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What's up? It's February already???

I've been so busy these past few weeks there just hasn't been any time to update the blog. This afternoon is the first time in a very long time I've had the house to myself and not been so exhausted I just wanted to sleep. So, here we are guys, and it's almost the middle of February. At the end of this the intermission I took from my degree comes to an end, my guide dog training concluded this morning. There will be follow ups in one month, three months, six months and twelve months from now, but those only go for a couple of hours or so.

I was feeling very burned out from the PhD, I have to admit, and even this time last week was still dreading going back to it, but this week I'm starting to feel the pull of the work again - which is a good thing. I've started thinking about what I need to launch myself into next week before summer school.

The boys are back at school and so far, so good. The issues we were dealing with last year are not squared away, but we're hopeful that this year won't be as trying, only time will tell. Wouldn't it be nice if problems and issues in family life were as easy to resolve as those in the workplace. It would be nice to be able to just check things of the list. Kid skipping classes, sorted, check! Kid experimenting with swearing in all settings and in several languages, sorted, check! That would be great! Can we order that system on Ebay?

I love the internet for keeping up with distant friends. We recently arranged a games night via Skype, participants were located in west, east, and outer east of Melbourne, as well as in Hungary - how cool is that? It will be good to get back to meeting people in person though, too.

In January I shut down my Facebook page - too many upsetting associations. I started a new one with a much smaller group of friends, mostly family and a few friends, but a very small group. I still have access to my old pages for things like photos, but am not operating from that page. This meant setting up a new page for Harlem, but as yet I haven't set up a new page for the blog, not that I really need to, per se - I can still access it from the old page.

Harlem is slotting into the family so well! He has completely stolen the Grumpy Old Man's heart - which was a massive coup as the GOM is a confirmed cat person and proud. He says it's because Harlem is so well behaved. I have to admit that really is a bonus - getting a dog who has already been raised through the most difficult labrador stages and trained right from puppyhood.

I've become a bit of an advocate for guide dogs - unavoidable really - and last night I found myself writing an email to the principal of the boys' high school because, it seems, they allow students and staff to bring pet dogs to school, and some of those dogs are allowed to get about off lead. While I'm sure the dogs are probably screened in some way for behaviour (maybe the students and staff need to provide evidence of puppy training, I don't know), this still poses a problem for assistance dog users who might access the school. Guide dogs released a campaign last year called, 'Take the lead' to raise the issue of off lead dogs interfering with or even attacking guide dogs. Apparently one in three guide dogs have been attacked by other dogs who were off lead. This can result in the guide dog needing to be retired if it becomes anxious and cannot do it's job. As well as this, off lead dogs can simply distract guide dogs (despite their training) and that puts the guide dog user (the handler) in danger because the dog has taken it's eye of the job.

In other Harlem related news, our loungeroom underwent a makeover... Let me show you...

So, it looked like this. At Christmas we briefly swapped the position of the black chair and the red couch with it's back to the camera because that situation the black chair better once my egg chair (which I got for my birthday) would arrive...


And now it looks like this...

From the same angle...


From the other side...


This is my egg chair - or my nest, as I like to call it - I spend an inordinate amount of time in this chair, the movement of it is so soothing! Please excuse the dog hair on the rug, Lukas assures me he'll get to it right after school (vacuuming is his job)...


Inside my side table is of the yarn I plan to use of my next project (which I was going to start in December, but, well... There's always next December, right?


And a gratuitous photo of my baby boy - there will be many photos of Harlem on the blog from this point on...


I got something else new last week...


Once they're properly healed, I want to put spikes in, like this...


I'm thinking of adding another couple later, but three in one go was about my limit this time around!

There is so much more I could catch you guys up on, but this post is long enough for now! 'Til next time, then...


Comments

Sarah said…
glad to hear all is well Sif, I missed your presence on my face book news feed. Harlem is ever so handsome, wish he could teach my River some of that good behavior :)

take care

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