Friday, August 29, 2008

Latest Electricity Bill: Only $2 More!

We just paid for our Winter electricity bill. Believe it or not, it was only a couple of dollars more than our Autumn bill. Our Winter bill is usually a shocker but since we do things a little bit different this year, it has come down. We didn't turn the heater on once throughout this Winter and used the dryer only twice! We managed pretty well. I am proud of our commitment in using less electricity this year. Now that the days are getting longer as Spring approaches, I am looking forward to not have to turn on the lights at 5 pm every evening.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I Did My Chores

I just thought that the world need to know that I did some chores today. A number of issues is bugging me. My sleep was interrupted. I forced myself to get out of bed nice and early thinking that if I keep myself busy around the house, I will calm down at least a little bit. So, I started off by doing a little bit of ironing and then made delicious sandwiches (with tuna, corn & cucumber fillings) for M and I. I also clean the dishes and disinfected the toilet. Before I hop online, I also started a load of laundry and vacuumed the living areas. Mmmm...there is nothing much left to do between now and this evening except hanging out the laundry.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Painful Hip and Knee

I didn’t blog all week last week because I was in a lot of pain. I don’t know what happened but I woke up on the 11th with a stiff left hip and sore left knee. By the middle of the week, my left ankle was affected as well. These were all rather strange. I was unable to squat, sit on my knee or sit cross legged. I tried to do stretches on the floor but the relief was only temporary. I did resort to Panadol tablets but they don’t help one bit, except to make me sleepy! In the end I just went about without putting too much pressure to the lower left side of my body. I am pretty much back to my usual self today. I still don’t feel comfortable putting too much weight on my left knee but I think I am on the mend.

$9.98 for a Photo Book @ Big W

A fellow Blogger recently ordered a photo book for her little boy’s birthday. It was filled with photos of her son’s artwork. Of the pages that I saw, the book looked impressive. So when I saw the introductory offer of $9.98 for a Photo Book advertised in the latest Big W catalogue, we decided to check it out before the offer ends. The price for this 8” x 8” soft cover photo book after the promotion is $22.46. The 20-page photo book can accommodate between 19 – 100 photos.

It took us over two hours to create the photo book. This is partly because I wanted to make sure the photos I had selected for each page were just right. While I was zooming in, zooming out and auto correcting each photo, poor M was seated to my left and to his left were two men with extreme body odour. I could smell it but luckily M blocked most of it from me. Whenever I asked him for his opinion of a photo I was working on, I turned to see a face that was trying really hard to look friendly and totally unaffected by the air around him. LOL. As soon as the lady using the machine to my right left, M abandoned his seat to stand to my right. The fresher air was a much needed temporary relief for him. LOL.

Just before paying the guy at the counter, we were told that the photo book would be ready in 14 days. That was fine by us. The theme for our very first photo book is of course our little Guinea Pig. If it turns out great, I will blog about it later.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Good Dream Marks 3 Months

I really wasn’t looking forward to the 7th of August. It marks 3 months since our little Guinea Pig went away and it also marks a week since I saw that dreadful Today Tonight episode. Surprisingly, I dreamt about my little Piggy friend early this morning. It wasn’t a nightmare. It was a good dream. In the dream, I was in the backyard standing in front of a Guinea Pig home. (Funnily, the home is exactly the same as the one that I had designed in my mind, if we ever live in a house with a backyard.) I called out for him and he came to me like how he used to. As he approached the fence between us, I stood back and told myself that he couldn’t possibly be my Guinea Pig because our little one passed away not long after he turned 5. Then M appeared in my dream out of nowhere to reassure me that the Guinea Pig was indeed our little friend. I was so happy. He was very happy to see me too.

The dream turned the day into a good one. Instead of staying home to cry, we managed to get the groceries done and I also bought a new photo frame for an enlarged photo of our Guinea Pig. I have always wanted to frame some of his photos but never got around doing it because I couldn’t bear to look at him. Today felt like the right day to do it. Now, he will be here symbolically to witness the opening ceremony of the Olympics in China.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Something Cheerful

Despite the deep sadness of not knowing what exactly might have happened to our little Guinea Pig, we are also eagerly anticipating the opening ceremony of the Olympics in Beijing. I hope it will be smooth sailing and everyone will enjoy a good opening ceremony.

While I was checking out Discovery Channel to see if they will have any shows relating to China, I came across their new ad – The World is just Awesome. I heard it first, and then when it was on again, I dashed across the living room to watch it. The song made me smile again. I love stuff like that. M saw that I love it so much that he downloaded it on You Tube. Now, I am totally hooked. For people who don’t have access to Discovery Channel or just simply not in the mood to wait for it to appear during ad breaks, I suggest that you pop over to You Tube to watch it ASAP. There is also a page on Wikipedia about the ad.

The ad is actually made up of clips of shows on Discovery Channel and the song/the tune is one that I have heard of in my childhood. It used to be on the radio. I remember it even though I spoke hardly any English then. (Oops! Is that something I want the world to know about me?)

I just want to add that I Love my Guinea Pig and being a fan of Montessori, I Love the Whole Universe.

Emotional Roller Coaster

As I waited for a Google search result on Sunday night, a thought suddenly came to me. I call it a thought and not a voice I heard because it didn’t sound like someone was talking to me. It was more like thinking. So, I was thinking about my Guinea Pig’s body when I suddenly thought about how it had done its job serving him when he was alive. I thought about how it doesn’t matter if he was cremated or dumped. What matters is that we did treat his passing with respect and that he will always have a secure home in our hearts. I almost instantly felt a wave of calmness right after these thoughts. It didn’t last long. I brushed those thoughts aside thinking that I must have been looking for excuses.

Since the story was aired on Today Tonight on the 1st of August, I have read other pet lovers’ reactions as well as one newspaper article on Pets at Peace online. Apparently, the animals that were found dumped were picked up for disposal and not animals booked for cremation. The animals fell out because of a faulty door. I would really like to know when exactly the animals fell out of the van. I would like to know the dates of the two occasions. I can’t help wondering if our Guinea Pig travelled in the same trip as these animals. Something the driver told me on the day when ‘his’ ashes were returned is worrying me.

If the Pets at Peace people are honest all along and are definitely sure that no animals destined for cremation were dumped, I feel bad for them. From the newspaper article, the owner is distraught because his business is now totally ruined. I will still feel bad for them even if he admits wrong doing. This is because I know first hand what it is like to start a new life in a new community and I also know first hand what it is like to not be part of the ‘norm’. While I may sound forgiving, I am not the type that subscribe to ‘Forgive & Forget’. Forgiving takes time but forgetting will be impossible. People with my type of memory will never forget such events.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Still Wondering

We spent most of the last two days away from home. The whole apartment reminds us of our Guinea Pig. His cage, although covered up, is still right where it has always been. Walking past it to get to different areas within the apartment is just painful.

We went window shopping around the city. I had wanted to stay at home to read a ‘heavy’ book that I had suddenly found interesting again early last week, but was unable to concentrate because I kept thinking about what might have happened to my Guinea Pig. We went to bookshops – something I like doing even though it’s never a good idea to do this on the weekends because they are usually packed with people. The experience finding a seat at Border’s in the city was like circling Chadstone on Boxing Day to find a space to park.

Being out and about, I thought less about my Guinea Pig but at the end of the day, we still had to come home. The hour between 5-6 pm is the worst. That was feeding time when he was still around. In fact, all hours in the evening are difficult to bear (even before viewing the story on Today Tonight) because that’s when he was liveliest and that’s when we showered him with lots of attention. He was an active member of this family.

M contacted Today Tonight about the Pets at Peace story. He asked them about the dates the dumped animals were discovered on Friday. We received a response within hours. They didn’t answer our question but did let us know that no Guinea Pigs were found. If our Guinea Pig was dumped, no one would have recognised it because he was inside a special case, surrounded by things he loved.

I wish to continue blogging but I need to go and make lunch.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Where exactly is my Guinea Pig?

After watching last night’s episode of Today Tonight, I knew I was conned and I will never find out where my little Guinea Pig is for sure. I was totally devastated of course. The feeling was worse than when I found him dead on the morning of the 7th of May.

‘Pets At Peace’ is the company that I chose to handle my Guinea Pig’s cremation. We chose cremation because we don’t have a backyard to bury him in. The three people that I communicated with during the whole process promised that my Guinea Pig would be cremated individually and then returned to me in an urn of my choice. When queried, they also reassured me that they do not throw animals out and promised not to mix up my pet with another. Unfortunately Police discovered that pets that were meant to be cremated were in fact dumped beside the Midland Highway near Bendigo. Now I will never be sure if he is really inside the urn or has been left to rot in the bushland by the side of the highway.

How can people be so heartless to do such a thing? If he was really abandoned by the highway, we had in fact paid dearly for a company to just throw him away. The show never mentioned my Guinea Pig but if the police discovered two animal dumping sites within a km of each other, and another one on the other side of Bendigo, it is highly likely that the same thing may have happened to our little one. The show revealed that this is not just a one off thing but that the company has done it before. To think that I nearly praised the company’s good service in this blog, I now feel sick thinking that our little Guinea Pig could be all alone in bushland so far away from us.

What should I do with the urn? Should I unseal it to take a look? How could I tell Guinea Pig ash from other animal’s ash? Is it scientifically possible? If it is another animal’s ash, I bet the owner of that pet would miss it just as much as I do.

Guinea Pigs are not humans but a beloved pet is a loved one as precious as any other loved ones in the human form. It has been a struggle living without him for nearly 3 months now. He may be small but he played a big part in our daily lives. As I looked at some photos of him last week, I caught myself thinking that I am gradually coping better with his loss. I was beginning to focus more on the good times we had together. Now that I have seen what was reported on Today Tonight, everything has been turned upside down again. It will take me ages to recover from this shock. It will take me even longer to trust anyone else again.