Mar 14, 2013

Daisy Chain

Here I was all excited to write this next blog as an expose on our ranch dogs Daisy and Duke, and I got thwarted once again by James Turell. I always wondered where the dogs went when they weren’t in a coma on the porch so I logged on (snicker snicker) to Amazon and got a Dogtek Eyenimal Digital Videocam for Pets. I thought it would be cool to post videos onto the blog of them digging into a ground squirrel hole or chasing a jackrabbit from their point of view. I really wanted to know where they slept at night or if they even slept at night. (It’s 2:54 am right now as I type this they are barking their faces off)  I finally got the camera in the mail but was bummed that I would have to wait till we got back from Art Detour weekend in Phoenix to test it out on one of the dogs.

While we were away the owners got a call from one of James Turrell’s cattle ranchers telling them that it’s calving season and that they need to chain up the dogs. They suggested that we tie up Daisy, and that Duke would most likely stay by her side. The next morning shortly after I tied Daisy up to a big water cube next to the sports shack one of the ranchers pulled into our drive. He slammed on the brakes of his water truck throwing dust and cinders everywhere then hopped out with a disturbed look on his face and walked right up to me. Without introducing himself he asked if these two dogs were the only ones we have and I told him yes. Only Daisy was tied up at the time. The man went on to inform me that three calves had been found dead not far from our ranch and that those calves cost around 3,000 bucks. They had no proof that it was our dogs that killed them, but one of the other ranchers saw Daisy chase a calf into a barbed wire fence. Duke went right over to the rancher and jumped up on him and tried to lick him. After pushing Duke down several times as nicely as he could—as irritated as he was—he explained to me that he loves dogs and even has a few of his own, but if they see our dogs messing with the cows they will shoot them—even on our own property. The man did look a little sad about it and he seemed nice enough. I totally understand that he’s just doing his job and I’m thankful that he took the time to come over and warn us. I went directly into town and got Duke a tether.

Calving season.

Daisy tied to the water cube outside the sports shack.
One of the coolest things about the living at the ranch is to be out on a walk alone and then see Daisy and Duke running full blast through the brush with doggy smiles on their faces coming to greet you and then continue on the rest of your walk with you. They start stretching and yawning and huffing to sync us into pack animal mode, and before you know it, you’re following them. They are absolutely the happiest and freest dogs I’ve ever met. The calving season ends in June. Seems like a long time to have them tied up, and it bums me out, but they still seem just as happy. They don’t whine or cry at all and every time I go out to play with them they get excited even if it’s not food or walk time. They still stay up all night barking at rabbits and coyotes and get to sleep all day on the porch. They must know it’s only temporary. This brings up a good point and something that I have been thinking about lately. When I’m feeling stuck or worried that things aren’t going as quickly as I’d like them to out here, I can look outside and see the dogs waiting patiently, looking off calmly into the horizon, or playing together not even noticing the cables connecting them to the cube. They’re making the most of their situation till life changes again. And it always does.

Daisy and Duke Dancing in the rain.

As usual time has seemed to slip by. We’ve already had a snow day, two more Temple of Life work parties, I’ve been to Phoenix and Vegas schlepping my art to galleries, and we’ve had quite a few of our friends by to visit. Its now almost 3 am which means we have unlimited satellite internet access so I’m going to upload a buttload (you’ll see why this is funny—or not— later) of photos and try to caption them before I pass out!


Snow Day was awesome. I've never lived where it snows.
Snow Night! Photo ©Jana Davis
The moon was out enough that we could see pretty well in the dark. We went for a night hike with the dogs  to visit the trees. Photo ©Jana Davis
Duke-pre leash days.

We had to sweep off the solar panels when we got back. Photo ©Jana Davis

The next morning. Look at all of that delicious snow collecting on our roof! We catch rain water and snow melt  for most of our water needs. 

I'm still amazed that we live here. 

Darlin' we're a buildin' us a art temple. Hoo wee and it's gunna be a biggun.

We braved some big winds framing up the roof during the February work party. That's Danzilla up there and Mr. God—Temple of Life designer on the right. Photo ©Jana Davis

It's been a while since I've worked up high, and I've never worked in these conditions before. It took four of us  to slide the plywood up the ladder and then sit on it when it got to the roof so the wind wouldn't take it and us with it. I'm trying my best to look like I'm not shitting my pants when I sensed I was being photographed. Photo ©Jana Davis.

Jack, Kurts dog watching us put the roofs on the four outside rooms. Photo ©Laura Franke

The March work party crew. Royce (Mr. God), Danzilla, Laura, Kurt, and me. Photo ©Laura Franke.

Celebrating getting the last framing and sheeting done! There are still a few things to do like add the metal railing and  spire that will make the temple twice as tall as it is now. Royce is going to start that this Summer, but we are now ready to start encrusting the walls with art! Photo ©Laura Franke.

Phoenix Phlashbacks

Here's me with my painting called "Finding Nematode" One of the questions I thought about while making this painting was what would be like to find out that I had a parasite and if I could find beauty in it. Here is a link to an article about the show that I'm interviewed in.  Photo ©Monica Aissa Martinez.
Jana and Abbey huffing Mr. Sketch markers at The Lodge. The Lodge was my old studio when I lived in Phoenix back in 2002.
This just in... Jana monkeying around with Joe at The Lodge.

Of everything I saw at art detour this "wolf scout with a lock of hair" piece by Abbey Messmer hanging in the back room at The Lodge was my favorite.  

I sure was happy to hang out with my Phoenix pals at the Monorchid show. From left Steve me, and Manuelito. Photo ©Jennifer Wheeler.
At the Firehouse Gallery in Downtown Phoenix they have a tradition every year during Art Detour to burn a Phoenix effigy. We were pretty tired but watching things burn is what we do. Photo ©Jana Davis.

Visitors! Yes, they all still have their spleens

Jana and Kurt napping under the solar panels.... Kidding. Kurt came over for the work party from Marina Del Rey. He loves to fix things so he went out to help Jana finish up the last bit of the wiring that she started. 

My friend from Venice Beach Stephen and his friend Han from Switzerland came by to visit on their way to SXSW. That's me, and Stephen. Photo ©Jana Davis.

Walking the critters with Jenna and Colin from Phoenix. This was our  first walk with the dogs on leashes. The pups were content to walk with us without complaining, they stayed right with, us and were easy to walk on the leads. Even crazy Jack the attack cat came along for the entire walk. I've never seen a cat that goes for walks. He only tried to attack  Daisy 4 or 5 times.

The dogs are great on the leashes...Until they decided to love maul Colin.

Playing "exquisit corpse" while wearing funny hats with Jenna and Colin after a delicious grilled steak and potato dinner.  

Chocolate Falls!!! ...Wait for it.

Colin and Jenna where headed up to Monument Valley the next morning. We had never seen the Grand Falls or "Chocolate Falls" before and neither had they so we all went over to see them. The falls are only about 20 miles away from the Ranch.

Shenanigans at the Chocolate Falls with Colin, Jana, and Jenna.

Speaking of Chocolate Falls... With all of the toilet problems we had we decided we needed to make signs for all of our guests so that we avoid future clogs. This is one of the signs I made.

While the septic guys were over digging they found this poo colored cocoon of a Hawk moth.  Recently Datura has started growing around the house. These moths have a symbiotic relationship with the Datura.

Keeping with the Chocolate Falls theme... I caught Jana in the "Danger Outhouse". We call it that because the bottom half of the door and the mirror got ripped off by the wind. Now when you're in there the top half of the door flies open and slams back into your face.

We're still going strong up here at the ranch the weather is starting to warm up and we are slowly getting caught up with fixing major issues with the Solar and Plumbing. We're looking forward to getting it all ship shape so we can start having workshops and art collaborations and be able to accommodate our guests more comfortably. Stay tuned... I should have some interesting things to report back from our trip to East Jesus, and my trip Chicago live painting and talking about my work at a pet health trade show for DuPont.

Thanks so much for all of your support and for reading my humble blog.


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