Posts Tagged ‘crazy farm chick’

TOTAL ECLIPSE OF THE BRAIN

By now, two days after the solar eclipse, I have seen so many gorgeous photos on FaceBook, TV and the Internet, I am feeling total syzygy. That’s a new word for me. I like it. Syzygy…the alignment of three celestial objects.

May I please be a celestial object?

I have some photographer friends who went to great lengths to make exquisite documentations of the solar eclipse. Their imagery is breathtaking. Their preparation, noteworthy. Their dedication, admirable.

Me…on the other hand? I was mostly in it for the picnic lunch date on top of my favorite nearby mountain. Recluse Man and I hadn’t even bothered to round up some Eclipse 2017 glasses. We just wanted ‘the experience.’ While making lunch I thought; well what the heck, maybe I can get some kind of depiction of the eclipse. We were not in the ‘total’ zone but not that far away either.

I packed my cameras and tripod with lunch. This favorite mountain of mine has a bald top and is truly stunning with a 360º perspective on the world below. Very quiet up there. Very solitary. Very magical. In maybe a dozen visits, I have only encountered a young couple once at daybreak and they skedaddled in such a hurry when I showed up it made me wonder. Am I that scary with yesterday’s clothes and bed-head-hair? or…hmmm…what were they up to?

When we arrived, after passing through three gates and navigating some very rough terrain to drive to the top, (I usually hike the last steep stretch), much to my horror there were ten ATVs and a truck parked at the very spot I thought of as mine-all-mine. Sheeeeit. Music blasting. People everywhere. Not a private spot around.

I scouted a good rock and proceeded to boss Recluse Man around since he would be doing the actual shooting. “Get a great silhouette…are my hands reaching for the sun? DON”T LOOK AT THE SUN!…LOOK AT THE ROCK!…got it?…lemme see!”…and on and on as we passed the camera back and forth so I could check exposures and composition.

It got a little dark. Like a thunder cloud had passed overhead. I looked for nocturnal animals to rise from their daybeds. Nothing. I looked to my dogs to see if they would howl at the moon. Nothing. I looked at my skin waiting for goosebumps. Nothing.

Then I checked my watch. Two minutes after the full effect of the eclipse had passed. It would have been a letdown had I not been so into making photos. Oh wait a minute. Recluse Man was the one making photos…I was just posing like a bossy diva in baggy shorts. Is there such a thing?

We had our lunch afterward as the ATVs rambled around. It was anything but a sexy lunch date. I had a commitment in Virginia so we didn’t stay long, and of course the ATVs pulled out right as we did.

I got home about 8pm eclipse night and looked at the photos. Big yawn. Small Diet Coke. Wake up. Engage brain hidden behind penumbra.

And then it got crazy. Goosebump crazy. I started messing around and didn’t stop messing until 1am. Unheard of…that kind of bedtime for a farm chick. Could blame it on the Diet Coke but I was having a Celestial Experience of my very own making. I was orbiting in galactic adventures having stellar vibes and feeling COSMIC BABY COSMIC!!! Do you read me? OVER!

For the inquisitive technical minds, I started with my RAW images and either moved the temperature slider all the way blue or yellow, depending on what I had in mind. I adjusted the exposure and blacks and shadows to mostly get a silhouette, which made it easy to keep as much solar definition as I could. I’d open the image in Photoshop to tweak local areas, and then for many of the following I used textured backgrounds in ON1, or vignettes, cross-processing, glows and grunge filters; a whole variety of effects, either in ON1, Photoshop or Nik filters.

Often, as you will see, I tried different effects on the same image and had a tough time deciding which version I liked best. You decide.

At times I was breathless. Seriously. Totally. My brain felt eclipsed.

Presenting…Tah Dah (drum roll)…Eclipse Photos (not really)….

I can’t wait till 2024. Surely Recluse Man and I will have our eclipse glasses by then. Can’t forget the pig, the dogs, the horses…can forget the cats for sure…lazy critters snoozing all day. Might have a unicorn by then. Better get on it.

PHOTOS OF THE DAY – WACKED OUT

Funny. Every time I send a text message or email to my beloved saying something profound like; ‘Hey baby…taking a break from wacking…where you be?’ or; ‘Vibing so bad from 3 hours of wacking…pick up some munchies?’ … auto-spell kicks in and turns wacking into ‘whacky’ or ‘walking’ or  ‘waking’…when I just wanna say WACKING. It makes me even more WACKED OUT than I already am.

Now to be perfectly clear (as some perfectly murky politicians might say), to be whacked-out is similar (take definition #1 below for example), but certainly not the same. As defined by Merriam Webster;

Definition of whacked–out

  1. 1:  worn-out, exhausted

  2. 2:  wacky a whacked–out parody

  3. 3:  stoned whacked–out on drugs

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!!!!

STUBBORN AS A MULE

I wouldn’t dare call Pockets a mule to her face. But technically speaking, it is what she is.

Breed a male (jack) donkey, to a female (mare) horse, and you’ll get a mule.

But the way we see it around here…ya breed a donkey to a pony…ya got a ponkey.

Ponkeys are total cuteness. Ponkeys are endless entertainment. A good ponkey is short and stout, with big ears and will chase away homie-dogs and hyenas. A good ponkey always comes right over after chasing a hyena…in immediate need of a cuddle-rub-hug and a smile.

After all…fearlessness deserves reward.

A good ponkey has a smile that will make you laugh.

Yet..a couple of days ago I found myself laughing my ass off…over a naughty ponkey’s grimaces.

OH MY GWAD…here comes another episode of Trailer Loading Flunkies.

(move over Star)Star load

That same-sinister-black Darth Vader horse trailer that created my personal ‘Star-Wars’ last year, is back. Sitting in my pasture. Waiting for a trip down the mountain to carry Pockets-the-Ponkey to a vet.

Too bad after the trailer arrived, we told Pockets she needed to be ‘vetted’ at the end of April. Big mistake.

Instantly she retorted; I WILL NOT BE VETTED…NOT EVER-NEVER…NOT TO GWAYSON OR ANYBODY…NO VETTINGS FOR ME…GWAYSON NEVER EVEN PWOPOSED!!!!

(What a Drama Queen…I told her she was too young to be wedded…and that’s not what I meant in the first place!)

Ever since, Elizabeth has been diligently teaching Pockets how to load in the monster-trailer. They were making big strides, those two.

Then a couple of days ago when Elizabeth couldn’t make it out, I promised her I would load Pockets. My friend Janice was coming over to collaborate on a round pen session with Star. Janice and I both have three year old geldings and we had agreed to do ‘co-op’ training sessions, sharing time with our boys. It was her turn here. Our goal that day was to put a girth around Star for the very first time.

Success!J & Star girth

I was so tickled to see my crazy boy wearing a fancy belt around his scrawny waist…Star girth

Loading Pockets afterward, sounded like a piece of carrot cake. I told Janice I would snap some photos for Elizabeth while she loaded Pockets. Easy-breezy. Nothing to it. The P-Pip had loaded already.

I must mention…Janice is light as a sparrow. Very horse savvy. And full of mischief.

She led Pockets to the trailer ramp and sat down inside.

What the hay?

Star watched from the sidelines with huge trepidation…Star trailer Pockets

No doubt…Pockets was wondering about the new girl at the end of her ponkey leash…Pockets trailer1

Let the circus begin!Pockets trailer2

It was about here…J&P trailer

…that I was laughing so hard…I nearly peed my pants…J&P trailer3

Meanwhile…Janice was flying by the seat of her pants!J&P trailer3

Down the trailer ramp and through the pasture they go!J&P trailer4

Star was…shall we say…Startled? Notice Grayson in the distance…chomping away…J&P trailer5

Finally Pockets gave into curiosity and stopped pulling…
J&P trailer6

Pockets-the-Ponkey decided to investigate ‘The Girl Who Wouldn’t Let Go’…J&P trailer7

The two of them talked it over…Janice said…YOU ARE STUBBORN AS A MULE!

Pockets said…I AM A PONKEY…NOT A MULE…I AM A FONKEY-WONKEY-PONKEY…YOU HONKEY!J&P trailer8

…slowly they made up…J&P trailer9

ROLL THE CAMERA!!…B Roll!J&P trailer10Thank Gwad…Elizabeth showed up the next day…P&E trailer1

I was worried we had made a wreck of her training progress…E&P trailer6

Carrot bribes sure help…E&P trailer7

P&E trailer2

But in the end it was Grayson…P&E trailer3

…who saved the day…P&E trailer4

All lickety-split that stubborn mule…I mean PONKEY…loaded!

PHOTO OF THE DAY – HAY YOU! – November 3, 2015

Lately it seems I have been moving a lot of hay….on the truck, off the truck, in the hayloft, out of the hayloft. Hay, hay hay.

We got rid of some dusty old bales today and will pick up some more hay tomorrow. It will be a big load as I just found out I will have another horse on the farm this winter. I won’t jinx this situation by sharing anymore just yet, but I am so tickled!!! I love being tickled. That is so opposite of feeling itchy in your britchys after a day of hay.

So with this in mind, I’m sharing some downright goofy photos of “Farmer Fred’ in my old studio. I wasn’t moving hay back then, but I remember having the ‘itchys’ in my studio from having hay find its way down my overalls. I learned then not to wear overalls when there’s hay involved. Damn hassle to get it out.

Here I am as a farmer before I became a farmer. I no longer wear shaving cream when there’s hay involved either…but a wig? Now that might work.

Hay you…here I am for your Photos of the Day…

POTD_15_11_03_2POTD_15_11_03_1I’M TALKIN’ TO YOU!!!

PHOTO OF THE DAY – BIG RED BARN – October 21, 2015

Some girlfriends go to the mall to shop for shoes and bags, and have lunch.

Today Elizabeth and I went to the farmers’ co-op to shop for round pens. We made a few peanut butter crackers for lunch, then went on to some barns and fields in the neighborhood to look at hay. Second cutting was ready for baling.

My kinda girlfriend. My kinda day out. Even if we spent enough for a gucci bag each.

We set out to conquer and we did.

We got the round pen set up. We got the first load of hay. We even took the Pips for a walk.

All the while…under a deep blue sky that was downright intoxicating.

 For Photo of the Day…here is Elizabeth in Allie’s Big Red Barn…POTD_15_10_21_Eliz_I told her she looked like a Farm Chick Centerfold!

…crazy girl that she is