Friday, November 27, 2009

My first 'livestock'

It's official.  My 'urban farm'now has 'livestock.'  Last weekend I went to Lancaster, Ohio to meet  Lisa, a breeder of beautiful French and Satin Angora rabbits, to pick up two black does I had bought from her.   My girls are gorgeous, and sweet most of the time.  We had a lovely time in Lancaster, at a rabbit show there.  I was shocked to see so many people.  I had no idea there were so many people interested in rabbits.  It was such a nice day (in late November!!), the Angora people had set up their grooming area outside, so we sat around and talked, got to know one another.  As usually happens when I meet other folks I have 'met' on  blogs, it was very easy to get aquainted.  We already had a lot in common, we all spin, knit, love animals .....   I also got some lessons in rabbit grooming and husbandry. Everyone did very well in the show which made the mood even more jovial.  Congratulations, guys!!

Now that I'm able to tell them apart, I'm working on names for the girls (to the shock of some friends who love the naming process, and can't believe they're still nameless).  The girls come from a litter that were all named after poisonous plants!!  Their brother "Somerhill Nightshade" did very well at the show!  I'm thinking of Holly and Ivy (both toxic plants) since it's fairly near Christmas, and I've always loved the name Ivy (sorry if I steal it, Dianne) or Jasmine and Violet.  Jasmine (Carolina Jasmine/Jessamine) is toxic, Violets are not, but one of the girls is a little more 'blue' in color, while the other is a little more silver.  Sometimes they are naughty bunnies, like flicking water at me to get my attention (yes I made sure they weren't peeing!) so 'Stinker and Brat' might be more appropriate!  ha - ha.  Opinions, anybody?

They get along fine with the cats.  There wasn't a hiss, not a growl from the felines when I brought the bunnies in - unlike the pandemonium that ensued when I brought each of the two newest cats home.  I have been putting them on a towel on the bed to groom them, and both bunnies have been nose to nose with 3 of my 4 cats, and no one has blinked an eye.

The girls were purchased specifically to provide me with lovely, soft, angora fiber (I looked it up and it can be 10 -12 microns).  I will probably blend it with wool most of the time.  They 'molt' periodically and can be 'plucked' or shorn with scissors.  I'm saving every scrap, though, and already have a small baggie full after a couple of grooming sessions.  Even 'waste' fiber can be felted. At the show, Annette told me I will be surprised at how much fiber will come off those 2 bunnies.   Bring it on!

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Emergency Preparedness

I am definitely someone who believes in being prepared - as much as I am able - for emergencies. It started many years ago when I went through a blizzard. No power, no heat (gas furnace, but electric blower) no water (ditto - water well, but no way to pump it), no way to get back into town. BUT, there was some camping equipment - and that made all the difference.

Since then I have lived in places where the active and possible weather emergencies ranged from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, ice storms, drought and even earthquake. Besides weather emergencies, there are always other possibiliites, such as economic crunches. During an extended period of unemployment a few years ago, my full pantry allowed me peace of mind when money was too tight to go to the grocery.

It's just prudent to be prepared.

I'm not one of those 'a cave, a year's worth of freeze dried food, and a shotgun' types, but having said that, I do store and use freeze dried food, and find it very convenient. Being single, milk from the store usually goes bad before I finish it. A #10 can of freeze-dried milk can be made in small quantities, and lasts me a long time - at much less cost than store-bought. A handful of freeze dried broccoli and/or mushrooms can go into the couscous to boost flavor and nutrition.

(still no icon to add photos, but I'm going to try a link) My favorite place to buy freeze dried food is here:
Preparedness Pantry Blog

I store all kinds of food, have a well-stocked first aid kit, all the usual. I would be interested to know if any readers have similar interests, and what they do?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

still no photos

This really sucks. I do have things to say, but without photos, it's just not the same. I would like to introduce you to my 'family' of 4 cats, but I really NEED to show you their cute faces for you to appreciate them. I sure wish blogger would fix this!

Oh well, next weekend it's off to the Open House at Equinox Farm. I will write about that, photos or no photos!