Saturday, August 29, 2015

Back Burner

Love my dogs, enjoy trialling, but that's not my total life.  The good part is the travel part.  I love to travel.  I really have no ambition or the funds to gallivant around the world.  Honest, I am happy to be right here in the Pacific Northwest.  I don't think I will be able to see everything I want to before I leave this earth.  But, I'm going to give it a try!

So excited that my brother and his wife are coming from Texas.  Jim and Linda mean so much to me.  They were there for Pop when he needed us.  I couldn't leave work in California.  Dad had mild dementia living by himself after his second wife passed away in Florida.  Jim and Linda retired; moved, lock, stock, and barrel to Florida to care for Dad.  We didn't want him to go to an assisted living facility.  We wanted him to be in his home until the end.  They took fabulous care of him for four years.  I have so much gratitude in my heart for them.

I have been busying myself with the gardens, getting them pruned back, removing and replanting new plants and flowers, getting ready for winter.  Last year I did absolutely nothing.  This year I have learned which flowering weeds must be weeded, and I'm still learning which plants need to be pruned and how far to prune them back.  It really is quite an enjoyable past time.  It's a little like trial by fire.  Plus, I have had to buy garden tools.  I now use the riding lawn mower and I have my own TWO weed eaters.  I can weed eat with the best of them.

I still love photography, but I can't afford good equipment.  But, I have suitable camera stuff for what I like to do.  I am not a professional photographer.  But, I love to "share" beautiful moments by capturing it with a photo for my friends and family.  I'm sure I have probably been "befriended" by quite a few on Facebook for all of my photos.  It's okay.  I delete posts I don't like, too. :0)  I don't like to see pathetically abused animals.  I know this goes on everywhere, but still, it's not something I want to look at over my morning two cups of coffee.

Now, for the first time in my life, I am enjoying experimenting in the kitchen.  I am actually enjoying some of the cooking I am doing (especially if it comes out tasting good).  Jim and Linda show up this Monday.  I have invited my neighbors to a cocktail party on Wednesday to meet my brother.  I want him to see what I nice place I landed in to live.  I don't want him to have to worry about me living here alone.

I am going to try to make some new appetizers.  I have all the makings for martinis, and other assorted drinks. (My brother is the martini drinker). I haven't made deviled eggs in awhile. So that will be on the menu. I make some pretty darn good ones.  But, I'm going to make some new appetizers, too.  I  (Simple toasted baguettes with marinated arties, parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.)  Also, Devils on Horseback (Gotta love the name) Dates with a little blue cheese in them wrapped with bacon and baked in the oven. I'd do bacon wrapped oysters (but too stinky) I may have to throw in some bacon wrapped hot dogs for the guys. I might try some stuffed mushrooms, but that might be pushing it.  I have a couple of really good dips with some veges/crackers.  That should do it. There will only be 8 of us.

I'm making myself laugh as I write out my grocery list.  Jim and Linda will be here Monday and stay until until Saturday.  I will work at the Chamber of Commerce as usual on Wednesday.  I think I will suggest that they go over to the John Wayne Marina for a stroll while i am volunteering.  Hopefully it won't rain all week. Possibly we could have lunch at the grill on the water when I get done. Doubtful we will need dinner after my appetizers that evening :0)

Monday I am making lamb chops, mashed potatoes, and garlic green beans.  Monday is like a siesta day in Sequim.  There are very few places open.  Kind of like living in Mexico  haha  I told Jim and Linda not to eat a big lunch on the road.  They are bringing their chihuahua, Jules.  She isn't exactly social.  Every time I move in their house she barks at me.  It remains to be seen how she will be in my house and with my dogs.  I guess I'm going to find out soon! Maybe when Jim and Linda aren't looking, I can try the Pet Corrector on her.  LOL

And, oh yeah....my kayak is on the way.  I am really excited.  I had some good input as to which one to get for me and Yoko.  It couldn't be over 10 feet and it had to weigh not much more than 40 lbs. because it is me, myself, and I that has to load it and get it on the water.  I still want to see if I can paddle board.  I will rent one maybe some day.  I can kayak, but paddle board?  Ummm, not too sure.

Plus, I got my bicycle out and dusted it.  I will take it over to the bike shop to see if the tires are properly filled.  It is a 7 speed all terrain bike.  I need a bike rack :0( You can't get better biking trails than here in Sequim, so I want to start enjoying them.  This is going to cut into the dog's working sheep time.  I will try to keep them worked a couple of times a week.  If I see we are looking a bit too rough at the trials, I will cut down my trialling to local ones.  I enjoy the socialization, but I have no aspires to be the top in this field.  But, I do like competition :0)

That's it...just an update where my head is at, kind of.  Other stuff going on, but not really bloggable stuff.  Life is good.  Cherish every day!


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Back to basics

Not starting over, just getting back to basics with the dogs.   For the last few weeks we have been cleaning up flanks; working on the fence line and circle work.  Yoko took to it right away.  Champ needs a little more convincing.  They got a bit sloppy.  Also, doing lots of Shhhh Shhhh's with balance work.  When the dog appears off balance to me I walk the opposite way.  Balance, balance, balance.

Yoko is way too worried about me.  She has great balance when I am not in the picture.  She is worrying too much about what I am thinking and it takes away from her 'feel.'  Faansie was so right when he called her the "over-thinker."  I am trying to de-escalate my voice with her when things go awry.  It doesn't do any good to show an irritation in my voice.  It just upsets her even more.

Faansie was way right when he labeled Champ "The floater." We probably could call him the "non-thinker."  He is happy to do what you ask of him.  Sometimes he doesn't understand what he is doing, but he is happy to try doing it.  He makes me laugh.  Two times today he didn't want to stop.  We tried something new with him.  Once I got him stopped, I continued to whistle blowing his down whistle and getting softer and softer with my down whistle the closer that I got to him.  Then I reached over to give him a pat while saying, "Good boy, down."  He looked quite confused, but was just as glad that he wasn't getting in any trouble.

Both dogs would work ALL day for me.  They love to work.  Yoko can on occasion do some weird ass embarrassing stuff, but she comes right back ready to go.  Champ is fairly reliable. He really just wants to do what is asked of him, even if he is not sure why he is doing it.

Today we worked on shedding.  Both dogs have been coming in painfully slow.  I know better than to correct them for a goofed up shed.  But, maybe I have been to too many clinics and now we are all mumbo jumbled in different methods.  Who knows.  But. I want them to come in quickly when called.  So we went back to basics....crossing the boughs.  Since I am so dyslexic I can't call them in with a direction like come bye or away to me.  So, I am saying here, shhhh.  Both were a little confused about our new process today, but not anymore than I was.  LOL  But, on a good note, both were coming in faster.  So fast that Champ grabbed wool many times.  But, I don't think he understands this job completely, so in his excitement......

One step forward, several backwards.  Lots of it has to do with not working them enough.  Several times a week on sheep when trialling with those who work their dogs daily, makes us look a bit rough around the edges.  But, it's all okay.  We love what we are doing and are enjoying trialling.  Lots of trials coming up in October, so I hope we iron out some of the wrinkles!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Alaska

Wow, what a fabulous vacation!  We couldn't have had better weather or booked better excursions.  Celebrity was top notch and the food was pretty much 5 star every meal.  Best to book excursions not with Celebrity unless you relish crowds.  Most of our excursions before arriving at the interior of Denali were booked through other agencies.  And most of those 'other' excursions had less than 10 people on them.  That's the way to go when you can do it.

It will be awhile before I can download my photos since I borrowed my daughter-in-law's Nikon Cool Pix camera and I don't have the attachment to download them to my Mac. :0(  Hopefully, when I see her next she can put them on a thumb drive for me.  Either that or I will stop by Office Depot and see what they have to offer me.

Most of my videos off of my iPhone I posted on Facebook.  The humpback whales in Icy Strait was a once in a lifetime happening to have 5 coming straight for our boat holding 10 people.  They were blowing and rolling in the waters making a V- line for our boat.  It was a bit unnerving as two dove directly under our boat.  One photographer says in the video, "I'm scared" and all you could hear me say is "Oh shit" over and over again!

The other highlight other than seeing grizzlies,  a wolf, and some Moose was visiting Jeff King's Homestead kennels.  Jeff is the winniest musher in Alaska, winning the Iditarod some 4 times.  Plus, he is a gifted speaker and funny as hell!  He gives tours of his kennels 3 X a day during the tourist season to help offset his costs.  His hired help live on the kennel grounds.  i loved how they mentioned that their working huskies were like working Border Collies, totally unlike AKC show huskies and show BCs.  They are bred for stamina, correct conformation, temperament plus the ability to pull and run.  Just like the BC's it doesn't matter what they look like, ears up, ears down, etc.  They are bred for a working purpose.

In Hoona, Icy Strait, Alaska there is an estimated 1.7 brown bear (Grizzly) per square mile.  That is more brown bears than anywhere else in the world.  We took an excursion to see some.  We saw none. But, when we went into the interior of Denali on a bus trip we saw 8 brown bear.  I don't even think they have black bear.  The grizzlies were chowing down in the meadows getting ready for winter.  We also saw Moose with their yearling calves, lots of caribou, Dall sheep, and one lone grey wolf.  You can backpack into the interior of Denali National Park, but you can't drive in there.  So we had to go by bus, a very uncomfortable crowded bus....but it was worth it in the long run (I think)

My stomach is trying to get back to normal from eating 3 "rich" meals a day plus I gained 4 pounds back that I had lost previous to the trip.  But, it was worth it.  Now I am settling in at home, plan to get unpacked this weekend, wash done, etc. etc.  Looking forward to my brother and his wife coming the end of this month which is barely 2 weeks away!  They will be staying with me for 5 days.  I can't wait! They are on a 6 week vacation drive across the country starting from Tyler, Texas.  I finally slept like a rock last night.  The first few days were spent worrying about Wayne driving home and me, adjusting to being back home.  All is well.  My neighbors have all checked in with me.  Home feels wonderful.




Wednesday, July 22, 2015

The RUSH is on.....

I can't believe it is already Wednesday.  Wayne, Kilt, and Trouble should arrive Sunday night or Monday some time.  Of course he wants to drive the 20 hours straight through.  That drives me CRAZY.  I am trying to get him to stop at our daughter-in-laws home in Roseburg for the night.  They have plenty of room for him and the dogs will have a backyard.  Whether he will or not remains to be seen.... Men!

I have been trying to get as much done as possible, so he can rest, but without a man here for the last year, this place is a lot of work.  And, people ask me when I am going to get sheep?  You have to be kidding!  The weeding alone is killing me.  The old vehicles are falling apart.  Maintenance for the house and for myself is a full time job.  LOL

I hope he will have time to put a new refrigerator in my RV.  That would be a great anniversary present since he can't possibly stay a couple of extra days for our 31st anniversary.  Hey, he's an engineer and he has work to do.  Ugh.  Better than being a husband that doesn't like to work.  That's for sure.  I'm not complaining.  Just whimpering a little.

I have a feeling it is going to be colder and wetter this winter.  There is so much to do, but I guess I can do it myself....Mud-proofing, that is.  I surely have enough firewood.  Besides the refrigerator in the RV, I am hoping he will get my 4 wheel drive Rhino working again.  It would be really nice to have front brakes on the old truck, but that might be pushing it.  He probably needs a BREAK in the action, too.

I have him set up with the breakfast club.  He went out to eat with them on one of his trips up here.  They all loved him and I think it was lunch time before they got up from breakfast because my husband is all yak, yak, yak, yak.  They are looking forward to his return.

I hate to stick him with Champ, but that's how the turn of events has gone.  Champ will be 4-5 days post-op from being neutered.  Hoping I am doing us (me and Champ) both a favor.  Praying for no more drooling, chattering or sniffing at the trials.  It's hard on both of us.  Maybe I will get lucky and it will give us both some piece of mind.  As soon as he goes to the post, he is all about sheep, but I think getting there and the mental part of the puzzle has us both fried.

He will also get to attend Terry and Phil's sing along outside of her Local Yarn Shop in Sequim on one of the Fridays he is here.  He can take Trouble with him :0)  Wayne is one of those people who knows every song and who sang it.  He always asks me, "Who sang this?"  I say, "Give me the first letter of their last name....the second letter?"  Haha  Not my high point.  He has a long term memory and I have a short term memory.  He can tell me what we did 20 years ago and where and I can tell him where his keys are. In that respect, we are compatible.  Plus, we both have a deep love of animals.  After that, I'm not sure what attracted us to each other than sex.  :0)

Hopefully, he and Terry's husband, Phil, will get to go out on Phil's boat and do some crabbing.  Plus, my neighbors all know when he is coming and I am sure they will invite him up to visit if not for dinner.  I am making a list of neighbors names and telephone numbers, plus a calendar of things he can go to if he feels like it when he is here.

Now, it's time for me to PACK.  I have had my two days of rest from the trials.  My girlfriend, Mary has been planning this Alaskan trip for over a year.  The cool thing about traveling with Mary is that I never have to do anything.  I pay for my excursions and air fare and she does the rest.  Plus, she likes to gamble, I like to watch, and we both like to play Bingo and drink martini's aboard.  This is the only time anyone will see me drink a martini.  Must be something about cruising or just the fancy bartenders at the martini bar on the ship.

Sometimes we even go on different excursions.  We just get along.  I don't think in all of the years I have known Mary that we ever have had a cross word.  We both have spent our lives in healthcare and know that each day is a gift.  So I am really looking forward to cruising the inside passage (which Wayne and I did 21 years ago) plus we are taking a train for a few days around Denali. We both love Vancouver and Stanley Park so we are staying two nights at the Westin there.  Fancy Schmancy :)

Well, that's about it for now.  I am meeting up with Patricia Pedersen for dinner tonight.  We have about 6 weeks of girl chat, catch-up, to yak about.


There is no place like home