Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Little Red LadyBug: Review

2 years ago I bought this cage with the Amazon gift cards I had racked up from the survey places I take surveys for. Thus getting the cage for free. I wanted a cage set with hammocks and tunnels and things that all matched and when I went into places like Petsmart, I didn't see anything like what I wanted. So I looked online and found a place that sold the whole cage sets, all in the same patterns for a really good price. They are called The Little Red LadyBug. So I bought my first cage set, the green and white one you see in the above picture and set up my rat cage before bringing my babies home. 

The lady sews all of these hammocks and tubes and things for the cage and is super nice and does a great job. I loved everything I got from her site, The Little Red LadyBug.

After bringing my 4 boys home I put the tube and pouch inside the bottom of the cage for my boys to sleep in and they loved it. It was a nice cozy place for them to cuddle up and hide until they got more used to us. Here you can see Ares peeking out from behind the wicker house on the left hand side. 

Of course I have changed a few things in the cage since this photo was taken 2 years ago, like putting one large fleece blanket down on the bottom as the liner instead of using several cotton baby blankets. But the one thing that hasn't changed is the hammocks and tubes and blankies are still being used in my cage that I bought two years ago from The Little Red LadyBug

As you can see, my boys love the large hammock and use the smaller hammock when they want to sleep alone. My little Brodie used to spend a lot of his time in the smaller hammock, and it's stood up to many, many washings and many days of my big boys playing and sleeping in it. 

Aimee, at The Little red LadyBug also has dehydrated fruit, cat toys and one of the cutest things I've seen in a while. A T-shirt with a zippered pouch so your rat can snuggle with you. 

So if you're looking for cage accessories for your rat cage, I highly recommend TheLittleRedLadyBug.com

Monday, July 30, 2012

Some of Our Other Animals

If you've been reading here long enough you already know I have rats. This picture was taken back in 2008 and that's me with Oreo, one of the first rats we had. That was his favorite place to sleep and cuddle with me. 

Our little Dwarf Hamster, Chance. 

Our gerbils, Honey and Spirit. 

Our very first rat, Romi. 

That's me and the gerbils. 

And this is the Dwarf bunny that hopped up to Ken while he was standing in the alley in front of our apartment building. We found him a good home with people who already had bunnies and a large back yard. 
He was such a cuddler, he would jump right up in your lap and thump you with his back feet until you pet him..lol 

Hamster named Onyx. 

Hamster named Sniffy. 

Hamster named Bubbles. 

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Fishing Makes you Crazy

Or at the very least it makes you look like a complete psychotic...LOL 
This is my younger brother showing off his catch after he went fishing. 

Not only did he nail the fish to a board (He said it makes them easier to gut) but he's holding the knife in his right hand in the picture he plans on gutting them with. 

*He's gonna kill me when he see's this..but it'll be totally worth it..LOL*

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Funny Misspellings

I bought this box of dog biscuits for my rats because they were tiny and just the right size for rats. 

But when I read the side of the box...this is what I saw. "Keep Your Pet Healty" Not healthy...but healty...LOL

Yeah, I would if I knew what 'healty' was...

Friday, July 27, 2012

Freebie Friday

So this week I did receive a few free samples. 

Biore Pore Unclogging Scrub and Balancing Cleanser
Biore Nose Strip
2 Eucerin Daily Protection Lotion Samples
Lanacane Anti Chafing Gel

I found links to where to get all of these great freebies at Hey it's Free

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Fun With The Wildlife

My daughter went to Big Bear lake in California to go fishing with my brother and his wife a couple of years ago. While they were setting up their camping spot my daughter spotted a Gopher hole and this little Gopher in it. He popped his head out when she got too close to his home. So she had an idea...

She would try to feed him and get some pictures of him. She started out trying to give him some potato chips and he took them. 

Then she gave him a cookie and he said there at the entrance of his home and munched on it as well. 

He stopped munching on his cookie to pose for a really cute picture for her. Omg look at his cute little face. 

Then, after she got his attention with food, she started seeing if she could get him to take some peanuts in the shell right from her hand. He sniffed it at first but wouldn't take it. 

So she left it by the hole to see if he would come out and get it and he did. 

But he ran back to his hole before he could grab it. 

So she tried giving it to him again and he came out and started sniffing her. she was able to actually touch him with the peanut and he didn't care. 

So she put the peanut in front of him and he took it back to his home but came back out a minute later looking for more. 

So my daughter tried coaxing him out again to see if he would take it from her fingers this time. 

But he ran back to his hole and she ended up putting it by his face and then he took it. But she had fun with this little guy because he was so curious and loved all the food she was giving him. 

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

This Looks Safe..

So this is what happens when I have to take my own pictures. lol This is the over hang above the apartment doors right across the courtyard from me. Last week when it rained the over hang started falling down. Completely detached from the stucco and Plasterboard that is the overhangs. 

So what did my apartment manger decide to do? He decided to have a contractor come out and just brace all the stuff that was falling down in the walkway with some 4X4's (Wood). 

Now doesn't that look safe? Those are two apartment doors right there and the guy in the one on the right has two small kids. If those kids start kicking or knock one of those support beams down...the rest of that overhang is going to come down on them...yeah that seems safe to me...My gawd what an idiot!

Monday, July 23, 2012

Time To Prune The Family Tree

Family Tree's

Cutting a family member out of your life isn't an easy thing to do but sometimes it has to be done. Is it time to prune your family tree? if you answer yes to any of these questions..it might be. 

*Does the family member constantly lie about even the smallest of things?

*Does the family member always bring drama into your life and seem to like to cause problems for you?

*Does the family member consistently say they will do things and then show you that they really only care about themselves by never following through with their word?

*Does this family member constantly make their problems the center of attention even when others are having a worst time of it?

Does this family member always put himself above others and act in ways that show you they only care about themselves?

*Does this family member lie and make up details about their own life to make themselves sound worst off than they actually are?

*Does this family member's extended family cut them off or stopped talking to them because of their bad attitude?

*Has this family member been a danger to others physically?

*Is this family member not trustworthy?

If you answered yes to most of these questions about a family member, it may be time to cut them out of your life. it's not an easy thing to do but if they are making your life hell...it may be the right thing to do. 

I cut a family member out of my life for 10 years because of his ongoing drinking. He was a very mean drunk and I didn't want that atmosphere around my small child. Now that he doesn't drink anymore, he's much easier to get along with. 

I am about to cut another member of my family off. it's not a decision I take lightly and not something I look forward to doing, but I answered yes to everyone of those questions...this person just isn't someone I want in  my life any longer. 

Many family tree's need pruning. You need a sharp pair of shears, a steady hand and the determination to stick with your decision. 

That old saying is true...you can't pick your family members but you can pick your friends. Just because they are blood doesn't mean you have to put up with their nonsense. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

I Have A Question About Book Covers

So as you can see I've deleted most of the pictures from my blog. The only ones I've left for now are the ones I added to my book reviews. So any of you book bloggers and Authors out there maybe you can answer a question for me. Should I leave the book cover pictures with the reviews or delete those as well.

I'm not sure the publisher, author or even Amazon would get mad for having the book cover along with a review because that's good publicity for the book, but if there's even a chance I could get in trouble for it...I'll take them down.

So do any of you have any thoughts on this?

I'm Keeping The Blog...

I thought about it for a few hours and decided to see just how hard it would be to delete a few posts that had pictures in them. So as you can see if you look back towards the very first postings I made, I deleted a few hundred pictures in the past couple of hours. I should be able to finish deleting and fixing some of the blog posts in the next few days. So i am keeping my blog but sad to say things are going to be a little different. I'm actually going to have to think of things to say. *Oh the horror!* Instead of posting so many pictures and making fun of them. Now I know some of you might say I didn't need to delete all those pictures..but why take the chance, right? I may not have much for someone to take...but I'd like to keep what I do have...lol So over the next few days I'll be making a few changes and doing some deleting and then I'll figure out what I'll be posting.

Friday, July 20, 2012

I May Be Deleting This Blog

So today a friend of mine sent me a link to another blog where I read it can get me in trouble if I post pictures without getting permission from the owner first..Ok, so my blog is heavy heavy with pictures and that's what my blog is like most posts. I have a picture and either make fun of it or love it.

But if I can get in trouble even sued for posting the pictures, I'll have to take them down. That's a lot of posts and a lot of pictures. I just don't know if it would be worth it to me to keep the blog if I have to do that.

Anyway, here's a link to the blog post I am talking about. Post Pictures and Get Sued...

So what do you guys think? should I just delete a bunch of posts and it would be hundreds or just delete my blog and start over?

Freebie Friday

So after a couple of weeks with no freebies to share I got these two things in the mail this week. Milk Bone Trail mix dog snacks. 
Prilosec OTC sample. 

My rats liked the doggie trail mix and the tiny Milk Bones are just the right size for them. Tiny rat sized dog bones..lol 

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

I Won Second place in The Kick Butt First Line contest!

This year Jaime Rush held a contest called The Kick Butt First Line Contest, and when I heard about it I thought it would be a lot of fun to think up a great first line for a book and throw my hand in the pot to win...I didn't expect to place in the top three at all. But I won 2nd place! You can see the other entries by clicking this link.
The Kick Butt First Line Contest!

I won a signed book and a $25 gift card. I'm a pretty happy camper right now.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Presidio Social Club Still Serving foie gras

I read recently that The Presidio Social Club in San Francisco has found a way to serve foie gras even though there's a ban on the stuff where this restaurant is located.
The article is located on Yahoo..

I have a real problem with this and am in support of the ban on foie gras. I thought it didn't happen soon enough and more states should really take this stand as well. The reason for the ban is that the ducks and geese that the foie gras comes from are treated inhumanely and abused, force fed and most times hurt or damaged in the force feeding process.

Just go to you tube and look up any videos on foie gras force feeding. I'm not going to post any of those vile videos here because they are sickening, but they are there for those who don't believe this is happening.

The owner of the Presidio Social Club has said that he found a loop hole in the law and ban and plans on serving foie gras...because he can. He doesn't care that there is a ban for a reason, that animals are being mistreated and abused just so he can serve duck liver and make a little more money.

It's all about greed with him.

So I say, let's him in where it will hurt the most. In his wallet.

Stop going to his restaurant. Tell others to stop going there. Tweet it, post bad reviews on Yelp, blog about it, send him emails, write to him and tell him how he lost more customers. Overwhelm their email, fb, twitter and phone with people calling and writing to them and maybe he will think twice about this. This establishment already had a lot of bad 1 star reviews on yelp. Lets write more.

You can reach him any of these ways, and I've supplied links to where you can write to him below. Please don't let this go on. Let him know that you don't approve of this and let's stop the abuse and inhumane treatment of these innocent animals.

Presidio Social Club
563 Ruger St, (near Lombard Gate, in the Presidio)
San Francisco, CA 94129
(415) 885-1888

Yelp- Write a 1 star review if you have an account here.



Marla McLaughlin / Account Supervisor
Wagstaff Worldwide, Inc.
p. 415.274.2510 | f. 415.274.2515
e: marla@wagstaffworldwide.com

Friday, July 13, 2012

R.I.P. Brodie

My little rat Brodie passed away at 4:30 this morning. Elizabeth came in and woke Ken and I up this morning and said he was acting strange. I went and sat over by the cage and Brodie walked over to me, layed down, took and couple of breaths while I petted him and then just gently passed away. I don't know if he had a heart attack or what but it happened so fast. Rest well my little guy.

Brodie sharing my yogurt with me.

Play hard at the Rainbow Bridge and give Jasper a snuggle from Mommy.

Saturday, July 07, 2012

How Things Used To Be

How Things Used To Be

Hi friends, I don't know who wrote this article and some of it may not be accurate but it is still interesting...

Next time you are washing your hands and complain because the water temperature isn't just how you like it, think about how things used to be. Here are some facts about the 1500s:

Most people got married in June because they took their yearly bath in May and still smelled pretty good by June. However, they were starting to smell, so brides carried a bouquet of flowers to hide the body odor.

Baths consisted of a big tub filled with hot water. The man of the house had the privilege of the nice clean water, then all the other sons and men, then the women and finally the children - last of all the babies. By then the water was so dirty you could actually lose someone in it. Hence the saying, "Don't throw the baby out with the bath water."

Houses had thatched roofs - thick straw, piled high, with no wood underneath. It was the only place for animals to get warm, so all the dogs, cats and other small animals (mice, rats, and bugs) lived in the roof.

When it rained it became slippery, and sometimes the animals would slip and fall off the roof, hence the saying, "It's raining cats and dogs."

There was nothing to stop things from falling into the house. This posed a real problem in the bedroom where bugs and other droppings could really mess up your nice clean bed. Hence, a bed with big posts and a sheet hung over the top afforded some protection. That's how canopy beds came into existence.

The floor was dirt. Only the wealthy had something other than dirt, hence the saying "dirt poor." The wealthy had slate floors that would get slippery in the winter when wet, so they spread thresh (the straw left over after threshing grain) on the floor to help keep their footing. As the winter wore on, they kept adding more and more thresh until when you opened the door it would all start slipping outside. To prevent this, a piece of wood was placed in the entrance way - hence a "thresh hold."

They cooked in the kitchen with a big kettle that always hung over the fire. Every day they lit the fire and added things to the pot. They ate mostly vegetables and did not get much meat. They would eat the stew for dinner, leaving leftovers in the pot to get cold overnight and then start over the next day. Sometimes the stew had food in it that had been there for quite awhile, -- hence the rhyme, "peas porridge hot, peas porridge cold, peas porridge in the pot nine days old."

Sometimes they could obtain pork, which made them feel quite special. When visitors came over, they would hang up their bacon to show off. It was a sign of wealth that a man "could bring home the bacon." They would cut off a little to share with guests and would all sit around and "chew the fat."

Those with money had plates made of pewter. Food with a high acid content caused some of the lead to leach on to the food, causing lead poisoning and death. This happened most often with tomatoes, so for the next 400 years or so, tomatoes were considered poisonous.

Most people did not have pewter plates, but had trenchers (a piece of wood with the middle scooped out like a bowl). Often trenchers were made from stale bread that was so old and hard that they could use them for quite some time. Trenchers were never washed and a lot of times worms and mold got into the wood and old bread. After eating off wormy, moldy trenchers, one would get "trench mouth."

Bread was divided according to status. Workers got the burnt bottom of the loaf, the family got the middle, and guests got the top, "the upper crust."

Lead cups were used to drink ale or whiskey. The combination would sometimes knock them out for a couple of days. Someone walking along the road would take them for dead and prepare them for burial. They were laid out on the kitchen table for a couple of days and the family would gather around and eat and drink and wait and see if they would wake up hence, the custom of holding a "wake."

England is old and small and they started out running out of places to bury people. So they would dig up coffins and would take the bones to a "bone-house" and reuse the grave. When reopening these coffins, one out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they thought they would tie a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night (the "graveyard shift") to listen for the bell.

Thus, someone could be "saved by the bell" or was considered "a dead ringer." And that's the truth.

Who said that History is boring!?

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Medical Marijuana Use

When I get upset about something I usually write it out, that's how I deal with things. Well right now I am dealing with a family member who obviously needs more mental help that he is getting and is using "Medical Marijuana" as his crutch, which even by his own words and actions isn't helping him to live the life he wants.

He says he has PTSD, TBI (Traumatic Brain Injury) and Anxiety disorder and is using marijuana as a way to deal with these things and the symptoms that go along with them.

I will tell you before anything else that I have been dealing with PTSD, depression and anxiety disorder since I was 12 years old. I had something happen to me when I was 12 where for a few minutes I thought someone with a gun was going to kill me, but instead he turned the gun on himself and shot himself in the head...right in front of me but not before telling me what he was about to do was all my fault.

I am telling you this not to shock you but so you see I have been dealing with a real PTSD issue for a very long time, I spent years in therapy and years on antidepressants and anxiety medications before things got even a little better. Things aren't going to get better as fast as you want them to but that doesn't mean you give up and start medicating yourself to numb the pain instead of dealing with the problem.

PTSD is an anxiety disorder with many symptoms including chronic pain, nausea, tremors, palpitations, mood swings, sleep problems, confusion, chronic fatigue, irritable bowel syndrome. Smoking, alcohol abuse, drug abuse, depression and suicide attempts all contribute to serious mental and physical health consequences for individuals with PTSD.  Common mental health symptoms include Major Depressive Disorder, anxiety disorders and can lead to substance abuse.

There's actually some research that suggests that marijuana exacerbates and heightens trauma symptoms making treatment even more difficult. Use of marijuana for PTSD would be like drinking to numb the symptoms. Marijuana is not a treatment because it does not result in improvement over time where the person using it could recover and stop using it like one would see with therapy and use of antidepressants and anxiety medicines.

Instead, the use of marijuana only delays or avoids all together the healing for the reason that the person has the mental problems to begin with. People with PTSD, anxiety and other mental problems need medical and psychological treatment that deals with the core of the problems. The feelings you get from marijuana, the high and the feeling of relaxation and distracted does nothing to correct the problem, it only prolongs it.  In my opinion instead of using marijuana to deal with their mental disorders, what a person would benefit from is extensive trauma therapy, EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) and Somatic Experience (Which is reliving and then resolving the the trauma that has caused the PTSD)

Anything else is just creating more addicts over time with their trauma problems still there for them to deal with.

I believe we should leave marijuana where it is..a Class l controlled narcotic as indicated and regulated by the DEA. The long term effects of chronic use are as follows: Chronic marijuana users remain impaired even after when they are not actually intoxicated. Some of the impairments include: attention deficits, memory and ability to process complex information and can last for months after someone stops using marijuana. Whether there is permanent cognitive impairment has not been documented but the withdrawal effects have been and is very similar to that of alcohol withdrawal, clearly demonstrated in controlled studies in both animal and human. Withdrawal symptoms include, body tremors, restlessness , insomnia, anxiety, increased aggression and anorexia.

The high after smoking comes on within minutes and can last for up to 2 hours. It's not surprising that the overwhelming reason given by marijuana users is 'pleasure' for their use of it. However, marijuana use can also produce other reactions like, anxiety, paranoia, psychosis, panic, severe anxiety and is seen more in people suffering from mental health problems such as panic disorders and the psychologically vulnerable.

The person who uses this in my family says he forgets things and can't think clearly because of his TBI, but marijuana use can cause all the symptoms he is referring to including impairing cognitive functions from basic motor skill coordination to more complex executive function tasks such as the ability to plan, organize, solve problems, make decisions, remember, and control emotions and behavior. Understanding how marijuana use impairs executive function is important. People with marijuana related impairment in executive functions have been found to have difficulty learning and applying the skills required for successful recovery, putting them at increased risk for relapse to more marijuana use and never getting the help they need to deal with the core problems they have.

PTSD is a serious illness but being 'High' isn't a cure and never will be.

The reason I wrote this is because I have a family member who had a stroke and is in the hospital, my other family member-her husband... isn't able to go and see her in the hospital for days on end because he says he is having panic attacks, cannot drive because he is not in a good way (non specific) but he was fine enough to make a video on youtube about his marijuana smoking and even show himself smoking marijuana from a bong on youtube for everyone to see. He says in the video that the VA doctors wanted him on 13 different medications but with the marijuana he has dropped that number down to 5 and he smokes marijuana everyday.

My thoughts on this are, if he cannot pull it together long enough to go see his wife in the hospital after a stroke for several days at a time, he should have nothing to do with her rehab and after care. If he's having anxiety attacks and cannot drive and needs to think of himself first and is not in a good enough place mentally to help his wife by just being there in the hospital room with her a few hours each day...then how in the world is he going to care for her needs during rehabilitation therapy, going to and from doctors, having to deal with home health care people, and everything for the foreseeable future that is going to have to be dealt with for his wifes care? He cannot.

Maybe if he were taking the antidepressants, anxiety medications and other meds that the doctors want him to take he wouldn't be having so many anxiety problems. He says the marijuana is helping but how is it helping? He isn't even able to drive himself to the hospital to visit someone, let alone trust himself to care for that person when they get out. Obviously the marijuana isn't helping as much as he thinks it is. But that's an addict for you.

Like I said, I have PTSD, I have a severe anxiety disorder so much so that for months on end I don't go outside..at all. Before my mom passed away it had been a year since I had stepped outside my front door. But let me tell you something. When my mom fell and broke her hip...I went to the hospital. I was there with my younger brother when she woke up from surgery and I went every damn day after that. I took my anxiety medications and after the visit if I had too, I threw up in the parking lot before coming home. I had panic attacks, I had to vomit several times while visiting my mom in the hospital for those days, I had headaches and the shakes...but I did the right thing and went up there. You pull on your big girl panties and deal with it.

And I did the same the time before that when my mom fell down and broke her knee. I was at the hospital and afterwards when she went to a rehab place I went up there at least 4 times a week. I was taking care of her dog at her house, paying her bills, picking up her mail, cleaning her house, and stayed with her for 2 weeks after she got home. Yes, I was anxious, had problems but like I said...you find a way to deal with it when you have to. I made myself go to my mom's funeral last year because it was the right thing to do even though I was shaky and anxious.

I don't go outside right now but if an emergency came up, I would find a way to deal with it until the emergency was over and then cry for an hour, have a massive headache, deal with the shakes after it was over, and probably have to vomit a few times while dealing with the emergency but I would deal with it because that's the right thing to do.

Oh and before you jump me for stating some of the things I have..I didn't pull all this information out of my ass, I actually looked it up on websites and stuff. You can find my sources down below.
You can also find an article I wrote here: How I Live With Clinical Depression

Cleveland Clinic Journal of Medicine.

National Institute of Mental Health (2012)

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Statistics. Retrieved from the National Institute of Mental Health Website: http://www.nimh.nih.gov/statistics/1ad_ptsd_adult.shtml



Heather C. Ashton, FRCP, Emeritus Professor of Clinical Psycho pharmacology

The British Journal of Psychiatiatry (2001) Actions of Cannabis in Humans

Monday, July 02, 2012

I'm Gonna Be A Grandma!

I had to wait until certain family members knew the news before I could tell others but now that everyone knows..I can tell you that I'm gonna be a grandmother! My daughter is about 7 weeks pregnant and we are thinking she will be due sometime in February. My birthday is in February so that could be interesting. lol 
I'm already bookmarking baby things and putting baby things in my wishlist on Amazon. lol 

Oh and my nephew who has a 17 year old girlfriend and they are having a baby...we all just found out that on saturday night they went to the Justice of the Peace and got married in secret. his parents (My brother and his ex wife) found out later that night after they did it. They are not happy to say the least. 

So my brother and I are going to be grandparents around the same time next year...oh boy.