Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Free to BAD home, vivisectionist prefered

Okay, the line was a joke stolen from one of my dog lists but both Sierra and Hope are free to the wrong home at the moment!

Sierra - she who was a perversely good puppy and unnaturally well behaved dog, Sierra who has never done anything wrong in her life... for some reason unknown to gods or man decided that while I was getting my shower this morning she needed to knock over the pot from the top of the grill and then dig up my iris! The same ones Hope had dug up a few weeks back which were just starting to look like they might think about pulling through. I got up this morning to see that she was an absolute MUDBALL from it. Hope had nary a fleck of dirt on her so I know she had no part of it.

Then after not being able to find La's shoes, I found one of them outside. On the grass. The elastic chewed to pieces. The little booger fetched them from the front of the house when I was getting her leash, plucked them off the table where they are stored to keep them OUT OF her grasp - past the gate, which was undone to go get the leash - and took them outside to CHEW UP! Freaking $60 pair of kids shoes that I hunted for WEEKS in 8 different stores over half of Melbourne to find a green pair of freaking soft-sole shoes and which they DON'T make any more! She certainly didn't *need* to take his shoes to chew... she could have chewed any of the other el cheapo, easily replaced pairs here or heck, for a lark, the 3 big cows femurs I got the dogs the other day -or- their icey pole blocks that were also out there with them.

Arrrggghhh... dirty (literally), rotten, little ingrates!!!

I tell you, it's a VERY good thing these dogs are so stinking cute I can't get mad at them. I'm convinced the cute-factor is one of those things they've evolved for just this sort of reason! They pull stunts like this and what do I do? Yell, scream, stomp, threaten to sell them to the gypsies? Nah. I go get the camera. (Will post the pic later!)

Monday, February 26, 2007

Un. Am. Us. Ed.

Today was Cade's annual well dog check up and when I called I forgot to specify to the new receptionist I wanted to make an appointment with my specific vet Dr. K (easy to forget when she was the only vet there for a long time) so they made my appointment with the new guy she hired.

I don't *like* this new guy, the two times I've seen him he's been fairly useless and I've just had to come back to Dr. K after anyhow. At any rate, by that point I'd managed to drag myself, three dogs and the toddler tornado to the vets so I simply went in. They had the vaccination ready, which I told him that at 9 years old I wasn't doing as I follow Dr. Dodd's protocol. The vet quickly took his temperature and ran his hands over him checking, looked in his ears and mouth real quick and pronounced him fine except for a pinker than normal belly skin, which probably means he laid down in the newly mowed grass and it irritated him.

I pointed out that his teeth actually probably need a dental. I scraped them recently but obviously couldn't polish them or get above sonic blast or irrigate the gumline obviously. The gums look irritated around the edges on a few, there's a higher pocket than there ought to be when I probed and some recession around the front incisors. Oh no, he assures me, they're not too bad at all, only some minor build up on the very rear molars. I replied, yes, I just scaled them like I mentioned a minute ago but he's been off his food and for Cade, chowhound that he is, that means it's time for a dental. Oh. Hm. Yes. He muttered something I didn't catch but nothing more about actually making an appointment for a dental. Wow... um, should I be having to TELL this to a vet? Personally I wanted to talk to the vet about testing his saliva for pH and production levels since even though we brush and use raw bones, Cade is prone to needing dentals yearly due to tight lips and a relatively dry mouth but I think that would have floated right over this guys head.

Then I asked, since he's a senior shouldn't we do some bloods? He looks at his file and goes hm, well yes, he's had some bloods last year. Um. Yes. Keywords: last year. This is a 9 year old dog - he qualifies as a senior, which means a baseline should be standard part of his check-up. He's on metacam, where blood draws to monitor tollerance and the health of kidney and liver should be considered routine and good standard practice. So a blood pannel should be an absolute no-brainer. Hm. Ah. Hm. No bloods. Just some stupid cortisone cream for his belly which is absolutely fine and a worming tab. I didn't even get to ask about her thoughts on his having a chiro or physio for his leg injury, which is causing some muscle on one side to become more built up. At the end of this, the bill was $96. Quite frankly for that amount of $96, I can run my own hands over the dogs body and tell you there's no unusual lumps or bumps, his heart and lungs sound clear, his temp is normal and he has clean ears. :-(
Still feeling rather "out there" atm. Spent all of Saturday checking in with the real estate agents. No joy there. We went to drive out to some of locales that we may rent in (will be cheaper, maybe more open to dogs) but are further out than we'd buy. (Too far for me to drive La to school from.) Anyhow, we went from Belgrave out towards Emerald, Avonsleigh, Macclesfield out to Cockatoo and then Gembrook which Nic insisted he wasn't lost and had me take a "short-cut". I'm in my whimpy, suburbanite, non-4-wheel-drive SEDAN without even a few wooden planks and bag of cat litter in case I got stuck in that muck on what ended up being a dubiously 1 lane, washed-out, dirt track hacked into the middle of the bush. We did eventually, with a few interesting driving tricks, make it to Monbulk, Mt Evelyn etc.

Today we had a show for Hope at KCC. A fair number of Aussie's there, got to see Jezza and Hondo et all again! Jezza, is the size of Hope now! We got to see two 12 week old Puli puppies and Oh. My. GODS... being that adorable should be a SIN! I'd have happily stuck one in my purse to take home! And best of all I got to meet Kate's little baby Cameron and got all horridly clucky over having a nearly-newborn to hold again! ;-p What a cute little chappy he is, blowing spit bubbles, gurgling and smiling up a storm!!! Hope & I did nothing as far as placings went... 2nd of 2. Hope totally deserved to place last as she was hopping, forging, crabbing, galloping and generally doing everything BUT gait properly, the booger! Point taken - no more slacking off training because I'm busy obsessing over finding a house, else she'll end up completely feral. X-P

Meanwhile I finally sat down to fill out entries last night and realized I've missed every entry-closes-by date except for one on the 31st of March. So apparently we won't be showing at all till April. *sigh* The saving grace to that is that there is at least quite a few herding events on in March and maybe the house thing will be resolved by then. Till then, there's Southern's instinct test, then ASCV's training day, then a VHA test day (which I think is beyond our current training) and then the weekend after the end of march the ASCV test day.

Because we'd been out to Skye, it made me think about looking in that area. Cranbourne and surrounds certainly aren't my first pick of place to live but what the hey, can't hurt to look so I took a squiz and found THIS HOUSE on 2 acres, 3 bedroom BV house, set up for horses for $495K The house is okay, not even close to what I'd design if we custom built but not completely yarg-worthy either. I suppose the paddocks could be fenced for sheep and dogs, the arena could do as an agility arena and stables could transform eventually into kennels. I'm not wild about it and half-way wonder if I'm selling out on my dream for the chance to have something sure/safe now (better a bird in hand...) but I suppose we'll probably look at it and look at the area as I don't know what it's like beyond the few times I've driven through one street of it to get to KCC or go to Toora. There was semi-affordable land in Beaconsfield Upper - 7 acres lightly treed for $399,500+ but it looks too far out for Nic to deal with transport. (Pakenham would be the nearest train line I think which is WAY too far for school!) Anyhow. Time for sleep. I've had crappy sleep the past few days and too little of it so time to haste me to the bye.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Heads up! (Or shaved at least!)

That's right... I'm going to be shaving my head for The Worlds Greatest Shave to raise funds for leukemia this March. Anyone interested in pledging to this very worthy cause to see my hair get shaved off, go to and follow the prompts! Very easy to do! I'm registered under Amanda Orbitani in Victoria!

Had a nice day today, escaping the heat and having a lovely time watching Bubba Lala play at Amber's with Bryn and Sif. I'm really astounded at how verbal La is getting now. Not just words as such but using them to communicate and that he's taking it from single words to the beginnings of sentences. He's gathering words all the time on walks by toddling up to something and asking "Mum?" "Yes La?" "Mum, uts ah?" (what's that) and pointing to an object he wants named.

I found two songs I *really* like for Freestyle and would like to do routines with! "Imma Shine" by Youngbloodz and "Show Me The Money" by Petey Pablo. 'd need to focus a lot on my own dancing skills first... which suck... hazzard of being HoH and having a vestibular disorder I suppose. And have to admit I haven't trained the dogs much lately anyway because I'm just too obsessed/anxious... about what to do about this moving issue and how it's going to affect us financially to focus on anything else at the moment.

Had a lesson which I probably should have canceled because my head wasn't on that matter and my heart wasn't into it. I wasn't able to focus on the new material and was making really supremely bone-headed mistakes on the old stuff. My instructor was wondering what the heck I was doing because I was all over the map and we both KNOW I can do far better.

Have been chasing my proverbial tail in circles trying to figure out what to do with still no property on the market which fits the bill.

Move to a little place for till we find a place or land to build a house, then rent it out? But properties make less than 5% returns and that's not likely to cover the loan we'd have to take out on the eventual land/house when we find it. Buy and then sell again later, hoping it works better next time? Unless you stay 4-5 years, it's a money loss and the time frame makes that bad idea. Rent till we find a place? There is maybe 1-2 places who are okay with the animals but it's a huge money loss. Move to a nice place and give up the dream for the time being but that's not something I'll ultimately be happy with.

At the back of my mind during all of that is that if I'd not delayed that 24 extra hours in making an offer I wouldn't have to deal with any of this crap... I'd have a lovely, perfect home with everything I want.

And to add to the weird energy swirling around me at the moment, Nic, Mister City Slicker, the person who was adamant he'd never survive the country, was aghast when I suggested BLACKBURN because it was "so far out in the sticks!" and in the first 23 years of his life never ventured further from the City than MALVERN... has for no reason known to gods or man, done a turn around and is now as gung-ho over the country as I am, saying he really doesn't want to live in the suburbs, he totally hears what I was saying about the energy of wild places and the energy of the suburbs being stiffling etc. It's positively freaky! I keep having to resist the urge to poke him and check if he's a pod person.

And to end this post, I'm sending out HUGE RASPBERRIES to who has decided to delete photos posted by mothers of breastfeeding their infants as "publically indecent" and removing their accounts, while allowing photos of genuinely pornographic material to go unchecked. I'd been considering transferring my blog to Myspace. I will not be doing so and will be boycotting the site unless and until Myspace both reverses this badly thought out decision and issues a public apology for an action which only serves to harm and criminalize breast-feeding mothers and their children for the act of NOURISHING A CHILD by likening it to public indecency. On a personal note, Myspace should be ashamed of endorsing a policy of discrimination and one based on an attitude which mercifully expired many years ago and for which discrimination laws exist to protect mothers and children against such idiocy in every other area of life. Such persecution and discrimination should be abhorrent to every person because supporting the discrimination of one person or group of persons is no different than discriminating against people for their race, religion, sexual persuasion, gender or any other matter. Myspace: REVERSE YOUR POSITION AND APPOLOGISE TO BREASTFEEDING MOTHERS FOR CALLING THEM CRIMINALS!

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

La inspecting some Queen Anne's Lace flowers

View of the vineyards in the distance

"Honey loooookkkk, sheeeeeep!!!!"

"Finally, they let me out of that carseat!"

Close-up of La's Queen Anne's Lace he picked.

Monday, February 19, 2007

When you're feeling a bit low, best therapy in the world is to watch three crazy dogs playing with one crazy kid and take lots of photos! LOL

Mister Bubby Lala insisting he can walk Cade all by himself thankyouverymuch!

Bum chums.

One of Cade... I'd really been looking forward to pictures in this park but because of the water restrictions the fountain and pond were drained. Still managed to get a few cute shots of Cade, who is 9 YEARS OLD on the 24th! I can hardly believe it... seems like yesterday he was a crazy, wired-for-sound, hell-fer-leather, devil-may-dare pup! (He was never what you might call a 'normal' IG! LOL)

A closer up shot of Emperor Cade, High Lord of the Stuffies, King of the Foodbowl! Believe it or not, the collar he's wearing is the one I made him as a pup! LOL Still wearing it, still fits!

A decent one of Sierra, though I liked the other picture I took of her better in terms of lighting, I cut her feet off. Lesson? ALWAYS CHECK YOUR FRAME! Der.

And last but not least, the hardest to photograph of the lot... Miss Hope! She is a pistol to get a good picture of because she isn't used to being my models as much as the others are - they listen when I say, "up, stay, move right, lay down, ears!" Plus everytime Laurent squeaked or waved she wanted to dash off to check-up on him (alien invaders might be stealing him youn understand) instead of sitting still!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

First, let's start off on a cute note. For Valentine's day the bonnie, bubbly, Bunny Lala painted his first picture for daddy after being well-smocked! Cute eh?

On the house-front: if something doesn't pop up within the next week or so, we have relatively few options. The two best, aside from the people miraculously calling up and tell us they changed their minds (a reoccuring fantasy) is that we could buy land and build, renting until it's finished OR we could buy an inexpensive house and put the balance into investments till we find a place we like, either selling or renting the smaller place after.

Buying land and building is an idea that I both like and dislike. It appeals on the level that I tend to have specific ideas of what I like and choosing everything from the ground up does have it's appeal. On the other hand it means renting while it's built, which is a big unknown. The idea of attempting to rent for A.) a shortish period of time and B.) with 3 dogs, 1 cat, 4 birds, 2 ferrets and a toddler sounds like a migraine in the making. I'm very worried about costs spiraling if estimates go over, things take longer than planned to complete, unknown/unplanned for/hidden costs arise etc. I'm also loathe to move only to move again in a few months and there's not a huge lot of blocks of land that are affordable in the areas we'd like. (To be precise, there is one.) So it'd be *possibly* more risky financially and is a daunting amount of research and legwork to do in a VERY short amount of time.

The other option would be buying an inexpensive place out there now and put the balance into investments till we find a place we like. Then we have the money for desposit available instantly, get a bridging loan (but then, those bloody things nail you for like 21% or something...) or standard house loan and could then either sell the first place or rent it out if we'd make enough to make it worthwhile and cover the monthly loan payments. Safer I suppose in some ways but still involves moving 2x which I really don't want to do and again more expensive than simply buying and moving 1x. The downside would be that if we opted to sell the first place we'd incur more fees from conveyancing etc. (It's cost us $26K into our profits to sell this place!) If we opted to rent, it'd have to cover fees rates, insurance, repairs and maintence of the property and the agents who'd manage it for us.

So to sum up: May the great god Murphy take a powder and the kinder gods of the universe bless us with an affordable dream house so we don't have to do either of those options and may they also ensure that I have the time/comprehension/connections to suss out how viable either of the alternative options are. ;-p

Random picture: My valentines day roses, aren't they purdy?!?

And after Nic gave them to me, little mister cupid holding them. All he needs is the wings.

Doggy Stuff - This pic just says it all!

(That's count 'em, one little white spirit cat and three hooligan dogs all flopped out!) We've just been hot and not really doing much. Have been working on Sierra's freestyle - doing circles around me, refining bows, backwards heeling. Hope is doing whatever catches my fancy on the spot, little bit of work on stacking and free stacking, need to start getting her to give attention on cue to the judges. (Last show, she maintained gave nice attention and eye contact but only to me... even when the judge was trying to elicit attention... which is exactly what we've trained for in *other* settings, DOH!) Cade is being a couch weight, his favorite passtime and one he does with great panache!

La Stuff:

Lots of new words. To wit - "CHOO CHOO!!!!!!" every time he hears a train. (His daddy jokes that Puffing Billy says "Choo Choo", the ones outside our home say, "...Connex appologises for any inconvience...")

And since we have sheep toys and statues aplenty..."La what's the sheep say?" "BAAAAA!!!"

He looks at the dogs who are hot and lounging, opens his mouth and *pant pant pant pant*

New word that's very appropriate: BUHON!!! (Button. As in, what he's always pushing...) ;-p

"Chews" and "chocs" (shoes and socks) and GEEN! (Green shoes and socks!)

When we went to pick up our dog food, the shop owner had one of her Standard Poodles (which I utterly adore her dogs) there and La was delighting in getting kisses from Teddy. "Sisi!" he chirped as he's trying to feed air-treats. "No honey, that's not Sisi, that's Teddy." "Teh-EE!" When we saw a black poodle on the street yesterday, he lit up and cried, "TEH-EH!!!" (Close kiddo...)

On the Aussie Shepherds list, one person sent through a photo of her 2 week old Aussie pup, La spied it and yelled "BEBE!" Then hopped up and chanted "Bis bis bis!" before giving the screen puppy a big kiss.

Last, as everyone knows the dogs all know various "spin" tricks for freestyle. Sierra, Hope and Cade learned single spins, multiples, off the left hand, off the right hand, we dabbled a little bit with getting Sierra and Hope to spin in unison and finally... inadvertantly... I've taught La to spin. ^_^' A few days ago I noticed whenever I cued the dogs to spin, La would twirl and grin at me. Heavens help us, this child turns more into a dog everyday!

Yucky moment tonight when we went out to get dinner. La was whinging so Nic took him out leaving me to wait for the order. The guy had something to ask, still not sure what... but asked the question 6x which I still couldn't hear/understand and had to keep asking, "Sorry, what was that?". The more I had to have him repeat himself and couldn't figure out what he was saying and the more impatient I saw him getting, the more I panicked. So instead of asking him to write the question down (which tends to get scowls anyhow) or explaining I'm HoH (which why should I have to explain to get a humane response... why shouldn't I receive equal patience if I had some sort of neurological deficit or didn't speak English or any of a thousand other reasons?!?) I panic and felt so embarassed. Five years on, I forget about my hearing until something rubs my nose in it. I don't mind explaining to people I know but I hate having to announce it to all and sundry every time I go shopping, make an order, have to make a phone call etc. HoH throws people. Some expect you're Deaf. Some expect you should be able to hear fine since you've got some hearing. I'm not Deaf of course but sometimes I think it'd be easier if I were. People know how to deal with Deaf somewhat better, it's easier to understand I guess. If you've got some hearing though, people don't understand how to treat you, you're not Hearing, you're not Deaf, they don't know how much you can or can't hear as one HoH person varies from the next. So they just get impatient and very often end up being demeaning or patronizing. They don't mean to, quite often they've got the best of intentions and don't even realize how insulting they're being but it just takes up more energy than I've got to deal with them sometimes yk? My thought of the day: It'd be nice if the world came with captions!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Interesting stuff...

Spent the day ploinking around playing with La and goofing off looking at interesting stuff on the net. I'm dealing with everything by not dealing with it... la de da! Mature? Nah. But I'm taking the day off. I'll go back to responsible-adult-looking-after-my-future tomorrow.

  • An implicit technology of generalization - complete paper on-line. Originally from Journal of Applied Behavioural Analysis in 1977 but still an intersting read. Snurched from one of my lists where the question of generalizing a behaviour (well, concept...) in humans was asked.
  • Unilateral hip dysplacia for dogs article
  • Pogostemon helferi - pretty plant, want to get some for my aquariums! I'm looking for tiny, tiny, fine leafed plants beyond the usual stuff for my nano tank! Even anubias v. nana and crypt wendtii are too big! Another plant I want Cladophora aegagropila. *drool*
  • Hope's half siblings , The Drinks Litter at 8 weeks! Lovely!
  • Hope's litterbrother overseas!
  • This is a Aussie I've liked for a long time... the way she's described reminds me of the dogs I grew up with and I think she's gorgeous to boot! I love the Roanoak dogs in general and have drooled over her for a few years!
  • And because I'm such a time-short, lazy arse I just FINALLY got Hope's pedigree up. Not fancy but functional. I might actually get her webpage done sometime before the next millenium! :rolls eyes:

Monday, February 12, 2007

The House

Today was the day we were supposed to hear from the agent on how the meeting with the home's owners went. I spent all day half-hoping, half-imagining I'd get an estatic call from Nic saying he'd got the call and had good news, the house was ours and what a lovely belated birthday present.

Time ticked by until Nic was off work - no call. Nic came home and still nothing. Either it was bad news or Nic was going to pull out a bottle of bubbly. I watched him trying to gauge if he was upset or hiding excitement. Dinner came and went, no bubbly, no announcement. Finally I broke and asked him if he'd heard from the real estate agent or not. He did. The owners weren't interested. Even with the extra offer. He'll keep us in mind, keep an eye out for something that matches our needs blah, blah, blah. Whatever. Who cares. I know I need to care because I need to find a house and I can't just hang myself up on this but right now, for this moment... I really don't care and I can't bring myself to either.

So. That's that. I'd love to go back in time and strangle myself for not moving on the property faster. I wanted to wait so we didn't seem too eager and inflate the price. Yeah, I couldn't have known, yadda, yadda... but the fact remains if I'd just moved on it straight away, the contract would have been signed and we'd have a home.

So we're back to looking. There is literally not a single house in the market I'm even remotely interested in and I've been haunting the real estate websites. Now we've got to consider what happens if we don't find a place in time. Do we rent until we find a place? I have no idea how to find a place that lets you have multiple animals or where or if you can rent without having to be in contracts for a set period or what the fees are like for breaking contract and moving early. Or do we settle somewhere that's got a decent house but not enough land for what I want and move later. Both ideas gall me, the later in particular. And if we're going to settle in a house without the land I want, should we just stick somewhere in the inner burbs where it's better for N & L or still be in the country but without the country? Or do we consider other reigons completely... but it's still got to be close enough to the city and transport for Nic, close enough that I can take L to school, close enough to training and eventually to classes for myself etc. Too many things to consider and weigh and my head is spinning with matters I thought I'd settled when we found this house and put in the offer.

What compromises do you make when no compromises are acceptable?

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ballarat show & B-day

I'm whipped so here's the highlights:
  • Went to sleep at 1:30 am
  • Got up at 6:15am, started bathing dogs because if you're going to bathe one you might as well do them all.
  • Left at 8:00
  • Arrived in Ballarat at 11:00
  • Show was SUPPOSED to start 12:00
  • Show started at 1:20ish, Judge Mr I. Hinde
  • Hope=Best Baby Puppy of Breed of 1 (lol) After being pretty calm previously today she bounced, pounced, leaped her way around the ring (hey, they're looking for movement right???lol), stopped to take a piddle, noticed the judge and had to give him kissies!
  • Almost got Best Baby Puppy in Group, judge was looking back and forth between her and the little ACD tyke and in the end chose him. Ah well! Pics below, me minus my jacket because it was too warm!
  • Had pizza and ice-cream for b-day dinner but we didn't get to go to any antique shops or stop anywhere else because the judging took so long and La was more whingey than he's been in um... ever.

L-R: Aust Cattledog, Me and Hope, Border Collie

Closer up one of the Wild Mexican Jumping Bean in a better behaved moment! ;-p

Congrats also go out to Hope's dad Courage who got Best of Breed, her half-brother (through sire) Myriahill Red River aka "River" who got BOB and half-sister (through her dam) Cuebiyar FollowURDream aka "Jahz" who had three first place qualifying rounds in agility, the last of which was done in less than HALF the allowed course time! :-D

Saturday, February 10, 2007

No show today for me and Hope! Called the show secretary Friday and was told there was only one baby puppy bitch entered and 'twasn't mine. Apparently a few peoples were lost by the post according to the lady.

We are however going to the Ballarat show tomorrow! So at least I get to spend my birthday at a dog show! I plan to indulge myself and have junk-food I normally wouldn't: pepperoni pizza and cookies-n-cream ice cream and if I can find it a lemon-custard donut. I've been looking forward to that for 3 weeks now! LOL And on the way back we're going to meander around Ballarat, Castlemaine, Woodend and look at antique shops etc.

News on the house-front... (Recap, the people on the house we'd decided on jerked the house off the market unexpectedly just before signing the contract, I demonstrated my colourful vocabulary.) After skulking my way through Wednesday, we decided this was just too important and we'd asked Real Estate Dude to speak to them in a few days, hoping they'd reconsider. We gave him a nice juicy $25K hike in the offer as incentive. So RE Dude's called them up and asked to meet to discuss things and they agreed to meet with him. So..... we wait. Nic thinks it's a good sign, because if there was no way they'd reconsider, why agree to a talk with RE Dude? Me, I dunno. I refuse to speculate until they've signed the contract or told us to take a flying leap.
I do however feel it's all going to work out one way or another. Wednesday my mind played out every 'what if' scenario, uselessly chasing it's fictional tail in circles and well, let's just say none of the scenarios ended with, "and they all lived happily ever after" you know? Then I went to sleep, meditating using this big golden crystal I have as focus and just felt this tremendous sense that everything would work out somehow. I do believe that when you pray for something, you oughtn't simply request X object (delivered by Y date and giftwraped please...) but be open to the possibility that the universe might have something else in store for you, hence, "I'd like this house or for the right one to be revealed to me." I DO believe that. But. Um. I must admit, before I could stop myself a tiny, somewhat squeaky voice in my mind added... "but, um, I'd really like it if THIS one is the one that's right for us."

Thursday, February 08, 2007

pictures from today

Had to go to the real estate offices today and let everyone know we're still in the market. There's nothing that really fits what we're looking for, in our price range and not super far out. And to be honest, my heart really isn't in it, I don't want to see other places... I want these people to change their minds and sell me the one I want! Not the most reasonable attitude but heart's aren't about reason I suppose.

After doing the Grown Up Thing and looking into it despite not wanting to, I felt like I needed to be out in the forest today with some big old trees and sort of meditate on it all in a hike. In the last few days, I've gone from being on Cloud 9 about finding the perfect house and it looking like a done deal to really wanting to believe this is a bad dream I'll wake up from.

(In fact, Sif's latest post has a bunch of pictures she took from our playgroup and omg does that last one capture EXACTLY how I was feeling! Personally Sif, I think your dream about being a 'real' photographer isn't so little! I also love the Birthday Butterfly Fairy with an Attitude and the one of S pushing the two littles on the swings!

We stopped at a spot with some short hiking paths and were taken aback by these Sulpher Crested Cockatoos everywhere!

But not just cockatoos... rosellas and several other parrots!

A bit dark but you can see the sulpher crested cockatoo, the gallah cockatoo and rosellas here. Also saw kings parrots.

My babies were also very adorable together, even if Hope did boof at the park guy sticking trash into a big, billowing bag with one of those grip thingies. ;-)
La wanted to hold Hope's leash (it's green...) and reached over to give her a big hug...

At least one of them looks over when I ask them to say "cheese"! La is too busy chatting to the fairies.

Then they just sort of leaned into each-other for a moment... first La leaned into Hope, then she rested her head against him... and just a half-second after this shot she gave him a kiss.

My hooligan girlie. I just love this dog, she's such a little love!

After a long day, it's time for a nap.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Shit shit SHIT...

It's said that under certain circumstances profanity provides relief denied even to prayer and this is one of those circumstances.

Morning started with Miss Hope getting into my pots of iris which I'd pulled up from the garden and put into pots to bring with us. She's dug them up, chewed half of them, scattered them all over the yard. Over a hundred iris. I found her IN one pot, bum hanging over the back, chest/shoulders hanging over the front and legs working furiously while muddy potting mix flew. It would have been absurdly comical if it weren't my precious iris she was destroying. She did this in maybe 15? minutes outside unsupervised, when I went to the bathroom and then changed La's nappy. Seriously NOT happy, most of them are Tempo Two iris, so they're pedigreed... or were... the tags are all ripped and chewed now, so who knows what's what. None of them were inexpensive and at least half of them are ones we inherited from Nic's mum making it worse. Not mad at the dog, she's just being a dog and doing puppy stuff... but seriously kicking myself for leaving them in a situation where she could get to them. Stupid, stupid, stupid! I've put cinnamon powder on them and replanted most but who knows if they'll survive. *cries*

Then, we just got a call from the real estate agent 6pm. A few days back we'd put in an offer and were in the middle of negotiations, basically just waiting for them to finish sign papers. He calls today and says they've changed their mind, they're withdrawing the property from the market. I am so freaking upset I can't see straight. I'm sick of having my emotions yanked every which way. I'm sick of feeling up in the air with the date of our settlement coming up in a relatively short amount of time. If we don't want to rent (and with 3 dogs, cat, birds, 2 ferrets and a child we DON'T) we need to basically get a house NOW. It took us forever to find the right house, it's gorgeous, period house, land, views to die for, close to town, close to a bus, even the freaking colour scheme being GREEN inside and out and had SHEEP... and now when it seemed a done deal, it's just jerked out from under us. I'm done being a grown-up... this is unfair and I want to cry and scream and kick up a big tanty, except all I feel right now is this vague numbness. I don't even have words for what I'm feeling at the moment... well, except the above mentioned profane ones. *sigh* Those do seem to fit even if they look awful.

Monday, February 05, 2007


Poor Lala. Poor Hope.

Both of them are cutting new teeth and neither are feeling good from it.

Laurent has been Sir Sookie Sooksalot of Grumpville over the past few weeks due to a third tooth on the bottom jaw cutting and a fourth working it's way up. He was almost sleeping through the night till this, just one short feed! Now we're back to very interrupted sleep! Remembering my own wisdom teeth, I can't blame him though!

Hope the past few days has lost several baby teeth, which I found 2 of and saw a 3rd get swallowed. She must have more as the whole way through breakfast I could barely hear these little whimpers every so often as she crunched her kibble. Lunch and dinner got soaked a bit in warm water. Half tempted to try the Calc Phos tissue salt homeopathic stuff and see if that helps her. La likes it but needs a panadol chaser when he's feeling those toothers especially badly.

My poor littlies... hopefully this passes soon for them!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Friday we started Freestyle level II! Woot! Sierra was soooooo excited to be there again I'm suprised she didn't explode into a million bitty pieces. Good to see everyone and we've got another Aussie in class! Yay the Aussies! Hope also got in a bit of practice after Si's class and reminded me how much smarter she is than Sierra. Jeeze louise... I'm so used to working with Sierra now (who is a very sweet, highly bidable but NOT one of nature's brain trusts) I'd forgotten what it's like to have a dog who isn't a spazoid! FOCUS, ATTENTION, SELF-CONTROL... gosh I love this pup!

Saturday we had a lovely day at the Pet & Animal Expo Show. Hope was entered and did okay but her handler was a real doofus! LOL They called us in in catalogue order and bugger it all but that meant
I was in first! Couldn't see the steward to see what was said (which, I learned too late was to take them all the way around once, then set them up) and didn't hear it, so I blanked and thought,"Oh s***, what the HECK did she have the class before do?!?!" Hopefully didn't hinder the others too much! Miss Hope behaved decent despite her owners doofus-status and ghe got 3rd place. I can't gripe because the pups who got 1st and 2nd were utterly cute little tykes! Also hung around the Aussie Shepherds booth at the Expo bit, which made for a lovely afternoon! Hope got an astonishing lot of petting from the breeds meet-n-greet stall! She took it all in stride, huzzah for puppy socialization! (The lovely Leah and Audrey and Shae and Tannah stopped by to say 'hi' as well!) I didn't find the herding guy but took Laurent to see a small round pen of sheep there. It was standing next to a bandstand with some guitars, keyboard, singer etc. Darling Bubby La promptly climbed the sheep fence, reached over and yanked the cord that was plugging in the electrical supply to the band. Instruments and mic instantly went dead. Um. Opps? Sorry guys... we quickly plugged it in and moved on. Heh. We left when La was getting too upset and drove out to Kalista to sign papers for the offer for the house... so fingers crossed for a quick agreement!

Then today we were back bright and early and LATE. Good thing it's a 10 minute drive! Peeled in, brushed her quickly, chucked my arm-band on and after a few minutes in we went. I didn't have to go first this time! *phew* Hope did wonderfully for me, was such a good little girlie! *coos and admires my pup* So tickled with her! I also did a fair bit better and was happy that I managed to keep everything relatively straight in my head! Leash up against the neck and blending with the fur, collar in the proper position, hand in the right position, fingers in the right position to cue without too much movement, cues delivered in proper order (verbal, body, leash) and time, don't gait too fast or too slow and fudge up her trot, keep the leash arm loose at the joint so it's not pulling on the lead, the other arm tucked in so it's not waving all over, don't break stride during turns, hand stack in a way that doesn't cause the judge to move you around to examine the dog, stack the dog correctly, double check, bait for expression, don't fumble the lead, don't trip and oh yes... remember to BREATHE. ;-)

In we went, set up, Hope stood pretty steady for the judge during exam. Did a triangle, finished up,

... round about and the judge pointed one, two, three. We were third place. Picked up my pretty girlie, twirled her, cuddled her, hugged her and thanked her for a job nicely done and got lots of puppy kisses! :-)

"Oose my girlie? Oose my good Hopeie puppy! Such a good baby my girl is!" (Attack of the kissy puppy!!!)

Spent a little bit of time at the breed booth but not too much because Hope was still pretty tired from it all and instead of greeting every person was simply scouting out the prams for kids. Visited with Helen at the Poodle booth. I adore her dogs but alas she didn't bring Tyger (wah! I loves Tyge!) though she had a Jordan daughter there to admire.
I gotta say, I do love the Standard Poodles... not a fan of minis or toys but I love the Standards! I'll probably never have one though because I'd like to show and the grooming for a show Poodle cut requires more skill than I'd probably have in a million years. LOL

Now, while our results weren't too exciting, I have to send out

to Amanda on Leo and Kinta, who BOTH got BEST IN GROUPS for their respective classes!!! Holy moley, betchya you didn't have to take the car home on account of floating there!

Mini-brags on a few of Hope's relatives as well. Her half sister (mother's side) Jahz has had an AWESOME few agility trials and come away with some freaking AMAZING times!!! I really kind of am crossing fingers Hope is a liddle bit slower... else I'm going to have a hard time keeping up with her! Her litter-brother Floyd, aka Cuebiyar Body N Soul was Best Baby of Breed in 2 recent shows which isn't a bad start either.

Also found the herding fellow I'd been interested to see today and watched him do a short demo. Different guy than the other days demo apparently. This guy is a kelpie guy and recomended as being very positive methods. After a bad experience with Sierra some years ago and a few that were good but not as positive based as I'd ideally like shortly after it, I really wanted to look for someone who was on my wave-length. Liked what I saw of this guy, he had a nice soft manner with the dogs, very calm, very steady and I never saw one of his dogs even look a bit uncertain what was expected. He had a few kind words to say about Hope which was nice to hear from that (working) POV and another fellow, older British fellow who worked for (?) the VCA in some manner caught us as we were leaving and commented that he'd seen us in the Baby Puppies class and really caught his eye on her and she looked like she was going to grow up into a nice little dog. I rather agreed with him but then I'm slightly prejudiced and reckon she's the best little dog around! ;-)

Mister Bubby Lala had some fun but unfortunately found it hard to nap and got the grumpies come the afternoon. However I did get one classic shot of him... Mister Vegemite, eatting his sandwhich... vegemite smeared all over his face, shirt, pants and hands due to the enthusiasm of it! I have another I've got to do, which is of him enjoying the big plush bed I got for the dogs. He lays on it and pets the suede-like fabric! LOL

And now, I'm going to go join my dogs, child and husband in flopping for a nap! ;-)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

"Hey mum, thanks for buying me such fun toys! They sure were a blast to rip to pieces and spread everywhere!"

Unfortunately I don't have the ability to show ALL the deck, as there was a lot more mess than this shows! She ripped several 25 L bags of potting mix to pieces, spreading it from one end of the deck to the other, into Laurent's pool and down the steps. All I have to say is that the little stinker is LUCKY SHE'S CUTE!!! *mock outrage*