Blessings are reminders….

Good morning all you food drunk, retail exhausted people! Welcome to My Contradictory Life! I hope you all had an awesome holiday weekend, but it’s time to get yourselves back to work.

The furry support staff is particularly vocal this morning. It seems there is a stray dog (imagine that) running around loose this morning and has chosen my property on which to do his business. This has my crew in a tizzy trying to jockey for a good position at the front window to get a glimpse of the intruder. I can only imagine the view from outside with the Beagle on the bottom, Aussie in the middle, and the Weimaraner towering over top. My view is little butt, fuzzy butt, and large butt! The Corgi team is in the bedroom voicing their frustration at not being able to join the chaos, but trust me all the other dogs are much safer with them separated.

I hope you all had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I cannot describe the job felt by my entire family to have our mom home. My sister Robin, and my two brothers, Greg and Chad and I all pitched in to fix an amazing Thanksgiving dinner. It turned out beautifully. We were joined by our Grandmother Gladys and her husband Johnnie as well. Clean up went well and we were reminded by our mom not to make a mess on several occasions. After the dishes were done and everything was put back into its proper place, we all gathered in the sun room to share memories and laughter, just like old times.  It made me realize how much I missed my sister and how happy I am that she has come back into the fold. We all realize how blessed we are to have spent this holiday with our Mom. It is a reminder of the power of prayer and will that she is still with us. It’s a reminder that God is good and our faith in him should be what drives us every single day. Blessed is almost an understatement in my opinion. I have my sister and one of my bestest friends back, I have my mom, my hero, my mentor, my idol still here. Blessed, lucky, fortunate, whatever you call it, there is no question that God performs miracles and answers prayers.

Cody’s 2018 colt

My favorite Chincoteague mare, Cody 2 Socks has foaled! The above photo is her colt by Wild Thing. He has the most unique markings. He was almost a Medicine Hat, but these markings are so crazy it doesn’t matter.  He looks like two different ponies from each side.  I really hope that he goes to someone I know so that I can keep up with him. Her colt from last year went to a sweet young lady in California and she named him Bongo.  Cody has one daughter on the island named Doc Amrien. She is a beautiful bay pinto mare who produced her first foal this year. Cody herself is the daughter of the beautiful half Arabian buckskin stallion, the late Copper Moose. Copper was stunning when he was in his prime and at the top of his game.  A vicious, nearly fatal fight with another stallion left him weak and unable to sustain a band.  It was so sad to see.  He disappeared in late 2014/early 2015 never to be seen again.  Doc Amrien is the first photo below, it was taken at this year’s pony penning by me. The second photo is credited to Daisey’s Island Cruises and is of Copper Moose.

Doc Amrien
Copper Moose

So, I managed to survive another Thanksgiving and subsequent Black Friday weekend at Cracker Barrel.  Why don’t we just call it Black Weekend? Seriously, the sales start on Thursday and the ensuing chaos extends into Sunday. Why not call it what it is? I mean except for ridiculousness personified. Every year it becomes more and more foolish. Deals start earlier, decorations go up way earlier, and the tensions soar higher. How can anyone enjoy the holidays when they are embroiled in these battles to get the perfect toy for the perfect kid and the perfect time? I never, as a parent bought into the idea that my kids had to have the popular toy of the year. If, by chance, they got one, it was given by another family member. The idea of Black Friday and all the stress it beings feeds into the growing rudeness with which people are treating each other.  On Thursday I was assisting a guest with a lost and found issue. Another guest bullied her way through and began asking me questions while I was helping the other. No “excuse me” or “pardon me” was uttered, she simply butted in and insisted I answer her question. The first guest spoke up and said “excuse me I was talking!” The second didn’t skip a beat and just continued to talk to me about what “she” wanted. I tried to apologize to the original guest but to no avail, it was then and only then that the offender felt it necessary to apologize. From where did all this lack of respect for others come? I witnessed first hand, numerous incidents of guests verbally abusing fellow employees over this past holiday weekend.  I’m sorry, but that is absolutely unacceptable.  The folks who are working on the holidays are not with their families because they have to be there to serve the public. They don’t have a choice in most cases, as most companies block requests for holidays off.  I, myself, worked a short four hour shift on Thanksgiving day and then made haste to be with my family in Oriental.  On the way home Kayla and I decided to stop at the closest convenient store to grab water because we were both extremely thirsty. As we were checking out I asked the clerk if she had been able to spend any time with her family for the day. She replied that she hadn’t so that someone else would have the opportunity to enjoy it with family. Upon hearing that, I profusely apologized for having stopped and creating a need for someone to be there, even though I had worked that day, I felt bad for stopping.                   I saw two kinds of entitlement that day. First, was the kind in which the person felt as though something was owed to her. I’m sorry I owe you nothing more than respect that should be mutual. The other was the kind that chafes my butt the most and that is the kind in which the person deems himself or herself better than the people around him or her. I’m sorry but who died and made you a princess? Get over yourself! So, this one group came in and bulldozed its way to the hostess stand only to discover that here was a thirty minute wait on Saturday. The group chose not to wait and as they were leaving I overheard one member say, ” There is no way I am going to sit here and wait thirty minutes to eat some crap ass food!” Wait….wut?? So, you mean to tell me that were there not a wait, you would be perfectly willing to eat and pay for “crap ass food?” You are a special kind of stupid!!

Well now that I got all that off my chest I must get busy!  Oh don’t worry there is more to discuss soon! People make it easy!!

As you begin your week, please keep in mind that someone else is probably experiencing the same holiday stress as you, of not very similar. Little Johnnie or Jenny will actually survive if that “oh so, can’t live without it” toy isn’t available.

Don’t forget the furry ones as you blow up the internet on this Cyber Monday. The need lots of biscuits in order to get through this odyssey called “holiday shopping” with you.  Scritches and much love to them all! Santa better come see them!! I will be watching! Please comment with a photo of your furry support staff! I will put them all in a Furry friends gallery on my page!

Take care of yourselves! Would love to see all of your decorated homes and yards, so feel free to share. By the way, if you are looking for a charitable cause which to donate, please consider the Chincoteague Pony Rescue. My friend Deb Ober works tirelessly to make sure these ponies get what they need and your help, no matter the size would be greatly appreciated. There is a link on the My Contradictory Life home page. http://www.chincoteagueponyrescue.org  

See I told ya!

Santa is watching so…

Play nice ya’ll…

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Apathy=Self Preservation

Good frosty morning my friends! Wow what a difference a week makes!!!    Last week this time we were trying to find a way to keep cool without turning on the air conditioning. Today air conditioning is not necessary by any stretch of the imagination.

Yes I know it has been a while!  I made the mistake of letting life get in the way of what I really wanted to do.  So much has happened in the last months that I hardly know where to begin.

I will start with the furry support staff! Everyone is doing well and seem to appreciate these cold temps much more than I do.  I’m not sure if I have already introduced you all to the newest member of the herd, but we now have a rescued Weimaraner, named Merle. He is beautiful and much larger than I thought Weims to be.  He came to us underweight, very needy, and with a light and shadow obsessive, compulsive disorder. Not much is known about his previous life, but is obvious that he has suffered from neglect and some abandonment issues. I have seen improvement as he integrates into the pack here. His fit with the others is quite awkward, I’m guessing because of his size and exuberance. Having dealt mostly with herding breeds, I was not prepared for the need for constant companionship of a sporting breed. Thank goodness for the help and advice of friends who have the experience.  I have developed a bit of insight from them and the vet where Merle is concerned. We discovered that he is just at a year old, not approaching two as we were informed when he was brought here. So anyhow…we have a Weimaraner!

I went to Oregon in September for the opening of yet another Cracker Barrel.  This time it was in Medford, near the California border.  Let me just say, I love Oregon! It is a beautiful state. Little to no humidity and gorgeous landscapes make it one of my favorite places to visit! While there I had to opportunity to knock something off my bucket list that actually wasn’t on my list, but it was on my late husband, Jeff’s. I went to the highest point possible by vehicle to Mount Shasta.  It was the most peaceful, breathtaking place I have ever visited. The air was so clear and the lack of noise was incredibly relaxing. I didn’t want to leave! I kept thinking “on a clear day you can see forever.” And you could!!

mount shasta

I returned home from Oregon early upon news of my mom being in a coma. Her leukemia had morphed into lymphoma and it was bad.  As a result it was decided to administer an aggressive chemo regimen, which proved to be more than her system could take.  I have learned, without a doubt, that there is power in prayer.  At one point we were quite sure we would soon lose our mom, we all prayed for peace, we begged friends, family, and complete strangers to join in our prayers. I came home from Durham and within a few days received a message that she was awake.  Within a couple of weeks she was walking and talking, something none of us had thought possible just a few short weeks ago. This past week my mom came home! Yet another milestone no one expected to see at the beginning of October.  I want to thank everyone who supported us with prayers, calls, etc… Another moment of extreme joy has been reconnecting with the sister whom I have missed more than I was willing to admit. I will never forget one day when she was at my house…oh about 25 or 30 years ago, something struck us funny! To this day I cannot tell you what it was, but whatever it what was erupted into a giggling session that lasted a good ten minutes. When we finally were able to get our breath, my now ex-husband walked in the door and looked at us like we were mad! His perplexed look lead to an additional session that lasted another ten minutes. I have not laughed like that in a long time!

ROBIN

This past few months has been trying at best!  I am not going to go into detail on everything, except to say “UNCLE!”  I’m not going to admit that I am superstitious openly, but I did get rid of the $2 bill that was hanging in Justin’s room and the broken mirror that was behind the house. The loss of a friend who was basically an extended family member was extremely difficult to take.  My heart goes out to my “sissy” Teresa and Ray’s children and mom.  I want to also mention that my dear friend, Cindy became a first time grandmother! Little River was born with a slight defect that had to be repaired surgically shortly after his birth, but so far the little trooper is thriving! Congratulations to Cindy and her son’s family!! Yet another piece of good news, desperately needed, is in the photos at the top of this post, from DSC photography and Captain Dan’s Island Tours.  A medicine hat colt was born to the stallion, Wild Thing ,and the mare, Thetis on Assateague island, in Virginia. Medicine hats ponies are considered very good medicine in the Native American culture. These highly prized animals were thought to protect their riders and were sought after.  Often they were stolen by rival tribes that wanted to benefit from the powers the horses were thought to possess. This beautiful colt comes at a time when the herd is suffering from a swamp cancer that has claimed the lives of many and has affected several more. Maybe the birth of the little guy is a sign of better days for the herd.  Who knows? It won’t hurt to believe!

Did you ever feel so overwhelmed that you became calloused to everything around you? It feels almost like if you retreat into yourself things will slow down or somehow the effects will cause less damage.  You appear to be apathetic simply to protect yourself from the stress that would come from blowing a gasket. There is a fear that if you release the valve on your feelings or emotions that you will be deemed psycho, emotional, or even ridiculous. You are afraid to hurt someone else’s feelings so you sacrifice your own in order to prevent that from happening. This has been what’s happening in my world and in almost every aspect of it. Slowly, I have started to take back my life, my home, and my sanity. Though my plans for my future have been put on hold for a bit, I still intend to live out my dream!!

Well that is all for today. I promise not to be so remiss in my posting from here on out!  Love and scritches to your furry support staff! It’s the weekend, make sure you spend some time with them. You and they will be happier for it in the coming week.

Remember, I love you all most ardently! And remember even when it seems like things are crashing down around you and you can’t get a handle on things….

Play nice ya’ll….

Puppy Love…or not?

Good morning people! Welcome to Wednesday! It’s gonna be yet another hot one so be prepared!

The Furry Support staff appears to be quite grumpy this morning! Everyone is voicing opinions on something I’m not privvy to at the moment. The only one not letting his voice be heard is my grandpuppy. He’s just chillin’ in Justin’s room wondering what all the fuss is about. I will so miss that dog when he joins Justin in Ohio. Oh, i will miss Justin too, but that dog is the last of my Aussie line and his resemblance to his grandad JasperJax in looks and most of all personality is uncanny. The first photo is Jasper, the other is Bailey.

I want to wish a very Happy Birthday to my road bestie, Suzan! I miss being on the road with her so much! One of the only people I know that I could spend five weeks in a hotel room with and not want to kill! Lolol! Love you much my lady!

I want to share with you all a photo taken by my go-to photographer and friend Deb Noll. This is the mare Misty Mills, that surprised everyone by producing a filly a few weeks after it was thought she had rejected her colt. Turns out the colt wasn’t hers at all. So, this beautiful filly now has a forever home as does the mystery colt. The filly is part of the Feather Fund group directed by another friend Lois Szymanski, which helps young people to purchase a pony at auction. Can’t wait to see this little girl grow!

So, today I want to touch on a subject that might tick a few people off, but it’s something that literally drives me nuts! The act of humans transferring human like qualities and emotions to animals is simply inaccurate, and I believe arrogant on the part of humans. Animals are so much smarter than we are. Humans have lost their ability to use all their senses together. Our sense of smell and hearing is nothing compared to what it was in the early days of man. So now we rely on other animals, particularly dogs to do those things for us. The domesticated animal I believe was man’s saving grace. But back then these animals were not pets! They were working animals! They were not coddled, petted, or even fed most of the time. They got the scraps. This continued into the early 20th century and even a little longer. Horses were generally used for farming or as mounts for the military. Pets were considered a luxury of the well-to-do. Dogs were used for hunting, herding, and protection, while cats generally lived in the barn to keep the mice out of the grain storage. Again, only the very wealthy could afford to keep animals as pets. When taxation reared its ugly head, all animals on a farm, that had a tail, were taxed. This began the idea of tail docking of dogs as the norm. Yes it also was a safety issue for dogs herding large animals, but the tax was the main reason. In those days, everything that lived on the farm had a purpose. An extra horse used for merely riding would have been considered a hay burner. The point is the relationship between man and these animals that were domesticated was born out of necessity not loneliness or love.

Does Jeb love me? Hmmmmm, the pet lover in me would like to think so. But really, it’s probably more akin to a pack leader kind of thing. Do I love him….yes I do! And he misses me when I am gone for the first few hours and then goes on with his life. When I come home he is happy to see me, he tells me everything that happened while I was gone, then brings me all of his babies and settles on my feet. Does he know he is my heart? He probably has more of an idea that in the hierarchy here, he is number 2, which is evident in How the other dogs here give him a wide berth. He rules with an iron fist! The relationship between my son and Bailey is different. That is pure devotion! That dog worships that boy.

Do animals mourn? Yes they do! Domestic animals appear to feel it more deeply though and for longer period. For example, when my first Corgi, Peedee died, Jeb sat it the back yard for a week waiting for him to return. In the wild, however, animals don’t have the luxury of extended mourning periods. Elephants have been known to mourn a lost member of the herd, but they move on quickly. Last month, with the loss of Butterfly Kisses, the heart wrenching story of Riptide trying to get her up, had everyone misty eyed. Is he still mourning her, probably not. He has a job to do, he doesn’t have the luxury of mourning her, even though she was his lead mare. He has foals and mares to protect. He has mares to breed to ensure his line continues. He is a stallion, he is wild, and he doesn’t have time to mourn. The job of lead mare will fall to the next mare in his band, probably Starry Night, and life will go on.. Hate to say it, but the beautiful Butterfly Kisses is probably already forgotten. But I have seen several comments about how he misses her so much and he is in mourning. Ummmm no….as much as many would like to believe it’s so…its not. We as humans can and will mourn her loss, just as we did with Surfer Dude, Courtneys Boy, and the many that have passed through the years. These animals don’t dwell on things as we tend to do. It is not in their genetic make up.

One thing I have discovered is that my dogs do have a sense of fairness. If I give one a treat, I should be ready to give them all one. If I love on one, yes it is expected I will love on them all.

Another thing, I wanna touch on is house training your dog. So many times i have seen people reprimand a puppy by smacking it or rubbing its nose in its own urine. The problem is, that puppy has no idea that it came from him. You can’t beat it out of him…(heaven forbid you tried that with a human baby). The best thing is diligence about letting him out regularly and I’m sorry but immediately after he eats or drinks is not the time. Also, putting down paper or puppy pads isn’t the answer either. All you are doing with that is teaching him to pee on paper, then you get upset when he leaves a deposit on your newspaper left on the floor. I remember when Bailey was around a year old. He had come to live with me around the fall of that year. He was house broken but the first thing he did when I put up the Christmas tree was lift his leg on it. Thankfully it wasn’t decorated yet and I hadn’t put down my beautiful candle wicked tree skirt yet. But I couldn’t get angry with him because I saw it from his point of view.”Granny put a tree in the house!It must be for me! I must mark it!” I had brought him his own personal bathroom into the house….how convenient for him! Your dog doesn’t have the same consideration for material things that you have, and most definitely your cat doesn’t! He doesn’t care if you buy him an expensive collar, he gets excited because he feels your excitement. He doesnt care that you just spent a small fortune getting him groomed and all pretty….if he encounters something that smells bad, he is gonna roll in it. He has no concept of value, or appearance, or keeping up with the Jones. He is a dog, he is gonna do dog things.

This brings me to my last story, this one is about Jeb and the Fox poo. A few years back my bestie and I took a road trip to Mathews, Virginia. Jeb was along for the ride. It was January and it was cold as heck! There was ice and snow on the ground and the air was bitter. As we were about to leave we decided we should let Jeb run a bit and take care of business in the field adjacent to where we were visiting. So he is out there, running around like a little kid having a blast, when all of a sudden he dives to the ground and starts rolling. Curious as to what has caused this reaction, Susan and I walk to where he is and discover this fascinating scent he has found is fox poo! Now, I don’t know if you know this, but foxes have a musk gland that excrete musk whenever he poops. Somehow it is extremely attractive to other foxes and well I guess Jeb too! Susan and i didn’t find it so attractive once we got him in the car and to return home. Both of us had tears in our eyes. Once the heat from the car hit that odor it permeated throughout the car. I’m quite sure there was a green funk cloud! We rode home on this cold January day with the windows down just to keep from puking. Jeb didn’t care, he was happy in his stench! It took close to two weeks to get that smell out of his coat! And again, Jeb had no clue how offensive he was, all he knew is that he got to run around and roll in something delightful, in his opinion. Lol!

Well, I think i have said enough… This was an extended post, no doubt.

Everyone have a great rest of your day! Extra scritches to your furry loves!

I love you all most ardently!

Play nice y’all…

Love of Chincoteague/Love Chairs

Good morning people! Yep it’s Tuesday! I am so sorry….It looks as though it is going to be another hot one today. Please be careful in this extreme heat. If you have to be outside in it, take breaks, stay hydrated, and don’t push yourself too hard. Please also keep your pets in mind. Make sure they have plenty of shade and water if they have to be outdoors.

The Furry Support staff has been fed and are now partaking in the ritual after breakfast nap. I can hear Beagle puppy (I call him Rut Roh) snoring like a human. My plan is to let them all out once it is light enough so they can at least have some time outside today. My grandpuppy Bailey’s world is about to change. His daddy Justin, is heading to Ohio soon to learn the art of a farrier. I am so excited for him! Since he is flying and I am not about to put a 9 year old dog on a plane that has never been on one, it has been decided that once my car is fixed, I will drive him to Ohio myself. I have another option as well, but that will be if I can’t get him there. So, I guess my world is gonna change a thing it as well. I will have an empty nest for the first time since shortly after Jeff passed away almost six years ago. That’s when my decisions will be made. Anyhow, stay tuned, same Corgi time, same Corgi channel…lol

Hope this photo of Jeb enjoying a doggie bowl at Mr. Whippy’s might help you stay cool!

Today I am off work, so it is the day I will begin the task of cleaning my art area, in the hopes it will spark that creativity bug. It will be a monumental task, so if you don’t hear from me tomorrow, send in the troops!

I’m going to use today’s post for a bit of advertisement. Many of you know ow about my Love Chair design that includes Chincoteague ponies in each of the four chairs. The design has really been a hit and I must take a moment to thank Sue Johnson at Blue Crab Treasures on Chincoteague island for believing in me. She and I are both surprised and pleased with the reception of this. The design is available at this time in t-shirts, long sleeve and short, in a variety of colors, kids sizes are also available. Tanks tops are available in two colors! There are zippered and pullover hoodies, along with pullover sweatshirts. Sue has prints, post cards, koozies, bibs, and onesies as well. New items are being ordered with the design too! Can’t wait to see those. There will be hats with the Ridtide/heart chair embroidered on them. So, we have a lot going on.

Above is just a small sampling of what is available. Call Sue at Blue Crab Treasures in Chincoteague, Virginia, for sizes and color availability. Special requests may be preordered with the next shipment, so give her a call! The the number is (757)336-5507 or visit the Blue Crab Treasures Facebook page.

I would lastly like to mention a contest we are holding at the moment. If you get your shirts and you are on the island, take a minute to have your picture taken on the Love Chairs right across the street from Sue’s shop at Robert Reed Park. Post the photo on the Blue Crab Treasures Facebook page. Judges will choose the top four photos from those submitted. Those top four will be given the opportunity to pick which ponies appear in the chairs next year. And I personally will throw in a t-shirt for the four winning submissions. So let the games begin….the judging will start after fall roundup in October!

That is all for today folks! I am so excited about the events that are happening now. This has been a whirlwind and surreal experience for me. Thanks to all of those who have stood by me and had faith in me when I didn’t trust myself. My bestie, Susan Jones has been my rock and biggest supporter. My Cracker Barrel road bestie, Suzan Sheldon, has listened to my rantings many an early morning when we were stuck in a hotel room for weeks at a time. And again, Sue Johnson, who has stuck by me since that first December day when I walked into her shop.My daughter, Kayla Nassef who used to joke about all my paintings being in the garden tube in my bathroom. My dear friend, Deb Ober, who has been my sounding board, my pony conformation advisor, and sister from another mister. Lastly, there is one person that I need to thank especially, my mom, Emma Lupton, for a phone conversation while I was in Alabama, encouraging me to follow my heart and not wait for things to come to me. That evidently was my turning point…

You all have a wonderful day! Please stay cool and hydrated…are you listening Deb Ober?

Lots of fresh water and scratches for the furry loves. Be aware of their feet and be sure those paw pads aren’t being burned on concrete or asphalt. If they seem to be overheated, a damp tepid cloth to the belly will help cool them down…no ice!

My favorite quote from Pony Penning….”you’re famous!” My response… “well at least I didn’t have to wait until I was dead first!”

I love you all most ardently!

And even when this heat has your nerves frayed to the max….

Play nice y’all….

PETA rears it’s ugly head…

Good morning all you animal loving worker bees!

It is Hump Day!! Hump day is here!!🐪

The furry support staff has been fed and all are settling down for an after breakfast nap. Even the ever awake and on patrol Minxy is snoring! I think this weather is making for very lazy pups!☔☁⚡

So today I’m not gonna play around with any other subjects, only one that is near and dear to my heart, for it involves my happy place. As if losing this beautiful mare wasn’t enough, and the recent rantings of a psycho wasn’t enough, now we have this.

Butterfly Kisses and her beautiful colt Trigger

Photo credit Buffy Marcie Kramer

The recent tragedy at the carnival grounds in Chincoteague Va. which involved the freak accident that resulted in the death of a beloved Chincoteague pony mare named Butterfly Kisses has received not just national attention, but attention from one of the most vile organizations claiming to be dedicated animal welfare that exists. Yes that organization is PETA. While I was showing dogs in the late 80s to the late 90s there were numerous occasions where members of PETA released dogs from crates at shows, allowing them to run out onto major highways and be killed.

PETA recently sent a letter to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Dept. asking them to halt the annual pony swim and a whole other range of requests, based on false info. The fire department’s response is below.

The Official Response to PETA:

We are aware of the untruths that PETA has stated in their latest attempt to fool the general public about our Pony Penning events. In their last letter to us which by the way was sent to me through a newspaper reporter, it wasn‘t emailed to me or mailed to me (unless it’s at the post office as I write this), they claim that one of our mares, Butterfly Kisses, was “chased into” the pen. Nothing could be further from the truth. She was already in the pen and had been there for over 24hrs. We have eye witnesses to prove otherwise. This is the same pen that she has been in numerous of times without incident. They also claim that we “force” them to swim. I have photos to prove that the ponies swim all the time on their own. They also claim that while in the care of the fire Company during round ups that the ponies aren’t provided shade. Again, false and we have photos to prove that we provide shade when necessary. They also claim that while during round ups that no fresh water or food is provided to them. Again, false. There are at least a dozen water troughs at the carnival ground pens and hay is placed quite generously throughout the pen. Again, we have photos to prove that. While these ponies are out in the wild, they also have access to fresh water troughs in case the freshwater ponds are dry in the summer or frozen in the winter. During the winter, extra feed is provided to them. Twice a year, there are two complete vet checks. At these times the ponies get de-wormed, vaccinated for eastern and western west Nile disease, hooves checked, teeth checked and much more. All of the ponies that live out in the wild on the Virginia side of Assateague are microchipped with meticulously kept records of each one. When one is reported to be injured, someone from the pony committee is on the scene within usually a half hour. If the pony needs more care then the pony is brought over by trailer and seen by our vets. Same if a pony is sick. If the pony cannot recover then the pony is humanely euthanized and given a proper burial, not just tossed out on the marsh. At auction, the vet decides which ones can leave their mares at which time. If they are too young, then they go back with their mares until the fall. When each foal leaves our care and goes with their new families, a coggins test is done as well. Once again, while these ponies mean a great deal to the Fire Company, the town and the county financially, we are also human beings who see these gorgeous animals as the beautiful creatures they are and we handle them with the care and respect they deserve. If we did not do this event, these animals would end up over populating, eat themselves out of house and home, suffer diseases and injuries without any help at all. These are the facts about how we do what we do.

Now, I’m just going to throw out some facts about PETA so everyone can be as educated as PETA thinks to
hey are about us. Since 1998 PETA has killed more than 36,000 animals. 95.9% of animals under PETAS care have been killed in one year! Yes, one year! PETA has handed out literature to children with a graphic comic stating that “your mommy kills animals“ while also funding arsonist and terrorist groups. Their own president, Ingrid Newkirk, stated “ it would be lovely if we stopped this whole notion of pets altogether”. Would really love to know if she has any pets herself. In October 2014, members of PETA drove their van to the small town of Parksley, VA right here on the eastern shore and stole a pet dog off the porch of a family by coaxing the dog off the porch with treats. Within hours, the dog was killed. PETA broke two laws that day, larceny and euthanizing an animal before the 5 hold period that is the law for kill-shelters. The family ultimately sued PETA and PETA settled the case with the family for $49,000 dollars. In 2014, PETA killed 2,324 animals of the 2,626 it had acquired. It had a 1% adoption rate. A former PETA field worker testified that workers were mislead in the field, they were told to lie as much as possible to gain access to an animal under the ruse that the animal would be sent out for immediate adoption but instead were immediatelay taken to a kill room. One worker quit on the spot when witnessing healthy, vibrant animals in the kill room. Another former field worker testified the PETAS objective was to get as many animals as possible and the vast marjority was killed. She then testified that she was told to lie by her immediate supervisors to gain access to any animals and then told the same by President Ingrid Newkirk.

So, my friends, there you have it. All of the information I have just provided can be found at huffpost.com/killing animalsPetasopensecret and petakillsanimals.com

I truly believe that what The Chincoteague Vol Fire Co does is good, fair and caring. I have personally been involved going on 29 years. There are many others that have been involved longer than I have and many younger ones coming up through the ranks. Until you have been here, seen it with your own eyes then we ask that you reserve your judgement until you do. I have done my homework and ask that PETA does theirs.

Thank you,
Denise P. Bowden
Public Relations Officer
CVFC
Denise’s response is eloquent and fact filled. Please if you agree with her, email PETA and ask them to stop this relentless onslaught of allegations.

Scritches and extra biscuits for the furry ones! 🐕🐎🐈🐾 Hug them extra tight!

Love your faces!💖

Play nice y’all…

Pony Penning Wrap Up

Wow! What a week it was! Highs, lows, very lows, and everything in between. No doubt the energy during Pony Penning is a natural high that keeps one going. And unless you actually are there, there is no way to describe it accurately.

First off let me apologize for my absence. I was so busy preparing for the events of last week that I really couldn’t wrap my head around posting for this blog. Lots of work went into the week, art wise, and I have to say I am thrilled with the results!

I only took one member of the furry support staff with me. Jeb is the easiest to travel with and Chincoteague is his happy place as well. Everyone else stayed here and from what I was told Sassy was none too happy about being left behind. She tends to be very vocal and I didn’t want her disturbing the other guests at the hotel. Anyhow, they all survived my absence, no matter what they might tell someone else. Fortunately, and surprisingly enough I didn’t come home to yet another four legged addition to our current pack of 6. I believe I would have blown a gasket, stolen Kayla’s key and returned to where I had just left. So, there is something there for which to be thankful!

Reworked Love of Chincoteague 3

Now the good news!!! My design, the Love Chairs with the ponies in them was a huge success. I cannot even tell you how over the moon I am with this! People were in Blue Crab Treasures buying several shirts at a time, plus prints, post cards, and koozies. Sue, nor I had no idea just how big this would be and we both are appreciative to those who have supported our efforts. It was a completely surreal week made more so by a woman in Sue’s shop who wanted her picture taken with me, she said “because you are famous!” I have to say that truly messed with my head. Another good note was the auctioning of my original sketch called “Treasures of Chincoteague.” It was sold at $450.00. I thought I was going to pass out from holding my breath! I was just so happy it sold for more than the price of the framing. I never dreamed it would sell so high! A huge thanks to the person that bought it. I know her and have dealt with her in the past and am so happy she got it, and honored that she would pay that much for it!

Not all of the week was business related. We were able to attend a couple of the Chincoteague Legacy group functions. I was able to make new friends while attending the pony parade. Colleen Murdock is a riot and I am so glad I finally had the chance to meet her. I am also glad to have met Andrew Kozak at the parade. He has commissioned me to do a project that is out of my normal scope, but I am excited to be doing it!

Monday night was the CLG Meet and Greet where I was able to reconnect with old friends and finally meet friends from Facebook. I explained to someone last week that among this amazing group of people, I tend to become a social butterfly, which I am not normally. The ease that I experience among these people is something I don’t generally feel. The CLG bonfire with the McClure sisters, Jody, Meme, Kelly, and Rita, is such a treat and free entertainment at best! I love these ladies to the moon and back, and apparently will be spending my December vacation with them at Grayson Highland state park. At least, that’s what Jody told me I am doing. Hahahaha!!! Love her!

Now I have a bit of a rant….it might tick some folks off, it might even cause them to unfriend me, but I have to comment on this.

Last week on the day of the auction, a tragedy occurred, when a beloved mare, Butterfly Kisses, slipped on some hay and hit the fence at the fairgrounds and she died almost instantly. The events leading up to this freak accident are still quite fuzzy to me. Some say she was being chased by her stallion Riptide, others say she was trying to get to her colt. So, in all honesty, I don’t know what happened. All I know that it was a sad moment in an otherwise, wonderful day, and my heart goes out to her buyback owner. This seems to have set off a firestorm of nastiness, allegations, pot stirring, and name calling that is down right childish and absolutely unnecessary. All it took was one person to unleash the beast!

I think we can all agree that when you have a large group of people there will be questions and some disagreement and petty squabbles, especially when that large group is predominantly women…lol. Yes I am one of them and not ashamed to admit it! And I am not saying that I have agreed with everything that has been done, nor am I saying that I am not happy with the group. I have enjoyed the camaraderie of the group in question. I love many of them and have close connections to many of them. So, this lashing that was made on a public business page on Facebook had me just a bit more than miffed! The accusations made were not based on fact. The woman had no clue about much of the crap she was spewing. Then to make it all more laughable, she expected an apology from the very group she had just ripped to shreds publicly. Are you freaking serious? What makes a person so unhappy that she feels the need to make others as miserable as she seems to be?

Rant over, it’s making my head hurt.

Folks, I must leave you now. Lots to do today! I love you all most ardently! I will be sharing a recipe for a nice and cool treat for your furry ones later.

Love and extra scritches for your furry loves. Remember they love you ,even if you can’t find any redeeming qualities in yourself. By the way, throw them an extra biscuit! And if you are in Chincoteague get those biscuits from Howl Naturale! Jeb loves them!!!

Take care of yourselves while you suffer through your Tuesday, aka Wednesday’s ugly step sister. Be aware of those around you and try to make a stranger smile today, it won’t cost a thing and you will get something out of it as well!

Play nice ya’ll…

Faith of a Mustard Seed…

Good morning all you worker bees! Hump day is here!🐪

I hope you all are up and well rested, ready to face the day at the top of hill, before you start that slide into your weekend. It’s gonna be a good day!

The furry support staff has been fed. Jeb and Sassy are enjoying an after breakfast siesta. Minxy and the Beagle are playing….funny though , every time I go to check on them Minxy immediately quits playing and acts as if she is hiding something. I guess I’m not supposed to know she was acting like a dog. Who knows? Bailey is in Justin’s room waiting patiently for him to come home. The devotion that dog has to that boy is unwaivering.

Have you seen the videos on Facebook of the folks hiding behind the blanket and then “disappearing?” Well, we tried that last night with every dog here. The only one who even reacted at all was Sassy and that was the slightest cock of her head. Jeb literally rolled his eyes, while Minxy pretty much shrugged her shoulders. Bailey immediately went to where Justin was, no guessing, no searching, a straight bee line to his daddy. The puppy, who has the attention span of a gnat, wandered off looking for his next victim to torture, harass, and annoy. So the experiment yielded nothing other than a blanket that needs washing. Maybe the dogs just didnt want to play, maybe they thought it silly. Or maybe they have faith that we aren’t going anywhere. Maybe they know that we wouldn’t leave them here without seeing to their care first.

The faith our pets put in us is the kind of faith we should have in our God. Unswerving, unshakable, and unquestionable is how it should be. Most folks who know me know that I am not a “religious” person. No, I don’t go to church, but that doesn’t mean I don’t believe in God. That doesn’t mean I don’t pray every day or believe as strongly as anyone else who attends every week and goes to every church function. How I choose to worship my God is a private matter, as is yours. I would never presume to say to anyone, you are doing it wrong. God’s presence and role in my life may be and probably is entirely different than yours.

The past month has been a true test of my faith, but I have never blamed God. I’ve never gotten angry, I just have let it roll off my back and kept chugging along. My youngest sister contacted me a month ago. I haven’t seen her in several years. We kept contact via Facebook, but other than that, no contact. When I heard her voice I immediately knew something was wrong. She had been living on the streets of Wilmington, Delaware for almost a year and was too embarrassed to tell anyone. I didn’t hesitate, I made arrangements to get her here as soon as possible. I didn’t worry about how we would manage, I didn’t worry that we live paycheck to paycheck, I didn’t think about anything other than the fact that this is my sister LIVING ON THE STREETS! And I had faith that things would work out. And they have, maybe not as one should think, but I am in no position to tell anyone how to do things or how to walk in his or her shoes.

A few days after my sister came, I was taking my son to work. My car started making a funny sound and then just died. So I’m stuck on the side of the road in basically BFE (Bum F**k Egypt for those who don’t know this Anagram), fortunately I have roadside assistance, so I didn’t freak out. I had someone look at the car the following week and I was charged an arm and a leg, and I think half a kidney, only to be told I was gonna need more money or a new car. For a brief minute, I felt the urge to burst into flames, but I quelled that thought. No sense in allowing the nervous breakdown, I so deserve, to happen, because it won’t change anything except maybe my address, temporarily.

The next test came this past Saturday. I was cleaning the kitchen and doing laundry early Saturday morning. The puppy was at my feet with every move, hoping that at some point he could slip out the door passed me. I can’t put him out while Jeb is out because Jeb would hurt him, and I don’t need that. I had opened the window in the back door to check on the dogs who were out. I went back to the task at hand and a few minutes later realized I didn’t shut the window all the way. Instead of opening the puppy gate all the way I opened it just enough to get through. At that moment the.puppy came barging through. My right foot got caught on the gate and down I went, landing on my left wrist, left hip, and left shoulder. I bumped my head on the door jamb and then again on the floor. When I realized I wasn’t dead, I began to assess the damage. I found my phone in my back pocket and tried to call someone, but my phone was roaming so that wasn’t happening. At that moment I began to bawl like a baby, I mean one of those good old fashioned sobbing sessions. Now here is where some folks might think I’m crazy, but I got a message, not something you can hear, more like a feeling. That message was “I got this…” I ceased the pity party to make sure I got the message. It wasn’t “You’ve got this.” It was “I got this..” Within a matter of minutes my sister showed up. She sprang into action when she realized I was on the floor. When I was up it was decided I needed to see someone. Two broken toes, a sprained hip, a sprained wrist, two good sized knots on my head, and bruised ribs later I was back home. How I didn’t break anything else is a wonder to me. Not that I am questioning it, I’m just surprised. I’m on the mend now, things are beginning to feel a little better and I can sit in a chair for more than a few minutes without pain. But even after everything that has occurred all I can think about is that brief feeling of “I got this..” And it wasn’t a me ” I got this..” it didn’t come from me. I believe it was God saying, “calm down, its gonna be ok, I got you..” Since then, I have experienced a serenity that I have never felt before. Instead of focusing on the disasters and negative in my life, I am thinking about the positives! I sold a painting yesterday! My art work won an award! My blog is up and running! My Love Chairs design is being made in to t-shirts and prints!! I get to go to my happy place this weekend, on someone else’s dime! And while some might view my attitude towards this past month as apathetic, I’m thinking SO WHAT? I think oftentimes what is judged as apathy is a self protective mode, that keeps someone from losing their mind.

Evidently God has a plan for me that he hasn’t yet revealed to me. So, I’m just gonna do what I do and let him do what he does. Why fight it?

Well…that’s all I have today. My art table is full and I need to get to steppin’!

You all enjoy your day! Don’t forget the scritches for the the furry loves. I love you all most ardently! A huge shout out and thank you to my dear friend, Tammy Ham for today’s blog title.

I’m leaving you with the painting that was sold yesterday before the paint dried. Also, check out my Recipes You Should Try Page, I will be posting my recipe for Sheikh el Meiche. It is a Lebanese recipe for stuffed eggplant taught to me by my late mother in law. It is amazing!

Play nice y’all…

Ace’s Black Tie Affair

Ermahgerd!! Kerrerts!!!

Good morning my peeps! Welcome to your Tuesday! I kind of think of Tuesday as Wednesday’s ugly little sister. Not quite as obnoxious as Monday, but still ugly. Bahahaha! And welcome to the insanity in my head!

It’s raining on my little acre this morning, much to the dismay of the furry support staff. This has left most of them quite grumpy, as they all grumble their frustrations to each other throughout the house. One can only imagine what exactly they are saying, but I’m quite sure if there is any cursing going on it’s Jeb and Sassy. Their level of anxiety seems just a bit extra. So, yesterday evening I was puttering around the kitchen, fixing dinner, and putting dishes away. When I opened the refrigerator I realized that I had forgotten to chop up my carrots when I brought the groceries home. I took them out so I could complete the task.. First, let me tell you, my normally civil dogs will knock someone down for a carrot. They are a good treat for them, they are far less expensive than anything you can get in the grocery store, and they are healthy (FYI…my dogs will not touch baby carrots. I’ve tried several brands. After some research i discovered that baby carrots are soaked in a bleach solution and then in another solution for color). I took out my knife and cutting board and began chopping. At the sound of the first chop, Bailey came running out of my son’s room like a little kid on Christmas morning. The look on his face was sheer excitement! All I could think of is this cute gif with the little rabbit that says “Ermahgerd!! Kerrerts!!!” He sat at my feet anxiously as I cut them up, so I had to give him some. I believe he would have eaten until he burst. It’s funny how small things can be a source of absolute joy. Maybe I should maybe I should get those “kerrits!” out now to quiet some of the grumbling.

Often in life, it is the simple things that mean the most. Things that don’t cost a penny, can have a larger impact than any expensive gift. A seemingly minute phrase can somehow make someone’s day better. An occasional “way to go,” or “you look nice today,” can lift someone’s spirits and for all you know may have come just at the right moment for that person. I did an experiment one morning on my way to work. I smiled and spoke to every single person with whom I came into contact. The results were amazing! I only had one person look at me like I was the village idiot, but the majority of the responses were positive and genuine. Oftentimes, simply smiling at a stranger can make his or her day. And guess what, it didn’t cost a thing, except maybe a second of your time. What it all boils down to is, people may not remember or even know your name, they may not remember exactly what you said, heck they may not even recognize you the next time your paths cross. But they will remember how you made them feel! Try it sometime, I promise you will discover that it makes you feel good as well.

Ok folks that is all I have for today. Got lots to do before I head to my happy place this weekend. I will be posting a recipe for gingerbread dog biscuits on the Recipes You Want To Try site  page here shortly. Your furry ones will love them!! Throw them a couple when your done baking them. I mean, ya know, wait until they cool first! Extra scritches are in order as well!

Enjoy your day! I love you all most ardently. Let me know you are out there please by commenting or liking my blog. I’m leaving you with a look at my newest painting called “Two Hearts Healed.” Let me know what you think. It is still in progress, but I am loving it!

Play nice y’all…

Mystery…

Good Sunday morning all my peeps! It’s gonna be a gorgeous day, I hope you all are able to take advantage. In a perfect world I would be sitting on a beach, preferably Assateague Island Beach, but as you all know this world is not perfect. I woke up this morning feeling quite like I had been hit by a bus. Every joint and muscle on my left side is either sore or swollen or sore and swollen. But as I heard my dad tell someone, “I woke up on the green side of the grass!” That my friends is enough for me!

This morning the furry support staff is quite groggy, except the old one. Jeb loves to be outside and he is the only one I have to bribe, coerce, or trick to get inside at night. Minxy and Bailey have gone into to hiding to avoid being tortured by the puppy. And Sassy’s anti-social self is laying by her food bowl daring anyone to come near it. I changed their food to the Rachel Ray Nutrish with Turkey and Venison yesterday. I can already see a difference in how they like it. The only one that didn’t clean their bowl is Sassy, and I guess that’s so she will have something to protect.

My goal for today is to finish painting 15 scallop shells with ponies on them. I’m hoping I didn’t aim too high, but I will do my best.

Right now foaling season is winding down on Assateague Island in Virginia. So far 50+ foals have been born. The majority of the foals will be auctioned off at the Pony Penning auction at the end of July. There will be a few kept as buybacks, which are foals chosen to remain on the island.for the rest of their lives. As the new foals are born and chronicled mostly by DSC photographers Darcy and Steve Cole, those of us who can’t be there get to see them and choose our favorites. This year however, a mystery has occurred. Let me tell you the story as best I can. A bay mare named Bay Girl had a foal in the southern corrals on the refuge. It had been a tough winter and poor Bay Girl was thin and pitiful looking but she managed to give birth in her weakened condition. The foal was small and weak so mother and son were moved to a place where they could be monitored closely. A few days later the foal passed. Bay Girl was kept at the carnival grounds so that she could receive nourishment. About the same time it was reported that the mare Misty Mills had refused her foal and wouldn’t allow it to nurse, so it was picked up and brought to the same location as Bay Girl. The colt, a pretty little bay pinto thing,  was introduced to Bay Girl and she accepted it as her own. Two hearts healed!

Now here is where the mystery lies.It began with the coloring of the foal. Misty Mills, who has always been in the liver chestnut pinto stallion, Puzzle’s band could not produce a bay foal, if Puzzle indeed was the sire. There was always the possibility that another stallion sneaked in and left a depost, but not likely. Then, two weeks ago , my bestie, her sister, my daughter and I visited the island and went on one of Captain Dan’s Island Tours. We saw lots of ponies, but as we pulled up to one location out front and center was Misty Mills with a fresh, only a few hours old filly at her side. Captain Dan and I were both perplexed! So here we have a mare who had been wrongly accused of rejecting her foal a few weeks earlier with a brand new filly. Someone owes that girl an apology!

So, where did the colt with Bay Girl come from? No one will probably ever know. There will be speculations, I’m sure, but no one will ever be 100% sure. It really doesn’t matter anyway, he showed up just at the right time for Bay Girl. I think his name should be Riddle Me This? Isn’t it funny how Mother Nature works? Had the timing off these events been off by a few days, the outcome might have been very different and tragic. The Lord works in mysterious ways… This story sounds like a Lois Szymanski book in the making. The beautiful Bay Girl and Riddler photos were taken by Steffie Rau. The Misty Mills and filly photo is mine.

Well I’m outta here. Gotta get on those shells!

Y’all enjoy what’s left of your weekend, and don’t worry about Monday arriving in less than 24 hours. Bahahaha!

Make sure you spend time with the furry ones! Lots of scritches and an extra biscuit, just because it’s Sunday!

Play nice y’all…

Bay Girl and Riddler

Riddler

The completely exonerated Misty Mills and her newly born filly

Heatwave

Good morning all you lightly roasted folks!! Welcome to your Friday! Hope you all are managing to stay hydrated and cool. This current heatwave is no joke!! Even the wasps and flies have settled down a bit here during the day. Last night we had one heck of a storm. I guess it was around 1 am. I had fallen asleep in the living room while working on a project. Suddenly, I had a 50 pound Aussie and a 45 pound Aussie in my lap, while the Beagle puppy, who has no concept of fear was trying to figure out where to fit himself in the pile. No, he wasn’t scared, he thought it was a new game, I’m sure. Thankfully, the other two were in my room or I would be having to replace a chair today.

The majority of the furry support staff is moving kind of slow this morning, but grateful the thunder monster didn’t get them. The exception is the puppy, of course, who is running around like a lunatic, completely oblivious to anything.

Love Chairs,

The picture above is my new design featuring the Love Chairs at Robert Reed park on Chincoteague Island with a Chincoteague pony in each chair.  The ponies are Surfer Dude; his daughter, CLG Surfer’s Blue Moon; his son, Surfer Dude’s Riptide; and his daughter, Surfer Princess. Right now it is available in prints and t shirts and hopefully soon, there will be coffee mugs. Should the design go well, the plan is to have a contest to name the ponies that will be occupying the chairs next year. Shirts will be available at Blue Crab Treasures on Chincoteague Island. Or you can order them from the Blue Crab Treasure Chest on Facebook.

DSC02016

This gem is one of my personal best and favorites, featuring Chinoteague pony stallion Ajax.  Love his white tail!!! It’s an 11×14 acrylic on framed canvas and is available for purchase at the CorgiNuts Sketches Facebook page.

Ok now that business is out of the way, let’s chat….

Today’s subject is “the hypocrisy of the elite.” I know, I picked a doozy today. Sure to start an argument somewhere, but I’m a rebel like that. LOL! generally I stay away from politics because I feel that how you vote is your business and all politicians have an agenda, I don’t care how sincere or humble they appear. One may start out with an objective geared towards helping his or her own community, city , or state, but they all end up going with the crowd. The ones that stick in my craw are the Hollywood and celebrity elite trying to tell us “commoners how to feel, think, or vote.” Nothing ticks me off more than to hear the like of Whoppi Goldberg, Michael Moore, or Robert DeNiro mouthing off about the President or the actions of Congress, or any other thing in the country that offends them.  First of all, the treason that has been allowed to occur since the President took office is absolutely unacceptable.  When you have images on t-shirts of the President’s brains being blown out, or someone makes threats towards his young son and wife, there is something seriously wrong. The latest threat against his son is absolutely vile, and all by someone who used celebrity to get the point across. If someone, not in the spotlight had done any of this, the FBI would be so far up his or her rear end and enema wouldn’t be able to fix it. Secondly, the grandstanding at awards shows and such has become ridiculous. Honestly, if you make great music, or are a great actor, I will listen or watch. But I don’t give a rat’s ass about your politics.  Here’s the thing, if it wasn’t for the public interest, these folks would be in the same boat the majority of American’s are in, living paycheck to paycheck, and making ends meet the best way they know how. But by some stroke of luck, whether born into it, or struggled up to it, these are the folks we have chosen as our “idols,” in many cases, kind of a sad lot.

So I leave you with this, if you don’t like our President that’s just fine and dandy. you are not expected to do so. But at the end of the day, he is still your President, no matter how many times you say he’s not, if you are citizen of these United States, yes indeed he is! You don’t have to agree with his policies, you don’t have to like his past shenanigans, you don’t have to like his son, his wife, or his dog even ( if he has one). But I do expect that you should respect the office and not commit treason without some kind of consequence.

Ok folks. rant over!! Whew! Had to rein myself in on that one. So, I hope you all enjoy your Friday and are able to slide into your weekends smoothly and without obstruction. Be aware of the heat and keep yourself cool as best you can.

How about extra scritches and maybe a long walk or ride for the furry ones. They have waited all week for you to be off!

Hey check out the other pages on this blog, including an introduction to the furry support staff, recipes, and my artwork page! Oh and I left ya’ll the recipe for my Not Your Mom’s Shepherds Pie. Check it out on my Recipes you want to try page.

I love you all most ardently! And I know it’s hard, especially when it’s hot and muggy, and someone is straight ticking you off, but please keep in mind….

Play nice ya’ll…

DSC00884

My daughter Kayla on Assateague Island the morning after Christmas 2017