Friday, February 25, 2011

Really, I'm getting lots done!

I had a huge list of schoolwork to get through this week. I have no idea if I have managed to tackle even a quarter of it; I feel behind and that's not good. But, I'm trying!  Honestly, the cold weather has not helped as the dogs all have cabin fever (as do I!) and want out, but it's just toooo cold! (Windchill of -49C this morning. That's -56F for my American readers).

It's no wonder I am not getting much done; I was settling down with my Carol Gilligan, Voice Centered Relational Methods of Research materials when I was disturbed by the following...

C'mon, play with us!! Ringo And Murphy, looking adorable, of course!

Fine, we'll create our own fun, thank you very much! Spike and Murphy tugging.

It's mine! No, it's MINE!

I's won. Will you play with me?!?  Spike trying to cajole me into playing.

Fine, three can play at that game! Spike, Sophie and Murphy all tugging with Sopher's toy.

How many of us can fit in here?  Me for sure!

And, Ringo too!! HA!

Ringo trying desperately to escape the wrath of Murphy, after he chases her into her crate. She doesn't share well, you know!

See... I feel better!! Ringo, ready for napping!

Sophie agrees, and curls up on my bed. Always the princess, always looking for comfort!

Spike and his sunbeams. Ahhh, that's better!

Where's Murphy?? Still doing zoomies, frantically around the house. That dog is going to be the death of me! Good thing she's cute!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The view from my chair

It's a quiet day around here. The weather is much better so everyone spent time in the yard running around, burning energy off which was much needed! So, by the time I settled in to study this morning, I realized everyone was settling in for a morning nap. I can see 3 out of 4 dogs, napping in their chosen places, content now.

Ringo... yup, he's still here! He is about 10 weeks old and desperate for his own home! But, in the meantime, he hangs out and is fitting in with the crowd just fine. He certainly likes his naps, having claimed this cushion in the office for his own.

Too Cute! He shifted and looked a little more comfy in this position, despite his flipped over ear.

Spike, in the hallway, just outside the office door. He loves his sunbeams and will likely spend his day moving from sunbeam to another. Love it!

Murphy is spread out, protecting my bucket of journal articles. Must keep all that reading safe for me, you know!

Oh to have a dog's life! 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Each to their own

It's been brutally cold this weekend and it doesn't help me or the dogs, but I have been working at my buddy's kennel while she's off running flyball. I have left Spike mainly at home as I think his shoulder is still hurting, but Murphy, Sophie and Ringo have all had time there. But, it's mainly been time to sit in a crate because it's TOO COLD to go out!  I have to head over there shortly to do breakfasts for the crew, but it's -35 on my thermometer at home with a windchill likely into the 40's and call me crazy, but I figure I deserve a coffee at least first!!

Anyway, to make up for it, I bought the dogs a bag of Elk Bones. These are a treat to entertain them for an evening or more and everyone has their favourite "chewing spot".

Murphy, it makes sense, hides in her crate. Sophie can't fit her big head into Murph's tiny crate to steal the bone.

Sophie is in the hallway between my room and the office. A nice place to chew a bone too.

Spike marches to the beat of his own drummer. He chose the bathtub. Yup, I have photos to prove it.

What a boy! He's nothing if not an enigma of neurotic energy!

Friday, February 18, 2011

It's looking a little brighter!

The days are getting longer, that is very obvious. That has to mean winter is almost over, right?  In any case, I took a photo a month ago on the way out the door and posted it, so I figured I better this month again to compare them!  So, here you go....

It's a balmy -43 with the windchill this morning, -31 celsius before the wind. Yuck. It might be getting brighter out, but it's still COLD!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

I won an award!

An update on the MangoMinster competition: we didn't win the cracker dog competition; I'm not surprised. Yes, my girls are crazy but there are some CRAZY dogs out there, that's for sure! I am not disappointed as it was fun to play along and to have a part in some February fun!  And, I am touched by some of the comments people left (and for the record, Moose, Sophie thinks you are quite handsome too!!! )

But, I did receive an award this week, one I hadn't even realized I had been awarded until days past. Jean, over at My Life with the Critters  awarded this little ole blog with the Stylish Blogger Award! That means more to me than winning Mango Minster and I am touched she thought of us!!

So, with this award comes a couple challenges. The first is to tell you seven new things about myself and the second is to award it forward, as it were.  So, I'll start with the seven things.

1. I am an intensely private person so having a blog is out of character for me. But, I blog for many reasons; to talk about my dogs in an environment where people aren't forced to listen, to express my thoughts, to share their funny, quirky stories. As well, I have an incredibly challenging job this year that I am struggling with, and this is stress relief in many respects. Because of the nature of my job, I will never share really anything about it online as it just wouldn't be appropriate, but I can at least still talk about the rest of my life which helps me not just think about work all the time!

2. I am a student again. This you all know, but what you might not know is I LOVE school. I love being a student, and plugging away at learning and internalizing new ideas and thoughts. I am a teacher, myself and I am realizing more and more that some of the ideas I am discovering could change the world of education forever (which it needs. I might be a teacher but I also understand the structures that keep education and school in place, just don't work!) I am planning on a PhD program and I am at the stage where I am excitedly looking at the possibilities of where I could go to do that! It will likely mean a major move but that's a very cool possibility.... I love the idea that when the time is right (I am hoping 2-3 years from now), I'll be able to move to BC or Ontario or Alberta. 

3. I am crafty but I don't have time to work on all of my crafts. I love to quilt and sew. I also make cards and scrapbook. I do a little beadwork, learned while teaching in Northern Saskatchewan. I also cross-stitch but this is the craft that mainly has fallen out of favour with me as I just don't have the time and energy necessary to devote the hours needed to finish my crazy large projects. I'll come back to it, I know I will when my life is a little less full.

4. I love to read and write. I would rather read than watch TV any day, and I have thought about cancelling my cable, as I just don't watch TV much anymore. I love just about any books and I continue to collect them as well. I am lucky in this house of mine, I have a room FULL of bookshelves where my favourites can live! I like mystery thrillers like Patricia Cornwell when I need to have a break, young adult novels and I have a particular fondness for Canadian literature- Douglas Coupland, Miriam Toes, Emma Donoghue. Ahhh, reading.

5. I love all three of my dogs for very different reasons. Spike was my second dog as an adult, and came to me from a shelter, during a time when I really needed a dog like him. I love how serious he is, how hard he works for me, and how he loves to just play with me, no matter what I'm asking. He's easy to train and loves his agility!  I love Sophie because she's the class clown. She has worked through so much stuff physically but she still comes around with a big grin on her face and a happy wag of that tail. She will be hysterical to watch running agility because she loves to show off. Murphy is quirky and strange. I love that she makes me laugh all the time at her antics. She is an incredibly determined dog; when she wants something, she tries hard to get it. She makes me laugh, but in a very different way than Sophie does. She manages to fit with the big dogs, even though I wondered if Murphers would be a mistake. Nah, I'm stuck with her now!

6. I am a little obsessive about things and if an idea takes hold of me, I'll research and read about it for hours. I just need to know, as a way to process things that usually are bothering me. 

7. If I am feeling stressed out or tired or sad, I often clean or bake. I have certain chores that I turn to, in order to calm myself down. I wash dishes and there was a time in my life when I just couldn't go to bed without a clean kitchen. I am not quite as obsessive about a clean kitchen as I used to be but now, I  mainly vacuum if I need to relax. And, do laundry. For some reason, I love doing laundry (but am less thrilled with folding and putting it away). Strange I know!

So, now onto the 15 blogs I want to award.... I suspect lots of these have already been chosen by other people, but it doesn't matter, does it? I'm still going to award them. I am not going to email people to tell them; they can read it here, and choose to do with it, what they want. That's ok with me! The majority of what I read is animal blogs, but I have to admit, I am starting to read Radical Teaching blogs. But, for now, I am going to stick with my favourite mainly dog blogs and leave it at that.

First, some old favourites of mine- well, of course Jean's blog but she award me! :)  Otherwise, Life is Better with Sheltie hair and Jacked are two friends who blog locally. Love them! And, Casper's Adventures by my dear friend Gwyn of course deserves the award!  I know I am missing local friends blogs... sorry if I missed you!! 

Then, I discovered awhile ago a blog that has led me to MANY of my newer favourites.... Mango's blog!  From there, I learned about Norwood and Tula . I also met Moose and Bolo.  And, Honey the Great Dane!  As well, there's Khyra Khorner and from sophie's view and Dog Daze (love blogs about Labs!).  New to me is also Arwen's Pack, but I am enjoying hanging there. Oh, and of course, my new friend at Living a Farmer's Life (stay tuned for more about this one... she does a monthly trick with her dogs and I am challenged myself to teach the same trick to at least 1 of the dogs, but hopefully all 3!  I need to update this soon and thanks for all your help with training this month's trick!) 

Ack! I'm running out of awards to award....I have to give the last two to my favourite blogs about Therapy Dogs!  There's Magnolia and Life with Claire

Sorry if I left a blog out that should have gotten this award too. It's hard to narrow it down, isn't it?? Anyway, that's all from me this morning... there should be pictures later of playing in the yard with the dogs. The weather is BEAUTIFUL, spring like (strange for February in Saskatchewan!) and I have to get out there with the pups!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Vote for us!

I am not usually one to participate in contests or to ask for votes, but I am going to!  I entered Soph and Murph into the Cracker Dogs category, over at MangoMinster and I am a little worried that I'll be the only one voting for my girls!  So, if you can find it in yourself to appreciate how crazy my girls are, I'd love for you to give us a vote over at....  LINK!  I know the girls would appreciate the boost of confidence that they really ARE nutjobs!!

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Really, we're helping out with laundry!

It's been a quiet weekend here... my agility classes were cancelled for Murphy and Sophie, so I've hunkered down with the books and spent time reading about feminist epistemologies and paradigms and research methodology. In the midst of that, I did laundry and cleaned the house. As well, my buddy Carla came over (photos she took will be posted tomorrow!).

But, for today, I give you "See ma, I's helping with the laundry, really"

Why must she lie on the CLEAN DISHCLOTHS??

Spike and Murphy cuddled on the bed.  Murph follows me room to room as I put things away. Silly dog!

Sophie napping on the loveseat, next to where I am working on reading and taking notes. Yup, she likes to cuddle up close.

Ringo in a rare moment of awakeness is entertaining himself. He's at that cute stage where he's all chubby tummy, eating and sleeping. I love puppies, and he's a gem, that's for sure!

Hmmm, yummy bone!  He loves it when everyone else is napping and isn't around to steal all the good bones away. Poor pup!

Anyway, all in all, it's been a great weekend! I need more of these "quiet, stay at home studying" weekends!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Where does time go? (AKA, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MURPHY!!)

I have no idea where time goes, but my little bundle of fluff is a year old today!  This cute little face...

has become this....

It's a horrible photo- SORRY!  She just wouldn't stand still!!

This one is a tiny better, but not much.  Yup, for her birthday I did hand strip her. The job isn't done (it takes FOREVER when they won't sit still!), but I have to admit, she's looking pretty fine, even with this much done!

Murphy, well everyone got a new squeaky for her birthday. But, Murphy, well, she's a hoarder, what can I say? This morning, I found stuffing from a stuffie she might have eaten AND a spoon that Sophie must have stolen off the counter,  in her crate. They'd been there for a couple days!  Anyway, she got her stuffy and ran for her crate. 

Then, she went back for Spike's...

 Finally, she ended up (with some considerable effort as Ringo kept stealing them!) with all 3 in there... she's lying on the purple and orange ones here, while squeaking away on the yellow. She's quirky, what can I say??  

 Of course, she's lost all 3 as she got into a fight with Ringo over them, but for a brief moment, Murphy thought she was queen, LOL!

Happy Birthday Murphers... may we have many, many more years together, girl!