Happy December everyone!
For the month of November four (4) chinchillas were surrendered and four (4) chinchillas were adopted, including the poster boys from our Pumpkin Spice Chinchillas picture. We currently have about 16 chinchillas waiting for their furever home. We’ve practically given up on trying to keep the website current with regards to the specific chinchillas available. The numbers change so often! Plus, we really hate the thought of those who are “color shopping”. We prefer instead that the chinchilla be a good fit with the family when it comes to personality, temperament and activity level. Onwards!
The year 2018 has been a year of many changes. We moved to our new home. The chinchillas and webstore related “werk” got an upgrade with a building all its own. We’ve had a major mind shift from working out of the dining room to actually going to a separate, no kidding, office. (Even though the commute is only about 550 feet.) Keeping office hours seems to have made a big difference in productivity.
Another change we’ve seen this year has been the sad goodbyes of the two special education teachers with whom we have worked so closely. We have spent nearly a decade as Partners in Education with the local high school where the students help us craft our chew toys, cage accessories and other supplies. This year not one, but both head instructors have retired and passed their classes on to the next generation of educators. We’re still working out kinks with scheduling, but hope to be back in full swing with our student helpers soon! In the meantime Whimsy’s clan has been busy building the necessary parts and pieces to make our goodies. Ziggy, Whimsy’s son with autism, is happy to take up the slack where our student helpers would normally fill the store. He even has his very own office and assembly room!
Changes are in progress to grow and expand our orchard. We’ve been slowly claiming some of our new land to make room for our apple, pear, mulberry and pecan trees. There is a natural watershed between the house and office that slopes on three sides. The hilled terrain would be perfect for growing our delicious heirloom apples and pears. Whimsy’s oldest daughter jokingly named our proposed plot, “The Fruit Bowl.”
As we work to thin that area it is providing us with plenty of firewood with which to heat the rescue building. We’re still struggling with the HVAC system and spent nearly $1000 over the summer just to get the air conditioning working for the chinchillas. Once again the system has failed us and we’ve come to grips with the fact that we should stop paying outrageous prices for temporary patches. The system is original to the building and is 18 years old. There is a woodstove in the workshop that pumps out enough heat to keep the building a cozy 54-65 degrees. The chins are loving it! Having the woodstove will give us several months to save up for a new heat/air system before we need it again for cooling.
So as I look out my office window and admire the 12+ inches of snow, I think back over the year and consider how far we’ve come. November 1st marked the 10 year anniversary of Whimsy’s Menagerie. It’s been an unexpectedly amazing life path that no one could have possibly predicted. Operating a home based rescue has been a wild ride, not to mention an odd lifestyle. Many times it has been a rapidly shifting existence full of frustration and grief, success and joy. Even still, I have no regrets. So, many thanks to you, my chinchilla friends, for your support and good favor. My prayer is that I may be good enough to earn and keep it. Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and have a blessed and happy New Year.