Saturday, September 17, 2011

What do you think?

Hello there,
I have been trying to make the blog layout more pleasant to look at and perhaps a bit easier to navigate. At this moment, it is a work in progress, but I would love your feedback on how to not only make it look better, but give you more of what you would be interested in what you might like to see here or any ideas for improvement. Right now I am just starting to jazz it up a bit, but not go overboard. I welcome most anything you, the reader, would have to say. Please share in the comments what you think or tweet me at @CuddleLop.

This is a pretty short post today. Thanks for coming to read this blog. I hope you do enjoy your stays here. Please let me know would make your stay here most pleasant!
Mary Ellen

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Some of my Favorite Things about my Companion Bunnies...

Hello there,

I appreciate your hopping over this way again. I think there are universal things that most people share and appreciate in living with pet bunnies.  Here are some of mine. I don't have photos for many, but I will share when I do have something. These are not in any particular order...

1) The wiggling nose....I can tell a lot now by their wiggling nose. One major one is that they are still a live when they are sleeping quite still. The speed of their nose shows how interested or alert they are to something near by! There is something about that constantly wiggling nose that even when they annoy me, it can charm my socks off. They don't really wiggle their nose at will, it is part of their breathing process.  I love how they reject me when they turn their nose up at me, disapprovingly, when I have on some type of lotion on my hands they don't like!

2) Nose/head bonks...I love to ignore those little buns and they like to ignore me as a game. They approach you, tap you with their head or nose and either take off like tagging you and you are "it" or they bonk you looking for petting, food, other attention.

3) What we call "tubes" in our house....Cardboard oatmeal canisters (the natural brownish gray kind with the label removed), purchased ones for bunnies or other tube shaped things they can fit themselves in.  One bunny we had named Rusty used to somehow always get herself caught in the oatmeal canisters.(She would chew off the ends). Her head and front paws would be hanging out one end of the canister and her tail and rear legs would be sticking out the end. She would kind of squeal in the female bunny sort of way when being chased by a male for some action. She wouldn't panic but would let us know we had to remove that dachshund-like body out of her tube. Usually this meant keeping her calm and getting the jaws of life (a pair of scissors). She usually had no problem sitting still while we got her out.

Other bunnies we had/have also have loved tubes. We've had prolific chewers and then the one English Lop who would sleep with and groom his tube, hump it, chase it and then chew it to smithereens. We kept a good supply of those on hand. One favorite thing we liked watching him do is putting it on his head and moving all around with it.

Tribble, a lionhead likes to chew his to smithereens and squeeze into them.
Tribble in one of his purchased Tubes.

Butterscotch in his Log with ear sticking out hole in the top!
Butterscotch, who is our infamous buzzing bunny about to be neutered, seems to feel very secure in his "log" which he somehow squeezes himself into when it's downtime in his cage. He likes to squeeze himself in and push his nose through his cage bars to observe what's going on around him. Strangely enough, he will only do it when the cage door is closed, not when its open or if he's out of the cage running around or resting.
Butterscotch in regular nestled into Log mode!

4) Playing bunnies in any form is wonderful. Love to see them run around, do binkies, play tag with me or each other (see nose bonks above), even tip their food dishes over when switched to "healthier diets". They are so interactive, loving, loyal and social. What is there not to love?
I have some more photos which I have to transfer to digital form and will update this for you and let you know!
I can come up with more and sometime I will, but I think I took up enough of your time for now and thank you for joining me.  If you have or ever had bunnies, please tell me what you love about them. Please follow this page and use the comments section below. I would love to hear what you have to say!

Thanks for stopping by!
Mary Ellen

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Lighting History Took Place at the Rabbit Hill Inn...a neat story

Tin Smith at Old Sturbridge Village
Hello there,
Thanks again for joining us. If this is your first time, welcome! Glad you are here! Hope your visit is enjoyable.

As many of you may know, my husband and I spent a wonderful and magical second honeymoon at the Rabbit Hill Inn in northeastern Vermont in August.  It has a great history which is briefly described on their website.  The story I am going to discuss is something I learned there, where they have a more involved history written out with many pictures  for the guests to look through in one of the very friendly and comfortable common rooms.

One of the stories goes to the effect of that when the ballroom was built in the mid 1800s, they were going to open it with a dance ball extravaganza.  It seems no expense was spared and beautiful chandeliers were ordered from Europe.  Within a certain time frame close to the grand opening of the ballroom with this lavish party that was supposed to take place, these expensive European-crafted chandeliers didn't seem like they were going to appear on time.  Well, going to Yankee ingenuity, they had chandeliers locally crafted from tin.  They were liked so much by the people who attended the ball that the owners decided to keep them. Kind of like the business phrase, "You snooze, you lose" for the imported lighting.

One of these tin chandeliers is still in existence today on the grounds. I was so intrigued by the story and being that guests are quite encouraged to explore the grounds, my husband and I set about to find it. Well, that we did, but I won't tell where-so if you have the opportunity to go to Rabbit Hill Inn, you can look for yourself. I do provide a picture and much more insight into it though here! I did some research on lighting from Old Sturbridge Village (a living history museum) in Massachusetts. The time period they portray reflects much of the time frames of the Rabbit Hill Inn history.  There is some neat stuff coming up here!

Here is the remaining tin chandelier that once hung with similar ones at Rabbit Hill Inn in the ballroom.
Rabbit Hill Inn ballroom chandelier
 You can click on these photos to see them larger. Of course these would have used candles  and probably would have had some type of rope or cord to lower and raise them for lighting the candles, as well as for adjusting the height of the chandelier for whatever practical purposes they would have had then.

Rabbit Hill Inn ballroom chandelier

The chandelier turned out more sophisticated looking than I thought it would be. I did think that the tin may have looked dull at the time though and wondered about it. Also, I had to realize that I was looking at it from the point of view of my lifetime and not what it would have looked like to the people who only knew candle light and simpler things.  Also, how many everyday common people would have been used to the multiple candles in a grand ballroom, which probably had other things to help set off the lighting such as a few mirrors. Candlelight adds such a nice aura to an occasion also! But at Sturbridge Village, I discovered more!

Reproduction chandelier crafted at Sturbridge Village tinshop.
In the tinsmith shop, I saw a chandelier there which was no where as elaborate as this chandelier .It was a reproduction which was crafted by the tinsmith.  It also wasn't shiny like the one at Rabbit Hill Inn.  Click on the picture above to see a bigger view.  I told the tinsmith about the Rabbit Hill chandelier story and he pointed out that tin is very shiny when new. See the lanterns in the picture below and how shiny they are!
Those are new! Imagine the Rabbit Hill chandeliers being that shiny new and having the candlelight reflect off of them! Must have been very pretty!
See how shiny these new lanterns are!
A View of the Tinshop

Just a bit more insight from a lighting history display at Old Sturbridge Village.
The person who started Old Sturbridge Village in the 1920s collected all types of lighting which is now on a display at the village. I included photos of some of the lighting that come from around the time period of Rabbit Hill Inn.  Also are some original tin chandeliers which definitely look they are not as well preserved as the one at Rabbit Hill Inn.  And last there is a photo of an image taken from what a ball would have looked like in Europe in that time frame. Click on any photo to see a larger view.
Other early lighting from similar time period made of wood and metal.

Early tin chandelier in center
A smaller tin authentic tin chandelier 

Last but not least, you can see an image of how lighting may looked if they used the fancy European chandeliers at Rabbit Hill Inn. The next photo is of an image they took from a ball taking place in Europe. You may find that the time period is somewhat different than at Rabbit Hill Inn and Old Sturbridge Village, but it gives the basic idea. I suggest that you click on this picture to see the detail better because there was some reflection on the image from my camera flash. If I can get back there I will take a better shot and post it here.

I'd like to thank you for joining me on this little journey through history. I love looking at things trying to see how things were through the eyes of the people, who lived the history, in their everyday lives.

Hope you are having a wonderful day. Please come back again. I would love your comments. If you can add to this in any way please feel free to let me know.  I want to make any posts like this accurate and more interesting.  If you like this blog, please feel free to follow it or share it!

Thank you,
Mary Ellen

Monday, September 12, 2011

Funny Bunny Little Med-Taking Miracle

Hello and Welcome,

Not too long ago I wrote about my little Bunny Tribble and his illness related to Hurricane Irene.(Part 1   and Part 2 in case you didn't read them. Well one of the issues with him was trying to get him to take his medicine. I dreaded it when the vet said his medication was oral. (I actually thought that giving him a shot would have been easier!). He is skittish, fast and a fighter!

Getting him to take in an oral syringe was not something he liked and something others liked. The good part was that he only had to take it once a day.

The big miracle was that at one point he appeared to be going toward death's door. I was so nervous that I'd lose the little guy who was only a year old. I have become extremely fond of him. It took about ten months before he wouldn't run away from our approach! He now comes up to us looking for affection.  When I woke up the next day, he was eating hay, some of his water was gone and he was "chowing down" on his food!

The "Funny Bunny Little Med-Taking Miracle" is coming up now. 

He was getting back his strength to fight us even more with the oral syringe feeding.  My husband and I had a system where he would hold the funny and was the "evil one" giving him the syringe in the mouth. We got good at it, but Tribble would have nothing to do with us after ward- for quite a while!  Well, the next to the last day of the med, I went up to Tribble and was waiting for my husband to get away from his computer (his mothership as I call it!), who was taking an extra long, long, long time.  I started to pet Tribble a little. He was receptive, but guarded.  He saw the syringe that I had already filled up and knew what was coming. The banana flavor scent was making his sensitive nose go hay-wire!  I kept calling my husband to come and was getting pretty mad.  I put the syringe up to Tribble's nose just to let him have a warning that was what was coming. Well, he surprised me!

He put his mouth on the syringe and started nibbling on the tip where the medication was going to come out. He wouldn't let up. I started pushing the syringe, a little, to get some medication in his mouth.  He just started taking it in and then would wait for more until I pushed more on the syringe. So we did this for the next few seconds until the med in the syringe was gone!!!  I was in such disbelief. Then, as if on cue, my husband walked in to "help" me.

Perhaps Tribble was just getting as impatient as I was waiting for my husband, wanting to get the med-taking hassle over instead of pro-longing it. I praised the little Lionhead bunny repeatedly, pet him and lavished him with affection which he seemed to want to soak up like a sponge.  I gave him some treats also.

I was hoping that I would get the same response the next night, but he went back to his old way of fighting me!  It was the last night, so at that point it didn't matter.

He was healthy again, eating like there was no tomorrow and seeking attention from us like normal!  That is what made it all so worthwhile, but that extra bit of trust he showed me that night made me feel so wonderful. 

I think they trust us more than they let on sometimes, but just want us to know that they are the boss and aren't going to let us think we have any power over them. Sometimes it is just the little things along the way of the journey that present themselves and make the journey more worthwhile than the destination.

Hope this helped bring a smile to your day.
Thanks for stopping by,
Mary Ellen

Please stop by the Rabbit Hop Shoppe!