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.


Update Mashup

It has been a while since I have blogged about the goings on at chez Shihtzustaff, so I thought it was time for an update:

  • We have adopted Tucker and Gemma Joy.  We found out this week that Gemma has mets in her lungs from her cancer and more masses in her abdomen. She is palliative now. She is still feeling great and enjoying life. For the first time she is out of a pen and not being forced to breed. It was because of the breeding that Gemma ended up with mammary cancer. Please spay your female dogs before they go into heat and you can reduce the chances that they will develop this very lethal form of cancer by almost 100%. Tucker continues to be with us. He is developing some canine cognitive disorder like behaviours so we are working with the vets to manage that and his pain. He continues to ensure that he does not miss a thing around here – especially food!
  • Molly our ancient toothless pom is like the energizer bunny of dogs. She stretches and spins and does her various yoga poses. You can’t help but laugh at her. She is so full of life. We do see her slowing down a bit though. She has started to put herself to bed most nights now.
  • Living with senior dogs is not for the faint of heart. The other day I was coming into the house and Tucker was laying in front of the door. Tucker is deaf so telling him to move is not effective. So I gently push the door against him and I see his eyes roll back in his head. I think he is having a stroke or a seizure or something that is not good. Nope, he is just hard asleep.
  • Kiefer gets the most improved award this month. Because he is big he is able to reach plates on tables etc and this often results in Kiefer inspecting (and slobbering on) everything we eat. I came up with a way to stop him – as he comes for the plate, the plate moves toward him. It only took him a couple of tries and now he has stopped completely. Way to go Kiefer!
  • Everybody else is doing well. The pug is adorable and so well socialized. She goes to SAINTS occassionally and visits with all the animals.
  • Work is going well. My health seems to be doing ok. Pain level still quite high most days but I can deal with that most of the time. I need to be very careful to get enough sleep or things go south quickly. Plus I am now going to see a psychiatrist to deal with the anxiety caused by chronic pain and disease and see if there is something better that can be done to address both issues. The problem is that my anxiety ramps up every time I am in pain.
  • And the best news of all? I got an iPhone 3GS. It is a work of art I must say. It is so incredibly easy to use and set up. I virtually needed no instructions whatsoever. I can’t wait to use it on a daily basis. No more getting lost in Abbotsford with built in GPS!