Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Linc Videos

Okeydoke. As promised, here are three videos of Linc on sheep from this past weekend. These videos taken by Julie Poudrier:

And a longer one:

Monday, February 23, 2009

Linc Pictures

Here are some pictures that Robin French took of Linc working sheep this past weekend. He sure is starting to grow up! Thank you Robin, they're gorgeous!

Videos to follow later!

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Things I Learn While Driving

Today I learned (while rocking out) something interesting while driving home from Robin's. A few of us were hanging out, and then Julie & Robin were my two hot dates for the night - and they sure know how to show a girl a good time. There I was in the minivan full of dogs, rocking out to some Poison on the classic rock station. Uh... did I miss a few decades where the all-impressive hair bands of my youth became blooming CLASSIC ROCK??

I digress. While driving, I learned that I can still headbang over my steering wheel. I also learned that such action now makes me motion sick. Dude, and I used to be able to headbang down the highway with the best of them. Dismayed. Utterly dismayed.

I also learned while bouncing up and down in my seat like some sort of deranged hemorrhoidal Muppet that THAT also makes me motion sick. On the heels of those experiments I learned that evidently with the combination of dinner and exhaustion most extraneous movements of my head were just not going over very well at all.

Eventually I wound up turning it back to the country station so I could cry in my proverbial beer instead. Sedately, quietly, and blessedly less nauseated I sung along and thanked the churning wad of chicken Alfredo, bacon cheese fries, ranch dressing, salad, and chocolate cake for not making me pull off in the median to call dinosaurs.

Who says driving is boring?

Friday, February 20, 2009

As Promised and Requested - a Recipe

Dear Julio, my donkey basketball buddy, this is for you mostly. Several folks have asked me for the shepherd's pie recipe I've been using, so I figured it was time to cough it up. Taken from www.weightwatchers.com (a great resource - even if you don't do meetings it's worth the $13.95 a month for all of the online tools):

Classic Shepherd's Pie (see afterwards for my notes)


2 large potato(es), peeled and cut into 2-inch pieces
1/4 cup(s) fat-free sour cream
1 tbsp reduced-calorie margarine
1/8 tsp table salt, or to taste
2 tsp olive oil
1 cup(s) onion(s), chopped
2 medium carrot(s), diced
2 medium stalk(s) celery, diced
1 pound(s) uncooked ground turkey breast
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tbsp rosemary, fresh, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp dried thyme
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
2 cup(s) canned chicken broth, or beef broth


Preheat oven to 400ºF.

Place potatoes in a large saucepan and pour in enough water to cover potatoes. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium and simmer 10 minutes, until potatoes are fork-tender. Drain potatoes, transfer to a large bowl and add sour cream and margarine; mash until smooth, season to taste with salt and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery; cook until soft, about 3 minutes. Add turkey and cook until browned, breaking up the meat as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add flour, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper; stir to coat. Add broth and bring to a simmer; simmer until mixture thickens, about 3 minutes.

Transfer turkey mixture to a 9-inch, deep-dish pie plate. Spread mashed potatoes over top and using the back of a spoon, make decorative swirls over the top. Bake until potatoes are golden, about 30 minutes. Slice into 6 pieces and serve.

6 servings, at 5 pts per reasonably generous serving

My notes:

I often use ground lamb instead - lean, grassfed (or occasionally the leanest ground beef). Add some chicken stock to the mashed potatoes -otherwise they're too hard to spread and it makes a mess. If you don't have a DEEP DISH pie pan make sure to put a cookie sheet lined with foil under the pie to catch any spillover. I often add mushrooms, and/or a handful of frozen green peas. Reduce the amount of broth by 1/4 to 1/2 cup - the full amount is WAY too much. Spray your skillet with n/s spray if using stainless steel. Cut the potatoes smaller than the 2" - they'll cook faster. It usually takes longer than the 3 mins to thicken, IMO. I dice my veggies small 'cuz I don't like big honking mouthfuls of veggies. They cook faster and better that way, too.


Your friend Jorge

More Recipes

If you go to my old blog via this tag link http://carson-crazies.livejournal.com/tag/recipes you can see the recipes from the old blog that I remembered to tag. I decided to go on and repost the chili one though - since I've also gotten several requests for it lately. Here we go...

My Chili recipe:

2 lbs LEAN ground beef - 93/7 (could use turkey, or lamb, or venison - I often mix venison/beef)
28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
1 can diced tomatoes and green chiles (mild or hot) about 12-15 oz
1 to 2 15 oz can of beans (I use canned kidney or black) drained and rinsed
1 jalopeno, seeded and diced
1 medium onion
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 large green bell pepper (optional)
24-32 oz chicken stock (low fat)
3 Tbsp chili powder (more or less to taste)
1 Tbsp cumin
1-2 tsp Basil
salt to taste

1/2 Bud Light (or other light beer is optional)

Serves about 8-10, give or take, and a serving is about 1-1/3 cups for 5 pts (or 1 cup for 3.5)

In a large stock pot start browning the beef. Chop and drop the onion and bell pepper into the pot as you're browning the beef. As the beef is getting closer to brown, chop and drop the garlic and the jalopeno (you don't want the garlic overcooking and becoming bitter). Drain. Put in the spices (including salt) and stir to toast for about a minute. If you're using beer, pour 1/2 of a Bud Light in, and use it to deglaze the pan (ie scrape up the bits of yummies on the bottom). If you're not using beer, use about a cup of the stock. Let that simmer and reduce for about 1 minute.

Next add all of the tomatoes & beans, followed by the stock until slightly thinner than your preferred consistency - as it will cook down some. Simmer for about an hour or three (or however long you have - sometimes I only have 30 mins).Your points may vary depending on the yield, but I typically get about 8 servings (give or take), 1-1/3 cups for 5 points.

Options - you can use a chipotle in adobo sauce for the jalopeno (very hot though), and you could use red wine (adjust points) to deglaze the pot (or just use the chicken stock if you don't like cooking with alcohol). If the beef is superlean (like 96% lean) I'd use some EVOO when browning the beef. This particular recipe is easily adjusted to taste. If you like it spicier add more jalopeno, or some of the seeds... or an extra can of green chilis, or some crushed red pepper, or all of the above. Enjoy!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

All In One

This is another one of those all in one blog posts - mostly because I have too many things going on at once, and not enough time to seperate them all into their own posts.

These pictures were taken by Kristie Pope at the Jack Knox clinic in January, by the way. Linc is coming up on 14 months old now, and we're having a ball together. We had a lesson with Robin this past weekend, and managed to graduate to the big field (after working a bit more on our lie downs and call offs). I think he's finally to the point of being interested in working with me, and he's one that really feels good on sheep.

We're starting to use his flank commands (and the little nutter appears to be picking them up quickly) and stopping him off balance some. He's still buggering me a tad about stopping, but then sometimes he drops like a stone. His flanks have a nice shape to them, and he seems to have a nice natural bend. He made a lot of good decisions this weekened, and it's fun to watch his little wheels turning. This is my first dog with a little eye, and I'm finding the difference to be interesting.

It's tough getting pictures of these all black dogs, hunh?

Nick hasn't been turned completely loose yet - this week we're to do the normal warmup stuff, and then work for fifteen minutes. This coming weekend I'm supposed to basically work him like we would any other normal weekend, and allow him to take the normal walks with the other dogs again. I sure am looking forward to that! He's being a total butthead about loading back up in the van while out at Julie's now, resulting in my having crammed him in there sputtering expletives last night. I am reminded of how I'm supposed to be cursing less, and being more patient with him.

Working on Julie's entire flock yesterday I opened up his flanks a little (always a calculated risk since he tends to run wide) just by cleaning up his inside flanks a tad. I reminded him that he does indeed have to stop, and as a result he's working like normal now - no head butting required . See? She can be taught. Shoot, we had fifteen minutes to waste, so why not make it worthwhile? I'll probably drag him around this weekend begging chores off of friends so I can give him the equivalent of a normal weekend for him. Dang, I need spring.

WW wise I'm cranking right along over here. I'm doing well - motivated and back on track. It hopefully won't be too long until I'll be back at goal and working on MTN again. Tell you guys what, I'll post a few recipes here shortly. Until then, here's a recipe that Chuck's Mom sent me - I tweaked it to make it more WW friendly:

Bacon and Broccoli Salad:

1 head broccoli
12 slices cooked and crumbled turkey bacon.(I used the real bacon bits in a jar - Hormel- 1 jar=12pcs)
1/2 cup slices green onions (some people use red)
1/2 cup raisins


2 tbsp vinegar (I used apple cider vinegar)
1/2 granulated Splenda
1/2 cup light mayonnaise (I used Kraft)

Wash the broccoli. Seperate flowerets and cut the stalks into thin slices; place in salad bowl. Add bacon, greens onions, and raisins. In a separate bowl, stir together vinegar, splenda and mayonnaise. Pour the dressing ove the salad and toss gently. Serves 8 to 10. Don't put the dressing on until ready to serve. It gets watery.

I'm not sure exactly what the serving size is, but when calculated at 8 servings pts = 3.


(Picture by Julie Poudrier)

There. Another Wednesday is upon us - and with the rain and blah this one should include fuzzy slippers and a blanket. I'm taking my Nunna out tonight to the Olive Garden for dinner, and then maybe I'll manage to find the bed early. I sure do hope so, anyway.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009


That's Linc just last weekend, at 13 months.

I'm a slacker. There, I said it. No updates in what, a week? Let's see - Nick is up to two 20 min jog/lope sessions a day (unless you prefer english terms, and then it's trot/canter) and one of those is to be followed by five minutes on sheep. Later this week we up that to ten mins of stockwork. The doctor thinks he'll probably release Nick for all regular activity by next week. Nick's looking good and sound (and someone beat me for being hypersensitive over things that he NORMALLY DOES).

He's happy to be working again - and he's a little like a bull in a china shop. Stop? Who me? Slicy icky flanks, too, but he's happy. MAN is he happy. I could stand for him to be slightly less happy. After I feel sure that he's good and solid I'll be about reminding him that he does know how to flank appropriately, and does know how to stop, call off, and LISTEN when I speak to him. For the moment I'm just letting him work. Five minutes is a LONG time with some dogs, but it seems like such a SHORT time with him right now.

Linc is looking good. Really good. It appears we've made it over some humps in the last week, and I'm really enjoying him. Those yellow eyes are startling though - particularly on the backdrop of that all black face. He's looking like he's going to have some eye (good), and a good amount of power (also good). I think he's also going to be a pretty good listener, actually. He's thinking, and I'm liking what I'm seeing. He's *got* the whole lie down thing, and he seems to be pretty sensible actually.

So this week I'm Julie's constant companion. I sure will be glad when things are back to normal, though, because I am exhausted. I'm tired of the worry (which is part of my wiring), and tired of all the running around. But... I sure am glad to be working my main man again.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Free Willie

It is Finished. I am now a free woman as my divorce is final today.

This is easier than calling everyone. There also appears to be potentially favorable developments towards settling up the loose ends. I'm not going to hold my breath yet as people rarely change and I could run out of air. However, it's looking a bit better.

That is all.

Editing to add - title changed in effort to not scare anyone. ;)

Waiting and Obsessing

That's Ginger doing her best peanut-head impression. She's pretty good at it actually. The one thing she's better at really is her radar impression. I give you... bat eared dog:

Toldya! And it's not gravity driven either. This dog has an amazing capacity to do all kinds of freaky things with those ears. She's 11 years old this year, and for ten of those years she's been cheering me up with those silly ears. It's hard to imagine it's been that long, but it has.

There. A little TurdiTude does me a lot of good.

I'm still waiting. Waiting and obsessing, obsessing and waiting... it seems like I'm waiting on everyfreakingthing. Of course I always obsess, right? So that's nothing new, really, but I'd love it if someone would just go on and shoot me. I'm waiting for Nick to be able to work again, and I'm obsessing over every single move he makes. He's not short striding, and he's not carrying his leg up. He's always taken funky steps - occasionally hopping a tad on the back, and he's mostly inclined (at home) to do it when he needs to poop. So I see this, and it's normal, so why do I freak out a little inside? Obsessing and waiting. I see him take a funny hop once in a day, and what do I do? Obsess about it. Geez Louise. Can I have a break from myself?

I'm waiting for tomorrow to hear what our next step is. The good news is that when we're doing our jog/lope (or trot/canter) stuff I'm not seeing any funky movements from Nick whatsoever. He's cross-cantering some, but that's typical of him. I've joined the ranks of the weirdos who lunge their dogs in public places, like trials. I had to do it - I'm not fast enough to get him up to a lope (I'm a "Penguin" in runners lingo), so I've taught my dog to lunge at the end of a flexi. I'm probably going to some sort of sheepdog-slut purgatory for that one. Just don't tell anyone, OK? I promise only to use our new skill for this particular thing, and to never, EVER break it out at a sheepdog trial. I'd rather die first, really.

I'm still waiting for this divorce thing to be final, and obsessing over the fact that the man I'm divorcing hasn't done the things he needs to... the things that will truly give me some closure, and allow us to move on separately. I called my lawyer's office this morning, and the final paperwork was filed on Monday, as scheduled. The judge signs it, and then puts it in the lawyer's box to pick up, and THEN... they're going to mail it to me. When I asked her (the receptionist) if she'd just call me when they get it back so I'll know it's final (closure?) she acted like I'd asked her to take a bath in dog doo. Too darn bad (notice the significant lack of a curse word here - I deleted it). I paid them a lot of money to just file a few papers! Is it asking too much for one measly phone call to give me some peace?

However, in the good news department Linc appears to be figuring some things out. We had what basically (in my mind) amounted to a fairly disastrous clinic. However, since then Robin has helped us to work through some things. After last weekend he's settling down a bit, and becoming a thoughtful little dog. He's slowing down some and thinking - and taking his lie down as a working command as opposed to a stop working command. We still have some residual things to get past, but things are looking up for sure. It was truly a pleasure last weekend. He's actually more in-tune with me than I thought he was. He's definitely feeding off of my emotions, and when I get amped up so does he. These youngsters... they change so much from one session to the next.

This weekend looks to be lovely. Maybe the doc will clear Nick to do a little driving. Wouldn't that be lovely?