Yes I know its been one and half months since my last post - the end of June and July were horrendous so for now we'll just pretend that nothing happened during that time.
Anyways today's post is rather fun although some people might think that I'm such a meanie making my lovely kittykins and puppykins wear outfits! Don't worry I only put the pink hoodie on to Miss Holly for the photos - as you can see in the pics below she was quite a sourpuss about the whole ordeal so its now been packed away. Harry on the other hand seems to quite enjoy wearing the little jumper than my mum knitted especially for him. I'll fess up and admit that it was me who went to Lincraft and bought the little blinged out iron-on letters to embellish the jumper for him though! hehehe
One of the best things about having a beautiful puppykins is that you can take him with you when you go out. Harry loves travelling in the car as he knows that there will always be people to greet him and play with him at the other end (even if it happens to be a visit to the vet!)
Last weekend was no exception - we went to visit Mr ex-Kitty in his apartment in the city. Although the former Mr Kitty and I are no longer going out we are still good friends (or at least I like to think so) - in addition I had things that needed to be dropped off to him so Harry and I went visiting. Mr ex-Kitty also still adores Harry Puppy so any excuse to see him will do.
Mr ex-Kitty happens to live right near the Flagstaff Gardens so Harry got a chance to wander around and meet out city dwelling doggies before enjoying remnants of our bratwurst brunch at the Victoria Market. I am quite impressed that Mr ex-Kitty has learnt not only to cook, clean and do household related things for himself but he now also shops at the market!
I posted a while back about the kitty mansion that I bought miss holly kitty last year. Well it turns out she's not the only one who has taken a liking to it. I have a theory that harry puppy actually thinks that he's a cat - he perches on the back of the couch like one, eats leftover cat food and now has taken to climbing the cat tree! (I think it has more to do with the fact that he thinks he can then be closer and therefore more annoying to Holly than him actually enjoying being off the floor!)
During Winter Holly spends most of her day either perched on the topmost platform (especially when the heater is on because the hot air tends to pocket around that corner of the living room) or curled up in the little hammock - I'm actually surprised that she still manages to squash her amply proportioned kitty frame into it but she fits in somehow - LOL!
I have been in search of the perfect dining set for over 3 years now - the problem was that it had to 'go' with the rest of the modern furniture in my house and yet be small enough to fit into my teeny tiny lounge/dining area. Anyway a few months ago I found it - at Myer of all places and it was exactly what I was wanting - alas it wasn't on sale so I decided to leave it and think it over. Then a few weeks later they had a spend and save promotion which included furniture and yay I ended up getting the whole set at 33% off the original price!
Unfortunately when it was delivered no one bothered telling me that there was 'some assembly involved' - I ended up spending one entire afternoon becoming very well aquainted with the allen key and screwdriver in putting it all together! Here are some before and after photos - and as you can see Miss Holly Kitty has taken delight in perching her furry bottom on the table! Here is a little catch up from Easter - the potential new Mr Kitty delivered a lovely surprise Easter basket to me filled with all kinds of goodies. Look at Miss Holly Kitty's expression! hehehe!
It will be 3 months tomorrow since my last blog post and boy has there been a lot to catch up on! Here is a quick list of some of the things that have happened during Autumn 2010 (in no particular order). I promise to write more blog posts and post more pics of my wonderful Harry and Holly soon.
1. Harry passed his Basic Obedience 1 exam yesterday - yay! 2. I now have a fancy schmancy iPhone (although the quality of the photos are pretty poor at least its a lot more convenient than using my camera most of the time) 3. I bought a shiny new bicycle at the beginning of April and managed to surprise myself by not falling flat on my face despite not having been on a bicycle for close to 20 years! 4. Holly has had 2 bouts of FLUTD (Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease)resulting in multiple visits to our lovely and very good looking local vetinerarian - thank goodness for pet insurance as! She's back to normal now at least :) 5. Mr Kitty moved out of the kitty abode and we are no longer together 6. After 3.5 years the kitty abode has finally been furnished with the addition of a dining table (and chairs)! Now my guests no longer need to sit on the couch and eat off their laps! 7. With the departure of Mr Kitty that also meant the departure of the ridiculously sized 46" fancypants tv - so I had to buy a new one (it's only 32" though - so sad) 8. Not really an item but yes it has been a very expensive last few months with lots of big ticket item purchases! 9. I am now on a strict budget trying to save up for a trip to New York at the end of the year to see one of my besties and her soon to be here addition to her family! 10. I have started seeing a potential new Mr Kitty (and he is lovely) but it is still early days
Confession - I had to google just then to make sure I had spelt 'burglar' correctly! I think I may need to re-subscribe to one of those Word-a-Day' type newletters to improve my vocab and literacy skills!
Anyways while harry puppy was at the beach here's what miss holly kitty got up to over the weekend.
This is actually my next door neighbour's house that she is trying to sneak into - good thing there are flyscreens on the windows otherwise I would have a difficult time explaining to my lovely neighbour S. why there happened to be a large ginger cat wandering around her house!
Going to the beach has always been one of my favourite pasttimes however mr kitty with his vampire skin has always been sun-phobic so over the last few years the opportunity has rarely presented itself. With the arrival of harry puppy I imagined much more frequent beach visits alas this has not been the case...
The misskitty abode is located about 45 mins drive from the nearest beach and given the unseasonally cool summer we have had in Melbourne this year plus the fact that local councils only allow dogs on certain beaches at off-peak times (ie. before 9am in the mornings and after 7:30pm in the evenings) a trip to the beach is only possible when all the the above plus other uncontrollable external variables (namely - my levels of tiredness and hunger) all align favourably.
harry puppy loves travelling the car (I must do a post on this at some stage) and is always excited at the prospect of going somewhere new. The beach was no exception. This is actually his 2nd beach visit - I forgot my camera last time.
Unfortunately he's not particularly keen on swimming although if there are other dogs in the water he will reluctantly wade in and then dog paddle out to ensure he isn't missing out on anything. harry puppy is far more interested in chewing seaweed, jellyfish and other miscellaneous slimey objects which have washed up on the shore (ick!) and of course digging.
Sorry about the blurry photos - its definately tricker than you may imagine trying to juggle a wriggly harry puppy with taking cute photos and avoiding dropping everything into the ocean!
The name pretty much speaks for itself - this ingenious device is designed to eliminate the pesky problem of pet hair being shed everywhere.
I have known about the Furminator for some time now however have only ever seen it sold at pet shops or at vet clinics for around $60 - a ridiculous amount IMO to pay for a grooming tool even if it is for my darling miss holly kitty or harry puppy. However over the course of the past few weeks I have reached a point where I can no longer tolerate the copious amounts of animal hair being shed all over my teeny tiny house. Remember I have dark stained floorboards and pale furred animals - these two things do not mix unless you happen to enjoy being able to see every single skerrick of animal hair.
Click here to see the Furminator website - when I first saw the after pictures I thought "what a gimmick - there is no way you could ever get that much hair off a dog/cat without resorting to subterfuge means like shaving it off!" Despite this I found an Australian seller on ebay who was selling them for $18.99 + free shipping (for the medium size) - I figured surely there are no fake Furminators around and for that price if it doesn't work well never mind really...
Anyway behold the magnificence that is the Furminator:
Yes I know what you're thinking - Holy Cow! There's enough hair/fur there to knit miss holly kitty a jumper made from herself!!! It is also grossly captivating how you can get that much undercoat from such a teeny tiny furry animal in just one sitting!
Unfortunately the Furminator wasn't as much of a success with harry puppy - he doesn't have much of an undercoat so I am still on the hunt for the miracle grooming tool for him.
And to end with here's a video of miss holly kitty eating the fruits of my labour - ICK!
I'm sure by now you will have figured out that my kittykins and puppykins are the apple(s) of my eye and very spoilt. Miss holly kitty was originally an only child and as such I indulged her terribly - behold the magnificent cat tree palace that was her 1st birthday present last year.
Isn't it fabulous?!?! There are 7 stories including a cubby hole, it stretches floor to ceiling, and most even features a hammock for all those daytime catnaps. There is also an extensive scratching post network to ensure she keeps her claws sharp and pointy! It does however take up around 2 square meters of precious space and is also the first thing visitors see when they set foot through the front door - ugh. Nonetheless because miss holly kitty loves it to bits and spends most of her day perched on the second highest platform looking down her kitty nose on the rest of us it gets pride of place in my teeny tiny abode.
Can you believe that I have never bought a whitegood item in my life before? I couldn't either until I went refrigerator shopping last Sunday. Come to think of it I don't think my mum has ever bought a fridge either in the whole time she has been in Australia (around 28 years now!). I've somehow always managed to acquireprelovedwhitegoods from generous family members - 2 fridges from two different aunts not to mention 1 washing machine + dryer from one of the aforementioned aunts.
Anyway my beloved Whirlpool 257L fridge which neatly squeezes into my teeny tiny laundry between the washing machine and sliding door had already shown that it was on the verge of giving up the ghost in the week leading up to last Christmas. It was 35 C on Christmas Eve eve and I had done all my grocery shopping in preparation for 2 consecutive days of festive feasting for friends and family. Instead of getting home and unpacking the turkey, hams, deli meats, fruits, vegies and ice cream into Mr Whirlpool I had to resort to an elaborate system of eskies and cooler bags and sporadic visits to the local liquor store for bags of ice. Despite this Xmas (well the food department anyway) went reasonably well and none of my guests became violently ill with food poisoning or the like. Post Xmas I was um-ing and ah-ing whether or not to buy a new fridge to take advantage of the Boxing Day sales when Mr Whirlpool decided to come back to life again. Unfortunately it was only to be temporary - I had a month's respite before Mr Whirlpool decided to permanently depart to the realm beyond.
So after a frantic Sunday morning running around and looking at fridges before going home and to read reviews online and discovering Appliances Online, I am now the proud new owner of a Fisher & Paykel 248L fridge. Although he takes up the exact same footprint as Mr Whirlpool, has fancy glass shelves, makes a beeping truck reversing noise when the door is left open too long, and even matches the rest of my F&P family (washing machine, oven, cooktop) I'm still ambivalent however I'm sure over time I'll grow to love and depend on Mr F&P just as much as predecessor.
Here is miss holly kitty saying farewell to Mr Whirlpool in her own catty way:
So yesterday was Australia Day... Mr Kitty managed to snaggle himself tickets to the tennis so he went with a mate from work leaving me to enjoy my day off with the animals - ah bliss! I love nothing more on my days off than to potter around the house and garden uninterrupted.
Harry puppy loves it when people are home although he ends up completely exhausted by dinnertime and takes himself off to bed. He started the day with a lovely long walk - there is a beautiful sanctuary and lake nearby so we generally go walking there - he also likes 'visiting' his doggie neighbours and saying hello to them through their fences/under their gates. As most of my neighbours were home he also got to run up to everyone for lots of loves and hugs while I was in the garden. The afternoon mostly consisted of napping while curled up on the furry rug ontop of the couch. Last but not least he finally had a long overdue bath - look how nice he looks afterwards! (just don't tell my neighbour that he's been traipsing through her pansies!) Miss holly kitty is an indoor cat however she loves her little garden 'outings' which I allow her on when I'm home. She loves hiding in among the plants and watching insects and other creepy crawlies parade by her. She generally doesn't venture very far which is a good thing although lately she has taken to perching herself on top of the garden shed to give her the best vantage point to look down her kitty nose on the rest of us.
I also achieved the near impossible - I got a photo with both of them together in a single frame! Here they are sun-ning themselves by the back door. harry puppy is quite the poser isnt he?
I've always dreamed of a walled garden (think the children's book The Secret Garden as well as the scene from the movie Notting Hill where Hugh Grant and Julia Roberts scale the fence into a private garden) and for the time being this is it. No, it's not your traditional completely enclosed private garden with ivy/ficus covering the walls but this is at least a good starting point - hopefully one day I'll eventually have the real thing.
I can't seem to locate any of the before photos of the courtyard however suffice to say (based on state of the house as described in the previous post) it did not look anything like it does now. The whole place was grey and drab - dull concrete pavers surrounded by a 20 year old unpainted paling fence. There were a few random flower beds here and there yet nothing grew in any of them. Basically it all had to go - like the inside of the house I wanted to eradicate all traces of the house's previous inhabitant(s) and make it my own.
I knew that I wanted sandstone style pavers - with such a small space you want it to look as bright and light as possible. These pavers were $$$ - just this lot here cost over half a month's pay and that was just the pavers by themselves. These pavers were also ridiculously heavy - they came shrinkwrapped in a pack of 3 which weighed around 40kg per unit (so more than 10kg each!). The poor guys who delivered the these had to unload each of these units by hand and stack them in my carport - it was ridiculous that the garden supply place that they worked for didn't provide them with a truck and forklift to ensure that they avoided any manual handling issues with unloading such heavy loads. I was tempted to contact Worksafe to let them know about the dodgy working conditions however I was worried that all it would do was stir up trouble and cause problems for the two guys involved. Anyway with the help of my mum's paving man the whole place was transformed in less than a week.
As you can probably tell I like pot plants - well its not so much that I like them but up until now I had moved house 3 times in 5 years and when you know that where you're living isn't going to be your 'permanent' home then you tend to keep things which can easily be picked up and moved elsewhere. The one problem I am finding with my pot plants now is that I have such a random collection that most of them really don't 'go' with each other (hence the whole still being forced to live in a pot) - I am yet to figure out where to position each and every one of them aside from the magnolias which you can see planted in the far garden bed. I also hate the idea of letting the ones that don't fit in wither up and die especially since many of them I have nutured in their pots for the better part of the last decade!
No, the kennel here isn't one that I bought for harry puppy to 'grow' into. It was from my greyhound obsession phase. When Mr Kitty moved in and had Foxtel connected I discovered the Sky Racing channel and most nights they show greyhound races. I loved watching them race and then I found out about the Greyhound Adoption Program (GAP) where you can adopt ex-racing greyhounds as pets. At the time I wasn't completely sure I wanted a permanent dog however they have a program where you can 'foster' a greyhound. Fostering a greyhound means that you're essentially helping it through the transition phase from being a racing/working dog to a family pet. If you fall in love with your foster greyhound then you will also have the option of adopting him/her. It's kind of like trying before you buy - pet ownership is a big responsibility (especially dogs) and this way you can know for sure if you are really ready for it. Anyway the I bought the kennel especially in preparation for fostering a greyhound (see I told you I liked buying things!) - its a state of the art canine home complete with red colourbond roof! (yes I've been known to stare at it just like the tv commercial! lol)
Stay tuned for a not so distant post featuring my foster greyhound 'Peggy' soon.
Well here it is - nothing fancy but it is a place to call my own.
I love my teeny tiny home and have tried my best to make it as lovely as possible. The house didn't always look like this though - when I first bought it the previous owner was an unemployed chain smoking, non-stop tv watching stay at home bum and you should have seen how disgusting the place was...
Every single wall was permeated by nicotine - it took endless bottles of sugar soap and mutliple coats of paint to remove all traces of this however the smell took much much longer. I remember coming home from work the first summer after I moved in and the house absolutely reeked despite me leaving windows open all day.
The carpet throughout was horrific and there was a mysterious stain in the middle of the lounge room floor that looked as though something had died there - it had to go. Underneath however lay a real gem - solid hardwood tasmanian oak floorboards. I had them sanded, stained and polished and my floors are now stunning. The only drawback with dark floorboards is that they show up ever skerrick of dirt, dust and pet hair!
The kitchen paid homage to the most frightful colour imaginable. Now I'm normally a pink girl however this was like no pink I had ever seen before - it wasn't quite salmon, not quite apricot but something completely barf-worthy. Unfortunately I am yet to assail total anhiliation on this with it being still visible on some of the door trimmings and floor skirtings. The remainder of the kitchen however has been replaced by flat pack cabinets (one of the best inventions ever!) and while this will never be my dream kitchen (think glossy white 2-pac cabinets with granite benchtops, canopy rangehood and freestanding oven and stovetop) it is a vast improvement.
Unfortunately after having both the floors and kitchen done (plus all the painting inside) prior to moving in I ran out of money to renovate the bathroom. Instead I was forced to wear flip flops into the shower for the next 6 months (despite going through litres of bleach trying to rid the germs of the previous inhabitant) and put down a toilet paper barrier between me and toilet seat every time I had to go until I could save up for a new bathroom. I will never forget the first day in my new bathroom - it was heaven!
Looking back now there are some things that I would've definately done differently (Mr Kitty has caught me on numerous occasions staring for no reason at either my kitchen or bathroom - little does he know that dreams of french doors and a freestanding bathtub are what preoccupies my mind!) but I guess that's the beauty of hindsight.
I am forever grateful for being able to fulfil my dream of owning my own home (or at least having the bank own most of it for the time being) and buying my place before the insanity that is the current Melbourne housing market kicked in. In fact I am also extremely grateful that the place was in such revolting condition which kept most prospective buyers at bay and made it relatively affordable. That said if I ever do decide to sell I think I would merely be trading like for like rather than being able to upscale.
Well the title of this post is a little misleading since it would be near impossible for me to cram all my fabulousness (not to mention the lesser fabulous aspects as well) into such a tiny space however here are some things you should know about me:
I live in a very tiny 2 bedroom unit in the eastern suburbs of Melbourne with Holly, Harry and my other half who will henceforth be referred to as Mr Kitty (ie. making me Miss Kitty).
I'm a homebody and a bit of an all round sloth especially after coming home after a day at work - I like nothing better than curling up on the couch underneath my furry throw rug and lazing around and watching tv. I have a tendency of taking inappropriately timed nanna naps in the evenings and then having an inability to sleep later that night.
I love cooking and baking however due to the aformentioned laziness I find I have a set repetoire for everyday meals. Also since Mr Kitty is super finicky and has no appreciation for the finer culinary delights it just all becomes too difficult. I do however make exceptions for dinner parties and especially for Christmas where I will go all out to try and make up for my paltry effort the rest of the year.
I adore animals however little miss holly kitty is my #1 - I never thought anyone could surpass her predecessor mr kitty (white and furry feline mr kitty not human mr kitty) but I love her more than anything else in the world - human mr kitty does not like hearing this one bit! She is just the sweetest and most beautiful cat in the whole wide world. poor harry puppy comes in a distant #3 in the household.
I love gardening - I find it relaxing but also a challenge at the same time - the never ending war against pesky slugs, snails and weeds, trying to somehow keep an English style garden alive in the Melbourne summer heat while being a law abiding citizen and complying with our 3A water restrictions as well as trying to maintain splashes of colour throughout the year.
I am a self confessed shopaholic. I love sales and will drive almost everywhere throughout the eastern suburbs of Melbourne and beyond to look for an item on sale in the size/colour that I want and not rest until I have it. My shopping addiction doesn't just stop at clothes, shoes or beauty/makeup either - it extends to homewares, kitchenware, furniture, gardening paraphenalia inc. plants/bulbs etc. Even the humble grocery shop excites me b/c I never know what I might find on the reduced to clear stand tucked away in the back corner of the store. Unfortunately my enjoyment of shopping has led to hoarding and clutter issue in my tiny abode so I have decided that 2010 will be the year of the declutter for me and I will hopefully be able to overcome this addiction or at least manage my overwhelming shopping tendencies for the time being.
Well I think I've covered all the key points for now however I'm sure I will have more to add in future posts to come.
Unfortunately I don't think Holly was overly impressed when a small fuzzball in the shape of a dog arrived at the beginning of September 2009. Although she was like twice the size of him to begin with she kept her distance afterall what dignified cat would allow themselves to be jumped, pawed and slobbered on by a DOG!?!However they do now get along (well sort of...) and I think they may eventually be wonderful friends once harry puppy learns that miss holly kitty does not appreciate being barked at!
I'm not sure why but harry never gets a 'mr' in front of his name whereas holly gets a'miss'. Harry was born on the 4th July 2009 and came all the way from a lovely breeder in Trentham (which is about a 2 hour drive north-ish of Melbourne). He's a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel with tan and white markings however the snooty name for that is 'Blenheim'. He's a complete social butterfly and always wants to be the centre of attention and adores both people and other dogs.
Here are some of my favourite photos of miss holly kitty during her kittenhood. She was adopted from the RSPCA in April 2008 when she was around 10 weeks old. Most ginger cats are boys while tortoiseshell cats are girls however miss holly kitty is quite the exception! As you can see she is incredibly agile and oh so naughty at getting to places that she shouldn't be and of course I spoil her rotten with all her kittycat playthings.
Follow the story of Harry and Holly - my dear little furballs who are taking over my teeny tiny abode.
As for me well I'm a 30s something girl living in the leafy eastern suburbs of Melbourne learning how to juggle all the ups and downs of finally being a grown-up.