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vendredi 13 octobre 2017

DOGS' SMALL TALKS



                                         
       



Hello everybody,


Have you heard about the legend that on Christmas, at midnight, all animals are given the Power of Speech for one hour ?

I don't know its origin, but it doesn't really matter, cause at the stroke of midnight on Christmas, I'm usually busy serving the traditional Yule log* and checking the fun meter is running smoothly, so I have no time to listen to my dogs.

Anyway, even if at that time they wanted to speak, with all the hustle and bustle around, I'm afraid they wouldn't be able to get a word in.

Fortunately I am one of those blessed with dogs in their lives, and I don't have to wait until Christmas for the magic to happen.
Whatever the time of the day, there is always one of my two furry babies ready to make small talks.

Canaille's hangout to have a chat with me is the kitchen.
I'm an early riser, but even in the wee hours of the morning, when I step into the kitchen, I'm quite sure to come across him.
Sometimes I wonder if he was not about to raid the fridge, but I have never caught him red-handed (and red-pawed, either).
Anyway, my suspicions are quickly swept away by his innocent eyes looking down at his bowl, up at me, down at his bowl again, as if saying :

   " Good morning, Sleeping Beauty! I thought you would never wake   up! You know, I've been fasting since last night, and I really need to fuel up. Can't you hear my tummy rumbling ? So, if you don't mind, we'll have a real talk later ".
                            


OK, then! While I am sipping my first cup of tea, he swallows down his morning bowl, and once done with it, he gives me a big ' Hope you'll repeat the invitation ' thank you.






At lunch and dinner time, that good guest is back in the kitchen, ready to help and chat.




" You're taking the chopping board out ? Well, don't worry, Mum, if you drop one of those mouth-watering things you're cutting, I'll clean up the floor ".

" What are you stirring ? It smells delicious!".

You see, that guy always finds the right word to cheer up the lousy cook I am.

Don't misunderstand me. Canaille doesn't open his mouth just to play the food critic.
When I am brooding or worrying, he is quick at noticing it, and never fails to put his paw on my lap and say :

  " Come on, Mum, let's go outside and play a good ' Fetch the ball ' game. Sure, you'll realize all is not gloom and doom today! ".


As for Ulysse, things are quite different. He is nearly 15 and then much quieter than the 10-year-old buoyant Canaille.
Does older mean wiser ? Well, Ulysse is the living proof that it does.
This cute little doggy is born smart, and even though he has gone through some rough patches *, he has always managed not to lose his zest of life and his cool side.



So, when I'm in my study, looking desesperately for inspiration, after a while he yawns, stretches himself, and I can hear him whisper :

  " Stop racking your brain, nothing good will come out of it today. Let's have a good cuddle session. Believe me, it's a lovely way to meditate and drain your stress ".

Most of the time he is right!

You see, dogs (and actually all pets) don't wait the magic of Christmas to speak, what you need is just to lend a caring ear.

So, prick up your ears, and don't forget :

                                        BE PERKY 


Here is a link for the traditional Christmas Yule log :

http://allrecipes.com/recipe/15704/chocolate-decadence-yule-log/






   

vendredi 6 octobre 2017

A TRIBUTE TO MY DOGS



           



Hello everybody,



This week I have cobbled just a short post, cause I'm on a pretty tight schedule.
Here in Cap Sizun, the very tip of Brittany, after countless rainy and foggy days, the weather's clearing, and according to the weathermen, we can expect a lull and the next few days shoul be sunnier.
Then, no time to spare indoors, cause in the garden the weeds and dead leaves are plotting a coup, and if I sit idly, they will rule the roost in no time. 

But before heading to the garden, I want to write a few lines about my dogs, cause Autumn is really the time of the year those two sweethearts deserve a tribute and a pep talk before facing the rough patch they will go through till Winter comes round the corner.




First off, the early days of October ring the bell for a visit to the groomer, which means standing still and steady on a grooming table for nearly two hours! Sheer torture for those two buoyant and playful fellows.
Even though I schedule the appointment sneakily, when D-day comes, instead of jumping joyfully into the car as they usually do, they haul themselves up onto the back seat with a lot of deep sighs, as if they knew where they are going to. A quick glance in the rear view mirror, and I immediately see sad eyes imploring for mercy.
Anyway, once in the salon, those two customers put on a brave face, and are as good as gold. 
So, kudos to them!
        
                                                

Once rid of that chore, what they just need is to frolic in the garden, but unfortunately that's when things go wrong...

The kick-off of Autumn means it's high time to beat the birds to berries and the wasps to the fruit, cause our garden is a real larder.
Of course, my two high-spirited tail waggers are thrilled to bits when harvest time comes, but their expectations is quickly dampened.
This is the season when their usual playground turns into an obstacle course.

When I pick up blueberries, my two helpful assistants rush into the shrubbery, and more often than not, we have to hurry back home and take tweezers to pull out thorns.




Then the sneaky apple trees take advantage of the slightest breeze to drop some apples on their heads and leave them flabbergasted and wondering where that damned sniper can be hiding.




If they run away from the orchard to avoid being knocked out, the huge oak trees take over and bombard them with a few score of acorns. Lighter than apples, but just like a machine-gun fire.




After such misfortune, they could withdraw and get shelter in the garden shed, but those brave guys want to watch my every move, for fear I should grapple with some mysterious attackers.
So, what's better to regain their composure than a little rolling in the grass in the shade of the chestnut tree ?
Ouch! No way to catch a break there, either!
Chestnut husks don't make a comfy mattress, unless you are a fakir!




Battle weary, they are about to resign from their yard boys' temp job, when the mischievous squirrel who has taken residence in the walnut tree start hopping from one branch to the other to tease them.




That's enough to boost their zest of life, and send them barking and jumping again.

Even though a whole Autumn day in the garden wear them out, the next morning those two brave guys are ready to put their lives at risk, just for Mum's sake!

So, hats off to my two furry babies!

And now, cheerio, dear readers, Mother Nature is calling (and fruit, dead leaves and weeds, as well).

Whether you call it Autumn or Fall, make the most of it, and don't forget :

                                       BE PERKY 

                                                 



mercredi 27 septembre 2017

HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT PAIR OF SHOES







Hi Ladies,

Sorry, guys, but for once, here is a post dedicated to girls about to buy a new pair of shoes.

First off, ladies, if you live in a part of the world that experiences four seasons, this is the time of the year when you're switching out your warm weather clothes for cold weather ones (or the other way round if you live in the southern hemisphere).

Here in France, no need to look at the calendar to know  Fall is really on.
The leaves are bursting into colours, the air is growing crisper, and the days are getting shorter.

So, it's high time to bid farewell to flip-flops, sandals or any canvas shoes.
Shoe shops are crammed with so many trendy shoes that if you let yourself go, it will make your bank account palpitate !
Loafers, flats, ankle, mid-calf or over the knee boots, and of course the classical pumps, there's something for everyone !
The only problem is choosing.
Well, for most of the girls I know, but not for me...

I'm a perennnial " flat wearer ".
Quite sure a fashionable pair of high heels would give me a taller and more slender appearance, and make my legs look thinner and more shapely, but would definitely make me look my balance and my sanity,as well.
Heels look great and stylish, but I have to face the facts : my feet can't bear them !

Last time I tried to wear some for an evening party, after a mere hour, my back, hips, knees, calves and ankles were crying for mercy so loudly that I was afraid the other guests could hear their lament.
No way to rack my brain to find new ice-breakers to keep our small talk going. It was dying out, but the blabbermouth I am, didn't care.
My mind was just focused on how to sway with style and grace while my toes were riding on one another painfully and flying the red flag of an impending blister.
As an awkward silence was settling in, all the casual topics I had mastered for long seemed to vanish into thin air. 
Jump-starting the conversation again was the least of my worries. 
No kidding, my only concern was to free my feet from those damned torturous shoes and let my toes chill out in comfy slippers, or even spread their aching tips on the floor.



Sure, they deserved such a reward, cause I had been perched up on them for nearly two hours, and if I didn't give them what they demanded, they would certainly play a low-down trick on me, and drop me (literally and figuratively, as well) !

What I needed was to find a fake excuse to leave the sinking conversation, and rush to the restroom to give my whole body a long-awaited lull.

Unfortunately, I was not out of the woods...

Just when I was about to slip away from the group of guests I was trying to make small talk with, the music started playing, and Dearhubby who was not far away, came back and asked me for a dance.

After a few steps, I was clinging to him so tightly, that he stopped and said :

" Hey,Perky, what's going on ? Are you tipsy, or what ? Why can't you keep the beat ? You've been treading on my feet, and, believe me,  your pumps are real killers ".

" If you were in my shoes ", I answered with a mirthless smile, " you would know they are real killers. I've not been wearing them, but bearing them (one letter can make a difference) since we left home, and now my feet are killing me ! ".

" That's where the shoes pinches ", he replied mockingly.

No need to tell you that I spent the rest of the party shuffling along, and once back home I soaked my poor feet into a warm bath, soothened them with some lavender oil drops (very efficient when your feet are aching), and I promised them that I would never hurt them any more.






So, believe me or not, from now on, whatever the party I am invited to, I'll favour comfort and wear flat shoes.
According to the article below , I won't be out of step.

https://www.yahoo.com/news/9-famous-women-wore-flats-slideshow-wp-141332352.html





Hope this week post will help you get through your ' buying new shoes' journey and prevent you from succumbing to the dizzy heights of pumps !

Photos of your favourite shoes are welcomed on :


perkybusybee@gmail.com




vendredi 22 septembre 2017

THE BLACK THUMB CURSE








Hi everybody,


This week I won't beat around the bush, cause I have an urgent matter to deal with, and your help, tips and tricks are welcomed. So,listen.

I think I'm under a curse. Yes, guys, a curse, and I'm choosing my words carefully, but let's call a spade a spade.
I'm so desesperate that I have even thought of looking for a kind of witch doctor to break that long-lasting curse. No way! If there are any in Brittany, nobody can give a heads-up to find one.

You see I'm really grasping at straws, but my sanity is at stake.
So please, don't click off the page. Let me explain all my trouble, cause you are my last hope, my last resort. I really want to turn over a new leaf, and things to come up roses again.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not wallowing in self-pity. My life is still blooming great, but by next Spring I really need things to change to forget about the Black Thumb Curse.




Never heard about it ?

No, no, it's not a thriller, or any kind of cliffhanger!
Unfortunately, cause if it were, my life in the country would be a bed of roses.
But as the saying goes, there's no rose without a thorn.

Still can't guess what the Black Thumb Cuse is ?

Look ! Within a few lines, plenty of idioms about flowers, doesn't it ring a bell ?

You give up ? OK, then.

Well, the Black Thumb Curse is when fragrant verbs such as ' bud, bloom and blossom ' are swept away and let ' wilt, wither and dry up ' rule the roost.

Yes, guys, that's it. You've guessed .
All my expectations to become a master gardener are fading away, cause I was born with a black thumb. Unlike my mother who would grow whatever she wanted on her balcony, I ruined all my plantings.

I have to face the facts : I'm not a person with a green thumb.
I can almost pinpoint when I started developping the Black thumb Curse.

I was living in Paris, and one day I decided to grow herbs in a window box. It would spice up my blander dishes (yes, I was already a lousy cook) and give a boost to my landscape (a view on the roofs is romantic, but not really greeny).
Every day I was looking out for my basil, marjoram and savory seeds to grow out.In vain ...
One morning all my hopes were wiped out in a wingbeat by a pigeon sitting cosily in my window-box. When I opened the widow, it flew away, leaving an egg behind it.



One egg was not enough for an omelet, and anyway, there was not the single herb left  to liven it up...

When settling down here in Brittany, I should have remembered that first unfortunate step into  the Green Thumb World.
But you know how gung-ho I can be ...

The first white buds and long grass-like stems on the lawn thrilled me till Mr Google's verdict made me fall apart :

  " Wild garlic. An invasive species reproducing prolifically from 
     underground bulbs. A real curse ".

Once rid of those pungent, garlicky invaders, I thought I was done with my efforts. My foot !! 

Four-leaf clovers sneaked on the scene, and called the shots.
Another invasive species, and believe me or not, all four-leaf clovers aren't good luck charms. Not at all , cause, once I had dug out all those trespassers , the deers indulged themselves and nibbled all the rose buds I had pampered and fed with chopped banana peels mixed in their compost.
I had managed to keep my rose bushes healthy all throughout Winter, but I should have known that the Black Thumb Curse never leaves you quiet and blooming.

Since then, I have tried to do my best, but the burgeoning gardener I am is about to turn into a self-proclaimed Black Thumb for ever.

So, I'm looking forward to getting your helping hand and green thumb 


on my email address :



In the meantime, don't forget : BE PERKY !

















vendredi 15 septembre 2017

NAPPING OR NOT NAPPING



                                       



Hello everybody,


Is it me or do you sometimes feel the yawnings in the early afternoon,too ?
A tad boozy dinner, a restless night, a busy morning, a heavy lunch or just my body-clock all messed up ?
Well, whatever the reason, it seems that suddenly my eyelids get out of control and rule the roost !
According to some health nut gurus, what you need then is a power nap .




I'm sorry, but when you are in your office, rather difficult to snuggle in toilets usually not that roomy, lie down on a photocopier often much coveted (I hope not for the same reason ) or squeeze into a filing cabinet most of the time so dusty that likely to trigger  sneezing fits !

So what ?

Well,when I was working, not to let the need for 40 winks overcome my good upbringing, I used to have an extra caffeine fix before lunch-time.
Not that healthy, I agree, but for me the only foolproof way to kick-start the afternoon.




Unfortunately one day, after a night of partying, I arrived at the office and found out that the coffee-machine was out of order.
" How will you manage to cope with a coffee-free morning ? ", asked a colleague apparently worried about my haggard face.
" Easy peasy ! ", I replied, " I'll just have a mid-morning nap, and for lunch-time I'll be as fresh as a daisy ! Pick me up at 12 and you'll see the benefits of my morning catnap ".

Of course, I was joking, but I knew that my colleague was easily taken for a ride, so when at 12,  I heard a knock at my office door, I quickly laid a thick file flat on my desk, put my forehead on it, and let my right arm flop down as if I had been suddenly struck down by Morpheus.
A second and a third knock didn't make me change my mind. I stayed still and silent, waiting for my friend to open the door and find me sleeping like a log.



Sure, that was a prank she would remember for long, cause I had planned to leap up like a Jack-in-the-box as soon as she touched my shoulder.
Quite likely she would utter a shriek, and then burst out laughing when she realized I had pulled her leg one more time when telling her a few hours before that I would catch up for my sleepless night with a comfy nap !

A last stronger knock, then the door opened , and I could hear footsteps coming briskly towars my desk.
I kept pretending to be soundly asleep, even though I knew a fit of the giggles was on its way !

The sound of silence for a few seconds again...

Jeez, I wouldn't be able to play " The Sleeping Beauty " for long, two can play at that game, sure my friend was playing for time !

When I heard fingers drumming eagerly on my desk, I smelled a rat...




One eyelid up was enough to catch sight of a wedding ring on a pretty big hand.
Damn it, whose hand was it ? Couldn't be my friend's ? She was not married and moreover she had very small hands !

I eventually raised my head and ...in a split second I turned into a pillar of salt. Yes, guys, a pillar of salt !
As petrified and dumbfounded as the department head standing near my desk !

l strived to get myself together,and mumbled that it was a misunderstanding, I was not sleeping, I was just pretending to , to pull out a prank to a colleague.
I was digging myself in deeper, but I had to save my bacon, cause the red flag of an impending dismissal was floating in the department head's eyes. I was in a fix, and not a coffee one, unfortunately !

He let me tie myself in knots for a few minutes, and then said :

" It's high time you woke up and smelled the coffee, Miss Perky ! 

No way to take that literally ! It sounded more like " Are you aware of the situation you are in ? ".

But he didn't let me brood over that kind of warning and continued :

" I thought you were full of beans, but apparently coffee beans are missing today ! ...Anyway, have the coffee-machine repaired by tomorrow morning, and I promise I won't spill the beans ! ".




That was the first and last time I was caught napping ( sorry , I love puns ).


That's all for this week, guys, cause my eyelids are screaming sleep, so good night, sleep tight and don't forget : 

                                         BE PERKY !












vendredi 8 septembre 2017

BACK-TO-WORK BLUES





Hi everybody,


Perky the Busy Bee back on line this week !




Come on, don't you remember me ?
The tireless blunderer, the incorrigible diet-breaker, the lousy cook, the 
' black-thumbed ' gardener, and the ' lower than low level ' sporty girl whose adventures help you look on the bright side of things !

Does my name ring a bell, now ?
Yes ? Great, then !
For the new-comers on line today, no need to worry : this week's post will drive you right into the swings of things within a few lines. So, don't skip off my page !

First off, kudos to Canaille, my English Springer Spaniel, who filled my shoes and blogged for me while I was on a carefree staycation.





He kept the tempo up all Summer long, so now he really needs to get back to his doggy's humdrum routine.
Don't get me wrong ! He lives with two dogaholics,and long walks, mouth-watering meals, power naps, endless cuddles, and, of course, scrummy treats will be his lot ! Nothing to do with Joe Bloggs's humdrum routine !
Halcyon days till Christmas season, cause then I may ask him to lend me a paw again ( a hand in human language) and resume his woofing blogging job.

Enough waffle now, let's get down to brass tacks. 

I've got a question for you !

How do you beat back-to-work blues ?

Sure, you know what I'm talking about ! The gloomy feeling floating around when time comes to bid farewell to long-awaited vacation.

I guess no one enjoys going back to the grindstone after a fun-filled break, and even if now I'm as keen as mustard to make a fresh start, things used to be quite different some years ago.

That Summer had been just fun and frolic everyday. You know that kind of holidays you remember all your life.
Unfortunately, all good things come to an end, and that year, once more that damned saying proved to be right, and time came to pack and leave. I didn't want to, but what could I do ?

Sprain my ankle ? Ouch, too painful for a softie like me !
Catch a sunstroke ? No way ! The foul weather of the last few weeks ruined my lame excuse !
A sudden attack of amnesia ? My temp job would never turn into a permanent contract !

I racked my brain, in vain !
I had to face the facts : I couldn't escape my fate. I was doomed to go back to Paris and work !

On my departure day, to cheer me up, my friends came to the station to see me off. 





We arrived there 2 hours ahead of time. So, instead of pacing up and down the ominous platform, we decided to have dinner in a nearby eatery.
The meal went on so cheerfully that by the dessert I had already made up my mind : one very last clubbing and I would take the morning train and go straight to the office. I wouldn't be fired for missing half-a-day.
We danced through the night, and on the journey back to Paris, I slept like a log.

I guess I was not widely awake when I stepped into my boss's office, otherwise I could have said that I had hit the snoozze button again and again, and eventually overslept.It could have made sense.



Forget about that cast-iron excuse !
Instead, I said that the night before I had not been able to get on the train because it was overcrowded.
In those days you didn't need to book before travelling by train.
I was thinking I was off the hook, when a sharp question dampened my hopes ...

" Which train was it ? ", my boss asked.
" The 11pm from Quimper, sir ", I answered, a bit taken aback.
" Funny ", he replied, " I got on it at the first stop after Quimper and it   
  was nearly empty ".

Jeez, I got red as a beetroot, and felt so ashamed of my pathetic lie that I could feel my nose growing like Pinocchio's.




Then, he gave me a wink and added :

" But, maybe the 11pm train was a ghost train ..., now get cracking, 
   lady ! ".


Phew ! I got away quite nicely, but since then I have kept in my mind that a fault confessed is half redressed (a word to the wise is enough).

Now, I'm expecting your comments and your tips and tricks to beat back-to-work blues with flying colours ! 
You're welcome on :












samedi 2 septembre 2017

" NEVER GIVE UP ! "



                                 


                       


                     


Hey everyone,


Way to go, guys ! You've been absolutely fabulous ! Your kindly mails, your " likes " and witty comments on the social media have saved my bacon !
Perky, this blog's owner and my mum, as well, has made up with me ! Great ! I'm off the hook !
Let bygone be bygones ! After all, letting the cat out of the bag and telling you about her repeated brushes with Spanish learning was no big deal, was it ?



But, you know, my mum has a real knack for making a mountain out of a molehill ! No kidding ! That's one of her quirks.
You see once there was a tiny molehill in our garden, but when she told Sugardaddy about it, it sounded as if Mount Everest had been relocated on our lawn overnight !


Fortunately, Sugardaddy is used to her 'extra drama ', and usually turns it into funny stuff. That time, for example, he said that if there was a mole among us, he would do his best to find out who had infiltrated our organization and become a trusted member of it ! Perky cracked a smile, then, and Mount Everest slid back to the Himalayas, and left just a minute bump on the grass in memory of its fleeting visit in Brittany !



                                   ( Mount Everest : 8,848Mt/ 29028 Ft )

Daddy is really a smart cookie and he can find out silver linings in the blink of an eye . I love him to the moon and back, and not only because he is a smart cookie, though that phrase makes my mouth water. Have I told you that I have a sweet tooth. I guess I take after Perky, but that's another story. Maybe when things calm down, I'll tell you another secret about Greedy Perky ... Shh !

Thanks also for all your lovely photos, buddies !
To be honest, I must confess I have a crush on Ashkee, a cute little doggy who lives halfway around the world (The Philippines). 



His Mum told me that his mother died when the litter was born, and she had to nurse him with a baby bottle and fresh milk till he could manage by himself.
Now he is a jolly jumper like me, and a spoiled boy, like me, too !
His foster mum deserves congrats, doesn't she ? 
So, a big thumbs-up to Elefzee Lydia from all the dog rescuers !

You see, since I started filling Perky's shoes and blogging for her, I've made friends with lots of dog lovers all over the world, and even if we'll never meet, it's great to chat with like-minded people. That's the magic of the Internet !

Unfortunately, on the flip side, Google has ruined my great expectations. 
I mean I have suddenly realized that I am not the only pebble on the beach.
The Internet is swarming with wannabe blogging dogs, and even worse, with real woofing bloggers !
Jeez, what a fierce competition ! Rough patch to come before earning my place in the sun !
I hope Perky will give me a little more time to achieve my dream and be as successful as Emma (a Grand Basset Griffon Vendéen) whose blog is absolutely smashing and full of tips and trick for cheerful and lively dogs like me.

mygbgvlife.com


You know what ? I guess I have a crush on Emma, too !!




Don't get me wrong ! I don't fall in love easily . I'm afraid finding a suitable match will take me forever, cause ....my heart belongs to Daddy*  and ...oops, to Perky, of course.

But, I must admit that Emma has made a hit with me. She is smart and hear me out : she has even written a book !
Yes, guys, can you figure that out ? A book !
" Tales of a French Scent Hound " . Classy, isn't it ?
When I came across it, I was flabbergasted !

Poor me ! For the ball boy I am, there is still some way to go, but every dog has its day, so just wait till I'm famous. All things come to him who waits ...

In the meantime, I've decided to stay pawsitive, chill out in my comfy basket and read " The Waggington Post ", my favourite online newspaper. 
Want to know more about that resourceful paper ? Here is the link :

http://www.waggingtonpost.com

I had planned to tell you this week why September is a scary month for me, but I am on a tight schedule, cause Perky has made an appointment for me at my favourite groomer, so next time you'll know more.

Have a pawesome week and don't forget : BE PERKY !

                     Canaille aka Mr Joe Bloggs ( but wait till I'm famous !)





* Do you remember that song ?