Monday, August 26, 2013

Goats go a visitin'...

My sweet neighbors invited the goats over to eat some of the browse in their pasture that the sheep leave behind.

The doelings hopped right into the back seat, Luna had to have a boost. She is not light! They rode perfectly nicely and excitedly explored their big new pasture. It has log piles, big rocks, poison ivy (a goat delicacy!) and interesting neighbors, (pigs and sheep.)

Of course I had my camera, and my neighbor suggested I might like to photograph his corn... it is 12 feet tall! The sunflowers and corn were both impressive, but what I really liked was Fred's shirt.

I brought some extra goat milk that we had on hand. The pigs had a party!

I'll pick the goats up this afternoon. I hope they do a nice job eating unwanted plants and come home with full bellies and stories to tell!

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Happy News....

My husband has been wanting a "real" dog for years. Ziva, the Black Mouth Cur, joined us a few weeks ago. She has been so good, so smart, so P E R F E C T, that I kept waiting for something bad to happen. It happened when I took her to my good veterinarian for a check up and a rabies shot. They found a serious hear murmur, "4 out of 6" the vet told me. She patted my arm, "I am so sorry." She said it twice and looked very serious. She said I'd probably have to go to a cardiac specialist, and have her on a special diet and medication for life.

Meanwhile I was falling in love. Hard. This dog was so many things that I wanted. Great with the livestock, smart and cuddly (and WARM!) Laid back yet playful. She rides in my truck like dream, shows early protective instinct when around me, and is pretty well behaved at work.She is a sensible girl, and lovely to look at to boot. The vet told me to come back in a few weeks for a cardiac ultrasound.

Meanwhile, any time she did something that large breed puppies normally do, like fall over clumsily when running and playing, I'd get panicky, thinking she was going to keel over, dead. If she slept a lot, I worried. When she was calm and sweet and precious I was sure it was because she was not feeling well and that I'd lose her soon.

Ditto when she played with her best pal, Trixie. What if the exertion was too much for her?

I dropped her off at the vets office last week for testing at 8 AM. Then I spent the next 4 hours fretting and stewing. I missed having her with me, too. Finally I got the call, and I felt myself holding my breath while waiting for the news. I exhaled hugely when I heard Dr. Lee say, "I have good news." He said he could barely hear the murmur; not at all on one side, and only a wee bit on the other side. He had another vet listen, too, and she agreed. The decided not to even do the ultrasound! They want to take another listen in a month. Meanwhile I am enjoying Ziva fully, no longer afraid she is going to drop dead at any moment. Happy news indeed!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Memorable Moments...

I spent last weekend in Chicago at the All American grooming show. I have been many times, it is always wonderful. I had the privilege of working at the German Red Clipper booth, introducing groomers to the clipper and letting them take them for a test drive on a borrowed dog. All the dogs I had were delightful. I got to work with my friend Erich from Germany. He is one of the nicest people I know, and time spent in his company is a treat. He makes friends everywhere he goes. On Friday night I had the good fortune to have supper with Erich and 4 people from the Groomers Mall. I knew them slightly, but know them better now. As much as I hate to leave home, I was infused with joy sitting on a patio in the warm dusk with kind people, good food and wine. I felt to blessed by the opportunity to be there, then, with those folks. It came up in conversation that two of the men at the table have a shared hobby... they make home made wine. I have had home made wine before... thin, bitter stuff that I swallowed with difficulty and lied about liking. My new friend Bill brought be a bottle of his wine to the booth the next day.

At lunch time I joked to Erich that we should uncork that bottle and give it a test. His eyes lit up. He said, "I'll be right back," and took off through the crowd. About 30 minutes later he came back grinning slyly. He had a brown paper bag in hand. He carefully unpacked chunks of fresh,fragrant, crusty bread, little containers of olive oil and Parmesan cheese. I had a bowl of assorted fruit slices someone had brought me. We set all of this up, and uncorked the wine. It was extraordinary! We invited the people in the neighboring booths to join us, and we had a delightful little "picnic." There were plastic cups and double dipping and laughter. It is things like this that glow like bright embers in my memory. Sweet, serendipitous moments that taste like good wine and crusty bread. Life is SO good.

Monday, August 12, 2013

Maine Summer Weekend...

Sister Deb came to visit, so there was fun and frivolity. And lobster ($6. for a 1.5 lb. lobster.) And clams steamed in shallots, bacon, wine, parsley and cream. Oh my!

There was sunshine and perfect weather and scenery that makes one say "wow."

Bonus! There was an antique fair in the next town. We didn't see nearly all of it, but we both brought some of it home!

We shopped and I found "the" outfit to wear to my nieces upcoming wedding, right down to the shoes. I found a gift for the happy couple, too, one that I think will be memorable.

After my sister headed south I ran a few errands and then took the Ziva puppy to my friends house so she could play with their dogs and romp in the woods and river. She had a blast!

It was an excellent summer weekend.

Friday, August 2, 2013


A kind and generous friend shared some of the bounty of her garden with me. Lilly's, a few shrubs and more. I piled them in my rescued wheel barrow until they could be planted. They were wilted and sad looking.

Of course I gave them a drink from the hose, but they did not seem encouraged.
Then last night it rained. A lot. And it rained more today. When I came home I noticed that those poor, uprooted plants had bravely bloomed. Lovely, large, bright blossoms. Despite being dug up from where they were comfortable and secure, despite being left in a rusted barrow, a little rain gave them hope and they not only perked up but produced beautiful flowers.

This made me think... wouldn't it be nice if people could respond like that? Facing huge adversity, imagine if we seized on some slight hope and sent forth beauty.