Farewell, Yeti, our loveliest Marshmallow

It’s a very sad day in our house, and the bookending of an era, as we send off our loving, gentle boy Yeti.

Our most patient, gentle, soft sweet Yeti, Signor Pants, the Pantaloni, Bestest of Marshmallows, lived a long, good life – reaching 8+ years with us, which is quite an accomplishment for a ferret – let alone one from the streets (literally) of Pittsburgh.

Yeti and his brother Sasquatch has been found surviving with a feral cat colony in Pittsburgh, during the previous winter. Sasquatch clearly had been taking care of Yeti, who was deaf, making sure he was safe until – and after – they were rescued. While his brother had interested adopters, poor Yeti had not one and they were definitely a bonded pair – so much the better for us!

We brought the boys home on December 19, 2015, and I immediately declared that those idiots who weren’t interested in adopting my sweet Yeti because he was a deaf Dark Eyed White were absolute morons! He provided many solid hours of cuddling for the humans, which is not standard ferret behavior! Not only that, he was the paragon of patience dealing with his new sister who hated everyone who was not her brother Duncan, in stride.

Being such a calm, relaxed dude, who happened to be deaf, Yeti was a great ambassador ferret! He enjoyed going to the multitude of parades that Morgantown hosts (god we host a lot of parades). 

went to Arts Walks,

Block Parties,

the Farmers Market, the Ferret Frolic…you get the picture! He was always happy to be held by folks and have his photo taken.

Our big Marshmallow was a great traveler, preferring to sleep in his hammock as we rolled up or down the interstate until we reached our desination. He quite enjoyed his vacation Black Water Falls, where he got into the cabin’s cold, but cinder filled, fireplace rendering him mostly more grey than white!

About a year ago, Yeti, now solo, graciously accepted a tiny little white peanut named Inanna into his life. She was a lunatic, but he made sure to make her feel welcome and safe, curling up with her as she acclimated into our home.

A few months after that, he went with us to meet and pick up his troublesome baby brother Fenris. The big ol’ Pantaloni comforted the baby on his first night away from his mom and siblings as we all tried to sleep in a hotel room. Yeti was a great big brother, again making sure the newcomer felt safe.

On Wednesday, April 15, our Yeti left this world. It was his time. He’d had a long, full life, had many ferrety adventures and been a great ferret ambassador and big brother. After eight years, it was his time. We did our best by him, but it doesn’t make it any easier to say goodbye. With his passing, we’ve now closed another chapter in our ferret people saga.

Godspeed, my boy. Your brother is waiting.

chris on April 15th 2020 in Animals, Family

Fenris Doombringer

It’s high time we introduce the newest member of the household. On June 15 Chad and I (and Yeti who came along for the trip) welcomed Fenris Doombringer into our family. 

This handsome little hob is from Scarlett’s Happy Dookers Ferretry in Ohio.

He is the loviest little boy. 

Super sweet, wants our attention in the most adorable way.

Fenris is very good with our old man Yeti, curious but not bothersome. And now Inanna has a playmate that can keep up with her WAY better than the humans. Now she’s the one being run ragged! He’s already outgrown her! Welcome home, little man! 

chris on June 15th 2019 in Animals, Family

Blackadder – the costume(s)

In 2000 I made Chad an Elizabethan costume. It was based on the BBC series, Black Adder. I only did it because Chad foolishly said, “if you make that, I’ll wear it.” Pffft. Challenge accepted.

My resources to replicate said costume were:

  1. Grainy VHS tape that was probably a copy of a copy
  2. Some photo copied & self-published books about how to make men’s Elizabethan costumes
  3. A few costuming web sites
  4. Some sketches I made from said VHS tape while it was on pause
  5. Janome sewing machine
  6. Babylock serger that scared the hell out of me

Surprisingly, the costume turned out OK. I’m not saying this to humble-brag. I’m saying this because my level of costuming skill at the time would rank as pretty darn low and technically lacking. I was self-taught – both sewing in general and definitely costume in particular, had no idea how to properly scale up or down a pattern, and was recreating from blurry photos. Let’s be honestly, I was mostly winging that mother.

 

The next year, I made a few modifications and updates. The slops got better for sure. Although I still had (or currently have) no real idea how I’m supposed to use that serger. 

Over Halloween our headless horseman was brazenly stolen off the porch. He was wearing the jerkin, doublet and sleeves – the most integral pieces of the costume.  

I was livid.

And yet, by then I’d made Chad a newer, fancier, slightly better gold Elizabethan costume.

It was no Black Adder, but it was pretty nice. And had been very time consuming.

Several years later with some more costuming experience, I decided to start from scratch. Historical garment resources had come a long way in 11 years. I decided the best place to start was a new chemise, which was the easy part. Although I still sucked at scaling patterns and dealing with fitment issues. I was, however, much better at muddling through via mock-ups in cheap muslin! A hard earned lesson, believe me.

Chemise done, a new set of neck and wrist ruffs were in order. There was a lot of conflicting and confusing info out there regarding construction. So I picked what seemed to make sense (having already gone through several different ways of making them) and machine embellished the 260 inches of fabric. At the very least, it was gonna be a huge upgrade from his original ruff. 

At which point I stopped,  pinned the ruffs into sections, put it aside “for a few days” and there it lay. Forgotten in a corner, a distraction for a different day.

Eight years later I decided it was time to review my costuming closet, make some alterations and perhaps see about that Black Adder costume again.  After all, costuming references had gotten a lot better since 2011!

I was off to the races – the turtle races.

Step 1: Locate and wash ruff material

Step 2: Find newer, better reference – a 44 page .pdf with photos and diagrams!

Step 3: Spend unnecessary amount of time on Pinterest looking up Black Adder

Step 4: Spend a week going back and forth about adding black trim to ruff material (see above)

Step 5: Spend 2 days searching craft stores for appropriate trim

Step 6: Start hand stitching trim to 260 inches of ruff material

 

To be continued, in hopefully less than 8 years.

chris on June 14th 2019 in Blogroll, Creativity

Hello, Inanna!

 
A few weeks before vacation, an instant message popped up from a ferret club member wanting to know if we would be interested in a white ferret that had just come into a rescue.

We’d been thinking about bringing home a youngster, partly as a playmate for Nyx (so she’d leave poor Yeti alone) and partly because there is nothing so joyful as a young ferret running around like an idiot! 

Chad happened to be out of town but I sent him a message with her picture. He said if we could wait until after we got back from vacation he didn’t see why not.

Little Miss Inanna joined the family on May 6. Operating under the assumption that she was as big as Yeti, since she looked huge in the photos, I took along the boys dog crate to pick her up. well that was a mistake because as soon as I saw her I thought crap this is not going to work. But then again maybe it would so I tucked Inanna into the crate and off I went. 
 
Approximately five minutes later while in traffic, I caught a blur of white out of the corner of my eye on the floor of the passenger side! I hit the brakes reached down and missed! So I threw my bag in her general direction scaring the tiny ferret to the back seat.
 
 
Fortunately her next foray to the front of the car was under my seat! It took a little bit of dexterity since I was driving, but I managed to nab her without wrecking. Holding a very bouncy little ferret in my hand, I drove to a pet store and buy a much smaller carrier! 

Our timing was not great for bringing home the little one. By then we knew we were losing Sasquatch. But when the Universe offers you a ferret, you take the ferret.
 
Welcome to the chaos, wee beastie! 
 

chris on June 1st 2019 in Animals, Family