End of Year Recap

Good morning all you icicles! OMG it is cold out there!! Please take extra care to keep warm if you are headed out for the next few days. The temps will be in the teens nightly so make sure the furry support staff is warm as well.

Speaking of furry support staffs, mine just had a bit of a scrap going on. Minxy stepped on Jeb and he didn’t appreciate it at all. It turned ugly quick as she is the only one that won’t back down from him. In the process of separating them I reinjured my hip, so once again the pain is excruciating.  Now all is quiet as if nothing happened.

Today I wanted to recap what has been a stellar year for myself and CorgiNuts Sketches. Who knew that last Christmas when I began the 16 Stallions of Chincoteague sketch that it would be the benchmark for my best year yet? From the original sketch being purchased by the CNHA in January, to seeing my prints and note cards being sold in the Bateman center on the Chincoteague Wildlife refuge, to having my art being sold at Blue Crab Treasures on the island, it has been a wonderful year. I have met some amazing people, mostly women who banded together in 2015 to form the Chincoteague Legacy group. The group boasts many remarkable women in their own right! Together they are a force to be reckoned with.  There is an amazing bit of talent in the group from artists, to authors, to musicians, etc…. One of the highlights of my year included meeting a large number of them at Pony Penning in July. I will never ever forget many of the moments experienced from that amazing week, including Jody McClure Shook doing the Marshmallow Roast dance. Lolol! This year also produced the CLG Surfer’s Blue Moon print, which was very popular in its own right, and still is. Having note cards printed from my foal sketches was yet another first and they also did well. Both the Stallions of Chincoteague and the Blue Moon print were accepted into the Kentucky Horse Park library.

I also met someone, who to me deserves Horsewoman of the Year award, Debbie Roys Ober. Deb runs the Chincoteague Pony Rescue and she owns her own stable Hawkeye stables. Oftentimes she pretty much runs daily operations on her own. Occasionally she has volunteers, but for the most part she does this singlehandedly. The rescue takes on ponies that have been discarded for whatever reason, sometimes housing as many as 30+ ponies at a time. Deb never judges the situation that brought the pony there, she simply says “Life Happens,” and rolls with it. She just wants to get her hands on the pony and begin preparing it for adoption into a forever home. Even when she is double-dog tired after spending the majority of her day outside with the ponies, she comes in to work on her other projects which includes the Chincoteague Pony registry. I am truly humbled by the dedication of this woman to the ponies. I have heard her say time to downsize one minute and the next minute here comes another pony or two, or three. Her devotion to the breed is never-ending.

For me personally, joining the Cracker Barrel Operations Training Team, was a huge accomplishment. This team is Cracker Barrels version of Boot Camp, but it is worth it. I visited places that I never even considered putting on my bucket list because I thought them to be too far out of reach. I met several Kentucky Derby winners, including Silver Charm and War Emblem. Having the opportunity to visit privately with 1980 Kentucky Derby winner Genuine Risks only son Genuine Reward, completely erased all of the aches and pains and stress of the weeks of training. Again I met some amazing people in the seven weeks I was away from home and forged a few life long friendships in Suzan, Rosa, Red, and Chrissee, and a several others.

So those are just a few highlights of this past year. There are many more, but I would have to sit down and write a book for that.

Anyhow scritches and biscuits to the fur babies, even when they are being disagreeable.

Today’s photos are just a small part of what my life has been especially like this year.

Take extra care today and try to stay warm. Remember, no one can steal your happy, unless you allow it!

I love you all most ardently!

And even when your fingers are cold they feel as if they are about to break off….

Play nice y’all…..


And so it goes…


Good morning all you exhausted folks! I’m sure many of you had a whirlwind weekend and Monday and now comes the cleanup and back to work. Sucks, huh? Fortunately, this is my week vacation so I will, hopefully be able to do the cleanup and get caught up before I am completely hurled back to the reality of work. For those of you hitting the road in eastern NC, be extra careful. My back deck is a sheet of ice this morning!

This morning the furry support staff has begun the morning nap early. The sleet did not impress them at all.

I took a very abbreviated trip to Chincoteague on Christmas day with my daughter. We packed a lot into less than 24 hours and had a ball. Riding in a car with her is quite like riding with two or three people. She had an incident with some seagulls at Assateague beach that totally freaked her out. I was on the beach and didn’t see the beginning of this exchange, but she came to find me because she felt she was being stalked. I laughed and walked back to the car with her. As We are backing out of the parking lot I swear they heard her talking about them, because this one big gull started walking toward her side of the car, in a quite menacing manner, while his buddy was veering off to myside in a very creepy way. Not so sure Kayla was completely over reacting at that point. Lolol!!!

When we arrived on the island Christmas day we hurried to the refuge to see if we could find ponies. We were not disappointed as we rounded the curve and saw Starry night’s star and strip! Bingo!!! Well I had Kayla take pictures with my camera, once again the hilarity ensued. As she’s taking pictures Starry comes right at the car window. I got pictures of the roof of the car, the inside of the car door, and the floor board! I thought Kayla was going to pee her pants!! It didn’t stop there. So I drove to the beach and turned around and came back up beach road. A couple of the ponies had crossed to the other side, including Grandmas Dream. Well the minute Kayla took the first picture Grandmas Dream came straight for the car window. I have never seen my daughter move so fast!!! I got more photos of the windshield, the car door, and the floor board.   I laughed so hard, I nearly peed my pants as well! And not a single photo of Grandmas Dream!

So goes the Great Seagull and Pony Conspiracy of Christmas 2017….

In all seriousness though…this behavior by the ponies might suggest that people are feeding them. This makes it a dangerous situation all the way around. Especially for the ponies!

Today’s feature photos are from my happy place, including those Gangsta Gulls! Hey y’all how about do me a favor…call or write Cracker Barrel and tell them to put one on the Eastern Shore!!! I would move so fast, I would leave skid marks!!!

Anyhow, time to get busy. Love and scritches to the furry ones!Careful out there today!

I love you all most ardently!

Play nice y’all…

Happy Christmas Eve! (Retail rant Part II)

Happy Christmas all my little elves! It’s crunch time! It’s down to those last few hours before the big guy has his turn, illegally entering homes all over the world to leave goodies for everyone. Hope you all have been good…lol… Hey?? Did you know that the Oak Ridge Boys did a song called “Happy Christmas Eve?”  It is a beautiful song…look it up on YouTube!

I’m busy finishing one final thing that I will be dropping off in Norfolk on my way to my happy place. Had planned on staying a week but the weather will probably change that from the looks of it. But I re it that maybe I can get that way sometime between store openings later in the year. I’m sure hoping so, because the island is calling my name….and loudly!

Today’s feature photos are two scallop shells I painted for my dear friend Lois Szymanski. It was an honor to be trusted with painting Ryley as she recently lost him.

The furry support staff has finished supper and everyone is chill right now. At least until the kids come home. Then it will be chaos!

So as hinted in the title I have an addition or P.S. to my retail rant from yesterday.

Today as we do every Christmas Eve we closed at 2. We had someone call today to ask what time we close and that person was told 2. Well can I make a reservation? I’m sorry we don’t take reservations. Well we have a party of 18 and we’ll would like the back dining room. M’am we don’t take reservations. At this point we can’t even promise you will be seated together, there is an hour and a half wait. But if you are open until two you have to seat our party of 18 regardless….yes M’am. Well we don’t want to be seated apart so we will wait until you have the tables altogether. M”am we can’t do that. We have to seat you when your time comes up. We close at 2. Well, what if we want to shop after eating….after 2 there will be no shopping m’am…the store closes at two. Well we are going to be there at 1:45 except two will be running late. M’am your entire party has to be here in order for you to be seated. If you have someone arriving after two we cannot seat them…My boss to me…”I am speaking English, right?”  I am completely losing it by then…lol.

Another guest arriving at 2:30. Sorry m’am we are closed…can I at least get a pie? We are out of pies. Can I pick up a card? The store is closed m’am….well there are people in there now. Yes m’am I realize that. They came in before we closed to eat. But no one is allowed in after 2. Well why in the world would you close at 2 on Christmas eve? Not touching that one lady, I’d lose my job……lol Oooookkkk!

But by far, everyone’s favorite…gentleman , and I use the term loosely, comes in for gift cards. Sweet little Mary tells him we are out of gift cards. His response…well y’all are useless!!!

My manager, “Thank you sir, Merry Christmas and have a nice day!!”

Thank God it’s over!!

Love and scritches for the furry ones!

Be safe and relax…you’re almost there…

play nice y’all….

Merry Christmas my peeps!

coffee and corgis

Happy Christmas Eve Eve!! Hope all your shopping is done and you are allowed to relax and enjoy the quiet time before the storm. The furry support staff is happily munching away on breakfast. Am I the only one who loves that sound?

Had a most awesome dinner at Wimpie’s last night with one of my most favorite people, JP! If he hadn’t had to be in Virginia last night we would probably still be sitting at Wimpie’s. Our lunches or dinners usually go like that, 30 minutes to eat, hours to talk. It was great to see him!

Working an evening shift at the Barrel today and then working until 2 tomorrow, after that I am off for a week! Yipeee!  I need this one! This retail season has been especially stressful, littered with stressful people.

Why is it that folks feel it necessary to bully retail sales people? I mean seriously? That vintage ceramic Christmas tree you wanted, came out in freaking August! That was four months ago, did you honestly think they would still be around now, or did you think we were gonna save one especially for you cause we somehow miraculously knew you would be coming for it the week before Christmas? And honestly I don’t have the ability to shit one out. So, there is no need to get nasty with me or my manager, or even her boss, because none of us possess that talent! Oh and after you have asked myself or another 4 star skill trainer if we have a particular item and we have exhausted all avenues to make sure we don’t when we tell you we don’t, please don’t go to a Rising star and ask her to check for you. They are just figuring out where the cash registers and bathrooms are. If you send one into the back room to find something, it’s quite likely we won’t see her for a while because she will still be back in the stock room thirty minutes later still looking for the item we told you we absolutely do not have.

You tell me or another associate that we have an attitude, well quite frankly, no I didn’t have one until your special self came up. So, thank you for that!

And oh the joy of chip readers! Once I am finished ringing your purchases, the screen on the reader says and very clearly says “Enter Tip”. If you don’t want to enter a tip guess what you do? Press zero and OK! That’s all! Simple right?? Well apparently not that simple….if it asks you to enter your tip, why would you enter your total balance prior to tip? And then tell me I did something wrong? I have no control over what happens on that side of the cash stand, so that’s all on you Skippy.  Then we have the person who doesn’t read the screen at all and just stands there expecting the thing to take over and know what he or she wants. I’m sorry but I like my money and I want to know what’s going on with it. I’m not going to trust that a machine is going to know my wishes and respect my love for my money.  Could chip readers be a little more user friendly? Sure, but in this world of identity theft and folks liking your money at as much as you do it has to be somewhat difficult in order to protect the buyer. The lackadasical attitude towards your money ain’t gonna get ya nowhere but broke!

Two words…Pay Attention!

Oh wow! Sorry for this rant…it’s be a rough couple of weeks. In retail, the Joy of Christmas is when it’s finally over!

Anyhow, I hope you all have a most joyous and wonderful Christmas with your family and friends. Make sure you include the furry support staff, remember they have also stuck by you all year and loved you even when you didn’t like yourself much. Its hard to beat that kind of unconditional.

I love you all most ardently! Be careful on the roads, folks are crazy!

Merry Christmas to you all🎄

And please by all means even when you come across someone who isn’t carrying the spirit

Play nice y’all….

Long time no blog…yea I know…but…

received_10214186236465645Good evening all you little elves!!!

Guess what? I’m back!!  Dealing with a bit of a migraine this evening so bear with me. But I wanted to say “hey!” Yea, it’s been a while!!

The furry support staff missed me while I was gone and is proving it by not letting me out of their sight when I am home. Though the thought is nice, it can be rather unsettling and precarious when trying to navigate an obstacle course of dogs and their toys.

My life has been quite a whirlwind over the past few months. As most of you know, I joined the Operations Training Team for Cracker Barrel. For lack of a better phrase, it was quite like Cracker Barrel Bootcamp! I did learn a lot and I have never worked that hard in my home store….never! But I did have fun and I met some amazing people, from Red and Chrissee, my trainers,  to Rosa my dear friend, to Suzan, the bread to my butter!!! Wonderful people!! We worked very hard but we also played hard. I did some thing I never thought would be possible. I want to the Pacific ocean and walked in the coldest water, I went to Mt. Saint Helens, and visited a town called Cougar. While in Kentucky, I knocked off a couple of bucket list items, by visiting the Kentucky Horse Park and the Old Friends farm, where I met several famous horses, including Silver Charm, War Emblem, and Touch Gold. I was allowed to spend private time with the only living son of the 1980 Darby winner Genuine Risk. Also, I went to the Cincinnati zoo, the Newport Aquarium, and a variety of other places I would have never thought I would go.

All in all it was an amazing experience and I can’t wait to see where the next adventure leads

So, now for a few things to cover.  Please if you are considering a charitable donation for the end of the year, keep my friend Deb Over in mind and her Chincoteague Pony Rescue. She does amazing work and she helps so many. I honestlymwish I could helps her more.

Please keep my friend Lois Szymanski in your prayers. Dealing with the loss of a pet is never easy. When that pet is your heart dog it’s worse. R.I.P. Ryley

I love you all most ardently! Please keep the holiday spirit and have a Merry Christmas!

Play nice y’all