Relaxed Rat

My friend Tiffani on Rat Chatter, has opened up a new store called the Relaxed Rat! She makes hammocks, cuddle cups, cubes and other quality bedding for rats! I recently ordered a new hammock for Fennel and a cuddle cup for Basil and the girls. I love the fabric!

My Cuddle Cup and Hammock:

Here is Fennel enjoying his new hammock!

And Basil, Pepper & Poppy checking out the cuddle cup!


6 months, Converse & a Tattoo!

Today it's been 6 months since F.B. & I were married. Wow... half a year already. We only got to spend 1 month after the wedding together though... hurry up immigration!

My regular black & white Converse were getting ratty. The rubber was cracking. So I needed a new pair. I've wanted to try the slip on kind. For $12 more you can customize a pair of converse on their website! So check out my custom Converse sneakers! I got 'Love8279' embroidered on them. (I was born in '82. F.B. was born in '79.) I love them!

Tonight I went with my cousin Jessica to The Inkwell Tattoo to get my rat tattoo! It only took a half hour to have it done. And it didn't hurt very much at all. Jess and I pretty much talked the whole time when I was having it done. I did have to stop talking when he was shading it in a few times, it hurt a little then. But really you would think getting a tattoo would hurt much worse and they don't at all! Just feels like little scratches.

Here is my new tattoo. I just LOVE the little toes! My tattoo artist retraced the clip art design for me to make it clearer. It looks so good in person. Now I just have to wait for it to heal and peel... lol. The design always looks 10x's better after it peels. Very happy with how it turned out! (The picture makes it look bigger than it actually is though. It's smaller in person!)


Basil meets the girls!

This past Thursday it has been 4 weeks since Basil was neutered! He is all healed up now. He met with the girls Wednesday night actually on the bed. All was going good, until I noticed Saffy puffing her fur and trying to nip at Basil's face. They got into a squabble and fur was literally flying! They let me separate them and they were both spooked. It seems Saffron is my alpha rat, so she has been the one giving Basil a hard time.

You see, Basil was kept alone at the pet store I got him at in March. (Both he & Sage were kept alone at the store. I don't know why). He had a few weeks of scuffles with his brother Sage after I brought them home but they finally got to live with each other and got along, loved each other. Unfortunately Sage passed away from an unknown cause 1 month later. Basil was neutered because he was too aggressive and was unable to live with his new brothers Barley & Fennel who he tries to attack- even after his neuter. The main reason for neutering was I hoped he could live with my girls instead.

I've been going slow with Basil since Wednesday integrating him with the girls because he hasn't lived with many rats. He doesn't really know how to act around other rats. The few times I've had him in the cage, he either sulked in a corner. Or got very nervous and defensive when one of the girls would groom close to his face.

Poppy has taken a liking to him, I think she thinks Basil is her boyfriend. She has been the one cuddling up to him and grooming him. Every night after work I've been unlocking the ladder in the Ferret Nation cage and letting him play with the girls. So far all has been going well. He would get overwhelmed after awhile, so I've still been locking the ladder at night and letting him sleep alone. He's getting used to being around the girls slowly. And hopefully eventually Saffy & him will get along too. (You can read all about Basil's introductions with the girls here).

Here are some pictures of Basil with the girls:

And a video of him cuddling with Poppy!

Update: 6/20/10: Basil spent the night with the girls in the cage with no fighting! He has definitely settled in now!

Basil with Saffy:


Rat Train! Can you help?

Brittney from Star's Rat Rescue in Winner, South Dakota is organizing a Rat Train for the 150+ rats her rescue recently took in.

The following is from Star's Rat Rescue Facebook page:

Star's Rat Rescue is starting a Rat Train- Please email your information to:

We are in need of the following:

Overnight Stays

If you can do all three that's wonderful, but if you can only do 1 that's wonderful too. Please help a rat find his/her forever home.

Please send the following information to:


Email address:

Location: (City and State)

Please let us know if you can adopt rats, if you can please list how many and the sex.

Please let us know if you can provide transportation, please list what cities/states you are willing to travel to, how many rats you can carry in your vehicle and when you are available for transport.

Please let us know if you can keep some rats for a short period of time, until the next transport is available and how many you can accommodate.

Please send the information to the above email, as we have someone coordinating the rat train for us and they will contact you shortly. Once we have all the information and if we have enough people to help, we will then work with the adopters so they can choose the rat they want. Adopters, we will have pictures for you at that time.

Thank you, Star's Rat Rescue

You can view the Rat Train Map here. We still need East Coast Adopters to close the gap between New York and Philadelphia! I have volunteered to drive 1 to 1 1/2 hours outside of Philadelphia to surrounding suburbs or the same amount of time to New Jersey to transport rats to potential adopters. I'm also hoping to adopt two females myself from Brittney's rescue if we can close some of the gaps between states! Please cross post this if you can!

While the rat train is being organized, Star's Rat Rescue is still in need of donations. They especially need donations of food, bedding, water bottles, igloos, hammocks, etc for the rats. Please click here to donate!

Jen from Jen's Custom Crafts has a program where she helps rescues. She gives you 25% off and free shipping if you order and ship her products directly to the rescue. You have to order through a special page where the items are currently 25% off of her regular store price. Please visit this link! to order some hammocks for Star's Rat Rescue!


Time for a new layout and other news...

I've had the same layout for 2 years, so it was time for a change! I used the picture of our wedding rings for my new banner.

Also, this week our immigration lawyer emailed me. The NVC got our paperwork from USCIS and they emailed our lawyer with our case number and the fees we had to pay. We had to pay a $70 fee for our affidavit of support. And $400 for our immigrant visa fee. The money was deducted from our savings account the other day. Now we are just waiting for the NVC to contact us again. Then we can prepare our financial paperwork and I-864!

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia. 

Next Saturday, I'm also getting a new tattoo. I went out today to a tattoo place my cousin recommended. The artist that did my other 2 tattoos two years ago at another shop doesn't work there anymore. I scheduled an appointment for next Saturday at the new tattoo shop.

There are actually 2 tattoo's I want to get. I want to get the "love" verse on the back of my neck. (The location of the love verse to be exact.) But I'm waiting until F.B. is in the USA before I get it. That's our relationship verse and it was used a lot on our wedding day. I want to get it when our immigration is completed and F.B. is in the USA, because then it's like the final chapter in our long distance love story.

Next Saturday night, I'm getting a simple silhouette of a rat underneath on my right wrist. In a way it represents all of the rats I have owned. And also in China a rat symbolizes good luck.



This past weekend I was contacted on Facebook by an old friend F.B. & I used to know on the forum we met on 6 years ago. We had a misunderstanding (complicated story) with this person and hadn't spoken with them in 5-6 years. Making amends and catching up, it took me back and made me stop and think... I met my husband... online... 6 years ago. Sometimes it's unbelievable to stop and think back to then. The risks we took. How everything has worked out in God's timing in this long distance relationship of ours to bring us to where we are now. It's crazy to look back and think about how we met in person for the first time, or how 6 years later we're now married and working on immigration. That hopefully later this year we'll be together for good in the same place and not living in two different country's 12 hours apart. We've come a long way. ♥♥♥

If you don't know our story you can start here at 'The Beginning' Start at the bottom and work your way up. Click 'newer posts' to go to the next page. There are 2 pages.

Or you can also view our relationship 'Time Line'


Out of 14, 1 finally likes the hammock!

I have now owned 14 rats. (5 have passed.) And out of all of them; none of my rats ever liked hammocks! If you put them in a hammock they would get out. Or they would just hang empty in the cage gathering dust. Well... finally, finally I have a rat that uses a hammock and likes it! Loves it in fact! Check out my Fennel boy!

Also please drop by Star's Rat Rescue. My friend Brittney is still in need of fosters, adopter's and donations for the 150+ rats her rescue has taken in!


Now we're getting somewhere!

I got back our approval notice from USCIS today! They have forwarded our I-130 paperwork to the National Visa Center!

Here is our check sheet for our immigration process. The strike through's are completed steps.

1. USCIS will send our lawyer a receipt notice sometime in the next few weeks confirming they received our I-130.

2. In approximately 3-5 months the USCIS will make a decision on the I-130 and will forward our file to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire.

3. The NVC will then send a packet with instructions to complete our I-864. (There will be a fee.)

4. Once the packet is returned to the NVC, they will review everything and within 45-90 days they will forward the packet to the U.S. consulate in Manila.

5. The Consulate will send a packet with instructions for F.B. to complete a medical examination & obtain a police clearance certificate prior to scheduling his visa interview.

I emailed our immigration lawyer today to ask what other paperwork I need to get together. (USCIS sent our lawyer a receipt notice as well.) Let's hope things keep moving along. *Fingers Crossed*

Other blog entries about our immigration process:

The Waiting Game...

Moving Along In Our Immigration Process

1st Meeting : Immigration Lawyer

NOTE: Our lawyers Peter J. Gonzales & Shanna Stanton have changed firms. They are no longer with Kahiga Tiagha. They are now with Green and Spiegel LLC, but still located in Philadelphia.

Giveaway Winner!

Four of you entered and three of you got all the questions correct except one! I had to use a random number generator to determine the winner!And the winner is.... Jacki from Keeping up with me!

Congratulations Jacki! Please email me your address to: tunaymahal8279ATyahooDOTcom so I can ship your prizes to you!

Here are the answers to the quiz and where they could be found on my blog:

1. Where did F.B. & I meet online? Lindsay Lohan Forum

2. What does F.B. stand for? His father’s initials: Felicisimo Bernardo

3. How many years have F.B. & I been in a long distance relationship? 6 years

4. How many trips to the Philippines have I taken? Four

5. The first thing I said to F.B. in person was? “You’re not so short”

6. My favorite drink at Starbucks is? White Chocolate Mocha.

7. F.B.’s favorite thing to eat is? Ruffles Chips

8. Date we were engaged? 01-10-2007

9. Our legal date of marriage is? 12-18-09

10. F & I like to watch this cartoon? Spongebob Squarepants

11. How many tattoo’s do I have? Two

12. I am obsessed with this theme- when it comes to books? Tudor Dynasty

13. How many rats have I owned altogether? 14

14. What does ‘Tunay Na Mahal’ in Tagalog mean? “True Love”

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