Monday, February 28, 2011

I think the ENTIRE COUNTRY of Australia must be UPSIDE DOWN. I mean, they ARE on the OTHER side of the world from us, and they do everything different from us. For one, they have that weird accent, they are big into FOSTERS beer, and there is that annoying Kelpie thing.

Yeah, those Kelpies. Them dumb Australians actually believe that the Kelpie really is the best dog for the work in Australia. Seriously it is true. Working Border Collies are very new there, and for real work, you will still see the Kelpie as the true blue mate working with the Jillaroo, or the stockyard master. GOD how un-educated they are. It must *really* annoy some of the "BORDER COLLIE IS THE PRE-EMINENT sheepdog doncha know???!!!" people. Wow, the temerity of the Ozzies to believe that the KELPIE is anywhere remotely as good as the Border Collie. So what if they have been around as long as the Border Collie, so what if they are used at myriad studs, and acreages on thousands of sheep. Don't you KNOW that Border Collies are THE BEST sheepdogs?

Well, I am here to say that that simply is not true. It just isn't. Let's compare straight up sheepdog work- no trials, as the Border Collie trials were developed for the Border Collie. No, let's say we just set some sheep out there and just shush our dogs. No other commands. That is one part. Then, let's ask the dogs to drive the sheep into a paddock through a gate, with MINIMAL commands. Then, just for kicks, let's ask that dog to force the sheep, without DAMAGE to them, through a race.

At any given time the BC or the Kelpie as individuals will excel, or fail, but make no mistake, NEITHER breed will predominate as the PRE-EMINENT/BEST sheepdog. It's just that simple.

Many people prefer their breeds, I know I prefer the Kelpie. I think both breeds have what it takes to be our best partners out there. There are no absolutes. None. The best sheepdog is the one that gets the WORK done best, not the trial course.

Yikes. Looking at the entry fees for sheepdog trials... I am really kind of in shock. It is making me wonder if I can really afford this sport. Granted, I don't trial a lot, but, and last year very seldom did I get out there, but I planned to run in a lot of trials this year, and I may have to reconsider.

One of the reasons I wanted to get another trial going near me, was that it would be relatively cheap to put on- no shipping of sheep is a big savings. Thankfully, it would appear that we may have some help from people in much higher standing than I, to decide if it is doable.

Simply put, paying almost $50 per run in open, per day is well, more than I will ever be able to afford. Perhaps we need less payback and make it more about the sport than the money. I don't know. We need more trials, and closer to home as well. Gas will, if all estimations are correct, be at or near $5.00 a gallon this summer. I don't know about you all, but I really don't want to be not eating to be able to travel to a trial.

Any suggestions on saving money are welcome.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My little (or, well, actually BIG Beta blocker). I should have named him BB. He is a very sweet boy kitty. Every day after I get home from work, he has to get in my lap, where I hold him not unlike a baby, and we have our little mutual adoration society. I love this time as much as he does, and trust me, it has to happen. He loves this close time. Some times at night, he will wake me up to be close to me and enjoy some attention from me.

Ginger, my old kitty also loves attention, but not in my lap, she was never a lap cat. She prefers to lay near my head in her bed, which she does every night, and every once in a while she will outstretch a paw to touch me. Kitties really rock for the relaxation effect.

This morning I woke up to new snow. Yuck. This winter has a death grip on us.

This coming up week I want to make major progress on my living room- start getting walls/ceiling ready for painting. YUCK! I hate painting. But, need to get it done, so a) the walls are not white, and b) I can replace some of the flooring after I finish. I wanted to wait until I replaced the sliding glass door, but I just don't want to spend the $$ on it just yet- guaranteed over $1000 for door and installation!

Woke up early this morning and watched "Pit Boss". I have to admit, though not always great, I do like this show- just like I liked "Pitbulls and Parolees". I hope both shows get renewed next season.

I am going to put up a note that I will offer video taping of runs at trials if people are interested. I will list the trials I will be at, and if people are interested, I will tape, and burn a CD right there. Not sure what to charge, but I do do a good job taping and my new video camera is excellent. Psyched about doing this. Will give me something else to do while waiting to run ;) Plus, my dad is a professional video-grapher, so he could probably help me make some cool movies if people wish.

Well, that's it for this morning!

Friday, February 25, 2011

So, things are good. Spring is coming, and I feel like hibernating less, and just wanting to stay up, and out and enjoy the day. Today it is pouring down rain. It's just terrible. Glad my sheep have the barn- I would not want anything sitting out in this.

Took the dogs for another walk around the farm yesterday. Danny runs ahead, and then runs back and so on and so forth. He gets a lot of exercise this way. Lucy does a bit of that, but no matter how far ahead, or behind she gets, she always keeps tabs on me.

I am so looking forward to all that spring has to offer. I will be spending lots of time at the farm, and I hope to get working with other people, and at new places. Already have some lessons set up for the dogs.

There is a new dog coming into my life. I will let you all know via photo, when "it" arrives. For now, until "it's" in my possession, I won't carry on about it.

I hope you are all in the same mode as me- anticipating better weather and fun activities with bated breath.....

Thursday, February 24, 2011

So, yesterday was a bit of a taste of happiness in weather. Let me tell you, we have all needed it. It was not very warm out, but the sun was shining. We have had enough melt that I could finally take the dogs for a walk. They were so happy. I also took a few videos.

One video is of John's Scottish Highlander cows, coming down for a drink, and the other is finally seeing where Danny goes to when I feed the sheep. He's so happy when I see him. He's a very happy boy.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

My hay was delivered on Monday. It was a bit iffy, getting the truck up the driveway, but he did it. He brought two guys to help unload, and I was alone down in the hay storage area, to stack it (you bring it to the ground level floor and drop it through a hay drop into the storage area). So, I did okay until the end, but then I about felt like I was going to die (just kidding, a little). But, it got done and now I should be set until late April.

The sheep are doing well, and the lambs are turning into sheep. They are so pretty. I just love Cheviots. I plan to buy a few more to work this spring, and will breed the sheep I have this fall. That will be the plan- I will want fresh sheep each year, and this is a good way to do it.

I can't believe how long it's been since I have worked the dogs. It's amazing I have remained so relatively sane ;) Been looking at the trials this summer and have chosen the ones I want to attend. But, more than that, I want to do lessons with good instructors at new fields....

Well, that's all there is for now.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Well, the weekend is here, thank goodness. The other day, I went to feed my sheep, and the lambs were acting really weird. Running around like they were getting bit by something, and then a couple, one especially, was standing next to the barn, head down, and none were really eating normally. I called a vet, and even though it was his day off, he came by.

He took the temps of the ewes, and they were fine. The two lambs he checked had fevers (104.7, 104.9). So, the decision was to give Thiamine, basically to allay my concerns over that, and also Nu Flor, an anti-biotic.

The shots had to be given in the neck, so I held. One ewe, after feeling that Nu Flor, THREW me across the room, and it took just a second for me to get up. Typical large animal vet, waited for me to get up and catch the next one. Not a concern at all, just let's get this done. It doesn't bother me, but I am reminded I am aging!

The next day, the lambs were fine. I don't know if we will ever know what happened.

On another note, my brother is very very sick. I won't go into details yet, until I know more, but prayers are gratefully welcomed. My mother is beside herself, and I am doing my best, along with my sister, to keep her mind on other things.

Life is just never the expected. You just have to enjoy the good when you have it.

Tonight I am supposed to go out with friends. Not sure if I will because I was up all night with the wind blowing like crazy. We will see- maybe if I get a nap.

Was supposed to get a hay delivery yesterday, but the guy canceled, so it is now scheduled for Monday. Good thing, because by Tues, I have no more hay. The only issue, is we are expected to get at least 6" of snow Sunday into Monday.

Dogs are good, Lucy still in heat, so she comes to work with me. She is beginning to like this deal. Poor Danny.... He's been well behaved, like always though.

Danny's sister was bred, and it is tempting to bring a lass home from that litter.

But, honestly, EVERYTHING is on hold, until we know what is happening with my brother, because I may have to change my life quite a bit.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

So, for a while now, I think I have been sounding a bit down... I know, it's the weather, but I think maybe, just maybe, things are looking up. Spring is around the corner, even IF we get snow this weekend, like they are predicting.

I wanted to focus more on things that I like, no matter how small...

Things I like:

Making crepes for breakfast with wonderfully home brewed coffee. What a wonderful repast. I do this once a week, and I look forward to this calm, wonderful food time.

When I have let the dogs out for the last time, and everyone is in their places, and I can read a book, and just totally immerse myself in it.

When my kitty asks for cuddles, just because.

After I feed the sheep, the happiness in their eyes as they munch munch munch away.

The feeling of having had a productive day at work, and being grateful I do have a job I like, and am good at.

Having a house of my own, and being close to family, and able to be there at a moment's notice if need be.

Looking forward to working my dogs, and enjoying watching other people work their dogs.

My new video camera.

Time to go out with friends and really enjoy ourselves.

That's just a partial list, but it covers a lot of what makes me pretty happy. Life is definitely a journey of enjoying the small stuff and knowing that life is definitely filled with ups and downs, but focusing on the ups is what gets us through.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

So, today my friends and I met at John's to treat the sheep. This time we had a better set up. John divided the barn room into half the size of last time with panels, and we were able to keep them well together. Still, we had some almost escapes, and one did, to the other side, until that is, we got Lucy on that side. John held Lucy at the weak corner, and that solved that. Before we started, Lucy had to get them out of the run in area, and again they were fighty, but I lay Lucy down and we were slower, and it was good for Lucy and the sheep to see things go better.

I grabbed/held, J squirted, and JD marked. We were done in just over 45 mins. It really went very well. Several of these girls are goodly pregnant, can't wait to see how many lambs we get.

After we did the sheep, we went to lunch, and now I am home. I am tired- as I woke, or, I was rather awoken last night at 2:30 a.m. by a cat who wanted to cuddle. Oh well. So, today I am chilling out.

Lucy is in heat, and Danny is therefore, not where she is. Thankfully it's warmer outside, so he can be outside more. Cannot wait for the weather to warm up and snow to disappear soon.

This week I plan to watch the snow melt, and also, get my last delivery of hay. First we need to clear a path to the barn.

Well, that's it for now.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Friday, thank goodness! I hear that it will be decently warm all next week. I am so happy about that! Maybe we can finally get some good melting in. It was cold this morning at the house, 2 degrees F.

Lucy is in heat, and life is difficult. Both she and Danny know what the deal is. Ho hum. It's going to be a long few weeks. I need to neuter Danny.

We are returning to John's place on Sunday for the second lice treatment. My friend is bringing another friend, so we should be able to finish faster, PLUS she is bringing a drench gun. This is perfect timing, because the ewes are set to start lambing next week.

Other than that, not much going on. Can't wait to have the snow go away!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Slowly a new dawn, and new day, as Ms Hudson would say.... I have had a very stressful start to my week, and also very busy. But, now, I think things will be back to normal. Today I did some cleaning of the house, and some more laundry. It's a good start to getting back to normal....

I am entertaining having a clinician come out. I have to look at my sheep, my fence, and the costs associated with what I will need. This particular clinician has been out this way before and was very well received. But, no announcements just yet, as I have to figure lots of stuff out.

All of a sudden this afternoon, it got REALLY cold out. Brrr. But, there is talk of a warming trend. CAN YOU BELIEVE IT???!

My friend and I have to treat the sheep again on Sunday, but I want to do it a bit differently, so I have to stop by the farm and speak with John about my suggestions. He should be starting to lamb in another week, so this is actually very good timing to get it done.

Well, that's it for now!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Today, my day off.. In a few minutes I will head off to Barnes and Noble to do a bit of perusing. Barnes and Noble is my one guilty pleasure.... Then, I head up to the farm.

Saw a Coyote following the scent of a herd of deer that had passed behind my house the other day. He was amazing- never veered off their scent. He is able to walk on the top of the snow, so going is easier for him. I believe it's the same Coyote who was hunting the Pheasant over the summer... He must live close around here.

I made a Porter House steak yesterday. It was just incredible. For what I paid for it, it better be! But, wow. Makes sirloin taste like chuck!

Warm weather fore casted for today - YES! Too bad STILL too much snow to run the dogs. I feel bad for them, totally.

42 days left until spring, is what the weather man said today. COOL!!!! I think my winter woe is me attitude is beginning to lift, with each brighter and longer day.

Lots of squirrels running to and fro in front of my window. Wonder where they are headed? Better be careful, that Cooper's Hawk is out there....

Today is the superbowl. I will watch it from home. Rooting for the Packers...

Well, that's it for now :)

Thursday, February 3, 2011

I like this photo of Lucy. Captures her "prettiness". She is a very feminine Kelpie, and I love the way the photo captures that.

Today is a bit better then yesterday. Sun is out, which is a blessing, and the dogs got to come with me to the farm. The snow was plowed at the farm, so my path to the sheep, at one point is up to my hips. So fun. It will take a month just for this stuff to melt. Danny is getting fresh and wanting in with the sheep. Lucy too. It's been hard on them- this no work.

I will have to get more hay by third week in February. Not sure how much to get. Probably 35 bales- to get me through all of March. That will be that, and then I will start my search for cheaper hay.

I found a bird in my laundry room the other day, and then again today. He went up into the corner of the room (it's an un-finished utility room) and into the eaves. But, the eaves are sealed. I have no idea how he is getting outside- except, I saw a birdy on the deck, and *maybe* he is going under the door, into the storage room and THEN into the utility room. It's a mystery.

I am so happy that tomorrow is Friday. Supposed to go out tomorrow night, but truthfully, I may bag it. I am so tired from this week. We will see.

Well, that's about it.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

So, when working the sheep over the weekend, I had that weird thing with my heart, where it literally feels like it is rubbing against my chest. It is always accompanied by feeling a bit light headed and just well, needing to stop and sit.

The other issue is my circulation in my feet is worse than last year- my left foot, well, I have gotten frost bite more this year, and even when warming up in shower, it literally takes up to 10 mins for that left foot to have color in it. Dr suggested a baby aspirin, so I think I will do that.

Today I am beyond tired- got up and went to work an hour early before what the plow did at 4:30, disappeared. I am beyond tired today, just like when I was low on B-12.

This is my complaint post. I am feeling negative about a lot of things, but I believe it could all be fixed by getting my dogs worked, and a WHOLE heckuva lot less snow.

I am going to get into a Cardiologist, I guess, for my heart and my circulation. Something has to be done. I cannot have this tiredness again. I will not be able to do anything I have planned if that happens.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

So, big double whammy storm. Why did I pick THIS year to keep/over-winter sheep? I thank goodness for a barn for the sheep to go in. Even though I am sure they would be fine for a few storms, I think at this point the long wool sheep I have would start feeling the effects, as their wool lets wet in. Cheviot sheep have a very dense wool, not sure much gets through that.

I am not sure how I will make it to the farm today, but I will try- and I will give them enough hay for today and tomorrow, because Part Deux of this storm promised a huge amount of snow. Again, thankful for the barn.

I am still really sore today, but life goes on- busy day at work, and tomorrow important stuff and alone at work, so I have to go.

My post on re-homing dogs- thank you manymuddypaws, for mentioning the good part- where someone could use a dog like this- it's not something I really thought of. See? Good I don't judge :)

So, I hope I don't crash, I get to my sheep and the house doesn't disappear under all the snow....