Wednesday, August 22, 2007

I've been spending most of the past few days offline gardening or rather pruning my severely overgrown rhodenderons. I'm shocked at how much stuff I've got off them and even more shocked at how much more I've got to go. I'm sure that when it's chipped I could fill a 7 meter skip. Truth be told I'm impressed with how much I've gotten done with Bubby La interrupting me every five seconds to tell me of the important matters of the world. Important matters include: there is a cow, the cow says moo, the dam is still filled with water, the cow thinks grass is yummy, the sheep say baa, pum (lambs) like bibi (milk), there is a tree, a BIG tree, a BIG pretty tree, another tree, it is hot/cold, Hope/Sierra/Cade/Verity want cookies, La would like bibi, bibi is gone, La wants (jelly)beans, beans are gone, ALL gone, still gone, there is a car, the car goes VROOM, a truck, two trucks, a BIG truck... all kinds of stuff I desperately need to know! ;-)

Since the weather was so gorgeous, I also bought a heap of flowers and seeds in the past two days and have been enjoying reconnecting with my inner mudbug. For me, the gardening is kind of a zen thing. I've always loved flowers and plants but I also enjoy the actual planting, weeding, watching things grow and evolve. I love the action/rhythm of it and when La is down for a nap I'm out gardening and thinking or mucking with the dogs and La is like me - prefers to be outside to inside, so he and the dogs enjoy running around or "helping" most of the day.

The other day though, La somehow got out of the fenced area. I have no idea how still really. The fence isn't pretty but is secure and the front gate is not able to be opened - chained shut as we only use the driveway gate. I'd sat him down next to me, gave him a pear to eat and in the time I stuck the spade in the ground and looked back up to tell him to watch how we plant the flower... like maybe 2-3 seconds, he was gone. If you've gardened you know exactly what I mean, if not it's no more time than scouping a spoonful of yogurt or cereal. I went around the corner to see if he'd gone to see the lambs or mud puddle as I knew he had NOT come past me, which was the only way he could have accessed the driveway. He was NOT out back but out front though. I checked the fence, there's no holes. The only thing I can think is he must have climbed it... my going around the wrong way to look for him thinking he'd gone to the lambs probably gave him just enough time to make it over instead of helping. It's the only thing that makes sense... which he's never even hinted at thinking of attempting before and I wouldn't have thought he could even get to with the hedge stuff being that thick. Either way I've called half a dozen fence contractors and called the council to find out about height regulations as we are getting a new tall, unclimbable fence asap, I have been so freaked out by this I still don't think I'm done shaking.

I'd actually had a whole post typed about how well things were going before that too. We're up another four lambs - two sets of ewe lambs to the Gold Tag girls.

Random bits of La cuteness: "Mum, I want a cuddle!"
"Mumma, I drink tea!" (Water in a coffee mug.) "More tea mumma?" And upon being given a refill of a few centimeters of water, "Oh WOW! Water! Ta!"
"Mum, where is Hopie? I want Hopie! HopieHOPIEHOPIEEEE!!! Awooooooo!!!"
"Mum, Hopie wants a cookie! *pauses to think* FOUR COOKIES!!!"

Random thing to avoid teaching a 2 year old: Fox - it sounds a lot like F--k and an astonishing amount of people have been offended until I bring out the toy fox we got him and weakly laugh. I should have let him keep calling it a dog! I'm sure they don't believe me.

I also *still* need to pick up my cockrel. Jeeze... that's been over a month of waiting now! Or two possibly! We missed the Seymour show, which I was seriously bummed about, on account of everyone feeling under the weather.

And I need to find a few nice vanilla dog-broke sheep to build confidence. My mummas have proven why we've had no losses from foxes - they head butted, stomp and CHASE (yes, seriously...) the poor dogs quite aggressively across the pasture! Miss Verity decided to suprise me though, after having previously told me in no uncertain terms the sheep were weird and rather creepy she spent about fifteen minutes casting around in big circles around the lambs and me... she's not quite sure what she was supposed to do but sure she was supposed to be doing something!

Speaking of Miss Verity, she has been coming along nicely. She's fit in here so neatly and is just generally such a happy dog, I can't remember not having her really. She's been doing a good bit of socializing and coming along slowly and steadily as I'd expect. We make it a point to go to the markets around here as well as walking around town when I pick Nic up from the train station and taking her with me when we are going out. She had her first distraction class (not the same as socialization classes) Sunday after Gembrook Market, so we kept it really brief (being as she'd already had quite a big morning and only about 30 mins downtime to process) just rewarding for eye contact and calmness in the face of the class going on from off the mat. She'll start the socialization classes in a few weeks, with Dr. Calnon, which I'm really looking forward to and my Freestyle class also rather fortuitously ordered Control Unleashed which Jahz's owner Sam had recomended. I'm just started into it and already really liking what I'm reading and I think a lot of it will fit in with Verity supurbly!

I am just so tickled with this dog, she has her issues but she is just such a love! I'm not really sure I can pick specific things to define why I love her as the way I do, it's a lot of little things I think. She has a good bit of the mischiviousness, cheek and sense of humor I like but she is a sweet dog, she gets a lot of joy out of life and does everything with her heart fully in it, very much a velcro child. She is actually pretty eager to please but her intrepretation of things can be quirky... for example, we've been working a lot on Doggy Zen (self-restraint, self-control, asking please etc.) and she knows that despite the plate of food looking temptingly available unless she controls herself well enough to ask politely and wait for permission she will not get it. This was one of the first things we started in on because she saw absolutely no reason not to simply hop on the table when I set the bowl of training treats there. She looked a bit puzzled at my unconventional placement of what was obviously meant for her but... well, humans do lots of things that are incomprehensible, so she was charitably willing to indulge me my quirks and calmly hopped up. She was quite pleased with having figured out what I'd wanted! With the zen work, she's stopped attempting to take it out of the bowl herself and request it, wait for the click and permission but sometimes the excitement and anticipation of the reward after having to contain yourself for AGES (like,15 seconds...) in the face of a bowl of high value goodies is just SO much that with the click she literally explodes upwards, lands on the table and stands there waiting for me to hand her the goodie! She gets down as soon as I point out she's not supposed to be there and is controlling herself by not simply going straight for the food, so it's really just an expression of the high excitement from having succeeded and getting a reward! LOL

So I've been mentally making lists of everything I need to do and everything I want to do in the next few weeks (aside from fences, which are now priority one)

La's birthday party reservations made, food plans made, invitations made and sent, gifts ordered. The plan is a ride on Puffing Billy, with a picnic/bbq at Emerald's park. (Not sure if I want to cater or do catering ourselves this year. Need to decide on cake designs, colours etc though.) I also need to decide on photos for the photo puzzles we're having made (these are so cool!) and get a good photo of him as we're having an artist do a picture this year instead of the photographer last year. (No comment on him, I just really liked this ladies work and wanted one!) Unfortunately I can't get a photo I LIKE for it... darn quick moving child! ;-p

And other than that
* rugs for livingroom, hallway (runner), La's room, our room, guest room, study
* paintings up in all rooms
* catalogue all art and antiques for insurance and put into a binder
* frame for photo of house in 1911
* front verandah wood ripped up, replaced and oiled
* rear verandah oiled
* chairs and wicker table for decks
* floors tiled with actual tiles instead of lino
* bathroom completely redone, refurbished also toilet redone
* laundry area completely redone and restructured
* mudroom finished, painted and tiled
* antique fireplace mantels in and done up nicely
* skirting around house installed
* lavenders around back
* veggie garden (raised beds, sleepers) installed
* compost bins installed, worm farm installed
* clean up all the deadwood around the front garden, mulch
* gardens changed from modern succlents to cottage garden style, change where the cement stuff is to pretty rock edging, so sourcing/buying the rocks and then installing
* fence in front yard, paint front fencing and the gates, get the gates working and safe
* fence off two areas in first paddock - one as round pen to gather livestock/workducks/segregate alpaca, one around the shedding to contain them
* my study to be fixed, ceiling fixed, repainted, built in desk and storage for scrapbooking, door dealt with etc
* Catch up on my dreadfully behind e-mails, including contacting about spinning classes, yoga classes and knitting classes, postal correspondance etc etc etc etc

Had an old friend of mine google me and post me a PM on AB after I'd apparently not remembered to send her the new e-mail after moving. *erp* Jeeze I suck! X_x'

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