Thursday, July 30, 2015

Grammie Camp.....Day Three

Yesterday, while Ginger and MaryAnn were home doing this....

(I've never seen them in the pool at the same time....
one always gets out to leave the other in.)

Grammie and Tyler took a road trip to a quaint old amusement park
not too far from us.

Knoebel's Grove is a wonderful family amusement park in the woods...
complete with old time rides and fast, new rollercoasters.

The best part about it is the fact that there is no admission fee...
just tickets for sale for the rides.  There are also lots of kiddie rides...
perfect for a five year old! (and no lines!)
We spent about 3 hours there...just enough time to ride some rides...
leaving when Tyler announced he was finished.

The best part of the day was this particular ride...
it lifted the kids up about 20 feet into the air 
and then dropped them down in a smooth hopping motion.  

Each time they dropped a little, Tyler would laugh hysterically.

At one point he shouted out over the crowd...
"I love you, Grammie!"
This was followed by an "Awwww" from the crowd standing around watching.
My heart has melted more times that I can tell you about this week.
I'm sure that Tyler is having a great week...and so is Grammie!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Beating The Heat

"Hey there're looking a little worn out!"

Thanks for the vote of confidence, there, Daphne!

I guess when your animals start to look at you this way, 
you know you are looking a little haggard!

I typically think of myself as a very high energy person....
taking care of home and farm and animals.
But, I've got to tell you....
there is nothing like a five year old to remind you that you do not have 
quite the same stamina as you did at one time!

Yes, that is a cat along for our hike!
Although, honestly, it might also be due to the fact that
we have landed in the hottest week of the summer so far!

It's so warm that the pigs are spending a good portion of their days in their pool.
(as are we.....just not in the same pool!)

Cold water is the most important ingredient in keeping our animals cooled off 
during the hot days of summer.

The pigs' pool gets drained and cleaned daily as it is also their bathtub...
and by the end of every day is rather muddy!

I check, clean, and refill everyone's water several times throughout the day...
in order to assure they have fresh, cold drinks available.

In the wintertime we use heated buckets...
wouldn't it be nice if their were also refrigerated buckets for summer?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Grammy Camp....Day One

Now that we are in the heat of summer,
I have stopped leading Gracie and her lambs back to the barn each night.

Instead, they stay out in their yard all day and night.

Their mornings are spent grazing.
Their afternoons are spent under this grove of trees,
resting in the shade.

And their evenings are spent at the hay feeder.

They have their houses for inclement weather.

This arrangement seems to be working out just fine.

As for socialization, everyone comes running when I enter their yard.
It's the Ritz crackers...they are the best socialization tool ever!

The lambs are getting quite a wooly coat on them.
I can hardly wait to see what it will be like by next Spring.
I should have lots of wool for spinning next year!

Tyler and I had quite a busy day yesterday.
We did some pre-kindergarten workbook pages, played with play dough,
and spent the rest of the day outside...
hiking in the woods...

playing on the pirate ship...

with Bobby 

(aka Puss in Boots!)

and swimming in the pool.

It was great fun to have help with farm chores!
At the end of the day, after we tucked the animals in for the night,
I showed him my magical place beneath the grape arbor.

He agreed that it was quite magical, indeed.

"Thank you for showing me this, Grammie," he said,
"I love you even more than I did before."
My heart melted!

It was a very special day....just the first of five special days.

I must say.... by the end of the day we were both exhausted!

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Pause That Refreshes

Sometimes it just takes a little time away...
sleeping in, eating out, whiling away a few hours in museums,
and filling oneself with the sights and sounds of the city
to recharge one's battery and make home seem all the more wonderful!

We spent the end of last week and weekend in my most favorite city....


I love the windy city, with its magnificent skyline,

its amazing architecture, both old and new,
its incredibly friendly people,
its parks, and museums, Chicago style pizza...
and oh, so much more!

Seriously though, it took about a day for me to miss everything about the farm.
You cannot hear birds or crickets or katydids sing in the city...
or hear the rush of wind through the trees (unless you are in a park),
or see the trillions of stars that fill the night sky,
or ever, ever experience total silence.
There is no aroma of freshly mown hay, or cow manure, or honeysuckle.
There are no buzzing bees, or hopping grasshoppers to be seen.

We did, however, manage to find a farm in the midst of Lincoln park!

Cities have their own beauty...but it's all a is mostly man-made beauty.
I am so used to a different type of beauty... the natural type...
so much so, that even in a city I find myself gravitating towards the wide open spaces...
the areas with grass and trees and flowers!

We did have a blast, however...and I did get some much needed rest
 (of sorts....though we walked miles each day!)

I even found a little time to visit a yarn shop 
and to do a little knitting.
Here's what's presently on the needles...

(It's a little leaf-trimmed wool/silk/linen shawl that will be a Christmas present.)

But I am so glad to be home amongst my friends...
able to awaken to bird-song and to fall asleep to cricket chirps!

This week is going to be an exciting week here at the farm.
Tyler is going to spend the week with Grammie and her friends.
We are going to have many adventures.

Check back in with us....and we will take you along on our adventures!

By the way...I forgot to tell you what Tyler said to me on his last visit.
He said that he thought that Muppy and Grammie were old.
When I asked him why he thought that...
he replied "Because your faces are old."
Well, I guess that's that.
I had never really considered that fact before. just might be true!
(Out of the mouths of babes.....)

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Tuesday For You....Friday For Me!

I can remember as a child my Nana talking of the "Dog Days" of summer.
Although I was never quite sure which days were of the canine persuasion...
I guessed they were the hot and muggy ones that usually accompanied August.

If you asked me now...
I'd say "woof....their here!"
We've had a string of hot and muggy weather.

It's the type of weather that necessitates that work be done either early morning or late evening.
The rest of the day is just not suited for any physical activity.
Ask any of the animals... they'd agree!

It's this time of summer when the horses cease to run...
choosing to just saunter wherever they need to go.

The sheep spend the afternoons snoozing in the shade 
and the pigs can be found lounging at the pool.
(Picture sunglasses, lemonade with a straw, wide-brimmed sunhat...stretched out on a lounge chair!)

Amanda spent last evening with us,
so I took the opportunity to utilize her help to do chores that require a buddy....
like: hoof trimming.

The sheep are so well socialized and are very easy to work with.
Amanda bribed them with tummy scratches while I went to work trimming their hooves.
I keep after them every few weeks, so this job is always relatively easy.

We both noticed that Hope is starting to look much more mature now. 
Her face is starting to elongate a little more like her mother's.
Oh, how sad to see these two grow up...
I would forever keep them tiny lambs if I could!

They still run to their mama when they feel threatened...
there's nothing like nursing to make them feel secure!
That look on Gracie's face says "Really?"

We tried to trim Ginger's and MaryAnn's hooves,
but it was a little too close to feeding time for them.
Completely distracted with the possibility that food might be soon delivered,
they had a hard time lying still for more than a couple of seconds.

Pigs are incredible creatures and form very tight bonds with their humans.
Although both pigs are very close to me...
Ginger is especially close to Amanda,

and MaryAnn to me.

So, on Monday evenings when Amanda visits the farm,
Ginger is quite happy!
(And so are we.)

By now you are probably wondering what this title means.
I am taking a short summer break from blogging... the rest of this week.
I will be back on Monday with more "Tails from the Farm"...
and will fill you in on this week's adventure!
Have a great rest of your week!
Happy Friday!


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