Friday, November 23, 2007
Sunday, October 14, 2007
Monday, October 8, 2007
Sunday, September 30, 2007
Second Place in 8x10 Animal Photography Division
Encouraged by my friend Ginny and others, I entered photographs in the 2007 State Fair of Virginia. Thank you all for the push. Much much fun, although (as usual) I waited until just before the deadlines to get my entries in and then also to get my pictures printed/matted/delivered. Ah --- I do love the last minute and so much of my life gets done in it. Feeling very motivated to be more organized next year.
In a any case, all entered photographs get displayed at the fair --- so it was fun to go and see them mounted on the walls. Also inspiring to see all of the other amazing pictures. There are some talented photoraphers around these parts. I did have some of the cutest subjects anywhere (CGB, JCB, KGB, and my dogs) so my job was pretty easy. Thank you all for being willing to share your smiles with my camera. Proud to say that three of my photographs earned second place ribbons, which was very cool. Fond memories of Poly Pet & Hobby Shows past came rushing back to me when I saw the little vertical ribbons hanging there. I have included pix of the award winners above and also a link to my Kodak Gallery below in case anyone wants to see all of my entries. Enjoy.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Buttercups (early Spring)
Sunday, September 16, 2007
Riding ring --- September 2007
It's hard to imagine how much the riding ring has improved since I first saw this little farm four years ago. Previous owners used the ring as a paddock (i.e., horses lived in it), so most of the grass was gone when I first arrived. Very tall and hardy weeds quickly took over. The fence was falling down in places, boards were missing, and some of the rusty gates were tied on with bailing twine. I had this vision of a grass riding/agility ring, so we started with a tractor/bush hog combination and then many many hours with the DR trimmer followed. Fences were repaired, gates were removed, and one large stump was taken away. Thank you Ed. Weeds eventually got thinner and grass got thicker and thicker. Now of course the area is mow-able, and all fences have been cleared and painted with primer/paint. Thank you Joanne (first painting effort) and Dan and Tray. Probably a few more coats of paint to go, but it looks SO much better. Of course, no horses or dogs have benefited yet, but hopefully that will change in the year ahead. John, Laura, Christine, Jack (brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew) and I did have a wonderful game of croquet there last fall though--- and it worked just perfectly for that. :-)
Saturday, September 8, 2007
This deck technically predates the blog, but only by a few weeks, so I thought I would document the project anyway. There was a car port in the (now) agility field when I bought the property, which had plywood walls so that it could serve as a makeshift horse stall. Because the interior didn't get any light, it was always a bit muddy and looked like prime real estate for snakes and spiders. My friend Ed Rothschild, who was living in the big house at that time, systematically removed all the walls, which was a big project. Thank you Ed! It looked immensely better after that, but the ground was still uneven under the car port and it was tricky to keep it mowed properly with the support columns and ground braces in the way. So, in August I had a deck built under the car port and I love it. Have been able to move a metal table and chairs out to the deck (all found at the Salvation Army and vastly improved with a few coats of fresh paint) and it makes a perfect place to sit while watching the dogs race around the field. And post-racing, the dogs all seem to love hanging out on the deck as well. Still need to stain the wooden sides of the deck, but the top is a composite material that will never need stain or paint. Hooray.
Wednesday, September 5, 2007
Yes yes, for those who asked --- the picture of the tomato on the right side of the blog is indeed real (i.e., from my farm). The only vegetables I planted this season were tomato plants (three different varieties) and a few herbs, but they were amazing. Probably had more luck with my "crops" than I might have had otherwise because I planted everything in Earthboxes (see foreground of picture above). These clever rolling containers provide plenty of room for planting, while also providing a built-in self-watering system for the plants. Even with the heat we had in Virginia this summer, I was able to water every other day and the plants thrived for months. Rest assured, I have enjoyed lots of tomato/mozzarella salads, eaten plenty of tomato sandwiches, made quite a few tomato pies and given away bags of tomatoes to other people as well. Next year --- lettuce, carrots and radishes are in the gardening plans. I don't even really like radishes, but I love how they look just peeking out of the ground. How's that for farming honesty? :-)
http://www.earthbox.com/ (for more information on earthboxes)
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Crosby is the old man of my crew, at the grand old age of 12. He seems to be going strong though and can keep up with the other dogs for at least the first few laps around the field each day. Then he usually loses interest in their silliness and retires to the deck to watch the zooming from afar. He can usually be counted on to greet guests with a large bed pillow or one of my shoes in his mouth --- and then leaves these items in the yard for me to find via flashlight late at night, usually after it starts to rain. He seems to enjoy this game immensely. :-)
Thor is 10 years old --- although his graying muzzle might suggest even older. His energy level is that of a puppy though, and he can still jump almost 3 feet straight into the air in his trademark "Shamu" trick. I sometimes think that if I had even half of Thor's enthusiasm for life, I would be able to accomplish great things. He never fails to make me smile.
Pilot is the newest member of the pack --- and is some wonderful combination of Chihuahua-Beagle-Jack Russell-Dachshund-Other. He still thinks big dogs (other than the ones he lives with) are very scary and worthy of much barking, but he is becoming quite the little performer for increasingly large groups of people. He is featured on a current TV commercial for James River Heating (along with my other dogs) running bravely over the full height A-Frame, despite a cameraman running right along next to him.
This is Daisy, the border collie foster puppy who is living with me for a few weeks. She absolutely loves Pilot --- and of course learning new things, and at her young age, almost everything is new. Had great fun today watching her try to figure out the full length mirror.
NOTE: See 3/24/08 post for updated pictures.