We have a little tradition on our daily walk that every time we pass by the rosemary in the garden, we break off a sprig to smell. Jeff will look for any excuse to make me laugh, so when I wasn’t looking he stuck some rosemary up his nose and said “Hmm… it smells like rosemary around here.” Apparently it’s quite the aromatherapy experience. I said “You do realize I’m posting a picture of you on my blog with rosemary up your nose.” He was very much okay with that. (I got his full permission.) I’m grateful for the times Jeff and Bracken are total goofballs, and for how often they make me laugh.
This last time Bracken and I baked so many muffins to have extra to freeze, I saved the muffin liners. Bracken brought them out into the garden and made mud cupcakes, covered in bits of grass and flower petals, and served them on cardboard trays. He really enjoyed that and I’ll know how to re-purpose them in the future. (I use muffin liners because I have the cheap non-stick muffin trays for baking. We avoid the toxic non-stick cookware, but until we have the money to replace them, I’ve been using muffin liners.)
On one of our walks recently, Jeff took off his shoes and walked barefoot in the moss. It looked so enjoyable, Bracken and I joined in and the moss felt simply wonderful under our feet. Bracken finds snails during most of our walks and likes to make homes for them. He put one up on a fern and the next day inquired about why his snail wasn’t there still. I told him it probably went on a walkabout. Snails like to do that.
The honeysuckle buds have turned into leaves. Jeff planted the honeysuckle many years ago, growing up a trellis by the front door, and I look forward to smelling the flowers all year long. Lately, at home in the garden and out and about, all I want to wear are leggings, comfy dresses or long shirts, and rainboots. Luckily, being in the Pacific Northwest, I can get away with wearing rainboots all winter long. (I’m going to miss wearing my rainboots when the warmer weather comes and don’t feel like taking them off ever.)
I ended up not knitting a single stitch during our trip to Florida, not even during our travel time or on the airplane, but it would seem lately that I’ve been making up for lost time. I’ve been knitting many small gifts, which makes me feel a huge sense of accomplishment to be finishing so many projects. Whenever we’re headed to town and Jeff is driving, I’ve got knitting in my lap. Car rides are my biggest stretch of knitting time. I’m still reading Winterdance and loving it. Reading time is harder to come by for me than knitting time. I can knit in the car and knit a stitch here and there at home while I’m with my family. My opportunity to read is at bedtime and oftentimes I’m too tired and just want to go to sleep, but since this book is so good I’ve been wanting to read it even when I’m really tired.
In other news, we found a new home for our bunnies. It was not a decision we came to lightly. We discussed it and hemmed and hawed over it for quite some time. As some of you might remember from before, we started with one (Honeyberry) and our idea to have an indoor bunny didn’t work out due to the fact that we were all allergic to her (and also upon our realization that bunnies chew on electrical cords, furniture, and everything.) We moved Honeyberry onto the enclosed front porch and got her sister, Peppermint, to keep her company. Honeyberry was happier with her sister there, and we were glad to have them together. (I loved watching them groom one another, it was so sweet.)
The thing is, though, that the front porch was only a temporary home for them. We knew it would get far too hot starting in late spring, (with all the windows it acts like a greenhouse.) Their cage on the front porch ideally needed to be cleaned daily, which was quite challenging, especially during our busy Holiday Market season. We talked about building them an outdoor cage, but didn’t have the money to build the kind of cage that would keep them safe and keep varmints out, right here in the woods where we are. I wanted to give the bunnies time outside and a break from their small cage, but time would pass and we wouldn’t get them out in the yard as often as we would have liked.
We all loved their sweet presence in our life, but every time Jeff and I passed them we felt guilty. Guilty we didn’t get a chance to clean their cage that day, guilty they hadn’t been in the yard for too long, guilty we hadn’t brushed them since the week before last… and on and on. We got quite scratched transporting them to their outside yard and I wasn’t able to get their nails trimmed. I felt I needed to spend more time with them, to get them more used to me, to be able to do that, but finding the time to do that was a challenge. My idea of a cuddly, fluffy pet for Bracken was not the reality with our bunnies. They were sweet, and we loved them, but they weren’t cuddly. Bracken loved brushing them from time to time out in the yard and called it “bunny barber shop” (saving the heavenly soft fiber for projects), but he lost interest in caring for them and interacted with them less and less as time went on.
Our family looked at our busier-than-ever festival schedule for the year ahead and realized we wouldn’t be able to leave our bunnies at home with our current setup while gone for festivals, like we are able to do with our chickens and ducks. (We have a big chicken coop and when we stock them up with food and water, they are fine for a day or two without us.) As we talked more about it, we really felt that our bunnies would be happier going to a new home. When I had my doubts about keeping the bunnies in the very beginning, I was worried that Bracken would be upset, but as we talked about it later, he was surprisingly fine about it all. He agreed that they would be happier at another home.
I contacted two friends about giving them a home and I thought giving the bunnies to family or friends would be ideal, because we could still visit them. Without hardly any effort on my part, the stars aligned and a friend connected me with a mama looking for two female bunnies for her children for 4-H. Talking with that mom, I immediately had such a good feeling about it. When we delivered the bunnies, we were able to see the wonderful home they were going to and meet the sweet family. I really don’t think we could have found a new home for them that we could have been happier about, it felt like such a blessing. There are four children to love those bunnies up and care for them and I know Honeyberry and Peppermint will be in good hands. They will get so much attention there. Our family was a bit sad when it was time to see the bunnies go (we will miss them), but seeing their good new home helped us feel so much better.
And it was a sigh of relief for Jeff and I, to not feel that guilt anymore every time we walked past their cage. (We have so much on our plate with our life and business, we were wondering what we were thinking in the first place.) I could list reason after reason, but what it came down to is that we realized that having bunnies for pets is not a good fit for our family right now. We have no regrets because the only way we could have come to that realization was by having bunnies, and we sure did enjoy them. The new family showered us with gifts that day, sharing homemade elderberry syrup, and a fabric banner and small wool bird (it’s so adorable) for Bracken that the mom had sewn. He held his gifts the whole way home. We asked about Bracken being pen pals with the children, so he could ask about the bunnies, and they invited us to come visit them anytime. Not only did we find a great home for the bunnies, I think we made some new friends too.
P.S. We won’t be getting any chicks this year because we already have plenty of chickens (and eggs!), but Bracken requested visiting some, and got to see chicks at the feed store. (Bracken and I always exclaim over the adorable chicken coops available for sale there.) We bought our first seeds for the garden, but we have yet to plant anything. Our friends shared their first homegrown lettuce and radishes with us yesterday, and we need to get planting!