Posted in FYI, nonfiction, Tips and Hacks, Uncategorized

Yummy Home-made Food For Doggies

Mliae over at Lifexperimentblog mentioned how hard it’s been to find dog-food in shops recently.

hungry dog

What’s a dawg gotta do
to get some food around here?

hungry small dog

Where’s my supper, mum?

I immediately thought of my favourite doggies’ favourite food cooked by their human mums. So, I contacted their mums and got their tried and tested recipes to share with you over this confusing time for doggies (and their human parents). Huge thanks and hugs to Pamela Naidoo-Ameglio and Rani Chetty for allowing me to share their fur-baby food recipes with you.

Pamela’s Pappy Love Meals
(For Large and Giant Breeds)

Even the fussy ones licked their bowls cleaned and looked for more. The secret’s in the stock! Pamela’s large and giant-mixed breeds both had beautiful coats, were hardly ever bothered by fleas, and seldom went to the vet for illnesses. Kibble was used for breakfast and left for snacks, but this was the long awaited meal of the day, with a bone to keep gnawing for dessert. Kleinsus uses a similar recipe for her youngest hound as he has special dietary needs, so please take that into account if your doggie is similar.

You’ll need:
3 litres water
3 cups maize meal (mealie meal/pap)
beef/mutton bones (preferably with marrow, ask your butcher)
sliced, chunky carrots and other vegetables
1 tsp garlic or 2 cloves
glug of sunflower oil

1) In a large pot, make a stock by browning the bones with the oil, then adding the water and bringing to a boil. Add garlic and vegetables, allowing to stew for 15-30mins.
Marrow in the bone is healthier than using fat, while the garlic repels fleas and conditions the coat. Most dogs I know love crunchy but soaked carrots so don’t slice the carrot too small, and perhaps add them last. Scrubbed potato and carrot peel, and peas are also good additions but avoid using whole potatoes and more corn as it will be too starchy.
2) Slowly stir in the maize meal. Continue stirring until you have a smooth, hard porridge.
It may be quite difficult to stir at times, but it makes for a great arm work-out!
3) Leave to steam for a few minutes.
4) Remove from pot and allow to cool in storage containers.
The food can be stored in the fridge for 1 week and can be frozen for longer term storage.

Recommended Portions
Once a day (midday or late afternoon) as follows, in addition to kibble and treats in the morning and late night:
Large breeds: 3 heaped dessert spoons + bone
Giant breeds: 3.5 heaped dessert spoons + bone

Note: Rice can be substituted for maize-meal, but you may need larger quantities of it as it’s not as dense. For this reason, I’ve noticed medium and small breeds are more likely to prefer rice to maize-meal.

Rani’s Relicious Rice and Roast Dins
(For small and medium breeds)

Rani’s little ones are especially picky eaters, and two have troublesome tummies, so she usually fixes them this very human food with some doggie-friendly adjustments. She doesn’t usually add carrots, which her fur-babies prefer raw, but you can experiment with cooked or steamed carrot in the mix as your doggie may have different tastes.

You will need:
Cooked rice (no salt)
Frozen chicken pieces or left-over roast chicken
carrots (optional)

If you’re using left-over roast, remove the skin and skip to (2).
1) Place chicken pieces in pan or pot, cover with water. Bring to a boil and allow to steam till chicken is cooked through and most of the water is reduced.
It’s important to not season the meat as most dogs prefer unseasoned meat, and salt is unhealthy for them. You can experiment with garlic in small quantities to see if your doggie finds it acceptable as garlic repels fleas and conditions the coat.
2) When chicken has cooled, shred the meat and debone carefully but retain cartilage if your dog enjoys it. Ensure even the tiniest bones and bone fragments are removed. Skin can be left in shredded if your dog eats it.
3) Mix in a one part chicken to two parts rice. Add a little of the liquid from the pot and mix thoroughly so the rice isn’t dry.
This food can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days and can be frozen for longer term storage.

Recommended portions
Rani feeds her small fur-babies about 3-4 tablespoons each morning and night. They snack on kibble during the day or if they prefer to miss breakfast, and also have doggie treats.

contented dog

I’m soooo full!

happy dog

Me, too! Nap time…
Love you, mum!

Snack suggestions (in moderation): 1 slice bread or 1 slice toast for large and giant breeds, half that for small to medium breeds; carrot sticks or chunks.

PS. These yummy ingredients are also needed by us humans, so remember to not panic-buy the ingredients, especially the staples!

Posted in FYI, Tips and Hacks, Uncategorized

Kids, Crystals, Angels

As a tarot-reader, I generally don’t read for kids. As a healer and former teacher of little people, I’m always finding myself led to help solve a little problem here and there. A visit to a relative with two gorgeous kiddies taught me some things about kids and crystals, and kids and angels, which I thought may help you when dealing with little ones. As usual, take what resonates and leave the rest.

The Problems

The 30-month old toddler, not yet speaking properly but very communicative, appeared to have an incredibly short attention span. He loved being outdoors, tended to walk on his toes in the afternoons and was courageous to the point of being a daredevil. His mum couldn’t understand why he’d almost instantly start crying in distress when meeting people, some of whom he’d known since a few weeks old. He also would not leave his dad alone in the evenings, and would only fall asleep if his dad (who has a very calm and protective energy) put him to bed.
She thought I might be able to intuit something as the little one took to me at once, demanding my attention like he’d always known me, even though we were meeting for the first time. He also gave me gifts of leaves, including marigold, which instantly made me feel that he thought I could help him heal.

His older brother (almost six, and extremely sensitive) had watched a fairy-tale movie and was having nightmares, featuring one of the scary-looking characters, to the point of waking up tired and being unwilling to go to school.

I was lucky to be visiting for a few days, so I got to see the little one’s reaction to meeting certain people. At first I couldn’t figure out what could be the problem. Both kids were healthy, otherwise happy, and easy to communicate with. I got no sense of environmental factors or other unsuspected physical problems affecting them, and their home energy was fun and loving.

An intuitive tarot reading opened the path to the solution of the little one’s distress.

The underlying problem was that he was energetically too open. He had no shield against another’s energy/aura so he was feeling and being affected almost instantly by whomever was in the room—like being dumped with everyone’s emotional and energetic baggage all at once.

No wonder he bawled his heart out in confusion and empathy, and was probably terrified by the experience. The cards and the angels didn’t say why this happened to him, but I got the impression other children at present, and in the future, may have similar energy shielding problems.

The Solutions

The solution seemed to be two-fold: to get him a shielding crystal (at least until his own energy shielding/aura was stronger), and to ask the angels to shield him further—especially at night when he tended to wake up after just a few hours. The angels would also help the six-year old get his good night’s sleep too. It was so obvious, I couldn’t figure out why it hadn’t occurred to me in the first instance, as in my teaching days I’d often asked the angels to watch over my class like so many teachers do. But there were still a few things that made asking for angelic help less straight-forward. And there was still the need to find the right crystals for the toddler.

Permission to Angels from mother/father for under 5s:

I was told it was necessary for the boys’ mum to ask the angels for help regarding the night problem and—most important—to give her permission for the angels to do so. We called upon both Archangel Michael and Archangel Raphael to help the kids by watching over them in their room at night. I thought the need for her permission was most vital as the angels indicated they would not be able to help effectively otherwise.
As adults, we consciously invoke and give permission to angels to aid and watch over us. Kids, in particular ones who cannot speak nor understand the concept of angels as guardians and friends, cannot themselves effectively give permission to the angels. Therefore the permission of their mother/father/closest care-giver is necessary, or was in this particular case.

Hematite vs tourmaline and bornite

The boys’ mum had already gotten a good quality hematite as a protective stone. I didn’t like this for the toddler as he was a blood relative and much more sensitive than I’d been as a kid—and I’d found hematite to be too ‘heavy’ for me even as an adult. I felt it was causing him more distress.
I suggested my old go-to and favorite, black tourmaline (schorl). Its energy feels less intrusive and I love that it transmutes heavy energies into lighter ones. I also suggested rose quartz for the boys’ room to help them feel calmer and surrounded by love when asleep.
And because I love bornite (peacock stone) and the way it gently grounds and raises my vibration I dug out my spare piece, along with a spare tourmaline, and gave them to the boys. After cleansing the stones in water and sunlight, their mum left the tourmaline and bornite in the toddler’s crib.

Concerns of six-year olds

When the older kid learned that the angels would be watching over him that night, he was very worried. His mum told him to talk to me about them, and this is what he said. “I don’t mind if the angels are in the room, but I don’t want to see them. I’ll be even more frightened.”

I assured him that in all the time I’d known the angels I’d never seen them, and that most people would be scared if they did too. And angels would never do anything to scare him. I also told him the names of the angels which he had no problem remember being such a TMNT’s fan. I also told him the same angels had looked after me on my travels and that I regarded them as very good friends. Although still somewhat unsure, our little Gemini decided to trust me and see what would happen with the angels that night. Bless their inquiring hearts.

Talking to kids about their concerns and letting them know a little of your own experiences with the unknown and difficult to understand concepts like angels goes a long way to reassuring six-year olds and older kids.

They instantly pick up if you are uncertain or embroidering the truth to make it palatable to them. Rather be straight-forward and let them decide what is acceptable to their energies and what is not.

The next morning, the six-year excitedly told me he’d slept through the entire night without once having a nightmare. He wanted to know more about the angels then.
The toddler also had an easier night, much to his parent’s surprise. He also woke later than usual and was in a very good (and very energetic mood) for most of the morning.
His mum got more tourmaline and rose quartz for their rooms and is happy with the results.

A special note on Rose quartz

The toddler loved rose quartz so much that he’d go seek out the stones and stick them in his mouth. He didn’t swallow them, just held them in his mouth. I suggest getting larger stones or rose quartz lamps, if possible, to prevent such attachment to rose quartz.

Rose quartz is helpful to most little kids, especially ones that are in families who are dealing with separation and divorce. Another little kid helped me see that rose quartz can help kids with anger issues at a stage where such anger can be more easily dispelled, and so help prevent them growing into angry young adults.

My take-aways from my two little light-workers:

Children sensitivities to energies may continue into much older ages than when we did at the same ages. Some kids may take longer than others to develop their own energetic shielding/aura than others which may result in their condition be misunderstood or misdiagnosed as a behavioral problem.

Angels need permission of parents/care-givers to aid under 4s or those kids who cannot articulate/give consent on their own.

Kids need reassurance in terms that they can understand as to who the angels who guard and assist them are. Otherwise kids may fear the angels thereby reducing the angels ability to assist.

Always remember that if you feel the energy of a stone or crystal is too intense, kids will feel it many times so to the extent that it will do them more harm than good. Use the gentlest and least ‘intrusive’ of crystals when dealing with or aiding children and seniors.

Posted in fiction, guest post, Tips and Hacks

Mad Scientists, Space Travel and Graphic Resources

It’s been a crazy month. It’s just zooming by, hardly giving me a chance to catch my breath or think–you know, proper thought-time.

So my apologies for not posting more, especially reviews, or for my not commenting much on your posts, but time is…out of my control for now.

So while I catch my breath, and shake my head mournfully over the pile of work I’ve still got to get through this month, here’s some of my stuff to keep you company.

For those of you who have a class or presentation coming up, you might find this interesting:

And if you’ve wondered what kinds of papers are delivered by Mad Scientists, or maybe you’ve been thinking of taking trips to Mars or Jupiter, you’ll want to check this out:

And don’t forget this week’s PiniMe. It will be out in a couple of hours:)

Thanks for catching up with me. See you later:)

Posted in guest post, nonfiction, Tips and Hacks

How To Add Text To Your Photo by Jacki Kellum

Jacki Kellum is my first guest writer, whom I met during our Blogging U course last month. My thanks to her for her time and effort.

Jacki is an artist and writer, using a wide range of mediums, including digital. She’s been experimenting with ipiccy, a free online photo manipulating app.
Jacki’s generously allowed me to re-post one of her tutorials here, as a way to help you with PiniMe and other image creation for your blogs.

Here’s Jacki with How To Add Text To Your Photo.

From Ipiccy Blog
How to Add Text to Frames in Free Image Program Ipiccy


When you begin to create a Basic Border, in Frames, you see the following menu on the left side.


Click in the center of the box that says Outer color.


The following Color Picker will appear. Click about where the red arrow is, inside the larger black rectangle.


When you click inside the larger rectangle, a circle will appear.


With your mouse, click on the circle and drag it right, until you see the basic color that you want shown in the bottom bar.


In the bottom bar, click on the color you like. When you do that, a colorful Color Picker will open.


The color of the frame has been changed to this new spot on the Color Picker.


You can modify the color by dragging either the circle or the bar.


I wanted a softer, more pastel color. I pulled the circle upwards and added white to the pink.


Now, I want to widen the thickness of the outside frame: I moved the thickness handle to 71.


To change the color of the liner, click inside the rectangle that says Inner Color. Note: I had already changed the thickness of the liner 19.


This time, I will click on the Color Picker’s Eye Dropper and then click on my photo, on a color that I want the liner to be.

After I clicked on the eyedropper, I clicked on the cookie. I wanted to match that color of dull yellow.


To prepare the bottom area for holding text, I need to enlarge the part that is called Caption height. I dragged that bar to 121



Now, we have completed the frame part of the exercise.


Go back to the top horizontal menu again, and click on the Blending tab.

The following menu will open on the left.

Although a text box opens on your canvas, you actually type your text in the top menu box.

I used the font Quentincaps.


Drag your text down to the bottom portion of your frame and center it.


Return to the top menu bar and click the Save button.


The following screen will appear. Decide where you want to save your image and Click: Save to My Computer


Copyright Jacki Kellum December 18, 2015

You can view the original post here. Be sure to have a look at Jacki’s other useful tutorials.
Thanks once again, Jacki, for you easy to follow tutorial, and for sharing 🙂

About Jacki Kellum

d38bab18999f376ee2c87c2e38c45358Jacki Kellum is a Fine Artist, designer and writer. She teaches both writing and illustrating from her home studio, and offers other writing services as well. Her current personal projects includes a memoir and a children’s book. Read about her amazing life and family here, and about her art here.


Posted in #Quest2016, Tips and Hacks

2016 Resolutions?

As part of #Quest2016, I had to resolutely consider my future working habits by answering the following question.

Question 7: John Jantsch, founder of Duct Tape Marketing Consultancy Network, and author of The Commitment Engine.

What can you stop doing in 2016 such that it would allow you to focus on higher payoff activities?

For immediate pay-off:

Stop playing computer games when I feel overwhelmed, and take a real break from the computer instead.
The pay-off:
Better health via less stress and strain, a real fresh brain, a happier computer.

no gameshappy computer

For medium-term pay-off:

Stop spending hours on job or assignment applications which lead to nothing.
The pay-off:
More time to write stories which are more likely to pay something—if not soon, then someday in the future.

time applyingtime writing

For long-term pay-off:

Stop being a mouse about my abilities and accomplishments.
The pay-off: My work would move to a synonymous shelf, instead of remaining in the anonymous box.

being mouseSynonymouse

  • with thanks to little Dora, and the rest of her C3 class, for showing me how to draw a mouse :)
Posted in Design and inspirational books, nonfiction, Reviews of Smashwords eBooks, Tips and Hacks, Uncategorized

Become An Exceptional Designer: Effective Colour Selection For You And Your Client by James Dean

m_James Dean Colour SmashwordsTitle: Become An Exceptional Designer: Effective Colour Selection For You And Your Client
Author: James Dean
Rating: 90-95%

This is an unsolicited review of a Smashwords epub download. This is merely my very subjective opinion, and should be regarded as such.

In Brief:

This is a great colour resource from James Dean, not just for interior designers, but for all designers. I found it useful as it reminded me of colour theories and sets I had forgotten.

The Whole Story:

Based on a series of lectures for a course, it’s great for students and as an afternoon read for designers who need a little brushing up on aspects of colour.

Written in well presented chapters, this eBook covers the basics of colour and colour mixing, with a nice chapter on the psychology of colour too. Colour wheels and an explanation of the Munsell System make practical colour applications easy to understand, while short summaries on colour theories by the masters adds a nice touch.

I would have preferred more graphics and photos, but that may be because I like pretty things 🙂

What I learned?

I learned that lighter colours like yellow have more shades than tints while darker, colours like red, have more tints than shades; which probably accounts for why I dislike using much red in my designs:)

My favourite chapter was on the psychology of colour which included some fun facts to pique my trivia nerd interest.

Rating: 90-95% less 5% because I like my pretty pictures.
Recommended to: Students studying design, artists, designers and the perpetually curious

About the author:

James Dean is a architect with a passion for design and constructing unique architecture.
Smashwords Profile
Author Website

Posted in nonfiction, Outdoors, Reviews of Smashwords eBooks, Tips and Hacks, Uncategorized

REview: Camping Hacks from a Diva! by Lynn Sable


m_Lynn Sable I hate Camping SmashwordsTitle: Camping Hacks from a Diva! I Hate Camping But I Love Glamping!
Author: Lynn Sable
Rating: 100%

This is an unsolicited review of a Smashwords epub download. This is merely my very subjective opinion, and should be regarded as such.

In Brief:

I hate camping, myself, but love being out in nature and the odd (short) hike, so I loved, loved, loved this eBook with all Lynn Sable’s very doable hacks, from making foil packs to ‘taking care of business’ with a pop-up room and solar shower.

The Whole Story:

Written in a very conversational, easy tone, this is a quick fun, useful read. Lynn Sable takes you from the bare basics: preparing food (including dessert) to turning your tent into a 5-star retreat space. There are easy recipes for breakfast, lunch and dinner, a bug spray recipe, options on equipment and some top secret hacks on lighting and making your own firestarters.

What I learned?

News hacks to apply not just to camping, glamping and being outdoors, but for power outages too. There’s a ton of equipment out there to make camping trips really comfortable for the whole family.

Rating: 100%
Recommended to: campers, glampers and everyone who is thinking of spending some time outdoors in summer—or Australia.

About the Author:

Lynn Sable loves traveling and the outdoors. She’s also written a YA thriller/suspense Oh No You Didn’t.
Smashwords Profile
Read an interview with Lynn