Thursday, November 22, 2007

How Time Flies - my year long novel (beware of a long read)

Sitting here late November, I realize that the year is almost over. But where did it go? New Years eve I set 17 goals. I passed/in process of completeing 10 of them. 2 really are out of the picture and the others... well I need to work on them still!

January, we recieved a lot of snow. If I remember correctly, we had 7 snow days this year. Not having snow days for over 20 years in our county, that was just plain ridiculous. I started planning the Rabbit rally late that month. I must have been insane when I decided to take on the task.
Feburary, was really spent studying for my registar's exam after the down time after finals. I tredged the 15 mile drive Tuesdays-Thursdays at 5:30 AM for a Statistics and Probablity class. I had been in the class since September, but by this time of year it had gotten to be too much. I was lacking in the sleep department, roughly recieving around 4 hours a sleep a night, if I was lucky! I had two Satin litters, two which remain around today. A Bkn Black buck owned by a local Satin breeder. He took BOB in Crescent city in September. A Bkn Blue doe, who is in the barn today on a litter. Gigi kindled to Stitch. I have 3 those in the barn today, the 4th living with a good family-friend of mine. He is a 4-H and show bunny for their 8 yr old daughter. The two I showed both granded, the 3rd on a litter currently. Lots of snow in Feb.
March, we held a couple 4-H meetings which lasted well into the night. I started on the rabbit rally exams. The night before Corvallis I did not go to sleep. I went to a play and left around 3 AM. I took BOSV (MAD) and a 1st (Boomer) in A, and BOB (Stitch) and BOS (Habanero) in B under Randy. The Rabbit Rally proved to be successful with 50+ members from Oregon and California. It most certainly was a LOT of work and there is a mile-long list of things I'd like to change for next year (did I JUST say that, I'm insane for even considering doing it again) But my take on it is, if you don't put these youth events out there, then the hobby cannot go on. I took BOB (MAD & Hab) & BOS (Hollister & Stitch), also a BOV (Bridget) at Pear Blossom both shows. I clerked all day to learn more about breeds for my registrar's test.
April, started out on the 1st with me going to Roger's to take my registar's test. Sitting down at his dinner table, I realized this was the real thing, I was finally there! I found it to be rather easy, calculating the ones I might have missed, I felt pretty good as I went to take the oral. The oral wasn't that bad. Roger only has 2 breeds in the barn, one of which I raise, so I wasn't at all worried. I had to tattoo a couple crabby juniors and drool over his awesome Satins! Went to a 4-H leaders conference at Crater. It was pretty fun. Mike came back from CA just before the Pacific Coast show. [Which went well!] I worked my first two shows there, I took BOS Friday with Hab, BOB (MAD) and BOS (Stitch) both shows there.
May, there were AP tests. And coming out of three of them in one week, I was sure I failed all of them (which I did!) Canby show proved to be more successful than my academics. Well maybe. I worked under Randy and got to see a lot of breeds, I learned a lot and passed! I only walked away with a BOSV in B (Hab) but she granded and my rabbits did well in the stiff Von Arx/Velotta competition. I picked up Renee (bred to Waltor) and I bred Stitch to her doe Lyra. I can honestly say I had never done a show table breeding before, I had to catch Stitch has he fell off of her, but she took and kindled! [Their son won his 1st leg recently!] I went to the Portland show on Memorial Day weekend. It was smaller to be expected, I won BOB & BOS in all 4 shows, pretty much with the same animals. Was fun though, just not one worth repeating.
June, proved to be more successful. State Convention was a blast. We drove up early Friday and just had a day to chill. We visted Sea Lion caves and even browsed through the Aquarium. I unloaded my rabbits (only to have Roger set up right next to me...) and went to the Judges Conference. It was really fun I might add, and I learned a lot from good judges! Saturday morning I got to finish showing my Mini Lops before Royalty started. Miami took BOS! Habanero was BOSV. Royalty went well, although stressful as usual. In the B show, Stitch took BOS and Sizzle won BOB again! I worked with Meadow Gustafson for my license. I got to register quite a few animals and just have some breathing time The Banquet was fun. I got an apron for winning 8th in points. It was pretty cool to have my name embriodered on it. Youth show and Open Mini lops were the same time on Sunday, so I ran around like a trapped rat. We got to leave at a decent time, to still arrive home in the dark. The end of June was the Yreka show. My animals couldn't have looked better. My doe "Down in Kokomo" won Best in Show in A & recieved Honorable Mention in B! She was born, bred, and raised here, so it was very special. Miami was BOS and BOV.
July, I started selling animals for National Convention. Oh but would I go?! I recieved a scholarship from the Forestler Youth Fund for competing at royalty, but it sill seemed out of the picture at that point. We had out 4-H cleanup day, which seemed to last forever, but as always, was full of fun. We fought off triple digit temperatures and got our fair entries in.
August, on the 11th we went down to Yreka. I won BOB with Miami (and he took Honorable Mention in show) and BOB with Habanero. Fair week went well for the winnings. In the open show, Habanero was BOB and Miami was BOS. I won Grand Champion Showman. That night I was hit with some horrible news, and I don't wish to discuss it, but it made Wednesday very quiet. My Mini lops took Champion and Reserve Champion for breed. MAD was 2nd runner up in show. My 4-H leader, whom I have looked up to for the past 6 years, left for Beaverton, Oregon. She moved, and took one of my favorite 4-Her's with her. I won Grand Champion Judge Thursday and on Friday, I won Reserve Grand Champion in Master Showmanship "Round Robin" over 20 other showman of rabbits, cavies, poultry, steer, sheep, swine, pygmy goat, dairy goat, dogs & horses. I sent in my Royalty applications the day they were due postmarked. Talk about last minute! Mike came back up and Suzana had her baby!
September, started out with the Crescent City Labor Day Weekend shows. And if you didn't attend this show, you missed out, seriously. I worked with Melissa to gain knowledge on other breeds. Habanero too BOS! and Hollister was BOS in B! I talked with Muriel and we discussed some ways to get me to Convention. It did seem more possible for me to attend, but my parents were still reluctant (a lot of unanswered questions). Sunday I worked with Randy, and that was a chore. I counted over 20 breeds went under my hands, and probably more than 500 animals. He let me practice on classes of 4, for royalty. I got almost all of the classes in order. Hollister was BOS and Miami was BOB. Stitch took BOB in the youth shows. Habanero sustained a leg injury and I didn't sleep there for a couple of weeks because I was worrying about her. She pulled through though. School started, very stressful. Took a trip to Portland, had my 18th B-day and then had the RVRF show. I worked with Roger, as he knew I wanted to learn about breeds and practice for convention. My two bucks took 2nds in A, and I pulled them in B because I was too busy. I don't remember how my Satins did... hummm.. Around the 12th, I booked my flight for convention. That was *the* biggest decision I made. But I decided to set aside the monetary aspect and consider the fun and once-in-a lifetime experience I would have. It was my last year to compete in Royalty, all my family is in Michigan... and.... I just needed to go.
October, was basically preparing for convention and then, going. I delivered my 10 rabbits (6 pre-sold!) to Teri and they would be on their way to Michigan. I left on the 11th. I came back on the 19th. Did I have fun? See my convention post. :)

So that brings me to November -- I skipped the last Oregon League show in Albany to attend Red Bluff. So our sweepstakes points ended there. I finished in 1st, not like I worked on it, but my animals deserved it. I have spent the month spending time with my horse, jumping her and going out on the trails. School takes up most of my time. If I'm not doing homework or studying, I am out with friends or getting back involved with 4-H. I hope to become a leader? At home, when I do get the chance, I have been spending time with Mike, my family, and my animals. I am reducing my herd for school. I am considering a auto-water system right now. I need to get a job... with that said soon I will probably go around town to pick up some applications. Gotta start paying for college somehow. I need a new car, but cannot afford one. I want a horse for OSU Eq team. If I a lucky, we are looking at a potential stud right now. He's a Warmblood located up in Beavercreek. He's amazing, but has that amazing price tag on him too.... I've considereding getting back involved with Golf in the spring... Spring.... The crappy winter weather has arrived. It's approx. 27* here right now. Maybe it will get above 32* so I can go out and do something. I'd rather it be raining and near 40*, this frost is just insane!

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Klara's crew

Klara's litter with Tikhon - 15 days old
All together
Blue Eyed White Buck
Blue Eyed White Doe
Blue Eyed White Doe 2
Orange VM (sex was undeterminable yet)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Maintaining a website

This summer I had Sarah McCrea create a website layout for me. It was very neat to put it altogether on my new geocities site, I can't thank her enough. But what work did that entail? A lot.... And I had the easy part!

I have always wanted to get a "photo shoot" of all my bunnies. In other words, good photos that all have the same background. Preferably the animal would be in good condtion and the bunnies would be on their best behavior.

So that day was today. I spent a few hours out in the barn grooming, evaluating and snapping photos of all my Mini Lops. I then downloaded them on my computer. I cropped them. But, on my software I cannot resize them and I couldn't put them onto my website that big..... So I decided to upload them here onto blogger to get them a more desired size. I then had to save those re-sized pictures into another folder. Those pictures were in bitmap format, so then I had to go into AOL and change them all into jpeg. I was then ready to upload them onto my website. But while I am there changing photos, there is much more editing to be done to the website. I guess it will be my "big winter edit."

Websites need to be continually updated. There is something always happening in the barn, new animals, new litter arrivals or show updates! And a website is most breeder's publicity. Some can have a good word of mouth, but much of the world today is on the Internet. Good pictures are valuable to have, but are not the real rabbit. I don't really care for photographs that much because there is no way you can get your hands on that rabbit through the computer screen. I think it's just a good idea to have a generalized idea of what they look like.

On a different topic, the rabbits are doing well. I think I have come to an entry of 10 for Red Bluff. The catalog is soon to be out (most likely within the next week or so) which will be the turning point of our excitement. We missed the Pacific Coast show and we decided not to go to Albany. And, Red Bluff may be our last show for a while. With the way the weather is, St. Helens may be out of the picture. It's a good 5 hour drive plus (not to mention driving through Portland). All babies are doing well and the barn is clean. :)

*check the website for updates!*

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Royalty & Banquet photos at Convention

Oregon Senior Judging Team - We were 2nd!
After Banquet, ready to go home!
Before banquet...
Before banquet...
Before banquet
Before banquet, in the Amway by our elevator...
Too tired already....
DeVos place on the Grand River bridge
Queen Individual Judging

just for fun...

Saturday, November 3, 2007

A day spent cleaning

Time flies when you are having fun! I knew yesterday I had to get the barn clean.... but I put it off until this morning. Coffee lit my fuse and I was out in the barn in no time. I cleaned the Satin's cages (just because they made SUCH a mess while kindling) and dumped most all of the trays. (think I have 3 left to do....) Swept the grounds and did kit head counts.

I think Klara's is actually an Orange, not a Fawn as I first assumed. The kit is SOOOO bright now! I could be wrong, but not really, because Fawn, Orange and Red are all the same color, it just matters how much modifiers/rufus genes it has to determine it from one another. The fawns and oranges are commonly mistaken for each other.

I decided to put a couple more animals up for sale. I just have to get my numbers down... and the task is harder than it seems at first. But 4-H is starting up, so maybe with some cages and equipment available I can move some guys out.

Meanwhile I will also be updating my website. I have to resize some of my pictures though in order to get them uploaded.... ghar...

Friday, November 2, 2007

Klara kindles and other pictures

Klara kindled this morning. There are 2 BEW and 1 fawn/orange. All are healthy and fat. All Satin babies are also doing well.

The following pics are of my mare Sierra in the turn out pen this morning. I was exercising her over a small jump before we went out on a fall trail ride.

Our Oregon Senior Judging Team :) Photo of Janice Frantz . We were SECOND in the nation, with Nevada in 3rd and Iowa in 1st.