Category Archives: Renovating

Captain Clean – Friday Fictioneers.

“Mum and Dad built this place after the war,” Muriel said. “Lived in the garage, while they built the house.”

Captain Clean was very tempted to add that nothing had been thrown out since, but bit her tongue. Condescending self-righteousness never worked with hoarders. So, she stuck to the script.

“Keep or throw? Keep or throw?”                                                                                                                                                                     “There you are,” Muriel smiled.

Captain Clean screamed, bolted and drove away.

Muriel had finally found her spare set of teeth, playing hide & seek in her husband’s old shoes.

“I could’ve handled a dead body,” she told the psychologist. “But not false teeth.”

…….

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wishoff Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Sarah Potter

xx Rowena

 

Weekend Coffee Share 10th June, 2017.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

Tonight, I’d like to offer you what we Australians call a “rubber duckie”, an umbrella and a good waterproof torch. A rubber duckie? That’s an inflatable boat and if it rains too much more, you might be needing it to reach my place.

Yellow taxi

It’s been a very set week for Mum’s Taxi. 

It’s Saturday night here in Sydney, and I’m now trying to get the stuff I’ve been sorting through back in the cupboard so we can get to bed tonight. I’m making good progress, but it takes so long to sort through everything and even if I could throw more stuff out, we don’t have the available bin space. Indeed, despite taking stuff to the thrift shop. I’ve been doing a second bin run for the last month. While talking about garbage collection sounds as humdrum as it comes, our bin manoevres would make for good TV. You see, the garbage truck goes passed our house and then doubles back to pick up the bins on the other side. So, this allows us to refill our bin and wheel it across the road. This is no casual manoevre either. I have to keep an ear our for the truck and as soon as I hear its approaching rumble, my breathing accelerates and I start getting myself primed. I don’t know whether the truck driver has noticed me hotfooting across the road but I usually wait until the truck’s halfway down the street before I make my move. Desperate times call for desperate measures.

Of course, there’s been the aftermath of the London Attacks this week. Two young Australian women were killed in the attack, and our sympathies goes out to their families, friends and communities. So many Australians have had a stint working in the UK just like these girls, yet we’ve returned home. I only spent a week in London when I was there in 1992, and was living and working in Germany. Yet, I still feel a strong sense of solidarity.

Above: Bush Rescue was set at the Echo Point Lookout at Katoomba in the Blue Mountains, West of Sydney.

This week I’ve written two pieces of flash fiction. For Friday Fictioneers, I wrote: Back to Earth and Bush Rescue for Carrot Ranch. While Friday Fictioneers uses a photo prompt, Carrot Ranch has a text prompt. I’ve found it quite interesting doing both prompts in the same week. I’d probably say that I feel there’s more freedom and a wider scope with the text prompt, because I feel my flash has to link closely to photo to answer the brief. Many of these photos were taken in USA and that has been challenging a few times. I usually give my response an Australian element.

Have you written much flash fiction? How do you find it as a genre? Do you have a preference for text or photo prompts? I’d love to hear your thoughts. 

Anyway, so how has your week been? I hope you’ve had a great one. 

This has been another Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Ally at Nerd in the Brain

xx Rowena

 

Breaking-in the Clothes Horse.

Yesterday, I had an encounter of epic proportions, when I tried setting up what should have been a simple clothes horse. One of those darned instant clothes racks you put up when it’s raining and your clothes dryer’s on the blink. Worse than any contraption I’ve ever bought from Ikea, this thing arrived without instructions..or even that pesky Allen key.

Indeed, I would’ve been most thankful if an “Alan” had been included, who could help put the thing up. Disentangle the rack, which was meant to clip in on top, from the feet. This is when the wrestling process began and I was seriously concerned that either I was going to get tangled and trapped inside. Or, it was going to become air borne. With only a little imagination, I could see this thing flapping it’s wings and flying away. (Or, is that just me? If so, I’ll blame the Weetbix. That stuff looks pretty ordinary, but the villains are always understated.)

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The annoying thing about all of this, was that I bought the clothes horse because the weather report said it was going to rain for three days. Naturally, the kids’ uniforms needed to be “processed”, especially the socks.

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An empty clothesline on a perfect washing day.

However, today I woke up to perfect blue skies, and what so many poor, deranged souls call “perfect washing weather”, when they could be down at the beach.

Have you had any challenging home maintenance experiences lately? Memories?

Despite all these DIY shows, I have noticed that the local tradie hasn’t become extinct. That there are still many people out there like me, who still need to be rescued. Fortunately, my other half compliments my capacity for disaster, and is a very enterprising Mr Fix-it.

Be careful this weekend.You might just be better off picking up your phone than a spade.

xx Rowena

Daunted By the Year Ahead?

How do you feel about starting another year? Have you made numerous New Year’s resolutions or goals, even writing them up in a spreadsheet with KPIs, deadlines and possibly even a star chart? Or, has the start of another year washed right over the top of you barely leaving a ripple in its wake?

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Fireworks Sydney Harbour NYE 2016

Well, I was still struggling to get my head around the last year when the fireworks started booming off the Sydney Harbour Bridge. It was all happening. Indeed, 2017 was already here.

What the? Couldn’t I somehow press rewind, repeat and start the new year all over again when I’m ready? What about this new-fangled feature I have on the TV called catch up? Would that do the trick? As my daughter just reminded me, if I press the paw button on the remote, will I suddenly catch up on last year like magic? If only…!!

I guess that leaves time right where it is. Grr!

The terrible thing about starting another year is that our “exhausted post-Christmas end of year crashed out on the couch self” is suddenly confronted by our ideal, perfect self. The one who is going to exercise like an Olympian, diet like Jenny Craig, run on time like a clock and write more books than Enid Blyton. That’s while being the loving, attentive spouse/partner and even parent. Some how, we’re juggling like a clown and not dropping any of our balls at all.

This is what happens on the 1st January and it’s no wonder I’m feeling depressed, overwhelmed, inadequate and looking for someone else to drive the bus. I’ll disappear and hide in my hammock for the rest of the year, giving what you could describe as a totally underwhelming performance.

Okay! Okay! I’ll get out of my chair and get moving.

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One mixed up fridge door.

One look at the cluttered paperwork stuck on the fridge door gave me somewhere to begin.

Then, I thought I’d better clean the kitchen table first so I could sort out all the stuff on the fridge without it drowning in muck.

From there, I somehow ended up cleaning the inside of the fridge. It now looks like something out of a storage company catalogue with everything neatly stacked into boxes and tubs. Who owns this fridge? Has the fairy been? I must’ve woken up in someone else’s house.

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Eeyore Chilling Out in the Clean Fridge.

This reminds me of one good thing about ending one year and starting another. You can turf all last years notes and paraphernalia and create empty space. Indeed, if you’re lucky, you can now stretch out without causing an avalanche!

While I’m still formulating and getting my head around my goals for 2017, one word is entering my vocabulary….no! This is particularly pertinent to my daughter and all her activities. We can only do so much. That’s it. No more. There are limits. There are only 24 hours in a day and at least 8 are for sleeping. She can not live multiple lives at once. We have to make choices. Well, I’ll be making choices anyway. As I said, I’m learning how to say and apply the use of the word no, which will also apply to our son and the excessive use of electronics. No. Enough. Stop.

I can do this. Take a deep breath. Stretch into my full height and say no and mean it. Put my foot down and even push it through the floorboards, if that’s what it takes to be heard. That said, I sure hope it doesn’t come to that!

Meanwhile, I still have to muster up my inner strength. Lady, our recalcitrant Border Collie x Cavalier has been refusing to go out to bed at night. Last night, I ended up carrying her and trust me all that Christmas Cake she ate weighs a tonne. She’s going to find herself dealing with a sterner voice as well. I won’t be accepting “no” as an answer either.

Humph! Looks like these embryonic resolutions are starting out with training myself  and that’s a task I really don’t relish!

How are your New Year’s resolutions going so far? I’d love to hear from you!

Good luck!

xx Rowena

 

 

Weekend Coffee Share 9th July, 2016

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

This week, I’m offering you a mug of alphabet soup. Not just because it’s Winter here and a mug of soup somehow seems to warm you up inside and out, but also because I’ve been reading Roald Dahl’s English Dictionary. So rather than actually swallowing our soup, I reckon we should fish out the letters and see what we get. I wonder if this counts as “Gobblefunking with words”? Sounds close enough to me!

Dahl Dictionary

The big news here is that the kids are on school holidays, which in some ways means that I’m not on school holidays but on the other hand, I’m not driving them around as much, so at least Mum’s Taxi is having a break. Next week, it’ll be getting the engine back into gear driving the kids to and from final rehearsals and at last performances of the Gang Show…a variety show put on by Scouts, Guides and their leaders. This year, it’s called “Once Upon A Time” and includes songs from Walt Disney, Dr Suess and Monty Python. I’m really looking forward to seeing the show and seeing what it actually is as well as seeing the kids. We’ve never been to a Gang Show before.

I am feeling much better today. I’ve had some trouble with a chest infection, asthma coughing etc and after being on antibiotics and taking all my asthma medications, i finally bit the bullet yesterday and bought a cough syrup with codeine and had a great night’s sleep. I actually feel alive today, which makes me realize I’ve been off for a few weeks. There might even be a spring in my step, even though it’s still Winter.

So, how are things going with you? Well, I hope!

My family history research battles continue. I don’t know how many of you have delved into family history research but I love it. Once you get through the people you know about, that’s when the detective work begins and for better or worse, I show no mercy. I am a detective/journalist at heart pursuing the story like a dog hunting down a bone. Thanks to the Internet, you can unearth so much buried treasure these days, although most of it is either birth, death, marriage notices unless your ancestors got themselves in a spot of trouble or had accidents of some sort. That is unless they actually achieved something.

Anyway, I’m trying to find out where my grandmother’s family, the Gardiners, actually came from. I don’t know whether it bothers you where your ancestors came from or why they moved from one side of the world to the other but it bothers me. I need to know, especially as my grandmother saw herself as Irish Australian but it could well be that she’s mostly English, which changes the story quite considerably. As it stands, our Gardiners could be English, Irish or Scottish and I want to find out.

After too many dead ends to mention, I’m hoping I’ve finally found John Gardiner’s death certificate. I thought I’d sensed a convict in the mix when I couldn’t find things easily. If this is our John Gardiner, he ended up changing his name to Gardiner-Garden after becoming a senior figure in the NSW Education Department. Whether he’s our John or not, he’s certainly a character and reminds me of Mrs Bucket from the English comedy show Keeping Up Appearances who called herself “Mrs Bouquet”. Nothing like covering up your tracks!

This weekend, we’re doing a bit of work on the house. We’re replacing our kitchen pantry and also adding new curtains to the lounge room. The pantry was a gift from some friends who are moving and I managed to pick up these New-looking Ikea curtains from the opportunity shop for $10.00 each. So, the lounge room is looking well dressed for $40.00. While it’s been great to pick up Ikea curtains for a bargain, the convenience is even better. We don’t have a big shopping centre close-by and it’s much easier for me to buy from the op shops than travel somewhere. Moreover, Ikea is about 2 hours away. So, my bargain was quite a win!!

These new curtains will really brighten up the lounge room, which has been feeling a bit dark and dull during Winter and this is where we spend most of our time. They’re a rosy burgundy colour with a real sheen in the fabric and they really shine in the light.

Getting back to the school holidays, the kids are currently stayed with my parents. My son went down a bit earlier, which left my daughter and I playing Monopoly and doing some cooking.

When did you last play Monopoly?

I’m not really sure whether I like playing Monopoly or not. However, the trouble is you need time to get through a game and usually our games peter out, rather than reaching THE END.

However, time is what you’re meant to have in the school holidays and you’re not supposed to be “too busy” when your much loved and cherished offspring desire some “Mummy Daughter time”. My daughter is big on this even though that phrase really makes me cringe. Cringing aside, I behaved and we played Monopoly. I am not someone who deliberately lets kids win, but I’m not a sore loser either. However, I am human and am not ashamed to admit I don’t want to bomb out and go broke on my first couple of runs around the board.

Early on, I made some joke about her living it up at Mayfair and Park Lane, while I’m slumming it over at White Chapel and Old Kent Roads. I should’ve kept my trap shut!! Sure enough, that came to pass. Fortunately, the game “ended” before she ventured into hotel management and wiped me out completely.  Phew!

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My daughter’s Dish.

That was Wednesday. Thursday, she decided we were having a Mini Chef Mystery Box Challenge. We each had to choose 4 secret ingredients for each other to use in addition to an open pantry. This was a really fun idea…even if she was trying to throw me by selecting tuna, sardines, salt and Grain Waves for my mystery box. I fed the sardines to the dogs and we had a sexy variation of tuna mornay for dinner. So, here’s Challenged By My Mini Chef.

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My Dish.

If you’re looking for a bit of a laugh, here’s a post I reblogged from Cooking With Whiskers about making hats for your cat. I’ve sent the link to the kids so Grandma’s cat had better beware of the hats! Here’s the link.

After chatting about all of this, I almost forgot to tell you that we still don’t have a result for the Australian Federal Election. It’s looking like the Liberals under Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be returned but we’re yet to find out the final numbers. I just hope that the next 3 years doesn’t turn into an excuse for a political nonsense down in Canberra.Much needs to be done and we’re not paying our politicians to fight among themselves, although that might come as a bit of a surprise to them!

What have you been up to this week? I hope you’ve had a great week and I look forward to catching up!

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at Part-Time Monster. You can click the  linky to read the other posts.

Best wishes,

xx Rowena

 

 

Scaredy Mum! Dog tells all!

Although dibber-dobbing is well and truly against The Dog’s Code of Ethics, I have to speak out.

The life of whistle blower isn’t easy but leaving someone caught up and strangled by their own fear, is sanctioning self-destruction.Naturally, that’s something no decent dog would ever condone. So, once again, Bilbo, Mum’s loyal canine crusader is back.

Besides, when someone  has the audacity to write you a set of  New Year’s Resolutions before they’ve even considered their own, I’m sure you’ll agree they deserve “their comeuppance!”

Mum is supposed to be painting six skirting boards, which are destined for Mister’s bedroom, which is currently under re-construction. Instead, the skirting boards, work benches, paint tin and brush are all still out in the garage while Mum has been writing! She’s even been writing about the renovations. That is, instead of actually doing any renovating. I was naturally shocked because “renovating” is a doing word… not some fluffy adjective!

While at first, I thought Mum was just being her typically lazy self (remember she did nothing to try to find the missing Mister and bring him home!) or procrastinating. However, using my superior canine detective skills, I sniffed out that she was caught in the grasp of a paralyzing perfectionism. Indeed, the fear of making even the smallest mistake, had left her stonkered. She’d retreated deep inside her shell and wouldn’t come out.

Indeed, Mum has not only opened the door to fear but has also offered it a seat, a cup of tea and even a piece of Vegemite toast. Now, they’re parked in front of the TV set together, the best of mates when she should be out there painting instead. Moreover, what with fear whispering her sweet nothings, she’s become dangerously intoxicated. Paralyzed. Dad just mentioned the word “paint” and I heard her mutter something about Pandora’s Box and how even opening the tin was going to unleash something deadly. A poison? An explosion? I couldn’t be sure but either way, Mum was convinced she was going to die! It would mean the end of the world.

That’s some tin of paint!

Now, I’m sure you can appreciate how Mum’s been sorely trying my patience. I mean, these crazy humans think they know how to run the world better than dogs simply because they walk on two legs. They’ve stuck themselves up on some kind of dais way above God, I mean dog (Sorry about that. I sometimes get my letters mixed up) when indeed, they spend most of their lives chasing their own tails, instead of putting them to good use.

Of course, I’ve tried to be compassionate and understanding, especially during meals when she’ll usually slip me some Vegemite toast! However, now I need your help. Sometimes trying to work out humans is even beyond me.

Why can’t Mum just get on with the job?

Hasn’t she heard that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”?

After all, that’s human, not dog, philosophy. Why can’t she understand that once she starts painting, that it will become so much easier to keep going and get the job done? That getting started is the hard part and once you’ve jumped that hurdle, you’re almost home…especially with something so simple?

Yet, she’s still there entertaining fear like it’s her best friend! It’s been more than a few days and now that the rain’s cleared up, there can be no more excuses. Time is running out. Soon, Mister will be back from Scout camp and expecting his bed in his room. Not parked on it’s side in the lounge room like it’s had CPR.

If only she’d asked me for assistance, I’d have had those planks painted with my eyes closed. They might not have appreciated the black fur in the paint but I’d sacrifice my tail to make Mum happy.

Then again, doing it for her isn’t really helping, is it? Only making things worse. I might as well ask fear to stay on for dinner and even dessert. No! Mum has to get out of that chair and start painting.

Well, if you think fear can be darn persistent and annoying, you’ve never met a Border Collie. I have a PhD in persistence. You just ask Dad about my ball. Actually, perhaps you’d better not!

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Bilbo appropriating another dog’s ball.

What you humans have only half worked out about us dogs, is that we can not only read your minds, we plant messages in there as well. Indeed, we’re so good at it that you mistake it for your own idea.

So, I began planting subliminal messages in Mum’s head. Memories of successfully skiing down the mountain at Perisher when she was even struggling to walk. Playing her violin. Driving the car. All these things are so much harder than painting a couple of planks, surely she’ll get my drift! That she can do it and besides, isn’t not trying the only real form of failure?!!

However, even after all of those hard efforts, she’s still unsure.

So, I’m going for the big guns aiming straight for the heart strings. Being so risky, this is a last resort. I’ve heard terrible stories of accidentally snapping their heartstrings and after that, the humans don’t seem to function very well.

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Hesitantly, I start thinking of Mister and how he’ll feel when he arrives home and sees his new room. How he’ll see this as so much more than just a coat of paint. That by doing up his room, Mum and Dad have turned their hearts inside out and painted their love onto those walls. It will be just like when they welcomed him home to his new room as a baby, only now he’s well on his way to becoming a man.

Then, just to make sure, I threw in a good dose of guilt. Mister arriving home to find a demolition sight instead and walking straight out that door and back to camp.

Yes, I know that was getting low but if you’d seen how Mum and fear were chatting, laughing, connecting at such a deep and personal level, you’d be using every trick in the book as well!

Ha! There she goes just like a puppet on a string, walking straight out to the garage.  I told her that job would be a breeze!

Now, just look at her go…over a few days shelves, a wall. Once she gets going, she could almost paint a thousand miles except she’s also human. She has her limits.

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Miss helping to paint Mister’s room.

So, with less than 24 hours now before Mister arrives home, I’m off to round her up again. While she’s made a great start, she still needs to make it to the finish.

Have the room ready and pick Mister up!

By the way, I’m not so sure that I mixed those letters up…DOG…GOD?

Does it matter?

Either way, I’m smarter than your average human!

That’s a fact!

xx Bilbo!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dog Hijacks Weekend Coffee Time!

Greetings Coffee, tea and water drinkers… both human and canine!

It’s Rowena’s dog, Bilbo. I’ve hijacked Mum’s blog to join in at the Weekend Coffee Share.

So, what would you like to drink? It’s stinking hot here so you’ll definitely need a drink.

If you’re interested, I might even be able to pilfer some Vegemite toast but no guarantees I won’t accidentally eat it in transit. Despite my best intentions, I’m still a dog!

As much a try to be sociable, I’d better leave you to your caffeinated drinks and I’ll stick to water.

Although I’m getting older and slowing down, a Border Collie on caffeine wouldn’t be appreciated. Not that I’ve ever tried the stuff. The humans find my exuberant persistence irritating at the best of times. So, fuel that with even a drop of caffeine and I’ll be spending a week “OUTSIDE!!!!!” Worse still, I might even find myself sent off to the Home for Naughty Dogs at the top of the hill. I’m such a good dog, that they’ve never even mentioned such a thing. However, I’ve heard about this despicable place via local telegraph poles.

So, how has your week been? Hope it’s been good!

I’m sorry if I’m a bit flustered and not all that attentive. Usually, like most dogs, I’m an incredible listener  but I’m under incredible stress and my brain’s running faster than my paws.

While Mum’s stuck in yet another cycle of painting-avoidance, I’ve hijacked the blog as I desperately need your help.

Mister has gone missing and I suspect he’s been captured and most likely eaten by killer Drop Bears. I’ve issued a  Media Release but I’d really appreciate your help. No one around here’s done anything to try and find him. They’ve just cleared out his room and painted over any trace of him at all.

That leaves me, the Lone Dog Crusader, to find him and as usual, carry the weight of the world on my shoulders.

While I’m up for the job, who in their right mind would want to be Atlas lugging the world around on their shoulders? Take it from me. It’s mighty heavy and I’m not as young as I used to be. These bones are starting to creak.

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Last Seen.

I can’t tell you how frustrating it is to be locked up in a backyard with all my superior herding and sniffing abilities and not be able to search. We Border Collies might have been bred for chasing sheep but there’s not a lot of difference between sheep and humans…especially the kids. They’re always wandering around in all sorts of wrong directions, instead of doing what they’re supposed to.

Of course, I’d be in strife if I ever gave them a nip at the back of the heel but sometimes I’ve come close. What’s good enough for sheep, is good enough for them!

Anyway, Lady (my canine companion) and I have been trying to work out what happened to Mister.

Lady reckons it all goes back to the fireworks and tells me she was right to be concerned. Concerned? Lady was about to combust or have a heart attack, she was that worried. However, now that Mister is missing, I’m thinking those fireworks were actually Drop Bears fighting in the trees, preparing to launch their attack.

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The Drop Bear

What concerns me most, however, is Mum and Dad’s complete lack of concern about Mister’s whereabouts. If I’d ever been allowed to have puppies and become a dad myself (instead of having that cruelest cut of all!), I’d never lose track of MY pups. No! Of course, not!!!! I’d be watching them 24/7 and giving them a quick nip on the ankle if they ever dared to wonder off. None of this laissez-faire human parenting!

That’s if you can call total neglect “parenting” but what would I know? I’m just a dog.

Mum’s been writing and doing “research” for her precious “Book Project”. At least, that’s what SHE says. I’m no fool. She’s actually just been reading old letters, thinking about the good old days and revisiting Paris on her laptop.

Some Mother she is!

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Miss helping to paint Mister’s room.

Sure, she’s also done a bit of painting but that was only under duress. As soon as Dad and Miss returned last night, she passed over the the roller and brush in a flash and was sitting back on the couch.

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Found this photo of Mister on the laptop. Knew he was in trouble but didn’t know Drop Bears kept their victims hostage. C’mon!  Why aren’t Mum and Dad trying to save him?

I can’t help wondering whether they even love their own son. If he was my son, I’d be jumping fences and scouring the streets, even patrolling the beach looking for scent. I wouldn’t stop looking until he was found.

However, as it stands, dogs are strictly prohibited from jumping fences.

That’s why I need your help.

Please help me find Mister.

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See! Drop Bears! I’m not imagining anything!

I have one last clue, which only came to light yesterday.

Dad and Miss had been out for the day but when they came home, I could smell Mister. While this was great news, suggesting that the Drop Bears haven’t got him after all, it still doesn’t account for his whereabouts. AND… if they did find Mister, why didn’t they bring him home? How could they leave him behind?

I have gone over and over this, trying to make sense of their madness but I can’t.

Wouldn’t you agree this is irresponsible at best? I don’t even have the vocabulary to express the worst.

Of course, this leaves it up to me to be the hero and find Mister when I could be munching on a choice juicy bone simply being a regular backyard dog, instead needing to become a canine hero.

So, despite appearances to the contrary, it’s not an easy being a dog. You probably think I’m a real misery guts feeling sorry for myself. However, how would you feel? They only ever seem to give me  one piece of the entire puzzle. Yet, expect me to find all the scattered, missing pieces and even come up with the solution!  Usually, I nut things out eventually. However, even for a dog as smart as me, this is a big ask. All the cogs have to be very well greased and they’re just lucky I’m something of a hidden genius.

However, having the best brain in the world isn’t going to help find Mister if I’m locked up in the backyard.

That’s why I need your help! As you can see, I’ve posted his photo. Have you seen Mister? If so, could you please bring him home.

I don’t believe he’s been micro-chipped. Again, the humans’ parenting skills are appalling! They microchip their pets but NOT their kids. Don’t they want to find them? It seems they’re much more interested in keeping track of their pets, than their very own flesh and blood. Trust me! If I’d been allowed to have pups, all of them would’ve been micro-chipped.  No questions asked!

On top of the Mister’s disappearance, there have been other mysteries this week.

Miss disappeared the day after Mister but as she’s now home, I won’t trouble you with that drama.

That is, except to say that it would’ve been very quiet around here if it hadn’t been for the endless pounding of the rain.

Of course, Lady kept  telling me that the sky was falling. After the whole fireworks debacle, I was about to book her in for therapy. However, as even Mum was looking rattled, I gave Lady the benefit of the doubt.

It was during all this rain that I overheard talk of Mister camping out in the rain. For parents who hadn’t bothered trying to find their very own son, they’d suddenly become very concerned. Indeed, they were having all sorts of discussions about wet clothes, washing, taking dry clothes, tents washing away and mud.  I couldn’t understand any of these concerns. After all,they weren’t even trying to find him.

I’ve since concluded that humans must be related to the Sloth! Walking on two legs must really wear them out. They can barely find enough energy to throw my ball let alone chase it. I guess I shouldn’t be so surprised that they can’t be bothered looking for Mister. Obviously, I expect too much!

Anyway, eventually, the rain cleared. Miss returned and we went for a run along the beach. The latest heavy rain and winds have caused further  erosion and about 20 more trees have been uprooted and are lying on the beach. We were all pretty sad about that as we’d hoped the beach was recovering from the last storm. Mum said that if the trees were whales, their plight would’ve made international headlines but as they’re only trees, it probably won’t even make the local paper. That’s terrible but, at least, we cared!

Before I head off, I should probably mention New Year’s Resolutions.

You might have read that Mum wrote Lady and I each a letter outlining our list of New Year’s Resolutions:

Bilbo’s Letter

Lady’s Letter

Although it was our understanding that you’re supposed to write your own resolutions, we gave them a read.  We might feign illiteracy but we’re actually pretty good readers. Moreover, as you can appreciate from this effort, I’m quite a writer as well.

However, that’s our little secret. Although Mum suspects Lady can read, I’ve slipped well and truly under the radar. As you might appreciate, revealing our superior intellect would only result in more jobs and all sorts of expectations. We just want to be pets.

Anyway, while our New Year’s resolutions made for entertaining reading, we agree that it’s a bit rich for Mum to be giving us advice when she can’t even keep track of her own son. Moreover, now that he’s on the cusp of becoming a teenager, it’s only going to get worse. I can definitely see she’ll be needing my assistance big time!

So, since she put so much time and effort into putting together resolutions for US, we thought we’d do HER a favour. We wrote Mum her own list:

  1. Keep better track of your kids. If they run off, a quick nip on the ankles will tell them who’s boss. When they get lost, find them!
  2. Go to bed earlier. You’ve ended up in some kind of timeless wonderland during the school holidays. You’re going to be a zombie if you stay up all night with those 6.30AM starts when school goes back.
  3. More walking.
  4. Diet. If it’s good enough for us, it’s good enough for you.
  5. Renovate Kennel.
  6. Buy more dog bones.
  7. Feed dogs sausages.
  8. Finish the Book Project.

We gave her the same list last year and she ignored it but we thought it might just be worth another shot.

By the way, I’ve been working so hard that it’s now sunset.

sunset

A Front Yard Sunset Viewed Through the Norfolk Pine.

Thank you so much for coming round for coffee and now that we’ve had a chat, how about throwing my ball?

Bilbo with ball

I’ll get you fit in no time for the New Year!

I’ve heard you listed “lose weight” and “Get Fit” in your New Year’s resolutions, even if you didn’t write them down.

I’ve lost 14 kilos in the last year so chasing the ball isn’t so crazy after all!

After you’ve thrown the ball a bit, then, you can start searching for Mister!

This has been part of the Weekend Coffee Share hosted by Diana at Part Time Monster and please check us out at the Linky

Thanks so much for listening! Much affection,

Bilbo xxoo