Saturday, December 29, 2012


 Some of us deal with wintry weather a little better than others.  Dolly Llama for instance........she has her choice of being in the barn or not.  She usually prefers to eat in the barn and sleep in the barn at night.  But during the day - regardless of the weather - she sleeps outside.  Even with snow piling up on top of her.

The chickens are also very interesting.  They make their rounds from hanging out with the goats, sleeping on the fence, sleeping in their coop, standing under the overhang of their porch, and sometimes just standing one-legged in the snow.  My chickens aren't the most intelligent members of the One Old Goat farm family.

Then there are the goats who stand in the doorway and thoughtfully assess the situation.  They prefer not to eat in their sleeping quarters so they send  a point man out to test the depth of the snow.  Usually this is Hansel and if Hansel doesn't sink, they all come running outside to eat their hay.  This is despite the fact that they have already been given a little bit of hay inside just in case they don't want to come outside.  Go figure.

And finally there are the dogs.  Fat Max and Sebastian love, love, love, the snow.  How it usually works is that Sebastian, being the larger dog, makes the path through the snow. Fat Max then hops in Sebastian's path. And then I usually follow along behind them trying to take pictures of Max's snow covered face.  The dogs aren't the least bit afraid of or put off by the snow.  They could easily spend an hour playing and sniffing and chasing each other around.  If you see one, there is no doubt that the other isn't far behind.  The nice thing is after an hour of frolicking in the snow, they are ready to come inside and take a nap.  Which is great, because I am usually ready to take a nap too.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Casper, my 4 year old deaf boxer.  Sometimes the bane of my existence and I am sure he would say the same of me.  After nearly two weeks of post-tooth extraction pain, I thought it would be nice if the two of us  went  out to see what we could see after Wednesday's snow.  Casper looks calm here but really, he was only getting a breather before chasing me and trying to bite my leg again.  I don't know what it is with this guy but when we are outside together, he chases me and chases me.....barking and nipping at my butt.  Non-stop. Nothing will deter him.  

 When I let him out on his own, he is predictable....running first to check on the chickens and then down to the creek.  He then has to go to the lilac and mock orange tree bush just to see if there is anything there needing his attention and then, if I'm lucky, he'll come back up on the deck and beat at the door.    In the middle of the night when I let him out, I often flip on the light, leave the door ajar and play the piano until he returns.  This ensures that I don't fall asleep when he is outside, I get my practice in and sometimes the sound calms our nervous roosters who, no doubt, are crowing their little hearts out because Casper has just raced by their beds.

Casper is a good dog.  I love him and his crazy ways.  Lots of people wonder why I keep him with all of his bad habits.  But really, he is no different than me......he may not be a diamond, he may not be the best behaved or really, the best of anything.  But with his goofy look, his crazy eyes, I am so happy that he is part of my life.  I just really wish that he would calm down.  A bit.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Aurora ~ loved already :)

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Notes, quilting and being backward.

Music is what feelings sound like ~ Author Unknown

I made this quilted ornament for the organist at my church who has been incredibly patient with me while I've been accustoming myself to playing for humans rather than for my dogs, goats and the occasional chicken.  I have a feeling that she will be a bit dismayed when she sees that the notes are backward ~or maybe she'll just realize that my little gift is a bit flawed just like me.  But in my defense, it has been years since I've paperpieced anything. I'm just glad to be able to give something back to her for all that she has given me.  Janet doesn't realize the gift she has given me by patiently allowing me to play the piano with her, often slowing down so that I can keep up or by playing louder to cover the fact that my fingers often lose their way on the keys.

I've learned this year that music is a gift to both the receiver and the giver.  For nearly a half a century, I've enjoyed being the receiver of music but it feels incredibly good to also be the giver.  I've also learned that one doesn't have to be flawless to reap the benefits of being the giver of music.  

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Big Boy.

Today was spent celebrating my grandson's birthday.  I was lucky enough to celebrate his birthday with not only my daughters, my niece and nephew, but by the son and daughter of my oldest daughter's boyfriend and everyone else.  It was truly a great day.  While I sat in the midst of an unlikely crowd: my family in addition to my ex-husband, his family and his wife, I realized how lucky I am to have so many people for whom I care in my life.  Except for my dad who wasn't there physically but boy o' boy could I feel his presence.

I also couldn't stop thinking of all of those moms and dads and grandparents and brothers and sisters and aunts and uncles who will be sorely missing someone this Christmas because of a horrific,selfish act of violence.  There really are no words.  No words at all.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

A great weekend and race report

I remember a race about 6 years ago - it was the Arts Fest 10k and it was one of my favorite races.  I didn't really care that it was during Arts Fest (too crowded), didn't care for the weather (too hot) but I loved that it was a race in which all of my kids ran: my oldest daughter and I ran the 10k, my youngest 3 kids ran the kids run and although he didn't run the race, my oldest son was running daily at the time.  It was so great to see my kids participate in a sport that I loved.
This past weekend we took a fast trip to Virginia Beach to participate in the Surf'n Santa 10 miler and Frost 5k.  It was a perfect weekend! We left central PA in the midst of a freezing rain watch and ended up in VA where flowers were blooming and we could run in shorts.  Amazing!

There was also a Holiday Light celebration going on - we could see the lights right outside the balcony of our hotel.  It was beautiful - we had a chance to swim - in the pool, not the ocean - and just had a grand time.  As usual, we tried to cram in absolutely everything possible into a very short time.  We also really enjoyed sleeping in a hotel instead of a tent!

The girls did great - even though they don't agree and according to my calculations based on my 10 miler time, if I maintain this time and my training, I just my qualify for Boston next year.

It was very obvious that the organizers of this race had done this before - there is nothing that could be improved - I've never seen such an efficient, well-organized race!  There were runners dressed up as a live nativity, as Christmas trees, gingerbread men, Santa Claus, presents, angels, a was as festive as the name of the race implies.

It was just a happy, happy weekend! There's nothing like a race to bring out the best in people, I think.  Everyone doing something healthy just because it is fun - and the pride that you see on runner's faces (especially the kids') is just priceless.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

The problem has been identified.....

It has been hit or miss for my piano record at church, with the misses far outweighing the hits.  However, this morning I practiced for about 45 minutes prior to our church service and it seemed to go a bit better. Of course I had my little chihuahua curled up on my lap and he made all the difference!

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...