Friday, June 12, 2009

And Then We Became Three

Hi There, VivBounty here,

I would like to share with you the story of adopting our dog, Pedro, the centre of our world, who brings us no end of escapades, entertainment, and most important of all, unconditional love as only man's best friend can. It is, after all, thanks to him that we are living in the country.

We went to the shelter to meet the newly arrived Husky-cross pups. I expected little fuzzy scampering balls of fluff. What I saw were long-nosed, lanky, skinny, dogs resembling fawns. These were the last two of a litter of ten still to be homed. We took Pedro and his brother, Solo, aptly named for his different colour eyes, one blue, the other brown, for a walk to get to know them. At 5 months old, these puppies were not small and we only had space for one. Although it broke our hearts to separate them, Pedro was the less confident one. He pulled less on the lead, which suited my hubby's tricky back "down to the ground", as he puts it. As he sat on a mound of dirt for a smoke break, Pedro immediately lollopped over to him and put his head on his shoulder, as if to ask, "Will you take me home and be my daddy?"

We happily took Pedro home and Solo was soon thereafter adopted as well. Almost 5 years later we can't imagine our life without him. He only ever had one small accident in the house, that first night from nerves. Once he hopped over the 4-foot garden wall, onto a road and my hubby hopped over right after him shouting for him to come back in a panic. Never having heard his daddy raise his voice, he stopped dead in his tracks, did an about-face and came right back over the wall into the garden. They are so much alike, this dog and my hubby, that I laughingly tell our friends that they could really be father and son.

Around the time we decided that we would leave Spain, I.A.T.A. ruled that pets could no longer be transported as extra baggage, and pet carriers had to meet very specific safety criteria. This drove the cost of transporting Pedro, then 75 lbs in weight across the Atlantic up 20 times the price we had estimated. Whatever! It's not like leaving him behind would ever have been a consideration in a million years!

Pedro is wonderful with toddlers, puppies, other dogs, his disabled Aunt Julie, everybody he meets and we think he can pick up satellite signals with those ears! I recently received an e-mail concluding that "within the heart of every stray lies the singular desire to be loved", and love him, we do!

Until next time, hug your pet.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Welcome To My Blog

Hello there, VivBounty here,

Welcome to VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living blog. I am so excited to finally be starting my second blog.

Stay tuned for informative, somewhat amusing, hopefully inspiring stories and anecdotes of my learning to live in the country.

Funnily enough, despite being born in what is considered the "third world", and having lived on 4 continents, I have always lived in a city.

I will share my experiences with you as I search for natural ways to cope with having a dog, housekeeping and even starting a garden as the seasons come and go in a village with a population of under 500.

Follow my blog and come back often as I share my adventures of living in a rural area for the first time in my life and all the natural "fix-its" I can find.

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living

My First Flower Bed

Hello There, VivBounty here,

So now that we live in the country to accommodate Pedro and avoid the rat race, my mum is determined to turn me into a gardener.

As a result, I have created my first flowerbed. I expected a feeling of accomplishment, but I had not anticipated how excited I would be after I finished this project.

You see, it all happened quite naturally. My mum is an avid gardener. Her down time is gardening. As you will see on my other blog, she recently visited with us for 16 days. She arrived here with bulbs and plants uprooted from her own garden 1,000 miles away to begin ours. No amount of telling her that my hubby's idea of gardening is to ride his lawn tractor once a week could deter her from digging a holes in various spots around our lawn to plant irises, hydrangeas, and lilies.

During the family visit, a knowledgeable neighbour found that our horse chestnut tree was on the verge of dying and falling over on to our wood shed. That very same day it was chopped down, sawed into pieces and left on the lawn to be further cut into firewood. He went off to do other jobs as is the custom in the village, leaving Mum very concerned about what this would do to the grass. She suggested leveling off the stump, hollowing out the center to add soil for a draping flowering plant and around the stump planting perennials which require minimal effort, etc., etc. Her imagination ran rampant. "Just to give you a bit of colour", she kept saying. My imagination was on blog posts, but then all the store flyers arrived with flowers and gardening tool sales and I started to see this colour my mum was on about.

Eventually the crew arrived to clean up the tree and I began weeding around the 3 pitiful plants left here by the previous owner of the house. They immediately perked up and seemed to be reaching for the sun. The next thing I knew I was edging a circle around the tree stump and tilling the soil. My neighbour came home and wandered over to move the last piece of the trunk away. I was crouched over contemplating my next move and seemingly out of nowhere I found myself repeating Mum’s words, asking him if he could saw the huge stump off level, instead of digging it and all its massive roots out. This was music to his ears.

A day later I borrowed a wheelbarrow, with doggy, Pedro in tow I filled it with more than enough bricks to edge my flowerbed from a old wool mill recently demolished behind our house. Not that I could move it with 55 bricks in it but it was a start. How was I to know how hard it is to push a wheelbarrow? Three bricks at a time I moved them to my garden and began to place them in a circle. Pedro was in his element helping me dig the now almost colourful flowerbed. The stump hasn’t been embellished yet, but all in good time. We sent Mum pictures, she is absolutely ecstatic and very proud of her little girl. Isn’t that the validation every daughter lives for?

Prosperous Blessings,

VivBounty Wonderfully Natural Living