Friday, April 07, 2006

Animals and Adventures

Grand Biltmore Forest Home
Biltmore Forest House

I took a couple of days and accompanied my sister-in-law down to Fletcher, North Carolina, to a seminar on farmer's tailgate markets this week. Not really a venue that I'm working with but I thought I might learn something. And since the farmer's market is what Sue is doing, she was certainly interested.

It was a lovely day for a trip, cool and clear. Windy all the way down; nice to have that settle while we were away. We got to the hotel where I had reserved a room, which happened to be the same place I stayed with Chris in October for SAFF. Best price, decent room, check out the Day's Inn if you happen to be in Fletcher. Nice people at the desk, too.

Whenever we go anywhere the most important question is where are we going to eat? My brother had taken Sue to a neat sandwich shop in Richmond, and there was one just outside of Asheville. So we went up to Panera Bread, and had a delightful soup and sandwich dinner. I love soup better than most anything. And I have a half dozen bagels in my freezer; lovely!

Vine Covered Biltmore Forest Home
Vine Covered Mansion

On the way to the restaurant we saw a lovely shaded avenue and drove down just to see what was there. It turned out to be a beautiful community of wonderful houses and mansions, street after street of classic Georgian, elegant Colonial, grand Tudor and almost every other style you could imagine. There was even one house right out of a Wright album. We thoroughly enjoyed driving around, gazing at beautiful homes and lawns. Almost worth the trip by itself!

Sue at Extension Center
After the Conference

We spent the day at the Mountain Horticultural Crops Research and Extension Center, learning all about running a farmer's market. As I say, it really didn't apply to me but I hope it was helpful to Sue. And you can always learn something, if you keep your mind open. I have a stack of handouts and notebooks to go through. At these things there is always so much ground to cover; it's hard to get much detail at the actual meeting but there is more in the paperwork. I did think they had some great points and it was valuable to hear about the experiences of other managers. I didn't get a chance to talk to many of the participants; they looked like an interesting group.

Home again, to find two rabbits wandering in the yard. Fortunately they were both bucks! Dad caught one of them but the other, a cute chocolate buck, wasn't interested in going home yet. I was tired so I left him to fend for himself after a couple of unsuccessful tries at cornering him. He spent the night out and this morning was happy to let us corral him by the barn. My friend Kym came up to walk and she was gracious enough to help with bunny wrangling. No crawling under the barn this time!

Retrieved the dogs from the kennel. TJ has been neutered. I spay or neuter the cats and dogs, since I don't intend to breed them. TJ hasn't noticed a thing; he's batting around outside and having a good time getting reacquainted with all his toys. Lily had a wart on her face right next to her eye. Disgusting to get older, even for a dog! It was bothering her and I asked the vet if it should be removed. There were some signs it was becoming irritated so we went ahead and had that done while Lily was being boarded. She has several stitches and is being very quiet, sleeping here under my desk. She's usually tired after time at the vet anyway, but I think the pain pill might be making her sleepy. I'll see if she does OK without it tomorrow. I'm having to keep TJ right away from her; she doesn't need the stitches torn out!

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