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Monday, April 23, 2012

Cat Alert

Duffy and the cat stare at each other.  This was taken through the closed door, as I didn't want to scare off the cat before I got a picture!

Nice kitty!

Duffy assumes a down position--good herding potential!
Something made me look out the door yesterday morning--maybe Duffy had barked, but I don't think so.  But he was standing and looking into the garden. And there was a fluffy Persian cat that didn't seem to know what to do.  I don't know how it got in--maybe under the gate--but it didn't appear to know how to get out. It was a pretty thing--big blue eyes, tail as fluffy as Duffy's. But it didn't have many street smarts--most cats don't hang around when spotted somewhere they aren't supposed to be.  They get the heck out of Dodge very quickly!  I put Duffy in the house, not because he would have hurt the cat or chased after it, but because the cat was scared of him.  Then I opened up the gate and the little fence and tried to coax the cat out and to 'go home'. Nothing doing--it settled in even more. There was no collar or tag on the cat so no one to call. I got on some gloves and picked it up and carried it out to the driveway. It didn't claw or hiss and was probably ready to be my pet!! But, hopefully it went home to its own people.

Dixieland Music and Cheesecake

Yesterday, Second Wind Dreams put on a special event on unit 12Y at the EG.  This is one of the units that has never put in any requests for dreams.  So we hit upon the idea of contacting those units and asking if we can put on an entertainment event for the whole unit. The idea seems to be working! This unit was quite happy to have something special on a Sunday afternoon. We had 3 different kinds of cheesecake from Safeway, punch and coffee from Food Services, and the Dixieland band, Panache, provided the entertainment.  They play music from all eras of the 20th century in addition to Dixieland. They even have a crooner--the trombonist did a fine rendering of Besame Mucho!! They play for free, which is amazing, especially as there are 8 of them now, and they have all the work of hauling their equipment back and forth, never mind the playing!!  Everyone had a good time!

Residents and band--using the wide angle setting.

Diane and Phyllis enjoying the music.

Claire and good to the last spoonful Kay!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Best Laid Plans...

Duffy and I were supposed to be in Olds from Thursday through Tuesday and at the herding Instinct Test in Okotoks on Saturday.  As soon as Jolene had told me of the test I had sent in my application and fee--that was 2 months ago.  I was so excited for Duffy to try and see if he could get his certification. We had been given a start time of 12:15, right after Jolene and Kort.  Everything was going according to plan.  Then I took Duffy out for his constitutional Thursday morning before we left for Olds. After several stops for pooping (that in itself is not a good sign) our last stop produced pudding poop and I had run out of bags too!! I know from previous experience that travelling with Duffy in this state is not to be recommended--when we got back from the tracking seminar last May, I had a really, nasty mess to clean and had to hose down his crate, wash the cover, throw out the carpet and hose out the back of the truck.  Oh, yeah, and hose off Duffy too.

So we hoped we could try for Friday, if things had settled down for him.  But I knew our window of opportunity had pretty well closed because Olds and SW were under a snowfall warning.  And wouldn't you know it, by Friday morning they had close to 10 inches on the ground, there were accidents everywhere--they even had to call in personnel who were on days off--and there was black ice reported around Ponoka.  Meanwhile it rained here all day Friday, but Friday night it turned to snow and it snowed all day Saturday--wet, mushy, slushy conditions. So travel was out--I don't take chances.  If it's not a life or death situation, why turn it into one by needless travel? But we were all disappointed--I was looking forward to seeing Jolene, and meeting some of the 'sheep people'. Oh, and by the way I picked up a cold too--not a bad one, just a lot of nasal action.  So it's probably just as well that we didn't stand out in the cold and wet all day Saturday!

But the good news is that there's another test in June!! Surely there won't be snow then???? Hahaha!! And the other good news is that Jolene's Kort got his HIC certification!! Yay Korty!!  Check out Jolene's blog to read all about it!

But my enforced sojourn in Edmonton wasn't wasted!! Thursday afternoon I raked half of the front yard--it was hard going as the neighbor had his huge spruce tree taken down the day before and there were tons of needles and sawdust. But I am so glad the tree is finally down--it blocked a lot of light in the living room in the spring, fall, and winter, and it was blocking the light from my tomatoes along side the house.
Part way through the tree dismantling process.

Then I spent yesterday rearranging the big bookcase in the basement.  I had moved a bunch of books from upstairs to the basement and needed to find room, and get rid of other books that I had no use for anymore.  I moved all my Native History books to the basement--making way for the new pursuits in my life--dog books and homeopathy books!!

The north side of the bookcase--lots of room now for more books!!
The south side--most of the Native book collection is on the 3 shelves on the right hand side.

And today, after shovelling off the 2 inches of wet snow that accumulated overnight, Duffy and I went for a walk.  Duffy got filthy--this is the kind of weather that makes me think about getting a Smooth Collie!!
Beechmount Cemetery--soldiers' graves.

The Duffster

Friday, April 6, 2012

Happy Easter!!

Has it been a month since I lasted posted?  I guess so! Just after my last post my computer crashed with a resounding thud.  I ended up having to get a new computer, which was fine as my old one was 9 years old and had served me well. So now I have Windows 7, a new email program, and I can play my farming games again!! I gave up on my old computer as it would freeze, shut down, and take forever to do stuff. One of the less fun parts of getting a new computer is that all my pictures and saved emails and folders ( I did end up losing some)are in some strange foreign code!  This necessitates that I open each and every one, save it and rename it.  What a pain!

Meanwhile I just haven't been in the mood for blogging. Not quite sure why--maybe it's been a part of reviewing my life and my plans. I do enjoy reading other people's blogs though!  On the big decision making meter, I have decided that come June, I am officially retiring from all my volunteering at the Edmonton General. I will have volunteered for 7 1/2 years by June.  In that time I've taken on executive positions of chair, co-chair, and secretary on Family Council and Second Wind Dreams, even though I didn't really want to, but felt that as no one else stepped up to do them, I'd better.  There are a number of reasons for this decision: I'm feeling burnt out, I'm kind of bored with some of the aspects--like meetings all the time and the annual BBQ, I think our little group has been together too long and there are these little undercurrents of strife, and I don't need that in my life, and it's time to do other things. I have debated this decision for close to 2 years and have come close to quitting a number of times.  I always wanted to see this through until my dad was gone.  But this time, I feel good about the decision--no guilt, no worries about the programs--they will survive if they are meant to.  It will be a welcome change just to go to the EG to visit my dad--like the way 90% of the family members of residents do! So onward and upward!! I enjoy volunteering at Northlands--they treat their volunteers like gold and always make sure to let us know that we are appreciated.  And it's fun stuff--meeting the public at fun, big events is a real tonic!!

As for other activities, I'm taking a 16 week Homeopathic First Aid Course online starting April 16.  I intend to get more involved in dog related activities--I finally joined the Collie Club of Canada and also joined the American Working Collie Association. And of course I'm looking to get another puppy!

In the meantime, we survived another burst of winter weather on Thursday.  We've had a dump of heavy wet snow every week for the last 3 weeks--let's hope this was the last one! My tulips were just coming up and my chives are up!


Dave and I had our Easter supper tonight--roast turkey, peas and carrots from last year's garden, wild rice with apricots and almonds, and sultana bars and chocolate Easter eggs for dessert!! He delivers potable water to several oil well drilling sites, every 2 days.  So he worked this morning, drove up here, and will have to leave tomorrow afternoon, and deliver again Sunday morning.  But at least we are ahead of the holiday this time, not like at Christmas! LOL!!

Happy Easter everyone!!