Monday, November 29, 2010

could it be wider?

Okay, question for those of you reading this: Would it fit on your monitor if the blog was wider? Would you like it better if it was wider? A friend's blog got me wondering about this, and apparently 960 is the new 800 (pixels, that is). I hate to go messin' with the website after I just did all that work, but maybe wider websites would be better?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

November 28 work in progress and other stuff

First and foremost, The Pioneer Woman is right. If you make her cinnamon rolls, all your other achievements in life become obsolete, because suddenly you will be known only for your cinnamon rolls. As a side note though, for you engravers reading this, THIS is my style of scrollwork! It's the only way I like making scrolls! ;-)

Okay, there are two finished pieces to show you but I need their owners to see them first. Stay tuned.

I have two pieces that I've just started, so I'll be dividing my time between these two things in the next while:

"Missy" (Sheltie dog)
scrimshaw engraving on pre-ban elephant ivory
sold (commission)

And I know this doesn't look like anything yet, but there really is a drawing sketched out on that gray paper. :-)

not yet titled
will be colored pencil and graphite
10x10.5 inches
sold (commission)

Oh, and for anyone who's interested, remember three weeks ago when I got stung on the arm by a wasp or yellowjacket or something? There's still a slightly red blotch on my arm. It's not very noticeable unless my arm gets hot (washing dishes or something). Three weeks! Cripes.

Golden Eagle!

Woo hoo! I just have to share with you that I saw a juvenile Golden Eagle soaring quite low over a field on my way home from walking Angus a few minutes ago. That's not a bird I get to ID very often, so I was glad to come home and look it up in the bird book and confirm that I was correct. Sometimes I sure wish I had The Beast camera with me! Would have been some great shots.

Oh yeah, and my brother saw a Peregrine Falcon in Elk Grove the other day. I guess we're doing well with our rare bird sightings this week!

Friday, November 26, 2010


It always seems funny to be hungry the morning after Thanksgiving. Shouldn't I still be full from the turkey and mashed potatoes and green bean casserole and stuffing and cranberries and apple pie and pumpkin cheesecake? Apparently not, but that does make me sound like a pig!

Yesterday was really nice. Chilly, but clear and sunny. So I wandered around with my camera for a while yesterday.

Shylah got a little Thanksgiving feast of mulberry leaves. I think about half the leaves on the tree came crashing down the night beforehand!

Gwen didn't need any, she's out on pasture.

Angus says "huh?"

Olin wonders why I'm on the wrong side of the window.

The chickens are still nowhere near show ready, but by January I hope they'll be all feathered out. Here's a sneak peek at some of the cockerels.

Wild turkeys in the driveway.

Mom and I spent Thanksgiving evening with family friends, as has been tradition for the last many years. Dinner was delicious, and I really enjoy seeing everyone. Thanksgiving is the only time I see some members of that family (who I've known for 25 years). I have to share a funny story with you. I was sitting next to one of the little girls before dinner was served last night. I'm terrible with ages, but I think she's maybe eight years old, or somewhere thereabouts. She kept looking at me and smiling, and finally said "Have you found a husband yet?" I laughed, and said nope, not yet, I'm still looking for one. She reached over, patted my arm, and said "Well, you still look young." Oh my! I guess the implication here is I need to hurry it up before everyone figures out how old I am? That cracked me up. ;-)

I randomly woke up early and had the briefest thought that I could get up and go shopping, but then my eyeballs closed up again and I disappeared under the covers for another two hours. I actually did go shopping though. I'm not in the market for any big ticket items (that I'm aware of, I'll probably think of something as soon as all the sales are over) but I have been accumulating fabric to make myself a quilt, and I couldn't pass up $1.29/yd on flannel, and 50% off the huge cutting mats. So I spent THREE count 'em THREE hours waiting in the cutting line at JoAnn's this morning. Good grief! It was totally worth the $100+ savings, but talk about boring. It's worth noting though, if you're ever stuck there and want a quiet place to sit out of the way of the insanity, go park your butt on the floor in the corner of the home decor fabric section. It's empty there. I read a couple books about home decor, and then a nice older lady came over and sat with me and we talked about quilts for a while.

Anyway, I'd better go back out and get a few more things done outside before it gets dark!

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

back in business, I think...

I'm cautiously optimistic. I think it's safe to come out now. Olin's not so sure....

I'm on the new host now, though evidently it may take the internet another day to fully grasp that fact. If, after another 24 hours or so, there are still any blog problems, I'm going to have a cow. Because then it'll mean that somehow I messed things up. Let's hope not. If you happened to pop in here any time between last night and this morning, you may have noticed that all the images were gone. Oops! All better now. :-)

Hey, why is my air compressor going off (going on? making noise?). The airgraver is off. Hmmm, is there an air leak?! [goes over to investigate] I don't know. I don't hear/feel anything but maybe I'd better put a hose clamp on the one unclamped connection tomorrow. That's very odd for the compressor to be doing anything when the handpiece isn't running.

Anyway, I hope people can finally read this thing again. I have scrimshaw to post soon and will be doing a drawing work in progress starting very soon. Not much excitement to report. It's been getting cold ("cold" by north central CA standards, it's 36 outside right now).

In keeping with blog tradition, I give you my first poultry art, and wish you and yours a very happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

here's what'll happen

Yes, the blog is still having problems. I know.

Things are in progress with moving all the stuff. I jumped the gun a little and complicated one part of this, so it'll be probably a week or two before the domains (and the blog) actually change to the new host. They're still on the old host until then. Yes, this is a real pain in the posterior.

But here's the really important thing: If you have me in your email address book, and it's with an earthlink email addy, I need you to update that to or Whichever makes you happy, they end up in the exact same place, so pick one or the other. The earthlink addresses will stop working soon. If you use the addy, you can keep using it.

I probably will not be blogging much until things are all squared away. I'm tired of wasting time wrestling with the internet, so unless I have something really fantastic to say, I'll see ya on the flip side.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

this could get messy

I bit the bullet and am changing web hosts. My gosh this is a giant pain in the asterisk! Hopefully this will go smoothly and you won't notice a thing (except that *fingers crossed* the blog will actually WORK again) but just in case you go to look at the website and see a giant pile of dust in the next couple days/week, it'll mean I goofed up. Hopefully not, but apologies in advance... ;-)

Monday, November 15, 2010

I'll keep trying

I found out today I will not be showing at the Western Visions show in Jackson Hole in September 2011. Rejection letter in the mail. I'm really really bummed out by this, but at the same time I totally expected it. It's complicated in a way that I can't get into here for all the world to see. Everything is always complicated isn't it... :-(

I'll try again for 2012.

Of course knowing that I won't see my favorite place on earth next year makes me REALLY want to go back even more. Maybe Wyoming and I will be on an every-two-year plan. Unless I strike it rich and move there. Gotta get my weekly lotto tickets tomorrow. ;-)

*Sigh* :-(

Sunday, November 14, 2010

on second thought...

Dear Earthlink,

You are making me very unhappy because you haven't fixed the CNAMES yet. I am very loyal, but upon further investigation of the other fish that are in the web hosting sea, I might have to break up with you. How sad that would be after 12 years together. And it means I'd have to get new business cards printed, which sucks, because I just did that.

You're running out of time to make it right. I wanted to stay with you against all odds, but if you don't fix the problem really really really soon I'm going to find another web host.

I'm just so frustrated

Ever have those days when you want to kick something? Arg.

The layer flock (2 large hens) are eating their own eggs. I hate this. HATE THIS. It makes me so mad. I swear, every large fowl hen in the last few years ends up eating her own eggs. And I don't know where they get the idea, one batch never meets the next, so it's not like they're learning it from each other. They just happen to start doing it, and I don't know why. I also can't break them of it. Hot sauce doesn't work, and I even tried the kind that comes with a warning label. Unpleasant tastes don't deter them. Fake eggs don't fool them. Letting them free-range doesn't work. Moving them around only stops the problem temporarily. These girls are just six months old, and already useless. @#$%!

I thought there was (another) rat(s) under the old chicken coop. Turns out it's a squirrel. What the heck? I've never seen a squirrel on the property and now there's one in the chicken coop? Sigh. On the upside, that's better than rats. I'm tempted to leave it, but it's turning the ground into swiss cheese. I put a live trap out today.

The @#$%ing blog still isn't working for almost everyone who is trying to read it. Geez I am just sick to death of this stupid problem. The options are as follows:

1) Wait it out. I talked to tech support again. "We're working on it." Really? Are they, really? Pros: no change of address (email or URL) to contend with. Can probably get my account credited for the downtime. Cons: I'm seriously losing traffic, and patience.

2) Get new web host. Pros: Restore blog immediately. Better service? But I've been REALLY happy with mine up until this last week or so, I must say. Cons: pain in the butt. I'd lose the email addresses I've been using (for business and otherwise) for over 10 years, that's a major headache so I see this as a last resort. I need to be contact-able. Besides, I just got new business cards printed.

3) Buy new domain, and put the blog on its own domain. Pros: immediately restores blog, gives it a dedicated address. Cons: another expense, involves moving blog address which means I'm going to lose a LOT of traffic anyway. Not sure how or if I can redirect from the current URL. Certainly not when the host isn't working right anyway.

4) Switch to blogspot address. Meh, no thanks. I'd rather buy another domain.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

eh, no particular subject

So supposedly the blog was "up" for 94% of the day. Well color me skeptical, because I'm still getting emails from people who frantically can't find it and think I moved it. I can see it again on my phone, so that seems to be some progress. I don't know what to say. Asking if y'all can read this is kind of futile, because if you can't then obviously you can't answer. Sigh. Technology. The blog is fine. The domain is fine. But there's this itty bitty part that's supposed to redirect the domain to blogger and that's on the fritz. There's nothing *I* can actually do, short of moving the whole thing, which just opens another can of worms because then people really won't find it!

I have to say that the weather lately is fantastic. I love fall!!!!

The grass is growing in the pastures. The horses think anyone who comes out to see them must have treats, so it's always worth checking:

To Shylah's dismay, I actually penned her up in the corrals today. She doesn't need to be consuming that much grass, she's already much too round. Gwen, on the other hand, who is getting rather elderly despite not being all that old (24ish?) could use all the groceries she can eat, so I let her into the far pasture today. She says this is a good thing:

Thursday, November 11, 2010

can you hear me now?

La la la, I really have no idea if anyone can read this right now... Isn't that sad? I couldn't read the blog for a while yesterday, but otherwise it's actually had no problem for ME in the last few days. That may not be the case for the rest of you. So I don't know if it's working or not. The uptime monitor thing I signed up for says it was only down for 5% of the day (at least I think that's what the number gibberish meant) but I'm not sure that means anything. It says it's up right now but I still can't see the blog on my phone, so there must still be a problem. So I'm kind of not really blogging. Not that I have anything useful to say anyway. My arm is still swollen from that stupid sting on Saturday. It's localized, but still itchy. Did I tell you my arm gained 1.5 in circumference at its worst? Rad.

Tuesday, November 09, 2010

for those who can still access the blog...

Yes, it's having major problems. It's been somewhat of a Katy Perry song lately, I'm afraid ("it's up then it's down"...) I thought the problem was with blogger but it's actually with my web host. They are aware of the issue and are supposedly working on it. No estimate on when things will be restored to normal. Very frustrating. I hope this clears up soon, I really don't want to change hosts.

Monday, November 08, 2010

can anyone read this?

Several people have emailed and told me that they have not been able to access the blog for days. I have no idea what's going on. It's been intermittently down over the last several weeks, that I know. Right now I can access it fine on my computer, but not my cell phone. I'm stumped. I hope I didn't mess something up when I changed the website. If you're reading this, let me know. If you've been having problems accessing the blog, let me know. Just comment, 'kay?

Sunday, November 07, 2010

waiting for the benadryl

I have to write fast tonight before the benadryl kicks in and I konk out. More on that in a minute.

Yesterday was very productive. I decided it's finally time to separate the young roosters into conditioning pens. They were starting to squabble and harass the girls. So I sorted through all the cockerels yesterday and put the best 20 (convenient, as there were only 20 I liked) into the tall coop. They're penned in pairs (2 males per pen). That'll work til they get shown, and over the next few months I expect I'll change my mind about some of them anyway and can separate some into single pens. But for now it works. I should have birds to sell in early spring, though it's a little early to get into detail on that. There are a couple of cockerels that have some real potential. I also have quite a few to sell now as "pet quality" birds. They're stunning, just not top notch breeders or show birds (but probably better than what some people might sell!). ;-)

After that, Mom wanted me to help trim the blackberries along the back fence by the creek and that went fine and dandy until something stung my arm. I'm not even sure what, I didn't really get a good look, I just felt the sting and in the split second where I yanked my arm up and smacked my glove across it, I just caught sight of what looked to be a darn big bug (wasp? yellowjacket?). Oh great. I'm not the sort of allergic that makes it life-threatening, but instantly there was a rapidly-spreading red spot and I knew this would be a bad one. I went in the house and treated it ASAP. Yeah, it's a bad one. By tonight my arm is swollen from past my elbow up into my hand. My arm has gained an extra 1.25 inches in circumference. And the pain, it's pretty astounding.... Don't tell me to go see a doctor, I'm not going. I'll live. Damn those stinging things. I like bees but the rest of them ought to just drop dead. The reaction gets worse every time I get stung. I hope it's better tomorrow. Come on benadryl, knock me out...

It rained all day today, almost 3/4 of an inch. I'm working on a scrim I can't show you right now.

Oh! I kinda forgot to mention the Sandhill Crane Festival. Oopsies. It was this weekend down in Lodi. I had three pieces in the art show (two photos and the scrim of the swan on Mother of Pearl called "Tundra Elegance.") Well, my little scrimshaw won 2nd Place People's Choice! Woo hoo! That's pretty cool. The ladies who run the show are so sweet, they put my piece right up front and even brought a magnifying glass so that people could take a better look at it.

Uhhhhh, I've been staring blankly at the screen for a few minutes. I'll take that as a sign that I should head down the hall and climb into those wonderful flannel sheets.

Friday, November 05, 2010

website update done!

Whew! That actually took longer than I thought, and I was expecting a pretty long time. Lots of fiddly crap to do even after I got the bulk of the work done. CSS would make my life easier, right? Yeah, I don't know anything about it. Maybe some day I'll have to learn. I did learn a few new little tricks though.

Anyway, I haven't verified each and every link on every page but so far it seems to be in good shape. I hope you like it. I love it! Should be easier to read and load quicker now. If you do find something that seems like an error, let me know please.


Thursday, November 04, 2010

pardon the dust!

Website deconstruction and reconstruction currently underway, so parts are going to look pretty wonky for a few hours today. Should be done tonight...

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

this and that

So yeah, I was out of town for a bit, a couple hundred miles north in Shasta county at J and D's house. We'd planned/hoped to do a weeklong thing involving taking my horse Shylah up there, but between work schedules and a lot of rain, that didn't exactly pan out. So I drove up for a long weekend. Saturday was rainy so we went to see the movie Secretariat. I enjoyed the heck out of it, and find it impossible not to grip the seat during racing scenes! We did get a few hours of trail riding on Sunday. I rode J's Gypsy gelding Aragorn, and he was a good boy. He's like Shylah in the speed department (if he went any slower he'd be going backwards!). Saw a lot of deer. It's sure pretty up there...

Here's the view from the driveway. That's Mt. Shasta in the distance:

I've got a couple projects underway... WIP's soon. Still busting my butt on my website. It's a day or two away from completion, I've completely redone it and it looks GOOD! A lot of the stuff that's on there now will be removed. You might want to take one last look... No offense if your favorite or one you own disappears from the site.

Monday, November 01, 2010

blog problems

Apparently my blog's been down quite a bit. I hope this doesn't continue. Please know it's nothing I'm doing. I don't know what the problem is, but it's annoying.

I've been gone for a few days.

Much catching-up to do... More later.