Wednesday, January 31, 2007

the Gardner

I knew that this poor plant's condition wasn't entirely my fault. I admit I do not have a green thumb.. never have.. never will.... but , at least now I know why this poor plant isn't doing so great!!!

Some help she's turning out to be!!!!


Grounded... NOT to be confused with Groundhog's Day... which is tomorrow........

I am in BIG trouble!!! OK, so I DIDN'T leave a note when Ed and I went to dinner last night.... and maybe I DIDN'T say that we were even thinking about going out, and maybe I SHOULD have called home and told them, but just DIDN'T think about it.....

What other excuses do I get, that I can use in this situation!!! My "children" say they hear me talking.. and I guess maybe they do. Because when we came in from dinner last night, this is the "look" I got!!! Along with the.... "where's your note?... don't you have a cell phone that you know how to use?... you could have at least told me you were thinking about going out!!!... do I need to take the keys for a few days?"

OK, so "case in point" and we are busted!!! However, I will also use this as evidence... that "they" do hear me, "they" know what its like, and "they" expect the same in return....

Just wish the "grounding" applied to housework!!!

Friday, January 26, 2007

gator gone

This is a picture of our little "gator". Ed bought it a few
years ago, he thought it would be a nice little piece of
equipment for the farm, when we move up there. Month
by month we made the payments and in Sept, we had it all paid for!!!

We kept it at the farm property all summer, and have for all the
summers we owned it. Then in the winter, we would bring it
down here and tuck it away from the bad weather.

Until THIS year. A few weeks ago, we went to bring it home, only to discover that "someone had beat us to it"!!! The gator had been STOLEN from the property!!!

It's shocking to discover something like that. First off, because I don't think of Acton as being a town where things like this happen (course they do, we're in the "real" world afterall), but even more so, that someone we don't know.. has been on our land and knows what we have, and when we are/aren't there.
It also makes me mad, that we are the ones that planned, worked and paid for this little rig, and someone else had the nerve to just step in and take it for themselves!!! And, truth be said, I liked the little thing, and could just see myself using it for farm work, like bringing hay out to the horses, or taking a load to the manure pile!!! Besides, Moxie loved riding in it with me, and we did have a chance to buzz it around the pasture and along the roads at camp!!!!

There isn't much that can be done (sadly). Items like this are usually long gone, once taken. Fortunately Ed had the good sense to keep it insured, so we will get the money for it, and can replace it. But, we learned a tough lesson. And forced our hand to do something that I really felt awful about... placed a huge pasture gate across the drive, with a sign that politely says keep out... "Please stay out of the pasture".... the stone wall that surrounds the property protects the other sides, but the gate seems to make such a strong statement for me!!!

Either way, if anyone sees a vehicle something like this one... we would be interested to know about it.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

snow horses

This morning we awoke to a wonder
ful surprise.... fresh snow!! Just a couple of inches, but I was happy to see it.

The horses were enjoying it as well. Tonka had a nice roll, and Silver was just dozing in the semi-sunshine.

For some reason, it made me think of the "horses" I used to have in the snow. The "horses" that I made, winter after winter, when the snow was just right. I know, most kids go for snowmen... but not me.

After looking about in some of my older photo albums, I found a picture of "my horse"!!! The date on the back of the photo is January 1975!!! The top picture is of "my horse" and my first cocker spaniel -- Blackie!!! (have cockers been in my life THAT long). Blackie was with me every moment of the day, so, not too surprising that he would have one of the "first rides" on "my horse". The second photo is of my sister Rachel (who will celebrate her 40th birthday on the 25th of this month!!)... I took great pains in making sure that my horses were "ride-able".

"My horses" often had coal eyes, pine bow tails and manes, and I see this guy even got a rope bridle!!!! Guess I have always been horse crazy!!! I remember spending hours out in the snow, building my horses and then great "games" of imagination.... probably riding on the beach, or owning a stable full of beautiful horses... whatever!!! it was great!!! I even recall feeling a little sad when the weather warmed up and my horses melted!!! :-(

It's been a long time since I made a snow horse.. I think I did make a couple for the girls when they were little, but they never "got into them" like I did... and now, I have the real thing to enjoy the snow with!!!! I guess I only think that I have grown up!!!!!

Friday, January 19, 2007

it's a houseful

It's not that uncommon for us to have a few dogs around here. Having "five" of my own is a good start, but there are a number of folks who use me for dog sitting. Ever since I was a little girl, having lots of dogs was always my wish.... looks like this one has come true. And it's nice that they're not here all the time and that I have different ones... just to keep things interesting.

This weekend we have.... Moxie, Marley, Mandy, Trevor, Tazzy, Tatter, Hunter, Hannah, Camille and Sophie!!!! All are cockers!!! There are two brown and whites, four ascobs, two blacks, a black and white and a black and tan... I think we have all colors covered!!!!!

Dinner time is always interesting as well... each dog has their own special diet, keeping all that kibble sorted out can be fun... you should see the bowls lined up on the counter waiting to be filled... let alone all the cockers on the floor waiting to "be filled"......

Finally the pen is a little less icy, so I have been letting them out together (wouldn't do that earlier in the week, for fear that racing around could cause some serious injuries!!!) They have a ball together, racing and running. I need to try and get a picture of them!!!

So, great fun for the weekend!! a houseful of cockers!!!!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

hot mash

You know how "they" say, be careful what you wish for???

Well, I guess I should have listened. I have been "missing winter" and wanting to have Maine looked the way its suppose to this time of year. Well, it happened this past weekend, with an ice storm.. then on Tues the cold came, COLD!!! even for us New Englander's!!!

All in all, it was a fine day, bright blue sky, "warm" sunshine, the ocean had a nice "smoke" going on... so did the wood stove!! It was also Ed's Birthday!!!

AND.... the FINAL court date for my new neice, Naomi..... the adoption is all done, and she is totally , competely and LEGALLY.. a member of the family!!! very EXCITING!!!

On a more somber note, we have also found out that Nate's orders have been moved up and he heads to Iraq in April, not in September!!! Still have lots of details to work out on that one with Kas and such, so more on that later.

The horses certainly apprecaited the hot mash that I brought them at lunch. As you can see, they "wolfed" it down!!! I worry alittle about them when its this cold, but they were just as happy as always, and even went back outside when they had finished their lunch!!! I know they are made for cold weather, but if I could bring them in by the woodstove... well, you know me!!!!

Thought I would put up this pic of Dancer, too... she's getting big.... she really ISN'T allowed on the table, but I couldn't pass up that shot before shooing her off. I heard an expression one time... "if you want the best seat in the house... find the cat" and this is so true. Both Dancer and Mona have hardly left the woodstove!! The bed that is there for the dogs, has been cat claimed for sure!!!

So, its been a strange kind of day. Guess, we'll just take it day by day, as always!!! Keep the woodstoves chugging!!!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

sea smoke

You know its cold in Maine, when........

the ocean is warmer than the air!!! Today at noontime, it was a "balmy" 8 degrees. So, I ran down to the water, to see if I could get a picture of "sea smoke"... or so we call it. The tide was out, so you may not see it so well, but it's defiantly there, and a true proof as to just how cold it is. Well, if stepping outside didn't that is!!!

Was I complaining that we had no winter?? what was I thinking???

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

southern exposure

Just so everyone can be jealous, while we were
in "Ice-ville" yesterday --look where Kassy and Charlie (and of course Nate) spent the day.

I think she gets a kick out of calling her Mom and bragging on the fine Carolina weather. I KNOW she doesn't miss boots, hats, mittens, and cleaning the car from snow and ice.. I suppose that if you need to live away from home, you might as well be in a place where you can enjoy somethings that you don't have at home.

No wonder that Sadie and Josh can't wait to spend February vacation with them!! Sort of wish that I could go too, but perhaps those plans will come together in April.

In the meantime, I will just enjoy this part of winter.. afterall, it's been a while in coming!!!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

beach weather

Beach weather?? well, that's what Kas told me this morning... she, Nate and Charlie were heading to the beach... course... that IS in North Carolina!!!

Here at home it's a little different. I had been waiting all weekend for the SNOW that was promised us. First reports were saying 6 plus inches... I was excited.

But at 6:00 am, it proved to be slightly disappointing, instead of a world of white, we have a world of "clear"... ice that is. And as the day has gone on.. its continued to be just that. We did get a little snow mixed in, which has been good, because it has given us some footing. Taking the dogs out has been nothing short of interesting... the words "NO PULL" certainly apply!!! Dog class tonite has been cancelled, I just can't risk anyone getting hurt trying to make their way to dog class... along with the warnings of tree branches coming down and the possibility of loosing power!!

So, its been a bit depressing in the snow department this year in Maine. I know we still have a couple months to go, and we may get something yet... but at this point and time... let's just get on with spring!!!!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

its official!!!

Saturday, 1/13... today Ed and I had a lot of running around to do. We had to go to the butcher shop and pick up "our pig"-- his office manager, Faye, always buys a litter of piglets in the spring, and raises them all summer. Then, when it's "time" you can buy a pig from her. I love the idea of eating "home raised", knowing that not only has the animal had a fair and humane life, but that it has been fed high quality food itself, so I can justify it. Anyways, after we had been to the butcher shop, it was onto Meader's to ... TAH DAH... order Tonka's harness!!!!

I have been saving my pennies since September, and at Christmas time, Ed gave me a certificate that pretty much finished the balance of it. So, up we went and now its just hurry up and wait. However, since winter HAS decided to show up, I guess that pretty much takes the "hurry" part away. I won't be ready for any sort of harness training for a while, we still have alot of ground work to do.

The folks at Meader's just can't be any nicer. They know that we are real "newbies" to this driving idea and answer any and all questions that I can come up with. I confessed to them yesterday that my great fear was to open up a huge box full of leather pieces and not even know where to begin putting this thing on my horse. Everyone gave a little chuckle and said they had heard that before, and when the harness arrives, we can bring Tonka up to them, and they will put it on, make any adjustments, and show us just how to do it.... whew!!!!!!!!!!!! they also have extremely knowledge people there, so I am sure that we will get started in the right direction. I did ask if "Dana" (who helped up order the harness and did the fitting with Tonka) came with the harness, but they didn't think his wife would "let us have him"!!!!

I also felt a little sad yesterday, because I saw in the paper that "Troy" the kitty that I went to adopt, but got Dancer instead... is still up for adoption..... he is very cute (any of you out there reading this blog)... he is yellow and sweet, and so is his brother... now that I don't "need" a yellow kitty, they are everywhere. But, I love my little Dancer girl, and wouldn't trade her for anything..... she has now gotten into computer work, along with quilting and cross-stitch, so pretty much whatever I do around the house, she has to be a part of it!!!!!!

Monday, January 08, 2007

"who da thunk?"

Thursday, January 4th.. temps in the high 50's... so what does one do on such a day? Call your trainer, and pack up two horses and head to the beach!!! Why the trainer, because when a 1400 lbs. horse gets "worried" at the beach, (like he did the last time we tried this) you need another pair of "horse hands".. and was I glad that Laura was there to help.

Actually it was a wonderful day. Sadie took Silver for a little ride and they were a good help calming Tonka down and getting him to think better. He is really such a baby and quite inmature, but the only way to get him better in situations like this, is to do it.

Laura handled him first, he has great respect for her and doesn't "fool" around with her like he does with his "mom". Once she had him settled, she handed him over to me. We did ok, I still have a lot to learn with my own handling skills, especially in new situations, but its coming along.

As you can see, he did have a couple of "pushy" moments, but we finally worked thru them. Sadie at least got a ride in, but I felt perfectly happy, just walking calmly up and down the beach. Let alone, loading and unloading along the road way.

Some people take dogs for walks on the beach... ME?... I take my horse!!!

Anyone want to argue that a draft can't move?
Tonka can have great speed and lightness!!! One thing about the beach, lots of room for circles!!!!

I thought that it might be one of the last "good days" for beach work, but if this weather keeps up, I have a feeling that there could be quite a few more!!! We only have until April, then its "horses off the beach", so I don't want to miss out on this opportunity. I don't know if I will actually get a ride on him before the season is done, but, one can never get in enough training time!!!!

Monday, January 01, 2007

look what we got

The cockers just wanted everyone to see what they got for Christmas!! These wonderful coats were made by Deb (Nate's mom). She has made all sorts of coats for her own dogs and of course for Charlie and I was just thrilled when I opened them for "my guys".

Not only are the beautiful, but they are so nice for the dogs when walking in "yucky" weather. We have had a number of compliments about them. One lady even stopped her car in the middle of the street to take a closer look... fine with me, but the car behind her wasn't so happy!!!

The girls look so cute in their coats, but I have to say, I think the boys look "dashing".. that green plaid just suits them..

Now, if anyone in town has any doubt that it's me when I walk... there can be no mistakes made now!!!!

quilting 101

So this is what "quilting" looks like these days. Dancer HAS to be there every moment!!! It usually takes us a couple of tries... she needs a comfortable spot and I need her to be somewhere that I can see over or around her!!! A couple of times, I have convinced her to lay in my lap, under the quilt, but for the most part, she likes to be out where she can see what is going on.

She is very curious about the needle and thread, but lately when I tell her "no", she seems to understand that it's not to be played with. The "other" trouble I have with her laying so close, is the purring!!! Sometimes she is so loud that I can hardly hear the TV over it!!!

A couple of people have made the comment to me that she looks like a "ragdoll" cat. So I did a little looking on the internet and have found out a couple of things about them. For all I know, she might have a little of that in her back ground, because a couple of their "traits" certainly apply to her. For example..

"Ragdolls have been described as codependent" (ya think??)
"Ragdolls love for you to hug, hold and handle them alot" (really??)
"Ragdolls" are very loyal and like to be with you and share in what you are doing" (sounds very cocker-like to me)
"Ragdoll" owners usually say their cats have puppy like traits (good thing in a house full of cockers!!)

So, I guess I picked out a pretty good kitty, or rather she picked out me, but either way.. I would say we have a good match going on here!!!! (good thing too, do you see the size of this quilt that I have to do?? It's Kassy and Nate's wedding quilt, since they have already had their first anniversary, guess I better get stitching!!!! ** and not play on this blog!!!!)