The Fjord Horse

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Where am I today and what have I been doing?  As most of you know I am living in Galena, Illinois and working my fingers to the bone with my son at his delicious coffee and sandwich shop…

Big Bill’s

Days off are far and few between, lying on the couch is a thing of the past, and keeping up with my camera skills proves to be a challenge … BUT!  I wouldn’t change it for the world!

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So, how have I been honing my talents?  Horses!  Horses are one of my newest interests, but not just any horse….

Close to my home here in Galena, Illinois is

The Green Valley Farm.

This farm is a well known Norwegian Fjord horse farm with some of their horses among the top highest scoring Fjords in the United States.

Pretty impressive!

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I knew of this farm and I just had to try …. so I gave them a call.  The owner, Sophie, and her right hand gal, MeMe, gave me the presidential tour.  Lucky me!

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The Fjord horse has a distinct appearance. The breed’s conformation differs from many other breeds. They are a blend of a draught horse with muscle and bone, but are of a smaller stature with greater agility. They have a strong arched neck, sturdy legs, good feet, and a compact muscular body.

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Their head is medium-sized and well defined. They have a broad and flat forehead and a straight or slightly dished face with small ears and large eyes. Despite its size, the breed is fully capable of carrying an adult human and pulling heavy loads.

The Fjords natural mane is long, thick, and heavy, but it is usually clipped in a distinctive crescent shape between two to four inches so that it stands straight up and emphasizes the shape of the neck. This roached mane is thought to make for easier grooming. It also accentuates the horse’s strong neck and full-length dorsal stripe.

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Some feathering is allowed on the lower legs, however, the breed standard discourages profuse feathering.

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The Fjord horse is one of the world’s oldest and purest breeds. These horses were known to exist in Norway at the end of the last ice age.  It is believed that the ancestors of the modern Fjord horse migrated to Norway and were domesticated over 4,000 years ago. Archaeological excavations at Viking burial sites indicate that the Fjord horse type has been selectively bred for at least 2,000 years. The Fjord horse has been used for hundreds of years as farm animals in western Norway. Even as late as WWII they were useful for work in mountainous terrain. The Fjord horse also has a long recorded history of pure lineage without crossbreeding from other sources.

(wiki… and a bit of me)

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I fell in love with these people pleasing animals.  They watched my every move and seemed to have posed for my camera,  knowing instinctively what I was looking for.  I am anticipating my next visit to Green Valley Farm to improving my camera skills and ‘eye’ while I mingle with my new 4 legged friends. The Fall has now slipped away but I’m sure the Winter will be pretty spectacular!

  Thank you Sophie and MeMe for a very fun Summer morning!

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It’s the Beginning of the End…..

 

The beginning of the end ?  What are you sayin”?

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I’m talking about returning to life as usual, getting at least 6 hours under the covers, 3 squares a day, a few laughs and a couple of cocktails …    This has been a long time coming, and it’s finally over.  Our 5th and 6th AIRBNB are on the market, and these final two were not an easy feat.  I’d like to include myself in this prelude but there is no room at the Inn for me …  This story does not include the one that worried every day and every night, the one that lost sleep wondering when her boys would return home, only to have them appear just in time to make the coffee.  No, this is not about me …

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My husband and son worked tirelessly well into the early morning hours every day and every night for  four long and hard months …. They used a 1″ wood chisel and a 2 pound hammer to remove the horse hair plaster that was applied ( cemented ) to the brick.  Each hit cleared roughly a 2 square inch area….  They discovered 2 doorways and found a window that was used before the building next door was constructed. Thru one of the front windows they built a make-shift chute to unload 12 thousand pounds, or 6 tons of debris. I asked both of them if they would do this again …. Nope, not in a million years!!

(until next time)

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These rooms are connected if need be, other than that they are locked doors with plenty of insulation between the two.  A family of 4, or 2 couples, can enjoy the entire space.

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The one above is the Corner Apartment Above Main …..  and the one below is the Loft Apartment Above Main.

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AIRBNB.com  Galena Illinois

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That is one happy boy above !

(photo bomb)

He has been working for the past 16 months fixing up and remodeling 6 apartments for our AIRBNB’s. 

“It’s over it’s over now…”

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So, what do you think….would you like to visit?  Just remember,

What happens in Galena, stays in Galena !

The Battle Hymn of the Republic

 

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Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord
He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored

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He had loosed the fateful lightening of his terrible swift sword
His truth is marching on.

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I have seen him in the watch-fires
Of a hundred circling camps
They have builded him an altar
In the evening dews and damps

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I have read his righteous sentence
By the dim and flaring lamps
His day is marching on

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Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
His truth is marching on

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I have read a fiery gospel
Writ in burnish’d rows of steel
As ye deal with my contemptors
So with you my grace shall deal
Let the hero, born of woman
Crush the serpent with his heel
Since my God is marching on

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He has sounded forth the trumpet
That shall never call retreat
He is sifting out the hearts of men
Before His judgment-seat
Oh, be swift, my soul
To answer him be jubilant, my feet
Our God is marching on

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Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
Glory, glory, hallelujah
His truth is marching on
His truth is marching on

 

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Nummer 4 … Numero 4 … Nombre 4

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Yes!  Number 4 is ready to roll.

  This space is the smallest of our Airbnb rooms, but it is still a great apartment to relax in while visiting Galena, Illinois.

  I’d like to title this room

“Quaint and Cozy”

but I’m not sure that would fly with my son.

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Unfortunately,  I missed taking a picture of the room before the dry-wall had been removed. This is another space where the beautiful Galena orange brick had been covered up.  The building has been thru many ‘updated’ features, and dry-walling was one of them.

Are you wondering if that is shiplap on the walls?

why yes,  yes it is !

You see, when Jack was growing up I made him watch HGTV with me.  As it turns out he has a great eye and an obsession for detail. Chip and Jo have paved the way…  Of course this was a two way street,  I had to watch a few ‘Gas Monkey’ episodes just to be sure we were fair and square.

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  There were 6 apartments in this building to rent.  Finding a good tenant was not easy, and collecting the rent was just as hard …

Cleaning and repainting had to be done between every tenant, and because we are ‘Deiters’, we did everything ourselves.

It was always a dirty job, and definitely unfit for the likes of me.  But, because I am a ‘Deiter’,  I had to help .

(just shoot me )

We went that route for several years until last March when the Airbnb seed was planted in our minds by a friend….   WOW!  what a blessing it has been ! 

 Galena is a tourist town with the most lucrative times between May and October.  The town loves and supports my son and his restaurant, but love alone  ain’t enough to pay the bills in the dead of Winter!  With these nightly rentals I am now able to sleep thru the bleaker months of the year…

  Amen Sister!

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Here is a peek at #5 and #6, and may I add,

there is no rest for the weary …

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AIRBNB.COM

 

Detail Detail Detail ….

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Detail:  an individual feature

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The Rustic Apt. Overlooking …

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This is our third AIRBNB

My son and husband worked tirelessly into the wee hours of the morning for many weeks on end. They stripped the space down to its bare bones and gave this tired old room a face lift.

In 1879 this building, The Logan House, caught on fire. You can see the evidence from the soot on the bricks. The drywall that was covering these walls was removed during this renovation and my son cleaned each and every brick, one after the other…

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So,  what do you think ?  

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airbnb.com

GALENA ILLINOIS

   The Rustic Apartment Overlooking Franklin and Main

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/21274551?location=Galena%2C%20IL%2C%20United%20States

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The Brick Apartment Above Main

https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18626258?location=Galena%2C%20IL%2C%20United%20States

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The Logan Apartment Above Main

: https://www.airbnb.com/rooms/18665299?location=Galena%2C%20IL%2C%20United%20States

 

 

Remember, what happens in Galena, stays in Galena ……………..

 

 

A Baby is a Miracle !

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This little tiny baby
Was sent from God above
To fill our hearts with happiness
And touch our lives with love
He must have known
We’d give our all
And always do our best
To give our precious baby love
And be grateful and so blessed

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Ten little fingers, Ten tiny toes,
The sweetest of smiles
And a cute little nose.
All these add up
To a very special
thing — A BABY
The greatest of gifts
That life can bring

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‘Shaolin Rose’   July 25th, 2017

and brother Cypher !