Saturday 30 October 2010

More Horses!

here again. The news from home remains good. I skyped with Ms. P yesterday and Tommy got all excited to hear my voice coming out of the computer! Bibi managed to lose his collar again, and the girls are generally being good.

At this end, today was Day 3 of the congress. It has been such fun to see all the horses and meet all the breeders. Let me start by introducing to you the grand champion stallion, North American Maid, known to his friends as "MOOSE"

In case you were wondering, he stands at 19 hands at the withers which is 1.93 metres, and he has a very sweet disposition

And this is the mares' grand champion. Her name is Blue Ribbon Farms' UNIQUE:

There has been so much excitement here that it's difficult to know which photos to share. The Priefert team of six-horses, either "ridden" or driven by Jason Goodman, was just amazing!

A beautiful mare from Wisconsin!

Patiently waiting for the six-horse hitch class:

I caught up with the friends I made in Nova Scotia in July. They were busy working with other breeders to clean harnesses!

And I also went shopping!

Last day of the Congress tomorrow, and then the French delegation will spend two days touring breeding farms around Iowa. Lots more fun in store!

Thursday 28 October 2010

A Very Special Get-Together!

It's #1 hi-jacking the blog again, but I am not going to talk about horses today (just wait until tomorrow!). I just lived a moment of intense emotion that I wanted to share with my blogging friends. But let me first go back a month... Yuu-Chan had just gone to the Bridge and the sadness was overwhelming. As I thought about my blogging friends who had lost their beloved companions, I of course thought of our friend Max. One thought led to another and I found myself sending an email to Kathleen Coy who had created the "Maxterpiece." After a few messages going back and forth, I had commissioned portraits of both Yuu-Chan and also Sen-Chan (who left us in January 2009). The amazing thing, I realised, was that Kathleen lived in Iowa, and I was heading there in a few weeks....

And this afternoon, I came back to my hotel from the World Percheron Congress to meet Kathleen who hand-delivered the two portraits to me! It was such a joy to meet her and the portraits are absolutely stunning!

She has captured the essence of them both so beautifully!

The artist with her work!



And with a truly delighted me!

And that was not all! I actually got to meet CLOUD, The Wonder Dog!!!!!

That really was a treat!

Thank you, Kathleen, for these fabulous portraits that so well capture the souls of two very special boys. They will hang in my bedroom back home in France.

Wednesday 27 October 2010

The 2010 Wold Percheron Congress!

here. I fear this will be one of those occasions when I just hijack the blog for my own ends, but I will start with news from home. Everyone is fine. Tommy had an outing to Normandy and the kitties are all well. As for me, I am in horse heaven here in Des Moines, Iowa! I had my first full day at the World Percheron Congress today. The welcome I received was so warm and I am really enjoying getting to know the breeders and meeting some of the horses. One of the highlights was when young Abraham, son of the famed Windermere Farms (in Pennsylvania, Khyra!) showed me his mares!

It's great to see the next generation so keen on continuing the family business!

Also great was the sight of stallion Trademark getting a full manicure-pedicure with three people attending to him simultaneously!

Actually, the horses have full spa facilities available to them during their stay!

These guys, from Priefert Rodeo & Ranch Equipment are known as "Texas Thunder" and are famous for galloping into the show ring at full speed. Maybe I can catch them in full action later this week.

This six-horse hitch is from Shining Stars, local Iowa breeders with a twist. They combine Percherons with childcare and the two apparently make a perfect match!

Last but not least. I was interviewed by Iowa Public Television as part of an hour-long documentary they are making. It will be aired on November 28. Details are here.

All in well, a wonderful first day, and there are several more to go!

Sunday 24 October 2010

Satisfied on Sunday

#1 has now been gone for almost three days and, so far, we are satisfied with the reports she has been sending back. It seems that she has been occupying her time constructively on our behalf:

She is also pretty satisfied because she found an Amish farm with working Percherons and just walked up to the door to say hello. She was given the warmest of welcomes and got to meet the whole family as well as the four horses, two dapple greys and two blacks:

Showing off pictures of Vidock!

The grey pair going off to work:

Saturday 23 October 2010

Travelling Tommy

: So, guess what? #1 made it safely across the pond! And guess who got to go out have pizza with her the evening before she left?

And who got to ride with her to the airport?

She salready sent some pics. She flew over this....

And she is now driving this...

And her aunt prepared delicious food for dinner!

I think she's having a good time so far!

Thursday 21 October 2010

Thankful Thursday

Hello everybody, Thei-Chan here! Remember my ploy to get blogging time on Thursdays too? Well it still works! #1 is now in her final countdown to departure first thing tomorrow morning and is now certifiably crazy.... Still, we do have lots to be thankful for!

Our new house-sitters arrived yesterday (from Texas!) and we already like them a lot! And best of all is that they have offered to drive #1 to the airport at dawn (before dawn, actually..) if the trains are still not running. Isn't that just lovely?

We are thankful that we are all going to be together in our comfortable surroundings, looking for sun puddles as usual. Tama-Chan and I did pretty well this morning:

The Bibi (who has quite won over our sitters with his antics!) spent time in the run:

Tommy was thankful for his fun run in the early morning frost with #1:

And Vidock was thankful when #1 went to visit him yesterday. He cantered to her!

I have been trying to learn how to use the Mac so I could blog whilst #1 is away. Hmmmmm.... Anyway, maybe she could so some remote blogging from wherever she is?

#1 says she would like to ask for everyone's indulgence. We have not been good about visiting and wil probably be really bad over the next couple of weeks. Plus she knows she owes a bunch of people emails etc... Please be kind and forgive her. All will return to something like order when she returns.

Wednesday 20 October 2010

Wonderland Wednesday

: The countryside is beautiful whatever the season but we think it is particularly beautiful in the autumn, especially on sunny days when the quality of the light, the frost and the morning mists can create outstanding effects. so, let me take you on a little wander around my fields...

We will of course start with me, your guide!

Psssssstttttt.........Murray! Did you notice that many of the flowers that are still blooming are yellow?!

Tuesday 19 October 2010

Tama-Chan Tuesday

It's a grey and rainy Tuesday and the country is beset by strikes and demonstrations. We are working hard to keep #1 calm but it's proving harder and harder to do.

Both the above photos were taken a couple of days ago when we had a lot of sunshine.

I also have been helping #1 with the ironing, and I have to say that I do a rather better job than my son Bibi (boys!). I start by preparing the ironing pile...

And then I make sure everything is properly smoothed out after it's ironed:

I have also decided that, given the new addition to our family, I had better study up on the subject a bit:

And here is a picture of me and Bibi enjoying the various amenities of our high beam:

Last but not least, we wanted to show you the photo we have all chosen to the be the background of the new laptop:

We just love that photo of Yuu-Chan!