Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Gallery Wall

I have been wanting to do this project for the longest time, but for some reason it just took ages to get togethor. I wanted a family gallery wall, so that the monkeys wouldn't forget what their family looked like, even though they mostly live a 12 hour drive away.

 I didn't want just smiling heads on the wall; smiles are lovely & nice
to look at but I wanted something more.

 I wanted each photo to exhibit the family members personality.
I wanted the monkeys to get a sense of the person in the photo,
not just a smile-for-the-camera grimace.

 It took ages to find the right photos. Then it took ages to find the right frames. These frames are nothing special, but they are sort of uniform. Some are box frames, some flat. They are not thrifted, although they didn't cost a fortune. I'm still not convinced they are perfect & I haven't ruled out painting them white.

 I spent a while playing around with the placement of them,
finding an order that was pleasing to my eye.

Happy dog needed to be in the middle, not because the late great dog was the centre of our universe, but because the strong green of the background needed to be central, otherwise the arrangement would be unbalanced. Well, that's what my eye told me, it's not like I have any design training!

Finally they went on the hallway wall! I have lot's of frames left over which is just as well, because between Mr BC & I we have 10 aunts & uncles & 14 1st cousins, not to mention 2nd, 3rd & 4th cousins & their partners & children. Also grandparents, great aunts & uncles...
(They might not all make it to the wall.)

That lady in the witch outfit is my mother in law. 
That blushing bride strangling her new husband is my sister Cheryl.
Just joking! My MIL isn't really a witch!

That white haired man caught in the act of scoffing a party pie is my father.
That stern lady behind him giving me the shit eye is my mum. She never reads my blog!

 That dapper dude in the photo above them is my dry witted father in law.
The other monkeys are my own, or assorted nieces & nephews.

 I love my family very much, it is so nice to  see them every day!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Some things that happened in the land of 'Broken Modem'

Started stripping the paint off this old meat safe. The mesh will also have to be replaced, but hopefully
it will look beautiful in the bathroom when it is polished, gleaming wood.

Tried to protect the garden from bastard grasshoppers. Tried.

Made a little money spell which kinda worked. Green candle, basil, mint, cinnamon oil.
What, did you forget I was pagan?

My first attempt at 4Thieves Vinegar. This is supposed to ward off the actual plague, so I figured it might be worth a try for the whooping cough epidemic the media keeps telling us to expect this winter. There are lots of different recipes on the internet, I used rosemary, garlic, thyme & peppercorns. 

Tried to teach myself how to crochet. Discovered I am shite at crochet!
This was supposed to be a flat circle, but ended up a forskin cover for a garden gnome.

Turned 43. Yeah, I can say it. Teenage Daughter made this delightful creepy clown head cake for me,
in homage to the ones on CakeWrecks. It was awesome.

Extra aesome was the surprise clown brains in the middle!
Monkeyboy may be approaching suger coma in this photo... 

Accompanied The Gentlemans class on a Bilby excursion. Australia likes to push the Bilby as a viable alternative to the Easter Bunny. This excursion was enjoyed by the children, but may have been better if it contained any actual bilbys or at least some chocolate ones. Even the egg hunt component of the day had wooden eggs. LAME!
Generally enjoyed the serenity!
(But it's nice to be back)

Friday, April 8, 2011

RIP Happy Dog

Aaaaaaaaad she's back, from the land of 'Broken House Modem' where a surprising amount of stuff gets done.  But today, all I can think about is our dog.

Yesterday we kissed our 12 year old Labrador goodbye as he rode the vet's magic injection to the great dog park in the sky, & it is fair to say that the entire BC Family is utterly devastated. This post will be long, & probably maudlin, but I need to get it out so if you need to stop reading, thats fine. We can still be friends.

So. It's not like we didn't have any warning; his arthritus had been getting progressively worse, & at christmas the vet warned us that we should be looking at a date in mid March. Despite visiting several vets the prognosis was always the same - the arthritus was very bad, very painful, & untreatable.

For the last few months Happy Dog has been in an old mans fog of painkillers, needing to be carried up & down stairs a few times a day, unable to get up & crapping where he layed. I don't think the painkillers fogged out his sense of embarrasment at that.

What has made this all so much harder is that apart from the arthritus, he was the same old dog. Same beautiful clean coat, same snuggly warmth, same velvet ears, same sparkling personality & same dry wit. If he was a human, we would have given him a mobility scooter & life would have gone on.

Like most labradors, Happy Dog loved to eat. We knew this could give him weight problems & that this breed where prone to arthritus, so we where careful about his diet. Despite his best efforts, he was never overwieght.  Despite sneaking cat food in the middle of the night (When you close your eyes, dog, I can still see you! Stop eating that!!), despite mooching food off any unsuspecting visitor (& those that knew better) with the hypnotising give to to meeeee dog stare & the occasional naughty scattering of garbage in the night to get at chicken carcasses, his health was good. I cooked his food every week (pasta, veges, raw mince & garlic for fleas) which he happily scarfed up every night. Weekly bones kept his teeth in tip top condition, right to the end. Even the knee high stocking that he stole off the washing line didn't effect him too much, even if it did have to be pulled from his arse like a magicians scarf, at the dog park. (try explaining that to horrified dog park goers).

He got lots of exercise until he couldn't anymore. Daily & sometimes twice daily long walks to the dog park, the golf course (plenty of rabbits to chase hooray!), dodging council rangers at the beach in the pre dawn light, & the headland where the ocean wind got into his ears & made him crazy. Lots of galooting around the yard with Mr BC.

But despite all of this, despite having a winter coat custom made, despite having a birthday partys, being loved & celebrated so he is gone.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with grief, & I have aways joked that when Happy Dogs number is up we will need family grief counselling. But I think we will be ok, eventually.

Mr BC cried, & came home for a beer. Which is actually unusual for him.
I cried, then came home & cried in the shower. Then cried. Now I am blogging.
Teenage daughter came with us to the vet, & kept it togethor. Then came home & sat in the doorway in the sun, exactly where the dog used to sit, hugging to herself.
Monkeyboy says (heart breakingly) 'Why are you sad, Mummy? Happy Dog be here soon!' No, darling, he isn't coming back. (resolutely) 'He BE HERE soon!'
We thought going to the vet would be too intense for The Gentleman, who is after all, only 6. I think this was a mistake & we should have let him come, because he is the worst hit of all of us.

So there you go. I know dog lovers & anyone with a pet will understand how we feel that our dog was the best pet ever, because you will feel the same about yours.
Our dog, the best pet ever, is gone, & we are heartbroken.
Thanks for reading, blog friends.

Mrs BC
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