Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Not only do we now have internet at the new house but it is FAST! Ahhhh...the joys of civilization!

Kim came up for my birthday on Sunday and yesterday (Tuesday) I rode back to Utah with him to attend a wedding shower for Jake and Cassie last night. We loaded yet another U-Haul with stuff and I drove that back today so I was down and back in 36 hours!

Before I left Utah this morning I got to visit with Joan, Rainey and Bella. Rainey is one of the Glitterati (aka Toronto) and is about twice as big as Sydney! He has very curly hair right now and is as sweet as can be :) He had fun chewing on this slipper.

Bella is Halo's littermate and she loves to come and visit -- it was great to see her as well. This is Bella, no doubt wondering when her neck accessory (Rainey) will once again be attached!

And here is Halo -- red eye and all!

With the addition of fast internet, this house becomes even more perfect. I hope you are having a perfect day and planning a perfect trip to Camp Montana!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

More Pictures

This is Galen on the back deck of the house.

And this is what we look at from our kitchen window and driveway! Our property ends at that split rail fence and the pasture next to us is home to ten steers.

Just a cute picture of Zoey...

And this is behind one of our two garages.

So when can we expect you?!

Monday, May 25, 2009

Quick Update

We are in the new house and it is a dream come true -- I LOVE it. Unfortunately, we do not have internet yet but that should happen in the next few days. In the meantime, here are some pictures...

Zoey was pretty amazed by the sprinklers!

Cute Zoey, all wet

Sydney -- isn't she adorable?!

Jake and Cassie came up to celebrate my birthday and help us move -- here they are with Syd and Zoey. Jake and Cassie get married in one month!

Here is the new fence -- it went up in a day and is just perfect!

I hope you are having a nice Memorial Day weekend, and remembering family and friends who have move beyond this earth -- but not beyond your heart.

Sunday, May 17, 2009


This is Cadi, who seems fully recovered from the attempt on her life -- she also holds no grudges against the perpetrator, Bad Karma.

And here is Beauty Queen/Plus Size Model -- Asia...

Finally, here is our little Sydney. She shared the time at Zoey's obedience class the other night, and the instructor noted that she was quite petite and also rather energetic and very friendly -- that's our girl!

Hope you are enjoying a sunny and beautiful morning as we are!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

More Musings -- and Puppies

First of all, Purna is better -- that is great news :) We are so lucky to have puppies in wonderful homes that do what is needed to care for the puppies. Thanks to all of our great families!

Okay, so I totally get that it is not a good thing to walk around being angry at people, and I actually do think we can forgive someone who does not acknowledge wrongdoing. I think we bring good things on ourselves when we behave with integrity -- but therein lies another dilemma -- in the face of injustice, what action or inaction reflects integrity?

The oil change place has offered us money for the Jeep and etc. -- not a lot, by any means. But it turns out they do not do background checks on their employees and actually have a good number of people working for them who have criminal records. Now, we all make mistakes so I am not suggesting people who have been convicted of a crime should not have jobs! But in my mind there is a difference between people with crimes of violence behind them and those who had a drug problem, for example. The person who tampered with Kim's brakes has a record of violence.

Okay, but is it our job to save the world? I want to know how the oil change place plans to make sure this does not happen again - they want to give us some money. Do you see the issue? If we take the money, we are done -- we lose the ability to negotiate for change in their company. But maybe it is not our job to do that.

The other option is to lawyer up, and/or go to the press and raise awareness about this. The oil change place has contracts with police agencies and so I feel a certain concern about this whole thing; that concern makes me feel kind of dirty for even thinking about taking the money and walking away.

It is the same as the landlord -- do I just walk away and do nothing? Or do I use my experience to try and create change for the betterment of others? Are these situations in my path so I can learn to move around them (i.e., let it go), or are they there because I should do something? Sigh...

So if integrity is being congruent and authentic, then acting with integrity means behaving in a way that reflects what one values. For whatever reason, I seem hard wired to want to create change and fight for the underdog. Therefore, walking away from situations in which my silence offers protection for those who appear willing to exploit others just doesn't feel okay to me -- it would not reflect integrity FOR ME. It might be the perfect path for someone else, but I am not someone else and so I have to find my own path (which is darn hard at times!).

Well, at the very least these things are making me pause and think. Life presents challenges that -- to me -- seem like lessons we are to learn. Yes, I wish we could just get some notes about what we need to know but I guess it does not work that way -- life is an individualized experiential learning process.

And so I suspect I will take on the landlord and raise awareness about issues related to tenant rights, and I suspect Kim and I will not take the money but rather think carefully about how to best proceed. And yes, this all takes energy -- but how does a person live knowing she did not try to make a difference when presented that opportunity? I know some people can and do just walk away from such things, and that is the right path for them -- it just isn't right for me. I guess I answered my own questions...

But really -- I do not sit up here on the mountain trying to work my way into conflicts!!! It would be just fine with me if everyone would be nice and fair -- as I define those things, of course ;) Rather, Galen and I are sitting on the mountain with anticipation -- the new house will close on Wednesday morning! WE ARE REALLY MOVING (knock on wood quickly please!).

If you are free next weekend, please come to Montana and help us move -- and to eat my birthday cake! A new house -- what a wonderful birthday present and I have to give all the credit to my DH (Dear Husband) who generated the down payment in creative (and legal!) ways and without the need to sell our Utah house. I will be setting up a poll in a couple of days so you can help me decide what color to paint my new kitchen :)

My sweet puppies -- Zoey and Sydney -- are really delightful and so different. But they both love to have what I call, "puppy cuddle time" and come running when I announce it. Here we are this evening and yes Mary Joan -- we are sitting on the bed!

I highly recommend puppy cuddle time to you -- come on over next weekend for a wild party involving a U-Haul, painting, cake, and lots of puppy cuddle time :)

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Poor Purna!!!

Many dogs who were at the Specialty have come down with some kind of respiratory crud, and Purna (from the F Litter) got hit last night -- bad. She collapsed at home this morning and spent the day at the vet with pneumonia. She has been allowed to come home for the night -- here is a picture that Marti sent of Purna in her home-hospital-jail.

And I wanted to share something Galen said -- he is madly in love with Sydney, who he thinks is the most perfect puppy ever. When he makes his smoothies, he gives her a strawberry and she has this gig all figured out. I protested that it was not fair to just give one to her and his response was that it was his version of Darwinism -- survival of the cutest.

Since you have survived, I guess you must be pretty cute also ;)

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


I just took this picture and think it is a bit of a sign for me. You see, in addition to all the other drama going on I have had issues with my landlord. Truly I cannot recall feeling such animosity towards another person as I do her. It might be because of the lies or the electrical problems or imagining being stuck here on the mountain with my diabetic kid in bad weather -- I could go on and on but suffice it to say that I do not have warm, fuzzy feelings towards her.

I just sent her a rather pointed letter letting her know the three things she has to do by June 15 to avoid litigation: 1. Document that the electrical system has inspected and is up to Code; 2. stop telling potential tenants lies about the access to the house in bad weather (Galen sits in on these conversations with the poor, unsuspecting people who are looking at the house); 3. return my entire $1975.00 deposit. It was one of those very direct letters that I am rather famous for -- if you need such a letter, I am your person (I sent one to the oil change place also). It is probably not a skill one should be proud of but we have to celebrate our talents where we find them I suppose ;)

Anyway, back to the picture. In spite of the fact that the cat tried to kill her mother, Sydney sleeps peacefully with Karma...hmmmm... Apparently Sydney knows how to forgive and move on. This made me think of a question that I have reflected on for years -- is it possible to forgive someone who is not sorry? Did Karma apologize and is that why Sydney can so nicely co-exist with the ungrateful would-be murderer? Or does Sydney possess the ability to simply not see past wrongdoing and therefore can offer unconditional positive regard just because Karma exists (and she is darn lucky she does!)?

How do we balance justice and forgiveness? If I walk away without a fight, will the next tenant be injured more than I was? What if I read about the house burning down with a family in it -- how could I live with myself knowing that I had not tried to make a difference?

But how does one balance that burning desire for revenge with an honest and good desire to cause change? And how does one fight for good without feeling soiled by the battle?

I do not know any of the answers actually but somehow a sleeping puppy and a cuddly cat made me think about these things, and ponder whether I can be as forgiving, and whether my ability to forgive depends on another person's willingness to be sorry and/or admit wrongdoing. It seems as if forgiveness should not be conditional -- but someplace in all that is justice, and it seems important to be willing to stand up for things that matter to us. Can we forgive -- and do battle?

This is what I do when I am tired of writing exams -- take pictures and think too much :) However, I do not think you will find me cuddling up with the landlord anytime soon -- as much as I would like to think of myself as a forgiving person. I recognize that there is much I can learn from my dogs about being a better person...

What do you think that picture means? And can we forgive without an admission of wrongdoing? Finally, what is the relationship between justice and forgiveness? Those are your exam questions ;)

Monday, May 11, 2009

Lost: Equilibrium

You probably think I have fallen off the earth -- but no, I am still on that Montana mountain side. Does anyone else thrive on routine, and struggle when that is disrupted?!

Last Monday Kim attempted to drive back to Utah after our trip to Portland -- he made it as far as Missoula (25 miles) and the engine completely went -- as in, the engine is shot/ruined/dead. Recall that this car had been tampered with before he left Utah -- I do not think we will ever know what really happened but we want the car destroyed because we no longer believe it is safe, even if it had a new engine.

So Kim stayed in Montana a few more days, and I drove him down to Utah on Friday and came back up to Montana on Sunday. We are working with the oil change company (where the tampering happened) to find a good solution, but the whole thing is rather disruptive. It messes with your head to think too hard about the fact that somebody was trying to kill your husband...

Actually, it feels like the last three weeks have been one big disruption and I am working to find my equilibrium again. The new house closing got delayed until the 20th and so I remain on pins and needles about that, and so on -- cookie dough sounds REALLY good!

But on the bright side (and there always is a bright side, even if it is hard to find), spring is here and so are the wildflowers. I took some pictures tonight of the girls enjoying the mountain side -- I hope you like them...

Here is our matriarch -- Mrs. Maize. She will be nine years old in July.

And here she is again with her daughter, Cadi-Bug. Cadi ran her first track today since her surgery almost three weeks ago -- she was very, very happy to be back to work.

Here is Halo -- ungroomed but still cute :)

This is Halo's daughter, Asia. Isn't she pretty -- and BIG?!

Zoey and Sydney had a good time playing and running and generally acting out some serious Spring Fever.

Here are a couple of just Sydney -- she is definitely in the Super Model stage (tall, thin, long legs).

And here is Sydney cuddled up with her grandma Maize.

I am diligently tracking with Sydney -- here is a picture of us tracking today in Missoula.

So classes are done and I am grading and giving finals, and trying to find that lost equilibrium and not stress too much about being homeless in two weeks when my lease runs out. Let's all hope that we close on schedule with the new house, and that all soon feels right with the universe. The wildflowers are such good reminders about what follows the long, dark winter -- I am ready for some serious wildflowers -- how about you?!

Thanks for checking in and I hope all is well with you and yours. If you see my equilibrium, please send it back!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

It's Done!

WOW! This week has flown by but now the 2009 National Specialty is officially over. What a whirlwind week we have had!! Last night was the Awards Banquet where Cadi got her award for being a Versatility Dog, and the cute twins each got two awards. Molly was tied for the #1 Junior Handler and Megan was fourth, and Megan was #1 for juniors in working events; Molly was #2. Here are the girls picking up their loot...

Our own Terri Z., Zed's mom, was one of the Show Chairs and so she got a lovely thank you gift...

This morning started bright and early. While Kim sang the national anthem again, I was busy giving Asia a bath in preparation for her debut in the Best of Breed ring. What a lovely group of dogs!! Asia made a cut, which means she was pulled out to stay in the ring after the judge went over the large group of girls. This is such a big deal that they hand out special, "I made the cut" pins! I thought Asia did a wonderful job and I was proud to be showing her...

So although it was not the Specialty I planned, it was the Specialty that it was -- and it was a good one in a different way than what I had envisioned. Zoey's success this week is really pretty astounding, and to have Asia make the cut is also wonderful. Cadi is completely back to Cadi-ness, and Maize has had a good week also.

The Kaibab dogs have done well -- I forgot to mention Maddie's (F Litter) Rally Novice leg and also that she earned her HCT-s, which involves herding sheep. Marti and Maverick's first qualifying score in obedience was especially gratifying to see, and how fun that we were able to see Glitterati puppies as well as older Kaibab dogs like Elliott, Moon, and Dillon. Fiona (D Litter) and Molly (age 13) not only placed in their conformation class, but won a high scoring agility award as well! It has been a very good week :)

There is sadness at endings -- I look forward to the Specialty for a year and so to have it over means saying farewell to hopes and dreams, as well as friends that we only see once each year at this show. On the other hand, good-byes bring the opportunity for new beginnings and new dreams -- the next Specialty will be May 10 - 15 in Wisconsin and there is no time like the present to start planning and training :)

Tomorrow morning we will load up the van and head back to Montana -- and real life. I hope your real life is going well!

Friday, May 1, 2009

Fun Friday

Today was Zoey's last class, and there were 28 lovely puppies that showed in the class (6 - 9 months). Our little Zoey Rosebud was third in this huge class!!! What a great first Specialty Zoey has had -- a TD on Monday and placements in all three beauty pageant classes. This is a REALLY Big Deal -- a seven month old getting a TD is an accomplishment but to also get placements from three different judges in every class she entered at a National Specialty -- WOW! We are SO proud of her :) :)

To celebrate, Zoey and Asia went with me to see my oldest son who lives on the Oregon coast. Here is Zoey showing off one of her best strengths -- a lovely trot. One of the many people who came to congratulate me said about Zoey, "she doesn't put a foot down wrong..."

And here is Zoey on the beach -- it was such a lovely day there!

While Zoey jumped from the waves, Asia dived right in...

While we were gone, Molly (age 13) showed Fiona and they were third in their class so a nice showing today! Tomorrow is the Grand Finale -- Best of Breed! Asia will be in that class -- after we get all the sand out of her :)

I hope you are having a fun Friday also and looking forward to a great weekend.