Saturday, November 30, 2013

Saturday, November 30, 2013

American Kennel Club Judge Pat Taylor judged Icelandic Sheepdogs on Saturday, November 30, 2013 at the Ingham County Kennel Club show held at Michigan State University. These dogs rocked: - 1. Lee (Nicki King) got Breed and a Group 4 with AKC judge Peggy Beisel-McIlwaine, 2. Sunna (Mike Merrell) got Select, Vinur (Daniel Dowling) got Reserve, 3. Nella (Jennifer Sanders) got Best of Opposite Sex. It was great to see - 4. Tryggur (Suzanne Terrant) and Dofria (Veronica Dowling).

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Tuesday, November 26, 2013 - Clair asked Ron for help in finding old barn beams for the two mantel pieces. He found three beams; two are about the same length; the third is shorter but has more character and is therefore a little more interesting. I think we'll use all three. The two similar beams will be used for the two mantels and maybe the third beam will go on the north wall next to the western doorwall. We'll probably put that up around six feet or more high so it will be above paintings and out of the way.

Clicking on photos enlarges them. The first two shots below show the two beams we'll use for the mantels; the third photo shows the beam for the wall.
Jim Dawson from across M-25 stopped by today too. He delivered ten truck loads of wood chips (about 125 yards) a couple of weeks ago. You can see some of the piles in recent shots; I have spread some of the chips already.

Dave from Half-Way Fence called last night and told me that they were going to start on the fencing today so we got up early and I left around 6:00 a.m. with yet another load of paintings, etc., and arrived there around 8:00 and found them ready to start working. See photos below.

The three trellises on the front of the house below are set to go with three Clematis Jackmanii, an old fashioned favorite - as long as they can survive the heavy soil. If you enlarge the photo, in the background you can see the eastern part of the fenced-in yard.
In the first photo below you can see Dave's crew from Half-Way Fence starting on the western fence line. The pipes for the geothermal and the lines for the septic tank and field run out of the house just under the kitchen windows where the men are working. A little further to the north the water line for the well water from the beach to the pole barn runs under the house. Did they miss all those lines while digging fence post holes? Hope so!

In the second photo you can see the western side of the fenced-in yard after they finished working on it.
The new propane tank (below) is in the spruce trees behind the Half-Way Fence truck that brought in the fencing materials and equipment. Brad from Klaty Propane delivered and installed it last week.
Every time I leave, I drive down this amazing driveway which leads out to M-25. About half the time I see deer or rabbits. I worked a lot last summer on the north side, the right side, of the road removing Russian olives and grapevines. The left side is still untouched but is also mine.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Cold Snap - Sunday, November 24, 2013

The temperatures have dropped to below freezing and I've been worried about the pipes freezing in the pole barn so this morning I went up early to shut them off and to take up some more paintings. Almost all the big paintings are up there now.

I've also been able to drop off old paint cans at SOCCRA for disposal - that's a huge relief. Some of those cans had paint from more than 35 years ago. I have made several trips to donate books to the Royal Oak Library used book sale to support their programs. The Salvation Army has received several van-loads of clothing, kitchen equipment, tchotchkes, etc. I am making headway
Looking out my front door, I took this shot today. Christine sent me the camera website for Harbor Beach, the largest town north of my place. Pretty cool live shots: -
If you can't click on the above and go directly there, you could copy and paste it into your browser. 

Today I saw the old barn beams for the two mantels lined up next to the pole barn - very cool, lots of character.
The drywall guys have been there and have started mudding the walls; the house is very warm and toasty. (I know, I know - the photos are kind of boring - except to me!)

Dave from the fence company told me that some time this coming week they will be at the house to begin putting up the fence and the trellises; then I can take the dogs up with me more often.

I've added Brian Howard's website to my links above on the right - HF Architecture. Check it out. He does really amazing things. I'm humbled and in awe of him and his talent; I'm honored that he is doing my really small project for me.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Herding Group 1

Here's Lee (aka Leifur and Lee Lee) with American Kennel Club Judge Shelley Hennessy and handler Nicki King at the Lima Kennel Club after earning his first Group 1 win. Lee is owned by Jennifer Sanders.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

I've been spreading wood chips, lots and lots of wood chips. With a pitchfork and by hand.
The basement - - with compressor and water heater installed and working. The house needs to dry out for a week, I was told, before the mudding of the sheetrock (drywall) can take place.
Unfortunately this is not mine but it is in my garage. Maybe they'll forget it's there?

Friday, November 15, 2013


 What coincidences. The last entry had two photos of Kippa who lives with Richard and Christine in Washington state; Ric and Barbara sent me an email while they were on vacation. Their Icelandic, Hringa, was staying with their son in Washington, D.C. while they were away. Kippa and Hringa were born the same year to different mothers. They are both eight years old; Hringa is slightly older than Kippa. That, I believe, was the first and last time I had two litters in the same year.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Kippa -

Kippa used to sleep wrapped around Christine's head. I don't know if she still does. Isn't that, however, an appropriate name? Kippa? She is one of Kata's daughters. (Have you ever noticed that when people talk about dogs they sometimes only mention the sire and not the dam as if the puppy were entirely brought about by only the dad? How strange is that!)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

This just came from Wodin's family - The "pillow" they are referring to is a toy he left my home with. Most toys for Icelandics do not seem to last very long. This special toy must carry memories. It means a lot to me to hear from my puppies' families. Thank you so very, very much!!
               Left to right: Wodin, Julie and Lucy - - Clicking on the photo will enlarge it.
(As a special caution from me: I realize that people like the retractable leashes like Julie is holding for Wodin and Lucy. Please always hold them by the handles just like Julie is doing and never use your hand on the cord to hold the dog. Serious hand or finger injuries have sometimes resulted when people have held the cord and inadvertently retracted it or the dog has pulled.)

Hi Jaime,
Can certainly see you've been busy. The house is looking good and the new garden area is soon going to be your artist's canvas. You'll miss your old garden which looks lovely in your photos. It appears to be a 'wild' one which is what I like. We've had our garden at our cottage in for 9 years and the trees and shrubs are just starting to look established. My garry oaks are now 7' tall and should shoot up in the next couple of years. We lost two summer lilac in the recent windstorm - just snapped off. Didn't realize they were so brittle and also of short life expectancy. I've planted a douglas fir 'hedge' over the years but the 9 yr ones are now 10' tall and the 6 year ones are still at 4' so I have some time to go before my gardens get some wind protection. Is wind going to be a problem at your new place?
Anyway hope you do manage to transfer some of your plants from your old home, they'll carry good memories.

We've been doing a lot of travelling, some 6500 miles since May, fortunately in three different trips. Wodin travels really well though I think he just tolerates the vehicles but knows there is something nice at the end. This last trip we were in Lethbridge in Alberta and he fell in love with Lucy a Shitzu cross. I've sent a photo along when he was out walking with Julie, our d in law, at a nearby park. He's still full of energy and loves his runs, the vultures have left but the eagles are still active! In the new year we hope to get him over to town to see how he'll fare on a herding tryout. He is still very playful and his favourite 'toy' is still the pillow. I often wonder if it carries memories, scents or..?
Congratulate Mike and Sunna for us. They look wonderful and she has done so well, as you say a real classy lady.
Imelda and Steve

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Sunday Evening

                      The First Sunday Evening in November
I always keep my eyes open for "volunteers" - those plants that seed themselves in the yard and show themselves to me soon after the seed germinates. The above Euonymus was such a plant. I decided early on that I would trim it like a tree so there is one trunk and it is now about six feet tall. It's not like the winged Euonymus shrubs - which we called 'burning bushes' - of my youth; they had 'wings' on the branches that I loved. For some bizarre reason, those wings seem to have been bred out by botanists and are missing on most varieties of burning bushes now. Perhaps that's why some of the bushes fall prey to the winter girdling done by hungry rabbits? Clicking on photos enlarges them.
This is probably the last dahlia of the year. Many of the leaves are heavily frost-damaged but some of the flowers still open making them even more appreciated.
This is a rare "shrub" daisy mum from Japan. I like this plant because the flowers look like Shasta daisies but they flower late in the year AND they are very hardy, whereas Shasta daisies are rather tender and rarely survive in my area for more than a year or two. Unlike most mums, this plant does not die back to the ground every winter. It builds branches that survive the winter and the bush gets taller and taller. If you look closely, you can see the twiggy branches. It flowers very late; it's November now and it will still be going strong for another week or two. In fact the flowers open late, probably mid October, when most mums are finished. This one got a little top heavy with leaves and flowers but it is still lovely. The added bonus is that the flowers attract syrphid flies and a few bumble bees and provide food in the form of nectar and pollen for them when virtually every other flower is history!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Met with Dave the fence guy today and we paced off the fence line. Two weeks to order the fence and then, maybe, it can be installed. The wood chips from Jim to cover the muck - I'm using the "Old English" meaning of muck - haven't been delivered yet. Maybe soon?
The drywall is up but not 'mudded' yet; the furnace needs to be up and running in order to dry things out before the mud can be applied. The top photo was take from the doorway of the 'office looking north; beyond the fireplace is my bedroom.The lower photo above was taken from near the bathroom also looking north. The light purple drywall is where the kitchen sink will be.
The kitchen area is on the right above; the hall leads past some storage closets and the bathroom to the garage.
The protective plastic is still on the east-facing windows - - - - and probably will be for some time - months, not weeks - to come!
The 'office'.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Sunna - New American Kennel Club Champion

       Sunna - New American Kennel Club Champion

Sunna was a pretty puppy; now she rivals Ingrid Bergman as an intelligent, sophisticated, classy, and beautiful Scandinavian lady. I'm biased, admittedly; I love all Icelandics but I especially love the shorter haired Icelandic Sheepdogs. Sunna and Mike have done really well together. Her mom and I are very proud of them.

Sunna finished her American Kennel Club Conformation Championship under AKC Judge Mrs. Neena L. Van Camp on Sunday, October 27, 2013 at the Delaware Ohio Kennel Club show. Clicking on the above photo will enlarge it.

You can see her beautiful litter sister, Miss Timber, in the previous blog entry. They are just over a year and a half old.