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.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

My aunt is in the hospital...

 My aunt, who is 86 years "young", got heatstroke Monday afternoon and the family gathered at her house to assist her.  She REFUSED to go to the emergency room, put her foot down and said, "I'm NOT going!", so hubby ran out and bought her some gatorade, and I sat and put a wet towel on her forehead.  We also turned down her air conditioning, which was set at 86 degrees!  That's WAY TOO HOT for an older person!!!!  She does have ceiling fans, but every time I go visit her, I'm SWEATING!  Apparently she went out in the afternoon in her golf cart, and then came home and went outside to do some gardening and she didn't drink enough water.  She was confused while talking to her son-in-law, so he called my husband and the family gathered at her house.  She went to the doctor (my daughter drove her) the next day and was admitted to the hospital.  She had a fluttering heartbeat and she's now been there for two nights.  Would you please say a little prayer for her?  She IS 86 years old and has never lived in our desert before.  People who don't live here don't realize how important it is to keep drinking water.  I actually got heat stroke one time when I was moving from one classroom to another and I didn't drink enough water.  Believe isn't fun.  I'm concerned because of her heart rate and her mental confusion.  Thank you all.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Why I love my school

I love my school because it's in a very small rural community.  And, I was delighted to see that this summer, while we were all on vacation, the nearby ranch tilled this field right across from my school, and planted something...probably carrots or lettuce.  It has to be something with small seeds because they are watering it from above, not flooding the fields.  These sprinklers are running 24 hours a day right now...  Unfortunately, I've been sprayed with water a couple of times, including the day I took this photo!  I stopped, rolled down my window, and snapped this photo, but then got sprayed with water!  Hmphf!  Another teacher had to park outside of our parking lot and he got covered with water before school!  The kids used to cross this field and walk to the houses on the other side of it, but the field manager is there pretty much all day and he'll chase them back onto the sidewalk if they even THINK about doing that!~

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Saturday horse time

So I drove up to the ranch yesterday morning and all the horses were fine.  Sunni had slipped off his fly mask, but it was too big and I knew it wouldn't last long...sigh...time to order more, I guess. Quad looked up long enough to give a big "HELLO!" and then wanted some food.  (...rolling eyes...)  Sunni went and stood by his gate, so I walked him down to the arena for the R&R.  He didn't run around...he just walked and ate weeds and rolled a couple of times.  By 10:00, however, it was TOO HOT to do much of anything.  This morning, here in the desert, it cooled down nicely last night and I've got all the doors and windows open to let in the morning air!  WOW!  That's a relief!  Here are some pics from yesterday. I also went to the feed store and this was the nice young man who waited on me!

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Finally~some horse time today!

After two days of school, I'm exhausted!  I CANNOT wait for some horse time today!

Friday, August 24, 2012

Well, I survived the first day of school!!!!

Not only did I survive the first day of school, but I LOVE my class!  So far, I only have 25 kids (not like last year's 32!!!!!) and they are polite and attentive!  Phew!  They are all so ADORABLE!  They politely sat through a couple of my horse stories and listened while I showed them a poster of my horses and explained all their names.  They laughed when I told them a story about how Scout ran into me and knocked me down!  One boy's mom came up to me in the morning and explained that I'd had his older brother and sister YEARS ago and that the daughter is now in high school and the son is in college!  So, I have the little brother!  And, I have a sibling of another boy I had years ago and this kid is as smart as a whip!  I actually had both of his older brothers and they are SMART!  Additionally, I have 2 of my second graders from last year, when I had the 2/3 combo class.  The girl is a top student and very quiet and the boy is a good reader, but needs to learn his times tables! We only have 2 days of school this week, then a full week next week, then a 4 day week (because of Labor Day).  I gave them a math sheet and they said, "This is TOO EASY!"...(although they forgot that any number x 0 = 0) I reviewed that.We start 30 minutes earlier this year and get out 30 minutes earlier in the afternoon, so that's a big difference, too.  I was always EXHAUSTED by 3:00 last year, but this year we get out at 2:35.  Oh, I found these photos online from the first day of kindergarten in our district, so I thought I'd share them with you.  I had about 6 parents stay for about 30 minutes yesterday morning, but then they left.  NOBODY cried!  These kids WANT to do science and art, so I'm overjoyed!  Here are the kindergarten pics which were published in our local paper.  Aren't they all adorable?

Thursday, August 23, 2012

School starts today!

School starts today and I'm AFRAID, very AFRAID!  I hardly slept AT ALL last night~ I'm as nervous as the kids!  Isn't that silly after all these years?  The son, girlfriend, and grandson came to my classroom yesterday for a visit.  The grandson, who is 3 1/2, loved my 3D wooden blocks.  I gave him one of the whiteboards and a marker and then he went to town drawing.  Then he discovered Grandma's cupboards and had fun going through them!  He really enjoyed his afternoon with Grandma!  And, Claudia helped me clean desks and get them ready for today!  He'll be starting preschool soon, so it was a good experience for him!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Interior photos of the John Osborn house

Well, apparently I am unable to upload the photos taken of the interior of the house, which was built about 1643.  They were attached to the application to become a national historic residence.  Here's the link to the photos:  You can scroll through them.  I especially enjoyed seeing the ones of the hearth and kitchen utensils!  There's even an Amazon book about it:

I guess I'll have to spend $8.99 to get the photos of it~
Okay, I found this one of the outside....still looking for more photos that are uploadable!***UPDATE*** I found this YouTube of the interior of the house:

Here's another one:

John Osborn house, Westport, Connecticut

Linda over at The 7MSN is doing some posts about an old homestead she found on her property. I started researching my female family members this summer because my dad did his male line back to 1634.  In my family research this summer, I came upon information about one of my ancestral homes in Fairfield, CT..  I actually have two different ancestral houses listed on this site:, the John Osborn house and the Benjamin Sturges house. They are both what's known as a "saltbox" house because of the slooping roof.  The Osborn house was built in 1674 or 1673.  My original male ancestor fought in the Pequot War and was awarded 80 acres of land for his service and this house apparently sits on part of that 80 acres. Originally most authorities pegged it 1783, but recent findings have pushed it back to around 1673.  It is still lived in by a family, leaving our family in the 1960's.  My father used to talk about the old Osborn house, but I've never seen it.  This was in my direct male line.  My father's family settled in Connecticut in the 1600's and he was actually the first to come "out West" when he left to join the Army in WWII. The Sturges family  married into my Osborn line, so I need to research that house as well.  Here are some pics I've saved of the Osborn house. It is now on the National Registry of Historic Houses .I'm going to have to find photos of the interior, especially the cooking hearth, but I'll have to post those tomorrow!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Guess who showed up this morning?

I heard a THUMP outside the cabin last night, but was TDT (too damn tired) to get up and see what it was. I know that racoons have been stopping by every night because the leftover birdseed is always gone in the mornings.  So, when I awoke at 5:00 a.m. this morning, I heard a "THUD" and turned on the light, looked outside, and saw two baby racoons!  Momma was there, too, so I threw them some peanuts, quickly closing the door.  They crunched them, threw the shells aside, and ate the peanuts.  Pretty soon all were munching on peanuts, sunflower seeds, birdseed with black sunflowers and raisins.  Then, while I was out watching, a dark form came around the side of the was PAPA!  He was HUGE!  ACK!  He scared me!  I quickly threw out some more of the hulled sunflower seeds and they are happily munching them.  We had rain up here all afternoon yesterday and all 4 of them were wet and cold.  I'm sure they visit every cabin up here (there are...7 cabins), and they weren't the slightest bit afraid of us, but I was very cautious with them.  It was fun to sit and watch them and now they've had a decent meal, so they will wander off and probably take a nap!  NOT my photo...I had to grab one from google. Well, it's getting light now and the blue jays are out screaming for their breakfast!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

What do I do at the cabin?

There's a little squirrel who lives right next to the cabin.  In June, when we were last up here, there was a momma "crooked tail" and 2 youngsters.  Now only one of the babies is left.  Momma is GONE.  :-(  There are a lot of feral cats up here and neighborhood dogs, too.  This little one isn't shy at all and when she sees me head outside, she appears.  Sometimes she even comes up on the railing.  She's not at all shy about taking on the blue jays either.  While they all love peanuts, the jays also like the whole corn kernels.  The squirrel will take 1 peanut at a time, hold it in her paws, sniff it all over, and then run like hell to one of her stashes.  I've seen her have several of them at the base of various trees around here.  I can tell where she is because I see the grasses moving!  One afternoon she chased off 4 blue jays!  MINE!  They woke me up this morning at 6:30 (I FINALLY slept in!) because they wanted breakfast!  Right now there are 8 or so outside eating their peanuts and corn.  I don't always get clear photos of them as they land and then take off and the squirrel grabs a morsel, too, and takes off!  I am enjoying their antics, but today is our last full day here before we head home...:-(

Friday, August 17, 2012

Lake and thunderheads~SkyWatch Friday~081712

We stopped by our favorite aspen-lined lake, which is below North Lake, up in Bishop Canyon.  The thunderheads were developing and by 4:00 that afternoon, it was raining all around the eastern Sierra, including Mammoth.  SkyWatch Friday for August 18, 2012.  To visit SWF, please go to:

Thursday, August 16, 2012


A couple of you asked to see some pics of Bodie, so here they are.  Bodie is a California state park 13 miles OFF Highway 395.  It is paved for 10 miles, but the last 3 are on a dirty, dusty, and pitted road and it has an admission fee of $7.00 PER PERSON.  It is only open from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. and the park rangers WILL ask you to leave at 6:00 p.m.  Unfortunately, unless you are IN LINE at 9:00 in the morning, you won't get good morning shots.  And, the best afternoon lighting is AFTER 6:00 p.m.!!!  So, go figure!  Fortunately we were there on a day with clouds and that really helped our photos.  Unfortunately we were there at noon and it was HOT, HOT, HOT!  And dry!  Bodie has NO water for sale, so bring your own.  Also bring a wide hat and sunscreen as there is NO shade at all in the park.  They do have a museum there, but the bathrooms are up by the parking lot (away from town), and it is a hike back to them. Also, there is NO FOOD for sale there, so bring a sandwich or snack.  We've been there both in the morning and afternoon and I actually like the afternoon better.  Bodie is an old mining town which burned down a couple of times...the last time was 1932, which finally led to the abandonment of the town.  There are lots of books for sale in the museum about the history of Bodie, but here's what I know.  It was a major mining town during the late 1800's and early 1900's and a stage line ran through it.  It became a state park in 1962 and you can see many buildings there complete with their interiors intact, including the school house.  The post office and the weigh station are also complete, along with several other buildings.  It's interesting to see the interiors (you can view them through windows).  I always love the fire station and the old hotel.  There are some buildings with lots of windows, which makes me wonder HOW those people survived the extremely COLD winters there (it gets down to -18 degrees!!!)  Bodie is up on a plateau, so it gets HOT in the summer, but extremely windy and cold in the winter and the road is NOT plowed to it.  In fact, it's only open a few months of the year (due to snow) can google it and learn more about Bodie.  Here's the California state park website:   Here are a few of my pics from yesterday ... we only stayed for one hour because it was too hot and we didn't plan on going there, so we didn't have WATER... (duh)...  That's the cemetery in the top photo.  It is across town and VERY hot and dry!!!!  We've never actually toured it.  That's on our "to do" list.  So, enjoy your tour of Bodie!  ***NOTE*** I took the last 2 photos which are photos of Bodie at the Bridgeport museum.  The first one shows the town on fire in 1932.  The bottom one shows Bodie during the winter months and all the snow there!

Pack animals

The horses and mules that I posted pics of yesterday are all part of this stable's pack animals.  They have all day, half day, and one hour rides.  I've seen folks out on the trails around Silver Lake a couple of times (in between rain storms).  The horses and mules have the same brand as these in the corrals.  I think it would be fun to take a ride up here!

We actually had decent weather yesterday, so we drove over to Bodie.  Bodie is a state park, high up on a plateau, which is an abandoned mining town.  It burned a couple of times, the most recent fire being the one in 1932 which finally led to the town being abandoned.  It's an interesting study of life in the late 1800's and early 1900's and there's even a school house there.  This was the first time we'd been to Bodie when it had clouds.  Unfortunately, it was also 90 degrees, so we only stayed for one hour (it was midday and HOT!)...We drove back to our cabin and enjoyed the squirrel and blue jays outside on the porch.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Pack horses and mules

Not far from the cabin is a large meadow full of pack horses and mules.  The horses are all drafts and they are HUGE!  So, of course, while hubby was sleeping in yesterday morning, I drove down there for some horse time.  Some of the horses were eager to come to the fence for some scritches, but some held back.  I spotted a coyote wander out into the meadow when I saw the horses alert to something.  They had plenty of grass to eat and when we drove by in the afternoon (to go to the store to buy a frozen apple pie!)...they were busy eating in the rain.