Wednesday, April 29, 2009

busy days...

Yesterday was as hot as an August day!!! not that I'm complaining mind you... it was a long winter... but to go from 60's to 90's is a bit of a shock on the "system". Mocha and I had another day at pre-school, so bright and early we were loading up once again. Of all our horses, she certainly get the gold star for loading in the trailer... she hops right on!!!

The children were as excited as the previous group had been. But one little gal was VERY excited. Kassy tells me that she has a real love for horses, and the look on her face when she saw Mocha was priceless!!! She was simply happy to be around Mocha, but when she found out that she was going to ride as well.... I guess the smile on her sweet little face will tell you everything. (she smiled like this the whole time!!!)

I think she could have spent the entire day just brushing and "being" with our little horse. This is definitely a young equestrian in the making!!! and I dare say, it won't be a day that she will soon forget. This is why I like doing these sorts of things with Mocha... actually with any of our animals... sometimes, it might be the only way that some kids can enjoy such things!!!!

Today the weather was more seasonable. I putter around the farm and even took some time to get the garden started. My pumpkins were beginning to out grow their box, so I had to get them outside!!! I also put in our "Indian corn" , some sunflowers and a rhubarb plant that Deb gave to me. We have some other seeds to get in, but I'm going to wait just a bit to be sure that we are free of possible frosts.

Ken and crew were back today. They are working on the little front porch that will probably end up being the main entry into the house.

I keep forgetting that the "grade" is going to come up a lot in the front. Ken looks like he is working on a "mole" hill, but that is how far we have to bring the earth up around the house. Fortunately, we have great big piles of earth just waiting to be put into place.

I also got Camille groomed today for the shows this weekend... so the day was busy and flew by!!! And I would like to send out a "get well soon" wish to our friend (woodman/dog student) Rick... he's a bit under the weather right now, so maybe today's blog will give him something to read ....

Monday, April 27, 2009

Mocha..... goes to school

Sporting my new "farm sweatshirt" and Mocha in her "new clean coat".... today (and tomorrow) we visited the pre-school where Kassy works. This week their theme is "farm animals" and Mocha was today's farm animal. The weather is so beautiful right now, and it was great fun to see the children with Mocha.

She is very good with children, I have brought her to school before, as well as doing a few parades and other such things. Today, the kids all had a chance to do some "grooming"... everyone enjoyed that... including Mocha..

And after that, we saddled her up and she gave "pony rides" to the children. Everyone took a little ride, because she is so small, no one ever seems to be afraid of her.

A few of the children had never been so close to a horse before, and needed a little hand holding during their ride.... but what's wrong with that. Who knows, it could be the start for their love of horses!!!!

We go back again tomorrow for the "Tuesday kids"... I am looking forward to it.

Kassy and Nate have been doing a great job in cleaning up the yard. Yesterday, Deb and Dave, and Ed and I went to give them a hand. Deb got a new garden put in for Kas and showed her how to care for her new little plants, and Dave, Nate and Ed did some major tree trimming and clean up. It was a nice afternoon.

Kas even made this "puppy potty" for the dog students that I work with. Sadie thought Tatter would be a good model to show this off!!!! Notice there is a hydrant for the boys... and a flat spot (on the other side of the can) for the girls!!! Wondering what my students will think of that tonite when the come!!!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

80 degrees!!!!

Last Saturday, Ed got water to the barn.... this Saturday, "summer came to the farm" and when two good things like this come together, it just has to be a day for bathing horses!!!!

thank goodness!!!!Betty was available, because I never thought it would take the entire day to bath four horses.... but it did!!! (we did take a little lunch break, and then another when some visitors came to the farm.... ) but all in all... it was a whole day's project. Course the fact that the horses haven't had a bath since last August might tell you what kind of "shape" they were in!!!

We began with Mocha, she can chill easily so I wanted to be sure that she had plenty of time to dry before it got cool in the evening. She is pretty easy to bath and the fact that we even had WARM water, just made things all that much easier.

Betty is getting quite fond of Mocha and has been doing a lot of driving work with her... however, Betty's big Newfoundland (dog) is almost as fond of Mocha!!! here, he came over to offer his support!!! (I love the fact that he is nearly the same size that she is!!!)

And then after that, he decided to cool off in a mud puddle... (course that meant a good rising off of him at the end of the day!!!!)

Duke was our next project. I haven't bathed him before, but being a public carriage horse for so many years, I figured that baths were probably something he was quite used to. He was a dream to handle, except for one thing... he wanted to play with the hose.... and the more you sprayed it towards his face... the better he liked it!!! goofy boy!!!!

Here he is ... all cleaned up and shiny!!! He seemed sort of sad that his turn was done.. I think he really enjoyed all the fussing and attention. (notice the hair still hanging from his belly... he has only begun to shed out winter coat!!!!)

Silver came next. I think he was the dirtiest of all... not just because he's white, but it takes him longer to get up after a roll (what would you expect at 30+ years old). We soon discovered that it would have been better to groom him first and then do the bath... but, we weren't thinking that far ahead....

"How many people does it take to bath a white horse???"

Tonka was last. I don't know if we were all tired, or if he was "mad" having waited all day for his turn, but he wasn't the best to do. Here, I am having some "words" with my boy...... he did settle down after that, but I expected better of him!!!!

It was quite a fun day, and we all felt like we accomplished something at the end of it. Course the one "problem" with all of this work... there are still some pretty good mud puddles in the paddock area, and I fear tomorrow, we might be back a square one!!! However, we at least got one layer off the them and some coat to boot, and with the water and warmer temps, this will be the first of many baths for sure!!!!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

perfect windows!!!!!

At least six weeks ago, one of my blog readers (Mrs. Mom) had pictures of her garden going in.... needless to say, she doesn't live in New England!!! but I was so "jealous" to see pictures of her "dirt, seeds, and soon ... little plants growing!!!" It got me to thinking that I would like to try a garden this year. Now, I will confess that I do not do well with things that are "green"... but I also thought, why can't I learn..... and so, we're going to give it a try with stuff that is "easy" and see where we get.

These are my pumpkins!!!! Every fall I spend money buying "fall decorations" and wonder why I don't grow them myself. So, we'll start with pumpkins, some colored corn and some gourds... and then we'll try some easy veggies ... but we still need to wait just a bit longer for the "world to warm up"..... so far so good with the pumpkins and we will need to get them in within the next couple of days.

When the windows went in at the house, there was a comment made about how big they were, and "how close there were to the floor".... making them very easy to look out of. I think Ed said something about, "I can see the dogs now, and we might need to put oak trim around them, because it's doubtful that pine will hold up to doggie paws".

Camille and I went down to see what Ed was up to, and the moment she went into the house...

here is what she did!!! Hopped right up and looked out the window!!!

I think she approves of these "cocker height" windows!!!!! (maybe we should have sills made of cement!!!)

Wiring, wiring, wiring.... the work goes on, I bet there is "miles" of wire in this house. I am just so happy that Ed can do this work... this has saved us a lot of money!!!! (and it's getting close to done)

Before the guys left, they did a nice job of picking things up.... I miss the activity, but I like the neatness!!!!

Word has it that we are suppose to have weather in the 80's this weekend... if that is true, I know a few horses that will be getting baths!!!

I think this fuzzy creature is in dire need of one!!!!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

a special gift...

This evening, after work, Betty stopped by the barn. Ed had gone down to his office and then to the fire station for some training with the new truck, so I actually had an evening home alone. (which is nice after being out all week). I decided to leave the horses out as long as possible, and just as I was headed down to the barn... Betty called.

She has been working on a "project" and was quite anxious for me to see it....

beautiful green sweatshirts with......

our farm logo embroidered on them!!!! She also has another "project" that she's done... but I can't share that with you just yet...... it's a surprise for another time.....

Since it was such a nice evening, and we both had the time, we decided to do some ground driving with Mocha. Last Monday, Betty had the day off from work, so we got Mocha out, and did some round pen work, ground driving and even actual driving with her. She was wonderful and I should have taken some photos of Betty driving Mocha in her cart. We were both so excited and felt that finally Mocha is getting the hang of all of this driving stuff...

Tuesday was a rainy day, so I didn't get Mocha out (I am trying to get her ready for the driving clinic in June)... but yesterday was nice and I asked Sadie if she would do some work with Mocha and I. Well... let's just say, it didn't go nearly as well as it had on Monday, in fact Mocha was next to horrid!!! She wouldn't listen, wouldn't stand, wouldn't go forward.... and even pitched a little fit in the cart!!! It' didn't get her out of her work, but I wasn't too encouraged after that.

She was better this evening as Betty took her around the field. She was still a bit fussy in the beginning, but we just worked her thru it, and she did settle in better towards the end of the lesson.

Guess we just need to keep her moving and working, I know she would rather be in her little stall and hanging out with the big guys... but heck... she's got to "earn her keep"...... (sorry Mocha)

wrapping up???!!!

As hard as it is to believe, yesterday was the last day that Ken, Buzz and Eric had at the house as far as "full time" goes. It's quite exciting and scary all at the same time, because even though much has been completed.....there is MUCH to complete, which we knew would happen that way. They will be back to finish up a few "odd projects", but they can't do them until Ed and I get caught up. Example, the steps into the garage and basement can't be done until the cement floors are poured. And Ken will be back a few days before the open house in May, to help get ready for that.... but for the most part, the guys are done, and it's time for Ed and I to take over!!!!

Much of yesterday's work was clean up. Typically they would take all of it away, but we asked that a lot of the scrap wood be left, because our wood furnace will take care of that next year. It saved the guys from hauling it off, and we now have nice small pieces that we can use to "break the wood furnace in"... since you need to start with small fires.

We all had lunch together... it was fun to just sit for a bit and chat. We talked about the future work of the house, and just other stories.... it's been a fun winter having the guys around, and you can be certain... I am going to miss them!!!!! and Nellie and Zoe too!!!!

This is just the first of many lunches and dinners around the woodstove!!!!

While we were having lunch downstairs, we heard some "goings on" upstairs, and I went up and found this little visitor. I assume he came in thru the front door (which we had open due to the nice weather), a little field sparrow, who wasn't too impressed about the situation he found himself in... I finally ended up removing a screen from one of the windows so he could fly out. He was pretty happy to have his freedom back.

So, now phase two of the house work begins, with Ed and I at the helm... oh my!!!!

Sunday, April 19, 2009

a very special day....

This is my Mom and Dad... and today is their 50th wedding anniversary (to the date!!!) In celebration of this very special day, my sister's and I hosted a huge party for them!!! Almost everyone that was invited came... nearly 80 people!!!

Thinking about being married for 50 years brings up a number of different thoughts... aside from the everyday stuff... they have been so blessed with the "simple" fact that they are both still here!!! They enjoy good health.. they really love each other, and have been the corner stone of our family and all the successes that we have enjoyed. Certainly a reason to celebrate!!!

Girls seem to be the theme of this family... there is myself and two sisters... and then four grand daughters!!!! (All the boys have been "imported" thru marriages!!!)

(my little niece who is being held by our Kassy is two... so, you have to forgive her... this wasn't a good picture day for her!!!!)

This is a photo of the wedding party.... and everyone in the original wedding party, (except for my aunt who passed away several years ago... )was at the anniversary party today.......

This is the wedding party today... 50 years later. What was quite funny is my cousin Kevin, didn't even remember that he had been the "ring bearer" in the wedding... course, we figured that he was just about three years old when he did that!!!! If you look closely... the mannequin beside my Mom has a wedding dress on... that is my Mom's dress.... (it was also worn in three other weddings... my Mom's cousin, my Mom's niece (who is in the green coat in this picture) and my sister Becky... so that "poor old dress" certainly had some use!!!!

What's a wedding party without a wedding cake..... the cake topper is the very topper that was on my parent's cake when they were married.... and actually this is the third time it's been on a cake... as we used it for their 25th party....

Surrounded by family and friends... the wedding couple cuts the cake.....

It was such a fun afternoon... lots of catching up with family, remembering wonderful old stories and a true day of celebration...

dare I say, that wedding anniversary #60 will be here before we know...

Happy, happy anniversary Mom and Dad.... we LOVE you!!!!!!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

new truck in the "old" town

As many of you already know, when we lived in York, Ed was the Assistant Fire Chief. He held this position for 11 years, and knowing that he would have to give it up when we moved, was a tough decision for him. He has been a part of the fire company since he was 16, and naturally, he has many close friends and tons of wonderful memories!! He is now a member of our "new" local fire company (once it's in your blood.. you don't just let it go) and he still keeps a close eye on the happenings in York.

Just after we "left" the town was "given" a grant that the fire company had applied for some months ago. This grant was to replace two very old (40 + years) firetrucks with a brand new one. Ed has served on "new truck committees" a few times, and he was invited to be a part of this committee as well. After some searching, researching, putting out bids and the like, the fire company found it's new truck.....

And it was delivered just a few days ago. Today they had a celebration of it's arrival, and the guys certainly wanted Ed to be a part of the celebration.
Since he now holds the title of "honorary chief", he still dresses in "his whites" and was photographed with the other "chiefs".... and then was also included in the "company" photo...
congratulations York... applying for a grant, then receiving it, and all the time and effort that goes into getting a new truck... is a lot of work and "we" are very happy for your success!!!!

another project done....

Now that we have had some decent weather to work in, we decided it was time to get the well up and running. Ed had to think about this because we don't have the cellar floor poured yet, which meant, what do we do about the water tank. After giving it just a bit of thought, Ed wondered why couldn't the tank just be put up on a "shelf"... so he checked with our well man, and found out that he could have it up and maybe we would be the better for it.

So, shelf was made, appointment was made with the well man, and this morning, Ed was at work, getting the water pipe (to the barn!!!) in place and getting the electric side of the well in place!!! Brian came, hooked in the well... and.....

We have running water!!!! (very exciting!!) we still need to "run the well" a couple of weeks, and then send a water sample out before drinking it, or giving it to the horses, but... we can use it for washing out buckets and grain pans... and even giving baths if the weather warms up a little bit more!!! Once we have it tested... then we will really be in business and no more hauling water from the camp to the farm!!!! We still have the plumbing to finish in the house, so we don't need running water in the house just yet, but when we are ready... it's all ready to go.

The stairs up to Ed's workshop are now in place. You may notice that we still have a "ramp" into the house, we can't make those steps until the garage floor is done. AND we are still waiting for a bit of frost to leave the ground inside the garage... it is progressing, but slowly.
That will probably be the next big project... the radiant heat and the cement floors. Aside from needing to put the radiant heat in place and waiting for the frost to leave... we also have to wait until the "heavy load restrictions" are lifted from the roads. (for those of you who may not know, here in New England, when the roads are full of frost and they "heave"... heavy loads are restricted until the roads settled down.. so, that means, no cement trucks can get to us just now!)

I puttered around the house while the guys were working with the well.... the sun comes into this house so nicely...

this photo was taken from the living room looking into the 'quilting room".. in time there will be a wall here, but today it is open and very bright. The grids have been put in the windows, so that gives them a completely different look as well.

I am falling in love with this house!!!!

Friday, April 17, 2009

just clouds....

As we were tucking the barn to bed this evening... this is the view we had over the field.....