Sunday Sevens #5

Here is this week’s Sunday Seven week number 5!

Sunday Sevens is the weekly blog series created by Natalie over on Threads and Bobbins.

1 & 2 Report week and parents evening at school this week, very proud of my boys and how well they have done this year! Especially excited to see their fab art work that we got to bring home, a pot and a mosaic tile.

3. Last year we had fun in the summer holidays doing the Birmingham Childrens Hospital (where I used to work) “Big hoot” trail looking for giant owls, so we were very excited to find this year they are doing a similar thing but with book benches and it’s called the big read. We’ve downloaded our trail already and can’t wait to get started!

4. A few weeks ago I bought a sandwich toaster and we were enjoying the novelty of it but it was faulty! My new one arrived and we had fun trying some more out this weekend! My personal fave so far is tuna, cheese and peppers on seeded bread but the boys love cheese and ham!

5. I’ve been sale shopping! The boys hate shopping but I was eager to get some new clothes that fit me as my clothes are all getting too big!

6. Making the most of no work to do this weekend and made some cards and thank you gifts for the boys teachers, a sneek peek here but will do a full post on them after they’ve been given!

7. Sun!!! Finally a sunny Sunday and a lovely family dog walk through the fields and along the canal! Perfect weekend family time.

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Sunday Sevens #2

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Sunday Sevens is the weekly blog series created by Natalie over on Threads and Bobbins.

So, here is week two of Sunday Sevens, I’ve had a really busy week at work so nothing too exciting (and definitely nothing politics related!!) more of a photo a day!

1.

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I may have over booked myself in my diary this week, it was none stop and a few days I didn’t even make it back to the office for lunch, however this wasn’t all bad as I got to eat my lunch in my car looking at these beautiful views!

2.

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The stationery addict in me was very pleased when the postman delivered my new rubber….I am like a small child when it comes to stationery!

3.

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I’ve always had a little bit of a thing for buttons, I used to love nothing more than playing with my nans button tin! After my mum gave me some bags of buttons split into colours I had to split my entire collection up….which I have now done!

4.

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As it’s coming up to summer holidays time I found out my Travelary journal and found I’m one and a half holidays behind, so need to catch up with this before we go away! I love the travelary book and it’s layout.

5.

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Treated myself to these dies this week. I get £5 amazon vouchers each month for connecting our TV to viewers logic so I used the vouchers for these, I also got some kraft cards and a white ink pad but didn’t photo those!

6.

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No fish resuscitation this week, just organising the kennels for these two! Poor niki is so thin and bald now, the kennels are going to give her lots of extra fleeces and blankets to snuggle in!

7.

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Yesterday was car MOT day and we got caught up in this rain walking to collect the car! My 9yr old declared it must be a  ‘natural disaster’ as the road turned into a fast flowing stream!

That’s it for this week’s Sunday Seven, hopefully next week will seem more craftiness!!

Sunday Sevens #1

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I’ve always been a photo a day fan and have completed several project365s, so when I saw “Sunday Sevens” the weekly blog series over on Natalie’s Threads and Bobbins blog I had to have a go!

So here are my Sunday Seven from this week.

1. Surprise flowers for finishing my university work, but with a slight difference. I noticed my (very neglected) window boxes were missing last weekend, then Monday I came home to these, a surprise from my Mother-in-law!

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2. My littlest one is still patiently waiting for me to learn to play Lava on my Ukulele…it turns out I’ve forgotten the little bit I had learnt.

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3. Whilst planning out the Father’s day present in my sketch book I remembered I have a crochet/knitting project on the go, a half finished book cover!

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4. I also appreciated that I’d tidied and sorted all my papercraft supplies. I love sorting things!

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5. The weather has been so rainy, stormy and horrible this week and timehop keeps reminding me it should be sunny! Just like this day on the beach from 3 years ago with Niki and Woody.

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6. I’m on strict calorie counting in preparation for my holiday, 6lbs lost so far, absolutely no snacking has been allowed. Today however I treated myself to a chocolate brownie and cream (I had the calories after a big dog walk!).

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7. This is bert our 15 year old goldfish! This morning we found him almost dead at the bottom of his tank after he had the wrong food and it clogged up his tank and filter. My husband resuscitated him (squeezed him a bit in the middle) and I gave him oxygen (poked the air brick pipe towards his gills) and after an hour in a bucket while I cleaned his tank..he was fixed…look at him now…surreal but true!!!

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Procrastination, Distraction & Emotion

As the title says, it’s all getting in the way at the moment, I’ve been able to return to my crafts and my blog as I’ve been lucky enough to have 3 weeks off.

I should however be glued to my laptop as I have so many assignments to write.
They need to by in at the start of may and I have done just one (the small one!)

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I have so many distractions in my life things I would rather be doing. I have ideas for starting decorating another room in my house but for now I’ve held myself back to just buying a few pieces to go in the kitchen.

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I discovered a video on free form crochet….I wanted to make a space notebook…tried and failed at a sun but turned it in to the beginnings of a flower. Something to go back to at some point.

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As a family we love the Disney Pixar short LAVA and my 7 year old asked me to learn to play the song from it on my Ukulele, that’s another work in process I’ve mastered the chorus and the end so far!

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I’ve enjoyed cooking a lot more like I used to, big home made meals without a packet in sight! Last night i made garlic bread which was amazing

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Then on Sunday Niki was very poorly again (she had Pancreatitis last year and almost died) and she spent an entire day at the vets they have no idea what is wrong with her but seem preoccupied that she is very bald….she lost a lot of fur when she was so poorly last year and it hasn’t grown back since. It hasn’t concerned me as she is on EN food and it was her old PROPLAN food which made her fur nice. Anyway they were also worried about low white cells but reading THIS health pack resource  they aren’t low for a greyhound so I think I need a greyhound vet. She seems brighter today though.

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So, life, fun, family and pets are getting in the way of assignments which I’ve well and truly lost my motivation for!

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Looking at the drizzle and grey clouds outside this morning you would have never guessed what a beautiful sunny day we had on Thursday walking the dogs and an unexpected trip to Wales!

Nikki and Woody had a walk around the park a rarity as it is full of tiny dogs off leads which when they run up to Woody and bark at him and run off proves to much, it’s like being in the traps again and he gets most excited! Therefore when we are likely to meet little furry friends off their lead he always wears his muzzle. It makes us sad at people’s attitudes if while on his lead wearing his muzzle he barks at their unmuzzled of the lead dog…as he becomes the problem dog? Having spoken to other greyhound owners this is a common greyhound problem. 

Anyway we had fun and played beat the street, collecting points for the boys school. Double points and lots of people out and about.

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In the afternoon we had an unexpected drive to Wales for another walk with Nikki and Woody and some amazing fish and chips! Nikki and the boys loved the rabbits in the field, Woody wasn’t as excited by rabbits as little dogs but he enjoyed a second sunny walk.

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Long time no blog!

I’ve been thinking a lot about my poor neglected blog recently, it’s been over 18 months since my last post and probably3 years since I kept regular posts.

Nikki and Woody  (previously Noddy) have been living happily together, it turned out Woody was much less trouble than Nikki and he is the perfect gentleman with her

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Christmas has seen santa bring a new craft to me. I have been very lucky to have a Kirstie Allsopp Cuttlebug from my Mum and Step Dad and can’t wait to get crafting with it, not only was I lucky enough to have the machine the also gave me lots of dies etc to get me started! I am looking forward to purchasing a poppycraft cottage stamp as it looks amazing, however everywhere is out of stock at the moment so I must be patient!

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I think I need to get to grips with the basics first, lots to learn and lots of fun to be had learning! I must be strong though, assignments and uni work comes first!

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Nikki news: Nikki meet Noddy, Noddy meet Nikki..

I mentioned me my last post considering hound number 2! Well we phoned Hall Green RGT and let them know we were interested in Noddy and then I swapped a shift at work so we could go and see him and most importantly do the important Nikki-Noddy introduction!

It was just me, the boys and the dog as Mr P was working. We arrived at about 10.30am and were all really excited to see Noddy, it was also exciting to be back at Hall Green RGT as its a lovely place and it has happy memories from getting Nikki :D. When Noddy came out I had to laugh as next to Nikki he is so stocky, a really muscular boy! He seemed pleased to see us and eager to go for a walk so we set off around the field.

Firstly two dogs takes a bit of co-ordination, which for the first five minutes I seemed to be totally missing, I managed to get myself the dogs and the boys wrapped up on a few occasions! However, once we had all got over our initial excitement we got the hang of it and had a lovely walk.

Noddy was very excited at having his photo take and wanted me to get a close up!

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Nikki and Noddy walked very well together and seemed glued to each other all the way, every time we stopped Nikki leaned against Noddy and they were sniffing around together in the undergrowth, I can imagine they will get into lots of mischief together!

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After a few laps of the field I phoned Mr P who was finishing work and on his way to see us 😀 we went back to the office and asked if we could let Nikki and Noddy in one of the fenced off paddocks together, so I could see them off the lead together to check they were friendly! Noddy at this stage became a bit pre-occupied as it was 11.50am and they get fed at 1pm he wanted food! They seemed to be getting all of the dogs back into the kennels and Noddy must have thought he was missing out. They were fine together though off the lead and we took Noddy’s muzzle off (Nikki doesn’t really wear hers much now) and they seemed to act as if they were used to each other and just played with a toy together and showed no sign of any problems with each other. I mentioned before they had the same owner/trainer and wonder if they were ever kenneled together? I have no idea how it works being a racing dog and do not know if they would mix together?

Anyway I was eager for Mr P to see him, but the kennel staff were putting all the dogs back for lunch, it was only midday though so we were able to keep him out a little bit longer  as long as he was settled back in his kennel before 1pm 😀

We went for another walk and they were lovely together, although Mr P did have a concern as he felt Noddy pulled a lot, he didn’t pull at all for me though? On his website ‘cv’ he is described a gentle on a lead so Mr P was a bit concerned (he is being much more sensible than me haha!). I just put it down to him being hungry, Nikki pulls when she wants to get home – in fact if its cold I usually find I have to drag her a bit for the first half of the walk and then when she knows we are on our way home she pulls me!!

I think they look lovely together :

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We have reserved him although I must say we have come away with mixed feelings and will be going back a couple more times before our planned collection date of 27th October (we have Dylan dog again and feel it would be unfair to bring Noddy back home while he is here as it may confuse him!). I think the difference was when we picked Nikki it was an open day, they were open all the day and not rushing to get the back in kennels for food and they were really promoting the dogs on that day. I think we are the kind of people who need to be reassured  and no one really said much to us about Noddy. With Nikki they were all saying how fantastic she was and she would be perfect for us and they were so pleased she had found a home, she was a lovely dog and she seemed to interact well with the boys etc.  I think this left part of us were thinking, is he really a nice dog? is there something they are not saying? Should we be having another one so soon, do they think its wrong but don’t want to say? I don’t know how to explain it really, it was just a very different experience to when we had Nikki. I’m sure Noddy is lovely and he got on with Nikki which would be our number one concern. We did fall in love with him so I think we just need to stop over analysing the situation and use the next few weeks to get preparing for him coming home!:D

Nikki News: Dog Show

Yesterday we all went to The Hallgreen Retired Greyhound Trust Dog Show at Hallgreen Dog Racing Stadium where Nikki used to race. We were all so excited to go and see where Nikki used to spend all her time, I have never been to a dog race (I was put off when I first heard about what happens to greyhounds when their racing days are over, which was when I first wanted to adopt) so was not sure what to expect inside the stadium.

Nikki seemed to actually get excited when we arrived and I think she recognised it. I still haven’t done a big Nikki update yet, but if I had, I would have told you all how she is still extremely nervous around big groups of people. Well, this wasn’t the case yesterday, she was really quite relaxed and loved all the fuss and getting to see all the other greyhounds!

We had a good look around and met all the kennel dogs (more about that later!) and the boys played some of the games. then we let Nikki have a go at fastest recall. Some of the greyhounds loved it and went all around the track!! Nikki however was not keen, the boys waited half way for her and as soon as she saw them she stopped running and went for cuddles! I think this was lovely as even though she obviously didn’t win anything it showed she is a proper family dog now and not a racer anymore 😀 *proud dog mummy moment*

The only other category we entered her in was ‘Youngest Handler’ with A as her handler. I was so pleased with Nikki for being so gentle with A as he still has a broken arm, you can’t tell in the picture and I don’t think anyone in the show noticed but his right arm is in a plaster cast from his wrist up to under his arm, it has been 8 weeks now and it had to be re plastered as it still hasn’t healed! I think at one point he dropped the lead and someone gave it back to him in his right hand so I was having ‘over protective mum’ stress because if Nikki had run I hate to think what he would have done (he wouldn’t let go of her I know that!). Anyway, no rosettes were won but they made the last few which I think is good for a 4yr old with a dog he has only had 6 weeks 😀

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At the end of the afternoon we sat in the bar so Nikki could have a lie down and a drink of water, it did make me laugh, I bet she never expected to end up there after a race!

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We treated Nikki to a fancy new collar while we were there and she looks very smart in it! We were going to get her photo taken while we were there as there was a photographer, but there were quite a few people waiting and the boys were getting a bit restless! I have made contact with the photographer though as he takes photos of greyhounds racing and I am desperate for a picture of Nikki in her racing days, although there aren’t any of her races on his website so not sure if he will have any. Anyone have any ideas of other ways I could get a photo of her?

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We managed to resist all the hounds in need of homing yesterday despite Gertie making quite an impression on us. We would love a second greyhound and have talked about it a lot, but are trying to remain strong and be sensible (space/money etc). However I am totally in love with Noddy and if her remains at the kennels much longer I am going to have to have him!! I have made it worse as after a bit of investigating I am wondering if he is Farran Nodrog (Kennel Name Noddy) who had the same trainer and owners as Nikki….and was originally in Ireland and then Hall green (same as Nikki) as I have now convinced myself I have split them up and need to reunite them hahaha (lets hope the owners didn’t have a lot of dogs – I know of Bert who is still racing and I have my eye on him as well *step away from the hounds*).

Nikki News: Days two and three and a big day out!

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Day two of Nikki becoming a family dog started very well, as I mentioned in my last update, not accidents overnight and we didn’t hear anything from Nikki all night 😀 We came downstairs at 6.30am (not our usual wake up time on a Sunday but we were too exited to sleep in!) and Nikki was like a different dog. As the boys were still asleep it was just the two of us and she really seemed to come out of her shell, we sat out in the garden and Nikki ran up and down chasing her new toys for an hour. When the boys woke up we went inside and Nikki had her breakfast and then a snooze in her bed whilst we ate and got ready.

Mid-morning we set of to see Dylan dog. When we arrived Nikki did really well, new house, new people, another small person and another dog and she took it all in her stride! We had a cup of tea whilst the boys played in the garden and the dogs had a sniff of each other then we set of for a walk around Warley Woods. It was not somewhere we have been before, but it is a lovely place to walk dogs and very big! Nikki walked really well on the lead and seemed much happy in a park setting rather than the pavement walk the night before. Dylan and Nikki got on really well and Nikki didn’t seem to show any interest in the other dogs we went past (there were lots!). Our walk was cut a bit short as some people came up to us and said there was a dog loose ahead who seemed quite nasty and had apparently attacked another dog, we didn’t see or hear it but made a quick exit from the woods as that was definitely not an experience I wanted Nikki to have! After our walk Nikki was quite happy to lie on the floor by our feet while we sat and chatted with Dylan’s Mummy and Daddy. We were very proud of her doing so well with so many new things going on in one day. Unfortunately my camera battery went flat and I have no pictures of Nikki and Dylan together!

In the evening Nikki was exhausted and nothing in the world was going to get her off her bed to go out for a walk so we let her rest in preparation for Day three!

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Monday was Bank Holiday and we decided to make use of our National Trust Membership and find somewhere to visit where we could walk the dog. Brockhampton Estate is a huge estate just outside Worcester and looked like a good place to visit. It was a little bit drizzly and not that warm when we arrived to we got Nikki all snuggled up in her coat with her bandana on 😀 The car park was quite full of people and the cars did make her very nervous and jumpy, but once we got out into the fields she was happy again and leading the way for us! There were a choice of different length walks and we chose the red one which I think was about 3 or 4 miles, but felt longer as there was lots of mud and A being the smallest kept getting stuck in the mud!

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As we had lots of fields to cross Nikki soon got to discover sheep!!! Again, she was not in the slightest bit bothered by then, although they were quick to run off from us.

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After the fields the track led us into woods with a variety of different sculptures along the way which kept the boys entertained.

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In the middle of the woods we found a den which the boys played in for a while while we sat on a log and watched them, Nikki seemed fascinated by them playing and I think if she hadn’t have been so shy she would have been in there with the boys!

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After our walk we were all worn out so we returned to the car and ate our picnic while Nikki had a little nap in the boot! After we had eaten we drove the mile down the drive to Little Brockhampton which is a lovely manor house surrounded by a moat. Obviously we couldn’t take Nikki in the house but we went into the grounds, first the boys played cricket and football by the moat.

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Then we went into a lovely little courtyard where the tearoom is and we had a cup of tea and sat with Nikki whilst the boys played with the outdoor games which were set out; chess, skittles, hula hoops and archery.

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There were some ruins of a chapel which we had a look around and then it was time to head off home! I was surprised at how much there was to see and do there despite us having Nikki and not being able to go in the house it was still a full day out, definitely somewhere I would recommend to visit.

Nikki News: Day One

So yesterday was the day we had been waiting for, for so long “Nikki Day”!

Everyone was up extra early for a weekend, we had breakfast and set of for the Hall Green Retired Greyhound Trust  . When we got there it was very busy, people and greyhounds everywhere 😀 We filled in the paperwork and then they bought out Nikki! It was so good to see her again, like last time she was a little bit nervous, but that’s to be expected with 5 excited faces all wanting to stroke her! We had Nikki weighed and she is 29kg, heavier than both J and A, we also picked out two coats for her, a waterproof summer one and a nice cosy winter one 😀 Then it was time to say goodbye and get Nikki in the car for the journey home.

Nikki seemed to love the car and was having a good look at everything going and resting her head on the boys shoulders!

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On the way home we stopped at Baggeridge Country Park for a walk, it turned out to be a very short walk as there was a storm coming and Nikki was a bit spooked by the thunder so we thought it best to get her home. On the way back to the car she was sniffed by a big Beagle who was of their lead, she wasn’t too keen but was very good and just stood still until the other dogs owner came and got him!

When we arrived home we took Nikki into the back garden first and she went to the toilet on the grass straight away! We were very pleased and gave her lots of fuss. Next we introduced her to the chickens, but she didn’t seem very interested, although there was a lot of unsettled clucking in the chicken run! Then back inside and we gave her a tour of her new home. The toys we have bought were a huge hit especially a big pink squeaky strawberry cake, after lots of squeaking it Nikki decided to try out her new bed and seemed to approve of that as well. Nikki was definitely quite nervous but was still very friendly and was enjoy fuss and cuddles. We had a visit from her new Nanny and Grandad and she got up to greet them and have more fuss!

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After a busy afternoon of meeting new people and learning how much fun toys are that squeak Nikki had a well earned nap whilst we ate our dinner, unfortunately she didn’t seem to want any dinner herself, but we were told to expect this on the first day.

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After dinner Nikki was back up and about so we decided to take her for a quick walk (as it looked like rain) in her smart new blue raincoat (no photos as my battery went after taking too many photos). Walking on pavements next to busy roads is an obvious new thing for Nikki and she was glued to my side for all of the walk, I think it is going to take a lot of reassurance until she gets used to it.

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We came home and put the boys to bed and had a lovely chilled out evening with Nikki, I expected her to be scared of the television, but after her initial bemusement she really didn’t take much notice.

At bedtime a huge part of my wanted to take her upstairs, as I didn’t want to leave her alone, but I managed to hold back and we left her cosied up on her own bed downstairs and went up to bed, fully expecting to be woken up by her in the night.

At 06.30 this morning we both woke up and hurried downstairs to a fast asleep Nikki and no mess!  She woke up very happy and we let her out for the toilet and were so proud that she had, had no accidents over night 😀 So far today Nikki is a different dog, much more happy and lots of tail wagging and following us around from room to room. Breakfast of her greyhound food mixed with sardines was a huge hit and disappeared in seconds.

Our plan today is to meet up with Nikki’s new cousin Dylan dog for a nice walk in the park. We are looking forward to seeing them together again as Dylan helped us choose Nikki when we first went to Hall Green RGT and they seemed to really get on well together 😀