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Sunday, August 29, 2010

OK Who's Got the Voodoo Doll

Eak, what a week.  I told you all about the loveliness I was experiencing, so here's what's going on at the barn.  A 15 year old quarter horse, beautiful eventing horse, had a stroke and had to be put down.  The most adorable little two year old morgan, with the best disposition, developed navicular disease and he's going to the vet on tomorrow for an MRI  in order to determine whether he's sound enough to be able to be a pasture ornament for a few years or if he's going to have to  be put down then and there. 

Then there's my about to deliver any minute neice/summer daughter, Laura, whe developed bad kidney stones and had to be rushed to the ER.

This whole mess has me in an organizing frenzy, the likes of which I haven't been in since Hurricane Isabelle. When all hell breaks loose, I get a wonderful calm from organizing my earrings and makeup brushes, cleaning out my horses's brushes and other doo dads, and taking my car to the autospa.

I'm going to leave you with a happy picture of Leslie and her horse Grace.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

I'm Back

Well you know they say that bad things happen in threes.  Well last Friday we buried my Aunt, last Saturday we buried the air conditioner and Tuesday we buried the refrigerator and the internet has not been working right.  Hopefully it's fixed.  So if anybody wondered why I wasn't posting, or commenting that's the reason.  You never know how much you rely on something, until you don't have it.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

It's A Girl

Rachel, my equine vet came by today and gave Kitt her final ultrasound. It was so cool, all of the parts are there.  She's a little over three inches long and she has a head, a neck,  a body  four little legs and a teensy tail.  Her little heart was beating and we saw her liver, brain and spine. Her little tummy and legs are so cute.

Rachel said, "oh look, there the definitive female marker." Well folks, I guess she knew what she was looking at, but it didn't look like any female body part I've ever seen, but then what do I know?

Little Miss Pixie (That's her nickname, because I haven't decided what her fancy pants registered quarter horse name will be,) was not happy with the whole ultrasound process.  Every time Rachel would move it close to her, Pixie would kick her little legs and try to swim away. "Well isn't she the feisty one," Rachel kept saying. "She doesn't like this at all."

Poor Kitt who was having all of this done rectally, wasn't too thrilled  with the process either.  But the equine grandmom and aunties, two of my best friends who have known Kitt forever and were there, were beside themselves. Little Pixie is so cute and I can hardly wait for May.

PS:  I videoed this with my Nikon P80 and somehow the film was erased.  I didn't do it.  It happened in my purse.  Does anyone have a clue how this happened.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Caught Between the Devil and the Deep Blue

My mother's twin sister died on Monday. She was not a nice person and I have to tell you that my brother and I are singing "Ding Dong the Witch is dead." She was, however extremely socially prominent and my cousins decided that it was socially inconvenient to bury her until tomorrow.  So I have had to deal with my mother's mixed feelings all week. Tomorrow I have to deal with them. I was always the pretty one and they were the executives, so I had better be prettier than they are. That is so lame, I can't deal with it. When you're in your fifties, how can you possibly be pretty. Why can't we talk about artistic talent, but no it's either money or looks with this crowd.

Then there's my niece.  I think she's going to deliver this weekend, fingers and toes crossed.  She's scared to death and calling me twice a day every day. So I spend my time calming her down and jollying up mother. And Tom, who's been working 24/7, trying to manage a crew in India, got to get away for a fishing trip, so I am left all alone to deal with this.

Oh yes, I've got the client from hell, who I'm probably going to tell, "I think you need to think about what it is you want and when you've decided, call me.

And then there are the five orthopedic surgeons whose applications I don't have who have to be on staff by September 1st., So if I'm absent, please forgive.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Starting a Photographic Career 2

Ok guys, here's what I'd like you to do this week.  Decide what aspect of photography you'd like to specialize in and then go and take at least one shot as if you were being paid to do it or you were doing it for a gallery show.  Then I'd like to take a look at them.  Now I can just hear it , "Maia, I'm not good enough. " Well trust me you couldn't be as bad as I was when I started out.  I was good at composition, but I'd forgotten everything techincal I'd ever learned and I had a copy of photoshop that I had no clue how to use. Or then there's the ever popular," I don't have a pro camera."  Well guess what, neither did I when I was starting out. 

I took me over a year of taking the most godawful shots you can imagine.  I have very forgiving freiends, neighbors and barnmates.  But I eventually got better. Here are the two shots that took me over the top and I shot them both with, I think was a 3mp Olympus prosumer camera.

I decided that I wanted to shoot weddings and horses and so I dressed up Tina, my neighbor's daugher as a flower girl and I volunteered at a horse show.  That's what I was doing every single week, trying and usually failing to take the type of shots I wanted to eventually be paid to do.

Clients and galleries are not going to come knocking on your door, I want you to get out and get started. Getting started sets a certain energy in place that eventually will bring the clients, trust me.

And remember if you are not taking the bad shots you will never take the great ones.

Happy shooting

Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Big Time Rant Please Read

I really don't like doing things like this, but what happened to me today was so god awful, I need to let all of you guys out west know. We have a Dover Saddlery shop right across the street from where I live.  I went over there to get a few things that Miss Kitt needed. And then I thought let's see about a foal halter. I know it's early, but I thought, well I'll just look.  The sales associate asked me what kind of foal we were having. Dumb me, I thought male or female. So I said, I don't know and I won't until the vet runs her tests. And then  she said, no I mean what breed. And I, whom an so proud of my girl and the stallion said "quarter horse." Guys, she acted like I farted, like a quarter horse was so beneath her that she was so appalled she was dealing with me.

Please ask you tack shop if they have an affiliation with Dover Saddlery, because they have a western branch and then remember Dover Saddlery hates Quarter Horses.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Photo Career Part 1

Tommy told me that not everybody works in an inner city hospital and is just fascinated with parasites, diseases and gore.  Why don't you blog about how you got started in photography, it's quite a story, Ok, so here we go.As some of you may know, I worked in the Letters to the Editor Department of the National Geographic. That was back in the neolithic period, which we needn't give a definitive year to.  And for something to do, I took the photography course which I just loved. But I was going to be a writer. This was just a hobby. So what, the senior editors loved my work. The really important thing was writing.

One day at lunch, when I was sorting through my slides and talking about my latest idea for a romance novel, my good friend Ann said, "Maia, when are you going to wake up and see the truth, you are not a writer, you are a photographer.  Look at these shots, they're gorgeous, and quite frankly, your writing isn't all that hot." I dismissed that. Photography was fun. It had always been fun, but I was a writer.

By the time September 11, 2001 arrived, I had tried and tried to be a writer. I had some small successes  and some horrendous failures. Ann was on the plane that went into the Pentagon. As I watched the National Geographic tribute to her. and they played Somewhere Over the Rainbow, I heard her again say, as if she was sitting right next to me, "Maia you are a photographer."

After I stopped crying, I knew in my heart she right.  And I so I decided to be one.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Bedbugs and Dust Mites and Rodents, Oh My Part 1 - Bedbugs

First of all I do not now, have ever had in the past, or anticipate having bedbugs in the future. But Baltimore and surrounding areas seem to be infested.  On the local evening news, we've had tales of woe from various and sundry folks like the megamillionaire estate owner,whose face and voice were obscured like she was some kind of mafia informer, who's had the exterminators out five times no avail; to the poor guy who gave away all of his possessions, walked away from his condo and shaved his head because of an infestation.  Wouldn't you hate to be the realtor handling that sale?

Since both of these poor souls got their bedbugs while traveling, we now have had a spate of information on how to travel during these insect driven times. So since I don't think you guys out west have this problem yet, I decided to share some of the bedbug info.

Since it would probably be a very bad idea to go up to the front desk of whatever hotel, motel, spa or lodge in which you are staying and ask, in a very loud voice, about the establishment's bedbug status, there are new rules for the intrepid traveler.

First, when arriving at your room, leave your suitcases in the hall outside of the door.  It helps if you have a traveling companion who can watch the luggage while you walk into the room barefoot.  A bedbug can lodge itself in the crease of your shoe, so it's best to leave your shoes outside.

Then carrying a flashlight, proceed to the bed where you will basically strip it down layer by layer, carefully inspecting for any red insects the size of an apple seed.  Then turn your attention to any upholstered furniture, making sure none of the sneaky little devils aren't lurking there.  If the room is all clean, it's more or less safe to bring in your suitcases.  Of course your going to have to remake the bed. But this is the price you pay for travelling.  If on the other hand you see any bedbugs, report it immediately to the management. Now here's where things get tricky.  You are supposed to get rid of all of the clothes and shoes you are wearing.  Not just take them off but trash them.  No one says where you are to do this.  Do you do it in the infested room and run out naked out into the hall where you quickly change your clothes. Or do you go into a public restroom and change your clothes and shoes, leaving the potentially infested items in the trash. No one has been very clear about this.  When I get the definitive answer, I'll certainly let you know.

Upon arriving home you have a new routine to follow.  Since bedbugs can be anywhere and you could have potentially gotten one in your shoe in that public restroom where someone has just trashed their clothes. You do not take your potentially bedbug infested suitcases full of potentially infested clothes into the house .  No, you open up your suitcases and immediately sort your clothes, including the ones you are wearing, into two piles, wash and dry clean.  Opening up the box of large trash bags which you should carry with you at all times, you dump your clothes into the bags and stick your suitcase in a construction sized bag.  Then stark naked you can proceed into your house and  go to your laundry room where you wash your wash pile in the hottest water you have. Oh yes you have to set your water heater to at least 130 degrees, because only water at the temperature will kill bedbugs.  Now I don't know about how things are where you live, but I could get arrested for running around my neighborhood the way God made me.

This is all so confusing, it sort of makes you want to stay home.  But wait, we will soon be talking about dust mites.