Saturday, 17 February 2018

Project 365 week 7

Been a lazy week as I am really in a can not be bothered mood. Tv watching while doing my cross stitching and walks with the dog to break ours and her day up. Have had quite a bit of snow this week, but luckily none of it stayed for long.


Sunday

No overtime this week so the usual walk with the dog after work. It is quite nice to get out normally. But we set foot out the door with a blue sky and within less than two minutes we had a total white out with snow. Twenty minutes of a walk and nearly two inches of snow had fallen.


winter is still here 


Monday

Had won a prize back in November from musclefood it turned up today but had cost me £1.50 in excess postage as they underpaid on it, prize itself was worth less than £2 so I was not at all amused. Have pm'd them on Facebook and they offered me £10 off of an order, but need to spend more than £10 before I can claim the discount and also need to pay postage. Apparently they did this to quite a few others as well. Others got offered higher amounts but regardless it is not acceptable policy and I feel well conned.


excess postage to pay 



Tuesday

DD1's birthday. We have a firm believe in our family that a birthday is not a birthday without a cake. So Fifi had said she was going to make her mum a Harry Potter cake, but she went away for a long weekend and then went to her friends overnight on Monday. So DD3 messaged me to ask me to pick one up for her, so we got another picture cake from Intercake, their cakes taste great, are good value for money and you can personalise it with a picture of your choice and then add borders, writing etc.

I feel cake decoration manufacturers should make + and - signs so she could have had 40-1, just cos I am rotten like that....lol

Happy birthday DD1 




Wednesday

Blew a gale and snowed on and off most of the day. So got in plenty of cross stitching and competition entering done. Dixie loves to spend time sitting in the sun (when it comes out) on the back of the couch. Does tend to woof a bit at some of the people passing but not at them all.

Watching out the window 




Thursday

This little madam likes to chew anything she can pick up, and likes to pick up lots of things. Today she decided she would start on this mornings post.

Little Madam!!!



Friday

Have had a few nasty patches of eczema on the palms of my hands for about three months now. Nearly gone, an awful lot better than they have been. Been using steroids twice a day and a good quality moisturiser about thirty times a day. No wonder parents cannot get children cleared up as I never thought to moisturise my kids every half  hour when they had flare ups. Being on my hands does not help right enough as getting wet regularly.

I like this cream 




Saturday

DD2, SIL2, Ziggy and the dog down for a few hours today, going out tonight and then back here to sleep. We went for a walk down the park to exercise the dogs and get Ziggy some fresh air and exercise
Was a good test for Dixie having more than one person and another dog here at the same time. She was popped into her cage with the door left open for her a few times for getting herself distressed but calmed down quickly enough and came back out when she wanted too.

Ziggy on the slide with Dixie and Granddad 





Thursday, 15 February 2018

The hassle of moving a shed.


Ever since we moved into this house, nearly five years ago.hubby has been wanting to move the small shed near the back door down to the bottom end of the garden,so lately he has had the hassle of moving the shed.

The problem is he has too much junk  man stuff to store and as the shed was full the contents had to go somewhere while the dismantling and reassembling happens. As we know in this country can not guarantee a run of dry weather even in the Summer. So after we got the new shed up and running a few months back he decided to get it done.

He was not even sure it would move successfully as a lot of it was rotten as the back of it was sited against a brick wall and so it has had rain running down the back of it and getting trapped all the years it has been there, over twelve years that we know of.

So this project was started the first week in January with the shed being disassembled into its six parts. Luckily enough our neighbour was on hand to help as there was no way at that point I could help with my shoulder being so sore.

the shed sites against a small 3 brick high patio area. 


So once the roof was off they started on dismantling the sides and lying them down.

laying the pieces down as they are dismantled 

The back and left side were quire rotted and so these were left for repairing.

the rotted corners on the back and side 



The back and left of the base were also quite rotted.


the rotted corner at the bottom 


So over the next few weeks, in between snow and gales the repair work began with hubby working away at it when he had time.


Dixie dog helping trim out the rotten wood 

So the rotting corners were sorted and replaced with new lengths of wood, and yes the dog decided to help, and the rotted tongue and grove sides were repaired by screwing lengths of  ply wood onto the outside. The 8ft by 4 ft piece of ply was left a few years back by the window fitter who put in our new double glazing.

the new pieces in place 


The base was sorted next, it was the biggest repair job with about a quarter of the floor needing replacing. So this was done by adding new supports next to the old supports, the trimming off the rotten pieces and adding lengths of tongue in groove from a previously dismantled building that he had salvaged. His hoarding can be verry annoying but I suppose it is only his hoarding that allowed this to be rebuilt so cheaply.


the rotten bits have gone 

The electric saw was bought with some of the Argos Vouchers I won just before Christmas, it was used to cut the longer pieces, much easier than by hand.

using the new power saw to cut the big pieces 


Once the repairs of the base were completed the wood was trimmed to the right size.


trimming the new struts underneath 



So after all the repair work was done it needed to be reassembled. I could manage to help with this as by now my arm was feeling somewhat better and the individual pieces were not to heavy if I let me left arm take the bulk of the weight.


the back and the base ready to go together


No pictures of the assembly as I was needed to support and help assemble.

awaiting the roof and adding some shelves 


We needed help to get the roof on as I was not attempting to help with that. So some shelves were added while he had good light to do it with and he would stand upright. SIL1 came and gave hubby a hand when he came in from work.


still a few bits to patch in at the bottom. 


As seen from the bedroom window.



awaiting the roof 


Once the roof was on

complete with roof 


To finish it off inside hubby drove down the back road and picked up a load of laminate flooring that somebody dumped the day after he assembled it and used it to cover the floor with and to line the sides half way up. Most of the contents of this shed is just items for storage as it is not tall enough to stand up in properly

shed paint and boxes being stored 


To allow him to rebuild the base, back and left side we had to buy some new wood, the rest of it was done with older wood that he had lying around. The budget for all the repair work, including the screws came to under £30, we could not have replaced it for anything like that so was worth spending the time on.

With the shed moved we now have a view down the garden so it will be easier to see the grandchildren when they are out there playing. I am sure there is also a plan to move the table bench and chairs up to the patio area at the top. 

Sunday, 11 February 2018

#MySundayPhoto 11th Feb

We took a walk with the dog round the fishery last Sunday after I got back from work. Was chilly but wind free and sunny. Lots of lovely reflection to be seen, but after careful consideration of the photos taken this one appealed to me the most to share on here.

I have got some really good swan pictures but a) swans are fairly run of the mill and b) very difficult to comment on.

The two posts on the left of the picture are in the water so getting them looking like they are bigger than they are.





Photalife

Saturday, 10 February 2018

Project 365 week 6

Sunday
A walk round the fishery after work, a cold but sunny afternoon with lots of reflections to be had.



.


Monday

A two hour walk for the dog on the beach in the morning and two hours down the woods in the afternoon. Poor thing is shattered. But this is when you realise the dog was worth every penny - she is getting hubby out and about, and me as well, all good calorie burning stuff.

Hubby went into the river but Dixie was for none of it.









Tuesday

Wandered down to DD1's house while walking the dog. No growling and plenty of stroking.




Wednesday

DD1 was looking for help to tidy up the garage so hubby went to help her. This gave us an opportunity to leave Dixie on her own for the first time in her life. Always had plenty of doggy pals in her old home. Was on her own for less than half an hour and was asleep on the back of the couch in the sun when I came back.
Dinky came home with a certificate for "Star of the Week" but refused to let me take a picture of her with it.





Thursday

DD1, SIL1 and Fifi went off to the family funeral. Bob had originally thought he would like to go but then changed his mind. As when the funeral was planned I thought I might be on Jury duty they had found another baby sitter, so I decided to take Bob to see The Brick City Tour that is currently in Ayr. This was to take Bob's mind of of the funeral.

Here is Bob stood in front of the awe-inspiring centrepiece is London St Pancras Station measuring two by four metres, and built from 180,000 pieces of LEGO.
This we were told was built by five woman in three weeks from a plan that they adjust slightly as they go depending on available bricks. The model arrives in seven pieces and just needs slotting together. The staff were well versed on the models and we were happy to listen to them explaining it all.
It was a great exhibition that he really enjoyed, as did hubby and I. The detail in the models was amazing. A blog post may follow. 





Friday

Finally got round to finishing the first of the animals that will go onto Spud's cross stitch blanket as she is currently the only grandchild without one. Was planned to be ready for her birthday next month but that did not happen with the weeks of not being able to use my arm. 

Not quite sure why it says to use a different colour for its second ear but wish I hadn't 







Saturday

Making thr most of my Saturdays off, won't last much longer. We took a drive to Irvine to look in a couple of charity shops, buy a few bits in the supermarket and walk the dog along the beach. She was off her lead pretty much all the time we were there, happy enough to have a sniff with another dog but makes no attempt to play with them. Still plodding along in between us and not venturing to far away. She was sniffing at this pipe so I shouted her through it to come to me, and then hubby shouted her back to him. 




Have done an update on Dixie if any of you want to read how she is getting on, more doing it for me than any one else but some of you may want to read it. 
Sorry four of my seven pictures relate to the dog.


Pop up Pirates by Tomy

The twins have just turned four and they are getting to the stage where they are learning to play more complex games.

So when I was approached to see if I wanted one of four games from Tomy I chose Pop up Pirates as this seemed ideal for them.

  • Welcome aboard, me hearties! Pop-up Pirate is the classic action game that's a barrel of fun!
  • Players take turns to carefully slide their coloured swords into the barrel...
  • If you send Blackbeard flying, you're out of the game. Last surviving pirate wins the game.
  • No one knows when the pirate will pop up next! It's different every time.
  • For 2 to 4 players.

I have noticed over the last few months when playing other games that we have how much better they are at taking turns. Also have to laugh to myself when playing games involving pairing up upside down pictures how they will tell you where the partner is when it is your turn and they know. But they are very good in general at taking their turn. 

So whats in the box?
  • a pirate
  • a barrel
  • 6 swords in each of 4 different colours
The swords are attached and need to be twisted off but only takes seconds to do. 




The instructions are very simple, pop the pirate into the top, turn it round  and then push in the swords. The bottom of the pirate looks like it should slot into something in the barrel and I was temporarily confused by the turn it round as I could not see anything it will slot into. Turns out you just pop it in and that is it. 




So I took it down to the twins house and they were excited to play a new game. 

The rules are very easy for them to follow. They chose the colour of swords  they wanted,  pop the pirate in the top, and start pushing in the swords. To start with they were not pushing them in quite far enough but the soon picked up on pushing them in right up to the hilt. 
Now as this was a new game they were not interested in taking turns, they just wanted to keep pushing them in to see what happened.  This is understandable at their age and the idea of any game is to have fun and not necessarily to play by the rules as such. 



They got very excited by the whole pirate popping up and Miss Dinky was very competitive with it and loudly shouting "you die I win" to her brother every time she won. He was more excited about the pirate popping out and getting to push the middle of the barrel back down that the actual winning or losing. 




I went back down again on Thursday and played again with them before taking Bob out for a few hours. Mr Minky does not have the same sticking power as his sister after less than ten minutes he wandered away. He added to the game by bouncing the pirate round the barrel and putting the swords in the top. 

Dinky played away for ages and found it hysterical every time the pirate popped out. 

The game is great as it is educational on so many levels. Learning is easy at their age, counting, colours, sharing, taking turns and having fun at the same time.This game covers all these concepts. 
 They do not even know at this age that they are learning, they just see it as normal day to day stuff. 


Friday, 9 February 2018

Dixie's progress in month 1

I wrote about Dixie's first week and you can read about her here.

What we did learn about Dixie from her first week is she is quite nervous, jumps at doors and things as well as leaping back from her bowl when eating if our shadow passes over her. We know she was not top dog as some of the others in the house had much bigger personalities than her as well as being older.. She would just take herself off when people came in to the house and let the more dominant dogs take all the attention. .

So our biggest challenge we picked up from week 1 is the need to socialise her, get her use to as many new people and places as we can.

Friday 19th ( Day 8)

Tonight we took her down to DD1's house once the three wee ones had gone to bed. This was to see how she would react  to the grandchildren in their own house. I sat on the floor with her to reassure her everything was ok. She did some low growling but nothing major. She did not have any problem with DD1 and SIL1, just the children. She did end up relaxing enough to take some cold meat from Fifi's hand. She certainly has more reserves about Bob than she does Fifi.
She did a No2 while out on her lead, first one we have had on a walk.


sitting in the sun


Saturday ( Day 10)

Today we gave her two new experiences. Firstly we took her to Pets at Home to get her a new jacket. They allow dogs in and so we spent time after we had selected the jacket meeting people and their dogs. She does not seem to mind too much being approached by adults, sadly we did not see any children in there to test her.
Then we went an spent an hour on a crowded beach. Lots of dogs to meet, lots of things to snoke at and lots of people to meet. She happily stood while we chatted to some owners, again she was quite happy to be petted.  We passed one child and she growled as we walked by.
In the evening we went back down to DD1's. This time we let her off the lead and just left her to get on with it while we sat and chatted. Had a low growl at Fifi as she walked round her, Fifi was ignoring her and looking away. Then just before we left I popped her front paws up on the chair Bob was sat on and Bob got to stroke her and there was no growl at all. Maybe because he was sat and not really focusing on her? So all good stuff today.
She also did a No2 on the beach. First time on her lead.


watching dad clear the snow off the car from her perch on the back of the couch


Monday 22nd ( Day 12)

Tonight we took another walk down to DD1. We took her round a different road than she has been on before. Tonights socialisation was learning that people at bus stops are no threat . She was not keen on walking past people at the bus stop either on the way there or back. So I picked her up while we stood and chatted and she was quite happy for the people to stroke her and talk to her and then quite happy to sniff and walk round their feet when I put her back down. She now keeps walking when a car passes instead of stopping and then watching it as it goes behind her 
When we took her into daughters house we let her off the lead and she was more relaxed tonight. in the house. She again was happy with the adults. When Fifi crouched down to talk to her she did not growl but did not approach her either. When I picked up Dixie she was happy for me to walk towards Fifi, she allowed Fifi to stroke her and talk to her and even happy to be held by her. But when I had hold of Dixie if Fifi walked towards me then she would growl. But still positive steps forward. 



with a tug toy 



Tuesday 

By now she is going into her bed when ever we come into the living room with food. She has learnt this very quickly. She also know she gets a treat when we have finished and we call her out of her bed. 
exploring round the fishery 





Wednesday 

Had Dixie out at Auchincruive. There is an area there that has a 6ft high wall all along the road side so we knew she was not running out in front of traffic and a chicken wire fence along the inside so she could not go any where. We let her off lead and was calling her to us regularly to get use to coming back when called. Bits of chicken every time she returned was a good incentive. 
She is not overly happy with hubby being out of her sight. he has been in the garden a lot of the day and for some of that time she has been in with me she takes a while to settle down when he is not around. 
running free 



Thursday

Had her back ay Auchincruive. Her recall is not brilliant yet, don't really expect it to be. If she was on the trail of something then she was not taking much notice of us but she was never overly far away. 
Took er down th DD1 when the three wee ones were still up. Just to see how she goes. Dinky is not a dog lover she has had a fright with one jumping on her in the past. So we thought if she met a very small dog who was afraid of people it might help. She was happy to put treats down in front of her but would not touch her. Minky was loving her, right over stroking her and feeding her treats from his hand. She did do some small growls but not aimed at the children. 
SIL1 came up ans he got a few growls in the garden but she was fine as he passed through the house. 



looking for things in the fallen tree


Tuesday 31st Jan

We met next door in the street. The little girl E has spoken to Dixie through the fence but never met her out and about. If I picked her up she would growl a bit, but if down she allowed E to stroke her. 



keeping out the way of the hoover. 

Wednesday 1st Feb 

DD2 was down to visit for a few hours. The dog was not overly pleased with her coming in but she was a lot better than she had been two weeks ago when Bob visited. We applied the policy if she barked she got popped into her cage for a few minutes. The door was not shut and we shouted her back out, and repeated the process as required. She was a lot more relaxed and comfortable enough to fall asleep in her cage and did not bother bringing herself out. This we can live with. Sadly we do not get a lot of visitors to practise this with. 
She was not happy if DD2 approached her cage and would bark. It is still more scared and is not aggressive. 


sitting on the arm of the couch watching through to the kitchen

Thursday

Had her out for a good long walk. Took her to the walled area at a local country estate and for all we did not meet anybody else in the field she was happy to come back most of the time when we shouted her. I have started with hand signals as well when I call her to me for a reward of a piece of chicken. 
She has growled a few times today when she has been sat on the couch with hubby when I have entered the room. 

She is less worried by traffic going past and will walk past people now without having to stop and panic when people pass us. 

She is now happy to jump out of the car but still reluctant to jump in. Generally now I put her in, strap her in and then give her a piece of chicken. 



running towards me when shouted for a bit of chicken 



Wednesday 7th 

Today is the first day we have left her.on her own. She has never in her nearly two short years been truly on her own as there were other dogs in her last house. So we left her while we nipped down to DD1's house for hubby to help her with some work and I was going to be watching Bob and Spud. So we went down I got the children ready and we walked back up here. She was on her own for less than half an hour, but we do need to build this up over the next while. When we came back up she was happily lying on the back of the couch, her favourite place when the sun is out. I got Bob to let himself in to see what she would do. This again is a first time somebody has come in when neither of us were in. She yapped at him for approx 30 seconds and stopped. I stood outside for a few minutes to see if she would come to him when he called her, but she did not. Did not want to leave her to long so I went in with Spud after about two minutes. She had a growl when Spud came in but no more yapping, all good positive steps forward. We sat here for fifteen minutes or so and she stayed sat on the back of the couch with the odd low growl but that was all. 
We walked back down the road but she would not walk next to the buggy so I got Bob to push the buggy and I held her lead. No growling at all when we got back to daughters. 


with a chew in the sun 

Thursday 8th

Today we planned to leave her in the car by herself to see how she would cope. Not a lover of doing this but weather not warm enough for her to overheat in the car, nor cold enough she was coming to any harm. We also had Bob in the car and she has not had anybody in the back of the car beside her before this, so another first for her. We gave her a fifteen minute walk before we put her back in the car. She was happy enough to walk along side Bob. We were going in to see a Lego Brick tour that was in a local gallery. We could see the car most of the time from where we were. If other dogs went past she was looking out of the window, but most of the time she seemed to be n the back parcel shelf. She had wandered through the car as there were muddy paw prints on the leather seats, they will wipe off. 
She got another five minutes after we came out to have another short walk.
Had her in DD1's house for about five minutes as well. There were five under fives in there, two of them she had not met before but no growling from her, even when Dinky was stoking her bum, Minky stroking her head and Jess sat in front stroking her, with Dixie licking her snotty nose....yeuch. This is a great step forward for Dinky. 



with her harness strapped into the back of the car 





So in the last three weeks she has gone from yapping for over two hours when Bob was in to little growls every now and then when people are in this house. She will now keep walking when a vehicle passes us. More often than not she will keep walking when people walk past, and she is happy for people to stroke her when she is out on her lead. She loves to be off her lead running and enjoying herself and is really only on her lead now when we are near roads. 
She now jumps into and put of the car. Associates hubby putting on shoes as a sign something good is happening and gets excited and looks forward to having her harness on and getting out. She will now also jump out the car in the driveway and walk round the back to run into the house without her lead on as well. 

We have found out she prefers meat in either jelly or loaf form but not keen on ones in gravy. She is not a big eater, but is not losing weight so not bothered by that. She does get some of her food quota from treats of chicken and liver that we feed her when she is out. She eats pieces of pear and carrot but not banana. She no longer jumps back from her bowl when she is eating if either of us approach and will happily eat away while we do our own thing in the kitchen. 

learning about a towel when she comes in wet 


She sleeps in her own bed all night now without making any attempt to come up on ours. 

 As part of her training we leave the door to her cage open, the cage is up the back end of the living room so she can wander in and out as she feels like it. We pop her treats and chews in there and we are hoping this will give her somewhere to go that she feels safe and secure if she feels uncomfortable when we have visitors in. She does take herself off there during the day and look for what has been put in there for her. 

I would say that is pretty good going for only having had her for four weeks today. 

We are hoping when the light nights and warmer days come in that we will meet more people and dogs and that she will start to play with other dogs. While there is no aggression towards other dogs she does not show an interest in playing with them either. 

The only minor issue we have is occasionally she growls at me if she is sat with hubby. It is a scared growl rather than an aggressive growl. I have no idea why she does it, maybe once a day, not all the time. I have given her no reason to be scared of me and I am the hand that feeds her. She is also happy to curl up on my knee for an hour or more. 


Sunday, 4 February 2018

#MySundayPhoto 4th Feb

Not the most stunning picture, and not crystal clear but clear enough for you to see the beauty in it that I saw when I got up this morning. The moon with clouds round it giving the impression of coloured rings.




I use a point and shoot that costs less than £100 so I am pleased with how it turned out.


Photalife