Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Windy Wednesday 9/30/2015

Our weather here in Palms/Forestville is not always the same as in Royal Oak - they've had rain but not a drop here and we could have used some.

The surf is up; I love, love, love it when it storms or is windy here. The power of nature is wonderful. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Our Lake Huron Beach

Surf's Up

When I first moved in I 'discovered' some concrete and stone steps almost completely covered with soil, grass, and some wildflowers leading to the double decks. I uncovered them a bit last year and worked a little more on them recently. I wonder if there are more hidden steps; they go half-way down the bluff to the beach but stop at the decks. I suspect that the first 'owner' of my property, a race car enthusiast who built engines and remodeled cars in the pole barn, put those steps in. He probably also added the blacktop road, on the left below, leading all the way down to my beach. Both are very steep and function as my 'stairmaster'.

There's also a partially buried fire pit on the beach that I recently discovered. I don't know if the whole pit with stones is still there. Isn't that fun! We'll try to dig it out and re-christen it this weekend.

Sunsets, below from last night, compete for my attention with sunrises.

Coming back up to the house and dogs, I've been greeted each time by Cosmos - from the free seeds I received and threw onto a bare spot by the gate last spring.  I think I've maligned them. I'll save some seeds and plant them again next year. I've never liked how tall and spindly they get; the secret, if there is one, might be to plant them thickly and not thin them out when they germinate. I've ignored them until I no longer could.

My friends probably get tired of me saying, "We all do better when we all do better." I recently heard on the BBC news them say, "We can do more when we work together." I wish more of us would take that to heart, make that part of our mantra. Both tell us about the same thing, don't they? Certainly one of the secrets, if not the most important secret, for our success as a species is based on our ability to cooperate in order to accomplish more. When we as a group cooperate and decide on a course of action, we do better than when one person or one group tells others what to do. Just my opinion.

Monday, September 28, 2015


Sometimes to change things up, I sit on the east porch facing Lake Huron and Canada and watch the sun playing on the eastern clouds as the sun sets behind me to the west.

Last time they were up, Jon, Tracy, and I went down to the beach for a glass of wine. When I moved in the beach was solid phragmites, an invasive, tall, alien grass that spreads by seeds and long, very long underground runners. Two years ago the neighbors and I started to get rid of them and now we actually have a sandy beach.

Today at the beach the geese have begun collecting for the migration to warmer climes. Those tiny dots are birds. I love my camera but the close-ups are not quite good enough. Clicking on photos will enlarge them slightly.

Kata, my 'yellow' dog, and Korpur, my black beauty, pose. She turns fourteen this winter; he turns twelve. Bear's tail is in the first photo; his head is in the second one. He turns ten this October.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Miss Timber

I recently received this email from Sally, Daniel, and Miss Timber - their Icelandic Sheepdog. It's hard for me to believe that Miss T is over three years old now. Time flies. Here's one of my favorite photos from soon after she arrived at her new home. Clicking on photos enlarges them.

Miss T
Totty is Miss Timber's mother; Laki, owned by Colleen Schmidt, is her father. Hasn't she turned out to be a stunningly beautiful girl? She reminds me of Kria, her maternal grandmother below.

Grandma Kria

Grandma Kria -
photo by Cathi Winkles used with permission

I hope this finds you well and enjoying the change in season! We have been following your blog and love seeing the photos of Totty's gorgeous puppies!!!

Just wanted to send along this recent picture of Timber, enjoying a day on the lake at Promised Land State Park. She looks rather serious in this photo-concentrating on the waves I think. In reality, she is a very happy girl...loves swimming, hiking and generally hanging out with us in the Poconos. She is also very well adapted to city living when we go into Philly, and I credit her ability to be comfortable in a variety of settings to your excellent advice when she and her litter mates were puppies.

Miss Timber aka Vinlands Isla

We enjoy our advanced obedience class, where she excels,  and Timber is a super therapy dog-always puts a smile on people's faces with her happy and enthusiastic greeting!

In any case, thank you for giving us this wonderful 'girl' who is a huge part of our life. We absolutely love her. Keep those puppy pictures coming....gets us thinking about maybe getting her a buddy one of these days if Daniel ever cuts back on his work.

= = = = = = = = = = = = = =

I love it so much when my families keep in contact. It's so cool to hear how 'my' puppies are doing. I never, never get tired of looking at their photos.

I am happy to give advice. The internet is a great place to find information; I believe that most of it is reliable. It is important for each person to do his/her own research, however. When asked for advice, I do not tell my families what they should do. I merely offer my opinions based on my experience as a long time volunteer obedience and agility trainer at an AKC club in Metro Detroit, an AKC Rally evaluator, a life time member of the breed club for Icelandic Sheepdogs in the US, and a long time breeder and exhibitor of AKC registered dogs of several breeds. I am still not an expert and I am always learning. I have always believed that we all do better when we all do better. I believe that an important hallmark of our human species is cooperation. I don't mean to sound 'preachy'.

Friday, September 18, 2015

For David, my Brother

I was really tempted - and you know how I feel about fish. It looked so good I could almost taste them.

This sign was spotted on Friday but I'd guess they mean "fry". Maybe?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Vinlands Tully

I heard from David, Bastian and their Icelandic Sheepdog Vinlands Tully Lulu. Portions of his email and two photos are copied below.

Tully is 7 months old today.  Time sure seems to be flying.  Tully is definitely a teenager now which has amplified some of her good and bad behaviors.  I attached two recent pictures of her.  The one with my son shows a new thing Tully loves.  If you are standing next to a wall or cabinet, she will push her way between you and the surface and stay there until you move (or she gets bored).  She just loves to be as close to her people as possible.  She is now sleeping on our bed as she makes far less noise there than in her crate, and she sleeps in longer.
Tully Lulu

I did want to ask you when Totty went into her first heat cycle.  That’s the next big thing for us.  If any of the other sisters are being left intact, I would love to know when any of them go into their first heat cycle.

(I hope we hear from the families of Kippa, Kitty, and Lizzie regarding their seasons, weight, height, etc.)

Tully and Bastian
Feel free to post the pictures I sent.  We do plan on neutering Tully just as we are not in a good life position to breed.  I feel bad about that sometimes but perhaps when I’m retired I will be more inclined to give it a try.  There are no breeders in Oregon for Icies and we seem to be creating a lot of interest in the breed wherever we go.  I’m glad the other gals from the litter will be bred since I agree with you that all are amazing specimens.  Tully weighed in at 24lbs last week so she is definitely hitting the plateau. 
We start our advanced life skills class tomorrow which continues on the basic and finally gets into heel training.  We are in the middle of a recall class which is going very well.  I cannot wait to be able to have Tully off leash, but that will take a while yet.  Once she can be called off chasing birds I know the time is right.  Those seagulls at the beach are just too tempting and she loves to “protect” our backyard against any flying invaders.
I read about your breeding conundrum and would put a vote in to wait until Totty’s next cycle which should put puppies into the summer, assuming there aren’t some issues about waiting.  I can totally understand that winter puppy pick up’s could be problematic. 

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Another Beginning

Sun rising this morning: -

Don't want or need tropical islands.
Along the Lake Huron beach here there's driftwood.

It must be a human trait to collect and take things back home. Over the years I have acquired tocks from places like the Bois de Boulogne, Plymouth where Carol lived, P-Town, Elk Rapids (retirement), Mont Saint Michel, Stratford (Ontario), the Mill for Jeremy's graduation, the Hansens' house in West Kingston, Versailles, a Hill in San Fran with Irene and Hershey, Traverse City, the Old Prune with Fred and Maxwell, Pudding stone from Marge Lawson, 'glass' stone from the site of the old Goodyear plant with Aedwyn and Richard, a chunk of marble from my old work place, etc.
I even had some volcanic rocks that a very good friend brought back from Iceland. A couple of years later she cut me out of her life - without an explanation that made any sense. Peer pressure was more likely the reason.
I am releasing them now. They were perfect mementoes. Clicking on photos enlarges them.


Sunday, September 13, 2015

Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda ~

I've been debating with myself whether or not I should breed Totty again. She just came into season and I still haven't decided.

Her last litter was with Calvin and produced some stunning puppies. The trouble with breeding her now is that the litter would be ready to leave home around the first of the new year - perhaps January - and that's a really rough time to let pups go here in Michigan.

Here's the latest photo of Kippa winning her second Championship point this weekend. All of the pups in this litter are standouts!

Vinlands Kippa Jane
And Kippa's formal win photo: -

 This is a shocking pink large sedum that I've had for several years. When I moved up north I brought a couple of divisions with me.
It occasionally either mutates or reverts to an earlier white flowered color version.
I removed a white flowered portion and this year this stunning white flowered form produced this stunning plant.
This is the gorgeous old garden sedum standby "Autumn Joy" - aptly named. The bees love all the sedums.

Our Moon and Venus

Our Moon and Venus

.It's time to start moving my bonsai and some select houseplants indoors before frosts become a concern. The dogs are an enormous help(?)