Saturday, December 27, 2008

Today's Project - Morgan Horse


A Morgan horse in saddle seat garb. This piece is oil pencil and conte, about 8 x 10" on black charcoal paper. It's another project to benefit Forever Morgans Rescue.

Here's the eBay link.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Today's Project - Forever Morgans



This is a fundraiser for Forever Morgans, a rescue group that is trying to save some Morgan/Part Morgan horses from going to slaughter. This piece is about 8 x 10" on black pastel board. It's oil pencil/pastel and conte. Below are the eBay links:

*http://tinyurl.com/7kcjoe
*(For those that prefer the eBay item number instead of a link:
180315450915 )

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Today's Watercolor


This is Hank, a foxhound. This piece is about 8 x 10". Hank unfortunately died this year. Many thanks to Lynn Brown for referring Sharon, the wonderful lady who commissioned me to paint him!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Today's Project



"Cruiser" is a German shepherd bred by my friend Susan Sanchez, Sander-Haus German Shepherds in Virginia. Susan raises beautiful dogs from imported German bloodlines.

This piece is pastel and conte, about 9 x 12".

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Today's Watercolor



Here are Peyton and Cinder, two German shepherds in a bean field. Cinder died earlier this year -- he had cancer. Peyton at twelve is still going strong! This painting is one of my larger ones; about 18 x 24".

It's a Wrap!


Ms. Rip finished her scenes for the Wayne State film, MY DOG RANIA last night in Detroit. Here she poses with her director, Marija.

We had a bit of a challenge because Jess, the leading lady, is supposed to chase Rip away with a broom when Rip shows up at the door. We did take after take, and finally Rip had a serious aversion to that broom! I tried to suggest better ways to accomplish the shots that wouldn't scare her, but I've been learning that nobody really listens to the dog trainer. ;-)

A dog like Cajun wouldn't have had a problem with this -- he woulda thought it all great fun and tried to eat the broom. But Ms. Rip is a little softer.

There was a scene where Rania noses through her owner's handbag and knocks a vial out. The vial falls on the floor, and Rania consumes the sample. It required a behavior chain of Rip hopping off the couch, grabbing the sample and licking or picking it up.

It sounds pretty simple, but it was very complicated getting the thing to fall in just the right spot, get her off the couch and nosing the thing all in sync and so that it looked good.

I had to work with her for a bit with the clicker, but we finally got the shot Marija wanted. Unfortunately it was the last scene we did, but Marija finally understood that if she could just wait a few minutes for rehearsals, she would get the best result possible.

It made me wonder what the Hollywood animal trainers have to go through in order to get the best results. I was working with actors who just were not dog savvy in the slightest, but still had to interact with her, and she had to look comfortable throughout.

I marvel at Rip's courage and tenacity. She really hung in there and tried to do what I asked. And despite moments where she wasn't sure of herself, she really seemed to have fun.

It was a great experience for both of us!

MY DOG RANIA is to be screened for the public in January -- I should be getting more information on it later.

Nancy

Monday, December 8, 2008

International Equine Art Competition


I was surprised to receive notification today that my pastel drawing of Sophie, a Morgan mare, won eighth place in the Ex Arte Equinus International Competition. The drawing will be published in the Ex Arte Equinus II Book, which will be available this coming January.

Boy, when I see some of the work that was entered, I feel really honored!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Isabella on the Stem Cell Trail


Isabella is a 20 year old donkey belonging to my friend Rita. She had foundered so badly that she couldn't stand. Rita put her on the StemEquine, and had her shoes reset with new pads.

Isabella got back on her feet. I went to visit her about six weeks ago and she was in the stall. She had bed sores from lying down, but when I saw her she was standing. I could tell, though, that she was hurting by the way her feet were planted. She didn't want to move. She was nothing like the feisty donkey I had known for years.

"Gosh," I said to Rita. "She looks bad."

"You should have seen her BEFORE!" Rita said. "She's a lot better!"

When I went to visit a week ago, Isabella was walking around outside eating grass. She was still going a little gingerly, but it was amazing to me that she was moving around. She has to wear a grazing muzzle to keep from overeating.

Rita attributes Isabella's improvement to the StemEquine and said she is going to keep her on it.

Today's Project - German Shepherd


This is Killian, a sable male who unfortunately died this year. His portrait is done on black in oil pencil and conte. This is about 12 x 18".

Monday, November 24, 2008

My Dog Rania



Another dream came true for me today, as one of my dogs got to be a movie star! Ripple is starring in, "My Dog Rania", a short film about some med students who find the cure for a virus, with the help of the dog owned by a victim.

Rippy and I had a great time at the shoot today. We did scenes in the science lab at Wayne State. Rippy was a pro!!! Rippy was a rescue puppy and she has always been a little on the timid side. I thought she would be nervous when I lifted her up on the table so they could give her "injections", but she was completely fine with everything. She had to run around a corner and got led into the lab, and then poked and prodded by everyone. She handled everything just fine and did everything I asked her to do.

We'll be doing some more filming on Wednesday.

Here's a picture of her with the cast. The lady in black in the center is the director, Marija. The leading lady, Jennifer, is holding up Rippy's name tag I had made for her that says, "RANIA".

This has been my most fun with a film yet! I'm so proud of her!!!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grendel Update


I just got this pic of Grendel, now Achilles, from his new mom, Robin. He has been keeping her on her toes. He's still a major brat, but she has worked hard to get a handle on him. He's taking classes now and as you can see, living like a king! She said he is up to 72 lbs now. He and his new brother, Bogey, just play and play. Achilles wears Bogey out, but Bogey has a new lease on life now.

Today's Project - Andalusian


A high-stepping Andalusian in oil pencil/conte. I like the colors in this piece. It's about 9 x 12", listed on eBay.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Today's Ornament



Well, I'm back to peddling ornaments via eBay. I love this one. It's a print of my oil painting of a Jack Russell hunting by the barn. The color reproduced very well in this piece and the detail looks great!

Here is the link.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Today's Project


This is Eagle, a black German shepherd dog belonging to my friend Debbie in Ohio. This piece is oil pencil and conte on black paper, about 12 x 16".

Friday, October 17, 2008

Today's Watercolor


This is Pansie, a tricolor collie pup. The original picture of her was pretty flat. I wanted to use backlighting to add depth, so for reference on shading, etc, I used a pic of Ripple! 9 x 12"

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Ride


Clifford and I took a nice little ride today around the neighbor's fields. It's downright balmy here, about mid-sixtys. He was feeling really good and actually did a couple of side steps. As usual, when I was tacking him up, he wanted to make out. I had to spend quite a bit of time today smooching with him. I didn't do the cinch up tight enough and when I went to climb aboard, I pulled the saddle down. I was sliding down the side of him and he was stepping around in a circle. I told him to whoa and he did, standing still while I just hung there, grunting. He stood there while I finally struggled back up with some effort. You would think after spending 15 years with the same horse, I'd at least be able to get on by now. Oh well.

We had a wonderful time.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Fam


Here's a pic of Dad and Mom and Amanda, from last week when I was up North for Amanda's birthday. She turned 38 on the 24th.

We had a great day! We did our traditional thing -- the two of us (since our third partner in crime Judy has relocated with Jon to Washington -- we called her from the pizza place to gloat! HA HAH!!!) went to the movies ("The Women" starring Meg Ryan and we loved it!) and then did the traditional "Bluff Yell".

The Bluff Yell was instigated by Amanda several years ago -- I think when she turned 34. She wanted to go up on a hill "over all the houses and people" and yell out her age. So every year I drive us to the biggest hill I can find -- the back of LSSU campus where it looks over the international Bridge to Canada. We yell and scream our ages until we are hoarse.

Sometimes we lie, but the truth eventually comes out.

It seems to make the whole aging process a little easier!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Today's Project - Becky the Westie



Here is Becky, a West Highland White terrier. She belongs to my friend Debbie in Ohio. Becky was sadly killed last night in an accident. So this is my little tribute to her. It's about 8x10", oil pencil on charcoal paper, with conte.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Amanda on Current Events


Today is Amanda's birthday so I came up to spend some time with her. She is sitting her watching me type on the laptop, and she asks, "What do you think of Sarah
Palin? Did you hear she has a Down's Syndrome baby?"

"Yeah, that's nice for her. But would you want Mom to be president?"

"Vice president," she corrects me.

"Okay, well would you want Mom for vice president? SHE had a Down's syndrome
baby. Does that qualify HER?"

She pauses for a moment. "I see your point."

Jon Update

My brother Jon was released yesterday and drove himself home from the rehab center!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

More German Shepherd Rescues... Or Not...



The rescue effort to save brother and sister German shepherds, Ace and Lucy, reached its height today. They were scheduled to be euthanized tomorrow. In my snooping around, I discovered that there was a home waiting in Northern Ohio, with a six year old boy and a Labrador Retriever.

Ace and Lucy had lived outdoors their entire lives. They needed training but were listed as nice dogs. The owner surrendering them listed their age as two, but the shelter decided they were more like six year old dogs. Since they were being held at Livingston County Animal Control, only 20 minutes from my house, I volunteered to go over and evaluate them.

The dogs were beautiful. Lucy came out sniffing, very doggy, very stressed out. She barely took time to say hello to me; she was too busy with her investigations. Shelter worker Darma told me that she had been in heat when she came in. Lucy and Ace were littermates, out of a brother/sister breeding, and they had created numerous litters themselves during their lives.

I asked to see Ace, whose picture reminded me so much of my Cajun. Darma said that she would "try" to bring him out.

Ace wouldn't walk on a leash and had become hysterical when she tried to walk him. She showed me the scratches on her arms that he had given her. I had immediate flashbacks to Grendel (now Achilles) and how impossible he was when I first tried to walk him.

Darma disappeared through the back door with Lucy, but then later came out and beckoned to me. She couldn't get Ace to walk out with her. I followed her back into the shelter area, and I saw why.

An imposing, gorgeous, 100 lb black and red male stood looking at me. He was big, he was strong, and all GSD. His presence was so very much like Cajun's that I was taken aback for a moment.

She opened the door and I went into the pen with him and stood petting him. He smiled up on me, his head broader than my hand between the ears. He was panting hard, stressed, and I got the sense that he hated the shrill barking all around him.

He was a big, lovely boy. The longer I stood there next to him, the sadder I became. It would take a lot of work, and a very knowledgable person, to fix a dog like this. Neither one of them were altered. The former owner had to wrestle them to get them into his car.

I came out and called the potential new owner, and told her what I had found. I thought the two should be separated. Lucy needed to bond with a person and not another dog. I felt that each would need a lot of time, energy and work. And how in the heck I was going to manage transporting Ace anywhere, I had no idea.

Sadly, at times euthanasia is the best option. There were no homes and no real resources for the dogs at this time. I personally could not afford to take them, time- or money-wise.

After I hung up, I went to thank Darma and I started asking questions about the history of these dogs. "Why were they turned in?"

She said the owner had lied to them repeatedly. She couldn't be sure of the real story, as he'd told her he was moving away and couldn't keep them. But, his address was recognized because he had had a number of complaints on these dogs.

That, to me, spelled out the rest of the story. These German shepherds, so sadly neglected and in the hands of ignorance, had a history of something not right.

And so I thought of the doomed dog Ace, so much like my Cajun, and I burst into tears, right in front of the sympathetic shelter worker. "I understand," she said.

Euthanasia is not always the worst option for dogs like this. They could have ended up in the wrong hands, so easily. This is how I console myself tonight.

Thank you to everyone who tried to help these dogs.

Today's Christmas Card - Sheltie


"The Blue Rug" is the title of this painting which shows the camaraderie between a Sheltie and his black cat buddy. I made it into a Christmas card with one of my favorite verses: "Faithful Friends who are dear to us..."

That just never wears out!

Beautiful fall day here in Southeast Michigan -- it's hard to think about Christmas right now.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Collie Jolly Christmas Cards


I'm starting with the most popular of my Christmas cards: The sable and tricolor in watercolor. For some reason people just love this one. I don't know if it's the play on words or what.

Anyway, it's listed here:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180291180160

I have all kinds of dog breeds available (ornaments too!) so feel free to email me at foxbrush@earthlink.net if you have a request.

It's all for the sake of a gap-free smile.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like... A Midlife Crisis!



Here's a new head shot. I took it myself the other day. Maybe it's an attempt to justify myself, because I am suddenly, at 46, facing constant reminders of my age.

It started here: Always enamored of the film industry, the most elaborate form of storytelling, I was elated when Governor Granholm elected to tempt Hollywood here through a big tax break now known as, "The Michigan Tax Incentive". Thanks to this stroke of genius, Hollywood is coming to Michigan to make real feature films! And people like me are seeing lifetime dreams come true as we get to appear in them. I've already worked with the likes of Drew Barrymore, Jimmy Fallon, Ande McDowell and great directors like Alexander Payne.

Unfortunately I've also run into discrimination due to my age. I'm experiencing that thing that happens to women when we enter our mid-forties. It really is the dead zone. I've missed out on a number of opportunities, including being a personal assistant to the director of a Jack Black film that's being made here. The kid who interviewed me (who also was doing casting at the same time... It was chaos.) asked me my age. Without thinking, I just blurted it out.

Later, reflecting on the experience, I realized I had disqualified myself by not evading that question.

To make matters even more disheartening, yesterday I had a tooth pulled. Not just any tooth -- a front one. The root was damaged nine years ago during an accident with Trudy and the cart. I have managed to baby it along all this time, after a root canal and crown, but now it's past the point of no return. I'm losing bone around it and it would have started affecting the other teeth, so it had to go.

...TO THE TUNE OF FOUR HUNDRED BUCKS!!!!

Okay, so I don't have to look like a jack-o'lantern, thanks to my retainer and the saved crown. One would never know. But the dang retainer has to come out once in awhile, and I can't really eat with it in.

An implant will cost me four grand!

So, to help fund my implant, I am starting to sell Christmas cards on eBay again. I know it's early. I was in Costco the other day and there were trees with lights on them!

It's 66 degrees here in Michigan, and the last thing I want to do is hurry Christmas. But, it's harvest time for teeth and artists. Alvin the Chipmunk asked for two of these -- all I need is one!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stem Enhance Does It Again

Nancy Berg's mare has made such vast improvement on the StemEquine, that she decided to try the StemEnhance for herself. I had an email from her today:

I am just starting to notice that my knees are feeling a bit better. It has
been a week and 2 days since I started taking Stem Enhance. After 2 months
my mare is improving even more. Where I could still notice her injury site
before, it is now going away and starting to look completely normal. What a
wonderful product.

Thanks again,
Nancy


I wish I could get more people to try this stuff!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Jon Update

I had a long talk with Jon tonight. He has been moved to a rehab center in Yakima.
He was yakking up a storm! He sounded like his old happy self! He walked 70 feet
today, with a walker. He is eating like a horse.... Had a big cheeseburger today!
He expects to be released before too long. The physical therapists are really impressed with his drive and desire to get moving.

Jon lost 60 lbs during his month in the hospital. He is down to 200 lbs now.

It was so great to hear him laughing!

Thank you all again for your good thoughts and wishes. We are blessed.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Grendel Update

Here's an email from Grendel's new mom, relayed with permission. They have changed his name to Achilles, which I think is perfect for him!

Sorry I haven’t updated you soon, but have been extremely busy and then when I do have a moment I am exhausted. As you see, we re-named Grendel to “Achilles” as my husband wanted to have a Greek mythology name. We have had a Sampson, Toby & Thor all Greek mythology. Bogey, well he is Bogey.

To sum it all up, Achilles is a very loving and good boy. He does have some “issues” to work out, but I am confident over time he will. He does try to have his way at times, I think he is testing us, but I want him to know that he will not always get his way. He eats with Bogey @ 6:00 am and then again @ 6:00 pm after I get home from work. He goes in his crate around 7:45am and my husband gets home between 4:30 5:00 and lets him out. They both, Achilles and Bogey go outside to use the bathroom and usually end up playing outside until I get home, then they eat after they unwind a bit and then I usually make them wait about 45min after they eat to go back out to play.

Achilles prefers to sleep on the first level not upstairs. He loves the orthopedic beds that I have throughout the house. He does get on the bed with me @ times and he likes to suit on the couch sometimes (which is ok with us).

I am very happy that we had the opportunity to adopt him. I know he will turn out to be a wonderful boy (not that he isn’t already) he just tries to get away with as much as he can sometimes, but he is learning.

Sometimes when I am sitting on the couch watching TV, he comes up to me and puts his head on my lap and just looks up @ me with those sad eyes, how can anyone not love him????

I will forward some pics to you very soon. My husband has already taken him over to his parents house with Bogey and their dog, Sasha, Bogey and Achilles all play so nice. Bogey stops early, but the pother two go all over the back yard (they have around 4 acres fenced in).

Oh, by the way, Achilles does very well in the backyard, runs along the fence at times when cars go by, as I live on a corner, but then gets tired and stops. Cutting the grass, well I thought it would be a hassle, but he only tried to bite the tires once and then just ran around the yard with his toys when I was cutting. He was so tired Saturday night, he looked like a little angel!!

Thank you again for a wonderful & beautiful boy!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Jon Update

Well, yesterday I spoke to Jon for the first time in a couple of months. He was moved out of ICU on Thursday and at first was very forgetful and somewhat incoherent. He is too weak to even lift his arms. He's undergoing physical therapy and yesterday he sat up for the first time. A couple of other family members called to talk to him, but I told Judy I'd wait until he asked for me.

Then yesterday he did! "Can you hear me?" he said. "I'm still alive, and kickin'!"

He started telling me he wanted to get a couple of horses and go trail riding with me up in the hills!

It was very emotional talking to him, but it was so great to hear his voice. He's pretty frustrated with being bedridden, but the physical therapists report that he's doing great.

Boy, what a good day yesterday was.

Thanks everyone for the positive thoughts. I am so grateful for everything.

Stable Scoop Radio Show

The Stable Scoop Radio Show has posted its 3rd Episode.

Stable Scoop is a horse related podcast. I'll be the guest star talking about Clifford around the end of September. YAY! I love talking about Clifford and Morgan horses, not to mention Drummond Island. (See, if I were more organized I'd know the date and time right off. Check back for more info!) You can listen on their site at www.stablescoop.com, and even
subscribe through iTunes.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Grendel


Grendel went (all too gladly) to his new home today. (He didn't even bother to tell me goodbye before hopping in her car! Now that's gratitude for ya!) The call from his mom came in this evening and she announced that he is romping in the back yard with his new brother, Bogie, also a German shepherd. Bogie lost his brother to lymphoma earlier this year and has been somewhat depressed. He needed a lively soul like Grendel to come and cheer him up.

Grendel's new mom Robin assured me that when she brings a dog home, IT NEVER LEAVES. She and I did a little bonding as her other dog went through six months of chemo and then she lost him at age nine. It reminded me exactly of why Ripple came into my family and how she helped Cajun so much. Now Grendel will be someone else's therapy dog.

Grendel's story could have so easily gone the other way, just a few short months ago. A happy ending does my heart good.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Jon's Diagnosis

Thanks to a lung biopsy performed on Thursday, Jon has been diagnosed with Microscopic Polyangiitis. It's a type of vasculitis. This happens to about three out of a million people.

A CAT scan today revealed that he may have suffered a small stroke. Jon is breathing now on his own, drinking juice and water, and today started eating. He is still very weak and will require physical therapy.

I am hoping to make another trip West in a few weeks.

Thanks to all of you for helping me through this!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Travel to Seattle

The reason I've been so quiet over the past two weeks is that I've just survived a rather harrowing trip back to Seattle. My brother Jon has been in intensive care for two weeks due to a mysterious illness that had caused him to bleed into his lungs. Boy, it was touch and go for a few days there. Thanks in part to his own particular brand of fortitude, he seems to be recovering. I had to fly back on Thursday but I learned today that they have removed the tube and Jon is now breathing on his own and waking up.

Here's a website the family created for updates on him:
www.caringbridge.org/visit/jonbailey

Nearly the whole family was out there for several days last week. Despite the stressful premise of the journey, we did manage to get some quality time together. In particular, there was one evening at a harbor with brother Dan and sister Raechel and Jon's sons Blaine and Erik. We ate seafood and had a spectacular view of the Seattle skyline including the space needle.

And, during one of my many trips shuttling sis in law Judy from her home in Ellensburg to the hospital in Seattle, Dan rode along and we stopped at the lovely Snoqualmie falls. The drive through the Cascade Mountains is spectacular!

There are reasons for everything, and traveling for this reason is never the most ideal situation. But with the love and support of family, times can be easier and good memories can be shared. And with a brother as tough as Jon, things can actually turn out okay in the end.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Cheap Horse Transport

I found this interesting site on horse transport. They have opportunities to get good deals on moving all kinds of other stuff too.

There are a couple of articles about teaching your horse to load, checking a horse trailer, preparing for shipping, etc.

I am thinking a relocation may be in order in the near future for me, so this is good to know.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Grendel One-Ups Me


See that knowing look? (Is he WINKING?!) It's because Grendel is full well aware that he has finally REALLY impressed me.

When I pulled up the hill today, I was surprised to see a coyote duck into my garage as the door opened. Of course, it was no coyote. It was a German shepherd dog who had gotten loose. I was really surprised that Grendel was still in the yard. He hadn't gone to harass Ken's chickens or run back to Eddie's (as far as I know). He had stuck around. In fact, he let me pull right up to him without attacking the car. I rolled the window down and spoke to him, and he got very excited and dashed back and forth alongside as I pulled in, but he DID NOT TRY TO BITE THE TIRES. (I am thinking this might be due to some of my desensitizing work with the wheelbarrow?) He jumped up on the car door to see me through the window.

I opened the door and immediately gave him huge praise for leaving the car alone. He seemed very happy and very proud of himself. Rip was in the back seat and when she hopped out, he greeted her enthusiastically. (She remains unimpressed.) He was clearly relieved to see both of us.

He came inside and immediately stretched out on his side after eating a big meal.

I am astonished by this pup's rapid recovery. In about eight weeks' time, he has flourished with just a little TLC.

Surprisingly to me, but probably not to anyone else, now I'm starting to think up reasons to keep him. I have a very nice lady who is anxious to meet him and wants to take him on a trial basis. I really hate the thought of bouncing him around again. But at the same time, I can barely afford the house and I'm really living on the edge right now -- and probably will be for the next two years. I can't deprive him of a wonderful home when I don't have time or money.

I live by a strict code, and that is, if I can bear the thought of letting them go, I do it. It's the only reason I haven't been overrun by animals.

Boy, rescue can be a really bittersweet thing. I quit doing it some time ago because my heart couldn't take it anymore -- much less my pocketbook. I didn't want Grendel... He was sort of thrust upon me.

But I guess one never really does stop doing rescue, does one?!

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Milestone for Grendel


Tonight Grendel was romping around in the house with a rubber jingle ball. He let me reach into his mouth and take it away from him. He made no protest and showed no resentment at all, and I didn't even have anything to trade.

Here is a picture taken just before our walk this evening. He is roaming free around the yard with no longe line.

The heat and humidity has been my ally, I think, but he has calmed down immeasurably since his arrival here.

Today's Project - Barn Owl


This is about 7 x 9", conte and oil pencil on black charcoal paper. It's a donation for Sarvey Wildlife Center.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Dad on the Stem Cell Enhancer


For those who were wondering, my Dad (age 82) started taking StemEnhance about a week ago per a conference with his doctor. Dad has a pacemaker and just wanted to make sure the supplement wouldn't interfere with that or any meds he is on.

In a week's time Dad has already noticed a big difference in his joints. The pain is gone. I know that seems fast, but it's typical for this supplement to go right to work where it's needed.

You can order StemEnhance here:
www.cliffystemcells.com

There's also a handy FAQ page on the site.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Visit to Drummond

I just got back from a few days in the North country. Sure wish I could have taken the horses. But as usual, the weather was perfect and I did get some nice photos.

It was sure weird -- the first time being up there in over 20 years without a swimmin' German shepherd dog. Fortunately I had Ripple there to walk on the beach with me and help me reminisce.



I'm not sure what kind of flowers these are.



Uncle Warren and cousin Kim took me out in their sailboat. I call this one, "Land Ho". (ha ha)


Amanda and I had fun hanging out.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Movie Review - Mamma Mia

I was lucky enough to see Mamma Mia on stage several years ago. While not nearly as exciting as the live production, the movie is lively and colorful, a perfect choice for little sis Amanda and me last Thursday. It was impossible not to sing along with all the familiar Abba tunes.

However, Pierce Brosnan, while pretty to look at, should never sing. Meryl Streep sings okay, but is not pretty to look at.

But the whole movie was worth the effort, and in fact I'd go again, just to see one number: Christine Baranski in, "Does Your Mother Know". She is simply fabulous.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Grendel


Gren is doing much better. He's walking nicely on a leash. He's calm in the house. He's less defensive and a lot happier. He's even turning out to have a sense of humor! He still needs to put on some weight but it's nice to see his attitude improving.

He has the mentality of a much younger pup. I am also beginning to suspect that he's not so much high drive, as he was desperate. Anyway, he's definitely evolving.

My Day Among the Stars

Here's an article about my day on the set for the pilot of, "The Prince of Motor City".

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Today's Equine Art - Percheron


I was inspired by this guy's dapples. This is oil pencil and conte on black charcoal paper. It's about 12 x 16". This image was taken with my digital camera but I can't get colors to match the original. It's a lot softer than it appears here.

It's listed on eBay at
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=180261101091

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Grendel Progress


Here is a pic of him playing today.

I make sure to always walk away from him, fast, and we moved over a big area all around the place. I even hid on him a couple of times and he always came directly to find me. Once I went out the back door of the garage and left him inside. Instead of taking off or going out the big front garage door, he went to the door to get into the house and was waiting there when I came in.

It is pretty hot out today and he wears out easily. He is still dragging the longe line but I think he is learning that I am someone to keep up with, instead of the other way around.

When we came inside, he did come trotting up to me when I said his new name. He knows it now. He is definitely more into play and pets than food.

We were just heading out on our leash walk (after the ball game and a short rest in the house) when we met neighbor Ken up by the mailbox. Ken was in his van. He shouted "Rocky!" I let Gren go up to him, and he put his hand out but pulled back saying, "I'm afraid he'll bite me." (He was always afraid of Cajun too.)

"He won't bite you," I said. "But he might jump up on your car."

We talked about him a little bit and Ken said Eddie was really happy that I have him. I said he just needed someone to play with him. Then he said, "Look at how he is just standing there! He would never do that before!"

He pointed and sure enough, Grendel was just standing quietly next to me waiting to continue the walk. I remembered how he used to go bananas on the leash with Eddie every time a vehicle came by.

As Ken started backing out, though, Grendel started a little bit of the lunging and squealing. "Here's the old stuff," I said to Ken. But I just turned and walked away from it and he came along.

When we got back from the walk, we got to the base of my hill and I took him off the leash. He ran free all the way back to the house.

Monday, June 30, 2008

A Helluva Horse


Cliffy and I had a wonderful time at the Helluva Horse Event yesterday. The weather turned out great and there was a plethora of cool equine things happening. Here's a pic of my art booth, with Ms. Rip in attendance. There were some Haflingers giving wagon rides, a real chuckwagon offering lunch, equine dentisty, equine massage, a farrier, a Friesian in medieval garb, and a whole host of other fun things. Clifford loved all the attention and made some cool new friends. I sure hope we get invited back next year.

I Won An Award!

Special thanks to Arlene of Grey Horse Matters for the Arty e Pico award. It is so nice to be acknowledged when you think you are just muddling through the day!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Today's Project - Belgian


I have to say, the photo does not do this painting justice. It's conte and oil pencil on pastel board, 11 x 14". Another piece of equine art for the Helluva Horse Event, but if I don't sell it, I might keep it.

Addendum: Thanks guys for the nice comments on my Belgian! I have reluctantly listed it on eBay.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Today's Project - Andalusian


Here's an Andalusian in conte with a touch of oil pencil. Size 9 x 12".

This will be framed and for sale at the Helluva Horse Event this weekend. Clifford and I will make an appearance there on Sunday to sign books, sell equine art and do a few tricks for his fans.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Arthritic Horses


I had a great report yesterday on StemEquine.

Nancy Berg wrote to me from the Morgan list when she saw my post about Clifford. She wrote: My Morgan mare hurt herself a year ago. She kicked out at the 1-1/2 inch pipe gate and nicked her hind leg on the bottom of the pipe and nicked her suspensory branch a teeny bit. This laid her up for almost the entire year. She seems fine now but I wonder if this product could help her as she get older. I give her HA (conquer gel) every morning and she gets glucosimine in her supplement bucket.

Yesterday she wrote:
I just wanted to let you know that I can see improvement in my mare and it hasn't even been 2 weeks since I started giving her the StemEquine. Where she had her injury it has always been a bit soft (she was proclaimed sound by my vet however). The injury site has gotten firm like her other leg and she seems to have more freedom of movement. This product is amazing.

I was so excited! I'm still waiting to hear my Dad's input. He's holding off on using the StemEnhance. Dad has a a pacemaker and wants to get an okay from his doctor first.

However, my boyfriend has experienced a vast improvement in his knees. He's been taking StemEnhance for about four weeks. He's a big guy, 6'4" and over 200 lbs. He had knee surgery in February and was still experiencing a lot of stiffness and discomfort. Now he is moving much more freely and he is running better than I've ever seen him.

You can order StemEquine and StemEnhance at www.cliffystemcells.com

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

New Puppy!

Thanks everyone for the good wishes. And the name suggestions! "It's a dog eat dog world, Sammy, and I'm wearing Milk Bone underwear!"

Today I walked him about four miles. It was a workout. He has a long stride and I can't walk fast enough to make him trot. (This is gonna be so good for me!)

Eddie (former owner) kept telling me the dog settles down once he gets moving. Of course, that's not good enough for me. I had a heckuvva time just getting the leash on him. He was jumping, thrashing around, biting me. I was going to do the dolphin trainer's trick of "taking my bucket of fish and going home" because he was behaving so badly, but I didn't have the heart to do it to him. He needed to get out. I wanted him to sit, but he hasn't learned yet to focus and he doesn't care what I think. I ended up pushing him into a sit.

Then it was more rodeo on the leash. But after a few about-turns he settled down. The trainer told Eddie to keep him on a tight leash. Whee, good advice. NOT. I continued random about turns throughout the walk. He finally swung along next to me nicely on a loose leash. He appreciated praise and petting, but doesn't really make eye contact yet, isn't into me.

Also... Eddie warned me... He wants to chase cars. He is fascinated by the wheels. We had a few encounters which I put to good use. As the car whizzed past, I'd do a fast about turn and the dog would hit the end of the leash -- SPRONG -- Huh? Where'd she go?! After the third car he quit trying. Still kind of dodges and ducks when they go by though. I gave him lots of praise for not attempting to chase. He was way too jazzed up at this point to take food rewards.

We got home and he did some sits and downs for treats. He either learned it from the trainer (doubtful) or remembered it from that session with me back when he was four months old. His attention span was short, so when he jumped up and started sniffing around I left.

He has some issues but he has potential.

Later I went out and did some clicking with him. (Incidentally, this made Clifford very jealous! He stood hollering down by the gate! HA HA!) The pup caught on right away. He did sits and enthusiastic downs, and was catching bits of kibble in mid-air. His attention span is very short for his age, but I know this is because he has never been asked to concentrate on anything. He really liked the clicker game.

I got down with him and rubbed his belly and he bit me in play. I screeched and he licked me -- a doggy apology, but then he got so excited that he jumped to his feet and started leaping all over me. I got up and left. If he's not going to play nice, we don't play at all.

I can only imagine how good and exciting it must feel, to him, to have someone finally "hearing" him and "talking" to him.

He will be penned up for a few days until he learns to make eye contact and bonds with me a little more. Because he pulls so hard, I'm not about to tie a leash around my waist like I would a littler pup.

I am so happy I got him at this phase in his life -- it would have been so easy for him to go down the road of no return. I think he will come around before long.

And yes, he is a pain in the neck! But as much as he needs me, I need him too. I never said how I was languishing here. I had the urge, always, to go back to bed and hide my head. I pulled some weeds about a week ago, got poison ivy on my arms and it has spread to the most horrendous, angry red rash all over my body. I know this is stress! I was just miserable without my German shepherd. Now this guy has given me a reason to get up, get out of the house... Having someone need you this much, well it just makes a huge difference.

Here Rip says hello (a sort of snippy hello!) through the fence.