Sunday, December 25, 2011

Christmas 2011

I had a wonderful relaxing Christmas Day in the country with Kathy and loads of great dogs including Taefa. We talked and laughed and ate - the best Christmas in a very long time. The day was bright and sunny but cold with no snow on the ground. Joe was there feeding in one of his pastures, the one near her home. It was just the two of us, both second-borns with all that implies. Time has flown. I am blessed.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


"A lie can get half way around the world while truth is still pulling on its shoes." - Mark Twain

"In this hyper-linked information age, a lie can get all the way around the world and back while the truth is still in bed." Alan Miller

Monday, December 12, 2011

Quince & Faux-Koi

Beneath the early winter ice, my faux-koi (aka goldfish) are going into hibernation. If you look closely you can see their reddish colors beneath the still transparent ise. Soon the snow will hide their prsence until this coming spring. I leave an airstone bubbling all winter so the fish don't suffocate.

Sylvia, one of my dog agility friends, has invited me to see her koi pond next spring - six feet deep with no ledges for blue herons to stand on while feeding. I eagerly await spring while still enjoying winter. Sort of. Sylvia has an absolutely gorgeous and intelligent Irish Setter named "Murphy" - why not?

I have several volunteer quince bushes in my yard. Don't know why my one volunteer flowering quince produced so many 'apples' this year. You can see them on the branch still in the middle of December and also littering the ground.

Did you know that in colonial times almost everyone had apple trees growing in their yards. They were not the sweet apples of today but sour, bitter ones and they used them to make hard apple cider which they, everyone in the family, drank with every meal because the water was not safe. The alcohol in the hard cider killed germs. As he traveled along the ever expanding American frontier, Johnny Appleseed collected seeds from the 'good' varieties of apples, you know, the kind that made good applejack, and planted those seeds in his yard. He raised them into small trees and then sold the saplings when they were almost ready to bear fruit. As the people moved west, so did Johnny always planting more seeds in his new homes. He would sell the apple saplings to the pioneers as the moved ever westward. (He apparently did not sell seeds or give them away.) His 'business' was selling saplings that would soon be productive. People did not eat apples. They drank the cider which did not taste like our modern cider made from sweet apple varieties.

Their pigs also ate the leftover apples and the waste mash. Waste not, want not. Maybe that's why roasted whole pigs had apples stuck in their mouths?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Vinlands Kani (AKA "Tryggur") just got the results of his PennHIP X-rays back and he is in the 90th percentile for all Icelandic Sheepdogs in the United States. I want to thank my vet, Dr. Nancy Heinhold of the Downtown Birmingham Veterinary Clinic in Birmingham, Michigan for doing the test for me. She has done all of my dogs over the years. Indeed she has done many Icelandics now!

The photo shows Tryggur at Cobo Hall in Detroit with my friend Eileen Hyde.