Sunday, January 31, 2016

Thank you, a REVEAL and WTH?

First, before anything else.
THANK YOU for all your kind and compassionate words about Rosie.
They meant so much to me.
I have had, but not DIRECTLY said to me...
a few not kind people make a side remark, to others...
who then let it travel back to me that-
How can I care so much about all my pets?
The fact that I have more than the norm apparently makes them question how I can care
Well, I do.
And I feel very VERY sorry for those that can't understand it.
How awful to go through life with such a selfish hard heart.
Of course, I DO have some that will completely devastate me when they finally leave.
Truthfully, I hate loving some of them as much as I do.
Without question my Blue.
(Wow, even just typing out that sentence, filled my eyes with tears.)
But there's my cat Harry... oh god, he must live forever!
And my cat Ghost, he has to sleep as close as possible to me.
To say nothing of my little Ping and Poppy... but they are both young.
And my faithful Nora
and even irritating Jimmy Chew.
Yep, all the rest of them have my heart too.
So there.
It's just the way I am.
I was told as a child that I was too soft-hearted.
As I got older, I was told I needed to harden up.
Recently I was told that I needed to STOP caring so much.
I can't. I won't.
and why should I?

OK, On to a much HAPPIER topic!
My blogger friend Sharon, finally got the piece of Art that I did for her,
so I can reveal it now!
I showed some WIP's on Instagram but never the finished piece and here it is!

She wanted it to be of Jimmy Chew
and also the bag of dog food that he knocked over.
Here are some close-ups of the details.

I did it on art board in Inktense.
Then I did Jimmy, the bags of food and the kibble on paper and Inktense and ink
and collaged it on.
The kibble actually took the longest as I drew each piece, filled them in with Inktense and then went over it with my waterbrush and then relined it all.
But honestly, it felt like a form of meditation.
I went into a Zen mode!

Then I made a few more "pieces" of kibble and collaged them on top of it to give it a more 3D feel.
I also extended the images over onto the sides.
Usually I don't do that because then I wouldn't be unable to copy it and make prints.
But I knew this was not to be copied, it was just for Sharon.
It meant so much to me that she wanted Jimmy and that she believes so much in me.
Yep, Definitely a GOOD THING!

And finally,
while I don't REALLY care...
the other day I noticed that my "blogger" Followers dropped from 98 to 95.
While I secretly had a little thrill that I was about to break a hundred,
I also know that there's many ways to Follow and that number doesn't mean much.
That and the fact that I really only care about QUALITY over Quantity
and my blogger friends here are THE BEST.

Then the other day the number dropped to 91!
but really, WTH?
I hope I didn't say or do something offensive
or worse, BORE people.
OK, letting it go...
Deep breaths.
(by the way, I have corrected the links to Follow my Art blog via email and subscribing. Thanks to Anne for giving me a heads up on that!)
I'm still thinking that's a lot to ask and maybe I just need to keep it all over here in one place....
Any thoughts or opinions?

Finally, my credit card got hacked! or whatever.
Luckily they text me immediately of possible fraudulent charges to a Walmart in central Iowa.
Yep, NOT me.
So they had to shut down that account and open a new one
and put a fraud watch alert on my credit reports.
Right after that, TWO people on Facebook,
both who used to work at the clinic but have moved on, had the same thing happen to them!
And none of us go to any of the same places or live in the same town!
Scary stuff.
But we all are questioning using our cards at gas stations.
I hate to go inside and prefer to pay at the pump but this has me thinking.
Have you dealt with fraudulent charges?
Do you think it could be the scanners at the pumps?
I hate to carry cash but maybe I should.

Thursday, January 28, 2016


My little Rosie, a 16 1/2 yr old Papillon, went to Heaven this morning.
In my avatar/logo, she's the little dog that I've drawn in the crook of my arm.
She had become frail, blind and only had one tooth left.
She didn't even weigh 5 lbs anymore.
BUT she was still sassy, barking for her dinner and wobbling to her potty pad afterwards to do her business.
She looked pretty bad but I vowed that as long as she was eating, I'd do nothing but care for her.
Squeak took a liking to her and against her protests would back himself onto her bed and eventually cuddle with her.
Yesterday I came home and found her very limp.
At first I thought she might have passed but after putting some cool water on her tongue that always hung out, she blinked her eyes a bit.
I sat her next to the water bowl and she was unsteady and couldn't stand but for a minute.
I gave her a bath, she smelled like she must have urinated on herself.
I dried her up and held her for a while.
I offered her some of her usual food but she had no interest.
I added warm water, still nothing.
I got out the canned food that she would normally gobble down and still, no interest.

Afterwards I gave Squeak a bath too and dried him until he was fluffy.
He's so tiny. I can feel his bones.
I feed him a big bowl of his special prescription diet canned food and when he was finished, he tiptoed over to her bed and cuddled up to Rosie.
I feed the other dogs and looked over to see that Squeak had moved to another dog bed.
That sight filled me with dread.
I scooped her up and held her and sat with her in my arms while I read things on the Internet and typed out comments with one hand.
Finally I returned her to her bed.
I put a towel in the dryer for a few minutes and then tucked it around her so she would feel the warmth and I went to bed.

When I woke in the morning, my head feared the worse but my heart hoped for a miracle.
She was still alive but....
I bundled her up and took her to work.
As soon as Doc arrived, my friend who is one of the head techs got him and he released Rosie from her tired body.
I thanked him for the extra 5 years he gave me with her after that accident in August of 2011.
He played a big part in saving her when others would have let her go back then.
He said it was definitely time, that her body was worn out but
that I had done a great job taking care of her.
That caught me by surprise as he usually doesn't say things like that.

So... It's still January and I have now lost 2 of my clan.
I hope that's it for this year.
Here's a photo of her from a few years ago.
I didn't want to post her photo as she was today.
I'd rather remember her like this.

She always enjoyed sitting on the heat vent and having the blower go on and blast her with air.
Like a little Marilyn Monroe on the street grate.
Funny how something that tiny, can leave such a big whole in a persons heart.
Sigh... Getting old sucks.

Friday, January 22, 2016


I've just been posting over on my Art blog all week.
Yep, every day I'm creating Art
and posting it over there.

Tomorrow I'm mailing out the painting I did for Sharon.
I won't share it here yet
as I want it to be a complete surprise for her.
Then I will.

Of course I dragged my feet on it
Because of procrastination and fear.
Fear that it won't live up to what the person hopes it will be.
But I must say that once I got going, I really enjoyed it!
I plan on doing more Art in that style.

This weekend I'm going to focus on the dog paintings that I promised a friend
a very long time ago....
She never gave me a deadline and you know what happens when you don't give me a set date!
But yeah, I'll be working on that
and sharing the WIP's over on the Art Blog
but I'll also share the finished paintings here,
so you don't have to hop all over the place.

I'm still trying to figure the Art blog.
I finished the header
but then I had problems making it big enough.
It started to fade out and fuzz when I tried to make it bigger.
So I gave up and made every thing else smaller.
Pulled in the margins, adjusted the widths.
I'll fix it...eventually.
Right now though, I'm going to bed.
Here's the header the I did -
DREAMING OF SPRING is what I call it.


Monday, January 18, 2016

Well, THIS hasn't happened before!

So, I have a routine.
Everybody does.
At night when I go to bed I leave my two of my blind dogs downstairs in the kitchen.
Sometimes I leave Squeak with them as he has taken to sleeping in the same bed with Rosie,
my 16yr old blind Papillon.
So if he's already sleeping, I leave him there.
Then I carry my little Poppy upstairs (she's tiny. 4.5 pounds tiny) and everyone else follows.
The back bedroom/dog room is where a couple of the other little ones sleep and Blue.
He HAD been sleeping in my room on the upholstery bench next to the window but since it's been below zero outside and being close to the window is cold, he will get up on my bed.
AND, everyone else is on it and there's hardly any room!
So I've had him sleep in the back bedroom where he has a whole twin bed to himself
and it's actually warmer in there than my own room!

Everyone else has their own spot on my bed,
Poppy is next to me against my back
and Twinkle sleeps on the other pillow
and my cat Ghost lays in front on my face and stares at me and...
well, you get the idea.

My routine is to set the alarm on my phone and again on an old phone I have.
I'm just scared to death of over sleeping, although I never have.
Still, one is set for 5:00 am and the other for 5:10...just in case.
Usually I read a page or two or watch one of the Jimmy's on TV until my eyes are drifting shut.
Yep, that's my routine.

I have a lot to do in the morning and then there's the drive to work.
That time can vary but lately it's 20 -25 minutes to get there,
but I need to be at work by 7:00 am

THIS morning something woke me before the alarm.
I didn't open my eyes at first. I just laid there and listened.
It was Blue.

I could hear him in the other bedroom and he was scraping the floor like a horse would with his foot.
I immediately opened my eyes!
If he does that, he's trying to get my attention.
Maybe he had a tummy ache.
Maybe he had to go potty, bad.

My eyes were open then but I still laid there a moment more and listened, when suddenly I thought,
WHY is it so light in my room?
I bolted up straight and grabbed my phone -
6:56 am!

I ran out the bedroom door and flung open the half door to where Blue was and everyone followed me as we ran down the stairs.
As they were pottying I sent a text to the Office Manager that I would be very late!
In almost 14 years of working there, I have never over slept.
I ran around like a crazy person.
I was brushing my teeth and looked into my room and there in the middle of the bed sat Poppy!

She's too tiny to get off by herself and I ran in and grabbed her and
ran downstairs and set her on her potty pad.
She's such a good girl to hold it all that time.

So I got everyone situated and made sure they had plenty of bedding even though the heat was going.
The house is warm but there are some cold spots.
The temperature was 6 below outside so I counted heads for a third time, just to make sure.
I couldn't focus because I hadn't had time for coffee.
I ran out and scraped the car windows and
amazingly enough, I clocked in to work at 7:56!

So...that was a first.
But I couldn't help think that maybe it was my subconscious that made me sleep late
and of course, of all my dogs, it was my Blue that made sure I did get up.
Yep, hope that never happens again!
I was in such a panic and felt "off" all day.
Luckily, the kennels weren't very full.
This time of year there is always just a few dogs....
But in a few weeks it will be craziness again.

In other news,
I started posting on my Art blog.
Kinda of a rough start! but I've started!
I'd love if you'd check it out... and maybe even Follow!

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Thank you!

For all the kind, caring comments on my blog post the other day.
And also all the sweet words on the post before that, concerning my Raini.
I have since deleted the post about what has been causing me stress, worry and sadness (work related) because I was worried that one of the people who has been making my life so miserable might find it and use it against me.
Or at the very least, take joy in knowing how much they have been getting to me.
Sometimes I think we all feel very alone, at least I do, and then I'm humbled and amazed at all my wonderful friends who jump into action and leave me wonderful comments of support and encouragement.
Thank you just doesn't seem to be enough.
I wish I could give everyone a ball of love and happiness.
I guess it would be wrong to send out kittens to everyone!

Seriously, thank you for being there.

So yesterday I spent most of the day working on my commissioned piece and I'm happy to say that it's finished!
I put a final coat of sealer on it this morning.
I wish I could share photos of the finished work but I want my friend to receive it first without knowing what it looks like.
A kinda surprise although she knows the subject matter.
She is currently out of town so it might be a while before I can share it.
I did work on other things, little sketches and things and as I worked I realized I'm not going to worry about how long anything takes. 
I'm going to enjoy the process and just create.
I think Art shows that. 
I mean it's better to let it flow.
Soon I will have my Art blog up and going.
Looking at the date of the last post over there.... It's just days away from being TWO YEARS.
No more. 
Once I start I'm going to post everyday.
It will always be my art in some form.
I will keep the rambles and stories over here in this blog.
I'll let you know when I have it ready and I know it's a lot to ask but
I hope you Follow me over there too.

So, I need to do some chores and run to the store and hurry back to working on it.
I did want to share though, late last night as I was wrapping it all up and going to bed, I saw a little someone run across my work table!
I snapped a quick photo before he was gone! - 

Wednesday, January 6, 2016


This is a post that I didn't want to write.
I share a lot of things here, but there's many things I don't.
I don't talk about all my pets.
I try to mainly focus on Blue and Jimmy Chew
with the occasional side story.
It's not that I don't love all my critters, I do.
But I think it can get rather confusing for people if I talk about them all.
I have several cats, and ok ,to be honest Harry and Ghost are at the top of my list
but I do adore the others.
So... I don't know if I've talked about Raini, ever.
If so, it wasn't recently.

I adopted her 16 years ago when she was almost 6 months old.
I adopted her as a favor to a co-worker.
I used to work at the Humane Society back then and the girl who ran the Cat Area
had fallen in love with Raini. Her actual name was Loraina but...
Anyway, she begged me to adopt her.
We were over loaded with black cats and Raini was growing up at the shelter.
A kitten about to become a cat.
She had come in with a stump for a tail.
We never knew the story of that.
So I took this kitten/cat home and she stalked me everywhere.
She would leap off high surfaces with her claws out and then jump onto me and drag the claws 
down my back, my arm, my leg. I was covered in long scratches.
Then she would leap onto my shoulders and drape herself around the back of my neck like a collar.
I would wake up in the middle of the night, feeling like I was suffocating and realize she was across my neck.
Every time she did one of these things I would yell "Damn Heidi!"
Heidi being the co-worker who talked me into adopting her.
Another co-worker, who is a good friend of mine, pointed out to me that I never actually called her Raini but instead she was "Damn Heidi".
So, back then I had a lot of cats.
Cats that were in a sort of underground railroad system at my house.
Cats that the Humane Society couldn't or wouldn't take.
So that meant old cats, disabled cats, and mostly black cats.
I even had feral cats.
I found farm homes for the ferals. 
I had quit the Shelter and had started working at the vet clinic and Doc's now ex-wife helped me find homes for all these unwanted cats.
She had a lot of cats too. 
So, she would pay for them to be fixed and vaccinated and we would find homes for everyone.
Eventually all my cats either passed on or found good homes and I was just left with a small handful of those I dearly loved and Damn Heidi.

That was years ago.
and slowly Damn Heidi turned back into Raini.
She never got very big, she was just this tiny little cat who loved the dogs.

She would still wrap herself around my neck when she could but mostly she loved her dogs.
Many times I would find her giving massages.
She loved Vera.

Vera is a sweetheart poodle of mine.
But she loved the other dogs too. 
She would try to lay on top of Blue but he'd just stand up to get her off.
She would find the dogs sleeping and she'd run and lay on top of them and go to sleep too.
Here she is with Jimmy.

Last June her ear started to smell.
I took her into work and she got a medicated ear treatment.
It's a waxy substance that stays in the ear for 2 weeks.
Most times a retreatment is required 2 weeks later and her ear still had this odor
so she was retreated.
Then 2 weeks later, she was treated a 3rd time.
After those 2 weeks, I kept cleaning her ear everyday but the odor was still there
and then it got stronger.
Doc reexamined her again and he could now see a growth deep down.
He did surgery on her and got pieces of the growth. It was very hard to get at.
2 weeks later she had a second surgery and he got more....
and then the odor was so bad that it started making people gag.
She had a third surgery and more was removed.
And once again, the odor was back within days.
At this point she had turned 16.
I said, no more surgeries.

I continued to clean her ear out everyday and it was always full of...
I won't go into detail but it was really bad and gross.
I kept her at work in the cat room because she was shaking her head a lot and the horrible stuff would fly.
I had to clean the big window she liked to sleep near, several times a day.

But she was good about the daily cleaning and she liked the other cats.
I even found her massaging the old cat in his bed.

Then I came into work this Monday and noticed that she was squinting.
I showed her to the several co-workers and we all thought that the growth was bigger.
I took her up to the Office Manager and she felt it and was surprised how big it was.
I took her to the other vet at our clinic and asked for his opinion.
A second opinion.
He said that cats just sometimes get these polyps .
He said for it to be removed, that I would need a surgeon who specialized in that kind of thing.
I guess they cut open the side of head and lay open the ear canal and, anyway...
I told him that she was 16.
I could see him wince a little.
One of the techs said that the surgery was VERY expensive.
Then the vet said that many times the polyps grew back again after the surgery.
I said ok, and carried her back to the cat room and cried.

Yesterday, as I cleaned out her ear, removing a lot of gunk,
I looked at her little face and her squinted eye.
Tuesdays are my double shift day. The day I stay after everyone else leaves and I take care of the boarders.
All the appointment's were done for the day and I went and got the vet tech that I consider a friend
and asked her to come back and look at Raini.
She looked at her and looked at me with a sad face and asked what the two vets had said recently.
I told her.
She thought it was a quality of life decision.

I asked her to see if Doc could stay a few minutes longer to "let her go".
Lily came back then and my friend returned to say he had said Yes.
So they went with me into an exam room.
I wanted to just have the people who really care around me.
Doc said he felt I was making the right decision.
And my friend, Lily and I all cried as she left this Earth.

Damn Heidi

Friday, January 1, 2016


There's a watermark debate.
If artists don't watermark their work it can be easily reproduced. 
But some argue that if someone wants to copy the artwork bad enough, they will be able figure out how to remove it.
Another argument is that the watermark can detract from the art itself.

On this lazy first day of the year, as I slowly recover from this cold, I was swiping through Instagrams that I follow when I noticed that one of them put their name across their photos in a small font.
Here are a few more of my photos that I have altered.

I'm thinking of making some prints and mounting them on canvas, like I've done with my illustrations.
Of course the prints won't include my name.
So what's your opinion?
Small font?