Chilli and Candy have been having the best time playing. Chilli seems to know that Candy has no teeth, and is so gentle with her play with her.

In the pink at Narrabeen Lagoon

Caution: Adorable dog alert... may cause the desire to rescue a dog from the RSPCA... This is Candy she came from the Taree RSPCA - 9 years old and absolutely adorable. There are so many lovelies like her needing a home... just sayin!

Candy in her new walking harness - forgot to buy matching lead - oh oh, back to store

Candy on her walk - she's been with us nearly a month now and has settled in so quickly

I noticed trees with this lovley pink berry... is it some type of lillipilli?

The view at Narrabeen Lagoon, I know the purple flower is a weed, but it's so pretty.

Chilli and Kev took the lead, while Candy and I fell behind a bit. I forgot to pack my walking sneakers to bring to our housesit, and the old colorado flip flops aren't made for striding.

Mother and child watched over the walkers and the cars on the bend.

Past the trees that frame this lovely yellow house with frangipani tree out front

Down to the waters edge for a yummy sniff...

and a lovely sit before heading up the hill home...

So many lovely flowers to appreciate on our walk...

and that just about sums up our day...

How was yours?

Australia Day - Chin Wags, Bird Barneys - yep fair dinkum

Chilli and Candy are getting on so well, and playing like they've always been together... Chilli is such a gem and so gentle in her play.

I have quite a soft spot for Aussie colloquialism, and was rather delighted to see the RSL celebrating Australia Day with their signage. We took Chilli & Candy for a walk past the RSL village, and waved to some of the residents in the aged care section, who were looking out their windows. They smiled and waved back seemed to enjoy us waving, it's nice to make a little brightness here and there along the way in your day don't you think?

We wandered along on our walk, Chilli taking the lead mostly, like a bunch of wombats - although they can move fast can't they? I'll have to revisit my Jackie French's Let the Land Speak book that I so love to find out. And while I'm on that note - speaking about Jackie - I love this paragraph from Jackie's webpage... Jackie wrote her first children's book `Rainstones' in a desperate attempt to earn $106.40 to register her car, while living in a shed with a wallaby called Fred, a black snake called Gladys and a wombat called Smudge. The editor at HarperCollins said it was the messiest, worst spelt manuscript they'd ever received. The mess was because Smudge the wombat left his droppings on the typewriter every night. The spelling was because Jackie is dyslexic. Jackie recommends all beginning writers misspell their first book so it stands out of the pile. You give me hope Jackie. ♥

Fun mail exchanges for some overseas penpals... if you'd like one, email and let me know... I send them out with a couple of other little treats. They are loosely based on Aboriginal Art symbols and inspired by Jackie's story.

We listened to one of the most interesting podcasts we've every listened to by Jackie on Radio National. It was interesting to me as I learned information about Australia that I had never even heard of before. Makes me realise how lacking my education was back in the year dot. You can find the talk here. We now download podcasts prior to our trip to take along, they seem to make a long car drive disappear in no time.

Anyway, where was I - Oh I know walking the dogs... Outside the RSL Village there were so many beautiful flowers out like this grevillea...

...and this beautiful eucalypt - check out how clear that fly is... that's a photo from my iphone camera - I was impressed - as you can tell.

We loved watching the birds having a barney, but I'm a bit confused as to why my iphone can take such a good close up of a fly and not such a good one of the birds who are much larger... oh well. That'll teach me to pay more attention in photography class won't it Russell?

We wandered on past the Edgar Gornall wildflower gardens, the old stone archway frames a beautiful view.

We didn't go down the track through the wildflower gardens as it looked very overgrown, so we just kept to the road. Chilli was getting a bit thirsty and we found a doggie bowl at the tap in the park - hauling Kev around on the end of a lead is hard work she said.

We would love an old beach house like this - we missed out on this one though, it had just sold

On the way home, we had a lovely chin wag with another 92 year old local dog walker who had rescued another two dogs - more happy dog tails :-).

And then got a bit lost around about here... but Chilli took the decisive lead and we followed her through a park to a street we recognised. Yeah the Border Collie strikes again - the world's smartest dog, according to an animal show we watched last night.

Home again, and time to put the old feet up and have a snooze, the dogs had one too.

You can have a butcher's hook at some more aussieisms here:

Starfish, mosaic seats and art journaling

The rather lovely mosaic seats that have been created at Narrabeen Shops are an artist's delight. The colours and design reflect the nearby Pacific Ocean. Click here for a view of nearby Narrabeen Beach from surf cam...

The seats were getting plenty of use while we were there, I had to wait for a while to get a pic of this seat...

We seem to have been having a bit of a starfish theme this week with starfish appearing at various times during this house sit. So I decided to use the theme, and do a little art journal page on starfish.

A friend recently asked me what art journaling is. It is the same as a diary, with the addition of drawings, painting, or collage. It's a fun place to pop in flyers of art shows, theatre tickets, notices - those bits of paper that end up clogging the drawer, can be recycled into collage or a future artwork.

Art journaling is a lovely thing to do especially on a rainy day like we had today. We've had a lot of rainy days during this week of our housesit, and the mist was heavy last night. All we could see last night was a line of lights at the top of the mountain overlooking a valley of mist. It was quite wonderful.

Message from Chilli - House Sit at Collaroy

Hi family, I asked Kaz to send you a message from me today to let you know what I've been doing with them. We've been to the ball park a couple of times, and we've all been going for fun walkies around the block. Seeing how it's been so very hot, we've been going late in the day, when it's cool.

I met a couple of new friends at dog park, this is a picture of the little pug I met... (he snorts a lot, he's sounds so funny - but don't tell him I said that) and we ran around together.

I didn't run for too long as I got pooped out really quickly,
I found a cool spot in the park to chill out.

I've got a new friend called Candy, we've been having dinner together - I really like her little tiny dinner cookies, they are such crunchy little treats - and I've been teaching her how to go up and down stairs. She didn't know how to at first, but you should see her now.

We've even started playing together - having lots of fun.

I've started to do a meditation each morning with Kev & Kaz and finding it very restful

I hope you're all having fun, I miss you, I'm having fun too.
Lots of love, Chilli

Stairway success

After bringing Candy home we realised that she didn't have any experience with stairs at all. That didn't really bother me, as for the last 5 years, I've carried elderly dogs in and out of our home, down staircases and back up again, a few times a day.

One day Candy followed me down the stairs with no trouble at all. When she started to go back up, however, it was another story. She tried to jump up about 3 stairs at a time and gingerly made it onto one of the steps. I was worried she'd hurt herself.

I'm sure Chilli is telling Candy how to climb the stairs

Today, she watched Chilli climb the stairs and somehow she managed to do the same... she's going up and down with no trouble at all... Thanks Chilli!

She looked quite chuffed with herself... time for treats for all.

Brought in the news and gone fishin forever

He who is without a newspaper is cut off from his species P.T Barnum

Chilli has been doing lots of practice with her newspaper routine. Each morning she practices bringing in the paper...

We go out together to see if the paper has arrived, and she knows just what to do.

Chilli's so quick that my photography skills struggle to keep up.

We were telling her how clever she is, and she looked very pleased with herself

What's so funny about the news Kev?

My dad would have loved this farewell.

Newspaper: The Daily Telegraph January 17 2014 Photo of Gone Fishing from AP

Coffee with Candy and a Chilli welcome

How cute is this face?

We set out of our first long drive with our new little doggie Candy, here she is at our coffee stop at Newcastle. We were wondering how she would go on a long car trip, as we haven't been on a long trip since she came to live with us. She did a little bit of huffing and puffing for the first half hour or so, but settled down well and had a lovely pit stop at Taree. After that she relaxed into the drive and by the time we reached our coffee o'clock stop she seemed like a seasoned traveller.

The temperature started to soar once we hit the central coast, and about the same time as it started to soar, our car's air conditioner decided it would stop. Funny how car's pick the highway to do things, you drive around at home for weeks and months on end with not even a little hiccup and before you can say heatwave... oh well not to worry we managed to get it booked in straight away once we arrived. Thank goodness though we set off early before the heat of the day really kicked in.

Beautiful Chilli smile

We arrived to a beautiful Chilli welcome again, we were wondering if she would remember us from last time. She seemed pretty happy though and we received tail wags and licks. After introducing Candy to Chilli, we went out to the pool to cool off after the rather hot last leg of the journey, ahhhhh instant relief. The dogs both get on really well, and Chilli was trying to get Candy to play with her. Chilli is a very social doggie and offers to share her toys which is so lovely to see.

We delighted in the welcome card that was waiting for us. When I looked on the back I discovered that it had been made by the very special artist in residence. Isn't it gorgeous?

We waited until the day cooled down to take the dogs on their walk and it was about 7.30pm when we set off. It's such a nice time of night in summer to walk once the heat of the day has passed.

We found the wombat crossing - how cute is this?

Wandered past some lovely hibiscus...

loved this lemon one...

A quick stop for a nose dust after picking up some ants on the last sniff...

then past a pavement sticking it's tongue out at us - in good humour though don't you think?

Strolled past this front yard, complete with bubbler. Which kicked off a memory of cold bubbler water on hot summer days... did you love drinking from them? Nothing quite like it, then wiping off the water with the back of your hand across your face, yum. Have you ever squirted someone with the water from a bubbler? If not, please do so soon.

We passed a white feather that needed quite a lot of investigation.

I love the long summer evenings to walk, lots of light, the paths are cool for the dogs to walk on, and they get to have a great sniff along the way. On the way home, Chilli got to meet one of her friends on their walk, she was very excited. Chilli spotted a cat that she'd have liked to say hello to, but you know cats, it wasn't having a bar of it. I wish I could have captured that U shaped warning it managed to contort it's body into, on my camera.

Yes she looks pretty happy to see us again... right now both the dogs are both curled up at my feet, having a little post walkies snooze.

All's peaceful with our world, what about you?