Thursday, July 27, 2017

Summer Heat and Sneezes

Image result for liquamycin

It is now only a couple weeks before I return to the classroom and summer is officially over. I will miss swimming in the pool and being free to do as I wish all day long. I will not miss the heat and trying to keep our rabbits cool.

Despite having vaccinated my adults with BunnyVac, many from last spring’s breeding season have developed a sneeze. Immediately, I feared Pasteurella virus and was surprised I could no longer purchase Terramycin powder to mix in the rabbit’s water bottles. In the past, if a rabbit had a sneeze, a week of Terramycin and all was well. This summer, I used the injectable Liquamycin and that did not seem to affect any positive change. I did not know if they were sneezing from dust in the garage or feed, or if  they were  sneezing from the air-conditioner. I finally culled the rabbits who were sneezing  and as a result, wiped out most of my fall show animals.

Disheartened, I questioned if I really wanted to keep breeding and showing rabbits. Was the rabbit hobby worth the effort? My helper, my daughter Micaela, is starting high school and now her time seems to be spent on volleyball practice or talking about volleyball on the phone. Rabbits only get her attention when I ask her for help. I hope the cooler fall and this next set of four litters will brighten the picture and fill the show cages.

I have been planning to downsize our farm and move to Running Y in Klamath, Oregon. With plenty of time to waste, I emailed a realtor to see if rabbits were allowed according to the development’s CC&R’s. The answer was “no.” Then I thought what would I do all day without any animals to occupy my time. Klamath is now just a dream from the past and the reality is I live where it is hot and probably always will live where it is hot. Springville is and will always be home. I will work to improve the air conditioning in the garage and make sure all spring babies are vaccinated before the summer heat.

I look forward to showing a bunch of young juniors at Hanford in the fall, that is if there are no volleyball games scheduled.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Summer Blahs

Here it is July 2, and we have not updated our blog in two months. I guess I could blame the summer blahs: When the temperature soars above 100 degrees, my get-up-and-go seems to dissipate.

It is not that I am lazy. To the contrary, I try to wake before 5:00 A.M. and take my dog Anna for a walk along Globe Drive and try to return home before the sun peeks it head above Black Mountain.

Next up, I shuttle my daughter to summer school at Granite Hills. After dropping her off, I head to the gym for about an hour. I usually make it back home by noon. With the sun in full force, I retreat to the lazy comforts of air conditioning. I do not poke my head out again until the sun recedes in the west.

Cool evenings bring urges to barbecue hot dogs and corn on the cob. While the barbecue cooks our dinner, I swim laps in the pool until dinner is ready. As I swim, I enjoy watching the sun set and turn the sky orange. Slowly, the bats come out and hunt bugs flying above the pool.

The evening finishes with dinner and a Dodger game or a movie. My wife has become an expert at finding the Dodger game online and connecting her phone to the TV. Who needs that stupid “Game is not available in your area” cable channel?

So where do the rabbits and farming fit into this lazy schedule? Well, after the morning walk, the rabbits get fed and watered, nails cut, ice bottles replaced, any sore hocks medicated, babies checked. Then the air conditioner is turned on and we do not return until late in the evening when we open the garage door and clean cages.

That completes a typical day during the summer blahs. Each day is a search  to find things to do that will  justify waking up in the morning. I often wonder, after I retire, should we move north to Oregon and enjoy the cool summers. But I guess, upon reflection,  like Mack and the boys on Cannery Row, I enjoy opening the rabbit’s garage door during the hour of the pearl and taking Anna for her daily walk to the green barn; I like lifting weights at the air-conditioned gym; I like buying fresh corn at Gislers corn stand on the corner of Olive and Newcomb, 13 ears for $6.50 “thank you very much”; I like barbecuing in the evening while I swim with the bats; I guess, in a strange way, I actually enjoy the summer blahs. Who knows, maybe tomorrow I will get energetic and attack the weeds.