Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas to all

And so it is Christmas, words in a song but it is Christmas Day! Started out having to work 3 hours but was home at 9:30 to have coffee and open our gifts, then a big breakfast. We both did very well in the gift department but the hit was Len's Wii! So far we have been boxing..yes I was a knock out but I kicked his butt at the shooting range Ha! It certainly is an addictive thing to have around me thinks.
So now you have to endure the doggie present pictures since we don't have kids opening presents pictures. After they entertained us with some antics, we all went for a big walk out to the back field. I should have taken the camera. What a gorgeous sunny day!
So notice in the pictures the livingroom flooring that we ordered did NOT get here in time for Christmas but we can live with plywood for another week.

Mirk wonders why the girls are hogging all the toys...

Rosie likes the sheep that honks and has a really long neck...

Jen says "Indestructible my foot!"

Lyn says "Look at my new bed and toys"

Saturday, December 5, 2009

The Weekend and Mom's Visit

Here it is the! Len's Mom came out to visit and we went out to string Christmas lights and then I worked dogs but Mom was getting chilly so no working dog pictures. Here we go....

Millie's car..she has arrived!

Sonny likes to see what is happening in the yard.

There, just rip the screen or stand up higher.

And the sheep wonder what the big white dog is doing...

Millie and I in our finest outfits.

Here are Rosie and Kip waiting to go work.

O Christmas lights, O Christmas lights...squint...then you can see them.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Fire in the Night

It was a snowy but warm Saturday so Len decided to burn the "burn pile" since it was safe. It was a roaring blaze most of the day but had died down for the night. Took these pictures in the dark and snow.

Look in the middle toward the back of the picture. There are the gremlins in the dark...waiting for the "let's go" command to race up the driveway.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Bits and Pieces

Well it is snowing here today, not much but enough to cover the ground. I am still "flu-bound" and a big haha to friends who phone and oink their hello-s. Three more days and I'll be good to go!

We had a sad week when we lost Will (2005-2009)to medical problems. He was my buddy and was the dog that stuck with me when doing chores even if the others were off playing, just in case I needed him. Was a little different walking alone those first few days. The pack setting has changed too, nothing I can describe in words but Rosie is missing him the most.

Here are some pictures of the whiskey jacks that came in to help clean up where we had butchered. They love the fat scraps and I save the fat trimmings for the winter and put it in suet boxes and hang it in the trees for them.

So I have sent Len to town to do grocery shopping. This could be really good or really bad. I will report about this later.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Carrot Eatin' Dog

This is what I woke up to this morning when I looked out. I wondered if squirrels or various beasts have been visiting in the night. I wandered off to do the day's chores and then watched the guys take the range cow and calf home that had wandered onto our property on the other side of the road.
Let the dogs out for their afternoon run and when I looked out I saw this..the culprit. Kip must really like her veggies. She pulled out the carrots, chomped them off to the root and left the green...wonder if she knew how well carrots go with chicken backs?

Monday, October 12, 2009

Maple Creek Open

Maple Creek Saskatchewan...a fun place to go for a sheepdog trial but we had one little glitch this time. Where the heck did winter come from? We arrived there on Friday night..yes proud as punch with the camper and the dogs. As Bev Sommer (who had arrived just before we did) and I stood at the trial field Friday night in the very cold windy snowy weather, we looked at Len and Norm the husbands and said...Wagons ho..the motel is 5 mintues away and that is where we are staying. No camping in this weather!
The field is a great field to work in, dips and hills and carragana bushes. On Sunday they do the Open outrun straight up the side of a hill (ok big dune)and Mirk did an awesome job of it. Alas, we didn’t pen so no shed either. Saturday wasn’t great for us. They just put the sheep out, no setting dog so Mirk went out, the sheep were behind a small hill and he was looking where he thought they were supposed to be, he started to cross at the top and Honestly! When I tried to whistle him back, my whistle was frozen! Not the only handler with that problem that day. Then I had the ewe that didn’t wanna stay with the others, made it all the way through to the pen and she broke and went to the exhaust. Dog trialling huh?

Will came in 7th place both days..good runs, didn’t pen. They just stood there and won’t move or moved darn fast. Kit was the 1st one up in ProNov on Saturday and it was her very first trial and she couldn’t find her sheep..white sheep, white snow you know the problem. They suggested that I run her in non compete on Sat. Worked great, she found her sheep and the next day no problem in ProNovice. She did a great outrun and when we started to drive, they wanted to break badly to exhaust so I walked from the post and we drove them there. No use trying to frustrate a dog that has just started driving. Put Rosie in non compete class as well….she did her outrun, lift and gripped both days on the fetch but took her lie downs and was steady. We leave it that she was a little stressed…we’ll put it down to know what to work on and her first trial. Len says she had the fastest grip time...what a cheering section!
It was a great weekend though and no one can control the weather so you make the best of it and have a good time!

Check here for pictures of the trial.


Sunday, September 20, 2009

It's About Time

Well I am finally going to post something. It has been hectic at home but things are all back to normal now...or as normal as they get. Fall is here and it is actually a welcome sight. Warm in the day, cold at night and lots of dew and rain. You'd hardly know that it was so dry here this summer. A little moisture goes a long way.

The wild animals were quite displaced by the fire and we had a new pack of coyotes move in that didn't know the Guardian Dog rules. They were quite brazen and came right into the sheep area. They grabbed two sheep but the brave Clairice chased them off with Sonny's help and saved them. Sonny isn't experienced with age but he is big. We treated them with antibiotics and washed the wounds up and this is the one ewe after a week. She had been grabbed on the top and bottom of her jaw as I am sure the coyote was trying to grab her throat. The other ewe had 2 punctures in her chest and is doing fine.

Here is a picture of Sonny growing by leaps and bounds.

Len is building a new pump house since the 10 year old temporary one collapsed. This one is very fancy, new insulated door and all! I am making new curtains and hanging blinds in the "new to us" camper.

Everyone is on their way to the USBCHA Finals so it'll be a long week of watching the computer for results. Good luck to all!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Home Again

A quick note to say we are home again. Will blog more as I find all my stuff and get life organized again. That is funny for those who know me well..organzied ha!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Just a short blurb. We were given Official Evacuation Orders as of 3:30 PM yesterday. So, once you're out, no going back in till they take off the Order. We are comfortable and staying with friends where the sheep are. The Border Collies think we are at a dog trial so they are settled in.
They have structure crews guarding the houses so we are fairly safe in that aspect. I don't think we will lose anything to fire. They are more concerned with loss of life so they hustled us out.
Will blog again when I have more news.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Martin Mountain Fire

As most of my friends know, we have been put on Fire Notice for our area. This means that we have to be on stand by to be ready to leave in an hour's notice. Of course I was at the Canadian and Western Canadian Finals and came home as soon as I was done running the second go around. Len didn't tell me what was happening until all the animals had been moved. What a good husband he is. All the sheep have been taken by friends to their sheep fenced place and Clairice, one of the maremmas. Sonny is the younger maremma and at 5 months is too boisterous to send down with the sheep to a small pen and busy area so he would be non stop barking. The horse is gone to stay at another friend's and former owner. My husband and his friends loaded up horse trailers with the "can't replace stuff" and it is gone. So if anything happens I just have to throw Sonny and the Border Collies in the truck and go. We couldn't have done this without our friends and we really really appreciate them.
Here are some pictures that my husband Len took on Friday when the fire started. These were taken from the top of the trial field (above the handler's gate).

You can find out the information on this page: and click on Pritchard(Martin Mountain)

Monday, August 3, 2009

And another month is here

It is very smokey here today. The fire at Terrace Mountain flared up again and the wind is just blowing the right way. Amazing how far smoke can travel. When they had really bad fires south of the Border a few years ago and a long way from us...we had really thick smoke every day.
So went out to graze sheep off the driveway and they decided that fresh cut straight out of the baler was better than grass on the ground...silly sheep.

There isn't a lot to do when it's hotter than hot and so I decided to tackle the large job of getting Sonny's puppy coat un-matted and loosened up so he would shed better. He loved the attention:

Here is our lawn these days on the driveway side...we really need rain, forecast for 3 days of rain at the end of the week. Need the water for animals and such over watering the lawns.

The garden is watered out of the pond at the bottom of the hill by pumping it up through some irrigation lines.

Here is my favorite thing in the garden. It is a solar butterfly that changes colors all night long.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Summer Days

It isn't getting any cooler any time soon. The fires in BC are still burning in places but are under control for now. Let's hope it stays that way. Long range is for the same hot weather and no rain.
I hauled in the round bales out of the grass field today and Kit was very happy to have somewhere to play King (Queen) of the Castle.

I told Len last year we needed to have a water tank in case of spot fires. Something I could throw in the back of my this is what he brought home. Bigger is better...and try and get the old farm truck started when I need it :)

Decided to do something with the dogs. Will and Cole wanted to take the bike but since neither can drive or find the key we went for a walk.

Took the dogs for a walk in the dust....

Then they all had to have a big drink....

Cole who belongs to Norm Sommer is here for a month or so for "manners" training. Here he is doing his version of Lie down and having a drink at the same time....

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Should've had a camera

Well the oddest thing happened the other day...and me without my camera. I was grazing sheep and one of the Maremmas (Livestock Guardian Dogs)started screaming, yes it was a scream. When I went running to Georgia, she was holding her foot up so I thought she had been stung. Lo and behold, there was a vole (field mouse) hanging onto her foot. She is the great white hunter and probably stepped on it to catch her prey and it got her. Talk about your elephant and the mouse story. No fairy tale ending here, Georgia ate her attacker.
I am sure we have all complained in the Okanagan about the heat and dry pastures enough, but we aren't done yet. Most devasating are the fires that come with this. Not a good thing. Still remember evacuating sheep in 2003 when we were on alert. Chris and Terri Hanson with stock trailers at 2AM trying to load 200 sheep and lambs. Jill Brodie was here helping. Jill and Lynne Schweb and I had gone to the Kimberley Sheep Dog Trial and ended up racing for home. Best excuse I ever had for a bad run. Lynne had already been evacuated and we were on stand-by. Friends are so great when we need them! We should appreciate each other more some days!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Hot Summer Days

Hot summer days...reminds me of Meatloaf's song...It was a hot summer night....that is really dating me isn't it? So back to the present and some new pictures.

Sonny is growing in leaps and bounds. He is as big as the Border Collies now and knows the command "Go to your sheep". He hangs his head and slowly trudges out to his flock. Makes you feel like the mean one of the century but they need to learn. Ahhh tough love. He got brushed today and loved all the attention. He looks very handsome now.

So not much was done this weekend because of the heat. We put out some electric fence up so the sheep can graze the short barley before it burns off. It is dry again even after all the rain.

The tomatoes and peppers in the greenhouse are doing fine though.