Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Early Morning Visitors

Shoveling the snow early this morning I looked up to see two black cats trotting along the edge of the ice pack. I thought they must be feral cats and I was going to try and call them. BUT. When I got back inside with the dogs and dropped my coat, boots, gloves, I took another look using the camera. Not cats, coyotes. I don't know what the wind chill is but frigid. I suspect they were at my bird feeders this morning as the dogs went crazy - I saw nothing.

I realize that the last two weeks of January are, historically, the coldest time of the year so this cold snap did not surprise me. I'm so grateful that Rick Conquergood arrives promptly and clears the snow from the driveway - not that I plan on going anywhere for a few days. It's just really nice to know that I could if I wanted to. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

I hope they keep going and never return. Although I've never heard them howling or calling around me, I do know they are now virtually everywhere, probably or possibly filling a niche left open by the demise of wolves. Tough animals, eh?

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Sunday, January 27, 2019

I have two paths down from the bluff to the beach; both are pretty steep and could be dangerous to walk down while they are snow and ice covered. Nonetheless, I wanted to see the beach today so I used the beach access of my neighbors. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

Seriously, these are views from my front windows. I have this view every day. I am so fortunate.

My brother David called before I took my beach walk and was confused about an earlier post. He suggested I clean it up so here goes. Three of my six Icelandics are fifteen, fifteen and fourteen years old. Although two have mostly good days now, they sometimes have difficulties and I'm afraid about their future. Two more are eleven. So I have quite a few older dogs that I am concerned about. I never want to be without a dog or dogs. They give me reasons to live, simply put. I started looking for another puppy to add more than a year ago but I am fussy. I know Icelandic Sheepdogs are generally speaking a very healthy and long lived breed. They have few health issues or problems. I am cognizant of the backgrounds of many Icies and I want to avoid as much as possible dogs with issues in their ancestry.

I have managed to find several litters in the last year with puppies that interested me but, even though I tried, the deals never were finalized. Which made me wonder "why". Then I heard that there was a rumor that I had a will in which I stipulated that when I died my surviving dogs would be put down, euthanized. It is, in my opinion, virtually impossible to dispute a rumor like that. One breeder actually told me that I was too old to have a puppy. My mother and father lived long full lives passing at 90 and 85 respectively. My grandparents also lived full long lives. I can understand why a breeder might ask about plans for a puppy in case of an accident or an illness or a death, which could happen at any age. That's prudent.

Here's what is true. I do not have a will; I have a trust. Nowhere in that trust does it say that my dogs should be euthanized. And I do not believe that they should be when I die. My cousin is responsible for dissolving my trust. She will find homes, good homes, for any of my dogs that survive me. I have suggested that she allocate funds from my estate to help in their care if necessary. She has many connections in the dog world so I think she can manage to do that. In case she predeceases me, I have agreed to do the same for her surviving dogs.

In short: I love Icelandic Sheepdogs. I want to have dogs as long as I am capable of caring for them. All things considered, I have more than a few good years left to live, hopefully. I can only hope that that rumor won't prevent me from having another "Iceland Dog".  If I cannot find another Icelandic Sheepdog, then, what? A Norwegian Buhund? Who knows.

And now on to the beach. Only people who have been here and seen my summer beach can appreciate the following winter spectacle.

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Although it doesn't seem to give much warmth at this time of the year when we are 1.) tilted away from the sun and 2.) at the furthest distance in our orbit from the sun, yet the first light and sunrises  still make for some gorgeous mornings. These are some photos from the last three days. One of my favorite trees is still a sapling but it has the most interesting branches that reach out archingly, gracefully beautiful. It is at the edge of my neighbors' bluff so I'm guessing as it gets older and heavier, it might slip off and fall towards the beach. Gravity. Meanwhile I love its artistic beauty. Early mornings give us fabulous blue snow. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

On Friday the sun couldn't seem to penetrate the frosty clouds.

Today the mist was rising from the frozen ice between the distant ice cliffs and the nearby shore.

Unfortunately I now sometimes have deer at my bird feeders. Totty is my watch dog and howls wolf-like when they get into the yard - for which she gets rewarded with treats and praise. I enjoy watching the birds - not the deer. I would love to know a way to discourage them - - -

Monday, January 21, 2019

SAD - Seasonal Affective Disorder

My Seasonal Affective Disorder is in full swing yet again. Although I try to ignore and rationalize things that happen, it is at this time of the year that I struggle a bit with the cold, the cloud cover and the lack of sunlight, the inability to get out and about, the boxed-in and abandoned feeling. I'll recover, after all the spring catalogs have arrived.

The purple finches have arrived and are using the sunflower oiler feeders. They remind me of the self red factor canaries I raised for several years. Clicking on photos will enlarge them.

Magical First Lights

I liked this early morning first light shot showing jet contrails. 
Then I accidentally took the second shot.

Through mid-January we'd had a mild winter, 
not too cold and very little snow as these shots show.
Yes, there was some snow-ice on Lake Huron but not much.

Then we got hit with an amazing cold snap and more snow 
than we'd seen all winter so far.

They say every cloud has a silver lining, 
well the viburnum berries show snow caps 
which are better than ice caps on the lake!

One of my puppies recently had her own puppies. On Friday the breeder told me she had one for me. I jumped at the chance and mailed her a check on Saturday expecting to pick up the pup in Monroe, Michigan sometime this week. On Sunday she reversed herself and decided to award the puppy to someone who asked for late Saturday or early Sunday. I'm crushed. Absolutely crushed.

The puppy I almost had.

A series of unfortunate events! It's funny how the pile up of seemingly little things chips away at you. Last March I took a couple of chairs into Hilton Upholstering in Ferndale, Michigan to be worked on. In June, several months later, the owner told me that he was not going to do them. Of course I wanted them back so that I could find another person to do them. Phone calls aren't answered nor messages responded to. Friends told me last summer that they would get them back for me for sure. Although they've talked to Wayne a few times, they have also failed to get those (expletive deleted) chairs. And the ravine work I had done last June? I finally, FINALLY got an invoice. I had ear marked the funds but they just sat in my checking account waiting for a bill. Normal business practices? SNAFU. My dogs have all been treated for Lyme disease - two pills a day each for thirty days. Now they've had the Lyme vaccine which is 80% effective and they wear Seresto collars that are supposed to discourage ticks, the vectors of Lyme, and fleas. I recently heard that someone is spreading stories about me that are at best a misinterpretation and at worst an outright lie about me and my dogs. I'm actually not surprised. When the fish starts to smell, it starts at the head. And our liar in chief has set the pattern. Nonetheless, the lies are incredibly hurtful especially when folks know the originator's history. And do not get me started on the stock market and banking, and politics. My social security actually went down this year. Why are we paying those folks for not doing their jobs and giving them the kinds of retirement and health benefits we should all have. How come a third of the population is in control of stuff. (I do believe, at least hope anyway, that things will work out in the end.)