In a little over a week "the kittens" will be a year old. They are definitely not kittens anymore, but I think we will keep calling them that because in our hearts and minds they are still kittens. I figure as long as they keep attacking my daughter's toys they are kittens.
Last summer they were too little to let outside without one of us right there with them, but now that they are bigger and much bolder we started letting them out this weekend now that the weather is getting nicer. Nermal has been working hard at eating a lot and expanding her girth and she now successfully weighs in at 10 pounds so she's definitely ready to be outside. But now all they want to do is be outside and hunt the little black spiders that live in our grass. Just wait until the frogs and the little brown lizards come out in plague-worthy droves. The "no frogs in the house" rule will take on a whole new meaning.
Speaking of no frogs in the house, my neighbor showed me his gun collection the other day and I realized I am so not in Kansas ... erm ... Seattle anymore. I thought of that because he is the neighbor who is out hunting frogs with his sons in the summer and filling up huge aquariums with giant toads that they find. I have commented to his wife before that wouldn't fly with my "no frogs in the house" rule. But I was over there the other day looking at the paint job his wife had just done in their bedroom and he showed up and say, "Hey, while you're here let me show you my guns!" Wow. He has a lot of big guns. It was the first time I've ever held a hunting rifle, a shotgun and an M-4 (not all at the same time). All three of which would probably knock me on my ass if I were stupid enough to try and shoot one (which believe me, I will be someday). Earlier in the week I'd been out at a party with our other neighbors and their friends and one of them was showing a photo on his phone of his new safe and I asked, "Is it a safe safe or a gun safe?" and some of the couples laughed and I said, "No, I'm serious." To which my other neighbor said, "Out here that seems like a completely legitimate question." (In answer to the question yes - it was a gun safe). Apparently, there is quite a difference between the safes that you keep your birth certificate and family heirlooms in and that you keep a gun in. You can keep your heirlooms in a gun safe but not your gun in a regular safe. Not sure why but I'm thinking it has to do with fire/heat resistance of the safe. I'm just thrilled that my friends out here keep their guns locked up and take that seriously.
Meanwhile - in life-affirming news - our fish are having a ton of babies. First we had three new fish a few months ago who are now half the size of the adult fish. We call them the teenage fish (or Flipper, Fin-Fin and Penny). Then I saw three more tiny babies when we got back from Arizona, then yesterday I saw two more tiny babies on top that! Good lord. And baby snails are popping up like bunnies too. Luckily, for the sake of the snail over-population, Goldy (the giant yellow snail) demonstrated to me last night that snails do eat their own, by gliding over a baby snail and sucking it out of its shell. Weird. I had never actually seen a snail mouth before. And I have to say they're a bit disturbing when they're sucking up their own young.
I gave Toad her first bath (with me) yesterday. Actually I gave her her first and second bath. After her first bath I took her out for a walk and stopped by the outside arena gate to let her eat grass while I watched my daughter's lesson on Tasha. Unfortunately, when Tasha trotted by the gate Toad freaked out and tried to rear and spin and acted all koo-koo-for-cocoa-puffs. Trainer K. told me firmly to leave immediately so Toad wouldn't upset Tasha with my tiny little 8-year-old daughter on her back. So, we went to go for a walk and Toad was prancing and trying to spin and being a pain in the ass. So, I tried to put her in an empty paddock so she could run and buck and get it out of her system. But no ... instead she immediately rolled. In the dirt. While soaking wet. Doh! Girl used to just stand around and eat grass after her baths. Apparently, that is not normal. So, I had to take Toad in and give her a second bath, which she looked horrified about, but was actually very polite about. Then we went out for a walk up and down the driveway and around the property. She was a little less frantic, but I was still glad after she was a bit more dry and it was time to go in. Apparently, Thoroughbreds do not like the feel of water drying on their skin. Toadie is the ultimate Princess and the Pea. Although today when I gave her a good brushing on her back (especially around her spine) and she was wiggling and twitching because it tickled her so much, she sucked it up and still stood still even though it tickled so much it kept making her shiver. She's trying. And she really is making a lot of improvement!