The Road to Hell

is lined with good intentions. Ain’t it the truth.

I promised myself I’d blog every day…so much for the 30 day blog challenge. Life has a habit of getting in the way around here. Miss Suki, who must be kept on a leash while her surgery heals, has been taking me on multiple long daily walks around the farm, supposedly to “do her business” – to no avail. Finally had to make a 40 min. trip  each way to the vet to get her to “go”. At least that was successful. Let’s see if she got the hint to do it here, as well.

Back at the farm, the sign shop work is piling up in ways even one of the horses couldn’t produce! Why is it that things were relatively quiet all summer while I had young Ben to help, and as soon as he heads off for his first year of college, all Hell breaks loose?  Shouldn’t complain, at least Tightwad Signs is making a little money but Mercy!


The horse business, Pendragon Farms, is also taking off like gangbusters! More and more people signing up for lessons. Then there’s always daily horse chores, fences to be mended and lots of mowing. Esther’s off for the week to take her youngest to college and Erika’s running around like a mad person trying to keep things smooth until she gets back. I’m beginning to think my life’s motto should be “Never a dull moment!”

Oh, yeah, then there’s this doctor thing. Been dealing with nasty sharp pain in my spine at the back of my head. Reg. Dr. says arthritis. Physical therapy for 6 weeks or so. No response. MRI & off to the specialist – arthritis & maybe a pinched nerve. Today it’s off to Pain Management for a pain shot in my spine. Now, that’s a very scary idea! But willing if it will get me functional again. Either way, more time lost!

BAH! Who ever said these were the “Golden Years” was lying through their teeth! Tomorrow will be my 68th birthday and there’s no gold in sight!

No, that’s not true. I have the best gold their is – my husband and three kids! They are worth a little pain in the neck.

The fellow in the pic, taken in the adjoining field, thinks he’s waiting for my demise but I’m not quite ready to lie down yet!


Understanding Fear Part Two – Awareness Creates Change

Part Two Understanding Fear

Catherine Louise Birmingham

lee me quoteWe cannot change the outer experience until we change the inner experience.

Everyone on this planet has freewill. It is our freedom to choose how we respond and experience something, but until we are aware of how we are responding to something we cannot be in the driver’s seat to go where we want to go.

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Understanding Fear Part One

Whether it’s horseback riding or any other wall you are facing, this gal makes perfect sense.

Catherine Louise Birmingham

Understanding Fear

Part One

Article by Catherine Louise Birmingham

Landetta June 2015Picture yourself standing in front of a solid brick wall, now push against it as hard as you can. Now imagine every morning when you wake up start pushing against this wall, keep pushing until the end of the day and return to bed. The next morning wake up again and start pushing against this wall all day then sleep again at night. Everyday wake up and spend the day pushing this wall. How long do you think you could do this for?

Do you think you would get tired? Maybe your body might get fatigued or stressed? Would you be happy? Would you become angry or frustrated? Would you feel helpless and sad?

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Emotionally Drained

Gonna be a short post tonight. Emotionally exhausted! My beautiful Suki Chow dog had cruciate ligament surgery today. I had to have her at the vet’s office by 8 a.m. and my alarm chose today of all days to not go off. Woke up at 7 a.m. and the vet is at least 40 minutes away – normally.  If you saw a Rav 4 flying by you this morning on 435 or I-70…guilty as charged – but we made it!

Was a basket case all day waiting for the results. She came through it like a star and I get to pick her up tomorrow afternoon. Within 6-weeks she should be good as new!

Of course, the next 2 weeks for sure will be Hell for us all. She has to live in a kennel and is only allowed out to go potty or sit with me. She also has to wear the infamous “collar of shame”. Poor baby but it will all be worth it in the end when she can once again chase squirrels and her big brother around the farm.

The surgery drained my paltry savings account and it’s a good thing the sign shop has gotten a bit busier so I can pay the really great vet who performed the surgery.

So, excuse me for another night as I yawn my way to bed, with dreams of my Suki and Loki running free across the fields once again.

ImageSuki  just loves the snow.


The road to perdition…

I didn’t get a blog written yesterday. I’m sore ashamed! Will try not to let that happen again – bad form to break promises to oneself!

I said in my last post that I’d tell you all about what my average day is really like but the more I think about it, the more boring it sounds. So, I’m gonna’ renege on that promise as well.

Instead I think I’ll tell you about the latest sign shop projects we have completed and those in the near future. Did I tell you I run a sign shop? Yep, Tightwad Signs & Graphics – jacks of all trades, masters of only a few.

Our latest project was the branding of a college safety truck and we finished that this afternoon. The whole thing is in printed fluorescent vinyl and proved to be more of a challenge than anticipated. But, that seems to be how it goes in sign shop land anyway. Bending fragile vinyl around compound curves, making stripes meet on all sides of the truck, etc., etc. Still it was interesting work and educational as well. Gotta thank youngest daughter as she did most of the work and for sure the hardest parts. I’ll have to get a picture of it when we take it out of the barn tomorrow morning.

For varieties’ sake, we have to order the letters for two custom signs for a doctor’s office and install them on the brick building when they arrive. Have two groups of letters to take down from the same building, one of which goes back up on an adjoining building. Those will be l-o-n-g days as each letter requires drilling 2-3 holes in the brick grout to glue studs in. Taking the old lettering down could be a challenge, too, because we aren’t sure how one of the signs was put up. Hacksaw city?

Not all the jobs are hard, though. Did a bunch of cute personalized stickers for a dance school over the weekend, a couple of wall signs, some door stickers and some doggy bone shaped decals for a gal who makes homemade dog treats.

I think my favorite job this week was creating a wall sign that my customer is going to present to her husband. It says: “Two things dearest in life, The tools of the trade and the dearest little wife. Please don’t ask to borrow my tools, And I won’t ask to borrow your wife.” I found some really cute silhouette ladies to perch on a couple of the letters, some tool clipart to manipulate and add and created a shaded border. Turned out pretty cool. It’s always fun to get jobs where I can use my imagination and design skills.

Now I’ve got to get busy doing the invoicing, a job I don’t relish, but the silver lining is there’s money coming in and you can’t knock that.

The pic below is youngest at one of the recent not-so-fun jobs. 30′ or more in the air with the wind rocking the sign back and forth. Never a dull moment in the sign business.




To Dream the Impossible Dream…stolen song lyric

Day 5: How to create your perfect day in work and play – Image

I don’t mind sharing a warm bed with a friend – especially one in such a lovely fur coat.

I’m already in trouble! One 24 hour day just isn’t enough create my perfect day but let’s give it a go.

I’d wake up when i darned well please – predawn some days, around 9 a.m. others. No blaring radio to jar me out of sweet-dream land. No listening to the traffic reports and plotting how long it would take to get to work this time.

Mmmm – fresh-brewed coffee would be waiting at my bedside. What the heck, if we’re creating here, that coffee would be served on a glossy silver tray by my witty but impeccably trained butler.

A delightful shower in my multi-head shower alcove with its lush hanging plants midst the spicy scents of the shampoos, cream rinses and soaps custom-created just for me, would be next on the agenda.

Then I’d reach for a pre-warmed lush towel to dry myself. Unless, of course my dear husband had joined me in the shower, at which time a little mutual attention would ensue.

Slipping into an elegant robe, I’d step out onto the balcony where my breakfast awaited. Most weekday mornings I would breakfast in the company of my dogs, having kissed my husband off to work moments before. 

Table-side would be several of the latest newspapers, whatever new magazines had arrived or the book I was currently reading. If I could tear my eyes from the magnificent mountain range beyond, I’d peruse the papers and perhaps read a chapter or two from my book. Breakfast would always be some wonderful pastry, fresh-squeezed orange juice and flavored coffee.

After breakfast is when it would really get interesting. I’d want to spend a few hours in my studio working on my latest sculpture, painting or crafts project. Or I might choose to have one of the horses saddled for a brisk ride, accompanied by my lovely dogs. I might spend a bit of time chatting with my children and grandchildren via cell phone, as well.

If duty called, I’d put in a few hours at the computer writing copy or designing magazine and advertising pieces for my clients instead of indulging myself with art or the horses.

Luncheon might be with an old friend or two, a client, my husband or a mountainside picnic with the dogs and any wandering wildlife who happened by while on my ride.

The afternoon could be spent working with a client on a new ad campaign, planning a vacation, back in my art studio, doing a bit of shopping at some new and unusual boutique or online, showing out-of-town friends around, baking cookies if the mood was upon me. I might also spend some serious time with one of my finely-tuned sports cars perfecting my road racing skills for the upcoming racing season in Europe or talking over improvements with my mechanic.


Our Mountain Home

Or, I might just decide to spend a leisurely afternoon reading in the garden in summer or a bit of skiing or ice skating in winter. Curling up under a warm quilt before the fire with a hot and soothing beverage would be the perfect end to a winter afternoon while a tall, icy drink on the shaded patio, watching the sun go down, would top of a summer afternoon.

The dinner hour and evening hold countless possibilities as well. Baking up a new-found recipe for my husband and I to share or dining on the patio with one of his marvelous barbecued steaks and a lovely bottle of wine. Of course, the butler is also a fabulous cook and he and the staff might prepare a light meal for us or a full fledged feast for our dinner guests. He also sees to it that the household runs like clockwork and manages the staff and any extra help we might need for large events.

We might also choose to dine out, either alone or with friends. On a lark, we might take the jet to some exotic location for dinner, returning just as the sun rises.

The evening could hold live theater, a concert, the ballet or playing cards with friends or family. some evenings we would attend musical events in which our grandchildren either participate or star.
If we are particularly tired, we might just stay in and watch a movie in the theater room or luxuriate in the huge whirlpool tub with a glass of bubbly and some mood music. Or we might retire early with good books and well plumped pillows.

Of course, we might have to forgo any or all of the above if we are traveling either for business or pleasure that day. Having our own jet and crew makes it so much easier than commercial flights, so we try to fit in little mini-vacations of a few days or a week once a month or so.

And there you have my perfect day, with all its possibilities and all its impossible things. I think tomorrow I’ll tell you what my real days are like but it won’t be half as much fun as this has been.