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Monthly Archives: December 2017

 

These pieces of plaster have been around for a while: They all show different layers of paint.

These pieces of plaster have been around for a while: They all show different layers of paint.

 

This looks like we have many houses buried in our garden, with the colour palette ranging through the entire colour spectrum.

I love how each plaster piece has at least 2 different colour layers.

Do they all come from one house? That must’ve looked like Pippi Longstocking’s Villa Villekulla.

Or are these remains of the houses that stood on the now abandoned corner of Greatmore and York Street?

And why are they still in our garden, why did no-one ever clean up the rubble?

If you know more about The Broken Palace, please get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de 🙂

 

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Review of Movie Night by Susanne Dietz at the Shunt’s railway arch

 

You can see the original article here: http://creativecommunicationswrithings.webs.com/Writhings/MovieSusanne.htm

 

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Sisi and Molly are sharing and tearing a mini muffin. Harley and Mulan look cute in front. At the back, Cinnamonkey's bum. Somehow in there: Felix and Milka.

Sisi and Molly are sharing and tearing a mini muffin. Harley and Mulan look cute in front. At the back, Cinnamonkey’s bum. Somehow in there: Felix and Milka.

 

Our ratties’ 1st birthday! And they celebrated with lots of #rattie #treats:

Mini fruit skewers, mini bruschetta, mini cupcakes, mini biscuits, mini 85% dark chocolate splinters: Our ratties turn 1! :)

Mini fruit skewers, mini bruschetta, mini cupcakes, mini biscuits, mini 85% dark chocolate splinters: Our ratties turn 1! 🙂

 

Watch rattie Mommy enjoy her fruit skewer:

 

And a cupcake on top of it:

 

 

Yoshi is undeterred and only focusses on licking the yoghurt off the cupake:

 

They came, they saw, they ate:

The empty buffet after the ratties are done with it.

The empty buffet after the ratties are done with it.

 

Like after any good party, the ratties pass out all cuddled up:

After the feast, the ratties are cuddling up to sleep.

After the feast, the ratties are cuddling up to sleep.

 

We can conclude: The ratties had a great 1st Birthday Party! 🙂

 

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Metal bits and bobs that I find plentiful in our garden soil.

Metal bits and bobs that I find plentiful in our garden soil.

 

These are the contents of only one hole.

 

You might think I excavated this over time.

 

Far from that: The dogs start digging and I start collecting. This is the result of only one of their digging holes. I don’t even know what half of these things are.

 

The metal bits sit compacted on top of each other. Like parts of a house that has collapsed and been buried.

 

In a matter of one session of removing all items from the ground that could pose a danger to digging puppy paws, this is what I collect. Besides gazillions of nails and other unidentifiable scrap metal.

 

What happened to The Broken Palace that once stood here? Are these the remains? How come this never got cleared up? If you know more, kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

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Darn, my pet's drinking bottle has algae growing inside, and I can't even reach the rim to clean it!

Darn, my pet’s drinking bottle has algae growing inside, and I can’t even reach the rim to clean it!

 

In the 20+ years that I had pet rats I never had problems with algae in the ratties’ drinking bottle.

 

Then I heard from one of my #RattieSitting friends that she has to buy a new one, because hers has turned all green.

 

Weirdly enough, not too long after, also my pet water bottles showed signs of algae infestation.

 

Maybe something has changed to the Cape Town’s drinking water with the drought crisis?

 

Fortunately buying a new water dispenser is not necessary:

 

How to get rid of algae in your pet’s water dispenser

 

Simply soak the dish or bottle in 100% white vinegar.

 

Around the internet you’ll find a vinegar-water solution recommended at a ratio of 1 to 1. White vinegar also works well when diluted. Caution is advised when handling even food-grade vinegar as it is an acid.

 

But I find rinsing my rattie’s water bottle with pure white vinegar and let it soak for a while, does the trick: The algae simply disappears.

 

Wash the drinking bottle extensively to make sure all traces of algae and white vinegar are gone.

 

White vinegar is not bad for pet rats, apple cider vinegar is even good for them, but of course: only in a very diluted form. So don’t worry if the water bottle still smells of vinegar, a tiny bit of it won’t do any harm.

 

Of course, taking the time to clean your pet’s drinking bottle thoroughly means you need at least two. A good practice tip is anyway to provide two water bottles – just in case one fails – to make sure your pets always have access to water, especially in hot weather. This also gives you the chance to alternate between the two bottles when a proper clean is needed.

 

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This one made me laugh:

Spot the spelling mistakes! This is why you must always proofread.

Spot the spelling mistakes! This is why you must always proofread.

“This is possibly how German Shepard Emma felt before she escaped from the vet and ended up wondering terrified along the Liesbeeck River for five weeks.”

 

Besides that it is of course a German Shepherd, the image of this poor creature sitting all pensive and contemplative by the river, humming to herself a terrified Rodriguez’ “I wonder…” made me involuntarily laugh.

 

Yoh, two spelling mistakes in one sentence!

 

As Wikipedia puts it: “Shepard may refer to: A common misspelling of shepherd”.

 

And yes, the wonderful wandering / wondering swap, which in this example works just as well actually.

 

Maybe it’s because I can relate: I also wonder, about all the things, and it makes me terrified.
Of course, wondering for five weeks is a bit extreme, but I’m sure it can happen to the best of us if we ended up along the Liesbeek River. 😉

 

Luckily the dog was rescued and it all ended well. 🙂

I can only repeat my advice: Always proofread your copy before publishing.

 

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Gigi makes herself small to play with the puppies. Just the other day she was a puppy herself, now she's all grown-up with our foster pups.

Gigi makes herself small to play with the puppies. Just the other day she was a puppy herself, now she’s all grown-up with our foster pups.

 

Our dogs are quite relaxed about other canine visitors. As I offer dogsitting services, they got used to having their friends around.

 

Inviting some newbies into our home such as foster puppies Starsky & Hutch has however an impact on the pack hierarchy, and it’s fascinating to follow how the dynamics change:

 

Gigi, so far the youngest, behaved very much like a puppy, including the odd wee inside the house that left me puzzled to wonder if she has a mini bladder and just can’t hold it long enough.

 

In come the rescue puppies. And voilà: Gigi stops peeing inside and behaves all grown-up and mature, doing her business in our garden. No more accidents.

 

Gigi is also the one who fell in love with our foster puppies first. She adopted them right away, and although being a puppy herself, she is looking out for them, watching over them and there in a flash when one of the pups starts whining.

 

All the while Lola, who did the same for Gigi, takes it easy with the new addition to the pack and only slowly allows them to interact her. So now that Starsky & Hutch can, they kiss her mouth and snuggle up to her and generally worship her.

 

But it is Gigi who takes on the role as puppy nanny and keeps them entertained all the time. She makes herself small, lying on the ground, robbing towards the pups to play with them.

Especially Starsky is on the same energy level as her and welcomes every opportunity for some play action. Hutch is more a cuddly one and will watch the tumult of puppy play unfold, preferably in the safety of a human’s lap.

 

Incredible how quickly they grow up. You don’t want to miss a second, before you know it the puppy phase is over!

 

So please spread the news for Starsky & Hutch: They’re looking for a forever home and whoever will adopt them won’t want to miss out on all the cuteness overload they’re blessing us with every day! 🙂

 

Kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

 

#AdoptDontShop

 

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Surely, the Microsoft Windows Firewall should be familiar with Skype, a Microsoft owned app?

The Microsoft Windows Firewall has a problem with the Microsoft Skype program. Surely it should know by now that Skype is trustworthy?

The Microsoft Windows Firewall has blocked the Microsoft Skype program. Surely it should know by now that Skype is trustworthy?

I just wonder how this company is running when already their tech is rejecting each other?

 

 

Always remember that the new year is next year.

 

I know that sounds odd, but it happens too easily that we keep on writing the old year when we mean the new year. Maybe it’s some kind of force of habit.

 

Especially during the switch-over in December and January, various examples pop up.

This sounds like a great resolution for the new year - which is 2018.

This sounds like a great resolution for the new year – which is 2018.

 

It’s easy to miss when proofreading copy for the new year, because, as we still are in the old year, the old year looks right to us.

 

So always double check the year!

 

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Extreme chill-out: When we took our pet rats on holiday with us to Beaverlac and it got hot, this is the way our ratties relaxed: They hooked their teeth into the cage bars to literally hang.

Rattie version of putting your feet up: Our pet rat hooks her teeth on.

Rattie version of putting your feet up: Our rat hooks her teeth on.

 

Rats don’t sweat and don’t pant. The only way for them to release heat is through their tail.

In the wild they might stay in a burrow throughout the day to avoid the heat. But in your pet rat cage it could get pretty hot.

 

10 Tips how to protect your pet rat from overheating

 

– Keep the air cool but not draughty

Of course, the best way to keep your rat cool is to keep them in a cool environment. Place their cage in a cool spot and remove all blankets. However, because rats are prone to respiratory illnesses, don’t put them in a draughty spot. If there is a draught, place a wet blanket over the cage. It protects against the breeze and cools the air down.

 

– Build a rattie aircon

Simply put a small bowl of ice cubes on top of the pet rat cage and cover with a larger bowl. This will guide the cool air into your ratoots’ cage and keep them chilled.

 

– Remove bedding and newspapers

To protect pet rat’s feet it’s a good idea to put down a solid surface on the cage floor. When it’s hot however, remove it. Your ratties will enjoy lying flat down on the cage wire mesh as it allows them to release heat 360 degrees all surround.

 

– Place a container filled with ice in the cage

This can be a frozen water bottle or a flat ice cream tub filled with ice cubes. Anything that cools down the rattie cage, as long as it’s safe and non-toxic in case the rats nibble on it.

 

– Place cool surfaces in their cage

Tiles, stoneware or terracotta pots are naturally cool materials and can help absorb the heat from your pet rat’s body.

 

– Feed them ice cube treats

Some rats really like ice cubes. Mix in a bit of juice and turn them into ice popsicle treats your ratties won’t be able to resist.

 

– Feed them frozen food

Feed them fresh veggies, salad and fruits straight out of the fridge. Prepare some frozen food mix and serve it right out of the freezer. A fun game for pet rats is fishing frozen peas out of a water bowl, perfect entertainment in hot weather.

 

– Freeze their bedding

Freezing the rattie bedding is a great way to kill mites. It also helps your rats cool down when it’s hot.

 

– Give them a bath

Spritz them with mist, rinse them under the tap or dunk them into water up to their necks. A cool bath will provide instant relief from overheating. If your pet rat really doesn’t like water, make at least sure their tail gets wet to cool down.

 

– Place a bath in their cage

Your ratties might seek a refreshing bath and welcome a bowl of water to use for washing. Make sure it sits safe and the surrounds can handle a bit of splish splash.

 

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“A LinkedIn connection means you’ll never lose touch”. Exactly the reason why I keep on connecting with my contacts on LinkedIn.

 

The connections you make are valuable. But keeping in touch with them poses a problem: Their contact details can change.

Maintaining a good relationship with potential customers is key to business success, but what if the contact details are outdated?

Or worse: What if your contact details update? You only need to change jobs and the rapport you built over time disappears in the moment your work email is discontinued.

One way to maintain your business relationships is through LinkedIn.

The advantage: You remain connected no matter what happens to the contact details.

 

3 simple steps to import your contacts to LinkedIn

 

1) Export your address book to a .csv, .txt or .vcf. file.

 

2) Go to www.linkedin.com/mynetwork/import-contacts and click on ‘Upload a file’. Browse to and select your contacts database.

 

3) Select the contacts you want to stay in touch with and press ‘Add connections’.

 

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#Good #Practice: This is a friendly way to start a customer relationship.

#Good #Practice: A friendly way to start a customer relationship.

 

When organising an event it can be tricky to gauge what your audience expects.

 

I like to give super detailed event descriptions so anyone who’s interested knows what will happen.

 

However, I still don’t know what exactly the attendees want to get out of the event.

For example if I organise an event “Content Marketing for Bloggers” there can still be questions ranging from text to imagery, website to podcasts, from LinkedIn to accessibility.

 

So why not run a pre-event survey?

It works great as a reminder for the event and gives you the chance to address everyone’s questions in detail.

 

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Scabs in your pet rat's fur can indicate a mite infestation.

Scabs in your pet rat’s fur can indicate a mite infestation.

 

Most parasites you find in your pet’s fur are only there because of a weak immune system.

Mites for example are always around, in bedding, on skin, in hair. It is only when the natural defence mechanisms of your pet are not strong enough to fight them off that you need to step in.

A weak immune system due to illness, malnutrition or old age is an invitation for mites to multiply. Once they’re taking over, it becomes a hassle for your pet to get rid of them.

 

There is medicine you can administer that kills off all parasites in general:

Ivermectin, which mites could be resistant to however, and

Revolution, which is normally for cats.

 

I try to avoid medicine as far as possible, so here is an alternative method:

 

How to get rid of mice or lice in a natural way

 

  1. Groom your pet

The mites have taken over and your pet is struggling keeping these buggers at bay.

Help them by grooming them with a small comb. You will soon notice that you’re combing out small particles, each one of them is a relief to your pet.

 

  1. Douse the affected areas with olive oil

I use high quality extra virgin olive oil and don’t dilute it.

Whatever oil is in excess, your pet can lick off and it’s even good for them: Virgin oil has proven to have a life-extending effect in rats.

 

Depending on severity you can give a pet rat an olive oil bath.

According to this story that can end up very messy.

But it seems drenching your pet rat in olive oil really does the trick, as this comment confirms.

 

Pouring pure olive oil on the affected areas should suffocate the mites and at the same time heal the scabs. Together with an immune-boosting diet, your pet should be able to fend off the invaders.

 

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Do you need to pee or not to pee? That is the question.

Do you need to pee or not to pee? That is the question.

 

Our first rescue puppy came at a semi-surprise: We thought about having a dog, but then it all happened very fast when I offered to foster and fell in love with Lola.

 

Telling my mum about our new addition to the family, she casually mentioned: “And always remember: When puppies wake up, they have to go.”

 

Best advice ever. Because all puppies do is eat, play, sleep, and yes, go to the toilet.

 

It makes things a whole lot easier if you just follow their pattern and watch out when they wake up. As soon as they do, simply take them outside to do their business.

 

Of course there’s the in-between pee and the it-surprised-us-all runny poo.

 

But anticipating when puppies have to go and putting them outside in time so they have the chance to do it right, helps to housetrain them quickly.

 

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Hello you little schmoopies! Starsky & Hutch are recovering nicely.

Hello you little schmoopies! Starsky & Hutch are recovering nicely.

 

It is so rewarding seeing these two improving day by day.

What handsome little boys they’re turning into!

While two puppies might make twice as much mess, seeing them play makes up for it. This is double dose of cuteness overload.

And play they do! Every day they get more daring.

From sparring to barking, wrestling, jumping, from whining to grabbing, dragging, growling, howling, it is fascinating to see them playfight.

They fence with their teeth, they attack from behind and they go for the kill. That’s usually when the game comes to a halt, as both actually need a break.

But soon after it continues, and the two are outdoing each other with tumbles, thuds and bangs, one being clumsier than the other.

The more amazing it is to see them fearlessly climbing the stairs, jumping into the garden and taking on our big dogs.

Stasrky & Hutch are having so much fun, it’s a joy to watch them as they become bestest brothers.

 

 

These two rescue puppies need a forever home. Please share, like, and spread the news.

Kindly get in touch: TrulyJuly@web.de

#AdoptDontShop

 

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When faced with potential disaster, and overcome it, there’s a great urge to make things better.

 

Like it was so close but we managed to escape catastrophe unscathed, it’s not possible to carry on the day as usual.

 

What better thing to do than put our new learnings into action:

 

Rubbish is a fire hazard, so let’s get rid of it!

Wild growing shrubs can also easily catch fire, especially during drought, so let’s pull them out!

 

So now the empty corner plot at 23 Greatmore Street is clean again:

People power: Together we can clean up even Woodstock! :)

People power: Together we can clean up even Woodstock!

🙂

 

Because this is how the council leaves it:

All the council had to do was to maintain it clean.

All the council had to do was to maintain it clean.

😦

 

Seems like this is going to be same procedure as every year, because this is how we cleaned up last year:

All cleaned up and neat! This 'earth' is actually compacted rubbish that collected over the years and needs to be removed.

All cleaned up! This ‘earth’ is actually compacted rubbish that collected over the years and needs to be removed.

 

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The fire brigade managed to get the blaze under control quickly, thank goodness!

The fire brigade managed to get the blaze under control quickly, thank goodness!

 

I would’ve never thought that 3 shacks could threaten to burn down the entire neighbourhood: Especially with the drought crisis, informal settlements pose a dangerous fire hazard!

That’s what I learned after a representative of Cape Town’s Disaster Risk Management assessed the abandoned plot at 27 Greatmore Street.

The verdict: We were very lucky the fire didn’t spread to the neighbouring properties. Who knows what would’ve happened then. Well, clearly disaster enough for the City of Cape Town to be very concerned!

From my perspective, no luck was involved, but the combined efforts of neighbours fighting the fire with whatever means we had, keeping the blaze at bay until the fire brigade arrived just minutes away from our house going up in flames.

 

See our everyday heroes in action

The fire brigade is hosing down the fire:

Lots of smoke and steam from the fire:

After the fire all the rubbish is still smouldering:

Our back wall is so hot from the fire it is steaming:

This fire and then the water hosing is causing structural damage to our house:

 

But the real heroes to me are still our neighbours who did what had to be done without thinking twice:

As the fire had started in the early morning hours, we were all not dressed properly as we climbed onto our roofs to combat the flames with what little water we had.

In moments of potential disaster, nothing matters but action. It is thanks to this heroic act that nothing worse happened. Luckily, no-one got hurt, but we’re all left with structural damage to our properties.

If you don’t want this to happen to your home, report any illegal housing constructions right away: Report a problem building.

 

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