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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Family Pets

Most families that I know have at least one pet of some kind. This is true in our family as well. We have two cats, a black long hair we call Ebony, and a White and Orange short hair tabby mix we call Keeper.

However, my favorite of our pets are technically the boys' pets, but I think I play with them more than they do! We have rats! Yup, furry bodied, naked tailed rats. Up until yesterday we had two of them, girls that the boys called Ana and Kylie (I have no idea where the names come from, I just ask and they name). Yesterday though we did something that I think is FANTASTIC! We found a ferret cage for a great price, and I had been looking to get a larger cage for the girls simply because I think animals should have as much space as possible to call home. So, at the pet store I was purchasing a glass water bottle for them (they have chewed through 3 plastic ones in the past month), some fresh bedding, some pelleted food because all that was left in their mix was seeds, and a few chew toys (Rat teeth never stop growing and so they much chew them down or they will cause problems).

Well, those of you who know me KNOW that I almost never walk out of a store with only the items I intended to purchase, so while there we bought another little rat. The boys call her Hannah, and she is still a little nervous around people, but I'm sure my tempting treats offered each morning will earn her trust in no time at all. So here we were with a HUGE cage and only 3 little ratties in them. I was browsing online and found a family who was moving and looking for a new home for their two little ratties, I read on and found that they were females, so I contacted the family and "Yes, we do still have them, and we really need to find them a new home". I got the address (less than a mile from our home) and off we went. We arrived and the girls were just too cute not to take home, so into our shoebox they went and we headed home.

We now have 5 little girls in our cage, and two more will be arriving soon, as we are rescuing them from being snake food. Now don't get me wrong snakes have to eat too, but these two are just too cute to be snake food, and since the snake doesn't really care what the food looks like I think these two would be better served as pets. :)

I thought I would post a few pictures of our girls and their new palace, oh and in case anyone is wondering our Cats are terrible hunters and are actually afraid of the rats. ;) When the rats are on the floor playing the cats are high up on the furniture or they are hiding in my room. If a rat happens to get near enough a cat to sniff the cat screams and runs, literally screams and runs.

Here is the cage itself, 4 feet high! The three ratties you can see in the picture are Ana, Kylie, and Princess.

This is Hannah (the little black face in the corner), she's still very shy and likes to stay in the corner whenever possible. There is also a bit of Kylie in this picture.

This one is Kylie in the front and little Gayle in the back corner.

They all love this giant cage, and they all get along great. When I went in this morning with nutrigrain bar they were all at the front of the cage whiskers a twitchin' waiting for the treats they knew were coming, well, all except for Hannah who perked up a bit in her corner, but refused to come out. I gave her a piece in the corner which she happily took and ate. Princess kept trying to convince me she didn't get any and needed more, when actually what she was doing was taking the piece and running it to the back of the cage in the opposite corner from Hannah and burrying it, they are rodents after all and as such they will hoard food.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Sickness, Insomnia, and a touch of...

The past week in our home has been a week of sickness. It began when B got a cough, just a cough, so I figure no big deal, we'll handle it, in our own "strange" way. Well he got better almost overnight, so I thought we were in the clear. I was wrong, by Friday S was down for the count, he was miserable the poor guy spent all of Friday laying around the house (wherever the people were) and dozing in and out. Saturday Twiggles began to show signs of illness, so again treat in our own little way. Sunday he was MISERABLE! and the whole house knew it, he made sure of it. He spent all of Sunday sleeping on and off, eating almost nothing (the sum total of his food intake for the day is less than what he normally eats in one snack) and drinking only slightly more than he ate. Monday he began to drink much more, and eat a little more, and he was more active.

This whole time I'm filling the members of this household with orange juice as fast as I can, and spraying EVERYTHING with Tea Tree Oil and water (Tea Tree Oil is a natural antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, pretty much anti anything you don't want in your house) as much as possible to prevent the spread of sickness. Now come Tuesday everyone is back to normal, I thought, then Wednesday I come down sick, my head is in one place, my body in another, and I am just not right. I slept on and off Wednesday, while my dearest hubby cared for the children and tended to the house (oh how I love that man!). Here it is now Thursday morning at 4am and what am I doing?

I am on the computer of course because I now can not sleep thanks to the several naps I took Wednesday. I am on the computer blogging and searching. What am I searching for you ask? I am searching for books, yup books. Big suprise right? A homeschooler who is searching for books, that just never happens right? (note the sarcasm) Well I am not searching for just any books, I am searching for the books of my childhood, books that I enjoyed so much I want to share with my children, and you know what they are *gasp* educational! I was and still am an avid reader as a child, devouring any book placed in front of me. I always had a love of all things mystery when it came to fiction books, but then I also loved non-fiction as well, mostly science and space. So I am sitting up late into the night or early into the morning, depending on your perspective, searching for books from my childhood book shelf. If only I had the forsight to have kept those books, but as I got older I donated the outgrown, or unwanted books to local charities so that other children would have books to read and now I must search to find the best loved books once again to share with my children.

Care to share some of your favorite books?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

A recipe

As I was browsing the grocery ads for deals the other day my wonderful hubby noticed that salmon was on sale, for a very good price, and he specifically requested that I prepare some salmon for supper because of the sale. Now I personally do not care for salmon as I almost always find it to be too fishy, weird I know, usually I limit my personal salmon intake to salmon cakes which are always lovely.

The other day as I was wandering the grocery isles trying to decide how to prepare this most icky of fish in a way that everyone would enjoy, it came to me! I though of a way to prepare the fish that I may enjoy it! I picked up the Salmon fillets (on sale), a gallon of Orange Juice (on sale), a package of dill (not on sale), and a package of organic baby lettuces (on sale).

I took it all home, and put the orange juice in a deep skillet with some of the dill (about 3 large sprigs of dill and a quart and a half of OJ), brought it to a simmer and then placed in the salmon. When the salmon was just beginning to flake I removed it from the pan to a glass dish (always glass with fish, as it won't hold the smell), and covered with plastic to refrigerate until cold. While that was chilling, I simmered the orange juice and dill down by a little more than half, and added some butter for creaminess (maybe 4 tablespoons?). This too I allowed to cool, though not refrigerated, just room temp.

When we were ready for supper all I did was put some greens on a plate, top with a little salmon, and drizzle with the sauce. It was delicious! Everyone loved it, the boys asked for seconds, my hubby took it to work the next day for lunch, and I, even I enjoyed that meal! So go ahead and try it for yourself, just be sure to use the freshest fish you can possibly find.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Decluttering February

This month has been a month of chaos and because of that I didn't quite reach my goal of 28 items. I will list the items I did manage to get out of the house and hopefully one of these months I'll get a few extra items out to make up for my February failures.

February's List:
1. 3 bags of hotel soaps/shampoos and the like. (My dad brings them to me and I usually donate them to homeless shelters or send them to soldiers, these bags had been in the bathroom for a couple of months) Can I count this at 3 items?
2 or 4. Mismatched sheets, sheets with tears, and sheets that don't fit our beds. I was saving these for crafting, but since I've not used them in over a year, out they go!
3 or 5. Christmas Decorations that have been on the patio since we took them down, obviously since I never put them away I don't want or need them.
4 or 6. Baby shoes that Twiggles has outgrown, him and his big feet...
5 or 7. More kid clothes that are too small for my children.
6 or 8. Excess craft supplies, basically things that were given to me or came in a kit I got on sale and I have no intention of ever using (example being some halloween theme scrapbooking items that came in a bag I got on sale for only 5.00)
7 or 9. Kid size cups and plates that my big boys no longer use and Logan has no use for either.
8 or 10. Cloth diapers, yes I had more cloth diapers to get rid of and I did, sent them off to a mama who can use them!
9 or 11. underbed shoe storage thingy, used to hold the boys' shoes but since they never put them away there I got rid of it and found a new solution to their shoe troubles.
10 or 12. Pot holder/placemat gift set thing, that was given to us and we have no use for.
11 or 13. Some baby toys that no longer get used, yes again.
12 or 14. Some random stuff that has been in boxes or bags for ages and I have no more use for.

So there you have it...I am 14 or 16 items short of my goal depending on how you count. I missed the mark here and it's upsetting, but I will do better for March!

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