Monday, September 30, 2013

Religion

So I think I told you all a while back that I considered myself to be Wiccan. I was Wiccan for years, a lot of years. My grandmother got me on that path when she took me to séances, palm readers and told me that my ancestors were witches that were burned at the stake. *Yeah I seriously doubt that*

I don't really know how it happened but I slowly lost my faith in, well...everything...after my mother passed away. 

I had so many people coming up to me telling me she was in a better place, she was with God, she was happy now and not in pain. 

A better place?

I started thinking about that and realized that I didn't believe that, at all. I no longer believed in heaven, hell, god, fluffy white clouds that angels are dancing on while looking down on us, watching over us. I didn't believe in the power of the universe, the power in nature or earth and I didn't believe in what my Wicca books had taught me. 

I didn't believe that angels are among us, or that ghosts exist, and I didn't believe that we have this great ever lasting life after we die. I didn't believe in reincarnation or that it was god's will or that anything at all happens after we die other than our bodies start to decompose and our brains are dead and we didn't have a clue that we had died. 

I started thinking, If all these people really believed that my mom or their deceased loved one was really in a better place or now happy...why in the hell were they crying? Why were they so upset? She's in a better place, so why aren't you happy about that? She's looking down on you smiling and she's happy, healthy and with god in heaven...so why are you so upset if you really believe that. Shouldn't those people be celebrating the death of people who are in a better place?

If you're so sure you're going to a better place when you die, why do you wear a seatbelt? Why do you stay healthy and want to live for a long time? Why do you take safety precautions on the job or put your kids through the pain of chemotherapy and radiation when you find out they have cancer?

Why not just let them die and be happy, go to a better place? 

I think I know why...because you don't really believe it any more than I do but I'm voicing my true feelings. Is that why, maybe?

I'm not trying to piss off any of my religious friends, I'm really not. I'm just telling you what happened to me and why I now consider myself to be Agnostic. 

It's like a switch turned to off in my head and everything just stopped. Now when I hear someone saying that god saved them from a flood or that when the tornado came down and destroyed their neighbors house but not theirs that god was looking out for them...I wonder if they think god was looking out for them, then does that mean that god wasn't looking out for the person who just lost everything? See, it really doesn't make sense when you look at it like that, does it?

Frankly, I don't think we'll know for sure either way until we die and even then if there's nothing after death...we won't know then either.

Now the really amazing thing for me was a few months ago when I was talking to my dad on the phone. He asked me if I was still a witch...lol I told him no and tried explaining to him what I believed, I broke it down like this:

"I don't think that while we are alive we will ever know whether there is a higher being so I'm not going to worry about it until I die. Then if there is, I'll know."

I was ready for my dad to go into all the reasons why he didn't agree with me, but instead he said, "You know what..I kinda feel the same way but I haven't been able to put it into those words."

Well imagine my shock. Let me give you a little background on my dad. He grew up in a Mormon family, was raised Mormon and was even a Mormon missionary when he was younger. He made me and my younger brother go to Primary school each week and even had the Primary school teachers come to our house for bible study each week when I was a kid.

He's always been of a religious mind so when he told me that his faith had faltered too, I was stunned. But it was interesting because now we have something in common that we didn't have before. 

Sunday, September 29, 2013

The Big Baby Club


Earlier this month my daughter told me that the pediatrician said my grandson is as big as a 1 year old...and he's only 7 months old.

Logan is now 29" long and weighs 21 lbs. 

I think he's gonna be big like his daddy. 

This is my daughter and her boyfriend. My daughter is 5'2" tall and her boyfriend is I believe 6'8" tall. So now you understand why we think Logan is going to be a big boy, he takes after his daddy. lol

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Weekly Rat Facts: Sneezing, Wheezing, Snorting and Squeaking



This is Marbles and Bandit and this is what they do when I take them out on the couch with me. As you can tell Marbles (The Rex) sneezes, snorts and makes little chuffing noises when he gets excited.

When I adopted them from one of my daughter's friends Marbles and two of his brothers (who have since passed away) all had Upper Respiratory Infections and even though I started them all on antibiotics right away it seems that Marbles has some scarring on his lungs from the URI and that's why he makes little noises. He's made these little noises for over a year but he's a healthy boy.

If you don't catch the Upper Respiratory Infection (URI) in time and get them on Baytril right away the URI can leave scarring on their lungs that never goes away and will cause them to breathe badly and make little noises.

Marbles likes to chuff and sneeze when he gets excited and that can be bothersome to me when he gets up close to my face and starts sneezing on me. I can almost see a little smile on his face as he does it, the little stinker.

However, if your rat all of the sudden starts making sneezy, wheezy noises you should have them seen by a vet immediately. They most likely have an URI and will need antibiotics. I always have Baytril on hand just in case one of my boys get sick so I can start them on antibiotics right away. I've spoken with my vet and she said that's the best thing to do. You can either get the antibiotics from your vet or you can order Baytril online. It's about $15 a bottle but the bottle is liquid which makes it a lot easier to dose out and it lasts for a long time. Enrofloxacine is the generic name for Baytril. I use the 10% liquid. I give 2 drops of Baytril to my boys twice a day, mixed with baby food or jelly.

I was told the amount to give to them was...1 drop twice a day per lb of rat. So if you have a 1lb rat you would give them 2 drops per day. If you have a 2lb rat, you would give them 4 drops per day. For 5-16 days depending on how severe the infection is.

If you are a first time rat owner and are giving this medication for the first time I suggest getting it from a veterinarian and having them show/tell you how much to give.


Friday, September 27, 2013

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a 'Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

 A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things. So I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

This week I received a box with 8 stick packs of Folger's Coffee and Minties dog treats. 

I found the links to both of these great freebies on Freebie Shark and Hey It's Free.

Thursday, September 26, 2013

The Rats!

Because you know how much I love to share pictures of my rats with you...today's post is all about the boys. Here's Lucky running down the ramp to get to the steamed rice and vegetables I put in his cage for dinner. 

Lucky.

Bandit and Marbles playing on the couch with me.

Marbles my rex rat. Meaning he has soft curly hair and whiskers. 

Marbles sitting on the couch with me. Most times they curl up next to me and go to sleep. Lazy boys. lol 

Marbles and Bandit running around on the couch. Bandit has been on a little diet because he's gained a little weight, so I take him out a bit more and let him run around. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Meet Freelance Writer Mary Kirkland


My name is Mary Kirkland (real name not pen name). I am a freelance writer with 7 years of experience behind me. I have published over 250 articles since I began my writing career. I enjoy writing about small animal care and what to expect after adopting small animals, such as rats, hamsters and gerbils. 

Currently, I live in Las Vegas, Nevada with my husband of 23 years and we recently became grandparents when our daughter gave birth to a 9lb son. On a personal note, I have been battling depression and a Thyroid condition called Hypothyroidism as well as Hashimoto's Thyroiditis for nearly 20 years and was diagnosed with schizotypal personality disorder about 10 years ago. 

I have been using my knowledge of the diseases I have to bring awareness to them as well as mental illness in general, in the hopes it will make a difference and help someone who needs the information because mental illness comes with so much stigma attached to it and is not openly talked about in a lot of circles. 




Monday, September 23, 2013

Free Range Cats?

I heard something against my screen door the other day and looked out the peep hole and saw nothing. I sat back down and heard a weird scraping again, so I opened the door thinking I had a flyer on my door or something. Imagine my surprise when I looked down and saw a cat rubbing up against my door. 

I tried to call her or him over but as you can see he or she just gave me a look. lol So I pulled out the camera and took a couple of pictures. Then all of the sudden my neighbor just 2 doors away from me starts yelling for her cat and chasing her down the sidewalk *this cat* and the cat kept running away from her which I found funny. She, however did not and kept walking by my door giving me dirty looks. 

I have nothing against cats, I really don't. I just think they belong indoors. People who let their cats roam all over the neighborhood are taking chances that someone like me will bring your cat inside my home and call animal control or try to find them a good home on Craigslist. I've done it with plenty of stray cats and dogs in my area.

If you're going to let your cat out, like this one at the very least put a collar on it so people know it's not a stray and don't call animal control on it and can bring it home to you if it gets lost. It's just the responsible thing to do. 

Sunday, September 22, 2013

My 1000th Post! And a Giveaway!


It's hard for me to believe but this is my 1000th blog post! I started back in 2005 and I wasn't sure exactly what I was going to be posting about but I was in a bad place back then and pretty much hated everything..lol and thus the name "Dark Thoughts" was the first thing I thought of when making my blog. 

A couple of my friends made blogs at the same time as I did and while all of them stopped blogging, I kept plugging along, even if I did have weeks and months that I didn't have anything at all to say. I think it helped me to write my thoughts out and to find people that had some of the same interests as myself. 

A lot has happened in the 8 years since I started this blog. 

I've had over 250 articles published. 
3 Internet friends passed away. I may never have met them in person but I miss them just the same.
My daughter grew up and became an adult. 
My hubby and I celebrated our 23rd Anniversary. 
My mom passed away. 
We became grandparents. 

When I noticed that I was getting close to 1000 posts I knew I wanted to do something for all of you that have been here with me through the years, left me wonderfully encouraging comments and spent time with me, reading and commenting on my posts.

GIVEAWAY!
So I'm giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one person who leaves a comment on this post with their email address so I can get in touch with them if they are picked to be the winner. I will pick a winner from all the posts on Oct. 2nd and email the winner. He or she will have 24 hours to respond to my email or another winner will be picked. 


Update: This contest is now closed and a winner has been picked and responded to my email. Thank you to everyone who entered. 




Saturday, September 21, 2013

Weekly Rat Facts: Gene Mutations


In rat breeding there are a few gene mutations that have made for some interesting varieties of rats, although their health could be at risk from these mutations. 

Rex
I have a rex rat, Marbles. His hair is patchy in places on his face, curly in other places and completely missing in others. He also has curly whiskers. Most rex rats have soft curly hair or very little hair. Some rex rats have tightly curled hair so it sometimes looks like a perm, while others have beautifully, soft, luxurious waves.

Hairless
Hairless rats are usually made when you breed two rexes together. They are usually healthy but can have persistent skin problems and because they sometimes don't have eyelashes to keep debris from getting in their eyes they can also have eye problems. I knew one lady who had several hairless rats and had to switch to cloth bedding because the Carefresh bedding she was using kept getting stuck under the eye lids of her rats and she would have to take them to the vet to get it cleaned out. 

Manx
Manx are also called tailless rats because they are born without a tail or only have a small finger like appendage that sticks out much like a hamster tail. The major problem with Manx rats is they can be born with impairment to the nerves of the bowels and bladder. They also can be born without hip sockets and pelvic bones. But the biggest problem for Manx rats is the threat of heat exhaustion since the tail regulates the body temperature. 

Friday, September 20, 2013

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a 'Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things so I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.



This week I didn't think I was going to get much so I took the picture on Thursday and then received more stuff on Friday, thus the two pictures. lol 

I find links to most of the freebies I get on Freebie Shark and Hey It's Free. You should check out both of  those sites if you want to easily find out how to sign up for free samples. 

This week I received (picture 1)
Beneful Healthy Smiles dog food (which I gave to a neighbor who has a small dog and she loved it!) and two Beneful Healthy Smiles treats. I kept those and gave them to my rats to chew on and they loved them!

(Picture 2)
I received a sample pack of Huggies Baby wipes, a coupon for a free 20oz bottle of coke (which I got from saving my caps on the coke bottles and entering them at the My Coke Rewards site.)

I also received a book called Demons Prefer Blondes by Sidney Ayers. I was sent this book by the wonderful Steph at Fangs Wands & Fairy Dust. Not because I won it in a contest or anything..just because she's a really nice person. Thanks Steph!

So what freebies did you get this week?

Monday, September 16, 2013

When Adoption Reunions Go Wrong

I have a sibling who was put up for adoption before I was born and about 10 years ago...I found him. We all met and things seemed to go well, for a while. We no longer speak now and that's fine with me. I don't need all the drama and chaos this person brings with him. 

If you are thinking of finding a lost loved one or planning an adoption reunion. Think twice about it, be prepared that the fantasy you have in your mind about how things are going to be in the long run is most likely now how reality is going to hand it to you. 

My advice: Just leave the past where it should stay. In the past. Don't go looking for people that may or may not (Most likely not) live up to your expectations of what and who they should be. You're probably better off never finding that person and finding out the reality isn't anything like the fantasy you had built up in you mind. 



Sunday, September 15, 2013

A Murder In My Neighborhood

So you know how in the past I've shown you all that the police were on my street or the fire department showed up for a call on my street and it happens at least twice a month? Well on September 10th, 2013... someone went into an apartment across the street from me and shot two people..killing one. 

Usually I stay inside and snap pictures of police cars from my bedroom window but it was just after midnight and Ken told me that there were 3 Fire Trucks and several police cars down the street from our apartment...so I went outside and snapped a few pictures not knowing what had happened. 

After the ambulance took someone away who had been shot, the CSI van and more police cars showed up.

Then the news vans started showing up and setting their cameras up on tripods. I knew if the news vans were showing up that something major had happened...

If you'd like to read an article I wrote about what happened on my street that night just click the link below. 



I Was Woke Up Early


Funny thing happened this morning, Ken came in and woke me up earlier than I wanted because he said there was a bug that needed saving. I kid you not.

He said he tried to flush it down the sink but the poor little guy just kept holding on and he finally felt sorry for it and said he told it, "I'll be right back I know someone who will save you." *seriously folks*
So I get up and look in the bathroom sink and sure enough there's a 1 1/2 inch beetle of some kind sitting in the sink cleaning the water from it's antennae. I put my finger down next to it, not knowing whether it bites or not *yeah I'm weird that way* and he climbed right on my hand.

I'm still in my pajamas and Ken opened the door so I could put him in the bush that's right outside our door. I stopped to make sure no one was outside, because I was in my pajamas. Ken laughed that I didn't mind picking up the bug but didn't want anyone seeing me in my pajamas. So anyway, I put the beetle on the bush and he crawled away. lol

Just call me the bug whisperer...

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Weekly Rat Facts: Rat Nibbles

Rats will use their teeth on you in strange ways and you may not realize that they know exactly how hard they are biting you, but they do. Some rats will 'tooth' you to make you back away if they don't feel like being bothered. My Marbles dis this to me. He would grab my finger in his mouth and hold onto it with his teeth while backing my hand out of his space and then he'll let me go and push me away with his nose. Pretty much telling me to leave him alone. 


If your rat is nibbling you, seemingly grooming you like he does his cage mates, you should not stop him from doing this. This is their way of bonding with you and making you part of their pack. My rat Lucky, would Faux bite me while playing. It's not a real bite, he just grabs my fingers and presses me with his teeth, much like a human would with their fingers if they were touching you. Rats feel through touching things with their teeth so these play bites are normal and should be encouraged. 

Rats have incredible micro control over the pressure they bite down with, when a rat bites down they know exactly how much pressure they are exerting. So if a rat bites you out of aggression...they meant to do it. 

Most domesticated rats do not bite. Let me say this again...most rats people keep as pets...do not bite. 

The only time a rat will bite a human is if they have been mishandled by humans and are afraid or if they have had very little interaction with humans and aren't used to being handled. In some cases if an otherwise happy rat bites you for no reason, it might be a sign they are in pain or sick. 

If a rat is sniffing your fingers and starts to bite down and then stops suddenly, they usually are saying, "Oh hey, sorry about that. I thought this was a yummy carrot. But your finger isn't a carrot and now I know that. Oh and by the way, can I have a carrot?" 

Rats feel the world around them by checking things out with their teeth, then they smell and taste. My rat Lucky likes to try and steal my rings. He'll be playing with me and grab the ring on my finger and try to run away with it. Sometimes he'll accidentally grab a little skin along with my ring and that is an accidental bite. All he knows is that there's something hard and interesting on the human hands that are playing with him and he wants to check it out, so he 'tooths' it. 

If you have dead skin on your hands or fingers, your rat will become your doctor and get rid f it for you. My rats have been extremely careful as they remove scabs, bits of skin, broken cuticles and check out scratches as well as other problem skin areas. Most times they will gently pull off dead skin and scabs...and eat them. If this grosses you out, don't let them do it but sometimes they are so fast at it you might not even know they've done it until you see them munching away at a bit of a dead skin scab morsel and come back sniffing for more. 

Rats are very smart and I am comfortable enough with mine to smear little bits of food on my fingers and let them lick it off without fear of being bitten. That's why it's good to let your rats nibble your fingers so they get an idea of what fingers feel like in their teeth and find out that their humans fingers are not food. Rats are smart and after nibbling something can assess whether it is food or not and will know the next time they encounter it. So if you put a little pudding on your finger and they bite down to get the pudding and find out with their teeth and tongue that there are two different textures there they will lick the pudding off and stop biting your finger.

When my rat Brodie got sick and refused to eat or take his medicine that I mixed with baby food, I would smear a little on my finger and put it up to him and he would lick it off my finger. I did this 5 times a day for about 3 weeks until he felt better and started eating off the spoon and then felt good enough to go down and eat off the plate and out of the food bowl. 

I had one rat, Fang that did bite Ken 4 times after we brought him and his brothers home. Fang and his cage mates were scared and he and Patches both had upper respiratory infections which when I got them I started them on antibiotics right away and it helped but they hadn't had much human interaction and were afraid of human hands so Fang lashed out. Ken made the mistake of trying to say hello by putting his fingers through the bars of the cage and Fang saw this as an act of aggression and bit him. 

I on the other hand opened the cage doors and let Fang come to me, pet his head when he came to the front of the cage and gave him treats that he slowly took from my fingers and made friends with him over a period of a week. When he tried climbing out of the cage onto my hands I let him, I let him set the pace and let him figure out if he wanted to be held, petted or come out of the cage. I never once got bit. Ken thought that because I had Fang out and he was sitting on my shoulder he could come over and say hello, even though I told him to be careful because Fang was still scared and he was bonding with me right now not just anyone. All Ken did was put his face up next to Fang while the little guy was on my shoulder and Fang got scared and bit him on the eye brow...drawing blood once again. 

It took about a month but Ken made friends with Fang and the little guy even let Ken hold him, pet him and cuddle with him. Ken never gave up on our little biter and even though he didn't listen to me when I said be careful...lol they did finally make friends and fang stopped biting him. Ken was even able to put his fingers through the bars of the cage and give him a few scritches (strokes on the head or back) until he'd had enough and would walk away. 

Rats that bite, do so for a reason, you just have to figure out what the reason is. In Fangs case, he came to us with an upper respiratory infection which made him feel bad and he wasn't used to human hands or being petted. With a lot of patience, love and attention Fang was able to stop biting and get lots of love and attention. 

Fang, my little bitey boy became a complete cuddler that always wanted to be held. I mean all the time. lol 

Fang, being his silly self. He would hang like this over the hammock to sleep. 

Friday, September 13, 2013

Freebie Friday!

Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a 'Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you.

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things so I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week.

This week I thought I would do something a little different because I didn't receive any free samples but I did get something else for free...money and gift cards. My sister in law asked me what the best survey places were to make money and get points that can be cashed out for gift cards, so I sent her a link to my blog post that has all of them listed. 

This week I've taken screen shots of my accounts on a few of the places I've cashed out my points for gift cards. As well as Inbox Dollars where when you reach $30 you can have a check sent to you...this will be my 4th check from them. 


Let's start with My Survey. As you can see *Click the picture to make it bigger* I have cashed my points out several times over the past few months and have been saving the Amazon gift cards I got, for Christmas. On their site a $10 Amazon gift certificate will cost you 1100 points, a $15 Amazon gift certificate is 1650 points and a $25 Amazon gift certificate is 2750 points. I've cashed out several times in the past and have gotten $65 just this year from them. And all I had to do was fill out surveys. I have 2742 points right now and I should be able to cash out another $25 Amazon gift card in the next couple of days.


Next is Swagbucks, and on this site I've cashed out about $100 just this year so far as you can see from the screen shot I took of the Amazon gift cards I've redeemed. I have enough points right now to cash out another $5 Amazon gift card. Some people might not think it's really worth their time to do searches and watch videos on Swagbucks just to cash out a $5 gift card every couple of weeks, but as you can see...they do add up. You can also keep your points and wait until you have enough to cash out a $25 or $15 amazon gift card or spend your points in their rewards store and buy an actual product, I've done that too. 

The next site I wanted to tell you about this week is Inbox Dollars. If you click on the picture and look at the top right purple box where it says 'earnings' you can see that I'm just $4 away from reaching $30. On this site, once you reach the $30 mark you can cash out for an actual check sent to you in the mail. This will be my 4th check from them, so I know it works. 

So there you go, if that's not proof enough that you really can make some free money and get free gift cards from some of these places...I don't know what is. 

I've already started some Christmas shopping and so far it hasn't cost me anything because I'm using the Amazon gift cards I've gotten for FREE!

Yes, as some people have pointed out, it takes a while to get enough points to cash out on some of these sites. I'm on the computer a lot already playing on fb and writing articles, so why not take a 15 minute survey every couple of days or use Swagbucks to do a search and maybe win a few swagbucks that can be used for a free gift card? The great thing about this is you get to use these sites as little or as much as you want and if you're like me and save most of your gift cards for the end of the year...you get to go a good amount of shopping *for free* with them. 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Rat Humor


The Verminator! Dishwasher
Tired of hours spent slaving away at the kitchen sink or enduring ugly dishpan hands? Annoyed at the inefficiency and complicated use of those other dishwashers?  Then this is the product for you!
Designed by a team of world class biologists, The Verminator! is the cutting edge in kitchen cleaning technology.  Just place your dirty dishes in the specially designed rodent cage and within minutes The Verminator!'s biological cleaning agents will produce sparkling clean dishes.  No need to add any of those nasty chemical detergents and with no electricity use you'll be saving money and the environment!
The Verminator! Dishwasher - for squeaky clean dishes!
But wait... there's more!!  Buy today and you'll receive not one, but two hungry rats!  Yes, that's right... this wonderful new product complete with two hungry rats.  Double the cleaning power - perfect for dinner parties and other high speed cleaning applications.
And as a special to our credit card customers who phone in the next 30 minutes, a free introductory offer of a pair of baby mice, perfect for cleaning delicate glassware.
Yes, that's right, you get The Verminator!, not one, but two hungry rats PLUS a pair of baby mice... everything you'll ever want for your kitchen cleaning needs, all at this amazingly low price!!!
Call now on 555-CleanRat, our operators are standing by.
---------------------
Rat self help courses
The Rodent Education Centre offers the following courses, available to all ratties:
"Gnaw your way to sharper teeth"
"To stash or not to stash"
"Begging for dummies"
"Getting your way with squeaks and squirms"
"You CAN be alpha!"
"The lazy buck's guide to tail grooming"
"Humping your cagemates for fun and dominance"
"Marking:  It makes scents!"
"The art of T-shirt lace making"
"Free ranging: 101 ways to avoid capture"
"DIY Claw sharpening"
"The world is your toilet: de-programming litter training"
"Beginners Bruxing"
"Toss a raisin and 101 other ways to get attention"
----------------------
Signs your rat has learned your internet password

- by ?? and with additions from me
You find email flames in your inbox from some guy named "Templeton"
You discover flecks of aspen bedding in your keyboard
You've been subscribed to strange newsgroups like alt.recreational.yogurtdrops
Your web browser has a new home page: www.hotrats.com
Your mouse is resting in a hammock in its very own deluxe cage
Your keyboard has a strong territorial scent to it
On IRC you're known as KingRat (or QueenRat)
There are tiny carpal tunnel braces near your rat's cage
Your rat suddenly develops the need to sway to focus on things
You find the tools and materials required to construct a home-made bomb in your rat's stash
Your desktop image has been changed to a photograph of some girl rat called Camille
Someone has run up your credit card with purchases from www.vitakraft.com
The stickers have all been stripped from your computer casing
-----------------------
The EpiRatty
Tired of shaving your legs?  Fed up with razor nicks and rashes?  Can't afford the expense of professional waxing?
Then this is the product for you!  The EpiRatty(TM)!
The EpiRatty(TM) is a large cute agouti rat.  No batteries required, just rub his butt and he will barber your skin, delicately ripping

out those unwanted hairs in seconds!  He even has a built in lick mode that soothes the skin afterwards.
Phone 555 EPI RAT.  Our operators are standing by.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Birth Of A Hamster


*Here's one of those funnies you just have to share with others*



Birth of a hamster
I had to take my son's hamster to the vet. Here's what happened:
Just after dinner one night, my son came up to tell me there was
"something wrong" with one of the two hamsters he holds prisoner in his room.
"He's just lying there looking sick," he told me.
"Oldest trick in the book," I informed him. "You go in to see what's
wrong with the sick one and the other one sneaks up behind you and
bonks you on the head. Then they change into your clothes and escape."

"I'm serious, Dad. Can you help?"
I put a hamster-healer expression on my face and followed him into his
bedroom. One of the little rodents was indeed lying on his back,
looking distressed. I immediately knew what to do.
"Honey," I called, "come look at the hamster!"

"Oh, my gosh," my wife diagnosed after a minute. "She's having babies."
"What?" my son demanded. "But their names are Bert and Ernie!"
I was equally outraged. "Hey, how can that be? I thought we said we
didn't want them to reproduce," I accused my wife.
"Well, what did you want me to do, post a sign in their cage?" she
inquired sarcastically.

"No, but you were supposed to get two boys!" I reminded her.
"Yeah, Bert and Ernie!" my son agreed.
"Well, it was a little hard to tell," she informed me.

By now the rest of the family had gathered to see what was going on.
I shrugged, deciding to make the best of it. "Kids, this is going to be
a wondrous experience," I announced. "We're about to witness the
miracle of birth." "Gross!" they shrieked.
"Great, what are we going to do with a litter of tiny little hamster
babies?" my wife wanted to know.
"Well, when my parents' dog had puppies, I took them up to the grocery
store in a cardboard box and gave them away," I recalled.
"So what are you going to do, go up with a pair of tweezers so people
can pick out their hamster?" she asked.
We peered at the patient. After much struggling, what looked like a
tiny foot would appear briefly, vanishing a scant second later. "We
don't appear to be making much progress," I noted.

"A breech birth," my wife whispered, horrified.
"Do something, Dad!" my son urged.

"Okay, okay." Squeamishly, I reached in and grabbed the foot when it
next appeared, giving it a gingerly tug. It disappeared. I tried
again, with the same results.

"Should I dial 911?" my daughter wanted to know. "Maybe they could
talk us through it."
"Let's get Ernie to the vet," I said grimly.

We drove to the vet with my son holding the cage in his lap.
"Breathe, Ernie, breathe," he urged.
"I don't think hamsters do Lamaze," I told him.
The vet took Ernie back to the examining room and peered at the little
animal through a magnifying glass. "What do you think, Doc, an
epidural?" I suggested scientifically.

"Oh, very interesting," he murmured. "Mr. and
Mrs. Cameron, may I speak to you privately for a moment?"

I gulped, nodding for my son to step outside. "Is Ernie going to be
okay?" my wife asked.
"Oh, perfectly," the vet assured us. "This hamster is not in labor.
In fact, that isn't EVER going to happen....Ernie is a boy."

"What?"
"You see, Ernie is a young male. And occasionally, as they come into
maturity, male hamsters will, ah..." He blushed, glancing at my wife.

"Well, you know what I'm saying, Mr. Cameron."
We were silent, absorbing this. "So Ernie's just...just..."
"Excited?" my wife offered.
"Exactly," the vet replied, relieved that we understood.
More silence. Then my wife started to giggle.
"What's so funny?" I demanded.
Tears were now running down her face.
"Just...that...I'm picturing you pulling on its...its..." she gasped.
"That's enough," I warned. We thanked the veterinarian and hurriedly
bundled the hamsters and our son back into the car. He was glad everything was going to be okay.

"I know Ernie's really thankful for what you've done, Dad," he told me.
"Oh, you have no idea," my wife agreed, collapsing into laughter as I gave her a dirty look

Sunday, September 08, 2013

Nookiestar.com Stole My Work!

I'm writing this blog post in the hope that it will help other Erotic Story writers who have had their work stolen by this site. What most of my regular readers might not know is that I used to write Erotic Stories for a couple of different sites, Literotica.com being one of them.

*Warning* Don't click on the links to my Erotic Stories if that sort of thing upsets you. These stories are very graphic in nature and not at all "PG" rated.

My Stories on Literotica

It has recently come to my attention that Nookiestar.com is stealing stories from anywhere they can get them from and putting them on their site. Yes, my Lit. name is on my story but there's no link back to the original story on Literotica and they have posted my entire story on their site, which is an infringement of copyright law.

Here's a link to the 3 Erotic Stories of mine that they have stolen:

My Stolen Stories

My fellow Literotica authors have been sending take down notices to Nookiestar.com with nothing being done on their part. We have sent copyright infringement notices to takedownpiracy and have contacted Literotica.com to let them know that stories are being stolen.

There's even a fb page to get Nookiestar shut down.

If you are a writer I would suggest you take a look at Nookiestar.com and search their site to see if any of your stories have been stolen as well. I've contacted a couple of other Lit. authors and let them know that their stories have been stolen.

How To Burn Powder Incense Without A Self Lighting Charcoal Briquette


Some of you may not know what I'm talking about here, so let me explain. 
You've probably seen incense cones and sticks but it also comes in a powder form that you sprinkle on top of a special self lighting charcoal briquette. But I ran out of the charcoal briquettes and wondered if there was a way to still burn my powder incense, so through trial and error *and a lot of smoke* I found that you can indeed burn powder incense without charcoal. That is what the powder incense looks like in the canister.

I buy Anna Rivas Powder incense because I like the way it smells. I also have a small brass cauldron that I usually burn the charcoal briquettes or cones in but this time I just placed a small piece of aluminum foil on top to hold the incense while it burned.

I was able to light it and it burned.

This is what it looked like. 

If you'd like to know how I figured out how to burn powder incense without charcoal then just read my newest article. 


Saturday, September 07, 2013

Weekly Rat Facts: Personalities

Anyone who has rats as pets knows that they each have their own little personalities. But for someone who has never been around rats they might not realize that rats, just like other animals as well as humans...have their own distinct personalities. 

Take for instance Lucky, in the above picture. He was born with only three legs *one of his front paws is missing* but that doesn't stop him from climbing, running, jumping and having a lot of fun. He's my rat with the most energy I've ever seen in a rat. He starts licking anyone that gets their hands or face close enough for him to give kisses and he will play with you. Every morning when I do a spot cleaning in the cages he runs over to me and tugs on my rings, then hops around, comes back and play fights with my hand and popcorns around his cage. He'll play tug of war and after he's done playing will lay down for me to pet him. 


Marbles is my standoffish rat. He doesn't like to be picked up but if I move the cage over to the couch he'll climb out onto the couch and run around on the couch with me. He really doesn't like to be petted and will back away from you if you try to but if you lay down on the couch or the bed he'll come lay next to you. 

He always come to the front of the cage to see me when I do a morning spot cleaning in the cages and I put my hand in front of him for him to sniff he will nibble all of my fingers and then stare at me until he gets his morning treat. Nibbling my fingers is his way of saying "hi" I think. The cage is right next to the couch in the living room and when Marbles wants a treat he will go to the corner he's at in the picture and stare at Ken who sits on that side of the couch. 

When Marbles sees Ken get up and go in the kitchen you can see him getting all excited bouncing back and forth at the front of the cage until Ken comes back with a piece of apple, carrot, cereal, cheese or yogie. Marbles usually snatches it and runs over to his bed. He had Ken trained very well. LOL 


Bandit is my food hoarder/stealer/bully. 

When I first got him and his three brothers this one was stealing all the good foods put in the cage and would fight the other rats if they tried to get anything other than the lab blocks. 

I put them in a bigger cage which did help and would set up three spots where the fresh foods were in the cage, so everyone could get some. At first he would run to all of the fresh food spots and carry them all back to his hoarding spot and guard it. So I started hand feeding them all a little bit at a time and that would stop him from taking food from the others. 

In the past year 2 of his brothers have passed away and he and Marbles are now 3 years old which in his old age has mellowed him out a bit. 

Now I just have to set out fresh foods in two spots in the cage, one by Marbles and one by Bandit and Bandit will usually sit and eat from his spot while Marbles is eating his. Sometimes though Bandit will push Marbles up against the back of the cage with his butt and lay on him, keeping him away from the food. That's when I have to separate them and put one upstairs and one downstairs where they will eat and then go cuddle together to sleep. 

So as you can see, 3 rats with three distinct personalities. 

Friday, September 06, 2013

Freebie Friday!


Welcome to another edition of Freebie Friday, where I tell you what free samples and full sized products I received in the mail and how you can get them too. Someone asked me why I do a 'Freebie Friday" each week, so I'll tell you. 

A while back I listed all the free samples and wins that I had received that previous year and so many people didn't believe that I could have gotten so many free things so I decided to prove it by taking a picture every week and sharing the sites that I found the links to the freebies at. So now you too can get great free samples coming to your mailbox each week. 

This week I received samples of:

Kirkland surface wipes
Kirkland baby wipes
Kirkland daily facial towelettes
Nordic Naturals Omega-3 Pet vitamins for dogs and cats
Advil pain reliever

I found the links to all of these great samples at Freebie Shark and Hey It's Free

So, did you get any free samples this week?


Thursday, September 05, 2013

Books!


I got my books in the mail today. I'm so excited to start reading them. Two of my all time favorite series and Kerrelyn Sparks book that I just started reading not too long ago and really do love it too. But the other two series I've been reading for years...like 20 years..I love it when they have new books come out in these series. 

Now...if I can just get hubby to maybe sleep for a few days so I can read in peace. Or maybe I'll have to leave him chained in the dungeon for a few days. *if I only had a dungeon* LOL 

Guess I'll just have to put on my stern face and tell him no talking until I'm done reading. lol 

Three Days Grace Has A New Lead Singer



So I found out recently that the lead singer for Three Days Grace (Adam Gontier), one of my favorite bands has left and a new lead singer (Matt Walsh) has taken over. So I thought since I like their music I would give the new guy a try...no, no and no. Damn, they should have found someone else because this guy just doesn't do it for me at all.

So if you want to hear the new guy (Matt Walsh) just listen to the video above.




If you want to hear (Adam Gontier) the lead singer that I actually liked...listen to this video. It's the same song, but Adam in my opinion does a damn site better job of it.

How disappointing...I really liked them. But it happened not too long ago with another band that I liked when their lead singer left too...Nightwish isn't at all what it used to be.

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

The Marijuana Myth

When speaking out on marijuana the one thing I hear most is, "Marijuana has never killed anyone!" 

Well just because no one has ever overdosed on Marijuana doesn't mean it's not harmful. Just read this article:

One quote from that article I'd like to share is... ""Cannabis is as dangerous as any other drug and people must understand that it kills," said Mr Turner. "From my long experience I can say that it is a very dangerous substance. Increasingly it is mentioned not only as the first drug taken by people who overdose, but also in suicides and accidental deaths."

Or how about this article:


Here's a quote from that article I found enlightening..." The researchers note that this increased mortality might be the result of a higher rate of car crashes among marijuana users, intentional or violent injuries or homicides, and other kinds of accidents or injuries associated with marijuana use. Patients’ secondary use of other drugs could also explain some of the excess mortality among those treated for cannabis use disorder."

While no one has ever died as a result of overdosing on marijuana that does NOT mean that marijuana is not the cause of people dying..that is the biggest lie of them all. People die all the time because others are high on marijuana and kill them in car accidents or other accidents. Here's an article that has more than 6 different reports of people high on marijuana being the cause of another persons death. 


I think the most telling article is the one that reads, "Woman Kills Self and 7 others While High on Marijuana" 

or 

‘Psychotic Pothead’ Shoots Pentagon Police

“…John Patrick Bedell liked it (marijuana) too; in fact, he was a marijuana addict. But he inflicted a lot of pain on other people, including the two guards he shot at the Pentagon.”

and one of the worst ones... 

"Hunter Kills 14, Injures 104 Firefighters, Burns 422 Square Miles After Setting ‘Accidental’ Fire
 The California Cedar fire was the second largest wildfire in the history of California. 14 people lost their lives in that fire. 104 firefighters were injured, one died. Countless wildlife were cremated; 90% of Cuyamaca Rancho State Park was incinerated; 280,278 acres; 422 square miles were ravaged; the fire took a month to put out and cost $27 million. The hunter “admitted that the night before his foray into the forest, he had smoked marijuana by himself and slipped the pipe and lighter in the pocket of his hunting vest. He said he had not smoked marijuana on the day of the trip. Investigators looking into the fire later found Martinez’s glass marijuana pipe about 30 feet from the spot where the fire had started.” (NC TIMES)"

So the next time you want to try and use the argument, "marijuana use has never killed anyone" I will point out that you have had your head stuck so far down in the sand that you can't see the truth when it is standing right in front of you. Because the fact is...marijuana has killed people, maybe not from an overdose, maybe no one has over dosed, maybe no one has ever died from a fatal overdose amount in their own system from smoking it but people sure as hell have died in accidents after 'pot heads' have gotten behind the wheel after lighting up and driving. 

Oh and one more little tidbit for you to think about. According to this article,  "The drug can cause cancer, lung disease and abnormalities associated with serious mental illness. Users are up to six times more likely to develop schizophrenia."

So maybe the mental problem you have...are caused by the "medicine" you are smoking. Just a thought. But I'm sure you'll come up with some statistics from proponents of marijuana that counters everything I've proven here. The truth is in front of you, you just don't want to see it. 

Who's the sheeple now?



Tuesday, September 03, 2013

23rd Anniversary


Yep, it's been 23 years since this picture was taken and Ken and I are still going strong. A lot of things have happened in the last 23 years..we had a daughter and now we are grandparents. 

We'd had our ups and downs but the one thing we've learned is you have to be able to talk with your partner if you want your relationship to last. 

So many couples don't make it this long so I'm super proud and happy that we have. 

Happy Anniversary, Honey

Monday, September 02, 2013

My Mom Would Have Been 66 Years Old Today


As you can see my mom was quite the character. 
She passed away 2 years ago, which was much too early for us to lose her. I still sometimes will think, "Oh I have to call mom and tell her this." and then remember that I can't. I miss her like crazy and I know others do too. 


Happy Birthday, Mom

Sunday, September 01, 2013

Do You Want Something?



According to the something store for a mere $10 they will send you...something. 

Your Something May Be Anything
It may be something you need, something you want or something you desire. Your something may be a cool shiny gadget, rare book, party game, handmade necklace, reverse clock, box of gourmet chocolates, popular video game, portable table tennis set, pashmina scarf, set of kitchen knives, pair of handmade earrings, garden tool, kitchen appliance, unique home decor item, electronic equipment, fine crafting tool or an office supply item... Your something will be a brand new item; not used or refurbished.

When you order...something. They will randomly pick an item from their inventory and send you..something. It will be a surprise until you open the box. 

So would you ever do this? Do you know someone who would?

I've actually been temped but I have a feeling I would probably get something I didn't need.