Sunday, August 31, 2008

it's just like Christmas!!! (part one)

Have you ever had a blessing from the Good Lord, where your most "never could happen" dream had come true??? If not, then it is my sincere prayer that one day... you may be granted your furthest wish... for it is an amazing thing.

When I was 8 years old and falling in love with horses, I dreamed of a day when I "would own a farm and have "lots" of horses". The first part of that dream came true 11 years ago, when.... (encouraged by my dear hubby) I bought my first horse, and really "owned a horse of my own!!!"

Then, when that dear old horse (Silver) had to be retired and I talked about a second horse..... our plans for "owning a farm" began to take shape....

And as you all know, all winter long, Ed has been working on "my" beautiful barn.....

but today.... the horses are "officially and forever.... HOME!!!"

Mocha was the first to arrive. Sadie went with me to load and bring her home, while Ed stayed at the barn to finish up some little things (like stops on the doors, latches finished up... some raking done on the pasture).

Mocha was quite pleased with the tour of her new home.... she was very curious with everything and checked it all as Sadie walked her about...

She seems pleased with her new stall.... nice and roomy... course, she would like a little hay please!!!!

it's just like Christmas!!!! (part two)

After we got Mocha settled, it was back down to York to get "the big boys"... mind you, its an hour's ride one way... so just getting Mocha was overall .... a three hour trip.

Again, dear Sadie was there to help. We couldn't leave Teresa's barn with dirty stalls, so once the boys were loaded in the trailer... Sadie and I mucked their stalls, Ed swept the floor and we left the barn... empty... but clean. I felt so bad for Teresa's little mare... Daisy... as she called and called when the boys left the barn... and for the first time in her life, she will be all alone in her own little barn......

By the time we arrive "home"... it was dark.. since we don't have electricity in the barn... Ed fired up the generator so we could have some lights to see by.

I have never seen the barn "lit" before, and it looked warm and cozy... definitely an inviting place to be....

Tonka has been here before (remember we brought him up last spring and did some driving work with Becky and Butch)... so he was pretty comfortable walking into his stall, and checking out the pile of hay that was waiting for him there.

Silver was a little less sure of where he was... but with Mocha on one side of him, and Tonka on the other... it didn't take him too long to figure it that everything will be OK.

I wished I had been able to get them home in the daylight and give them a little tour like we did with Mocha... but that can be done tomorrow....

tomorrow.... I will walk "our horses" on "our land".... it certainly feels just like Christmas!!!!!!

" Hey Mom... what's all the noise out there... I am trying to get some sleep???"

Saturday, August 30, 2008

a busy week

It amazes me at how fast time can fly. Nearly a week ago, Ed and Dave were heading to North Carolina for Nate and Kas.... now they are "home" and the "transition" has begun.

"We" have been fortunate to get a second cut of hay here in the southern part of the state. It has been such a wet summer, that many "haymen" were not able to get a first cut. But, the weather seems to have turned for the better and those who were able to cut in June, are cutting again. Our own personal field was cut just this past week... it's one and only cut, but it looked good. Since the hay isn't the highest of quality, we just have Joe take whatever he can get off the field. He uses it to feed his cattle, and if he is happy to do the work, we are happy to just have him take the hay. He puts it into round bales, and the field looks so much better having been cut. We don't know exactly how much of it we will use for pasture when the horses live here, but for now, we are happy to have it knocked down.

Ed, Dave, Kas and Nate arrived home very early Friday morning (around 1:30 am) they would have made better time, but got hung up in Conn. due to road paving. They spent almost three hours in traffic. I tried to wait up for them, but since I had to meet Dean and have the horses feet trimmed, I just couldn't wait up any later. I bearly heard them come in.

I snuck out fairly early, and left everyone still sleeping, by the time I got back, Kas and Nate were up and eager to start the day. We still had some packing of things, but they wanted to get a few of their own things in the house. It seemed odd that as soon as Ed and I had something out... Kas and Nate had something in. It was a full day's work, but the end of the evening... they were pretty well in and we were pretty well out. I am excited to see what changes they will make with the house. And so, Ed and I headed north to home..... Acton!!!

Today, we worked on fencing!!! Once we get an area fenced in, we can move the horses up!!! Because it has been so long since they have had "pasture" I am choosing to keep them in a smaller space. In time, we will have a larger area for them, but for now, it is safer to keep them on a small amount of grass.

It is a real blessing to have that post hole digger for the tractor!!!

We have a double gate in the front ... this will be a big help when we have snow to move next winter!!!The rest will be done in electric fence, which our horses respect and will be fairly easy to move whenever we chose to do that.

With luck we will bring the horses up sometime within the next couple of days. This will be a very exciting day.... for all the work that Ed has put into the barn will finally be coming true. We still have to get stalls ready, and do some picking up, finish the fence of course, so we don't know exactly when this will all be done... but it will be soon..... stay posted....

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

miss Pearl

Even though Ed has been away "playing" ..well, moving Kas and Nate... I have been pretty busy here. Still packing up some of the "little things" around the house, and even making a few trips north to deliver them.

Today, I popped in on the guinea hens to make sure they have food and water, and see what they have been up to.

"Mama" is allowing the babies some room now, and she doesn't get so startled when I appear. But, I will tell you one thing, her children certainly are well behaved. One little sound from Mama and they all scurry!!! All six keets are doing well, and I am happy, because I had feared that we might lose one or two in the transport... but so far, so good, and I think we are beyond that point now.

Kas said I needed to come up with a name for the "first bird" on the farm, and I have been thinking all week. I have come up with the name of Pearl... I don't know why I think she looks like "a pearl", but she just does when I see her.... so.. Miss Pearl and her six keets... it is!!!!

They are so much fun to watch, I have a "bad feeling" that much of my time on the farm will be watching and enjoying all the critters!!! By the way... I heard from the court , and they did not accept my "excuse me" letter... so I must report for jury duty on the 8th.... I have decided to smile and do my best... and remember that it is where God needs me to be at the moment......

update from the south....

For those of you who know "my Ed" and his love affair with Colonial Williamsburg... and the fact that he can't "go south" without stopping in....... you have probably figured that he would stop there when he and Dave went for the "kids".
Nate had friends help them move out of the apartment yesterday, so they were done "ahead of schedule" and last night, Kas, Nate, Dave and Ed drove to Williamsburg and have spent all of today touring the old city once again.
Nate has never been to Williamsburg and whenever we went and took Kas with us (while Nate was deployed) she would always say "I have to bring Nate here one day, he will love it". We tried a couple of times to meet the kids there ... (remember last April and Ed was in the hospital)....but it never quite worked out. So, this was the perfect opportunity for them to go (and leave Deb and I behind!!!) I have had "several" reports of the day's events, and they are all having a grand time.... even took a carriage ride!!!! And tonite, they are attending the "ball" that Ed and I went to last spring.... that will be great fun for sure!!! I really wish that I could be there with them, but I am so very happy that Kas is able to be there with Nate, and I don't doubt that one day we will go back again with "the family"...............

Monday, August 25, 2008

saying goodbye in the south

As I sit here in Maine, in a very empty house, and yes, even feeling a little sorry for myself, I have to remember that Kas and Nate are saying their goodbyes as well. This picture comes via Ed's cell phone ( technology) and tonite, Nate got together with his Marine brothers to bid farewell. I can only imagine what this is really like.... these "boys" have been thru so much together and you can truly call them "a family". I guess it's the way with the corps... Marines move in all sorts of directions, some ... like Nate... chose to continue with their own lives, others chose to stay and more than likely are shipped to other places, and the changes continue all the time. But for the "boys" I am certain they never forget. From the outside looking in, I think that the Marines have been a wonderful experience for Kas and Nate overall... sure, the deployments were tough, and yes, it's an extremely dangerous job...but for a young couple starting out in life... the Marines were very good to the both of them... they got the opportunity to "live alone" those first few years of marriage, and time to "figure it out" by themselves. They met amazing people along the way and have certainly made life long friends. They got the opportunity to live in another part of the country (and in Nate's case.. other parts of the world) and I feel they now have a good sense of where they want to be and what they would like to accomplish in their lives. Big lessons for two people who are merely 23 years old. Of course, as one of the Mom's, "we" are thrilled to have our children back in "our own yards".... and are very excited for the years ahead.... but for now, and tonite.... it is bittersweet.......

Sunday, August 24, 2008

the Acton fair

A "lighted" midway....

Beautiful quilts (and various other hand made items)....

Sweet cows (who would rather be home in their own barns!!!)
Must be Acton Fair.
We went over to it last night with friends, Lisa and Chris.... did all the "usual" fair things.... looked at cows, horses, chickens, rabbits..... walked thru the 4H barns of quilts, knitted items, and garden things.... and ATE all that "wonderful" fair food!!!! It was a perfect late summer night.
My square in the the "fair quilt" received a third place ribbon... my little knitted hat took a first, and my horse picture... didn't get anything!!! I am already thinking about next year's fair and hope to get a couple of things done over the winter to be judged .....

Saturday, August 23, 2008

living on the farm...

Today, Ed brought his 1940 John Deere L tractor to the farm to "live". He has been "waiting forever" to get his little tractor up there and drive it around the field!!!!
This is a "cool" little tractor, it's a crank start, and it runs like a little gem. Ed only has to crank it a few times, and it fires right up and is ready to go.
The piece on the back of it is called a bottom plow, and Ed has actually used it. We had a friend who planted hundreds of tomato plants, which he always planted by hand. So, one year, Ed took the L over with the bottom plow and made furrows for our friend to put his tomato plants in. He was thrilled and Ed loved working the tractor. It didn't take Ed took long to "fulfill" his dream, because once he had the L unloaded, they were off together around the field. He said the L had a big smile, but I think the bigger smile belonged to Ed!!!!

and now living on the farm....

"way back in July"... I went to visit my friend Laura on her beautiful farm... she has two new puppies and asked me to come out and get them started with some obedience. As I pulled into her place, I noticed a large flock of "guinea hens", there were many colors and a good number of them. I had been thinking about guinea hens for our farm.. I have been told that they are wonderful at keeping the ticks downs, and are good "guard birds"... but I have also been told that they are very loud and somewhat aggressive. So, when I had finished up with the puppies, I asked Laura about her "hens". She gave me alot of information on them and is quite fond of them. I told her that I had been thinking about them.

Each time I went out to the farm, I would look for the guineas and one time Laura took me to see a mother and her "keets" (as the babies are called) and told me more about them. The more I learned, the more I knew that we would "one day" have a few guineas. About three weeks ago, Laura told me that she had yet another hen sitting on a nest, and she asked me if I would be interested in taking this hen and her keets when they hatched. I was thrilled and told her I would love to have them.

Laura called me this week, the keets had hatched and I could come and get them and the mom as soon as we were ready. So, today, Ed and I went out to the farm to collect our "new family". The mother bird was already locked in a crate, but the babies ... six in all... were running about the garden. Laura and her husband, and her friend Rebecca.... Ed and I were all looking about the garden on the hunt for keets. They're tiny and know how to hide, so it took us about an hour to track them all down. Then we had to get Mom into the crate with the babies, she did get away from us (and guineas can fly) so we spent another hour getting a hold of her.... Rebecca finally caught her in a net, and with all the "birdies" in one crate we headed for home. On the way, Ed and I talked about what stall might be the best for the new family. You need to keep in them in for a long while so they will call it their home. We have four stalls done, but I really didn't want to "tie up" a horse stall... so we took a look at the other stall which is built but not done, and decided that this would be a good place for them.

In his usual way, Ed made this stall as comfortable and as easy as possible for me and the guineas. He built a great door and closed in the stall openings with chicken wire. It's a great place for them, with lots of room and good sunlight. We got the keet food that Laura had recommended, and put a little shavings on the floor and a bit of hay, and of course water.

I also left the crate there for them, and just removed

the door so they can use it as a nesting box if they so choose. and when we left for the evening, the Mother guinea hen and the little keets were all tucked in safe and sound. I had hoped I could get a good picture of the keets, but they had a busy day, and I didn't want to bother them. But here is the mother bird (her babies are all cuddled under her) and she seems pretty happy.

I wonder what Annabelle will think when she comes in thing for sure, she won't want to mess with this bird!!!!

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy 27th on the 22nd....

So, when a couple celebrates their 27th wedding anniversary... what wonderful and exciting things might they do??? Maybe they go on a vacation of a life time... or.... have a huge party....or.... a fancy dinner in a "good" restaurant... maybe they buy nice gifts for each other... yup, that is what a "normal" couple might do....

but, when did Ed and I ever call ourselves "normal"... and here on our 27th wedding anniversary, we packed boxes!!!!! boxes, and more boxes. Funny how much "stuff" you have when you have lived in one place for such a long time!!!!

It also turns out that we have lived in this house for exactly 26 years.... we moved into this house on our first wedding anniversary... or rather, Ed moved us into this house... I was at the airport in Boston, meeting my new puppy (a cocker of course) who was flying in from California!!!! And even though packing has become a bittersweet experience, I am so very excited about the next "27 years!!!" If we are as blessed as we have been on this part... I am very excited for the next.

It's nice too, knowing that the house will be left in good hands, Kas and Nate will be "home" next week, and they are pretty excited about starting this part of their lives in the house. It will be fun to see what changes take place... we certainly made huge changes when we first bought it, and it's in need for some "up dates" and a new look...... it will be fun....

For the moment, the dining room looks kind of empty... but that won't be for long. It will be filled again with family meals and good times. (and I will have even a bigger dining room in the new house!!!)

I also have to admit, that it has felt surprisingly good to weed out and sort thru things. And I feel very blessed that this is something I chose to do, because sometime folks are not so "lucky"... they end up going thru things after fire or floods.....and I just can't imagine what that must be like. I am happy that we can do it "this way".....

The future looks bright and exciting, we will soon be "on the farm".... a lifelong dream.... and tomorrow... we add something else to the farm... but you will have to wait until my next blog to "find out what"......

Thursday, August 21, 2008

summer dog fun....

Even though we are working on the barn, building a new house, moving from an old house, and goodness knows what else.... summer dog classes continue on schedule. But I have to say, no matter how tired I am at the end of the day, teaching is one of my greatest joys. Especially when I am blessed to have such wonderful classes filled with great people and dogs. Such was the case with my "rally class" that graduated last evening... this has got to be the "funnest" group of people that you would ever want to meet. Everyone did an outstanding job and I dare say, some are more than ready to compete!!!! Everyone is so helpful to everyone else, always encouraging each other, and laughing together at their mistakes!!! And talk about a "mixed" group!!!! It's times like this that I know I have the very best job in the world........ so congratulations to all my fine students, and get out there and get those "legs"!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

footings, foundation & packing

As I pretty much figured, this week (is) and has been on the "crazy" side. Work is going like mad up on the farm!!! Despite the rainy weather... which actually has let up over the past couple of days... the footings for the house are now in. And "the house" goes from looking small to looking huge depending on the day and the work that is going on around it.

We actually have a friend that is doing the foundation work. Morse Foundations, and this is the third one that Scott has done for us. He did the camp, the barn and now the house. I first met Scott on the camp project (15 years ago) and then he showed up in one of my dog classes with a beautiful German Shepherd puppy and we really got the chance to know each other. Since they did an excellent job with the camp and were now "dog students"... it was only right that we called on him to do the barn.... and now of course the house. It is really impressive to watch someone who knows how to do this work!!! I sat one morning and watched Scott and his brother Jason, prepare for the walls. They measured and re-measured, and numbers flew all over the place. Scott prides himself in having his foundations perfect..... he told me that a builder once said to him..."I can't work on this foundation you poured"... worried Scott asked why, and the builder said.... "because its only a half inch off and I have never worked on a "perfect" foundation before!!!!" And we all know, that the base of a good home has to be strong...... I only hope Scott and Jason truly appreciate their talents, I know I will!!!!

Now, that the foundation forms are in place, I have a real sense of how this is all going to look. With luck and good weather.... cement arrives on Wednesday morning.....

And the tough work continues in the "old" house (boy does that sound strange)... packing and weeding out. Actually it's a good feeling to let those things go that are just taking up space. I think that Mona is a tad worried that she might not be going along.... so, she decided that she would pack herself. Course, she picked out a box that is headed to storage, and I told her I doubt she would last a year being in this box........
I did manage to get my items up to the fair for judging last night, and the Acton Fair opens on Thursday. We have plans to go Saturday evening with Deb and Dave, and our other friends, Lisa and Chris, so I am really looking forward to that. The first of the fairs!!!! and then... Sunday morning, bright and early... Ed and Dave head to North Carolina to bring Kas, Nate, Charlie and Nora back to Maine!!!! Four years have flown by when I look back on it now..... and Kas wasn't too excited to see my "fall photos"...... for she still sits in the 90 degree weather, pool side, in NC.....
Kass.... you better find a sweater or two!!!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

fall whispers

"I am coming!!!!"

my riding instructor

Many of you, from reading my blog, "know" about my instructor, Laura. Well, last week ... Laura and her horse, Oscar competed in their first Grand Prix. I still don't really understand all the scoring that goes with dressage, but from what I understand, they did very, very well.
Oscar is a horse that Laura foaled... raised and trained... and in case you might be wondering... he was born without a tail!!!! but that certainly doesn't have anything to do with his talent!!!
It is very unlikely that Tonka and I will ever ride to this level.... but it sure is fun to watch (and dream)....

look who comes for dinner

Well, the "barn kitties" have still been among the missing... though our neighbor has called and said that he spots Sammy every so often. Annabelle on the other hand ... has not been seen.

Ed and I have an anniversary coming up at the end of the week, so, I went and bought him a "wild life camera"...he had seen one that some friends had, and commented that it would be "neat" to have up on the farm. I couldn't wait to give it to him, and last night, he set it up in the barn to see what he could "catch"

It is Miss Annabelle!!!! and from the times that are noted on the camera (a really neat feature it comes with) it turns out that she is never very far from the barn and almost appears the moment we leave.

She went in and out of the barn several times during the night, and the last shot of her this morning, was moments before Ken walked in for the day. The camera is so quiet that the animals don't even know it's there..... look at her stretching after having a good meal.

I am little concerned that Sammy never showed up on film, so we have left the camera there again tonite just to see "what's up" while we are away.

Ed is going to have great fun with this camera... and we'll be sure to share any of those "great wildlife photos" that we catch......


Cocker Spaniel Rescue of New England is having a "cutest pet (cocker) picture contest".. the winners are put into their 2009 calendar. I told Kas that she should enter Charlie.... not only because he is a cocker...but she and Nate adopted him thru "CSRNE". So, we are asking everyone to please "vote for Charlie". Now, you do have "donate" $2.00 per vote, all proceeds go to CSRNE, so it is for an excellent cause...
look for Charlie's picture, click on and you can do it thru paypal..... let's please help other cockers find good homes... and make Charlie a "calendar dog!!!!" Thanks..........................

Sunday, August 17, 2008

now I can "talk"

As reported in an earlier blog... my friends, Linda and Wayne, came to Maine to check out a dog that I had "found" for their family. I didn't dare blog about it, because it was a surprise for their family (well some of them knew....) and I didn't want to "blow it"... but now that Linda has posted her blog... it is safe for me to do mine.

I am (proudly) a volunteer and foster home for Maine Cocker Spaniel Rescue... and though I want (and will) do more for them... I certainly do what I can, when I can. (once we are settled on the farm, I should be able to help even more than I have in the past). Any ways, back in June, I was asked by rescue to go and see a dog that was needing a new home. The owner said he would be happy to keep the dog with him until we found just the right place. This is very helpful to rescue, because when it can happen like that... a foster home isn't "tied" up. Once I met this sweet boy, I thought he would be a great dog for Linda and her family. And so, once all the paperwork was completed and Linda and Wayne could find a minute.... we got the two together... and as you can tell... it was "magic".

Now, because of the "kind of family" that they are... everyone "shares"... but this dog was basically Katelyn's idea. And as anyone can see, I think it must have been love at first sight!!! Aren't they cute together????

I also think I should be nice and warn anyone who is my "friend or family" that you all need to be very careful.... because... both Kas and Sadie have cockers.... Deb has a cocker... Dale has a cocker......Sarah has a cocker...... Aileen has a cocker... and now, Katelyn has a cocker.......

do you "get" what I am saying??????

Saturday, August 16, 2008

firemen's muster 2008

The parade always begins with the "red shirts" pulling Protection II

close up photo of "her" pretty gold leaf.....

My sister and my niece.... she wasn't one bit afraid of those noisy firetrucks and enjoyed waving to the folks in the parade

Our little red beetle bug carried the "queen" again this year

Protection II.... all done with her "ride" and getting ready to head to "bed" for another year...

Moxie "enjoying" the parade (I have had some concerns about her hearing lately... the fact that she slept thru this parade .... even with sirens blaring... tells me that she probably is pretty close to deaf!!!!)

Friday, August 15, 2008

the day before....

And here we are again... the third Friday of August, which means tomorrow is the third Saturday of August..... and on every third Saturday of August, is the annual Fireman's Parade and Muster. This is the 90 "something" year that the muster has been held, and with my Dad being a firefighter and my Ed being one as well, it has played a big role in my life and the lives of our girls. Both Kas and Sadie were "Miss Flame" (the mascot of the parade) and for many years, our good friends from Southwest Harbor fire company would camp out in our back yard. All the wonderful memories that it brings back. This year is quite different, for at the moment... I am home alone. I haven't ever been "home alone" on "field day eve"... but, with kids living on their own, and the Southwest friends with older children that keep them busy they are not able to camp out anymore.... things do have a way of changing.

Happily, one thing that hasn't changed is... the polishing of Protection II.... Ed is the "caregiver" to this beautiful antique hand pump, and each year, he brings it out of storage, so that the group that owns her, can get her all shined up for the parade. "She" is own by a group that we fondly call the "red shirts"... and who, at one time (back in the 1800's) were an actual fire company. Today, they are mainly a group of "fire buffs", but they support our fire company, and proudly bring Protection II out and show her off.

The guys were surprised when they came today, to hear about our upcoming move, and were a little worried about how this might change things for Protection II.... but nothing will change. Ed will still be her caregiver, and with Kas and Nate living here in the house, we will still be able to bring "her" here each year for her shine and time to be in the sun.

Tomorrow will be the parade, each year it seems to get a little smaller.... which is very sad, but somewhere in this "progressive" world we live in... things like riding a fire truck in a parade, doesn't seem to excite children like it used to. The games that the firefighters do during the muster, gets smaller too..... people don't seem to have time to "play silly games with hoses and water"..... I think I am beginning to have an idea now of how some of the "older people" in my life felt when "things began to change... or.... when I was young we used to......" because I find myself having those same sort of thoughts more and more often. Don't misunderstand me, I like progressive things... computers, blogs, pictures that you can print in a moment, or decide to delete if you don't like them.... but, I also enjoy the simple things... parades, fireworks, ice cream... riding a horse... making a quilt... going to a fair.... and I just hope these things won't be lost in the years ahead. Guess we just have to keep them going the best we can....