DIY grooming bench (the ugly bench finished)

I shared the ugly bench I made for drying dogs the other day. Its a bit rough and ready, made from leftover bits of timber and offcuts I had lying around, but its strong and sturdy and fits perfectly where I wanted it.

bench1

The bench stands in a corner opposite my hydrobath and its my drying area. It holds a small dog crate for cage drying small dogs, and fits over my show trolley for drying larger dogs. I stash my stand dryer in front, with two of its legs under the trolley, and my blaster sits on the floor in front of the wall my poodles destroyed going after some critter.

bench2

That’s what it looked like when I finished it. The top was thick MDF, not water proof and thus not ideal as a drying bench.

This is what it looks like now:

bench4

bench5

I visited the hardware store and bought some ribbed rubber matting. I bought enough in length to turn over the ends on either side, and had planned to cut the width off to simply turn over the sides as well.

However, when I laid it on top of the bench I thought “Hey… this is perfect!” By not cutting it and simply rolling it up the wall and fixing it onto the plasterboard with screws, I’ve successfully waterproofed the wall as well! Whoo-hoo!

My plan is to eventually reline all the walls in my washing/drying room using anything I can find that’s cheap (or preferably FREE) so it won’t look as tacky. Till then I’ve got myself a totally non-slip, waterproof, sturdy drying bench I don’t get a sore back drying dogs on!

I’m on a roll!

z

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the ugly bench

I did warn you. It ain’t pretty.

bench1

I’m not a builder. I’m not a furniture maker. I’m a furniture recycler, re-maker, re-configurer. I take things someone else made and change them. I don’t often make things from scratch.

And here’s the reason why:

bench2

I’m not very good at it. Sure, I can make things, but they’re never quite… right.

They might not be stable enough. Or quite the right size. Or not quite straight.

bench3

A little dog tries out the drying cage. I think he approves of my handiwork though he wishes he was somewhere else.

At least I get good marks for trying, right? Not to mention, I actually measured right and the trolley fits underneath it perfectly!

The drying bench is made out of 2 different size hardwood posts ‘borrowed’ from Wayne’s stash as legs, thick MDF from our kitchen makeover as the top, small size treated pine timber bought by me in the wrong size for something a few months ago, and leftover bits of pine lining from the grooming room reno as side braces.

Its 100% recycled.

Today I bought some rubber non-slip ribbed matting which will sit on top to make it waterproof and safe for dogs. I’ve already used it a few times and its a great height and size.

I’m happy.

P.S. If you noticed the ‘wall’ behind it, don’t worry. I groom in a shed (aka the ‘casita’) which houses my grooming room, my workshop, our feed room, tack room and what passes as a laundry. It needs work. And that’s an understatement.

 

z

laundry powder tin to dog food container

Sharing a quickie this morning. Lately it seems my life is a series of routine chores, work and making things. Which is great. Except that all day, while outside in the garden, in the workshop or in the grooming room, I’m looking forward to the evening, after the chores are done, I’ve showered and had dinner, when I plan to spend some time doing inside craft type projects.
However reality is so rude. At the end of the day, once its all done and I’m inside, in clean clothes and should be looking at what to do next I find myself deflating like a balloon with a pin hole. First I sit on the couch to eat dinner while watching a bit of TV (and yeah, I know that’d bad for digestion, tell that to my butt which you can land a 747 on) and then, without even realising it, dinner is finished and its 2 hours later and I haven’t stirred.
Last night was different. Mainly cause I hadn’t worked all day. I’d been a social butterfly, running around the countryside doing errands and visiting friends. So last night, once the animals were fed and the car unloaded, I still had energy. Not a lot, but some. So I did a small project I’d been thinking about doing for a LONG time.
I converted a plain old Kmart laundry powder tin into a dog food container.
I’ve had this in the corner of the kitchen for at least a couple of years now, with the Laundry side to the wall. I wanted to do something to make it fit into the kitchen better, plus to label it as a dry dog food container.
I did some googling and found a few dog food ads I liked the look of. I had to find one big enough to fit over the lettering and which would look good in the kitchen. I loved this one, but I had to cut the bottom off as it was too long. That’s ok, the ad works without the details at the bottom.
Using Modpodge I stuck it to the front of the tin, and done!
How good is it to finish one small project that’s been in the back of my mind for years? 
Its like one of those things you nag your partner about for years, then, when he finally does it, you say ‘Well, that wasn’t so hard, was it?’ Meaning he didn’t have to avoid it off for so long and force you to turn into a nagging fishwife. Then you duck.
So here it is – in the corner of the kitchen, next to the free feeding bowl.
And here’s the beauty of ruthless creative cropping. Cause this is what the rest of the kitchen looks like at the moment.
The surfaces were clean about a week ago. I swear. Then I began to put project bits on them for things I meant to work on ‘tonight’… and never did obviously. Instead I chose to do something completely different. But hey. At least I did something. Maybe that will lead to more creative evenings… I can hope.
You may notice the yellow frying pans on the pot rack. Lovely in a minty green kitchen. They were Wayne’s purchase. When he goes away I knock down walls, pull out cupboards and carpets and swap rooms. When I go away he buys kitchen appliances and frying pans.
Oh well. At least now when you look that way you get the yellow dog food ad which sort of ties in with the frying pans. Which are great stone non stick pans on the inside, but the outside… ugh.
So, how much better does the cropped version look? 
It makes me look like a good housekeeper. 
Keeping the illusion alive.
z

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dog bandanas – something fun

Just wanted to share a quickie tonight. A quickie project I mean. Mainly cause I really enjoyed making these little dog bandanas out of scraps of fabric.

The idea of these is that they can be put on a collar, taken off and washed then put back on. They’re colourful and fun. I got the idea from a little bandana a friend gave me and I thought I could put some of my millions of fabrick offcuts to use to make something different and special for the dogs I groom.

I didn’t use any large pieces of fabric to make these, just small squares. First I joined two pieces together, then folded, ironed, and stitched the sides for neatness. Lastly I folded over and ironed to create a sleeve to put the collar through. Then ironed again. Easy peasy. If you don’t mind all the ironing.

If I can do it, trust me. Its easy.

Ok, so you noticed the crooked stitching on the dog paw bandana. Yes… it was my first try… Not an excuse, I basically lost control of the sewing machine. It happens. (To me, it happens too often…)

No two-tone effect for that first one either, justvery crooked stitching. That’s what makes it special… hehehe

I used black thread for all of these – there was no way I was going to change the thread and bobbin colour to match each one. Too fiddly and too much work for a fun little project. I put these little bandanas on grooming customer dogs cause it makes me happy to make them look good.

I want to make more. I have tons more fabric offcuts to mix and match. I just need to find the office desk. I know its in the office somewhere… under 3 metres of fabric…

z

fun junky planters

I’ve been a bad blogger. I’ve let other things (like working and earning money to eat) get in the way of sharing all the exciting things going on around here. I know you’ve missed me and are dying to hear how things are going at Wind Dancer Farm.
Well… not much really. Except that I’m about $1200 poorer thanks to Romeo. First a couple of weeks ago while grooming him, I found he’d got a grass seed in the sheath of his penis. Yikes. And while investigating that I saw he had a lump on his flank. It didn’t look like a grass seed but I took him straight to the vet. There was nothing in the privates, whatever had got in had got out thankfully. He got a course of antibiotics and it cleared up.
The other thing, the lump, the vet was concerned about. The ‘c’ word was mentioned. So Romeo went in for surgery to have the lump removed and a biopsy done. We then waited a week to hear. Romeo limping uncomfortably cause he also seemed to have a grass seed in his left front paw. I searched but couldn’t see anything so I waited to see if it would improve.
The biopsy said the lump was cutaneous reactive histiocytosis. Not something usually found in poodles or even, for that matter, on that part of the body. Wierd. We are waiting and seeing if it was a one off… I’ve got my fingers crossed.
When the stitches came out I asked the vet to check his foot which was not improving. He couldn’t find any indication of a grass seed either and thought Romeo might have broken his toe. He gave him anti-inflammatories.
Well, it got worse and worse till I saw that there was now a hole in the webbing between his toes. I searched and pulled out a grass seed spike and took him back to the vet. They kept him for the day and searched but didn’t find any more foreign bodies. They cleaned it out and sent him home with a red bandage, antibiotics and he’s also on anti-inflammatories again. It should clear up now but till then we call him Limpy.
Poor Romeo.
Other than that all is well. The garden is looking shocking but given that a reader commented on my old toolbox planter I thought I’d share some of my whimsical plant containers.
I have quite a few old and rusty galvanised buckets. This one, one of my favourites, sits on the porch cause the begonia doesn’t like it too hot or frosty.

Last year I bought this gorgeous 60s planter from a garage sale and have put small pots with succulents in it, as well as a cutting of a beautiful pinky white geranium I’m growing.

At the end of the porch I have my lovely old mop bucket. We had one of those things when I was growing up. I much prefer it as a planter.

Since its now autumn the garden is looking pretty awful. Most plants have finished flowering and look ratty. But some are coming up again. Like the sweetpeas in the rusty old washing machine tub and the columbines in and around the old ammo box.

The steps up the porch have some new seedlings in them, alysum and lobelia which will fill and overflow the old pots and loaf tins they’re in.

I’ve replaced the succulents in the bike basket with plants which will overflow and cascade as well. Cat mint, which has purple flowers, in one pot and a pink groundcover I’ve forgotten the name of in the other.

In three pots in a basket on the back of the bike I’ve got a white daisy like plant, some alysum and lobelia. The white will grow upwards and the others should cascade. One day it’ll look great… one day.

The succulents I put in my stacked containers are coming along nicely. I have three of these but the third isn’t looking too good yet. I made these a couple of years ago for indoor storage but decided they’d work better with plants in them. They’re made of spindles and baking tins.

I made hanging baskets out of old strainers and steamers, put succulents in them and hung them on the wall near the door. Only succulents do well in planters with so many holes as they dry out very quickly.

I’ve had this old cane chair for many years, I bought it in an op shop when I was living in Fentonbury. When I got it it was dark brown, I used a wire brush to brush off the flaking paint and sprayed it white. The paint is flaking off again now so I decided to relegate it to a garden ornament.

A bright petunia will full the jam pot. Next spring I’ll put in another one – this time in spring so I have flowers through summer.

I used to have a lot of old toolboxes with succulents in them but this is one of the last ones. I sold a few of them at the market stall I did in January. I love old toolboxes and this one in blue and rust is just gorgeous.

The last one is the one on the back of this little tricycle.

You’ll notice the flour sifter near the old (cheap) half barrel planter that I can’t move without it falling apart. I have 3 sifters but this is one in best condition – ie the plant is still thriving.

One of the other sifters lies next to an overturned pot full of succulents. Hopefully the succulent in it will grow and spread. If not I’ll just put another in there!
This little area is in a wasted corner of the driveway where the retaining wall meets the steps to the path. I envisage that the succulents will grow and fill the area.
The other side of the retaining wall is decorated with some more buckets and drums.

And more ammo boxes… with more seedlings in them!

Do you get the feeling I love rusty old things? Well, you wouldn’t be wrong!

I do need to get out into the garden and begin trimming things back for winter and, if things go to plan, there’ll be a ton of flowers next spring.
I’ve been holding myself back waiting for the right time to cut things back. I get the urge to do it as soon as things begin to look ratty. Well, time is fast approaching. Time to tidy the garden, plug up all the holes the birds use to nest in, continue making the yard safer for the dogs next summer (ie keep them safe from snakes).
Lots to do.
Always.
z

new grooming room… almost done!

My new grooming room is almost finished. I mean I’ve been using it for weeks, but I’ve almost got it how I want it now. Not that I’ll ever stop making small adjustments and changes – I am who I am, after all. Being able to say its finished is a big thing for me.
Last week Wayne made me a ‘portico’ for the entrance. I love it. I just wanted a plain old canopy over the door but he created this wonderful little space which protects the door (and room!) from the wind and rain. He used materials we already had – some cedar boards a friend gave us, leftover bits of laserlite and treated pine from the stable makeover.

You can see where I’ve put flashing to stop water from seeping into the concrete. Hopefully that works… we’ll see when we get the next big rainfall.
Of course, you may have noticed there was one problem with this design… Its dark. Too dark. The three single fluoro lights in the grooming room didn’t seem bright enough any more. But I have a cunning plan…. watch this space.

The outside area is almost finished. I put two large pots out there with cuttings from my white hydrangeas in them. Both are doing well even while the original bush the cuttings came from seems to be dying. Even if its not dying it will die soon as I plan to dig it up. Its just not doing well at all.
Anyway, back to the groom room yard… last week, feeling energetic, I decided it was time to fill the yard with pine bark. I’d already lined the ground with newspapers, old rugs, old carpet, whatever I had lying around to stop weeds coming up. I’d ordered a load of pine bark which was sitting in the driveway… I had a shovel and a wheel barrow… what more could I want?

I’ll tell you what: a younger back. 
Or more sense.
I did something like 24 wheelbarrow loads of pine bark. I was breathing hard. I was tired. I was aching. But I kept pushing on. I kept thinking ‘not much more to go and it’ll be finished’…
Big mistake. I stopped about 3 loads short of finishing cause by then I was too sore to move.
I couldn’t walk for a week.
The original plan had been to put some sweet peas along the fence but I’ve decided against it. With the snake incident I’ve become a little bit too scared to let my dogs outside unless I’m home… However the snake lady who came to visit gave me some advice I’m following. She basically said two things: 1. get rid of the food source (ie keep all horse and chicken feed in sealed containers which won’t attract mice and rats) and 2. don’t try to keep snakes out – they will get in anyway if they want to – allow them a way out if they do get in. ie The one thing you don’t want is a snake trapped in with your dog.
So, I’m not putting plants in the ground in my little yard. I’ll let the sweet peas grow on the outside of the fence so if a snake wants to rest in a cool spot, its outside the fence. And if one gets in somehow, it will have plenty of gaps to escape through.
As for the embankment with the tyres – where the snake was – the snake lady suggested we fence it off. Again, using what we have, we decided to put an electric fence across it, thus stopping dogs from climbing onto it, and again, allowing any snakes that may get into our yard a way out.
Lets hope no snakes come into our yard again.
Its looking good though, isn’t it? I have little metal poodles which will have arrows on them to point the way, and a large sign on the wall. Hopefully people will then know where the grooming room is…
Inside is still a work in progress. I have hooks for my dremmel and clippers. I have paintings and photos on the walls. The door has a window and a handle!

Okay, not in this photo, but it does. My first ever door handle! I’m so proud of myself! 
I still have tools lying around everywhere so excuse the mess.

I even made myself a scissor rack. What self respecting groomer doesn’t have a scissor rack?

I have a cute little stool for visitors…

Of course I have a cd player, and a cute poodle planter holds my business cards.

Pictures, paintings, old ads featuring poodles… my aprons on a huge nail and a plaque painted by a friend many years ago.

I bought this mantlepiece years ago and have never had anywhere to put it. I decided I’ll use it as a shelf for now – to display some of my poodle items.

Eventually I’ll have all my poodle collection on display in there, along with items for sale. Since I now have a separate area for drying dogs things don’t get covered in dog hair in the room. Its such a relief!
Anyway, I’ll take more photos soon, as things progress – like the signs and the change to the portico…
z

goodbye erik, you left a hole in our lives

Every now and then a very special dog comes in to your life.
Erik was that dog.
A good friend of mine offered me Erik to have, to show, to love. I said YES. I wanted him from the day I saw his photo as a puppy. It was fate, I knew it. He was mine.
I told her he’d be happy here, he’d be adored and he’d love to live on a farm with 3 other dogs to play with, with geese and ducks and chickens to watch, horses to learn about. I’d take him everywhere with me and he’d be my No. 2 meet and greet dog when I was grooming. Barney is No. 1 meet and greet dog, but Erik was better at it. He would greet everyone who came as if he’d known them all his life, he’d stay by my side while I groomed, content to lie and nap while I worked.
I promised my friend that he would live a long happy life here, with us. But I was wrong. Erik died of a snake bite yesterday. I’d only gone out for 2.5 hours. I drove into Hobart to pick up Wayne and go to the hardware store and for coffee and I didn’t think it would be a good idea to take the dogs. Not even Erik who I spoiled. I didn’t think it would be an issue. We’ve lived here for 7 years and in that time we’d go to work and leave the dogs out in the yard, with the porch and grooming room for shelter, for 8 or more hours at a time. 
We’d never had a snake in the yard before. 
I wish I could go back in time and take them all with me to the city. I wish I’d left them locked up in the house. I wish Erik was still here with us. He was that one in a million dog who came into our lives and won us over instantly. Two and a half weeks with Erik was enough to imprint him on our hearts forever. He brightened our lives and made us smile every day in the too short time we had him. 
Since he died I’ve been tormenting myself. If I hadn’t gone out. If I had taken him (them all) with me. If we didn’t stop for coffee. If we didn’t stop at the letterbox. Coming home to find one dog missing at the gate and a dead snake on the drive will haunt me forever.
I’ve spent the day reading everything I can find on snake bites and dogs – It was probably a tiger snake, this year has been worse than ever for tiger snakes in Tasmania apparently. Its the most venomous of snakes. He could have died anything from 15 minutes after being bitten to 2 hours or so. Maybe I could have saved him if I’d been here. Maybe not. I’ll never know, cause I wasn’t home.
I’d like to remember Erik in this post because I know I have to stop crying and begin living again and I hope that this will help me say goodbye to him. I love him. I miss him.
We picked him up from the airport on January 28. He died on Valentine’s Day, February 14. He was only 13 months old.
Here he is with Wayne. He walked out of his crate and wrapped Wayne around his paw. It was love at first sight. I thought I’d have to convince Wayne to keep another dog… No need. Erik did that on his own.

Erik was so affectionate. He would come to you and just lean in, rest his head on your leg, and snuggle up. When I patted his face he’d close his eyes in bliss. His skin was so soft and smooth.
He loved to lick – an annoying habit really, but he quickly learned ‘no lick’ and would give you a sneaky quick lick then act all innocent. He had a way of looking at you through the side of his eyes that we couldn’t resist.
On our way home we stopped for coffee at a cafe in New Norfolk. Erik was wonderful. For the first time in my life I was the one with the best behaved dog, others were the ones embarrassed for their dog’s behaviour.
I gave him the bacon from my BLT.
When we got home Erik met the other dogs in the driveway – when Erik saw the horde coming for him he ran up to them, full of joy to meet new friends. They then raced around the yard like lunatics till they were worn out, then they lined up for pats from daddy.
Erik adored Barney on the spot. Barney is so easy going, he’s never minded being licked to death. Erik and Barney would roll around on the floor together, mouthing each other every day. It was a game that never got old.
He was such a beautiful boy, not just on the inside, but on the outside too.
First night at our place Erik chose to curl up at Wayne’s feet. He loved to lie on his back and expose his tummy for a rub. I couldn’t resist kissing him every time I walked past him.

My friend told me he never got on furniture… Not in this house! Our dogs own this house as much as we do. Erik curled up next to me on the couch too on his first night here. He didn’t play favourites. He loved us both and made sure we knew it.

On his second day, Erik battered his nose digging in the garden. How’s that for a show dog, huh? A nice big pink spot on his nose. He was not ashamed of himself, not one bit. He was such a happy boy.
A few days after he arrived I decided to cut him into a continental. For two reasons. I didn’t think I could maintain that much coat (I was right). And I wanted to see what he’d look like. Ok, three. I love a poodle in continental. 
And he looked spectacular.

Erik was with me while I groomed every day in the short time he was with me. You can just see a little dog behind him in the picture below. I didn’t have enough time to take more photos. I thought I had years.


Erik would lie on the floor while I groomed. In the old grooming room he’d lie on the concrete, even though there were beds and rugs on the floor. At least in the new grooming room I had vinyl. Even in the house Erik would often prefer the floor to the couch or the beds. He’d sleep outside our bedroom gate. If the gate was open he’d come in and say hello, then go back out to sleep in the living room with everyone else.

I took Erik to a cafe in the city to meet a friend. I took him into New Norfolk to meet other friends. I didn’t have enough time to do everything I wanted to do with him. Everyone who met him loved him, even if they did think his haircut was weird. He was just that sweet. He brought so much joy into our lives.

And there were more games. Lots of games. I bought him a rope ball with a loop, he loved it. He’d torment the others with it, instigating chase and tug of war. He was the only dog I ever had that always brought the ball/toy back.

There was a lot of peeing. My guys have learned to empty their bladder in one go but Erik liked to stretch out his pee, encouraging a bit of ‘I can pee over your pee’ in the pack.
And then more chase! Erik brought new life to the pack, even Barney was running more despite his arthritis. And barking. A lot of barking. Barney, not Erik. Erik rarely barked, and when he did he had a huge bark, the bark of a much bigger dog. Surprising when he was smaller than Romeo and finer than Montana.


Here are the only photos I have of my bigger pack. I loved having three standard poodles. I loved having four dogs again.
They all became best friends. He fit into our family so easily. We all miss him. He was my baby boy.
Every morning we’d pile into the car and take Wayne to the bus stop. In the afternoon we’d pile back in and pick him up. I’d take the long way so they could all get a bit more of a car ride.
Erik loved to look out the back window, never the side or front. He was so funny… his butt on the edge of the seat so that if I hit the brakes he’d land on the floor. Yep, back to looking out the back window. My funny little man.
And kisses. Lots and lots of kisses. Both ways. He gave my ears a few good cleans. And I’d kiss him on the nose, on the neck, on the cheeks, on his thighs, on top of his back. So soft, so smooth, so warm.
He had the most beautiful full tail. He had the best angles and pretty feet. The cutest expression. Such energy. Such love of life. So much fun in the way he lived every minute of the day.
Then this weekend I decided I would cut him off. I know I was planning to show him, but after spending 3 days dealing with huge matts, I decided to give it up after one two hour session that got me nowhere. I clipped him off all over. You should have seen the way he kept looking back, like “where did my hair go?”
I’m glad he had some time to just ‘be a dog’ before he died. I’m glad Wayne got to play with him without me worrying about his coat. I hated telling Wayne not to rub his coat, or to be careful when playing with him. I didn’t want him to pull away from Erik. So I cut it off. And Wayne was able to spend a few days rubbing Erik all over, scritching his shoulders and rough-housing with him. I’m so glad they had that. 
I’m glad he was able to be a farm dog for the tiny amount of time he had left on this earth and that I wasn’t too worried about his coat to let him enjoy it.
The only photos I have of Erik without his coat. Sleeping on the rugs while I groom. I shall be so lonely grooming now.
These are the last photos I have of my little man. The night before he died. He jumped up next to me on the couch, between me and Montana. I watched TV with my hand on him.
They say only the good die young and you were the best. Maybe that’s why you had to go. You have left a hole in our lives and our home, way out of proportion to the time you shared it with us. The house is quiet without you, the other dogs are subdued, we are heartbroken.
I wish we’d had more time with you little man. I will miss you every day till the day we meet at the Bridge.
z

poodles and daffodils

Today was one of those days when the sun came out for small bursts. And when it did it was glorious. The sky was deep blue. The grass really green. The air was clean and the dogs were excited.
We decided it was time for a romp in the daffodil paddock.

Romeo ran up and down the banks of the creek so many times. Both he and Montana were covered in splattered mud by the time we were ready to go home.

If you look closely you can see Romeo in the creek bad. All you could see was his tail at one stage.

I love happy running Romeo!

And happy, not so running Montana.

In case you’re wondering, Barney was there too. He ran too, believe it or not. Just not with as much abandon. He has arthritis and running too much takes it out of him, poor boy.

Can you see the slipper feet soaking up the mud? When I clipped them off I didn’t wash them, just clipped off all the curls and dreds. Montana curls, Romeo dredlocks. Anyway, as I was saying, when I clipped them off I didn’t do their feet as they were too dirty to risk my blades. They look so funny, slim all over with clown feet.

You can see the colour of their feet today. Oh well. Its just mud. It’ll fall off once its dry.

I have more photos but there are enough in this post. I’ll share the other photos in another post, less dogs, more our place in spring.

Don’t you miss the silent gaps of no posts now?

z

imaginative rustic dog proofing for the garden

Life is back to normal… the holidays are over…

When I got back from Canberra on the weekend, after a week up there with Mom, I was greeted by a couple of surprises.

Firstly, my up till now white hydrangeas are now pink! A very pretty soft pale pink.

It might be cause I gave them hydrangea food, although it said “Blueing agent”, not “Pinking agent”… oh well. They’re pretty.

The second surprise wasn’t as pleasant…

Seems the dogs had been doing some of their own creative gardening…

Its not the first time.

Before Christmas I’d planted some lettuce and spinach in a rusty old washing machine tub and placed it and my basil in a rusty ammo box in part of the garden which the dogs had excavated. I placed a big galvanised watering can and some yellow tractor springs there too. It worked. No more digging and destruction in that spot.

However, other spots needed a dog’s special touch apparently.

This spot above had my first (and favourite) penstemon in it. A dark dark burgundy. It was taller than the lavender. When I got back it was broken. I grabbed anything I could find and filled in the gap to discourage digging.

Ditto above, a little further over where a galvanised mop bucket, a rusty bucket, a terracota pot and a birdcage create deterrents.

And here a geranium in a stainless steel bucket…

I ran out of pots to use as discouragement so I grabbed my old kid’s tricycle. It doesn’t look too bad there… I think I’ll leave it there and let the plants grow around it.

Dogs and gardens isn’t a perfect match. On the other side of the yard I’ve had to use puppy pens as semi-permanent fencing to keep the dogs out of the garden bed. They’ve destroyed that quite a few times. Turns out bunnies live under the casita, what can I say…

So, back to the grind.

It was a terrific Christmas. Having Mom over from Greece was really special. She’s an amazing woman. I can only hope I have half her energy and looks in my mid-80s!

Mom loved Tasmania and our home – she even thought Wayne was okay… heheh

Anyway, it was terrific to spend time with Mom at home, as well as driving around Canberra with her catching up with friends and shopping.

Did I say shopping? Canberra has an IKEA! And Aldi! Well, Aldi isn’t that exciting but let me tell you, their white chocolate is wonderful!

Ok, I’m off to water the garden. Tomorrow is going to be a stinker

z

poodle playdate

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!

z