Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Square Pies!!!

Last weekend we camped in Davenport....Yes, another "DOG THING". G

Tracy would not be camping with us this weekend as it was close enough for her to drive back and forth. She did NOT totally trust us with her antique pie maker, so she provided us with the "next best thing", our OWN!!!!! YIPPEE!!!

Now, it's now quite like Tracy's. First off, it's square! Square as in it's shape....not square as in "un-cool".

No, this is Very COOL!!!

Unfortunately, Tracy got side tracked and didn't make it to a store in order to get us the supplies we'd need in order to make pies.

Never fear! Carrie found one and collected the prime quality ingredients we would need for our dessert.

One loaf of white bread.

One Can of Apple Filling.

Is that John Wayne on the front of the can??

Never mind, it looks more like Forrest Gump.....

Butter, Cinnamon and extra sugar, which she picked up at the deli area.


So to cooking we go!!!

I carefully assembled the first pie...and popped it into the coals.

We timed carefully as we were NOT going to have the same disaster as the first pie had last weekend!! We decided 3 minutes per side would be about right.

Well, Maybe 2 would be better next time???

Actually this looked much worse that it was. Our camp fire rim was much deeper here, thus our pie baker was tipped into the fire. This resulted in the top end being rather "well done".

Of course Seeker was willing to "take one for the team"!!!


Here is our first pie.

Not too bad if you picked around the burned parts.

I could see how this would make pretty good grilled cheese!!

This was the last camping weekend of the year.

I suppose I'll have to play with this at home in our fire pit.

Maybe put together a pizza?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Just Desserts!!!

We have been camping at the Jester Park Camp ground during the September DMOTC Agility Trials since the trial moved to the Jester Park Equestrian Center. No one of us can remember the year of that first trial, but we're sure it's been awhile. G

It saves on hotel fees, gives us a chance to enjoy the late summer, early fall weather and it's just plain FUN!!!

This year we had - 10 people and 20 dogs spending the weekend.

One would think that with 20 dogs present, our camp site would consist of nothing but barking dogs, and chaos.... ours was one of the quieter sites...

..that is... until it was time to make DESSERT!!!!

Our dogs are well behaved....the humans....um, some times NO SO MUCH!


Tracy brought along her antique pie maker, it makes WONDERFUL homemade apple or cherry pies, just like the pilgrims use to make.

Okay, so maybe it's NOT that old.

She is a skilled camp fire dessert maker and has a merit badge to prove it!!

(Sorry, I made that part up too!)

The process is very simple!

You'll need an antique pie maker (found at your local antique dealer, if you're LUCKY!!!), a camp fire with hot embers, bread, butter and home made apple or cherry filling...oh.... and a can opener to open the pie filling! Tracy has gotten so good she now actually CANS now, vs. using those silly mason jars. G


Butter a piece of homemade white bread and top with cherry pie filling .

Sorry about the blur on this picture, but Tracy is FAST!!!


Butter a second piece of bread and place it on top of pie filling.

Note: it is important that the butter side be on the OUTSIDE!

Step Three:

Squeeze Pie Maker together and secure "rod holder".

Step Four:

Trim off excess crust from bread. It's hard to see what Tracy is doing below, but you'll have to just "trust me" on this one.

I wanted to show you how her 'homemade bread' comes wrapped!! She is amazing.

Also please note the sanitary conditions in which she is working!

No germs HERE!!! LOL

Step Five:

Carefully place "pie maker" into the fire and be sure to check the time.

Much debate ensued
on the necessary cooking time needed.

It's amazing how many 'cooks' wanted to voice an option!!

Is this just the prettiest picture?

Our dessert 'in process'.

Step Six:


As Tracy proudly displays the ease as which a wonderfully tasty
dessert can be made, even at camp.

UH - OH!!!

There seems to be a bit too much smoke!!

Never Fear! Tracy says calmly.

It might be just a bit overcooked.......


Who wants the first one!!!!!

Not even Bill raised his hand for this one!!!!!

Does that look like the "S" word might be escaping Tracy's lips??


A hand....or should I say a paw offers to give it a try!!

Oh Petra, what a good sport you are!!

Alas, into the garbage it goes.

Tracy now stats CONFIDENTLY that the
'pie maker' is warmed up and ready for use!!

She repeats steps one - five, with MUCH better results!!!



Wednesday, September 17, 2008

I'll Remember you....My Perfect Nina


To Learn More:


Friday, September 12, 2008

Spring 2008 revisited!!!

Wow!!! It's amazing what I find in my picture files....if I just LOOK!! LOL Today is rather rainy one. What a great day to organize some of my pictures from earlier this year. These were taken June 13th, our office was closed due to the flooding in Cedar Rapids. It's sure bizarre, how it was such a beautiful day, "the morning after".

Here's Saphira and Adam enjoying some pasture time. Phira's tail is next to IMPOSSIBLE to keep clean, her bodies not much better. I think I need a solid dirt brown pony!! G

Adam of course had to find out what I was doing on the ground. I was sitting with my photo partner and all around "pain in the arse", Cougar.

Adam has such dark pretty eyes. Dude, where'd you get that dirt above your eye!!

Spring is so nice as the flies aren't terribly bad....yet. In the late summer and fall it's hard to get pictures this close without flies!!! UGH!!

Seeker is a Border Collie and he EXCELS in herding, but only OTHER BORDER COLLIES. He really doesn't pay much attention to our ducks and chickens. If Kruz is outside however, GAME ON!!!

Kruz on the other hand finds him to be an extreme pain in the butt and will occasionally bark and chase Seeker off. Much to Seeker's delight.

The sure enjoy running and playing when we stay home for the day. Mad's telling Seeker to "BRING IT ON!!!". He's taken to biting her hind leg in order to get her to chase him when Kruz gets tired of his "games". Mad seems to enjoy it, most of the time.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New Chicks - First Day Outside

Well, kind of!! The new chicks are 4 weeks old today and it's not getting any warmer, so I decided to try to "encourage" them to come outside. Hindsight, I should have tried this yesterday when their was more sun.

You would think that if you just dropped the door down and let them choose to go outside that they would right? WRONG!!! They will only go if you give them a very good reason too, otherwise they will stay inside where it's SAFE!!! So, next time you buy your "range free" eggs or birds, remember, they must be given access to the great outdoors, it doesn't mean they will go. Trust me when I tell you, they do NOT want those birds outside and they NEVER go!

So, how do you get them outside? You have two options. You can either just pick them up and put them outside, of course you have to catch them first! Herding chickens is pretty comparable to herding cats, they go EVERY WHICH WAY and more often than not, the opposite direction in which you wanted them too go.

Or you can put their food and water just outside the door and hope they are hungry enough to venture out. After a couple days of this they are more than happy to go outside into the free air. The little barred rock above looks like she's thinking about it, shortly there after she's in the feeder and brings a few friends along. The German Spitz below has a little tuff of feathers on it's head. These are my first white egg laying chickens, I wanted something a little different......it will be fun to see what they look like when they are all grown up. There's a Black Australorp in the very back, she's blending into the background.

A little Rhode Island Red decides to join in one the feeding frenzy. You can still see some of her baby feathers.

There are 25 chicks in all, so you can see that the majority of them are choosing to stay safely inside.

Generally once one or two chicks come out, they others feel comfortable enough to join them.....

That is until.....COUGAR (our villain) appears!
Showing a bit too much interest for my taste.

Cougar, don't you even THINK ABOUT IT!!! I chastise him. He doesn't even blink, staring at the young chickens.

I suppose I should explain, for those of you that don't know. Cougar takes great joy in running after and chasing the adult ducks and chickens. He never hurts them, but seems to take great pride in making them scatter! He's such a "naughty" little cat.

This is the same cat that waits along side a jump to pounce on Seeker as he comes over. GEEZ!!!

So I leave the inside of the pen to have a serious discussion with him.

Now, Cougar....are you going to leave these chicks alone? Or do I need to put you in a dog crate???


Did he just WINK!!!!

Come on Cougar, you're going in a box....like a dog!! Um, I mean a CAT! G

Monday, September 8, 2008

Water Trial - Overboard PWD - Indiana

We had a GREAT time in Indianapolis over the weekend at the Overboard Portuguese Water Dog Water Trial.

Mad got to play in the water twice and passed both times at the Versatility Water Work Level. Versatility is for PWDs that have completed the highest title available in Water Trials, (CWDX - Courier Water Dog Excellent), but still want to partake in all the FUN!

Mad Dog is pictured left, with her HUGE ribbon!! Could they get any bigger? Mad took two of them home, along with a very pretty blue Coaster Tile. Mad of course preferred the "Home Made Cookies" in our gift bag.

I suppose I should "insert" here that today, while I was shopping, Mad did a bit of shopping on her own and shredded above plastic gift bag to look for MORE COOKIES!! None were to be found, but she obviously enjoyed the Smartie Gum and Gummie Eye Ball that were still in the bag.
I guess she earned those too. G

So now for a recap of our trip. Lots of pictures for those of you that don't like to read!

We left bright and early Friday Morning, 5 am to be exact. Bill was excited to put his new best friend and Garmin, "BJ" - "Bill's Jill" to work. Me, I had a Harry Potter book on my IPOD, thanks to Michele, and of course a craft project to keep me busy. The drive wasn't bad at all, only a little over 6 hours. I guess it wasn't too bad, since I didn't have to drive! G

A few miles into our trip we heard someone in the back "singing". No, it wasn't Kruz, Mad or Seeker. This little creature (it later turned out to be three of them) come in a variety of sizes, are all black and seems to love shady areas. Chickens find them totally delicious and some people even buy them for their pet lizards (not the black ones of course). Yes, CRICKETS!!! I'm sure the state of Indiana will thank us for strengthening their gene pool.

We arrived FIRST, as is the norm for us. Well actually, you can blame me for that, as I HATE being late!! I just can't help it.

So we took a look around the park. We would be using the public beach area, which is very nice. I got a kick out of the sign on the front door. It just reminded me of something you'd see in an Iowan town. Indiana's a nice place.

Soon others began to arrive to have a go at a Friday practice. It was a bit on the cool side, but Mad didn't seem to care and once you got in the water it wasn't bad at all. Kruz and Seeker had a go at the water too, as they both love to swim. Kruz's favorite toy is the buoy ball. Seeker isn't picky and will play with whatever you come up with.

We met up with Judy (who we'll be staying with) there along with her PWDs, Porter (Nina's litter brother) and Iggy, who we haven't seen since he spent a week with us when he was 10 weeks old. Iggy is 3 now and cute as a bug!!

Kristi, Mike along with their two PWDs, Ocea and Moby showed up shortly after that. It was a "Kalista" family reunion of sorts as we all had the first "A" litter puppies. You'll see pictures of all of them doing their stuff a bit later.

After practice we loaded up and headed for Judy's house and to meet her husband John. They live in a nice quite neighborhood on a culd-a-sac (AKA - NO TRAFFIC), which is great since I was going to be staying in a tent. We decided the best place to put the tent was along side the house, not in the back yard. This way none of the dogs would pee on it.

Judy and John are GREAT hosts! They should honestly open up a bread and breakfast. We had some delicious snacks, pita bread, crackers, dip and pizza, along with the strongest margarita's you've ever had! OMG!!! They were good, but strong. John, a beer drinker, claimed that they should only be mild, not strong. Let's put it this way, Kristi, Mike and I were afraid to get up from the table!!! In fact, I wasn't sure I'd make it out to my tent without getting arrested for public intox. LOL

The next morning we were off to the water site, with a slight headache - I might add! We picked up the all important COFFEE!! John's is better by the way! AWESOMELY STRONG!

We set up "base camp" and I got ready to take some VERY amateur shots. I'll try to explain some of the exercises along the way, so you can see what we actually do at these things.

We started the Saturday Morning off with Junior Certificate. The young Kalista PWDs, Moby, Iggy and Breaker - who arrived with his "people", Nicole and Mark, along with PWD sister, Stella, have already passed this beginning level.

Apprentice is the first "titling" level of water work. It involves a retrieve underwater, a 50' water retrieve, a 50' placed float line retrieve, a boat ride and a 2 minute swim. The 2 minute swim seems to be the part that most handlers hate. Judy was very hopeful that she would NEVER need to do this exercise again.

Breaker - Nicole (WI)

Breaker and Nicole doing their boat ride. Nicole can not touch her dog during this exercise. The dog needs to sit on the boat and wait to be called off when Nicole gets to shore.

Above - Breaker is being released to Nicole. What a good boy!!
THEY PASSED and have a new AWD Title (Apprentice Water Dog).

Iggy - Judy (IN)

Iggy starts off strong with a good underwater retrieve. Not being a dumb dog he likes to use his feet to kick it closer to shore, unfortunately that's not allowed. He was playing by the rules today however and made a clean pick up without using his feet! Way to use your head IGGY!!

Next is the 50' retrieve of a dummy. Yes, you CAN have the steward throw the dummy for you and for all of you that think 50' isn't that far, you'd be surprised at how many people can NOT throw it that far. As for Judy, this is a REQUIREMENT as she's the only person I know that can throw a dummy into the air and hit.....HERSELF! VBG (We'll come back to this topic later)

Now the picture below I really like, unfortunately Iggy is a bit out of focus. Judy's butt on the other hand is in perfect focus! SORRY JUDY!!! LOL I'll be able to play and do something "artsy" with this in photoshop. I like the direction and energy Judy is giving her dog on this retrieve and I love the enthusiasm that Iggy is showing as well. WELL DONE!

Moby - Kristi (MN)

Is this guy CUTE or what!! Sorry Jerry, (one of my favorite rowers in the world), I'm talking about that little brown dog on the back of the boat. Yes, that's Moby! Moby is just a baby having turned one year old on June 9th. He's doing a great job!! Unfortunately he already "failed" this exercise when he got the "rips" on the sand with the dummy and Kristi had to do a 50' retrieve of her puppy. He was very cute none the less. As soon as he took that dummy and made that bucking bronco move in the sand, you knew it was not going to be good!

Here he is being that great water dog that we all know is in there!! Doing a flawless float line retrieve. Next year he'll be ready for Apprentice!!! A good experience is always a great thing! You can't get much better than that!


Okay, so during the Courier briefing I got bored and spotted this man in the sand. NO, I did NOT put him there!!! I thought it was rather funny, but felt bad for the kid that's missing his action figure. Hey Judy, at least yours isn't the ONLY butt I got a picture off!!!

Ocea - Kristi (MN)

Ocea in perfect form jumping off the boat to get her fishing net.
Wait, that was MY fishing net!!

Courier Level is probably the most difficult of the three titling levels in water work. The three being Apprentice, Working and Courier. Apprentice is difficult as you usually have a young dog and anything can and does go wrong. Working is a bit easier as all your work is done off the boat, that is, as long as your dog will get OFF the boat. If not, that IS a problem. In Courier you generally have a more seasoned and mature dog. One that is use to the distractions of the trial. The added difficulty for this class however is the required endurance in swimming and the strength required for the net retrieve. One of the most difficult exercises in this class is the buoy ball drop, this requires the dog to take a large buoy ball away from the handler, 50', then go past that marker another 10-15' and drop and leave that buoy and return to the handler. Being natural retrievers, it's hard for them to understand that you don't want the ball brought back to you.

Below - Mike is feeding out the fishing net to Ocea as she drags it back to Kristi. This does actually have a net attached and it's actually quite heavy when you pull it through the water.

Ocea didn't pass either day in Courier, but she had some great moments and next year it's going to be a breeze!!!

Porter - Judy (IN)

Versatility is a non-titling class made up of 5 exercises from the other 3 levels.
One required exercise is the buoy drop from Courier.

Is Porter cute or what!!! I'd want one just like him if I didn't have to keep those white parts WHITE!!!! I know, we have Border Collies, but they have fur and PWDs have hair. Two totally different matters when it comes to staying clean.

Judy and Porter are focusing above on the float line that is being placed for him to retrieve. Porter has his UDX2 in spite of Judy's inability to throw. She has to throw over hand in order not to hit the high jump or the ceiling. She said she always has people lining up outside her open ring to tell her how to throw a dumbbell. She stated, they just don't get it. LOL Luckily, I know enough people that can't throw either, so I'm taking Judy's word on this one!

Below Porter is bring all his gear to the boat. This is the Gear Bag retrieve and the first exercise in the Water Water Dog level.

Tammy - Mad Dog (IA)

Mad Dog and I, as well as Kristi - our rower on the "great open sea" or at least it might as well have been. It was rougher than a cob as the wind kicked up for Mad's turn.

We all survived however and Mad did a great job.

Below is Mad taking her buoy ball to the marker. Now she has to keep going out past it for another 10-15'.

Mad has successfully dropped her buoy ball and is swimming back to us on the boat.


To CELEBRATE Judy picked up a bottle of MAD DOG wine.

All I could think was, OMG, I hope it's not MORGAN DAVID!! Mike had to laugh as he thought the same thing!! Nope, it was a pretty good wine actually! Not as good as the margarita's of course. G

On Saturday the trial had a relaxing dinner at a near by pavilion. We never miss out on an opportunity to dry out our water gear. Below is Carrie draped in our Courier Net. Yes, this is the same net the dogs pull back 50' to the other boat. It looks like we're finally landed something!

Jerry was telling us about all their "friends" that come over and bring "light" beer.
Funny think is, they leave all the light beer and drink all of Jerry's good beer.
Jerry then ends up throwing it away a year later.
I might add here that Jerry brought a whole cooler of that "light" beer to the pavilion for people to enjoy. He took a full cooler back home, I guess you can't fool PWD owners either.

Saturday evening was nice. After John shared with us that the neighbors are all a buzz about the tent out front. He assured them that we weren't quite homeless and that we were fairly normal. For Iowanizens that is. G What the heck, if we can get our neighbors stirred up by rowing a boat on dry land with a dog in the back, we might as well share the joy and give Indiana something to talk about.

Later, we sat around the table and finished off the margaritas. Just one each John promised and they are WEAK!!!! OMG!! Weak my arse!! I'm afraid to know what his strong ones taste like. Sauce off our bums again, we head off to bed.

Here are all the Kalista dogs that were at the Indiana trial. Left to right: Stella (who doesn't like water), Breaker AWD, Mad Dog CWDX V4, Iggy AWD, Porter CWDX V1, Moby (too cute for words) and Ocea WWD. All looking forward to another season of water work.....except Stella of course. She'll pull shore duty and bring the margs!