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Diversity of Work and Wildlife


Being a freelancer means diversity…and lots of it. Diversity of tasks, diversity of information, diversity of clients. Today’s day began with answering emails, snagging my article topics for the month for Love to Know, editing an article for Suite 101, and pitching several editors on my credentials to write for their magazines and newspapers. Next, I updated my own consulting website. I had one very satisfied client this week who raved about my work, but because she wants to keep her company anonymous, she isn’t comfortable letting me post her name. No matter – she was happy and that’s all that counts.



Pierre was a bad, bad kitty today. He’s into that gangly, awkward teenage cat stage. Adolescent kitty! He knocked over my water glass on my desk, spilling icewater all over the computer and electrical outlets. Next, he bit the edge of John’s brand new, leather bound book – one of the books he collects. He tested his Houdini-like skills by wiggling into the pantry, then proceeded to vomit all over the pantry floor. Luckily he had been busy shredding a plastic grocery bag, and managed to get most of it onto the bag, so it was a quick cleanup. Shadow meanwhile was her usual sweet self. She accompanied me out to the garden where I picked fresh tomatoes, basil and cucumbers for a lunch salad, and came willingly when I called her back in.



This morning Shadow woke us up at 5:30 with her fierce watch dog bark. I raced downstairs to see a dog-like creature about a hundred feet from the kitchen. He raced into the woods when Shadow continued barking. It was too dark to really see what it was, but I found what looks like coyote scat in the driveway the past two mornings, and it looked a lot like the coyotes we saw in Montana. Philip identified tracks and scat last year as coyote, but we haven’t seen nor heard from them all winter long. Perhaps this one came back for some reason?



This week I also spotted a young black snake in the driveway, and Shadow and I had a chipmunk run right under her paws on the driveway. I often wonder how much wildlife is teeming in these woods – we see so much on the driveway alone!


2 In Uncategorized/ Vegetable Garden

How Does Your Garden Grow?


Today we are recovering from over four hours of gardening yesterday. The weeds seem to grow faster than the flowers. I feel as if for every one chore there are six more waiting. The trellis groans under the weight of the morning glories, and the vines are so prolific they now trail out into the iris bed. Seed packets purchased for a dime at Dollar General blossomed into overflowing beds of Bachelor’s Buttons, cosmos, Marigolds, Sweet Alyssum, and snapdragons. Other triumphs include lavender started under grow-lights in the cellar this winter, coreopsis also grown from seeds, and tiny ecchinacea plants too. Even the roses survived the onslaught of Japanese Beetles and the Blaze climber continues to form a pleasant mounded shape covered with red flowers!



We are planning the vegetable garden now. I’ve asked John to construct raised beds, and he showed me yesterday an idea for a fence that looks great to me. I don’t think it’s deer or bear proof, but certainly it will keep out rabbits and with luck the groundhog.


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Civil War cannons and miniatures


It’s good to be home! We had a great time seeing old friends and making new ones at Breyerfest. Kollean at Stone Wolf Creations dropped off beautiful painted micro minis, we had dinner with Will and Sheri Rhodes and their daughter Alyssa from Mountain View Studios, got my requisite hugs from fantastic artist Candace Liddy, and hung out with Maggie Bennett and Heather from Mirror Bay Farms. I always feel so overwhelmed by all the beautiful artwork at Breyerfest. How does anyone take it all in?



We went sight seeing in Lexington and toured Mary Todd Lincoln’s house. I am not a fan of Mrs. Lincoln. Abraham Lincoln yes, but Mary Todd Lincoln, no. John says she reminds him of Hillary Clinton. I do see the ambition behind both women but there the resemblance ends. I think Hillary is tough as nails and although I dislike her politics, I do admire that about her. Mrs. Lincoln always struck me as a spoiled little rich girl who was very weak. The tour guide went on and on about her tragedies – yes, she lost sons and had her husband murdered. Horrible stuff. But then we toured Ashland, the home of Henry Clay, the great statesman. I compared Mrs. Clay, whom I admire after learning about her, with Mrs. Lincoln. Mrs. Clay gave birth to 11 children. Out of those 11 children, all 6 daughters pre-deceased her. Of her four sons, one died during the Mexican-American war, and one had to be put into a mental hospital due to mental illness. That left two boys alive. Can you imagine that? No, she didn’t have to see her husband murdered, but she certainly didn’t fall to pieces. For that I admire her. I know that everyone is different, with different levels of strength. I’ve read a lot of biographies about Lincoln and Mary Lincoln is just not someone I can admire.



At Ashland, the Clay Estate, I spotted a toy cannon in the gift shop and bought it. It’s just about Breyer Stablemate scale, and I have a plastic draft horse to pull it. John and I researched Civil War cannons and artillery and I will need to build a limber, the cart that carries the cannonballs, and a harness. I want to try to paint and sculpt some figurines to make a little Civil War dioramma. This could be a fun project for us both!



The chores never end so I have to sign off. The pet hair in just four days is ridiculous. And the weeds have once again taken over the garden.


Enjoy your day as I will enjoy mine!
In Uncategorized

To Breyerfest We Go!

Well, it’s off to Breyerfest! This will be our third trip since founding EquinArt Creations ( I’m excited to be going back. Even though I know John thinks it’s a pain in the neck, and we never sell enough to make it really profitable, I enjoy it a lot. Maybe because it reminds me of being a kid and waiting for the mailman to bring my issues of Just About Horses…the boxes of Breyers ordered through Bentley Sales…and the old model horse journals. In the days before the internet, we used to live and die by those badly photocopied newsletters. Model Foal Breeders Association, Model Horse Gazette…Doris Rau, Rebecca Hileman, Linda Leach, Kathy Maestas….anyone else remember these folks? I loved collecting model horses as a kid. It just struck me this morning that I can begin collecting again. I stopped back in the 1990’s because I knew we would move and the house we had in Huntington had no room whatsoever for models. We barely had room for our clothes and books, never mind toys. Now I have the china hutch in my office and I have my models out. There are shelves there too which I am hoping to display my new RESINS. Yes that’s right, I’m finally collecting resins! These are casts my company has produced and I am having painted. I hope to start photo showing again soon. I need a hobby so I stop taking life so darn seriously!
We leave on Thursday morning. John’s dad will babysit the critters and watch the house. Actually, I think Shadow, our German Shepherd, will watch everyone. She is too funny. This morning John took Shadow and Pierre outside to play while it was still cool. Shadow loves to play fetch with her tennis ball, and Pierre loves to get into trouble and chase grasshoppers and crickets. This morning, Shadow was playing ball out front, and Pierre darted around back. Shadow was on top of him in an instant! She grabbed him by the scruff of the neck and dragged him back to the front porch. We had one wet, bedraggled cat, and John couldn’t stop laughing. Shadow always ‘finds’ Pierre and drags him back when he runs off. The two of them go everywhere together. Just an hour ago, I went down to the basement to pack some model horse orders. The next thing I know, my two ‘helpers’ we at my side. Pierre leaped into the bag of packing peanuts and started making a nest for himself while Shadow lay down on the stockroom floor keeping guard on the resins while I packed the order. My two helpers…I wish I could take them with me to Breyerfest!


A busy day today as I try to wrap up everything so we can leave without worrying. Lots of writing this week but no new marketing work coming in. I just accepted a job with Smarthinking as a writing tutor and need to complete my training by next Tuesday. With being out of the office for two days, that may be a little difficult, but I’ll manage.
The garden continues to flourish. I’m so happy that my photographs are now on, a free website where graphic designers and marketers can grab photos for use. Yesterday they emailed me to say that my pictures were accepted. Hopefully that will generate some additional interest in my consulting services, Seven Oaks Consulting, and my writing career. I’m really pleased with the flower photography and include a photo I call “shy glory” here featuring one of my morning glories. Japanese beetle chewed leaves and all, I’m pleased with it!
In the meantime…Breyerfest, here we come!