Sunday, January 25, 2015


Observations in grief.
My dad passed away 20 months ago.  While it seems like yesterday to me, the time has passed and it has changed me so dramatically that I'm sometimes overwhelmed by it.  
I've had loved ones pass, both human and animal that affected me profoundly.  Each one taking a large part of my heart with them and leaving me to grieve.  The thing is though, that when my dad passed I don't think I was prepared (is anyone?) for how it would change me.  

For one,, I don't think I really realized that my dad would die.  In my mind, I knew he was ill and old but it just seemed impossible that he would actually parish.  I would go day to day believing that the hard time that he was having would pass as it had so many times.  The night before he passed he was particularly bad and I had a feeling the end was near but it wasn't real to me by any stretch of my imagination.  
The day he passed my husband and I had decided to take a day road trip.  We had driven by dad's place and something told me to stop but I ignored the voice.  I wanted to spend the day with my husband I chose not to bother him with yet another visit with dad.  How I would love to take that moment back now.  We ventured on, hours from home only to find that dad was in his last moments.  
I feel strongly that in the after life that we have no regrets or feelings of hate or anger.  This gives me some comfort to think that perhaps dad isn't mad that I wasn't there for his last moments.  I wish I had been. Someone said today that being with a loved one as the cross over is both the most beautiful and most horrifying thing that you can experience.  I think that is most likely very correct.  I also sort of wonder if dad didn't want me there.  I don't want to call him prideful but there was much in my life my dad protected me from seeing.  I think he didn't want me to see him at that moment.  

One of my other observances... People want to support you but they really don't want to hear about it.  
In my deep, deep moments of grief I just really wanted to talk.  Talk and talk about my dad and my feelings and I'm sure cry profoundly.  I found literally no one that wanted to experience this with me.  You can tell when people want you to stop talking.  I got this time and time again and honestly, it made the grief even harder.  I could see the internal "eye roll" of the closest to me as I would talk about dad and my feelings about what was going on within me.  I tried so hard and still do, to keep it to myself when I just really want to sob and talk, and tell someone that really wants to know, what I felt and how I am feeling.  It was a let down to know that most people are really afraid of grief and your emotion and would rather not "deal" with you and how you feel.  
Reality I suppose.  I want to be realistic.  I'm not sure it is right to expect people to want to hear my story or about my grief.  Many were there for me.  Many sent cards.  Many sent notes.  Many hugs were given, yet I felt more alone then I ever have in my life.  

Grief is a process.  I've read much about it and the steps you go through.  Each step bringing you closer to a place of peace.  I know this to be real.  I've experienced the process and still am.  
Disbelief was the first thing for me.  My dad was never going to be gone.... He had always been there in my life.  He was a constant.. right?  
Step two... Oh my God,, he is gone,,, I'm alone!  All alone.  What do I do now?  I could not except that he wasn't a call away and that I was profoundly alone.  Those were the moments that would hit me like a brick wall and take the breath out of me.  I would find myself gasping and searching for air and for someway out of the wave of emotion that would hit next... overwhelming sobbing.  Sobbing like a baby when you can't catch your breath and and just want to run for the rabbit hole and hide.  This was the hardest for me to deal with.  I have prided myself with being "in control" of myself for so long.  In no way was I in control when these moments would hit.  I never knew when they would either.  Walking in a grocery one day I passed by the yogurt.  I would buy yogurt for dad every week.  I saw the yogurt and right there and then the breath was ripped from me and I almost dropped to my knees.  I had to depart the area and leave the store where I sat sobbing in my car.  Alone,, in the yogurt isle.  
The third thing has been dealing with memories.  At first I declined thinking of dad as a memory or the years of past as one.  I refused in my mind to think of him as past tense.  When I did venture there a bit the deep grief would rare it's ugly head once again.  I didn't really care for others talking in that way either.  I can now reflect with much pride and happiness in who dad was, became and shaped me to be.  
That is part of the step I'm in now.  Being able to think of him now and love and shine rather then delve deeply into sorrow.  I still have some moments that I am very sad, but I can now except, to a point, that I am on my own without him in the physical body here with me.  
Some of my first thoughts after he left were somewhat of anger.  How could he make me love him so much that when he left I would be so hurt?? If he loved me, he would have never made me love him so.. I would see men with their daughters and feel bad when I would see a little girl gazing up at her daddy with such deep love that I knew she would one day feel my deep sorrow.  How terrible is that?  It's not terrible at all.  It is a beautiful, beautiful thing that sadly the luckiest will endure.  

I guess my challenge now is that I want to be more then I have ever been in the pursuit of service to others.  When I see the things that hurt me I want to make a difference and be more then that to someone else.  When I feel like I wasn't understood in my grief, I want to be the understanding one in someone else's.  

The death of dad has brought on a level of empathy for others I had no idea I was capable of.  I often think now how much time I spent being hard, unemotional and withdrawn.  That takes so much energy.  It is so much easier to be loving, supportive and want the best for everyone.  I've changed a great deal.. I'm sure I'm not done.  

Monday, June 23, 2014

Reflecting and musing,, also some giddy

So,, I have been travelling a lot since April and now I'm finally home for several weeks.  As we were headed home from out latest venture in dog show hub-bub I was doing some reflecting.

Often times as I drive I do a lot of reflecting.  Mostly when the music is good and my travelling companion is taking a much needed nap.  This gives me time to become one with what I am doing and where I am going.
I think about the wins and losses.  The dogs of the past and the future babies coming around.  People and the things that have been said and how it either inspired me or gave me opportunity to inspire them.  I get emotional musing over the blessings I constantly have and how important it is to take inventory of them.  Not only for myself but to bring attention to those that do bless me.

This last set of shows was particularly nice for me.  My brother and sister-in-law showed up at the show in Montana, just out of the blue.  I know my sister-in-law had been to some of my shows but I'm pretty sure my brother had never been.  It was so neat to see them and for once in a very long time,, I was actually giddy.  I just was genuinely excited and giddy.  My brother got to see me show and got to meet a person I've really wanted him to meet for some time.  My mentor,, David.
David has always reminded me of my brother Ray in so many ways.  They are both great teachers and show incredible patience in doing so.  Both are adamant about standing up for injustice and hold a strong sense of protection over family and loved ones.  Both are into hunting and being outdoors and doing so in a sensible manner.  Anyway,, I was most excited to have them together before me.  They both mean so much to me and it was a time I won't forget.

I've taken on a strong sense of being positive and pointing out the positives in my life this year.  After a hard month of May when I was so discouraged by the pitfalls of my sport, I had to do something.  So I do a daily account of my blessings.  Not from a religious point of view, although I do believe they are from God, but you don't have to believe that to really be thankful for the "good" things in your life.  The more I do it, the more I see it.  Practice makes perfect I suppose and it changes the way you think about things.  There is just so much around me to really take thanks in.

I'm seeing rainbows again.  The deep depression of losing my dad is slowly lifting off of me and I'm getting back to the person that I was before.... albeit a changed person.  I don't really think we can go back to something we were once an experience has changed us.  The thing we can do is decide how that change will effect us and where we will go with it.  I can't remain in a state of despair.  It's not healthy.. so I am trying to grow and become better.  Better then I was and forever changing into something even better then that.  I want to be inspiring and encouraging.  Love the people I have in my life and become something they need as much as I need them.

Oh, how those long drives have served me well throughout the years.  Many fine memories for sure.  Many times that I can look back on now and smile and remember,, and miss.  I've had many travelling partners and each one was so special.  Kim, Pearl, Joanne and Debbie.  All a hoot and all contributing to some awesome memories.  Truly a blessing to be seen in that.

So,, with a few weeks to be home and set to being somewhat normal I have to find a way to reflect on things here.  The evening sunsets are perfect for that and I take a great amount of time taking them in each evening. Thank goodness for them.. so special indeed.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

Getting back to me

So it has been almost 5 years since my last blog post.  I am going to make an effort to write here more often but can't promise much (addressing myself here).  Since I have been on writing hiatus, I can't expect that anyone will read this or anyone to be remotely interested in my ramblings, but the thing is that I tend to post too much to facebook about my emotions and ponderings.  You see,, I have to have an outlet I have discovered.  This annoys a lot of folks that think that you should keep your business to yourself and so on and so on,, and bull shit like that, but for me, I have to write.  A blog is a good way to do it and I don't care if anyone reads it.  It's out of me and that is what matters.

So much has happened in the time since my last post here.  Of course,, I think I have officially had my mid-life crisis.  The death of my dad and the grief that became me certainly has contributed.  You ponder life's meaning and lack of meaning.  It rocked my faith in God to the point that I still am not sure what to believe.  Joy in anything was impossible to find.  The breathe would be stripped from me frequently and sobbing would ensue.  To know me,, I am not the sobbing sort.  But sob I did and still do on occasion.  It's very surreal, death.  To be here one  moment and completely absent the next.  My mind doesn't know the difference.  Dad is still here is what it tells me.  I never imagined myself without him and still don't.  There are tasks that he asked me to do that I still haven't completed.. I'm having a hard time bringing myself to a place where I can.  One of those things is dealing with his ashes.  I feel deeply that it needs to be something I do alone and it weighs on my mind.  I'm not sure there is a soul that exists that I can really share the pending moment with.  I know if someone is there that I will hold back on what I really need to feel and I don't want that.  I know I need to feel what is there, in it's entirety, to heal and get back to me.

Getting back to me is another thing that weighs on my mind.  I've let myself go,, emotionally and physically.  Nature provided obstacles to slow me down and it did, but it also fed into a deep depression that I am just now really dealing with.  I think I need to just take time for me and get back to the me that I want and have strived to be all my life.  I can't help it.  I like sweet, loving, emotional things.  I like to talk baby talk to my animals and linger taking in the sites of weeds in bloom and sunsets that evoke emotion.  I like to listen to the sounds of nothing and sad, sad, music that makes me cry and then makes me give thanks for the things that have made me, up to this point.  I've gotten away from those things.  I've become my environment and just am existing within it.

I guess I'm ready for a change to get back to me.  It's just how it is.  I hope for the support of the ones around me but if it doesn't come then so be it.  I am the one in charge of me and here I go.  

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Taking some time. Seeing Farrah's kittens

This picture is from last summer.

The theme of today was calm down, take it slow.. Course, I didn't realize that till the day was almost over. Funny how things force you in a direction sometimes that you don't really know of, till its almost over.

I had ran, ran, ran, at least in my head, all day until tonight, as I went outside to put some bratwurst on the bbq, I realized that just for a moment, I had to take in the night sky.

I wandered over to the edge of the property and looked at the crimson sky, outlined perfectly by the tall mountains. Not a cloud in site,, beautiful red/orange sky. Crickets in the background chirping. I stood there just thinking how stunning it was. How crisp the mountains and how perfect the little chirping cricket.

The events of the last month have kept me on the run and I sometimes forget to take in the moments so that I can enjoy life more.

After work I went to my sister's house and visited Farrah and her kittens. They are just darling. Beautiful little faces with bright blue eyes and sweet little dispositions. They are 6 wks now and getting weaned. Farrah has gone from feral to miss house kitty and enjoys playing and getting her pets. She is a constant of thankful purrs and its just sweet to hear her tribble little messages to her kittens as they approach or as they nurse. She loves her kittens and I am so glad that she was taken in by my sister. I have decided that Farrah will not return to outdoor living at my house and will be placed in a good indoor home. I can't bring her into my house with my other 6 indoor cats, so we will seek a good home for her elsewhere. The coyotes have returned this late summer and I fear for her life should she come back. Besides, she deserves someone's couch and love. I will certainly miss her, and have, but its all good.

Those kittens will never have to know feral life and that is good too.

Now,, I am working on another kitty that I call "Squeaky cat". She does not meow but squeaks to me. She is very feral and will not let me touch her at all. I can get within about a foot of her, so it may be a while taming her enough for capture.

Take care folks. Take some time to enjoy the little things around you. Don't just look, but draw it in,, breathe it in and savor it. Be it a night sky, a perfect little kitten face, or a simple look from someone you love. Its all good!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Power failure ponderings

click on the photos to see really big!

Well,, the power went out today. Was out for over an hour so I was bored and worked on some bird houses that I started back last November. While digging out paints and such I came across an old journal of mine. Dated back to 92 or 93 with its posts. Talked of my meeting my husband, the death of my grandmother and some important folks that had come into my life at that point. So weird to go back and read what I was thinking then. Man, it sure seemed foolish what I wrote. So blatant too.

One write up was about living life and how busy I had become. It spoke of how at the time I felt as though my life was just happening around me with me just existing in its chaos. How true that can become. I find myself more in the midst of that then not. Tasks become what drives me and molds me to do the next task till the day is done and I have done things out of necessity rather then wanting. Ahh....... to really "live" life. I feel as though I just don't have time. Work, work and more work and then exhaustion seem to be the carousel I am on.

Sounds like complaining,, doesn't it? Well,, do know that I love what I do. I love the dogs and what that represents for me. Perhaps I am really "living" afterall,, doing what I love and not taking the time to appreciate it.? Maybe the ponderings sparked by power failure are best left unthought?!

On another note. A few updates.
I have posted in the past about "Farrah" the feral kitty and her kittens. Well,, Farrah has been captured. She is pregnant again and now living with my sister. After she has her litter she will be spayed and return here to the farm of animals. Her current litter will be raised as tame kitties and spayed and neutered before being places. Good news!. I miss her, but it is best. I do look forward to having her back to do her hunting in the field and to accompany me on my photo sessions with the dogs. She is great for helping to get ears up.
We got back a week ago from our yearly camping trip to the beautiful Sawtooth mountains of Stanley Idaho. That place speaks to my soul and I always leave feeling a sort of peace that I can't accomplish anywhere else. It was a wonderful visit for Derek and I,, and the first with our new trailer. I hope you enjoy the pictures.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

A particularly nice crop of pansies

I love Pansies!! I am not much of a gardener due to my travels so every year I host a few nice pots of flowers to try and color up the place.

I also really like the nice scents that the different flowers provide and will sit out on the porch to just smell them.

This year,, I chose all sorts of pansies and crammed them into a pot together. They have been particularly bloomy, so being the camera buff that I am, I had to get pictures.

Hope you enjoy them.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

And the Beat goes on...........happily

Pictured is Am/Int Ch. Akadia Just Special, "Ethan".
A few posts ago I wrote about how goals as a breeder come along without even knowing it. "Bell", of course, was the theme and I spoke of how I am trying to achieve her ROM.

Well folks,,, we are even closer now!!

Since that blog, both Kaylani and Ethan have finished their Championships. Making them Ch. Akadia Just Heavenly and now Am Ch./Int Ch. Akadia Just Special.

Thank you so much to Nanette Johnson for her talented presentation of Kaylani in getting her majors. Thanks to Yvonne Davey for not giving up on Ethan.

Not only have these two babes finished in conformation, but Chrissy Weatherston has put the CD and RE and RAE title on Akadia Wildfire, and Dixie Eigenrauch complete the grand Championship UKC on Akadia Miss Congeniality.

The Bell kids are sure doing their thing,, I am a very proud person right now.

So,, for the record Bell has 3 Champions, 2 major pointed (almost finished), 2 performance/obedience titled, and one UKC grand Champion get to her credit.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

The loves that move me

Bean (top) Betty (bottom)
I often reflect on the many animals that I have had through the years and how they have brought me through good times and bad. For a great deal of my childhood and certainly, my teen years, my animals were to be my support system. In times of uncertainty and insecurity, I could rely on them to give me affection and unconditional love.
The first that I recall falling for was, April. She was my first sheltie and a very special one at that. Incredibly intelligent, April, thankfully had a very forgiving spirit about her. She delighted me, angered me and more importantly was my very best friend. A best friend of no peer pressure. She excepted my harsh training, before I knew better. She was also a great ambassador for the breed. She slept with me for years and then later slept in an tiny crib next to my bed. What a great dog. She owned my heart and led me in a great direction. I often think that had I not had April that I could have been a very bad teenager and perhaps got into a lot of trouble.
When April was about 5 years old I would go down to the convenience store daily to get a gatorade and hot dog. She would go and ride along for company. I had come up on the store one day and a kitty was running through the wheels of each of the parked cars,, rubbing on the legs of the patrons and asking for hand outs. I just had total visions of this kitty getting mashed by one of the cars. Me being me,, I took that kitty home. She was very pregnant and a few weeks later presented us with a nice litter of kittens under our lounge chair. I moved the litter and her to a puppy pen where she raised them till they were weaned,, then she disappeared. I slowly found homes for the kittens. As the babies grew, they learned how to climb up the bars of the puppy pen and get out so I had rigged a top out of a baby gate with a board over the top and a brick on top of that to keep them in, mostly at night. One kitten would always get out. I would wake up in the morning to this little face in mine.. "HI",, "I got out again!". I named that kitten Houdini. I quickly fell in love with him and decided to keep him. I was able to place all of the other kittens but one. The little runtly looking one. She was a brown tabby that was so shabby looking that no one wanted her. She had this remarkable attitude though and I dubbed her "Better", since she thought she was better then the rest. I ended up keeping her as well. Better turned into a beautiful cat,, that would sing along with me when I sang and always cuddle to me when I was sick.
Years went by and Houdini was my constant companion. I called him "Bean" most of the time and "Better" turned into "Betty". These two cats were to be my companions for 19 years (Betty) and 20 years (Bean).
Bean and I were particularly close. He did everything with me and was truly my best friend. He delighted me with his nightly dramatic yawns when he wanted to go to bed. He loved to be held while I would dance and sing his name to him. His little taps on my leg with his paw when he wanted a share of what I was eating,, and most of all, his bed time antics. He would start out with a quick wrestle then quickly assume his spot on my chest. For 20 years I would fall asleep with Bean on my chest,, his paw in my right hand (holding it) and his chin over the top of my hand. It was "our" thing. He would sometimes rub his little lips on my hand as if to kiss me and then flatten his chin out across the top of my hand. The hardest part of losing Bean for me,, was bed time. I still find myself putting my hand on my chest as if to pretend he is still there. He was just so very special to me.
The concept of someone never being able to find the love and devotion that an animal can add to your life is hard for me to think of. These are just three examples of some of the wonderful animals I have loved. Each one adding something to my existence here and loving without question. A little window into what unconditional love is really about, in my opinion.
Forever a part of me and certainly never forgotten.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Goals,, what drives the dreams

This is a story about how goals as a breeder come along when you least realize them. I have always felt it important to have personal goals,, that of a point winner, a major winner, a Champion, a specialty winner, a Best of Breed winner, a Group winner, and a Best in Show winner,, but never did I think of a goal as a breeder of a top producer. Not till "Bell" came along anyway.
Akadia HellsBells (pts)

A few years back I bred my cute little sable bitch to a dog that I really didn't think would cross with her so well. We did one breeding,, then I changed my mind, not doing another as I kept waining on my thoughts that it wouldn't work. Akadia HellsBells,, aka "Bell" was that sable bitch and the dog was Ch. Beckwards Chimney Sweep. Three puppies resulted and the quality was very evident. One male was retained and co-owned with the stud owner. That male went on to win 9 points, both majors before the stud owner lost interest. Pictured below: Twincreeks Vintage Spirit (9pts)

Along the way though,, I decided to breed Bell again. This time, to Ch. Hillviews Patriot Games. Four puppies resulted. Such a consistant litter,, it was becoming evident that Bell was becoming a great producer. Her puppies all had a look, all were better then her yet possessed her virtues. Yay!! Ch. Akadia Just Priceless "Price", Int Ch. Akadia Just Special "Ethan"(12 pts, both majors) and Akadia Just Heavenly "Kaylani" (14 pts, both majors) were to be her get from this breeding.
Int Ch. Akadia Just Special (12 pts, both majors)

Bell went on to win the Brood bitch class at that year's national as well with son's "Price" and "Ethan" in tow. Price won a 3rd place in his class also.

I loved that breeding so much. I started to really think that maybe Bell could become an ROM (Register of Merit, top producer). Never before had I ever thought about that for one of my dogs. I have always been the "handler", not the breeder!! The more I thought about it, the more I really began to make it a goal.
Come time to breed Bell again,, I chose a Patriot Games son,, Ch. Braeleen Let Freedom Ring to be her suitor. From this breeding, I retained a girl who would go out and win a major at her first show, a specialty, as a puppy. That girl is Akadia Strawberry Shortcake and she has 12 pts, 1 major.
Akadia Strawberry Shortcake (12 pts, 1 major)

One last breeding this year would leave us with 3 hopefuls to grow out. Bred to Ch. Starfalls The Enchanter CD,, Bell has more then earned her spay appointment with the vet.
Akadia Bell Bottom "Flare"

I hope to finish Shortcake and Ethan this year and Nanette Johnson is working on the last point on Kaylani. That will make 3 Bell kids in 2009 to finish, if we obtain our goal.

Bell will just need one more Champion to get her ROM after that. I sure hope one of these hopefuls will fulfill that dream. If not,, I feel that Bell has certainly made a marked difference in my program and I am so grateful for that.
Funny thing is that in thinking about Bell now,, if I was to have her now days, as a hopeful,, I am not sure I would have kept her. She is little,, 14 inches,, and has round eyes,, and is kinda average, but at the time that she came along in my program, she was the best I had to go on. I am glad I kept her and worked with her and discovered her producing ability. She has been a blessing to me and a grand example of years of work and generations of careful selection for continued improvement.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Dad report and Vogue, Stinky, Vogue

Been a while since I posted. Really not much going on around here though. I am HAPPY to report that Dad is doing so much better. He is in a care facility now and just sounds like he is coming along. That is such a relief. Keep the prayers coming for him still and we sure appreciate all you folks that have shown concern and prayers.

Saturday,, "Stinky" (Ch. Akadia Totally Intoxicating), got a bath to freshen her up and I decided to get some new photos of her. My friend Kristin Sittner was staying at my house for an agility trial so I asked for her help. The photos turned out great and I even got a movement shot, of which I have been wanting for some time. "Stinky" is my special for this year, co-owned by Ava Jane Pickering Ph.D, and we are particularly excited about the possibilities. The month of April brings on a lot of shows for us,, along with flying to the National. It should be fun.