Category Archives: Pets

DIY laundry table – a learning experience for a newbie!

My recent DIY project got me motivated to try more daring things. I should have known but I went ahead anyway.

My new front loader washing machine was delivered and, as I expected, there wasn’t room to sit the machines side by side, like I had with the last washer. Yet the dryer sitting on top of the washer looked completely out of proportion.

I also had a bigger problem. Henry the cat always eats his dinner on top of the dryer. If I put his food somewhere else he just sits on top of the dryer looking at me askance.

Something had to be done.

After triple checking the measurements (the first two checks resulted in different outcomes) I headed to the local hardware store. I love this store and I prefer to shop locally, but I don’t think many females walk into the timber section. The first guy I spoke to had the typical Australian male response – he looked around to see if there was somewhere else he could be. When I asked if they would cut the wood to size he said the cutter didn’t cut very straight. Whether he meant the machine or the person using it, I’m not sure. He then put me onto another person who had better communication (and sales) skills.

I reckon the new guy worked me out pretty quick as a DIY enthusiast – lots of enthusiasm, not much knowledge or skill.  Anyway, he was great. He cut the table legs to size (yes, they are straight) and gave me a piece of MDF for free (it was used as packing material – a bit like reusing pallets, I guess). The table items including brackets came to less than $30. My hardware store bill though was over $100. How does this happen? You add in a can of paint, this and that, and next minute you are wishing you have shares in the hardware store business.

I painted the items first. As I said, lots of enthusiasm. MDF takes a lot of paint. I used a primer, followed by two coats.

Yes this is on a lean. Or at least the concrete is on a lean. The sawhorses were freebies - picked up when the hard rubbish collection was recently held here.

I predrilled screw holes and drilled the brackets attaching the legs and table top.

Table was wonky.

Lady at work gave me a few ideas how to fix it. Thank you Eva.

Back to the hardware store Saturday after hair appointment. Still lots of enthusiasm.

I also had a brainwave. How about adding a silver trim to the table top edge to match the silver trim of the whitegoods and stainless steel of the laundry wash basin? Ooh. Style!

A final coat of white semi-gloss (it looks spiffy white and clean) was followed by masking the table top ledge and painting the edge using a sponge roller. So easy. I just wish I added a few more coats of the silver to deepen the shade but I still have that opportunity if I so wish.

How it turned out …

Okay. Not the best, but it does its job. And I couldn’t have bought something to suit for any $.

Yes, it holds the dryer, a full dryer load in action, and the cat’s dish (slightly smaller than the pictured laundry basket) and the 6.6kg cat.

I learnt heaps and know what I would do different next time so a worthwhile experience.
Close up of the exceedingly complicated washer electronics. Still haven’t worked out what some of the symbols mean. Yes I have read the booklet.

I’ll try to add a photo of the table in use as was intended – a shelf for the cat’s meals. Henry the cat eats for the Antarctic so shouldn’t be too difficult to catch that on digital film.

Now this is clever

A misspent youth … err … puppyhood

Nora the piano player

Dog tag:- Bella, the princess

What breed are you?
Papillon. I am descended from aristocracy. The word papillon is french and means butterfly. It makes reference to my magnificent ears.

How old are you?

That’s a rather impertinent question.

What is your full name?

Princess Bella

[Note from human: It is actually Bella the Princess. Slightly different, depending upon where one puts the emphasis, as in Bella the Princess.]

Do you have any nicknames?

Princess. Miss Madam.

Where do you usually sleep?

Up high on cushions or pillows, as befitting my status.

[Note from human: Yes, she does like her comfort.]

What is your favourite thing to do?





Who is your best friend?

Now, that would be Ziggy.

And Henry the cat. When he lets me play.

The human.

Teri, the dogwalker. 

The lady down the road.

Jack and Rachael (good memories there).

Robyn and Camus.


All our friends from the dogpark, except for the doberman.

I could go on.

Did you go to obedience school?

And what would obedience school be?

[Note from human: Err, yes, that would be my fault.

Perhaps finishing school?]

Can you do any tricks?

Another impertinent question.

Any last comments?

Your welcome.

Dog tag:- Ziggy Stardust, you’re it!

What breed are you?

The human says I’m a designer dog gone wrong. I’m not sure what that means. Mum was a Pomeranian and dad was a Silky Terrier. Sometimes, the human tells other humans I’m a Long Haired Bowie Terrier.

How old are you?

8 years young this year. Still as sprightly as any two year old at the dog park. Just need longer sleeps.

What is your full name?

Ziggy Stardust.

Do you have any nicknames? 

Zig or Zigs. The Zigster is the human’s favourite.

Sometimes the human goes through all the names – Ziggy, Bella, Henry – and none of us are sure which one is in trouble. Best to avoid the human then.

Where do you usually sleep?

At night time on the bed. I try to stay away from the end where the human puts her feet cause when she moves about that can disturb my sleep. Daytime and early evening the best spot is on the lounge. When the human is on the computer I do like to be close by but that usually ends up with the same result as if I sleep too close to the human’s feet on the bed.

What is your favourite thing to do?

Play fetch. I decide when it starts and when it stops. Annoying when the human doesn’t want to play. But I just keep dropping the ball at her feet over and over again til I get her attention.

What is something unusual/interesting about you?

I am NOT named after Molly Meldrum’s dog/s. Though I am named after some famous human singer character. Apparently.

Who is your best friend?

The human. I’m her right hand man!

Then Henry. Not a bad old codger … for a cat.

Perhaps Bella, on a good day. What a princess!

Did you go to obedience school?

When I was just a pup, the human and I went to preschool at a place the human called the vet. I did like preschool cause they kept handing out chicken treats. Then I found out what else they do there  and you can’t get me inside that den of iniquity for all the chicken treats in the world. I mean, do you know what they did to my anal glands? They squeezed them!!! And as for another part of the anatomy – well, we won’t go there. Unmentionable. The human says it’s so there aren’t any other designer dogs gone wrong. Huh! And I said she was my best friend.

Oh, and the human talks about how no owner fails puppy preschool. If so, then why did we go to remedial classes? Huh, human???

Err, excuse me. Lost it there for a moment. Almost as upset as when the neighbour’s dog tries to do his business in the front yard.

Right. Back with you now.

Can you do any tricks?

Jump up high to catch the ball. Sit. Wait. Roll over. The last three we learnt at the remedial training. The first I do naturally. I also jump up high when the human brings out the dog lead. Over and over again. I get so excited. Then the human tells me to sit. And to wait.

Any last comments?

Can you edit out the stuff I said about the human? She took me to the beach the other day. That was cool!

Sniff you when next at the dog park or at the beach!

The daily workings of the palace run by the pampered pooches

The pampered pooches


Ziggy –
Fetch, walkies, fetch, walkies, might think about food but it’s only going to be that stuff from the vet, fetch, walkies, sleep   

Bella –
Food, comfy cushion, food, better check out the food dish again, cushion (darn cat is on there again), back to food as that dastardly cat is ignoring my growls, wag tail at human (might get more food), bark at non-existent noise at front door   

Henry –
Move Bella off comfy cushion, food, corner spot on lounge (even better if heated throw human put there for me is turned on), food, annoy human by asking to go out window, annoy human by asking to come in by window, food (just in case it is something different), bed (only if the electric blanket is on, otherwise stay in main room with heater)   

Human –
Open door to blasting cold to let out dogs to do business, bed (better if remembered to turn on electric blanket), try to find room between Henry and Ziggy on either side of bed with Bella taking pillow, wake at 12.00 midnight to let dogs out for business, stumble back to bed after waiting for Bella to come back inside and able to close door to cold, 3.00am wake to let dogs out for business, stumble back to bed after waiting for Bella to come back inside and able to close door to cold, 5.00am wake to let cat out, 7.00am alarm goes off and try to convince dogs to get up and go outside to do business.

Being neighbourly

The neighbours are moving. What bliss.

They are lovely neighbours, friendly, don’t have late parties with loud music and gatecrashers. Yeah, their dogs bark but then my dogs bark at their dogs and we acknowledge this and we are working on it. So are the dogs. Frequently.

So if they are such great neighbours, why the joy?

I was able to open the bedroom blinds and windows.

You can’t see directly into my bedroom from the front of the house, nor from the neighbour’s house. From their driveway and garage, you can look sideways (I’m turning my head as I type so scratch that), you can see, from an angle, my built in wardrobe which covers one whole wall. No worries, you are thinking. Except for the floor to ceiling full width mirror coverage of said wardrobe doors. Which reflects back everything in the room. 

Normally I make do with a lack of natural light and having the aircon on all night. Which is quite considerate of me really. It would give me a dreadful fright first thing of a morning, except I’m short sighted.


Another neighbourly matter is that someone in the close vicinity has an unsecured wireless network with excellent signal strength.

 I did think of … I did think of leaving a friendly neighbourly note in their letterbox to warn them of the dangers of such, but then came across a much better idea.

As have some others …

Thank you Passive Aggressive Notes for these gems and a few wasted hours I should have been doing the housework.

Is that passive aggressive enough for you? Or should I tone it down a tad?


Your neighbour on the internet.

Update on Ziggy’s progress …

Update Tuesday:

Ziggy is doing well. He has progressed to where they were trying him on a little fluid this afternoon. No vomiting, no diarrhea. Still a while to go, but good to date. I hope to visit him Wednesday.
A few have asked how to manage this on an ongoing basis. From what I have read, and what the vet nurse has told me, it will be a low fat diet. As I mentioned in the previous post, Ziggy’s diet was pretty good anyway. But maybe he is predisposed to the condition. Who knows these things? His digestion wasn’t great and his farts could clear a room (in fact I have had to go inside when he has farted outside), so a new diet may make that better.
The one thing I wasn’t sure about (and I have wondered this a little over the years) was how Bella (the second dog) would cope without Ziggy, top dog. She is fine.
Me? Well, let’s say I lost a little sleep last night. And I jumped a mile when my personal mobile went off when driving this morning.  But Ziggy is in good hands, I like the veterinary staff and Ziggy certainly liked them when he went there for doggy daycare. Not sure if his opinion will change now though.

Update Wednesday:
Ziggy is progressing well. He tolerated water yesterday and today it is food. If that goes well he can come home tomorrow Thursday. If he needs constant watching though, I will ask for him to stay at the vet til I finish work Friday so I can watch him over the weekend.
I asked if I could visit Ziggy today and was told it was best not to. Apparently he took quite a while to settle and while the IV is still in they don’t want him to move around and be unsettled again. Which he would do if I visited him. I know – he would want to jump up and so on. The vet nurse must have heaved a sigh of relief when I said I understood, that I didn’t want to upset Ziggy, and visiting him would be to meet my needs more than his.
All good news with him getting better. I just don’t know if I will be getting him to go back to doggy daycare though … it’s in the same building, with the same staff, as the vet!   🙂