Thursday, 25 June 2015

Remembering Our Beloved Pet After One Year

It's been one year since our beloved dog Ricko left us.

It was a terribly sad day for everyone. He'd been part of our family for about 12 years and was always happy to just be.
When Mr 9 was Mr 2, with Ricko

Ricko was a tri-colour King Charles Cavalier. He had that soft, silky fur that kids can't keep their hands off. He was effeminate. He didn't particularly like to get his feet wet.

He loved to bask in the sun with his mouth open, his tongue poking out ever so slightly until he saw you and caught you looking at him. Then the mouth closed firm, until he looked away and let it drop open again. Hours of fun in that.

He was Lucy's best friend. Lucy, the staffie, bossed him around and was often a little rough with Ricko, especially as he got older and the arthritis and blindness kicked in. Ricko knew how to handle her, though.

He would leave the bed or spot they were resting in, take a few steps away and then bark, as though he'd seen something amiss. Lucy would jump to her feet and run to investigate while Ricko silently slipped back into his spot and watched her work. He was brilliant.

Always together

Ricko left Lucy behind and anyone who knows dogs will understand when I say she was sad. She knew her friend was gone and for a while she would wander around, looking, sitting awkwardly as if waiting for him to walk in the room. Her ears pricked up when we mentioned his name. It was heartbreaking.

We still miss him but we make a point of talking about him a lot, laughing at stories about him. We often look at photos of him and we keep a little stone with his name engraved on it in the lounge room.

In the garden, we planted a rose. Ricko's rose. It was a bitch of a plant with uncontrollable growth and deadly thorns, so we replaced it. You've got to be practical, right? It's what he would have wanted.

I'm thinking about Ricko today because Miss 6 brought her English book home from school this afternoon. It's full and she'll need a new one for next term.  Flicking through the pages, I came across a story titled Pets. I nearly spat my tea all over it when I read the last sentence.

My pet used to have a buddy but my dad took him to the vet.


Have you lost a pet and what do you do to remember your fluffy loved one?

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Happy First Birthday to My Blog - What's Happened in a Year?

One today. My, how the time flies.

What's happened in a year besides the whole Glad Wrap debacle?

Well, there are 66 posts on my blog, so I guess I've written a lot more. Word.

I've completed 15 paintings and sold 7.


Novel word-count is 55,000. Not great considering I was at 42,000 a year ago, but hey, growth is growth, right?

The vegie garden is still producing, but husband must take most of the praise for that. I'm more responsible for eating it.

I wrote a 1500 word short story just for the hell of it.

With the help of Dad, two pieces of furniture have enjoyed a coastal makeover.

I've had a surfing lesson and gave up tap dancing.

Wait, is that me or Cameron Diaz???

The dog is still a total bitch. Love her to death though.

The children are, according to their school reports, a year wiser.

I'm a season behind on House of Cards due to this whole bloody Netflix / Foxtel mess and mourning John Snow.

Am in the process of getting my polyp-filled nose fixed and, after less than 2 weeks of medication, I feel like a new person. For real. Radical changes, people, radical changes.

Winter is still the hardest part of the year, but summer is coming.

Can't wait for more of this gear.

I think that sums it up. Thanks for celebrating Blog's First Birthday with me. Don't forget your lolly bag.

Monday, 22 June 2015

Recycling - Do You Know What Goes Where?

It's true: recycling is no longer just for hippies.

In the last twenty years or so, our general approach to recycling has shifted considerably, with an emphasis on reducing waste, reusing what we can and preserving our planet for future generations.

Every household has a yellow bin and most actually use it. Our councils have reduced the size of our regular bins in comparison, gently encouraging our cooperation. Many public places offer recycling bins and children are learning the importance of recycling at school.

Slowly but surely, we are changing, uniting for the greater good. Be proud, humans because it needs to happen.

The sheer volume of recyclable products in the household is astounding and despite my best efforts, there are still items that make their way in error to the regular bin at our place. As head of recycling at Team Turner, my family feel the wrath when I open the bin to find a cardboard or plastic item buried beneath other juicy waste, abandoned, never to know the joy of living again.

No, we're not the best at recycling and mistakes do get made, but we give it a red hot go.
That looks a little painful.

When you consciously think about recycling for a while, eventually it becomes second nature. There's no need to stop and think about which bin the Coke can goes in, or where to put the newspaper. Those ones are obvious.

The problem is the grey area, the items that aren't blatantly obvious.

The little triangle with a number in it is incredibly misleading if you haven't spent an hour or two educating yourself on the topic of recycling.

Surely I wasn't alone when I believed the little triangle with a number in it meant first, an item is recyclable, and second, if it's recyclable, you put it in your yellow-lid bin?

WRONG. The number inside the triangle indicates the type of plastic a container is made from. It's not a green light to chuck it in your recycling bin. The plastic bag that pasta comes in, for example, is recyclable. But not through your yellow bin. This one has to go with other plastic bags into the recycle bin at the front of the supermarket. Apparently.

Right? Got it. That's easy.

Now riddle me this one batman:

OK, so it's already been recycled, that's lovely. Can it be recycled again? I don't know.

They've specifically asked us to dispose of this egg carton responsibly. What does that mean? Don't make a loud noise when you close the lid on the bin? Don't flush it down the toilet?

I don't think it's reasonable to expect the average person who isn't university-qualified in the finer points of recycling, manufacturing and engineering to understand HOW to do the right thing here.

To add a little salt to the wound (that is the gaping wound of feeling like a dick for not knowing which bin to use), councils vary in their guidelines for what they will and will not take. Some will take pizza boxes, some won't and some will only take them if they're not too pizzary. Yes, that's a word now.

The worst thing for me is that I know, despite how much I'm banging on about this right now, I'm going to continue to get it wrong because the rules just aren't clear enough.

I hate the thought of putting something in the regular bin that could have a meaningful existence elsewhere. Conversely, I feel pretty bad knowing I could be accidentally busting some green-machine and costing the council thousands of dollars to get it fixed.

How about you? Do you feel you have a complete handle on recycling? What are your best tips?