Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Some photos taken today: -
View from the dining room area at floor level looking east over Lake Huron across the pile of removed topsoil (which will be re-spread soon?) The front porch has been formed and the rebar is inserted ready for the concrete pouring - - -  soon.
View from the kitchen area looking west. More topsoil that will be spread soon-ish. The concrete porch was poured yesterday. The evergreen forest is in the distance.
View from my bedroom looking into the deciduous forest north of the house.
View of Lake Huron from my bedroom.

Yesterday we picked out the colors for the doors, door and window frames and hardware, color of the roofing. It looks smaller to me than I thought it would.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Sunna and Mike & Debbi - Monday, July 29, 2013

Monday, July 29, 2013

Icelandic Sheepdog Sunna owned by Debbi Hampton and Mike Merrell earned Winners Bitch today. Yay Mike!!
Under AKC judge Victoria Jordan, Sunna and Mike earned their first conformation major at the Marion Ohio Kennel Club show in Marion, Ohio.
Here's a photo of Sunna as a "teenage" puppy.
(These are older photos from my files.)
Mike and Sunna are on the right in the above photo.

Sunna just turned one year this past April and is the daughter of AKC Champion Foothills Laki and AKC Grand Champion Vinlands Totty. Sunna (aka "Squirrel") has ancestors from old North American (Canada and the United States) lines as well as recent ancestors from Iceland and Germany. None of her ancestors are repeated through the Great-Great-Great-Grandparents.

Sunna is an excellent example of the rather rare shorter haired version of Icelandic Sheepdogs. She carries one gene for longer fur from her sire Laki as well as one at-gene for black & tan, and one b-gene for chocolate-brown from her dam Totty.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Loa and Annette - Saturday, July 27, 2913

Annette and Loa earned a 199.5 and a 200 in a novice trial sponsored by Companion Dog Sports Program (CDSP) near where Fred and Annette live.

The website for CDSP is: - . 
(You may have to copy and paste the above address into your search engine.)

Many people prefer other venues like the CDSP, UKC (United Kennel Club), NADAC (North American Dog Agility Council), USDAA (United States Dog Agility Association), CPE (Canine Performance Events),  etc. to the AKC for showing their dogs. In general they may be more accepting, friendlier, more fun, and less stressful.

Loa is a beautiful, intelligent, obedient yet spunky, tricolor Icelandic Sheepdog whose parents are Alaskastaðirs Korpur and Thordunu Kría.
(The above photos are from my files; they are not recent. Clicking on photos enlarges them.)

Team Loa & Annette are changing minds about Icelandics! Annette is the alpha in their team and trains Loa to be quiet and attentive. Our dogs are extremely smart and learn quickly. They want to please us. It's our responsibility to be clear about acceptable and unacceptable behaviors. Early supervised socialization with other dogs and with people is very important for their development.

Friday, July 26, 2013

San Salvatore - July 26, 2013

Interesting times - the blessing/curse.

The seven rows of concrete blocks are in place for the porches, the crawl space and the garage.
Sand, sand and still more sand. Sand in the porch 'spaces' and in the garage and around the house next to the walls. Clay soon. Then the topsoil will get returned. The steel beam has been placed in the basement and a wood beam running the length of the crawl space has been placed there as well. Cross beams are in place now and tied to the center beams and the wood frameworks on top of the concrete blocks.
A bit of controversy about the basement window - size of same. Controversy about the shower - fiberglass/tile. Debatable issues. Ditto counter tops and cupboards - kitchen and bathroom. Hurt feelings.
To cope, I cut down trees, Russian olives, grapevines, viburnums, grapevines, dogwoods, grapevines, branches, Russian olives, and even some grapevines.

We are 'home' now, temporarily. The dogs LOVE it up there. We all sleep soundly until the sun rises - apparently in the north - northeast - very early.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Saturday, July 20, 2013 - no additional 'building' has happened for about ten days or more but the concrete blocks for the crawl space, garage, and the two porches have been delivered so there is some progress. 
Brian's plans had five rows of blocks on the three inch concrete floor of the crawl space but Clair has added two more rows - - because Ron and John had to scrape the soil lower than anticipated to find stable ground on which to build. Above is an east view of the crawl space. All the sand was brought in to the site. 

The water pipes for the beach-well pump run deep under the crawl space and bring well water from the beach-well to the pole barn. While digging the foundation the electric line for the pump was accidentally cut and later spliced. (Clicking on photos enlarges them.)
This is an east view of the garage. So far about 17 loads of sand have been brought in. Jim D. from across M-25 has brought in the sand and some gravel for the driveway to stabilize it so that the heavy equipment doesn't get stuck in the clay/silt mixture. Much of the sand that you can see in piles on the right in front of a vernal run-off creek (not really a true creek) will go to build up the garage and the front and rear porches once the blocks are in and 'set'. Many loads of clay will also be brought in to raise the soil level around the house.

Clair has mentioned several times that the soil will be disturbed to lay the pipes for the geothermal system. I think he's concerned that I might be upset by all the digging. I'm not. I realize that because the soil will be disturbed, it will have to be graded and seeded. Hmmm. I wonder if prairie grasses and flowers could be sowed. The geothermal will be west of the septic tank and field which is behind or west of the house.

My good friend Mark S. had a heart attack and is in intensive care. He and I took several dog obedience classes together decades ago and have shared many dog experiences. Currently has has a Golden named Merlin but has had Dobes and an Anatolian. We joined our AKC obedience club around the same time. Steve has been in contact with Mark's wife and kids.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Another Hot Muggy Day

We have had loads of rain and sun this summer and it shows. The yard is a jungle. The green sprinkler in the foreground has not been used this summer.
The tall pinkish-purple Hosta are volunteers. I like them because they're tough. In the lower right corner is a pink marsh mallow, a wild flower that has naturalized itself in my yard.
Somewhere there is a path or maybe even two but they are very hard to find now! The Dogs love it back there. There is at least one lurking dog - Tryggur - on one of the paths. Can you find him? Some of my friends wonder how I can have dogs and a garden. It's simple. The plants I have have to be tough; they have to be able to survive the dogs. I plant many kinds of perennials, the ones that make it, make it!! The ones that don't are history. Clicking on the photos enlarges them.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Saturday, July 13, 2013

We spent a few wonderful days up at the Pole Barn aka Sans Souci. The dogs LOVE it up there. I did a lot of work in the old pine forest, around the apple tree, etc. The power of the old forest is amazing.
Some progress is being made but at greater cost that I imagined. I believe things are being done "right" but the cost over-runs are really surprising me. Was this done on purpose; am I P.T. Barnum's "sucker"? I wish I knew. Or maybe I don't.

Pit run gravel has been added to the clay/silt mixture and vehicles can move but that's my separate expense. More sand has been brought in to fill in around the basement, also my additional responsibility. A trench and PVC drain to the bluff was finished - at my expense. Crushed stone for the driveway, ditto. Clay fill to build up the land around the house, ditto. Repair to the septic field, ditto. Additional lines for the pole barn septic tank, ditto. Porches and steps, not included! I will not be able to afford a fenced area for the dogs, landscaping, fixing the ravine, etc. Who knew that a bid, accepted, did not include everything.

What additional future hidden expenses are there? I feel betrayed.

I'm unsure "why" the bidding process didn't include some things. Thought it included everything.

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

I do feel for Clair and John, Ron, and Travis; they have to work in this wet, slippery, clayey muck. I don't feel the drainage and clay are my fault. I feel that correcting the problem should be part of Clair's responsibility - he lives and works up there and could have or should have had a better understanding of the soil and conditions. It's his business and his neighborhood. 

I think my architect could have or should have realized the problem beforehand. Couldn't someone have taken soil samples before undertaking the bidding and building  - rhetorical question. I don't mean to be an armchair quarterback and realize it's a big problem. They are the experts, the people in the business.


To get a good luck at the muck, click on the photos.It's thicker and stickier than it looks.
Clair says the 'solution' is pit run gravel for the 'driveway' and pea gravel and drainage tile running around the exterior of the basement and running to the bluff both of which, apparently, are my responsibility, extra money-wise. Brian agrees but suggests I ought to negotiate. Now? Can anyone say lose/lose?

I am concerned about the existing septic tank and field for the house too. Will it be enough? Will it have drainage issues too?

I was screwed on the septic tank and field for the pole barn with a different builder. I'm grateful I can vent on the blog. Things will look better in the morning. It will be interesting to see how it all works out.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Heartguard Protection - continued (7/7/'13)

Here are some helpful comments in response to the previous blog post, edited slightly, from our Icelandic sheepdog chat room: - 

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I’ve never had a problem with Heartguard, so I don’t have any experience with other products.

Saga is beautiful! Does he/she share any common breeding with my Elsa ( Thyrmheim Ovaent Gjof, DOB 11-17-09)? (- same grandfather, Kappu. Elsa and Saga - below - are first half-cousins - their mothers are half-sisters) They have such a similar head the resemblance is striking.

                                                    Thyrmheim Ovaent Gjof (Elsa)
                                                   Thyrmheim Ovaent Gjof (Elsa)
                                                    Vinlands Saga

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We use Iverhart Max and Activyl Tick. We have also used Trifexis during winter months when tick prevention was not needed. 

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A heartworm preventative called "Interceptor" has a different active ingredient than Heartguard.

Interceptor - milbemycin oxime
Heartguard - ivermectin and Pyrantel 

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Mike:  I always liked Interceptor as it got intestinal parasites also and was safer for my border collies, since some of the collie breeds are not recommended for Heartguard. I don’t know if it’s true in your area, but here in Tennessee, Interceptor is no longer available, unfortunately.  I suspect they discontinued it because they have replaced it with Trifexis, which has the same active ingredient (milbemycin oxime) but also gets fleas  (with Spinosad, whatever that is) and is much more expensive. 

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I've used all three on Lee with no reaction. Started on Interceptor had to switch to Heartguard Plus and now the vet is selling the third one. Thank goodness none seem to bother my dog.


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There is a DNA test for the MDR1 gene that tests for drug sensitivity to ivermectin (which is heartgard and iverhart) it is available from Washington State University. You can order it online and it is $70 for the test. Sensitivity to ivermectin is somewhat common in herding breeds. I have sent a test out for my puppy just to be safe. Trifexis is generally safe in herding breeds. All hw prevention also protects against some intestinal worms.

Suzanne Terrant, C-ATCH2 Shadow, Stormy the Silver Bullet, Sweet "Chipotle" Pea, and Tryggur in Training
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AS AN ASIDE: - - Saga had a Heartguard 'pill' today on an empty stomach without a negative reaction - she did not throw up - cross your fingers!

Friday, July 5, 2013

Heartworm Protection

One of my puppies from last year has had a reaction to Heartguard Plus. I don't have that problem with my dogs.

Here is what she said: - 
"We would like to know what kind of heart worm protection you use for your dogs. Saga has thrown up the Heartguard Plus up the past two months within one-three hours after taken. She was okay with it before then.? I also heard there is now a 6-month shot so not sure if that is the route to go. Just curious on your thoughts before we go to the vet to take care of it."
                                        (Here are some photos of Saga taken this summer.)
                                        (Ans some more photos of Saga taken last winter.)

I had an acquaintance who switched her toy poodle from Heartguard Plus to either a lotion that she rubbed on the dog's back or a nasal spray for heartworm protection (not the flea and tick prevention). That lady's poodle got heartworm and apparently the cure was horrific.

Has anyone had problems with Heartguard Plus? What did you do? I know it is not smart to leave your dog unprotected.

You can respond to my email above and I will post responses on the blog.

Friday, July 5, 2013

Friday, July 5, 2013
The walls of the basement are up and have been coated with plaster. Yesterday Clair was going to add a layer of waterproofing to the plaster if it was dry. 
You can see the opening on the left from the basement into the crawl space in the foreground. The "slit" to the right of the opening into the crawl space is an opening for electrical and heating. On the side of the crawl space is the foundation for the rear "porch".

There are two rows of cement blocks around the crawl space. A layer of sand will be added soon, spread evenly and later a three inch layer of concrete will be poured over the sand. When that is dry, more concrete blocks will be added to the walls surrounding the crawl space making those walls as high as the basement.
The foundation for the front "porch" is in the foreground.
In the foreground is the future garage.