Christmas, hamsters, life

Chestnut, the Christmas Hamster


Originally uploaded by criscollrj.

We are introducing Chestnut, who joined our family 12-26-06. He looks like Spice in a way, yet different. This was Spice who passed away in February. Chestnut has more white on him. Right now we’re just trying to distract Ryan from the cage….

More Christmas posting soon – have to clean up right now! Look at Flickr pics though – Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, Christmas Dinner at Gayle & Chuck’s (including pics by John and Brad), and the fuzzy ones are from my cell phone…..

Happy Christmas Week!


birthdays, hamsters, life, transcription

a grumpy birthday for me

We of course all are still very sad about the loss of our Spice but not thinking about it every ay anymore. We love our lent (from mom) guinea pig Reese and we are still talking about getting a little dog (another yahoo group to join to see what kind to get for the kids, etc.).

I had a bunch of work since wed. so was busy typing typing typing. My mom was here 3 days helping me. She just came over to celebrate our birthdays (me and Ryan on Wed. the 22nd) and ended up staying until Friday night while I typed and she cleaned. She’s a sweetie! She went home last night so of course I should now be cleaning but here I sit. I’m TIRED!

Wed. was our birthdays, like I said, and my mom did a lot to make it a special day. She got us cupcakes and took me for a subway sandwich. She also brought me new clothes, and ryan a cute puzzle, and bought us (along with my uncle) a new dehumidifier. We are celebrating my and Ryan’s birthday next week with Roger’s parents. I haven’t given Ryan any of his presents either. We’re having the party on March 3, I think. But I was still kinda grumpy…. grrr. But I knew I had to take the work as no other money is coming in! Luckily though Rog is supposed to start a night cleaning job next week. Just about 15 hours a week.

Roger and I balance each other – when I’m too peppy and upbeat he gives me a reality check, I hope that when he’s down I cheer him up. We love our music, and goofy old tv shows, and we make each other laugh. And he’s hard working and a great dad.

I admit when I worked, I actually felt like it was EASIER at times. Get in the car, drive 2 boys to day care (after daughter walked down the street to her babysitter), drive 45 minutes while listening to my religious show of devotional speaking, get tasks done at work and actually get complimented for it (most of the time, until the end when I was fired for absenteeism at the end due to sick kids) and have a whole hour lunch where I did paperwork or ran errands, or just SAT, or even WALKED on a nice summer day), then finish the day and drive home and just watch kids for 2-3 hours. Of course it was hard with the housework, and no time with kids, and extra take out and convenience foods draining the budget, etc., but the actual DAY, WORKING at the job? No kidding, it was probably easier.

if you’re still with me, thank ya — I feel better.

now off to do massive cleaning with my head a little more cleared out than before.



dogs and cats, hamsters


We were totally shocked that last night when Colleen came home with her friend that was spending the night, that she never even asked for Spice. She just wanted Reese her guinea pig. I was really sick last night, and Rog had been sick earlier, so we didn’t push it (12-24 hour bug or something – nauseous, bit of diarrhea, sore throat, headache, and just lousy feeling!) so we both ended up going to bed early and never even told her. So we’ll have to tell her today. more

hamsters, transcription


GOOD NEWS – I have work. 90 minutes of dictation to work on transcribing until Monday night. It’s due Tuesday morning. And the kids have their camp at MRDD center today (Colleen volunteers) so Rog and I are still going to lunch (we think) and then I’ll type about 3 hours. I’m going to type now, and tomorrow early morning, too. I hadn’t worked since Jan. 31 so I was getting nervous!  I have 2 clients so far (this one now is from 2000 and I hadn’t worked for them since then, because I’d gotten that full-time legal transcription job at the end of 2000 and gave up all the others).

BAD NEWS – we found our little Spice (hamster) Angel expired in the sump pump last night. She was missing from her cage in the middle of the night when I woke from the couch, and with Colleen gone at the friend’s overnight and Rog looking for jobs on the computer no one got her down earlier. I expect she escaped sometime Thursday night after one of us put her back in her cage. She was such a sweetie. We will miss her very much. I was crying and crying. After sleeping on the couch 9-1:30 a.m. I ended up being up until 3:30 after discovering her and then crying. Then I got up at 6 to start typing.

We still have a guinea pig (Reese) that my mom brought over to visit Colleen – she’s been her a few days. She’s sweet, but I don’t know her like my Houdini Spice — she ended up having 6 lives as that’s how many times she’d escaped without killing herself…..

must work now….hope these files are easy to 

eloping, hamsters, health, life

A little runaway

2020 – March of 2005 – Ryan was just over 3.  I hadn’t remembered when this happened but remember often that it DID happen.  Ryan had elopement as a severe symptom of Autism/ADHD, or whatever caused it, for many years.  He did not outgrow it until about Age 11.  Thank God he did outgrow it.  It was very very scary.

Good morning! I hope you all had a good Easter if you celebrate. We had a wonderful dinner, then had some interesting moments in the evening! I’ll describe them in a minute.

We made a delicious glazed ham with pineapple and brown sugar, scalloped potatoes, green bean casserole, biscuits, and peach pie. Devilled eggs too. We also drank a whole bottle of sprite. And we ate plenty of candy!

We also had 3 fun easter egg hunts. Ryan even found an egg!

So we stayed home all day. About 6 I had Colleen go outside and play with Ryan for a while. He did have a cough still all day but seemed to be feeling all right. They were playing ball and stuff.

Next thing I knew, almost simultaneously, Rog said, look at that little kid running down the sidewalk – wait, it’s Ryan! And I heard Colleen shouting RYAN! So I went running out and down the street and as soon as he saw me he laughed and started running into the street! Luckily there were no cars coming and I got the little stinker. I went home and saw that the gate was open. Colleen swore she tied it after she put her bike away like 5 hours earlier. I also think it was locked because Chris had been outside walking around and I kept checking from the window. So my hypothesis is that she didn’t tie it tight enough, and he just pushed on it enough to loosen the rope and get out. But I’ll never know…. Thank God he wasn’t hit by a car – gives me chills.

Then I just held him and after a while he felt like he was running a fever again. He fell asleep on my lap at 7:30 and I put him to bed (tried to give him Motrin but he wouldn’t take it — his temp was 101.5 so not horrible). This morning at 5:15 he got up and seemed warm still – I didn’t take the temp but just gave him the Motrin and we got up and went in the living room 45 minutes later and the temp was about 101 or so. So obviously it was higher before but I don’t know how much. He’s still coughing a lot. I called the dr. and he’s going in at 10:20 today. No one else is sick at this point.

So the next interesting thing to happen is when we were playing with spice and I was attaching her old wheel back in the new cage (it’s bigger and more suited to a Syrian hamster) I noticed a loose wire from the cage at the bottom. So Colleen and I taped it and put toilet paper all along the tape on the inside, but I think we may have to replace it again or maybe if possible solder the wire back in place? I was so glad she didn’t escape last night – I think she was too excited about having her old big blue wheel back!




(copied from Pet Hub) HAPPY DANCE!

I just found Spice! I was sitting here only 5-10 minutes after posting my last disappointed worried “giving up” post, and out of the corner of my eye I saw something moving by the front closet by our front door. It was Spice! I slowly got down on the floor after getting some food (luckily only about 3 feet away in my cabinet) and cupped my hands and gently called her (my heart was pounding!!)  Luckily we had hand-tamed her!! She came and got a honey drop and crawled in my hand, and then I cupped her and carried her to the cage. Her cage was half apart as we were going to just take it down soon!!! So I just set her in there, gave her more food and watched her drink some water.

WE ARE SO HAPPY! I woke my 10 year old daughter and told her. I put all the parts of the cage together but still keep checking it – I don’t trust it anymore.

I’m thinking of going to Walmart today and buying a huge rubbermaid bin to just set her whole cage down into for right now (she has a Crittertrail.) I can’t afford to buy a new cage right now. What do you guys think? Advice?

Ahhhh, so happy to have our girl home!!!!



Missing Spice

Spice is still missing. We had some high hopes the first few nights as food was missing from our room’s food stash (we put a stash in each room) but now the last few days there’s nothing missing in any rooms and we haven’t heard anything in 2 days. We still have the cage and the bucket trap in our room but I’m wondering if tonight I’ll move it into the living room,where her cage always was, up on the filing cabinet. I could put on the floor next to the filing cabinet.

I haven’t seen any poop or pee paths, either, though, so am wondering if she indeed has vanished in thin air.