Friday, March 27, 2009

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Border Collies are hyper.

When will it end?

It's the first week of spring.

Yesterday the sun was shining, the birds were singing, things were melting and we sat out on the deck with the dogs and enjoyed it all.


THAT is yet another snow storm blowing through the province. We're at the top of the light green at the top of the map. The storm is moving north so as you can see by the map, there's more of the same waiting for us for the rest of the day.

I am a patient person. I am a patient person. I am a patient person. I am a patient person. I am. Really.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Good things come in windy packages

Last Saturday I headed south to the Land Of Almost No Snow And A Whole Lot Of Wind. The original reason for the trip was to judge a Rally Trial for Tammy at Sit Happens! (Thanks again Tammy for a great weekend!). Seeing that I was already in that neck of the woods, I made plans with Louanne and Jenny to get together. Scott was down in the states doing clinics so it was a perfect opportunity for some Girl Time.

When we got to Jenny's I was met with this surprise...

It seems the girls had done a little talking and had organized a Birthday party for me.

Everyone had a great time and joined in in the festivities.

But all that partying can wear a guy out.

I got to take Kate out to sheep for the first time this weekend and I think we're going to get along just fine.

Good friends, the opportunity to work dogs, AND a birthday party complete with cake - life doesn't get much better!

Friday, March 13, 2009

Desperate times call for desperate measures

Winter has dragged on forever....did I mention FOREVER. Today though, the temperature is above freezing and there's a nice breeze. In "I'm sick of the snow terms" this means GOOD MELTING WEATHER. We Canadians are pros at dealing with snow, and there's an age old tradition in the city of throwing snow from the lawn out into the street to speed things on to summer.

I'm not worried about our front lawn. I have more pressing concerns. Hope and I are going to our first trial in one month, Kate is keen to start, and I have no where to work them.

So we started working on "operation let's clear a work space". First Travis started digging out gates.

Then we started snowshoeing in circles around the pen. For those of you reading from warmer climes...if you can snow shoe in your T-Shirt, that means the snow is wet and heavy and the snowshoeing is no fun. These are the lengths we go to to bring our dogs sheep.

Why are you snowshoeing that way - the sheep are definitely this way?!

Of course the dogs were more than willing to help out with this project. The easiest way to get them to help break up snow was to have Bruce chase snowballs.

Which quickly led to this,


and this.

This is Bruce on crack

I'm heading south again tomorrow to hang out with Tammy, then Louanne and Jenny. If all goes according to plan we'll work dogs and then, when I head back north the snow will have melted enough in my pen that I'll be able to work dogs at home. Let's all keep our fingers crossed that the warm weather hangs around for a while.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

My grow op

The title of this blog should be a great way to see whether or not any government agencies read our blogs. If I get any visits I'll let you know. ;-)

Back in January I was whining about the state of produce, specifically lettuce in our local grocery stores. While I love living up here, being a foodie I do miss Edmonton's grocery stores. So, in a moment of inspiration I decided to do something about it. I was going to provide healthy produce for my family in the dead of winter!

No more digging through limp heads or soggy boxes of lettuce for us!

Tasty, nutritious, heck - practically organic food available for daily picking!

It's March now, are we sick of home grown lettuce? Not quite. My lettuce experiment has been somewhat successful in that the lettuce did indeed come up and it looks great. However, 2 months after I started it, it's about 3 inches tall. There's about one salad's worth so far. It should be a great size to transplant in the garden later this spring. Good thing there's still a grocery store nearby or we'd have died of scurvy by now if we really were dependant on my winter gardening skills.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Central heating...sheep style

When it's cold in the morning - it certainly is this morning - and I look out the front window, I can see steam pouring out of the sheep shelter. I get a kick out of it because a. it's like a little chimney and b. it means my sheep haven't frozen to death. Cheery no?
Of course, I want you to share in my cold weather happiness - misery loves company - so I tried taking pictures from the house, but the steam didn't show.
Because I'm willing to do just about anything to get the story right, this morning I went out with the camera. To anyone driving by the house I may have looked like I was all decked out in Carhart, but underneath all that quilted goodness was a fine set of flannel pyjamas. Ah, country living!

This is what I got for my trouble.

One little head poking out around the corner, and almost no steam in the shot. It's there, trust me.

Of course that little head poking around the corner just had to tell her friends that there were dogs right outside their door. The little dog in the picture happens to be Kate, the untrained dog, so maybe the sheep were on to something. Anyway, look at the shelter and you can actually see some steam coming out - the whole point of this exercise. Oh, and Kate? She was thrilled to death that her presence alone was enough to make the sheep head for the hills - she feels mighty powerful today.

But really, if I'm up and out in my pj's, everyone should be up.

Perfect Hope all frosted up. I have to say, as much as there hasn't been much work for him around here lately, he sure came in handy yesterday. With all of the lovely weather we've had the sheep woke up yesterday and saw that their trails had drifted in. Being sheep, they trudged half way out to the round bales, decided it was hopeless (pun somewhat intended) and went back to their shelter to starve to death. Hope did a great job of convincing them to get out of their shelter and break trail. Last night in their infinite wisdom, the sheep decided that it would be much easier to stay out at the bale in minus 35 degree temperatures, than trudge back home to bed. Once again Hope showed them that really the snow wasn't too deep at all. Good boy Hope.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Finally something worth blogging about!

Meet Kate.

She's cute.

She's curious.

What ARE you rolling in Hope?

She's um...


but best of all she's mine.