Thursday, January 31, 2008


Tazzy has this silly black and white stuffed toy that she just adores. It's nice because none of the other dogs are that interested in it, so she basically has it all to herself.

I caught her playing with it the other day, it was hard to tell where the dog began and the toy ended... she was certainly having a good time for herself......

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

another one

When we bought the land in Acton, and decided that we would work towards our "dreams of a farm" , one of the first things I did was take this to the Lord in prayer, and asked Him that if the farm could be put to His use, I would be a willing "partner".

I have done "foster care" for rescue for years, and time and time again, have thought, "I could take that dog (or one more) if I only had the space to do it". With the farm within reach, that thought comes to me more and more, and I have even put that idea into the planning stages of it. I am feeling that it might be one of God's uses for the farm (which for me, how cool that would be).

I certainly seem to "attract" them, for here we are again...

This is "Cooper"... a 5 month old springer spaniel... who had been bought as a gift for a wonderful 80 year old lady!!!! And who, tried very hard to make it work... but wisely decided that this little chap just wasn't a good fit for her. Being in my puppy classes and trying to decide what to do, and having major guilt about "dumping him into a shelter"... I opened my mouth and said whatever she needed to do, I would be willing to help her out.

Well, on Monday, she took me at my word, and brought Cooper to me in order to find a new home. He really is a great little guy, all house broken, crate trained, very friendly and happy..... and FULL of energy!!! (thank goodness Tazzy has energy to burn, because she is one that can actually make him tired!!!!)

So, I am putting the "word" out.... any one that might be interested in him is going to be carefully "screened"... they need to be fully aware of this puppy's energy level and know what they might be in for. And because he is so nice, he just deserves the best that can be found.

As I write this blog, word has come in from cocker rescue about another little chap that needs fostering... I am trying to decide if I have the space, time and energy to take him on as well...... I am thinking I could really use that farm right now!!!!!!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

the copula

One of the things that I really wanted with our new barn, was a copula on the top. Not only is it a "new england barn" look but they do aid in the ventilation of the hayloft, and if there is a lot of "green" hay going in... ventilation is one thing that you need.

Course, I wanted a copula, but I wasn't about to go up there and put it on!!! so, fortunately, Ken isn't too afraid of heights and said that he could manage it for us. Steve was also a great help, but even he didn't go out on the roof, he worked from up inside the copula!!!! Here, the guys are finishing up the roof and getting the ridge cap in place... it's hard to see just how high they are in this picture, but note that they are above the tree tops!!!!

Ed worked off the "lift" and handed the guys any of the tools or what ever they needed (he is also the one that got these shots!!!)

Nice one here... looking over the whole field.....

Here's Ken.... "we" do have him tethered... (won't catch me standing up like that!!!!)

And the copula... all in place!!! We are going to put a weathervane on the top.. but, it's being custom made, so it will be a little time before we have it. Guess we'll hire a "cherry picker" to do that job. One thing for sure, it's doubtful anyone will be able to steal that nice copper top!!!!!!

Sure looks pretty in the setting sun.......

Sunday, January 27, 2008

snow dogs....

"Moxie and Hunter"

What better way to spend a snowy Sunday afternoon, than playing with your dogs at the farm!!!!!

it was a party

"Someone" said they thought that Ed was going to be the "peak" man when it came to the roof.... I DON'T think so!!! That honor went to Dan... who can climb that roof (and any height that we have had in this project)... almost as good as a "monkey".... I'll tell you, I can hardly look long enough to take pictures as I watch him calmly climb around or go from one spot to another!!!! You certainly wouldn't catch me atop this barn... and I feel pretty lucky that we found Dan to help out with this!!!!! We also have had Mike, and of course Ken and Steve working on the barn, they're pretty comfortable with heights, but no one seems to be able to out do Dan!!!!

This little corner of the barn is currently known as "Bill's kitchen"... when he can, he has been coming up and making amazing lunches for the crew. Yesterday, both Bill and Faye showed up with lunch, (actually Faye did all the cooking) and brought with her a pot of beans (which everyone likes, but me!!!) some wonderful cole slaw, and fried chicken.... was it ever good!!!!

Here everyone takes a break and enjoys some rest and excellent food. This is what makes putting on roofs a bit easier!!!! By the end of the day, the roof was completely on, the driveway side of the hayloft is all closed in, leaving only the field end still open to the weather, But that will soon be cured. Once the ridge cap is in place and the copula is on.... a few doors and windows, and the main part of the barn will be closed against the weather. We still have the lean to roofs to do which are over the stall doors on one side and the tack room door on the other.... then interior work, and time for horses. All in all this project has gone fast during the winter months in Maine..... hope the house will go this well....

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Friday, January 25, 2008


These "old" pictures of Silver were posted by my friend Traci on her blog and I just loved them so much, that I wanted to share them with all of you...

The "little guy" on his back is Traci's son Dillon. (who now is well into his teens!!!!! and no longer a little guy!!!).. it was the first time that he had ever been on a horse and I remember he wasn't one bit afraid. We had only had Silver for a few months, but being the sweet fellow that he is, anyone could (and did) ride him. He always took such care of who ever was on his back... including me!!!

As most of you know, Silver was my "first horse".. I had ridden a number of years and ever since I was a little girl always wanted that horse of my own.... took me a "few" years to do that, actually it was Ed who sort of prompted me to do it!!! (nothing like a supportive husband!!!)

Silver was about 18 when I bought him. My trainer found him at a schooling stable, where, he had had enough of being a "schooling" horse and it was time for him to find someone to love. I knew that my riding talents would one day "out do his", but I always told him that I would be his last home. And I intend to keep that promise!!!! Though seeing these pictures of him with Dillon, and watching him this past summer give rides to Rachael..... I have thought that he would have made an excellent therapy horse!!!!!

He is "officially" retired now, he is pretty "creeky" and I worry about him tripping or whatever. He can certainly keep Tonka in his place and I am just so excited to get him up on the farm with those big pastures for him to roam in.

So, Silver, old boy.. you are the topic of two blogs this day!!!

I love you old guy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

figure it out....

I don't really know what is going on here, but it's a wonderful gift that I am going to appreciate. Maybe it's because I have finally been "blogging" long enough, or maybe because it's winter and cold, and there isn't much to do... but suddenly the "blog world" has opened and I have been finding some really neat "friends".... Christian/horse friends, (mostly) which makes this the "gift" part. I have gone onto some beautiful blog sights and have had a glimpse into the lives of others, and from many different places. It's nice... even more nice, because I have, upon occasion, gone "blog hopping" (or whatever you wish to call it) and have found myself in "places" where I don't belong and CERTAINLY don't want to be in... so I had stopped blog hopping and stuck to the places that I knew. I will continue to be careful... I have seen enough "Dateline" shows to know that the computer world isn't without its dark places... sadly much like the world we live in.... but, keeping your eyes open, asking for guidance and going carefully, you can find some wonderful things out there in computer land. So, a special hello to some new folks that have found my blog, and just to say once again, I have enjoyed "sharing" my time with you and your blogs...........

Yes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.. but just look at this handsome turtle enjoying his sunrock.... my "Titus"!!! It is still taking him sometime to be totally comfortable in this tank, and it's been hard to get a picture of him sunning, because at the first little noise or movement, he often launches himself off into the water. WHICH is much better than before, because in the little tank when he did that, he often bashed himself into the side of the tank... and a few chips in his shell are tell tale signs of it.... He also has a few chips from his daring escapes... which he can't do from this tank, as the sides are so much higher. I hated it when he got out, for fear that we would never find him again... unless it were too late. Turtles are travelers and the two times he did get out, we found him in the bathroom (two room beyond where his tank was) and under a table in the living room (which we overlooked him twice before actually seeing him there!!!)

Funny how we humans get attached to such things... I mean with the cockers, cats and horses, I can say there is a "real relationship" there, but I don't know if I can really give Titus that much credit.... though, if I do stand by his tank and call his name, he will swim over towards me (I know, he is just looking for food!!!) and IF he is hungry, he will paddle madly in one corner of the tank until I appear and see to his needs. Some of the turtle websites go into all kinds of details with stories of their turtle's and their relationships... there's got to be a little poetic freedom with some of them, if you get my point!!! Either way, I do enjoy watching him swimming about (and sunning) and can appreciate his peaceful world.

and off to "my world"... there are 15 bales of shavings in the back of the truck needing to be put inside......

Sunday, January 20, 2008


Every December, my dog club (Piscataqua Obedience Club) has a pot luck supper and auction to celebrate the holidays. Because the club has grown in membership, for the past couple of years, they have met in our training barn as it offers enough room for everyone. This year, due to weather, our meeting for December had to be cancelled.since everyone enjoys this meeting so much, we all decided to go ahead with it for our January meeting!!!!!

Our auctioneer this year was Santa!!! ahh, no, actually, it was Wayne!!! and what a wonderful job he did!!! He certainly had a way of getting those bids up there.. which is hard, because, you don't know what you are bidding on!!!! Just to add some fun to our auction, all the gifts (donated by the members) are wrapped.. however, you must provide some kind of clue, to aid in the bidding. For example, I made a lap quilt this year.. and my clue was "sit/stay"!!! The clues are really quite clever, and once you see the gift opened.. they usually make pretty good sense!!!!

The monies brought in by the auction go to a number of different things.. but usually the club uses them as donations to shelters or disasters... things of that nature.

For the most part, too, the gifts are pretty nice, but you do have to be careful for the prank ones that find their way there as well. One member, Cheryn, has quite the reputation for bringing in items that.... well... maybe..... you don't want to keep. And it's been a big part of the fun to try and figure out what gift Cheryn might have brought and to try and steer clear of it. This year, one of her gifts consisted of a family of glass pigs!!! actually they were sort of cute, but what do you do with glass pigs... unless you are a pig collector!!!!

The potluck food that everyone brings is also quite wonderful. I like potlucks anyways, because I always think people bring their best/favorite dishes to share. And when there is good food, there is always good conversation. Which, sadly, is something that we rarely get to do at a meeting, because, we are having a meeting!!! It's a good chance to catch up with you dog friends and see what they have been up to. We usually know the dog news, but at this meeting we get to hear about the "other things" that they do with their lives.... its' great fun.

The only one drawback that I had this year, was it fell on Ed's birthday. (last Thursday).... so I was a little torn about being with him and entertaining the club. However, as "luck" would have... he ended up going out on a fire call (a hotel fire!!!!) and was gone the entire evening... in fact, he didn't get in until 2:30 AM.... so, I guess even if I had been "home" for his birthday.. he wouldn't have been. So, trying to be in two places at once, sort of worked out for me!!!

Either way, everyone had a grand time, the evening went by much too fast... and I didn't get anything at the auction..........................

Saturday, January 19, 2008

it does a trainer proud.....

I can't even begin to tell you all how much I love my job. Training dogs and running classes is one of the greatest joys in my life... I actually wake up in the mornings and think "I can't wait to get to work!!!" I have met some of the most wonderful people and dogs over these past 30 (!!!!!!) years of training, and it just makes my heart sing when my students say things like ...
"I trained with you and had the greatest dog ever" OR
"The training I did with you just saved my dog's life" OR
tons of other compliments that I can't think of off the top of my head...
BUT, one of the greatest things, is when my students take their work to higher levels... often it is obedience titles and the like,,,, but in THIS case.... it goes even beyond that....
THIS is Al and his beautiful girl Gracie.... WHO as of today, has passed the Delta Society's Therapy Dog test!!!! This is a real team effort, for both handler and dog are tested!!!! The Delta Society has one of the best therapy dog programs in the US and they are very careful about what dogs pass and what ones don't... so to get to this level, is a real accomplishment!!!! I am just SO proud of this team!!!!!
More than that, is the fact that these two will bring such joy to the lives of many, many people. Finally "the world" has begun to recognize what animals do for the human race, and it is so grand that lots of places (hospitals, nursing homes, schools) are beginning to really put these wonderful creatures to good use. All I can say, is... a huge thank you to Al and Gracie for the work that they will do together... and it sure does "make a trainer proud!!!!"

Thursday, January 17, 2008

fat and fuzzy




They all have warm, fuzzy coats now.... but I "dread" shedding season!!!!!!!

"MY" Ed

TODAY is "My Ed's" 50th birthday!!!!!! There just isn't enough room on this blog to say all the great things I could say about this wonderful man!!! Most of you out there know us... know him... so, I wouldn't really be telling you anything new...

But maybe I can tell you a few things that you might not know... like... we met when I was in the second grade, and as kids, played together out on the school playground. He was one of those friends, who was always there for me ... a shoulder to cry on whenever some boyfriend was "mean" or "broke my heart", ( always told me to " get rid of the bum"!!!) or came in the "middle" of the night when my little car broke down!!! Always had something nice to say about me... liked my dogs!!!!! We never dated in school, but when we were in our early 20's, he asked me out one evening.. and well... you know the rest. We have been married for 26 years!!!

He is a wonderful husband, great Dad, sweet and probably the most patient person I have ever known (he's taught me some thing in THAT department!!!) He is full of fun and willing to try about anything.. from the fire fighting scene to playing with horses. He is talented and can (and does) build almost anything... he likes "projects"!!!!

And I feel so blessed that this guy is the one that God "gave" to me...... So, before this gets too sappy (and I embarrass him) let me just say "VERY HAPPY BIRTHDAY...RUMNEY!!!!!" 143

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

other things

It might be hard to believe, but there are other things going on in our lives... than the new barn!!! I know I have kept that as a main focus in these past few blogs... because it's so exciting for me!!! AND just to show you what a difference a day makes, here's the barn yesterday... after the big snows that we got on Monday... hard to believe that just days ago, the field was totally open (and fairly dry) and here we are, back to winter!!!! The progress on the barn will be slow over the next few days, as the men are back into "detail" mode... seems like there are a "million" little things that they have to do and then it gets into something big again. For example, they now have to trim out the ends of the rafters and get them boxed in before the roof itself can go on. So of course, what is seen now are the rafters waiting for roofing, but the other part has to be finished up first... so, the barn will have "this look" for just a little bit.

In the meantime, though, Ed does manage to get other projects done around the house... moving Titus into his (hopefully) final tank has been one of them. We got this 120 gallon tank for him a few months ago... actually we were looking at a 75 gallon tank and the manager of the store begged us to take this one off her hands. It was a "special" order that the person never picked up and after tripping over it for a while, the store just wanted it gone. They "gave" it to us for nearly the price of the the smaller tank, and I am quite certain, that Titus will live happily in this one for a long time to come.... at least he BETTER!!! I have to say he is so much happier in this big tank and has been even more entertaining than before. He has a ton of room for swimming, hunting for fish, and re-arranging things the way he likes to have them. It's taken him a little time to get used to this new tank, he wasn't too excited about his new "sunning" rock, but I do find him up there more often in the past few days. Ed wasn't "happy" that I didn't give him enough time to completely finish the base for the new tank.(he has plans to make it more like a cabinet with doors and shelves).. but, I really wanted it up and running, so he did what he could in the time frame given. And that's ok, I am just happy to have it.

And even though we had that great warming trend, when the days are cold, the wood stove chugs merrily along, and the cockers once again.... try to claim their spot on the doggie bed. This particular day, no one was giving up a space and so it was one big "cocker crowd" on the bed. Dancer had been looking for a spot, but stepped just outside of the picture after realizing that no dogs were going to move for her!!!!

In my moments of "spare" time, I am working on a couple of quilting projects and a cross stitch or two. Over Christmas I was in a real knitting mode, making several pairs of mittens for the kids and myself, but now I feel like doing something different, and have had a few projects pending. The snowy Monday we had was just perfect for all of that, and "they" predict more winter weather for Friday, so I might sneak in another day of it. So, between "barn building", teaching dog classes, "projects" and how know what else comes down the line... I have to say, the winter is flying by!!! Half way thru January... February is short and March is knocking on spring's door..........

Sunday, January 13, 2008


View of barn from the main road........

and from the field.......

The pine branch... for good luck and prosperity.......

There will be plenty of room for hay... and this is a view we won't have much longer... once the roof goes on...


This is Sarah and her "new dog" Zachary (aka Dusty) who was the latest "foster" dog in our house!!! Zachary was adopted out yesterday and will now be living in the lap of luxury (as all cockers should) Sarah is an administer at an assisted living facility and wanted a dog that could go to work with her everyday and sort of be "a dog for everyone".
Sarah had told me of her wishes around Christmas time... and talk about the Good Lord having a hand in everything... before I could even contact cocker rescue, they called me to see if I could foster this little dog that was on his was "in". (sadly, his family was divorcing and seemed no one wanted to "bother" with him anymore) I told rescue what I was looking for, for Sarah, and all the pieces just started to fall into place (don't you love it when God works it out like that??)
I got Dusty on a Thursday, and kept him the weekend to "temperament test" him and get a feel for him, but I really knew in a matter of hours, he would be perfect for Sarah and as a "mascot".....besides, he pretty darn cute to boot!!!!
Sarah took him for a few trial runs this past week, and he stepped up to the plate in every area.. from going to work, to greeting people to even being a good boy at the barn where Sarah keeps her horse. Talk about "one man's trash in another's treasurer"!!!! Sarah has enrolled Zachary (need to remember to use his new name) in one of my classes, and he was simply wonderful yesterday. He knows all his commands and such, but it's a good time for the two of them to bond, and refresh the things that he already knows.
I was thinking of how long I have been doing "rescue" ... our first dog came to us in 1989... and out of all the cockers that have passed thru this house... I have only kept a total of five!!!!! Not bad. It is hard to give them up sometimes, but seeing pictures like this one, makes it all worth while... and that farm that is waiting for us... THINK of all the rescues we can housed there!!! (don't panic "rumney")
I have a new reader on line that I would like to personally contact... so "Jules" if you see this posting, would you email me at so we can say hello??? well, off to the farm, Ed says he has a big surprise to show me with regards to progress on the barn.... can't wait to see it......

Saturday, January 12, 2008

a new neighbor

Last Monday, as Ed was working on the barn... a little red truck pulled up the drive. This is not so unusual for as the work progresses, neighbors have been dropping in to see what all the action is about.
This neighbor was a gal, who introduced herself as Dusty, and turns out she is just a few houses down the road. She has horses, and actually, I had been meaning to drop in and meet her all last summer, but never got around to doing it.
Anyways.... it turns out that Dusty is a professional photographer, and has won a number awards for her work. Her specialty is HORSES, and she has shot photos for almost any horse magazine that I have ever read!!! Plus, she has been commissioned by a number of authors for their books on horses, or training or whatever!!!!
She asked if she could do some photos of the barn, just to tuck into her files in case she ever has the need of them... Ed said sure. She left him a couple of her business cards (here's a copy) and her website is such fun to look at... check it out!!!!
Sadly, I still haven't met her face to face, but I did call her and she is very nice to talk with and is quite excited that another horse person is moving into the neighborhood. From what she tells me, there is a whole gaggle of horse folks there (I knew there must be) they often get together and attend clinics and rides and all sorts of things together, and told me I am more than welcomed to join them!!! Pretty nice I think....
THEN, I picked up a little rescue cocker last week from Kim at Maine Cocker rescue (he is being adopted today!!!) and she told me that she had a friend who lived in Acton, who is quite involved in Brittanys... so, she wrote to her friend, she then contacted me, and it turns out that "Ann" is also fairly close and is quite the "dog person"!!!! In fact, she and her husband moved from Eliot to Acton for much the same reason that Ed and I are!!!! She does all sorts of things with her Brits and has invited me over to see her place!!!!
So, if I ever have any "fears" of not "finding the same sort of folks in Acton" as me... guess I don't have to "worry" about that any longer!!!! There is no doubt that leaving York will be hard to do, but it's so nice that I have some new things to see and do when we are settled....... God is Good!!!!!!