Sunday, May 25, 2008

On A Lighter Note....

Yesterday, my son kept bugging me to go to Wal Mart. Why?? I don't know. He didn't have any money to spend, just wanted to get out of the house, away from the property for awhile I reckon. Cant blame him. So we went fishing down at the pond. We didn't catch anything, ( I didn't think we would, wrong time of the day to go, but in doing so, it got him quiet so...) What we did see however was an otter! Swimming and fishing in the pond! How cool is that! We're from out west. You just don't see otters out west. (unless its in the zoo) Oh, out west we see beavers and muskrats, and various other little creatures that frequent the pond. In one place we lived in Roosevelt Utah, we even had a bear and a mountain lion frequent our pond and saw sign of them often for a whole summer. We saw wild wolves pass through the property on occasion, and many elk, deer, and birds of prey that hunted the Fields when we cut hay. But no otters. So it was pretty neat to watch the little fella? zip and dive and swim around. Eventually, he? tired of putting on a show for us, and scooted under some bushes that were growing in the waters edge, and disappeared. We were mesmerized, captivated. It was just darned neat to see.
Though the fisher woman in me wonders what he? and perhaps his little family (if there is one) are doing to the fish population in my fav fishing hole.
I finally got the book Id ordered last week. I tried to read some of it Friday night, but woke up Saturday morning with it laying on my chest, and still had my reading glasses on.
So last night I cracked it open again and started to have an interesting read. So far, so good, I'm enjoying it, and think it was worth the money to order it. Its called "Top Trainers Talk About Starting A SheepDog" I am surprised at the non conventional ways of the top trainers, and how they are going about training their young dogs. Conventional, in that its not the same way they will take you and "Your" dog out when you pay them for a training session. Conventional, in that they don't put a whole lot of obedience on their dogs until much later in the training process, where as I have been to a number of trainers, and they preach obedience for your dog. But, I haven't finished the book yet, so I will hold my views until Ive finished reading and digesting it. As it is, Ive only gotten through a few interviews so far.
My dog bit hand is healing nicely. I have kept it wrapped and medicated, and it seems to be healing much faster than bites I have had in the past. I'm glad about that. I use my hands daily, and having a crippled one, makes things difficult.
I got my new clippers yesterday. cant wait to try them out. I love my new smock too! Its very professional looking, and has a heavy duty zipper that I'm sure will hold up much better than my last one. Just goes to show ya get what ya pay for.
I made the decision the other day when I took off work to do a little soul searching about my career, that from now on, I'm only taking in nice dogs for grooming. No more Dundee for this gal. I'm not getting any younger, and fighting dogs throughout the day is not my idea of fun. I enjoy my job, and intend to continue to do so. When I was young and hungry and had 2 kids to support all on my own, Id groom anything, just to make a buck. It snowballed, and just turned into habit, rather than a conscious decision, so its time I slowed down and took stock in what I'm doing. I am also going to trim my card file down, and start ejecting those dogs that have been a problem to groom despite my trying to work with them over the past couple of years. This has been a difficult decision for me, and it will be even more difficult to tell some clients that I no longer am willing to groom their dogs for them. Worst part is, that I really don't have any suggestions as to where they can take those dogs. I wouldn't wish some of them on anyone, friend or foe. But if I want to continue in this trade for another 20 years, and I do, I have to start being more selective in what I'm grooming.

Fuel Prices Suck!

Well, it is Sunday morning, and by all rights I should be at a Sheep Dog Trial in Lawndale, NC.

As it is, I am at home, fuming, because at 4.75 a gallon, I had to make the decision not to go because of the cost of fuel and the amount of money it would cost for fuel alone, not to mention, the added cost of food, and I know Id have to have bought some thing, a souvenir of the day.
I really dislike something such as the rising price of fuel dictating where I can and cant go. It ticks me off to realize that I have to limit myself and prioritize even a trip to the store just to try to stay within budget. A trip to Lawndale would have cost me in fuel alone, around 200.00 dollars. I'm not rich, and had to decide that 200.oo dollars could be spent better in say groceries, or some thing that we "need" rather than for some thing I "want".
I am very disappointed and am getting, quite frankly, SICK OF THE RISING FUEL PRICES!
Every day, they seem to go up. And not by a few cents here and a few cents there, no! They jerk them up 10 to 20 cents a week!
Complain!!?? I do! But who can you complain to where its going to do any good??!! We're all complaining, but is it getting us anywhere? NO.
So ya suck it up, prioritize, cry in your beer, whine to your friends, and make that next trip to town count, and hope you don't forget some thing while your there, cause if you do, you'll just have to do without till your list gets long enough to rectify another trip to town.
I just spent 92.00 dollars at the grocery store yesterday, and hardly got anything! What is happening to this country!!
Are gone the days of family outings and picnics? Recreation, exploration? Is this going to get better? Humph! I find it hard to be positive at this point.
Am I ranting like a spoiled child today cause I'm not getting my way, not getting to go do what I want to do?? You bet your ass I am!
I don't have any grandiose ambitions to take a road trip around the world, or go on a vacation to another state, I simply wanted to go to a dog trial that's a couple of hours from home.
Not to much to ask Id think. Ive worked hard all week, and now its time for a bit of R&R.
Do it at home you say??!! HA! Theres to much work to do around here!
Work! Work! Work! This fuel shortage is turning us all into a bunch of drones! Go to work, come home and work some more! And if ya don't have enough work to keep ya busy at home, the other alternative is just as bleak. Sit on your ass and watch TV! I think not, not for this gal.
Time to go saddle the horses. I may not make it to the sheep dog trial, but at least I can go some where!

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


In the twenty five years that Ive been grooming, training and handling dogs on a daily basis for my living, I can count the number of bad bites Ive been on the receiving end of on one hand and still have a couple of fingers left over.
Well, I almost lost those fingers (along with the rest of the hand) yesterday, courtesy of an Old English Sheep dog mix.
Years ago, many years ago, an old friend that use to groom with me for many years, dubbed me Darci Dundee, for my penchant for happily handling the wildest and meanest dogs. The ones no other groomer would touch. Some body had to groom them didn't they??
This dog was a matted pelt. It hadn't been groomed for over a year, and I had already gotten the coat shaved off, and everything else done, save for the nails. The dog had been extremely well behaved throughout the entire groom. Until I clipped that first toe nail.
Now I can read dogs better than most, but this dog didn't twitch. Didn't give any warning. Just nailed me fast and hard. He really meant it.
The most damage was done by the back molars if that gives you any indication of how far in his mouth he had my hand.
He didn't want to let go of my hand either! I had to thump him on the head to get my hand back, and when he let go of my hand, he immediately snapped at my face. The fight was on. Thank God for fast reactions on my part, or I'm sure Id be looking a little less attractive without a nose and lips on my face today. When I jumped back away from the Alpo breath, saving my face, and started to examine my hand, he promptly sat back down on the grooming table and proceeded to sit there starting at me, growling and showing me his pearly whites. And I don't think he was smiling. Though....maybe?
Damn, that hurt. Had me shaking for a few minuets. Hell of an adrenaline rush!
Funny thing about a dog. You show them their collar and leash and ask them if they want to go and wham! Instant good doggie.
I put his collar and leash back on him and took him off my grooming table and promptly put a muzzle on him and finished him straight through. I didn't want to have to put him back in the crate, cause I knew I may not get him back out. Not so sure however whether it would have been my idea or his, and wasn't willing to test any theories.
Ive fallen off this horse before, and climbed back on. But I'm starting to think that Dundee is done.
Not grooming, just being a lot more selective about the clientele I take on. After all, I'm not getting any younger. (or faster, and that was a close one)
Today, it was a cat that tried to get the best of me. I don't do many cats, as I am allergic to their saliva and have really bad reactions to cat bites. Puts me out of work for weeks and the physical therapy sucks! But I had acquiesced to doing this cat for this sweet little old lady, because she said it was a finished champion show Hymie and that it loved being groomed, but that she had tried to cut a mat out of it several weeks ago and ended up at the vets having stitches put in the cat, and was afraid to try to get any more mats out and would I please shave them out for her.
It had to have been one of the nastiest little fluff balls Ive ever met!
Needless to say, Dundee got the job done, complete with a bath and blow dry, but again, I really need to re-think things. By the time I was finished with the cat, my nerves were pretty raw. Not a good frame of mind to be in when you have 5 more little fur babies waiting their turn.
Everyone went home later than planned today, as I just had to slow down, take my time and remember to enjoy my job. Its no fun for a dog to have to deal with a grumpy groomer, (especially when its not their fault) and they will pick up on your vibes and become little turds to handle too, if ya go at them in a bad mood, and God forbid you act or feel the least bit intimidated by them, they'll pick up on that too, and become difficult. So I took a deep breath, sucked it up and went outside and had not one, but two cigarette's and a coke. When I came back in, I was very happy to see my tail wagging buddies eagerly awaiting my return, and we all had a good day.
One however, I was glad of when it was over. Groomer burn out is a big thing in the grooming world. It has claimed a many a friend and talented groomers.
So I have wiped my books clean for tomorrow, and am taking the day off. Going to do a bit of soul searching and see where I end up.
I wish folks would just be honest about their dogs, and tell me if there is going to be a problem. Id still have groomed the dog had the owner told me it was vicious about having its nails done, Id have just muzzled it to start with.

Monday, May 19, 2008

A Nice Day In Spite Of.....

Well, I made it over to my friends house yesterday. The camaraderie was great, it was a beautiful day to spend out doors, ( my sun burned face can attest to that) and all in all, I think we all had a good time. I just wished Id have brought some one Else's dogs!
All 3 that I brought, really had some issues that need to be addressed before we go harassing anyone Else's sheep.
Roy, I think is just a stock dog flunky. I feel that the vaccination damage has really made him way to hyper sensitive, so much so, that he just stays so worried about everything, that he cant keep it together. Despite this, he is a wonderful and polite dog to be around, and has his manners all in the right place. He will make a wonderful "pet" but useless as a stock dog.
I really don't know what had come over Stella. She did good, after she got her head together. But it was almost like a horse, she should have been lunged before she was ridden. In her defence, she really needs pretty dogged sheep, (knee knockers) at this stage of her training to give her a little more confidence, but she is a smart pup, and I think she'll come around just fine in her due time.
Chris now, she is a whole nother story. I was so ashamed of her little land shark behavior. She had several of the sheep showing blood, before my friend Julie took her in hand and gave her a good lesson in using her brain. Chris is a very reactive little dog, and as much as she aims to please, she kinda looses her mind when she gets into the "kill zone". Mind you, the sheep gave her what was her due, and she was the one that in the end came out of the round pen limping and bloody. She had dove under the sheep and through their legs, rather than to pick them up off the fence, and got stomped but good for it. She also ended up biting her tongue pretty good, which bled a good bit. Outside of a bit of a limp today, she seems fine, so no worse for the wear. I wonder/worry about the poor sheep though.
I have called a neighbor today who has lots more sheep than I do and arranged to do some packed pen work, as Julie and I concur that this little issue seems to stem from fear. I have every confidence that with help, Chris will work this out and continue on with her training just fine and hopefully she and I will be trialing by fall.
I brought my burdizzo (look it up!) so that Julie could try it out on a couple of her ram lambs. I thought my lambs were big last week when I had to pick them up, but hers, the same age as mine, are definitely bigger and stronger! It was all I could do to hold the one I held for her once she got down to business with the burdizzo.
Another friend Laura was there with her little crew. ( us gals and our dogs! ) Its so nice to see that she is starting to live again, and enjoy life. We both have had man issues and can so relate to each other, and its always good to have another woman you can complain about your man to and they understand.
After I got home, I took my Lexy girl out and gave her a break from the pups and let her work the sheep for a bit. It was very refreshing after the catastrophes of the day with the younger less experienced/less trained dogs. Though in their defence again, it is my lack of daily work/and training, that they suffer from the most. So, I had to take a long look at my training program, or lack of actually having one in place, and really commit to stopping this hit and miss, do it every now and then way of doing things, and start to make a real effort to get these dogs back on track.
Vacations over, time to buckle down. I actually had to promise my friend I wouldn't bring Chris back to her place ever again, till she leaned how to be kinder to her stock. In all the dogs Ive had, Ive never had to say that to some one. It wasn't a good feeling.
So, time to get off this computer, and go work dogs!

Saturday, May 17, 2008

TGIF......well,my Friday anyway.

Well, phew. Hard day at the office this week. For a groomer, its either feast or famine, and this is the feasting time of the year. Not complaining, just coming to the realization, that I'm not as young as I use to be.
I went shopping on Friday, only to find that there really must not be much that I really wanted. At least not from Wal Mart. As all I came home with was a 12 roll of toilet paper, an inch less hair, ( got a trim) and a new kind of shampoo. I looked all over that store, and saw lots of things I would have liked to have had, (some day) just must not have been in a real shopping kinda mood.
Then,.... I went on line. Wal Mart ain't got nothin' on the Internet!
I ordered the new book Ive been wanting to read and place into my small but growing stockdog training books library, and then headed to the grooming tool websites. Oh, so much neat stuff nowadays. New brushes and combs, new ceramic blades, clippers a plenty, it all just had me rapt in reading and wanting. But, I manged to stick to the necessities. I ordered a couple of new pairs of clippers, and I'm very excited about trying them out when they get here. A very pretty new grooming smock, and a parts replacement kit for the new clippers for when they need to good tune up. I keep going back and looking at that new comb I want, but am just having such a hard time paying 35 dollars for a dog comb. Ive had the same comb for about 15 years now, and its the exact same kind that I'm looking at right now. But back 15 years ago, I only paid 12.99 for the same comb. Course, I thought that was a lot for a comb then too. I'll probably go back and order it, as it has been a good tool, but I'm just going to have to get over the price first.
The really cool thing about when I placed my order was that I get free stuff too! I got to pick what I wanted from a list of things, and the list was a pretty surprisingly nice bunch of things to pick from. Shame they didn't have any of those combs on that list though.
Got all my dogs Frontline today. I really felt better after I got them all smeared up with it. I hate seeing them itch, as I know how it feels. In my profession, its not hard to get a flea or two myself during a particularly flea infested dog day, which are NOT as few and far between as Id appreciate. Maybe I should have put a strip down my back too! Got them some new bones and cow hooves, and thought as I was paying the bill, that its odd that I have no problem dropping a cool 140.00 dollars on the dogs, and don't even think twice about it, but I'll bitch and fret about the price of a 35.00 dollar comb. Go figure.
Tomorrow, I'm heading over to a friends house to work a few dogs. I'm pretty happy about that, as I ,"A" don't have many friends I enjoy spending time with."B" Don't get out much. And "C" surely don't work/train my dogs enough. So am looking forward to the camaraderie and getting out of my own back yard for awhile.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Ya Can't Have Just One

Why own a dog? There's a danger you know, You can't own just one, for the craving will grow. There's no doubt they're addictive, wherein lies the danger. While living with lots, you'll grow poorer and stranger.
One dog is no trouble, and two are so funny. The third one is easy, the fourth one's a honey. The fifth one delightful, the sixth one's a breeze, You find you can live with a houseful with ease.
So how 'bout another? Would you really dare? They're really quite easy but oh, Lord the hair! With dogs on the sofa and dogs on the bed, And crates in the kitchen, it's no bother you've said. They're really no trouble, their manners are great. What's just one more dog and just one more crate?
The sofa is hairy, the windows are crusty, The floor is all footprints, the furniture dusty. The housekeeping suffers, but what do you care? Who minds a few nose prints and a little more hair?
So another is added, you can always find room, And a little more time for the dust cloth and broom. There's hardly a limit to the dogs you can add, The thought of a cutback sure makes you sad.
Each one is so special, so useful, so funny. The vet, the food bill grows larger, you owe money. Your folks never visit, few friends come to stay, Except other dog folks, who all live the same way.
Your lawn has now died, and your shrubs are dead too, But your weekends are busy, you're off with your crew. There's dog food and vitamins, training and shots. And entries and travel and motels which cost lots. Is it worth it, you wonder? Are you caught in a trap? Then that favorite dog comes and climbs in your lap. His look says you're special and you know that you will Keep all of the critters in spite of the bill.
Some just for working and some just to feed. And some just for loving, they all fill a need. But winter's a hassle, the dogs hate it too. But they must have their walks though they're numb and you're blue. Late evening is awful, you scream and you shout At the dogs on the sofa who refuse to go out.
The dogs and the dog trials, the travel, the thrills, The work and the worry, the pressure, the bills. The whole thing seems worth it, the dogs are your life. They're charming and funny and offset the strife. Your life-style has changed. Things won't be the same. Yes, those dogs are addictive and so is the dog game!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Oh Yea!!!

I got my stimulus check today, and put it promptly into my bank account. Now,,hmmm. What to do with the money?? Well, first thing I'm going to do is go get a hair cut. This long ole mop has been bugging me to no end lately, and I have to get some thing done with it.
Then I think a little on line shopping is in order. Lets see now. The horses and sheep need to be wormed again, so do the dogs for that matter. I need a new pair of clippers for work, and a new brush and comb. Now that doesn't sound so bad till ya figure it is about 35.00 dollars for the kind of comb I use, and 259.00 for the clippers. Good thing I don't need a need any new blades or scissors! A new grooming smock would be nice too while I'm shopping around. The zipper just broke on my old one.
I'm seriously thinking of getting a shell for my truck, the dogs would sure enjoy that. But I don't want to incur a bill to do it. Maybe I'll just wait till next years income tax refund.
So many little things I could do, or one big thing. Wants verses needs. I reckon I know which squeaky wheel will get greased.
I'm pretty excited about a new pair of clippers. I haven't had a new pair in years, and there are so many neat ones now days to choose from.
Theres a new book out I'm definitely ordering. Its about starting out young dogs on stock, and it, from what I hear is pretty good.
I think I'll set aside some to take the grand kids and Kyle to the zoo. That would be fun! Spring time there should be some baby elephant or some thing to get some good pics of. That reminds me, I need to pick up some rechargeable batteries.
Well, a few more thoughts about things I need, and want to do and I should be back to being broke again soon enough. Sure doesn't take long to get it gone. Probably a good thing to get it spent as quick as possible, then things can get back to ......normal?

New Blog For puppies

I've added a new link for the puppies very own blog called Puppy Tales. It is under construction, so please keep an eye out for new and fun news about the pups. Should be up and active in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Occasional Rambling

The last few days it had been cold and raining, so the dogs hadn't had much outside time to run and play or do much training/work. One night, Saturday I think it was we had a Tornado warning for our county, so I took Lex out and we gathered the sheep (a small out run) and I let her wear them to me, then we did a little flanking and driving, and finished it off with a pen. She acts as if she's starved for work, even with 4 puppies to take care of. So I indulged her for a bit. It is so nice to just work with a dog that knows me so well. We got the sheep and lambs put in the lambing shed, ( our rendition of the pen) and Lex and I came in out of the wind.

When I got into the house, there stood Chris and Stella, looking at me accusingly. I felt like a kid that just got caught with my hand in the cookie jar. I'm going to have to start using Chris more often, she can easily do the work that Lex does for me. Lex, is just like a comfy ole pair of shoes, and even though ya got that shiny new pair in the closet, ya still grab the comfy older ones. The shoes, much like Lex for me, are just such a good fit. (wonder if that's what ya call a metaphor?)

Well, I had the dogs all out for a good long run this evening, and felt better for them. We got a little fetch game going and then a dunk in the stock tank to cool things down a bit. All were happy and tired afterwards and plopped down exhausted this evening.

Now that the days are getting longer and warmer, and mornings and evenings are cooler I'm going to have to start plotting out a plan to get back on track working/and training the dogs on a more regular basis. The lambs are big enough and old enough now, so no excuses! Maybe I'll make a separate section here for dog/sheep work and training, to help me stay on track. Look for one in the future. And I think I'll put a puppy blog in here separate as well. That way anyone can pick what they want to read about.

I think this must be why there's a part of the blog title that says "Occasional Ramblings" eh??

EEEEK! Dont look at the bulls eye!

I groomed a Peke today. Its occurred to me that they are one of the strangest built dogs ever. Short little crooked legs, short stubby thick neck, looooong ole body, with always the end of a rib turned out on one side or the other, big round head, very small short ears and those protruding eyes and that smashed up nose. Is it any wonder God gave them so much hair to cover all that's under it up!?? I couldn't complain about the dog itself, she was, much nicer to groom than most Peke's Ive had on my table. The owners wanted her shaved for the warm season. After so many years of trying to educate folks about leaving it as nature intended, my speech has become much shorter over the years, as it often seems to fall on deaf ears. Basically, anymore my time is spent making sure exactly "how" short they want it, and if they want the tail trimmed, yaddy yada. So I shave this Peke down for the people, as they've asked and they come pick her up and they looooove it. After they hook her leash onto her collar and proudly start out the door with their little fur baby, exclaiming to her how beautiful she looks, the dog struts out to the end of the leash, and the owner just shrieks! Holds her hand over her mouth with this horrid look on her face, and exclaims to her partner, "OMG!!! She has the ugliest butt hole Ive ever seen!! Its huge, and sticking right out there! Why, looks like a great big bulls eye!!"
Did I also mention the fact while breaking down a Peke's oddly shaped conformation, that Peke's also always carry their very long tail curled way up over their backs, and that the only thing covering up that ugly protruding butt hole, is the hair??!!
She looks back at me, waiting, for what, I don't know. Did she expect me to warn her, not of sun burn from shaving, not from variations of body temp and how much more difficult after being shaved it is for a dog to regulate their body heat? Not, that it wont quit shedding when shaved, it just sheds shorter hairs? I guess what she would have appreciated, preferred, ( expected?) me to say instead, was that if I shaved her dog, it was going to show and very clearly I might add, that another of a Peke's lovely conformation flaws, is that they have probably one of the ugliest anus's ever and if I shaved the dog, they were definitely going to have to see it! A lot!
I can see them now in my mind, looking the other way every time the dog walks away from them. Wonder if they'll have me shave her next time she comes in? Better yet, can you imagine them asking me to try to leave a little more hair around the bulls eye!! Is it any wonder I love my job!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Puppy Chronicles

On April 29th, 2008 we welcomed a few new additions to the house hold. Lex, one my Border Collies had 4 little black and white bundles of joy.

I would imagine, that long around the 4 to 6 month old mark, some one will have to remind me about my use of the word "joy".

They're eyes are not open yet, but they can hear me now, as is evident when I walk into the room they are in and as soon as I start to talk to them, they wake up and start wiggling around, looking for the source of the sound.

Im expecting eyes to be open anyday now, and then the fun begins.

So far they have been a bit boring, not doing much but sleeping and eating, and growing like well watered little weeds, but time seems to be flying, as it seems like only yesterday, I spent an entire night sitting up with thier mom till 5 in the morning while she delivered. Lex is a very good mom, and a proud one at that. She just beams when we go in and visit her with the pups all snuggled close to her. Course, Ive always said given the chance, she'd mother an alligator, so it comes as no shock to me. She has in fact, mothered, fed and raised pups that were not her own. On one occasion, she did a smash up job, where another mother dog killed 5 of 7 pups before intervention saved the last two. And she never played favorites. All babies are equal in her eyes.

As I went in a little while ago to snap a few pics of the little cuties to share here, I found one little fella that acually does have his eyes open. Imagine my happiness to see this! Pretty soon there will be no stopping them!

Everyone has been placed, but I will be having fun with them while they're here. And sharing lots of pictures. Not to mention the ones I have decided to hang on to. So, "The Puppy Chronicles" may go on for quite some time to come.

No names yet, we;ll cross that bridge soon enough, but they will all have very traditional sheep dog names, so suggestions are welcome. One in particular will no doubt be named Spot, as he has a big black spot on top of his little white head. It was almost as if I had placed an order for him personally, as he is marked identicle to the first Border Collie I ever had, my dearly departed Dirty Harry Callahan. Just looking at that pup brings back such memories. So, heres the first glimpse of the little darlings.

First Post

When I first became aware of blogging, I hadnt the faintest idea what the heck one was, much less why anyone would want to have one. Then, when friends and family urged me to start one, I said "Naw, Im not interesting enough, nor do I have enough to say, to hold anyones interest".
My mother pointed out how nice it would be for me to set one up, as Im not the most reliable daughter when it comes to calling, writting, or e-mailing family members to "just catch up". Everyone is grown and/ or has children of thier own, and very busy lives. Including my own grown children. So in retrospect, what better way to let folks know whats going on in my little world, then to write it all down on a blog. I look at it as an open journal, or diary of sorts that has no lock and key. Too, since I have more of a relationship with my computer on most days than my husband, ( who repetedly tells me he wishes HE was my computer, as I have my hands on it way more often than I do on him) its not like Id have to take time out of my day to sit in front of it and write things down, as most spare moments if not spent with dogs, sheep, house cleaning, yard work, a 13 yr old son, (oh, and occasionally the husband) you'll find me here in front of it anyway. So here goes folks. I'll try out this blogging thang!