Well, lots has happened this week and we’ve been having internet troubles since Sunday evening possibly due to a new router we installed in order to get internet service to the barn. We’re sorting that issue out at the moment but for that reason I have not been able to blog so this is a catch-up blog.
Due to our excessive, but welcome, amount of visitors over the last 13 days we have decided it is a GOOD idea to properly dress from head to toe (in other words, no bummy clothes) here at home. You never know who is going to drop by, so it seems it is best to be prepared for anything. So we began Monday morning with business as usual with the addition only of dressing with make-up, etc. As usual we began with chores, school, chores again and then after PM chores at around 3:20PM we loaded up in the truck and headed to the Town Clerk’s office to apply for a kennel license. Around here if you have as many dogs as we do (6 in all) then you are required to get a kennel license. The Town Hall looks much to me like any town hall in a small town in Texas. It is very nice and clean. We stopped by the Tax Assessor’s office for a quick chat about how we should file our taxes with a farm exemption as well. We’ll have to make an appointment and go back, but in the meantime I plan to do some research because I’m getting mixed messages as to what we should do, so BEFORE we go to the meeting I plan to do my homework! After the Assessor’s office, we stopped down the hall at the Town Clerk’s office and it was so late that we had to just drop off photo copies of the documents and they assured us all would be ready the following day.
We left town and began to drive home and my daughter reminded me that she needed some notebook paper for her writing assignments and to write letters to her cousins and friends back in Texas. So we decided we should go to Walmart. The last visit to Walmart was Sunday and my hubby marked it on the GPS so I pulled over, keyed in my Favorites/Walmart and off we went. The route looked familiar. Up to this point I had only been a passenger and not a driver. As a passenger I do not tend to pay attention to the road. So we shove off on the path the GPS sends us. We got to the Highway and I vaguely remembered going this route so I continued on, then we got to a toll booth, I was confused… I do not remember going past a toll road on the way to Walmart, so now I’m guessing something ain’t right! We drive a bit further and my GPS says, and I quote, “turn right and go ‘off road’.” I look at the “right turn” and there we are on a bridge and there is a guard rail. I laugh hysterically at my quandary and quickly map us back “home” just to get us going back in the right direction. We ended up paying a total of $1.25 in tolls for our mishap and in the end we ended up back by the house going to the Dollar Store to get our paper. Shoulda done that in the first place, haha. Oh and the problem with the Walmart is that our GPS is older and has older maps so when we added Walmart to our “favorites” it thought that Walmart was in the middle of a field or forest in this case. So I’ll have to drive up there next time and figure out the roads myself.
So we returned home and it was nice and WARM outside so we pulled out the dog wash tub and lined up the pooches, aside from Natsar, who is still currently convalescing from his mishap back in Texas. We washed 3 Aussies, 1 Pomeranian, and the Bulldog. We began outside but as I warned my daughter previous to this predicament, I told her the water would be ice cold. So she confirmed that with the Pomeranian and we quickly switched our operation to the downstairs bathroom in the house so we could be assured of warm water. My daughter scrubbed the dogs and handed them off to me and I took them to my grooming table in the tack room and blew them dry with my fancy air-force dryer. I scrubbed up their kennels too, they still had a hint of kitty litter scent from our trip up here. I’m sure the dogs didn’t mind, but we did!
Our dog grooming operation took a lot longer as I expected, my daughter didn’t believe me, but this isn’t my first rodeo and I knew it would take a while. It took us at least 3-4 hours. I forgot to check the time before hand, but I assure you it took a loonnnggg time! So then we were done. We de-furred ourselves and decide to try out the Greek restaurant just a small jog down the road and around the corner. We arrived there at 8:30 PM. I have stopped eating after nightfall, but this was an exception because I was HUNGRY. We ordered Gyros and tried to be calm, but I’m sure we scarfed them, haha. The man that took our order was very nice. He entertained us and came and spoke to our daughter. He gave her a math problem to solve, which she did. Then when he picked up our dinner plates he did a magic trick and poured water in his hand from a cup, then poured it into my open palms I had over my plate by his request. Pretty neat, I still don’t know how he did that. He came back and chit-chatted with us asking us where we were from. Turns out we are sort of neighbors with his sister and mother. So he introduced us to his Mom, she was working in the back, in the kitchen. They were all very nice, we’ll look forward to visiting with them in the future.
Tuesday morning, after chores, we had to go to a local farm to pick up milk and eggs. I needed to get some cash out and went to the local grocery store which has a bank inside to do so. I went inside by the bank, there was a row of people in line for the teller and there was an older lady that sort of rolled her eyes at us. I saw her but ignored her. She no doubt frowned on us for having my daughter “out of school” at this time of day, I try not to be out and about on a school day before 3PM just to avoid these sorts of people. Anyhow, I swiped my card at the ATM and it would not read it. So plan B, I went to the cashier and asked if I could “swipe for over the amount if I made a purchase.” She said “yes” so we bought a chocolate bar and got our cash. Out the door we went and when we got to the parking lot my daughter saw a blonde, curly-haired young girl with her mom by their car. My daughter whispers to me “Mom, do you think they might homeschool?” I say, “I don’t know, why don’t you ask them?” So she says, “no, you do it!” So we take a short detour over to them, they are parked an aisle over from our truck. We say, “sorry to bother you two, but do you homeschool?” The lady grins and says, “Yes we do!” I say, “so do we!!” So we chat for a few minutes and get the skinny on homeschooling activities in the area. My efforts to the point of meeting this lady had been sort of hit and miss in trying to find local homeschoolers. In addition to them being local she has girls and one of them is my daughter’s age! How awesome is that?? So we exchange contact info and plan on a definite get together VERY soon!
We shove off again and head to the local farm in Dudley, MA. On the way, we spy a dead critter in the road that looks like a GIANT opossum. We turn the truck around just to see what it is, it looks to be a badger. I contemplate taking a picture, but it’s quite dead and has been there sometime, so I opt not to. When we get home we look up badger pictures and what we saw looked more like a honey badger because of it’s markings but honey badgers are an African animal. Very interesting. I may have to go back and photograph it to be certain I saw what I saw. We got to the farm and discover that the farmer’s family are homeschoolers also! Too cool! So we pick up our order and head home.
We got home, attempted to check our emails (internet was being flaky) and took care of some things. Before the internet went down I got a weather alert for our area saying Severe Thunderstorms were on their way. I contemplated staying home but decided that we really should go to this Homeschool Open House in Upton, MA. It was a great networking opportunity and I felt we would miss out if we didn’t go. So we went. We jumped in the car and headed up a little early to ensure we would have enough time should we encounter traffic on the way. We encountered very little traffic and arrived in Upton an hour before the Open House was to begin. We visited a roadside stand called Kelly Farm. We bought some apples and I couldn’t resist the Coffee Cake and some chocolate bars. Then we asked the cashier what restaurants were nearby that they recommended. They recommended an Italian restaurant just down the road a bit. My hubby met us there and we ate there, it was good, the restaurant was called “Frescos” it was a little on the pricey side, but good.
After the meal we drove down the road to the Open House. We met some local homeschoolers and teachers and got to see their programs they were offering. It is very nice but quite the drive. It would be 40 minutes for us one way. My daughter was interested in their Shakespeare Program, but we’ll have to see how, if at all, it can fit into our schedule. Classes start in September so we have the summer to think it over. In the meantime we plan to try and find some local Pony Clubs.
We drove back home and arrived at about 8:30 PM to find our home had received a deluge! Back at the restaurant we sat near some TVs and they showed the satellite images of the stores moving throughout Southbridge. We prayed for the safety of the animals and our home. We had left the horses in the pasture and worried about if they had gotten out. At the house, my husband went out to survey the damage since we found water in our basement!! The ground is extremely saturated and the road that goes to the upper pasture and arena has a newly carved trench in it from the torrential downpour. We believe we got about 4-5 inches of water in a very short period of time! Incredible! The horses, cats and dogs were a bit shaken up, but thankfully, they were all fine.
Well we are only halfway through the day today, hubby gets to work from home which is really nice! I made him breakfast and the Pest guys came by to spray for Carpenter Ants in the barn area. On Monday, I discovered a HUGE Carpenter Ant nest in a tree just on the other side of the barn when I was out doing chores. The pest guys sprayed that also. Carpenter ants can do some devastating damage. I had seen these little guys walking about but didn’t know what they were. My husband said, “if you see them, squish them, they are bad news!” They also sprayed for “Powder-post beetles” in the crawl space under the house.
Before the pest guys came into the basement to spray in the crawl space my husband went down and moved the dog crates out of the way and removed the crawl space cover. Incidentally at some point the basement door that leads to the outside did not get completely shut. A gentle breeze blew the door open. I had gone downstairs to tell the pest guys about the carpenter ant nest in the tree behind the barn when I glanced over my shoulder and saw that the basement door was WIDE OPEN and there was a spotty, Bengal kitty standing on the outside of the door. I calmly, hurried over to her and told her to “get back inside.” She did. I shut the door and checked it to ensure it was fully closed and then I went back over to the pest guys to finish explaining the situation. My husband went outside and I came back in with my daughter who was doing her school work and hanging out with the dogs. I noticed that there were no cats about. No bells, no noise, no nothing. Just dogs! Hmmm, I thought. I told my daughter to go upstairs and check to see if there were any kitties up there. There were none. Uh oh, I thought. We quickly visited all their usual hang out hot spots and found NO KITTIES! So I called into the basement, I had not gone down there yet. Two out of four kitties came scurrying up the basement steps. The two girl kitties, my kitty Kefira, and my daughter’s spotty Bengal Kitty who has a habit of escaping and goes about to the theme song Mission Impossible, Namira, her whiskers are covered in cobwebs. We put the two girls in the Mudroom and I went downstairs to see what the matter was. I found the crawl space open (prior to this I did not realize it was open). I called into the crawl space and out runs our Orange long-haired “special kitty” Timothy or “Timmy” for short. His whiskers are also covered in cobwebs. I deliver Timmy to my daughter at the top of the basement steps and add him to our kitty collection in the mudroom. I return to the open crawl space and call very loudly now for our last missing kitty Sir Rolf. I even open the door and call outside in case he may have escaped before I discovered the Open basement door and Namira standing in front of it. Then I hear a reply to my call. Sir Rolf is a Blue-point Balinese and is very noisy, talking, at times. He is very cute and very fuzzy. I call him Cookie Monster and his theme song is “The Pink Panther” but we call him “The Blue Panther.” I will share his personal story another time when I need something to write about 😉 . Anyhow, he is in the crawl space but is worried about crossing over a rock because it is dark below the rock and he is nervous about the darkness there. It is a wonder he ever survived as an outdoor kitty when we originally found him. He was about a foot and a half out of reach here. I had to reach into the crawl space and really stretch out to pull him over by his scruff and back into the basement, silly boy! I brought him up and added him to the growing kitty pile in the mudroom. I shut them all in and we decided to keep them all there, where we KNEW where they were until the pest guys completed their job.
After the pest guys left we had another visitor. He is a friend of the Home Owner of this place. He was very nice and assured us of a visit this weekend with his own horses, to introduce our horses to the local trails. Sounds exciting, he was very nice and told us the name of his equine vet they use in this area. So it turns out this home used to belong to a legacy of a horse trainer, Nancy Adams. Pretty nice. I hope I can be even a shadow of a horse trainer that I hear she is. 🙂
That’s all for now, tune in next time for all the happenings around our place. We are trying to think of a name for our farm. There are some sign makers around here that make those cool looking English signs. I told my hubby “I want one” and he said he does too! 🙂 Only we have to figure out what the name should be. We’ll seek Abba in prayer and see what He wants us to name it. After all, He brought us here. It’s His place!