Sunday, October 30, 2016

And then my eyes leaked a little...

My sweet husband is a Navy veteran. He sometimes wears a ball cap with the name of the ship he served on. Rarely has anyone ever commented on his hat in my presence in the 32 years that  we have been married.  Until this past year.  Many times this year, people will glance at him and say, "Thank you for your service."  It gets me. Every. Single. Time. My dad was in the Army in WWII, my maternal grandfather a medic in WWI. Many family members and friends have served. I am forever grateful for their selflessness.

Today we popped into a store, and on the way out there was a veteran gathering donations for Toys for Tots.  My sweetie gave a cash donation and chatted with the man a moment.  As he turned to leave the man said, "You are a veteran, right?"  My husband said, "Oh  yes."  The man reached into his pocket and handed him something.

"What did he give you?" I asked, as we walked away. He reached in his pocked and handed me a scrap of fabric wrapped in a little plastic bag.

A white star, stitched on blue. There was a piece of paper behind it. I turned it over, curious.  It read, "I am part of our American Flag. I have been flown somewhere over this country.  I can no longer fly. The sun & winds have caused me to become tattered and torn. Please, carry me as a reminder you are not FORGOTTEN."

Today was a total waste of mascara.

Saturday, October 29, 2016


I have a real appreciation for good tools.  Mostly I like tools that are useful for multiple purposes.  For instance, my cast iron skillet. I can cook bacon and eggs, or pancakes, pineapple upside down cake, corn bread or even a bubbling casserole in it.  I use it almost every day.  But then there are odd, quirky tools that I could live without, and only use for one specific task, but am still glad to have.

This is one of those tools.  Most of the year it can be found, lonely and unloved, tucked way in the back of the bottom pantry shelf.  But during the fall it sees more frequent use.  It was a gift from sister Deb, who assured me I would adore it. She was right.

This whiz bang tool not only peels apples, but cores and slices them. It's fun to use, too.  Jab an apple onto the 4 sharp prongs, then simply twist the handle.
The fruit is forced through a disk which removes the core, while a little blade creates a long ribbon of peel. I think sheer magic is responsible for the perfect slices. In mere seconds the apple is ready to debut in a pie or crisp or crumble.

The chickens and rabbits will enjoy the peels and cores.  We will enjoy the fruits of the terrifically fun labor.

I could peel and slice and core with a simple knife, of course. But it would take much longer and wouldn't be nearly as delightful.  Good tools, I love 'em.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Knitting niece...

My niece is a wizard with knitting needles.
She makes the most delightful things... these whimsical pumpkins, for instance. Lovely trinkets that make me smile.
We were tickled to have her visit this past weekend.  She loves all our animals, and they all love her.

See that tiny bunny in her hands?  She climbed right into the rabbit hutch and snuggled babies.

Bravo was so tired from the visit he curled his 45 pound body up into the bed meant for much, MUCH smaller dogs.  And looked cute doing it.

The weather was chilly, windy and Novemberish.  But the colors were still grand. 

  Rachel, niece and I spent some very happy hours exploring antique stores, a joy we all appreciate.  I found a few treasures... a white metal bread box, some fabulous ironstone soap dishes, a plate with Lady Slipper flowers. Nothing to break the bank, but fun trinkets to remember the day.

I love it when family comes to visit us here at FairWinds. They stitch vibrant strands of color into the tapestry of our lives.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Change of pace...

Most of my time is spent at home, and that is fine by me.  But sometimes it is nice to do something a little different.  Last week, while scrolling through the local high school's continuing education schedule, an interesting class caught my eye. It was a one night session, teaching participants how to make a simple wreath using burlap.  I thought an hour away from home doing something crafty sounded like a nice diversion.  Rachel hopped right on it and signed me up.

The class was quite full, with two ladies driving over an hour and a half to attend.   The teacher was  young and kind.

She had brought an array of materials for us to work with.
Using a metal wreath frame, a roll of burlap and some string to anchor it to the frame, we learned to fold and tuck and tie the fabric. In no time at all I had created a happy decoration for our door.

A little change of pace is a nice way to spice things up a bit.  Next month?  Sewing class!

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Brushes with nature...

One morning last week,after I had spent an hour outside taking care of the animals, I came in for just a moment.  When I opened the door to go back outside there was a fox just a few feet from my door.  It stared at me, then pivoted, and sprinted across the driveway, a red flash.  It even left a calling card of fox poo on the driveway.  With all the poultry I have in my pasture, that little red fox caused me some anxiety.

Then there was this.  For the past week I have noticed an odd smell around the area where the hay is stored.  It was an animal smell, musky and unfamiliar.  I had begun to wonder if I might have company there in the garage. And then Friday morning I went out to find that something had gotten into the trash, dragging full bags a distance and making a huge mess.  The plot thickened. 

This morning, as I was milking Ella goat, all was quiet. The milk hissed against the pail, and Ella crunched her breakfast grain, but everything else was quiet.  Then I heard a rustling behind me.  A little tickle of anticipation ran down my neck. I turned my head very, very slowly. And I was right, I had company. Company that walked right up to me, and sniffed my leg. Then it turned and shuffled away, ducking under the hay. 

There is a skunk. Living in my garage, warm and cozy under the wall of hay. 
We have set up a live trap (using marshmallows and bacon for bait! Apparently skunks like meat and sweets) and hope to catch and relocate the little thing, far, far away.  Nature, up close and personal, right here at FairWinds. 

(Note: these photos are taken from the web, not my own.) 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

October Saturday...

This caught my eye when I was doing chores this morning, and stopped me in my tracks.
The morning was shrouded in mist and dewy webs were everywhere.

Bravo and I went to puppy class, and had a fun time.  Afterwards Chris and I ran some errands, took birthday flowers to a friend, and had an excellent lunch out at Home Kitchen.  Lobster taco's... amazing.

We ended the day at Beth's farm stand, one of our favorite spots.  Not only do we love to buy food there, we just love to LOOK at the place. Everything is so beautifully arranged, fresh, bright and colorful. A feast for the eyes.

Yesterday we moved the rabbit family to a roomy new home.
The wee little bunnies are three weeks old now and had left their nest, and this gives them more room to move about.  Now that they are out and about I see that there are 10 of them.  Several in shades of gray, the rest white. All incredibly adorable.  I am smitten.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Embracing ordinary...

My daughter often tells me things that make me think.  Today she told me about an article that she read which stated that people reading their friends and families social media posts may become depressed.  The article said that people tend to only post fabulous or horrible things on their social media. For example, they might post photos of their expensive, shiny new car OR write about how their transmission fell out while they were driving along.  Few post anything in between extremes. And reading about our peers highest highs can make us feel envy, while reading about their lowest lows can make us dip into despair.

I can see that this is true from my own experience on social media.  I never post about a very nice cup of tea I enjoyed, but I might post a photo of a fancy drink I had on an evening out.  I might share if my dog has explosive diarrhea all over the house, but not about the sweet snuggle he gave me.  All this posting of extremes can be misleading.

So here are some exceptionally average things that happened to me today.  I tried to make an omelette for Chris and failed. He ended up with scrambled eggs instead. I started work early to help out a customer so didn't have time to do dishes, and my kitchen was messy all day.
I had a nice smoothie for breakfast.  It was tasty, healthy and filling.
There were good dogs to groom all day. The phone rang with people wanting to make appointments. My friend popped over to visit unexpectedly.  My neighbor brought me 4 beautiful free pumpkins.
Another friend came by with her dog, and that dog and Bravo had a marvelous time running in the pasture. The quiche I made for supper turned out well, and Rachel baked a tasty squash.

Abraham, Bravo, Rachel and I went for a walk. A perfectly ordinary walk. The day was fair, and there were splashes of autumn leaves along the way.  We didn't go very far, but it was pleasant.

It was an ordinary day.  And I embraced it.  I guess that is key, really, embracing the ordinary.  From omelette disasters and messy kitchens to good meals and walks and pumpkins.  It's the inbetween stuff we should focus on.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Donkey antics...

Abraham lives to be with people. I took him for a walk on Friday, and he was just so happy!
Those long, fuzzy ears are an excellent barometer of his mood.  Pricked forward means he is happy and excited.

The sun was low in the sky, and made our legs look very long.  We found an apple tree and he helped himself to several juicy treats.

Donkey's dislike being wet, but LOVE to roll in dusty spots.  He found a patch where there was a good bit of road sand and down he went...
then rolled happily.

 After our walk we shared a tender moment.  This guy really likes kisses.

In the late afternoon he gets a little naughty... chasing chickens, getting pushy with the goats and horse.  But most of the time he is a sweet boy.  And he sure is fun to take for a walk.