Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Social Bunnies

I'm still getting a kick out of the new rabbit habitat.  Andy and Genny have gotten used to their new homes and are starting to interact with each other in a way they weren't able to before.  At first, Andy just chased Genny around and she ran away.  Now he's calmed down and she's starting to feel comfortable having him around.  She seems to get a thrill out of going into his hutch and looking around. 

I'm having more fun interacting with them too.  This morning I took two pieces of banana out to them and stood inside the fence.  Andy came right up to me for his treat, but Genny hung back and approached me slowly.  Soon, though, I had a rabbit eating out of each hand. 

video
I got some video of them hopping around the pen this morning and Genny went over to Andy and gave him a nose bop.  As I understand it, that's a rabbit greeting.  I love this new pen set up!!! 

Monday, October 10, 2011

Fall is Here

Thanks to the girls' helping me clean out the basement last summer, this morning I could quickly locate the Halloween decorations and put them up -- for the first time in years.  The scarecrow sitting in the chair is named Raymond for Ray Bolger, who played the scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz. 

I'm not really into scary Halloween stuff (although I did once make severed fingers for a girl scout Halloween bake sale -- they were delicious, but didn't really sell for some reason). One of the families down the street used to really get into it when their kids were young.  They had coffins on the lawn and monster make-up and gruesome murders.  I heard on the radio about a display in Georgia (I think) that looks like someone has been trapped under a riding mower and blood is everywhere.  It apparently gets 911 calls every year from surprised and concerned people. 

To each his own.  I don't really want gruesome death that close to me. So, I go with the happy jack-o-lanterns and cutesy costumes. 

I continue to be delighted with the new rabbitry.  Larry came over and watched the Bengals game with us yesterday and he was amused by watching Andy chase Genny all over the pen.  I'm pretty confident that Andy's shooting blanks.  For one, the vet said so.  For two, a few weeks ago I held her in position and let him do his best.  I don't think he actually even got the deed accomplished.  Anyway, there were no results.  So, I'm sometimes letting them out together.  Genny is quite capable of getting away from him or putting him in his place when he gets too frisky -- and she's so heavy that it won't hurt her to run around the pen a bit.  

This morning, I've got Genny out alone.  I need to see if she's learned how to get back into the hutch.  Andy caught on quickly and yesterday he hopped in and out several times, as if he were testing the system.  Genny doesn't seem quite as bright as Andy.  She's mastered coming down the ramp out of the hutch, but she hasn't shown much inclination to get back in.  In fact, she's dug a little scrape right under Andy's hutch in the shade and she likes to hang out there.  This is not ideal, of course, because IT'S RIGHT UNDER ANDY'S HUTCH.  It's essentially Andy's bathroom.  I need to figure out how to discourage this behavior ... and fast.  I tried putting the butterfly net that I use to help catch them over the scrape.  I thought it would have negative connotations and she would avoid it.  But, no.  She settled in and calmly began to chew holes in the net and push it out of her way.    

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rainbows in my Hand


This morning when I put my milk glass in the sink, I was confused by a rainbow that appeared in the bottom of the glass.  I couldn't see any rainbows anywhere else in the kitchen, so I figured the glass was acting as a prism.  But it wasn't ... and it took me a while to figure it out.  I have a prism hanging in the window, but it couldn't cast its rainbow anywhere that I could see.  When I put my hand in just the right place, though, I could catch the rainbow.  There's a message in there somewhere. 

I'm excited about my new rabbit compound.  It's not perfect, but it's much better than I had before.  I didn't want to show pictures before because Andy was living in a dog kennel that I converted into a hutch eight years ago and Genny was living in a hutch obviously build for short haired rabbits.  I tacked some tarp on the sides to protect her from the elements, but it really wasn't satisfactory. When Kate was at home, she would run outside every time it rained -- even in the middle of the night -- and throw beach towels over the hutches to keep the rain off the bunnies.  Realistically, I'm not going to do that.   

I've been worrying about their living quarters for a long time.  At one time Adam, the handyman turned thief, was going to build me new hutches, then a man in Lawrenceburg was going to but backed out.  I've been looking for hutch plans to build something myself, but I couldn't find any that I liked and, honestly, I just don't have time to do it.  So, it's been preying on my mind. 



I found a hutch online that I liked and put myself on a list to be notified if they ever went on sale, and a couple of weeks ago they did.  So, I bought two. 

They have both good features and bad, but they were the best I could find to meet my needs.  I wanted shelter on three sides from the elements and an enclosed shelter for them to retreat to.  These hutches have a small area on the right that makes a little nest area and is enclosed on all four sides except for an archway entry.  The problem is that the floor is solid in the nest area, so I had to replace it with a wire bottom in that area for Genny.  She's a slob.  Andy seems to been keeping his wooden floor pretty clean so far. 

The vertical wall of the nest area is on hinges and can be let down to make a ramp.  So, I put the fence of their exercise pen around both hutches and I can let the ramps down and let them run around at will. 

I know the wooden walls aren't ideal because they'll get soiled and chewed, but I don't know how to get around that and still provide shelter from the elements.  I thought I had a brilliant idea.  I had a bunch of peel and stick vinyl tiles in the basement, so I lined the walls of the first hutch I put together with vinyl tile -- easy to clean and less chewable.  Unfortunately, the when the tile got warm in the sun the glue released and they all fell off -- frightening Andy to pieces.  So, I used my back-up plan, which is spraying the wood with some bitter stuff I had for Sam to prevent chewing. 

Anyway, these hutches look SO much better as a suburban neighborhood feature and I love the exercise pen yard for them.  Overall, I'm delighted with them!  The girls are coming home on Wednesday for their fall break and I can't wait for them to see the new rabbit homes. 



Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ketchup

It seems like I'm always playing "catch up."  There's never enough time in the day. 

Anyway, I haven't posted for a few days but I haven't been totally remiss.  I've been thinking of good things for each day -- just not writing them down. 

Two days ago, my good thing was my cuddley fleece slippers.  They're very snuggley and comforting when you wiggle your toes. 

Yesterday, I was thankful for the fresh air, which I'm representing with this beautiful picture I got of the clouds early this morning.  Since the weather has turned cooler, I've come up from the basement and I've been sitting in a reclining chair by the open patio door when I work.  It's not quite as convenient as my office area downstairs, but the fresh air, sunlight, and bird song more than makes up for it. 

Today, my good thing is a simple thoughtful act.  When I was at Nancy's house for meditation a few weeks ago, I asked her permission to pull a dandelion from her yard to bring home to the rabbits.  This week, when we were at Georgette's house, Nancy brought me a bag full of dandelions!  The rabbits have had treats all week!  It was a small thing -- I'm sure Nancy and Eric were getting rid of the dandelions anyway and they were only going to be thrown away -- but Nancy had to think of me and the rabbits and had to find a plastic bag and put them aside for me and remember to bring them to Georgette's house.  

Out of that simple thoughtfulness, the rabbits and I have had so much enjoyment.  They've had several treats and they get excited when they see me coming with the bag.  Genny runs impatient circles around her cage when I come to her door. 

I hope I will be inspired to do something like that for someone else today.  I'm sure I'm paraphrasing here, but I remember a saying of Mother Theresa's that goes something like this, "Do no great things, only small things with great love." 

Monday, October 3, 2011

Shopping Spree

On Saturday, Jeff and I had dinner with our friend Larry and, as I was getting ready to meet them, I realized that I don't have any winter clothes anymore.  All of my 3X stuff hangs on me (thank goodness!).  Anyway, now that weather has started to be a little nippy, I need some new warm clothes. 

On Sunday, I took a box of my old sweaters out to Goodwill and thought I'd look around while I was there.  OMG!  I found some amazing things and ended up buying 21 winter tops for a grand total of $60. I really went nuts and overbought, but I only bought things that I really liked and that looked good on me.  Honestly, I put back as much as I bought. 

I ended up with four Land's End cotton turtlenecks, a Talbot's cabled pullover sweater, a Talbot's maroon cardigan, a Crofts & Barrow heavy cardigan, and a multitude of cotton long sleeved knit shirts in a variety of colors.  I'm set for winter!

The weather has been so lovely for the last few days.  This is my favorite time of year.  I've come up from the basement to work in the family room  -- even though it's a little less convenient than my office -- so I can have the patio door open and can enjoy some of the cool fresh air.