Friday, November 26, 2010

Forbidden Fruits

Why does the forbidden fruit taste the sweetest?

Why does a sign that says, “Wet paint,” make me want to touch it?

Why is it when the doctor says, stay off your feet, I want to go for a run? I was brought back to reality this morning when I tried to jog and my injured foot protested. I’ve only been able to wear a shoe for two days now…

Rewind to a week ago Sunday. I was putting the leftover pizza away when I accidentally dropped a 10-pound cast iron griddle on my foot. (I don’t think anyone would ever do something like that on purpose!) Before I could take action, the damage was done: a contusion as well as a wound. It didn’t bleed much but it sure swelled up quickly. I hobbled over to the couch to elevate my while my family scrambled to get some ice to keep the swelling down.

Because it still hurt after an hour, I thought it might be a good idea to get it x-rayed so (who drove you?) drove to the ER! It only took an hour to find out I didn’t break anything! What I did find out is the doctor and nurse (who happened to be my younger sister Marcia) had a sense of humor.

The doctor told me I had a dislocated carpal and he needed to pop it back in place. It didn’t sound right to me but I wasn’t going to argue with a doctor! He told me it would only hurt for 10 seconds. I braced myself, closed my eyes and took some slow, calming breaths. After a quick gently foot massage, the doctor said, “All done.”

“No we’re not,” I replied, “That didn’t hurt a bit.” I opened my eyes to see everybody laughing. They had played a joke on me! I laughed, too.

So here I am ready to go for a walk—not a jog. Listening to my body is a good idea, just like following the rules. “Forbidden fruits” may be tempting at first, but in the long run—not so much.

Friday, November 19, 2010

I Love Guinea Pigs

Guinea pigs make great pets. I’ve been using them in my magic act for more than fifteen years. I love the look on the kids’ faces when I pull “Jr. Mint” (my magic piggy) out of my purse. I can almost hear her say, “Tah-dah!” Guinea pigs are sturdier than rabbits, according to my veterinarian. I think it’s fun when they “talk” to me. They make over thirty different sounds!

Over the years, I’ve had many piggies at home and in my classroom. My fourth graders love taking care of them!  As part of a reward system, we enjoy "Lunch Bunch" on Fridays.  That's where a few of us eat lunch in the classroom (quiet and relaxing!) and then take turns cuddling the class guinea pig.  It is a popular prize to earn and helps motivate/promote good behavior!

Piggies are so cute.  I’m always amazed at their individual personalities! Most of my piggies have been “previously owned.” Because people know I love guinea pigs, I get many calls asking if I can take onemore. I always say yes. 
Like all pets, guinea pigs need a good caretaker to live long, healthy lives. A big cage with clean bedding is important. Cedar bedding is a no-no because it’s not good for them to breathe in cedar fumes. Fresh water from a clean water bottle along with a salt lick is important, too. A salt lick is a big white donut looking thing that attaches to the side of a cage. I enjoy watching my piggies drink from their water bottles, lick their salt blocks, and go back to drinking more water!

The key to keeping a piggy healthy is vitamin C. Guinea pigs need the equivalent to one-quarter of an orange every day. Vegetables that have the highest value of vitamin C are: peppers, cauliflower, watercress, tomatoes, cabbage, peas, broccoli, potato skin and spinach. The following fruits are high in vitamin C: limes, grapefruits, strawberries, melons, kiwi, oranges, guava, papaya, mangos and tangerines.

Best of all, if you love your guinea pig and give her lots of attention, she’ll love you right back. There’s nothing quite like walking near her cage and having her come out and “talk” to you with a greeting of, “Weet, weet, weet!”

What is your favorite pet? Do you do anything special for her/him? Leave a comment below.