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16 January 2017 @ 06:45 pm
We had ML King Day off today which explains this third post of the day.  But the other two were short posts.  And this one has an LJ cut to spare you if you want to ignore exciting photos of the Gordon Girls in snow.   This was a great depth of snow since not a blade of grass to be seen.


Snow! Snow! Snow! And lots of fun.Collapse )

The ends.
Current Mood: amusedamused
16 January 2017 @ 09:30 am
I've been enjoying my view the past several mornings but it will soon be changing: a Pineapple Express is on the way.  I'll still enjoy the view, but it will be different. These were from Saturday.


This was about 90 minutes ago.  It's cloudy now.

Sometimes I still can't believe my good luck in finding this property.  It makes me smile often.
Tags: ,
Current Mood: happyhappy
15 January 2017 @ 07:00 pm
Mainly just little birds yesterday due to the ice on the ponds, but I like the photos I managed to get.  Like this industrious Downy Woodpecker.  She was furiously checking out the tree by one of the gazebos, although she could only be finding freeze-dried bugs due to the temps. But she was so close and ignoring me, so we were both happy.


Birds of the Snowy DayCollapse )
Current Mood: happyhappy
On Thursday, I was really lamenting my need to go to work rather than explore the snow and the sun with the good camera.  Clear, bright weather and snow in the middle of an Oregon winter is rare event.  Very rare.  I took a few photos of my home view as the sun came up and the moon went down.  And then I bundled up and headed out to explore.  The cold weather we've had for the last week or so and the freezing fog makes everything so beautiful.


Enjoy the crispness of the day!Collapse )

Current Mood: impressedimpressed
12 January 2017 @ 08:00 pm
Sun.  Snow.  Sun AND snow.  Both are usually in short supply around here in the winter.  So I took photos.  It is so pretty.  Too bad I had to go to work because it was have been great to just explore with my good camera.

See more!Collapse )
Current Mood: contentcontent
11 January 2017 @ 05:30 pm


Sadly, it was warm enough to cause the formation of huge ice balls in the girls' feathers.  I cut our romp short as they got heavier and had trouble in the deep snow.  I snapped a couple of quick photos as I pondered how to get rid of the balls that were clearly uncomfortable for them.  I ended up running a couple of buckets of hot water and having the girls stand in it, two legs at a time, to defrost.

They didn't show an interest in going back outside, for some reason.
Current Mood: refreshedrefreshed
11 January 2017 @ 01:12 pm

I'm rather enjoying it. 10" of snow. We're not allowed to drive without chains. Only downside was the HUGE snowballs that formed in the girls' feathers.

Friday enjoys the fire to dry her parts.

Update:  My power is back on after three hours.  The fire is still nice,  The KATU folks are getting punchy after being on air for 12 hours so far.

09 January 2017 @ 05:30 pm
Friday has finally come into her own in agility, most of the time.   Our time spent at numerous CPE trials certainly paid off.  As soon as spring comes and we can practice at home whenever we want things will get even better. We still need to work on our teamwork and just get into our groove. In the past year, Friday quickly powered her way through the lower levels of AKC and now she is in Excellent for Standard and Masters for JWW and FAST.   She has five Masters legs; something I thought might never happen.  Plus, she occasionally beats Zelda!  And other times she returns to her imp roots.  Such is the life of a Gordon girl.  Do not let that serious look fool you!


NA (Novice Agility)
OF (Open FAST)
OA (Open Agility)
OAJ (Open Agility Jumpers)
AXJ (Excellent Jumpers)
XF (Excellent Fast)
19 MACH points

Previously unseen Joe Camp agility photos of Friday.


Such a pretty girl!

Blaz'n Gordon Girl Friday, TD2 OA NAP AXJ NJP XF NFP SPJ CL-3 CL4-F S.T.A.R.
Current Mood: proud
09 January 2017 @ 04:45 pm
Zelda will be 10 years old this year (that doesn't seem possible) and she is running agility as well as ever. She is currently the fastest Gordon Setter on the Bad Dog Agility Breed Power Rankings (through Q3) which is a great testament to the fun she has. We will finish her MACH very soon (she has 19 Double Qs and an overabundance of points);  I have her new pink scarf ready and waiting.  She is so fun to be around and she always has a big smile on her face.  I just wish she wouldn't be such a pushover who relinquishes a warm bed after a demanding yip or two from the imp.

We've only done AKC agility this year since I have my eyes on her MACH.  And the move to Oregon took precedence even over that.


MXB (Master Standard - Bronze)
MJS (Master Jumpers - Silver)
9 Double Q's
5 Triple Q's
467 points

We didn't get a lot of photos this year, but here's a selection of Joe Camp photos from this fall that I never got posted. That is a happy dog!  With an equally happy handler.



Current Mood: determineddetermined
08 January 2017 @ 05:30 pm
2016 has been a year of only AKC agility for us.  Plus several months off in the middle of the summer to move back to Oregon.  Last year, I wrote "we will be doing more AKC so that Zelda gets a chance to work toward her MACH -- she is half-way there for the required double Q's and she has way more than enough points."   Now we are within spitting distance of that MACH. Only one more Double Q to go!  Plus Friday has shown that she is becoming a more reliable and exciting agility partner and is in Excellent and Masters. I can't wait until we can start training at home again whenever we want.  Watch out agility world -- the Gordon Girls are back!  And we are having so much fun.

I spent a lot of time the past several years neglecting Zelda's (and my) quest for her MACH.  Here's a summary of our recent history.

2013 was an atypical year for us. The year started with both Zelda and Friday being certified for tracking in January. Friday got into the Eugene tracking test in April (and got her TD) but Zelda didn't get into the test. We moved to California in May and spent some time getting used to the area, the summer heat and a very small yard. We didn't go to any agility trials until October and did no AKC agility at all.

2014 was another light year for us, mainly because Friday was taking her time in overcoming her impishness. It didn't make sense to go to a lot of trials in a lot of places so that Friday could run amuk. We spent the early part of the year getting Zelda ready to track again and she easily got certified again and passed the TD test in early February. Then I quickly got Friday up to speed again and they both earned their TD2's later in that month. We only went to one AKC agility trial the whole year (but Zelda did get a double Q).

2015 was a year primarily dedicated to getting Friday into the swing of running agility, so it was a year of much CPE agility. Happily, that plan worked for Friday, plus Zelda earned her C-ATCH along the way.  We gingerly started doing a bit more AKC agility, three and a half trials, to see if Friday was ready to trial in more than one location. She was!

In 2016, we went to 11 AKC trials.

I haven't found a permanent location that I like for our brag board, so for now the girls are posing in front of the fireplace with their ribbons. (Hooray for white ceilings again that can bounce light!)  We had more ribbons on our board when we were doing so much CPE, but all these AKC ribbons are more impressive to me.

Good girls!
08 January 2017 @ 02:15 pm
The weekend started out okay, other than it was very cold at the fairgrounds and I had a cold coming on. Or perhaps it is the flu. I was dressed warmly enough and the trailer was comfortable but that didn't help. I think the low was 15°. I slept terribly and woke up totally stuffed up and with a headache.  Both girls got Qs in FAST, with Friday beating Zelda!  As I waited for Standard, I had a deep-seated chill set in and I could not shake it, even in my Michelin Man coat, long underwear, insulated gloves and head covering.  My extremities were warm and my core was cold: not a good combination.  Zelda had a nice standard run until I got behind near the end and she missed a jump. Darn. Friday's nose overcame her head in the first tunnel and she stayed in the very first tunnel for 3-4 seconds and then dribbled out the same way she went in. The rest of the run was perfect and fast, but darn.

After that, I decided to just go home for the weekend. There was snow and freezing rain in the forecast starting Saturday morning through Sunday evening and I wasn't keen on hauling the trailer over the river and up the hill on ice.  And I was still chilled.  I really want to finish up Zelda's MACH but this didn't seem like the weekend that it could happen.  I didn't even stay for JWW.  So both girls had a 50% weekend (and we matched our total Q count from last weekend).

I got the trailer parked in the barn and immediately headed for a double-length hot soak in the tub.  I was pruny, but still cold inside.  So I crawled into bed and turned the electric blanket pad up as high as it would go.  I eventually got warm enough to fall asleep.  Other than a few minutes yesterday morning when I went out to put the van in the garage before the freezing rain started, I have been inside.  I am feeling a bit better today and I know that my decision to come home early was a good one.  The roads are frightful again today.

I was happy to see that more birds have discovered my feeders.  Today's visitors were Dark-eyed "Oregon" Juncos.  And I spied a teeny-tiny Golden-crowned Kinglet on the front tree.  I've never identified one before.


More birds.Collapse )

The end.
Current Mood: sicksick
02 January 2017 @ 08:59 pm
We didn't end up with much snow on the ground today, but it was nice being able to sit and look out at the snow from the warmth of the house and take some art photos.  Snow is a difficult subject for me to capture.  I used the big lens because I was also hoping for birds.

This was really a trial and error proposition.  Focus somewhere close and hope for a big flake to come into the field of vision at the right distance.  Happily, digital is free!

It has taken a while, but now I've had visitors at my new suet feeder.  This is the first suet station that I have ever had.  I was hoping for woodpeckers or other colorful birds, but I got starlings today.  There was a large flock of them moving around the area.  At one point there were probably 150 of them in the front yard for a few seconds.  When they took off, I could hear the sounds of the wings even though I was inside.  Later there were some aerial acrobatics in the back yard - almost a murmuration but not quite as well orchestrated or attended.


BTW, I chose a fire for tonight.
Current Mood: contentcontent
02 January 2017 @ 04:00 pm
The end of 2016 was a bit weird but 2016 itself was a GREAT year for me personally (although I worry a lot about the fallout of the election).  The phrase "at sixes and sevens" is defined as "in a state of total confusion or disarray."  My last week wasn't that bad at all, just not what I had been imagining for a full week off of work.  I was looking forward to a week of being a bum and recharging for 2017.

But first: this year has been GREAT! Absolutely NO COMPLAINTS.  At this time last year I was still in my seemingly endless task of looking for interesting jobs in Oregon, sending resumes with personalized cover letters and not hearing back.  KT had just left to move to Charlotte and I was feeling a bit sorry for myself since I still had no escape route from Modesto.  I hated my boss!!  I sent out my resume to Genentech on Leap Day, 2/29/2016.  On 3/8, I was asked to find a time for a phone interview and it happened on 3/15.  And another one on 3/16.  By 3/21 we were scheduling an interview trip to Hillsboro and it took place on 4/7.  (I broke my wrist on 4/6 but that didn't slow me down.)  It was then a while of scary worrying until I had a final offer in hand on 5/7.  I joyfully quit job my on 5/20 (best day EVER with my boss) and on 6/5 I saw the apartment in which the girls and I would live for a couple of months.
On 6/6 I first visited the Oregon house in which I now live although I didn't buy it then.    On 6/12 I was back in Modesto when I learned that other offers had been made on "my" house but I wasn't in a position to respond so I figured it wasn't meant to be.  The movers from hell came on 6/13 (and stayed for days and days).  We said good-bye to Modesto and hello to Oregon on 6/16.  On 6/20 I had my first day of work in South San Francisco and came back to Portland to have my first two days of sick leave on 6/21.  But I got better.

On 6/25 I went out house hunting again and my house had waited for me to come buy it. I wrote up an offer that day.  By 6/29 we had a signed final contract.  On 7/24 the girls and I had our first beach run in many years and it was the culmination of 2.5 years of trying to get back to Oregon.  The house appraisal took longer than expected, but we closed on 8/9.  Beach run #2 was on 8/13.  Movers delivered my stuff on 8/17 and we were officially at home in Oregon.  On 9/15 I got my Oregon drivers license and plates and my neighbor started the fence construction.  On 9/24 we went to our first agility trial since returning.  On 10/12 the agility arena was rototilled and I spread #50 of grass seed on 10/18.  On 10/19, the rains started!  Crater Lake was full of fog on 10/26 as we got to explore Southern Oregon a bit.  The fence is done except for a bit of work on the gate.  And now it is the New Year of 2017.  What a fantastical year for me and the girls.

Light whining under here.Collapse )

Happy 2017!
Current Mood: jubilantjubilant
26 December 2016 @ 05:15 pm
I went over to Fernhill for a bit yesterday with the big lens for another bird stroll.  Once again the birds were fairly far away even with my big lens.  It was cold and pretty and cloudy and sunny.  I had fun.

I had a very nice weekend, in large part courtesy of ozdobe.  I had sent her a message to see if she wanted to join me for my traditional Christmas Eve Chinese dinner on Saturday.  She invited me to a brunch on Saturday and a dinner on Sunday.  So much eating that I thought that those would take the place of Chinese, but we did that, too.  Instead of eating out, she brought "kari out" food over and we ate in front of my fireplace Saturday night and played Scrabble.  She's one tough Scrabble foe, although I managed to win one game.  Today I've been a happy bum and edited yesterday's photos.  And now I've got another fire going.  Because it makes me happy and warm.

Christmas Birds at FernhillCollapse )

The ends
Current Mood: relaxedrelaxed
21 December 2016 @ 10:00 pm
It's been winter for just less than a day now.  I will appreciate that extra second of sunlight tomorrow.  Things will be looking brighter soon but tonight was scattered fog, which is cool in its own way.

We moved into desks into the main building about two weeks ago.   This was 5 pm tonight.

This was the scene a couple of nights ago.  I just edited this photo with Z's head resting on my forearm.

Travel news!Collapse )
Current Mood: excitedexcited