The World Of Bren

My World Seen Through My Eyes And All Kinds Of Other Crap

Destruction Of My Wrecking Journal

This is a totally new and foreign concept to me. Destroying a book. Like ACTUALLY destroying a book.

Wrecking Journals are all about this.

I accidentally discovered a Wrecking Journal site on the internet and then fell upon it on YouTube and was totally fascinated. I had never heard of this before and I thought it a bit strange but probably because I didn’t really understand the concept. There were images of an actual Wreck This Journal being shown and I had definitely not seen this journal in any of our local shops.  I was mildly curious…with an edge of anxiety over the thought of “do you actually wreck this book? How can that be possible?”

Literally 2 days after stumbling onto the Wrecking Journal sites I found THE BOOK in our local book store! I was exhilirated although I still didn’t get it. I paged through the book and read the instructions and I was anxiously fascinated. I put the book down. Walked around the shop. Picked the book up. Showed my husband. Got a strange look. Put the book down. Left the shop.

But this book bothered me.  I went back. I picked the book up. I bought the book. I could not resist.

So, that evening I sat staring at the “book” in my lap and wondering how I was going to get over myself to slowly destroy it.  Books are treasured, protected, worshiped territory to me.  I could not do this. It goes against every natural fibre of my being.

But I had bought it and so I must do this thing.

I watched a quick introductory YouTube clip to get me going. I slowly put my Koki pens to the sides of the book. And wrote my phrase.

That was my turning point. Creative Wrecking.

I suddenly realised that I must not think of this as a book of any sort. Books are in a different category.  THIS IS A JOURNAL. A journal is NOT a book. A journal is about doodles, about inner thoughts, dreams, the negatives, the positives, emotions, creativity,  a place to work through emotions….it is not meant to look perfect and beautiful and neat and tidy.  It is meant to look well-handled, used, scruffy, like it is carrying your life. THIS IS A JOURNAL TO BLEED MY CREATIVITY INTO AND ROUGH IT UP IN THE PROCESS.

THIS IS A WRECKING JOURNAL.

I will do this. And I have started with a small bang that has rapidly become an explosion. I am in love.

I invite you to walk through my Wrecking journey with me.

Watch this space.

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She may be a blonde but she is NOT a Golden Retriever!

Her name is Cassey.

I love her with all my heart but she is the blondest dog that I have ever encountered. I think in Heaven when God called out “Please queue here for Brains!”, Cassey misheard and thought “Trains? Why would I need Trains?” and gaily carried on doing what she was busy doing and completely missed the opportunity of being given a full-bodied brain for Golden Retrievers.

I adopted Cassey by default and have had her in my life for about 4 years.  She was just on 2 years old when I adopted her.  You see, I originally had her litter-sister, named Coral, who I purchased from a breeder in Cape Town at the time. Coral also had missed the queue in Heaven for Brains but I think a buddy of hers loaned some to her because she was a tad bit brighter than her litter-sister, Cassey.

We said a sad and sudden goodbye to Coral when she was 1 year and 1 month old. She was knocked over by a car right in front of our house.  It was immediate without any suffering for which I am eternally grateful for.  We still do not know how or where she got out of our property as none of our other dogs have gotten it right in all these years.

Coral & Cassey with their litter mates.

Coral & Cassey with their litter mates.

After a great deal of grief Cassey came our way.  Same litter, same age, but less brain-cells.  The breeder had moved from Cape Town to Johannesburg and Cassey was not coping very well with the continuous thunder storms.  She was spending most of her life on medication for fear and anxiety.  Cassey (and Coral’s) breeder phoned me and enquired if I would be interested in adopting her.  I, of course, immediately said yes.  Why would I not want Coral’s litter-sister?

Cassey arrived at our small-holding amid tears from her breeder and very casually said hello to my other 4-legged FurKidz as if she had known them for years.  My FurKidz must have recognised a kindered spirit or maybe realised she was Coral’s sister because they accepted her with open paws.

Cassey is a beautiful angelic being – just like her sister Coral.  In true Golden Retriever style she has a gorgeous soft wavy coat the colour of pale wheat.  Her colouring is officially known as “pale gold”.  Her ears, tail and back legs are ever so slightly darker in colour.  She has medium length feathering on her front legs, back legs and tail.  She has soft brown eyes the colour of milk-chocolate.   And no brain cells.

Cassey - what an angelic face!

Cassey – what an angelic face!

Such a pretty smile

Such a pretty smile

She may look like a Golden Retriever, but she doesn’t always ACT like one. Firstly, Golden Retrievers are brainy dogs.  No offence to Cassey but she is lacking in this department. The word “sit” falls on deaf ears, “down” is non-existant and the best that she achieves is a hesitant “sit” (after 3 requests) and then gives a slow “high 5” with her left paw – but only at meal times.

Goldies are meant to be gutsy dogs that live for and love their food.  Cassey’s meal times are not exciting for her.  She wags her tail and perks her ears forward towards her bowl but that is the extent of it.  She also eats slowly and carefully which is definitely NOT a Goldie trait!  Secondly, her tail is all wrong. Goldie’s tails should lie on the horizontal with their backs and should wag lazily in this position as well.  Cassey’s tail is like a mast from a ship.  Straight up while standing, walking, running and wagging.  It is like a flag that announces her arrival to all and sundry.  We have very high beds and couches in our home and when Cassey walks behind them anyone can track her progress as the tip of her tail acts as a navigational beacon. Straight up.

Other things that she does are very obviously Golden Retriever so some of the traits have carried through from her gorgeous Goldie parents.

She is clumsy.  We have watched her run head first into a parked car on our property because she has been leaping and bounding along looking over her shoulder to see who is following.  A loud thump was heard as her tough head collided with the car door, she stumbled backwards onto her bum and slowly stared at the car with a thought of “Where did THAT come from?”, which was then immediately followed with the thoughts of “Oh well” after which she leapt straight up and carried on with her leaping around.  No harm, no foul.  She never felt a thing.  Her head is surprisingly solid for something that should protect a brain that is not there.  She has earned the nickname “Cascade” as she tends to cascade into things like an uncontrolled waterfall or “Cavalcade” because she has the ability to make it sound like a large cavalcade of horses is approaching when she is on top form.

She will lie like this for ages - on the grass, on her dog bed, anywhere...

She will lie like this for ages – on the grass, on her dog bed, anywhere…

She spends many happy moments rolling around on the grass or her dog bed on her back, making a desperate scrabbling action on the ground with her front legs and paws.  This is accompanied by the sounds of groaning and grumbling.  It is really very funny to watch but I have never managed to catch it on film.

She produces, what we call, popcorn noises when she cleans herself.  This is achieved by scrunching up her nose to reveal her incisors which she then uses pushed up against her body to gnaw at the desired area.  She breathes out while doing this as well which produces a sound not unlike a popcorn machine with gas.  Talking of gas….she will sit on her bum and happily wag her tail at you while producing small sharp farts with every wag.  Thankfully they don’t smell.  It makes us laugh but the other dogs are horrified and tend to all look in the other direction until she is finished.

She is a polite lady though and will always wait for you to go through a door first, let you lead up the steps and never push past you.  Very often she hangs back until you tell her it is okay and call her forward.

Her other FurBuddies love playing rough with her as her coat and skin are so thick that a good bite around the back of the neck doesn’t so much as get a squeak out of her.  I don’t even think that she notices the other dog tenaciously hanging from her coat.  She is always playing the ham in the sandwich to the other dogs – meaning that she gets pushed between Cheveyo and Kaci during running games with both of them trying to trip her up by grabbing her neck, shoulders or legs. They normally succeed.  And it is a humorous sight to behold as she tends to plough face first into the dirt.

She loves her water!  Just like all Goldies.  The beach, the river, the muddy puddle, the horses drinking bath, the bowl of drinking water…it does not matter how big or how small the water mass is, she will find it and make a plan to submerge herself in it.  She adores mud.  She often comes trotting inside looking like a black retriever and very proud of herself.  We regularly take the dogs to a deep muddy dam near to our farm where they can jump and swim and splash to their hearts content.  I love watching Cassey here as she submerges herself in the water and swims round and round looking like the Loch Ness Monster.

Cassey contemplating life at the beach

Cassey contemplating life at the beach

A selfie of Cassey & me at the beach

A selfie of Cassey & me at the beach

She is a little bit camera-shy when she knows that it is focused on her so her face tends to go all long which you can see in the photos.

Flower-child

Flower-child

Cassey & me on Christmas 2013

Cassey & me on Christmas 2013

Despite Cassey being an odd form of a Golden Retriever, she is unique, funny, gentle, respectful and a truly special lady in our lives.

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I have been Missing In Action…

…but I am back now.

After more than a year of blogging MIA I am on a mission to rectify this sad situation.  What a hectic year it has been with so much going on and so much to do and keep up with.  Blogging (and many other happy hobbies) have had to take a back seat.

I am now recharged and ready to go!

Watch this space!

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I never wanted to be one of THOSE people…

With my career I fly a lot – when I say a lot, about twice in a month and I am away from home for just under a week at a time.  Because of this I have become good at the routines of flying and all the little bits and bobs that go with it.

There is nothing more frustrating than being in the que for boarding your flight at the gate and the person in front of you forgets that they need to produce their identity book or passport.  I always huff a bit when I am behind one such person.  It is rather frustrating while you stand patiently in the queue with your requested items in hand, ready and waiting, and then you have to patiently (not so much in my case) wait while the flustered human being digs through every nook and cranny in their giant bag to find their little magic book.  It frustrates me all the more when I must stand there, required items in hand, and watch while the queue next to me gaily files through for boarding and I think to myself, “Why didn’t I choose THAT queue?”.  Eventually the guilty party recovers their little book, presents it to the checkpoint person, and the queue gets on the move again.  I normally end up trying to now get ahead of the offending person in the walk down the passage to the plane just because if I look at them I get annoyed.  I know, the bitch in me comes out.

I have always insisted that I will NEVER be the person that holds up the que while digging for my identity book.  I will always have all my items ready and waiting to be presented at the gate.  I was a Girl Guide when I was young and my motto is to still always “Be Prepared”. And I always am.  Except for yesterday morning…

I arrived at the airport for my flight on time, a bit bleary-eyed because of the very early start.  I sat down at boarding Gate 2 and promptly hauled out my IPad to catch up on some blog reads.  This was my undoing.  I got so absorbed in reading that when I looked up the queue had formed to start the little dance through the boarding gate.  I hauled my heavy laptop bag onto my back, still clutching my IPad, and walked (while reading) to join the queue.  We all stood in the queue, like cattle in a crush, for a further 10 minutes before being allowed to move through the gate.  This was more than enough time for me to realise that there was an item missing from my little paw.  But my nose remained attached to my IPad and my head filled with words that were not mine.

The que moved forward.  As I reached the check-point I quickly flipped my IPad closed at the last minute, and passed the lady my ticket. The dreaded words were spoken “May I see your ID please?”.  These words filtered through my subconscious like frost settling on warm branches.  I felt cold all over.  I had done it.  I was finally the plague of the boarding queue.  In complete embarrassment, with a furious blush rising on my cheeks, I started the frantic search for my ID book which I had casually shoved into a crevice of my GIANT handbag when I checked in for my flight at the check-in counter without a care in the world.  My bag seemed to get bigger and bigger the longer it took to find the dreaded little book.  At one point I glanced up in panic to the bespectacled gentleman behind me in the queue only to see that same look of frustration, pretended patience, annoyance, aggravation, and disdain that is normally upon my face when I am behind one of the human race that is unprepared at the boarding gate.

Eventually my pawing hand came to grips with the ID book and with a triumphant (but embarrassed) flourish I produced the offending item to the patient lady.  It is important to also note that her hand remained during this entire time extended outwards waiting for the little book.  Her arm must have been tired.  She checked my identity (which, after this process, I was none too sure of myself) and waved me through the gate.

Down the passage I rushed forward to ensure that I did not further aggravate the bespectacled gentleman that was behind me and said a silent prayer that he would not end up sitting next to me. God must have felt that I was sufficiently embarrassed and sorry for my lack of preparedness and spared me the pain of sitting next to him.  I tried to remain anonymous for the remainder of the flight.

So, yesterday I became one of THOSE people.  And you know what?  I STILL hate them.

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When you know that you are dying…but nobody else does.

The flu has been creeping up silently on me for the past week and it has finally dug its evil little claws into my body.  I have been gaily pretending that I have not felt it happening and have been taking the odd Corenza-C here and there to boost my immune system but to no avail.  They say that the mind is a powerful tool – my mind? Not so much on the power-thing.  I have been diligently thinking “I’m not sick, I’m not sick, I’m not sick” but my mind has had other ideas.

I am sick.  My mind knows it. My body now also knows it.

I have resigned myself to the bed.  I am surrounded by my dogs, an old senile cat, 2 members of the CPP and a snow-storm of tissues.

There is nothing more boring than being in bed.  It is worse than watching grass grow.  

My bedside cupboard is cluttered with a variety of medicines which despite assurances of relieving congestion and pain have yet to prove themselves in that department. The throat spray is very entertaining – either there is something wrong with the mechanism or with my aim.  I have a sad feeling that it is my aim.  Or otherwise my throat jumps out the way every time I hit that nozzle.  My husband suggested I use it as a nasal spray…can you IMAGINE where it would end up then??

I don’t think I am a very good patient by any stretch of one’s imagination.  It is not a pretty sight.  I am worse than my husband when I am sick. My husband likes to pretend he is fine – he wants to still do everything he normally does when he is well.  Like makIng coffee, cooking supper, feeding horses, painting figurines, sculpting strange little gaming creatures, as well as working with potent chemicals that burn away all inner linings of exposed orifices.  I, on the other hand, go to 2 various levels of extremes. The first level is deniability. This I try to maintain for a good length of time.  It does work to a point.  But my immune system has never been strong and eventually caves under the pressure. Then we enter level two.  This is where I know that I am dying but nobody else seems to know.  I cocoon myself under the covers which is where I then determine that I need to stay at all costs.

When I state “at all costs” – I really mean it.  I may WANT coffee or lunch but the kitchen is too far and too cold to make it worth the indulgence at the end of the trip. If nobody offers to get it or bring it to me then I just go without.  But believe me, I am not above asking, or begging, for something to be brought to me. If I know that you are headed to the kitchen I will have a little list of important items for you to bring to me. I am not ashamed of this. I would do it for you if you were sick and herein lies my reasoning.

Sometimes a duvet-day is all my system needs to recover. 

When i am savvy enough to admit that yes, I am getting sick, and I take a duvet-day to keep my body warm and my system relaxed then it is just the whack of the nail on the head that my body needs. These are actually wonderfully productive days for me as I start working early on my laptop and continue through the entire day and most of the evening at a fast, steady pace.  A heavy load of e-mails get fired to my reps which results in groans and comments of “Boss, have you found your keyboard again?” or “I heard via my e-mails that you were working late…”  I normally plough through when I am sick and manage really well.

The problem is that when I have been struggling to admit that I am indeed sick the duvet-day is always a little bit too late for my system and then I really hit “woman down” status.  This means that I cannot even attempt to get some work done while sitting ensconced in the bed.  My vision is blurred, my mind is foggy, my ears are stuffed with cotton-wool, my nose is either blocked or running, and I can’t sit up for too long without feeling like I want to pass out. This is how I feel today so clearly no medicine is working any miracles.  I am also answering the minimal amount of e-mails required as I do not trust my judgment or thought processes. This is why I am blogging. It is much safer to continue to embarrass myself to my friends and followers rather than let many of my associates listen to my dodgy opinions and reasoning.

Today has been a long and slow day. I hate being still.  I hate my independence being reduced to lying on my back in bed counting the small spots on the ceiling and looking for imaginary faces in the curtains, cupboard wood grain, or duvet pattern. I am used to doing.  I am used to being on the go, being productive, not slowing to a man-down all-out stand-still…or in this case a “lie-still”. What a waste of a day.  Life is meant to be lived not spent lazing in bed with a head full of cotton-wool. 

Today I have read my book, spent time on Pinterest, Facebook, doodled in my creative book, and am now blogging.  And still I am unhappy and annoyed.  It is days like these where I am convinced that I am dying because surely, this is what it must feel like?  Certainly dying from boredom would be top of the list of experiences.  I very often then ask my husband, when feeling particularly bored, ill and desperate, to look after my FurKidz when I die.  I even go through the list of foods that they eat and the colors of the bags and the shape of the kibbles so that I am convinced that when I die they will be sufficiently looked after.  I then finish off with the statement “Want must die” which I really do want at the time.  Hell must be better than this boredom.  I breathe through my mouth and grumble and groan.  The bottom line is FRUSTRATION.  Pure, no-frills-attached frustration.

Nobody in this household takes me seriously – I’m dying, and they don’t acknowledge it.  I may be long past my Sell By Date and ready to be thrown out with the garbage  But they humor me and this makes me feel lots better.

I am insisting that I will be fine and fully better tomorrow.  I am tired of the spots on the ceiling, the faces in the wood grain and the duvet.  And this is only after ONE day in bed…

I am too passionate about my career to be lying here incapacitated so I will be generously sharing my germs with everyone tomorrow.

My sympathies if you are sick in bed.  I feel your pain.

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Members Of The CPP

We have 2 members of the CPP living in our home.  They are protected. They are illegal. We could be arrested for harboring fugitives.  Their alias’ are many.

To their protectors they are known by various undercover names.  We speak in hushed tones about Millimeter and Centimeter.  About the Gobeebedbugs.  The Squish’ems, the Heartworms and the Weeweechews.  The Teetatick and the Mingtick.  There is a secret language filled with words like duppies, daretiz, whattadoing, whattawant and go peepees and poepies.

The members of the CPP are a small, exclusive, often misunderstood group – the members themselves are small in stature but large in attitude.   They have a level of bravery that rivals most. They are highly skilled, fierce, and protective.  Their skills and level of intelligence are similar to those required in the CIA.  They may be recruited one day to high-level covert black ops.

David Attenborough should have completed a documentary on these elusive but bold members of the CPP.  They are often found under the covers of beds, burrowed deeply to avoid the cold and the indoor light sources.  Upon being discovered, they examine you with large round eyes, and push themselves in reverse back under the covers away from the light.  A series of grumbles erupt from these tiny creatures when removed from under the covers.  They are tiny sun worshippers and will often be found basking in direct sunlight.  Their likeness to meerkats is uncanny.

By now you may be wondering what is the CPP?  Who are these small strange but bold members of this exclusive group?  What is their secret language?  What do their alias’ mean?

I will share this National Secret with you.  But I may have to kill you.

The CPP stands for The Cuteness Protection Program.  There are members worldwide but we are only Protecting 2 of them.  The members’ real names are Domingo and Damita and they are Longhaired Chihuahuas.  The CPP is so named as, surely, it is illegal to be so cute? The level of cuteness that these two creatures exude in such large doses should certainly have a legal limit and anything above that should be punished by law.  Their level of cuteness is so extremely high that they have had to be placed in Cuteness Protection – for their own safety as well as those around them.  Our property is their Safe House.  If anyone discovers them and intends them harm then those threats will be eliminated on sight.

Chihuahua’s originate from Chihuahua in Mexico so their names should reflect their heritage.  The members names are derived from Spanish and are true Mexican names.  Domingo means “born on Sunday” – he was born on a Sunday on 6 September 2009.  Damita means “Little Princess” – and she is one.  Damita was born on 2 May 2010.  Their names should be pronounced with the Big Corn Bites advert in mind as well as a strong Mexican accent – something like “Si, Senore’ Meeng, zis beeg corn bites eez beeg…”  They have, however, developed a large variety of nick names linked to their Cuteness and their Protectors (us humans of The Funny Farm Safe House) cannot control the sudden urges to talk baby-talk to them which is met by excited leaps, bounds, licks, waggy-tails, yelps and body-wriggles.  One will even get up and dance on stalk-like back legs.

It is vital that a Protector for the CPP understands the nick names as well as the language of the members.  It is considered rude not to speak their language directly to them as well as when referring to them in normal conversation.  In order to assist your understanding of the nick names and language I have reproduced the CPP published dictionary below for your perusal.

CPP published dictionary definitions of Nicknames:  

  • Centimeter (sen-ti-mee-ta) noun commonly known as Domingo; a slightly larger creature; common form of measurement for larger members of the CPP
  • Millimeter (mil-li-mee-ta) noun commonly known as Damita; a much smaller creature; common form of measurement for small members of the CPP
  • Mingtick / Meengtick (ming-tick / meeng-tick) noun commonly known as Domingo; small and round like a tick when curled up
  • Teetatick / Mitatick (tea-ta-tick / meeta-tick) noun commonly known as Damita; smaller and rounder than a tick when curled up
  • Gobeebedbugs (goh-bee-bed-buhgz) verb a shortened version of the question “Do you want to Go and Be Bed Bugs?”; meaning it is time for bed; small brownish creatures with large round protruding eyes found in beds, under duvets and blankets
  • Squish’ems (skwish-uhms) verb a word only used when CPP members are under duvets or blankets; protectors need to be careful that they don’t “squish’em” when sitting on beds, couches, etc; common form of speech is “Be careful you don’t Squish’em”
  • Heartworms (hahrt-wurmz) noun a parasitic creature so small and cute that it worms into your heart; a disease of the heart caused by small cute parasitic creatures
  • Weeweechews (wee-wee-chooz) noun derived from a Chihuahua joke; common form of speech “Weeweechew a Merry Christmas”

CPP published dictionary definitions of Language:  

  • duppies (duhp-peez) question shortened version of “Do you want to get up?”; used for “up” onto various items such as couches, chairs, beds, etc
  • daretiz (dair-teez) statement shortened version of “There it is”; used when finding a member of the CPP or a toy that a member has been searching for
  • whattadoing (wot-tadoo-ing) question shortened version of “What are you doing?”; used when asking a member of the CPP what they are up to / doing
  • whattawant (wot-ta-wont) question shortened version of “What do you want?”; used when asking a member of the CPP what they want or what they want to do
  • go peepies and poepies (goh) (pee-peez) (and) (poep-peez) statement shortened version of “Go out to make a pee and poo”; used at strategic times when members of the CPP must go outside to the loo

As a Protector I would like to share some important information with you, the reader, about our 2 CPP members and their lives, habits and funny quirks.  I am sure that by now you have realised the members of the CPP are extremely dependent on their Protectors.  They rely on us to pick them up onto high surfaces, to carry them when in dangerous areas, to lift them onto our laps for a sleep, and to help them burrow under blankets and duvets.

Domingo, being the little boy of the Safe House, is a true gentleman.  He eats his meals daintily without grabbing and gutsing.  He will very gently take food from our fingers when offered to him. Ming has very expressive eyes and when these little round almond-coloured eyes are turned in your direction you can read what he is trying to communicate to you.  They portray happiness, excitement, sadness, curiosity and love.

Domingo

Domingo

Ming has the ability to truly tug on your heartstrings, especially when any one of the   Protectors needs to leave the Safe House, his little round face manages to crumble with sadness – the little ears go flat and limp, the eyes turn into little slits that blink sadly, the face becomes long and droopy – and the Protector departs the House with a deep feeling of guilt for leaving such a helpless creature behind. If we had to give in to these desperately sad looks we would NEVER leave the House.

Ming is also a Landscaper and is often found assisting his Head Protector in the garden with planting, digging, clearing sticks, and mowing the lawn.

Ming is a qualified Ear Nose & Throat specialist.  If he is given half a chance he will patiently sit and clean your ears (if only we knew where that tongue has been…..), don’t try to fool him…he knows that you have 2 ears.  If you are not quick enough a lightning fast dart of the tongue shoots up your nostril and then quickly ends on your lip before you are even able to defend yourself. Unfortunately, Ming also passes his time cleaning cats’ ears so if you visit the members of the CPP think twice before you allow him to clean your ears!  Another quirk of his is to stand like a King with 2 front paws on your chest while you are lying on the bed trying to read and demand attention from you in his quiet sad way.

Domingo has a great love for motor-vehicles and when any protectors are cleaning their cars he is quite content to patiently sit in the car for hours on end, even if it does not result in a car trip up the road.

Damita, is a true princess.  Demanding, determined, strong-willed, spoilt, cheeky, forceful – words that describe her to the fullest.  Although she is a lady she does not act like one.  She loves her food (of all types) and eats with gusto, very often no chewing even takes place. The Little Chef will always be found in the kitchen with the Protectors at all times of the day or night.  She wants to enter MasterChef as a taster.

Damita

Damita

Damita has a problem with her nasal passages. There does not seem to be enough space for the tongue and the teeth in her mouth, this results in her continuously producing strange grunting noises through her nose. These noises have earned her the additional nickname of “The Spotted Grunter” and “Princess Grunt”.  Her tongue also sticks out of the right side of her mouth permanently. Sometimes her tongue dries out to a pink, soft piece of biltong when she has been asleep to the point that she cannot get it back into her tiny mouth and the Protectors have to assist her.

When Damita wants attention she focuses on you with her large round hazel-brown bug eyes, then launches her little body towards you with a playful gentle snap of her little jaws, examines you sideways out of those naughty eyes and moves her body in little jerks with a play bow until she gets the desired result.

Mita has extremely double-jointed back legs, the result is that it always looks like she is wearing high-heeled boots.  One of her little back legs also tends to turn inwards when she is standing still – this is what we call her “Ping-leg”, named after her half-brother Ping who has funny little stick-like legs which also turn in slightly.

Owing to Damita’s small size she is unable to leap onto the beds or couches and relies on us to assist her.  She has learnt to leap into our outstretched hands, placing her chest perfectly in the palm, and then clasps her front legs tightly around our wrist (to the command “hold tight”) which allows us to safely pick her up and deposit her neatly onto the bed where she immediately shoots under the duvet covers. Retreating into sleep and warmth.

Domingo and Damita provide the Protectors with many laughs on a daily basis.  Great levels of energy are released when they are allowed outside into the front garden where they rush around at top speeds in circles until completely exhausted.  They then collapse in the sun with big smiles on their faces and bright pink tongues hanging to the ground.  They also have a Good Dog Toy Box filled with little dog toys. They regularly select new ones for playtime and place those that they are no longer playing with back into the Toy Box.

I mentioned their many skills and I feel that these high-level accomplishments should be shared. They are both able to perform exceptional black-ops moves – they can both say hello (placing small front paw in your hand), give high fives (stand on back legs and place both paws on the palm of your hands), dance (jump around on back legs with paws in the air), sit and lie down.  Ming’s skills are on a slightly higher level as he can also spin (spin in circles), roll over (both ways), talk (bob head up and down while creating a rumbling bark) but Mita can also bow (bum in the air and front feet in down position) as well as performing a very difficult skill which is “look cute!”  This manages to disarm any human in the immediate area.

The Ringbearers at our wedding

The Ringbearers at our wedding

The members of the CPP need to be protected for their own security as well as for the safety of the world.  Their Cuteness is blinding and they have a permanent effect on all those that they encounter.  If you are brave enough to meet them, can speak their language and mean them no harm you are welcome to come and visit them at their Safe House – The Funny Farm.  Please ensure that on route to the Safe House you are not followed as there are many people out there that would like to unleash this devastating Cuteness on the world.  We need to ensure that this Cuteness is preserved for future generations.   Please join us in this cause.

We have just recently adopted 2 new members into the CPP.  They were mistreated, neglected and have lost their trust of humans.  They are slowly learning to trust their Protectors but it will take time. For their own protection their names cannot yet be released but one day when they are powerful again and brave and ferocious we will share their identities with the select few.

Thank you for respecting the Cuteness Protection Program.

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The Funny Farm…sounds like a place where you get put into a straight-jacket…

….and maybe we all SHOULD be in straight-jackets at a place called The Funny Farm!

This is a name that my friends have given our home and it is very apt and very fitting. Our home is a haven of mismatched stuff, mental animals, and humans that border on the dotted line of crazy.  If anything is going to happen…it WILL happen at The Funny Farm.

Proof of the name...

Proof of the name…

I live on a small holding with my dinosaur-man (and I mean this in the BEST possible way – no sexual connotations attached!), my mum and a bunch of excitable animals of various shapes and sizes.  The mixture of our various careers and animals makes for an interesting life filled with colours that don’t actually exist in the real world.

The creatures on this property include the following: 6 dogs, 6 cats (is that one dog for each cat?? – something like “our cats each have a pet dog” …), 3 horses, 2 donkeys, 3 hens, 1 rooster, 1 duck, and 1 ring neck parrot.  Oh, and then there are the 3 humans that rent the house from the animals.

Our home is never neat or clean (to the degree that I am sure my friends would like it to be!) and it is certainly an animals paradise.  All our couches are constantly covered with throws of various mismatched colours and patterns that are forever lined with a fine layer of animal hair.  Washing does not seem to help them.  It only seems to embed the           fur-lined-layers into folds of the blankets where the overused washing machine cannot reach. Black clothes and the couches are not good bed-fellows – even teetering on the edge slaps you with a neat fur-lined stripe across your rear which seems to remain embedded and evident in all forms of lighting.  It is safer to stand and drink your wine when coming home after a long work day.

We do vacuum….about once a month.  It is pointless doing this more often as our house is a constant thoroughfare to dogs, cats and the occasional feathered creature.  Our doors are always open for animals to come and go as they please.  The wind tends to whip around our house in a spiteful way that targets the back door alcove, forces its cold fingers around the door into the kitchen, gets sucked through via the dining room door into the lounge and out through the lounge doors onto our sun-patio, carrying with it bits of leaf, fine grains of sand and the tumbleweeds of animal fur.  The other wind-sucking action is created from our bedroom which opens onto the dogs patio (yes, they have their own patio), sweeps through our room, into the passage, meets up with the kitchen-whirlwind and whips through the lounge, out the lounge doors onto our sun-patio carrying additional bits of leaf, fine grains of sand and the larger tumbleweeds of animal fur.  We could create our own Savannah with the amount of sand, twigs, grass, and the wildly unpopular animal-fur-tumbleweeds.

Our home has been known to contain some odd creatures over the years.  We once had a Cape Fur Seal pup that spent a night in our bathroom (IN the bath) before it was crated and taken to my previous work with me the next day for rehabilitation and eventually release.  Adult and baby African Penguins have also been regular wanderers in our kitchen, lounge and bedrooms.  They have remained with us in our home from anything on 2 hours to a good number of months.  My mum and myself were at one stage heavily involved in marine animal rehabilitation and both worked at a local oceanarium which, by default, became a facility for rehabilitation of penguins, seals, flying ocean birds, turtles, and basically anything marine that required assistance. I do also remember a large Loggerhead Turtle that I transported from Jeffreys Bay (in my 1972 Combi Camper) through to our house where it spent a happy night splashing in the large water-crate that we created for it in our bathroom.

How do our animals react to all these sudden, strange additions in our household?  With interest, wariness and grace.  They have become so used to odd additions that they look at us with an expression of disdain that very clearly says “Oh no, not ANOTHER one!”  Some of our cats have become extremely fascinated with the creatures and will spend hours congregating around the box holding a penguin just to get a glimpse of a penguin-eye or beak above the level of the box rim.  The braver ones have stood up on back feet resting front paws carefully on the box and peer inside to get a good look at this bizarre creature that smells of fish but looks nothing like one.  We even had a dog that would lie on guard as close as possible to the weird additions and become very concerned about them when the time came to work with and feed them.  We used to ask her “Where’s the baby?” and she would go to stand at the door of the room where they were being kept for their own sanity.

Our property is approximately 1.8 hectares and is a free-roaming home for our horses and donkeys which is great for them, but for us…..??  Not so much.  Our horses are very well behaved but the donkeys are sneaky, clever, annoying, destructive, and many other adjectives that I would not be allowed to type in a blog-site.  But they provide laughs all the same.  They wake us up at ungodly hours of the morning demanding breakfast with foghorn-type bellows that have the harbour masters about 20 kilometers away looking out their windows for fear of a runaway ship that they did not spot.  They destroy items that you think would have no interest to them.  They eat stuff that would cause any other animals system to shut down and scream for help.  Stuff like fibreglass, resin, pratleys putty, magazines, boxes, foam rubber….and the list goes on.  They eat it all.  They show no signs of discomfort.  They survive.

My boss gave me a hanging wooden plaque that states boldly and clearly “Welcome to the nut house” – the nut house indeed.

The Nut House Indeed

The Nut House Indeed

A magnet on our fridge also states “A clean house is a sign of a wasted life” – another reason to vacuum less.

...less vacuuming needed...

…less vacuuming needed…

Although we don’t have a home that is filled with beautiful, neat, clean pieces of furniture, where everything is spotless and in its place, we have a home that is lived in.  It is a small hub of activity, rushing animals, fur-lined seating areas, items that are functional, and placed in areas where tails and noses cannot reach.  It is a place that each one of us calls home.  

And if you don’t like it…..then don’t come and visit.

The Funny Farm

The Funny Farm

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