Don’t get too comfy

My alarm went off, so I hit snooze – which I always do once!

A little voice snuggled in behind me piped up:

Don’t get too comfy mumma, I need a piggy back.

Don't get too comfy

I am still laughing. Don’t get too comfy?

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Friends not food

Love Bug and I spent a wonderful morning at the Cruelty Free Festival over the weekend.

We wandered around talking to people about causes and animal sanctuaries. We tasted some amazing vegan ‘ice cream’ from Over the Moo {a huge hit with Miss ‘You can have a little lick’!}, I enjoyed some sweet potato crisps with to die for vegan basil mayo from The Veggie Patch Van. I could have skipped the crisps and just eaten the mayo with a spoon. It was SO good.

We patted some dogs. Okay, I know, we didn’t just pat some dogs. We loved on every four legged critter with a waggy tail at the Festival. Some of them more than once. We are missing Bella and Beary so much, we’ll take loves from any pup pal who is giving them out!

We sought out every pig sticker, sanctuary, photo, poster, key ring and pig-shaped lovey at the Festival. My Love Bug loves her some piggy. It’s very sweet. Where Pigs Fly Farm Sanctuary had some gorgeous photos on display and she bailed up to the one of the pig Oh mumma, isn’t he just lovely? There were audible sighs from adults all around us. I think we will be visiting the Sanctuary soon!

One of the piggies came home with us – Isabelle – and a sparkly piggy key ring from Edgar’s Mission.

Friends not food

If only all piggies could know such love.

{*not sponsored*}

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Night one without puppy love 

I was cold all night.

And I slept awfully. Night one without puppy love  


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Wordless Wednesday {transition to kindergarten}

Well, the day finally arrived: yesterday was Morning 1 of Love Bug’s Transition to Kindergarten program.

Big school, people: BIG SCHOOL!

Wordless Wednesday {transition to kindergarten}

A new adventure begins for my kind, brave, creative, curious and funny girl. I’m so incredibly proud of her, she is knocking four and three quarters right out of the park! I love her to the moon and back.

Infinity. Infinity.

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Things that no-one knows. No-one but me.

Bella and Beary are going away on Friday. For three weeks. Three. Weeks. Not hours, not days, but weeks. I have only ever been away from Bella for that long once in 2008, and have never been away from Beary for more than 6 nights {when I was in hospital having Love Bug}. So three weeks feels like an eternity. I’m sure it will for them also.

I’ll write more about it when they come back, but will at this point just say that they are going to stay with an amazing dog psychologist – who I have been following for a number of years – to have their separation anxiety and protection detail issues sorted out. I’m looking forward to the days I can take them both everywhere with us again. I want to be able to walk them to school to pick up Love Bug.

But I’m fretting about being away from them. There are things about them that no-one knows. No-one but me. Little nuances of personality. Things I notice and love about them. Like these:

How many kisses from gadoonk to tip of nose? {11 for Bella and 14 for Beary.}

my fuzzy soulmate

How long after I say cuddle {and you flip your entire body weight onto mine then scooch down for a cuddle} I need to move away ever so slightly so you don’t overheat and leave my side for the cool floor. {Bella}

That I can rub/scratch/kiss any part of you, but I need to be careful of your back right hip and only in moments of absolute relaxation am I allowed to gently touch your front paws – particularly your left one. {Beary}

That you know as soon as the alarm goes off I will hit snooze at least once – it’s your chance to sneak up for one more spoon cuddle before we face our day. That you move around until you’re just so then you sigh – a sure sign that you have found your comfy place. You have also figured out that if you snuggle up to me straight away, there is a much higher chance I will hit snooze at least once more. Because: Beary love. Hello!

That you have the happiest tail of any dog I’ve met and I can hear it thud on any hard surface at the other end of the house when you think I might be coming your way. The closer I get to you, or if I say your name, it thuds with such reckless abandon that I fear you may break it, or whatever it is thumping against. {Bella}

You sleep on her bed during the day when she’s at kindy. Or just in her room. There’s no denying it because I can see both kinds of coat left behind. You used to only sleep on my bed, but now you like to breathe her in as well. I get it. Completely.

my three loves

The nudge nuance … that certain nudges mean certain things like: move over, another means what are you doing with that lazy hand right there when it could be patting my head. The nudge and dance combo that means it’s approximately two hours after dinner time and – in your world – that’s just about the perfect time for a late night snack. Just a cookie or two will do. {Beary}

That I must be afraid of the dark. Or the toilet. Maybe it’s the flush I’m scared of. Because I am never, ever allowed to go without my two-dog security detail. Hey, if I’m sitting down, I may as well use those hands for some patting or scratching, right?

That watching television is not just for humans. Particularly when there are animals on the screen, although Bella seems to prefer to watch dogs and horses, Beary’s enthusiasm stretches to the whole animal kingdom. Except reptiles. He will literally turn away if they’re on the screen.

That you know. That you always know. I know you know everything about how your little human sister and I are feeling. At all times. You know when we need love, when we need you all up in our grills, and when we need you, but we just need to know you’re close by. For that we love you both more than you’ll ever know.

That my anxiety is more manageable with you around. I was having an afternoon where my anxiety was heading at warp speed to a panic attack and what kept it at bay was the pair of you. To come home and lay with my face buried in soft fur, holding paws and stroking velveteen ears helps me. You have rescued me over and over.

That stepping backwards will result in a yelp {Beary} or a soft paw underfoot {Bella} if I don’t check first when backing away from the bench in the kitchen. That the yelp will be followed through by scooting away quickly, but the soft paw underfoot will expect that I walk around you.

That you love to lay on the bathroom floor with your belly pressed against the bathtub for extra cool, but you love nothing more than laying out in the hot hot sun. {Bella}

That you will line up for a rubdown – even if you were not the one who has been out in the rain. Why give up the opportunity for a belly rub, right? {Bella}

That I may get a bigger bed while you are gone. Because I really don’t mind sharing, it’s just that I’d like to occasionally not sleep doing a great impersonation of some letter of the alphabet.

When you wake up from a deep sleep and giving me ‘that’ look. I may never know what you were dreaming but I recognise that mumma I need a cuddle look too well. And am always happy to oblige. {Beary}

my favourite boy

If I’ve made a chair warm by sitting on it and happen to get up, the warm spot is yours. You know, because your coat isn’t warm at all! {Beary}

If I put a pile of fresh washing somewhere, it will be laid on instantly. {Bella}

If I lay clothes out for work, or for Love Bug, you will all but cover them. This has been going on forever, and yet I think you hope every day that this will be the day I can’t find the clothes and therefore have to stay home with you. {Beary}

The lean. Whether I’m cleaning my teeth, standing at the dryer or washing machine, doing my makeup or have for any reason stopped still for more than a few seconds. The feel of your warm furry body pressed against the front or back of my legs. The security in knowing we are there for each other. {Bella}

That smell on the top of your heads? It is Marc Jacobs signature fragrance. It’s what your mumma has worn for years.

Each lump, bump and scar that may be hiding under either of your gorgeous coats. What caused them, how big they are, whether they have grown, shrunk and how you feel if I touch them.

Love Bug said to me this morning: Mumma, I’m really going to miss Bella and Beary while they are away. Maybe we could bring one of the puppies from the shelter to stay with us so the puppy gets some love and we do too?

In theory, I adore that idea {and even more the fact that she had it!}. In practice, have any of you met Beary, my most recently fostered dog?

But I’m going to miss them too. A LOT.

Maybe we could just check to see if there are any dogs with no other options …

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Tasty Tuesday {I am vegan}

So, you may have noticed that Tasty Tuesday has been a little quiet of late. I knew I would share with you when I was ready, and today is apparently that day! I’ve been trying something new in the food department. I’ve been vegan for a month. Almost two actually. Late August was the last time I ate anything with animal product in it. It was butter.

I had been thinking about transitioning to veganism for some time. How can I be so pro being a voice for the voiceless and want harm to not come to any living creature, but still eat cheese? And butter? And eggs? And drink milk, whether it’s skim or not? It’s still dairy. The decision had been coming, and on that day my decision was made.

It has been almost 8 weeks. I’ve had a couple of days where I’ve felt like having butter. Or maybe a milk chocolate. But I didn’t eat them. When I stopped for a few seconds to think about why I made this choice, it was really easy not to reach for them. I have, however, made a mental note to never go to the movies at the last minute again, sans vegan snacks!

So here I am. I am vegan.

I have been a vegetarian for five years. Wednesday 26 August 2015 is the day I began the transition from vegetarian to vegan. Food is the easy part.

Anyone vaguely thinking about transitioning might do as I did, might be encouraged to watch Earthlings. I can’t imagine that anyone who has watched it could possibly be anything other than vegan after the viewing. I cried for about 60 minutes of the 90 of the film. I hid behind my hands, I gasped out loud at the utter horror. I swore a lot. And I cried some more.

Human beings should love animals as the knowing love the innocent, and the strong love the vulnerable. {Earthlings, as narrated by Joaquin Phoenix}

Yes, it’s true I don’t eat meat. But I did consume dairy. And I do wear shoes and belts that are leather. That day, those practices stopped. I am in the process of going through every cupboard in my home and rid it of products made by companies who test on animals, or contain any animal product. You’d be amazed! So far I’m almost done in the bathroom. It’s a bigger job than I imagined.

When we wince at the suffering of animals, that feeling speaks well of us, even if we ignore it. And those who dismiss love for our fellow creatures as mere sentimentality overlook a good and important part of our humanity. But it takes nothing away from a human to be kind to an animal, and it is actually within us to grant them a happy life and a long one. {Earthlings, as narrated by Joaquin Phoenix}

How did I come to watch Earthlings? I’ll back track a little. I shared with you guys my listening to Philip Wollen debate, and he mentioned it in his oration. That’s how I watched it. The very evening he mentioned it. To say it ripped me apart inside would be a major understatement. I had been thinking about the idea of becoming vegan for a while now. Except for my love of cheese. And butter. And chocolate. Did I mention chocolate?

I used those as my crutch and convinced myself that I couldn’t possibly give them up. You know what? I could. And I did. Immediately. I went for a coffee over the weekend and the cafe didn’t have almond milk {my preferred non-dairy milk}. Usually I would have just had skim milk instead. But I just couldn’t bring myself to. Images of those dairy cows and their babies being ripped from them flashed before me. So I had a soy latte instead. And you know what? It was okay.

I am finding this one thing hard though. As a woman of a certain age – who was a teenager in the world of the supermodel and thin is everything and calorie counting {and spent a certain period of my schooling getting by on one Mars bar each day as a result} – it is really tricky to retrain your brain that it is okay to eat in abundance, because you’re eating good stuff.

As I dipped an apple in yet more nut paste during my second week as a vegan, I found myself thinking that’s probably at least 5 nuts all mushed up there – which is too many calories. I think that’s going to be the hardest part.

Well, that and attempting to ignore the naysayers and people who want to tell me that I must eat this or that! My being a vegan is not a challenge for you to get me to eat animal product again. It’s a personal choice. And so far, it’s a choice I haven’t found it difficult at all.

When you share what you have learned with your friends and family members, who you deeply respect and love, they show indifference at best. You feel like you have come upon genocide everyone is trying to hide and ignore. And you can no longer participate and no longer keep quiet. And then you are painted as militant, extreme, judgmental. {Gary Smith has shared this common experience among vegans on The Thinking Vegan.}

Tasty Tuesday {I am vegan}

{image source}

Just as bumpyroadtobubba is my journey to and experience of motherhood, snippets I may share with you about being vegan are my journey and my experiences.

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Observations on Freedom

Having spent over two decades in prison, the bulk of that in a hellish prison in Thailand, when I saw this come up on Martin’s Facebook feed this morning, it made me smile.

While all of his words below are inspirational, some in particular leave little doubt as to why or how we are friends! These are his observations after three weeks of freedom. I am so grateful he is my friend.

If what he writes doesn’t prove that a positive mind and attitude trumps all and that inspiration can be found everywhere, I’m not sure what would. Also: gratitude friends, gratitude.

Below is reprinted with his permission.

Observations of Freedom

After three weeks in the real world here are some observations:

It moves fast.

It is expensive.

People no longer talk.

Screens are ruining human interaction.

People have become less patient (and I did not think they were all that patient in 1993).

Sydney is grubbier than I remember but still beautiful.

Cars move faster (or I have become slower).

The brakes on cars have improved a lot.

There is no “wack up” after you get out (and this was a surprise).**

Some old friends still look beautiful.

Some have aged faster than expected.

I feel blessed to be here but the economic reality of life is rapidly making its presence felt.

Food is now dangerous … it always was, but it effects me a lot now.

Choice is amazing, but shopping was a challenge initially (too much choice can be overwhelming).

The negativity one may have expected has come only from family and nobody else.

Kids are just amazing, I had never realised how clever kids are.

Patting dogs is really cool.

Technology is stunning.

The internet is fragmenting society (this has shocked me, I thought it would bring us all together, perhaps it will once we “grow up”. The internet is as old as I was when I went to prison!).

Lots of people seem to settle for 2nd best, out of fear of doing what they feel they should be doing (please know that I respect everyone’s choices, but life is more simple and important than many seem to think).

Time is not a renewable resource, like money. It is finite, precious and of an unknown quantity. Waste none (you know not how much of it you have).

Having said that, you have time to smile. You have time to appreciate the day and you walk to work. Taking a breath is NOT a waste of time!

Why does everyone seem slightly less healthy now?

People are more obsessed than ever with the acquisition of possessions (and coming from ME that is frightening). However, a $200 phone really is not as good as a $1,000 phone.

Home Wi-Fi is soooooo good.

Above all; STARS Baby! Stars in the night sky on a warm night are simply inspirational.

You think I will comment about sex but I won’t. If you have to ask, you don’t know me very well.

People think life is about the big choices (and I have a PhD in terrible choices) but it’s the small choices each day that determine everything. You don’t arrive at those massive choice moments, they develop over time. The only point is, are you being proactive or reactive?
Perhaps the most surprising observation is how NOT free many of you out here are.
This is actually great news. It proves a theory of mine, that freedom is NOT bound by geography or social position (or money). A rich law abiding man can be a prisoner as surely as a prisoner can be free.

In closing have you noticed how great it is to be alive NOW? Amazing challenges we face and never before have we been so able to meet those challenges!

We live in an inspirational time, but are we living inspirationally?

Are we brave enough to try?

I am. Watch me try!

** A wack up is a criminal term when you are given money after you are released.

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