Posted by: kerryannekay | March 23, 2017

A Home, Finally

At first, I don’t think Fred and Lamont liked the new house.  Every new noise or new smell was a cause to set off the alarm and run.  I was beginning to wonder if they would ever adopt to the new house.  They were in a state of hyper-vigilance for quite some time.  I did the best that I could to make them feel better.

But life goes on and things need to happen…

The boys’ nails were long again.  So. I took them to the groomers to get them cut.  This time they were both well behaved and didn’t complain much.  They like this groomer.  It’s not the vet and this lady gives them carrots.

When we got home, I parked, unbuckled their seat belt, walked over to the passenger side of the car, and got their carrier out.  It was colder out so the carrier was covered by a towel.  As I keyed the door, the boys began to complain.  “Yes,” I sighed, “I know that you two don’t like being that close to each other… spoiled brats…”  We entered the house and I went upstairs to put the boys back in their area.

The carrier started to rock in my hand as I walked up the stairs.  “Boys!” I corrected them.  I got to the top of the stairs and had to put the carrier down.  I took the towel off and looked into the carrier.  The boys were popcorning.  “Boys?” I said, “Are you two excited to be home?”  They both started to excitedly squeak.  “Okay, okay,” I comforted them.  “Let’s get you two back into your area.”

I went into my bedroom and put the carrier down in the boys’ area while opening the door.  Fred flew out before it touched down.  He was followed by the ungraceful plop of Lamont.  “HA!” I laughed as picked the carrier back up.  Fred and Lamont’s unbridled joy continued.  They ran laps, popcorned, and even skidded out several times.  I sat and watched them for a good ten minutes before they were tired.

Fred got a long drink from the water bottle and yawed.  He headed for his snuggle sack.  Lamont caught Fred’s yawn.  He stretched and went into the other snuggle sack.  Both boys were sound asleep in record time.  I got up walked out.  As I was closing the door, I whispered, “I love you Fred.  I love you Lamont.  I’m happy to see your both like it here.  Welcome home.”   – KA

 

Posted by: kerryannekay | March 17, 2017

Four Food

The snowstorm closed my school district for two days. You would think a teacher would like snow days. I don’t. I like schedules.  Even in the summer, I develop a personal schedule. So these past two days totally threw me off. 

I went to bed Monday night absolutely expecting to not be in school on Tuesday. Sure enough we got a phone call that school was closed at 8 PM Monday night. Naturally I turn off my alarms and decided that I was going to sleep in.  

At about 4 AM the sleet was coming down very hard and it must’ve woken up Fred and Lamont. They both started calling for breakfast. Not knowing the time, I got up to use the ladies room and feed the boys. I didn’t wait for the boys to approve of my breakfast selections. I went back to bed and soon fell sleep to the gentle pinging of sleet off the roof. 

I woke at 6 AM out of habit. I saw the boys bowl was empty so naturally I grabbed it and went downstairs to make them breakfast. It was only on my way back up stairs that I realized that this was the second time I was making them breakfast. But, it was too late! There supersonic hearing had alerted them through two floors to the chopping noises comming from the kitchen.   Fred and Lamont chirped and danced in anticipation of their second breakfast. “Fine,” I moaned, “don’t expect this every morning…” I set their dish down and again the eagerly tucked in to breakfast.

The power went out at about 1 PM. I had to place a blanket over Fred and Lamont’s Cage to ensure that they stayed warm. At about 4:30 PM the power came back on. I took the blanket off of Fred and Lamont’s cage and was greeted by two happy pigs thinking it was time for breakfast…again! (Trust me there’s a specific wheek that they use when they want food.). The time in the mostly dark cage must have counted as “night”. So, in GP logic, the lights coming back on meant it was morning…

“Boys!” I called, “You will get your dinner at 6 PM like you do every night!”  This was unacceptable to both guinea pigs and they loudly protested. I refused to give into the pathetic noises coming from the bedroom. They were not starving! They had plenty of hay and pellets! 

Five minutes later I found myself in the kitchen making dinner for my spoiled guinea pigs. When I returned to the bedroom I was greeted like a hero. The boys did a happy dance around the bowl and made quick work of their dinner…

At 6 PM the house was back to normal temperature and the Internet was back. I went upstairs to stretch out in bed after shoveling the front walk. When I walked into the bedroom Fred and Lamont greeted me with a cacophony of wheeks and wines. “No!” I scolded the boys, “Just because it 6 o’clock doesn’t mean that you’re going to be fed!  You got fed at 4:30! You’re both done! No more food!  You going eat me out of house and home!”

My resolve lasted for a whole 15 minutes this time. I couldn’t stand it. I went downstairs and made the boys a second dinner. As I place the bowl down in their cage, the protests stopped and the boys began to eat…again! 

I can’t help but laugh at my two silly guinea pigs. They knew the right buttons to push and how to get food out of me. It’s true that you don’t own pets but that pets own you. But there was one unintended consequences of the four meals on Monday… Tuesday morning’s  bean count was through the roof! I had to clean their  cage out three times! I didn’t know it was possible for two guinea pigs to poop that much. What a mess! – KA 

Posted by: kerryannekay | March 9, 2017

The Yapper 

My new house has brought a host of new characters into my life. This new cast includes the neighbor’s dog.  I have been told the name of the dog multiple times. However, upon first meeting it, my brain gave him a nickname: “The Yapper”.

The first time I saw the dog in the neighborhood’s backyard, I called, “Hey, puppy! How are you?”  The dog started barking at me. “Ok,” I tried, “I’m not going to bother you… I’m just doing some yard work.”  My words didn’t appease the beast.  The barking continued. 

“Oy,” I sighed and went back to my work. As I raked the errant leaves up, the dog followed me back and forth along the yard. “Stop following me,” I scolded the dog when I was cleaning the fence line. That didn’t work. 

I sat down and tried to connect with the dog. “Look,”‘I said to the nose and teeth trying to bust through the fence, “I like dogs.  I may even like you.  But you’ve got to stop this… this… yapping.”  The dog would not listen to my reason. It kept baring and barking. 

I went back to working. After about five minutes more, I was done. I threw down my take and marched over to the fence. “Stop your yapping!” I scolded the dog.  I added “You are a freaking yapper!” for good measure. The dog stopped barking and tilted its head. 

“Yes,” I said defiantly, I called you a Yapper!” Just the I heard the neighbor’s screen door slide open.  

“I see you’ve made a new friend,” he called to the dog and I. 

“Hey,” I called back,

“I’m trying,” I said.  

“Let’s go *insert name here*,” he said and the dog ran into the house. “Have a good day,” the neighbor called as he slid the door closed.  I went back over to my rake and got to work. 

I’ve had several more run ins with Yapper since our first meeting. The dog still doesn’t like me. Perhaps it’s because I keep forgetting its name. Do dogs hold grudges for stuff like that? Or perhaps he doesn’t like me because I can’t remember his owners’ names. 
I apologize for the short blog today. I have a sore throat and I’m just not feeling well. There are several more stories I would like to write about Yapper. That little dog reminds me of Toto from “The Wizzard of Oz” and makes me want to act like the Wicked Witch of the West. Stay tuned. 

Posted by: kerryannekay | March 2, 2017

Call of the Siren

I think all of my town’s emergency services just flew past my house light and sirens blazing.  What a racket!  You would think the noise would bother Fred and Lamont.  It doesn’t at all.  In fact, they seem to think it’s sexy time when they hear sirens…

I started noticing a change in Fred and Lamont’s behavior after hearing sirens at the old apartment.  They would stop, stick their noses in the air, sniff, and pay close attention to the sounds.  At first, I thought that they were just being curious guinea pigs.  Then I saw that they would begin rumble-strutting around the cage’s perimeter.

Rumble-strutting is a guinea pig’s way of showing off for other guinea pigs.  Generally, this is done with a low throaty grumble-burbling noise and the wiggling of the GP’s butt as they slowly parade around the area.  The dancing pig will walk past its target multiple times in order to get the intended message across loud and clear.  It is used to impress potential mates, show dominance over other guinea pigs, or just to show that a guinea pigs is in heat…

I knew that the boys were not strutting to show dominance over each other…they weren’t even doing it near each other.  So, then why were they behaving like that when they heard sirens?  The answer came when we moved into the new house…  Unfortunately, there was an accident on the local highway near the house one late night.  A drunk driver had crashed his car into the barrier between the east and west bound lanes.  Multiple emergency vehicles pulled up to the scene with their light and sirens on.

The first siren woke me up.  I used the ladies room and then went to the front to make sure it was nothing that I needed to worry about.  That’s when I saw it was down a hill on the main road.  ‘I hope everyone is okay,’ I thought as I walked back up to the master bedroom.  I heard the boys rumble-strutting around.  “Dudes,” I sighed, “It’s an accident.  The sirens aren’t for you…”

The boys stopped their dancing and listened.  I thought their late-night shenanigans were over. Nope.  Another siren approached from afar.  The boys popcorned and start rumble-strutting with the enthusiasm on a teenager on his first unchaperoned date.  It hit me.  “Do you two think that’s a female guinea pig calling for sexy time to you two?” I burst out.  I got an immediate case of the giggles and flopped on to my bed laughing at my two silly boys.

 

Sure enough, when the third siren stated, the boys start going crazy.  Fred and Lamont were sure that they were going to get lucky tonight.  They were popcorning, dancing, and rumble-strutting all over the place.  Between shows of machismo, they ran laps.  “Boys,” I laughed from the bed, “That doesn’t even sound like a female guinea pig…and I don’t want to know what type of guinea pig makes that type of call…”  I belly laughed at the continued noises that emanated from their cage.

My statements did not deter the boys.  They were absolutely 100% positive that a sow was calling for them to join her for sexy time.  “Come here,” I said scooping up Lamont then Fred.  I placed both of them on my lap.  Both were breathing heavily from all of the exertion.  I petted their backs and sung to them as their breathing started to slow and they both calmed down. When both boys were ready to fall asleep, I put them back into their cage.  Fred went to his snug and Lamont to his.  I think they were out in record time.

I went back to bed after I put the boys down.  Fifteen minutes later my alarm went off.  “Nooooooooo…” I cried at it.  “Let me sleeeeeepppp…”  But it kept telling me that I needed to wake up.  I got out of bed and check on the boys.  They were both sound asleep.  “Must be nice,” I sighed and went to shower.

I was going to be a long day and I was tired.  When I got to school, my students asked me, “Why do you look like you didn’t sleep and are really tired.”  I stopped and thought really hard about my response.  I could tell them that I had to stay up with Fred and Lamont after they tried to get a date with a fire truck.  Or, I could tell them that there was an accident.  I told the ‘truth’.  “I wasn’t feeling well all night and had a difficult time falling asleep.  I think I’m coming down with something…” Some times less is more.  – KA

Posted by: kerryannekay | February 24, 2017

Nippy 

Lamont finished up his medicine last week. He is feeling a lot better. I can tell because of the trouble he is causing with his brother. 

Fred has a history of getting in the way of his brother. He will stand in the way of the food bowl, block the hay, and enter the pig hut when occupied. Lamont whines and chatters anytime Fred bothers him.  He usually just takes Fred’s rude behavior.  Recently, Lamont has had enough of his brother’s behaviors… especially in the last week. 

Lamont has started to nip Fred in the butt when he wants him to move. The first time I saw this I scolded Lamont, “Dude, leave your brother’s backside alone!” Lamont nipped at Fred again. This time, Fred moved with a small whine of protest. I realized what was going on.  “Oh, good boy, Lamont!  Show Fred you can stand up him!”  I sarcastically added, “It only took you four years…” 

It has now become a routine for the two when at the food bowl:  The boys are called to a meal. Fred rushes to be first. Lamont follows closely. Fred picks out a prime spot. Lamont tries to get in.  Fred blocks. Lamont whines. Fred clicks in warning. Lamont nips Fred’s butt. Fred protests. Lamont moves in for another nip. Fred moves just in time to save his butt. 

I have watched my two clowns go though this routine multiple times in one night.  I think that they enjoy bothering each other. Afterall, isn’t that what brothers do?    – KA 

Posted by: kerryannekay | February 16, 2017

Train-ing the Boys at 2:00 a.m.

Actually, it’s 2:15 am.  Not that you care about a 15-minute discrepancy.  But, I digress.  You may be asking yourself, ‘Why is KA writing a blog that early in the morning?’  It’s a simple answer: Fred and Lamont.  Let me explain.

My new house is between two railroad lines.  The line to the north is a cargo line and the line to the south is a passenger line.  The cargo line is closer to my house.  Sometimes you can feel the larger trains rumble by on the line.  Farther down the line, the train has to signal that it’s crossing an intersection with road traffic.  You can always hear the horn go off three times: two shorter and one longer blast.

That horn is the problem.  I can sleep through it.  However, the boys think it means, “Get up! Get up! It’s time to party!”   And that’s exactly what they do…party.  Over the past six weeks they have run laps, knocked over their bowls, wheeked loudly, and popcorned at that ungodly time in the morning.

I have tried to ignore them and just roll over in bed to go back to sleep.  My bladder has a different agenda.  It starts screaming at me, “Get up! Get up! You will pee yourself!”  So, of course, I have to get up and use the lady’s room.  The rail lines run a tight ship and the train is almost always on schedule.  So, every morning for the past six weeks, the boys have celebrated the arrival of the 2:00 a.m. train.  I’m stuck in a vicious cycle.

I have seriously considered writing the operators of the cargo line and explaining my dilemma.  I want to tell them about how their horn wakes up my boys and makes me get out of bed every morning to pee.  I want them to understand that the house and toilet seat are extra cold at 2:00 a.m.  I would ask that they move the train’s schedule back four hours to 6:00 a.m.  That’s when I have to wake up…  I think it would be more convenient for me…and the boys.  Sadly, I am only one silly guinea pig mom with two naughty boys.  I don’t think they would delay someone’s cargo by four hours to let me sleep in.  *sigh*

It’s now 2:45 a.m.  The boys have settled back down, my bladder is empty, and my bed is calling me.  I hope that tomorrow I’m able to sleep though the 2:00 a.m. train.  Good night.  – KA

*

*

*

*

Nope.

Posted by: kerryannekay | February 9, 2017

The Vet Visit

On Friday Lamont had a vet appointment for his sneezing.  Fred tagged for company and to lend some bravery to his brother.  Both of the boys hate traveling in their carrier.  Mind you, it’s large enough for a 25-pound dog.  Two 3-pound guinea pigs have plenty of room in there…plenty of room.  But, the moment I buckle the carrier into the front seat and start the car, the bickering starts.  Most parents just threaten to pull over and stop the car when their kids are misbehaving.  I have actually pulled over and stopped the car because of Fred and Lamont’s behavior…multiple times.  This trip I was lucky and they were very well behaved.

When we got to the vet’s office, we checked in.  Both Fred and Lamont were quiet.  I think they can smell the office and know what’s coming.  We didn’t wait long and were quickly called back to an exam room.  After their weigh in, the vet tech took the boys to get their nails cut.  I decided to go to the lady’s room.

I had to cross the reception area to get to and from the lady’s room.  On the way back, I heard the most awful screams and screeches from some poor beast in the work area of the clinic.  I stopped short and said to a receptionist, “That poor thing…  I wonder how bad it’s injured…” She reassured me that they were professionals and would ensure that the animal would not suffer.  I nodded and headed back to the exam room.

Fred and Lamont were not back from their nail trim.  I thought, ‘Wow, I hope that noise is not bothering them…’ as I sat down.  The screeches stopped abruptly and brought about an odd silence in the exam room.  Several moments later the vet tech came back with the boys’ carrier.  She had a huge grin on her face.

“I hope that smile means that they were well-behaved,” I said looking into their carrier.  Both boys were in their snuggle sacks.

“Well,” the tech sheepishly, “Lamont was a good boy…”

“And Fred?” I asked thinking the worse and wondering who he bit.

“He was the loud one…” she laughed.

“FRED?” I burst out in amazement.  “No, not Fred!”

“Yeup,” she smiled back at me.

“He’s the brave one,” I told her.  “Lamont is the wimp.”

“When it comes to nail trims, Fred is a wimp,” she said and added, “and a loud one.”

“My goodness,” I replied, “I thought you were torturing a cat back there!”

“Nope,” the tech said, “Just doing Fred’s nails.”

“Did someone get a quick?” I asked standing up and looking into the carrier.

“Nope,” she laughed again, “he was just a bratt…”

“Oh, my,” was all I could get out.  I thanked her and she left the room to attend to other duties.  I opened the carrier and offer Fred and Lamont some parsley.  Both boys gave me the stink-eye.  “Sorry,” I said leaving the treat. I closed the door and sheepishly retreated to my seat.  I knew I was on their ‘bean list’ and didn’t want to push it.

Several minutes later the vet came in to do Lamont’s exam.  She looked at Fred also to ensure that he didn’t have the same thing as Lamont.  Lamont’s diagnosis was what I expected: upper respiratory infection.  He was prescribed some medication and we went back out to the waiting room.  “Hey,” the receptionist called to me when she saw me.  “I heard that was YOUR guinea pig yelling about getting his nails done…” She grinned at me.

“Yes,” I acknowledged, “I didn’t know he could be that loud.  He’s got a set of lungs that are working just fine…”  The receptionist and I laughed.

Thankfully Lamont is doing much better on his medicine.  He’s not too happy about taking it.  I’m just glad he’s back to his old self.  And as for Fred, well, he may never live this one down…    – KA

Posted by: kerryannekay | February 2, 2017

Is it Wednesday?

Yes, it’s Wednesday. It feels like it’s been a long week already. I have been at school until 6 pm twice this week and have one more late day.  I was looking forward to coming home and snuggling with the boys. 

However, Fred is hell bent on not pooping in the cage. He has made it his mission to pile as many beans on the outside of the fencing as possible. I came home to small piles of beans…everywhere his large rear would fit. I’m not sure if he’s mad at me or staring his own protests. *sigh*

After cleaning the mess, I took both of the boys out of their area and relaxed on my bed with them on my chest. Lamont sneezed and managed to coat my face with some nasty liquid. His sneeze scared Fred. So, Fred peed on me. *sigh*

As I was getting up, Lamont sneezed a second time and peed on me. I got a double soaking.  After changing, o noticed that Lamont had sneezed several more times. He now has a vet appointment on Friday.   *sigh*

But, hey, it’s Wednesday… only two more days… *sigh*   – KA 

Posted by: kerryannekay | January 26, 2017

Plumbing and Beans

The boys have been settling in the new house nicely.  My big focus has been getting little things around the house fixed and unpacking.  Some of my friends have volunteered to help me around the house.  Last weekend, I two people over to help me.  My guests brought lunch and got to work helping me fix some items in the house.  One of the biggest issues I was having was with dishwasher and upstairs shower.  We set to work on the shower first.

As I worked on the shower, my friend Bill went and visited with Fred and Lamont.  “Is this normal?” Bill called from the bedroom.

“What’s normal?” I called back.

“Do they normally push their butts up against the cage?” Bill asked.

“Oh, that?” I said putting down my wrench.  I got up and walked over to the bedroom.  Fred had his butt pressed up against the cage.  He was letting the last of a large pile of bean fly.  “Fred!” I scolded him.  Several more beans flew as Fred took off for his cozy.

Bill laughed at sight and declared, “He’s got quite an aim!”  Bill leaned over and pulled a bean off his foot and casually tossed it back into the cage.

“Oh, Fred,” I sighed, “That’s not nice…” I then added, “Sorry about that… He’s a bugger…  Make sure you wash your hands…”

“It’s not a big deal…” Bill laughed.  “But,” he said, “He’s been hard at work…” Bill pointed at three piles of beans outside of the cage!

“Fred…” I sighed again.  “Yeah, he likes to pile beans.  I guess that you could say that it’s his talent.”

Bill laughed at my comment.  He joked, “And there are neat piles on the inside of the cage too…”

“That’s Lamont…  His poop cannon isn’t as big as his brother’s,” I giggled.  Just then Lamont spooked himself and ran out of the hut in the front of the cage.  As he bolted, he ran through a pile of beans and sent them flying everywhere.

“Beans away!” Bill called.

“Lamont!” I admonished him.

“They are good at that bean throwing thing…” Bill said stepping towards the door avoiding beans as he went.

“Let me clean this mess up and I’ll help you in the bathroom…” I sheepishly replied.  Bill nodded and went back to work in the bathroom.  I grabbed the dust-buster and sucked up all of the errant beans around the boys’ cage.  After I was finished, I leaned over the cage and said, “Now you two behave!”  I closed the door and heard a chorus of complaints.  “Staaaaph!” I called to the door.

Bill came out of the bathroom with a piece of sink pipe.  “They don’t like being told what to do?” he asked.

“No,” I replied, “They are very strong willed…”

“HA!” Bill laughed, “That’s the first I’ve heard about guinea pigs being bad like that.”

“Well,” I said, “Let me tell you about Alfalfa…”

Bill and I finished the plumbing in the bathroom and went on to fix several more items in the house.  It was one of the best house warming presents I have received so far. There have been other people in the house to move items and fix things.  However, the boys are not so keen on their visit.  I think that’s a good thing… Fred and Lamont are starting to claim the house as their home.  And that’s the best gift that they can give to me. – KA

Posted by: kerryannekay | January 19, 2017

Moving Madness

Well, it’s official! I’m all moved into the new house.  The boys are in their new spot and all is well…as well as it could be.  I’ve only had several small disasters with the new house:  The dishwasher in the flooded the kitchen.  The front door lock I installed has fallen off three times.  The shower sounds like a screaming banshee when you turn on the hot water.  The closet doors to the laundry area have fallen off several times.  The television remote is lost.  I can’t find more than five pairs of my underwear…

Despite all of this, I have had several successes:  The lock on the front door has not fallen out in three whole days.  The weather stripping on the front door has been replaced.  The issue with the dishwasher has finally been diagnosed. (I’m too chicken to do plumbing.)  The garbage man came and collected my garbage.  I pulled out three cat sized lint balls out of the dryer vent line.  I’ve changed most of my address information.  I have figured out how to back up into my spot.  I have not figured out how to park straight.  And, I’ve made really good friends with all of the employees at the local home improvement store.  You see? I can do this whole ‘home ownership’ thing!

Today was the most trying of all days.  I had to go to the Motor Vehicle Administration (MVA).  I stood in line for ten minutes only to be told that I was in the wrong line.  (It was mislabeled!) Then I had to stand in another line for another ten minutes to be given a ticket to use an ‘automated’ kiosk.  I was told my change of address was no longer handle by ‘humans’.  I sat and waited twenty minutes to use that kiosk.  This kiosk required the user to speak a foreign language:  government-ese.  So, it took me about fifteen minutes to complete a change of address.  It felt like I lost several years of my life while at the MVA today.

I was planning on writing a blog about the boys’ behavior when I had someone in to help with the house.  But, I wound up getting home really late tonight and all that came out of me was this.

The boys are better adjusted.  I promise things will get back to normal with the blog.  And I will let you know if I ever figure out how to stop the shower from screaming bloody murder. – KA

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