Sometimes I feel like I live in a zoo

We have a house and property full of critters. Our newest arrivals are a trio of Fire Belly Toads. They are pretty cool.

I am not confident enough to handle feeding them though. The tank they are in has a screen top with a metal clip on each side to “lock” it. We feed the toads crickets (which have their own little habitat), and superworms that we also feed to our Golden Tegu. I have had a hard enough time feeding the lizard, because I think the superworms are gross. I will only pick them up with tongs. The crickets freak me out, since they jump around. I really don’t want to lose any in the house. The habitat comes with tubes that the crickets crawl into, so you can use those when you feed your pet. I have not tried it yet. I am afraid that I might lose a toad when I open the tank. Luckily a feeding once a day is sufficient, so I leave it up to my husband. πŸ˜‰ Here are two of th toads in a little

Here are two of the toads in a little “river” in the tank.

Here we have one on the vine which goes into the swimming area of the tank. We put a few fish in the swimming area. We caught them in our outdoor koi pond. They are just regular feeder goldfish that have bred out there though. I think we have about 100 babies in our pond! The toads might eat the fish since they will eat anything they can fit in their mouths.

Here is a close up of the nasty superworms. The bedding is oatmeal, which is also food for them. We have to feed them bits of fruit to keep them hydrated too. These turn into large black beetles that put off a stink. We will find the beetles in the lizard enclosure, because they escape from the food dish. The lizard enclosure has a mulch bottom, so the worms burrow and hide until they transform.

This picture is too blurry to show the little crickets, but it shows the tubes that they crawl into. The tubes slide out of the habitat and the opening has a cover. I see how this is better than opening the whole top… risking a mass exodus. ;P

Here are some pictures of our ball python and our golden tegu.

This is Sweetie. She is about 4 1/2 feet long. We have had her for almost 20 years. πŸ™‚ I had her out the other day when my son’s friend was over for a visit. My son was not very amused when I put her on his head like a hat. I wore her around my neck, and that made them nervous. She is very strong, but I didn’t let her coil around my neck. Most of her body was hanging down the front of my body.

Here is our golden tegu. He/She doesn’t really have a name. I refer to it as a female, and call it Lizzie, but the boys think it’s a male. They don’t really call it by a name though. This variety of tegu is not easily tamed, so we don’t handle it. It’s just a lookin’ at pet. πŸ˜‰

We do have “normal” pets like cats and dogs, and outdoor animals like ducks, fish and a rabbit. We had 2 rabbits, but lost one recently to old age.

😦 I had written in another post that soon we will not have the ducks, since we will butcher them for food. I plan on starting that Wednesday.

Putting off tasks

Do you ever put off difficult tasks? I sure do. For example…we have 8 ducks. 7 females and one male. They give us eggs, and have provided ducklings, but we are so done with them. My husband and I have been saying for months that we need to butcher them and use the space they inhabit for another purpose. (One that won’t be so messy/smelly/ time consuming.) 4 of the birds have names. I’m only slightly attached to one of them though. She was mean when we bought her, but she ended up being a very good mother and then became the outcast of the flock. I feel sorry for her and will talk to her the most when I care for the birds. 

When it comes to butchering our birds I am the one who has to make the kill.😞 It will be so hard. I should probably start with her, so I don’t end up leaving her to the end and deciding we could keep just her. 

Cleaning the birds is a lot of work, so we really have to be committed to getting it started bright and early on our one day off together. We set the date a while back, but then the day came and we just didn’t feel up to it. We just purchased another bag of feed, so we have said it will be our last. Hopefully something doesn’t keep us from getting the job done, and we can move on from this experience. 

We have to do it before winter, since keeping heat on so they stay warm and to keep water from freezing gets expensive in New England. 

I was just thinking about this now, because I am boiling a dozen of the eggs I have collected. If we follow through with our plan these may be the last ones I do.πŸ˜’

Too many options leads to disaster…or at least a big mess.

Here is a mild example of what happens when I leave my toddler in the play area for 5 minutes while I vacuum another area. At least most of the toys stayed in the bins.;) When we first purchased these bins I sorted his toys and kept them that way for about a week before I gave up.

Clearly we have given him too many options. If you noticed the “wall” of games in the background the same is true in other areas of my family’s life too. The cabinet holds even more games, the ones for younger children and card games that don’t stack in the wall easily. Unfortunately the card games have been found by the toddler and spread around the house a few times. Some had to be tossed since he and the dogs enjoyed chewing on the cards.:(

We have to purge a lot of our board games this week, because we have plans to use the furniture they are piled on to hold something else. We have ordered bull frog tadpoles to grow and release in our pond. We have a 20 gallon aquarium that will need to be set up in that area. We plan on keeping the tank set up after we grow the tadpoles too. Once that project is completed we will purchase a pet or pets for the tank. We are thinking fire belly toads might be an option for us. We had been interested in getting a pixie frog, but we think it may not be active enough to be entertaining. We just love animals. We already have a golden tegu, and a ball python.:)

Having 3 boys in the house, I know I need to have things ready to entertain them, but I think our tendency to shop at thrift stores has caused an over abundance. 

Our new pet

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We went to a reptile expo yesterday in search of a new pet. There were so many options available. Β We had to research (I mean my husband researched) what types of reptiles we could even consider for our enclosure. My husband built a large enclosure in our livingroom, Β and decorated it perfectly. We have a ball python already, but we wanted something that would be more active and interesting to watch.

We settled on a golden tegu. Depending on its gender, it has the potential to grow to about 3 ft long. We think this size is about the maximum our enclosure would be appropriate for. The lizard pictured looks large, but it’s just a hatchling. They sell them in deli size boxes.πŸ˜‰

Golden tegus are very difficult to tame, so this may end up being a looking at only pet. I am actually too short to open the enclosure without standing on something, so it’s very unlikely that I’d be handling it by myself.

There were some absolutely gorgeous animals at the expo. If I could have, I probably would have purchased some beautiful snakes. The colors and patterns were amazing.  The expo was way more crowded then I expected it to be on a January morning. We would have liked to have spent more time browsing,  but we had the 2 year old in a stroller and I was wearing the 4 month old in a carrier. It was not easy to push through the crowd and check out the displays. 😞

Projects, projects, projects…..

It has been starting to get busy here, now that Spring has arrived. We have Fall cleanup that still needs to get finished, but so many new exciting projects to get working on too. This year we have decided to rip out our raised beds for vegetable planting, and turn that area into a place for a swimming pool. The pool has been purchased, a sand filter and salt water system are on the way, and a ton of fencing materials will be here Tuesday. My husband has also wanted to put a “real” fish pond on our property for a while too, so that will be done too. We currently have a very small plastic pond that you just dig a hole and place in the ground. It isn’t deep enough for fish to survive in the winter, so we are looking to upgrade.

The vegetable beds are dismantled, and most of the dirt has been spread back over the original area, but now we need to level the ground for the pool. The reviews on the pool we purchased said level ground was very important, and since we have had a pool in the past we know that’s probably true no matter what pool you get. πŸ˜‰ We had a round pool in the area years ago, but we have decided to go with a rectangle this time. It should make fencing in the area easier…we hope. We have some worry about roots and rocks getting in the way of the fence posts, but hopefully we don’t run into any major issues that cause us to scrap our plans. We never fenced in our round pool, so besides the few stumps we can clearly see we don’t know for sure what we’re dealing with. Tree roots can spread as far out as the tree tops. Even though the area is pretty open there are trees all around it.

We…I mean my husband has already finished some projects this Spring. He built a new house for some of our outdoor pets, and re-purposed an existing enclosure to house our Flemish Giant rabbits. We had a rather large outdoor hutch for our two giants, but when you have such large animals they make even a large hutch seem small. They have lots of room to move now, and eventually will have an addition made to that enclosure after we get our pool project finished. Owning a home, having children and having pets means the work is never done. πŸ˜‰

We have a few home improvement projects that need to be done this year too. One of them being building a bedroom for the baby. Our home was originally a 3 bedroom, but the previous owner took down a wall to make the master bedroom larger, now we have to put it back up. We actually want to put the wall up a bit differently to use the space better, so it’s not just as simple as it could have been.

I am still recovering from shoulder surgery, but I am happy to be able to help with some of the work around here. My surgery was 11/26/14, but the healing is slow. The shoulder heals about 10% per month, and it could take a full year to get my full range of motion back. Thankfully the pain is not excruciating, but it can be annoying at times.

I wish we had a magic wand to wave and make all of our projects be completed. I am ready to enjoy the finished product before the project even starts.