Monday, June 19, 2017

haying... summer....riding and driving!!!!

so, with the fields being "knocked down" hay season has officially arrived, and for the record, it's one week earlier this year. Last year, it arrived just as we were leaving for our trip to Adrian, MI... and we had to leave it in the hands of Denise and Astrid... at least this year we are here to do our part...




But along with the haying, came the HOTTEST weather... jumping from the 60's into the very high 90's and almost 100.... still hay needs to come in, so we don our best hats... (my pick is my Amish hat) and we drink lot and lots (and lots) of water... we pace ourselves and head to the field...
We had two days of haying... nice to see the usual "field crew" always happy to help load. And I'm so very glad that Ed got the hay wagon up and ready to go.. because it certainly makes the job go better.
The hay stacks nicely in it... it's a good height to work on, and we don't have any worries about losing any of the bales on the trek home. 

First load arrives on the farm. The horses are so excited to see this wagon pull up... now, the real work (for us) begins, loading and stacking it in the hay loft. Astrid came to help again this year, as well as Denise.. so between the four of us.. we made pretty good work of it..


Day two was just as hot!!!! but more troops arrived to help. Abi couldn't wait to get to the field and was after her Mother from the moment she got home from school to come and help. This year she's big enough to be a true help and can hustle those hay bales almost as well as any of the adults. She was even more thrilled though when she and Papa were "allowed" to ride in the hay wagon as we moved about the field picking up the stacks. 

We pretty much worked until dark, and happy to report that three loads of hay is about all we need for this year. 

I might grab a load or two at second cut.. depends on how the hay seems to hold out over the summer. But for now, the hay wagon is empty and the hay loft is pretty much full. The boys will be heading out to the big pasture very soon.... so, in the food department of things... we are looking pretty good.
You'd think Livy did all the work by the looks of this photo....
It's been so much fun having Astrid coming to the farm and taking her riding "lessons" (I am not a riding instructor, but happy to share what I know and nice that Tonka is being worked)... She arrived this past weekend, and we played around with Tonka... afterwards, I asked her if she might give me a hand and begin to build a relationship with Abraham. 
We got him harnessed and I had just planned to do some ground work with him. Truthfully I have only taken him out once, last winter, when we had most of the ice gone. I don't know where my time goes but it hasn't been spent on this boy. And it's time to get back to driving and learn what this guy is all about. 
Astrid had asked what the game plan was... I told her, it's up to Abe.. and just decided I would see what both our comfort levels were. Because as much as I have to trust him, he has to trust me as well..... harnessing went very well and I did notice that he was much calmer on the cross ties with me than he had been in the past. 
He walked quietly into the barn yard, and stool like a gentleman while I fussed and got everything jus the way i liked it. 
Astrid caught this photo of him, and as I look at it later, I feel he has a very worried look about him. I'm not sure what this all about.... whether he was just worked very hard in his previous life, or just not sure what I was going to ask,... but either way, I need to soften this by just working with him. 
We ground drove all around the farm. He was so calm and attentive, that I thought, the time has come for a true hitch. So, we pulled out the fore cart and decided to see what he thought about. He backed perfectly between the shafts... stood nice and quiet while we hitched...

He walked out gentle with it... I did a little ground work from behind the cart... but, my last time out.. hopped in and away we went up the drive way. I think everyone was so happy for me, that the actual photos of our first drive together didn't happen... but I know it did. 

It was nice to be driving again, I haven't driven since that last ride that Duke and I had together just before we lost him. It made me sad and happy all at the same time. Another chapter has begun. It feels like it does when another generation of dogs come to my life. Abe reminds me of Duke and I have a feeling that with some more work and time, we will become a good pair. I can't wait to see him with the wagonette, but for now, fore cart work will be where we start....
He's a good boy and it was a very fun afternoon. I'm glad that I have found a new happiness /interest with the boys again. Because it's really what the farm is all about....

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Catching up on june



Here we are... June.. the month that I think I work the hardest... or rather, just have the most to do. But, somethings are winding down for the summer, which will be replaced with summer things. One of my "wind downs" is the reading dog programs at our school(s). Livy and I were busy with two schools this year, she loves being with the kids... I love being with the kids, and I can see the difference in them from the beginning of the year until now. One of the teachers had this poster hanging outside her door, and I just had to get a photo of it... it's so true. Teach children to read well and they will always have a way to entertain themselves...the ability to learn new things.... a way to dream and try new things... 

I have always loved reading and writing...I guess that's why I keep this blog....
It's important that I do keep things private, but this is "how" Livy does her job. I love it when she is looking over the children's shoulders at the books.... they do too...
And her over all calmness and just "being" there... listening, is very good for the children. I have heard a hundred times how much they are going to miss seeing her over the summer... and questioned over and over again of our coming back next fall..... 

of course we will....
Summer things... this one being watching a couple of cute little grands while Mommy ran a local road race...I took Shadow and Livy with me, we had a nice walk up to the race route, watched all the runners go by and looked for Mommy...
There she is!!!!! 



It's a family friendly race, so perhaps next year Reagan can try it with Mommy... but we were happy to give her a big cheer and hug at the end of the race....
Back to the reading program... the school had a good bye and thank you party for the doggies... this little gal has had a very hard year, but she loved Livy so much. At our party, she wanted Livy to sit with her so she could get "a lot of time before the summer break"... her hugs were so endearing.. and Livy didn't mind one bit. 
Look who's wearing his saddle again!!! It's funny because when I was boarding the horses, I couldn't wait until they were in my own yard. And that's proven to be right... but, everything has pros and cons... and a con about boarding is there generally was (is) someone around the barn.. so if you didn't actually have someone to ride with.. at least when you were riding someone was there just in case things went a muck. The real truth is, I have ridden less here on the farm than I did when I was boarding. Just because being here alone, if anything happened it could be hours before help came. And even working with the horses, I keep that in mind...

but, a cool thing has happened... Astrid is very interested in riding, so she's begun to come once a week or so and have a "lesson" with Tonka. Now, I am by no means a trainer, but I am happy to share what I know and my horse with her...


And for me.. I've been getting back on my boy.. and a new interest has come to life once again. We have a nice round pen to ride in, but I have been asking Ed about the possibility of having a riding arena, and it could be a summer project...
 It feels good to be back in the saddle, and I really haven't forgotten all those years of lessons... and I might even look around for another trainer and take a few more to bring my skills back up. Either way... it's fun to be playing with the horses and have a friend who wishes to do the same. 








Sir Rio... Denise caught this dance the other night when she was doing the night barn chores. He hasn't shown off for me, but she said he was just beautiful. I keep hoping I'll catch him one day.... and another summer project... making a bigger pen for him.

Much of the work of June has to do with the camps and the beach house. We are scurrying to get them all ready for the renters and their use. But, the other day, as we were heading down to see what the beach house list of things to do looked like we came across this....

a field of hay, all cut ...

hum.... looks like hay season is here, and that's one job that does not wait... so, everything else goes on hold because you make hay while the sun shines!!!!!

Sunday, June 04, 2017

Weekend fun

Rain, rain, rain!!!! It has been such a wet spring... mud season continues ... and when the sun arrives once again, everything growing will just take off. The hay fields are looking green and good, but we now need some sun shine to make it grow. Still though, after the drought we had last summer, no one is really complaining.. well.. maybe just a little complaining. 


But if you look close enough there is always something fun to find.. and so... with the rain comes big puddles... in fact huge puddles, that could almost be small ponds. 

And what is better for a little boy, his boots and his bike than to come to Baby's house and ride threw that huge pond like puddle. 

Kass, my Mom, and the boys all came for lunch the other day, and Reagan couldn't wait to try his bike in the puddle. What a great time he had and what a great time we had just watching him run back and forth threw it...

And, it's deep!!!! If an when it dries up, we're going to have to bring in some gravel and get the driveway back up to level. But until we do... this great puddle with appear with each rain.

The other night when I was out with Shadow, I actually heard some froggies singing in this "pond"... I told them to move to the water garden... 

Calvin is so close to walking on his own. Kass says he has taken a few steps without thinking, so any day now, I expect to see him get up and go. I know his Mom will be happy when he does... between his weight and her back troubles.. and all his little clothes getting ripped or very dirty.. walking would be helpful.
He wants to badly to keep up with Reagan.... and was thrilled to get on the little "gator"... I think he would have followed Reagan threw the "pond" if he thought he could get away with it...

These boys are busy.... after the bike,gator, pond time.. they raced over to the swing set and had some fun there. Calvin was so happy to find that he can ride the teeter with his brother....

The slide was mastered in a matter of seconds, and Calvin laughter with delight as he went whizzing down...

Then he wanted to climb up by himself too....I think when he's on his feet his poor Mom isn't going to have one moment to sit still...
I just love (love) it when these little guys come up to play. It will be so much fun this summer when we are all together at camp too....

oh these grands... are jus the best!!!!

Friday, June 02, 2017

Grand...day

The first of many to come!!! It's graduation "season" and for our family.. it's begun again. Nursery school graduation day for Mr. Reagan!!!!!
Everyone is beyond excited and I marvel at the way Reagans' teacher has the patience to "herd" the kiddos in all their proper places... sort of reminds me of someone trying to herd cats. But the children are all smiles and look to see who in their family is there and watching...
Their year is recapped in songs and stories and shared events... I think the year actually went by about as fast as their little program did....
And then one by one, they are called across the stage... wearing that well known "square" hat and receiving their diplomas 
and of course, a goodie bag!!!!
Big smiles... and as I said, just the first of many down the road.... oh my .. I just fear it will all happen in the blink of an eye....


And the day only began with Reagan's ceremony, for in the evening we were at Abi's school for her end of the year concert. The kids did a great job, and I love seeing Abi's smile and wave when she saw we were there...
A goodbye to first grade and onto to second....


and to think we will be "adding" not just Calvin to the list of grands and their big life events... but baby Manchester is due sometime in November.... four grands!!!



How GRAND!!!!!