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What to do with your pets on halloween.

This post is a brief overview on options for your pets on Halloween night, covering everything from doing nothing to shipping them off to another house. Whatever option you chose, safety comes first! Keep your pets and the trick or treaters safe!

Option 1: Nothing out of the ordinary.
If your pets consist of the type that are caged and they are not outside or in any of the front rooms of the house, you don’t have to do anything with them! Fish don’t care about noise and scary faces, neither do turtles. Got a hamster or guinea pig in a back room? They’ll be fine!

Option 2: Cover or Relocate the pet, within the house, temporarily
Certain types of animals are more prone to fright / over excitement than others.

Rabbits: Move any pet rabbits off the front porch or out of the front rooms if you’re expecting trick or treaters. Rabbits can (and do! I’ve had it happen) die of fright. If you’re having a party, relocate them to a quiet room until the party is over.

Guinea pigs: Guinea pigs are similar to rabbits and can get frightened easily. Move to a quiet area.

Birds: Large birds should definetly be out of traffic areas and not in an open window. Besides the squawking issues, the strange costumes may scare them. Smaller birds like finches should be kept an eye on-if they seem agitated, cover the cage or move it.

Snakes/spiders/exoctic: Place them somewhere not visible to trick or treaters. If the tank is where visitors can see, check the locks and cover the tank. You never know what someone may do!

Chinchillas, sugar gliders, etc: These are high strung enough as it is-relocate them to a quiet area and cover the cage if that’s their normal routine.

Option 2:Relocate, continued:

If you own a cat, you would be best off to lock it in a back room until the nights’ fun is over. Opening the door for trick or treaters is going to lead to a lost kitty (espically when they see some of the masks!) as they rocket out the slightly opened door. Get a new toy or catnip mouse, a big bowl of food and water, and a litterbox and put kitty in the back room. If you’re having a party, same idea-keep kitty away from the excitement and escape opportunities!

If you own a dog(s), if you can keep them in a back room (inside) during the night that would be best. The backyard might not be a good idea as someone may decide to play a trick on the dog and let it loose or worse. Ditto for the back porch-dogs can go through screens and even if Fido never has, the sight of a goblin in the front yard might be too much!

If you’re determined that little Princess stays near the fun, snap a leash on your dog. You may need to make an emergency grab! Keep an eye on the dog at all times so they don’t get tangled on anything. Tying a bell on the dogs’ collar would be a good idea too.

If you have a barking / guard type dog, either don’t take trick or treaters or put the dog away in a back room-last thing you need is your dog going after someone’s child.

SPECIAL NOTE: If you own a black cat, keep in mind what black cats tend to signify in peoples minds and keep the cat out of harms way. If it’s an outdoor cat, try to bring it inside at least on Halloween night (the whole weekend really). The unspeakable has happened to black cats on Halloween……keep yours safe. A reflective collar, tags, and a ball might be best.
Option 3: Take them elsewhere
If you own an aggressive dog, a scaredy cat, nervous rabbit, or whatnot, you may be better off taking them somewhere else.
Board them at the vets’, ask a friend to pet sit, hire a sitting service. Anything is better than losing your pet!

Conclusion
I hope that this post has started you thinking on what to do with Tiger or Fluffy for this Halloween!
Keep an eye on the pets and keep em calm, and have fun!

Oh, and

NO CANDY

for your pets. Ever. Chocolate is badddddd for dogs, and nothing in candy is good for any animal. You giving your cat a jellybean is like you eating an entire box of sugar cubes (weight wise)…..not good :)

Happy Halloween!

Costuming a band

Halloween gig and don’t know what to wear?
Halloween party gigs can be a lot of fun! Party gigs are always great as a band (the things you see……) and getting to go in costume is even better. Unless, of course, you’re KISS and already dress up….then this lens isn’t for you :). Here are some ideas and tips for dressing up the whole band!

A warning about fire.
Costumes can be a bit of a pain in the tail to deal with, so the last thing you need to worry about is how safe the costume is.

If you have *any* kind of pyrotechnics in your show, PLEASE do not wear anything flammable. A lot of the cheap costumes will just MELT to you if they either catch on fire or get too close to a heat source. Capes are a big one-the fabric is thin and stand too close to a sparkler and POOF….you have a very hot costume. Don’t have feather boas, feathers, fringe, hanging attached pieces, cardboard, any type of paper, you get the picture. Better yet, skip the pyrotechnics. If you really love the pyrotechnics, go on youtube and look up “Station Nightclub Fire”. Personally, after seeing that video, I’ll never be in a club with any kind of pyrotechnics, I don’t care how much the gig pays. I won’t even go to a show that uses pyrotechnics indoors!

Keep in mind those tiki torches a lot of places use are open fire-don’t walk too near one, espically if you’re wearing a wig, unless you want to be like Michael Jackson.

On that note, please check your exits and keep them clear. Have a clear path OUT-sometimes a gig can get a little rough, and on Halloween night the level of mischief can be rather high. Please don’t play any place that locks the exit doors…..check the alley and make sure it’s clear…..make sure you can get out if something happens, and not out through the crowd. Think about what you’d do if a panic happens or a crowd gets too rowdy, before it happens. If in doubt about a situation, get out.

Okay, I’m off my soapbox. Please go watch the video if you think “that’ll never happen to my band” and keep yourselves safe on Halloween.

Costumes and playing
Okay, so you and the band have a great gig and have the fire extinguishers packed and ready :). When you’re planning your costume, keep in mind some problems that may arise when you have to play in dress up.

You will want to keep your vision clear-you may know the fretboard backwards, but unless you’re used to playing in the dark having your view of your guitar blocked by a mask can be a little unnerving. If you’re a singer, being able to see the microphone is always a good thing! Drummers and keyboardists have it tricky too-you’d be amazed at how often you look at your kit or keys. Try playing with the costume on-my group wore ours at a rehearsal before a gig just in case and immediatly found some problems that would have made our gig miserable!

Singers (backup singers too!), avoid masks that have protruding noses or mouth coverings. You’ll spend all night boinking your nose on the mic (trust me!) if you have one. Anything covering your mouth makes you sing like…….well…….your mouth is covered!

Gloves-forget it. Unless you cut out the fingers. Even then, unless you are used to playing with them, you’ll end up taking them off by first break! I went as a wolf one year and the costume came with paw gloves……they looked cool……I ended up sticking them on my feet and they worked perfectly!

Full body animal suits-you will probably not be happy, no matter what you play. They get realllllly hot realllly fast, and you look rather funny playing without the head after you end up taking it off! Our drummer one year went as a giant bunny, bunny head lasted about 5 minutes, although we did find out the two wheel dolly works perfectly as a head holder.

Capes and guitars-check to make sure you can put your guitar on over/under the cape and that it doesn’t end up pulling on your neck all night and choking you. If you can get a cape that attaches at the shoulders rather than around the neck, make sure the snaps aren’t under your straps (ow!). Also keep in mind if you’re outside and the wind is blowing from behind your cape can get in the way.

Workarounds
So you realllllllly want to be a certain figure and they usually wear a mask or gloves?

Well, that’s why they have facepaint! You can wear a partial mask and then color the parts of your face that show with a good grease paint type makeup. Please see my lens Band Being Blue Man Group for how we used grease paint on our whole faces.

Keep in mind if you rub your face (or are like me and tend to wipe your sweat off on your sleeves) you’ll end up covered in paint. Also watch out you don’t touch your face then your equipment…..dead strings anyone? Set the makeup well (using babypowder as described in my other lens) and bring extra for touchups. If you sweat profusely you may want to skip the full face facepaint.

As for gloves……you can get cheap winter ones and cut the fingers out. I spraypainted my hands brown when I went as a wolf, although it’s probably not a good idea to get spraypaint on yourself like that. I should’ve used brown gloves and just ignored my pale fingertips :).

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Ideas for the whole band
Now that you’re out of ideas :) here’s some things to consider!

Blue Man Group (see my lens Band Being Blue Man Grou )-this one’s fun and cheap, black clothing, a skull cap, some facepaint and plastic paint, viola!

Group of Cats (stray cats?)-tails and ears are easy to find, you can use just about any kind of clothing, facepaint, and meow! Modify the idea to be sexy cats (if you’re an all girl group), beat up cats (torn clothes, tear an ear), or anything!

KISS or any other band along those lines-obvious but fun…….Village people anyone? Espically if you’re a punk band?

Fairy Tale-We went as Little Red Riding Hood……wolf mask was easy to find, grandma wore a Goodwill robe (very easy to play in) and bare feet (great for players that never wear shoes while playing), little red riding hood already had red clothes.

Black eyed Peas-Blacken your eyes, wear a shirt with a giant P on it……or dress in all green with black eyes…….

Ghostbusters-jumpsuits are also easy to play in. You can prop the proton packs all around the stage.

Zombies/Mummies-faithful Halloween choices, more fun in a gang!

Adams family-works best with a mixed group of musicians

Brady Bunch-make the guys be the girls!

Wizard of Oz-Tin Man might be tricky, but the others are easy! Make sure lion can breathe!

Superheroes-Everybody pick one!

Hopefully this list got you thinking!

Don’t forget the stage!
Dress your stage up too! Colored Christmas type light strings are easy and cheap to find and don’t get you all sweaty like spotlights. I’ve used the LED types for dozens of gigs and have never had a breakage or interferance problem. Stay away from flourescent type lights, they can make equipment buzz. Also avoid blacklights, they get *really* hot (see fire…..)

Halloween props are all over in the dollar stores, everyone chip in 5 bucks and you can get a ton of goodies! Cobwebs, fake rats, hang a bat off the mic stand, perch a raven on a cymbal stand!

Decorated stages (even if it’s just a corner of a seedy club) really add to the show and don’t cost much!

Now go play!
And stay safe! I hope this little lens gave you some ideas :) Happy Halloween! And don’t drink and drive……gig bags make good pillows in an emergency (the soft ones!)…….

Grapefruit Seed Extract

My Experience With Grapefruit Seed
I know this sounds like an advertisement article, but it is not! I’m not of the “push a product” type. The intention here is to detail my personal experience with Grapefruit Seed Extract. I am NOT a doctor, I am not a paid spokesperson, I am just a simple (ha) human being. This is my story….

What Got Me Started With Grapefruit Seed Extract
It all started when I kept having recurring mouth sores. Then I would bite them and they’d hurt more. It got to the point where smiling was painful! I changed my toothpaste to an all natural type since the sodium lauryl sulfate was mention as a cause of sores….I upped my Vitamin C….I gargled with saltwater……. all of which helped a little but they are still there.

Then one day I came across the mention of Grapefruit Seed Extract. By now I was desperate, having even tried making my own toothpaste (a dismal failure for me). So I figured for under $20 I’d give it a try!

What type to chose?

I found there were liquid types and there were tablet types. After reading that the liquid can be used as a natural cleaner (well diluted) I figured if it didn’t work for my poor cheeks I could always use it for that.

I opted to go with the Nutribiotic Liquid Drops. I got the 4 oz size, which is about the size of your hand. I’ve had it for over a year and haven’t even used half! As for the cleaner idea, I haven’t tried it yet :).
First Go……

One word………..bleh. I dropped 10 drops into a bottle of water, which was a mistake! I should’ve started with less water until I got used to the taste. I tastes like the rind of the grapefruit, the white part……..bleck. Desperate as I was, I suffered through it. For your first time, start with 8 oz of water and 5 drops to get used to the taste. I managed to drink the whole bottle of water though! Holding your nose helps a bit.
Results?

After a week of daily 10 drops in a bottle of water (glutton for punishment), I noticed I had a lot fewer mouth irritations and the ones I had were small and healed fast! I stuck with the daily routine for a few months and eliminated the sores completely!!!

I thought it was just coincidence so I stopped taking it. A week later, I had a painful sore right where my sharp tooth hits the cheek. Started a few drops in a glass of water, gone in three days. So now I take it a few times a week, and if I forget for more than 4 days I get a mouth sore.

I thought maybe I just needed more vitamin C, but even taking more in different forms I still would get the mouth sores.

Update: It’s been over a year now and I have the same results. I skip GSE for more than three days, I either get a random mouth sore or when I bite my cheeks it doesn’t heal well. GSE and it heals within a day or two!

Why it works I don’t know. I have no problems with it, no upset stomach or anything, and I found no evidence that it can hurt to take. Perhaps the PH makes your mouth unfriendly to whatever causes the sores? I can only speculate, I just know it works for me!
WARNING
DO NOT, under any circumstances, get the undiluted stuff in your eyes! Or even on your skin! It’s strong and will not feel good (kinda like getting lemon juice in your eyes). Be careful when dropping it into a water bottle that it all goes into the bottle and not drip on the rim or you will get an unpleasant experience on the first swig.

A side note, I tried adding it to orange juice to disguise the flavor-don’t do this. Not only did it not disguise, but it caused a sediment at the bottom of the glass both times I tried it. I added it to a citrus soda and the taste was terrible! Stick with water or non orange juice/non citrus soda. I find it easier to just drink the glass of water fast and be done with it.

I hope someone else with mouth sores has luck with it, it works for me!

Cheap seedling pots

How to make cheap plant seedling pots

Overrun with seeds and seedlings? Need to put them into bigger pots but don’t have enough? This discussion to the rescue! Here I will detail how I make inexpensive pots for my young plants. In the sun they only last a season or two, but for the cost they are worth it!

The secret to cheap planting containers?
The secret? Disposable plastic cups! Dixie cups is the most common brand around here. Available in numerous sizes and cheap! . Get the colored ones not the clear ones. I’ve used red and green and seen no difference between the colors. The exception to this is if you’re keeping them in a tray or you feel like painting the outsides. You can also use the styrofoam cups, but I must disclaim melting holes in them for drainage is even more smelly and fume -y than the thin plastic ones.

The “jello shot” sized ones are good for itty bitty seeds or when you don’t want to use much soil. The rest of this discussion will be the big “normal” sized ones you might have at a party, since for me these are usually step two in the seedling shell game.

Melting holes? More about that in a second!

Materials Needed for project
You will need a few materials for this.

1. The cups
2. A heat proof workspace
3. A heat source and melting thing
4. Lots and lots of ventilation
5. A cold drink!

Number 5 is of course the most important if you live in a hot area! Second most important for your health is good ventilation. Please make sure that you have plenty of fresh air, wear a respirator if needed. I put a small fan behind me to blow the fumes away from me-melting plastic is noxious and not good for lungs! And never let a child do this project unattended! Hot things, fumes, and kids don’t play nice together!

Heat source and melting object?
What on earth do I mean?

Well, for me I just use a soldering iron or soldering gun. Steady heat, comfortable to hold, and I have ones that I don’t use for solder (the plastic melts on the tip so clean them well when done!). I do have to use an extension cord since my outlet is halfway across the garage but those are easy to find:).

You can also have a candle lit and use a nail, held with pliers, heated in the flame to melt the holes. I find this can get messy with soot though, and there’s always a danger of knocking the candle over so be careful!

WARNING: Melted plastic can cause severe burns! *eyes legs*. Wear pants and watch those fingers!

Getting started
Plug in your soldering iron, or get the nail hot. Line up a few cups, upside down, on the table/work surface in front of you (see picture above). Turn on the fan/open the door, sip your cold drink, and figure out how many holes you need.

When I’m planning on using them for plants like peppers that like it drier, I do 5 holes around the bottom. Water loving ones, I do 4. If I’m being lazy or in a hurry I’ll do 3 but I find these stay waterlogged longer than most plants like.

Caveat: Unlike drilling things, you can’t melt holes in the bottoms of more than one at a time or they melt together. So no stacking the cups and doing several at once! Trust me on this…….they’ll break when you try to pry them apart :).

Use the soldering iron and melt the proper number of holes in each cup. I used a blade style and found out using it wide ways make a nicer hole than skinny, as the narrow slits clogged too easily.

Let them cool and viola! Cheap seedling pots!

Smashing Flowers……..no, really!

What started out as a short discussion has been expanded a little further by popular demand. In this lens I will discuss the “art” of smashing flowers…fun craft for the kids (best if they like to pound on things!) or a use for all those flowers and extra energy for the adults! Read on for more information on how to smash a flower.

It all started when I was looking through some “how to’s” on the internet and randomly came across one on smashing flowers. I decided to try this myself. Since most of my flowers are yellow in the weeds here , I headed to Home Depot and picked up $5 worth of those bedding plants people replace every year (annuals). I then came home and grabbed some thick paper (watercolor paper), a hammer, and picked some of the flowers. I cleared out a spot in the garage and sat down………..

Method
I placed a scrap piece of paper down, then one sheet of heavy paper (use two if it is light)
I then arranged some flowers in a pretty pattern, added another sheet of heavy paper, and another sheet of scrap on top of that.

Then I took the hammer and started pounding on the flowers! It took me a *LOT* of taps with the hammer to cover the whole page.

Problems!1. The flowers added enough bulk that the papers wouldn’t stay on top of each other and kept sliding around. I solved this by gently setting a piece of plywood on the paper stack and doing a pre squish. I guess that’s why one suggestion was to tape the whole pile to the work surface! I was lazy and didn’t want to go find tape.

2. Some flowers are very juicy! Seems the thicker the flower, espically those with big middles, the juicier and messier they are. My first pounding ended up a wet gooey mess. I ended up having to take the middles out of any daisy like flowers, take off the stems of the succulent type flowers, and place the flowers further apart on the paper to start. I also learned reallllllly quicky to tap gently, not smash the flowers (contrary to the craft name!) unless you wanted to be wiping flower juice off of everything. (see section)

3. Tapping a piece of paper 100′s of times with a hammer triggers wrist pain…..I think next time I’ll use a sledgehammer (bigger surface area to tap with).

4. Some yellow flowers tapped into brown mushy messes. I ended up doing a test page of one or two petals of each flower type to see the results and discarding flowers from plants that didn’t smash well. (see section)

5. You have to make sure the surface underneath your paper can handle being smacked by a hammer… my garage floor was starting to show some wear, so if you value the area you might want to find another place. I highly recommend not trying this on your new hardwood floors!

Results
WARNING: Make sure the smashings are DRY before putting on the scanner bed. Gently brush off the loose pieces or it takes *forever* to get them off the scanning glass………..trust me……..

I did notice a bit of fading, and I imagine over time the paper smashings would change color due to oxygen exposure. I immediatly scanned/photographed mine to preserve the colors. I’m thinking that self adhesive laminating might be a good protector. After the smashings
have dried completely so there are no gooshy flower pieces hanging on, you might be able to run them through a hot heat type laminator. I have not tried this yet so flower smashers beware! The heat may alter the colors (definetly will if you don’t let them dry).

I ended up with some pretty cool designs……

Custom Products Made From Animal Photography

Hi! Welcome to my gallery of products I’ve designed using my own animal photography. There’s a few wild animals, some farm animals, and of course just plain old “regular” animals. Cats, dogs, birds, peacocks, goats, ducks, chickens, hermit crabs, and more! All of these products are customizable, simply click on the one you like to be taken to a screen you can edit on. Add text, or even substitute your own photograph or design for a custom product! The pictures are available on dozens of other products, from keychains to t-shirts to posters and invitations.

Just to keep it even more fun, there’s fun facts and polls scattered throughout. Leave a comment, let us know what you think! If you see something you like but want it tweaked, drop us a line!

Custom Animal Mousepads
Your mouse will be happier with a cool animal custom mousepad than with that boring freebie you got from the bank. A happy mouse is a behaving mouse that won’t click on that baaaaaaaad site over in the corner…..

Or, give these as a gift to someone else so *their* mouse can’t be blamed for clicking on “that” site!

Item specifics:

9.25″ x 7.75″ – Perfect for any desk or work space. Quality, full-color printing. Durable cloth cover is dust and stain resistant. Non-slip backing. No minimum order!

Click on any of these great custom animal mousepads to view larger and purchase.

Sleeping male lion head view photograph mousepad White tiger on green grass vertical frame picture mousepad Pink Flamingo group, lots of flamingoes picture! mousepad

Toad frog on hand hammered copper cup photo mousepad Emu saying HI! Open beak big brown eyes picture mousepad Blue dragonfly on pink flower green background mousepad

Toad frog close up photograph on white background mousepad Giraffe head against blue sky photograph picture mousepad Blue pool of cichlids swimming around design mousepad

Orange & White moth against dark background mousepad Monarch butterfly on yellow flower simple back mousepad Dolphin head in aquamarine water mousepad

Animal Stickers
Fun Fact: Rubbing alcohol takes off sticker residue! Test that it won’t hurt the surface first, works on permanent marker on non porous surfaces too!

Fun Fact II: The white goat peeking around the gate is a Saanen, often referred to as marshmallow goats due to their laid back personalities!

These stickers work great as reward incentives, envelope sealers, stocking stuffers, or just about anything else you can think of!

Sticker specs: 1.5″ in diameter. 20 small stickers per sheet, 6 large stickers per sheet. High quality, full-color, full-bleed printing. Scratch-resistant front, easy peel-and-stick back. No minimum order!

Click on any animal sticker to purchase.
Black Lab Pink Bandana Puppy image Heart StickersSeagull Left Corner of frame StickersOxen part color part black and white stickerFemale Florida Wild Turkey with baby chick Round StickerYoung Pelican Preening cutout Heart StickerGirl hand up dolphins back grunged stickers
Sandhill Crane Head PIcture with colours around sticker Peek a boo white goat! Cute goat waiting picture sticker Black and white cat big yellow eyes looking right sticker

Black and White resigned cat santa hat blue tinsel sticker Butterflies & Flowers Full Coverage Graphic sticker DogTongueOutBlueTinselsimpleframe sticker

Animal Magnets
Need a cool magnet to hold up your papers but are tired of all the cartoons? Let a real animal do the job for you! Add text or use these guys as is. Start a menagerie on your fridge!

Fun Fact: You can erase a hard drive by setting it on a big magnet. In other words, using your subwoofers as a laptop stand is a bad idea!

Click on any animal magnet to purchase.

Sleeping jaguar fence tree abstract photograph magnet Pirate dog, black lab, red hankerchief green grass magnet Pink Flamingo group, lots of flamingoes picture! magnet

Pink Pig nose close up photograph magnet Two zebra butterflies on foliage magnet Meerkat looking up from ground photograph pic magnet

Toad frog standing up against firework background magnet Giraffe head against blue sky photograph picture magnet White tiger against blue water walking photograph magnet

Blue pool of cichlids swimming around design magnet Toad frog standing up against bougainvillea back magnet Rainbow Lorikeet Colourful parrot photograph magnet

Animal Ornaments
Not just for holidays, you can use these ornaments as pendants or medals too! Use our animal photographs, add your own text, or even upload your own photograph for a custom ornament / pendant / or medal!

Ornament specs: Height: 3.32 inches, Width: 2.37 inches, Weight: 1.5 ounces
Full-color, full-bleed printing. White Ceramic. No minimum order and available printed on both sides!

Click on any animal ornament to purchase.
White tiger on green grass vertical frame picture ornament Sleeping male lion head view photograph ornament Pirate dog, black lab, red hankerchief green grass ornament

Seagull sitting on a dock posterized photograph ornament Blue black butterfly on purple flower, green leaf ornament Black White Mouse and Orange tea rose ornament

Dolphin head in aquamarine water ornament Florida Jaguar looking back lying down ornament Emu saying HI! Open beak big brown eyes picture ornament

I hope you enjoyed the selection!

Flea Pills vs Flea Drops

Dog scratching? Cat chewing? You’re getting bit too?

Fast forward to the pet store……..an entire aisle of “flea treatments”. Part of the display is the “available by prescription” medications. Part is less expensive. How do you choose?

The first choice you will have to make is drops vs shampoo vs pills. For now we’ll assume you already tried all the shampoos, and lets focus on the drops vs pill debate.
WARNING! CAUTION! CAVEAT!
ANY flea treatment can make your dog sick. I repeat, ANY. Vet brand, store brand, homemade, if the goal is to kill fleas it is 99% of the time a poison. Dogs, cats, any animal (including humans) vary in their sensitivity. When applying any flea treatment do it when you are going to be home and able to keep an eye on the animal for at least a few hours.

Drops pros

Flea treatments that come in the “drop” type do have two major good points.

First, they are easy to put on a dog or cat that flat out refuses pills, and are good for owners who don’t want to wrestle near teeth.

Secondly, they are usually cheaper than pills and easier on the budget.

Quite honeslty, in my opinion, those are the only two good things about the drops!
Drops cons

BIG ONE: Drops can poison your pet, espically if you go the cheap route. Pills can too, but they are more regulated it seems than the drops (currently) and I’ve not seen as many reports of bad reactions.

This is a HUGE turnoff for me, from personal experience. Go here and read this article about what happened to my dog: Deadly Flea Drops . Come back and finish this :)

Second negative-as discussed in the article above, when you apply drops to a dog or cat you are leaving poison on their skin. If a child or another pet touches/licks/grooms, they get the poison too. If you have a very flexible animal they may even injest it themselves and make themselves sick. When they lay against the wall (like mine do), the poison can rub off on the wall.

Third negative-Big oily streak. I’ve yet to find a drop that didn’t leave an oily patch on either the dog or cat! Living with an oily critter can be a major turnoff. Poor dog barely got pettings until it absorbed (this was before the poisoning incident).

Did I mention drops can poison?
Pill pros

Number one for me is the less likely to poison scenario. After going through drop sensitivity, I’ll never use another drop again. Not only from the dogs standpoint, or the cats, but from the standpoint of the animals/people around the pill is safer.

Number two is the ones I”ve used seemed more effective than the drops. This is my own experience, but I finally broke the pest cycle after we switched to pills! They just seem to work better.

Number three, which can be a con depending on your animal, is ease of giving it. The dog I can trick with a little meat, no more making her hold still to apply the drops!
Pill cons

I have to stick with number one being the possibility of poisoning. This goes any time you give a medicine!

The biggest con is the price factor. If you stick with the name brands, it’s going to run you around $20 a month (US), give or take, just for the fleameds. If a flea free house is your goal that may seem a small price to pay.

A problem for some animals is actually giving them the pill. The dog I can wrap it in a piece of sandwhich meat and she pretty much swallows her food and doesn’t notice it. I have another piece of meat out and ready so even if she noticed it, her greed for the next piece gets her to swallow. I have had to give it to her manually before I figured out the meat trick and that wasn’t fun.

Testing

I'm with the bass player band music gift stickersI’m with the bass player band music gift stickersBlack text reading “I’m with the bass player”. Perfect for anyone who enjoys the low end, or at least those who play it!

Narrowing down your garden plant choices

How to narrow down the choices

So many choices! Have you been receiving the seed catalogs in the mail? Checking out the gardening books from the library? Admiring the racks of seed choices? Do they ALL look like something you want to grow?

Yes, it is addicting. The pictures look so great. Your mouth waters at the thought of all those warm from the sun vegetables you can walk outside and pick……

WAIT!!!! You are only one person! Unless you are really lucky, you will have to narrow your choices to a reasonable amount. How to begin? Step one: Put down the seed catalog and keep reading!

Step two-budget for the garden

Unless you are a millionaire or higher, you will need to set a budget.

Think about your finances, sit down and REALLY think about them.

Pick an amount that you can afford to waste (keep reading….), withdraw it in CASH from the bank, and commit yourself to only spending that much. Don’t forget that on top of the seeds or plants themselves, you will need soil or additivies, fertilizers, gloves, tools, row markers, string, possible rental of a tiller or other ground prep, containers for container gardening, bug spray, and something else will probably occur to you.

Keep the garden off the credit cards. Growing your own food isn’t the CHEAP and EASY thing that the catalogs want to tell you-it can be more nutritious than the store, is a great learning experience, but the first several years are not cheap and easy.

Step 3 – Look at zones

Now that you have your budget, lets talk zoning. You need to know what zone you live in. One of the best sources of this is your local USDA extension office (a quick google search will pull it up). You can also check out the pulished map here :

http://planthardiness.ars.usda.gov/PHZMWeb/ USDA plant hardiness

You might be able to fudge a little on this, but a plant that wants nothing warmer than zone 5 is not going to be cost effective to keep alive in zone 10.

Step 4: Make a list

Budget, check. Zones, check.

Now, sit down and make a list of things you’d like in the garden. Do those tomatoes look good? Cucumbers calling your name? Some exotic fruit looking yummy? Write them down!

Now, go down the list and eliminate anything out of your zone. You may love okra but without a greenhouse you won’t get much in Maine. You can go a zone (sometimes two) away, so put those on the “maybe” list.

Out of the survivors, take a good hard look at what you will actually eat. Seriously. Growing mangoes may sound like fun but if you’re allergic, they won’t be!

Out of the survivors of this round, check the space requirements. If all you have is a container to grow in, pumpkins won’t like it. Eliminate anything that gets too big.

Also check for anything that takes long to mature. For example, asparagus won’t be ready to eat for three years. Research research!

Keep paring the list down until you have a reasonable amount of plants. Planting 20 varieties will get overwhelming when the bugs strike! Decide what you can reasonable handle.

One last caveat: Check how much water the plants require. You may have to dig for this information… I decided not to grow cucumbers in my current area because I couldn’t keep the watered last summer. However, the collards and okra did just fine on the water I had for them.

You’re all set!

Now that you’ve chosen plants in your budget, that like your zone, and meet your space and time requirements, you’re all ready to hit the seed catalogs and garden centers! Good luck!

Taking pictures of your pet cat-Part 5

Getting the “Why are you taking my picture again?” look

So you’ve been reading along thinking to yourself, “My cat would NEVER let me do any of that to him…..sneak up on him…..give me any kind of decent expression”. Well, grab the camera anyway! The grouchy look is in!

Some cats who could care less about flashy noisy things:

Black and White Cat Mug mug
Black and White Cat Mug by Country1969

sour puss, I am not amused! magnet
sour puss, I am not amused! by TheHopefulRomantic

Long Haired Pet Cat shirt
Long Haired Pet Cat by JKcoder

Cat Birthday Card card
Cat Birthday Card by Lilleaf

Other cat pictures

Once you have a picture, you can import it into any number of photoediting softwares and add text, frames, more props, anything you’d like!

Possibilities:

Add a frame!

Black and white cat big yellow eyes looking right mousepad
Black and white cat big yellow eyes looking right by SusansZooCrew

Add a reallllllllly fancy frame….and some other elements……

natty the cat mousepad
natty the cat by alricciodesigns

Crop in some birthday cake! Or wedding cake…..or or or……….
Funny cat Birthday postcard
Funny cat Birthday by deemac1

Alternately, turn kitty into the frame!
Sunset Cats Poster print
Sunset Cats Poster by anuradesignstudio

Exaggerate those green eyes….
Boo button
Boo by animotaxis

Frame and prop!
Cat Island card
Cat Island by Jenlin01

My cat won’t look at the camera!

How do you get a cat to look into a camera lens?

……………………very carefully!

If you have been taking pictures of kitty for a while, like oh since the cute kitten days, chances are good that kitty will see the camera coming and give you a horrible look and the pointedly look away.

Now what?

Well, the only thing in my case that gives consistent results is new noises! Grab a noisy toy, get the picture ready to go, depress the shutter halfway to lock focus, and then shake toy! Hopefully Fuzzy turn around and look into the camera. Making strange “kissy” noises works too until you have done it 100x and the cat decides to ignore you. Having a helper waving their hands over your head is another idea….or just sit and wait and hope :).

If you use flash, taking a picture while kitty is looking the other way may get him to turn his head to see what the bright light is all about too. This works best if your camera recharges quickly!

Hope you learned something…….or at least enjoyed the show!

Well, we’re at the end. Perhaps you’ve already left and grabbed your camera to stalk your kitty….or maybe you’ve started digging through those old pictures. I hope you’ve learned something, or at the very least enjoyed all the great pictures and products! Thanks for reading, and feel free to send me any suggestions! If you enjoyed this, please “like” it and if you’d like leave a comment. Also please check out my other lenses at your leisure!

Remember, any item can be clicked on and you will be taken to that item on zazzle.com, a print-on-demand company with high quality printing. You can then leave as is or add text and order yourself anything from mousepads to stamps to shoes and shirts and mugs!

Thanks to everyone who let me use their great kitty pictures! My cat thanks you……I have plenty of the “grumpy kitty” shots to prove it!