Thursday, August 30, 2007

a new house

Our daughters might tell you, that there is no way they are as "animal crazy" as their Mom.... however, that is not the truth!!! Both of them have a cocker spaniel and a cat, and then Sadie has her "zoo" of guinea pig and bunny.... and Kassy rescued two baby turtles and brought them home last spring..... so, they can say what they will... but actions speak louder than words!!!!

Thus is the story of Applejacks... he was the bunny at the daycare where Kassy works. Now, I am all for teaching children about animals, but I don't think a daycare full of children under the age of 4, is the greatest place for a bunny to live. Especially a bunny that tends to be a bit nervous anyways. Kassy felt the same, and talked her boss out of keeping Applejacks at the school, and brought him home to add to Sadie's zoo. The sad part was, even though he had grown into an adult bunny, he was still in the cage that had been bought for him as a baby.

Sadie was (is) very good about getting Applejacks out for exercise (hopping time and swimming) but to see him just sitting in that small cage day after day, was more than I could handle. So, I moved him into a large dog crate. He was much happier there and even took a little weight off, and began to groom himself better. But, neither Kassy, Sadie or I were happy with the crate idea either.

So, we pressed into service... Daddy!!! I'll tell you, "my Ed" can build anything!!! (including that new barn and house in Acton very soon!!) And we asked him to build an outdoor house for Applejacks to live in. We told Daddy that Applejacks needed plenty of hopping space and a warm, cozy house. We wanted off the ground so he would be safe, and not effected too much by the outside weather conditions.... and look at what Ed designed and built!!!! It's just perfect!!! the ends have doors for easy entry and cleaning purposes, the wire mess is fairly small so Applejacks feet won't be caught, but his "poopies" will fall away, its got a great roof that will shed water and its just off the deck, so we can still see him and enjoy watching him!!!!

I took Applejacks out there this morning, he is a bit shy and hasn't discovered all of it yet, but he will. I have no doubts that he is going to be a much happier bunny out there. We're thinking too that Pete (the guinea pig) might spend some time out there as well. He and Applejacks do fine together and now that Bella is gone, Pete doesn't have any company... so later today, I might try and that and see how it goes.

I have also added one more thing to my life....... a new job!!!! Short story of it, I have a friend up in Saco that runs a doggie daycare. The trainer that she had for a number of years is no longer able to teach for her, she called me and asked if I knew of anyone else. Well, Saco is a bit of a haul from York, but it won't be from Acton.... , I met with her yesterday and decided that I will take the classes, and get started up that way...then, when we move, I will already have something going. The classes that I teach in Wells were for the same reason.. they have gone very well, and have done a good job in getting my reputation known up that way.... I keep reminding myself that I am "going to cut back" and had decided not to build a school in Acton, but just teach a few classes here and there and continue with my private work..... somehow I don't think adding Saco to the list is "cutting back"... oh well......... can't say that I'm ever board!!!!!!

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

bye to Bella

It is with sad news, that we say good bye to Guinea Pig, Bella. Sadie bought her a year and a half ago, as an 18th birthday present to herself.
Bella was a sweet little "piggie" and we will certainly miss her whistles and squeaks!!! And watching her "swim" in the bathtub with Pete and Applejack.

Monday, August 27, 2007

don't ask....

I have it as "policy" never to ask ... "what next?" because somehow if you do, something always comes about, and the fact that I know the Good Lord would never send more than you can handle, and that faith and prayer will get you thru anything... it's just best not to say the words. BUT, when I woke up last Thursday morning and found that Moxie was having a great amount of trouble walking, I made two panicked phone calls... one to Laura to say Tonka's lesson was off and the other to the vet, warning them that I was on the way in!!! (mind you I said to warn them.. not ask them!!!)
Well, something is up with Moxie, though it's still a bit of a mystery and we're taking it day by day. The lameness is probably due to lyme's disease and she is on meds for that, but in all the tests that they ran, it has been discovered that she has the beginnings of kidney disease. She is on meds for that too, will be for the rest of her life, and I am still learning about the whole thing and what impact this has on her life. For the moment she is very quiet and still limping about, so I have been at her beck and call, and doing whatever she needs to have done.

Aside for all of that, my life, such as it is, continues to go it's pace. I had made a promise to the daycare where Kassy works, that Mocha would pay them a visit and give little pony rides to the children. (she needs to earn her keep you know). so Thursday afternoon, after we sort of knew what was going on with Moxie, I packed Mocha up in the trailer and went over to the daycare. The children were so cute and very excited to see her (don't you love this picture? Notice "who" is "penned in"!!!) I didn't have too many takers on the pony rides, some of these kids have a hard time being around dogs, let alone a horse that can look them in the eye!!! Mocha was a very good girl and was very gentle and careful around the little ones!!! She got lots of apples and carrots as a paycheck and was pretty pleased with herself.
Then it was off to camp. They had predicted very hot and humid weather, and when that happens there is only one place for me. Moxie still wasn't feeling great, but I knew I could watch her at camp just as easy as at home, and she likes it there. The weather turned off just as predicted, and I spent some time in the lake. And look who's turned out to be another swimmer dog.... Cole!!!! He loves the water, and though he doesn't swim too far, he certainly enjoys paddling around the water's edge. In fact, all the dogs went in, which only proves just how hot it was..... Moxie didn't swim.. which proves just how yucky she felt.

It was also Acton Fair weekend. I usually have a piece or two to enter in the fair, but I didn't have anything ready this year, and just as well, the way things went last week, I wouldn't have had the time to get them up to be entered. I did, however, enter a square in the Acton Fair Quilt. Each year, they have a contest... they give you a theme and a little patch of material, and you need to come up with a square and mail in it by a certain date. When all the squares arrive, they are made into one quilt ..the fair quilt... and are displayed. They also judge each square, so, if it's good enough, you can earn a ribbon!!! At the end of the fair, the quilt is given to one of the contestants, chosen by a drawing. Well, my square didn't pin and I haven't heard from the fair committee, so I am guessing I didn't win the drawing, but it was fun to see the quilt. The theme was "stars" and my square is the lower left hand corner one... its name is "seven sisters"..... We actually stayed at the fair for about an hour, it was BEASTLY hot and when the first steaks of lightening lit the sky followed by a rumble of thunder, we were out of there!!! All the animals were back at the camp, and I just didn't want to leave them alone during the storm!!!

We mostly spent the weekend, Ed and I, just trying to rest and sort out all the happenings of last week... the selling of the business, passing of his Mom, our 26th wedding anniversary, sick doggie... and the fact that Sadie is off to college next week. I said to Ed one day way last spring..."you know, it will probably all hit at once"... guess what... I'm not going to say that statement again, either!!!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

catching our breaths.....

It's been quite a week, for sure. Having to say good bye to "Mommy Kay" has certainly been a hard thing to handle, but life does go on, and she would have told us to stay with it. So, in that spirit, we take a deep breath, and focus on the good.
On Saturday, between visits to Mommy Kay, we attended the 91st York Fireman's Muster, with none other than our own Sadie, taking the role of "Miss Flame" the mascot of the day!!! It was her duty to oversee the parade... here she rides in my little beetle bug, with her Daddy driving and Fire Chief, Chris at the helm!!! She waved to all the folks, and looked so cute going along.

After the parade, the firemen all met at a little park in York Harbor to show off their skills in a number of competitions!!! Everything from how quickly you can get a line of hose put together, to how quickly (and securely) you can hook that hose and shoot a stream of water!!! The teams did a good job this year, and earned a number of trophies, Miss Flame handed out the trophies to the teams!!!
My little niece, Naomi, got her first ride in a firetruck with my folks. She loved it, and waved to all the folks watching the parade. We thought that maybe all the noise would bother her, but it really didn't seem to!!! Funny, we have pictures like this one of me... and of Kassy and Sadie!!! Guess the tradition continues on.....
After the parade and field events, the firemen get together for a lobster bake and dance. Ed and I attended the bake,( but not the dance as we wanted to get back to Kay)... it was as good as always, I certainly enjoyed my lobster. And Kas had the musican sing "Happy Anniversary" to Ed and I, because the 22nd we celebrate our 26th wedding anniversary......

Sunday, August 19, 2007

heaven bound....

It is with a heavy heart, that we bid goodbye to "Mommy Kay" and send her home to be with God and her loved ones that have gone ahead.

She was born in Canada, on March 17, 1915 (St. Patrick's Day). These pictures were taken this past March, on her 92nd birthday, when we had a little party for her with a number of family members. This was a great day, and as you can see from the smile on her face, a very happy day indeed!!

She was an amazing lady, a nurse by trade, until she married Ed Walsh (whom we called "Papa Ted") and the two of them ran the moving company, Wood Bros. Moving and Storage. After Papa Ted passed, Ed and Bill took over the operations of the company and ran that until this past Friday (August 17) the company has now been sold to another person. (more on this story later.. but let's just say, its been a rather long weekend!!!)

Mommy Kay was very elegant!! I think I saw her ONCE in her pj's after 8:00 in the morning. She always believed that you got up in the morning, got dressed (including your jewelry and shoes!!!) and got your day started. You never went out without being totally "put together"!!! You also exercise everyday (walking and climbing stairs were her two favorites!!!)say your prayers, sing (she was in the church choir for many, many years) and you live life to it's fullest.... which is probably why she lived so long!!!

She was, no doubt, blessed... with good health and a close family, which when it comes down to it... is what really matters in life. She loved her children, grandchildren... and all my silly spaniels!!!!! (Moxie attended her birthday party!!!) To say that we are going to miss her, is almost a waste of space... because you know that we will. But to go home to heaven, in peace and love has to be one of the most amazing things in life and I can only imagine all the hugs and kisses she received at the gates!!! So, until the day we are all together again........ "say hello to everyone there, Mommy Kay".

Friday, August 17, 2007

the start......

Even though the past few Fireman's Musters have been on the quiet side, I still get that "excited feeling" when the third weekend in August rolls around. Afterall, its been a big thing for entire life.... I attended my first muster in 1960... at the ripe old age of 5 months!!! My Dad was (is) a firefighter, and has held several offices as such... including Chief... so, I grew up with the fire department.

I never really planned on marring a fireman, in fact, Mom said not to, because they were always leaving you for fire calls, but with all those handsome young men in my Dad's fire company, how could you not date a few, and yes, fall in love and marry one!!!! So, being Ed's wife... my "life with the department" continued .. as it should.

Ed is the "keeper" of an old "handtub" fondly called "Protection 2".. this is a piece owned by an association named the "Red Shirts",( there's a whole story on them, that I will need to tell at another time. ) And for me, the muster all begins when Ed brings "Protection 2" home for the parade. In a couple of hours, a group of red shirts will appear, bring Protection 2 out of her house, and polish all her brass and get her looking good for the parade. It one of those silly things that has a special time about it, and I look forward to seeing them come every year.

Now, you have to know that where there is a muster and a parade, you have to have a "queen".. in the past years "Miss Flame" has been a high school senior, and picked in a number of different ways. In 2004... Miss Flame was our own Kassy!!!! (so was her best friend Diana.. they shared the fame) The girls had their picture in the paper, received a savings bond for their efforts, rode in the parade in an antique car and tossed Goldenrod kisses to the crowd... then handed out the trophies after the running events .. and oversaw the banquet and dance afterwards. To this day, Kas likes to pop out the line " Miss Flame, 2004, thank you for coming!!!" And Nate can proudly say, that he married a beauty queen!!!!!

So, I guess that none of you will be surprised to learn that this year's Miss Flame is Sadie. Tomorrow will be the parade, the muster events, banquet and dance.... the third Saturday in August..... always the same!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

cleanin' tack

it's too hot to ride, the horses have had their baths... what else is there to do.... well.... there's ALWAYS tack!!! (with horses.. there is always something!!!!) Cleaning tack has to be another one of those " really owning a horse" experiences. I don't mind cleaning so much, as finding (no.... taking) the time to get the job done!!
It's important to keep tack in clean condition... afterall, you depend on it when you are riding... so, if it's weak or in bad repair, you could really find yourself in a mess. It's also important that it stays comfortable for your horse, I should imagine that stiff, dry tack would be alot like wearing shoes that don't fit you right. You might be able to walk in them, but in the end, was it worth it. And nothing looks nicer than clean leather!!!! Besides, my riding instructor is a great one for commenting on the condition of your tack, so I sort of feel "inspired" to do it :-) .
Tack cleaning is really a job to do at the barn, but for now, I find it easier to lug it all home and do it there. Ed's sawhorse is a perfect "step in" for my saddle, and that pile of leather pieces on the ground, does make into my bridle (and yes, I can get that all put back together again!!!!) So, tomorrow there will be nice clean tack to put on Tonka (just so he can "mess it up again").
Speaking of Tonka.... Ed and I recently joined the Maine Draft Horse and Mule Assoc. I posted a note that I was looking for some help with regards to Tonka's driving... and I got a few responses back. This Sunday, a member of the club is doing an event over in Eliot and has invited Ed and I to come and look them up and talk about Tonka... so MAYBE, I can get a handle on this driving thing..... .that would be cool.............

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Mocha.... goes to camp

So, on Friday afternoon, my house guest, Rachael and I load the truck and head to camp. Among the items that were taken...were, our personal things, food, 7 cocker spaniels, and one horse trailer containing one miniature horse!!!! I have been wanting to take Mocha to camp... just "because", but this weekend was the perfect one to do it. Teresa and Dave were away as well, so, to make the work a little easier for the folks that were doing "barn chores" for us, I decided it was better to bring Mocha along with me.

Ed picked up some fencing and a box so we could "electrify"it (mainly to keep any loose dogs out of Mocha's area) and we used the horse trailer as her little barn at night. It worked perfectly, and she soon became a real favorite on the camp road. Everyone that walked by, stopped to talk to her, and being the social gal that she is.... she loved all the attention!!!!

Then Saturday afternoon, Linda arrived to get Rachael!!! Because of the long trip back and forth, I invited her to spend the night. We had a grand time together!!!! Had a little cookout, went and showed them where the new house will be, and sat by the "cooker" and ate marshmellows for the better part of the evening. Sunday morning, she and Rachael packed up and headed home!!! I still can't believe how quickly the week went, Rachael is a great little gal, and we had such fun together!!!! (didn't we Rach!!!!)

Sunday afternoon turned out to be a family reunion of sorts!!! My cousin Kevin and family, have rented the two camps for the week. They had invited my Uncle and Aunt (my Mom's brother) and all the cousins up for a cookout, so I got on the phone and did the same with my family!!! We haven't all been together like that in ages, and it was great fun!!!! Mocha did some "pony rides" for the little ones (this is Naomi having her first pony ride)... I must get a little saddle for her!!!
It was hard on Monday morning to pack up and head home... back to "real life".... but Dean was waiting at the barn to trim Tonka and Silver's feet, and I had been missing them, so it was a good reason to get back. Since Mocha did so well at camp, and everything went so well, I already have plans to take her back....... as if 7 little spaniels weren't enough!!!!!!

Thursday, August 09, 2007


I have seen in my day, a number of dogs who love the water.... but Charlie... is "crazy"!!! Anytime there is water around, you can pretty much find Charlie in it. At camp, he spends hours in the lake, chasing sticks, swimming after the ducks, or just "fishing" along the shore line. He also likes to watch things related to water. Kas and Nate actually bought him two gold fish... and yes, he will sit near the tank and just watch them float about.
He is equally fascinated with Titus's pool (Iooks a little like my fountain dog in this shot!!!) he would be in that pool if we didn't keep an eye on him!!! I can't believe how long he is able to balance like this!!!! And when Titus is in his pool, I can almost hear Charlie thinking... "he's so lucky!!"

And look at this handsome bunch!!! I'll tell you for someone who isn't that excited about "black cockers" funny how I ended up with three of them in the house!!! Maybe I should explain myself... it's just with all the colors that are in the cocker breed, I don't find the solid blacks that exciting (guess I am more of a parti gal!!!) but these boys are pretty great, and I do love them dearly. Obviously Cole is fitting in just fine, almost like he never left us in the first place!!!! (Trevor is the in front wearing the red collar, that's Cole in the back with the white muzzle, and Hunter is on the other side!!!!)

I can't believe the week is at the end, it's been a busy one, and has flown by. It's been a great treat to have Rachael here with us, and I have spent my days "playing" at the barn... nothing's been done around the house, but I have a feeling it will all be waiting for me next week!!!!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

it's a girl!!!!

Miss Rachael Joy arrived on Friday, August 3rd at about 11:00 am... all 12 years old of her!!! She is here to spend the week with us, to get a good dose of "horses, dogs, camp and being a little sister!!!"

Right away, it was up to the barn to see the horses, Silver is definitely Rachael's favorite boy, and she took him right out to get a good bite of green grass (he certainly appreciated that!!!)
Then she got little Mocha out, and gave her a good grooming... nothing like going from one size to another!!!!!!

We went to the camp over the weekend, but once we were "home" again on Monday, it was back to horse business.

Rachael finally got a chance to ride ol'Silver horse.... he's nearly 30 and a bit on the "creeky" side, and hasn't been ridden since January when we took him to the beach.... but he seemed happy to be back under saddle again. Since Sadie came out to see what was going on, it was a good chance to take some pictures of Mocha and Silver together. (still want to get that shot of Tonka and Mocha, maybe we'll get that chance one day this week)

Either way, I think Rachael is having a pretty good time here... we are certainly trying to spoil her a little!!!!! it's nice to have a "youngster" around the house!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, August 03, 2007

York Days......

For the past 20 years (as near as I can figure) Piscataqua Obedience Club ... my dog club...has been invited to do an obedience demonstration for the York Days Celebration. York Days is a week long event celebrating the town of York, with all sorts of entertainments. Some nights its music in the gazebo, puppet shows, sand castle makings on the beach... a wonderful firework display... and the dogs!!!! Actually, the dog show is one of the most popular events, and if you check out the crowd in some of these pictures, you can see that its true. This year the weather was just perfect!!!and the crowd was as big as ever.

I am the MC at this event, mostly because its the town I live in, and it sort of fell into my lap a number of years ago. I always get so nervous before this event, and I really don't know why. I don't mind speaking in public, I know what I want to tell folks, and I can always count on a big number of other POC members there to support me.... but I still get the "jitters".... I try and change it up each year, because I know we have people that come to watch year after year, and I try and keep it fresh and fun. For the most part, it always goes off without a hitch, but this year, we did have some trouble with the music, and a couple of the dogs... mainly my Moxie... had their own idea of how the "show would go"...... (ie: barking at me, jumping over the jumps that she wanted to, taking her old sweet time on her come... and the more the crowd giggled, the "worst" she got!!!) But I think that the crowd likes to see that sort of thing, and one other thing... it goes to prove that our dogs are "just dogs" and that anyone can and should owe a well behaved pet.

We do all sorts of things, try and show all the different levels of obedience, work a whole crowd of dogs together (the people are really impressed with that!!!) and of course, our flyball team is always a huge success!!!! After we do a couple of runs with the teams, we pull kids out of the crowd and have them race the dogs!!! THAT is a huge crowd pleaser!!!!

And then, after the show, we invite the crowd to come and talk, meet the dogs, ask questions about obedience and all that sort of things. I think that's the part the dogs like best, because they certainly get a ton of attention. This is when I breath a sigh of relief and consider doing next year's show (though I always think ... this is the last one!!!) and think of what I might do different the next time around. So, I guess that means, I'm not ready to retire... quite yet.....

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

day 100


August... another month down, and beginning tomorrow, 99 days until the expected arrival home of "our" Nate... today he is 22.....

Wednesday nights are known as "steak night", I don't get to go too often because I am usually teaching, but this evening I had off, so I got to join the "steak night crew". When everyone heard it is Nate's birthday, glasses were raised in his honor!!!!

Mini Nate was pressed into service yet again... what's a birthday unless you have your picture taken under the birthday banner!!!!

Acutally, this banner was put up by Kas and Nate for the Mom's birthdays back in April... I just haven't had the heart to take it, here it was, all ready for mini Nate and Kas to have their picture taken together!!!!!

So, even though Nate is on the other side of the world at the moment, he is very much here at home!!!!

"We love you, Nate..... happy, happy birthday!!!!"