Throughout our lives many of us ponder what our purpose or place in life is…and I have found mine.
It is not what I thought it would be, it is not some lofty goal or a life filled with good deeds. I, apparently, was meant to be a”Boy Toy”…and not in the usual definition or sense of the phrase. I am a “Boy Toy” for an over active Springer Spaniel (aka Buddy) and he knows my place in life. I am the yard walker, the game player and the ball tosser. Chasing tennis balls launched from the ball chunker is his favorite activity. In good weather we do this 4 to 6 times a day with 20 to 30 chunks each session. He averages about 120 yards round trip per toss which adds up to between 2400 to 3600 yards per session and this means he runs well over a mile per session. It’s not a bad job in good weather, but as I type this with an outside temperature around 2 degrees I think of what it takes to do this in the winter, layers of clothes, face mask and snow goggles and of course we do not do it as often or as long in this weather, but we still do it. We also play inside games with various toys and work on his command skills, us to him…him to us…his to us are clearly understood. We know what he wants when he drops a ball or his dinner bowl in our lap. He will also bring us his bone in the evening when it is time for it to be stuffed with peanut butter. Another adventure for him in the winter is the leash walk. I try to take him on two a night during the frozen season and Kathy and I try to walk the neighborhood 3 to 4 times a week with him. He has a great life and we…well, we enjoy being his toy…
So, if you have ever thought of being a “Boy Toy” be careful, very careful what you wish for.
Granddaughter Elena turned one on November 19th so Neil and Lori had a party for her. There were about 14 adults and a whole herd of kids.
Chilling with Papa Ross
It was a great and well-behaved party.
Elena also had her first real Thanksgiving day dinner complete with turkey and stuffing. Neil spatchcocked the turkey (similar to butterflied) and Lori made a wonderful cornbread sausage stuffing, turnip and white bean mash, and turkey gravy. Ross cooked brussels sprouts with garlic and red pepper flakes, Kathy made the cranberry sauce with star anise and a squash pie. Lori also made a yummy and pretty apple gallette with whipped cream.
In another first, Elena has been walking while holding on to someone’s hand, the coffee table or a push toy for a while but after dinner we were all amazed when she turned loose of the coffee table and walked about four feet to the chair her mother was sitting in. It was a very fun Thanksgiving!
Grand kids are smart, busy, energetic, good-looking, polite, and exhausting…
Recently Kathy and I spent several days with Leigh, Chip and Jason in Maryland and a few more with Torey, Kerry and Hadley in Virginia. We had a great trip that included play time in the park, mall and yard with Jason and a soccer game, pumpkin carving and apple picking with Hadley.
Park Fun…catch me if you can…
Soccer here I come
Tunnels are fun…
We had a great visit, but these kids are active from get up to bed time and just watching them in motion is exhausting…maybe even more than our own kids were to us at a young age…of course we are older now and that may impact it…
Before closing I should include Neil, Lori and Elena in this post, but since they live much closer we do see them more often. Elena is almost walking, she has taken a step or two and will walk behind a toy with a handle.
While our friends Marjory and Jim from Maryland were visiting for a week we took a loop ride to see some of Vermont’s covered bridges…
Jim and Marge
Seeing these bridges that w had not seen before made for a fun day , a several hour loop ride and a great lunch along the way…
One of our near by neighbors operates a Dog Sled ride company named Peace Pups www.peacepupsdogsledding.com/and we went for a cart ride one day along with Kathy’s sister Nancy and her partner Ridge while they were here for a visit from California.
The carts weigh around 450 lbs and are used for fall training so they will be in shape for the snow season. Once we arrived and the harness was brought out the dogs got very excited about the job they were about to do…The link to the video will let you see how happy they are to have a job that they love to do…
The day we went for our ride the temp was around 62 degrees which is as warm as Ken, the owner, will let the dogs work out. He did give them a cool down as we traveled through a wet spot on the trail. Pair by pair they stopped to wallow in the cool water and mud.
Each of the carts had a team of ten dogs although the snow sleds only use eight dogs.
It was a great experience and we are considering booking a ride for snow season…
Fall in Vermont is a lovely time of the year and my job at Green River Reservoir State Park allows me to see the beauty every day has the color comes alive.
We also have a lot of color in our yard…
Of course, all of this beauty is only provided to us in the fall so we will not think about what comes next…
no one wants to play
But this is the way life is in the “Far Frozen North Land” that we call home…
Our garden has had a good year. Picture above is the harvest from Friday. We have been freezing, dehydrating and canning squash (several kinds), beans, blueberries, raspberries, broccoli, herbs and tomatoes. We have also been eating them along with garlic, onions, leeks, radishes, kale and several kinds of lettuce and spinach.
We are also starting to harvest the Hubbard, delicata and acorn squashes which will keep for months in our cool basement. We will eat well this winter, at least for part of it.
The garden has required a lot of work and most of this has been done by Kathy, but when we look in the freezer it all seems to be well worth it.
It was a cool day today so Kathy had a fire going for me when I came home today, not our first however.
Sunrise on Hardwood Flats…
Above is the my early morning view while tossing balls for Buddy before I leave for work.
View on ride to work…
I took this picture on my way to work one morning.