November 26, 2012

its all moving at a furious pace......

The days have been moving so very quickly since September around here!! This is not the post I had intended, I  have one all written but it is still waiting for its videos....

The days have flown by consumed with work, kids, dogs, dog training, house cleaning (notice that one is last :-)  Trials on the weekends, hurricanes, nor'easterns, no heat, lots of moving of wood and tree limbs, helping my husband pump out houses that flooded...it was a family effort.

Showing started well for Surf and I. He is happier and faster this fall than any other time we have shown. We are 3 legs away from our MXJ and lots away in STD. We have 4 double Q's and almost 200 points. I was hoping to have our 6 dbl Q's for Nationals, not that we were going, not that we would have enough points.... I just wanted to have a goal to work towards. We went back to trialing inside the weekend before Thanksgiving. It is my clubs big trial of the year. Three days, Rayce gets to take off from school, we take the camper and have a girls weekend. It is fun but exhausting. We even went to dinner with the judges this year (very fun). Not a good weekend for Q's though. It's not his favorite place. The end ring is haunted with bogey men and judges that might eat you, at least there was on Friday. He gave me our first Ex A FAST Q with a 1st place. Who would have thought!!! The class I was so very positive was just a shake down not even remotely a possibility of Q'ing. He never works that far away from me (unless it is an off course jump on JWW ;-) It was a weekend of shutting down, rebounding from shutting down, slow but working, just one thing wrong in STD, one broken start line stay, two missed dog walk contacts, handler errors, and one Q per day.

My daughter Rayce had the most talked about run of the weekend!! Most people missed it since it was T2B the very last class on Sat night and it was running late. She was running Blast again. Our friend Sue Bankauf's mostly retired 11.5 y/o BC that is not wired right ;-) You have to see it to really appreciate it....so glad I got it all on video!! Just so you know ahead of time everyone was fine...no bumps or bruises on either one but WOW! Wait till the slow motion at the end...


She came out of the ring and the first thing I said was, "High 5 you didn't knock one bar!!" She look a little dazed but perked up at the positive reinforcement. Then we all gather around to watch the replay, that's when she started to get teary eyed. I think it was finally starting to sink in and she was sure everyone was laughing at her. We quickly convinced her that was not the case. It was so great to hear every one clapping for her when she continued on. Watching it frame by frame was also really informative. You can see Blast start to tuck his front legs and dip his head getting read to grab the end of the teeter then he looks back up at her and realizes where she is going....he tucks his head back down and rolls his shoulder forward but doesn't grab the end of the teeter. He knew what was going to happen and knew he couldn't stop so he just tucked and went with it. Cool dog, bad dog, fresh dog eating it any way the second time through!!

We knew it was a problem. It's his thing... that's why we pick T2B there usually isn't a teeter. Not this time, not once but twice! She was so worried she was making herself sick before the run. Worst mother ever, I put her there in front of the teeter. It was my suggestion. It usually works for them. Upon review...she was late getting there and that is when it all went wrong. Still, so very proud of her, the way she handled herself, the dog, the course. So very glad we had a seasoned judge in the ring lol! Chris Dewey took it all in stride and was so very generous towards Rayce. She is now my favorite judge of all time!! I took a lot of ribbing from the other moms ringside. They all almost had heart attacks  (my instructor Jeri is the one you see run into the ring) but all they could hear was me yell "MOVE ON".... Well, that is our plan. When the run goes bad just move on.....

September 20, 2012

Wings, A Voice, and a Birthday!

      I read another very insightful post by the wise and sage Milagro Girl (actually there were two but I will get to that).
I have spoken on this topic before (see Epic failures on many fronts post last February). I feel that I have a hard time connecting with others. I do not have close friends. I very definitely do not have close girl friends. Why? I have never been really sure of that answer but it has haunted me for quite some time.
Earlier this year I saw a quote about not making less of yourself and I had it on my quote of the day for awhile. Then I read the post and it was like reading something I could have written (except she said it so much better). I make less of myself in order to make others feel better about themselves. I redirect to you and make sure you are center stage. I play dumb by asking questions that I may know the answer to. If I really value your input then I take it to a whole new level. I work to become your helper. I defer and scrape and gravel to just be included so I can learn from you. In doing this I leave nothing of myself with you. Most descriptions I have heard are, I am sweet, nice, kind. Those are not bad words by a long shot and a good place to start but I am more than that. By being the wall flower, shrinking, hiding, I do the other person no good and I come away feeling less of myself and disconnected.

I can be loud.

September 13, 2012

A weekend of Firsts.......

Wow, it was an amazing weekend in more that one way!

My daughter (who just turned 9) ran in her first official trial this weekend. I was so excited for her!!! She has been working with a friends mostly retired border collie for awhile in the Jr. Handler class I teach. She has come such a long way in her ability to think on her feet and really "handle" Blast around a course. Blast is not an easy BC to run, at 11 1/2 he still lives only for the game. His only reinforcement is the next obstacle and in his world it is very fun to eat the teeter vs. stopping at the end of it. Blast has no self preservation and is still very very fast!
They entered our local club's CPE trial. I did not enter as I had a seminar planned, so it was all about her! I also had another one of my Jr handler students running for the very first time. SO SO SO cool to be there for them both in a supporting role only! Rayce didn't Q in any classes the first day but she was very close and did brilliantly. She did get a 1st and 2nd placement though, since CPE gives placements regardless of Q's. (Can't say I was a fan of that before ;-) but it meant the world to her to be able to leave that day with something in hand.)
Now came the hard part.....

September 4, 2012

Agility Blog day……….What makes a good instructor?


L I S T E N
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Every person communicates differently. You can’t help or make a difference if you don’t listen.


Be Willing to think outside the box
Every team is unique and should be treated as such.



Be a clear communicator
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Let your directions be clear and your reinforcement be even clearer!

A good instructor can’t just have a fast dog or dogs. They must have a solid understanding  AND be able to communicate the how and why in a manner that makes sense to the student.



ABOVE ALL

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They should make it fun!!

July 30, 2012

Summer Dreaming… of A frames?


I don’t have an A fame in the back yard, I wish I did, I also wish I had enough room in the yard for an A frame. I just know Surf’s A frame would be awesome if we had one to work on.
So I keep having these dreams of borrowing, building, trading, for an A frame. There are weird negotiations, strange cars, walking home trying to carry one all by myself.
Then come the dreams of training it. 
Before Surf even came I had a foundation training program in place. As soon as I met him I knew we were going to need to have a 2 on 2 off contact behavior. His legs are so very long it would be necessary to keep him from completely missing the contact zone.
Problem: At this point if I give him his “bottom” command for the 2o2o position and he is smart enough to know he has to stop at the bottom and creeps down and into position. Since we are not setting any land speed records this is beginning to cost us dearly.
More problem: I have let up on demanding the “bottom” since it slows us. So I gently mention it but now we are starting to miss the contact. So far it has been on a course we have already NQ’d on so it may be because I am pushing for speed at that point that he is leaping.
I attempted to use an early release but that also leads to him leaping over the contact. Apparently my timing stinks and he still starts over the top slowly.
So now I dream of retraining it with a running contact. But do I……
I have found that if I don’t say anything he does an amazing running contact. I worry though, that since it is not a formal behavior that I have trained that it will deteriorate over time. But doesn’t any behavior? Our last training session not using a command.

In other news we are off from trialing until September. Lots of camping with the family. Which included lots of swinging and jumping into the water.
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That was supposed to be a front flip. The body was willing but the brain said otherwise!
I am in week 5 of the couch to 5k training. I haven’t run in three years and have herniated a disk during that time but I have been feeling good for a while and I think it is time to get back at it. I talked my husband into doing a triathlon with me in October. It is a run 3 miles kayak 2 miles and bike 5 miles. I don’t bike and my husband wouldn’t run to the mail box so we are doing it as a team.
As a practice we competed in the Manasquan canoe and kayak race a few weekends ago. You know what!?!?!? We won!! It was only a mile and there were 7 other boats in our division of adult tandems. I really didn’t think we would win but leave it to our ability to work together and we are both uber competitive Smile I learned we are not ready for two miles and I need more upper body work lol!
first kayak winmanasquan kayak race
It has been a busy summer so far but it is starting slip away. I really don’t want it to end….

July 8, 2012

Vacation and V I C T O R Y Victory Victory!


Wow what a month. The last few weeks have flown by so quickly I haven’t had time to catch up.
Summer vacation is finally here for me and the kids, Whoo hoo school is out! We hit the beach during the heat wave. So great to be back on the sand watching the dolphins pass by. RJ is attempting to learn how to skim board this year and Rayce wants to learn to body surf.
Surf and I are finally coming together as a team, I think. I am judging that based on the fact that we are starting to Q finally.
The first weekend in June we trialed under Dan Dege and got a little local taste of some international style courses. Not a lot of Q’s coming out of that ring but a lot of ohhhs and ahhhs. The first day I was happy we got all the hard stuff on his Standard course but NQ’d on the first obstacle, the chute. I was so mad at him that I pushed the rest of the course very aggressively. It was great except he did pop the weave poles when I pulled away from him (on purpose) mental note to work them in training again. Then a honest handling error in JWW but overall not unhappy with the day until I had my trainer and mentor say something hurtful in a moment of anger with her own run. At first I was really hurt but the more I thought about it, again the more mad I got. I came back on day 2 ready to prove her wrong. Double Q and my Ex A title in STD. I was stoked that we were able to Q on Dan’s JWW course and prove to myself that we can do this. Still not setting any world team times but we are starting to get it together and his focus continues to improve (FINALLY!). I can only seem to find day two tape but here it is.

I survived the last week of work with the usual flurry of last minute deadlines and meetings. Then ran off to three days of agility hosted by the club I belong to. We had such beautiful weather and a fabulous site. It was such a great weekend with friends and a great judge that had us all dancing along to the music during walk throughs. We went 5 out of 6 with our Ex A JWW title on Friday then our first Ex B Dbl Q on Sunday, only 19 more to go! We even made some good points at an average of 10 seconds under course time, unfortunately it is not enough to keep us in the ribbons in the Ex B 12” class.



Had a beautiful paddle this past Sunday with the family. The conditions were so perfect that we gave both kids time in the single kayak to get some practice. Rayce is definitely ready for her own soon. She was able to navigate around all the dead trees in the reservoir with out any trouble. RJ did really well also but we kept him in open water.

BUT the true victory for me was after having broke ground on the addition to our house 8 years ago I FINALLY got to paint the risers on our stairs. For two years I have had to listen to my husband give me excuse after ‘reason’ why I couldn’t do it. I just didn’t want to hear it any more and informed him I was painting and nothing was going to sway me. VICTORY the stairs are painted and they not only look good but they look no longer under construction (still need railings). He even broke down and complimented my painting skills. I better be careful or I will have to do a lot more painting around here than I really want to do Smile
So far this has been a month of me standing up for myself and gaining confidence for it! Loving the path we are on right now and hoping it continues! Now off to the airport to pick up my cousin and her son for a visit from Fla. Happy 4th of July!

June 6, 2012

Changes in attiTUDES....Agility Blog Action Day!!

Today is
AGILITY BLOG ACTION DAY!

The topic today is ATTITUDE

Read more and visit tons of dog agility blogs here


Wow, I had a hard time with this one. Such a broad and really undefined statement. One word to work with. How can I focus this? 

Attitudes in agility and how I feel they have changed:
I started agility over ten years ago. Holy smokes that sounds so long ago. When I got bit by the agility bug it was still pretty young in the North East. Not many trials around and they were mostly one ring. They closed out fast. The club I joined was small but so so friendly, helpful, and welcoming. They had formed an "agility only" club. How cool is that! Like minded people passionate about the same thing as me. I  started going to shows way before we were ready to enter the ring so I could learn. I would put up my brand new shiny E-Z up (next to the excellent ring of course!) pop up my fold out chair and before I knew it there would be a group of us all sitting around talking dogs, strategy, runs, clapping for great runs, clapping for great tries, clapping for epic failures. I heard stories of how the sport got started, stories about some of the handlers that were starting to make a name for themselves in our corner of the U.S., and so much about what I was seeing (or not seeing) on course. We all started bringing food to share so I now popped up a table to hold it all. I found the agility community to have this great attitude of open welcome and the highest of sportsmanship.


I then had my second child and took about four years off from agility. In my opinion, things have changed so much since I have returned. The sport has taken on this feeling from camaraderie and sportsmanship to just over the top competitive. It was a sea of many different breeds all joined in a common goal (them against the course) to a sea of border collies all against each other. From ringside analysis to help better ourselves to a "better than the Jones'" comparing with many negative comments heard (sometimes loudly) ringside.  From "my dog and I need more training" to "your (dog, kid, food, ring crew, show here last week, judge, etc.) ruined my Q." And since I am on my soap box....since when did people STOP picking up their dogs excrement!?!
Now in all honesty this is a generalization. There are always those few bad apples that can ruin the atmosphere or just your day at a show. Just this last weekend I had the complete opposite experience. We had Dan Dege in as one of the trial judges. He is a former USA world team coach and his Excellent standard course was of international caliber. Needless to say not a lot of Q's coming out of that ring but the atmosphere around that ring was AMAZING! The cheers, the groans, the encouragement it was so very electric and inspiring. It caused many of the Novice people to turn and look ;-) Then at the end of the day in Time 2 Beat my 8 year old daughter ran a friends very fast but mostly retired border collie. She has been letting us 'borrow' Blast for a while in the Jr. Handler class I teach, so Rayce has worked with him before. She was so excited and nervous but she did great! Not clean, a few bars and two wrong courses but not bad for her first time in the ring. The response to her run ring side was so generous and loud that Rayce kept looking around wondering if there was a MACH run they were cheering for lol and she just didn't get why they were cheering she didn't Q? As a mom, it brought tears to my eyes and made my heart swell again for my fellow agility competitors.

 

 More changes in AttiTUDES:
Which brings me to my next observation about attitudes. Kids and agility. Again way back when I started there were no families or very very few of them around and the attitude of 'most' of the female handlers of the time were not very kid friendly. There were many comments and down right nasty comments made to the few brave souls that dragged their young kids along so mom or mom and dad could enjoy their passion with their family. My daughter was at her first trial at the tender age of 4 weeks. I walked one of my courses while she breast fed with a blanket covering her. Now, there was the occasional teasing of double handling (grin) but there was also the nasty "that thing is leaving it's sent all over the course" to which I smiled and ignored them. Over time the presence of families and children at agility shows have continued to grow in the North East. Now, many handlers that do not have access to children to desensitize their dogs use ours. Our kids are working in the rings, they are meeting and greeting other adult handlers, and finding their own camaraderie with each other. Us parents of the agility latch key kids work hard to make sure that our kids are good ambassadors for kids in agility. Mine learned very early, you always ask before approaching a dog, you let the adult and dog pass first, you stay out of the way of practice jumps, you never hang or climb on the agility equipment, you don't run through a show site, there is no screaming around dogs, and you educate any other kid you see doing that. I make my self approachable by other handlers to let me know if they see something they think is inappropriate by my daughter. I don't allow the kids of other handlers to get away with making bad choices and you know what, all the kids tend to hang with us. They know I expect good behavior but that I will spend the time to talk with them, educate them about agility, and listen to what they have to say. Today it is not uncommon to see Girl Scout or Boy Scout troops working rings or a small group of kids hanging out together playing behind some tents.

AND that is a change in attitude that warms my heart since kids are the future of our sport. It will be our kids, raised on agility, that are the next generation of agility stars competing internationally and kicking this old lady's butt at Nationals!



May 24, 2012

Everyone needs a little help from their friends.....

Sublime
Sublime
Truly Utterly SUBLIME

My word for the week.
Print is just not doing it justice.
I like the way it feels in my mouth.
I like the way it sounds.

Is it really just sub=below, less than, with limes!?!? Did I spell it wrong? Limes that are less than themselves?

That can't be right. The word that rolls around in my mouth elicits a warm rush of feeling with pictures of warm white sand, gentle breezes, palm trees swaying, water lapping, eye dazzling light from a sun that warms you to your soul. (Oh and of course dogs running on that beach ;-)

sub·lime[suh-blahym] Show IPA adjective, noun, verb, sub·limed, sub·lim·ing.

adjective
1. elevated or lofty in thought, language, etc.: Paradise Lost is sublime poetry.
2. impressing the mind with a sense of grandeur or power; inspiring awe, veneration, etc.: Switzerland has sublime scenery. (anywhere tropical is sublime)
3. supreme or outstanding: a sublime dinner.
4. complete; absolute; utter: sublime stupidity.
5. Archaic .
a. of lofty bearing.

I went for a Hand & Stone massage the other day.......................

AHHHHHH so so SUBLIME

I have not been feeling well. It has been about two weeks now. Not fully sick but not right either. I have rashes popping up in odd places, headaches twice a day, stomach is off so not eating much, I think my hair is falling out. My neck and jaw feel like they have turned to stone.

I have strayed into a 'perfect' storm of circumstances that have led to a semi-deranged, stressed out, ball of illnesses that just won't GO AWAY person. But she is gone now. She was excised out by a guy named Ryan with hands the size of tennis rackets, full of muscles and hot, hot, river stones......(deep filling to my toes sigh...............) for 80 whole minutes.

just........SUBLIME.........


Mostly better now. I found the culprit of the rash. Wheat again. Crystal light stopped making the flavors that I like to drink in those little go packets (I drink 3-6 20oz bottles of water a day) so I just changed flavors. No big deal right. Wrong. ALWAYS ALWAYS read the label Kelly. Modified corn starch is tabu. Not sure what they modified it with but body said NO. Within two days of stopping rash all gone. Headaches gone. Jaw, still working on that. I think I am clenching but haven't gotten rid of the stress at work yet. Soon, only three weeks to go till school is out! ( I hate the crazy gene) 

I keep having this song run through my head. Especially after trying to excise the ghosts with Cafe Patron last weekend. (Yum in milk over ice, like drinking iced coffee with a kick!) but it is good to have friends to turn to when help is needed or just to drink with and vent to!




May 17, 2012

It is time.......

The proverbial spring cleaning. (See agility based info below)

I spent some time exploring the The Roots of She site today and one of the posts spoke to me so I am sharing here in case you also could use a little spring cleaning. Click here to find part one and the the full post. Below is the shortened version and what I took away from it. Thank you Jenn for sharing and putting this out there for me to find.


Ways to Begin the Work of Letting Go


  1. Commit to it. Declare that you are ready to start doing the work now, today, this moment.
  2. Write a letter to the person/fear/thought/feeling that you are letting go.
  3. Share how you are feeling. If it’s an old hurt or frustration you’re letting go of, talking to the other party involved can be incredibly healing (for both sides.) One important thing to remember with this: take care with your language. The intention for this is to let it go, not stir things up. Last week, I talked with someone I used to be good friends with and I know I fumbled at times, but in the end, it turned out well.
  4. Find your Power Symbol. Right now, I’m carrying around a picture of the Velveteen Rabbit to remind myself that I’m always and already real and whole. It’s something small and fun and silly, looking at it makes me smile.
  5. Practice stillness or meditate. Know that you are enough.
  6. Picture whatever it is you’re letting go of and breathe the mantra let go or release.
  7. Dig into the reasons why you’re holding onto things. Think about what holding onto those things gives you or what it doesn’t give you.
  8. Journal and free write using the prompt: Why am I holding on to this? The answers you come up with might be quiet and easy. For example, my fear of loved ones dying? It’s because my grandmother almost died last summer. (Not everything is going to be earth-shattering and profound, sometimes the Truths inside of you will be simple.)
  9. If you’re releasing a fear, thank it for staying with you as long as it did. Fear is a means of self-protection, letting it go is an act of bravery. Acknowledge it, thank it for staying to protect you, and let it know that you are safe, secure and ready to move forward without it.
  10. Daydream about all of the amazing things you want to bring into your life.
  11. Create a collage or vision board filled with the things you’re letting go of on one side and the word “goodbye” on the other.
  12. Be gentle with yourself and celebrate every single moment of letting go. You are revolutionizing your life.
  13. Say the words out loud to the things you put on your list: say goodbye, good riddance, peace outtie, catch you on the flip, au revoir, ciao, don’t let the door get you on the way out.
  14. If you’re ready to let go of physical items — books, clothes, furniture, CDs, DVDs, whatever — start two piles: One for trash and one for donations. Be ruthless and gleeful about what goes where.
  15. Hold a releasing ceremony. Write down all of the things that you are ready to let go of and the things that you’d like to let go of. Then burn those pages, toss them into a fire or just light them up. It’s a symbolic act, and there is so much power to be found in symbols.
  16. Take some space from the situation – unfollow or unfriend people, delete phone numbers if you need to. Give yourself some emotional space so you can begin to heal.
  17. Cry. Mourn the loss. Let your feelings come out, don’t stifle, bury, suppress or hide them. Tears are cathartic and allow physical and emotional release of what’s inside of you.
  18. Know that it is 100% ok to release whatever it is that you’re holding on to. Need a permission slip? We’ve got one big-ass permission slip right here waiting for you.

For me it brought to mind Fear. I live with fear daily. Not just mine but my husband's also. He is very fear driven and allows it to control his life daily. It is a constant struggle for me not to fall into his patterns. I have found that in the last year I am ready to move forward from fear. I no longer need it. Now don't go reading into that. I love my husband and his journey is his own. I hope that he will feel my changes and it will help him to make choices based on what he wants/needs vs. fear but as much as we are together, we still have our own paths to take.

Back to my fear. I refer to my fear on course. My fear, that what I ask of Surf will not be done so I babysit every obstacle, I wait making sure it is done before moving on. Therefore, I handle one obstacle at a time and that does not allow me to think three moves ahead. It is holding us back. It is time to let it go.

I want to run a course feeling free.....free of the fear. I want to be bold.....I want to be confident..... I want to front cross and sprint and feel excitement and joy in my heart........
I want to be connected with Surf. I want to see him at squirrel speed with a smile on his face and flowing along with me.  I want to trust.......him and me.

It is time.....

Time to begin the work of letting go. Time to clean house. Time to realize that the fear was a protection. Protection from what other people thought of me. I try so hard to please every one. You all must like me. I must be accepted. If I do well in the ring, then I will be accepted by other agility people. They will like me. Talk to me. Share with me. Silly silly little girl inside. How can a person so confident be so insecure also? I don't know but it is time she move on. Set the bags aside. Put down the luggage. Stop comparing herself to others. Time to let go.

I leave you with this parting quote from Mother Theresa. I think I will carry this with me for a while. I hope it will help the fear move on. Thank you fear you have done your job it is now time to go. Have a nice trip, don't let the door hit you on the way out..........

It was never between you and them.....

People are often unreasonable, irrational, and self-centered; forgive them anyway.
If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives: Be kind anyway.
What you spend years creating others could destroy overnight: Create anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, some may be jealous. Be happy anyway.
The good you do today, will often be forgotten. Do good anyway.
Give the best you have, and it may never be enough: Give your best anyway.
In the final analysis, it is between you and God: it was never between you and them anyway.


May 15, 2012

Running wide open......

Unfortunately, not in agility. Not this month any way. Way to many other things scheduled for this month and the one trial I was going to try and slip in I got closed out of.

So for the first weekend of the month, my daughter and I attended a Girl Scout weekend at Rocking Horse Ranch in NY. Wow, what an amazing place! We had such a fabulous time. The weather was perfect, the kids and moms (there was 500 moms and GS on sat) were great, the staff is just awesome, and the activities did not stop! I think it took me three days to be able to walk again and two to catch up on sleep!
Now, I grew up on a horse farm. I have ridden since I was about 8 years old. Competed till I was 17 in many different venues and in Dressage off and on into my thirties. Still, it has been a while and after getting in three one hour trail rides and then immediately driving for 2 hours home my muscles were not impressed!

This is Bandit. I liked all the horses I rode but I think he was my favorite. He was the fastest yet had a nice smooth canter.

The bungee jump was a close second to the horse back riding! I had a blast doing flips! What a great cardio work out. I need one of these in the back yard!


I did not conquer the rock wall but my daughter Rayce sure did! She was so proud that she was able to ring the bell at the top.



There was so much more. Indoor pool and slide, outdoor pool, indoor bouncy houses, bon fires, dancing, a super moon (I will have to add that one later) game shows, archery and shooting range, peddle boats, kayaks, and a mini zoo. There were more activities that we just could not fit in....

This past weekend I got to spend with my boys :-) My husband and my 6 y/o son go BMX bike racing together on the weekends while Rayce and I play at agility. This past weekend was a big three day racing event and RJ did great! He didn't qualify for the main on Friday but that must have lit a fire in him because he came back to win the State qualifier on Sat, then gave me a great Mother's day by winning the Redline Cup race on Sunday! He is only in the 6 y/o novice group but he did awesome! So proud of him!

He is the one in the middle #71.
Look out coming through!! Now that is a man on a mission! This is the Sunday race. Thanks to Rich Megill for the great picture!
Also Rich was gracious enough to give me a photography lesson on Friday and I was finally able to learn how to get off of 'auto' settings!! THEN he let me borrow his really BIG and fancy telephoto lens to take great pictures with. It was so heavy I had to use the mono pod with it but what fun fun fun! Again I will have to add those at a later date, as I have not had time to even look at them yet.

Wow what a busy month already and it is only half over. Next weekend is more BMX and a birthday party and hopefully get some of my house clean! Then we are off camping for Memorial Day weekend.

Oh, and I have moved on to the next book in my piano lessons. They are getting harder. I am now finally attempting to have my two hands doing something different at the same time! Not easy reading two lines of music at the same time AND remember what the all the notes are...but it sure is fun when it starts to sound like something! My teacher always does a piece of popular music over the summer and gets rid of our books, so I have been informed. I have set the lofty goal of trying to learn a song by Adele. I'll keep you posted on how that goes!

And of course there is agility training, training, training. I'm loving how our practice is coming along. He is so much more focused during training than he is during trials so I am finally able to work on my mediocre handling skills. I feel like we are finally starting to have that 'break through' and I am working hard at being able to better analyze a course with actual rationals for my handling choices vs. it feels right. There has also been alot of discussion lately on the agility papillon email list about focus in paps. It seems the consensus is that they are late bloomers. They don't start to 'turn on' and get great focus until 2.5- 3 years old. It is a theory anyway. One that gives me hope that we will be able to move the brilliance I see in practice to the agility field!

Have a blessed week all!

May 7, 2012

Celebration of a Birthday & a life........

I wanted to write about my fabulous weekend with the Girl Scouts. I wanted to write about my amazing lesson. I wanted to share pictures of me doing flips on the bungee jump......

But instead I need to dedicate this space to the birthday of an amazing man, friend, father, brother, son, race car driver.... I was so blessed to have known you, to have learned from you, to have basked in your joy for life, to join in your family, and have been called your friend. Happy 40th big guy! We all still miss you everyday and think of you always.

James Lowell Willis

JAMES LOWELL WILLIS
FORMERLY OF RED BANK
Jim Willis, died suddenly of an unknown cause on Thursday, May 6, 2010. Jim was born on May 7, 1972 in Red Bank, NJ. He grew up in Red Bank and Little Silver, NJ surrounded by extended family. He loved going to the beach, playing football and pulling pranks with his friends.

April 26, 2012

Moving On.............



Loving that song, anthem of the week for me. I told you I don't wallow that long. I just worry that I am using this space to vent just a little to much, but that is who I am at this time. I am very very hard on myself but that does allow me to be very introspective and to move forward in change.

I did a drop in on a lesson yesterday with someone I have never trained with. I have know her a long time but never worked with her. I had a great time and learned alot and was sent home with some great homework, which always helps me to feel more productive and proactive. I think I may visit again soon.

I also found this great post that I would like to share with  those of you

April 24, 2012

I sat in the bathtub and ate egg drop soup......

I soaked and ate and listened to Mozart. I tried to relax and objectively analyze the weekend. I should be happy we double Q'd on sat. Our first ever (even though it doesn't count yet.)
And I was......till Sunday.
Then I watched the video.....in the tub to Mozart.
Then I sat watching steam gently curl around and away from me just listening to the music. Trying to focus on the piano only. I closed my eyes and focused on the piano. I visualized actually trying to play it.

Finally, all was quiet and I could start to listen for that authentic voice that I want to hear from. Then I asked the questions, but are they the right questions. Which voice are those questions for?

I struggle to adjust my thinking as I struggle to adjust running a faster dog. Old habits are very hard to break....

I stare at the reflections of the water on the ceiling,

April 18, 2012

Neglected……..

I’m sorry…I feel like I have neglected my little slice of space here.
Between my spring break vacation with my family and my all consuming trip to Panem, I have neglected those of you willing to stop by just to visit with me.
First, our trip to Cherry Stone Campground on the Chesapeake Bay, VA
IMG_0360IMG_0366IMG_0370IMG_0384IMG_0400IMG_0402IMG_0404My two with cousin Emily.
We had a large family gathering with my husband’s Virginia cousins coming up to meet us. It was our family, his younger brother and his family in their camper, his parents in their camper with an aunt and uncle bunking with them, and his cousin Elizabeth with her family. It had been way to long since we have all been together. The weather turned on Wed to cold and windy but there was a lot of fun and laughter still to be had!
IMG_0488Our first attempt at the timer!IMG_0489IMG_0491IMG_0499IMG_0514IMG_0523
Beautiful sunset every night!
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I finally got to have some real fun with my camera and I had such a great time laughing and sharing and just loving being with family!
I picked up a book on a whim for the trip down. I had no initial interest in the book, never even heard of it before the movie came out but it was on sale and I had heard everyone rave about it so thought what the heck. I haven’t read a book in less than 24 hours in a very long time. I started it on the long drive to VA but kept getting interrupted.  It was finished by Tuesday night and I was itching to read the next book, but no internet connection at the campground. My sister-in-law was reading the second book but she was only half way through it. I kept coveting it, trying to will her to read faster so I could borrow it!! No luck, so I waited till Saturday to down load the second book to my ipad. I finished that book by Monday and just finished the third book today. I think I would have finished it sooner but I had to sleep and go to work Smile which was very frustrating! I can’t say they were the best books I’ve ever read but I just couldn’t imagine what was going to happen next to Katniss and I just needed to find out as quickly as possible. I still think she was a little dense when it came to relationships, which made me start making grumbling noises towards the end of the first book. My husband kept laughing at me.  I have to admit I was very surprised at how quickly I was pulled into the Hunger Games Trilogy and am actually curious to see the movie.
Well back to the real world again, I feel like I am waking up from a long sleep in a land that now invades my dreams. Also back to agility, YAY! AKC trial outside this weekend but it is supposed to rain, fingers crossed it will hold off. Hope you enjoyed the pictures and that all is well with you.

April 6, 2012

Hope 'Springs' eternal.......

Well I survived two consecutive weekends of agility. Well not exactly, I didn't 'survive' them, I thoroughly enjoyed them! One weekend was spent indoors at Dream Park and we finally got the monkey off our back! Our final Q we needed for our Open FAST title, we now are in Excellent in everything. Well, would be if I moved us up :-) I really don't think we are ready to move to Excellent in FAST. The Q felt like a fluke, in fact, I was so shocked that he got the send bonus I temporarily forgot where we were and what the plan was! I was to busy partying with him for doing such a good job! I quickly recalled myself and headed to the corner with the most points I could remember and then promptly told him "come on we gotta get out of here!!!" We still managed to hit all the important stuff and finish under time! Wow, I was so amazed! Of, course it is the one run I didn't tape... I truly thought we would never, ever get the send.

March 23, 2012

Throw your soul through every open door…with video!

Throw your soul through every open door,
count your blessing to find what you look for.
Turn your sorrow into blessed gold,

Adelle: Rolling in the Deep


So this week has been all about learning. I have delved into learning more about myself and trying to listen more to my authentic self. Yes, I have that little voice inside my head but it can be insecure, worried, and some times down right mean. I know there is a more authentic voice that needs to come from my heart instead. So I was in the library and stumbled upon this book, “Stop saying, I’m Fine.” (I fell from a horse once and spent half an hour saying repeatedly, “I’m ok” and don’t remember any of it. (explains a lot Winking smile))  So I thought it would be a good place to start.

Then Surf and I worked the last three weeks on

March 16, 2012

New toys are fun!

The new laptop finally arrived! Wow the screen is huge and the pictures look fabulous. A bit of a learning curve while I figure out Windows 7 and some of the software.
In fact I am writing this via Windows Live Writer (hehe). So this blog is all about learning new skills. Below you will find some pictures for your entertainment and my learning Smile enjoy and all feedback is welcome. Still working on the video thing.
See he can run fastSee he can run fast!
IMG_0402IMG_0405None of these photos have been altered.
IMG00051-20110508-1330IMG00052-20110508-1332

rjinreeds
I love this picture of RJ and I didn't even doctor it at all!












Today I am thankful for the ability to continue to learn new information! Now on to learning Photo Shop and video editing....