Friday, November 30, 2007

Okay, so ignore the seriously grotty shirt... it'd seen a raspberry jam toast for breakfast along with a romp through the garden helping me weed so really it's a miracle it's not completely black. And ignore the wild-child hair... the attempt at using a brush to style it himself.

Do check out the green playdough creation though... it's a green crayon stuck into a sphere of green playdough whereupon he giggled hysterically and proclaimed, "Mum! I maked a GWEEN LOLLY!!!" This was followed by more hysterical giggling and a number of rather enthusiastic mimed "licks", slurping, lip smacking and pretending to wipe his chin from pretend lolly-goo amid giggle-fits and chants of, "Oh yummy! Green lollies are yummy! It's green! Nice green! So greeeeennnnnn, so yuuuuummmy! Doggies want green lollies, cheepies (chooks) want green lollies, no, no, nooo!!! *emphatic head shaking* Green! Is! MINE!"

And here's a sight we never thought we'd see... he's 1.) playing on his own for a good 15 minutes and 2.) doing that with toys he's actually supposed to play with! He pulled down his tray with Schleich animal figures (cows, horses, sheep, ducks, chooks, alpaca etc) and was making them run around, eat grass, moo, whinny, bleat, cluck, crow etc. The border collie herds the sheep also with a lot of panting! LOL So very-utterly-completely cute watching this pretend and make-believe play! Considering not-so-long ago he had the attention span of a distracted gnat when it came to amusing himself for 2 seconds this is a moment that fully warranted photographic proof to look back at and prove it really DID happen! Those of you who don't have kids or who have kids that play politely with their own toys instead of dashing off the second you blink to go dismantle the remotes down to their chips and wires before tossing half of them in the fridge and half of them in the dryer just trust me... this is a lot more impressive than you think! ;-p

Doggie folks, if you look very, very carefully you'll be able to spot the well camoflaged Italian Greyhound and black-tri Aussie Shepherd curled on the tan dog bed in the corner behind the wood basket.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

This has been a week of things happening that rather suck - the worst being loosing all my little chookies. It's further included:
  • our tv is giving up the ghost
  • our dvd player DID give up the ghost
  • Laurent has a flu with a nasty habit of spiking high fevers and is screaming unconsolably much of the day and most of the night too
  • our computer is snafu'ed - It ocassionally lets me online but randomly freezes, the e-mail is not working, addressbook likewise, MSN not working and omg how many people do I know that I have no phone numbers for!
  • Nic's new job is closing down, can't compete with the outsourcing to China
  • the barn door blew off AGAIN. This is a 3 m wide x tractor high solid steel frame colourbond door that is freaking heavy and yet the wind manages to blow it off!
  • I put my back out trying to fix the door with Nic. D'oh!
And despite all this I've been remarkably pretty calm and upbeat. However yesterday morning was the kicker. The guy who is agisting sheep here showed up and tells me he's sold them. All of them. "We weren't sure you wanted any." What the heck?!?!? Weren't SURE??? We'd talked since the first lamb was born! We talked about it every time they've been out since, at least twice a month including the last time he was here a week ago! Heck THEY were the ones who suggested I could take a few lambs in lieu of agistment fees! "Oh well, too late now - they're sold. He bought a bunch from us last year and wanted the lot this year. We'll have more next year if you want."

Yeah. Right. If he didn't want to sell me any fine but why offer it in the first place, let alone for months and it's not like be getting any less for it as we'd agreed the equivalent of market price. So sad and angry too that he couldn't be straight up. Too much Midwesterner in me I guess, I expect that because I deal in handshakes, others put the same importance in it and try to do right by their word.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Fox... all my little chookies gone

I'll keep it brief as if anyone wants the full story, it's in Fowl Play but a fox broke into my pens the other night and took all of my chooks except 2 that were in a seperate shed and the chicks in the house. These were ones that were fox proofed - two layers of wire, a mesh top, bricks around the sides, wire dug under, tension wire at ground level. But one got in anyway and killed five. They were very tame and as affectionate as puppies. They came to their names, followed me around the garden and would hop into your lap for attention. Even attempt to preen my hair and eyelashes very gently. I'm gutted - it's really the only word for it. I was planning to go to a big sale to buy more stock this weekend and Nic is pushing for me to still do so as he reckons it'll be good for me and I'll regret if I don't but I tend to think I'd not be able to handle it but we'll see.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Anything you can do, I can do better!

I was reminded of that Irving Berlin song today while playing with Hope.
   Anything you can do, I can do better
I can do any thing better than you
No you can't, Yes I can, No you can't, Yes I can
No you can't, Yes I can, yes I can
Veri who usually alternates between watching, snoozing and romping during my time with Hope and Si as her stuff is all about relaxing, self control etc has decided they've been hogging this clicker stuff far too long! She trotted up, looked at the bowl of treats near me, sniffed and promptly sat, looking at me clearly asking, "Please may I have one?" in her very best manners. She of course got clicked and rewarded for having asked and was chuffed with herself. All my dogs like clicker of course but she's the only one who is clearly impressed with herself and her own cleverness!

So today she joined in and picked up how to:
target using a target wand (stationary, different positions, a bit of momentment)
drop (from one position only)
sit at a distance (2 meters) and from different positions (in front of me, on my right, left, various spots in the yard, driveway etc)
shape the beginning of leg weaves - she'll follow the target wand through and around one leg and shaped is up to entering about 5"

Drop was actually quite funny because at first she wasn't sure... this wasn't sit and it wasn't touch and those are the two tricks in her bag atm. Eventually she did figure it out and went, "AH ha! Oh, I am just so very clever!" She was really tickled with herself and rolled around around the grass, legs akimbo, grunting and groaning happily and nibbling my fingers lightly. "You're a clever girlie Veri!" I teased her, scratching just under her chin She looked up with smiling eyes, tail lazily thumping mid-roll and if she could speak she'd have said, "I know! Aren't I just!" PMSL!

Meanwhile Hope isn't sure what to make of this turn of events. She kept coming up to nudge me during Veri's turns. "But MUM! *I* can do that! I *know* that! That's *MY* trick! You're suppoooosseeeedd toooo pllllaaay with meeeeeee!!!!!"

Anyhow that's the day. All the pics are ones taken of the girls practicing 'down' together. You can't half tell they're sisters can you?!?

Thursday, November 08, 2007

A boy and his chooks

I'm posting these here because they're La related as much as chook related and crack me up!

Blossom the chook gets a tractor ride

and really, it's all about your perspective!

Wednesday, November 07, 2007


Okay, I already posted today. I know. I'm back. It's my blog and my prerogative to post every little inane detail about my life here if I want! ;-p

More to the point, because it's 1am and I SHOULD be in bed I am logically Not-In-Bed but lolly gagging around and reading Leah's brilliant blog instead. Now half of you already know this perfectly well but for those who don't know - Leah is brilliant and ought to have a badge that says so too, so it's really perfectly understandable that I got caught up reading her post and didn't notice the little pitter-patter of feet down the hallway when those little feet and the attached toddler ought to have been asleep in bed.

Either way though, I didn't hear those little feet pitter-pattering.

I did however notice Hope disappear from where she was laying at my feet, which was a bit odd. Further investigations revealed my helpful toddler armed with a water bowl, "cleaning it" before proffering it to Hope in newly scrubbed and fully pristine condition. "Here Hopie, have a waddah!" Heavens forbid the dog who thinks sheep turds are a delicacy drinks water that's less than fresh! So what's the punchline?

Well, the scrub brush he was using was my toothbrush.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Since we're having the nice long weekend I got more time than usual to muck around with the hooligans and of course that means one thing - PICTURES! ;-p

Verity and Sheep
Verity hasn't really been on the sheep here because my ewes are liable to charge, headbutt, strike and stomp the dogs which is lousy for confidence building. (Good for avoiding foxes eatting lambs though!) The lambs are light and easy though. Verity is actually pretty interested in the sheep. She's not entirely sure what she's to do with them but she's sure she's supposed to do something and even shows a bit of Aussie eye.

Round about we go to get them together.

Then up the fence line after them...

...and toward the gate...

...waiting for them to go through instead of balking and scattering...

...and all the way through! Now mind you she looks like she knows what she's doing but this was luck more than skill! I was just standing back to see what she'd be inclined to do and it's too brief to say how she'll end up longterm. She moved at a slow pace and gave them enough room that they didn't feel the need to turn and challenge her (which is where Hope runs into problems with these buggers - she gets closer, they stop and come at her) but still kept moving and sat when she got near the gate which meant they went through the gate instead of hooking a right up the other fence.

Of course if they bolt, giving chase is always fun! ~_~ Ah well, early days yet!

Misc. Pics

A few cute pics of the girls having a romp in the fields...

Verity, stalking a butterfly

Hope, in a halo of sunshine

Sierra in the dam which is currently a bit too high!

And another of Verity checking to see if I'm where she left me.

Now I know this is a crappy shot but it was too funny not to include! Hope is going submarine, head down in the water snuffling for...

... yup, you guessed it! Her beloved tennis ball! The rest of the day was along the same lines: run, chase, slobber, cool off in the dam, run, chase, slobber, back to the dam! LOL Someone asked me the other day how come there are so many pics of the girls adventures but so few of Cade. What is he off doing while they are running amok?

Well, not much really! LOL

Last two... more iris! This is another Tempo Two one.

And this gorgeous one is Owyhee Desert

Monday, November 05, 2007

I've got heaps of pics for this post so grab yourself a cuppa and settle in! ;-)

First up, I've got a few more of La's pictures from his b-day prezzies. The first is Sir I-Can-Do-It-Myself attempting to put together his ride on tractor, starting with the steering wheel. I thought that was rather clever!

Next - Sir now has a cricket bat and ball. He is steadfast it's used as a golf club and won't have a bar of using it as a cricket bat.

Okay, this one is a bit of an announcment more than just a pic... I've decided to do a seperate blog for the chook stuff as this one was intended originally to be about the dogs.So if you want to see the chooks from here on out, go to "Fowl Play". There will be a link on the sidebar.

It will be updated more sporadically than this one but contain pics of the chicks as they mature etc.

Here are two pics of the iris currently blooming, so pretty! These are Tempo Two bred ones.

And now for the bulk of the photos, from Saturday's ASCV show! I didn't take show photos of every dog this time, just a few. I wanted to focus more on taking snapshots to sketch so they're more casual/interesting poses than nice, well composed pics! ;-) Here's a few of the ones I snapped for reasons other than sketching.

First (because I always find seeing my dogs relatives nice!) is Tilley, Hope and Verity's mum. (Pics taken by Nic.) I'm sure you would never be able to guess where my girls gets their sooky lapdog qualitites from would you!!!

It was a nice surprise as I'd not thought they were coming but after we got there Nic looked around and said, "Hey, isn't that Amanda?" Well it was and she had Tilley and Rush so I got to see them again.

I had a good cuddle with Tilley who was quite pleased with three extra sets of hands to pet and feed her. It was so cute when La requested cookies to feed her and got a piece of chicken. Tilley went straight for it, obviously where Veri and Hope got their chowhound nature from too! La gently told her, "No... no..." every time she nudged his hand closed around a bit of the chicken, waiting till she backed up a bit to click (he does a terrific tongue-click) and open his fist, chirping "Ah! Good girl! Here! Good girl!!!" He did it several times till he ran out of bikkies. Aw, just made me melt, how cuuuuuttteeee!!! He just turned two and he's already a clicker trainer!!!

A few more nicely posed shots to show the serious side! ;-)

And Rush, Veri's brother and Hope's half brother.

I'd brought Hope and Verity with me as well, though they weren't entered of course. Miss Hope's leg is finally looking nice, so she enjoyed the outting thoroughly. Verity is my real brag though... she did
sooooooooo well the whole day I was almost set to burst! Both girls got to go see their breeder again. No doubts at all about if Veri remembers her "first mum and dad" or not! After they left we did a bit of a tour and she was chilled out... several points she just laid down ringside, playing with Hope, rolling in my lap for plays and cuddles, mooching treats, went for a romp with Ashley (blue merle dog five pics down), got pats from several people and wasn't even phased when a certain someone did his booga-booga razz'em thing. LOL I couldn't have been more chuffed if she'd won BIS, that's great progress!

Now these are a few dogs who caught my interest
, so in no particular order...

Blog readers who've heard me refer to Amanda and Kinta, here's a face and fuzzball to go with the names. ;-)

Recently this young fellow got his new juniors dog and the initial photos on the list were so lovely but it was a treat to see them in person. IMO for a child to have that bond and partnership with a dog is something priceless. It's that kind of bond I want La to have with our dogs. I also felt a bit like if I'd been out there we could have had the dog show version of "Are you smarter than a 5th grader"... "Can you handle as well as a junior"! (Hn, maybe better I wasn't entered! LOL)

I didn't get any pics of the 2nd show or sweepstakes or anything because my memory card was full of sketch snaps! ACK!!!

All in all it was a beautiful day. Started out a bit damp but turned into a nice day, full of nice chats and seeing people I've not seen in ages since I'm not showing atm. I missed being out there and the whole atmosphere of the shows! Even if I'm not showing it's still the best way to spend a weekend! Ah well, that's it for now.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Our porch was ripped up completely yesterday, the floor and cross-beams or whatever they're called and all.

(Old boards ripped up, exposing support boards about to be ripped up.)
The roof was propped up by several large boards wedged into the ground in a manner that looks like it wouldn't hold but is shockingly sturdy. The new deck is in place and it's all purdy just waiting for me to oil it! The skirting around the house is mostly done, three and a half sides so far.

(New boards in place, waiting for deck to be put in.)

(And TA DA!!! New shiney pretty porch!)
The Terrible Trio are very pleased with themselves. All three are loving the fact that tradies move between their worksite and truck so very often because every time one of them does,kibble rains from heaven upon them. This is to continue Verity's "strangers are treat dispensers in disguise" work and nip Hope's barking her silly head off at people on our property thing in the bud. (Okay, so it's probably just because of her heat but no harm in being extra bulletproof!) Both are stomachs on legs so I had one little half-woof today and that was it!

Hope, after being restricted from running in the paddocks and especially running in the paddocks with Veri and Si, had her first good romp in weeks and was so elated to be let out with the others instead of being banished to the Mudroom of Perpetual Boredom while they romped and having to wait for her seperate, quieter turn.

Miss Verity decided to join us in a clicker session and instead of just focusing on relaxation stuff, I decided to actually see if we could get a 'sit' since that's what I was playing with Hope and Si with. (Well, tbh I was mucking about seeing who could sit faster but close enough...)

Anyhow, we not only got a sit but she had this lightbulb moment. Now Verity under fairly normal circumstances here is Steve Irwin-like in her enthusiasm so Verity when elated is a sight to behold - she dorked out, tore off in a mad dash in a circle as fast as she could, ricocheted off the watertank like a manic flyball dog, came straight back around still going full tilt, skidded the last few feet and SLAMMED into a sit leaving her bum-fluff green with grass stains! LOL

She bounced up, completely unaware she'd almost taken my kneecaps out, slammed into a sit again, jumped up in glee, *WHOMP* back into a sit. "Didjya see that mum??? Didjya??? Didjya huh? I *sat*! I sit and you click and
that means TREATS and look at this - *WHOMP* Ha! I did it again! HA! I knew that'd make you click! Whooooooooooooooooooo hooo!!!!"