Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Think On This

I'm working on my goals for 2011.  Writing them all out and sorting through like running a marathon for my brain...that is for sure!  No pressure but today is the 29th, best to dig deeper.  Here is a note I got today:

"whilst in the pursuit of a grand and wonderful dream, should you all of a sudden round a bend and see before you an enormous uncharted mountain with towering cliffs, jagged rocks, and seemingly impenetrable walls, just consider it a sign that your dream is considerably more worthwhile than you had previously imagined, and that you are exactly where you're supposed to be."

I'd best go get another cup of coffee before I tackle the goal setting mountain that is before me.  See you on the other side.......

Seize the Day!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

More Wool Crafts

The week before Christmas, I ventured down to Kenleigh Acres Farm.  My friend, Adele, was taking a felted soap class and I thought...what the heck!  Maybe I could cross a few names off my Christmas gift list with a craft project.

Adele brought a felted soap that she made at home.....before she took the class and got the secret "how to's".  I love how she wrapped it in yarn!

Shannon started the class giving the basic instructions....

The whole process was pretty darn simple....wrapping a nice bar of hand-milled soap in wool fibers.....and then taking that wool through the felting process. As the wool became got tighter shrinking onto the soap...sort of like a wool sweater when it is put in a washing machine.  Not that I have ever done anything like that before......

My hands have never been so clean!  Good thing the soap smelled good and was moisturizing!

Here is what Shannon says about felted soap, "The gentle exfoliating wool eliminates the need for a washcloth and shrinks with the soap. When all of the soap is gone, you are left with a nice wool scrubbing pad."

Here is my attempt at felted soap....shown next to Adele's felt soap.....not too bad if I say so myself.

I went home and made another felted soap and gave all my crafty attempts as Christmas gifts.  One friend wants to do a little class with her daughter and a I'll be make a few more of them.  Fun way to be productive during these endless rainy days of winter!

Seize the Day!

Vision Board

Okay, I wrapped up the photo part of my 2011 vision board today!  First, let's start with the board from last year....
It was pretty small (11x17)...and focused on sheepdog trialing...all of it!  It is fun looking at it today!  What was accomplished in 2010 that resembled my vision board?  Well, I am making a recovery from panel-itis. The 2010 board included two large pictures of sheep going straight through the cross drive panels!  Sally and I have put down some real nice runs...hitting panels like the photos I glued down at the end of December 2009.  I also did make it into two double lift final gos.  As I cut out those pictures of Aled Owen and Roy from their winning World Trial was fun dreaming of a day such as that.  To be honest, I have subconsciously looked at my Vision Board sort of blended into my wall, right there beside my computer screen.  As I look at it today, I am synthesising how much it played a role in how my year of trialing played out. 

Here is my Vision/Dream Board for 2011.....well at least parts of it....

Yes that is a tissue covering a more "personal" picture!  One of the web sites I followed in helping me make my board suggested that I put a picture of myself onto the board...this makes it more personal and thus allows your brain to see yourself in all the pictures (or something like that).  So I photo-enhanced a picture of me.....and I did not want to traumatize or be responsible for any coffee spit onto my blog friend's computer screens.  You're welcome!

Here is what is on the board:  1) google earth pictures of fields I would like to haul out to 2) a trip to warm sunny beaches with palm trees 3) Jillian Michaels who would like to shred me for 30 days so I too can be hot 4) sheds, sheds, sheds and more sheds with a pen and a big picture of the 2009 USBCHA finals field 5) England and Wales 6) a made-up picture of a project I am dreaming of.  The board is also huge and I have made it so very much more detailed, including more of my life! 

Today, I begin working on my goals for 2011...I am going to write them out and attach them to the board as well.....

2011.....I hope your ready ........

Seize the Day!!!!!

Monday, December 27, 2010

What Is It About the Holidays!?

Just as I thought I had made it through the holidays unscathed.....successful at being a duck and embracing joy.....I got hit by a truck!  Really...what is it about the holidays that makes for unfilled expectations and let downs?  It's funny...well not really funny but ironical that the more we try to "make" everything happen a certain way.....we end up feeling empty, let-down, depressed and cynical!  Today's homework from Reverb10 is....

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

Reading this question...and processing  my answer, I've discovered one of the secrets to happiness!  That is seeking, looking, finding JOY in ORDINARYY moments!!!!  Not making joy come from out-of-this-world expectations from an in-the-mind huge event. Sometimes it seems that big huge events have the potential of bringing out a focus on what was missed, a focus on what did not happen instead of all that did!  So let's look at this question again:

Our most profound joy is often experienced during ordinary moments. What was one of your most joyful ordinary moments this year?

One of the most profound joyful moments of 2010....was raising my pup, Gyp.  Not just a minute ago, she came flying through the doggie door and put her two front feet onto my me a huge hug and just resting her head on my chest for what felt like forever.  Those daily little moments fill my cup with delight....seeing the world through the eyes of my pup....finding the wonder and excitement in the simple and ridiculous. 

I could write more on other profoundly joyful moments that include my boys, husband, friends....but I will leave it with the pup and my journey with my dogs.

One goal for 2011:  finding joy in ordinary moments.....and then stopping to soak it in....take a mental picture of that moment and let it fill my soul....steep myself in the joy and let it permeate my being!  I'd also like to find myself preparing for the big events with tools to bring out along the I can find joy in all that happens as it happens and let go of expectations.  Funny, I find myself  back to Get vs Make....instead of making joy happen....I get to find it along the way......bring it on 2011!

Seize the Day!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

6 More Days

That's right.....the count down begins with the day after Christmas!  My Christmas was fab this year.....the family was together and we saw THE BEST MOVIE...which is one of our holiday traditions....seeing a movie Christmas day.  All the boys in the family wanted to see The Fighter....and I went along because I got to pick the Thanksgiving day movie. I glad I did!  In real life...I am not a fan of boxing, however, this movie was amazing.  In addition to quality face time with the fam.....I got a set of ramps for Christmas.  I can now put sheep AND a 4 wheeler into my stock trailer....which brings me to the meat of this post....6 very important days left in 2010. 

Outside, the heavens bring Ark building weather.....inside there is a whole lot of honest evaluation and planning going on.  I've found a few websites that I'm using to help me create a better vision/dream for the coming new year. 

Create a Personal Manifesto with Gwen Bell  With Gwen's help, I am building a personal vision board.  One I can use when I loose my way, the going gets tough, or I can't get up.

I'm also working on my goals for 2011.  This daunting task has been made easier by Lululemon's Goaltender  This web site has a quote, "Mediocrity is as close to the bottom as it is to the top." Now if that does not give an overthinker fodder to fill a day! 

Another "idea" I have been thinking on lately is dreams.  Not the kind I have at night dreams....but the dreams that fuel my goals.  It is an illusive mind exercise...that what we think on is what we become.  The idea that we manifest or attract what we think.  That idea certainly has a new age feel to it.....and yet Philippians 4:8 tells us how important it is to focus our thoughts. Perchance this is one of those Universal Truths that in appearance looks so dang easy....and yet for the application of, I must train my mind  For me, finding the balance of honest, critical analysis vs. focusing on the positive vs. fear/worry vs. dream/goals is a daily challenge.  If you have ever read The Secret.....the whole manifestation idea is presented in a "name it; claim it way" and made to sound easy...very Pollyanna-ish. Then John Assaraf, who helped write The Secret...came out with The Answer...a book I found to be very fascinating. Mr. Assaraf has a web site Achievement Goal Transformation  Here are a couple of other web site the delve in deeper....  White Hot Truth have to look around to find things which can be frustrating for a type-A person.....or can be enjoyed with a good cuppa Joe.  Mike Dooley helped write The Secret and his web site is interesting. Totally Unique Thoughts or TUT for is worth a look around. 

I have also mentioned the Mondobeyondo Dream Lab with Brene Brown and The Gift of Imperfection.  As I signed up for this class, I could not help but wonder how participating in a class of self-acceptance would tie in with visualizing, manifesting, and goal setting all that I want to become in 2011!  Sort of feels like the other side of the knife...I'll either end up a little healthier or have multiple personalities! 

So here's to 2011 and the six days left to prepare for its first blank page to fill......wrapping up 2010 with all its glory and lessons learned.

Seize the Day!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Back To The BCTC

There are so many things to love about going to the Border Collie Training Center.....big fields....variety of sheep......and friends.  Friends that don't get bored talking about dogs....all things dogs:  training dogs, running dogs, watching videos of dogs running, looking at pictures of different dogs. 

The day of dog work gets started pretty early: drinking coffee around the breakfast table and talking about goals for the day.  Then it is off to the bowl field where we set sheep for each other.....

My dogs need practice working sheep while I ride a 4 wheeler.  Somehow the 4 wheeler seems to give them permission to do what ever they want, which might be chasing me and leaving the sheep....or being terribly wicked with the sheep ignoring my corrections that turn to screams.  When I set...I get the additional benefit of the BCTC workout program......and I walk the sheep to the set out. 

I shared earlier that one of my biggest goals was to get some video of my dogs working, especially Bella.  I was hoping some video might show me pre-tension build up so I can further sort it.  It turned out that we filmed each the person not setting ran the camera. 

I took my Canon to the post with me as I sent Nell on her outrun.  I wanted to capture her lift and fetch. 

These sheep were set on alfalfa so she really had to lift them with authority and then let them go.  Together, we have been working on the fetch.....confidence and thought are my goals with Nell.  I'm also asking her to stay behind and not slide off to catch an eye to slow them...unless she hears different from me.

The sheep look like there were coming at quite a clip...which they were...but I wanted Nell to stay behind and not slip off to the side to slow them.....she is very good at that maneuver but with practice she is getting better at staying behind while staying far enough off to make a reasonable pace. 

Attitude of Gratitude....I have so much to be thankful for.  1) a husband that gives me passes out of the house for dog weekends away 2) a family that does not mind my absence 3) friends that welcome me, encourage me, and aren't afraid to get after me 4) friends with big fields and sheep!  Sometimes I get caught up in "wishing" I had more......that I lived closer, had more property, more sheep. When those thoughts come creeping in...I stop and find the blessings in what I do have.  And then I grab my notebook, review my goals and kick myself in the butt!

Seize the Day!!!!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Back to Knee Deep

Yesterday, I drove down to Knee Deep Ranch for what might be the last time in 2010!  I have to admit...I love visiting this ranch.  Earlier in the week, Alvina asked if I minded helping with the cow feeding chores....HECK NO!  Mind?  I love it!  So we found ourselves back in the rickety old...oh wait, I mean super fine "built Ford tough" ranch truck...the same one that has holes in the floorboard so a girl must be careful getting in and out of to feed the cows. 

I got to see another portion of the vast ranch.....up on top of the world.  I sure hope these cows appreciate this view....some folks pay very good money to wake up to this beauty every morning.


Somehow, I do believe...those cows only had one thing on their mind! Breakfast in bed! 


The "country way of life" is so different from the "city way of life" we were, feeding cows in the middle of pretty much no where.  We climbed a one lane rocky road in 4L......thick forest surrounding the high hill meadow...and out of nowhere comes a man!    And he stopped to chat!

Such is country life....led at a whimsical pace.....hint of music in the background....a drum beat that only those living the life can hear.  I so appreciate the shared dose of that brings a girl back to a life well lived.

Alvina and Old Red...the F*rd!

Then it was on to dog work!  I can not believe....well I can but, I am so impressed with how great the dogs are looking at Knee Deep Ranch.  Each of them are coming along and are becoming quiet the partner with their person.  I have to say....that was the best part of the day!

A close second was getting to work my own dogs......each of them had a go and I took advantage of the big field choosing long drives and medium outruns.  Sometimes Sally does not get to work....mostly because of  lack of time and the fact the other girls need a bit more training.  It was fun working Sally in the big field.....doing huge long drives......working her on picking up the pace and taking all the flanks I was giving.....then giving the reins back and having her be responsible for holding a line. 

Another day in paradise!  Certainly one of the things I am most thankful for in 2010.....Knee Deep Ranch and the friends I have found there.

Seize the Day!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Really Now!

I took a lesson today that left me wanting to name this entry..."utter suck" or.... "I have never received and F until today"...or...well never mind.  While I am supposed to manifest and attract and is just one of those days.  

1) I am when I am told to "keep the dog there behind the sheep, don't let her flank"....I then complete a drive on the fetch that does not bring the sheep to me....this was totally because my dog was doing what I told her and I did not let her fetch them to me.  To fetch them to me, she would have needed to instead, I laid her down behind the sheep and told her "there, walk on" and she took them on that line and never flanked.  If she tried to flank...I actually corrected her and said "there".  My bad!  When told to do it again because my dog did not understand "fetching" I laughed so hard at myself.  Literal...that's me!

2) I'm willing to try different training ideas....but not others.  Thankfully this did not frustrate my "teacher" today.

3) As I have confessed recently, I am an over-thinker.  I try to keep all my over-thinking ideas inside now and not let them out.  Sometimes, I just can't.  Sometimes my over-thinking comes spilling out of my mouth and like flood water going over the bank of a river....I can't stop it.

4) While I am willing to try different training ideas...I am just as willing to abandon them when they are not working...and I do so on the fly.

5) I am trying to understand the difference between "get" and "make".  I'm also trying to understand exactly what a dog can be taught by the sheep and when repetitious behavior might become a bad habit.  And also how to correct the lack of thought and see the result of try.

All that aside...I saw some very interesting behavior with my Bella today.  I'm now off to do some serious over-thinking and then I am going to journal it all!  If this journey were easy...everyone would do it!  I also think having one of "those days" is part of life......I still think they suck!

Seize the day!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Just to Make You Smile

Geri has a litter of 6 week old border collie pups on the ground....and I could NOT resist their cuteness!

Needless to say.....Geri kept an eagle eye on me as I packed the car to go home.  And as I drove away, I thought I saw her doing a puppy count......

Seize the Day!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Minimal Monday

After a crazy road trip, filled with flooding, flat tires, AAA, and Les Schwab.....I finally made it to The Border Collie Training Center.  My best laid plans did not pan out and it was dark by the time I I had to wait until Sunday to work the dogs.

Oh, but what a Sunday it was!

Believe it or not....this is my Gyp....out in a big, fenceless field....

looking like a "big" girl.......

Seize the Day!!!!!

Friday, December 10, 2010

I'm So Excited.....

Post after post this week have shown everyone the real me....Hi, my name is Lora, and I'm an over-thinker!  I've been in arguments at clinic regarding my over-thinking. I've been made fun of for walking to the post with a tape recorder in my pocket so I could go back to my car and listen to my commands and whistles.  One of my favorite clinicians has "lovingly" put me on a question quota when I attend one of  his clinics. Over-thinking: I know I do it....I'm just not sure it is a bad thing.  Instead of finding a good recovery group and attending meetings.....I am trying  real hard to keep it on the inside.  Sort of a "dry" over-thinker!  My good friend down in the State of Jefferson is concerned......she is planning an intervention.  I now have an overnight pass and am planning a trip to...gasp...go work dogs!  I am dancing around today, getting the long lengthy to-do list done. I'm outta here baybay!  I am taking my camera and in addition, Geri said she would...another my dogs working! I haven't been to Sheepdog Disneyland in forever. I will attempt to bring home enough blog fodder that I won't have to go back to the heady over-thinking posts for a while.  Here's to clear roads, good friends, blue skies, frisky sheep, fabulous dogs, and big, fenceless fields!

Seize the Day!!!!

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Getting Ready for a New Year!

It is that time of year....last night, it rained so hard here it woke me up!  Standing water and mud make for slippery slopes at the ranch.  25 ewes have been covered and I only work the pregnant girls lightly to keep them fit.  The snowy mountains discourage road trips to sheepdog Disneylands. Winter is the season of down time when it comes to dog work.  On the other hand.....winter has become a time for me to plan, think, dream and do my mental gymnastics in preparation for the coming year. 

I've stumbled upon a couple of blog sites this month that are giving me great ideas to ponder for my new year readiness ritual.  First, I have already mentioned....Ordinary Courage  who is doing a winter work shop with Mondo Beyondo on dreaming.  I love the quote from the Mondo Beyondo web site... "When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality." — Dom Helder Camara   This is an on-line class about dreaming big......I am thinking of taking it. I love dreaming big! 

The second blog site that has been stretching my thoughts these days is #reverb10. Their motto is: "reflect on this year & manifest what's next"  How cool is that!?  Every day, this web site prints a prompt to reflect upon.....December 1 was : One Word. Encapsulate the year 2010 in one word. Explain why you’re choosing that word. Now, imagine it’s one year from today, what would you like the word to be that captures 2011 for you? (Author: Gwen Bell)

Here are my answers to this exercise:

2010: enlightenment..... in all I thought I knew, I realized I knew so very much less! It was freeing....and allowed me to use what I did know and seek answers for the moment in what I did not know. 
2011: fulfill.....there are so many changes coming my way in 2011 and I want to embrace all that comes with those changes. 

I'm also bringing out all the DVDs I love to watch....both sheepdog runs as well as instructional.  I have  One Man and His Dog.....I think I will watch that again. As well as the world sheepdog trial. 

Then, there are those physical goals.  A healthier 2011!!!

Goals....I am pondering what my goals for 2011 will be.  It might take all month to sort through 2010 and reflect on the goals that I achieved....and then make my new list for 2011. 

What are your goals for the coming year? Do you have any web sites or blogs that inspire you?  I'd love to see them!

Seize the Day!!!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Why Blog...Why Read?

"Why do you Blog?"...that was the question Full Tilt Border Collies asked a few weeks back. It was fun reading other blogger's answers and I have been thinking about how I would answer.  I started blogging to keep a journal of my training and trialing progress as I moved my Sally to open.  I knew over time: lessons, clinics, and trials would become a blur.  Also, adding a few more dogs into my training mix, I wanted to document my journey with each of them.  Blogging made keeping a diary very easy.  Over the past two years, I'm amazed at how often I go back and look for a trial date or a clinic thought.  I've also used my blog to vent a, really I have!  Some days, an idea is posted on one of the "chat boards" or facebook that gets stuck in my craw and posting my views on my blog is great therapy! 

The benefits of blogging.....keeping a record of progress and things learned.  However, one of the not so obvious benefits has been getting to meet other bloggers!  People from all over America...and even crossing the pond into Wales with Kinloch Sheepdogs....folks I have "gotten to know" through blogging.  Sometimes, as I am writing one of my blog posts....I remember that my blog-reading friends are following along.  I try to present ideas emphasising they are mine or training tips that apply to my dogs but might not be universal to all dogs.  I've also enjoyed the "discussions" that have gone on in the comment section of some of the blogs I read. Learning and challenging, thought-stretching makes life so much richer.

So another question that comes to mind: Why do you read blogs?  I like reading other blogs for a number of reasons.  I love being personally challenged by blogs such as Ordinary Courage.  I look forward to new posts on Eyeherdewe...the wicked way with words that I wish I could have put together because more times than not they describe how I feel with truthful clarity!  I enjoy thinking about training sheepdogs and ideas that come from Candy Kennedy's Training Border Collies.  Candy is great about answering questions in the comment section. Another all time favorite, feel good blog is Pioneer Woman.  PW always has such a unique view of life: attracting incredibly positive people who add depth to her blog. Blogs are also a great way for me to keep up with my friends....sharing their lives and their training journeys...all of which are listed in my blog list.

Last....Are bloggers authentic?  Or how much can you tell about the author of a blog by what they write about and how they present it?  As I read other blogs...there are definitely people I would love to meet as well as those I am thankful to call friend! Their writing captivates me...their ideas tumble around in my head and linger...I feel blessed to share a day of their life without actually being there.  Other blogs I have stumbled upon leave me wanting to run....go wash out the inner cavity of my skull and wishing I had not seen "that" side of the author!  Those blogs could be an exercise in creative writing...but it leaves me thinking "could the real ----- please stand up!" As with the people in my personal life that I call "good friend"....I keep my regular blog reading to those that lift me up, challenge me to be a better person, share authentic life with a "let's roll" attitude, and make the time spent with them, so to speak, time worth spending.

Why do you blog? Why do you read blogs? Do you think you can tell more about a person after reading their blog posts? 

Thank you for reading Rocking Dog Ranch.

Seize the Day!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Happy Birthday...Gyp!!!

One year ago today......Nell and I were busy with five tiny border collie puppies.  That is Gyp....right there nuzzling Nell's leg...big ole "Y" on her head!  Gosh time flies...and it certainly flies faster with dogs!

Gyp the day she was born

Gyp at five weeks

Gyp at nine weeks

Gyp at six months

Gyp at nine months
Gyp at the Border Collie Training Center
Gyp at one year

When Gyp was eight weeks old...I was not sure I wanted to raise her.  Having never before raised a border collie pup, I envisioned huge holes in the back yard and everything ripped up! Friends offered to take her for the first four or five months of her life, but my kids said they wanted a go at it.  All three men in the house assured me they would help, so Gyp became our first home raised border collie.  Other than the fact she has a "hankering" for my youngest son's flip flop (or basketball shoe if the flip flop can not be found) she has been a super nice and on sheep.  Recently, Gyp's father crossed the rainbow bridge....I feel so fortunate to have been able to put Nell to him.....I think Jake has left his fingerprints on my Gyp with her thoughtful nature.

Happy Birthday, sweet Gypsy! I am so excited to see the next year of your life unfold.

Seize the day!!!!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

PW wanna be!

Friday, as I made my bi-monthly trip to Knee Deep Ranch...I was greeted by Alvina who asked if I wanted to go drive the feed truck while she fed!  Why OF COURSE!!!!  Pioneer Woman wanna be...that's me.  Now if I could just do a cook book and.....well, never mind.

The bad news is...I had to drive a Ford. The good news...I can drive a stick shift thus did not embarrass myself too bad!
ain't I a chip chop chip on the feed!
The cows were very happy to see us....I felt just a little special with such a large fan club!

Birthday boy Fred kept a watchful eye on the cows for me!
I had to try and drive real Alvina could toss off the hay and not get bucked off the back of the truck.  This was a challenge......she put me in 4L in the next field......I'm sure she had her reasons.

happy cows
The next field on the feed route was filled with cows....calves....and newly introduced BULLS!

When Alvina got out to get around to the back of the truck....I opted to slide across the seat so as not to get on first name basis with this dude!

I volunteered to come down and help brand....I'll serve the boys coffee and banana bread!

The morning adventure brought back many fond memories of my childhood.  My grandparents had a cattle ranch in Beatty, Oregon....and whenever my family went to visit, we made the rounds with Grandpa feeding or checking the cows.

After the feeding chores were done, Alvina, Gayle and I went on to work our dogs on the local sheep.  I love my trips to Knee Deep Ranch.  The land has such a rustic, western beauty to it....quiet, green, wide, open....the best qualities when it comes to working dogs!

Seize the Day!