Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Whirlwind Spring!

My blog has a new look. As you know, I am totally techno challenged so Jan helped me understand the necessary steps to get started with my blog a few months ago. The banner was a watercolor that Jan had given me for my 60th birthday. (She knows about my bird rehab, and how much I love blue birds & ravens in particular....so it was a logical choice for a banner.) Now I've decided it is time that the banner reflect a bit more of me -- does that make any sense? And I felt like a fraud using someone else's artwork on my blog. I DO make art -- just not very often anymore. So until I actually create something of my own -- I asked Susan Tuttle to design something with my spirit. She asked me about 10 questions and ZAP -- I had a new banner! I love it so much, that we are working to create a new website using the format. Cool, huh?!

What an incredible whirlwind we have been on! Just before leaving to go to Asilomar, Vonnie & I decided to rescue a very pregnant mare. She was on pasture, extremely skinny and in desperate need of immediate care. We returned from Asilomar on Thursday, April 16 and on the 17th we brought Zahara to her new home. She is a beautiful little Arab, just the right size for Abigail.

The vet examined her and we immediately got her on decent food and supplements. It didn’t take her long to learn that Abby was the key to the treats and she would nicker when Abby entered the barn.

Vonnie & I were scheduled to leave for Virginia on the 28th and as the week progressed, we began to realize that Zahara was ready to foal. The vet confirmed that delivery was imminent and we were in a quandary! A malnourished mare could have complications, or the foal could be sickly. Poor Derek didn’t sign on to be an animal nurse, but he was willing to learn and do whatever necessary to help us.

At 12:30 am, April 27, DEXTER was born. Our little 14.5 hand mare gave birth to a whopping big stud colt. My first grandhorse. We watched in awe as he struggled to get his gangly legs under control and to stand up. Zahara encouraged him to get into positon to nurse and he immediately began to suckle greedily. Our vet arrived in the late morning to examine both patients and we learned that Zahara was not producing enough milk for the baby. This was due to her poor condition, but it was imperative that something be done immediately. It is not recommended that you bottle feed a foal—first of all, it is very time consuming – but most importantly, the horse can become a bit unruly as it matures. The solution was to locate a very expensive and rare supplement to give Zahara and begin the treatment that day.

Now we were really in a pickle. Due to fly out the next morning, we couldn’t leave the horses without someone who understood the situation to care for them. I desperately needed Vonnie with me for the first few days in VA – and then I felt that she could leave me to head for home. And then, as life happens, everything fell into place as we were able to find an actual “horse sitter”. (Derek was hoping that she would also cook dinner – but no luck for him.) It was a fabulous solution and I’m happy to say that Zahara and Dexter are doing great.

Dexter at 4 hours old. And poor Zahara -- she was so skinny.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Hampton, VA

Virginia has just been the BEST! Each event is special in its own unique way – its hard to describe, but those who are fortunate enough to attend Art & Soul at different locations will understand what I am saying.

Maria has outdone herself with the store! We have everything but the kitchen sink – oh wait a minute – I think we have a miniature one in the vintage ephemera section. The hottest item has been the new DG3 art gel. She has sold over 400 bottles. The make-and-takes have been a huge success. Attendees are grabbing lunch and then rushing to the store to make something new and fun. It has been a great place to gather, make new friends and review the day. Our thanks to US Artquest for donating the supplies for our projects.

The weather has been very cooperative after the tornado on Monday. Suffolk is only a short 20 minutes away and they were hit hard. The proceeds from our Silent Auction will be donated to the Suffolk Tornado Relief Fund.

As with the Asilomar attendees, our VA gals have outdone themselves with the ‘special project’. I am continually amazed at how everyone interprets each item and the creativity that is expressed. Portland – you have a challenge ahead of you!

And once again, Vendor Night was amazing! It was a purchasing frenzy and exciting to watch. There was no room for me and the scooter to navigate the room – it was wall to wall women (with a few very tolerant husbands thrown in). There was so much incredible art -- wish I had a bazillion dollars to spend.

Sadly, it is time to begin packing for the return home. But we will have fond memories of 08 and fresh ideas to implement for 09!