Summertime, Sunshine ☼ ☀

Today, is June 21st. That also marks the first day of summer! No more stressing over school or exams, and getting tons of time off! Whether you’re taking summer courses, working, hanging out with friends, going on vacation, or simply just staying home watching Netflix, summer break is always an awesome time for all. As for me, this summer is going to be the busiest summer yet. I’m taking an online course, taking driver’s ed, working, going on tons of trips, stepping into the process of publishing the final copy of my book, spending time with family, friends, and my boyfriend, and somewhere in between, trying to find some “me” time. Hope everyone has a great summer! I already spent some time at the beach, and went canoeing! 

Until next time,

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Goodbye Engelbert

Engelbert’s Official Eulogy: It’s never easy when a pet dies. Especially one that you have formed such an emotional connection with. This post is about my fish. Before you call me crazy for loving a fish so much, I just want to say that he was more than a fish to me; he was more like a dog. (As crazy as that sounds). A pet is a pet no matter what . . . mostly, I don’t form an emotional connection with my pet fish, but for Engelbert, I had. He was born late August 2012 and lived until May 4th, 2014. 

The story starts off with me going to PetSmart on September 7th, 2012, to pick up some new fish. I had a fish named “Santa’s Favourite Elf” (don’t ask me why – me and an old friend named it) that had died, and I needed new ones. I bought a whole bunch of fish, including black goldfish and gold mystery snails. Then, a worker there came up to me and said: “Hi, we have a fish with only one eye and we can’t sell it, and nobody wants it, so do you want it? It’s free.” I was like, okay, cool, free fish! She showed me it, and at first I thought it was pretty ugly ’cause y’know one eye and everything. He didn’t lose it in a fight, he just was a very sick and mutated fish. His eye was actually still there, just dug really, really deep into his body so of course he was unable to use it. So there I am, I’m off with my new fish and whatever. I get home, put them in a tank. Within a month, every single one of the fish in there except for Engelbert was dead. (Also, I named him Engelbert because at the time I thought he needed an ugly name to fit him . . . That was so mean, he’s like the cutest fish ever) One of the black goldfish literally jumped out of the tank (stupid fish), and I found him on the floor, all dried up, with his tail sticking in the air. He must’ve been flapping around out of the water. He had a brother or sister, and then they died a week later. They stared out into the spot where he had jumped out, it was pretty sad. Fish have good relationships with each other and feelings, too. We don’t give fish enough credit. They’re not smart but they are way smarter than we give them credit for. Did you know fish can actually see in colour? Not many animals can. Fun fact. Anyway, caring on. Then the snails died. One was a mom and one was a daughter, it was so cute. The daughter would ride on the mom’s shell everywhere around the tank. But then, the daughter died, and the mother was so distraught she refused to come out of her shell so eventually she died, possibly from starvation because she refused to eat. I think there was other fish, too, but anyway, there was Engelbert. My brother and I had a mini contest going. He told me Engelbert would be the first to die, and I said, he’d be the last. I won. Woo-hoo. His tank was directly beside my bed, and I had the honour of being able to watch him almost 24/7. I even wrote a blog post over a year ago on my old blog about him. Soon, his infectious happiness just seemed to grow on me.

Engelbert was the happiest fish I have ever seen. Seriously. The healthiest fish I have ever had will just sit there staring off into nothing and only swim around when necessary. Engelbert was in pain half of his life, yet he loved food. And he was a smart cookie. I would show him his food, and he would swim in circles, flip around. Food excited him, it was so cute. My mom and I referred to him as a “dog”. That’s how he acted around food. Also, he loved money. If you put a bill up to his tank, he’d get really excited. Also if you waved to him – he loved people. Sometimes it looked like he even waved back.

Here is some of the conditions that he had and miraculously recovered from:

  • One eye missing
  • Poor swimmer
  • Excessive bloating 
  • Scales turning red, purple, and even black (he’s naturally a very bright orange fish)
  • Skin peeling off excessively
  • Internal and external bleeding
  • Weird tumorous looking bumps all over his body
  • Weird white spots all over his body
  • Cataract in one eye (as you all know, cataract is something you do not recover from. Once you have it, you have it for life unless you get immediate surgery on it. Engelbert’s whole eye turned pure white. No black. He couldn’t see and was completely blind; it was creepy to look at. A few days later and his eye was back to normal.)
  • Very weak immune system (which would lead to bacterial infections, and sickness)
  • Dropsy (a fatal bacterial infection that you do not recover from – this is how he died.)
  • And more

I used to call him my “miracle fish”. I still do. You know Finding Nemo, where Dory says: “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming, just keep swimming swimming swimming”? I also used to say that Engelbert was the one who invented that quote, because it just related to him so much. When he turned purple and bled and skin peeled, he would swim around more than any of the other healthy fish. He loved to swim. Sorry, Dory. Engelbert did it better.

© Finding Nemo 2003

© Finding Nemo 2003

Again, he was just a fish, yet Engelbert always surprised me, and never failed to inspire me. We were almost together for two years, and it’s been a good one. I would always fear the way he died. I’m not religious, but even I prayed that Engelbert would just die a peaceful, painless death at an old age. He had a happy life, that’s for sure, and enjoyed life’s simple pleasures (of being a fish, anyway). His bloating would come and go, but about two months ago, he started becoming so bloated, I thought he would explode. His natural bright orange colour faded away into a pale, sick-looking yellow colour. His scales puffed out and became filled with a white liquid and his whole body was bleeding from the inside and out. Every day he would be bleeding and it was really hard to watch. It looked really painful, yet still, that little guy refused to give up. My friend told me, “If he’s still swimming it means he’s still fighting and not ready to die”. And that really kept me going and felt good. Although he was very large and had difficulty swimming, he still did it, and loved it – especially the food part. Then, weeks and weeks went by. The tank got filthy, he looked even more sick. He couldn’t even swim. I think he died because dropsy is the process of having a weak immune system, so the fish’s body can no longer process water, and it gets built up inside of you – so I think he died by having his insides crushed, which makes me feel even more sad. He was such a happy fish and did not deserve any of that to happen to him. I’m not saying any fish deserves it, but, especially not him – he loved life as a fish and was always so happy and didn’t stop fighting until he couldn’t fight anymore. A few weeks ago, (the weekend of May 4th), he stopped swimming. I would show him the food, you could see his eye dance but he couldn’t move to eat. He tried so hard, he just couldn’t move. He couldn’t swim. He couldn’t get up for food. And if I tried waving to him, he would try his hardest to swim away and avoid eye contact, almost as if he was ashamed of being seen looking like that. It was so sad. It pains me to say this, but, it was better off this way. I couldn’t keep seeing him in pain day after day. So finally, on May 4th, I was writing some of my book and I reached over on my bed to look at the rough copy of it for notes and his mouth was clamped shut, so I knew he stopped breathing.

Whenever a pet or someone I know dies, I just want to get in the funeral and out as soon as possible. I still feel bad about this, but, I didn’t really do anything special for his death. We flushed him in the toilet, and I said a couple nice words. In my head, I was ranting off into paragraphs (sort of like this). So I guess this is kind of late, but, this is for you, Engelbert! It was really hard to say goodbye because I didn’t want to. Not for years to come. He was my special little fish and I loved him with all of my heart. ❤ 

Then, I felt even worse because I heard a lot about people burying their favourite fish, not flushing them. I felt so guilty because since he meant soooo much to me, I had myself going: “Why didn’t I bury him? I’m such a terrible person.” Then my dad and boyfriend helped me a lot by saying: “Engelbert would have wanted to be in the ocean where all of the other fish are. The water is where fish belong, not in the ground. Water is their habitat, where they’re meant to be, and where they want to be.” Now I feel way better. (And then my boyfriend was saying how dirty the water is that there could be some kind of nuclear distortion in the water that would make him come back to life as a super fish. Haha, he’s insane.) 

So I miss seeing him next to me every night, I miss being able to watch his happiness, I miss being able to become happy by being with him, and I miss him overall. Sometimes I blame myself and I know I shouldn’t. I loved him so much and hopefully he knew it. I had to spend several nights with his dirty water in an alone, empty tank beside my bed which made matters worse. Now, I have new fish to live on in his memory. I will miss you, Engelbert! This blog post is for your memory as well.

I could go on much longer, but I’ll just leave it with this: Thank you so much, Engelbert. For teaching me to be strong when I feel weak, for teaching me to keep moving when I didn’t want to do anything, and for inspiring me to always be happy. ❤ You were my favourite fish and will always be my favourite fish, and I will never forget you. Hopefully you are somewhere in fishy heaven right now reading this and dancing around happily. 🙂

Rest in paradise, Engelbert. I will miss you. ♥

Rest in paradise, Engelbert. I will miss you. ♥

 

Engelbert and I September 2013.

Engelbert and I September 2013.

 


Hopefully, this section of my blog will be more happy. I will always love Engelbert the most, but, meet the new gang!

After Engelbert died, I made a resolution to buy fish of his same kind to live on his memory. Unfortunately they had no pure Engelberts. They mated his type with a black fish so they have black tails. Still, they’re replicas of Engelbert . . . and cuties! They are best friends. They swim together, follow each other, they do everything together. They are the closest fish I’ve ever seen and it is too cute. The snails are also getting really close! And the fish are still babies. Soon they will look exactly like Engelbert, but with two eyes and a black tail! Also the fish treat the snails nicely, which is awesome. Never had fish other than Engelbert that treated the snails without aggression. 😛 Meet Chocolate, Chip, and snails, Milly, and Jude! (Oh, also, I know they look like reflections. That’s how much they look alike and how close they are! NONE of these pictures are reflections of a fish. All of these pictures have two fish in them. 🙂 )

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And last but not least, the rest of my entourage . . .

 

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THANK YOU EVERYONE FOR READING!

REST IN PEACE TO ENGELBERT, A BEAUTIFUL, LOVING, CUTE, HAPPY FISH!

2012-2014 (In Our Hearts Forever♥)

(and thanks to Chocolate and Chip and all other pets and humans who have helped me through it. Couldn’t have done it without you!) 🙂

Love forever,

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You Can Make A Difference In The World Every Day

Hello! For an activist who wants to start off small, I found an amazing website that allows you to help several different organizations per day.

The website and lead organization is “The Greater Good”. They specialize in many fields, including animals, rainforests, and breast cancer. On their website, you have many options to choose from. Here’s just a few of the things you can do:

  1. Click the button on the page once a day for each organization to help. (From there, sponsors pay how many times someone clicks.)
  2. Donate.
  3. Shop around on their website and buy whatever catches your eye (trust me, they have a lot of different items. You’re destined to find at least one you love.)

And here are the different causes you can help:

  • Sick Patients
  • Hunger
  • Breast Cancer
  • Animals
  • Veteransanimal-rescue-site
  • Autism
  • Alzheimer’s
  • Diabetes
  • Literacy
  • Rainforests

So if you want to make a big difference in someone’s life and help the Greater Good, go to their website at http://www.theanimalrescuesite.com and you will be able to select any of the different causes. You can click once a day for each one, and you can even do it on your mobile device. 

They also have blogs, a shop with really cute items, and they always have discounts and deals. Please help them today! Every click counts.

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Love,

Victoria Hecnar

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10 Reasons To Get Up In The Morning ↑

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Sunset.110 REASONS TO WAKE UP IN THE MORNING:  

created by Victoria Hecnar

 

 

1.) LAUGHTER

A lot of people say that “laughter is the best medicine”. They’re right! Whether it be something your read online that you found funny, or if it’s chatting it up with your friends over hot chocolate, laughter is a beautiful part of life that instantly lifts your mood. That feeling of being outside with the wind blowing against your face while spending time with friends, or laughing so hard that you get an actual ab work out from it. Whatever the case may be, you can never go wrong with laughter. Check out awesome facts about laughter, provided very kindly by http://www.velutions.com!

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Laughter, is the best medicine.
Laughter really is good for your mental and physical health, say researchers who have studied its benefits. Here’s what some of what these researchers have learned.
Laughter strengthens the body’s ability to fight disease.
Laughter increases the body’s ability to produce and release a bacteria- and virus-fighter known as salivary immunoglobin A (S-IgA). Researchers studied two groups of students. One group tended to use humor to cope with stress and another didn’t. After both groups viewed a comedy routine, the group that relied on laughter to fight stress had higher S-IgA levels than the other group.
Laughter fights stress in another way.
Stressed individuals have higher levels of a hormone called cortical. Studies show that laughter lowers cortical levels in the body, which makes laughter a natural stress buster. Much of the stress we experience is related to how we think. Laughing after an embarrassing mistake you made, for example, is far less stressful than losing sleep or remaining stressed over it.
Laughter can lower blood pressure.
An ability to laugh at your own mistakes also is a good way to lower blood pressure. In one study, researchers first measured what made people laugh. Then, each person was subjected to experiences that normally raise blood pressure levels. People who tended to laugh at their own mistakes had the smallest increases in blood pressure. However, people who tended to use humor that attacks other people or things had the highest increases.
Laughter increases energy levels.
Feeling tired or run down? Have a good laugh. Laughter is a natural pick-me-up, which may provide the energy and time needed to do things that might otherwise be avoided.
Laughter helps us bond with others.
Ever heard the expression “Laugh and the world laughs with you”? Research shows that when we laugh, we tend to talk more, make more eye contact and do more of the things that help us connect with others. Laughter also lessens tension. It’s hard to feel angry, tense or anxious when you’re laughing.
Laughter is good exercise.
Laughing 100 times has the same effect on the body as being on a rowing machine for 10 minutes or a stationary bike for 15 minutes.
Little Known Facts About Laughter.
Children laugh about 400 times a day. Adults laugh an average of 15 times a day.
Laughter is infectious, which is why most TV sitcoms have a laugh track. Laughter is so contagious, it can even reach epidemic proportions. In 1962 in the African country now known as Tanzania, a few schoolgirls began laughing uncontrollably. Their laughter soon spread to people in neighboring communities. Schools were closed to keep others from catching the laugh bug. The epidemic subsided after six months.
Laughter isn’t just about jokes and funny stories. One researcher eavesdropped on conversations in malls, noting why and how often people laughed. Less than 20% of the laughter followed a joke or humorous story. Most laughter took place as people were greeting one other or saying goodbye.
Laughter sounds the same across cultures, leading some researchers to believe that laughter helped bond our ancestors together. In fact, the sound of laughter is so common and familiar, it can be recognized if played backwards on tape.

 

2.) MUSIC 

Another fact, is that music can be very therapeutic. Something awesome about music is the type of genre can actually depict your mood. Whatever genre you’re into, this is definitely something to look forward to every morning. Can you imagine a day without music? Nope, neither can I. Music has been around ever since human’s couldn’t even talk. We just made weird noises. Yeah, it’s a good thing that genre isn’t around today . . . A lot of people turn to music when they are depressed or feeling down; and when they’re happy, BAM!  We tend to play lots of loud upbeat tunes and dance around. Life would not be the same without it.

peopleSingingKaraoke Tell me: What’s your favourite genre? 

ALSO, CLICK HERE TO FIND OUT WHAT YOUR MUSIC TASTE SAYS ABOUT YOUR PERSONALITY! 🙂  

 

3.) ANIMALS 

Now, where would we be without our little furry, or scaly, or slimy friends?! When we are feeling ashamed of the human race, or lose all faith in humans, we all turn to hamsters, dogs, fish, or anything else that can’t say stupid things like we can. They are great companions to have and to hold. Personally, I have: a dog, a hamster, 2 frogs (well, one died last week, but I’ll count him in his honour), and 2 fish. I can’t possibly imagine waking up every morning and not having one of our little furries to turn to. Point being, animals are awesome, and an amazing part of life that makes waking up in the morning definitely worth it.

This is Victoria Hecnar's hamster, Hammie. She's a cutie-pie, we know.

This is Victoria Hecnar’s hamster, Hammie. She’s a cutie-pie, we know.

♥ 

 

4.) WRITING

This may not apply to all of you whom are reading this, but to all my writer pals out there, you guys all know how this goes down. You wake up, a mind full of ideas, the characters are basically shouting to you, you go across the street to your local Starbucks, sit down at your laptop, and write for hours. Okay, well, that’s my schedule for it. Or Tim Hortons. Maybe even McDonald’s. The beverages switch, but the writing stays the same. 

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There’s just something so euphoric about being able to create your own world. All of your thoughts, feelings, and emotions can be transformed into something that moves people, or just makes you feel happier. Along with music, this is another great way to get off that steam. (Oh, this won’t be one of them due to my eating habits making it seem hypocritical, but working out works too. I actually went to the gym for the first time in weeks today. Weeee.)  Sitting down with a drink in a quiet room with your thoughts is such a beautiful part of life. Without writing, I don’t know what I would do. I treat my books like my babies. I feel like Oscar winners would do the same with their awards.

 

5.) SUMMERTIME 

Maybe it’s just been such a hard winter that I am fantasizing about summer, but, c’mon now. Even summer haters have to agree that there’s just so much fun to summertime. (And in the summer I am thinking about Christmas. But that’s besides the point.) Now this is a main topic, but I will post many of the subcategories that makes summer just so darn fantastic.

  • Beaches
  • No school, time off work
  • Vacations
  • Staying up late, waking up late
  • All those BBQs….yum.
  • Spending all the time you possibly can with friends
  • Sitting outside and not freezing to death
  • That awesome wind that picks up when you’re hot and cools you down
  • Summer drinks
  • Summer love (for those of you not in a serious relationship)
  • Blasting music outside
  • Having pool parties
  • Going out for late night walks…..the feeling of that is awesome.
  • The river, the walks, and that fountain that you’re not supposed to swim in but everyone does anyway! (in my city)
  • More that I can’t think of at the moment. It will come to me, just wait.

LOOK FORWARD TO SUMMER GUYS, IT’S COMING, I PROMISE 8) ☼ ☀

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6.) FAMILY/FRIENDS

This one is pretty self explanatory. Friends and family are the apple of our eyes. 

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7.) GREAT FOOD/DRINKS

How do I post awesome food pictures without making anyone hungry? This will be difficult. Okay, how thankful are you to be alive when there’s FOOD present??!! Come on, people. Food. And I’m not talking about food that you secretly pass to your dog under the table. I’m talking about the food that you are craving right now; which I probably brought on. I apologize. Food is awesome. You know what they say.

Eat great food and spend quality time with friends.

 

BRING ON THE FOOD! 

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ALSO, CLICK HERE TO SEE WHAT YOUR FAVOURITE FOOD SAYS ABOUT YOU! 🙂

 

8.) FASHION

This also may not apply to all of you — although I think it should. Two important things are hygiene, and a sense of style. Having good fashion actually gets you places. Sounds crazy, right?? But it’s actually a proven fact that when you’re dressed your best, you’ll do your best. I think fashion is a great reason to get up in the morning, because it lets me plan out how I will be presenting myself that day. Do I want to look classy, lazy, or professional? The possibilities are endless; and remember, how you’re dressed also sends out a message to people, just as anything else. Except fashion is fun! 😆   :mrgreen:

If I put too many pictures it will take up the entire Internet, so I better play it safe and only post a couple.

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9.) LOVE

Clearly, I am saving the best ones for last. Love is the B-I-G-G-E-S-T one out of all of them for me. I believe love is the only reason that the entire world does not fail; that there is still hope; that there is still happiness; and that there is still a reason to wake up in the morning. I think it’s sad because a lot of people rush love. A lot of people think they need to be in a relationship to be happy. And a lot of people don’t realize the beauty that love has when you find it. And that’s the key: finding it. Don’t rush true love, it will come.

 

My boyfriend, Jacob, and I. Yes, it was definitely true love at first sight. ♥

My boyfriend, Jacob, and I. Yes, it was definitely true love at first sight. ♥

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Also, when I talk about “love” being my favourite part of life, I’m not just talking about love relationship-wise. Love is a beautiful part of life. Whether it be your love for another person, love for your family, friends, love for a certain movie, TV show, or song, or whatever else that you are in love with. Think about it: love really does make up the entire world. If I think about a world without love, it is absolutely terrible. In short: my love is the reason that I wake in the morning. ♥

 

And last, but not least . . .

10.) HOPE

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I saved this one for last. I think it has to do with every single one of us. If you searched this up because you are sad and you wanted some reasons for why you should be thankful to wake up in the morning, let me just say that everything will get better with time, and never forget how valuable you and your life is. ♥ You’re so special, and there is always hope out there. Hope (and love) are the things that keep us going, and keep our faith alive. There may be many negatives in life, but there are always more positives. That is a fact. Every day, count 10 things that you are thankful for or blessed to have. These are my ten biggest reasons. But hope is so broad, and it can relate to anyone and anything. Whatever you are hoping for, try hard and it will happen. Remember: you don’t get what you wish for, you get what you work for. Anything can happen in life, and anything will happen in life. Always keep your head up, and remember who you are and where you came from. Thanks for reading this long blog. ♥ 😛

 

Life is a gift. Never forget to enjoy and bask in every moment you live.


 

Love,

Victoria Hecnar

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Image credit: Tumblr, Sharestock, Shutterstock, and Getty. All rights reserved.