Friday, May 30, 2008

The nerves are starting.....

We're entered in a sheepdog trial next weekend. I haven't trialed in about a year, so I'm a little nervous. I'm not running Heather - I've let Andre work her lately and he'll run her in Pro-Novice which is good for him AND her. She was getting very naughty on the lift and fetch in the Ranch courses with me and the last trials I ran her in resulted in DQs because she was gripping on the fetch. Never did figure that out, but I thought that the shorter outrun AND having Andre run her might make her not lose her head.
SO I'm nervous because I'm running Vic. He's a nut. SO hyper. But I've been letting him do practical work at home - bringing in the moms and lambs - and he's becoming a different dog. It's so nice having my own sheep to work. I see such a difference in the dogs. So we'll see how he does at the trial. Even though he hasn't been a star on the trial field, I absolutely LOVE this boy and tell him that when they make it legal, I'm going to marry him! (yes - I'm a weird one)
I'm also going to let Blue run!!! There aren't a lot of dogs entered in the trial (50+), so they are having "FUN" runs if it's not too hot (my emphasis on fun, so I remember to keep my head on!). I thought this might be a nice introduction for him. He's not quite ready for trialing - doesn't really know his flanks yet - but he can do a decent outrun and fetch and he wears very nicely, so I'll be happy if we get that far. He's such a cute bugger and I have to keep from laughing at him when we're working sheep because he gets SO SERIOUS, and all other times he's a complete goober.
The trial is at the beautiful Mount Vernon Farm in Sperryville VA. Absolutely wonderful place for a trial. They raise grass fed cattle, lamb etc. and sell it there. Cliff, the owner, will be grilling up some of their home grown burgers (and lamb sausages hopefully!) for lunch.

Friday, May 23, 2008


A friend of mine at work invited Andre and I to her house for a get together last night. Carol and her husband Bruno were hosting a guy who had come in to do book signings and he's also giving the commencement speach for Shepherd Community College (? I think). He's originally from Martinsburg, WV and has ties to the community etc. etc. etc. They've come to know him in the last 10 years or so through other friends and he usually stays with them. Anyway, he's written a book about Lincoln and I thought Andre would enjoy talking to him. So the guy's name is David Selby and he's also an actor. As soon as I saw him I knew I'd seen him in things - turns out he was in Dark Shadows (there is a huge cult following for that show believe it or not - kind of like trekkies!), Falcon Crest, some movies etc. It was a nice evening because they had finished a day of book signings (he and his lovely wife Chip and his publicist) and then came by Carol and Bruno's house to relax and talk to us. Andre had him practically all to himself and he probably is coming to Andre's High School in the fall to talk to his students. What a change from our normal lives, and hey, we were rubbing elbows with Hollywood (The closest we'll ever get!)

Thursday, May 22, 2008

same ole.....

Not much going on lately, which is actually a good thing. Pulled a thorn out of a limping lamb and it made me feel like I'm important in the lives of my sheep. Then 2 days ago Jazzy (big mama ewe) started limping. We caught her (Andre LOVES to do that for some reason) and flipped her and her hooves were overgrown. Trimmed them back, put some magical stuff on it and she's walking better today. I really love taking care of my sheep. And watching them sitting there chewing their cud like they have no care in the world. I keep thinking "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want....", and no I don't think I'm God, but I do want to be a good shepherd to my flock and do all I can to provide a nice life for them. They in return get to help us when I train my border collies to work them. The dogs are now learning about moving lambs and about dealing with some protective mamas and how to keep off of them just enough not to piss them off, but to convince them to move.
Helping with a trial this weekend - AKC (UGH, don't agree with AKC conformation showing and how it has ruined too many breeds, but I do like to see the other breeds working sheep (shelties, corgis, bearded collies, GSDs) and their owners working together in any venue available. None of my dogs are or ever will be registered with AKC - don't get me started as this is a huge issue within the border collie working dog world). Anyway, this may make me a hypocrit by being involved in this ACK! trial, but I do help out my neighbor who needs to make a living, which she does by putting on trials, training etc. Helping out gets me free sheeptime at her farm. I also enjoy most of the people who come to these trials, although there are always the idiots who complain about this and that. They want "trained" sheep and don't seem to understand that this is LIVESTOCK, and you must expect the unexpected. On Monday there is an AHBA trial (all breeds also) and these are fun and a little more laid back. I'll be using Heather to hold sheep for all these trials - 3 days worth-, which means we set (settle and hold with pressure from me and Heather) until the dog running does an outrun and then lifts them to bring them to their handler. Heather LOVES working and although this job of doing setout might cause issues with her strong eye, I've decided to do what we like to do. She's my first dog and I've made plenty of mistakes with her, but she's taught me TONS because she is such a natural. The issues she has have only been because I didn't know how to work them out with her, but I'm happy and she's happy with our journey.

Friday, May 9, 2008


So Erin sends a picture of her and her new boyfriend. hmmmm.....what's up with the halo? Or is it a crown? Is this what they call a subliminal message? She wants me to think he's an angel?
Oh - and I hate cell phone cameras. Everything looks so fuzzy.
love you Erin.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008


I've decided to go to Weight Watchers.....again. I did it for awhile a couple years ago and lost 10 pounds, and it was surprisingly easy! I just got bored (i.e.weak). But those pounds have come back to visit and brought some of their friends along, so I really do need to get serious and get rid of all that extra weight I've been carrying around for way too long.
I'm on BP meds and Lipitor, and I could probably get off all those meds if I would just lose some weight and EXERCISE! ugh. I've finally realized that my aching back and my lack of energy might have something to do with the extra 40 lbs I've put on in the last 5 years. So this time I'm going to do it with a vengeance and I'm putting it on this blog for a little extra accountability. :)
Andre might even join with me. A fellow teacher at his school lost 90 pounds on WW. Of course Andre probably lost 10 pounds just thinking about going on a diet - MEN!

Monday, May 5, 2008


My thirty something niece was diagnosed with a primary brain tumor several months ago. She and her husband have 2 little ones, the oldest just started kindergarten this past year I think. I'm on a list to get periodic updates written by her loving husband Larry. Just last week he shared that Miche is not going to continue with her chemo and they have entered hospice care.
Miche and Larry are very strong in their faith and have a strong support system of friends and family who also have a strong faith in God.
It is so special and wonderful that they are accepting this as Gods plan. But she is so young and she has those 2 little ones to raise, and I keep asking myself "What the hell is God thinking?".
Keep strong, keep the faith Miche. Your Aunt Debbie.