About Ann & Charlie

Charlie Leonard, runningCharlie Leonard is the construction genius behind Ithaca Artisan apartments.  All our buildings are his handiwork, most all from plans drawn up by Ann per his specifications.  Charlie is capable of caring for most anything that goes awry in the apartments, and for the few things that prove beyond his experience, we have a network of professionals to rely upon for assistance.  Currently all our routine maintenance, repairs, lawn mowing and snow plowing is handled “in house.”  When we are not around to do the job, our sons (primarily Benjamin) step in to cover for us.

When not building or maintaining things for Ithaca Artisan and around home, Charlie is playing as hard as he works.  His free time passion is running, and not just your hop skip and jump marathon, either. His shortest race distance is typically 32 miles, with 50 and 100 mile races more to his liking.  These races take a lot of time, both to run and to train for. Race times are typically in the 24 to 36 hour range… depending on the hilliness and technicality of the course; to date he has two sub 24 hour 100 mile races under his belt.  Training for these races takes the most time, however, and our times away from Ithaca are typically planned around Charlie’s race schedule.

When not training or racing, Charlie harvests all the hay from our farm that we feed our horses. What we don’t need ourselves, he sells. He has an uncanny knack for harvesting hay at the peak of quality in between our frequent summer storms, often getting the hay dry, baled and under cover before a single drop of rain hits it. No mean feat here in the Finger Lakes region, where the weather is so quick to change its mind that locals say “if you don’t like the weather in Ithaca, wait five minutes.”

Ann and ApolloAnn Leonard is Ithaca Artisan‘s property manager.  When prospective tenants write Ithaca Artisan for the first time, it is Ann who answers their questions and sets appointments for viewing places.  She handles the phone, email, website and paperwork, manages apartment turnovers, fetches supplies, and helps with the repairs, maintenance, and lawns. Ithaca Artisan’s gardens are her bailiwick.

As it is difficult to write about oneself in the third person without feeling just a wee bit self conscious, I switch here to first person.

I am passionate about horses, natural horsemanship and long distance riding. I have two horses in our barn at present: a sweet-natured 12 year old Welsh pony who is teaching our grandkids to ride like responsible equestrians, and Apollo, pictured above,  my 19 year old endurance horse, a blood bay Egyptian Arabian. Apollo is my anam cara, the twinkle in my eye and the wind beneath my wings. What.A.Horse!! Apollo and I completed 2, 50 mile endurance races our first year of competition, finishing mid field in our first (Foxcatcher 50 in Maryland)  and 5th in the Moonlight in Vermont 50. We have since retired from competition, preferring the more laid back pace of exploring new and different terrain all over the United States. Apollo has always had an incredible spirit, but it has taken many years and a lot of dedication to turn him into the fantastic riding partner he is now.  He has gone from being a reactive, fearful accident waiting to happen to a champion with a  happy, willing and endearing can-do attitude. It took a lot of learning on my part, and some day I hope to chronicle our story either as a book or on my RavenSongProject.com website as “The Apollo Lessons.” I fully believe I have learned more about life from my horse than he has from me.

I love cows, dogs and cats… actually, just about any furry critter (what else would you expect from the daughter of two veterinarians?) Photography is another passion of mine that I do a lot and gradually my work is improving. I finally took the plunge and bought a high grade digital camera… this alone has really improved my results!  Most all the photos on this website are mine.  I hope to include more over time.

Nature and trails advocacy is very important to me as well, and is where I direct most of my volunteer efforts.

Besides being fond of hiking and back country camping, Charlie and I have also done short and long distance orienteering, a map and compass sport we have competed in around the world. Learn more about this year round activity at United States Orienteering Federation’s website: http://www.us.orienteering.org/ and then try a local event… check the schedule by logging onto Central New York Orienteering’s website: http://cnyo.us.orienteering.org Why stick to the beaten path when you can find your own way with map and compass?