I've been busily working on the new research website. So far I'm working on peppers and I've researched A-D and am working on the E varieties now. I want to get more done before I start linking to the seed stash page, but perhaps I'll just go for it and hope it doesn't look too weird to have some of the varieties have links to research pages while a vast majority do not - because it's going to take me nearly forever to put the whole thing together.
Last Friday we worked on cleaning out the garage at the old house. We worked on it for about four and a half hours straight (in the middle of winter, no heat, bundled up) and got stuff loaded into the UHaul we rented. We got through most of the garage and took what we wanted. We need to go back again but this time it'll have to be just with our regular vehicle because we can't afford another run with a UHaul (they're expensive). Anyway, now my current garage is full of random stuff I need to go through. Some I need to sell, some I want to keep, some is here because it needs to be washed to see if it's worth salvaging. Remember, our house flooded in 2017 and a lot of the stuff we tried to safe ended up tossed in the old garage and left behind because we just didn't have time to deal with it between flooding and hotels and then closing on a house and moving... But it's time to be done with it. The house is cleaned out, the garage is halfway done. I can't wait to have the whole thing behind us for good.
Upon returning home with the UHaul on Friday, a bald eagle took off from the edge of the lake and flew away. I found a clump of black feathers and a clump of brown feathers in the yard. Since I don't keep a count of the birds, all I know is that the named ones are all accounted for. None appear to be injured. But the bald eagles are always in a pair, and seeing only one when I got home means the other had likely flown off to eat its meal. The price of living with nature I suppose.
This weekend, despite being a little short on money (because UHaul rentals are expensive), I found a few seed treasures... Since #3 already has sprouts in her cactus kit, I figured I'd try my hand at a cactus seed mix and see what we come up with. I bought some cactus soil and we have some sand, I want to give it a try. I also found Joseph's Coat Amaranth - I've been wanting it for a while but haven't found anyone willing to trade for it, so I bought a packet. Pride of Wisconsin cantaloupe, given the name it must be one specifically able to produce melons in our short summer. Since my family likes melons, and I fail every year with watermelons, I'll try this.
I also found more grow kits. Another strawberry kit (this one has alpine strawberries), an aloe kit (so excited for this one), and #3 picked up a sunflower kit (with dwarf sunflowers). She's waiting to start hers until summer time so she can transplant it outside when it outgrows that tiny little pot it comes with.
Yesterday Yuri got his very first shower. He's a hairless kitten and I think it's important for him to be easy to groom (and he was dirty). He wasn't happy about it, but he did alright. When I handed him to #4 to dry off, even once he was dry he was still shivering. She took him to her room, snuggled up under the covers, and cuddled with him until he was warm again. Awe!
Ginger Bear is the biggest kitten. He's wild, outgoing, a warrior at heart. He climbs pants with no regard for where his claws are going, he fights just a little too rough with his siblings, and he gets into everything. He is #5's favorite kitten, and has been since the start, but the rest of the kids and I are not as fond of little Ginger Bear. When my husband heard this, he immediately took Ginger Bear and carried him around the house, cuddling with him and loving on him. Ginger Bear is now my husband's favorite.
As of today I have seen five of the six kittens use the litter box. Of course Amos doesn't have a clue. He bumps into the side of the litter box and just turns and keeps walking. He has no idea that he's supposed to climb up into it to go potty. The kids have suggested putting him in the litter box when one of the other cats is going potty so maybe he'll understand. I set him in the litter box this evening and he was clearly displeased. He's not used to the texture and he was disoriented. He ended up falling out of the litter box, then getting stuck behind it as it was pulled out for #1 to scoop it. Poor Amos.
Amos is doing as well as can be hoped. His left eye has been having a lot more discharge than normal this past week. To the point that he's starting to get a little crusty there some days and despite daily cleanings, his fur is staining yellow. The vet seemed less than helpful last week, so I'm hesitant to bring him back.
The vet appointment went a little like this... I brought Amos with all the kittens and Floki (for moral support), but only Amos got a vet check. The vet picked him up, looked at his eyes briefly, then excused herself to go get a book. Then she compared him to photos in the book of feline ophthalmology, before informing me that nothing could be done to give him vision (no kidding, he doesn't have eyes), and that he was too small to really do anything about it anyway, so we should just wait and see how he grows and develops. Chances are it's a genetic defect (yup, I figured the same), and that he's likely to have more issues that are outwardly presenting (which is why I brought him for an exam in the first place). Well, that wasn't much help, was it? I'd consider getting a second opinion elsewhere, but again, we're short on cash this week due to additional expenses.
Since I started giving him goat milk bottles again, he's started to gain some weight. He's still a lot smaller than the other kittens (even taking into consideration that he is four days younger). He's not out of the woods yet. Tomorrow he will be six weeks old. I never thought I'd be able to say that.
Amos seems to like me. Somehow he knows when I walk into the room, even if I don't say a word. He knows, and he gets up and starts running toward me, though he can't see me. He climbs my pant leg and he plays with my fingers. He snuggles with me, and sometimes he falls asleep and takes a little nap. It's so strange that he can "blink" and make facial expressions like a normal cat, but without eyes it looks a little different. His little pointed face more resembles a fox than a kitten. His solid white fur is starting to slowly change. He's becoming a flame point, with light ginger markings coming up on his tail, the backs of his ears, and around his nose. My little baby Amos is a ginger! He has started to figure out eating hard food, which is awesome. He doesn't quite get lapping up fluid yet. He'll take a bottle (and yesterday he chugged until his tummy was bloated and shortly thereafter threw up all over me), but when it comes to a dish of water or a bowl of goat milk, he hasn't figured out how to drink well without getting his nose in it, and since he doesn't like the sensation, he tends to avoid it. I'm hoping he figures it out soon so he doesn't get dehydrated.
I did attempt to breed rabbits last week, but with no witnessed fall offs, I don't think anyone was successful. It's been cold, so I imagine the rabbits just aren't willing. I tried them (same does to the same bucks) the next day and they all just hung out - no interest in breeding at all. Well, I guess we will wait to see if we have any Valentine's Day bunnies.
Tomorrow I plan on swapping a couple cages and breeding some more rabbits. 'Tis the season for breeding if we want Easter bunnies. We got some snow today - just enough to coat everything, not enough to actually break out the snow-blower. The high tomorrow is supposed to be 16 or 17 degrees, which is the warmest in the 15 day forecast. I'll give it a shot for breeding. Last week I paired Lilith to Rascal, Gretchen to Yang, Feather to Thatcher, and MooMoo to Little Timmy. Tomorrow I'm hoping to try Bacon to Mister Cellophane, Spotty to Servine, and Calliope to Celery.