Wednesday, August 31, 2011


I was canning tomatoes the other night and my thoughts were wandering. I was thinking back to when I first learned how to can.  When I was young, my parents moved to a small hobby farm, just enough acreage for me to have horses. Our neighbor had horses too, and one day somehow the fence got knocked down and the horses went visiting, so I walked over to collect mine.  And I met the old farm couple.

Come the first summer I discovered some bushes covered with berries and not knowing what they were or if they were horse safe, Mom sent me over to ask.  Mrs was so surprised that I didn't know that these were chokecherries, and that they were for "jellying" that she offered to teach me how.  So the next day I picked a bunch of berries and she taught me how to make jelly.  I was hooked.  To this day chokecherry jelly is my favorite.  I wish I could get my hands on some berries.

Then she taught me how to can tomatoes. Being an older lady she was very frugal and she taught me the right way-next to nothing wasted. I learned how to can whole tomatoes and stewed tomatoes, but I also learned how to can "fancy" tomatoes. Fancy tomatoes were seeded. Its funny, all these years later and I still can almost all my tomatoes as fancy.  It's more work to seed them all, but its so nice.  But remember when I said frugal.  Well, when the tomatoes are peeled, all the peels are saved along with all the seeds.  These all go in the pot with the not so perfect tomatoes to make sauce. And I still do that too.

I also learned how to pickle, how to make bread and how to milk and collect eggs. I dont know if I could still milk, but I know I can still do the rest. I was 12 and even then I knew I wanted to be a farm wife.  I still do but life didnt take me in that direction.  But even in the city I can have a small garden and enough tomatoes to can.  Well almost enough.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Peace-now a Grand!

Today Peace earned her AKC Grand Champion title!  I am so proud of my little girl. 

So many firsts with her-my first time in bred by, my first bred by champion and now grand champion. She won her first BOB from the classes, and although she hasn't many of them she has some.  This year although we haven't shown many times, she was in the ribbons every time.

In UKC she gave me many group placings and a Best in Show. She was the number 3 dog in the UKC top ten last year, and this year at the UKC Premier top ten invitational she won best of breed. She has also earned several UKC total dog awards including one at Premier. The total dog award is given to dogs who win their conformation class and earn a qualifying score in a performance event at the same show. She has earned all her total dog awards for qualifying in weight pull, which is her first performance title.

Although neither of us are perfect, I couldnt be happier with my little noodle. Now we will start to work on some more titles for the end of her name, although even if she never does anything else, she is the best snuggler I have. Love my noodle girl.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Ah much better

Sometimes in life you just need a little break.  I spent the last couple of weeks pretty much as normal, although a little laid back. Did a little less dog stuff, only ran 6 times at the APDT trial, instead of the normal 10 or more weekend. Spent some time playing with the birds,(Dilly is sitting on my shoulder now kissing my cheek and saying kissy kissy) and did a little training with the dogs.  I did spend a lot of time canning and preserving, which I really do enjoy.

Stayed home this weekend and really was a homebody.  Had a doggy visitor which is always fun.  Listened to the rest of the audiobook A Discovery of Witches and loved it. Normally I only listen to them at work, but I was so into this one I had to bring it home on Friday to finish it.  Now I want to get a copy to read, since when I listen at work or when I am working around the house I think I miss stuff.

We have been training a dumbell retrieve, with all 3 girls, but I am not good with a clicker, not coordinated enough or something and I am not making progress. Also trying to teach Magic scent discrimination but not sureif we are progressing or not.  Sometimes I think I expect too much too soon.  But thats OK no real hurry!  He needs to get his CDX first. Oh wait he has his UCDX so maybe there is some pressure there. Grace and I are practicing weaves every day, and with gates, she has it, but with them even slightly pulled away from the poles, she skips. On the plus side, at least she is working with me at home, that took some time. In the past she was just too focused on keeping birds out of the yard, or scanning for cats or anything other than working. So I guess its progress.

Yesterday I did play around a bit with some yarn doing a kool aid dye on it.  I think this skein will eventually be agility socks.