Blog Header

Blog Header

Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Well, they are sort of playing...

Don't look at the pet feet--I did a trim 2 weeks ago, but it's so cold they are growing hair on their feet all the time!!

Yesterday morning, Duffy and Lanny engaged in some tug playing with Froggy.  And it probably involved some who could claim ownership too!!  Only once before has Duffy got involved in a tug game, so I was happy to see this. Duffy has not initiated any play with Lanny, he's just not into toys anymore and if he wants to play, it's with his humans not other dogs. It's like the only child that spends more time with adults than with kids, and consequently always feels more comfortable with them.  Ahem--that was me!!

Duffy and Lanny just aren't a good fit--at least at this point.  Lanny obsesses about Duffy, Duffy obsesses about food--what a neurotic little household!! LOL  Things would have been better, I think, if Lanny was a submissive dog, or maybe I had got a small dog that Duffy could always feel protective towards.  They both need to be only dogs, but for different reasons. Maybe this will change as Lanny gets older, I don't know.  But it's really tiring, at a time when I am stressed to the max with so many other things.

It snows, and snows, and snows, and snows.  And when it doesn't snow, we have freezing rain, which makes things so treacherous, and then makes shovelling the walks 5 times as hard. We had a couple of days here and there that weren't bad--actually got above 0'C (32'F) but it's mostly cold, and too much wind that makes it colder.  It's all so depressing, especially since it's been like this since the beginning of November.

My friend Jacqueline, her husband, and 2 kiddies are visiting from Australia--poor guys!! Jacqueline and I went to see Hobbit 2 and went to supper for my birthday, and then we all went for supper one Saturday.  But they have endured an intestinal bug, now the flu is going through their ranks, and in a week they will be back to sunny Oz.  Their holiday has to rank up there with 10 worst holidays ever!! Crappy weather and being sick--yuck!!

Christmas was a non-event in so many ways.  I took Dave to the ER on December 19 and he's still in hospital.  He had a recurrence of the shortness of breath, no energy, etc. that led to his hospitalization in January and to an angioplasty. He's had quite the 2 weeks with hospital experiences--a screaming hollering woman who did this for 30 hours before she was moved out of the room--yes here they mix male and female patients in one room, which I think is so wrong for so many reasons. She was moved, only after she almost bit the finger off a nurse!! Isn't there a psych unit for these cases??Then there are the 3rd world immigrant staff that empty human waste containers while the patients are eating--gag. He lost it that evening and reamed the idiot out and called the charge nurse.  They have on his chart, "patient is agitated", probably a few times.  Yeah well, with having no sleep for 30 hours and your meal ruined, who wouldn't be?  He's had all sorts of tests and will have some more today. He had a relapse on Sunday for about 6 hours and that was scary.

All this has made me have to think about a different life than the one I envisioned on the farm--we may not be able to handle it.  That makes me so sad.  I finally have my heart's desire and it's too late.  I ate my Christmas dinner by myself and Santa never came here this year!! It's depressing to have the one family member you've got, in hospital for Christmas.

Then there are lawyers--got the estate lawyer's bill just before Christmas and I almost had a heart attack.  I have to liquidate some of my retirement savings to pay it--over $52,000--because he chose to use the % of the estate to calculate the fee.  Yes, I guess it's allowed, but it seems so greedy for the work he actually did to probate a will. All in all any faith I had in human kind is at an all time low, and I realize more completely than ever before that most people are motivated by greed.  I am going to have to sell a quarter just to pay the upcoming lawyer bills, the taxes, etc.  Some inheritance.

All I can do is hope that 2014 is going to be better and that some of these issues, health and other wise will be resolved.  In the meantime, it's time to shovel!!

Happy New Year!!

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Pre-Christmas Farm Scenes

As 2013 winds down, life (or whatever) continues to throw it's curve balls in so many different ways.  I won't bore people with a blog post about it all!  A lot of people I know have had a pretty yucky year overall, so I know we aren't alone.  I was able to be at the farm briefly one day this week and took the opportunity to walk around and take a couple of pictures.  It was a cold, but sunny day.

I slogged through snow that was over my tall boots to get this picture and got a boot full of snow.  I followed coyote tracks, but apparently they are lighter on their feet than I am!! Hahaha!!

I love how the spruce tree rises out of the poplars!

The guest house!! Hahaha!! Well it could be with some work!! But first let's get a main house with indoor plumbing!!

Merry Christmas and may 2014 be a better year than 2013!!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Dreams and nightmares!!

Dave had a dream last night that he was out on the farm with Duffy and Lanny.  Both dogs were on their own disc shaped contraption that hovered just above the ground.  They just had to put a paw on it and off they went!! And the 2 of them were busy picking up scraps of metal,  sticks, plastic, all manner of things.  The items were carried on the disc and then over to a pile where the junk was being collected, then dumped onto the pile.  Duffy had to show Lanny how to dump the disc--no surprise there!! Hahahaha!!  Cool dream--and would be very useful to have all that help!!

Maybe it was something like this??????

On a less light-hearted note, Lanny has lost his privileges to be free at night--it's back to the crate.  I woke up around 3 with a coughing fit--a couple of my meds have that side-effect, like I don't cough enough.  Anyway, I decided to go the bathroom and now with the light on in the hallway, I can see a streaky trail on the living room floor, of what can only be poop.  Ack!! Found some plops on the old flannel sheet by the door.  Was not pleased as you can imagine!  Cleaned all this up, got out the shark and washed the floor, put the sheet into the washer with bleach and on the soaker cycle, lectured Lanny. and eventually went to bed.  I kind of wondered why there wasn't more, but thought maybe I was just lucky.  This morning I went down to the basement to get my big winter boots, as I had to rescue a number of plastic garden pots Lanny had distributed around the yard the evening before, plus do some poop pick-up duties.  I looked down the hallway to where the ping pong table is--and yes, you guessed it, there was the rest of the poop!! Kind of dried now and hard to clean up.  I poured some water on the areas, let that soak in, then cleaned it all up.  The good news, I suppose, is that he went to the basement for the largest part of this pooping excursion.  The bad news is--what the heck is wrong with this dog? He'll be okay and then out of nowhere he 'forgets' the rules and goes wherever. He's over a year old--there should be none of these 'accidents' in the house, ever!! I watch him all the time--which is annoying to have to do at this point.  But I do have to sleep occasionally. So, the crate is back up in the hallway, where I can hear him whether I'm asleep on the couch or in the bedroom. That's if he actually barks or whines, but he doesn't seem to know to do that here. He does fine on the farm and barks or whines there, but what's the deal here? I won't even go into his peeing on Duffy's 'tablecloth' just after Dave left.  Guess he was all excited and didn't remember to hold it and go out. Is he ever going to be totally house broken? I wonder.... 

Friday, November 22, 2013

John F. Kennedy

On November 22, 1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas, Texas.  Today, November 22, 2013 is the 50 anniversary of that terrible event.

One of the questions always asked, was "Where were you when Kennedy was assassinated?" I remember that day like it was yesterday.  I was 10 years old, coming up to my 11th birthday in December and I was in Grade 6. I came home for lunch as I usually did, as I lived one block from my school.  My mother was upset and agitated and the radio was on. I learned that Kennedy had been shot, but he was still alive, or at least that's what we were being told.  The Governor of Texas, John Connally, had also been shot. Neither my mother nor I could believe that this had happened--it was so shocking. I went back to school for 1 o'clock and there was a sombre mood through the whole school that afternoon.  No one could believe what had happened. When I came home at 4, I learned that Kennedy had died.  Again, I couldn't believe it, no one could.

That night, as I lay in bed and couldn't sleep, I felt sure or at least very hopeful that Kennedy was alive after all.  That his death had been reported as a ruse to draw out the people that had tried to kill him.  I envisioned him at the hospital with Jackie.  He was injured, but very much alive.  I didn't want to believe that he was really gone. In the days that followed and culminated with Kennedy's funeral, we all had to begin to grasp the fact that he was really gone.  The bravery and strength of Jackie during those awful days is etched in the minds of everyone who watched the funeral on TV.  Every one's heart broke for those 2 little children whose father had been so horribly snatched from them.

The other night I watched the TLC program. "Letters to Jackie: Remembering". It brought back a lot of memories and feelings and was very emotional to watch.  In the 40 days after Kennedy's assassination, Jackie received over 800,000 letters--from people of all walks of life and all ages. There was such a wide sense of loss across the American nation.  And it was the same up here in Canada too. People related how they heard that Kennedy had been shot, where they were at the time, and they expressed heart felt sorrow and sympathy.  Interestingly and tellingly, there were comments that they felt that much bigger concerns than Oswald were responsible for Kennedy's death.

As far as I am concerned, John Kennedy's presidency was the last time the United States had a real President, a man that was prepared to stand up for what he knew to be right.  That's why he was killed.  Yes he made mistakes and yes, as we learned later, he had lead a less than stellar private life.  But in that he was not alone.  Some of the world's most brilliant leaders over the centuries have lived just that same way. It must be part of that brilliance. If only there were still men of his calibre today.

On November 22, 1963 the innocence of our lives was shattered forever.  This is how I have always felt and I know others have felt the same way.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Sad, sad news

Got up this morning and checked my blog and my blog roll and learned some heart breaking news.  Essex, the 10 year old tri girl of Key West Collies ( had crossed the Rainbow Bridge during the night. This is such a shock. Dog Dad and Sherman have my deepest condolences and are in my thoughts.  I am so sad for them. Essex was the matriarch of the household and the dog park and her loss will be felt by so many people and doggy pals. Cyber Hugs across all the miles.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Lanny Turns One!!

I've been a bad blogger.  But in my defense, I've been in the hospital, diagnosed with Grave's Disease, suffered a thyroid storm--that's why I went to Emergency and was kept in hospital for a week.  Now I'm having reactions to the meds--dizziness, weakness in arms and legs, have to try not to fall when walking. Did you know that at the turn of the 20th century if a person suffered a thyroid storm, the mortality rate was close to 100%?  Now it's down to 20%.  That's still pretty high, so this a serious condition.

But I digress--yesterday Lanny turned 1!!  And I realized we will be having our first Christmas with him next month!! I wondered, "How can this be?  Where was he last Christmas?  Oh, yeah, he was 6 weeks old and still in Minnesota!! Duh!!"

Lanny is so different from Duffy in every possible way. And some of this is good!!!  He sticks by us on walks, his recall is excellent, and considering all the stuff he could have got into, he's been a pretty good boy.  He only liked to take Kleenex out of the garbage and unroll toilet paper!!  He does chew--he chews through every leash, even the double heavy duty one that I had ordered and lasted the longest.  We have to use a chain now, when he has to be tied up. He's not, however, the sharpest tack in the box, the brightest bulb in the package, the sharpest tool in the get my drift. His approach to life is "Dumteedum, dumteedum, huh?"! He is not an independent thinker!!!  He will not push a door open without coaxing, will stand forever saying nothing when he gets himself tangled up in a leash, and scares himself if he thinks too much!!  Two weeks ago, I heard Duffy giving that yip bark that means something is not right, and went out to look and Lanny had hog tied himself by one back leg to the bench and was just standing there.  Duffy was likely saying, "Hey, Dummy has himself caught!!" He is scared of his reflection in a mirror.  Bizarre.  When Duffy was shown himself in a full length mirror, he went up, touched noses, and wanted to be friends with that other dog.  Lanny backs away and turns his head.

Lanny spends most of his time on the farm with Dave.  It seems to work well at this point to keep Duffy and Lanny apart.  I'm hoping that as Lanny gets older, maybe he will be better behaved toward Duffy. Other than that problem, Lanny is a big, lovable lug.  He leaps in the air as if on pogo sticks, crashes and shoves himself around, pushes toys into us to play with, and knows how to sit and not much else!! It's so different from having a smart pants dog like Duffy. But hey, that's life!! We love him anyway!!!

The Collie Club of Canada Specialty is out west in 2014--March, in Camrose, and I'd like to have him shown there.  He's a fine looking boy and moves well.  It's just to find someone to show him--potential candidates are all acting like dipsticks over planning the specialty and are not impressing me!!

In the meantime, here are some of my favorite photos of Lanny.  Happy Birthday Big Fella!! ♥♥





Monday, September 23, 2013

Bye bye football!

No I'm not talking about the Edmonton Eskimos' season! Snarf!!
Could this sweet looking boy... this to the football?

Looks like a bunny exploded on the lawn!!
The football was a gift to Duffy from the neighbor on Duffy's birthday 2 years ago. Lanny adopted the toy and loves running around with it flapping away, fetches it when it's thrown, and also slams it in to my legs from time to time!! Such a rough boy!!

Monday, July 22, 2013

Lots about Life, Less about the Collies!!

Okay, I'm finally going to bite the bullet and write a post about everything that has been happening in the last number of months.  It will be in point form because otherwise it will be far too long and besides that I don't have the energy to write like that for now.
  1. In May I was diagnosed with hyperthyroidism--over active thyroid. Mine is way, way over the top.  Since last October I started to suffer from breathlessness and lack of strength, and then racing heart. It saps the energy right out of me.  Sometimes all I can do is write short little FB comments because a full length piece is exhausting. Mowing the lawn is a HUGE chore.  Sitting is the only thing that feels good. The slightest exertion--like going up the basement stairs causes lack of breath and a skipping, racing heart.  I have an arrhythmia anyway, so that doesn't help. All the things I wanted to do this summer with my dogs, like agility classes have had to be put on hold because I can't run.  I'm not happy--I had so many plans. The muscles in my arms are going, gone, and I have old lady wrinkle arms now--blech. Hypothyroidism is much easier to treat--some iodine in some form and usually that helps. Hypo is much more common. Hyper is a totally different case.  Usually removal of part or all is recommended.  I want to avoid that and I am trying to find natural ways of dealing with this.  In addition to some supps from my naturopath, I am eating lots of broccoli!!
  2. My Uncle Nick--the difficult one--passed away June 15, aged 98. I am sad that he is gone and even more sad that things couldn't have been different. Now my family consists of my dad, Dave, and I--and of course the doggies.
  3. In the most shocking surprise possible, I have inherited the farm from Nick. Given how things had gone with Joe Bell telling lies about all of Nick's family and friends, and Nick believing the lies, and all of us alienated from Nick, this was the last thing in the world that I expected. Dave and I had plans to sell both houses and buy some land somewhere, once my dad had departed this world.  Now my dream of living out my days on my grandparent's farm has come true!!! First however I have to deal with Bell--he has stolen my uncle's money, claims items and equipment as his, stolen items from the house and machine shops, abused his Power of Attorney, got Nick to sign leases at the age of 95 without proper legal representation present, may have been guilty of elder abuse, and got the manager of the Seniors' facility that Nick had lived in since 2008, to help him with his underhanded plans.  He is the most despicable piece of  slime, a liar, thief, cheat, shop lifter, etc. etc. I am hoping this doesn't have to go to court, but if it does, so be it.  I want him in jail. Meanwhile, Dave is out at the farm a lot these days working to clear the weeds, bush, and dead trees away--all the stuff Bell never did although he was supposed to. I and Dave's friends have noticed that he has a new lease on life--he's a changed man!! After his angioplasty it became clear he could never do pipeline welding again and he was feeling pretty down about that.  He was still fixing things for people or making things like hitches and stuff for them, but it wasn't the same. Now he is able to be back on land and do the things he used to do on the ranch where he grew up.  And I'm very happy that he is happy and that I have a husband willing to do all this work. We will have to build a new house out there--the old one has a crumbling foundation and would need such a major reno that it would cost more than building a new one. I'm excited about that and am already planning screened in porches and a veranda so that we can enjoy the view across the fields. I wish we were both younger--we offered to move there years ago, but Nick wasn't ready for that, if he ever would have been!!  Lots and lots to do before we move there!! Oh, and there are a number of local folks including relatives (2nd cousins) who haven't wasted time in showing interest in buying, renting--geez, show some respect and wait eh? And then there's the guy who has sub-leased the farm from Bell.  By the way Bell leased the farm from Nick for $0--yes that's right, $0.  Then he turned around and charged Cyr, $75/acre. And the money isn't in Nick's account. Nice guy!
  4. Dogs.  Lanny has spent a fair bit of time with Dave over the past month or so--partly as a break for me as chasing around after a puppy like Lanny is exhausting being as ill as I am. Lanny behaves a lot better when he's not around Duffy.  He picks on Duffy a lot--sometimes it's play but he's very rough and even knocks Duffy over. Lanny wants to be the big cheese here--I don't think Duffy really minds that, he just doesn't like being roughed up.  Yet he is still very tolerant and puts up with a lot more than most dogs would, even Collies.  Duffy is such a good boy. Lanny gets into stuff that Duffy never thought of doing--like garbage cans for used Kleenex!!! And he chews through leashes and collars like nobody's business!! And you can tell he's from Minnesota because he really likes wood--like Paul Bunyan!!! He chews wood and bark whenever he can. He's finally house broken, hooray--it only took until he was 7 1/2 months old!! You know, it's kind of like when you have your first child and he's really smart, challenging and stubborn, but smart.  And then you have a second, and he's well...slow.  This means, in Lanny's case, waiting to show him until the fall or even winter and that might mean showing him in Alberta after all, as I don't fancy travelling in the mountains in the winter!! We'll see though.  We keep those ears glued!! Once we get some fences built at the farm Duffy and Lanny will be able to run around and have a good time out there. On the other hand we may have to keep them separate until Lanny is 3 or so and might be settled down!!
To end this post, here are some pictures of the farm, including some antique items.  My family threw nothing away!!
The chicken coop.  Dave has since cleared those weeds etc. from around the building.

This cat/dozer is my age and it was the first farm machine that Uncle Mike taught me how to drive--I was 9.

Old gramophone with cylinders in the tin can. A winter project--trying to get this to work!

Driveway towards the barn.

My grandmother's pedal Singer sewing machine.

Lanny likes to go into the little patch of bush and brings out sticks--this time there was an empty nest in the twigs--what treasures!!

To the north on the home quarter.

The old pig weigh scale.

McCormick tractor, -1950

All the buildings were kept painted red with white trim.  They are faded now.

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Happy Gotcha Day Duffy and Happy Birthday Mom!!

Five years ago on June 29, 2008, we drove out to Davenloch to get our little puppy Duffy. This is also Dave's mom's birthday, so today is extra special. Hugs and kisses to Duffy and loving thoughts of Mom. ♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥♥


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

More Lanny--Lanny in the country!!

 Do I ever wish I lived in the country and could let my dogs enjoy romping through the grass and bush, instead of walks in the crowded, vehicle infested city!!


Friday, June 7, 2013

Lanny at Ya Ha Tinda

Dave has Lanny again and yesterday they went out to Ya Ha Tinda.  He needed to fill up a bunch of 5 gallon water containers from the spring, and he figured why not go out there!  Lanny is such a different traveller than MUST BARK AT EVERYTHING THAT MOVES Duffy.  Lanny just lies down, sleeps, or gets up once in a while to look around.  No sheet over his crate!!

This was the first time that Lanny has seen moving water, like Ram River moving water.  He was apprehensive at first, but got his paws wet,  waded in a little more, drank a couple of times, and was soooo excited by it all!! He did his "Airs Above Ground" thing a lot--4 paws off the ground, whirled, and twirled, and enjoyed the heck out of the experience.

In addition to the water trip, he's now seen cows at the Auction Mart, and met up with a lady and her female Collie who was a show dog. The woman had nice compliments about Lanny and said that it was so nice to meet up a with a dog that didn't want to fight. Lanny is a hit with the neighbors
and an elderly lady got out of a car to pat him!! He actually sat really nicely, understanding that she was elderly and more frail. Collies are so smart!!

Back in May we took him to the EG for the first time, along with Duffy.  And Lanny conducted himself really well.  A couple of times he let out that sharp yip--that sure woke up the old dears!! Hahahaha!!
The spring from the mountain side

Leapin' Lizards--what is this stuff???
Mmmmmm, cold and refreshing!!


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Lanny Helps Out

Dave took Lanny to Olds on Monday--they will be back on Thursday. It's nice to have a little rest from puppy antics for a few days--for both Duffy and I!! Dave took out that shelving unit that was in the van--now I'll have more room for things like a grooming table, camping crates, etc. Dave said that Lanny was a great supervisor!!
Lanny making sure all the washers and bolts are there!

Isn't he one fine looking dog??!!
And meanwhile...
We got a coupler--so much easier to take them both for a walk!! 

And Second Wind Dreams put on a Spring Tea to welcome Geraldine, the new RCM for 4AB

The Greek ladies and I--Dianna on my right and Kay to the left.


Sunday, May 19, 2013

Spring time in the Rockies--well,okay, the Parkland!!

Duffy showing Lanny that age, experience, and size can help you keep the deer hoof!!

Airs above ground? Lanny loves to leap and rear up on his hind feet--I call him Trigger!!!

So attentive--there must be food around!!

The pin cherry tree blossoms are extra gorgeous this year. My hair blends into the blossoms--even though my hair isn`t pink!!