31 December 2010

New Year Wishes

I've never been a big believer in New Year's Resolutions and I've never really understood what difference the last day in December makes in committing to change, or do things differently.

Image courtesy of Luigi Diamanti

I'm afraid I'm just not a big fan of New Year's Eve.

It's all a bit too much for me...the pressure to be seen to be having a good, no, A GREAT time; paying over the odds for a meal out; struggling to get into your favourite bar, or restaurant; watching dreadful (and often pre-recorded) New Year's Eve specials; worrying about the inevitable fireworks and the effects they'll have on your pets; the 'traditional' hangover on New Year's Day....

Instead, I'll be spending a quiet New Year's Eve, tucked up with hubby, hounds and Tula.  I'll be praying for no fireworks at midnight and rather than making a long list of resolutions, which I'll never keep, I will be making some wishes for 2011, which I'd like to share.

Four Simple Wishes for 2011

1.   A Healthy Year... for me, hubby, hounds and you.  2010 seemed to be a year full of health problems for those I love and am close to.  It was a year tinged my sadness for many of my friends who lost loved ones and I wish them, especially, a healthy year, without heartache.

2.  A Content Year... happiness isn't a constant and isn't guaranteed. But I would love a simple feeling of contentment at the end of each day. To coin a Talk Talk song: Life's What You Make It and I wish to make it a content one.

3.   A Fruitful Year... for work, studies, home, family, children, friends, gardens. We all work hard and often miss the fruits of our labours. A pass mark on that essay; enjoying the home-grown veg; nurturing relationships; finding a job; getting a promotion.  Whatever the fruits of your labour are, I hope you find the time to enjoy them.

4.   A Year Lived to the Full... using my lovely four-legged companions as an example; I wish to live each day to the full. Seeing where it takes me and keeping my eyes and ears open to the new opportunities.  Every day, Mina, Stevie and Jasper get excited over their walks, breakfast, dinner, having a cuddle - it's the not the same old routine, or humdrum existence for them - it is quite literally a new day and the chance for new experiences and to live life to the full.

So, there they are. A few, heartfelt wishes for the New Year.  If you'd like to share your wishes for 2011, please leave a comment.. After all, you've got to have wishes for them to come true.

And for the final words of 2010, it's over to Mina...

Happy New Year from Mina

30 December 2010

Tula - The Cat That Twitter Named

Since I lost Tazzie in November, the house has felt empty without a cat. It even appeared that the hounds missed Tazzie and couldn't understand where the black and white ball of fluff had gone.

So, in late November we went along to The Lincolnshire Trust for Cats to find a cat that would be confident living in a house full of sight hounds. There were so many lovely kittens and cats to choose from, all deserving good homes, but in the end we decided to take a peek in the 'Weight Watchers' section. (There was a sign on the door that said Weight Watchers - honest!) This was where some of the cats who had been at the Trust for a while, and who had eaten a little too much, were being kept. They were being fed a lighter diet and had more space and activity areas to burn off those extra pounds!

The "feline fatty's" first day

Who'd have thought that a 'feline fatty' (shhhh, don't tell her I said that) would steal our hearts. The not so little bundle of fluff was called Tess and is about 18 months old. She was introduced to Jasper while we were at the cattery and both cat and hound reacted well and Tess' fate was sealed.

As her name was too similar to Tazz, we decided to rename her, but as we couldn't agree on a suitable name ourselves, we turned to Twitter and Facebook. We had over 25 suggestions and in the end chose Tula, which was suggested by the lovely Kim, who tweets as @m3kx

It's been a month since Tula joined us and she's really settled in, enjoying her first Christmas with us. Today has been the first day that she's used the cat flap too and seemed liked a good day to introduce her on the blog. She's slowly losing the extra pounds and is now firm friends with the hounds.

Here's looking at you!

Finding a name for Tula did make me wonder, how we arrive at the names for our pets...

Both Mina and Stevie have kept their original names, as their recall was so good. Jasper, on the other hand, was originally called Magic. I renamed him after the Jasper in Twilight, as my Jasper has very fang-like teeth but more importantly has a real calming effect on those around him. Chivers was named after the marmalade brand and Tazzie after the Tasmanian Devil!

I'd love to know how you came up with the name for your pet, so please share, if you dare!

26 December 2010

Still & Silent Sunday - Boxing Day Walk

Time for hubby & Mina to work off those mince pies and turkey

I think fishing is the least of the worries for this pond's residents

24 December 2010

A Happy Christmas to Humans & Hounds

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year!

Just in case you thought I'd forgotten Jasper in our picture, here's some festive fun.... Spot which mischievous hound started the snowball fight (You'll even get to see my hubby)!

Christmas greetings courtesy of eCards at JibJab!

17 December 2010

The Lurcher in Red

The winter chill is continuing apace and the sub-zero temperatures have meant that the hounds aren't being walked as often as any of us would like. The pavements in the village are still covered with inches of compacted snow and ice, which makes any kind of walk rather hazardous.

So, you can imagine my joy when my parents agreed for Mina to come with me on my travels 'down sarf.' There was zero snow and lots of opportunities for long dog walks, or so I thought....

Today, we had a smattering of snow - about 1½-2 inches - but enough to turn the rather hilly roads and pavements into a slippery slalom. Luckily, I had thought ahead and packed Mina's winter weather gear. Her aptly named 'Blizzard Coat' came in very handy and she looked very smart with her red snood (think Anna Karenina, but in dog form). I couldn't resist taking a few photos...

Mina, the lovely lurcher in red

Mina, giving it her best "This isn't a Tolstoy novel, you know!" look

I'm not too sure whether Mina was impressed by her snow gear, but it certainly kept her warm and with Mina's track record for accidents and mishaps, the last thing I want is frost-bitten ears!

I'm hoping the snow melts over the weekend, so we can catch up with friends, have some great walks and on Sunday, lunch in a dog friendly pub.  In the meantime, whenever Mina's togged up in her snow gear, I still can't resist humming "The lurcher in red" to the tune of a song, that I'm not really very fond of... The Lady in Red!
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