Wednesday, April 24, 2013

A Horse in the Farm Store - Outtake from "Clifford Goes Shopping"

Here's a fun short outtake from our YouTube promotion. In this one Clifford is “shopping” and supposed to examine certain things on the shelves. He starts out in work mode, offering up “yes” and “no”, but then he sees the camera! He loves cameras and forgets that an actor is never supposed to look at one! I have to give him a little bump to remind him to “look”.

Want to see more of Cliffy in action? Help us with our 2013 tour by sharing our campaign link.

Monday, April 22, 2013

How Does a Horse Celebrate His Birthday? At the Library!

It all started something like this!

 Then, 20 years later, Clifford did an appearance at Roscommon MI County Library.

We were swarmed at the door!
 It was a Birthday Bash to remember!

Clifford got a horse-sized birthday card!
What horse could resist this plate of home made peppermint treats?

Not this one!
And a good time was had by all!
"It's not every day you have a real horse IN the library, but Clifford was a perfect guest!  We had over 70 children enjoy the program, and they have asked for him to come back again and again! Clifford even autographs his books! I would strongly recommend having Clifford the horse come to your library!"
~ Lisa Sutton, Roscommon Area District Library

Clifford turns 22 today, and going strong!  We are still working on his 2013 tour.  Please share our campaign site and spread the word!

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Isn't It Rich....

Clifford was invited back to Cedarville Library to co-host a clown's appearance on June 18, 2012. These ladies had a lot of fun with him, being kindred spirits and all.  They even let him keep the glasses!

We had a good crowd there and Clifford signed books on this little table.  The signing was interrupted when he realized the table had wheels.  He just wanted to keep pushing it around.

Terrible Til, Cliffy's border collie buddy, had a good time performing tricks for the 50+ kids that showed up.  This girl took kind of a shine to him.  They say imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Til shows how to best balance on clown feet.

After our library visit, we stopped over at Cedar Cove Assisted Living Center.  There was a lady there who wanted to see Clifford so badly that she postponed a doctor's appointment to wait for us.  She was sitting on the porch when we arrived.  Note how she is shrinking away.  I guess nobody warned her that when you meet Clifford, you MEET him.

After that, we went inside to meet the residents and sign books.  They took turns posing with him by the fireplace.

He was ready to nod off there in the air conditioning.  No bugs...  Ahhhh...

Thanks, Til!

Thanks for visiting us!  Help support Clifford's 2013 tour by visiting our campaign site.  

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Your Nephew is a Horse?

Amanda loves her "nephew", Clifford!
Here's a snap of my sister Amanda with her "nephew", Clifford, taken during his Christmas visit to Lakeview Lutheran Manor assisted living center in Cadillac, Michigan. Clifford put on a little show for the residents and even got on the news!

 Amanda has been one of our biggest supporters and serves as sound technician for our tour. She has helped me select some great music, such as Michael Jackson's, "A Better Place". Amanda helps me keep a cool head, also. One day when I was getting frustrated because we were running late, we stopped for gas. She whipped out a five dollar bill and said, "Here. Go get a coke, and calm yourself."

I am hoping Amanda will be available to join us for at least part of our 2013 Tour.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Our Big Intro


Clifford introduced hundreds of kids to the Morgan Horse when we announced our summer reading program on Monday June 5, 2011 in Grayling Michigan. We appeared at the Grayling Library the following Saturday with our program, "Horse Tales Around the World".

Clifford walked right in to both assemblies, the first in the school cafeteria and the second in a gymnasium. The kids screamed and cheered like he was a rock star. They were sitting on the floor in the gym and he had to stop and say hello to each child in the first row on our way in. We were Laurel and Hardy that day as he happily "supported" my speech by nudging me and grabbing the microphone cord.

Kids might not remember the message but I'm sure they'll never forget the day a horse came in their school!

We are accepting invitations from libraries around Michigan, with the intent to head through Ohio and Indiana through June. We are still mapping our route. Go Morgans!

See our campaign to raise funds for our summer 2013 tour and documentary film!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A (Kind of) Old Horse, a (Kind of) New Idea

Clifford greeting kids at West Branch Library, summer 2011.  Tape on the floor is a boundary for kids so nobody gets accidentally stepped on! Clifford goes to every child in the front row. Those who shrink away he will pass by.

Imagine a full-sized horse coming into your library or assisted living center, and the impact that makes on the children and residents therein.  Imagine the good you can do when you can make an impact like that.

Further, imagine having a horse with the intuition to know who needs him most, with the cool-headedness to accept all kinds of situations, and the brains to stay focused and perform when asked, and the sense of humor to add his own little twist into each program.

We have a wonderful opportunity.

I did have to put Clifford's talents aside last year in order to take care of my Dad as he grappled with what turned out to be lung cancer.  Dad beat the cancer but it was at a tremendous cost -- pneumonia finally took him on March 30.

So, we will tour in 2013 in Dad's honor.  Our touring vehicle has been rendered non-usable, and our horse trailer, Wheelzebub, is old and no longer adequate for long trips.  It is time to start anew, in many ways.

Clifford will be 22 on April 22.  Our time is now!  Since this is totally unique and possibly unprecedented, I want to take a videographer on tour and make a feature documentary.

You can be a part of this new adventure.  Check out our fundraising program.  And we already have our first contribution!

Look back here for updates as we proceed.  Clifford is finally shedding his winter coat.  He is getting ready.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Today's Project - A Loon for My Dad

"Display on Dark Water", acrylic on canvas, 9x12"
After 87 years on the planet, my dear Dad has left for higher ground.  I am so very sad.  He was a great man, my best buddy and the source of so many good thoughts and conversations.  I will miss him horribly, forever.  It is still so early, and I haven't thought about how I am going to come to terms with this tremendous loss, but I feel every day pulling me farther away from his time here.

This is my firat painting since he's been gone, a fitting one as we often sat out on the deck at camp in the evenings, listening to the loons yodel and howl as they flew over to settle into Bailey's Lake.  It was my favorite part of the days on Drummond.

Dad gave me a great gift in sharing his love for the natural world.  He taught me respect for the earth and for all living things.  When I am walking through the woods I usually see something that I can't wait to tell him about.  I know I will always think of him when I am in the woods.  I hope that, because of this, I will somehow be able to keep him close by.

Native Americans considered the loon the totem of dreams.  To see a loon signifies that you are drawing closer to your dearest hopes and wishes.  Of course, to the mainstream, a loon is a term for crazy -- which at this point in time, is totally accurate.  With the current mess
of characters crawling out of the woodwork, it would have to be loons.

It's either that or vultures.

"Loon Light" acrylic on canvas 9x12", 2012