Thursday, December 24, 2015

Twas The Night Before....

      Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse. That is quite a feat, for this house! I thought, in  celebration of this being my 20th post and it being Christmas eve, I should give you an updated pets list. Enjoy!

The Menagerie Part (updated)

Fish/Amphibians

Fishy, our goldfish
Colin, our twintail goldfish
Starbuck & Blaze, our two koi, which I think are male and female
Shadowflag, My very first betta fish
Arthur & Gwenny, my male and female betta fish
Jerry, my African dwarf frog

Mammals

Zoe, our almost 10 year old black lab
Ruby, My ruby eyed, champagne hooded pet rat
Pearl, My black hooded rat with a speckled back, and a white star on her forehead
Onyx, My tuxedo pet rat, all black except for her feet and stomach, which are all black

Birds

Runner, our oldest duck
Leroy, one of our duck hens
Dragon, another duck hen
Taru, our drake
Illya, one of our new duck hens
Daisy, our other new duck hen
M&M, our oldest rooster
Emily, our misnamed, home hatched rooster
Mama hen, one of our two original hens
Frisky, our other original hen
Jenna, our only full sized hen
Sugar, one of our home hatched hens
Sunflower, our other home hatched hen
Hazel, a home hatched rooster
Crackerjack, another home hatched rooster

In memory of

Vermicelli, our old rat, who passed away in August
Pepita, our hen, who was attacked by a hawk last week
And Bandy, our rooster, who was also attacked by a hawk the day before Thanksgiving


Hope you enjoyed that, and have a very Merry Christmas!
-Amelia
Red berries.


Monday, December 21, 2015

Almost Christmas...

     It is almost Christmas, as in only four more days until, and as most people experience around this time, I am quite busy trying to get presents bought/made for my family. Apart from the snow flurries a few days ago, it feels quite warm, and although I would normally love it, it is always nice to have some snow in the winter. I actually remember a few years ago, we were getting off for summer break at my homeschool co-op, and while we were having a party inside, it snowed two feet. When we were getting off for the SUMMER. Anyways, I am excited and a bit stressed about Christmas. The rats have been "helping" wrap things, as in running through empty cardboard tubes, trying to play hide and seek. I have been making hammocks, although sadly, I did not get an etsy account, or I would be selling them. My rats like their full size cube hammock the most, and sleep under, in, and on top of it. They are disappointed I am washing all their fleece right now, but they can just deal with it. Today is my last day of school, and I am very excited about the break. We are frosting our Christmas cake today, and I will be making gingerbread houses, as well. Well, that pretty much sums it up! Here are some pictures.
Onyx, being cute.

Hot chocolate in my giant mug.

Homemade chocolate.

A monarch butterfly on Mom's hand.




Thursday, December 17, 2015

Updates on Life


     Hi people, well, the rats have grown, the new ducks are being a bit more social, and it is almost Christmas! Yes, I have more pictures of the rats, and I have some pictures of the new ducks, as well. And, even some of the Christmas tree! I actually have a lot of things to say right now. One is that I have successfully litter trained one of my rats, and maybe another. Still working on Pearl, but Ruby is fully litter trained, and actually went out of her cubby where she loves hang out to use the litter box. I am one proud mama. It took less than a week, and she was not really thrilled with the box at first, unlike Onyx. Onyx, as soon as I put the box in, jumped in and tried the litter, to see if it was edible. It apparently was not, and she spat it out with disgust. She still likes it, and she has used it a few times, but not consistently. I have also lined the cage with fleece and they really like the soft fabric on top of the cold, hard wires. I have made sooooooooo many hammocks, I think over ten, and the rats love them, even though thet think that they should not be hung up, and will not go in them unless they are on the ground. Anyways, I have also started drawing mandalas, which are really cool pattern drawings. I have a few pyramid hamster hammocks for sale, they are very small, though, and they come in a light pink/ dark pink, and a red/grey pyramid hammock. $3 each, and if you want, I can make cube hammocks the same size for $4. Ok, enough with the talk, on to pictures.

The litter box.

A lotus mandala I drew.

Side view of the cage. The bottom floor is red fleece, the shelf is pink.

The rat's food mix.
Daisy the duck is at the top right.


Top view of  a corner.

Top view of the whole cage.
A pink fleece lined shelf. 
Top view of the cube hammock.




Friday, December 11, 2015

Celebrating (almost) 6 months of Amelia's Menagerie

     On December 14, I will be celebrating exactly 6 months of this blog. This will be my seventeenth post in six months, and on the actual date I will write another post, making an average of three posts a month. I have really enjoyed writing this blog, and I hope you enjoyed reading it. Okay, now my sweet, sentimental part is over, and it is time to get a bit less formal. Pictures! Oh, and by the way, these cuties are 7 1/2 weeks old.
Ruby and Pearl.

Onyx being cute, as always.

White elephant awesome!
    Also, I have started making adorable rat hammocks and hidy tubes, which will have pictures of them soon, and I will be selling them soon. My ratties love them! They are also great for any small animal, such as hamsters, mice, gerbils, etc. So, if you are interested, please ask, and I can make one for a few dollars, just because I went and bought new fleece, and they take a bit of time to make. All the best,
Amelia

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Rats!

      Guys, I cannot do suspense, fancy intros, etc.,etc. You probably know that. So, I will just get straight to the point. Anthea, my sister, got me some adorable baby rats for Christmas. I know, it is early, but they are adorable, and I am teaching some of friends to take care of rats, so Mom, Dad, and Anthea surprised me with these cuties early, to help teach our friends how to care for rats. The cutie's names are Onyx, Ruby and Pearl. They are super friendly, and do not bite at all, at least not yet. Actually, as I am writing this, Onyx is sitting on my shoulder. She is black except her feet are white and she has a stripe all the way up her tummy. Ruby is named because of her eyes, which are magnificently beautiful. They actually do not creep any of us out at all. Pearl is a black hooded rat with a star on her forehead and spots all down her back. She is timid, but loves to run up and down your arms. Ok, enough of that, here are some pictures of the cuties.

video

   
Their travel cage that they are in at the moment

Pearl and Ruby.



Onyx

A furry nose. 
The newest trend, sleeve hammock!

Friday, November 27, 2015

New Ducks!!!

     Okay, guys, I am super excited at the moment. We just got back from the farm down the road with our newest additions to the flock. They are super cute, both girls, and have tremendous attitudes already. We were very scared that the older ducks would traumatize our newbies, but as soon as they waddled in, they owned the place. They are really funny, and I cannot wait to get some more eggs tomorrow. Their names are Daisy Duck, who has patchy orange and grey feet, a blue bill, and a small white stripe on her neck, and Illya, who has patches of different colors of brown and white all over and a green bill. I know, I was going to name one Bella, but trust me, these girls are not that type of ducks to be called Bella. I will try and get you pictures of our own soon, but right now I will give pictures of their breed off the web.
      So, anyways, I am very excited and am praying that the transitions of the pecking order will all go smoothly. But, you are probably wondering what else is going on at the moment. Well, I am the only one up and about right now, and it is 10:54 am while I am writing this. I had pie for breakfast, and then picked up my ducks at around 10:15 am with Mom. Yesterday was Thanksgiving, and it was wonderful. We had a friend come over and then we watched a movie that was very enjoyable. We then went to sleep, and then you know the rest. I made 4 types of pies, pecan, pumpkin, sweet potato, and chocolate. I am a bit tired right now, but yesterday and today have been great, at least so far for today, and I am glad I am not shopping right now. So, all in all, Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and I hope to talk to you later.
All the best,
-Amelia

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Horseback Riding

 Okay guys, trying to add a video is hard on blogger. It involves editing skills which, sadly, I do not possess. After a very frustrating half hour, I was thoroughly exhausted with anything technical, and barely had the bandwidth to do anything on the computer. Thankfully, google+ is very generous on how long your videos can be. So, if you want to see me jump, check out my google plus account. But, I can still post pictures. Actually, today was kind of exciting because I jumped my first vertical jump, which was fun. Sadly, one of our young roosters got eaten by a hawk. R.I.P. Bandy. We loved you, and I hope you find the compost pile in heaven! Anyways, horses. I love em, and I just cannot get enough of them. So, I get to groom Chessie on Friday, which should be fun, and also get some new duck hens, which will probably be called Bella and Daisy. And, Tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and a pumpkin pie is in the oven right now, smelling delicious! I am very excited, and hope to not get too full, because we have pumpkin, sweet potato, and chocolate pie for tomorrow. Ok, back to horses. I thought you should see some pictures of horses, so I kindly took some for you all. Here they are!
Chester in the stall.



Monday, November 23, 2015

      Honestly, all I really have to say at the moment is, well, it's cold, computers are confusing, and we fixed the chicken coop. YAY! So, as entertaining as that is, you might want a bit more than that. So, here are some pictures.
One of my arm knit scarves.



Impromptu gluten free pancake mix which yielded some very good pancakes.

Zoe on the hay bales.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

A Basket of Chicks

     I ran through the forest as fast as I could to the small grove of trees I knew so well. I knew today would be the day they arrived. I could hardly breathe as I peeked under the large rock with the moss and ivy intertwined in its crevices. I carefully pulled the looser ivy blanket from the hollow space beneath the boulder. I heard some faint cheeps and held my breath as a low growl was expelled from the small cave. I reached in, getting pecked and growled at several times, and found my way under the wild turkey to feel some fluffy turkey chicks cheeping in protest as I carefully wrapped my fingers around one of them. Pulling her out, I heard the mother hen calling her back in. I carefully placed her in my large basket filled with hay. Mama will be so happy, I thought, as I quickly gathered the rest of the chicks and hatching eggs and placed them in my basket, along with the loudly protesting mother. Yes, this would make Mama happy at last. I quickly got up, being careful not to hurt the chicks or the mother. I knew I was doing these babies a favor, as soon as I heard gunshots a few miles off. The hunters should not be on our land, but sadly the poachers are a common sight in the thickets of our farmland. I have been watching over these eggs that are so precious, while always making sure to cover my tracks. Should hunters have found the hen, she would protect her eggs to the death, most likely being shot in the process, and the eggs would be left to die. I had found this nest several weeks ago, hoping they would hatch in time for Easter, and thankfully they have, seeing as tomorrow is Easter Sunday. Mama always tries to make us small cookies in the shape of eggs to have for our Easter baskets, but this being our first year on the new farm, she doesn't have enough time or energy to make them. I thought I should get her something instead, seeing as she gave up her flock of laying chickens to move to Virginia for farming. She has been looking for some chicks or a hen, but she has not found one yet. I had hoped to find an escaped broody hen, but had gotten caught at the next door farm, and the hen was soon retrieved from her hiding spot to hatch some chicks for those farmers. However, walking home from their farm, I had heard a rustling and growling in a circle of trees. Trying to contain my excitement, I soon found the hen and her clutch. I knew that Mama would be just as pleased to have some large speckled turkey eggs as the small, brown chicken eggs. I just hoped that she would then keep the toms as well and hatch more, and not use them for meat, as they were too cute to eat at the moment.
   Like my story so far? If so, please tell me how it should end in the comments below. This is not a true story, but if you know of a story somewhat like this, I would love to hear it. Thanks!
-Amelia




Sunday, November 15, 2015

Squash, Soccer, and So much baking!

     Okay guys, the rumors are true, I am still alive. Sorry for not posting for almost three weeks, I have been very busy, as we had a Narnian themed parents' dinner with our church's youth-group yesterday. I had a lot of work to do, and due to what the parents were eating being a surprise, it took all my energy to keep what I was baking concealed. I had to make meringues, gluten free rolls and cupcakes and sponge toffee. Thankfully, we got to the church at 11 am. on Saturday and managed to get some skits worked out and all the food prepared. I was Mrs. Beaver, and a very cute one at that, and my friend Ethan was Mr. Beaver. I was told we acted just like the beavers, even when we weren't trying to. We really should have worked ahead more, but everything turned out very well. I will try and get some pictures to you all at some point, but until then, you are just going to have to use your imagination. Okay, done with that, moving on. So what do you want me to talk about next? How about soccer, as I seem to have started with the baking, so let's just go backwards. Sadly, my fall soccer season has ended, and some actual tears have come forth because of that. I got to play five of our eight games, due to injury, mime, or misinterpretation of an email. It was great while it lasted, though, even the last game that I limped through the end of due to being kicked and stomped on at the same time by a teenage boy. We held a soccer party afterwards (thank you to people who came:) and ate lots of ice cream and hot dogs, then laughed really hard while playing a trading game called Pit. I am officially in love with soccer, and I am so sad that snow ruins it for the winter, as fun as snow is. We really should play soccer in the snow, that would be so much fun. Now that that is out, on to squash. We have an abundance of squash at the moment, mostly because we get a farm share and for the past month and a half we have gotten a squash among our other veggies. Thankfully, we love squash, and when a butternut squash is really ripe, it become super sweet. It would make great pie, me thinks. Also, that same farm is selling me two ducks, so name ideas would be appreciated! They will both be girls, if that matters to you. We have a duck hen named Leroy, and a rooster named Emily, so if you come up with a boy's name, that's cool with us. There. I am done with  my list, but I still have so much more to say! One of those things would be that I have started jumping in horseback, and I would have a wonderful video for you all, but the saddle I was using did not exactly fit my horse, even though his girth was at least twelve holes. Poor Chessie. But, I am getting better at jumping and have successfully done three jumps in a row, thank you. Another recent event is that we have put our little chicks out with the adult chickens for the year, and they can actually beat up our younger rooster. Okay, I have gotten all of my words out. Enjoy these Pictures!

Some of our chicks. They grow up so fast, sniff sniff.
   
Some sage in our garden.

Chessie the Chincoteague pony and me. He is a really sweet boy except when you put his girth on. Then, he gets a bit grumpy, as you can imagine.



Monday, October 26, 2015

A few Pictures, A few words.

'
 I didn't have much to write about, so i am just going to post some pics for now. Enjoy!
Moose crossing in Vermont.

A broody chicken from earlier this summer.

Chocolate Mousse with whipped cream.

All three of our duck hens from left to right: Runner, Dragon, And Leroy. We thought the last one was a boy.
Dragon and Taru, one of our hens and our drake.
One of our little cuties.
M&M mid crow.
From left to right: Front left, our rooster M&M, back left Jenna, our only full sized hen, and far right Mama Hen, one of our bantam hens.
A Ben and Jerry chicken.
   
Dragon and Runner, two of our duck hens.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Hats For Sale!

      So, as you all probably know, I have been making baby hats recently. I am now more skilled and can make about one a day, and am at a good place to start selling hats. If you want one, please tell me how you want it in the comments. They are $5 each for striped, or 3 for $12,  $3.50  for plain, or $4 for patterned yarn. They are handmade and crocheted. The yarn I use is 85%  cotton, 15% polyester, and I can make plain unbleached white or brown hats with local alpaca wool for $15. Here is a picture of a striped baby boy beanie:
This one was too wide and not long enough. I had made a mistake with the pattern. I have learned how to fix this since then.
     I can also make matching scarves to go with hats, but these should not be used on babies. Scarves are $5 for plain, $7 for striped or patterned yarn. I can make doilies for $3, or coasters for $1.50. I am sorry for any inconveniences that may arise, as I cannot make exactly measured hats. It will be very nice if you can give me measurements of any head a hat will be for. If you order five or more items over $2, you can pick out any premade item for 1/2 price. Thank you for reading this, and if you wish to buy anything, please just let me know here or on google plus. Thanks!
-Amelia

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Hats, Bread, and a Sweet Sixteen

It has happened. I have reached the uniquely me part of my life where I am making baby hats 24/7 for friends, baking gluten free bread that actually tastes like bread, and celebrating when my beloved sister, Anthea, turned sixteen. Two big birthdays in one year: my thirteenth, her sixteenth. Life has been pretty good lately. We sent off a picture by email the day that it was due to enter into the Meyer hatchery catalog cover. The photo depicts one of our really cute chicks standing on our tractor/lawnmower, and I honestly think it could at least place. Oh, I love our chickens and ducks.
All the fowl decided to molt, which means no eggs for a bit, except the one faithful duck whose egg that we get daily.
The reason I have been crocheting hats is that so many of our family friends have babies right now. With one friend, I am trading ten hats or so for a laying duck. Pretty fair trade, in my opinion. The bread I have been baking tastes very good, or so I have heard, and I will hopefully become my family's lead supplier. I finally got to get back to riding after a thumb injury. Unfortunately, all of my soccer games have gotten rained out this season, so I hope to play this Saturday.

I thought you might want to see some recent photos of the animals, so here they are. Enjoy!
"What are you looking at?"

Papita laying an egg in the brush pile.

Sunflower, one of our female chicks, standing on my boot.

They thought it was pretty funny, me taking pictures of them. These are our current ducks.
     
This is the actual photo we sent, and it is pretty adorable.