Posted in Family, Home

Bathing Ferrets, Idaho Wildlife, & Pumpkin Pie

A Princess Robe with Ferret Accents: Elena Grace, just out of the tub & wearing my robe

I used to think that my sister and I had the best-ever outlet for playing with our bath toys. We grew up in an Idaho farm-town that practiced irrigation-watering for the lawns in town, so our front yard was flooded in several inches of water for a couple evenings every week.

I still have memories (and I’m sure my mom has photos) of the two of us prancing around the flooded grass just before bedtime, lifting the hems of our nightgowns above the water and pushing around all the toy boats that usually lived in the bathroom-drawer by the tub. Those were some great summer evenings.

I think, though, that my son has us beat when it comes to bath toys, thanks to the discovery that ferrets (not unlike kids!) require bathing. On his last weekend with us, he wore his swim trunks in the tub so I could give him another scalp scrub, and then I brought out Niele the ferret for her first shampoo in our household.

best bath toy ever: a FERRET

I confess I braced myself for a ruckus (imagining what would happen, for example, if we tried to bathe our CAT), but evidently ferrets don’t have an aversion to water. At least this one doesn’t!

Christian and Niele happily played in the tub for a good half-hour before I scooped her out to dry her off. I had the bright idea of using the “low” setting on my hairdryer so she wouldn’t get chilled, so I can report that this ferret DOES have an aversion to the hair dryer. Lesson learned—I did the best I could with our newly-designated “ferret towel”…

On the topic of “wildlife sightings” (moving now to wildlife living OUTside our home), our country neighborhood been visited in the last couple weeks by:

  • Christian wearing a (clean!) fur hat

    A skunk, which waddled right up on the porch with me one afternoon while I was reading…

  • A flock of wild turkeys. which had us thinking about the bow-hunting classes in which Christian has expressed an interest, and in which I’d like to join him…  He took a “Hunter Education” class this fall–and has the card (and the shot-up target!) to prove it. Keoni paid him the compliment of remarking that he “shoots like his mom.” Maybe next Thanksgiving we’ll snag our own turkey for the table… We wake every morning to the sound of shots from nearby duck-hunters (there’s a duck-blind in the cow pasture right across the country-road from our place), so turkey-hunting doesn’t seem too fantastic.
  • A raccoon, which (after checking online to see how raccoons and chickens get along) had me checking the chicken-house at obsessive intervals for an entire night. Our “girls” have been providing us with four or five eggs every day, and our Thanksgiving table included both Yorkshire Pudding and Pumpkin Pie made with our own big, brown eggs.
  • a day’s eggs from our chickens… (bowl made by Elena Grace from salt dough)

    A red fox (ditto the above reaction regarding the chicken-house)

  • Barn owls (not unusual at all here, but meriting a place in the list purely because of my affinity for my “totem”)
  • A beaver, hanging out in the lake at the State Park right by our home, and…
  • A mountain lion, which we are happy not to have encountered for ourselves! It has been hanging around the river for a number of weeks, and sighted in numerous locations nearby, but hasn’t made a house-call.  As much as I enjoy living out of town and encountering some of Idaho’s wildlife up close and personal, I’m happy to take a pass on this one.

I do love Idaho. AND I’m still enjoying Keoni’s pumpkin pie, so I’ll leave you with his new recipe (adjusted for the “regular” ingredients we didn’t have on hand, and for how he “tastes things in his head”—the mark of a Born Cook)…

  • Keoni’s pumpkin pie

    1~1/2 cups sugar

  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 3 tsp Chinese five-spice (that’s one of his “tasted-it-in-my-head” additions)
  • 5 large eggs (from OUR chickens, of course!)
  • 1~3/4 pounds (equivalent to one large can) pureed baked pumpkin (from our neighbor’s garden!)
  • 2 cans coconut milk (most recipes call for evaporated milk; we didn’t have any on hand, but—because of our habits of Hawai’ian cooking—we did have coconut milk)
  • 2 pie crusts (of course, he makes his own from scratch)

Beat the eggs, mix in the dry ingredients and pumpkin, slowly stir in the milk, and pour the mixture into the pie crusts. Bake for the first fifteen minutes at 425, then another forty-five minutes at 350.  He sprinkled the top with shredded coconut and a dollop of sour cream (I’ve always used whipped cream, but my hubby’s taste-it-in-his-head instinct never ceases to surprise me—pleasantly!) Speaking as a pumpkin pie aficionado (aficionada?), this is the BEST I’ve ever enjoyed!


I am... a writer, an explorer, a coffee-drinker, a recovering addict, a barefoot linguist, a book-dragon ("bookworm" doesn't cover it), a raconteur, a sailboat skipper, a research diver, a tattooed scholar, a pirate, a poet, a spiritual adventurer, a photographer, a few kinds-of-crazy, a joyful wife, a mom... a list-maker! :)

40 thoughts on “Bathing Ferrets, Idaho Wildlife, & Pumpkin Pie

    1. There probably aren’t idyllic odes to bathing ferrets, but you’re right, both the kid and the ferret seemed to enjoy themselves. ;)


  1. Mmmmmm… pie :-).

    After seeing the Beastmaster as a teen, I decided I wanted a ferret. So cute and full of mischief. I never did get one. I had babies instead haha. They have provided more than enough mischief for me over the past 20 years!


    1. One might think that seven kids (and three grandkids) would have sufficiently filled our mischief-quotient… But evidently not—here we are with the ferret! ;)


    1. Funny, I worried about the raccoon and the fox for the chickens, but when the skunk showed up I was only thinking of the havoc it might wreak on ME! ;) Noted, though!


    1. I’m grinning–“who’d’a thunk” is a favorite saying of my mom’s. :) And I trot it out regularly when Keoni is cooking! :)


  2. The ferret in the tub is so cute and the kids look like they’re having so much fun.
    Your chicken project looks to be a huge success. I love farm-fresh eggs.


    1. Yes—between the fact that the chickens take care of our kitchen-scraps and provide us with great protein every day, the “girls” have definitely been a successful addition! Here’s to kids and their great ideas. :)


  3. Hi Kana,
    Thanks for passing by and subscribing.
    That pie looks delicious…with me it’s usually the food first. ;-)
    From the sounds of it, you live in a great area, what a fantastic list of non-human visitors you have…well, all apart from the Skunk.
    I’m a city boy with a country leaning, Lois and I are working on a move to the northern edge of London with plenty of green spaces…Foxes, yes, but no Mountain Lions…Thank God. lol!


    1. Sounds lovely (including the lack of mountain lions!). It’s been a few decades since I visited London, but I do remember a surprising amount of green for a city-setting. Of course, what struck this (9-year-old) American at the time were the painted warnings on the curbs to “Look Right” for traffic (for those of us accustomed to traffic coming on the other side of the street. :) Funny what stands out and stays with you!


  4. In high school, a friend’s brother had a ferret. That ferret loved to crawl in the couch cushions and nibble on us when we sat down. Such an interesting/odd animal! I would have also taken a pass on the mountain lion, too. Finally- that pumpkin pie looks yummy. Never thought of pumpkin pie with coconut milk or topped with sour cream.


  5. Hi, Kana! Your posts, and your family, are both so charming. I’m always happy to see your name in my inbox! I hope all is well, and that the whole family is happy and healthy. Love —


    1. I took a page from your book last week and wrote out a Gratitude List—and this happy, healthy family is at the TOP! :) Closely followed by friends, both far and near… Hugs! :)


  6. I’d never have thought of using coconut milk! I’ll have to try that soon. I like to go non-dairy as much as possible, but haven’t found a good substitute yet for the evaporated milk.
    Ferrets are a ton of fun, my parents owned some for a while and we all had fun with them. They love being drug on and bounced on towels btw. Also love tunnels, bags, boxes and any other places they can hide and rustle in the dark. Do hope you’ve got to experience the excited ferret dance too ; )


    1. LOVE the excited-ferret-dance, yes! :) And yes, we’ve noted her affinity for burrowing and tunneling. One of her favorite hide-outs is the floor of our little bathroom-closet (she slips underneath the door), and I just found a “stash” of odds and ends she had apparently been stowing away in there—a doll shoe, a segment of a foam airport-runway, the foam pirate-sword she drags around the house, some empty toilet-paper tubes…Crazy little critter! She definitely keeps us in giggles. :)


  7. “Aficionada” is correct, for I do believe you are a female, and in Spanish that fact is relevant. :)

    I love the idea of using coconut milk in the pumpkin pie…sounds tasty! I, too, always have some on hand, though I am not Hawaiian. P.s. I am quite jealous of your fresh eggs!


  8. Mmmmm your pumpkin pie sounds delish… Not sure about all the Eggs, I have an allergy to them, but can tolerate small amounts so may be okay.
    Will give it a go. I will let you know if I survive :)



    1. I’m curious—are there any egg substitutes that don’t trigger an allergic reaction? I’ve used substitutes for baking before, but I don’t know if any of them are hypoallergenic…


      1. I’m not sure. it is only the white part and I can eat the yolk. I can’t have flue shots and such due to the egg white they use. I can eat a cake or similar. it seems to only be if I eat it concentrated. like an egg on its own or a Pav or even a quiche. makes me terrible sick.
        So I just don’t bother to eat eggs or push the boundaries to far. All good :).


        1. Ah, Keoni sees a challenge! ;) He’s contemplating the possibilities of substituting tapioca as a replacement for the egg in this recipe… We’ll let you know how that goes!


  9. You know, at first I was only perusing along and viewing your photos. But I had to read this post to find out if those were, in fact, weasel eggs.
    I then learned that that was not a weasel, and those were not ferret eggs.



  10. I nearly ended up owning a ferret. It was way up on my list of pets I’d like, then I saw a certain beagle, and it was love at first sight. She was so adorable, and bouncy, and even more of a clutz than I am. So no ferret.

    Bow hunting sounds like a hoot. I’m an archer myself, I have a sweet lil recurve take-down that shoots like a dream, no broadheads though, they’re not legal in Ireland.


  11. Coconut pumpkin pie sounds amazing!
    I live in the city but I would love to have a few chickens! I grew up on a hobby farm and at one point I had fancy chickens that laid mint-green eggs.


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