Thursday, November 15, 2012

Cruise news

EDIT:  At first when I posted this, I totally forgot to tell WHY we took this cruise!  We celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary and David's retirement!!

We left Friday Oct. 19 for Barcelona Spain.  The cruise started Oct. 21.  We cruised across the Atlantic to Miami (13 nights)              This is Fire Lake, in a volcanic crater, at the top of  the Azores Island Portugal- first stop.  I had a bit of a cold and gee, look like it.
                                          This is the evening sail-away from St. Thomas- 2nd stop
Near the port...part of one of the very many fountains and statues in Barcelona.  Christopher Columbus  with King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella.
                         A church on the Azores ...the town was, Ribeiro Grande built in 1522!!!
                                                The NCL Epic at port in Azores
                           David writing a post card at a very small courtyard fountain in Barcelona.
                               Anniversary dinner on board- Italian specialty restaurant 'La Cuccina'
                                         A park in Ribeiro Grande with very unusual trees.
Countryside view on Azores, Portugal.
Barcelona marketplace- a fruit/juice stand
Barcelona walk up and wall area (only a small portion)

                              Ribeiro Grande licor shop- we got a very small coffee flavor sample bottle.
               The buildings all have basalt (rock from the volcano activity) around windows and doorways.
                                                      Ribeiro grande 'river'- Azores

The cruise was fantastic.  The Norwegian Epic is HUGE, but being out in the middle of the Atlantic for so long, with only water for 360 degrees all around as far as the eye could see, gave us a new appreciation of the vastness of the ocean and the Lord's creation, and made our huge ship seem rather insignificant.  Except for getting a mild cold the first few days of the trip, I don't think things could have gone much better.  The seas were extremely friendly the entire time (even so, I have to have the seasick patches ), and the temperature throughout the trip was much more mild than we had prepared for.  We saw the Rock of Gibraltar on one side, and the city of Tangier, Morocco, on the other, as we passed from the Mediterranean Sea to the Atlantic Ocean.  We spotted dolphins in the Mediterranean, and flying fish several times in the Atlantic.  The stop in the Azores Islands (Portuguese territory) was nice.  We took a bus tour around part of the island.  The only other stop before we reached Miami was in St. Thomas.  It was pretty muggy there.  We walked around for a while, did a little shopping, then went back to the ship.  The U.S. immigration process was done in St. Thomas.  They came onto the ship and had everyone pass through immigration right there on the ship.  The customs part didn't happen until Miami, since everyone got off with their luggage at that point.
On the ship, the very first day, we met a father and son (son in his early 40's) who are Christians.  We spent some time with them a few times during the cruise.  They even paid our cover charge to get into one of the specialty restaurants as an anniversary gift to us.  There was an unexpected non-denominational Sunday service that we attended. I say "unexpected" because someone had asked at the guest services desk if there was going to be a Sunday service, and they were told there was nothing scheduled.  But there was, and it went very well.  The ship's captain was even there!  We did everything from attending a talk on the history of salt (it was actually pretty interesting) to attending an art auction which included Picassos and Rembrandts (didn't buy anything), to seeing multiple theater shows including Blue Man Group, Legends in Concert (look-alikes and sound-alikes of Rod Stewart, Michael Jackson, Jimmy Buffet, etc.), a comedian/magician and a comedian/hypnotist.  Also saw other entertainment by the improv troupe Second City (many who are on Saturday Night Live come from there) and several different musical performances.  We saw a movie almost every day on the big screen in the Atrium (central area of the ship), and sometimes on the big outdoor screen at the rear of the ship, as well as movies on the t.v. in our cabin.  Other than that, we ate and slept, then ate again.  There was, of course, lots of very good food, but I think my favorite items were the pistachio ice cream and the pistachio pound cake.  I got some much needed rest and sleep.  One thing about having our first inside cabin... short of looking at the clock to see the time, you could never tell when daylight arrived.  It was great for sleeping in, but kind of bothersome in a way too.  One wonderful "plus" to travelling in a westward direction was that we gained a hour six times out of the thirteen nights as we changed time zones.  Even more sleep time!!  We had, of course, lost all that time on the flight to Barcelona, but it still seemed like an added bonus to get it back like that.   
The price was right since for us it was FREE.  We accrued cash/cruise points on our credit card which we always pay off each month (no debt).  The airfare was also a perk from David's employment at United Airline

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Getting there...

Lots to share!  First I got to a dog show! I got reserve ( second one) with Luna, which is fine, it was only her 3rd show for an 'in repair' dog and few and far in between outings for her. I can finally get away some with David here now...YES!  David is here for good!  He's been here for 2 and 1/2 weeks.  There is a lot we have had to organize and catch up on since he arrived.  We also celebrated our 25th ANNIVERSARY!

As you know, my camera died.  David looked into getting it repaired and there was a pretty certain  diagnosis which would have cost about $82.  The camera years ago...was waaay expensive compared to what is available today, SO, he has ordered me a new one!  Photos again! Yea!  I have so missed my camera!  Hope it gets here soon.

No puppies coming here yet...  I plan on breeding though, very soon.  BUT I do have a 12 week old puppy coming to me!...More on her later.

Been working on fence building-wow! Hard work.  We are putting in square wood posts and 'Red Brand' 4x4 field fence.  It is a loooong process with only me and 1 fence man.  We may be done by spring-HA!

One sad note:  Flash is now over the bridge.  I don't really want to talk about it since the (avoidable) health issue is something that has hit me hard.

Hopefully the next post will have photos- lots of them. Of: Sasha and the new pup (if she gets here by then) and maybe some of my whole crew, which, with the new puppy will be 6 dogs.  So, that means I have 5 dogs right now!  I cannot recall when I last had only 5 dogs!


Saturday, August 25, 2012

a month!?

Wow, where does the time go?  It has been a month since I posted with a Sasha update.  She is doing GREAT!  I adore this dog...and the feeling is mutual.  It's a good thing that LUNA loves her too because Luna and I also adore each other and Luna can be jelous of me.

Sasha has come in season, a first time at 9 months.  That's good since almost all of my girls in the past have come in at 9 to 10 months of age.  I'd rather have that than earlier. Cardi girls that come in season at 6-8 months are still' babies' to me. 

There is so much about Sasha that reminds me of my Peeker who is now 11 years old.  I never kept a show puppy from Peeker and I have kicked myself for that many times.  I DID place my BEST show pups with others though.  Some people have frowned at me for that I'm sure BUT I can't/couldn't do the dogs justice in time, training,showing and care without sharing with other responsible fanciers.  That way, I am still putting my best in the ring.  I do have connections with two of the best males from Peeker though and I think Sasha is who God has blessed me with as an adopted/surrogate Peeker daughter to move forward with.

Still no camera but there will be photos to come.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Xsasha update

I decided to take Sasha out the front and asked Hannah to bring her I-pod (still no fixed camera).
We did a little training.  She is willing but not confident yet.  However you can see she sure has a happy tail in the pose.  Sasha is such a sweetie and she fit into the household very easily.

                               I am so happy to have the opportunity to own this great moving tri girl.
                                         Thank you Paul. More and better pics to follow-promise!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Xsasha is here

Here is a quick snap shot.  Hannah took this with her I-Pod and e-mailed it to appears that my Kodak that I so dearly enjoyed, is on the fritz. 
Xsasha is very laid back and a real sweetie.
This was taken within the first couple hours here.  When I sit on the dog bed she crawls right up and snuggles.
...icing on the cake?  ..she has freckles!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

She's coming tomorrow

I suppose I am a bit excited<grin>  Given all my dissappointments over the last year and a half, this unexpected surprise is welcome.  I could not let a tri girl with that movement get away.  She is 8 months old and Lord willing, I pick her up tomorrow in Huntsville!

Linda said I don't have photos of myself on my blog so here I am looking at the camera with my welcoming committee ... let's hope they welcome our new girl.     ...ok, ok, she is coming from Paul Chen (Afara) in WA.  This is an 'X' litter and  I got to name her ...oh joy!  Don't we all want to try to come up with an X name!?   She will be Afara Xsasha.  Kind of pretty X name after all.  Pronounced Sasha and maybe with a zee sound like zasha.

...yes, I still have Izzee the other tri girl here from Lynn.  So that will make 3 tris in the house- wow!  BUT I still will ONLY have 7 dogs....with one almost 13 and 2 at 11 yrs.  I am planning on puppies too, will plan to keep something from each  AND expect to still keep my number at 7....maybe 8.

Cheers!!  Here's hoping for fun dog activities and puppies sometime before the year ends.

Friday, July 6, 2012

summer update/visitor day

Finally, for Jill (grin), here is a shot of 3 Speckled Sussex.  I have 6 and they are my favorite breed so far.  They should start laying this month but the heat has really taken a lot out of the older hens and they are not laying much.

 Here is the proverbial dog in the pool cooling off in this awful heat.  This is Luna.  Fig will not go in the pool...big chicken,silly dog.

You would think he would go in the pool with Luna after running around like this!
 ...and this....
 Shady spot is good...
 I think they'd be attached at the hip if they could...
 Linda visited today!  She just *had* to meet FIG since she has been following Fig's Dad, Nugget and that first litter where Fig came from.  We had a great visit!  Corgi lovers rock!
 I LOVE this 'almost' candid shot.  Luna is listening to me and Fig is behind her  saying "what ever Luna says is good with me"

Saturday, June 23, 2012


We will not be having puppies... the Vet palpated and said yes, I saw begining signs...??... This is the oddest series of occurrences ever! I can only come to one conclusion and the common denominator is my neighbor spraying chemicals. I have asked him to please call me when he is going to spray, but he doesn't. Of course the dogs see him and go running straight to where he is!

I will be impeccably cautious and never let a bred or to be bred girl even have the opportunity go near the fence line. I have done everything I know how (been doing this 21 years) so I have to consider outside the box here. The extended  problems I have been having have only been here at our new AL home, so it must be something here.

 I am not giving up! 

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Luna palpated/New Kitty

Hannah and I took a trip to the vet yesterday with Luna for pregnancy palpation.  The vet believes she is pregnant. YAY!!!  It is hard to palpate Cardis which is why I don't even try.  While we were there we saw this young cat running around and I commented on how pretty and cute...Hannah and I have been wanting a kitten but the costs of spay, vaccines, etc. and David not wanting another dependant for the next 14 years...have stopped us.  We talked to David about this one barely a year old, already spayed, tested, vaccinated,*free* and he said "ok".
We are not set on a name but thought 'Drizzle' was good...then I wasn't sure and came up with 'Smore' since she looks like a toasted marshmellow with chocolate.  Anyway, here she is, but this pose did not last...she is pretty busy, also very sweet...purrs, licks, rubs...  Oh, her eyes are blue-very pretty.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Samuel in Japan

My son, Samuel, arrived in Japan yesterday!!!  For those of you who don't know, he was called to be a missionary to Japan at about the age of 13-14.  I am blown away by the fact that the time is here.  He has completed 4 years of college at FCC (Florida Christain College) and was blessed with financial support to be able to make his first trip which is an internship required by the college.  He'll stay 3 months and stay with 3 different sets of people.  He has already gone with 2 other men and helped the homeless on his first day.  This is something he did weekly at home too.
It's kind of hard to  grasp, but Japan is 13 hours ahead of us so their day has alread passed.  We always joke that they are in the future.
Also, since my husband,David, works for United Airline, Samuel was able to fly as family and no extra funds were required for him to fly.  THAT is a huge savings.
David and I joke (sort of since it is also the truth) that one of our ministries is supporting a missionary full time!
Please pray for Samuel.  Japan has only 1 to 2 % christian population. The problem with the thinking of the people in Japan is that they are completely open to many Gods.  So, they can accept God but just as another to add to the list of Gods and the concept of one God is a difficult to allow into their hearts. 

Thursday, May 31, 2012

pet with option to breed??

A while back I wrote this post in response to an inquiry:  "We want a pet with the option to breed." Hopefully this will help some of the readers understand what responsible breeding means.  These people already own pet Cardigans.
Please understand that this is not being published to puff me up in any way.  I happened to come accross this post when I was looking for something else, and I thought of another Cardigan breeder who has been posting 'helpful' blurbs recently and thought "yes, readers may benefit from this"

*** ***
I have been involved in showing and breeding Cardigans for 21 years. I LOVE Cardigans. I LOVE my dogs. Have you been to my web site? (link below) Have you seen all the top accomplishments over the years? Do you see all the health testing and priority given to temperament?  It takes dedication and a lot of guts to be a breeder. Breeding is not for the weak at heart! Go read my blog (link below) about my last litter which was a bizarre disaster...starting with an emergency c-section. I used to be a Vet Tech and I have bred 42 litters to, I know when something is not right. The Vet I had to use was a scramble to find because my Vet was out of town. It was in the middle of the night too- as usual...the vet said that if I had waited I probably would have lost the bitch too. (By-the-way, Nibbs carried 7 pups, I came home with 4 and in the end I had ONE surviving pup and that is with all my knowledge and being home all the time for my animals) Nibbs got spayed on the table-torn and torsioned uterus.

Even without bad stuff after a c-section you usually have a rough go of it for the first 2 to 10 days...sometimes the Mom doesn't have milk or doesn't want the pups since she is in pain...then you have a neonatal intensive care situation. Tube feeding or bottle feeding,keeping everyone warm and no one squished by a Momma that is out of it...etc.

Right now after a series of unfortunate events in my breeding career, I am in the hole financially $5,000. I usually hope to break even. I tell people that you better have about 3 to $4,000 set aside if you want to breed a litter.

Buying yourself another dog to breed, then you will have 3. Of course you keep one pup. Now you have 4. But what about the pups you have left over that people don't buy...or said they'd take and changed their minds.

I have a reputation to uphold as a breeder who does it right and well, works hard at it and continually strives for the top. I have a waiting list filled before I even have a girl bred....

I understand your desire to have puppies from a breed of dog you love. But to really love them is to do right by them. Make sure you are breeding for better dogs not just to fill a desire and hope for the best. Make sure that you don't produce puppies that will be a problem for the new owner....temperament test and match the right family to the right puppy. Make sure that you breed carefully and *(breeder/buyer choice) know if you produce any puppies that are at risk for developing DM (degenerative mylopathy) or PRA (Progressive retinal atrophy) or HD (Hip dysplasia) or high risk for thyroid or addisons or.....etc. Do your best, with knowledge trying not to produce pups with poor socialization or a poor rear or a poor front or? so you don't cause a less than good life for the dog and problems for it's owner by being unaware....

I assume you are thinking of breeding 'A' (their boy dog) to a blue girl(they are hoping to buy). What does the breeder of 'A'. think about this? Why don't you go to your breeder to ask what you have asked of me?

For all the reasons and explainations above and more, no, I do not sell pet pups with the option to breed....
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Tuesday, May 22, 2012


This is Izzee.  We are co-owning her for a hopeful litter bred to Rio.
She has had 2 litters, both free whelped.  We will try for one and that will be it for her.
Very pretty front.
Wonderful temperament.
We've only had her for a few days and she is adusted.
She even showed us her darling little happy woo woos already.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Positive paragraphs

Hello All!  It has been a long while since I wrote.

Anyway, I DO want to say that things are looking up!  I am pretty positive about my future in Cardigans (even though I've been in the breed for 21 years).  I found myself having to re-group with my dogs.  I have had quite a few old ones and two passed away last year...another one is coming up soon and then I have 2 more old ones and 2 young adults to place. I know where I am headed and I know I'm gonna get there.  Life can be tough, but the best thing is to learn the lessons from those tough times (mine has been a year full of difficulties, disasters, sadness, accidents, illness ETC.).  I drew strength by knowing God was with me through it all and enjoying the positive that is always there.  There were plenty of wonderful people who lifted me up (sent by God I'm sure)-- you KNOW who you are : ))  

I had an awesome time judging the CWCCA Megan!  The three of us breeder judges got nothing but positive feedback.  The National is aways special.... I make a few new friends and see old ones.  I always 'stud shop' but seemed to be too busy when ever the boys were in the ring this year.  I can't afford the tapes right now so thought "oh well", it is what it is...then I was in the right place at the right time (there is God again) and saw a dog while at the Eye Clinic- he was perfect!!

Here are some scenes in our room at the National.  I have been sharing a room at the National with my very dearest friend, Pat.  So, she is in the photo and it is her very silly brindle boy, Billy, in these pics with my two guys, Luna and Fig.  (Those are our sheets covering the bedspreads AND we covered the entire floor with plastic! No chance of causing harm to something that doesn't belong to us.  Pat brought those supplies too!)

 I had to throw in a photo scene from the yard here at Merry Heart Farm.  It is just so beautiful here.  Everytime I pull in the driveway, I wanna pinch myself in disbelief that it belongs to me/us.
I have several things in the works (moving forward!)  Remember that perfect dog I mentioned at the Eye clinic?  And I am going to a dog show that I wouldn't have planned to do, which (God again) worked out because it is there that I will be picking up an addition to my pack.  Again, staying with Pat- thank you Pat!  And she is delivering my new Cardi to me!  I hope to post some pics of her, Isabelle, later.  She is an adult and I fell in love with her description, and then her face when I got pictures.  She is coming from Lynn in VA.

My husband, David, will be retiring and coming up here by Sept. 2. and most likely it will be sooner.  I can't tell you what a relief it is actually KNOWING a for sure.  The bible says in Proverbs 13:12 " Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but desire fullfilled is a tree of life."


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fig N Luna /Family photo

Fig at 8 months with Luna in the background.  I just did baths, nails and blow dry on these two.  They looked so nice so I took them out to the bigger yard to see what I could get on camera.
 Both of these guys just keep getting better.  I am especially pleased with Luna's mental progress.  I can say that she trusts me completely now.  No concerns that I will make her/force her into something she is not accepting or understanding.  She will do most anything for me now that she fully trusts that I will take care of her and that I understand what she needs. Fig is just plain wonderful.  No one can have a bad day if Fig is there.  Loving,loving,loving...a big sissy(well he is the baby here) with the most huge bark, but loving : ))
 This blur is the usual for the two of them.  I let them play and tried to distract them for a few seconds.  Considering I did this all on my own, I managed to get some cute ones. 
 This family photo was taken on March 4 at church.  I do not know when we may be able to all be together again so wanted a photo.  It was also Samuel's 22cnd. birthday.  He is in his last semester of 4 years in college.  His plans are to do mission work in Japan.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Wystan,Luna, the group- updates...

This is Betsy and Wystan on 'Going Home" day.  Thankfully his ears were only in that tape for a week and he never had to do that again.

Here is Luna enjoying the big bed.  She is SO awesome.  I LOVE this dog!  I am so glad I got her back and was able to give her what she needed and so glad I was able to figure out how to fix what was so misunderstood about her.    So attentive to me, David, and goes crazy over Hannah. She loves attention herself too, oh, and loves the cats..a little too much...there is only so much licking a cat can take!

 Sharing the bed with her best bud, Fig.  They adore each other.  Actually this is a rare moment of quiet!  They are usually frapping non stop...I have to tell them to chill so I can hear things, talk etc..
 Group siesta.  There were actually two more dogs not in the photo.
 Me and Peeker posing at Tractor Suppy Co. in front of a "Quiet Time' bed with Peeker's photo on the tag.  I do not like this picture of me but it's all about my grand ole gal,Peeker.  She'll be 11 this year. The dog bed tag photo was when she was 5.  She got to chase a tennis ball up and down the isle a lot...the ladies that work there were in love with her....hopfully she'll get into the TSC employee newsletter and I'll get a copy.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Wystan (Twizzler)

Heidi came today to visit the Rush X Nibbs Puppy (8 weeksold).  He is one gorgeous puppy.  Heidi took photos with her phone, so here are a variety of shots.
He is so interested in the chickens.  He is fearless about everthing!
...And so darn cute!