Tuesday, August 24, 2010

The "Real" World

Two days of work are successfully complete without any major mishaps. Work (on Mondays and Tuesdays) goes something like this:  we have approximately 3,000 mice and their cages have to be changed weekly.  We split the changing of the cages up into two days.  (It takes forever.)  Think of the cages like plastic shoe boxes; that's about the right size.  The cages are on metal rolling shelves that have 5 shelves per unit. It's a huge ordeal to change the cages because all of these mice are recessive naked mice that have been injected with a cancerous tumor.  Thus, they have very little to no immune system and we have to sterilize the room before we can begin. We then scrub up completely...it looks like we are going into surgery before we start.

First, we take the tape off of the cages--around the junction where the top and bottom part of the cage meet we have to tape and seal it to further protect against bacteria and pathogens that could be deadly to the mice (remember these little guys are worth $500 a piece!)   Taking off the tape takes about an hour with 6 of us working.  We then move on to moving the mice--which includes new food, new water that we have to infuse with vitamins, and new "bedding" of sorts.  We work in 3 teams of two, and this takes about 5 hours.  After we are done moving the mice, we have to re-tape the new cages.  This is another 2 hours.

The whole process is around 7 hours, and then we take lunch and go home!  It's a crazy couple of days and we are running around the whole time, but it goes so fast and I love it.

The rest of the work week will hold more experiments...will let you know how that goes.

The apartment is still wonderful. Working on unpacking more boxes daily--maybe will get to pictures tonight.  Don't want to rush the reveal though, and do it before the place is ready.  Laundry party tonight--the beautiful, brand new washer and dryer do a fabulous job, and they are sparkling white!  The new carpet is also wonderfully stain-free...and will hopefully stay that way.  The people who were here before us either had an animal that was not taken care of properly or were living as animals themselves.  Needless to say, it was not pretty.  But now it's beautiful!  It is starting to feel like home.

Samuel is continuing on the job hunt.  He is working so hard at it and I am very proud of him.  I know whoever hires him will find him as much as a jewel as I do!  He has not moved in with his aunt Kima yet (who lives in the Woodlands), but I will be excited for that day so that he can be closer!

After my exhausting but wonderful first day of work, I did manage to order the wedding invitations!  They are beautiful and I can't wait to see them in person. We are less than four months from the big day....I somehow feel behind on planning, even though most things are taken care of.  The big stuff (vendors, etc) is all done..but it's time to work on smaller details.

That's all for now...it's time to make use of the new washer and dryer.  Will try to get pictures up later.
the to be Battershells


  1. I'm not gonna lie I love the detail you went into in explaining the cleaning of the cages and I think it sounds VERY interesting. I guess I never heard what all you were doing down there. Is it mostly just research? I'm very excited for you and I know that wedding planning gets overwhelming and I know that you will be amazing and everything will be perfect :)

  2. No wonder you're so exhausted at the end of the day - 3,000 mice to tend with compromised health systems! And I thought taking care of the dog and cat was a full-time job - nothing like a little perspective adjustment!

    Can hardly wait for photos of the new digs. And you have a washer and dryer - two absolute necessity appliances - any pioneer woman would've given her eyeteeth and possibly firstborn for these particular conveniences.

    Enjoying the blog immensely. Looking forward to future installments. Love ya a bunch, Me


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