Monday, December 29, 2008

Twenty Six Weeks, attracting a crowd with a bucket

Honk: "Move off lamb! We is big tough geese!"

Honks: "See? TOUGHEST GEESE EVAH!" (Said with much headbobbing and posturing.)

Sheep: *STOMP*
Geese: "Okay, mebe not that tough!"

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Surprises, lovely and otherwise

For those who remember a few months back when I mentioned I'd been given a bunch of rose cuttings which I was attempting to grow new roses from for the first time ever, check this out! I not only kept many of them alive to this point but one of them decided to give us a Boxing Day gift... the first flower!

I'm prejudiced but I think it's just lovely!

This is one of my older roses, planted by the previous owners and rather neglected it's now giving lovely big flowers the size of your hand.

Our not so pleasant surprise is that while we were near the house today chatting about letting the bigger ducklings out, Nic spotted a nice big copperhead between us. Going by the fence it was sitting near it'd measure a bit over 80cm or so. I was raised to believe we live with our wildlife and give it a healthy respect but all the same I'm not at all thrilled to see it right where Laurent and the dogs run around. The dogs had been running around that spot only about 20 mins previous and La was on his swingset at the time.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day

A few pics of the day... La did pretty well - we'd planned to get him two larger presents and limit the smaller ones and did pretty well. His biggest present was a swing set (swing, glide swing, trapeze/rings) and slide as he's forever requesting to go to the playground for those things. The other big ticket item was a wood stove/oven with utensils and 'food' so he can pretend to be a chef like dad. He also got a "build it and paint it" jet plane, a wooden chainsaw (so he can pretend to be a "Jamie" like his favorite arborist), a Wiggles dvd, a felt fishing set (pics of this tomorrow) and make-believe scene cloths (cloths with a lake, meadow etc to drive toy cars across) and a few more of the schleich animal figures. After we carried him out to the kitchen to make breakfast, we asked him to go see if Night garden was on telly to get him into the living room...

Here's the whole thing as he's discovering it in the morning. *g*

We're enchanted with the cooking set. It has a CLOCK folks - a CLOCK, with hands that turn even! Knobs to 'turn on' the burners, various cooking utensils (spatula, pizza cutter, ladle, wood spoon), a fry pan and pot, pot-holder and various foods (pizza and toppings on a bake tray, eggs, bacon, tomatoes etc you can 'chop' up and put in the oven.

This pic is a two-fer-one shot... the new Tonka truck, actually a dump truck, apparently doubles as a horse float for the little schleich horse. (Fresian I think...)

The chainsaw as it's slipped from the wrapping. We looovveee our chainsaw, much of the afternoon while we were assembling the swing/slide set was spent "trimming" and "chopping" the trees. ;-)

Finally the swing set is finished setting up! La is rather chuffed with it as you might be able to guess!

"Yeee-hawwww!!!" (I kid you not - courtesy of the Western Wiggles DVD...)

And best of all - the slide... swings are top notch but slides are a whole 'nother level of coolness in La-dom! *g*

Sunday, December 21, 2008


Lots of photos, it's been a weirdly busy-and-at-the-same-time slow past few days. ;-)

After several attempts this is the best photo of all dogs and child. I'll give you three guesses WHICH one wasn't holding the sit-stay and couldn't resist making the girls sniff for bikkies. First two don't count!

One of the little red poppet, clean and dry and NOT covered in water and mud for a change. (She is OBSESSED with digging in the little pool and dam!)

Decorating the christmas tree at home

Cheeky little beggar... he's grabbed one of the little gold musical instrument decorations from the tree and is pretending to play it, complete with hummed not-quite-in-key song tune.

The tree, stockings and such. The gold wire tree on the mantle holds our special breakable baubles, we choose a new one together each year to add to the collection.

Random La photo (Hey look at that! He CAN hold still! Photographic proof folks!)

I asked him to do nice photos for Christmas. "But mum, I want to RUN!"

Pensive critter. While he's mister smiley a lot of the time, we're definitely in THAT stage of things where he's old enough to know what he wants to do, not old enough to do it all and immensely frusterated with that fact.

After he'd been curious about the Santas in the shops for weeks we took him to Melbourne's city square to meet one there. Following in last years footsteps (where he pitched a tanty over having his merry attempts to catch pigeons interrupted to see Santa) he wasn't really clued into Santa's cued speech of 'what do you want for christmas'! We don't really do the "Santa is a magic person who flies around with reindeer and gives you stuff you want if you're good" thing so much as the tale of the original St Nicolas and that the Santa's now represent a visible wish to continue the spirit of using our bounty to help others, the needy and share our love with family/friends.

Poor Santa... really not what the guy was expecting, though we did get some high fives in.

He loved the big green tree... it was TALL and has BUTTONS you press to make NOISES...

One of him with Nic

And with me

Before turning into a ratbag, flipping upside down to watch the pigeons and carriage horses.

Why is this black and white? Artistic liscence? Nah... it just looks nicer when you can't see how muddy the bathwater is after "helping" garden all day!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The day started out pelting rain and on the cold side. It also started out early. We packed up into the car with the dogs and while La and Nic spent the day mostly inside, the dogs and I spent it mostly outside or in a shed where I managed to get soggy and have much of my shirt, pants, boots and coat covered in a mix of wet-sheep, sheep dookie, mud and hay with somewhat muddy, mucky, soggy dogs nearby. Twas a good time! ;-P

By way of explanation, we got to another one of the herding workshop days hosted by the Vic folks. I took Hope and Cami, the later of whom decided she was not at all sure she wanted to do much once she got in the ring despite whinging her head off for it outside the ring and the former of whom was "full of enthusiasm" (to put it mildly...) and did well for a little black ratbag. ;-) She'd have quite happily have kept going all day I think. She got two nice runs though, handled the times the sheep gave a bit of challenge (head/eye/stomp) with more confidence than previous which was nice to see and I think I've got some ideas for stuff to work on at home and learned a good bit by watching everyone else running so I'm quite happy with the day. Best of all, we can actually PRACTICE now with my new fencing and practice yard finally finished!

To round up a nice day spent in good company where I was well fed, I got to have a peek and cuddle of a bunch of kittens, one of whom is hopefully coming home with me once they've had jabs and been altered and a bunch of 2 week old pups, same sire as Cami though different mum. Lovely fat little slugs... good strong suckling reflexes too, which a couple demonstrated on my finger!

Friday, December 05, 2008

More ducklings :-)

Five new little Aylesbury girls - cute as buttons, tiny and fresh! Aw... :-) We'd gotten to talking about what fatlings my older ones are, so of course I had to snap a picture to show the size difference. The little one is only day old, the porker 4.5 weeks. It's still a good ways off it's adult size but growing very nicely! *G*

Other than that we're humming along, trying to get stuff done in between the rain!

As usual weekends are my major "get stuff done" days (read: days when Nic is home instead of gone 7am-8pm and I can pawn my darling spawn off on him) Yesterday I managed to do the usual daily unescapables (sweep, vac, mop, laundry), mow and mostly finish line trimming the yards, did 3 large council bins packed with weeding, mulched 2 loads sticks through the chipper and spread them, clean/fed/watered various critters, up to the LSS to get crumbles/a new salt lick with copper in it/sheep drench and grocery store before rain hit and drenched me! We're seriously rain central!

Sunday was more of the same after training and a Christmas break-up which was a good bit of fun. Hope and Si both got nice compliments on their attention and Hope was doing fairly nicely in heeling and patterns. In her downtime she's been having bouts of anxiety though and chewed in the softcrate, then opened the car glovebox to get into my gloves/spare collars etc and chewed them, finally being grumpy with a few dogs bouncing nearby. :-/ Sierra got to play a game of "tunnelers" in agility for intermediate dogs and did pretty well if you ignore her rusty/pregnant handler and was something like second place in recall times. She also made run-offs for "how fast can your dog snarf a few meter long row of treats" game - truly a proud moment and a sport made for Si if ever there was one! ;p

After getting home I spent the afternoon doing more mulching and edging one of the garden beds with rocks, during which time I displayed my usual catlike grace (which is to say, none at all...) and managed to twist my ankle very nicely while face planting into the gravel. Which given the lovely weather I was more than a bit disgruntled over how much I could be doing!

My ankle does feel better today, it made today interesting though- being the Queen of Timing, this had to happen not only when there's heaps to do anyhow but the fence post tractor guy showed up unannounced right as I was limping around trying to get the child and critters fed/watered/toileted/clean after they found the mud (yes, all of them) and the house tidy before my midwife and backup mw arrived. So then I needed to map out where in the paddock I wanted them to put the posts and gates, shift the (heavy!) dog trailer so he could get through the lane way instead. I'll be VERY glad to get the fencing done but I couldn't help wondering if Murphy wasn't enjoying a bowl of popcorn and laughing while watching me. To boot, La is still not feeling totally over the virus and has been... erm... "special", in the grumpy, tantrum-at-nothing-and-everything, zero frustration threshold 3 year old sort of way.

So after spending a few hours "helpfully" helping the fencing fellows, and then pestering the midwives to see ALL of his toys etc (you can't mean they weren't both there for his entertainment... pshaw!) I had the brilliant idea to take him to the store to get some playdough and painting paper to keep him busy. Oh gosh, you can all just imagine how that turned out right? The pregnancy meantime is going as bog-standard and boringly normal as it's been all along so still nothing terribly exciting to report on that front. LOL

Meanwhile I snapped this one of the little black dog on the post digging tractor. No other particular story, just thought it was cute. :-)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Text later. Pic Now. La and Bryn at the Melbourne Children's Museum, La being a dinosaur and growling. Not the most fantabulous photo on account of the odds of getting two three year olds to hold still for a nanosecond in the same place at the same time being roughly on par with winning the Tatt's jackpot. ;-P

Sunday, November 23, 2008

My new sheep! :-D

Sunday afternoon we set out towards Geelong to pick up my new, lovely, long awaited sheep! I have been absolutely hanging for them to be ready to go and am sooooo excited to have them here finally!

Not the least because they are from a flock bred for handspinning, as well as I knew there would be moorit (chocolate) among them which is my favorite colour! So here they are - first is the ram, a lovely young fellow named Cadbury. :-D

Isn't he just the most gorgeous boy ever???

I also got tmoorit ewes, the above has been dubbed Mocca-Chocca. The blue on their heads is just so we could distinguish who we were looking at in the herd when picking them out btw! It wears off!

This is the other moorit, Latte. Yes, my sheep will have names... it is just plain easier to keep track of who is related to who a few generations down the lines when they have names instead of just numbers on paper!

I also got two younger black girls... they should fade out to a silvery-black. This one was today dubbed Peekaboo for obvious reasons. *g* Kept ducking from one side of the tree to the other to watch me!

And the other black girl has been dubbed Star.

My original English Leister girls (well, two of them anyhow) have been eyeballing the newcomers with suspicion and running away - scaredy sheep! LOL

The other fun this weekend - another lovely day out at the new training club. Nic missed catching pics of Hope (busy with La) but was able to catch some of Sierra and I. Sierra had fun... to put it mildly! Poor girlie, I feel so bad about not having found a club for the dogs earlier. She has obviously missed it SO, SO, SOOOOOO much that the entire time she is there she is struggling not to vibrate from the sheer joy of it. Even after an hour when the instructor decided to call it a day with the other dogs as they were looking a bit tired, he added in, "except the Aussie, who looks like she has enough pep to keep going all day..." Very probably true.

Poor dear is a bit rusty though. Must actually remember to work with her once in awhile to get her back to where she used to be and correct the same annoying little troubles she had when I left off.

Er. Like the head-orientation tending to throw off her angle to me.

Is this supposed to be a heel or a freestyle prance???

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Can I just say I love weekends???

I LOVE WEEKENDS! Saturday we had a nice day working in the garden all day and then in the evening attending a poultry meeting and catching up with folks. There is something very nice about productive days spent with growing plants and watching the garden be born.

Today we took Sierra and Hope to Hastings & District Obed club - I think I've finally found a club I'm happy with, though I wish it were a smidge closer at just over an hours drive each way and that I'd found it sooner. Hope did well and got her first taste of agility equipment. Sierra got to play a bit of agility also - she remembered more than I thought for not having done a lick in 4 years and went absolutely gaga when she saw it set up - whining and shaking with excitement. ;-) Gee... I think she might've missed it!

We came home and did more gardening before deciding to just let dogs and child hoon around because I'm beyond tired atm. (We've had roofer and electricians over the whole week, coming over at absurdly early hours so that neither Laurent nor I got much sleep.) Between this we had cuddles and kisses, at which point La wrapped his arms around me and told me, "Mum, youse my BESTEST friend!" Cute little thing!

Nic snapped this one of me Sierra (on her back, tummy up) and I watching Laurent, Verity, Hope and Cami at the dam while they played with the tennis ball.

A close-up of the rare Australian Retriever in it's natural element after it's prized tennie-ball.

"Ah-WHOOOOOO!!!!!!!" The victory howl... Hope's trademark upon fetching a ball.

Her other trade-mark... shaking half the dam onto the child...
Repeatedly. Every time she fetches the ball. ~_~

And it was bound to happen eventually - we've warned Laurent time and again but he always figures the dam must be so fun given how much the dogs love it. He managed to step a bit too close today and splashed into the edge. He was less impressed than he thought he'd be... *snickersnort* Bad mum that I am, I just snapped a picture before he got hauled into a warm bath.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

And bubba #2 is a.........


3D view, profile of bubbas head

Curled up squidge, head on the right facing up

La is mildly disappointed there weren't puppy babies in there too but is happy his second choice - a sister - was granted. Also makes me feel much better as I've managed to avoid looking like an utter nutter given the amount of 'girls' clothing I've bought since just before this bub was actually conceived on the basis that I felt that while I would have prefered number two be boy I was going to get a girl... :P Nic, who'd wanted a little girl from the start, is also happy.

Monday, November 10, 2008

What to do on a warm day

when your mum won't let you "help" her transplant young plants and asks you to go play instead. Fill up the pool, shovel in some dirt and DIG THE WATER!!! I'm not sure if Cami taught La or La taught Cami but either way they had a grand time splashing and digging in the water like mad between hysterical laughter!

The big girls simply DO NOT GET IT... the dam is so much more fun than a little bitty pool!