Monday, March 24, 2008

Official Race Date UPDATE - 4/27/08

My sister Dawn called me last month to back out of the May 17th run (Don't worry, I'm still doing it!!!) I think she was afraid to give me 3 more weeks to train! HA!!

So, our new run will be Sunday 4/27 in Iowa City. I'm told they have GOOD food at the end, so I'm counting on that! I talked to Dawn yesterday, I told her my goal and asked if she was going to run with me or blow by? She said she'd run with me, but she was going to challenge me at the end. UGH!!! I'm so DEAD! Our goal, 10 minute miles, thus a time of 31 minutes.

Thus my serious training started yesterday. I really need to focus on "running" the whole 3.1 tiny little miles all at once vs. running, walking, running, walking. I will NOT walk during this race. That is my goal. NO WALKING!!

So yesterday I did 3.1 miles on the treadmill. I've discovered I need to cover the time and the distance otherwise I'm too focused on that then just "running". Today I did 3.5 miles "running" at the 10 minute mile pace. Hopefully if I stick with it I'll be able to finish without any problem. My biggest difficulty is that my shins start to hurt about 10 minutes in, but I'm able to run through it. I know I need to stretch more, but I'm just not that patient.

RUN RUN RUN RUN>>>...I'm still waiting for that runner's high. Maybe they serve "pot" at the finish line?? VBG

New Profile Picture

You may have noticed I have a new profile picture. Yes, little Cougar has been replaced with a picture of ME!! A "few" years go.

This was actually taken in April of 1973 when we were lucky enough to get 14.5" of snow. After we were able to dig out of our house my Dad suggested that I put on my swimsuit (green with blue turtles!!) and stand on the diving board while he took my picture. (I might add he was standing INSIDE while he took it). I remember that they pretended to lock the door as I ran back to the house.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

You might be a redneck if.........

Spring Agility Trials will be upon us before we know it! YIPPEE!!! Along with those trials we face yet another year of "survival camping"! In order to save money on silly things like hotels rooms (in which we occupy about 8 hrs) with Televisions, Heat, Air and a HOT SHOWER, many of my friends have taken to tent or "van" camping. (Yes, sleeping in the van!!!)

My first camping experience for a dog related event was in MN in June of 2000 with Martha. We slept in our Armadillo Screen tent, on the hard cold ground. Other than a few sore muscles, we did well. So our camping, when able, began. We've slept at trial sites, in parking lots, and yes even camping facilities like "normal" people.

We've evolved over the years. We've purchased tents, air mattresses, sleeping bags, laterns, rain gear, marshmellow pokers, MATCHES and have learned MANY valuable lessons. Our most recent discovery was FIRE!!!! Well, not really "fire", but fire in an area you can't use your "normal" fire pit. This occurred when Jeff H brought along a little propane heating burner in which to heat water. COFFEE!!!! Yes, Jeff H is my FAVORITE!! G

With this season about to start, I've been thinking about getting a "portable" commode for those trials where we do NOT have a bathroom. Omaha is probably the main problem as once the trial folks leave you have to go to Walgreen's to pee and honestly, they are starting to look at us kind of funny. They even followed us around the store one evening. In all honestly, we deserved it, as Meme and Michele F were looking at dog beds and one of them wanted one on the very top self. Meme and I were about to form the base of a human pyramid so Michele could get it....but I digress....G

So, I've been looking at these small little box commodes. (It would be a #1 unit only) They are fairly compact, and not terribly large, but it's about 90 dollars. BH!! I suppose it beats trying to pee in a sandwich baggie (been there, done that, couldn't get the van door open............Don't try it!!) But $90 to use just a few times a year?? Um.....gosh, I could think of a lot of other things to spend $90 on!! FUN THINGS!! Like a camera lens, hunting reins, agility equipment.....

Luckily, I don't get up in the night to "go" so I don't have to have something...but it would be nice not to hold it from 4 pm until 6 the next morning. So I got to thinking about what else I could get. Cheap, yet functional, portable, reusable........

I've decided.

I'm just taking a little ice cream pail with me and I can line it with a kitchen bag if I REALLY need to go.......There are a lot of pluses to this.

#1, you get to eat ice cream!!! How else will you get the container??

#2 It doesn't cost a lot. It's free really, once you eat the ice cream

#4 It doesn't take up much room.

#5 In the afternoon you can use the same bucket to wash your hair and do the dishes!!!! LOL


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Spring is in the AIR!!!!

Today it made it to the low 50's and I managed to secure a riding date with Julie from down the road. I had a plan when I got home from work, I had about one hour! I thought I'd go for a run, get the ponies in and get them cleaned up and saddle Adam and I'd be OFF!!

Well, best laid plans and all that. I let the ponies in, Adam is a bit lame on his hind leg. CRAP!! It's really windy outside and I really do hate the wind, so I didn't go running. (Sorry Dawn!! I'll pay for it during our run!!!) I worked Seeker on contacts and then when and got Saphira out of her stall. What the heck, she's got to go out on the road someday right??

I take her into the building and put on her saddle. I get my lunge line (I've got 30 minutes to take the edge off). So she starts out fine, then gets squirrely. That straight up in the air kind of squirrely. NICE!! So we practice some halts, trot, switch direction, halt, trot, repeat, repeat, repeat. Then some canters, buck, buck, squeal, buck, buck.....I keep checking the clock. Boy, 30 minutes sure passes quickly!

I guess I'd better do some riding! So I get on and she's pretty good, of course now everything we've just lunged by is SCARY!! OMG!!! There's a teeter!! There's a dog walk!! A-FRAME!! Oh BH, you've been running by then for 30 minutes, take a pill!!! I get off and lunge her some more.

All of a sudden, I hear Julie, "Hello, ready??" Yep, I'm riding Saphira. G "Oh, you are brave. Do you have a helmet?" Good idea, I run back in and get it. Saphira is pretty worked up about Julie's pony, Nellie. So we get on and it's pretty obvious they are just working each other up. Saphira is squealing and jumping around. I think she's in's NOT going to work. So I tell her I'll grab Adam, it's just a couple miles. RATS!!!

Nice uneventful ride. Adam is pretty solid and an easy ride. Met the neighbor on the way back and I gave his 7 year old a short ride, she liked it.

One of these days Saphira needs to get out on the road.....but I suppose I should wait until I can actually work her for a month or so. I guess I'm not nearly as patient as I should be!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Happy 8th Birthday MAD DOG!!

To celebrate Mad's Birthday today, we all made a trip to the Dairy Queen!!! YUMMY!! Of course, with Kruz's birthday tomorrow we celebrated that as well. Seeker just reap the ice cream rewards and they were all pretty sure we should make a repeat trip tomorrow. SORRY GUYS!!! G

We arrive at the DQ and placed our order, one chocolate Malt, one snicker blizzard (hold the chocolate syrup) and 3 baby cones. Yep, it's a big day in our dog's life's when they do not need to share a small plain vanilla sundae between them. (and eat off the same spoon!!!) So, we put "our "ice cream in the van and proceed to unload the 3 dogs.

We decide to take them out front by the orange picnic tables, it's 36 degrees outside, so we're pretty sure no one else will be lining up to use them. We put the dogs on a sit and put the cones in front of them (just out of reach) as some kind of doggie torture. It was fun, they were NOT amused!

I get a couple pictures before Mad decided to just lay down and GO FOR IT!! Like we're NOT going to notice she's licking the top of her cone. GEEZ!!!

Kruz our Catholic/Jewish son thinks he's guilty and he's REALLY sorry Mad is breaking the rules!!!

Seeker isn't sure whether to break them or not. He thinks it's sounding like a pretty good idea however!

It's a sad day when the "puppy" is the only one that's still sitting while the other 2 are chowing down!! So Seeker digs in too! I'm trying to get the paper off of Kruz's cone, then Seeker's and OH MAN too late, Mad ate her paper already! Why am I NOT surprise!! Oh well, that too shall pass.

Now I'd kind of like to go back tomorrow and take the "flip" along to film them. I think they pretty much inhaled them. I'd take the paper off of Mad's ahead of time of course. Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me! G

Spring is almost here!! How do I know? Because today I bought my cheap 11 cent flower seeds!! I also picked up the more expensive kohlrabi seeds, potatoes and onion sets. Of course potatoes and onions are suppose to be planted on Good Friday, this did NOT happen. In fact, Easter Sunday is even questionable. I walked down to the gardens today and they are still buried in over 2 foot of snow. How do I know? Well, it's not too hard to figure out when you sink up to your knee and your boot fills with icy snow. UGH!!! Yep, Spring is ALMOST HERE!!!

As most of you are aware, when you are shopping at a farm store you'll hear county music. I can deal and I'm generally able to block it out. As I'm boot shopping however, to my horror there's a country music song on that I actually know who sings it!!!! OMG!!! Make the instanity STOP!!!
Give me some "HellYeah" and Alkoholin ass. G

I do most of my seed shopping at a local farm store. I just love farm stores, they have so many FUN things. I am NOT a shopper, but I was in that store for over 45 minutes. I think that's a record! Of course they have their winter clearance clothes up front along with the boots. (I have a farm boot obsession) So I have to go through all of those to see what I can find. All the boots were too big!! RATS!!! I did find a new hoodie however, just what I needed.

I then moved over to the seed section and went to town picking out different flowers for around the garden. FUN FUN FUN!! Then, some amazing thing happens.....I can't believe what I find!! Not only that...I can't believe I walk away from it! It's a GIANT JUMBO Tomato cage, and it's ORANGE!!! HONEST! Who would have ever thought? Alas....I left it for someone else to pick up. Maybe it will be on clearance in July?? Hum...........

Yep.....Spring is just around the corner!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Happy 10th Birthday BOYS!!!!

Happy 10th birthday to our boys, Ollie 3/7, Kruz 3/19 and Robin 4/18!! How in the heck did those 10 years go by so fast!! We're happy to report they are all still active in agility!! This weekend in Des Moines we had a party with banners, posters and CAKE!!! Okay, so the cake was for the people, sorry BOYS!! G

Of course when we all get together there's usually a story or two that need to be shared!! G For instance, I was the last one to the hotel, UGH!! So while checking in alone (Sal was coming in later that evening), the clerk tells me that they do not have any rooms on the first floor and that she hopes the second floor will be okay. Now honestly, what choice would I really have!!

Of course, I've been around the block a few times and I know how this whole "system" works. I ask her if they have an elevator, she says they do and points it out to me. Then she asks, why?? I tell her that my husband will be joining me later and that he's on crutches. "Oh, let me check again, I might have a room." SURPRISE!! One is available. I know I'm going straight to hell, Sal's NOT on crutches. That's okay however has that's where all my friends will be!!!! G

I learned several things over the weekend. If you grew up Catholic and don't eat meat on Friday you'll get TWO DQ's!! Man, if I could give that walking taco back I would have!! G Someone remind me next year!! HA!!

I also learned that Terry and Paula are pretty good runners! We all ran a mile together, of course they had a little help from their dogs pulling them at the start. They sure had fun.....I think....I KNOW the dogs LOVED IT!!!! I made two - one mile trips and Seeker is a FANTASTIC running partner. I'm questionable as to whether I could do that trek 3 times without stopping. I guess I'd better keep running!! I'm still waiting for that runners high. I'm thinking some margs might help??

We had a human birthday to celebrate today as well, Rilda turned 29....AGAIN!! I'm not sure how she does it!! She also celebrated her 1 year anniversary of NOT SMOKING!!!! FANTASTIC!!! I think she started smoking at 6 months, so this is quite a feat for her!! BRILLIANT!!!!

There were SO MANY wonderful runs this weekend, many clean and a lot of "purt a nears". It was nice to see so many friends again and to know winter is truly almost over!! One that sticks out was Liz and Scamp who had to show off her "Lizzy Layer", I sure wish I had "flipped" it for posting, it was WONDERFUL!!! I think they might have had a truly PERFECT weekend, 6/6, GO MEMA!!!

Kruz had a wonderful time watching all the dogs running. His typical face is posted below...I think the caption would read, "Can you believe that handler did that!!"

The 2007 puppies, Seeker and Cozzie are getting SO big. You forget how fast they grow and need to remember they are still babies, even though they look like grown up dogs. Boy, does time FLY!!!! Maybe they'll be running next year?? Won't that be FUN!



Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Warming up ...or not??

It's warming up!! Well, kind of. Is anyone else "less" then impressed with the "warmer" temps? I'm not sure what I was expecting, well, I guess I do. A light warm breeze, sun warming the skin and making you want to put on a T-Shirt for the first time in 7 months. NOT!!! GEEZ!!! It's cloudy, chilly, windy and wet! Who's idea was this anyway!! Okay, granted, it is above freezing. Just enough to turn the solid ice into crusty mush with solid ice still stubbornly hanging on like a box elder bug on the toilet bowl. Oh....speaking of which.........

Today (I left early.....another topic) and I get home around 1. I take off my pullover (TMI) and notice a box elder is attached to it. Do you suppose he's been there all day?? JL!! Things that make you go ......hum. Luckily my pull over was a orange/black berber thing and he matched pretty well.

So I came home early as Julie down the road wanted to ride the ponies. Since it's been several weeks since they've been out and it's suppose to be NICE I said, you bet!! I get home early in order to clean the barn a bit and be ready to go. I arrive home to find out she can't secure a sitter, so rats, no ride. No big deal, I can still get the barn cleaned, get my running in and sit on my arse.

I bring in the ponies so I can clean the barn. They happily come in and eat their pony pellets while I clean. Of course once the crunchies are gone they are ready to be let out, pawing and banging on their stall doors. Honestly, who's ponies are you and what have you done with my well behaved ones?? So I figure they should probably be taught some patience and I tie each of them in their stall figuring it would be good for them. So when I get done I turn them loose and they are bucking and farting. JL!! Glad you're NOT going riding. I want my nice ponies back!

So I get into the house and Julie called, "found a sitter, I'll be up at 4". Okay, well, still enough time to do my 40 minutes on the treadmill. I get off the and then get another message, "Sitter backed out" JL!!! Make up your mind!! LOL That was just fine with me as now I really need a shower and it's cold and windy.

Sal just got home and couldn't get the van under the lean as there's a big patch of ice there. So, can someone tell me again....when is it going to really warm up??

Something to be Proud of.......

I got to thinking last night as I was running on the treadmill. I obviously have a LOT of time to think while mindlessly running like a hamster on a wheel.

We really don't give ourselves enough credit and recognition of all the things we do...and do VERY WELL!!!!! So take a minute and reflect on all those wonderful things you do........

Something to be Proud's some of the things I thought of.

I have a job, I put food on the table and can support my dogs in the style in which they have become accustom.

I have great friends that will always share a laugh, a good cry or a big chocolate cake!

I can still drive a car and can follow a long as I'm alone! G

I can "farmer up" almost anything with the best of them.

I can make a commitment and stick to it! Why do you think I'm running on the treadmill?

I can still unload and stack a load of hay bales by myself.

I can READ!!!! Scary and sad how many people can't.

I enjoy my garden, flowers and beautiful things.

I can sew, knit, quilt, crochet...I know...who would have thought!!!!

Just a few things I can think of and I'm sure there are many more that we simply take for granted. Be proud of what you do and pat yourself you the back! You deserve it!

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

The Wichmann Whirl

In our agility travels it is well know that anything CAN and WILL happen. So when someone performs a "new" handling move it's generally named after that individual. Before you think this is a GOOD thing let me clarify, that these moves are NOT planned and can have disastrous results. Usually meaning an NQ - or non qualifying score.

We have the "Hartzler" - which is celebrating a clean run before the dog clears the last jump and the dog drops that bar. Thus resulting in an NQ. Although many of us have had the misfortune of having this happen. No one has done it so well and so often as Hartzler.

The "Full Kittrell" in which the handler falls down in a heap and the dog comes over to offer assistance, or wash handler's face. Generally resulting in an NQ as the dog ends up with a refusal, since they dodn't normally complete the next obstacle in the sequence.

And now, I proudly present to you - the "Wichmann Whirl". It's a WONDERFUL thing to have an agility move named after you. (OR NOT!!! G) It's even more gratifying when you actually have it on video. (At least it is for the person that HAS the video - which would be me!) What makes this amazing is that Jamie went on to qualify in spite of his handler!!! GOOD JOB JAMIE!!!

Please do NOT try this move at your next agility trial, it should only be performed by seasoned professionals.

You'll need to watch it a couple times to get the FULL feel of the move. I'm not sure any of us will be able to duplicate it (which is a GOOD THING!).

Martha completes a full rotation in a counter clockwise direction, due to Jamie's rear cross (she's following the rule of NEVER take your eyes off your dog!! In spite of Martha, Jamie is able to take and clear the correct jump and then spins in a clockwise direction looking for Martha. JL!!!

So for your viewing pleasure!! I present to you....the WICHMANN WHIRL!