A Growing Boy, A Residency Permit & Pineapple Salsa

My little grandson turned two yesterday and damn, how that little lad has grown. He used to look so much like his mother, but now looks just like his father did at that age. He’s into everything and has a strong independent streak and adores his Daddy. So far, he seems to have been lucky and has avoided inheriting his father’s A.D.H.D. and Autistic Spectrum disorders. Hopefully, the next child will too. Grandbaby #2 is due in September. #2 son sent me photos of the little guy in his birthday outfit and he looks so grown up… πŸ’“

This afternoon we finally got around to uploading the documentation needed for a decision on my permanent residency permit application. It’s now an essential item for me to c0ntinue living in the Netherlands now that Brexit is done. I’m no longer a European citizen. There was some confusion over the original conditions for staying because not only do I not work, pay tax or contribute to a pension fund, I don’t have a bank account, any income of any sort, not even benefits or an employment number. Bear pays for everything as was our deal ten years ago.

This posed a bit of an issue until we were informed that as long as Bear earned enough money to keep us both, was up to date with his taxes and had evidence of both for the past five years that was all that was needed for my application. So today we had to upload 12 documents, one at a time, and go through a repeated process of confirming name, birth date, phone number, email address and case number for every document. Jeez.! You’d think they’d have all those relevant questions on one page, instead of five separate pages that you have to scroll to the bottom to confirm and then click ‘Next’… and I thought British bureaucracy was ridiculous.! Smh.

I found this awesome recipe for pineapple salsa to go with the bean burgers I’m making for dinner tonight. I highly recommend it, it’s bloody awesome. Of course I didn’t follow the recipe completely, I never do. I added Habanero pepper instead of Jalapeno and black pepper and chives. Bear wants me to make it again at the weekend to take to The Mommy’s with us for the girl child’s birthday BBQ. She was 15 yesterday and spent it with her mother, brother, stepfather and step-brother. Bear called her and had a chat and I sent her a text message. She’s not really a birthday kind of kid, like her father it’s just another day and she finds it weird that people make a fuss of such things.

Dealings With My Ex, Mutual Friends & The New Bed

I got a nasty surprise yesterday that temporarily caused my rather sensitive stress levels to rise like a Pheonix. #2 son messaged me and asked if he could have my mobile number, as his father wanted to talk to me about something really important. The very mention of the man still causes my stress levels to rise and my caustic sarcasm to surface. Having not one miniscule reason to want to talk to the guy, even to exchange unpleasantries, I refused and told him his father could email me. Explaining that past experience had taught me that anything his father vocalised was always to be taken the wrong way by me and vice versa. Which is why we are in the stand-off we are and have been since December 2017.

So he suggests Messenger, which means that I not only have to unblock my ex-husband from my Facebook, but that he would also have access through mutual friends to my comments and posts on other people’s profiles. Not happy, but as I haven’t written anything about him in four years not unduly worrying. So I unblocked him, read what he wrote and agreed to the proposal. Somewhat surprisingly I discovered my name was on the property deeds of a house he bought in December 2006. The only involvement I had with that house was re-decorating it in three days, after he bought it three weeks before we were due to relocate to Germany.! So to suddenly be told my name was on the deeds was something of a ‘Eh.?’ moment.

I have no idea why my name would be put on the deeds, because I had no job, so no income, didn’t pay tax and to be honest, it wasn’t like my ex- to include me in anything remotely ‘adult’ when we were together. I was a possession just as much as the house was. That aside, he explained that he needed to make changes to the mortgage that he’d had on the place since 2006 and was thinking of re-financing because his current tenant had been furloughed from his job and couldn’t afford to pay the full rent, so my ex- had been subsidising the rest and wanted to ask for a mortgage holiday until such time as the pandemic conditions had been lifted. Which he couldn’t do without my consent.

He asked if I’d sign the house over to him as I had no stake in it and didn’t live in the UK either and hadn’t for fourteen years. I agreed to the proposal. Bear thinks I’m mad not to get some kind of financial deal out of it. I got nothing out of my divorce, I was lied about in the most vindictive, vicious ways, I lost my children, people I had believed were friends, I was painted as a cheating slut across social media and even my own family weren’t sure what was true and what wasn’t. Bear thinks a dose of revenge by financially screwing my ex- over would be a little justice, but honestly, it wouldn’t. It would make everything worse. I want nothing from that man. Absolutely nothing. For me, there is nothing there anymore, not even hatred.

He can have his house, keep all his tens of thousands of pounds and good luck to him. My life is far happier without him in it and I intend to keep it that way. My ex- is and always was manipulative, narcissistic and vicious and would take a great deal of pleasure in painting me as a money grabber and himself as a victim of greed and revenge if he didn’t get exactly what he wanted and not only do I not care enough to bother, I won’t have my sons hurt by his petty behaviour, again. Another surprise upon unblocking my ex- was finding that my sister is a mutual friend, as is my stepmother’s best friend and #1 son. It’s surprising because my ex- tried to get my sister to be his wedding photographer back in 2016 and offered to ‘bung’ her Β£200.

Honestly, he thought he could pay a semi-professional photographer Β£200 for his wedding photos just because she was ex-family. She made her excuses and he had to find a photographer who gave him exactly what he paid for. I felt for his new bride when I saw the photos he posted to Facebook. Yet another wedding done on the cheap. My stepmother’s best friend being on his friend’s list surprises me because he doesn’t like her and used to call her a dike, a slang term for a lesbian, because she lives with my parents and is closer than a best friend to my stepmother. My ex- thought their relationship was weird and kept going on about it being sexual, and called my father a cuck. So for her to be friends with him, is a little odd.

#1 son I guess is only keeping him on a friends’ list to keep an eye on him. #1 son said he despises his father for being instrumental in the death of his dog, who was put to sleep in November for some bullshit reason that basically amounted to my ex- being a negligent bastard, which is nothing new and the poor dog having age related issues. #1 son was devastated at her death and swore he’d never speak to his father again. We shall see.

Yesterday, Bear bought a bed from a local buy and sell website. He’s been looking for a king-size frame to put our old mattresses on so that we can sleep down in the cellar in the height of summer, when our bedroom is like a furnace. Unfortunately our house faces the morning sun and backs onto the setting sun, so we have searing heat all day in July and August and trying to sleep in 30 degree Celsius heat is impossible. I used to drag the mattresses down into the cellar and put them on plastic on the floor, unfortunately the cellar floor is concrete and absorbs and retains moisture, so the plastic was often wet when I tried to move the mattresses back upstairs. So Bear’s been looking for a frame.

He found this awesome electric bed, where you can move the slats up and down at the head and foot of the bed for only €75. It was the perfect size and could be dis-assembled to fit in the car, so Bear went to get it. Today he decided he’d rather have the electric bed upstairs and our bed bases in the cellar. So he moved everything out of our room into the girl child’s and took the electric bed upstairs and assembled it. Only to find it’s too narrow.! It’s not a king-size, it’s a queen-size. So now he’s pissed because he’s spent an hour moving furniture for no reason and has a bed we can’t use. He considered buying queen size mattresses for it, but I pointed out that spending €800 on mattresses for a bed we won’t use, except for novelty value was not a good idea.

And we won’t use it for anything but sleeping on. We don’t laze around in bed on the weekends and we don’t go to bed to read in the evenings. Bear’s usually out cold within two minutes of his head hitting the pillow and I wake up in pain, so there’s little chance I’m going to stay in bed once I’m awake, unless I haven’t slept well for a couple of days, then I’ll sleep in for an hour or so. None of the above would involve raising the head or foot of the bed. We don’t have the kind of health problems that would benefit from it, which makes me wonder why Bear bought it in the first place. Obviously Bear bought it on impulse because it was a bargain price and we needed a bed frame. He considered the electric part an added bonus and a bit of fun. Ever the teenager, that man. πŸ™‚

Bear, Drax & My Fucked-Up Arm

I love my Bear more than (almost) everything else in the universe and I’ve never wanted him to change, but by God he can drive me to the verge of insanity sometimes.! He went grocery shopping this morning, very quickly, before a political meeting he had to be at by 11am. He had a list that went aisle by aisle, so that he didn’t have to backtrack. Yet he still forgets the bread. He was in the bread aisle, saw there was bread on the list, didn’t pick any up.! Similar with the Ibuprofen. I was awake most of last night in pain and we have no Ibuprofen left as I used the last one yesterday for the whacking headache I woke up with. Bear says to remind him to get some today, so I put it on the list, in capital letters, with an exclamation mark… he knows this means this is life-threateningly important.

He decided not to get any because they were only 200mg tabs and he was looking for something stronger. Bear in mind this is a Dutch supermarket which does not usually sell painkillers. They’ve only recently started selling things like Nurofen and Ibuprofen and Aspirin, and only in the lowest doses available. Usually, you’d have to go to the chemist’s or Apothecary’s as it’s called over here. So there’s no chance at all of finding anything stronger than low dose Ibuprofen in the stores. Still, Bear decides he wants something stronger for my pain and doesn’t bother to buy any Ibuprofen. When I explain that I could have taken three or four 200mg tabs and been pain free, does he then think that through, decide it was a good idea and then realise that he didn’t get any.! smh

Drax, is very much like his human Daddy, in that he doesn’t bother to think things through before doing them. Yesterday evening he decided his dinner time was at 6.30pm, when in fact it’s at 8pm. To inform me of this fact he decides to communicate as loudly as possible, as frequently as breathe allows and barks at me for a good 40 seconds non-stop. When I asked what his problem was, he jumps off the sofa, goes to the kitchen and rattles his food bowl. I then informed him it was only half past six and dinner was at eight, so he’d have to wait. Not content to wait and having his human Daddy’s level of patience he decides to bark even louder. An argument ensues…

“Bark, bark, bark, bark.!”…
“No.! It’s too early.”…
“Bark, bark, bark.!”…
“I said No.! Dinner’s at eight, like it is every day.”…
“Bark, bark, bark.!”…
“It’s six thirty Drax, look.!” *shows oven’s digital readout to dog*
“Bark, Bark.!”…
*shrugs* “I know, but I didn’t make the rule, Daddy did, see him.!”…
“Bark, bark, bark.!”…
“I don’t care, I’m not taking responsibility for your early dinner, you remember what happened last time.?!”

(I ONCE allowed the dog to have an early dinner, he was hungry again just as Bear got home from work so ate again, just a little… and threw the whole lot up at 3am.! Never happening again, Bear was so pissed at having to clean up kibble puke at 3.10am, when he was half asleep.)

“Bark, bark, bark.!”…
*gets phone* “Okay, I’ll ask Daddy.!”…
Dog whines in that ‘teenager back-talking’ kind of tone and slopes off to his crate.
“I thought not.!”

Even in the crate, he barks at me, mouthing back and I ignored him, only to be pounced on and nipped on the back of my upper arm. At which point he went back in the crate with the door shut to calm the fuck down, and so I can check if he drew blood. He’s getting really big and is very strong for a 14 week old puppy. I can no longer lift him up, he’s just too heavy. Which leads me to the walkies we went on 45 minutes after dinner, during which he pulled and pulled and pulled. I stopped God knows how many times to make him stop, and told him to ‘heel’ and ‘walk nicely’, but to no avail. As soon as I started walking again, he took off like a rocket.

The problem was the lead was wrapped around my right hand, to give him as little an amount of leeway as possible, so he had to walk next to me because he had no more lead to play with. It didn’t matter, he pulled the entire time we were out and I spent last evening and all last night in agonising pain with muscle pain in my hand, lower arm and elbow, which throbbed and was impossible to sleep with. I tried numerous positions trying to ease the pain, but it wasn’t happening… hence the need for a strong painkiller this morning.! FML

It now means that I won’t be taking pup out for a walk today because I’m incapable of doing pretty much everything. I barely managed to make dinner for Bear to take to work and housework is a no-no. Typing.? I’m doing it left-handed and one-fingered while resting my right arm on a small cushion. 😦

Cheesecake, Gummy Floors & De-Slobbering The Windows

#1 son sent me photos of his cheesecake yesterday and I have to say it’s damned impressive for a first try. If her ladyship doesn’t appreciate his efforts I’ll go over there and help him eat it myself. πŸ˜€

Today, I will be cleaning the kitchen floor, having spent last night sticking to it with every step. That’s way too much for my highly sensitive germophobia to take. The damned floor is gummy from dog slobber and pee and God only knows what else. The little fuzzbutt walks across his potty pad on his way out of the back door, despite the potty pad being nowhere near his usual route and walks his previous wee all over the floor. I’m certain he does it deliberately.

How Bear can stand to walk around barefoot I don’t know, the very idea makes me feel nauseous. So the disinfectant is coming out and that floor’s getting a bloody good scrub. Usually I’d use bleach because I’m obsessive about hygiene and cleanliness, but it’s toxic to the doggo, so I can’t. Disinfectant will have to do and I’ll have to keep fingers crossed that the fuzzball doesn’t find the smell enticing enough to start licking the floor once it’s cleaned, like he did with the window.

Never using vinegar again.! While it cuts through the revolting dried on slobber beautifully, it also encourages doggo to continue licking the damned windows, like a special boy, because he likes the sour taste. He also likes the taste of Windowlene, which is toxic to him, the dumb ass. I used to use it before he came, but no more as he took to licking the windows and frames at every opportunity. Now I have to use hot water and a little lemon juice.

I’m betting he still licks the windows, Bear says he won’t. We’ll see.

#1 Son, Online Shopping & English Food In England

Yesterday and today are Bear’s days off. Yesterday, nothing got done because of college work. Today, nothing’s getting done because of politics. At some point around 8pm, he’ll be disappearing off upstairs to partake in what I’ve been informed is a political committee meeting… if I hear laughter, like I did during a ‘conference call’ last week, there’ll be trouble. He spends enough time every day glued to political debates, chat forums, messenger chat groups etc. etc., without taking up the only time I get to spend with him on that stuff as well. Even when we do sit down together to watch something, he’s got his phone or iPad to hand and it’s starting to piss me off… again.!

Last night #1 son called just as Bear was deciding whether he needed an extra few minutes to finish whatever was so important he had to still be doing it at 9pm. I was glad he called and grateful for the distraction from my rapidly rising temper and spent 3 hours chatting to him, while he was trying to multi-task with making a cheesecake for his distant fiancee. He finally got to see her two weeks ago… but hasn’t seen her since, then two days ago she agreed to come by and see him, so he’s making dessert for her, because she loves cheesecake apparently. I had to ask if she knew about the cheesecake before or after she’d agreed to honour him with her valuable time. He said he’d decided to make it after she’d agreed. Clever boy.

It seems to me she’s deliberately distancing herself from him, making plans to go out with her friends once the lockdown’s over, rather than spending time with him, her fiancΓ©. Unfortunately, he’s smitten and won’t get the message until she dumps him despite my best efforts to make him see sense without being as subtle as a breeze block. I just know this is going to end badly and I really don’t want to have to pick him up and put him back together again… the last girl who ripped his heart out nearly killed him. 😦 Anyway *big sigh* last night he decided, having never made cheesecake before in his life, that he wanted to try to make a flapjack cheesecake base… following a recipe he found online.

Well, sort of following it. He made sure he had everything measured out first and some idea of what he was supposed to do with it and then didn’t bother looking at the recipe again until I’d asked him for the eighth time what the recipe said to do… by this time he’d put the syrup in a pan with the sugar and was then left with 150g of frozen butter that needed melting before going in the pan, so he puts it in the pan, where it separates and looks stringy, but he doesn’t have a whisk… Oh my life… so in steps Mum with a suggestion to use two forks face to face and see how that works. Apparently really well, because said butter once properly melted and beaten, incorporated into the syrup mixture perfectly… now for the rolled oats mix *rolls eyes*.

Does he have to chop the chopped fruit smaller.? He didn’t use the mixed fruit the recipe recommended because his fiancee doesn’t like raisins, so he used cranberries and apricots instead, should he lessen or add more than the recipe says.? How do you roll oats.? This is a 25 year old grown man whose worked in busy restaurants and easily passed three levels of college courses on cake baking and confectionery. Which is strange because he hates cooking with a passion. I won’t describe the cheesecake mix itself, suffice to say he used a fat-free cream and cream cheese instead of the full-fat versions the recipe recommended. I’ll wait until later to find out how it went…

Before #1 son’s call last night I was looking for an appropriate toy for my grandson’s 2nd birthday on Tuesday. This morning I started looking for a summer outfit instead, as I was duly informed that #2 son had asked for clothes instead of toys. He and his fiancee live in a tiny two-bedroom flat and don’t have the storage space needed for all of their son’s toys. So I found a gorgeous dinosaur patterned shorts and shirt set and a pair of bright orange monster clog-sandals that he’ll look adorable in.

The problems started when I went to pay. It was a UK clothing store (website) that apparently only delivers to the UK, which is totally fine as it means they deliver within a decent time frame, unlike European stores shipping to the UK, but because that’s the case they don’t accept European phone numbers or addresses, which makes it damned difficult to buy anything for someone living in the UK if the buyer doesn’t. Which I don’t. So after trying our address twice and being refused, I tried my eldest son’s… still refused. Huh.? He lives in the UK, so what gives.? So then I tried my parent’s address and it was accepted.

Bugger.! So then I had to message my mother and let her know I’d used her address as a billing address and given her mobile number, so there was every chance she’d receive delivery times and dates via text next week. For fuck sake.!! After that I then had to put my youngest son’s address in twice before it would accept it and finally managed to pay. Had I had more time I would have looked elsewhere and not put up with all that buggering around. I hate online shopping.

All that talk of cheesecake last night had me thinking about other desserts and whether I could make flapjacks too. Would you believe you cannot get glacΓ© cherries in Dutch supermarkets.? Seriously. No glacΓ© cherries, no mixed peel, no sultanas. Apparently there’s no call for them as the Dutch don’t eat fruitcake or make anything that would contain mixed peel or sultanas. Weirdos.! They don’t have blocks of Jelly either. Yes, I know I’ve lived here for nearly ten years, so should have known that by now… but I’ve only done a proper Christmas cake and pudding once since I’ve been here, and all of those ingredients were brought back from England the month before, because we were in Tesco’s at the time and Bear suggested getting it all, so I haven’t needed to look for them.

It now looks like I’m going to have to make a list of all the awesome English foodstuffs that can’t be found over here so that we can get them when we go back to England in October, like Scotch eggs, sausage rolls, crumpets, chicken kiev, Eccles cakes, sausages… mmmmm.! making me hungry just thinking about it. πŸ˜€

Barking At Nothing, Teaching A Young Dog New Tricks & Chronic Pain

Yesterday evening the kids were taken home and peace and quiet once again reigned, as much as it can with a nutty puppy racing around, barking at nothing. He has a little perch at the end of the sofa where there’s no back rest, so that he can lie in the sun in the mornings and see the world outside at the front of the house. Which he barks at, constantly, even when there’s no-one around and nothing going on. The breeze moves the leaves on the wisteria above the window, he barks… a magpie lands on the opposite neighbour’s front steps, he barks… a bug walks across the front path, so tiny I can barely see it, he barks… any movement of any sort by anything and he barks at it.

This morning he’s out on the patio barking at the noise of the refuse lorries, the sparrows and the Police helicopter doing an overhead patrol. Like he has any kind of effect on these things… even the pigeons ignore him and the wind couldn’t care less if it makes him feel threatened. He’s not the bravest little soul in the world and introducing him to other dogs is going to be an uphill struggle. He was terrified by the big dog at The Mommy’s over the weekend and ran yelping from the French Bulldog next door that he met up with on Sunday on his way back from a walk with Bear. He was okay with the neighbour’s dog coming up to him and being nose to nose with him, but as soon as it started to snuffle, he leapt up and tried to pull himself from his lead.

Funnily enough later that evening, in the garden, with a fence between them, he was all bravado and barked at it like a mad thing. At some point they’re going to meet again, but hopefully he’ll have had a few lessons at the puppy trainers and met a few other dogs first and won’t be so defensive. He’s even scared of the tiny chihuahua a colleague of Bear’s owns. He met her once and she started yipping at him, she’s less than half his size and he backed off whimpering and tried to hide behind Bear’s legs. I’m only grateful he’s not a rottweiler or a bull terrier… that would be embarrassing for him, and us.! πŸ˜€

I’ve been trying to teach him to take his toys and blankets out of a cardboard box. It all started because there was an empty cardboard box on the dining area floor that terrified the hell out of him. Every time he went near it, he’d yelp and run. I sat on the floor with it, moving it around the floor and telling him it was okay until he came over and began sniffing it. Slowly but surely he’s gotten used to it and tried to chew on it a few times. Bear throws his toys in there to see if he’ll go get them, so far he’s only brave enough to take them out of the box when I hold the box open for him. Otherwise he’ll leave the toys there and find something else to play with.

As expected I lugged the heavy boxes down two flights of stairs, along with a suitcase that was stuffed to bursting, three other boxes and two bags. I went through what was left of the kids’ toys and sorted out the remaining cupboards in their rooms. All the tasks Bear said he would do. Two weeks ago. Not that I actually expected him to do them, that would be stupid, getting Bear to do mundane tasks is like trying to get blood out of a stone. Seriously, he’s 52 going on 16… anything not interesting or rewarding and there isn’t a cat in hell’s chance of him doing it. It’s why he lives on the Internet, reality isn’t even half as exciting as kitty meme’s and political debates with complete strangers.

He introduced me to his Twitter bubble a few weeks ago, as if I was likely to become a part of it… yeah, no chance mate, I like to know what’s going on under my own nose thanks and I don’t need to live and breathe Twitter to know what’s going on in the world. Especially as he tells me everything going on in the USA on a daily basis anyway, whether I want to know or not. The results of said lugging meant that for the past few days I’ve had damn near unbearable pain in my left hip and lower back as well as in my knees and shoulders. Bear’s answer is to go see the doc and let him harpoon me again… yeah, like fuck. I’d rather self-medicate.

It’s painless and controlled, unlike the harpooning sadist, who you can read about here if it interests you enough. Damned if I’m going back for more of that. Unfortunately the only half decent anti-inflammatory I can get without going OTC and alerting the sadist is Ibuprofen, in 200mg tabs which is like throwing stones at a tsunami. Chronic pain is a real bitch… always. I once had a bone scan to check for the spread of fibromyalgia. They found that I didn’t have fibromyalgia but couldn’t tell me what was wrong as I wasn’t presenting with the usual signs of arthritis or rheumatism or anything recognisable, although they did agree that something was wrong with my joints.

Exercise is always the advised treatment, but let me tell you something you only find out after you’ve been to a physio and spent weeks on end in agony… exercise doesn’t do shit for chronic pain but make it worse. Physio does nothing because no-one knows what’s wrong with you, so they have no treatment for it, so they put you through a range of exercises designed for people with rheumatism and osteo-arthritis and arthritis, but as you don’t have those, it does nothing but cause you more pain. Exercise makes the pain worse because you’re moving your joints in a way they’re not used to and they’re rubbing against tendons and ligaments in a way they wouldn’t usually.

Walking exacerbates the pain. Every doctor and physio I’ve ever seen said to go walking. I walked. I walked for 10 minutes every day for a month. Then I walked for 10 minutes twice a day for another month. Every day I’d dose myself up on anti-inflammatory’s and painkillers and walk. Every night I’d cry from the agonising pain in my hips and lower back that stopped me sleeping and made me more and more depressed because of the pain and the constant pressure to walk, being told it would get better. It didn’t. I spent six months walking and am now in a worse state than I was before I started. Now my knees are screwed too and I have to wear lightweight shoes, because anything too heavy causes pain in my ankles and knees.

Puppy’s Perch… for to bark at everything and nothing…

The Mommy, The Big Dog, Moderation & A Car Ride

Today we went to The Mommy’s after she informed Bear that she’d made chippies, meatballs and strawberry cake especially for us… how can you turn down an invitation with a guilt trip like that.? She doesn’t seem to have understood that while family gatherings are allowed, she still has to observe the social distancing and regular hand washing regulations. I’m not sure what has to happen for her to finally register that she’s not out of danger. Bear has talked to her, his brother has talked to her, their step-sister has talked to her.

Still it goes completely over her head. She has a face mask and has been told it’s not to protect her, but to protect others from her, but she still thinks she’s safe because she has one. Her husband went to the garden centre last week and they’ve been shopping. I totally get that she wants to get back to normal, wants to see her family and her grandchildren again and that she doesn’t see why she can’t. She doesn’t have the virus, we don’t have the virus so what’s the problem.? Trying to explain that her going shopping, to her local supermarket, like so many other people have done means she still could get infected and thus pass it on.

Her husband going to the garden centre, albeit with his mask on, doesn’t mean he won’t get it from touching something someone else has and not washing his hands until he gets home. She doesn’t understand about germs and their longevity and transferal, and is starting to feel it’s all a massive drama over very little. We took pup with us in his travel crate, in which he puked again. He was a real pain to get in the thing as he knows the crate means the car, and he’s now none too keen on that mode of transport. Eventually Bear got him in and he immediately started to yawn and pant and drool. Poor little guy.

He was happy to see Bear’s Mom and her husband, remembering them from his first visit and tail wagged and licked and accepted belly tickles and strokes happily, while I cleaned up his crate, until they had an unexpected visitor with a huge dog in tow. It was a beautiful Australian Shepherd, only 13 months old but calm and well behaved, but it was massive. Poor pup was terrified and tried valiantly to escape under the patio lounger, somewhat unsuccessfully, and just lay there yelping and whimpering until it was taken away (which it was, very quickly). It’s definitely not going to be easy socialising the little guy.

He was even terrified of the people who came with it. The man came over to see him and he yelped and cried and tried to climb over Bear’s shoulder to get away. I think it might have been because he smelt of his dog, although pup isn’t great with human strangers either. He was better with the woman, whom he allowed to stroke him and he licked her hand. They left it a little while and the man came over again to see him and was allowed to stroke him, but got his thumb bitten for his efforts. Then we found out the dog’s name is Loki… which explains everything… pup’s name is Drax. In a MCU fight, Loki would win. πŸ˜€

When the big dog and his owners had gone, pup was placated with thin slices of pork sausage and chunks of fresh strawberries. (I checked to make sure the pork sausage didn’t contain garlic or onion or anything that would make him ill first). They seemed to do the trick, although he was more intent on getting himself some spare ribs and chippies but Bear doesn’t share. Human food is alright in moderation, but how do you get a 13 week old puppy to understand moderation.? There’s gorgeous smells coming from the kitchen and they’re nowhere near his food bowl… the sheer unfairness of it… and then he has to sit and watch humans stuff their faces with gorgeous smelling meats and fruit and nice smelling liquids… while he gets the same old kibble and water.! Damned if I’d want to be a dog.

On the homeward journey, we decided not to put pup in the travel crate. Although I’d cleaned it as much as possible, it still stank of puke and fear and I knew it would be damned near impossible to get him back in it without a fight and why stress the poor little pup out more than he’d already been.? So he sat on my lap with his paws on my shoulders and cuddled me all the way home, panting in my ear and drooling on me, but nowhere near as much as he had in the travel crate. Maybe it’s better that he does it that way for short trips and goes in the crate for the long-haul journeys. Maybe he’ll get used to the movement and be less stressed when he gets to his destination, wherever that may be.

Squeaks, Sores & Slobbery Teens

This afternoon, Bear brought home a new toy for the pup… the most fucking annoying high-pitched squeaky ball ever.!!! And of course, the dog LOVES it.! He wasn’t sure at first because the squeak made even him jump, but he soon got used to it and decided it had to be heard all across the neighbourhood and has since obliged. I’m pretty sure my neighbours now hate us every bit as much as I hate them. He’s completely totalled his squeaky bear, ripping holes in it and pulling out the stuffing. I tried to repair it but he wasn’t having it and ripped more holes in it. Poor little bear.

Pup hurt his back paw earlier this afternoon, no idea how, but I’m thinking he got it caught under one of the vertical planks on the new gate and grazed the back of his metatarsal pad. I couldn’t see anything at the time and he didn’t flinch when I checked him over but it started to bleed tonight after he’d been running around the patio and living room like a lunatic, smearing blood all over the place. I cleaned it as much as possible, but there was nothing I could put on it that he wouldn’t have chewed off, so he went in his crate to calm down and rest for a while. It looks like quite a nasty graze and he flinches a lot when I touch it, but he still walks on it okay.

The children are here for the weekend, staying until Tuesday evening. Bear has early shifts on Monday and Tuesday, so they’ll be at my mercy for most of the day. Already the girl child has done all her homework so she doesn’t have to do any schooling on Monday or Tuesday. The boy child’s not so prepared, but now there are desks and chairs in their bedrooms he can go upstairs to do his in peace… or as much peace as you can get while a lunatic dog races around barking and squeaking alternately the entire day. Good luck to him.

The girl child however, will be at the dog’s mercy too… and so far she’s none too chuffed with the amount of slobber the new squeaky ball can hold, having had pup rest it against her bare arm to make it squeak and having it come away looking like something out of Alien… gross.! πŸ˜€ The boy child thought it was hilarious until pup decided the boy child had to play with him and thrust said slobbered on ball into his hands, making him shriek like a girl.! πŸ˜€ To be fair, it was pretty revolting. I’m clever enough by now to keep out of pup’s radar unless there’s food involved. I’m happy to be the tug of war player and the provider of food and treats… but the slobber can be Bear’s reward… he bought the ball after all.

Conference Calls, BDSM & Living La Vida Loca

Bear had a conference call this afternoon and right there is a whole load of bullshit… conference call my ass, there were three women showing on his screen and they discussed whatever the hell was relevant to the call for about five minutes and then spent the remaining 50 minutes on a social hang-out giggling and shooting the shit. So this is conference calling is it.? Hanging out chatting with your work/college/study buddies and calling it work.?

Like it actually means something gets done. Sod all has gotten done by Bear this morning, when he said he’d go through his clothing and bring the stuff that’s been dumped in the girl child’s room down to the cellar to put in storage. They’re going to be here Friday and he has today, tomorrow and Wednesday off. Guess who’s going to be lugging heavy boxes down two flights of stairs on their own.? Yeah, not Bear. So far he’s gone through his t-shirts…

I went through a cupboard that’s usually kept locked in the boy child’s room. It’s been some time since the stuff in there has seen the light of day, so I figure it can go down into the cellar as well. Bear’s not interested in kink and the BD side of BDSM anymore, 😦 the damned Internet has taken all his attention again. You pay out a small fortune on leather corsets, collars, restraints and latex clothing and a decent Dominant’s kit and it gets used a few times and then left in a cupboard.

We used to be so much more active in the scene. It used to be a major part of my lifestyle before I met Bear. I’d been trained and had trained others in both Dominant and submissive roles and had a very respectful following and then Bear happened and it all got left behind because he felt insecure and unable to explain that he was more interested in the sex than the learning. Didn’t take me long to figure it out though and decide I wasn’t going down that road.

I’m a 100% or 0% kind of girl. There’s no 98% with me. So it went away and the dull, monotonous vanilla life of routines and sex in the dark took over… yawn.! Am I resentful.? Well, actually yes, I am. I spent 20 years in the lifestyle and was bloody good at what I did and when I met Bear he was all about BDSM and learning and gaining experience and then just decides after five years of dabbling, on a whim, that he doesn’t want the rules and etiquette’s and lessons, just the kinky sex… so yes, I’m resentful, but I hide it well.

20 years is hard to leave behind, but he’s more important to me than pretty much everything else (my children excepted) so I’ll follow him and store our stuff until such time as he decides he wants to partake again, if ever, and I’ll be grateful for the time he gives me in whichever role he chooses. For now, we’re down to living La Vida Loca, which can get a little exciting, but not too much; too much excitement is exhausting these days.

Wannabe Rambo, Awesome Dog Chews & Proper English Cream Tea

Awesome Dog Chew

The natural aroma oil didn’t work. The smell faded by the following morning, so doggo took his chance to have a chew on my house shoes and got a nasty taste of lemon oil… which also duly faded by the time he decided to have another crack at them a couple of hours later. So much for that idea.! Bear decided to go with the water pistol solution, something he seems to be enjoying just a little too much. So far he’s only soaked pup twice with his Super Soaker and pup has indeed learned to keep a safe distance away from the fence post, he’s a bright little fella really.

I refused to allow it to be used in the house, much to Bear’s consternation, and suggested a spray bottle, like you have for misting plants. Far preferable to my mind than Mr. wannabe Rambo and his gleeful dispensing of watery deterrent all over my living room.! I think he’s a bit miffed that pup learnt the second time. πŸ˜€ The spray bottle seems to be an effective deterrent. I only had to mist pup’s face four times before he learnt that the spray bottle was to be avoided. Now I only have to show it to him for him to stop doing whatever offending activity he’s currently engaged in.

Having spent the entire morning and most of the afternoon being an absolute angel yesterday (the pup), Bear came home from grocery shopping with probably the most awesome dog chews ever.! Certainly in pup’s opinion. Real rolled beef skin with layers of chicken wrapped around it. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a happier puppy than the little doggo with this bloody huge bone-like chew between his teeth, trotting off to his comfy bed on the patio to eat it… it took him a good hour to eat the chicken and two more to finish chewing all the goodness out of the beef skin and leaving it in a gooey mess for me to deal with. Thanks buddy…

Once he was done Bear took him for a walk where he met other dogs, other people and was treated and fussed over and generally tired out. He’s happily snoozing under the dining table right now… bliss.! I’ve managed to get his bedding and some of his toys washed and dried, so he’s all set for bedtime tonight. I’ve decided to try him with a blanket covering his crate, so he’s not overwhelmed by light and outside noise in the morning when it gets light at 4am and the damn birds start screaming and shouting all across the neighbourhood.

He’s a very easily excitable puppy but not so easily subdued, so giving him a darker, less stimulating place to rest and calm down when he needs a time-out might be beneficial to him. Obviously the front of the crate isn’t covered, just the top and the left side of the crate that’s open to the dining area and kitchen. His crate is positioned against the wall and the side of the sofa, so the back and right side are already covered. We’ll see how he likes it. If he doesn’t, I’ll remove it and try again in a few weeks.

Yesterday, I decided to try the English scones recipe I found online again. I made some scones with that recipe three days ago, but did it by hand and did them plain, instead of with fruit. They were hard, chewy and not very appetising. Yesterday’s were much better. I made the dough in the food processor and added sultanas. They rose beautifully and were soft, crumbly and really good with strawberry jam. The only issue I have with foreign recipes for English scones is the insistence that you add cream first, then jam when serving and you dust them with powdered sugar. NO.!!!

I’m all for experimentation when it comes to food, but DO NOT go telling people how the English traditionally eat their scones when you are not English.! NEVER have we EVER dusted our scones with powdered sugar. NEVER.! Not only am I English, I am Cornish and it deeply offends me when people change English traditions to suit themselves and make out that they know what they’re on about, when clearly they don’t.! It is pronounced SCOWN, not SCON. Northerners call them scons and the recipe is not the same as the proper Cornish recipe.

When you have a proper English Cream Tea, you slice the scone in half, you add a teaspoon of STRAWBERRY jam first, and then a heaped teaspoon of clotted cream and then you put the top half gently back on top of the cream. You eat them with your fingers… not like some genteel old lady who uses a dessert fork or a spoon. FINGERS people. If you’re going to do it, do it RIGHT.! You don’t have to add the fruit to the recipe if you don’t want to, plain scones are also correct. Adding cream first and then jam will get you stared at (or glared at) in every proper English tearoom and snubbed like the barbarian you are.

I have even known a Japanese couple be asked to leave a Tearoom in Swanage, Dorset back in the early 90’s for adding butter and then raspberry jam to their scones. True story. The staff were absolutely horrified at the carnage to their Cream Tea and asked them to leave their establishment immediately upon finishing their afternoon tea. You might think that was a bit harsh, but we English take our Cream- and High Tea’s VERY seriously. You never put milk in Earl Grey, and you never add milk or sugar to your teacup before you pour the tea.

Obviously these days the barbarianism has taken over and people are doing whatever the hell they like with their tea and scones, being all rebellious and shit and thinking they’re cool or hip, or some such nonsense, but down south, where people still care about the proper traditions of their nation and the etiquette and elegance of their Cream and High Tea’s, you can still find an Olde English Tearoom that does it right and insists on it being done right, but shamefully they’re hard to find.

claytoonz

Nationally Syndicated Editorial Cartoonist

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