Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Birthdays, Breaks and Babies

Today is my horse, Santa Margarita's, 21st birthday. It seems like only yesterday that she was a newborn foal, so bold and full of herself, ready to take on the world.

 I haven't seen her yet today, but I will go out at dinner time with Jerry and make a big fuss over her. I'm really looking forward to seeing my big birthday girl today.

Not much to report on the home scene. Healing is going well, but slowly as expected. Here's one of my x-rays showing the craftsmanship and carpentry skills of my doctor. Thank goodness for modern medicine!

As per my suspicions, we just found out that our woodchuck, "Chuckie" is "Chuckquita"! She  has 5 or 6 babies under my hay shed. They are the size of guinea pigs and so cute! We can see them through binoculars from the house. They are very young and wary, so we can't get close to them. My dad had a groundhog as a pet when he was a kid and the whole family really loved him. Check out this video of a lady who rescues orphaned wildlife. I'm having a cuteness overload. Don't you just want to hold one?

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Getting Back Into Riding . . . If Only in My Dreams

The past few nights, I've been having vivid dreams about riding and caring for the horses. It is probably due to me getting more upright, flexible and mobile, while taking advantage of the boot, physical therapy and exercising. I even walked out to the barn once with help from Jerry and a walker. Yesterday my farrier came and I stayed out there for almost two hours. I also gave Rita a good grooming. We both really enjoyed it!

Jerry continues to lunge my 32 year old, Rudy, at least every other day
and they both seem to be benefiting from it.

Sometimes he takes me out in the car so I can watch.

Over the past two months, some individuals have been sending healing thoughts, get well wishes and asking how I'm doing. It's really nice to know that people care. Thanks especially to those of you that have reached out to me during this trying time. Your friendship and kindness really means so much!

"When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand.  The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares."  ~ Henri Nouwen

"We are the captains of our own ships sailing the sea of life, but in times of a stormy weather, you will discover true friends when they don't hesitate to be a lighthouse."  ~ Dodinsky

Still spending part of my days in the chair; here's my current studio setup.

Jerry shot my leg last Thursday at my first physical therapy appointment. Only a week later, it looks much better. Still lots of swelling after exercise, but everything is going really well. I've been meditating nightly which is helping me heal more quickly, both physically and spiritually.

Although the time did go slow for me during my convalescence, I can't believe it is almost June! Now that I'm feeling better, things are really speeding up! This shot of Rita was taken by my friend, Jen, last August. She will have a collection of her photos at The Devon Horse Show and Country Fair at the Caracol Jewelry  booth. If you are local and you go to the show, be sure to stop by and have a look.  Her art is awesome.

Memorial Day weekend unofficially starts tomorrow. It kicks off the summer here in the states. I just started working on some of my stock photography again. I think this one of my folks, is appropriate for the holiday weekend and summer season ahead. "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! YAY!"

No matter what your plans are, have a safe and enjoyable weekend. Take some time to reflect and be grateful for all those who have lost their lives so that we may enjoy the many freedoms we hold dear.

Wishing You Many Blessings, Sandy

Monday, May 21, 2012

Howdy Hoo From Cat Man Do!

Sophie - sweet resident barn/shop cat
I said I'd fill you in the cat happenings here at "Cat Man Do", so here I go. It's complicated. Eva, the one year old recent drop off and fred's last fling has been vetted, treated, spayed and contained in a large cage in Jerry's shop since last Tuesday. She's been in the same room as Sophie and Ginger, our outside/inside, barn/shop cats. Sophie is a real doll, but Ginger is a an insecure, neurotic pterodactyl. (Wow, how do you like the spelling of that word?) The three cats seem to be accepting each other and I think we'll open Eva's door to the room with the two girls on Wednesday. I hope her and Sophie hit it off, because Ginger really annoys the Soph with her constant clinginess.

Ginger - Sweet, skittish and fat with various issues

The love triangle - Eva,  Ja Ja and Fred 

Eva -  tiny newbie 4.5 lbs.
Eva seems very docile and tame. Jerry's been sticking his hand in the cage and petting her, which she likes very much.
Ja Ja - teenage mother, 6 mo. old
As per my previous post, we caught Ja Ja,
only to find she was nursing kittens,
so brought her back untouched except for a rabies shot.
She loves the trap and we have caught her several times since. 

Freddie the Free Loader - Still at large
Fred's just too smart and continues to be an outlaw. We set the trap. He sniffs it, sprays it and walks away. He's been around the block a few too many times and we're afraid he is going to be a difficult one to catch.

Princess has her good days and bad. She's 17 now and often seems grouchy. She has been diagnosed with hyperthyroidism. We have her on transdermal medication which is helping her have more good days. She now has a better appetite and is starting to put some weight on. 

Tigger is our big, lovable guy. He is spending more and more time with me in the studio, much to Princess' dismay. He's usually very good and tolerant of her and her space, but every once in a while he has to be a bad boy and get right in her face. This of course sets her off and gets her all riled up. He's young and playful and does it just for the fun of it and because it really annoys her.

Lately, Tigger's been taking all of the big soft balls out of his toy basket. Then, he walks around with them in his mouth. He carries it like it was a kitten, all the time crying in a loud, pitiful way until he finds a good spot to lay it down. Then he goes and gets another one and repeats the process. Saturday morning, we woke to find all four of them arranged in a neat, evenly spaced row. He continued observing and guarding them throughout the day until later that evening, when he started adding smaller sparkly balls to his arrangement. Then he seemed to loose interest. I think he wants to be an artist.

Leah - resident outside feral
Ziggy and Leah seem to be staying to themselves, mostly hanging out on the shed roof during the day where they occupy the penthouse suite.

Ziggy - Tigger's brother, resident outside feral
Snowflake  - spring 2011
They are not alone up there in their roof top abode anymore though. For the past couple of weeks, a raccoon has been coming out of their apartment and joining them for their evening meal. We don't think it's Snowflake, because it's shy and runs when it see's Jerry, but it could be one of the babies from last year. Anyway, they all seem to be getting along at the moment. Most likely, Ziggy and Leah don't have a choice and are just trying to hang on to their prime real estate. 

"Psychologists now recognize that the need in some people to have a dozen cats is really a sublimated desire to have two dozen cats."  ~ Robert Brault

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Sketching Soothes my Soul and Saves my Sanity

Today's Sketch from George Stubbs' Whistlejacket
I've been getting back into sketching during my convalescence. Today I copied George Stubbs' painting, Whistlejacket. Sketching and painting takes me to a place where I am not aware of myself, the present, past or future. It connects me to a power that is much greater than I am. Without this outlet, I probably would have been much less content than I have been during this ordeal.

 "If you get into the habit of sketching, you'll never be bored." ~ Me

George Stubbs' Whistlejacket

ROM Cam Walker

After reading this blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, I ordered my cam walking boot online  Read the comments for this post if you are in the market (or may be) for a boot yourself.

 Yesterday I got my cast cut off (again).

I got new x-rays and was fitted into my new stylish black boot. About 10pm last night, it started hurting. When I took it off, I could see it had partially cut off my circulation, so I am wearing it very loose today. I see the physical therapist tomorrow and will request more information on fitting the boot properly.

Spring has sprung here at the Sandarosa. Jerry took this photo of a momma turkey and her brood from the kitchen window.

And one of Chuckie the Woodchuck under the bird feeders, yesterday.
(Does Chuckie have nipples or am I seeing things?)

And Fuzzy Tail, congratulations, looks like you are expecting twins!

There's never a dull moment around here at the Sandarosa Animal Sanctuary!

The Feral Cat Saga continues, but I'll leave that story for next time.

Have a great evening everyone!

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all you mom's out there. (animal families included!)

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Sparkling Spring Weather After the Rain

Using a couple of Have-A-Heart traps, Jerry caught one cat last night (not the ones we were after), and two raccoons! He dropped the nice little orange and white kitty off at ACE OF SPAYS this morning. They just called and said that after putting her under, they saw that she had just had kittens and is probably only six months old herself!! If they spay her now, the milk will dry up and the kittens will die. He is on his way now to pick her up. Hopefully we can catch her (and her kittens) in about 5 weeks. Anyone want a cute, young, friendly, neutered ginger and white cat after we get her fixed? She let Jerry pet her, is really sweet and is cute as a button. I'll try to take a picture of her when Jerry gets home. I guess the love birds were off somewhere on their honeymoon! We will try again to trap them on Monday for Tuesday's Spay and Neuter Clinic. We had our family goodbye dinner last night with the smell of male cat spray wafting from the deck and permeating the house. EWWW! ERRRR!

Jerry's been bringing plants home to brighten up the yard and has started his garden with an assortment of veggies. We get a heavy coating of pine and oak pollen at this time every spring, but with lots of rain last night, everything sparkles in the sunlight today. Here are some views from the studio porch this morning.

The Butterfly bushes have leafed out but as far as I can tell from afar, they have no real signs of buds yet.

I like the polychromatic baskets with petunias and daisies and other interesting flower combinations that Jerry has purchased. 

Along with the hanging baskets, we've got plenty of hummingbird feeders out. So far the action at them has been sporadic and slow, but it seems like it's this way every year. I start to get concerned, then I get a hummingbird explosion around mid June.

The grass in the pasture is so green, I'm afraid to let the horses out there for more than forty minutes. They could quickly eat a large quantity of the rich grass and colic. Then I'd really be in trouble.

My parents pulled out of here this morning after a teary goodbye. The time went by so fast, even with my infirmity. They stayed with us here for three full weeks and were a huge help with me, the house and the horses. And of course, they were also great company. I am so truly blessed.

Mom and I did calligraphy, origami, watercolor paintings and embossing. We watched a lot of YouTude craft videos. I tried to help both Mom and Dad enhance their computer skills a little while they were here with me.

Dad held down the ranch and was in charge of taking care of the horses when Jerry was working.  He lunged Rudy for me almost everyday and being a greenhorn, did a darn good job of it. Boy, I sure am going to miss them!! The backyard looks so bare without the motor home out there.

Ziggy (the orange tabby) and Leah (the dark calico) are our two outside resident ferals, pictured here on the roof. They are staying away from the house and protecting their turf (penthouse suite above the shed) from all the wild interlopers that are up here, causing havoc on the deck.

During my recovery, I've been getting back into sketching almost everyday. Soon it will be time to start up my summer SketchingEveryday blog, if I decide to do it again this year. 

"And the seasons, they go round and round;" ~ Joni Mitchell

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Never a Dull Moment

Someone dumped off some feral cats over the past couple of weeks out here. I really wish people would be more responsible! Just because we have a farm, doesn't mean we need or want more mouths to feed! Now the cats are mating on our deck and we have got to do something about it right away! I called our local Spay and Neuter Clinic and they accept ferals for neuters tomorrow, so I phoned Jerry and told him he has to set the Have-A-Heart Traps when he gets home from work.

I hope we catch something other than a skunk, opossum or a raccoon tonight.
Wish us luck!

On another note, I have ben very concerned about our three big resident wild tom turkeys. I awoke about 6am to a single gunshot very close to the house about a week ago. Until this afternoon, I had not seen the really big boys here together. To say the least, I am very relieved to see all three of them this afternoon.

Please excuse these poor quality photos, taken with my little point and shoot, from far away, through the window.

Monday, May 7, 2012

A Visit to the Philadelphia Museum of Art

"Good art is not what it looks like, but what it does to us. " ~ Roy Adzak

Mom, Bro-in-law - Brent, Sis - Denise & Dad
These photos were taken last Thursday at The Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Dad, Me & Mom
Among others, we all enjoyed the Impressionism Galleries while waiting for our time slot for the Vincent van Gogh Exhibit.

Monet's Water Lilies and Footbridge
This is one of my favorite pieces, by Impressionist Painter, Claude Monet.

Dad and Mom Viewing Impressionist Paintings
You are allowed to take photos in the museum without a flash. The light in the museum is extraordinary, so in most areas, it is not necessary to use one.

Me Viewing One of Thomas Eakins' Paintings
Thomas Eakins was a eminent Philadelphia painter and educator, well known for his portraits and large canvases.

It was a wonderful family day and it felt great to get out of the house for the first time since my accident. I'm not counting my hospital stay and a couple of visits to the surgeon's office, of course. Hopefully the cast comes off next week. Then I get the boot! YAY!