Tuesday, February 27, 2007

that's two

So, another one done!!! As told in previous blogs, in my organizing of material, I found three quilt tops, waiting to be finished... this is number two.

Actually, this one is kind of neat, and has been in the works for a long, long time...you see, it is made completely of scraps... being the "yankee" that I am, and unable to throw away even the smallest of quilt material, I just cut everything down to 3 1/2 inch squares, and tuck them away in a basket, until there is enough "to do something with". I "stole" this pattern from a quilt that I saw at L.L. Beans!!! The moment I saw it, I knew it was just the thing for all the little squares that I had been saving!!!

Kas saw me working on it one night, and began to really look at the squares, and it wasn't too long before she started to name the other quilts that the material had come from!!! I think I have something from almost every quilt I have ever made, including the ones that I made as gifts!!!

This one is for me!! I don't have too many of my own quilts, as I usually make them for others, or "just because" and they end up somewhere else (Sadie's bed, Kassy's bed, the couch, the back of a chair, etc. etc.) but this one is going to stay on my bed... or maybe go up to camp... but either way.. there are fond memories in this one, that I will happily cuddle under each night.

One more to go................................

just waiting

with temps nearing 40 (!!!) today, my thoughts wander north to our land/farm in Acton. I keep thinking about the days when the horses (and maybe even a few more) will enjoy this wonderful big field that is just waiting for us to arrive.

Even though I know at the moment the field looks more like this shot and not the green pasture I am dreaming of, it's still quite wonderful.

This year we have a "hay man" that will come and cut the field for us. He raises cattle and is very excited that we have agreed to let him hay the field until we decide exactly what we are going to do with it. At least this way, it will keep the field open and we will be able to judge the quality of grass and hay that it will produce. Right now, it is resting and getting ready for that first warm sun of spring to start to grow.

Hopefully I can get the horses up there sometime this summer for a visit, I have only been saying and wishing that for the past two summers, but maybe this year it can be done for real... until then, rest well dear field - under your blanket of snow........

Sunday, February 25, 2007


I have always considered "my" dog training career a huge blessing. Sometimes, I hear friends say things like "I dread going to work tomorrow" or "my boss, what a pain in the neck he is" and I can honestly say, that I have never had those feelings towards my work. I can hardly wait when a new session of dog classes are beginning, and my boss (the ones with four legs and wiggly tails) have never been nothing short of wonderful (even if their behavior isn't at the start), But even beyond that, the friends that I have because of it, and the gifts they have brought into my life, are "business perks" that can't be matched anywhere!!!
A "project" that I am trying to master is knitting. Actually, its going OK (I might be a little too hard on myself) and I am currently in a class that is helping me make mittens and learn to knit with multiple needles. This mainly started because of Dale and Karen (dog students turned dear friends), and this beautiful basket and the needles shown here, are a gift from Dale. Both Dale and Karen have invited me to several "knitting sessions" with them, but as time would have it, I haven't yet made one. (but I will!!!) And I think that I wouldn't have really ever tried the knitting thing, if I hadn't met these two gals!!

Then over the weekend, Ed and I visited with "another dog student" of mine. A very dear, older lady with a St. Bernard that I have worked with on and off over a couple of years. Her husband passed away just 10 days after they got this puppy, and though she (the dog) has been a handful for this lady, there is no way she would part with "the last gift she got from her beloved husband". Anyways.... her husband was a horseman, and they had horses many years and she still haves much of her husband's horse stuff. We saw each other in the store last week and she invited me to come and go thru her husband's horse stuff, as she felt she was at a point where she could let it go. I felt very honored to be asked. I can't even begin to tell you all, about the wonderful items that we came home with.... beautiful leather halters and lead lines, coolers, whips, and barn items... a tack trunk, hooks for hanging bridles and halters, a measuring stick, brushes and even more. I offer to pay her for them (hope I wasn't insulting) and her words back were "No, Bob would be so pleased that they will be used and appreciated by someone who loves horses as much as he did" (almost sobbed at her kinds words)

But where I am going with all of this, is, I just feel so humble that I am doing what I love so much, making a difference (I hope) and having so very much added to my life. I thank God every night for such a gift.
And speaking of gifts, can anyone be cuter than my niece, Naomi!!! She and her Mommy dropped in this afternoon for a visit!! Talk about a joy!!!
If she looks a little "droopy" in these pics, she has a cold that she has been fighting for a few weeks, but she still can't be any cuter!!!
Dancer was quite interested in her, and since there isn't a kitty in her house, I think Naomi was surprised to see such a small "doggie" (she has two big labs, so I am sure this small creature was a surprise!!)

Camille is just crazy about Naomi, and has been from the start. Anytime she gets to see her, she is just beside herself. Almost to the point that she has to be watched, or she would just kiss Naomi's nose off!!! That baby simply can't make a move without Camille being right there to supervise!!! Good thing Naomi has come into Camille's life, because as much as I love her... it's not "something" that I would go and get one for her :-)

So better Sunday could not be had... a wonderful church service this am... a visit from a loved one... a walk with puppy dogs and even some work done in the new room (blog to follow) life is good and I am very grateful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 22, 2007


this is (from left to right) Bella, Pete and AJ (the bunny)
Once a week, whether they like it or not... Sadie "swims her animals" in the bathtub!!!
I don't know where she came up with this idea, or whether it's good or not, but she does it just the same, and "the animals" seem to enjoy it!!

"AJ" the bunny likes it the most, I think... though her little white guinea pig, Pete, seems to move around the most. She doesn't have the water that deep, so Pete seems to enjoy the "deep end"!!! Bella is her other little piggie, (she's the spoiled one!!).

This past Sunday, Charlie was pretty interested in the swim. I almost wonder if he would have liked to have joined them!!! Charlie loves to swim and in the summer time, he is always the first one in the lake.

I suppose besides from the good exercise, it does keep the animals nice and clean, especially the piggies with their white coats!!! Either way, Sadie says she will do swim time once a week!!!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007


On Monday, February 19.... cocker spaniel "Tatter" owned by Sadie and cocker spaniel "Tazzy" owned (?) by Josh... graduated from puppy school.

The puppies learned the commands of sit, down, stay, come, walk nicely and the manners of greeting people politely and playing nicely with other puppies.

The school is put on by the Piscataqua Obedience Club and the teacher is ..... ME!!!!!

Along with Tatter and Tazzy, five other puppies graduated as well. All received their hats and diplomas!!!!

From left to right, the dogs are..... Jimmy, Gus, Sadie, Loke, Tatter, Tazzy and Corky. The puppies will now move onto the Puppy Level II class.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

The ferrier

Even though its cold and winter, a major part of
horse care still needs to be attended to... and that is feet!!! I love my ferrier, Dean (and Ed knows this so its not a secret!!) Not only is he talented and keeps Silver and Tonka feeling great, but he is fun and full of information. I look forward to his arrival...which is about every six weeks. There is an old saying that goes "no hoof...no horse" and that is the truth!!

Dean takes great care with both horses, for old Silver (who is nearly 30) he has done wonders over the past couple of years getting better growth on his feet. Silver has always been a little problematic, and over time, Dean has got him in a good place. I love this picture of Silver and Dean, it almost seems like Sil is saying "take care back there".

Working on Tonka is another story. Both horses are excellent for Dean, but with that big hoof of Tonka's, sometimes it can be a bit of wrestling match, if Tonk decides he is too tired to hold his feet up!! Dean is always quick with some comment like "hold your own weight you big claud!!!" course, I am just as quick to say something like "Oh Dean, you know you love him!!" which always gets me "the look"!!!

overall, its an interesting choice of careers, being a ferrier, and a good one can be hard to find... not just for the sake of the horse, but they have to be good to the owner as well. Dean has cared for our guys for almost five years, I feel very fortunate to have him.

Ed always says that the cheapest part of owning a horse, is buying him, and there's a huge amount of truth in that. The same goes for care... even when winter days are cold and blowy, there are still stalls, water, feed and care to attend to... some how I never mind, and when the weather is good, and the riding is a daily quest.... it makes it all worthwhile!!!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

fashion show

A beautiful Sunday afternoon..... a walk with dogs.... and in the most fashionable way!!! Kas, Sadie, Josh and I have dubbed these beautiful coats "Doggie Designs by Deb"... and you must admit that the cocker crew look absolutely grand in them. What's even better, since each coat was made with a certain dog in mind, the patterns fit them to a "T"... not to mention that each one also has their initial on it!!!!

Just in case you don't know everyone... in the first pic we have (left to right) Charlie in his "cammies", Trevor and Hunter in the green plaid, Tazzy is in the "wild purple", Moxie and Cami wear the bright flowers, and Tatter sports the stripes!!! We are a regular parade when we hit the streets. But even more important, these little coats are warm, and do a great job keep the dogs happy walking on the coldest of days (which isn't the case today).
They are also easy to care for, and can be tossed
right into the wash!!! We are certainly lucky to
have them!!!

it's true that these are all cocker size coats, but I am quite sure that if anyone wanted to sport the same sort of fashion for their pups, we can get you in touch with Deb!!!

Friday, February 16, 2007

got it

I am not sure how she managed it, but look who had the
doggie bed this afternoon (by the woodstove)! I would say
by her "body language" she's not considering sharing with
anyone!!! Talk about comfort, almost made me want to join her!!! except that the snoring was so loud!!

Miss Moxie, I can't believe that she will be 10 years old next month!!! She is in excellent health and certainly keeps the others in line, she is the top dog for sure!!! She still goes to class twice a week with me, and is the first one I use to demo any obedience exercise!! she likes to visit my mother-in-law at her retirement home, and is totally insulted if I go anywhere without her. Though in this cold weather, I have to admit, I leave her behind, I know she would rather be by that woodstove than sitting in a cold truck... guess this proves it.....


the one thing about a big snow... is the clean up that follows!! We "Mainer's" know how to get the job done, even if it means a fleet of equipment!!! And here, we are very fortunate, not only does Ed have his truck and plow, but also the use of the tractor and snowblower!!

The tractor is good for picking up the piles and moving them back (you always have to create a little space for more to come), but the down side of it, is being out in the cold and wind, which it WAS yesterday!!!
Here I get a good natured wave from Ed, but the work was incredibility cold!! Good thing he has that silly hat I got him. Sure its a little goofy looking, but its warm!!!

By the time he was done.. the driveway looks like a highway, however, we should have an extra car here next week with Kas being home again, so we will probably need the space. Let alone the idea that we still can have snow for another 6 or so weeks-despite what Mr. Groundhog said.

So, we are good shape, all dug out and ready to continue on. "They" say warmer temps over the weekend, which will be helpful, since we need to get more wood!!! Our little stove has been eating it but it's doing a very nice job, keeping the house toasty warm and helping to conserve some of the oil. And of course, keeping the kitties very happy as they snooze on the doggie bed!!!

Thursday, February 15, 2007


When I heard about the "big snows" that were due to arrive on Valentine's Day... AND the fact that Sadie and Josh were scheduled to fly out on that day.... I was not a happy camper. But my dear hubby came to the rescue (as he so often does) and got the kids the chance to fly out a day early!!!

So, yesterday... after a phone call from NC that reported everyone there safe and sound!!! The day turned out to be just perfect!! Ed stayed home from work, and we spent the day together, plowing and visiting (had a nice cup of coffee with Josh's family after we got them dug out!!!) and just getting used to what it will be like with "kids that aren't living at home".

Most of the afternoon I worked on yet another "quilt top" find, and actually have it very close to finished. I should have it done today or tomorrow, it's a good one, even if I say so myself.

I got a couple of shots outside just before dark. I really wanted to get a couple of the cockers outside. They have to "swim" to go anywhere. But, my sissy house dogs, want only to be out long enough to take care of business and then get back in beside that woodstove!!! Can't say I really blame them... not only is the snow past their bellies, but its only about 12 degrees, with a good stiff wind. The horses aren't too happy, having been stuck inside for the last 24 ish hours, but the silly creatures they are, they don't know enough to stay inside, and a wet horse with this cold can only bring on trouble. They'll probably get some out time today, since the sun is shining, and maybe will allow me some good shots.

so, for all my fussing about how Maine should be looking this time of year... it finally does. And the really cool thing, we are half way thru Feb. and only March to go... and we can think about spring...er ... mud season!!!!

Monday, February 12, 2007

one done

As previously reported, I found in my organizing
a couple of quilt tops, just waiting to be finished.
This one( I think ) I made almost six years ago, and just set it aside, waiting for battening and backing
and wouldn't you know, I even had that for it..

So, I buckled down and got it done. It's called
"split rail fence" and even though its quite nice, one thing that is a "problem" .. these really aren't my colors any more!!! Cami doesn't seem to mind, when I put it out to photogragh, as you can see, she was more than happy to model on it!!! But, its a nice size for the couch and those chilly nights still yet to come, to cuddle under!!!

Now, got to get some of the other tops together, before they too, run into the unlucky fate of "not really my colors!!!"

"They're" talking big snows for Valentine's Day. Normally I would be the first one in line to shout "hurray!!! bring it on".. but this time, I am not so happy, as Sadie and Josh are scheduled to fly out that day to bring Kassy back to Maine. Since I know there isn't one thing I can do about it, guess we will just have to wait and see what the weather really does and then what we will need to do about it....

Please keep Nate in your daily prayers as he trains out in California before his deployment... pray for all our troops and for all the loved ones here at home that keep the faith for them........

Thursday, February 08, 2007

cat fight

so I must admit, that on these past bone chilling days, I have spent more time at the sewing machine than I have at the computer!!! Something about the winds howling at the door, just puts me in the mind of quilting. I have three, "half done" quilt tops, and it would be nice to get them finished into something "useful".

It's also a very good time, to go thru and sort out all the material that I have. Over the years, friends who have decided to no longer quilt (which I could never imagine giving up on) have brought me a number of boxes filled with material. Sadly, I have just pushed them to one side, to "go thru later" but the "later" never seems to come. When Kas headed back to NC, and it looked like the "spare room" could really become a sewing room, I dragged these boxes out and began to paw thru them. I soon realized that I have a lot of wonderful pieces just waiting to be worked with, and even discovered other pieces that would have been perfect for projects that I had gone and bought material for!!!!! Anyways.... now that we know Nate is leaving for a deployment much earlier than planned, the sewing room is not to be.... these boxes need to be looked at NOW!!!!!

It's been a fun "chore" . the boxes are emptied and the material is refolded and sorted into an "easier to find" manner, and the almost done quilt tops take a new priority, plus the room will be ready for Kas, Charlie and Nora to take over in just a couple of weeks.

As I sew (still at the kitchen table) it still might be the best spot in the house. The woodstove chugs away.. Nothing like that warm wood heat.. and the cats... have completely taken over the dog's bed right by the stove!!! I love this picture of Mona totally stretched out, crowding "poor little" Dancer as much as possible!!! Course what you don't see are the cockers... who have just given up and lay around my feet and as close to the stove as they can get. I would put out another dog bed, but first off there isn't room and secondly... I think it would only mean that each cat would have their own bed, instead of having to share!!!!

"They" say that Mr. Groundhog didn't see his shadow last week (2/2) so, I guess its an early spring, and since I don't quilt in the warm weather, I have decided to take full advantage of this cold snap. Which is the perfect excuse to put more wood on the fire, and stay inside..... after I take care of the horses!!!!!