It took a while, and most of the seeds I planted either didn’t grow or died, but I finally got some flowers! Below is the lavatera my friend Ginny gave me in Tasmania a few years ago. They are by far the easiest seeds to grow and I got quite a few plants going. I gave most of them to friends to put in their gardens to ensure at least some of them make it. One of the ones I kept is now flowering on my porch.
The sweet peas I ordered from England (unfortunately I didn’t bring any from mine in Tassie) are doing well and starting to bloom. First came pink and purple, now I have one white flower as well.
As for the rest of the million and one seeds I planted, I have ONE foxglove and 4 snap dragons. Colours to be seen. And not a single granny’s bonnet. sigh.
I mentioned tiny feet though, didn’t I?
A couple of days ago I heard a tiny kitten miaowing loudly outside. So I checked it out, as I would. There was a tiny little orange and white kitten on the wall outside my neighbour’s place.
So, here’s the story so far… I picked him up and was blown away by his bright blue eyes. But he looked like he’d been injured, he had a couple of spots which looked like he’d been rubbed in the dirt… and the end of his tail was completely bald with a black tip which looked necrotic. Plus his tiny little paws were swollen and looked sore in a way that reminded me of my darling Billybear who had auto-immune issues.
I did what I do: I rushed him to the vet to be checked over. The vet said he had a fungal infection and the sores MIGHT be an injury but they MIGHT be caused by him chewing on himself. He said the swollen paws were probably from the same thing: licking them too much. And that he was about 2 months old.
He prescribed shampoo – said to wash him every second day. Said that it wasn’t toooo contagious, that Lainee would probably not get it, that I would probably not get it, we’d have to have open sores or a compromised immune system to get it. Just to wash him and feed him and that he’s playful and feisty so there isn’t much wrong with him other than that. It will clear up with time…
I then proceeded to spend 80+ euros on the shampoo, kitten food, a litter tray, kitty litter and a scoop. Cause how on earth was I going to look after a kitten without that stuff?
I know, I know… Why spend so much money on a kitten I wasn’t going to keep? Well… two answers really.
One (the sensible Zefi one) is that I should have kept the stuff I bought last time I cared for a kitten cause I know who I am.
Second (the not so sensible Zefi one) is saying ‘But he’s SOOOO cute!’ and ‘I’ve been thinking about getting a kitten’ and ‘he was meant for me’ and other such guff.
I can’t tell you which one is winning.
I can tell you I’ve given him 3 baths in 3 days to kick start the healing cause I’m currently on the way to Athens to do some stuff and take mom to the doctor etc. I clipped his nails.* I’ve made him a little home in the back ‘yard’ where he can play and sleep and eat safely while I’m away. I’ve organised for my neighbour (the poor guy who always has to water my plants when I go) to feed and wash him.
*Nails. Clipped. Yep. Why? Have you ever tried to wash a kitten? Scratches. No open sores, right? sigh. I lathered myself with soap and pure alcohol and am keeping my fingers crossed. I’m pretty paranoid about skin infections and other little organisms that live on the skin. eeek.
But he’s so darn cute! And he purrs so loud! And Lainee won’t lie in my lap and watch TV…
Meanwhile Lainee isn’t too impressed. He’s not scared of her but she’s choosing to ignore him. So far he can’t jump on the couch (plus I’m not really allowing him the run of the house till his infection clears up) so she’s safe up there. She does think his food is pretty good though. Thankfully she’s shown no interest in ‘kitty crunchies’ yet.
He has no name yet. Maybe its cause I’m still not sure I should keep him.
I don’t NEED a cat. I don’t NEED another pet. I sure as hell don’t need cat hair on the couch.
But he purrs so loud and Lainee won’t cuddle while I watch TV…
Wayne likes to get me little presents now and then. Usually rusty old things. Like a couple of rusty old chests he brought home a few weeks ago. And then this toast rack, hand held steak grill thingy he found somewhere.
I love rusty things (in case you hadn’t realised), and old things, and things which just look interesting. This covered all bases.
So, what did I do with it? Well, first I drilled a hole in the handle so I could hang it in the kitchen to go with my ever so slowly growing and encroaching collection of old and rusty stuff…
Then I put one of my favourite photos of mom and her brother on it to display. I really love this photo. Aren’t they both so gorgeous?
I added a few bits and pieces to it to add interest…
Take a step back and have a look at the things around it. The beautiful black and white plate is something I bought at an auction. I think I paid $20 for a box of junk just for the plate. The sieve on the right is something I brought back from Greece. The Mickey and Mini I bought years ago when I lived in Melbourne. The Flintstone characters I’ve had since I was a kid. The black mammy notebook is so politically incorrect but so gorgeous. She was a gift. And the charging station is something I upcycled from an old drawer.
Take another step back and you can see what I mean about encroaching stuff taking over the kitchen.
I started with the two vintage food covers. Then I found some vintage strainers… then I needed another wall…
I’m loving it.
So, where are we with the animal situation? Well, Montana seems fine. She ate another nappy last night (ok, don’t get your knickers in a knot, she didn’t eat it, she chewed a hole big enough to counter any pee soaking effect it might have had). I washed and dried her bedding so its ready for tonight.
This morning I fashioned a funnel out of aluminium foil and chased her when she went out to pee and collected a small plastic container full of pee which I took to the vet. I’m now waiting to hear from them and take her in when they ask me to.
But the adventures don’t end there.
Yesterday morning when feeding the poultry (we have a few chickens, a lot of geese and we feed a fluctuating flock of ducks which aren’t really ours but they live around or visit our dam) I noticed one of the hens was wobbly on her feet. She seemed to cross her feet over as she walked and she’d overbalance like she was drunk.
This morning she was falling all over the place and I know she hadn’t been drinking.
I picked her up and checked her over. I think her feet are a bit swollen, but I’m not really sure. I asked on a FB poultry group (as you do) and got suggestions, advice, sympathy and well wishes. I also asked Dr Google. I still have no idea what’s wrong with her but now I have a whole lot of things I can worry about.
I’ve got her in a dog crate for the night, in the shed where she’ll be warm. I’ll have another look at her tomorrow.
Ah the joys of owning animals. I swear, if this is a fatal infectious disease that kills our chickens I am NOT getting any more.
I just realised its been four days since my last post. I had planned to post three days ago. Then two days ago. Then yesterday. You get the picture.
It totally illustrates my point about planning.
Anyway, I may not have posted, but I’ve been busy.
I’ve finished a few small projects which had been mouldering in the casita (aka my shed), cleaned the house (mainly cause we had visitors), taken part in a scheme to take over the world (or just created a Women’s Shed in the Derwent Valley), and discovered that one of our dogs is having continence issues.
While cleaning the house today I did the usual changing of dog bedding, something that I do on a regular basis. This time I found some wet spots, which I sniffed (as you do) cause, you know, one of the dogs could have spilled his/her tea in bed… It was pee.
I’m thinking Montana. She’d been unwell about 3 weeks ago, waking me up multiple times through the night to let her out. Not only did the poor girlie have diarrhea, she had a urinary tract infection too. Perhaps she needs another course of antibiotics… But she normally wakes me up to go out – so maybe its not her…
That’s not a welcome thought. I mean, I brought a huge crate up to the house and set it up in the living room (as you do) for Montana to sleep in tonight. Then I thought ‘but what if its not her? I get up and find a dry crate but a wet couch!’
So I did what any sensible person would do: I went to the supermarket in search of nappies (diapers to Americans) or pull up pants.
I stood in the aisle staring at all the baby, toddler and small (and not so small) child continence products and went ‘Whoah!’. There’s so many of them! And naturally they come in boxes of 5000.
What size diaper would a standard poodle wear? When I bred poodles I used to put undies on my girls to stop them staining everywhere when they were in season, but that was a while ago and I can’t remember what size I bought.
The supermarket didn’t have undies, but they have lots of choice in the nappy department.
After standing there looking stupid for a while I asked a nice young lady who was buying little people juice what size she thought a poodle would wear.
She was very helpful, once she figured out I wasn’t a nut. She had no idea what size I would need but she was buying a box for her son so she gave me one to try. As it happened I had a poodle in the car so I went out and tried it on. That was fun. Luckily I hadn’t parked too close to the store so no one saw me wrestling in the back seat with Romeo who thought his mom had developed some really kinky interests.
It was way too small.
I ended up buying 14-25kg nappies in a box of 30. The good news is that if one (or more) of the dogs have bed wetting issues I have plenty of nappies.
What fun I’m having!
Since the outside of the box had already been painted, I just gave it one coat of house paint to freshen it up. Then I decided the inside needed painting too.
I actually had to remove them every couple of days. It took weeks for the birds who were nesting there to get tired of rebuilding and go elsewhere.
The story was not without casualties. One of the nests had two eggs in it.
Either way, I thought it was time to catch you up on stuff around here.
Meanwhile, we’re down one rooster. We did have two – one was a home bred boy. He’s disappeared. Either he was run off by his dad or he met a sticky end. I haven’t found any evidence to suggest which.
Without rain there’s no grass so we’ve been hard feeding the horses a few months now. There’s no hay to be found anywhere and, if you can find it, it costs more than gold.
Here’s Waldo, sharing his breakfast with the chickens. I give Wally a wide berth… after the time he bit me I’m very wary of his teeth.
Next year when they lay eggs I think I’ll skulk around stealing them!
I mean the horses are bad enough, but now I had to rethink all the fencing. Not just tall and strong for the horses, also shorter and closer for the geese!
Wayne built a cute bonfire pile in the middle paddock. Won’t be long now and he’ll be out there roasting marshmallows. If he liked them. And if people actually roasted marshmallows in Australia.
Providing we keep our clothes on.
Meanwhile, Wayne and I are doing a regular radio show at our local community radio station. It was my idea, I have a ton of cds and some vinyl from my rockabilly/rock’n’roll days and I thought it’d be a great opportunity to listen to and share my music. So far we’re really enjoying it.
Turns out Wayne is a closet radio announcer! Who knew? He’s a natural.
You can stream it online if you’re out of range, so look us up – TYGA FM 98.9 – 12-2pm on Sundays.
Other than that, I think I may have mentioned I’ve lost my mojo in terms of creativity lately. I just don’t have the motivation. Or energy. Or desire.
My get up and go has got up and gone.
One of the only things I dragged myself out to do last weekend was put up three old mirrors in the mud room. We now have someplace to check ourselves before we walk out the door. Surely that’s a good thing.
And darn… I have to remove the Xmas bow from the front door.
I told you I’ve been ‘off’ lately.
Today was a busy day. And a fun day. Our friends Mary and Zephyr came over for a visit (and grooming session). Usually when Zephyr comes over to play we all go out for a walk in the top paddock which has the best view on our property. Then, once the poodles are nice and dirty, we go back and they all get a groom.
Its actually quite handy, cause by the time Zeph is ready for a groom so are Montana and Romeo. Mary comes up and together we groom all three poodles in a production line kind of arrangement. That way they’re all clean at the same time.
I love clean poodles.
And the weather wasn’t too bad either. Overcast but not really cold, and the forecast rain didn’t turn up either. Good weather for playing with crazy dogs.
Its been pretty cold lately, often below zero overnight and lots of frost in the morning.
The garden is struggling a bit with all the frost lately and I’m already sick of drying our clothes in the living room in front of the heater. I can’t wait for more sun and longer days…
I’m now working 5 days a week at my ‘day job’ which means less time for playing at home. I have no idea how I managed to work full time, 5 days a week, for so many years and still managed to get things done!
To look at them you wouldn’t think butter would melt in their mouths. They’re so pretty, so cuddly, so loving.
You’d never guess that lion hearts nest inside their curly chests.
Many’s the time I’ve come home to find dead chickens, birds or ducks in the yard. Or occasionally woken up to the unpleasant task of burying a wallaby or possum.
I’m not proud to say that the carnage count includes rats, mice, a goose and even a bandicoot.
While we try to keep our yard critter safe (poodles in – critters out) we sometimes fail. And you can be sure the poodles are there to rub that failure in our faces every time.
Up till recently, all bodies retrieved were intact. No blood, less evidence.
At least, I’d tell myself, they’re neat killers – one grab around the neck, a good shake and its curtains for the critter who had the misfortune to step inside our yard. No mess.
Very befitting a poodle.
Just the thing to be grateful for: intact corpses.
Except for one memorable occasion when I came home with a friend to find Romeo parading round the yard with a duck head in his mouth. The rest of the duck was still intact though… just minus the head…
Way to impress visitors.
So, you can imagine how disgusting it was to wake up on Sunday morning and find what looked, at first appearance, to be an intact dead pademelon, only to find its guts lying next to it. Outside its body. In a neat little bundle. Barely a mark on it. Like someone had carefully opened a birthday present.
Then, this morning, I woke up to find a single feather and some guts on the footpath.