Desert Horses

Welcome to my horse blog, Desert Horses. We live in the desert southwest, near Palm Springs, CA, but board our horses up in our local mountains where it is cooler in the summer. I have 4 horses, all rescues. Here is the ranch up the mountains where the horses stay.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Ripley 2007 - May 5, 2018

My black lab Ripley has passed the Rainbow Bridge.   We called a vet to come out to our house yesterday to put her to sleep.   We think she had a stroke a week ago and she was sleeping 23 hours a day and was extremely lethargic.  She had trouble getting up from the floor.   It was time.

As you know, this is NEVER easy.   I've lost 3 good horses and now my black lab.  She would have been 11 September 1 this year.  She was my companion.  It's strange how dogs seem to understand what we are saying.   She would perk up in the morning when I said, "Let's go feed the birds!"...she would bound outside with me.   Lately, however, she wouldn't even join me.  It wasn't fair to keep her alive any longer.

So, hubby and I talked last night.   I've always had a dog in my life, but we are going to take a break this summer and get a puppy (a MUTT) in August.  We have a completely fenced yard, actually with part of the yard as a dog area.  And, like I said, I've always had a dog.  One of my first memories is me sitting on the floor next to a cabinet in the kitchen with my parents' Cocker spaniel and sharing dog biscuits with her.   We've had 4 purebred German Shepherds and 2 collies who were a brother and sister.  We kept the male and gave the female to my grandparents in their later years and Heather spent many years keeping them safe and giving them some company.  Our own children would hold onto the collie's fur and toddle around the side patio.

So, for now, I will dwell in my memories of Ripley.   I got her free up at the Anza swap meet  nearly 11 years ago.   There were 4 puppies in a dog cage...2 black labs and 2 shepherd types, all siblilngs.  I picked her up and never put her down.  She came home with me that morning.

She COULD be a brat.   She always got into our trash until we humans learned that we couldn't leave her alone in the house when there was trash in the can!   She had a SUPER nose!   And, she was SMART!   I honestly think she was smarter than a couple of our shepherds.     She LOVED people, but wouldn't let another dog near me.   She was always fine at the vet's office, something that 2 of our shepherds hated.  And, she was fine around the grandkids.

We will all miss Ripley.   "Baby Doll"

Here she is in my garden out back last month. 

Miss Ripley among the silly...

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Fans? How about the air conditioner???

We are scheduled to have 3 days of triple digit temps here this week, then temps move down to 99, 97, and then the 80's next week.

YEE HAW!   (not the triple digits...the 80's)...

It was 99 degrees here yesterday and it was 80 degrees by 10 a.m., so we closed up the house and turned on the damn air conditioner.  I HATE to have to turn it on before June because we actually get an extra "allowance" for the hot, summer months.   So, when hot weather hits us in February or March or April, or even May, we get penalized.  We've lived here in the desert now for 42 years (in this house) and I actually remember a year when we didn't even turn it on until after July 4th!   HA!   NOT THIS YEAR or last year!!!!!   We got a whole new system let will be 3 years ago in August because our 17 YEAR OLD system finally sprung a leak and it wasn't cooling down the house properly and we got a $500 energy credit that tax year for the new system.   (BIG DEAL...we still owed taxes that year!)   We both LOVE the new system.  It is modern, efficient, and quieter. And, it puts out the air!   So, yesterday we HAD to turn it on.

We are also noticing that as we get older (which we hate to admit...), our bodies tolerate the heat less and less.  We drink about 2 gallons of iced tea A DAY.   Hubby's main job now is to brew and keep the ice tea pitcher FULL.  We enjoy the TAZO wild orange tea, which hubby orders BY THE BOX from WalMart and they deliver it to the front door!   Amazing, eh?   That's also how we got our 2 new recliner/rocker chairs, which we both enjoy.   He set up one of the oscillating fans in the living room and that helps keep the air moving, cooling us down too.   We notice that Ripley, our black lab, likes to plunk herself right in front of the fan!

So, we have to get through this week and then next week we will have some relief.

I finished the 2 books about the Franklin expedition (one fiction and one non-fiction) and now I'm reading about... PIRATES!   I actually have an ancestor who was a Dutch pirate and who was lost in the Atlantic Ocean.   I'm reading Pirate Latitudes by Michael Crichton and a non-fiction book which I ordered from the library.   I don't buy books anymore...I just order them from our library system.  If they don't have it at the local branch, they order it from another one and I usually get it in 2 days.  It saves money!  $$$$$

I'm really enjoying this Spring here in the desert.   The birds are gathering materials for their nests, they chatter all day and the mockingbirds sing at night.  Hubby even looked up from his laptop to ask, "What bird is that?" the other evening.   DUH...a mockingbird...I see doves picking up twigs for their messy desks, birds flying off with some of the horse hair I spread out on the ground, and in general, just acting like...birds.   The grosbeaks have left, as of yesterday.   I didn't hear their little noises and I only saw one briefly all day.  Today, they are GONE!   I did, however, see a woodpecker at one of the orange I left out for the grosbeaks.  I don't know where they go, but every Spring they do stop by here for a couple of weeks.   The Canadian gees will be heading out soon, although I have seen them still at the city park in May.   I DID see a few of them this past weekend when we drove to the park to feed the ducks with the grandkids.   I miss seeing flocks of them overhead, but I don't always get out by the freeway and they seem to follow the freeway through the pass to travel north, just like us!

I worked on and finished 3 journals yesterday, so they will be listed in my ETSY shop this morning.   Time to start 3 more...

Take care.
~Cheryl Ann~For some reason my photos will NOT load this morning....   :-(

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Had a good visit with the herd yesterday

Hubby threw out his back a couple of weeks ago and I've been driving him to his chiropractor appointments twice a week.

He complained about sleeping in our bed, so he bought himself a recliner and now I can't get him OUT of it!   He LOVES IT! 

Anyway, he was SNORING at 8 a.m. yesterday, at 8:30, at 9:00, so I left and went up to the herd.   I knew I had to buy pellets for them (for their lunch snack), and I needed to worm them.  AND BRUSH THEM!   I came home with a whole pile of hair for the birds nests here!   I hope the birds appreciate all that hair!

Quad was the worst!   His hair was literally falling out!   Scout, of course, has the densest hair, but even she had a bunch coming out.   I even trimmed Sunni's and Gigondas' tails!  Sunni's tail has now completely grown out.   Remember Quad chewing on it a couple of years ago?

They all got wormed and then a snack of pellets. 

You know, they are ALL such loving animals!   Even Gigondas let me love on her!   :-)   That's a big step for the aloof human-hating mare that she was years ago.

I unloaded my 6 bags of pellets and picked up some loose alfalfa for my garden.   I bought some yellow squash at the local feed store/Ace Hardware.   ORGANIC, of course!   I already have pole beans coming up out back, along with sunflowers, hollyhocks, sweet peas, lavender, and even the Chinaberry is blooming!    (see pics below)...

 Ripley and my outdoor cat, "Mr. Gray" ALWAYS help me!!!!

 A view of my garden...
 Chinaberry blossoms

 A bee was in one of the holly hocks

Saturday, April 7, 2018


It is supposed to be 100 degrees here Tuesday and in the upper 90's the rest of the week.

...sigh...there go my sweet peas. 

On the other hand, my beans and squash will be enjoying the warm weather! That's what is so unique about the Coachella Valley.  Farmers can get in 9 (NINE) different crop rotations throughout the year.  I always watched what they were growing on my way to school every morning.  In winter they raise broccoli, lettuce, green onions, cauliflower, and other cool season crops.  They get 3 rotations of corn:  an early corn, a June crop, and then another one before they plow everything under in August and just let the fields lie empty.  In summer they grow CORN, melons, squash, beans (not pole ones), watermelon, peppers, and I'm not sure what else.  I don't follow that route any longer since I'm not working.

We had to turn on the air conditioner yesterday.  We HATE to do it, but when it is 85 degrees in the house and we are both sweating, well, it HAS to be done.  I love to have the windows open and listen to the birds, but not when it is in the high 90's.

So, enjoy your weekend!
~Cheryl Ann~
These are all blooming in my front and back yard right now:

Friday, April 6, 2018

Still pluggin' away!

I'm STILL HERE!   I'm just BUSY!   :-)

Honestly, I don't know how I ever found time to work!

My ETSY shop is running smoothly now.  I need to make about 3 or 4 more journals next week and get them into my shop:
I've made 44 journals so far and I've made 21 sales.   PHEW!

The grandkids are keeping me busy, too.  I met our daughter and her kiddos at the Living Desert Reserve this past week and we had a good visit, but it got warm.  It is going to be 100 degrees here next week...YIKES!   Too hot TOO EARLY!

I need to get up to the horses SOON!   I'm sure they all need brushing.  Anybody want to come and help?

Ha, ha!





Some of my cosmos

I have a back yard FULL of sunflowers and hollyhocks!   (not pictured)

My aloe vera bloomed this year!
There is usually a dove on the top of our DEAD cottonwood!

Sunday, January 21, 2018

I've been AWOL again!

Oh, gosh!  WHERE does the time go?

We had our Christmas and son's birthday last month.  We actually got to spend a day with him and his family.  Our daughter and son-in-law (both in the teaching profession) had 3 weeks off school for winter break (I remember THOSE DAYS!) and then we all went to the Living Desert Reserve twice!  Their kiddos LOV going there!  They love the trains, the animals, the play area, the discovery room...the GIFT SHOP!   :-)

I've been busy making handmade journals!  I've sold 5 so far!  YAY!  When I first started, I just gave them away to family & friends.  I don't do that anymore!  I even have a YouTube channel:

AND, I've done over 40 videos now!  I LOVE doing the videos and explaining things and showcasing my journals! 

I also have an ETSY store which is back up and running:

I'm going to TRY to list one new journal a week.  This weekend I finished up two that I started, I have one more to finish (to "embellish) and 2 more that I have sewn together.  I always like to try new things and designs!  Right now I'm really into fabric ones.

So, yes, there is LIFE AFTER RETIREMENT and believe me, YOU GET TIRED even when you are RETIRED!  (That's for Linda Carson!)  So much to do and clean!  Right now I'm organizing my craft room/office.  I went to Dollar Tree and bought... (SIT DOWN!) $40 worth of baskets!  I need them for sewing thread, fabric, lace, bobbins, glue, embellishments...I think I need a "SHE CAVE"!

Take care and stay well.
Cheryl Ann
 Inside the Cahuilla Indian exhibit.  I'm glad they are learning about our local Indian tribes.
 At the pond...
On the tortoise statue by the pond at the Living Desert Reserve.  I renewed our membership for another year.  I've been a member now for... 40 YEARS!  (I first became a member when I was pregnant with our daughter and she'll be 40 in July!) 

Take care!

Friday, December 29, 2017


I don't know whether or not you've been watching the weather reports, but while the Northeast is FREEZING, we're having a ... HEAT WAVE!  Yesterday broke a whole lot of records for the daily high.  Some records were over 100 years old!  Global warming?  HA!  It is REAL HERE!!!!

I cleaned out my clothes closet in anticipation of getting the tax write off for 2017, since we won't get it next year.  DAMN REPUBLICANS !  All they care about are (1) their rich donors; and (2) themselves.  SCREW the rest of us!  I took 2 car loads of stuff over to our nearby thrift store.  Then, back home to have hubby go through HIS clothes.  Neither one of us have done this since we retired and it was time, believe me!  I now have 2 more loads to take today and he still has one more closet to do!  AWAY went his dress shirts, dress slacks, sweaters, vests...ALL he has now are shorts, some jeans, and about 100 t-shirts!  This guy LOVES his t-shirts!

STAY WARM and have a wonderful weekend.
~Cheryl Ann~
The trees were GORGEOUS up at the ranch this fall!