Petbunny Xmas Card Swap

Another holiday season is coming to an end. We had my DH’s family for Christmas Eve and for dinner on Chrsitmas Day. That we were able to seat 15 in my tiny house is pretty amazing! The food and company were good and there were no fistfights – what more could you ask for?

Tomorrow we’re having my family for snacks and dessert in the late afternoon. We’ll also finally get around to exchanging gifts. Then we can put away all the Xmas clutter and get back to our routines.

Each year at Christmas and Easter I exchange greeting cards with other members of the Petbunny List. Most all of the cards have a bunny on them and some people even make their own cards and include photos. This year, because I never got around to making cards, I bought them from A Rabbitt in Paradise. Lots of great bunny-themed items at that site and beautiful artwork on the cards!

We usually receive about 35 cards from the PB Swap and I use them to decorate on the porch where the bunnies live. The bunnies receive more cards than my DH and I do! I wonder what the mailman thinks of all the cards addressed to Miss Buns, Freckles, Boomer and Cricket, and Dora the Explorer!

This is a photo of some of the cards displayed on Dora’s cage. Because they’re hung on the very top outside of her cage, she can’t nibble on them the way the other bunnies do. My favorite of the ones you can see here is the second from the left sent by Mary, G.T., Herman and Freckles. It was made by the Minnesota Companion Rabbit Society and shows a bunny meeting its reflection in a Xmas ball. Very cute! Kathy B. made a beautiful handmade card that you can’t see because it’s hanging on the other side of the cage – I can only imagine the time she spends making these. Just gorgeous!

This next photo is of the cards in Boomer and Cricket’s pen. Please ignore the bunnies gorging themselves at the bottom of the pic – I had just giving them their pellets before I took the photo.

Many beautiful cards there! I try to give everybunny an equal number of cards to display (so nobunny gets jealous!) but Boomer and Cricket have the most, just because they are such big bunnies and their pen is the largest and has the most display space.

Lastly is a pic of Miss Buns and Freckles’ cards. These two love to nibble their cards and toss them around the pen so I have to be careful of the material the cards are made of – no photo cards or anything with glitter, etc. Missy loves to sit in her pooty box and chomp on her cards rather than the hay she should be nibbling on. She is such a little devil! Not sure that it is visible in these tiny pics, but a few cards on the right have been *decorated* by Miss Buns already.

Buddy gets festive

Buddy is just exhausted with all the holiday preparations – poor old boy! I took this photo a week or so ago while we were “camping out” in the living room for a few days while the DH was re-painting the bedroom. We’ve since re-painted the living room, dining room, and bathroom. DH is now working on the kitchen. This work has needed to be done for a long time, but he hates painting so has put it off till a week before Christmas when the whole family will be here for dinner. We haven’t even bought an Xmas tree yet, so I don’t know how we’ll ever finish in time!

Buddy had a day at the *spa* this past Saturday – we sent him for the first time to the vet for a medicated bath, ear cleaning, and nail trim. He came home with a shiny coat and at least 5 pounds less fur. I’m amazed (still after 10 years) with how much he sheds! The vet staff said that he behaved well which was a surprise considering how fearful he is at the vet.

Anyway, we have an assortment of Xmas hats, scarves, antlers, and bandanas that we torture him with around the holidays. He takes it all in stride – he’s such a good boy!

Local Wonders and this reader’s wish list for Xmas

This poem about a barn owl on the Birdchick Blog led me to explore our Poet Laureate, Ted Kooser, and this collection of his essays. I just started reading it yesterday, as my school workload is finally easing up, and have really enjoyed what I’ve read thus far.

I will be sooo glad when the semester ends and I don’t have to *play teacher* for a month and will have time to read. Hopefully, I’ll get lots of books for Christmas and will be able to take full advantage of the extra time.

Here’s my wishlist:

The Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell
The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
The Bedside Book of Birds by Graeme Gibson
Peace Like a River by Leif Enger
The Ardent Birdwatcher: On the Craft of Birdwatching by Todd Newberry

The cheese house and other bunny toys

This photo of Freckles in her *cheese house* makes me smile anytime I come across it. The cheese house is not a very popular toy here (the inside is too slippery) so mostly it collects dust. The favorite bunny toy was the cardboard castle – the bunnies loved to play in it and climb to the top, but the Flemmies caused a fatal collapse – those things just are not made for big bunnies! Another favorite during the summer months is their sandbox – oh how they love to dig and *do donuts* in it. Dora loves to chew stuff and is currently demolishing a tent tunnel from Busy Bunny – I’ll need to order another before she starts taking apart my furniture!

Sunshine and Butterflies

I took this photo of a Black Swallowtail cat two summers ago as it was feeding on a bronze fennel plant in my veggie garden.

Two or three of these beauties appeared one day (or so it seemed; I just hadn’t been looking for them) and then disappeared again when they made their cocoons. I was disappointed to not have been able to find them as they underwent their metamorphosis. The same always happens with the Monarch cats I find on my Swamp Milkweed plants. They grow to be big and fat and then disappear. I wonder if some hungry bird comes along and picks them off just when they are ready to morph?

Today was a cold and wet wintry day that had me wishing (too soon) for sunshine and butterflies.

Dora smiles (almost)

Dora is the newest bunny to join the family. She is a Checkered Giant and was adopted from Kind Heart Rescue who took her out of a slaughterhouse here in Central NJ. My two Flemish Giants, Boomer and Cricket, were also rescued by Kind Heart from the same slaughterhouse.

Dora is a doll of a rabbit! She is quite particular in her habits and loves nothing more than for me to rub her forehead. She lives in my spare bedroom/office and naps beneath my chair while I work at the PC. She makes a great foot-warmer, although she occasionally tries to nip my toes!

She is adjusting to her new home well, after only one month here. She’s learned our routine and greats me and my offerings of food and treats with leaps and shakes of her pretty head. That’s just her way of being silly.

For falcon lovers

Publishers Weekly
O’Brien is the author of three novels (most recently, Brendan Prairie), a short-story collection and a popular nonfiction book, The Rites of Autumn. A resident of Rapid City, S.D., he is also an aficionado of falconry. Here, he explores his lifelong romance with birds of prey. For O’Brien, falcons are an ideal “point of entry” into the larger webs and cycles of nature. As the title suggests, this is also a book concerned with middle age, specifically with the author’s approaching 50th birthday. O’Brien’s laconic prose is well suited to this autumnal theme, and his treatment will likely appeal to many baby boomers. O’Brien also writes frankly of the not always pleasant burden of possessing an acute mind and imagination, of the joys and travails of daily life on the ranch and in town, of the highs and lows of an existence lived faithfully in the service of art and nature. After “twenty years of working in the wind,” he has “learned a few things.” The book contains the essence of those revelations, and most have to do with love-the love of a man for his wife (a physician in Rapid City), for his closest friends (Jim Harrison, Rick Bass, various ranching buddies), for his falcons and for the land that has nurtured him. O’Brien is one of the West’s stellar talents, and this is one of his finest books. (Mar.)
Courtesy of

Dan O’Brien is one of my favorite authors, and Equinox was the first of his books that I discovered. If you enjoy nature writing and share an interest in falconry, see if you can’t find one of his books at the local library. He wrote a few novels and short stories related to falconry and ranching in South Dakota and most recently has been writing historical novels about the Great Plains.

I tend to read by author when I find someone that I enjoy. I like to read everything by a particular author, regardless of subject, just to see where the author takes me. With Dan O’Brien I’ve been pleasantly surprised to find myself enjoying his historical novels (The Contract Surgeon, The Indian Agent) as well as his novels about falconry and the outdoors.

My brothers and me

I came across this old photo yesterday while transferring files from my old PC. I had scanned it last year so my brother could include it in a slideshow he was preparing for my father’s wake. It was a year ago yesterday that my dad died. My brother put together this great composite of old photos from when my parents and we kids were young and had the slideshow playing on a laptop placed on a small table at the memorial home during the wake. It gave people visiting something nice to laugh and reminisce over.

I think the photo was taken in Virginia Beach during the mid 70’s on vacation. It’s one of my favorites, I think because we all look so scrawny and goofy. In most pictures of us as kids at least one of my brothers is making a silly face or holding his fingers up behind the other’s head. In this one they look like they’re behaving! My big brother has that Budweiser hat on which he probably still owns and wears fishing. Nice memories.

So much for writing every day…

Well, it was good while it lasted – for all of three days!

I didn’t accomplish much of anything this weekend, other than taking this lovely photo of Boomer relaxing in the sunshine.

Boomer is such a handsome rabbit. As a Flemish Giant he is destined to be extra large, but if he keeps eating the way he does and laying about, boy will he be huge! Right now, he’s about 18 lbs. and I don’t want to see him get any bigger, really. He has the most adorable way of laying on his belly to eat with his legs spread-eagle behind him. His is the picture of contentment when he flops on his side for a nap with Cricket beside him. Pure bunny bliss!

Just me rambling about birds, books, bunnies, or whatever!