Tuesday, April 01, 2008

almost forgot!!!

I almost forgot that today is Titus's one year anniversary with us!!! He was last year's birthday gift, and to this day, I don't even know why I thought I wanted a turtle!!!

I am guessing it had something to do with my childhood. Probably like a lot of you, we got these little green turtles at the department store. I had "hundreds" of them, mainly because they were pretty cheap to buy and usually died within a month. I remember you could get a plastic bowl with an island in the middle of it, and the "fancy" ones had a "palm tree" on the island. You were suppose to put your turtle in sunlight a few hours each day and feed it bugs and things, and if your turtle didn't escape, he sadly didn't live long either.

Now, that I have "properly owned" a turtle, I feel very sad for those poor creatures and what they went thru for our entertainment. Turtle keeping is exactly "easy".. they are a reptile (as you know) and they have some very specific needs. If I had done more research before getting Titus, I might have thought differently. Because this "free" turtle has been a rather expensive "pet".

You see, last year, my family got me a ten gallon turtle tank for my new pet. But when we got to the shop, they did not have any babies... as I had been told. Disappointed, I sort of "complained" to the store manager, and to try and make it right, he offered me Titus for nothing. He told me he was a male turtle about three years old.. "they" say the males are better pets, because you don't have to worry about "eggs being laid"..... and the fact he was an "older" turtle, got me past that crucial stage... so, I took him.

Well, the 10 gallon tank wasn't nearly large enough for him, so within the first couple of weeks, we had a 20 gallon tank.... which was ok, because the same filter, sunning lamp, sunning rock and such all worked fine in the 20 gallon. After about 6 months or so, we noticed that Titus was getting bigger!!! I thought he was pretty much full grown.. but, I guess not . The 20 gallon was getting squishy and on top of that, he could escape from it!!! More than twice we have had "turtle hunts" in the house. I began to look at bigger tanks... and found a 75 gallon that looked like it would work for a bit. Course that meant new filters, lamps...etc. etc...... well, the clerk in the store was trying to "get rid of a 120 gallon tank" that had been special ordered and never claimed. She "gave" it to us for nearly the price of the 75 gallon tank... a REAL bargain!!!

I didn't exactly realize how big this tank was, until we got it home!!!! You need a lot of space for such a big tank!!! and it took us a few months to get it set up.. one thing was ---Ed needed to make a base for it... 120 gallons of water weighs a lot!!! and with a special size, you can't just go and buy a base. So, that done, and a corner in the living room, Titus moved into his third tank within a year!!!!

Now, don't get me wrong... I wouldn't trade him for the world.. I have spent many hours watching him and amazed at some of the things he does. He is also quite personable, he will "follow" you back and forth when you stand by the tank... he paddles like mad in the corner when he is hungry!!, He does his "stretches" when on the sunrock, and has been a fun pet overall. but, if you are thinking about turtle keeping.. do a little a homework... AND plan for a pet for a long time, I understand that with proper care... turtles can go 15 to 20 years!!!!! Certainly a long way from the ones we had as kids!!!

April Fool's Day!!!!

The first thing to be said about "April Fool's Day"... is HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Deb and to my brother-in-law, John!!!! From some stories that I have heard from the two of them, I think this can be a "hard" day to have a birthday on..... but, we are lucky, because these two great folks were born on this day, and we have them in our lives!!!! many, many happy day wishes to you both!!!

As promised, I shot some pictures of the neat presents that I received for MY birthday... the first is this cool "turtle stool" that Kas and Nate found for me in a little shop somewhere near their home. I guess this store has TONS of turtle things, and IF we get the chance to take a trip south... I will be sure to check this out!!!! Dancer is quite taken with this little stool, and I am keeping it near Titus tank, so that when me little niece comes to visit, she will be able to stand on it and see what Titus is up to.

My second very cool gift is from Deb (and Dave) and so happens to be yet another turtle!!! He is very nice and I can think of several places for him to live, but for now, I have him out on my antique sewing machine. I thought he looked quite comfty near the basket and the dog lamp. Several folks have noticed him already!!!

The next gifts come from Ed and Sadie... now, what do you get a girl who is expecting a new barn, and will have plenty of chores to do??? Barn stuff, of course!!!

So, here we have... a leaf blower.... I have swept enough ally ways to think there has be an "easier way" to do this.. and I am thinking that a leaf blower will do just the trick. Afterall, you're only moving dirt, hay, sawdust about and I am anxious to see if this idea is going to work out. Course the horses will have to get used to the sound of it.. but what a great "training opportunity"!!! Next we have two metal cans. I currently store my grain in two plastic cans, and it has worked fine for all these years, but Ed thought that the metal would be easier to wash out, and will certainly keep out any unwanted critters (though I won't be allowing any of those "sorts of critters" in my barn!!!!) There is also a broom, and a 5 tier metal shelf unit.. and last but not least... a new wheel barrow... the TWO wheeled kind!!!! After mucking stalls for the past 11 years, I have used a number of different wheel barrows, and for manure!!! THIS is the only one to have. Nothing is more upsetting then dumping a one wheeled barrow that is filled to the brim!!! (been there / done that). I am very excited about my new things!!!

When I opened up our barn door (the York barn that is) and got all excited about my things, Sadie said to Matt "you have to understand that only MY Mom could get excited about such things".. However, I know that isn't true... I bet some on you out there are thinking... "I could use some of those things!!!" must just be the circle of friends that I "chum" with!!!!!

Ok, April... you are suppose to be the start of "good weather"... let's just check out the Farmer's Almanac and see what's up for the month Solar, then doler; must this month be so bipolar? Wondrously warm, followed by thunderousy storms: Boom! Rain's a-fallin';streams a-risin; but there's hope on the horizon. Daffodils garland the hills. Doesn't sound too bad overall......