Books & Bugs

Books take up much of my time, the reading of them (a little, I will endeavour to read more), the writing of them (a novel slowly coming into existence), and promoting them (I have mobile office full of them, my little car would probably run better if they weren’t loading her up!). Yes books. I look around this room and can so so many books, some mine, some my husbands, some ours, some just seen to have been there forever, with no-one to call them their own. But whoever’s books they are, they’re important in the household.

Bugs though, neither husband nor I claim ownership of any bugs that come into the house. If he sees them, they’ll be sprayed to death, if I see them, well, I’ll encourage them outside if I can, and just ignore them otherwise. Huntsman spiders, them I’ll actually take outside before they’re killed inside. I don’t mind having these useful spiders in the house, but hubby still has a bit of a thing about spiders, and he gets rid of them forever, dead and gone. I don’t like mosquitoes, but they like me, although I don’t remember too many problems from these pests in the summer just gone. Lower rainfall perhaps?

Yes, I’ve just gone away and checked.ΒΒ There has been very little rain so far for 2018, and low rainfall means fewer mosquitoes. I try to be kind to all of Nature’s creatures, but those pesky mosquitoes … They make it hard to like them, that’s for sure. I love the amazing ability given to those of us who have decent internet, to be able to wander off to easily find records and information, without having to do more than key in some words, and click on some keys.

Anyway, bugs … The big black bugs that are on my blog, along the top of the page, we certainly have plenty of those around still.Β  and here it is again:


I saw one near the front door yesterday, that fortunately was heading away from, not towards the door. I don’t mind these bugs either, but again, I put them outside, to both keep them out of the way, and also to keep them safe from the possibility of insect spraying from the one with the trigger finger … I wonder, does he resent these freeloaders coming into our home, uninvited? After all, the mortgage is paid for with his money, so I suppose that’s fair enough, in a way. I’m the one trying to be Zen about creatures in my life that want to share with me, not him.

I wonder whether I could write a book about these things? Zen and the Art of Insect Acceptance … What would the Buddha do with these tiny invaders? I doubt very much he’d spray them with toxic chemicals. Am I really going to start thinking about writing a new book about these things? No, I don’t think so. I suspect there would be research required, and research is certainly not my strong point. I know enough about good research, to know that a one minute Google search, and then a five minute reading of one of the results, that is not research, it’s flaffing around, a method much more appropriate for a totally non-serious blog, such as this one. If you want top class research, you’ll have to go and look somewhere else …

So, on with books. I am a writer and poet. I even have a book out, a poetry collection “Tense & Still”, where insects, including mosquitoes and spiders are mentioned, as well as some warm-blooded creatures. It’s a book published by an actual publisher, and if you’re interested, it’s available here:Β

I have some other books that are self published. If you want these books, you don’t go to a fancy website and order and pay for them online. I have three self-published books that I wrote with Buster the Dog (not a real dog). I also have a blog I started when I wrote the first of these books The first of these was “Dig it! Gardening Tips for Dogs”, the second one was “Doggone it – Mindfulness from a Dog’s Point of View” and the third was “Dog Buddha’s Thoughts”. These books are illustrated by Allyson Hean, she’s a friend of mine, and we decided to self-publish these books way back when our sons were at Primary School, a long, long time ago. In between these three books, I wrote and had published the “Tense & Still” book, and another one, a memoir about my diagnosis with Multiple Sclerosis. This book has its own blog too.

If you want these books, you have to let me know, and we can organise things by email or but comments on this blog, or any of my other blogs … email is probably best, I check my emails regularly – that is my email address.

I think that enough for now, Missy, our dog, is sounding a bit restless, and it’s time for us both to go outside to get some of the lovely sunshine I can see outside, it would be a shame to waste all of it and not get some myself! I’ll see how many bugs I can find out there!

dogs, Uncategorized

Poor Missy, Sad Dog …

IMAG0275_1.jpgWe hope that tomorrow, when we take Missy to the vet to see how she’s going after her operation to remove two lumps, that the cone around her neck can be removed. Missy has had this around her neck since the operation last week, and she doesn’t like it at, not at all.

But the so-called ‘cone of shame’ stops a dog from scratching at a wound, or licking it, depending on where they have been affected. Missy is managing this challenge well, and seems to be feeling better and better all of the time since the op. Roll on tomorrow afternoon, and possible freedom from the dreadful cone.

Our dogs trust us, and we try to do the best thing for them, if we are good dog owners. Missy is a good dog and deserves the very best from us, the bosses of the pack. That’s the nature of the dog human connection, we form a pack, and fit into our positions, and life goes on well, if we play our parts properly.

Do you have a dog that you love, I’d lover to hear about it if you do, feel free to leave a comment hear!


dogs, Uncategorized

Please, Not a Snake!

I let our dog, Missy out into the backyard today, and saw she quickly turned into hunter mode, ears forward and tail up and wagging slowly, the way it does when she’s thinking about ‘getting’ something. Missy is a hound, and hounds are hunting dogs; Missy knows this well, it’s in her DNA.

I didn’t know what what Missy was so keen about, but I feared it may have been a snake, a brown snake. Missy and brown snakes have a past – the one in the photo was a victim of Missy’s hunting instinct. She caught it, and it bit her. Missy lived, but did enough damage to the snake, that meant it was too slow to get away, and we killed it, before it killed anyone.


Missy collapsed and we quickly rushed her to the vet, ringing them as we drove there, so they would be ready. This was two years ago, and I’m so glad that the vets did a great job, and after the antivenom treatment, and an overnight stay, Missy was well again and ready to try to find another snake. DNA is DNA and she will probably never learn not to try to kill snakes …

But I was pleased to discover the reptile that had attracted Missy’s attention had four legs, and though it could have bitten her, if she’d got too close, its bite would be painful, but not fatal. Missy came away from it when I called her, and I’m glad the lizard appears to have left out garden, or at least hidden itself away somewhere else …

I was glad when Missy came back inside with me, where she got back on her sofa to recover from the excitement.Β missy slightly bemused

Reptiles and dogs, at least dogs like Missy, who is a Pharaoh Hound, they will probably not be friends the way that cats and dogs can become friends, under the right circumstances. But lizards or snakes and hunting dogs, I don’t think so. If anyone actually know about a dog who’s became pals with a reptile, I’d love to hear about it, please leave a message telling us about it!

birds in garden, Uncategorized

My Weather, Beautiful, not Crazy


Today I had one task I had to complete, and am glad to say, the job is done, and well done! What was my successful task? Well, all I had to do was to water the potted plants in the backyard, including this jade tree in a pot. This involves letting Missy our into the backyard, to run around, sniff things, and do what she had to do. If she does what she had to do, it was my task to deal with that in the usual way (pooper scooper).

So yes, Missy and I went outside, into different parts of the the garden – Missy sniffing thing, running around a little, and mostly having a fun doggy time (and yes, pooper scooper duty promptly done). Once that was done, I switched on the tap, which has a hose attached to it, then I look the hose fitting to spray the things that needed to be watered.

There are flowering things, herbs, strawberry plants in hanging baskets, and a variety of different plants in different stages of life (or in some cases, death). When you have a garden, it’s almost inevitable there will be wonderful instances of rebirth, but also deaths of things that will never regrow. I thing our two tiny little olive trees in teeny little bonsai pots are in the never to be reborn group., victims of too little water and too much heat in pots that are too small.

We have plenty of more olive trees though, popping up all over our property, compliments of the birds that eat our olive fruit, and deal with the seeds in the usual, natural way. I saw one of the strawberries was looking ready, but before I got too excited about eating a homegrown fruit, I saw that a bird had been there before me and took a bite out of it. It didn’t seem anywhere near as yummy then … I’m thinking of how I can rig up something to stop the birds from eating our strawberries. Graham brought strawberries home from the shop recently, but they don’t taste anywhere near as good as our home frown ones taste …

We have some shade cloth and I’m sure I should be able to fashion some kind of shelter from some of that. I have to check with the chief gardener first though, he may have some other plan in mind for it. I don’t really mind sharing our produce with the birds, after all, I get lots of enjoyment when I can sit outside on the comfy sofa there, watch and listening to the birds … The birds are happy, and I’m happy. Of course Missy is happy when and if she can catch one of the birds to eat, which doesn’t make me anywhere near as happy, even though that too is a natural thing … Nature isn’t all flowers and sweet things …

So that’s it, I’ve got a meeting coming up later this afternoon, and I’ll hand the house back to Graham when he gets home again soon. Missy and I have enjoyed being the in charge of everything ones this morning, and I get to be the in charge of everything person, at the writers group meeting later! I love my life, sunshine, happiness, loved ones, friends, and lots of birds flying all around! Oh, and Missy too, of course!