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, February 26, 2015

A dose of reality

I had to take off work 3 days this week.  I came down with a sore throat on Saturday and by Sunday I knew I was in trouble.  So, Monday I went to urgent care and got a note to stay home and REST for 3 days.

I wasn't real happy about this.  I'm getting docked $125 a day since I'm OUT of sick days already for the year.  If I'm out again, I'll HAVE to return to urgent care and get a doctor's note AGAIN.  And, it's 5 weeks until Spring break, and then another 6 weeks until the Memorial Day 3 day weekend.  Ugh.  I probably will be out sick again.

Look, I'm stuck in a windowless classroom with 26 kids.  If one is sick, we ALL get sick.  I prop the only door open whenever I can, I wash down their desks with On Guard (an antibacterial, antiviral essential oil), and I make them wash their hands, but still, when one of them coughs in my face, I'm toast.  And, that's what happened last week.  One of my girls had a HORRIBLE cough.  She could barely stay awake.  I sent her to the office, but she had no fever (I had a fever!) she wasn't sent home.  I told her to stay home the next day and REST and she did, but she was back the day after that, coughing right in my face.  That was it.  I KNEW I'd get sick, and I did.  So, I had to use 3 UNPAID days to get to the urgent care and get checked.  I had a fever and a sore throat.  And, I'll probably get sick again before long...sigh...

Anyway, while I was home, I noticed that my left leg is very sore (my hip) and now my ankle.  That makes me think my days of getting on a horse are OVER.  Even getting on Lucille...she's a LONG way from the ground.  I cannot even think about falling off a horse again.

I'm going to have to pare down the herd. I'm going to retire in 2 years and I CANNOT keep 5 horses! Anybody interested in Scout?  I'll NEVER be able to ride her...she's too ALPHA for me.  She IS saddle broke, but she's never been ridden.  Please let me know if you can provide a GOOD HOME for her.  She deserves it and honestly, I just keep her in a corral.

Thank you.
Cheryl Ann
 Scout being led quietly by my trainer last summer.
Scout knows all the gaits.  She would make a GREAT barrel racer!  She's short, compact, and those legs and MOVE!

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Drove up to Lake Hemet Monday

I drove up to Lake Hemet Monday and then over to the horse ranch.  I wanted to see if the cottonwood trees up there had any leaves yet (no leaves, but they are budding)...It's such a pretty and relaxing place anyway!
 No leaves yet.
 See how low the lake is?  Wow....
 Just a quiet place...
 I love the trees up there!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Horse visit yesterday

I FINALLY got up to the horse ranch yesterday.  They are all woolly and shedding.  Oh, joy!  I put Gigondas in the large corral next to old Dufus, the gelding who is next to her, because he just gets too excited if she's out of his sight.  She has plenty of room there to run around.  In fact, I may ask the ranch owner if I can just move here there.  Or, maybe Scout.  It's a nice, big, oversized corral and somebody should be in it!  It's the one next to where Scout and Cali used to be together.  That corral now has a hot walker in it.

I took Sunni down to the arena and he self-exercised.  I took Quad up to the round pen and he eagerly ate every morsel of grass he could find.  I mean, he isn't starving!

However, the night before, my birthday, I forgot to take my blood pressure pill that night and so yesterday morning I was loopy and shaky.  By the time I got those three out, I was DONE.  I knew I wouldn't be able to handle Scout...NO WAY!  I could have handled Lucille, but I was so shaky by that time, I just decided to NOT tempt fate!  I'll let Scout and Lucille out first next weekend.  And, I forgot to get my camera out and take pics!  Can you believe it?  That's how out-of-it I was yesterday!  I DID find a backbone of some kind of snake and I did hear something moving in a pile of rocks down by the hay stack, but that was it.

While it's nice having a 4 day work week, we all noticed that the days really drag and it feels like a regular week!  DARN!

Sunday, February 15, 2015

My garden

I've gone all out with my garden out front this year.  I didn't have ANY garden at all last year, with the drought.  Nothing.  NADA...zilch!  I really miss having cosmos, sunflowers, poppies, zinnias, and other seedlings out front.  Our water bill is only $20 a month and, with all the birds in the yard, I figured it was time to start up the old garden again.  The railroad ties planter is FULL of flowers now and I've planted a few things (lavender and daisies) along the rock walkway.  I've made it a point to drive up to our neighborhood nursery and I give myself $20 a week to spend.  I have to get things into the ground NOW before it's too hot to plant anything.

So, so far, I have 4 inch sweet peas coming up, I have a cosmos already blooming, and a tiny daisy out front along the front fence.

Here in the yard (where I can see everything from my laptop), I have 5 lavender plants, 3 daisy plants ( 1 large one and two small ones), salvia (for the hummingbirds), snapdragons, phlox, stock, and some verbena.  Oh, and 1 Tacoma stans, which will be HUGE by the end of summer (also for the hummingbirds).

I've planted several  many packets of seeds:  cosmos, a California garden mix, a couple of bird seed mixes, two butterfly mixes, and now a couple of hummingbird mixes (mostly nasturtiums).  Yesterday I actually talked to one of the sales people up at the nursery and I came home with Tithonia, more zinnias, more cosmos, and a couple of things I haven't tried...(I'll have to write down their names)...

So, I've got my work cut out for the next couple of days and for next week.  Now I just have to figure out where to put all these things!  Here are some pics of what I have so far:

 My 17 year old cat, Loki, likes to help me!

 Ripley likes to walk through my photos!  Yes, we have a ranch style house.  I LOVE IT!

 Railroad ties garden.  I think this garden is 35 years old.  I love the weathered look of the ties now!
 This is the view from my front porch, looking east.  I have 3 hummingbird feeders in the front yard and 2 in the back.  So far, one little female has stayed.

 Ripley, once again, IN THE WAY!!!
I love the purple verbena.  I hope the hummingbirds or butterflies like it, too!

Okay...I looked at the seed packets I bought yesterday:  4 zinnias, 1 butterfly flower packet, 2 Tithonia (Mexican sunflower), 2 chocolate flower (the guy said these have an amazing aroma!), 2 globe mallow (the guy said these LOVE the heat and they are native to the desert here), and 2 packets of Rudbeckia.  He used to work at the Living Desert and he was very helpful and even gave up his break time to talk to me!

I also have some black eyed Susan seeds that my neighbor saved for me from her front yard last year.  I need to get them into the ground NOW!!!  And, I just discovered they are Rudbeckia!

I also bought a 1 gallon honeysuckle vine...sweet orange.  Can't wait for that to bloom!

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Valentine's Day birthday!

Yup.  It's my birthday today...let's see...I'm 63 today.  WHERE did the time go?  Gosh!

Anyway, hubby is off today, but has to work tomorrow, so if we are going to do something, it will have to be today.  He's drinking his coffee, so I'll ask him later where he wants to go for a drive.  We've recently been to the Morongo Preserve, to the Indian Canyons, and to Joshua Tree.  However, in 40 years here, I've NEVER been up on the Palm Springs tram!  Probably won't do that today (too crowded) and the Prez is in town for the weekend.  That means roads are C-L-O-S-E-D.  Maybe we'll head to Julian for an apple pie!

Just some photos from last weekend:

Friday, February 13, 2015

Mt. San Gorgonio~SkyWatch Friday~021315

We drove out to Joshua Tree National Park last weekend.  It is a FREE weekend this weekend, so if you want to go, this is the weekend to do so!  It was a clear, bright day last Sunday and there were several rock climbers busy out at Intersection Rock.  I snapped this photo on our way back out of the park.  SkyWatch Friday for February 13, 2015.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

lavender in my garden

I'm not going up to the horses until tomorrow (day off...) Saturday I just stayed in my pajamas ALL DAY.  ...sigh... I so look forward to the weekends and then Saturday I'm too pooped to go anywhere or DO anything.  I didn't even drive over to Whole Foods and buy lunch.  Instead, I had a two day old box of celery, cabbage, green onions, and other raw stuff that I purchased at their salad bar on Thursday afternoon.  Yes, that's how tired I was yesterday!  I did manage to water all my seeds that I planted last week and weed the area by my sweet peas.  YES!  I have sweet peas again this year.  I forced myself to go out and plant them during winter break and now I'm glad I did.  I'll have some nice color soon.

I do have about 3 or 4 lavender plants in my front yard that I bought at Lowe's.  They are blooming nicely and the bees and hummingbirds really enjoy them.  I love going out with my camera and taking photos of them in the early morning or late afternoon light, so here they are.

Friday, February 6, 2015

3 day weekend!

I have a 3 day weekend starting after school today and I also have one NEXT weekend (for my birthday!)  Whoo, whoo!   :-)  Thank goodness.  But, then NOTHING in March until Good Friday in April, so that will be a LONG, dry spell!

Anyway, I'm eager for this weekend to BEGIN!  I may take my old Nikon with me today and drive out through the vineyards to get some photos of the baby grapes.  This time of year they are just little pinpricks!  They are table grapes and there are a LOT of vineyards around my school.

Have yourself a great weekend!
Take care.
Cheryl Ann
~~Just some leftover photos from last weekend at the park...

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Just some color from my garden

Just a little sunshine from my garden out front.  I have 1 daisy bush and I've planted about 4-5 packets of different flower seed mixes.  The seeds have sprouted, so I'll have some more color soon!

Monday, February 2, 2015

Lil hummer

So, yesterday I stayed home.  Well, not ALL day, of course!  I drove to the city park, to my favorite nursery center, and then home.  While at the nursery, I was admiring this beautiful purple shrub and spotted this little hummingbird busily making the rounds on it.  He just wouldn't hold still, so I'm surprised I even got one decent photo of him!  I tried to find out the name of the shrub, but the guy mumbled it and I never did figure it out...Ranch something...I've tried to find it online and can't.  And, of course, they didn't have any in stock.  I guess I'll just have to return next weekend!   :-)

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Won't be going up to the horses this weekend

It was rainy here yesterday.  I took my car in for an oil change and the mechanic at Goodyear reported I needed new brake pads and rotors.  Nearly $600.00.  Nope, I said...  Then he reported I needed a new serpentine belt (nearly $200).  Nope, I said.  Then he called back again.  I handed the phone to hubby and he announced, "We'll be right over to pick up the damn car!  Have it ready."  NO further work.  I called our son, who said the brakes shouldn't be over $200.00... RIPOFF!!!!

So, I'm going to have to drive CAREFULLY until next Monday (when I'm off school) and I can take it to my reliable, trustworthy mechanic and have it done.  I wouldn't EVER take my car back to Goodyear.  I won't be going up to the horses, then, today.  The serpentine belt worries me more than the brakes because if it goes, the whole car STOPS.  That will also HAVE to be done next Monday...

Until then, I guess I'll stay around the house today and rest.  I'm trying to get rid of this darn cough.  I even bought some oil of oregano yesterday at Whole Foods.  Man, that stuff is STRONG!  Ugh!  But, I hope it kills this virus!

Stay healthy!
Cheryl Ann