Briar Glen Farms

Breeders of Ragalong Ragdoll Kittens and Cats
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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Home from France

Got home from France the day before yesterday and have to report that I had an absolutely fabulous time.
Paris - smog, smog, smog. Drivers are insane, but had a blast throwing myself wholeheartedly into the fray when I missed a turn and had to go back. The French do not observe green lights or red lights. They just go and consequently you have chaos which can be likened to a video game of who squeezes who out of the line at an intersection. I had to bone up quickly on my obscene gestures and foul language to compete properly. Great fun and very liberating!!!
On to Orleans where the Southern European Regional Awards were being held. Imagine....900 cats competing in both TICA and Traditional judging (which is another story). The line ups were incredible and the French were lined up for miles to check in, shivering in the cold. Fortunately for me, coming from Canada, it felt just fine even in short sleeves. Their passion for their cats is phenomenal. Post check in you then line up again to have a vet go over your cat and check its papers and microchip numbers. Quite an experience!! The people are fabulous. Warm, friendly and welcoming. I had two kittens with me, Bree and Showgirl. Bree was already sold to a party down in the South of France who could not get to the airport, so poor me, had to drive to the South of France to deliver Bree after the show. A tough job, but someone had to do it. There was a Ragdoll Specialty in the Traditional Division and both Bree and Showgirl got good finals and I was left with the dilema of how to pack all the awards to fly back home.
The awards banquet was fabulous and the TICA best cat, a Ruddy Abysinnian was there along with his cheering section. All in all a wonderful experience with wonderful people and judges. On the advice of one of the Ragdoll breeders, went to Amboise to see the castle where the King of France installed Leonardo Da Vinci for a few years before he died. Did a cute hotel right inside town with the narrow streets and walking a spell to get to your parking, but all part of the experience.
On to Nice to deliver Bree. Being a country girl, did not really enjoy the Cannes/Nice scene too much with things like numerous signs showing you to watch your handbag at all costs all the ime or!!! Took a couple of pictures of obscenely large yachts and headed to Marie Sur Mer in the Camargue. Now that's my kind of place. Small town on the Mediterranean complete with horses, horses, horses and wild black bulls. Wonderful Bed and Breakfast 150 meters from the sea and 3 minutes in to the town center for 50 euros a night. Complete kitchen, sitting area, washing machine and wonderful comfy bed in the loft. 2 days there and off to the Pyrenees for 3 days at Laytoure Bed and Breakfast. A 17th century restored farm home in the country. Couldn't ask for more. All the heritage atmosphere with a completely modern bathroom and kitchen. 50 euros a night with a great breakfast. Had to decide if I was going to do two days there and make a run up the freeways at the usual 150 KMs an hour to visit Metz where I had lived for 4 years as a kid, or ..... stay in the 17 century farm home. No contest, laid back and relaxed. Did a few sojourns to Carcasonne and the surrounding towns taking pictures of "cows". Blonde D'Aquitaines, Simmentals, Limousins, Gascons and some Friesians. Saw caverns etc. but really enjoyed the country scenes. Back up to Paris after having some fabulous meals, "lots" of Regional wines and try to find the bloody airport which would not compute on the GPS I had. (I need a 6 year old with me to run these machines). I was not alone, however as there were lines of cars parked outside the terminal 1 asking the same question I had. Where do you park the rental cars???? I got lucky in that I was leaving from terminal 1 and previous to that had no idea from any of my tickets or car documents, which bloody terminal (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) I was leaving from but had stopped for my inquiries at terminal 1 first. Parked the car and was glad I had it over night as it was a quiet place to sleep. My sojourns in to the airport at night (trying to get my biological clock back to our time) showed poor passengers trying to get comfortable on chairs while the sounds of jack hammers went off all night long. Good little car!!! Home again and happy to see Corky and will check up on all the kids. Love to see the cats and dogs and farm. We are very lucky to live in Canada, as everywhere I went, they all want to come to Canada. That's all folks.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Off to France

I will be heading to France for two shows in November, so wanted to let our kitten buyers know that their kittens are all doing great and for new prospective kitten and puppy owners, we have a lovely litter that will be ready at the end of November and also have a gorgeous male and female Pyrenees puppy that will be ready, also at the end of November. I am not sure (being computer illiterate and not owning a laptop, whether I will be able to access emails while over there, so if I don't get back to you right away, I certainly will as soon as I can access a computer.
I lived in France for 4 years as a child, so am looking forward to visiting some old stomping grounds and seeing some new ones and meeting some new people and trying some new cuisine. I have always been turned off by the fish served with the head on in France, but have plans to try it this time (maybe). No problem with the duck as I love duck. I remember that each little town has its own boulangerie with fabulous French bread and croissants, so I can live on that if I have to. When I was there before you could not drink the water. I am not sure if it is ok to drink now. If not, I will suffer with French wine!!! (hope the water is not fit to drink). So, bonjour for now and I will let everyone know how shows go in France!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

To Calgary We Go

It's been awhile since I've had a chance to post on the blog as lots has happened. We have been to the North West Regional Awards show and banquet and came home with lots of nice trophies and prizes. Both Yukon and Burgundy did themselves proud. We did a demonstration at the Nanaimo fair where they gave us a cute little red barn to set up as a cat show to promote our Garden City Show and show off the Ragdolls, Abys and Somalis with my friend Susan. It was very well received and my daughter Tina spent some time with us before heading back to Calgary with Zach and Ty.
We had our Grandson Jaden with us for a month over the Summer, his brother Colby for 2 weeks and Tina's two boys, Zach and Ty for a month in August. We all had a blast and it was very busy but fun Summer making fires, putting up tents and we all attended whatever shows were on the agenda. They sure kept Corky entertained while he convalesced from his broken ankle.
Life happens too, and my Mum was diagnosed with bilateral breast cancer, so I have been busy getting her to appointments and she will have her surgery on Nov. 2nd. In the meantime Corky and I and apparently Jaden (last minute addition) will be going to Calgary for a week to do a show. We will stop for two days at our 10 acre property in Trout Lake just outside of Nakusp, for a break. Corky can give Jaden some pointers on Rugby as the 3 boys are in Rugby. Zach and Ty are going great guns in Junior A hockey with shutouts and goals all over the place. We hope we can catch a game while in Alberta.
When we get back and once Mum's surgery is done, I am heading to France for two shows. Yeah!!! I lived there for 4 years as a kid, so am looking forward to spending two weeks there. Corky had the option of going too, but decided to save his airmiles to go to New Zealand, so don't feel badly for him. We're getting ready to leave tomorrow morning, so I will sign this off and get my butt in gear. Take care folks!!!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Lots and lots

Whew, a really busy past few days. Corky was helping my Grandson build a wooden toy gun on the deck he is installing and boys being boys, they got so wrapped up in the fun project that Corky backed up right "off the deck". That's right, over the edge and 10 feet down. He flapped his arms, but failed to take flight and jumped to avoid the heat pump below and landed on his feet (post Rugby manouever I suppose) but unfortunately things are not as flexible as they were and my Grandson Jaden who was with him heard the "crack" when Grandpa hit the ground. It was very fortunate that Jaden(10) had just finished a St. John's Ambulance Course the previous week as he knew just what to do. He found help "me" and raced back to ensure that Grandpa laid still. I immediately called 911 and Jaden came back and said "he's ok" and I cancelled the 911 call, but did find that my darling was sure not walking when he got up. Jaden was very disgusted with Grandpa when he would not follow the rules and lay still, but tried to walk. Corky was bloody lucky that Jaden was there, as it would have been a very tough trip, crawling up the hill with a broken ankle while Grandma was busy on other parts of the farm. So, Jaden was the hero of the day. We hustled Corky off to the hospital where the usual hospital story unfolded with waits in the waiting room, coming back two days later for surgery at 11 am and finally getting in at 11 PM. We stayed with him and Jaden had a blast exploring the hospital and shmoozing with the nurses and orderlies and generally deciding that he rather liked the hospital scene. We got home at 2 am and managed to get back in at 8 am to pick Corky back up. So, all is well and we are glad that it was only his ankle which will heal in about 5 months. Needless to say things will be rather slower here as I pick up his end of the operation as well as my own. Not sure if we will make the Regional or not. Yukon, Burgundy and a couple of our other felines are in line for awards, but will have to see how things go.
Apart from that kittens, cats, dogs, sheep are all doing fine. We were going to the All Canada Classic Sheep show and sale in Saskatchewan, but cancelled that rather abruptly with the turn of events. Not sure if we will get too many sheep shows done, but again, will see. So, please forgive me if I am late getting back to you and especially Revenue Canada etc., might have to wait a bit to hear back from me while I keep things rolling along here.
Good news is that Tina, my oldest and her two sweethearts, Zach and Ty, whom most of the cat fancy have met, are coming out tomorrow. Tina will be here briefly as she has a pile of work in her two businesses to keep up with, but we get to have Zach and Ty for a week or two which we will all enjoy profusely. Lots of time at the beach and hanging around the chickens, chicks, cats, kittens, dogs and sheep and horses. Love those little guys. Have to squeeze as much time with them right now before they head in to the lovely teen years, when likely everyone will pass on their moods and opinions for a spell. Right now they are all just delightful. Sherean and her family are also planning to come out at the end of the Summer. Fortunately Grandpa will be laid up enough that he won't be able to get away from them too quickly. They all love to spend time with Grandpa. So, things could be much worse. Take care everyone.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Garden City Show, June 25 and 26

I haven't had time to do my blog, not because there was nothing to say, but because there was so much going on. My friend Susan and I did a booth at the Victoria Pet Expo a week and a half ago and I can modestly say that our booth was by far the most popular. I'll bet the kittens on display had nothing to do with it!!! What a contrast our cage with Ragdoll kittens and Susan's with pretty much the opposite with Abysinnian kittens and a Somali. We were promoting our upcoming show on June 25 and 26th. Corky and I are the Show Managers again for the 10th year and it does take a lot of time and effort to pull off successfully. Can't say I will be sorry when it is over again for another 6 months. Be sure and stop by. I will likely be very busy, so don't think I am being snobbish if I don't have a lot of time to talk. Under the serene exterior of the show, there are always hosts of little forest fires going on all over the hall. We have 12 Vendors and a full hall of cats and kittens with International Judges. It will be the first time for the Georgia Peach, Kim Tomlin to do our show. We plan on showing her a good time. We will be doing a buffet and tour of the Butchart Gardens on Sat. night. We have done it before and I never tire of the magical evening. I always think that I would likely rather go my room and put my feet up with a good glass of wine, but as soon as we go through the gates at the Gardens, my spirits lift and everything becomes very serene.
We missed the first two shows of the season as my only brother Big Bob had a stroke and is not doing that well, so I want to spend more time with him this year.
Happily Yukon got his International Win, which in the International Cat Show circles is a really neat achievement. Only 50 cats out of the thousands showing get an International win. Burgunday, Bonzai and Yukon also have a bunch of Regional wins and awards coming at the Regional banquet and show in August, so things in the cat end of things are going well. We've met a lot of neat people lately looking for kittens. You get to meet some of the nicest people in what we do. Grand kids are all doing well and 3 of them will be cleaning cages at the show this weekend. We would not be able to do the show without the help of my kids and Grand kids. Donnie will be putting up signs on Friday night and Serena will be helping all weekend where ever help is needed.
We are also getting fencing around our 10 acre parcel in Skutz Falls in Lake Cowichan, so besides working with the farm stock and cat and dog stuff we are pretty busy. Look forward to meeting and greeting all our friends in the next few months. Wish us luck with the show.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Back home again "for now"

Back home from the trip to the Calgary show where Yukon and Ambrose and Acacia did very well. Best in Shows for Yukon, Ambrose and Acacia which was pretty good for Acacia's first show. Hard for the girls to show against the big boys like Ambrose. The best part of the trip was getting to hang with Jassenia, my one and only Grand daughter (have 6 Grand sons) at the show and the hotel. Got to visit with Sherean and the family (Rownan and Rueben as well as Jassenia. Corky, being the great guy he is, drove home with the kittens while I spent some time seeing Tina, Zach and Ty in Lethbridge. Got to see Zach and Ty playing their Junior triple A hockey and then see Tina working with her 2 new Performance mares, Fancy and Seven. Got to get Zach and Ty together with Jassenia and Rowan for a visit in Calgary and then did the Zoo with Zach and Ty. All in all, a really good time. Had a fabulous meal with Sherean and family.
I left from Calgary in the early hours to fly to the show in Conneticut which was the last 3 day show of the Season. Yukon made quite an impression on the East Coast Breeders who were all really nice and it was great to put faces to names. Yukon was the 2nd Best Cat in the Show and he once again managed several Best in Shows which put him in to the International Winners Circle. He didn't miss having to show against Burgundy, but I was not going to fly with 2 cats under the seat for 10 or more hours.
Home again with lots to catch up on and preparing for our June Show in Sidney and deciding if we can get away for the Tukwila Titlist show.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

On the Road Again

Corky and Marilyn are on our way to Calgary for a show where we will get to meet all our cat show friends, many of whom have not seen Corky for awhile. We also get to visit with 4 of my Grandchildren and their families which is a real bonus. Jassenia the oldest of 7 Grandchildren and the only girl will be stewarding at the Calgary show and hanging with Grandma and Grandpa at the hotel.
Corky will be driving home from Calgary, but Marilyn will be visiting with the family and then heading to a show in Conneticut on April 28th and coming back on May 4th. I will be checking emails while on the road, so please send us an email to stay in touch. I tried downloading pictures of kittens that will be available from the end of April, but not sure if I will be able to activate the thing as it doesn't seem to be working on my home computer. It is called a Passport or something and has my files on it according to the fellow from the computer repair, but typically, I can't seem to make it work. Maybe it needs a drive in the truck first to be ready to open its' secrets. If, for some reason it does not work, we have some lovely blue and seal bicolor male and female kittens coming up as well as some cute as a button blue and seal mitted males and females. Kitten pictures on the site accurately reflect the type of kittens available as they will be brothers/sisters or cousins to the ones on the web site. As everyone knows, we guarantee our kittens for 3 years and they come from DNA negative HCM and PKD mums and dads.
We will have more news when we get home and I will post while I am on the road if there is anything really exciting to pass on. Take care everyone, Marilyn and Corky

Monday, March 14, 2011

After CF of BC show

Back home from the CF of BC show in Vancouver. 3 days and 18 Rings. Once again, the show went well for our cats with some good placings, Best and Second Bests in very tough competition.
Everyone was very sad about the recent events in Christchurch and in Japan. We had a Japanese judge at the show which brought things home. We had a minute of silence for all the victims of these tragic events.
I am very happy to have Corky home and he had many stories about happenings in NZ. Children texting their homes from under the rubble, a gentleman who left for town but has not come back yet. So many heart wrenching events which will be multiplied in Japan. Our hearts go out to everyone affected.
I had my Grandson Colby with me, helping with the show, and my friend and neighbour Susan Marshall was the show manager with her foot in a cast and in a wheelchair. She had her 2 daughters Tiffany and Kristina also helping with the show.
We are planning our Garden City Show on June 25 and 26th and would welcome any one who would like to volunteer and participate. We are hoping to revive our magical evening with a buffet meal and tour at Butchart Gardens on Saturday night after the show. We have a lot to be thankful for. Take care everyone. Marilyn

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Before the Storm

They are predicting a big wind storm tomoorrow, so thought I would get a note off before we lose our power and go off line.
We had a great show at Ferndale with Best In Shows and both boys did well.
Corky is in New Zealand (Christchurch) where he is visiting family for two weeks. His family is pretty much ok although some inlaws did have their houses collapse. I am sure Corky will be a great help while he is there.
Our Garden City Club members seem to be having some interesting times. Susan Marshall had a big butcher knife flip up and slice the tendons on the top of her foot. She apparently is doing ok.
With the past snow storm while heading in to the Collision garage to pick up our 1 Ton truck that had suffered a rat attack, a big branch came through the back window of our little car and I got some bumps and bruises but all is well.
I'm off to take care of the farm stuff before it gets dark, so if we lose our power, people will have some idea of what is going on around here. Wish all the best for everyone with our challenging weather. Beats an earthquake, though. Take care everyone.

Friday, February 4, 2011

After Portland and before Ferndale

Marilyn is back from the Portland show that highlighted a huge number of entries. SGC Ragalong Burgundy was lucky enough to snag a BEST CAT in heavy competition along with a 2nd Best and several other finals. RW SGC Ragalong Yukon Gold also took his share of finals home. It is tough bringing your own competition, but both cats are just too good to leave at home. It was unfortunate that after such a great show, the Portland show crew suffered a bad accident on their way home when a drunk driver literally ran into the back and right on inside their show trailer which contained all the club's show supplies. Thank goodness there were no injuries.
Marilyn is getting ready to go to a show in Ferndale Washington at their new location on Feb. 11th.
Corky is headed to New Zealand for 2 weeks on the 24th of February, so Marilyn will be super busy for those 2 weeks.
All the family is doing well. Grand kids are all coming along well and Zach and Ty in Alberta are burning up the hockey rinks. My daughter Serena's kids, Jaden, Colby and Dusty are busy with Rugby, much to Grandpa's delight. Jaden will accompany Marilyn to the Ferndale show. We always have fun together.
My poor daughter Sherean and her family are currently under tons of snow in Strathmore, Alberta. The kids won't be able to move around too much.
So, no complaints from this end and I hope everyone is having a great year so far.