Friday, June 26, 2015

How We Enjoy the Simple Country Life in Summer

Summer is sort of a magical time
when hopes for fun, excitement
and the impossible seem to be
within our reach!

It's a hot day in June and summer time
has finally arrived.
Do you have big plans for your summer?

Do you have some plans for leisure time?

This is what we do.
 sit on the porch swing
and just listen to the creak of the chain

a chilled glass of fresh mint tea
that we picked from our
 mint patch.

 rest in our hammock
or favorite cozy spot reading a good
book or drawing.

sit on the back stoop
playing guitar and singing our favorite
country, folk, gospel or whatever kind of song.

listen to the crickets while they sing their song or watch the lightening
bugs flicker across the field.

Take a walk down a country road and stop to
 pick some wildflowers for our table.

I love to watch a distant storm come in
and the feel of that cool breeze on my face
while the smell of rain fills the air. 

I read this quote the other day and
rather liked it..

Summer is the annual permission slip to
be lazy. To do nothing and have it count
for something. To lie in the grass
and count the stars. To sit on a branch
and study the clouds.
~Regina Brett~

I used to do these things as a 
young country girl. And I've decided
that I'm going to return more
 to my girlish ways.

These simple things are some of
my favorite things..

Does anyone want to join me?

 Much of the time, I 
get too focused on work and am
trying to find a more relaxed pace
for myself.

Do you sometimes work too hard?

What makes your summer magical?

I hope that your summer is off to a 
perfect start. And remember to be
a little lazy!

Have a wonderful weekend
my friends. 

Tamara xoxo

Friday, June 19, 2015

Shabby, Salvaged Tin Heart : * The Shabby Gypsy *

Now is the perfect time
to tell the people in my life
how much they mean to me.


And there are so many ways to
express the heart of caring.

It can be with a little note tucked
away somewhere.
Our family loves to leave notes
around to surprise another.
 It's often coupled  with a
a small chocolate
or some kind of treat and it doesn't
have to be anything fancy.
Everyone loves to know that they
have been thought of.
It could be just taking the time to
ask someone a question about their day.

a hug~
a smile~ 
a warm handshake~
a word of encouragement~

Here is a little something that
I made from some salvaged tin. It
came from a one hundred year old barn
in the community. Last year, they had the roof
replaced and we were blessed
to be able to purchase some 
for a very good price.

I have many ideas for the tin and this was one.

I drew on it with red pencil and hand cut 
it with my tin snips. It was then painted
with some Antique White acrylic,
craft paint. 

The embellishing is
always so fun using whatever I have. 
I love flowers and almost always
add them. They are made from various 
materials. The tannish flower at the bottom was
made from some very old streamer 
paper that I found at a thrift store.
I love the way it aged.

I hope that you've 
had a peaceful

I actually just came back from Phoenix
where I met my husband and we celebrated
my second daughter's 28th birthday. We had
a surprise get-together with some
of her friends at the Cheesecake Factory!

It was fun and memorable as we visited, ate
 and as we all spoke a blessing over 
her for the coming year.
Isn't it a happy time when we can celebrate
those that we love and care about?

I'd love to hear about a celebration of yours
and please do tell of some of the
special ways that you show others
how much they mean to you!
It's so fun to share ideas.

I'm very thankful for my 
blogging friends. Your visits and comments 
really brighten my day!
Thank you so much for coming by :)

Tamara xoxo

I'm linking up to the Shabby Art Boutique
Sundays At Home

Come and join the fun!

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Raising Baby Cottontails Part 1: The Ladybug Chronicles

Hello and welcome to my blog and my 
nature journal called:

The Ladybug Chronicles.

 Much of the time, I am in awe of nature and it's beauty.
Do you ever find yourself just
standing at the window or by an open door
peering out at all of it's wonders?
I do. 

I am inspired by it's
vast colors and intrigued by it's workings.

The Master of our universe has left nothing
undone yet so much is a mystery!

I have been talking about these cute little bunnies for weeks now. 
Promising a post.
I had to get my videos and photos in order!

I really wish I would have kept a daily log
but most of their antics and progress have left their
little bunny tracks on my heart and in my head. 
 I do have quite a few photos. When I'm done remembering and
sharing them here, I'll have their sweet little lives on record.

Here begins the bunny tale.... (tail ;)

On Mother's Day, which was four weeks ago this past Sunday,
 we went for a walk in the canyon behind our house. 
Our property borders the National Forest Service
and we are so blessed to have this as our backyard playground.

Two of my daughters
The kids love this place for climbing..
AND sliding..

Wow.. while editing, I just noticed 
that Arizona blue sky! And the tree root
that is growing straight down through
that sandstone..

It was in a spot like this where the bunnies were found. 
Their little bunny burrow was found at the base of a tree 
(bush) very much like this. 
Our dog (we call her the best dog in the world)
found the little nest and stole a baby. 
At first we thought that they were gophers. 
She's always digging like a mad dog around those mounds.

We weren't sure what to do since she disturbed the nest.
So I started pulling the tiny little furry creatures out and
handing them off to family members.
There were three more in the nest and 
their eyes weren't even open. 

We tucked them together in a sweatshirt and carried them home.
I was wishing that I had left them alone and taken our chances with the mother rabbit. When we arrived home
my daughter did some online research. (she's
such an animal lover) and it said that a mother would come
back even if the nest was disturbed and so 
she and my husband took them back.

The article said to place some small twigs and criss cross them 
across the burrow hole and check it the next day. If the mother came back, the sticks would be moved. 

(We thought they were Jack Rabbits but 
quickly learned that they were Cottontails.
Jack Rabbits put each little kit in
 a different place to protect them
from predators. Cottontails
keep all of theirs in a burrow.)

So we took them back and fixed the sticks
like we read to do and waited until late morning 
the next day. We didn't want to wait
 too long because they had already
been without food for awhile. We read that the 
mother rabbit doesn't stay at the nest, 
she only visits once or twice a 
day to feed her little ones. When we
went to check, we were very disappointed
to find that the nest was undisturbed.
We decided to bring them home and prayerfully
try our hand at feeding them.

We felt so badly for the mama rabbit.
Poor thing was probably beside herself wondering what
 happened to her happy little home.
And on Mother's Day.
It was a little traumatic for us all.
Even thought they are just rabbits,
but did you know that animals grieve?
I felt like such a heel and wished that I'd never interfered.
Even though our Liberty disturbed the nest,
she maybe would have hardly noticed that one was missing.

Anyway.. there we were,
setting out with these three furry, sweet
kits, to try to save their little lives.

Rin Tin Tin! No.. it's actually our sweet dog, Liberty...


Close your eyes! 

Are you ready for the absolutely adorable,


 A pile of bunnies in a little red basket! 

They were so thin when we carried them home
but that didn't last for long.
They must be some of the chubbiest 
(I guess that's a word..) 
 bunnies around! 

A bunny in my robe pocket :)


this picture is one of my favorites..
I'll call it ....


This is what they all looked like after they ate.

 We named them all.. this must be little Eyore..
because it's head is bigger than it's ears are long and it 
looked like a baby burro!

Does that look like a happy bunny to you?
This one has a tiny white spot on it's head. 
Sweet! And ate like a little piggy.
Doesn't he look like he's going to gobble that syringe right up?

His name is Piglet.. 

 Over-feeding is a concern when they are very 
small so we were careful to keep
feeling their little tummies so they didn't get too tight and full.
Especially since they had missed a day or so of feedings.

 Up until their eyes open, they need massaging around their bellies and genital areas. This helps with circulation and digestion.

Licking my hand..
That is just the most precious feeling.

 Scramble kids! 

Once their eyes are opened, 
they begin to lick and clean each other.
It's so adorable to watch them taking care of each other.
We continued to massage them
also just to make sure they were getting
the stimulation they needed. It wasn't going to be
too much.

We brought the grass from their burrow for comfort. 
It turned out to be a really helpful thing that we did.
I'll share why in the next post.

We quickly changed to a glass dropper.
It was much easier for them to fit their
mouths and easier to control the 
amount that they drank at one time. 

There is a runt of course.. and she
(we didn't actually sex them)
was the slowest to take off, of course.
And sometimes we would have to feed her
twice a feeding to make sure that she got enough.
We named her Roo.
Even though Roo was a boy ;)

Eyore was very methodical in his eating..
 calm and quiet and very neat.
Piglet was all about getting as much as he could as 
fast as he could and making a mess in the process.
Isn't it just amazing that even little wild rabbits
have their own personalities?

This is what we bought to feed them. 
PetAg Kitten Milk Replacer.
It can be bought at most feed stores, some grocery 
stores and other stores where vet/animal
supplies are carried. We were so thankful
that we were able to find it in our remote little town!

That information was online as well.
Each bowl full was mixed with about 
a teaspoon of heavy whipping cream 
and 1/4  t. of plain yoghurt. 
It was then warmed in the microwave
to about body temperature. We keep the 
milk warm by putting it in a custard dish and then
setting that dish in a glass cereal bowl of very
hot water from the tea-kettle.
They only need fed twice a day which is
very manageable. I'm kind of glad for that.

As close as we could tell, they are a week to 10 days old
here. We figured this out from our online article that
said that they open their eyes between 7-10 days.

We aren't even sure if what we're doing is legal. 
Sometimes it's against the law to
keep wild animals. But we sure weren't going to 
leave them abandoned there. We did speak with
our neighbor who works for the
Game and Fish Dept. and he knows that 
our intention is to grow them up
until they're old enough to release and live
on their own. That age is about five to six weeks old. 

We are enjoying these little babies so much
and are so very thankful for the resources
that we've been using. I'd give credit to the sites 
we've used but I didn't do that part. But we 
appreciate it when folks share their knowledge
and experience with others. Maybe someday
this will help fellow bunny-raisers as well!
I hope so!

It has been such a blessing and a privilege to be a
part of this amazing cycle of life! To feel
their bunny softness and watch
their instincts come to life.

Well thank you so much for stopping by!
I hope you enjoyed reading about the
little bunny blessings that have gathered here!

There's always some reason to feel blessed..
Isn't there?

Take care...
Tamara xoxo

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Introduction to The Ladybug Chronicles: Nature Journal

 and welcome to my new series called:

The Ladybug Chronicles

(I'm not sure if this picture was what inspired
my title or not but I remember being in
Ohio last year and having that
name come to mind and it
just stuck. It was intended to be a 
page but after learning more about
blog pages, the format wasn't 
going to work out.)

There's a huge part of
my heart that is forever wanting
to wander flower laden fields, 
waiting to ramble up a
a canyon incline to see what's 
on the other side. 
stand at the edge of a cool
forest anxious to enter just
so I can feel the coolness of the earth
that has settled among the rocks
and ferns and moss that is
growing on decaying trees.

It's occupied by rabbits, snakes,
raccoons, deer and even skunks.

 The scent of last year's shed leaves 
rise up to greet me as they
lay scattered all around 
while becoming part of the moist earth
that has been so sheltered from the sun by
the trees that gave them life. 

I'm sorry. 
I really was lost in some thoughts
and memories of our Sugartree woods. 

It's one of my favorite
places to spend time. That's at our
place in Ohio where we spend as
much time as we can 
in the summer and fall. 

I grew up in the area and I have
4 siblings who live nearby as well
as many of my school mates from
primary school on up that I keep
in touch with. I think that it's
such a blessing to be able to do that.

 It's just beautiful rolling
hill, farm country with acres and
acres of woods, all kinds of wildlife
and memories 
just waiting to be made.

Actually some of my photos, stories and
experiences that I share will
be from time spent there. 

There are deep ravines dark
with the cover of towering trees.
My daughter and I were chased by 
parent hawks through those woods
as we were wandering and
exploring the stream
that trickles through the
deepest part.

 A delicate Bluet...

As we walked on, we stumbled 
upon their young in a huge nest in a
very tall tree. It was incredible to see them.

I just find the beauty of nature
so enriching to life....
peaceful and so full of 
inspiration that I want to share it.
Just one of more of those
blessings that gather in my life.
And aren't we supposed to share 
those blessings?

These photos are from the past two
years during our visits at Sugartree.
Since I shared so much about our special
place there, I decided to share some
of my photos that portrayed my
thoughts. I hope that you enjoyed them.

I've been promising a
cotton tail baby post and intended
to do that today but I thought
an introduction post would better suit
for now. I have a lot of details to put together for
the Cotton (Tale) post ;)

I have photos and videos and lots of 
details to organize. I want to make it
a very nice little series
 and I will work on them this weekend 
and publish my first post next week!

Thank you so much for your visit.
Peace to you..

Tamara XO