Monday, January 28, 2013

Facebook and Puppy Power

Generally when Muddy Hubby, his Dad and Brother have dogs they try to have the same sex ones, so we don't have any fraternising amongst the dogs and we don't end up with puppies we have to find homes for. Sometimes though we end up with both sexes and the result of course is some very cute puppies.

The problem with puppies though is that you have to then try and find homes for them. We had already decided to keep one, friends were taking another and that left 3 puppies for me to find homes for. They are kelpie pups from good working parents, I wasn't asking any money for them, I was just happy to find them a home.

I saw an ad on the local buy swap and sell Facebook page where somebody was looking for a free puppy, so I got in touch and they gave one puppy a loving home. That left me with two. I posted an ad on the local buy swap and sell page offering them free to good home, I had a person interested, but then no follow through. I rang the vet and they didn't know of anyone interested, so I asked the vet what the best thing to do was, they replied honestly with 'Have them euthanased is probably the kindest option', apparently there are just too many puppies around at the moment, that there is no way to find homes for all of them. I asked about taking them to the RSPCA and the response was similar, you could take them there but they have way too many puppies as it is and they would probably be euthanased anyway.

I asked around and sure enough somebody had been turned away from the RSPCA when they tried to take animals to them. So, I was getting desperate, we couldn't keep them, we have no need for that many dogs, I didn't want to have them put down, so I resorted to Facebook, I put the call out to all my Facebook Friends that I needed to find homes for these two puppies to save their lives! Yes I used desperate words, but I wanted them to be loved. Lo and behold the response was amazing (for me anyway) I had offers for people to look after them until we could find homes, I had people sharing my status to all their friends to help find homes, ad within a couple of hours the last two puppies had loving owners.

For me social media continues to amaze me, the power it can have, the response it evokes from people, if we ever end up with puppies again it will be my first point of call to find homes for them.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Curve Balls

When I was pregnant with my Muddy Organiser I worked out of an office in an old house, it was a run down office where the floors creaked when you walked, the paint colours were dark and the carpet was well worn so the only thing to brighten your day was your fellow workmates.  I shared my office with a  bright and brilliant woman who smiled no matter what was going on, she had the most amazing and positive attitude, with a fantastic sense of humour. I can honestly say she is one of the best people I have ever shared an office with.

As time moves on and the office moved and I went on maternity leave we didn't see each other as much. We would cross paths and have a great catch up chat, she had two babies to my four and we continued to be friends and work colleagues. It hit straight to my heart when I heard her little
girl had a rare genetic condition called Tay-Sachs. With this condition the child develops normally until about 6 months and then their skills start to deteriorate and they have a limited life expectancy. Her gorgeous little girl brings sunshine into my day each time I see her and it has been so sad to watch her slowly lose her skills.

Then just before Christmas my lovely friend was thrown another curve ball - she has breast cancer. She is 36 years old, a mother of 2 children, one with a disability and now she is fighting another battle for her life. I was shattered, I cried (and admit I still cry some days to think of it) but each time I see her or talk to her she is positive, she still gives me a smile and we have a joke and that attitude and her two gorgeous children are what helps her get through each day.

I am amazed at people and the inner strength they find to keep going despite what life throws them. My friend has started chemotherapy and will then undergo radiation therapy. I can do no more than be there for her, she has a lot of people in her corner supporting her and her beautiful kids I just wish that a cure for cancer can be found sooner rather than later.

And Ladies and Gentleman (yes Men can get breast cancer too) please check your breasts regularly, it's certainly reminding me to do mine.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Grateful for Swimming

It's been hot, really hot, here, like mid forties for days on end and I have never been so grateful to put on my swimming clothes and go for a dip. The girls had 2 weeks of swimming lessons, every day we would make the trek into town all loaded up with swimming gear and on those really hot days I'd be so grateful to jump in with them.
I am grateful for the two lovely swimming instructors that helped to build their confidence and skills, and were patient with their shyness and anxiety. After last year's disaster where everyone (including me) ended up in tears each and every lesson it has been a nice refreshing change.
I don't want them to be Olympic swimmers or anything like that (unless that's what they choose) I would just like them to be confident in the water and able to save themselves if they had to and each day has bought them closer to that.
In saying that though I have been very grateful this week that swimming lessons are now finished, we're not driving into town each day and when we do go to the pool, it's for fun! Plus the kids aren't as exhausted and teary at the end of each day, yes for that I'm very grateful.

Linking up with Maxabella at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful, make sure you pop over and have a read!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

When friends come to play

I have been promising my Muddy Pixie for a while now that she can have one of her 'best friends' over for a play date. Finally I got myself into gear and organised it. It was set to be a great day, she bought her bike and her swimmers and her mutual love of craft. It didn't take long for things to turn pear-shaped.

You see, what I hadn't counted on was that my Muddy Organiser also considers this little girl her friend and they would start fighting for her attention, for who got to ride their bike next to her, or sit next to her for morning tea and lunch and who got her to play their game of choice.

I tried reasoning with both of my Muddy girls, I pleaded with my Muddy Organiser to just give the Pixie and her friend a little bit of time (even a few minutes), but it didn't stop the tears and the distress.

By the end of the day I was exhausted from keeping the peace, dancing then craft seemed to heal all wounds and keep us occupied for a good 90 minutes before we changed activities and then the day was over.

I am really not sure how to broach the play date in the future, it's not a problem we've had before when we've had friends over to play. Maybe I try to lessen the numbers and organise activities elsewhere for one or the other, or maybe I just have to let them at it and they'll sort it out.

How do you handle this kind of thing? Or is it something that only happens in our house?

Friday, January 18, 2013

Grateful for Chooks

Image by Rob Scotton - Funky Chickens
A few months ago I wrote about losing some of our chooks, we did our best to reinforce the chook yard but not long after we lost the remaining two chooks plus all of our ducks. Muddy Hubby and his offsider spent a day or so digging a trench and cementing around the chook yard to reinforce it for fox proofness. It has sat idle for months, I haven't been game to replace the chooks for fear of it happening again.

I have watched the local poultry sites and kept an ear open for any chooks that could possibly be sacrificial chooks, old girls that don't have much life in front of them, or who are no longer laying. Nothing kind of fit the bill.

Then our neighbours let us know they had some ready to cull. They have a flock of about 30 chooks, and their son (he is 6) is seriously getting into breeding and looking at speciality breeds, so he is keen to cull what doesn't suit. So Voila we now have chooks again.

I am so grateful for the generosity of our neighbours in giving us some chooks to test it out, so far so good.

I am grateful for the fresh eggs we are getting every day. We have made many things that we can eat on our 'Pear Diet', including Meringues and Quiches.

I am very grateful for the joy it brings to the Muddy Kids faces each day to visit the chooks and check the eggs, water down the yard to help keep them cool. Lets face it is also beings joy to me to have some feathered friends back in the chook yard.

So this week while I am Grateful for Chooks, others in the blogging world are grateful for other things. Please pop over to 52 Weeks of Grateful at Village Voices and check it out, Maxabella hosts a great link up every week.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The Pear Diet

Over the past year or so I have really struggled with my Muddy Pixie's moods and behaviour. Some days she'll be as high as a kite, silly, uncontrollable. Then other days she will be as low as anything, clingy, whingey, crying, really difficult to get to separate. If it was one or the other I think I would probably cope better, but it's the unpredictability that's keeping me on my toes. Then there's her airy fairy concentration, as she's so busy watching everything else going on you can't get her to focus on a task.

We've seen an OT and got some good strategies, but while talking to the OT we started talking about food and behaviour and this has led us down the path of the 'Pear Diet' as we have so aptly called it. It's actually officially called the Elimination Diet but we have called it the Pear Diet, because it involves a lot of Pears. Pears are the only fruit you can eat on the 'Strict' Diet.

We are almost one week in and it is killing me, but the Muddy Kids are doing really well. Before we go anywhere they are under strict instructions to ask me before they eat anything offered to them by somebody else. We have the Recipe Book that goes with the Diet and we've been making things from that to take to morning teas and swimming lessons.

It has been really interesting reading and learning about the chemicals that occur naturally in food that can affect behaviour. I'm already noticing a difference, not so much in my Muddy Pixie, but in my Muddy Puzzler, her withdrawal symptoms have been more significant than the other Muddy Kids.

We still have a few weeks left, the food challenges and then the planning after that on adaptations to our regular diet. What I'm learning a lot about though is how to use pears in meals, who knew they made a good lamb kebab marinade!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Grateful in the heat

This last week has been a busy one, the first week of swimming lessons, Muddy Hubby away, the heat, the insane heat, a baby shower, followed by a kitchen tea, it's all served to make for a lovely time, but messy house, but really, I'm too hot to care.

So in this busy hot week I have been very grateful for airconditioning, it is only in a couple of rooms in the house, but it's still making it cooler than the 47.5 degrees it hit on our inside back verandah in the shade! I have never been so grateful for airconditioning since I was living in the Territory in the build up to the wet season.

I have been grateful for the plastic pool that has kept the kids cool each afternoon as they splash around and pretend it's big enough to do everything in that they've been doing at swimming lessons.

I am so very grateful for my Mum for coming to visit again (despite her house being burgled) to look after my Muddy Cherubs for a day so I could go to the Kitchen Tea.

I am grateful that for now Muddy Hubby hasn't had to fight any bush fires and (touch wood) that our properties are so far safe from fire. I know that call will come for Muddy Hubby to go and lend a hand, but for now he is safe.

Surprisingly this week I have been most grateful for the Rural Fire Services 'Fires Near Me App' and their Facebook Page which have kept us up to date with what's happening and whether or not we need to be on alert, I do wonder how they did it before social media!

Bushfire Currently Burning in the Nearby National Park

So an eclectic list of Gratefuls this week, as I make sure I take the time to join in for 52 Weeks of Grateful over at Village Voices, kindly hosted by Maxabella. It's a lovely spot to visit, please check it out, you'll be pleased you did.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Puppy Central

A few weeks before Christmas our working Kelpie had puppies. They are squirmy balls of delight that are keeping us entertained for hours each day. They are now drinking from a bowl and eating dog biscuits, as well as occasionally getting a feed from Mum.
We will keep one and will try to find homes for the others. Then begins the process of trying to train one into being a super sheepdog! Muddy Hubby has the book on how to do it, he just has to put it into practice, slowly building the dog's confidence and skill. A properly trained sheepdog will do an excellent job and save lots of yelling and running around the paddock after errant sheep.
I'm not sure how the Muddy Kids will fill in their days once we find homes for the rest of the puppies and they'll be a bit sad to say goodbye.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

So many questions.....

When I was a teenager, say about 14-15 years old I was starting to become interested in boys, was busy listening to music, starting to get into musical theatre and hanging out at stage door and the furthest thing from my mind was how to make a quick buck.

This weekend my Mum and Dad's house was robbed, they smashed a window, damaged two doors, pulled everything out of the wardrobes and drawers. Pulled things off shelves and threw them on the ground. They also stole some items, nothing massive, but enough to be a nuisance and they caused enough damage and mess to make the clean up a big effort.

The thing that bothers me about it though is that the police think it was most likely amateurs, kids at that. Their theory on this is that the things they stole were small, portable and easily sold for cash, a quick buck. To quote 'if they were professionals, they would have cleaned out everything'.

So for my Mum and Dad's sake it's a good thing it was amateurs as it could have been a lot worse. I find it sad though that kids would break in to a house, make a massive mess and take what they could. What turns them to this? What makes them tick? Who raised them to have a values system where they feel they can do this? Are there older people guiding them, coaching them, fencing the things for them? Do they even think about who's house their invading and whose privacy they're violating by going through their things?

For me this robbery has raised lots of questions. Did teenagers back when I was one do this? Or has society changed and robbery is getting younger like most other things?

The hard thing though has been trying to explain it to the Muddy Kids, why someone would come into Nana and Grandpa's house and take things that are theirs. Why someone would throw their clothes around and make a mess. Two things that I try to instill in my kids are that they don't take or damage things that are someone else's and to clean up any mess they make! Obviously the young robbers were raised under a different parenting system to mine.

Have you had to explain robbery or property damage to your kids? How did you explain it?

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Finding their Sea Legs

That week between Christmas and New Year is a great one, time seems to slip away and one day melds into the next so you're not quite sure what day it actually is. For the past few years we have spent that lovely week in Sydney visiting my parents, we invade their usually quiet house with noise and mess and chaos. To help try and let Nana have at least one hot cup of tea each day without being interrupted we try and take the kids out and about, explore Sydney, catch up with friends and exhaust the Muddy Tribe so they drop straight off to sleep at night.
One of their favourite activities is to go out on the harbour on Grandpa's boat, if the weather is right we'll throw them in for a swim (never ones to miss an opportunity when we're on the coast). Slowly, slowly they're finding their sea legs, learning how to balance as the boat moves and how to avoid feeling sea sick.
Their most exciting trips though are to watch the Family Fireworks on New Years Eve, we pack them up and head down to anchor off Clarks Point at Woolwich and try and keep them entertained until the fireworks start. It is a highlight in their calendar, and as soon as they're over they start asking when they'll be on again. 



Friday, January 4, 2013

Grateful for Generosity

Start as you plan to continue......I'm going to give it a go anyway with my first Grateful post for 2013. Things fell off the wagon for me linking in with Gratefuls, somehow, as often happens, life gets in the way. Sometimes something has to give and for me it was regular posts and regular grateful posts.

For a new year that is incredibly hot so far, I am very, very grateful for the kind and generous gifts my beautiful Muddy Kids received for Christmas, they have made the time we have to spend in airconditioning that much easier to bear. With the novelty factor of new gifts and the perfect choice of some gifts they are that much happier to be confined indoors for a few hours each day.

From Barbie and her million accessories, hairstyles and outfit changes to the Fluro Pink Zhu Zhu Pet we have been awash in imaginative play scenarios from weddings, to babies to coffee dates, they've done it all. One of my all time favourites - Mobilo!! This has literally kept the kids entertained for hours, as they build so many different things, and the best bit is the Muddy Girls build things for my Muddy Baby Boy to play with so everyone is happy!

The biggest hit though, thanks to my wonderful sister and brother-in-laws and nieces and nephews are the swags, the Muddy Kids just think they are the bees knees and they make camping in the airconditoned lounge room at night so exciting and that little bit more comfortable.

So this week for the start of the year I am so incredibly grateful for the generosity of family and friends keeping my Muddy Kids entertained, inspired and happy inside.

Linking up with Maxabella at Village Voices for 52 Weeks of Grateful! Come on over and check out some fabulous posts and link in if you can.