Happy Spring, Happy Easter and April Fools

March 29, 2016  •  7 Comments

So I figured I'd just get them all in here at once!   Since I can't say I've been off doing anything terribly exciting I am going to make a concerted effort to get back to writing on this blog and now that I've finally gotten my phone so it will upload my photos to where I can easily snag them you will at least have some photos to look at even if they are "phone photos" for now.    I will tell you that there is a mix in this post as I have been taking the big camera out the oh two whole times it has been nice enough to sit on the deck!

We are still in the grips of pre-Spring weather here although my crocus are blooming like mad and the front flower bed begged to be uncovered from its winter blanket of leaves even though I told those plants that it was truly too early and it was gonna get cold.  They insisted by popping through the leaves and then promptly falling over from lack of light at their base.   So far there are some that have been nipped but not too badly.  

Even though we've had frosty temps we are sadly devoid of water from the sky!    I have already dragged out the hoses and patiently wait for them to thaw out on warm days so I can put water on the gardens and the trees.   Other places in the state (south of here mostly) are getting moisture but not us.   Even my evergreen spreaders on the back slope were showing brown tinges so out came the sprinklers.   Oh well!

We have enjoyed a couple of nice weekend days where the dogs and I were able to just hang on the front deck in the sun.   The sun is still a bit low for them to take advantage of it on the back deck but I do have their bed set up out there when it does.    So love sitting out front in the Spring, listening to the birds and soaking up the sunshine.   

I saw my first robins this past weekend (Easter) and prior to that have already seen the bluebirds, finches and all 3 varieties of the nuthatches (did not see the pygmy nuthatches overwinter this year) and both the downy and hairy woodpeckers.  Even the gold finches boys are starting to turn their brilliant yellow and I counted no less than 6 of them on the feeders one morning.

As you can imagine it has not been all sitting on the deck at my house.  We are full force into our first round of dog performance events and the weekend before Easter I took the two poodles to Bozeman and did our first competition in two years!   Sterling performed brilliantly in his first off leash version of Rally Obedience and got 2 of his advanced title legs (need 3 to get the title) and his scores were 97 out of 100!   Epic did his first EVER Rally Obedience (Novice) and got his first 2 legs of his novice title with scores of 99 and 97!   I'm not a big wooo about scores but they were so outstanding I just had to brag.   Not knowing what I'd get from them it was a pleasant surprise to be sure and I was super proud of how they handled the trip and the venue.  

Now we have a super full weekend coming up shortly with agility and will be camping at that trial, getting the trailer out for the first time of the season.    We've been doing some practice and not sure what we will get so I am setting my mind to making it as much fun for the boys as possible and not going to care about perfect anything.   My saying on my agility book is, Run Fast, Have Fun and See What Happens and that is what we will do!

Because I don't have enough on my plate at home (and at work which is busy now as well and happily so) I also have two dogs officially signed up for classes.  Epic is doing and advanced obedience class here in town for 6 weeks to help his focus some and refine some skills and Teddy and I are doing an online dog training Puppy Class (yes he's 11 but not too old to learn) with an instructor I have been researching and admiring for years.   She is all about tricks and shaping and clicker and agility.   I've spent considerable time watching her students videos, reading her articles and blog and bought a couple DVDs.  Liked what I saw and decided this would be a great way to get my foot in the door so to speak (or get our paws wet).   Teddy still loves to learn although I found that I apparently did a ton of luring with him in training and not the shaping (requires more thinking on his part and better click and treat on mine).   It will be a challenge but I love that it is not a weekly lesson but rather a bi-weekly so runs actually for 12 weeks.   The instructor is in Slovenia of all places and the really cool thing is that so far our class has students from all over the world - Ireland, Canada, UK, New Zealand, France, Italy, Norway, Sweden, USA, Spain....   We also aren't the only older dog in class.   Lessons start April 12 and we have been trying to work on some of the basics to get back in learning mode (5 minutes or so a day) and out of react mode.    I also can transfer the lessons over and use them with Sterling, Epic and Elliott too which is nice.   I also think I may enroll Epic in her Running Contacts class in May as how she teaches many agility skills I think will fit him well.  Her teaching style reminds me a great deal of our instructor in Bozeman and this way I don't have to travel.    Ahhhh the advantages of the internet!

My writing class is also over and I am still doing some practice when I can on that and utilizing it to make some more cards and such.   I found a youtube video on some fancy lettering that I really likes to am incorporating that with my calligraphy.  I have the basics down pretty well on both but those artistic "flourishes" get me every time.

I did up these two writings and then took a phone photo and ran them through the SuperPhoto app and added some different interest to them.

This one below is my Mom's confirmation bible verse.

Kinda fun I have to admit but it is keeping me from working on my afghan so I still try to get a few stripes done on that as I can.  It is about 2/3 done now and then I'll have to edge it but making progress.  Some of these cold evenings we have yet are good incentive to sit in the recliner and work on it!  :)

So there you have it.     Haven't been out hunting for photos much as well, have been concentrating on dog training and competing at this point.   The next few months as the weather breaks will no doubt help that as after the first part of April we don't compete again until June.

Thanks for stopping by people (those of you that are still left out there)!  


Lady Fi(non-registered)
Wonderful shots - I love those crocuses.
You have a cute family of dogs.
I always feel like I've visited with you when I read your posts. I love the images of crocuses, they remind me of my childhood in a colder country. I enjoy hearing about the birds that are turning up, as you can imagine! Your dog stories and images are fabulous, congratulations on the competitions, give them all a big pat for me.
Far Side(non-registered)
Hey you are busy as a bee! Maybe you should have added May Day too! Way to go boys!! They did really good at the competitions!! :)
Brian King Images
Beautiful purple color on the flowers and yellow on the finches! We've got some of the little suckers hanging around here, too.
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