name and shame…

Yes, he’s so cute.
He looks so sweet and innocent. Dopey even. Mommy’s boy. A sook and a cuddler.
 
But leave him alone in the house with nothing to do and this is what I come back to:
Romeo.
Yep. That’s the one.
He’s not so innocent or sweet after all.
He’s a pillow killer. And a doona killer (who can forget this?)…
And, it turns out… he’s the chook killer.
Not that I have proof. But the circumstantial evidence is mounting up.
Yesterday he was out in the paddock for ages with Wayne as he worked on the stable (which, btw, is looking great). He was good all day.
Then, just as Wayne was getting ready to knock off and come in, Romeo went off after a chook. I heard the squalking and the swearing and ran out. We called him off the chase, but he did it.
There’s no denying the fact that he went after a chook.
Sigh.
Anyhow, here is the stable – the third bay is up, walls finished. All it needs is a roof (and guttering and a rainwater tank) which the guys will be putting up this weekend . If all goes well. Looks like we’ll have stables for the horses for this winter!
Meanwhile we’re looking after a friend’s golden retriever while she’s on a bushwalk for 3 days. He’s a gorgeous boy. Who can resist those soulful eyes?
His name is Maru. She adopted him when the chinese students who owned him returned to their country and left him behind about 8 years ago. She said she’d foster him till he found a new home and a week turned into years. He’s 12 now.
The poodles noses were out of joint but I’m not sure who’s more worried about who… I know Maru is a bit worried about going into poodle territory unless I’m there to usher him in (he clings to me, so sweet), but I’ve seen the way the poodles both give him ample personal space.
Maru will grumble and let them know when he’s not happy!
Anyway, there’s a truce going on now, he’s been accepted as part of the pack so all is well. Though he’s NEVER allowed out into the paddock. He doesn’t know horses and I thought Wally had surely killed him last time he went out there (while he was visiting with his mom). He went for Wally not realising that Wally doesn’t back off to dogs, then flopped into a submissive position when Wally returned fire. Our dogs know to run when horses go after them. So Wally stomped on him. That’s what I saw. Wayne says he didn’t… but I was sure we had a dead dog. 
Thankfully he’s fine and that was over a week ago now.
Phew.
A chook killing poodle is more than enough to deal with!
z

the pink shelves

Do you remember this little thing? I found it at an op shop crying out for some TLC.

It was painted white (badly) over a blue wash. I liked the idea of white, and I loved the blue (pity they painted over it), but I decided to do something different and painted it pink!

The pink is a colour I mixed up myself using paints I had on hand. It turned out to be the softest, sweetest pale pink. When I distressed it I varied the depth so that you could see both the original wood and the previous paint layers.

I just wish I had space in my kitchen for it! If it doesn’t sell at the market  I’ll find a spot for it!

I’m still busy as ever. Running around finishing projects for the aforementioned market, organising what I’ll need and restraining myself from starting any new projects at this point…

“Just finish what you’ve started Zefi…”

I leave you with this photo of me and my beautiful Romeo, taken at the work garage sale about a month ago. Isn’t he beautiful? Our clients loved him, as did just about everyone who met him.

Better go. Things to do, dogs to groom.

z

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it snowed in the dog room & public dog shaming

All I wanted was a quiet night. That’s all. Was it too much to ask?
I think it was. 
I stepped into the mud room and was greeted by this scene.

It had snowed.
Let me explain. Barney and Mischa sleep in the mud room on this bed. Together. 
I’ve been recycling old doonas, which I no longer want or need, as dog blankets.
The first one got very dirty so I threw it out, giving them this down-filled one.
They loved it. It was fluffy and snuggly and comfortable.
Then I made a mistake… I fed Montana and Romeo in the mud room, separating them from Mischa and Barney, cause I’d given them lamb bones and we have had a bit of growling over bones in the past.
I thought I was playing it safe. I reckoned without the Romeo Boredom Factor.
Sigh.
This afternoon I received a dog public shaming email and laughed out loud at some of them. So I’ve now forwarded the email with my own addition.
Here are my favourites in case you missed the email.

 z

i love the sound of munching horses

I sit here, at the outdoor table, in our yard. Surrounded by horses munching on the grass and dogs under the table, hiding from the horses.

Its a glorious day.

Wayne trimmed hooves today cause our farrier is out of action for a while. I held horses. Dancer, who had never had her feet done before we got her, was the best. Wally was like a bucking bronco with his back legs. Ben was just naughty with his front.

After that, neither of us felt like doing much but sitting in the sun and just enjoying. Listening to old 60s British pop bands, including Herman’s Hermits.

For some reason I woke up this morning with “No milk today” on my mind. Love that song.

So here are a few photos of the broncs enjoying the grass.

Ben, below, has started to fill out and put on weight. He’s looking good.


 I love Ben’s stripe and the way one of his eyes has a spot of white on the lid and some white eyelashes.

Ben and Wally, best buds.



 Dancer, also filling out, outside the woodshed.

Dancer eating around the pom pom bush and the columbines.

A close up of the columbine buds. Obviously the ones in here are purple. I wonder where I put the white ones…

Dancer and Wally. See the difference in colour? Dancer is going lighter and lighter as she loses her old coat.

The family… you can just see Mishca and Barney under the table. They stay out of the way when the horses are in the yard.

Wally, in front of the house.

So now you know why I’ll never have a nice yard. Horses and nice yards don’t go hand in hand. I think I prefer relaxing weekends with horses in the yard to a perfect garden.

z

day 8 – is it over yet?

Sheesh I’m tired. And all I managed to do was groom dogs today. Nothing crossed off the list.
Ok. If I’d put ‘do the washing’ and ‘hang out washing’ on the list I’d have managed to check those off.
Oh, and I did wash the dishes too.
And put out the bins.
Wow. I actually did do a few things… if I’d put those things on my list I’d be feeling a lot better tonight. As it was I feel like I’ve done nothing.
But I did get to spend time with some pretty nice doggies. This is Abby. A darling little shitzu they want all clipped off.
And this is Malty. A young little cavalier/poodle cross. Both are sporting the new bandanas. Unfortunately I didn’t get a photo of anyone wearing a different colour. Polka dots seemed to be the right choice for black and white dogs.
Everett, the westie, went home with a pirate bandana, as did Bobby. Romeo kept me company in the grooming room all day, making friends with all the little dogs. I guess he was just happy to be with me and not to be groomed!
z

PS. Did anyone notice I changed the typesize on my blog? Thought it might be easier to read. 🙂

creative in a different way

Suzi, looking cute

Today has been a very busy day. A non-DIY busy day.

Just as creative though.

I spent most of the day grooming. Only three dogs. One blink-and-you’ll-miss-it monkey faced little shitzu cross girl (above) called Suzi, and two not-quite-so-small poodles: Chewie (aka Chewbacca The Wookie) and Zefi (aka Munchkin or Munch).

Chewie with her new bell bottom ‘do’

Grooming is creative work. Especially grooming poodles. I love making dogs look gorgeous. Unfortunately, with most pets, you have to balance practicality with as much ‘pretty’ as you can.

Most pet owners start off with ‘Don’t take a lot off, I like him fluffy’ and end up with ‘Shave it all off! I’m sick of the grass seeds/the mud/the matts/that he bites me if I try to brush him.’

With poodles its different. They have that sculptural hair – you brush it out, fluff it up and it stands there for you to scissor like a topiary.

Its respectful hair. It stands up, waiting to be scissored. It doesn’t just flop, making your life difficult.

Seriously.

Its the best hair.

And scissoring its a pleasure.

Then again, I love scissoring. Yeah, I use the clippers. But when it comes to finishing a trim, nothing beats scissors.

Scissoring is the fine tuning of a trim.

Zefi Munchkin waiting for her mommy.

As satisfying as DIY really.

Like when you find that perfect piece to fix up a piece of furniture, or you get the paint job just right.

Worth the effort when you see them go home looking great.

z

day in the bush

Wayne loved his manly wallet for Father’s Day. But I think what he loved most about his day was the walk up the back.
He packed up the “billy” and tea, biscuits etc, I packed the firelighters, and we got into blue and drove up to the picnic spot we saw when we inspected the farm before buying it. Its one of Wayne’s favourite places on the property.
Here is blue parked in the clearing.
Wayne set up the chairs and dug a fire pit. The man lives for the great outdoors.
 
He has this funky tripod thing for hanging the billy over the fire, old rusty metal. I love rusty metal.
 
The fire was a bit smokey. Guess things hadn’t really dried out even though we’d have a few gorgeous, warm, sunny days. If you look closely you can see Wayne hiding behind the smoke.
 Here’s me waiting for my tea.
 And the view around us.
You’ll never guess who this chair belongs to… I painted poodles on the back of my camp chairs so that I’d know which ones were mine when I was a dog show.
Here’s the rarest of native animals: the Tasmanian Barniferos.  Spoilt rotten dog. He’s the only one who got to come with us cause he’s the only one that can be trusted to stay close. (He really is the best dog!)
It was  a great day. We even managed to find the top boundary of our property. We’d never been up that far before.
Its important to take the time off to just enjoy. Its too easy to get caught up in all the things we ‘have to do’ and forget to just sit back and appreciate what we have.
I’m totally guilty of that. I’m working on it.
z

the week that dragged me down

Its been an interesting week.
How many things can go wrong in one week do you think?
Lets see… I could have a broken stove at my house in Fentonbury. I could have a broken pipe at my house in Fentonbury… I could lose my car keys, car parked right in the gateway in the driveway so no way to get out using the ute to pick up poor long suffering Wayne, waiting at McDonalds. It could take me 40 minutes to locate my keys (behind the mudroom door) in the dark, in the yard, in the grooming room, in the carport, in the horse feed room. Even IN the horse feed. Then to top off a great week, we could have training at work today. All day. 
There’s a Saturday I won’t get back.
Sigh.
I’m so very very tired. Last night I went to bed at 8.30pm.   
Ok. Its not all bad.
Training was actually fun. I love that stuff… looking at deadly spiders (in jars of course) and my first blue ringed octopus, learning how to treat bites, what to do when someone’s guts are hanging out, or they have an axe embedded in their head. 
Those things are handy to know.
Then afterwards, on the way home I stopped in at The Good Guys (electrical store) armed with a print-out of the cooktop I need for Fentonbury at the cheapest price I could find it online. They matched the price and are ordering it in for me.
See, of course the house in Fentonbury would have a cooktop of an unusual size and shape. No choices. Only one model to be found anywhere.
And tonight I called our wonderful plumber and begged him to travel about 2 hours from where he lives to go see the problem in Fentonbury and fix it. He’s going to go up next week and call me with a plan of action.
Fingers crossed we won’t be eating baked beans for the next few months.
While there, I fell in love with a stove for my kitchen here … ah. Dream on.
Tomorrow is Father’s Day. This year I gave the dogs some money and sent them shopping with strict instructions to a buy non-edible gift so we wouldn’t have a repeat of last year’s stuff up.*
I just wrapped it for them  – they don’t have opposing thumbs and find gift wrapping a bit difficult. (But they can drive into town on their own and buy Dad a wallet! uhuh!)

Hope he likes his new wallet. Its a manly cowboy brown leather one. With a manly brand name “Colorado”. Nice.

They actually had a brand called Fossil… NOT a good idea, I thought. That could so easily be taken the wrong way….

z

* Here’s a photo of last year’s Father’s Day gift.

the grooming room

 
I know, its been a while since I’ve posted and I do apologise from the depths of my heart.

I’ve been busy. In fact, I’ve been so busy I almost forgot to sleep this last weekend.

I kinda got into the ‘zone’ with tidying up the workshop and grooming room, and then my head was buzzing with ideas and plans and projects… sometimes I wish I had a ‘sleep’ button.

So, here’s just some of the stuff I did this past weekend. I decided to rearrange the grooming room to incorporate this big ugly pink thing I got from an op shop a couple of months ago.

(I sort of had to do something with it. It was in DJ’s garage and he’d threatened to do nasty things to me if I didn’t move it soon.)

 
Very pink huh? I had planned to paint it and use it in the office. Or something… I mean, it was cheap. Very cheap. It’d come in handy for somewhere!

It even came complete with all these stickers! ugh. Which wouldn’t come off.

 
Since I wasn’t painting it I didn’t want to spend time scraping or sanding them off. And I was in a hurry to just move it into the grooming room and get it done.

This is what that corner of the grooming room looks like now. Big Pink in the corner holds all the grooming tools and beautifying products. It now has hooks on the side to hold some of my dogs’ fancy collars and hooks off the middle shelf so I can hang the clippers and dremel. And there’s a hook on the wall to hold the dryer hose out of the way.

The other corner holds the bigger grooming table, part of my poodle collection (you can just see them all, clamouring to get out!) and the newest tip shop chair waiting to be make over.

The floor, plain concrete, is covered with rubber tiles under the grooming area – easy to sweep up and nice and comfy underfoot. There’s an old rug on the other side of the room to further insulate the floor.


The other side of the room, on the window side, holds 2 dog beds. Along the wall to the right of the above photo are dog crates, another display cabinet with just as many poodle figurines and dog blankets piled up higher than my head.

When I put Big Pink in the grooming room I moved out a bench, which is now living in the laundry. It works perfectly there – underneath it holds 2 laundry baskets plus 2 grooming/show tool boxes. The top of the bench is a great place to put washing baskets and sort washing. I’m planning to put a couple of shelves in there soon and make that room over a bit.

The other things that were moved were 2 smaller cabinets which are now in the hydrobath room holding towels.

Before you ask to see the rest of the casita, let me remind you that the casita is an old, OLD house… the original farm cottage on our property. It has no foundations as such, and someone somewhere along the line, thought that taking up whatever flooring was in most of the casita and replacing it with concrete was a good idea… It may very well have been a good idea.

If the concrete wasn’t just sitting on the wettest ground this side of the great flood.

So… the rooms with concrete floors are damp. Badly damp. One room is totally unusable. Unless you plan to grow mushrooms. The grooming room isn’t so bad, but its not great either. The hydrobath room and the laundry are … well… lets just say there are patches of concrete which never seem to be totally dry, even when I haven’t washed a dog in a week.

In the front part of the casita, where floors are timber, its great.

However, there are parts of the ceiling which are sagging or totally missing. In the damp areas there are walls with mould. Eeech. Given the floors get so damp in winter, how on earth do you even THINK about fixing the damp walls?

When we first saw this place we dreamed of fixing up the old cottage. It has character. It has baltic pine ceilings (where it has ceilings). But its a real mess, and we don’t have the money to fix its problems.

So, it remains a shed. A grooming room. A dog washing room. A laundry. A workshop. A horse feed room. And a dark gloomy mushroom growing room.

One day, when I’ve patched up holes in walls, replaced missing wall panels, whatever, I might be able to show you areas of rooms, like the laundry. Till then, trust me. It ain’t so pretty!

z

four legged love

Anyone who knows me, knows I love my poodles.

Even DJ has a strong suspicion that in case of fire, I’d get the dogs out of the house before I him.

There’s something just so beautiful about them. I’ve always been a poodle lover. From the first time I ever saw a photo of a toy poodle. Then, after reading Jacqueline Suzanne’s Every Night Josephine, I was hooked forever.

Unless you’ve had a poodle you probably have no idea what I’m talking about, but let me just say – every man I’ve had in my life who ‘poo-poohed’ at the thought of poodles, fell in love with them. At the end of any relationship I’ve had since having poodles in my life, it was the poodles the guy was sorry to leave behind. (sniff).

For myself, I love their beauty. Their elegance and grace, their humour and energy and the way they make me laugh. Feeling their curls under my hands is enough to calm me if I’m stressed and lift my spirits if I’m down.

The fact that they have no doggy smell and they don’t shed is a definite bonus! More grooming, but less vacuuming. Gotta love that.

I’m never lonely with poodles in my life.

The day I held a toy poodle named Scooter in my hands when I lived in Melbourne, far far from any family, I knew I was no longer alone. With him I had my own family.

Since then I’ve never been without a poodle in my life. More than one usually. I currently have only Montana and Romeo, both of whom were born in my bedroom.

All dogs are beautiful I just love dogs. I see the heart in all of them, not just poodles. But my babies are my family and I love them a LOT… so please forgive my ‘doting mother’ ramble.


On Monday we went for a walk around the paddocks to check things out. We took the dogs with us. Montana and Romeo were thrilled. They ran down the driveway first, checking out the new smells (like the horse poop…)

Then in the bottom paddock, leaping over the snowdrops. This paddock fills up with snowdrops and daffodils every year.

So pretty!

Barney can mostly keep up with the poodles.

Mischa stuck near us. She’s too slow to run with the dogs with longer legs.

A day ‘on the land’ with the dogs and horses… my idea of heaven!


I’ll leave you with a fun little pipecleaner poodle I made a while ago.


It looks like its wearing a turban. 🙂

z