20 November 2011

Chicken and herb.

No, it's not what u'r thinking... I'm referring to our "free range" pet chickens. I eventually found a new young Pekin hen advertised and rushed over to get the last one. She's a little red mix and looks like a "boshoender". She will be fondly known as Katrientjie ;)
So Friday, just after Katrien's arrival, the "in-laws" came to visit and I proudly picked up our older little black Pekin hen to show of her soft, fluffy feathers. 5 Min later my skin was crawling with the speedy migration of a few hundred minute little lice - yuck!! When I checked in on our new arrival and after a hilarious little chicken chase around the coop and imminent escape to the outside, I checked on Hettie to see if I can see the lice on her. Boy! Could I see them - her whole face and body was teeming with these little buggers! It was actually disgusting how I have neglected her needs.
So, Saturday morning at the crack of dawn, I jumped out of bed to search for organic remedies for these little pests: Consulted my chicken book and all I could find was the conventional wisdom of lice powder (which will surely not be organic) and a few other ideas but no solutions. I decided that I will do a proper scrub down of the entire coop with a strong herbal spray (yet-to-be-determined), put a few drops Apple Cider Vinegar (organic and unfiltered) in the drinking water and provide a suitable sand-pit for dust baths plus some oyster shell grit. I will possibly also have to reconsider what I feed her because I see she doesn't eat all her food and I don't like wasting! I made up my own mix before, but will have to figure out what is best to feed the 2 of them, especially since Katrientjie is a little younger and probably needs more protein.

03 November 2011

Welcome back Home

Sometime after 11pm on Saturday we arrived back home from a 3 wk trip to Italy. It's a pity that such a beautiful country is so far away from us, since it would be wonderful to go there more often, but without the tedious 18-hour transit back to the Southern tip of Africa. We were up at around 3:30am and had to check our luggage in 2 hours before our 6:30am flight from Rome to Amsterdam, then rush from one terminal to get our connecting flight to Cape Town, which landed at around 10:30pm... without our luggage of course :P
Yup, no awesome holiday is complete without delayed luggage and I only so hoped that we would get it all back in one piece! There were a couple bottles of red wine (Brunello, Chianti and other Tuscan gems) and a brand new pair of Italian leather boots that would certainly have 'disappeared' should any SA staff have decided to 'inspect' it. I unpacked our cute new espresso saucers on the counter with excitement, only to realise that the cups were still in my suitcase. 
International flights are always exhausting, but this one was even more especially so, because it was a day flight and even though we never really think so we do get a little bit more sleep on an evening flight, which makes it seem just a little shorter. I think next time I'm taking some mild sedative to help me get some Z's, because no matter how cheerful, thin and friendly your passenger-next-door is, it's always irritating to sit so close and cooped up next to a stranger. All I wanted for 12 hours was to be back home
 with my pets and without the horrible turbulence (which did provide some good extra effects for my in-flight movie, Kung-fu Panda 2).

04 September 2011

Pride, resistance and imperfection

So, it's 10:30pm and I'm standing in the kitchen, making puppy stew ;) with pork mince and goulash - what a spoiled poopy. It's a lot of extra effort I guess, but I just love doing it! And our puppy made me so proud today - twice! First of all she was doing great at the show training classes - didn't growl or act silly once and she did everything the way she should PLUS she stood like a PRO! While we prepared for the show pose a hadeda shouted in the distance. Jenni's ears picked up and then I said "where's the bird?" BIRD!!? She was looking straight in front of her, poised, ready to run, but frozen like a hunting dog - PERFECTION!! Everyone who knew anything about showing was VERY impressed :) Ahhh :) so Proud of our baby!
The second even more proud moment was when Hunny's nieces came to visit and our little hooligan at some stage realised they were small and stood dead quiet for a hug and kiss from the 2 girls - it was SO precious. She just stood there, all frozen,submissive - totally CALM...?? How did this happen?? She was a star and the kids stroked her for several minutes! I have very rarely seen her standing still for such a long time. It was just too sweet!

01 September 2011

160 Snails

This dog that doesn't want to eat her food is driving me up the wall! :P She's a happy, healthy and playful 8 month old pup, but even though she's getting a super meal with specially cooked chicken mince and very nice looking Woolworths pets mince (plus rice, lentils, little veg etc) twice a day, she still doesn't really want to eat it!?? Not even if I put milk on top?! I really have no more ideas regarding her food preferences. And sometimes she'll eat it later in the day, so it's not something she deems inedible... ??? I weighed her at the vet's the other day and she's already 27 kg, now probably even more. I thought the breed (Irish Red setter) only weighs in at about 28 kg as an adult bitch? But clearly I must be wrong... this means that I have actually been feeding her slightly too little. She often doesn't eat all her food though, so feeding more wouldn't have done any better. The amount of Royal Canin pellets she should get is calculated according to her expected adult weight... the breeders haven't got back to me about how much her mom weighs, so I can get a better estimate. I had one last plan in mind for puppy stew, which I cooked last night, and if that doesn't work she's just gonna get straight pellets every day.
This morning while doing my round in the garden I came across the aftermath of Tuesday night's massacre. I wanted to serve the freshest peas for dinner that night and so, headed out with my raincoat and torch in hand to discover a gazillion snails all over our wonderlawn, then all over the cabbage, the stairs, the walls - basically everywhere! The snails were out having a feast on all my hard work and so I decided to squash all of them. I lost count at around 160 snails and I am quite sure that there will still be more of them. With so many snails in our garden I am VERY surprised that there's anything edible left in our garden!! Clearly the other tricks/gimmicks (beer traps, copper steel-wool, egg shells... etc.) don't quite work. Yesterday I saw the most cutetest little chicks ever! I so almost bought them, I'm sure they'll be very entertained by the fine dining on my snails;) I had specially gone out to buy Organic snail bait yesterday but now I might not need it ;) I think I'll put the bait around my next lettuce and cabbage beds, those seem to be the biggest target for our slimy friends. But WOW! I was really dumbfounded by the amount of snails out in the drizzle! Definitely the easiest way to get rid of those buggers.

30 August 2011

Spring is here!!

A special announcement: it is Spring!!

It might not look like it judging by the drizzle outside, but Spring has arrived! As usual Nature doesn't keep to anybody else's time-schedule. Some would say right on time, it depends on your perspective. When I walked through the garden yesterday morning there was already a pleasant warmth in the air and a small gang of caterpillars starting to raid the Naturtiums: so I ran back inside to fetch a pair of surgical gloves so I could squash them as I saw the little buggers! I had learned my lesson about using gloves: I accidentally put my dirty fingers in my mouth after squashing a few of the aphids and inevitable ants :P NOT cool!

A very wet Jenn the weekend after a splash in the river on my grandparents' farm and peach trees in bloom

Another give-away is the poor little battered wisteria that's shooting new leaves. The Bushwillow and Birches have been forming new leaves for a little while already, but the MOST exciting part is the artichoke, which is making its very first blooms! I am genuinely SO ecstatic - I can't wait to eat our very own artichokes and asparagus from the garden (the asparagus will have to wait another 2 years unfortunately, but 2 years zooms past). We will also be munching our very first sugar snap Peas from the garden tonight for dinner.

22 August 2011

When u'r feeling blue...

... all you have to do... 
No, I donno? U tell me!
It scares me to realise how fast the year has gone by! It feels like we've achieved and finished nothing, but in fact we've been very busy with a LOT of different things! One of those things have been the puppy - that certainly kept both of us VERY busy (fun field trials, training, showing, playing, walking, cleaning up where she's destroyed things... the usual). I am happy to report that I have regained at least SOME measure of control over this hooligan of ours, with the help of the "Charlie" (a rolled-up newspaper-friend discussed in the previous post) and that at least to some extent it works to threaten her with "where's Charlie!!". She becomes submissive and stops growling and performing for a while, but she is still a little handfull! I guess some would consider it cheating or not being a very assertive pack leader, but I don't care anymore - I just want to be able to stop our brat from taking over when she feels like it. I think the mission is accomplished, at least as long as we have the Charlie with us ;)
Heheee - this is so fresh! As I'm typing (9:40 am)... I get a ping on Facebook from Hunny to say "Room service order: 1 x coffee and 1x kiss please" ;) technology is just so fascinating! He's playing on his iPad in the room while I'm waiting for the puppy to eat her breakfast :) The Suchness :)

15 August 2011

Final anecdote (August: chapter 4)

In "chapter 3" I mentioned: "the Suchness of life" Rambling on about how it (Life) is entirely unpredictable, changing and fascinatingly senseless... :) how Life is a dynamic process and there is no predicting what effect one small change will have on the rest of the system"
We teach and are taught rules, facts, processes and a LOT of theory and then we try to predict the future and prescribe methods according to these models, when in fact nobody can really predict, prescribe or lecture anything, because the world is constantly changing!

The solution...I hope? (August: chapter 3)

So, I have tried really hard to do everything "by the book" and I still do most of the time... but at some stage you really just have to give in on some rules! eg. I know that a person's "supposed to" let the dog sit (or something sort-like), give their food and then take the bowl away after 15 to 20 minutes... especially when the dog's not eating their food, but this routine is just not working for me. I've tried to follow this rule now for 8 months, but Jenni isn't persuaded.

So now I decided to give up and I leave the food there until she has eaten it or until the next meal when I clean out the bowl. Jenn is already a very slim breed of dog and she's getting a little on the thin side, therefore I'm just breaking this rule from now on - so sue me ;) Some rules are just made to be broken!

But wait, there's more to complain about... (August chapter 2)

Ok, so what else is "unhappying" me...?

The garden - oh @%@%@%@ there is SUCH a lot "wrong" with our garden :(

There are So many things to fix and to do, but I just really don't have the time and cannot do all of it on my own!


So - moving on to the rest of the garden... well, most of the back garden was either "remodeled" by the dog... or destroyed by the broken stormwater pipe that had to be dug up all the way from the front to the back on the one side of the house (that was at least R 5 000 's landscaping that had to be redone, and what we did was clearly not sufficient because many of the things don't seem to grow so well there)  :(
I am just so frustrated with all the things I "should be" doing and also want to fix, but just don't have the time for! And pets who are not "playing along" even after a lot of time and good work (according to "the book") that I put into them...
According to some good philosophy, it is a good idea to counter every complaint with something  that is positive about the situation, however small!! Think I should try this. I hope that it works!
Something else that irritates the S#%!@ out of me is the builders - who are STILL busy fixing things - at least they finished up last week with the December list and now they are on the Feb/March snag list. What p*sses me off the most about it is that they will do absolutely NOTHING for MONTHS until I am at home one week and THEN they come to fix things. If only they could at least call me beforehand to let me know someone is coming to the house!! This is so infuriating, but I know it won't help to get even more upset about people knocking on my door while I'm in my PJ's... writing blogs and trying to have a little "Me-time" :P

Small + At least it gives the dog some exposure to visitors ringing the front door bell... and her having to sit and "wait" before she can wriggle and pee all over the floor ;) - why does my life feel insane?
Anyway - I just decided that I will NOT phone the building project-manager and complain about the unexpected "visitors" because #1 I've done it before and clearly it doesn't help at all and # 2 I'm hoping that if I just accept it at not fight the way it is that it will go away?? one can only be hopeful. I think it's worth a try :P
I have had the privilege and pleasure of complaining to my boyfriend about all the things that "I have decided" make me unhappy... BUT - is it really life that's out to get me or do I seek excuses as to why I cannot just Be happy or at the very least just content with life?! Do I create my own obstacles to feel more entertained? A lot of people only want what they think they can't have... and almost as soon as they have it they have to find something new to desire, a next quarry to chase, better results, more, bigger, better... but is this really better? Is constantly seeking more a good thing? Does it assist us? Does it do us any good?
I guess my frustrations are partly due to the possibility that I had my goals set too high to start with (or more likely ideals/ imaginings that were just waaaaay unrealistic!!). Even though I have 'solved' my problem it makes me more than just a little sad. :(

It is rather depressing in a way because I seem to have almost everything I dared to dream about! I have a horse, a dog, an awesome boyfriend...a Big garden exactly the way I planned it (well - almost!) And that seems to be the key to my unhappiness... everything is so near-perfect, but yet so far from it! I guess I had too many great expectations about all of them once again and ... I do realise that life would just be easier to bear if I could adjust my ideals and increase my tolerance to imperfection, but I guess I am scared that if I settle for the less than perfect state of things then life will never be spectacular!! And I guess I have always been brought up with the idea that one should try to be spectacular! WHY - god only knows...? or does s(he)?

I just have this immense drive to do things close to perfectly and it is keeping me away from just being content with life.
So - now - how do I fix this... any ideas? 

14 August 2011

Disappointed, depro or overwhelmed... (August chapter 1)

... isn't it basically the same thing? It's been a while since I wrote something: I guess I just didn't have much good to say so I rather said nothing but right now I need to give myself some permission to complain. The past week I have been really struggling with the very simple obstacles in life and because it has made me so negative it's like the little issues are even bigger and more debilitating. I feel overwhelmed, trapped and sometimes almost paralysed by the shadowing gripes of everyday life? Am I depressed... or just very disappointed that life isn't quite playing along with the rules of my game? One thing I can say is that things seem much harder than I had anticipated and at times I'm losing hope and enthusiasm for all the things I'm attempting to find time for.

13 July 2011

To pea or not to pea

I do declare - my life is running away from under me. I think I have just too many interests and things I am trying to get done before I hit 30... happening next year :o

I don't know why I suddenly feel compelled to try everything I've always wanted to do in one shot? Possibly because I now sort of have the means to... or do I?

All I do know is that Jenni is growing up so quickly and keeping me VERY busy. At times I am convinced that she is even more taxing than raising a child - but I suspect I stand to be corrected and that one day I will return to my philosophy that it would be easier raising 5 dogs than one child. I suppose I make her more effort than she has to be: I insist on cooking her puppy stew to supplement her already balanced meal of Royal Canin pellets, but it makes me happy. It always takes be back to my "Oumagrootjie's" (great grandmother's) kitchen when she cooked stew for her dogs (in the days before Epol). But anyway, while Jenni is chewing up more of my plants I have been dreaming up another plan to try and satisfy my desire to have my own farm... :)

After realising that a proper, big farm that is 2 hours away form home would not fit into our current lifestyle and would most likely jeopardise our relationship a lot I devised a new solution: leasing farm land close to town and setting up a small farm business with an organic vegetable patch, horses, chickens, peas etc. Besides the financial strain and demands on our time from a proper farm there is a lot of uncertainty about land ownership and demanding labour laws in our country, so a long-term lease will most likely be the best solution and would decrease our financial commitment substantially. Or so I hope! At least a smaller enterprise closer to the city would be a less risky trial of my determination and capabilities to run my own small farm. I am also not ignorant of my weaknesses and I realise that the biggest risk is perhaps my fluctuating interest in things I start doing, so this business would at least hold better prospects for resale should I later realise that I am not farm-girl material.

19 May 2011


I was so glad to see our Jenni again after a weekend away from her...
We were adventuring about, "just looking" at farms for a possible weekend getaway and lifestyle investment... but that's a whole different story all together.

It was a very inspiring breakaway and to me one of our more romantic weekends away together, but I am always glad to come back "home" and even more so since spending 2 days without our "baby" (Jenni). She is so cute and friendly and such a truly happy little pup, but Oh so demanding!! When I peeked around the garden to see what's still growing and where new holes to china have appeared I discovered my little tarragon (now
tarra-gone!) plant ripped out and wilted under the bushwillow. :( ahhh, oh well, I expected far worse. There's no use crying over spilled milk and I suppose my beautiful garden WILL suffer at the red paws of the demanding miss Cutie-pie until she's a little older. I made my beds and now she will sleep in them (and pull out a few plants while she's at it ;)

In the above pondering resides a bunch of very important
philosophical decisions and real life facets tied up together...

First in my mind is the philosophy that I have always had: You will never know until you try... Indeed, and actually I'm still not even certain whether having a dog is working for us or not... I know that it still CAN work out, if things improve a little on the side of her demands... but I also know that if our priorities/needs changed (eg. if we had to travel abroad while she's still so young and time-consuming/ if we have a baby and our time is even more restricted, etc.) things could go horribly wrong and we could end up with an undisciplined, even more demanding burden on our time.

The same with the farm. Well, actually even worse, because a dog is a couple of thousand rands worth of hassle, where a farm could be a couple of Million rands' chronic pain. Although I know that I would REALLY like to try it, there are all sorts of factors counting against this decision. But if we just forgot about all the issues and difficulties of farming in the first place, what worries me most is the realisation that there is an obvious difference between the dream and the reality. Knowing my own personal flaws I have experienced the enormous difference between what I always imagined something would be and what it truly is! What I imagined I'd have time for and what I become to lazy to do or just too obsessed with some new thing... etc. To be VERY honest I don't think I have what it takes to make this dream a reality on the steam of my own desires and wishes, I will have to go into it only if I have a partner equally enthusiastic, equally
committed and equally crazy to plunge in and make it work out. Hmmm...? A VERY hard decision indeed!

But just look how awesome the natural setting is: I can just see the horses, cattle and alpacas grazing in these "paddocks" :)

It is such a dreamy place and a true inspiration from nature!!

02 May 2011

How I wish I'd crawled back into bed

Happy as a sunflower... Oh so sweet.

 I'm such a good girl - promise ;)

It has been a rather eventful week, mainly due to Genevieve, who has been Miss Jackyl and Hyde... ;) It started off with her being an enormous brat, jumping up, biting at me and growling for attention and the next day she was the sweetest angel for just about a day and a half. :P I told Hunny that whatever remedy he had given her should please be continued, but alas! it seems like it was all her own idea. On the perfect day she only slept in her very tiny dog bed (we're still waiting for a crate *sigh*), she played with her own toys, she ate ALL her food (all of a sudden) and snoozed quietly at my feet while I was watching TV (bliss). I felt so amazed and accomplished, believing that all my effort to try and discipline the wild little beast had paid off, but unfortunately all returned to "normal" the day after, when we had, once again, a little hooligan on our hands that bit, growled, eaten my raspberry bush :( and even peed on the blanket she'd slept on in front of the TV!? Eish!!

How can u be mad at me when I'm so cute!

In my desperation to try and relive her moments of best behaviour I tried some dominating tactics, holding her on my lap, rolling her onto her back and getting her to lie still. We eventually had her pacified for 2 minutes, tickling her tummy. I could even (quickly) trim her toenails. In my state of elation at being able to groom her properly I ventured out to get the proper Irish red setter trimming equipment and started trimming her feet, ears and legs. I was a little less successful to say the least. I know I was supposed to introduce the whole trimming and grooming experience more sensitively, but who really has time for all that! I'd been on leave for an entire month and still hadn't managed to get to half the things I'd planned to do and this was my last week of leave, so patience and dominance would have to do the trick. Obviously I was mistaken :P
Jenni wasn't all that bad I suppose, but after a long walk, lunch and a "hurry-up" outside I was hoping to have a passive pooch to trim and brush, however, Madam had other ideas. She had much more fun biting at the scissors, nipping my hands/clothes/shoes or whatever she could reach. Presenting her favourite toys had zero effect and she squiggled and squirmed most of the time. I had to be more than just stern and really lost my temper at times and would just pin her down to the floor, which would work for all of 10 seconds. *another Deep Sigh* At least in the end she was sort of trimmed and I could brush her undercoat with the pin brush. It is recommended that for showing one not brush a completely dry coat and so I brewed a fragrant tea of rose geranium to spray on her body. The showing gurus recommend some conditioning mist, but I don't know where to get hold of that so I decided to be creative ;) At least it made her smell lovely.

At last!
Disappearing whiskers...?

16 April 2011

So Fresh

I thought I'd give an update on out tomato harvest and show what the rampant cherry tomato plant has produced. Hunny made a lovely veg pasta witht the sweet fruit...

I have to admit that to me they taste just like any normal shop-baught tomato... I'm not entirely sure what I expected it to taste like, but they're still marvellous! :)  So here they are:

Another special little surprise was the very first gardenia from our little gardenia tree. My mom always says that it's a special gift from my great-grandmother, because she always used to give us loads of gardenias from her old tree.

They are so beautiful and smell intense and rich. Ahhhhh!


So, yesterday was the 3rd day of the 2nd stretch of my holiday (confused...? so am I ;)
I decided that I would make us a Moroccan chicken and chickpea soup and so I Googled 3 recipes that I combined to make an awesome flavour-filled pot of steaming soup. After I bought 2 whole chickens and a few minor ingredients from the supermarket, Jenni and I ventured into our garden to harvest a few sprigs of this and that and gather an entire basket of veg fresh for the pot. Taking Jenn along of coarse makes the job take twice as long, since I have to keep rescuing my celery stalks and spinach leaves from my little helper... before all our ingredients end up with baby-dog teeth marks in them. I ended up giving her the first piece of whatever I was picking and then she would run off with the piece of bean or whatever - rather cute.
Mmmm mmmm, Delicious, Frikkie's favourite !
Back in the kitchen we had an entire basket full of spinach, parsley, celery, tarragon, marjoram, thyme and 2 chillies fresh from our own organic garden. In the photo is also a bunch of cilantro (young coriander leaves) that I'd thinned out the previous day. I was looking desperately for a few islands of salad burnet and found 3 babies from the seeds I'd sown along with the coriander, so I made some space for them to grow. I just love both the salad burnet and coriander because they will always reseed them self and you'll have some for ever if you don't pull them out (which = easy enough).

06 April 2011

You shouldn't have...

No... u REALLY shouldn't have!

This morning when I got to the kitchen I discovered a gleamingly proud Sashi perched over a small gift he had brought - to say thank you for all the lovely food we provide him with. It was rather upsetting, but I had to get the camera out to try and take a snapshot of his gratitude... just some of the small ways our pets colour in our lives and get us even more late for work! Shame, it was a very cute and very small little shrew of some sort but what was worst is that it was still slightly alive! :(

 No actually the worst was that in it's fear at being pawed and dragged around the kitchen it urinated all over the floor and now the kitchen reeks of rat-pee :( :( And the poor little thing - it must have been so scared and suffering a slow death. :(

I'm not exactly a bunny-hugger (although I do admit to having hugged one once), but I just find this extremely upsetting, especially on an empty stomach! The little creature was lying there with its shiny whiskers moving up and down with exhausted, shallow breaths - it was so horrible! And I couldn't do anything to save it. I Really wish the cat would stop doing it! Or he could at least just kill his catch before dragging it into the house! :P

Jenni had another little surprise for me: a lovely pumpkin flower that she picked fresh from the vine. OK, it wasn't especially for me - but I claim all the contents of the garden as mine, so I demanded my flower back. At least her taste in organic produce is improving - pumpkin flowers beat donkey and goose manure hands down!

25 March 2011

To the Cederberg and beyond

We had a family get-away in the Beautiful Cederberg this long-weekend. What we discovered was that Life is hard (very hard) without electricity! Especially when it's 45 in the shade!! That's degrees Celcius!! I felt like I could die! I haven't been that HOT in a long time! Luckily in the end we had a great time and everybody enjoyed their stay, more so when the weather cooled off a bit!
The weather in the Cederberg is very fickle, the one night sprinkled water would evaporate from your face in 5 seconds, the other we actually slept with a double-thick duvet it was so chilly. So if you do venture there - be prepared!! And I wouldn't recommend it to anyone in midsummer! No way!!!
Jenni's morning walkies

10 March 2011

Out of control?

Runner bean
In the 2 weeks since I last had a good walk about the garden and especially after the garden services have skipped a week of weeding everything feels SO out of control!! I have drastically underestimated the space needed by tomatoes, the gourds have started growing into everything and down the gabion walls and the lettuces are in desperate need of contributing to the compost heap. One thing I also know is that I won't ever plant plectranthus (the green-grey groundcover variety) in a garden ever again! Unless there's a large infertile slope or rockery I wish to cover up quickly. They are almost an invader!! I have trimmed them back 3 times already in the past 2 months! I don't even bother with secateurs I just rip big chunks of them out with a twist of the hand and chuck them in a far-away corner... the problem is they just don't die, they start growing roots and settle themselves in the new spot. I think I will slowly but surely remove all of them from the back garden completely, they're quite a pest with all the water we're giving the young, more tender plants. I think I will remove all the overgrown ones and throw them on the side of our garden where there's no sprinklers, hopefully they will die then and provide a bit of mulch?
I will also have to seriously work through the veggie patch! The rocket's taking over, the celery is looking dire and I think everything could do with a good trim or clearing out! I think I'll start up some new seeds and then plant them out when there's space after the cleanup. I must admit: this gardening project is much harden than I imagined it would be! It requires more than just a few hours a week and I haven't even given it that much attention since Jenni arrived. So I guess it's not that difficult, but you can't leave it unsupervised for more than a few days!! I will have to rescue the tomatoes and maybe trim them back a little because my whole little "support" I built has tumbled over under their weight... monster tomatoes!

 Scooby snack... ?

27 February 2011

So proud of our green children


I am So Amazed at all the veggies that our garden has produced! We only started the garden 2 or 3 months ago and there are already green beans, loads of rocket and spinach, tomatoes (still green) and LOTS of lettuce! It's truly amazing, I almost can't get over how quickly they have all grown!

Sashi investigating the awesome lettuce!! Mmmmmm.

A feast for the eyes.
Gourd bloom.

But wait, there's more...

Our first bright and beautiful tomatoes :)

I underestimated how fast the veggies could grow and how much space they'd need.

The gourds are taking over!!

25 February 2011

Crate success

Crate success

So at last we have a puppy who happily sleeps in the crate, her own space, also known as her den. Many people who are unfamiliar with proper crate training think this idea is very cruel. Understandably so - it looks mean to lock an animal up into a small space!! But the idea is not to confine the pooch in there for ever! The idea is to keep them out of trouble. Therefore out of the pool, out of your cat's hair, off the persian carpets and out of your flower beds. The idea is also not to keep them in there for hours on end. Dogs need mental stimulation, physical exercise and attention! But dogs also love a safe, 'secret' place to sleep. In the crate no beast (including kids) can jump on them from behind, it's a dog's natural instinct to like the crate if introduced to it properly... and clearly our puppy now loves it. She actually prefers the crate over the 3 alternatives... she's got a BIG pillow, a basket cut out from a carboard box with a thick blanket in, and the tile floor which she sometimes prefers because it's cooler to lie on in the hot summer. The crate only has a towel in it, which she sometimes pulls out to lie directly on the newspaper (presumably because it's cooler).

23 February 2011

Miss Fussy eater!

Genevieve is up to her old tricks...not finishing all her food. She's certainly not her Mom's child in this respect ;)
First of all she seems to have a very sensitive stomach, but even when it's all 100% she sometimes still refuses to eat all her pellets even though her ribs are starting to show! :(

Where's that ball, I wanna play fetch!
She's growing up so quickly... and getting a little on the lean side :(

I am trying everything I can think of - short of feeding her out of my hand, which she will gladly do by the way!... So she will eat it, she's just not interested in eating it out of her bowl on her own! I am not too certain what to do about this and have written to an expert or 2 for some advice and ideas, since the problem pops up every now and then and I'm quite sure this won't be the last of it.

22 February 2011

The Organic Nut house

It took me 5 times longer than usual to get ready for work this morning! First of all I had to take the puppy outside, then I gave her breakfast. Good news - she now eats it all within 20 min. :) Next I had to find Sashi (the cat) and give him antibiotics (he's been sick, but the vet doesn't really know what's wrong?). He spat the pill out on the floor, so I had to repeat the procedure. Then I had to watch the cats eat for 10 min to make sure Sash is eating his food and not getting sick... Last but not least I fed the poor fish, Lang, who is still living in a bucket!! :( And yes, the pond is still not completely fixed up! It has water in now, but the one spout is leaking and I can already see how they're going to mess everything up again and then we have to catch Lang AGAIN! :P So I rather just keep him out of harms way.

I have surrendered to the Suchness of all these people messing around our house and not ever getting it done... however all Suchness is subject to the inevitability of the only true constant (change)... and I blow my top every now and then at the pure uselessness of certain people (eg. the carpenter who arranged for us to open the house so he can install a door to our bathroom, then he arrives without the hinges to actually attach the door to the wall and so he reschedules... this happened 2 weeks ago as u might have guessed he hasn't been back yet to put the door up).  ??? I guess I will also have to accept the fact that not even the new house will ever be flawless. Like everything else in life there will always be a balance between flaws and perfection and without at least one flaw nothing is normal or complete!? Or at least that is what we tell ourselves in order to remain semi-sane and to find enough hope to carry on with life, love, paying tax etc.

At least the cats have started settling a little and are keeping their distance from Jenni, which I truly appreciate! I also have some photos to brag with the super-Fresh produce from our very own organic garden! :) It has been merely 2 months since we started the garden (there was literally NOTHING but weeds and clay before) and she (Mother nature) is already providing wholesome organic produce for the house!! 
 Home-grown organic lettuce from the garden
 Super-easy organic herbs and veggies

17 February 2011

Greys: I got left behind in season 5

I think the last time I watched Greys Anatomy was something like over a year ago! I have all the episodes on my hard drive, but I was left behind somewhere in season 5!! That’s how long ago I had time/ or shall I say was lazy enough to just lie and watch series on my own! ;) But last night and this morning I started catching up again – and Oh how wonderful it feels to loaf around the house again till late afternoon in my PJ’s, just like when I used to be single J It’s Awesome! Currently I’m at the episode where O’Mally got driven over by a bus!! And Issy just came back to life after the opp complications – it’s really so intense! I’m crying my eyes out, but it feels so fantastic! J It fascinates me how people, like myself, can find so much joy from watching mindless sh1t like this – but u have to admit, it’s a gripping series!! J

16 February 2011

Puppy dreams and hiccups

This is so cute, Jenni's having a very animated puppy dream and her little paws are pacing the air along with soft yelps to encourage them... it sounds almost like when she has hiccups (which happens when she eats her breakfast too fast). Speaking of which, I've been having some trouble with this little food connoisseur...


The breeder gave us a recipe for their "puppy stew", cooked with beef/chicken/tripe mince, rice, lentils and a little green veg. I lovingly made a whole pot full with the beef and tripe mince, cabbage and very little carrot, but little Genevieve had NO interest in eating it. So I made another batch with chicken and beef mince, some spinach, beans and carrot (very small quantities) finely chopped and she still wasn't keen on it.

12 February 2011

The Suchness ;)

Jenni Button

Ok, I have calmed down a bit and today I feel just a little more sane! Thank goodness! :)

I have realised that it does not help me at all to panic, it doesn't help to get super stressed about everything. And after all - who can be unhappy on a Saturday, right? ;)

The best solution is to accept the way it is and to just cope with it and maybe even enjoy the fantastic things there are around me! I should relax and only do what is the most important at this point in time and also I have to make time just for myself! VERY Important!!

I feel a little more in control of my life. Puppy house-training is back on schedule. Jenni is such a sweet and well-behaved little puppy-girl :) and she is happy now with her puppy pellets and eats all her food. We were actually able to go out of the house and leave her alone for 2 hours without any crying or misbehaving, she just slept like a baby and happily chewed on her toys when she woke up, waiting till we came back to take her outside. A little angel! :)

Hunny took a couple of stunning pics of her while we played on the lawn, I think that everything might actually be fine! :) *BIG sigh of relief*

Je ne sais quoi, our Beautiful puppy-girl

11 February 2011

Oh No! I'm freaking out.

OMG!! What did I do...? :(
Why did I have to INSIST on getting a dog? Right now! I know that we will sort everything out and Jenni is so sweet and well-behaved, she will be all settled in very soon, but I really think this has all happened too soon? 8 Months ago, when I put our name on the puppy waiting-list, I was sure we would be all bored and settled in our new house by now, but I was so wrong! :( There is still so much going on and I feel completely overwhelmed with all the things I have to do... 

10 February 2011

The best puppy toy

Just a very short review of which of all the possible puppy toys are Jenn's favourite...

Result: The twigs from our Bushwillow! Go figure :P

I luv my twig.

08 February 2011

Puppy Love

Besides sharing some of the ins and outs of my life in general one of the main reasons for my blog is to share one of my dreams-come-true. This weekend (6 Feb 2011) we fetched our very own puppy (and very 1st as a couple). Her name is Genevieve (aka Jenni Button or "Je ne sais quoi"), also fondly known as The Poopy :)
Genevieve is a flashy Irish Red Setter, her pedigreed name is Oakdale's Bed o' Roses (Daddy: Apollo of the Chicken Farm, Mommy: Oakdale's Safari Sunset). Such a sweet name, and especially appropriate since our new garden has a couple of wonderful new roses (my very first ever no wait, I lie, I did have a red miniature rose once and it died... hmmmm???).
Anyway, I'm sure a few pictures will be worth more than their 1000 words.
Ain't I just gorgeous...
Some biltong with that pleez.

More gorgeousness.

And so, I enter the blogesphere.

I was complaining to my boyfriend about how extremely busy and overwhelmed I feel with all the 101 things I am supposed to do... then he suggested: why don't you start a blog about it.   o.O Uuuuhmmm...

I am rather certain it was NOT because he found my ear-wigging so fascinating - he probably hoped it would relieve some tension I felt with life, the Universe... and everything (a fascinatingly odd book by the way ;). 

So then I decided Why Not! I'm already so busy with everything I imagine my life's all about - Why not commit myself to even more obligation (Def: things you THINK you have to do) and leapt onto the bandwagon and now here I am. Hunny suggested I call it "My life and I", which I have to say I quite like. However, I thought it better (something I tend to do rather often) to add a little more of my true personality into the mix and call it Why Not.