, but he certainly does get her all riled up. I have no idea whether the three of them can be together, and that will be the deciding factor in whether Patrick stays. It won't work if Gwen is going to terrorize him constantly (for his own sake, and also because Gwen's new personality is horrendously annoying), and it definitely won't work if Gwen is going to take it out on Shylah. So... we'll see. To watch Patrick and Shylah gallop laps around the pasture is pretty awesome though, they look sooo pretty. He's definitely faster, but her short legs sure can move quickly when they need to!

Tuesday, May 09, 2006


Rosecomb Bantam eggs available for sale: BBRed, Brassy Back/Blue Brassy Back. Pricing and full information here. Limited time offer, if you want colored Rosecombs and you aren't in CA this is your best (only?) chance to get them from me. Don't wait for me to have birds for sale in the fall, get the eggs now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Batch 3 chicks

Chick numbers from batch 3 (tiny batch because I only collected half a week)

T: Brassy Male & Blue Brassy Male X Brassy, Blue Brassy, & BBB Splash females: 2 Brassy Back
O2: BBRed X BBRed: 2 BBRed
B: BBRed male X Brown Red females: 2 BBRed, 1 Brown Red
T1: BBRed male X F1 Crele female: 2 Crele
T2: F1 Crele male X BBRed females: 1 Crele, 1 BBRed
T3: F1 Cuckoo male X Black female: 2 Cuckoo
T4: Black male X F1 Cuckoo females: 1 Black
T5: Black male X F1 Cuckoo females: 2 Cuckoo, 2 Black
T7: Brown Red male X BBRed females: 2 BBRed, 2 Brown Red
N1: BBRed X BBRed: 1 BBRed
N4: Black X Black: 2 Black
N5: Black X Black: 1 Black

Still having problems with excessive embryo mortality, and it's highly variable from one batch to the next. I did just change the humidity, as it had gotten too high, and that may have contributed. It is SO frustrating. Batch 4 (this weekend) was a big hatch but not a good hatch, too many were fully developed but didn't make it. I know some of it is genetic (I got 100% hatch on the Cuckoos, but pretty bad % on Blacks) but I'm sure a lot of it is incubation issues, probably more likely humidity problems than anything else. I'm not that great at incubating eggs. I think it might be helpful if I wait even longer to move them into the hatcher though, like let them ALL pip before moving any. Hmmmmm. Dang, it drives me up the wall.

In other news.. the wedding this weekend was lovely, and I've now satisfied my quota for getting dressed up once a year... K, you looked absolutely beautiful! :-) I busted loose my wonderful (ha ha) dance moves and did the electric slide... it's been a while, I'd forgotten it!

I got my new long reins this morning, so I get to start working with Shylah again on that. She's been doing GREAT. Two days ago was the first time she ever bucked (no, I'm not riding her yet, just lungeing with the saddle on). It was just little hops really, but it was funny because she has never done that. It really doesn't worry me, I think she'll be fine. I'm debating if I should be the first one to ride her. I want to, just for the sake of being the first one to ride her since I've done all her other training, but at the same time I'm totally scared to do it. As much as I think she'll be fine, what if she's not?! Am I the best person to handle that? Would it be wiser to have one person up and one on the ground? If I'm not the first person to ride her, I will have my neighbor do it, she's young and skinny and a better rider than I could ever dream of being! We'll see...

I recently noticed the "radio" section of the iTunes program. Wow! This is awesome! I always listed to music when I'm drawing, but I get tired of flipping stations on my little portable walkman, and plus it's having some dumb problem where if I move it, it shuts off... Sometimes I just play CDs on the big stereo system, but I wanted more diversity. I don't have a lot of songs in my iTunes thing, but why had I never noticed the radio?? So today I have been listening to "Classical, Spanish, and Flamenco Guitar Variations." It's great music, very energizing!

Ok, back to drawing chickens..

Saturday, May 06, 2006

It's a boy!

The chick has hatched! (just to remind you, I've been photographing the same egg for the last ~3 weeks of incubation, this is the result of that one egg). There were 7 hatched by this morning (a LOT more on the way!) and I'd say from the looks of it this little guy was probably the second oldest (based on fluffiness!). How do I know it's a boy? All the cuckoo colored ones from that particular breeding pen are male, it's a sex-linked color. Cute isn't he? I didn't think I'd be able to get a decent pic while he's still inside the hatcher but it turns out if I put the camera at just the right angle I can take a successful flash photo through the Plexiglas door. It's 99.1 degrees in there, 65% humidity.

Friday, May 05, 2006

19 days

Sorry I didn't manage to get a pic yesterday, it would have looked just like day 17 anyway. I was busy all day and got home later than I anticipated at night and was just too tired.

So this is day 19, I didn't realize the pic was quite that dark when I took it, but you don't really need to see the other end of the egg anyway. It's photographed in the same position as always. The chick has "pipped," meaning it has broken the shell and started the process of hatching. So the light "chip" area you see there is the broken part of the shell, and the darkness near that inside the egg is the chick's beak. It is possible it may be hatched by morning, but there's no way to predict that for certain, they are highly variable and none of them give me a schedule. ;-) I won't have a chick pic for you til Sunday afternoon, since I can't open the hatcher between now and then (it would mess up the humidity if I did).

Prince Charming?

Call me crazy but I totally love toads.

That warty skin, that sweet face, those bulging eyes... who can resist a toad? They are few and far between these days though, this is the only one I've seen since probably about two years ago. When we first moved to this area in 1985, I remember seeing toads and frogs at some of the houses we looked at (I was QUITE young, don't forget!) and that sort of became my criteria for houses. If they didn't have frogs or toads somewhere, I wasn't impressed. So when we looked at the ranch that my parents ended up buying, it was love at first sight for me because the front yard was FULL of teeny baby toads. OMG they are so cute!!! There must have been at least hundreds of them all over the yard and in little burrows going under the sidewalk. I was absolutely enthralled. I don't even think I went with the rest of the family to look around the house, I just sat in the yard and played with toads the whole time.

For several years there was a huge toad population, they were all over the yard and all over the garden. They would hide in the cracked dirt in the garden (you know how when wet dirt dries out it cracks?) so then when the garden would get watered again they would all come out of the cracks and hop around. But over the years the population went down and now I hardly ever see one. I know that's somewhat a localized thing, because there were other places where I would see them, but even overall their population has gone way down. A couple years ago there were baby toads around the house again, you could go out at night with a flashlight and see a dozen or so, but nothing like the hundreds that used to live in the front yard on the big ranch. I miss the toads!

Yeah, okay, so maybe I'm a little weird.


Irises and roses.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

17 days

Remember how little the air cell was when the egg was first incubated? The last photograph will be taken on Friday when I move the eggs into the hatcher. After that I need to leave them alone til Sunday, it's crucial to maintain a certain humidity level in the hatcher, so I can't mess with it then.

Interesting Things

Last month I went through some of the keywords that people put into search engines that led them to my website(s) so I think I'll do that again. You know what's pretty funny-- the phrases I typed in here last time.. now they are coming up even MORE in searches because now they really do exist in writing on this domain! So, like, the bubble butt thing for example, OMG, comes up all the time now. Won't they be disappointed when they realize this is so not what they're looking for (rolls eyes). So, without repeating last month's stuff, here are some new phrases from either the art domain or the rosecomb domain:

hairy beast (must have been something I said about horses)
does fate really happen (I don't know, what do you think?)
bantam draft horse (tee hee, awwww cute!)
cool lady trying to make call (what??)
what kind of sound to do roosters do (approximately 20 different vocalizations)
how tall is a chicken egg in inches (depends on the egg!)
diapers for ducks (I've seen these on the web...)
the art of chicken butt (ummm...)
show me chicken earlobes (is that like show me the money?)
goober people drawings (what?!)
6 foot dog (that's either a horrible deformity or a really big dog!)
hot drawings (ooooh yeah...)
why call me a chicken (why not?)
bed bug (okay, that's weird)
roadhouse peanut compost (and that's weird too!)
armpits (always a good way to end a list...)

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

16 days, horses, and shopping

Yup, pretty opaque:

I went to the mall today. I have a severe aversion to shopping, so this was a rare moment. I really needed to go though. I dragged my friend K.V. along for moral support, and had she not been there I probably would have zipped through and said "nope, nothing I like" and gone home and sulked and then had to wear jeans and a t-shirt to a wedding I'm attending this weekend. Ok, slight exaggeration perhaps, but I'm not the world's most open-minded shopper. So I probably drove her insane by being so picky and indecisive, but in the end we found a cute outfit. Now I just need to figure out what to do with my hair. These dress-up events are few and far between so this is no small undertaking..

In other news, there is another horse here again. Poor Gwen, she was probably rejoicing that Sampson went home, and now there's another boy here to deal with. I'm not sure how long he will be here, probably a short-term thing but we'll see. This is Patrick the thoroughbred, and I just cannot take him seriously with that flymask on! (has to wear it due to an eye problem):

There was a lot of squealing and kicking going on when he met the girls (and in fact just ten minutes ago I heard Gwen out there squealing and kicking the fence more...it's late at night!). I think he will end up getting along well with Shylah. After the intitial kick-fest they stood at the gate for a while and talked politely with their ears forward. He REALLY makes her look short! And he's not even all *that* tall!

Random pretty picture of Shylah:

Gwen, on the other hand, tried to kill him, and might have succeeded in bodily harm if it wasn't for the heavy duty fence separating them. She's mad. She's probably still doing the angry tail swishing. She wouldn't even eat her dinner, and for Gwen not to eat, well... that's rare. She went and stood in the far corner and sulked. Here she is looking somewhat possessed due to the camera flash:

Monday, May 01, 2006

15 days, and chick pix

And in case anyone is chickening vicariously through me, here are all the babies as of today.

First batch, Cuckoos and Crele X. Cuckoos are looking very dark this year, hmm... Crele things are weird, who knows.. Oh, and one little Silver cross in there too...she's super cute!

First batch, Black, BBRed, Brassy Back, Blue Brassy Back, and one Blue Brassy Splash:

Second batch, all colors together:

Third batch, all colors together: