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Blog Entry 45: Last day in June, Pig comments.

Last day of June:

Today is the last day of June. I thought I would see what the boys thought of this…

Mojo… well he had many thoughts on this.

Hmmmm does this mean I get more veggies?

No Mojo.. this means tomorrow you get some cleaning done. Anal Sack cleaning, grease gland cleaning and a bath.


*does his best…. I’m not here I am just a furry rock impression*

Sigh…

Romeo what do you think about today being the last day of June?


June? Whats June?


Oh I know!!! It means umm….


What were we talking about again?

Oh boy….

Reko…


Yes mum?

What do you think about it being the last day of June?


It means I have to go though that cleaning junk again… but it also means I get to celebrate tomorrow.

Reko your so smart.
Your right, tomorrow is Canada Day.
Veggies party tomorrow for sure.

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Blog Entry 43: Happy Valentine’s Day.

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I wanted to add into my last entry something about Valentine’s day but I did not want to take away from the post about Pickles. Hence why I am writing about it now.

Valentine’s day in our house is some years very fancy and special, while other years its just special. This year instead of going all out, I suggest that once they kids are in bed we just sit on the sofa and watch some movies. Simple and I get to sneak in some extra cuddle time. In our house we don’t usually go all out for Valentine’s day. We may go to a movie, show or out to dinner if we can but what it really is about is spending time with loved ones. Screw the hallmark side of it. Spend time with the one you love, money can not buy you happiness. Only love can.

So to everyone out there reading my blog, Happy Valentine’s Day.

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Blog Entry 42: Remembering.

I was going through some old photos last night and I came across some old photos of my first guinea pig Pickles. Pickles taught me how to be a better guinea pig owner. I did everything wrong with him, bad food, little hay, no veggies and a small cage. Enjoy the photos as I enjoy the memories.

 

 

 

 

He was my first and taught me a lot. I rehomed him June of 2009, 1 year after buying him. I did this because he bonded so well with my foster pig who already had a home wait that I knew he would be better off living with his cage pal in a new home. I do not stop thinking about him every day and though I am no longer in contact with his owners, I hope that he is/has lived a great life.

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Blog Entry 41: Tea Time

So after my much needed rant I thought it would be best to stick to something else I know a little about. Tea! Over the last year I have drank coffee all of three times. All three of those times I thought I needed to bleach my mouth out due to the awful taste. The funny thing about this is that go back 1 year and 7 days, I was drinking 6+ cups a day.

It all happened when my best friend Mona came down for a visit. We rarely see each other because of living in different places. It takes us 5+ hours to see each other. Joseph was only 6 months old at the time and she wanted to come see the kids and I. She is a VERY big tea drinker, like your family before her. I started drinking more and more tea while she was down. She stayed I believe 10 days, and during that time I drank a lot of tea. I started out drinking it black, but when my dearest friend offered to make me one a few times, she inadvertently put milk and sugar in mine. It didn’t bother me too much though I teased her a great deal.

After she left I missed her badly, I caught myself making tea just like hers. As time wore on I started to drink my tea with milk and sugar all the time. Since going on my diet a few months ago I started to use sweetener instead of sugar so I could still drink the amount of tea I drink. My old issue is I can not stand any other tea but Red Rose. I will grudgingly drink Earl Grey or some other brand of Breakfast tea but a good old cup of Red Rose beats them all out hands down. Don’t get me wrong, I carry other types of tea for when I have people over or if my kids are not feeling well. I keep herbal fruity teas, teas like Chamomile and Peppermint. Heck I even have special teas for holidays. I just personally never drink them.

My day does not really start until I have my first cup of tea. It’s the first sip of warm heaven that helps me wake up at 7AM. I take my medication with it, laugh at silly kids with it, say good bye for the day to my husband and enjoy breakfast with it. Tea to me is not just a drink but a part of life for me.

I use an electric kettle to heat my water, I got one shortly after Alexander was born. Before that I used a stove top kettle and loved it. I had to switch because Alexander had to we switched from breastfeeding to the bottle, long story I may tell you all one day. Anyway, my mother in law had stopped by to give me a hand with, at the time, baby Alexander. I had put on the kettle for some hot water for his bottle when my mother in law suggested I get an electric one because it would heat the water faster and Alexander wouldn’t fuss as much. So we, my husband and I, went out and got one. It’s a good little kettle, though I still miss the whistling sound of my stove top one.

Over the last year tea has helped my family feel better, connected with friends and served as a wonderful warm beverage when Canadian winters have hit. In the summer it has helped me to cool down, raising my core temperature.

Will I give up tea any time soon? Not unless I get ordered to by my doctors.

Even my kitten loves tea.

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Blog Entry 40: Religion?

 

No, no, I’m not asking why should we or do we have religion, religion as a whole, is good for you. What I want to know is why must we fight about what religion is right, wrong or horrible? Who said your religion is right? Is it because its older? New aged? Deep rooted? I always hid behind a wall of what was accepted religiously and what wasn’t. In essence I lived a double life for reasons that now seem so silly. The truth is, no religion is “right” and no religion is “wrong”. What is right and wrong is the morals that the said religion teaches you and/or your family.

Think about it this way if you will, Matthew 22:39 “And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. “

Through the ages, war murder has been committed in the name of religion, be it the Christian, Muslin, or any other main stream religion. But why is that if the common theme to all religions is peace and love. Love thy neighbor, do onto others as you would like done on to you, the amount of common writings about peace can go on. Wikipedia when searched, has so many references to “The Golden Rule” that one could sit and ponder why so many religions feel the same but fight.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule#Religion_and_philosophy

Yes anyone who knows me will know that I am not a follower of main stream religions. I follow my own path and chose it 8 years ago. Like all religions it also has “The Golden Rule”,  Do onto others as you would like done onto you or An it harm none, do what ye will. Then there is always the “Rule of three”, this means what ever you do comes back at you three folds, be it good or bad. Frankly I would rather not say something nasty about someone for no reason just to have it come back to me three times over, thanks but no thanks.

I am also a firm believer of KARMA. This also seems to coincide with the Rule of Three. Wikipedia defines KARMA as the concept of an “action” or “deed”, understood as that which causes the entire cycle if cause and effect (i.e., the cycle called samsara) originating in ancient Indian and treated in Hindu, Jain, Buddhist, and Sikh philosophies. In other words what you do will come back at you in the future.

So again I ask, what makes your religion the right one? What make it “better than” mine?

To believe in a higher power is something we all need. I firmly believe that having faith in something, really anything, helps guide us through the paths that we need to take. For example, in my house we are very much divided but respectful, when it comes to religion. I was baptized as a Roman Catholic but at 17 looked for a religion that felt right to me. Since that time I have been an Egyptian Pagan, meaning I followed the deities of the Egypt. My husband on the other hand is Roman Catholic and though does not go to church regularly, he follows the teachings in the bible. Our children are not yet baptized nor follow any set religion, but we (my husband and I) teach our children both of our religions.

Just  because in the bible it says Exodus 22:18 – “Thou shall not suffer a witch to live.” does not mean that it is word for word true.

What does one consider to be a witch? This?

Or how about this?

And really, does it matter? Does it matter that my religion is different? Do I kill, nope. Do I steal, never. Do I eat babies? Well maybe some veal now and again but its been years. These are all the things that some people think pagans do. Did you know I loath war? Did you know I don’t watch the news because of all the murders, rapes and thieves? If having a different religion that gives me morals is horrible, then what does that make those people? What does that make the Priest that rapes little kids, or the Taliban who bombs a church and kills 100s of people, or how about the guy who beats a dog just cause he feels like it? What makes their religion any better, their religious morals don’t seem to make a difference.

Religious morals is almost identical in every religion, so why argue, why fight, why kill.  There is no reason.

NOTE: I will not go into Atheism as I really do not understand it but respect that it is a choice that people take. I mean no offence to anyone who is an Atheist in this blog post.

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Blog Entry 39: I’m an adult damn it!

Today is an “I’m an adult damn it!” day. For brunch I am making banana and chocolate chip pancakes with peanut butter. Why, because I like them and they make me smile. Yes some would consider that to be a childish brunch, others are nodding with drool running down their faces. Me, I am just sick and tired of being “An Adult”. I am planning on painting my nails blue, putting my hair in pig tails and watching cartoons with my kids, why, because I can.

On the “I’m an adult damn it” topic I want to submit this photo.

How true is this! I mean come on, who does love some type of cartoon or in this case Muppet from their childhood. Did you know I am a huge fan of Garfield? I watched his shows over and over as a child. Then there was always Duck Tales and Gummy Bears. My husband loved Darkwing Duck, which I did watch but wasn’t a huge fan.

Looking at the shows my own kids watch makes me really miss these shows, or maybe it’s the free life style of childhood, either way my husband and I both agree the kids shows now are horrible compared to the ones we watched. Yes there was a little violence but not as much as you see now a days. Garfield for example, had little to none in the violence area. Yet you do not see it on TV any more, COME ON, Garfield is a true classic. What about Duck Tales? The adventure, the mystery, the creativity! What more could TV ask for.

No, now a days its shows that are badly drawn, have no story line, and well just plain old suck. Over the last few months my family and I switched to NetFlix. We rather enjoy all the “old” 90s shows, like land before time, remember that?

Its amazing how long my children will watch that but turn on YTV or Teletoon and maybe one show before they walk away and I turn it off. I by no means allow my children to be “baby sat” by the tube but on a weekend morning what screams relaxation than cartoons?

Well I leave you now with something to ponder, what was your favorite Saturday morning cartoon(s)? Do you miss those Saturdays?

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Blog Entry 38: Life is life

Life has been, well life lately. Kids are all doing well. Ruby is enjoying, for the most part, being tutored by her grandmother 3-4 days a week.

The guinea pigs are all healthy. We did lose Chi-Chi our little mouse to old age earlier this month. He was a special, spoiled little guy and I miss him dearly.

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My heath comes and goes, I have another appointment on Tuesday that my mother is, thankfully, taking me to. I’ve had a lot of new symptoms show up in the last month that might push my surgery closer, though I do hit the two month waiting period on Monday. After Monday it could be any day I get that call saying I am books for such and such a day. Being sick is something I hate, like every other person on the planet I guess, but thankfully my wonderful husband is amazing and helps me on the bad days.

During my time off of sewing I’ll be resting, A LOT! I am also taking this time to get my sewing machine serviced.  Since I stated sewing in May it has been been serviced and it really needs to go in.

Lets see what else?

I will be canning some pickled cucumbers this weekend. I promise to post some photos. My recipe is very simple, Cucumbers, pickling vinegar, dill and salt. Simple and straight to the point. I’m very excited to see how they turn out.

Oh I don’t think I posted the photo of my MIL’s Christmas gift I made her last Christmas. Here it is, sorry its a cell phone photo, my camera was acting up at the time.

She loved it and is using everything I made. I was really nervous about whether or not she would like it. I was so excited to stop by one night and see her using it. It was really hard to make because she comes over 3-4 times a week to help Ruby read. I had to be very sneaky and the last time she came over before Christmas I hid in my basement finishing it.

Last week I was shopping and while in my line up I saw the ladies in front of me had a huge binder of coupons! I had to be sneaky but I snapped this photo with my camera on my cell.

You can see the binders holding their coupons in the top of their cart. Amazing! I don’t know how anyone could get so many coupons! I know I use some when I get some, but to collect that many and use them? Just wow!

As you may or may not know, I don’t eat out much. It costs too much and I really have no item to go out, but right after Christmas I took some much needed me time. I went cloth shopping and went to a fast food place called the Wok Box. I LOVE their food.

They come in cute little take out boxes. Its a nice Chinese place and there are many of them. If you have one around you and you enjoy Chinese food, I would highly recommend them.

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Blog Entry 37: What I’ve been busy doing.

So a lot, as usual, has happened in the last little while.

In late November I was put on the waiting list for a hysterectomy. A lot of my friends and family are shocked at this because I am only 25 years old but after battling for “Female Issues” for most of my life my Doctor has decided that enough is enough. I have three wonderful children and we don’t want any more anyway. So its the waiting game. I will get a 2 week notice anywhere from 2-6 months from when the sent the paper work in. The end of Jan, will be the 2 month mark. I was told on average it usually takes 2-3 months so, fingers crossed, hopefully I’ll get that two week notice call soon.

On top of that I have been work on my sewing company and I finally was able to create something no one else had. A free standing cavy cave with no extra foam or batting. It stands up because a flexible support (shhh I’m keeping this one tight lipped for a while). Here are some photos:

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Are they not just the cutest things ever? The grey pig is Reko and the one on the bottom is Mojo.

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Blog Entry 36: Recipe Tip

Today I am just writing a little tip for everyone. I was to pick on canning and baking recipes because these are the ones that have the biggest problems if something is skipped or just plain old missing from the recipe.

As you all know this weekend I plan on canning. I found a wonderful canning recipe that I was planning on using but something just did not add up, how could I make this recipe with the water bath method if there was no Acid?

Here is the Original Recipe:

CHAMOMILE JELLY

1 c. chamomile flowers, packed
3 1/2 c. water
1 box Sure-jell
4 c. sugar

Place chamomile blossoms in a medium-sized saucepan. Add water. Bring to a boil. Remove from heat, cover, let stand 10 minutes. Strain through 2 layers of cheesecloth. Measure 3 cups. Mix chamomile infusion and Sure-jell in large saucepan. Bring to hard boil and add sugar. Again bring to a hard boil and boil 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and skim off foam. Pour into sterile jars and seal.

Now as you can see, there is no acid in order to make it safe for the bath canning method. So I went on the search at 5:30 this morning. At about 5:50 am I found this wonderful bit of information:

Basic Tea Jelly

1 3/4 cup water
12 regular tea bags
1/4 cup orange juice or related juice
3 cups sugar
1 3 oz. package liquid pectin

Bring water to boil, add tea bags and steep for 30 mins. Discard tea bags and add juice, sugar to brewed tea and bring to a boil. Boil for 2 min. stirring. Remove from heat and add pectin, return to boil and allow to do so for 1 min. Skim off any foam. Pour hot jelly into jars and process for 20 min. Makes 6 pints.

(http://oldfashionedliving.com/teajelly.html)

This recipe, as you can see, adds orange juice or related juice, aka acid.  This is needed to safely can it in the water bath method.

My tip for today, ALWAYS read your ingredients. Canning and baking can both go badly wrong if you do not double check the recipe.

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Blog Entry 35: Turtle?

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As some of you may know, at the end of august my family and I got a new family pet. My husband had been hinting at me for months about how much he would love to have a pet turtle or tortoise and I being the big animal lover looked into the care for that type of pet.

I started looking at shelters for turtles as I fell in love with the cute videos and photos. Sadly because we live in Alberta there are many laws that do not allow you to buy or adopt most types of turtles. The reptile rescue doesn’t even post their turtles on their adoption area so we didn’t even know that they rehomed them.

We ended up getting a little Yellow Bellied Cooter, which after some looking around we found out that he/she was a Yellow Bellied Slider.

Merlin has been a great learning curve for me because I mostly work/have pets of the furry variety. I’ve had fish in the past so learning about his water habits where nothing too new. What was new for me was things like lighting, basking, diet and general health care.

Basking was one of the easiest to learn but hardest to do.

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It was hard because we did not have one of the store bought floating docks. I did not want to spend money on plastic until I could help it. So out we went to get some lovely bricks and used it along with the drift wood to make a ramp and platform for Merlin to bask.

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Lighting, which goes hand in hand with basking, was also confusing. Did you know Turtles need UVA and UVB lights? The worse part is you can’t get both in one bulb. The heat lamp has the UVA and we have a UVB bulb as well.

Next was the diet, and boy let me tell you, that was the hardest part. Many websites have no information on this breeds diet. This is because the Red Eared Sliders and Yellow Bellied Sliders are cousins, and because they are so closely related, live in the same type of environment they also eat the same.

Once I learned that, life was much easier. Sadly by the time I found out this information I had already messed up a little. I had not been feeding him carrots, which is part of their weekly balanced diet.

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As you can see in the photo above, right under his eye he had a red irritated mark. This was due to the lack of Vitamin A from the lack of carrots.

So off to the vet we went.

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By the time we got to the vets he had been getting carrots daily for about a week, so the irritation was gone, but just in case it was something else we took him anyway.

He came back with a clean bill of health (right down to his poop).

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Since the vet visit in September, we’ve had no issues. We upgraded to an 80 gallon tank (thanks dad) and life has been good.

Just like all my other pets, Merlin gets weighed about every week to two weeks.

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Merlin doesn’t seem to mind the weighing as much as the measuring, which he protests in his hissing “I hate this” stop making me hold still kind of way.

I write down his weight which I can look back on at any time.

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He has grown lots since we got him months ago, over 1/2” in total length. His weight has been steady and all in all he is a happy health turtle.

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I love watching him and as a little extra to my blog here is a video I made. Enjoy and remember:

Always try to adopt and not shop. Learn about your pet before you get them or you’ll run into trouble.

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