training a puppy.

Since she is completely my life right now, I feel it’s okay to write about the little pup’s development.

We’re on day three, and the relationship is coming along nicely. As a Heeler, and a puppy in general, she is really good at following me (sometimes a little too underfoot, but she’ll figure that out). She and Ruby had a great day on Sunday too. Ruby will be a tremendous mentor.

She is getting more into her toys, and less into distracting threads, carpet snags and shoes. She also has really gotten good at climbing stairs, even though she is a pip squeak. Of course the biggest win this morning is how good she is getting at her crate.


I received some great advice from an undisclosed dog owner, who said if she’s in too big of a crate, she will probably poop and pee in it, which could lead to her thinking that is a great place to do that sort of disgusting act. So I took that tiny crate and made it into a little Russian Nesting Doll scenario. I’m sure it’s not necessary, but I just like the idea that she’ll never have to ‘move out.’

So after a few days, she’s growing big and strong and smart. I’m pretty pleased.

Here. Watch her dominate these stairs without any regard for her training blocks.

Aaaaaaand swoon,



I am unsure that I can avoid a puppy takeover of this here blog.

See? There is going to be a lot of content I’ll be tempted to share with you. I really don’t want to become that guy, but I think it’s a likely outcome.

Yesterday Cousin Rob and I made it to Prineville, picked up the pup and drove home, allowing for some good bonding time. At the end of the troad trip, she had a brief introduction to Ruby, and this morning she’ll have more (guaranteed adorable) face time.

Any dogs out there living in apartments or condos, you can live vicariously through Coop here or on Instagram: @bradley_vineyards

Now I’m off to¬†scoop some Coop poop!


a puppy adventure.

Tonight as I sit in my living room listening to an old Jackson Brown record, I find myself researching how to train Australian Cattle Dogs. Why, you ask? Allow me to rationally and calmly expl…


Here’s how it all went down.

I’ve been in the market for a puppy since I’ve been back in Oregon. I kind of half-figured it would be an appropriate Christmas-time addition to my life, one way or another. I knew I wasn’t in a rush, but that there must be a specific dog I’m after. Wait, quick backstory.

Ruby is my mom’s dog, but I claim at least 40% of her as my own. She’s a Labrador, Blue Heeler, Wire Hair Griffon mix, and she and I spent a lot of time together in her formative years. We basically trained and learned to understand each other somewhat. She’s the best dog I’ve ever owned.

Yeah I know! Big shoes to fill for whatever pup I don’t know I’m looking for.

So anyway last weekend, I went to Portland and visited my friend Hayden. Okay so I ended up passing out on his futon after we drank all night, what are ya the Pope? (Please forgive me if you are reading, your Holiness.)

Where was I? Oh right. At Hayden’s I meet this very charming… wait for it… Blue Heeler. Sold.

Two days later, with the help of a popular search engine, I was soon emailing a  seemingly nice family in Central Oregon and making an offer on a 6-week old female.

Aaaaaand because you’ve been such a faithful reader, now you can have a treat:


Who’s a good girl?



the correct way to snapchat.

Yes I recently started playing with Snapchat, and it is really fun. First a backstory:

Snapchat has a notorious reputation for being an app that allows people to send nude photos without any trace of them remaining after a short time. Of course, talk to the likes of Anthony Weiner and you’ll discover that nothing really disappears from the internet. So anyone still using it for this function, just be warned. Your genitals are still out there.

Surprisingly enough, I’ve found a way to make Snapchat a really fun and even useful tool in sharing some of your life with people who don’t live nearby. And since moving back to the Vineyard, there are a lot more of those people these days.

Basically, if I have a weird idea, or a funny scenario, or we’re doing something cool at the winery, I’ll be sure to ‘Snap’ my friends. There are so many fun things you can do:

You can Snapsync (Snapchat/Lip Sync):

You can Snap something cute or pretty:


Or you can do something I discovered last night:


First I thought you could just Snap someone a ten second picture saying ‘drink’ and that person would have to do what you said for the duration of the Snap. But then my mind wandered.

Familiar with the game add on? Maybe this would be called SnapOn? Hmm, I’ll work on that.

The basic premise is to take a picture and then draw something in the picture. The next person needs to recreate that photo and add something else to it. And back and forth you go until you can’t add anymore or you have grown tired of the game. Then you take a drink (and snap a picture of it to finish the round). The winner starts the next round.

Pretty sure this is going to spread like wildfire.


a lennon record.


We had this album growing up and we would listen to it often. I just picked it up this weekend (at Mississippi Records in Portland) and am listening to it this morning.

As a kid I listened to and loved the music. This morning, I find myself listening particularly closely to Yoko’s songs and trying to fight the thought, ‘Gee her music sure is strange.’

As a kid I listened to and enjoyed it without casting judgement. I think as we get older we slowly acrue more cynacism, numbing potential enjoyment.

After stepping back and listening, you can really find some cool, unique qualities of Yoko’s music. Definitely untraditional, but why is that a bad thing? I mean John Lennon saw the magic – I’m inclined to trust his read on this one (though it may have been slightly biased).

Music is wonderful. Listen to lots of different kinds of it.

K? K.

first thanksgiving.

Yesterday was our first big family holiday since Dad passed away.

For the most part it felt pretty ‘normal,’ but it had a smidge of a feeling of waiting for someone to show up all day. Even so, our toasts before dinner said it best.

Cousin Jamie started by saying how much he is missed and we raised our glasses to his memory with misty eyes. That was followed up with a toast acknowledging his absence, but emphasizing how present he is. The waterworks continued.

I’m not a very religious person, but I really have been feeling quite spiritual lately. It’s amazing how much of someone’s spirit can live in the places he lived.

Mom dug up this old photo last night:


This is the old ‘Cheever’ house. It was the original version of the house I grew up in. Dad bought this house when it was in less-than-liveable condition, and restored it to the beautiful, warm home it is today.

Dad built our barn; he planted and sculpted the land at the Vineyard. So much of his sweat, care and passion went into creating our lives, that there is no way we can really feel like he is gone. It’s a tremendous blessing.

So long story short, it was not easy but we survived the holiday together – in the house that John built.



the universe.

In my younger years, I gave a lot of heed to the phrase, “If you find something you love doing, you won’t work a day in your life.”


Sadly, there have been times I felt that wouldn’t necessarily happen for me. However, as I am outside the winery this morning, pressure washing barrels, I’m finding this to not feel a lot like work. I know I’m still in the honeymoon phase, but I’m encouraged nonetheless.


I took the photo (directly) above back in the end of summer sometime and I can’t help but think that it looks like the cosmos inside that barrel.

I’m not one to be very superstitious (sorry, Stevie) but I’m thinking this metaphor, of wine being the universe, is okay by me.