one man and his dog

One man and his dog have been trying to keep cool in this heat

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This was taken of Gibbs surveying the dam building in the little stream that runs along the edge of our orchard.   By the way, we’re still waiting for Gibbs’ biopsy results.  I’ll let you all know as soon as we do.

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My husband enjoys playing with water almost as much as Gibbs does.  Anyway, they were both nice and cool, in the shade . . . meanwhile in the sunshine . . .

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This is what the hens’ enclosure looks like, after several months of pecking, and scratching.  The only plant that has survived is

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I’ve no idea what it is, but it’s very pretty.  Hens meanwhile have been moved to summer camp, in the orchard.

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They’ve got plenty of fresh grass to peck/scratch and they’re in the shade of two apple trees.  You can only see two gals in the photo . . . Miss Moneypenny is brooding.

Anyway, a quick tour with the camera to see how everything is growing in the heat.

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The kiwi vine is covered in tiny fruit.  That won’t be ready for harvest until December/January, but I’m keeping a close eye on them already.

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This is one of the our grape vines (for eating grapes).  Husband cut it back last year and it has grown with new vigour this season.

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In the veggie patch . . .

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Courgettes are spreading and we’ve already begun harvesting & enjoying them while they’re small & tender.

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Same goes for potatos which husband planted under straw this year.  We’ve already enjoyed some baby new potatos (from the middle row).

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We’ve got 18 tomato plants under cover and first tommies are there.

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Other plants are looking a bit sorry for themselves, but growing nonetheless, apart from the brocoli which has completly gone to seed.

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And I have no idea what’s going on with my beans this year!

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We’ve planted 3 rows so far, at fortnightly intervals, but things are either coming up patchy or not at all.  Husband suggests he turn over the soil in what was the hens’ enclosure to plant more beans there.  I think he might have to.

Gibbs – 9 months

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36 kilos of puppy as Gibbs continues to fill out and celebrates his 9 month birthday today.  Sadly, today he’s actually wearing the cone of shame, and looks like this.IMGP3052

He had a growth (wart-like) not far from his eye which we (and vet) deemed preferable to remove.  That was done on 30th May and the excised “bit” has been sent off to a specialised lab for a biopsy.  Fingers crossed that it’ll be something benign.  In the meantime, Gibbs has to wear his cone, until stitches come out on 10th June.

And then he’ll be free to play with canine friends again . . . for example, with Petra, SIL’s dog (photo taken before the op – you can just see the growth)

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or with Moka, our neighbour’s chocolate Labrador.

Gibbs and Moka

Abby & Ducky – 2 years

Oops, I missed birthday celebrations for our two youngest cats: the sister & brother act, Abby and Ducky.  They turned two a few days ago. 

Ducky was in the wars on the day.

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Can you see?  Swollen face on the right side.  That was the only visible symptom.  We figured he’s either been stung by an insect, or had an abces.  Quick vet’s visit the next day, even though the swelling had gone down – it was an insect sting.  Probably bee or wasp.  Anyway, he’s right as rain now.

And here’s Abby

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In one of her favourite spots on a little wall. 

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And a couple more photos of pretty colours . . .

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These little flowers growing in abundance, mixing in with the ivy . . . and in our neighbour’s garden

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Which I suddenly realised were, what is known as “Wild Poppy”, therefore the colour inspiration for one of my current stitching projects!  Stitching with the colour “Wild Poppies” by Threadworx – what a coincidence!

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Gibbs – 7 months and a blankie

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Gibbs is now 7 months and still growing.  Last week, he weighed in at 28 kilos ^^ 

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He’s gorgeously glossy, and really is an incredibly good-natured & intelligent dog.  We’ve had only one naughty episode this month – where Gibbs managed to get his nose in a chocolate cake (husband’s fault – you don’t leave chocolate cake on the table when you have a puppy), but I stopped him before he’d had a chance to wolf too much down (chocolate being toxic for dogs).   However, after a quick call to vet’s . . . seeing dog weight and portion of cake size eaten, there was nothing to worry about.

Apart from that, he’s been no trouble at all.  He’s getting on well with the cats, who no longer run & hide each time they see him . . . and basically, slowly growing out of puppy antics to become a proper adult dog.

He’s not too keen on rides in the car . . . so I decided to try and make things more comfortable.  Thought, if he had a “blankie” then car rides might be easier.  He has a soft bear that he loves carrying around in his mouth, and takes to bed with him.  So I thought he might also grow attached to a blankie.

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Quilting is a bit rough & ready (meaning wonky in places) but I don’t think Gibbs is going to complain.

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Made using a pack of 4” square prints I received for Christmas, an old cot sheet and some cheap plain blue cotton.  It is no doubt destined to be covered in mud & dog hair, I therefore did everything by machine, including the last sewing on binding.  Measures approx 44” x 34”. 

third time lucky #3 amigurumi . . . and . . . what a good-looking lad!

Okay everyone, this is the last time you’ll have to admire one of these owlets, I promise. 

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Pattern by A Morning Cup of Jo, and downloadable on Ravelry.  This is my third attempt and this time, I feel I really have nailed it.  My owlet’s eyes are smaller and I’m still not an expert beak embroiderer, but those are minor details  It’s the crochet I was concentrating on. I’ve got the shape right, and the correct number of stitches & rows.  Successfully followed the pattern without having to unravel all the time. 

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Here are my 3 owlets.  Attempts one, two and three.  I crocheted a little loop for them all using DMC Perle cotton, the idea being, to hang them in a tree in the orchard for photos. Unfortunately it was too breezey so I had to make do with laying them on a few logs.

My parliament of owls stands at three with this particular pattern therefore.  That’s not to say I won’t be crocheting more owls in the future.  In fact I will.  But they will be following different patterns.

Weather has been gorgeous these past few days. Gibbs has been enjoying lots of fresh air and play time.  And here is a photo I managed to snap, after one very energetic play session.

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Okay, I know I’m his “Mum”, so I’m biaised . . . but I do think he’s a good-looking lad lol.

Gibbs 6 months

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Hello everyone, well Gibbs is 6 months old today and beginning to look more like an adult than a puppy.

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Here he is, somewhat dirty, after a romp around outside.  He has a mouthful of gleaming adult teeth, and his coat is getting thicker and glossier.

We didn’t weigh him for this month, but I reckon he must be about 22 kilos now.  He’s growing taller, but also beginning to fill out a little, while still remaining very slim and athletic.

The big growth spurt, in theory, will be over the next few months.  We’re following feeding instructions given by the breeder, and as from today, Gibbs will be on 2 meals a day, instead of 3.  However rations will be 300g twice a day . . . so that 12 kilo sack of Royal Canin isn’t going to last long!

We haven’t had any chewing incidents in a while, and the cats have all more or less accepted him.  None of the cats appreciate a close encounter, but they no longer try to avoid Gibbs who has learned not to chase after them.  Gibbs learns very quickly.  He is excellent nowadays at the “fetch” game.  He brings whatever I throw back every time, and obeys the “drop” command 8 times out of 10.  Walks on the lead are very pleasant too.  He walks ever so well, without tugging, and most of the time one finger looped through the leash “handle” is all it takes.  He does tend to get distracted very easily though, and during walks, we have to keep our eyes open for: cyclists, pedestrians, cats, other dogs, and flying leaves . . . any of these sightings can make Gibbs spring into action and want to go dashing off to play.