Saturday, October 31, 2009


i don't have any new pictures to post today, so am putting up a little clipart thing I have. I like the idea!

I got all the October pictures from my Canon 20D copied onto the hard drives of both computers, and formatted the card. Haven't done the little compact Canon yet.

Barrie went out to run her dogs early this morning. I wondered if Kasey was ever going to wake up! I finally woke her up about 10:15, and we had eggs and waffles for breakfast. Kasey took one bite of egg, about three bites of her waffle, and was done. Yesterday she ate two eggs, two pieces of sausage and toast, and wanted more. Must be my cooking.

Don't ask me why, but I started two new watercolors today. They are both on the back of something that I ruined. After I ruin these, I can throw both pieces of paper away!

It really doesn't bother me much to throw away a painting. I just consider it more practice that was unsuccessful, and I have learned something from it.

At midnight, I am allowed to start writing on the "novel". You can do outlines and character development and plots ahead of time, but you are not supposed to start actual writing until November 1. When you reach 50,000 words, you send your document into NaNoWriMo, and they have some "robot" to count the words. If have 50,000, you are a winner! No, not any real prizes, and no one even reads it. In theory, you could type "boo" 50,000 times and be a winner.

I wonder how long I'll last on this.

Friday, October 30, 2009


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I don't know if you can see in the photos how Kasey's hair was standing on end. She was running around in her fleece pajamas on the carpet and was full of static eletricity. Then she would touch fingers with us, giggle, and run some more. I could hardly stand to hold my finger out, because I knew I was going to get zapped! But Kasey loved it. I guess it's time to get the humidifiers out

I tried printing with my big Canon printer again this morning, and did some research on the internet for troubleshooting my color problems, and found something that made me go "DUH"! Sure enough, I had mixed up the slots for the yellow and magenta cartridges. I switched them back to the right location, and the colors are printing much better! I didn't work with it any more, as I have other things I want to do today.

I have the HP cartridges ready to return to Amazon for a refund, and have ordered more. I hope that was just a one-time thing with the color cartridge and that I will get a cartridge that will play well with the printer.

I am actually going to try the NaNoWriMo. The goal is to complete 50,000 words in 30 days. They call it "30 days of literary abandon!" There are over 150,000 people taking part from all over the world. They make it sound like fun, and nobody will read what you write unless you share it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Not a Productive Day

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I may just wind up wearing this piece of paper out! The top photo shows what the painting looked like yesterday. I wasn't happy with it. I thought it needed a foreground. To me, the trees looked like "midground", and I needed something closer. I took it to art group with me yesterday, for critique and advice from my fellow painters. Pam thought the trees were too dark and detracted from the mountains. So I scrubbed and lifted color today. I like it better, but I may try to throw some closer trees and rocks in front. By then, the paper should be totally worn out and I can quit.

I planned to get some more greeting cards printed today. NOT! I got new cartridges for my HP printer, one color and one black. I put them in today and for some reason, the printer will not work with the new color cartridge. It just sits there with its little red light blinking. When I put the old cartridge in, it worked fine, but the color is bad.

So decided to use my big Canon photo printer. It needed three new cartridges, and I put them in. The colors in the printouts were terrible! The big printer uses 13 different color cartridges. One of the ones I replaced today was the yellow one, and everything prints out with way too much red and orange. I quit before throwing both printers out in the yeard, and came upstairs to watch the judges shows, and read and draw!

Tomorrow's another day.

On a positive note, Barrie is downstairs attacking the house with mop and vacuum cleaner!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Child Torture? Well, Not According to the Child!

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A "tickle" session

This what happens when you tie a little girl's feet together. She hops around, and falls down, and giggles -- and when they come loose, she brings the ribbon back to Mom and asks her to "do it again!"

Also some quiet time spent brushing hair.

And what a lot of hair Barrie has!!


Really enjoyed art group today. Vicky and Judi were back from their trips, and shared lots of photos and maps of where they had been. Judi brought me some maps and photos of some of the old cabins I have been interested in, and information about when they were homesteaded and by whom. And Vicky brought us treats! Vicky has so many new reference photos that she wants to paint.
Terry was back this week, and Lenore joined us again. I hope Lenore keeps coming.


I sent a text message to my son-in-law today - anyway, I think I did. I really don't know how to text, but I think I got it sent. It was pretty simple --- GoNY. I don't even know how to put in a space. Paul is a Yankees fan, and tonight was the first game of the series. I watched it, and NY didn't do too well against the Phillies. Oh well, it's just the first game.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Visit from a Unicorn

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Kasey is all set for Halloween, thanks to her Aunt Tracy. Tracy found this costume on EBay last year, and got it. When Barrie was little, she lived and breathed unicorns, so when Tracy saw this, she thought Kasey just had to be a unicorn. We had it last year, and it was way too big for Kasey. This year, it is almost too little.

Not much happened here today - I just stayed warm and tried to paint a little. Barrie is running her dogs almost every day now, about 20 miles.

Monday, October 26, 2009


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I finished this painting of an old cabin in the snow this morning. The reference photo was from a slide I took years ago up the Pole Creek Road. I had written "Old Eckland Cabin", on the slide frame.

I am not very at good at painting snow, it is so hard for me, and I haven't practiced enough. This is probably the best job I have even done on snow.

Today I am going to work on the painting of the view from Tracy and Paul's deck. I'm not sure I can pull it off. It's not a good idea to attempt to make a painting look just like a photo.


Kat is on a tear this morning. She has a little plastic lid she takes all over the house, upstairs and down, swats it around and chases it. I'm almost afraid to walk across the floor when she is like this. She leaps at me and fastens herself to my foot. Someday she is going to trip me. She goes through this extremely active phase every morning, then sleeps the rest of the day.

I think it got down to about 11 degrees early this morning. Come on, snow!


Have any of you ever heard of NaNoWriMo? It stands for "National Novel Writing Month". It is a competition to write a 50,000 word novel entirely in the month of November. There were 100,000 participants world wide, but only 15,000 finished in 2007. After reading about it, I decided to give it a try. They make it sound like fun, and no pressure, and I decided to try it.

If you've ever had the urge to write, you might enjoying trying this.

Saturday, October 24, 2009


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I have finished the portrait of "Puppy" one of Barrie's race dogs. Barrie says his ears look funny, and she's right, they do. But then Puppy HAS funny looking ears. They just don't look funny like I made them funny.

Even though he's not on the race team, I want to do a drawing of this dog's father, "Skortch", because he has the same beautiful blue eyes.

Today I got up in the "finish things" mood. I have about 5 watercolors I have started and never finished. I'm sure I won't get to them all, but am making progress. I want them to either be "done" or "ruined".

The forecast today was for rain and wind. We've already had some rain, and the wind is coming up pretty hard.

Later: Now that this is posted and I look at Puppy on my computer screen, I immediately see that his eyes are looking two different directions! Also need more dark on the left side of his face, and something needs to be done where his neck starts under his muzzle. It's funny how those things jump out at you from the comuter screen.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Drive up to Elkheart

This morning I decided that if I didn't drive up to Elkheart, I wouldn't get it done until next summer. So I grabbed my little camera and my plein air watercolor painting kit, and drove up.

Fremont Peak is still there! It kept disappearing into the clouds while I was up there trying to paint it.

I liked the way the clouds kept changing the lighting on the canyon.

Hmmm - - - I wonder if I remember how to drive in this stuff?

I drove through the campground, and was surprised that so many trees still have leaves. It was so peaceful and quiet there - not a soul was around. There were a couple of hardy souls out on the lake in boats.

Thursday, October 22, 2009


I started a new watercolor at art group yesterday morning - a mountain view from Tracy's deck in Colorado. I hope this won't just be another one to add to the pile of unfinished paintings! Well, I am slowly working on the unfinished ones, so they will be finished some day.

Sure missed Judi and Vicky at art group! But Pam was back, and very welcome. Pam spent her morning cleaning and arranging magazines on our bookshelf, and organizing other supplies. It took three of us to get the coffee made, and we need to put Vicky's phone number up with a little sign that says "for technical assistance call -----. And no one baked banana bread!!


My new pencil sharpeners came today, and I sure wish I had ordered them earlier. I got one electric sharpener, and one battery operated. The pencils I thought might be defective are sharpening easily, with a super sharp point. Much less stress in my colored pencil drawings! No more throwing the pencil across the room and cursing. I will make sure I put some graphite pencils through them to help clean the wax buildup. But I am resigned to the fact that these sharpeners will wear out have to be replaced. The wax in the colored pencils are just very hard on them.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

I used to have this on one of my old computers and had lost it. I decided to try some search words on Google tonight, and found it again!

This is why I don't rake the leaves off my lawn in the fall!!


An Imagined conversation between the Creator and St. Francis on the subject of lawns.

GOD said, " Frank, you know all about gardens and nature, what in the world is going on down there in the U.S.? What in the world happened to the dandelions, violets, thistles and the stuff I started eons ago. I had a perfect no maintenance garden plan. Those plants grow in any type of soil, withstand drought and multiply with abandon. The nectar from the long lasting blossoms attracts butterflies, honey bees and flocks of songbirds. I expected to see a vast garden of color by now. All I see are patches of green."

ST. FRANCIS said. " It's the tribes that settled there, Lord. They are called the Suburbanites. They started calling your flowers "weeds" and went to great lengths to kill them and replace them with grass."

GOD asks, " Grass? But it is so boring, it's not colorful. It doesn't attract butterflies, bees or birds, only grubs and sod worms. It's temperamental with temperatures. Do these Suburbanites really want grass growing there?"

ST. FRANCIS said, " Apparently so, Lord. They go to great pains to grow it and keep it green. They begin each spring by fertilizing it and poisoning any other plant that crops up in the lawn."

GOD says, "The spring rains and the warm weather probably makes the grass grow really fast. That must make the suburbanites very happy.

ST. FRANCIS answers, " Apparently not, Lord. As soon as it has grown a little, they cut it---sometimes two times a week."

GOD asks, "They cut it? Do they bale it like hay?"

ST. FRANCIS answers, "Not exactly Lord. Most of them rake it up and put it in bags."
GOD asks, "They bag it? Why? Is it a cash crop? Do they sell it?"

ST. FRANCIS: No sir, just the opposite. They pay to throw it away.

GOD said, " Now let me get this straight. They fertilize it to make it grow and when it does grow, they cut it off and pay to throw it away?"

ST. FRANCIS: Yes, sir.

GOD said, "These Suburbanites must be relieved in the summer when we cut back on the rain and turn up the heat. That surely slows the growth and saves them a lot of work."

ST. FRANCIS replys, "You aren't going to believe this Lord. When the grass stops growing so fast, they drag out hoses and pay more money to water it so they can continue to mow it and pay to get rid of it."

GOD declares, "What nonsense! At least they kept some of the trees. That was a sheer stroke of genius, if I do say so myself. The trees grow leaves in the spring to provide beauty and shade in summer. In the autumn they fall to the ground and form a natural blanket to keep the moisture in the soil and protect the trees and bushes. Plus as they rot, the leaves are compost to enhance the soil. It's a natural circle of life."

ST. FRANCIS replys, "You'd better sit down Lord. As soon as the leaves fall, the Suburbanites rake them into great piles and pay to have them hauled away."

GOD responds, "No way!! What do they do to protect the shrubs and tree roots in the winter to keep the soil moist and loose?"

ST. FRANCIS answers, "After throwing the leaves away they go out and buy something called mulch. They haul it home and spread it around in place of the leaves."

GOD asks, "And where to they get this mulch?"

ST. FRANCIS explains, " They cut down the trees and grind them up to make mulch."

GOD says, " Enough!! I don't want to think about this anymore. St. Catherine, you're in charge of the arts. What movie have you scheduled for us tonight?

ST. CATHERINE answered, "Dumb and Dumber Lord. It's a real stupid movie about..........................

GOD interrupts, "Never mind, I think I just heard the whole story from St. Francis!"

Tuesday, October 20, 2009


I suppose most people would rake these leaves off their lawn, or dispose of them in some way. I like to just leave them - in fact, I enjoy looking at them! I have found that when the snow covers it all up, that the leaves have more or less rotted by the time the snow melts off in the spring. So why bother? I think they look pretty on the ground.

Here is a leaf I photographed laying on my roof. Taken from the upstairs window. I like taking these kind of photos.

It's been pretty nice all day, and has now started to rain, mixed with snow. Nice!

Barrie and Kasey have gone to Idaho Falls today to buy dog food at Sam's Club. The last load has lasted her a long time, because she has been able to supplement with so much meat from different sources. But she needs to feed the kibble also.

Barrie did another training run with her dogs this morning. I started keeping track of each dog's miles in July on an Excel spreadsheet. She is training 16 dogs, and they will all reach 250 miles this week.

I am watching "Judge Judy" on TV. I love her. She is so obnoxious, rude, and insulting to people. What does that say about my personality?

Monday, October 19, 2009


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This cartoon certainly fit the situation at our house this morning! I think this is Barrie and Kasey!

It is now about 1:00, andJulie has called Barrie to tell her Kasey threw up - so Barrie went to pick her up. Kasey told her mom the whole story about how she was coughing and coughing and the milk came out her nose and on her plate and on her shirt.


I printed more greeting cards this morning, and am reading information about selling on EBay. I'm figuring out my actual expenses to make them. I'm really not too enthused about being an EBay seller, but maybe it will be fun when I get into it. That is, if anyone actually buys them.

It's windy and sunny right now, but there are a lot of black clouds hanging around. My trees look kind of bare, but there must be a lot of leaves still left, because they are sure coming down.

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I actually got up and made breakfast for us this morning. Nothing spectatular, - fried apples, eggs and toast. But it's more than I usually do.

Today was Jackson Locker Plant day, for Barrie to pick up meat scraps for her sled dogs.

While Barrie washed the buckets for the meat - - -

Kasey decorated the steps with her new sidewalk chalk

This chickadee thinks the best way to get at the suet cake is from the bottom. I have tried to photograph him with the window open, but he wouldn't come in to eat. Today I finally gave up and took the picture through the glass.
I have added a new blog to my listof favorite blogs. Tracy decided to jump on the band wagon and has started a blog. She also got a Facebook account and a Twitter account. She's not very optimistic about keeping up with it all, so we'll see. She works on a computer so much, so doesn't feel much like getting on it when she gets home.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Rollie and Judi's Photo

I hope Judi and Rollie don't mind that I "edited" their photo. Judi said the remains of the all was in the dark area - darned shadows!! Well, I wanted to see it, so I saved the photo and ran it through Photoshop to bring out the shadow area. Wanted to share it.

Have fun my friends!! You are seeing some incredible sights.

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Saturday Hot Cakes for Breakfast

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Barrie made hotcakes and bacon for breakfast this morning. Kasey helped stir the pancake batter. She was sure dragging when she got home last night, but seems to feel much better today.

Barrie went out to run her dogs early this morning. I got up at 9:00 and heard Kasey kind of singing and talking to herself, and didn't even know Barrie was gone. Barrie was home soon and got her up. Barrie had come up early, before daylight, and turned the baby monitor on by my bed. But it had turned just far enough to the wall that I never noticedd the little red light was on.

Barrie took a video from the seat of the four wheeler while she was running the team this morning. It about made me dizzy, but was really pretty good. Kasey loved watching the dogs run, and is really ready for her ride. Barrie has to find a helmet for her first.

Friday, October 16, 2009


Barrie, Kasey and I went out to the dog lot last evening, and Barrie took six dogs out for a short run. She wanted to check out Kimble and Puppy, who have been acting lame. So she hooked them up with four of her older, retired non racing dogs who are not on her team.

I took more photos at the dog lot for drawing reference photos. Kasey and I followed in the pickup and took more pictures.

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Leaving the dog lot

On the road

Skortch and Puppy, father and son. Puppy outgrew his father!

Barrie should have known better than to take me by this old cabin out by Soda Lake. Of course I stopped and photographed it. Then I didn't see which way she and the dogs went, and I drove back along the fence. That area is covered with two track roads. I should have followed the other trail when I saw her off across a dried up pond, because she was going to take Kasey with her on the four wheeler into the dog lot. Bummer! Kasey would have been so happy! Grandma goofed.

Thursday, October 15, 2009


Funny Signs

I get a "funny picture of the day" on my Google page, and today I saved three traffic signs to post. I thought about Rollie and Judi on their trip, and hope they don't come across too many signs like these!


I had a wonderful visit last night with Bobbi G. from Big Piney. Their son was down at Tara B. (Blushing Crow) getting his senior pictures taken. Bobbi and I have many fun memories of teaching together in Pinedale.

Kasey stayed home from day care today, and went out to the dog lot with her mom to feed the dogs. She got her flu shot yesterday, and also new antibiotics for her ear infection. Barrie thinks she will probably have to have tubes in her ears some day.

I started a new watercolor in art group yesterday. All I got done on it was the sky, and wasn't happy with it. So that one goes in the pile to "take a shower and paint a new one on the back". I haven't started on a new one yet.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

New long johns

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Kasey has new long johns. Barrie found them at the Food Basket. Boy, that place is a treasure chest! These are REI brand, and look new. Kasey wore them out to feed the dogs tonight. Later, she went to the bathroom, then came upstairs with me. She told me her pants were falling down. She had pulled up her underpants, then her corduroy pants, and her long johns were still down around her knees.

It must be winter, because I made a big pot of potato soup today. Kasey and I had seconds. My potato soup is one of those things that tastes better warmed up the next day - and the day after that. Real comfort food. I put noodles in my potato soup. My first husband taught me how to make it. Turns out my stepdaughter makes it that way, and her mom (the first wife) makes it that way, and we all make it that way because that's the way the Grandmother made it. Tracy makes it that way too.


Dave finished installing the new back door today, so the back part of the house is all fixed up with new weather tight windows and doors. So nice!!

This is the fancy wooden box of colored pencils that I have started to use, and it is giving me headaches! I can't sharpen them without the lead breaking. I have figured out that my old pencils are not breaking, and that probably this box was dropped and they are broken to start with. Also, when I look at the ends, the "leads" don't look like they are centered in the wood casing. Bummer! I purchased them too long ago to even find out where I bought them.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


I don't know where the day has gone - it's already noon, and all I have done is print one set of cards and mat two pictures. I don't cut my own mats any more, so that wasn't much of a job. Oh yes, I made my bed. Can't forget that!

Dave is here putting the trim on the back door, and will be finished. I will wait until summer to paint the trim. The door looks great, and the window is much larger than in the old door.

Congratulations to Brent and Betty Cheeney! Wow!! Married for 24 years.

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I got two new books last week of J.R. Williams "Cowboys Out Our Way" cartoons. My parents had a couple of the books, and I enjoyed reading them. The cartoon above is one of my favorites. Any of you even had to deal with a gate like this?

Monday, October 12, 2009


It's a little chilly in the house today, as there is no back door right now. Dave didn't get back to work on it over the weekend, which was fine with me. It is so much nicer today, and the sun is shining. A good time to be without a back door, I guess.

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This is the old door. If you look closely, you can see a white line along the side of the door starting just below the door handle. That is air - outside air!

Here is one of the new windows. They are so nice! they are vinyl, so will never have to be painted. They have double panes, of course, and close tightly. Barrie will have to use the electric heater back there some, but it seemed to me this morning that it was not very cold in there, with the door open.

Meet Puppy, my next target for a colored pencil dog portrait. I really liked the one I did first of Lucy, but the second one I did will probably go to the trash.

I think maybe the colored pencils I'm using now were dropped from an airplane or something like that. Just as I get the point almost shart, it breaks off. It's very frustrating to start out with a brand new pencil and end up with one about 5 inches long before you can use it. The new pencil sharpeners should be here soon.

Kasey got a new box of Crayons last week - a box of eight big ones. She used them for the first time last night and the tips were broken on three of them. They must have been dropped from the same plane as my pencils! We will return them to KMart and get another box. And we'll be sure to open the box and check them! I have sure been out of touch with things like that! I didn't realize that a box of eight crayons cost over $3!!

Saturday, October 10, 2009


The score is now Kat 4, Mice 0! I heard the cat in the middle of the night, but I never pay attention. Sometimes she just likes to get up and play. But this morning there was a fresh kill in front of my chair. Then I noticed the bathroom rugs were messed up and there was some blood on the floor. I guess this one maybe put up a fight.

I have three new windows installed, but the new door isn't in yet. Dave said he might come back today and work on the door. Haven't seen him yet, so maybe he is hoping for warmer weather. although the forecast doesn't look very promising.

I asked Barrie to sleep with her bedroom door open and not use the electric heater last night. I don't know how cold it was in her room, forgot to put the thermometer in there. I know it was 62 degrees upstairs when I got up.

I really don't know what to expect with the new windows and door, as my whole house is really cool at night. I do know that at least the curtains won't be blowing in the wind coming in through the sides of the windows, and there won't be little snow drifts in front of the door!

I printed two more packs of greeting cards this morning. The printer pulled the paper in crooked a few times, and ruined some cards.

Thursday, October 8, 2009


Things are busy at my house, but I'm moving kind of slow.

Dave C. came yesterday to start on replacing windows and doors. He got one window in yesterday, another one today, and they look so good. He is working on getting the old window out of the other bedroom right now, and it isn't going as well. He says it was put in backwards. I always feel like I need to apologize to Dave when he works on my house. Dave did the big remodeling job on my upstairs a few years ago., and did such a good job. He had to contend with crooked walls, sagging ceilings, etc.

I worked on the painting of the old lantern yesterday in art group, and it is not going well. Once again, the background wood and the lantern are the same value. I may have to start something entirely new to get enthused about painting!

In the meantime, I have been frustrated with colored pencils. They need to be super sharp, and I am out of pencil sharpeners. I just threw two (expensive) ones in the trash. It seems that the wax base in colored pencils eventually builds up and ruins the sharpeners. I have several pencils that are getting pretty short because the sharpeners break the lead. Supposedly, if you run a regular graphite pencil through them every once in a while, it will clean them up and they will last longer. I like the little hand held sharpeners, but the blades dull, and then I have broken lead and chewed up pencils.

So I ordered two new pencil sharpeners today. One is electric, and one is battery operated. The battery operated one is supposed to use a replaceable blade, which should be good.

I did get one thing accomplished today - I got the big down comforter stuffed back into the freshly washed duvet. My bed looks kind of lumpy right now, but I'm sure the lumps will smooth out. If not, I'll just sleep under a lumpy comforter.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


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I am beginning to wonder if maybe Kasey and Kat may become friends! Kasey was coloring on the floor, and Kat seemed fascinated with it. Kasey giggled - I think she liked the "help".

After all that creative art work, you need to get some exercise. Tony Little would be proud.

I am trying to do a few portraits of some of the sled dogs. I got my colored pencils out again. This is Lucy.

This image from the Old Faithrul web cam made me chuckle the other day. Talk about LONESOME!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Marshmallow World

The snow keeps coming down, and it is so pretty. I took some pictures this morning, but as everyone in the whole state probably has the same view, I won't post them. There is no wind, and the snow is piling up on fencelines, and branches and twigs. The willows are almost laying down, and some of my smaller trees are really bent over with the weight of the snow on the leaves.

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First you measure.

Then you pour.

Then you stir and taste.


Kasey and Barrie made cookies Saturday night. They both had a great time.
I cannot figure out the seat on the old tractor I photographed yesterday. It looks backwards! Fred has a tractor down at B&B with the seat on backwards too. Hmmm.