Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Oh, Stuart

Yesterday I looked out the kitchen window to see a familiar black shape standing up on her hind legs and yanking at my last surviving broccoli plant.


I ran out with clappy hands and stompy ugg-boots and gruffness aplenty.  Ellen ignored me, but I managed to push her away before she had completely destroyed the plant.

There were two florets left.  Very small florets.  Really small.  The size of large grapes.  Or very tiny watermelons.  Or, like, if you had the skull of a monkey, but it was solid, and then you chiselled away most of it.  They were that size.

So I decided I would eat my two florets in a stir-fry.  I chopped up a selection of other vegetables, and then realised it was news time, so I put down my knife and went into the lounge to watch the headlines.



I went back into the kitchen and there was a half-chewed broccoli floret on the floor, and cat hair on my chopping board.  I picked up the last broccolus.  One pathetic broccolus.  I started to laugh hysterically, and then I was crying, and then I felt a little pop in my brain and I couldn't feel my left arm for a bit but I was strangely soothed.

$500 building a "dog-proof" garden.  Three megalitres of water to sustain it.  Nine hours lovingly picking grubs off the underside of leaves.  One happy dog.  One happy cat.  One floret of broccoli.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Oh, Ellen

Ellen has been a very good girl lately, which makes for poor blogging.  But on the upside, my blood pressure has dropped, I no longer sit in the car with big eyes of fear and clenchy tummy of dread before venturing out to open the gate, and I've stopped grinding my teeth.  I've even stopped looking at the RSPCA website to find a better dog.

Ellen has been so good, we've even started to go to the local oval for 'Yappy Hour' each day, where she runs around OFF LEAD, and has made lots of new friends.  Some of them are big and slobbery, and some are small and annoying.  Just like my friends!*

Such is my new found sense of inner peace that I'm able to start to delight again in the beauty around me.  And one of the things I noticed this week is that our vegie garden has started to yield some very pretty, and some very tasty things.

The rocket has gone to flower, but that's OK.  Nobody likes to actually eat it.

And a very cute little cauliflower was peeking out from behind its leaves.

It reminded me of that song:

Cauliflower, cauliflower,
Vegetable of Satan,
I hate yooooooouuuuu,
Vegetable of terror,
Vegetable of nastiness - 
or are you a fruit?
Either way, you are dreadful.
Except with cheese sauce.

And broccoli!  I noticed that we had grown a rather magnificent broccolus, and thought I might harvest some for my dinner.

Alas, when I went out with my knife, I found something had been nibbling at it. 

But who had taken such delicate nibbles?  Was it one of our possums?  A hungry cockatoo? Or the guy who reads the electricity meter?  It didn't really matter.  What mattered was that it made me really angry.   I was really angry and I also had a knife.  And then I thought about all the other things that made me angry and my inner calm disappeared.  But there was nothing to stab, so I used the knife to put my broccolus out of its misery.  

And so I had a half-eaten broccolus in one hand, a knife in the other, and that twitch I get in my left eyelid when I'm losing control.  And I was saying things like "nnnng," and "raahhrr."  And grinding my teeth.

My fury lingered, but it wasn't long before the question of what to do with the molested brassica resolved itself with a pleading look and a waggy tail.  What harm can it do? I thought, Ellen loves vegetables, and broccoli has to be better for her than the other things she eats.  Like fence palings and small stones.

So Ellen got to crunch it up and enjoy its deliciousness.

Silly me.

Silly, silly me.

Of course, Ellen now has a taste for broccoli.  So what did I find when I came home the following afternoon?

Ellen.  Very pleased with herself.  In a sea of green.

Ellen had pulled the plant up by its roots and chewed it into a million pieces.  She had also tried the cauliflower, but as it was not as tasty, she simply chewed the top off the plant and spat the florets back into the garden.  

This is where both plants used to stand proudly.

I have to go now.  I need to spend some time on the RSPCA website.

* my OTHER friends, obviously.  Not you.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

The Only Blog Post Created Today That Doesn't Mention The Election.

Yesterday we had a garage sale.  As always, I was amazed by what people will buy, and how little they want to pay.

There was some rare treasure to be had.  Like the novel that had been "Made into a disturbing erotic film starring Kris Kristofferson."  Or the underpants emblazoned with the Guinness logo that a lady bought for her future daughter-in-law.

There were also what I like to call "non-premium" items.  One of the things I sold was a stuffed dog I made for the Fella many years ago when I still had enthusiasm and motor skills.  He wasn't a real dog, but he was really stuffed.  We agreed to get rid of him because the Fella said he had a scary face.  And he was right - the dog had maniac eyes, an overstuffed head and strange lips that were quite undoggy.  He looked a little like Jeff McMullen, but much, much uglier.

This is probably the mental image you have, but please try a little harder.  He looked nothing like this:

A lady bought him for her grandson.  She said the dog looked angry, like he wanted to bite her, and she hoped he didn't frighten the little boy.  I was going to ask why she would give a youngster a toy like that, but I held my tongue.  A sale's a sale, and I needed that two dollars.  But for the rest of the day I kept thinking how much she must dislike that child.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Lessons From My Cat: #1

These are the top ten things to do if you are angry:
  1. Narrow your eyes to slits and try to make lasers come out of them.
  2. Belt your favorite toy around the kitchen, and when it goes under the dishwasher yowl and yowl until your person gets it out with a broom.  Repeat.
  3. Wait until your person is carrying something hot.  Grab her leg and sink your teeth in.  You can precede this with one of your banshee yowls if you like, but the element of surprise is then ruined.
  4. Pee on the dog's bed.
  5. Vomit.
  6. Cower and run away from your person when she has guests.  This will make them think she beats you.
  7. Wait until the dog's bed has been washed then pee on it again.
  8. Make sure your bottom is hanging outside your litter tray.
  9. Ignore the expensive cat grass your person has bought for you.  Then, when she goes out, pull it out of its pot and trample dirt through the house.  Then vomit.
  10. Wait until your person is carrying something hot.  Growl when she walks past.  Enjoy her reaction.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Ranty Time

Nothing annoys me more than the predictable comments people make when they're interviewed on the news.  Well, a few things might technically annoy me more.  Like Lady Gaga's 'Poker Face,' which I can't get out of my head even though I don't know the words, so it's just a constant loop of  'naaa naaaa nuh nuh daaa da.'  And also it annoys me that I was thinking about the film 'Brewster's Millions' today, and I can't remember how it ended and whether he managed to spend a million dollars a day to satisfy the absurd terms of his inheritance, and now I'll have to watch it, and I don't have time.  I. DON'T. HAVE. TIME. GAAAH.  Also I'm feeling all fluey (as in 'coming down with an influenza-type illness,' not 'chimney-like'), and when I'm feeling fluey I tend to rant and eat too many biscuits.  It also annoys me that I've run out of biscuits.

So anyway, when there's a genuine shocking event anywhere, the networks wheel out the same concerned mum with a toddler on her hip to tell us earnestly that it's such a quiet neighbourhood, and she never expected anything like that to happen here.  Really?  Where did you expect it to happen???  Just once I'd like to hear someone say, 'He was a terrible neighbour - really aggressive and weird.  I'm not at all surprised by what happened.'

And why bother asking people how they feel about interest rate rises? Of course people don't like them.  But they never ask the person who says 'No - the interest rate rise doesn't really put any pressure on my family.  Although, if rates keep rising I may have to sell one of my investment properties.'

And it doesn't stop there: there isn't a famous man who died who wasn't a top bloke, there has never been a cute cat that was rescued from under a house that didn't use up one of its nine lives, and any sporting loss can be attributed to a persistent calf strain, rather than a lack of talent.

I have to go now.  I think I have some cookie dough in the freezer.

naaa naaaa nuh nuh daaa da.....

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Lessons From My Dog: #26

The best places to poo are:
  • on the front lawn of the house where the accusing old lady parts the curtains and glares at your person
  • on top of ivy, long grass, prostrate grevilleas or anything else that ends up with the poo getting mooshed through the vegetation when it's picked up
  • in front of a group of schoolchildren
  • anywhere - if it's your second poo and your person has run out of bags
and my new favorite, premiered today:
  • on top of another dog's poo

Sunday, August 1, 2010


I have a very fixed routine in the morning.  Anywhere between 4:00am and 7:15am Stuart starts sniffing my nose, licking my hair and banging the curtain cord thingy against the wall.  When he starts sniffing my nose a second time I get up.  I go into the kitchen, where Ellen sleeps, and she greets me like she hasn't seen me for months.  Then Ellen rolls over for a bit of a belly scratch, and as I loosen the detritus I tell myself I must remember to book her an appointment with the dog-wash guy.  I let her out and wash my hands.  Then everyone gets fed, I shower, scoff some breakfast and head for the door.  When I've reached the door, I realise I haven't checked Stu's kitty litter tray, so I huff a little and go back to see what surprises he's left.

So all was going according to schedule one day last week.  I poked my head in the laundry and saw the litter piled into a very neat little midden.  Sigh.  I put my handbag on the floor and picked up my trusty crap shovel.

But something wasn't right.  The litter flowed freely through the holes.  There was, quite bluntly, no poop to scoop.  I shrugged, and put down the shovel.  Then I turned, in time to see Stuart, tippy-toeing like a Warner Brothers villain, with a piece of banana cake in his mouth.

My banana cake.

Stolen from my handbag.

When he saw he'd been spotted he took off as quickly as a morbidly obese cat can when it's carrying half its own weight in cake.  I eventually caught up with him under the dining table and reclaimed my cake.

Evil genius.

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