Abby Sunshine

Duck Toller

12-31-10 New Year’s Eve

A Year with Abby Sunshine, Reflecting on 2010.

Listen to music (simply press the “play” arrow) while remembering this marvelous year.

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January 2010, Playing wildly with cousins.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Cousins6

February 2010, Taking Some R&R (rest and relaxation)

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine

March 2010, Spending Time with Her Best Friend/”Sister”

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - With her Best Friend - March 2010

April 2010, Healing

Nova Scotia Duck Toling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Soaking in Epsom Salts - 4-18-10

May 2010, Sharing

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Eating Granola Bars - 5-9-10

June 2010, Inspiring Artwork

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Original Watercolor - 5-9-10

July 2010, Swimming in Lake Superior

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Lake Superior - July 2010

August 2010, Visiting Babe the Blue Ox

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Abby and Babe the Blue Ox - August 2010

September 2010, Sitting with “Mama”

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Abby at a Soccer Game - September 2010

October 2010, Enjoying Fall Colors

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Autumn in Pool - October 2010

November 2010, Loving Life

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Relaxation - November 2010

December 2010, Weathering the storm with “Daddy”

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Abby and Daddy - December 2010

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12-30-10 Rain, rain go away.

What is happening? It is raining. My fluffy snow- it’s getting soggy! There are puddles on the ground. This is strange. I know in some places it rains in December, but I thought winter meant snow, snow, snow.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Raining in December - December 30, 2010

Rain, rain go away. Come again another day.

Rain, rain go away

This book cover, from a 1901 edition of Mother Goose was illustrated by William Wallace Denslow.

Apparently there are many versions of this rhyme. Here are a few:

1. Raine raine goe to Spain: faire weather come againe.

2. Rain raine goe away, Come againe a Saturday.

3. Rain, rain, go away,Come again another day,Little Arthur wants to play.

4. Rain, Rain, Go away; Come again, April day; Little Johnny wants to play.

I think these versions are essentially the same. Here is our version:

Rain, rain go away!

Seriously, Rain, rain go away,

Turn to snow on this fine day,

Little Abby wants to play.

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12-29-10 Intent on Something

I wonder what I have in my hand that Abby could possibly want. . . Gee, what could it be? Her eyes are focused. She is intent on her goal.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Intently Looking - December 2010

She tries a new tactic. Perhaps barking at me, telling me that she wants what I have will help her cause. She is still very focused.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Intently Looking2 - December 2010

Now she’s getting desperate, or perhaps suspicious that I am holding out on her.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Intently Looking3 - December 2010

Now Abby is reacting to something! What’s the sudden outburst of energy?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Intently Looking4 - December 2010

Has something been thrown in the air? WOW!

Fetching? Oh, really. Who would have thought!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Intently Looking5 - December 2010

Good Dog, Abby. Bring it home.

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12-28-10 Winter Wonderland

What should a good dog do in a winter wonderland?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Winter Wonderland - December 2010

Let’s look around and see what Abby sees.

Christmas Eve Icicles2

There are icicles dangling from the corner of the house. They glisten and look beautiful, shimmering against the winter sky.

December2The light is covered in a deep layer of snow.

December3The arborvitae bushes are flocked with snow.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Winter Wonderland2 - December 2010 OK, enough of this beauty, Abby must get out and find ACTION!

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Helper - December 2010 Wow- he’s going on the roof! Snow removal time. How can Abby help get snow off the roof? Is she even noticed down in the deep, deep snow? Is she trying to get Todd’s attention?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Hanging with Thorndyke - December 2010 I guess hanging around with Thorndyke inside the house  is what Abby will do on this beautiful winter day.

What are you doing?

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12-27-10 Too Much King of the Hill?

I’m wondering if “King of the Hill” has gone to Abby’s head. . . I know we were excited to play, and excited to learn about this good old game- one that continues to stand the test of time, but really Abby. . .enough is enough.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - King of the Hill - December 2010 I found her sitting atop her mountain throughout yesterday and this morning. Is she guarding her post? Is she watching for intruders to “knock her off?” Or is she simply a dog, finding a good place to sit? Perhaps it’s a good vantage point and she can easily spy activity in the yard.

Yesterday, as she was sitting up high, I noticed a sunbeam right there- shining on her. It made her look like an angel on a cloud.

Angel on Cloud

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12-26-10 King of the Mountain

Who’s up for King of the Mountain?

King of the Mountain (aka King of the Hill) is a game, the object of which is to stay on top of a large hill or pile as the “King of the Mountain.” Other players try to knock the current King off the pile and take their place, thus becoming the new “king.”

The way the “king” can be removed from the hill varies, but ordinarily pushing is the most common way of removing the king from the hill.

To play, you first need a mountain- preferably a huge pile of snow.

Mountain of Snow

It was easy to find this mountain of snow. We just looked outside our window and there it was, nearly covering the window.

Next you need an eager player, actually more than one.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Kind of the Hill - December 2010

In our case, we have one. Abby Sunshine is an eager participant. In fact, she has already climbed the mountain without being told!

Next you need to be ready to push the others down.

King of the Hill

Who would Abby push down a hill just to win the game? Is this game is too rough for Abby? Maybe it’s a good thing she’s playing it by herself. But if she’s by herself, is she really playing the game?

King of the hill is also used as a metaphor. It is used to describe someone who is the best at something. For example, tell me who is the “king of the hill” around here, so I will know who to knock off. This goes back to battlefields of long ago.  All sides fought to conquer the high ground, the hills.  This was often the best vantage point and the point of most advantage.  Whichever unit won or took the hill was likely winning.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Kind of the Hill2 - December 2010

And there she is, the winner! AbbySunshine, KING OF THE MOUNTAIN!

Here are some other kings of the mountain:

King of the MountainKing of the Mountain2King of the Mountain3King of the Mountain4King of the Mountain5

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12-25-10 Stocking Stuffers?

When christmas comes already yet,

Mit presents large and sweet.

The tings I like in mein stockings best,

By jiminiy, are my feet!

Christmas stocking

Merry Christmas!

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12-24-10 Twas the Night before Christmas

Twas the Night Before Christmas

‘Twas the Night Before Christmas

(or A Visit from St. Nicholas) by Clement Clarke Moore (1823)

‘Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house

not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse (except Thorndyke and Abby Sunshine),

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Thorndyke and Abby - December 2010

The stockings were hung by the chimney with care,

in hopes that St. Nicholas soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Abby and Renae - December 2010

while visions of sugar plums danced in their heads.

And Mama in her ‘kerchief, and I in my cap,

had just settled our brains for a long winter’s nap.

When out on the roof there arose such a clatter,

I sprang from my bed to see what was the matter.

Ballerina jumping

Away to the window I flew like a flash,

tore open the shutter, and threw up the sash.

The moon on the breast of the new-fallen snow

gave the lustre of midday to objects below,

Snowy Christmas Tree

when, what to my wondering eyes should appear,

but a miniature sleigh and eight tiny reindeer.

With a little old driver, so lively and quick,

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick.

Christmas Yoda

More rapid than eagles, his courses they came,

and he whistled and shouted and called them by name:

“Now Dasher! Now Dancer!

Now, Prancer and Vixen!

On, Comet! On, Cupid!

On, Donner and Blitzen!

Twas the Night Before Christmas3

To the top of the porch!

To the top of the wall!

Now dash away! Dash away!

Dash away all!”

As dry leaves that before the wild hurricane fly,

when they meet with an obstacle, mount to the sky

dry leaves

so up to the house-top the courses they flew,

with the sleigh full of toys, and St. Nicholas too.

And then, in a twinkling, I heard on the roof

reindeer on roof

the prancing and pawing of each little hoof.

As I drew in my head and was turning around,

down the chimney St. Nicholas came with a bound.

He was dressed all in fur, from his head to his foot,

and his clothes were all tarnished with ashes and soot.

Santa

A bundle of toys he had flung on his back,

and he looked like a peddler just opening his pack.

His eyes–how they twinkled! His dimples, how merry!

His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry!

His droll little mouth was drawn up like a bow,

and the beard on his chin was as white as the snow.

Christmas Yoda

The stump of a pipe he held tight in his teeth,

and the smoke it encircled his head like a wreath.

He had a broad face and a little round belly,

that shook when he laughed, like a bowl full of jelly.

He was chubby and plump, a right jolly old elf,

and I laughed when I saw him, in spite of myself.

Laughing

A wink of his eye and a twist of his head

soon gave me to know I had nothing to dread.

He spoke not a word, but went straight to his work,

and filled all the stockings, then turned with a jerk.

Christmas stocking

And laying his finger aside of his nose,

and giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He sprang to his sleigh, to his team gave a whistle,

And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.

But I heard him exclaim, ‘ere he drove out of sight,

“Happy Christmas to all, and to all a good night!”

Thanks for a good story, Clement.  Twas the Night Before Christmas2

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12-23-10 Christmas Yoda

Abby is posing for a traditional photo by Christmas Yoda in front of a decorated tree. Isn’t this your tradition?

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Christmas Yoda2 - December 2010

Well, as Ebeneezer Scrooge once said, “Keep Christmas in your own way, and let me keep it in mine.”

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12-22-10 Come Fetch with Me

In the winter, a dummy is an excellent choice for a fetching piece. Tennis balls disappear into the deep, deep snow. Abby is more than willing to play her favorite game with a dummy, too. No problem.

Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever - Abby Sunshine - Winter Dog - December 2010

Come on, throw the dummy, just throw the dummy. Let me fetch it for you.

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