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, February 19, 2017

Charismatic dead at age 21...sigh...

Charismatic is dead at age 21.  He was a grandson of the great Secretariat and had a beautiful chestnut coat.  He won both the Kentucky Derby and Preakness and came in 3rd in the Belmont, with a fractured leg.  I remember watching the race as his jockey jumped off and cradled his leg.


That makes me think about my own horses.  Gigondas is the oldest.  We believe (she has no tattoo) that she was born around 2000.  That would make her 17 this year.  Sunni and Quad were both born in 2004, so they are 13 now.  Scout was born in 2005, so she is 12.  WHERE did the time go?

As they age (and as I do, too), I'm finding that I just don't have the time for them.  I only see them once a month (if I'm lucky).  Riding is OUT of the question.  I don't wish to get injured again.  I already have sciatic nerve damage from a fall off a friend's horse and my legs don't work like they used to.  I'm not as quick as I used to be and remember Gigondas knocked me down last fall...

I DO worry about Quad.  He seems to be the most fragile.  He frequently suffers from choke, so I don't give him ANYTHING extra.  He also paces and cribs.  I NEED to get up there more often and take them out, but my babysitting duties call me elsewhere.

Here are the two little STINKERS down here in the desert.  The other 2 are in Temecula...
 Girlie girl!!!
Little flirt!

Friday, February 17, 2017

My Garden

I think I've said this before, but this is my first REAL garden in over 25 years!  It's probably more like 30...I don't really recall having one the whole time I worked!

I'm really enjoying it.  My swiss chard is bountiful.  My cabbages are growing nicely.  Even the little ones that were nibbled upon have come back!  I water them with "alfalfa tea" which is just some alfalfa thrown in a bucket filled with water, and then I dump it on the vegetables.  My sugar snap peas are already 24" tall.  My first two tomato plants already have blossoms on them. However, we are having quite a WINDY DAY here, so I'll have to see how they are tomorrow or Sunday.  We're supposed to get showers here tonight and all day tomorrow.

I find my garden very therapeutic.  Sometimes I go out and pull weeds.  Other times I water it with my watering can.  I have bird feeders away from it and the birds come and go and now they visit my bird bath!  I surrounded it with branches and perches for them and I love to sit at the window and watch them!  I have hummingbirds in the yard and a female who comes to the feeder on the porch!

Life is slower now...less hectic (most days)...I just enjoy watching everything.

I'm reading books about how to maintain and support one's garden.  I have 6 red cabbages, 6 green ones, a cauliflower (with 3 cauliflowers on it), 1 swiss chard, 2 lavender (for the bees), 2 mints (to keep the varmits away), and some sage.  I have sugar snap peas growing on my chain link fence, along with 5 tomatoes (not together, of course)...I have 2 chili peppers and a few sweet peas. I don't know what happened to my sweet peas this year, but they are straggly and struggling.  Yes, they, too, get the "alfalfa tea". I think for next year's crop (this one is going to be rather meager), I'm going to REALLY dig up the soil for them and add LOTS of organic matter.

I now wander up & down the aisles at Home Depot and Lowe's and investigate and read the labels on their mulches.  I want to find an organic one.  There IS a composting facility down valley, but I'm not sure they have organic compost...I'll have to check it out.  I'm a little hesitant about using horse manure on my plants unless it has been out in the sun for over a year ( to burn off the parasites and germs...)....

Anyway, the granddaughter is coming over today before we go to the library so I can show her my garden.  I'll take some photos and post them tomorrow!

I've had to babysit "Little Man" for 2 days because he had a rash and fever, but he appeared to be okay...kinda cranky yesterday.  Here's what he thought of Grandma's babysitting:

He gave me an "F" for babysitting because I forgot one of his bottle feedings!

THEN... (I nearly had a heart attack...)
Now, mind you, GRANDPA came along to "help".  YEAH, right!  All he did was sit in front of the TV for 10 hours...

I was running around doing laundry for our daughter (I did 7 loads yesterday and folded everything and put it away).  On one of my trips around the corner to the laundry, HORROR...I noticed the front screen metal door wide open!  HUH?  I was SURE I locked it (but the lock is very tricky)...

GUESS WHO was sitting outside the front door on the step?  YUP.  Little Man!  I screamed and ran SO FAST across the room...I think I set a new land speed record!  I swooped him up, closed and locked the wooden FRONT DOOR, and said a prayer of thanks!  He somehow managed to crawl all the way down the hallway, push open the screen door (which does have a lock on it, but apparently I didn't get it properly locked) and crawl onto their front step.  They only have one step and then a walkway which goes down to the driveway!   I think I now have 100,000 new gray hairs!  Fortunately his parents both have a 4 day holiday weekend, so THEY can watch him for the next 4 days!


I had to come home and have 2 beers last night.
Cheryl Ann

Thursday, February 9, 2017

ETSY shop open! PLEASE stop by!

I opened an ETSY shop this week:

I wanted to post photos of the desert, mountains, Sierra Nevada, and places we've traveled, as well as some of my horses, and I decided on this name:  Desertsandbeyond...

Anyway, PLEASE do stop by and take a look around...I have some prints and some prints with frames.
Please also send me your ideas/suggestions.  I haven't posted any horse photos yet.  I have had an incredibly busy week...babysitting, running errands, babysitting, you notice a pattern here???

My garden is coming along nicely.  Tomatoes are growing, cabbages, swiss chard are all doing FINE!

Thanks, everyone!  I appreciate you coming by.  It is lonely over there...

Cheryl Ann

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Settling in

I think I've finally settled in with retirement.  I like it; it likes me (I think)...

I have now planted a vegetable garden (my first one in over 30 years!).  I enjoy getting up before dawn, fixing my coffee, feeding the dog, waiting for the alpenglow to hit our local mountains, feeding the birds, and then checking on my garden.

Some kind of VARMIT got to 4 of my cabbages and nibbled most of them off, but they have...SURVIVED!  And, they are getting bigger and stronger.  I think it also has something to do with the bucket of horse manure tea I poured on them!?!?!?!?!?!?  I forget and left the damn thing out in our rain when the last storm came through here and VOILA! It was full of tea, so I used it!  And, I poured some on my sweet peas and I SWEAR they doubled their height overnight!

Every Wednesday morning through May there is a certified farmers' market here in town and hubby and I get up and go to that.  Then we usually run our grocery errands, although today I drove out to COSTCO and to Lowe's (where I bought 4 more tomato plants and another chili).  Oh, and 2 more lavender plants...nice size!

We try to get down to our son's house in Temecula twice a month.  He works all week, so that's a weekend thing.  I babysit the 2 grandkids here in the desert on Wednesday afternoons.  Hubby stays home and babysits the cat and the dog.

Other than that, my time is pretty much open.  My colleagues (who also retired the same time I did) and I get together about 2x a month.  Last time we visited Sunnylands, in Rancho Mirage, "home of the presidents".  I think every president since Eisenhower has visited there.  President Obama donated a bench there, which we saw.  You can tour the gardens for free, but the house tour is $21.00.  That's a little steep for 3 retired teachers!

Here are a few photos from the last few weeks.  I didn't realize I hadn't posted since December 2016!!!!

 This was during one of our rain storms!  I haven't seen that much water in the wash since about 2011!!!!!!  We got nearly 2" of rain!
 Another view of the wash.  It runs down several golf courses and I noticed that today a bulldozer was out leveling it all out again.
 I met a roadrunner on one of my morning walks.
 Bench at Sunnylands donated by President Obama.
 The house.  Too stark and sterile for me.
One of the water features at Sunnylands.