Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Welcome Summer!

 So glad to be able to welcome summer in a summery way! 
I am so glad that I had this week to welcome Summer with my grandson and with my youngest three kids - this has been a new opportunity for me.  It may very well become a tradition.  As usual, spending time with a four-year-old takes me to that level.  Much fun was had picking sweet green peas, feeding the animals, swimming, singing . . . just being alive.  I think that I just may be the luckiest person in the world!
Who could possibly resist this face?

Hello to summer - away from the traffic and the sounds of the world;

Only the sounds of other children enjoying the coolness of the water;

Siblings getting along - gathered in their shared love of their nephew;

and is this face of Uncle Ryan? I believe it is.

Sunday, June 19, 2011


I love my dad.  Simple as that.  It has always been that way although I must admit, my love for my dad has changed a bit over the years. When I was very young, my dad seemed very mystical to me.  He was a spirit who came in the night leaving all sorts of gifts for my brothers and me: a beret from Bermuda, a rug from Indonesia.  He was a Major in the Air Force and during this time, he flitted in and out of our lives on a breeze.

When I was a teenager ( the nightmare of all teenagers), my dad was a statue.  A rock.  And I thank God everyday that he didn't smash my head against that rock for all of the stupid, stupid stunts I pulled.  My dad, during this time, was dealing with his own challenges and sometimes that caused a rift between us. 

When I was a young parent, my dad was. . . well, my dad.  And my kids' grandpa.  My dad blossomed into this guy who didn't mind having his toenails painted or having make up applied or playing with Barbie dolls.  All of my kids have loved him from the moment they met him.

When I was a older parent, my dad was my standard of living.  To me, he has been the forest - as strong as an oak tree, as reliable as the sap of a maple.  To this day, my dad is all things natural and woodsy and strong.  I think my dad has become more mellow through the years.  It breaks my heart to hear him tell me that he is sorry that he doesn't talk much.  Because that is so wrong.  He talks very little but he tells me a lot.  He doesn't understand that I get him.  I don't talk much either but that doesn't take away from the time we spend together. 

My dad.  He is, hands-down, the best kind of dad.  I see him in my son's chin, my daughter's nose.  I see him in the way my oldest son deals with bad news and in the way my oldest daughter deals with good news.  I see my dad in the hollyhocks growing along my fence and in the mighty oaks that are thriving behind my house. 

I see my dad in everything.  And I love him.  And I thank God everyday that I have him with me still.  

Saturday, June 18, 2011


My grandson with a fist full of peas feeding them to his new friends, Max and scraggly kitty;

this smile makes my heart sing;

and this little wow-wow face.  A great day at One Old Goat Farm!

Saturday, June 11, 2011


The good news is that the deck is secured, the skidloader has been removed.  The sofa is still there which is probably a good thing because it makes it more likely that it will be taken to the transfer station immediately. 

Other good news is that Dolly Llama and new horse, Buddy, have become pals as is evidenced by their nuzzling and sharing of secrets. 
Buddy enjoyed his stroll through the field this afternoon although his newfound llama llove missed him terribly and stood by the fence looking very forlorn until he returned.

But Dolly llama wasn't the only animal pouting this afternoon.  Bunny-chaser Sebastian and Firestarter Casper stared out the window watching Buddy and Haley ride away.  Neither Sebastian or Casper felt particularly sad that Buddy left the farm for a bit but they were both quite miffed that they couldn't follow along.

But other than two disgruntled dogs and a lonely llama, things were good here at One Old Goat farm.  Nothing fell, nothing broke, nothing burned, no fights, no tears: quite the opposite.  Today was full of smiles and laughter and much happiness.  The outlook for tomorrow is the same.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Is we redneck? Or is we hick?

Yes, that is a skidloader holding up our deck.  And yes, that is a sofa setting on the deck.  And yes, that is a hot tub (someone's project from last summer)partially hidden behind the deck.
Sometimes I really dread the phonecalls I receive at work.  This time last year, the call was that our boxer, Casper, had nearly burned down the kitchen.  This year, it was that the deck had collapsed.  I am a very good spouse because not once did I mention that the old sofa - the one into which that fire-starting dog had dug a hole the size of a bowling ball - was way too heavy to be set on this part of the deck.  Not once during the day did I mention how many years I've reminded someone that we really needed to add supports to that portion of the deck.  Because I am a very tolerant person.  And I won't complain to anyone as long as the deck is fixed by the end of the weekend.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Play nice.

Play nice.  I remember my mom saying this to me and my little brother.  Just play nice.  My mom is easily one of the nicest people I know.  I am sure she would disagree.  Seriously though, my mom is the nicest person you could meet and if you don't already know her, you should try to meet her.   She is the one who has taught me that is better to be nice, that you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.  Don't get me wrong - she knows how to express an opinion better than anyone I know but still, she is nice to people.  And that is something that is sorely lacking in the society I've encountered throughout the years.

I wish the world would listen to my mom.  She knows what she is talking about.    Or, rather, what she is smiling about.  I remember when I was young, we would drive to Erie to visit my aunt.  And my mom would wave.  To everyone.  I don't know why but embarrassing as it was to a teenage, I thought that was a pretty nice thing to do.  When we are out, she smiles at everyone.  Sometimes a chuckle to go with that smile.  Especially at little kids.  I love that.  Now honestly sometimes, a remark mumbled under her breath makes me laugh even more, but my mom always has a smile for little kids.

So today on campus, at the grocery store, on the road, I got to thinking that there are a whole lot of people who need to spend some time with my mom.  The crabbier that people seem to be, the friendlier I become.  Which makes me think (since I am so much like my mom) that that is the purpose behind her own friendliness. 

This afternoon - in the frame of about a half hour - I think that there may just be a happier bank teller, a happier cashier at the grocery store, and maybe one or two happier people behind the wheel.  I was thinking of my mom as I left the office at lunchtime and I decided to share a little of her today. 

So I hope you enjoy her.  Thanks mom!  I love you!!!!

A torrid love affair

 I've written about the ducks quite a bit. It's a little like Peyton Place around here I think. A couple of months ago, the male d...