Friday, December 23, 2011

Barney and Salt - Bonded Bunnies

 Barney (a Chinchilla - the grey coloured bunny) is currently my oldest rabbit.  He is about 6 or 7 years old now.  We rescued him from someone my husband knew.  They bought Barney for their 6 year old daughter, but didn't know how to look after a bunny very well, and got mad when he urinated on their couch.  I highly doubt they put out a litter tray for him though, or spent the time needed to train him.  Bunnies are actually easier to train than cats, but that's for another post. To cut a long story short, rather than hear that this poor bunny was going to be put down, my husband suggested that perhaps this bunny should live with us.  I only had Charcoal at the time, and Barney, being definitely male, wouldn't be a problem.

So to our home came Barney. I could tell straight away that he had been through a tough time.  He was very skittish and not very trusting.  He still isn't very comfortable around people, but I am very patient with him, and he will tolerate pats on his nose and gentle cheek rubs.  He has never bitten me or the children, which is fantastic for a bunny who had trust issues.

He lived with Charcoal for a while, but those two didn't really bond.  Charcoal was too much of a people bunny, and Barney didn't know what to make of this funny lop eared rabbit who thought he was a person.

Two years ago we rescued/adopted Salt and his sister Pepper.  Salt (a Himalayan looking Havana) is such a funny character.  He is timid, but placid and loves his cheeks rubbed.  He will hop away, then realise he does actually want to be patted.  He and Barney bonded instantly.  They definitely call them 'snuggle bunnies' for a reason.  There is just something about bonded bunnies that is gorgeous.  They look after each other, they share, they are gentle with each other, they snuggle up to each other, they preen each other, and they really don't like being separated from each other - they pine.  Of course, they mate each other too.  *Gross!*  Barney is the dominant male in this pair.

Salt is very vocal.  He likes to chatter away to me in his little bunny whimpers to let me know he is happy, that he likes what he is eating, that he wants to be patted, that he is curious why I am patting Storm in the hutch below and not him, and that he needs some more water in his water bottle. 

He is a sook as far as bunnies go (pretty normal for male bunnies though!), but he is well behaved.  I had to bring him inside to treat him for a mild eye infection, and he decided to sit on his towel and not move for an hour.  Any other bunny would have been hopping all over the house.  He was curious, but he is a fast learner. A stamp or two of my feet when he started to wander, and he was back in his spot as quick as a flash.  He got flat leaf parsley as a reward :D
Barney is just starting to show signs of slowing down.  He is more lethargic and doesn't eat as much as he used to.  He is very happy though, and who knows how much longer he'll be around for.  He will continue to be loved just as all my other 'bunny children' are.

Both these bunnies were moved out of the wooden hutch they were in, and back into a metal hutch, as they're both chewers.  Two destructive boy bunnies who weren't content to chew through other things I provided for them (like fruit tree branches, cardboard boxes, cardboard rolls, telephone books etc). 

Barney managed to chew his way through into Storm's hutch, and somehow bit Storm's mouth, resulting in a visit to the Vet because it wasn't healing very well, and causing permanent damage.  Poor Storm has lost feeling on one side of his mouth now, but he seems to be okay.

*Sigh*...bunnies!  They're just like naughty children, aren't they!! ;D

Week 51 of the 2011 Food Storage Challenge

I can count, really I can, but this challenge is a 51 week challenge, so that you can have a week off post Christmas to recover ;D  So this is the last post for the 2011 Food Storage Challenge!

It has been quite a journey, but I hope as you have followed along, that you have learned what your family will eat, what you can store and how to better prepare your family in an emergency situation, should one arise.

$10 Plan
Use the remaining money and purchase as much spaghetti sauce as you can.

$20 Plan
Use the remaining money and purchase as much spaghetti sauce as you can.

All that pasta we stored needs something else to go with it.  You can store plain tomato sauce, or ones with veggies or herbs already included.  The choice is yours!

I will do one last post on this challenge, and that will be an overview of all the weeks in one document.

Don't forget to "Store what you eat, and eat what you store".

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Just some Lego Holiday Fun

So what exactly do I spend my time doing in the school holidays?

Well, this...
 Fabuland from the early 1980's

 For injured Lego people...
(like the ones that get decapitated, or become legless, or armless...)

 A 1980's Italian Restaurant

 Star Wars - getting right into it.  Storm Troopers - v - Ewoks in full swing

 A very old doctor's surgery.  She doesn't even have a face anymore!

 City Cleaning Business.  So big it doesn't even fit on the Lego board streets!

 The brand new Airport.  The plane is MASSIVE, I tell you!  It needs about 4 Lego boards just to fit it on.  I'm going to have to track down some plain grey boards, if they still make them.

 A close-up of the airport.  My son's favourite (thanks Pok!)

My daughter's favourite Lego.  Part of the Belleville range complete with Mama dog, and Puppy dog.  Spongebob's house in the background. 

 And this is what happens when my husband is set loose on Lego City.  He created a plane crash complete with very injured people.  He called in ambulances, the Police and fire trucks and...council work crews?  Nice one Phil!

I can't even fit it all into the picture.  Did you have any of these when you were growing up?  Feel free to share your Lego experience!

I have to add that these Lego creations were a combination of ones that my husband and his family had when they were growing up, and ones my Dad just  brought up so that we could 'look after' them.  Also ones that my children (and I) have been given as presents.  I'm sure that Santa is bringing more on Christmas Day.  I know I for one have a Hillside House sitting all wrapped up under the Christmas Tree *grins*

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Looking for the Rainbows wherever you go...

 On Monday night this week, my daughter excitedly pointed out a gorgeous double rainbow forming in the sky.  It was absolutely beautiful.  We all rushed outside in the rain to see the rainbow before it disappeared.  They don't last long.

This picture isn't the double rainbow we saw, it was one that I had taken earlier in the year.  They are lovely, aren't they!

 We have a gingerbread decorating tradition in our family.  On the first Monday night of December, we invite friends around to have a Christmas dinner with us, and decorate Gingerbread Men.  This was taken about this time last year when my Brother-in Law and Sister-in-Law visited from Japan.  We all had a great time 'taste testing' the lollies, and decorating the gingerbread men.


 Did you know no matter what colour a bunny's fur is, they always have green feet?  Even my two day old bunnies seemed to have green feet.  It's a funny kind of odd.  Such big feet too! :D  I just adore my cuddly Storm.

Hello neighbours!

Savings, Silk Moths and Miniature Gingerbread Houses

I mentioned a while back that I was putting aside all the 20 cent pieces that came across my way.  I filled up a tin with all those 20 cent pieces, and it came to $50.  To impress my children, I stacked them in dollar piles so they could see just how much it looks like.  Pretty awesome!

At the beginning of December we had silk moths hatching.  They're so pretty after they have dried out.  This is a male moth.  They're slimmer than the females (who can hardly move because they're so full of eggs).  Silk moths don't have mouths, and therefore don't eat anything.  They have one thing on their mind, and that's to create more fertile eggs.  They have also been so inbred that there are no silk moths in the world that can actually fly.  They just flap their wings around a little and make lots of noise.

This was a week later.  More silk moths had hatched.  You can see the big female ones on the bottom of the container, and the male moths clinging more to the sides.  The little yellow 'dots' are the eggs when they are first laid.  If they are fertile, they turn black as the little silk worms start to grow inside them. 

It has been a very mild summer, so the eggs are now overdue to hatch.  I wanted to let this lot cycle through one more time, then when they started laying, I'll put the eggs in a snap lock bag and into the door of my freezer.  It freezes over in Japan (where they originate from), and so it seems like home to the silk worms.  I bring them out as soon as the buds appear on my mulberry tree.  *Fingers crossed* that this lot of eggs will actually hatch!

And how more random can you get in this post, but to include a miniature Gingerbread House :D  It's not exactly a masterpiece, but I think it's cute enough.  This was one the family got to demolish.  I have a sweet gingerbread men recipe that I use, and one year I printed out the instructions to a gingerbread house, decided not to enlarge it but create it as is by tracing out the layout onto baking paper.  It works well enough for me.

We also made one for my son's teacher.  They do make very cute gifts, placed on a silver board and wrapped in cellophane.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Week 50 of the 2011 Food Storage Challenge

$10 Plan
Store 4 cans corn and/or peas

$20 Plan
Store 8 cans corn and/or peas

You could store just corn, or just peas, or I think you can get a combination of the two.  I mostly store corn (due to my dislike of the gross little green things), but I will store some for the rest of my family who do actually eat them.

You can add them to savoury mince, heat and serve with carrots, cook them in fritters, use them up in chicken and corn soup or ham and pea soup.  There are endless possibilities.

If you don't like storing these veggies, store something else that you could eat.  If you are worried about using canned products, hunt around and see if you can get product in glass jars.