Friday, November 17, 2017

Holiday Shopping

Need a unique, one of a kind gift for someone on your holiday list? 
Check out this Etsy shop, BashandStorm.


The shop owner sews a variety of bags - handbags, tote bags, etc. She uses unique fabric and all her bags are very well made and of a high quality plus the prices are very reasonable. Her work is amazing. How can someone sew a straight line like that???


The shop is named after her son, Bash, and their kitty, Storm. She is a military wife, and hubby and I have 'adopted' her and her family. Give the shop a look-see. You never know what you'll find....

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

Marketing 101


Over the summer I attended a seminar about Marketing for the artist. It was sponsored by Cottonwood Center for the Arts.

The panel of experts consisted of the heads of two local tv stations and two local newspapers, along with reps of an advertising agency and a local gallery. They were all knowledgeable, friendly and very willing to share their experience and expetise with those in attendance. And I wanted to share what I found out with you.

Marketing is a necessary part of selling anything - books, artwork, tangible or intangible items. Marketing oneself can be hard. But who knows you and your product better than YOU! So YOU are the best one equipped to market yourself and your goods.

The biggest part of marketing something is getting the public to know about you and your item. The more interesting you are (life experiences, places lived, etc.), then it is more likely that the public will take notice of you and/or your work. 
Blogging was, and still is, a great way for the public to learn about you and whatever you create.  Social media is also another almost imperative publicity outlet in today's marketplace.  

Here are some pointers when writing a press release or a notice for a media outlet.

  • ·         Cater your story to the media outlet - A write-up for a social media source may be shorter and more personal than one for a newspaper
  • ·         Create a human interest story – go behind the scenes of the person (YOU!) written about in the press release
  • ·         Write the press release with people in mind – create a hook to draw them in
  • ·        Press releases or articles should only be one page – short and concise, important info at the top, do not stray from topic, boiler plate info at bottom
  • ·         Press release should be one paragraph for tv coverage
  • ·         Add pictures or video to online press releases - use metatags (labels) to increase visibility, online press releases (via Facebook, Twitter, or online media calendars) receive approx. 3x the views as printed matter (newspapers, magazines)
  • ·         Create an ongoing relationship with media or business organizations
  • ·         Collaboration with others increases visibility
  • ·         Provide quality material to leave a quality impression

Friday, November 10, 2017

In Memorium.......

Elvira
2007- 2017


A mommy dog you were
Teaching kids to walk by holding onto your fur.

You raised a batch of puppies with patience and with love
You may now rest, the coos you hear are doves.

May your food bowl always be full
May you run and play and cavort.
Elvira we miss you.
But you will always be in our heart.



Purz and Catnip Dreams.......Gomez

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Unwritten Law

For about as long as I can remember, it has always snowed before or on Halloween in Colorado. It is rare to get a Halloween without snow or cold or wind. 

I think it is some kind of unwritten law in Colorado to have it snow on Halloween. And this year was no disappointment.


We didn't get much snow, more like icy precipitation. But it was really pretty as the sun came up on Halloween day.


The other unwritten law in Colorado is that radio stations must play "Riding the Storm Out" by REO Speedwagon when the weather is stormy.

Monday, October 30, 2017

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

What's it?

After the first flood at our cabin location, we found this track in the mud in the driveway. It was the only track we found.  What is your guess?



Monday, October 23, 2017

All That Glitters...

Is not Gold! Hubby and I thought we might get lucky after the floods this past summer and find a flake or two of gold in our stream. HA! We only found mica. But it was still fun.


Thursday, October 19, 2017

The View...


From my kitchen window...
Both with and without snow
.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Her Name

Our home is next door to a large Victorian home which is owned by the City of Cripple Creek. It is used as housing for the actors, actresses and stage crew for the local repertory theater, The Butte Theater.


The house is only inhabited 6 months out of the year. So it is almost like not having neighbors. This year's crew has been fun and our dogs have greatly enjoyed the extra hands which so eagerly reach over the fence to pet them. 

View of The Victorian Lady from my side yard
The house is gorgeous, with leaded windows and all sorts of detail work. It was built in 1898 by a Charles N. Miller. The house has been named The Victorian Lady. 


Well, not wanting our lovely home to feel left out, hubby named our house The Painted Lady. While the name may reference the "Women of the Night', it is in no way derogatory. The women who worked the bordellos were often kind hearted and generous. And very much misunderstood. But that is all for another post...

Friday, October 13, 2017

And Now For the Magick...


What better post to make on Friday, the 13th? 
But one about magick. 

When we went looking for our new home, it was mid-summer and the real estate market was in prime 'sales' season. Houses were not lasting long on the market. Anywhere. We knew we would have to act quickly when we found a place we liked. We didn't want to live in town nor out on the eastern plains. So to the mountains we went. We looked at a lot of places. But we kept gravitating back to Cripple Creek. 

The Painted Lady
We made an offer on a cute, newly remodeled home built in the early 1900's. But someone else had put in a bid at the same time. They got the house. So back to looking we went. This time we decided on a house only a block from the first one. We wondered why no one had snatched it up. It had been on the market for 5 months. It had been remodeled in 2000 and was nice inside and out. There was a fenced yard, nice flower beds, and needed next to no work done on it.  We decided The Painted Lady had been waiting for us.  

Viola a.k.a. Johnny Jump Up
Upon closer inspection of the yard around our new home, I discovered an abundance of violas. They were growing everywhere! Violas belong to the Violet family. And I have found that the homes we have lived in where 'magick' was afoot, there were always violets or violas growing. Interestingly, Violets are associated with death and rebirth. Very much like what we were going through - a symbolic death and rebirth. A new life in a new home.

Violets
And herbs were growing wherever they had a mind to grow. The flower beds, the parking area in back, even surviving the constant nibbling in the front flower beds (outside the fence). I have yarrow, comfrey, horseradish, chives, mint, and probably several others I haven't discovered as yet.  And by the old fashioned mailbox near the bottom of the steps is a very large clump of white sage. 

Fox across the street
Animals are frequent visitors. The first night we were in our new home, Hubby went out to the truck after dark to get something when he was run over by a very robust raccoon. And when I say, "Run Over", I mean literally. Hubby had turned to close the door of the truck when a raccoon ran into his leg. Thinking it was a dog or cat, Hubby reached down to pet it and turned his flashlight on the animal, only to be quite surprised to see the nocturnal wanderer. Deer have come to my back fence to partake of the trees and bushes I had in pots. A fox sits across the street almost every evening, staring at our dogs in the yard.


Almost like a faery tale, but this time there are no trolls or ogres. 
Next week, I will post about the enchantment of the area and how our house got her name. 

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Chemtrails, Climate Change, & Chipmunks

Wait... WHAT?!?

You're probably wondering what that title has to do with our journey West to our new home. Please read further....



I've written before about Chemtrails. They are a very controversial subject. Either a person believes or they don't.  Are Chemtrails to blame for the intense weather we have now? Or is it the pollution? For whatever the reason, everyone will readily admit that the Earth's climate is changing. And it is not always changing for the better.

It was a rainy summer here in the mountains of Colorado. Shortly after receiving the news of the sale of the rental, torrential rains began occurring almost weekly. After the first torrential rainstorm, we went to our property to assess what it would take to complete the small cabin and deck for the tipi. We were flabbergasted to find that there had been a flash flood go down our little valley.  This was going to be the first of at least three flash floods which roared down our valley.

Logs, debris, & remainder of building materials near trailer 
We found logs and other debris washed up very close to the little trailer (right up to the concrete steps!) we had parked on the road side of the creek. This tangled mess of flotsam had been washed over our driveway! The driveway is about 8ft - 10ft above the creek! Our minds could not wrap around the amount of water it would have taken to float this mess that high. We were amazed, dumb-founded, and disheartened. Our driveway integrity had been compromised.


Sand & gravel deposited over bushes by stream
The concrete bench I made and had placed near the creek was found about 100 yards downstream. The bench weighs in excess of 200 pounds! The pile of building materials we had accumulated was now scattered from our place to almost a quarter mile downstream. There are still things I have not found, nor will I. They are probably buried beneath a mound of gravel or mud. 



A lot of work is now required to not only clean up the various wood piles which litter the landscape but our driveway is going to have to be rebuilt. We had planned on doing that, but not for some time. And now with winter knocking on our door, the first snows to the mountains came in early August this year - though the snow did melt within a day, we weren't prepared in tackling the necessary construction in such a hurried manner.


4ft tall bushes flattened by the water & debris
So, our plans to stay in the tipi were put on hold and we went house hunting. Our plan has been modified. We are still going to make improvements on our cabin to make it habitable year round and we will build a deck for the tipi. But as far as living there, it will be our retirement years before we make that move.

What about the chipmunks you ask? The population has drastically deceased. The extreme rains flooded there burrows and either forced them to move or led to their demise. There are still some of the cute little guys scurrying about, just not as many. But chipmunks are like rabbits, they repopulate quickly.

Monday, October 9, 2017

The Donkeys of Cripple Creek

Or rather, "Why there are farm animals walking down my sidewalk"....


I have written about the Donkeys of Cripple Creek before. They are a common site around town in the warmer months. Click Here! 


The Donkey was the companion of early day miners. This pack animal was surefooted over treacherous mountain trails and could carry approx. 1/4 of its body weight. Miners would use the burro to carry their supplies and equipment to and from their mining claim. Quite often the burros would get loose or stray from their owners. These donkeys formed the foundation of many of the wild burro herds found around the United States. 

The story - Tourists to the Cripple Creek area are told that the local Donkeys are ancestors of the donkeys brought here by early prospectors. 

The truth - The Donkeys seen around town have all come from various donkey rescue organizations. The City of Cripple Creek maintains (paying for their health care and feed) a herd of 15 individuals. When a herd member is lost due to illness or age, then another burro is acquired. Sometimes when a new member is adopted, a 'bonus' is also included. This past year, two new females were adopted who were both pregnant and they gave birth this past Spring.


During warm weather the Donkeys are left to roam around town, making themselves at home wherever they please. Munching on grass and fertilizing lawns and flower beds. The Donkey herd is quite an attraction for visitors, who might never be able to see this clever creature up close and personal.  During the winter, the burro herd is corralled at the local rodeo grounds.


And that is why there are farm animals walking down my sidewalk. A tribute to the legacy which helped build this town.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Since We Last Spoke...

Life is a constant state of flux. Ruts are nice but a person doesn't ever have a chance to grow and evolve unless there are challenges. 

When we last spoke, I was working in an autobody shop paint department. I enjoyed my work. And was quite good at it. But if there is one thing I have learned from working in the auto industry off and on for years, is that there is always drama in the workplace. One big soap opera! I tried my darndest to steer clear of all the drama queens. Just kept my head down and did my work. I saw so many injustices - bullying, inequality with work loads, etc. But when it affected me, I had to take a stance for what was right. I quit and told the boss the reason I quit. Amazingly, things did change (some what) for a time. 

But I didn't go back. I moved forward. I threw myself into my writing and turned out two more books, which can be found on Amazon Kindle. But then, something else happened. Something which was unexpected and yet, not so much. And I then understood why the situation at work occurred and why I quit.

You see, I believe that things happen for a reason. We are not left to chance. The Universe gives us what we need when we need it. The Universe provides opportunities for us to grow, to learn, to develop. If I had continued working, Hubby and I would not have been able to get done in two months what we did - find a place to live, pack up the house, and tie up loose ends in the city.

We had a rental in Colorado Springs. Our landlords had both died in the last three months of 2016. Their daughter inherited the rentals. She decided to sell all the rentals at the beginning of summer. We did not wish to purchase the rental we were living in. The search for a house became our prime objective.  We knew we had a short amount of time to find a place to live. Completing the cabin on our mountain property, which had been our first plan, was not an option. (I will expand more on that next week!)

The housing market in Colorado is crazy! People were paying insane prices for small, run down houses in the city.  And truthfully, Hubby and I wouldn't have been happy in the city. We both longed for a life not filled with arguing, prying neighbors. A place where the music didn't play until all hours of the night. We knew where we needed to be.

So, here we are. Enjoying our quaint Victorian in a small mountain town. 
Next week I will write about what happened at our cabin/tipi location and why there are farm animals wandering down my sidewalk.



Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Winds of Change

This year has seen a lot of wind in this area. Crazy, strong winds! At least two of the storms brought us wind over 70 mph - that's hurricane force winds! 
Many Indigenous cultures believe that the wind is the Creator talking - that the wind will blow when a person is trying to be told something. Well, I should have been listening harder because those winds were telling us that change was in our future.

We've moved. But this time the move was into our own house. Not on our property in the mountains but very close by. In the quaint and quirky little town of Cripple Creek.

The Town of Cripple Creek as seen at the overlook
A lovely Victorian House chose us to come live within its walls. (I swear there was a bit of magick involved, but I will expand upon that in later posts - gotta have something else to write about)

Welcome to The Painted Lady.



Yes, that's a white pocket fence that you see. The house was built in 1900 and still has many of the original features - doors, transoms, wood molding, brass light fixtures and the gorgeous fireplace with the original firebox. Though it burned coal not wood.

Front entry with original doors

Dining Room with original light fixture

In the coming weeks, I will share things about our new home, the town, and the 'neighbors' who live around us.
Click on the pictures to enlarge and see details.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Skyline Drive

Hubby and I wanted to get out for the day - just to get away from the city - so we decided to go to a nearby town for lunch. It was a nice day and the drive was pleasant. The surrounding countryside is still quite green from all the late summer rain. On a whim we decided to take a 'scenic drive'. Wished I had done more research before we had entered those gates.....

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Eclipse 2017

Mother Nature allowed me to view the Eclipse through the shadows of the leaves from the Maple Tree in our yard.



Wednesday, August 2, 2017

In Memorium.......

Fantum
1999-2017


Fantum, what a loving Kitty you were.
Letting all the children pet your silky fur.


Your meow was broken but it was no matter.
You loved all the wee ones, whose feet went pitter patter.


You'd lay in Mommy's flowers till they were squished flat.
Then you'd snuggle Mommy and lay upon her lap.


May your fields be filled with Catnip
Your food bowls overflow with food
May you always have a warm lap
Fantum we miss you.

Purz and Catnip Dreams.......Gomez