Category Archives: Guinea pigs

Of boardgames and beer… with a little bit of guinea pigs

I am not new to guinea pig introduction, yet every time it goes entirely differently than any other time. When we introduced Bean and Mocha, it was crazy because we didn’t know yet that Mocha was male. Obviously we had to separate the immediately or face the consequences. It was nuts. After Mocha died, we brought home Buttercup. Introducing her to Bean was entirely anti-climatic. They accepted each other straight away.

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Buttercup and Spike sharing the clover patch like best buds (hahahahahaha)

Introducing Buttercup to Inigo & Fessik was another story entirely. They had never been separated, so they already had a dynamic. It took some time to sort out their differences, but eventually Buttercup established herself as “boss” of the herd.

Now that I think about it, introducing Spike to Buttercup was similar. They seemed fine at first, then Spike began making a play for dominance. Buttercup was controlling access to the food, and eventually Spike drew blood (or Buttercup headbutted something, which is possible.)

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Spike looking very very cute

It took awhile, but they seem to be getting along now. I’ve only had to intervene once in the last week or so. What a relief.

Otherwise, our time has been full of family and friends. That doesn’t sound like news does it? I finally got to experience the splendour that is The Loft. The Loft Board Game Lounge is a magical place where you can drink, eat tasty snacks, and play boardgames. All for only a $5 cover charge. We started off with drinks downstairs at the Lunenburg before heading upstairs to play boardgames until 1AM. Awesomesauce.

Lunenburg pub with friends
Drink at the Lunenburg pub below The Loft with friends (from left): Nathan, Chris, Lise, Alex, Elizabeth, and Stephanie.

And I finally got to see The Giver. The book it’s based on has special meaning for me; it was my favourite book when I was in elementary school. I was so worried that the movie was going to let me down, especially when I saw the critic rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Don’t pay any attention to them. It’s a wonderful movie.

Poster for The Giver. Movie adapted from the book 2014.
Poster for The Giver. Movie adapted from the book 2014.

Coming up this weekend is a camping trip to Silent Lake with good friends Eric and Alex, and their daughter Kyla. I’m really excited. They make very good camping buddies, and I’ve heard excellent things about this campground.

Silent Lake Provincial Park in Bancroft, Ontario
Silent Lake Provincial Park in Bancroft, Ontario

New herd addition: Spike

I’m really happy I was able to go to knit night last week since I won’t be able to go for a few weeks. I had ordered yarn (through Jen) from knitpicks.com and it came in, which means this will soon become Christmas stockings. And by soon I mean sometime in the next year.

After watching the sadness that was a lonely guinea pig, we found someone on Kijiji who was giving away their guinea pig. This is the little girl we brought home on Thursday night. We named her Spike, which is better than “The Nameless One” as we were calling her before. I’m guessing her age at around 2, based on weight. She is very active, really likes her hay, and has a very good understanding of how towel layers work.

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New piggy Spike has joined the herd

After work last Friday we drove to KW for a weekend visit. As always, it was equal parts lovely and exhausting. We didn’t get in until nearly 2AM on Saturday, so I opted not to go for my usual run. After catching up with my mom, we spent the day with my friend Alex while she worked on her costume for a convention coming up. Dinner at My-Thai with Darcy, Ellen, Stela, Heather, Alex, and Chris was so nice. We had a really nice time with everyone.

The impetus for the weekend visit was a family reunion. I am so happy I was able to go this year. That’s two years in a row now. I’m grateful that Chris has been so supportive about increasing our trips to KW.

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)
Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

And in case you live under a rock, Guardians of the Galaxy was so freaking amazing. I want to go and see it again. And again. And again!

The sweater I’m working on is full of modifications, and I can’t wait to be finished it, but in the meantime I’ve started a hat that is already looking really nice. The pattern is Rikke by Sarah Young. I’ve knit it before and I love this pattern. The yarn choice is extremely important because it has to have the right stretch and drape. I’m confident Madelinetosh will work well.

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New hat-to-be: Rikke
Recipe: No-Bake Almond Butter Flax Balls

Original recipe found here:
http://laurenkellynutrition.com/no-bake-almond-butter-balls/

While I was visiting family this weekend, my mom let me taste these amazing treats she had made. They were so very very good, that I feel the desperate need to share the recipe with everyone I know.

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mmmmmmmm almond butter flax balls

Ingredients
1 cup (dry) old-fashioned oats (can use gluten-free)
1/4 cup dark chocolate chips (can use dairy-free)
1/2 cup natural almond butter (or any other nut butter)
1/2 cup ground flaxseed
1/3 cup raw honey
1 tsp. organic vanilla

Directions:
Mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Roll into 1 inch balls and place in air tight container in the refrigerator until ready to eat.

Single Blonde Piggy

Watching Buttercup, our lone guinea pig, is very sad. We can tell she is mourning the loss of her “herd” so we have been giving her lots of special attention. When I make my lunch in the morning, I make sure to give her a few extra treats beyond her usual baby carrot. Today it was a strawberry, a snap pea, and couple pieces of pepper. We are keeping our eye out for middle-aged, female guinea pigs to pop up at the Humane Society.

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Our sweet little piggy Buttercup who is in need of a companion.

The weekend was very very full. We attended a housewarming for some very good friends who moved into a new apartment with significantly more space than their old one. They even acquired a new, very blind kitty.

Our weekend was rounded off on Sunday where we met with a bunch of our friends in Orleans with their kids. We had a potluck lunch then wandered over to the park to watch the kids play on the splash-pad while we caught up. We had a really nice day that ended with dinner and a visit with some other friends.

We took advantage of the holiday Monday and bought a new BBQ. Our old one was starting to get a bit rusted out. Super excited to get it hooked up so we can try it out!

A natural gas BBQ
Our almost-fancy, not rusted, fully functioning new BBQ!
KW visit this weekend

We are going to a family reunion this weekend, so hopefully we’ll be able to catch up with some friends on Saturday since we’ll be in town. I’ll have my phone on me so send me a text. There are tentative plans to go to a park with Alex and Kyla on Saturday, so maybe we can do something with other people Saturday evening.

Accountability

School is going really well. I’m now halfway through my course, and received a higher grade than I expected on my last assignment. YAY! I needed something to feel good about, since my run on Saturday didn’t go very well. I think it was too hot and humid, which I guess I’m not used to. I was only able to run about half of what I can usually manage. I’m going to try and get out another morning this week to make up for it.

Knitting

I thought I had finished my sweater, but I now think the sleeves are too tight/long, and the body is too short/wide. I guess I’ll have to rip it back to fix it, which sucks but seems necessary.

Recipe: Summer Veggies in a Basil Cream Sauce with Lemony Linguine and Pine Nuts
A bowl of veggie pasta
Lemony linguine with a cream sauce

This summer pasta was a little bit complicated, but it was extremely tasty. I’m not a huge fan of squash, so I switched it up with some yellow peppers and it turned out really well. I’ll definitely make this one again!

Veggies and cream sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil
½ lb squash, cut into half-moon slices
½ lb zucchini, cut into half-moon slices
½ pint grape tomatoes, cut in half
⅛ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add squash, zucchini, and garlic; cook 5 to 6 minutes or until browned and vegetables are tender.
  3. Add tomatoes, salt and pepper; cook 2 minutes. Remove vegetable mixture from pan.
  4. Add cream, Parmesan, and basil to skillet; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  5. Return vegetable mixture to skillet, and simmer 5 minutes or until sauce is thickened.
Lemony Linguine with Pine Nuts

6 oz uncooked linguine
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
1 green onion, sliced
¼ teaspoon grated lemon rind

  1. Cook linguine according to package directions; drain.
  2. Combine linguine, olive oil, pine nuts, green onion and lemon rind in a serving bowl; toss well.

Note: Toast pine nuts in a small skillet over medium heat until fragrant, stirring frequently.

Moon Crystal Power

The hardest thing about having moved away from my hometown kind of surprised me in the end. Of course I miss the people: my family and friends. But I’ve found that when I’m homesick, what I am homesick for no longer exists. Sometimes my visits home actually leave me feeling even more detached than before I arrived.

That’s why it’s been so important for me to maintain personal relationships with those people. It’s become really important to remind myself that what I really miss is the people, not the place.

So in the interest of maintaining those connections, I got together online with some friends back home for a bit of a nerd-fest. We watched the new Sailor Moon Crystal reboot together online with synced up video and Google voice chat. It was wonderful, and we’re going to do it again in a few weeks.

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Sailor Moon Crystal. OMG a Sailor Moon reboot you guys!!!!

My English course is going really well. I submitted assignment #4 last week and am keeping a pretty good pace. I’ve done a good job of getting ahead during the week so that I don’t have to worry about course-work on the weekends.

Last weekend was the first one in awhile where I wasn’t overbooked. The only thing I had was the Sailor Moon Crystal online party with my friends, other than that I went for a run, did some cooking, and did a crap tonne of laundry (so exciting!).

I even managed to do some knitting. I finished a project I’ve been working on since December and I’m so excited to show it off. I’ve been wanting to knit a Christmas tree skirt for years, and now I have.

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My completed Christmas tree skirt. It only took me 7 months.

The pattern was written by Teva Durham (ravelry link) and I found it in Handknit Holidays. I used Knit Picks Brava worsted and didn’t change anything about the pattern except for the bind off. I used Fleegle’s no-wrap short row technique and it worked amazingly. I can’t barely see them, even with the doubled yarn. And when it came to binding off, instead of carrying the red up the side and binding off normally, I decided I wanted to add buttons. I followed this video tutorial for an i-cord bind-off that incorporates button loops. It worked so well!

The button loops on my Christmas tree skirt
My finished Christmas tree skirt, complete with buttons loops and an i-cord bind off

There was a bit of a dark spot this week. One of our two guinea pigs, Fessik stopped eating and then passed away. The vet couldn’t find anything wrong with her. We had her on anti-biotics, but I guess she was already too sick. Goodnight, sweet piggy. We will miss you.

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Fessik: 2011-2014

Mystery knitting project 70% complete!

Mom and dad, don’t click this link. I’m making great progress! See here: http://knitallyear.blogspot.com/2008/06/elizabeths-q2-challenge-70.html

It’s been very hot, which makes knitting a large project very challenging. I’m getting loads of laundry done… but that’s not knitting. I should try and make progress on something so I have pictures to show you. I know! I can show you a picture of my guinea pig, mocha. He’s cozying up to a ice pack wrapped in a tea towel to stay cool. Isn’t he cute? He’s two ^_^