Saturday, December 17, 2016

Santa at the Zoo: Part 2

Let's continue our journey!

While Santa's elves were setting up another bear's presents, we all went with Santa to see him deliver gifts to the wallabies.  The wallabies were feeling a bit stand-offish, but it was still fun.  In fact, the kids were allowed to help a little bit, by feeding the wallabies treats from their presents.  There was a big crowd, so I apologize for the quality of the pictures.

Then it was on to a young bear: Augustus!  Augustus is only four years old and, of course, much more spry than poor, elderly Shash.  He was so excited about his gifts that he didn't know where to start!

Augustus' presents were spread out so he'd have to work harder to get them.

You can see he was in a hurry to see what Santa brought him:

Apparently sticking your head in a box and just eating is the bear way of chowing down.  It reminded me of Yogi Bear eating from his pick-i-nick baskets.

Next we headed to the coatimundis, which was hilarious once Santa told us that their packages were filled with live cockroaches, and all of the adults sprang back while the kids crowded closer.  Ha!

"Mmm, yummy!  Delicious, scrambly cockroaches!  I hear them in there..."

"Come out, come out, wherever you aaarrreee!"

Nom nom nom nom nom...

On to the lemurs!  Remember King Julian from "Madagascar"?  Not the sharpest tool in the shed.  He could have been the king of the lemurs here at HPZ.  They are also not the sharpest tools in the shed.  In fact, I'm not sure they made it to the shed at all.  They just could not figure out what was going on, no matter how much Santa helped them.  It was hysterical and pitiful all at the same time!

Santa actually poked holes in the boxes to help the lemurs out.  Yeahhhhhhh, it didn't help.

"Huh.  This is box?"

"Hey!  Come see this thing.  What you think?"

Finally, Santa took pity and actually opened the box.  It still didn't really help for quite a while.

"Look!  A box!  Huh."

"Hey! Box is open!  Anything in there?  Helloooooo!"

I tried to wait and watch until they figured it out, but eventually left.  Because, well, it was just sad.

Plus, we were heading to Cassie the Tiger!  This was a very dramatic gift-giving.  Santa actually climbed to the roof area over her lair and flung the presents down from there!

I can't imagine any food was edible after Cassie was done with those boxes.  After Santa flung down a present, she pounced on it and destroyed it. I mean, it was flattened and ripped to shreds.  

I tried to get video, but it was all so fast!



And those were the highlights!  It's one of the most fun Christmas things I've done, and I think it's a brilliant program for HPZ to do!

Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Fashion Show: Take 2

Kola went to visit Santa in her stylish elf suit.  I couldn't get her hat on her, so I'll update this post when I torture her by dressing her up again.

The rabbits, Jack and Ralph, have so far managed to avoid this fashion show.  But don't worry, they're up next.  They can't avoid it.

Santa at the Zoo, Part 1

Prescott Valley, AZ, has a little zoo that consists of various, mostly-local animals that cannot survive on their own in the wild.  It's called the Heritage Park Zoo, and it's very similar to the Maine Wildlife Park in Gray.


Every year, Santa visits the Heritage Park Zoo to deliver gifts to the animals!  I went this year, because who can resist that?

Earlier in the day, kids were invited to come and decorate the gift boxes the animals were receiving.  Then, instead of a sleigh, Santa bopped around the zoo in a decorated golf cart to hand out the gifts.

When I first arrived, Santa was delivering a delicious box of fruit to Quilber, the porcupine.  Poor Quilber was in the middle of a nap and didn't really feel like getting up, but he was coaxed up to at least make a showing.  Santa helped by opening the box for him.  (I had a hard time getting a good shot because of the crowd.  Sorry.)

Next, it was on to Shash the black bear.  Shash is very old: 23 years!  He's been at HPZ since he was three months old, when his mother was shot by a hunter.  The amazing thing is that Shash has had cancer for over 3 years, but you can barely tell.

Santa's helpers delivered Shash's gifts, as Santa is not qualified to handle a black bear.  But Shash loved his treats.  One box had meat, and the other two had fruits and veggies.  Shash's medicine gets hidden in his food.  One of the HPZ employees was thrilled to see him eat an avocado, since his medicine was injected into it.

Shash, like Quilber, was less than thrilled about waking up.  Until he smelled his gifts, that is.

Here are a couple of  little movies:

Okay!  More tomorrow.  Stay tuned.

Friday, December 9, 2016

Let the Fashion Show Begin...

Over the years, it seems I've collected a few holiday costumes for my critters.  Add to those the costumes my Mom has for her dog, and we have enough for a fashion show for the rest of the month!

First up is Kola in a snowman hat made for a teddy bear.  Sadly, I couldn't strap the little carrot nose on her, so you'll have to just pretend.

As you can tell, she is really thrilled to be participating in this fashion show.

She'd better get used to it.  Tomorrow I am dressing her up as an elf and taking her for pictures with Santa at Petsmart.  (Stay tuned!)

Next up is my Mom's chihuahua, Mac, in a traditional Santa costume.

Doesn't he look dapper?  I don't think he minds this because it helps keep him warm.  He started getting cold in September, and will now be freezing until July.  Even his ears shiver.

P.S. He and Kola are best friends.  Kola calls him from her cage, and he runs to the den to see her!  He loves to groom her.  We make him stop once Kola is dripping with dog saliva.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

I'm So (Not) Healthy!

Ever since I got rabbits and a guinea pig, my grocery shopping is, well, not what it appears to be.  I have terrible eating habits and, of course, the critters eat very healthily.  I was shopping this past year when I realized the bag I was carrying was a perfect example.

So, here is the grocery bag:

Wow!  Look how healthy I am!  Produce galore!

However, upon further inspection, here are the groceries for the critters:

And here are the groceries for me:

Yup.  Read and green lettuce, carrots, carrot tops, bananas, and various other produce for Jack, Ralph and Kola.

Then grated cheese, peanuts, ice cram Dove bars, eggs and booze, for me.  And lest you think, "Well, at least she got eggs."  Let me clarify that those are for cookie dough.

The good news is that as long as I put my groceries on the bottom of the bag, I appear to be one of the healthiest individuals ever.

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Where Am I? Oh, Yeah. Arizona.

I had what was, to me, a hilarious conversation today.

My Mom's neighbor, George, came out to get his mail while my Mom and I were hanging Christmas lights.  The three of us got to talking.  My Mom mentioned that my rabbits LOVE going outside every day.  (A blog post on them soon.)

George replied that he hoped I wasn't putting them out in the morning, since when George takes his morning walk he's been seeing coyotes, and he's worried about coyotes smelling -- and eating -- my bunnies.

Well, it turns out that George TAKES HIS WALK AT 4:30 AM.  Those of you who know me at all know that 4:30am is not a time when I'm up, unless I haven't gone to sleep yet.  No one in my family gets up anywhere near that time.  It's a genetic thing, I think.  That's why getting up at 5:45am to go to work in Maine nearly killed me.  So yeah, my bunnies aren't going out at 4:30am.  More like noon.

So that was hysterical part number 1.

My Mom said that she really wished George would go for his walk a little later, since it's still dark (because it's nighttime, NOT morning) and because of the coyotes.  That's when George said, "Oh, don't worry.  I take my gun."

This was the Best. Response. Ever.  I suddenly remembered that I live in Arizona.  Mainers are big hunters, but you have to realize that here, we live in the suburbs.

Later my Mom told me that, if she ever says she's going for a walk before bed (like I said, we do not go to bed early or wake up early), to remind her that it's dark and George is armed out there.

Monday, November 28, 2016

A Little Island with Big Fun

One place I loved in Maine was Peaks Island.  Peaks Island is an island (shocker) off the coast of Portland, only a 15-minute ferry ride away.

Here's the view of Portland from Peaks Island:

Peaks Island is fascinating because, like many towns in Maine, there is a year-round population and a summer population.  Peaks Island has one of the most dramatic differences that I know of: between 800-900 year-round residents, and triple to quadruple that in the summer.

I was introduced to Peaks Island by two friends, Jessica and Devin, and started taking every out-of-town visitor there.

The best thing is to bike around the island.  It's only 4 miles.  I took my Dad and Stepmom there when they came to visit:

One of the shores is super rocky...

...and people build the most amazing cairns there.  My friends and I had to join in, of course:

My oh-so-snazzy design:

Jessica's design, complete with berry decor.  She is an artist:

Me peering through an actual arch that I built:

Even my Dad built one:

My Stepmom, Sue, chose to pose with hers:

Near the ferry landing is a gorgeous hotel with a delicious restaurant named, creatively, The Inn at Peaks Island:

Anyway, a person or family can easily spend the day there.  There are beaches, too.  I highly recommend it!

I may add to this post later if I find more pictures.