Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Cat Tails

We have several ponds on the farm. One of the ponds has an abundance of cat tails. When it snowed, these caught my eye.  When I walked by later, the snow was gone so I am glad I got these pixs.
A little on the top.

Snow winding around.

Snow on the south side.

This one was leaning quite heavily from the weight of the snow. Sometimes when the opportunity arises to takes pixs, you just have to do it.

Don't these like like corndogs on a stick with white mustard?

Monday, November 29, 2010


Kodiak is our Great Pyr. He is a senior citizen now and mainly retired. He sleep in the barn and patrols the yard. when the lambs are born, he loves to sleep and lick their faces. He lets them sleep all over them and acts like the benevolent Uncle to them.

When it snowed, Kodi ran around like a puppy. He was having a blast. I told him that he was a senior dog and should take it easy. But if you know the Livestock Guardian Dogs, they have a mind of their own. He proceeded to run around with the Border Collie and acting like a fool. So I let him!

Kodi is a good snow dog. He has a thick coat. But after the fun and games, it was time to clean the snow balls from his paws.

One especially difficult one. This one took a bit of work.
Still working on it.

Almost there.

Then he noticed I was taking pixs of him. How rude of me!

But back to business! There was one snow ball that was stuck to his front paw. But a LGD is a determined dog and nothing stops them from what they want to do. He finally got the annoying snow ball out.

His opinion of me taking pixs of him.

His cute little nose. Kodi is a dear old dog. He is everyone favorite dog.  Well, except for the coyotes. If they do appear, he will bound into the pasture and go after them. The Border Collie have a lot of respect for him and it is quite fun to see him bound about with them. We all love Kodi and is one of the most adored dogs on the farm.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I am so in Love!

When we lost Rigby, Ringo and Cosmo to the owl , we were devastated. Rigby was our small furry black and white cat that we adored.  He was Getty's cat and often would come into the house to sleep in the dog bed. Getty doesn't allow cats in the house due to the nice leather furniture we have but he loved Rigby so much, that Rigby would not only come into the house but also would sleep with us during the night. Ringo was my herding cat and often assisted me in herding. Cosmo was the barn cat who would reach out and snag me with his claw if I failed to stop and pet him.

So when we lost the cats, we grieved for a long time. We got some rescue cats from the Feral Cat Program and from Vicki Romero. Vicki caught some feral kittens and I got three of them My mom soon made off with one kitten (Ringo)  and I still have Sara and Simon. Cleo was from the Feral cat program. I'll blog about the other cats later.

Saran is a tortie kitten who wasn't too sure about being petted let alone being handled. Her litter was trapped so she was wary of humans. Vicki got a good start on taming her and you could grab her and hold her but she wasn't to thrilled about it. She would not come up to you for pets.

But over time, she soon realized that pets were wonderful and food (especially canned) was delightful.  She warmed up to me and soon would greet me at the barn door.  I would be able to pet her as she walked by but if I tried to pick her up, she would bolt.

Soon, she decided she loved being my friend. She quickly got the dogs under control with her sharp claws and became a lap cat. She took great pride in her duties as a mouser and ratter and would leave the large dead rats on my chair as a gift. She got more canned food for that and soon the rats disappeared.

She is very curious and have to be into everything. She is about seven month old.

Sara loves to jump in my lap and snuggle. If I am outside, she has to follow me and help with whatever I am doing. That includes herding! Any sheep that tried to stamp at her, gets a  paw to the nose. Sara is my shadow.

She thinks there is snow mice out here.

Sneaking up on the snow mice.

Dang it, they got away.

I've fallen in love again. Sara is near and dear to my heart.  It's a wonderful feeling to be in love. I love you sweet Sara. But, please no more dead rats in my chair!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wow, that was close

I have been raising some Turkeys for Thanksgiving this year. The breed is Royal Palm and noted for being a gentle breed of Turkey.

One of the hens. Our tom Turkey was killed by a coyote so all we had left were the  hens. I was eyeballing this one for the feast. But she heard of my plans, and became very friendly and would run up to me when I would approach. Therefore, her name was removed from the list.

Her sister is  much younger so she was marked off.  So the turkeys made the list of who get to live forever on the farm. Beside, they are so sweet and pretty.

I looked at the ducks as the next potential dinner candidates. The hen is my pet so she was not worried. She has been here forever and is a fantastic mother.  She has the permanent "hall pass." Cross her off the dinner list!

Last but not least, is Mister MaGoo who was born here. Mister Magoo has taught the Border Collies to respect the ducks and helps himself to the dog food. The dogs let him eat out of their dish as his beak is quite sharp and deadly. He is the senior duck and rules the coop. Mister MaGoo let it be know that no poultry from his coop would be on the dinner table and that I best be going to QFC to get my Turkey. We listened!

Friday, November 26, 2010

A real sheepdog don't need no stinkin' coat!!

Tess got a water proof coat last year. Finally it snowed so she could wear it. However, she is not enamored of the coat. She said "a real sheepdog don't need no stinkin' coat."

It snowed several inches the  last few days and it was quite cold. I was freezing so I decided that Tess needed to wear her coat. As we left the house, she made a face and walked like she was embarrassed.  She acted like she didn't know me at all.

At the barn, sleeping in the sun.

To ease her pain, I let her work the sheep. She normally loves to work the sheep but she was pouty and did and out-walk to get the sheep. Not a run, or trot but a walk. I checked the coat to see if it was too tight but it wasn't.

Here she is closing her eyes..perhaps if she doesn't see the coat,  then she won't be so embarrassed. Maybe she didn't want the sheep to see her coat because they would perhaps point their hooves at her and laugh.

She decided to move faster now.

See all the snow that is being kicked up by the sheep.

I was trying to have Tess flank to the away side so I could a pix of her next to the sheep. I kept telling her away and had the camera set to get her as she came to the away side. I finally looked to see what was going on when I could never get her in the pix. Well, it was because she decided not to listen to me and go on the come bye side. 

I scowled at her but she gave me a dirty look and replied, "Well, you made me wear this damm coat and this is payback"

Maybe next time, I will be more selective of when I put the coat on her.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Thanksgiving musing...

Well, it snowed last night and this morning when we got up, so Getty called my mom and brother and moved our Thanksgiving to Friday. The road into our place is icy and we didn’t want them to be sliding into the ditch. One of my best friends, Kathy Davis came up from Medford, OR to stay the weekend. She has been one of my dearest friends for close to twelve years. We met on the trial field and became fast friends. She brought Jill, who adores Tess. Those two dogs have basically grew up together. Jill just follows Tess around and worships the ground she walks on.

Since we weren’t in a mad dash to cook, Kathy and I decided to work dogs and take photos. I worked Tess, who decided slow would be a good speed. She was not enamored of her winter coat and let me know it. Taff, on the other hand, was full of himself and I had to remind him what a down meant and flanks were meant to be square. Epic was doing nice, wide flanks and also quite well at taking sheep off the fence. Kathy worked Jill and Teyla (Aussie) in the round pen. It was quite nice to feel the crunch of snow under your feet and the white change of scenery.

I’ll be editing the pixs in the next few days. Having it snow makes for a great opportunity to take some scenic photos using the snow as the masterpiece. Snow has various shades, from stark white to a deep blue, depending on the time of day and location.

I look forward to Thanksgiving tomorrow with my mom, her friend Kimiko, Nelson, his friend Jim, Kathy, Getty and I. We are having turkey with assorted side dishes, most will be of Asian flavors. We eat well and then again eat more. It’s about sharing time with family, being thankful for what we have and being alive. Often, we take things for granted when we should be thankful for what we have. I find the things that used to get me wrapped around the axle, nor longer do, and if something does bother me, I vent it then let it go. Some people leads such unhappy lives that they try to drag other down and I don’t associate with them nor let them get under my skin. They have to make others miserable since they are miserable. Why waste you life being this way? Open your eyes and enjoy life. Be thankful that you are alive. I have lost my father and my beloved stepfather, my Korean sister and others close, dear friends. Some was too young and too quick, and others I was not ready to let them go. However, things happen for a reason, one door closes and another one opens. They are still part of my life and in my heart. Their memories are part of me so they are still part of my life.

I get my mother to talk about her life growing up, her hardship in Japan during the war, how she struggled when she came to the US, how she tried to have us fit in the culture and the sacrifices she made for us. I am truly blessed to have such a wonderful mother. I also have a dear brother who drops everything when I need his help. He took a week off work to take care of me after my surgery and many times after that. We fuss at each other sometimes and I think he pokes me to get a rise out of me and I fall for it. He is a wonderful cook and cares deeply for the family. Getty is a husband that I scored when I met him. He adores the dogs and they do not lack for anything. In fact, he got Tess the sheep farm when she was two years old. He does the little things for me that mean a lot. I try to return their generosity back to them. Trying to be a nice person and having a positive attitude make life a whole lot more enjoyable.

We are thankful for what we have and try to good outlook on life. I could be negative regarding my heart surgeries, the car accident and so forth, but what does that get me…nothing. Life is what you make out of it, make it worthwhile.

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you.

Happy Turkey Day!

 We wish you a Happy Thanksgiving with the ones you love.

Well, that explains a lot!

The fowl app....

 Shades of the X Files.

 What movies was this from?

Too late now...

 This suggestion is not a good one!

 But he sure tasted good!


Yep, too late.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Quick Kimchi Recipe

Several folks wanted my KimChi recipe. I make it from memory and each time, I teak it a little. After you let this sit for a few days, do a taste test and add more spices if you want
1 Napa Cabbage, regular cabbage or two Bok Choy
1 tb red pepper- grd
½ tb red pepper flanks
¼ cup coarse sea salt or regular salt
4 scallion/green onions (cut into 1" pieces)
4 garlic cloves (minced) or 4 tbs chopped garlic
2 tablespoons fresh ginger (minced)
1 carrots, long shredded
1 English Cuke, thinly sliced
1 tb chili powder

1 - Dissolve salt in 1 cup water/set aside.
2 - Thoroughly wash the cabbage/then cut into 1 x 1 inch size
3 - Place cabbage and cuke in a large bowl and pour salt water over them. Let it soak for about an hour, then massage it until the cabbage is soft.
4 - Let soak overnight or at least 5 hours.
5 - After soaking drain vegetables and put into large bowl. Keep the water and add up to double the water so it will not be too briny. Play around with this until you find the saltiness you like. Add the spices to the water and adjust more spices if you want it spicier.
6 - Add the rest of the other ingredients to the bowl and add about half of the water blend.
7 - Mix all vegetables, thoroughly, by hand for about 5 minutes.
8. Stuff into in a large jar and pour the salted water over the mixture. And leave about one inch at the top. Close the jar and shake so juice spread out.
9. Let sit for 2-3 days .Refrigerate after opening

Simple Gourmet - Great cooking!

These folks are super cooks and great people. I discovered them on facebook and have been following them. I won a gift and they sent it promptly and I love it. It is a pancake scraper- quite durable and well made. I just made a batch of fudge brownies and use to to scrape the bowl and of course, had to lick it clean. I trade emails back and forth with them and they are very customer focused. It started small but quickly, I enjoyed their posts and outlook on life.

This company is in California and "is a culinary event company specializing in cooking classes, culinary team building activities, and private cooking parties. We bring delicious food to the table with style and ease, through interactive events and full-service boutique catering. Fresh, seasonal ingredients are the cornerstone of our real-life recipes that feature flavors from around the world. With a unique brand of customized service, Simple Gourmet brings people together over fantastic food and fun"

They have a bunch of neat recipes. Check out the Thanksgiving recipes at RECIPES.

And they even have a blog which means a quick peek for me when I need an idea for dinner.

They give back to the community with a food drive, which is on their front page.

Good local, hardworking people, like you and me, who are making their passion their life. Support them by visiting their website, being a facebook friend, signing up for one of their many offering, or passing their info out to friends and family.

Enjoy and tell them that I sent you!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

"The World of Sheepdog" returns!

Due to popular demand, Angie is offering the great book, "The World of Sheepdogs" - a limited quantity is available

from her site - click on the link for more info and how to order

For those who missed out, a small quantity of books are now available. The price will remain the same at £28.95 (plus postage) despite a 30% increase in paper prices.

About the Book

The World of Sheepdogs is a photographic tribute to working sheepdogs the world over. We hope that for the many border collie and trialling enthusiasts around the world this book puts form and face to some of the dogs and handlers that most of us only get to read about in the results columns of local newspapers. This quality, hard cover book features fifty-two dogs, including pedigrees of these dogs, and their handlers from nineteen countries. There are over 130 full colour photographs. Preview the book on-line by clicking here. More information and sample pages below. Contributing photographers include Joachim Homm (Germany), Vickie Close (USA), Karin Mattson (Norway), Guillaume Josien (France), Inge Savenije (Netherlands), amongst others.

Some of the dogs/handlers featured include:

- Aled Owen's Roy (Wales)
- Bobby Dalziel's Joe (Scotland)
- Kevin Evans' Mirk (Wales)
- Karin Mattsson's Sammie (Norway)
- James McGee's Becca (Ireland)
- Serge van der Zweep's Jim (Netherlands)
- Scott Glen's Pleat (Canada)
- Mosse Magnusson's Roy (Sweden)
- Alasdair McRae's Nap (USA)
- Faansie Basson's Jill (South Africa)
- Jo Agnar Hansen's Tika (Norway)
- Nigel Watkins' Floss (Wales)
- Richard Millichap's Taddymoor Cap (Wales)
- Tom Lawrenson's Spot (England)
- Tom Wilson's Sly (USA)
- Jim Wilson and Tweed (New Zealand)
- and many more...

OLD BLOG POSTING in case you had missed it before!

Introducing cool people and their dog business

Brian and Allison are the coolest artsy type of people....which is good as they have the coolest artsy type of dog store....Allison does her out handmade cut block art, which she then prints on the cool clothing. They print their own clothing with their neat art prints. I met them at a USBCHA trial and was impressed by their love of life.

Take a stroll through their website and you can order some neat Christmas gifts. They also have items for other breeds of dogs. I know, I am biased towards Border Collies but the other breeds items are quite cool too!

And to boot, Bryan runs his dog, Scoop in Pro Novice. I judged him at Fire Ridge and saw the nice teamwork they had...and how much they adored each other. It's about partnership and it was evident.

Support your  trial handler by ordering an item for Christmas. Get one so you can wear it proudly at the trials too!

They have a 10% OFF CHRISTMAS SPECIAL good until Dec 6th. CODE NEW10

Monday, November 22, 2010

November Whidbey Island - Taff - PN

I got Taff in March and he has been a project. He was full of himself and quite hard to work. I ran him at a couple of trials this summer to see what I needed to work on and the laundry list was long. He would slice at the top, bust the sheep and on the first leg of the drive, would grip or fetch them back. He had a lot of tension and needed to learn to rate the stock. We spent the summer doing stall work, chores, drills and a few Come To Jesus Talks.  A couple of months ago, I saw a change in him. He soften up and was willing to work with  me and thus I gave him his freedom back. We began to work well and I decided to try to run him. He decided to work for me than against me. It was a good choice. I bit the bullet and entered him at this trial. Brian Ricard was the judge.

Off he goes at full speed. He is a very powerful and pushy dog. I was sweating bullets at this point, wondering if running him on light hair sheep  was a good decision. But it was too late to do anything but suck it up and run him. He went out, looked at the sheep as if to cut in and I had the whistle ready to blow him out, when he kicked out wide and deep and stopped at the top when I gave him a down. I took a deep breathe of air then gave him a soft walk up. This is an area where he busts into the sheep but he lifted very nice and began a stellar fetch. I would have passed out but luckily for me, I was holding onto the handler's post. I am glad that I went to the bathroom prior to my run too!

I got him to the sweet spot on the bubble and he held it.

His whistles are opposite of Roo's whistles, so I made a mistake and gave him the wrong flank, which he took quickly. I realized this and downed him and he took it so I was able to recover and get the panels. Score one for Taff and minus one for Diane.

Nice pace to my feet. He had a very nice pace  throughout the fetch and didn't run them down the course.  He was taking my commands perfect.

Oh NO, he is a bit tight and furious at the turn...so I needed to get a handle on him quickly or all hell would break loose. I gave him the old "What do you think you are doing" followed by  "You listen to me!" and he knows at that point, he better smarten up or I will go after him.

After that, he listened and started the first leg of the drive quite nicely. I held him back as the sheep were very flighty and he tends to scare the beejus out of any sheep. The boat anchor around his neck seemed to do the trick.;-)

I am whistling steadies to him and if he didn't steady, I hit him with a down. He got the hint and settled down. His lines were a dream!

I had to hold him back on the drive. He really gets tense on the drive and at the first leg will bust up the sheep or fetch them back. Our homework this summer was to fix this issue. we did a lot of work on this and it was successful.

He had a lovely cross drive and then made the second panel. A tight line to the pen.

Taff has a wee bit of tension at the pen. I guess I will be working on that. He was very tense but listened to me. I could tell he wanted to fly in at the ewes who were standing up to him. But he thought it would be a good idea to listen to me and we got the pen. We got a 75 and won PN....I will run him in PN this year and next trial season, hope to move him to Open. I hope we still will keep clicking well! I am happy that I got him and look forward to more trials this winter with him. we still have along way to go yet to being a good team but the first piece of the puzzle is in place.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

November Whidbey Island - Roo - Open

Roo ran quite well at this trial. It didn't start off that way though. He cast out nice and wide, only to see his sheep break back to the setout when he was behind the hill, coming up for his lift. So we got a rerun. On his rerun, the sheep broke but he caught up to them and got them back online. He was soft on his fetch and made his panel.

He runs out like a bat outta hell!

Full blast.

I love his pink little toes on this one.

Made the fetch.

Tight turn at the post. I was keeping a tight  rein on him and having him work the sheep, nice and slow as they are flighty hair sheep.

He got all the drive panel and had a nice steady pace.

They were hard to put through the second panel but we got it. This part was tough. We had a bit of a fuss at the pen but got it. Then as I was setting him up for the shed, the time ran out. He only lost four points on his drive.  The last trial he managed to lose a good portion of his drive points.  He placed well at this trial, not in the points but ran very well. I am very happy with him and hope we continue on this good streak.