Monday, June 30, 2014

Knee Deep in Clover

We have several patches of clover in the yard.  This one is the girls' favorite.  Doesn't it look lovely?

Unfortunately they didn't get to enjoy it for long.  The mosquitoes had come out in force that evening.  Pinniped was willing to brave the annoying buzzing to get her share of clover.  Cannoli decided it was more than she was willing to endure and hid in the cozy.  Knowing that guinea pigs have such thick skin, we wondered if the mosquitoes could actually draw any blood.  However, in the time it took for me to take this shot, I decided it was time for all of us to go back inside.

We shall have to return another day!

Thursday, June 26, 2014


I had short hair as a kid.  Really short - it suited my tomboy attitude.  I didn't grow it out until I was in my 20s.  Now I'm a ponytail kind of girl; I can do a basic braid, but nothing fancy.  My friends rarely see me with my hair down, literally.

Yesterday was my semi-annual haircut to lop off three or four inches.  The hairdresser asked if I wanted it blow dried or braided.  Oh!  Braid it!  Then she gave me an unexpected choice:  one or two braids.  Two?  I could have two?  Yes, she told me.  Pigtails, just like a little kid.

And I felt like a little girl when she was done.  I even squeed when I got in the car.  Whee!  I've tried doing braids like this before, but they end up so wonky I pull them out.  These were cute.

Yeah, the little things in life make me happy.

Saturday, June 21, 2014

Summer Husks

Dried husks and fresh husks
I know it's summer when the local grocery store puts out a bin for corn husks.  Oh, joy!  I get to look like a crazy person, diving into the bin for the husks.  Pinniped and Cannoli are so happy, and constantly wheek for more.  We love husks and silks!

Guinea pigs can eat the husks and the silks.  I feed them the inside husks, discarding the outer layers and the dark tips of the inside.  I don't know if these pieces have pesticide on them or not, so I cut them off.  If the corn is organic, I retain more of the husks.  Likewise, I cut off the dark portion of the silks.  Yes, guinea pigs can eat the silks!  Supposedly they're good for urinary health and my girls love them.  Hard to go wrong with that. 

From what I've read, dried husks are nutritionally similar to grass hay.  I dry whatever husks I can't stuff into my fridge.  Dried husks store quite well.  I've kept some for months (although it tends to get eaten rather rapidly).  I wrote about preparing corn husks about two years ago: Drying Corn Husks.

Ah, summer.  Lots of time outdoors on the grass and fresh corn husks for the taking.  What a great time of year for guinea pigs!

Friday, June 20, 2014

Christmas Table Topper

My holiday Storm at Sea table topper has been one of those projects as I got closer I got to finishing it, the more it seemed I had to do.  I struggled with the last bit of quilting because the areas that were ironed flat didn't want to stay that way.  My binding was too short (at least I had plenty of material to extend it).  Once the binding was on, I still needed to quilt the triangles on the outer edge.  I ripped out some quilting because the Singer's bobbin yacked, then added more stitching in areas I hadn't planned on.  Whew!  It was if the universe was conspiring against me.

Ta-da!  Done.  I'm please with the result.  The best part - I get to keep this quilt!  The outdoor photos were a bit harsh on the colors, but they captured the quilting best.  It makes an interesting pattern, but since the thread matches the fabric, it can be difficult to see.

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Hay Rack Giveaway

I brought several of my fleece experiments and trial runs to the Boston Pignic.  The tunnels disappeared quickly.  The fleece forests got a questioning look or two before they were taken.  Trust me - your pigs will enjoy them.  I'd love to see photos of any guinea pigs with their new toys/bedding!

After the pignic, I still had a pair of hay racks left.  There's also a few hay tubes (think like toilet paper tubes, only with fleece).  I am giving away each of the hay racks.  Two chances to win!  To enter:  leave a comment on here (be sure you are not a no-reply blogger, or include your email address in the comment) or on the Cavymadness Facebook page.  Indicate if you prefer to have the brown/green or black/pink rack (or no preference).  This drawing closes on Friday, June 20th at 12pm EDT. 

I like this rack because the hay stays in it.  I don't find a pile of hay under it all the time like I did with my other hay rack.  Pinniped and Cannoli seem to like it.  Pinni is often found sleeping underneath it.  I'm sure your pigs will enjoy theirs, too!

Friday, June 13, 2014

Fleece Hay Rack How-to

Front of finished hay rack (with a few strands of hay)
I went through my fleece scraps last week, to make some items for the Boston Pignic.  When I made the hay racks, I jotted down the size and instructions.  There's not much to them.  The following can be adjusted to whatever size works best for your guinea pigs.

Start with the following pieces of fleece:
  •  one 5 x 11" strip
  •  four 1.5 x 10" strips
Lay out the pieces, all right sides down (or, I realized after I took the photo, all right sides up, with the large rectangle underneath the little strips).  Pin in place.

Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Christmas Storm at Sea

The Christmas quilt has been languishing.  I do most of my sewing on the weekend, and I've spent the last couple wrestling drapes and doing yoga.

I finally had a little time this weekend (between enjoying the weather and hosting a pignic) to work on the quilting.  Lots of start and stopping, so it's slow going.  I've finished outlining around the white and I've started sewing criss-cross lines on the diamonds.  I hope I can get to binding it by the end of the week.  This project has taken a lot longer than I had thought it would - my backlog is piling up!

Monday, June 9, 2014

Boston Spring Pignic 2014

The thing I agonize over the most in organizing a pignic is deciding whether to postpone it.  Outdoor pignics can be canceled due to being too hot, too cold or too wet.  Spring pignics are most often called off due to rain, but this year I anxiously watched the weather in hopes it would not be too hot.  I posted that if the hot temperature started to distress the guinea pigs, we'd shut down the pignic immediately.

The Pig Patrol all showed up geared for hot weather.  As luck had it, we required none of it.  The grass, the shade and the breeze kept pigs and humans comfortable the whole afternoon.  I'm glad I decided to set up early.  Participants took my warnings to heart and I had several people arrive by 11:30am.  They even beat out my Pig Patrol, and were helpful setting up the pens and moving the heavy picnic table.  Thank you!!  I apologize for the delay of getting you checked in, but your assistance was really appreciated.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars

I briefly wrote about these bars nearly two years ago.  They have been a favorite at various get-togethers.  I love these moist little bars packed with pumpkin pie spice and chocolate chips.  Yum.  This time I decided to cut back a little more on the sugar and used whole wheat flour.  I happy with the results:  nutty, and a little denser than the original version, but still moist and flavorful.  I may have to try the next batch using just whole wheat flour.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
Adapted from The Girl Who Ate Everything

Friday, June 6, 2014


It's funny how certain guinea pigs stand out from the others.  I've had two of my guinea pigs on my mind lately.  I miss them terribly.

First up is Bertie.  With the warmer weather, I've been able to open up the house and let the pigs graze outside.  This was Bertie's favorite type of weather.  She loved running around in the grass.  Bertie would often stop whatever she was doing to sniff the air.  We joke about Bertie and the unseen breezes.  Pinniped and Cannoli like this weather well enough; they're happy to get outdoors.  But they don't revel in it like Bertie did.  I think I was too busy last spring/summer to notice, but this year I'm really missing her.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Chick Yoga Weekend XII

I have returned home after another wonderful Chick Yoga Weekend.  We're all amazed at how many years we've been attending.  We discussed how much has changed at Kripalu in a dozen years, yet we can count on enjoying our stay.

There were seven of us in my group and another seven women associated with Bristol Yoga Studio.  We occupied most of a big dorm room overlooking the lawn.  I ran into a few members of the Bristol group several times over the weekend, and we adopted one of the members.  She was a wonderful addition to our group.

The weather was fantastic, in spite of the forecasts.  It was cool in the evening, warm and sunny for most of the days.  Many of us went hiking, walked the labyrinth and read outside or attended the guided hikes and kayaking.  I went on a hike with my sister and a friend on Sunday afternoon.  We turned back early when another guest informed us of a bear in the woods near the lake.