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.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Day ~~Merry Christmas

We are staying home this morning, but will go to our daughter's home this afternoon for Christmas dinner.   Papa (hubby) stayed awake ALL NIGHT last night, no...not waiting for Santa, but reading a Raymond Chandler novel on his Kindle!   So, he will need some rest before we go off to Christmas dinner!

I'll be heading over to our son's later this week for his birthday, which is on the 28th.   I have to juggle my visit because our daughter and her family are heading over to see him this weekend and it would be entirely TOO MUCH CHAOS for me to be there with all 5 grandkids!   (... introvert that I am...)

Today I'm crafting...not making a journal, but doing all kinds of mini-books and decorations.   This is ALMOST as much fun as actually making a journal!

Merry Christmas to you and your family (families)!
~~Cheryl Ann~~

Saturday, December 15, 2018

Just a couple of reflections from up at the ranch~Weekend Reflections~121518

They had 2 days of RAIN up at the horse ranch where I board my horses last week and I drove up there last Saturday.   There was still plenty of water standing around, like the water on this table.   I thought the reflection was nice.

Weekend Reflections for December 15, 2018.   To visit WR, please go to:

Friday, December 14, 2018

Storm! ~SkyWatch Friday 12/14/18

I went up a couple weekends ago to check in on the horses and buy some pellets.   Fortunately, that day had clouds hanging over the Santa Rosa and San Jacinto mountains, offering some opportunities for photographs.   The light was changing quickly as the clouds swirled around the mountains, but I did manage to get a few photos:

I always LOVE to drive up into our local mountains when it is a cloudy day.   I never know what I'm going to find!

SkyWatch Friday for December 14, 2018.      To visit SkyWatch Friday, please follow this link:

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Does ANYBODY blog anymore?

Does anybody blog anymore?

Does anybody CARE?

I look at my readers' feed and there are very few active bloggers.   Al, over at Travel with the Bayfield Bunch blogs on a nearly daily basis, and Carson, over at The 7MSN, blogs a couple days a week, but there are very few others. 

I've tried to contact people whose blogs I've followed and they have either disappeared off the face of the planet or their blogs say, "You don't have permission to view this blog"!   EXCUSE ME?   SAY WHAT?   I don't get it...

I know a lot of people are on Facebook now (I am...), but I still like the ability to write more than a few sentences once in a while.   I like to keep up my thinking and typing skills...ha~

I realize I don't get out and take photos like I used to and I DO miss that.   And, it's kind of ironic, since I now have the TIME to do so, but not the desire.  I'm using a whole tank of gasoline a week to drive the kindergarten grand daughter to school every morning and after that, I come home and eat breakfast and take a nap.   That's my morning routine now.   I have little time, money, or energy to drive ANYWHERE.

Any comments?

Some recent photos:   Sunflowers up at Oak Glen...

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Thanksgiving break (THANK GOODNESS!)

Whoo, hoo....I get a 9 day break from driving Miss Ellie to kindergarten!    PHEW!   Now I can make coffee any hour of the morning and not worry about having to be gone for 90 minutes! 

And, hubby is driving to Temecula today to take our grandson Ben to his final baseball game because our son is going to my aunt's memorial service and can't get him there in time.   So, I will have some "PEACE AND QUIET" time!

I had to babysit both grandkids yesterday afternoon and evening while Mommie was on a field trip to UCLA with the junior scholarship kids and Daddie was at a football game.   By 8 p.m. Miss Ellie was konked out on the couch and I was still watching the day's news.   Such are my days now...

Monday, November 12, 2018

Some new journals in my ETSY shop!!!! Come take a look!!!

I have quite a few journals right now in my ETSY shop:

I sold 5 last month and I'm busy trying to replace them!   I have 4 Christmas ones, 2 French/boho ones (although I'm finishing up another one today), some fall themed ones, and a November one.

Here are some pics:   Please DO come take a peek!

Thursday, October 25, 2018

Birds, ants, and kindergarten...oh, my!

Hubby and I have been trading back and forth some kind of yucky stomach virus and I got it yesterday.   Now, NOTHING is supposed to interfere with me driving Miss Ellie to kindergarten, but I did leave about 10 minutes later than usual.   AND, I was unable to pick her up for early release Wednesday so I called her mom and told her she would HAVE to do so!   So she did. 

I'm enoying watching all the birds out front at the feeders, but the little verdins go through a thistle sock of food A DAY!   I left and returned from driving Miss Ellie to kindeergarten this morning and the darn sock was... HALF EMPTY!   Little buggers!   If we didn't have so many of them, I wouldn't even put it out, but we do, so I do.  I heard and then saw our neighborhood woodpecker yesterday so I put out some fresh oranges for him this morning, but I THINK he liked the ants crawling all over the old slices, so I also left them up.

Gotta run some errands today...I have books to return to one library for the 5 year old and I'm going to the one in my town to check out 10 more for her to read!   She is learning to read some words on her own now and she wants to be read to... EVERY NIGHT!   I think this month she's had 75 books read to her!   WOW!   That's pretty good...and now the 2 1/2 year old brother is catching onto this reading thing. 

I'm going to try to work on some journals today.   I sold 3 this week, so I need more for my shop.   Don't forget to stop and take a peek:   ETSY shop:     So far I have 4 Christmas journals and I'm going to make a 5 ring binder next week.   Here are some pics:

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Baseball game and Bodie

Our grandson had a baseball game yesterday and it wasn't raining, like last Saturday, so off we went.  By "we" I mean me, hubby, and our 11 month old lab mix, Bodie.   We knew he would love all the kids there (he's extremely friendly) and the grandkids hadn't met him yet.

Ben (the 9 year old) got to pitch the first 2 innings and then played first base.   His team won 14-3!  He hit a single, a double, got walked, and I missed 1 at bat because I was out walking Bodie...

The 3 year old granddaughter had the most fun with Bodie.   She loves dogs and she sat down with him and he slobbered all over her!   She was very gentle with him.

It was a good day for all.  I drove home, ate dinner, had a beer, watched the first 7 innings of the Dodgers' game, and then went to sleep!   Bodie slept the entire way home, ate his dinner, and went to sleep.  See a pattern here?

Pics below:

 Bailey, the 3 year old, with Bodie.
 Baby Riley with her yogurt...
Ben pitching

Friday, September 21, 2018

Kindergarten trip to Oak Glen

So, I drove my own car and met Miss Ellie's kindergarten class up at Oak Glen (apple growing region) yesterday.   There was NO WAY I was going on the school bus.   First, I can't stand all the noise.   Second, I wouldn't have lasted all day like they did, although I heard they were screaming for snacks and were hungry for lunch!   I left before all that (thank goodness).

I did follow them around for about an hour and went on the tour of the apple packing areas and listened to "Johnny Appleseed" talk about the kinds of apples, but it was outside and the temps were about 85 degrees and Nana had low blood sugar, so I left.   I had a bean & cheese burrito in my car from my morning stop at Baker's, so I scarfed it down driving down the mountain.  Got home and took a nap for an hour.  Life was better after that.

Here are some pics from our day:

 Beautiful apples!
 Apples going up the conveyor belt to be washed, then dried, then sorted, then packed...
 Apples on one of the trees.   It is still early in the apple season...
 Apples on trees...

I liked these apples in boxes IN THE SHADE!

More photos tomorrow...stay tuned!

Sunday, September 16, 2018

Summer comes to a close

Summer is slowly coming to a close here in the desert of Southern California.   The changes are subtle.   I was driving home from Indio Interstate 10 the other day and I noticed how much further south the sun is setting.   I've followed sunsets for years now along the ridge line of the San Jacinto mountains and I'm following them again this year.  Also, there is a golden glow in the late afternoons, about 4 p.m.  Finally, my Chinaberry tree is turning yellow and its leaves are falling.   I have 3 Adirondack chairs under it, where I sit and write in my journal, and every morning they are covered with leaves.   Finally, birds are returning...I saw and heard a black phoebe and saw 2 ducks overhead one morning while driving the 5 year old granddaughter to kindergarten.

I went out this morning (since trash pickup day is tomorrow) and filled up 2 of the green waste recycling bins with trimmings just from the front yard.   The mesquite has exploded with growth over the last month.  I know because one weekend I filled up 3 of the green bins with branches from it. I'm trimming stuff now to get ready for my fall annual plantings.  I have a large area along our walkway that I want to plant hollyhocks, so I needed to clean up that area... DONE!

We DO have to get the mesquite trimmed and thinned out.   To my horror, I went out one day, looked up, and saw where one of the major branches is cracking.   It's the one that goes out over the driveway and shades our car.   So, unfortunately, because of the weight of all the side branches, it will need to come down.   There are a couple of dead branches, too, and a couple that are hanging almost straight down, so we will have to get a professional tree trimmer out to trim it.   $$$$ ahead...sigh...BUT, it has to be done.

So, fall is slowly creeping up on us.   We will have double digit temperatures next week...FINALLY!   And, our nights are cooling off, to where we can open up the windows and TURN OFF the air conditioner!   Isn't that nice?

Take care.
~Cheryl Ann~

Tuesday, August 28, 2018


My aunt died 2 nights ago.   She would have been 95 next month.   She was my mother's younger sister.

She was the last remaining relative in my immediate family of her generation, the one that grew up during World War II.  My own father was 32 when he enlisted in the Army, after Pearl Harbor and he was 42 when I was born.   He died in 1998 at the age of 88.   Mom died in 2000 at the age of 82, from pneumonia.

Aunt Claire and my uncle always enjoyed coming out to visit the horses.   They lived in San Diego and it wasn't too far of a drive for them.   Then they sold their house there and moved to Indio, within 5 minutes of both of our grown children who often stopped to see them.   My uncle died a couple of years after their move and they continued to stop in and check on my aunt.  She was more of a grandmother to them than their own grandmother, who had passed, like I said, in 1998, so she never got to see her great-grandchildren.  But Claire often had dinner with our daughter in Indio and her family and loved on the grandchildren like they were her own. 

Rest in peace, Claire
September, 1924 - August 26, 2018

Monday, August 27, 2018

67 degrees on the front patio this morning!

As soon as I let Bodie (our 9 month old puppy) out for his morning "business" and breakfast, I could feel a cool breeze and cool air!   I HAD to run and see what the temperature was.   It was 67 degrees!!!   WOWZA!   Of course, today will be 108 at the peak this afternoon, but I've got every door and window open right now letting the cool air inside.   Any time we can turn OFF the air conditioner is a blessing!   :-)

I finished two journals yesterday and they are now listed in my ETSY shop:

It sure was nice getting the Farmers' Market one DONE!   The papers had been sitting around since July!   I had put it aside to finish it later and, OF COURSE, I completely forgot about it!   But now it is done.

This week is going to be a busy one!   I have to pick up Miss Ellie Wednesday, take her to the library, and then go back and pick up her 2 year old brother.   Same thing for Thursday.   Tuesday I'm meeting a friend and colleague who retired the same year I did.   We're heading over to Coffee Bean for a morning of gossip.

Sunday, August 26, 2018

Just waiting for summer TO END!

July was brutal here.   It was our hottest July...EVER!

However, the last few mornings here in the desert have been quite pleasant.  Our temps have been in the 70's and more are in the forecast for the rest of the week!   I can actually go outside now in the morning without melting!   And, it looks like the holiday weekend will be pleasant, too.   YAY!

I sold 3 journals to one very nice lady last week and sold another one yesterday!  I should finish another one today (hopefully), then I need to get started on a third one.  I like to keep my ETSY shop filled.   I'm really enjoying making the oversize journals using 11x17 inch paper folded in half.   That's a good size and it is my own personal favorite size.   My personal journal is that size.   I don't like the smaller journals, but that's just me...

Just some random photos:

 Our daughter took this photo of our grandkids a couple of weekends ago. 
 It is now kindergarten 7, Ellie 6.  When I pick her up on Wednesdays, she falls asleep too.
The "BIG 3"...Atticus, Rommel, and my Ripley....all RIP now.

Monday, August 13, 2018

A change in the air...

There is a change in the air.   Colors are different.  Afternoon light is a delicious yellow/orange.   FALL is coming!   Even night time temperatures are dropping and this morning it is below 80 degrees outside!

So, yesterday hubby and I went out front, armed with clippers and attacked the low hanging branches of our huge mesquite.   We LOVE the shade, but I couldn't even get my car in the driveway due to the low branches.   And, the street sweeper couldn't pass by our house due to the sticking out in the street, so we cut away and filled up 3 of our big trash containers with branches.   I was shocked that hubby actually came out to help, but he did (A MIRACLE!).   It is good to now be able to pull both cars in the driveway without them being scratched.

I sold my grimoire-style journal over the weekend, so it is off to a new home in North Carolina.

Lots to do this week.   Hubby is going to visit the grand kids in Temecula and I'm going to babysit the 2 year old while his mother and sister go to kindergarten back to school night.  Bodie (the dog) and Brady (the grandson) LOVE to play together, so it will tire both of them out!   :-)

Until tomorrow...

~~Cheryl Ann~~

Thursday, August 9, 2018

The dog days of August are here!

The dog days of August are here.   My sunflowers are pretty much done.   There are only a couple of the prairie ones hanging on.   My squash is KAPUT.   Maybe over the weekend I'll go out and yank it all out.   It NEVER had any fruit.   Neither did my green beans.   We had the HOTTEST July EVER on record last month and even with all the humidity the past 2 days, most of my sunflowers and even some of my plants out front are dead or dying.   I'm looking now at a dead yellow daisy plant...sigh...One of my lavender plants out in the back yard is now dead, too, and believe me, I water twice a day!

So, I'm going to pull out the dead stuff this weekend and think about fall.   I ordered some seeds from Botanical Interests (non GMO seeds) and they should arrive any day.   I like their seeds.   They have an excellent sprouting rate and our local nursery, right up the street, carries them, too. 

I've noticed the beautiful light in the late afternoon, early evenings.  I hope it isn't just from the fires...sigh...I think I read that California now has 17 active fires?   There is a new one down in Ramona, which is 2 hours away.  JUST TOO HOT AND DRY.

Little Miss Ellie survived her first day (minimum day) of kindergarten and today she went a full day.   I'm anxious to hear how she did, although I did hear they got to go to the library.   Oh, and yesterday they talked about musical instruments.   She knows those because he mother teaches middle school band and she has often visited her classroom.

I'm driving her to school every morning now, so I get back home around 9 a.m. and my day starts then. 

Hopefully I will fill up a couple of trash cans with dead stuff (plants) this weekend.

Temps are no longer in the 110+ category, but, with this humidity, one still rushes inside.   Ugh.   It is HORRIBLE right now.  There is a hurricane down by Baja California and we are getting all the moisture.

Cheryl Ann

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

First day of kindergarten for the oldest granddaughter!

Yes~~ Today was Miss Ellie's first day of kindergarten!   Apparently she woke up before 6 a.m. and dressed herself...that's how excited she was!

Both her parents took the day off work to walk her to her classroom (and I went along).   We all got to stay with the other anxious parents for an hour!   And, sit in those TINY CHAIRS!   My goodness!   When did chairs get that small?

Of course, Miss BLABBERMOUTH got in trouble and had to have a "chat" with the teacher!   And, she didn't know what "criss cross apple sauce" was.   She never did that in preschool!   She could, however, print her name correctly (even the "e" was the correct way!).   The teacher read them a nice story about 3 baby owls whose mother went off to hunt during the night and one of them really missed her and was crying!   I only saw 1 kid crying before class started!

And, sigh...the teacher had to talk to mom AGAIN after school because Ellie didn't know how to sit properly and Ellie said NOBODY played with her at recess...such DRAMA!   I mean, isn't kindergarten supposed to be when these kids LEARN these things?

Anyway, we'll see if this teacher works out or NOT.

 All ready for school.   Tomorrow she will wear shorts and shoes and socks.
The happy family.

Friday, August 3, 2018

Thank goodness for dog naps!

So, this month Bodie will be... 8 months old!   He is filling out nicely.   He has extremely long legs, so we aren't sure what he is.   Definitely part lab, but the rest?????

Anyway, he pretty much follow me around the house all day.   Whatever room I'm in, HE is in too.  Right now he is beneath my table in my office, keeping an eye on me.   He sleeps on the bed at night.   Promptly every night, at 8 pm, he is ready for bed!   He gets up in the morning when I get up.   He gets his breakfast and some "outdoors" time.   Then back inside to play and run up and down the hallway and torment the cat.   Then, a nice LONG nap!

Thank goodness for dog naps!

This little guy is ALL ENERGY!   We have talked about doing a doggie DNA test on hi, but we haven't done it yet.  He is just the happiest thing!   He always has a big smile and he is ready to do anything.

I was surprised that he actually JUMPED into the car on his own after getting his last puppy shot Monday.  THANK GOODNESS because he weighed 49.5 pounds!   That's almost as much as a bag of pellets!   I'm going to work with him and get him to jump into the back seat WITHOUT my help.   He can do it...I just need to work with him.

I'm also working on "SIT".   It's strange how he cannot remember SIT, but he sure knows the word, "Cookie"!   Eh?

I gave him a carrot a few days ago.   It held his interest for... about 3 minutes and then was abandoned.  He prefers shredding Ripley's old toys or getting into the trash.   THAT is much more interesting!

So, life goes on...

~~Cheryl Ann~~

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

August 1st

Today is August 1st, which means another July is behind us.   PHEW!    This one was HOT and NASTY!   I'm glad she is GONE!!!!!

I now have daily visits from the Cooper's hawk or hawks.   We aren't sure if it is the same one or different ones.   I know there are at least 3 of them in the neighborhood...a mama and 2 juveniles.   Our neighbor says he has counted 5 of them!   So, who knows?

The Cranston fire is now 86% contained, as of yesterday afternoon, and some areas of the mountains got RAIN yesterday.   The news stations haven't been issued as update, but that is encouraging.

Anza is getting electricity 4 hours a day.   They were completely without it for 3 days.   NOBODY is allowed to turn on their air conditioner, however.   That would overtax the temporary system which the power company had to rig because some of their lines were burned in the fire.  The horses have water and the ranch owner's freezer kept her food frozen, so that's all good news.

Life goes on...

~Cheryl Ann~
Swim lessons for the 2 year old.   The 5 year old was off in another group...

Thursday, July 26, 2018

Breaking Bad

So, my husband binge watched the first WHOLE SEASON of Breaking Bad one night and I cam into it mid second season and now I'm HOOKED.  We got through Season 2 and are now halfway through the 3rd season.

In other news, there is a 4,700 acre arson fire up by Mountain Center on Highway 74.   Lake Hemet, Hurkey Creek campground, and ALL of Idyllwild and Mountain Center and Pine Cove have been evacuated. 

I went out with Bodie yesterday afternoon so he"do his business" and looked up and saw SMOKE!   ACK!   That's NEVER a good sign.   Yup.  It was smoke, not thunderheads (although I did hear thunder).   I ran inside to tell hubby and by evening we had a gorgeous sunset, thanks to the fire.   This morning it is still burning and an animal sanctuary has been evacuated...sigh...It was an ARSON fire and a lookout tower spotted the guy and he WAS arrested (THANKFULLY...).

This is the 2nd major fire up in our local mountains in the last few years.   The whole town of Idyllwild was evacuated during the last fire and I heard that all of Anza is now without electricity.   That means no air conditioners in this yeat, NO water for the horses (the water is drawn from electric pumps), no grocery stores open, but the feed store is open and taking CASH ONLY.

I'll keep you updated on the fire's progress...sigh...Our mountains are dry and we are in the middle of a heat wave.   Going to be 120 here today...

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

Horse visit July 21

I FINALLY made it up to the horse ranch Saturday.   It was going to be a hot day in the desert, about 113 degrees.  Today and tomorrow will be 120 here...sigh...Anyway, it was pleasant up there with a slight breeze.   I could have stayed ALL DAY!    Next time I go, I'm taking my chair with me and I'm going to sit in the shade and enjoy their weather!

All the horses look good except for Quad.  It is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to keep weight on him!   He gets fed 3x a day and he is still thin.   Sunni is GORGEOUS, as usual.   He really is a nice looking horse!   Scout didn't want to have anything to do with me except for the pellets I can carrying!  Gigondas could have cared less...sigh...

They will all get a vet visit either next month (depending on the weather) or September for their shots and dental work. 

In the meantime, Bodie is growing.   He has nice, sleek long legs and he is just a GOOFBALL!   He runs around the back yard for his exercise every morning and I have to be careful that he doesn't run over me!   He is such a nice boy!   However, he DOES like to torment our indoor cat, Abby.   They both want up on our bed and it is a contest of wills to see who gets to sleep on or next to use every night!

I haven't been taking any photos lately...just too dang hot outside.   I am staying inside and working on making journals:   2 for the ranch owner and 1 for sale in my ETSY shop:
Right now I'm busy making the ledger journal size, which is about 4x8".   I'm really enjoying this size, especially after making the over sized ones!

Take care and stay cool!
~Cheryl Ann~

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Bodie, Brady and Ellie

So, we now have our daughter's permission to bring Bodie over to her house when we come to dinner.   That's an important step for both her and us.   She's allergic to pet hair, you see.   She does have a small dog (that doesn't shed), and she also has a house full of tile.   Finally, Bodie behaves well enough around the house and with the kids.   I actually this he is a lab/boxer mix...THOSE EARS!!!! 

I took him in yesterday for his 2nd puppy shot and he goes back the 30th for his final one, so we aren't taking him out in public and besides it is TOO DANG HOT.   It is going to be 118 degrees here Friday with an overnight temperature of...95 degrees!   YIKES!  I went to the library and stocked up on books to make new journals with and I'll be staying put after I make a COSTCO run today to buy bird seed and steaks for the next several days.

Anyway, Bodie played with the kids and then they wore him out, so they covered him up with a dish towel (OF COURSE!...that makes sense, right?)   He slept through the whole episode...(see below)...