Friday, October 23, 2015

Windows and Doors, Baby

They say that when God closes a door, he opens a window.......

The day after I put Miss BK down.....THIS happened:

This big gray kitty has been mousing in my field for a few months now.  Appearing feral as the day is long, running when it caught sight of me, I knew it was cavorting in my barn at night.  My game cam caught the cat the night before:

Last evening, I was tucking Hello in for the night...she was talking to me.  And as we chatted, I herd a little whisper meow and looked out to see the gray cat skulking around....looking very hungry. So I grabbed a dish and some kitty food and the rest is feral cat history part two:

I'm not sure where the cat spends her time....I think it is a her.  She is a lovely cat and ever so friendly but thinner than I have ever seen an animal; all ribs and back bone and hair.  I've begun the process of working with the fabulous Feral Cat Society to help get this kitty fixed.

I just read that the community I moved into has a huge feral cat problem.  I'm hoping that I can be a part of the solution......but don't want to become their favorite hangout.  I mean really.....I'm not a crazy cat woman....nor do I ever want to be. But that said, if this cat can have help with the rodents around the place.....she, who is now creatively named Socks...can stay.

Doors and windows, baby.

Seize the day!

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Some Things Change....

I've got that Pretenders song stuck in my head of my favorite Pretenders: Hymn to Her.

"And she will always carry on
Something is lost
But something is found
They will keep on speaking her name
Some things change
Some stay the same.....

I've finally got the dog room/office heading in the right direction as I begin to unload the "guest room", moving my "things" and finding places.  I've got my filming/computer stuff, my dog stuff, my craft and sewing stuff and my memorabilia.  Big mistake opening some of those boxes before my deed was done today. That said, once opened, it is hard to shut the lid on the box of growing up before my eyes, puppies into 15 year old lady dogs....time marches on and I can grieve all I continues to march.  I love love love the genealogy writings done by some relative or another.  I wonder what stories those from days gone by, who share my genetic code, could I reminisce about mine.  Did they have a favorite dog, did they love being a parent to the depths of their soul, did they have friends that would move a body for them??  I think of them often as I look at old pictures and heirlooms that have been passed on, as treasures, to me.

We all have stories....., I think of my animal's sure has been a year of change.

Barn Kitty:  She moved into my little slice of Heaven 10 years ago, living in the hay loft, which was filled to the gills in the days of running 90 sheep.  She had been hit by a car and sported a broken shoulder.  I fed her and told her to stay as long as she liked.  Once she started getting around and feeling better, I realized that she had been somebody's house cat....she was declawed and spayed and about the nicest cat I had ever had.  Well, except when she wasn't because she was pretty bossy and would bite if she was not done with her daily lovings. She decided to stay.  I spent many a long day and longer night with Barn Kitty on my lap as I lambed or taught lessons or just farted around the farm. A little orange tabby cat moved in about 5 years ago and pissed Barn Kitty off (I know...very original name!).  BK moved out and I thought she was gone until orange tabby Cream was hit by a car on the very busy road my barn rested near.  Barn Kitty came right back and staked her claim and no other cat dared to move in since.  Until, Hello, the feral kitty, was dropped off by her even more feral mother.  BK tolerated Hello, in a love/hate sort of way....kicking her ass regularly and feeding Hello's thesis of "negative attention is better than no attention."

And then I moved......slowly, I moved the chickens, then Hello, then the sheep.  Hello was contained in an old milk parlor where I forced her to live until just recently.  I left BK out at the old place, visiting and feeding her once a day......hoping I could have some rhythm in the new and find a creative idea on how to move her.  The little old lady was riddled with arthritis and completely defenseless but she loved her barn and knew how to survive there.  When a human visitor moved in for a time, with her four legged partial pack of canines, Barn Kitty left.  It took me days to find and catch her, at which point I took her to the new place.

I guess my part time attention split between clearing clutter, moving, cleaning and selling, left me surprised at how I did not know how old and feeble my faithful cat had become.  I put her in a huge double crate in the milk parlor with Hello but the move did not go well.  Barn Kitty was getting old, struggled jumping up on a small crate to get to her table when I let her out for her daily pets.  She was not feeling well, not getting around, not digging the change and I knew.  I had to give myself that pep talk..the one about the gift we give our best friends....our pets.  It is always easier to give that pep talk to anybody but myself.  Instead of stress, radical change, and coyotes, I gave my girl peace....which has left me with a huge barn kitty sized hole in my heart.

It has been a year of change for sure.  I've said goodbye to memories stored in the walls of an old milk barn, my home of 20 plus years, my good and faithful heart dog, whom I miss more than words can say.  And then I lift my eyes and look at the amazing dream come true of my new big slice of Heaven and I know.  Deep in the deepest crevices of my soul, I know......this place was made just for me and a time such as this.  The passing of change are life....the pain a good reminder that I do actually have a heart that loves deeply and passionately.  For that, today, I am grateful

Barn Kitty, that'll do.  I'll see you on the other side.......

And she will always carry on
Something is lost
But something is found
They will keep on speaking her name
Some things change
Some stay the same.......

Seize the Day!!!!

Thursday, October 8, 2015


My new place...which will now be know as RDR because it has become the new location for Rocking Dog Ranch.....has not been loved on for many years.  The house and yard...yes....the bottom 40 yes, the top way.  What I thought was green grass, might have been but for the cows who lived here until the very last day they could.  They have grazed and trampled and left cow punching all over this place.  Then there are the thistles and blackberry bushes and hemlock...yes, hemlock....not to mention a few ground hornet's nests.

I begin the work of putting love into the land....trying to sweeten it and seed it knowing next spring will show the fruits of my labor.  While I work, I try to really see what needs that need moved, or places that needs sprayed out when the rain stops.  Oh, and we live off a well traveled road.....

Yesterday, I had the spreader on the four wheeler and I began the task of spreading grass seed.  My four wheeler is also now sporting a new to me sprayer on the a friend gave me to save my shoulders and arms.  I was tootling along minding my own business and studying the ground as I came up over an incline, not used to the new weight of the sprayer while not seeing the T post barely sticking out of the ground. I started pulling right and turned to go with the spreader was a little less agile and I got stuck around that darn T post. My first pickle at RDR.

There I was, right there, largely visible from all the traffic headed to Turner.....stuck.  I tried to lift the darn spreader to move it but it had too much grass seed to even be budged.  I tried to put the four wheeler in reverse and back it all up but the grade of the hill was too steep and the angle of the spreader too jackknifed.  I had a little swearing session and remembered all the pickles I had been in at my other RDR. Oh those were the days.....and I might have taken for granted having really awesome pickle solving neighbors that would eventually come to the rescue and only laughed quietly.

What's a girl to do?  What's a girl to do that is appropriate along side a busy road where pretty much every single passer by was having a little lookie lou at my situation??  I got my hand push spreader, moved the grass seed and spread that steep little incline by hand.  Had to happen my fitbit steps in.....and it emptied the spreader allowing me to move it and get around that stupid tee post  that is in the middle of the field for no reason I can see at this time.

I've decided to apply my efforts to fields off the busy beaten path to Turner.  That way, I can wallow in my pickles without an audience.  I'm looking forward to some good dog work in the coming days.....pickle free!

Seize the Day!

Monday, October 5, 2015

Living the Dream...and All THAT!

You don't get the things you wish for, you get what you work for! 
Sometimes it's really hard and tiring, sometimes you'll feel like it's impossible and you're never going to get there. Sometimes you'll feel like giving up and sometimes you will slip up or throw in the towel. But if you want this, you really want it then you'll have to be strong and resilient, you'll have to be dedicated and you'll have to believe that it's possible to get there. Motivation is a day-to-day thing that you're responsible for, just as you need to be responsible for your actions. - It won't happen accidentally and it won't happen immediately. It's going to take deliberate effort every day and it's going to take hard work and consistency! .
I know I want it, I want to be my best and I want to live my best life possible and I won't give up on myself!
NOW, how bad do YOU want it and what are you prepared to do to get it?? ~Emily Skye

Emily Skye was talking about fitness and health.....however, this really spoke to me this morning as I think of my day ahead...and a bunch of days after I work to beat the rain......oh, living the dream!!  The farmhouse is coming together nicely, my big project is staining the deck as I work on that  goal for timely completion.  

The land...well that is another matter.  No one has loved on this land for years and years.  I have weeds beyond the wildest imagination....thistles of every single variety and I think they have been cross breeding!  And then there is the dreaded  Mother of all Weeds....I've been putting on a backpack sprayer and walking daily.....hoping it counts as exercise and living with arms going numb at night.  

Then there were the coyotes that came in close last night......yipping and barking behind the sheep loafing shed.  I laid in bed contemplating getting up with my big flashlight and going out to scare them......all the while praying the little fence zapper is enough for now to zap those bastards.  

Here is what I am learning:

1) friends are amazing and the good stuff of life.  A good friend gave me a sprayer for the back of my four wheeler.  I now can carry 15 gallons of "die dreaded weeds" and still spot spray!  In addition, I have some pretty great rye grass to spread.

2) Dreams come with learning experiences.....and I have a lot of those to fall back on from previous "living the dreams".  Sheep with polio...well, I was able to see the symptoms pretty darn fast and treat with Thiamine and Banamine giving that particular sheep more time to live the dream with me.  I know what the dreaded Mother of all Weeds looks like in the infantile, easy to kill stage....and knowing that is powerful.

3) Hard work can be good for the soul....well at least mine.  I love getting down and dirty and then love even more sitting back and admiring my handy work.  As I make my list of things-to-do, it gets longer and longer but I am sorting out priority.  I think fencing my bottom 40 has begun to rise to the top...with that fenced, it will allow for grazing and dog work while I sort my closer pastures.  

I'm working on the allowing as well:  knowing I am right where I am supposed to be.  Being grateful as I go to bed at night for what was accomplished during the it farm work or time with friends.  Finding that balance most certainly top of my to figure out a way to get that pasture fenced so I can work dogs.  Living the dream.........

Seize the Day


Friday, October 2, 2015



Hold on to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble—it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Oo-oo-oo-oo [2x]
Aaa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa-aa. Aa-aa-aa-aaaaaa [4x]

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
'Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

(Come on!)

Ooo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo-oo. Ao-oo-oo-oo [4x]

There are times when I pinch myself to make sure I am not dreaming.  Other times, I have to confess, my emotions take over and I'm stunned.  There is still so much to be done....but little bit, ever diligent the dream becomes my life.  My sheep are here, all tucked into the barn so they don't over eat.  Friends are helping me move my round pen tomorrow....all the little details of moving the ranch come together.....the next chapter unfolds...and it is a doozie!!!! 

In addition to the field work, I'm trying to beat the rain and get the deck stained.  A good friend came saw the place and suggested some needs to pop. So I went with a dark brown and love how it is turning out. The floor is a lighter natural and the dark brown on the hand rail and railing looks great.  Everything takes time...and I know we need the rain...but if I could have just another week.....I could get it done!

It feels so amazing......very much like Home. Dreams really do come true!!!

Seize the Day.......

Saturday, September 26, 2015

2015 Finals...the road less traveled

Thank God for road warrior all I can say today.....a day where there is not enough coffee in the world to make up for the jet lag I feel from 12 hours in the car.  That said, I had a great time, though it was short, at the 2015 Finals in Alturus, CA.

I watched some pretty darn amazing runs!  I saw a fetch, from a top dog and hand, go to hell in a hand basket.  The cool calm of letting go of wrong and staying in the moment, minute by minute, allowing the score to slide the team into the next day's running order...was a lesson to remember!  The maneuvering of a dog on the fetch to "train" the sheep to allow a seamless turn around the post.....bundle that up and put it in my tool box!  And this pen:

that one big high headed range ewe that took the rope out, while she darted off, not giving a though or care to her friends......

the patience and strategy and calm required to complete the pen and move on to the single.....

poetry in motion added to nerves of steel with a side of confidence that comes from experience and genetics.

It was fun seeing friends again... friends that I only see at trials.  I've missed the conversations about dogs and work and ideas and training.  I'm looking forward to getting the dogs thinking about trials again....getting back in the saddle and working on partnership and relationship as my focus.  For me, little pauses are good...its allowed me so much gain and clarity for what is important in my life for sure.

Seize the Day!!!!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Rhythm....Finding a New Groove

I've been living at the new place for two weeks now......the first few days provide quiet challenging.  14 1/2 year old dogs are NOT very pliable...especially if they have only known one home their entire life, from the day they were born in my son's closet.  The days go by and the new rhythm of life starts to form a pattern, a comfortable one at that.

Everything I read about brain development points out the need for change.  Find a new way to drive to work, the articles challenge. Try new things, learn new skills, develop new interests....I get the need to not fall into a rut that lasts a lifetime. On the other hand, for me, I need some consistency; a little bit of routine is good for my soul.

While I work on a new groove, settling the girls into this new life...I'm also working on finding some balance of working on the new list of things to do.  Slowly but surely I will get my sheep and chickens here....I have field work to finish  first.  Field work and fences that need attention....this place used to home cattle and there is barb wire everywhere.  Amidst rhythm I am finding challenge of learning new skills and as always, honing patience.

Life is good.....actually, Life is Great!

Seize the Day!!!