Thursday, September 29, 2011

A Tale Of Two Piggies

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. Sorry, wrong story. If you follow me here or on Face Book, you know that my grandson's guinea pig, Dorothy, passed away early last spring. After a few weeks, Jamison decided that he would like another pet, so his mom, my youngest daughter, brought home an adorable 6-week old female tri-color piggie and named her Sophie.

Online research indicated that guinea pigs live happier, healthier lives when their home is shared with a companion, so my daughter and I went out looking for another girl. I picked out the cutest little baby Abyssinian and was assured she was a girl. We brought her home, introduced her to Sophie and she and newly named Mocha became instant friends. They ate together, played together, snuggled together and the grandchildren loved petting them and watching them run around.
A few weeks later, I began to question Mocha's gender, but after comparing her to Sophie and to photos on the Internet and knowing that I was guaranteed that she was a she, I figured I was just being overly cautious.  I even posted a photo of "Princess Mocha" wearing Abigail's tiara!
Isn't that the cutest thing?

Fast-forward from June to August. We had the piggies playing in their little pool (makes the perfect play pen) when I noticed something "different" about Mocha. She was acting strangely around Sophie and seemed to have something wrong with her, well, how to say this delicately, um bottom side? Back to the Internet for more photo checks (I was beginning to feel like a piggie porn perv) and sure enough, Princess Mocha was indeed.....
A BOY!!! Oh, this was not good as we didn't want to breed guinea pigs; we just wanted a couple for pets. Jim and I went to the pet store and bought a large cage and all the needed equipment so that we could separate the piggies. We feared that Sophie was probably already pregnant, but we still needed to keep them apart as she could get pregnant again immediately after giving birth (can you imagine?) We studied the web sites once more and learned how to recognize a pregnant piggie from a chubby one, how to look for the babies and feel their movements and yes, we confirmed that Sophie was indeed pregnant with three babies! Exciting, but one of those "oh boy" moments.
Here's Sophie in mid-September - definitely wider than usual. We determined that there were three babies - two on one side and one on the other. Our predictions were that there would be two girls and one boy and that the first one we would encounter would be an Abyssinian like Mocha, but black with red coloring.

On the morning of September 23rd (Jim's birthday), my daughter was greeted by who else but a tiny little guinea pig baby that looked like Mocha with black and red hair! It was really exciting! There were three babies and everyone, including Momma Sophie, was doing well. We visited with the babies for a bit to take their pics and check them out for any health issues and it seems we have two girls and one boy, although our veterinarian who specializes in small and exotic animals will have to confirm.

L-R: Tri-color female, tri-color male, Abyssinian female - look how tiny and cute!!

Who wouldn't fall in love with these sweethearts?
Meanwhile, two days before the birth, Mr. Mocha made the ultimate sacrifice and gave up his manhood to prevent future offspring. He's such a trooper! Whatta guy!

The whole family got together for a very brief visit in the piggie pool last night and Sophie rushed over and kissed Mocha on the nose. They will be happy to be reunited at a future date but for now, their cages are side by side and they talk to each other through the bars. True love! Have a happy day! Hugs, Leena

Friday, September 23, 2011

Today's Smile

My 4-year old grandson came tapping at my bedroom door bright and early this morning, wanting to come in so he could give me a hug and say good morning. That will keep me smiling all day! A simple gesture that means so much - share a little important thing with somebody you care about and watch yourself and them smile too!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We Shall Never Forget 9-11

"While the storm clouds gather far across the sea,
Let us swear allegiance to a land that's free,
Let us all be grateful for a land so fair,
As we raise our voices in a solemn prayer. "

For all those in New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania - We Shall Never Forget!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

There's Something You Don't Hear Every Day!

Jim and I are into the middle of our third weekend of taking care of our grand babies while my daughter is away. We have 2 and a half weekends left to test our sanity. Don't get me wrong; we love our lil ones and would do anything for them. They are the lights of our lives. It's just that, since they and their mother live here, we are always on "Meemaw and Geegaw" alert. Just yesterday, someone said to me, "One of the best things about grand kids is that when you get tired of playing, they go home". This, however, is not true in our case as this IS home LOL! It's great having them around though, as we get to share so much that we probably wouldn't have the chance to if they lived somewhere else, and we always know that no matter what's going on, one of those bright-eyed smiles and giggle-fests will make our day so much better!

I have noticed that when you have a 4 year old and an 18 month old in the house, you say things that "normal" people don't. I thought I'd share a few of these little gems with you. Hope they give you a chuckle!

*The baby's wearing a thong around her neck and is missing a shoe!
*Please don't barf,  you'll make Geegaw throw up!
*No, you can't ride the dog like a horse.
*Because dogs are allowed to go potty outside but people aren't!
*Get your head out of there before it gets stuck!
*Can we talk some more after Meemaw's finished going potty?
*Underwear is for your bottom, not your head.
*Nobody wants to see that - put your pants back on.
*My shirt is not a Kleenex!

Do we have fun or what? Yes, we really do LOL! Have a fun day! Hugs, ~Leena
Jamison-Bottoms Up!

Abigail Rose-Pink Diva

Friday, September 9, 2011

My Brain Is Wrinkly!

I learned something new today! I've made it no secret that, while I know a lot about using a computer, I do not  know how to do many of the things needed to use the web. HTML is like another language to me (which I suppose it is) and so many of the applications needed to take total advantage of other programs I use are a bit of a mystery to me, but I do love learning and when I come up with an idea, I can usually figure out how to make it work. Take algebra, for example. No really, please take it, far, far, away! LOL! Anyway, I used to be able to solve the problems without using the formulas. Formulas made no sense to me; A + B = C? Those are letters, not numbers! It's bad enough that math has numbers! Don't go adding letters to it to confuse things. It drove my teacher crazy though, because he had no idea how to solve the problems without the formulas. Eventually, we agreed to disagree and I passed the class - phew!

So recently, I have been trying to figure out how to add pictures of some of the things I sell in my Etsy shop onto my shop banner. I went to a photo program and, after a little experimenting, I did it! I gave my banner a little more pizazz and, who doesn't like more pizazz? I've heard that when you learn something new, your brain grows a new wrinkle. Today, I think my brain is like a prune! I think I can even feel it growing! Guess it's true that you learn something new each day (proud smile). Isn't it funny how the smallest things can bring some of us such joy? Have a great day! ~Leena~

Banner Before Pizazz
Banner After Pizazz

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Today's Smile

We are finally enjoying some cooler temps now that the 100+ days of summer are, hopefully, behind us. As I said in my last post, I'm not ready for fall yet, but being able to go outside without gasping for air in the thick humidity and heat is a real blessing. I love this time of year, when I can really enjoy being outdoors and find pleasure in the cool breezes and chirps of the crickets coming through open windows. My only complaint, well, it's the rain. We've had rain for several days now and while I know other areas that could use some, my back yard is looking like a swamp and I'm beginning to wonder if some fish-headed creature may appear, like from an old horror movie. Swamp Thing, Creature From The Black Lagoon, you get the idea. Now, if that pond in the back was big enough for my ship to come in, well yeehaw baby! That'd be awesome! Even Mr. Pig proclaimed his displeasure:
 Days like this are when I'm even more in love with my screened porch. I can sit outside, taking in the fresh air, and stay dry in the process. Taking a little break earlier today, the rain let up momentarily and the sun made a gallant effort to appear. During this brief respite, who did I see but my two resident hummingbirds! They hang out in the area and come to my deck feeders. I think it's the same two every year because one is real ornery and won't let the other feed. So, I hung a second feeder, thinking this would solve the problem. Nope. The little rascal tries to guard both feeders, but his companion has gotten smarter and will lead greedy Gus on a chase, then swoop in for a quick meal before he figures out where smarty pantz has gone. It's quite amusing to watch them bob and weave, chasing each other around. Despite the rain and gloomy grey, they made my day bright and happy.

Be sure to keep an open eye, even on the ickiest of days, for you never know when a little smile will enter your world! Take care and hugs, Leena

Monday, September 5, 2011

Endless Summer

Happy Labor Day! Traditionally, today marks the unofficial end of summer. Those school districts that have not yet opened, will do so tomorrow. Neighborhood pools closed today, much to the displeasure of splash-happy children. Shopping malls were packed with bargain hunters, picnics were held and  prices on beach and other vacation destination hotels are now being lowered. However, according to the calendar, we still have approximately three weeks of summer left, officially, and I intend to stretch that lazy, crazy, hazy summer feeling as far as I possibly can. I shall practice my annual ritual of the...
That's right, the endless summer! I shall seek out signs and customs of this wonderful season, despite the horribly hot weather most of us have endured! I shall try to get to the beach during the off-season and joyously race into the waves, even if the water is a tad chilly!
I will walk along the boardwalk and cruise up and down the main road, taking in the sights, despite some of the attractions and shops being closed.

I promise to sit, wrapped in a blanket, coiled against the cold, and watch the surfers, the original founders of the endless summer phenomenon.

I will continue to cook outside on the grill, until my oven gloves are replaced by wool mittens...

...and enjoy dining al fresco on the screened porch, watching the sun set.

Mostly, I will refuse to give up my flip flops until the temperature drops so low that I risk frost bite!
Eventually, I know that the sun will set on my summer and winter will come whether I like it or not. Gone will be baseball, the garden flowers, many of the birds I love watching, and sitting outside to get some fresh air will be a chilling experience. Until then, however, I promise you, my fellow summer lovers, that I shall cherish the sun's warmth on my skin, the fresh air billowing through the windows and embrace that perfect wave, if only in my mind and heart.

Friday, September 2, 2011

HItchhiker or World Traveler?

The other day, Jim and I were out running some errands. When we stopped at the drive-through ATM to make a deposit, a grasshopper jumped onto the hood of Jim's car. I wasn't sure if he was looking to hitch a ride somewhere or if he just miscalculated the distance of his desired landing site, but there he was, standing on the hood just looking in the windshield. It was quite hot that day and since grasshoppers don't wear shoes, his little feet began to feel the burn, so he kept lifting them up, a few at a time, doing the "ow ow ouchies" dance, similar to that of folks who start out walking across the beach barefooted, only to realize that the sand is hot. Eventually, Mr. Hopper jumped onto a windshield wiper, which was much cooler. We figured that he would make his exit once the car started moving, but he held on tight, bracing himself against the wind generated by the car's motion, his little antennae wiggling in the breeze. Our little friend stayed with us all the way across town, when he departed in the smoothie parking lot. Was this his destination or was he simply tired of clinging to the wiper blade? No time to find out as he hopped away to a new adventure.

Mr. Hopper goes for a ride

It made me wonder if he would realize that he was in a new place. Would he miss his grasshopper friends at the bank? Would he regret hitching a ride with us? Do grasshoppers have actual homes? I think that he was a brave explorer, seeking new adventures and territories, boldly going where no grasshopper has gone before! OK, so maybe that's a tad carried away, but he did give me cause to think about our own wanderlust. You know, that feeling when you have no idea where you want to go but you desire different surroundings? Those times when you just "gotta get outta here" and stimulate your brain looking at another place? I get that often. I don't think that I was made to sit in one place too long. Maybe that's why I like home decorating so much. I can change the look of a room or my entire home without having to travel. Not that I don't enjoy going places - I love a good road trip! Some of the most enjoyable ones are those where there is no set agenda; you just get in the car and drive. Uncharted territory is fine by me, although it makes Jim nervous and he always thinks we're lost (see my beach post from April). Similar to the "you never know if you don't ask" philosophy, I also follow the "you never know what's around the next bend" mantra. Maybe this is a leftover from my childhood, when my parents would take us out on Sunday drives. We'd just ride along, looking at the scenery and stopping at any place that looked interesting. I didn't understand it as a child, but now I do. My mom was from a very rural area of Wyoming and I think that she missed the open plains and the hills to explore. Mom definitely had the wanderlust in her soul and I know that I take after her. Gypsies in our hearts, we two.

So, I suggest that this weekend, or whenever you have the soonest opportunity, give in to your wanderlust, take the roads less traveled, get "lost" on an adventure and seek new experiences. Remember, you never know what's around the next bend! Love ya! Leena

Fabulous Give-Away from Shabbyfufu You Won't Want To Miss!

Shabbyfufu writes: Ramsign is a small Danish company that specializes in manufacturing and selling classic enamel signs (house signs and house numbers) based upon original designs and techniques. They are generously offering one of my blog readers a custom made porcelain enamel house number plaque with anywhere from one to five numbers in your choice of styles. The old signs have been gracing just about every building all over Europe for centuries and they are so charming! Yours will be made to look just like the old signs and be customized just for you.

Beautiful European Porcelain Enamel Sign Giveaway

You can follow this link or click on the button below under Special Events. This is awesome!! Have a Fufufabulous Day!! Hugs, ~Leena~
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