Saturday, September 19, 2009


I have joined a few web sites, social networks, blogs etc... I belong to art sites and horse sites and sites that I am really not sure what we do. The internet has been a powerful tool for me, I have my own web site for art, I sell on different sites, I buy on some, I talk on some, I learn on some, I hover on others. I have joined and quit, gotten confused and lent a helping hand. Its very frustrating at times and very very fun other times.

Well I am thinking facebook has become one of my favorite sites. I started there out of curiosity but it has turned into the most wonderful way to stay in touch. I have friends and family all over the place and now I can see what everyone is up to with a click of the mouse, its been just great. More recently I have been able to connect with people I went to school with and that’s been a blast.

Now some of my “friends” don’t understand that they actually need to write something in order for all of this to work but that’s ok they are just behind the times, perhaps they will catch up. But everyime I see a new face I just love it. I even have friends that I have never met in person but we “met” on other sites and just followed each other.

Well I just really wanted to thank all my friends and let you know I am loving being there and although I might not talk to everyone everyday I am thinking about all of you. If you have not yet joined what are you waiting for you will be so surprised how quickly and easily you will connect and reconnect with family and friends. Go on join!!!!

Tittle Change

Well ok then I decided on “I’m Just Saying...” Its something I say almost daily and usually in a sarcastic way, LOL but the title now covers just about anything I may want to write about. Briefly I changed it to Life at Barking Dog Ranch but decided I wanted it a little lighter. Not to say I wont change it back....

Thanks fo the input everyone !!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Name change

Well as you all know I cant sit still or leave well enough alone. The title of this blog has been bothering me, I did it in a hurry and at first I thought I would use it for everything, art, horses and life but as it turns out I am using a separate one for my art so I need to get rid of that in the title. I have been agonizing over this for a bit and still cant come up with anything I really like so I am going to list a few ideas

I keep going back to Life at Barking Dog Ranch since that name has been a part of my life for many years but I have a few other ideas as well let me know what you think good or bad

Life at Barking Dog Ranch


This end up

Just me

Its just me

Over here

I’m just saying

Thanks talk to you all soon

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Backing out of the stall

Had a great ground work session with Quincy, it was short but oh so wonderful. Yesterday Quincy knocked Vicki over barging out of the stall, my fault I have not worked with him and he is starting to do the old Quincy things again. So I have decided that everyday no matter what I have to do something of him, even if its only for 5 minutes, no exceptions!!! Yesterday was really good, I did some back up and some circling, he went twice around at the walk before I had to encourage him, for us this was really good. I also made sure he was at my shoulder when I led him, not a few steps behind like he has been doing. Don’t get me wrong leading him has become a joy in fact he leads better than the others but always a few behind. I was very happy with the out come.

Today I thought lets do something different. I decided to back him out of the stall, now I know what you are thinking, that’s easy and you have done that before, but wait, this stall had a drop down of about 8 inches so what that means is that he has to step up 8 inches to get out. I asked him to back and had to work on getting him straight and keeping him that way, this became an added bonus for us to work on. Once he was straight I asked him to back and as soon as he hit the board he stopped. No mater how I asked he just stood or came forward or stepped to the side. We just started over again and again and again... I was getting to the point that I thought maybe this was to much for him but just as I was thinking this he turned and looked at his back end and started to lick and chew. Ok we are getting someplace, I asked a few more times before I thought maybe if I lifted one hoof up and out, I walked to his back end lifted a hoof and placed it out of the stall then walked to his head and asked him to back.( Should have thought of this sooner) He walked forward, I tried the other hoof and this time he just stood licking and chewing, he did not walk backwards but he did not walk forward either and he licked and chewed. I gave him a minute to think about it asked again and he tried then stopped but still did not bring the hoof back in. The next time hooray he backed out !!!!! I told him what a good boy he was and let him stand part way in part way out. He licked and chewed again then I asked him to back he went right out.

Fixing the stalls in on the top half of our to do list, now I am thinking maybe not so fast this is kind of cool, LOL.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Look what the Dogs Draged in !

We love taking the dogs for a hike, they love being able to run play and hunt. Bill, he is really quite the hunter always bringing home moles and gophers, go Bill!! Sometimes they spot a deer and off they go then Joel has to go off into the woods to get the dogs, not always happy about it as we know there are other creatures in these woods, some we would rather never ever come across. We figure we are safe during the day as its mostly night time when the sun goes down that we hear the sounds of the wilderness, but you never know.

So the other day we decide to go for a hike and fortunately I grabbed my camera, just hoping to take some pictures of the dogs and nature. So we are walking, Joel and I talking, I take a picture here and there, the dogs are doing what dogs do, it was cool enough that we were all enjoying our hike. When all of a sudden the dogs stop, not moving a muscle, the hair on there backs go up, Joel and I stop as well not sure what is going on. Then just as suddenly Bill bolts off into the woods, Lucy right behind him, Joel an I look at each other not sure what to do. This is different than other times somehow we know its not a deer or bunny this is big! We can hear them running but they get fainter and fainter as they get further and further away from us. I can see the look on Joel’s face he is thinking I’m not going in there and I am thinking each man, woman and dog for them selves I want to bolt but in the other direction.

Its so quiet I think even the birds have stopped breathing..... time passed very slowly..... but then we heard it, a soft rustle, a twig breaking, heavy panting, the dogs were heading back, but wait, something is different I cant figure out what the sound is...... oh my!! I cant believe my eyes I know I must take a picture but I cant I just cant move, out comes Lucy, out comes, Bill, out comes oh my oh my oh my could it really be, has Bill and Lucy done what great men and women over the years ben unable to do, have they captured Big foot can it really be.....

Ok so my attempt at fiction may not be very good but I had you going there for a bit, LOL Hunting for big foot has been a long time joke in our family, Joel and the dogs, what ever dog we had at the time have always gone hiking in hunt for him. When I saw this cement casting I knew I just had to get it for Joel, yes its ugly but come on how fun. Joel will find a very good place for it, perhaps hidden on a trail so when we are on our hikes with the dogs we will see it and think fondly of the dogs that have passed before us. Hope you enjoyed my story, hope I have not scared you away.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Parelli training pays off

This is my latest discovery on the parelli learning adventure.

I have a left brain introvert who to say is a handful would be an understatement, we have come a long way but have so much further to go. Here is what has been happening....

First I should explain the layout of the barn. It has stalls all down one side and stalls and tack room, washroom etc.. down the other. The isle is extra extra wide with a dirt floor, you can actually ride in there if you would want to. So what this means is the horses can not just go in and out of there stalls but in and out of the barn. Its awesome!!!

Ok so the section that has the hay also has a gate across it to keep the horses out of it, else it would be a feast. I was throwing hay one day and they were all in the isle, I grabbed some hay and walked out to spread it around, when I turned to go back and close the gate Quincy was in there eating. He not only had opened the gate wide he had walked under and through the tarp that hangs to keep the rain out if the big doors are open. Now before parelli I would have shooed him out and shut the door, but instead I just walked in told him he was a good boy grabbed more hay and continued doing what I had been doing. I gave him some time then walked in and asked him politely to leave, he did!! Well this kept happening he would just wait at the gate for me to walk out and he would swing the gate wide and go in.

Now, I can stand at the gate, I don’t even have to go in and ask him to leave, he always does. I gave him a choice instead of a demand I let him play and make a decision and the results are incredible.

Because of the move we made and everything else that’s been happening I have really neglected the horses but now that things are getting to normal that will change. I have decided to take the riding part out of the equation when it comes to this horse and just concentrate on the ground work. We will see what happens. If someday I am able to ride him again that will be great but if not its ok I will learn from him and for him and the other horses will benefit.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I found this on the web awhile ago and just had to share, If anyone knows the original author please let me know so I can give credit Thanks

Just found out this is by Debbie Wadkins .

1. My life is likely to last 10-15+ years depending on what type of animal I am. Any separation from you is likely to be painful for me.

2. Give me time to understand what you want of me.

3. Place your trust in me. It is crucial for my well-being.

4. Don't be angry with me for long and don't lock me up as punishment. You have your work, your friends, your entertainment, but I have only you.

5. Talk to me. Even if I don't understand your words I do understand your voice when speaking to me.

6. Be aware that however you treat me I will never forget it.

7. Before you hit me, before you strike me, remember that I could hurt you and yet I choose not to.

8. Before you scold me for being lazy or uncooperative ask yourself if something might be bothering me. Perhaps I'm not getting the right food , I have been in the sun too long, or my heart might be getting old or weak.

9. Please take care of me when I grow old. You too will grow old.

10. On the ultimate difficult journey go with me please. Never say you can't bear to watch. Don't make me face this alone. Everything is easier for me if you are there because I love you so.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sounds of the night

If you are real quiet around dusk you can start to see and hear the sounds and sights of the night. At first you have to listen hard as the sounds come from afar. Off in the distance a small yap, a howl, a buzz, a snap, and a hum. As the minutes pass on the sounds become louder and louder and you are certain you are involved in a private conservation with the wild. The coyotes are out and on the hunt, the pups are calling to there parents and you just know they are right around the corner. The frogs get louder and louder almost overtaking everything else. There is a song in the air and you listen more intently not wanting to miss anything. The light show that goes with the voices is unbelievable as hundreds of fire flies dance and float all around us adding yet another dimension to the night.

We are sitting on the front porch, not having to think, just listening and watching and being totally entertained , nature at its best. I am getting used to this new life we have here at BDR. I invite you all tonight, to take a few moments where ever you are to stop and listen to the sounds around you. I think you will be pleasantly surprised that for a little while you are in a different world, one that is relaxing , entertaining, peaceful and so beautiful if only to your ears.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

I think I am losing it

Ok so I am doing my best to go with the flow but I have to admit its not been easy. I am wondering why we moved here, its been between 90 and 96 degrees, with the humidity it feels like 100 to 106, you open the door and it hits you like a brick wall. Not even 5 minutes and the sweat is dripping down your back, 10 minutes and your clothing is sopping wet, 15 minutes your feet slosh in your shoes and your eyes start to sting from the salt dripping into them, and no I wont mention the rash under my boobs!! . I know I stink, but since I have decided to set a limit of two showers a day I am just going to have to wait. I clean the stalls just before one of my showers as it’s a oven in there. And yet, I keep the horses in the barn because at least the flies are less in there then out in the fields. Speaking of flies, never in my whole life have I seen a horse flies the likes of the ones that live in this neck of the woods. I think I will rope one of those bad boys and just saddle it up, that is of course unless my saddle is to small for them.

Now if the heat is not bad enough, I have for the first time in my life , poison ivy, ring worm, you heard me, ring worm and my ankles are almost raw from scratching as a result of being bit by chiggers! What in the world are chiggers!!!! Tell me, why why why do we have ticks, snakes, horse flies and now chiggers, I see no good in any of theses and I want to know why! Oh and the other night on the front porch as I was talking to a friend on the phone I caught movement out of the corner of my eye. Something big and fast was scurrying all around the porch, I’m thinking a mutant bug of sorts, but to be honest, I could not take a closer look for fear I would lose my mind. When I saw it crawl up the side of Joel’s boot my first thought was huh, serves him right for moving me to this inferno !

Even the dogs are having a hard time, I ask them if they want to go out and they get all excited, we walk out the door and bam, they just stop, turn and stare at me. What , go pee then you can get back in. I try to take them for walks in the early morning because if it does not happen then its not going to happen. For those who know me you know how much I love mornings so you wont quite believe this but the other day I was already mowing the lawn at 7am you heard that right, 7 in the morning.

Now I would love to post this on the blog but I don’t have internet !!!!, again, and I think I am going to have a little nutty. I tell myself its ok it will be back soon , you should not be so obsessed with the internet but that’s all I have between me and the civilized world. Ok I am exaggerating but come on!!! cant I at least have my internet.

Ok I am going to take a deep breath, call the internet people and beg, then I am going to go and hose down the horses, then with great pleasure am going to grab the bottle of spray I bought and attempt to distinguish between the poison Ivy and real plants, I am going to kill each and every plant I find, I am going to take aim and laugh in its face, that my friends will make me feel much better. Not sure what that says about me but o-well.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Cloud photo, pre storm

Today I am going to share a photo with you. Most of the time the camera is a tool, the photos are used as reference for paintings or to show others what is going on in my world. A lot of the photography makes it into greeting cards and occasionally I get a photo that’s good enough for the wall. Today, I will share a photo that was not planed, by that I mean I did not realize what I had until after I took the image. We get a lot of thunder and lightning storms here and quite often the sky just before the storm is beautiful. This picture was taken while hearing the thunder and seeing the lighting but it was still a distance away. I promise you I did nothing to this image, I did not Photoshop it or alter it in any way, this is nature having fun.

Look at the first photo, do you see it? Now look at the detail in the second photo !

Hope you see what I see and think its a cool as I do.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Mimosa tree, my new favorite

Well we are almost there, the yard is almost back to where it should be and we can work on planed projects or do nothing if we choose, its awesome. We did hire someone who came with a cat and chipper, took three guys two full days but its done. Don’t get me wrong there is still a lot more to do but we can slow down, we can relax a bit, we can play with our horses and I can get in the studio. Best of all we can walk outside look around and discover all the wonder and beauty that surrounds us.

My friend came over this afternoon, it had stopped raining long enough for us to walk around and I saw something I have never seen before, the blossom of the mimosa tree. First off, I had never heard of a mimosa tree before we moved in here, the tree itself looked interesting but what I saw today was a real treat.
Today, for the first time there were blossoms. She told me to wait and take pictures when the whole tree was in bloom but I could not wait. What a wonderful, delicate, whimsical, fragrant and almost playful blossom this is. The world is just full of wonderful surprises but I think this is my new favorite.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Frog Pond

Well I worked on the frog pond yesterday ,this will be the 5th or 6th time, but who’s counting. And....this time I am sure its done, well not done, but to the point I can now just futs with it. During the aftermath of the storm I decided at the end of a very long hard day to see what was up with this little neglected pond by the barn. I ended up cleaning it out, layer after layer of mucky smelly decaying leaves. It was pretty ripe!!! Just what I needed, to get involved with yet another project.

The next day I emptied the rest of the standing water from it, I actually got inside and swam with the critters, it was the only way and I was willing to sacrifice myself! I then scrubbed it with a brush and filled it up with water. It was so cute, I put the floating glass balls from my old koi pond and wow not bad. Well now I think a fountain... , a few plants..... some gold fish and we will be done. ( did I really think that would be the end of it, I mean this is me we are talking about! )

So I go on the hunt for everything on my list, I came home with a small pump that has a fountain head and three very sick looking plants and no fish to be found. I could not find a pond store and the only pond plants I found were on the sale rack because they were on there last legs. Well after trying to put the fountain thing together, it had no real directions and I was just not getting it, I decided it was just a cheap one anyway and I was taking it back. I put the plants in and they floated, no kidding on there sides floating. My neighbor stops by and sees the floating plants and after some discussion we decide to just re plant them in bigger more stable pots. It worked !!! Not bad....

Joel talked me into getting just a pump and building a waterfall, well I love the idea but was afraid of the amount of work I would have to do, after all take a look around !!!! And this really is just a small tiny pond but ok. So I gather some rocks from around the property and I built a waterfall, l loved it loved it loved it. The bottom rock has a chanal in it with three outlets so its really kind of cool. When I showed it to Joel he asked if the water was all flowing back into the pond, well of course it is do I look that stupid?????.

So the next morning I go out to feed the horses and yep you guessed it there is no water in the pond, oh how I hate it when he is right ! I take it allllll apart and refill it with water, but with no waterfall. I also realized that the pond was not level and Joel, him again, said if I did not make it level I would never be happy, he’s right so instead I just walked away thinking later I will work on it later.

So yesterday morning my neighbor came by and said well I can help lets just do it. We worked on it for hours, removed all the rocks from around it, took the liner out, leveled the dirt, gathered more rocks and reassembled the pond complete with waterfall. I know I was driving her crazy when I said it was all to straight and not natural looking, but being the good sport that she is she just smiled and asked what I wanted to do. We just tweaked it a little added some pebbles to soften it, found some old "driftwood" and when we stepped back we were just delighted. Now I did had to warn her that I was going to change it up a bit and at first she did not understand, I had to explain that ’s just the way I am, I will futs with it almost everyday and maybe by the end of the summer I will be done.

So here we have it a little frog pond, I placed some frogs around it hence the name. Now I am thinking maybe in the back by the herb garden.......

Goldfish to follow.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Tic’s, spiders, snakes, oh my !!

Ok in my world there would not be bugs and crawly things they would be outlawed banished never to be seen again. Being new to this part of the world is opening my eyes to many things and some of them I would rather not see. I guess May is tick month as we had them on us every day. Some were just there crawling up with those tiny little legs and some actually bit us, I still have the marks from those little suckers. The first few times I had them on me I came unglued, jumping, swirling, spouting obscenities and basically totally freaking out. I got better, really I did, what choice did I have it was a daily occurrence. And the poor dogs, having tic’s is bad enough, but having to deal with a mother that is afraid yet tries to take them off well I am sure in there mind they would just rather I let the blood get sucked out of them. Sorry boys! Well I have noticed that there are not as many, some say it’s the heat I think word got out that I was on a mission to banish them and they are afraid of me, very, very afraid!!!!

Then there are the spiders oh my they are everyplace, in the barn , in the studio, in the shed and in every little nook and cranny of this house. The bug guy is coming today I don’t care what it costs I will not be bitten by one of those bad boys. I was told the other day that I needed to look out for this particular one as it will rot your flesh, oh just great !!! Now I have to learn the difference between the flesh eating spiders and the good for the garden ones, no, I don’t think so, make them all go away!!!

Now to top it off I walked outside yesterday and there in the lawn in the front of my house inches from my big toe was my worse nightmare. Don’t tell me they are good for this or that, no way they are bad and I want them gone. Please someone take them all away, you can have them they can live in your world you can even give them names, just take them away!!!! OH my!!!!!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Big Storm

So what do most people do when they move into there dream home??? yeah they paint and decorate and organize and enjoy. But what happens when one week after they move in they get hit with a hurricane!!!!! to make matters even worse we don’t live on the coast! Not sure what the technical name is for it but they call it something when its inland. So now its been about a month since the storm and we can finally start to think about other things beside clean up.

We lost a lot of trees including the two 200 year old pecan trees that shaded the sunroom. Its ok really after we cried about it we looked on the bright side of things, we now have a clear view of the pond and the sun rises are magnificent. Plus who doesn’t want a new roof and fencing not to mention the retaining wall, lightning rods, horse fence and oh that smelly thing they call a septic...... just to mention a few. But we will have wood for the fire place for years and years and years.....

This weekend we will hire some help and get the limbs chipped, we will then clean up that mess and forget about trees for awhile. Lots more of them came down but we will take a brake and resume that clean up in the fall. Its really getting to hot.

Here are a few images from the storm

Trees on the roof-

Two pecan trees up-rooted

This is the old barn it used to be straight

Joel working on the cedar, it shaded the deck

Part of the fence around the house, if you walked around the whole house this is what you would see all the way around

Lots more but really all the same