Friday, February 27, 2009

My Bed

Since Bill and I moved down here into the basement (to give Savanna her own room) I have been wanting new bedding (along with some other things) See my "new" bed?! I can't wait to get into it! We are somewhat shopping for a frame- as we are just on a metal one now, but since we don't have a lot to spend- I'm not sure the bed is coming anytime soon. That isn't going to stop me though! Amid a zillion errands yesterday, I was finally able to go pick out some stuff for our "new" room. I got a new blanket, quilt, mattress pad, throw and pillows... and my sister gave me a bed skirt... It's not really a new bed, but new stuff sure is nice! I have been very busy and have so much to do in the next 2 days it makes my head spin. But, thinking about my nice new bed- with my clean sheets and yummy new blankets makes me so happy! Now, if I could just get some of this done so I could go to sleep...

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Beau's New Shoes

While we were at the clinic yesterday, Dr. Davis said (a number of times) how great Beaus feet looked- both in terms of hoof quality and of angle and balance. We were able to see on x-ray that the angles for Beaus feet were all spot on! I know it must have felt good to hear what a nice job he had done and I know it was also very helpful for Bill to see the foot from the inside to know what he was up against. Because the first recommendation for treatment was to manage the pain mechanically, we needed to get shoes on Beau ASAP! Bill was able to squeeze him into his afternoon today! Yipee. I was so glad he was able to come home and get him done since tomorrow is extra busy with the clients he moved from yesterday and I didn't want to wait until Thursday.
He was a very good boy- I was afraid after being poked and prodded so much yesterday that he wasn't going to want his feet touched at all- but he was great! He got a steel shoe (Bill was out of aluminum in his size) with a full 3 degree wedge pad and impression material underneath. He also got borium for traction since it is quite slippery out there! His angles after shoeing were 57 L and R. We will continue to monitor him closely as he adjusts to his "high heels!" In addition to the shoeing Dr. Davis wanted him on bute and Beau was not too happy about that last night- even though I was using his Auntie Cindi's yummy apple flavored power. He left all the crumbs at the bottom of his bucket- they want him to have 2gr each night for 3 days and then back off to 1gr as we go back into work so I guess Ill have to figure out how to get it into his another way if he picks again tonight!

While we were waiting for Daddy to shape his shoes Beau had a haircut- his mane wasn't too bad but it was starting to get long. I trimmed it a bit short, but by Spring when we will be out and about more, I think it will be perfect! So, now the new shoes are on and we wait for improvement (we will have to truck into the indoor to test ride next week) but I am hopeful. And grateful for my honey who is not only the BEST partner around, but also the BEST farrier too!

Monday, February 23, 2009

Lameness Evaluation Update

I read a lot of blogs- I like to lurk around and follow what others in the horse/stamping worlds are doing...very often I will see some sort of reference to "the best husband in the world." Well, I certainly have THE best honey around! Last night as the snow really began to fly and it became obvious that we were in for a lot more than they had anticipated Bill called his morning clients to reschedule... he knew it was going to be a chore to get the driveway cleared and my friend who had offered to go to Beau's appointment with me had something come up- with no clients he could go with me to the Clinic. It took from the time he got up today right up until the time we pulled out of the driveway to get a passable, plowed-out route. He plowed and shoveled and trimmed downed trees and limbs, he shoveled the roof of the trailer clear and never once made it back into the house! As hard as we were working, I was pretty hopeless for quite a while there...I wasn't sure we were going to be able to get the trailer out or get Beau from the barn to the trailer or make it clear up the drive or over to the Clinic. But, with Bill toiling all morning, we made the 11am appointment right on time- I am so thankful he was here to help me; otherwise there was no way I could have gotten there today! Since it was a snow day we gave the kids the option and they all chose to go with Auntie. They were excited to spend some time with her- and I was happy to be able to focus just on the pony boy and not have to worry about the children running around.

Beau was very good about hoofing it through the snow and as always loaded/hauled like a champ! He called a few times when we first arrived- but settled into his holding stall just fine. After we had given his history and he had a basic evaluation they walked and trotted him on the pavement and then lunged him both directions. Dr. Davis noted little lameness to the Left and slight (1-1.5) to the right. As I said- this was slight, but it WAS there! In order to eliminate/diagnose heel pain we opted to do a nerve block on the RF. He wasn't too sure he liked being poked in his feet- he didn't want to keep the foot on the ground and after the block he really didn't want the other vet testing for pain! They ended up having to do a bit more med in the inside of the heel and used a twitch to try to keep him occupied and his feet on the ground. He certainly didn't like that and it made me sad to watch him try to figure it all out. He is such a good boy, and he was very unhappy when his little lip got pinched. But he did settle and they got the meds where they needed them to be and we were off for another jog. On the lunge this time the right was much better (indicating that it was pain in the heel causing the problem) but now there was lameness evident on the LF (also 1-1.5) so... bilateral heel pain = navicular. With that question answered we were off to x-ray.

They did 4 views of each of his front feet. As suspected, there was change in the navicular region on both limbs...mild to moderate with a cyctic change on the right front navicular bone noted. So- diagnosis: "bilateral forelimb navicular syndrome, right worse than left." The good news?! Being that the lameness is mild (1-1.5 out of 10) corrective shoeing is the first therapy to consider. They gave Bill a long list of shoeing recommendations and we should see results with that alone (a wedge with eggbars and equi-pack under a full pad) I'm happy- we were on the right track all along. Going just off of gut, Bill had him in the wedge this fall. However we were not sure it was helping so didn't keep him in it because we didn't want to cause more damage if it was the knee. Now we know for sure that it was heel pain, and we can go back to treating it with shoes/wedge/pads which was Bills original plan way back in the fall!

If we can not get to a happy place with shoeing alone, there are other therapies to consider. One that will target the cyst directly (its a pricey med they import from France) and gives great relief when it works- but doesn't work for all horses also injections into the coffin joint and the navicular bursa itself. But, as Dr. Davis recommends, we ought to see if we can manage it mechanically first. I am glad to know that with proper management this really should not affect Beau too greatly. Navicular is something we can work with...and since we are beginning to treat him now, we will have these other options for later down the road if/when corrective shoes no longer help him move pain free.

I am glad to know the root cause of Beau's discomfort, and was happy to have the professional opinion of whats going on and what we should do. We have a great baseline to go on now- and can monitor his progress/decline from here. I have my fingers and toes crossed for soundness with shoeing...and I'm happy I don't have to pay for these suckers- its going to be heavy hardware every 6 weeks! Beau's gonna owe Daddy big time! And me- I owe him too!

Its gonna' be a long day....

I woke up to this today. Id guess about 16" of new snow. Actually, I woke up to the "Oh Sh*t" feeling... The alarm didn't go off and I knew it had to be past wake up time. Yup, one check of the cell told me it was 6:10. Olivia has to be out at the bus by 6:18 or she misses it. CRAP! I flew upstairs to get her going then back down to flick on the TV to see if there was even school- we live in York County- they were in the Androscogin County I came down and booted up my computer and got the news that there is no school today. Great. By now all 3 kids are up- and the snow is piled up to the casing in my "front" door (in my defense- I didn't paint it! We almost never use this door- it open up into the yard and we always come in/out via the sliders that point towards the barn or up the deck into the kitchen) We have a metal roof and the snow slides right off- it is good in that we don't get ice jams, but bad for the bank it creates along the foundation. Last year it made it a bit higher up- and a few years ago the door was completely covered...but its certainly a high for this season! I bet it will take Bill all of the 3 hours we have until we leave for NEEC to get the drive clear- he plows with the tractor, and it takes a touch longer than the conventional way. He thought about buying a plow this summer- but spoiled that I am, I got the new trailer instead! I'm stressed that we wont make it out the drive in the rig, but I'm not going to worry too hard- there really isn't much I can do. Either we will get there, or we wont.
After I slogged out to feed and check that everyone made it thru the night, I came in to make coffee and rouse Bill to start plowing. But alas, no go on the coffee. My beloved machine wont turn on. I tried 4 outlets, and nope- nada. After much whining and a few moments back in bed- I dug out an older pot I still had in the pantry and got my java fix. WHAAA! I love that machine- Its a great one with an internal carafe- you make a full pot then it dispenses from the front a cup at a time- the coffee is always hot and doesn't get overcooked as it sits. sigh. On that note- the kids' Wii wont turn on either. Bill supposes we must have had a power surge and a few things got fried. The Tv and my computer are fine so far; toaster too. The loss of the coffee pot and the Wii are a big blow. I guess Ill have to dig out the Wii warranty, I have sad kids, and its going to be a long day!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Little Anna

This is Anna and Anna is so very special to me- she belongs to Bill's parents and is Poke's eyes. Poke is my 28ish year old Appy, he has a long history much of which I don't even know. I have owned him almost 15 years now, he was my first real horse and is a forever pony. He taught me a lot and is very special to me... When I moved to North Berwick, Poke actually came first. I needed to be sure he had a place, before I was sure I was going to make the move. When we came, it was pretty much the end of the line as far as our riding career was concerned, he has more than earned his retirement!
Anna is his "girlfriend" and constant companion- I am so lucky she is here! Two summers ago Poke had an ulcerated cornea in his left eye... we treated it and were able to get it cleared up with minimal sight loss! Fhewww. Then, this summer he got kicked (I suppose his eyes are sensitive and he must have had his head too far up her butt and she kicked him) over the orbit... again a major blow. And, while we were able to save the eye itself (which was a miracle- it swelled SOOOO big!!) he lost most of the sight there. Sigh. When all of this was said and done and we were addressing his vision the vet checked his right eye and, guess what?! He has major loss in that eye and we didn't even know about it. So, basically that leaves him pretty much blind. She suggests that he sees shadows and movement in the left and not much at all in the right. That's where Anna comes in... this little mare is a blessing to me! She is so tolerant of him; he has always been a paddock bully. As far as he is concerned he is still a BIG guy in his little spotted suit- and wont let on that he is a little slower than he used to be! She lets him "boss" her- and herd her away from the other geldings at the fence line; but also leads him up to the pasture and shows him his hay down here. She helps him, I'm sure, more than I'll ever know. She is his eyes- and for that I am grateful!

The calm before the Storm

Tomorrow is the day I take Beau to NEEC for his workup. I am hoping they tell me that I am an idiot, and nothing is the matter with him. But I know I am not and idiot, and I know Bill is not an idiot... So, we shall see. I'm a bit stressed today- I'm worried for him and we are supposed to get a lovely storm this afternoon. They are calling for a real mess with quite a wintry mix- snow and freezing rain overnight and into the morning. Grrr. The kids have been off all week and for all of our sanity- they need to go back to school! And for my sanity I need to be able to get to this appointment. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and not cause major problems for me. The one good thing about this storm is that with the prediction of a crappy day the girls' pony club lessons were postponed. It seems a shame as it is beautiful out now, but it's the calm before the storm I suppose. I can say however that I'm grateful for a "free" morning to do what I please and as far as I know they still have quiz practice this afternoon.

Right now it is about 40 degrees so I took the opportunity to take off blankets and give everyone a good grooming and a once over. Poke, Anna and Squeeke are all naked unless it is very cold and wet- so they just needed a good curry and some attention. Once the brushes were out, they were lining up for some lovin'! I wanted to get Beau cleaned up a bit for tomorrow and there was no way Sonny was going to let his little "bro" see the business end of a brush before he did... so I had to work my way down the line... then Poke and Anna were glaring at me over the fence, so they got done too!

I'm glad for the morning off- I'm worried about tomorrow and as much as we enjoy pony club, I was happy to be able to spend some time with my crew. Sometimes just spending time with them is the best, Just look how cute Sonny and Squeeke looked! I was off on the other side of the fence by now and Son was sure I should be back on *HIS* side with those brushes! Silly boy-

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Another Storm

We got what I hope will be one of our last winter storms. Around the house we have been debating whether this is an early spring or just a tease. I know we certainly are not out of the woods just yet- but these are the kinds of storms that don't hang around too long. What drops is gone again in a week or so and temps are on the rise. That being said- we got a mess of rain on top of snow. It is very heavy to shovel and icky when it freezes up- this very much feels like a "spring storm." The water content in this snow is amazing every footfall squishes and the horses are all tired of slogging thru it I'm sure!

Speaking of the horses, I made the appointment for Beau to go in to New England Medical Center- we are so lucky to have such a nice clinic so close! He will be seen 11am Monday... I just needed to get that ball rolling so I can figure out whats up with the poor guy! I'm trying not to worry- I just really like this horse...he is such a love! You know how it is with your animals. I just kills me to think something might be wrong. And since I haven't owned him all that long, I'm even more worried! As with all of our critters, it is extremely important to me that they have all of their needs met. Im not sure what they will find- or if there is going to be anything other than bute/rest that can be done. But, at least I will have tried!

He is such a great horse. I'm so lucky to have him and I hope we can get him sound. He is my buddy and I really want to ride. We have such a cool relationship and that is really important to me in an equine partner! Today I was standing on the stone wall taking pictures of the snow. He sidled right up, presented butt for scratches. He got a good rub then I just pommel horsed right on! He just looked at me like I was silly for stopping the scratches. We hung out together for a while, all of the other 4 were eating hay. Beau. he just loves to be loved! I had a great time with him- but the weather (big clods of heavy wet snow dropping off the trees) wasn't conducive for outside activities... so I came in to stamp
It's pretty hard to work on anything when your table looks like this. So, task 1 was to clean off my surfaces! Once I got that done I decided to play with Mom's new SU! set Cute & Cuddly; she happened to leave it here the other night. I mounted her up and off I went. I did 4 cards with the teddy bear from it- I wasn't particularly happy with any of them. They will go to the hospital for the new babies, and will be just fine though.

So whats with the trend to offset to the left with a bow on the right?! Think I had a 1 track mind today I guess, I didn't even see it until I just laid them all out. And upon surfing Mom's blog I see that she used Afternoon Tea DSP today too! Great minds think alike I guess!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

A new day

Today, instead of feeling sorry for myself I tried to just enjoy the horsie things I can do right now. I was certainly feeling bummed about Beau yesterday and beyond that I have been complaining that I couldn't do anything anyhow since the horses are snowed in. You see, it was going to be a bit of a process to get the ponies out. After Squeeke arrived last week we had a few really warm days and the snow all slid off the metal barn roof- making a large "drift" blocking the gate. I had been using that as another excuse to feel poorly about my prospects of doing anything "horsie." Yesterday I was grumping about it and Bill walked me thru opening up the fence behind the chicken coop. You must understand that one of the weird things about me is that I am terrified of the electric fence! I hate to get shocked- so I spent a bit of time working it thru so I can get them out from that side and not kill myself on the fence. SO. No more excuses and feeling sorry for myself! This afternoon after Sonny and Beau had their feeties trimmed I spent a little time with each of them. I walked Beau up and down the driveway- he was rather full of himself... Sonny and Squeeke's screaming didn't help matters! Im glad to see he is feeling good enough to be somewhat fresh. I got my fix with the time I spent working those two, and after filling the water trough and cleaning my stall I came in and went thru all the horsie blogs I like to read. I figured if I cant ride, read about those who can! And to top it off- this evening, I was happy to receive a call back from Acadia National Park. I have been dreaming for YEARS about going camping with the horses in Acadia- I called the other day to get some questions asked and to find out when they have openings at the stables up there. I think this is going to be the year I finally get to go! Local friends- be on the lookout the invites should go out soon, we are going to have a blast!

Monday, February 16, 2009


I'm feeling sorry for myself today. I want to ride. Badly. Beau is my main man these days, and we are working to figure out an ongoing lameness issue and I have made the commitment not to ride until he goes in for a lameness evaluation (hurry up tax refund!!) I suspect there is something going on here and need to know what it is before we continue... He is sound now- but I have given him over a month off and put him on 3 supplements (and bute when the issue was more acute) Bill suspects some preexisting condition (prior to when we purchased him) I have my fingers crossed for something manageable. I'm not going to get worked up about it yet- any way you slice it, it can't be good. So I just want to know how to proceed!
I purchased Beau in September after having a trial. He was underfed and out of shape. He was basically sitting in a field as his owner didn't have enough time or space to work him. She had purchased him as a yearling, and according to what she told me- after he was broke to ride very little was done with him. So, I got myself a green 8yr old appendix QH for my new buddy. After selling Bagira, I hadn't had MY horse to ride, and I was really missing it. I wanted something saner, and safer and that could do with more/less work based on what I had going on. I wanted to work on my dressage and trail ride and have a new best friend to hang out with. More of an all around kind of guy as opposed to a "show" horse.
I really liked him from the start, he has a kind eye and was good with the kids and dogs. He trailered well, and after many many quarts of grain easily put weight on. There didn't seem to be any medical reason for his thin condition and I didn't have any reason to not trust the stories I was being told about him. I gave him plenty of time to beef up and then started him under saddle.
He was going to be more of a project than I originally intended. First we had to work on "go." "Whoa" was pretty solid (in fact park, or back were his favorite gears!) We had no steering and balance was nonexistent! He was a geeky 3 year old in an 8yr old body! He tried, and I loved him- he is such a ham; he loves attention, and thrives on neck scratches and cookies!

I worked with him most of the fall- he is exactly what I wanted- all-be-it more work than I had figured. He was a peach off farm (as long as his buddy sonny was either not with us, or in sight!) we went to the beach, for trail rides and to various farms and equestrian facilities to school. Looking back, he was always tight through the back, and short up front when we started working- he took small steps during the warm up and then worked out of it. Not ever "lame" but certainly short. I decided it was a training issue, not a physical one and left it at that. He did have a really off day once after working in deep footing- took some really lame steps, I got right off and he walked out of it ok and seemed fine after that. He did take short steps now and again, but I always chocked it up to tension or sore feet. We worked with his angles and he did wear a 1degree wedge for the rest of the fall. He was going nicely- working 3 or 4 days a week, and going all sorts of places.
His ring work was coming along- I even had aspirations of going for some lessons on him! He had basic connection down, came through from behind for the most part (he did have lazy moments) working over his back well. We had baby leg yields- he was learning to move off the lateral aids. His canter needed more impulsion- more of a lope that I would like, but I figured the beach and out in the fields would be better than an indoor to school that, and we were slipping into winter.

Then as we got well into winter thing went down hill- he has been off and on lame most of the winter. He had days where he was really shuffling. There was never any heat or swelling indicating an injury- and then there was the fact that he has always come out short/tight when we worked- it was getting better this fall, but is now something I took more notice of. One evening at the indoor he was pretty much 3 legged. I had to get off and put him up after just walking him. Bill thought it looked like his feet- but we couldn't isolate anything with the hoof testers. He was on bute/stall rest for a week, and since then we have been closely monitoring him. Did he slip on the ice and hurt himself? Does he have a bone chip in the knee? Navicular? Are the short steps and lameness from the fall connected to this newest event? Are these all related symptoms or totally unconnected? Your guess is as good as mine! After a few weeks of good days and bad days- time off and on bute, he seems fine. He does get buteless pellets, a joint supplement and e/selenium and that is keeping him sound. But, for as long as it took us to get here (almost a month now!) I'm not going to risk it. Ill wait for my tax refund, and make an appointment so we can see for sure what is going on! But days like today I REALLY want to ride!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Valentines Day Cookie Party

Today was as good a day as any to hold our annual cookie party. Now, typically this is a Christmas Cookie party- but this year we had a large snow storm on our chosen cookie party day. I promised the kids we would still hold our event, and I came up with the brilliant idea of turning it into a Valentine's cookie party. The turn out was a bit smaller than for our Christmas event, but the kids all seemed to enjoy themselves none the less. We had lots of frosting and sprinkles and sugars and candies AND cookies! We set the kiddos loose and they had a blast creating edible cookie creations! I know that many more cookies were made than actually made the racks- lots of teeth and lips were pink or red this afternoon!

I wish I had remembered to take a picture before everyone left, but I forgot... so heres a sample of the cookies that are left this evening...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Valentine's Day Cards

Savanna's card uses the Just Jawing set that she loves so much. I wasnt sure I needed to add these stamps to my collection until she begged! I added google eyes to the skull layered it onto a regal rose circle and put the whole thing onto a piece of georgia peach dsp (that I added little hearts to) I hope she likes it- she used this set to make her valentines for school... she was the only one in her 3rd grade class that had homemade cards.
Billys card is the two birds from Love Owl-ways (winter mini) a sliver of so saffron from the original paper pack and a stripe from the old friends and flowers scrap kit. I was happy with how the ribbon from the winter mini matched. I stamped his sentiment crooked, so had to add the little rose red layer- and its not centered. oh well.

Olivias is a bit more sophisticated- shes really growing up! I love Season of Friendship, and am pretty sure I need the new tree set from the spring/summer catty... even though I already had SOF and Trees Three. sigh. I added a small heart (from Goodie Goodie Gumdrops) on pretty in pink and rose red circles punched out with a bit of dazzling diamonds added for shine. The leaves are old olive and old olive stamped off once. I used the border punch and some kraft taffeta to add a final touch.

Bill's card I made a while back during a stamp fest with my pal Cindi. I wanted to show her 2 step stamping, and the older Wild Rose set. I was just playing, and took the time to make the piece into a valentines card. The roses are rose red and regal rose, the leaves mellow moss and always artichoke. I added red stickles to the roses, and used the corner punch to do the corners. I love the mellow moss taffeta. It may be my favorite ribbon! The chocolate rub-on is from chit-chat. I surprised myself with remembering to use rub-ons!

Meet Squeeke

Since Sue asked... Meet our newest 4 legger... Squeeke or "pip-squeak" as I call her! She is a 13.1h palomino pony (pretty dang cute next to Sonny) She arrived a week ago, to much excitement. She is currently residing with Sonny and Beau, but may move in with Poke and Anna as we head into spring. She belonged to a lovely client of Bill's who unfortunately needed to rehome her... and lucky for her (and me!) Bill agreed to add her to our clan- with the one stipulation... I have to use her! She needs to earn her keep- I'm not sure now if that will just be as Poke's guardian angel or as a mount for the kids...

Squeeke has quite a story. She was among the horses rounded up and swam off of Chincoteaque in 1988. She was a tiny foal and after being purchased at the sale, she was brought back to New England in the bed of a pick-up lined with hay bales! She has the unique habit of squealing when you first approach/touch her. She "talks" when you come near. Hence the name "Squeeke."
She has apparently done everything- trail rides, lessons, and she drives. She did pony parties and was shown under saddle and in harness. She has had some time off and bounced through a few homes in the past year so we are going to go slow with her and see what she is willing to do. I really want to develop a trusting relationship with her, I feel badly- she lived all this time with the original woman who bought her as a foal, and now has been through 3 homes in the past year. I know this girl has done and seen a lot, and I'm sure she has some stories to tell! Hopefully she and Savanna can do a few years of Pony Club, and she can teach me to drive- and then as Poke's sight continues to decline, she can spend her days watching over him for me.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

50 in February

Yesterday was the most amazing day! It was so warm and nice- really unseasonable for this time of year. We certainly hit 50! In February! It was such a treat and a hint at what is to come! When you live in this neck of the woods- winter is just part of the deal. Snow and ice, and bitter cold is par for the norm. A day like yesterday, however- a real treat!

The horses were out without blankets. There were many rolls and lots of scratching and itching! It must have felt so good to be able to roll out some of the winter itches and soak up some of the beautiful sun!
The rolling wasn't just limited to the horses- the dogs got in on it too! Otis and Oliver were both finally able to break thru the icy crust for a good roll in some wet snow! Silly dogs spent a good portion of the day outside!
I had errands and laundry and 100th day celebration in the morning and then my Brownie meeting in the afternoon- so I didn't get too much time out there. But you can bet the time I did spend was glorious! I am so thankful for days like yesterday, these tender little reminders that spring will come. That the icy dog pooed path out to the barn will melt. That the skating rink in front of the run-in will soon be gone. That winter fuzz will shed and I'll finally be back in the saddle!
(and yes- Beau has a boo-boo on his nose. Came out the other morning to a trickle of dried blood- not sure how it got there, but the poor guy was swollen for a few days and has a crusty little scab now!)
(And, I think ive figured out the pictures- add them first THEN the text. now if I could just figure out spacing...)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

100th Day Celebration

In our little town, we have a wonderful celebration for the elementary kids to recognize the 100th day of school. Six years ago our Principal organized the "100 days of giving" to help the children of our town celebrate 100 days of school and recognize what they can do for our community. It is truly an awsome program and today was the 100th day!

Just after Christmas break each classroom in our primary and elementary schools (K-6) is assigned a food/non-perishable item. The class then has until the 100th day of school to collect 100 of that item. Toothpaste, cans of soup, boxes/bags of rice, rolls of toilet paper etc. The kids work hard and each class has a tally on their door marking their progress. The collecting continues until the 100th day. Today was that day.

The classrooms each have an opportunity to make a display of their donations- these towers and stacks and heaps fill the gymnasium floor. Members of the community arrive at the school- representatives from the town food bank come to receive the items. Each class sends a student (or 2) up to hand a certificate to the food bank staff reading off into the microphone what they collected and how many items they were able to gather. The kids clap and cheer for their fellow classes and remark at the classes who have far surpased the goal. After poems and songs, the kids file back to class and the remaingin parents box up the food and it goes directly out the doors into waiting trucks for immediate delivery to the needy in our community.

Today we were told that the pantry now serves 175 families. 2/3 of which are from our town and 1/3 of which is from a neighbring town. I am glad to know that in these tough economic times there is such an active resource right here in town to help those in need. I am honored that my kids, and our family can be a part of that process. I am blessed that our school and community feel so strongly that kids know the good in giving.

Billy's class brought in 105 bags/boxes of rice (and he "presented" the donation) Savanna's class collected 140 cans of green and yellow beans! Olivia's ceremony at the 6th grade school will follow, but she assures me they have reached their goal of 100 cleaning products. At the 6th grade, once homerooms had reached their goals, they branched out to start helping classes that were farther behind. The kids are always excited to come home with updates on their tallies and we all look forward to seeig the collective donation.

I am so honored to be a parent to kids who have learned the lessons of giving so young- and feel so blessed to live in a community that thinks so highly of creating decent human beings. That our school staff has commited to make this a yearly tradition warms my heart! Other schools inthe area have heard about our 100 days of giving, and have begun to follow suit. The kids are learning what they (even as little kids) can do!

Over all, the school donated 1,994 items today to our food pantry. What a wonderful event to be part of!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Days like these...

So- sometimes I wonder why I ever thought Id ever have anything interesting to say. Or, time to sit down and tap it all out. For instance, today I got up with Olivia at 5:55am. Got her on the bus. Dogs go out with us and I feed the ponies on the way back in. I had 1/2hr to lay back down. then Billy and Savanna needed to get up and get off. I also needed to get myself ready too- I had a 9am massage to do. Turned horses out, hayed everyone and ran out the door just in time to hit the bus stop. Then off I went (billy left his lunch on the table- thankfully Bill was around and could drop it off to him. Silly child HATES hot lunch, and insists on a HOME lunch just abut every day!)

I love my 9am, but she is in Brentwood NH... a full hour away! She has an older mare who responds so well to massage- they really are a great pair to work with but its such a long drive! I had to stop for gas since there was no time in my day yesterday and my gas light had come on as I came home from pony club parent meeting at 9:30pm last night. Did my rub and hit Lowes for new knobs for Savanna's updated dresser in her new room. Then ran the car Through the car wash- it was filthy.

Came home for lunch and called all my Brownie families as a reminder for tomorrows meeting and called quite a few parents from the 3rd grade class looking for volunteers for the Valentines party Friday- bad room mother left it to the last second. The called the Cub Scout sponsor to set up a meeting to get him to sign paperwork. I then had 10mins for a cup of coffee then set off to 3rd grade for my weekly volunteer session. After that I ran by the bank to activate my new ATM as mine was compromised AGAIN! It was a faulty card- so I had to go in and stand at the counter while they got it all figured out.

I met with the Cub Scout sponsor and got all our rechartering papers signed, and then came home to fill the big water trough which was so low it was steaming and scaring Sonny this morning. Cleaned my stall and fed the chickens while I was out there. Now its almost 4 and I have a second afternoon coffee in hand to try to summon the courage to go start to assemble a lasagna for dinner. Fheeewwwwww. These are the days where I wonder where the times goes. Its almost the end of the day and all I have done is run around. It is an accomplished feeling to get so much done- but I had such high hopes of creating a fun post and playing with the layout etc of this site. Oh well- theres always time after everyone goes to bed right?!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

The Adventure Begins

I have been toying with the idea of a blog for some time now... and I must admit, that naming this online space was my biggest hang up. I just couldn't decide what would be an appropriate name for the space where I wanted to keep an online journal and record of this crazy adventure that is my life. Today, as I was waking to take the girls to pony club lessons, it dawned on me that "Flying Changes" is a wonderful equine term that really defines much of my existence. Each day around here flys by and some days I have to stop and wonder how it is that I where I am... a house, honey and kids. Horses and dogs. Stamps and cards. It seems like as fast as things change, they stay the same. As with any growing family the changes are minute and monumental all at the same time. I hope to be able to use this space to document all that we do here on our little farm in Maine- all the small triumphs and huge accomplishments. All the little sorrows and trauma that accompany us through this life.

My goal is to be able to share with you the joy of raising three amazing step kids, some of the adventures we have with our horses as well as some of the paper crafts I come up with. I'm sure I will have other things that I want to work through as well, but for now its a start! I hope you can hang on for the ride- 'cause around here it's flying changes!