Bob’s Diary: I’d rather be a wolf.

Our good friends at Collies of the Meadow have given us an award:

Niamh, Teddy and Sadie

Ellie is celebrating by playing with three balls.

Thank you, Maria and Ellie are delighted with this honor.

Me I’m going for a nap, hope it doesn’t turn out to be a nightmare.

But do check out the blog if you love dogs.


Maria’s Stuff: Life in the gym at 50.

My decision to take classes in a local gym stemmed from the following facts.

For the period of eighteen months to two years before June 2013, my life revolved around my parents. My mum’s strokes meant she needed our support and that was that. However, following her death in June 2013 I began to take a look at my own health.

I’ve always been conscious of my health but never more so than after witnessing the devastation that a stroke, diabetes and heart problems can bring to someone’s door.  Add experience with dealing with epilepsy and asthma into the mix and I had good reason to sit and think about my future.

Health is your wealth. Truth.

I decided to step up my fitness regime by doing, Pilates and Kettlebells. All went well and when my husband said he was going to Niall’s gym for some strength and mobility classes I was encouraged to go along.

I have been there once a week for the past five weeks. It has been an eye opener for me.

1              I’m not as unfit as I thought,

2              A combination of working for years at a typewriter or computer has reduced my shoulder mobility and

3              Competitiveness does not diminish with age. (As I quickly discovered when a mini competition began between me and another lady of a good twenty – twenty-five years younger than me.) It was worth the heavy perspiration rate when I noticed the surprised and strained look on her face.

The disadvantages of going into this particular gym are:

1. Niall  – Having the trainer tell you “Mum you really don’t need to push yourself into a state requiring an ambulance, do you?” is a bit disheartening.

2. Letting the whole room know you actually gave birth to their personal fitness trainer is not always a good thing.

3. Bribing your trainer (son) with chocolate cake/cheescake and pancakes does not always work in your favor.

But the advantages are still there,

1. I’ve toned up those dreaded bingo wings.

2. I can manage to keep up with the kids I coach athletics to.

3.  I can eat the said, cheesecake, chocolate cake with less guilt than ever felt before.

tea 1


The only trouble is what happens if and when I stop exercising? Best not to worry just enjoy the cake.

Bob’s Diary: Who needs a time travelling machine, check this out.

Ellie’s comment on the Ferrari got me thinking.

She is correct (don’t tell her I said that) we need proper transport.

bob in car 1


So….Opinions please…. what do you think of this? My hunt an Ogre car….

bob in car 2


Only problem is, I’m not letting her in, she is always mucky. (Maybe she will fit in the boot).

The Sunshine Award.


A big thank you from me (and woof from the two four legged bloggers) to Belsbro for nominating our blog for the Sunshine Award.

Here’s how the nomination works:

* Use the logo above in the post.

* Link to whoever nominated you.

* Write ten pieces of information about yourself.

* Nominate ten fellow bloggers “who positively and creatively inspire others in the blogsphere.”

* Leave a comment on the nominees’ blogs to tell them of the award.

Difficult to remember ten non boring things about myself but I’ll try:

1. I believe in the power of good, everyone is here for a reason.

2. I was born a dreamer, got bullied and in trouble in school because of it and was stubborn enough to cultivate those dreams into stories.

3. I volunteer with several groups because (selfishly) I enjoy it and enjoy meeting like minded people.

4. I am a morning person.I wake early, drive everyone nuts by being up and about and smiling.

5. I used to worry about not having money. Years of not having much has made me learn how to live and enjoy.

6. I was Ireland’s worst athlete but love running and throwing, now I coach schoolkids and enjoy it.

7. I was terrified of everything when I was a child. My parents got a dog, he became a life saver to me, now I would love to adopt many more than the two I have.

8. I love chocolate but it doesn’t like me, leaves me with a headache to rival any hangover.

9. I have a fear of ill health, having nursed my mum I do not wish to travel down the same road so I walk, cycle and attend a weekly strength and mobility class.

10. I have been married for 31 years and Pat is my best friend, corny I know but true.


Here’s the list of blog sites I nominate for the award.

Breath of Green Air

At Least I have a Brain

50 is the new 30

Listen Watch Read

Collies of the Meadow

How to be a children s Illustrator

Haley the wonder dog

Live to write – write to live

Violets Veg*n E-Comics

Chronic Conditions and LIfes lessons

Thank you all for inspiring and encouraging me to keep blogging and writing.

Maria’s Stuff: How we found Ellie a job.

Bob never needed a job, correction, Bob didn’t want a job.

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product, Eleanor Roosevelt

Happiness is not a goal, it is a by-product,
Eleanor Roosevelt

But Ellie was constantly moving, if there wasn’t a ball around she was up to mischief. She taught Bob how to open gates and doors. Before this he presumed that was our job, to let him get from A to B, when he huffed or barked, demanding it to be done.

Ellie looking at camera

Ellie’s relentless energy threatened to wear me out. If she got into the utility room nothing was safe. Her favorite game as a pup was to tumble the unwashed clothes from the basket , then carefully, one by one distribute them around the garden. As it is a large old garden this did annoy me but the neighbors enjoyed watching me retrieve, bra, socks etc from trees or shrubs. Or if she got into Pat’s shed she would rearrange what ever she managed to reach from the nearest shelves and hide them around the place.

I began researching ways to wear Ellie out.

I took her to agility lessons. She loved the whole buzz about the place.

We brought Bob and he enjoyed the attention and the endless treats that were bestowed on him by his new friends while he watched her work.

To get to the center was a 45 minute car journey and it didn’t tire her out, but it did me. Bob was the added factor, he was gaining fans and weight. So I stopped the driving bought a tunnel, we made a see saw, and we use buckets and garden canes as jumps. It is not Crufts but it works.

ellie playing 4

I knew she wouldn’t make it as a service dog but I began to wonder about her ability to find her beloved ball. No matter where I hid it, she would find it and quickly. I moved up a gear and began to hide, socks and gloves about the garden. She still worked tirelessly and efficiently at finding the articles. While listening to the news one day I heard of a young woman who was missing. I remembered a friend of mine who was distressed for many years when a cousin of hers walked away from the house.

This and Ellie’s love for finding things is how we came to work with her as a search and rescue dog. She and I train everyday in some small way, but go out on searches (pretend ones) once or twice a week. It is a job she loves doing. The minute that harness is strapped on her she changes from being a crazy ball driven animal to a dog who has a serious job to do.

Bob seems to enjoy her absences as he is spoiled by everyone. Especially Louise who comes and takes him for a stroll if she knows he will be home alone. Mostly he does what Bob does best absorbs the beauty of the day and sleeps his time away.