Monday, September 30, 2013

Much to do...

Fall is such a busy time. I have a daunting list of projects, small and large. One small one was to fix the long broken latch on the deck gate. This is the main entrance to our home, and there is fence on the deck to keep the dogs safely in our yard. The latch broke ages ago, and we never missed it, so left it alone.

But now we have Ziva, who is large enough to do things that Flirt the toy poodle and Poppy the antique pug cannot. And she has a cunning brain to go with her brawn. Can't you just look at this face and see the intelligence that resides within? It took her no time at all to learn that if she stood up and rested her front legs on the gate, then backed up, the gate would open. She has not taken advantage of this to run amok, but it seems that she certainly could so Chris kindly replaced the missing parts of the latch yesterday. Now I have to train myself to use it!
Much larger projects will be to clean the basement and then load all this wood into, then stack it. The basement is not a lovely place to be... it is old and damp and dark and prone to massive spider populations. I am not looking forward to the work of moving the logs, but it will feel so nice to go into the cold season knowing we have a gracious plenty of good firewood. Then we need to put the kayaks away in the garage attic. Maybe I can take one more good paddle before that happens.
Gardens need to put to bed, and a winter shelter for the ducks prepared. We need to decide if our plan to enlarge the run-in shed will happen this year, and put up a wind break either way. For today, though, there is an article to write and submit, and the chicken coop needs a good cleaning. In the next blog I'll tell you about the new happenings in the hen house!~


It is hard for me to leave this place, because there is just so much here that brings me joy.

I decorate with the harvest, and then cook from the decorations!

Fall mornings are crisp and dewy. There are spider webs everywhere, and milkweed pods are sending forth their feathery seeds. Sometimes the two meet.

The doelings are big... I am guessing they weigh 60-70 pounds now. They are very friendly and want to snuggle. After morning chores Ziva and I walk around the pasture. The goats and horse walk with us.

With puppy energy, there is a lot of bouncing...

The ducks often waddle along with us, too. The male has a whimsical little curly tail feather.

Sweet Luna goat got very thin and scruffy looking after giving birth. She is finally gaining weight and her coat is pretty again. She is giving us a GALLON of milk a day... that is a LOT of milk. I love this girl, and am so glad she is mine.

She seems to enjoy life... here she is greeting the rising sun.
I love to spend time with the flora and fauna here at Fair Winds. They make my spirit sing.

Playing catch up...

I had no idea how much I used the keys "g", "h" backspace and '. My beloved computer is still not right, but I have a temporary keyboard I can use until it is fixed, so I will write a long post now to catch up on things that have been happening in the past few weeks.

On September 12th I spent a lovely day with my family and other folks decorating a beautiful old barn in preparation for the wedding of my niece, Aimee, and her beloved, Tim. It was a hot day and we worked hard, but we created a lovely place for a celebration with a lot of love and laughter. Aimee had painstakingly made all the hanging decorations, table clothes and napkins, creating a magical, homespun atmosphere.

I was invited to officiate the ceremony... a wild honor! When I saw my Aimee walking down the isle, tears in her eyes, I was afraid I would be rendered speechless, but I think I pulled the ceremony off ok. I heard some laughter, and I saw more than one person wipe a tear.

It was a wonderful celebration, with great music, a bonfire, good food and terrific people. I danced and laughed and am cherishing the memory of such a special event.

After just a few hours of restless sleep at my sisters house I got up and left to drive back to Maine in the wee, dark pre-dawn hours.Before getting in the car I noticed there was a phone message from my sister in law in Mississippi, telling me the tragic news that our 19 year old nephew had died.I spend the next two hours alone in my truck, thinking about the sadness that this young soul would never see another sunrise, never take a plane ride to somewhere he had never been, never do all the things I'd hoped he'd do when I was there at his birth so few years ago. In my memory I could clearly see him in his Halloween costume going trick or treating with my little girl, and making ginger bread houses in front of the fireplace in our Memphis house. I could almost hear his giggle. But my life was set in motion and my grieving had to be done on the fly. It still hits me in waves.
By breakfast time I flew out of Portland to Toronto, Canada, where I met my friends Remy, Josee and Faty. There was a large trade show there and I helped work in their booth selling grooming tools and also gave 3 lectures. It was a fun weekend. I arrived home in the pre-dawn hours Tuesday and after a few hours of sleep went to work. Thursday found me back on the road to the airport (a little over a 2 hour drive) and I flew to Pennsylvania where I attended another trade show, Groom Expo. While there I worked in the German Red Clipper booth, visited with lots of friends, and attended the 2013 Barkleigh Awards ceremony. It was a lovely event, made lovelier still when I was awarded the Writer of the Year medallion!

Home again after hours of travel I am now off the road for any such trips for a long time, and I am glad. There is much to tend to here on the little farm to get ready for fall. And that will be in a future blog!

Monday, September 23, 2013


My computer will not type "g" or "h". It will not backspace. It is prone to spasms. Please be patient until it is fixed, them I will fill you in on weddings, tragedies, trips, awards and more.

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Seasons change...

I am not through with summer, but there are signs that it is through with me.

A few bright leaves are showing up on the lawn, glowing like jewels on the emerald grass.

The marigolds echo the colors of the autumn leaves, warm and bright. We've had a few chilly nights, where we pull the quilt up high and are glad to have it.

Every fall I scour the countryside looking for white pumpkins to decorate with. I love to pair them with other autumn decorations. Something about a moon colored pumpkin makes me happy. This spring Chris kindly started some seeds on the porch, and when the danger of frost had passed he tenderly placed the seedlings in the garden. Today we took a peek and there under the huge, spreading leaves were several lovely white pumpkins, bright and round under the tangle of vines. I can hardly wait to harvest them.

The apples on our tree are ripe and ready to be turned into pie or crisp or rosy apple sauce. I toss some to the chickens and rabbit, and they devour them happily.

These are all signs of summer winding to a close, too soon!