Wednesday, June 27, 2007

off to Iraq......

look at all these wonderful items!!! all these things were given by my friends in my dog club. At our last meeting, Shirley made a motion to "adopt Nate's unit" and bring items to our June meeting. The night of the meeting, people just kept arriving with bags and bags of things, and I was just completely overwhelmed with all the lovely things. On top of that, several members donated cash..... saying that if anything else was needed, to use that as well (we have it tucked away for a future box or two!!!!)

When I got home, Kas and I sorted thru everything, and there was such a nice "even" amount of lots of different things.

We spent the better part of the evening, boxing it up and getting it ready to ship out to the marines!!! Kass reminded me that we would need to do a customs slip, so we carefully kept track of what was in each box.

Ed donated some good sturdy boxes (actually I think he wanted "wood bros." to go to Iraq!!!!) and it took three boxes, jammed to the top, to get everything in!!!

Now, if this story isn't neat enough... here's what happened when I went to the post office!!!
There was a lady standing in line behind me, with three boxes to ship. When I was done, she stepped up to the counter and said "I need to ship these to Iraq".... well, of course my ears popped open, and I waited for her to finish.

Long story short... her grandson-in-law is with a marine unit in Iraq... she couldn't remember exactly where, but she knew that he was somewhere on the Syrian boarder (so is Nate)... and she said he shipped out in April (so did Nate) and is due home in November (so is Nate!!!!) and that he left from California ... (not Nate!!!) but either way. I know there are thousands of marines in Iraq right now, so the chances of Nate knowing this other marine, is probably slim... but just in case, we'll ask him the next time he calls......

So, kind of nice thing to happen on a hot summer day, you just never know who you'll meet up with.

big to little???

Thought it would be fun....

to show you ......

the big

And the little!!!!!!!!!

and the answer to the question...... YES... Mocha could walk under Tonka if she wanted to........

Monday, June 25, 2007

declaring summer!!!!

After all the yard work on Saturday...... Sunday was "get the docks in at camp"..... Ed and I planned to head to camp after church.... only, we didn't quite make it to church. Teresa and her David went off for the weekend, so we had barn duty, well, Saturday night after dinner, we went out to check on the horses, to find that Silver and Tonka had taken down the fence and were on the "wrong side of the barn". Since it was dark, and we had no idea how much of the fence was down, we locked them in for the night and went to deal with it in the morning. They did a "pretty good job" and it took us a little bit to get the fence all put back and up and running. Somehow the fence had been turned off, and it doesn't take Tonka too long to figure it out, and pretty much do whatever he likes!!!!

By the time we did make it to camp, Dave and Sean were already waiting for us.... it makes the whole job so much easier when there is extra help, so we REALLY appreciated them being there!!! but, then, we had an extra surprise, when Dale and Val showed up just in time to help out as well!!!

Val is an athlete and does all sorts of marathons and "iron man" meets, so, when she was looking for a spot to practice her swimming, I was more than happy to offer "wilson lake". When the girls arrived to swim (Dale swims too as Val's spotter) they jumped right in (literally) to help with the docks........ it didn't' seem like anytime at all, when everyone had the docks in place..... its just so wonderful to have such great friends that will come to your rescue!!!! And Moxie was the first "official swimmer " of the cocker crew this year... she usually is, other than Trevor, she is the dog that likes the water the most......

We had a nice cookout after the dock party and sent everyone home, full of good food.

Then Ed and I went down to the "farm" and check out the hay. It looks good, and the hay man will be getting there any day now. I think this is going to be a good hay season, and many of the fields are getting knocked down quickly. It's been a dry season, which is bad for wood fires (had a bad on in York over the weekend)... but it awesome for cutting and drying hay. Last spring was so wet, the hay men were scurrying to get it all in. I dare say, there will even be a second crop this year!!!! "Our" hay man (I need to get his real name... Ed knows it) said he will give us a call when he heads to our field, so I am hoping to get some good blog pictures and have a full report on the hay yield and quality to tell all of you.

And, just for the record......... we have declared that summer has begun..............................

peepers in the kitchen

On Friday, Ed and I went to the local grain store to pick up our turkey chicks. Last year, we raised 6 turkeys that we "named" the "Dinner Family"... we had "Thanksgiving (dinner), Christmas (dinner), New Years (dinner), Turkey (dinner) Easter (dinner) and Whatever (dinner). It was a fun project, and aside from shipping them off to the butcher, I can say it was a "fun" project as well. The turkeys were very good, and I felt that we had given them a fine life until the end.This year, we are raising the "Holiday Family".. and I know it seems hard to think that these cute little chicks are going to end up on the table... fortunately (God is very good) they don't grow up as cute as they are little!!! so, that makes it a little easier when it comes time for shipping them out!!!!
Because they are so little right now, and don't have all their feathering, they are living in a dog crate in the kitchen....... peeping away!!!!! Actually, they peep so loud, it is sometimes hard to hear the TV!!!!!
Then it was back to "project #436".... remember when we pulled those big shrubs out a few weeks ago, well, we're back to it again (course the sunroom is also awaiting its final touches!!! but there are only so many hours in a weekend!!) Anyways, we decided that we would like to cover up the cement walkway with a nice brick walkway. So, I went with Ed to the brick store, and picked out some pavers for the new walk.

The "new owners" of the house (ie: Kassy) said that she would give us a hand!!! and helped her Daddy unload the bricks from the back of the truck!!! I am glad that she approves of her new walkway!!! Though she keeps telling us to "leave a few projects for her and Nate to do!!!"

As with a lot of these types of projects, its the "prep work" that takes us most of the time... here, Ed has the stone dust done and all level, and if you look a little to the right, you will see a nice load of loam (brought to us by Coz) waiting for the walkway to be done. Ed is going to level out the whole front yard, and re-seed. It will look nice to have that all done, because from the old shrubs and just over time, the front lawn is full of dips and pots, that make mowing it....interesting.......

Now, I must confess that I wasn't much help with this project. Missing my mini, Mocha, found me spending the afternoon at the Flagg's, taking a nice hike out thru the woods with Deb and Alison.

But when I arrived home... here is the beautiful job all done and waiting for me!!!! Needless to say, Ed was pretty tired after all that, I did get the lawn mowed!!!.. We still have the rest of the yard to level out, and I promise I will be more of a help on that part of the project!!!!

Ed keeps saying that this is good practice for all the stuff that we will do with the new house. Actually, its quite fun, because it does help me get ideas of what we will be doing up in Acton, and I also have the chance to get back into the "house stuff" stores and see what there is out there. We haven't done that since we bought this house and did all the work..... 25 years ago.... and lots have changed since then.

The next couple of weekends will be spent at camp... so, things will just need to wait a bit around here, again.

Monday, June 18, 2007

are we there yet???

after a very fun and busy Saturday... Sunday was just the same!!! Bright and early.. Deb, Dave, Kassy, Sadie, Ed and I headed to Casco to pick up the new babies!!! For the most part, the ride was uneventful... except for Hunter. Poor dog, he had something "going" with his tummy and had me up a few times in the night. I thought it would be best to bring him along, just in case he needed to "get out"... which did happen several times along the way!!!!

We arrived "home" safe and sound and the horses unloaded, took a good look around, and seemed to know that "we were there". Dave's new boy looks pretty happy in his new place. His name is Bobby, but I am thinking that Dave might be changing that to "Buddy", his puppy dog attitude is amazing!!

And here we are, the Moms, with our new babies!! Deb's little mare is Alice (Allie) and I have decided to call ours Mocha... her original name of Summer, just doesn't seem to suit her... I think she looks a little more like a Mocha!!!

Look at her here with her "new" Daddy!!! Ed really enjoys being with the horses, I can't wait to see him up on the farm where the horses will be a part of everyday life!!!

You can really get the idea of just how tiny she is standing here beside Ed!!! She measures 31.4 inches at the shoulder, and is registered with the American Miniature Horse Association. I will re-register her in our names, and Deb will be able to register her little mare soon. In order to make the registration, they can not be bigger than 34 inches.

I have already been scouting out tack for Mocha. She has done pony rides and drives, so I am certain we will be doing those sort of things with her. I can't believe how "cheap" mini tack is compared to what it has cost for Tonka Boy!!! AND... Deb and I have already made some plans to take Allie and Mocha to the parade on the 4th of July and walk them in it.... so, the busy part of summer has begun.... looks like its going to be full of fun!!!!!


As promised by her Daddy.... Sadie got to drive our 1966 Thunderbird to her graduation!!! This is a very special car, as it was originally bought by Ed's Mom, brand new, back in 1966!! A number of years ago, Kay gave the car to Ed and he has carefully cared for it, keeping it in storage and bringing it out only on the sunniest of days and/or special occasions, graduation being one. Sadie did a fine job of driving and we had a fine ride over!!!

But, graduation was only the start of a very busy, very fun weekend!!

We also had the celebration of Naomi's first birthday!! Here is a great shot of the cousins all together!!! With such busy schedules, this is a rare treat, so I wanted to get the shot while I could!!!

Naomi was so good with all the attention .. it was a big party! Tons of good foods... LOTS of gifts for a very special little girl, and a enjoyable time shared with friends and family!!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

class of 2007

I can so remember signing Sadie up for school and hearing the words " she'll be the class of 2007"...........
that's so far away, that's in the next century!!!
I will be in my forty's... late forty's!!!! .... it seemed like forever.

But, here it is, and it hasn't been forever, its been a moment!!! the years have flown by and when I look at this baby picture ( taken at my friend, Lory's house, with a litter of cocker babies....) I simply can not believe where the time has gone!!!

Not much has changed around here, in a lot of ways. Sadie used this picture of her and Tatter in the senior video (and the one above as the comparison), and yet, so many things have changed, as they would, over the years. And I know too, that the next few years will work exactly the same way. She heads to college in the fall, and I have no doubt those college years will zoom by just as the school years did. And it just reminds me of how special each day needs to be, because though some may seem long and difficult, stepping back and seeing the whole picture, makes you realize that is not the case.

So, "class of 2007"--- Sadie --- may your future be bright and full of blessings, and may you, too, realize that time plays the game, and its up to us, not to let it win......but to grab onto it and master all that we can..... we love you!!!!!

Monday, June 11, 2007

it's NOT my fault.........

On Saturday evening, we went to dinner with the Flagg's. It was Sean's birthday, and not that we need any "reason" to go to dinner (we go almost every weekend!!!) but it's always nice to "have" a reason to go!!!

Being the "animal people" that we are, the conversation always takes on a theme of pets at some point in time. Dave and Deb have two dogs, two cats, two sheep, and various chickens and the what not, so we always have much to chat about. At one time, they had a Welch pony named Thunder, they owned him for 39 years, and he passed just a few years ago. Since then, they have been on the lookout - more or less - for some sort of equine to add back to their family. I gave them the website for the farm that I got Tonka at, and every so often, Deb pops onto it and takes a look.

She told me, at dinner, that she had seen minis on the website and that there was an open house for the farm on Sunday (yesterday).. so I promptly say... "hey let's go up and see what they have!!!" Now, I know better than to go alone to a place like this, so we took Sadie with us --- for adult supervision..........

The moment we arrived, Deb and this little grey mini mare, just seemed to hit it off!!! Her name is Alice (like in Wonderland) and she is three years old!!! and I need not lengthen the story with words,,, because you already know.... this little mini is now a "Flagg"!!!

Now, Dave was actually thinking of a horse more for riding and driving. So, he went down to look at the big guys, and found this beautiful Belgian X named Bobby. It wasn't too long before we saw Dave, helmet on, saddle on horse.... off riding "into the sunset" (not really, but it sounds good). Then Dave asked if Sadie, Deb or I wanted to try him. So, Sadie and I took a little spin on him, and told Dave we both liked him very much. Well, I need not say more... because Bobby also became a "Flagg"!!!!

So, now that leaves one little mini left. She is actually the mother of the little grey foal. She is a chocolate dapple, 13 years old, her name is Summer, she can take small children on her back and she drives. Do you all know where I am going with this?????

Yes... her last name is "Walsh"!!!!!!!

As it proved out, Sadie was not much in the "adult supervision" department.... nor was Ed!!!! Dave and Deb weren't much help either, because they have offered a place for Summer on their farm until we get ourselves up to Acton.

This morning I did, for one brief moment, wonder what in the world was I thinking.... a very brief moment............ :-) let the comments begin!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, June 08, 2007


I recall a few blogs ago, that I made some comment about "boys and their toys..... the difference being the price between them. Well, as it turns out, I really have little to say, because I find myself in the same situation.

When I was a little girl, I was given a "tonka" truck and horse trailer, with two horses. I can remember spending hours in the dirt pile, driving my truck around, making pastures for my horses, houses, barns, etc. My friends were often playing with their "barbies", but I preferred my truck and being "barbie's" neighbor, the one with the horses.

I don't know what happened to my truck, probably just got lost somewhere in the shuffle of growing up, but a few Christmas's ago, Ed found this truck, trailer and horses on e-bay, and bought it for me!!! What is really funny, is this trailer came with a black and a white horse... (my old one had two black horses)... the fact that we own a black and a white, just makes it seems so odd!!!!

So, here is the "big girl" version!!!! And I just love hooking onto that trailer, loading up one (sometimes both) of the boys and driving to a lesson, the beach or where ever!!!!

Actually, if truth be told, and the gas prices weren't so high, I would probably spend even more time pulling the trailer about...just because I like doing it so much!!!!

I wanted to try and set up a shot with the boys beside the trailer (like I did with my toy truck), but that would require another person, and I just couldn't come up with anyone this week. So, you will just have to "enjoy" seeing the boys together in the paddock!!!

My lesson with Louise went well yesterday. I found I have a ton of work to do with Tonka ... sort of already thought that..... but, I look forward to working with him. I am going to need a lot of Ed's help with this, because some of the ground and dragging work really needs a couple of extra hands. As Louise said, "you want to drive in safety and training.... not in prayer!!!!" and there's a lot of truth to that statement....... I will be sure to keep you all up to date on our progress....and I look forward to offering rides when we are ready!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

quilt drying day

I think that living in Maine, (New England) we have the very best!!!! What I mean- in this case- is the weather!!! We seem to get a little of everything from the cold and snow to the warm and grand. After a couple of hot and humid days, the thunderstorms rolled thru last night (much to Camille's dismay, she hates them!!!) and this morning brought the most wonderful weather!!! Warm(ish), dry, bright sun!! perfect for washing the couch quilts and drying them on the rail. Those poor quilts take such a beating, I find them on the floor, spaniels and cats lay all over them, people use them... and then I chuck in them in the wash!!! But there is nothing like drying them outside.... it's the best. Besides, makes a pretty good picture!!!!

The dogs and I had a grand walk today, and I am finding the benefits of all this walking is far reaching. When Hunter was in the ER the other night, the vet was extremely pleased at "how fit he is". And my regular vet even made the same sort of comments when we went for their spring visit. In fact, he shared with me that the number of fat dogs he sees, seems to be on the rise!!!! I guess that's not surprising since I am forever hearing on the news how Americans are not taking care of themselves, would only stand to reason that it would trickle down onto our pets!!!! Anyways, I am also finding that I am my best "walking advertisement"... for again today, I was stopped and asked "where did you get your dogs trained, because I am looking for a trainer" I really should carry some business cards with me, because I am asked this at least a few times a week. Good for business, and my summer run of classes is almost full.

I had been thinking that a "cat tree" out on the new sunroom would be fun for the kitties. They love it out there, with all those big windows, they have a grand time. I feel a little bad that I have decided to make them "indoor cats", but having lost two cats and never knowing what became of them, is just something I can't go thru again. So, these guys are stuck inside for my selfish reasons. Today, I "caught" Dancer and Nora having a grand time on the ladder that we left out there, and it got me thinking... I could buy one of those expensive cat trees, but maybe it would be just as good to find an old ladder, paint it up or whatever, and have that for them to climb around on!!! It would work out just as well, and might look different in my "decor".......... I have so many ideas of what would look good out there, that I probably will end up filling it with all sorts of things. It's were the baby turtles are at the moment (got to think up a couple of names for them!!!) ... I need to be careful not to fill this room up before its complete!!!

Well, time to get out to the barn and check on the big guys, Tonka and I had our lesson yesterday... he was NOT at his best. I think I might have forgotten to bring his brain with us, because he acted as though he had never done any dressage work in his life.... it's just like the dogs, and I suppose everyone is entitled to an off day..... glad his was on a "lesson day"... Laura had quite a conversation with him......... tomorrow I am meeting with another horse friend, Louise, who is going to help me with the harness..... I am sure there will be a story or two in that.

Monday, June 04, 2007

Hunter, baby

What a strange weekend this turned out to be!!! It started out when my friend, Julie, called to see if I could be on "puppy stand-by". Some of you may not know, but I am a great "puppy mid-wife" and I have helped several friends deliver their puppies. Julie always calls when she has a litter on the way (she raises German Shorthair Pointers) and we have spent many late night/early mornings together!!! So, I was pretty excited waiting for "the phone call to come". Sadie said that she wanted to come along as well, since she will be studying that sort of thing in college next year and thought it would be good to see it all done.
So, the weekend went along, but I was a little worried about getting into anything too big, just in case Julie called.

Ed snapped this shot of Hunter and Dancer around supper time on Sunday. Moments later, Hunter got off the couch and began to act as though he was having a seizure. He has had a couple in the past, not bad ones, so I didn't get too upset when this all began. But, as the moments went on, something just wasn't right with him. I still can't even really describe it, but, knowing my dog, I knew something was up. I had Ed call Julie and tell her not to count on me being there, because I was headed to the ER with Hunter. Bottom line, after they did some x-rays and a general exam, was he had some sort of stomach pains, but for no real reason. Basically sent us home with keep a close eye on him, bland diet for a few days, contact the vet if anything else came up. He is almost back to his old self this am, ate his rice for breakfast, barked when Ed popped in a minute ago, but also being a little quieter than usual. Strange........ on top of that, Julie called, and so far, there are 13 new pointer puppies in the world this am. Her girl did really well, and Julie got some help from another friend, so everyone is in good shape there.

Turtles...... Kas and I went to Zoo Creatures on Saturday, to see what we could find out about the turtles...... yes, that word has an "s" on the end, she found another baby this week, so we now have two. I set up Titus's small tank for them, and we talked with a "Turtle expert" at the store. He gave some baby food to get them started with and went over all the best ways to have their tank, etc. I ended up with another complete set up, and then even did some up grading with Titus's tank with a better filter and such for him. The turtle man gave me some good ideas and easier methods for cleaning, and now that I have two tanks to keep track of, I was pretty happy to get that advise. I am happy to report that both the babies are eating well, very active and seem pretty happy in their new home. AND, Ed and I even got the beginnings of an outdoor pond for them... so I hope within a few weeks, I will have a nice outdoor place for them.
It was also back to the sunroom work again. The weather on Sunday was rainy, so after church, we got started on the bead board. This was tricky to work with, I dare say, even a little more than the ceiling was. We got a good start on it, finishing up two walls, before Hunter did his thing!!!! It looks really nice and I think its a good choice. I hope we'll get a chance to work on it a couple of evenings this week, because that will finish it up. Then its just window trim and the floor and this project can be taken off our list!!!!

It's Monday, I feel tired and not with it, but after the weekend and all its "strangeness"... I guess I have a good reason........