Daisy: 11/2010 - 11/2012

We lost Daisy, Wednesday evening the day before Thanksgiving. Daisy was 2 years old. She never had any real health problems, never had a trip to the Vet. She was getting older and more frail. She started getting bald patches in her fuzzy rex fur. (Turns out that is normal for older Rex rats). Wednesday evening when we came home, Daisy was very lethargic. I knew she wasn't feeling well and could tell it might be her time... I put her on the fuzzy purple fleece blanket, I keep just for the rats. Daisy passed away a few minutes later while I was holding her...

I brought Daisy home in November 2010. Daisy was a spaz when she was younger. Her nickname was 'Sheepie' because she was so fuzzy. She was hyper, she would hoard and hide all the treats or food she could find. She was 1st of my many rats to ever use a wheel. She loved running on that wheel. Daisy was the last of the pet rats I owned before my husband came to the USA in March 2011. (We are down to 3 boys and 6 girls). Daisy was also the last blue rat I've owned and the only Rex I've ever owned. She had Berkshire markings.

And here's a video of Daisy running on her wheel:


My Kindle Fire HD 8.9 arrived a week early! Yay!

What a surprise I got on Friday morning. An email from Amazon saying my Kindle Fire HD 8.9" (16GB) was shipping that morning! (It was supposed to ship November 21st). Being the techy geek girl I am, I picked one day shipping when I pre-ordered so later that afternoon it was delivered! Whoo hoo!

Being even geekier, I made my husband bring it in the car when he picked me up from the train station after work; (we stopped by my parents house to give my 18 year old brother his belated birthday gift). I just couldn't wait until I got home to open the box and check out my new Kindle! And... wow! Compared to the original Kindle Fire 7", the 8.9" is huge! Even though it weighs just a few ounces more than the original, it somehow feels lighter in my hands. It's also much thinner.

(Click on pictures to enlarge for better quality).

 Size comparison: The original Kindle Fire 7" next to the Kindle Fire HD 8.9"

 This is a bit hard to see, but the new Kindle Fire HD is MUCH slimmer

The new home screen- (with Amazon home screen recommendations turned off)

The new HD screen is so much more vibrant in color than the original Kindle Fire. The speakers are also better placed. And... there's now actual volume buttons on the side!

 Larger & easier to use keyboard

 Favorite's Toolbar

I have used my original Kindle Fire EVERY single day since I got it. I just stopped using it on Friday when the new one arrived. So let's talk pro's & con's between the two.

  • Bigger Screen
  • Vibrant HD Display
  • Slimmer design & more comfortable to hold.
  • TV & Movie's sound amazing with the dolby audio.
  • The keyboard is bigger and more comfortable to use. And now it even underlines your miss spelled words in red so you can correct them! 
  • Amazon Silk browser is faster & more compatible with different websites. On the older model some websites wouldn't cooperate and let me scroll so I would have to use Opera Mini browser to get around that.
  • Volume controls on the outside now!
  • Speakers are spaced out better
  • Finally a webcam & mic to Skype or take pictures and videos! (and this program I bought gives you even more options for the camera/video).
  • No more flash. Which means I can't view videos on 6abc or CNN, etc. Because Adobe is no longer making it for Android or mobile devices. Which means on older websites that still use flash instead of HTML5 you cannot view videos. (Original Kindle Fire had flash installed).
  • Certain games that you may have purchased for the original are not compatible yet with the Kindle Fire HD 8.9". (Sims Free Play is now compatible!)
  • Silk Browser seems to crash more often if you have 'Accelerate Pages' box checked in browser options. (Maybe an update will address this) (Update has addressed this!)
  • TV & Movies sound amazing with the dolby audio, but I found playing music through the speakers didn't have the same quality. And there's no equalizer in the newer model.
  • Lot's of Ad's. Supposedly you can pay $15 to disable all the ad's permanently. But, I did find in settings/applications you can turn off some of the recommendations. The only thing you can't disable is the ad's that show up on the screen when it's locked. Like I said though, you can pay a fee to disable them. It doesn't bother me too much yet though. 
These are the kinds of ad's you'll see when the screen is locked. They can be disabled for a fee. The recommendations you can hide in your settings.  
Another con for some people is the fact that the Amazon App Store doesn't have as vast a selection as the Google Play Store. That doesn't bother me too much either because they have most of the app's I use. (Facebook, Twitter, Pandora, Netflix, Pinterest, Ebay, etc).

But, I did discover a way to get around this. I stumbled upon a mobile site called: 1Mobile.com. You can download so many more free Android app's & games for your Kindle Fire. To install the 1Mobile App to access the store on your Kindle, you have to go to settings/device and select on for 'Allow installation of applications from unknown sources'.

Of course, there is always a chance an app may not work or be compatible. Most of the programs I've downloaded so far have worked though. (I downloaded Instagram! The Amazon App Store doesn't even have that yet! And it works just fine on my new Kindle).

Apps I've downloaded from the 1Mobile.com Market that work on my Kindle Fire HD:

I'm still getting used to things that differ from the original, but all in all so far, I'm pretty pleased with my new Kindle Fire HD.

And, because that shiny new Kindle Fire HD is now on my Amazon credit card. I am selling my original Kindle Fire 7" 8GB on eBay. It comes with the original box, original charger, 2 screen protectors, a stylus & a cute vintage sleeve case. It is in pristine condition with no scratches on the screen. (Reserve is $120).
(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend Amazon.com for their low prices. That or Ebay!

Book's I've been reading.

I've taken some books out from our e-library and I've also bought a few for my Kindle Fire. (Eek! I get my Kindle Fire HD 8.9 on Nov 21st, I can't wait! So excited!) I love to read. I read on the train home from work and I also love reading at night before I fall asleep, I've done that since I was a child. My favorite genres are mostly: History, Historical Fiction, Fiction or Biography.

Here's what I've been reading lately:

1. Rena's Promise: Two Sisters in Auschwitz

I LOVED LOVED LOVED this! I've always had an obsession with Holocaust history. Of course Anne Frank started my obsession, but I've wanted to dig deeper, and this book is beyond fascinating, real, in depth & raw. I've read this 3x's already. (Rena Kornreich Gelissen).

2. Sarah's Key

I liked this, but I didn't love it. It's a bittersweet story, told from two different time periods. But I wish it was more in depth and you got to know the characters better. This fictional book takes place during World War II

3. Surviving the Angel of Death: The True Story of a Mengele Twin in Auschwitz

Can you see a theme with the books I've been reading lately? I actually watched a documentary on Netflix, that the author of this book; Eva Mozes Kor did. (It's called Forgiving Dr. Mengele). It was really good. This book is written more for young adults so it doesn't delve as deep in depth as I wanted it too, but it's still a fascinating read.

4. The Archivist : A Novel

This book also takes place partly after World War II and then again in the present. It's told from the point of view of a man in his 60's who is an archivist at the university library he works at. He is in charge of rare unreleased T.S. Eliot letters (the poet), that a curious college student in her early 30's wants to see & she reminds, Matt of his wife that committed suicide years & years earlier. The letter's aren't to be released yet though. There's a lot of flash backs in this book. But it's written so well... and now I'm contemplating buying a copy of this for myself. (Took it out from the e-library). It's really intriguing.

5. Anne Frank's Family: The Extraordinary Story of Where She Came From, Based on More Than 6,000 Newly Discovered Letters, Documents, and Photos 


I can't remember if I shared this one in a prior post, but it's another book I purchased recently. If you are interested in Anne Frank's family history this is definitely a good read. It tells a lot of the background story of her relatives.

(I do use Amazon Associates, but not because I've made any money- because I haven't! lol! But I like that I can show a picture/link with a product when I'm blogging. Plus I do recommend Amazon.com for their low prices. That or Ebay!

Krazy Candle Fundraiser for November!!!

*Krazy Candle is no longer open* 

I've blogged a few times about Krazy Candle before and I've also held a giveaway. Krazy Candle makes all natural soy tarts and they sell warmers for their tarts. They also make all natural soy candles, in many different scents. I've ordered about 4'xs from Krazy Candle and  I've tried many of their scents. (My Favorites: Pumpkin Crunch, Birthday Cake, Lilac Mist, Lavender, Summer Breeze, Apples & Maple Bourbon, Hot Cocoa).

One of my very favorite things about Krazy Candle, is even though they sell bigger 2oz tarts, packs of tarts, mixed box samplers; They also offer single .99 cent tarts of ANY scent. This is great way to sample a lot of their different scents, so later you can buy larger packs of your favorites. This is definitely one thing that keeps me coming back for future purchases.

Krazy Candle is holding a fundraiser this month. Every purchase made on Krazy Candle during November, they will donate 15% of each sale to Star's Rat Rescue in South Dakota. I've blogged many many times about SRR. I've adopted 9 rats from SRR over the years. Currently, I have 3 rats from Star's Rat Rescue; (Aspen, Cherry & Belle). 

Christmas is coming and I know people are starting to shop for gifts, so please consider trying out Krazy Candle and making a purchase that will benefit Star's Rat Rescue. There are so many pet rats in need of a forever home. If you've read my blog, you know I've owned pet rats since 2007. (And if you want to know Why Rats?! Click here!). This is also a great time to support an American Small Business!

Krazy Candle will be donating 15% of all sales to Star's Rat Rescue during November 2012! 

ALL ORDERS will need to enter "SRR" in the comments section at checkout for 15% to go to SRR!

Krazy Candle Photo: Hot Cocoa Cups
Krazy Candle Photo: All Natural Soy Cupcake Candles
My Photo: 2oz tart of Pumpkin Crunch
My Photo: 2oz tart of Birthday Cake
My Photo: Hot Cocoa Cups
Other Places you can find Krazy Candle & Star's Rat Rescue:
Star's Rat Rescue is now a registered 501c3 non profit organization. All donations made through Star's Rat Rescue are tax deductible. 
Disclaimer: I was not paid for this blog. This is my heartfelt opinion, after being a customer of Krazy Candle, and adopting 9 rats from Star's Rat Rescue over the years. All links either link to older blog entries or websites/products mentioned in the above blog.


Hurricane Sandy in Philadelphia.

Hurricane Sandy is wreaking havoc all up up the Northeastern United States. It's much worse in coastal areas, but Philadelphia has been affected as well.

Picture from NASA
Sunday afternoon after reading reports online my husband & I thought it might be a good idea to pick some candles up and another larger flashlight (we only have mini travel ones), so we went out in the afternoon on Sunday. I was thinking... okay maybe there will only be really expensive flashlights left. What we saw stunned us...

This was Target. There were NO flashlights left except that tiny travel one hanging there. In fact we went to Home Depot and 4 other stores and there were NO flashlights. We ended up stopping at my Dad's to borrow a larger flashlight. Only thing with that was... we couldn't find extra D batteries at the stores ANYWHERE. Most of the stores only had Double AA batteries left. So we've got some candles, and 2 mini flashlights and a larger flashlight and praying the power doesn't go out.

My job was closed Monday and it's now also officially closed for Tuesday. (I will still get paid). It's insane, because I work for the Government and they never like to shut down, so to be closed for two days in a row is just crazy. Philadelphia closed schools, city offices, they have shut down ALL public transportation. The airport is shut down and even some of the highways & bridges have been shut down. Stores and businesses are closed.

At this point (Almost 10pm here), the rain & flooding are not especially bad in Philadelphia. What's worse is the wind. We have 44+ MPH winds in Philadelphia right now. They are quite scary. Rattling the windows, etc. Our gutter line & drainage pipe completely ripped off and was laying on the lawn in front of our apartment building. Unfortunately a piece of the gutter is still hanging in front of our bedroom window and keeps banging & scraping against the window, it's quite scary. The worst of this hurricane will be through tonight and into tomorrow.

Prayers & Thoughts for everyone that has been affected by Hurricane Sandy.
Tuesday Afternoon: Piece of the gutter that ripped off our apartment building last night during the storm. There's 3 pieces laying down on the lawn and a mini piece still dangling near our living room window.

EDITED TO ADD 11/4/12: So many people have been affected by Sandy. A lot of people have lost everything. Some still don't have power, shelter, etc. Please consider making a donation to the American Red Cross to help with disaster relief efforts. 

American Red Cross Donations

Pictures & Video of the Gang!

I haven't posted many recent pictures of my pet rats lately. (I have 10 at the moment. 3 boys and 7 girls.) This is isn't everyone, but I thought I'd upload some random photos and share a few videos I've posted to YouTube. :-p

Daisy & Buttercup
Daisy in her wheel
Pumpkin sleeping on her back in our bed.
Teddy bear having a treat.


More Nail Mail!

Here are some of the newest nail colors I've gotten this month...yes I have a polish addiction ;-)
(Click on each photo to enlarge)
My very first Zoya nail polishes! I loved these two colors of the most out of the new Holiday 2012 collection. They have holographic sparkles in them and are gorgeous in person! I found them on eBay through this seller. (Who even sent a cute gold nail file along as a free gift).
Aurora (3 coats).

Another of Aurora (4 coats)

 Storm (3 coats)

The coveted Two Fingered Salute color from Butter London. It's a Nordstrom's exclusive color. It was on back order for awhile, but finally arrived! I love it! It has a matte finish. It's really unique, kind of a faded sage green with copper shimmer in it. It reminds me of stone or marble.

Pudding Lane from Nails Inc London. I found this on eBay too. It's actually more aqua in person. It's got bits of purple and gold glitter. And the aqua blue color is creamy like icing. It's pretty in person, but a pain in the ass to take off, lol!

Speaking of which, if you're on Pinterest maybe you've seen this pin going around. I've also seen people blog about this method for removing glitter polish. So today I tried it out for myself. You take cotton balls soak them in nail polish remover then place the cotton ball over each nail and wrap with foil. (I used cheap foil from Dollar Tree because it's not as sharp and tears easily.) 

Obviously you have to do one hand at a time, lol. I waited about 15 minutes per hand. When you remove them, you twist and rub the foil with the cotton ball and it removes the glitter polish like nothing. I was pretty impressed. I will definitely be doing it again when I have to remove stubborn polish!

P.S. And just to show you what it's like to try & take nail swatch photographs when you have pet rats, lol. Pumpkin got her nose in the picture:

LOL! And yes, I'm wearing 2 kinds of polish in that photo. Sometimes I get so excited when I get a new color & don't feel like changing colors right away on all my nails, I'll only test the new color on 1 or 2 nails to photograph it.

*No top or base coats were used in the photos above.
Edited To Add: 11/4/2012
 Zoya Blaze

*All polish was purchased by myself. 

  photo sarahlynn_zpse7845bbe.jpg

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