Run rabbit run…

We’re seriously considering moving the dogs to a BARF (bones and raw food) diet. I’m currently reading Give Your Dog a Bone: The Practical Commonsense Way to Feed Dogs for a Long Healthy Life by Dr Ian Billinghurst.

Give your Dog a Bone by Dr Ian Billinghurst

Our dogs get quite a few raw meaty bones already, though not as many as recommended. They are fed primarily dry, kibble type dog food with some pre-packaged meatballs and some veggies and fruit – oh, they do love their fruit.

I went out and bought some of Dr B’s patties and some chicken wings today. I also thought I might see if the butcher had any rabbits. Boy, was I in for a shock! When did rabbits become gourmet game meat? $32 for a rabbit! Am I really showing my age by remembering when you couldn’t even find rabbits because the butchers couldn’t give them away? I think the pups can skip the rabbit for now.

For more info on Dr Billinghurst and the BARF diet: BARF Australia

And the beat goes on…

There’s been plenty going on in the last couple of weeks.

Last Saturday we went to see Sting with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra in his Symphonicity tour. The concert was held at Sandalford Winery in the Swan Valley and was fantastic. It was perfect weather and it’s a lovely venue for a concert. There was lots of music, there was even an intermission half way through the show. Sting sang everything you’d want him to sing and  his rapport with the audience quickly got us involved. We had reserved seats and could have done with a small cushion to sit on, but that minor discomfort was well and truly made up for by the entertainment. The worst part of the night was the 45 minutes in the log-jam waiting to get out of the car park. We’ve been to a concert at the winery before but parked in a different area and got away very quickly. This time we ended up stuck in the traffic in the furthest corner. We won’t do that again. Santana is playing at Sandalford in March and we have been trying to decide whether or not to go, but Stephen’s work travel plans are still not confirmed so we don’t want to book anything else just yet.

I’ve been plodding along getting my tutorials made up. At this stage I’m focusing on what clients are asking for and will gradually build up. I’m concentrating on the tutoring for older adults at the moment and will probably follow up on training groups when I have my resources ready. I’m not totally happy with the computer room that’s available to me. It would be perfect except that the computers are running Windows XP with Office 2003.  The price comparison that I’ve done so far makes the alternative less than palatable. The one alternative computer lab that I’ve investigated so far is at least five times the cost to rent.

The drawback to the type of tutoring I’m doing  is that it’s almost impossible to prepare materials and session plan because the learners often don’t really know what it is that they want or need to know. I’ve found that I also need to allow time for a cuppa and a chat. That will restrict the number of clients I can see in a day (particularly as there’s also travel to allow for) but I think it’s an important part of what I’m doing if I want multiple booking with the one client and if I want my business to spread by word-of-mouth. It’s also a good way to find out exactly what they want to learn.

I’ve made good progress with my Cert IV TAA upgrade. I still have to do a presentation and deliver some training to a class. I should get it out of the way before the end of Feb, I don’t have too much to organise. Then it’s apparently quite easy to get RPL for the upgrade to the newest qualification, Cert IV TAE.

The weather hasn’t been too hot in Perth for the past week or so, but is heating up again now. We’re back into the high 30’s again (up around 100F). We’ve been seeing a bit of the resident blue-tongue lizards. I think the live between us and next door. Stephen was tidying up down the side of the house to prepare for the new fence and he found a shed blue-tongue skin. Speaking of the fence, we finally have our new fence down one side of the house. It looks great, so much better than the old fences. If only they’d fall down too and we could get them replaced! Though it has been quite a drama and I don’t want to deal with it again too soon. There were really no disputes and real issues getting it done, it just took quite a few phone calls to the contractor asking when it would be done. I was starting to think we should have selected a different contractor, but it’s all finished now and they did a good job, so we’re happy. Now when the wind is blowing we don’t  listen to the sound of the fence moving and creaking and wondering if it will still be standing when next we go outside.

The garden is looking great, but we’re a bit worried about some of the holes the dogs have dug under them. On the hot days they like to dig a hole in the cool shaded dirt to lay in. The trouble with that is that we’re worried that some of the shrubs are being undermined. There’s some distinct damage caused by trampling when they chase each other through, but it’s their yard too and it really is a good garden for dogs. This weekend we’ll probably try to get some soil and top up some of the holes. I’ve also ordered some mulch from MulchNet so that should be here by the weekend. I got an email to say a contractor has picked up the job so I’m just waiting for a phone call.

Yesterday was Australia Day and a public holiday. We spent it quietly at home. Stephen did quite a bit around the yard, putting things back in place after the removal and installation of the fence. Kaz just laid around and dozed for most of the day, as she does, after an initial bout of vigourous play with Anzac. With Anzac you only need to add water and you’ve got fun!

Dog-paddling on Australia Day

Notice how he gets out to watch the water running along the grooves between the pavers!

Oh…and I almost forgot to mention the bread.

The sliced bread we like to buy was on sale so we bought a couple of loaves last week. We don’t eat much bread so when we get it home it usually goes straight into the freezer. This time we put one loaf in the freezer and left the other out so we’d have fresh bread for lunch. Then we decided to duck out to buy something at another shop. When we got home there was just a little piece of plastic bag on the floor – and no sign of the bread. The rest of the shredded bag was in the back yard. No sign of the bread. You’d think that after ten years of living with Kaz we’d know better than to leave food anywhere within her reach when we go out. She has a particular fondness for bread. She never takes anything when we’re home, but you have no idea how many loaves of bread we’ve lost in the last ten years!

We call it Boxing Day…

The day after Christmas, that is.

According to Wikipedia:

The exact etymology of the term “boxing” is unclear and there are several competing theories, none definitive.

…but it seems to mainly be related to making up alms boxes for the poor which were given out on the day after Christmas.

Here it’s a public holiday, no matter what your charity frame of mind.

Another hot day today with temperatures up around 37°C ( 98.6°F) and the wind blowing a gale once again. I really don’t mind a breeze, ‘specially when the weather’s hot, but this wind we get here is ridiculous. And today’s has been an easterly as well, so apart from air movement it’s done nothing to make the day more pleasant. We were woken several times through the night by the sound of the wind and of the fence creaking alarmingly. Luckily fence is still there, and wind has now dropped off slightly.

After me talking to my mum about the computer and TV that Paul, my brother, bought her today, Stephen taking to his dad and skyping his mum (Christmas day in the States) we spent much of the day outside. Once again we filled the pool for Anzac. Kaz is welcome to use it too, but she won’t put more than her paws in – very gingerly.

New video of Anzac:

Cooling down

Cooling down

Eating treats

Eating treats

Dog Paddling

Dog Paddling

Kaz in the pool

Kaz in the pool

Ready for action - in ball-chasing position

Ready for action - in ball-chasing position

And we had a small veggie harvest today; a few tomatoes and a capsicum.

Today's veggie harvest

Today's veggie harvest

Stephen's Boxing day cray

Stephen's Boxing day cray

And to finish off a small video of yesterday’s blue-tongued lizard

and another small one of the dogs in the water:

Oop poop a doo-doo…

What is wrong with those dog-owners to don’t pick up after their dogs? I just don’t get it…and obviously neither do they; but in a different way, altogether.
The dog-friendly beaches, parks and walks in our area all have doggy-do disposal bags and bins. But people still let their dogs crap on playing fields and paths.
Don’t go thinking that it’s ok to scoop the poop into a bag and leave it on the side of the path, or tied to the fence, or tossed into the bush either. Those of us who visit those areas frequently know just how long those bags have been there – you’re not picking it up on the way back.
Don’t go blaming the council for not providing enough baggies either. How hard is it to put a couple of plastic bags in you pocket before setting out? It’s your dog, it’s your responsibility.
I pity the poor kids and adults who play cricket or footy in the park near us. The fields are always scattered with droppings, some reminicent of the dinosaur mound in Jurassic Park! Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration, but maybe not to the kid who slips in it when he tries to catch the ball.
We’d never go out without at least 3 supermarket bags in our pockets for our 2 golden retrievers – those little yellow doggy bags the council provides just wouldn’t cut it for our ‘dinosaurs’!

As we read on a walk somewhere recently “pick up your dog poo”.