Tag Archives: hamster

RIP Stitch

Yum!  Sunflower seeds!

Yum! Sunflower seeds!

This sweet guy became part of my life in March 2013.  Stitch was already partially grown, but such a sweetie I didn’t care he wasn’t a wee babe.  He crossed the bridge today after a struggle with tumors.  Tumors are the very devil for older hamsters.  I will miss my sweet, gentle boy.

Hi!

{{{HUGS}}}

 

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Lots of Feather Messages

Random Thoughts

Feathers have been roaming around in my thoughts lately.  Over the past couple of weeks I have been finding feathers in my yard on a regular basis.  A number of them were standing at attention in the grass.  Some light and fluffy ones showed up around my feet.  One slightly beat up feather was left by a dove watching me at the window.  After looking me over, the dove shook itself and reached down and pulled the feather out.  She/he then looked at me again, dropped the feather on the ground and, with one last look, flew away.

Many people believe that feathers are gifts from the Universe bringing messages.  That they bring us an opportunity or reminder to connect, to see, to find answers.  A message, also, that Love and assistance are there for the asking.  We just need to remember that we need not walk alone.  Easier said than done.

When was the last time you sat down quietly and went within to seek your messages and to ask for Love and assistance to be brought into your life?  When was the last time you sat quietly and gave Thanks to the Universe?  I know I’m way over due.

I was outside trying to get good pictures with natural light.  That little fluffy feather is also a Blue Jay feather but the wind kicked up and started blowing the feathers around so that was the end of outdoor picture taking of feathers.

I was outside trying to get good pictures with natural light. That little fluffy feather is also a Blue Jay feather but the wind kicked up and started blowing the feathers around so that was the end of outdoor picture-taking of feathers!

The tattered one, third from the left, is the one left by the dove.

The tattered one, third from the left, is the one left by the dove.

Life At Our House

Lots of messes here need to be addressed.  But for now, here is what I have been snacking on:

Husband made these for work by request.  And, of course, some were left behind at home.

Husband made these for work by request. And, of course, some were left behind at home.

Fur Babies and Other Critters

I wish my balance was this good.  Usually they crawl across upside down.

I wish my balance was this good. Usually they crawl across upside down.

I put fresh paper towels in for Stitch.  Look at those stuffed pouches!

I put fresh paper towels in for Stitch. Look at those stuffed pouches!

Can you see that he has stuffed his pouches so full that the paper towels are sticking out of his mouth?

Can you see that he has stuffed his pouches so full that the paper towels are sticking out of his mouth?

Out In The Yard

It is the end of the year, unfortunately.

This poor butterfly showed up at night and slept in the window.  He's rather beat up.

This poor butterfly showed up at night and slept in the window. He’s rather beat up. See where he’s missing a section of one wing?

This little one sat in the sun for hours.  Faded and slightly tattered.

This little one sat in the sun for hours. Faded and slightly tattered.

Mr. Toad sat buried in this pot for 3 days.  He didn't even get out at night.  Then suddenly, three days ago, he took a bath and left.

Mr. Toad sat buried in this pot for 3 days. He didn’t even get out at night. Then suddenly, three days ago, he took a bath and left.

Have I mentioned how much I dislike winter?

Mugs

Yep, back to this one.  The past couple of nights have not been fun.

Yep, back to this one. The past couple of nights have not been fun.

And, WOW!, it’s only 9:30!  I’ll have time to work on crocheting a tissue box cover!  Night!

Recipe Post for Saver of Bugs

Life here is still a mess.  But neglecting me hasn’t changed anything except make me even more miserable.  So I’m working on shoving things back in place for myself.  Recipe posts for Saver is an easy way to get back into blogging.

Here ya go, Saver:

Rich White Bread

  • 1   cup milk
  • 2   tbls. sugar
  • 2   tsp. salt
  • 2   tbls. shortening
  • 2   pkgs. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 cup warm water (110 to 115-ish – just not hot)
  • 2   eggs
  • 5 1/2 to 6 cups flour

— Put shortening and milk in pan and heat till shortening is melted.  Add sugar and salt.  Let cool to lukewarm.

— Sprinkle yeast on warm water and stir to dissolve.  Add yeast, eggs and 2 3/4 c. flour to milk mixture.  Beat with a spoon until batter is smooth and sheets off spoon.  Or beat with electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, about 2 minutes, scraping bowl occasionally.

— Add enough remaining flour, a little at a time, first with spoon and then with hands, to make a dough that leaves sides of bowl.  Turn onto lightly floured board, cover and let rest 10 minutes.

— Knead until smooth and elastic, 8 to 10 minutes. Round up into a ball and place in lightly greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top.  Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, 1 – 1 1/2 hours.

— Punch down, cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 30 minutes.  Turn onto board and shape into a ball; divide in half.  Shape into loaves and place in 2 greased 9 x 5 x 3″ loaf pans.  Cover and let rise in warm place until dough reaches top of pan on sides, fills corners and top is rounded above pan.

— Bake at 400 degrees 30 to 40 minutes, or until golden brown.  Place on wire racks and cool away from drafts.  Makes 2 loaves.

Old-Fashioned Oatmeal Bread

  • 2  c. milk
  • 2  c. quick rolled oats, uncooked
  • 1/4 c. brown sugar, firmly packed
  • 1  tbls. salt
  • 2  tbls. shortening
  • 1  pkg. active dry yeast
  • 1/2 c. warm water
  • 5  c. flour (about)
  • 1  egg white
  • 1  tlbs. water
  • extra rolled oats

— Warm milk and shortening in pan till shortening melts.  Add 2 c. oats, brown sugar, and salt.  Remove from heat and cool to lukewarm.

— Sprinkle yeast on warm water; stir to dissolve.

— Add milk mixture and 2 c. flour to yeast.  Beat with electric mixer on medium speed, scraping the bowl occasionally, 2 minutes.  Or beat with spoon until batter is smooth.

— Add enough remaining flour to make a soft dough that leaves the sides of the bowl.  Turn onto floured board; knead until dough is smooth and elastic.  Place in lightly greased bowl; turn dough over to grease top.  Cover and let rise in warm place until doubled, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.  Punch down and let rise again until nearly doubled, about 30 minutes.

— Turn onto board and divide in half.  Round up to make 2 balls.  Cover and let rest 10 minutes.  Shape into loaves and place in greased 9x5x3″ loaf pans.  Let rise until almost doubled, about 1 hour and 15 minutes.  Brush tops of loaves with egg white beaten with water and sprinkle with rolled oats.  (I usually skip bothering with the egg white and just use water.)

— Bake at 375 degrees for about 40 minutes.  (If bread starts to brown too much, cover loosely with aluminum foil after baking 15 minutes.)  Makes 2 loaves.

Shaping Regular Loaves

  • Turn risen dough onto board; divide and let rest as recipe directs.
  • Flatten dough with hands.  Then with rolling pin roll it into a rectangle.
  • Starting at the narrow side farthest from you, roll tightly.  Seal the long seam at the end well.
  • Seal the ends of the loaves by pressing firmly with the sides of your hands to make a thin, sealed strip.  Use care not to tear dough.  Fold sealed ends under.
  • Place loaf, seam side down, in a greased loaf pan.
  • You may lightly brush top of loaf with salad oil or melted butter.
  • Cover and let rise according to recipe or until doubled or until a dent made by gently pressing sides of dough with finger does not disappear.

Notes on Bread

  • When baking time is up, tap loaf lightly.  It should have a hollow sound.  If it doesn’t, put it back in the oven for 5 more minutes and try again.
  • Be sure to take the bread out of the pan to cool on a rack or it will get soggy.

Green Beans with Sour Cream

  • Can, Bag, or Fresh Green Beans
  • 3 to 4 Tlbs. of sour cream
  • 1 tbls. Parmesan or Romano cheese

— Cook and drain beans.  Add sour cream and cheese. (As you know, your dad prefers to double or triple the sour cream and cheese.  But this is the original recipe minus the sesame seeds that no-one would eat on the beans.)

Refrigerator Mashed Potatoes

  • 5 lbs. of potatoes (9 large)
  • 1 – 8 oz. pkg. of cream cheese
  • 1 c. sour cream
  • 2 tsp. onion salt
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 tbls. butter

— Cut potatoes into roughly 1 in or so chunks and boil until chunks mash easily with a fork.

— Drain potatoes and mash or beat potatoes.  Add remaining ingredients and mash or whip to desired consistency.

— These will keep well in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

— If you want to make these ahead of time and reheat, place them into a 2 quart casserole, dot with butter and bake at 350 until heated through, about 30 minutes.

Old Fashioned Fudge

  • 2 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1/3 c. cocoa
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 tlbs. butter
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

— Combine first 4 ingredients in pot and cook at medium heat until a little dropped in cold water forms a firm ball that does not dissolve.

— Pull from stove, place on trivet and add butter and vanilla.  DO NOT STIR!

— Let cool 20 minutes and then beat until fudge begins to go from glossy to dull or flat looking.  Pour quickly onto a greased or lined plate or into a greased 8 x 8 pan if you want to cut into uniform pieces.  Enjoy!

Fur Babies and Other Critters

Not my idea of comfortable, but Stitch is happy.

Not my idea of comfortable, but Stitch is happy.

Out In The Yard

Our header today is:

A bumble bee enjoying the blooms on a White Profusion Butterfly Bush.

This is a Psithyrus, a cousin of the Bumble Bee, enjoying the blooms on a White Profusion Butterfly Bush.  They are the ‘cuckoo’ of the Bumble world.  The Psithyrus Queens invade the Bumble Bee nests and ingratiate themselves into the colony.  Once they are accepted they kill the Bumble Bee Queen, who stands very little chance because of the heavy armor of the Psithyrus. She then takes over the colony using the Bumble Bee workers to raise her Psithyrus babies.  Note the shiny, hairless, armored abdomen.  This is one way to help tell the difference between the Psithyrus and the Bumble Bee.

Night All!

It’s Been A Year?! ‘Crystals’ Are Done, Saver’s Back At School, New Pet

Random Thoughts

Did you know that today is my one year anniversary here at WordPress?  I didn’t till I opened this up and got the “Happy Anniversary” notice.  I was just determined to ‘do something normal’.  A whole year already!  I managed 57 posts this year, a wee bit more than one a week.

I’ve actually learned a couple of things from doing this.  There’s the obvious; I’m more technologically literate than I was a year ago.  I still have much more to learn about using this site, but I haven’t had to scream for help in quite some time.

I’ve learned to edit myself better before I even begin typing.  You wouldn’t believe the pages upon pages that I’ve rambled through this year.  Most stuff never even made it here.  And did I mention the hours ‘n hours?

What surprised me, though, was finding out that I enjoyed this.  Well, most of the time.  And I found I enjoyed opening up my stats page and finding out that people from all over the world pop in to visit.  Who knew?

So here’s to another year in the trenches.  And perhaps a goal of 100 posts minimum to keep me moving?  Fingers crossed!

**********

Brief bitch:  As I mentioned above, I wound up here just to ‘do something normal’.  The past couple of weeks have been ‘not fun’.  I haven’t even been reading my favorite blogs.  Okay, I take half of that back.  Saver was home for a week, which was wonderful but busy.  The week after that sucked topped off with a lot of ‘no sleep’.  So I’m forcing myself to put myself first.  Which is why I’m here.   And I have to put sleep up on the list too.  Lack of it totally fucks with my life.  Pardon the french.  Bitch over.

**********

Oh, and I’m nearly 3 weeks behind on my Simple Abundance.  Aaargh!

**********

Here are a couple of sayings to get started back up:

“Gather the crumbs of happiness, and they will make you a loaf of contentment.”  — Unknown

“Minds are like parachutes:  they only function when open.”  — Lord Thomas Dewar

Life At Our House

Only one more week till the play is over with!  Yes!  I love going to see the plays, I just don’t like the 3 months of daily practices.

Here are a few pictures of my trip taking Saver back to school.  I love how the snow on the ground highlights the naked trees.  It almost looks like the hills have a beard!

We'll start with the obligatory 'mom driving the car'.

We’ll start with the obligatory ‘mom driving the car’.  With her mouth open, again.

Out the side window.

Out the side window.

Between the hills.

Between the hills.

Coming over the top.

Coming over the top.

Plane trails and the sunset on my way home.

Plane trails and the sunset on my way home.

More of the sunset.  You have no idea how many shots I took to get these as I was doing them one handed, driving at speed, in traffic and over potholes.

More of the sunset. You have no idea how many shots I took to get these as I was doing them one-handed, driving at speed, in traffic and over potholes.

Fur Babies and Other Friends

Here's Jake waiting for the bus to bring Spider Bait home.  Which he doesn't always because of the play.  Jake waits till both the High School and Elementary buses go by before coming back in.  He's still holding on despite the cancer and being anemic from the constant bleeding of the tumor.  Hugs, Jake.

Here’s Jake waiting for the bus to bring Spider Bait home. Which doesn’t always because of the play. Jake waits till both the High School and Elementary buses go by before coming back in. He’s still holding on despite the cancer and being anemic from the constant bleeding of the tumor. Hugs, Jake.

There is a new addition to the Fur Baby family.  Say ‘Hello!’ to Stitch!

Yum!  Sunflower seeds!

Yum! Sunflower seeds!

I was at the pet store talking to one of the employees.  They all know me up there.  And Stitch was hanging out in front of the glass showing off and stretching and just being totally laid back.  He caught my eye first because I’ve never seen a white hamster with black eyes in person before and second because of his attitude.  I used to raise hamsters back when there were only two kinds available: Golden and Long-haired Golden’s (no we won’t discuss my age).  Attitude is very important in a hamster.

But, I really didn’t need another Fur Baby.  I’m behind in keeping up with what I’ve got.  The woman I was talking with was also impressed with his attitude since she had just put him out that day, but reminded me I had said I didn’t need another Fur Baby so I should take a pass.  “He’ll find a home, the other two hamsters I put out with him are already gone.”  So I passed.

Fast forward 5? 7? days.  I’m out with Saver for the shopping trip before return to college and we stop at the pet shop.  Guess who was still there?  One of the other employees there said they sometimes have trouble with selling the white ones.  Which I don’t get, but, whatever.  I won’t tell you how long I wandered hem hawing around.  It should have an easy “No” because of money.  But I had all the cage crap at home and when I was rooting through papers and boxes for Spider Bait’s Eagle project I had found an old birthday card that had a gift certificate for that pet store.  And it was still good.  Look closely at my picture up top.  See the big, black letters that spell ‘SUCKER’?

I’m happy to say he’s adorable and coming along nicely.

Hi!

Hi!

I really love my ball!

I really love my ball!

Out In The Yard

My first crocus of the year.

My first crocus of the year.

My first 'mini' Iris.  (cristata? damn, I should look that up.)

My first ‘mini’ Iris this year. (cristata? damn, I should look that up.)

And this is what I saw when I looked out the window a couple of nights later.  Blasted snow!

And this is what I saw when I looked out the window a couple of nights later. Blasted snow!

Crystals

So the ‘crystals’ / rocks are done.  My brain’s fried so I just didn’t think the pictures through very well.  I forgot the penny for size comparison.  And I forgot that the tumbled pictures were laid out differently than the original picture so there are ‘extras’ in the final shot.  *sigh*  And there was no way I was going to take the time to reset and retake the pictures.  The stones were too slippery and not playing nice with each other.  And it’s getting late.

Note that a number of the stones did not take a polish.  They needed to be ground longer, but I only had one packet of each type of grit.  And it’s also possible that the polish I had wasn’t supposed to be used on the 2 green Chrysoprase stones.  There are number of different polishes used by the pros.  Here we are:

Polishing done.

Polishing done.

Note the two green chrysoprase, one on top and one on the bottom.

Original photo with rough stones.  Note the two green chrysoprase, one on top and one on the bottom.

I couldn't lay this out exactly because the stones wouldn't lean on each other.  The stones on the right are ones I couldn't figure out or were buried under the others in the original shot.  Yeah, don't you just love pre-planning? :)

I couldn’t lay this out exactly because the stones wouldn’t lean on each other. The stones on the right are ones I couldn’t figure out or were buried under the others in the original shot. Yeah, don’t you just love pre-planning? 🙂  And, OH!, see the wee little purple tipped stone at the bottom?  That’s the ‘special’ gemstone in the packet.  An Amethyst.  It might fit on a pinky ring…

Mugs

I’m drinking from a favorite tonight that I’ve posted before.  I don’t know if I mentioned it the first time, but this is a mug from my BFF.

Such a cheerful mug.

Such a cheerful mug.

Night everybody!