Archive of ‘Animal Garden Shop’ category

HOLIDAY FARM ANIMALS (I sure hope they don’t hold a grudge)

I can’t help myself. A flashy holiday rolls around and I feel this need to dress up my farm tribe and make photographs. How silly is that?

(rhetorical question…don’t  bother asking the animals)

I have to wonder…in my middle-aged life…am I just now getting in touch with the inner childhood I missed out on growing up as a tomboy climbing trees…when I could have been outfitting Barbie dolls?

(no regrets…and again…don’t ask the animals)

I learned recently, there was a scientific study that determined dogs have no self-awareness with regard to how they look. I could have spared the expense of that study and offered the same conclusions (from all my farm animals), backed up by Freeka’s Funny Farm research and documentation. Lily with spaghetti drools all over her snout, the pigster with a little poo stuck to his tail, Gypsy with more brown mud on her body than natural white, Pockets with a sticky molasses nose…and they each be like…

“WHO CARES?

WHY YOU LAUGHING AT ME?

I FEEL GOOD!”

(sung to James Brown tune)

However…when it comes to Christmas holiday photography, those same critters may just exhibit a little more self awareness.  They’ve made it through Valentine’s Day, St Patty’s Day, Fourth of July, and Halloween, but the year is not quite complete without a few Christmas costumes and a little craziness.

I apologize to all the critters I have humiliated. Just know, in my eye you are all so fun, and yes, silly. So…what’s wrong with that? I promise never to turn y’all into Barbies.

This year I had the pleasure of humiliating someone else’s farm animals. “Whew!”… said the tribe. Took the pressure off the gang here. But as you will see, my gang did not go completely…undressed…shall I say?

Here are some favorites from here and beyond at Tucker Farm.

I’ll start with Toots and the decorating of the tree. Toots did not want to budge from the new dog bed that was taking up so much room right where I was trying to decorate our little Christmas tree. So what’s a girl to do? Yes! Decorate the dog. Well c’mon…I had to stretch out those new Christmas lights somewhere!

Toots…hoping she wouldn’t be gift-wrapped next…

I know how much Elizabeth loves having photos made with her Pips, especially to share with her family and fans at Christmas time. The Pips are such troopers as photo models, all I have to do is say…SMILE! …and look what I get…

…SMILES all around!

Never mind that Pockets was wearing a doggie outfit…that ponkey loves to dress up!

Even Grayson didn’t seem to mind the ‘faux mistletoe’…any reason to nibble…lick…kiss…

Nobody looks terribly humiliated here…right Elizabeth? (better pass out some treats real fast)

On we go to Tucker Farm. My favorite home away from home. The lady of the farm, my great friend Karen, has a good-sized tribe of rescued donkeys and goats at her barn and each year she’ll do a little Christmas slide show with her gang. I couldn’t wait to get involved. Three of my favorite horse pals live there as well, and almost living there, is another simpatico, ‘favorite-home-away-from-home’ girlfriend, Janice, who owns two of the horses.

My goat-to girlfriends…Karen on left, Janice on right…butt-heads in front…

None of the Tucker Farm critters are newbies at photo shoots. As soon as the costume container came out in the horse pasture, Dart was all into everything…

…hmmm…maybe red is really my color?

“Hey Dart…when you stick your nose in the goodies box…well who nose what will happen next…eh? Ha Ha Ha!”

(is this horse lacking a sense of humor?)

Here’s Dart’s stable mate, Louie. The twin brother of the same mother of costumes…Might have a case of stink eye going on here..

Asante…the only mare on the farm…ready to dance… …and prance……and maybe a little french kiss? (such a huzzy!)

On to the donkeys and goats. It was such a highly organized Christmas shoot with a bunch of curious models just waiting their turn.

Like a Victoria’s Secret Christmas runway show, we told them.

Yup…you believe that?

It was more like…

(goats and donkeys)…”HAY…WHAT’S to EAT in that BOX?”

(girls)…”HEY! GIT OUTTA THERE YOU RASCALS!”

 That…’You’ve Goat to be Kidding’ look….

Can’t wait to unwrap my presents!

Truly…Star Struck…What Ernie was really thinking…

“Star Struck…my butt! I just wanna know if that thing on my head is…EDIBLE?”

Check out my favorite goat, Ethel. Too bad she got stuck with my middle name.

Poor dear.

I think because of that, (ruthless teasing…you gotta understand!), she likes the idea of having grown a set of balls……now what to do with those balls???

Stormy said…”After this? I am sooo breaking into the feed room. First chance I get.”

Thanks girls…I was seeing so much red and green…I didn’t know whether to stop…or go……or just grow a mustache…

Meanwhile…back at the Funny Farm…things were getting out of control.

D.O.G. had busted into his stocking and lookee what he found!!!

DANG!…D.O.G….gimme back my Recluse Man!!!!

The Pips had found the calendar that will surely make them overnight Hollywood sensations…

…ya think??

My New Year’s date turned out to be a real pig…Toots spoke her first and final words of the year……and then passed out from overexertion…I caught D.O.G. ransacking the Christmas goody bags…

…then squatting on my homemade holiday cards…and is that the sports section of the paper where I circled all my winning bets??? …I will forgive that pigster…if the rest of all those wonderful creatures will forgive me…

Deal…D.O.G.?

HERE’S TO A STYLISH NEW YEAR!!!

WHAT MEMORIAL DAY MEANS TO MY PIG

Ahhhh…Memorial Day Weekend…such a great American holiday.

Traditionally, there are family visits to cemeteries, mourning mixed with sweet memories, flag raisings, potluck dinners, neighborly get-togethers, BBQs, watermelon, lawn mowing, gardening, hiking, biking, fishing, sunbathing, the Indy 500, horseback riding (had to put that in there…right Gypsy?!), and all the good and the sad that go into this holiday. It’s a contradiction of sorts. A painful, joyful holiday. While some hurt over the loss of loved ones who died for our country in military service, others kick off the arrival of a brand new summer.

Hear Hear!

I wanted to learn more on the history on Memorial Day.

I discovered Memorial Day began after the Civil War but back then it was called Decoration Day. It was declared a holiday to honor deceased veterans by decorating their graves with flags and flowers. But whoa…the Confederates refused to celebrate on the same day those damn Yankees did, and in fact had many different days to honor their dead across the southern states.

It wasn’t until after WWI that tensions eased and a one-for-all Memorial Day was established for all American soldiers who died in any and all of our wars.

I do not have a grave to decorate, but in keeping with a new Freeka’s Funny Farm tradition…I have a live pig to decorate. Indeed, D.O.G. is booked for a deluxe spa and accoutrement session later today…on Decoration Day 2016.

On the funny farm, we lean toward the hedonistic side of this holiday, and celebrate summer with our best bohemian enthusiasm. Please allow me to share this memorable tradition, as created one year ago.

START YOUR HOSES! Mem Day1

IT’S TIME TO CHILL!! Mem Day1(gritting teeth…thinking…um…heavy camera for a selfie…just take the dang photo…will I??? …and where is the pig?)

Why there he is…hot diggity D.O.G.!!Mem Day3

Let’s call this the pre-soak. It serves to remove any loose dirt or goobery thingys…Mem Day4

What a chill way to start the festivities…right D.O.G.?Mem Day5I made preparations for the next step as the pigster rested…hose showers are exhausting!Mem Day6

In order to decorate D.O.G. properly, as I see it, he must first get a facial, followed by a pedicure, a coconut oil rub, and plenty of sun screen powder puffs. In other words…a deluxe spa treatment.

But instead of traditional spa treatments that start with herbal tea or coconut water infused with essential things we never knew were essential…D.O.G. prefers a beer. Yup. And it sure makes a pedicure easier for the pedicurist. Please don’t report us to any even-toed-ungulate-cruelty-associations. I’m telling you…this is one happy-easy-going-cooperative pig with a beer in his belly. And he is far less likely to get nicked by the clippers.

Plus it’s his favorite part of the tradition….Mem Day7

Can you tell?Mem Day8

Such admiration and appreciation for a good beer…Mem Day9

About this time I was laughing so hard it was all I could do to point and shoot without peeing my pants…Mem Day10

BEER BUBBLES!!!!Mem Day11(only a mama could love)

OK…it’s high time to get on with the spa treatments…Mem Day 12

After all…no more beer…Mem Day 13We started with a cleansing facial… Mem Day 14D.O.G. has deep folds on his face and quite a bit of eye discharge which is normal for a pig… Mem Day 15

There’s an eye in there somewhere although I have never really seen it… Mem Day 16Next…the pedicure…see Lily running away when the clippers come out… Mem Day 17I have so many clippers for dogs, cats, fences, weeds….but only one for a pig… Mem Day 18I’ll spare you the clip by clips of the job…it’s tedious and lasts about as long as the beer nap…then on to more pleasurable spa activities…a coconut oil rub and puffs of sunscreen to follow… Mem Day 19And now for the real fun…the decorating part… Mem Day 20Oops…I’m not very good at nail polish…especially with twitching toes… Mem Day 21

Isn’t that the cutest little tail? (I kept telling him. Sometimes being a blind-buzzed pig works for the best) Mem Day 22WAKE UP D.O.G.!! It’s Decoration Day!!! Mem Day 23Let’s honor our veterans… Mem Day 24…and our firefighters… Mem Day 25D.O.G. said…”Enough of this! I want to honor summertime! Too many brothers and sisters on the grill!!” Mem Day 26Well…OK then…howzabout some strawberries… Mem Day 27

I swear he was humming ‘Strawberry Fields Forever’…
 Mem Day 28That is…until the watermelon showed up… Mem Day 29UH BOY!!! Mem Day 30

…and that my friends is how we do Decoration Day on the funny farm…
 Mem Day 31

2016 tradition coming right up!!! Wake up D.O.G.!!!
 Mem Day 32It’s Decoration Day!!!!

FREEKA’S LAWN MOWER MAINTENANCE

I have been living on this funny farm for eight years now. It’s strange how as one grows older, time seems to compress. Eight years!

The past six years I have been a divorcée. (TrAshe County pronunciation; dāy-´VHŌR-sāy) Those first two years while my x and I were separated, we tried to remain friends, and it was during that time I borrowed his trusty old Husqvarna weed eater. Never to give it back.

That was perhaps the best deal of the entire divorce. From both our points of view. I didn’t want his Rolls Royce, his house or his lifestyle. Just gimme the Husqi.

That weed wacker (my preferred term although they are officially known as weed trimmers or string trimmers), has lasted longer than my marriage and almost every other useful thing from my former life. It has also outlived two lawn mowers on the farm, a wheelbarrow, and four short-term boyfriends. I may have to kill it, if it tries to outlive Recluse Man or me.

I could tell you the Husqi has had a good long life because I have maintained it so well, when actually I have done very little, save for replacing a few parts.

I do, however, believe in proper maintenance….hosing after use, storing inside, checking oil, winterizing, sharpening blades…that kind of thing.

This applies to all methods of reducing grass and weed growth. Including my very own free-range-mobile-mowers.

Please meet #1 (Gypsy on left) and #2 (Star on right) mowers….mower1

#3 mower (D.O.G.) is in the distance, and is much loved but obviously does not have the horsepower the others do…mower2

#2 mower has a halter on because he went AWOL several weeks ago, while he was solo mowing. Apparently there was a mower in heat down the road.mower3Watch as #1 mower teaches #2 mower where to refuel…mower4

Normally I break up the carrots but this was one-handed shooting for effects…mower5#2 mower looks a little dorky with burrs in his forelock…ya think?mower6

Oh Boy…high octane carrots!mower7

Self-serve was available…but they seemed to prefer full-serve at the porch fuel station…mower8#2 mower inquired about having his teeth scratched…he’s weird that way…mower9

Talk about full service!mower10

Little did #1 and #2 mowers realize as they chomped their fuel…mower11

#3 mower was fast approaching…well maybe not fast by your standards…mower13As far as I know…#2 mower had never had an up-close and personal encounter with #3 mower…mower12

#2 mower looked to #1 mower for direction…mower14#2 mower decided not to follow course…mower15…when suddenly #3 mower changed direction…mower16

I caught up with #3 mower…who btw…was still sporting the remains of a pink pedicure…mower17

I offered a full-service-on-the-hill refuel…mower18

#3 mower was much obliged…mower19

…until #2 mower came into the picture…mower20That #3 mower sure can cut a turn…mower21Poor #3! Can’t a mower refuel in peace?mower22

Is this fuel wars or turf wars?
mower23#3 mower can really skedaddle when he needs to!mower24

Perhaps #2 mower had never seen #3 mower at full speed…he was amazed!mower25Quickly, any fuel or turf wars were settled.

The mowers were feeling well maintained and revving to go…
mower26

Off to do their duties they went singing… ‘You Go Your Way…I’ll Go Mine’…mower29

POCKETS AND THE KENTUCKY DERBY

When Pockets heard it was Kentucky Derby Day this past Saturday, she went ponkers. Only a ponkey can go ponkers.

You should have heard her.

“OH MY GWAD! I MUST GO! NOWNOWNOW! IT’S KENTUCKY DUHBY DAY!!!! I WANNA WEAH A HAT! I WANNA DWINK A MINT JOOWUP! I WANNA BE A WACEHOSS!!”

It was a gorgeous, breezy, spring Saturday on the funny farm. We were all laughing hard, trying to imagine ‘Pockets the racehorse’. Elizabeth was here at her home-away-from-home to work and play with her Pips. My neighbor Suzanne, had also come over for a weekend visit. She loves to walk the Pips and is now officially ‘Mama S’. She sure earned it on Saturday.

When Pockets expressed her great Derby destination desires, we tried to explain how long a trailer ride it would be to Louisville, Kentucky.

I said, “Remember that four hour round trip trailer ride to the vet the other day? Well sextuple that.”

Pockets said, “I HATE IT WHEN YOU TALK DUHTY!”

Oh never mind.

We agreed we’d have our own Kentucky Derby Day right here on the farm. That pawky ponkey knows how to cast a spell! I love this new word I learned…

pawk·y

(pô′kē) adj. pawk·i·erpawk·i·est Chiefly British. Sly and cunning, often in a humorous manner  (see the pawky ponkey make her mamas swoon)

I photographed the Kentucky Derby three years in a row, back in the 90’s. I was with a group of photographers shooting for the Kentucky Derby Museum at Churchill Downs. Usually I was assigned a spot on the track near the starting gate, which meant I’d shoot the very start of the race and then the last turn before the final stretch to the finish line. It was a thrilling event to photograph, although you sure didn’t want to blow it.

The most fun of course, was spending the entire day at Churchill Downs with access to almost anywhere.

I entertained Pockets with stories from the Derby, as Elizabeth worked on ‘the look’….
Derby1
 Check out Pockets the Ponkey on Derby Day!!!
Derby2
We tried the ‘ears under’ look…
Derby3

Derby4

…but Pockets much preferred the striking ‘one ear out’ look…Derby6

“I WANNA MINT JOOWUP!”Derby5Elizabeth tried to get her mind on other things. “Howzabout a carrot?”Derby10“NO CARROT! I WANNA MINT JOOWEP!!”Derby7Things got on the verge of ugly when Mama E ‘borrowed’ her hat and shades…Derby9After that, Pockets went off on her own in search of a mint julep…Derby11

I swear we did not give that ponkey a mint julep…although it may appear as such…Derby12

“WEAD MY EAW…ONE MINT JOOWUP PWEESE!!!!”Derby13Well at least pull up your socks and put your bonnet on straight!Derby14

“MINT JOOWUP NOW!”Derby15

Straighten up you PAWKY PONKEY! Let’s go to the races!

‘IS DIS DA STAHTING GATE?” (BIG snort)Derby18“OK OK…I’M WEADY TO BE A WACEHOSS!”Derby19

Elizabeth had been training Pockets to follow the carrot stick…Derby20

Sometimes the races get off to a slow start…Derby21

…and the trainer gets more of a workout…Derby22

Go Elizabeth! Git along Lil Ponkey!!!!Derby23Derby24Derby25Derby26Derby27

Pockets was curious. She was just warming up. “WAT WONG WIF YOU?”Derby28Suzanne to the rescue…that girl is an athlete!!!Derby29

Hither and yon they ran…at least as ‘yon’ as you can get in a round pen…Derby31

Pockets had long since tossed the hat…then the socks…then the shades. Meanwhile Mama S put on her Derby hat. It’s a Run for the Carrots!Derby30

GO POCKETS!Derby32

GO!!!!Derby33

RACE OVER!!! POCKETS CAUGHT THE CARROT STICK! WOOT!Derby34It had been a marvelous Derby Day. Everyone was exhausted. Or so we thought.

“PWEESE CAN I HAVE A MINT JOOWUP?”Derby16

PHOTO OF THE DAY – STRINGY BEAN HAIR – November 7, 2015

It’s been raining nearly all day on the funny farm. Perfect time to catch up on some indoor stuff.

I made a list on paper and also in my head, of all the things I wanted to accomplish today. On paper were more business oriented matters. In my head were things like wash the windows, yoga, color my hair, wash windows, laundry, wash the damn windows.

I checked off all the biz ‘to-do’ items…had a wonderful yoga session…laundry is folded and stashed…and the most colorful part?…my hair. It was long overdue as I kept seeing in recent photos of me. Slashes of bleached out highlights under mousy brown and gray roots with white around the temples. Stringy-sparse-bean-stalk hair. That’s what was on my head. It was time for some fixin’.

No doubt you will be seeing more of my real hair in future posts. Today I’d like to share a photo that better depicts what I see in my mind, growing from my head.

For Photo of the Day, I’ve picked one from my Animal Garden Shop collection. I am the eggplant on the left with my new yellow string bean hair.

(Please note…that is not even close to my real nose. I ain’t lyin’.)

On the right is Recluse Man, with an expression almost identical in real life when he saw my new hair. His hair is pretty right-on too, if only the color of cauliflower.

POTD_15_11_07I’m thinking rainy days bring out the strange in me. Do other girls identify with eggplants flaunting yellow string beans and do they see their boyfriends as gourd-guys with radish eyes?

I’m thinking not. But I betcha they’re windows are clean.

PHOTO OF THE DAY – VALLE COUNTRY FAIR – October 18, 2015

Yesterday was the big Valle Country Fair, in Valle Crucis, NC. It’s a top-notch arts and crafts, rural farm festival I’ve been attending the last four years.

Vendor spaces are revered. I’ve heard stories about a mighty year when it snowed sideways and vendors were called the day before to be reminded if they did not show up, next year’s space would not be guaranteed. Vendors showed up and most had a great day. The crowds are that dedicated.

At every market or festival I’ve attended, there is almost always something a little out of the ordinary that happens…things like a big sale, or a sale that leads to a photo shoot, or making a new friend or reuniting with an old friend, or discovering a brand new image is a big hit….now that’s the best.

Nothing BIG happened yesterday. It was a good, but not spectacular day overall. If it’s not a BIG day, there are always the LITTLE things that happen that make me smile and often overshadow the BIG things on a BIG day.

The one thing that’s a given…and the reason I do art festivals…is the feedback. Through art festivals, I see first hand which images resonate with people. I get instant, spontaneous response. After I set up my two big greeting card stands, I take delight in seeing people’s reaction to my Animal Garden Shop cards. It’s a treasured learning experience and it makes me feel really good to see when I’ve sparked some laughter.

I am so often surprised by who-picks-what when it comes to greeting cards. Yesterday did not disappoint.

I rarely make photos during an art show, but this encounter I had to document.

I sell greeting cards individually at $3.50 or three for $10. People love the three-fors.

So here comes this kid with his mom. They’re doing a three-for. She’s picked out her card. The kid has picked one and has one to go. So the red-headed kid picks one more and mom is like…NUH UH…NOT THAT ONE…BETTER PUT THAT ONE BACK!!!

See Photo of the Day…POTD_15_10_17_kid1

If you saw yesterday’s post you might recognize this card…POTD_15_10_17_hooters

I’m sure the kid just liked owls and didn’t even know what a Hooters is. Or maybe he goes to Hooters everyday for happy hour. Or maybe he just likes mice on ice. Whatever…he really wanted that card. His first card pick was approved…POTD_15_10_17_kid5

Closer look…POTD_15_10_17_rednekI thought that was real cute…the kid being a red-head and all. So maybe he’s a redneck? Fine by me. My nephew is a redneck and I love him. And he’s not nearly as cute.

Besides…look at what mom picked…notice the red-headed kid’s approval rating…POTD_15_10_17_kid3Let’s take a closer look…POTD_15_10_17_menage

Hey mom…what’s a little happy hour after a menage á tree???

The kid held firm..POTD_15_10_17_kid2He was proud of his choice….POTD_15_10_17_kid4Til dang…Mom overruled…POTD_15_10_17_kid6…and he ended up with a silly goat…POTD_15_10_17_Mona_Lisa

Maybe Mona Lisa hangs out a Hooters?

Love me a feisty red-headed kid.

PHOTO OF THE DAY – HOOTERS – October 17, 2015

I am pooped.

Too pooped to share a big scoop with my troops.

Although I have one that is a real hoot.

It’s all about something that tickled me at the art festival today.

That had everything to do with this card…

POTD_15_10_17_hooters

…and a red-headed boy.

There’s your Photo of the Day.

See ya tomorrow.