Thursday, July 30, 2009

watching the grand....

DOGS!!! Kas and Nate have gone off to a wedding, so we are "grand dog sitting"... never realized just how big a Chessie is, until it lives in a very tiny house with you!!!! I had a lot to do at the farm today, so it meant loading everyone up in the truck.

have wondered just how many could fit in the truck.. the answer today was.... eight!!!!

Work is going well with the house, despite the pain that Ed has been dealing with. The latest kidney stone is a whooper, and tomorrow he heads in for surgery that will prepare him for another "blasting" which will happen next week. All the vinyl siding has arrived, and all week, Ed and Ken have been working on getting the house ready for the siding.

Ed was hoping that there might be some of it up
this week, but between the weather, and his health, they have fallen "behind in their schedule.

Even still, just the Tarvex makes a huge difference in the look of things... it's so neat and white... can't wait to see what the real thing will look like...

I also REALLY can't wait to have some of these piles put into place!!! It will be so nice when you can truly see the front of the house!!!

York Days dog show...

Tuesday evening, our dog club had it's annual obedience demostration. The weather was perfect, the crowd was huge and the event was successful for sure. We had a wonderful time, and got some great photos of some of the dogs....

Gus and Mindy




Banjo and Oliver

Tatter and Camille


Wednesday, July 29, 2009

so, about Sunday...

Late Friday evening, we got a call from Butch. He wanted to try and come to see us on Sunday, and see about getting Tonka and Duke together as a team. We actually had several plans for Sunday, but I told him that if I could "clean the calendar" I would let him know. We had to find someone to do ushering at church for us, and I had to re-arrange a drop off with regards to a foster cocker spaniel, but a few phone calls and we managed it. Butch was also looking for some hay.. they haven't had any "hay days" where they live and he was getting a little bit panicky about his hay situation... another phone call (to Belinda) and we even had that "problem" solved!!!

I got to the barn fairly early Sunday morning, wanted to get the chores done, and even take Mocha out for a little drive before the arrived. Betty was there too, and and we got those things done. Becky and Butch arrived around 10:00.. we chatted for a bit and then went to work.

Since Butch really had not worked with Duke much, and I have been having some trouble with him, we started there. Duke can be a bit strong with me, and also has this "habit" of just heading to (and in) the barn whenever he likes... and when 1800lbs is heading to the barn... it takes something to change his mind. Butch decided to try another bit in his mouth (kind of like a pinch collar on a dog) and that did help alot. Then we did a good amount of ground driving, up and down the drive and out along the street.. we must have worked a good two hours, and I had the chance to work with Duke in the barn yard and convince him (with Butch's help) that we DON'T ever go in the barn, unless the human says so!!!!

After that, we took a lunch break, and then pulled Tonka out. He was in a good mind, and we did just a bit of ground driving with him and Butch felt that we could begin our "team training". At first, he drove Tonka and Becky took Duke and the two of them ground drove around the farm, keeping the horses side by side. Then Butch put the boys together and ground drove as a team. They looked awesome, and got along quite well with each other.

The next step was seeing how Tonka (mostly) felt about have a pole placed between the two of them, Butch found a long "stick" left over from house construction and as he drove them, he would slide the stick up between the two of them. Neither horse had anything to say about that. So, it seemed like a cart would be next in line.

Butch started with our two wheel fore cart. He felt that if he got into any trouble, it's easier to handle the horses with a smaller vehicle. At first he drove the cart from the ground, but with in a very short time, he jumped into the cart and he and the team were off. He made several loops around the field and the boys looked like they had been a team their whole lives. You can't even begin to know how excited I was when Butch came by and said..."hop in with me"... and away we went. What a thrill to be riding behind that team... OUR team!!! I have waited such a long time to do something like this. I did some driving with them.. which is a bit different from driving a single horse... and then Butch took turns taking everyone for rides. It was good practice for the team, and such fun for all of us.

Nothing doing though, I just HAD to see the guys in front of that beautiful wagon that Dave made for us. Besides, Dave was there and I so wanted him to see the team with that wagon, and get one of the very first rides!!! While the team rested, Ed, Dave and Butch took the pole set up off the fore cart and put it on the wagon. Then the three of them hitched the boys to it (we took the extra help in the hitch, just because there were some adjustments to make and also to be sure the boys were going to be good with that wagon!!!)

Again, Butch made a couple of passes around the field with just him and the team, and then came by and said..."hop in!" I jumped up front, and Ed and Dave hopped on the rear, and away we went.... and that gorgeous wagon rolled along perfectly!!! We probably spent another hour or so working with the wagon and the boys, everyone (well, Dave, Butch and I) taking turns driving the team, and simply enjoying the efforts of our work. I was a wonderful afternoon and certainly a day that I will not soon forget.

As we were beginning to finish up, a thunderstorm rolled thru, so it was a good time to wrap it up. The boys were getting tired (especially poor Duke who had been in harness all day) Becky and Butch sill needed to pick up their hay and drive the two hours home again, and it was already 6:00pm.

Now, "ALL" I have to do is continue to work where Butch left us off... sadly, Monday and Tuesday were already jammed packed with things that needed to be done... so, I didn't get to working either of them then... maybe today, I can get somebody out... there's just never enough time!!!

Also, I haven't said too much about it, but Ed is being bothered with kidney stones again, and has to go in for another "blasting" next week. This is his second round of "blasting".. he had to do this a year ago, so that is weighing on my mind, and I am always watching him to make sure he isn't over doing it... especially with working on the house... we both will be glad when he gets this behind him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

the tractor show...

Can anyone explain why there are some weekends when there seems to be "nothing fun to do" and other weekends where there is so much to do, that you race around, trying to cram everything in, and still enjoy it?? I don't know why it is that way, but such was the case for us.
I was at the barn bright and early, and caught this wonderful sight... all the little barn swallows were out of the nest and working on their first flying lesson. After about two trips around the field with the parents calling back and forth to them... they were gone!! Now I could easily "see .. the empty nest" and it's been kind of quiet around the barn with no sound of peeping baby birds as the parents arrived with food. Oh well... I understand that they often return to their place of birth to make new homes, so maybe next spring we will have a few more families....

On Saturday we went to the Raitt Farm for their 14th (I think I heard) annual tractor and antique engine show. This is such a nice time, and there's lots to see other than tractors... but I do like looking at them!!! They have crafts and food, and "events" -- such as tractor pulls -- little rides for the kids, and all sort of family things. It's nice to see that "farm life" is alive and well here in the North East, and I get I real kick watching the kids (mostly young-teens boys) driving tractors around.

We met up with Dave and Sean, Kas and Nate, and saw several friends that we only seem to see this one time a year. Little "one lunger" engines ran and popped, and there were all sorts of displays of "things of the past"... saw mills, belt driven items and the like. You can see why the "poor horse" was quickly replaced with these "modern inventions"....

Isn't this a "sweet" little sleigh.. think it would look awfully nice behind a team of Percherons!!!!!The day was finally like summer, and the shade actually felt good!!!!

In the evening we went to spend time with friends at their camp, sat and caught up on the news, and just had a minute to relax..... seems nice.

Brown eyed cowgirl--- saw this bike and thought of you!!!!****

Sunday, July 26, 2009

exciting blogs to come

I am just too tired to post tonite, but there are some great blogs coming up... and I will leave you with couple of "teaser" pictures.....

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

it's a .......

We have some news... most of our friends already know part of this news, but for some of my "dear readers" this will be all new to you. A few months ago, our Sadie came and told us that she is expecting.. to be totally honest, this news was a "shocker"... Sadie is still trying to find her own "way in life" and "baby" wasn't exactly on the list. It took me some time to put this all together, but as time has gone on... I am beginning to look forward to the big event. It has meant a great deal to me all the support that we have all received from our family and friends. And since Sadie has moved back home with us... you can just imagine that the push to get into the house is even more so...

But today, I went with her to see the ultra sound.. and we have been given the news that (96% sure) there is a little GRAND DAUGHTER on the way... due to arrive around the middle of October. As I drove home, I can already see little riding chaps, a helmet... a child's saddle, and the first "walk, trot horse show class"... OR... junior handler with a cute little cocker at her side......

the future holds much excitement and joy......

congratulations Deb!!!

Last June, Deb brought Alice (Mocha's foal) to the driving clinic. Deb wanted to add to her horse knowledge and Alice was being... well, say we say, Less than agreeable when it came to driving. Deb worked with Butch, picked up some new ideas, and she and Alice did some amazing work at the clinic.
After the clinic they ran into another trouble spot, but Deb kept her cool and took a deep breath and continue on with her training of Alice. Part of which was giving Alice a little time off.

This morning when I opened my email, look at the great pictures that were waiting for me. Deb has Alice back in cart and reports that she is going well!!!!

We "horse folk" can certainly understand the thrill that you have when all of a "sudden" your hard work, patience and determination begins to pay off....

so.. I just want to send a huge congratulations to Deb and to Alice.. and wish them both many miles of happy driving...

I'll be sure to tell Mocha!!!!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

got a lift??

Work is going along well on the house once again. Siding is the big project of the moment, Ed and Ken want to take advantage of the warm summer days and get this outside work done. Because it would be near impossible to do all of this from a ladder (never mind the height of it all) Ed has rented a lift to get the high sides done.

Not only is it "more comfortable" to work from a lift, but it's much safer and faster. The time that it will save makes it worth the "investment" of the rent.

this pictures shows the "false" front doors on the garage. It is designed to make the garage look like an old barn attached to the house. I can't believe what a different look it gives to the place.

The birdies on the farm are doing well. The keets are getting big and have some of their feathers coming in. They are really beginning to go thru some food now.

the turkeys are growing at an amazing rate. I don't hear "peeping" any more... they are beginning to make that "gobble" sound. And sadly, we did loose one last week, we aren't exactly sure what happened, but we fear that it may have been killed by the others... the food bin was quite low and they were picking on each other. We will be careful not to let that happen again... turkeys are kind of mean creatures, so you have to be sure that everyone has enough space and plenty of food and water.

"the girls" seem pretty happy in their outside pen. We are still getting an egg a day... I like to save them up during the week and have a special breakfast with their eggs on the weekends.

and I think that the barn swallows should have made a bigger home. All of their babies have survived, and I believe there are six of them. I don't think it will be too long before the flying lessons will begin!! they look pretty crowded in that nest!!!

and speaking of flying, check out the next two blogs... one of the plane that landed several times on the lake this morning, and the other is of pictures that Dale took tonite as she was flying over the farm.....

and a Monday evening...

the day began with watching a "sea plane" practice landings on the lake... and it ended with these photos taken by my friend Dale, as she flew over the farm and lake this evening...
we thought we heard a plane in "close" as we were having dinner... and sure enough, we should have gone outside and waved to Dale....
thanks for the GREAT photos my friend.....

*** Rick, that was Dale that we heard at dinner time!!!******