Monday, September 25, 2017

Our New Rabbits

The day had finally arrived.  We were going to pick up the girls' new Mini-Rex rabbits.

Excitement filled the air!

She had 3 little chocolate does available.
2 jrs. and 1 sr.....
(The 3rd is off in the corner next to Trinity's arm)

After lunch we drove to our rabbit leaders home to view the available rabbits and allow the girls to see which rabbit 'fit' their personality and desires.

...and one slightly larger jr. buck.

The girls pet and visited with the 4 different rabbits - 3 does and 1 buck - that our leader was ready to sell.

A deal had been struck before we even went that Charity would get a buck if there was an opportunity to do so and the other two would get does.   (I believe there's a plot in the making to try to breed these rabbits.)  Guess that made some of the decision making process easier.

After much ado, we packed up the rabbits in our triple carrier and off we drove toward home.

Of course the girls would have preferred to have their rabbits on their laps, but.... the carrier was safer and more sanitary all around.  :-)

Once at our 'Mini-Mountain Menagerie', the girls loved on their new bunnies for a while then we introduced the newest additions to their recently developed homes.

For the time being they will be housed in the rabbit hutch in their new cages until we move all the rabbits into the garage for the cold, harsh, Wyoming winter.

Meet the rabbits!

This is Trinity's new mini-rex rabbit.  She is a jr. doe and is a chocolate variety.  She has chosen to name her Cappuccino.  Her fur is still 'transitioning' from her 'baby fur' to her full adult fur, but she's still a beauty.

Cappuccino seems quite content with her new owner
and the smile on said owner's face says it all.
Here's Wrinkles.  Charity's new mini-rex bunny.  He's a chocolate mini-rex rabbit and is a good sized buck.  Due to his slightly larger size for a mini-rex, we noted 'wrinkles' along his sides when you flip him over so she opted to name him Wrinkles.  I love it.  A real cuddle bug, this one.

Charity snuggling with Wrinkles.  A match made in heaven.
Finally is Mocha.  This is Selah's little sr. doe mini-rex also chocolate colored.  She's a bit older than the other two and on the smaller side, (which is fitting since Selah is the smallest) but she too is quite the sweet rabbit with such soft, beautiful fur.

Mocha bonding with Selah.  Enjoying a little
lovin' on her new owners lap.
The girls are thrilled with their new rabbits and are already plotting out their practice and care schedules for these little fluff balls.

They are looking forward to giving these little rabbits lots of love and working toward improving showmanship skills for fair in the process.

Their fur is so soft.  One of the cool traits of mini-rex and rex rabbits, actually.

The 'chocolate' variety is one of our favorite colors for this type rabbit as well.  Guess that's a bonus since that was all that was available.

Another new adventure in our mountain ranch home.

Saturday, September 23, 2017

Expanding the Rabbitry

So far, we've only been raising Silver Fox meat rabbits plus a mini-lop we were given when we first started our rabbit journey.  (I guess we technically also had a white New Zealand initially but she unexpectedly died and we bought a Holland Lop early on which we eventually gave to a friend's daughter for a pet because he just wasn't 'willing' to be a show rabbit for our girls.)

Not long ago, we also added a little chinchilla colored Netherland Dwarf rabbit -- Sam.  Sam belongs to Bethany and will be shown by her during her last year of 4H and her first year in the rabbit project.  He's a cutie and so far quite the sweetie as well.  I do believe he will be the ONLY Netherland Dwarf rabbit we'll have in our little rabbitry.

After fair this year, it was obvious the Silver Fox are just too big and not calm enough for the little girls to use them for showmanship -- at least not and expect to do well.  The kits, although smaller and easier to handle, are just too young and too wryly.

They. Won't. Sit. Still.

Makes 'showing' them rather challenging to say the least.

During Family Night at the county fair, they had a sign up to win a free mini-rex rabbit with cage.  Techno let the girls sign up for the drawing.  Sadly, they didn't win.

After fair, our rabbit leader approached me and asked about getting the girls started with mini-rex rabbits to enable them to be more successful in the area of showmanship.  I talked to Techno and he -- surprisingly -- said, 'up to you'.

So.... now that state fair is over and our rabbit leader has determined which of her mini-rex rabbits she is retaining and which she is willing to part with, we'll be expanding our rabbitry even more to the mini-rex variety of rabbits.

What fun!

The girls are excited and are even mumbling about breeding the mini-rex.  I guess time will tell on that one as they aren't really big enough to be 'meat rabbits' and we aren't planning on keeping hundreds of rabbits in our mini-mountain menagerie.

One bonus from going this route.... the girls seem much less distressed about the prospect of 'processing' the Silver Fox rabbits and sticking them in our freezer.

We have tried to sell the kits, but have found little to no interest. Therefore, it's looking like they will indeed become residents of our deep freeze in the near future.  I'm not complaining as the meat is tasty  and it's a fairly inexpensive way to add lean, healthy meat to our dinner table.  (Granted, the process of getting them INTO the freezer is a bit arduous to say the least.)

We can't wait to see what kinds of mini-rex rabbits the girls get.  Selah is hoping for a chocolate colored one - at least that's what she thought when she was LOOKING at a chocolate colored one.  :-) Not sure if the other two have a preference.

Guess we'll know soon enough.

Monday, September 18, 2017

Camping Fun on our Anniversary Weekend

After all our camping adventures this summer, you'd think we'd be 'camped out'.

Not so!

We had yet to take our 'annual' camping trip up in the Snowy Range and our traditional jaunt over to Saratoga to shop, get ice cream at Lollipops, and soak in the Hot Springs.

Off we went this past weekend.

We almost cancelled as the weather forecast predicted rain and cold (like snowing cold) temperatures.

However, we decided to 'tough it out' and went anyway.  Especially since the weather forecast kept improving as we got closer to the weekend.

Of course, upon arrival at the campsite, we questioned our decision as the skies opened up and the rain poured down..... AS- WE- SET- UP- CAMP!
Our 'home away from home' when we go camping.

Talk about cold... and wet.  Very, very wet.  And did I mention cold?

Despite the rain, we were thrilled to snag our 'favorite spot' in the South Brush Creek camp grounds.

One reason we love this spot - the
creek just steps away from our camper.
We spent the evening inside the camper all huddled together trying to warm up and dry off.

I cooked dinner - diced chicken in the dutch oven, yellow squash sautéed in butter in a skillet, and sweet potatoes roasted in the oven.  Having the stove and oven on really warmed up our 'mobile' home, which was great, considering.

Being 'trapped' inside due to the weather, we all turned in early, which was fine as we'd planned to head out for Saratoga after an early breakfast the next morning.

 Fried eggs, sausage, and fried potatoes jump started our day.  YUM!  (Not to mention, kept the camper toasty again.)

When it's warmer,
 the kids LOVE venturing across these rocks.

Piled into the car, we made our way to Saratoga.

We have shops we just like to peruse whenever we make it over the mountain.  We enjoyed 'window shopping' in all of our favorite haunts as usual.

The girls found nice dress boots at the thrift store along with some VHS movies.  Gotta love the 'fat' movies as Selah refers to them.

Lunch at the Wolfe hotel was 'delish' as usual.

Techno bought me a new 'cowboy hat' that is reminiscent of Indiana Jones plus a cool hair accessory that I love.

A quick trip to Lollipop's Ice Cream rounded out our adventures in downtown Saratoga and catapulted us to the Hot Springs to warm up since we were now good and chilly from the frozen treat.

The Hot Springs were hopping.

I'm not sure we've ever seen that many people there at one time in all the years we've vacationed and lived here.  We took a quick dip in the smaller pool but it wasn't very 'hot' so we quickly switched to the bigger pool.  Usually that pool is too hot for the kids, but this year they managed to stay in it as long as Techno and I did.

It. Felt. Great.

After changing back to our 'street clothes' we headed back to the camper.

A nicer day - no rain.

The kids played outside; we read books; relaxed; made taco salad for dinner.

The girls find so much joy climbing and jumping off these rocks.

Due to the rain the day before, all the wood was wet so building a fire ended up failing, but.... alas roasting marshmallows over the propane stove inside the camper appeased all the moans and groans.

The next morning the weather was gorgeous.

Breakfast of pancakes, coffee, and hot cocoa started off the day with a bang.

Fitting as this was Techno and my 23rd wedding anniversary.

Who doesn't like a hot pancake breakfast with coffee and whipped cream while enjoying a beautiful view of bright blue skies with an evergreen tree covered mountain as the backdrop for their anniversary?

A little air pistol shooting practice.

More playing, relaxing, air pistol shooting, rock climbing, and enjoying the great outdoors filled our hearts with contentment.

As we watched the kiddos play, we marveled at the fact we'd been married as long as we have and the fact our children are getting so old.  How... and WHEN... did THAT happen?

Big brother gives advice and guidance.

After a lunch of leftovers from our trip, we packed up the camper and headed home.

Our annual trip over the mountain was a success.

So glad we braved the weather and went ahead with our camping trip.

She was so excited --
 she was finally able to 'cock' the gun herself.

Who knows, maybe we'll get yet another trip in before the snow officially begins to fly.

(P.S.  On the drive home, we did note snow had fallen toward the top of the mountain and was still visible under trees in shady areas where the sun had yet to melt it away.  WHAT???  Yes, winter IS knocking on the door.)

Even the dogs and Techno were enjoying the beautiful day.
Titus making sure dad was paying attention to him.

Tuesday, September 5, 2017

The Interruptor of Sleep

It's 11:00 PM.

Trinity is fast asleep.

No matter.

Diabetes doesn't care.

I must walk into her room and wake her.

You see, it's time to calibrate her continuous glucose monitor – her CGM.

Without this calibration, we won't have readings to monitor her blood glucose levels during the night. Without those readings, we can't tell if she's safe as the hours and minutes tick by.

So.... despite her slumbering peace... I must wake her.

She's difficult to wake on this particular night.

I rub her arms.

Carress her hair.

Speak her name – softly so as not to wake the other girls.

She stirs ever so slightly.

But..... still doesnt' wake.

I rub her leg.

Give her shoulders a slight shake.

I say her name a bit louder.

All to no avail.

At this point fear creeps in.

Since I can't see her blood sugar levels, I worry. Is she low? Is she unconsious? Is she so high her brain has shut down?

Finally, after a slightly harder push and my voice a bit louder, more urgent, her eyes flutter open to minuscule slits for a brief moment.

The adrenalin that was rising crashes now.

A flood of relief.

She's still not fully awake.

But I know she's not unconscious.

I continue my gentle coaxing to try to wake her more fully.

She sits up.

Eyes still shut.

Turning her head this way and that trying to make sense of her groggy situation.

Again, I say her name.

Explain to her we need to check her blood sugar.

Her eyes are still mostly closed.

Barely slits.

Trying to block out the light from my phone.

I call her name again.

“Come on, Trinity. We need to check your blood sugar.”

She swings her legs out of the bed.

She's cocooned in her sleeping bag.

I fear she'll try to stand in her half asleep state and fall.

Reminding her of her tethered condition, she looks at her lap and shimmies down the bag encasing her.

I hand her the pouch that holds her dexom and ipod.

Giving her my hand, I help her to her feet as she steps out of the sleeping bag that is puddled at her ankles.

I begin to walk from her room, pausing to shine my light back for her to follow.

She's slowly twirling in a cirlce.

Scanning the ground.

Holding her little pouch at arms length.



I call for her to follow me.

She responds, “I need my pouch. I can't find it. Where's my pouch?”

One foot still planted firmly in slumberland, one teetering in the land of consiousness.

I remind her it's in her hand.

Recognition registering, she trudges forward to follow me out.

Usually she knows to head to the bathroom to wash her hands.

Tonight, still battling with the pull of sleep, she passes the restroom on her way to the living room, simply trundling behind, following in my footsteps.

I stop, touch her shoulder and remind her to wash her hands.

When she emerges into the living room, I can tell she's finally fully with me.

Awake - completely.

At last past the grogginess of sleep and standing coherent enough to check her own blood sugar.

This is what it's like to live with Type 1 Diabetes.

Just a small glimpse of the challenges, the fear, the heartache it brings.

It breaks my heart to know I must disrupt our beautiful little girls, more often than I'd care to think, in the middle of a perfectly pleasant night of sleep.

All to cater to an unwanted guest in our home.

A guest that just won't leave; that doesn't have manners.

I kiss her head as I send her back to bed.

Hoping she can get back to sleep, none the wiser of this intruder that steals more than just precious hours of rest.