Sunday, September 30, 2007

bye bye September.....

Here is it, another month down..... and so we bid a farewell to September!!! It's been a memorable month.... and a nice introduction to the fall season. I am excited to think that Nate is about six weeks away, and I secretly hope that October will hurry pass like September did!!!

I have received so many emails with concerns about Ed... he is doing well, thank you all very much. We have made some big changes around here already, the trick is... KEEPING the changes!! But, this heart business is too serious to "fool around with" and I intend on keeping to the good stuff!!!! I miss him when I do barn chores (he's suppose to keep it " light" for a few weeks) we were having great fun driving Tonka together, and I want him back as soon as possible!!! Ed's suppose to take a few short walks each day, I have put Cole in charge of that!!! Cole can't go as far as the rest of the crew, but he's starting to put some weight on... so, I asked Ed when he takes his walks to please take Cole along with him. They went out this afternoon and Ed said he had to take a little rest, (which put me into panic mode!!!) but the rest wasn't for him... it was for Cole!!!!!

We got to visit yesterday with Becky and Butch!!!! They are bringing the Belgians down for Harvestfest weekend (October 13/14) and on Sunday, they will be doing rides at York Beach... if any of you "readers" are in the area that day, go take a ride... Becky said the rides will be free!!!! Anyways, they came down to see where they will be staying and what the route will be, and afterwards, popped over to see what we were up to.

I just like them more and more!!! I love Becky's stories about their horses and such, and I like to pick Butch's brain about horse training. I have asked him (when we get to the farm),if her would consider doing a beginner's driving clinic.... he just gives me a shy smile and a shrug, but I know he could do an amazing clinic...course that will be a couple of years before we could really do it, so I have some time to work on him!!!!!

Tomorrow is October and Kassy's birthday... tonite we are doing a little family celebration, which I will tell you all about later!!!! So, as the Flagg's are walking thru the door, I must fly........

Friday, September 28, 2007


Life is always interesting, to say the very least. But, when that curve gets thrown at you.... it's easy to become be-fuddled, and I am so glad that I know the Good Lord is the overseer of my life, because without Him, I would be a wreck!!!

Tuesday, I had a grand lesson with Tonka and Laura, we are working on the "half pass" -- a fairly difficult move of dressage. He's learning and I'm learning and that's a hard combo to begin with, but we worked together and even had a couple of decent moves by the end of the lesson. I have Tonka on the trailer and am just leaving Laura's when my phone rings, and it's Sadie!!! She is home... which is odd, but odder still -----she is at the hospital..... with ED!!!!! Sadie came home because she only had one class for the day, she called Ed to tell him what she was up to, and found her Daddy at the hospital.... here's the story

Ed had a regular doctor's appointment, everything is looking OK, and he knows that he needs to work on getting some weight off, and take better care with his blood pressure and sugar levels. He has lost a little weight since selling the company and being under my "watchful eye" .. that part is good, but what wasn't good.... is his heart beat. His heart is (was) out of rhythm and so, the doctor admitted him to the hospital!!!! I rushed Tonka home, and headed to the hospital and found Ed in the ER hooked up to a "million" wires!!!! After watching his heart for a bit, "they" admitted him for a few days.

Ed came home last night-----with meds,(and lots of prayers!!!) they have been able to get his heart back in a regular beat, (though the fact that they might have to "jump start" it again is not out of the picture just yet) and the list of do's and dont's, medications, and doctor's appointments are going to be the ruling factor of our lives for at least the next few months!!!!!

I find myself going back and forth from being totally panicked to the "boss who wants to control everything" he does.... it's an odd thing. So, it's day by day. I feel so blessed that we know there isn't any damage to his heart (because who knows how long its been out of beat -- his stress level over the past month has been very high) and with careful work , getting back to a healthy lifestyle, we know that will do wonders for sure!!!! OK... next chapter..........................

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


And if the weekend wasn't "fun enough" with Dave's birthday, the Common Ground Fair and the Acton Apple Festival.... we packed Tonka up on Sunday morning and headed to W. Sumner to see our friends, Becky and Butch. They had offered to spend some time with us and see what Tonka knows about his driving. What an amazing day!!!!

The first thing Butch did, was a little round pen work, to get to know Tonka and see what his manners are like (fortunately, his manners are very good!!! thanks to good trainers who have advised me well!!!) Then Butch likes to do this lesson using a blue tarp. It's to show him what the horse's tolerance level is, and to build up a trust factor between him and the horse. Tonka was quite sensible about this and it wasn't too long, before Butch could all but wrap him up in the tarp and still make him work. Very interesting lesson, and I learned a lot, and plan to practice that one myself!!!

After maybe an hour or so, and a little rest, we put Tonka's harness on, and Butch did some ground driving with him. And it wasn't too long after that, when he hitched him first to a single log and then his "scoot". Tonka pulled it like a pro, and Butch feels that somewhere in his past, Tonka has definitely been a "driving horse" . His skills are "rusty" and I have a lot of finishing work to do with him... and with me... but overall, Tonka has the knowledge and we just need to continue on with it. But the best was yet to come, before I hardly even knew it, Butch had Tonka hitched to his training cart, and asked Becky to hop in and do a little steering, while Butch stayed on his head. And after that, Butch hopped in the cart and did the driving.

I could hardly believe it when I heard the words "Your turn!!!" And here it is..... I am driving my horse!!!!!

On top of that, Ed drove him as well, and then, because we had a tired horse and everything was going so well, Becky hitched up the Belgians and the four of us took the horses on the trail. Butch and I took Tonka, and Ed and Becky had the Belgians!!!! It was a perfect fall afternoon, leaves just beginning to turn, miles of dirt roads, and the sounds of horses!!!!! I really doubt there is anything much better than that!!!!! So last winter when we ordered that harness, and I had the dreams of driving, it's just amazing when you see it all come together. I still have a couple of goals in mind, and know that the work has just begun... but this kind of "work".... I'll do any day!!!!!!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

fall news

After having a wonderful day at the Common Ground Fair on Friday.... Saturday we found ourselves in Acton at the "Apple festival". Acton has several large apple groves, and each fall the groves open up for picking and start the season off with the Festival. There are craft fairs, and suppers, hayrides, music... all sorts of fun things to do and see. The weather has been simply amazing, and makes it so you just have to be outside and attending all these things!!! The apples this year are beautiful and the trees are full, so I think it must be a good season... and I can tell you, the apples taste grand!!!!

Along with the apple festival.... it was also Dave's birthday!!!! So, Saturday evening the family all got together at the "Texas Roadhouse" for dinner and celebration!!! If you haven't gotten over to the Roadhouse, and like a good steak... it's the place to be. We knew all about it, because we have been to one in Jacksonville when we go to see Kas and Nate. You will get a good meal there, but don't expect it to be quiet!!!! We weren't too sure how they "honor" one's birthday there, but we knew it would be "something special"... so a tip to our waitress about the birthday boy, was certainly in order!!!!
And here's what they do.... you have to sit in the "birthday Saddle!!!!" Course Dave always looks good in the saddle, ( we're used to seeing Buddy as well) so, it wasn't any trick for Dave to "saddle up"!!!! Needless to say, when you do this, the whole restaurant knows "it's your birthday!!!" Dave (always the good sport!!!) gave me a big happy grin as he celebrated his birthday and was "back in the saddle again!!!"

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Common Ground Fair

A long time ago, when the girls were very little and I first started boarding dogs, I used to take care of a little dog named Blake. The reason "why" I took care of him, was because his "parents" always had a vendor at the Common Ground Fair. They always had such wonderful things to say about this fair, and would say to me..."you should go and see it!!!" but as I told them, if I was off seeing the fair, they wouldn't have anyone to take care of Blake!!!!! However, I did tell myself, that one day, I would go and see the Common Ground Fair..... and yesterday, was "that day"

Ed and I got up fairly early in the morning and got on the road. It's about a two and a half hour trip, but I can say, it was worth the time and effort to get there. The fair prides itself on two very important factors.... organic and agricultural.....and it is at that. You won't find any rides, cotton candy, or blooming onions... but you will find lots of animals and " natural things," like wool for spinning, yarns, quilts, bee keeping items... etc. etc... and for food, all organic and VERY yummy!!!!
We watched the sheep herding demo... those border collies were some impressive, saw lots of livestock, including this beautiful "highland cow", mules, draft horses, lots of llamas and alpaca.. bunnies, chickens and all the sort of farm animals...

We sat in on a bee keeping lecture.. in fact, there are all kinds of lectures that go on all day.... saw one being done on sheep, another on "natural logging of your land", one on keeping alpaca., and the list goes on and on. It's what I would call a real learning fair, and if you ever had a question on farming or some part of it, you can probably get the answer there. They had a whole section on things like building a "green" house (environment friendly), using solar power or wind power, composting, growing your own food (or raising it for that matter!!!) There were lots of animals being put to good use, like this nice team of mules showing how a barley field can be cut by hand....

And look at this wonderful old thresher.... I don't recall what "year" it is, but it was run by some sort of engine ... possibly a one-lunger back in the day- and it was all belt driven. Course now, we look at it and wonder how they ever figured out something like that, but I bet when it was brand new and showed up on your farm, it was thrilling to think you wouldn't have to do all that threshing by hand!!!! The day went by so quickly, and we didn't even notice how tired we were from walking...until we sat down!!!! There were just so many wonderful things to see and do. On top of that, the weather couldn't have been any better, it was actually on the hot side, certainly did not feel like the middle of September!!!! and just a grand day to be out and about. So, to quote my friends from all those years ago..... "the Common Ground Fair, yes you really need to take the time to go!!!!!!!!!!"

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

mode of travel.....

On Sunday, after our exciting night at the Rochester Fair... Ed, cockers, and I headed up to Acton to check on the camps and bring the gator home.... after "losing" (stolen!!) our other little gator last winter, this one will winter at home!!!! So, before we loaded it up... Mox and I had to take a little spin down the camp road. She is SO funny and just loves to ride in all sorts of vehicles..... one minute she might be cruising the lake with us in the boat, and the next, sitting in the shotgun seat of the gator, riding in style!!!! I can even take her in the beetle with the top down and she never moves!!!! Needless to say, when she wasn't feeling good a few weeks ago... neither was I!!!!

And here she is..just being silly. The dogs absolutely love being at camp.... they all act like puppies when we are there.... I can only imagine what it's going to be like for them when we are finally settled in on the farm!!!!! We have the "blessings" of the town to begin work on the barn, and it's a real goal to have a building up before snow flies!!! With the permit in hand, it's now time to start shopping for lumber and begin our game plan. Ed wants to do most of the work himself, he loves building projects!!!!!
OH and get this.... we have in our neighborhood, a pack of coyotes!!!!! Kas heard them a couple of weeks ago, and I said something to one of the neighbors, and she says she has heard them all summer.... (I haven't!!!!) last night, or rather this morning, about 2 am Tatter was pitching a fit in her crate. I finally got up and yelled to her to hush, and there was "no hushing" to be done.... just when I was about to go and "deal" with her, she settled down, and I went back to sleep. Well, today another neighbor came over and asked if we had heard the ruckus in the night... we said, no, but then I realized it was about the same time that Tatter was barking.. so she must have heard them..... I can't believe that we would have them here in the village...... but since I have had a bear in the back yard... I guess I shouldn't be too surprised. On top of that, the deer are back at the old apple tree, we had three of them the other night... I am hoping to get a picture to post, they are so pretty and I love to watch them eat the apples........

Monday, September 17, 2007

you just never know

This family of mine!!! You just never know what they are going to be up to... but one thing is for certain, we hardly ever have a dull moment around here!!! So, last Friday evening, we are waiting for Kas to come home from work, and she calls..... "I have to run over to Portsmouth, and I have to go now, because I got to be there before 6:00"... fine, but "be" where? is the question..... She had to get over to WERZ radio station in order to pick up her tickets and the details to the contest. Contest??? I guess the radio station was running a contest for "MRS. Rochester Fair"... the only thing you had to do married and sign up!!! (Kas qualifies for both!!) We don't know how many signed up, but they chose six, and Kas was one of the ones chosen!!!! For signing up and being chosen, she already won free tickets to get into the fair and a 50.00 gift certificate to a spa!!!! The contest consisted of.... changing a diaper, making a lunch and folding laundry... and the one that did it the fastest... was crowned Mrs. Rochester Fair... and the grand prize.... a private photo shoot, anywhere anytime, worth about 700.00 (or so)..... well, from the picture can you possibly guess who won!!!!!!! It was such a fun night, we met up with Deb and Dave, and I have to say, the Rochester Fair has come along way.... it used to be... well, let's just say, NOT the best "family fair" to go to.... but they have done a lot to clean that up, and it was a great fair, with all the "fair things" to do and eat!!!!!!

Now, that Ed is "retired" (we still don't really know what to call this!!!) I am putting him to real work!!!! It's nice to have a partner in crime when it comes to the barn chores!!! Course, I am still wondering how he gets the clean side of the stall mucking!!!! We're still in the process of figuring out what a daily routine is, but I have to admit, this is great fun and we love being together!!!! It's in my game plan to get him on the walking schedule that the dogs and I are on..... maybe we will get this "blood pressure" thing of his in hand yet!!!!

I also wanted to show off this handsome boy!!Doesn't he clean up nice??? I have posted so many pics of "mud boy" that I thought you might enjoy seeing one of him all cleaned up. This was taken last Thursday after our riding lesson, he's coming along quite well. Laura has moved us into some pretty complicated dressage moves.... much like a football player doing ballet.!!! Not that they can't "do it", but it makes for some interesting moves to say the least... course the fact that I am on the learning curve as well.........

And I can't believe that I have forgotten this, because SO many folks have been asking.... but Moxie is pretty much back to her old self!!!! The meds seem to be working and I need to check with the vet here soon, as we are nearly at the end of one of them..... but, she's doing well, and I want to thank everyone for checking up on her.....

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

just bloggin'

As I arrived to gather Tonka for his driving lesson this am... I caught Nutty, Keebo and Ransom in a very "serious barn meeting"!!! I don't exactly know what they were talking about, but it looked quite important from what I could see!!!!

Here we are, nearly the middle of the month, and it's been a strange September for me. I see that big yellow school bus rumble down the road, and it no longer has any meaning in my life. No more dashing about in the morning getting everyone out the door, nor afternoon curfews or homework around the table. I miss it in some ways, and yet, I am so enjoying the "freedom" that has come my way.

Ed is pretty much done working over at Wood Bros. and is busy getting a new office set up at his Mom's old house in the harbor. He still has a bit of paperwork that needs attention, and it's easier (and safer) to have all that somewhere else. He is still up and out the door about the same time in the mornings, but it's fun to run down to the harbor and check in on him!!! And once he really has everything all settled, he will be able to go and do things with me on a moment's notice (like Tonka's lessons) and that is going to be great fun!!!!

I hope, too, to get some projects finished up for certain.... he only thought the "honey-do" list was long before... he hasn't seen it lately!!!!

And take a look at this!!! these are the first of our house plans for Acton!!! We met with the designer on Monday and went thru a whole list of things!!! (mind boggling!!) and now have the plans to "live with" for a bit and change and re-arrange as we see fit. (much cheaper to change on paper!!!) It's pretty close to being just right, but, we want to make sure before we go ahead with the final drawings. He is also working on the material list for the barn (required by the town of Acton) which we hope to have by the end of the week. If so, Ed can run it up to the code enforcement officer next week, and we should be able to order lumber within a few weeks. Which means a very good chance of having that barn up before cold weather hits!!!! (so exciting!!!)

Sadie is having a grand time at college. We talked yesterday for a half hour about her classes. She really likes her "kennel management" course and can so easily relate.. simply because it's the way she lived her whole life. We have never owned just one dog, and with the foster dogs and boarding dogs that come in and out of here, Sadie says she completely understands what they are studying in class!!!! Kas is starting to think "south". In just about a month, I will be driving down with her and helping her get the apartment opened up and ready for Nate!!!! We are on the final countdown!!! I am so looking to that "vacation" in November.... Deb, Dave, Ed and I will be there for sure when Nate arrives home!!!! and afterwards, Ed and I plan to spend sometime at Colonial Williamsburg... we haven't been there in ages!!!!

My favorite time of year... September to January, and I have a feeling it's going to zoom by.. so I am planning on enjoying every sweet moment...............

Thursday, September 06, 2007


This is it... Becker College, where "our" Sadie is now a student!!! I still find it hard to believe that she is actually there... not that she shouldn't or couldn't be there... but for all of her high school years, Sadie always told us... "don't expect me to go to college". We never "expected" our girls to do anything that wasn't right for them, we are well aware that each person makes their own happiness in life, and basically, if our girls are God-fearing, good citizens, self supporting and doing what makes their lives full and happy.... then, we have done "our job".

But, last winter, when Sadie's High school mentor, encouraged her to look at the college route, and study what interested her... the story took a big turn around, and "we" went from..."never going to college" to " I hope they accept me"... and so "they" did.

Sadie is taking a two year, associate degree in "animal science"... which pretty much includes some Vet. Tech classes, small business courses, a kennel management class, obedience and grooming. Basically when she graduates, she could look into a number of different fields in the animal world, and then again, she might discover something more and chose to continue her education.... either way, it's a great start and I think that if the opportunity had been there for me, it would have certainly been something that I would have considered. (I already pawed over the books she had to buy for her classes!!!!)

She moved in on Tuesday, the campus is very small and very friendly and I had no reservations about "leaving her there". Sadie was a little nervous, because she shares her room with three other girls, and that will certainly take some getting used to and compromising... but, as of the phone call this evening all is going well. She also had her first two classes today, and said that she is going to enjoy them..... she said the "kennel management class" was great fun, and she expects to learn a lot there. (I guess they do a fair amount of work with greyhound rescue...... just what "we"

I also know that she must certainly be "enjoying her freedom" and being out from under my thumb..... it's just a "mother thing" and though I have tried very hard over the summer to "lighten up"... I haven't been very good about that. At college, it's all on her own, and the only things that I will know about... are the things that she chooses to tell me. But, it's OK, and I am doing OK with it. I have also made a point of asking her basic questions, and not going into my mother's mode of ..."you should or you need"... big steps for me!!!!

So, here are our girls... basically.. all grown up and out there in the world..... and now the next chapter begins... because for the most part... it's back to being just "sue and ed"....................................

Sunday, September 02, 2007

new friends.....

Say hello to Becky and Butch Durgin of Meadow Creek Farm in Sumner Maine!!!! A few weeks ago, I posted on the Maine Draft Horse Assoc. page that I was looking for some help with Tonka and getting him hitched to a cart. Well, I got a nice note back from Becky, saying that she and her husband raised Belgians and did training, and if I would like to work with them, they would be willing. It also turned out, that they were doing some rides in Eliot at the Raitt Farm one weekend, and if we wanted to go and talk with them, we could. So, Ed and I went over early one Sunday morning and got to meet Becky and Butch in person.

What a nice couple and their horses are amazing!!! Not only did we have the chance to chat with them at great length, but got a number of rides behind those beautiful horses, AND>>>> Butch even gave me the chance to drive them!!!!! (If I wasn't hooked on driving before that.... I certainly am now!!!!)

The drawback ,at the moment, meeting up with Becky and Butch, is that the fall is their busiest season, so it might be a little while, before they can spend some time with Tonka and us... but that's ok... because we have some great new horse friends.

Today, we thought it would be fun as a family, to make a run to LL Bean and poke around Freeport. As we were having lunch, we heard the wonderful sound of bells, and hooves, and sure enough, there was Becky, Butch and the Belgians... doing rides for LL Bean's and the holiday weekend. You can be sure, that as soon as we finished with our lunch, we went over to see them, and they were so excited to see us!!!! Nothing doing, Becky told us to hop on the wagon and take a ride thru Freeport.... Butch asked if I wanted another try with the team, but to be honest .. with all that traffic and such, I begged off. Sadie however, hopped right up on the front seat, to get a bird's eye view, and away we went thru the busy streets of Freeport. This team walked quietly along, past barking dogs, clapping people, motorcycles, and even a fire engine, like there was nothing else in the world but them. Butch took them down a quieter side road, and handed the reins to Sadie!!!!! The smile that broke out on her face as she drove that team along must have been a little like mine a few weeks ago when I took them.

Becky told me that she thinks there is a weekend coming up soon, where we can bring Tonka to them, and she also told me that they are scheduled to come to York in October for Harvest Fest weekend!!! I invited them to park here at the house, and take the Belgians up to the village from here, so we will see how that works out... but it sure would be fun to have them in our yard..... either way, I can't wait to get Tonka with them, I know that Butch can get him going for us... and I suspect that we will all be friends for a very long time....

camp news

Every spring when it's time to put the docks in, it seems like we need a small army of friends and family to help with the "feat". This year, along with Dave, we had help from Dale and Val as well (check the spring blogs!!!) and every year, after the "feat" has been completed, Ed says the same thing "We should look into aluminium docks"

Now, there's no doubt that aluminium docks are nice, they are light weight and easy to handle, they are certainly "lake friendly", they last nearly forever.... but they can be expensive. As the summer has progressed, though, Ed has talked more and more about them, and finally went on a "fact finding" about them. Well, turns out, that if you order them at the right time (ie: the end of summer) you can sometimes find a deal.... and so he did. This past week, the old, heavy wooden docks have been replaced with these nice new aluminium ones!!!!

Course, that meant getting rid of the old docks, and hopefully, for the last time, it took a small army of men to do so. Ed took his chainsaw and cut the wooden docks into manageable pieces, and Dave, Bill and John, wrestled them up onto the shore and then to Bill's trailer to be hauled away!!! Oh, and maybe one of the best things about the new docks... NO dock spiders!!!! Those spiders are as big as house cats!!! and like the dark spots under the wooden decks, but the new ones are open, light and airy and we are told, the dock spiders don't like them as their homes.... fine with us!!!!

Now, what's with the boat. Well, it has it's own story!!! This boat is actually an old boat... a 1966 model and it used to belong to Ed's Uncle Phil. Back in the day, Phil and his family had a camp on Wilson, and Ed can remember running their boat across the lake to visit with his cousins, Deb and Cindy, and vis a versa...... he has a lot of wonderful memories of growing up on the lake. Uncle Phil sold his camp in the early 80's because his family was no longer using it, and when the camp sold, the boat was pulled from the water and parked in a garage.

I'm not exactly sure how Ed found out it was for sale, but either way, Ed decided it would be fun to have and bought it from his uncle. This boat has only ever been on Wilson Lake, aside from sitting in the garage, and it didn't take too much "tinkering" to get her running again. "We" aren't exactly sure what we will do with this old boat, it runs pretty well, and its fun to have a boat to take us around the lake, and we don't need any sort of "speed" thing, so for a while anyways, we'll hang onto it and use it. Sometimes its fun to have something older to play with and Ed thinks it's pretty neat that the boat has retunred to it's "home".