Archive for October, 2010

My Halloween Ghost Story for 2010

So continuing the tradition of last year, here’s another story.

Just a little background info for anyone new to the blog. I grew up in a house where odd things happened regularly. The easiest way to describe it was haunted. Whether that be the actual case, I don’t know. What I do know is it was real, it happened to all family members and many visiting people. Mom still lives in this house.

What exactly happened

Very Often: Noises such as doors opening (closing, slamming), furniture moving or footsteps.
Occasionally: stuff being moved
Extremely rarely: touching and seeing objects move or human forms.

Okay so this one ranks just a little higher on the scare-o-meter than last years ghost story. It was pretty much the last time I slept up stairs alone.

It was about 3 weeks before I was leaving for college. It was late at night and I was really just wanting to sleep. So the floor starts creaking like someone is walking walking around in my room. I open my eyes and see nothing. So I roll over.

Then I hear my dressing table chair screech across the linoleum floor. I’m actually a little annoyed at this because I really just want to sleep. So of course I look and the chair hasn’t actually moved at all. I mumbled something to the effect of “Just leave me alone.” I pull my blankets up over my head thus exposing my feet.

I feel our dog (a toy poodle cross) jump up on the bed and rest against my leg and foot. You know all warm and fuzzy like. I’m feeling kinda grateful that she’s there even though I wasn’t “wigging out.” It’s still a comfort to have another warm body in the room.

I’m just about asleep when the warm fuzzy feeling slips under my heel and yanks my foot and leg up into the air. Yes, you guess it, there was no dog in the room.

Well now I was a little freaked because frankly touching is extremely rare. So I gathered up my pillow and blankets and went downstairs to sleep on the dining room floor. And that’s where I slept every night until I went to college.

Now it’s not like stuff doesn’t happen down there. It did. But there’s something about being at least on the same floor as my parents that helped a lot.

By the time I left for college I was pretty freaked out in general as stuff just kept getting more intense (Of which I will not tell you. At least not today. ) and I was literally counting the days until I left. Suffice it to say I still have nightmares about the place when I’m under a lot of stress.

So there you are. Not terribly scary unless it actually happens to you.

I will briefly tell you of when I was quite small I woke to find a man with a beard standing over my bed looking down at me. And then poof he was gone. He left this odd halo of light for a few seconds more around where his form had been. It reminded me at the time of when you watch TV and suddenly shut it off and the outline of the form was still burned into the screen (this is for those of you old enough to remember that TV’s worked that way in the 60 and 70’s) I remember telling my parents in the morning that Jesus has visited me that night.

Happy Halloween everyone!

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So just when you think I’m back to blogging consistently I’m off for a week to do the World Percheron Congress with my sculptor friend Carol Herden. She’s the one I went to the Kentucky Horse Park with. I have no idea what to expect for this event. I could potentially get rich, or I could suck wind. Hard to say.

Here’s what I do know,
or rather what I think I know from what folks have told me.

  • It is a rather major event that only happens once every 4 years and it’s not always in the US.
  • I believe last time it was in Canada and next time it will be in France. So if US folks want to do the event, now is the time.
  • There will be about 150 vendors which says to me some folks figure it will be good business.
  • It runs 7 days!!!!
  • My conversation yesterday with Carol.

    Holy crap, it’s 7 days long!!! When I agreed to go I was thinking it was like 3.

    Carol: I know!!! I thought the same thing.

    Me: Do we have a hotel yet (Carol is really laid back like me. We both do so many events that we really don’t get too excited over minor details like if we have a place to sleep at night.)

    Yeah, but everything was booked so it’s in Ankeny. It’s not a chain hotel but it didn’t look like a roach motel based on the photos on the internet.

    Me: I don’t really care as long as it’s clean.

    Carol: We’ll I hate beg bugs.

    Me: Yup. We’ve been checking for ’em too, wherever we stay now.

    Carol: It looks okay. It has a pool and I don’t think we’ll get stabbed in our sleep or anything.

    Me: Wait … okay I changed my mind. Not getting stabbed in my sleep is at the top of the list in things I want from a hotel. It’s way more important than cleanliness.

    So in theory I’ll be back Halloween night. Which means I should be able to still post my Halloween story. I’m going off the grid for this week, though perhaps I’ll check on things from the hotel computer. (If they got one and providing I’m not stabbed.) I think the last time I went that long with no computer was at the Kentucky Horse Park.

    Wish me luck!

    Um … scratch that. Wish me wealth! 😀

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    Cisco Is A SquidPaws Finalist

    You may remember from my Alternate Universes Aren’t Meant To Meet Post that the lens was created for a competition on Squidoo. Well it’s called the SquidPaws Dog Day Afternoon Quest and we’re (me and Cisco that is) one of the 13 finalists. They opened it up to voting from today (the 18th) until the end of day on the 20th.

    So if anyone is feeling like sharing some love (or more appropriately ‘some like’ with the thumbs up button at the top left of the page) we’d appreciate it very much. There a small gift certificate involved but Cisco and I are in it for the bragging rights. Yup Cisco just loves to brag about these kind of things.

    Bear in mind you need to have a facebook or squidoo account in order to vote by using the “like” or thumbs up button. But everyone is welcome to stop by and leave a comment.

    Here’s our page
    My Dog Cisco: A Day In The Life Of A Retired Farmer Dog

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    I Think Our National Symbol Is A Cat Killer.

    Yup, a couple of my favorite kitties have gone missing. Now this does happen from time to time but these particular ones stuck very close to the house and barn. It’s usually the cats that wander the fields and the creeks that get picked off by the coyotes and whatnots.

    I suspect it’s old baldie because a few days back I’m walking by the dining room window and I’m like “What the heck is that!” Something that looked the size of a sheep was on top of our barn. I took a closer look and sure enough it turned a bit and I could clearly see it was a bald eagle, scanning the horizon looking all noble and national symbol-y.

    I’m like “Wow that is so cool!”

    “He looks so beautiful with the sun glinting off his white head.”

    “He looks just the way a national symbol should look.”

    He looks … He looks like he’s eying the cats!!! … What the?!”

    I promptly dash outside to give it a better look myself. Mind you I should have at least grabbed a stick. I have no idea what I was thinking I was gonna do about the situation.

    Upon seeing me he took flight and left though. I’m like “Huh … weird” and the frankly promptly forgot about it. Then the cats started disappearing. And I began seeing baldie more and more.

    The other morning he was circling overhead on a farm not more than half a mile as the crow (err … make that eagle) flies from our farm. Circling like a buzzard he was.

    Hmm. Coincidence?

    I think not.

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    So it’s Sunday and perhaps I will finally finish up my rhino. I’m just not sure. My initial plan was to do kind of a dusty atmosphere and utelise the suede into my background effect. But I am a creature of habit and I almost always have a strong horizontal stripe of color which I am missing something fierce in this piece. So I may go in and put in something or I may force myself to let it be. Only time will tell.

    There will be no more wips of this painting. Next time my rhino it appears on this blog it will be called finished (whether it is or not.)

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    The Art Horse magazine equine art competition. This is a really nice competition with a high degree of talent in the mix. Anyone interested need to get cracking because the deadline is October 30th. The winners get published in the magazine. A selection will also be published in Ex Arte Equinus 4, a limited edition printed book about the show, available from Art Horse Magazine. And then of course there’s the bragging rights.

    For more information and to view previous competition entrants and winners, you visit visit their website at The Art Horse

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    Alternate Universes Aren't Meant To Meet.

    Last Sunday since Mike was gone, I thought I’d bring in Cisco to the gallery with me. She and Budda do okay together though I would never leave them alone for extended periods of time. Cisco pretty much ignores cats, but Budda might have other ideas. And frankly Cisco takes no guff from a mere cat.

    Budda finds her fascinating in a sort of repulsed way. He thinks of Cisco as the anti-Budda. She exists in a different world than he. An alternate or parallel universe if you will. He knows she exists because we come in every day smelling of her, but he prefers not to give it too much thought. Budda likes to think the laws of physics should be applied here and that two realities should never meet.

    And yet sometimes they do.

    So here’s Budda keeping an eye on the dog, while the dog is completely unaware.

    Yet Another Challenge Lens, this was all about Cisco. I thought I’d plug it since I don’t think I’ve mentioned her much on the blog before.
    My Dog Cisco: A Day In The Life Of A Retired Farmer Dog

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    The Lastest Rhino Wip

    Well I actually almost got the rhino part done. Once again I underestimated the time I’d need to work on her. Since I had the base colors in I figured it’d go quick but turns out I love putting in all those fussy little lines and so blew many hours adding (not critical) details.

    The left hind leg is just got a base coat in. I hate the straightness of it and despite the fact that that’s how it is in the reference phot, it’s gonna get changed. As much as possible anyway, since I used intense as my base colors.

    Maybe today I’ll finish it but most likely not. 🙂

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    I'm A Giant (squid that is)

    Nobody’s more surprised than me because technically I didn’t make the deadline. I submitted my request for the next deadline as lens number 50 was published a day late . But the kind hearts that the Squidoo powers-that-be are, plunked me in the last group. I had only 51 lenses to my name so it was even more of a surprise that I got accepted. You only need 50, but they are supposed to be 50 exceptional lenses, so the usual way of going is to have several more than 50 because not everything one writes is gold.

    Squidoo have a new points system that’s run like a game. You earn points, unlock challenges, gain trophies that earn more points. The only thing you really get out of it is more lenses. Me being the gamer type took to this like a duck to water. So the lenses listed here which got me over into Giant status were for challenges and thus not in my artsy fartsy niche. That being said I do have a lens on selling at art fairs as well as creating a successful art fair booth in the works. So I’m not all about the game.

    The latest lenses are Critter Oriented. (my critters)

    Budda’s Dream Time Wish List
    Meet The Budda
    Chicory The Wonder Horse
    Oliver The Original Gallery Cat
    A Tribute To Brutus

    And finally for a different challenge I created a lens about one of my favorite novels

    All things regarding Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen This has movie reviews, books, books that continue the story (fan fiction) graphic novels, movie posters both vintage and new and a P&P Quiz.


    The plan is to finish today and tomorrow. I will post any progress to the end that actually occurs.

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    I’ve been waiting for this to come out for some time. Not just because I love horse movies, (you all know that do.) But because I really like Diane Lane as an actress. This strikes me as so totally a me kind of move. Feminism and horses. It don’t get any better than that.

    It’s got that true story thing tagged to it. I don’t know the history of Secretariat but I do know when Disney says those words it doesn’t mean it’s a faithful, or even remotely close account of the actual events. That not withstanding I’m stoked.

    Unfortunately I can’t go this weekend. With any luck, next weekend I will.

    So if any of you go see Secretariat, you’ll have to let me know what you think.

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