Moose River Farm Blog

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Breaking Ice with Rosemary

      Good Evening,
     "Is it real?" a customer asks, a mixture of curiosity and squeamishness etched in her expression.  A large lizard lounges leisurely on the table that the patron is approaching.  
     "This is Rosemary.  Would you like to pet her?  She is very friendly," I offer using a well rehearsed reply.
     "Does she bite?"
     "No," I reassure.  "She is quite used to people and loves to be scratched right here behind her ears."
     "Ears!  Where are her ears?"
     "On either side of her head," I respond pointing to the holes behind her eyes that are covered with a tissue paper-like membrane.  Next, I scratch the lizard's head so that she stretches her torso upward and closes her eyes.  The customer prepares to touch Rosemary with a tentative finger, still not quite sure it's a good idea.  
      My iguana seems unfazed in unfamiliar surroundings here at the Adirondack Reader, a quaint and cozy bookstore in downtown Inlet.  Her "Mona Lisa" smile reveals little of her opinion about being away from home today, but her easy going temperament lets me know that she isn't stressed at all.  
     I have brought Rosemary to my first book signing since the launch of Finding My Way to Moose River Farm at my home the week before.  We are set up at a table where several copies of my book are displayed.  The bookstore is a welcoming oasis from the rainy drizzle that forces Labor Day tourists to seek shelter, a cup of gourmet coffee, and perhaps a good Adirondack read.  Store owner, Reggie Chambers, directs patrons, particularly children, to the table where Rosemary waits on a bath towel in front of small stacks of my book.  
     I have brought her as evidence that the characters in my book are real.  Although many of the animals have passed away, Rosemary represents one of the oldest and presently, our longest residing family member.  She has survived several large clutches of eggs, extreme temperature fluctuations, and the loss and regeneration of her tail.  
      "She feels like a beaded belt," the customer reports after touching the lizard, bravely.  Her hand now relaxes as she permits all of her fingers to caress Rosemary's head.  The tight expression on the customer's face is replaced with a smile.  She begins to identify with the iguana as a fellow living being.  
     "What does she eat?"
     "Leafy vegetables, grapes, zucchini, cucumbers and tofu.  This morning she had a scrambled egg."
     "How old is she?"
     "I have had her 19 years so she is about 20."
     "What do you keep her in?"
     "She roams around our house freely, but has a heated cabinet she can climb into to get warm."
     "Where does she go to the bathroom?"
     "On my kitchen floor once a day or every other day."
     "She is so interesting."
     "Yes, she is, thank you." 
     Mission accomplished!
Book singing with Rosemary is a great pleasure!
After a long day, we all snooze on the couch.  Our Dachshund Huxley is the 'lump' under Rosemary.  Hayden is behind my right leg.  Nina, (left) and Niles hover above.  

Monday, September 2, 2013

Squeezing the Last Drops Out of Summer

     Good Morning,
     Summer vacation has run out although I am still trying to squeeze the last few drops of it in these remaining hours.  So much has been accomplished over the last 10 weeks despite sticky hot weather, biting insects and a shortage of lesson horses in the barn.  On the first day of vacation we welcomed Gatsby, a handsome Quarter horse gelding recovering from a tendon injury.  He has made great progress since his arrival.  This week he is back in light work that includes lots of walking on trails.  
     All of the MRF riders have progressed this summer bridging the gap between learning to ride and learning to train.  It is a marvelous transformation to witness and one that both horses and riders benefit from.  Keep up the good work ladies! 
     This last week has flown by from one activity to the next leaving little time for my mind to transition back to that of a school teacher.  Today, however, I find myself making lists that will help prepare for the arrival of my new fifth graders.  I am excited to begin the process that will send them up to middle school 180 instructional days from now.  And I welcome the challenge despite state test scores, common core curriculum, and teacher evaluations.  As my school teacher life resumes in the coming days, I will keep the special summer memories close by for comfort.  Then I will fill up the next 10 months with discovery, enlightenment, and fun, until the last drop signifies that it is summer once again.  Happy New Year to all of us going back to school! 
Welcome Gatsby.
After weeks of rest and rehabilitation Gatsby is back under saddle. Rider; Meg Marcone
After a long and successful day of signing books, I spent an evening by the fireplace with my friend Mary Anne.
Alex stands in front of the quilt, (far left), that her grandmother made for her dad; displayed this week at the NYS Fair.
I want an alpaca or llama....next!
Cute zebra face....reminds me of my donks.
Katherine and Alex wait in line...
...then brave the rides!
The next night we played Horseopoly with other MRF family members.  Apparently, Hayden is an alien?  Why am I not surprised?