Monday, November 30, 2009

more team training

I had to make another "chicken" hat for Abbie as she has already out grown the little multi colored hat that I made for her last summer. "We" get so many comments about these little hats.. I really need to put them into "production" and try selling them at the craft fairs next summer/fall. She is doing so well, growing like a weed and beginning to smile and truly look at things. I can't imagine life without her!!!!

I don't think I will EVER get tired of seeing our team together!!! And while all this training is going on, if you are reading the blog, you will just have to put up with picture after picture of them. Having a "team" has always been one piece of the "farm puzzle" and it's just so exciting for me to see this all coming together.

We have been so blessed to have Rick coming and giving us a hand with them. (Thank you Rick and Kelli..for giving up your Sunday afternoons!!!)There's "abit" to this team thing, and it's nice to have that extra pair of hands and eyes to help out. Especially where my back has been (still) tweeky and I haven't been a whole lot of use just yet. (can't "afford" to have these guys pulling on me).

Since the work went so well last weekend, we picked up where we left off and put the guys together from the start. I still encourage Ed and Rick to ground drive first (OK, so I'm cautious) because with this green team (especially with Tonka) I think it's wise to see where their heads are at before putting them in front of that beautiful wagon!! They were good, Tonka is still eager to do all the pulling, but with time, I am sure he will settle down and let Duke do some of the work!!! And with the ground work, it's a good time to get them out on the road and start working in that type of area.

But, before long both Ed and Rick said "enough of this walking business" and had them hitched to wagon and began to ride.

They took turns driving and the "boys" got a good work out.

We have pretty much decided that as long as the weather holds, this will be a weekend occurrence.And could be that the New Year's Day hay ride that I am thinking about.. will be horse drawn.. not tractor......

Thursday, November 26, 2009


We have so very much to be thankful for, and I sometimes have to remind myself of that when I get a little bogged down with things. For example, I had SO hoped we would be in the farm house this year, and we haven't quite made that goal... but, we have accomplished so many other things on the farm and I just need to continue to be patient and work hard. And just think that NEXT Thanksgiving we will be officially on the farm. Now that being said...

My Mom's birthday actually fell on Thanksgiving this year. I feel badly because I overlooked that and with all the other goodies we had to eat, I didn't even have a little cake for her (I guess my sister Becky did... good job!!) But either way, I am so blessed that I still "have" my Mom and I hope the day was just wonderful for her!!!!

Then we had Tara with us this year, she flew up from Mississippi to spend the week with us. Tara is one of Sadie's dear friends in the world, they have "been together" since third grade. Tara is now in college and quite the young lady!!!! I felt bad that we "took" her away from her Mom and Dad, but she hadn't been back in the great state for nearly three years and was anxious to see Sadie and Abbie and "be home" once again, so we grabbed her. (Her folks live in New Mexico now..) It was just such fun having her here with us, and the house was filled with activity on a daily basis.

And of course, it was baby Abbie's first Thanksgiving, and everyone loved fussing over her....

The camp was filled to the brim with family and friends.

And one of the "residents" of Turkey Manor made their great debut. "He" was very good, and one of the middle sized birds... which THAT in itself was quite the story!!!

On Monday, I went down cellar to the chest freezer that we had put the birds in. There are 8 turkeys in that freezer... I went to pull this bird out and found we had a little "problem".. see all the birds were fresh when Ed put them in there, and the bags that they were in were just a little damp.. well, when they froze....

they all froze together, and what we had was a big turkey Lump!!!! It took Sadie, Tara and I quite a few moments of banging them with a rubber mallet and prying them apart with a screw driver to bust them up and get this bird out!!! (how many people does it take to get one turkey out of the freezer??) For a few moments, I wondered if we would even have turkey for Thanksgiving, but we finally managed.... we'll have to remember that next year when we freeze birds.....

"MY" babies.... course you know that Chester made a big hit with the family.....

Naomi just loved him, they played together for a long time~~~

this is Adam, my parent's toy fox terrier...he's one of the senior doggies of the family... such a good boy and doing well at almost 14

We did have one other minor issue.. goodness what's a holiday if you don't have something go a muck... and "a muck" it was. Ed ran down cellar only to find that the basement bathroom was completely back up.. and had he not seen it, it wouldn't have been long before the upstairs bath and kitchen would have backed up as well. Bottom line was, the septic pump had quit and nothing was moving!!! He managed with the help of Nate and Josh to pump out the holding tank enough so that we could at least use the toilet (but dishes had to be done in the small camp next door) and we muddle thru the evening until the next day when we had the honey wagon come out. Turns out that a piece of dish towel had gotten into the pump and just plugged it big time, so it was "an easy fix".. but why do those types of things always happen during a holiday?????

Anywho...aside from that.. the day was very wonderful. Kas and Nate came up later after having been with Nate's family and they stayed over night in the little camp... My sister Becky was entertaining the "other side" of her family, so she wasn't able to join us, but all in all, we had the whole family together!!! I cherish these days..

"black Friday" morning, Nate stayed to help Ed did a bit of sheet rocking in the house. Kas and I babysat little Abbie so that Tara and Sadie could do some girl things together, and the rain poured down. We did have a breakfast out together, but for the most part, it was a nice quiet day and a chance to pick up and re organize after the holiday. Kas and I did make a run to one new store in town, she took Abbie and I took Chester... both got equal attention!!!!
So, as another Thanksgiving comes and goes, and I reflect on many things my overall view is just the same... we are very blessed and extremely grateful....

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

say hello to Chester

A long time ago.. when I was just a kid.. I remember seeing a movie, made by Disney I think, called "Atta Girl, Kelly".. it was the story of a German Shepherd dog who became a seeing eye dog, and the "adventures that she had with her owner. Then a few years later, I read a book called "Follow My Leader".. again another story about a Shepherd seeing eye dog. In both stories, they told about the "puppy raisers" who were 4H kids, and I thought "wouldn't it be fun to join a 4H and be a puppy raiser". Well, I actually did do 4H for a time, but never became a puppy raiser... until... yesterday!!!!!

I had applied with NEADS back in the spring, I thought it would be a fun "project" after having lost Moxie, and it has been on my "to do list" for quite some time... well, I got a call yesterday morning that a puppy was available for me, and could I meet up with "Cindy" to get my puppy.

I brought Camille with me, since she, in all honesty, will play a big part in this puppy's training. (I would like to tell you that she is excitedly waiting for them to arrive in this picture, but actually she was watching a few crows peck around the parking lot while we waited....)

but we didn't wait long before the van pulled in... (if you get the chance, check out their website, it's really interesting...)

And out came Cindy and this beautiful little boy... Chester!!! an 11 week old golden retriever. He was donated by a local breeder, passed all his "temperament tests" and was now ready to get into a home and begin his puppy manners training

He, of course, is as cute as a button, and has all the charm that a golden should have. Our ride home was uneventful, and he walked into the house like he had been here all the time. "Everyone" was quite curious about him, but that only lasted a few minutes and then they all went off in their own directions. We gave him the evening to settle in and just get used to the idea of us, and he went to bed in his little crate, and didn't make a peep all night.

I am very excited about this new adventure in my life. There is a whole group in the Maine Chapter that I am looking forward to meeting and working with, and not to rush any amount of time, but I can't help but wonder at "what" kind of service dog he might become and what sorts of things I will be doing with him to help him in his career. But in the meantime, I will simply enjoy this wonderful little chap.

If anyone is interested in keeping a detailed reading on him.. you will find that under the blog.. "Moxie's gift"... undoubtedly, you will see him now and again on the farm blog.. but I am saving the details for the other...

So.. Hello Little Chester and welcome home.. (for now!!!)

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

more pidder patter....

Got a phone call from NEADS this am.. I will be meeting with them this afternoon to pick up Chester!!! an 11 week old golden retriever who I will be raising for the next year or so as a service dog!! pictures to come, and you can follow his story on the blog.. "Moxie's gift"....

Sunday, November 22, 2009

playin' on a Sunday

So, I am still out of commission with the back thing and the day was so pretty - I was in such a foul mood!! We had talked earlier in the week with Rick about getting the boys hitched together again but with my back and all, I figured that wouldn't happen. However Rick called and said that he was up for an afternoon of horses, and Ed said so was he... and with that... we had an afternoon of horses!!

All I could do was shoot pictures, but after seeing these.. I am glad that I did. Rick headed out with Duke...

Ed took Tonka

And the guys ground drove for abit,just to be sure that the "boys" were in a good frame of mind.

Then they headed over to the wagon and after a bit of adjusting and settling in...

They were off. Ed drove while Rick kept an eye on the boys. Duke is so good with all of this, you can easily see that this is old hat to him. But Tonka isn't so calm and seems to try to pull the wagon all by himself. He doesn't know how to let Duke share the load, and always wants to be out in the front. After a few trips around and he began to tire, he then seemed to get the idea that they're a team

and the pulling even out. This is where work and experience will come into play, the more we can get them out together, the better they will become.

Overall, the afternoon went very well and even though I couldn't really be a part of it, I did have a wonderful time watching.

And baby Abbie - well she "hung out" in the tack room where it was nice and warm and we could all keep an eye on her.

After such a nice afternoon, we were off to the airport.. Sadie's dear friend Tara, has come to spend the Thanksgiving holiday with us. She hasn't been back to the "great state" since she graduated high school.. three years ago. We are just so happy and excited to have her here and it makes the holiday seem even more special..

so, ready for another busy week... now, if this silly back of mine will calm down, everyone will be happy... especially ME!!!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

change of plans

I have to wonder if the Good Lord has had a lesson in mind for me this week, because (as it seems to me) nothing that I had "planned" went accordingly. Now, this doesn't mean it's been a "bad" week by any stretch, just not what I had thought.

Thursday morning, I woke up planning on being on the road all day, two private dog students, errands to run and the like. Well, as it turned out one of my students had to re-schedule, and when I called the second to see if I might change the time, they needed to re-schedule as well. Suddenly the whole day was open for me.

Knowing that rain (heavy rain) was due in on Friday, I decided to make a "shavings" run, make sure that we had enough (covered) wood for the furnace, and just "do" things that are easier done without rain.
Having accomplished that, I thought that maybe it would be good to get Duke back into harness, I haven't played with him in a very long time. I called Sadie (just so someone knows that I have a horse out).. and she packed up Abbie and came down to the barn.

And Betty showed up too (having taken a vacation day) so we had "lots" of company. I was glad they were around, Duke was "feeling" good that day, and gave me a little trouble in the beginning. I wasn't about to let his "bad" behavior go unchecked, and I worked him up and down the road.. then let him stand a bit on the cross ties and took him out again. By the time we were done, he had the message that "fooling around" isn't worth his time or effort.

We drove around the barn several times, practiced backing in towards the hay wagon, worked around the parked cars (and barking dogs in the cars!!) and even just simply standing in front of the barn... without going inside. (a bad habit of his... racing into the barn!!!)

As I was finishing up with him (after about four hours of work), I had to confess that my back felt a bit "tweeky" .. just from harnessing, walking and getting pulled about. So, I told myself, I would go easy for a couple of days.

Friday, the rain came as predicted.. Ed didn't have to go to work, so we decided to get some sheet rocking done. My back still felt a little funny, but we didn't rush and I was very careful in picking up the sheetrock pieces. Another change of plans, being able to sheet rock.. which was a good thing, and we got some big pieces in place. We are very close to being done with THAT project!!!

This morning, it was housework, then bell practice at church.. and going this evening to the Festival of Trees!!! I was excited about bell practice.. if you remember last year, we just began the bell choir, and then came the ice storm and without power for over a week, the choir had to cancel. So.. this year, we are really looking forward to doing the bells at Christmas.

The Festival of Trees is an event that only happens every other's a time where all sorts of business and clubs decorate Christmas trees in all sorts of "themes" .. there are nearly 80 trees on display. Our dog club always does a tree, so I try to go when it happens and see them all.

Well... after I had been to the barn this morning, got the dogs pretty much settled, I grabbed up a big pile of laundry... and OUT WENT THE BACK!!!! I have done this sort of thing in the past, but it's been YEARS since I had done it this badly.... all I could do was go back to bed.

Ice, rest and pain pills did their work.. I managed to roll out enough to attend bell practice, (which is important because one missed practice it not good) but the Festival of Trees was out for me... I do feel better (enough to blog) but it's going to be a quiet evening and my family has been so great about taking up the slack...

Hopefully, if I am a "good girl" I'll only be out of commission for just a day or two.. it's all I can "afford" there is so much going on and I don't want to miss out on any more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, November 19, 2009


The past few days, we have had incredible weather here in the great state. I'm not sure if it's "making up" for the rainy summer or the lull before the winter storms, but either way, it's been most enjoyable. The draw back is, I feel quite behind in my "nesting projects".. usually by now I have a pretty good charge of wood in the cellar, "things" tucked away and under cover, and items picked up, out of the path of the plow. It's not that I haven't done anything... in fact, on Tuesday I got a great deal done in the barn.. but I do need to do more.

Ed has been working part time, so he is up and out early in the am. Which is great, except he hasn't figured out how to be in two places at once!!! .. with him "away" work on the house has come to a temporary halt. Yesterday, however, he did have the day "off", and we decided to get the garage at the new house buttoned up for the winter.
We won't be getting any garage doors this year, so, it's the old "tarp it up" trick and for the time being that will work well.

The outside wood furnace has been doing a great job of heating the house. I do believe that Ken was right, it seems as though this will be a very easy house to heat. Ed has moved some plates of "junk" wood nearer the stove, and along with what we have, I think we'll muddle thru in the wood department.

He then pulled items out of the garage and we re-arranged, swept and got things back in better order. The two big "green boxes" in this picture are filled with smaller pieces of scrap wood, that we can either use in the big furnace or in the smaller inside wood stove. That's the "yankee" in us, put it to good use, don't throw away!!!

The motorcycle was brought out for the last time this year. Ed took it down to the barn so I could give it a bath, and then it will be put under it's blankie and tucked in for the winter.

Mr. G was so happy to see his bike, and spent the better part of the morning guarding it and looking at his handsome reflection!! there is no doubt in my mind that he really is a "biker chick"....he is such a funny bird..

It won't be long before the winter winds are knocking once again, but thinking back over last year, we are so much further ahead.. we have electricity on the farm, no longer have to carry water to the horses, heat in the house.. we actually have a house.. and maybe next year (!!!!) we will celebrate the holidays there.....

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

one month

Our friend, Mandi, took a picture each month of Maya sitting next to a big teddy bear and as the year progressed you could see the teddy bear "getting smaller and smaller"... and Maya getting bigger and bigger.
Sadie thought that was a neat idea, so she took these shots of Abbie yesterday and plans on doing the same each month... though...
her "teddy bear" is a bit different.... Good girl, Tatter!!!!!!!!!!

Happy ONE month, Little Peep!!!

Sunday, November 15, 2009

weekend report.

Another fun and busy weekend - I guess ALL our weekends are busy,and the ones between now and the New Year... I almost can't even think about it. But,here's the "report" from this weekends events... Saturday was extremely rainy.. I guess it was the tail end of a hurricane that had been harassing the Carolina's all last week. The wind was strong and the rain came down in buckets!!!

Kassy and a couple of her friends, had scheduled a "party" (so to speak) in the barn, where they all displayed their "wares". One gal sells stamps and scrap book supplies, another does the "Tastefully simple" items, and Kas has taken on a line called "Maddy Moo" purses. They were hoping that by combining their items, they all might draw a bit of a crowd. I think the weather wasn't a help because the turn out was quite small. But, it was a good idea and I think that at another time, they will try it again, and do a bit more advertising.

Course, we all went and I will confess that I did a bit of Christmas shopping.

"What ARE we looking at"?? Abbie is beginning to notice things, especially lights and the like.. it's fun to have her turn her little head and look at you when you get close to her.

After the "party" in the barn, we thought it would be fun to meet and have dinner together. When everyone arrived, there were 14 of us. It is such fun to be with your children on a Saturday night, most kids wouldn't been seen with their folks, and we are so blessed that our families love to do this sort of thing.

Course, Abbie always steals the show!!! and is generally the center of attention......

Now, last summer (June to be exact) when we had to move out of the big camp and into the small camp for the season, there was no place for Titus. So, we packed him up and moved him into the new house. At the time, we had hoped that we too might be moving into the new house soon, but.. as you all know... that plan was put by the way side. We had planned on just leaving him there until we joined him, but now that it will be spring before we think about moving in... I decided that I would really like to have Titus back here with us in the big camp.

Today's weather was simply beautiful after yesterday's bad.. the temp was very warm and there were peeks of sun. With the help of our good friend Rick, we packed Titus's tank up once again, and moved it back.

It needed a through cleaning, I got the rocks and "ornaments" done..

Ed and Rick worked on the filter system. Between all of us, it didn't take long to have his tank up and running again.

Kelli had been wanting to make a fleece throw and didn't quite know how to begin, so I told her to bring her things along and I would get her started. Once Titus was settled in, we got to work on Kelli's blanket. (which by the way) came out just awesome!!!!

Pizza for supper, I hear a movie on TV and I will finish up this blog and go and join the fam..

but, we do have one "little" turtle who seems happy to be back with us.....can't wait for Abbie to notice him...