Thursday, July 31, 2008

The Boys

My granddaughter Sarah and her BoysWe have the most adorable Ferrets in the world, they were born on the Marshall Ferret Farm in New York, New York on October 31, 2004. There names are Dusty and Storm, Dusty is a Champagne breed and Storm is a Sable.

Sarah my granddaughter is their owner, she purchased them from PetCo a store at the Lakes Mall, in Muskegon, Michigan. Actually when she brought them home I told her they were too small to be bought yet. PetCo told her that since she had experience with Ferrets they trusted her to do right by them and did not need to return them. Petco at that time did have a lady named Deb that brought her Ferrets in the back room and she would give advice to Ferret owners. Sarah ask Deb what she could do to make sure the little guys made it, her advice was to mix their food with a little water, making it a little mushy, because the Boys were having a hard time eating the hard food. Another piece of advise she gave was to give them baby food, she said turkey with gravy, this combination of wet food with the gravy worked, they did start acting better.

The Boys getting their medicineTheir medical care is in the hand of veterinarian Sarah Prelesnik at the Prelesnik Animal Hospital, in Grand Haven, Michigan. They go for all their shots, Dusty is a handful to try and give shots, he squirms right out of the vets hands. Storm is a sweet heart at the vets. Right now Storm has a medical problem and is being treated for it. He had to have a implant in his shoulder and is loosing some hair and the vet said he should grow it back in the fall.

Dusty playing with his stash of bottlesThey have cute and separate personalities and Sarah has lots of pictures and video tapes to prove it. Dusty is the smallest of the two weighing a little over two pounds. Dusty likes to hide potatoes, pop bottles, balls and any thing he finds that he thinks needs to be hid. This is one spunky ferret he also rolls and flips around when he is tickled, he is so sweet and fun to have around. Dusty also plays and bites his brother, not in a mean way. They never draw blood on one another or us. When it is turkey time he runs around frantic because you do not hurry up. The only time you can cuddle him is when he is tired and sleepy.

Mr. Teddy BearNow on the other hand Storm is not hyper like Dusty he is gentle and sweet like a Teddy bear. He did not have such a good start like Dusty, he could not hold his head up so good, like I said Bed was a life saver for him. Storm will play with you only for about a few minutes and runs away he likes to run through his tube with Dusty and play with him on their blanket which is folded in half, they use it like a tunnel running back and forth. Storm also likes to hid pop bottles, he likes certain pieces of our dogs food and bread, both the ferrets like whipped cream. So far Storm is doing okay and I hope that continues to be so. Storm weighs a little over 4 pounds.

The Boys out for their daily towel rideMost people think ferrets bite well I think it is the way people handle them, you can't buy them because they are cute they are a big responsibility and remember if you let someone tease them they will bite. Our two guys are so gentle and sweet, they never bite the vet when she handles them either. The ones that they showed on Americas Funniest Videos that bit the people in the face I don't know what made them do it, we put our ferrets up to our face and they just give you a kiss.

So if you are thinking of getting a ferret just remember they are only tame if you mess with them all the time and let them run they need to get out of their cage at least twice a day to stretch their legs. I think a caged animal that is not let run once in a while will turn grumpy, don't you get grumpy if you do not get out once in a while?

Monday, July 21, 2008

Burma Shave—Bygone Days

Actual Burma Shave Sign c.1933

These signs were born in the late 1920s and lasted until the beginning of the1960s. The highways and cars were different then, most automobile of that time went about 35 miles an hour, which made it easier to read the signs. In the Twenties roads were improving as were the autos, speed was increasing and people started going greater distances.

They used stencils and a brush to coat the signs, a series of six signs were placed a short distance from one another to make them easier to read. The success of the signs was the light hearted humor, they were a joy to read and never offended anyone, except maybe the competition. Reading the signs out loud became a habit and everyone in the car saying them at the same time was fun. I know when we were kids and out in the car we always looked for the Burma Shave signs.

This is the way it worked to get the signs on different locations, they would send out men to cruise the highways watching for ideal spots to put the signs. The spot had to be a stretch of road visible for a considerable distance, no curves just a straight road. Then they would go about working out a deal with whoever owned the land, the land was rented for a year, and usually the people would sign a contract for next year. There were some people that signed for decades.

The Burma-Vita Company was sold to Philip Morris, Inc., the road signs were growing costlier and less effective. The company was using other means of advertising the product, so the road signs were coming to a halt. Some people of today swear they have seen Burma Shave signs, I know I wish I could see them one more time.


What a sad time in 1963 when Philip Morris bought Burma Shave, it was a part of American history that is remembered only by the older generation and is missed. If you have a memory of the signs let me know.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Childhood Memories

It can get pretty creepy down hereThis is suppose to be the most magical time of our lives, where things are surrounded by mystery, ghosts and goblins abound, where things go bump in the night, and at bedtime there is always something under the bed or in the closet.

I can remember one time when I was about ten, my mom wanted me to go down to the cellar and get some coal. The entrance to our cellar was outside and down about ten steps to the door, that alone was scary, it was like entering a cave of long ago. You had to feel inside the door for a chain and then pull it, it was torture until your hand came in contact with the chain and pulled it. This is not to mention the light added to the eerie shadows that reflected on the walls, it was probably a low watt bulb. I scooped up the coal in the coal bucket, turned off the light and ran back to the house. After that I made sure we had coal in the bucket before dark.

I have many fond memories of my childhood, the one sad thing was the death of my father, he was killed at work, in the steel mill in Pittsburg, Pa., it was October, 1942. I can remember how we always listened to the news broadcasts to see how the war was going, it was World War 2. and they had just announced that America was going to be bombed. I spent most of that night looking out the window for airplanes. My Dad was a good father, but very strict, we loved him for the short time that he was allowed to live on earth.

From birth there are phases of growth, infant, childhood, adolescence and adulthood. Our greatest adult fears were created by childhood memories, even our attitudes, perspectives, expectations and our adult view of life are influenced by childhood memories.

When we were kids it did not take much to make us happy, we were always thinking up games to play, not much time was spent indoors. I don't know about you, but it seems like yesterday we were running and playing, following a favorite creek, pretending it was a river and you may see a ship or two. Pretending when you were a kid is lost in adults, we have lost the ability to enter that magical kingdom again, in a way this is sad. Even so, memories is powerful, I think everyday of adult life is touched by memories of childhood experiences.

Most of us have siblings that share in our childhood memories, if you were close to a brother or sister you are blessed to have had someone to remember some of your happy and sad times. Sharing our memories with others is one of the most generous things we can do. Most of us have photos of our young days, this is a moment captured in time that will live on long after we do not. It is fun to rummage through the pictures of the past and say I don't remember that one, I can't remember looking like that.

Childhood was such a short lived part of our lives. Remember when Mom would say just wait you are little for just a short time and then you are big forever, so lets not rush things. I wish I could tell my mom she was right. So lets say goodbye to being young, many years have passed since those glorious days gone by. If you have a childhood story, I would like to hear it.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Little Duck, Big World

As I have said before I like to metal detect on the beach and I find many different things. One evening about six o'clock I decided to metal detect for a couple hours so I went down by the water to look around and I saw this little baby duck all alone swimming by shore. There were some people laying on their blankets and they told me people were trying to catch the baby all afternoon. I use a french fry basket to scoop the sand up when I am detecting, so I scooped the baby up in it and pushed the opening against my stomach to hold the duck in.

I gave up detecting and went to my car and put the fryer in upside down to keep the baby from going all over my car. I knew of this woman that took in birds and ducks that were hurt or abandoned by their moms. I went home first to show the baby duck to my family. They were surprised and had to hold the baby. I took my grandaughter with me to ask the woman if she would take the baby. To my surprise the women no longer did this. I had to think fast, and come up with a plan of some kind.

I knew the baby duck was exhausted and looked weak. It was getting dark, so I headed back to the beach and went to where I had found the baby before. We started toward the pier looking for a mom duck with babies. Having no luck on the beach I decided when we reached the pier to go on it. We were about twenty feet out on the pier when I noticed the baby getting excited, and making noises, and then I heard a duck quacking. I went toward the sound and saw a female duck and when she saw me she quick jumped back in the water. I looked over the side and I saw she had baby ducks. I told my grandaughter to throw the baby in, she said no it will drown. I told her it will go under and pop right back up and that is exactly what happened - he popped back up and swam right for his mom quacking all the way. I was so happy that I had come looking for his mom, and the happy reunion brought a tear to my eyes and a joy to my heart.