Monday, June 27, 2011

it's berry time.....

We have been anxiously awaiting the "arrival" of berry season!!! I finished up the last of my berries about a month ago, and they sure were tasty. It was so nice, all winter, to have berries on hand.... several times I pulled them out of the freezer for desserts or warm winter breakfast. I still have some blueberries left, though, we will certainly go and pick when they are ready... but having both on hand... a blessing.

Abbie (obviously) is much bigger this year than last. Last year, she was just crawling but it didn't take her too long to figure out "how to get those berries in her mouth". This year, she was into picking them... and we had to show her which ones to pick and remind her not to step on any of the plants. She did quite well, and really put more berries into the basket than take them out.

It was a cool and cloudy day.. it had actually been raining most of the morning, but we decided to try picking just the same. The patch was quite busy, so I suspect more folks would want to pick in the "rain" than the sun. After picking for a while, Abbie discovered that running up and down the rows was quite fun. Because it was so easy to keep an eye on her, we just let her go... which she thought was the absolute best!!!!

Course, a few berries always has to go into the mouth.... they are so good and sweet...

Almost the moment she was back in the truck... this is what we found. Busy day for such a little gal.... and wonderful "treats" heading to the freezer for the long winter days.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

service dogs- diving dogs-pony ride

(don't know why the spacing is so bad with this story... just keep scrolling down to read)

Sunday found us at Cabela's for a PR event with NEADS. The usual "gang" was there, as well as many people and dogs....

Ginger and Leo are always happy to see each other and spend time together......

And "Otis, it's all about the RED cape... isn't that right Joe".....

Abbie explains all about puppy raising to Rick and Otis, afterall she is on her second puppy, and this is just Rick's first....

What brought us all together was the dock dog diving event. This new sport is becoming a big hit across the county. In fact, I saw a number of dogs there that I knew personally.... this is Hydro... he belongs to our friend Wayne (and yes Hydro also does flyball, so perhaps you have seen him before)... it would seem that Hydro is waiting patiently for his turn, but close up, he was all a quiver!!!!

The idea.... ask your dog to run and jump off the dock and see just how far he can go before he hits the water....

Any kind of dog can do it.. this beautiful white shepherd belongs to my friend Shirley. You can see that the diving pool is measured and each dog jumps earning points towards their titles. There were a lot of dogs diving that day... I keep telling Kas and Nate they should enter their Charlie dog... he loves to jump off the dock at camp....

After our day of doggies, we headed home to the farm. Abbie got some new barn boots and she couldn't wait to try them out. What simple joy... new boots and big mud puddle... reminds me that sometimes just the "simple" things can be the most fun.

It's been way too long since the big guys were harnessed... time just gets by me. So, with such a beautiful evening, we decided to hitch Tonka and give him a try. He went perfectly... now if I can only make time to do more of this.....

We thought it would be fun to let Abbie have a try on Kringle. So, we got him saddled and put Abbie on. As I pretty much figured, she thought it was great!!!!

"Mom... I don't need to hold on.... see????"

He was very sweet and good with her, and she wasn't one bit afraid... maybe we do have a future horseman!!!

Doggies, ponies and grandbaby... is there a day better than that.....

(Abbie loves "flying baby" with Papa)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

a pony party...

Mocha and Kringle had another "engagement".. a few weeks ago, they went to pre-school, but this was a party. My little niece turned five a few days ago, and my sister asked if we could bring the "ponies" to her birthday party. Since they are both so good with small kids, I thought it would be fun to go.

The "theme" of the party was carnival.. and before we got there, a clown had come for a visit, and there had been games and food for the kids. When we first arrived, we had the kids groom the ponies and just have the chance to be around them. Now a days, kids don't have the opportunity to be around horses much, so I just wanted to be sure that everyone felt comfortable with them.

After that - with the help from my other niece - Sadie and Kringle gave pony rides. In keeping with "good horse sense" we did ask the kids to wear a helmet and shoes.... but Kringle was very gentle and gave everyone a nice little ride....

I think some of the adults sort of wished they could have had a little ride themselves.....

Afterwards, it was time for cake... a few gifts.. and a very happy birthday to a dear little girl... who is now...


it's called "Willowbrook"

Not too far from the farm is a museum called "Willowbrook Village". Basically, it is one man's collection of "old things".. and over the years, it has grown into a wonderful collection of items. Sadly, because it's "off the beaten" path, many people - including local folks - don't know it's there, or just never think of going. But that really is sad, because there is much to see and they have great events that go on all the time.

A few weeks ago, we were invited to an "open house/membership drive" at Willowbrook. At first we hadn't planned on going, but when "bad" weather changed our plans, we decided to head over and see what it was all about. I have been to Willowbrook, but it was a long time ago, and I was surprised to see it again.

It holds a lot of historic information from the area and many items that are native. I loved seeing old photos... for example this one...

There wasn't any "snow plows".. all the roads were "rolled".... so the sleighs could be used...

Here's the "roller". Can you imagine going out with a team and running over the roads with this???

There is a grand collections of buggies and sleighs... in fact, they had to build a special building just for them.

I really enjoyed seeing them.....

This is the Fire Chief's wagon... I said to Ed, I could just see him hitching one of the drafts and pulling up to the fire scene with this!!!!!

but, I think they're greatest piece is the carousel !!!
It was built at the turn of the century (the last century that is) and was actually considered "portable". It was taken to the local fairs and set up much like the rides are today. It ran on a steam engine and goes 6 miles an hour... which is pretty fast!!!!

The horses rock back and forth on their own (due to the speed)... and they are beautiful. There are 24 of them.. they all have horse hair tails.. glass eyes and no two are alike. the carousel was donated by the family that owned it (and had taken it places...) when it came to Willowbrook, it was "all there" but in pretty bad shape, and took them several years to restore. Now, they offer rides once a month.. and I want to be sure I get back there sometime this summer to take that ride.

They have a picture of the carsol at a local fair. I think the date was 1911.... it was pretty neat to see.

The round Shaker style barn houses the carousel. There is much to see, including a nice sandwich shoppe.. so if you have the liking... head over to Willowbrook..

their website address is

take a peek.

pulling planes and Father's day

See this really BIG plane?? It's called a PBY... and it weighs... alot!!!

See this merry band of firefighters... well, they seem to think they can pull this plane!!!

And actually... they did, along with a few other "teams"... it was the third annual "Pull for teens" fund raiser. The jest of it is.. a team of 8 pulls the plane twelve feet.. and the team that pulls it in the quickest time... wins!!!!

Last year our group placed first and also won the "most sportmenship award"....

This year, they took a very honorable second place.. and again, was awarded "most sportmenship".... congrats you guys.....

The plane pull was just a small part of the day, there was also an antique car show, and a "fly in" .. it was a great place to bring Ginger along for some "social skills" aside from being around lots of planes, and people... she also got to ride on her first trolley. Of course she was wonderful, and had the grandest time.

Sadie got to experience a rare treat.... a pilot of a small plane was offering rides. Sadie had never flown in a small plane before, so she was excited to go and give it a try. Once they were up the pilot asked her "where" she wanted to go... she said to the ocean (though later I said too bad she didn't ask to fly over the farm.....) but she got some really nice pictures and had a good time. (I didn't go.. though now I sort of wished I had....)

After the plane pull, we popped in to visit with my Dad and Mom (it was Father's Day as well) and then we all went onto Kas and Nate's for a cookout. Ed and Dave got to spend some time together, and being "spoiled" by their kids!!!!

Abbie spent the better part of the day with her Dad, and joined with us later... she had more fun playing "baby in the box!"

It was a fun day... pulling plane, flying plane, family - gifts, and playing... how does it get better than that???

hay we go again!!!!

With the threat of rain on the way, Father took advantage of a few good days and finished up one of the hay fields that he cuts. This is the field that we like to get the hay out of, so he knows that we'll be ready when he calls us. It was a "perfect" day for haying... hot, with a slight breeze.. but it's hard for me to rush and try to help when I have dog classes to teach.

I always feel bad leaving all that work up to Ed. Fortunately, a number of the firefighters are glad to give him a hand.. but I like to be there and help as well.

Abbie "better" enjoy these days... it won't be too long before we'll have her on the back of a hay wagon!!!!

After this load, we'll be all set for the winter. We actually got more than I really wanted, but Father wanted this out of the field before the weather, and offered it to us. I was hoping to get 700... we ended up with 855!!!!

Hay in the loft is like money in the bank, as far as I'm concerned.. and if the winter is "typical"... then there is a good chance we will have hay to sell next spring.

Abbie loves all the activity around the farm.. riding in the "gator" is one of her favorite things..... "ride!!!" she tells us....

Now, driving.... ugh.. that will happen before we know it!!!!