Friday, May 4, 2012

This Weekend in Fairfield

Looking for something fun to do this weekend? Here's a great opportunity to grab the kids and plan on having a day filled with lots of scenes from a past era. In addition to reenactments (including the cavalry-(yes, horses!) there will be lots of food, music and wine tasting for those with more sophisticated aspirations. In a nutshell, there's something for everyone. Most events are free, however, the ones with dollar signs next to them do have a cost.

Saturday, May 5th
9:30am-5pm: Living History Village open to the Public (Steelman Street)
9am: Meet the Union Generals as they plan the battle (108 West Main Street)
10am-11:30am Special Presentation by Tim Smith (Adams County author and historian) (108 West Main Street)
11am, 12pm,1pm-Civil War Era House Tours$
11am-3:00pm- "Lunch with Mrs. Lee" Quartermaster's Luncheon (Historic Fairfield Inn, 15 West Main Street)$
12Noon- A Taste of History, Wine and Dine-(Historic Fairfield Inn, 15 West Main Street) $
12Noon: Insight into the Civil War Spy Organizations (108 West Main Street)
1pm: A Moment with General Longstreet (108 West Main Street)
3pm: Meet the Southern Generals and their staff (108 West Main Street)
4pm: Insightful conversations with General and Mrs. Lee (108 West Main Street)
2pm REENACTMENT BATTLE:"Conferderates Attempt a Rear Guard Movement" (Landis Farm, N. Miller Street)
7pm-9pm Bonfire with Music and Songs at the Fairfield Inn with Ken Courtney (Historic Fairfield Inn, 15 West Main Street.)

Sunday, May 6th
8:30am Living History Village-Free and Open to the Public -(Civil War Encampment, Steelman Street)
9-4pm Living History Village (108 West Main Street)
9am Period Church Service in the Town Hall (108 West Main Street)
10am-Ladies Relief Society Speaks of the Courageous Efforts During the War-(108 West Main Street)
11am-3:00pm- Culinary Concert with Cormorant's Fancy, Quartermaster's Luncheon (Historic Fairfield Inn, 15 West Main Street)$
2pm REENACTMENT BATTLE: “The Union Cavalry Protects the Gap” (Landis Farm, N. Miller Street)
3pm Meet the Union and Confederate Generals for a Q & A (108 West Main Street)
4pm Closing Ceremony, Roll of Honor and Taps at (The Historic Fairfield Inn) $-Cost

Friday, April 20, 2012

I Wouldn't Have It Any Other Way

It's been a while-and somewhere in the midst of all this stuff going on, Spring has sprung! This time of year is always busy-but somehow, this year it seems busier than ever. Between schooling the girls, work and horses it appears the time got away from me!

There has been so much I've been wanting to share,so here goes: My main focus in the past month has been moving our horses closer to our home. Because we live in a borough, (or town, for those of you not familiar with the term, we can't keep them on our property.) Not that we have any room, mind you, but it would make it oh-so-much-more convenient! I'm happy to say we are now at a gorgeous farm nestled in Buchanan Valley, just five miles away as opposed to fifteen at our previous barn. The drive is absolute heaven with the beautiful orchards and mountain views.
It doesn't hurt that there is a fabulous winery on the way-Ried's! I teased Kathy Reid that as soon as I can figure out some back trails, I am going to ride my horse over for a lovely glass of wine....

Arriving at the barn, we have a welcoming committee... (Teagan the cat).
And here is our little barn mascot, Lucy (a sweet corgi puppy.)
Oh, and don't forget the neighbor's dog, Daisy!Here are the cute minis that always brighten our day!
It hadn't even been a week at the new barn and our 29 year old mare, Imp (Impressionable) thought we didn't have enough on our plate and decided she would choke late on Friday evening, March 23, less than one week after our move. Let's just say the vet muttered under his breath as he was shoving a tube down Imp's throat, about 10 p.m. in the evening, that he had only seen one other case like this, and it didn't end well.

We prepared ourselves for the worst. I had always envisioned these types of things would happen peacefully, and our animals would quietly pass, with no pain. I don't think people are ever quite ready to handle when the time comes to say goodbye to their beloved four legged friends, but I tried to get the kids in the right mind set. I was so proud of how my girls handled it all-so calm and mature, for the most part. I felt like I was an actor in a movie, playing a role that I wasn't really prepared for.

We spent the night in our van-(I have a new-found appreciation for mini-vans as places to actually get some sleep,) checking on the poor mare every hour. Each time I went to her stall, I held my breath, fully expecting the worst, but lo and behold, that feisty little mare held her own. By the next morning, she had stopped the uncontrollable shaking (a side effect from tranquilizers) and her labored breathing was back to normal.

We were instructed to administer 28 horse pills a day (antibiotics) and 2 pounds of mash every four hours for the next four days. Doesn't that look yummy!

The big concern was that she had aspirated some fluid in her lungs and that she might have pneumonia. (We got very good at taking her temperature. For those of you who have never done this, trust me, it's a real treat and it doesn't involve the front end of the horse!)

And, because she doesn't really have any teeth in the back of her mouth, we needed very soft "grass" hay for her to dine on. It was pouring rain that day and we couldn't take her outside to graze. Being the end of winter, most everyone was at the end of their supplies of hay because the grass was coming in so locating this type of hay was next to impossible. Thank goodness for a little angel named Mary on a farm up the road.Horse lovers, unite!

I'm happy to say dear "Impy-do" as we have lovingly nicknamed her has fully recovered and enjoys eating her daily mashes-I have managed to get it down to a science and am happy to say I only am feeding her once daily now because of the all the wonderful grass that has now come in.

Don't ask me about my aussie sheperd, Ella, who decided to ingest a bar of Ivory soap two weeks later.....yes, "Throw Up Dog" is fine.
Me? Well, I'm a little worse for the wear, but I wouldn't have it any other way. xoxo Andi

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Reflection for a Tuesday Morning

On my way home from Inn I often tune in to NPR and catch a few minues of the Diane Rehm show. I was listening to an interview with a writer, Cheryl Strayed. "She was in her 20s and facing a life crumbling around her so she decided to go on an 1,100 mile hike alone. She describes the brutal, physical and psychological journey in her new memoir titled "Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail."

I tuned in when Diane was asking Cheryl about her mom.

" mother got a horse named Lady. And she had always been a horse woman growing up. Horses were her religion she always said. They were her obsession. They were her greatest passion. And so it meant a lot to her to get this horse. And even though we really couldn't afford a horse, you know, she worked in exchanged for the horse's room and board and she worked out a deal even to buy the horse. And she bought this gorgeous, gorgeous horse named Lady. And Lady was a part of my life, you know, since I was five or six.

"Describe her for us".

"She was a beautiful 16-hand chestnut mare and she had this wonderful, elegant gait. And, you know, she was really my mother to me. And so after my mother died, Lady would be -- I would often go out into the pasture and just put my hands on her and I felt closer to my mom."

When I heard this it made me think of the strong parallels in my life with my horse Dancer-it was so comforting to hear that there were others in the world who were so passionate about horses in the same way I am. As I was driving, I entertained thoughts of how I might be remembered after I am gone....(not that I plan on that any time soon, mind you) but my wish is that my legacy will include horses, and how happy they made me.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

What I'm Listening To This Evening....

Because I am Civil Girl it's only fitting that I celebrate everything civil, from wars to music. It's hard not to appreciate Joy Williams and John Paul White from The Civil Wars swooning chemistry and stirring harmonies. It doesn't hurt that John Paul White is not unlike Johnny Depp.....Enjoy! Joy's voice is incredible as well.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

February Inspiration

My oldest daughter and I watched this movie yesterday.
I always enjoy hearing about and seeing parts of the world that I have never been to, and especially love it when I get to hear the stories behind the places. (I am always searching for profound messages in everything and this film is no exception.) I suppose it's just me trying to hear God speaking to me. Well, He did through this movie. What it doesn't offer in thrilling suspense or lots of sex scenes, it more than makes up for in spectacular shots of the sweeping Spanish countryside, the quaint little towns and their people and sends a message loud and clear that speaks clearer than any scripted talking scenes can offer. I especially loved viewing the church Tom and his group reached towards the end of the film, named the Santiago de Compostela. (Be patient with the video-the frame is corrected shortly after it begins and is a real treat to view.

It made me think of how something as simple as spending time with a stranger and enjoying a meal can give you a glimpse into your own soul (if you look hard enough) given the setting and the circumstances. Aaah, but the key is being able to recognize it and appreciate it, because these windows are few and far between.

It makes me realize just how small we all are in this vast, spectacular world full of all it's stories about her places and her people.

After all, it's all about the journey, isn't it? I believe I am going to add Santiago de Compostela to my bucket list. xoxo Andi

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Girl's Dream...The Jacob Kime Farm

Some of you might have read my post about this beautiful spot some time ago-it's funny how life can take a turn down a road you never thought you would go. But I suppose it's all about the journey. My oldest daughter, who is now in 9th grade, has decided she wants to save this place. Every time we would drive down Tablerock Road in Gettysburg, she would have a sad look on her face, and say how terrible it was that history was slowly slipping away there. "Soldiers died there, mom." she would say. "No one is going to remember this in a few years when a housing development is here, or worse."
I would nod in agreement, like parents do-with a million other things going through my mind, like calling my mechanic to set up an appointment for an oil change, or what I was going to make for dinner that night. I knew she was right, but I didn't know how to go about helping her. I thought it was a very noble and worthy cause, but again, where do you start with something like this? And besides, I had way too many other things going on. Between work and helping the kids with their regular school work and trying to get my own little business going-(I want to start making and selling one of a kind equestrian crafts and art work that blend history with a love of horses,) I had my hands full. I was actually kind of hoping that my daughter would forget about that farm and let me focus on trying to get through each day.

Well....of course, that didn't happen. A few days later, I recieve an email from the National Park Service in Washington, D.C. from a young gal who thinks my offspring has a fantastic idea, and while it is a huge undertaking, it can be done. She suggests the first steps to take.....Apparently, my child had written hearfelt letters to everyone she could think of that might be able to help her, including Bill and Melinda Gates. (We did recieve a nice note back from someone at their office stating that this project was out of their realm of what they allocate funds for, but good luck.")

Voila-my daughter makes friends with a very special gal in the Mapping Department at the Courthouse in Gettysburg, and has a consultation with Mr. Eastman, a prominent real estate attorney and Gettysburg's town solicitor. All of a sudden things are catapulting forward. It has become like a National Treasure Hunt right here in Gettysburg. This young lady who is my daughter secures the address of the owner of the property and writes a letter to her. The owner, who lives in Wichita, Kansas, writes back and they begin a dialogue about her family's time growing up on the farm, the child hood memories,and some of the surrounding history of the buildings and what happened to them. It was absolutely fascinating!

What I have found to be the most wonderful thing of all is the kindness and generosity of people to take time out of their busy day to help a young lady realize her dream.

The most valuable lesson I have learned from this for myself is that I need to have more faith in people, and that the Good Lord will make sure it all works out.

Will she save this farm? I am thinking it is a very good possibility. It may not be in the capacity of her vision, (she wants to make it into a natural history museum to share with everyone) but by George, I think it just might be saved to be preserved as farm land, at the very least. Maybe even something more.

To follow along, you can find her on Facebook, or at