Little horses on the lawn…

I have been told that I need a 12-step program for farm animal addiction. In my quieter moments, I know that this is probably true. When I was a little girl, we lived in apartments and then in a house in suburbia. When I was in the third grade we moved from suburban Maryland to southern Pennsylvania to a house in the country (but squeezed in-between two other houses never-the-less). Luckily though I learned that I had a Great-Aunt Phoebe and her husband Charlie who lived nearby on a 100-acre farm. It was the most wonderful place…full of animals and apple trees, cherries and grapes for the picking…eggs to gather, horses to ride, cows to milk, butter to churn, jelly to make and puppies, chicks, ducklings, kittens. It was love at first sight for me. I had dreams of running away to Aunt Phoebe’s house. She’d had 16 children, most of which had married and raised their children right there on the farm. Their homes dotted the land. It wasn’t unusual to go to dinner at her house and find 25 people at the table! I just knew that no one would ever notice me and I could live out my life in that blissful place. As incredible as the farm was to me, simply for being a farm, there were other even more amazing things. My cousin was a pilot and there was a landing strip on the land. It wasn’t unusual for him to be flying in or out any time of day. They raised sulky horses and raced them at the horse tracks in the northeast. The horses were sleek, beautiful, FAST, and incredibly well cared for. The most amazing thing of all though was that they built incredible vehicles… “funny” cars for the circus and all kinds of bizarre things. The one that I remember best was a Volkswagen beetle that was split down the middle. It has a separate drive system for each half. It was used on the show “Candid Camera”. The vehicle drove down the road, split in half and went around both sides of a jaywalker and then came back together.

My aunt Phoebe gave me my first puppy, Pepper (much to my parent’s dismay) and my lifelong love of animals began with that one wonderful dog. I’m not sure exactly how many “pets” I have now (I would never DREAM of raising anything for food!) but I do know that my feed bill is just a bit over $200.00 a week. I’ll begin by showing you all my little horses…and Pecos, one wonderful old steer. If you click onto each of the photos, you can read a bit more about each of the animals that inhabit this little place.

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Here there be elves…

I think maybe I forgot to mention. If you know just the right place to look…on the edge of the pond, hidden in the trees…you’ll find the other residents of the ranch…also little but the two-legged kind. More about them at Christmas 😉

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Zen and the Art of Mowing

I have to mow at least an hour a day…every day. It’s a task that other people might dread, but I actually look forward to driving the tractor through the meadows and fields…mowing and thinking…planning and mowing…dreaming and mowing. I have often had my best ideas just as I was falling asleep and I have learned to keep paper and pencil near the bed so I can write those ideas down or they drift away before morning and I can’t remember. The same goes for my time on the tractor. I bought myself a magnetic notepad years ago and I am always making notes as I drive. I know it sounds crazy, but by the end of the summer I will be deeply tanned, my hair will be bleached as blonde as it can be, and I’ll have lots of dreams and projects to carry me through the winter.

Late last summer I started thinking about quilting a dog collar for one of my Springers. Cowgirl is happy and loving and she has a really beautiful concho collar, but it doesn’t seem to suit her personality (although it totally matches her name!). Before I got off the tractor that day I had the entire process clear in my head…a sort of slipcover for a dog’s collar. It took me forever to finally make the prototype, but here it is…finished! I’m pretty happy with the way it came out. I’ve already copyrighted the design and I think I’m going to publish a pattern (with lots of designs, of course..not just this one). This one suits her personality perfectly…or maybe it’s MY personality…am I projecting? Probably. 😉

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A month on the farm…

We live on a small farm just 45 miles north of Houston. We are ice sculptors by trade, but we have a 106 year-old barn on the property that is quickly becoming an event facility!  We fixed it up for our daughters when they were teenagers, but now we find ourselves hosting weddings, corporate events and every now and then some *special* craziness!  This past month we had several ranch weddings, a fraternity formal dance, and the “craziness” was an event called Fuego…a “pre-burn” Burning Man gathering.   

These photos show the front of the barn and some of the flowers on display for one of our spring weddings.  The barn is full of old tin signs, cowhides and haybales.  If you’re dreaming of a real, rustic, Texas experience…this might just be the place!  The twinkle lights add a touch of magic.


Of course, the Burning Man event was VERY different!  They occupied the whole ranch and filled the place with music, color and dancing.  It was a crazy, uninhibited weekend culminating in the performance by “Zor – the Fyregod”.  He was an amazing specimen of a man with the most incredible hair and clothing I’ve ever seen.  Zor and I became fast friends over the weekend although as human beings, we couldn’t be further apart in the spectrum of humanity!  We discovered that our businesses were very similiar (if only because of their oddity and polarity…he being into fire and we being into ice).  We traded marketing tips and war stories and spent hours talking.  At one point my husband walked into the kitchen and…not meaning to be unkind later described the scene as the “farmwoman and the superhero sitting at the kitchen table talking…”. 


Zor’s performance was incredible.  He stood at the top of a 30 foot high tower and “spun” fire.  His tools of the trade consisted of open steel balls suspended from 15 foot chains…filled with shredded steel wool which he set on fire and spun.  The show was spectacular and so were the muscles that he has developed from performing this way over the years.   If you look very closely, you may be able to see him at the center of the circle of sparks.  You may have to squint to see him, but it’s worth it..  😉  If squinting doesn’t do it, here’s a link to his website photos

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Hello world!

     My life is pure insanity.  It really is.  How (or better yet WHY?) do I start a blog?  I’m not sure that I have anything special to share…any deep wisdom to impart…but I know that I totally enjoy reading the blogs of other women who’s lives are completely different from mine.  Maybe there is someone out there who will enjoy reading about my little sun-dappled world and the hundred-plus irons that I always seem to have in the fire.  If that’s you….welcome.

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