Friday, November 30, 2007

R.I.P. - Jasmine


Yesterday, Jasmine was standing for a lot of the day. We knew that she hadn't eliminated yet, but thought maybe for some reason she was feeling better.

This morning she is gone. It's been sad to see her in pain and struggling with her plight. We went down for one last time to see her. She was sooo bloated. We feel that perhaps this could have been prevented. Of course, the last resort was surgery and that is usually only 50% effective, and a financial issue as well.

After researching online about it, because that is what I do when there are issues I don't understand, "colic" in horses is pretty prevalent. It is preventable. This situation occurred perhaps from Jasmine eating the cattle feed, which was laced with the cattle medicine and too coarse for her digestive tract. It impacted her "cecum" or maybe it 'twisted' her intestines. We felt a more aggressive treatment, maybe enema would have helped, the vet said the cecum is hard to reach from either end. Looking at the illustrations, it's so. There is lots of info and personal experiences on the internet. Some are success stories and some not so successful. Chalk this one up to "not so successful". Everyone worked so hard and way into the cold and windy nights hoping to make a difference for the horse and for the girl who owned her. And if you know me, I get way too attached to animals, this one really pulled at my heart strings, and I even did a portrait of her for granddaughter months ago, which endears her even more.

I have to get out to the studio today, in hopes it will help me 'let this event go' from my head, but keep her in my heart.

There's a 'winter storm warning' in effect this evening through tomorrow morning. They say 'ice'. Gotta get to town and get milk for us and gasoline for the generator, just in case.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Still Prayin'

Horse is still down. Very cold and windy. Went to town to do license plate and property tax business and discovered just about everyone we came in contact with was sick with something. Ugh!
Vet has not shown up today. Don't know what will happen.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Sick Horse - Part Two

When we got back to the horse, she was lying down again, so....the rest of the afternoon until 5:30 was spent walking Jasmine (oh, it was cold and windy!!), so she wouldn't lie down and roll, cause if she did that, her stomach could twist in a knot and that would be it. We had quite a group, on and off all afternoon, G. came home, the "hunters" who are lodging at my neighbors came to help and Marian and Ed (grandma and grandpa) came home from work.
Jasmine layed down when G and granddaughter were walking her at one point, while I was at the house, using the bathroom, and when I got back she was stiff legged and had her eyes closed, I thought, "OMG, she's a goner!" It was almost impossible to raise her up on her feet again, but after pulling and shoving and coaxing and pushing and pleading and the hunter's truck drove into the yard and up she came, we "got r' done"!
The vet finally showed back up and after he gave her a sedative (that was fun, trying to keep her on her feet) he put a tube down her nose and gave her a gallon of mineral oil. He said that sometimes horses just "get" this way, due to the feed as it ferments in their stomach. The horse was walked some more, a bed of straw was made for her in her pen, and she got to lay down again, finally it was OK. She seemed better. G and I left at dark. We must have walked that horse 10 or more miles today.
About an hour ago, they brought the horse around to our door, and she looked a whole bunch better! Ears perky, head up, and standing with more "gusto" as she usually does.
Yeah! I think she will make it! It's worth all the work when you are an animal lover. We are in the right place! I realized, just like "It takes a village to raise a child," it also "takes a village to keep a horse alive!"

Sick Horse


My neighbor's granddaughter owns an Arabian horse. This morning she came to our door, because the horse was lying down and wouldn't get up. Our house is between her house and the horse's area. G. was leaving for the dentist soon, but we both went down to see if we could help.
The experience I have had with horses is that my neighbor in the mountains had a mare that got colic from eating some 'weeds' that horses shouldn't and got 'down' and had to be treated very quickly by a vet.
When we got there the horse was moaning and rolling on it's back. It didn't look like it felt very good. It stood up briefly and then it's back legs collapsed and it sort of fell down again. It was very sad and disconcerting.
By that time grandma had arrived and the vet was on his way. The vet assessed the situation and we determined that the horse had gotten into the heifers food the day before. It has medicine in it for calves, but is deadly to horses. To verify this, I ran back to the house and called the Co-Op where the feed was from and sure enough the medicine was in this feed. Someone had delivered these heifers yesterday and put the horse in the wrong corral, and the horse helped itself to the cattle feed for a little while. The vet gave the horse a shot, encouraged it to get up but it wouldn't. He said the horse would have to get up and be walked for at least 1/2 hour, before he returned at noonish to see how she was. The other women and I got the horse to stand, I had to finally 'spook' the horse from the side, nothing else was working. Grandma had to get to work, I had nothing going on, so I helped granddaughter walk the horse. We walked her for about 1/2 hour, you could tell she was definitely feeling better. We put her back in the pen and she stretched out her stance and kept opening her mouth real wide, like she was trying to belch, it looked like those scenes I can remember from "Mr. Ed" the talking horse, when the horse's mouth moved around as it supposedly talked. Then, she looked as though she would lay down again, so back out we took her for some more walking. The vet came around 11:00 and listened to the horse, Jasmine's belly. He said it sounded better. She looked better and hadn't returned to the ground. Still, she is making those funny faces with the mouth open and stretching out, probably to let air pass through. So, I think she is going to be OK. We are going to check on her again about 1:30. I knew that one had to act pretty quickly on these things, good thing there is a traveling vet in the area and that he came so quickly. Granddughter thanked me over and over again. She was so afraid she was going to lose Jasmine this morning. But....time will tell. We collected the morning's eggs from the hen house, she gave them to me, and I accepted but told her "that's what neighbors are for"...to help when needed.
Colic is a scary thing, especially in horses!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Where I Stand Sunday


Today I stood on the BNSF railroad tracks that run near my parents home in Shawnee, Ks. I chose to stand there because the sound of trains stirs my memories. They are connected to many parts of my life. I recall the train that ran by my cousin's house in Missouri that I stayed at when I was just a kid. We had fun each summer, playing on the tracks, riding their horses, exploring an old abandoned grave yard, playing in the hayloft of the barn, and watching the workers in the cotton fields (usually his older siblings). There were always train whistles near my home where I grew up in Englewood. My daughter lived near the train track in Fort Collins, when she went to CSU. The many times I stayed with her, we listened to the train in the middle of the night. It reminds me of looking at a "dream house" with my husband, as we were looking at a house that was perfect, but the track was right behind the house. G. is not that fond of trains. Where I live now, I can feel the ground rumble a little and hear the whistle of the trains on the track about a mile and 1/2 away. I love to stand in the subway stations in NYC as trains roar by, swirling everything around, again as I visit my daughter. When I stay here in Shawnee, I hear them at all times of the day and night, they are about 1/2 mile from here. I read a sign near the tracks - and didn't know that some of the trains are unmanned and run by remote. I love the sound of the whistle and the wheels rumbling the earth as they roll on by. I can't imagine a world without trains or being able to hear their lonesome calls in the night.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you and I will also let Fibra Artysta know, so she can you on her web sidebar if you'd like.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Thankful for Who We Are and What We Have


As I sit with the delicious aroma of the turkey dressing in the oven(have to cook things in shifts to leave room for the turkey), I wish you and yours a peaceful and happy Thanksgiving time! I think most of all, I am thankful for my freedom to live without worry or threat to be who I am.
Happy Thanksgiving to those who are serving our country and those who are left at home waiting for them. I am thankful for a wonderful and supportive family. On my way tomorrow to KC, for mom's 80th birthday. Happy Birthday, Mom! And Happy 65th Anniversary to my aunt and uncle in Tennessee! Family is what it is all about!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Swirling White Stuff


Today is the first day of snow here, in the exact middle of the country. It's swirling and the trees are swaying. So far, there is a light dusting on the fence and propane tank. The turkey, which I bought late, is in water in the sink defrosting. I am going back out to the studio today, it's getting a revamping and cleaning. I had to drag my big oak desk and in doing so the legs separated from the sides, so I am going to try to fix that. I like snow a lot, just don't like to travel very far in it. It's not supposed to amount to much, but I am ready for winter! Last year in December, we lost power for 4 days due to downed power lines from an ice storm, we made it just fine with the generator back-up in the RV and running to town for jugs of water to flush the toilets. Since then we bought another generator so next time we could run the water system pump, too. So we are ready - if it decides to be a powerless time this December. Let me know if it is snowing in your "neck of the woods". Leave a comment.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Where I Stand Sunday



I ran across another "artist" blogger who publishes this format each Sunday and I thought I would give it a try. Sundays, for me, are about summing up your week, and getting ready to move onto the next. This week, I planted 10 little Colorado Blue Spruce treelets that I received for a membership in National Arbor Foundation. Yes, I know they aren't the quickest growing trees, but I like them. They remind me of Colorado and mountains. So, I cleaned out the zucchini garden and planted them there. They needed water yesterday, as it is dry and balmy here. So, this morning I stand over them, to make sure that they haven't been devoured by "critters" and that they still appear to be moist.

Where I Stand Sunday is an ongoing photo essay examining the different places I spend my life standing. Too often we take for granted the everyday places we spend our lives walking on. If you'd like to join me by posting a photo on Sunday of places you've been on your blog/photo hosting site/website, leave a comment on this post telling me where I can find you/your photo and I'll add a link to my sidebar so others can find you and I will also let Fibra Artysta know, so she can you on her web sidebar if you'd like.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Day 4 Artwork


"Model Portrait" oil on canvas board, 11" x 14"

This is the last day's labor of love, an oil portrait. Who is it, you ask? No one in particular, just a model's photograph that displayed some good shadow and contrast. I have always had success with pastel portraits and have been ready to get going on oil portraits. It's interesting to think about all those blood veins/vessels underneath the skin, and thinking about how that effects the colors in the facial plane. I would welcome your feedback on this one. Thanks!

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 3 Artwork


"Belgian One" pastel on sandpaper, 16" x 20"

I absolutely love working in pastel! It is my medium of choice. As I said a few blogs ago, I was going to do several works revolving around the Belgian horses viewed on a farm nearby. This is the first one. It's not quite done, but I now have some time to complete it, and will post the finished piece at a later time, so here is the "almost finished" version. You can see that the area around the horse is still in "draft" stage. As I worked, I realized the enormity of their legs and musculature. They really are a lot bigger than pleasure horses. They are a working machine! I have been interested in drawing horses since I was little. I remember using Marguerite Henry's "Album of Horses" to learn to draw my favorite animals. (So if your kids like to draw horses, this book is a great inspiration!) It's always nice to revisit horses as a subject! Thanks for looking!

Sunday, November 11, 2007

More Artwork

Tonight I will post the 2nd painting I accomplished at the Kaye Franklin 4 day workshop. I am preparing to reload my oil paint box with more tubes of paint. I dig oils! Yesterday, G. redid the mailbox out on the road that was one of the last remnants of the destruction from the May storm. He repainted it, put a new roof on it and it looks like our house. Today I painted our name and house number on it. I must say it is looking good around here!

"Mirrored Lake" oil painting, 11" x 14" on canvas panel

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Safe Landing

The 4 day pastel/oil workshop is over...I was ready for more. There was certainly a "learning curve" for me this time, this is the second workshop I have taken with this artist. I knew what I needed to pay attention to, and I feel I absorbed a ton of technique in a very short time. I could go on and on with the learning. I got 4 paintings done, in 4 days. That makes me a "daily painter" for this week, ha! Believe me, if I had someone to do all the other work, I would have noooo problem being one for the rest of my life. Here is day one's painting. BTW, met and networked with some really great peeps! It seems that I made some helpful and "kindred spirit" connections!

"Aunt Jane's Tomatoes" oil on canvas board, 11" x 14" For Sale in my ETSY shop.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Only in Kansas

As I was walking to a local food fare in Logan, Kansas, where I am taking my workshop, I found this abomination in the center of the street. Had to take some photos. It will especially impress my dad as we often load my car or truck with some interesting hand-me-downs that I then bring back home and are put to good use! I wouldn't have liked to be the one following this load, but I would be interested to know if it made it to it's destination safely or not??

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Harvest is Over!

Tried to post last night, but there was a problem with blogger, I guess, how frustrating is that?
I can't let the day get away without sharing my little "photo-journalistic take" on G's hard work the last 11 days straight. He worked for the Bargman Boys, two brothers that farm over 3,000 acres.

They used the Case with a John Deere header to cut the milo or silage out of the fields.

They empty the grain into the tractor pulled grain cart and this grain truck and...


they also filled up the trailer pulled by the Peterbilt with at least 80,000 pounds for each trip to the grain elevator. This is the rig that G. drove making about 5 trips to a grain elevator each day.

Of course one of my favorite camera shots this morning was the Bargman's 13 year old "coon hound" sitting in the sun.

Stay Tuned

Getting ready to do a big workshop with Kaye Franklin, at the Dane Hansen Memorial Museum in Logan, Kansas, who really got me "off and sailing" last year. She teaches in oils and pastels, that is how I rekindled my fondness of oil
paint....mmmm...paint, I love it! I love the consistency of it, the viscosity of it and the feel of it as it's stroked upon the surface, always have, always will!

Monday, November 5, 2007

Check out my Slide Show!


With the exception of a few, this represents my art from Nov.'06 to Nov.'07. Hope you enjoyed it!

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Making "Connections"

On Halloween, I had the TV on, while I was doing some stuff on the computer and was watching "The 100th Scariest Movies" or something like that, they were down in the low numbers and highlighted the movie "Cujo" based on a story by Stephen King (one of my favorites). It was explained how they got the St. Bernard to go crazy and try to jump into the car, while the lady and her son were trying to flee. They put "mouse pheromone" into the car to attract the dog, and from the looks of the scene that they then shared, it worked!
pher·o·mone [fer-uh-mohn]–noun Animal Behavior. any chemical substance released by an animal that serves to influence the physiology or behavior of other members of the same species.
Very scary scene, enough to make even "dog lovers" think twice. Well, I now understand how very powerful "mouse pheromone" is, even to dogs! G. was leaving for his harvest job this morning and pulled one of the car out of the quonset hut, that hardly gets driven, a Subaru SVX. He had been saying that we needed to move cars around a little more because mice get into them and destroy them, chewing interiors and wires. He pulled up alongside the dog enclosure at the back of the house and sure enough, there was a mouse living in the trunk. It had piled a bunch of seat insulation near the tire, under the tire cover. We lifted the pile out, and saw the mouse escape through a drain hole in the trunk. It dropped to the ground and ran around the driveway, we were unable to catch it, it scampered away to under the bushy evergreen tree. Not thinking or knowing, we put the pile of 'nesting' on the picnic table that sits right by the fence. Meanwhile, I came in and gave all 3 dogs a much needed bath. Upon letting them return to the dog enclosure, my black and tan dachshund, Herman, caught the scent of the nest. He went wild, jumping on the fence, the other two joining in, once they too, got a whiff. OMG, at once I connected with what they said about "mouse pheromone". I removed the nesting to the trash, far away, went to the studio (still hearing lot of crazy barking) and upon returning, the frenzy had heightened to a crescendo beyond words. The craziness continued! My red dachshund had pulled the chainlink up and out of the way at the gate and had his head stuck through it. I had witnessed him biting the chainlink, even yelping as he did so. I gave up. I tipped the table over and pushed it up to the fence, so they could sniff all they wanted and see that there was nothing there that was causing the smell. Sheesh! I ended up carrying the little dogs into the house (at which they are standing at the door, whimpering) and at least I am lucky enough to have a big dog that minds when you command, "Come Bailey!" So I've come to the conclusion, Hollywood knows, man, Hollywood knows!!
P.S. There have been two mice in the studio (in the jaws of the cruel traps), in the last few days. I think we are being invaded, or at least having the time to notice this seasonal occurrence.
P.S.S. BTW, I took off the Sonific music widget for the time being. If you like to listen to the music I pick out while you read my blog, please leave a "comment". Thanks.

Friday, November 2, 2007

I Take it Back

There are two pharmacies in the town nearby. After visiting the doctor for my yearly check-up, I was given a prescription that could only be filled at ONE of the pharmacies as it is a true "concoction" that only that pharmacist can make. It happened to be the one that I had been boycotting since moving here, they seemed always "cranky", unfriendly and generally not very 'time efficient'. So I sadly went by and dropped off my prescriptions. Told them I would be back the next day to pick them up and left. Mind you it is a 16 mile round trip. Yesterday, having grocery shopping to do and needing to stop by the carpet guy to see what they had for porch indoor/outdoor carpeting, I stopped by to pick up my meds. Would you believe that the one that had to be made wasn't ready? Didn't surprise me!! I took the other one, and told them (nicely, by the way) I would be back to pick it up today. This morning I got a call from the pharmacist, that he would be sending a delivery out to my house and apologized for not having it ready for me yesterday. I have new faith in this pharmacy! It was delivered. I even got a courtesy call when the driver had turned off the highway that he was just about to my house. Now all I have to do is talk to them about the "smoky smell" of their establishment. Some lady that works there is allowed to smoke inside the store. For someone like me, with asthma and sinus trouble (as other people are, too, I'm sure) it is hard to be around cigarette smoke and smells. Maybe I'll just stick to 'home delivery'!