Monday, August 27, 2012

Yet another unexpected surprise!

MAXMOM here...
"What's up, Twix?" I ask as I hold the little guinea-pig in my hands. 

In the past 6 weeks, the little thing has blossomed big-time.  She's undergone a miraculous transformation.  In true Guinea-pig-Cindarella fashion she has morphed from a malnourished, bitten and terrified little GP into a real beauty. This has all happened since the 13th July.  It's amazing what a little bit of TLC and some good food can do for an animal.

Yet, something is not quite right with littleTwix.  Only three days ago she bit me.  It was totally out of character and led me to question what on earth is going on.  Usually she's tame and more than willing to cuddle, but this time I got a firm warning not to press my luck.  What's up little one?

"Maybe she's lonely," I suggested to the Boss.  He shakes his head in disbelief - knowing that I'd buy another GP at the drop of a hat in order to alleviate her angst . 

"No, no more!" is his reply.

"Well, what's going on?" I re-direct.  He keeps shaking his head.  It's mystifying.

I lift the little pig onto my chest and sit down in a comfortable chair.  I am determined to spend some time observing her and attempting to uncover the mystery.  What is ailing her? 

Suddenly it happens and realisation hits me.  My fingers are tucked underneath her and a small, but all-too-familiar ripple pulses across my fingers - it's the unmistakable sign that a miracle is underway. I look at her in total surprise.

"Twix? No!.....uhm, surely?  No, it can't be!"

"What's up?" the Boss asks

"Ummmm.....I have a feeling that Twix is pregnant!"

The Boss dissolves into a fit of laughter.  It's the second time this has happened to us...'Purchased Pregnant!'  It appears that not only was she in shocking condition when we 'rescued' her, but she was pregnant as well....

How can this possibly happen to a single household - TWICE in a matter of months?  Twix has had no interaction with the other GP's belonging to Miss R.  Besides, 'Scotch'  (the male) has been neutered.  Little Twix, despite her appalling state when I rescued her, must have been pregnant before she arrived.  

I simply can't believe i!.  She was so, so young when I 'rescued' her.  Yet, the miracle of life has defied us all.  It's only a matter of time before the inevitable happens and our dear little Twix will finally have the 'company' she may have always wanted.  Oops!

Isn't this simply miraculous? I am in a state of disbelief.

Sending lotsaluv,

ps.  Please spare a thought for dear "Mr Scotch" who will be undergoing an operation tomorrow to remove a tumour.  Miss R is pretty worried about him.  He's been a good companion to her...
(Left: Mr Scotch)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Spring is in the air...

MAXMOM here...

I'm sitting here, with my laptop and sweet little 'Twix' on my chest. She is just so cute when she is relaxed.  Every so often she lets out a spontaneous giggle and I follow suit.  She's grown so much in the last month - since I 'rescued' her - and she's filled out into a round little ball.  Twix is 'on top of the world'!  She has the sweetest little personality too.
 I just adore this little Guinea Pig!

I must admit that I've recently suffered a bit of 'blogger's block'.  Usually, I hesitate to write when I feel uncertain, but my posts are getting too irregular for comfort.  Ironically there is so much happening in my world, but words don't seem to flow any more.  Perhaps I've simply been too busy, burnt out perhaps (?)  Perhaps it's just the seasons which are changing(?)  Perhaps I'm disillusioned with the sales of my book(?) (I still haven't broken even yet - despite selling over 600 books).  

All these things add up, but I just have to make an effort to keep posting.  Blogging is what keeps me sane during stressful times; it keeps my feet on the ground and allows me to link with a network of amazing people.  So, please accept my apologies for my absence, dear friends. As they's just one of those times.... 

Today is our first warm Spring day - it's a maximum of about 27 degrees C, clear skies, emerald shoots on the trees and a faint smell of jasmine in the air.  Everything is coming to life again after the cold months of winter. It seems impossible that, only two weeks ago, we were in the midst of a cold snap with snow around the country. 

 Isn't our weather extraordinary? 
Our Spring means that some of my bloggers will be experiencing their first signs of fall...

Eleven-year-old Tammy gave us a big scare last week.  Besides Toby, all my furry friends have been getting old and we have had to watch the inevitable process which goes along with ageing.  Only a month ago we said goodbye to Toffee, so Tammy's new ailment left me numb to the core.  She suddenly went off her food and demonstrated uncharacteristically impatient behaviour with the 'Sweet Hooligan' - a clear sign that things weren't normal.  Our vet checked her out and prescribed antibiotics, but remained worried about the pain she seemed to be experiencing in her lower abdomen. (All I could think of was "Oh no, am I going to loose her too?") The medication seems to have done the trick however and she is much, much better.  Despite this, we took her in for a scan today - for "safety" sake.  Thankfully everything is normal.  Slightly swollen lymph nodes suggest a viral infection.  But she's going to be okay.  I can breath again. Yay!

I've been doing some baking for a local home-industry lately - lemon biscuit squares, chocolate squares, choc-chip cookies and the occasional cake..  It's kept me busy and also given me the opportunity to 'help out' in the store sometimes.  (But has distracted me from my writing) I love the vibe in the store. People are very friendly and it's allowed me to get out a bit more.  It's also great that they have copies of my books on their shelves.  Some Saturdays I go into the store to do promotions.  We've sold about 35 books in the past 6 weeks... 

I've also finished the lovely crocheted, cuddle blanket which has been packed up and sent off to a special little baby in Canada.  Made with love... continues in our household...and the 'Sweet Hooligan' is his usual 'Sweet Hooligan self'.  He  certainly injects youthful vigour into our household.

That's all I can muster at the moment.  Hope you are all well, dear friends. Happy Spring everyone!

"Live life to the Max!"

Sending lotsaluv

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

When 'The Boss' is away, Maxmom will play...WOOF!


TOBY ("The Sweet Hooligan") here...

Hey there furbuddies!

For the past few weeks, my peeps have been glued to that thing called 'The Box', and Aunt Tam and I have had to spend many happy doggie-hours amusing ourselves. 
"It's the Olympics, Toby, " Maxmom explained. 
Not that I really minded....
This morning, however, 'The Boss' grabbed his suitcase.

"Bye Hooligan, I'm off on a business trip..."

"What ya this mean, Boss? Who's gonna to feed me? Who's gonna walk me?"

But I noticed that Maxmom was still in bed.  (She always wants to go with the Boss on his trips, but never seems to get her act together....not that us dogs mind!). But I soon went about waking her up with my blanket, scrunching up eyes in my 'Sweet hooligan' manner and moaning softly.

  She had no option but to get up.

After our breakfast, Maxmom had her shower and then settled into her kitchen. 

So did I...

Since the end of the Olympics, Maxmom has turned into a real busy-bee. She has been baking, sewing, crocheting and gardening ... like crazy!  She's also been experimenting with all sorts of ideas for the little home-industry where she also sells personalised copies of her book   MAXDOG.
 (If you haven't yet heard, is NOW AVAILABLE ON KINDLE!)

Anyway, we were in the kitchen and Tammy and I looked on, with resignation, as Maxmom cooked up a storm.

This time, she wanted to try out a recipe for a  Summer-berry pie ...
Very soon, the crust was in the oven...

Yesterday, her baking activities yielded the old household favourite -                                          GIANT CHOC-CHIP COOKIES!!!            (The Boss had a good munch on some of them last night)

Our new little Guinea-pig sister - 'Twix" - has also benefited by Maxmom's sewing activities.  Twix has a brand new bedroom for her crate.  In the past month, and since her rescue,Twix has turned into a round, furry ball.  There are no longer any signs of her bad beginning.  Maxmom says she is beautiful and well-settled.  She often occupies Maxmom's lap - much to my disgust!  I simply turn my head in a different direction and pretend Twix doesn't exist. 

Our household is also quite flabbergasted because Maxmom took up another blogger's idea too - 
- and started a vegetable garden some time ago.  We have plants coming up all over our garden. 
 Maxmom tells me that this little garden is feeding quite a number of people at the moment  and she wants to say a big 'Thank you' to Mrs JP for inspiring her.  Even little 'Twix' benefits from the garden - her favourite leafy veggies include beetroot, parsley, spinach, carrots and pea-pods.
 I should have realised that Maxmom grew up on a farm and she has her own farmer's instincts. 
 (Sadly though ,I've been blocked out of the veggie-garden by a sturdy picket fence. But I did try my luck though.  Maxmom wasn't impressed. She gave me some very harsh words. She doesn't understand that I also wanted to celebrate in her veggie-garden - in my "Sweet Hooligan" way.)

 In her 'spare' time, Maxmom has also been busy with a little crocheted blanket - an idea she got from PININTEREST (Please come and visit her boards HERE).  It's going to be a gift for a friend.  It's almost finished.  I think I should be congratulated because it's one blanket that I haven't carried around in my mouth.  I know Maxmom wouldn't be impressed with that either.. 
It's going to be gorgeous when it's finished, don't you think?

 The best part of Maxmom's activities is the special glass jar on our dining-room table.  It's such a cool idea (which she picked up on Facebook).  This glass jar is called our 
It works like this...

Every time something good happens in our household, our peeps write a note and drop it into the 'Dream catcher'.  At the end of the year - on New Year's eve - we are all going to sit down and read all the notes.  It will be a time to celebrate all the good things that happened during the year that has past.  I know our 'Dream Catcher' looks very empty at the moment, but it is because we have only just started it.  
How about you join us and make your own 'Dream Catcher'?
We have so much to celebrate in life that I am sure that it is going to fill up fast.
So, are you going to make one?

In the meantime, Maxmom has finished making the berry-tart and our kitchen smells fantastic!
It looks really yummy...

Maxmom says that if there are any of her local friends who want to drop by for a 'cuppa' and a piece of this tart

She's serious - COME ALONG FOR TEA! 
I, too, will welcome you with my blanket.

Sending lotsalicks and lotsaluv, and a reminder to ...


(When the Boss eventually gets home, I am going to write my own doggie note:
"Welcome home, Boss" and place it in the 'Dream Catcher')


Please don't forget that...

 'MAXDOG' is also available on Amazon 'Kindle'. 
 You can download your copy now!!! 

Amazon (USA) click HERE
Amazon (UK) click HERE

Monday, August 13, 2012

More MAXDOG give-away winners...


Just a short note today...

I don't know about you, but for the past two weeks, I have been glued to the amazing Olympics coverage on our television sets. In fact, our whole family has been riveted.  We've lived on our couches and immersed ourselves in the finer details of rhythmic Gymnastics, synchronised swimming, athletics, mountain-biking, rowing, weightlifting, etc, etc.  

As a consequence, I have turned into a very unattractive couch potato.  Indeed, I think I have grown roots -.much to the disgust of my energetic Toby, lol!  Poor Toby has had to pull off some serious 'Sweet Hooligan traits' and has increased his tendency to carry around blankets and offer them to all-and-sundry.  For two weeks, his hope of distracting us and convincing us of the value of a walk has fallen on deaf ears.  Poor pooch! 

Seriously though, it has been an amazing spectacle!  I would like to congratulate Great Britain on their fantastic hospitality. Wow, what an incredible achievement you guys have pulled off!

 I am also so proud of our own athletes who gave their best and allowed us to delight in their achievements from the comfort of our own living rooms.  

Welcome home
 TEAM SA!!! 
We are so proud of you.  You have reinforced our need to be known as "Proud South Africans"! 


As many of you will know, two copies of MAXDOG were up for grabs in the "MAXDOG GIVE-AWAY" in the June edition of CESARS WAY magazine.  The names of the two winners were sent to me this morning and I had the great privilege of being able to phone them with the good news.  It is always so nice to be able to chat to my readers/potential readers. They both sounded so excited. Congratulations again to:

Dune de Wet (Kempton Park)
Chloe Lynch (Port Elizabeth)

Your copies of MAXDOG are on their way to you and I truly hope that my book will touch you in the same way as my special dog touched me.


Please don't forget that...

 'MAXDOG' is also available on Amazon 'Kindle'. 
 You can download your copy now!!! 

Amazon (USA) click HERE
Amazon (UK) click HERE

Reviews on these forums are encouraged.  I would really appreciate it if you would write yours - if you've not done so yet.  Many thanks to my friends/readers who have already taken the time to post up a review.  I really am greatly appreciative.

Have a wonderful, happy week.
Sending lotsaluv

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


MAXMOM here...

Hello there everyone from a freezing Johannesburg, South Africa.  The past couple of days have seen unprecedented weather in our country; for the first time in recorded history, most of the provinces in South Africa have experienced snowfall at the same time.  

Yesterday we had a light dusting here in Johannesburg where we live, but in other parts of the country, people and vehicles have been snowed in.  Mountain passes have been closed, etc, etc.  Brrrr...!  

Toby was really funny when he experience his first snowflakes:

Some of our country has been really hard hit with the snow and a number of 'funny' photos have been circulating via Facebook. I thought this one was quite funny although I am sure it was photoshopped.

Now for the REALLY BIG NEWS!!!!

It is with great delight that I announce (finally) the availability of my book -
 'MAXDOG' - on Amazon 'Kindle'. 
 You can download your copy now!!! 

Amazon (USA) click HERE
Amazon (UK) click HERE

May I take the opportunity of saying a sincere "Thank you" to Peter Marshall  from
for the many hours he spent perfecting the manuscript for the Kindle specifications.  Without Peter's assistance, this book would not have been available.  
Thank you, Peter!!!

In celebration of this event, here is another 'Extract from Maxdog'.  
(Please excuse the quality of these 'photos')
Besides that....enjoy.

Please could I ask you -my faithful readers - to spread the word about the availability of MAXDOG in this NEW DIGITAL FORMAT!!!  

The other news is that TOBY now has his own Facebook page.  
Please come and visit: CLICK HERE
Sending lotsaluv

Friday, August 3, 2012

True Leadership can be learned from ageing Matriarchs...

MAXMOM here...

A chilly morning.  I sneak back into bed, to write a note, before the day gets into full swing.  In the corner, Tammy and Toby stare despondently at me.  Their day always starts earlier than mine, but they have to wait, patiently, for sleep to dissipate and for me to feed them.  I reach for my diary.

These two Goldens have such a beautiful, considerate relationship.  Tammy is bordering on twelve years old now and is an old, gracious lady.  Most of the time she's slow and arthritic, except for when she hears the words "BISCUITS!" or "WALKIES" which will prompt her to beat any young whippersnapper to the finish line.  It's at those times that she's earned the nickname,

"Miss no arthritis".

 I marvel at the bond between these two dogs -  TOBY (two years old) and the matronly TAMMY.  He's so much stronger and bigger than her, yet she guides him like an orchestra's conductor.  A small glance will morphe him from explosive energy into a calm (albeit huge) puppy which is lying on its back for motherly inspection.  Toby's energy is always brimming over, so she regularly pacifies him by playing with him.  She commands this game too - from a rooted, standing position - biting his paws and mouthing his neck.  Happy snarls tell of a deep bond between the two.

Depending on how Tammy feels, the game may last up to five minutes before the old matriarch calls it a day. It will happen in one of two ways: either she'll give a visible full body "shake" or you'll simply notice that she's lifted her head and looked in the other direction - all but ignoring him.  He may continue prompting her, but will eventually settle to lowering his head and his gaze  ... then slide onto his side to lie quietly. He has total respect for her.

What a nurturer she's been over the past two years!  Canine leadership traits are fascinating. Take a moment to watch their display and you'll learn so much. True leaders are not loudly vocal, but quiet and confident.  Their body language tells it all - they know how to live their life and others try to mimic their wisdom.  

Tammy may have been the runt of her litter (all those years ago) but she is a true canine leader.  She's respectful of those she depends on and patient and firm in what she wants.  She'll wait at the door for hours, simply insisting - quietly - that she wants to enter a domain.  She'll pacify the younger pups - understanding that their energy needs direction.  She'll lie in the sun, absorb its energy and pace her ageing.  She'll also exercise discipline - her own (by not pulling on the lead and being the most perfect walking companion), as well as handing it out to others (Toby, don't attempt to approach her food bowl!).  Like all leaders, Tammy has firm boundaries.

So, as I watch their display of bonding in the corner of my bedroom, I know that Tammy has taught Toby well.  Her nurturing has been perfect.  When she, too, eventually leaves us, her job will have been well done.  She's been the perfect guide to our sweet young 'Sweet Hooligan'.


Sending lots of love to all my friends around the world. 
 I know that many of us are thoroughly enjoying the Olympics and the amazing British hospitality.  It's one of my prime excuses for my regular cyber-absence.
For now, the telly calls...

Oh yes, before I forget, I'd like to wish my beautiful daughter, Miss 'J'....

A very, very happy birthday!