Sunday, September 19, 2010

week of "good wishes"

Well, just as I have "feared", this last week with Chester has gone zipping by. I wanted to use the time to make the rounds and have Chester say goodbye to all the wonderful folks that have supported and encouraged us over the past "year". Our first stop was at the Down Maine Vet clinic where Chester was so well taken care of. Dr. Spahn did all his vet care for free, so we had to be sure to pop in there. He did a check over and found Chester to be in very good shape, except for a slight yeast thing in one ear. So, he doctored that up and gave us some meds.

Chester, of course was a very good boy - he always has been at the vets. And Dr. Spahn and staff want me to keep them up to date on his progress.

Abbie and Chester have become fast friends. They often play together and I catch them at games like this one. Abbie offering Chester a toy and then deciding to take it back again. He doesn't care how they play... just the fact that they do....

Chester went to the dog club meeting this week. My club has been so wonderful with all their support. I was happy to be able to take him with us.

I took both Chester and Abbie with me to get my haircut. The girls there had a big dog cookie for Chester when we arrived. They were so happy when I said that it was fine for Chester to have the cookie, and he happily ate while I got my hair done.

Saturday, after work. Chester went with us to the Apple Fest.. we saw alot of church/town folks who were all asking when his big day was. And then it was all hugs and kisses when I said "Monday"...
My sisters came for Apple fest and afterwards we went to lunch together. Chester of course came along, he posed for the picture, and then took up his usual spot under the table. I got the "usual" compliment... "oh, I didn't even know you had a dog with you!!!"

My niece Naomi was sad to hear that Chester would be leaving soon. She just had to give him big hugs and told me that "if he isn't a service dog, I needed to bring him back home".... He certainly loves children, and I never met a child that he didn't just adore.

And tonite, we met up with Kelli and Rick for dinner. Chester came along as well... and I realized that this was a special event. The first time we took Chester to a restaurant, we had Kelli and Rick with us.. and now tonite, his last time out with us... They were there again.
The rest of the evening has been quiet. Chester is all groomed - Sadie took him to work on Friday and got him done for me. His health records are all in order and I have done all that I can think of to make him ready for the next phase of training. Tomorrow will be a hard day for sure, but I am excited in some ways as well. I will certainly keep everyone posted on his progress and with "luck" next spring will report on his graduation!!!!

apple season

Here it is again.. apple season. As I drive around our little town, I can find these great piles of apple crates waiting to be filled. But, from what I understand, this is not a great year for apples. We had a freak frost in May, just as the apple trees were blooming, and then a dry summer has taken it's toll on the crop. Some of the smaller orchards that do both commercial and private picking, have decided to do commercial only, so "pick your own" isn't always available. Some of the "warmer" types of apples didn't even produce where the "cooler" types fared better.

Monday morning, our church group met at one of the local orchards to pick apples for "our" pies, sauce and pancakes that will be made for "Apple Fest". It was a cool and cloudy morning, but still fun and I managed to get more than enough for the pies and sauce that I wanted to make.

I found the apples to be absolutely beautiful... but certainly not the "tons" of them that I have seen in the past. This orchards has several varieties, but only a few had big bunches like this.

I picked as many "different" kinds as I could. My "trick" for good pies is to use a few different kinds of apples in one pie, as each apple will add it's own flavor. I ended up making five pies this week.. two went to the church for sale, one stayed here and two were given away. I also got a batch of apple sauce made (which Abbie loved)... and the rest of the apples will be stored away until I need them again.
So, I guess I can officially say... fall has begun.