Friday, January 31, 2014

Between Winter Storms - January 31, 2014

January 31, 2014 - they tell us this is the worst January ever in Michigan; we've had, they say, three times the 'normal' amount of snow. Me? I did not mind. As long as the barn stays warm enough to store the things I've been taking up to the thumb, I'm OK. 

On the driveway of my property this morning I saw my first wild turkey. I knew they were there but had never seen one. At first, for a second, I thought it was a Blue Heron, but it was a tall, black, thin, skinny even, pterodactyl-looking thing. Gradually it goose-stepped its way off the road and into the evergreen forest. I hope I see more of them and often.

Clair said that some mice got into some bird seed I was storing in the barn. He cleaned up the mess the mice left and removed the seeds; I didn't see any evidence of the mice today but just in case, I set some traps for them.
The washer and dryer have been moved from the garage and are hooked up and probably working - although I haven't tried them yet. The railing is by the stairs leading to the basement. Clair will have it stained and varnished, it it hasn't already been done.
                              Clicking on photos enlarges them.
The medicine cabinet has been moved up so that the medicine cabinet door, when it swings open, doesn't hit the faucet. The medicine cabinet has not be re-installed and the light over the medicine cabinet isn't up yet. There must have been problem with one drawer; there's a gap where the drawer should be and it's across the hall in the pantry cupboard. It looks like the toilet is connected, there's water in the bowl - - but I didn't try it  - - yet. The towel racks and toilet paper holder are there and will be up soon; the handicapped bars for the toilet and shower are also there but not installed. The sliding doors on the three hallway storage closets are painted, in place, and working well!
The range, microwave, garbage disposal, and dishwasher are in installed and connected - I think. (The blue plastic on the range is a protective covering. You may have noticed that the windows and door-walls also have protective plastic on them.) It looks like the kitchen faucet is also in place now. There is cardboard and sections of old carpeting on the oak floor and cardboard on the counter tops to protect the finish.
It looks like maybe the final coat of paint has been applied to the walls now. The cold air returns, the switch plates, and the plug plates still have to be painted and screwed in place but things are moving along nicely. The south closet and laundry lights are up. The dimmer switches still have to be installed.
Today was a cloudy, overcast day but the rooms were bright and pleasant. For a while I sat in a lawn chair in the central room looking out over Lake Huron - gemütlichkeit - peace, perfect peace. I have not asked "when" it will be finished - but I'm hoping it will be ready by the middle of April.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Icelandic Sheepdog Puppies

Sandi has two male Icelandic Sheepdog puppies available from her most recent litter. Djatur (possibly pronounced Dee-ater?) is above his brother Andi in the photo below.
                                  (Click on photo to enlarge it.)
The boys were born on November 24, 2013 and are old enough now to leave home. They are both tri-colored and long haired. Tricolor means they are predominantly black with tan "points" on their legs, as eyebrows, and on their cheeks; it also means they have some white fur: hence the name "tricolor" - three colored.
Three photos above of Djatur - Look at that face! His eyebrows are less noticeable, less pronounced which gives him a kind of curious or "surprised" look - maybe. He has a larger amount of white on the tip of his tail than Andi. Sandi has fallen for this boy! Both boys will have great tails like dad and mom.
Two photos of Andi above. He has more tan on his cheeks, larger eyebrows, and a little more tan/white on his legs.He looks like he's a little more mischievous to me, a sign of intelligence, perhaps.

Both boys would be great pets, very good for breeding, and excellent for the agility ring; Andi has double dewclaws on both rear legs which is one of the traits for Icelandic Sheepdogs. Andi and Djatur both have ears that are already almost "up" - another Icelandic Sheepdog trait.

The father of the litter is Leiru Huni who was bred by Jóninna Hjartardóttir in Iceland and imported to California. He is also a long haired tricolor. Isn't he handsome? The upper photo is a more recent adult photo. I love his intelligent-looking eyes and that show dog stack. I think the boys will look a lot like dad when they are full grown. (If you look closely at Huni you can see his blaze has almost disappeared.)

Their mother is Blackstar Birta (above) who was bred by Sandi. She's a beautiful female, isn't she? Birta's ancestry goes back to the old North American Palmahaus Kennel. Some of you may remember that there was a disastrous kennel fire many years ago and many Palmahaus dogs were lost. Sandi has worked hard to preserve that heritage and has produced many pups with the rare cream color.

Besides the Plamahaus line, there is quite a bit of diversity in the background of these puppies with ancestors from Iceland, Canada, the Netherlands, and the US. There are many well known kennels behind them.

This is a four generation pedigree (above) showing some of the ancestors and kennels in the background of these boys. Clicking on the above pedigree will enlarge it somewhat. Sandi has a more complete pedigree showing more Palmahaus dogs and more ancestors.

Ask Sandi or me if you'd like to see a more detailed pedigree or if you'd like to find out more about the boys.

Many of Sandi's dogs have earned multiple agility titles in the American Kennel Club. The letters after Birta, Loki, and Perla's names on the pedigree above are for AKC agility titles.

You can contact Sandi by copying and pasting her email address below.
Sandi  =

Or you can contact me if you'd like more information: -

UPDATE: It looks like Andi has found his forever home - - - - and he has a girlfriend waiting for him there too. 

Djatur is available but he won't last long! If you're interested, send Sandi an email!

Sunday Morning, January 26, 2014

Yikes - the trip up today was great - the sun is rising earlier and that might be a promise that the really tough winter we're having might eventually come to an end. Maybe.

I went up to take the window shades and the light fixtures for the bathroom, laundry, and south closet. Per instructions, I also took up two towel racks and a toilet paper holder for the bathroom. I left them in the garage for Clair.

Apparently not much was done this week. The pantry doors are painted and up. I didn't check on the finish of the "handles". They should be the same finish as the door handles. The latch for the pocket door for the bathroom is in place. The medicine cabinet has been raised so that it can be opened without hitting the sink fixtures. That wall will have to be re-painted.

It looks like some of the walls have been painted again and the color does not look the same as what was up there before. Clicking on the photos enlarges them.
The molding along the floor in the alcove (below) is a different color from the walls - I don't think that was the plan - Brian? Maybe it's not finished yet.
Brian suggested that Clair use a section of the barn beam - that was used for the two mantels - as a support for the kitchen counter extension (See below). Good idea, IMO. I hope that will work. The counter-extension is in front of the immovable part of the west door-wall. I thought that would be a really cool place to eat breakfast with views south, east, west, and north. That one view brings in nature from all directions.
The trip back was unpleasant - close to blizzard conditions: horizontal blowing and drifting snow, snow-covered expressway roads, too-slow or too-fast traffic, many cars without their lights on making them difficult to see in white-out conditions, and quickly worsening conditions.

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Sunday Morning, January 19, 2014

Sunday morning, January 19, 2014 - met with Clair early and discussed some issues and made choices. Another beautiful shades-of-gray-and-pink morning. Looking at the first photo below it does not look like we're high on a bluff overlooking Lake Huron - but we are. There's a big drop-off, gradual, not sheer, just beyond the tree on the left and the low lying bushes.

There are sheets of cardboard and pieces of carpeting protecting the newly installed oak floor and the new counter tops. The fridge, microwave, dishwasher, range, washer, and dryer are here and ready to be connected - maybe some time this week.
                                                 Lake Huron from the bluff.

From top to bottom above: the kitchen from the bedroom, the newly installed kitchen cabinets, the hall leading from the garage to the kitchen with the bathroom on the left and storage closets on the right, bathroom cabinet, bathroom shower.
                             Laundry area and stairs leading to the partial basement.
I've been calling this the "cubby" but maybe George Elliott wouldn't mind tole hole? Regardless, the door is now painted to match the wall. The final coat of paint will be applied when everything else is finished.

I've heard people say for years that you find out who your friends are when you're sick and/or hospitalized or when you are building and/or getting ready to move. I found the former true years ago and now I'm finding the latter true as well. That's great because it helps me set my priorities.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Busy Day - Thursday, January 16, 2014

The stars must be in alignment or something: QT Cabinet's Terry Guza arrived at the new house with the kitchen, bathroom and laundry cabinets; they should be installed today. Home Depot delivered the appliances - late - but they are there. Leifur is back in town for a few days and did very well at Novi; he is recovering from a serious traffic accident but he still has some PTSD. I talked with Annette at the Shade Store and ordered window "shades" for the new house. I visited my dentist, James Hoste, for a cleaning with Terry (I think) who reminded me seriously of Jessica Walter - the actress. Jennifer's Nella did well in Conformation today at the Novi dog show and Kafteinn aka Kaptain finished his Championship.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Harmony and Form* - Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lately the temps have been about -20 F here with lots of snow so I've missed seeing how things have been progressing. The south neighbors pool resources to keep the 1500 foot "road" in plowed. If you click on the photos, they enlarge.
I couldn't resist taking this first photo - the colors in the sky and Lake Huron - dark-grays, blue-grays, steel-grays, light-grays, and even several shades of pink are mirrored in the paint, the floor, and fireplace stones. I love the textured and many hued skies of winter. Someone suggested I cut down the Basswood tree (Tilia americana) also known as a lime tree on the left of the above photo because it obstructed the view. I think it frames the view actually, and makes it even more interesting, don't you?
Clair and Eric have been busy putting oak flooring in place and it looks like they are more than half done; maybe you can see the appearance of texture and shades of gray in the flooring, like today's sky, too. I even see some hints of red or pink! It's almost like Brian planned that, eh?
Of course it isn't done and there's a fine layer of work-dust on the floor. The unpainted door on the back (south) wall will be painted the same color as the walls and, hopefully, "disappear". (The red pieces of plastic bag on the ceiling cover and protect the smoke detectors until the work is finished. You can see them better when the photos are enlarged.)
Brandon has also been busy putting in the overhead lighting; it looks like the spots are completed and the recessed lighting looks finished as well. (Can you see the difference between the recessed lights and the pin spots?)

* - with apologies to Brian Howard -
(If you cannot go to Brian's website directly by clicking on the above address, highlight, copy, and paste that website address into your browser. It's worth a look.)

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Kennel van Rogici

Here's a photo I borrowed of "Thor" who now lives with the Kennel van Rogici in the Netherlands.