Friday, January 20, 2012

Fruity Artist / Photographer M.I.A.

My friend and college classmate, Carmella Messina, has just started a a blog called Persona
She said she came up with the name because of the many hats she wears. Believe me, I can relate. These days, I find I am a house keeper, nurse, wife, photographer, artist and equestrian; not necessarily in that order.

For the past two weeks, in addition to my nursing duties, I have been shooting fruits and vegetables to upload to iStockPhoto. When I get going on a project, I tend to get obsessed, that I will admit.

I think I've spent over $250. on produce so far. Thank goodness for my walk-in, screened-in porch fridge

This is one of the images that has already been accepted and added to my iStockPhoto Online Portfolio.  I just had a piece of one and it was delicious!

These days, my studio looks more like a farm market and smells like citrus and garlic.

The deer and horses here aren't complaining either. Nothing is going to waste. As I shoot and discard, I think the critters here at The Sandarosa are truly enjoying the abundant treats and vast variety of fruits and vegetables in their daily diet. . . They just don't realize how spoiled they really are.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Part Time Nurse By Chance, Not Choice

I know I have been M.I.A. here lately, but I've got a new part time job here at Sandy Land.

My husband has had another illness starting on Saturday morning and continuing through the weekend. First thing Monday morning, it was off to the ER again and an emergency operation to drain three abscesses. This time it was a condition at a totally different end from the head problems he had just one month ago. It's not in a place you can easily blog about, but it does give a new perspective and deeper meaning to the phrase, "Pain in the ass".  I'm doing the best I can to be a good caretaker. I am not the best or most sympathetic nurse, I will admit. But my husband has got to be one of the worst patients I have ever known! The current situation reminded me of this little illustration I did many years ago. I can see it as kind of a self portrait right now. 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Every Winter

Every winter,
When the great sun has turned his face away,
The earth goes down into a vale of grief,
And fasts, and weeps, and shrouds herself in sables,
Leaving her wedding-garlands to decay -
Then leaps in spring to his returning kisses.

~ Charles Kingsley

Friday, January 6, 2012

We Have A Winner!

"Your mental attitude attracts to you everything that makes you what you are." ~ Napoleon Hill

The winner of my "Little Christmas" Holiday Hummingbird Original Watercolor Giveaway was picked today at 3pm. I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw who it was! Well actually, I could believe my eyes, because Jennifer MacNeill-Traylor is one of the luckiest and most positive people I know. She is always winning contests and experiencing the most awesome successes and adventures! Of course, other than the luck of the draw, I believe her powerful attitude has as much to do with it as anything. I wouldn't be at all surprised if she told me she was already envisioning winning the piece. I'm a firm believer in "What you think about comes about".  Jennifer is a dedicated blogger, artist, photographer and gardener. She propels herself with her winning attitude and puts 110% into everything she does. Congratulations Jen! Your painting is on its' way!

"Our attitudes control our lives. Attitudes are a secret power working twenty-four hours a day, for good or bad. It is of paramount importance that we know how to harness and control this great force." ~ Irving Berlin

"Attitude will always define who we are in life." ~ Mark A. Brennan

Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Burr, it was a good day to be inside today, so I've been working on some new Valentine's Day images for my iStock portfolio. February 14th will be here again before you know it!  It's always been one of my favorite holidays. How cool is it to have a special holiday in honor of LOVE, now really? Since my birthday is February 17th, it has always seemed like an extended one too! That, and we still continue the tradition of celebrating birthday week here in Sandy Land. I always try to plan something special for my special honey on that day. Even the critters usually get an extra treat or two. What do you usually do on St. Valentine's Day? Do you have any special memories or traditions?

And a Reminder: I am having A  Painting Giveaway this Friday at 3pm EST. Be sure to leave a comment and enter the contest if you would like a chance to win my little "Holiday Hummingbird" watercolor! 

Monday, January 2, 2012

They Go Bonkers For Bananas!

My horses truly love their fruits!  Not just apples either. 

Did you know that most horses actually love bananas?

Would you believe me if I said my horses start salivating at the casual mention of grapes, peaches, plums, oranges, nectarines or pineapple?

Of course, they also love most melons too, even the rind if it's cut in very small pieces.  My guys are 20 and 31 years young and get hay with small quantities of grain 4x's a day.

I add water to their ration with a small amount of fruit or vegetable mixed in. I also occasionally feed them small quantities of carrots, broccoli, sweet potatoes, radishes and cauliflower; although I've just read at one source online that the potato and cabbage family are not recommended as they can cause gas. I've never had a problem, but again, I keep my quantities very small, about the size of one medium sized apple per feeding.

If you are thinking of supplementing your horse's diet, offer a taste first and don't over do it. If they spit it out at you, try another small piece later. They may change their mind. A little goes a long way when cut up small for treats or mixed in their feed. Of course, I remove all pits or large seeds or rough skins first. The rule of thumb is that it should be smaller than the size of a ping pong or golf ball, but I think this is still too big. I cut mine even smaller (about 1/2" diameter or less), especially with hard foods like carrots or sweet potatoes. This size is still big enough to chew, but small enough to be easily swallowed, if it isn't fully masticated. I want to eliminate any danger of choking, because at 31, Rudy doesn't have the greatest teeth anymore.

My equines are spoiled, I admit it, but the joy and great workout I get from riding and taking care of them everyday is well worth all the effort, time commitment and expense involved.

Find a great article on how to prepare fruit and veggies for your equine friends here, where I just found out that out you can feed the banana pieces with the skin still on after removing the hard ends.

Your horses will thank you if you put some kind of fruit or vegetable in their feed regularly. It adds excitement to their day and variety to their diet and vocabulary. My horses know so many more words now!

Remember, do not feed too much at a time and wipe off or wash the food first.

The images used here in this post are available for licensing from my iStock portfolio.

Thanks for reading and as always, your input is most welcome and very appreciated.