Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Thankfully Yours.

Last night in flower class, we made our arrangements for our thanksgiving table. Mine, pictured here, is in the garage, hence the nice background clutter, I put it in there to keep Hank form eating it ....anyway, after we had all made our arrangements our  teacher had us hold ours up so everyone could see, and then say what we were thankful for.

Here are some things I am thankful for...

My daughters.

Lycra Man, the husband.

My Pop, my brothers, sister~in~law, niece and nephews.
(Not pictured  thankful for my sister and brother~in~law and nephews)


The coffee Ladies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

good friends and good times.

Nature and all that is hers.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Rabbit show 101


I talk about going to rabbit shows often here on ye old blog. Many of my friends ask what is a rabbit show like, so today I thought I would try to explain...briefly. I mean, I know it is a different kind of hobby and those of us who have obscure hobbies tend to go on about them...

The American Rabbit Breeders Association, or ARBA, recognizes 47 different rabbit breeds. Every breed of rabbit has a written standard found in the Standard of Perfection.

All rabbits are shown in classes. These are age and sex classes. so boys, bucks, against boys, girls, does, against does. Rabbits 6 months and up are seniors, rabbits under 6 months are juniors. Large breeds have Juniors Intermediates and seniors.

All Rabbits have an ear tattoo in their left ear. That is how breeders can tell their rabbits form other peoples rabbits.

We show Min Lop  and Min Rex so I will just show you the first page of each of those breeds standards.

So we have boys and girls, junior and senior classes,then the breeds are broken into varieties, The Mini Rex are shown in 16 color variates. So Schultz, our white senior buck was shown against all the other white senior bucks at the show, and the best white senior buck is chosen then the best white senior doe , best junior buck, best junior doe. Then from those four the best of the white variety is chosen. After the judge has gone through all the varieties at the show he or she will pick the best of breed from the best of variety winners. Best of breed will then participate in best of show.

yesterday there were 160 Mini Rex!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Min Lops are a little easier. Their variety is solid coat pattern or broken coat pattern (spotted). No color variates. Still boys against boys, ages etc. There were 32 min lops yesterday.

This is a judging table. The rabbits are put into the holding cages in the foreground of this picture. The judge will take each rabbit out one by one and set them on that carpeted part there. First she will check to make sure the rabbit is healthy, no broken bones or toes, then she will start looking at the rabbit and how well it matches the standard for it's breed. In this picture she is judging the curvature, roundness of the rabbits body. She will place the rabbit that matches the standard the closest as first and then on down.

The little girl is clerking for the judge, she is writing down what the judge is saying on a card with the rabbits ear tattoo number on it. 4-H leaders love to have our kids clerk for the judges, the kids learn so much about rabbits this way.

The rabbits owner is on the other side of the tale listing to the judge...not supposed to let her know which bunny is yours!

So yesterday my Mini lops did pretty well. They were entered in three shows.

Henry won his class, solid junior buck in one show.

Blue boy won his class Broken Junior buck in 3 shows

Olive and Oliver won their classes, solid Junior buck, in 2 shows and solid junior doe in 2 shows, the judges really liked them, called them promising.

Their dad here, Magellan, won Best opposite of variety in one show. So he was the second best broken out of all the broken mini lop bunnies!  In this picture you can see how rounded hes face is, that is one of the things the judges look at in mini lops and where his ear falls along his cheek.

Their aunt Gigi won Best opposite sex of variety in one show too! That means she was the second best solid mini lop out of all the solid mini lops. See the ridge along the top of her head, that is called a crown, that is another thing the judges look at in mini lops.

One thing to remember at a show, judges are human, rabbits that won on one table can be in the middle or bottom of their class on the next judging table.

I always have a great time at shows talking to my rabbit friends, listening to the judges and looking at all the rabbits. I hope this was somewhat educational and not to boring...I said we nerds tend to go on...

Thursday, November 17, 2011

They grow up so fast.

Do you all remember these little guys from July? I wrote about them in Getting wonky with the wabbits. My line breeding litter.

Well the little guys are not so little anymore. They are old enough to go to their first rabbit show.

This is Olive...I am really looking forward to what the judges say about her and her twin brother Oliver.

This is Blue boy, I have always liked him but the girls, who have much more experience in choosing bunnies than me, don't like him as much. I am interested in seeing how he does.

This is Henry, a lovable happy guy, he probably will be for sale at the show because even I can tell Oliver and Blue boy are better, show wise. 

 I will be taking along their mom and dad as well as two of Harley Girls sons, and one of her granddaughters.

Granddaughter, Ruby on the left, son Schultz, on the right...I think...

It will be fun to see my rabbit showing friends this weekend and hear what the judges have to say about my critters!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Serving time.

Got my jury summons in the mail. It suggested Business Casual Dress", so yesterday I reported for Jury duty in my one business casual outfit...shouldn't have worried about it , it is California after all.

On the white board propped up against the wall at the front of the jury room was this information.

November 15, 115 cases scheduled. 115 cases requesting a jury trial.

We had the usual orientation by staff, here are the restrooms , here is the cafeteria, wear your badge at all times.

A judge came in to address us, thanks us for our time. Told us how important it was that we are there. He said some of us may never see the inside of a court room today, but to know just our presence in the jury room got things done. People get scared and decide to settle.

We all settled in and started to visit with out neighbors.  The lady on my right was from Cambodia, the lady on my left, sitting in a half lotus position, her empty sandals side by side on the floor in front of her chair, was reading Sanskrit, she was from India.

The man and the woman behind me , after some conversation discovered that he was her families paper boy when they were growing up.

 At morning break I met two wonderful ladies, one  immigrated from Switzerland , the other  immigrated form England.

A young man from The Red Cross came in and gave a nice talk and slide show about disaster preparedness. Wildfires, earthquakes, tsunami, floods,we can get them all here. Sobering.

When we returned form lunch the whiteboard at the front now read:

115 cases scheduled  37 cases requesting a jury trial. 

At 3:30 we were released, out duty fulfilled for one year. Like, with most things, it wasn't that bad after it was over.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Occasionally, a table.

I don't know if it is a side effect of getting older, but I am getting much more practical in my...ur...what ever age I am. If I am at the craft store and see a stamp that is SO cute,pick it up to purchase, then think, but it is a one time use kind of stamp, you know, once a year or something....not worth trying to find a place to put it....needs to be multipurpose, and put it back on the shelf.

Introducing my multipurpose side table!! Practical...Oh, I forgot to tell Lycra man I bought this..Honey, here is the side table we were talking about...I found one...(he reads my blog.)

When we have people over, I usually end up dragging the card table in from the garage and throwing a table cloth over it to hold drinks and appetizers. So I have been looking for a side table to serve this purpose.

It also holds fall color, however Hank thinks they are kitty appetizers....  see multipurpose...It is though, really look I'll show you.

Step 1, remove Hanks appetizers.

Step 2, spin the top of the table.

Step 3, open the table top.

And there you have it! A table, to play chess on or build a puzzle on. I am going to set it with my moms china for Thanksgiving. It is just Lycra Man and me this year...don't need the big dining room table, though we joke about getting out two of Lycra mans hand held ham radios and that way we could talk to each other if we did use the dining room table.

 I am pretty happy with my purchase. It was worth searching for!

Monday, November 14, 2011

Intimidation...(sing to the Carly Simon song, Anticipation)

I am feeling a little of both today, Anticipation and intimidation. In my continuing quest to keep me buys now that the kids have gone...I have just joined a Mail Art Group. One of the blogs I follow, Wanda, did a post on this so I checked it out. Check out Wants blog...(BEAUTIFUL PICTURES AND I AM NOT KIDDING)

I have seen some of the groups work, it is beautiful.

Here are some images of others work, not the group I am joining. Mail Art

I have been puttering around with making cards etc for the last 5 or 6, years since my sister became a stamp it up rep.

I have always been a little crafty so lately I have branched out in my card making department. I still use stamps but add pictures form old calenders...like this..

I found this kitty calender in a thrift store, brought it home and cut out the pictures, stamped the foot prints on card stock , then stitched the kitty on...

I also dig through my sewing scraps and adhere material to card stock and stitch a frame around the card, like this...

And then there is the trace, stamp stitch and make a thing to stick on technique....

I made the little ghost by folding cheese cloth around white card stock , stitched the fence rails stamped the witch traced the fence.

Anyway, I decided to join the group but...I feel like a kindergartner in college with these ladies...I know I will learn a lot, and have fun and that is the point, still, In~tim~i~dation,  la la la la la....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

I usually shop with the 99%

I usually shop with the 99%. You know, the the fit looking young man in the L.A. firefighter t-shirt, a list written on notebook paper in his hand, his cart full of pampers and Gerber baby food.

The mom with  a toddler sitting patiently swinging his feet as his mom , holding his younger sister on her hip, unloads their cart with one hand.

The frail little lady who snaps open her ancient coin purse to pay, to the penny and not a farthing more, for her cans of cat food and soup.

Earlier this week I visited out local gourmet food store. With just the two of us to cook for, I needed to be able to buy just one carrot and one rib of celery and 5 oz of ground beef and ground pork, for the individual meatloaf for two I was making.

The store is a sensory field trip, sights, sounds, colors...people...

I noticed  ladies dressed in designer jeans, lots of gold jewelery, fit and trim and botoxed. I hate to admitted it , my first thought...You cook?

Then I noticed I only saw the ladies in the produce, cheese and bakery departments, so...maybe not.

Next were the earth people, you know, guys in wire rimed classes with graying pony tails, ladies in long cotton skirts, dyed in bright purples and teals, wearing sandals and toe rings.

they like the bulk food areas it seems.

For all their interest in "natural" foods everyone was in a huge hurry, no eye contact, I guess they had places to go, people to see, things to do....Just try to strike up a friendly conversation, your fellow shoppers will look at you like you are nuts...the 99% will talk to you, or at least smile.

If any of you are/were Star Trek fans, you will remember Mr. Spock's multilevel chess board. I was thinking we all live in the same town but we all move in our own circle or levels .

What, "Duh!" you say..well, it takes me a while, I think everyone is like me, so...what can I say?

I will go back. It really is a beautiful place to shop, and people watch!

P.S. Here is the recipe from Cuisine at Home for the meatloaf . It was really good!

click on picture to enlarge

Rainy morning memory.

I got my walk in between rainstorms this morning. I could see the next one coming over the hill.

Speaking of the hill, take a closer look at it. Yep, I live in an arid area. Unless it is an El Nino year, we don't get much rain.

I remember when the kids were little, the event of rain would cause a dash for the rain coats and  boots, too small now as they are last years boots, but the kids would cram their feet in any way, and rush out the door before the rain could end.

They creaked open their atrophied umbrellas, paraded around the yard stamping in puddles, calling out, "Tut Tut, It looks like rain!"

It reminded me of my reaction to snow when I was a kid.

I know rain is a pain for my friends and family north of me.

Funny how a thing that can be annoying in one place is a gift in another.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Crossing my fingers for Harley Girl.

~We don't get to choose the people in our lives. For us, it's all chance.~

This  quote from Black Beauty  runs through my mind every time one of my critters is ill, be it Hank the cat, Huge Jackman the Australian zebra finch or one of the bunnies. It is my responsibility to take care of these guys. And sometimes it isn't easy.

This is Harley Girl. She is our 7 year old Mini Rex doe. I think I may have written about Harley before, she is a favorite bunny around here. She is smart, and friendly, she meets me at the door of her cage every morning. She will not eat until I pet her, no matter how hungry she is.

Schultz or his brother Klink, Harley s litter form 2007
Harley was an excellent mom. If she thought there was a threat to her little ones she thumped her hind foot and the little ones piled into the nest box. Harley followed them in, then turned her back to them and faced out toward what ever it may be that was following her. "You got to go through me first, predator!"

Harley has some kind of raised growth on her side. I have been trying to treat her at home, I think mostly out of a "I don't want to know, she'll get better" mindset, and vet bills can be expensive. But yesterday that quote I told you about was ringing in my head.

So this morning I took Harley in for surgery. I worry about the stress, she isn't young, I worry what they will find, but she is depending on me, she has no choice, and really neither do I.

I love ol' Harley girl. I hope things come out ok. But what ever it is, I'll take care of her. She is a special bunny.

update: Vet just called, our Harley is gone.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

V is for Verlaine, V is for Victory

 I was a guest blogger on the site Frosting for the Cause. this is a wonderful site. devoted to bakers and people who want to make a difference in the fight against cancer. If you would like to know more about this site click on the button above.

the following is my post.

My good friend Sharon told me about this site. With her encouragement I decided to contribute a post in honor of my mom, Verlaine, who lost her battle with cancer eight years ago.

As I was thinking about what in the world I could make for this cause, I started to think of other women close to me who have fought cancer, two who lost the fight, four who are survivors. I wanted something that would honor all of them.
I decided to look in my grandmothers Recipe book. I thought, maybe an “old” recipe something out of the ordinary, will spike my interest.

And there it was, the Crisco Victory Cake.

A recipe that came from a chapter of my mom’s life, a recipe that woman copied and used to help fight for a different  cause in 1942. I can think of no better recipe for this Cause.

So, in memory of my mom, Verlaine, my friends Martha and Camille, in celebration of Carol, Sarah, Mary and Karleen, the Victory Cake.

Crisco Victory Cake
½ cup Crisco
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
½ cup corn syrup
1 ¾ cup flour
½  teaspoon baking powder
¾ cup milk
Chocolate frosting
After dinner mints

Blend Crisco, sugar, salt, vanilla and eggs.

Add corn syrup

Sift in dry ingredients and add alternately with the milk.
Pour into 2 round cake pans. Bake at 360 degrees for 35 minutes.
Cool completely

Frost with chocolate frosting. Decorate with after dinner mints, forming the letter V, for Victory.