Monday, August 31, 2009

August is done?????

I can't believe that today is August 31 where has the summer gone... or rather, did summer even get here. Weather wise, we had the "wettest summer" on the books, so really we didn't even get summer like weather until just a couple weeks ago.... NO FAIR!!! Maybe the fall will make it up to us.. actually from now until January is my favorite time of year .

And speaking of "a year"... it was exactly one year ago tonite that our horses spent their very first night in their new home. The barn has turned out to be so wonderful, and having "worked" in it for a whole year, I can truly say, there is nothing that I would change. What felt (at the time) like endless hours of planning, thinking, checking... re-checking on the design of the barn, certainly paid off. Such a blessing....

All our "things' are home again from the fair. Both Sadie and I did quite well this year, and have all the pretty ribbons to show off.... but one thing that was quite surprising.. when Ed went to pick up the picture of "Mr.G".. the lady in charge of them, asked him if the photo was for sale. I guess someone saw it and asked if we might be interested in selling it. Ed wasn't sure what my answer would be, so he left our name with her and said if the people come back and want to talk with us about buying the photo, she could give them our name. As of today, there hasn't been any phone call, but I thought that was pretty neat....

Three weeks ago, I taught Sadie how to knit. She started with a hat for herself, and flew thru it. Then she wanted to make some booties for baby Abby.. I have a nice bootie pattern but it involves using four needles. I showed her what to do, and she whipped those out... in fact, not only "whipped" them out, but entered them in the fair and .... took a BLUE!!! Her very first pair!!!!!

Then (on four needles again) she made a hat for baby Abby.. and entered that in fair...
she got a third placement.
I don't know what she's working on at the minute, but I have a feeling there's no stopping her now. She'll have to find "help" with other things, because she will soon pass my expertise!!!
So, it's goodbye to August and onto another month, and hopfully closer to getting into the new house. I also have been really missing Moxie these past few days, she loved the fall weather and always got so "puppy like" with the cooler weather....I fear it will take a very long time before I can smile when I say her name......She would have so loved riding in the woods yesterday..... "love you Moxie girl!!!!"

a day in the woods

Yesterday, after church as we were driving home, a long list of "what can we do this afternoon" began running thru my mind. Goodness knows, there is always something to "fill" our time... finishing up the move of the turkeys, making a trash run, mowing the lawn, painting, etc. etc. etc... but the afternoon was just too pretty to be filled with such tasks!!!

So, I called Deb to see if she and Alice would like to go driving with Mocha and me!!! Mocha has been doing so well with her driving skills, that I feel it's time to get off the farm and try new and exciting places. Deb has acres of woods behind her house with all sorts of trails, and I have been wanting to try them for sometime. She was so excited when I called and couldn't wait for Mocha and I to come. Sadie tagged along as well, I wasn't sure if Mocha was up to pulling two in the cart .. but she wanted come and could (at least) get some photos for us.
Mocha and Alice seemed pleased to see each other once again, they last time they were together was back in June at the driving clinic.

It didn't take long for us to tack up and get ready to head out.
"On your mark.... get set.... go!!!"

The woods were beautiful and surprisingly not very buggy.. which made the ride very pleasant.

I was extremely pleased with Mocha's driving skills. I did find out that she needs work in holding the cart back on down hills. On the farm, we mostly drive on the "flat", so we haven't had the opportunity to work with hill... but that is one of the very reasons why you want to "work" in different places. Now, "we" have to find hills to work with!!!!

Time out for a photo opt!!! (Deb and I have "only" worked two years for this afternoon!!!)

And then almost too soon, we were back "home" once again. Both the horses were amazing on the trail and seemed to enjoy the outing as much as Deb and I did... certainly there will be more drives together this fall... and maybe even a beach day!!!!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

here's the house...

My dear Ed and Ken did an amazing job on the house this week

"Fair" results....

well my fair results, certainly are more that fair... they were wonderful!!!! Perhaps you remember that last fall, I had made a quilt block for the "Fair Quilt"... each year, they come up with a theme and you receive a patch of material. With the theme in mind, and using the "patch" you need to come up with a quilt square. It has to be submitted by a certain date, and then it is sewn into the quilt. Each block is judged, and all that enter a square has their name placed in a drawing for the quilt. I have yet to "win" a quilt, but it's fun to find your block and see what you were "awarded".

This year my block placed fourth!!! I already have my patch for next year's quilt and think that I have a design in mind.

My photo of "Mr. G aka Biker chick" placed first in the animal division.....

and my cross stitch piece (the one with Moxie's name in it) placed first and yes.... it also was awarded "Judge's Choice".. I am very honored by that!!!!

Other fair results... Sadie entered a pair of knitted booties ... the first ones she has ever made, and she got a blue ribbon for them, and then took a third on a little hat that she also made. My friend, Kelli, got a blue ribbon on her photo of a light house and took first in the landscape division, and son-in-law Nate, got a fourth on his landscape photo taken in Iraq.....

so, all kinds of ribbons awarded in the family... now we are all thinking about next year's entries....

a day on the farm.

Yesterday, after visiting the fair, my two sisters, Becky and Rachel, with my two nieces, Kelsey and Naomi... and friends, paid a visit to the farm and then to the lake. I was so excited to have the kids come to the farm, because ever since Mocha has become such a good little driver... I have been "dying" to take the kids for a ride. I had her all hitched and ready to go when everyone arrived, and dear little Mocha made several trips up and down the driveway, taking each one for a ride.

I'm not so sure who was having the most fun... the kids or ME!!!

(and.. the silkies... were another big hit!!! the kids are beginning to talk about "auntie Sue's farm) After our ride, everyone came to the lake, and all the kids jumped in and took a swim. We adults talked about "how we swam any time we could" but now, we're just as happy to sit in the sun and watch the kids swim!!!!!

horse show at the fair.....

Sadie and I went to the fair this morning to see the classes for "mini, pony, mule and draft" both in hand and in cart. We only had planned to be there for a few hours, but actually spent nearly the whole day. It was great fun, and there is one thing for sure.... Miss Mocha will be entered next year.. I know she and I can do this......
This little gal is just THREE years old (the child, not the mini)... her Grandmother proudly told us....

And this is a neighbor of mine... they did real well, placing first in all their classes today....

I was quite taken with this mare.....

And look at this four in hand!!!!!

another Mare that caught my eye...

who knows, if I do my "homework"... maybe even "the team" can go next year... wouldn't that wagon of Dave's look good at a show. More Fair blogs to come.......

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

new residents on the farm!!!!

One year ago, this very night, Ed and I spent our first night as "new residents of the town". Kas and Nate were safely back in Maine after Nate's four years of service in the Marine Corps... and even though none of us were really settled into our new homes, it felt like everyone was where they were suppose to be. I still can't believe that the year has come and gone!!! I truly hope the rest of my life isn't going to continue to go this fast!!!

Ed and Ken made great progress on the siding today.. actually they made it even higher than this pic, but it was too dark to take a picture tonite and show their total accomplishments. Once you get thru all that fussy work around the windows, corners of the building and such.. the work goes pretty fast. I am happy to report that I am liking the house color as much as the barn, and am relieved about that!!! It's a nice soft color that I think will compliment the house.

So in yesterday's blog, I "talked" a bit about possibly getting some more chickens for the farm. I can't believe that I am turning into a "bird person".. because I have never really liked them. But, we have grown pretty fond of "Mr. G".. and then the two hens that were given to us. I have to admit, that getting a fresh egg almost every day has been pretty cool, and I am really liking the "fresh egg vs. store egg" taste.

Sadie has really gotten fond of "her chickens", and has been saying that maybe two more would be nice as we would get a few eggs a day. Just enough for the family, we're not interested in selling eggs, but it would be fun to give some away and have them for ourselves. So, we began to look at the different kinds of chickens, what their temperaments were like, would they be good "free rangers", egg quality and the like. We sort of picked out the Rhode Island Reds, until yesterday, when at the grain store... we came across a "breed" known as the Barred Plymouth Rock.

I think it was the black and white coloring that really attracted both Sadie and I. They look like a "rare breed" that we see in Colonial Williamsburg, and they suppose to be very docile and easy to get along with. They lay a fairly large brown egg, and are "home bodies".. so, we decided that two of them might be a nice addition to our "little flock".

I was hoping that I might add a couple of guinea keets as well. They had 8 keets last week, but when I got back this week... all the keets had been sold, and none expected in until next spring. Oh well, guess I wasn't suppose to have them, and really, if the three Keets we have do well, plus Mr. G... four guinea hens are really enough.

However something else really caught my eye!!!


Is this the strangest bird that you have even seen?? It is a chicken.. of sorts... they lay eggs, but I guess they are so little that it takes a few to make up to a real chicken egg. They don't have real feathers, but more of this "down like" feathering. They can't fly, and basically, aren't much good for anything other than eating bugs and looking cute.

I just HAD to have a couple of them!!!! So, along with our four guinea hens, and four "real" chickens, we now have two silkies!!! just because ....

These are very docile and can easily be handled. They don't make much noise, and they feel like down pillows... When they get bigger, I will let them free range with everyone else, but right now we are just working on meshing "everyone" together.

The Keets will go into the stall when the turkeys are moved and the Silkies will go with them. So for now, I have the two caged side by side and they can get used to each other. The "Rocks" are being caged inside the chicken pen, so the big chickens can get used to seeing them and then in time, they will all go out together.

Miss "big" chicken did come into the tack room to check out the "newbies"..but she actually seemed more interested in their grain. And Mr. G. has checked out the keets and seems pretty interested in them, and I think in time, everyone will get along just fine as long as they have the room to roam and time to get used to being around each other. And so, for now, that's about it for animals on the farm... we are currently housing... four horses, four guinea hens, six chickens, three guinea pigs, one bunny, one barn cat.. and 12 turkeys...

quite the house full......

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

busy days ahead...

I don't know why I think the days ahead are going to be any busier than we have been all summer, it's just that we have some projects well in gear, and some things to look forward to, that make me think of the word "busy". This is going to be the new home for the turkeys!!!! We had (have) a shed building at our old house, that the kids aren't interested in keeping, so Ed thought if we could move it up here, it would make a good turkey house. The only thing is, the shed needs some TLC.. and a new floor, so Ed has made this new base for the shed to sit on. Then we will fence this nice cleared area (thank you Rick!!!) and the turkeys can be moved from the barn to a much larger outdoor space. I am so hoping this will be done very soon... they need to get out!!! It's nearly impossible to keep them clean, they are really feeling crowded in the stall, and they are getting hard to handle. Once they are out of the stall, then my poor "little" guinea keets can get out of their (now cramped) cage and go into the stall with so much more room as well.

This morning I packed up my two entry pieces and took them down to the fair, that opens on Thursday... it's fair weekend!!! and I am so excited to go. I love our little fair and have a whole list of those "awful" foods to eat. I actually have three "entries" this year... my square that will be in the "fair quilt", which I made and submitted last fall... then this photo of Mr. G admiring himself in the chrome of Ed's motorcycle.. and a cross stitch piece.

When I came in with them, I already got a few comments (compliments) on both pieces. People were surprised at the photo, and wondered I happened to shot that photo... just beginner's luck!!! The cross stitch piece is quite sentimental to me... it was almost finished when I lost my Moxie dog... so, the one little part that I didn't have done... I didn't finish... instead I stitched Moxie's name and date of death in the space. I would love it if this piece took "judge's choice" this year... it would mean so much to me, just because of what I was dealing with at the time of it being done.... but we'll see, there are usually a "ton" of excellent cross stitch pieces to judge at this fair, and the "competition" can be keen.
The carnival people have arrived with all the rides and the like. I wonder what kind of life these folks have... traveling the countryside, setting up and taking down one fair after another. Certainly not the life style I would choose for myself... but it must have it's interesting points to say the least. Two more nights, and this will be lit up like a Christmas tree with all the action to go with it. I do like to see the midway at night!!!!
Ed will be serving a few shifts with the fire department at the fair. They (the fire department) play a big role in the fair.. keeping folks safe, and being there to shoe themselves off to the public.

Back at the farm, the siding project is going well. The garage (barn) is mostly finished... there is only one side left to do, but Ed and Ken are waiting for a cool, cloudy day to do it, as it is on the southern side and gets the sun all day long. It's been just too hot and humid to try and do this kind of work in the sun.. so they're going to wait a little. I am very happy with the choice of "red" on the "barn"... it's scary trying to chose colors that you know will be permanent!! Unlike paint, once vinyl is up, you are stuck with the color... so, the thing is, to get it right the first time. I am glad that this one turned out so well.

The color for the house was easier to pick as it will be the same as our old house.. which I liked very much. And since this side was in the shade, it is where Ed and Ken began today. Because of the shape of the foundation, there was a fair amount of that "fussy" work to deal with again, but by the end of today, that was all done, and Ed says that tomorrow they will go "great guns" and I wouldn't be surprised if they go the whole side done...
On my way to "work" this evening, Sadie and I stopped into my new favorite store... Andy's Agway!!! If you are looking for "things for the farm" this is a simply wonderful shop!!! I needed some fly sprayer replacements for the barn and some PDZ for the stalls,and turkey food... which I easily got. Last week, they also had some guinea keets, and I had been thinking all week that I would like to buy a few and add them to the babies that I already have. But, sadly, the keets were all sold (should have got them last week!!!)... however, they have a good batch of chickens in and we have been thinking about adding a couple more chickens to our little group... we would like to get a few more eggs a day, and we thought maybe two more chickens would give us just enough.
We looked at the Rhode Island Reds, but they also have a very pretty black and white chicken called a Barred Plymouth Rock... and I am thinking that it might be fun to have something different and we may go with them. They also have another breed of chicken that has taken my eye, but I don't want to say too much about that until I decide for you'll just have to stay posted on that idea.
anyways, big fair weekend, projects going well.. time is flying by......

Saturday, August 22, 2009

28 on the 22nd....

Today, we celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary!!!! And I have to say, that I have no idea where the time has gone. We have had a wonderful and interesting life together and I only hope the Good Lord continues to bless our life and time together.

Last year, we were in the process of moving, this summer we are in the "little" camp.. and hopefully, next year, we will be long settled into our new house on the farm.

Kas made us this beautiful "upside down cake".. I said to everyone.. "28 years ago, we were cutting a wedding cake.. now we are cutting an upside down cake.. is there a story to this???" but, Kassy's cake was so yummy and we greatly enjoyed it....

It was so grand to have our little house filled with dear friends. Ed and I thought it would be fun to have folks over, rather than going out to eat or whatever. As always, the conversation was great fun, and we just enjoyed having everyone here. A rainy evening kept us mostly inside, but that's ok.. we can all squeeze in when we have to!!!! Our guests were... Dave and Deb,Kim, Kas and Nate (and doggies) Rick and Kelli, and Sadie. The evening went by way too quick.

After our "party" I ran down to the barn, and had all our company follow me... so there was lots of extra help with barn chores tonite!!! Thank you all for coming and sharing this special day with us!!!!

I had to pop in this picture of Trevor... our bedroom door was blocked, and I had taken his favorite ball and thrown it in the bedroom, because he was getting "growly" towards the other dogs about it. Nothing doing, Trev wanted his ball, so he climbed up the spiral stair way that we have, and could look into the bedroom and see his ball sitting on our bed. I think if he could have fit thru the rails, he would have jumped from the stairs to the bedroom, thank goodness he didn't fit. But, he knew just where his ball was, and was doing his best to figure out how to get it... silly dog!!!

goin' along

Thursday, August 20, 2009

it's happening!!!!

At last!!!the part that I have been waiting for..... pieces of vinyl siding are going up!!!! the garage/barn is first.. and then onto the house... now big changes will really show up!!!!
Ken starts the first piece, once that is leveled and nailed in place, the rest goes fairly quick....

the garage is being done in barn red, as we want it to have the appearance of a barn that is attached to the house, the house will be in a beige/tan/grayish color... you'll see in a couple of days!!!!!

waited all winter!!!!!

After looking at the "great white tundra" all winter... this is what I have been waiting to see!!!