Tag Archives: Carl Sagan

Daily Drama 44 | Happy Halloween!

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Daily Drama 44 | Happy Halloween!

Something funny is happening around here. I think the guinea pigs are getting bigger!

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Prince Pumpkin Dobalob

This is me, Dobby, in my Halloween costume from a few years ago, I think it was 2011. It’s a pumpkin, and it fits me pretty well, I think.

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Dobby Derailed

You can see from this photograph that I’m very, very big. About the size of a train. So I’m not just any pumpkin, I’m one of those honkin’ huge squash that they put in the newspaper.

So you tell me, please, what in heck is going on with these guinea pigs? That’s my costume! THOSE ARE SOME HONKIN’ BIG GUINEA PIGS!

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Stevie Ray and friend

And what the HECK is that thing over there? A guinea pig version of The Wrong Trousers or something?

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“MAKEUP! Over here, please! Can you get this lettuce juice off my chin?”

It isn’t just Stevie Ray, either. Look at Fred! He’s huge, too!

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Frederick of Hollywood and friend

Easily as big as a train, wouldn’t you say?

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“I’ll be right there, Stevie Ray! I told you not to eat that lettuce until AFTER the photo shoot!”

Here’s our Birthday Boy, Carl! He just turned 8 years old!

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Carl Sagan, looking good!

Carl, how does it feel to be an eight year old codger?

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“What? I thought we were through here!”

Have a deliriously delightful halloween!

Daily Drama 42

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Daily Drama 42

In my fantasy blog, I am posting photos of my trip to Paris. Unfortunately, the daily dramas just keep coming, and no writing is happening at all. Are you ready for a summary?

Leonard the Koi: Negotiations continue, personalities emerge, and Leonard is still in his original home. I am trying to find this 30 year old, 24″ Koi fish the best home possible, so I am working with a local Koi club. This venerable fish is not a fancy variety, and of course there are quarantine requirements, but he will be examined tomorrow, and decisions will be made. I am secretly hoping that the “best home possible” is right here, but we will know soon.

The Three French Hens: The owner of these hens is not eager to part with them. At all. The homeowner’s association is equally eager to have her part with them. The bully pen is currently available, but nobody is in a hurry and that’s okay with me.

Dobby has been particularly goofy, and the dancing is non-stop! He seems to be full of energy, and yet, he spends a lot of time napping in the kitchen. This is a change from when he was younger and too wary to really relax in the house. At 6-1/2, he doesn’t startle as easily when someone breezes through the kitchen. He’s still a wild animal, though, and on guard when the wind blows and brings the scent of coyotes and deer into the yard.

Yes, the bully drakes are fully integrated back into the flock. They are so happy to be together I can hardly remember what it is like when they are all on the attack. You would think that the breeding season is over, but Carmen Miranda, the muscovy hen, is still laying eggs. I lost a sweet hen, Madonna, quite suddenly, after my return from Paris, but Lula, who is on daily metacam, is hanging in there. That leaves me one laying hen, Jello, or is the cat laying the eggs? I always find them in the cat carrier.

Kitty Hawk’s friend, Grover, was quiet after my return, and then suddenly started making gurgly sounds. I talked to the vet about him, and developed a strategy for capturing him so the vet could sedate him to do an exam. (He is still skittish, after 2 years, but he has just started to let me pet him.) We’d discuss medication later. I would take the next day to observe him for signs of recovery or, you know, the other direction. Grover must have overheard me, because he made the most remarkable recovery! Seriously, he’s fine, now. I have noticed that Hawk eats ALL OF THE FOOD, so now I play with him while Grover gets his share. Was Grover simply starving? I shudder to think, but really, Hawk just inhales his food, and Grover is such a gentleman, a dainty eater.

Bonnie Bunny recovered from her surgery and moved into the kitchen. She’s in her sister Helen’s old spot. She nearly chewed through the gate while I was away, so I’ve fixed that and will reinforce all the sides with an x-pen. She has always been hard-headed and nervous, but boredom and curiosity will prevail and I’m sure she’ll adjust to indoor life. It’s just very different from her gigantic outdoor pen, and I’m sure she still misses Wiley Wabbit as much as I do.

The Funny Farm has had a lot of visitors. Dobby and the Dude Ranch steal the show. The guinea pigs will be celebrating Carl’s 8th birthday next month! The cockatiels could star in their own Grumpy Old Men movie, with the tiny green budgie monster providing the sound track. I tried to write this blog post earlier today, but Pirate, the handicapped dove, had to be held JUST SO, nestled between my cupped hands. Try doing anything productive with a bird in your hand and the two in the bush start to sound very appealing!

On the human front, we have a full house again, well, almost. It seems fuller when kids come home with all their stuff and an entourage. I’m back at school volunteering again, my fifth year. I don’t want my fabulous trip to Paris to fade away, so I plan to relive every moment by posting photos and writing about it . . . but when?

Daily Drama 34

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Daily Drama 34

The dramas keep coming and at times I think I am surrounded by a$$holes. The squirrel hanging off the bird feeder in the photo below, for instance, should be glad I didn’t take the time to grab my telephoto lens. Cover up, dude!

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You didn’t really want a close-up of a naked squirrel.

Dobby can look so innocent, so calm and placid. Day before yesterday, Connor was on the roof cleaning the gutters, and unclogging the downspout to the diverter that fills Dobby’s bathtub. In other words, he fixed my “rain barrel.” Dobby barely tolerates having people on the roof, but he is getting used to this particular neighbor, even though he doesn’t stay on the ground very much.

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A photograph of sublime innocence.

Yesterday afternoon, I accompanied Dobby to the front yard. That, apparently, was the signal for the weatherman to turn on the sky sprinklers. The pressure reducing valve failed and the subsequent gullywasher was even too much for Dobby, who is, after all, a rainforest animal.  He was through grazing in the front yard, already totally drenched and he finally gave up on the great idea of going in through the front door. We were both on the narrow path to the back yard when I was suddenly knocked flat into the mud from behind! At the same time I heard the front gate open. I looked up and saw Connor standing there! Nobody expects a neighbor to visit during a downpour, and it scared the heck out of Dobby! Between the three of us, I’m not sure who looked most embarrassed! Dobby certainly looked unhappy about knocking me down!

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You should see the jacket and pants!

A couple days ago I noticed that Dobby had pulled out the birdseed and dumped it out. He does love him some birdseed! However, the message was more complex than “I’m hungry for bird seed.”

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“Except that I actually WAS hungry for birdseed. Want to try some? Its pretty good!”

He couldn’t eat his potatoes because there was poop in his potato bowl.

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“See, I lost my appetite for potatoes, and that’s when I noticed the birdseed!”

It’s a good thing I have guinea pigs. Even at their worst, they are still adorable. I have never had one knock me down.

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Who could be sweeter than Carl Sagan?

Stevie Ray is a handful, but once you get him away from the others, he forgets to be macho and loves to cuddle. Most guinea pigs don’t like being on their back, but Stevie Ray loves to be held tummy-side-up like a baby.

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“It’s all lies!”

Fred usually comes over to be petted but quickly realizes how undignified that is and runs off with the others.

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“I’m busy customizing this window.”

 

I’m still transcribing Georgia Dee’s Diary. Every once in a while I realize I have a piece of jewelry someone gave her 70 years ago. I even have the fountain pen she used to write in the diary! I’m up to November 4, 1944, but I’m stuck for now, because I know what happens on the next page. I’m not ready to face it, though it happened long ago and I’ve known about it for 50 years. So, I’m relieved to be leaving town for a while. I’ll turn that page and finish transcribing when I return.

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Georgia Dee’s 5-year diary and artifacts

Gift shop sales are going well, but the shop will be closed for a couple weeks while I am away. I’ll try to post some more jewelry when I return. I also want to sell some true “garage sale” items like my S&P collection or maybe I’ll just pull some boxes out of the closet and sell everything I find in there. There are a lot of boxes in my closets. On the bright side, there’s a reason why I still have some of my Mom’s stuff from 70 years ago.

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Shipping by Mr. Woody Slug

 

So I have switched into my Alternative Writing Mode. The pet sitting instructions are seven pages long. I slipped out last night after dusk to take a photo of Dobby’s heater. It hangs up on some s-hooks, and sometimes he knocks it off one of the hooks, so I thought I’d give the petsitter a photo of what it is supposed to look like. But, DANG! The heater is hanging and it is plugged in, but the kennel pad has come unplugged! I didn’t expect to see that!  The kennel pad is actually more important than the wall heater, so it’s a good thing I saw it before I left home.

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Unplugged!

 

So I locked him out and plugged it back in. (Take my word for it, you don’t want to be molested by a 125# rodent while you are trying to plug in a heater.) So, just one more thing to worry about while I’m gone. Other than that, I have a hen in the infirmary (She laid an egg today!) and the turtles seem to be coming out of hibernation early.

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Plugged!

This year, the bartender and I are going to Maui! My orchids at home are ready to bloom in anticipation! This was a test and it looks like my camera has decided to focus. Cameras do have an uncanny sense of when to go wonky, but let’s hope it keeps working throughout the trip!

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Aloha!

Capycoppy and SuperCapy will be reporting in when I return!

 

Daily Drama 33

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Daily Drama 33

The biggest thing going on around here is Georgia Dee’s Gift Shop. I inherited my Mom’s jewelry inventory and after a decade of hoarding it, I realized there are some pieces I have never worn. I keep hauling out shoeboxes and finding more nice items. Check out the gift shop before all the good stuff is gone and I start uploading my ashtray collection. All proceeds benefit The Funny Farm.

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Next door to the Gift Shop, my volunteer, Jillian is helping me track the weight of The Dudes.

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First, you have to grab one.

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It’s harder than it looks.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jillian has long arms, so she can reach them easier than I can. Plus, I have to take the photos!

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She got Carl and we weighed him.

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The pigloos are full of guinea pigs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Did you notice the new wall hangings? I just have soft things hanging over their cage. Earthquakes, you know.

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This should be easy.

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Fred has decided not to be weighed today.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

She really did get Fred, I was just teasing. He is fast, though!

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Fine, we’ll get Stevie Ray.

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Putting them back is easy.

The other indoor project is the New Cages For The Kitchen project. Now that I have two handicapped doves indoors, I need a larger cage. That’s the doves on the left in red and green cages.

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BEFORE

The new cage is big and fits perfectly into the same space. Pirate can’t walk or land, so she has a couple hammocks and some wide ledges. Luna can’t fly, so she has ramps up to the ledges so she can go UP, where a bird belongs. They have only been in the cage a couple days but are adjusting quickly.

I have a new cage for the right side, too. I will divide it horizontally so my elderly cockatiels can have the top. Jorge is old and feeble and I have seen him fall once. It’s time to reduce the altitude in his cage. AND, they won’t be able to see the annoying little budgie, Spike, who will have the basement apartment. (Note the white curtain that hangs between Spike and the doves.) Because it is horizontal, he will actually be able to fly across the cage. If he behaves and I don’t have to keep clipping his wings. There’s one in every crowd isn’t there? The new cage will also mean that the pink Dobby-chewed fabric that is so tatty looking will go away.

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AFTER

Luna the dove saw the vet today because her bad wing is giving her problems. Even an x-ray won’t show us exactly what is going on, and surgery is dangerous and expensive. She is not in any pain, so it’s a wait-and-see situation. She loves the ramps in her new cage, and the two girls love sharing a cage. They are also uncaged every night, as they all are, and as long as Spike spends the evening with me, away from the rest of them, everybody is happy. He’s such a bully.

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Lula is in the infirmary.

The vet also saw Lula. Her symptoms are vague but she is slowly pulling out of this round of the blahs. She’s been up and down with this business since about May, and sometimes she’s just perfectly fine, laying eggs and all.

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Wait a minute! Who is that in the infirmary with her? KITTY HAWK!

We’re going to see if Metacam will help her.

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GROVER! You’re in there, too? Well, she isn’t lonely, anyway.

Here’s little Carmen Miranda. She is always right by my side and so is the first to discover the worms under Dobby’s hot tub.

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Worm soup.

Romeo prefers Dobby’s swimming pool.

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Stand back! That’s cold water!

After I take the photos, the Muscovies are inspired to groom. They are supposed to do that BEFORE the photo shoot.

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Romeo

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Carmen Miranda

Don’t I have three Muscovies? WINKY! Dang it! Where is she? Sorry, gotta go!

Bath Day

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Bath Day

It’s easier and more fun to bathe the guinea pigs when you have a volunteer to help. Still, there is quite a bit of equipment to round up, the kitchen has to be cleared, and you have to have a plan for getting them all wet and then dry efficiently. Once you have your ducks in a row (Yes, I have bathed ducks before, too.) Eventually, you take a deep breath, say “Okay!” and dive in.

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“Why did I have to go first?”- Frederick of Hollywood

The shampoo and bath part goes fairly quickly. The hair drying takes FOREVER. Fred has the shortest fur, so he goes first. When you are bathing several pigs, it is easy to get ahead of yourself and end up with a bunch of soggy pigs. I’ve learned not to bathe the second pig until the first one is dry.

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Jillian was on drying detail this time.

Meanwhile, #2 pig, Carl Sagan, is sweating bullets. Wait a minute! That’s not sweat and those aren’t bullets!

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Bean maker extraordinaire

Stevie Ray is such a handful, he’s been asked to wait in the other room. He’s last for a variety of reasons.

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Still drying.

Even short-haired guinea pigs take forever and a day to dry.

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“Oh no!”

Little Carl is next. Like the others, he enjoys the warm water until he realizes he is wet, and then he panics a little and tries to jump out.

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“Aaaah! So nice and warm!”

I pour a bit more warm water on and he relaxes. Then he realizes he is wet, and then he panics a little and tries to jump out.

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“I think I can get out of here!”

Repeat.

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“What’s that noise?”

Carl’s fur is a bit longer, so we have to keep fluffing it up to get it dry underneath.

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“I like this part!”

They all seem to like the hair drying part. It’s noisy, but it’s warm, and they all want to be the center of attention.

Stevie Ray Vaughn has to be last because his fur is so long it takes a couple forevers and then another week to get it dry. Plus, he’s a snippy little guy with a lot of attitude, and it’s good to practice on the NICE guinea pigs first. Stevie Ray is such a handful that I was unable to get any photos of him in the tub. Between the shampoo and the voluminous hair slowly expanding to fill the entire tub and the constant bean removal and the frantic jumping from one side to the other, there will probably never be any photos of this guy in the tub.

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“I’m hot stuff.”

Stevie Ray likes the hair dryer, but it takes a long, long time and he gets bored. After a while he starts horsing around. He spins and slashes at us with the toenails on his hind feet, and the beans start flying. He stands up in the drying box- good! We can dry his belly fur! But no, he drops and spins. We get a dry clean towel. I hold him on his back like a baby, the way he loves to be held. Jillian takes advantage of the new damp exposed areas and he lets us dry him for another minute and a half.

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He looks good in the photos, though.

We take a break, but all-in-all it probably takes over half an hour to dry this turkey. We’re wet, now. The kitchen is wet. I’m thinking ahead to dinner, maybe we’ll go out.

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So handsome, Stevie Ray!

Meanwhile, back at the Dude Ranch, snacks are served. I wonder if they have noticed that they smell like raspberry shampoo.

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“Go away, we’re busy.”

Right.