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!!!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sounds Like Life.....

On Tuesday, I said "see you later" to my best friend and helped her cross the rainbow bridge.  She had been falling, was getting stuck in the doggie door, and couldn't get that back leg up under her back end resulting in a lot of front end scooting.  I took her out to the new ranch knowing that I might find some answers out there.....and I did.  As I lifted Snook from the car, gently setting her down by the barn, she wandered a bit, falling more than usual from the terrain and rocks and rolling hills.  She wandered back to the car and asked to be put back in.  I my heart of hearts, it was time.

I brought Snook home wondering what I could do to help her celebrate her life and send her off knowing the depth of my gratitude and love.  I'd kept her far longer than any spin on the sheep, so we had a sprinkler party instead.  Her standing and snapping at the water drops as the stream flew by on it's next round.  The thing about Snook was, she was all about fun but wanted me to always be a part of it.  As she snapped at the water, she would glance over as if to ask, "did you see that?!"  My other dogs are more independent, but Snook, I was the center of her life from day one.  Being a big girl, she was always front seat ride-along dog....and I liked it that way.  She was never a dog to run ahead unless sent in fun.  She excelled in arena trials..where I could be right there....together a team of friendship and trust.  That was my Snook girl.  In later life, as age and pain made truck rides too hard on her, she would lay by the door waiting for me to return from my chores and trips.  She always knew I'd be back so she would wait.

After our fun in the water, we went to Dairy Queen, Snook and me.  We shared an ice-cream and cuddled in the back of the car.  It was a good day.  I miss her now...her bed by the side of my bed is empty.  Her food bowl sits on the counter, and the arms length of pill bottles are lined up right next to it.  I'm not ready to change much....the change will happen soon enough with the big move.  The dogs adjust but aren't as edgy as I though they would be.  I think Snook's lack of mobility had already changed the pack's dynamics.  Regardless, I miss her beyond words and I can't seem to stop missing her.  I'm working on the good and fabulous memories...which there are many....but the sadness shadows them.  I need to write her life out, sort through my is just taking time to be ready to go there.

But life goes on.....the dog yard is almost finished at the new place and I'm moving.  It's a good distraction, a noble distraction...a dream come true distraction.  On the day's I'm not making a load with the stock trailer, I am weeding and getting fields ready for sheep.  I'm taking the dogs out and letting them run around while I work.....getting them used to the idea of the move.  They LOVE it out much to do and a bit of trouble to get into.  I have NOT taken them to the pond yet.....I don't want Sis, the water dog to know about it just yet.

As much as I love and miss Snook, I know, as long as I live.....I need to seize each day.  I am making memories and building relationships each and every day.  I think that is the passing gift Snook gave me: to not dwell on the sadness and missing and wishing things were different......instead to find the gifts in what is for the today.  For me, it is a choice....mindful living, seizing the day.  I think the dogs help me do most certainly is how they live.  And somehow, I want to believe that Snook is right here with me in spirit......enjoying the move in her perfect Heavenly body........or at the least smiling down from Heaven knowing how much she is deeply loved.

Seize the Day!!!

Wednesday, July 1, 2015


A couple weeks ago, I read NVShadowBCs-Noggin' Doggin blog...."not a destination, but rather a way of TRAVELING."  It's a good read....I love how she lives her life....authentic, real, focused on allowing for amazing (my view of her life).  One time, a few years back, at a sheepdog trial, we talked about creating a MECA....and here she is her dream.  She wrote to my comment,  "When I started out, there were very little resources for this journey.  I looked at what I didn't have.  Being surrounded by positive mentors/open hands opened my eyes, all the components were here all along.  Just in a different form.  The right set of glasses and viola a Mecca."

My husband always tells me, when you are mountain biking, you need to look at where you want to go.  If you look at what you don't want to hit, you hit it. But if you look ahead to where you want to go.....that is where you end up. I find life is a lot like that as well......takes some discipline to look where you want to go.

I've loved my little slice of Heaven out in the country.  It was big enough to train dogs and small enough for me to manage, mostly by myself.  As the kids left home, and I began to get a little older, the driving to and fro left me making changes to accommodate the responsibilities of home life.  Last year, I gave up on lambing; this year, I cut back on numbers.  My dream was to live where the sheep live......maintain one able to walk out to tuck the chickens in for the night instead of driving 15 minutes one way.  The quest began about 5 years ago and got real serious in the past two.  I haunted multiple listing sights and stalked Zillow.  We checked out property in Scio; amazing, beautiful, serene...then I asked my hubby to visualize the drive home from work on a rainy winter day in December, when the dark pulls the covers up good at all.

I began to feel like Goldilocks.......this one is too small, this one is too far out, this one too much money, this one is too NOT ME!  I'm country....not big beautiful show piece of a home girl.  Harvesting Christmas trees with a helicopter on the 20 acres right next to the house doesn't work for me either.  I mean who can do outruns though Christmas trees??

A realtor friend had called us two years ago about a place she was listing. At that time, I was not interested.  After searching for two years and narrowing the musts between the two of us...when the for sale sign was put at the entry....I called our friend.  And the rest is they say.

I'm not a girl that cries easily but there are days when I tear up about the amazing journey that brought me to my new home.  Hubby laughs and says he did not ever think in a million years we would find a place that met both of our "Must Lists" needing a barn and property for the sheep and dog work....him needing a doable drive to work and room for his hobbies.  When I travel with the dogs or do outside work, the place is close enough for hubby to help with dogs left home.  All the little details addressed as if the whole place were built for ME!

The barn was built in 1863 and has been restored on the outside.  I've always wanted a historical home but knew it could be a marriage stressor.....things can go so wrong with history in a house. But the barn....sigh.....I can futz around to my heart's content, chatting with the resident barn owl and listening for voices from the past as the hay was put in, horses tended and later, cows milked.

I find it hard to put into words the amazingness of this journey.  The feelings of blessing and gratitude and amazement overwhelm me in that good deep down in my soul way.  I know there are new journeys to seize, things to sort, creativity to find....but for now.....I feel like I have come HOME.

Indeed....."the right set of glasses".

Seize the Day!!!!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Pause Button

I've got more life lessons to write about.....important things that I don't want to forget.  The memories come back to me at the weirdest of times; night, as I lay in bed thinking, or while I am showering, and of course driving....those are the best of thinking and remembering times.

Today, I hit the pause button.  I'm sitting on the couch with my 14 year old Jack Russell Terrier, Ruby.     She was born in front of the fireplace and lived in my son's closet the first few weeks of her life.  Her mama, Summer, tried to move the whole litter under Jake's bed so many times that we compromised. Summer finally gave up the moving of the puppies to settle into the closet and Ruby grew up right next to Jake.  Ruby Tuesday is the "old girl" of my pack.

I homeschooled my son, Jake for three years, third through fifth grade.  One day, early in his homeschooling experience, Jake was watching the Animal Planet and dog agility came on.  Some of the folks were competing with JRTs and we had a JRT...must be fate.  We went on-line, ordered our free Clean Run magazine, found a local WAG competition, attended, was introduced to a trainer...and thus started our journey into the world of agility.

Ruby was a fast learner as well as a fast runner.  In practice, she rocked and Jake loved the training.  It all went to hell at trials though.  Ruby was a mama's girl and the stress of trailing had her leaving the ring to find me.  Many a run, I had to sit in the car and not watch...and many more runs,when I tried to watch, Ruby would sniff me out and leave her boy dog-less in the ring:  Not a good recipe for success.  So Ruby was bequeathed to me the day Jake was given Spark and together Ruby and I joined in the agility fun.

14 1/2 years, time has faded Ruby's red patches and her body is giving her issues.  She leans here against my leg, swaddled in a big downy comforter.  She's been off and on food for the past 9 months; I've been able to nurse her back to eating with rotisserie chicken and peanut butter.  It's been a long four days, she feels miserable and I know.  I'm digging deep to be a promise keeper again.  I cannot imagine my life without this girl, she who sleeps cuddled up against me at night.

There is a lot of change happening in my life right now.  I am getting ready to move...the dream come true sort of move.  I have hoped that my old girls would get a taste of living my dream.  I wrestle with myself...over and over...not wanting to fail Ruby, or Snook for that matter, with extra days of pain on my behalf but not wanting to shorten their lives by one day if it is not time.  How does a one know?  I read about the dogs that get to spend the last days doing what they love before they cross the rainbow bridge.  I know I have taken both my dogs past living those days.....Snook's back end won't allow her to work sheep and her pain won't allow her a truck ride while Ruby won't eat so Dairy Queen is out.  I sit here, hugging her and petting her and whispering my sweet gratitude into her ear.   This little neurotic, separation anxiety filled JRT who wormed her way into my heart, deep into the middle and filling up so much room.  She has loved sick days....any warm body on the couch was her definition of the best of days.  When Jake had knee surgery....she felt bad for him but was so happy for herself.....she has loved each and every couch day with any of her boys.  She has chased my lawn mower with gusto and barked herself horse at me.  She has thieved the garbage can under the sink so many nights that it is tied shut in her honor.  She has welcomed in all of the dogs that have crossed my threshold, tolerated some and embraced others.  I know there are days before Ruby, but I don't remember them as vivid as the days since she came into this little Bat Girl.

Change is coming....some of it so amazing I'm left breathless but I tread slowly hitting the pause button for just a few more days with one of my best friends.

Seize the day.