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4 Letter Words

1. krayker16 July 2010, 13:45 GMT +02:00

You can only change ONE letter, AND/OR rearrange the letters currently available. The first word is:


8234. Groningen21 April 2013, 15:19 GMT +02:00

Michael I'm glad Mia is getting better
Dez congratulations finding an affordable house.
I'm going to


the nutmeg gerbil "Ed" and the black one will be "Willem"

on this page http://gerbil.nl/index.php?id=6
you can see a picture of the pups
they are at the bottom of the page; born on 18-02-2013
the pups on the left of the picture are going to be mine (love!)

8235. xymonau21 April 2013, 15:28 GMT +02:00

Oh, they're so cute! And I love the cinnamon colour.


to being in love with them. I would be, too.

8236. Ayla8722 April 2013, 14:34 GMT +02:00

Christine, this is a really lovely photo. Ed and Willem look irresistably cute. You will have a wonderful time with them. I'm sure you will collect a huge pile of carton rolls for them to make them happy.

Dez, those 35 days will mean a huge load of work ahead of you, but most of the photoshopping at your new place can be done room by room while you're there already. I suppose at the


time when you have already moved in there is still enough spare room left to intermediately store things first if you come into a hurry. Toilet and kitchen should be most properly installed (and no danger of flooding the new place with the washing machine anymore)...

Keep telling us of your progress, I have a good feeling about it all. And I hope the neighbours are friendly and their dog likes birds. Would be nice if you can find the time to chat with them, now that you know the place is to be yours.

Now, as Mia isn't so weak anymore, we had her blood tested to get a better diagnosis of her condition. The good news is, she has no leucosis. The Feline coronavirus was detected, which is currently less harmful. It might mutate one day into the deadly FIPV (Feline Infectious Peritonitis Virus), but nobody can tell when this is going to happen.

8237. xymonau22 April 2013, 23:55 GMT +02:00

Mia might not get that sick, and I'm so glad she seems to be getting better. With a healthy diet and the care you will give her, I hope she will thrive.

Wouldn't it be nice if renovation was as simple as photoshop? I'll have to


myself do something everyday. Actually, the mortgage is not certain yet, so I'm contacting a broker to try other banks, etc, for me today as well. I don't want all my eggs in one basket, as I'll never get another house for this price. And I have the building inspector to do his thing yet, and he may come up with bad news. Still, it's a bit of fun and certainly an education. The last time I owned a house was in the 1980s, and I built that one, so the process was all very different.

8238. Ayla8723 April 2013, 12:37 GMT +02:00

I often dream of being able to simply photoshop at tiny spots all around me when renovation is necessary. Unfortunately it's not that easy. Paint and brush are not voice-activated like my dictation software here... it's a pity... And all the things you have to do must seem like a


which often keeps you pondering what to do first. When can you actually start? When do they clear the house?

Old houses surely will hold their share of surprises in store for you, and that is one of the reasons why they are cheaper than new houses, but I'm sure you will take that one by one as nice challenges. I'll keep my fingers crossed that all will be a great ride for you.

8239. xymonau23 April 2013, 16:24 GMT +02:00

Well, I've started in my mind, but of course, I don't even have a mortgage yet. The contracts are signed, subject to the inspection and finance, and if it all happens smoothly, it is supposed to be mine in 35 days. There can be various delays. I'm talking to a mortgage broker tomorrow just to cover my back. If the bank declines me, I want someone waiting in the wings. And if they get in first with a fair offer, then I'll take it. The bank has so many extra charges - just a way to bleed more dollars out of powerless people. For the second day I've been consumed with paperwork, but hopefully there won't be too much more.

I don't know if it's the law in other countries, but here, once you sign the contract, and on that very day, the buyer becomes responsible for insurance of the property - even if they never get finance. As long as the contract lasts - until it falls through for any reason - I am now liable if the place burns down, etc. Can you believe that? I had to take out insurance on Monday, before the sellers had even signed the contract.

8240. Ayla8724 April 2013, 8:15 GMT +02:00

As far as I know here it is a matter of agreement between both sides on which date the responsibilities change from the seller to the new owner. The date is written down in the contract, it usually corresponds with when the payment is transferred and is not the same date when the contract is signed.

To get the


reduced about all that's important to think about in the next weeks perhaps it would be a good idea to consult some of those endless checklists for new house owners. I have seen that many guidebooks on this subject are available. I've bought one myself some time ago because we considered buying a house, too, but never come around to actually do it.

It will be interesting to see who wins the race - your bank or the mortgage broker. If you'd ask several banks you would be surprised how much the conditions can vary. But they must guarantee them for a long enough period to get you on the safe side. Have you also tried an online bank? They often offer very good conditions because of their sparing facilities. Just to have a comparison.

8241. xymonau24 April 2013, 9:31 GMT +02:00

The bank told me they have moved to valuation now, and when I told the mortgage broker, he said that means they have accepted my finances, and now the only hurdle is whether the property is sound enough. He said if the bank deemed a major repair necessary, and I couldn't afford it, then it could fall through. The broker was so nice. He gave me a lot of information, but he said things are on track right now and he wouldn't pursue any other deal unless I hadn't heard from them by Monday.

What a nice man. He was happy to give me a lot of advice, and it cost nothing. (He was from Aussie Home loans, and I would go through them first if there is ever a next time. He travelled from the next town and spent a lot of time with me.)

I haven't done much at home re packing. I have emptied one drawer and have a bag of goods to go to charity in the car. Fortunately, tomorrow is a public holiday here - ANZAC Day - so I will have more time to start on the basics. I think half my stuff will end up in a charity shop as I haven't even looked at most of it for years. It's a good excuse to cull. With


8242. Ayla8724 April 2013, 11:24 GMT +02:00

I think the bank will want to make the


with you so that they can happily earn some more dollars. It's nice that the broker obviously is a friendly man who likes his job and is a good natured person.

Moving is always a very great chance to get rid of all the stuff you haven't looked at for a long time. You will feel relieved after this exclusive diet.

I haven't heard of the ANZAC Day before, but it comes right in time for your preparations. I think your use of the day makes more sense than those military parades... You will look at all your stuff with new eyes now that you now you have to sort it all out...

8243. xymonau24 April 2013, 12:46 GMT +02:00

And how is Mia today, Michael? Has she managed to be playful at all yet?


8244. Ayla8724 April 2013, 12:55 GMT +02:00

Oh yes, she is a very playful


again, which is very nice. Quite back to normal play-standards. That is far more than we could have expected some time ago. Her curiosity is also increasing, she crawls in there again if you leave a cupboard door open for her "accidentally". Well, we know what our cat likes, don't we?

8245. xymonau24 April 2013, 21:25 GMT +02:00

I'm so happy about that. She has picked up fairly quickly, considering how ill she was.

Cats love boxes and hiding places, don't they? I remember when I was a teenager and they still had brown paper grocery bags without handles. Our cats just loved to crawl into those to sleep or to jump around and play. They'd spend hours in them.

Unfortunately, it works against them, too. Lots of cats end up in awkward or dangerous - even fatal - situations because of that. I've been unable to find a cat for a whole day, and finally found him locked in a kitchen cupboard. He wasn't the sort of cat to call, and I was just lucky to find him.

I have always preferred cats to dogs - even though I've had some beautiful dogs, too. Cats are accused of being aloof and


but they just naturally sleep most of the day, and they have different body language from dogs. They love us every bit as much as a dog.

8246. Ayla8725 April 2013, 11:05 GMT +02:00

That brown packaging paper was exactly what we played with yesterday. We got a large parcel recently where a lot of that crumpled paper was used as filling material. We saved that for Mia and presented it to her as a surprise yesterday. She was very happy about it. It rustled a lot and gave lots of opportunities to hide fur mice and hunt for them under the paper. We are certainly allowed to bring such "toys" more often. The cheapest toys give the best inspirations to


as you said, every cardboard box which the postman delivers must be inspected first by Mia, of course. She also happily climbs in every empty suitcase etc...

There is a lot of truth on that saying about "curiosity kills a cat", I'm afraid. We have to watch very carefully. Our greatest fear is still that Mia might slip out of the door of our unit one day without us noticing it. This has happened once already. At winter it isn't that bad, a friendly neighbour found her in the floor of the house and then she was brought back to us. But during the summer period our crazy neighbour uses to leave the main door of our house wide open for hours. This would be the perfect opportunity for Mia to escape into freedom and we think she would never find back alone.

I also absolutely prefer cats to dogs. I'd say dogs are more suitable for owners who always want to say what his pet has to do. You can't train a cat to bring your slippers...

8247. xymonau25 April 2013, 12:23 GMT +02:00

Don't worry about a cat running away. They are homing creatures like pigeons. She could get hurt, it's true, but she would explore, then come straight back when she was ready. I have never known an indoors cat to get lost, and I've known a few that got out. For example, my son's cat has never been outside. At one time there was an emergency and they inadvertently left the door open. She went as far as the garage, but was there when they came home. And she is a very adventurous animal. This is why you have to keep them indoors at first. They will return to their last place of residence. And they can find it over hundreds of miles away, so it's not a visual thing.

I think you could train them to bring slippers if there was a food reward. I've seen trained cats on TV, so it's possible. My blind cat once caught a bird (it was a young one just learning to fly, and it must have flown right at him), and he brought it in to share with me. I freed the poor thing, and that cat never forgave me for eating the whole thing. So if you can't have slippers, you can have dead things! LOL

I find dogs too demanding of time - I like them, but I don't have the energy for them. So I'll get my own slippers, thanks. Cats are really clever, too. My son's fetches things that you throw and brings them back for you to throw again. One of my former cats - a magnificent three quarters Persian, black with a big white mane, and the prettiest face (not the squashed up kind) - used to wake me up in the morning to feed him by jumping from the window ledge above my bed right onto my head. Worked every time! And he (and lots of other cats I've had) used to walk around the block with me when we lived in a very quiet area. Cats like to go for walks with their owners if encouraged a bit.

And they are generally quiet and calm to be around, unlike the


of dogs. Puppies need the patience of Job to raise. They just chew everything.

8248. Ayla8726 April 2013, 8:06 GMT +02:00

Well, let's hope the best if Mia should ever run away. It is known that cats which frequently get out train their memory of finding back home far better. Mia seems still very unexperienced to us. We have long rows of houses in our settlement where all the doors look alike. This surely must be confusing for a poor cat when you have never seen them from the outside before. Especially if she runs in panic. I've found descriptions on the web where a cat was found sitting in front of the wrong door...

Mia is wearing a microchip, so it is at least able for every vet to identify her. The only problem is, there is no central database which would tell you Hello, this microchip number means my name is Mia and I live at this address and my favourite food is Royal canine dry food which simply tastes best and so on. We still would have to inform all vets near us about Mias microchip number and data if she gets lost, and hang flyers on all trees (like everyone else does), so that the people look into their cellars if there is a curious trapped cat...

Some people bring their cats to wear


or a hat

but I always doubt if the cats really like that. I think training isn't really natural behaviour for a cat, only when it helps to train away bad behaviour. But as long as the cat enjoys it, we will try to stimulate Mias intelligence by giving her some tasks to solve when we play with her. But I don't think she will come to like crossword puzzles...

That is one point I like very much about cats, they generally spread an atmosphere of calm and quietness around them which I find very relaxing. Teaches us a lot about how we should live when we are all too hectic...

Now, how did your ANZAC Day work out for you, could you sort some more things out already?

8249. xymonau26 April 2013, 12:03 GMT +02:00

Do vets have a register where you can leave the details before the cat is lost? Seems a bit late afterwards.

I managed to empty a large box of goodies that has been sitting in my spare room for two and a half years. I found things I've been looking for! I'll then fill that box with some doonas and linen. I probably don't have to tape the boxes much since they are only going a few blocks away.

A friend from the Sunshine Coast who owns a ute will come up and help me move. That's IF I get the mortgage.

The bank called me today. the paperwork has to go to Sydney first for approval, before they will do the valuation. They didn't tell me that in the email. I should have some response by next Tuesday or Wednesday, they said. I feel I can stop worrying about what I'm supposed to do next, for a few days.

I won't do much tomorrow, but on Sunday I'll give myself certain tasks to complete. I'm going to have to be systematic. I'm usually not, but then I'm always in a fluster on the last day and throwing things into any old box, never able to find them at the new place. I hate moving!

What a gorgeous photo! I'm not very approving of dressing animals up. I think it can be a bit cruel. Maybe something warm in cold places, but some people treat their animals like dolls. As for training them, those sick people who force cats to eat with a spoon taped to their paw, etc, need to be forbidden to have animals. I'm not sure if this one is taped or not, but it's hideous:


Scat, mad lady!

8250. Groningen27 April 2013, 18:09 GMT +02:00

the cat


on the mat.

Personally I prefer the furry critters over the cats/dogs, but........
both my mother and my oldest sister have dachshunds, and they are simply adorable.
It is less then a week now till Friday

8251. xymonau27 April 2013, 23:07 GMT +02:00

Yes, I like all animals, but I grew up with cats, dogs and chickens, so I know them best. I'm more inclined to like birds. I used to have lots of pheasants and partridges (which are an exotic bird here), which were beautiful. My preference these days is to feed the wildlife and let them live free. Most of our native birds are easily tamed, and I've got magpies and doves that wander into the house looking for food. The doves are nervous, but the magpies will eat out of your hand. This year the magpies have stopped coming because I've had the place closed up because of the air conditioner. However, they nest in winter, so they may be back.

If the cat did that on MY mat, he'd be


Ed and Willem are going to be so lucky to have such a good home, Christine. I'll bet you have their little home all clean and shiny and ready for them.

8252. Groningen28 April 2013, 12:44 GMT +02:00

Last week I bought a lot of utilities: a small waterbottle, a nice wooden home where they can hide, a sturdy bowl for their food and a lovely toy: 2 coconuts connected by a hang bridge. Oscar and Alfred loved that and I'm sure Ed and Willem will use it a lot too. No hand-me-downs no, new gerbils means new utilities.
Except for the glass tank of course that would be silly hmmm.
This week I'm going to fill the tank with hemp and straw and place all the goodies.


till you drop!

8253. xymonau28 April 2013, 13:21 GMT +02:00

It sounds very


for the little things! How often do you have to change the straw? And do they nibble on that at all? Do they eat a variety of things in the wild?

8254. Ayla8729 April 2013, 11:34 GMT +02:00

It's been quite a while since my last


from friday, but we had a nice and relaxing weekend at last. Mia could play a lot with that crumpled paper again to hunt for some fur mice there... We wouldn't bother her with forks and chopsticks, and I'm sure they would not be to her liking...

That is very practical of you to have a friend who owns a ute. And have you told Chicken and Mousie already what they are going to expect? Probably a whole room on their own to chew on?

Christa feeds the wild birds here, too, but they are not tame at all. Neither are the squirrels, unfortunately, but they are fun to watch when they climb in the trees in front of our windows.

Christine, my mother has a dachshund, too (which wasn't approved on this place)
Fritz is a cute guy, always friendly, but we can't let him come anywhere near Mia of course. That might be a point where his friendliness would come to an end...

8255. xymonau29 April 2013, 12:21 GMT +02:00

Oh, he's cute. I've heard of the wire-haired ones, but I'm not sure I've seen many. My sister used to have miniature long-haired dachshunds - really beautiful to look at, but filthy natured. They were so vicious defending her, I was grateful they weren't any bigger.

The dog I really loved was an Alsatian - a light haired one, female, and her name was Sheeba. She died when I was 16 and I grieved for her for a very long time. I had her from about the age of 9. I loved that dog so much. I would sneak her into my bed on cold nights, and walked miles with her. She was great company. She bit everyone in town, I think. Very dangerous dog to strangers, but not to us. As an adult, I would have had her put down because of that, but as a child I'd have taken a bullet for her. The really awful thing that I've never admitted is this: Sheeba died on April 19th, which is the birthday of one of my sisters. And the only reason I ever remember her birthday is because it was the day Sheeba died. Isn't that awful?

I have spoken to the birds, but they refuse to listen. I guess they no longer trust me. I'll just have to surprise them. Actually, they are going to go through a very stressful time with the move. They have with each move I've made. Poor little things. While it's true that they are much tinier than this sulphur crested cockatoo, I hope they will eventually be as excited as it is in this video (I think it's gorgeous!):


Mine do dance with me until I


but they prefer it if I'm also waving a striped cloth around at the same time. They don't "do" music. My whistling is an exception.

8256. Groningen29 April 2013, 21:29 GMT +02:00

Very cute dog, Michael! My sister has a wire haired dachshund (Rijk) too, my mother has a shorthaired one named Sarah. The wire-haired is very stubborn but at the same time very social.
The gerbils chew at the straw, they don't eat it but it's good for their teeth. I change their bedding once every two weeks. In the wild they eat grains, corn, nuts, fruit, vegetables and occasionally insects. The gerbil-food I buy contains all necessary except for the insects, and I give them egg-food for proteins.
I once bought "mealworms" (sorry I tried to find a translation but couldn't) who were still alive. That wasn't a success. The gerbils loved eating them oh yes but the worms crawled everywhere and they stank so I never bought them again, my love has it's limits and I don't want a plague in my house.
Today is Monday, one


closer to Friday!

8257. Ayla8730 April 2013, 7:49 GMT +02:00

What a cool video, Dez. I must admit, I listen to music a lot, but I don't dance at all. But when the stress of the move is a thing of the past your birdies will have lots to dance about and I'm sure they will see the improvement and will be really happy.

Alsatians are very popular over here and most of them are indeed great comrades. I'm very bad at remembering birthdates, too, so I can well understand that it helped to know that there happened something else on the day when Sheeba died.

Mayday, Mayday... The May Day or the International Workers' Day
will give me a day off work tomorrow, so Christa, Mia an I will have a chance to


a little bit. Christa and I will walk to the next chinese restaurant for lunch, which is always very tasty there.

Christine, do you have a running wheel for Ed and Willem? I've found this information on the web from a girl who holds gerbils:

A wheel is an absolute must. But the risks are very high. Therefore, you should use a closed wheel, which is open on one side, complete, that the animal can not hit the head, etc. Also, the feet must be protected. A wheel with jute tape or plastic around it is safe! Please take cake that nothing can be pinched, while running.

But then, you are experienced enough already and will have a wonderful time from friday on :)

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