So today's post happened just this morning and caused me to almost have a heart attack! To set the scene I was in the bathroom having a shower. Sorry I know that's not the best setting for a post but there it is. The door was closed, or to my mind it was, and I was busy washing my hair. 

As I was busy getting ready I had this weird feeling of being watched. Now I'm known for being a bit dramatic and can't really watch scary movies as I frighten way too easily. I decided to ignore the feeling as I decided it was totally irrational. I was in a locked house and behind a closed door. If anyone had come in I would have heard it. The feeling however did not go away so with great trepidation I turned round to check.

Well I almost died! There was Macintosh standing right next to the shower LICKING THE SHOWER DOOR! I mean come on! It literally scared me into screaming which in turn gave him a small shock and caused him to try and run away. Now anyone who has ever seen a dog try to run on tiles will know that sometimes they don't go anywhere at first and merely end up running on the spot. That's what happened here. The poor dog was petrified and couldn't get away fast enough. 

Lesson of the day: ensure the bathroom door is fully shut before taking a shower. As if its not then a small and determined beagle, with far too much of an inquisitive spirit, may just be able to nudge it open and come investigating!

Obviously there is no photographic evidence of this event so you'll have to put up with his unimpressed after face. He wasn't a happy bunny.



So as some of you know I am currently in Florida for the summer to do some more training till mid August. It has been hard being away from home and our small family but it has given me opportunity to visit all the old places that I enjoyed when I was here in the winter. One of these is one of my all time favourite restaurants, Fat Clemenzas, the best pizzeria I have found this side of the pond so far. I love it simply because of its unassuming charm and perfect wood fired pizzas.

This time I thought the weather would be better but I was so wrong. North-west Florida is crazy when it comes to weather; every day seems to contain a storm of some size and proportion from the epic down to the passing heavy shower. It can range from having a lovely sunny day to being thoroughly soaked in a moment, or walking out the cinema to see the real Mordor being acted out on the horizon within a giant storm system. Pretty cool I'd say. 

Whilst here I have used my spare time in quite inventive ways, including a bit of design work (including this years christmas card, a novel table idea I have had to name just two). I have also tried to improve my pasta making skills, as I had complains handed to me from a customer in Rosamond saying that the pasta dinner was taking far too long. So the obvious decision was to pack my pasta maker and have a bit of practice while I'm away.

I have also have had a chance to do abit of roaming the flea markets for goodies for the house. Here are few pictures of things I have my eye on that could make the final cut. (if i have space in my luggage!)



Was looking through some of our photos and I realised I needed to share this funny picture we snapped at Tehachapi a while back.Typically I was shopping and Andrew went and found a place to sit. This is what he found. For those who struggle to read the sign it says;

"Husband drop off area. Please remember to pick him up when you leave."

Enjoy your weekend. I certainly will be in my wonderful sunny spot. 



Over the weekend Macintosh and I decided to finally brave the Lancaster dog park. To be completely fair it wasn't so much him being scared as it was me! Macintosh isn't great off lead and generally tends to ignore all commands given to him. He has very selective hearing (much like his dad!!) So the idea of going to a park, albeit an enclosed area, and just letting him off did give me cause for concern. But as the weekend dawned and proved to be a less hot one I thought I'd brave it, at least in less heat I have a greater chance of running to catch up with him!

Though really I shouldn't have panicked at all. The dog park was great. The area was enclosed as stated but you could easily see from one end to the other with no hidden corners. There were double gates so that even if he managed to escape one gate another blocked his exit. As an added bonus, due to the weather, it wasn't too busy so it was a great introduction. Macintosh could play with the other dogs without being overwhelmed and I could enjoy being there without worrying about him escaping. 

Well until I noticed the mud...


The park authorities had left the sprinklers on a bit too much and as a result had created a couple of mud baths in the park. As soon as these were discovered by Macintosh all the dogs were ignored and the focus was entirely on the mud. Being a British dog he is used to mud and especially muddy puddles. I have a feeling he had been suffering from withdrawal symptoms as I really struggled to keep him out of the puddles. Most of the other dogs obeyed their owners and stayed away but not Mac. In fact he stood right in the middle of the puddle as he knew I wasn't about to go wading in there after him. 

Once I'd given up and accepted that he would now be a delightful brown colour the biggest mission was to stop him from laying down. The other dog owners thought it was highly funny and enjoyed watching me trying to convince him not to lay down. However I do have a wonderfully stubborn dog, who over the past week has been returning to his former ways! Thankfully in the end his belly only skimmed the muddy water once as my stern teacher voice was enough to cause him to jump up!


I didn't capture a photo of him looking bedraggled as it was at this point that I recalled that Mac's rug was in Andrew's car and that I had in fact driven my car to the park, which incidentally has wonderful light coloured carpet in the boot. Error. So after exhausting him in the dog park I then dragged him around the non-muddy remainder of the park forcing him to wipe off the mud on the grass. Yes at one point I may have told him to lay down and then physically moved him around myself to ensure the majority of it was off. I am aware that I will soon get a reputation at the dog park as the weird British lady. Such is the life of a beagle owner...


While people have been obsessing over the final stages of the World cup we have been getting super excited about the Tour de France. Unfortunately we weren't able to be with our family in Yorkshire to see it in the flesh but we were in constant communication with them during the race plus watching it on the tele; this added up to a lot of screens to see what was going on.

I know it looks excessive but I will explain. You see, to get the most amount of coverage of what is happening I have to watch ITV and NBC SN both at the same time, this is because they generally have advert breaks at different times, thus producing an almost continuous view of Le Tour. Exciting right?!

Well maybe you don't think so but you should have seen the crowds in Yorkshire, they at least share my excitement.

As the tour goes on it has turned out to be a very eventful one. Started by Cavendish having to pull out after crashing in the final seconds of the first day. Then Froome dropping out to an accumulation of crashes which led to him not even being able to hold his handlebars without serious pain. Then a few others dude to crashes or mechanical difficulties. These picture sum up the nature of the tour so far. Extremely difficult!!

So 90 minutes running around a pitch chasing a bag of wind or cycling for 21 days in all conditions covering about 2,276 miles. You decide which is the better sport...



Hello! My name is Frog. I live in California; more specifically I live in the Woodruff household. Life there can be fun. There's lots of time to lay around and enjoy the warmth. However at certain points during the day I have to say life is not fun. In fact it hurts. You see I get picked up, squeezed, licked, tossed around, squashed, chewed, pulled and much more. There's this dog. His name is Macintosh and he likes to play about with me, except I think he has far more fun than I do. See...



The only time I get any peace is when Macintosh gets too tired. But by then I'm slobbery, wet and tired. Its no fun being a frog in that state. No fun at all. 


Andrew has been in the process of building us a desk for the new American house. It's similar to one he built for the youth room at our church back in England but has some different legs. As a result I have been searching for retro looking storage solutions as the desk won't have any drawers. I fell in love with these drawers but they aren't any good to us as they would give us too much of a wood look. Still the handles, the different size drawers, the way they are stacked, it all amazes me. 

I have been really enjoying using my new sewing machine since I've been here and with Andrew gone I have more time for projects which is great. I recently made a version of this bunting using linen, but I bought some burlap the other day and can't wait to play about with it and tweak the look. 

Colour, shapes and pattern. They are becoming a little bit of an obsession for me at the moment. I find myself wasting time just looking at them on pinterest. But then again I find myself wasting time on pinterest in general. However at least the colour and pattern has a purpose. Its for my card making. Honest!

Lately I have been looking a lot at clutches. They typically irritated me because I hated to have to hold onto something all the time, however I bought a gorgeous ruffled white one for a wedding and I loved it. It's now beginning to look a bit worse for wear so I've been investigating others. I love the pattern on this one. See pattern searching is useful! 

And finally, its been too long since I posted a bear related picture. Just look at the pure happiness on the face of this bear. I still want to have one as a pet along with a polar bear and now perhaps a whale too! Just call me Mrs Doolittle! 



Pet detective, psychologist, dog trainer, research analyst and behaviour expert. Those are just a few of the roles Andrew and I have been playing this week when it comes to Macintosh. You may have gathered from the blog that Macintosh is a very active dog (!!) and that he likes to be energetic and loves his walks. Well for the past week and a bit Mac has slowly been enjoying his walks less and less, even to the point of refusing to go on them. This has affected him so much that unfortunately this week Mac has been rather subdued at home and has done absolutely nothing of interest. Honestly he's been the most boring dog in the world!

At first with the walks it was simply him refusing to go very far, then his tail began to be lower and he looked less happy on the walk. It evolved into him beginning to sit down on a walk and be reluctant to move and eventually the last couple of days of last week he would just lay down and refuse to move. Which is great. It meant that I would be trying to move him or coax him along and he just would stubbornly stay laying down. At times I had to almost drag him along because I knew if he didn't get a walk he would be a nightmare at home and no amount of playing can replace his walks. I honestly must have looked like I was hurting him and it felt like that was the case but I knew how important it was to take him for a walk. We had to find a solution. 

So we began the flitting between the various roles. I would take Macintosh out for a walk but document every part of the walk from his reactions, to what I could see or hear, to how far we walked and even the heat and time of day. I would text Andrew all the information at mission control in Florida. Using his various forms of technology (iPhone, iPad and Macbook) he would then analyse the information and research the interesting parts. I would continue the walk, sending photos when possible to show the reactions of Macintosh. By the time we returned home Mac would be recovering from his ordeal on his bed as Andrew and I talked it through and read various articles. This happened EVERY time we went for a walk. That's twice a day every day. Ugh!

Anyway our dogged determination (excuse the pun) paid off as we have now officially discovered what the problem is. Drumroll please... Motorbikes. It's as simple as that. Poor old Macintosh is scared of motorbikes. And unfortunately there are a lot here due to the space and the open roads. we had unwittingly been walking him around as motorbikes had gone past and that deep throated rumble they make was scaring him. The final straw to confirm this was as we tried to go for a walk yesterday evening. I opened the front door as one went past the house and Macintosh literally leapt off the floor, ran into the house and hid under the dining table. He was quivering, licking his lips and looking generally petrified. 

Now the trick is to train him out of his fear. Research says exposing him to the sounds in a safe environment is the way to go. It will allow him to become used to the sounds without exposing him to the fear. We begin playing motorbike sounds at a barely audible level for a small period of time and observe his reactions. Once he is comfortable with that you begin the next day to turn it up slightly. Once he is comfortable with that level you turn it up further. Eventually you will find that he is able to act normally around a motorbike sound. Or at least that's the theory. 

So now we are beginning to implement this and we'll see what the results are. I never thought I'd say this though but I want his lively self back. I miss his mischievous side. For now though I'll leave you with a picture to remind you how cool he is. I love that dog!



When we found out we were moving to California and began to do some research into what life was like here we discovered that there would most likely be earthquakes. Now to a British person that sounds quite extreme and conjures up images of total destruction and loss of life. However that's not the case necessarily. You see yesterday I survived my first earthquake. 

The above picture shows were the epi-centre for the earthquake was and this article tells you more about it. It was a 4.6 on the Richter scale. The great source of Wikipedia describes an earthquake of that magnitude as;

Noticeable shaking of indoor objects and rattling noises. Felt by most people in the affected area. Slightly felt outside. Generally causes none to minimal damage. Moderate to significant damage very unlikely. Some objects may fall off shelves or be knocked over.

So how did it affect Macintosh and I? Well...we didn't feel it, at all. In fact I wasn't even aware it had happened until I was told about it today by someone at our small group. So really I can't claim anything from this, except I will and I'll be proud to say that I survived my first earthquake! 

Obviously I don't really desire to have many more and I would especially prefer them not to be any bigger or more dangerous. But there we go Mum, no need to panic! I survived an earthquake! You can sleep easy now...



Today is Independence Day in America. It's a weird day for a Brit to be celebrating as they are celebrating their freedom from British rule. Awkward some might say...but its fine by me really. So this evening I am celebrating with my small group from church with a good old BBQ and then I'll be peeking out of the window at some fireworks whilst Macintosh hides or attempts to destroy the house. He's not a fan of fireworks. Are any dogs?!

Now you might have noticed I've said "I" quite a lot. You see Andrew left this week to go back to Florida for 6 weeks which explains the silence on the blog. Andrew's been getting to grips with actual work and I've been well....enjoying! Hopefully this week we'll get back onto the posting. I know Andrew's going to be sharing about one last trip we took before he left for Florida and I've got a lately post to do so you all know what things I'm obsessing over at the moment!

Until then I'm off to look as patriotic as I can. I mean red, white and blue is patriotic. You just don't know who I'm cheering for....or do you?!