Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Hey, you're not a bird!

When I was coming in from the garden a few days ago I thought I saw something slide down the tree trunk by the back door... I took another look but could see nothing and put it down to 'morning eyes' not yet focusing properly...imagine my surprise a few minutes later when I was doing the washing up and saw this sight from the kitchen window!

isn't he sweet?

I think he is either a Woodmouse or a Yellow Necked Mouse. We had YNM living in the attic a few years ago, but I couldn't see if this little fellow had a yellow necklace on or not. Whatever he is, I thought he was adorable. Every now and then he would stop and eye me suspiciously but he stayed quite a while with me watching him out of the window, so I guess he wasn't that scared...and he let me take some pics with the snappy camera, so he was a brave little chap!

It's so nice to know that even in the hustle and bustle of suburbia, wildlife still finds a way to survive :)


My cherry blossom

I love Cherry blossom...we planted an ornamental Cherry in the garden about 15 years ago and it never fails to give a super show, but sadly it never lasts for long which teaches us to really appreciate it during it's short season. One evening I was feeling rather bored...the men were watching a film that I didn't particularly want to see so I had a play with a few leftovers in my craft stash.

What I used:
  • Straight sticks from my Spirea bush
  • Floristry ribbon from a Mother's day bouquet DS gave me
  • Child's bracelet left over from a party lucky dip 
All I did was cut out flower shapes from the ribbon, attach the little coloured stars from the bracelet with hot glue and then attached the blossoms to the sticks and put in a little glass jar. Now I can have cherry blossom ( although not as ornate as mine in the garden ) all year around!

a pretty way to recycle some leftovers!  
I think I will try making some Chinese Fringe Flowers soon. I just got to fiind the right kind of materials for the actual fluffy petals, something that I can cut fine, will drape and not fray. I have the 'real' plant in the garden so hopefully it will flower again soon and I can study it in more detail.It always seems that the shortest lived flowers are the prettiest, still I guess that teaches us not to take them for granted and to really enjoy them while they are here :)

Monday, 18 July 2011

Homemade Tortillas

It was my first time at making these and I was pleasantly surprised. They were so easy and they tasted good. I don't think I will bother with shop bought again. I reckon they'd be fun if you were getting the whole family involved in cooking the meal or if you were cooking with friends :)

We filled them with chilli con carne. They got a thumbs up from everyone so it looks like they are going to be making a regular appearance at the dinner table :) I just wish I could have served them with a home grown side salad...I grew the salad and it was doing brilliantly but the wild birds have been having a great time shredding the leaves and just leaving me with stalks!!!!! Oh well at least someone enjoyed the salad lol


Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Sharp End update

An aging but distinguished looking Sharp End

I thought after posting about Elliot it was only fair to give you an update on how Sharp End is is his latest pic...yes I know he's not really allowed on the furniture, and yes I know he is lounging on a leather armchair, but when you get to his age you've earned the right to bend the rules a little...and Sharp End if you are reading this, I said "a little" lol.

These days he is wobbly and on medication but he is still enjoying life. His body is covered in fatty tumour-like lumps but the vet says they are the least of his worries. Sadly he has Chronic Nerve Degeneration. Sometimes he cannot get up straight away and there are times when he drags one foot but he doesn't seem too frustrated by it. If he cannot get up he will bark to let us know and we give him a helping hand. He is still eating very well, both the food we give him and the food he manages to steal when we are not looking lol.

"Mmm, looks good enough to paddle in"

 We didn't think he'd make it but amazingly last month he went on holiday to Wales with us. In this picture he is contemplating going for a paddle in a Welsh river :) His body looks a barrel shape but that is because he has one lump the size of half a football on his shoulder/side and another not far off that size on his undercarriage on the opposite side...this is in addition to all the other various sized ones he has dotted around. The vet says they are not causing him distress and any kind of operation most certainly would, so it is best to leave them well alone. He is now by far the oldest of his breed the vet has treated and so we are counting our blessings that he is still with us even though he does look rather lumpy and bumpy!

He is unable to get in the Doxiemobile these days but we have a ramp that allows him to get into Mr D's car albeit it with a shove and "heave-ho!" from us. Mr D also made him a ramp to help him up the steps in the garden, he tried to step up the side of it first and had a couple of tumbles but now realises that if you start from the bottom life is much easier lol. When he is 'warmed up' he can still do a half run / trot,  it doesn't last long but it is perfectly adequate for chasing a ball. He does fall over a fair bit but he just shakes himself and gets back up, often looking at us as if to say "Did you push me?" lol

"Alas poor Bonio I knew him well"

He recently decided to get a bit too involved with some crafting I was doing...making flowers out of paper doilies...somehow he ended up wearing a homemade 'Shakespearian' doily collar...The rather fed up look was not because of the collar, he's always been okay with having hats and things put on him lol...but he was most dis-chuffed because he didn't want to sit still for the photo...his favourite visitor N was sitting to one side of him and he was desperate to go and lay on his feet lol.

So there you have it, that's what an aging Sharp End looks like. He is 14 now which is not the norm for a dog of his size and breeding. He comes with all the problems of old age that humans have ( I am always handy with my bucket and mop ) but we love him just as much as we ever did!


New addition to the family...

Introducing Elliot....

"Hi I'm Elliot"
"My Mum thinks I am the prettiest birdie in town"

"I'm just over 8 weeks old"

Isn't she an absolute darling? I've been liking the idea of having a pet bird again for quite a long time. For most of the 20 + years we've lived in this house we've had birds, but the last of the original gang passed on about 18-24 mths ago and we had been birdless since that time. I had my heart set on a blue budgerigar and a boy but when I saw Elliot she seemed so perfect in temperament that it didn't matter that she was not a boy. I hadn't originally wanted a girl as I was not keen on the 'egg' issues, but I guess we'll deal with that if and when it occurs.

All the information I read said leave the bird to settle for a week before you try and tame it, but she looked so chilled and relaxed I thought I'd make a start on getting her used to me the day she came just a couple of hours she was sitting on my finger! I do think leaving it a week before you put your hand in the cage is a little foolish because surely then the bird would have started to think of the cage as THEIR territory and not yours????...thus giving you trust and territory issues to deal with. I don't know what other people think about that? If Elliot had appeared terrified then of course I wouldn't have pushed her, but she seemed to take it all in her stride so I guess I read her correctly. Last night she let me tickle her under the wing  which seems like a big step in trust. I won't let her out of the cage until she is perfectly happy with me stroking her back and neck...then if she gets into difficulty when she's out she won't feel stressed by me rescuing her from the back of the sofa or whatever.

I hope you are all well and happy.

Doxie :)