October is almost half over and the harvest has begun out here on the prairie. The clapping of the dry corn leaves in the wind heralds in sweatshirt weather. The Poodles can tell the season has changed, they romp and run more, now that the humid heat of summer has been blown away by the north winds.

We have a new litter of 6 puppies that arrived October 4th. It was first time to whelp by myself! Usually Rob is ever present when the event happens. He is gone during the week now, working in Chicago and takes the train home on the weekends. Sounds like a scene from a 50’s TV sitcom! Mystic, Litter parents (BIS UCH Edivette Noir Mystic at Winterswind and UCH Lord Darcy of Pemberley), did a fabulous job and we worked in tandem to bring these lovely puppies into the world. Funny how I still get the anticipation of excitement with each litter. It never becomes whoa Hum. But like Christmas morning, I eagerly wait to see what color and sex the puppies are. My gift at each whelping, the wonder of life coming into this world is so precious.

We are headed into the showring at the months end! This is huge for us, as due to health issues the past year we haven’t been able to show. Rob is just as enthusiastic as I am when it comes to going to a show! Deciding who will be coming to show, getting the travel trailer ready and deciding what the humans will wear! :) Isn’t fun that anticipation is almost as fun as the actual event!

Winters Wind is so proud of our home breed boy, Winterswind Sir Winston Of Chartwell Abby, “Winston” (AM CH UKC CH Sterling Black Magic Woman at Winterswind and AM CH MBIS UCH Edivette Black Temptation at Winterswind) entered the AKC ring with handler team, Swag. His first show was in September and by the end of September he had 2 majors (winning BOB, BW and taking 2~group 2 wins over specials!). Winston turned 1 at the end of September, so he is growing hair to enter the ring at the end of October! He just shy a few points, so we hoping he can come home soon!

Around October 31 we will look forward to another litter and the last for 2019. Teagan was bred to Mr. Darcy and an ultrasound confirmed she is pregnant! Mr. Darcy is out of our MBIS GRCH Hi Hat’s Dark Side Of The Moon and GRCH Jacknic’s Rainy Day Champagne. Mr. Darcy has a quiet yet fun loving personality. He is loyal to his people and I expect that we will have lovely temperaments in this litter.

I look at the calendar and realize 2019 is slowly closing the door on this year. What will 2020 look like? This thought always dances across my mind as Thanksgiving approaches. Remembering our blessings of 2019 with thankfulness; not wanting to rush the new year but to savor what is left of this year. It’s like looking forward to dessert after a scrumptious meal.

Winters Wind will have some surprises I do believe for 2020. Just as I wrote at the beginning of this blog; anticipation is a joyful part of the waiting! So……be joyful as this year starts to close. Be thankful for all your blessings and for family and friends. Let the hurtful things of this year be a vapor that disappears into the air. Nothing good can come from remembering those kind of things. Forgive those who have wounded you either with words or physically. You will have a lighter spirit, your laughter will be genuine and your heart healthier!

So for the plans for 2020……………….anticipate!

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Posted
AuthorKaren Winters

In the spirit of Dickens “A Christmas Carol” Scrooge is visited by 3 ghosts of present, past and future. I love this book and movie, it helps to set perspective on life. Like Scrooge we all have things in life we wish we could have changed, done differently or relationships we lost. As in Scrooge those things can not be changed, however like Mr. Scrooge we can choose to change who we are. He made his future better and those of others; by seeing his heart and that it needed repair. As we sit on the eve of a new year lets endeavour to be more loving, forgiving, restoring broken relationships, gossiping less, seeing the good and therefore improving the world the around us.

So as I sit on the eve of yet another year. Reflecting and make resolutions for a new year; at Winters Wind we have done our reflecting in the blog post “Seasons” and we have made new plans for 2019! I love casting vision and setting goals; to ever change is to grow.

Making the changes here also means heartache. My heart breaks at every leaving of each young adult poodle that I helped whelp and raise. My heart is invested in each one and to say goodbye brings much heart ache and tears. Though I know that each has a loving home, and families that love them and will invest in them. I see a bit of my past dreams leaving home, the hope that I placed on each one. I relate it to my children leaving for college. It is an end and a beginning. End of them as children (thought they are forever my kids) and striding off into a future that includes their own life choices.

I am looking forward to more time with all those in my life; human and animal ;) To going to more shows and performance events. Change can bring us into a place of fresh revelation and new perspective. I know for some people change is scary. I think of the Indian Jones movie where he is after the Holy Grail. He must step out over a canyon, he sees no path yet still steps out in blind faith. The path wasn’t seen but it was still there! Kind of like making life choices!

“Some changes look negative on the surface but you will soon realize that space is being created in your life for something new to emerge.” 
― Eckhart Tolle

So if you too are thinking about changes, whether large or small in 2019. Don’t let fear bind your heart. Set your sights on what you want to change and take that first step. You will find that the excitement and joy of exploring something new will have you wondering why you waited so long!

I look forward to seeing my latest puppies entering into the ring. I see great potential in our future and can’t wait to see what this year will bring and end with!

As Tevye sings from Fiddler on the Roof

“To life, to life, L'chai-im!
L'chai-im, l'chai-im, to life!
It gives you something to think about,
Something to drink about,
Drink l'chai-im, to life! l'chai-im ! “


Posted
AuthorKaren Winters

Do you have a favorite season? If you think about that season, what is it that draws you into the Spring Rain, the warm, humid breezes of Summer, that crisp, frosty air of Fall or the romantic snow fall and warm fire of Winter? Life is like the seasons. We have the Spring of youth, the Summer of Adulthood, the Fall of being an empty nester or retirement and then the Winter of memories. Memories of all the seasons that came before.

I don’t know if one Season is highlighted over another. Oh sure, most folks would want to be youthful once again~but would you really? All those hard knock of life and lessons to be learned. Why do I muse about Seasons? Life once again has pulled back the cover to another season for us, here at Winters Wind. I would not call it the season of discontent by any means. It just another shift as we maneuver life’s path. Rob, my love and hubby was laid off this past August. For him it was a big change, a major storm in his Season. Funny, how life can throw us this curve and it reveals who we are at the soul. Over these past months we discussed so many options, prayed a lot and held fast to the anchor of our faith. After oh so many interviews, he had 3 offers…..none of them here! He finally landed on a job that at least was close, Chicago. Now the logistics of this arrangement hits! He lives in Chicago now 5 days a week. It’s his dream job. The one we prayed for and given!

My parents are 94, saw the Great Depression and my Dad served in the 82nd Army Airborne and freed the first city in France on D-Day. If your a history buff, the movie “The Longest Day” my Dad is the guy that fell into the green house in Ste. Marie Englise. He was Knighted by the President of France and Yes, I am very proud of my folks~best people ever. Here’s a link to the one of the articles : https://qctimes.com/news/local/clinton-man-to-receive-france-s-highest-honor/article_132d35ef-3ac3-5465-bdcd-5f67f1265f59.html

So as you can see, moving isn’t an option. Given this fact we decided to take a hard look at our life and where we are headed; as in getting older…..no one, at least not me wants to think about that :) After much seeking advise from trusted family and friends we have made the hard decision to revamp Winters Wind over the next few years.

A new season will emerge after the dust settles. What does the new vision of Winters Wind look like? We will be getting out of Parti’s by the end of 2019. Our emphasis will be on Standard Poodles in White, Black and Silver. This has been a really tough and heart wrenching decision for us. We love all our colors of poodles and they all bring something wonderful to the breed.

The plan is to continue our work in the Service dog world, showing and doing performance. Our Retired guys will always be in our family; Roux, Indigo and Luna. The next Season will be moving forward with: Izabella, Dream, Teagan, Seville, Mystic, Sterling and Misty. We will use Aragon, Drakkar, Zane and Mr. Darcy as our sires in the next few years.

I do believe there is something about building memories and moments. I want to spend the few years I have with my parents, as focused moments. Those memories will be my treasure box in the years after they have gone. I want to enjoy my life with dogs as well and can never envision a life without them!

I so look forward to the new families that will join Winters Wind and the families that are currently in our hearts. Thank you for blessing me with your love of our dogs and won’t the future be bright!

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Posted
AuthorKaren Winters
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The year 2018 truly started with a "BANG"!  The banging of the barn door in a wind storm, during January, severed the top of middle finger of my right (dominate) hand.  I can tell you shock is such a strange thing.  I knew I had caught my finger in the door, it stung but when I looked at it or lack there of ...well let's just say an action plan was in order.   I was on the prairie alone on this day so being the decisive person I am; I grabbed some towels, wrapped my finger, elevated it over my head, jumped into the truck and headed to closest ER.  That is a 20 minute drive, called my husband from the truck; which of course created panic because I lost signal and he thought I was in the ditch somewhere.  I did get to the ER and the first doctor thought they would remove it to the knuckle, however the orthopedic surgeon, stitched what he could to close it, looked at me and said it would be deformed......I looked back and said "So ? I can still hold a leash!"  So ends January.

February the month of "love" wasn't very lovely.  Rob, my sweet hubby, was diagnosed at the Mayo with cancer.  So they scheduled surgery for Valentine's Day.  It is strange when your told you have cancer, your brain or at least mine, sort of goes into war strategy mode.  However, it's another whole thing when it is the love of your life, best friend and partner.  I felt pain.  A pain in my heart, no deeper.  I stopped the "what if's" immediately; knowing he would need me to be his helper, warrior and shoulder. 

Surgery went well, 11 hours of prayer, then finally the news!  He's in recovery!  He spend several weeks re-cooperating.  Family and friends came out to the prairie to help with the dogs, brought meals, cleaned the house and sat with us.  The news then came that they had gotten it all and he didn't have to do chemo or radiation was a blessed relief!

March we made several trips to the Mayo for follow up visits and waited for spring to arrive on the barren prairie.  Seems the old saying, "In like a Lion and out Like a Lamb" isn't true!  Who knew!  Rather Old Man Winter hung on with bitter cold and snow.  Rob was on lifting restriction, which meant I had to do snow duty......that's fine but my finger was still healing, and I have no feeling in it....so it would get cold and I didn't realize it!  Socks on my hand inside my mittens worked great, new use for all those loner socks that come out of the dryer!  One day while at the farm store, from the back of the store was the sound of chirping!  I could just feel the soft down in my hand.  Grabbing my cart, I wheeled the aisles until if found the heat lamps, the chirping and CHICKS!!!  Now I wanted chicks so bad I could taste it....oh that sounds awful!  I mean just that it was the year......I was getting chickens.  There was one small problem..........we had not gotten the coop built yet.  Hmmmm, minor detail right!  So I head home, the cab of the truck filled with the sounds of baby chicks, who needed radio when you have nature!  The chicks now need a place to stay....okay this could be an issue.  I did have a plan and my hubby, ever patient with his wife, listened to my thoughts of how we can house the babies while we build a coop!  Whelping box!  So the chicks move into our house, yes...inside our house, to the room reserved for older pups.  I assured him it wouldn't be for long......

April, how we longed for a peak of green, a tulip head breaking through the earth or a Robin.  April fool was not a day but rather a few weeks of strange weather, cold and a wondering if Spring had forgotten to come!  Do you ever wonder what "the April Fool" looks like?  Me!  With this dopey look as I stare out the frosted windows for any sign of Spring coming down our lane.  Easter Egg hunts were inside and not as magical as the lawn dotted in pastel colors.  We learned our Rob's daughter and granddaughter were planning a summer trip to our prairie homestead!  This is huge as they live in Spain, we facetime weekly and Dahlia has loved watching the dogs, puppies and kittens.  Now she could touch them and trust me at 3 years old that is huge!  Being ever the Grandma for adventure, I decide Dahlia needed her own pet here.  I loved the Velveteen Rabbit story as a child and to this day...........yes, Dahlia needed a bunny!  So Cadbury joined our ever growing furry, feathery family!  By this time the chicks weren't really chicks and they were out growing the whelping box, it was too cold yet for bunny to be outside.  Solution:  Cadbury joined the chicks and now the room was feathers and fur!

May, it happened.............no not spring, but summer!  We skipped our Spring and it's magical moments to the warmth of summer rains, turning the brown grass into green almost over night.  It came so quickly that I didn't even get my garden in!  So rather then miss my summer vine tomatoes, did pots of herbs and tomatoes.  I did get my famous and favorite flowers seeds in....Sunflowers!  The bigger question was..................what to do with Cadbury and the "girls".  I am sure he was wondering about who lived on the other side of that wall, making all that racket and the feathers!  Oh my, the girls were molting as they went from chick to pullet!  I had a problem!                                              Then it happened.....the klutz fairy strikes again!  I am playing with the dogs in the pasture.  Throwing balls, the dogs frolic, leap and entertain me.  I love watching the dogs do ballet; wham!  I am falling, face forward onto the ground.  I had caught my foot in a hole.  Of Course the first thing any every does is to see if anyone saw this ungraceful move!  Nope, all alone, the dogs swarming me like sharks in the water.  Then it hits, the pain...............like a fire in the knee.  I push myself up and try to stand, well that's not working to well,  Walking is out of the question too.  I am not near the house, no one is around, so....yes the hobble walk to the house begins.  My knee swelled like a balloon.  By the time the dogs escorted me to the veranda, I was ready to crawl vs hobble.  Ice, yup that would help.  So I get an ice pack, elevate the leg and sit there, thinking "now what"?  Rob determines a trip to the Orthopedic ER was needed.  For once I didn't argue the point.  So after x rays and an MRI, oh yes and fluid removed from the knee (oh yes that's a party!) the doctor says what you don't want to hear.  Fractured Tibia and torn meniscus.  It's going to be a long summer.................

June, Rob was doing great with his healing, however building a coop with just the 2 of us...........hmmmm not going to happen.  So the light bulb of and idea arouse.  A BARN, well COOP raising!  We purchased a kit for a shed and then invited family and friends to help us raise the roost....roof!  It took 2 weeks of people helping, eating together, laughing at our mistakes and celebrating our successes!  The moment arrived.........drum roll.... the chickens were carried out, one by one to their new home.  I think they were slightly traumatized by the size of the place, after living for weeks in the whelping box.  The memory of this time with friends and family will always be a precious gift.                Cadbury, needed to move out now as well.  I also was told he was lonely.  Hmmm, really?  So my dear friend, Dawn, brought me a birthday gift......you guessed it, another bunny.  Company for Cadbury.  I named her Fou Fou (yes after the children's song), she is blue and white.........a multi colored bunny.  Only problem is:  FouFou is a female and Cadbury is a male................yup, problem!  So two separate condo's were purchased.  They live side by side, babies is not an option so a spay and neuter are in their future. 

I am off crutches....well two anyway and using one.  So my help has been limited to pointing, painting and applauding all who came to help make it possible!

July, has been peaceful.  Grandchildren came, played with dogs, rabbits and fed chicks.  As of yet there are no eggs, but I am ever hopeful and each day excitedly head out to the coop.  Looking in each nesting box for eggs.  I didn't share my chickens will lay (well I hope) blue, green and brown eggs!  What fun this will be for the kids at breakfast, as we crack Easter eggs for an omelet! Well, it's my dream as of yet!              The month isn't over yet...............so what adventures lay ahead?  Stay tuned and check back......life on the Prairie is never dull!

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Posted
AuthorKaren Winters