Last week I discussed cage sizes for your guinea pigs. This week I want to discuss the bedding to go into the cages.
The most popular thing going around these days are fleece cage liners. You can make them or buy them; they are reusable, washable and save money over time though it may be a little costly to get started. Just google Guinea Pig Fleece and a huge amount of sites and videos will come up. If you choose to buy from someone, you'll find they only make for the C&C cages and the Midwest one as they think those are appropriate sizes. There are a few who will custom make, but it's rather expensive.
I've never tried fleece but would really like to. CC thinks she can do the sewing part (I'm not sewer) but I would really like to test it first. After some research I came across this:
What's happening here is that the person put absorbent material on the bottom and then just used fleece over the top securing it with the cage. Great Idea! So I'm going to give that a try!
Not all fleece is created equal, so make sure to read the websites on the proper kind to choose and make sure to wash it until it absorbs!
When it comes to shaving beddings do not use Cedar (the oils are bad for piggies), Pine only if it says it is "kiln dried" or Aspen. The best bedding in my opinion is CareFresh....it kind of looks like shredded cardboard! It can get pricey though so you may want to do a mix of CareFresh and Aspen.
Regardless what you choose, remember - piggies need a clean and dry environment.
I love Guinea Pigs - they are my favorite small type pet (commonly called pocket pets); but they do require some work!
If you're thinking of getting one, here's some points to consider:
1. Get 2. Guinea Pigs are social animals and regardless how much time you can spend with you're GP, it'll never be enough. When pairing 2 females or 1 female & 1 neutered male works best. Two males may fight, even if they've gotten along for quite sometime. I'm keeping my fingers crossed with Nigel & Ozzy!
2. Small children? GP have sharp teeth and may accidentally bite a finger thinking it's a carrot or something. Also, monitor your children; no one wants their GP squeezed to death!
Still think it's for you? Next thing to decide is the cage: Remember, BIGGER is always better!
Just walk right past those starter kits in the pet store; they are way too small.
The big thing these days is what is referred to as C&C cages that you make yourself.
I don't have these, nor have I ever made one (though I'm thinking about it) but it is a rather neat and crafty way to get a lot of bang for your buck. A good source for building is Guinea Pig Cages. And if you're not able to build one or find the materials to do it, well...there's a site that has it all for you: Guinea Pig Cages Store All shapes, sizes and colors! The sister site offers cage accessories: Guinea Pig Market
But let's say.....you just don't have the room to display something of that magnitude or maybe you just want to store buy until you can build or maybe, just maybe....you want something store bought. Again...bigger is ALWAYS better.
The Marchioro Cage (Tommy 120) is the cage to have! I use to have 2 of these - expensive? Yes, but HUGE and they had stands for them that were available if you wanted it. LOVED them....but like I said in a previous post; I gave them away and now they are practically non-existent. The cage ran 47 inches in length. You may come across them at yard sales, online sales and such.
This photo really doesn't show the length....but if you come across one, remember - the large one has the two door openings, the smaller ones do not. That will help you know whether or not you have the right sized one.
Though that cage may be hard to find.....I have come across some others that are more readily available:
The Midwest Cage. It's the closet one on the market to the C&C cages and is fast becoming a favorite. Check around on prices because it can range anywhere from $35 to $70 depending on where you get it from. There are 2 versions of this cage - one with a top and one without, so watch for that! This cage has a canvas bottom rather than a plastic one. However, you can buy 2 of these and hook them together, making one HUGE cage for your GP! There is another one like this made by All Living Things.
Living World makes 3 sizes of this cage. I bought the medium size (length of 37 inches) used; but there is a larger one (47 inches) like the one pictured. Again, prices will vary but expect to spend around $80 for this one. And if you come across one at a yard sale? The largest one has the 2 top openings like above.
If you happen to come across a large rabbit cage, please be aware that you must remove any wire bottom (you know that piece that let's the poos drop thru). Guinea Pigs feet are not designed to live on a wire bottom and can result in injured and broken legs. As a matter of fact, rabbits shouldn't be on them either!
As I come across suitable cages, I'll post them. And please add your finds in the comments!
"Guinea Pigs" is going to be a weekly feature here on the blog, hope you enjoy it!
Seriously, how can we possibly be thru half the year already?????
Some updates to get things started:
I am still struggling weight loss wise as I guess I always will; I get a week or two of weight loss then go all off track. I so need to get that under control. I'm trying but the constant thought of food is becoming overwhelming. Am I the only one that thinks that a "diet" does no more than make you constantly think of food? I mean, you're tracking, weighing, measuring and planning meals....shouldn't you're mind not be on it???
In 15 days I'll be heading out for the Annual Sister & Nieces & Great-Nephews beach trip! So looking forward to that!
I got 3 new guinea pigs - yep, THREE!! If you've been reading here for any length of time (or know me personally), then you know I've loved guinea pigs ever since I was little. I've had them since I was 8. When hubby and I moved into our house (soon to be 10 years ago), I had 15 guinea pigs! As they died out, I decided to keep the herd at smaller numbers and to prevent from increases gave the cages away (big mistake there, because I had nice HUGE cages). Anyway, eventually I had none and it was like that for a year or two. Then I begin to see people selling or giving them away on FB and I watched this one poor guy get overlooked time and time again. He was just a plain brown guinea pig where all the others were multi-colored. I eventually went and got him, named him Rossi and then added a hairless guinea pig to the mix (Morgan). I lost both of them this past year.
Hubby advised me not to get rid of the cages this time around, lol! I kept watching for giveaways, but apparently no one had any, not even for a small price....and the pet stores want almost $40 for one pig - OUTRAGEOUS! Our local PetSmart started getting hairless ones in, which is very rare, and at the price of $75 - which is rather cheap actually.....but I just couldn't decided.
Then.......my friend Kim (who works at the Humane Society) called me. They were over run (as all shelters are this time of year) with kittens and we're trying to free up the small animal room. They had 2 guinea pigs, could I adopt them? Well of course I could! So Ozzy & Nigel arrived. Then a week later I was looking at Craigs List and someone had a hairless for FREE! Their other guinea pig couldn't get a long with it, so they needed a home. So I snatched up Bernie!
Nigel & Ozzy
I really want to get them a really big cage and add all kinds of cage accessories. Only issue we are having is that for some reason our dog Dexter is obsessed with them (never was with any others). He tried to grab poor Ozzy right out of my hands. So I need to get the upstairs straightened out again and move everything there. I can gate Dexter out.
It's happening slowly...but I'm getting back into weight loss mode.
And it's been much simpler then I thought....
I started writing it all down.
Back in 2010 when I started my successful journey with Weight Watchers, there either was no app, only an app for iPhone or I had a stupid phone....I don't remember, lol! But.....it wasn't the "norm" to use an app. We wrote things down.
So I went back to the basics.....
First, I needed a notebook. Though any will work obviously, I chose to buy one of the WW ones. They have 2, the original one when Smart Points first came out, which is brown with a quote from Jean Nidetch on the front and the newer one which is black, a little larger and comes with lettering to create your own inspiration. I chose the little brown one as I owned it before and liked how it was set up. It gives me a place to track my food and at the end of each week there's a place for "hindsight" and 2 pages for "notes". I use one note page for things I come across during the week that I need to work on and also for the little week victories; the other note page are goals for the next week plus any notes from the meeting. I also made a little pocket in the front to hold my weight tracker and such; I used a quote:
Writing down what I'm eating is making me more aware of what I'm eating. It's way too easy to get into the habit of pushing a few buttons to log and move on. Writing it down makes me truly see what I'm eating.
Second, I stopped worrying about points. Whether it be Smart Points, Points Plus or Classic Points....I don't worry about it. If when writing down I know the point value, I do write it and at the end of the day I do look up and total it out. There are days I am really over and there are days that I have leftover points; but I don't let a point value dictate what I'm going to eat. Doing it after the fact gives me the chance to look back and decide what the best choices are or aren't.
For the most part, I try to stick to the Simply Filling Food List which is mostly lean meats, vegetables, fruits and fat free dairy, but I do eat off list as well - like that large vanilla shake last night.
So, how has writing it down and not worrying about a point value worked? Well I've been doing it for 2 weeks and I'm down 3.2 lbs. Not bad!
But let's face it, when you're on a diet (or lifestyle change or food plan, whatever you prefer to call it) you're constantly thinking food. You're tracking, you're weighing, you're measuring, you're planning. It's work and it's work that makes you constantly think of food. So you know you're on it.
I once did a faith based "diet" at a church that said the same thing....diets make you think about food all the time. With this particular program, you were to prayer if meant by temptation and eat only until you were satisfied not stuffed. You could eat whatever you wanted, within reason of course; the goal was to take your mind off food and keep it focused on God. This diet did work, however, the fact that they want you to believe that if you gained weight or stopped losing it was because God was punishing you didn't sit well with me at all; but I did agree with the diets make you think about food!
I came across Mindless Eating on a blog somewhere; I'd gladly give credit where it is due; but can't find which blog it was now. I immediately ordered a used copy off of Amazon and well, the first quote is right at the top of this post! The website is full of lots of information and there are Checklist sheets you can print out and use, which look very useful.
I've dumped points of any kind (but not Weight Watchers) and am using Simply Filling so I can get away from the weighing, measuring and tracking.....my goal is to aim for the healthy stuff with a treat here or there. I just can't count points of any kind anymore...I've outgrown it.
Let's discuss the dreaded thing.....that thing you hope never comes in the mail....the dreaded Jury Duty letter!!!
Yep, I got one of those. It was the second time I've gotten one, the last time being over 10 years ago. My sweet hubby, who's lived in this area his entire life, has never gotten that letter; but in the 19 years I've lived here, I've gotten it twice.
Though all states may not do their's the same, where I live you get the letter to appear and have 5 days to fill out a questionnaire and return it. I did mine online. I mentioned several times that due to my job, I would be unable to remain impartial in making a decision....definitely hoping they'd excuse me - no luck, I had to go.
However, in between filling out that questionnaire and going to court; I had a change of heart. I began to think what if it was one of my friends or family going to trial - what kind of jury would I want them to have. Definitely someone like me! I went in hoping to get picked.
Course I had forgotten about my answers on that damn questionnaire, they even questioned me on it at one point which I explained; but none-the-less the damage was done and I didn't get chosen.
Sigh......if there is ever a next time - I'll remember this.
But my main reason for writing this is to say, not to fear this. Embrace it. Imagine it could be a friend or family member who needs you to be impartial. This is your civic duty...do it!
The Saturday started off normal.....it's spring, it's yard sale season....CC and I headed out early because we had a 1 year olds birthday to attend at noon.
It was suppose to be a super hot day....it wasn't; at first it rained and left us with the "what do we do now"....but once it quit raining we were able to get some yard selling in with a little success.
This was also the day CC was getting her pet rats. She had purchased a huge cage and all kinds of gadgets to keep the little ones entertained:
She did a great job and really researched the ins and outs of pet rats. More people need to do that on any type of pet they plan on getting. Anyway, she had come across someone on FB with pet rats for sell and had been in touch with here via FB. She had requested a meeting place, but the lady insisted she come "here" and pick out the ones she wanted. That was okay, but CC couldn't seem to get the lady to tell her where "here" was. As back up she had been in touch with a Reptile Store that breeds them as feeders but feeder rats can make good pet rats. So we were covered.
I don't like to knock any of my family, I really don't. I love them all and even though each of us (myself included) have our little "things" we all have taught ourselves how to deal with each other and love each other despite them. CC, by the way, is from my Dad's side of the family; this party was my Mom's side but CC knows them and was invited.
We arrive ten minutes before the party is to begin. The party was for my one cousin's little girl who was turning 1. We walk in, I see my sister and another cousin setting up tables. My cousin having the party is going thru bags of decorations. People are arriving. Wait a minute? Shouldn't this party of already been set up?
Oh well, it's that family "thing" again, lol! We pitch in and get things set up. Okay, where's the food and cake? Better yet, where's baby C who's birthday it is? It seems my cousin's mother (Baby C's grandma) has Baby C and is bringing the food. But again.......the party started at noon; shouldn't everything be here??
In comes my uncle with the food and cake - finally!! He leaves.....but we're still missing Baby C and Grandma. Then we're thinking, "Well maybe there wasn't room in the car with the food and Uncle went back to get them." We decide to let everyone begin eating. Baby C doesn't arrive.
Then here comes another cousin shaking her head (Grandma happens to be her mother too)...apparently Grandma put Baby C to bed and now is refusing to wake her up and is just not bringing her! WAIT! WHAT????
Eventually against a lot of nasty phone calls......Grandma loses and shows up with Baby C (about an hour after the party was suppose to start). However, Grandma makes sure to make a scene in the process.....as she's coming thru the room, out loud - "I'm going to be f-ing yelling in some one's face really really soon!" (she actually said f-ing and not the actual f word). My cousin is crying because her mother had called her a "b*tch" on the phone. And my other cousin, who's Mom is the Grandma too, is shaking her head and telling me "I keep telling her she needs to lay down the law with Mom; she needs to take the upper hand which she has because Mom is going to want to see Baby C."
Somehow....we all made it through the party.
Relieved to be out of there...we head for what CC has been waiting for all day - her pet rats. The woman from FB had never gotten back with her; CC had tried to message her again before heading to the reptile place but never got an answer. Then we arrive at the reptile place to discover that it is closed because they are off at a reptile show. We stopped at a PetSmart and found 2 but the one we were concerned with how fast he was breathing and thus decided against it. So she went home empty handed.....sigh....
I'm doing TERRIBLE with the diet, T E R R I B L E. I have no willpower and my mindset is completely wrong.
And that's where it needs to start, with the mindset.
Though Thursdays are my start days for my weigh-in; I've totally started over today. I'm sticking to the Simply Filling plan and also tracking with Lose-It to watch the calorie intake. For breakfast I had 1 slice of lite bread, 1 large egg, 1 banana and 1 cup of skim milk. All SF and only totaled 265 calories. The banana had the most calories. At least I'm off to a good start.
I need to get my lunches under control.....ate out every day last week (and not good things). Friday I ate at Chipolte, which most think is rather healthy. I had 2 hard shell tacos with white rice, pinto beans, chicken, lettuce, cheese and sour cream and a bag of chips - that totaled 39 pts!!! I know the shells, sour cream and cheese where the clincher there, and yes that bag of chips. See I knew I shouldn't, but I did anyway!
Carbs are my big big issue - chips, mashed potatoes, French fries....etc..... I need to eliminate potatoes for a while. And desserts........
Hard to believe but yes, it has been ELEVEN years since we brought Toby home! That is so hard to believe and the 15th was on a Saturday that year and the next day was Easter, lol!! We're doing a repeat!!
Toby was so shy.....he hated having his picture taken:
But he began to come around:
He and our cat Strat we're best friends, we so miss our Strat:
Two years later he got a brother, we miss our Keyser too:
I never got to my reviews of each episode; funny how those plans never work out.
Season 7 started off with a bang! Yes, it was violent, but it was great! We have many new characters to keep track of now and our main group seems to be all over the place.
Jeffrey Dean Morgan! I love how he portrays Negan and I've quickly become a Negan fan. In my opinion the best episodes this season were the ones he was in; his presence is demanding and he is just awesome!
No cliff hanger ending! Totally ruined the Negan introduction and most important scene from the comics last season to the point no one really cared by the time the next season happened. Learned their lesson (hopefully) and ended correctly.
Shiva - ya know that tiger! How'd a tiger end up in the season? He's a leftover from a zoo that is the current pet of new characters.
Where to begin here. Please stop with the character building episodes, they just aren't well done anymore. They are just stuck in the middle of episodes, upsetting the flow of everything and basically go no where. You want character building? It can be done within an episode, no need for an entire episode only focused on that.
Stop with the "whole lot not happening and now will shove stuff into the last 5 minutes".....there's so little episodes, quit wasting them!
Do something with Daryl! I realize he was a creation for the show and has no comic book counterpart; but quit just sticking him into scenes wherever there's an empty space. Give Daryl something to do or kill him off. And PLEASE show him the showers!
Sometimes things just don't flow well from the comic books to the screen....there's so many communities and people now it's hard to keep track. And with so many, why do we create another group just for the show: Junkyard people for example.....and gosh, make them speak complete sentences! It's only been what? 3 years tops since the world collapsed? No reason to revert back to caveman talk.
Carol - I am so over Carol, another character that the show is just trying to force on us. If Carol wants to die, let her. And I'm totally sick of hearing fans say "Negan will be sorry when he meets Carol; she'll take him down." People - Carol isn't almighty...she didn't take down Terminus. She created an explosion that attracted walkers and put the terminates on alert which in turn helped our characters to escape. She didn't take down Terminus - if she had, they wouldn't of followed our group to the church. Don't give her credit she doesn't deserve. A character who's death is long overdue.
And stop with throwing "Into the Badlands" between "The Walking Dead" and "The Talking Dead"...if that's the only way to get ratings for that show, well then it's time to shut up production. I don't even bother with "Into the Badlands", I go to bed and watch "The Talking Dead" on demand.
I haven't been doing well WW wise lately......I know, it seems to be an ongoing thing with me. I just wish I could find something new to get me into the weight loss groove again. I remember one week our leader asking "So what are you doing when you leave here?" One of the members responded (in a joking manner) "I'm gonna do great the next two days; fall totally off track over the weekend, and then get back on track to try to undo the damage before weigh-in." We all laughed, but you know what? That is exactly what I do. CC once said that she bet our weekends would be better if we had to weigh-in on Mondays. I think she's right.
Although my WW week starts on Thursdays (I weigh-in on Wednesday nights), I need to get back on track today. It won't help me this late in the game for the weigh-in....but at least I'm back on track.
For the first time ever at our meeting last week.....Simply Filling came up. Our leaders daughter was getting "pointed out" which resulted in the talk. Pamphlets were handed out, people were in awe. Most questioned why they've never heard of it or how helpful it would of been to know about this when they were just struggling and needed a change.
As I've always said, it's WW best kept secret.
The next few days may work a little better for me......I'm staying at my sister's a few days while they're out of town; so I have to have things planned in advance. So I'm doing the Simply Filling route. I'm doing Cheerios, skim milk and bananas for breakfast (yep, all simply filling). I have some chicken breast that needs to be cooked before it goes bad, so that becomes lunch with some brown rice or veggies (again all Simply Filling) and I'll throw in some non-fat yogurt and fruit. I'm still working on dinner but if the other two meals are SF, then I can use some weekly points for dinner or a treat.