Ta da!

Aug. 20th, 2017 10:12 pm
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Catio functional! Toast, my outdoor-lovin' guy, spends about 80% of his time out there, and has mostly figured out the cat door, although if I'm there he meows to be let in even though he's let himself back in several times. One of the unforeseen hazards however, is that he keeps catching things and bringing them inside - nothing like a screeching cicada in the hallway at 2am to get you out of bed fast! Also one big dead mouse and one partially eaten small mouse. Lovely.

I had a ramp system kind of jury-rigged with some boards and bricks, but mom got all excited and ran out and bought me nice sturdy wire closet shelving and some outdoor carpet to put on top of it, and my brother came over and helped attach everything with brackets and things, and now even the not-so-agile Gandalf can make his way around everywhere. He's still scared of the cat door, although I've found him outside on his own a few times now - I always have to hold it open for him to come back in. I held Bones up to the cat door and held it open to see if she'd be interested, and as expected she was utterly horrified and ran away to her nice safe lurking basement. I locked the cat door while we were switching out the ramps, and in one of the photos Toast is pressing his head against it, very frustrated that he can't get it open to go to his happy fun place, lol.

Still needs some work right around where it meets up with the house to make it raccoon-proof, so raccoon baby has only been out for supervised playtime, but she's all over it like a fish to water, so to speak ^^

Here's some pics - I think I've got the permissions set right: Catio/Raccoonio Flickr album
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I have time off! A few days this week, and almost all of next week, although I'm working Sundays and some Sat/Fri programs (Perseid Meteor Shower this Saturday, forecast was looking pretty rainy/cloudy but it keeps getting better every time I checked, so fingers crossed).

This is the point in the year where I am Very Done With People - other than grocery and shopping errands and texting mom, haven't talked to a single soul since Tuesday, ah, bliss! XD The plan is to catch up on as much of the backlog of life maintenance as possible and complete my raccoon enclosure/catio. The catio is something I've been researching and saving up for for several years, finally found what I wanted and got a small windfall in the form of an escrow refund check due to overpayment, w00t! With small raccoon becoming more raccoonlike every day, the need is suddenly more urgent, lol, although she's really doing very well. Being a tiny girl and slightly mobility limited keeps her out of some, but not all, trouble (the similarities between a 4-month raccoon and an almost!three-year-old niecelet are really quite striking!) This lull is pretty much my only chance in the year to have time to assemble and get it all set up before things rev up again for fall. So, the plan:

Herein lies The Plan. Will I accomplish even half? Tune in next week to find out! )
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Was playing with Playdoh with niecelet the other day, and she was having trouble getting the lid off one of the Playdoh containers.
"Fukkin lid" she says around her pacifier. And then says it several more times, glancing up at me to see if I noticed. I managed to remain boringly non-reactive mainly because I wasn't quite sure that's what she was really saying.
"Havin' trouble getting the lid off?" I say all casual-like.
"Fukkin lid," she tells me again, in her wee little 2.75-year-old voice, managing to get the lid off herself finally. "People say that. That's a dirty word."
"Mmm. Watcha gonna make with that color?" And we moved on. XD
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When you have a non-releasable raccoon baby that you're trying to socialize and get her used to humans and handling, and she *loves* to stick her nose up your sleeve and try to chew on your armpit hair.
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Hello and still alive! Got the batch of 13 teeniest baby opossums drinking from a dish yesterday (instead of having to be tube-fed one-by-one three times a day), and the 12 medium baby opossums have been dishing it since last week, which means I have more than 30 minutes of non-wildlife time again. I have showered! I have eaten vegetables! I may even (le gasp) vacuum!

And check out this harmonious snuggling with three raccoon babies!

Biggest raccoonlet I've had since she was only a day or two old, and the other two arrived a few weeks later, very small for their age and with mycoplasma infections (swollen joints and hands, pus-filled lesions, fun times) - generally fixable with antibiotics, but also a 4 to 8 week quarantine period. I broke quarantine a week or so early because the little kids at least looked pretty healed up from everything, and because the big girl went into complete terrified baby raccoon snarl-attack mode when I did a test introduction and I was pretty sure I'd waited too long and now had an emotionally stunted raccoon baby who would never be able to co-exist with her own species. I resorted to taking everyone on the front porch where it was Outside and Very Scary, so they were more scared of that than each other (because little kids were understandably unhappy about being growled and snapped at).

Finally got to the point where no one was growling, but big girl wanted nothing to do with the other two and hid out on the far side of their crate. Until last night, when they were all out rambling around, and went at each other ears flattened and I was all ready to separate them when...Puppy Tussle Play-Mode, activated! :D And since then big girl has started actively seeking out the little kids and tonight they were all sleeping together in the same crate! Big girl is now on antibiotics too, for a few weeks, as a precaution, but I figured learning to be a raccoon was worth the trade off :)
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Twenty-six tiny baby opossums right now that need to be tube fed (about 40 minutes, three times a day, should be four or more times a day but this is all I can swing), plus ten more bigger babies that can drink from a dish, and three baby raccoons. If I'm a little sporadic online that's why!

Experimenting with Flickr photo hosting instead of using LJ, let's see if this works:
Ok, attempt number two with DW's own photo hosting thingy, since Flickr didn't work:


Apr. 14th, 2017 06:39 pm
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I've managed to dodge all the colds and lurgies going around this year, even after several stints of babysitting a mucus-oozing toddler, but no more - finally got me! Sore throat kept me awake all last night, and fevery enough today to keep being chilled and achy and queasy but still hungry (but if I eat things don't go well, which is super annoying, hmph). Luckily I have two days off in a row to hole up and be glorpy, and mom, bless her heart, came over and mowed my jungle-lawn which was getting out of hand. It's so nice outside though! Temps in the 80's and spring in full blast - was hoping to do something other than sit on the couch snorfling :(
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Niecelet loves these "colors" videos on youtube, and it's all sweet and happy and cute until they start pulling the eyes off and digging the face out to find the hidden egg! There's one horrific one where they have clay faces over little plastic Pez dispensers and they rip off the clay faces to reveal the second creature hidden underneath D: Niecelet started copying me, "oh no, they're going to smush the face up!" and giggling, and then we had fun pretending to smush each other's faces up. Good times! XD

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Forced terms acceptance with no heads up, sheesh. I've crossposted and imported to DW, but all my photos are hosted on LJ, so I won't be deleting anything for now.

On a less sad note, raccoonlet is doing great - getting bigger and stronger, although she's the pickiest little doober I've had in a long while. Formula temp needs to be one degree shy of scalding or she won't eat - warm-hot formula is not acceptable, hot hot formula = proceed to guzzle mode. Also needs just a pinch of the rehydration powder, which she hated plain but apparently formula without a least a hint of Electrostat is also not acceptable >_> Squawky bean ^^

In random note, dreamed last night that all my underwear in my undie drawer were these diaphanous or bedazzled fancy things - no idea what my subconscious was up to there! My dream undies would be more along the lines of elven leaf designs and earth tones in practical sturdy cloth, maybe some cute bugs and butterflies, than jewels and lace, lol. Make of that what you will, Russia *eyes*
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First wildlife baby of the year arrived today - teeny day-old raccoonlet, not in the best shape.  A hiker found her along a trail in the park, muddy and cold. She's a bit dehydrated, but fairly squirmy and squawky once she got warmed up again - didn't like the rehydration solution at all, but I finally got her to take some diluted puppy formula, so far so good.  As per tradition, wildlife babies that need hourly monitoring and care always arrive on super busy days with field trips and a thousand other things going on *flops* but I have all day tomorrow off so that should help.  Also my grass needs mowing already - yikes!
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Mom's rescue kitty is doing great! She's just got some nasal/sinus stuff going on, which makes her breathe really loud at times, but other than that she checked out healthy.  She spent yesterday hiding under the couch when all the relatives were there, but today came out and said hi - it was just four of us and niecelet, so much quieter.  Except for niecelet, of course, but kitty was less scared of niecelet than she was of me - a few times she hissed when I tried to walk up to her, but if I can get her to trust me long enough to pet her she's all over it.  Nieclet crawled right under the table with her and got up in her face, and she seemed totally cool with that.

Everyone loves The Box but Gandalf )

Rogue One!

Dec. 20th, 2016 08:40 pm
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I am pleased to report that Rogue One did not suck, imo! Enjoyed quite a bit, would go see again. I went in to the movie with only the vaguest idea of what it was about, and was glad I did, but just a heads up without getting too spoilery, it's definitely more gritty grimdark than your average Star Wars movie. Not my favorite thing, generally, but for this story, it worked.

Cut for major spoilers!!!!!!! )
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Brother and Sis-in-law acquired a stray cat a few weeks ago that had been hanging around with a broken front paw for some time - he finally got friendly enough they were able to nab him and bring him inside. Big white fellow, not neutered, no microchip, friendly once he wasn't living rough although he still won't let me pet him, and is getting along fine with their other two cats and niecelet. Paw turned out to be old healed damage with a new infection, so that's being treated now too. And then another stray showed up during the bitter single digit cold snap we had last week, so mom took this one in, bringing our grand family total to nine cats, three at each house!

This one's a real cuddle bug, super sweet, doesn't mind the dog or other cats or slightly unpredictable 2-year-olds. Looks almost exactly my mom's 16-year-old other cat except a bit more compact body and she doesn't have white whiskers. Mom said her breathing didn't sound good when they brought her in, and she was still a bit wheezy sounding when I was over there tonight - she's got a vet appointment on Monday to get that all checked out.
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I have accomplished nothing in the last two days other than signing up for a free 1-week Hulu trial and streaming the first two seasons of Steven Universe non-stop. There's really not anything else on Hulu I want to see - kind of disappointing actually; all that content and I'm just...meh. So I'll probably cancel after the trial. SU marathon has been such a lovely balm to my soul though - diversity and silliness, healthy relationships (as well as unhealthy ones portrayed as unhealthy), managing conflict, assumptions and stereotypes turned on their heads and jiggled until they giggle, how to mess up and not be perfect and still be ok, and just so much love and people trying to do better and it's like an instruction manual on how to human. Also booger jokes. <3

I've also been going to the library and reading newspapers. The news is not appreciably less horrifying in newspaper form, but somehow a little easier to cope when it's not in full color?

Also #2, sent a supportive card to my neighbors at the local mosque - and when I went to mail it the post office gave me Nativity scene stamps! Which I think would have been fine, but still, the irony! XD - I asked if they had some different ones and got "pick-up trucks from the olden days" instead. I couldn't find any Hallmark cards to cover the situation of "I stumbled across a terrifying Facebook post so full of ignorance and hatred regarding Muslims that I cried, please accept this feelingsdump, I hope you're doing ok," so I sent a humorous birthday card involving a snake trying to play a guitar with no arms.

Oh yes, and wrestled the cable company because my internet bill went up $16 all of the sudden. And cleaned bunny house and vacuumed and did laundry. Hrm. Ok, so I didn't quite achieve total a total veg out, but still, pretty good for me!
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Went to see "Magical Beasts and Where to Find Them" with mom last week - I found the first half to be a bit slow, but it got more interesting by the second half. We went to see in IMAX, which was painful especially through the previews and advertisements, because they were blasting the volume so loud - next time we'll save the $5 extra bucks and just see it in standard (neither mom nor I are big on eardrum-blasting experiences).

Saw a preview for the next Transformers, which was mostly clips from previous Transformers and Michael Bay bragging about the awesomeness of his IMAX film gizmo-never-before-seen stuff, and one short bit of dudes with swords on horseback, so I guess yes, they really mean knights and time travel? Ah well, it'll be interesting to see what happens with that - I suspect it'll be more of the usual, tiny glimmers of awesome amidst a bunch of dreck and noise and some equal bits of awfulness. More promising was the "Wonder Woman" preview -at one point Diana says "It is our sacred duty to defend the world, and that is what I am going to do" and I must confess, I got a little teary-eyed/inspired to fight all the injustice in the world WITH MY FLAMING SWORD OF WOMANHOOD ^^

Magical Beasts spoilers within )
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Two staff out sick, so today ended up teaching all the field trip classes instead of getting my...anything done, then after work drove a raccoon (probably a dumped pet, although he could be acting tame due to his brain being addled from distemper, which can happen sometimes. He seems alert and healthy, so crossing fingers it's the former) to a wildlife rehabber who's going to quarantine and monitor him and, if he checks out healthy, stick him in with a few other dumped pet raccoons she's overwintering so he can learn to be wild. Arrived at her house in the middle of a pouring thunderstorm deluge-of-the-century, and then when I went back out to my car, it wouldn't start. Hrrm. Either something was wet or the battery. Called roadside assistance with my car insurance and then spent the next hour sitting on the rehabber's couch waiting for them while her six cats checked me out, lol. Roadside assistance finally arrived, car started within a few seconds of the jumper cables being attached, so made it home - hooray! Might have to go back in to work tomorrow if staff are still sick, so crossing fingers it was just the solid wall of water I was driving through that mucked things up, and that car will start tomorrow because ain't no one got time for this, lol

In other news, if you liked "The Martian" I highly recommend this fic: You Know You Have a Permanent Piece of My Medium-Sized American Heart

“Hey Hermes!” The ambient suspicion level in the Rec ratcheted up significantly. Kapoor was disturbingly cheerful. “We’ve sent you some mission updates in the data dump, but Mitch and I wanted to personally let you know—” Mitch visibly rolled his eyes in the background. “—That thanks to some…strong suggestions from the White House, and on Annie and Director Sanders’ recommendation, we’ve started releasing Watney’s Mars logs to the public.”

I laughed a lot, reading this - also, waff in the form of prescribed cuddle therapy for Watney to combat the trauma of all his involuntary alone time on Mars.
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Whirlwind of big events and programs this week, and tomorrow I head off to Texas for a weeklong conference - whoosh! *flops* I...think I'm mostly ready? Today I set up groundhog and two baby opossums at work, need to write down care instructions for staff in the morning. I set up everything for mom so she can take care of the two raccoons, two opossums in the basement, three cats, bunny rabbit, and fish still at home, and she came over Thursday so I could show her everything. Packed my three non-stained, no holes in the knees outfits, looked up the weather (rainjacket possibly will come in handy, 70's and 80's, which, since it's been in the upper 60's all week in Indiana, isn't too big of a switch, actually. I did pack shorts, sandals, a hat, and sunscreen).

I haven't flown on a commercial flight for at least ten years (hard to get away with the wildlife!), any tips? I'm not planning on carrying on any liquids or my Swiss Army knife, or anything like that ^_~
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Unseasonably warm weather where I am - the trick-or-treaters have been steady! Probably 35 or 40 so far.

In other news we got five baby axolotls today at work - only about an inch long and the most adorable things ever!

There are three different color varieties here - brown wild type, white with dark eyes, and white with white eyes (not red like traditional albino - I need to look up what's up with that).

Muaha ha!

Oct. 26th, 2016 09:59 pm
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Dryer conked out last week, so finally got a repair person out today - to his credit didn't even blink at the two opossums in the living room and two more opossums and a groundhog in the basement, lol. It needed a new thing that the belt runs over, and the inside had gotten clogged with lint, in a place that needed the whole back dismantled to access. Nearly $200 later and back in business - ah well, it's been a tough little dryer to handle all the stinky critter towels.

Spent tonight scaring people at haunted house one of our local parks does every year - I laid on the path with a big witch's hat and patted the ground and felt around with my hand wrapped in a "bloody" bandage while I crawled towards them, and then used my other hand to trigger an air compressor to make sudden psssht sounds at them. Always satisfying when you can get a good scream and panicked jumping :D
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Flu shot turned out to be good timing - one staff down with what she calls "sickness of the decade"; hopefully whatever bug it is it's included in this year's vaccine, seems to be going around. Which also meant I got to wrangle a group of 60 first graders all by myself this morning - usually we split them into classes of 30ish and rotate them through program topics in smaller groups. The kids were really well-behaved, and the parents jumped right in and helped with the hands on stuff, so it all worked out, but it made for a hectic day trying to get everything set up for two programs instead of one - ready to flop!

Mailed in my absentee ballot today - w00t! Ok, everyone can go home now, show's over, you may cease and desist with the political ads *waves hand airily* Currently watching "Addams Family Values" to avoid the constant barrage - I wonder how many other folks have bailed from mainstream TV. I was hoping to do at least a little NaNo-ing this year, but it looks like the work conference is a go (hence the absentee ballot), which...it's a cool conference, and I'm excited about it, but it also makes for a non-stop marathon of busy times until mid-November. "Slow season" seems to get more and more mythical every year, alas!

Other things this week: raccoon babies moved to outdoor pen, need to commence with the cleaning of their old crate and carrier, groundhog is holding steady as far as I can tell, acquired a new opossum - young adult, hit by a car, didn't look good the first several days but she's now doing much better - will pretty definitely survive, now just waiting to see if she'll be releasable. Niecelet's newest thing is "juggling", which consists of holding two balls, waving them up and down, and then throwing them. Much fun :D


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