Slagathor the Viking dog

Hi All,


Slagathor the Viking dog, Master and slayer of all he surveys and servant to none

If you want the full doganese version of it, it is “Slagathor the Viking dog, Master and slayer of all he surveys and servant to none”. That’s what he would have us believe his name is. His name is “Earl” to us. I was dragging down the West Tamar Highway this morning behind a most determined dog who didn’t walk yesterday because Steve went to town to do the shopping. He spent most of yesterday running around barking at both real and imaginary creatures and he is most definitely one of “those dogs” that needs a decent walk every day.  Bezial was limping around today so he got a day off and as a new convert to walking every day, I volunteered to walk Earl. I think a lot when I walk alone. Earl isn’t much of a conversationalist and prefers to sniff and pee so I allow my mind to wander where it will. My mind tends to wander all over the place and I got to thinking about what Earl would call himself if he was given the choice. I immediately remembered a cartoon by Mr Gary Larson, kind of the cartoon crossover between the animal world and everything else, a most entertaining maestro of the scientific pun and lord of the intellectual laugh.


PLEASE don’t sue me Mr Larson…I am a geek like you!…no really…I am!

It’s Tuesday, we both passed our first Adobe Flash unit and we don’t have anything to do today (study wise) because we have both completed everything that we can (that our lecturer will release to us…he is more of a control freak than I am!) in advance so today belongs to us. Steve wants to use the P.C. today because he is going to try to sort out our unused laptop so that I can use it while I am at my daughters house this weekend. Off again you say? Yup :o). It turns out my ex-husband is coming to Melbourne to celebrate his 50th with the first batch of kids. Not a bad option since they are all adults and most of them can pay their way. I got roped in to look after Qi and the house while the girls are away and will be absent without leave again. The problems come when you realise that the girls don’t have “television” as we know it in their home. They don’t actually watch free to air or pay TV! They spend too much time online and watching more than enough old movies to open their own dvd store from their home. They have dvd’s everywhere and lots of old dvd’s on a well stocked hard-drive. The problems come from narf7 and her bolshie desire to keep that part of her (well stocked) brain that could be dedicated to learning how to operate technology free for things that actually interest her. This weekend I am going to HAVE to learn how to use that little black box of theirs that contains the magic treasure. I am going to have to (gulp…) learn to use the remote control!


Steve has been messing around watching YouTube tutorials about how to make infra red images without an infra red camera. He recently purchased an infra red filter but has very kindly allowed me to fill the rest of this post with some of his creations using Photoshop.

Not only that, but I have only just recovered and regrouped from the last visit to the girls in the RSS Feed Reader context. I don’t want to spend another 2 weeks trying to regain control. Qi doesn’t like to walk without Bethany (my youngest daughter) and so walking the dog is out of the equation. What’s a narf to do in an empty house with no telly and a slothful dog? Bring her own…THAT’S what! Steve is the technological brains in our house. Not only is he the brains trust, but he is actively able to update his brains trust, he is interested in how things work, he is the most stubborn mule born since mules were given that moniker AND he enjoys it. What more perfect partner for a bolshie narf7 who could care less about remote controls, television and most technology. I use technology to deliver me “stuff” that I want. Information…knowledge…like number 5 from last centuries wonderful movie (when they knew how to make wonderful movies 😉 ) “Short Circuit” narf7 “needs input!” Steve came up with a great idea to keep me from resorting to forcing the dog out on a skateboard that involves our unused laptop (almost pristine condition…can anyone say “vista operating system?” 😉 ), my exponentially increasing RSS Feed Reader that I have named Audrey 2 (“FEED ME NARF7”!) and narf7… spending my days reading blogs, pinning and occasionally running around the house to activate the dog.

sid mouth

I really love this little image. Its a study in greyscale and it looks like a charcoal drawing

All of this involves me having a laptop, at my daughters, that will work. Not as easy as it might seem because that laptop has to plug into their internet service AND work. Our laptop is even more bolshie than I am. At least you can occasionally get me to change my mind through explanations and guilt (guilt works the best…) but our laptop is a product of its operating system and Vista plain and outright SUCKED folks. We bought the laptop for me to write a book. Steve has delusions that I have talent. I am under no such delusions and know that everything that comes from the tapping fingers of narf7 comes from the myriad collection of motley muses that cohabit my brain. I KNOW that the moment I sat down to attempt to write a book, a short novella, a short story, an ESSAY those self-same muses would go shtum. They are like our laptop…bolshie to the core, revolutionaries every one and prone to fits of incredible temper followed by months of stilted silence. All I can say is that it is lucky that there are so many of them because at least 10 of them are sulking at any given time. I wouldn’t want to upset the delicate balance and equilibrium that seems to have settled into my brain between muses output and narf7 input and so that bolshie laptop remains somewhat pristine and it even has a mouse…


You can create some awesome images by simply inverting an image but this one took a lot more work. Doesn’t it look like a snowy vista with a river in the middle? It’s actually a warmish day in a park and those ripples on the “water” are actually melted tar

I won’t be here when you read this. Sounds dramatic doesn’t it! I will be (hopefully) reading blogs and pinning like a maniac (imagine a crack addict in a room full of free crack…sad but true) and organising my RSS Feed Reader, my Pinterest boards (now that I know how to use them) and the laptop. Consider narf7 a pig in muck this weekend :o). I might have to leave the dog behind to go for a walk but I will bring her back treats and will spoil her rotten. My daughters will be in Melbourne and I will be stuffing their dog full of meat and bones…MEAT AND BONES! I won’t be allowed to look after Qi again for a while because I corrupt her. I am like a dog virus. The girls just get her thinking that she is a small human (she eats what they eat) and suddenly “grandma” bursts onto the scene loaded up with raw meat and bones and all hell breaks loose. It won’t be that bad…I can’t actually get the raw meat in time but there might be bones…


This looks like some sort of alien planet.

I am typing this while a free PDF downloads. I love finding free recipe PDF’s and this one had 92 pages of wonderful looking gluten free recipes. I also love finding new blogs to subscribe to and read. While I am at my daughters I will be flensing my RSS Feed Reader. I am just about to download the new version of FeedDemon 4.5 that bypasses the need to synchronise with Google Reader. By the time you read this Google Reader will be staggering around on its last legs. It will have 1 solitary day to live and if you are still reading your feeds through Google Reader, it might be a good time to run…yes RUN folks…off and sort out a new reader because as of Monday July 1st, Google Reader shall be no more. I am luxuriating in the thought that come Monday I won’t have to wince when I open my RSS Feed Reader, indeed I will be positively glowing. I foresee a July where all of the blogs that have stopped sending out feeds, where blogs that have stopped giving good content and where blogs that aren’t pulling their weight have been eliminated from narf7’s RSS Feed Reader…”I have a dream!” folks…and it’s positively blissful :o)


The Tamar River on steroids or crack

Bored of reading about RSS Feed Readers yet? I will give you a break now and will change tack. If you wanted to get that free Gluten Free PDF by the way feel free to go here and get it…


The same image but treated in a different way. It’s really amazing what you can do in Photoshop

Have you ever had one of those “DUH!” moments when you have been pondering a problem and suddenly the answer rolls into your addled brain and it really IS like a light switch goes on…well I have had 2 of them in a week. My first consisted of me fretting about the state of a woollen round rug that we keep in front of the fire. Steve and I watched a television program about how wool is an amazing product (yeah…I know…scintillating…) and in the program we learned that wool is actually fire retardant…it doesn’t burn folks! They showed a mock up bedroom inside a shipping container that they filled with woollen bedding/toys/clothes etc. and one full of manmade fibres and the manmade fibre bedroom went up in flames and the woollen bedroom didn’t. Simple as that. What better to put in front of Brunhilda (who is prone to hissy fits when you toss wood into her) to stop the sparks than an old (inherited) woollen rug? The problem was that Steve is less than careful about banging off bark, dirt and anything else that wood contains onto this rug and as I am the sweeping freak (at least 3 times a day, we don’t use the vacuum cleaner on a regular basis) he could care less about bits on the floor…someone else makes them “go away”…so I had a problem with a fringe around the edge of the rug constantly trapping and filling up with woody crumby bits that I had to extract by picking up and shaking the rug…no easy sweepy fix to that one. We had another fringed oval woollen rug (also inherited) near the back door to try to catch the dirt and for Bezial to bask in the sun’s rays. It too managed to hold and trap dirt, dust, dog hairs and woody crumbs. I was perplexed to say the least!


The green of the trees has been turned to pink in this image and they now look like they are flowering.

The rugs are quite old and worn and the fringes were in various stages of decomposition which also added to my angst. While I was standing next to Brunhilda I suddenly had that “DOH!” moment…if the fringe was making me twitch so much, why didn’t I just cut it off! 15 minutes later the fringes were gone, the rugs looks neat, they don’t catch bits anymore and narf7 is a happy camper. A very simple fix that required me to actually think about the problem and see it for what it was. I needed to simplify the problem and stop complaining about it in my head before I could actually deal with it. I just had another “DOH!” moment at 4.30am precisely. I was working through my RSS Feed Reader that I have just updated. You have a single solitary day to update your feed reader folks before Google Reader goes defunct on your derrière (if you are using Google Reader that is…). I thought that I was protected because I downloaded FeedDemon 4.1 but it turns out the owner of FeedDemon has decided to call it quits but before he goes out with a Googly bang, he has most magnanimously decided to allow FeedDemon to go on in Perpetua without him and he has even more magnanimously deigned to give us the Pro version that up until now you had to pay for and now it’s free! Kudos sir! If you want to take advantage of this new FeedDemon 4.5 version that is entirely independent of Google Reader (which 4.1 wasn’t!) feel free to read my last post which is just a repost of Mr Bradbury’s own blog post and gives a link to the download for FeedDemon 4.5


This is a motion blur image but given the Steve treatment its a study in pink and aqua. Steve just said “It’s Barbies Bridge” 😉

Now we can get back to the reason for “DOH!”2…I have an exponentially increasing amount of non-dairy kefir that is threatening to blow up our fridge. It is one of those products that I need to think more about as to how I am going to use it. I can’t heat it or its beneficial probiotic bacteria and fungi will croak. I don’t want that! I want the benefits of this wondrous mix and so I have been trying to think of ways to integrate it into my diet. It is freezing cold here in Tassie at the moment (no surprise there folks, we just hit the winter equinox and we are a hop, skip and a jump away from Antarctica…) so my spring and summer green smoothies are no longer as tantalising as they were when it was warm to hot. I was pinning a recipe for some wonderful blueberry, mango and coconut ice pops when suddenly I thought “why don’t I freeze my non-dairy kefir and make ice blocks!” That way I can store them in a freezer bag in our larger freeze and they can be used in smoothies when it gets warmer and by then I will have a huge supply of them that I can keep going…what a great idea!


This is one of my favourite images. I just really love the colour combinations. Who wouldn’t want a lavender tree fern?

I tend to be one of those people that hang onto a problem and work at it from all sides. Steve is exactly the same. I am sending this post from my daughters thanks to Steve being clever (and most stubborn) clogs who has managed to get our bolshie laptop to toe the line and do what it is told. It was no mean feat folks, this plastic mound of diodes and plugs is plain nasty. Not only has he forced it to do his bidding but he has stuffed it full of my personal shortcuts and all kinds of programs that I can use to while away the hours till my daughters get back on Sunday after flying to Melbourne and visiting with their brother and his Texan sweetie Kelsey who live there and their father who is just about to turn 50. If you ever find this blog Robert and you read this post…Happy Birthday and no hard feelings :o) and yes…I have LOTS of wrinkles ;). I will be clearing out my Pinterest Boards and RSS Feed Reader and will most likely be using the Wii fit (the dog refuses to walk with me…) and playing Zelda and Animal Crossing till my eyes are as crossed as the Animals are. Steve waited till I went to bed the other night after spending the whole day trying to get the laptop to do his bidding. He knew that I would tease him about his stubborn refusal to leave the stupid thing alone and after I went to bed he snuck back to the P.C. (after telling me he was done with it for the night) and sorted it out. Once Steve gets hold of a problem he never lets go till it is solved. Hopefully he is like that about us…I am most definitely a “problem” that isn’t going away any day soon 😉


This image is a little disconcerting. Bezial looks like he is an elongated sausage dog but really he is sitting down and most of what you can see behind him is shadow. He is telling us all to “Move along…nothing more to see here folks”…I guess that’s Bezial’s way of saying “see ya later!” He never was a very convivial dog 😉

I am in the process of organising photos and images for this post. It’s early Wednesday morning and I am just about to wrap this post up for the day. We already have a pilfered Larson image (someone else pilfered it first so does that make it alright?!) and a doctored image of Slagathor the Viking Dog. Now I just need to find a lot more. I know that my daughters have a prehistoric version of Photoshop on their desktop P.C. that I should be able to resize images with so I might head out and pound the pavement a bit when I get there on Friday and see what I can take some pictures of. No doubt there will be pictures of Qi in various stages of dog-eyes when I have finally tired of chasing her around the house with one of her toys and there might be more photos of the contents of the girls cupboards. I am fascinated by the amount of weird and wonderful ingredients that they have managed to amass! I am amazed and envious! I might take a few photos of the girls rat and Madeline’s Indian Ringneck parrot Taylor. Taylor hates EVERONE AND EVERYTHING. The rat doesn’t like me much either so I might have to feed him via a chopstick through the bars of his cage but he will get fed girls! I might just have to get creative about it ;). Ok, that’s it…that’s all for today folks. Its Saturday evening, I have no doubt been pinning and cleaning out RSS Feed Readers all day and I have probably scheduled this post to post itself. Have a fantastic weekend and think of narf7 categorising her brains out and loving every single minute of it…why oh WHY didn’t I become a librarian…I would have been in career choice heaven! 😉

44 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sophie33
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 17:35:48

    Hahahahahahahhaahhahaha,!!!!What a fun post to read! I was smiling all the way down! I Miss you 2 on my blog for some humour! X


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:45:26

      Sorry Sophie, my stupid RSS Feed Reader crammed itself full of posts when it swapped over (from about a month ago so you can imagine how many posts were stuffed in it as I follow over 480 blogs!) and I have been sifting through what I have read, and what I haven’t and it keeps mounting up! I am starting to think about having to dump some of the blogs I don’t really read. You are NOT in that pile :). Cheers for liking the post and you can expect to see me at your blog sometime soon…”sophiesfoodiefiles” is at the end of the alphabet! 😉


  2. Wawawr
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 19:03:17

    I LOVE this blog and all that you write about. I love your writing style and the detail you give and the awesome photos (and your dogs are ginormous! I love big dogs 😉 ) good luck with everything and i will most certainly be back to read more!
    Lorna xx


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:43:20

      Cheers for your wonderful comment. Steve and I checked out your blog and it’s pretty amazing as well :). We are just “us” here. No pretentions or mucking abart, just “us” so if you like what you read, you are seeing us as we are. Glad you love the dogs because most of the people that we meet on our morning dog walks are terrified of them. I guess it’s a good thing for word to have gotten around that the crazy hippies up on the hill have ginormous dogs that will eat you. We certainly have no problem with burglars ;). We hope to see you back and welcome to the loony bin that is Serendipity Farm. Sorry I took a while getting back to your comment, I was in town looking after my daughters home, dog, parrot and rat while they dashed to the mainland (Melbourne) to visit with their dad for his birthday and was too tired to even look at comments last night when I got in from picking them up at the airport :). Again, welcome to Serendipity Farm, feel free to drop by anytime, you are always welcome 🙂


      • Wawawr
        Jul 01, 2013 @ 14:39:40

        Thank you so much! And concerning the dogs; I love all big dogs. Though I’ve met a few sweeties I’m not a fan of small dogs, never have been, but I love every kind of large dog and the bigger the monster the better, not matter how slobbery or scary looking! XD

      • narf77
        Jul 01, 2013 @ 15:16:25

        Earl looks very scary but he loves all humankind and spends his evenings upside down in Steve’s lap (bad luck if Steve wanted to get up 😉 ). Bezial is less cuddly with Steve but loves a good scruff. They are both spoiled rotten and live inside and sleep on our bed. Who cares what people say…they are family :).

  3. Chica Andaluza
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 19:24:19

    Loved that shot of Earl and it reminded me of that card too. Now I will have to think of what my dogs would call themselves….Hope you have a wonderful weekend pinning stuff and sorting out your tecchie things (of course, now I know you are both experts!) and coming to grips with the remote control. My parents have an antiquated system which involes cable tv and a dish to recevie Italian tv and an ancient telly and to just watch the news at their house is like launching a Discovery Rocket – the number of remotes you have to use and the order in which you have to use them is incredible and woe betide anyone who does it wrong as they have to call in nice Mr Deepak from the electrical shop to come and sort them out!


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:39:40

      LOL! Your parents have a worse system than my girls? I find that hard to believe. The girls can’t even get free to air television where they are for some reason. They don’t want to erect a massive aerial to get it so they just don’t want telly. They dumped their cable service (that used to be ours) and when the technician phoned us up to ask why we had stopped using the cable service Steve told them it had been transferred over to our daughters and they didn’t want it any more (we still have cable, Steve would go mad without his movies 😉 ) and the technician must have felt magnanimous that day because he said “you are such good customers I am going to give you 6 months at half price!” Cheers girls for giving up your service! ;). Earl definitely thinks that he is king of the world. He seems to know that as a prize bitch, I am his boss ;). Always good to be the boss of a dog that looks like Earl! My laptop let me down :(. Not only did it let me down, but it gorged itself on windows updates at my expense. Steve and I are saving up to get it completely reformatted (take THAT Vista!) and once we do that it should be amazing. Vista sucks to anyone contemplating using it! DON’T! Nuff said :(.


      • Chica Andaluza
        Jul 01, 2013 @ 05:29:54

        Oh yes, my parents must be the only family in London with such terrible TV and internet reception. Glad to hear you are top dog at home. Big Man thinks he is here, but Alfi and I know that really it’s Luna who is in charge of us all 😉 PS. I have hideous Windows 8 so consider yourself very lucky indeed,

      • narf77
        Jul 01, 2013 @ 05:31:48

        So do we but its AMAZING compared to Vista believe me!

  4. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 08:04:44

    Steve’s images are lovely Fran. I know what you mean about using other folks’ remote controls. I’m house-sitting for my son and daughter-in-law at the moment in a very ‘technological’ house. I wondered how I could possibly master the remote controls for the one month that I’m here. I did suggest I just put my own television in the boot and bring it with me!
    PS. they left written instructions and all is ok.


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:34:59

      I just didn’t bother with the telly Jean. No remotes if you don’t watch it! ;). I took some of my own music and looped it so had it in the background all day and tried to persevere with my stupid laptop that went so slow I could have written things out faster! Oh well, at least I bonded with the dog 😉


  5. cathyandchucky
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 09:24:20

    Hello Fronkii, I cannot access my wordpress account for some dumb reason today so am reading this blog from facebook. Great photos. Wish I could walk the pavements with you. Ha! Who am I kidding. I’d cark it if I tried walking any decent distance at the moment. Hope I’ve improved by the time I come over in August.


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:33:36

      Hi Pinky, no pavement pounding on the weekend because Qi doesn’t do “walk” when Beth isn’t there. It would be a most sad and pathetic sight of me dragging her protesting the whole way and she would have no belly skin left at the end of the walk so not really an option! As it was, I took her to the airport to pick up the girls last night and after getting very excited about getting out at the airport she immediately thought” wait a minute… I have NO idea where I am!” and hit the deck and refused to budge…sigh…had to throw her back into the car and lock it before sprinting to the airport to pick them up! ;). I did take the wii fit to the girls but they didn’t set it up for me before they headed off so I didn’t use it. My fingers didn’t even get much of a workout because our laptop went so slow it took 20 seconds to open up a word document and it kept giving itself windows updates (as we never use it online so it decided that it was going to gorge itself on updates to make up for the lack) and on Saturday it spent 3 hours updating itself and running even slower (not that I would have thought it possible!). Steve phoned up our computer geeks and they told us for $150 they could rid the laptop of its sad operating system (Vista…sigh…) and give us a laptop that ran as fast as our desktop. You are ON geeky computer guys! As soon as we get $150 spare it’s ON Vista! ;). I will take it easy on you when you first get here Pinky, you can walk Earl 😉


      • cathyandchucky
        Jul 01, 2013 @ 19:57:02

        I shall walk Earl by putting a saddle and bridle on him and riding the wee beastie!

      • narf77
        Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:01:50

        Wee?! He is bigger than Bezial! We like to refer to him as “The Bull Ant” His “heed” is much bigger than his nether regions…sort of a Tassie devil on steroids…or maybe he really is one of the last Tassie tigers? It would make complete sense! ;). By the way, good luck catching him to get that sadle on him Pinky, let alone the bridle! 😉

      • cathyandchucky
        Jul 01, 2013 @ 20:12:07


  6. teawithhazel
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 09:54:56

    i really love the ‘greyscale’, ‘alien planet’ and ‘tamar’ photos..they are works of art that are worth framing..happy house sitting..x


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:05:03

      You just made Steve’s day Jane :). He just tinkers around with them and now he has started taking slow motion videos with his camera and messing around with taking images of the stars moving. He is learning from one of the other members of our course who seems like a really nice guy and who is sharing his techniques with Steve through emails. I even had to rootle through a mountain of “stuff” that we dumped in a small unit out the back of my daughters home in the city (really our home but they live there) to find a small book on photography that he brought with him over from the U.K. when he moved here 15 years ago…wouldn’t you know it, it was in the very last bag I checked! ;). Again, cheers for just making Steve’s day 🙂


  7. brymnsons
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 12:54:34

    I love that picture of Earl with the viking hat. He looks most annoyed lol. But regal at the same time. The photos are amazing and must be heaps of fun. I think my dogs would call themselves Percival the amazing barker at anything and Clive the soft and cuddly who must be the first to receive all cuddles and acts of affection, the cat answers to Mam :). I wish I could be there with you too Fran, we could have a girlie weekend, especially if Cathy was there too. My Toby dog is a big sook if he has to go for a walk without me, but he will go with some persausion. Well enjoy your blissful role in pinning and rss feeding mud x


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:09:23

      Hi Kymmy…Steve just told me that you messaged me on the mobile! I suck at using the mobile phone and only ever look at it if it rings (which it didn’t 😉 ). The girls apparently texted me as well but I didn’t know. On the first trip to Melbourne on Saturday morning their plane was delayed and they were 2 hours late into the city so they texted me and I had NO idea till I phoned them up later on to bust them for not ringing me! ;). Oh well, we can’t be good at everything now can we? :). Glad you liked the post and aren’t Steve’s photos lovely? He is getting quite the clever clogs. He can show you how to do it in Photoshop and we are going to have enough photos from Hobart and surrounds to do some amazing things with. We should be able to get up Mt Wellington and we are pretty much guaranteed to have snow at that time of year so we might make a snowman 🙂


  8. Jo
    Jun 30, 2013 @ 15:19:37

    I love your ‘stream of consciousness’ writing style Fran! I have taken your thoughts about wool on board as I think about the furnishings in my kids’ rooms. We have put quite a lot of wool insulation in the walls, which must be a good thing.
    Well done with all your ‘eureka’ moments. Aren’t they satisfying!


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 03:14:39

      I tend to have very few Eureka moments to be honest so I cherish them when I do ;). It’s true about the wool. It was amazing to watch this entire shipping container go up in flames using the nylon blankets and toys that most kids have in their bedrooms. The wool actually wouldn’t burn. They kept trying to light the bedding and it just kept petering out. The old circular wool rug that we have in front of Brunhilda was for the dogs specifically but we noticed that whenever a spark would make it to the floor, aside from a distinct smell or roasting sheep, the coal would just burn itself out and leave a small black mark that could be rubbed off. Wool really is fire retardant. A great thing to know and good for the wool producers. Not many people know that and you would think that it would be a very good marketing point. My stream of consciousness just drags me around sideways most of the time. I never have problems with writing (touch wood!) because there is always a muse whispering in my ear. The only time I have a little bit of trouble is when I am behind the 8 ball and am running late. My muses all collaborate there and get bolshie and give me the silent treatment ;).


  9. Sincerely, Emily
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 07:11:29

    Laughing, as usual while reading your post. Thanks for making me smile! That Earl, oh, I mean Slagathor! What a riot! I love Gary Larson and he great cartoons. Love all the photos – esp the grayscale that looks like charcoal! Glad Steve got the laptop up and working for you. I think if he didn’t you might just go nutty at your daughter’s house! ha Nutty in a good way though!


    • narf77
      Jul 01, 2013 @ 14:48:57

      To be honest I probably would have gone LESS nutty if I hadn’t taken the laptop at all…it has Vista installed on it and runs slower than a snail on sleeping tablets :(. I was waiting for 5 minutes for a pin to go onto my board and the laptop decided to update itself with all of the updates that Windows has put out ever since we bought it…3 years ago…sigh…I spent most of Saturday watching it update and doing my knitting ;). At least I almost have a pair of gauntlets to wear (as soon as I remember how to cast off that is…). No Earl to redecorate the carpet with shredded wool and my ball of wool could roll around safely with impunity as Qi is a good girl who doesn’t touch. I loved it when Larson was on the prowl. His work was utterly unique and he will always be held in fond esteem in this house. I especially loved the boxed set of Christmas cards that we gave out one year that had Father Christmas on the front looking at a squished mouse on his shoe with the text “Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse”… ;). You had to laugh ;). I loved the greyscale as well. It seems to have been the most popular and I don’t know why…”chicks dig greyscale” guys out there! 😉


  10. Littlesundog
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 23:15:12

    What an entertaining morning read for me, Fran! I hope you will allow me to copy that photo of Earl – oh, excuse me, SLAGATHOR. Now I completely understand my fixation with him… he’s a Viking! I’m half Danish, so we’re both Scandinavian! And by the way, Gary Larson’s cartoons have always been my favorites! I always said one had to be a little demented to understand his cartoons. Another realization why I love you and Steve so much… and I mean that in a GOOD sense, of course.

    Thanks for the best read of the day! I always look forward to your posts!


    • narf77
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 02:57:58

      My ex husband comes from good Danish stock and so my children all lay claim to being part Viking (my son has a red goatee 😉 ) and also claim that’s why they are all temperamental (with Scottish heritage also there might be some truth in it!). Earl is pure Viking. No fear…no prisoners ;). Feel free to do what you like with his photo, unlike Bezial Earl LOVES his photo being taken. He would love someone to start a Pinterest board all about him so that he could bask in the adoration. He is a most loving little man who loves nothing more than to cuddle on the sofa upside down in Steve’s lap all evening and when I go to bed (or SHOULD be going to bed) he trots in and sits down beside me, wherever I am and lies patiently at my feet curled up until I go to bed where he trots in beside me and cuddles up in a little ball at my feet in bed. He stays there all night. He is my protector 🙂


  11. LyndaD
    Jul 01, 2013 @ 23:44:02

    Sorry im late. So So busy. I like barbie’s bridge. No time for posting myself and so much to say. Dont forget me.


    • narf77
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 02:59:41

      How could I forget you LyndaD?! By the way…when is your birthday? Just wondering which one of us hits the big 5.0. first (mine is in August). You don’t mind me pinning your tutorials by the way do you? They are so thorough. If I didn’t have an amazing accountant built in (and free) I would hire you in an instant! I know a good accountant when I see one by how they choose to live 🙂


  12. christiok
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 00:07:18

    I’m late, too! I’ve been sweeping. 🙂 Seriously, Fran, this is spooky. I, too, am a sweeping freak. Garfield HATES the vacuum, so I use it every other day… What is it about floors??? Especially in the summer when it’s hot and I’m barefoot and grit on the floor makes me, uh, crazy. Great photo of King Earl. But Bezial has my heart. Congrats on making the laptop work and for covering for the girls’ while they wished their dad a happy birthday…and met Kelsey. A big weekend. Thanks for keeping us updated even when you’re away. Love from Olalla.


    • narf77
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 03:04:44

      I made the laptop work but it spent all weekend gorging itself on Windows updates and running slower than I do :(. I guess I was supposed to spend quality time cuddling Qi and knitting. Now I just need to work out how to cast off and I will have a pair of gauntlet mitts to wear in the cold :). I know what you mean about sweeping. Earl sheds like you wouldn’t believe. I am amazed at how much fur comes off a dog that looks practically naked and he must be growing it constantly like a shark grows teeth! I can make a small furry animal out of what he sheds in a day and that’s without taking Bezial into account who has longer and more woolly fur. Throw wood bark into the equation that comes in constantly for the fire and I sweep at least 4 – 5 times a day (to be honest completely impotently as it flies up with the broom and has settled back down again in 5 minutes! 😉 ). Bezial sends licks. He just meandered his way back to bed at 3am and takes over my warm spot I leave after guarding the house all night from the sofa. He takes his job VERY seriously and refuses to sleep on the bed when the rest of us are asleep in there. He will be out at about 5.30am to sit with me here near Brunhilda. It’s his favourite part of the day 🙂


      • christiok
        Jul 02, 2013 @ 03:43:05

        Ahhh. :):) I love Bezial. He is a true lover. A yoda among dogs.

      • narf77
        Jul 02, 2013 @ 03:47:39

        He is fussy about just who he loves. Earl will dump a load of love on a burglar just to get the attention. Bezial is a whole lot more picky about his love-giving but when he chooses you, you stay chosen for life :). I was sitting here last week at about 5am after he had trotted out from his place in my warm spot in bed (I throw the covers over him and he sleeps on my pillow) and I got the distinct feeling that he was watching me. I turned to see a look of utter adoration in his eyes. Bezial and I have been here before. No idea in what sort of context but he loves me. Pure and simple. He doesn’t like to share me with Earl and he isn’t cuddly with Steve but he will lay next to me and gaze up at me with pure love. I know that he would love you as well. You are his kind of gal 🙂

      • christiok
        Jul 02, 2013 @ 03:51:36

        p.s. I’m off to make a stromboli!! I’ve printed out your Virtual Vegan recipe and am making a few substitutions — home dried broccoli leaves instead of dried tomatoes in the dough; Italian sausage instead of the cheeze; fresh kale instead of spinach. I’m leaving out the sliced tomatoes (don’t have any), and substituting pecan for walnuts in the pesto. No Chili Bamboo Shoots available, either. Other than these changes, I’m gonna follow your directions!! lol I’ll post a photo on your FB.

      • narf77
        Jul 02, 2013 @ 03:53:25

        Can’t wait to see how it turns out :). Remember the dough is very forgiving :). You could wrap just about anything inside it and it would shine 🙂 Hugs from Tassie and good luck (you are halfway there with that dough alone 🙂 )

  13. christiok
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 03:53:52

    Our replies crossed! Kiss Bezial for me. Garfield loves me the best, and Ruby is always by the B.O. Funny.


    • narf77
      Jul 02, 2013 @ 03:56:11

      Bezial is still tucked up in bed (only 3.55am) he is pretty regular and you could set your watch by him. Usually 5am he trots out and takes up his sofa next to Brunhilda to keep watch 🙂


  14. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 11:22:50

    Ha, now that’s a picture-perfect guard dog right there! Although I must admit, it might not be the most effective costume… I would find it irresistibly cute, and probably be even more likely to approach the little sweetheart.


  15. thinkingcowgirl
    Jul 02, 2013 @ 21:00:59

    Fran, can’t believe you dumped thinkingcowgirl! There must be some mistake! Don’t think I can cope with losing another friend….
    I too love that dark image, is it over the river? I have to say your course sounds pretty good and you seem to be learning tons of techy stuff. Is this anything to do with the horticulture course…part of it?


    • narf77
      Jul 03, 2013 @ 02:56:32

      Dumped thinking cowgirl?!!! I am confused…the dark image seems to be very appealing to women. I think Steve should sell it to lonely geeky teenagers as “etchings” don’t you? ;). This course is a side left for us. Nothing to do with horticulture (although I did just animate a vine and a snail…does that count? 😉 ). Still trying to work out what you mean by me dumping your blog? I am only dumping blogs that either don’t post any more (I have some that stopped posting in 2007!) or that have changed tack and no longer give much content but cram their posts with advertisments. I keep my friends blogs separate and nothing would make me dump my friends :). How is everything going by the way? I haven’t been able to keep up with my RSS Feed Reader and am starting to think that I should start at the end of it and work back through. 2 trips to my daughters (one planned and one impromptu for their dads birthday) have seen be struggling to keep on top of my reader and that’s what has made me start whittling down blogs. I followed some pretty lightweight cooking blogs I can tell you! ;). Hugs from Tassie and again, hope everything is going well for you :). Earl sends licks 🙂


      • thinkingcowgirl
        Jul 03, 2013 @ 04:04:03

        Oh, glad to hear it’s a mistake like I thought! There’s been quite a lot of activity on my blog in last couple of days, have got quite a few new followers which is nice…but then I happened to notice that one had dropped out and I was curious to know who it was. Imagine my surprise when I couldn’t see you in my list! It was a shock I can tell you!

        I haven’t posted much recently, as you’ll understand when you read my latest. It’s all been quite intense. love and hugs 🙂

      • narf77
        Jul 03, 2013 @ 05:00:06

        I have a new RSS Feed Reader now that is obviously more happy hiding 😉 Not gone, just lurking! I might just use that as a title for a book…

  16. dwayland
    Jul 10, 2013 @ 08:19:25

    Lovely! It’s nice to have a place to go to smile and laugh. Thanks for being that. p.s. I had noticed an increase in cool things in my pinterest feed & realized that you were on it much more recently. 🙂


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