Oh no...

Sometimes I let my ratties wander on my bed when I'm reading. The only one that truly ever behaves herself and doesn't even go potty is Spice. She will just cuddle up somewhere and fall asleep. Well Sunday I had her on the bed. The way my room is set up she could run from my bed onto my desk. Later after I put her away and went downstairs my Mom said the Internet was out. I go back upstairs. The wireless router had been knocked down. It usually sits on top of my desktop monitor. That's when I noticed... the power plug had been chewed off at the base and was in half.. the DSL cable had also been chewed in two places and the speaker wire for my desktop was also completely.... in half! OMG! I swear... sometimes pets are just as bad as children. That's my own fault for not keeping a better eye on her. Oh what a bad little rattie! You really have to keep an eye on all of them, even the "good" ones... tsk tsk. I've learned my lesson.

I think Spice was jealous of my staring the laptop all day and decided to "disconnect" us from the Internet. Either that or she was sick of hearing me talking about how I wanted a new router- and decided to fix that!

We didn't have Internet all Sunday. And 5 other people use the DSL in this house. My Dad tried to splice the wire back together but it didn't work. I ordered a new router from Circuit City last night and picked it up at the store today. Installed it and everything is back to normal now... and no more ratties on my desk!!!

In other news I have overtime this week. I'll be going in an hour early and I may be working for a little while on Saturday. Taking my Dad & Mom out on Saturday for an early Father's Day Dinner.

Dissecting my laptop...

I got my Dell E1505 laptop about 2 years ago and after awhile the plastic started to separate on right side where the screen opens, leaving a huge crack. Then last weekend, I was on the sofa downstairs on the laptop and Cinnamon started fighting with Spice so I went to reach for her to separate them and.... my laptop fell on the floor. Bad ratties! Ever since then the problem has been getting and now it's getting difficult to open & close the laptop. It's starting to press on the LCD screen when I close the lid sometimes- which is not good at all... if I damage that- I might as well buy a new one!

So I had to order a new front & back casing from: http://www.parts-people.com/

Then I did some research online and found out it's a flaw with model E1505- look at all these people with the same issue: (I posted too.) The picture someone posted is exactly the issue I have, though it's looking even worse now.


It's the hinge. And I when I opened it up the other night both hinges were not aligning properly which is causing the plastic casing to separate and crack. My laptop isn't under warranty anymore so I have install the parts myself.... so I get to dissect my laptop this weekend...

This looks super fun: http://support.dell.com/support/edocs/systems/ins6400/en/sm/display.htm#wp1022272

It just makes no sense for me to buy a a new laptop that will cost several hundred dollars, when I can repair this one for about $50. It's only 2 years old. Plus it's just a nice laptop with a 2.00GHz Intel Core Duo processor, 256MB ATI Radeon video card & 2GB RAM! hehe. I love that Dell's systems are really nice and run well. The only thing is, they make the casing and plastic pretty junky, so things like this happen. I guess that's why they are more affordable than other PC's with the same specs.

I did have to replace my keyboard a year ago because the M button stopped working so I have been inside my laptop before. And I just ordered the 2GB of RAM. It arrived today so I installed that! Yay! Just a little nervous about taking the LCD screen out and disconnecting the wires- so I hope it goes well this weekend! My parts are supposed to arrive Saturday according to the Fed Ex Tracking. Wish me luck!

EDIT 6-7-08: ALL DONE! It only took about an hour! My brother helped me with it. It was actually really simple to take off the old parts & replace with the new parts. And The LCD screen came out easy and went back in very easy. So now my laptop looks brand new again with the new lid on it and the hinges are so smooth when I open & close it. Yay! I'm happy! The laptop turned on just fine. No screen issues!

All Better!

Cinnamon went back for her 2nd check up tonight. And they removed the metal sutures! They also said I could stop the antibiotic. So my girl is all better! She hasn't had any bleeding since she got spayed. And she's getting chunky again. Her surgery area is turning into a scar and she's growing her fur back on her belly already. I undid the latch in the cage that separates the two levels so that she can live with her sisters Sugar & Spice again. I was worried they might fight or have dominance issues, since they were separated for 2 weeks, but they've been quiet all evening. I'm sure all of them are happy to have free range of the entire cage again!

In other news F.B. & I have been communicating better than we have these past few weeks. We still haven't talked seriously about things yet, but we are both doing much better since my venting post. Long distance relationships are so difficult & the distance between us is just crazy! It's so difficult when you're both from different countries. It's just so frustrating & such a struggle sometimes. Talking about or planning our future is also full of complications and struggles. Thank you everyone for your comments, thoughts & advice. I really appreciate it.

I am so frustated!

I'm contemplating canceling my trip to the Philippines for October... I emailed Orbitz to ask them whether my ticket is refundable or non-refundable. Somehow I think it's non-refundable though and there's no way I'm letting $1,100 go down the drain, not to mention the $900.00 I still owe on my credit card...

I'm just so frustrated with our relationship right now. I've been missing our "dates" online each weekend because whenever I get online to talk with him I feel depressed or I feel angry with him. Whenever I bring up the job issue I get, "I'm sorry.", "I hope...", "It would be nice..."

The "Job Issue" has became a huge issue for me. It's been a year since F.B. graduated college. He's been looking for employment but he just hasn't found anything. Sometimes I just don't know if he is putting himself out there as much as he should or trying as hard as he should. We had an argument about this back in January after I got back from the Philippines because when we were together I asked him if he was still job searching and he said, "He put it off because he knew I was coming to visit and he didn't want to be working when I visited."

We disagree sometimes because we have different points of views and experiences. I've gotten up for 6 years and gone to a job I dislike... but I do it because the money there allows me to travel yearly, to save money for my future and it's also worth it because I have 3-4 months off out of the year. (I work for the Dept of the Treasury).

F.B. wants to find the perfect job. And I try to explain to him, the first job he finds might not be his dream job, it might be something he has to do until something better comes along. But it would be a job and it would mean security and income to save together and I know he wants to save for our future together. But it's been a year! And my Fiance is going to be 29 years old this October and he still has not found a job! I still live with my parents too, but I support myself. I also pay a lot of bills for my parents- towards my rent. And they know I am saving money to move out & get married.

It's just gotten to the point where I am so frustrated and angry with him. I'm tired of giving people an honest answer when they ask, "Has your fiance gotten a job yet?" I want to lie to them just to stop them from answering, "He STILL hasn't found a job!?" I'm tired of being embarrassed about it. I'm tired of laughing bitterly about it or making stupid jokes.

Sometimes I feel like I'm wasting my life. I could have gone to a tech school in these 4 years. I actually was enrolled in a tech school almost 4 years ago but the school canceled my classes and I haven't tried again. I put the tech school idea off because I didn't want to be tied to loans in the USA if I was going to move to the Philippines. I didn't want to tie up my money or have major debt when we are saving to be married.

To be honest. I don't really want to move to the Philippines anymore. To do so would mean giving up driving, (I am NEVER driving over there!), my credit cards, financial security, employment opportunities. Somehow I understand that he might not be able to just walk in and get a quick job as a cashier or something. They do not have equal opportunity employment in the Philippines. I've looked at the want ad's. They have age requirements & cut-offs for certain jobs. Their requirements for a job are so specific sometimes they ask you to be a certain age, height, weight, sex & religion. At least if I stay in the USA. I have job security. Both my parents have been saying to me lately, "Just get married and bring him to the USA." My Dad said, "There's more job opportunities in the USA." For my Dad to say that... Wow.

F.B. has never been "excited" about the prospect of moving to the USA. He isn't looking to just come to the USA. If he was, he would have married me the first chance I gave him. But he's a good guy and he wants things to be perfect for us when we do get married. He wants to have money and to feel secure. He worries too much about things sometimes. He's always wanted to stay in the Philippines & the plan was always for me to move to the Philippines... but lately my feelings have changed on that.

If it's taking him this long to find a job, it would make more sense for us to get married & work on bringing him to the USA so he could find employment here. Filing the paperwork would take long enough to even get him over here. But even the "marriage thing" is a big argument with us... I am just so frustrated with my relationship right now and need to vent....

EDIT: My ticket is non-refundable, I won't be canceling my trip to the Philippines...

Cinnamon Update!

Cinnamon had her check up at the Vet Thursday night. Her metal sutures won't be removed until next week, they want the surgery site to heal up a little more. They did say everything looks good though! She's also still on her antibiotic until it's all gone. She has another Vet appointment next week on Thursday at 5:45pm. I'm glad they didn't charge me for the check up, we were in & out of there in about 15 minutes! When we got home I noticed it looked like they tightened a few of the wire sutures that were coming undone from her moving around and stuff. She's also starting to grow fur back on her belly! It will be so nice when she gets the sutures removed. She is still separated from her sisters right now, though they have supervised playtime together. The cage I have for my ratties is a Ferret Nation, it has a locking ramp which splits off the two levels if you need to separate them. Cinnamon's been given a bunch of new nicknames since her surgery; Stitch, Metal Belly, Robo-Rat, Franken-Rat. Hehe. I'm so glad she's doing better, she is back to her old self again & no more bleeding!

Relationship Struggles & Home Sickness.

F.B & I have been having relationship issues lately. The long distance thing becomes a struggle sometimes. And we go through these periods after we've been together in person, where it becomes harder to communicate. Lately we've haven't been meeting as often for our "dates" online on the weekends. Partly my fault. Sometimes I'm so exhausted after a full work week and I want to sleep in on the weekend. Or I'm feeling depressed and don't feel like I can communicate through instant messenger. It's been harder to communicate lately, through email & instant messenger. Sometimes I feel like I have nothing to say to him. It's hard when you can't be a part of each other's daily lives... can't experience all the little things together... it's hard when you have to relate your entire day through email... in order to maintain a relationship, instead of just cuddling up at the end of the day... together.

Our relationship feels a bit stagnant right now... and there's still 4 1/2 more months until my trip back to the Philippines, until we get to be together again. There's also issues we are dealing with; the fact F.B. is still struggling to find employment a year after he graduated college. Stress on me with saving up money for our future and just feeling like we are never going to be together for good... where are we going? I've just been having these feelings lately and that always seems to happen after we've been together and then have to go through the long distance "separation" phase again. It's just been tough the past 2 months and we are struggling somewhat to get back on track... because in long distance relationships it's all about staying in touch and having good communication... it's something you have to work at every day.

In other news, this will be the first time I'll be staying in the Philippines 2 months. My past trips, I've only stayed 3 weeks, which was the limit I could stay on my passport. I'm still worried about my passport... I have to contact the Philippine Consulate in August to make sure they are still mailing it out in September and haven't forgotten about it. (Visa Issues)

Whenever I'm in the Philippines for awhile I'll go through a moment of culture shock and homesickness. The first year this happened first when I got my period and discovered there were no tampons! I was also homesick on Christmas Day, when we went to the mall to have lunch. There were just hundreds of people & familes at the mall on Christmas Day & it was just a bit of a culture shock to me because at home the malls are closed on Christmas Day & everyone stays home with their families.

In January I had a homesickness moment too. It was the first time I was away from my new pet ratties and the previous year I had went to the Philippines my Ferret Nippy had been sick with cancer and when I returned home I had been too tired to see her. When I woke up the next morning I went to say hello to her and she had passed away in the night. So it was kind of hard being away from my new pets because I was afraid of the same thing happening...

I also had another culture shock when I hurt my knee and we were looking for an 'Ace' bandage, I had to explain to F.B. what it was; "Those tan stretchy bandages with the metal clips." before he knew what I meant. (I know Ace is a brand in the USA. But pretty much everyone calls those tan bandages an 'Ace' bandage in the USA.) We finally found one in Mercury Drug, but they are called 'Elastic' bandages in the Philippines, haha. I was feeling so homesick that night we went to eat at Friday's because it was somewhere familiar to me except the price of Friday's in the Philippines is just crazy! We experienced this the first time we went to Friday's in the Philippines, haha. Normally F.B. & I can go and eat at a sit down place for around $10 or less between us. But Friday's is so expensive! My salmon plate alone cost $17! We ended up splitting the bill.

So... I wonder what it will be like staying in a foreign country for 2 months. I'm sure I'll have some homesickness & culture shock moments. But at least they'll make interesting blogs!

Home from the Vet!

I dropped Cinnamon off at the vet this morning around 9am. Around 12pm they called and said her spay was over and the doctor didn't find anything abnormal inside- which means he didn't have to run blood tests on her. He thinks the bleeding was somehow related to her going into heat, but bleeding is not normally associated with rats going into heat so something was wrong and that's why she needed to be spayed.

Mom & I picked Cinnamon up around 5:30 from the vet. She looks so well! She's my hyper active baby again! I wasn't expecting that. They made a tiny incision for the spay and had to use metal sutures since rats can try to chew on them. They only shaved her belly a bit. And it doesn't look so bad.

She has an appointment at 6pm next Thursday so they can check the sutures and see if they need to be removed yet or not. They also didn't charge me for antibiotics because she has the full bottle of Cirpro at home still. I'm supposed to give that to her twice daily still. I also have to keep an eye on her and make sure she doesn't chew her sutures. She looks so much happier today and not as lethargic. And no bleeding! It also didn't cost as much as they were estimating since they didn't need to run blood tests or give me more antibiotics. It was $239.00. I was so relieved about that! I know some people wouldn't pay that much for a "rat" but she's my pet and I love her and I didn't want her to suffer.

I held Sugar and Spice up to Cinnamon to say hello when she got home. Sugar just sniffed Cinnamon, but Spice nuzzled Cinnamon's face almost like a kiss. It was so sweet! They were happy to see their sister, they both seemed anxious today. Of course they will be separated for awhile, but I'll let them say hello like that at least once a day.

Here's some pictures taken a few minutes ago, now she's settled down for a nap. You can see her metal sutures... I've nicknamed her "Franken-Rat". heehee.

Here's some pictures from day 2 at home after her spay. No more bleeding! And she is much more active now and doesn't seem to be in any pain. She has an appointment on Thursday for a check up to see if the sutures can be removed yet.

Off to the Vet...

It's been a stressful past few days. My youngest rat Cinnamon was abnormally bleeding from her female area yesterday evening... it really concerned me because female rats do not get periods even when they go into heat. I called the vet yesterday evening and they told me to bring her over. The vet checked her out they were also concerned she was bleeding from that area. They said it could be a urinary tract infection so they put her on the oral anti-biotic: Ciprofloxacin. They said they would see her in 2 weeks, unless the bleeding got worse.

When I woke up in the morning, the bleeding was actually heavier. I really didn't want to leave her, but I had to go to work. I called the vet around 9am this morning. They called me back and told me she would need an emergency spay. She could either have Pyometra (disease of the uterus) or crystals or stones from a urinary tract infection. But if she's bleeding that's a bad sign. So I have to drop her off at the vet tomorrow to get spayed. All together it's going to cost around $300.00. That's quite alot of money. $200.00 for the spay and the rest is for anesthesia & antibiotics, etc. It's major surgery and they have to put her to sleep for it.

My manager at work thought I was crazy when I told her I had get my pet rat spayed. She said, "You really want to spend that much money? It's a rodent." But a pet is a pet to me. Rats are NOT disposable pets! A rat has as much a right to live as a cat or dog, etc. I know some people do not typically think of rats being a type of pet. But rats are incredibly social, lovable and clean animals. And they have a right to be healthy too! It would be cruel to put her to sleep or let her bleed to death! She's only 3 1/2 months old!

Female & Male rats can be spayed & neutered. Usually females are only spayed in worse case scenarios. I have heard females can tend to have issues with their reproductive system or tumors.

I'm really nervous for tomorrow. When I got home from work the blanket she had with her in the cage had large spots of blood on it. The bleeding has been on & off tonight. She's also been kind of lethargic and usually she is my hyperactive baby. She didn't even come when I called her name, usually she jumps up from wherever she is to run over to me as fast as she can. The vet said she did not need to fast before the surgery so I gave her some cooked spinach and scrambled eggs tonight (iron & protein) since she's lost so much blood.

I am waking up at 8am tomorrow and taking Cinnamon over to the vet around 9am. They said they will call when I have to pick her up sometime in the afternoon or evening. I am going to ask them to call me when the surgery is over also. I actually was able to take off work so I'll be available to pick her up at anytime. My manager wasn't mean about letting me take off, she just couldn't understand why I'd spend so much money on a "rodent". A few other people at work thought I was crazy too... but you get those kinds of reactions when you own rats as pets.

I wasn't expecting such a large expense... so I may have to dig a little into my savings to pay for the surgery. And thank god we've been having overtime at work on Saturdays. I'm also doing some eBay sales this week so the money from that will probably go towards the vet bill also. What can I say... pets are like children sometimes.... I need to get some sleep. I'm so glad I have off work for Memorial Day. I'll be off work Monday-Thursday next week. Everyone please keep me & Cinnamon in your prayers & thoughts for tomorrow. I also want to say thank you to my friends at the Rat Chatter Forums. They are the best!

I got it!

My Mom & I had our tattoo appointment on Tuesday at 5pm. My Mom got a heart tattoo, it was her Mother's Day gift. I got the pink stars on my right ankle retouched for free, because the color was a bit uneven the first time. And then I got my name on my left ankle! It looks so pretty, I love it! I sent F.B. pictures and he thought it was pretty too. It turned out really nice! No more tattoo's for me! Haha!

Taking my laptop to the Philippines...

I've decided I'm going to take my laptop to the Philippines with me this year, since I'll be over there 2 months. I've already taken other electronics with me, F.B. has adapter boxes in his house that plug into the outlets there and decrease the voltage for US electronics. So this way I don't blow out my ipod, cell phone, etc when I plug them in to charge. The voltage is higher over there. I think it is 220v. When F.B. was younger his US relatives were visiting and plugged his Super Nintendo directly into the wall- since it was the US version it blew it out, he's still upset about that!

So today I was able to get a cute little carry on suitcase with wheels. This way I can take my laptop on the plane with me and store it in the overhead. And I'm going to put a small bag inside my carry on bag to take out on the plane and store under my seat, with my books, snacks, sleep mask & sleeping pills, pillow, etc. You don't want to be on a 15 hour flight to Hong Kong without those things underneath the seat in front of you! Then I don't have to keep climbing over people (since I'll be a window seat!) to get access to my stuff. Haha.

I took my Mom out for an early Mother's Day today. We went out to lunch at 'Red Lobster' and then to 'Bath & Bodyworks'. My Mom was going to get her tattoo today and I was going to get my stars retouched since they are healed and get my name on my other ankle, but they were booked solid so we made an appointment for Tuesday at 5pm.

F.B. and I are meeting online for a date tomorrow. It's been a few stressful weeks for me at work and we haven't really been emailing or meeting for dates on weekends. This coming Saturday I have to work 10 hours of overtime, so we'll have to meet on Sunday as well. It's going to be a busy week for me...

Photography & Other News.

Happy May! I started a Flickr account just for my "best of the best" photo's. I really love taking nice shots of scenery and animals. Feel free to check out my Flickr account here! There are 3 albums to the right and all the photos are organized in those albums.

I got some really pretty flower pictures again today!

In other news, only 5 more months until I am off to the Philippines! F & I have been talking. Since our birthdays are only about a month apart (Me: September. Him: October.) we decided this year we'll celebrate our birthday's together by going to Saisaki Buffet with his family and exchanging gifts. Yay!

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