Friday, May 29, 2009

Flip Friday

It's been a wonderful week. It began with a holiday, and it contained, for me, a couple of extra days of vacation. YIPEE!

Due to the extra days of vacation, I got quite a lot more rabbit time in my week, which is always delightful. Because it was rather warm, Zoe was a little more melty than usual and was more interested than usual in sitting for a few portraits.

She wanted me to show the following pictures especially. She very much enjoys the sepia tone effect on our iPhoto, which she thinks, makes her look as though she is a Rabbit of the 1800's.

You know, like a Wild West Wabbit:

Notice how she doesn't smile for the
photos-- just like in the Olden Days.

She's a Tough Bunny. You watch your mouth, y'hear?

"What did you just say?
Shall we duel at High Noon? Pistols? Or, Carrots?"

OK, then. Back away slowly and you won't get hurt.

But, don't hold me to that.

On to this week's videos.

First, we have a special video starring Emily Dickinson-- a.k.a. Miss Emmie-- as she tries desperately to follow in the bunny's tiny footprints and eat some yard food:

In the meantime, we also had a car this week-- my parents' mini van while they are out of town-- which was perfect for going to the garden center, running a few errands, and of course, hitting the beach.

For those of you who don't know it, Erie is Pennsylvania's port city, located right on Lake Erie, and privy to some pretty awesome beaches. The water was still a little cold for swimming, but we sat in the sand and soaked in some sun.

In this video, you can see the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC), which is the complex with the observation tower at the beginning of the video. Next, you see the roller coaster that spans the road at Waldameer Park. Next, we drive past local summer hot spot, Sara's Diner. And finally, we enter Presque Isle State Park:

Have a great Weekend!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Portrait of a Bunny

I talk a lot about Miss Zoe on our blog.

For that matter, Zoe talks about herself a lot on our blog.

"She only talks about Herself to help people."

It stands to reason, then, that I should get a number of questions in comments, through emails, and on Facebook about what it's really like to live with a bunny and what they are like to take care of.

Don't fool yourself. Rabbits are a bit like Nobility. As you can see from the caption above, they often refer to themselves in the third person. A sure sign. Also, they expect things. Service. And, they expect it to be good service, expedient service.

Miss Zoe awaits service of some kind.
This is a common pose for her.

I have been a waitress at various times in my life. Having a Rabbit (especially, perhaps, one like Miss Zoe) is a lot like trying to get good tips. Your customers want just enough attention, but not too much. They want to be noticed and complimented, but not so much so that it seems insincere. They want you to notice the hay box needs to be freshened before they have to give you that... look.

Maybe that last one only pertains to rabbits.

The bird's eye view.

Even so, two questions I've been asked recently are as follows:

1. Would you recommend a bunny for kids?
2. Do rabbits use a litter box?

First, I would not necessarily recommend a rabbit for children. But I will say this: it depends on the child. I think I would have been great with a rabbit when I was little, but that's me. I couldn't even eat a chocolate Easter bunny without a complete emotional meltdown.

Not that emotional meltdowns are a requirement. Actually, that may indicate a need for therapy.

What I mean is, rabbits are very strong and get wigged out kind of easily. Therefore, they are easy to drop, and it's easy to get a pretty big scratch without realizing it's coming. You need a child with some sensitivity to the rabbit's needs.

If you're calm, the rabbit is calm.

Most kids I've met...mmmm...not that calm. Especially around a bunny!

(An aside: any other rabbit people out there can confirm or dispel these stories I'm telling. I'm basing these things on Zoe pretty much exclusively. Feel free to cut in and smack me down if you think I'm spreading Rabbit lies!!!)

Next: the question of the box du littre. (There's really no disguising it, is there? I figured Frenching it would make it sound more sophisticated, but maybe not.)

Miss Zoe LOVES her litter box. It's like you with a piece of furniture. (Well, if you peed on your furniture, which hopefully you don't.)

She sits in her box, sleeps in her box, and listens to her iPod from her box. She actually has a few boxes, and they are filled with hay. The hay goes in, and then the hay comes out. All in one convenient location!

At first, we worried she would be, well, like a Pez dispenser. We thought she would just roam around her room, letting loose wherever she felt like it.

Not so.

Miss Zoe cleaning her foot for the 47th time this morning.

Bunnies are fastidious creatures. They like cleanliness. They are as natural with a litter box as any cat I've ever known.

Miss Zoe did not wish to be photographed in her litter box. She felt that violated some sort of boundary.

Do you want to be photographed in your box?

She didn't think so.

For more information about the Wonderful World of Rabbits, check out the
House Rabbit Society website.

And, if you have more questions for Miss Zoe, please feel free to ask.

She's always willing to hold audience.

Monday, May 25, 2009

It's Memorial Day

For those of us in the United States, Memorial Day Weekend means a lot of things.

One thing it means is three day weekend for those of of us with traditional jobs.

Anyone with a bunny will enjoy a bit more special bunny time.

And, for those of us in Erie, PA, Memorial Day weekend is the time when we can finally get some stuff planted in the ground. Danger of frost is no longer imminent, it's usually a little warmer (actually, it normally rains on Memorial Day Weekend here, but not this weekend!), and the garden centers and nurseries are hopping with people who are excited to get outside after a long, cold winter.

First on our weekend agenda was a trip to Johnston's Nursery, where we helped Neighbor Bill choose a couple of sour cherry trees for his yard. We also got 8 (eight!) 6-ft Arbor Vitae, which I spent most of Sunday digging holes for and planting. WHEW!!

Miss Zoe did not help with this project.

She claims to be too small to help with such things.


Here's some highlights from our trip to Johnston's, starring the Blisschick:

The other thing we've done so far this weekend is go to the Erie's first ever Troika Russian Festival. (You can see some lovely still photos of the event and the Church on Blisschick today.)

We shared a wonderful Russian porter beer, we took a tour of the gorgeous Church...:

...and then we listened to some great music and watched some awesome dancing by Barynya (a live from New York City performance group):

So what are you doing this weekend?

Friday, May 22, 2009

Flip Friday

It's the weekend!

In particular, it's a Holiday Weekend!

And what does that mean???


Well, also, lots of work in the yard, some fun errand running with Blisschick, maybe a picnic here and there.

And, we're going to see Star Trek tonight with some friends.

Star Trek has gotten good reviews, but nothing like what these are going to get, I assure you!

Sundance Film Festival, meet Miss Zoe!


Wednesday, May 20, 2009

It's in the Mail

Blogging has been an interesting adventure for me.

I remember years ago when the Blisschick started seriously reading blogs. She had lots of favorites and would spend time everyday reading them. Frankly, it made me a little jealous.

Slowly but surely, new people became part of our lives. People with names like Birdchick and Mr. Neil and Kelli Bickman and many others who were soon to come. But this is where it started.

I admit it, though-- I wasn't truly a blog convert until Christine started Blisschick. When she started writing everyday and got responses that sparked conversations with people around the world about the things she is passionate about and the things that she loves, I thought to myself, "This blogging thing? Pretty Cool."

And then Miss Zoe whispered to me one day.

She spoke of spreading the news of the goodness of rabbits. She spoke of the possibility of her getting gifts in the mail from those who would eventually come to consider themselves to be adoring fans of her sweet, fuzzy brown nose, her spotted belly, her velvety soft ears.

Miss Zoe had a vision. And, it was up to me to fulfill it.

"You can write about yourself, too," she said with generosity seeping out her pores. "Art, blah, blah, blah."

And so it began.

"You adore me. You know you do."

Since then, Miss Zoe's vision has begun to come true.

People love her YouTube videos.

People love her pictures.

People love her wise insights and her sage advice.

And then the other day, what did Mailman Rick bring?

See for yourself.

It's in the Mail: An Essay in Photos

A package for a Rabbit...

The Contents!!

First, the Chewie...

Still enthralled with the Chewie.
She loves to throw these across the room.

Exploring the Nutty Ball.

And, a little sparkley something for humans!

I end this post by telling you what blogging can do for you and your Animal Companions.

For you, blogging can open up a world of fascinating people, new friendships, and great conversation.

For your cat, rabbit, or dog, well... it can get them stuff!

All our thanks to our benefactor, Kavindra for the lovely and thoughtful gifts. Miss Zoe sends to you a special gooey kiss and a wee little nuzzle!!

OK, now she's done with you.

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Problem With Dogs

A Disclaimer: Before I start, let me just say, the above title may be misleading. I, personally, have no problem with dogs. However, I cannot speak for any rabbits or cats who may or may not be in the room, and who may or may not approve (to use Cinnamon's word) of dogs.

That being said, I would like to clarify that my problem with dogs is simply that painting them and drawing them can rather stymie me.

I love dogs. Big, small, whatever.

The thing is, I've never had a dog.

I did once exist in the same space with a dog, I think, when I was first born. I seem to recall seeing some pictures of me as a very cute (of course!) baby pulling all the canned goods out of the cupboard to build a fort, and there in the background of the picture is a black dog.

But, it was so early on that my psyche has no recollection of ever "having a dog."

Baby Yard Rabbit is fine with no dog!

Baby Rabbit update:
Baby Rabbit is growing and doing fine.
Liking the dogless yard.

Someday, I hope to maybe have a dog. Who knows?

But, presently dogless, here's the problem for me: Not having had a dog makes it challenging to draw and paint them. It's as if I don't know their ins and outs, you know?

A cat? Easy. I have had so many cats in my life that I could draw their sweet little faces in my sleep.

A rabbit? Now that I've had Miss Zoe for 5 years and have spent hours of each and every one of those wonderful days of those years playing with her and staring at her cute face and body while she does, well-- everything, the same thing goes for rabbits. Could draw them in my sleep.

Me with the Sweet Miss Zoe.

Look at Miss Emmie's sweet Cat Face!

I say all this ("There," you're thinking. "She's FINALLY getting to the point!") because I recently got a commission to paint a dog, and every time I get a commission to paint a dog, it's the same. It's as though my muscles have forgotten the dog shape. Their eyes, their noses. I have to relearn it every time.

For this one commission, I have gone through, like, a dozen incarnations of the dog's face, trying to get it right, trying to get the eyes just right.

You have to get the eyes right.

Anyhow, just thought I'd share my recent art trials and tribulations. If you dog people out there have any suggestions, I'd be happy to hear them. What makes a dog face a dog face?

That last sentence made Miss Zoe laugh. She is rolling around on the floor saying "Dog Face! Ha, ha, ha!" right now. Funny bunny.

Miss Zoe is not at all interested in hearing your dog comments, so send those to me.

When I do finally get that dog done, I'll post a picture. Hopefully, that will be soon.

Also coming soon: The Wee!Art Contest Winners.

Stay Tuned. Same Rabbit Time. Same Rabbit Channel.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Flip Friday

It's been quite a week here in the Rabbit Room.

The windows have been open.

Contest Winners have been chosen.

Not one, but TWO willow balls have been eaten. Completely. No pieces left for Miss Lilly to play with, even. (And, she is disappointed by that, I am sure.)

And, of course... it's Friday.

"Isn't it time to celebrate with a Rabbit Video?" Zoe says as she hops to the hay box. "Oh, and I guess you could show one of the cat, too." (Munch, munch, munch) "If you have to," she adds.

And so, here you go.

First, a Cat Movie:

And now, starring Miss Zoe:

ENJOY!! And, happy Friday.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

One quarter, .25, or 25 Days

It was 25 Days ago that I began the Blisschick's 100 Day Challenge. My challenge was to Meditate for 100 days. Just sit quietly focused for 10 minutes every day.

At day 25, of course, I am one quarter of the way through.

And, you know, usually when I am counting down days, it's to a goal: like, 5 days til Christmas, or 2 weeks til my birthday, something along those lines. Usually, it's something I get to and don't plan to keep counting.

But with my 100 Day Challenge, it feels different.

Sure, I am happy that I've gotten this far. (Overall, I'm a pretty unfocused and forgetful animal. Just ask the Blisschick-- it can drive her absolutely nutters!) I'm proud of myself for making it this far and only forgetting, like, once.

But the other day at the end of Meditation, I sad to Miss Zoe, "When we get through the 100 Days, then what? Do you think that will be it?"

She stared at me with that Knowing Eye. Then she turned her head and stared at me with a second, Knowing Eye. Well, I know what that means.

Detail of The Knowing Eye.
You know as well as I do what that look means!

Yes, the Knowing Eye means business.

(Luckily, the Rabbit version of the Knowing Eye is something best seen from the side, so it's hard to get two Knowing Eyes at once. Otherwise it could be overwhelming. Of course, one can easily receive Two Knowing Eyes from a Cat without much trouble, but that is a whole different story...)

It means, "Of course you won't be done. The point of something like the 100 Day challenge is to, like, form new Habits. Duh."

She is such a Wise Bunny!

I hadn't really thought of it that way at the beginning. I had just always wanted to be a Meditator, and thought of this as an opportunity to try it out. I am easily lured into Blisschick's insidious schemes for me! She's been trying to get me to meditate for 10 years, easily.

About a week into the Challenge, I said to the Blisschick, "I feel a little lost. I'm not sure what I'm supposed to, you know-- DO while I'm meditating."

Her answer, as always, was to give me a book to read. She handed me a copy of Turning Your Mind Into An Ally by Sakyong Mipham. "Read This," she said. "You'll know what to do then."

And she was right. I am not even halfway through, though I've been reading it for a couple of weeks now. It's one of those books that you think about so much that you need to read it slowly. You know the kind. You just don't want to miss anything.

The main thing Sakyong Mipham's taught me so far is this: Thoughts are not real; they are only thoughts. We place so much emphasis on them, we follow them, we dream about them, get anxious over them, etc. But thoughts don't have any more power than the power we give them. Which is usually a lot.

I've found that knowing this makes it much easier to refocus my mind on my breath. Many thoughts float through, but they are only thoughts. By repeating that Truth to myself, I find it's easier to let them go and refocus.

I'm looking forward to the next 75 days and the days that follow. I love the time spent sitting quietly in Miss Zoe's room. We set our timer. About 5 minutes into my sitting, she hops over and lays her chin on my knee. I place my hand on her wee, fuzzy head, and we sit.

It is a thing of beauty. Why would I ever want that to stop now?

100 days will easily become 1000 and on and on and on.

Thanks, Blisschick!!!

Monday, May 11, 2009

Wee!Art Original Pet Portrait Giveaway

The Time has come!!

It's the Moment you've been waiting for.

Well, maybe not the moment in the Grand Scheme, but it's a a pretty good moment. You have to admit that.

What is this moment all about, you ask? Why should you be SO EXCITED?!? It's time for Miss Zoe and I to announce the Winners of the Wee!Art Pet Portrait Giveaway!!

But then, you knew that, right?

Right now, Miss Zoe is resting from the harrowing work of nosing her way through many little folded up pieces of paper to pick the Winners.

Miss Zoe rests in her sunspot.
Please, she doesn't wish to be bothered just now.

But, since you weren't here for the actual event, let's rewind and view a pictorial representation of the choosing process.

Assessing the competition...

Nosing through...

Choosing Winner #1
(this paper went all the way in her mouth--
you can barely see it sticking out.
And, yes, she got it pretty gooey.)

And, Winner #2
(she took Winner #2 away to a more
remote location, but #2 didn't get so gooey!)


Luckily Miss Zoe didn't munch them
so much that they were unreadable!

Kavindra's Wee!Art Pet Portrait will feature none other than her wonderful cat, Lucy. (By the way Lucy, I think everyone misses the litterbox once in awhile!)

Ash's Wee!Art Pet Portrait will feature not her own animal companion, but another animal who was special-- a poodle named Dexter who belonged to her voice teacher.

Kavindra and Ash, please send pictures of your Animals and your mailing addresses to Miss Zoe and me at zoejobie(at)gmail(dot)com.

Many thanks to all those who sent their stories in for the contest. We have to admit, many of them were so sweet, they made us cry. Though, even if pressed, Miss Zoe will not admit that.

Oh, and Kavindra, Miss Zoe says to feel free to send that yummy carrot you promised. She'll be waiting...

Friday, May 8, 2009

Flip Friday!

Yes, it's that time again!!


Zoe would like to thank all of you who have participated in her (and MY!!)

She has been especially fond of all the nice comments she has received about... well... herself.

Seriously, you have been too kind!!

"No, they haven't!" Miss Zoe just threw over her shoulder on her way to the hay box. "I think they've been just right."

OK, well, be that as it may, Miss Zoe and I are offering up a couple of great movies this week to thank you. These movies capture Zoe in some of her more private moments.

She thinks you deserve that much.

But before we get to today's features, she wants to remind you that there is still time to submit your own Animal Companion Story for the Wee!Art Pet Portrait Giveaway!!

Zoe won't draw the 2 lucky winners' names until
Sunday, May 10th at 5 PM!!

There is still so much time to submit your entry!!

OK, so without any more fanfare, here they are. The Flip Friday Features:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009


Happy Wednesday! Happy Seis de Mayo!

First and foremost, Miss Zoe and I want to thank everyone who has written in to share stories of their most wonderful animal friends. They are all so beautiful!!!

(If you don't know what the heck I am referring to, go here to find out or to read some of the stories.)

Don't forget to submit a story to win your very own original Wee!Art pet portrait!! Miss Zoe will pick two lucky winners on Sunday, May 10th at 5:00 PM.

Secondly, I want to apologize yet again for amateurish production of last week's Flip Friday Zoe movie. Miss Zoe has still not quite forgiven me for messing up the soundtrack.

We did place an order at Sweet Meadow Farm for two bags of her favorite crunchy food, and 14 bags of organic hay, some of which are her favorite Timothy and Herbs Mix, so I'm hoping to be forgiven soon.

At any rate... can see where we are right now. I am, as yet, unforgiven.

As for the title of this post, "Duck!" don't worry that Miss Zoe is going to throw something at you (though rabbits do love to throw things!). It's me she's upset with.

She still likes you.

"Duck!" then, refers to the pictures below, which were sent to me at work from one of my Library co-workers, Mary. Mary is our Branch Coordinator, and was out visiting our branch in Edinboro, when these little friends came to the door:

Apparently, the clerks at this branch turned away from getting library cards, as they could not provide proof of their current address. Sad, really, as the little ones look ready to learn.

"If they're smart," Miss Zoe said when I showed her the pictures and told her the story behind them, "they'll fly over to another branch and try again. Someone else might give in and issue the cards just because the babies are so cute. Ducks!" she sniffed as she hopped back to her hay box. "You just never know with ducks."

Miss Zoe thinks it's just like ducks to try to work the system. I'm not so sure, but since she's grouchy with me, I'm just going to go along with it.

You should, too, if you know what's good for you.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Wee!Art Original Pet Portrait Giveaway

Mammals are pretty darn Important here at the Lilypad.

We currently have four cats in regular Fur Suits and two cats in Sparkle Suits who have moved on from their Fur Suit-life to a Leisurely and Beautiful Life at a place we like to call Sparkle Pond.

Did I forget to mention that we also have a bunny?

Anyhow, one of our Sparkle Cats, Jobie, who left his Fur Suit in January of 2008, left behind
May 1st as the Official Sparkle Jobie Feast Day. May 1 had formerly been his birthday. We keep the day as a Celebration Day in his honor.

He demands it.
A Wee!Art Sparkle Jobie!

So, on Friday, as Blisschick and I were sitting in the rabbit room with Miss Lilly (who is certainly the reincarnation of Jobie without a doubt), Miss Zoe, who was of course also in the room, but who was sitting in her hay box munching, said between bites of chamomile flowers and rose hips, "What are we doing on the Blog to celebrate Jobie's Feast Day?"

Blisschick and I exchanged surprised glances. Not only had Miss Zoe come up with a brilliant idea, she came up with a brilliant idea that didn't involve...well...herself.

A Wee!Art Black Cat with Lotus

That's not to say that Miss Zoe is in any way a self centered bunny.

We'll leave it at that.

The idea we came up with, then, is to offer a Wee!Art Pet Portrait Giveaway.

Here's how you participate: After you finish reading this post and contemplating what a wonderful bunny Miss Zoe is (that's a Very Important Part of the process overall, mind you), after you do that, then write us a couple of sentences about a Fur Companion you had or have that meant or means the World to you.

OK, it doesn't have to be fur. It could be fur, feathered, or scaled. It could even be hairless. I love those hairless cats, don't you?

Anyway, write a comment to Zoe and me describing whoever this is and we will enter you in a drawing to win one of two Wee!Art pet portraits like you see pictured here in this post and at my etsy store Ordinary Enchantment.

Only, it will feature your little critter, whoever it may be.

That's all there is to it!! Write a comment and you're automatically entered in the drawing.

Everyone who enters will have their name written on a slip of paper and Miss Zoe, herself, will choose the winners this coming Sunday, May 10th at 5 PM.

So easy! Miss Zoe is accepting entries starting.....


Friday, May 1, 2009

Flip Friday Fiasco!

For anyone who has already viewed "Lazy Bunny," I apologize for the shoddy production values. (Miss Zoe is making me write this.)

The video should have had music all the way through and it did not, so...

Miss Zoe made me come home from work to fix it. She will not be associated with such amateurish work.

Knowing she is right, I fixed said video and reposted. The one below is the fixed version, as is the one on the YouTube page.

All traces of aforementioned flip fiasco have been removed from the only if I could erase Zoe's memory as easily.

Flip Friday

This past weekend was warm and lazy. At least for the Animals.

At the Lilypad, Animals felt relaxed and sleepy.

Humans, on the other hand, were forced to work.

So, while Rosie the Cat felt nappy and lazy while lounging peacefully in her window Seat...

...Humans were forced to clean garden beds.

Humans were made to plant seeds to grow certain lettuces and veggies (Hmmmm.... do you wonder who those are for?)

Humans were told to clean the garage and put the old couch (that's been stored in there for the last 4 or 5 years) out to the curb for the Large Item garbage pickup.

(The Animals suggested that we even sit on said couch placed at the end of the driveway and have a beer just for fun. Blisschick would not allow it.)

Meanwhile, Animals like Miss Zoe were feeling quite content to do nothing at all short of showing off how cute her little Rabbit Body really is:

It doesn't seem quite fair, does it?

But who ever said life was fair?

It was most certainly not the Animals.