Tuesday, November 27, 2007


Yesterday didn't start off too well, the little white guinea pig in this picture is Pete..... and Pete died yesterday. I had a feeling something wasn't quite right the night before, when I put the doggies to bed with their cookies, Pete and Applejacks (the bunny) always got a piece of apple or carrot... well, Pete loved his little night snack, and would always whistle until it arrived..... there wasn't any whistling. So, I cuddled him for a little bit, and then tucked him into bed, and found him all curled up this morning..... he has gone to be with Bella.
Funny how attached you get... Pete sort of came into our lives. Sadie had bought Bella for her birthday, and as we were leaving the shop, one of the clerks said, "you wouldn't want another?".. seems Pete had been bought there and then returned when the people got tired of taking care of him. Sadie really wanted Bella, so I said I would take Pete. At first he was rather shy and a little hard to handle, he didn't like being held and would stay at the back of his cage when you approached it. But, like any animal----time, patience and love changed that all around, and Pete became quite a little actor!!!! He wasn't afraid of anything, and actually "chased" after the others, whether it was Bella and Applejacks... or the cockers and cats. I will miss him greatly.
So, little Applejacks (who we also rescued) is the last one of "Sadie's zoo"... I am thinking I might get another piggie, but I will wait.... with Christmas coming... who knows what might be available come January or February after someone else "gets tired of taking care of them".
Say hi to Bella for us Pete!!!!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

found it

Well, it took me two weekends, and a lot of lugging, stacking and planning, but I finally found that piece of wood I had been looking for..... the LAST piece!!!! With Ed working on the barn, I was determined to get this project done myself not only is it great to have all this dry wood put away, but the yard looks so much neater with this big pile up and gone. My little stove is going to be happy this winter, and the couple of nights that I have had it chugging, the house has a nice cozy feeling and the cats are already claiming the bed beside it.

THIS is what I'm talking about.... wood stacked to the ceiling and no room for more. I had to put some of it outside on the deck, but that will be the first pile that I use up.

I don't believe I have told you about the "treasure" we brought home from North Carolina. As we were heading back, we passed a place that has all kinds of cement "critters". Ed was the one that noticed this horse and asked me if I wanted to go back and look at it. I said no because I know that these things can be quite expensive... at least around here they are!!! But, he turned around just the same and we pulled in. Mind you, we had a trailer on the truck because we had towed Nate's truck down, so it wasn't like we didn't have any room!!!! Well, the folks that ran this little shop couldn't have been nicer, they were quite "impressed" that we were from Maine (asked all about our ice and snow!!!!) and I couldn't believe how little they were asking for this fine beast. He is quite large, maybe three feet high, and VERY heavy (they loaded him on the trailer with a fork lift).. but he looks pretty fine under the apple tree and will look even finer up on the farm!!!!

Course what is even funnier, is what the cockers think of him. They are quite certain it is something that must be dealt with.... Moxie went racing out across the drive barking and growling, then she looked rather embarrassed when she figured out he wasn't real.... Trevor is determined to "get him" and Hunter is a bit afraid and won't go near him at all.... wonder what the horses will think of it......

Saturday, November 24, 2007

"black Friday"

I never liked the term "black Friday"... I know "why" they call it that.... but, it still sounds sort of gruesome to me, why would you begin the most wonderful holiday season with the word "black"? just call it "money Friday??" Either way, it means that lots of people are out there.. spending money, and though I vowed never to get caught up in it... guess what... Ed and I spent more money yesterday than several people combined.... though, our spending took on a different look from some....
It came on the back of a truck!!!! THIS is our new barn being delivered to Acton. All I see is lots of boards and things, but Ed is like a kid and this is simply a big kit that needs to go together!!! (maybe now I understand how he feels in a material shop ...... I see quilts and he sees bolts of cloth) Naturally the weather was almost bitter cold, the wind was whistling across that field but it seems like Ed always begins big projects in the cold!!!

Now, here's a pair that spells "trouble"!!!! Thank goodness..... we have DAVE!!!! always the good sport and willing to lend a hand. He and Ed work well together, so bundled up as much as they could be and still work.... they sorted all the lumber off the truck and began the lay out of the barn. This is the "fussy" part of the work, and when I went back to check on them (try to bring them a hot lunch,) it seemed as though they hadn't got very far, but in reality... a lot of work had been done.

Look who's working and who's goofing here!!!!

So, this is the start of a dream coming to real life... the day after Thanksgiving, how blessed I am!!! Good friends/family, projects that are in the works, a future that is bright and full of promises!!!! I guess I won't fuss about "black Friday" anymore... for it now holds a special meaning for me........

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Hello snow!!!

well, it really isn't that much to talk about... but it is the first of the season, and with Thanksgiving just a couple days away, it really does start "the holidays." I didn't think we would get any snow today, the weather man said that "inland" would get maybe an inch, but it would all turn to rain on the coast. So, I was pretty excited to see it coming down, though it looks a little strange with my autumn wreath and pumpkin by the door ( notice NO deployment flag!!!) and with just a rise of a degree or two, it will quickly change over to rain.

Ed and I went out to the barn to do chores and give out some lunch. The paddock looked so pretty with the white covering and the trees look just as handsome!!! "Everyone" was snug in the barn waiting for their lunch.....

Well, almost everyone!!! I told Mocha that a smart horse would know to get in from the snow, but she only gave me a look that said "oh please... only sissy horses have to stay inside when it's snows!!!" Besides she has the thickest coat in the barn, so maybe she is just showing it off!!! I don't think I will need to worry about her being cold this winter!!!

We saw the first of the "timber plans" this morning. The company that we are pretty certain we'll use, sent their rep out with the sketches of the framing. It's pretty basic as far as timber frames go, but we have a few things to ponder and of course, are a little anxious to see what this is going to price in at. It would be nice if it turns out like the barn has.... Ed ordered the lumber for that, and it came in a bit under of what we thought... nice surprise!!!! The lumber is being delivered to Acton on Friday.....pretty exciting!!!!

Cam and Hunter are doing well, both are feeling much better after their surgery/illness which makes me very happy. So, looks like all is good on the homefront.....

Saturday, November 17, 2007

home again

Ed, Moxie and I had a wonderful time in the south!!! The weather was grand, the time was relaxing and of course it was great to see Nate home safe and sound, and spend time with him, his family and Kas. But I have to admit, I am a real home body and it was good to head north and sleep in my own little bed once again. However, Ed didn't stick around too long, early Friday morning he was off again, heading to Baltimore, MD with some friends to attend a "towing show".

He was a little "worried" that I might be lonely at home, but I have used the time well these past two days, and have begun to "pack". NOT that we are moving into our new house any time soon, however, we have been in this house for nearly 25 years. AND I have never really "weeded out", I figured it's going to take me a few months at least to be ready to do any sort of moving. I also have several things that would make for a good yard sale, and a few times last fall, I thought that if it had been organized I would have done a yard sale or two. So, I have decided that over the winter, I am going to get everything sorted out and come spring, have a yard sale or two and get things out of here. I have also decided to start with the "easy stuff"... for example, I did the upstairs bathroom, half of our bedroom and my closet. Here's the pile of "throw outs" that I got just from that... (plus a couple of bags of donations AND some yard sale things)... it's kind of shocking really, that we have that much "stuff!!!" I don't even dare think of what it will be like when WE (I'm not going to do that alone) tackle the basement and/or the barn!!! I have been very good and look carefully at each thing and ask myself "are you really going to cart this to Acton?".. sometimes I say yes, and sometimes I say no!!!!

Speaking of Acton, the barn floor was poured while we were away. Makes a big difference just having the floor in, and it has also inspired Ed to get back to work on it. Originally, when he heart was giving him trouble, he thought that he wouldn't even get to the barn building this fall. But, he has been feeling quite well, and Dave and brother Bill have offered their help when needed, so Ed is going to try and get a weather tight building before the "weather". He did get the lumber ordered before leaving on his trip, so when he gets back, it should be just about ready to be picked up. I guess the game plan is "as much as can be done" over the Thanksgiving weekend. If all goes well and we have decent weather, I bet he will get a good chunk of it done.

Poor Cammi...... just before we left, I noticed a lump in one of her teats... it's fairly common with female dogs that have not been spayed or bred. This one was pretty big and ugly, and since Karen (her co-owner) and I have decided that she won't be bred, it was time to get her in for spaying. I wanted to get this done before the holidays, so I took her in the moment we got home. Well, the spaying went well, but there wasn't just one tumor... there were three, so the vet took them all. Cam came home with a little row of stitches from the spay and about 20 staples from the tumor removals... boy, do I know how she feels!!! It wasn't that long ago when I was in the same spot. She's doing very well, but I keep her crated right now, and have her laying low. The staples come out in 10 days.. so it will still be a big of a recovery. AND then Hunter!!!! He wasn't feeling too well while we were gone, so I took him into the vet with Cam and something is going on that we can't quite put our fingers on. He has a slight cough, which, had he been in the kennel, would be like kennel cough, but he hasn't had any exposure to that sort of thing. So he is on meds for a virus and the vet wants to watch him closely cause it still could be a heart thing, though the x-rays looked OK. He's feeling much better and has been back to his old self today. I guess it never "just rains".... let's just say I gave the vet more money that we spent on vacation!!!!!................... yup, it's good to be home.....................

Sunday, November 11, 2007


The very first thing I have to say about homecoming... is "Praise be to our Heavenly Father, who answered our prayers and kept Nate and his unit safe!!!! I am so very grateful!!!!!" And I am well aware, as we were welcoming everyone home, there are many families have not had the same happy reunions, and I will continue to keep them --- and the ones still there, and the ones still leaving --- in my daily prayers. I encourage all of you to do the same, for it is very easy to "forget" when we are here at home and life is running on it's "normal" course.

We were told that the bus should arrive sometime around 3:00, Kassy had us at the base by noontime, because she wanted to help decorate and finish off the "welcome home" bags that the wives had been working on. The day was bright and sunny, but cold!!!! (yes you heard that word from me!!!) There was a sharp wind that blew all day long, and it whistled across that parking area and between the barracks. We spent most of the waiting time talking with other families, and sitting the in car warming up enough to go back out and talk some more. Finally, around 4:00 the bus pulled in and marines climbed out!!! What fun it is to watch and be a part of such a happy reunion!!! Everyone looked great and were more than happy to be home once again.

Charlie had to be the funniest of all. He definitely knew that something was up, and I wouldn't be surprised if he knew exactly what was up, because he was at the last homecoming. He didn't like Kassy being one step away from him, and kept a very careful eye on her whenever she was. It didn't take him anytime to "find" Nate and when he did, he didn't quite know what to do with himself--- Jump all over him, or Kassy. One thing for certain though, once the two of them were together, he wouldn't let either one away from him!!!!! and got very upset when Nate had to step away for a moment to retrieve his sea bags.

Nate loved his "new" truck, the one that Kas had bought over the summertime!!! It wasn't a surprised (she couldn't keep it quiet that long) but Nate was pretty excited when he finally got to see it in "real life". After he had the chance to say "goodbye" to his pals, we headed for home. Deb, Dave, Ed and I went onto the hotel, to check in and give Kas and Nate a little time together. Then we met later for dinner and to hear some stories from Nate. It's hard for me to picture exactly what life was like in Iraq, but I am very certain, it would not be my choice as a place to live... even without a war brewing there. I just can't imagine a place with hardly any trees or green grass.

These past few days have just been days of fun. Kas and Nate have taken us to different parts of Jacksonville, we toured up to New Bern today and went thru some historical buildings, and have just enjoyed being all together. The dogs have had great fun together, Ed and I brought Moxie down with us, and Deb and Dave brought Hallie with them. They have had runs thru the park, long walks, and "hours" of waiting the cars while we toured around.
But it's time to think about heading home, I am missing the rest of the four footeds and even think I am ready to get back onto schedule again. There has been some work going on with the new barn while we have been away, and I want to check that out. I have a pile of wood to get inside, and Thanksgiving to think about.... so, it's time......

Saturday, November 10, 2007

a Homecoming poem

T'was the night before homecoming
and all thru the house
everyone was excited
especially the spouse (s)

The "welcome home" banners
had been hung with great care
in hope that Nate and the other marines
would soon be there

The parents had arrived
traveling down from the north
they went to the base and
got passes to go forth

for the next day they would go
thru the gates at LeJeune
and wait for the bus
that would bring home the platoon

The day of homecoming dawned bright
and families gathered together
but not too many of them
even noticed the weather

For the balloons and banners
were much more to see
And the excitement and smiles
of each family

Then what to our wondering eyes
should appear.....
a large big bus,
Marines with their gear!!!

The shout of happy greetings
rang loudly in my ears
and the Marines were caught up
in big hugs and tears

For finally the deployment
had come to it's end
our heros are now home
with us once again!!!!!

Colonial Williamsburg

Colonial Williamsburg and I have a long history together, I first saw it in the early 70's when my parents took us there for a family vacation. I have always loved history and remember that trip as though it were yesterday.

When Ed and I were first married we went to visit my sister (who was living in Virginia) and took a day to visit Williamsburg. Ed fell in love with it and to this day, it is one of his most favorite places in the world. Keeping with "tradition" we have taken many family vacations there, Kas and Sadie know the "city" well. Now that Kas is living in North Carolina, Ed and I always have the perfect excuse to visit Williamsburg whenever we are in the "south".

After we got the dates of Nate's homecoming, Ed and I decided to take a few extra days to visit "our" Williamsburg on our way down to North Carolina. It was as wonderful as it has always been and though it was a little strange visiting without the girls, we had a grand time walking around the "city" and enjoying all the sights and sounds.

For anyone that likes history, or just being around "days of the past" Williamsburg is a must see. The people of the town stay in complete charterer, and any conversations that you have with them, will be done as though it were the 1700's. They don't seem to "understand" things like, "we live in Maine" (Maine wasn't a state back then)... or telling them it took you 12 hours to drive there (they think you have some special breed of horse and buggy!!!) Discussions about the upcoming revolution (which side you are on) is important, as well as "how your crops are doing" or who/what is the latest arrival from England.

They do the work of the "time" .....blacksmith, wheelwright, grocery, shoe maker, saddle maker... etc. etc. and they encourage their guests to take a hands on approach as well. Cars are not allowed in the "city" (though many of the folks that work there, do live there) so, when you walk the streets, you may have to step over for the carriage or ox & cart that pass by. If it weren't for all the other folks that are dressed in modern day clothes or the groups of school kids that walk about, it would be very easy to forget what year you were really in.

Something that is fairly new to Colonial Willaimsburg is the computer age. If you go to their website there are all kinds of things to do and see, almost as interesting as the old city itself. One of the things they have are web cams in certain spots of the city. Ed loves to check them out and before we went, he had figured out where a few of them were. So, as we walked about the town, and using our cell phones, we were able to have friends and family watch us!!!! At one point, we got Kassy on the phone, and she was on the computer with Nate!!! Nate then went to the website and was able to spot us in Williamsburg!!!! It was just so hard for me to wrap my brain around that one!!!! I even went and found a colonial citizen and had him come into the camera's view for Nate to see. You can be sure our "colonial citizen" was some surprised when I told him... "You were just seen in Iraq!!!"It was a great way for us to begin our vacation and it will only get better as the days move along...our next stop.... Camp LeJeune!!!!!

Monday, November 05, 2007


Even though I have a million things to do before this trip, and really should have been doing them yesterday... I snuck away for a couple of hours and met with a "spinning teacher". I have wanted to learn how to spin for a long time, I don't really know why... I certainly have "plenty to do in my spare time", but spinning has fascinated me (besides, it will be the perfect excuse to have some sheep when we are on the farm!!!!)

Ruth has been spinning for over 20 years and has a huge collection of spinning things... a number of different wheels, all sorts of bags of fibers, carding brushes from brand new to antique.... and she herself is a wealth of information. We started with carding, (which I have done before), I didn't have any trouble with that and actually ended up with some pretty good "wads" to spin with. Then she showed me how to use a drop spindle, which was ok, but I really wanted to get onto that wheel. After I had the knack (sort of) of the drop spindle, it was onto the wheel. I have to tell you, it's trickier than it looks, she said that each wheel sort of has its own little personality and I think she might be right. "My" wheel wasn't about to cut me any breaks!!!! But after a couple of hours, "we" (the wheel and I) came to an understanding, and I managed to put a few rows on the spool.

This is what I came up with for yarn. You probably could mix it into a pair of mittens (and I might do that), but I certainly wouldn't be looking for this scane of yarn if I had to buy it in the shop!!!! Ruth said that if you don't get discourage and give up the first time you try spinning, then you will probably become a spinner. Well, giving up isn't what I plan to do, and I have the whole winter to learn. Since Dale and Karen got me knitting last winter, I think I could find a use for any yarn that I was able to spin!!!! Speaking of knitting, I made a pair of mittens out of bits of wool that I had left over from the "animals" I made. They came out kind of funny looking with all sorts of colors, but Sadie thought they were "neat" and "stole them" to use at college. So, my first pair of mittens for the season have come and gone!!!!! That's OK, we have a long car ride coming up and knitting while riding certainly is easier than cross stitch.........

Friday, November 02, 2007

barn work

Ahhh... November, the month that we have been waiting for... the month that Nate arrives home from Iraq!!!! and we can hardly wait. We head out bright and early Tuesday morning to spend a few days in Colonial Williamsburg and then onto Jacksonville for the big home coming!! It's going to be an exciting week.

But, leave it to my Ed. He decided that if we were going to get the floor poured in our new barn, it had to be done... NOW!!! He's right, because come next spring, there is no way we can get a big cement truck thru the field to the barn. So, even though his heart is still playing games with him, and the doctors have advised "do what you like, but go easy"... he has spent the whole week working on the barn and getting it ready for a floor to be poured next week while we are gone. One of the major things that had to be done, was to get these big tubes into the ground, they will be filled with cement and will be the supporting posts for the barn frame. I think he said there are 16 of them that need to be ready to go. Fortunately, brother Bill has been on hand to help out.

Along with the supports, the lines have to be in place that will carry the water, the drains and the electrical. Ed has an idea of where this all needs to be, and good thing, because I haven't got a clue!!! He knows from being around the horses enough and the barns that we "hang out in" as to where things will work and what things we will need. The little John Deere has had a good work out!!! Nice to see it on the farm, just were "deeres" belong!!!! Ed was anxious to get everything in place and packed down, we're expecting the tail end of a hurricane tomorrow, and actually, the rain will play a good part in packing the dirt down and making it firm and ready for the cement. After this storm gets by, the weather is suppose to be great next week, so it could be we lucked out and got things done in the nick of time.

And here is the princess!!! I haven't said too much about Dancer in the past few blogs, but she is doing well and pretty much rules the house!!! She actually is quite funny and follows me about just like the cockers do!!! (she is sitting on the desk even now as I do this blog!!!) Next month she will have her first anniversary with us!!! I honestly can't believe a whole year has almost gone by. In fact, I have been "blogging" for a year now. Each month, I print my blogs and tuck them away in a note book, its a neat way to keep a journal, and even more fun because of the "comments" left by friends and the pictures that go along with the stories!!!!

So, the next stories will be from the south. Colonial Williamsburg, one of our MOST favorite places in the world.... and then the "landing of the marines!!!" Josh is house sitting while we're away and I told him one of his "jobs" will be to take down the deployment flag when we call and tell him that Nate has arrived!!!!!