Monday, April 13, 2015

Less busy day

So, we had another chinchilla go home today.  Someone had contacted us about a standard grey female that we had available, one of the young ones, but she was already taken.  But, I had just weaned a standard grey female from one of my pairs here, who wasn't going to be staying here, so they decided to wait until she was ready and get her -- and came today to do so.

Some good, positive news -- the rescue finally has some open cages, so I was finally able to take the statement off the rescue page that said, we are full, yadda yadda, can't take in animals right now, and so on so forth.  Now, hopefully there's not a huge influx of them, but it's nice to not be full at the moment.

Anyway, nothing yet, and it's been hours, so I suppose that's a good sign.  No one waiting with baited breath to get their critters in.

...or out for that matter.  My 11 am was supposed to be guinea pig adoption time.  They literally texted me at 11:05 and said, oh, work called them, they can't come.  Do you think, just maybe, they could have given me just a TAD BIT more notice?  Oh that frustrates me.  So they said, well if the pigs are still here in a week or two, maybe they'll come adopt then.  I doubt I'll ever hear from them again.

I actually feel bad for the guinea pigs.  Yesterday, I told them they were going home, cause those people had seemed so sure they were going to adopt.  And then this morning, I told them, ok, well at least they're going home today... and then those people cancelled.  Poor little fuzzballs.  Their home will come in time, they're very sweet pigs, but it's too bad these all fell through.

So, since I didn't have that appointment to mess with, I went to work doing stuff at the rescue.  From the last few days, I'd sold a ton of herbs and such, so I went to bagging up herbs and such.  Literally I had no more bagged up of at least half of the herbs I sell.  So, I got out my ziploc bags and scale and herbs and started bagging. 

Also made some more kit bags -- the bags that go home with young chins (under 6 months).  These are the "baby" version of our goodie bags -- just chew stuff, rather than treats.  There's a cardboard bagel in there, hay cubes, some pumice stones, birch wood sticks, and apple wood sticks.  So I made several of those.  Would have made more, but ran out of hay cubes.  Need to add that to the list.

And then I started shaking out drawers.  If you've ever looked at the other side of the room (the side without chins), we have several of those tall plastic drawer-d cabinets.  They hold everything from office supplies to medication to water bottles to stuff we sell etc etc.  Well... the window is open a good portion of the year, so we get bugs, dust, all sorts of crap, that makes its way in the drawers.  And, they get cluttered.  The thing is, everything has a place, but when you're in a rush (which is always) things get put in the drawers, but not always neatly.  So, every few months, I will empty them out, drawer by drawer, shake out the drawer, wipe things off, and put everything back.  And that shaking of the drawers get out any bugs, cleans and organizes the drawers, and as an added bonus, tends to lessen the clutter that can be removed. 

For example. One of the drawers has stuff that goes in goodie bags, such as shredded wheat squares, oats, among other things which we have here.  For awhile, someone was selling these thin little wood coins (think dime-size thin and dime size, like literally) for $22/pound I think.  Well shit, at that size, there were a ton of them in a pound.  They eventually changed it to 4 for $1, which was not a good deal, as the chins go through them like candy, but I still have some of those in that drawer.  So I handed two out to every chin here.  I also had a jar with some dried stinging nettle in it (a dried herb?... not sure if it's classified as an herb... maybe just a plant) that chins can have as a treat.  Well, there wasn't much there, and I hate having jars with just a tiny bit in them, so... on top I keep other jars with supplement and other things that can be given daily and there's typically one that is sort of a mix of whatever's around.  So that jar was empty, so I put some of the stinging nettle in it, and a few 1/8 cup scoops of an oat supplement, shook it all up to mix it, and handed that out as the supplement for today.  There's a little left, so that will be part of tomorrow's as well. 

And I'll do this with whatever small amounts of things that I can't easily use elsewhere.  For example.  Have you ever bought hay cubes?  I don't mean like in a 2 pound bag from here or another online vendor, I mean like the 40 pound bag from a feed store.  If yes, you may know where this is headed.  If not, let me explain.  So you get a 40 pound bag of hay cubes.  Only, it's probably really 30 pounds of hay cubes and 10+ pounds of hay cube dust.  Those of you that know are now nodding in agreement.  Literally, there's hay cubes, and then there's what looks like ground up hay cubes.  Now, I've had guinea pigs in the past that really have liked that finely ground hay dust, but most don't, so here it just gets pitched. 

In fact, when you order hay cubes, I literally scoop out hay cubes, dump it in a tray, and pick out the hay cubes and put those in a bag, so you end up with just literal hay cubes and not the hay cube dust.  Cause I want to make sure, if you order 2 pounds of hay cubes, you get 2 pounds of useable hay cubes.

Anyway, point is, just about everything you order has those "fines" at the bottom of the bag.  Good luck finding any use for them if you don't use a supplement, but I mix them in with whatever I'm giving.  I currently have several supplements here from either other people's chins that have come in, or from when Winx was on everything under the sun, or those sort of things, and the one I have still has a good amount in the original container, though I have also one of those jars on top with it in there as well.  Well... the amount in the original container has a lot of the fines in there along with the actual supplement, so when I put the supplement in the jar, I sift it to remove the fines.  So, the other day, the had those supplement fines added to their normal supplement.

Since today I did the bagging of the different herbs, I have oodles of herb fines.  Rosehips I won't pick through, because those seeds are freaking sharp, but just about anything else I will.  The rosebuds have a TON of petals and little flower pieces at the bottom of the bag.  They're not sellable, but I'm not going to pitch em either.  Those will go into the supplement in another day or two.  And then when I bag up hawthorn berries, when they oxidize, they can start to turn white on part of the outside of the berry.  Nothing wrong with it, just gets a little white, like a banana turning brown. Well, when I bag those up, because some people would see that and panic (and I don't feel like including a note with every bag explaining), I sort through the hawthorn berries and pick out the ones that have the white and put those on the side for myself.  Those will go in the supplement one of these days as well.  And so on and so forth.  At some point, I must have ordered from Fuzzies Kingdom, because I had a sample of one of their supplements that had hibiscus, hawthorn berries, and other herbs in it.  So, that'll probably get divided into 2-3 days and added in.   Sometimes, I have nothing to add and they get just the plain supplement (which they like just fine), but it works nicely to use up the random extras and give them a little treat.

Now, for the globe flowers... for most of the herbs, I try my best to pick out whole pieces.  Rosehips occasionally end up with broken pieces, but for the most part, you don't end up with half a hawthorn berry or a lot of petals for the rosebuds.  But globe flower petals fall off like no tomorrow.  So, rather than pick flowers out of the bag and then have 20 pounds of petals left over at the end, I use a scoop to bag those.  That way I get a more even (hopefully) mixture of the flowers and petals.

Anyway, as I go through the drawers, I also find stuff to pitch.  Like in my one drawer, I had a tube of non-toxic sealant (to seal up cage cracks).  The cap was off and the bottle was rock hard.  Ooook so that was pitched.  Some of the medications I have no longer looked good.  Pitch.  Some drawers had random empty bags in them that looked like they'd been through the war.  Pitch. 

And some stuff has just been bagged for so long, the bags are like dry rotting, so I had to move them to another bag, because the bag was literally falling apart.  Stuff was in wrong drawers.  I had run shut-offs in two drawers.  No wonder I could never find my smaller ones.  So, things get organized.

So I went through the four tall drawer things.  Also, it helps because I see things that I can go, ok, I need to do something.  For example, I got to the drawer with the apple & oat cookies, and it was half empty.  Well, if time permits, I try to keep things stocked up, because then it's easier to pack for expos (and be ready for customers' orders), so I bagged up some more of those.  Looking down further, I have two jars of supplement... no jars of the herb sampler.  Need to make some of those, but another day, since it's already late.

When I ran across my list of the herbs that go into the herb sampler and herbal supplement, I went and got them all out and laid them all out, to see what I have.  Because I still haven't done the loofah order, because I needed to see if I needed any of that stuff.  Turns out... nope, I don't.  I have at least 2-3 pounds of everything and I don't go through it very fast, so that's plenty.  Knowing that, I can now (sooner or later) put in that order. 

So, I finally got Chili & Chico's posts up.  I had thought, in the back of my mind, that I had a father / son pair of chins here, and it turns out, it was them (I found their surrender paperwork).  So they are now officially listed on the website and everywhere else.  And that means I am currently up to date with all animals being listed.  Yay.

The bass pan came the other day, so I need to get that unpacked and put on the cage downstairs.  I did at least take the box downstairs, but that's about as far as it got.

For all those who are wondering about that sapphire chin, he is just fine.  He's eating and pooing and dusting and everything.  I had to give him more food (thank God he has a hopper and I don't have to open the cage) because he ate it, and I gave him some supplement, and he was eating that too, last I checked.  Looking at him, he's somehow cleaned up his head pretty well (well, and I did fix it a bit before he went nuts yesterday), you almost can't tell anything happened to him.  So, he's fine.  Some people told me they were praying for him.  Thank you for your prayers.  He seems to not be any worse for the wear.  Though I did talk to Jim today and he will be going back.

After this weekend and multiple people wanting to buy houses -- I am out of everything I made again.  So.... I could use some volunteers if anyone's got some time.  With two people who are good at wood working, we can crank out about 3 per hour.  Which would be awesome, compared to my one-per-hour rate by myself.  If that, the big ones take even longer.   Regardless, I need to make more of those.

When I dye things, like those birthday cakes, I always end up with extra dye left over, so I end up dying random pieces of wood.  So I made some colored anything goes toys, and I am debating if that's something I want to put in the store or not.  At the moment, they're available (if you're physically at the rescue) because I have them made, but not sure if I want to like permanently add them.  If I do, I think the only way to not make it an insanely miserable custom item would be to just say, it may be a combo of any of these following colors.  Otherwise, I can just see people saying, well they want one with one purple block and two blue pieces, oh and a yellow, oh but they want a green triangle on top....  and that would just be a headache.  So we will see.

On another positive note, I was dying wood for the holiday toys over the last few days.  If you saw my hands, that was not blood all over, that was red food coloring.  Anyway, so I put together like two of them... and I think both sold to people who were here over the weekend.  But on a positive note, I was able to turn that item back on (so it's available) on the webstore.  And I also put the pinesical back as available on the webstore as well.  And I turned back on the chinnie mobile and chinny motorhome.  Just because those aren't ordered enough that they're (hopefully) not going to give me a headache if I leave them turned on.  So I believe the only items that aren't turned on right now are the houses.  But you know, baby steps.  I'm getting there....

So, I'll share something new that we're going to carry -- because I've had so many people tell me, they get supplies here and then go to the pet store and buy lava bites... we're going to start carrying lava bites!  Yay!  I'm waiting for my package of them to get here... I ordered a ton so that I can use some for the chins here (cause we all know they love em) and then I'll have some to sell.  I ordered them on the 9th (which seems forever ago), and they're in Iowa now, so tracking says they should be delivered Tuesday the 21st.  Not sure why it's supposed to take another week to get from Iowa to here, but that is FedEx for you.  Hopefully it gets here sooner than that.

In the meantime, I did get Tradition up on the webstore.  There's the flat rate option, by the pound option, and I've created care packs that include Tradition as well.  Also added Tradition to the Supplies for Sale page... as a food listing, and as an option on the Starter Package. 

Another thing... not sure if I ever posted it, but we got in the wrong size bowls awhile back (they say I ordered them wrong, I say the shipped the wrong size... naturally, I'm wrong).  I called in the order, so I have no record on my end, so naturally they say they're right.  Anyway.... I have 3" food bowls.  They're really to small to use as a regular food bowl, unless you literally want to fill it twice a day, but they're a useful size for treats or supplement.  I've been using a few of them for supplement bowls around the rescue (because putting supplement in food tend to end up with chins digging for it), and I do think they're quite useful for that sort of thing.  Treats as well.  So those will be listed sooner or later.... they will be $3 (regular bowls are $4).

So...the other day I sold the second large cage that I had here... so I just went and purchased another.  And because the place currently has a discount, but the max discount is a certain amount, I placed a separate order for the other cage I needed.  So I could get the discount twice.  Hehe.  They think they're sneaky by only allowing a discount up to so much, but for those of us with big enough orders, we can just do multiple separate orders.  Now, I haven't needed to order guinea pig food (oxbow) in forever, but when I did, I'd do the same thing with that.  I wanted the free shipping, but free shipping was only 60 pounds or less.  But I'd want like 3 bags (this was back when Oxbow sold 50 pound bags of cavy cuisine), so that'd be 150 pounds.  So, I'd put in three separate orders, one for each bag.  Get free shipping on each, cause each order would be over the minimum amount for the free shipping, and so no extra shipping charge.  I mean, yeah, I guess they make it more work, but like with these two orders I just put in for the cages, I saved $18.38 by doing two separate orders (so I could use the discount twice).  For a few cents, I wouldn't bother, but for almost 20 bucks, I think I can manage to type in my card a few times and go through checkout a few times. 

Anyway, that's it for tonight.  Probably more tomorrow.  Fingers crossed, I believe the dark ebony female (another one who was held back from going home, before, because she had loose poos, but they have cleared up now with medication) is supposed to go home tomorrow.  Fingers crossed!

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