Saturday, January 31, 2009

For those not in Melbourne, you may not have heard about the heat we've had over the past few days with multiple days at 43-44C (that's 109.4-111.2F for those Stateside) which has been unpleasant considering we've no air-conditioning, were stuck at home except for the one day I tried to escape to the mall (and ended up passing out at a service station I'd pulled over at part way... joy) and since we're experiencing power outages, for the duration of that we lacked even fans. Thankfully we can still get water from the tanks even with electricity out and spent much time submerged in an attempt to avoid overheated people (small ones and pregnant ones both) and critters.

Saturday was milder, at least enough that we could stand the car ride to a proper swimming and picnic spot. They have a great kids area which is the size of a regular swimming pool but not deeper than half a meter anywhere, surrounded by the lake and is fairly shaded which is nice.

La was loving the whole "swimming" experience, albeit his version involves more bouncing, running in the water and splashing than dog-paddling. In typical La style he wasn't at all cautious when it came to hopping in (we were right there mind) and managed to loose his footing in the water and dunk himself a few times, which he took in the usual "don't worry - he bounces" manner by standing up, shaking his hair off and laughing at himself to the astonishment of a few folks who were amazed to see a kid not come up crying.

Meanwhile today has been very cooperative for us weatherwise as well, so that we were able to attend the first day of training starting back up! I took both Sierra and Cami this time, as I want Cami to get in more time. Sierra (ever her completely 110% enthusiastic self) was seriously thrilled to be back again and for extra fun another Aussie was in our class - Martin with Hitch, who she thinks is really, really cool so she had fun schmoozing with him after class. LOL Typical Si she got pointed out several times as the example of a happy dog who is loving to work. Also ended up getting put onto a behaviour discussion supposed to happen mid February-ish and a possible tracking workshop in April (doh, will have to cross my legs if it happens to be around my due date!) which will be a nice one for the little black dog I think. So glad to be back! :-)

Friday, January 30, 2009

You Know It's Too Hot When...

the two most hyper beings on earth... a 3 year old and a kitten.... are flat-splat

Sunday, January 25, 2009

30 Weeks

Pretty much this whole pregnancy up to this point I've been waiting to FEEL pregnant and it really just wasn't happening because there was just too much other stuff I was busy with or thinking about. Even up to last week I was saying this, despite sporting the ample evidence of pregnancy. Well, it seems this week I finally feel pregnant! Gee, it only took the first 30 weeks... LOL

After spending yesterday being much lazier than I'd intended (read: I spent most of the day playing around here with the animals and La) I had a number of what I'm guessing were stronger braxton hicks this morning which only subsided while I was actively walking and were flaring up whenever I was trying to kneel or do stuff in the garden, so we decided to spend the day walking around Gembrook for the market, the ice-creamery, cafe and watching Puffing Billy while we finished off the fruit we'd bought.

Afterward we headed off toward Launching Place to spend the mid-morning through the afternoon meandering around Kurth Kiln about 20km past Gembrook, near Tomahawk Creek and finishing after Shiprock Falls which was an easy but pretty little walk. Since no one else was there it was lovely sense of quietness and peace in the bush, despite being not terribly far out.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Super Stealth Ninja Kitty says "The chasey-zippy-mouse toy will never spot me stalking it from HERE!"

The aforementioned chasey-zippy-mouse toy, favorite of both little people and little kitties. La thinks it's too funny to watch itty bitty kitty pounce after the toy...

Itty bitty kitty is little but mighty!

Monday, January 19, 2009

"Jasp-burger is a pretty kitty mum!"

The little man has settled in well. He's not met the girls up close yet, though he's seen them while being held and coming from an Aussie owning household probably won't be too shocked by them. Other than that he's been alternately eatting, playing, getting attention (which results in demonstrations his purr-box is in fine working order) and chilling out in the bathroom where his food/litter and what is likely to become favorite snooze spot (curtained cupboard) is. Not bad for a tyke who has been here only a day!

La is fascinated by him and already attempting to clicker train him. LOL Poor lil' kitty didn't last 24 hours before getting a bizzare nickname though- La pronounces Jasper as "Jaspburger" or in moments of total tongue-twist "Cheeseburger" who came from "Gate" (Kate).
Peering out from the cupboard
Ferocious tiger kitten pouncing on paper.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Itty Bitty Kitty arrives

We had been looking for a kitty for a little while when we heard of this fellows litter. We'd been looking for a male who'd be on the large side who hadn't been born outdoors and outside all it's life, happy to live with rowdy dogs and small children as well as enjoy keeping any mice from thinking our house might be a nice place to set up house. These guys promised to fit the bill on all accounts so it was just a matter of waiting for them to be old enough to be vaxed, neutered and microchipped. Today the little guys were ready to meet us and this is the little fellow who came home.

We're thinking he may end up dubbed Jasper (we're remarkably original...) unless sometime in the next few days it really doesn't suit him. As you can see he's not much fussed by the whole moving houses gig. This was shot on my lap in the car as I was petting him and he was purring and rolling to give me better access to a sweet spot. He's currently sprawled limp as a noodle in my lap sound asleep, so more photos will have to wait till tomorrow.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Anyone have a winning Tatt's ticket to donate?

I want to go to the ORCA conference! And the Clicker Expos. And and and... *sigh*

I really wouldn't like to move back to the US, I'm happy here and this is my home but gosh darn it they have all the COOL STUFF!!!!! X-p

On March 20th, 2009: The Art and Science of Animal Training: Where Are
We Now? Where Are We Going? presented by ORCA and the University of
North Texas

Speakers and Topics Bob Bailey http://artandscience/bailey.html
Training the Animal is the Easy Part: Animal Trainer's Search for a
Behavioral Touchstone Alexandra Kurland
<http://artandscience/kurland.html> Going Micro: The Evolution of
Equine Clicker Training Kay Laurence
<http://artandscience/laurence.html> Reinforcement Patterns,
Reinforcement Styles and How They Affect the Outcomes Steve Martin
<http://artandscience/martin.html> The Art of Training Ken Ramirez
<> Evolution of the
Zoo Trainer: A Personal Perspective Steve White
<http://artandscience/white.html> Skinner and World Collide! Film at
11:00 Dr. Jesus Rosales-Ruiz (chair)
<http://members/j_rosales-ruiz.html> Challenges and the Future of
Animal Training: Open Panel Discussion

For more information please visit us at

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Fresh from the sheers... one of the newly neckid sheep! LOL

This is one of the English Leicester ewes. (Before pictures can be seen here and here!)

With bonus "help" *cough cough* from Laurent the somersaulting tornado child.

And just a cute pic of the girls looking very sisterly and as if butter wouldn't melt, despite the fact we all know Aussies are really mud-loving, wrestling goofballs! ;-)

Monday, January 12, 2009

Pics of the girls


Blueberry watching a bird


Jo, after a hard day of playing around...

Along with one of her favorite toys, a squeeky football


"Ohh... what's that? Jo has a squeeky football??? Must dash!"

Friday, January 09, 2009

For anyone who hasn't heard (which I suspect is down to one hermit who lives in a cave in the middle of nowhere and hence is out of hearing range of the victory shout...) Nic GOT HIS DRIVERS LISCENCE yesterday! It took me since shortly after 2005 to convince him and after we moved out here and planned for a second child it became non-negotiable. So this is a major celebration!

Completely unrelated, I brought my camera with me while we were doing the rounds this afternoon. Some "chores" are more enjoyable than others and this is one of La's favorites... a bucket with several scoops of wheat to hand out.

Good for flinging out so that the birds all run around hunting through the grass...

giving out hand outs...

and the inevitable catch-n-cuddle sessions, with one of the Wyandotte roosters above and Matilda the Muscovy below.

Sunday, January 04, 2009


This pregnancy is going beautifully... I've been enjoying this stage I think the most of any so far. I'm a bit more tired with the odd wishful thought of La still having a daytime nap so I could catch a rest as well but I love the constant reminders that comes with the dozens of twirls, stretches and taps I can feel throughout the day. Doesn't matter what I'm doing, it's just nice to be reminded so many times a day that sometimes life is bountiful and beautiful - even if it's also crazy and there are a million and one things that need doing, planning, working on and remembering... lol... one does not preclude or even happen despite the other!

I keep telling myself I want to get more photographs of this stage that show everyday life... it usually seems it's just me snapping photos of Laurent like the ones above and below... when he holds still!

Not that it's not nice to have some like this in it's own right but I've sort of been looking through a lot of my photos and found a lack of 'snippets of life' pictures... not just snapshots per se but nice photos that show the little moments that aren't particularly unique or stand-out but still are so important because they are the majority of what makes up our lives and are so much a part of who we are and who we become.

Nic's holiday leave is over as of this morning and I need at least a few more weeks... LOL I had *heaps* planned for this time and only got about half of it actually finished. Among other stuff:
  • Fencing for the ducklings and such done, but I need to repair the sheeps small-yard. I think it also needs an extra tension wire along the top. Here's the ducklings enjoying their own baby-space, two age groups. :-)
  • A bunch of large pavers and posts buried at all the new gates (8) so the dogs can't scoot under but sloping enough I can get the mower over
  • Did not get the new beds I wanted to get plowed done.
  • I made a good dent in the weeds, blackberries and assorted pruning and chipped a couple dozen loads of sticks into mulch which is now covering a fair bit of the garden beds. Planted cuttings. Still have a heap of large branches/logs to chop.
  • 2nd coat of oil on decks but I still need to prime and paint the skirting of the house.
  • Nic disassembled the small aviary to the day pen and put it on a fox-proof base so his chookie has a place separate from the big chooks
  • The retaining wall rocks were sorted into base, large, medium, small and corner pieces and in the front has most of the base excavated and first row placed but will take another few days on the weekend to finish.
  • The large chook shed is completely undone... I think I'm most frustrated with that
And these are a few of the out-takes... from when we were putting in the base-layer of the retaining wall for the dirt I'm sitting on.

Sook-a-boo... Sierra leaning in for a cuddle, looking rather blissed/drugged out might I add... (check the so-relaxed-they're-rolling-back eyes)

*HONK* While La was trying to show me how he was digging and helping (those are his arms and feet on the right) Nic caught Cami being a cheeky-baby. Poor Sierra!

And the two-fer-one special on kissie girls... Veri (blue) and Sierra (red)