Sunday, August 14, 2011

Keith Munslow NO Token NO Milk

It was a perfect summer day,sunshine, blue sky, breeze and  a Library Summer Reading Program  sponsored by Richmond Library and held in Marlborough Senior Center, Marlborough Connecticut.
Just down the road a little way is the turn we have taken so many times for the 4-H Horse camp at Marlborough, I know the way like I was going home.

  I had been looking forward to this performance by Providence's storyteller /entertainer Keith Munslow Keith performed at this past spring's Connecticut Storytelling Festival to rave reviews, mine included!  
  This was a children's program that delighted the parents and grandparents in the room as well. Keith mixed his trio of talents, drawing, music and storytelling to bring the Marlborough audience a great blend of his original material. There were pirates in the room and the school lunch lady, feats of daring on the trampoline and the sadness of having no token to get milk at a school lunch time.


Little did Keith know how the song that day pertained to me!  Everytime he came back to the rythmic No Token No Milk line, I smiled. Around our house its No Cows- No Milk,  Now Cows- No Milk!  After the show I told Keith about our family business is dairy,  at some point when I see him again I will just have to bring some of the world's best chocolate milk - Mountain Dairy Chocolate Milk!  In the mean time you might catch me humming  No token, No milk!  Get yourself to a performance by Keith Munslow but  let me warn you,  when its over you are going to need some Oreo's and milk!
    My roots are in agriculture, my heart in storytelling,  I like bringing you a diverse blog of agriculture, story, horses, cowboys, history and reviews. Follow me here or on Face Book and Twitter to see my most recent post and where I  am travelling and the fun things I bring back to share with you.                                                                                     

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

1 Author, 3 Horses, Thoroughbreds,Lippitt Morgans and Me

Tonight I was watching the Saratoga Yearling Sales Streaming Live from  I have, since childhood wanted to see the sales at Saratoga. Those days I wore a thin path through the commercial carpet in the school library to the shelves that held the collection of books by C.W.Anderson. Weekly I walked over to carefully select a favorite that would be my companion for the week.

C.W.Anderson wrote so you felt you were right there, including his writing about the yearling sales. His lessons  embedded in the text are on grooming, handling, health issues, rearing colts and more, all were taught in a simple natural way. His equine art was exquisite and precise, yet warm and soft on the eye, I was in love!

Here are some C.W.Anderson resources:
Author page at :

Art For Sale or View:

Buy His Books:

It was the beginning of a new story that continues with a new chapter next weekend. If before I could read I liked horses, once the books were in my hands the love affair began in earnest. I read other authors as well I loved them all. Will James and so many more, if there was a horse or pony on the cover my nose would be buried in it. I read Justin Morgan Had A Horse and that was prophetic.

Christmas Day 1974 a black Morgan mare was in the back yard. She was decorated with icicles and happy eating her hay. I didn't feel the cold or snow and ice I just wanted to stand out there in disbelief that this was MY horse. Cindy was with me from that Christmas Day until 2002, what a gift! A new love affair began with Morgan Horses, which continues today.

I leased a look alike mare to my Cindy for breeding purposes, her name was Ryegate Bridget. She is a Lippitt Morgan ( the old blood lines preserved in this group of Morgans) I was hoping for another black mare and she was bred and the long wait ensued. Wait and wait and wait, she drew out the suspense into the 12th month. I was sleeping in the barn my eye easily checking her through a knot hole on the final night. The foal was coming. I ran and got my children we ran into the barn just in time to sit with her and watch the foal enter the world. I got my filly, but as she dried we realized she was bright pumpkin orange. Her color subdued as she shed the foal coat into a lovely chestnut. I gave her the name Storybook Salute Vermont. A homage to her lineage of Vermont Morgans and to C.W.Anderson and my favorite book Salute!

This spring Salute ( with new owner Dave Godding [CT] calling her Sally) delivered a beauty of a colt, Hail Vermont. The tradition continues.

The Lippitt Morgans will be strutting their stuff and showing their beauty and courage in the ring at the Lippitt Country Show Aug 20-21 in Tunbridge Vermont. I can't wait to get there and sit in the shadow of the Green Mountains watching these magnificent Morgans.  Just sitting here dreaming about next week I had to look back at my videos , join me:

Last Year at the show they introduced a new drill team this is the video I took of that performance - all Lippitt Morgans!
Pinch Me, I think I'm dreaming when I get to be the show announcer and see the beauty and majesty of the Morgan Horse on this historic show grounds where on the perfect day you can hear their ancestors thunder over the Green Mountains and on into greener pastures.
                                                            storyteller -announcer

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Secret 6 of Boston Supply Guns to Raid

Guns in cases labeled Bibles or Books
    That was how guns were shipped from Boston to Kansas in support of the abolitionist movement before the Civil War began.  Six men of the greater Boston area bankrolled the movement to make Kansas a free state ( slave free)  and to provide leader John Brown with the money and supplies needed to bring about his plan to create an uprising and free the slaves.

Saturday I attended a program  in Framingham Ma. about  Julia Ward Howe and the Men of the Secret 6. Julia is most well known for writing the words to the Battle Hymn of the Republic. A first person account of these men and their connection to Julia was performed by storyteller Libby Franck a Framingham resident. There was an impressive amount of history personalized and  brought out in this performance. The execution of her demeanor,costume, language, the dates and correspondences of the time were consistently in the time period and style.
          Fundraiser is not a new thing. The Secret 6 raised much of their funds through spirited talks and  political connections in the Boston area. This group was well spoken, well travelled , successful in business and life pursuits, and inspired to bring about the change so needed.


Storyteller Libby Franck as Julia Ward Howe


WHO WERE THE SECRET 6? Here are their pictures I took these at the performance ( sorry a couple a tad out of focus but I had no others)

                     Dr. Samuel Gridley Howe husband to Julia Ward Howe

Franklin Sanborn and Theodore Parker

                          Thomas "Wentworth" Higganson

                                    (below) Gerrit Smith
                  George Luther Stearns - I wanted to learn more about this Stearns!

Performance sponsored By:

Libby Franck   for more information on programs of  The Secret 6 and Julia Ward Howe and  other topics.   Come out to their buildings, events and touch the local history they have preserved for you!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Village Smithy


Blacksmith Stories Link:

Terminology of the Blacksmith:

                                                  coal fire  and red hot

    Functional work of the smithy- today most blacksmiths do  not shoe horses, farriers trim horses feet and shape and put on their shoes. ( This big draft horse is sporting toe clips to hold the shoe on in mud and hard trail conditions) The toe clip always reminds me of the rubber fronts on my old Ked's sneakers when I was a kid.

                                                       nose to the grindstone
 Putting your nose to the grindstone is about work ethic, being sharp with calculations and steady at work. Axe and other implement blades were sharpened on the grindstone.

In the foreground of the grindstone picture is an early style toaster. The small rack held slices of bread and was put on the hearth to brown them in front of the flames. With some homemade butter Mmmmmm!

He's  full of hot air - could refer to a hot air balloon, but the blacksmith pulls the handle to the large leather bellows to send air into the coals to heat them up. Waiting around the blacksmith shop for a repair or to have a horse or ox shod would be the perfect time to swap tall tales - full of hot air!

Want to hear some of my blacksmith stories?