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.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

A changing of the seasons

Now that Thanksgiving is over, it's time to take down the fall decorations and put up the Christmas ones.  First, however, I have to find them out in the garage.   Since our rain is over (for now), this would be a good morning to put on my shoes and go out there and rummage around.  Our two male outdoor cats sleep out there, huddled together.   One is over 15 years old (our daughter brought him to us when a family at her school had to move and couldn't take "Mr. Gray" with them), and the other one is only about 6.   But, they do sleep together to keep warm!   I made them a box with a blanket in it, but they prefer the garage.   Don't worry...they have cat beds out there and an old chair to sleep on!

Our mountains are COVERED with snow!!!!   Even Joshua Tree National Park got snow, and it got more than a dusting!   I'll try to find more photos as they are posted on Facebook, but this one is especially pretty (below):   WOWZA!   We certainly didn't have that much snow last winter!

And, this morning it is 35 degrees on our front porch.   I'm going to have to cover up the bougainvillas tonight, for sure.

I did venture out to the post office yesterday to mail some bills.   Traffic was...a nightmare.  I stopped by Sam's Club to buy gas, but they had their gas station all taped off and it was... CLOSED.   I'm going to HAVE to buy gas today somewhere.

Until next time...
Cheryl Ann

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Glad I got my seeds planted!

I'm so happy that I got all my seeds planted 2 days ago.   In fact, I went out that afternoon and planted sugar snap peas along the chain link fence!   And, I raked an entire area where I want to put my spring garden.   I'm going to keep throwing my coffee grounds out there and raking them into the soil.   I have a bag full of horse manure to spread around, also, so that area will be nice & fertile by spring (if the STUPID DOG stays OUT OF IT!)

We got sprinkles yesterday afternoon and it was DAMN COLD here with the wind blowing.   I made the mistake of going to Whole Foods because the 6 year old granddaughter needs some white grape juice (she has a severe stomach virus AND she's lost 4 pounds!).   She ended up in the ER Tuesday night crying and in extreme pain.  The ER was absolutely packed.   I've never seen it like that.   And, I drove home and left Papa with our daughter and granddaughter, since I can't manage to stay awake after 9 p.m.   They waited... 7 HOURS.   He was dropped off at 4:30 a.m. and we all got there at 9:30 p.m. the night before. 

Anyway, Whole Foods was nothing but... a headache.   The store was PACKED and they only had 3 checkers and there were 3 lines with at least 10 people and carts in EACH LINE!   I mean, what is WRONG with that store?   People were grumbling and rolling their eyes.   After that I went to Trader Joe's.   THEY had every line open and there was only 1 person ahead of me there.   Now, THAT is a well-run store!   And, I had to return in the afternoon because hubby wanted to make pasta for dinner and we had no sauce or sausages or red wine!   So, back I went, and it was still well run!   They get 5 thumbs up.   Whole Foods gets a ppppffffftttttttt!

So, enjoy the holiday with your family!
Cheryl Ann

Monday, November 25, 2019

Getting ready for the coming storm!

I'm like a mad chipmunk right now, scurrying all over the front and back yards, busy planting seeds in anticipation of our 3 days of rain starting Wednesday this week!   I planted all kinds of herbs in the front garden and I've supplemented my hollyhocks and sunflowers out back.   I even planted them in some places among the rocks in the front yard! 

Out next to the mailbox I planted seeds of lupine, larkspur, and California poppies.   I didn't reseed that area with hollyhocks because, frankly, I have enough of them elsewhere.

So, I'm looking forward to this week's rain.   The snow level could be down to 4,000 feet!   WOW!   That means snow up on the road to Idyllwild and maybe even snow at the horse ranch!

Just a few photos from the horse ranch 2 weeks ago.

Stay safe and stay warm!

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Dogs and horses we've said goodbye to...Memories...

I was looking through my feed and saw that Carson over at the 7 MSN hasn't posted since the loss of her beloved dog, Smooch.   I didn't post for about 6 weeks after I lost Ripley.   I just couldn't talk about it.   Or Beauty, or Cali.

I was remembering when our kids were toddlers.   We had 2 collies, a brother and sister.   BJ, the male, looked like Lassie.   Heather, the female, well, she looked like a collie but with German Shepherd tan coloring.   She had the long, collie hair, but no white mane.   BOTH of our kids would grab onto their fur and toddle along beside them!   It was hilarious!   They were good dogs.  We had BJ for about 11 years and I think maybe he had a stroke one afternoon.   My husband was out of town and I was alone with the kids (who were teenagers by then...).   He was screaming in pain.   I ran to my neighbor's house and she helped me lift him into the back of my pickup and off to the 24 hour emergency pet center I drove.   They put him down there.  I came home with an empty truck and a bucket full of tears.

Heather we gave to my grandparents.   She was an excellent watch dog and she spent the rest of her life with them.   She followed my grandfather all over his yard and NEVER let anybody she didn't know into their yard, which was a good thing, because by then they lived on a street with a lot of traffic.Their little, old house and a neighbor's were the only 2 residences left on the street.   Their home was torn down just a couple of years ago.   I don't think anything is there yet.   Oops!   I stand corrected.   THIS is what is there now:,+Arcadia,+CA+91006/@34.1299208,-118.0288269,3a,75y,353.95h,90t/data=!3m6!1e1!3m4!1sW8buqNpM2vsquBhMSo_Q7g!2e0!7i16384!8i8192!4m5!3m4!1s0x80c2dbd040980b8b:0x52ee970ff24e22f8!8m2!3d34.1300334!4d-118.0288323

My grandfather's victory garden is long gone.   The elm tree is gone, as well as his greenhouse.   My grandmother's geraniums are gone.   All I have are the happy memories of their house.   They used to walk down to the corner to buy their eggs.   Grandpa grew onions, radishes, rhubarb, turnips, corn, and he even had an avocado tree.   They walked me to the bus stop from the time I was in first grade through fifth grade, never missing a day.   Now it is I who transports my grandkids from school home or from day care home.

Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Enjoying these days of autumn

I'm loving the soft, autumn light that comes through my craft room window every afternoon.   It has that golden touch.

Birds are returning to the desert.   I went to COSTCO 2 days ago and bought 5 bags of birdseed for $5.99 each.   They are the 20 pound ones.   Today I'm going to WalMart and buy 2 bags of sunflower seeds for $8.99 each (I think they are 40 pounds?).   Anyway the Cooper's hawk is keeping the birds away pretty much now.   They fly in early in the morning, stuff themselves, and then leave before he/she swoops down from above.

Hottest day this week will be tomorrow (of COURSE...the day I have to go pick up the granddaughter from school at 1 pm).   Then, temps go back down into the low 90's and upper 80's, which are PERFECT DAYS here!

Just a few pics from this summer below: (all photos taken at the Living Desert Reserve here in town)

Monday, September 30, 2019

Hummingbird encounter!

Yesterday morning I noticed that my 9 hummingbird feeders ALL needed a cleaning and refill, so I took them all down, scrubbed them, cleaned them, and refilled them with sugar water.   While I was taking one out to the back yard, the female hummingbird who seems to like to stay in our yard all summer came up to the feeder as I was holding it and took several LONG drinks.   She cautiously eyed me, but didn't fly away, content to get a nice, fresh, nourishing breakfast!   And, I got a nice look at her.   What an experience!

I'm sitting here now at my desk and 2 verdin are in the acacia tree right outside the window.   I bought a thistle seed sock at WalMart and yup!   There they go...right to the thistle seed!   I'll have to stock up on it.   They are making the little sounds I heard yesterday morning, I guess, because I hear it again today.  And, the other one is answering back.   It is a male and female.   The male has a LOT of yellow on him!!!

I'm going to meet a friend at the Rancho Mirage library this morning.   They have an Aspen Mills little cafe there where one can buy coffee, bread, or GINORMOUS chocolate chip cookies!   I like to take the 6 year old there, but her mother said "NO MORE SUGAR!", so we definitely won't be going there for cookies!

Oh, wait...there is ANOTHER bird with yellow here this morning...he is in one of the feeders and I can't really see him, but I saw his yellow underbelly!   MORE VISITORS are returning to the desert!   YAY!

I listened to the crows go to sleep last night and they were calling until about 10 p.m.   I was reading one of the Douglas Preston/Lincoln Child agent Pendergast novels (Still Life with Crows) and I couldn't put it down, but my eyes got heavy...FINALLY!

Until next time!

Sunday, September 29, 2019

FALL is here!

I love sitting at my tiny desk, with my laptop in the morning watching all the birds come to the feeders for breakfast and there is quite a crowd this morning!    On the mornings when the Cooper's hawk is on the hunt, however, like yesterday, the front yard is quiet and empty.   But, today it is happily full.   I heard the call of a new little bird this morning, so I'm thinking the migratory birds must be back.   Then I heard the soft reply of its mate.   That really perked me up!    Our neighborhood woodpecker was out pecking and cackling in the mesquite yesterday and I need to fill up my hummingbird feeders this morning.   So many chores to do before 7 a.m.!!!

I've got hollyhock seeds planted in the back yard and they have already sprouted in our 95 degree weather last week, but this week will be cooler.   It was 57 degrees on our front porch this morning, the first morning to break 60 degrees overnight.   Even the bees were huddled in their hive up in the cottonwood.   NONE were outside. goes on...