Friday, May 28, 2010

Edisto Island vacation

Ahhhh, South Carolina, how I love you ...
We were invited to Edisto Island for a beach vacation and stayed here:
This was The Boo's first time seeing the ocean. He played keep-away with the waves for a bit then one caught him and rolled him like a pencil. I thought that was going to be all she wrote but the next day he was actually in it and having a grand time.
Used to be a time I'd run right in the ocean and stay all day. Now I won't go in above my knees (watched "Jaws" too many times) and would like to just sit and read but there are children to be watched so I didn't find it very relaxing!
Now The Daisy? You can't keep her out of the ocean. She is a water baby! Her favorite time was to go in during high tide and get bashed around.
Our last day we found 4 sharks teeth and that was a big deal.

The Boo and I took about an hour to pick strawberries.
This is the kind of road I want for a driveway where I can see live oaks draped with Spanish moss every day. There is nothing like this view:

One morning found us at The Serpentarium and I have to say this was the best place and program we've EVER seen! If you go to Edisto, it's a must stop!
Gator exhibit at The Serpentarium:
You won't believe this picture - if you click on it and look closely at the bottom, this is a black king snake EATING a corn snake! They ended up falling out of the tree and that turned 'em loose, but it was entirely freaky to watch.
Here is The Daisy ... happy as a clam because she's around reptiles:
The exhibit of non-venomous snakes - there were HUNDREDS of snakes writhing in the trees and make even the best snake lover have bad dreams. It was seriously messed up.

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Boo finally rides Tara Jean

Tara Jean has been roaming around our pasture since fall and The Daisy is the only one who's ridden her (except for me on occasion). She's given The Daisy a lot of confidence and I was hoping The Boo would enjoy her and get interested in horses.
Finally, last week, I guess The Daisy talked him into it, put him on and led him around. Taught him how to dismount on his own, give the horse a pat and tell her thank you.
The other day she led The Boo on Tara Jean all the way from the back pasture and he was so proud of himself for riding! Looked out the other day and the both of them were on T.J. I have to give it to that horse - she is patient!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Wild herb walk

From left, Lois, Becky, Jean, Nancy and Jane

Back in February, I auctioned off a one-hour herb walk here at the farm and so Saturday arrived and here came the girls from church: Jane, Jean, Becky, Lois and Nancy. Only Jane has been out here before.
We donned our ratty shoes because it's still pretty muddy from last week's flooding. Everyone immediately took to the ponies and fed peppermints, which endeared them to the horses! This was the first day Misty, the baby Haflinger, had let me touch her without food in my hand and let Nancy rub on her too.
We met up with dandelion, red clover, yarrow, garlic mustard, stinging nettle, yellow dock, plantain, jewelweed and sorrel. I'd gone walking earlier looking for mullein but no longer have any on my farm.
Lois photographing and Hank wondering why the camera isn't pointed at him:
Nancy using her horse whisper techniques to give the errant baby a rub!
Afterwards we had a quick repast of garlic mustard pesto, lemonbalm lemonade and a rice salad using last year's celery from my garden.
Everybody, but Lois since she has her own chickens, took home half a dozen eggs from my hens because I was overrun with about three dozen eggs on the counter!
Here are most of the girls and I (and no, I did not lead the herb walk in 3-inch heels?

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Flood, part 2

I feel for those Tennessee people. There is nothing more helpless than just watching a disaster happen before your eyes and not having any power to stop it.
This is just after the rains started Wednesday morning:
This is ONE HOUR later:
See that black blob in the middle of the screen? That's one of my horse run-in sheds.
Water covering the road: (Chips the duck was happy)
This is as close as it got to the back of the house, probably 7 feet from reaching the foundation:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Mother's Day outing: Old Friends

What did I want to do more than anything for Mother's Day? (Well, besides have the children feed me chocolate and rub my feet?) I opted for a visit to Old Friends rescue in Georgetown. This is my Mother's Day family photo: The Daisy surprised me with breakfast in bed with the egg sandwich she'd made herself plus lemon water and three strawberries from the farmer's market visit yesterday.
And then we were off.
It was just us and Val, the ever-present tour guide, recognized us from last summer. The Daisy is always one to get right in and feed carrots and peppermints and give rubs, but The Boo needs to warm up. THEN he got into it about halfway through because all of the horses are very gentle with kids. Now Val? She got a nip or two ... so did I. I guess we're too big.
Ah, BullintheHeather gets a back scratch from The Daisy:
Kiri's Clown also enjoyed a scratch on the withers. Look how happy The Daisy is.
This is one of Secretariat's sons:
For some reason, he was scared of kids so we spent some time with Val's encouragement feeding him carrots and he wasn't spooked at all.

Clever Allemont (I put him in just for my Facebook friend Alex Brown who helped in the rescuing of Clever from a feed lot):
This is Black Tie Affair, an Eclipse Award winner, now suffering terrible arthritis and cancer.
And the son of Charismatic, my favorite present-day racehorse:
The Daisy with Classy, the only mare we saw on our tour:
I really love Old Friends ... I never tire of going. Thank you to Val for such a great tour today and being so patient with The Boo!

Field trip in our own backyard ... practically

Friday we took an impromptu field trip to Newport, Ky., to ride the Ducks (actually WWII DUKW amphibious vehicles). The Ohio River was still 10 feet above normal so we stayed on land and it was quite the history lesson!
We learned there were underground tunnels leading from homes in Newport across the river to Cincinnati for slaves to use and escape.
This apartment building, called The Ascent, or as people at the Aquarium call it "The Shark," has an opening for one of its lower priced apartments - at $800,000. Seriously. And then there's the $2,000 a month property dues or some craziness. The driver of the Duck has to be Coast Guard certified plus have a CDL. We were totally safe! And then there's Tom, our guide. The Licking River is one of only six in the world to flow south to north, and empties into the Ohio River. Wonder why I took a picture of a tugboat? That's a story for another entry. It's a good one! Since we learned so much on our Duck tour, we ended up going to Carew Tower in downtown Cincy. It's the tallest building in the city ... but not for long. The neighboring building will be called Queen Tower and have a 14-story replica of Princess Diana's tiara and that will make it the tallest building in the city. That's it to the right under construction. We rode up to the 45th floor, got out and hopped on a teeny-tiny elevator to take us another 4 floors. We climbed two flights of stairs, paid 2 bucks to go out on the open air observatory ... and I stood just outside the door. My back up against the wall. The wind was blowing hard and you could feel the building swaying. Now The Daisy? She went right over and walked all around the building. "Cool!" I was petrified. I couldn't get back on that teeny-tiny elevator fast enough. Heading out of Carew Tower, we spotted AbbyGirl Sweets, a cupcake store. $2.75 each for cupcakes and I might say that they were worth it. It was certainly a surprise detour for me and the kids.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Field trip: Virginia Animal Safari

On our way to the DC area last week, our fun detour was the Virginia Animal Safari. A few years ago in Georgia, we did a similar thing at the Wild Animal Safari, which was MUCH better than this one, but this was still good in a pinch. Nothing like an elk trying to stick its head inside your car:
The Boo saying everything was "adorable."
This emu pecked The Daisy.
Feeding the bison:
And it stole my bucket!
The Daisy had to remind me we weren't supposed to get out of the car because I was about to so I could retrieve the bucket!

A little llama breath on the window:
This baby lemur was climbing all over its mom. Typical kid. You're trying to read the paper, play on the computer, take a nap and your child is climbing all over you.
The Daisy with the white tiger:
We weren't supposed to feed the zebra. I've heard they bite ... a lot.
We also weren't supposed to feed the watusi, and all I could think as we drove by it was "Please don't hit my car."