Friday, February 29, 2008

It's a Dog Day...

We are still in the Frozen Tundra Mode and it was a two coat day for Phoebe.  For some reason it took longer than normal to do chores.  When I finally finished, I loaded the dogs in my car and headed to Wegman's to pick up a few things for dinner.  Afterwards, we headed over to Jennifer's house to pick up Ice.

This is Ice (Box).  He was adopted when he was a few weeks old from a humane society  (the same place Phoebe came from).  Someone was going past a house and heard a noise in the direction of the porch.  It sounded like a puppy whinning, and it was coming from a refrigerator!  Some idiot left him in there to suffocate.  He was taken to the Mercer County Humane Society in Harrodsburg, Kentucky.  At the time, a woman boarding a horse at our farm, had a Rochester based dog rescue called "Woof Wagon."  She worked with the Kentucky agency over the years, and told me about the puppy.  When I told my son-in-law Kevin the story, he immediately made arrangements to adopt him, and he was brought to Brockport. They already had a black lab adopted from Lollypop Farm...another rescue they named Jaxi. Yesterday she died of a heart attack at the Vet's office and now he cannot understand where she is.  So....I picked him up this morning and he is hanging out at the farm.  He is a very sweet boy and will be fine.  Tonight his family will come for dinner, and when he goes home with them, he will start a new life as an only child.  So... it is a dog day.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

PC's Stall

Now this was a cold morning! 0 !!! I did not let the dogs go with me to the barn as their feet would have been frozen.  Fortunately the sun was out, and as it came in through the south windows, I could clean the stalls without freezing to death.  When I am finished with the chores, the barn looks so serene.

The Red Bird Tea Shop



This afternoon I met my daughter in the village at the local furniture store to look at couches and chairs.  There are so many advantages to living in a small town where you know everyone. The attention you get from shop owners is amazing.  

When we finished looking at what was available, we decided to go to lunch at a local tea shop called "The Red Bird."  We knew the owner and were warmly greeted.  In the past, she has hosted several art exhibits during FIRST FRIDAYS. The front of the shop is loaded with Teas, Jams, Vera Bradley items and much, much more.  When we were getting ready to leave, Jennifer (our daughter) started looking at some bags that would be appropriate for holding her laptop.  Jo, the shop owner, said "take a couple home and see if they work." Where else could you go and do that?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

DJ and Sunshine


Fortunately, we did not get all the snow that was promised.  When I got in from chores and went to my computer, these two beautiful photographs were waiting for me.  A good friend (and art student) of mine has been trying out her new camera this morning, and here are some of the results.  

Tina and her husband Roger have a "gentleman's farm" where they keep 2 horses (the one pictured is Sunshine), a beautiful dog and several cats.  If it were not for Tina, I never would have thought about starting this journal.  She told me about Bedlam Farm and got me hooked.  Her dog DJ and my dog Phoebe are therapy dogs together.  For two years they have participated in a reading program at an Elementary School in Holley, New York, where we now have a team of four dogs.

On most Wednesdays, Gary and I go down to the Senior Center at 10am to participate in a chorus of 45 men and women.  It is being directed by Mary Ellen G., who used to teach music at the same High School I retired from.  Gary and I have not done a lot of singing since 1961(!) and find this to be a great experience.  The musical selections are challenging and give you such a high when they are done right. Currently, we are working on quite a variety of pieces, ranging from Stevie Wonder's "Sir Duke" to a "Dance" medley.  The four part harmony produces a great sound and definately adds something to your quality of life.  A public performance will take place in late spring.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

The North Forty

So much for the green grass yesterday!  As you can see, it was snowing this morning, and the weatherman says we may have up to 16 inches of snow by tomorrow.  It is coming from the West and this area should take a pretty good hit tonight.

Last night we did go to the premier of the Jennifer Hecker project and I was very impressed...not only by the first class job Ginny did in the documentation, but with the amazing effort that went into the production of the sculpture.  Jennifer is one strong woman!

I had to cancel my Monday evening art class and rescheduled for tonight.  Hopefully the weather will not keep them from coming.  The Tuesday afternoon class met as usual...with much work and conversation.  I put their work on the Picasa Web Album site regularly.

Josh and Phoebe wore their red coats out to the barn this morning and were covered with snow by the time they went back into the house. It did not seem to bother them...they do chores with me twice a day, everyday.

Monday, February 25, 2008

The Indoor Arena

Another beautiful morning....bright and clear.  Today more of the snow will melt.  I love to see the grass.  The horses have started to shed, so I don't think spring is too far off.  Thanks for all the emails you have been sending me regarding the site. 

HeartWork - Creating a Sculpture

Tonight we are going to attend the premier of the documentary, HEART WORK.  It was created by Virginia Bacheler, who is an Associate Dean at SUNY Brockport. There is a long story behind this project.

I am currently the chairman of the Art & Aesthetics Committee of the Walk! Bike! Brockport Action Group (established to encourage health and fitness in our community).  The purpose of the A & A segment, is it to create destinations for walkers and bikers through the installation of public art.  We have been doing so for over three years with great success and  I will post photos of our accomplishments at another time.  At any rate, the sculpture shown on this post card is entitled "Les Racines et les Raisons" and was produced by SUNY Brockport Art Professor, Jennifer Hecker.  It resides in Remembrance Park in our village, and has brought much pleasure to the neighborhood and visitors.  Ms. Bacheler, who produced a documentary about the Rochester Public Market several years ago,  followed the development of this sculpture and is now ready to present it.
Our committee raised all the funds for the Hecker piece through an auction consisting of art etc. donated by other area artists.

My background is the reason I am so interested in this and many other projects.  Starting in 1966, I taught art at all levels, from pre school and k-12 to the college and here at the farm.  I retired over 7 years ago and am currently having the best experience of my career with the students I am now working with.  Most of them are also retired, and we have been meeting once a week for 6 years.  Many of them came thinking they could not do anything, and as you will see, they have made great progress.  You can view their work by clicking on the link PICASA WEB ALBUMS and going to the Skoog Farm Workshop.  I will return to this topic at another time.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Garden Renovation

This garden area has lived through many changes.  This last august, I poured a concrete pad under the shelter, so I would have a base from which to plan, and not have weeds overgrowing the area which houses the picnic table where I can read the newspapers, and enjoy a coffee or whatever.  So now I am thinking about what this enclosed garden should look like, or better yet, what theme of plants, etc., should I  develop.

Can you see Phoebe peeking around the corner?

A beautiful morning

Bright sunshine, but very crisp this morning. After chores, Gary went down to the village for coffee (which he does everyday) to enjoy some time with the regulars.  I chose to stay home to watch the Sunday Morning political shows, only to be shocked to see Ralph Nader on Meet the Press, announcing his run for president.  This has been the most exciting election I can remember.  What is going to happen?

Last  night we looked through a bulb catalog, getting an order ready for a few hundred glads. We used to sell them and have decided to give it another try.  In October, Gary planted about 2,500 garlic cloves, down from over 18,000 last season.  With March only a few days away it is not hard to think about what we would like to grow this year.  Last summer we had the best vegetables ever, but there was not enough rain to give us the prime garlic we are used to (that is why he has decided to not worry about selling it, and is growing less for us). Everything we grow is organic, and frequently we share it with friends and family.

Just got a call from our youngest daughter, who is stopping by to pick up a couple of sleds.
She has two boys (4 and 2) and they are going to do some sledding this afternoon.  It is so nice having some family nearby.  Lori

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Home Sweet Home

We live in a farmhouse that was built in 1853.  Because of its size, we immediately installed an insert in the kitchen fireplace and a freestanding stove in the living room to help heat the place. Those warm, crackling fires make the winters more bearable.                                 

Our favorite form of entertainment is having guests over for dinner and we do this frequently.  We have what we call "Community Dinners" and invite our friends and our children's friends to share a meal.  Our daughters are now 37 and 39 and we have been doing this for many years.  Actually, we are flattered that our two age groups enjoy each others company so much.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Getting Started

6:45 and time to get up...let out the dogs, feed them and the cat, soak beet pulp for the horses morning feed, fill gallon jugs with hot water (to soak hay cubes for the two oldest mares), put coats on the dogs and go out the door.  Today there is snow covering the driveway and I am not slipping on the ice. Everyday the routine is the same... it doesn't matter how I feel or if I am tired.  I open the barn door and turn on the light to find seven beautiful creatures waiting for their breakfast.  The dogs, Josh and Phoebe, are with me but do their own thing.  Josh takes a walk around the outside of the pasture fences and Phoebe runs up the stairs to see if she can find a cat in what she considers to be her territory.  While the horses are eating their grain, I put hay in the paddock.  This along with stall cleaning can take anywhere from two to three hours.  My friends think I am crazy to do all this physical work at my age, but it is my greatest pleasure and keeps me moving!  At 10am a Dad and his daughter arrive with their horse to use the indoor arena.  They have a lesson tomorrow from their trainer and want to prepare.  I enjoy sharing the facility, tho it is not being used as much for clinics and lessons as it was a few years ago.  They left at 11:15 and the farrier arrived at 11:30 to trim four horses.  Had time to eat a quick lunch when another friend arrived with 2 of her grandchildren to visit the horses.  Did not catch a minute for myself until late afternoon.  Started dinner and back out for evening chores.  A hot shower feels good at the end of the day...then it's couch time.  Lori