Sunday, October 31, 2010

In an effort

to have more money for showing the Nugget (and pay the bills) I decided that there needed to be some changes. I have been grumbling about Century Tel since I moved here. As the bill has steadily gone up, the service has gone down, as has the reliability of said services. Lately I have been accessing the internet by way of a line strung from one end of the house to the other. Then the modem began to give out. When I last called they informed me that there was now a monthly charge on the modems, but they would be delighted to send one out, which would require a one time fee as well. So I have been researching options and pricing. My house phone has been turned off for the last week due to political telemarketers. I haven't missed it.

Today I took down the phone line strung across the house. No more need to hire an electrician, yet again, to restring phone cable under the house at another $200. (Only the jack in the bedroom is functional now). The DSL box is out of the system and I have a lot less cables tangling themselves behind the desk. The wireless router? Yep, it, and its "signal enhancer" are both unplugged and piled on the table awaiting their final fate. (Anyone need them?) The Dishnetwork folks have been called and my account has been pulled from the phone company bundle. Tomorrow I call the phone company. If they offer me a super cheap, super nothing special phone line I may spring for it so that I don't have to give out my cell number. (But it will have to be REALLY cheap.)

Oh, if you are wondering...

The wireless card from the cell company: starts at $190.00 plus a 2 year contract and upgrades to cell plan. Ends up costing more than my current bundle.

Cable: $100/month for a year, then up to $160 for what I now have and am paying $146 for.

Clear Wire: Modem for the PC and card for the laptop $60/month. Equipment is free.
DishNetwork: $60/month for what I have, but I am going to get a "deal" for a year as I offered to move to Directv.

So, as I was told (thanks, Mark), they are all pretty close in price, but I did break away from repairs and modem fees and am still over $20/month less. Not quite one class for the Nugget pup, but it was fun and I have fast and reliable internet running on both the PC and the laptop and can take the laptop anywhere and it will be free. (Pending signal, of course.)

So I can now begin the process required to get the house painted. I have the paint, but that darn wire strung around was driving me crazy. Then I will dream of the day I can pull this carpet out. One small thing at a time, but it is progress, and that makes me very happy.

Another thing that makes me happy:

Friends finding friends who end up connecting and getting a great dog. Congrats to Cotton on her new life; to Sandy and Bruce on their new companion; to Creel on his new sister that will likely drive him crazy; and to Kim and Mark for finding another perfect home for a bouncing pup. It will be great fun to read about the adventures that unfold, and see the pictures, as the family of two and four legged critters begin their journey to retirement and beyond. (It will also be an excuse for us to make a trip to New Mexico; doesn't a good breeder do occasional checks to see that all is well? and doesn't the breeder need a buddy to tag along?)

So, it was a great weekend...and I haven't even spoken of the wonderful time with two little blond girls and our early thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps tomorrow. I am plum tuckered out from all the smiling.


Sunday, October 24, 2010

Two years ago

today. Kate came to live with me. It has been a tough road at times, and there are still things she is working through. When I think that I might have walked away, it breaks my heart. I adore this pup and will continue to work with her. I often wish I could get into her head. 99% of her quirks have been worked out; many since the puppy came to live with us. She is the ultimate care giver. She loves everyone and everything. She introduced me to a breed of dogs that is a perfect fit for me. I have no idea what the future holds, at this point. Only time will tell. One thing I do know:
I love you, Kate, and will do my best for you. Happy Gotcha day!

The day the papers were signed and the night before we headed for home to begin her new life.

She has found her place in the home. On the arm of the couch!

Her smile makes me smile.

Welcome to the funny farm.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

Say it isn't so

I had such a blast at the last series of shows that I have been trying to get the next shows set up. It is getting to be pretty slim pickings now and I am bummed. Nugget is hot to go and I really don't want him to get out of this mood he is in. I took him to handling classes on Wednesday and he once again stepped up to the plate, but the teacher is thinking of dropping back on the classes now that the season is "winding down." Come on people...we can do indoors venues now, right?

Nugget and his mama...we be hooked!!


Thursday, October 21, 2010

Computer ills

I haven't used my laptop since the trip to Kentucky two years ago. I know the first time I get on the internet it will take forever to scan and get cleared protection-wise. I also am thinking of buying the "tether" program for my cell so that I have free internet on the lap top whenever it is near my phone. So yesterday I set it on the desk and begin the process of checking out the Tether on a free trial. No go. I don't have the Blackberry program on the laptop. I have no disk, and must load it off the internet as I did the PC. I can't get on the internet as my wireless is funky. I can't hardwire the laptop via the cable, for some reason beyond my measely computer mind. So I sat and grumbled. I tried everything I could try and just couldn't get the connection.

Guess where I am going in a few minutes? Yep. Starbucks. I will take some time on their free internet to download the Blackberry program, and let it run its ad and virus checks. Hopefully following all that I will be able to check out the program that should allow me to access the internet anywhere I have phone service. It still won't cover me at the Mutha's house on the coast, but it might be rude to sit on the internet when visiting her and eating her fantastic fresh bread.

So I am off. I will check back in a few to share my sweet success.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Back to normalcy

While many will argue that "normal" is in no way a part of my life, I do, indeed, have my own normal, and we are there. The dogs are all at my feet. Literally. I dropped all the bones off the desk. They were at one time matching. There are many. Of course they want the same one. So they are snarking at each other and have about two more minutes before I do the bone sweep which will bring them all back on the desk until tomorrow morning. They seem to enjoy chewing a big bone after they eat, and it buys me time for sun up before we go out to the field for chores. Like children they have quickly gone past the "I missed you so very much" to the sibling rivalry.

Picking up the two from "Doggy camp" was quite the adventure. Henry went crazy in a way only Henry can. I have bruises on my thighs from him tagging me mid frap. Kate just coyly stood next to me with the tip of her tail wagging. We got into the car and she sat close and then began to very methodically lick me. By the stop sign she was wiggling everywhere and had the biggest grin I have seen on her, ever. (She reminded me of Polly after her first sheep herding trek.)

We got home and both just wanted in the house. Bugget-Nutt was inside barking hysterically. When they all got together no dog touched the other. They just ran crazily up and down the hall. It was time to reunite with Windy, the horse. I really needed to save the house! Windy was delighted to see her babies back and trotted over to say "hi." She quickly found that they would not stand still for a true greeting and gave it up. They were running full speed; tongues wagging and silly dog grins brightening the new morning light. After a few minutes of ball fetching, a whole lot of territorial marking by Miss Kate, and silly grinning from me, we were ready for the first quiet time of the new day.

My truck is only half unpacked. The two older dogs need baths. I need to work on my grooming technique with Nugget. Laundry needs to be done. Bills need to be paid. I need to vote. The list grows.

I think I will crawl back in bed and snuggle with my pups for a while and see what the DVR recorded while I was gone.

I love my life...


Monday, October 18, 2010

Adventures in clusters

Boise. What can I say. Long drive. Good friends. Long hours. Crazy times with no idea what day of the week it is. Throw in some grumpy folk, some sheep herding, puppy sitting, crazy eating(or lack of), constant dog grooming and eating of chalk, hair product, and hair. This was my past four days. of course add to that mix a lot of stories, a lot of laughter, some tears, puppy loves, incredible lessons in not only handling, but in life. Best of all was the friendship. I would have added a few more to the mix to make it "perfect" but nothing is ever "perfect" as then we wouldn't have anything to look forward to.

Oh yeah. Scars. Saturday night a blister erupted and popped behind my knee. It is still bugging the heck out of me and I must find a way to remedy this. Apparently we just don't build callouses back there. Ouch. Then there were the mental ones, but I think I will leave those alone.

After all is said and done there is only one question that remains...

Who the heck would want to do a bowel prep right before leaving for a several hour drive home??

Made you smile, didn't I? (No it certainly was NOT me!!)


Monday, October 11, 2010


I feel like I just got home and am now re-packing for the long drive to Idaho. Wait, I DID just get home!

Today is list day. And put the canopy on the truck day. And secure horse feeding day. And bath day. sigh.

It is majors all four days. If numbers haven't changed in Idaho it is 5 point majors all four days. I haven't bothered to look it up. I guess I am not yet a REAL dog show person or I would know.

At this point I am hoping for consistency on the Nugget. If he will do as well in Boise as he did in Richland I will be beyond happy.

The other two will be staying on Bainbridge Island. I will try not to fret, but it is the first time I have left Kate overnight, and I worry about her mental health. She has a few bizarre habits that she falls into when stressed and I am going to try not to think about it. This is Nugget's time. He has never had one on one for an extended length of time so it will be intense. He will have Rossi and Flower to tussle with, so that will hopefully get the puppiness out before he enters the ring.

I am bound and determined to just enjoy the ride. Yep, there will be plenty of things that can get to me, but darn it, I refuse to let them. I have various outlets and escapes around. I sure wish my favorite partner in crime was coming...

So I am off. First up? I haven't a clue. Perhaps the canopy so I can get a bale of hay.

Later, y'all.


Friday, October 8, 2010

DM conference

internet photo of "Maggie"

on Sunday, then I pack and leave for Boise on Wednesday.

I look forward to learning a bit more about the dreaded disease that strikes down so many dogs and puts them in wheelchairs. My dogs have been tested. Kate is a carrier and Nugget is clear. A very simple cheek swab is all it takes. The researcher at the forefront of the studies is coming to Bellevue and it should be interesting to hear where the research is heading and how we can help stomp this disease without bringing in something else equally as dire. As people we tend to jump on a cause and forgot all the peripheral stuff. As people who want to save the integrity of a breed of dogs we must concentrate on the total picture. This is but one small piece. Thanks go out to the Cascade Pembroke Welsh Corgi Club for arranging this conference and making it affordable.

Mark Thorson photo

Next week the Nugg-man and I get a bit of one on one time. The two of us will drive eight hours to Boise, Idaho for four days of shows arranged by his Grandma and Aunty Kims. I hate to say it, but we have never had extensive one on one time. Just training time here and there. Gma Kim promises help on some training for both of us. Mostly I look forward to bringing the fun back into this sport. We have decent ring times that will allow for morning grooms. The numbers are good, and the company great. Will Polly Putt-Putt increase her point values? Will Nuggie get his first? Stay tuned...there is WiFi at the fairgrounds so the laptop will be going along for updates.


Tuesday, October 5, 2010

3 days, 3 dogs

90 degrees and a small camper.

All packed and headed out, and I wondered what I had forgotten...
there is always something...

The dogs were wonderful. I could not have been happier with them. Henry and Kate were along to support their little brother, and because I didn't want to deal with boarding them. I was glad I had them all. Each plays a specific role in my life and helps keep me balanced. Yep, I was going to say "sane" but I think the jury is still out on that one.

The setting was gorgeous. Across the small road from the truck was the Columbia river. Woody Guthrie was in my head the entire weekend. The Blue Bridge not only bore the flag that we saluted each morning, but also the lights.

Roll on, Columbia, roll on, roll on, Columbia, roll on
Your power is turning our darkness to dawn
So roll on, Columbia, roll on.

As a kid we did a lot of car camping each summer. We visited the many important places around the state. All of the parks saw our boat of a station wagon, and I remember visiting many dams as well. The Grand Coulee gave Dad a chance to talk state history; which seemed a passion of his. His words echoed in my head each night as I went to bed with that river at my head.

On day two I realized what I had forgotten. Shoes. Matching ones anyway. Yep. Four hours of driving away were the two matching shoes that made a real set. sigh. If they could make sensors in prosthetic feet perhaps I would have noticed. But they don't and I sure as heck was not going to make an eight hour drive for a shoe. All was fine. No one was checking out my shoes anyway. Because, you see, we had the absolute best, most stunning, best groomed, most perfect, winningest, doggies in our camp. Bar none. And many were pups. Not cutesy little puppy breath pups, but stunning little show dogs. And the best of the best. I held my head high as I walked my guy around and the voices became hushed. I hadn't a clue.

First of all we had a warm water dog wash that Jason and Alta bring with them. Warmed by a propane tank, it was awesome! Quite a number of folks would stop by in the early hours hoping to get in a quick wash before we got up. It was not to be, as my dogs are up by five. On day two one person did actually approach me inquire as to the ownership. After a day in the 90 degree heat she wanted to use it for her hair. I had already planned the same thing; there were no showers in the bathrooms. (I owe you propane $$, Jason.) At 6am I figured it was not good to wake anyone so we both did a quick wash and felt renewed. I think my dogs were hoping that MY use of the sprayer meant they were safe from it. They quietly watched from their pens after being sworn to secrecy.

Then there is the fact that people had set up encampments according to breeding lines. We could sit and stare at the river. They could sit and stare at us. (Perhaps it was my shoes that were so fun to look at?) I am not a mingler. I hated junior high dances. I felt fourteen again. I just got busy. Nuggie buggie got some last minute work and training. He is easy for me to lose myself in.

The classes came and the classes went. I just got more and more confused. I was beginning to think I understood what judges were looking at or for in this crazy breed of dogs. (NOT!) So I concentrated on my dog. After all, he is perfect, you know!

So, I came home a wee bit wiser. We came home tired. I came home appreciating the people I have met along the way. We came home with a few dollars and more toys. Best of all, I came home knowing that I am on the right path.

Well, in truth, best of all were all the pictures that were taken of my little pup dog.

Thanks to good friends Machelle, Jesse and family for the visit and support. I miss my motorcycle buddies and being so close to them, yet hooked to the camper meant they had to come to me, and they did. Machelle also came armed with her camera.

Mark and Kim also carry their camera and are pros at stacking and directing for the perfect shot.

possible website photos

The opening photo will be copied onto to canvas for my wall. I love Nugget's eye. He really performed this weekend, and he did it because he wanted to please me. What more could anyone want??

This one grabs me as well...

Thanks, friends. You are all why I do this.