Saturday, January 30, 2010

Southwest Whimsy

These three canvases were created to go together, or to be displayed on their own.

The first canvas is one I made up.. It gives the feeling of what it's like to live in New Mexico.. summer nights..  very mellow, the sky is huge...  really is ENCHANTING.
The second is of mountains in Southern New Mexico were I use to live (saw these out of my front door every morning), minus the adobe dwellings, I added those in.
The third I did based on the Chimayo Church in New Mexico at Sunrise.
I am happy to recreate any or all of these on canvas of your choice, or you are welcome to order them as prints.
Contact me if you are interested in these or anything similar.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Notable Differences

I grew up in Northeast Oklahoma which is known as Green Country.  It's green, hilly and beautiful.  I lived in New Mexico for about ten years in the 1990's and then moved to Pennsylvania, then New Hampshire (for work) and now I'm back in Pennsylvania.

It's interesting how different these states are.  In Oklahoma we call 'soda pop' Pop, New Mexico it's Soda and in Pennsylvania some call it 'soda' and some 'pop', it just depends on who you are speaking to.

Oklahoma is in Tornado Alley, so a siren in bad weather is not a good thing.  You hear a siren you better find shelter as close to underground as you can get.  In Pennsylvania, though they do have tornado's from time to time, they have sirens that go off constantly, but for an entirely different reason. These sirens are the Fire Stations, which are mostly volunteer fire departments, so they go off all hours no matter the weather.  Let me tell you, it's not something a woman from Oklahoma wants to hear her first week in Pennsylvania!  I didn't learn why they were going off until my second week here.  New Mexico, well I was in the southwestern part of the state, in the mountains (baby Rockies, if you will), and although they did have a tornado on record, it was a rarity.

In Pennsylvania people always say things like "I'm not trying to be ignorant" or "That's ignorant". The word ignorant is used constantly. ~LOL~

In New Mexico & Pennsylvania people say that they are getting "on" or "off" their vehicles, in Oklahoma they are getting "in" or "out of" them.

Plenty more differences to come.............

Monday, January 25, 2010

How to be a gracious bitch...

Jennifer's wedding day was fast approaching. Nothing could dampen her excitement - not even her parent's nasty divorce.

Her mother had found the PERFECT dress to wear, and would be the best-dressed mother-of-the-bride ever!

A week later, Jennifer was horrified to learn that her father's new, young wife had bought the exact same dress as her mother!

Jennifer asked her father's new young wife to exchange it, but she refused.. ''Absolutely not! I look like a million bucks in this dress, and I'm wearing it,'' she replied.

Jennifer told her mother who graciously said, ''Never mind sweetheart. I'll get another dress. After all, it's your special day.''

A few days later, they went shopping, and did find another gorgeous dress for her mother.

When they stopped for lunch, Jennifer asked her mother, ''Aren't you going to return the other dress? You really don't have another occasion where you could wear it."

Her mother just smiled and replied, ''Of course I do, dear.....I'm wearing it to the rehearsal dinner the night before the wedding.''

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

New Valetine's Day Designs

These are some of my newest designs, just in time for Valentine's Day!
These make a cute card or a unique print for you someone special!

be Mine!

My Love

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Yield Stupid!

The first YIELD sign was installed in Tulsa, Oklahoma and was invented by Tulsan Clinton Riggs.  Read more about the Yield Sign here....

I had to do a little research to make sure the Yield sign wasn't a figment of my imagination.  Maybe I'm wrong and they just haven't caught on in New England yet, which is a definite possibility after Escorting houses through New York, Connecticut and Massachusetts. Drivers in these states rarely notice Yield signs.  Come to think of it, maybe they have changed the definition for them and just forgot to mention it to the rest of us.  Just in case we aren't clear on this subject, a Yield sign indicates a driver must prepare to stop if necessary to let a driver on another approach proceed, but not stop, if his way is clear.  If the way is NOT clear, YIELD!

Okay, so you're wondering why the rant about Yielding, or lack of yielding?  Simple. I have seen so many 4-wheelers (cars, trucks, etc...) use the ramp as a runway to get going as fast as possible, without even looking to see if the road is clear, or worse yet, holding their cell phone up to their left ear so they can't even remotely see what traffic is doing! These are the same idiots that whine and cry about getting their mirror taken off by a big truck, or being crowded into the shoulder so that they have to stop.  Come on people, are you serious?

What do you think is going to happen if you shoot down a ramp into rush hour traffic in Connecticut or Massachusetts without even looking or paying attention?  You're going to cause an accident, whether you yourself will physically be in the accident or just your actions will cause someone else to be in one, it's still your fault!

Oversized loads cannot stop on a dime, no big truck can.  They drive 'ahead of time', meaning they are paying attention to what is around them plus as far down the road as they can see to make sure they have time to react when one of you cars act stupidly, which happens on an average of every five minutes (every three minutes or less when it's an oversized load and escort cars).

Trucks aren't just controlling their truck when you jam on your brakes in front of them to be a butt-head, they also have their trailer (empty or loaded it can have a mind of its own) and a modular home?  Forget about it, they are heavy, wide and require a lot more reaction time to get stopped or moved over. Why do you think the escorts are there?  To block traffic when needed so the driver can get the house over to the next lane as quickly as possible, because some 4-wheeler decided to be ignorant or not pay attention.   What may seem like a jerk move by the escort and or truck driver, to you in your car, is usually only done to save the life of another car on the other side or in front of the truck and load, and probably is saving your life too, you just won't ever know it.  This is why it is important for everyone to PAY ATTENTION!

If any of you ever have a question about something that a Truck or Oversized Load did just ask me!  I'll try my best to answer your questions. Just remember I can only answer based on the information you give me, but it might help you, and others, understand a little better.   I know I've learned a great deal from Escorting Oversizes and being on the road with my hubs.

Stay safe!

Had to share. My Grandma sent this to me. Too Funny!

Friday, January 15, 2010

“We all know that Art is not truth.
Art is a lie that makes us realize the truth,
at least the truth that is given to us to understand.”
Pablo Picasso

Thursday, January 14, 2010

To laugh is to risk appearing the fool,
To weep is to risk appearing sentimental,
To reach out for another is to risk involvement,
To expose our feelings is to risk exposing our true self,
To place you ideas and dreams before the crowd is to risk loss,
To love is to risk not being loved in return,
To live is to risk dying,
To hope is to risk despair,
But we must, because the greatest hazard in life
is to risk nothing.

The man, the woman
who risks nothing,
does nothing,
has nothing,
is nothing.
--- Unknown author

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Are they kidding?

Okay, so I'm sitting here watching Teen Mom the "Standing Up"  episode.  A friend of the family comes to talk to Ryan and tells him that truck drivers make $800-$900 a week.  Ummm... okay are they planning for this kid to buy a truck, because I know of no company drivers that make that kind of money on a regular basis.  And is this kid 23 years old?  He might be, but if he's not they might want to check into whether or not he's old enough for a company to hire him to drive truck out of state.  Hmmm... just wondering, well except for the paycheck, I know that one's wishful thinking! ;-)

Anyway, just had to rant a little.

Remember to check my new uploads in my gallery!

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Just because you can legally do something, doesn't mean you should do it....

There is a trucking company in Franklin, Pennsylvania that verbally warned a driver for coming home empty the day that he found out that his baby girl had been killed in an accident.  I'm not going to name names, but HOLY COW, the people at this trucking company are crass and just plain IGNORANT!!   It's about time the drivers at this company tell the owners (a brother and sister) where to shove their jobs!   This last incident is just one of many things they have done to their drivers.  They not only gave him a verbal warning, they called him the day BEFORE the funeral and wanted him to take a load to Ohio.  Come on! What on earth are they thinking, oh wait, they can't be thinking.

Just because a company can legally do something, doesn't mean that they should do it!  Companies want employees to be loyal and do the best job they can for the company, right?  Doesn't it work both ways?  Employees expect the same from the company, to be treated fairly and to be recognized when they've done a good job and given the company your loyalty.

I know from personal experience this company doesn't know the first thing about right and wrong.  If they can screw an employee (mainly the drivers) out of something they will in a heart beat, and say they have every legal right to do it.  Even if it won't hurt them not to do it, even if that employee has been their for years, even if that employee has went above and beyond to get a job done.  Nope, they don't care, as long as they can continue to buy new vehicles, build their new pool houses and live the lifestyle they want.  They don't care if a driver sits and waits for days on end until they find a back-haul that will pay the company well, but the driver will be lucky to make much of anything after sitting and spending his own money for those extra days (on food, laundry and showers).

The person that does that "back-hauls" in the office sucks at it, but she won't hear of the drivers finding their own (even though her husband tells the drivers that they encourage their drivers to find their own back-hauls, when he hires them).   They would rather have a driver sit for two, three, four days until the bosses wife finds a back-haul that usually only pays the driver $300!  Now before you think that's a lot of money, remember these types of loads are what a driver who has taken a load to California or New Mexico brings back.  ALL THE WAY BACK from CA, NM, OR.. somewhere in the West, and brings it back to NY, SC, FL..  you get the picture.. and oh boy, he gets to make a whopping $300 for 2500 miles AND five to seven days of waiting and work.  Now tell me, can you support your family on $300 a week?  Well most people cannot!

Now this trucking company isn't alone in being ran unethically, (what I've said above is just a drop in the bucket of the things they have done - and PA DOT really should pay them a visit)  There are plenty of trucking companies out there that have crappy equipment and blame the drivers when something goes wrong, even through it's their own mechanics that won't fix what's wrong, or can't because the company ties their hands financially, but it's the driver that gets the extra stress of the blame, on top of dealing with :
  • Idiot 4-wheelers on the road every day, who seem to think that a big truck is in their way or can stop on a dime, etc...  Come on people, how do you think that computer your reading on at this very moment made it to the store you bought it at?  A Truck Brought It!
  • Macho DOT officers that seem to forget putting a driver out of service - just to make a point- is costing that driver and his whole family money that they can't afford, after all the driver is not making much on that load in the first place!  But now he has to sit for however many hours the DOT trooper decides, which makes him late for his appointment, which makes him have to wait that much longer, which means his dispatcher AND boss is going to be on him screaming, plus the broker (if there is one - my opinion brokering should be illegal-but I'll save that for another post).  Even though it's not the driver's fault he gets the blame, the mark and it affects his paycheck!
  • Dispatchers that think you can make it 100 miles away in an hour, as well as take every single load they come up with and make every appointment even though the driver had to wait an extra five hours in a loading dock because the company didn't have his load there yet, and the driver wasn't told what the wait was so he couldn't take a nap, so he's now exhausted, but has to go because he's already going to be late for his appointment that is ten driving hours away (in a car on  a good day) but he only has nine hours to get there in a big truck in one of the worst snow storms we've seen this season!  The driver calls to get his appointment changed, is questioned why he's so behind - he explains, then his boss calls to find out why he's so behind - again he repeats the same explanation and his boss almost calls him a liar, except for the fact that he has a time stamp his paper work to prove it.  
  • His Family who wishes he was home for more than one or two days a week, a month or every few months.  People seem to forget that truck drivers' jobs are murder on their families too.  Truck drivers miss out on so much of their family.  They miss date night with the wife, they miss seeing their children grow up, they miss weddings and birthdays and anniversaries and often they miss funerals.  It's not that they want to miss these things, but they have to in order to make a paycheck to keep their family going.  
  • Finances: Truck drivers (on average) make 24% of a load or .34 cents per mile.  Sounds like a lot of money to some?  Well it could be better.  When a driver makes a percentage of the load you can be sure that the company isn't paying the driver on what they actually made on the load!  Some companies take out the cost of running the truck and even their fuel surcharge and THEN they pay the driver their percentage from that much smaller amount!   And mileage... for those of you that don't know it's not the miles that a driver drove, it's the miles that the company says are "practical miles" that the driver gets paid on. Although they are sometimes close, more often than not the company has ran the miles with a program that says it is "practical" to take the toll road, however the company does not allow the drivers to use the toll road (except in extreme cases) therefore the driver must drive the extra miles, and extra hours, for FREE. We're not talking ten miles or five minutes, it's more like one hundred miles and two hours (hours that driver could use for sleep!)  Drivers aren't making nearly what they should considering the time, effort and money they themselves put into their jobs.  
  • Finances Continued:  Drivers must spend money to live on their road, let's face it there's only so much you can pack into a big truck, not matter how big your "condo" is.  Once a driver runs out of something they can't just stop at any store (because most places throw a hissy-fit over a truck pulling into their parking lock) they must go to a truck stop where the items are cheap, but cost a fortune!  One saving grace, if you're lucky enough to be in the vicinity of one, is SOME Wal-mart's will allow trucks to park in a certain area so they can shop.  This is a life saver, but rare to find.  (You'd think more stores would be smart and offer it- don't worry over night parking shouldn't be an issue since most drivers have to get fuel, take showers and do laundry so they'll find a Truck Stop for the night.)    

This is just a small bit of what truck driver's have to deal with, wouldn't you think that their employers would treat them better?

Most people think that truck drivers just drive a big truck.  This is so not true!  Yes, they drive, most without any accidents at all, and the percentage that do have accidents probably have a 4-wheeler to thank for causing it (but blaming the truck!)
  •  Keep current with DOT Rules and Regulations
  • Keep their log book up to date and make sure they have hours to drive legally, etc...
  • Manage their time as well as possible so they don't run out of hours, still get sleep, still get time out of the truck, still get a shower, get their laundry done, etc...
  • Stay in contact with their family
  • Call their dispatcher (sometimes every single day even on days off!)

    You get the idea...

    You're probably asking, "Well if they don't make enough, why do they stay with it?"   Good question!  My answer is this: Many truck drivers have been doing it for years, not four or six years, but twenty-five and forty-years.  That's a career!  They've dedicated their lives to this career, which some of  you may have done with yours, do you want to change after twenty-five years on the job?  Most people would not want to change careers that far in, especially when you don't make enough to pay for training in another field.   It's just not feasible.

    Wednesday, January 6, 2010

    Turbo's silver bowl

    Today Turbo's gift basket arrived for being Pet of the Week (last week on Actually it's a huge silver bowl filled with various treats, snacks and food from Dogswell []. He was so excited as I opened the box. We took off the cellophane and his nose was instantly investigating each package.  

     I think Turbo is going to love this stuff, it doesn't smell like dog food, it smells like people food!  :)

    Monday, January 4, 2010

    I call it "Romantical"

    This is especially for Valentine's Day!   Give your sweetheart a unique and original card or framed print of this piece of art!
    Want to give your special someone a really special gift, send me a photograph
    of the two of you, or something that is special to you both and I will turn it
    into a unique piece of fractal art just for you!  You can then have it
    printed in my gallery as a card or print.  Talk about UNIQUE!

    Some of my new Fractal Art

    Here are some of my newest designs.  These make wonderful greeting cards and unique art pieces - I just love them!  Click on each to be taken to my gallery where you will find many more.

    Sunday, January 3, 2010

    March for Babies...

    Premature births aren't the only reason to help. My oldest son was born on his due date, however he spent a week in NICU because of complications from being in the birth canal too long.  He was fine (he's 22 now and has always been a healthy young man) however it could have been much different and we might have needed help.

    This team is named for our niece, Cinnamon Rose who was born at 34 week weighing 2lb. 9oz. Cinnamon passed away at five months old of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome).  Did you know that premature babies die of SIDS up to six weeks later than full-term babies and babies born small for their gestational age have a higher SIDS risk than appropriate-sized infants?  Do you know someone that has suffered through losing an infant due to complications of premature birth?  You can help!  Every dollar adds up and can make a difference!

    Thank you for your support!!


    Okay so it's cold outside, understatement yes I know, but dang-it, my water isn't working now.  It's not frozen, but the stupid pump is or something.  Talk about an annoyance, a complete inconvenience!   I'm going to go OC crazy if I can't get my dishes done soon.  I never let them sit longer than it takes to wash and rinse them, and sometimes they don't even sit in the drain, instead they get dried and go straight to the cabinet.  I just like it that way, this way they are available whenever I need them and my sink and counter are clear and ready for use at a moments notice.  ;)

    Now... the water does this when it gets really cold, like it is now, it will come on every few hours as long as we leave all of the faucets on.  They don't just trickle until they start either, they blast on like we just turned the water back on.  So we're pretty sure it's the pump... ugh!

    I just had to rant a little, I'm back to the drawing board.. literally. :)  

    White & Fluffy

    That's what my yard is, white and fluffy, pretty sure there's a nice layer of ice underneath it too.  To say it's cold out is a major understatement! When it's below zero I don't bother to remember the exact number!  :)

    One of the things I am going TO DO this year, start having people over for dinner on a regular basis. :)  I love to cook and bake and think it would be a nice life enhancement to share this with friends and family. I'll keep you updated on how it goes.

    Saturday, January 2, 2010

    Turbo won Pet of the Week

    Turbo won Pet of the Week at ! He's on the front page and he's receiving a $100 gift basket from Dogswell dog food.  :)   or you can see his page at .

    That's our Turbo!

    Nummy Cocktail... a must try for the New Year! :)

    I absolutely love Sandra Lee! She cooks the way I like to.  :)  It's fast and easy but still gives the sense of not cooking from a box or mix.  I also love the way she adds a little extra to things or decorations to make everyone feel special.  I think we have all forgotten how to make ourselves and others feel special.  You don't have to spend scads of money, just take the time to make a meal special.

    The following cocktail isn't just for Christmas, if you like eggnog this is a must have for winter weekends.
    Santa's Sleigh Cocktail  (Recipe courtesy Sandra Lee)

    Prep Time: 7 min
    Level: Easy
    Serves: 4 servings

    White sugar crystals, preferably coarse
    2 cups store-bought eggnog, chilled
    1/2 cup brandy
    1/2 cup amaretto liqueur
    1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    2 scoops vanilla ice cream
    4 cinnamon sticks

    Dampen the rims of 4 martini glasses and then line the rims with sugar crystals.
    Combine eggnog, brandy, amaretto, nutmeg, and ice cream in a blender; process until smooth.
    Pour mixture into martini glasses and garnish each glass with a whole cinnamon stick.