Sabbatical

Sep. 9th, 2015 06:45 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini&I)
Another blog sabbatical, of sorts, all based on a 'convenience' factor and feeling excessively busy. Busy with what? Life, the Universe, and Everything.

Ranch is in some ways beginning to feel overwhelming, which may be a Summer thing. With the heat and humidity of North Central Baja Jorja summers, work always wants to become Routine Chores Only. This summer didn't allow that. Combination of we received a lot of needed rain (though so far, not much in the way of tropical storms... not claiming we won't, saying not yet), and Cows and Goats stressed fences which needed maintenance.

Goats, well, their fence is one of the first ones we put up here on the Ranch, so 25 plus years old. That they started blowing holes in old rusted wire is unsurprising. Frankly, we gave up on trying to mend most of it, at least those portions that divide within, and simply started letting the Goats wander through the Park and the Horse Paddock. They've been eating back a lot of the brushy growth which thrived on the Summer Monsoon.

Cows, on the other hand, we couldn't ignore so placidly as a couple two-three took to going over (or through) the fence onto the road. Two things happened from that. A lot of fence maintenance involving pulling wire fabric back up, re-attaching separated segments and twisting those connections tighter, re-stapling to posts, then adding stays which isn't hard yet is time consuming. And, the prime offender experienced his Change of Occupation from beef stored on hoof to beef stored in the freezer.

KP Ranch is not a petting zoo. If you aren't comfortable with that part, skip over it.

Because of all the needed maintenance, and because the high summer months see a bit of a slow-down at Farmers Markets we vend through, we scheduled a Modified Summer. That plan involved setting up at one market every other weekend, and doing milk delivery only on the opposite weekends. The second market on Monday evening slowed down so much, and all the vendors so busy getting gardens and other aspects ready for Autumn, that the market as a whole simply closed for two months. We'll re-open in a couple more weeks. Meanwhile, Herself is still doing the milk delivery to the regular customers (takes about an hour and a half).

I did mention the Monsoon, right? Well, that turned the Saturday Market (At Haile Town Centre) into mostly an every week milk delivery only. We are back to every week there, now, and beef sales went well (take that, Recalcitrant Youngster Bovine who disregarded fences!) along with our other usual sales of goats milk, goat cheese, and free-range eggs.

But not a huge amount of Art accomplished. Some. Working on a series concept titled Special Snowflakes. Finished up a Really Big Piece, and decided on a title for that following an older suggestion, re-spelled. Need to mat and frame that piece, then mat the smaller print (at least mat, maybe frame) and decide how many more prints to do. This one is designed as a Big Piece, so a small print of this one falls into the 27 centimetre long size. And I might decide that's too small, which makes a small print more like 35-40 centimetres long. The 'small' print of the two sizes I've got now is 50 cm long.

Then again, I've always been partial to big prints.

The Autumn Show Season is coming up, reason to get the bit of backlog needing mats done, as well as the current prints needing framing, and then planning on more prints to replace inventory that's getting low. Or sold out. Stuff like that.

Houdini BorderCollieBro is now into his elder years, and frequently referred to as the Elder Statesdog. We adopted a pup last year, and I'm so infrequently posting here that likely haven't mentioned her. She's now a month plus a year, still puppy, and growing. She's slightly bigger than Houdini. We kept the name the Humane Society gave her when delivered to their doorstep as an hours old pup whose dam refused to care for her, the only surviving pup from a litter of six. So, meet Velvet.

Velvet is already starring in a few greeting card art pieces, and will no doubt continue to do so. Houdini and Squrrl are, of course, also featured in some of the greeting card art pieces. All of which need to be printed and added to inventory. To that end, I've been shopping for papers and will try some from a company called Red River Paper. One portion of their product line is photographic paper stock designed to be folded into greeting cards easily. Fairly good results on the test pieces.

And on that note, it's about time to get moving and take care of the Ranch...
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
Just because today is, Houdini asks Do you know where your towel is? )

Indoor Dog

May. 17th, 2010 07:09 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Houdini and the Sleeping Place )

He definitely is enjoying the perks of being 'Indoor Dog' as we move into the Hot Season. This is from a few days ago, apparently he experienced a rougher day today since the 'Sky Grumblers' (thunder storm) were hunting him. And yes, that is the tip of his tongue sticking out...
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
The Amazing Flying Houdini )

Makes him sound like a circus performer or something. Nor, of course, is flying. Simply perched on top of a long bird cage fastened to remnants of the old kennel fence. I suspect he does this to be 'rescued'. An alternative is to provide a better vantage point to watch for my arrival home. I provide the alternative because if I ignore him he'll climb down the opposite side, where he climbed up.

That's Smudge in the background.

It is Friday. I am home. I am tired. Why am I tired? What possible reason for being tired do I possess?

Early

Feb. 15th, 2010 06:29 pm
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Early Morning Houdini Is Early )

And not to sure about his Human Person pointing the black box eye at him this hour of the day. It's all too confusing. Getting up this early usually means it is a BossGoesAwayDay. Yet here is Boss pointing the black box eye thingie and making it go caclick... which usually means not a BossGoesAwayDay.

Oh Well.

In other news, I'm thinking perhaps not to do the age restriction thing on photos other than those which truly need it. Reason, even though I mark them as NSW, and that marking shows for folks who are logged in... all the 'cut' text says if one isn't logged in is one may be about to view material that isn't for minors, and must then hit the button that says yes I'm over 18, before seeing if it is work safe or not. Which selecting yes I'm old enough simply kicks one into the photo, work safe or otherwise.

Opinions, anyone?
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Studio 318)
First things first, I suppose, woke up this morning around 05:15 thinking It's a weekend, I don't need to wake up yet. What woke me up? No cats on my chest, dogs quiet. Then I heard a distant rumble of thunder. Ah, sez I to Myself, the rain is arriving. And Myself sez, Any moment now you're going to hear Houdini getting into his den. And we did. About a half hour later, when Madame Queen Mary Kitteh made sure of my wakefulness by kneadie-paw over my bladder, I also saw lightning flashes while using the facilities.

So I spent the rest of the morning enjoying my coffee, watching the Weather Channel on Sky TV (when the rain didn't interfere with reception), and working on some photographs. As usual I'm putting them behind a cut, because hey, I've got the Bandwidth Blues here on the Old, Rural, North Central Baja Jorja dial-up connection, even if you don't.

Flickr Sez I can haz Tell You Iz On Flickr )

I've worked on a couple other pieces over the weekend as well. Those aren't ready to post yet. I just had to get something up, though. Been feeling a need lately.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Default)
While not killing ourselves, we've been keeping busy today. Feeding the Ranch, Houdini and I making a feed run, checking on that doe. Still labouring. Not down, so that's good. Cleaning up some parts of the House. Moving items over to Studio. Still need cleanup over there, but not a lot is moving. All of it parts of projects.

Herself is running some things into town, to Barony people now. Should be back in less than an hour, but even so the evening feeding of the Herd of 6 is mine. Mine and Houdini's.

A good day.

Busy Day

Dec. 13th, 2008 06:14 pm
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
Up early. Well, not like on a work day, managed to get an extra hour in before Mean Ole Mary Kitty made it clear that Breakfast is Late. Coffee. Oh yes, coffee. Mix the kid milk, head out by 08:15 because someone is coming over to purchase a goat. He arrives just as I get to the paddock. Feed the kids first, put some down for the Big Herd, then in the Buck Pen, feed down, goat out. $60 thank you very much.

Help Herself get ready to go feed the multitudes (at least 60 people) at St. Benet, local Barony An Crosaire event. I'm safe, even if I don't go, they can neither blame the year on me nor make me next year's autocrat. I'm not a member. Just a bit of history.

Vacuum two rooms after Herself is off on the first run over. Take the last batch of bread (the gluten-free) out of the oven. Check through photos. Help Herself load up the second round, then shoo her off. Somewhere in there, part of helping Herself was taking care of things here while she went on a brief feed run to tide the Cows and Goats over past Monday. They're happy. Houdini's happy. I'm happy.

More checking of photos and visiting sites, making some comments this time on other work. Sharing the office with a warm black and white fuzzy. Finish that up, prep the Herd of 6's evening drink. Oh, yes, the MegaNanny Bucket'ONipples is very helpful feeding them. Then the Horses get Hay, the oCows get Cubes, and the Border Collie Bros get kibble with sausage and Pizza Bones! Yay!

Now to go warm up my chicken podvarak. That way, I'll be sharing a bit still in the Feast of St. Benet.

Good day.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
I've been working diligently, if slowly, today. Knocked off a couple things needed done. Not a lot.

Listened to some music sent my way from Down Under. You know who you are who sent it to me. *G* Well, OK, it wasn't just me you sent it to. Doesn't change anything.

Music did lead to an OMG moment; yes, You Who Sent, I'd heard Crowded House back in the day. Recongised one number once I listened to it. But, you are still Teh Eeeevil. Only just avoided actually ROTFLMFAO listening to Tripod. Only. Just.

Envied a Penguin.

Penguin!
Originally uploaded by Slave2TehTink

::glares at [livejournal.com profile] slave2tehtink with EnvieLazerEyes::



Edited the description of a piece on DA, to point people towards the artist who helped with the piece. Hopefully, helps make some sales for her.

See. I've been busy today. Time to pack up. Houdini, Smudge, and Squrrl are calling.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Houdini & I)
Off of work early yesterday, Boss came into the office around 13:00 (an Early Warning about this did get an alert...) to see if we were done with our work for the day. According to Boss, the answer proved Yes across the board. So, we packed up and left.

Get Out Of Town - cuts are because this got long-ish )

Signs of the Times, or Should Ranch Get Bigger? )

Dog-Eyed, Plumbing, and Dinner )

Today is Thanksgiving Day in the US. A Yank holiday. Hospital gives us the Friday after as a holiday as well, so it's a long weekend. Time to catch up on those things detailed above. Today, as well, time to reflect and be thankful for:

Herself, teh Home Fuzzies, teh Ranch, our home.
Gainful employment, and recent sales from the Ranch
Friends, local and far, seen, spoken, corresponded.
Health. (Last year at this time I knew I'd be a patient at Hospital, divesting myself of Mr. Stone.)

May you also find good things to be thankful for today and all days.

Yesterday

Oct. 19th, 2008 09:05 am
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Shutterbuggin')
This is not a Beatle's song. Well, Yesterday is, but not my entry.

Made rounds with Smudge, Houdini, and Herself. Got everybody squared away. Then we ate breakfast. Eggs, courtesy of the New DirtyYardbird Hens. Ah, nothing quite like fresh eggs.

Did some book-keeping. Excitement, what?

Then we got ready to go to office partner wedding. Her (now husband) works out at the Austin Cary Memorial Forest to the northeast of Hoggetowne, and the wedding and reception were held at their conference center. It's a nice log-cabin kind of place, with a huge deck overlooking a pond. The pond, like a lot of other water-holes around North Central Baja Jorja shows the effects of the past few years of drought, with indications the overall water level is down about 12' (3 meters, less a bit).

Wedding started at 17:30, so just before sundown. Nice ceremony, office partner filled the role of beautiful bride quite well, her Intended the role of handsome groom. I greatly enjoy the fact that she wore cowgirl boots with her gown. Very nice, dressy ones. So did the flower girl (her young cousin). From the looks of it, in fact, Bride and Flower Girl wore matching boots.

There are a number of 'gators living in that pond, and I managed a few photos of some. Also some nice photos of the wedding and outdoor portion of the reception before light started to wane. Also a couple artsy-fartsy photos even after it got dark. My classmates lo these many seasons past, in the only formal photography class I've ever taken, often accused me of making photographs in available darkness.

So, home and off to bed late but not terribly so. Slept until around 08:00 when Houdini quite adamantly told me it was time to be out of bed. This despite some particularly ... well, not sure I can say that as I'm not remembering much about the dream but wanted to say particularly strange. Star Trek involved. Just... odd. That's the feeling I still get about the dream(s).

Brings us to here, following coffee and a bit of Houdini chasing.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Attitude)
No, really, I'm not complaining.

Two nights in a row now, Houdini has done let himself off his line, and after whatever he's done between that and waking me up, come to House and woke me up. I know he's done something, because he's panting like crazy until he cools off.

Not sure what it was last night. We did find canid tracks in sand yesterday morning, and said tracks indicate said canid was beating a hasty retreat from teh Ranch. Said tracks also too small to be Huodini's. All the Bros have fairly good sized paws. Was still dark when I left this morning for Hospital, so Houdini stayed in the House with Herself. Who will check for other signs when it's light. She did tell me all the goats are apparently OK, since she went out to check things when Hairy Houdini woke us up.

How does he do that?
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
Herself's PC is h'ors de combat. I described the late evening storm last week where we lost power, and the next day during the day another strong storm came along. More power loss. After that storm, Herself tried booting up her PC, and called me at work to tell me 'The monitor screen is all blank. Fix It.'

This weekend she went off to a local SCA event, and my game plan was to fix it. Failing that to at least diagnose the problem as thoroughly as possible. Then yesterday and today, both, more big electrical storms. Yesterdays did not bring as much rain as todays did. Lots of rain today. That's another part of the story.

I did my diagnosing after that storm. Monitor works, confirmed by plugging the monitor into another PC. So I opened the box to see if the video card can be replaced. Good news, this PC is a couple years old so I didn't void the warranty by cracking the seal on the back of the PC. Bad news, the video card is built into the motherboard. So I decided to check the hard drive as the next possible source of the problem.

Good news, pulling her hard drive and putting it into an external housing I can find everything on the drive. No data lost. In fact, the drive may even boot. Not sure, but it may. Bad news, putting another hard drive into her PC, one I know is a boot drive with W2K loaded on it, and her PC won't boot.

So at this point I'm open to feedback, but thinking the mother board took a hit in the power surges from the storms. Yes, it's on a surge protector and that is through a UPS backup/surge protector. Could still be what happened. Or something else. Dunno. I do see lights on the mother board with the box opened, just No Joy on power up.

As for the rain today; in about 2 hours or a bit less we received 10 cm/ 4 inches of rain. At one point it was so thick I couldn't see much past Houdini's doghouse, and that was moved within 30 feet of the Big House to get him away from his old sand-pit and fleas. Our pet sinkhole out in the 'parking lot' turn-around area ... had been brim full of water based on the markings on the walls of the hole. Brim Full. It's drained now, slowly (which is also good news, as opposed to a whoosh drain and larger hole...).

I'm so proud of Houdini. Last summer he'd of been in panic mode with a storm like this one. This time, he went into his doghouse and hunkered down. Maybe that old sock with some other items holding my scent really is helping.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Attitude)
[Poll #746960]

This poll dedicated to Houdini, who doesn't seem to mind the wind and rain so much...
madshutterbug: (C) 2005 S Grossman (Stalking_Elusive_Photograph)
Image Behind the Cut; clickee for bigee )
I've actually tried this twice already. LJ acting a touch odd for me today.
madshutterbug: (c)2009 by Myself (Expostulation)
There's gunfire to the north; it's entirely possible, highly probable that someone's doing some bird hunting, or just some skeet shooting. That's no big deal, I've been known to do the same.

However.

The Border Collie Bros sounded off. Now, overnight they usually live in a kennel, unless otherwise assigned duties. Sounding off normally inidicates one of two things. Either the neighbor's cows came over to visit (some holes in that fence, patched with barbed wire only and the younger heifer's often squeeze between strands), or their father, Michael, came over to visit Mamma Munch. Possibly three things (normally), the third being someone else.

So I got up to go check. They quieted down when I came out of the house. No cows. No visitors in cars. No Michael.

Then I heard something around the back of the house, and in turning scanned the kennel closer. There's Squrrel. There's Smudge. No Houdini. So I called him.

Around from the back side of the house comes running a Border Collie Bro, who tries to hide under my feet. While I'm standing. He's still trying to do this now, while I'm typing this. Hmm. I wonder if I now know something that happened to him on his Incredible Adventure, or if this is just confirmation that the excessive thunder that preceeded his Incredible Adventure is part of the cause for that.

At least he's still coming to find me. *G*

September 2015

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