Tuesday, January 14, 2020

A Coyote Story

I realize it's been forever since I've posted, so I thought maybe I'd tell you a little story about my day.

Not My Photo, just a good shot of a howling coyote

CatMan & I went for a bike ride this afternoon. We rode south on the Platte River Trail, and about a mile or two before we reached Chatfield State Park, we heard a strange noise. We stopped and saw that a small pack of coyotes had gathered on a little rise about 100 feet off the path. They were howling and yapping up a storm. So we were standing there marveling at them and wondering what they were reacting to, when we heard the sirens, and a fire truck and several ambulances pulled over at the side of the nearby highway.
I was a bit confused because I didn't see an accident or anything, and then a man came sprinting up the path from the south yelling and waving his arms. The emergency folks jumped out, cut the wire fence and proceeded off in the direction that the man had come from. I rode over to him as he stood doubled over trying to catch his breath. He proceeded to tell me that a woman had collapsed and had no heart beat. He had called 911, and a cyclist had stopped and was performing CPR. I rode slowly beside him as he gasped for air and recounted the tale while we made our way to the scene. He said he hadn't run so fast since he was in college.
It always amazes me how people react in situations like that. Total strangers come together in ways they would never have imagined just a few moments before - instantly bonded by the gravity of the situation and the sudden reminder of our own collective mortality.
We stood there chatting and helplessly looking on as the EMTs performed chest compressions. I'm no expert, but it didn't look good. Then about a half dozen police cruisers arrived on the scene and shooed us up the path. I waved goodbye to my new friend and we proceeded to ride on up to the top of the Chatfield dam - with a newfound appreciation for the natural beauty surrounding us, and gratitude for the crisp air filling our lungs and warm sunshine on our faces.
By the time we turned around and got back to where the incident had taken place, everyone was gone. It somehow struck me as odd that the place should be so quiet and serene, with no indication of the life and death struggle that had played out there just a half hour earlier. It was a bit sobering to realize that I'd probably never even know if the woman made it or not.
As we rode past I glanced at the little hill where the coyotes had gathered. It suddenly occurred to me that perhaps they weren't howling because of the sirens at all. Maybe they were howling for her.

Here's hoping you're all happy and well and enjoying the start of a new decade!

Monday, July 1, 2019


Hi Guys,

Thanks one and all for your kind comments and I really do apologize for being so neglectful of this blog.

So.... since you asked, here's a link to my store on Zazzle. Honestly, I'm not even remotely happy with how my storefront looks, but I think it's going to take some time to figure out how to organize it and how to make it look good. Anyhow, don't judge me too harshly.

Anyhow, I've been very busy designing stuff... mostly what seems to sell is wedding stuff - an area where I'm a total fish out of water.

My main sellers are wedding seating charts and miniature wine/liquor bottle labels, and to be honest, I can't really believe people do that sort of thing. I mean seriously... people spend hours soaking the labels off of mini liquor bottles so they can put their own wedding label on them and give them away as wedding favors... are you kidding me?

Gold on Black Wedding Mini Liquor Bottle Thank You Liquor Bottle Label

OK... that's mean spirited of me. I really shouldn't be disparaging of my own customers, but I just honestly can't believe people would go to all that trouble.

Of course it does seem like these weddings are generally an excuse for a big party and lots of drinking. One of my other top sellers is this baby:

Groomsman Wedding Shot Glass with Black Tie

And don't EVEN get me started on the whole seating chart business. I think perhaps the reason I'm having success with this particular type of product is because most designers aren't stubborn enough to spend hours pulling their hair out lining up all of the text objects to make these hummers look good.

20 Table Autumn Floral Wedding Seating Chart

Apparently assigned seats are the norm at these sorts of events, but I just can't wrap my head around the concept of telling people where to sit. In that spirit, I've also designed a few of these...

Pastel Floral Sit Where You Choose Wedding Sign Plaque

Alas... no takers yet. But I continue to keep the faith... I mean there are type B people out there and some of them must get married, don't you think?

Well anyhow, Zazzle is currently having a Holiday contest, so I've been working my tail off designing Christmas stuff. It's a bit of a challenge because since there will obviously be no sales before the holiday season, I sorta feel like I'm designing in the dark... you know, no feedback to guide me as to what people want. But here are a few samples of what I've come up with so far...

Happy Holidays Fun Christmas Wreath Photo Frame Medium Gift Bag

Blue Snowflakes Holiday Joy Square Photo Card

Elegant Gold Brushstroke Trees and Stars on Black Small Christmas Stocking

Merry Christmas Bauble Ornament Photo Frame Holiday Card

Gold Foil Brushstroke Merry Little Christmas Gift Favor Tags

Of course, the stuff that I really enjoy designing is the snarky funny stuff... but alas, there seems to be less of a market for that sort of thing.

Love and Slobber Funny Dog Lover Wecome Mat

Cat Hair is the New Black Funny Throw Pillow

Republican Democratic Donner Party Funny Political T-Shirt

Warning: I have NO CLUE what I'm doing. Funny Adult Apron

OK, I'm going to stop now because this post is starting to look like one giant self-promoting piece of propaganda... which is really not my intent. I just wanted to show you what I've been up to.

So there you go! I'd love to hear what you think and/or any suggestions you might have (she says hoping nobody will say they hate everything.)

OK... I promise to write a real post soon. Hope you're all having a fabulous summer!


Wednesday, May 15, 2019


Ok... since I've now received 2 comments in the past day or so asking if I'm OK, I figured perhaps I should write and let you know that I'm still inhabiting the land of the living.

I'm not entirely sure why I haven't been blogging - mostly I've just been crazy busy. Long story short, $15K of unexpected expenses last year (Jasper's vet bills and the plumbing disaster), sorta opened my eyes to the fact that perhaps I should really get my rear end in gear and find a way to bring in a bit more income. Soooo... after several failed starts & ideas that didn't pan out, I have a new business! I'm designing things on Zazzle. Having great fun and feeling like there just aren't enough hours in the day. It's still in it's nascent stages, but it promises to be a good source of a reasonable amount of passive income one day. On some level, I know this is really silly, because it's not like I don't have plenty of savings... it just makes me nervous to have so little coming in the door. Anyhow, I'm having fun, so I guess that's the most important part.

I'm sure there's a bunch more I should be telling you, but honestly, I'm sorta pooped. Spent the whole day out digging in the garden trying to get things planted. Such a crazy spring here with all of the late season snow, I fear I'm terribly behind.

Anyhoo… I do have much more to blather about, but it will have to wait for another day. Hopefully it won't take me 6 months to get back here again!

Hope you're all happy & well. I'd love to hear what you've all been up to!