So this is our first special ornament, a goose. The story behind this is that a couple of years ago I got a winter hat & scarf set from Asda supermarket. A couple of times I saw other human people wearing the same items which was a bit of a fashion faux pas, but not quite as bad as this:
That's right, a GOOSE wearing my scarf. Could you ever live that down ? The story was that the farm put hats and scarves on their livestock so that it would be warmer & happier and therefore taste better, sigh
Happy Boxing Day everyone! We had a merry Christmas here, our first together as a married couple :) We never got any lights or tinsel for the tree, but we did make a start on getting some personal ornaments, more about that some other time.
I got some lovely presents: a couple of books (I love to read), a couple of nice notebooks to write about books in LOL, some beautiful perfume, but my favourite was a photo album of our exploits in 2008. I wonder what one for 2009 will include ?
It was delicious! We also added tofu chunks to it. I could eat it all day :)
I also started making some mincemeat - it has to sit overnight for the flavours to develop, so I'll be cooking it tomorrow. Yum ! Home made mince pies all round.
We also put up our Christmas tree yesterday:
So to answer the question on the meme, we have a black owl on the top :)
We still need tinsel and lights. And presents underneath it- LOL. Jesse James is no longer allowed in the front room unsupervised, as he thinks the baubles have been put on it specifically for his entertainment.
Yesterday we took Jesse James to the vets... to be neutered. The nurse there also talked us into doing his vaccines and having him microchipped. He stayed overnight and it was so strange to walk out without him. Jerry picked him up today, and he (Jesse James) has been very quiet and snoozy. Still, it's been for his own good. Guess we'll be taking Pepe to be 'done' soon as well ! Merry Christmas Jesse !
Here is my recipe for Christmas Pudding, 2008 style. It is a loose adaptation of Nigella Lawson's in "How to be a domestic Goddess":
100g fresh cranberrries
50g each raisins & sultanas
50g glace cherries, chopped
50g prunes, chopped
50g flaked almonds I wanted whole almonds which I'd have then chopped into slivers, but flaked was the closest they had in the supermarket
150ml rum/ Cointreau mix - I ran out of rum so maybe 100ml rum topped up with 50ml Cointreau- I thought an orangey flavour would be nice :)
1 Euro coin/s, cleaned
90g self-raising flour
125g white breadcrumbs
1medium cooking apple
150g dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp mixed spice
pinch of salt
*** 3 large eggs. I have made my pudding vegan (so suitable for Jerry) so I have replaced the eggs with 3tbsp soy flour mixed with 3tbsp water, mixed to a paste. I have not tried to vegan-ise the recipe in this way before, so fingers crossed !
zest of 1 orange
1.5 litre pudding basin
Nigella's recipe also includes dried blueberries, marron glace pieces and candied peel, but I don't like or just didn't get these from the supermarket. One of the great things about the recipe is that you can adjust it to your own tastes and what's available.
Soak the fruit in the rum overnight ***I didn't do this - I put the alcohol with the raisins, currants and sultanas in a pan and gently warmed so the fruit absorbed the alcohol
Soak the 1 Euro coin overnight in Coca Cola- to clean it ! Please feel free to use whatever coin you like- maybe bigger ones are better as they are easier to spot - less of a potential choking hazard :) I like using a Euro in the pudding as it's a gift of Good Luck for the coming year, rather than money which can be spent...
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl and then add the soaked fruit. Add the cleaned coin/s. I also wrapped mine in a piece of greaseproof paper.
Grease the pudding basin and put the mixture in. Now I'm not sure in previous years if I have halved the above quantities, because this year I seem to have enough for 2x 30 oz basins- I guess the in-laws will be getting one!
Cover with a piece of greaseproof paper in which you have folded a pleat, then boil or steam for 3 and 1/2 hours. I think mine got done for closer to 2 hrs as we were going to bed.
Rewrap the pudding and store somewhere cool until Christmas, then reheat in the same way- boil/ steam for another 3 and 1/2 hrs.
1. Wrapping paper or gift bags? Just bought some wrapping paper this evening- the cheapest one in the supermarket because it only goes in the bin in the end anyway right ?
2. Real tree or Artificial? I'd love to get a real one, just a small one. This will be Jerry & I's first Christmas together married xxx
3. When do you put up the tree? If we're getting a real one it might be purchased on or after December payday - Friday 19th.
4. Wreath on your door? No, but we've not got any decorations up yet so it might be nice to get one...
5. Do you like eggnog? I like Starbucks Eggnog lattes but they're not doing them this year :(
6. Favorite Christmas gift received as a child? Gosh, I dunno...
7. Easiest person to buy for? Jerry as he's pretty good at dropping hints :)
8. Least easy? Probably mum, but I think I might get her Professor Layton's Curious Village this year
9. Do you have a nativity scene? No
10. Mail or email Christmas cards? Mail. Again, it's our first married Christmas so it'd be nice to send out cards to our new in-laws.
11. Worst Christmas gift you ever received? I received a chocolate fondue set from a Secret Santa in work that I returned
12. Favorite Christmas Movie? I like "Jack Frost"
13. When do you start shopping for Christmas? I've got a couple of gifts already, might get some more after I get paid again
14. Have you ever recycled a Christmas present? I took the fondue set back for something I actually wanted ... I've heard that Professor Layton has sold out in a lot of shops so my mum might just be getting my copy
15. Open presents on Christmas eve or morning? Christmas morning, always!
16. Lights on the tree? Yes, but not flashing ones.
17. Favorite Christmas song? Let it snow, Frank Sinatra ?
18. Travel at Christmas or stay home? Does this mean go on holiday, or travel as visit relatives ? I think we might be staying home for Christmas Day and maybe inviting people to us...
19. Can you name all of Santa's reindeer's? ...maybe; Dasher, Dancer, Comet, Cupid, Donner, Blitzen, Vixen, Rudolph ... how many are there ?
20. Angel on the tree top or a star? Don't mind...
21. Favorite thing to eat at Christmas? Party mix !
22. Most annoying thing about this time of the year? Worrying about presents a bit, also just how busy the shops get !
23. Favorite Tree ornament, theme or color? Dunno, we don't have a tradition for tree decoration yet. I know you can get Pug ornaments !
24. Favorite for Christmas dinner? All the veggie trimmings, home made Christmas Pudding/ mince pies
Yesterday was Stir Up Sunday, the last Sunday in November when it has become traditional for me to make my Christmas Pudding. My recipe included fresh cranberries, flaked almonds, golden rum & Cointreau, currants, raisins, sultanas, orange zest, brown sugar, veggie suet... Jerry was a hero and nipped over to the shop for an apple for me xxx
Today we went for a big long walk in Fletcher Moss park. It is cold here at the moment, zero degrees Celcius! Yesterday there was this eerie freezing fog that didn't disappear all day. The bright sunshine today was pleasant however.
Recently I have noticed that Pepe has a bit of a bald spot ... In the pic there is her white crest, and the baldness is above. We've not been taking her collar off, but I don't think it's from that irritating her as she's never been excessively scratching ? Anyway now we keep the collar off when she is inside.
Do puppies ever lose fur before their grown-up coat comes thru ?
Earlier in the week Pepe got her coat ! It arrived when I was at work so Jerry took it upon himself to dress her and send me the above picture. It made me laugh and I simply had to show it to my team ! The coat is from Pugsnuggly and I love it. Pepe looks just like a hotdog all wrapped up snug in a bun wearing it. She looks so skinny when you take it off !
And... I also got a hat from Etsy. I think we both look quite fetching when out on Walkies now!
Today is a very important day where we remember those who have died for us. Maybe it's because I'm getting older and perhaps more able to get my head around the scale of what occured that it upsets me more and more. Recently I read "Birdsong", by Sebastian Faulks. While I found the story only so-so, the descriptions of life in the trenches, going over the top and the loss of lives were absolutely mind-boggling.
Last year we went to The Animals' War exhibition at the War Museum. It was really good. The pic I have uploaded is of one of the exhibits from it, I think this cat must have been a champion mouser on one of the Navy's crafts. Not only were they there to keep the rodents under control, but I imagine they would have also been a great comfort to our servicemen- a friendly furry face.
We have had an ongoing problem in our flat, which we finally seem to have got to the bottom of. In the bathroom the taps for the shower/ bath combo have been badly fitted resulting in a leak. We have a double-what-it-should-be water bill to support this. So at the moment there are dehumidifiers in the bathroom to dry the floor, walls etc out. The place looks a mess and my sister is coming to visit later this week.
Here is the other side of the bathroom. Before they figured out it was the tap leaking they 'explored' by taking off the skirting boards - there was mould on the damp wall. As you can see the pipes and therefore insulation have been exposed. Pepe loves to nibble this off like so much candy floss- naughty Pug !
Ever since Jesse has been able to get up onto the kitchen counter, he has a new spot to hang out - the kitchen windowsill. There is even a spider plant on there for him to nibble on if us humans have not been stupid enough to leave anything edible out on the side. His favourites include knife used to butter bread.
I had the day off today- I had an interview! It was for a Library Assistant position at the University library ... where Jerry studies ! I think it went okay... their final question was along the lines of "tell us about something you are proud of"... so I said Pepe! and told them about her good behaviour when my parents met her for the first time last weekend :)It turns out that one of the interviewers was a dog-lover so I hope my answer went down well. Fingers crossed x
Well it was Jerry's birthday on Friday, but who cares about that ? To make up for it the humans went to the Pet Supermarket on Sunday and bought ME lots of presents ! 1. A new collar. My 'kitten' collar was decidedly tatty, so I've got a grownup one now. Man-CAT Monday! The bell on it is very jingly and last night the humans had to take it off at (their) bedtime in order to get some peace.
2. A new catnip toy. It looks like a sack, but has feathers sticking out. Unfortunatley that stupid Pug has already chewed one of the feathers off so I best had make sure to keep it out of her way.
3. Fancy kibble This time the BOGOF offer was not running, so instead they got me swanky Hills brand kitten food. On the package was a code to donate £2 to the Blue Cross, which Brill sorted out last night for me. What can I say, I do a lot of work for charity.
4. Toothpaste and finger brush Well I'm not to sure about the brush, but I'll let Brill rub as much of the toothpaste into my chops as she likes- Yum!
5. Ear cleaner I think this is actually for the Pug, as my hearing is super sharp ! I can hear the rustle of a kibble bag at 100 paces !
Yesterday brother-in-law Ryan (and his wife Sandra) came for a visit. As you can see, he and Pepe hit it off straight away. They have two Golden Retrievers, Momo and Jaijai. We humans went to Gourmet Burger Kitchen, and then took Pepe for a walk in the park. Maybe next time they will bring their dogs too!
Hello, Simba here. Gosh I'm a bit nervous about doing my first review, but here goes...
My review is of the polka-dot door mat. As you can see I enjoyed sitting on it. Unfortunately the stupid humans put in front of their front door (I mean who'd even want to go outside?) , which also meant in front of their letterflap... you can guess the consequences... Brill always seems to be getting books thru the post.
But then one day there was an accident (wee), and the coir fibre proved impossible to clean/ odour remove. Therefore the polka-dot mat is no more, and even worse, the home furnishing store they bought it from has closed! (Butlers)
The rawhide chew was amongst the things the breeder gave us when we collected Pepe. It has lain dormant until this day... I was amazed and repulsed in equal measure when I saw the results of a Pug's patient chewing of this material. Pepe had managed to work one of the knots off, and the result I can only describe as being chewing gum for dogs. Does anyone else give their Pugs these ? I believe their use needs to be supervised incase Puggy chokes on an unchewed section :S
You may think that this blog is all about that stupid Pug, Pepe, but I'm here to let you know that I'm the real star of the show. I mean, have you ever seen a longer kitten ?
Today I'm going to let you in on some of the similarities between me, Jesse James and that stupid Pug, Pepe.
1. We are both black with white bits Myself I have adorable little white gloves on my hands and socks on my feet. Pepe has a splodge on her chest. I believe this is called a mismark, and if I'd have gone to the breeders instead of the humans I would have asked for a discount on this faulty Pug.
2. We're both named after movies/ movie stars Myself I am named after Brad Pitt in "The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford". I don't think there's a handsomer star in Hollywood, and therefore I congratuate the humans on this most suitable name.
Pepe is named after the film "Pierrepoint". This was the film the humans went to watch on their first date. It is about the last hangman in England- romantic huh? In fact it was recently on TV and in the guide it descibed it as 'dour and haunting' if I remember correctly. Albert Pierrepoint is played by Timothy Spall who is almost know for his bad looks , ha! Again good work humans, good name choice !
3. We both like eating leaves Now that autumn is here there is a much larger supply of dead leaves blowing into the backyard for us to snack on. It's not fair that Pepe gets to go out to the park on walks where there will be even more tho! (Simba is scared of leaves).
9. Newspaper I love getting the paper at the weekend, mainly Saturdays. We always get The Guardian. I have a specific order I read the section in- first is always The Guide, then the Weekend magazine. I like the smaller sections like Family and of course the Review part, which also has the Quick Crossword! Sometimes we get The Observer on Sunday if it is the monthly food suppliment. When we lived in Hulme we'd always walk over to the 'student' newsagents on campus where all papers are sold half-price.
10. New job... ? Excitingly, I have a job interview on Friday 17th ! Fins crossed x
6. "No" I think this is a very important command for your dog to learn - see also leave/ down/ off etc. Not everything is a toy, or a chew, and there are times when humans don't want a Puggie jumping up at them. We still have some work to do on this one however.
7. Nails, or maybe claws. The cats both have white claws which are really easy to trim as you can see where the vein is, but Pepe's are black. A couple of times I have trimmed hers and she has yelped so I guess I've taken too much ? But it's never bled. I think from looking at advise online little and often is the best policy, and maybe now that Pepe can go for walkies there will be some natural abrasion from walking on pavements.
8. Naptime After the chaos in the morning that sees feeding of breakfasts, trips outside to "get busy", and maybe a spot of play there generally descends a snoozieness as everyone's bellies are full and bladders empty, excess energy burned off.
2. November- which means Bonfire Night and also the switching on of the Christmas lights in the city centre. Me &Jerry have gone every year- there is normally a low-level celebrity plugging their hope for Xmas number 1 and casts from the various pantomimes on... I wonder how Pepe will cope with fireworks ?
3. Nintendo! I love my Nintendo DS and remember when I had the Nintendogs game, which was the closest I then came to playing with a Pug. Never in my wildest dreams then did I imagine that I'd actually own one ! I love the Ace Attorney games, but most recently have been hooked on Viva Pinata :)
4. (k)Nitting - A couple of months ago there was a Knitting Guide in the Guardian paper. From it I was inspired to try making an iPod cosy. I learned to knit in Primary school, but was very rusty and had to look online for videos that showed me how to cast-on ! At the moment I'm making a scarf for Jerry's birthday (October 24th), and who knows maybe I'll try making something for Pepe.
5. Neighbours Since getting Pepe we have naturally had to spend a lot of time standing in the back yard. We have gotten to start to talk to our neighbours ! There is a couple with a little toddler, and also a glamorous lady who lives upstairs. Before we only ever heard her clomping about in her heels above us LOL And now that Pepe can go for walkies we have started to meet people who live slightly further than just our street. Today we met a little girl & boy- the girl was asking if we went to the Park with Pepe often, and would it always be at around that same time of day- Aww!
.. gosh this is difficult ! I might have to think about it and come back...
Pepe had her second Vaccine on Monday, so since then we have been able to go for proper walkies! Our flat just has a back yard, but we are really close to the park so we just head on over there. I've not been confident enough yet to let her off the lead, but might give it a go at the weekend :)
We got this from the Pet Supermarket before we got Pepe. I guess I was mainly attracted to the packaging, which gives the impression of it being 'natural', rather then a chemical cleaner. I think it was about £5.99 ? It is quite a large bottle - 945ml-> almost a litre. The lid has a nozzle to help you aim at the stain and to use it you blot excess peepee, squirt on the product, leave it for 10 mins and then blot any residual moisture- easy! Although Pepe has been showing signs of being able to stay 'clean' throughout the night, there are still plenty of 'tinkles' in the house. We have used one full bottle already and will definetly keep an eye out for it again in the Pet Supermarket. The smell is pleasant - a ginger eucalyptus fragrance oil blend and I really think it does the trick!
I have opted for a Thursday Three, rather than thirteen :) Above is Pepe with three of her toys. The first, on the left is actually (don't tell anyone!) one of the cat's toys - I think it is a butterfly or a dragonfly, but it gets referred to as "busy bee". It's good because you can twirl it around and the wings flap catching her attention. The second pink one is Pepe's Kong Wubba. The squeaker in this has stopped working, after about a week ! Sometimes I like to hide a treat inside the 'legs' as they are quite stiff and it doesn't fall out straight away. This was one of the first toys I would try to get Pepe to play with and I guess I didn't understand at first that a puppy needs to learn how to play with things! The third and final one is, yep, a pug! This teddy came with the Pug edition of "The Dog" magazine that I bought on eBay.
Well I called the breeder and she said "yeah, vaccinate at 10 weeks", but when I called the vet they said wait until 12 weeks... I guess the vet would know best ? *frown If I leave it until 12 weeks I'd be able to take a day off work to spend some time w/ Pepe before and afterwards :)
Well we have survived our first week of Pug ownership. I need to call the breeder to ask if Pepe needs her second vaccine at 10 weeks which will be this coming week! I hope so because then we will start to be able to take her out properly and not just out in the back yard :)
Today I actioned the transfer of ownership of Pepe from the breeder to myself. We got the Pedigree certificate thru the post yesterday. Transferring the ownership also got me 6-weeks free insurance, so now I have two policies and will have to remeber to cancel one in October, or even shop around before then to see if there's anything better/ more suitable on offer.
Dog Borstal was on tonight, a programme where naughty dogs are reformed... or is it naughty owners ? Watching this show amazes me how people can allow their pet to be so out of control. Jerry has started getting Pepe to 'sit', and I am off work tomorrow and Thursday to spend some quality time with the pup. Everything I've read about training in the puppy books is just plain common sense. Maybe Pepe will be able to do a perfect 'sit' by Friday for my sister's visit :)
Last night Pepe settled down and went to sleep really well. The crate is in the kitchen, where we left the light on the cooker hood on; maybe the drone and warmth of the tumble dryer running helped too?
This morning got woken up around 6.30am by a pug sniffling around in the bedroom, which wasn't too bad at all. There was a puddle in the kitchen, but easily cleaned up!
Jerry is at work now and Pepe is asleep. I stayed in the kitchen w/ her until she started falling asleep on my feet at about 9am. I put the Cookie Monster hot water bottle in her crate, and a blanket on top to make it more cosy. So now I have peace and quiet to tidy the place up!
I'm not sure if I should wake Pepe up if she carrys on sleeping for so long, or to "let sleeping dogs lie" ?