it is all about balance

Out and about today, so we lunched at an Organic Café. They were so organic that I was worried that they might check that I was wearing underwear made from natural fibres before they served me. I wasn’t so, thank goodness they didn’t.

We both settled for the totally vegetarian salad.

salad .jpg

Hence dinner at home was this:

hot dog

Augie ate his so fast, I couldn’t get a snap – even after I gifted him a second sausage!

augie eats

a dog by any other name, would not be ours.


Our dog loves me so much that I have no doubt that should I fall down dead on the floor that he would eat my face. Love with an animal is a strange thing. Augie Dog is a stately four year old blonde Golden Retriever who weighs about 45 kg. Basically, Augie does whatever Augie wants; and most of the time he wants to eat.

Each morning I make two pieces of toast for my breakfast and one piece for Augie. Buttered, I cut it into four squares and perch it on top of his bowl of dry food. At the weekend if we fry bacon, Augie also receives a piece. His payment is to do a “bacon dance” dashing about the kitchen in a circle as he smells the frying bacon.

Once he has had an elegant sufficiency of his own food, he then eyeballs any family member still eating. If I am sitting in my favourite chair he will place his head in my lap and look up at me with his big brown eyes, so soulful that it is obvious that I must have forgotten to feed in for at least a month and he is obviously suffering dreadfully. Feeeeed meeee.

If this tactic fails, Augie will sniff about the house, looking for things to barter with for food. Grass that has dropped off a shoe, a tuft of hair that has dropped from his thick coat, or a small stick from his exercise yard are all potential gifts that he will drop into my lap.

Should I manage to survive this onslaught without reciprocating with more food, he will resort to his evil bags of tricks and grab a tissue from a forgotten place or an open bin and either masticate this until sodden to drop into my lap, or if he is feeling very vexed about being ignored, he will shred the tissue across the floor.

Mr FD has a habit of opening the mail and leaving the discarded envelopes on a low table that is just Augie Dog height, so as his penultimate act he grabs an envelope and starts to chew. Of course, we can never be sure that the envelope is indeed discarded and doesn’t contain that million dollar check from a forgotten lottery, so Augie has to be bribed with a treat to release it. No idiot is Augie Dog.

Perchance he can’t find an envelope Augie will try physical attack. No not teeth and claws, he will stand on his hind legs and place his front paws in my lap attempt to place his head on my shoulder. A 45 kg dog in your lap trying to hug you cannot be ignored – one, because he is incredibly heavy and all that weight balancing on my legs hurts like hell, but the fact that he is trying to give me a dog hug just melts any remaining  resistance.

Here, Augie, have a schmackos – have the packet.

a new cycle

The view from our deck by day

The view from our deck by day

This weekend we got an exercise bike. It’s not new; in fact it is second hand, unwanted when its owner went overseas. We have placed it outside on our deck, for the moment. I did circle it for an hour or two, as I am not an exerciser – as I joke, my idea of exercise is moving from one end of the couch to the other!

I was out trying out the cycle this evening. The weather is unseasonably warm, and the evening was just lovely, not too cold, no insects. Our house is on the side of a hill and overlooks the Village and the entire valley, to the ranges in the distance. It was evening and the street lights were twinkling like stars and it was just magical.

Augie Dog was outside with me, standing at the far end of the deck. Son came out and was of the opinion that Augie was watching a wallaby somewhere in our garden that we could see. He was certainly standing very quiet and still the entire time I cycled.

It was just perfection, and I felt so happy, cycling and enjoying the moment. It was a very, very nice end to my weekend.

I just hope I can walk in the morning!

Bored by that view? Then try this one!

Bored by that view? Then try this one!

Just pucker and toot

dog 1

Three year old Petite Fille’s one ambition in life is to whistle. We spend quite a bit of time trying to whistle. I naturally amaze her with my whistling repotoire, especially my rendition of “Home on the Range.”

Being a Flamingo Dancer, a junior one perhaps, but one none the less, Petite Fille, does not allow a lack of technique to hold her back. Instead, she makes her own sound that registers more like a train toot which she follows with an announcement  that she is whistling to inform those within hearing know that they are being treated to a a musical wonderment.

Mostly, she whistles when she wants to call Augie Dog. So she toot toots and says “I am whistling”.

And Augie Dog comes.

That dog will leave his lying position; he does a lot of lying around, a bit like Mr FD his constant companion. Anyway, he actually gets up, the dog, not Mr FD, only food and the need to pee motivates MR FD to move. As I was saying, the dog will get up and join Petite Fille as if he really was called.

I suppose he is being called, just in toddler speak. I guess animals and children speak a language we adults have long forgotten – things don’t have to be perfect, to be perfect.

absence makes the heart grow fonder; and would you move aside please?

morning coffee

Mr FD found his way home on Thursday night, after a three week absence.  He was so happy to be home. As I made tea for two in the kitchen I heard Mr FR declaring,”I missed you so much, you are so beautiful, so wonderful…”

Entering the room I found that he was gazing lovingly into the big brown eyes of Augie Dog, who was lapping up every second. So much so, that when Mr FD paused stroking him, Augie Dog would turn and lick what ever exposed bits of Mr FD he could reach.

I placed the mug of tea next to Mr FD and allowed them their privacy.

treats for the King

food pantryDoes your pet eat as well, if not better than, you? I just slipped a slice of smoked salmon to Augie Dog. Before that he had toast and a rasher of short cut bacon for Sunday breakfast. The bacon was cooled and cut into pieces for him; in the hopes it would slow his eating. He still consumed it before I got my breakfast onto the plate!

He doesn’t get such treats every day. Bacon is only a weekend thing. Smoked salmon is what I have some days on my wraps for school lunch, but it is portioned in relation to its cost. Augie still gets a piece – I tell myself it is good for his brain (?) and coat.

During the week he has to settle for his vet recommended dry food and the occasional dropped morsel. He knows enough to get very excited when I stand in the food prep area of the kitchen for oddly enough lots of things seem to hit the floor there…must be like a Kitchen Bermuda Triangle.

It is not all indulgence though; Augie needs to be kept in tip top form for he has an important role to play in our life, as the late Terry Pratchett described :

Pets are always a help in times of stress. And in times of starvation, too, of course.



Another crazy week in a crazy world; or perhaps I should say, another week, another student complaint. So over students’ total self centred sense of entitlement at the cost of others. Many mothers on my stick list for making their kids so co-dependent and pathetic. Teachers are people too!

We farewelled our senior class on Friday. I was particularly fond of my home class’s group of seniorsand will miss them. One came in with her Mum before the ceremony to give me a gift and it was a tough moment. I want so much for that young lady – happiness and success and oh, everything.

It was a 38C day as we piled into an undercover area for the ceremony. Adolescent boys are smelly things at the best of times, but third day of heat in a row and the area was ripe. I always take my folding paper fan with me and this day it was used more to waft the aroma away, than to cool. At times the fanning was frantic! I don’t want to smell your sweaty hair.

Mr FD has to stay a third week with his Uncle on the Farm, who like too many old people will not cooperate when the family are trying to source support for them. Everyone is working to keep him in his own home; which is not easy when he is on a farm and a distance from services, and to maintain his dignity, but the damn fool won’t cooperate and he is aided and abetted by some very self-seeking people. Mr FD’s sister has arrived to assist now.

Missing his dog and his own home, I sent Mr FD a couple of photos to remember us by.

View from our front door

View from our front door


The one and only Augie Dog

The one and only Augie Dog

And of course…

His wife.....hahhahahahahahaha

His wife…..hahhahahahahahaha

HIs dog wrecked my night’s sleep. He woke me about three a.m. whining, so I took him out to his patch, but I think he just wanted to chase cane toads. When we went back to bed he was agitated and it was only after I sat on the side of the bed and stroked his head for awhile that he calmed down. I went back to sleep, but I don’t know what Augie did. He may have whined, he may have partied, he may have thought deep and meaningful thoughts, but he left me alone until 8am.

When I stirred from my nightmare, and it was nightmare for the Deputy Principal was in my dream, I had a headache. We were in my parents’ house and I had about 30 naughty students with me who needed to be sent to RTC but the DP was telling me how peaceful my parents’s house was, despite my protestations that we had sold my parents home. We all know that he would cut his tongue out before saying the word “peaceful” so it was total terror. Who is this monster I am with?

Today is predicted to be 39C. Yesterday was 38C. The breeze feels like a furnace. My school office is air conditioned, but not the library so it is miserable the moment I walk through my office door. Our house has many levels of cooling so I am ensconced for the day. Hand me my “orange juice” Jeeves.

On the positive side, I have been offered an interview for the TL job 9 minutes from home! Monday 4pm QLD time, so have power thoughts for me . You work out the time difference and if it is in the middle of the night your time I expect you to rise, walk to your window and face Australia. No, that is not the floor, you are down under, not us. You are behind us, unless you are a New Zealander and we won’t make the NZ  joke that is begging to be made there

10 school days until Summer Vacation! Minerva made me a little calendar to count the days, The Big Whatever Bless Her Soul. That woman can read my soul, and she guessed I had applied for another job. If I do go, she is the real regret I will have leaving that library. We are peas in a pod, but she is a better person than I. I guess, we shall see what we shall see.


Marie Antoinette and I

modern lore

Walking out the door for the first day of the new school term, I moved to tuck a tissue into the top of my bra. Only there was no bra! I had forgotten to put it on.

The situation was not helped by Mr FD immediately advising me that going braless was in no way a good idea and instructing me to return to the bathroom instantly!


Then I realised that our dog, Audie, is currently the weight I was on my wedding day, 48kg. That is a worry in more ways than one; the fact that I am nowhere near that weight now not being the least!

Not shaping up as a good week, so far.

when a sausage isn’t always a sausage

hot dogs

Augie Dog turned three years of age the other day. Three human years, so does that make him 21 dog years? Should I give him the key to the door now?

Son and I forgot until about three quarters through the day, and then we both felt guilty that we didn’t have a birthday treat for him. I went through the fridge and found some frankfurter sausages that I was going to use for hotdogs and so presented one of those to Augie. He ran about the room, the frank sticking out of his mouth, like Groucho Marx with a cigar.

Later, I gave him a couple of slices of bacon too. I think it turned out to be a nice birthday for Augie.

I sent Mr FD  in hospital a text that Augie was having a birthday frank and Mr FD who adores a sausage in any form (keep it clean) texted back  “Happy Birthday, Augie. That was my frankfurter!”

“It was too!” I replied.

“I had crumbs, dried bread and water!”

“Character building!” I replied, using his mother’s reasoning for life’s sufferings.

“What a huge character I must have! texted Mr FD

A few minutes later Mr FD sent more texts:

“The footy franks played for the All Blacks” (New Zealand’s national rugby team). Owen and Glen Franks!”


Where do you go to from that?

animals 1


Next day, I cut one of the remaining frankfurters into bite size pieces, sprayed some tomato sauce over the top of the pieces and took it along with me on my daily visit to Mr FD.

“I’ve brought you a bit of Augie’s birthday cake” I declared.

Mr FD was just tucking into it when the lunch lady brought his meal tray in. “I am eating some of the dog’s birthday cake!” he shared.

She stood there blinking at him for a moment or two and then left the room. I guess she thought that Mr FD would be one patient who wouldn’t complain about the hospital food if he was happy to eat the dog’s food.

puppy love

love me

I don’t think I can keep this home nursing thing up. It has been two days and already I am totally exhausted by caring and being nice.

Mr FD is all very polite about it, and grateful for what I do, but all the needy stuff is really wearing out my small reserves of niceness.

Medication at this time and that time. And the pressure stockings are irritating the skin on his leg so I have to rub moisturiser into his leg. It doesn’t help to see that he has less hair on his legs that I do on mine either. Then again he has a hairy back and I don’t.

Augie Dog knows Mr FD is hurting to and is trying to be very gentle around Mr FD. He was out in his yard, peeing, (Augie, not Mr FD) and Mr FD said, “It is wonderful coming home to a dog like that. I am so glad we got him.” and I wondered if he thought the same about me and would I need to go pee in the yard to get him to say it.

I don’t pee in the yard. I could, because we have lots of trees for privacy, but no doubt a delivery man or meter reader would arrive at the door as I did. And it might kill the grass, because Augie’s pee does. I don’t think I have peed in the yard since I was a toddler, if I did even then. It was a civilised upbringing.