Friday, November 19, 2010

Silence is Smelly

Did you know that it costs about a hundred dollars to have the inside of a minivan cleaned? And that sometimes, it's totally worth it to let the professionals do it? Yep.

Several days ago, a UFO (unidentifiable foul odor) was detected in our van. It happens. We shrugged, sprayed some Oust and went on with our lives. Yesterday when the smell became something between stinky cheese and elmer's glue, I went out and emptied the van of all the wrappers, discarded junk mail, and assorted childhood debris. Since I found no sentient life forms, I shrugged, sprayed some more Oust and kept going.

By the time we left for swimming lessons today, the fumes had reached the eye watering, gag inducing stage somewhere beyond spit up and leaky tomatoes, and I knew it was time to get serious.
I took the seats out of the back and discovered that someone (who shall remain nameless, but her name begins with the same letter as minivan, and mess, and "Wow! Mommy is really Mad!") had spilled an entire cup of orange juice on the floor and neglected to tell me.

I have never in their lives punished either of my children for spills. Spills happen. I've never even punished them for spills caused by carelessness, although I have held them responsible for the cleanup.
But silence? This silence is not golden. This silence is sticky and spawning in the carpet in my car. And someone has got to clean it.
Just not me.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

A Cuppa

Ever hear of the Bunn-o-Matic coffee makers? I've got one.

Want a cup?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Rabbit Trails

*apologies to Liz in advance.

Now that we're growing by leaps and bounds, I've decided to split hares off this blog and make a run in other parts. I'd like to introduce Leaning Tree Acres, rabbitry, petting zoo and home to any other furred, scaled or otherwise non-human ventures that we decide to undertake. Hop on by!
Other than general cuteness, all rabbit related news and photos will posted there. Everybody has to have their own hole, you know!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Historical Marker

I can't help myself. When I see one of those little brown signs with the arrow, I have to follow it. If only so that we can laugh about the inane item or event that someone thought needed a sign. Many times, you'll drive off the beaten path only to find a worn placard relating how some person who would become marginally important at some later date spit on a rock in this spot, thus making it nationally significant and worthy of a monument.

Then there are sites like the one we found today. It teeters on the brink of significance, but I can't ignore the timing. I just finished reading Exupery's Wind, Sand, and Stars (again) a few days ago. It's an autobiography of sorts, about his time as a mail carrier over France, Spain, and Africa. It was published in 1939, 5 years before the plane crash that precipitated his writing The Little Prince.

With this in mind, you can imagine my delight when we followed an impulse today to find a historical marker whose sign we pass frequently. I've looked before, but failed to locate it. Today we succeeded. This is what we found:

I'm thinkin' there needs to be a stamp. Yes?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Bunny Bulletin

This last weekend was quite eventful here at the NitroZoo. For those of you not following on Facebook, we had two rabbits due to kindle last week. Since I still haven't received my Idiot's Guide (although I've almost earned the badge by now), it ended up being way harder than it needed to be, but that's par for the course for me.

According to my calculations, Little Bear was due on Friday and Violet was due on Sunday. However, I mixed up their dates and had them one day off (I was looking at the calendar from '09 at the time). That might not seem like a big deal, but it started a sequence of mistakes on my part. First, I gave Little Bear her nest box too early. She promptly kicked everything out of it and started using it as a toilet--which I took to mean that my nest building skills left much to be desired. I later learned that it usually means they aren't pregnant in the first place.

I didn't give Violet her nest box at all until I saw her desperately trying to build a nest from the few scraps of hay she could find in her cage. When the light bulb did finally go on, I gave her the box and she frantically started bundling newspaper and hay. All while I was hurrying to get baby saver wire in place on her cage (not done because I thought I had several more days). I ended up giving up on the wire and just sliding boards in place to keep kits from falling out. Violet delivered only a couple of hours later. She is a first time Mom and had some trouble. She ended up with only one that survived--a (possibly) chestnut (I think) buck, just like his Papa. He is currently designated as A11.

Right on (the correct) schedule, Little Bear started nesting and delivered two healthy (possibly) black otter (I think) bucks. They are A12 and B12

Papa Charlie, RIP 10/25/10 (No, I don't want to talk about it)

Most breeders have a way to organize ear numbers to include quite a bit of information in a very abbreviated way. We have finally figured out a system for ear tattoos here. Pay attention now. There is going to be a test.
Each sire and dam in the rabbitry has a number. At the moment, we're still in the single digits. Charlie was buck #1. Violet is doe #1, and Little Bear is doe #2. Each kit will receive a letter. Males go before females (It's a pedigree thing, not a chivalry thing). So a male kit would have an ear tattoo that is Letter/Sire's number/Dam's number and a female kit would have an ear tattoo that is Sire's number/Dam's number/Letter. Lost yet?
Violet's singleton is A11. A (in the front) because he is the first (and only) male in the litter born to buck #1 and doe #1.
Little Bear's are A12 and B12 because they are two males (A and B--in the front) born to buck #1 and doe #2.
With this system, we will be able to tell gender and pedigree at a glance. By adding the abbreviation for our rabbitry (the name for which is still being decided in committee), we'll have a complete picture of the rabbit and it's background.
Please don't make me 'splain this again.

Speaking of names for the rabbitry...Got any suggestions? And before you get all cutesy and punny on needs to at least hint at being a serious business venture.