Saturday, November 27, 2010

we got a walker....

Since having her first birthday, I think I have gotten away from the whole "16th" thing.. but there will still be "Abbie blogs" once in a while. And as babies do, she is growing into a real little kid and each day brings something new.

She is very good about entertaining herself, whether with her toys or playing in her "fort". The dining room table makes a perfect place to hide!!! and of course, to have your very own "guard dog" (Hunter) at the "gate" will certainly keep the "bad guys away"

Now the walking thing has been in the works for weeks. Abbie is more than ready to take those first steps, but just not brave enough to do it.

Even bribes didn't quite do the trick....

And then, one day, without thinking... that was it... she is off and nearly running!!!!!

Everything belongs to Abbie... including the dog's crates!!!

And that little pidder padder of feet is heard all around the house. Anything that is lower than two feet is no longer safe!!!! The world of the "waddler" has begun!!!!

first "real" snow

Yesterday was "black Friday"... now I'm not one of those folks who need to brave the stores on this day, but I don't discredit the folks who do enjoy going. It just isn't "my thing" is all. However, I was up and out the door early in the morning. I needed to meet up with a client who's dog I was going to be boarding, so I decided to go a little early, and take Ginger with me.

The weather had a little surprise for us... a nice little sleet storm had come thru and covered everything with a layer of ice. Fortunately, it was just a light coat, so no trees were broken and the power stayed on... but it made for some interesting driving in places. Slow and steady is what winter driving is all about.

As I said, since I was meeting up with a client in the parking lot of our local Walmart, I thought it might be a good chance to take Ginger on her first public outing. Walmart has a Dunkin Donuts in it, right near one of the front doors, so while I sat and had a coffee.. Ginger sat and watched all the shoppers go by. As you can imagine, "everyone" had to talk with her, and at this stage of her service dog training, I encourage them to pet her (which is NOT to be done with a trained dog). But since you always need a service dog to be confident and friendly, these first few public outings are very important and certainly set the tone for the days to come. Ginger thought this was a great outing, and once my coffee was done, we were on our way. I must say, I do have my opinions of Walmart.. but as a place where service dogs are more than welcomed and giving a puppy a chance to see the "world" they are beyond super!!!!

My Mom's birthday was yesterday as well and the evening found us traveling down to celebrate the day with her. I always feel so blessed that I have both my parents... they continue to enjoy good health, and I look forward to many more years with us all together.

We made this a whole family celebration. Naomi is getting used to the idea of having a cousin that can "do things"now. She isn't the baby of the family anymore, and I must say, she is quite patient with Abbie. It's nice that they are fairly close in age, since neither of them have siblings.. I guess they can be "sisters" to each other.

My niece Kelsey is so great with these little ones. She certainly has a knack for being with them. And look at this baby... she is in love with cell phones. The really funny thing is, when she has one, she doesn't hold it up to her ear.... she opens it up and using her thumbs...begins to "text"!!!! This certainly gives you an idea of "where this generation" is going.

Four generations in this photo.........

And on Saturday (today) I guess we can say we got the first "official" snow. It was just a dusting really than came thru in a snow squall... but it left about a quarter of an inch. Course, you know one little puppy that just had to get outside and experience her first snow!!!

Like Chester puppy last year, Ginger had a grand time in this "white stuff" that covered the ground. I don't expect that it will stay around for long... but it's a sign of things to come.....

Thursday, November 25, 2010


I find it so hard to believe that Thanksgiving is here again. Another whole year has zipped by, and when I take (get) a minute to think about it, I just have to marvel at how quickly the time has gone. So many things are just the same, and so many things have changed in a year's time. Last year, we were still living at the camp, and this year we are settled into our new home. Last year, we had Chester and this year, it's Ginger!! Abbie was just a baby, and now we have a toddler!!! And we are so blessed that all our family is together, because I know many families who are "celebrating" for the first time without some of their loved ones. That is one thing that I will never take for granted.

Earlier in the week, I had pulled out one of the turkeys. This is the third one that I have cooked since we moved in. "He" is last of the really big ones, the ones that are left are smaller. We will certainly finish this batch of birds this year, so I would assume that next spring it will be back to turkey raising once again. I got up around 5:30 to get this bird into the oven, I had planned on going back to bed, but with the house quiet , I made some coffee and just enjoyed the early morning hours to myself.

And what is Thanksgiving without the Macy's Parade... no, we didn't go, this picture was taken of the the TV... it was a fun parade to watch. Once in a while, some parts of it caught Abbie's attention, but it was really the adults that sat and watched.

I can't get over at how quickly Abbie has grown in just this year's time. Last year, she was like a "little sack of potatoes" and this year, she is a real little person. She has gotten quite good at entertaining herself and really enjoying her toys.

It was so much fun to cook in my kitchen this year, and put on a big spread for the family. The dining room was filled to the brim with both food and family.

My parents, sister Rachel, John and Naomi.. John's Mom Faith and sister Lynn and then Ed, Sadie and myself. Abbie was with her Dad, brother Bill wasn't feeling well so he didn't come, and Kas and Nate went to Nate's family this year.

We had a wonderful time, and everything came out perfectly (even if I do say so myself)

After dinner we had a grand visit together and enjoyed dessert. We talked about the Thanksgivings of the past, and made plans for the Christmas holidays. Naomi enjoyed having a "new" puppy to play with. Ginger is working out very well, and loved all the attention that she got.

The next day (black Friday) we woke to a bit of a surprise... an ice storm. It wasn't so bad, but there certainly was a layer of ice all over everything. Seems like winter has made it's call on us.

Sadie had to scrape her car off before heading off to work. I fear our trucks will be spending yet another winter out in the weather because our garage is not finished. Everything in good time, it will be "our" project for the up coming year, because if we don't have to do this job.. it would be really nice.
and, so, the start of the "holiday season" has officially begun... and I plan to enjoy every moment of it!!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

here we go again!!!!!

soooo..... yesterday morning, I was up bright and early. I first had to attend to our doggies and the guest doggies that we have here for the Thanksgiving holiday... but then I was out the door and heading down to get Kathleen. It was NEADS fall graduation day, and we were going to see that.. plus.... pick up our new service puppies!!!!! (It's only been two months since I turned Chester in.. but who's counting??) We met up with Linda (chapter leader) and Teena, and the four of us were on the road. This picture is the first that I have seen of Christmas trees... hard to think it IS that time again....

Along with the graduation, we also attended the Annual Meeting, NEADS is going thru some growing pains (changes) right now and we wanted to be sure that the puppy chapters are still a part of their game plan. The prison programs for NEADS has been more than successful, but we full time puppy raisers still want to play a big part of the future... and it turns out, that yes... we still will. There are some puppies that will make good service dogs, but the prison program doesn't work for everyone .. so the full time raisers will have "those" puppies to bring up. I know I have only raised one dog, but I am hooked and would have been so sad to think that this opportunity might not have happened again.

Suzan and Logan were also there. Logan is such a good dog, and she is a real ambassador as to "what a service dog is all about"

course, the graduation wasn't without it's wonderful stories... you'd think by now I would remember to bring that box of tissues with me... there were 21 graduates this time around. Not all of them could make it, so some will be attending the spring graduation.

There was a yellow lab named "Jonesy".... I think the photos will tell you his story....

This dog went to a veteran who is a New Hampshire boy......

and look who I had the GREAT pleasure of seeing again... remember the gentleman that we watched train the day I took Chester back.... well, today was their graduation day!!! They are both doing very well, and this gentleman as it turns out is a veteran......

Another surprise... Kathleen got to meet up with Kelly again!!!! Kelly is still in training, she went onto the prison program after Kathleen turned her in and sadly "fell apart" in the program. So NEADS has placed her with a family who will continue to do the training.

Since she is such a "sweet" dog, NEADS has hopes that she might go into the ministry dog program, and perhaps a Canine for Kids... either way, they haven't given up on her talents, but it may take a little while to draw them out. Does a puppy forget it's raiser??? By the looks of Kelly... I would say not (can't wait to see Chester one day again!!!)

and then --- finally ---- "my" new little girl!!! This is Ginger!!! she was born on September 1, and comes from ---- Maine!!! (of all places)

Kathleen will be raising Ginger's brother - Leo!!!
So the Maine puppy chapter has two new members for the next year or so......

yup................. here we go again!!!!!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

catching up

If the calendar didn't tell you "what the time of year was".. the signs are all around. First off, we are back on standard time, so come 4:00 it's beginning to get dark. The seasonal restaurants have closed, and yesterday I noticed on one of the neighboring farms...(actually the farm that our hay comes from).. they have put up their snow fence. We haven't ever used a snow fence on our farm, but we haven't lived here during the winter either, so needing one or not, remains to be seen.

For the most part, the trees have all dropped their leaves. We can see our neighbors again!!!and with it being so dark early, it's nice to look out and see lights around. The weather has been pretty mild for November, I have a feeling that one day we'll wake up and --- "bing" we'll be into winter.

Last Saturday night, we met with the kids (Kas, Nate, Sadie and Tom) and had a nice meal out. Abbie was so funny.. sitting at the table with the rest of us.. checking out the menu to see "what's good"....

"what are you having Auntie Kass??"

well... the time has come to say good bye to our blue truck. It's been a very good truck, but it was beginning to show signs of age, and Ed felt it would be best to send it on it's way. One thing you need for sure, living here.. is a good dependable truck, and not that this one wasn't.. but before it came to that, Ed thought it best to trade it.

Here's the new one. It's a 2010...and was a "demo" so it's had some (very light) use. The price was too good to pass up... so.. we didn't. I can't believe all the modern things that come as "standard" now a days... it will take Ed "days" to learn it.

While Ed was doing the paperwork, Abbie and Cammie "played" in the show room. We love this dealership.. they have to be the most friendly people going. I guess that is why we buy all our trucks there, and do all our service work with them. Kids and pets are always welcomed!!! In fact , I understand I have a few blog readers (Hi Lisa!!!) It was fun to go in and hear... "do you have another service puppy yet??"

So, Abbie and Cam got the privilege of the "first new truck ride"... there is a ton of room, and when we take it to Williamsburg in a couple of weeks.. it will give us a comfy ride.

This has been my project of the past couple of days. Each month, I like to print off the stories of the blog and tuck them away in a note book. I am hoping one day - Abbie - or any of our future grandchildren might enjoy reading the stories and seeing the life their grandparents had. Well, between moving and various other "need to be done" things, the blog hasn't been printed in a number of months. So, I have been trying to get this caught up and put away properly. I don't know how long blogger keeps the blog posted, but I will have them just in case. I did however, have to to "buy" more storage for the pictures that blogger keeps for me. Believe it or not.. I have used up all my "free" storage space. Oh well... it wasn't much to buy more storage and so nice to know that my photos are being kept safe... modern technology!!!