Monday, June 30, 2008
I wasn't going to post another photo from last year's Wagon Train, but I really enjoyed looking at them again. Then, I came across this one that always makes me smile! And, it's so similar to the photo that I posted the other day, that I had to put it on the blog. My sister gave that t-shirt to my husband a few years ago, when he was just starting to learn to ride. I'm not sure it helped his confidence, but we all got a kick out of it and it still makes us laugh!!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Here is a photo of the wagon that I described to you during the West Paris Old Home Days Parade and our tour of town. For the past 3 years, our boys have been able to ride in this wagon throughout the Wagon Train weekend. This picture is from last year and they are the 2 boys that are making faces at me while everyone else smiles and waves. Figures, doesn't it? ;-)
I apologize for not posting this yesterday - I'll do 2 posts today to make up for it...
Remember our friends that I told you about at the parade? Each year, during the last weekend of June they plan a Wagon Train Ride around West Paris and into neighboring Buckfield and Sumner. People bring their horses and spend the weekend camping out in a big field overlooking the mountains. It's a great time and we always look forward to it! Especially since it happens just a mile from home! Unfortunately, the weather wasn't good for this year's ride, so I didn't take my camera and the photo above is from last year's Wagon Train ride. (That's the problem with spending money on better equipment - I take far fewer chances with it!) We had a good time riding yesterday though, and we didn't get too wet, just damp. This morning we thought we could beat the thunderstorms, and take a short ride, but they were faster, so we got drenched!! It was a bit scary, since the storm was quite severe, but I was fortunate enough to be riding Kitch and he took care of me...
Friday, June 27, 2008
This car caught the eye of another CDP blogger, so I thought I would showcase it today. It's an adorable Beetle, in my very favorite color! Being a mother, I particularly appreciate the license plate!! ;-) The car was part of the antique car line-up during the West Paris Old Home Days Parade a few weeks ago.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
I wish this car had been parked in front of the West Paris General Store when I took the photo for last month's Theme Day. It would have really added to the old-fashioned atmosphere! This is a wicked cool old car - anyone know anything about it?
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
I think the phrase on the windshield is too funny! I love red Jeeps!! When I was a teenager, this was my dream vehicle. These days my dream vehicle is anything big enough to carry the family & the horses. Our extended cab GMC pickup may not be sexy, but it sure does the job when we head off for our adventures!!
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Saturday afternoon our team penning club hosted a beginners' clinic. During part of the training session, the riders dismounted their horses and learned to move the cows around on foot - learning where their pressure points are and which directions you should move in to encourage the cows to walk, turn or stop. Because they are much more mellow and safer to work around, the cattle producer brought in some dairy steers, but this one was just a wee bit too friendly!!
Sunday, June 22, 2008
That's my youngest - he'll be dirty 'til school starts again in the fall - summertime fun on the farm! This morning he woke up my husband at 6 am with the reminder that he was promised a fishing trip if he got up early. Poor Dad dragged his tired body out of bed and they headed for the brook. Here's the reward! Brook trout and eggs (fresh from the chicken coop!) for breakfast!! It doesn't get much better than that....I'd offer you some, but I'm afraid it's all gone...maybe next time! ;-)
Saturday, June 21, 2008
...from a horse drawn wagon! It helps you to slow down and just enjoy the ride...
The wagon is a stagecoach replica. We tried to explain to the children that were riding along with us, what it must have been like to ride across the country is such a vehicle - and it would have been stuffed with all our worldly belongings. They are unable to comprehend a life full of work and without stuff...
Friday, June 20, 2008
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Stilt walkers are so fascinating! How do they do it? First of all, I would be way too afraid of falling - how would I get back up again? This guy seemed to be enjoying himself and as you can see, it wasn't just the children that he was entertaining...
BTW that bag that he is carrying is full of candy, which he was tossing out into the crowd.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Yes, it's entirely possible that I love this car for its name! ;-) My favorite antique cars are the muscle cars - rev that engine and I'm hooked. Stock car racing is okay, but too much time spent watching them go around in a circle. Drag racing is more my speed! The faster and louder, the better!!
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
These antique cars were part of the parade on Saturday. My husband is rather partial to that pretty blue Chevy. My favorite is the car second in line - I'll show it better tomorrow. Actually, my favorite antique car is wrapped around the third finger of my left hand. My husband (then boyfriend) owned a 1955 Mercury Monterey, which he sold in order to buy my diamond engagement ring...
Monday, June 16, 2008
I know, I know, some of you are thinking "More horses?!" I'd apologize, but I'm not really sorry! ;-) I'll never tire of taking pictures of horses, but I will promise that this is the last one for a while. I just had to share this image from the parade...
Here's why: it reminded me of my very favorite childhood song! Does anyone else know this one?
"There once was a horse whose name was Napoleon,
all because of his bony parts.
He was owned by Joseph Murch,
and he'd only go by fits and starts.
He was so skinny you could see right through him,
and his hair was soft as silk.
I hitched him up to my milk wagon,
when I wanted to stop, I hollered "Milk!"
Well one day when I was a ridin',
along came a fella in a rig so neat.
Said he to me, "Come on you sinner,
we'll have a race right down the street."
Away we went a helter-skelter,
me with a smile all over my face.
Sure as I'm a sinner I'd a come out the winner,
but he hollered "MILK!" and I lost the race."
My mother and her sister taught us this song when we were children and we sang it all the time. Pretty much every car trip would find us singing to pass the time. Now, I sing it for my boys - they love to hear me sing the race part double-time and then really yell that final "Milk!"
A Google search for this song shows that many people sing it, but the words are changed based on the location, especially in regards to the name of the owner - generally the singer would choose someone local. There is also much dispute over who originally wrote it, as could be expected...
Sunday, June 15, 2008
Here is my father, hard at work, as always. He keep very busy with lots of projects around the farm. In this picture, he is making a toy rifle for one of the grandchildren. He loves to make wooden toys for them and has produced dozens! Every time they visit, he either has something ready for them, or they come to him with plans in mind, which he is glad to help them make. We all love to listen to his stories - he has lots to tell! Thanks for everything, Dad - you're the BEST!!
Saturday, June 14, 2008
West Paris kicked off their Old Home Days festivities last night with a spectacular fireworks display and a rockin' band. First thing this morning we enjoyed a parade down Main Street. This team is owned by friends of ours, so they are extra special to me. They pulled a big stagecoach filled with people in the parade, and also took groups on tours throughout town today. Of course, we enjoyed a ride as well!
Friday, June 13, 2008
What's the best way to cool off on a hot summer's day? Bring out the hose!! It was so fun to watch each horse's reaction to that cold water - some of them tried to drink from the hose, some of them tried to duck away from it at first, but all of them really seemed to enjoy it! And it definitely cooled them off, which they desperately needed...
All right...we're done with the penning...today is the start of the West Paris Old Home Days Celebration!! This is a wicked fun event that we look forward to each year...I'll be coming home with LOTS of photos to show you how our town has a good time....
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Oh! That feels sooooo much better!!
After a long, hot day of penning, the best reward for any hard-working horse is the opportunity to roll in the sand. They LOVE it!!
Tomorrow I'll show you what happens next....
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
This is when team penning gets really exciting! At this point tensions are running high and getting those cows into the pen can either be 'picture perfect', as you see here, or one of those riders could be positioned just a little bit off and the cows can run right back to the herd and avoid that little pen! I liked this picture because it really shows all the positions that the 3 team members must take in order to get those 3 cows through that 12 foot gate:
The Palomino is "sweeping", or running around the end of the arena, pushing the cows towards the pen. She has to be able to read how the cows are reacting to her presence - if she hurries them, they could very well rush past the other riders; if she goes too slow, they lose precious seconds on the clock.
The rider on the other side of the pen is in the "hole". There is an alleyway on the other side of the pen, which the cows know gives them a straight shot right back to the herd. That rider needs to block the cows, generally by making a lot of noise, and if the cows really pressure her, by riding forward slightly, encouraging them towards the pen and away from the hole.
The rider on this side of the gate is on the "wing". His job is to keep the cows from doing a circle in front of the pen when the sweep pushes them, and then as they go past him, to join the sweep rider in rushing them into the pen.
Overhead you can see the judge, timekeeper and announcer. The judge is holding up a flag that she will drop when the riders enter the gate of the pen behind the cows, raise their arms and call for time. At that point the timekeeper will stop the timer.
Sound complicated?? It sure can be!! You never know what those pesky cows are gonna do!! ;-)
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
This horse performed a trick before receiving his award for winning the Open Ranch Sorting class! What a good boy!! I am determined to teach my horse to do this, so that it will be easier to climb up on her at the end of a long day!! I swear she grows taller as the day progresses... ;-)
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Today our team penning club held a Ranch Sorting - 13 cows are put into a 60 foot round pen with a 12 foot gate opening. 10 of the cows are numbered 0 through 9, the other 3 are blanks that are put in there to complicate matters! Each team of 2 riders has either 60 seconds, or 90 seconds, depending on the level of competition. One rider will stand his horse in the middle of the gate, hoping to stop any cows that try to rush out, while the other rider enters the herd and tries to sort out cows numerically, starting with an assigned number. After the rider drives out each cow, he will switch with the rider in the gate. The object is to get all 10 cows of the pen in order, within the time allotted. It's fast paced, WICKED FUN sport!! This photo is of one of our Quebec friends running his cow out the gate. QUICKLY!!
Friday, June 6, 2008
It looks like he's pretending to be a weathervane! Okay, now, for you city folks this might seem pretty normal, but pigeons are quite unusual around here. Being a bird lover, I enjoy seeing them! This one is quite a funny little bird. Remember the bridge that is just up the street from here? Well, once spring arrives, lots and lots of people fish off that bridge. It crosses over the Little Androscoggin River, which the state stocks with fish. When my husband took the Cub Scout pack down there, they discovered that this bird has figured out that the bait that fishermen put on their hooks is tasty! Each time they would cast their lines, that pigeon would dive at them and try to catch the bait!! I don't know if he ever catches anything, but I kinda hope not because of the hook...
It's hard to imagine how I could have driven/walked past this little gem of a building countless times and never seen it! I just found it the other day and I was thrilled - it's a beautiful building, trimmed in my favorite color. It's tucked in behind a couple of other houses, and partially covered by that gorgeous, big tree, which is how I've missed seeing it before. (I know - lame excuses! If there's one thing that I am really learning by doing this blog, it's to be more observant of my own town!) It appears that it is just being used as a shed now, and I wonder if they built it, or if it's an abandoned old church or meeting house. At least it appears as if someone is taking good care of it. Isn't that chimney interesting looking?
Tomorrow I'll show you what's up on the tippy top...
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
I'm so upset that I don't even know what to say, but I had to say something. Remember the mini horses from the parade? They were involved in a tragic accident last night....
Good guess, Jim! The West Paris Public Library is, indeed, a castle! And as you can see, it does have an arched doorway, Kelly. It looks so incongruous nestled in amongst all the more typical New England farmhouses that are downtown, but the kids think it's wonderful! It really fires up their imaginations to enter a castle, searching for books about dragons and knights in shining armor...
Paris seemed inclined to house their libraries in unusual places. Someday I'll show you a library in an old jailhouse - complete with a tale of "The Great Escape"...
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sunday, June 1, 2008
Here you can see the West Paris General Store, all decked out for Memorial Day. The boys love to stop in here for ice cream - the teachers will even walk them down from school occassionally! My parents stop in for fresh-baked bread after visits with us.
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