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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Farmers in the dell

Yesterday, the donkeys got pedicures! Wow, this isn't as glamorous as it sounds. Turns out the donkeys feet hurt from being overweight (I can relate) and the hoofs need attention as a result.

Paulette tests out the tractor. Hopped up like she had driven one before. Not sure where that might have been, but, if she drives that like she drives Minnie, look out!

 
This afternoon, we got a mini lesson on dyeing sock yarn. Might even give it a try when Bonnie visits in October.

This afternoon, I walked the four pastures and took the following farewell photos of JMF animals. We'll miss the clucks and barks, and mooing and baaaing and cockel doodle doing.


 
 
 


We head out tomorrow to meet dear friend, June, and tour Monticello before heading north to Frederick, Md, where we're staying before heading back to Ohio.

Earlier today, and I do mean earlier, we drove into Charlottesville to the farmer's market and then explored the campus of University of Virginia. What an awesome campus! Very, very interesting!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Less is more.....

 This room above, formerly the dining room, has been turned into the Craft Room. Notice the card catalog unit! Paulette and I think this is a great idea and one to consider for our homes.
The simplicity of the living room is inspiring us to go home and....take out furniture! Ron and Bob will think we have been brainwashed! This would be the first time we have ever removed furniture instead of finding yet another nook and cranny to put in a piece of furniture!

The open concept kitchen photos above are so restful and functional! This is the first "new" house I have admired in a long, long while.

Susan is turning the sun room into her office (above) and the craft room photo is below.
 
IKEA bookcases are just the best!
 

Life on the "farm"

The menagerie includes one llama, more than 50 sheep, many chickens, 2 pot bellied pigs, 4 cows, several geese, ducks,3 dogs, many goats, 4 bee hives, and 2 donkeys. Spread over 50 acres, with 4 pastures, we walked the perimeter of the fences to meet one and all.

While we tried to settle down and knit, I was tempted to do a happy dance and kept wandering around to see the farm. Later, a real treat was when Susan let all of the critters into the yard. Just steps away, the full lot mowed the lawn and landscaping!

 
 
 
 
 
Last night, Susan cautioned that the dogs would be working all night. That means they bark continually to ward off coyotes, feral dogs, and so forth. Louie would LOVE that job! Barking that is encouraged! Woo Hoo!!! I got up around 5 and looked out the window to see sheep sleeping on the lawn, looking like small white breathing bushes. It was magical.

All afternoon, Paulie and I sat on the back porch, gazing at the animals, listening to the sounds, and browsed through craft and cooking magazines from the UK, travel books, cooking books, knitting books, and had a field day. It wasn't until after 5 that I finally pulled out a bit of knitting and managed to cast on 39 stitches for the next block of the Picnic Afghan.

Already enamoured of the whole experience, we agreed to extend our stay an extra day, driving home on Monday instead of Sunday. Life is good.

Excellent Adventure- Day 2

Nirvana. Paulie and I arrived at the farm "wicked early" as our shepardess, Susan Gibbs, exclaimed. She was expecting us around 2pm and it was only 9am. In fact, we drove up to the gate, pondered how or if we should open it, called the number, left a message and drove away a bit flumouxed.

A few miles down the road, our phone rang and Paul told us he had just gotten to the gate when we were driving away. No worries. Susan was out doing some grocery shopping and was soon back to give us a tour of our home away from home.

This is not a farm house. It is a house on a farm. P and I are loving the beautiful interior-to be shown to you later.
This barn was for horses, but now is a great place for the misc. animals that Susan has here now.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Paulette's and Julie's Most Excellent Adventure- Day 1

First of all, let me give a big, big THANK YOU to Ron for giving me the gift of a farmstay for two at Juniper Moon Farm in Charlottesville, Va. We packed our bags and left around 8:30am and headed toward Pittsburg and on to WVA. Paulie took the first leg and drove in a huge downpour for the first 3 hours. We considered pulling over and waiting it out while knitting at a truck stop or two. Instead, we discovered the perfect pit stop........


Yep, our first one hour detour was spent at IKEA and the next hour detour was spent being lost around Pittsburgh! So, by the time we headed south, we were behind our schedule, but having a riot.

Here was our first stop in West Virginia. It was for sale, in case any of you are interested in starting up a new business.


We passed through Philippi and stopped to take a photo for Bob. Being a Civil War scholar, I'm sure he already knows about this. Our AAA trip tic (yes, they still make those paper guides) told us about the covered bridge, which wasn't too hard to find.




Enough history and we were on to cruise through the Alleghany Mountains. I must say, Minie (our van) held the road through the many, many switchbacks. This was during my stint as driver and I felt like I was on in a video arcade-the one where you pretend to steer the run away vehicle before crashing and losing points. ER, this was the real thing and it was a bit.......scary......Well, actually, when it was Paulette's turn to drive, I discovered that she was a race car driver in another life. She didn't want to waste the breaks and so, took the turns at 40 mph when the recommendation (ie, traffic sign) said 20 mph. No matter, we made it to our P.E.O. b&b around 8p,m. instead of 5pm.

Ann and David, retired Presbyterian minister and wife, welcomed us and led us to a vegan pizza place and entertained us with wonderful stories of their travels, families, and current life in Charlottesville, Va.  The beautiful antiques spoke to us, and we marvelled that they accomplished downsizing from 7,000 SF to less than 2,000 SF. Is there hope for us? No. End of Day One.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Wild Animal Kingdom

Allie hides under a sheep rocker in meeting Kate. Ron and I have Kate in tow with her leash on, though.

 Allie is more interested in Kate's bad to the bone leash than she is in Kate.


Allie realizes that the sheep rocker is a pretty good spot from which to observe any sudden moves by Kate. Actually, Kate could reach her, but, thankfully, she knows the command Leave It! and Gentle! which has come in handy thus far.

How about a high five? As time passed, Allie got bolder and Kate got less interested. I tried giving kate a treat each time she looked away from Allie rather than chasing her. We're still not introducing the two standard poodles to Allie any time soon. We still have the house divided into cat and dog areas. I'm hoping that isn't going to be a permanent division!

Maria and Mom were great helpers in keeping the animal kingdom in check during the past few weeks. Routine naps are now in order for most of the day while Ron and I are at work.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Easy peasy weekend

 
Last stretch of the summer is upon us. It is a beautiful Sandusky summer day. Yesterday was SULTRY. My new word to learn to accept hot and humid sounds so much better, doesn't it?
Ali-cat is getting bigger every day and is lots of fun to watch.

 
 
 
Meanwhile, Kate takes a brief nap on the couch. You missed the photo of me taking a nap in the hammock.
 
 Mom and Maria enjoy the Friday night dinners at Sunnybrook with Bob and Paulette. Ron enjoys them,too! Now we have to wait until next summer!
 Maria reconnected with her knitting and made the shawl below during her visit.
 
 
It wouldn't be summer without a visit to the LakeSide antique show! I got some ideas on how to use some of my button collection.

 
It's a good thing I enjoy the fall so much, otherwise I'd be pretty sad to see summer ending so soon.