Thursday, June 30, 2011

Exciting News

My husband applied for going back to school and he can get five semesters and all of his books paid for! I'm so happy. Now he can finish his Bachelor's degree and then find a nice job somewhere that he doesn't have to lift heavy objects and risk reinjuring his back. :) I'm so excited!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Jackal's June Trick & Life Update

I haven't really been posting much about my personal life because I got treated like crap by a fellow blogger, but I did want to give a brief update on the injured husband/job loss scenario. He got accepted for unemployment which I knew he would since they didn't have a legit reason for firing him since he was willing and able to go back to work. His back is doing much better. He's off all of his medication (including the one that messed up his short term memory so bad thank goodness). He absolutely loves his new horse and is really getting good at clicker training. You can read about his progress with Faran on the horse blog (since it can't really be called Chrome's blog anymore -

Also I got a promotion at work to assistant manager. I was really uncertain about taking the position because I'm not sure how well I'll do with an "in charge" position, but everyone assured me I would be fine. Besides there's a probation period so I can change my mind no harm done. However with the promotion comes a raise and that along with the unemployment is enough that we should be okay and get to stay here (we were considering moving because of limited job opportunities) at least for the moment. My husband is looking into going back to finish his Bachelor's Degree since he only likes about eighteen months on it. :)

The roof of our house, the horse barn, the chicken coop and the tack/feed shed are still not repaired. :( The insurance company gave the money to our bank since the house isn't paid off and our bank is absolutely refusing to cooperate with the roofing company . . . it's been around two or three months now! This is ridiculous! I'm getting very frustrated with them. I had to get rid of most of my chickens because I didn't have a place to keep them and they were getting killed by predators and traffic (at least a bunch of them now live with neighbors so I can still see them and know they are doing okay). :( And I miss my barn! We will figure it out though.

And last but definitely not least I've decided to teach Jackal a "place" cue (e.g go to your bed/mat/place) because it's really easy and we only have four days left in June. The Freestyle contest kept us distracted and then everything was changing at work so I sort of ran out of time. I'll let you guys vote on next month's trick though.

Anyway we had our first session tonight and Jackal did great! I knew it wouldn't be hard to teach. I put down a large, white bath towel and he immediately went to it. I clicked him for standing on it, tossing the treats away to reset him. After a few repetitions of that I delayed the click and he bowed and did shy while bowing!!! How cute is that?! We might have to work on making that into a separate trick because it's adorable. :) I went ahead and clicked that. The next time he bowed, did shy and then laid down. I want him laying on it so I gave him a jackpot for that. :)

The next time he started trying to interact with a nearby chair and the horse headstall hanging from it. I couldn't help laughing at his initiative, but I didn't click since that wasn't what we were working on. So I took him back to the towel and he seems to think laying down is too easy and that I must be expecting something else from him because he started pawing at the towel. I finally had to stand on the edge of the towel so he would stop pawing at it. I probably should have used the dog bed for this, but it's in the wash right now lol. I waited him out and he laid back down so I gave him a jackpot and ended the session. :D Smart Jackal.

Sunday Stills - Black & White

This week's Sunday Stills challenge is black and white or sepia. My camera either doesn't have a black and white setting or I don't know how to use it so I edited them in GIMP. I didn't get many, but I think these are cute the way Jackal is hiding in the blanket, but actually totally exposed hehe.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Berry Picking With Jackal

Jackal had so much fun on Thursday. :) We went out onto the lease land to pick blackberries and he went along, even though it was a guarantee that he would find ticks lol.

I let him out the front door and he peed, then immediately went sniffing . . .

. . . so I checked his recall . . .

. . . and he was perfect! I love his expression. And those ears!

Hunting fish in the pond. They were resting in the shallow end and he could see them swimming away.

Another perfect recall. He does really well on the lease land because he knows if he wanders off that there is a chance Chrome will find him lol.

I love this one! I was using the continuous shooting mode and got him being smacked in the face with grass hehe.

Here is one of the beauties we were after. The lease land is absolutely covered in them.


"Okay I came and I sat, now can I got play some more?"

We got about half a regular size coffee can of blackberries. They made a yummy blackberry cobbler. :D

Oh and I don't know if Jackal got any ticks, but he had his K9 Advantix put on a few days ago and to be on the safe side (don't want seed ticks on my couch and he already has a tick disease called Ehrlichia) I sprayed him with my horse's fly spray which has permethrins in it and is labeled for use on dogs. It obviously worked because I never found a tick on me.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Really Cool Cloud Pictures

I was at work the other night and saw these amazing clouds!! Luckily I had my camera with me and got a few shots. Have you ever seen anything like this?

I didn't mess with the colors except to darken the contrast a little. It was a beautiful sunset. :D

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Yay Jackal!!

We're so excited! Jackal won the Best Dressed Award for his entry into Honey's Dancing With The Doggie Stars Contest. :D

Here is a snapshot pulled from the video (sorry blurry) of his cute camo outfit.

If I have time later I might get some pictures of him in it for you. He's so adorable. :D Thank you Honey and Hsin-Yi for going to such a great effort to put on the best dancing contest of all time! We had so much fun.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

More Storm Pictures

My husband and I took Storm and Jackal for a walk to a nearby local store and I got a few pictures of the birthday girl. Unfortunately they didn't turn out great because the light was from the wrong direction and I used continuous shooting on some of them. I should have gotten some on the way back but my hands were full with leashes, camera and shopping bags. :) I need to get some nice pictures of her sometime.

Even at ten years old she still happily leads the way, even pulling at times. She'd gotten really good about walking on a loose leash but I allowed her to pull me on my bike (because I'm lazy going up hills) and now she's pulling on walks again. Oh well, it's not hard enough to be dangerous or annoying. :)

Giving me one of her cute expressions when I called her name.

She never stops!

I love this over the shoulder look like she's saying "Really mom? I'm busy here!". :)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Storm's Birthday

Storm turned ten years old today! I can't believe she's already ten. Wow, time flies! I had to work all day, in fact I'm still at work. I have to close the store tonight. Yuck! So my husband took her for a walk and out to visit with our newest addition the big black Percheron Faran. You can see more about him on the horse blog here. I'll spend some time with Storm tomorrow to make it up although it will probably be spent brushing her which she will hate but really needs hehe. I'll post more pictures of my pretty girl tomorrow since she doesn't get much time on the blog. :D

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sunday Stills - The Birds and the Bees

This week's Sunday Stills challenge was to take pictures of birds and bees, but he did say to help out we could take pictures of other insects, not just bees. I only got one insect picture, but I have plenty of birds so that was easy. It also gives me a chance to show off how much my ducklings have grown. They are so pretty!

A dirt dauber trying to get into my window.

One of our baby turkeys. It looks like he's saying "cowabunga dude!" as he hand surfs. :D

He didn't like me taking pictures of his girls. :)

My pretty turkey hen is sitting on another clutch of eggs!

My ducklings . . .

This one is my favorite. It hope it's a hen.

A little blurry but I like it. The lacing on the breast feathers is so pretty.

Check out the white on the back of this one's head. Too cool!

I love my ducklings. :D

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Honey's Dancing With The Doggie Stars Competition

Wow could I have cut it any closer for Honey's Dancing with the Doggie Stars competition?? I had actually planned on taping the video yesterday but everything hit the fan and I wasn't able too. Then it looked like I was going to have to close the store today but luckily didn't have to. Thank goodness!! So tonight I finally recorded the video.

I'm sad to say that we didn't practice much at all. I taught him a new trick when the competition was first announced and then didn't work on it again until about a week ago . . . I am a world class procrastinator, but this time I can actually blame life. Sigh. However given the time we had to practice, my inability to dance, my difficulties with choreography and that this is the first time I've ever put together any sort of routine before I think it turned out pretty good. I'm not making excuses, just warning you in advance that it is a very rough freestyle routine lol. I did have so much fun with it though so I'm planning on polishing it up and recording it again later this year. :D I also need to find a different place to do it because my living room is way too small hehe.

Also forgot to mention the jumps we built were higher, but he was having trouble jumping them in his coat so I pulled a board off and let him jump it lower. :) Jackal is such a trooper putting up with my craziness. I'm looking forward to continuing to work on this routine.

Also if you can't see the embedded version here is the direct link:

Anyway I hope you all like it. I had fun! I'm looking forward to seeing the other entries.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Sunday Stills - Yellow

This week's Sunday Stills challenge was the color yellow. As usual I procrastinated to the last second, but this time I actually had a reason. :) I went to a dressage schooling show at the stable where I used to work back in my hometown. It was so much fun! The cool thing is they had a Hawaiian theme so there were lots of bright colors, including yellow!! I'll try to post pictures of the show tomorrow. It was great. All of my friends did great. I can't wait until Chrome and I can do that. :D

A friend's shirt.

A friend's ribbon.

A bell boot.

The fun umbrella. The flamingo had a yellow beak too. :D

The chairs, the ball and the kiddie pool all have yellow.

Closer up.

This adorable stuffed turtle was hanging from a yellow net.

Yellow lei.

Yellow flower in her mane. She had pretty flowers painted on her shoulder and haunch too. Adorable. She looks unhappy in the picture because she didn't like her neighbor who spent the entire day screaming to his buddy. Annoying, but gorgeous horse. I'll have a picture of him tomorrow too. I had so much fun, but it's late. Night guys!!