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Sunday, August 29, 2010

There's "suck" and then there's ...


I don't know why I waste my time.

Stood at the post today, and sent Echo.  For a minute there, she was running out there to go pick up the sheep.  I thought for a second that I might be in the clear. 

She gets to the little tree/bush/flower island she stopped at yesterday, and stops.  And pees.  And sniffs.  So I whistle her out of it, around it, and she finds another spot.  And another spot.  (Picture this ... trial is adjacent to a long pond.  Setout is at one end of the pond and the post is at the other end of the pond ... all on the same side.)  She manages ... just by her presence ... to push she sheep to the opposite side of the pond.  She's not engaged.  She's not working.  Her brain is completely disconnected.  So, I go over to the other side of the pond, and try to get her to pick up the sheep.  In the meantime, the host's lovely wife comes over and says, "I got it, Jodi."  I said, "No, that's ok.  Thanks.  We need to clean up the mess.  It'll be a good lesson for her."  So I send her.  The host's lovely wife then sends her dog, too.  I call Echo off and walk away.  Nothing more for me to do there.

I am on my walk of shame back to my truck, and I pass by the owner of Echo's sire.  He's a big hat.  He says, "Hi Jodi."  Yes, hi.  I'm sure he's very proud.

And this is a local trial!  Could you imagine if I traveled to like Western Washington or some other fancy shit to do this? We can't manage to make it around a dinky little course right here in Boise.  There's no way I'd go do this anywhere else.

Why do I do it at all?  I have no idea.  To get my dogs out there on different sheep in different locations?  Nope, I do that already.  To prove my dogs?  To who?  Everyone else?  I guess so, considering I don't need to prove them to me.  Why am I proving my dogs?  I don't know.  It's not like I breed multiple litters a year, and need my dogs to do well at trials or anything.  I don't teach lessons so I don't need the success of doing well at trials.  So why do I bother?  I don't have a clue.

Next weekend will be much more fun.  Two of my very good friends are coming up to see me from L.A.  So now, this week, I get to scrub the house from top to bottom and prepare to party for three days straight!  :-)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Fair Lady

The Echo Monster.

AKA ... Donut-Ass.

She's in full blown heat.  Standing heat.  Porn doggy heat.  And we were entered in the Western Idaho Fair stockdog trial.

Gorgeous gorgeous day.  Tomorrow is supposed to be the same.

Runs were going along like clockwork.  In fact, we got to run twice due to low entries. 

Pro-novice course.  Outrun, lift, fetch, round the post, drive, crossdrive and pen.  Not huge.  Cooperative sheep.  No problem, right?



C'mon Echo.  Outrun.


Quit sniffing the ground.  You won't find them at the exhaust.  Yes, there's hot guys here, but that's not what we're here for.  Go get the sheep.  THAT way.  Go.  Now.  Hurry.  Everyone is waiting.  Echo ... please don't make me go all the way down there.  Go on.  Away to me.  Quit it ... that's not a rest area.  Away to me.  See those sheep right there?  Bring them here, ok?  C'mon.

Nevermind.  I'll go get them myself.


Second run.

I told her ... "I hope you're all sniffed out ... and pee'd out ... and poop'd out ... and got your head screwed on straight ... because if you don't, I'll run Zip tomorrow instead."

That seem to have worked ... sort of.  After a long pause at the top of the outrun, she finally got around them and fetched them.  Because the top of her outrun was very flat, it caused the sheep to go sideways way off line, and then once she finally lifted them, her fetch was straight as an arrow ... but about 30 yards to the left of where we needed to be.  I left it alone.  Was just glad I didn't have to hop my fat ass down to the setout again.  We drove to the first panel, and missed it by "that" much, crossdrive was effective, but nothing to write home about, hit our second set of panels, and then moving to the pen.  I had my back to the pen as I was walking over there so I could make sure she was holding the draw, and all of a sudden, I was at the pen.  The pen was just an open pen with a wing on one side.  Everyone stood at the wing and put the sheep in that way.  When I got to the pen (unknowingly), I was already standing on the opposite side, which turned out perfectly, and the sheep went right in.  I took it.  Couch told me he hit me for a couple of points for not standing on the right side of the pen.  I called bullshit on him, and said if we weren't allowed to stand on "that" side, he should have told us.  I'm left-handed, you know!

Not like those couple of points made or broke THAT run.  Ha.

The good thing is ... we didn't send sheep into the fair.  We didn't chase any.   We didn't eat any.

That ... made it worth it.

More tomorrow.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Richard Swafford is at it again ...

I was browsing Puppyfind ... and noticed a familiar sort of listing.

Just the puppy's name.  "Freckles M1" <--- I recognized the style.

The breeder information: 

Alice Andersen
Member Since: January 6th, 2010
Location: Lafayette, TN, United States
Telephone: 615-630-8561

The ad says these particular pups worth $200 and then says: 


Pretty familiar, no?

If that wasn't enough, I clicked to see all listings by that breeder and found 19 PUPPIES

All pretty circumstantial, eh?  That's what I thought.  Even though the photos are taken in a pretty familiar style also.

So I googled the phone number.

Came up with a link to a Craigslist listing.  Here is the text, because I'm sure the ad will be deleted at some point.

1999 Dodge Caravan - $1800 (Portland)

Date: 2010-08-20, 12:35AM CDT
Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?]


Automatic. Good tires. Avg 26 mpg. Professionally rebuilt transmission. Please contact Richard, 615-325-9144 or 615-630-8561

•Location: Portland
•it's NOT ok to contact this poster with services or other commercial interests

(photos intentionally omitted.)

So you google the other number listed and this is what you find:

Phonebook results for 615-325-9144
R Swafford   (615) 325-9144   Portland, TN 37148-0000  
Richard Swafford   (615) 325-9144   243 N Centerpoint Rd,  Portland, TN 37148-4864
 Doesn't that suck?

A Genetically Modified Diet

There is just no getting away from GENETICALLY MODIFIED FOOD.  Sugar beets have been grown with genetically modified seed, too???  Are you kidding me? 

And doctors and stuff wonder why people are so sick. 


You know ... I can grow my own pig, my own lamb, my own eggs, but really ... I don't have the time, energy or knowledge to grow and process my own sugar.  And without it, you can't really even make ... bread.


Sunday, August 22, 2010

An A.D.D. Post

I love walking the irrigation canals.  I have been taking Reese along with me, getting her used to staying with me off leash and just generally hanging out without having to be doing something all the time.

She's been pretty good.  Today, though, she saw a duck, the duck saw her (not my ducks ... just a wild duck), and took off.  Reese ... took off too!  I had nothing.  I had to wait until the duck flew off before I could regain what I felt was control of her again.  And snapped on the leash.  Yeah.  I'm not an adrenaline junkie. 

We've been going down to visit my neighbors several times a week.  Right next door to me is a very nice couple, Diane & Dale, who own what I believe is an adorable little mini Aussie maybe?  Something along those lines.  Next to them is Diane's parents.  Wonderful people!   Oh what I wouldn't do to have my parents alive, together, and living right down the canal from me.  Anyway, here's Diane's dad.

He comes down and sprays my weeds on my part of the irrigation canal, and he and his wife, Brooke have been keeping me in a pretty constant supply of very yummy tomatoes!  I really enjoy going down and sitting on their deck with and just shootin' the breeze.  Lovely lovely folks.  (Brooke didn't want her photo taken, and being that I'm the same way, I totally understand!  I hope to get one of the two of them together some day though.  I'll plant the seed and see what happens.)

The other night, after visiting with them, I was walking home in the dark and was admiring the moon.  So I took a couple of pictures of it.  And then started messing with the camera.  Have you ever seen the moon ... like this?

... or this?

And here's a car passing by.

Ok ... changing subjects.

Bread.  I've been baking a lot of bread.  I had a friend that used to be a baker, and she tried -- without much success due sheerly to my stupidity, I guess -- to teach me how to make bread.  I have just been doing it and learning how to do it by the old trial and error method.  More error than trial, until recently.  I am now able to do this pretty consistently now.  And have it come out pretty yummy.

Went over to Dean (now I'm second-guessing myself and am not sure if his name is Dean or Doug ... there's his daughter Diane, and his son-in-law, Dale, and now I'm confused ... even though I come from an extensive line of J's) and Brooke's this afternoon.  Brooke has several hummingbird feeders out, and always has tons of traffic at them.  I finally remembered to bring my camera the last couple of times.

Hmm ... someone doesn't belong here.

And then up either side of their deck, they have this gorgeous trumpet vine growing.

And here's an old '69 Ford camper truck.  Check this thing out.  It's almost like new.  I love it!

I should have taken pictures of the camper part.  Really very cool.

Dean (Doug?) also showed me around Dale's workshop.  He's a woodworker and makes some really gorgeous furniture pieces out of some salvaged wood.  Amazing.  What a great place he has set up.  It used to be Dean and Brooke's barn where they kept their cows.  I drip with jealousy.  I'd love a barn like that. 

So I came home and just putzed around today, not really accomplishing anything amazing.  I took Reese outside to get some photos of her.

See how innocent and cute she is?  Yeah, that's what I was thinking, too, as I was looking at the photos I'd taken in the camera. 

The next photos I take of her look like this:

Why?  Why is she covered in weeds and panting like that you ask?

What's the rush for the water? 

Yeah, well, little Ms. Innocent and Cute dipped under the gate and took off, and basically bowled a strike right down the middle of my very flighty sheep.  I set the camera down, and entered the pasture, making sure to lock the gate behind me, and in the meantime, making sure I wasn't going to get flattened while my back is turned.  Off I go to chase down this very quick little dog.  A couple of times, I got her into a position to call her off, and even envisioned her calling off with me, and while she thought about it, it was a fleeting thought, and off she'd go again.  Ok, so that method didn't work.  Off to the rodeo again.  From one end of the pasture to another, over T-posts, rolls of fencing, weeds chest high, cinder blocks, etc.  It's amazing no one got hurt ... like me!  Picking up a switch and using it like a crook, I was able to push her out a couple of times and get her to go around the sheep.  One thing she didn't care about was the pressure I was putting on her.  I finally got a hold of her, told her what a wonderful little dog she was (even though I wanted to string her up by her ear hairs at the moment) and took her back to the deck.  There were moments of sheer brilliance, and moments of yeah-not-so-much, but all in all, looked like good stuff -- but nothing I want to repeat for at least a couple of months.

And now ... I have three dogs that are magnetized to the front pasture any time a door opens.  It was nice while it lasted.


Saturday, August 21, 2010

Sporter Collies

I googled "Sporter Collie" and came up with the Urban Dictionary version.   Kind of entertaining...

2. sporter collie 6 up, 1 down

Not to be confused with the "border collie", a dog bred as a working stockdog, the sporter collie is a candy colored dog bred for dog sports such as obedience, agility, and flyball. Sporter collies are usually extremely fast, high octane dogs w/o an off-switch, and are sold for $1500+ because they are socialized to mailmen, thunderstorms, and Johnny Cash while still in the womb, and their parents are pretty and good at sports.
Popular producers of sporter collies are Hob Nob, Lock Eye, Rising Sun, and Contact Point.
Person 1: Look at that crazy border collie!! He just won't sit still while he watches all the other dogs do agility!

Person 2: No, that's a sporter collie.

Person 1: Ohh! Well, it sure is pretty."

Friday, August 20, 2010

Change is good...

Ok ... I've updated the blog a bit. I'm not sure I like the format, but we'll see.

Woke up this morning to something in my eye, or so I thought. After futzing with it for several hours, I finally went to the doctor. Turns out I scratched my cornea. Wow, did that ever hurt. It's getting a bit better now ... at least I can keep my eye open.

Slept quite a bit today. It felt better to keep my eye closed.

I love having a locking gate at the end of my driveway. The best part is that I can let my sheep loose and just gate them off from where I don't want them, and have them help me mow the front yard and stuff. It's working out just like I imagined it so many months ago.

Little by little, the irrigation is coming along. In a few small parts of the front pasture, I am seeing new growth on bushes, and actual honest-to-goodness green grass! I'm on the right track. It's going to take a while to get it to look like the pastures on "Dallas," but we're headed in the right direction.

I miss Jag. Big time. Still.

He used to cross his paws like that all the time.  He was so soft.  And he was great to cry on.  Great to hold.  Great to curl up with.  Great to talk to.  There will never be another like him.   I wish this would stop being so friggin' raw.  The tears keep coming.

Echo's in season.  She's not a donut-ass yet, but I'm sure she will be by the time the trial rolls around next weekend.  Yikes.  That'll be fun.  She's working pretty nicely for me right now, though.  Worked her at DC's last night on his whole flock again and did some more shedding.  I'm sure my method sucks, and I'll have to start taking some lessons with Dianne to work it out, but at least she's comfortable coming into the pressure like that.  And we're working on walking right into the entire flock and holding them from the draw.  It's taught me a lot, and it's giving her the confidence to work the heads.  At the same time, I've been working with her and actually helping her with her inside flanks.  Now that that little sentence is out of my mouth, I am sure she will make me look like a complete liar next weekend.  That's okay, though.  She's mine, and I get to take her home afterwards.  That's the only prize I need.

On the BC Boreds, there's a conversation about Pet Homes v. Working Homes, and the responses are interesting.  The conversation has morphed into how working breeders should place their pups in order to be able to evaluate the litter later in life, and whether or not they should sell to pet/sport homes or not.  One of the responses was this (justifying why the person would go to a sport breeder):

"I want a pup who has been socialized and well-prepared for the life it's going to lead. It just makes sense when you think about it. For me, that's sports, where the dog will have to tolerate crowds, noise, airports, elevators, etc... If I was a working farmer looking for my next stockhand, I doubt I'd care about that kind of stuff."

Yes, that's because "farmers" (i.e., those that farm crops) do not use working dogs to help plant crops anyway, but that's besides the point.  For the purpose of the conversation, I will assume she meant "ranchers."  I love the notion that ranchers don't care if their dogs can go out in public because those ranch dogs live their entire lives on ranches because the ranchers never leave their ranch -- and especially not with the dog.  And this is all coming from someone who obviously doesn't have a clue what ranch life is in the first place considering she doesn't know the difference between a farmer and a rancher.  And we wonder why these dogs get a bad rap.

I don't know about you, but what I've seen are the dogs that have been raised on ranches where they are out of working parents and the pups bred for the right (i.e. working livestock) reasons, the pups are easy to train, easy to socialize, and keep their heads about them for the most part.  The pups you see from these sport breeders that have been bred for "speed," or "temperament," or "agility," or whatever other stupid reason people breed non-working Border Collies, the pups have issues.  Not all of them, mind you, but I notice a lot of them are extremely soft, noise sensitive, and go through quite a few "fear periods."  But if people want to keep buying Sporter Collies, more power to them.  I hope eventually the breed really splits into Working Border Collies, Barbie Collies, and Sporter Collies.  But it won't.  Because it's not politically correct -- even though it's extremely accurate otherwise.


I'm just glad that there will always be breeders who breed working dogs.  Real working dogs.  And no, agility is not work.  Neither is flyball, or obedience, or any other little doggie sport you're playing.

Ok ... enough of that.

I've got some photos to edit, and maybe I'll do that this weekend.  I'd also like to get some photos of Reese for her page.  I'll probably change the blog a few times before settling on something I can tolerate for a while.  I'd like to come up with a logo, but I suck at that part.  If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.  Just a simple "KPR" design would work, or something ... not sure.

I hope my eye feels better tomorrow so I can get some stuff done around here.  Being that I'm gone all next weekend, it's not leaving me much time before Jennie and Cheryl (friends from L.A.) come up for Labor Day Weekend.  I'd like for them to see my house looking good, but it's not looking like it's going to happen.  Ugh.

More later,

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Here's the view from my living room on a cloudy day from a crappy photographer (I can never get the depth right -- or even close -- when I take photos of this pasture).

As you can see, there's quite a bit of stuff for them to munch down in here.  It will be interesting to see how long it takes them.  There's six of them, actually.  Pepe (my ram), a ewe that's about 4 years old, a yearling, and three of this year's lambs.  Right now, it's hard to find them amongst all the brush in here.  Once they chew it down, it will reveal all the crap in this pasture, i.e. rocks, large sticks, cinder blocks, trash, etc.  The other pasture was worse.

Here are my new residents, some more "temporary" than others:

I bought 15 of them yesterday, and came home today five short.  So we'll see how long they last.  I've had mixed reviews -- some say yes this works great, others that say they've never been able to get them to survive.  I wonder if it would have helped if I would have started out with bigger fish.

Evidence of great news!

Green = water flowing through here!  Woo hoo!  The hard work is paying off.

Remember the bush in the pasture I was chopping on the other day when I found a nest with at least one egg in it?  Well, I went to check on it today, and this is what I saw. 

I stepped a little closer, and she took off.  Don't ask me what I had to do to get this shot.

What do you call a baby dove?  (If you're going to tell me that this photo is out of focus, you'd better say it as you're running away from me.)

And in focus or not, have I told you lately how much I love this face?

There are people ... in Minnesota ... that would tape these ears up for months on end with all kinds of glue and tape and tampons and foam and insoles and all kinds of crap.  Isn't that horrible????  I think her ears are perfect just the way they are ... one on each side of her head and they both seem to work.

And these girls are getting very pretty also.  (I don't want to speak too soon, but I think these are all girls ... I don't see any curly tails yet, although, I don't know how old they have to be before it's a for-sure thing.)

They need to get busy layin' me some eggs, though.  I'm down to two nasty chicken eggs.  Looks like I'll have to buy more of those, though, before this cackling bunch gets around to helpin' me out.

Here's the backyard (where the ducks are).  You can see the green -- evidence of the irrigation -- and the sheep are no longer back here, so it will start to really sprout now.

There are always branches laying around this place, it seems.  I guess that just means I have plenty of mature trees, which is great for keeping the house cool.  I didn't really notice when taking the photos, but the trees are looking much better this year now that they have some water being fed to them periodically.  I'll have to take some more photos of the trees and do a comparison from last year ... and then see how much they improve next year. 

Here's the pig pen ... just waiting for its new resident.  First weekend in September, we'll be picking up Bacon II.  Or ... Wilbur, as I've been calling him.  Note to self:  Stop at the Halloween store and pick up Charlotte and some webbing.

I made a lame attempt (too lazy to even pull the hose out of the way) at getting a mother/daughter photo ... first ever.  Echo was not being nearly as cooperative as Reese, so I pulled the old kitty trick on her.  "psss pss pss ... here kitty kitty" ... gets her attention every time.  Reese, however, knew I was teasing and found it quite entertaining.

It's about as close as I came to getting a "worth it" shot.  Here's a couple of individual shots.

Mr. Photogenic Zip.

And Echo ... with duck bokeh.

That's all for now!

Monday, August 9, 2010

Gettin' there ...

Well, the front pasture now has fence all the way around it.  None of the fence has been stretched or secured to the t-posts yet, but for now, it's at least making the sheep think they can't get out.  I have about 5 more T-posts to do, then I can stretch the whole thing and secure it all.  The hard part is done.  Finally.

Took a weed down to the neighbor for him to identify it for me.  Turns out it's milkweed.  Anyway, got into a pretty chatty conversation and am learning about the different characters that live in this area.

The clickercrackheads are everywhere.  Watch out for them.  They're coming soon to a theater near you ... and they will tell you how to train your dogs.

Oh, speaking of training dogs, Echo has been quite out of control lately.  I'm having a hell of a time handling her.  I hear that homeopathic remedies work great, so I have decided to clickertrain her in the fine art of smoking pot.



With the Western Idaho Fair trial coming up, I am so glad I found something that will calm her down just a bit so that she doesn't end up eating any more of Don's sheep this year.  We might be able to get around the course.

One can hope.


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Front Pasture

For those who haven't seen it, this is the pasture I'm busy fencing.

If I turn to my left a bit, this is what I have:

Seeing how nasty that looked, I went out and worked on that big bush for about an hour, pulling out and chopping out old, dead branches.  At one point, a dove scared the daylights out of me as it flew out of the bush.  I figured she had a nest in there, and at the time, could care less.  Until, of course, I saw it.  Then all production on the bush stopped. Here's what it looks like now.

Yeah, doesn't look a whole lot different after all that work I just did.  Frustrating.  After this project is done (remember, I am only about 1/2 way through the fencing, although, I'm keeping the sheep in this pasture anyway ... the brush is so thick, they don't know they can leave yet), I have a few more things I want to do ... like pull out these dead grasses and decide whether to take out this tree:

Another undertaking is going to be cutting this bush down to size.  I took the shot just as a truck passed by so you can get an idea of the true size of it.  I'm sure it hasn't been trimmed back in a dog's age:

Oh and if anyone has any ideas how to slow the growth of algae in the water trough, please let me know.  It seems that heat + water = algae, period.  But if there's something I can do ... apart from emptying and scrubbing and bleaching as often as i do ... I'd love to hear it.

And here's one of my guilty pleasures.  I love these little guys.  I have 8 of them.  They're Phyllis' Cayuga ducks that I am growing out for her.  Their wings are just starting to get iridescent and their heads are starting a bit also.

I can't wait for them to start laying eggs.  Chicken eggs suck.

Anyway, I guess I need to decide if I'm going to continue fencing, or take a nap.


Fences ...

There are a lot of people that don't really understand the level of work it takes to run even a small place like mine. When I say to them, "Yeah, I've got to put up some fencing this weekend," I'm sure 90% of them have never driven a T-post into the ground, no less 40 of them in a couple of hours. Even taking a large roll of fencing and putting it where you need it and rolling it out is probably harder physically than what most city people do in a week, nevermind stretching it and wire-wrapping it to the t-posts. And my place is tiny. While it's the same type of fence, and the same type of work as is needed for a large place, it's small beans in comparison. Sure, I need to fence in my six sheep the same as a real rancher would need to fence in his 2,000 sheep because sheep are sheep, and they poke their heads through whatever they can, and their feet are sure to follow, but I couldn't imagine trying to fence in a large place myself ... not with a full-time job and a life (as pathetic as it may be), anyway.

I have a splinter and I can't get it out.

Was cleaning off the BBQ tools off the deck yesterday, and a bee ... just as random as hell ... decided to sting me on the inside of my leg. The last time I was stung by a bee, I was pregnant with Justin and ended up in the hospital. So, when I got stung, the first thing I did was "phone a friend" in case I passed out. Good thing I called Teresa. She gave me some great advice as I was whining about how much the little friggin' thing hurt. She said, "baking soda and water ... make a paste out of it, and slap it on the sting." Worked like a charm. The good news is, I am not allergic to bees. The better news is, according to the numbers, I am probably not due to be stung again for another 21 years. The bad news is ... there are plenty of bees here. Oh well.

The fencing is waiting for me. I popped several posts into the ground this morning, laid out the other roll of fencing and propped it up, and laid out all of the needed t-posts. I actually sorted my t-posts, not only by size, but by color. Hopefully, when I am done, this won't look all obnoxious. The ugly white vinyl fencing give it a "Dallas" appearance, and who would want to mess THAT up?

I was fartin' around on the internet a bit ago, and popped on to one of the many "puppymill" sites I have save in my favorites, and found this gem. She was talking about and upcoming litter, and basically, paraphrased, the announcement went something like:

We couldn't find anyone else, so we've decided to use our own dog on her -- and he just happens to be a perfect match, which is why we have been looking all over the place for a stud dog in the first place. And the perfect one was right under our nose all along! Imagine that.

And then ... no joke ... word for word:

"He is a star hearding dog, and has loads of talent."

Yes, yes ... I'm sure.  I wonder what he "heards."  I am sure tons of people who need "hearding" dogs will be knocking down the door to get a pup from this litter.


Anyway, yesterday, I brought in a Great Pyr to see if he would stay with the sheep.  I cried when I met him; I miss Jag so bad.  Still.  I promised myself I would keep my focus, and that if he didn't stay with the flock, he was not going to become a house pet.  Well, as cute as he is, he didn't stay with the flock, and found jumping my fence in various places was quite fun.  He liked to yap when I'd walk away from him, and he was quite snuggly.  I had the rescue woman come back and get him before he wormed his way into my house, my life, and ... my heart.  It almost seems inevitable.  While I escaped it this time, I don't really think I'm going to remain that lucky.

Okay, okay.  The fencing is screaming at me now.  Back at it.  More later,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Blog Blahs

Since losing Jag, I'm having a hard time writing. I am not sure why. I hope it passes. So here's a post -- a bit forced -- but a post all the same.

What have I been up to? Not much, really. Mitch and I broke up over "shorts" v. "cutoffs" ... something very substantial. Mature, isn't it? Please don't ever tell him he's wearing shorts. He'll have another heart attack.

I am going to be meeting "Clifford" this week or next or something. Cliff is a Great Pyr from the Idaho Falls shelter. He's 5 years old, and if he works out with guarding my sheep, he'll stay here. Keeping my fingers crossed. The Border Collies here are kind of lost without Jag ... who apparently was their leader of sorts. Zip, Echo and Reese ... do not bark ... at much of anything. Even when they're supposed to. They don't. It's unnerving.

I picked up a ton of my T-posts yesterday and put them out in the pasture. Took a big long roll of fencing and laid it out. I am going to line the while vinyl fence with pasture fence, but the weeds are SO bad along the white fencing, I'm going to have to wait a few days to put the fence up. My neighbor came by and sprayed the fenceline for me, so I will be able to get this taken care of. I know there are some judgmental people out there who feel I should have done this a long time ago, and who feel if it was up to them, they would have done it ten times by now ... and to them, I say, good for you. Everyone wishes they could be perfect like you.

The irrigation ... where the water comes across the foot of my driveway ... that's an interesting process. There are concrete blocks buried in the ground side by side by side, which forms a "pipe" of sorts underground right there. The problem is ... there's dirt packed firmly in there, along with roots and rocks and stuff. I've had to dig all of those concrete blocks up, line them out and spray them clean so I can put them back in and hopefully get the water flowing properly. I bought some welded wire mesh stuff to make a screen to put on either side. I imagine it will take some practice to get all this running correctly, and that's ok. The main goal for this year is getting the entire place fenced and irrigated. Yeah, that's it. That's all measley old me can do. I know there's other women out there that could have run circles around me, and would have had a full blown garden in, all pasture grass planted and probably even put in an escalator to go from the bottom of the driveway to the top, but not me. It's going to take some time, unfortunately. I wish I could be a superhero, but for now, I'll have to just live vicariously through others.

Went on a date Thursday night. Gorgeous guy, perfect gentleman ... hoping I get to see him again.

I miss Jag.

Something awful.

The dogs are all doing well, despite losing their nerve to bark. Yesterday, I took all three of them out to the irrigation canal. I started just grabbing Reese by the scruff, and making no bones about it, throwing her in the canal. It was warm enough out that if something went wrong, I had no problem jumping in and saving her. But I need to know that if she falls in, she'll be ok. And she is. Couple of times I threw her in, so went completely under water, came up without freaking out, swam to the side, got out, shook off, and continued about her way. I love this dog. So, I was hoping that some day she would just jump in after her mother or something.  Here's the VIDEO.

Hee hee ... go Reese!

Oh, I almost forgot to blog about my big trial this weekend!  Whew!  The trial at the Canyon County Fair ... it's in a huge arena ... it's got to be oh, at least 2 1/2 feet long and about 12 inches wide.  Something like that.  The sheep were like 150 years old and quite cooperative.  The course ... outrun, lift, fetch, around the post, drive, crossdrive and pen. Time and points.  The judge was one of Couch's boys.  It was nice to see everyone ... all six handlers.  Drank beer, ran dogs, in the blazing heat, then went to the Keith Anderson concert.  A fun time was had by all.  I could have done without the heat, though.  Really.  It's old now.

I'll try to post more ... and more often.  It's therapeutic in a way.