Saturday, December 29, 2012

A shared blog

James and I began a new blog tonight. I'll say no more about it but here's the link.

Roxie at work

Today I videoed Roxie working on her nest.  This is what pigs do when they're getting ready to have babies also.  She's not pregnant.  She's just making her house comfortable for the winter.  My friend, Susan, blogged about animals' senses recently.  I'm wondering if Roxie sensed that snow was coming and that's why she made this nest a few days ago before the snow came.  She's still working on it.  I love watching her at work.

Our donkeys have great senses too.  We've taken Mac on trail rides and he can always find his way back even if the trails are hidden and we don't tell him to turn.  There was a time we didn't see where the turn was but he did.

My friend, Mollie and her family, rescued a baby squirrel over a year ago.  Her name is Lottie.  Mollie's last two blog posts were about Lottie and I think you'll enjoy seeing how smart this squirrel is and how she's become part of their family.  Last year she slept with the Mollie's daughters and if you read through past posts you'll find some other really cute stories about her.

Since this is kind of a random post about animals I might as well add this too.  One of our friends lost his dog yesterday.  Her name was Zoe and she was 19 years old.  Isn't that amazing?  I've never heard of a dog living that long.  That's like 133 years old in humans.
Photo: My sweet southern belle, Zoe,  gave me so much joy and love.  After 19 years, she has moved on to chase squirrels in heaven.
Sweet Zoe


Friday, December 28, 2012


I haven't blogged about my goats lately, have I?  All the girls are dried up so I'm not milking now.  I hate that I had to buy milk last week.  I am, though, enjoying the break for the moment.   We have enough cheese to get us through the winter so that's nice.  I also put some milk in the freezer for soap and lotion.

Yesterday a friend came to visit.  She brought me a gift she "knew" I'd like.  She was very right.  You will see why she was so sure I'd like it.
Today James told me I got some mail from someone in Tennessee.  I couldn't think of who in TN would be sending me something.  Remember the Halloween dress-up contest my Mid-Atlantic Minis Yahoo group had?  Well, Cooper won the funniest goat costume award (even though I don't think this was even a category.  I think the list moderator made it up for his and my sake).  He also won 3rd place overall.  The piece of mail I received was this certificate.
I think I'm going to frame this and hang it in their barn. 

Thursday, December 27, 2012

My pigs don't need me

Our 3 pigs live on about 10 acres of pasture.  There's a lot of grass for them to root up and eat so they don't need the pellet food and slop I give them every day to survive.  They might grow slower but they'd survive.  They also have a self-filling trough so they don't need me to fill water buckets for them either.  There are two 8X8 structures in their field which they use for shelter.  Now that it's turned colder they seem to prefer the one that gets the sun longest.  This used to be a goat house but they've taken it over since the goats moved out.  They would probably be fine without a structure since there's still a lot of tall grass out there but these houses make things much more comfortable for them, especially on cold, windy and wet days. 

Tonight when I went down to visit them I saw how homey Roxie had made things in their house.  Instead of waiting for me to put hay in there for them to sleep in, (which I wasn't planning to do anytime soon since I'm so stingy with hay), she decided to do it herself.  She built a berm of dirt to block the doorway somewhat and then picked lots of grass and made a big nest behind the berm.  It looks very cozy now.  I wonder how long it took her to pull up all this grass to fill at least half the house.   I should have taken a picture but it was so cold and windy and Calvin and Hobbes were pestering me for food and I wanted to get back to our house.  I'm sure they didn't help with the housekeeping.  They're busy little guys but I think their busy-ness is focused on feeding their piggy little faces, not helping their mom.   They're still really cute. 

Smart animals, pigs.  I want to get a video of one of the pigs I sold to a neighbor to show you how a pig can be trained to do tricks.  I won't give it away now.  I'll wait to post the video of her. 


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

The boat project

Remember this?
We got this boat "free" off Craiglist.  It cost us $200.00 to move it to our property where it would sit for another 2 years before we did anything to it.  Last year on my birthday we gutted it.  Again, it sat.  Until today. We've begun constructruction.  "The boat project" is in full swing.  Haha.  We dug 2 holes today and then laid down in the field and watched the birds soar overhead, watching how they flew and wondering if they knew each other.  We didn't want to overdo it.  Our plans are to jack the boat up, build a deck around it with storage underneath to store our kayaks etc.  When the deck is done we plan to finish the inside of the boat to sleep in.

Two holes today and maybe two more next week.  At this rate we'll be sleeping in the boat by the year 2020, that is, if the world doesn't end this Friday.  As we were digging holes James asked me if I'd still be doing this if I knew the world was really going to end this week.   I answered, yes.  Spending time with him working on a project in our field with the river running by and chatting about nothing and everything?  What else would I want to do? 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Ghost in the house

Our house was built in the early 1870s by Colonel Anderson for his daughter as a wedding gift.  She bore a son who became a senator of the state of Washington then in his later life came back to Elk Cliff Farm for his final years.  He died in one of the bedrooms and we're told the door was locked so they had to get to him through the window (this bedroom is upstairs).  There are locks on many of our doors so he had a thing about locks, it appears.  Another family lived here between him and us so it could have been them who put the locks on the doors but I think it was the senator. 

Our house was in pretty rough condition when we bought it so we didn't live in it for 2 years while we got it back in shape.  While I was working here there were several instances where doors were locked when I was sure I didn't lock them.   Once our house was completed and we moved in the locking of doors stopped.  We had been told by the grandson of the woman who owned the house before us that he had seen a ghost here and how the ghost sat at the bottom of one of the beds.  We found all of this amusing and it has never bothered us. 

I had forgotten about the ghost because we haven't had any strange happenings in years.  This past weekend we had some friends stay here and in the morning our friend told us she slept well but a ghost kept closing her door when she left it ajar.  She told us this as if it was no concern to her.  She was sleeping in the room the senator died in.  She said any time she got up during the night she'd leave the door cracked a bit but then later it would be shut tight.   I would understand if it happened the other way - door shut but then got opened - because our dog sometimes pushes doors open during the night.  I found it interesting that this friend didn't find it at all disturbing.  She said he didn't bother her.

No one else who has slept in this room has experienced a ghost since we've owned it.  I wonder what made the senator choose this friend to pay a visit to.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Time away from the farm

I drove to Salisbury, NC Tuesday to have dinner with a group of friends and to deliver 2 goats to their new owner.  The goat move went really well and I had a great time celebrating the holidays with longtime girlfriends.  We've been getting together for at least 15 years, I think.   They get together every month for dinner but this was the first time I joined them this year.   There are 10 of us in the group but 2 couldn't make it Tuesday night.
On my way home I stopped to see my donkey, Willo, at Paco Cavallo Farm.  Alice is Willo's trainer.  She usually trains miniature horses.  I think this is her first mammoth donkey she's trained.  Willo has been there 5 weeks now and is doing really well.  Alice says Willo's smart, and while I was already pretty sure of that, it was good to hear.  Willo has become very attached to Alice and follows her everywhere.  I have to admit I was a bit jealous.  Alice also calls herself Mama to Willo.  Hmmm, I hope she returns her.  Here's one of her exercises.  Alice says Willo likes to show off and sometimes goes and touches the obstacles like she wants to practice.  Her husband, Tom, also said she's really smart and does whatever they ask her to do.  I was proud.  I tried to embed this video but couldn't for some reason.  Here's a link to it.

She's working with her in the saddle, has taught her some ground manners, to lower her head to accept a halter or bridle and this week will work on trailer loading.  I'm hoping she will be able to teach her to pull the cart in the next month so she can return home.  It was good seeing them.  It also gave me ideas for how to train Wilson, my young standard donkey.

Monday, December 10, 2012

I've lost that blogging feeling

I can't seem to get excited about blogging or Christmas.  Something really good needs to happen to snap me out of it.  Yawwwnnn.  It's not going to happen tonight.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Still eating turkey

I think I can say raising turkeys this year was a success, even though we did lose some to predators. 

After butchering on the weekend before Thanksgiving we kept a very large turkey (18-20 lbs?) out for our holiday meal.  A meal for just the 2 of us because Adam was staying in the Outer Banks for Thanksgiving.  On Wednesday some friends invited us to join them in their feast so we wouldn't be alone.  Honestly, I don't think I begged or laid on a sob story.  Did I, Phyllis and Tim?  We had a great time celebrating with 2 other families.  It was much more festive than just the 2 of us at home.  The hosts also have a donkey, goats, chickens, ducks and a garden so we share many interests.  Next we're going to turn them on to pigs.  I don't think it's going to take much coaxing.

We decided to cook up our turkey the day before Thanksgiving, have some that night and then freeze some.  It was delicious.  Of course we cooked up the bones to make soup and we also kept some in the refrigerator to make turkey sandwiches.  

Here it is 8 days post Thanksgiving and we're still eating Turkey.  I think we had several different variations of turkey soup 4 nights in a row and also for lunch.  We had a turkey noodle casserole and turkey pot pie, which we're going to finish up tonight.  I'm not tired of it and James is too polite to tell me he's had enough.  Does everyone do this?  I guess it depends on how much you like turkey and how creative you can be with it.   The turkey pot pie was James' idea.  I was beginning to run out of ideas.  I guess we can still do a turkey stir-fry.

It reminds me of summer when zucchini or green beans are the vegetable-of-the-month.  You find many ways to cook it and eat it fresh for as long as you can. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Mac is a good sport

Our property is surrounded on three sides by water - The James River and Elk Creek.  It doesn't keep dogs home but none of the other animals seem to want to cross the water.  That is, until today.  I put a halter and lead on Mac and walked him down to the creek.  I crossed - he crossed.  He hardly blinked an eye.  We walked over rocks, stepped over logs and still he kept going.  Every now and then I had to coax him but eventually he'd do it.  We walked down to the river.  He seemed very interested in it.  He was even more interested in some of the really green grass growing along the river.   I can't wait till summer to see if I can get him to walk waist deep in it with me on his back.  I was so proud of him. 

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Billy in a bind

This is Cooper cooped up under the chicken coop. 
I knew he was stuck when he didn't come out to eat with the others.  He was shivering a little too but I don't know what that was about.  At 11:00 he was still there so I asked James to help get him out.  He just couldn't get over that 4 inch board so James had to dig the dirt from the front of it to remove the screws so the board could come off. 

Cooper crawled out very easily after that.  We left the board off.  I saw him under there a short while later chasing Tila who is in heat.  He's a doofus.  A sweet but stinky doofus.

Mac, James and I went on our first trail ride on Sunday.  I didn't want to go alone so James went with me.  I rode out and James rode him back.  Mac picked up the pace a lot on the way back so James got a faster ride.  I was pleased with how well he did.  I won't ride in the woods any day but Sunday now because it's hunting season. 

About a month ago Adam took a ride too but not on Mac.

 His ride was also pretty fast.  This picture makes me laugh.  I love the way Adam has his arm out like he's riding a bucking bronco.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

They're gone

The scene of the crime.

The bodies.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

My wine cellar

These are my aging wines at different stages.
That's the equivalent of about 150 bottles of wine. 

The very dark ones are wineberry.  They're about ready to be bottled.  The pinkish ones are beet and strawberry.   The beet wine has a lot of clearing to do yet and will end up as dark as the wineberry when it's done.

Now this bright orange juice looking one is new to me.  It's sweet potato wine.  It's made with sweet potatoes and raisins.  James and I dug up LOTS of sweet potatoes so I thought I should try a new wine.  It's going to take a long time to clear.  Look at the sediment in the bottom of this jug already.
I have high hopes for this wine believe-it-or-not.  When I syphoned it from the primary fermentor to the secondary it actually tasted good.  I read it's best to age this wine at least 6 months but even better to age for a year. 

So far the biggest hit year after year is the beet wine.  Shocking!   It's very earthy and it seems like everyone who tastes it is surpised - in a good way.  The wineberry comes in second. 

A note on that moldy charcoal-added cheese I blogged about recently:  It has aged to taste like blue cheese and I really like it.  Tonight we had grilled cheese and tomato sandwiches using that blue(ish) tasting cheese and it was awesome. 

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Footie Pajamas

This is a pretty cute young family wearing their hoodie footie pajamas.
Don't you think we could be the older folks' ad for footie pjs?
We need to get some pjs like this for Lex.

note to my friend Emily:  You know you love them.  You're going to go out and buy some, aren't you?

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Canned air and gas logs

It seems like every year I struggle to light the gas logs (any gas logs) for the first time after 3 seasons of rest.  I can never get the pilot to stay lit.  Last year someone told me to vacuum everything real well.  It worked.  Last year, that is.  This year I vacuumed and vacuumed to no avail.  The pilot would go out as soon as I released the button.  The flame was blue and yellow also, not just blue as I knew it was supposed to be.  So I went to my good friend, Google, to get help. 

There are forums for just about every topic you can think of and that's where I found the solution to my problem.   The first person suggested I needed a new thermocouple.   I wanted another answer so I read further.  Someone else said, "don't waste your money, try this first".   Aha, the answer I wanted.   Something simple.

About 2 inches behind where the spark comes out there's a small hole.  I sprayed the canned air into this hole.  Voila!  We have fire.  We also had a burner that wasn't working on our gas stove and the canned air fixed it right up too.

Unfortunately the canned air can't help us with another problem we're now having.   We have no water.  Our well pump must have died.  Wouldn't you know it waited to die until Friday after 5 PM.  Nothing ever dies on a weekday, does it?  We're lucky we have another well in the field where the pigs and donkeys are.  We've been filling buckets of water until we're back in service.  If we need showers we can always go to our cabin 4 miles away.  Who needs a shower, right?    I know many people in NJ and NY are without power and this doesn't even compare to what they're going through.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Soft Pretzels

I made these today.
There are only 3 left out of 12 and I don't think they'll be here tomorrow morning.  My friend, Layla, was double fisting them so I think I got her approval.
Here's the recipe I followed. The only changes I made are I used real maple syrup instead of malt syrup.  All the ingredients are in ounces so I used my scale to weigh everything but here are a few conversions for you in case you don't want to weigh or convert by Googling.  I hope they're accurate.  I measured by weight not volume so I don't know if my numbers match the conversions by Googling.
2 oz of butter =  4 Tbl.
11.5 oz water =  not quite 1.5 cups.  A glass measuring cup has the ounces on it.
3/4 oz yeast = 7 1/2 tsp.  I measured it out as 2 Tbl. on my scale so these numbers don't match.
1/2 oz maple syrup.   I used my glass measuring cup for this measurement
22 oz flour = 4.91 cups.  I used bread flour and when I weighed it it was more like 4 3/4 cups.

The recipe tells you to form the pretzels and put them in the freezer.  It doesn't tell you whether to let them rise any first.  I didn't,  but this second batch I'm going to let them rise a little before putting them in the freezer and see if they're puffier when they're done.  I was happy with them the first time but I want to experiment a little.  Here's what they looked like when they came out of the freezer.

In the next picture I have 3 on the right that have been boiled to compare to the frozen ones on the left.

I used coarse sea salt for the topping and it was great.  I baked them about 22 minutes instead of the 15. 


Sunday, October 28, 2012

It took a lot of treats to get these pictures. Happy Halloween a bit early.

I had so much fun dressing animals up for Halloween.  Some like the attention, some are just stoic and take it, others want to eat the costume or run away as if I'm going to attack them with a scary wig.  What I found helped the most was black licorice.  Yup, almost all my animals like black licorice.  You'll notice I have no pictures of James dressed up this year.  That's because he doesn't like black licorice.  There are a few other ways to bribe him but I didn't have time for that before typing this up.  I know what you're thinking and that's not what I mean.  I meant I didn't have time to bake him a chocolate cake.
I hope you enjoy these pictures even half as much as I liked taking them.  I think I took 8 pictures of Roxie and this is the best she and I could do.

Mac was one of the stoic ones I was talking about.  "g'day mate"
I don't know which animal this is but she was a little too eager to get dressed up and have her picture taken.
I think Willo looks beautiful as a blonde, don't you?

Calvin Monroe.

Hobbes wanted a piece of Calvin Monroe.

Poppy heard it was going to be a cold winter. 
I don't know who looked cuter in the hat, Poppy or Calvin.

Of course, I can't leave out sweet Lex.  Keri is too bouncy to dress up.

I saved my favorite for last.  Cooper, my buck, is far from an angel but he loved the attention so I put the wings and wig on.  For those of you who have bucks and know what they're like this time of year, you'll appreciate this video.

Happy Halloween from Elk Cliff Farm.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Goat cheese with activated charcoal

Sounds gross, doesn't it?  I don't make many soft cheeses but  I'm enjoying this new (to me) moldy (moldy on purpose using p. candidum) goat cheese.  I receive a monthly newsletter from New England Cheesemaking Supply Company where I buy many of my supplies.  Each month they highlight at least one cheese and give you a new recipe to try, and I often do.  Here's this month's 

Mine came out looking just like theirs.  It seemed to ripen faster than they said though.  It went from black to grey to white in 4 days.

We ate one of them at 5 days old, one at 8 days and still have one in the refrigerator we'll try around 2 weeks old, I think.  The second one was definitely much dryer and a little stronger flavored.  This week I'm attempting a large sized one.  It may be too big.   It looks like a lopsided black cake.                                                                                                                                      
I'm only getting 3/4 of a gallon of milk a day right now but it seems to be yielding more cheese than usual.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Food Fight

During an election year I have to wonder how much of what people say is based on emotion and what is based on reason.  I'm just as guilty, for sure, of being emotional about statements I and others make.  Today someone wrote on Facebook, "I've been amazed---and, frankly, appalled!---at how many people who take advantage of the food stamps system don't know that food producing plants and seeds can be obtained with food stamps". 

I wrote in response, "I think many people who use food stamps live in cities on a small plot or have no land at all and can't grow their own food. Not all of us can do this. If only they could find a way to barter for local, healthy food. It's not always as easy as you may think. It's important to keep an open mind. I'm extremely lucky to have almost everything I eat grown right here. Not everyone has this luxury, I understand that. Those of us who can afford it should have compassion for those who can't. Maybe they'd learn something from you about healthy eating." 

This person and I do not agree on this apparently.  At times I think I might be a snob about how James and I live and eat.  I hope I don't come across as holier-than-thou.  I know this lifestyle isn't for everyone.  We certainly haven't figured out how to do this on-the-cheap.  I'd like to think (maybe wrongly) that folks who get food stamps, at least a good number of them, truly need it.  Most likely they don't have money or time or opportunity to spend planting, harvesting, feeding animals, etc. 

I don't think there's any reason to be "appalled" that folks don't know their food stamps can be used for seeds and plants.  If that's appalling, then maybe it's appalling that some people have never planted arugula and artichokes. It seems to me only people who garden would even think about using food stamps or dollars for seeds.  For those of us who get angry about this, maybe we should try educating folks on food stamps, arugula and artichokes. Maybe we can all learn something.  Kumbaya........

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Halloween dress rehearsal

My Mid Atlantic Minis Yahoo goat group is having a costume contest for our goats.  Winner gets $35.00.  I doubt anyone participating cares if there's a prize or not.  It's just fun.  We don't get trick-or-treaters here so this is about all the Halloween celebrating I do, dressing up my animals.  For those of you who missed last year's 10/30 post, here's a link
I can't use the same costume as last year so today I began experimenting.  It's not easy to dress up a goat so I thought I'd do a dress rehearsal on one of my most patient and devoted buddies, Lex.  He's an angel, don't you agree?
I think he needs a white robe.  I don't know if I can get a goat to let stand still to put 3 pieces of clothing on it.  We'll see.

I'd really love to dress up one of the pigs too.  They're so darn cute but they rarely stand still unless I'm giving them a good scratch or in Calvin's case, a tummy rub.  Yesterday I was doing work in the field and I was worried the boy goats would get in the way but it was the pigs who were more curious about tools.  My drill was covered in mud from them gnawing on it with their muddy noses and mouths.  They got tired of me after awhile but still wanted to be close and took a nap next to my wagon.  I couldn't resist and snapped a picture with my phone.  They really are pretty affectionate creatures.
Anyone have any ideas for goat costumes?  Or other animals.  Donkeys are also fun to dress up. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012


I know I'm a bit slack on blogging lately so I thought I'd post this cute picture (not mine).
This is not Keri and one of my goats but I wish they were this tight.  Keri has adjusted to living with them fulltime now and that makes life much easier.  She'd still rather be with us.

Breeding season has begun so I've brought all the boys (6) up to the house so I can tell when the girls are in heat.  It's super noisy and active and I can't wait to put the boys back in the field.  They become insane whiny bucks this time of year and I know the neighbors can hear them from at least half a mile away.  I bred 3 girls today and it was weird how a few wanted the one boy they weren't supposed to have.  Isn't that how parents always feel?  I presented them with the guy I thought was good for them and he just didn't turn them on like the other one.  Tough, I'm the boss.  I need the no-eared girls to breed with the no-eared boy and the long-eared girls to breed with the long-eared boy.

I know this may surprise many of you but tomorrow I'm sending Darla and her daughter, Remmy, to live with my friend, Susan.  I really need to scale down before kidding season and it made more sense to say goodbye to my little girls and stick with my giant milkers.  I will cry but I'll get to see them again and I know they'll be in good hands.

Today I had to butcher the first of our turkeys.  We were going to wait till November but this boy has been limping and had a very swollen foot.  I don't know if it got stepped on or what.  Today he was lying around looking pitiful so it was time to put him out of his misery and into our freezer. 

I took Macaroni (donkey) for a 2 mile walk on the road today to see how he'd handle the little traffic we have.  He's been on the road many times before but not here.  He did great.  We walked to visit a friend of mine.  When she let her little barking dog out of the house Mac didn't blink an eye or even twitch.  The only problem we had was Mac wants to walk faster down hills than I want him to.  I want him to get used to walking on the road to the Glenwood Horse Trail which is only a mile and a half away. 

Not much else........

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Some days I feel like a farmer

Today was one of those days I felt like a real farmer.  After morning milking and feeding I went out to the field to give Jaz her meds and noticed the big gate needed attention.  It seems like hanging a farm gate should be easy, right?  I can build a barn but ask me to hang a gate plumb and I fall short.  Maybe I wasn't feeling like such a farmer after that.  I did get it hung though.  Perhaps it was so hard because my buck, Cooper, insisted on helping me by rubbing his stink all over me and licking me.  So now I not only feel like a farmer, I smell like one.  The falling rain seemed to make his cologne even worse.

Rainy days are good for cheese making so I made gruyere cheese till the rain subsided.  I need to be in a certain mood to butcher a chicken and today just happened to be one of those days.  Don't ask what that mood is because I can't describe it.  We have lots of roosters and we need to slim down before winter so I headed out to the yard with a large net in hand.  I just did one and butchering was an easy task.  I cut it up and we had legs and thighs for dinner along with eggplant, squash and potatoes from the garden.  I think Lex was feeling like a farm dog today too because he got goat milk, an egg, whey and a chicken foot.  I hear his tummy grumbling now and I hope I don't have to clean up his farm dog food in another form later on.  Keri never seems bothered by stuff like this.  She eats all kinds of things.  I'm not sure she's so thrilled with store-bought dog food. 

It cleared up to be a lovely evening so I put a halter and lead on Macaroni and took him for a walk around the perimeter of our field.  He was so eager and interested in his surroundings and never questioned where I was taking him.  He walked right down to the creek with no hesitation.  Next we crossed the road so I could show him where I live.  He met the turkeys and a barking Keri through the fence.  He was nonplussed.  We only quit because it got dark.  I can't wait till I can ride him.  Hopefully tomorrow. 

I think I need a bath to wash this farmer feeling off me.

Monday, October 1, 2012

And called him Macaroni

My friend, Mike, emailed me 5 days ago and said he was selling his mammoth donkey, Mack (short for Macaroni), and would I like to give him a home.  Well, Mack is the reason I wanted a mammoth donkey to begin with.  Mack is awesomely gigantic yet gentle as a lamb (are lambs gentle?).  He's Mike's saddle donkey.  I was enchanted by him the first time I met him.  This is one of Mike's pictures I love of Mack with a toddler on him.

 Mike lifted me onto Mack's back within 5 minutes after his arrival.  Wow, it's a long way down.  I'll be using a saddle for sure.  I'm a bit nervous up there. I'm going to have to find ways to get up on him myself.  A stirrup won't do it. 

Introductions went pretty well.  There was a little half-hearted kicking (the donkeys, not me) but for the most part all the donkeys seem fine together unless we're giving attention to Mack.  They all want to be the favorite donkey.  Willo is especially possessive of me, even with her mom and brother.  I've been riding her more lately so she thinks I'm hers.  Here's the initial meeting of the asses.

It's supposed to rain tomorrow but if it doesn't I'm going to take him for a short ride.  I hope:)

Monday, September 24, 2012

Three little pigs

Really it's more like one big pig and 2 little pigs.  We sold all but 2 of the piglets, Calvin and Hobbes.  Calvin is the friendlier of the two but they're both really nice looking pigs, I think.  I've always thought Hobbes was the best looking of all of them but no one bought him.  He's red in the front and back and has a white belt around his middle.  He's also quite husky.

Keri is fascinated with the little guys and they seem equally as infatuated with her, Calvin in particular.  Any time (really, every time) Keri sniffs him he rolls onto his back for her to sniff his tummy.  She never does it long enough for him because she wants him to play.  Sometimes he even has his eyes closed.  It's adorable.  See for yourself.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Photo ops

Remember how our parents made us pose for pictures when we were kids?  We have many slides of me and my two sisters dressed in our Easter finery in front of Mom's flower bed holding our Easter baskets just so.  Three adorable little girls smiling at the camera.  I can almost smell the hyacinths as I type.  This tradition of posing our children while we get just the right shot is passed from generation to generation.  I love the photo of Adam after getting off  the schoolbus on his first day of kindergarten.

The tables turned this weekend.  My parents came to visit.  As my folks watched me sit at my computer (I really know how to entertain) I stumbled upon a person planking on their horse.  Had my dad known what was to come next he might have left a day sooner.  Mom, being the good sport she is (Read: gullable) was all about it.

"Hey Mom, I know it might hurt a little but will you lie across the arms of this chair so I can take your picture?"
She was a real pro.  I feel I need to mention here my mom is 74 years old and had not touched my homemade wine.  I think she may have even fallen asleep like this. 

"How 'bout this, Mom?  Could you lie between these ottomans so I can get another picture for my blog?  Yes, I know it's hard to breathe but stay still and stop laughing."

At this point my dad was shaking his head.  He went to bed before I got him to pose.

We went out to dinner last night and on the way home James and I decided we should get some more planking shots.   Yes, James was in on it too.  It was raining and getting dark so we had to be quick about it.   I'm pretty sure we were making Dad nervous because:
A.  He thought we were going to be arrested.
B.  He was worried we were going to run out of gas and have to walk home in the pouring rain (our gas light was on and James and I weren't concerned.
C.   We might embarrass him.

Unfortunately these pictures are blurry because they were taken with my cell phone and some were taken with headlights shining so we could get the picture.   This is me at the feet of King Kong taken outside the Pink Cadillac restaurant.  You can make your comments below about the handicapped sign beneath me.

Not far away is a road named very appropriately for our outing last night.

How could we NOT take a picture of James planking underneath this sign?

Our final picture for the night (only because it was getting too dark) was taken outside the Natural Bridge Zoo.  Remember, it was raining so my mom had to lie in a puddle beneath this elephant's feet.  And yes, she HAD to.  Actually, she may have volunteered.
Today before ma and pa headed back to Pennsylvania my good ol' dad gave in, even though I put him in a very uncomfortable place.
Thanks, Mom and Dad.  I'm sure one day Adam will get back at me too.