I spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out with #5. He gets so lonely some days with all of his siblings off at school. He asks all the time how much longer until they get home. He's such a sweetheart, but definitely a momma's boy.
Tony stopped by the store on his way home to pick up some more groceries. All the basics like rice and sugar, salt and apple juice. The necessities. #5 is always happy when dad comes home before bed time because it means he gets to hang out with him.
Tonight bunny chores were a bit of a challenge. I didn't get out to do the chores until after dark, which meant the temperature was already dropping. It was 34 degrees according to the Weather Channel when I went out. By the time I'd fed everyone and went to refill the water bucket, the temperature must have dipped below freezing because the hose was frozen. Tony came out and disconnected it from the outside faucet to prevent any damage, and from now on I'll have to carry the bucket in the house, fill it in the utility sink, and haul it out to refill rabbit, chicken, and duck water containers. This may mean the end of the kiddie pool for the season, as I won't be able to refill it now, and I won't allow Josh and the ducks to have nasty dirty water either. Maybe we can reconnect the hose tomorrow once it warms up. It's supposed to get below freezing tomorrow night again, but then hover in the mid-30's to low 40's for the next several nights.
I have named the little nest box bunny Boon. I don't know if Boon is a buck or a doe, I don't know if he (we refer to Boon as male for the time being) will even survive. It seems the odds are stacked against him. I've never shelved kits before, his momma is pretty much dried up and won't likely keep a milk supply nursing just a single kit, Alice's babies are on the verge of leaving the nest box and tasting pellet feed, which will mean her milk will start to decrease as well, and while we do have two potential litters due in the next few days, I have not been successful with fostering kits to other mommas in the past. Despite it all, tonight Boon is tucked in under his momma's fur in the nest box, snuggled up in the kitchen, with what appears to be a full tummy. His mom does jump into the nest box and appears to be taking care of him when I put the nest box out there in the morning and in the evening. I am hoping for the best for this little guy (or gal). In the meantime, the kids peek in the nest box after school to see how he's doing, and #5 held him for a little while today, but otherwise we largely leave him alone in there. He seems to stay warm enough in his little nest without any additional heat sources aside from the ambient temperature in the house. My biggest surprise is that Moose is leaving him alone. I thought for sure I'd have to hide the nest box from Moose, but once I told him no when he initially sniffed at it, he's pretty much ignored the nest box, despite it being right at nose level for him. Of course the cats are not allowed to meet Boon, or Boon would become a snack. Mabel is an excellent mouser, and she doesn't discriminate between gerbil, mouse, or baby bunny - I'm sure she'd make quick work of Boon.
And now I suffer a strange Asperger's-specific emotional issue. Asperger's sufferers have a strange tendency to become emotionally attached to items. Our previous vehicle was given to us by Tony's mom, who passed away a few years ago. I strongly associate her with the vehicle (it was hers before she gave it to us when she got a new one), and therefore I do not want to part with it. It does not run, the insurance has repaired it enough times over the years that they have deemed it "totaled out" which I guess is code for "not worth fixing anymore." The engine died last fall, and we were unable to get it going again. That's when we bought our current vehicle, and parked the old one. Tony wants to call a scrapper tomorrow to have it hauled away. He does not have any emotional attachment to the vehicle. It's broken, it can't be fixed, the tabs are expired, we haven't been able to use it (aside from storage) for over a year now, and he has no interest in hiring someone to haul it to the new house. I asked if we could bring it here, take the seats out, and modify it to be a chicken coop. I've seen old buses re-purposed as chicken or goat houses, so I'm sure it would work... but alas, he disagrees, and since legally the vehicle belongs to him - I'm left depressed to the point of tears over something that nobody seems to understand. I realize it's just a broken old vehicle, and that my mother-in-law's memory lives on through us, but for whatever reason, my Asperger's mind has twisted the emotional cord around it, and now I'm upset to scrap the old vehicle.