After retiring twenty-two years ago, a decision to NOT buy a cabin in Wisconsin and build our own resort resulted in adding a "special place" to our house - a large, indoor, all season swimming pool. Having never done much construction before, the task was a bit overwhelming at first. After the excavation, there was no turning back. It took about three years to complete. This was because winter in northern Illinois creates delays. The biggest challenge was convincing private contractors to do foundation and gas/electrical installations. When a home owner is the architect..that can be an issue. Then there were the "meetings" with the zoning board plus county permit "hoops" to "jump through".
That was twenty-two years ago. Just recently, the fluorescent lighting began to fail and over the last two weeks, my son helped replace all of them by removing ballasts and installing two 48" LED tubes in eleven fixtures . He is much younger and does "stuff" like this easily. I was the 78 year old "gopher".
The following YouTube video is a 7-Bumper Lining Drill done when Pounce was 21 months old.
note: This drill should be initially taught using white bumpers (Pounce "sees" orange).
Oct 22 The plans will be to just "wing it". Having a plan in place is not working.
Oct 23 Scouted for geese and the pattern this year is stacked in favor of our resident geese. It has been fairly warm and this year the 60 acres of farm land around the pond is in a soy bean year. In addition, the continuous summer and into fall flood stage has many corn fields along the Rock River turning into giant, flooded food plots.
Pounce did a fun "push/pull" lining drill in the yard for some exercise. Daisy continues to have a rapid and uneventful recovery from her serious weekend episode.
The following "note" is somewhat off topic.
note: A recent forum topic on retrieves prompted recalling an "event" from 2012.
Oct 16-18 did light exercise in the yard with Pounce and Daisy....Decided that the duck boats would not be used this season and sold in the spring. Too old and wise enough
to realize hunting "big water" alone is no longer a good idea. Pounce and I will hunt Thorson Pond when scouting indicates possible action. Plus she (we) will do some upland hunting. Today the shoreline cattails near the blind were "whacked" and the "Quack Grass" was "sprayed" with darker shades to blend in with the background.
The following entries have a title - "Three Plus Days in a Hand Basket"
Oct 19 Scouted for geese.....nothing moving. Drove to the Harrison Road DTA to take care of an issue created a few weeks ago. I got stuck in the wet area and a four-wheel drive truck pulled me out. Those "ruts" were very deep and became potential issues for running dogs.The area was still soft and "pliable", but moving grassy covered mud is not easy. Eventually, it was finished....so was I. However, Pounce did four "send back/stand alone" singles to get a bit of exercise and Daisy had four short fun bumpers. Tonight we will find out which neoprene vest fits Pounce best. The bigger issue is that tomorrow is the opener, it may be the first I've not "done" in many years. Scouting trips said "No".
Oct 20 Illinois Waterfowl Opener.......The forecast was cold in the 20's and 25 mph NW winds. With no geese using the pond recently things looked dismal. Then it got worse.
At 2 am Pounce began barking......persistently. After going downstairs to the living room, I was greeted by the strong stench of a "dog accident". Daisy had a very bad case of explosive diarrhea. Another crate was moved to the tiled entry way and the "dirty" crate was taken outside and hosed off. Some Fabreeze helped to take the edge off.
I got a brief moment of sleep and Daisy proceeded to do a repeat. After calling the VET, I juggled crates again and scrubbed the tile floor. Then another clean one was placed in the van (on a plastic tarp) and we went on the 45 minute trip to my Vet. Daisy made a mess there that included blood. After that quick $45 office visit, we ended up traveling to Janesville, Wisconsin to a 24 hr Vet clinic/hospital. Things were going so badly that on the way a small, cold, wind storm cropped up that produced a "white out" which made it almost impossible to find the clinic. I'd been to before. I drove into the parking lot of what turned out to be the Janesville Drivers license Office and called my VETS office. They said that's on Right Street (you can't make this "stuff" up). Go south on Right Street and the clinic is on the first road to the left (east). I found out we were just north of it, right across the four lane highway and I could not see it,
Their diagnosis was either gastritis or maybe something foreign in her stomach. The foreign object "thing" could be very expensive. That's more money (like $2500 for surgery). She is going on fourteen years old and I already have S1200 charged to my credit card.......this morning. She remained in the hospital.
It is Saturday opening day for waterfowl in Illinois. On the way home, I drove by Thorson Pond and there were geese loafing right in front of my blind. Perspective means very little on a day like today. This afternoon, a carpet "scrubber" was in full cleaning mode.
Oct 21 Sunday afternoon....Daisy was brought home to recuperate with Metronidazole every 12 hours and a diet of "75/25" rice/cottage cheese. I was extremely relieved that she had been given a bath. This was not an inexpensive "hit" ($1300), but It was good to see her "wiggling with a wagging tail". Daisy is old, but not quite ready for the "Bridge".
The following "Daisy" link reaches back many years. I had not thought about it for quite some time.
Oct 28.....a day off for Pounce and I had a sudden, very painful foot after yesterday's hunt.
Oct 29 The right foot was "iced" and sleep was difficult last night. I needed a cane this morning. Painful spot with redness and swelling meant "Immediate Care". Having shoes on, it was not quite as bad. X-rays were negative. Right ankle pivots about 15° less than left and both are 78 years old. The solutions are 1) do not wear loose fitting hip boots, 2) take shorter steps, 3) buy a pair of quality, waterproof, leather boots for training, 4) wear shoes in the house, 5) Doctor said "Do not go hunting for awhile." Four out of five seems reasonable.
note: scouted the pond......no geese......which might be a good thing
Oct 30 day off....some rain...iced foot last night as the "issue" is worse. This morning, I could not walk without a cane and needed an old, stretched shoe on the foot. Airing the dogs was "not easy" especially since we have a tri-level house. This is not good because there is fall yard work and the "getting ready for winter" push.
Oct 31 After deciding the Prompt Care Doctor's exam/advice on Oct 28 was "way off base", this morning my son drove me to the hospital. After an efficient exam and tests were performed, there was a diagnosis and treatment. I entered in a wheelchair (could not walk) and three hours later walked out with very little pain. (cellulitis infection vs antibiotics and
a "pain killer" IV) However, I will need to see a foot specialist to deal with bone issues.
Pounce ran a point blind in the bean field at the Thorson Pond DTA.
(two whistled the first & lined the next four...fast, fun...exercise)
Initially, this drill is run with white bumpers with larger angles starting with a perpendicular line, close up on one end and gradually increasing the angles. Running with a "two-sided"
heeling approach is a useful alternative. It is a variation of the Seven Bumper Lining Drill.
Geese In Thorson Pond (covered with "duckweed" - before)
right click on icons for larger photos
"a Dokken run"
Oct 24-25 time to work on the yard----leaves (a lot), power mulch flower beds, cut asparagus patch and repair "stuff" for the winter....no geese moving....yet....Pounce did a bit of quick,
easy and fun "yard work" for exercise......will begin upland "training" with chukkars soon
Oct 26 Pounce ran a new "point blind" with three lines.....some exercise. Daisy had a "good run" in the bean field. However, her issue from last weekend has not been resolved.
Oct 27 Pounce spent several hours in a goose blind...one shot...no geese...great "mornnig"
note: did manage to take some decent photos
note: Just "hanging out" and doing "not much" is a useful skill.
note: late this evening Daisy finally had a BM......the "highlight" of the week.
right click on icons for larger photos
Oct 1 rain most of the day and in the 60's for a high.....Begin the preparation/push for duck and goose hunting season (Oct 20th) while "mixing" in a training routine for running early 2019 (Feb/Mar) HRC Upland Tests (chukars).
Oct 2 did not train......easy, fun, leg stretching exercise......middle 60's and cloudy
Oct 3 yard work......heeling, holding blind, two pile lining exercise with Dokkens
Oct 4 Daisy - vet appointment (Rabies & Distemper). After the vet's, Pounce ran an "up-tempo" modification of the "Seven Bumper" Lining Drill in the Thorson Pond "Grassy Area" DTA.
note: Pounce is a "high roller" and is extremely into anything involving retrieves.
Oct 5 trained in the Thorson Pond "Grassy Area" (late morning).......cool, cloudy with heavy dew in the grass....Pounce did a "review" of the drill we did yesterday in a different location. When finished with the lining session, she "fogged" a "fun" Dokken blind.
note: Geese are "moving" and using Thorson Pond.
Thorson Pond "goose hunt" - decoys & blind
HR KwickLabs Fountain of Youth SH
right click on icons for larger photos
Yesterday was nearly 80°F and tomorrow it will be in the low 40's with rain. The pool water and room was a comfortable 85°F....went swimming at 4 PM. Just before sunset, Pounce was taken to the Four Lakes DTA to run a quick Dokken blind.
right click on icons for larger photos
Oct 10 rain in the morning, gathered "parts" of the Kwick, semi-portable goose blind. note: photos from last year
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Oct 6 more rain...This is the second time this year Thorson Pond had been out of its banks. A nearby stream revealed how high water is capable of a great deal of damage. Two good things were noted. The residual "duckweed" was flushed out (contrast the banks and duckweed in both photos) and more geese were using the pond.
Oct 7, 8 two days off from training....more rain
Oct 9 much warmer & no rain.......five different things to do 1) checked on soggy terrain near the site of a goose blind (too muddy for van), 2) purchase three year county rabies tag for Daisy, 3) check to see how muddy the Harrison Road DTA is (need to smooth out mud tracks from a few weeks ago)....still too wet, 4) pick up a holding blind left after a training session and 5) trained Pounce at the County Four Lakes DTA. The technical pond was as high as I have ever seen it with water flowing "over" the southwest corner. In addition, the waist high plus weed cover around the entire shoreline had been "whacked". Pounce ran seven "walk-around, send back" singles with a Dokken and primer pistol (wonderful session).
Oct 11 high in the 40's......10:30 am 43°F with "wind chill" of 32°F = day off for Pounce
Oct 12 a day like yesterday....no rain, windy & cold....mowed lawn & mulched leaves
Oct 13 van loaded with all the parts to a portable goose blind
Oct 14 At about 5 pm the van was taken the north shore of Thorson Pond to "drop off" most of the goose blind (parts). Some geese were flushed off the pond. The plan was they would NOT be right back in the morning.
Oct 15 This morning the Kwick goose blind installation went well and only four geese were "aware". The plan to not educated many geese went well and the blind is about 90% ready to use. It has wind and rain protection in a dugout style with a "swing out" shooting window. One more "panel" of grass needs to be installed on the north side.
In addition, spay paint will be applied to the upper third so as to make it blend in more with the dark, shady background. t