Monday, May 28, 2007

Vacation . . . maybe next year

We headed up to Bellingham last wed. with daydreams of lounging in the sun while Moira toddled around in the grass getting into trouble. Unfortunately Moira no longer likes to sleep anywhere but her own bed. The first night we were treated to an hour long high volume rant about just how much she wanted to sleep in her own bed. The next day I was sick, but luckily Moira was much easier to put to bed. Night three Moira was sick and after several hours of crying we packed up and headed for Seattle in the wee hours. So while we didn't get to take Moira to the parade we did get to catch up with all of her grandparents. Mel was in the hospital briefly and is now home and doing well. Ross is the new owner of a dumptruck, Keron's garden is ever evolving and growing. Will won big at the tx holdem' poker tournament. We did manage to relax a little, but it was good to get home and get some sleep. Of course Moira never passes up a chance to smile for the paparazzi. . .

Barefoot in the grass at Mel and Heidi's

Silly smiles at Keron and Ross's

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Lazy Sunday

Nick and Moira catch a snooze in the recliner. There's nothing like a nap on a rainy sunday afternoon.

First Place!!

Kess and I did much better than expected at the disc dog competition. Luckily the wind seemed to magically die down when it was my turn to throw the frisbee allowing me to keep it on the course. Another bonus is that I found out you get two rounds after I got there. Our first round was pretty horrid with only two catches in the time allowed but in our second round we got 4 catches and I managed to through them further so they were worth more points. I had a great time taking pictures and of course I'm going to share them . . .

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Fun day in the sun

Well I've decided to give herding lessons a real serious try before I surrender. It's been a real struggle to find a trainer that I feel works well with the style of dog that Kess is but that is also able to explain things well to me. Being the type of person I am I seem to be drawn to a challenge (just look at my college experience). I'm doggedly determined to figure out the nuances of sheepdog handling. I think that actually being able to do some real work with your dog is the ultimate translation of the bond between dog and owner. Being able to work with a dog towards a common goal and then suceed is a great feeling. So for everyone who gave me money for agility lessons with Kess for my birthday thanks so much, but I'm going to use it for herding lessons. I want to commit to going once a week for three months and hopefully I'll see some real progress and if not I'll know that I gave it my best effort and we can move on. I just feel that Kess has a lot of natural talent, and that my understanding of animal behavior will increase ten-fold for the experience. I'm always amazed at how the herding instructors can pick up on the smallest hint like the flick of the dogs tail or the set of its ears to tell how it's going to behave. Well that's enough rambling on . . . here's the photos of the day. Still no pictures of Kess I'm going to have to give Nancy a lesson on my camera.

Rekker and Len

Bea and Len

Monday, May 14, 2007


Well after looking around a little on the web I discovered that there is a little nature trail to a lake with an observation dock very close to my house. So Moira and I headed out to take a look. It was a little after 1:00 so the birds were all taking a rest in the shade, but some turtles were taking advantage of the warm sunshine .

Painted Turtle Chrysemys picta

These guys are pretty unimpressive from the top, but their undersides have bright red and yellow patterns which give them their name.

Red eared slider Trachemys scripta elegans (invasive species)

Mother's Day

Well Nick threw me a Birthday/Mother's Day celebration on sat. and sun. Everyone from Bellingham came down for a visit and Gabe and Cynthia headed up from Olympia. We ate lots of food and got to catch up on everyone's lives. Moira had a great time charming everyone and even gave out some hugs and cuddles.

Miss Moiras favorite thing right now is books. She just loves all of her books and wants you to read them over, and over, and over . . . . you can't really say no when a kid actually wants to read a book so even though she has about 15 I try to pick up a few more every month as we quickly get real tired of her favorites. Her absolute favorite book is Moo, Bah, LaLaLa and I can now recite the whole thing from start to finish. I've had to resort to hiding it for days at a time to get a reprieve.

Sun I went out with Addie and Cary to the good old Value Village and scored a recliner. Nick took one sit in it and declared it dad's chair. He spent the remainder of sun lounging in his new throne.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Dogs, Dogs, and more Dogs


Aaron and Leo

Eva and Iniki

I've started meeting with a group of disc dog enthusiasts on wed. evenings. It's a great crowd and the dogs all have tons of fun. Kess has been very stubborn about bringing the Frisbee back the last 5 feet or so, which is starting to wear down my patience, but after two weeks she's a little better. I know Kevin will feel my frustration as he spent many long hours in the back yard trying to get Kess to bring him the ball. She'll have to mention him in her acceptance speech for her first major flyball award. Well as you might imagine taking pictures of running dogs catching frisbees is quite difficult. In general the dog would be in focus, but they wouldn't catch the frisbee or the dog would catch the frisbee but the lovely fence behind them would be in focus. As the light began to fade things got even more difficult. Even so I think I managed to get a few nice shots of all the action. Next time I hope to take the whole scene into better account and think a little more about where I place myself to get better shots.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

May Cuteness Update

Last weekend I was up in Canada with Kess we had a great time and Kess preformed really well. Her best time of the weekend was 4.33 sec which is really good since she was running in the last position and part of her time comes from where the dogs pass in regards to the start line. Basically you can subtract a little time due to handler error as it's very difficult to time it so that the dogs pass exactly at the starting line. Her best time ever is 4.19 sec making her one of the fastest dogs on the team. We have discovered that Kess is quite competitive and likes to go last. She will actually look over at the other dog and speed up to beat it back. Tonight we're off to frisbee practice, which is really for myself rather than Kess. I still throw pretty badly compared to the pros but I have a respectable toss for lazy summer afternoons. Our first competition is in mid May. It should be lots of fun.
Moira's favorite things right now are her chair, stackable cups that she can sort things in , and being cute. She spends hours moving things from one pile to the next getting them just right. She's got the walking thing down pretty well allowing her to wear some of her dresses. She really enjoys being outside and gets to wallow around in the dirt at least once a day.