Monday, February 28, 2011

The Upgrade

Not a new car. Not a new computer.

We got a new fish tank.  Bet you didn't see THAT one coming, did you??

We've really enjoyed having our 30gallon tank up again, and after researching and learning from mistakes, FINALLY feel like we are heading in the right direction.

A few months ago, while visiting PetSmart, my husband ran up while I was trying to decide which fish were trying to tell me to take them home. ;-)

"You've GOT to come here and see this fish tank!"
"But!! I'm right in the middle of deciding..."
"Who cares what your doing! Come see this. NOW!"

So a few aisles down there was a BEAUTIFUL tank, decorated in an Asian theme with these HUGE, tennis ball plus sized gold fish in them.  Now, my husband LOVES Asian decor--reds and blacks, bamboo, dragons--stuff like that, so this didn't surprise me at all. It WAS beautiful!

And I sat there looking at him and you could almost literally see the wheels turning in his head.

As I watched him drool, he said.."This is THE tank I want someday. With big ol beefy fish in it. None of those little weenie fish! And I'm going to decorate it JUST like this."

I peeked at the price tag on the tank. Secretly laughed. A LOT.  Maybe a little out loud.

"Suuuuurrrrre, ok, Babe--lets go pick out some guppies now."

Fast forward a few months. A friend calls us.  Her friend has a big fish tank she'd like to get rid of. Are we interested?

 No. Not really.

She tells me the price.

I spit coffee out my nose.

Umm..SURE!!! We will take it!

So, here we are. It came with 2 goldfish, 2 sucker fish, a Molly, African Featherfan Catfish and an Angel fish. I tried to con him into combining the tanks, so we only have up keep on one tank, but he was having NOTHING to do with it.  And I'm guessing within a month we will have a Asian themed fish tank with man eating sized fish in it.

And at the moment we still have our other tank set up, with our little procreating Mickey Mouse Platies.

Maybe I'll open a pet store when I retire and sell bunnies and fish. 

Monday, February 21, 2011


First of all, do you see that?? ^^^^^  My counter??? Spring is getting closer and closer!!!  I've been THRILLED to see things start poking up out of the ground.  My poppies have come up, as well as some Tulips. I'm still finishing up seed and plant orders. It's so hard to decide when you want to grow a bit of everything. Must get that all ordered very soon!

Tristen is in Horticulture in 4-H this year and has been a growing fool. He's trying to decided what he wants to grow in the garden this year, but has already been playing around inside with some seeds. He got a kit for Christmas that came with all sorts of cool, strange seeds, like Eyeball plants, with a little dome greenhouse to start them in.  I can't get anything to grow from seed, but his are doing great. They've gotten lots of new leaves on them. As long as I don't touch them, they should be ok. ;)  (I might have to snag the little dome after he's done with it!)

He's also growing a bit of wheat. For Kansas Day at school everyone got cup of dirt with some wheat, and he has really enjoyed watching his sprout!

Jake's been keeping busy with the bunnies.   He's got some new litters due spaced out with in the next month. One he's REALLY excited about, as mom is a chocolate and the dad is a chocolate carrier. He's really wanting some new chocolates to show!!  His babies I blogged about a few weeks ago are just a bit over 3 weeks now. Jacob had to kick them out of the nest box. They were very attached to it. We've never had a litter that just refused to leave it. They are also very attached to each other and their mom more than what we've seen in the past.  See what I mean:

 There are 3 babies all grouped together sitting and stacked on mom's head. Yawn doesn't seem to mind though. (I minded...I took them all off her head and she just looked at me and sighed. I know exactly how you feel, sister!!)

 Jacob will be starting track soon...didn't I JUST by basketball shoes?? I've really enjoyed having him come home right after school and it will be hard getting used to practices again.

A lot of the MEN in my life are claiming we will have one more snow storm before spring hits. How I hope they are wrong!!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

4-H Days 2011

Tuesday evening was our local 4-H days. This is where kids do project talks, demonstrations, music and band numbers, and readings in front of a judge and then are judged on their performances.

This year Tristen didn't do a talk, but he did do 2 musical numbers with the 5th grade 4-H members that were in band. They sounded great and got a blue!!

Next year Tristen says he's doing a talk, to which his brother responded, "Well, I am NOT!" ;)

This was Jacob's first year for doing a talk, and he did a demonstration on the Havana rabbit. He took a bunny of  each variety and told about what was required of  each according to the standard.  He knew all of his information, and just memorized the order he wanted to give it in, and was able to do it with no papers or notes.

He did great and ended up getting 2nd Blue for the Jr demonstrations...aka..the alternate for regionals. I did notice when he got nervous he focused on the bunnies instead of looking around. The judge was really nice, and wrote some encouraging comments for him. She did ask some "funny" questions that I wasn't expecting, (Can you breed a broken to a solid color? and Do you do anything commercially with them?)  and after she was done she told Jacob that she used to raise rabbits too!

( I totally loved it -- she had over 200 rabbits when she raised them. We catch heck ALL THE TIME about our small herd, so I thought it was great she put that out there and maybe people will catch on we are not all THAT strange and different. ;) )

It was a great night and I am very proud of my boys!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

My Valentine

What do rabbit breeders buy their wives for Valentine's Day?? BUNNIES, of course!!!
 The quest for these buns has a really long story to them, but it ends really sweetly.

Every person that raises and shows rabbits loves their breed.  When my boys were first starting out, they visited a rabbitry and the sweet lady there was telling us her story about the first time she saw "her" breed of rabbit. "My heart flip flopped just a little bit and I thought they were the most beautiful thing my eyes had ever seen." she told them. Yeah..that about sums it up.

I first ran across English Lops on the internet way before we had ever thought about showing or raising rabbits. My heart flopped and I fell in love.  Played with the idea of owning one SOMEDAY, but they are really rare in our area.  My boys fell harder into breeding and showing, and my husband found "his" breed, and I played with my little Hotot's. But I'd always look around at shows for the Lops I longed for...but never seeing any.  I looked into having them shipped in from out of state, but that costs around $300  and while I REALLY wanted one, I wasn't quite ready to spend that sort of money.(And NEVER would have been!)

So this past year I decided that I WOULD have one and started seriously hunting.  We were at a show in June and one of our judges walked by and he had an amazing tattoo of an English Lop on his calf. We chatted a little bit, mostly about the tattoo.  I sent him a message later on Facebook, asking if he had any for sale.  He replied back and told me that he was sorry, but he had JUST sold out his Lops....=( a breeder in Kansas!!! Wait...WHAT???  So he told me the name and lo and behold they were sold to a lady we know and see at almost every show!!!! 

My very sweet husband called her up, and yes, she had his rabbits, but she wasn't sure what she wanted to get rid of or even what she had because she hadn't really had a chance to go through them yet.  I was bummed, but was hopeful I'd at least be give then chance to get one very soon.

This past week Dan calls from work.
"I'm gonna be gone for a day this weekend"
"Oh really? What for?"
"To go get your dang rabbits"
"What rabbits?"
"The rabbits from M.  She just called and has a breeding pair for you."
"*Insert dramatic intake of breath and intense girly squealing here* OHMYGOSH OHMYGOSH!!"
"I think you might have just ruptured my eardrum."

So my superman took off to go pick up MY dream bunnies.  The breeder lives in Abilene, and the buns were given to friends of ours at a show we didn't get to attend, and they brought them to their house in Haysville and kept them overnight for us.  Rabbit friends ROCK!!

And a husband who take a day out of his quiet weekend just to go get buns to make his wife smile rocks even more! ;-)
 The bunner in the picture I've named Murray.  The doe is really upset right now, so I didn't pull her out for a picture. She doesn't have a name YET! (Any ideas??)  The buck is a lovebug, and will lay his head on your shoulder. I'm head over heels in love with them and a 3 year hunt has ended. Flop Flop goes my heart.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Whining

It's cold. Bitter cold. There is snow on the ground. Lots of snow. BLAH.

It stinks having bunnies in the winter months. February is usually the month I daydream about not having any buns. No frozen water crocks to unthaw. No more lugging water jugs to the barn several times a day. No more fingers sticking to the aluminum water crocks. No more slipping cold newborn babies down into your bra to warm them up.(You haven't LIVED until you've done THAT!)  No more running nest boxes full of babies out to mamas in10 below temps and wind so cold it burns your skin. (Our life would be very sad and boring without the bunnies, so my daydreaming never really lasts long after I think about that! ;-) )
Short as the month may be...FEBRUARY SEEMS TO LAST FOREVER.

The winter weather did provide us with some snow days. I love snow days, or at least I enjoy the first one of the season. This one I didn't enjoy. It could because of:

 The salt, mud, wet blobs, and snow my boys tracked in over and over. I finally just stopped cleaning it up.

 The mounds and mounds of wet hats, gloves, jeans and socks,

or the many pairs of wet shoes and boots just kinda of laying around wherever they are thrown as the cold feet they were attached to run for a pair of warm and dry socks.

Next year I'm considering flying south for the winter with the birds, or hibernating all season like a bear!

Monday, February 7, 2011

It's OVER!!

HOORAY!! Super Bowl is HISTORY!  I survived another football season!! This means plans at my house no longer depend on who's playing at what time! 
My men really enjoyed the game. And they enjoy planning their buffet as much as the game itself. This year Jacob made pizza bites that he made a recent 4-H foods meeting. (Thanks Melanie!)  He's becoming quite the cook and they were very tasty!

Jacob's basketball season is officially over and will be on to track soon.  Tristen just started his pee-wee basketball season.  He's got 4 more weeks of games. He's really come out of his shell from playing last year and become more aggressive on the court, even fouling once in the game. Whoops. ;)

Wednesday found us with some excitement here during daycare.  We had just sat down to eat our afternoon snack when I heard one of the kids say: Eww...I smell a skunk.  Oh my stars did we smell skunk. I have one daycare boy with a very sensitive stomach and gag reflux and he immediately started gagging.  Anyway, long story short, Smokey got sprayed, skunk ran off while Smokey was rubbing his nose in the snow and the dumb dog  recovered enough to go and GET the skunk. Not only was I sure our house would never smell good again, we were also worried about our dog. Smokey had gotten bit and scratched on his nose. =(  Danny took him over to the vet, windows down the entire way, for a booster on his rabies shot and to have his nose cleaned. They also took pity on us and gave him a bath while he was over there.
After 24 hours the house smelled better, but it still creeps up sometimes in the weirdest of places, such as the can of coffee.  Skunk smell is awful anyway, but when sprayed close, it reaches an entire new level of stinky. 

Suppose to have more winter weather starting tonight.  Ugh.  How many days until spring????

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

B-Ball, Wind Chills, and Flu Bugs! OH MY!

Saturday found us packing up to head to Dodge to watch sister Michelle play in a high school basketball tournament.
It was a rough game, with us trailing  behind until the last quarter, when we pulled ahead and won first place! The atmosphere in that gym was electrifying. I've never clapped and screamed and stomped my feet so much in my life as I did those last few minutes of that game.

The last play of the game, I watched as my sister fell over a player and didn't get back up. It's sick feeling when you see someone you love not jump right back up while playing sports.. She did get up, just really slow and with help, and my husband stopped me from running on to the court and embarrassing the pee-wads out of  her. But as soon as they got their medals and were lining up for their pictures, I was down the stairs, with my brother trailing close behind. She had re-injured her hamstring and will have to have another week of PT.  We are all crossing our fingers she didn't REALLY hurt it this time.
During the game, I started feeling really hot and clammy, and my stomach started feeling funky.  I thought it was probably because of how many people where in there.  It was so hot and loud.   We went out to eat  and all I could eat was a few bites of a milk shake. When I woke up the next morning,  I was sick with the stomach flu.
I don't remember the last time I've felt that bad. I stayed in bed most the day Sunday, and THOUGHT I was better on Monday, but ended up only being up out of bed for about 2 hours the entire day.  Jake called around 9am from school.
"Mom, can someone come get me? I have a fever and a stomachache."   Dan took the rest of the day off to run between our bedroom and the couch, taking care of us. Fun times.
 Tuesday found me feeling better, but still weak and shaky.  I'm working today, but still can't stand the sight of raw meat and am just trying to catch myself up on basic nourishment, like water, for starters.

Around 2am Saturday morning, Jake's new bunny, YAWN, had 7 babies. 5 brokens, 2 solid blacks. I was pleased she delivered on one of the warmest nights, because Sunday night the temp dropped and the wind blew.  We ended up with just a scattering of snow, but the wind chills have been just bitter, so school was canceled Tuesday and Wednesday.
We brought the nest box inside in the warmth,and take them out first thing in the morning for the babies to nurse. They are fat and sassy little things. This is Jacob's first litter with brokens, so he's anxious to see how they do as they grow. He was VERY excited to see 2 chocolate brokens in the mix. They are sure cute and we are enjoying having babies around again! (yeah yeah yeah--they DO resemble rats to you non-bunny people. But to us...they are adorable!)

Dan's off in a bit to buy a new car battery. Did I mention I'm ready for spring?

Stay warm!!