MIA…not really……………

April 26, 2009

daweeranchSorry all….

with posts on “Build It Green” in Phoenix,  Habitat for Humanity Green Builds, Earthdogs,Billie Rosen, State of Biz in our Quad-Cities area, a local Real Estate update and Prescott restaurant reviews
as well updates on No AZ dog trials and Bark in the Park…..all
pending…..I have some sort of “hand and arm” issue”, hopefully not diagnosis initially rendered but in any case way too much time on puters…sigh!

Whatever it finally is “called”..typing and mousing are being kept to a serious minimum and the blog, so long overdue for updates will remain with updates pending.
Keep watching! Working to find a way to get this moving forward again!   Perhaps the Belgian Sheepdogs can “Paw” the posts !

Remember to come and out support the runners at Prescott’s annual, “Whisky Row Marathon” May 2nd, starting on the Square!


Fiesta at WestWorld

March 8, 2009

borderover1Once again, I find myself in the car heading down the mountains in the dark to Scottsdale, Drogo in his kennel and more “stuff” in the back with him than I want to think about.  Why am I doing this yet again?  Well, the Fiesta Cluster is a great series of shows….with Conformation, Rally, Obedience and Agility…four days plus of dogs and more dogs.  Still, with my insane corporate work schedule and training other dogs at 3 places….mine get way less time than I want to give them.  Life on the Farm is a lot less the bucolic paradise promised and more like “A Stranger in a Strange Land” than imaginable.  Yet, here we go….another trip to “town”!

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A Total Eclipse of the Heart………….

February 16, 2009

sheepdreamsaThat song echoes through my head these days, whenever I allow my brain to stray from the tasks at hand.  It’s been a year and feels like a cross between just yesterday and a hundred years…..since last year when I had to help my Bay to the Bridge. On my Bay’s 16th Birthday,  born on Valentines Day, I posted to the Belgian Sheepdog list a tribute to this amazing dog that found me, his second “MOM”, through that list.  He deserved a “living memorial” and that he received……………………………..and it follows

 Happy V-Day Belg-L!

A 16th birthday “Thank You!”, from your favorite Belg-L rehome, Bay aka Bay Bay. Thanks to my first Mom Terri and Grandma Elaine for finding me a “retirement home” (LOL!) through Belg-L.  Too many singles and no majors..sigh, what’s a 27″ big old fashioned Groen boy to do? Well, agility, herding, obedience, and raising two impossible puppies for my second Mom for starters! When I was 6, Grandma Elaine posted on Belg-L that they were looking for a new home for me, son of her Charlie. My “Mom to be” was on a business trip and getting her Belg-L fix in a hotel room, so the story goes, and she read the post.  Emails flew around the world for several weeks and then I found myself in a new jumbo crate on a plane from St. Louis to Los Angeles! Hollywood !!!!!!!
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Wags for Wishes 2009

January 31, 2009
“Wags”..one of my favorite annual events. frequentflyersagile







 Where can you find a well produced dog show with the proceeds going to a great non-profit and friendly smiling faces everywhere!  “Wags for Wishes“…..benefiting the Arizona Chapter of the Make A Wish foundation.

I actually arranged to have the day free of Agility classes, giving 5 classes in two locations the day before and finished all my “homework” from my job early, very early in the morning. Friend and I packed Drogo and all his “stuff” into the car , leaving the younger dog to a day of rest “at home alone”. Yikes!  Somewhat trepidacious, giving him a great new toy and knowing it would be destroyed by the time we returned home….wondered if a “puppy cam” might be a good investment soon.

Had friends entered in Agility but not knowing until the last minute if I could go, had decided just to let Drogo try a few new sports….Lure Coursing, “Lure for the Cure” (which he tried for the first time recently at a trial and LOVED!) and thought we’d take a “freestyle” lesson having recently gotten hooked on the concept after seeing some amazing videos of this art form taken to a new level in Europe.  lure

Beautiful weather in the Phoenix Metro and we were shedding clothes all the way down….it was 25 degrees at home! Off came the down, the mufflers, the sweaters and down to a little Tee and a car full of clothes! Drogo, as usual, settled into his car crate for a nap..a far cry from his carsick miserable puppy days.  Nothing worked to cure that…even the “Ginger” fix…he just thankfully, finally outgrew this malaise.

We arrived early in the day, greeted by free parking !!!!!! Finding smiling volunteers, a gorgeous facility that was well laid out and a light crowd which got much heavier as the day wore on. 

Lure coursing was dynamic, unfortunately as we watched all the large dogs missing a tight turn and going over the far fence, left to their own devices to return to their people,  we had to decide to pull Drogo.  Didn’t want to lose  my Champion and “Demo” dog to a bad fence. Darn!  What to do?
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MIA..several posts – Dogtoberfest and 2008 Cynosport World Games. . .

December 28, 2008

Where has the time gone…..Octoberfest was….October and still the photo’s are not up on the blog.  “Why” ??????? so many concessionshave asked.  Well, it has been a busy and eventful year….too busy and way too eventful. With the best of intentions I shot these events and more, but haven’t had the time to post.  Really????!!!This was the second year of “Dogtoberfest” in Prescott…while mostly free to the public, it is a very spendy place for exhibitors, the “Yuppy” local kennels from the surrounding towns, the cute kids in 4H showing their pet dogs doing obedience and baby agility, the ever present K9 Unit demos and of course the dog food, dog clothes, doggy treat and other assorted vendors, vets and puppy sitters all vying for the locals “pet purchasing power”.  Along the way..the “Ugliest  Dog” contest, “Cutest Costumes” and other participatory events too bizare to even mejerriopensntion. shepherdassistanceshepwaterjugfireshepardsdogglesfarbenshirt
Yes, there are shot clinics and Dog and even Cat???? adoptions involved.  Does anyone make money here? ……….only the food vendors..people food and the merchants surrounding the charming historic town square. whitehalti

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Still Dreaming…darn…of that “White Christmas”

December 27, 2008

skywritingWhat is it about Christmas…………………..?  Why do we have annual expectations that could never be met?  When I was in the film industry, Summers were magical times.  In television, we set up and shot all the holiday specials and I was able to live out my Christmas excess fantasies time and time again.   Ah, those 2-story “gingerbread” houses, “snowdrifts” 20 feet high, ice rinks, huge forests of Christmas trees-decorations to the “MAX” and beyond!    …..Those were the days! 

When it came time for Christmas, just a few short months later, I was ready to go all out again.  The biggest tree the house could hold and smaller ones to fill the space. Baking for weeks and parties non-stop.  Not to forget the endless search for “gift perfection” and amazing wrapping to follow.  It was such a magical amazing time and still there was the non-profit committments met each year, cooking and serving those with less and adopting families for the holidays……Where has all that magic gone?

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Thanks-Giving…on the Farm. . . . .

November 30, 2008

Thanksgiving….and my first in AZ with the day after as an actual “official” day off….so other than several agility classes to give and some email from the CEO and others at work to deal with on fromthefarmThanksgiving, an actual 4 days off…a miracle and something to be very thankful for.  Could be…………….

OK so it sounds way better than reality as I have a lot of work to catch up on for my job, a few weeks worth of bills to pay, a bunch of cooking to do for ” NON-Turkey Day” (as a long-term vegetarian) and as is tradition at my house, Christmas decorations to put up on the holiday.  That said, a friend is coming in from Napa, bringing our favorite California wines, to “hang out on the farm and enjoy the bucolic life” and my Belgians expect four days of undivided attention and lots of agility time in their field.  Just thinking about all this is exhausting and makes going back to work Monday, start to feel like that is the vacation.swooper


My traditional Thanksgiving started when I was in film…..or at least the “celebratory side” the rest stems from a childhood tradition.  My mother, very “charity” (now non-profit) oriented and very into letting us girls know how lucky we were to be growing up with “stuff” had us doing work at the Salvation Army on Thanksgiving and Christmas every year along with year-round “giving opportunities” woven into our lives.  Clearly this, the genesis for my lifelong commitment to non-profits. Guess those childhood lessons really do stick!

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The Measure of a Man. . . . . . .

November 15, 2008

bikeguyThe Measure of a man….

 Is it different here in AZ ?…….integrity, honesty fairness, attitude, family, business, “niceness” success, so many ways and yet is there a universal measure we can apply?

In California it was so easy, “You are what you drive”. “You are what you wear”, “You are where you live”.  You could judge a man, or a person, by those factors and be relatively accurate.  In AZ, not so much.   

The local land barons can be cowboys, they can look like the Marlboro Man, a hippie back “from the day” or a preppie type in pressed shorts sans tie or any combination of things.  Here there definitely is a different standard applied although I have yet to get my arms around what it is.


You can tell I’ve been doing a lot of driving in cell ‘connectivity- free” zones of late and been thinking way too much.  Winter is settling into the Prescott area, Agility training slowing down, but not stopping for us “addicts” even in  “the season” and the universe seems to be gearing down.  In LA, the holidays are gearing up and even in this week of post-election conversations and economic challenges friends from “home” say it just isn’t all that tense. Hollywood!

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Fashionista on the Farm. . . . . . .

November 7, 2008

novembercloudsaEvery once in a while…playing “dress-up” can make a huge difference in a “City Slickers” outlook on the world.  This week was a whirlwind with the USDAA Nationals in Scottsdale and opportunities for my Belgian Sheepdog, Drogo and me to hang out with Agility friends, run courses, try lure coursing (post on this to follow soon) and SHOP!  Dog show vendors are a breed unto themselves and in LA with frequent trials and shows you can always get obscure bits of tack and toys for your dogs.  No so much in AZ-read almost none! So web shopping becomes a way of life and the UPS driver a frequent visitor on the farm.

So for a few days I raced from my little corporate life (what passes for that in Northern AZ) to the farm and down the hour and a half or so to Scottsdale and Westworld and then spent some time hanging out in friends Motor Homes at the event.  It was 34 degrees in the mornings when I left and over 80 in the Phoenix area.  OMG!  My hairy black dog was quite toasty!walkcrop

As for me, super comfy in Agility clothes, layers and layers of funky running wear, sweats and Tee’s. Fashionista?  Not!  Photo clearly not us…but so traditional “agility wear” and a great run!

Then Saturday night, as I flew up the hill toward the farm exhausted with a tirblogbiddinged, but happy dog in crate and a hungry one waiting for us at home…I thought about the night to come.  The project that was ending, 6 months after it had been a stray thought relayed to the President of my firm in a late afternoon meeting. ” Let’s design a seriously modern totally cool dog house for the Habitat Gala!”, I throw on the table and with a bit of tossing around and discussion we move forward with this….how fun!
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4 Years……………and absolutely counting!

October 6, 2008



You’d think that after 4 years I’d have settled into this little bit of Paradise in AZ. 

My fourth year anniversary of “Life on the Farm” has now come and gone. Marked by the beginning of my fourth “Grasshopper Season”.  This is the time period between the “Monsoon” and where everything you’ve grown and planted all year is eaten to the ground by what seems to be billions of ever chirping grasshoppers who are everywhere  Sort of the invasion of the killer locus.

Sigh! I know the tipping point came for me about two years post moving from Los Angeles to “The Farm”.  I fell back in love with the place and remembered the overarching reason I was here.  The challenges with busy unethical contractors, the job market, illegal activities, the small “faux Mayberry”  business mentality and the “lack of work ethic syndrome’ had driven me to extreme homesickness. Near impossible, you’d think especially for a “California Girl”..given what’s happened to the “Sunshine State” over the last 10 years.   The failure of a large, but oh so “Mom & Pop” business and elimination of many jobs, mine included, gave me time to breathe here in “Paradise”…while looking for another job. Finally time to explore local areas, hike, run and actually start and finish a few projects, even gasp, read a book or two and run Agility courses daily with the Belgians.

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