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Since I can't have a wishlist. ....


I wish for a day when I can access DA from my phone easily without the app (my phone doesn't have enough room for another app, and currently the browser mode is a huge pain).

Since that probably won't happen, I wish to know the purpose of badges/points and what it takes to give/get badges/points. Seems everyone has them, and lots of them.  I know I missed out on the introduction way back when (I've only been intermittently here due to various reasons), and that somehow I was gifted with a few llamas by some generous individuals.  

And since I can't fully access all of DA features with my phone, I've been left clueless to these things. (I can't even look up badges to see what's available.)  So until the day I have a phone/tablet with enough memory for all my apps plus the DA app, I'll just wish to know these things.

oh, and I wish I could change the comment on my journal that says "Drinking: lemonade" because I am not always drinking lemonade.
  • Drinking: lemonade
I finally got home 4 days later than I'd hoped to.  But that delay was from all those days waiting out the snow. Got a lot accomplished this time.  Updated a significant section of my website that's needed updating for a long time. And there's still a portion yet to update, then comes the new articles.  I updated my research for 2 subcategories of another section (5 total), and I found that a lot of my resource links will need to be updated for the section I just finished. Maybe on a future home trip I can stop by my storage and locate the books for two of these sections so I can work on the articles.

I did get into the cedar chest and take some photos of a few of the vintage articles mom kept inside. I'll be uploading those later. I also sorted more of my crafting supplies, and took a few photos to share.

It's time to be heading off to deliver this load, do I'll be back later.

Be safe out there.
  • Drinking: lemonade
Last week I picked up my load in Everett WA and headed toward Chicago.  My DM insisted I try to find parking at the North Bend TA when I stop for fuel. Well I knew my chances were slim at best, but I took a look around before fueling.  Sure enough the only spots available were reserved - pay to park spots. So I fueled and headed immediately over Snoqualmie and parked at Indian John Hill Rest Area.

Day two: I woke to a dusting of snow, and as soon as I could get rolling, I was on my way through Spokane, and straight over Fourth of July and Lookout passes into Montana.  That night I stayed at the Missoula TA.

Day Three: Again I woke up to an inch of snow, and like Day Two, I was rolling as soon as possible. Straight over Homestake pass just east of Butte, and on to Bozeman, and then Billings. A fuel reopt later, I was looking at Hardin. Rather than fueling as soon as I got there, I parked on the snow packed parking lot.  

* I forgot to note that while in Billings, I received a message that I-90 was closed from Fourth of July to Butte.   This storm I was out-running was determined to catch me.

Day 4: When there was a lull in truck traffic, I pulled out of my cozy spot and fueled up. Then I proceeded to I-90. Crossing the overpass I could see that the freeway looked clear enough to proceed.  If it hadn't, I would have gone over to the Flying J to turn around and return to a different cozy spot at Loves. I got about 5-7 miles down the freeway and the road conditions worsened considerably.

When I got to the US-212 junction, I hesitated on the overpass and watched two drivers coming down the hill. I asked about road conditions over the CB, and one of them said "kinda risky." I thanked him and turned back onto I-90 westbound.  There was nothing open at the Crow Agency for truck services and the freeway heading east looked as bad as US-212 did. I found a much closer cozy spot when I returned.  

Day 5: After checking road conditions, I stayed in my cozy parking spot.

Day 6: On one of my trips into the store a clerk asked why I was still there. She also stated that the roads were "fine." Apparently she was referring to I-90 westbound. A stretch of US-212 in Wyoming was still "closed for the season." Now I am aware drivers were going through, and that there are no gates like those on the interstates, but it's a $750 fine if you are caught driving on a closed road in Wyoming, plus any recovery fees if you get stuck or slide off.  This meant I-90 was my next option, and as a last resort, I-94.  

I checked conditions, and opted to head out on 90. Those miles through the reservation were a blur as I was focused on making it through.  Fortunately I came up on a plow and he was laying down traction grit. I was more than happy to follow him at a safe distance until he turned around at a crossover 3 miles from Wyoming.  I thought I'd be in for 3 very slippery miles, but the traction grit he or his buddy in the other plow make it easier. Once in Wyoming, the freeway was mostly clear, with a few icy patches. The state scale, however, was packed snow.  But it wasn't as bad as the freeway I'd left behind in Montana. After presenting my papers to the DoT officer and receiving an all clear, I proceeded to a truck stop in Buffalo and decided to stop for the night.

Day 7: Without any issues, I left Buffalo and crossed over into South Dakota, stopping at the Badlands Travel Plaza. When I checked distance to the next few safe places, I realized it wasn't likely I'd find parking at any of them. As the truck next to me had left already, I moved over close to the tree and shut down.

Day 8: No issues this morning either. So off I went across South Dakota.  About halfway to the stop I'd been planning to make, I decided to pull into the rest area at Chamberlain.  The parking lot was mostly clear with a few scattered patches of packed snow/ice. On my way back to the truck it started snowing lightly. After I'd traveled a few miles, the snow got thicker but it wasn't sticking to the road yet, so I pushed on til I got to Mitchell and parked. Within moments my tracks were covered, and soon I had 3" on the hood of the truck. I wasn't going anywhere, and the truck stop was filling up fast.

* Meanwhile western Washington and Oregon was getting hammered with their own storms.  The Puget Sound area from Seattle to Olympia got snowed in, and Portland got ice from the cold winds out of the Columbia Gorge to go with their snow.

Day 9: As all the other days, the other drivers were clearing out of the lot early.  The flatbed that parked to my right left at 4 am. I checked conditions, and prepared to head out. The reports had I-29 as worse than the reports for I-90. It turned out quite the opposite - once I got to Sioux Falls and fueled I headed down I-29 and just south of Sioux Falls the road was bare all the way to Iowa.  Once in Iowa, I didn't see hardly any snow along the shoulders and the roads were bare and mostly dry. I stopped at the Adair rest area for the night.

Day 10: Only a light dusting of snow this morning.  As I headed east, I saw the plows out putting de-icer on the pavement.  Although I encountered a few spots of ice prior to de-icing, they were small and scattered.  Otherwise, the roads were clear all the way to Chicago.  I passed the heavily flooded areas around Rock Island and Moline, and encountered no issues til I got to Chicago.  Apparently two 4 wheelers and a semi had wrecks at the I-55 overpass that morning.  All I saw when I was passing through was the recovery of the semi.  Looked like he was trying to avoid the two cars that had previously been involved. I have not searched for any news articles on the incident so I'm only going on what I heard from others who also passed the scene. Once past the accident, I headed to the terminal and t-called the load.

Day 11: Woke up early to strong winds off Lake Michigan shaking the truck. Since I have a very light load to pick up here I wasn't going anywhere until the wind speeds and gusts reduced. A couple hours later I caught a decent lull in the winds and headed back across I-80 and away from Chicago - slower at first, but as I encountered less resistance, I could travel faster. So back across Illinois and Iowa, and into Nebraska, all the way to Grand Island TA for the night.

Day 12 (yesterday): I left Grand Island and made great time all the way to Denver and delivered my load. Next came a trailer search, and got one on the second try, so I headed over to my shipper early.  Fate was in my favor and they loaded my truck early, however, my decision to try for the Flying J almost was a disaster.  I was stuff for 22 minutes watching my 14 hour clock tick down as four guys were trying to get a truck parked (driver and 3 spotters). I finally got out and asked if one could spot for me so I could back up and turn around to leave.  One nice driver did just that. Unfortunately for him, his was the truck on the other side waiting to park or leave and his clock was also ticking down.  I headed straight to the terminal, only to get stuff a stone's throw away to wait out two trains and the signal to let me cross.  The last few minutes of my clock went bye bye while I was waiting, so I turned the volume down to mute the nagging messages I'd get those last couple blocks (like a zigzag) to the gate and to park once inside. Fortunately the second row was half full so I got a nice pull through and parked - with 22 minutes into violation.  I documented my clock with detailed remarks and retired to my bunk.

Today: After receiving a message from my Terminal Manager asking drivers to avoid driving between 11 pm and 4 am,  I checked my schedule and decided I could delay til at least 4 am.  I left Denver just as traffic was starting to pick up, and I headed north on I-25 to I-80 and west across Wyoming to Utah.  All the roads were bare and mostly dry all day, but I did find a few parking lots with patches of packed snow/ice. As of tonight I'm looking at a fairly clear trip all the way back to Washington to deliver this load and go home for a few days.

Drive safely out there.

***********

And if you're one of those four wheelers passing a big truck, please give lots of space before you change lanes. Remember you should see the entire height of the truck in your shortest rear view mirror (or more). If you only see the grill, you're too close. Trucks require about 3 football fields in length to stop.  

And if you're a fellow truck driver, be sure to keep the proper following distance.  I see too many drivers tailgating, on both sides, which is a recipe for a major accident.  Also don't forget that your fellow drivers need you to give them more space once you've passed them.  

The average truck driver gives 1 second of following space when they merge back in front of vehicles they've just passed.  The average four wheeler gives half a second* to almost 2 seconds.  The exception is the truck driver who gives 2 seconds or more and the four wheeler who gives more than 2 seconds.  It takes at least 6-8 seconds to stop a truck, plus reaction time and any adjustments for road conditions.

* I call those leaving half a second or less suicidal.  Others say they have a death wish.  And someday they'll get that wish.....
  • Drinking: lemonade
When I was home at Christmas, Dad asked me if I could make him a trifold leather wallet. Of course I could, once I had either made the parts or obtained parts from a kit.  Dad showed me his wallet and expressed some urgency in completing his request.  

I just happened to get a chance to drop by Tandy Leather in Portland Oregon on Jan 3, so I picked up a kit. I made note that it came with supplies to stitch it up, but not with leather lacing.  It came with sinew thread. No worries though.  I'd grabbed a dark brown spool of leather lacing when I was home, and a few lacing needles.  

When I went home last week, I dug around in the workshop til I found the Tool Box (check out photos in the Leatherwork folder in my gallery if you haven't already). After I took several photos, I proceed to dye the wallet back and set it aside to dry while Dad and I ate dinner. After dinner, I buffed the back to a nice shine, then sat down to lace it up. Dad fussed with his wood stove while I laced, and soon he was watching me finish the last few inches of lacing.  Once I finished, I snapped a couple photos and presented him with the wallet.  He was all smiles!

And that's the story behind my photo uploads today.  I have many more leather tools and projects to share, and when I can locate the photos I took of the kits I did while in Austin TX,  I'll upload them.  

Have a great night my friends, and be safe out there.
  • Drinking: lemonade
Quite awhile back I remember mentioning the sad condition of my old maps. A few months ago I completed the reconstruction on my map collection, and began detailing the last unfinished map I had started so long ago. 

All of the new versions are taken directly from the originals and prepared in the same fashion. I have the new versions within more protective sleeves and in a special loose leaf binder covered in cloth and zippered. In fact the binder also houses my vast vexillolographical collection as well as any heraldic drawings, military insignia, architectural design, and other sketches. 

Honestly, I wouldn't have combined it altogether except I found a Z-style dual binder with two 2" D ring sections. It's quite heavy, although nothing like the many binders my teammate stores MTG cards in. I developed a different system to store my card collection as I could see how quickly it could become overwhelming.   I place all but the initial collection in a set of plastic boxes to reduce amount of space required to store a rapidly expanding hobby. 

Meanwhile my artwork completely dominates the Z binder. It took a few different tries to find a suitable means of storing the initial set for each expansion, but I settled on an 8 1/2 x 11" 9-card style binder that can house a core or major expansion completely, or hold 2 minor expansions together in one binder. 

Back to the maps. Since I have finished the initial reconstruction, the next step is finding time to scan all 23 plates, both in whole and in provincial sections. Each province will be saved digitally, then printed and prepared in the same manner as my hand drawn maps. Then I will scan those completed maps and save them as well.  Further details will only be added for key areas of interest, like Founder's Forty for an example.  

The Forty refers to an agriculturally fertile valley where several plantations provide a variety of foodstuffs for the local populace and for nearby island provinces.  Portions of the back story are kept in a small notebook as notes at this time, and as I build the characters and stories, I will also add local maps to the collection. 

Oh, on a side note...I dislike the "new" journal interface. What in the heck are the programmers at DA thinking? This may be fine and dandy for a computer, but it S.U.C.K.S. major big time on a mobile device!!!!! Stash writer throws the skin selection pane right over the textbox. And writing a journal entry is not an option in "mobile view" - or at least I couldn't find how to access it easily without first changing to desktop view.  I've come to be very disappointed in websites forcing mobile view then not giving proper supporting tools to accomplish all the tasks. 

The mood reflects my chancing onto whole collections of flags, maps, and related artwork within the past 24 hours.  I have many more to add to my faves and watching list.
  • Drinking: lemonade
For those who are unfamiliar with the acronym, it means Over the Road. Well I do spend much time on the road, bringing goods to a city near any of you who live in the US. That's changed a little since February, I still deliver goods. It's just a regional distribution now, to points in eastern Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Mississippi.  First of all, I hate extremely hot weather. ..so that meant staying inside truck or air conditioned spaces as much as possible.  Second, this flatlander trucking kinda gets to me, especially when I get a load home. Then my ears are popping with every little hill all the way there. 

My last entry here was about holidays 2011, and it's nearing holiday season again.  2012, I spent holidays in my truck. I drove through the leading edge of the Christmas snow storm that hit Oklahoma, northward to Topeka. In 2013, I gained a teammate and spent thanksgiving with my team mate's family, and Christmas with my folks back home.  

This year, it's going to be Christmas with my team mate's family. I will try to stay in the truck if possible, at the truck stop. I have plenty to keep me busy while there. At the moment thou, we are waiting for a load to Kansas for hometime,and just found out the battery went dead on the truck. It was only sitting here off for maybe 10 hours or so...freaky. Have to get the problem addressed as the outside temperature is going up and it's too hot in the top bunk.
  • Drinking: Diet Dr Pepper
The one thing I can say about living 2400 miles from my closest family is that there is no need to tolerate the holiday season with them.  Not that I don't like the holidays.  I just don't like their kinds of celebrations for the holidays.  I like doing my own thing, always have, always will.

So I have an opportunity to spend the holidays the way I prefer - alone or nearly alone.  Most definitely enjoying the quiet and reflecting on the reasons for the holiday rather than the consumeristic approach to the holiday.  Away from the gluttony and over indulgence in extravagant gifting, I can relax and do things that I enjoy.  Make my own traditions.  

That was my hope.  Thanksgiving was, well ... different.  It was not the big family get together, but it was just different.  A fellow veteran invited me to her home for the holiday.  Everything was cooked beforehand - over the 2-3 days before.  That meant that all it needed was to be warmed and eaten.  As soon as her other friends showed up and she realized they were coming for the meal instead of returning to their place, everything that needed warmed was being warmed and the spread was laid out.  

It was an overload for my eyes and I did what I usually do when I see so much - shut down the appetite.  I did that the day before when Green Doors delivered a full Turkey dinner from H-E-B to the house.  The refrigerator couldn't hold another item.  I barely ate dinner the night before and here I was looking at two tables filled with very delicious looking food.  

"Oh it's a bird plate!"  I only selected what I knew I could eat for one of my normal meals and no more.  A little of the roast turkey, some green bean casserole and mashed potatoes with butter, a dinner roll, and a small cob of corn.  A pecan pie was there for dessert, but I was comfortably full and did not want to put any more in.  

We watched the Macy's parade, then the guys turned to football.  Most of my family never really watched football, except for the Finns.  Then the women sat in the kitchen and chatted and the men were at the other end of the house.  It was rarely loud enough to carry to the kitchen.  So here I was with two guys and two gals watching football.  It was planned that us gals would go to another room for some quieter time.

After awhile I went to the other room and worked on the project I brought to kill time with (as it was recommended that I bring something).  But the noise followed me and I heard everything from the other room.  It was not my choice of holiday pasttimes, but it was with friends.  The gals took a plate over to a neighbor and visited for awhile.  I was alone in the back room for nearly 2 hours, then decided I needed to go home where it was quiet.  I appreciate my friends' generosity.  

I think I will spend Christmas at the house.  I want some quiet me time to reflect and do things that I love.
  • Drinking: Diet Dr Pepper
Near the end of April, I applied for and had a phone interview for a job - in another state.  Significant other was not too happy, but insisted that I take it if offered.  Was offered a place to stay, but one of the roommates was not exactly comfortable with someone she was not too familiar with.  Opted toward a veteran's option, but my referrer's mom decided that I should stay with them til I got on my feet.

The month of May was one of chaos and upheaval.  Moved significant other into his mom's house since it would be difficult to set up all his VA appointments and get settled into a place.  Plus the temperatures were average for the Pacific Northwest, then to move directly into upper 90 degree temperatures would not have been a good move for him.  Arrived in Texas after 4 days travel and started new job on my birthday.  What a change!  My first night on the road was in Utah.  Temps were mild, but certainly not chilly like my last night in Washington.   The next night was spent at my cousin's in Denver.  After Ratan Pass, I was greeted with 99 degree temperatures in New Mexico and it was hotter the closer I got to Texas.  My last night on the road was in Texas and was certainly warm, though not uncomfortable.

Welcome to Houston!  Hot and muggy Houston!  If I weren't from a fairly humid climate I would have had heat exhaustion for the next 5 weeks.  I was thankful for that much, but it was still quite hot for my liking.  Then my roommates decided they were moving to Austin.  What to do?  It was a bit soon to see if the first offer could be validated and way too soon to find a place of my own since I barely made enough to cover basic expenses at the time.  My roommates wanted me to move with them and since my employer had an office in Austin, I could transfer.  By the time the transfer came up, one roommate moved in with her boyfriend so the other transferred to Austin with me.

Three weeks of hell.  Yes you read it right.  Austin is a nice city, but living in a hotel is like passing through hell.  Was no one's fault.  It was the fact that apartments are hard to find and having fair credit is necessary in order to get into one.  Plus the cost of the hotel was eating up every bit of money needed to search.  

Finally found an apartment, but the temperatures are in the triple digits so moving means chances of heat exhaustion.  I'm glad to say that some of the weight that came on last summer from the medications has dropped off, my feet and ankles are no longer swollen, and I am in better health than I was when I was living in the house in Washington.  

Unfortunately, while I was still in Houston my significant other passed away.  His mom had him believing that I had abandoned him and he shut down.  He was a big part of the decision for the move in the first place and he knew where I would be working.  He either forgot, or his mom did - both knew of the place and could have contacted my employer at any point.  What was especially unnerving was the way she treated me when I called.  She'd never been disowning of me before and she was very much family to me.  How she got this attitude at this stage in her life beats me.  Sadly it seems that senility, dementia, and other strange traits come out when certain individuals reach their 80s.  For my own grandma, she was near 90 when it became most noticeable.  

Needless to say, I was not even notified of his passing until I called on the scheduled weekend - 10 days after he passed.  I had only talked with him 6 days prior and said I'd call the next pay period so I wouldn't be using roommates' minutes.  I got a cell phone the weekend I had planned to call, and I called shortly afterwards.  I've been more in a state of shock every since.  I've been working to keep my mind off things that might make me emotional, and doing as much other stuff as I can to keep my mind busy in off times.  But it does catch up with me once in awhile and I cry.  

Alone.  Even my roommate does not console, nor would even offer.  I am as lonely as I was in that house - there I had someone to talk to but no hugs or closeness if I wanted it.  Sometimes it would be nice for just a shoulder to cry on.  I think the only option is the one friend still in Houston who originally offered me a place.  However, that friend is now nearly 4 hours away.

Anyway, the whole ordeal has been a huge move in my life - financially, physically, emotionally.
  • Drinking: Diet Dr Pepper
Klahowya!
I am doing much better these days.  I spent another month battling horrible migraines, but I discovered it had to do with my ph balance and foods I was eating.  

I dropped a lot of the prescriptions they kept trying to get me to take (excluding vitamin/mineral supplements) and started drinking 10oz of orange juice twice a day for a week.  The only medicine I have taken since was one Imitrex when I had a minor migraine, but no more of those "zombie" pills, heartburn pills, or even aspirins.  

It all comes down to keeping to natural foods and when things start getting a bit off, resetting the balance with OJ or other natural anti-oxidants. Also staying away from the foods containing nitrates helps a lot, as those are a bit reason why ph gets out of balance.  Nitrates are found in processed meats & cheeses, as well as root and leafy vegetables.  Even organic vegetables are still treated with natural fertilizers which do contain nitrates.  

I can eat some of my favorites again, but I wont be letting it get out of control anymore.

Frost burn is not a pleasant experience.  It is rather painful at times and the itching can drive one batty while trying to sleep at night.  My computer desk sits in a "black hole" for heat.  The space under the desk is almost impossible to keep warm in winter and is more like sitting on Lake Michigan in a fishing shack in January.  When the temperatures drop below freezing outside, so does that spot... or at least it feels like it.  

I have coped over past winters by changing socks, wandering away from the computer to work on other things, grabbing the heating pad, or heading off to bed to tuck my toes into a warm spot.  Heating pad is no more and I cant afford a new one, so the other options still work.  Last year I put a small clip-on lamp there to provide some heat, and it works to a small degree.  A lap afghan helps as i can wrap it around my legs and trap warmth close to my legs and feet.  A solid-fuel handwarmer is nice as I can tuck it into my sock or rest my foot on it.

A couple years ago, my toes experienced frost burn.  When the doctor say my feet he prescribed a cream for athletes foot!  While it will address the itch somewhat, it will not heal frost burns.  I'd never had athletes foot even when I was stationed in Florida, though Mom said she'd been plagued with it so I thought perhaps it caught up with me.  Then the freezing weather came early this season - in November.  By the New Year I realized that it is *not* athletes foot, but frost burn... and thus began treatment of my foot ailment as a burn.

I'd learned when I as a teen that Vitamin E was an excellent alternative to a freshly cut Aloe Vera leaf.  I'd been badly sunburned on my legs from lounging on a rubber inner tube in the creek most of the day.  My parents were going to town for the payday pizza dinner ritual and I wanted to wear pants.  That would be painful.  I poked a sewing pin into 2 1000 IU Vitamin E capsule and spread one on each leg.  

Vitamin E worked for my sunburned legs, so why wouldnt it work for my frost-burned toes?  It has been quite effective.  The vitamin E oil helps to heal the tissue and keeps it soft during the healing process so that when the scars do separate from the new skin underneath, the new skin is not damaged.  While the vitamin E does not kill all of the itchiness, J&J's First Aid cream will.  

The lesson here is that we just need to get back to basics.  Basic homeopathic treatments often prove to be more effective for me than the latest "breakthrough" in modern medicine.  It reminds me that while an antihistamine is good for bee sting inflammation and makes me drowsy, a simple poultice of a Verbascum plant provides instant results without the side effects.
  • Watching: Top Gear marathon on BBC America
  • Drinking: Orange Juice
It's been awhile since I visited and even longer since I updated anything here.  A couple months ago my computer crashed and the folks who restored it neglected to backup the proper user account thus destroying 3.5 years of my life's work, much of which was no place else.

Scans can be replaced, 5000 family tree individuals can be re-added to my massive 50,000 database (55,000 before the crash), online accesses can be restored, music and php files can be replaced.  But a few hours of raw video footage cannot be replaced, original photoshop files cannot be replaced, numerous documents and projects for university cannot be replaced.

I am thankful that I did upload some of my photoshopped images here as it is the only place many of them exist right now.  Many others can be replaced, but some would not look the same as some scans are unique and the item would not be in the exact positioning as before.

Last time I wrote in my journal, I mentioned that I found my vexillilogical artwork but had not located the cartography that went with it.  While I was bored out of my mind waiting for my computer to be worked on, I located the cartography.
Found is my vexillological art collection; still MIA is the collection of cartography that went with it.  Along with this collection was a number of scraps and doodles which inspired many of these color plates.  

Looks like my scanner is going to be quite busy in the days to come, though I've become distracted with another hobby - genealogy.  I recently obtained access to a friend's family tree.  Soon I found one connection to a branch in my tree and started chasing it.  To me, these fasciniations are like putting a kid in a candy store - I will pursue the hobby that has me most preoccupied till I am too exhausted by the search or I reach a logical stopping place or conclusion to the work.  If too exhausted, I take a break, do something else, and return.
I love making beaded objects and have created numerous pieces over the years.

I found various sizes of beads at odd shops locally and in all of my travels, from The Bead Shop in Long Beach, WA to a Tandy Leather Company outlet in Jacksonville, FL.  The most difficult part of locating beads is finding a standard size in a range of colors for special projects.  Most beads are now sold by a standard size scale, but years ago they were all branded seed beeds, pony beads, or whatever appropriate label that seemed to fit.  

My massive collection includes a broad range of seed beeds from the tiny size 15 through  size 9 (almost pony bead size) and many unique or odd beads of glass, metal, plastic, or stone.  I currently have them sorted into stackable containers grouped with like-sized or like-style beads for quick and easy access in creating new projects.  

Most of the brightly colored red-yellow-blue pieces are part of the decoration I wear with my regalia.  For some of the images, I separated pieces and scanned them individually; other scans were made of groupings.  

Some of these scans were adapeted digitally into the Beadwork Collage piece, which was a "Mail Art" assignment for one of my instructors.  I used the Beaded Tassels in another assignment for the same instructor on "Traditional Art and Kiche."  A painting by a local artist was my traditional art portion; I took a digital photo of it on my cell phone as the painting was a bit large to be carrying about between classes.
While submitting lineart deviations, I realize there are probably loads of people who know little or nothing of model horse collecting and the scale models I am mentioning.  I do know that there are many here who are collectors and customizers and know what I'm talking about, but this entry is for those who are clueless to our hobby.

Back in 1950, Breyer Molding Company in Chicago began producing a plastic 1:9 scale model of an horse with a Western saddle.  This model took the company from producing other plastic objects into a world of toys and collectibles.  Early collectors variously displayed an occasional Breyer model horse on a bookshelf or gave to their children to play with.  Many of those children loved their Breyers a little too well, and the models showed the love in scratches, rubs, and scuffs.  

I speak of one collector, JDM, who began gathering these models into a collection in what was once a utility room addon to a mobil home she resided in at the time.  Her husband built her a hobby desk, and she installed shelves around the room.  Her collection soon grew to fill as much space as she could eek out of every corner.  She also became penpals with collectors and customizers from other areas, and often traded or purchased their customizations.  JDM also introduced me to the hobby of collecting the plastic figures, and thus my lifelong fondness to horses grew.

When I find my collection of digital photos of horses from the collection of JDM, I will elaborate on some of the personalities who once dominated this hobby.  Their work may also be found in a handful of other collections across America ~ Dierks & Alger and Geo. Howard are probably best known.

Each of these awesome model representations has inspired me to create these technical drawings, both for illustrating a book on harness and for use in my own scale-model larimy.

Larimy is the leatherwork of a larimer and is most associated with harness making, but also included saddlery and other equine tack which is often referred to tack-making by the scale-model customizer.  In the traditional arts, a larimer was often also the town farrier and sometimes could provide limited equine veterinary services.

Breyer Molding Co. expanded their 1:9 scale model horse (approx 11" tall) line greatly since the 1950s, and in 1973 introduced the Classic size horses (approx 6" tall) to their production.  The first six molds were purchased/adapted from famous Hagen Renaker molds which were produced in porcelain.  In 1975 Breyer added the Stablemates (approx 1.5" tall) to the line, and in 1984 Little Bits (now Paddock Pals, approx 3" tall) were introduced when Reeves International purchased Breyer Molding Co.  

The model horse hobby has also grown by leaps and bounds in the past 6 decades, from a handful of enthusiasts to a large group of equine fans who not only display them in their homes en masse, but also show up in hoards at such conventions we fondly refer to as Model Horse Shows.  The Model Horse Show brings horse fanatics of all types together, from those who gently love their Original Finish models with soft brushes so as not to scratch them to those who boldly remake and customize a model into a new form.  The show allows the collector to compete for ribbons and rosettes in various categories somewhat akin to the Live Horse Shows of the real equine world.  

"I'd like to challenge anyone to bring 80 live stallions into a show ring at the same time and keep the peace!" - This is something you might hear me say about a Live Model Horse Show, or even a Photo Model Horse Show.  Having been in a model horse club for several years, I was called upon to judge certain classes at live shows or submitted photos for a photo show.  My first such photo show comprised 80 stallions and it was not easy to display all of them at once on a table for judging.

There are several bonuses to having what I fondly refer to non-afficiados as "apartment-sized horses."  

~ First, they do not require food nor expensive veterinary care (though the occasional dab of glue or a little customizing to hide a booboo might be necessary).  

~ Second, they do not defacate so no need to muck up behind them.  

~ Third, while you may be called upon to bath or dust them once in awhile, it usually does not require that you hop into the shower or bathtub to remove the acquired grim you have obtained from grooming your horse.  

~ Fourth, they hold their position patiently while tacking up and rarely step on toes or bite.  

~ Fifth, maintenance of the pasture is minimal since they are most happy standing on the shelves looking back at you than tearing up the grass outside.  

~ Sixth, stabbling is easy - just line them up on a shelf in their own room and turn out the light; no need to put each in its own individual stall unless you feel must do so "for looks" if you have only a few, or certain few favorites.

~ Seventh, handling for shows is far more convenient than the real thing.  Instead of a full sized trailer for one or a few horses, you can neatly pack them up in blankets, towels, cloth handkerchiefs, or plastic bubble wrap and place in a special shipping container.  Then load said container or containers into your vehicle rather than hitch up a full sized trailer, and away you go.  This saves on both gas money and space for travelling.

~ Eighth, the indoor space for the horse show often has better lighting and provides all spectators the ability to get up close to the actual events.  This works well as long as non participants give judges plenty of space to work in.  

~ Ninth, bringing home one or a couple dozen more is not going to cause chaos in the paddock (though some people may seem to sense certain jealous feelings from their models).

~ Tenth, if you just happen to have a calamity occur with an Original Finish model, you can save the day and give it new life as a Custom, and it will forgive you as long as you still love it.

On a final note about the model horse hobby, I would like to mention that most enthusiasts tend to be female though there are now more males finding their way into the hobby.  Compare this to the scale-model train clubs that most boys tend to flock to for living out their dreams of becoming engineers.  The way I see it, it is a way to express a tiny bit of control in a hobby realm and bring pleasure from what could become an otherwise mundane lifestyle with no hobbies whatsoever.
With so many scraps to sort through, I am compiling like breeds together for my Scrapbook.  Many of these scraps were the basis of tacked or harnessed drawings, and I was able to reuse many of them for the myriad of different style variations of each basic harness.  

Since my original spec sheets on the harnesses were never scanned, I have no idea where I stored them.  However, each harness was drawn to spec detail of the larimer or model scale larimer who produced the work.  

I have taken many photos of actual harness and scale model harness as well, so I am planning to include my photography in this collection of work as well.  Some of the scale models comprise a portion of my personal collection, but most reside in the Collection of JDM (Pot o' Gold Stables).  

My vanity book on harness was first printed for the display of some of JDM's draft horses at the Cowlitz Historical Museum's exhibit on Horses in the History of Cowlitz County.
Over the years, I have taken the time to save certain artwork digitally for one reason or another.  Consequently I noticed that most of my equine lineart drawings have been saved as GIF files rather than JPG, thus it will take a little more time to convert and upload.  

I still have yet to find my vexillilogical color plates for scanning, along with some miscellaneous fantasy artwork and fantasyland cartography.
In searching for one of my favorite fantasy hybrids, I find the most are calling it "pegacorn" now.  I always called them Unicus, but I see artists calling them "unisus" and any myriad of other coined terms, even one called a "unipegacorn"!

As my collections of favorites grow larger, it only pokes me to get my own drawings added to the site even more.  Perhaps I can find my scan of a folded continuous book I made... at least then there would be something for visitors to see here ;)
Searching the beautiful artwork here once again and organizing my favorites brings memories of all the color plates I made years ago.  I have wanted to scan them to preserve for posterity, and this would be a great place to share some of the better ones.