Wednesday, March 31, 2010

87

As in degrees.  That is what it was here yesterday!  Wow, what happened to spring?  That's usually how it happens here in the desert, we go from winter to summer with little in-between.

My garden is loving the warmer temps.  The strawberry plants from last year are already green with lots of new growth and some blossoms.  I think I even see some little green strawberries on there.
I also have lots of herbs coming back from last year, too.  The bunnies prefer garden fresh greens, thank you very much.  Mint, thyme, catnip, rosemary, basil, oregano, cilantro, parsley... all make for a great bunny salad bar.
I need to finish adding new soil to the big raised bed and then I can get the tomatos, jalapenos, bell peppers, onions, watermelon and other yummy things planted.

There's just something about planting and tending a garden.  I really look forward to it every spring.  In the end, it might work out cheaper to buy produce from the grocery store, but where's the fun in that???

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Bunny Sunday

The bunny-kitty introductions are well underway.  So far, Nutmeg has only boxed the kitty once or twice.  Poor kitty, she just wanted to play.

Nutmeg is very protective of Patches and doesn't want her to have anything to do with the kitty.  I think little Cactus Rose is fine with that, since Patches outweighs her by about 7 lbs. and probably looks like a monster to her!

We have had a few peaceful moments of mutual kitty/bunny purring. 
Animals never cease to amaze me with their ability to adapt to each other.  Happy Bunny-Kitty Sunday everyone!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Cactus Rose

We have a new addition to our family. Meet Cactus Rose: We have horses, goats, dogs, rabbits, chickens and tortoises, but we've never had a cat. Barn kitties just do not live long out here and we're pretty full up in our little house between the bunnies and the rottie.

Last Wednesday, the day that we said good-bye to Bandit, we took our afternoon walk to the mailbox (which is a mile each way) with the dogs and the goats. Halfway there, out in the middle of the desert, Angel fell behind and was intently focused on something off the road. We got her moving again but on the way back, she stopped at the same spot. Lee went to see what it was and off the road a little ways under a big prickly pear cactus was this little scared kitty! Lee pulled her out and I scooped her up and brought her home. We took one look at each other and said, "Bandit". Meaning, he sent her to us. That has been sort of a theme in my life, whenever I lose one of my animals, another shows up to take it's place. In fact, Angel (the rottie) who found this little kitty, came to me 3 days after I put down my old dog, Sadie. I found her on the side of the freeway in a thunderstorm.
It didn't take little Cactus Rose long to get REALLY comfortable here. And she's even making friends with Nutmeg (although Patches isn't completely sure about her yet).
We're working with Angel on getting used to the new addition, as well. She's fine with bunnies, but not so sure about kitties.
Never a dull moment around this place!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Bunny Sunday

This post was SUPPOSED to be about another raffle I was going to hold to benefit Heartland Rabbit Rescue. The last raffle I hosted for them back in September was a big success and we raised a lot of money to help the bunnies. I actually did post about it this morning, but now I am forced to edit it.

The problem is that PayPal will not allow a "Buy Now" button to be placed on my blog for a raffle. Turns out, they consider it gambling, which is a prohibited use. Who knew?

And my "hired help" was already practicing their winning-raffle-ticket-drawing skills!
I am still intent on raising some money for the bunnies. So, rather than hosting a raffle, I will be donating 25% of all sales in my Etsy or Artfire shop through Easter to Heartland Rabbit Rescue. If you'd prefer to just make a donation directly to Heartland, you can do so through their website here. No amount is too small and will be greatly appreciated.
Lastly, my purpose for the raffle was not only to raise money to help the rescue, but also to raise awareness as Easter approaches that bunnies should be not bought on a whim to be given in an Easter basket. These special little creatures can live long lives (sometimes 10-12 years or longer) and that, along with other factors, should always be taken into consideration when welcoming a rabbit into your home. In addition to Heartland Rabbit Rescue's website and blog, another great resource for learning about the proper care of bunnies is at the House Rabbit Society website.

Wishing you a lazy Bunny Sunday...

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Missing Bandit

First of all, I really want to thank everyone for all your supportive comments left on my previous post about Bandit. Your thoughtfulness touched me. Knowing there are others who have gone through the loss of losing a dear friend (whether it be a horse, dog, cat, bunny, goat, or any animal) and that you understand the loss helped me through a difficult time. Thanks.

I included this pic of Bandit in my post on Thursday saying how much I loved it. Shortly after I finished my post, I went outside to check on Phoenix who I had let out of his stall for his afternoon walkabout. This is what I saw when I walked out the front door:
The angle is slightly different, but this is almost the exact place where Bandit was in the above pic. WEIRD. It gave me goosebumps. A lone horse looking for his buddy? I know that the humans around here are not the only ones missing Bandit...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Sad Day on the Ranch

We've been struggling with keeping Bandit comfortable and pain free. His new shoes seemed to work wonders for him at first, but over the last few weeks he went back to limping and just not doing well in general. He was lying down a lot and didn't want to move around much, shifting his weight trying to get comfortable. He was hurting and grumpy and miserable. There was nothing more we could do for him, so yesterday we helped him on to greener pastures.
There is a big hole in our hearts right now, but I'm trying to focus on happier times.

Bandit with his best buddy, Phoenix:
Giving our neighbor's grandson his first ride:Our nephew saddling up for a ride:And heading out on the trail:

Our other neighbor's granddaughter enjoying her first "ride":

My friend Marj when she came to visit last October (she had the honor of being the last person to ride Bandit):

My dad out for a ride:Enjoying a good roll:I love this picture. This is how I envision him now, calmly and happily grazing. No more pain to deal with daily.
Just beyond Bandit in this picture is where we laid him to rest. I stood with him, talking to him, until he took his last breath. I miss him so much already, but I am also relieved that he is no longer suffering. On to greener pastures Bandy Boy, be healthy and happy. Till we meet again.

Friday, March 12, 2010

It's Beginning to Look a Lot Like Spring...

I spent some time today brushing out Phoenix, my oldie. The hair just kept coming out. The more I brushed, the more hair there was! I finally just gave up. Phoenix (otherwise known as "Wooly Mammoth" in the winter) is the first of our horses to get his winter coat and the first to shed it come spring. I suppose after 33 winters he has it figured out.
This is our weekend project -- the garden. We are bringing in a load of garden soil to amend all the beds and fill this one. Lots of grass pulling to be done and general clean up before I can get things planted. And that is only a few weeks away!

I've also been cleaning out my garden shed, which until a week or so ago was impossible to walk into. I had just been tossing things in there all winter and it was a mess! It's starting to look a little more organized now.
I can't wait to get my hands in the dirt and get planting. My strawberry plants are already turning green and I've got many herbs that are starting to come back from last year -- oregano, thyme, rosemary, catnip and mint, to name a few. The bunnies will be very happy when their "salad bar" is in full swing.
Ah, spring...

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Need a Laugh?

I received this e-mail from our equine dentist yesterday. I've seen it before, but it gave me a good laugh - thought you all might enjoy it, too. And I KNOW there are some of you out there (you know who you are) who can totally relate to this!

In a press release today, the National Institute of Health has announced the discovery of a potentially dangerous substance in the hair of horses.

This substance, called 'amobacter equuii' has been linked with the following symptoms in females: Reluctance to cook, clean or do housework. Reluctance to wear make-up, good clothes or heels. Reluctance to spend money on home or car repairs until after 'baby has new shoes, pad, blanket, tack, grain, hay & supplements'.

'Amobacter equuii' usually results in long hours away from home and exhaustion which may lead to a loss of physical contact with other humans (especially husbands).
'Amobacter equuii' is thought to be addictive, driving the need for additional sources - this may lead to a 'herd mentality' or, like the potato chip commercial, 'you can't have just one'.
Beware! If you come in contact with a female human infected by this substance, be prepared to talk about horses for hours. It can spread to others, and is contagious.

Surgeon General's Warning: Horses are expensive, addictive, and may impair the ability to use common sense."

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Bunny Sunday

Ever feel like there are forces working against you in the housecleaning department? In my case, furry little forces, with no regard for the fact that you just gave them a fresh litterbox filled with hay and even swept the floor for them. Patches: "A little redecorating is in order here."
"Hey Nutmeg, come help me spread this around."

Nutmeg: "Nope, I hear mom coming. You're on your own with this mess. I'm outta here."

Good thing these little monsters are so cute. It's impossible to be mad at them!

Friday, March 5, 2010

Happy Friday

Thanks to everyone who entered my spring giveaway. I really enjoyed reading your comments on your favorite things about spring and could almost smell the fresh mowed grass (and lilacs!) and see the daffodils and tulips popping up. Soon my friends, soon.

One of my other favorite things about spring is that our baby desert tortoises come out of hibernation. (These pics are from last year. They are still holed up in their den, but hopefully next month they will start coming out). They also love spring flowers -- especially petunias. Tasty!
Oh! I guess I should tell you the winner of the earrings. I used Random Number Generator to pick the winner and it came up with #24. Jennifer, you win! Your earrings are packaged and ready to go. I sent you an e-mail, please send me your address and they will be on their way to you.
Have a great Friday everyone.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Spring Fever Giveaway ~

It's starting to really look like spring here in the desert. Today is nothin' but sun and 74 degrees. I'm in heaven! I know many of you are still stuck in snow and cold, so I thought I'd host a little giveaway to get you through till spring finally reaches you.I created these earrings with sterling silver ear wires, turquoise, quartz, and Swarovski crystal cube beads and sweet little sterling silver charms with a flower on one side and a swirl on the other. Perfect for spring... or dreams of spring.

To enter, simply leave a comment on this post and tell me what your favorite thing is about spring. That's all there is to it. I'll draw the winner this Friday, March 5th. Be sure to leave me a way to contact you if you are the winner. Good luck!