Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Too much stuff happening.....

It’s has been a busy few days. This weekend I was at the Scott Glen clinic. As usual, it was wonderful. In my opinion, you will always need to go to clinics or take lessons. You sometimes slip into a comfort zone and never get out of it. To become a better handler, you have to challenge yourself and push yourself out of your comfort zone.

Anyways the weather for the weekend was awesome. It was nice, warm and once in a while, a cool breeze would drift through. There were all stages of handlers from Novice to Open. The dogs, as well, were from all different stages.

It was a good clinic. The dogs were put in different groups, three per group and we had four groups. Each group had a session and then a second session. I audited the clinic. Several of my students were in the clinic. Nancy had Blaze and Jack, Courtney and Logan, Monique and Lucy and Janet with Mattie. There were twelve people in the clinic.

Most of you are very familiar with Scott. I recommend attending a clinic and seeing how everyone advances. Or at the very least, take a private lesson. At least try to go to a clinic/lesson from the top Open handlers. I have gone to Scott, Jack and Kathy Knox, and Patrick Shannahan to name a few. And I will continue to go to the top Open handlers.

So I knew that this two days clinic would be a tough weekend for me. It was very tiring for me to sit all day. I had to take pain pills (and yes, Monique was driving) and by end of the clinic on Saturday, I was exhausted as well the chest pain was starting to be intense.

Monique ordered Indian food for dinner and we all hung out and ate well and then attacked the rest of the Black Cherry Pie. I took an Oxycontin instead of a Vicodin since it was an intense day. I really needed it as I was feeling it. Nan got to sleep with me on the bed and really enjoyed it.

Sunday was yet another wonderful day, although it didn’t start off that way. It was very foggy and had a little nip to it. I was bundled up as I am still underweight and have no body fat and I didn’t want to get chilled. Nan was with me and didn’t need a warm parka. She was quite content to stretch out and snooze. The last time I had brought Nan to the clinic was in March and she was nervous, whiney and would shake when she saw the sheep on the field. This time she ahs really settled down and fell fast asleep and one time the sheep came bouncing to the front og the tent, just a few feet from Nan and she lifted her head up from the ground as if to say “Hey, I am asleep…go away” and then promptly feel back asleep. This is good as she is much, much more relaxed now.

But when I would go to work her in another field, she was all business. I was working on opening up her flanks and stopping her on the fly. She did quite well but her eye still does draw her in still. But she tries so hard to do everything I ask of her without fighting me. I remember when I first got her, she would obey but there was a edge to her and now she is soft and willing.

I am sure that Nan was quite pleased that Tess got to stay home and that Nan was the center of attention. For the rest of the clinic, Nan was very well behaved. She has calmed down and feels comfortable now

The Sunday sessions were good and you could see the dogs had learned from the day before. The handler also put what they learned to good use. I am not going to into specifics but control, rating, downs, feeling the pressure and handler positioning were some of the topics. It was nice to see the progress of the students who had attended the clinic in March.

By the end of the day, I was totally wiped out and my chest was hurting pretty bad. I didn’t take any pain pills since I knew I would be driving. I had to try to walk the pain out or doze in my chair. Talking was an effort and the day seemed to drag on.

On a side note, I got some cool fleece dog beds at the clinic,. There was an agility show and a vendor had a booth. I got two cool beds which are far superior to the bed I had at home, a ball catapult and a *water bottle toy” The *water bottle toy* is a bright animal toy that has a empty water bottle in the center. When the dog squeezes the toy, it makes a crinkly sound and the dogs love it. You can replace the water bottle and the toy is durable. It is much better than a toy with a squeaker. If I have a toy with a squeaker, they will rip out the squeaker and then loose interest in the toy. This toy you will just replace the water bottle.

Scott broke down and got one for Skid. We all about fell out of our chairs. to see that Scott actually bought a dog toy. He claimed it was for Skid (and Jenny) but we all think he got it for himself. We all had a good time teasing Scott about him buying a toy and he took it in good stride.

So the clinic ended and Monique and I headed out. My car was at her place and we loaded up my gear and I headed out, Thank goodness that Monique lives only an hour away. It was a LONG HOUR drive home and by the time I got home, it was late and I was over the edge. I took my pain pills and fell fast asleep. Getty unloaded the car for me and took care of Nan.

Monday was recovery day. I slept most of the day and my body was aching from the long weekend. Finally mid day my chest quit hurting and I was able to make dinner. I was not really hungry but made myself eat a half of a hamburger. I can’t believe how much the weekend wiped me out and how much I hurt. But I learned a lot.

Over the weekend, my hay guy “Chris” came over and started mowing my far field. He got about halfway done and then he got a flat tire. I am excited that he got that much done and he will soon finish the rest. We plan on haying the field next year (two haying) and he is prepping the field this fall. So if you need some good grass hay next year, drop me a line.

Tony came over on Monday and brought his tractor. He leveled near the barn so we could bring hogs fuel in. Our field gets wet during the winter and can get muddy. So our game plan is to put in hogs fuel so we have good footing. We did that last year but didn’t have enough hogs fuel.

This morning I went to work (FAA) to get my badge since my old one had expired. Then I had to sync up my laptop so I would have my work on the laptop. Of course, the laptop wouldn’t sync up and my *intended hour* at work turned into over 2.5 hours. I also met with my new manager, rob. He is a really nice guy and has a lot of enthusiasm. He is going to be an asset to the group and from all reports, everyone likes him. I enjoyed my meeting with him and am glad he is taking over the reins.

So of course, I didn’t take any pain meds all day until I got home and my chest was hurting. I took my pain meds but I still felt some pain for the rest of the day. I had to do the chores (feeding, kennels etc) as Getty was unable to help me today, He has the flu and really bad so he stayed in bed all day. So we are a good pair, Getty with the flu and me with chest pain and very tired.

Today we got three loads of hogs fuel and a load of gravel. Tony got it spread out. He put gravel in the lower pasture entry way. Last year near the gate, it got very deep in mud. He put the wood next to the barn and a path to the round pen and also in the round pen. We also put rubber mats in front of the stall doors so it would not be muddy. We are almost ready for winter in the pastures. Where we tie the dogs up, I want to put the wood so they will not get wet or muddy.
The lower pasture looks really good and we still have one load of hogs fuel to spread. The third load came after Tony quit for the day.

Janet came over and helped with dogs while I did kennels. She moved the dogs about while I did rearranged the kennel situation. She worked Scott and I see how much better she had gotten. She attended the clinic and I could see the results. Her handling was better and then I went out and helped fine tune her a bit. She was much more confident with Scott and he worked well for her.

Then I was fading quickly so I went up to the house. Janet was going to work Mattie using the new skills she learned over the weekend.

Getty was still sick so we hung out. I actually took a short nap and got up at nine and took my pills. I wasn’t very hungry and ate crackers as my stomach was upset. I think I am getting Getty’s flu or have pushed myself too far over the weekend and today. I sure hope that we feel better tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Farm Tour

Mom and Kimiko came last week and I took some pixs. Mainly of the animals and Mom and Kimiko that are in the blog. I love it when they come to visit.

This is Kimiko tossing the ball for Tess. Please note that Tess has TWO balls for Kimiko to toss. My mom is in the background. This ball tossing is now a ritual with them.

Mom and Kimiko feeding the ducks in the pond pasture. Tess is picking up any stray pieces of bread. She usually will get about 2 slices of bread that Mom and Kimiko *accidently* drop.

Mom, Kimiko and Tess. Again, note there is a kong toy in the picture. Also, note the other dogs are not in the picture as Tess considers Mom and Kimiko her *own* and won't share unless she is told.

Rainey and Clip with Rigby on top of the alfalfa stack in the barn. Clip has gotten too close to Rigby and *WHOOSH* the claws went out and *POOF* Clip barely escaped with his life!!

Rigby still glaring at Clip and Clip deciding that a retreat was in good order. Who says, Border Collies are not smart!! See that Rainey is keeping a wise distance from Rigby. She has had her nose used as a scratching post when she got too close when she was younger.

The neighbor's Guinea hen. She hangs out here since her mate was killed by an owl.

Red, the young Rhode Island Red rooster that I got, He is very tame and follows you. He is not afraid of the dogs.

The four white geese that I still have. I used to have about 25 geese and reduced the flock to four. These are very friendly and come to yo for food.

The three young Muscovy ducks that I got about one month ago. They have grown and lost their baby fuzz and looking like real ducks.

The other ducks that I have. There is seven left. All the ducks go out to the pond pasturte during the day and back in the coop at night. They know the routine. The pond pasture is fenced so they can not escape and are safe.

....and that is it for the Farm tour for now...

Friday, September 26, 2008

Gone for a few days....

I more than likely will not be posting this weekend since I am at Monique and Bruce's place. Monique and I will be at a Scott Glen Clinic on Saturday and Sunday. I will be auditing and Monique will be running Lucy.

Right now, I am hanging out on the couch with Bruce and we are watching Monique do an X-Box game, I sure am glad she is doing the game than me. I am lousy at those types of games. But as a support staff, I am cheering her on while eating a Black Cherry Pie for dessert. Monique made a delicious salmon (BBQ), asparagus, and pasta dinner. It was so good that I ate a whole bunch.  Monique  is a good cook. I am a good eater of food!! ;-)

I will post more tomorrow if I can. I am full with dinner and too busy cheering Monique on to think of anything to write!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

food, food and more food!!

It was raining when I woke up. Imagine that!! Rain in Seattle? So I had my ½ cup of coffee and hoped it would stop. Nope, not at all. So, the girls and I just hung out until my mom and Kimiko showed up.

Yep, happy days!! Mom and Kimiko appeared and I knew they had arrived when the sheep started baaing, the girls went ballistic and barked and ran about in the house and Rigby appeared at the front porch.

Mom and Kimiko barely made it into the house when Tess ran to get a toy and about bowled Mom over. Nan ran in circles around Kimiko and barked like a banshee.

Mom whipped out a bag of dog biscuit she had gotten for the girls. It was fresh chicken fruit and veggies…it looked and seemed delicious and the ingredient list was very healthy. I am not even going to count how many biscuits they got but let’s say their dinner rations got cut in half!!

They didn’t forget about me and made me fresh Tempura (Dover sole, egg plants, assorted veggies) and homemade sushi, teriyaki chicken skewers, and other Japanese goodies, I though I had died and gone to heaven. It was a far better meal than I had the night before of hotdogs and soup. We ate well needless to say. I am so lucky to have my mom and Aunt. The girls also agreed as they got leftovers and more biscuits.

Finally the rain let up and we ventured outside to the barn. I took ½ Vicodin for this journey. It was about noon than my 9:00 dose. I am trying to slowly not take to take ½ Vicodin during the day and then also cut my dose down at night. Last night I only took one Vicodin instead of two and I could feel the chest pain. So tonight I will try 1 ½ pill and see if that dose will work. I hate getting up in the middle of the night with chest pain.

So Mom and Kimiko have the feeding routine down now. They fed the three pastures the proper amount of alfalfa. They whipped out the three bucket of breads and it is a delight to see them feed the animals. The sheep all run up to them and mom has even figured who some of the ewes are such as one old ewe. (#21)

I had gotten three new Muscovy baby ducks about two weeks ago. They lost their baby fuzz and look like white Muscovys. Mom noticed right away that they had grown and were hanging out with the other ducks. She also noticed that I had gotten a new chicken. Nothing escapes her sharp eye.

We wrapped up the feeding chore by tossing the ball for the girls. Or I should say, Mom and Kimiko tossed the ball for the girls. It’s a fine ritual.

We decided to pick the tomatoes before it began to rain. I cut my clippers and cut off stalks of ripe tomatoes. After a while my chest began to hurt from all the bending and we called it good. By this time we had picked six, yes six, plastic bags of tomatoes. Mom and Kimiko washed the tomatoes and we will all be eating tomatoes for a while. Nothing is better than a sun ripened fresh tomato from your garden. Mom and Kimiko went home with four bags of tomatoes and farm fresh eggs. I got a plateful of sushi and tempura. We both feel like we all scored the lotto.

I was going to take a nap but then Chuck came over. We let the dogs out to play and I cleaned the kennels. Then Chuck worked his dogs and also Rainey. I sat and watched in the dry barn while he worked in the rain. That was an easy decision on my part. Beside I was still sore/.hurting some in my chest and was tired. Audrey came over and worked her two dogs, Dan and Kael. Kael is very natural and did some nice outruns and is a joy to watch.

I had to take another ½ Vicodin with dinner. I had pushed myself too hard today and also was tired from the uneasy night sleep that I had. Since I quit taking the Oxycontin, I have been trying to find the right amount of pain meds to ease my chest pain while slowly getting myself off of them. My goal is to be done soon.

Speaking of chest pains, the pain is more localized and a lot less severe. My scar is much thinner and I put ScarGel and Vit E on it. It doesn’t hurt near as much when I touch it. But I try to make sure that I don’t do anything stupid like flipping a bale of alfalfa or lugging a feed bag about. I have to make myself stop and ask someone for help. The jobs tat I would do before like carrying a fill bucket of grain I will break that job down into a couple of trips. Instead of grabbing 6 leaves of Alfalfa I will grab 2 leaves. I do the jobs as before but in smaller portions.

Speaking of portions, I am not going to make my nightly ice cream portion any smaller. Matter of fact, since it is “Cookie Dough” Ice Cream, I think I will double my portion tonight. I hear cold numbs pain and I am going to test that theory.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

A whole lotta rain and that's about it!!

It’s been raining. But I guess those of you that live here already know that. Not to mention, it has been cold. My knees have been really aching due to the cold. I managed to miss our summer. I went into the hospital and it was the beginning (or so it seemed) of summer and now that I am sort of mobile, the summer had fled and nasty, wet and cold fall has set in. This is so unfair!! I don’t do cold well anymore.

OK now, that you know my stance on the weather; I’ll update you on my progress. My stomach ache/pains have gone completely away. So it must have been the Percoset that I was taking. I am taking ½ of a Vicodin during the day. I stopped my Oxycontin at night and switched to Vicodins. Soon I’ll be off the pain killers. My chest pain still is there but not as bad. But enough to feel it and take a pill. It is more noticeable if I am busy or active.

Yesterday day was a busy day. I went to the Cardiologist to have the blood tested to see how thin it is. It has to be a certain level for them to do the next heart procedure in October. Yes, I have (yet) another heart procedure but it will not involve opening my chest. So they checked my level and it is within the correct boundaries. I am on a blood thinning medicines as well as one for helping regulate my heart. I have arrhythmia. The heart procedure they want to do will re-set my heart into a normal rate. I’ll be glad when I am off all these darn pills. And the best part is that I will be in good health.

My farrier came over to trim Emmy and Emma hooves. Both were in good shape. Janet was here so she helped me by holding the mares. She learned how to put on a halter. She did really well. We had to go to the far field to get Emmy and I took Tess. While the farrier was trimming Emmy’s feet, I sent Tess on a blind outrun to get the sheep. The field is 25 acres and the grass is chest high. It took her a bit as the sheep were scattered all over. Tess was quite pleased with herself and the farrier was impressed.

Chuck came over to the house and worked dogs. He has done a great job in raising Rainey for me. Clip is a pistol and is a handful. He is more like his sire, Scotty. Rainey worked the huge flock in the lower pasture. She maybe tiny but has a big attitude. Teddy is learning how to drive and is getting off on the right paw on that (no pun intended)

Janet worked Mattie and she is finally starting to settle. She was able to do mini outruns in the round pen and figuring out how to pace. Janet has gone from being a *city type* of girl to a good country girl!! She is very devoted to her dogs. Chuck and Janet have really been putting the time in with their dogs and it is starting to show.

It got dark and the skeeters were going into full kill mode and we quit for the night. I will admit that I was the weenie and bailed.

I told Getty of Tess’s exploits and he duly rewarded her with a treat. We had chicken for dinner and hung out and watched TV. I tried to do a crossword puzzle but failed. So, needless to say my brain is still on slow speed. I love doing crosswords puzzles or puzzles in general.

Instead of taking an Oxycontin for the night, I took two Vicodins. I didn’t sleep really well and didn’t know if it was due to the changing of the meds or weather change. I woke up in time to give Getty a good-bye kiss and then fell back asleep. Tess jumped on the couch to be next to me and Nan sat next to me and gave me kisses when I rolled over. I woke up late and decided to forego on my Vicodin to see how far I could go without it.

I was busy this afternoon cleaning the kitchen. I even unloaded and loaded the dishwasher. Before when I did that, my chest would be in major pain. This time, it hurt but not in a major way. By the time I got done with the kitchen I was exhausted. So I took a nap. I was going to take my pain pill but forgot.

Nan curled up next to me on the bed. Tess jumped up and saw her spot was occupied by Nan. She stood over me and Nan and gave her the evil glare but to no avail. Nan had her head tucked in my chest and her eyes were closed. So Tess did the next best thing and that was to lay on top of me and Nan. Yes, she did, just plopped her behind on my side and her front on top of Nan. Nan promptly jumped up and moved and then Tess slithered into her space. It was quite funny and we all settled in for a nap. Nan was snuggled next to my hip and Tess was next to my head and chest.

Getty came home and gave me a ½ Vicodin and the pain went away. We had dinner and watched TV. I sure miss watching the Olympics as now there is nothing good on TV. Getty made the pain of bad TV go away by bringing me some ice cream. I feel much better now. So much better that I am thinking of going for a cookie raid soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

again, some more trial pictures

Ranch and Novice Classes
September 19, 2008
Pam Carter and Colin at the pen.

Colin bringing the sheep to the pen.

Linda DeYoung and Pooka. Pooka is a granddaughter of Tess. She placed well in the trial. Linda does all the scores and printouts for the trial. We all *APPRECIATE* the effort. Be sure to thank her for her efforts!!

Norm River's Lana (aka The Fox)

.....more pixs to follow......

Monday, September 22, 2008

Trial Weekend Update and Monday's Rest!!

It’s has been a whirlwind weekend. I got up early to drive down to Yelm for the trial. I had Tess, Nan and Lucy entered. I got up early then loaded up the girls and left. Getty had loaded my truck the night before with food, bags of clothes, dog gears and other stuff. I really appreciated him doing that as I can not lift heavy items. So all I had to do was load up the girls.

It was too darn early to wake up and go but we did. The trial was 1.75 hours away and I was driving my truck. I knew it would be a real test to be driving so I stopped after an hour of driving and rested and then finished. I got to the trial and was not only tired but my chest was hurting. I did not take any pain meds before I left so I could drive. I took ½ Vicoden when I got there. I had about an hour before my run so I cat napped in the trial host’s SUV (Judy Norris- Thank you!!) and one of the handlers woke me up for my run. Thank you Karen Combs for waking me up. That short cat nap helped.

I ran Tess and I managed to miss my fetch panels. We got the pen and the shed. I ran out of gas halfway through my run and you could tell. I had to use my voice and running a dog over an Open course using your voice is quite hard. Tess ran well considering she hasn’t run a course for three months and for the last two months has been my nursemaid. All the mistakes on the course were my errors as she did everything I asked of her.

Yes, it has been about eight weeks since the surgery and I was just so happy to get out. I got tired quickly and I guess I didn’t look so good. But it was wonderful to see the handlers again. Judy Norris, the trial host, was very kind to make sure that I had no trial duties so I could sleep. People let me sleep/sit in their chairs and helped carry my gear to the field. To those people, I want to thank you. It made it possible for me to attend the trial.

And of course, I have to thank Lora Withnell for bringing her RV so I could stay with her. I took quite a few naps between runs and she even let me sleep in her super soft bottom bunk. Lora is a great friend and is one of the best people on Planet Earth. Lora is a 5 star friend and a darn good handler to boot. She kicked my ass all weekend in ProNovice with her Snook and Sally. Lora made it possible for me to attend the trial and relax and have a place to stay. It sure is nice to have a dear friend like her.

I am looking to get a newer truck and will be getting it from Lora Withnell. They have a Dodge dealership and I am going to trade in my older truck for a newer model. They take good care of their customers. They put Nordstrom to shame!!!

A couple of year ago, we had a huge barn fire which also burned up our vehicles. I put in a call to Lora and their dealership not only located a commuter car for me but brought it up. They have the best service. When I wanted seat covers, again they got me choice seat covers and they were delivered in record time.

If you want to get a new or pre-owned rig here is their website. http://withnellauto.com/general.asp

So after my run with Tess, I took a short catnap and then was up with Nan. Running Nan is like driving a Ferrari car. Last time we ran, she was on edge and was hard to stop. Then we had a eight week break in which she was by my side, also being my nursemaid. In that short time, we gotten very close and she relaxed and let her inner self come out. She was the greeter at the door, the first to sit for cookies, and let the wall around her heart melt and let me in. She is as close to me as Tess is.

Nan ran just superb. She was soft and not edgy. She took every command and even stopped when I asked. She paced herself on the light sheep and just rocked. I was wondering if I was in a “Vicoden dreamland” (hallucinations’) since she ran so well. We hit the panels, penned and had a fast shed. She was so happy when we were done. I was stunned. We just clicked out there and she wanted so badly to do right by me. I count my blessings with her. I got THIRD PLACE in Open with her. I am so excited!!!

Then we ran in ProNovice. I haven’t run Lucy since the last trial and Monique has been taking care of her for me. Lucy hasn’t had much trial time since last year when she went and worked a large flock, and took some time off. So she was very rusty. She was flat and needed to hold the pressure. She did the flanks she thought that I wanted and as a result we didn’t do so well. We will have to go home and do some foundation work again and get her back on track. That is the difference between a seasoned Open dog and a ProNovice dog. With Tess and Nan, even thought they had eight weeks off, knew their work. With a ProNovice dog, the training is not set in stone yet. So Lucy and I will be spending some time getting back on track. She has a heart of gold and will bend herself over backwards to do it right and that is a good attribute. I know she can do it so we just have to work on it.

Tess is going to retire soon and Lucy is going to take her place so we need to get her up to speed. Lucy learns quickly so hopefully she will be ready for Open in the Winter Series. She is a good dog!!

The day finally ended and as I said Lora kicked my hinny in ProNovice. I was very pleased to see how well her Sally ran for her. That Sally is a hot dog that is going to make an awesome Open dog. They have clicked really well together. Sally is a tiny, petite female. She is about the same size as my Rainey (Tess female pup for last litter). Sally has the cutest Marilyn Monroe beauty spots on her nose.

Lora and I hung out until dinner. The WASH president (Jeff Marroni) and his lovely wife (Dee Marroni) made a tasty BBQ. They had pork, salmon, and lamb. Side dishes were macaroni salad, various green salads, bbq corn and many more items. There was homemade pear, apple and other pies. I ate so much that I almost feel asleep!! It was nice that my stomach ache that I had the week before the trial was gone and I was able to enjoy the food. The company was great and as I said before, it was nice to hang out with the trial folks.

At dinner they awarded prizes and I got my third place bag of biscuits. I was sitting next to Ken Johnson and he won a cute Border Collie pillow. We traded and I got an adorable pillow. Lora got third in ProNovice and got biscuits too. She hid them from me!!

Later that night, as I was comfortable in Lora’s RV, we chatted for a bit. We had our dogs, a warm bed and true friendship. I laugh a lot when hanging out with Lora. She has a funny sense of humor. As it was, laughing makes my chest hurt but I took my pain pill and laughed. It was good to laugh. She is going to laugh at me when she beats me in Open!! I look forward to that day.

I slept for 12 hours and early Sunday morning Lora checked in on me. She offered to take Tess out for a walk. Tess slept with me all night. Normally Tess will bound out of bed to go out with Lora. She didn’t budge. I kicked her out of bed to go with Lora. She jumped back in bed and refused to leave me. Tess must have thought that I was not well enough to leave alone so she refused to leave the bed. So she stayed.

Later when I got up. Tess was more than happy to leave the bed. I took the girls out for a long walk and ate my yogurt and relaxed. I was feeling so much better than the day before. Quite a few people commented on how much better I looked. I must have looked like death warmed over the day before!!

They ran ProNovice first so Lucy was first of the girls on deck. She pretty much ran the same as the day before. I have my homework cut out for me. But she tried and that’s all I can ask. I can’t be hard on the girls since I haven’t done much with them in eight weeks.

I took another nap and wandered about. Susan Crocker made fresh coffee for me in her trailer and we chatted. Normally when I see Susan we are at a trial and never really sit down and chat. It was nice to just hang out with her. Pam Carter also came in and we relaxed for a bit. Susan and Pam both have very talented Kelpies. Susan had her Echo, a stunning soft red ACD with black eyeliner. She is 13 yr old and quite spry. Susan showed that Echo can do the cutest tricks. Some of the moves and expression that Echo did, reminded me of our late Shiro. I really like Echo. Thanks to Susan for the hot coffee. For those of you who wonder about the caffeine intake, I had half coffee and half hot water.

Open was the next class and I was on deck with Tess. Again, she ran well and I missed the panels. I had to switch to my voice and the Vicoden really messes with your reflexes. We had to do a shed and a couple of times Tess was ready to come in but I was slow to call her. So we did not get the shed or pen. She ran her heart out in the shedding ring. I can not see how people can drive while on Vicoden. I only took a ½ pill at breakfast and by the time I was going to head home (8 hours later ) it would be out of my system.
It messes with my speech. I got words mixed up this weekend. An example, I meant to say "Hit the ground with your crook " but I said "Hit the crook with your ground". I had mixed sentences like that all weekend. You can also see it when I write my blog.

Nan was last to run of my girls. We had to do a dog leg fetch and she was a wee bit hard to convince that I really wanted my sheep off line. So we missed the fetch panels. We did well on the drive and couldn’t get the shed. I was starting to slow down and she was all push and with the light sheep you want a dog to settle them. We didn’t place but I was happy with her and she danced with joy with me. She was so happy to see that I was delighted. I call her my “transparent dog” as she conveys her feeling on her sleeve.

A person asked me if she was for sale. She is not as she had five homes before she came to me and three litters. She knows she has a home for life now and sleep with me. She shows me her love and devotion every day and at night. She has taken upon her to protect me at night. She finally has realized this is her permanent home. She has gone from being anxious and nervous with people to being a social butterfly. At this trial, Brian commented on well she ran for me. She truly did and I love her for it.

After my run, I was wandering about with the girls and Tess must have figured out that I was much better than I was in the morning. She and Nan ran over to Vicki and did all sorts of sits and downs for treats. I called Tess and she looked at me as if to say “Don’t bug me, I am gonna get a treat from Vicki” They both ignored me and hung out with Vicki would gave them treats. I remember three months ago that Nan would not have done this. It was good to see that she was social enough to go to another person and sit for treats. They reminded me of two children at Halloween getting treats.

I ran into a lot of people who asked and cared about me. It was nice to see everyone and if I didn’t mention you in my blog, I want to thank you now. You sent flowers, cards, emails and phone calls. Your caring brings tears to my eyes. I am blessed to have a good, caring group of friends like you all!!

Vicki and I walked back to my truck and she gave me a jar of the treats that she was feeding the girls. I packed up my dogs and left before it was too late and while I was feeling good. I stopped on the way home to take a break (good idea) and got home at dark. Getty unloaded the truck and had dinner for me. It was nice to be home. I was really tired and took my meds and went to bed early

Today I was still tired and took it easy. I took a long nap (most of the day) and in the late afternoon got up and felt refreshed. I went and played ball with the dogs and did the nightly feeding. Getty cooked dinner. We had Flat Iron steak that I had soaked in Teriyaki and roasted potatoes. It was good and my energy perked up. The girls perked up when they got several pieces of steak. They earned it.

It was a great weekend and I needed to get out of the house. I know my limits and had pushed it on Saturday but was able to bounce back due to Lora’s generosity (use of her RV), as well as other handlers helping me when I needed it.

Last set of trial Pictures

Percy Corwan the Judge. He is from Canada.

Audrey and Dan. Don't they look like they are having fun!!

Lorri and Drew. They both are super cute.

Pooka. She is a granddaughter of Tess.

Some pixs from the Sept Trial - Judy's trial

Brian Ricard and his new trial dog. Brian has a great sense of humor and is a really good Open handler. Not to mention he is a nice guy.

Linda DeYoung and Pooka

Susan Crocker and her Kelpie. She had a nice run.

Novice, Ranch, Judges and other trial folks.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Off to a Trial and I am so excited

I am gone this weekend so don't expect a blog until Monday. Today at the trial, they ran Novice and Ranch. Saturday and Sunday will be ProNovice and Open.

I went and watched today. Audrey drove in case you were wondering.

I am very, very tired so I am headed off to bed. I am leaving early for the trial tomorrow. I plan to run Tess, Nan and Lucy. I'll be staying with Lora in her RV so I don't have to drive.

The new med (Vicodan) seems to be working. My stomach is not in severe pain anymore. I had a good appetite at lunch so I am happy.

Some Trial Pictures (more on Monday)

Brian Ricard explaining the finer points of driving. Notice his budding sled dog team of Mig, Raven and Doc. Brian is an Open Handler who set sheep. That was very nice of Brian to drive down and spend his day setting sheep!! Thanks..

The Sheep

A Kelpie doing a nice drive (I'll find out later who it is)

Vicki and Skye

A few days update....

Tuesday: Jeff (here after to be known as Getty-nickname) woke me up and I had a good night sleep. I had toast slathered with the honey that Chuck had brought over. It’s the fresh honey from his bee hives. It was rich and thick and still had some time bits of bees wax. After I ate the “honey toast”, I took my Advil with a glass of V8 juice. The fresh smell of the dark roast coffee that was just brewed, tempted me as I walked by and a fleeting thought was in my mind to exchange the thick V8 juice for a cup of coffee laced with almond syrup and half and half.

But alas, I resisted and left the coffee for Getty (Jeff). My stomach was starting to hurt and my enthusiasm for cleaning the kitchen quickly evaporated like the early morning fog in our valley.

It seems like during the day is when my stomach hurts and not at night. Is it because the lining is irritated and the Oxycontin then masks it? Then, during the day when there is no Oxycontin, when I take the Percocet (1/2 tab) is the Oxycontin not masking the stomach pain? If there is an irritation, how long will it take to heal? Is there long lasting effects from this stomach pain?

But I decided to drop the Percocet to see if my stomach pain will go away. This is a catch 22 situation. Or should I take the Percocet and hope it might help the stomach ache go away? Is the stomach lining all irritated so no matter, it will still hurt? Why is it when I take the Oxycontin last night, I am able to sleep, This is an improvement as before I had the stomach ache at night but not as bad. Now I have them during the day. My head hurts from trying to figure this all out!!

I went and lay back down until Getty left for work and took a short nap. If I nap, that seems to help. Maybe that is the way my body is telling me to rest and heal. When my body says it’s time for a nap, I don’t fight it but go to sleep.

I woke up at lunch time and my stomach was growling so that was a good sign so I had plain spaghetti noodles with olive oil, butter and a bits of parmesan cheese. I gobbled that up and had a glass of V8. I figure V8 has to be good with all the veggies in it. I only get the V8 with low sodium in it. Dr Austin said no high sodium items so I guess that knocks out my salted, butter popcorn!!

I took the dogs for a walk. “Mr. Cutie Kael” was doing the happy dance and reminds me of his mom, Tess, so many years ago, I see a lot of Tess movements in him as it brings back fond memories of when Tess was our little puppy.

I tossed the ball for the dogs. Tess was in front with her jaws clamped on a jolly ball and Kael took it from her jaws. She whirled as if to teach the young upstart a lesson and then when she realized it was her son, she relented and let him have the ball. Dolly (a former dog) tried that once and Tess gave her a “Come to Jesus Talk” and when that lesson was over, Dolly stayed a good 10 feet away, sporting a nip on her nose and mud on her back from being rolled.

But Tess loves her puppies, no matter the age, she will let them get away with murder with her and she adores them, even Roo who is almost six years old. She always has been a great, nurturing mother to her pups and when I was sick, she mothered me too.

I let the boys run first and after the boys were done, I let Jade, Lucy and Sava go for their run. Tess and Nan led the pack and next thing I see is the pack of females in the pond covered in mud. Gosh, they are all going for a spa treatment, a Mud bath. Not wanting to make me feel like I was left out, they race over to me and shake some mud on me. I try to run away from this onslaught but to no avail. Now I have joined the Mud Pack Queens.

Back to the house after that adventure and to have a snack. The girls got a snack too and then it was nap time. My stomach was really starting to hurt and laying down felt like a good idea. Tess curled next to me and licked me every time I shifted. She knew how bad I was feeling.

Wed: I worked the girls today. Tess, Nan and Lucy were faster than Superman and their inside flanks were slicey. I guess not working very much in the last 2 months certainly shows but I can’t get mad at them.

This day was a blur as my chest and stomach hurt since I didn’t take a Perco. I took a nap and Tess made sure that I didn’t move so I wouldn’t hurt more. See my blog on Wed for more details.

Thursday: It was a cool day and summer had fled. It was going to be a busy day and it started off with a lesson with Mig the kelpie. She was doing well, clean outruns and on her last session she was working the large flock.

I sold five locker lambs today and he liked how finished out. He has an order for five more so hopefully I will just have a buyer who will buy most of my flock. He used to be a buyer but dropped off the face of the earth last year.

I topped off the afternoon by going to the Dr. Freudenberger (know as Todd) and he still finds fluid in my right lung. He is guessing about 350 ml of fluid. It is about the same amount that was in there at the last visit. I will go back to him in a month to see if reduces. It should have gone down but hasn’t. He will be concerned if more fluid accumulates.

I told him about my stomach aches and he switched me to a lesser pain pill (Vicodan). It is not as hard on my stomach so hopefully it will work. He said I could eat yogurt again so I will eat that for my dessert at night. I enjoyed my visit with Todd as he is a very outgoing and caring Doctor. Matter of fact, all the Doctors that I have had have just been wonderful,

Getty brought home some Chinese food and we feasted. My stomach didn’t hurt as well so I ate lots. I hope it is finally healing. I look forward to the night when I can eat my ice cream as my late night dessert.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Love and Loyalty

Today I hurt bad. As in really bad. I didn't take my Oxycontin as I am trying to wean myself off that. I didn't take the perco that I am supposed to take instead of the Oxycontin as it makes my stomach violently cramped/achy. It does help with the chest pain but doesn't make it go away. if I don't take it my chest hurts but my stomach aches but not as bad.

It's a double edge sword. I am not going to fall back on the Oyxcontin unless I have a really busy day. I tried taking Advil but it was not much help. Do I take the perco and have less chest pain and bad stomach pain? Do I not take the perco and have chest pain while letting the stomach heal? I chose not to take the perco since Thursday, hoping my stomach pain would go away.

Tess has been my healing Angel throughout the whole recovery process. She has done a great job taking care of me by nuzzling me awake in the middle of the night when I was in major pain and thrashing about. When I would cry out in pain, her face would be next to mine and licking my face. She has been my rock

The last couple of weeks I have been doing well so she has been slacking off the duties and letting Nan take over. This was before I changed my daily med routine. Last week, I dropped the daily Oxycontin and went on the Perco. That made my stomach hurt really bad. Maybe it wore the stomach lining or perhaps the lining was already wore out and the change aggravated it. Who knows? So I opted not to take the Perco, hoping the stomach would heal and that I could ride out the pain.

All I know that in addition to the chest pain, I had stomach pains. I started to sleep during the day as well as night, trying to heal. Sleep is a great healer.

As I said earlier, today was a bad day. I went out to the barn and helped a student for a bit and then back into the house and did some work for my boss. They had some documents that were due on my project and I spent time on the phone with them I also did the documents. All of this then wore me out and my chest and stomach went into *full hurting mode*

I ate a cup of applesauce hoping it would sooth my stomach but no such luck

Finally I gave up and went to take a nap.. The girls went with me. I was tossing a turning and hurting and barely able to sleep. Each time I would move, I would groan in pain

In my daze, when I turned over I felt a paw being put gently on my shoulder as if to hold me in place. A muzzle was then laid across my neck and gentle kisses were given to me. I stirred and she held me firm, as a bitch would hold down a wiggling pup. More kisses came and my pain began to ease, perhaps I was still and not thrashing about.

I dozed and then sometime during my nap I turned over to the other side, I awoke with Tess's head pressed against my head and her paw firm on my side holding me in place. I felt better. Her eyes were staring into mine and her tongue gave me more kisses. We shared a pillow during rest of the nap.

Finally she let me go and I awoke feeling much better and the stomach pain was lessened. My chest pain was eased also and in celebration, the girls got several homemade dog cookies.

Love and Loyalty is what it is all about.

Tess's head in on the pillow that we shared . I was next to her. You can see where her paw is on the bed. She was using it to hold me down/steady. My face was next to her. what a good girl!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Gotta do a plug for Bonnie Block

There are some awesome photos by Bonnie Block. She does dogs photos at the trials as well as calendars, notecards and so forth. I have known Bonnie over nine years and she is one of the kindest people that I know. She helped me pick out a new camera and gave me a lesson.
Here are some photos that Bonnie took of Tess, Faye and Nan. Notice how she captures the expressions of each dog.

Tess (this is the main page to my website at the moment)

Tess and me in the shedding ring.

Faye (daughter of Nan). Now owned by Tony.

Nan on a fetch

Here is the link to Bonnie's site.


Mystery Stomach ache

It’s not been a good few days. My stomach ache has not gone away. So when I eat, I feel ill and don’t want to eat. That is going backwards in my book as I am trying to gain weight. So between my chest pain and tummy ache, this has been a bad few days.

I’ve been racking my brain to figure out what triggered this. At first, I thought it was the flu but I do not have a temperature or throwing up. My stomach just hurts all day.

Here is the list that I have changed recently that might be the cause. OK, so I dropped my daily Oxycontin. I went on blood thinner about 2 weeks ago. I have been taking ½ Percoset as replacement of my Oxycontin. I have trying to be more active and exercising more. I am lactose intolerant so I have been drinking Lactaid free milk. I have been eating ice each night. Although I have been eating ice cream each night I am adding this to the list since it is a milk product. The only time that the milk product affects me is when I drink regular milk. I have been drinking ½ cup of coffee a day, although a couple of days I didn’t dink any coffee or caffeine items.

Being an engineer, we tend to analyze items. It drives Jeff (“Getty”) crazy sometimes but that is how our brains are wired.

Is it because I am taking Percoset during the day instead of Oxycontin? Prior to this I have taken the perco in addition to the Oxycontin. Now I am taking the perco instead of the Oxycontin. Maybe the Oxycontin was masking the stomach ache? Maybe only taking the perco causes the stomach ache? Who knows but I sure would like to find out and not have the stomach ache.

So here is my plan. I will not take either Oxycontin or the Percoset during the day. I will only take the Oxycontin during the night. I will cut out all milk products which includes the yogurt, ice cream, or anything with dairy in it. No more coffee or drinks with caffeine. I will take Advil during the day for pain. I will be taking my blood pressure and heart rate. I’ll keep a daily lot of what I am eating.

If things don’t improve by Thursday, I will call my Doctor. I would like to get to the bottom of this. My chest pain is noticeable but not disabling. I got this roll-on pain relieving bottle to put on my chest and it helps. It has Arnica and peppermint in it. It seems to help. So when the pain starts to kick inn, I will take my Advil and use the roll-on.

I also have to remember not to overdo it either. I don’t want to add to the chest pain. I just want to feel better,

So that is my plan and I hope it works!!

The last two days have been busy. Tony and Lori came over yesterday and Tony worked Faye. They are clicking quite well and I ramped up his training by having him trying to move sheep around cones. That requires timing and proper inside flanks and stopping the dog n the right place. It’s quite tough but when you are running in an arena Cowdog trial you have to be dead on your flanks and turns. So Lori, Jillian and I sat in chairs and watched Tony work. Once Tony gets the tight flanking down, he is going to clean up at the trials. Faye is a great dog and will go the extra mile for him. He recently worked her on 100 head of cattle and she did well. I am glad Faye is with Tony and Lori since that is a perfect home for her. She is the alpha dog there and is quite spoiled. Tess made sure that Faye was reminded that she was not alpha dog here,

Lori worked her Aussie “Tess”. Of course, since she named her Tess, I have a soft spot in my heart for her. Tess is a nice, well build, working, blue merle Aussie. We worked her a bit in the round pen and then took her out in the big field and she worked 30 sheep with Tess (Border Collie) as backup. Lori would run and grab a sheep and Tess would help her and by the end of the lesson she was doing some nice fetches. Once a single broke away and she covered it and brought it back. She is a year old and still learning but I was impressed with what I saw. She is still young and in a few months she will just get better and better. Lori started her other talented Luke and now is starting Tess. I loved her Luke!!! He was a Aussie that I would put on my herding string!!

Bonnie Block came over and brought me my new camera. She promised not to laugh at my “lack of camera skills” and she did not break her promise. I told Bonnie that I wanted a camera and since she is one of the top notch experts, I asked her for help. She set me up by getting me a Canon 40D and a 25-78 lens. She set it up in the “dummy mode”. She gave me a lesson and this camera is one that I will use for a long time. I will be getting a longer lens later and she will help me with that. She will also give me camera lessons. I so owe her for this.

I had a blast taking pictures and hopefully soon I will be able to publish some good pictures. I am so excited now!!

Bonnie brought Ellie Mae to work. She is the full sister to Faye. We had the family reunion, Nan the mom and the two sisters. Bonnie worked Ellie and she is quite the nice dog. Her flanks are square and she turns in at the top like a dream. Then Bonnie worked Dan. Dan is a wide running dog but he reads the sheep well and they like him. He is a big tri male with a huge heart and I always like him. But my favorite dog that belongs to Bonnie is Bill. Tess also adores Bill and he is one of the few dogs that she will allow to flirt or lick her. One time, Bonnie and I were setting sheep and Tess and Bill were standing face to face and Bill was licking her lips,. We swear they were French kissing. Any other male would have had his lips ripped off by Tess. Bill has always been one of Tess’s favorite males.

Bonnie makes the coolest calendars and note cards. Her is her link and if you want a stunning bird calendar, check hers out. She also does dog photos and I have quite a few of them. She captures the expressive details on the working dogs in motion.

The truck started up (whoooo hooo) and it was the battery. The canopy night light wire was busted and needs to be fixed. I am going to a trial on Friday and need the truck to be working. Thanks to Getty, Chuck and Tony for fixing the truck.

I took the rest of the day off from working dogs and took a short nap and then headed down to the barn. Monique, Janet and I marked wethers and ewe lambs. Some are locker lambs and some are replacements. The replacements ewe lambs got to be named by Monique and Janet.

I was not feeling well as both the stomach and chest hurt. I was the one with the can of spray paint while Monique and Janet did the sheep wrestling. Lucy was the working dog and did a great job. She has come far in the time since I got her back. She was a pup that I had sold and then owner couldn’t keep her so she let me know. I bought her back and put some free training on her as a favor to make her more marketable, intending to sell her but decided to buy her. I paid market value for her, even though I had put training on her. Of course, when I had for her sale, no one was interested. When she started to rock at trials, people wanted her but she is here to stay. She has the heart of a lion and wants to please you, like her mother (Koko) and her grandmother (Tess). Monique is her*Godmother* and Lucy loves her. Monique will be running Lucy in PN trial. This year, my plan is to get Lucy trained to Open level and hopefully qualify her for the Finals. If not, then next year or so. She just turned four.

Today I was supposed to go the Cardiologist to have my blood tested so see how thin it is. They want it a certain level so when they do the heart procedure next month, it will be at the proper level. I woke and my stomach really hurt so I asked Getty (Jeff the spouse…Getty is his nickname) to call and reschedule my appointment. I went later in the afternoon. It turns out that my blood is too thin so they had to readjust it.
As I left, I stopped down at the barn and said Hello to Tony who was fixing the wiring on my truck. Chuck and was there also. I was feeling really bad so I think I must have sounded grouchy to them. I came home and took a long nap until Getty came home. My stomach and chest still hurt.

Right now, I am going through ice cream withdrawals. So is Tess, as she gets to lick the bowl each night. I took my Oxycontin and put the “CryoDerm” on my chest scar. It really does help. I hope tomorrow will e a better day and the stomach ache will go away. I will even be happier when I am off all the drugs.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

New Camera

Ellie Mae and Faye (sisters)

Today I got my new camera. Bonnie Block picked it out for me. It is a Canon 40D. I got it for myself for my birthday present. I am a camera dummy. Bonnie is not. She even set it up so I can point and shoot. It is a camera that I can grow into.

Much thanks to Bonnie for getting my dream camera and not laughing at me while I fumbled around with it!!

Anyways here are some pixs...(disclaimer - I just got the camera and was pointing and shooting)

This is Tony and Faye.

Faye (L&M Nana x Imp Drift)


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Busy, Busy and Busy!!

The last two days have been busy. First of all, I am no longer taking the daily Oxycontin unless I know that I am going to do something that is very busy. Today was such a day. I asked one of my students to drive me to Del’s. Del’s is having their Customer Appreciation Day. He gets here and we find out that my truck is dead. It is a dead battery, so we think. So we hop in his truck and off we go. It’s to far for me to drive at this point and I took a pain med. I will not drive on pain meds.

We loaded up with Del’s. Livestock feed, dog food, and so forth. I spent a good chunk of change but wanted to stock up. Of course, I had to get smoked bones and toys for the working dogs. Each Sunday is treat day and the dogs get a bone, pig ear or cow hoof. The pups get a Kong with biscuits during the week. Kael gets two Kongs since he has the cuteness factor!!

My friend unloaded the bags and then put them in the barrels. He was pretty tired after that. I really appreciate that he did that for me. It helped quite a bit since Jeff (“Getty”), spouse was out of town.

That was a fun event and we had a good time. But I got wore out and then headed up to the house for food and a possible nap.

My stomach has been bothering me for a few days. It has affected my appetite. I am trying to eat but only manage to get a few bites in before I feel ill. I sure hope it goes away soon.

Kathy Davis, my Doctor friend came over and we went to lunch. She got to see my progress. She was the one that spent most of a week *babysitting* me when I was in the hospital. At least this time, she didn’t have to spoon feed me sorbet or ice chips.

Chuck came over and worked the dogs. He is turning into a good friend. He has come quite far in his training. He brought me some of his delicious honey that he got from his bee hives. I will be putting it on my toast. My truck had not charged since the morning s Chuck worked on getting the charger set up correctly so it would charge over night. Then he heard about my upset tummy and ran to QFC and got me some yogurt hoping that might settle my stomach. Janet came over and worked dogs. We all hung out in the barn and chatted for a bit. All in all, it was a busy day and I took a nap too!

So today, I go out to see if the truck battery has charged up and it is still dead. The charger is not working!! ARGH!!!! I am so frustrated. I called Chuck and whined since I couldn’t get a hold of Jeff (“Getty” the spouse) Chuck came over later in the day and brought his charger and set it up. It works and he verified that my charger was dead as a door nail!! Then Chuck went off rock climbing to Index. He went with his “chick magnets”, Teddy, Clip and Rainey. Rainey has filled out and he has done a good job in socializing her. The three dogs are so cute and everyone has to stop and pet them!!

The day has not started off well. But it got better. Kathleen came over and we worked dogs. As usual, Emma is doing great and it shows the miles she has put into that pup. She has taken her everywhere, different field, sheep, large and small groups, big field, arena chutes, stall and so forth. She is not afraid of doing anything. She has made her a well rounded dog.

Janet, my chiropractor came over to give me another adjustment. My back needed some work and she did her *magical adjustments”. On last Thursday, she adjusted me and I as no longer hunched over. It held and I was pleased. She did her magic and I could feel it. It’s nice not hunching over and feeling sore everywhere. She also adjusted Scotty. He wasn’t too bad. I had taken Scotty last year and part of this year to another Chiropractor for treatments. I like to make sure my dogs all get adjusted.

The hay guy, Chris, came over to mow my fields. We are going to work out a deal that he hays/bales my fields next year. For this year he is going to mow the field so they will grow up nice next year. He is a very nice guy. Kathleen, Chris and I sat in the barn and talked.

He has some family members that died in the war and it was touching to hear the stories. The sacrifices his family has made in the name of freedom. Because of people like his family, we are able to live in a free country. Next time you see someone who has served in a war or is serving in a war, you should thank them for their service and maybe buy them a dinner or something. It’s the least you can do for the military people who give and give. Thank you Chris and to your family who help make us a safe nation.

If you want a guy that will cut/bale your field and live in the valley, I recommend Chris. Contact me and I will give him your info. He is a local guy that lives in Duvall. I am going to try to get him set up with lots of fields.

By this time I was hungry so Kathleen and I went and had Mexican. I got this burrito and it was super huge. I was three meals worth. But it was tasty!!

By the time we got back to the place, my chest was hurting and I needed a nap. I took a nap but didn’t take any pain pills. I wanted to take a nap and see if the pain was related to pushing myself too much today, than actual pain. I had pushed myself hard this day and I fell asleep quickly and when I woke up my chest was not hurting so much. I guess eight weeks after surgery, I just have to still take it easy and take lots of rests.

Now as I write this, my stomach still is upset. I hope that I don’t have the flu. It has been three days and I sure would it would go away. It has been a packed two days but a lot of stuff got done.

I would write more but Tess is anxiously waiting to lick clean my ice cream bowl. I can’t deny her!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

My mom...;-)

Since I talk about my mom all the time, I figured you probably wanted to see what she looks like.

Chieko Hiromatsu

Sitting on a rock near the driveway.

Same rock. You can see my carport behind her.

Near my house pond.

My mom can kick my ass on walking, even when I was well. She walks around Green Lake well under an hr. It is over 3 plus miles. Green Lake is a huge lake with a path all around it. It is in Seattle.

She used to do Yoga. She showed me some of the moves but I hurt myself trying to do them.

Gosh, I hope at her age that I am as fit as she is!!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Adjustments of the mind and body

So today, I bit the bullet and dropped my daily Oxycontin. From now on, I am only going to take it on the days that I know will be busy. I took my ½ perco and that just barely numbed the pain but enough for me to get by. Nan woke up by barking and I saw a squirrel in the front yard. It might have been a chipmunk as I only saw a blur. Nan then settled down in her dog bed after reassuring me that she saved me from harm. Such a good dog!!

I was not very hungry in the morning and it was evident that my stomach was upset. This was the rest of the pattern for the day. I haven’t eaten this little for a long time. I was thinking that it was perhaps the perco that I had taken on an empty stomach, although I did eat something right taking it.

Mom and Kimiko came over after 10:00 and the girls went crazy. Nan barked like a pack of hound dogs that treed a cougar and bounced up and down like a kangaroo. She ran circles around Kimiko and mom and was so delighted to see them. Tess ran outside and grabbed a ball and proudly gave it to my mom. My mom hardly had any time to put her bags down when she had to toss it for the girls.

It is quite amazing how much the girls adore my mom and Kimiko. And how much my mom and Kimiko adore them. The girls got their biscuits and settle down near them and ignored me. And of course, I adore my mom and my Aunt Kimiko.

Mom and Kimiko picked two bags of tomatoes out of the garden. The love the fresh veggies and next year, I will add extra plants for them. Anything I can do to pay them back for their kindness. So far for next year they want green beans and tomatoes.

We all had lunch and then cleaned some of the house. Mom made spaghetti and it washer special recipe of ground beef and Italian sausage. Kimiko added some fresh tomatoes to the sauce and it added a good flavor. Kimiko and mom brought tons of food over so I wouldn’t starve!! Why is it when your mom cooks for you it is far better than if you made the same meal?

I actually cleaned the living room table off so you can see it. It has been the repository for all of my hospital stuff since I got home. It’s hard to believe that eight weeks ago I had surgery. And a few weeks ago I couldn’t even get out of the couch without help.

Nelson called to see how I was and get a progress report. I must have passed as he didn’t chastise me!! I have been holding at 118 lbs for a bit now. It seems to be a blocking point for me but I sure would like to get about eight more pounds.

The barn walk was fun. Mom and Kimiko love feeding the animals. They are so happy and I enjoy watching them. The dogs stand next to them, hoping for a bit of bread which they get. Cosmo showed his delight also by playing with a baby garter snake and making sure we saw his show. Rigby strolled nearby and then pulled a vanishing act when we wanted to bring him up to the house. Mom was disappointed as she wanted to bring him to the house and feed him caned kitty food. I was still feeling puny so I sat down for most of this activity. I love to see my mom and Kimiko having fun at the farm. I am glad that I can bring joy to my mom since she has brought so much joy in my life. Kimiko has turned into my Aunt Kimiko and she is such a wonderful person.

Mom and Cosmo

Kimiko and Kodiak

We got back to the house and mom and Kimiko were getting ready to leave since I was not feeling well when Rigby appeared. Rigby got his meal and we all hung out n the porch (where he eats) and he was happy to have an audience. Then they left and I crashed hard for a two hour nap.

Janet Neal, my chiropractor and dear friend of most of my life, came up to give me an adjustment. It really helped. I was hunching over and my back and ribs really hurt. She did an amazing job and it is far easier for me to stand up straight. Now I am able to take deeper breaths and turn side to side without pain. If you want a fantastic chiropractor and are in the Puyallup area, I recommend her. I could feel that my ribs were higher on one side and I was favoring one side over another plus my back was super tight and sore. She worked on her for a long time and also showed me how to stretch out. She said I would be sore from the adjustment but as of now, I am not sore as I thought I would be and my stomach ache has lessened. I just feel so MUCH BETTER!!

Then Tess and Nan got adjusted. Nan stood pretty well for me and wasn’t that bad. She needed some adjustments but overall was fine. Tess was not so happy about being adjusted and was squirming. She doesn’t like to be adjusted. Her hips were sore but overall she was ok. I got my trial dogs adjusted as they run and work hard. They also get groomed every other month. Not to mention, the girls sleep on the bed.

Next dog was Kodiak. He is eight years old and has been looking off in his back end. He played “catch me if you can” so we started to fiddle with Emma. Then Kodi decided he wanted to have attention. So we put a leash on him so he couldn’t run away. His hips were very sore and he got a good adjustment. He really needed it and after he was done, he cuddled up next to Janet as if he knew that she helped him.

We then did Emma. Emma is an ex-show horse. She spent many years on the show circuit but now has a good home where I go for trial rides on her. I won’t be riding her until next year though!! She was in good alignment except for her hip. She didn’t want to have her hips adjust but we told her to behave so she did. She will appreciate it later. She has had adjustments before so she should be used to it. That was very kind of Janet to adjust me as well as the gang. I know we will all feel better. Janet is a great friend and we have known each other since we were 14 yrs old and in Junior High. We both were horse crazy and still are. We both have Arabians and still ride but with a lot more caution.

I know as I type this I am not hunching over the laptop and sitting straight. It’s great to take a deep breath and feel alive. I have gone from STEP 47 to STEP 92 thanks to Janet.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Dances with Skitters!!

It’s hard to believe that summer is almost over. It gets dark at about 8:00 p.m. and the nights are no longer hot and humid. When I let the girls out to go potty late at night, the cool air rushes over my face and reminds me that I should probably wear my socks and a long sleeve shirt when I go. I don’t, of course, and the chilly air wraps around my body when the hungry mosquitoes look for an exposed part of my body for a succulent meal.

They land and begin feasting and I do my dance of trying to evade the mosquitoes, and as I weave back and forth, with my arms flapping, the girls rush to me. They are thinking, perhaps that I am winding up to toss a ball to them and when they discover that I do not have a ball then Tess grabs the nearest ball. Tess flings it upon my back legs, almost taking me down like a linebacker taking down the star quarterback in the Super Bowl.

I dance to get away from the flying bloodsuckers and the budding linebackers and finally I give up and make a mad dash to the front door. I fling it open and dash in, followed by the girls and my own private mosquito squadron. We all settle in to watch the some TV and Jeff walks in and ask if I am ok.

“Of course” I reply.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Driving is not in the Cards for me!!!

I woke up in the middle of the night and had to take a pain pill. When I woke up, I had realized that I was lying funky on the couch and that position made my chest hurt. Add the fact that my chest was hurting from Monday, so this was not good.

On Monday, I had to drive myself to the Doctor appt. My mom was recovering from her surgery, Jeff was at work and so was my brother. So I got up at 7:30, and then at 8 went to my appt. so needless to say, I did not take my morning Oxycontin.

It probably wouldn’t have been so bad except for the fact that when you do lane changes, you twist your upper chest to look over your shoulder to make sure that a car is not in the lane that you want to merge in. Then you use your arms and upper body to park and go around corners. So by the time I got to the Doctors, I was a little off.

They drew blood to see what my *blood thinning level* is and it is not high enough. So they upped my blood thinning meds and sent me on my way.

The drive to the office was a nightmare as it was rush hour and everyone was in a hurry. Since I haven’t driven for 8 weeks, I forgot how crazy people can get during rush hour. One guy was whipping in/out of lanes and then stopped in front of me which made me slam on my brakes. I had my pillow in front of my chest but I still felt it. Then the fool then whipped in front of other folks and almost sideswiped a SUV. I hope the “Karma Police” pays him a visit and maybe give him a “Ticket for being Stupid”

So after the appt, I went home and took a ½ perco. It took me close to an hr to get home so it was too late to take my Oxycontin, although in hindsight I should have taken it, but I took a ½ perco instead. I hurt all day so I took another ½ perco at 3:00, about 5.5 hrs after I took the first ½ pill. I felt my chest hurt all day. That is not a good feeling!!

I didn’t do much all day except some housework. I did play with the dogs, of course. I just wanted the pain to go away. I wasn’t in the mood to even think of cooking so Jeff got some Chinese food for us. By that time it was time for my nightly meds and so by the time we ate dinner, the longer acting pain pill had kicked in and I felt better.

Tess was my couch buddy and one time I woke up in the middle of the night, I was scrunched up on half of the couch while she was all stretched out on the other half. She had her head on ‘Pinky” and looked quite comfortable. At least, this time she didn’t snore!!

Today, I decided my website (DeltaBluez Stockdogs) needed to be updated and cleaned up and so I did that. I worked on the Student’s page, updated the pages that were out of date and just some maintenance. It didn’t require a lot of movement and that helped. I managed to get a ton of emails read and answered some of them.

Nan, Tess and Rigby looking in the front screen door. They all think they need to come up and help me make lunch. Notice that Nan is on the other side of Tess, as far as she can be from Rigby. They all got a piece of my sandwich.

I went out and played with the dogs (daily routine) and fed the sheep. I was moving slowly and trying to be extra careful.

Last night I talked to one of my best friend, Janet. She is a Chiropractor and is going to come up on Thursday and work on my ribs and back. My ribs are all messed up as the Doctors had to pry them apart to get into my chest area.

Janet and I have been dear friends for 36 years….....YES, T-H-I-R-T-Y S-I-X years!! We meet in Junior High and our love for horse sealed our friendship. We talked of old times and we laughed at some of the crazy things we used to do. Our parents would be appalled and no way, I am going to put what we did in this blog. We lived through it all and had fun!

It’s been a quiet two days and I want my chest to quit hurting. It seems like the last 2 weeks, it has been hurting. But I have been reducing my pain meds, have been more active and pushing myself to get better.

Oh, great news. Bonnie Block, who has to be one of the best photographers in the World, has helped me find a camera. I decided to buy myself a *50th Birthday Present* and asked Bonnie what camera to get. She did the research and I am getting a Canon 40D. I am so excited. She even helping me get setup with the right lens. She just rocks. Thank you, Bonnie!!!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Nan's day off so Tess had to fill in

So Nan had a day off from blogging duties. I traded Tess for Nan the last two nights. Tomorrow Nan will be back. I think Tess is jealous that Nan has been getting extra attention, the midnight forays and so forth.

In addition, Tess has been more than helpful that last two days. I wanted to work Nan and I was in the field so I called her to the gate. Tess also came and saw that I needed help. She gave Nan the *evil eye* and Nan left and went in the barn. I called Tess and she leaped over the gate to help. She is the only dog that is allowed to leap over the gate. She is pretty spry for a ten year old dog.

Here is Tess bringing the sheep. I worked some dogs yesterday and she was the backup lesson dog. She loves being a back up dog!! She is a great backup dog and gets any runaway sheep as well as holding them so I can work a pup close at hand. Here she is holding them off the escape route to the barn.

Later, we all got to relax. Jeff and Nan went to sleep and I do my blog then.

Each night as I do the blog, the Blogging Assistant gets a treat. Peanut butter stuffed in a bone was the special tonight.
A long tongue goes a long way in digging out the peanut butter.

Ok, time to get serious. Use the paws to hold the bone up so she can dig the last bit out.

(click on this pix to see how much white she has on her face...she even has white in her ears)

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Step 47

We had a full day today. In case, you were wondering, I took it easy and lots of breaks. I even took a 30 minute nap later in the afternoon.

My chest hurt and it woke me up at 7ish so I took a 1/2 perco. Finally it quit hurting so bad but I could feel it. I took my meds at nine and then it felt much better. It is not as sore when I touch it. The scar has gone form an angry red scar to a thin red line.

We started off by having breakfast, coffee and reading my email. Then off to a lesson with Irene and Rascal. Rascal did the first part of his lesson in the round pen and then his second session they worked in the big field. He did very well and Irene was so happy. He has come quite far and they are a good working team now. I am pleased that they are working in the big field. Being patient and making sure they had a good solid foundation has paid off.

Nancy and Courtney were next. Nancy has to be the most cheerful person that I know. Talking to her is like soaking in a ray of sunshine. I enjoy chatting with her!!

Blaze was a real pistol today and he even blew me off (as is totally ignoring me). Nancy did the stall exercise with him and that seemed to help. Then she worked him dragging a long line and he decided to show how well behaved he was. Their other dogs did well and Courtney even got Logan to hold a single and move her to another pasture. Jack just looks better and better each time.

That was a nice morning working some talented dogs. It wasn’t too hot or too cold. It was perfect for working dogs!!

Jennifer came later in the day with Flink and Atom. Last time I saw Atom, he was about two months old. He worked well at that age and reminded me of Tess when she was that age also. Courtney worked Atom in the round pen and he was very biddable and had nice square flanks. Flink worked in the big field and at first she was pushy. We worked on a steady (lie) command and by the end she was steadying quite well and rating better. She can be ready to run in a Novice trial in a few months. She is a very quick study and works the sheep with authority but doesn't scare them.

Monique and Janet worked dogs later in the day while I fussed about. I did odd chores in the barn and also sat and watched their lessons. I made sure that I sat in the barn in the shade which was a good idea as it was hot, hot!!

For the rest of the day, I decided that I was tired and then did some house work. I need to get caught up on housework as I am falling behind. I can't lift heavy stuff but I can sure sweep, mop, dust, sort and just plan clean up. The girls and I took a nap and it would have been longer but Tess snored so loud that she woke me up!!!

Chuck came over and worked Teddy, Clip and Rainey in the big field. I am sure he thought that I was mad when I told him to work Clip and Rainey in the big field but they were ready for it. They worked about 25 sheep and did well. When a sheep would break away, they would recover it and put it back into the flock. They just need miles on them now.

We had deep fried catfish and French fries tonight. I told Jeff if he got catfish I would make him deep fried fish and fries. Chuck joined us for dinner and I am sure our arteries are slowing down due to the deep fried dinner but it was good. I am not sure what to make for dinner tomorrow night but it will be healthy to balance out what we ate tonight.

Now, later at night my chest is much better. I am 118 lbs now and have a good appetite. I do get short of breath when I am whistling. That takes a lot more that you think. I am doing whistles when I am not working the dogs. That seems to help open and work my lungs. It is much more fun than blowing into the air puffer.

It has been a little over seven weeks since the surgery. I am healing but still have some issues. It will take time but I am patient. The only way to can climb a huge mountain is one step at a time. I am on STEP 47 today.

Nan and the bone

The girls got some raw bones today. Nan loves her raw bones. She knows she can not bring them into the house but has to eat them on the front lawn. She doesn't like to share her bones either. Here she is next to the front porch.

"Yum, tum, this is so tasty. I am so happy!"

"Oh no, I must take off with my bone to a safe spot"

Perhaps this is the reason why?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

....boring days...

My chest still hurts. I took a long nap today. I took a nap yesterday. I have been taking the 1/2 perco to help me through the days. I figured by now my chest wouldn't hurt so much. But it is.

So needless to say, I haven't been doing much except sleep during the day and then the night. BORING....well, I worked Nan and Tess a little bit. I tossed the ball for all the dogs. I fed the animals.

I was going to do some housecleaning but didn't get very far. I got as far as lying on the bed and taking a nap.

The Doctor has me on blood thinning meds so that is another pill to take. Jeff preps my pills because I would mess up.

But aside from the pain, I did manage to prep dinner for the last two night. Last night we had "Ginger/soy baked chicken" and tonight we had "Italian Seasoned Bottom steak". I know that Jeff was getting tired of doing dinners as well as everything else. So now that I can do dinners, that will ease the load for him.

I sure hope that my chest pain goes away as that puts a damper on stuff.....more tomorrow

Mortal Enemies

The "Universal Rule" states that cats and dogs are "MORTAL ENEMIES"

Chase, attack and kill at all cost. Cats are to be be chased by dogs. They are nice furry live animals
Well, the "Universal Rule" does not apply here at all. When Rigby, all 6 weeks old, arrived he promptly let the Border Collies and Great Pyrenees that *HE* was the boss. No if, and or buts about it.

Dripping wet at 6 pounds to the two Great Pyrenees 125 pounds plus, he let them know it was "cat chase the dog across the pasture" game and not the other way around. Yep, these LGD would would kill a coyote were be in a dead run across the pasture, tail between their legs while a tiny kitten was in full pursuit. After a bit, they would chase each other and then throw themselves on the ground to sleep as a team

So then Rigby made sure the Border Collies understood that he was boss. Tess and Rigby formed a tight bond and would hang out. Rigby quickly discovered that Nan was terrified of cats and therefore she made an easy target. He would lie in wait for her and chase her up to the house, down to the barn and the occasion he was let in the house, he would chase her out of her dog bed.
Today we tossed the ball. Rigby heard the fun and came dashing to investigate. He saw the dogs playing ball and ran up to them. Tess was waiting for me to toss the ball. He had to rub against her and she ignored him. Nan, meanwhile saw him and dashed off as you can see.

Having scared Nan off then Rigby decided he needed to get into the ball tossing adventure. When you toss a ball for Border Collies, the ALPHA dog gets in front gts closest to the ball and the lesser dominant ones lie up behind the *BOSS DOG*

Or in this case, the *BOSS CAT*