Monday, October 31, 2011

Niagara - the artist, rock star

When I got my first painting of, not by, Niagara, I had little idea about who she was - I just liked the portrait by Jon Parlangeli. When I got my second painting of, and again not by, Niagara by Jerome Ferretti, it was the third painting in a water color triptych entitled "Sex, Drugs and Rock N Roll" and I did NOT know Niagara was in the painting. I also recently bought some yellow and orange shoes Niagara had painted and donated for an auction for breast cancer. Is the world trying to tell me something?

(It's possible to enlarge the photos by clicking on them and/or doing some clever technical stuff, like, perhaps, clicking on "Show Original" once or twice.)

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Jerome Ferretti

My deepest thanks to Uncle Russ and Jerome Ferretti and, as always, to Rose Frame Shop in Ferndale, Michigan - they always do a great job. (Sorry for the blurry photos - .)

Pila is entered in Rally Excellent tomorrow at Sportsmen's fall Obedience and Rally three day trial.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011


Are the plants that flower out of season or are the last of the season and brown around the edges appreciated more?

Click on photos to enlarge them (or click on the "location" to the lower left of the photos if the screen goes to black).

Digitalis ambigua (Foxglove)


Sedum Autumn Joy


Corydalis lutea

Sunday, October 23, 2011


Aconitum (Monkshood) and Siberian asters are the last two perennials to flower in my yard - and here it is only October 23 and they are in bloom. Because of the very mild and wet fall perhaps they will not last as long this year as they usually do.

I think the cold and frosty weather, which is what we normally have this time of year, helps the plants last longer.

With no frost yet this year even the Dahlias are still blooming - even though they have fallen down because of the weight of their flowers, they are still beautiful.

"Friendship isn't about who you have known the longest. It's about those who came and never left your side."

First two photos: - Aconitum
Second two photos: - Siberian asters
Last photo: - an enthusiastic Dahlia

Click on photos to enlarge them.

I have a fantastic quote from the good Helga about training Icelandic Sheepdogs. It's absolutely brilliant. Spot on!! I am anxious to share it but until it's published, I cannot in good faith share it on my blog. She deserves the credit. (I will reveal it, however, to anyone who emails me privately.)

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Boomerang - Michael Lewis

Boomerang by Michael Lewis

Has anyone read Boomerang by Michael Lewis?

The book was mentioned on PBS last night. I wonder about the reaction people in Iceland and the friends of Iceland here in the US might be having to what he says in the book.

He apparently stated in the book that Iceland is a nation of 300,000 people that turned itself into a banking hub by recycling the world's money to the Icelanders themselves saying that they borrowed the money and then used that money to acquire things in other countries which, he claims, started the whole European banking crisis.

He also said apparently that Icelanders themselves told him that their own Icelandic history and culture and DNA left them very well suited to become investment bankers. He said that Icelanders told him also that they were inbred and have a sense of themselves as genetically special because of their history of risk taking. They walked away from a lot of their debts and are in a deep economic slump still, according to Mr. Lewis.

He also spends a good deal of time examining several other European cultures including Greece, Ireland, France, Germany and others and their role in the current really bad financial condition that the whole European continent is currently in and the possible repercussions for the United States if things get worse over there.

I have not read the book. I hope that if it says those things about our beloved Iceland that people will not blame the Icelanders themselves but rather, perhaps, instead their bank. To blame the Icelanders would be akin to blaming the people of the United States because of the excesses of Wall Street and our own banks and banking system and perhaps especially the US politicians.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Vinlands Leif, Jennifer Sanders

Here's a great photo of AKC judge Edward Wild with Jennifer Sanders and her dog Lee, aka Vinlands Leif, on September 24, 2011 at the Pontiac Kennel Club's Trial. Doesn't Jennifer look totally happy! What a terrific team!! They're on their way!!!

Notice how they're all in "chocolate-brown and tan shades"! I think they must have planned it.

Click on the photo to enlarge it.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Autumn Flowers

Chrysanthemum japonicum is a semi-woody mum that doesn't die back to the ground in the fall. It can get to be a small bushy plant and has flowers, as you can see, that resemble Shasta daisies. This is one of the last plants in the garden to flower each fall. I have a Siberian aster that has just started too and usually lasts until Thanksgiving.

As you can see, it's hard to take photos in the yard without helpers - in these photos are Huld and Tryggur. These shots were taken without a flash in the late afternoon on a very cloudy autumn day - hence the blurry shots.

Thursday, October 13, 2011


Thor, a four year old Icelandic Sheepdog, lives with Alex and Jasmine. My puppies end up in the nicest homes! Doesn't he look great!

Thor's sire is Korpur, a black and white Icelandic who also carries the at-gene for black and tan (sometimes called tricolor because of the Irish Spotting gene that most Icelandics have) and AY-gene for tan shades.

Thor's dam is Kria, a black, tan and white Icelandic with two at-genes who also carries one b-gene for chocolate-brown from her dam Thordunu Eyja.

Korpur has his AKC RN, RA, RE and CD titles and his CGC award. Kria also has her AKC RN, RA, RE and CD titles as well as her CGC award.

Kria has started studying for her agility trials. Yes, she's over seven years old but we expect great things from Kria.

Kata was over eight when she started studying for her agility titles and she earned her four titles at the age of nine. Not bad for an older dog. Will Kria equal her record?

Korpur's PennHIP scores are left 0.33 and right 0.44. Kria's scores are 0.56 for both hips. We trusted Penn HIP's suggestions for breeding healthy dogs for hips and the PennHIP scores for Thor proved them right.

I believe that breeding for health (especially hips and eyes), temperament, intelligence, and working ability are extremely important for the long term health and well being of our breed. Breeding pretty dogs is not enough, in my opinion. Fortunately most Icelandic Sheepdog breeders feel the same way!

The humans in the first photo with Thor are Alex and Jasmine. Anaegja is with Thor in the second photo. (By the way, it was a hot day and the humans and dogs had just returned from a long walk. The cool grass must have felt nice on their bellies.)

Click to enlarge. I love the color of Thor's eyes and the contrast with his black fur, his shiny black fur.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011

October 5, 2011 - We are having some gorgeous early autumn weather this year. No frosts yet so the garden is still enjoyable. Because it has been so nice I've been able to do a few clean up chores in the yard. Debbie has sent me the photos of an interesting cottage with about 200 feet of Lake Huron frontage and a nice beach near Harbor Beach. The price is kind of high; I want to see a floor plan; I'd like more land but this one is intriguing.

Click once or twice on photos to enlarge them.

Monday, October 3, 2011


Here's a recent perfect fall photo of Moose out in the un-mowed area of Mike and Debbi's place. Click on photo to enlarge it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Poor Pila

Pila needs a new handler - preferably one who can read and knows how to count!

We missed a sign in Rally Excellent today. Signs number 8 and 10 were back to back, a trick I know all about, and we missed number 8 which was a very easy sign.

Missing a sign is, of course, not allowed, duh, so I NQ'd us.