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

the poodles redecorate


Seems the poodles have gotten into the spirit of things around here and decided to help mom with her work at making the farm a dream home. 

They’ve been spending their days in the casita, in the grooming room and laundry, most days lately when we go to work.

Why?

You try coming home tired and finding poodles covered in mud to their eyebrows two nights in a row.

Sigh.

Since we moved to the farm they’ve generally had it really easy. They get the run of the yard while we’re at work most of the year. Its only this time of year (the wettest time), and on the odd very wet day during other times, that they get locked up during the day.

I give them some ‘special left alone time’ toys, close the door and go to work, secure in the knowledge that they’re safe and comfy, dry and not muddy while I slave away at work.

Today I got home to find they’d done some redecorating while I was at work.

I guess its only to be expected. They were raised around rennovations, building, power tools and revolving furniture. It comes naturally to them.

Today, they decided to put a new door (window?) in the toilet in the casita. We need a toilet with a view.

Or maybe they were trying to dig their way to freedom.

I don’t know. All I know is that a section of wall which used to have plaster on it is now just exposed studs. And Romeo was sporting a suspicious ring of white plaster dust around his nose…

Well, I’m not upset. That toilet is disgusting. Those walls are so damp Marie Curie would feel at home in there.

Anyway, I’m really looking forward to this weekend. I really want to do some work in the casita – mainly in the laundry area and grooming room. Some re-arranging. Some tidying up. Making the spaces more practical and user friendly.

And to confuse DJ next time he goes in there.

He really hates it when I move furniture.

Maybe I can get the poodles do more demolition work for me? hmmm?

z

link parties & another addiction

I’m so new to this blogging/linking/inspiration/mutual admiration society thing, that I’m not sure how to go about doing this stuff. However, I have decided to actually take part in link parties cause, frankly, I like getting comments which say how much someone enjoyed seeing one of my projects.

And cause I am, in fact, a bit of a show off.

Admiration and praise makes me puff up my chest and strut around like a rooster overseeing his harem till something brings me crashing back down to earth.

Like poodles covered in mud who need hosing down before they can come into the house.

And the living room, covered in not-quite-washed-off muddy footprints.

Such is life.

But back to the issue at hand.

I told myself that I blogged to share stuff and have fun. I wasn’t going to concentrate on building a huge following and making money from my blog.

Sure, it’d be nice if someone came along and said “hey, I like your blog, here’s a bundle of money to keep it going”, but this is real life and that ain’t gonna happen.

So I blog for my own enjoyment – to share my life and to meet new people.

I do not have a problem! I can stop any time I want!

Its just that I don’t want to.

I went to bed last night sure that my only ‘vice’ was an addiction to junking… but it turns out I’m also addicted to blogging.

I blame my mother.

(Doesn’t it always come down to blaming mom?)

She instilled in me a need to have a neat, clean and tidy house.

I failed at that. But I do try to make my home look beautiful in my own way by making and altering things I find to give it character.

I’m proud of the things I make, and who said showing off is a bad thing?

Actors make a living out of it.

So do politicians.

Anyway, my name is Zefi and I’m addicted to junking and blogging.

There. Its out in the open for the world to see.

z

Oh, I forgot to mention, I linked my red box(es) blog to the colour link party above. Go check it out.

where’s dinner and do you have regrets?

Where’s dinner?
Do you ever regret throwing something(s) way? It isn’t something I think of often, but lately something I read reminded me of stuff I threw out many years ago which I now feel a bit bad about.
Not the photos of a particular ex-boyfriend…  I can live without that memory.
No, I don’t regret that. But there are some small things that I do regret throwing out.
You know how, when you’re in love and everything seems like it’ll last forever, this is the man of your dreams, the white picket fence looms in the future and your rose tinted glasses haven’t yet come off and been crushed underfoot? At that point in a relationship you think you want to erase all the previous loves of your life and begin anew. Wipe the slate clean so to speak.
So you throw away all those old love letters you cherished for years. The ones from your first boyfriend who you thought was SO romantic (till you realised that most of his letters were simply lyrics from his favourite songs). Or the great passionate summer romance you had where the guy could only speak french and italian and who’s letters you had to read with the assistance of a dictionary or a friend who spoke italian.
And the gifts. You decide you can live without that little heart charm given to you by the man you believed would be your life partner. Or the sweatshirt a two-timing louse gave you from Disneyland, telling you that he wore it while visiting there and felt like you had your arms around him. 
Uhuh.
You toss these things out, without a thought, without regrets. You give away the charm or drop clothing into the brotherhood bin.
(Now you kick yourself for not selling the stuff and making a quick buck out of it, but you never worked that way.)
No. The stuff I regret throwing away were things given to me by people (men) who I wasn’t actually involved with – thus somehow the stuff they gave me was more genuine. Untainted. And I still threw it away.
One of those things was a painting. A watercolour given to me by a french boy I met when I was in Paris on a school trip at age 16. We sat up all night, in the hostel kitchen where he worked while attending art school, drinking hot chocolate out of huge bowls, and talking – Paris by night outside the window… Then he snuck me out to see his place (a tiny loft) where he didn’t try to seduce me or take advantage of me, but instead gave me a drawing to remember him by and asked for a page from my visual diary to remember me by.
It was so innocent. So exciting! Doesn’t every girl dream of a romantic night in Paris?
Hello? Do you have my dinner?
The other thing was a poem, written to me by a guy I thought was a friend. Who it seems had more feelings for me than I was aware. It was a beautiful, sensitive poem, asking me to give him a chance, to stay in Greece and not return to Australia.
When I thought I was in love with Mr Right, I threw these things out along with old photos and old love letters.
Why would I throw away a painting? Or a poem? They’re art, someone’s hard work and talent.
Yet I did. 
I’ve also thrown away, given away, or sold (not so often) things I’ve grown out of or no longer need. Those items I don’t regret… in general.
I do regret not holding on to my mother’s old clothes however, even after they no longer fitted me. They were beautiful 1960s outfits, mohair twin sets and tweed pedal pushers. Nice.
Well… we can’t keep everything. We have to move on and make space in our home, our lives and our hearts.
And a clean out of the old is good for the soul, right?
Plus, there’s the added advantage that by getting rid of old stuff, you make room for MORE stuff.
Yeah. I like that.
Lets not look at it as throwing things away, but rather as making room for new (old) stuff!
Like these 7in long nails I found at an op shop last week. How wonderful are they? I can already see them as part of a project….
z