05/17/2022 Spring Cleaning

This is my dog shelf. All the dogs I've lost in my adult life (with the exception of one) reside on this shelf. All with a photo or a trinket or two. Momentos of our time together, something that reminds me of them, or something gifted me at their passing. All with a piece of my heart. Several times a year that shelf, along with the rest of the bookcase, gets a thorough cleaning as opposed to just a quick dusting. Those are the times each box, each token, is picked up, handled, remembered. Those are the times the Sad likes to pay a visit. Just how strongly it does so depends on what song is playing on Spotify, what my mood is, and how many glasses of wine I've had. Yes, wine while cleaning is a thing. There is also occasional dancing while cleaning. It all depends on the previously mentioned

04/21/2022 Catching Up

Yes, I know, I've been a bit negligent about posting. No real reason. Partly I just didn't feel I had anything of much interest to write about, partly I was having my yearly internal debate about whether or not to continue the blog, or perhaps turn it into something else (no, I don't know what -- if you have a suggestion, feel free to pass it along). If I'm being honest, I think I'm still adjusting to how much my life has changed since the pre-pandemic era. I'm sure I'm not the only one feeling that way, it's changed quite a bit for a lot of people. It seems rather odd I would be bothered by that (which also serves to annoy me) as I'm pretty good with change and always enjoy a challenge. Plus, some of what's transpired were things I'd actually dreamt about. Then again, maybe I succumbed to

02/07/2022 After a Break

According to the Chinese New Year, 2022 is the Year of the Tiger which sounds a whole lot better than the past couple years -- you know, the Year of the Unmitigated Shit Show and the Year of the Disillusioned Quokka. A quick Google search suggests that for those who celebrate the Chinese lunar year, the tiger symbolizes hope amid challenges. In Chinese mythology the tiger is called upon by the Jade Emperor, the ruler of heaven, to exorcise demons. A purging of evil, as it were. Well, let's hope it works. Go Tiger! Around here, 2022 is going to be the Year of Training. Not that I won't do any trialing--I'd like to get Dillon's WTCH and Finn's started cattle as well as a couple Farm Trial titles for them both. Dillon's WTCH and Finn's started titles, however, will require more consistent exposure to cattle and I'm not sure if

12/22/2021 Zoomies

Finn loves to play even if no one else wants to, he's been that way since he was a puppy. He'll amuse himself with a stick, a pile of leaves, a chunk of ice, or zoomies through the tall grass. It's a behavior which never ceases to both baffle and annoy Dillon, especially when Finn does everything in his power to get Dillon to join in. There are times Dillon loosens up and romps a bit. Other times

10/23/2021 Autumn Musings

Fall has always been my favorite time of year even though the Sad typically comes in full force part-way through September and lingers well into October. This year, however, it hasn't seemed as strong. There have been moments, usually triggered by a Facebook memory or a bout of reminiscing with friends, but the sharp edges are dulled. Although I still feel the sting of tears behind my eyes at those times, they aren't as eager to spill over. I have to confess, it's a bit odd. I suppose because I'm so used to having a love-hate relationship with Autumn -- the cooler temps and beauty of the season constantly overshadowed by the Sad like storm clouds on the horizon -- that feeling it diminished seems somehow

10/10/2021 Trial Brain

I had a bit of an epiphany at the inaugural 3 Sheeps to the Wind ASC Corona Classic last week. It came about thanks to comments made by a good friend who pointed out that my cues to my dogs, especially Finn, were practically non-existent. He suggested (rightly so) that I pay attention to that and cue the boys just like I do when training. That got me thinking (usually never a good thing) and replaying my runs in my head which led me to concur that my friend was 100% correct in his observation. And, not that it's an excuse, but I actually came up with a reason, albeit, not a very good one, and hence the epiphany. I suffer from Trial Brain. Upon further reflection it occurred to me that when I enter the trial arena, I feel (on a mostly subconscious level) as though I need to perform. Even though

09/13/2021 Making Headway

He lay still, relaxed, calmly happy. Then his mind seemed to turn over suddenly and take hold--and there it was, starting to make plans, thinking. After a minute, a slight sense of irritation came over him. "You think too  much!" he said to himself. Why did not his mind, like other people's minds, allow him to rest and be happy without any planning ahead into the future, whether of the next twenty-four hours or the next twenty-four years? Why could he not lie quiet for as long as sixty seconds? No, something took over with a rush and a whir, and even though his body lay still, his mind turned over and started, and there it was running on, like an idling engine. EARTH ABIDES   ~George R. Stewart   As I was sitting out on the deck this morning, enjoying the cool morning air and the birds twittering in the trees, relishing that little bit

08/16/2021 Get Out of Your Head

  There's been way too much of this /\ going on lately. The top part, not the bottom. Point in case: I walked out to open the gate between the arena and the pasture the other morning so the sheep could get out to graze. Nearly to the next gate it occurred to me that I'd been so busy in my head I closed the pasture gate behind me out of habit. I do tend to subscribe to the rule "Leave the gates how you found them" and since that gate was closed when I came through

08/09/2021 Coming Up For Air

I've gone through lulls on the blog before, but I find it hard to believe I haven't posted since February, especially given my 'restructured' schedule. Though, admittedly, I've been rather preoccupied with navigating the changes we've experienced over the past seven months. A great deal of time and energy went into developing and launching my new venture Journey Impressions (if you need any Stockdogs Rule items or other embroidery or screen printing that's the place to go). Not enough of that time and energy went into the launch of my latest fantasy novel Bound in Shadow (available wherever e-books are sold with signed paperbacks available here). Whatever remained was taken up with the dogs, dog events, everyday stuff, and the general stress exacerbated by all of the above. Needless to say, most of my days have felt like this