Party Hat

It’s been wonderful having Ramble here for the last month. Like old times, really, except he has better stories to tell. Not to mention a cool travel journal and an assortment of souvenirs to keep his memories fresh.

Before we could let him go, though, we decided he had to stay for my birthday party. He had a great time, enjoyed seeing the family. Oohed and Baaahed over how big my niece and nephew have gotten since the last time he saw them. But, it’s time for him to move on.

Have a safe journey, Ramble! We can’t wait for your safe return!

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Rhinebeck!

Ramble had SUCH a good time at Rhinebeck (aka the NY Sheep and Wool Festival).

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He got to meet Bob at the Ravelry meet-up.

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He congratulated two of my favorite newlyweds, Jessalu and RR. (I couldn’t find my other friend Jessica who was married the week before, but he’s happy for them, too.)

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I think the highlight of his day, though, was the Juniper Moon Farm meeting at 2:00. (Thanks to Susan for letting me use her picture.)

He came home with us afterward, too tired to even think of getting in his box and moving to the next person without a good night’s sleep under his fleece. We couldn’t blame him–Mom and I were pretty exhausted, too.

Here are a couple more, pretty bad (sorry) photos I surreptitiously snapped during the JMF meet-up. Apologies for the quality, but, well…

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Ramble’s favorite, though?

This one of him modelling his new pin.

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Martha’s Vineyard

So, after catching us all up on his travels, Ramble got ready for yet another adventure–going back to his roots!

His Martha’s Vineyard roots, that is. He was born there 26 years ago, and hasn’t been back since.

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On the way up to Massachusetts, we stopped in Mystic–roughly the halfway point in the drive, and a place for all of us to stretch our legs. We had an elegant lunch at our favorite fine restaurant while Ramble told us all about his LAST visit to Mystic.

Well, you know, it’s not like we could really have lived up to that one in the 45 minutes we were there, anyway. Because, we had a ferry to catch!

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Ramble was SO excited to be on the ferry–he climbed right up front and perched on the dashboard, so he would be the first to see the island.

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We docked in Oak Bluffs–the first time I’ve landed there in years (since that wharf is only open during the peak season).

Naturally, we took him up to the Aquinnah (formerly Gay Head) cliffs for the requisite “I was here” photo.

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The cliffs were gorgeous as always, even if they have lost a lot of their red clay coloring.

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Ramble also insisted on posing with the Historic Site sign.

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So did Chappy.

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In fact, Ramble and my dog Chappy became fast friends during the trip, happily sharing the backseat together. (Though the friendship might not have lasted if Chappy actually had thrown up on him on Monday–luckily I grabbed Ramble and his travel bag out of the way in time. This is the problem with travelling with a dog with carsick tendencies.)

It’s good that they became so close, though, because Chappy was there to comfort Ramble when they visited his old store.

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It’s not a gift shop any more. No knick-knacks. No clever jars, photos, trays, Christmas ornaments, or stuffed sheep. Now it’s a clothing store.

We explained that it HAS been 26 years, and things change. Ramble understood, but it still made him a little sad, knowing that his old home had changed so much.

On the plus side, he made a new friend.

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This is Kate Taylor a great singer (it runs in her family) and a talented jewelry maker. She is one of the nicest people you ever want to meet. (Her daughter Liz is delightful, too–a Twitter friend of mine from well before I knew that she was Kate’s daughter, which I find an entertaining irony. I was delighted that we had a chance to see her, too.) Anyway, when Kate heard about Ramble, she said she absolutely wanted to meet him, too.

In fact, she gave him his newest souvenir–a gold pin.

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The short story behind the pin? She was talking to a friend about a mutual acquaintance and said, “Isn’t he the goodest person?” “No, you are the goodest person I know.” “No, YOU are.” And they decided that they knew so many “goodest” people that they should just start an unofficial club. And that the club needed a pin, and what better for a pin than gold-leaf?

Well, apparently, Kate thinks that Ramble is the goodest sheep she knows.

I think that I have to agree!

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Hello?

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Would they remember him, Ramble wondered? It had been a year since he’d seen his family, and the address was completely unfamiliar. Maybe he had the wrong house?

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Why, Chappy! How good to see you!

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Dr. Ramble, Ph.D.

Ramble arrived safely in Millbury, Massachusetts a few weeks ago, tired from his recent adventures in NYC he was ready for a little break.  He spent some time cuddling with some new friends… although they seemed less enthused about this idea than he was.

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After some quality napping, it was time for Ramble and I to head off to work.  Ramble thought my lab was a fascinating place!    Being the trouble maker that he is I had to keep an eye on him…. if I turned my back for a second I’d find him doing things like blowing up gloves
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weighing himself

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or going for a ride on some of the lab equipment!

He did manage to take some time out from all of his fun and games to help me with some of my work:

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and he even volunteered to help with the weekly eyewash test!
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He finished off the day by writing up all of his important observations in my lab notebook.

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We had a wonderful time together in lab, and all of my co-workers enjoyed showing him around!

Back at home he heard me talking about how a bunch of us Aunties were doing the Couch to 5K program, and after weighing himself in lab he decided it might be time to do a little exercise (you know how hard it is to stay on a good diet when you’re traveling!).  So, he strapped on my iPod and went for a run!
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Well, he decided that maybe running isn’t really for him… he does have rather short legs!  Instead, he went back to snuggling with his new furry friends, resting up so that he’ll be ready for the next leg of his trip!

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More Excellent Adventures

I’m just about ready to leave Hopewell Junction and head out to my next stop, but before I leave I’m using the computer here to bring you up-to-date on ME!

The weather, as you know, has been very hot and humid, so I didn’t go out too much.  I mostly hung around with some new friends I met here.  This picture shows us having afternoon tea — we did that almost every day and it’s a tradition I’ve grown to like a lot. (Don’t forget you can click on the photos to make them  bigger so you can see more detail.)

I also spent time learning to read music and SING!  Here I am practicing a few of my favorites, including a Bach aria.  (I’m a tenor.)

On nice days, I liked to spend time in the garden smelling the flowers and climbing on the old stone wall.

Then came a REALLY big day.  It was time for me to hit the scene in the BIG APPLE!  I was so excited I could hardly stand it.  First we drove to the train station at Cold Spring, NY.  It’s right on the shores of the Hudson River.  Here I am by the river (I had to be careful that I didn’t fall in and get my fleece wet.  You can’t go to New York City wearing a wet fleece.)

The train trip was great except that some people were looking at me funny.  I didn’t like that.  But the views of the river and the scenery from the train made it worthwhile.

And then — there I was in Grand Central Station (“Crossroads of a million private lives, a gigantic stage on which are played a thousand dramas daily.”  Never mind; that’s from an old 1940s radio show and I don’t expect anyone reading this to remember that little bit of arcane entertainment history.)  Here’s a picture of me taking a look at the Main Concourse in the station.

I made my way down 42nd Street to the Main Library.  I wanted to meet the famous library lions, Patience and Fortitude.  You know the whole thing about the lion and the lamb lying down together, right?  So I wasn’t the least bit afraid, although those lions were bigger than I expected them to be.  I could have been in serious trouble.

As long as I was at the library, I thought I’d stop to do a little research.  Here’s a photo of me in the Main Reading Room.  Interestingly enough, no one here paid any attention to me.  I wonder if many sheep go there to do research. . . .

Then, at long last, I made it to the ultimate destination for any sheep visiting Manhattan.  Where, you ask?  Why, the Sheep Meadow in Central Park!  I simply couldn’t control myself.  I had to roll around in the grass.

Then I stopped off at Strawberry Fields and the Imagine Circle.  People there seemed to like me and my picture was taken by a lot of tourists visiting at the same time.  I like the idea that people from all over the country and from other countries, too, will have a photograph of me when they get home.  If only they knew my whole story. . . .

Then I made a quick visit to another iconic New York City landmark.  I’m not going to tell you which one it is.  I bet you can figure that out for yourself.

Whew!  What a busy, exciting day I had.  When I got back north to Dutchess County, I decided it was time to climb back into my box and move on once more.  There is always more to see and learn.  In this photo you can see the nice pin I got  for my collar.  It shows one of the library lions.  I’m not sure if it is Patience or Fortitude — but it is one of them.

My new best friend forever, Nicky, came to say good-bye to me.  So long, Nicky!  We had great fun together.  I’ll miss you, but I know I got miles to go and many more exciting times ahead of me.

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Independence!

It seems that, unknown to me, I ended up in a pretty interesting place to spend Independence Day.  The Village of Fishkill is right next to Hopeless Junction and Fishkill was a hotbed of revolutionary activity back in the day.

The people I’m visiting have lots of books and they gave me two to read before we went out to see the sights.  (Did you know I can read?  Well, I can, and it’s a good thing, too.)  Here’s me with my assigned reading matter.

They actually gave me a quiz to make sure I’d done my homework!  (Where have I landed this time??!!??  What was THAT about??!??)  I must have passed because I got to visit Trinity Church in Fishkill, NY.  The church was organized in 1768 and the New York Provincial Congress attempted to meet there in 1776.  Since the building was under construction, there were no windows and birds were flying about, so the Provincial Congress moved down the block to the First Reformed Church of Fishkill.  That church had windows!  After the politicians moved out, they moved in some soldiers who were suffering from smallpox and the church became a hospital.  I wonder how the poor, sick  soldiers managed with the birds.  Here’s me again looking at the historical marker for Trinity Church.

On a visit to Trinity Church’s churchyard, I found a very old grave marker.  WOW!

They took me to see a lot of other old buildings, but, honestly, I was getting pretty bored and I don’t remember anything much about them.  I do think this old church and the churchyard were pretty cool and I’m glad I read those books, too.

At night we saw a lot of local fireworks.  They were awesome and I’m thinking I might like to become a pyrotechnician when I finish my trip and go back to Chappy (happy birthday, little brother Chappy) and my family in New Jersey.

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