Evangelism at The Swamp

Over the years, I have been accused of militancy in many areas of my life. It started when my friend Joe told me I was a musical imperialist. This came about on a trip driving from Calgary to Vancouver. We did not have the same taste in music.[1] We decided that we would alternate playing a tape.[2] A problem arose when he would start a tape and asked me if I liked it and I would say no. He would try another one and I would still hate it. Then he gave up. I told him to just play his music and it would be fine but he said he couldn’t enjoy it if I hated it. Clearly this all worked out in my favour![3]

I can be a bit like a dog with a bone when I find something I really love. Of course I think this is a good thing. I like to spread the word so to speak. So here are 5 things I am a bit evangelical about:

  • Raw Feeding– it took me a long time to come around to the idea of feeding our dogs raw meat on bones. I finally agreed to it when one of our Shih Tzus had to have a bladder stone removed at age 5. When I saw the stone it looked exactly like a piece of Iams kibble that she had been eating her entire life. I did a lot of research about what causes these stones to form and I learned that her system needed to be more acidic if we did not any more stones to form. Kibble fed dogs have a higher pH because of the carbs in their food. The only way to get a more acidic environment was to feed raw. Se we jumped in and we have never looked back. Our dogs are happier and healthier and our vet bills are much lower. I have written several posts about raw feeding if anyone is interested: herehere, here, and here.
  • Nasal Rinsing – another friend of mine had been trying to convince me to use a neti pot for years to deal with my allergies. I was really suffering once we moved to Maple Ridge because of all the hay. My doctor referred me to an allergist who did some skin scrapings. Unfortunately, due to my ulcerative colitis I am on immune suppressant drugs and he couldn’t get a reaction. So he told me to rinse my nasal passages daily with a Neil Med bottle. I have not looked back. I do this faithfully every day. I also spread the word whenever someone is having allergy problems.
  • Hopcott’s Meat – we have the best meat store relatively close to us. It is all hormone and antibiotic free and it tastes really good.
  • Crocheting – I have become reacquainted with crocheting. I used to do a lot in my 20s and 30s but had stopped for some reason.[4] I find it much more relaxing than watching TV and being on the computer. I can almost get into a Zen-like phase as I create something. Here are some pictures of projects I have completed recently:
Dragon in filet. Pattern circa 1900
Baby blanket
Realta Afghan
  • Apple – my first computer was a Mac Plus. It had no hard drive and 2mb of RAM. Around 1995, I decided to get a PC as I was discovering I had a knack for computers. I even had my own mobile computer repair business for a little while.[5] I stuck with PCs until about 2009. I had noticed over the years that every PC I had became really slow no matter how much RAM or how fast the CPU was. It was infuriating. I did some research and apparently as Windows degrades the machine slows down.[6] The only answer was to format and re-install windows every year. I was not into doing that. The other answer was to get a Mac. I already had an iPod, iPhone and an iPad so I knew the quality of Apple’s products. So I made the leap back to Apple and I couldn’t be happier. Apple gets a lot of flack for its proprietary ways but really there stuff just works. I live happily in an Apple world.

So, for my 12 readers, what things are you evangelical about?

[1] He likes syrupy female singers and I think I was going through my male rocker/folk phase.

[2] Yes, that would be a cassette tape! I am that old.

[3] We had a passenger with us who threatened to get out and hitchhike if we didn’t stop arguing. My dog Tippy was with us too and she liked to dance on people’s legs in the car!

[4] I suspect the reason was dogs…

[5] I discovered that I really did not like going to people’s houses to fix their computers.

[6] Unfortunately, I cannot find the original article I was referred to.

Dispatches from the Swamp – the Quicksand Edition

Well it is day 2 of NaBloPoMo and I thought how better to celebrate than some updates from the swamp and a little rant by me.

Did you know that today has been proclaimed ‘Vitamin D’ day by the City of Vancouver? We all know that Vitamin D is important, especially here on the wet coast where it can rain from November through April? We all know we need to take Vitamin D but it seems that even the experts don’t know how much we should take. Apparently it is very hard to overdose on Vitamin D, which is good to know. However, I am wary of any of these health claims about vitamins, minerals, fibre etc., because, no doubt, in a couple of years, we will hear how bad Vitamin D is for you. So, Vitamin D, celebrate your day. I wonder how Gregor felt proclaiming today “Vitamin D” day.

Why does Dancing with the Stars keep trying to resurrect Rod Stewart’s career? Seriously, they seem to have him on every season. He is old and tottering and has lost his rhythm. He needs to just go gracefully and retire already!

Our shed is currently inaccessible because we have had so much rain that the mud has turned to quicksand. Hopefully everything will settle in a couple of weeks as the water moves to the back of the property. However, if news reports are true and we really do get the worst winter in 50 years maybe the shed will just float away, never to be seen again.

Back on to Dancing with the Stars, I wonder how the pro dancers put up with these stars? Some are whiny prima donnas who definitely need to be put in their place. I hope they pros are paid very well for doing this show. In other news, we have “Skating with the Stars” to look forward to in a couple of weeks!

I would also like to thank Hopcott Premium Meats for their generous donation of 50 pounds of ground beef to NPO where I work. This donation will help us to feed hungry people.

Dispatches from the Swamp – the Beef Stew Edition

You know it is autumn around here when I start making stew. Personally, I am not a big stew fan because I do not like all the root veggies that Deb does. I hate turnip and parsnips in particular. Plus she likes it really thick which I do not. Anyway, I do make good stew. We picked some blade roast at Hopcott as it was on sale for $3.99 a pound. Their beef is so tender, it does not seem to matter the cut. The beef is melt in your mouth good. The best part is that it is local, no antibiotics and humanely raised.

I made a video (I hate how I look on camera!) for the ‘It gets better’ campaign started by Dan Savage. The hope is that LGTB adults will make videos letting queer teens know it does get better. The purpose of the project is to talk to teens about what they are going through and letting them know there is help out there and hope for the future. Please spread the word.

Our yard is continuing to dry out. We are very hopeful about this process. Our contractor ensures us that we will have a useable lawn once he is done. We have decided not to hog fuel the yard when he is done. All of this is very hopeful!

I thought I was coming down with a cold. I had a really bad 7 or so hours and then it seemed to get better. However, my face is all broken out no doubt as a result of the virus. If you watch my video you will see what I am talking about.

I have to say that the last couple of days have been horrific pain wise. I am not sure why this is happening but I need it to end soon.

The dogs are all good. Madison has been getting a little more anxious lately. She pretty much needs to be with someone all the time. Closed gates really upset her and she takes it out on the drywall. Sawyer is continuing to mature and he is turning into a lovely little dog. Mollie is doing well. The cough medicine worked for her. Bella is also much improved. She seems to be back to her normal self. She is eating like a horse so I am hopeful she will put some weight back on and hopefully re-build her muscle mass. She is not giving Deb or Angelina any grief when they pill her. I got her some grain-free wet food as she was allergic to the other stuff.

Evening One

All things considered, evening one went ok. She did not say anything derogatory about the house. The house actually looks fabulous. Between all the painting Lynn did inside and the painting Deb did outside, the cleaning and de-cluttering, the house was in good shape. Deb got her clock up. I painted shelves in the bathroom (although not very well!) It is an antique looking, double-faced clock. Deb and Angelina also got up the stenciled words that I bought for her at Christmas on the dark green wall above the fireplace. Deb also did a bunch of weed-whacking with the new bladed weed whacker and Angelina cut the grass. I will get Deb to take some pictures so I can post them on the blog. I am very thankful to everyone here for helping to get the house in order for my mother’s visit. It has been a lot of work and going on for over a month.

In other news, I got my big report done for work. This is the second largest report I do every year and it wasn’t even late! I am exhausted. I think all of the adrenaline and work leading up to my mother coming has taken its toll. Tomorrow we are going to the spa where I will have a massage and my mother a facial. We will swing by Hopcott’s to get her a filet mignon steak because she does like prime rib. Sunday we are taking her to dinner at the Copper Room at Harrison Hot springs at 6 pm. Monday she is getting her hair done then we are going to Coquitlam Centre Mall. Then she goes home on Tuesday and there will be much rejoicing!

This and that….

Well it has been a busy time. I am off work until January 5 and I am so grateful. I needed a break. I was stupid and ate nuts over the holidays and I am now paying…colitis and nuts are a bad combination.

In other news – all of the dogs are doing ok. We think Tucker may have a bladder infection so he is off to the vet tomorrow. They all enjoyed their turkey very much. We got a hormone and antibiotic free turkey from Hopcott’s and it was fabulous! The rest of the dinner was to die for as well. We had cauliflower and cheese sauce, potatoes, and all sorts of other veggies that I ignored.

I am getting a little sick of the pope. Who is he to judge trans and homosexual people when he wears a dress and has other men kiss his hand? He is so completely outdated and the catholic church will lose support because of this kind of bigotry. We need to move towards a society that celebrates diversity rather than one that puts of with condemnations of minority groups.

The weather has also been a little frightful. I cannot remember ever seeing this much snow on the wet coast. We went out on Saturday and there were mountains of snow piled up in the parking lots. I know that for other areas of Canada this is normal but for here it is freaky!

Oh and the freaking neighbour’s dog is making me mental. They leave him outside for 12-14 hours at a time and he barks non-stop at our dogs when they go out. Ours are pretty good they don’t bark back as they know they just get brought in. I do not understand how the hell they can stand to listen to their dog barking his foolish head off for a whole day? What is wrong with people? It is so unfair to our dogs as they can’t be outside for any length of time because he won’t stop barking. The last thing we need is for other neighbours to think it is one of our dogs doing all the barking.