Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Thump Day

A whirling kaleidoscope of thumpable occurrences is readily available. Friends in divorce AND bankruptcy court, decent folk loosing jobs for bad reasons, cars impounded, world pandemics, greedy drug companies,  the list goes on. Myself, I have started my last class at the high school with no money for supplies. It is Moku Hanga  and since this is the first time time it has been taught we have no left over supplies. I'm making do, but I will have to spend some of my own funds. These 9th graders are so eager and good natured I want them to have a good experience, so in the moment I don't mind so very much. My Acupuncture license comes up for renewal this month and oops I don't have quite enough CEUs to renew, so I am doing a couple of at home courses, but I won't be done in my license will be revoked until I have completed them and have the paperwork submitted. And then I misplaced my car registration renewal and must needs procure another. April is indeed the cruelest  month, but May is just 'round the corner. Like the song on the radio said "Keep your eyes on the prize, hold on."  The Spots are up to their usual tricks...........

Sydney has been taking Bunrobics with Hans.

Stretch the spine and point the tail.

I gave the Spots one of the Willow chews we made last year, 
it caused a flurry of furry activity.

Tyler playing pick up sticks with himself......

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Monday Bunday

Our friend Mario has an exceptional talent of sitting on various objects. Tyler and Sydney attempt to emulate his mad, mad skills.........

Tyler on the Bunvention.

Sydney on a box eating a New Yorker.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Monday Bunday

There's nothing the Spots like better than a good snuggle, unless it's a good treat or something challenging to chew. Sydney flopped a magnificent flop with almost complete rollover just previous to this shot. No picture of that, of course, you'll just have to take this reporter's word for it.

Here The Spots contemplate what I could possibly have in common with Charlotte Bronte, Queen Elizabeth, Anthony Quinn, Micheal Franti and Iggy Pop. Do you know?

A pencil sketch for the black block of the next print. Next year is the year of the Tiger and it is vaguely possible that my tiger and some, as yet, unrealized animals may be used for something .....

Enjoy the Spring and give yourselves and your rabbits green treats.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Foreign Food


I like to make something different every once in a while. Last week I made Ogi, a traditional African fermented porridge. Traditionally it is made with much pounding and pulverising using large sticks, but I made mine with a food processor. There are two books that have recipes for Ogi, Nourishing Traditions by Sally Fallon and Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz. I chose the NT version, which seemed a bit easier. First take 4 cups of Millet and soak it in water for 24 hours in a warm place. Drain off the water and process the grains in a couple batches until you have  thick paste, adding a dribble of water here can help. To the paste add more water until it is quite soupy. Strain this mixture through a mesh strainer. You wan the liquid part, not the gritty bits in the strainer (compost these). Ferment the liquid by adding about 1/4 C of fresh whey or plain Kefir or plain yogurt. Lacto fermented foods have enhanced nutrition and are more fully digested. Cover your fermenting culture and put a warm (i.e. not cold) place for 24 to 72 hours until it is bubbly when you agitate it. Keep in fridge until use. To cook simply take a cup of liquid cook on the stove, stirring constantly. I am always amused by this part. The liquid doesn't seem like it will ever thicken then suddenly it does and you have porridge!!!! The taste is sour and you can go either sweet or savory. I like mine with dates, Coconutghee, and whole raw milk........ 
Making the paste in a food processor.

Adding water until it is quite soupy

Straining through mesh.

The gritty bits for the compost.

After fermenting it will bubble on it's own! It's alive now and ready to be cooked and eaten.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Monday Bunday;Rabboratory Report

During a Post-Easter Egg Delivery Wrap-up snack in the Rabboratory the Spots fell to discussing what is on the lips and in the minds and hearts of all rabbit care givers around this time of year; The Easter Bunny Problem. Sydney proposed that it was time for rabbits to taken off Easter detail, being a high profile featured animal is not helping. Agreeing, Tyler wondered what sort creature could be used instead of a rabbit. The two of them decided it would have to something that could survive on it's own in wild or urban settings. 

Ideas flew around like bats in a belfry; a rat? a mouse? a snake?  a worm? Still even these animals would have no guarantee of survival. What about, said Tyler through a mouthful of greens, what about cockroaches?  they can live in a wide range of environments and are even supposed to survive a nuclear holocaust. Sydney liked the idea, although she had been about to suggest a Dung Beetle, it too is found in a variety of habitats, including Antarctica and it could be depicted pushing an egg instead of it's dung ball. 

However, the Spots soon realized that children might not like cockroaches or Dung Beetles, either, for that matter. Then, said Tyler, it has to be something all children love but that is unobtainable. Luckily there were still some greens left in the snack bowl. Munch, munch, munch....hmm what about the Easter Dinosaur?!! Suggested one or the other or both at once. 

Here is the plan as seen by the Spots. Rabbits will continue to deliver eggs, after all it is a job they have held for untold generations and there are no dinosaurs. The sacrifice of doing the job and not getting credit is worth a lower publicity profile. All Easter paraphernalia can be changed to dinosaurs and this will certainly stimulate spending around Easter time, and supposedly that's good. Thousands of graphic designers, artists, printers and various manufacturers will have to hired to design all the new paraphernalia: result increased employment. The downside, of course, is that tons of it will end up in the landfill, but the same is true of Easter Bunny paraphernalia. What do other bunnies think about this? There remains, still, the problem of rabbit mistreatment during the rest of the year.......

We send a special shout out  to our friend Hans of Furrybutts fame for rapid and full recovery from dental surgery.

Have a Good BunWeek Everybody.

Friday, April 10, 2009


Item: I have finished some Moku Hanga toads;  the print is named Toad's Eye View.  Instead of doing gold leaf, I just painted in the eye with gold ink, I was too afraid of ruining an otherwise reasonable print. I've put one up for sale on Etsy (see left sidebar).  This action earns: 2 Nose Bumps from the Spots, there would be more but printing takes away from treat time.

Item: A 90 year old Italian woman was trapped for 2 days, when rescued and asked what she did the whole time, she answered that she crocheted. Always keep arts and crafts materials close at hand in case of emergency. This action earns: 5 Nose Bumps from the Spots.

Item: Despite my efforts to spend less at the Farmer's Market I have spent not much less. The reason being the music at the Market has taken a turn upward. Imagine if you will a woman playing a cello, a guy on an acoustic guitar who sings like Tome Waits on amphetamines, and a guy with a washboard. Got that? Now imagine them playing The Ramones "song" "I Wanna be Sedated" and you can actually understand the "lyrics". OK they get a dollar. Then there was this incredible duo; two guys one playing Pan pipes and the other supplying percussion by beating on a box and blowing a whistle. Fabulous, they got a dollar too. This actions earns: 5 Nose Bumps to each group from the Spots for kicking standards up a notch and a thump for me for not buying the favorite salad mix.

Item: I have to do my taxes today, I was going to get them done yesterday but, as you may know, we had no internet because several fiber optic cables got cut....... Taxes get: 5 Thumps from the Spots, they don't like numbers so very much either.

Hoppy Weekends

Monday, April 06, 2009

Errrrr...Tuesday Bunday

The Spots and I tried for the traditional Monday Bunday post, we really did. The Spots had written a bang up restaurant review and we had some great footage to go along with it, but as luck, or lack of it, would have it I couldn't get it loaded; just blackness with the time ticking away along the bottom. We refuse to take this as an ominous sign. Instead I offer a couple of pix from the Spots rose eating session. Rose petals are still on the top of the list for treats. I tried to find some packaged treats for rabbits that could do in a pinch and was disappointed to find they all had corn syrup or some sort of sweetener in them. Since then I have experimented with drying Rose petals in the sun and the Spots approved of these heartily. 

Sydney pushes her brother away (bottom left) to grab a floral bite

We have found, too, from a friend on Bunspace (see the Spots here and here) that rabbits enjoy the branches as well (thorns removed). Just to see what the big deal was I ate a Rose petal and found it quite good. It does taste mildly like it smells with a lingering atmosphere of rose. It has a wonderful mouth feel and slightly astringes the mouth in a not unpleasant way. I found a recipe for Rose Petal scones that I'm going to try when I get my grain mill up and running (I have to buy some Spelt). Though I will substitute almonds for pistachios and leave off the icing.... Tyler and Sydney will disapprove of that use of Roses, I am sure......

Tyler has an eye for Roses

With THREE WEEKS off for Spring Break I am working hard every day on a print. When I am carving away the Spots like to come in and gnaw on wood under the bed, we make very similar sounds. This time the print is of a toad, which, like the Spots, has spots, or as Tyler calls them, splots. The photo is a proof with two colors and black, the colors are way too dark, but I just wanted to see if everything fit. Because I am messy and confined to small space, I had close at hand some paper with bright blue Rhinos from a print that didn't work out, I printed a couple of toad proofs and found later that I loved the way the bright blue looked with the other colors printed sort splotchy. I carved another block of stylized foliage to fit in front and in back of the toad and to print in the light blue. I think if I do the other colors with plenty of Nori (rice paste medium) I can consistently reproduce the look I am after. I am trying to do the eye with gold leaf. I need a little practice at this.......

First proof-way too dark and I am nixing all blue in the areas except for a thin line on the belly. Also need to accentuate the splots on the body and improve leafing technique.

Not perfect, certainly, but I am finding the bright blue too yummy to resist, must have it!!!!! I like the Rhinos, but I think thoughtfully designed foliage will wear better. 

Have a enjoy another week in the Rabbit Centered Universe.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thump Day

Shhh, Tyler is cleaning Sydney's ears!

There is a house just down the block on the other side of the street. It's a two story with a red door. Posted on the front, next to the red door, is a 1 by 4 foot sign that reads "Torture is Wrong". The woman who lives there is very enthusiastic about organic farming and cow shares: eat local, know your source, grow everything you can; that sort of thing. And I quite approve. She is even putting large planter boxes in her front yard with herbs in them for neighborhood use. It all seems very well and good. On the other hand she is raising rabbits for food. She has children and she has convinced them if they eat the rabbits they can let the rabbits have more babies and there will always be a supply of baby rabbits to play with and they won't have to put up with the infirmities of an older rabbit. (What will they do with her when she gets old and infirm?) Apparently, at one time she did have pet rabbit that required many trips to the vet as it got older. Emotionally, of course, I am horrified. Intellectually, I understand. People will eat meat. I eat meat. We try  to make sure that our meat is a clean source with humane treatment of the animal from birth to death. I wish I didn't eat meat, but to maintain any sort of energy level, it seems I must. I don't eat a lot, just enough. For goodness sake, the Dalai Lama eats meat, but probably not rabbit. Here's an interesting take on meat: When the Christian Missionaries were trying to convert the Tibetans they insisted that fish be eaten on Fridays, but, having done the math,  the Tibetans balked. If each living creature is a sentient being and a cow can feed 350 people and a fish only one, wouldn't it be better to eat the animal whose death provides the most food? I know there can be other math involved with meat like carbon foot print,  but the Tibetans weren't concerned about that. Back to the woman who lives in the house with the red door, there isn't anything that can be done, but we give her the maximum 5 THUMPS for her dietary habits. Just to be safe, I'll be keeping Tyler and Sydney away from that side of the street. They'd much rather break into the study than go outside anyway. 

The Spots suggest you give your rabbits extra treats today.