Saturday, October 13, 2007

Reverse Dominoes

Remember the child's game - the black wooden blocks with various numbers of white dots on each side? You matched up the same number dots with another domino and continued until no more moves were possible. Well, if you stood dominoes end up in a line and push the end one over, the whole line falls in succession as each topples onto its neighbor. Fancy lines of dominoes can be made where one falls on two and sets off a double line of toppling pieces.

My last post was all about Thursday. Thursday was "go get it" day. The hay was bought, the alfalfa and grain were bought, two sheep had been processed and quartered. Friday morning started out bright and early. By 2:00 pm I needed to start the setup for the agility trial. To do that, the sheep needed to be fed. None of the hay or grain was unloaded - so to feed the sheep I had to unload the bags of feed from the truck. Well, the trailer was still attached to the truck, so I couldn't get to the rear to unload the bags of feed. The trailer first needed to be unhitched. Rain was forecast, and the trailer isn't water tight, so the hay needed to come out before the trailer was unhitched.

Reverse dominoes - in order to feed the sheep, the truck has to be unloaded, to unload the truck, the trailer has to come off, to take the trailer off, the hay has to come out. Soooooo, position the trailer, unload the 18 bales - near 1 ton of hay - park and unhitch the trailer, back the truck up to the garage again, unload the 2200 lbs of feed, finally, put feed in the garbage cans and feed the sheep! Sheep are happy. Shepherd is bushed... but not done.

Now the pelts need to be spread out so they can cure/dry, and the "sheep-in-a-box" need to be cut up. It isn't too difficult to cut up a quartered sheep, but it does take time. The legs were boned, much of the loin boned, ribs cut up, shoulder boned and put in freezer bags. Darn it! Out of freezer bags and out of time! The second sheep-in-a-box gets frozen in quarters.

Loading the truck and setup for the agility trial took the rest of the day, including picking up one of the judges at the airport. The agility trials went well - very busy, and I even got to run my own dog, Clifford. He finished his Open Agility title and qualified 2 times for another title. :-) Clifford is shown below bursting out of the "closed tunnel" obstacle. The agility trials were 2 days of constant motion. Building courses, working the rings, fixing spaghetti, seeing to unending details, and running Clifford in 6 classes!

Monday found us not resting but packing up to drive to Hillsboro, Oregon, one of the Portland suburbs. The Labrador Retriever Club, Inc. held its 2007 National Specialty there. The events included a Hunt Test, Tracking Test, 2 Agility Trials, Rally Trials, Obedience Trials, Sweepstakes and Conformation show. Dave and I were the Agility judges for this year and we had a BLAST! I've had Labradors since 1971, and it was a real treat to judge all Labs in the agility trials. The forecast rain and wind mostly bypassed us and the weather was remarkably pleasant. People enjoyed the courses, and I got to watch the show on Thursday and Friday, finally some time to sit and rest my feet!

I got home to the usual status note from the farm sitter. Among the news of everything going well was an aside saying that she really didn't appreciate opening the garage door to see the ram's head looking at her. ... hmmmmm, guess I didn't quite get to taking it "out back" to get defleshed.

Looking forward to more relaxing time coming in the next several weeks!
- Franna


Kathy L. said...

It sounds to me like you need to schedule a trip to a spa in there for some TLC, Franna. (LOL)

Where DO you find the energry?

Michelle at Boulderneigh said...

Uh, yeah, I would say unexpectedly finding a decapitated ram's head looking at me in the darkness an unpleasant surprise.... ;-)

Glad to hear you're taking it easy and enjoying retirement! hee hee.....

Did you get my latest email with some questions about Val?

Franna said...

The spa! Now there's an idea. Sitting in steamy water until my skin gets pruney. I can get the same effect working with wet sheepies all morning... steamy rumen breath and wet, pruney hands. heh....
We moved the ram head to the "back 40" - now all the farm sitter has to worry about is getting chased by the tom turkey. It's always interesting here but at least we don't have to worry (much) about hanta virus!
I hope Kathy, Tina and John have a great visit! We can hear all about it at the NW Shetland gathering in a couple weeks. :-)
- Franna