The Cyclops Kitten

ex1About two months ago, my husband came home from work a little later than usual. I was not worried; I knew what kept him. My son did not. He was thrilled to see dad walk in with an itty-bitty kitty, our first family cat! We were all so excited. The kitten was so tiny, small enough to hold in the palm of your hand. He was a mess covered in burrs, ticks, and desperately needing a bath. His eyes were goopy, possibly an upper respiratory infection. He and his family were found by a friend of ours, abandoned in a box. They all needed care, so we decided to help and adopted one.

He was frightened the first couple days. We cut the burrs out, bathedex4 him and brushed him. He has long black fur with a regal mane. I love his unique white markings on his tail and face. He also has a white belly and paws. We decided to call him Exmoor. This was inspired by the cryptid, The Black Beast of Exmoor. It did not take him long to warm up to the idea of being an indoor cat. He warmed up to us quickly and took any chance he could to sleep in our laps. He already earned the nickname Purr Monster for reasons you can guess. His eyes seemed to be getting better as well.

ex2I was surprised by how lethargic he was, though. He hardly played like a kitten should. He slept all the time, a great deal even for a cat. He always wanted to stay in the bathroom and lay on wet towels. My husband suspected he was trying to stay cool. He was very calm for a kitten.

Then one day, his eye started to swell. I immediately scheduled an appointment with the vet and took him in a couple days later. I was informed he had a virus, a kind of “cat herpes”. The swollen eye was beyond treatment and I was shocked when they told me it had to be ex3removed. He also had a fever which would explain the seclusion in the bathroom. Over the next couple weeks we gave him antibiotics and eye ointment until his fever broke so they could start the surgery. I was worried for our new kitten but was assured that after the procedure, he would bounce right back. And so he did.

They kept him for two days after the surgery. When we brought him home, he was instantly ecstatic! He was purring as loud as I ever heard. He seemed so thankful to be home with us. He really did miss his new home. Once he showed his love, he began running around like a basket case. He was literally bouncing off the walls. Though he was only a few pounds, it sounded like an elephant ex8running back and forth across the floor. He used the couch like a jungle gym, leaping from cushion to cushion. He even ran up to both of our dogs and greeted them happily. Exmoor was a brand new kitten!

Now, he sleeps all day and plays all night. He’s acting as kittens should, CRAZY! And the lack of an eye doesn’t seem to be bothering him at all. Well, except for his depth perception. There were those few times he jumped for the table and missed completely falling to the floor. It’s hard not to laugh, especially when he takes off like a bat outta’ hell afterwards. Only to come back later and try again.

Exmoor is a great joy to have around and I feel great knowing that ex7he really does appreciate what we have done for him. He has a lot of personality and is very intelligent. We lucked out with this one and he lucked out with us!

ex5Next week he will be getting his stitches out and his transformation to Cyclops Kitten will be complete. There have also been a lot more pirate jokes going around the house lately. ARRRRRR!

We couldn’t have saved our kitten without the help of family and friends pitching in for the surgery. I am forever grateful to them. Sorry for the late blog post, as this has been one hell of a week for me! Thanks for checking in! I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.

Until next time,

“We passed a miserable night and then watched the Cyclops make breakfast of two more of our companions.” (The Odyssey, Book 9)

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100 Things to be Thankful for

It’s that time of year again. Huge dinners, family celebrations, and after-turkey naps. In honor of Thanksgiving,  I’ve compiled a list of 100 things that I am thankful for:

  1. My Family (DUH!)The family
  2. My Friends….yes, I have friends.
  3. My Familiars ~DeSoto, Sasha, & Exmoor & a goldfish too!~
  4. My talents = ART, photography, writing, so on and so forth….
  5. My blog: keeps me focused
  6. My memories with my HORSES!
  7. Hugs from my son.
  8. Kisses from my hubby.
  9. Pumpkin pie…OH MY GOSH…Pumpkin pie!
  10. And Cool Whip to go on top!!!!
  11. Running Water, so overlooked!
  12. Electricity, although without it I would probably draw more!
  13. My hair, it’s ridiculously looooooooong!
  14. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee. Coffee.l_abd01bfeced36c416c7b87ca40aee890
  15. Nature….literally cannot live without it
  16. ROAD TRIPS!
  17. Get-2-gethers, especially with bonfires!
  18. My external hard drive [a home for ALL my pictures]
  19. Good health….again, literally cannot live without it
  20. Fleece blankets
  21. Blue Jeans
  22. Boots….All Boots….All the time.
  23. The /roof\ over my headThanksgiving mini
  24. Honesty
  25. BOOKS!
  26. Sleep….ZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzz
  27. Quiet Neighbors
  28. Music
  29. Chocolate, chocolate anything.
  30. And cereal, any cereal.
  31. Games….board, card, video, all the above!
  32. The scenery where I live.
  33. Being myself!2016 Kelley's Island
  34. All you need is LOVE
  35. Wildlife…nature’s teachers.
  36. Security
  37. Heated buildings
  38. Beaches….
  39. ….and the Sunshine!
  40. Movies
  41. the means to discover my ancestry (another hobby of mine, I recommend it!)
  42. Nail clippers, I cannot stand long nails!
  43. Freedom
  44. A cool breeze on a hot day.
  45. Water excursions
  46. Mountain hikes
  47. Forest frolickingCoffee Swirls
  48. Journals
  49. Cameras…best invention ever!
  50. Photographs….preserving the past, documenting the present.
  51. Strong role models
  52. Randomness, like this list
  53. Internet…talk about making life easier!
  54. My Followers! (that’s you)
  55. Comments and Likes…wink, wink
  56. (((((((FRESH AIR))))))))
  57. Thunderstorms
  58. Essential Oils…..they’re essentialSketchbooks & Journals
  59. My bed
  60. Confidence
  61. Herbs/Plants
  62. Curiosity
  63. Rainy days
  64. **The moon….
  65. …..& stars.**
  66. My senses
  67. My body
  68. My mind
  69. Art Museums
  70. Sketchbooks
  71. Hats
  72. Patience
  73. Diversity
  74. Growing old….it’s better than the alternative!
  75. Instagram, I’m totally obsessedthc10
  76. A white Christmas
  77. Fireplaces, so cozy!
  78. Laughter {makes for a great life}
  79. The X-files (seriously, was there ever truly a better show)
  80. New beginnings
  81. Happy endings
  82. Kittens & Puppies
  83. Clean Laundry
  84. Halloween Costumes
  85. New Year’s drinks
  86. Summer dips
  87. Dishwashers, everyone hates washing dishes.
  88. Songbirds img_2914
  89. Cryptozoology…because what really left that footprint?
  90. Hoodies…with great big hoods!
  91. Smiling
  92. Athleticism
  93. Free-time; Me-time
  94. Modern dentistry, that stuff was scary back in the day!
  95. the smell of Lilac
  96. Peace & Quiet
  97. Adventure
  98. Stuffing, best thanksgiving food ever!
  99. Open-mindedness
  100. Compassion

So there it is. If your having trouble thinking of things to be thankful for, I hope this list helped jog your memory. What did I miss that you are thankful for? Leave a comment below! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“I can’t cook a Thanksgiving dinner.All I can make is cold cereal and maybe toast.”

 

Travel to: Fort Hardy Park

I enjoy taking my son to different parks and playgrounds at various locations. We like to adventure and see new places. One park that he enjoys is one we visit often, Fort Hardy Park. It has a playground, baseball fields, basketball courts, and not to mention various events throughout the year that are held by the town of Schuylerville. It’s a quaint and peaceful park for any family to enjoy.

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Although, it wasn’t always a beautiful, serene atmosphere. In fact, it is the very site where the British surrendered to the Americans after the Battle of Saratoga.

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British General John Burgoyne attacked the American troops on October 7, 1777. Although he hailed a minor victory weeks prior to this attack, he was over confident in his depleted troops and was forced to retreat. The British suffered 600 casualties whereas the Americans lost 150. Ten days later, the British General surrendered to Horatio Gates and Benedict Arnold, the Generals who led the Americans during the battle. This became a major turning point in the Revolutionary War and was the deciding factor for the French government’s alliance.

It’s amazing the history that scatters the globe. Where good men have died, children can now play. Where troops marched along the river to prepare for battle, people now gather to watch parades go by.  Where forces invaded and tried to overtake us, we now live peacefully side by side as neighbors.

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It’s a little late for Veteran’s Day and a little early for Thanksgiving but this post ties into both. So many men and women have made the ultimate sacrifice to ensure that I can live freely with my family and I am eternally grateful.

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Are there any parks you visit that have a bit of history? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for checking in this week!

Until next time,

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter the words, but to live by them.”  ~John F. Kennedy

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sources: History.com , HistoryPlace.com

 

Free Spirit Anniversary!

ATA3I am excited to say that this week marks my one year anniversary from when I started my blog! I am very proud of my consistency and tenacity to keep up with it! It’s thrilling that I can share my work of all kinds with anyone who cares to take a gander. My drawings, photography, writing, paintings, all of it in one giant collection. It feels like the “Chronicles of Free Spirit Meg”. It keeps me focused and keeps me working even when I’m in a slump. This blog has helped me really see things, to pay attention to details even more so than I already did. There is always more to learn and because of that reason I feel like my blog will live on forever. Or at least until I die or blogging is replaced with the next big best thing!

I won’t lie, it has been a struggle. It takes so much time and effort to edit the photos, write your entry, proof-read, put the pictures together, link it to all your media sites, tags and finally get the thing scheduled to post. That’s just the blog. That doesn’t include actually doing the sketches and fine art and going to the actual events and taking the pictures. Phew!

But in keeping this blog, all my hard work is laid out before me. It’s neatly tucked in a digital filing cabinet for me to share with everyone in the world! That, my friend, is a pretty cool feeling. It’s the proof of my blood, sweat, and tears!

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I would like to do a little recap on this past year and share everything I have accomplished but before I do, I want to say THANK YOU! Thank YOU! The reader, the viewer, the friend, the free spirit, whoever YOU are, thank you! I love all of my readers and your support goes a long way! Thank you for all the views, comments, and followers. It encourages me to keep chugging and pursue the free spirit lifestyle! I hope my blog continues to do the same for you!

Share your opinion below in the comments! What is your favorite part about my blog? What is your least favorite part? Any tips that can help me grow are always welcome!

Until next time,

“Great men are not born great, they grow great.”

Travel to: The Hyde Collection

Thanks to a dear friend, I had the opportunity to check out a wonderful art museum located in Glens Falls, NY. The Hyde Collection was dedicated to the community in 1952 by Charlotte Pruyn Hyde. She was born into wealth, her father being the sole owner to the paper manufacturing company, Finch, Pruyn & Company. Charlotte married a young law student, Louis Hyde, who was convinced by her father to join the family business and eventually become vice president of the paper mill. The family, to include Charlotte’s two sisters, commissioned an architect to create three houses on adjoined properties for them to reside and overlook the Hudson River. These buildings now encompass the Hyde Collection.

Over the next few decades they collected works from their favorite dealers in New York and from frequent summer trips to Europe.

The museum is broken down into three sections. One of which being an educational wing for art classes, seminars, and other related events.

The Hyde Gallery, you can guess, is where the art shows are held. The current show is “Transforming the Hyde: The Feibes and Schmitt Gift. There is also an exhibition going on until December displaying the works of artists from the Mohawk Hudson region. There was many great pieces that took my breath away. There were also many works that made my lip curl. I definitely recommend having a look for yourself and seeing what you like…but no cameras!

The Hyde House is set in a home environment with bookshelves, antique furniture, priceless art hanging from the walls, tapestries, busts, statues, a grand piano…I mean, it just keeps going. This place was gorgeous. There was a great room with a high glass ceiling. Even the architecture was historical art. It was fantastically overwhelming. Luckily, I was able to take pictures here although I only had my phone available.

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I brought a small sketchbook with me as well so I could sketch some of my favorite pieces. I could not pass up sketching an original Picasso. I could literally get close enough to touch my nose to it. It was called, “The Boy With the Blue Vase”. You can learn so much from concentrating on the details of a master’s work. I also came across a Greek statue from 4th century B.C. called “Mourning Woman”. The head and one of the arms had broken off. I feel like it added even more to the emotion of the piece. The figure clutched a piece of cloth in the hand that was left, perhaps the remaining piece of whom or what she lost. She was draped down to the toe in a heavy blanket-like material. The sorrow literally hung from her. It was a very moving piece.

I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to the Hyde Collection. It really made for a great day for my artist self. I also discovered that it is free to the public the second Sunday of every month. I have a feeling I’m going to be sketching there more often.

I hope you enjoyed taking a peek into the Hyde House. Have you been to an art museum or exhibit recently? Which place is your favorite to go to? Share your story below in the comments! Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“Look beyond the paint. Let us try to open our minds to a new idea.”

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Go With the Flow!

I took my son and his friend to the park about a week ago, bringing my trusty camera to occupy myself. The sky was a beautiful cerulean blue and the clouds casually drifted by. They were wispy and delicate. They eventually created a scene that stretched across the atmosphere.

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I instantly saw a women, arms stretched out, as if she were leaping into the air. The cloud beneath looked like water splashing; perhaps she was leaping into the raging water. Taunting the waves to carry her away, not fearing the rapids that may shove and toss her.

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It’s a wild ride but instead of fighting the currents, she jumps in with open arms. A free spirit. The waters, whether rough or calm, do not change who she is. She will always dive in and let them carry her to her next destination.

Sometimes life can be tranquil and easy going. We can drift down the river without effort. There are other times though, when the waters get rough. It tosses and crashes and splashes us all around. Do not fight it, do not fear it. Let it carry you, regardless of how treacherous it looks. No matter how fast it takes you. Keep going with the flow and you will have the power to erode any obstacle in your path. Perhaps this was my spirit guide encouraging me to jump into the rapids and let them carry me to where I am suppose to be.

I loved creating an image from what I saw in the clouds. I have been wanting to do something like this for a long time and I finally decided to do it. The instant tale that popped into my head when I saw these clouds was worth sharing. I hoped you enjoyed it!

What do you see in the clouds? Have you seen any cool formations lately? Share a comment or photo below! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“Do not pray for an easy life, pray for the strength to endure a difficult one.”

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It also reminded me of a scene in “The Little Mermaid“. 😛

Beauty Comes and Goes

It had rained a bit over the weekend. I was on my way home about an hour before sunset. The rain stopped and the last of the daylight glistened across the sky. As I turned on to the final road before home, I noticed about six or seven cars pulled over to the side. I was confused about the roadside get together and drove past them. Then I realized what they were doing. On the horizon was a vibrant rainbow, a small chunk peeking through the clouds.

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_mg_3219I drove further up the road from the other spectators and got a look at the rainbow through an old cemetery nearby, one of which I have photographed before. The rainbow seemed to appear from behind one of the headstones (perhaps a message from beyond the grave). It was difficult to make out the name on the stone so I will have to do some digging and figure out whose it is. At the time, I was trying to get as many pictures as I could before the sun disappeared, taking the rainbow with it. I scrambled with my camera, attaching the lens and getting the proper filter on in a flash. I snapped the image of the headstone and climbed up the hill to get a landscape shot. I got about six pictures and once again, my inability to charge my battery after every use had gotten the best of me. My camera died. D@mn! At least I am lucky enough to live in the age of smartphones. I snapped the remaining images with my phone.

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As the sun was setting, the rainbow grew and grew right before my eyes. It started as a small piece behind a cloud and grew into a giant arch across the sky. I also happened to get a shot that revealed a second rainbow. It was amazing to witness and was over as quickly as it began. Lucky me, I was there to get some pictures.

Were you somewhere over the rainbow? Possibly one of the other spectators on the side of the road? Leave a comment below and share your story. Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

“She’s like a rainbow coming, colors in the air.”

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In the distance, the Saratoga Monument

Related post: If You Want A Rainbow

Horsin’ Around

I had the opportunity to hang out with the horses at a friend’s farm the other day. The foals were being weaned the day after so I wanted to get pictures of them with their dams before they were separated.

They are all thoroughbreds and they are one of the most intelligent and curious breeds you will come across. The foals were following me everywhere and we even chased each other around the tree a few times. They were a pleasure to spend time with and I’m glad I got a few cute pictures of them, that is, when they weren’t shoving their muzzle into my camera lens! You just got to love a child’s spirit!

Have you been horsin’ around with an equine friend? Share your story in the comments below. Thanks for stopping by this week!

Until next time,

“You can say anything you want about me but I’m going to have to ask you not to talk about my horse that way.”

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Head in the Clouds

Today was a beautiful, sunny day in my neck of the woods. Anothet day or two of warm weather before the chill comes. That last bit of Summer that won’t give in!

I’ve been working outside all year at a thoroughbred brood farm close to where I live. The scenery there is spectacular. I’ve shared images I’ve taken there before but there is one view in particular I want to point out.

The farm seems to sit atop it’s very own hill in order to grant it an amazing overlook of the mountains in the distance. I take a picture of this scene almost every time I’m there.

The greatest aspect is every time you look, the landscape is different than it was before. The clouds roll in and paint you a picture. The colors radiate when the sun shines in. The mood changes when fog looms over the mountains. Add an equine familiar and again, it changes the entire feel of the image.

I’m glad I get to breathe in this landscape almost everyday! I cannot wait to take pictures when the leaves start to change.

I also would like to do images for each season and then compare the four together.

I hope you enjoyed the view this week! Next week I’ll be sharing some sketchbook pages, a completed pencil piece and much more to come! Thanks for reading!

Until next time,

The really happy person is the one who can enjoy the scenery, even when they have to take a detour.”

Changing of the Seasons

Autumn has finally arrived. But before we gear up for hoodie weather and hot chocolate, I wanted to share some of my favorite images from Spring and Summer. I hope you got your swimming and gardening in while you could! The cool air is on it’s way!

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Great Blue Heron

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I will miss the liveliness of the warmer seasons but I welcome the fall colors, crisp air and of course….pumpkin flavored everything! What was your favorite experience during the spring and summer seasons? What do you look forward to with the coming Autumn? Leave a comment below! Thanks for checking in this week!

Until next time,

“Change is good.”