Easter Bunny Does it Again

I have always wondered why rabbits deliver Easter eggs. Let me backtrack on that – why rabbits paint Easter eggs. Of course they’ll deliver them once they’ve gone to all the trouble of painting them.  As a child I wondered more about that than I did about what Santa has to do with Christmas, but I learned to accept that the goodies each provided were worth putting up with the stories adults make up.

So each year I haul out the Easter eggs and wonder who painted them and how …and whether that rabbit would be any good in the pot, after eating all the vegetables out of my garden.

When I encountered this rabbit in my backyard, I asked him how he paints the eggs. Did he use a brush like I’ve seen in some of the children’s colouring books, or did he use a rag, or did he dip them?

He said:

“Oh … it’s simple. I dip my paw in the paint pot. Then I take an egg and I just rabbit on.

Happy Easter!”

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Happy Easter

Why do rabbits paint Easter eggs? Where do they get them? Do they steal them from the chickens’ nesting boxes? I suppose it wouldn’t be impossible for them to come up with a paintbrush somewhere – maybe some feathers lost by a bird. They might make colours for painting by chewing different plants or their flowers and spitting out the juice onto a rock and dipping the “brush” in. Most of the painting party would have to take place at night – first to make it easier to steal the eggs, and second, to have the whole warren pitch in and work on the painting while the dogs (Emma and Ruby) are sleeping in the house.

I see that one of the eggs is of alabaster. It has been part of the collection for more than 40 years. An inexpensive little something bought at a shop in Vancouver. A quail has contributed an egg to the plate. One of its babies was not going to hatch, so its shell is like a commemorative to the little guy. The four faded eggs were painted by my friends Yana and Yosef when they were about 8 or 9 years old. They’re about 32 now. The more brightly coloured eggs, were done by professional rabbits in the Czech Republic more than 20 years ago. These eggs are all resting on an authentic Czech plate that has holes in it. You might be able to see the holes beside the quail egg or to the top right of the green egg. It’s part of the fancy design of the dish that we fondly refer to as a soup plate.

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I’m glad that the rabbits painted these Easter eggs. I don’t usually think of these fluffy critters in a kindly light. No gardener would!  I’ll forgive them this time because of the hard work they do at Easter time, but my goodwill won’t last long. Once in a while I have to get my revenge on them  by eating one of their chocolate cousins, just to teach them a lesson.

Happy Easter!

Pets I Have Loved

As long as I can remember, my family has always had pets, whether they were gerbils, tropical fish, turtles, or cats and dogs. One of the first pet pictures I have is of Bobby and I’m sure he was a Heinz 57 breed. That didn’t mean we loved him less.

img728As my brother and I grew older, we still loved to pose with Bobby.

img726Our next dog was a collie type, but also Heinz 57. Her name was Trudy, but we didn’t have her long. I think she may have nipped someone and my parents found a home for her on a nearby farm. Here we are (my brother and two sisters) all sitting on the sidewalk by our house in the boonies. The sweet little girl on the far right is a neighbour.

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Then we had a shaggy mongrel dog who looked like a mop. We called him Mopsy and loved him SO much. On the picture below, where my sister is all dressed up for the Fall Fair parade, Mopsy is favouring one of his legs. He had tried to jump the fence when he was tied up and we weren’t home. He broke his leg and we felt terrible. But after some time in a cast, his leg healed. We had Mopsy for years, but one day he wandered up the street in the night to visit a bitch in heat and came home with a load of shot in his chest. He crawled under the shed and died. We were just heartbroken.

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All grown up, I still had pets. Our chocolate lab, Toby, had a litter of puppies, one of which our friends adopted. Nicky was supposedly the runt of the litter, but he turned out to be probably the best dog of the bunch.
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On our little hobby farm, I am surrounded by pets: the chickens, our chocolate lab (Toby), and my two lovely cats, Shorty (the lighter one) and Cowboy (the dark one). img571Here is Shorty.

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And here is Cowboy.

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We had a couple of other dogs who were not remarkable and I don’t have photos of them, but when Lily came along, she was our best dog up to that time. She was an English springer spaniel, who never gave up on retrieving a bird. Lily was an excellent bird dog, and a very sweet house dog. She not only enjoyed being petted, but she came over to give hugs. She would lay her head against my knee and sigh a real Valentine’s sigh. If Lily could have talked, we would have heard her telling us she loved us many times. And the feeling was mutual.

Lily, age 73

Lily looks a bit scruffy on the photos because she was quite old by this time (73 in people years) and she had Cushing’s Syndrome, a disease that attacks the adrenal glands and has many awful side effects. In the photo below, she had just been to the vet and I had her out on the sundeck where she liked to spend time. She let me dress her up as Lily the maid. I put the vacuum beside her and pretended she was helping clean the house. She would let me do anything with her. So easy going. So loving. She didn’t last much longer after these last days and I’ll always miss my sweet Lily.

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Then we got Ruby, the English springer on the right (below). It turns out she has some of the same ancestry that Lily had, and although Ruby was a monster puppy who put me through hell, she has redeemed herself many times over and is like another Lily – an excellent bird dog and a loving pet. To keep her company, we got a buddy for her – Emma on the left. She is an English cocker spaniel.

??????????Just behind Emma and to the right, you can see the evidence of one of her bad puppy habits. She likes to dig! But she is focused. Emma, is definitely a bird dog.

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And the Dish Ran Away with the Spoon

I’ve done a post of Odds and Ends but I found a few more that I’d like to share with you. First, the lineman in Greece. We were shocked at the number of safety regulations he would be breaking if he were working in Canada. Things are more lax in Greece.

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The Greek Orthodox Church priest has to do his shopping too. Looks like he might be expecting rain. Or needs to protect himself from the heat of the sun.

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When we were camping we had the inevitable garbage to get rid of. In Greece, garbage cans were not on every street corner as they are in Canada today. We had met a young doctor who was doing his first “practice” session in the small town of Kardamyli at that time. He spoke English and was happy to speak to us and be our friend, for which we were grateful. We asked him what people do with their garbage. He offered to show us. He got into our van and gave us directions (to the garbage dump, I presumed). He told us to stop at a bridge just outside of town. We got out and didn’t see a garbage dump.

“There!” he said. “You just throw it down there in the riverbed. In the winter, the rains come and wash it all out to sea.”

You can imagine how shocked we were. I took a picture but we just couldn’t throw our garbage down there.

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And now for something a little more lighthearted.

We often used our Hibachi to barbecue chicken or pork. One day we had some pork pieces on the Hibachi and without refrigeration you cook it all whether you can manage to eat it all or not.

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The pork was delicious, but we couldn’t eat it all and having had a glass of Demestica wine with our supper, we lay down on the bed in the van for a little snooze to wait for the heat of the sun to abate somewhat. The last piece of pork was left on the now cooling Hibachi to finish cooking. We could nibble on it later if we got hungry.

Maybe half an hour later, I woke to the light clinking sound of metal on metal. A chicken was making off with the flipper we had left on the Hibachi.

But the Hibachi was empty!

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Well hey diddle, diddle,

No cat and no fiddle,

Just sheep grazing under the moon,

The little dog laughed to eat such good pork,

And the chick ran away with the spoon.

Two Extremes

You don’t get so many sunny days in Mexico without paying a price. Many smaller rivers dry up over the hot months and water is at a premium. People who have lived with little water for centuries must have also learned to live without the benefits of its cleansing power. I think many people in Mexico have just given up trying to keep everything clean when the dust blows everywhere and water is precious. I’ve often heard it said that Mexico is dirty, and in many places, I suppose it is, by our northern standards. But that isn’t necessarily the case everywhere.

The tourist business keeps the economy going in many of the coastal towns and the townspeople are making a big effort to fight the constant dust that blows through every building. I’ve found an example of what happens when no one cares.

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Can you imagine what the chicken will think when it comes across that broken shell of her unborn child?

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The residents of Guayabitos are trying to make their town more beautiful and gradually, I think they’re succeeding. At first I thought the garbage can was not particularly aesthetically pleasing but then I realized, that’s the whole point. There is a garbage can and they use it.

It must be hard to care about appearances when there is so much poverty all around, but my hat is off to those townspeople who are trying to make a difference by cleaning up their properties and street frontage. I’m more likely to come back to a place where people care enough to keep it clean.