puppies_19oct14We visited the new puppy again on Sunday and she’s (still) completely adorable. Actually ALL the pups are. The biggest in the litter weighs in at 7kg, whilst our little girl is a far more petite 4.5kg – although the size of her paws tells us that there’s going to be a lot of growing happening over the next few months.

We sat on the grass and had 12 little fur bundles clambering all over us, licking our faces, nibbling on our hands-feet-clothes, then racing off on adventures only to come racing back, falling over their own legs – and each other. The aloe vera in the garden took quite a hammering once they discovered that the fleshy leaves came off and the lawn has numerous little proto-holes dug all over it. Thank goodness only one pup’s coming home with us!

Since then we’ve done a little audit of our house and garden to see how safe and secure they are for the puppy. It turns out that SO many things will need to be packed away over the next couple of weeks if they’re to survive the onslaught of the needle-sharp teeth and boundless energy.

We also just took Hot House Flower (dog number one) to the vet to check out her intermittently runny tummy. The last time we took her along to check this out we were told that she has the canine equivalent of irritable bowel syndrome, that we should add psyllium husk to her meals and just keep an eye her. Since things haven’t improved and the back lawn has turned into the bog of eternal stench, we took her back for another round of tests – just in case…

The vet duly sent another faecal sample off to the lab – this time for more comprehensive testing than the last sample – and the results show that HHF has a little more than an ‘irritable bowel.’ She has both coronavirus and campylobacter in her system. These are a huge risk for puppies and can lurk in the system (both the dog’s and environment) for prolonged periods.

The solution is apparently to change HHF’s diet a bit (no more raw chicken!) and to inoculate both dogs against the coronavirus. Since the vaccination takes two weeks to be effective and since the puppy will only be getting her C7 vaccination at the end of October (at 10 wks), she’ll have to stay with the breeder for a bit longer than planned. Disappointing, but we’d rather err on the side of caution – particularly since coronavirus can be so dangerous for puppies. Besides which, it’ll give us a couple of extra weeks in which to puppy-proof the house and replace the bog of eternal stench with some all-new virus-free lawn. What fun!

The past week was my almost-holiday between terms. This is the relatively quiet time when I generally get to enjoy some downtime, with only a few hours of work thrown into the mix each week. I managed to be out of work-mode for a while, but have had to wrack my brains a bit to figure out just what – exactly – I did with my time (other than the usual daily thingos).

Well, first there was brunch down in Fremantle with a dozen or so people to celebrate a couple of birthdays, followed by a quick foray down onto the beach to laze around, paddle or – for the bravest amongst us – to swim.

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On one day we adventured off to meet our puppy for the first time. At all of six weeks old, Miss Molly turned out to be a-dor-able in every way. We get to bring her home in early November – and then the fun really begins!

Over the next couple days I managed to pack in quite a few things, now that I think about it. I rode my bike in the sun, zipping off on sundry missions to shops, library and friends. I’d almost forgotten just how much l love my bike and what fun it is to fly down hills with the wind in my hair. More of that to come over the summer, for sure. I read some books, planted some seedlings and a rose bush and finished the penultimate round of edits on my memoir. One more reader on that, then it’s time to hit up a publisher and see what emerges.

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Thursday morning was spent at work – so that wasn’t downtime at all, really, but putting nine volunteers through a training programme on the new computer system will make life easier for me next week, so it was a worthwhile investment. Afterwards I visited a damaged sibling – she broke her ankle earlier in the week and needed some cheering up. It felt good to be the one visiting and cheering for once, rather than on the receiving end. I think I make a better visitor than patient!

I attended week 4 of my ‘Smart Busy’ programme at Murdoch Uni, which motivated me to declutter several cupboards and get rid of some unnecessary stuff. VERY satisfying. During that process I came across some artwork that my brother did for me for a wedding invitation – nearly forty years ago, when he was living in Melbourne. How the wheel turns: I’m now in Perth and he’s in Johannesburg. Sadly he seldom sketches these days, but I’ve sent this one to him to see if it inspires him to start drawing again. We’ll see how that goes.

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A family dinner on one night included experimental Magic Bean Cake. It’s gluten free and very chocolatey – lots of good quality cocoa in there. Made as per the recipe it turned out super delicious and the unanimous vote was that it’s a definite do-again option. We had it for dessert, dusted with icing sugar and served with raspberries and custard. Yum. You can find the recipe I used hereOn Saturday we hit the veggie markets for fruit and veg and came away with an amazing haul of great stuff at bargain prices. I now need recipes for things to do with oranges – lots of oranges! Maybe the next magic bean cake should be orange flavoured…  The week has finally staggered to a close with gardening, a waterlogged German Shepherd (our water baby strikes again) and a trip to the cinema for ice-cream and a vampire movie.

It’s possible that I now need to go back to work to recover enough for more ‘down-time’!

making time for coffee_sept14On the way to work last week I heard a Nickleback song  on the wireless. I hadn’t heard it for a while, but singing along to it in the car (as I do) set me to thinking about life, the universe and everything.
… If today was your last day / And tomorrow was too late / Could you say goodbye to yesterday? / Would you live each moment like your last? / Leave old pictures in the past
Donate every dime you have? / If today was your last day…

I wondered what I would do / think / feel if it was my last day? Are there regrets and unfinished business / people I need to see / bridges I should mend / projects I haven’t completed? These thoughts preoccupied me on and off for the rest of the day, until I eventually concluded that the answer each of the questions I was asking myself was a reasonable approximation of No.

Essentially, I have few regrets / my unfinished business such as it is could easily be resolved (by others) if necessary / I try to ensure that the people who are important to me know that they are / bridges untended (if they exist) will fade with time / and life is full of projects at various stages of completion – but that’s okay.

It might be an age thing, but I think that life – however long we are in it – should be about living, about being in the moment and finding joy in it wherever possible. This may seem like a Pollyanna response, but it’s really just pragmatism. I simply don’t see the point in bucket lists or regrets. Things are what they are – so I try say goodbye to yesterday every day, to live each day for what it is and to make the best of what I find in it.  It takes a little determination at times, but seems to work for the most part.

I hunted down the rest of the lyrics later on and read through them while I enjoyed a cup of coffee and listened to the song again, going back to the part that resonated most strongly. Clearly I’m not the only person who thinks this way.

… every second counts ’cause there’s no second try / So live like you’ll never live it twice / Don’t take the free ride in your own life…