Sunday, September 30

The Big Green Frogs

On several occasions I've heard the deep "R'bit, R'bit" sound of green frogs. I hadn't seen one until yesterday when I discovered one sitting in a flower pot at the back of the house, and last night when I went out there was another one on the path.

There's also one at the front door - it was croaking today.

I'd like to think they herald the onset of rain - as we certainly need it. We had a short shower the other morning but it did little but settle a little dust.

I'm a great fan of green frogs and lament that we have few at our place, despite its close proximity to a creek.

The ones I saw last night are huge - and I wonder where the younger ones are too.

The house backs onto a swamp area, so there's probably plenty there, especially as there is much long grass for them to hide from predators.

Perhaps I'll start a collection of frog photos too - it will take a long time to find a "collection" I think.

The cat and me!

I've got to say the cat and I are having interesting times. I worry about it - and I think it knows it and deliberately hides, or in other ways gives me grief. I quite like cats - but one as intrusive and demanding as Fleder is, can be a challenge.

I've managed to keep him off my shoulders - I mean, walking around with a cat clinging (and gloating too I'm sure if I could see his face!), to my shoulders isn't a good look, and I've managed to keep him off. If I sit down at the kitchen table I have to watch that she isn't around - as it is quickly onto my shoulders. I have to stand up quickly if I see her ready to pounce!

I'm sure she is laughing when she hides - especially at night. Several nights I've come home - and not late either, usually around 8 pm - and there is no sign of her. I've taken to walking into the cul de sac, calling "Fleder" or "Pussy" but generally return to the house thinking that this time is it! But I've bravely gone to bed and in the morning she is there!

One morning I was sitting at the table on the phone and she jumped on to the table and pushed her face against mine. Her nose and mine were touching and she was glaring into my face from centimeters away. Intimidating? Sure.

On one occasion I was walking through to the laundry and she pounced on me - clutching my shoulders with her claws. I got such a fright and tried to push her off, but she clung. I had a little trouble getting her off and had small claw marks on my shoulders where she attached herself!

I've kept her out of the bedroom, and this I am sure she is angry about.

I've found her sleeping in the strangest of places. One morning she was asleep on the ironing board, and another day I found her IN the washing machine. The previous night I'd thrown some clothes into the machine, ready to turn on in the morning, and I'd left the lid open.

This morning I sat outside reading the paper - and she constantly tried to sit on my lap, or on the paper. In the end, when I'd read enough I left her sitting on the newspaper, where she has been for most of the day.

She was sleeping inside one of the potplants today - so funny.

When the grand children visited yesterday - the helped me empty the fish tanks - Fleder was not amused. She fought for space on my lap with the girls as we rested later, and I just wish I had been able to take a photo of them all juggling for a spot. In the end, Fleder sat ON the table staring at us with what the girls labelled "Chinese Eyes" - she stared with here eyes half opened.

She is only eating dry food at the moment - one night I put out fresh meat but she ignored it, and last night she only had a few mouthfulls of the canned food.

But the main thing is, she is still here.

Tuesday, September 25

Another Day

What a big day it was yesterday. I was up really early, and off to pick Gerberas before I attended a meeting of government and other folk involved in the employment industry. We have a growing area with great need of certain trades, but there appears to be a shortage of people prepared to do the work, so it is something that we discuss from time to time.

I had a short meeting afterwards, and then went to the Liesure Centre - and joined. It's funny as later in the day I heard someone talking about their involvement with the very same centre, and how they received NOTHING, for their membership fee. At least I got some paperwork and a membership badge!

Back home to do some work, and then to the house sit. Thankfully the remaining cat was there. I had a few snacks, and then went out to a meeting of the Arts Council - and on my return could not find the cat. I called out - but nothing.

I started to panic. How could I tell the owner that I have lost both cats???? After about 30 minutes I went outside in dark street - it was around 9 pm thinking that I had to walk up and down the street calling "pussy" or her name. Oh, heck!

Then out of the darkness she rush to me, and my new best friend and I settled and watched television together for about an hour. She is still asleep on her bed - as I write this.

Sunday, September 23

Later on Sunday

I feel a bit more in control of my life today. I did do some writing, and I did some other things that needed doing. I've almost completed my assignment and work for my Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, so hopefully that will be posted tomorrow.

I signed up for a writing course via The Writers Bureau but became bogged down, and overwhelmed with everything else I was doing that I've not even submitted the first assignment. I sent an email to them today to confirm I'm doing the right assignment and that too should be posted tomorrow. I have some time to do this course, so hopefully I shall get a move on with that.

As well, I've just signed up for the TESOL course, but I don't have to do anything for that right now, as I do not do the class room work until early January.

Hopefully by then I will hae some of my other writing commitments completed and I will have more free time. I find the house sitting gives me an opportunity to think more clearly.

Strange that.

I'm paranoid now

My "new best friend" and I are getting on well. Fleder is lonely and tends to be up close and personal. Very up close. Though today she has spent much time out in the sun in the garden, but I've checked on her every 40 minutes or so. There's no way to keep her IN the house - but I get the feeling that she doesn't want to go very far away from me anyway.

She's very clingy at times, and I've carried her around quite a bit which inhibits anything I want to do. She hasn't been wailing like I've been told she tends to do.

I had my two granddaughters to visit last night and they loved playing with her, but she doesn't tolerate children easily from what I saw. Fleder whacked them a couple of times with her paw, but they shrieked with laughter as Fleder climbed up onto my shoulders and remained there for some time.

I'm not too keen on sleeping with a cat - I don't mind if it sleeps on the bed, but I'd rather it not be on my head, or near my head, or between the sheets with me, and all of those things are what Fleder prefers to do, so I shut the bedroom door. She finds somewhere to go, and is waiting for me very early in the morning.

I keep looking for Jasper. I have this feeling (or hope I guess) that one morning he will be there - just waiting for me to get up.

My new best friend

I just couldn't write until I felt better about losing the cat. I mean, that is what a house sitter is supposed to do. Mind the pets. I had no opportunity to do anything to save it - it just disappeared. The last time Jasper and I were up close and personal was on the Sunday night. Jasper came into the house as I was preparing for bed and I cuddled Jasper in the passage way. There was no indication that anything was wrong - Jasper enjoyed the patting and cuddling and I went to bed. He was on the chair outside in the morning, but GONE when I returned in the afternoon.

Fleder, the remaining cat has been VERY FRIENDLY to me. She just likes being with me - which is OK. She sits on my lap, sits on my paper as I try to do a Soduko puzzle, and climbs onto my shoulders when she gets a chance.

Yesterday when I came home from picking flowers I was so tired I thought I'd take a nap. I was lying on the bed, on my side, and Fleder found a comfy spot lying on top of me! And there we remained for an hour!

It seems like Fleder is my new best friend. She follows me almost everywhere.

I did not know how I could tell the owners of the house and cats what had happened. But the opportunity came when I received a text message from them in the US. I told them that there cat was missing, and tried to explain what I had done to find it. I know L would be very very sad about it, and I felt so awful telling her. Everything else seems to have survived under my watch - but I will be keeping a close eye on the fish and the remaining cat for the next three weeks!

Oh, how I hate it when something goes wrong on "my watch."

Saturday, September 22

A week since last post

I have had a pretty harrowing week. Last Monday I was up early to pick the flowers. I had a quick breakfast, checked the cats and made sure they had food in their bowl, and left around 6.15 am. I came back in the afternoon and only one cat was there.

Now I know cats roam, so I thought the cream Burmese cat called Jasper would return. Cats do that don't they? I walked around the house and in the park calling out for the cat - but there was no sign of it.

I felt really depressed. How awful. Here I was charged with caring for the two moggies, and one just disappears. But I thought it might re appear.

On Tuesday I worked all day, and in the afternoon came home and did further searches. Inside the house and outside. I searched in cupboards, under furniture, in the bushes, in the park. Still no Jasper.

By the Wednesday I was really freaked out. What could I tell the owners? I knew they would be upset - but I didn't know what else to do.

I did call the Brisbane City Council and report the cat missing, I phoned some vets, and I also called the RSPCA - and gave a report. I also did up little notes and with the help of two children from across the road, I delivered them to letter boxes in the neighbourhood, and spoke to neighbours as well. Jasper seems to have just disappeared. Gone. I feel so awful.

Fleder, the remaining cat has been very friendly towards me.

Sunday, September 16

Looong sleep

I did go to bed early - and probably fell asleep around 8 pm, and slept through until 4 am. I did get back to sleep again, but I really enjoyed just lying in bed, with my MP3 player on listening to classical music. So relaxing.

At 6 am I had a text message from L - safely in the USA!

I did get up about this time, and fed biscuits (cat ones of course) to the hungry cats. They seem to eat all the time!

I didn't mention that last night it looked like a storm brewing. I could see flashes of lightning perhaps over the Gold Coast or out to sea. It is this time of year that we can expect this sort of weather. As it turned out it came to nothing - at least in these parts.

But this morning I was pleased to hear a frog croaking. This house backs onto a park, on the edge of a creek, so it is not surprising that there are a few frogs around, although back at home, with a similar proximity to a creek, we seldom see them. Even my stripey marsh frogs have gone - due in part to the lack of rain, I'm sure.

The frog croaking was a pleasant sound this morning. I've taken the time to slowly do some organising of my writing and other things. I have some reports to submit for my Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment on Monday, and I've paid a deposit on the TESOL course, so I'm not exactly sitting on my hands. And there is the manuscript - must do some work on that this week.

I've looked at my diary and this week is relatively quiet - or should I say, I can see spaces to slot in a lot of writing! I have the pack from our Postal Writers group too, so I have some work to do on that. Critiquing the other writers' work as well as submitting my own.

Still, it is the last day of the Writers Festival and I will go in for a while. This afternoon we are going to the Gold Coast - it is our son's birthday, and of course the highlight will be seeing the two grandchildren that we seldom get to visit.

I will start the online component of the TESOL course in the next couple of weeks, but there's no urgency. I will do the classroom part of it early in January.

Not much time for relaxing, but I will try.

Saturday, September 15

I'm wrecked.

Exhausted. I had a busy week, and got up early this morning to pick flowers at our Gerbera Farm. I actually slept in a little, but was only 10 minutes late. The whole family was there during the morning, picking and preparing the flowers.

It was amazing. J and I had to go a little early, so I didn't finish until 11 am. 4 solid hours working with the flowers. I was exhausted. I went home and showered and changed and went down to the shops. I needed a few things.

There was a political event during the afternoon - and I won't go into details - but it was a preselection with some challenges. We were told it was cancelled, and at the last minute told it was on, so we hastily went and challenged the validity of some decsions. So it has been postponed.

By the time I got home I was more wrecked. I mean - how tired can one get and still keep walking? We decided that we'd have our evening meal at Maxwell Place ( the house sit), so I called in at the supermarket, bought some packaged salad, a packaged lasagne, strawberries.

It was an easy meal to prepare - we ate it outside - so peaceful.

It is now almost 7 pm. and I'm ready for bed now.

Pillow Jump

I've had just a full on week - looking forward to a break and it is coming soon. The second night the cats ignored me. I just didn't see them much. I made sure they were safe and well, and beyond that they made themselves scarce.

That is until some ungodly time in the night when one jumped onto my pillow. From where? Who knows, but I felt something land, and I put my hand out to protect my face and it met with a furry thing. A cat, I hoped!!!

I put the light on and sure enough there was a cat! :)

All was well, but the second night I banned them from the bedroom. I closed the door, made sure their cat door at the back of the house was open, and closed the other one so that I might sleep in peace.

So they took up a wailing out front of the bedroom door. I got up once to see if there was a problem - and apart from the obvious there was not. So I shut the door, put a pillow over my head to drown out their noise and had a brilliant night's sleep.

Thursday, September 13

The two cats

What a busy week it has been! My two day a week job has become more - partly because one staff member is away and due back next week, the "boss" is moving house, and one of the other staff members has had a sick child and then she got a dose of the gastro. Actually one would rather not be around all the wogs, but such is life.

I was due to move into the house sit yesterday, and did so, but not as early as I had planned. I think the two cats thought they'd been forgotten. It was on dark when I arrived, and the first thing I did was feed them and the fish.

Later when I settled I turned the TV on, and both cats wanted to sit on my lap. In fact one nearly swiped the other as if they were fighting for space on my lap. Most unusual. The last time I was here the cats ignored me.

When I went to bed I had to take care as both settled on the bed! In any case I guess they were trying to make friends with me!

I had to get up early this morning - back home to do a few things before I raced off to work. A full day again at work, and I returned here on dark again. I hope that is not the norm for me or the cats might be unforgiving!

Both cats were here to greet me, and the fish are OK - so far, so good.

The Writers Festival is on in Brisbane, so I plan to go tomorrow, but I've been asked to come in to work again for a couple of hours. I hope that means I can take off some time next week.

Wednesday, September 12

Today's the day

I'm due to move into the house sit today. I called on Saturday for some final instructions, and there's a list of details for me. Last night I called to collect the keys, and should be over there in the next hour or so. I've been pretty busy as there's been a flurry at work as our MD is movinghouse, and we've had some celebrations.

As well I attended the information session on the TESOl course I want to do. VERY INTERESTING. I've got a little research to do, and will probably sign up tomorrow.

In the meantime I have to finalise my Certificate IV in Workplace Training and Assessment, work, manage the community commitments, and attend the Brisbane Writers Festival this weekend, work tomorrow, and a few other things as well.

Plus I have some writing commitments and some other activities, and my son's birthday party on the Gold Coast on Sunday. I'll be a bit wrecked by then!!!

All good fun, but I'd love to slow down. I'm quite interested in the TESOL - the idea of working in a foreign country teaching English really appeals. We will see!

Saturday, September 8

Four sleeps to go!

My grandchildren would say that. But I am looking forward to my next house sit. I've been to get some last minute instructions, and will collect the key on Tuesday afternoon. I've been instructed on cleaning out the two fish tanks - and glad that the "rules" will be written down for me.

I'm looking forward to the peace and tranquility of the house - it a quiet little cul de sac, and with any luck I'll progress well with my manuscript.

I've been slack lately - well, at this project only - as I have had many other tasks to complete and have done them.

We launched our latest "Lifelong Learning Director" yesterday which I have been working on. I'm quite pleased with it.

On Tuesday night I attend an information night on the TESOL course, as my other course has nearly come to an end.

Lots to do in the coming months.

And at least some peace for a while! Bring it on.

Sunday, September 2

10 Days to Go

I start my next house sit on the 12th of this month when my friends take off for a month in the US. Mind you, I'd rather be touring with them than house sitting, but am looking forward to having some quiet time.

This house is the home of two cats - it is in a quiet cul de sac, backing onto a park. There is a lovely garden which will require some watering, but what I will appreciate most is the peace and tranquility.

I am hoping to start a TESOL course while I am there - hoping to find the life there quiet so that I can get on with study and writing, something that I find hard to do at my home.

We are really dog lovers, and I'm happy to house sit and care for either dogs or cats, but I think I have a preference for cats in house sitting. They tend to care for themselves. Feed them, cuddle them, and they go about their own business,though I do know when I am dog walking I lose a lot of weight.

It is my intent to lose weight over this house sit. I will probably dine often on meal replacement product - it is easier. Little mess, and little time to prepare. Suits me fine!