Doing the right thing is the hardest thing

Apologies for my missed post last night but I could not think of anything inspired to say other than ‘I am a zombie’. So £1 in pot to UNICEF.

I can’t do the post without mentioning that I saw Julie Walters in our local coffee shop today. She looked fabulous and very petite in every way.

I subscribe to word of the day at work and today it was ‘bucolic’ – which relates to the pleasant and idyllic aspects of rural life. Although I like the description, I don’t like the word sounds too close to ‘bubonic’ (plague) and the nasty tummy problem ‘colic’. English is a weird language.

I am once again having to contempl ate re-homing my youngest dog. We have had a dog behaviourist in the past to work out the aggressive rivalry that exists between her and her mother (where they have fights that draw blood). We changed their diet and this helped. But yesterday they had a fight in the car, my husband intervened and the youngest dog bit his hand badly, it was bloody and went through to the bone. Although he says he shouldn’t have put his hand in to the crate where they were fighting in the car boot, it still shouldn’t have happened – particularly not that bad.

My Mum has a friend who adores Jack Russell’s, so I have contacted her as I know my little dog would be in the lap of luxury there and as there are no children or other dogs, she would have the lifestyle she deserves.

Our life has changed so much and our dogs have just been expected to change to accommodate and this has had detrimental effects, so why shouldn’t she be given an alternative option that suits her character better?

It won’t stop me from missing her though….

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

The eclipse – how to improvise this phenomenon by a 9 year old

Ok yesterday’s post was heavy, but I am pleased to report that I have told my hubby that I applied to be a social worker and he didn’t baulk at the idea (especially when I told him the childcare costs would at least be covered….and maybe some groceries). My mother in law on the other hand didn’t seem to restrain her feelings. When I told her over the phone, there was a pause then she commented that she had always thought my sister in law would have made a good social worker (and she didn’t add the word ‘too’ afterwards). I consoled myself by realising that my mother in law doesn’t really know me, she only knows that I am able to love her son (although she confesses if he had been first born she wouldn’t have had any more children) and that I am able to have babies quite quickly ( not the conception part, rather rubbish at that, but the labour part – my daughter was four hours and my son was two – he came out so quick his eyes were bloodshot). 

Anyway, It’s the eclipse tomorrow and everyone is getting geared up at school for a glimpse in the playground. My daughter was asked to make a viewer from a cereal box (we don’t have cereal so I actually went out and bought cereal for this very purpose). After extracting the weetabixes, she set to work. Lots of cutting and tape ripping ensued before I went in to check how she was doing and found her ‘testing’ the viewer by standing on a stool holding a tennis ball up to the ceiling light…’it works’ she said. I just hope the clouds clear for tomorrow.

She then did a demonstration of the process of the eclipse for me and baby boy. She used a large round cushion to represent the sun and chose a tennis ball for the earth, much to the amusement of my Jack Russell, who kept chasing the ‘Earth’ while it was in orbit of the cushion. I was laughing and so was baby boy as my daughter got very cross with the JR as she tried to extract ‘Earth’ from the dog’s mouth. So she gave up the idea and used us instead. I was the sun, baby boy was the moon and she was earth, except the moon was rather too close to the sun and after a while got bored of going round and round. 

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Dog eat cake world

Today’s theme is dogs. 

I was dog tired last night and I had to work hence no blog, so another £1 in the pot to UNICEF.

Today was my youngest dog’s birthday. I have 2 Jack Russell’s who are mother and daughter and the daughter has turned 6. Because she was born in the household, her birthday has always been special. It is tradition that we make a cake for her complete with candles. We even let her sit at the table. 

My daughter made the cake today using the Victoria sponge recipe from Davina McCall’s sugar free recipe book, using maple syrup instead of sugar so cheating slightly. It was delicious, but unfortunately she had buried lots of dog biscuits in the cake. My son loved them, then my daughter decided to have a nibble too.

My husband confesses he was brought up on bonio biscuits. I don’t need to say more…

My Jacks, in contrast, have eaten nothing but party food, leftover sandwiches and way too much cake. They are now roasting in front of the wood burner with bulging tummies and satisfied grins.

Our next baking endeavour will be for comic relief. Baby boy will be making minion cupcakes and my daughter will be getting creative with cherries. Looks like the non sugar diet has stalled once again, but it’s all for a good cause…

This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading. 

Finding another me

When a Mum goes back to work, organising childcare is both complicated and a real emotional wrench. When I picked up my baby boy from pre-school today, he helped himself out of the school as soon as he saw my car pull up. I picked him up and he pressed his little chubby cheek so close to mine and cuddled me so tightly. The lady who runs the school had to tell him not to run out of school again because its dangerous but she wasnt as stern as she would have liked to be because he was just too cute. Although he is 3 he knows how to work the look. That is going to come in very handy when he is older.

I also face the issue of what happens with our 2 Jack Russells, who will have no-one to spend the day with when I return to work. I need doggy day care too. In fact the more I think about it, the more I realise how much of our current lives depends on me being at home working part-time.

But….as readers of my previous blog posts will know, somethings gotta give.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.


Apologies for being wrapped up in my own troubles at the moment but there doesnt seem to be any let up.

After being bucked off from a great height by a horse yesterday, my dog came off worse in a fight with another dog at least 6 times her size. It was her fault for picking the fight in the first place (she is a Jack Russell so believes she can take on any thing – in this case a pointer) but nethertheless, you start to worry when you see her being flung in the air from the jaws of another dog and blood.

At home, myself and my husband are co-existing in misery and playing the waiting game as to who is going to mentally break first.

My right arm is not faring well post-buck and I am finding it difficult to lift above my waist.

It would all be slightly more bearable if the sun was shining but a grey January day seems to be adding to the blues.

Then there is the great idea of having a dry January…..

This blog is for Unicef. Thanks for reading.

October is the new August

It is that time of year when you start to get a tickle in your throat and a snuffle in your nose. That combined with two glasses of wine, a tummy full of curry and a day spent painting the garden fence meant bed beckoned early, minus the blog post – so £1 in the pot to Unicef, as per the fundraising initiative.

I admit it became obsessive yesterday – a wooden fence, a large tub of green paint, kids occupied, a dry October day – it didnt get better than that – it was project paint the fence.

I also got paint on my face, hands, trainers, jumper and jeans. As it was green I looked slightly mouldy, perfect for Halloween preparations. The children were having fun in the front garden in the ‘trench’ that had been dug up for the new car park area. Every now and then I went to check on them and tried not to look at how muddy and brown their faces and clothes were quickly becoming.

Sometimes doing things on impulse, just because the weather is good and doing an activity that doesnt cost anything or requires you to drive anywhere can be immensely satisfying. During the day I turned a brown fence green, while I turned green too and the children turned brown. Not often you can enjoy so much quality time outside in late October.

Today I went out on a ride on my friend’s horse, when he went loony after my Jack Russell decided to chase and bark at him while were cantering along. But she had a grin on her face the entire time, which gave her something else to think about other than picking a fight with her Mum.

We then got the boat out of the water for the winter and my son enjoyed feeling for barnacles on the hill while my daughter helped scrub seagull poo off the deck.

Turns out October is the new August.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Who let the dogs out?

It is quarter past 11 and I have just completed my first dog behaviourist consultation, which started much earlier this evening. The session led by two ladies with a whole host of experiences with doggy behaviour and misbehaviour just a whisker short of them having enough knowledge to run with a pack of wolves themselves.

As mentioned in an earlier post, I have two Jack Russell bitches (mum and daughter) who fight a lot. It has been getting worse to the point where they cant go a day without a fight and a couple of times they have had to go to the vet with their injuries. Add to the mix a  3 year old toddler who they would never deliberately harm, but could get caught in the crossfire and you have a serious issue.

So, these ladies have now equipped me with an arsenal of things to try and get my two bitches to get along and enjoy life together. They are:

– Diet – turns out the reason why my girls love the current stuff they are on is because it has tons of additives in it which = irritability

– Distraction – getting the daughter bitch to think of other things rather than have a go at Mum – enter the concept of clicker training. We had a practice session tonight and she was loving it – I just need to make time to fit it all in(which is half the problem in that the daughter bitch isnt getting enough attention

– Corrector spray – no more complex than can of air but spray it during a fight and the fight tends to stop

– drugs and homeopathy – special room diffusers and collars infused with the smell of a lactating bitch (I have been assured humans cant smell it so we will see)

– Time out – Separation in the house and car (the main warzone areas) to diffuse tension between them.

– Getting Mummy dog spayed – then she will no longer give off the hormones that she would in a pack situation where nature dictates the bitches should be apart

So fingers and paws crossed all or one of these solutions works!

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Dogged with issues

We have dog issues. Two Jack Russell bitches, mum and daughter, vying for attention – both wanting to be top dog = a lot of tension and a dog’s hair away from a fight. There have been lots of fights, too many. They have drawn blood and I have had to visit the vet.

The problem is the daughter, she wants to be top dog and wants to pick fights over every possible reason to pick a fight over. When you add a three year old boy into the equation it gets very concerning.

So I have employed the services of a dog behaviourist, the doggy version of counsellors dealing with tearaway teenagers, who will provide us with an ‘action plan’ to tackle her behaviour.

I am hoping something works as there are mumblings of the ‘worst case scenario’ being re-homing – but if this was needed it would only be arranged with a friend or family member.

I hadnt realised how stressful it had become until my husband ook the dogs for the day and I was so relieved. Children are childs-play compared to grumpy dogs.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Eight hours of mindful

What can you shoe-horn into a day? That’s the attitude when you are self-employed or in a position where you have several jobs on the go. In many ways, it is more straightforward to turn up to your 9 – 5 and focus on that one job role.

I used to have that set-up. Now I am a Mum with the occasional few hours to spare, so I try and get the most out of my day, while factoring in time to keep baby boy entertained, exercise the dogs and be back in time for school pick-up and cooking supper (plus look after my friends’ horses 5 times a week). I used to attempt to practice ‘mindfulness’, it is tricky to do that in this situation.

Thank god for Wifi and soft play – work while the toddler lets rip in an environment where he cant possibly come to any harm. I have yet to find a place like this that also accepts dogs. The dogs have to come everywhere with me otherwise they howl like a pack of wolves (quite impressive for 2 Jack Russells).

I have gone back to writing lists because it is too difficult to retain anything in my brain for too long. The downside of this is life often passes by as a daily trawl of ticking boxes and life is too short for that. I worry that one day I will look up from my ‘to do’ list and notice my son is now 18 and my daughter in her twenties and that I didnt appreciate the younger years when I had the chance.

This is part of the rationale behind this blog,so I can look back and remember what the f*** was so important?

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.

Like mother like bitch (the doggy kind so not swearing)

The relationship I have with my 8 year old (nearly 9) daughter is very similar to relations between my 2 Jack Russells who also happen to be mother and daughter.

Sometimes they are very happy to be snuggled up in their bed, occasionally giving each other a sideways glance but overall enjoying each other’s presence. At other times they are at each other’s  throats (literally) and occasionally draw blood.  while these are severe examples in the dog world, it is only slightly diluted in the human (we havent actually drawn blood yet).

Today was an inset day, so daughter was with me while we met up with friends, went shopping, swimming etc. Twice today she was rude  to me in front of my friends. I tried to ignore it because I didn’t want to make a scene but inside I was stewing. It is hard to remain the grown-up in these situations, when all you really want to do is have a go at them in a fit of temper because you feel let down by their behaviour.

However they say children’s behaviour is just a mirror held up to your own. Which makes it all the more disappointing when they behave badly.

Of course a lot is to do with hormones and thats true whether you have 2 legs and a handbag or four legs and a tail. Combine young and old hormones together and you need o cordone off the area.

This blog is for Unicef.

Thanks for reading.