What shall we blog about today?

Saturday, January 30, 2010

I know - I know! A giveaway! I've never done this before but I have an important reason, so bear with me for a bit as I explain: These days, it's tough enough to find a job as an experienced adult; it becomes pretty much impossible when you're a teen (and deaf to boot). So what's a concerned mother to do? Well, in the case of Cassandra's young man Blake, it's help him start his own business making unique fingerspelled shirts (and I can tell you they are fun, Fun, FUN).  In addition to selling his shirts locally, he now has a terrific little T-shirt shop on Etsy called Say It In Sign, (hey, a guy's gotta diversify, right?) Shadow even has his own shirt there, and you know he's pretty darn proud of it. Anyway, the purpose of this giveaway is not to promote the shop (although I bet he'd love to have you stop by, because duh :o) but something else all together, and since it requires a teensy bit of effort on your part I thought perhaps a bit of a bribe might encourage your participation... 
All right already, get to the point girl - Geez! Okay, sorry.  Here 'tis: Blake and his mom have been talking to the folks over at Provo Craft, asking them for a Cricut Solutions Cartridge with American Sign Language. The cheeseballs in charge want to gauge the public's interest before they will commit to creating this cartridge (but if the interest is there, they will make one and how cool is that??) The cartridge would (of course) feature the sign language alphabet, and some simple handshapes and/or signs like the "I Love You" handshape in the picture, which I think almost everyone recognizes. Aside from the deaf community, I would think that this would be an awesome thing for schools (kids love to learn fingerspelling and it's a great way to get 'em to learn their spelling words!) and a whole bunch of other folks. If you don't already have a Cricut, you really should check them out. They rock!
So spill it sister - what do I have to DO?? Just send an email by 5:00p.m. EST on Friday, February 5, 2010 to with the following information:
1.Your name (first and last please)
2. State whether or not you own a Cricut Machine. 
3. Indicate that you are either already planning to buy a Cricut and would love to have this cartridge, OR that you would purchase one to use this cartridge.  If you are not a crafter but your church has a deaf ministry or you are in an educational field, maybe your church, school, or home school group would be interested in purchasing one and you can say that instead.
Feel free to tell absolutely everyone you've ever met (don't forget to give 'em the link to this blogpost) and that's it! Pretty simple, eh?
Okay Jen I did what you asked; Whatcha gonna give me if I win? I'll be honest here and admit I burned up quite a few brain cells over this one; I wanted to make it worth your while, but the only thing we're "rolling in" around here is horse poop. So I raided my handmade stuff, and here's what I came up with. *Draws a deep breath*
From the Epic Farms Shop: A DIY color the horses bookmark, a horseshoe and horse diecut, a black and  turquoise gift tag, a mini toon card with Shadow & Blankie, an official Epic Farms bookmark with Katie's toon (that's 2 I know; but hey, I love reading :o) and an itty-bitty fun filly polymer clay magnet.
YA WANT MORE? Okeydoke, here goes...
From the Wysiwigs Shop: A doodlebugs fridgiewidget (origami magnet), a "Miss Sara N Getti" notecard (frameable print), a selection of die cuts, a gift bag set with tissue paper and handmade card, and a pretty crocheted snowflake I made with iridescent thread.
A big cheesy grin for your participation (which you will probably not see).
A happy dance in your honor (which you will DEFINITELY not see).
Oh! and a free business card from each of my shops, as I'm not an idiot (well, most of the time anyway...)
How will the winner be chosen?
Diana (Blake's mom) set up the email specifically for this giveaway. At 5:01p.m. next Friday (Feb 5th), she will compile and email to me a list of names containing everyone that participated in the giveaway. I'll print out the names, cut them up, mix 'em good, and draw one lucky winner. The winner will be announced in next Saturday's blogpost. And guess what else? When I called Diana to ask her if she would mind compiling the list, she offered to send a free Supershadow T-shirt to the winner. Boo-yeah baby! ;o)
Well, that's it for this post - how'd I do? If there's lots of positive feedback, I might even do this again. What do you think? Are you jumping up and down and planning to enter the giveaway (or did you just roll your eyes and give me a raspberry?) Inquiring minds want to know. At least I think they do...

An Award Winning Week

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Farewell Frostbite, Hello Flashflood
Well, the subzero temps seem to be over with but I couldn't resist one last bit of photographic evidence. Rickey had to break up the ice in the Moo Crew's water trough; would you believe it was almost 2" thick? Woo! I'm pretty sure most of the 48 contiguous have experienced a whacked out winter. How about it? What was your weirdest winter day this year? I'd have to say that ours was the morning I walked out to find the ropes on the Girls' doors sticking out in frozen curls. It had rained a bit, then the temperature plunged. Is that bizarre or what?
Our week began with rain-rain-rain and:

While all of the horses got pretty darn dirty, I felt that Champ deserved some kind of recognition for going beyond the call of dirt duty.  What I can't quite figure out, though, is how he managed to keep his tail completely clean...go figure (??)


Mid week, Rina showed up for supper with a rather impressive ding on her hip...I have absolutely no idea what happened, although I can speculate that she may have slid in the mud while running and clipped a tree. As leader and the unequivocal Queen of Mean, I am sure that none of her pasture mates would dare to nip at her hip :o)

I kept it small in case any of you are squeamish, but it was a good two inches in diameter. I have to say that I was very proud of Rina for her cooperative behavior in letting me treat it; not only did she turn herself around and line her injury up right in front of me for the medicine, she stood stock still the whole time in an open area and without a halter - what a good girl! I'll do a shameless plug here for Skin Renovator for an awesome product. At $15.00 a tube it's expensive, but it is the best there is for healing wounds quickly. I even found a handy dandy way to recycle the empty container and solve the problem of the missing cap on our gate at the same time (ta-da! :o)
The week came to a melodramatic conclusion with one of Shadow's Blankie Moments...

If you would like to know more about Shadow's dramatic episodes, go to my Squidoo lens on Colic and scroll down to "Cranial Colic". A bit of love and some time with Blankie made for a miraculous recovery (he's such a silly boy!) Oh, and I forgot to squat while taking his picture so Shadow looks strangely disproportionate (oops :oP

How about your animals? Do they have a blankie or special toy that makes it all better? I'd love to hear about it, and so would Shadow. He's rather proud of his alliterated title of "Epic Farms' Eccentric Equine", (but he is secretly afraid of being referred to as "Whatta Weirdo" by certain hard-hearted bipeds). Do tell us please!

For Me? Really? Are you sure? WAIT: Am I sure??

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Cooool! Well, maybe...
I think I have kind of a love/dread mentality when it comes to blog awards.  On one hand, it's very flattering to be the recipient (provided, of course, that the giver of said award did not just pick the first blogs that came to mind :o) but on the other hand, it's kind of a pain in the tail isn't it? I mean first you have to decide who to pass the award on to, then you have to do a bunch of finagling to make sure you post it all correctly and then check all the hyperlinks to make sure they function properly. Whew! Now that I think about it; I'm pooped, how about you?

First is a heartfelt THANK YOU to Marg  at Marg's Pets for considering us worthy to receive this award (even though I do play it fast and loose with the grammar sometimes ;o) I absolutely appreciate you thinking of me (and I really do, too!)

Next comes all the information on the award and the rules (gotta have 'em):

This award has been going around since 2008. If you wish to read more about this award, please click here

Here are the rules for this award:
1. Each Superior Scribbler (S.S.) must pass the Award onto 5 most deserving blogger friends. Check
2. Each S.S. must link the author and name of the blog from whom he/she received the award. Check
3. Each S.S. must display the award on his/her blog and link to the post which explains the award. Check
4. Each S.S. who wins is asked to visit this post and add his/her name to the Mr. Linky List Nope; not gonna happen...Arrrgh! :oP This one seems to be a trick, as there is no way to actually add your name to the list, although you can view the 1,362 people that were able to add their names *sigh*
5. Each recipient must post these rules on his/her blog.Check
Finally: My list of recipients.
I have decided to [inflict this award on] er, pass this award along to:

of Snap, Edit & Scrap Who owns the world's cutest canine blogger [otherwise known as Duke] and always has something interesting to say in her posts.

of The Everyday Adventurer for his fabulous photos and virtual adventures through the woods near his home.

of Megs Little Studio for her wonderfully compassionate nature and lovely posts (and let us not forget Arwen the Adorable and all of Meghann's bodacious bling!)

at Wild Facts who finds some truly terrific trivia to share and creates amazing animal posts for us to read daily.
and last [but never least] is...

of Elegant Bloggery for her awesome illustrations, cute kids and ever-so-clever posts.

Now that I have officially won an award and passed it on to the requisite number of blogs, I will say thank you [again] to Marg and admit that one is enough for me.  I do not think I want any more awards (although I will apreciate the thought :o) All the percolating, copying, pasting and cyber finagling makes my head hurt. In the words of the immortal Mary Poppins, "Enough is as good as a feast."
So what do you think about all these blog awards? Have you ever gotten an award? Ignored it? Loved it? Bemoaned it? Cursed it? I have managed to restrain myself from uttering any repentable words throughout this slightly irritating adventure, but it was a mighty close call. Well I suppose it's time to share the frustration *cough* er, make that fun of this award with the chosen five...

Um, speaking of Mindblogging Migraines: Pass me a Tylenol, would you? Yeesh.

Cold and colder, back and forth...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

...want to warm up, we'd better head NORTH??? 
Have you ever had one of those days? You know the kind I mean: the ones that *cough* build character. It would seem I have decided (albeit unconsciously) to have an entire week of them. My character must be running a tad low. Living in south Alabama (as

in 13 miles from the Florida line) winters are cold, but nowhere near as cold as where I grew up (Pennsylvania).  This week, however, we have been matching record temps left and right which has caused quite a bit of trouble around here.... but I'm getting ahead of myself.
The first photo shows how my week began. As you can see, the T-Post between the Moo Crew and The Girls was mysteriously flattened and the fence wire broken up sometime during the night.  The only piece of evidence was a tiny tuft of red hair stuck to the post (and although all four of our red-headed miscreants were questioned, nobody was talking). 

 The temperatures (which I kinda thought were cold enough in the standard upper twenties/lower thirties) dropped further and froze just about everything. Of course the bright spot in this is that my new camera captured this tiny frozen trickle rather well, don't you think? (neat-O ;o)  While we started the week turning on the water in the afternoons (when the sun had thawed out the lines) to fill up the water trough for the girls, by Tuesday it had gotten so cold that the water wouldn't flow even at high noon.  Time for the bucket brigade to kick in (and wasn't that just the most fun? Not :oP

I have to admit it's extremely depressing (not to mention bizarre) to be watching the weather and see that not only Boston but Oregon (where my brother lives) were 10-20 degrees warmer than it was here in South Alabama... 
By midweek, the temps were in the teens at night and 30's during the day. I finally got the chance to dash to the barber shop for a haircut - I've been trying to find time to go since November. I know I said barber not salon, but it's only $10 for a haircut there (I fed all my beauty money to the horses, you see). Did I finally get my hair cut? Nope; can you believe they were frozen too??
Thursday came the predictions of snow and sleet on top of the cold. Now don't get me wrong, I like snow (just not here). Do you have any idea what happens in the south when it snows? Let me tell you, it is not a pretty sight (idiots abound). We've had schools and businesses close down, space heater fires, pipes bursting (thankfully not ours) and all manner of issues arise - along with much of the country - during this crazy snap.  Reason being that we are simply not equipped to deal with this kind of cold weather: It was eleven degrees yesterday morning with the wind chill, which is pretty doggone cold anywhere. The fact that temperatures have not been this cold in 15-20 years have caught nearly everyone ill prepared. Heck, I know I'm wishing I still had my Yankee Winter Wardrobe. Speaking of which...

Ratty, I've decided to include this part just for you after reading your matter-of-fact post about dressing appropriately for the great outdoors in the winter:

If you've never been there, please visit Ratty's blog (after you finish this post, of course :o)  It's  "The Everyday Adventurer", and it's terrific! 
And now (you hope) it's time for my grand finale. If you read last week's post, you know I went off the deep end and splurged on a new camera. I am happy to report that I absolutely LOVE it. 
I've had a grand time taking pictures this week, and (even cooler) shooting some video clips, which I've never done before. I played with it a bit, put some together, and added some music; hope you like it!

The bobble with the camera towards the end was compliments of Taya, who decided to give my sleeve, which was attached to the arm holding the camera, a nice big happy slurp (she loves me, what can I say?? :o) I'd love to hear what you think about Cinnamon and Max "squaring off" over the stump; I thought that was a hoot (looked like they'd rehearsed it).
Thanks for stopping by!

Out With the Old and In With the New...

Sunday, January 3, 2010

...With one scary purchase, my shopping is through!

For the past several years I have been ogling (and subsequently drooling over) digital cameras, but never could afford anything close to what I wanted. Trying to get a fledgling Non-Profit off the ground means that the bulk of my paycheck gets pretty much re-routed before I get to see it.  This year, however, DH gave me money (and made me promise not to spend it on bills or anyone but myself; horses included) and my parents gave me a big Walmart gift card so I went a little crazy... 
First: A Byte of Background
The digital camera on the right was on perpetual loan from a dear friend; I've been using it to take the listing photos for our Etsy Shop.  Before that I was using my camera phone (sad, but true :o)

Because it didn't belong to me (and I am paranoid) I rarely took it outside. Most of my outdoor shots were taken with my regular camera or my handy-dandy cell phone (well whaddaya want on a no budget budget?)

The Blast from my [not too distant] Past  
I took a picture of our Christmas tree for the scrapbook before we dove into the small pile of presents underneath it on Christmas morning. My dad, who was standing nearby, held out a hand and said, "Let me see". Thinking he meant my camera, I handed it to him. He turned the camera around and in utter shock stated, "This is a FILM camera!" Apparently, he was expecting to see a small digital screen instead of the black plastic view he got :o)

"Thanks for pointing that out, Pop", I returned with a laugh. "There are a few of us that still use them, you know." At least I think there are...are there? Do any of you guys still use 'regular' cameras, or am I the last one left on the planet? Not that it worries me to be bringing up the rear mind you, I'm just curious...

"Welcome to the 21st Century"
Was my father's response to my extravagant Christmas purchase (of course it was 100% sponsored by the presents from DH and my parents; and it was also on sale - WooHoo!!)

There's probably something off about a senior citizen being shocked by his offspring's lack of technology (in fact, I'm sure of it :o) but that doesn't bother me in the slightest. To be honest, I thought it was pretty darn funny myself, because it was just so wrong.

Of course now I have guilt;I should have saved the money, bought feed with it, paid a bill with it, etc.  I seem to have an awful lot of trouble spending "me money", do you?

I've never participated in one of these, but thought I'd throw this in as a tribute to my cell phone camera (another oldie, but goodie :o)

Theme #194 "Lick"

Er, this is Shadow "cleaning" my daughter; he's our resident treat vacuum and people washer... 

She thought it was funny. Me? I was kind of thinking more along the lines of...


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