Thursday, October 28, 2010

Reduce, reuse, recycle then REPEAT

Some people say "oh I don't have the time to recycle" or "it takes too much effort". I have to look at those people sideways with a creased brow. I have to wonder how many minutes in the day are spent waiting for their supper to cook, waiting on the hubby & kids to get home, waiting on a call or even worse yet, time spent on hand held gadgets (phones, games, music).

Any of that time, is all you need for some of the basics of reduce, recycle, reuse. Our family has been recyclers for 25 years. Just like anything else that you do on a regular basis it's habit for us. We make sure we have easy access to the recycle bins & our compost (inside & out) so it doesn't take more time. We do it without thinking.

Just yesterday I found that even our wildlife have gotten into the groove of recycling. They've taken it upon themselves to re-use my fall decorations on the porch as their lunch!

In recent years we've become interested in expanding these principles. Learning where our food comes from (the Food Inc dvd is awesome!) and what's in the stuff you buy. We are fortunate enough to be able to buy eggs locally from chickens that are allowed to be chickens as well as cow & pig. (ie. humanely treated, free range, not injected with bad stuff)

So now we are branching out further to include an awesome Giveaway to help even the most seasoned recycler to expand this theme. I am so excited at the prospects of winning this!

Do you wonder HOW to go green? Here's a good place to start. Check out Sustainable Baby Steps for great ideas.

Just remember that you've spent your whole life learning to be the way you are. You can't change everything over night. It takes baby steps but I know you can do it!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

You're my cuppa coffee!

My coffee tastes so much better in my yellow happy face mug that says 'stupid is as stupid does' mug. My husband bought it for me on his most recent trip to NYC where he got to eat in a Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. restaurant.

I love the movie Forrest Gump. We have watched it so many times, have quoted it, imitated it & even watched it in German while we were living in Germany! We'd seen it so many times that even though we are far from fluent in German we knew what was going on!

It's rather funny that he would add to my mug collection because on so many occassions through the years he's questioned, "How many mugs does one person need?" but he realizes the pleasure they give me.

When I made the comment to some friends I was pleasantly surprised by their responses. One said he & his wife bought big, beach-scene coffee mugs at Sunset Beach this summer. "As we drink coffee, we can smell salt water and hear ocean's magical!"

Another shared, "Isn't it great how your choice of coffee mug can make a difference. Mine is lime green with yellow polka dots and a black bow on the handle."

What lovely sentiments! And to think that such expression is found from something relatively cheap!

Depending on my mood is how I choose that morning which cup to partake from! It's as if it's an expression/extension of myself. LOL I know that's a little too dramatic and deep, but it's true!

I've thinned mine out with each household move to include only our souvenir mugs & ones from friends, so each one has a 'story' just like everything else in our house!

My friend said, "You've just described a well-lived life, Kathy: a collection of souvenirs from friends, beautiful places and happy moments." I do believe he gets the Quote of the Day award! LOL

I've always thought of souvenirs as memories you can touch. Just like my friend said it gives you pleasure because it brings to mind a special person or transports you to a happy moment. The best part is it doesn't matter what these things are. Doesn't even have to be from a collection or cost alot of money. Could be a cowbell that a friend gives you as a gag gift, a piece of driftwood from a beach in Alaska or a box made from toothpicks by a small child.

My challenge for you is to find your own 'smiley mug'. Let the things you love be your escape. What gives you a warm fuzzy? I'd love to hear.

Friday, October 15, 2010

RIP our little Liesl mouse~Oct 13, 2010

I've been keeping an eye on Liesl for a few days now. (shown here before she even had her eyes open) I wasn't liking her body language & slight weight loss. Yesterday morning she was very lethargic & she was wondering around the cage aimlessly. At one point Chigger rather violently was 'turning' & 'flipping' her with her hands. Liesl barely moved after the trauma. I didn't know if Chigger was trying to revive her or kill her. It was very disturbing to see and after I saw her do that a couple times, I was like huh-a no more of that!! I fixed a container for her and she just laid there. I prayed that God would take her quickly as it was painful to see her laboring to breath. I checked her constantly thru the morning, then some time during when the ladies were here for a Bible study she finally passed away.

You know I still have 9 mice left but she is really going to be missed! How silly is that, some might comment? She was the runt though so it's not too much of a surprise. Her and sister Lilly were/are my sweetest babies though. They both loved to come get scrambled egg from my hand & to be petted. Although I must say that Re-Pete & Jonas are close seconds when it comes to that. Most of the remaining 9 will let me pet them without running off. I really do love them all.

I put her in a little bracelet box I had that fit her perfectly and waited til Stephen got home for us to bury her together. The box seemed appropriate since she was a little jewel too. When he got home that night, I wasn't home but he told me he opened the box to tell her goodbye. I was so touched by that gesture. He never ceases to amaze me with his sweet & gentle heart. I mean I knew he loved them but I kinda figured it was a little different than me cause he's been away so much.

I have been pleasantly surprised by the people that have expressed their condolences. I know that many do not share or understand our love for these little critters, but I am touched that they can appreciate our loss all the same & that they cared enough for US to let us know that.:)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Mouse antics & other useless information

Don't think for a moment that just because I haven't posted anything about the meeces that we are no longer having a good time with them...Oh contrare! They continue to be a source of entertainment here. Ya, ya, perhaps we should get out more but why leave the house when you have four cages of fun here!

The only real downside since writing last is that our little Chigger has gone blind in one eye. I'd noticed about 3 or 4 weeks after getting the original four, that her eye was kinda bulging. I thought perhaps she'd scratched it so I kept watch over her. As the days wore on the swelling went down to then be replaced with a milky film over her eye (much like I've seen with someone with bad cataracts). Then that changed to a little white dot right in the middle of her eye.

No need to feel too sorry for her though. It does not slow her down one bit. As a matter of fact she is one of the more active girls. And she continues to be one of the matriarchs of this entourage. Here she is praying over the rest of them the last day that the boys & girls were living together. Oh yes, ALL nine of the rest of them were huddled in there!

She is always involved, usually with Skunk & sometimes Halo in redecorating their cage. I think toilet papering their house was an attempt at early Halloween decorating!!! That was hysterical to watch her with just a little bit of paper left on a roll!

She is also the only one to take a daily stroll across their screen lid, upside down!!! Yep, I've seen some of the others try to shimmy up the wire that holds their zebra hanging bed, but Chigger's the only one to actually make it up then walk the entire length of the lid, holding on with her toenails! Almost like someone trying to get their 10,000 steps in a day.

About a week after I'd separated the boys from the girls I noticed that Pete, one of the white twins, seemed to be picking fights occassionally. One morning I barely had my eyes opened when it became clear that he was going to have to go to his own cage. Too much testosterone, I guess. Of course I had to be sure I had the right white twin, because he kept doing a switcheroo with his brother Re-Pete by running into their house! SOooo, I put green food coloring on a Q-tip and attempted to rub some on his back. I think it was about a week before he didn't run away from me every time I approached his cage!!! See I kid you not, he'd hide! See him peeking out of the skull nose? LOL

I know it may look like he's being punished but he's not. Although it's not exactly my choice in decor, it was donated to 'the cause'. And I must say it does make for a neat effect! LOL

About a week after this, his brother Willie Wonka also got a bee in his bonnet and thus he moved into his own cage too....He's a happy boy now. I noticed that the boys don't do near the decorating as the girls do but W.W. did make himself an extended igloo out of his little grass hut.

Oh and little Jonas and Re-Pete have continued to be fast friends. I regularly find them cuddled together. I hope it stays that way!

Would you believe I've had 2 different people show interest in adopting one of the boys? Yep, why now? Where were these people when I *might have actually been able to part with any of them! Initially (for like 30 seconds!) I was excited at the prospects but then I started to feel nauseas! LOL I know, you probably don't understand that...But after you have cared for these little guys feeding them scrambled eggs & doing everything in my power to make sure they were healthy & had a good life, I just couldn't chance them not having as good a life that I could give them. Thank heavens I have an understanding husband that feels the same when it comes to these kind of things. It was with his blessing that I told the folks that I couldn't part with any of them! To think I went from having one cage to clean & four mice to feed to cleaning 4 cages (much more time I might add) and 10 mice to feed. Oh ya, not exactly what I signed up for...but what in life is? You just gotta make the best of it sometimes.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Handmade Potholders Giveaway

These are very pretty and something I could really use...but I'll give you the opportunty to win them too!

Look here for the details for chances to enter!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Our 24th wedding anniversary~Nov. 2

My dear husband wrote in my card, that our relationship may not have always been perfect but it was always "right". And how blessed we were that even all these years later we were more in love than we even were way back then. Who'da thunk it possible?

We spent the day traveling up north towards Cook Forest and Clear Creek State Park. Our main destination was to be Beartown Rocks at the latter. The GPS had taken us on a couple wild goose chases in the past couple days and this was to be no exception. Thank goodness we came upon a nifty gift shop with some folks that knew the area and they pointed us in the right direction.

Plus I saw this puppet and knew he had to go home with us. Ever since we lived in AK whereby the raven was a representative of the Tlingit clan, I have been fond of ravens. We also had them in Germany and they helped me not miss Alaska quite so much. In restrospect, I realized we also had them while living in S. CA but we'd given them the moniker of Dumpster Doves! LOL That was obviously years before I came to have an appreciation for them!

Beartown Rocks was a gentle little hike but gave us the opportunity for a few nice pics. I got to take advantage of that since our anniversary is the one time my dear hubby humors me when I want to take a ton...aside from trying to get the perfect shot for our Christmas card. I love the challenge of finding a rock, tree stump or bridge to prop the camera on and setting the timer, then frantically running to get in the picture!!

The day was the perfect temperature with some clear sunny skies, as we found a petting zoo, Amish furniture shops and a place to eat supper.

From all indications it seemed that most if not all the animals, had at one time been a pet in someone's home. Naughty,'d think in this day & age people would be smarter than that..

Here is Sara, a bobcat, that has been declawed and had her teeth filed down...apparantly after all that, as she grew bigger, she still wasn't a good housepet. Go figure!! She even had to get use to stepping on grass as she was use to carpet!! But when the lady came near the fence she came running as any loving cat would do so she could get her lovins'.

There was also this big cat that was in the black panther enclosure however he has the markings of a cheetah...very cool & funky looking. There were dozens of animals (fox, lemurs, cavies, goats, iguanas etc) including what had started out as a little turtle in a petshop that was now big enough for a small child to ride on, trekking around their beaten path.

I normally have issue with some of these places (housing wild animals that should be in the wild etc) but I'm glad they had somewhere to go after already being taken from their homelands. The place was clean and the folks working there really seemed to like being there & loved the animals as well.

After all the looking & shopping & washing our hands, we went to eat. We were so excited to find that the Farmer's Inn, served prime rib...Well we were in cow country, ya know....Being that it was our anniversary we didn't hesitate to pay the premium price for something we loved and rarely got. What a surprise when our charcoaled steak came to us with a slice of tomatoe & pickle on the side, plus the bottle of A1 sauce...What?!!! Where's the juicy very pink meat with aus ju sauce on the side...Nada! A bit disappointing I must say.....we ate the meal in relative silence. Not that it was bad mind you, it's just not what we were hungry for or expecting. As we chewed, we smiled at each other shaking our heads in knowing one point Stephen did add, Well a year from now this will be a funny story...just not so much now.

Then it kinda hit me. Although we'd had a beautiful day it may not be the flashy kind of anniversary day alot of people would expect. But that's the beauty of our's not the place you go or the food you eat that makes a day special, it's the people you share it with. And I wouldn't have wanted to share it with anyone else. Ü