And Then... There Were Four

Today we step into March, one of my most favorite months of the year. Not only is it my birthday month (and yes, I still celebrate my birthdays. I’m ever so grateful for yet another year of accumulated wisdom and growth), but it signals the beginning of SPRING! Even though we have 3 weeks left until the officialbeginning, once we hit this month I can smell it in the air. Or taste it in the snowflakes. J

This was yesterday evening when Jordan and Riley ventured outside to lock up the animals for the night
To kick off the month of March Mother Nature decided we needed a snowstorm to celebrate, one of only a few that we've experienced this winter. As I write this post the snow is falling, and as usually happens with me, a soft and peaceful feeling fills every nook and cranny of my being as I watch those little, magical flakes dance down. Most yield to the strength and direction of the wind, but occasionally a random flake flits by my window. I can picture it ~ its little crystal arms raised high above its head, eyes shining brightly as a “Wheeeee” springs from its joyful, albeit frozen mouth. It seems to be marching to the beat of its own personal and private drum. This is definitely the snowflake I would choose to be were I a delicate and frozen ice creation. J

The recipe for these oatmeal cookies is over on my Scrumptious Recipes Page
It was a day for baking cookies. Against a backdrop of white I spent part of my afternoon measuring, mixing and tasting. Oatmeal cookies have been on my mind… to be totally honest, I've been craving them! I've worked and reworked this recipe time and time again. I've finally come up with a keeper. I used a little bit of maple syrup in these which I don't often do. I prefer stevia (an herb) for sweetening, it doesn't do that crazy insulin spike thing that overworks your poor pancreas. But oh, how I love the taste of maple. Slowly and steadily I've been adding recipes to my Scrumptious Recipe Page. These oatmeal cookies are already over there as are Vegetarian Beans and Rice, Sunburgers, 2 versions of Sweet Potato Fries, the Fruity Vegan Yogurt and Almond Milk,all added in this week.. So far, my plan is a success.

Scott's birthday lunch ~ Millet Bean Balls, Herbed Roasted Potatoes and Summer Squash. All found on my Recipes Page ~ told you I was doing good, didn't I? ;)
And now a short story, explaining my post title. I will try my best to be brief. ;)  Saturday was Scott’s birthday, he turned 39. Gift giving is always a challenge when it comes to Scott. The things he wants? Well, first, I often have no idea they even exist Secondly, I have no idea where to find them. Thirdly, (is that a word?)… not a lot of fun to wrap a steel plow tip. ;) A couple of days before his birthday though, I came up with a plan. With the girls’ help I was going to pull together a scavenger hunt. Clues that the girls and I wrote would lead  him to small treats that he loves, like dried fruit, nuts and these delicious little rawbars that we all adore. Since we are all Shrek fans the new Puss & Boots movie was also among the loot, as was a remote control mouse to torture the ferrets with. But what should the grand finale be, that last awesome gift? I was still working on that.

Thanks to Jordan she planted a seed. A seed that took root and grew with amazing rapidity. I spent the weekend mulling it over, and by Monday was pretty sure of the outcome. “How about we get Dad… a FERRET of his OWN!” Oh boy, as soon as she said it I knew it was the perfect grand finale gift. He’s forever hogging my Cricket, snuggling and playing… he needed one of his very own… I think. What had I gotten myself into???

My sweet adorable Cricket
I walked into the pet store Monday with several criteria, several ‘ifs’rolling around in my mind.

 1. IF there were either one of the two ferrets that had been cage mates with the three we already have, then we’d have to take him (them?). These poor things had already been languishing in that cage for at least a month, they needed a home of their own. What would I do if both were left though? I had no idea, and I was worried.

2. IF they were still on sale, that would also be an indication. I’m not sure why I made this a criteria, I think I just figured it would be an irrefutable ‘sign’.

3.IF my gut told me so. I would listen to my Spirit voice, it never leads me astray.

In we walked, Jordan and Riley were nervous wrecks, not knowing the outcome… One little dude left… on sale…and a loud YES in my head urging me on. With a smile. J

Fast forward to that evening ~ The hunt was set up and waiting. By some miracle we had managed to keep this new critter a secret all day. He had seamlessly meshed with the other three and was already quite at home. Scott moved from clue to clue, all of us eagerly tagging along at his heels. He collected his goodies, and made his way to the last spot. He absently bent down to scratch Roux. At this point we were all nearly hysterical, because it wasn’t Roux at all, just a deceiving, much larger look-alike. The double take he did when he spotted two ‘Rouxs’ was priceless. Floyd is now a proud member of our ferret family. And then... there were four. J

They like to sleep all piled on top of one another, even though there are two beds in their cage
Their spacious home takes up a good portion of my studio. Ignore the unpainted wall, this corner housed a dog tub until very recently. Waiting for warm weather to open windows and paint.
And so now, the one who swore never to own a ferret… owns four. They are still the most amazing pets. My little dude is the only one having trouble consistently finding the litter box, I think it may have something to do with his horrible eyesight. It’s okay though, he’s the sweetest of the bunch, I’ll cut him some slack. When he lays snoozing in my lap I can happily forgive all wrongs. Taylor is the only one who didn't receive a ferret for her birthday gift this year… she’s thinking about it though. I told her if she does decide on one I’m not bringing her in to buy it. By now they probably think we’re eating them or something… ;)

Before I sign off I’d like to happily announce the winner of my clipboard giveaway ~ Lael Shine from over at  Soular Sister. Congrats Lael! If you could just take a peek back at this post to select your clipboard. Once you've got your selection all made, could you please contact me through my shop, Backyard Dreams, with your mailing info? But don’t despair if that name isn’t yours, I’m about to give another away! I figure they're not doing anyone any good sitting around my basement. Taylor made Scott an awesome riddle card for his birthday and I’m going to share one of those riddles with you now.

It's been around for millions of years, but it's no more than a month old. What is it?

Anyone know the answer? If you do, leave it in a comment below. I  made tons of guesses... but not one was right. ;) My only rule is that the guess must be entirely from your own brainpower (or the brain power of a family member or friend), no looking it up on the internet! Feel free to guess more than once, I’ll choose a winner for those who come up with the correct answer.

Sorry about all of the different font sizes, Blogger decided to play around with me today. Funny, right? ;) Have a magnificent day!

Peace & Blessings ~ Melinda