Wednesday, 27 December 2017

A Break from the Festivities

Rain, just about sums up the kind of weather we had on Christmas day. It seemed that whoever is in charge of Christmas was running behind schedule as, on Boxing day, we woke up to about three inches of snow. Missy loves snow. So I feel like we did get out in the end for a lovely walk, even if it was a day late! (Queue snow photos for the rest of the blog!)

This year the hubby and I put our foot down and said that no, we didn't want to go visiting, we weren't going to be glorified taxis and we certainly were not hosting. Finally, on the year of our tenth Christmas together, we got to have it to ourselves, just us and Missy. I do enjoy seeing people on the day, but I will confess that to just wake up and gently trundle through the morning without panicking about picking people up for set times or that all the presents had been rounded up and were in the car, was pure bliss.

It's that weird part of the festive season for me - it being the three 'normal' days between Christmas and New Year. Its business as usual in the household as both myself and the hubby are back to work and I will admit to enjoying the shorter commute. Still, with another four day weekend around the corner, its tough to keep your head in the game and keep on top of work, the house and chores. We had our 'resolutions' conversations last night and I think I know what I want to do. Last year I made an effort to see friends and family more, and to ensure that the time spent wasn't just doing jobs for other people, but actually socialising.

So next year? Well, I begin a new job at the end of January. I want to use that as a chance to break bad habits, and to start taking better care of myself physically and mentally. I think it'll be tough to make myself take time out just to relax - there always seems more jobs needing doing, but I think it will be good for me to stop fretting, at least for five minutes. 

We'll have to wait and see how it goes. I've told Missy her resolution is to stay out of trouble (she did well this year, only one big vet bill), but I can tell from that little glint in her eye that her ambition to annihilate the grey squirrel population is still at the forefront of her mind...

Wishing you all a Happy New Year, and all the best for 2018!

Monday, 18 December 2017

Teepees and Christmas Cards

Just a short post today - knowing that this time next week it will all be over has put me in a panic. There's been lots of baking and all the little odds-and-ends jobs that are so easy to neglect have suddenly come to my attention. So this week has been spent mostly double checking presents, wrapping the last few pieces and writing out the Christmas cards.

Missy 'helping' with the cards
There's been a lot of craft work over the last few weeks - the cat re homing place we got Ziggy from for my sister were looking for some winter donations so I put together some cat quilts. And then I had to make Missy some quilts so she wouldn't feel left out! Hers are the bottom two:

I am particularly pleased with the Monster High one, I will confess! The other big project for Missy has been a tee-pee! Now, let me explain before you automatically label me a crazy dog lady, as Missy was a stray, she cannot be left alone with access to the bins, so she has her bed in the hall under the stairs (like a little Harry Potter doggy, but with way more space!). 
We do try every so often giving her the living room, but she just cant help herself and after a few days of lulling us into a false sense of security will just decimate the bins. And I mean decimate - rubbish will be strewn throughout the ground floor of the house, its like she knows she's going to get into trouble so just goes daft. The worst one was the icing sugar. Icing sugar has a magical property whereby an empty bag can make it look like its been snowing in my living room and turn a black dog completely white. That was when she broke me, it was too funny to be cross, but it took hours to clean fully...
But I digress. It basically boils down to the fact that my kitchen door is one of these silly folding doors, and as the style is no longer made, I am not buying 5 new doors just to replace it. So Missy has the hall and access to a nice sunny spot on the stairs when the weather is nice. I've always had a curtain over her 'bedroom' to keep it warm at night and, with the -12C we had last week, noticed she was actually pulling the curtains into her bed and curling up in them.
I will not have a cold doggy! So, with the aid of this tutorial and some very rusty math skills in order to scale the whole thing up to make one large enough for Missy, I present to you, her tee-pee!

And one with her just chilling out inside:

It did take a small bit of bribery to try it out, but once she realised her bed was there and that this was her new 'room', Missy has taken to it really well. She seems to have figured out how to open the flaps herself to cool it down during the warmer nights and also how to close it up herself and, when she's had enough of all the cheesy Christmas songs, has been putting going there of her own free will to chill out.

I have also realised its plenty big enough to be a photo prop for my smallest niece and nephew - I'm thinking of having them as Tiger Lilly and one of the lost boys, and for Missy, well, she'll have to be Peter Pan! Perhaps if they visit in the summer...

I'm hoping to get another post in before Christmas, but if not, have an awesome day however you chose to celebrate it!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

Cramond Island

Apologies for the delay - I've had the in-laws visiting this week and its been a bit more chaotic than usual. Missy was pleased to have her uncle Flash visiting, although he is getting rather old and grumpy - at -8C today, I cant blame him for not wanting to play.

Yesterday was the only day we could all manage to go out together, so we decided to go for a walk over to Cramond Island. Locally it is well known as you can walk over the causeway at low tide and easily access the 1/3mile long island and it had strategic importance in both the World Wars - most obviously seen by the large concrete anti-boat booms.

It was a cold day, but clear and crisp. Both the dogs enjoyed getting in everyone's way and stopping for cuddles from every passerby and the humans of the group argued over whether we could see sand pipers or dunlins and everyone agreed on the oyster catchers. Its about a mile long walk to get to the island, and we were very aware of crossing times, as its easy to be caught out by the incoming tide and get stranded. 
We also all agreed on the heron!
We made our way to the highest point of the island where we got a good view of all the bridges (with three now at the same point, its rather unmissable!). All the signs have been removed, so we're assuming that they are getting updated to include the new crossing. The MIL was anxious not to get caught out by the tide (I perhaps should have saved my story about a friend-of-a-friend who had to be rescued by the coastguard after having a BBQ there until after we had visited the island) so we didnt loiter long. 

Flash is also feeling cold these days, and he was rather thankful of the open fire we found at the nearby dog-friendly pub. Missy conceded defeat and allowed him the prime spot, although it meant she could loiter beneath the table, so I think I'll call it a draw!

In other news, our sneak approach to Christmas seems to be working. We haven't had any anxiety problems yet and Missy has been quite chilled out. And here is a picture of her with the very special VIP we met the other weekend! (apologies for the cropping!)

How many pups get to meet santa?