Thursday, 28 March 2013

Turnip Brain strikes again

Is this the world’s stupidest dog?

I’m starting to think so. Guess where she is today?

At the vet’s. Being operated on. Again.

Remember the chicken skewer disaster last year? Baby Duck dropped his chicken skewer, she pounced and swallowed it whole. Expensive vet bills ensued.

Just one of those things, you think. You can’t really expect a dog not to try and gobble manna from heaven, can you? Shame Baby Duck wasn’t fast enough to grab the skewer before she did, but what can you do? A once-in-a-lifetime freak accident.

Or not, as it turns out.

No, Baby Duck hasn’t dropped any more skewers. Two Planks just seems to have even fewer brain cells than we’d thought.

On Monday she vomited a couple of times. Nothing unusual there – till the Carnivore noticed weird streamer-like things in it. White, about 5 mm wide, made of some kind of light plastic or fabric. We wracked out brains but couldn’t imagine what she’d eaten, or where she’d found it. Could some packaging have blown over the fence from the building work next door? It seemed unlikely, but what else were we to think? She will occasionally chew on things she finds in the backyard, but she doesn’t eat things out of the house – not since her puppy days.

Except now she does, apparently.

Yesterday morning there was more vomit and she wouldn’t eat breakfast, so we took her to the vet. Still mystified, we showed the streamer thing to the vet. It wasn’t until Drama Duck came home that we identified it. It was ribbon. She’d left a spool of it on her bedroom floor after a friend wrapped a present on the weekend. The next day she’d noticed the spool was broken and empty, but just assumed her friend must have used more ribbon than she’d thought.

I’m still shaking my head over this one. The chicken skewer I could understand. That was food. But ribbon? What on earth possessed the stupid animal? Who sees a spool of ribbon and thinks hmmm, that looks tasty?

So today the vet has the delightful job of hunting through her innards for it. Who knows how much is in there? 10 m? 20? It was originally a 50 m spool, but we don’t know how much was left on it when she decided to chow down on it. Several metres has already been up-chucked all over our backyard, but there’s obviously still enough in there to block up the works.

The vet tells me he’s known dogs to eat padlocks, mobile phones, even remote controls. Ribbon seems almost tame by comparison, but unfortunately, being long and linear, it's a devil to get out again. Stupid bloody dog.

Has anybody else got any good stupid-things-my-pet-has-done stories? Please tell me I'm not the only one!

Friday, 22 March 2013

Depilated Demon Duck

Well, she’s done it. Determination and feverish fundraising have brought her total raised to $150.50. At this rate she may even top $200.

Her school is one of the biggest fundraisers in the state, with their combined total currently standing at over $36,000. Twenty-one girls shaved their hair off in the school hall this week, with many more colouring their hair red, blue or pink.

Today it was her turn. She went from this:

to this:

I’m surprised you didn’t all hear the squeals of glee from wherever you are. To say she was excited to see her new look doesn’t begin to cover it. She bounded off to the nearest mirror like Tigger on speed, and the shrieks of delight echoed through the house. She is not a child who believes in hiding her feelings. Thank goodness she was happy with it, or things could have got ugly!

I have to admit, it does look good. Let’s hope it doesn’t wash out too quickly. The packaging refuses to be pinned down: “colour will last from three to thirty washes”. They couldn’t manage to be just a little more specific? There’s a bit of a difference between three and thirty! Might as well just say “we’ve got no idea how long this stuff lasts – probably not as long as you’d like it to, but we’re not giving you your money back if you’re not happy, so there!”

Fingers crossed she gets to enjoy the reward for all her hard work for at least a few weeks. Myself, I’m quite looking forward to my own reward – I get to stop making friendship bracelets. I’ll hardly know what to do with myself!

Might even have to do something radical like getting back to work on my Nano novel.

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

New Zealand through a quilter's eyes (Part 1)

Lines, patterns, colours. Sometimes a quilter’s holiday snaps focus on things that don’t interest the average tourist.

Take this wall down by the docks in Auckland, for instance. It looked like it had been made out of old weathered packing crates.

The Carnivore just shook his head. Why are you taking photos of this piece of junk? But I thought the soft aged colours were beautiful.

Then there was this building nearby. Patterns of lines and colours. Very cool.

At the aquarium the jellyfish looked like an abstract painting, softly glowing.

Or maybe some kind of alien life form? So pretty!

We took the ferry to Devonport quite unexpectedly, having to fill in a couple of hours before our harbour cruise one morning in Auckland. Imagine my delight in finding a whole row of poles along the street covered in crochet! Naturally I had to embarrass my family by taking scads of photos.

Aren’t those frogs just the cutest?? I just love that there are people out there who see a whole bunch of plain poles and think wouldn’t it be great to cover those suckers in crochet? So whimsically pointless, but why the hell not?

Further north I was taken by the light through foliage, particularly the marvellous umbrella-like spokes of the ferns.

Out on the beautiful Bay of Islands I loved this pop of bright orange against the blue water. This photo doesn’t do justice to the colour of the water there, though, which was a glorious deep blue, shading to a clear green in the shallows.

So much colour everywhere! And of course I’m all about the colour, so I loved it. I have lots more pretties to show you, but I’ll save them for another post lest you die of old age waiting for the page to load.

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

D is for Determined

Everything’s relative, isn’t it? If I’m starving to death and you offer me boiled potatoes, I will wolf them down and think them the most delicious thing I’ve ever eaten. But if I’m accustomed to eating at five star restaurants every night, your boiled potato offering might seem plain and uninteresting, even offensive. Same boiled potato, different circumstances.

Demon Duck has many fine qualities, but some of them are definitely boiled potatoes. Take her determination, for instance. It gives her drive, it makes her see projects through – it will probably take her far in life. A great quality to have, yes?

But the other face of determination is stubbornness, and the child will argue till her last breath when she’s set on something. When you are the parent of a determined child, that fine quality can seem like nothing more than a humungous pain in the butt. And when you add high intelligence to the determination, what do you get?

Rat cunning.

I tell you, this kid’s teenage years are going to give me more grey hairs than the other two combined.

She started asking me months ago about getting her hair dyed. I said no, and gave her all the reasons: bad for your hair, have to keep doing it once you start to cover the regrowth, too expensive. She accepted that and didn’t nag, but every now and then she’d mention how much she’d like to dye her hair that really bright fake red.

Meanwhile she pondered ways and means, never letting go of the idea.

Enter the World’s Greatest Shave, a fundraiser for the Leukaemia Foundation. Several girls at school were signing up to shave their heads, raising money for the foundation through sponsorships. But if you didn’t want to shave your head, you could still raise money by pledging to dye your hair a crazy colour, like … oh, I don’t know … bright red.

You can see where this is going, can’t you?

I had to laugh, really, but I wasn’t going to be a pushover. No hitting on her grandparents for ten bucks and calling the job done. I said she could do it if she raised at least $100 (though only with a temporary dye that would wash out after a few washes).

Not being terribly outgoing, she was quietly horrified at the prospect of asking people for donations, so we came up with the idea of making friendship bracelets for her to sell to the girls at school.

Here’s just a few of our creations. We’ve each made about 30, and Drama Duck made a handful too. I’ve spent so much time making friendship bracelets lately it would have been easier to just give her the money, and almost as cheap, considering how much I’ve spent on cotton and beads. But I think it’s a valuable experience for her, having to work to achieve her goal, and she’s certainly put in a lot of effort. So far she’s raised $66, and still going strong.

D is for Determined Demon Duck.