Saturday, November 21, 2009

Puppet GiveAway!

I love twitter contests...So I've decided to have one! I'll try to keep it simple and fun. :)I'm going to give away not one....not two...but THREE Little Kid Hand Puppets! Not only do you get THREE of them, but YOU GET TO PICK which ones you want! How can you go wrong? Yay!

Go to LaurelsZoo and check out the adorable little puppets made to fit a child's hand. Pick out your favorite, then twitter the following:

I wanna win 3 puppets from @LaurelsZoo! This one is my favorite! *insert link to your favorite puppet here* Get more info at

497th tweet gets them, no more than one tweet an hour please. :) You can play with the wording, just make sure your tweet includes @LaurelsZoo, a link to your favorite puppet, and a link back to this blog.

And hey...if you see some puppets you really, REALLY like, and don't want to wait until the contest is over to get them (Xmas is getting CLOSE!) get them, but keep tweeting! If you win the contest I'll give you a refund for three previously purchased kiddie puppets, shipping included!

Thanks for reading this, thanks for playing, and let's All Have Fun! :D

Sunday, August 9, 2009

What is Your Working Style?

They say opposites attract, which has often caused me to comment that my husband and I must have slammed together at VERY high speed. One of our biggest areas of difference is in auto repair.

I must state, right off the top, that I know nothing about cars. I once tried to fix a fused ignition by hammering the key in. I must also state, right off the top, that my husband also sucks at auto repair. He once caught an engine on fire while trying to change the spark plugs. It had to be put out with a fire extinguisher.

Note: Every time I tell that story he rolls his eyes and says "I don't know why you keep making such a big deal out of that. It was a very small engine fire."

However, I have a friend who once replied to the question "what shape are your tires in?" with....wait for it......"round." We both, therefore, feel highly qualified to open a hood when standing next to our peers.

Retract that. *I* feel highly qualified to open the hood. My husband feels highly qualified to read the owners manual, do several hours of research on the internet, and ponder each and every possibility and outcome along the way. Our auto repair sessions often go like this:

Hubby: The car's not running! Where did I leave the manual....

Wifey: I just checked under the hood...there's a wire type thingee that's loose, but it looks like it would fit in this plug type thingee. Think that might be it?

Hubby: *sarcasm* I'll look wire type thingee up in the manual just as soon as I find it.

Four Hours Later....

Hubby: I have read the manual and researched the internet. We need to put the key in the ignition and see if any lights come on. Then I'll need this special tool to check the various currents running through various wires, systems, and local neighborhoods. No sense even getting started without that tool. I'll go research sources and prices.

15 Minutes Later:

Wifey: Here's the tool you needed.

Hubby: How did you get it?

Wifey: I bought it at the local auto store.

Hubby: You walked there and back that fast?

Wifey: I drove. The car ran great once I put the wire thingee back in the plug type thingee.

Then, of course, I don't get sex for a week. That's fine, cuz my car runs fine, and I can drive somewhere else to get it. :P

My point being (OMG! SHE HAS A POINT?) different people have different work styles. Some people like to dedicate a certain amount of time a day to a project, some people like to do marathon stretches, then step away for long periods. Some people, like my mother, like to put off filling out their taxes for 6 years, then bring two grocery bags full of receipts to their daughter's house and say "Think we can get done by 5pm? The post office closes then, and I really need the money."

My personal style is to dive in feet first (cuz head first is just silly!) and see what happens. I've come up with some very interesting stuff this way. I've also come up with a lot of crap...but it was highly interesting crap!

Oh...except for the ceasar salad dressing. That was not highly interesting crap. I knew it had eggs in it....I had no idea they had to be RAW! That was several salads not worth eating, let me tell you....

Anyways, whatever your style is...that's great, as long as it works for you. My biggest complaint with my husband's style is that it doesn't work for him. He's all research, and never gets anything done. He has things he wants to do and wants to try, but he doesn't think he knows enough about them to give it a go yet. This makes me sad. I think he would have so much enjoyment mucking something up, and figuring it out along the way.

He, of course, would argue that he progresses just fine, thank you. Just not on the projects *I* might be interested in. His project of turning an old dishwasher into a composter is moving along fine. It's in its second year, and the dishwasher now has two gears on its sides, upon which it will eventually turn.

My bike, which mysteriously had two gears missing, is now repaired after a short 6 months.

Yup yup...we slammed together. :)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Pictures of the orphaned baby hedgehogs! I am pleased to say they are doing well and gaining weight. They aren't as fat and happy as they would be with mommy, but we're doing the best we can as mere non-prickly hoomans.

Well...hubby is kinda prickly....

I would like you to know that my husband allowed me to take these pictures at great sacrifice. It was MY turn to do the feedings, but I couldn't take pictures AND feed, so he took my shift, allowing me to get these shots. What a trooper!

Then again I take all the night shifts and top them off before I leave for work in the he can bite me. :)

And please pardon the coloring in some of the shots. My husband's tshirt was yellow, the blankies we wrapped them in were yellow, the kitchen was cream and confused the poor camera. I think you can get the idea tho.

Without further ado...first baby getting fed...

Pardon hubby's mouth. *sigh*

This one is the messiest eater. :)

Baby number two's turn!

Eating from a dropper is hard, messy work!

Last but not least....Baby Three!

You have to fall in love with that just have to!

Here's a pic of all three of them in hubby's hands, just to give you an idea of how tiny they are.

And here's a movie of them all jostling around, looking for the best spot to snooze. :)

But here's the most exciting part...later we caught them EATING SOLID FOOD! Yay!

We will keep giving them the formula until they are 6 weeks old, but any extra mouthful they get helps them that much more. Yay!

And there they are! :) Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Shopping Carts, Orphaned Baby Hedgehogs, and a Crazy Legged Frog!

So we stop by Aldi's on the way home from work because I need to restock on ice cream drum know, the kind with fudge in the middle? Oh, yeah.....

/drool mode

So we stop by Aldi's, and they have the shopping carts you have to rent for a quarter. If you are kind enough to return the cart to the corral after shopping, you get your quarter back. Lo and behold, we get a cart with a quarter still in it! The last person hadn't taken it out of the coin slot. How nice for us! We get to shop free today! Drumsticks, breakfast sandwiches, and cheap are MINE!

When it's time to leave my husband asks if we should pocket the quarter, or pay it forward.

Me: Oh, pay it forward! We thought it was a nice thing to happen to us, so let's let someone else have the same experience.

Hubby: I agree!

Me: And if the next person decides to keep the quarter....MAY THEY BURN IN HELL!!

Hubby: What if it's a sweet little old lady who really needs the quarter?

Me: Then the quarter should be worth BURNING IN HELL for!

Moral of the story: I think my job is getting to me. :)

I could have possibly been stressed because I was up very late last night. Sadly, we found a momma hedgie had died, and left three little three week old babies behind. This is the first time we've ever had this happen. We've had mommies reject the babies, and fostered them to other moms or, on one memorable occasion when we didn't have another mom, to a lactating rat.

Note...the rat became a beloved member of our household. She was never named, but known for the rest of her life as momma rat. She use to love sitting on the pig's nose. Ah, the mind of a rat. :)

Anyways, I had to take these little babies away from their poor dead mommy, and I had no idea what to do with them. We ended up just giving them warm water to keep them hydrated until a store that sold kitten formula opened. Then I got to go to work while my hubby got to stay home and mix, warm, feed, and clean up kitten formula every two hours. So far the babies seem to be doing well, but we aren't! If a baby hedgie doesn't want to be fed it just curls up in a tight little ball, and all you can do is wait him/her out. They are sweet, tho, and very pretty colors. We'll hang in there and do our best with them.

How am I going to let these guys go after hand feeding them? I'll be too attached! Must not think that far ahead....must not think that far ahead....

On a happier note, I finally got a chance to make something that had been bouncing around in my head. Then he stared at me all night. Introducing...CRAZY LEGS FROG!!

Is that little guy nuts, or WHAT? :) So far he's one of a kind, but I do plan on making more, as well as other types. Crazy legs clown? Crazy legs kitten? I have no idea...I'd love suggestions. :)

He already sold, but his brothers, sisters, and cousing will be showing up soon at LaurelsZoo on Etsy...keep an eye out!

I'll try to post baby hedgie pics soon...when I get a break between feedings!

Laurel's Zoo on Etsy
Laurel's Zoo on ArtFire
Laurel's Zoo on 1000Markets
Laurel's Zoo!

Friday, June 5, 2009

William vs The Evil Air Conditioner

He lost.

We're not talking about a window unit here. We're talking about a full blown central air conditioning unit installed on the outside of the house. Still, William is 120lbs of full blown geriatric pig here. He should have been able to take it head on. Or at least not crawl under it and get stuck. Come on, William! Pigs are suppose to be smart!

It was a beautiful sunny day, which may be one reason he crawled under it. William is a pink pig, and pink pigs in the sun are like metal in the microwave: Lots of sparks and screaming. But we have trees. We have bushes. Why did you pick the shade under the air conditioning unit?

Did you choose it because there was lovely, cool dirt underneath it? Well...fooled you! That was not lovely dirt! That is where we dump the ashes from the BBQ pit to keep weeds down! Ha ha!

What bothers me the most, tho, is how my husband handled the situation. He heard the pig screaming, ran outside to see what was going on, and quickly assessed the situation as 'pig stuck under air condioner." What did he do then? He grabbed one of his legs and pulled him out.

No no NO!! How could he do that to me? You run inside, grab the video camera, and get at least 30 seconds of it BEFORE you pull him out! Have I taught you nothing in all those years of living with me? Don't give me that 'he was upset' speech. He's healthy, his heart can take 30 seconds of video!

Remember when William was a baby and got his head stuck in a popcorn bag? Remember how our youngest daughter ran and got her video camera before she saved him? I raised that child right. Remember when our youngest son fell asleep on the beach and woke up to find his sister had not only buried him, but given him ginormous boobs? Remember how he held still for pictures before leaping up to kill her? I raised that boy right. Those are movies and pictures I will treasure forever. But will I be able to treasure a video of Willy stuck under the air conditioner? No.

I've been robbed.

Okay, so Willy is a bit traumatized. He FINALLY went back outside, but refused to step off the ramp, much less go into the yard. I've tried to explain to him that the air conditioner is firmly attached to the house, but he ain't buying it. If he sets foot on grass it might get him again. This means Willy has not pottied in almost 24 hours. And since no outside means no food, he also didn't eat for almost 24 hours.

I did finally feed him. He kept following me around the house making noises like a clarinet with a broken reed, promising not to poo on the floor if I would just please feed him. I'm a sucker, I fell for it. It was just so heart wrenching, sitting there in the bathroom while he shot piteous pig squeaks under the bathroom door.

Yes, he can shoot pig squeaks under doors. He has to get on his knees so he can cram his nose right up against the bottom of the door, but he does it well. It's very amusing to watch from both sides.

Anyways...where was I? Oh yes! Ticked at husband!

Ah well, whatcha gonna do? The moment has passed. All we have to remind us of the event is a traumatized piggy, who is a deep shade of ash on one side. At least until we get him outside and give him a bath.

I'll be sure to get some video of that. :)

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Rosie the Giant Hedgie and The Hazzards of Catching a Ride to Work!

Well, the standard and cinnamon baby hedgies are gone, and I have no doubt that the little pinto baby will leave us soon...but here sits Rosie. Poor girl!

Perhaps if you hadn't bitten the guy who came to see you. He knew he was coming to see you, and he knew you were a big girl and have been on a DIET! The nerve of him holding you in hands that smelled like taco bell! I'da bitten him too! Twice! Hard!

Moral of the story: If you stop to eat before you visit a hedgie, especially one on a diet, WASH YOUR HANDS!

You should probably wash your hands anyway, but we won't go there...

Please pity Rosie, who has yet to find a forever home:

And if you would like to take a peek at the little pinto baby we still have, you can see her here.

Completely changing the subject...(Ha! You were wondering how heavy hedgies and commuting were related! Now you know: THEY'RE NOT!) hours, which tend to be 9-6, were changed yesterday to 8-5. Since my charming hubby has been driving me to work I got to listen to 20 minutes of 'why did they change your hours? It's so early! Oh God, I don't think my heart has started beating yet!' that led me to believe he fully and completely understood my hours were 8-5, not 9-6.

5pm rolls around, no ride. I have one of those jobs that makes me hot and desperate to go home, so I texted 'where r u?' and recieved the response "ha ha, forgot your hours changed. I'm at home."

Since he had actually phoned in his reply I had to count to 10 before responding "get in the car and start driving." He sounded a bit taken aback, puzzled as to why I would want him to drop what he was doing and move NOW! He did, tho, and apologized, which means he realized on the way there his life might be in danger.

I bought several pairs of new earrings, and said if it happened again I was buying a new watch. Just to make sure, tho, we made a deal that today he would pick me up at 5pm, or not at all. That way maybe, just maybe, by the time I was finished walking home, I'd be too tired to kill him. Probably not, but he'd at least have a running chance. Some people thought this was harsh. All people not sharing a vehicle, I'm sure. The point is moot, tho, for he picked me up on time. Bravo!

Tomorrow my hours change back to 9-6. I have no freaking idea when I'll get home. :)

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Hedgies!

Well, some new, some old, all cute. :)

Check out Rosie! Easily the biggest hedgehog I've ever had in my herd...

You can see more of her here!

And there are some adorable, tho slightly camera shy babies here.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Pet Piggies

Not feeling up to writing, but feeling like a blog should be occasionally updated, I have decided to copy here something I wrote years ago. It was originally written as a forum post, but then published in the NAPPA News. I was told I could reprint it as long as I mentioned 'originally published in Nappa News'...and I have. :) Their website is here, please check it out, and please please PLEASE make sure you thoroughly research any pet before you bring it into your home.

That said...I must add that we got our pot belly AFTER this happened. No learning curve. :)


From the Internet: Multi-species Experience by Laura Cronin

A while back Carol posted a message in sec0 about a multi-species section, a section for households with several (well, at least two) different animal species residing in love and harmony. I would like to make some comments about such a section.

We are babysitting Cilly the Pig this weekend. Cilly hates me, but we have managed to come to an understanding over time: If she bites me I will get even, if she doesn’t bite me I will feed her and scratch her ears. This has worked well for us with the exception of an occasional run-in in the hallway, when I wish to pass and she feels I really don’t need to. The fact that Murphy the dog is incredibly jealous of the pig, and Zackery the bird is scared to death of the pig, was merely amusing, and in no way affected our relationship.

Until tonight.

Cilly spent an exciting afternoon out on our dog run. She likes it out there. There are always hazelnuts lying about the back of the yard, she can eat whatever is hanging over the edge of the asparagus bed, and the neighbors sneak her bananas. So we weren’t surprised that she complained loudly and refused to come when it was time to bring her in. Once inside, however, we realized that a lot of the complaining was because she had managed to get her harness twisted, and one of her front legs pushed through the neck hole.

Now the fun part: Getting a twisted harness off an angry pig. The one good thing about this was she was so twisted up in the harness she couldn’t charge us, and we could easily outrun her. The bad thing about this was if we could touch the harness she could also chew off whatever we were touching the harness with. Larry tried reasoning with Cilly, but it just didn’t work. Cilly called him several foul names and tried to bite him. The children, frankly, scattered…. once in a while one would run screaming thorough the room, but they were not going to be any help. I decided to just grab the harness and pull as hard as I could, hoping for the best.

Did you know that if you get a pig really, really angry it will follow you onto the couch, and you will be forced to swing from the hanging plant until someone else can distract her? Sure, I could have gone left to the top of the bookshelf and avoided the plant…next time I will. I just didn’t have time to think it out.

You only have a partial picture now. Laura is alternating between swinging from the hanging plant and trying to get a grip on the harness. Larry is alternating between trying to reason with Cilly (Will you be good so I can take that mean harness off?) and making sure Laura is kept fully abreast of the situation (Hey, you’re gonna hurt yourself swinging from the plant like that!) while dodging pig teeth. There is also an occasional child running screaming through the room, not necessarily one of mine. If you want the full picture you must add a few things:

1. Murphy is a great dog. He loves us, and would do almost anything to protect us. Almost anything but growl and/or bite. He prefers to put himself between the danger and us. That failing, he prefers to knock us out of the way of danger. This means that seconds before we were hit with 100lbs of black pig, we got hit with 85lbs of golden dog instead. Erin tried to restrain Murphy, but she’s small. Murphy found that her weight hanging off his collar was a wee bit detrimental, but he was easily able to compensate.

2. Zackery hates Cilly with a passion, and runs screaming every time he sees her to what he feels is a place of safety. Unfortunately he considers me to be one of the safest places around. This means that every time I managed to get my head up I was getting hit in the face with a panicky green bird. Every time I tried putting Zack in another room I was intercepted by Cilly, and ended up back on the plant.

3. Children are very resilient little creatures. They soon figured out they were in no danger, the pig was only attacking the adults. They decided to amuse themselves by flying paper airplanes down the hall. These were very GOOD paper airplanes. Most of them managed to make it all the way down the hall and into the living room, where they would hit either Larry or Laura on the back of the head. We found out later this meant an extra 10 points to the thrower.

All in all it was one of the most exciting Saturday nights I’ve had in years. We finally called pigly people for advice (Thank you Marilyn and Carol!) and bribed Cilly to not bite us with an entire box of grapenuts dumped onto the floor. Our first attempt at bribery was carrots, but we discovered Cilly either hates them, or was too angry at us to care about food. I even stuffed one right in her mouth, and she spit it back at me! (Pah-TUI!) You know a pig is mad when they turn down food!

Well, the harness finally came off, Cilly enjoyed her grapenuts, and Murphy got TWO treats for protecting all of us. Zack still has a death grip on the back of my head, but we’re pretty sure he’ll calm down shortly. Andy the rabbit is cheerfully pulling off long strips of wallpaper and eating them, and we found a new litter of baby guinea pigs. Brandon won the paper airplane contest hands down, and Erin was finally able to go to the bathroom. (Note to self: next time you dump grapenuts all over the floor, do NOT do it in Erin’s bedroom doorway, effectively trapping her in there until Cilly is positive every single grapenut has been eaten.)

I don’t think we should have a section for multi-species households. Nobody would believe the stories.


PS – I just went back and checked. Cilly ate the carrot.

'A Man and His Pig' by Laurel Cronin, copyright 2002

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The Late Shift

My life has been severely disrupted this week because I've been working overnights in the electronics department of...oh, let's just say a store whose name rhymes with GallMart. This work is done overnight to minimize disruption of customer service. Perhaps it's lack of sleep, but it brought up some issues with me....

If you go into a store at 3am because you suddenly decide you MUST have a CERTAIN game and you MUST have it now, but then discover the department is all torn apart and they can't find the game, please keep a couple of things in mind. 1...stores do need to stock sometime. Even a 24hour store. 2...calling ahead is a wonderful way of finding out if a store has the item you want. wasn't even a new release, bro! Come on!

I do sympathize a bit. You go in wanting something, and find out the department is ripped apart with a bunch of sleep deprived employees staggering about...none of whom seem to know (or care) what they're doing. And it's not like they are doing much! We didn't make a grand, new department. Stuff was just moved from here to there, as it is about every 6 months. Move it to a new spot and people think it's new stuff.

If you're asking a person to work overnight, tho, it should have a real purpose. I mean, having a person walk into a store and go past the dvd players....but today it's not dvd players!'s TELEPHONES! LET'S BUY ONE!! That is not a good reason to make a person work overnight. Emergency and Medical workers...God bless you for working overnights. If I do something stupid and almost kill myself at 3am, thank goodness you are there to try and keep me from dying. Avoidance of death is a good reason to ask a person to work overnights.

Donut Makers...I think a person who eats a donut that early in the morning is too tired to realize it's fresh. I bet you could get away with making them the night before. Really. Trash collectors...I can understand you not wanting to work in the heat of a sizzling summer day, but - weather permitting - I'd really appreciate it if you came later. You are noisy by nature, and I like to sleep in. Food service workers...I'm torn! While I think it's totally unfair to ask someone to get up that early to make food for people who don't want to get up and make it themselves, on mornings I have to get up early I sure do love buying breakfast and not having to make it myself. You should, at the very least, be paid well.

There were some people who said they preferred working nights, but I wrote that off to sleep deprivation. It did have its good points. Traffic was light. Um...that's all I can think of...except for the fact that sleep deprived people get very silly around 4am, and watching a grown man sit on the floor giggling while tossing peg hooks around makes you giggle yourself. And oh...the time a poor guy was left hanging at the top of a ladder because someone decided to move the bin he was working on...we laughed and laughed and laughed. Then we helped him down. Or he fell. Whatever. He's fine.

So what's the point of this blog, you ask? What? Blogs are suppose to have a point? Nobody told me this! I apologize. I will try harder next time. :)

/rantmode enter selfserve mode

I recently got a pair of earrings that I must really love, because when I dropped one between the sink and the wall in the bathroom I had my husband cut the wall out to get the earring back. I've received more compliments on these than just about any pair I've ever worn! Please check them out, as I would much rather promote someone else today. :)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The NEW Star Trek Movie!

Yay! It took over a week (hey, I've been busy!), but I finally got out to see the new Star Trek movie!


Are they gone? Okay....Wow! What plot twists! I was dizzy trying to keep up. Possibly I was dizzy from the $4 soda machine in the lobby, but mostly I'm sure I was dizzy trying to keep up with the plot twists. We all know that Spock was played by Spock, but he was also played by another actor...AT THE SAME TIME! Mind boggling. I kept waiting for him to rip off the top of someone's head and steal their power, but that didn't happen until the very, very end of the movie.

The background they gave on the characters we've all come to know and love was amazing. How Sulu managed to overcome an addiction to marijuana and white castles to become a valued member of star fleet. How Chekov overcame a speech impediment, and that Uhura actually had a brain...something that never came up in the original episodes.

And who would have thought Scotty was gay? The original series never hinted about it, but it did make for interesting interactions with crew members of alien races...and difficult gender identification. It made for excellent comic relief, and some of the best pick-up lines I've heard in years.

The worst part of the movie for me was Winona Ryder as Spock's mother. Let's face it, folks...if Winona Ryder is old enough to be playing mother roles, it's time for me to just crawl in a hole and die.

All in all I was entertained, and I will go see the next one. We all know there's going to be a next one.

The entire time I've been typing this I was holding a baby hedgehog. Are you jealous? You should be, she's adorable. :) I thought of a brilliant name for her earlier, but have since forgotten it. I guess I really am at the 'crawl in a hole and die' phase. *sigh* Perhaps I'll think of it again, and allow myself to live.

Since this blog is suppose to be self my stuff!

And....please admire my cute little hedgie. :)

Night! :)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Start A Blog, They Said....

But what if I don't have anything to say? Huh?

I never got a direct answer to that, just a bunch of funny looks. Okay, so I may be a bit of a talker IRL, but that doesn't mean I like to spew my guts in a blog. I can see the person I'm talking to IRL, tho. You....I have no idea who you are. Nothing personal, we've just never met.

So, let's get to know each other. I'll tell you a few things about me, you tell me a few things about you. Me first:

1. I don't believe stuff should be stored in the bird room. First, stuff must be hermetically sealed to remain decent in the bird room. Not only do birds fling their body weight in food a day, they are also the only creatures (besides newborn babies) who can projectile poop with extreme accuracy. Second...all the birds yell at me while I'm in there. I don't think they want attention, I think they want me out of their room. Except for Zackery. He wants me to pay attention to him, then get out of his room. He would also appreciate a cayenne pepper, thankyouverymuch.

2. I believe handling a hedgehog when your hands smell like bacon is a bad idea. I didn't just pull this out of thin air, mind you, but came to this conclusion after holding a hedgehog when my hands smelled like bacon. She spit me right back out, bless her heart. Apparently hoomans do NOT taste like pork, or I'd be typing this with one less finger. Lesson learned, all digits intact.

3. I don't believe that feeding bacon to a pig is fundamentally wrong. Just a bite, mind you. We do have to worry about salt and fat. My charming DIL feels this is horribly wrong, and makes disgusted disapproving noises every time she sees me do it. She doesn't say a word when I feed chicken to the birds tho, does she? Nope...she sure doesn't!

4. I like bacon.

Well, that's a fine start. :) Now that I've written something I feel the need to play with the tools, and will try to insert a video. The following is what happens when you leave a big kid alien puppet alone in a camera store, ala my daughter. Enjoy.