Tuesday, June 30, 2009

We Are Not Amused

This is a very bad picture of Ginger as of last night at 5:25 P.M. I decided a week ago that maybe I'd start trying to shave her down myself. The above coat is only a partial coat for her - it gets another inch or two longer if I let it. So armed with my new clippers last night I tied her to the oven door (yes, seriously), sat on the kitchen floor and went to it.

Did I mention that I've never shaved another living being before? Well, other than my ex-husband's head and only once at that... if that tells you anything. Well, and then there's a few passes on a sheep here and there - not fabulous, and never have I done an entire sheep with clippers.

I happen to think Ginger looks pretty good - she's pretty smooth and seriously less hairy. Her legs are not as smooth as I'd like - that part was VERY tricky. She was good though - apparently she knows the drill because when I'd get ready to do a certain part she'd lift things up for me. Cracked ME up. She, however, is not amused.

Not. Amused.

Still not amused. I think the bath in the cactus somethingorother doggie shampoo may have made her feel less amused.

Nick, on the other hand is very amused.

Actually she feels mucho better - she's been doing zoomies in the living room this morning and prancing around like a spring chicken. But for some reason every time I pull out a camera at lunch she gets a bit grumpy. She forgives me though.
Breezy Hill SDT updates to follow later - I had to share the Turd's new 'Do first!

Monday, June 22, 2009

Friends, Dogs, and the Week Coming Up

Friday night Dan King came over to Julie's to hang for a couple of days, and while here he got some pics of the Noodlehead (including the header photo). Actually, that's Twist in the above picture - Nick was down the field bringing the sheep back up for Julie & Twist to hold out for Kelly & Jen. It was early, and I was desperate for coffee. Obviously. Robin came over too - and we had a good day of friends and dog working... and the Backyard Grille.

I think the best part was getting to hang with good friends all weekend long! Julie, Robin, Kelly, Dan and I all converged to work dogs on Saturday, and then Julie, Dan and myself on Sunday too. Saturday night I met up with Sandy & Pam for movie night - and I had a lot of great sober fun! Did I mention there was lots of food involved? There was lots of food involved. To top off the weekend Julie and I went to the Farmer's Market late yesterday and came back with lots of yummy vegetables that probably won't last past today.

Anyway, Dan is stupid smart and has all sorts of mad skillz I'd have never guessed. Not only that - but he's a really nice, funny guy. He also agreed to crop my behind out of any pictures, which makes him even nicer in my mind. So here are a few Noodlehead shots:

There's more but Blogger isn't being very cooperative this morning and I've finally run slap out of patience. Between my computer at home crapping out, the archaic one I've borrowed in the interim being... well... archaic, and Blogger being uncooperative I'm technologically frustrated today.

Saturday Robin helped me to help Nick to figure out how to deal more effectively with heavy sheep. Then yesterday the sheep were very willing to split so we managed to get some good shedding practice in. I've tried hard not to mess with shedding sheep that don't want to split with Nick. My ineptitude at this shedding thing coupled with sheep that are clumping was a recipe for frustration for both of us - so I was thrilled to get the opportunity to work on it yesterday. One of the things that I realized while watching Julie was that I was contributing to the clumping thing by letting the sheep get right on top of me - which I worked on NOT doing yesterday. It helped. A lot.

This week promises to be insanely busy. I'm heading up to Roy Johnson's this coming weekend, and somehow between now and then I've got to get the yard done, get packed, meet two different family members for dinner (I'm trying to talk them into all of us getting together), and various other things. But this coming weekend promises to be more fun with friends and dogs, so I'm really looking forward to it. I'm excited to go back to Roy's WITHOUT the taco. It had better be a taco-free weekend.

If Blogger gets more cooperative later I'll post some more Nick pics.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Another Rambly Monday Morning

It's been an eventful but yet uneventful week (read that to say I've been busy but haven't done anything stupid enough to require rescuing). I finished cutting down those trees (the ones I could) without getting the chainsaw stuck any more, and blah blah blah. I didn't have much work for the dogs this past weekend - Linc turned up inexplicably lame on a rear leg Thursday morning, so I'm going to rest him some for good measure. That's one more bouncy dog, I'll say that.

Saturday I went over to Julie's, and she, Kelly and I spent a good bit of the day tromping around in the woods and brush looking for Maia. Maia unfortunately went missing during the storms last week, so we thought to make some passes out in the woods looking for her. Still no sign of her - but I managed to get a tick in my shoulder, a sunburn, sore feet and legs, and what may be poison ivy on my ankles. That's productive, right?

Speaking of sore feet and legs... did you know that when your behind gets too big for your feet they hurt? Your feet that is. That is the conclusion I came to this weekend. So today I signed back up to my WW online account - I can't have this. I can't stand being in pain for doing the things I want to do - particularly when it's completely avoidable. I don't really have the $$ for it right now - but I also don't have the $$ to deal with my fat behind either, and all of the health issues that come with being overweight. So there.

Yesterday I went over to help Chuck Reloaded with shearing his sheep. Tony & Mary came over, and we got them done. It wasn't all that pretty - and I have definately learned that being a shearer is not my lifetime calling. Well, at least not a shearer of hair sheep that refuse to shed (and act crazy as heck). They should feel better now though!

One of the things that I was attempting to do with my sheep (before I had to sell them) was to increase their ability to shed. I bred my ewes that first year to a 3/4 Katahdin ram - who was an excellent shedder, and his lambs shed better than their mothers (but still not very well). This year Chuck bred them to Darci's St. Croix ram - and we're hoping this year's lamb crop will do a decent job of shedding (the third generation lambs should). Time will tell - but I'd prefer to have either REALLY good shedding hair sheep, or nice wool sheep - one or the other. Not that it's my problem anymore, but still. I have opinions.

Two weeks ago I started working on fixing Nick's approach into a pasture or to the handler's post - and it's been amazing to me what a difference it's made in him. It fixed the shape of his outrun, and fixed his attitude also. I'm re-evaluating how I feel about that particular issue, because I've really learned something from this. Yeah, OK, so Robin's told me a million times, but now I SEE it since I've been working at fixing the mess I allowed to happen. See, Nick has opinions too. When he was younger he didn't have enough opinions - and he's making up for it now. Interesting how just now I'm really starting to see the holes in my training - what I need to be asking of my dogs, and things I need to be doing differently.

So it's going to be another hot and busy week, and I hope at the end of it my feet will hurt just a little bit less, because hopefully there will be less behind weighing them down.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Portrait of a Noodlehead

Kay Sander painted the above portrait of Nick from the header picture on this blog. I believe she used acrylics. I am so honored and awed by her - what a beautiful job she did! This is the prize for winning overall champion in Pro-Novice at Breezy Hill late last summer - and she brought it down with her to Robin's last weekend. I'm planning to get it framed as soon as I can, and a plaque with the information will go on it, too. How neat is that?

Speaking of Breezy Hill, I just sent my entry in to run him in Ranch there (and Nursery if they get enough dogs) at the end of this month. I've opted to keep us in Ranch for a while yet - more to get my feet under ME than anything. I'm looking forward to it.

Editor's Note: The header photo has been changed since this post.

Monday, June 1, 2009


Seriously? Because my life isn't fun enough. My lawnmower won't crank (and you could probably find a small child in my grass), and I now have a chainsaw (that doesn't belong to me) stuck in my tree. The limbs that have been successfully sawn down are laying in my yard, and the chainsaw is stuck in my tree. S-T-U-C-K. In my tree.

Also stuck in the tree are two leashes that I tried to use to pull the limb over to unstick the chainsaw.

I climbed up in this tree. Seriously. In the dark.

My back hurts, I'm sweating and nauseated, and I'm convinced that I have ticks all over me. I think I'll just go to bed.

Interview With an Idiot

My internet is out. Again. Well, not exactly, today it's in, but Friday night it was out. For the what, fourth or fifth time? So I called the Cable company, and had a session with the repair tech dude. Anthony. It went a little bit like this (after all of the introductory mumbo):

Anthony: Let me pull up your repair history. (fiddle click fiddle click) Ok, ma'am, you say your internet's not working?

Me: Yes sir. First let me give you some background information - this is an ongoing problem. I've been having connection problems for about a month now. I got a new modem about two weeks ago, and that didn't fix my problem. The tech was out here last week, and after checking the modem and the computer he felt sure the problem was outside in the stump - that everything in the house was OK. So he sent an outside repair crew over that next day. It worked fine for a week, and now it's out again. The cable light is off, so it appears to be completely off line again. I've tried resetting the modem about three times now, and it's still not working. I probably need to get someone out to check the repairs in the stump again.

Anthony: Is the cable light on?

Me: No sir, the cable light is off.

Anthony: Let me see if I can connect to your modem. (click, pause, fiddle, click) It appears that your modem is off line.

Me: right, that's what I said.

Anthony: Lets try resetting your modem.

Me: I've already done that. Three times. It didn't help.

Anthony: Well, you may need a new modem.

Me: Sir, this IS a new modem. I just got it two weeks ago. It's cute, too. It's a cute modem, and it's new.

Anthony: In that case I need to schedule a tech to come out and make sure that the problem isn't inside the house.

Me: I've already had a tech out, and as I said before he indicated that the problem was in the stump outside, that everything inside was working as it should. I don't see why they can't just come check outside. The tech that was out last week said the problem was signal strength - in the stump. Outside.

Anthony: We need to make an appointment to check to see that the problem isn't inside the house.

Me: Ok, fine. But seriously - this is getting old. This is seriously disrupting my social life.

It's obviously not Anthony's fault that he's an idiot and doesn't listen to what other people tell him. At that point I was banging my head against the wall and I realized he wasn't hearing anything I was telling him. I have internet again for the moment, but seriously, I'm starting to think maybe I should just turn the modem in and go to DSL. They, the phone people, appear to be slightly less idiotic. He's lucky I didn't just jump through the phone and choke him. Seriously.