Monday, September 20, 2021


 Today I will be making sure everything that can be moved into the garage is, before the painting starts TOMORROW!

I've been asked a few times lately for the recipe for my baked carrot dish, so here it is:

ABOVE:  You need to to cook quite a few carrots btw.  I never do 'amounts' in recipes usually, but to help you, for every 3-4 cups of cooked, mashed up carrots I'd add 1 large chopped up onion (cooked already), 1-1 and a half cups of grated tasty cheese, 1 dessertspoon of fresh herbs, sprinkle of salt and 2 beaten eggs.

We seem to have a 'problem' with our dogs.
Lately we've noticed Coco was getting very overweight.  She is usually around 6 kilos.  We cut down the amount of dinner we were giving them, to try and help keep her weight down.
But she is still gaining weight.
Stew weighed both dogs last night and they are 8.8 kgs each.
That is way too heavy for their breed.
I am very confused.  How have they gained so much weight in just the last few months?
Then... a POSSIBLE reason popped into my head. 
Over the last few months, EVERY NIGHT, after we feed the dogs and put them to bed, Marley immediately goes outside and starts barking for no apparent reason.
It's become quite a problem.
I've had to lock her inside overnight sometimes just to keep her quiet.
We now wonder if she is going outside, barking like crazy and getting fed by a neighbour? (Coco too)
We may be 100% wrong of course, but it's about the ONLY thing we can think of.
Their weight gain CANNOT be explained any other way, other than someone else is feeding them.
So, some sleuthing is gunna happen over the next few days and nights.  I need to get to the bottom of this.

Now... it is time to get up and make the most of today... cos tomorrow we will be living with PAINTERS... dust and fumes.  YES!!!!

All my plans could change at the end of today!
A person with Covid was in the Waikato (our area) over the past couple of weeks.
Children in the household caught it.  Went to school infectious.  
YEAH.  That means we could have a Covid cluster in the Waikato.  It may have been spread far and wide by people unwittingly by now.

If that has happened, and we won't know for a day or two, we will be going back into a harder lockdown.
And for me that means... painting/renovations are on hold.
Just my luck.
On a positive note, it might mean Stew is working from home again.  And I like that.
I pray it doesn't happen though, because this affects so many people's lives, livelihoods, mental health etc.
Not to mention those who actually catch Covid, and all that entails.

Lightening it up a bit.
Yesterday I played a prank on Steve.
While he was working in the bathroom I did this:

ABOVE:  Then I went into the bathroom wailing there was water all over the kitchen floor!
Steve rushed out... saw the 'water', and called me a 'PSYCHO'!
It was rather funny.
I wonder what I can get him with next time?
It is SO handy having a Steve in the family.
He tee'd up a plumber to come and sort out the vanities and toilets for me.
The guy came this morning, plumbed off the pipes so the old vanities can be removed and told me what I needed to get in relation to new toilets.
He will come back and install both once the painting is done, and when the flooring is going down.  Timelines have to match up.  
It's neat to have professional help and advice when needed.

So at some point this morning I will go out and find and order the new loos.  Another duck will be lined up!

ABOVE:  All this shit was in the bathroom vanities.  I'm going to go through it all and throw out anything that's not been used in 2 years.  That should reduce it by half.

My job after that is to take everything out from under the spare queen size bed, so that it can be moved into the center of the bedroom, giving the painters room to do their job.
IF they can still come tomorrow.  IF IF IF.  Grrrrr.

Great morning!
I went to Mitre 10, talked to a nice bloke about loos... chose the loo I liked.
They have them in the store, so I will be able to pick them up tomorrow.

ABOVE:  I know you really don't give a 'shit' what toilets I bought (excuse the pun!)... but well, I show ya everything so, there ya go.

As I was about to leave the carpark I spotted Lacy.
So we had a quick wander in the mall.
I ended up grabbing a few items for Christmas presents.

ABOVE: That was rather fun!  So bright and cheerful.

Lacy came back to the house with me and she got all the linen from under the spare bed for me.

ABOVE:  It is such an awesome bed.  You can fit heaps under there!
Anyway, it's now ready to be dismantled and put in the garage... just before the carpet company arrive, so not till the end of October, all going well.
So the 'hide the money' saga between Lacy and I continues.
She was left holding a $50 note that I hid in her car the other day.
Today she hid it here:

ABOVE:  Under a chair cushion.
But... while she was getting the linen out from under the bed... I hid ANOTHER $50 on her car.

Just waiting for her to find it now. 
AND AGAIN... I win.

DOGSTARS:  Our Covid outbreak was pretty much contained to our largest city (Auckland) and the numbers are coming down nicely.
But sadly one person has entered anther region while infectious.  So there is the potential for it to spread again.
Time will tell.
Oh and NO!  Coco cannot possibly be expecting!  She was spayed years ago.  
AUDREY: NO, lack of exercise would not make the dogs gain that much weight.  They get the same amount of exercise NOW as they did months ago.
NOTHING has changed.
ABOVE: Amanda and Liam at A & E.  Liam is a bit under the weather, so Amanda got him checked out.  He's fine. Not got the dreaded COVID.

2 pm:  And look who's been, sussed out the job, had a yakkity yak and will be back at 7 am tomorrow morning:

ABOVE:  The painters.  Yaaaaa.  AND they assure me that even if we go up to Level 3 tomorrow, they can still do the work!
So thrilled about that.

DOGS BARKING:  Just to clarify something.  IF Marley barks for longer than 15-20 minutes we lock both dogs inside overnight.

We do not inflict their barking on the neighbours at all.  

ABOVE:  This kiddo called in for a visit this afternoon.  He ended up staying for a snack... then dinner.  I sent him home with a couple of beers and Sugar Free Cokes.  He's set for the evening.
Almost time to feed the dogs and put them to bed.  And watch what happens, if anything.

And... Marley went outside after bedtime and barked for a little while, but nothing happened.
Grrrr, I will watch again tomorrow night.  
I have to get to the bottom of this mystery!


  1. My neighbor had that problem and her very smart Golden had figured out how to open the dog food bin (chow down quietly) and then close it again.

  2. Can you set up cameras or motion detector lights? If a neighbor is doing this, they have created a terrible terrible problem for you.

  3. Oh NO! I don't want New Zealand to have Covid! Neither do you! My son's friend got Covid (college age) and she is what they call a "Long Hauler". She has no energy and can barely leave her bed since December. She had to drop out of college and move back home because of it!

  4. Is your dog "expecting"?

  5. Anonymous10:22 AM

    If the Government moves the rest of NZ into a higher level then I expect poor old Auckland will stay in Level 4 - they really have had enough. Hopefully it will be contained to a small cluster as some of the household has tested negative. Dogstars, New Zealand already has Covid - over a thousand cases in Auckland and smaller clusters around the country. Pushing people to have vaccinations really hard and hopefully that will work. Chris, funny about the water bottles with Steve but don't bite the hand that feeds you - you don't want Steve to get fed up and give up on you (I don't think he will but you never know!!). Have your dogs been getting less exercise lately because our dog has put on quite a bit of weight because she hasn't been having her usual walks in the forest - getting back to normal now. Audrey

    1. Over 1000 cases? I didn't know it got that bad. I have watched envious as New Zealand was the only safe place on earth. If it is out of control - I guess it will be like the rest of the world. Which sucks. Bad. 1 in 500 people in the USA have died of this now. Get vaccinated. I have a college age friend who is a "long hauler" she was perfectly heathy and has now been bed ridden since December. Had to drop out of college and move home.

    2. Lock Downs are GOOD. I don't think anyone wants to have all the hospitals full and no ICU beds. A Texas man died a week ago after having a heart attack and the 43 closest ICU units were full (of unvaccinated patients cough cough) and could not take him. A year ago we were where you are now. At least vaccines are available now. Lock down. Stay home. Mask up. Get vaccinated. And keep those cootie ridden visitors in hotels for two weeks like you had to do a year ago! I am done with my rant. But New Zealand has a chance. The rest of the world does not at this point. I guess I wasn't done. Oops.
      Okay - the dogs.... Why are they fat? Do they have boyfriends? Do they need more exercise? Did they want some extra snacks because of doggy stressors? Is it their age? I got fatter as I got older.....
      I don't think a few water bottles are gonna scare Steve off - haha. From what I have read he is already working on a bigger and better prank!

  6. My daughter played a similar trick on her husband she put a leek in the cupboard under the sink snd called out to him in a panic saying they had a leak under the sink, funny but he wasn’t impressed.

    Hope you don’t go back into

    1. Sad he wasn't impressed! I love playing pranks on my kids. Fingers crossed we don't end up in lockdown again for sure!

  7. Anonymous12:48 PM

    I mentioned exercise because our dog, Silva, is half greyhound and half labrador and you know how labradors can eat and we hope that it is lack of exercise during lockdown rather than old age because she is starting to suffer from arthritis. I hope it isn't your neighbours because that would be a crazy thing to do - all three of our cats have died recently (all the same age) and we now have three visiting cats which look hopefully at us hoping we will feed them - no way, Jose. Audrey

  8. Nice toilet :) How wonderful to be able to go shopping. I can only dream...

  9. Love the loo 🤣❤️

  10. It will be interesting to see if it is the neighbours. If so, it's a strange way of dealing with barking dogs!

  11. You for level 3 in Auckland m, hopefully my painter will be back to finish in Wednesday 😁

  12. Anonymous3:22 AM

    Eek,hope the old covid does not wreck your decorating plans now you've got everything organized. I love how NZ homes have vanity units at the sink - it's not common here, we mostly just have a pedestal instead, but the vanity means you can store all the lotions and potions out of sight - great idea. We had our first family get together since covid struck - a 60th birthday party in a barn with dancing and all. It was fabulous fun but all suffering from achy hips and knees as it's been a long, long time since we had live music and could dance Scottish reels. There was a burger van on site plus a guy making fresh pizzas to order....yum. Much chatting and laughing with all the rellies fair perks you up but us oldies feeling the lack of sleep ! Hope you manage to find out what's happening with the dogs - that's a strange one.
    Jane G


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