Wednesday, September 30, 2009

American Scenes

Kingpost replica bridge over the Plattekill Creek, 3

Bridge over Plattekill Creek, in the Catskills


Still life outside

Fall Colors Near Woodstock, Vermont

Near Woodstock, Vermont


Fall Sunset

Cats, Dogs, Horses and Bears

Today is another gorgeous day before a cold front moves in tonight, giving us rain and a high of 50 tomorrow. I walked Suki and Boo 45 minutes after their breakfast, and then walked Remy and Rosie for an hour at 9:30. I purchased my October bus pass on the way home, as well as picking up some deli meats and cheese for a lunch-time sandwich. The kits were ecstatic to have me return home, but are now outside sunning, while I blog. They each had some turkey breast, ham-off-the-bone, and Provolone cheese with me, besides their regular kitty kibble. I slept like a rock last night, and hope to do so tonight while we have our first freeze. Keith just called Riley, the Shar Pei, back inside and both of the kits came running to me. They are good kits. I've read 6 books in the last 4 days, and am ready to start a seventh. I just finished two Philip R. Craig mysteries - he was born and raised outside of Durango on a cattle ranch; he writes his mysteries based on Martha's Vineyard and the Boston area. I'm about to start Do Cats Hear With Their Feet?, and then I'll go on to A Breed Apart. And I need to remember to take my jacket and umbrella with me when I go back to Suki and Boo's this afternoon....

Not much else going on around here - Some rural schools have been closed for a week because half, or more, of the student body is out sick with the flu. We've had two confirmed deaths from Swine flu here in Boulder County, and 8 others throughout the state. ... Cryptoclearance, one of my favorite stallions, died this past week from a heart attack following colic surgery. Clarence was 25. Kona Gold, a retired gelding living at the Kentucky Horse Park Hall of Fame, was put down the day after Clarence died due to an injury he inflicted upon himself in his paddock. Rachel Alexandra is taking a holiday/vacation from racing and has just been moved back to Churchill Downs from Saratoga Springs. ... Oh! And in Vail, a woman walked into her bedroom, and hearing footsteps behind her, thought it was the family dog. It was an eight-foot-tall mama black bear, who brought her three cubs along to visit. The woman threw her bed pillow at the bear, who left her alone in the room. As the bear and her cubs returned to the house three times the next day, DoW tranquilized them and relocated them to the back country. ....

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad

View from the Durango - Silverton narrow guage railway in Colorado

Gay Head Cliffs on Martha's Vineyard

The Gay Head Cliffs at Aquinnah on Martha's Vineyard

2008-05-24_074654 Martha's Vineyard

View of "The Gingerbread Houses" on Martha's Vineyard

Nob Hill district

Painted Ladies on Nob Hill in San Francisco

Cats, Dogs, and PCs

I wasn't feeling "quite right" when I arose this morning, so I contacted the Rs' family and returned to bed, having fed the kits and let them out for a short interval. While I now only feel sleepy, I otherwise feel much better.... and the kits are once again playing outside. I'll take Rosie and Remy out for an afternoon romp, shortly after I arrive at Suki and Boo's. Jim had told me they wanted to be on the road before 8 this morning, but Kathy called me at 9:30, and Jim is currently on-line, so I know they haven't yet left. We're supposed to reach the mid-80s today, while it was 38 when I first awoke; tomorrow the weather folks are calling for mid-70s, and maybe a high of 50 on Thursday, with rain. I just hope it's nice on Saturday - watching cross country jumping in the rain is not particularly fun, if you don't know any of the participants. (I probably won't be blogging at all this weekend, as I'm with Coffee, Sadie and Rusty - and no internet for me.) I'll try to spend a few hours with the kits on Friday, will be able to just do a pop-in visit on Saturday, but I'll return home Sunday evening and make up with them for lost time. - Shady slept through his Mom's return yesterday, while Cloudy heard Alexy's voice and came scampering out of the master bedroom to greet her.

The stupid virus the PC and I picked up a couple of weeks ago seems to have corrupted a lot of my files. I've got my genealogy research back and intact, and my virus and spysweeper is back and OK. But I spent yesterday afternoon and evening trying to up-load photos from my camera. The .Net Framework was corrupt, so I had to remove it and then replace it. My Kodak software still will not load, so I can't do anything with the photos that are now "stuck" in my camera drive. But I will persevere! I have learned a great deal about my PC during this time and hope to continue to do so (but, I keep forgetting what I've learned, also.... I'm getting old). If nothing else, I can download my software on Kathy and Jim's PC, process the photos and then e-mail them to myself... but I hope it doesn't come to that. I'll probably blog from K & J's tomorrow - so be prepared for odd-hours uploads, and possibly no blogs, until Monday...

Monday, September 28, 2009


Lizzy_& Rosie Jumping Bridleless

Rosie jumps, bridle-less, for Lizzie...

Beautiful green eyes!



Best buddies in Prague

Cloudy and Shady

I hope to post some photos this evening when I return home - the blog looks odd to me without some photos. Yesterday was absolutely gorgeous here - and I met one of the neighbors I didn't know, as well as her two cats, Bandit and Mollie. I met Leslie and her cats while searching for Shady, who loves Leslie's backyard. We ended up discussing all kinds of history and I had to return an hour later to scoop up Shady. Shady likes to make his appearance once I've stopped calling and jingling the bell for him - I'll turn around to return home and he'll be sitting directly in my line of sight, and will trot to the back door just ahead of me. Cloudy is more of a homebody and can usually be found near the kitchen door. - I get to sleep with my kits tonight, and I'm looking forward to it. Not that Cloudy and Shady aren't good bed buddies; it's just that they don't sleep in the positions Lovey and Banichi do; and, of course, they wouldn't, because they are not L & B. Tomorrow I start looking after Suki and Boo and on Thursday I switch over to Coffee, Rusty and Sadie - the weekend will be an interesting few days!

Jim McKay, the sportscaster, would have liked the finish of the Maryland Million Classic on Sunday. McKay, an owner and breeder of thoroughbreds, pushed for Maryland to have it's own Million Dollar Day of Racing - and managed to see a few of them before he passed away. Yesterday, the Jim McKay Classic was won by 2 1/2 lengths by a 4-year-old colt named Sumacha'hot; he was claimed last September for $5,000 by his current owner and trainer at the same track where he won the Graded Stakes Classic race yesterday. The colt won more money in the Classic than he has earned in his last 19 races combined. ... I was disappointed to see that the introductory remarks we saw on film from Ken Salazar at the Chautauqua preview were not included on the PBS version of The National Parks. Otherwise, I thoroughly enjoyed the first two-hour episode. ... I hope that your week isn't too stressful! Enjoy!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Thumbs Up on PBS's National Parks

Well, I finally spent time in the Chautauqua Auditorium - a huge barn-like structure built over a hundred years ago. As it was still light outside when we entered, it was amazing to sit and look at all the gaps in the wooden sides, as well as the covered hay vents just below the roof line. I met Kathy, Jim, and Anne at Sunflower Market and we proceeded to Chautauqua for a picnic prior to the PBS presentation - we had salad with all sorts of add-ons, fresh fruit salad, roasted chicken, and challah bread sitting in the grass under an oak tree. There were tons of wasps who wanted to partake of our salads and chicken, but who flew away at the wave of a hand and never stung. After eating and cleaning up our spot, we went in to see the show. We were entertained by the National Parks Ramblers, a group made up of Nick and Helen Forster, Justin Hoffenburg, and Martin Gilmore (acoustic guitars, banjo and fiddle). Several people who were sponsoring the event spoke, including John Fielder, a well-known photographer, and Neil Mulholland, president and CEO of the National Parks Foundation. Then we were allowed a 60-minute sneak-peek of the series that had been put together for our specific Boulder/Denver/Colorado audience. As well as the introduction, clips were shown from all of the episodes. They were beautiful, breath-taking, and just plain funny, depending on what was shown. This series, The National Parks: America's Best Idea (a film by Ken Burns), will air on PBS throughout this week - I can only speak for local programming, but it's being shown from 8 through 10, Sunday through Friday, here in Boulder. I don't want to miss any part of it, and hope that you will enjoy this 12 hour historical and beautiful review.

Cloudy and Shady are now resigned to the fact that Alexy is gone. Or, at least, Cloudy doesn't trot through the house exploring every room, looking for her Mom. Shady just snuggles as he pleases, and watches the wildlife through the windows. There are two mule deer bucks in the backyard right now, scrubbing their antlers against tree boles. I also see six squirrels and innumerable birds within my view. Cloudy is visiting one neighbor, while Shady is visiting the house on the opposite side of the property. My kits were very happy to see me yesterday. Lovey insisted that she hadn't been fed since the beginning of the month, while Banichi just wanted to snuggle and stay close. I fed them, loved them, let them run outside for a bit, and spent an hour cuddling both of them. Before I left, I gave them a tuna treat, and a pinch each of catnip. And I visited Coffee, Rusty, and Sadie yesterday, getting up-dated on current rules prior to my 4 day, 3 night stay with them. It's a gorgeous day here - a breeze from the north east, plenty of sunshine, and the leaves are just beginning to change down here in the valleys. I hope all of you have a wonderful day, and a super week ahead!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Cats, Cats and Dogs

I think Alexy will be surprised to hear that both of her cats slept with me last night; Shady at my feet, and Cloudy beside my head. Cloudy has a problem in that she dislikes everyone and everything (except hunting) - she'll brush up against you, then turn around and hiss at you, and she does the same to her brother. Cloudy spent most of yesterday afternoon and evening searching the house for Alexy - trotting everywhere she could go, checking each and every room, and then coming back to stare at me, as if I was the one who made Alexy disappear. Hopefully, Alexy is having a marvelous time away from the house, the cats, her students, etc. Shady has already adopted me, but Cloudy will take some time. - Shady just saw me sitting at the desk, and came to the door, crying to be let in (there's a kitty door in the kitchen). He's just had a good rub and love and he's off again.

I have to admit I missed my kits last night... it dropped down to 38 here in the backyard last night, but is expected to be about 82 this afternoon. I'll be visiting the kits around noon, after I check in with Coffee, Rusty, and Sadie's owners this morning. Then I'm to meet Kathy and Jim and Anne at the Sunflower Natural Market at 4:30, where we'll get the food for a picnic and drive over to Chautauqua for a picnic prior to the PBS preview, which starts at 6. I thought I'd spend today watching college football, but Kathy and Jim announced they had purchased the tickets and it was a done deal. I'll miss the Florida - Kentucky game this afternoon/evening, and I really wanted to see that game. There is a whole raft of other games to be seen this morning and afternoon - but I had been looking forward to the Gators. (And, Go Mizzou!!! That was a handy and exciting win last night against Nevada!) The red kids were on exemplary behavior yesterday - we had a young woman run past with two dogs - an Akita and a black mix - that were throwing themselves at the end of their leads and barking like mad at us. Rosie and Remy sat - just sat - as I requested until the others were past and I gave them treats. I have to admit that Rosie barked back once, but considering the noise being directed at us, I thought the Rs were extremely well-behaved. Well - I need to fix breakfast, and get myself together. Have a good weekend!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Critters and Gold

At 2 this morning, I awoke and thought I was caught in the middle of an artillery barrage - the kits were sleeping soundly beside me, and then it started again. It was one of the noisiest thunderstorms I've ever been under; the rain was pouring down, lightning was flashing everywhere and the booms of thunder were just incredible. It was a wonderful storm, and will hopefully help move this low pressure system away from Boulder. Every day this week the weather folks have said that the system would be moving on to the east "tomorrow"; this is the fifth tomorrow and I'm tired of grey, blah, cool weather. If the sun was shining and it was cool, it would be different - Grrrrrrrr! I'm off in a few minutes to walk Rosie and Remy, and then go over to Cloudy and Shady's house for the weekend. (And the un-ranked South Carolina Gamecocks beat #4 ranked Ole Miss last night. He,he, he!) I just looked over my shoulder and Gimpy is stuffing himself with nuts just inside the patio door....

I am very interested in finding out more about the "Staffordshire Hoard" which was recently announced in England. An unemployed metal detector club member was wandering through a newly-plowed field in early July of this past summer, when he got a strong reading. So far over 1,300 artifacts have been found, and archaeologists are hoping to find another 200 or so as they sift through 56 tons of dirt from that field. The items date from the Anglo-Saxon period and include a large number of decorated sword hilts and knife handles. Scientists are hypothesizing that this "hoard" was a cache of a warrior's trophies; hidden at a time of war and never before recovered. (Of course, during the Anglo-Saxon period, there was almost constant tribal warfare.) And, being impatient, I want to know more now!!!

Thursday, September 24, 2009


Elk Bull, Antlers Shed Annually

A bull elk (wapiti)

Hummingbird 4

Hummingbirds are heading south for the winter...

Evergreen, CO

Koda, a Bernese Mountain dog, near Evergreen, Colorado

Evergreen, CO

Storm clouds (and Koda) near Evergreen

Elk Encounters

I am yucky today; didn't sleep well, and awoke with all the symptoms of a cold. It's still cool and damp here, so I declined to walk the red kids today. I'm gonna stay here at home and drink hot tea with honey and eat chicken noodle soup - and I'm going to try not to nap, so I'll hopefully sleep well tonight. The kits are curled up together in the bed, and Gimpy has been by and stuffed himself with peanuts. The critters currently in the news here are the elk. When we went to the Scottish Irish Festival in Estes Park, the announcer made a joke about it being the beginning of the elk rut season, and how much bagpipes and an elk whistle can sound alike. All of what he said is true... and this week a woman trying to catch her neighbors' loose dog was attacked by a bull elk in the woods behind her house. The elk tossed her around with his horns, and did moderate damage - including a one-inch deep wound from his antlers in her back, near the spine. She called her husband on her cell phone as soon as she encountered the elk, and as he was nearby, he drove home ASAP- to find her dazed and bleeding at the foot of their driveway. - And, over in Aurora, near the Denver Airport, a couple of long-time ranchers saw two elk bulls that had been battling each other along with a barbed wire fence. The two bulls were bound together by the wire entwined in their antlers. DoW was called, but after waiting two hours, the ranchers took matters into their own hands. They heel roped each elk, and put them on the ground. Then they took wire clippers and cut their horns free of over 40 feet of tangled barbed wire (at which time DoW arrived and complained that the ranchers were trying to incur harm on themselves). The ranchers then loosened the heel ropes on both elk and they trotted off together, away from the men. And a man heard some loud splashing coming from his backyard, "like a giant washing machine," he said. On going to look at his pool, he found a bull elk had broken through the pool cover and was swimming around, and trying to climb the pool cover to get back out. The home owner had to cut his pool cover off, in order for the elk to get to the low end of the pool and clamber out... Can you imagine trying to explain that to your insurance company? (At least the man has a video of the incident for proof.)

Professor Ward Churchill has had his review by Judge Naves, who stayed with his original decision, stating that Churchill did not deserve to be re-hired by CU Boulder, and that he should not receive any money for lost income. Churchill's lawyer has said that there will be an appeal to a higher court. ... In Virginia, a third horse has tested positive for the West Nile virus. ... And I was upset to hear of the murder of a part-time Census taker in rural Kentucky. This man was a substitute teacher at local schools, and was performing an innocuous tally on housing and heating costs in Clay County. He was found hanging in the Daniel Boone National Forest with the word "Fed" written on his chest. He was in an area that has recently been known as one that produces methamphetamine and the poor man probably asked questions of the wrong person - but that in no way, shape, or form excuses his murder. Please say a quick prayer for this substitute teacher who was trying to make ends meet by working for his government.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009



"What now?"

Cute Shade at 8 weeks

"Did I hear my name?"

New Paint Foal

"What can I do now, Ma?" - Venus and her son Mars

Cats, Dogs, Horses

The weather folks were royally wrong about this morning - it's nearly 50 degrees outside, with cloudy skies, but other than a few snowflakes in Nederland, there is no sign of the 6 to 12 inches of snow that was forecast. The kits are haring about like mad, and Gimpy is stuffing himself. I still haven't fiddled with the fonts on the PC - but everything else is A-OK. The low pressure system that was spinning over the area last night caused me to have a tremendous sinus headache, and I was asleep before 8:30. I did watch the season premiere of NCIS, but then I curled up in bed with the kits and shut the world out. I'll soon be on my way to exercise Rosie and Remy....

The Breeders Cup races are coming up on November 6 and 7 at Santa Anita, again split with Friday for the female races and Saturday for the boys. (That still makes me grind my teeth.) The thoroughbred world lost two significant stallions this week, with El Prado dying from an apparent heart attack in his paddock, and Summer Squall being put down due to the infirmities of old age. ... I was horrified to read of the arrest of a second teen-aged boy in connection with the killing and butchering of 19 horses in the Miami-Dade and Broward County areas of Florida. This second young man was paid $500 per horse to hold the halter while another male cut the horse's throat. The horses were then butchered for their meat. And these were horses out in pasture and being boarded at farms; they were not horses that had already been condemned to the knackers. These horses were people's pets and friends and companions, some just turned out to graze overnight! Had it been one of my horses, I would happily cut the throats of any human involved in these sickening deaths. ... And there are now 8 confirmed deaths from Eastern Equine Encephalitis in the state of Virginia. Please be sure that all of your pets/animals/friends/critters are current on their vaccinations!! Will post photos this afternoon.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Here, Kitty, Kitty....

Khan The Black Panther

Kahn, a black Leopard, commonly called a black panther

European Lynx

A European Lynx (female)

Sulking in the corner

A Clouded Leopard

The Friendly Puma

A catamount, also known as a cougar, mountain lion and puma

A Cool Tuesday

It was chilly walking the kids this morning. The wind was blowing from the northwest, and one could see a lot more snow on the peaks above Boulder. I have to admit I grabbed breakfast at MickyD's - a sausage,egg, and cheese McMuffin and a hot chocolate. This is the first time I've had hot chocolate since MickeyD's started their new McCoffee setup. I have to say it the hot chocolate that I had this morning was almost the best I've ever had - almost, but not quite. Once I got off the bus, Arabella, the calico cat at the Waldorf Pre-School, came and demanded attention, so I gave her 5 minutes of love and scratches and belly pats. Then I ran into Hila and Tippie being walked, and had to confer treats upon those two. Then I finally got to Rosie and Remy's house; we had an excellent walk and met several new people, including the manager at the local nursing home. After our walk, I had a few minutes to recover my breath and dry the sweat before I met Alexy at her house and became re-acquainted with Cloudy and Shady. The cats were their normal selves, but in talking about getting away, I'm afraid I made Alexy cry. (She's been the caretaker for her Mother for the last 10 years without respite, and Olwen, her Mom, passed away in June.) I hugged her and let her cry it out, and then we just carried on...

Most of my football teams won over the weekend, and the two that didn't made an excellent showing against their much-higher rated opponents. ... I let the kits run outside for a few minutes this morning, and then re-opened the patio door upon my return home. Lovey is running in and out, walking across my chest with muddy toes and generally having a ball at this time. ... I watched the season premiere of House last night - and was amazed that I could actually empathize with him in this episode (he was locked up in a psychiatric ward at his own request when he started having hallucinations from his Vicodin abuse and his depression). Actually, I could relate to almost every patient that he was incarcerated with...


Lovey actually let me sleep in this morning, so I have just gotten out of bed. I need to grab breakfast, walk the Rs, meet with Alexy about Cloudy and Shady, and go to the bank before I will actually sit down and blog today.... It's 42 outside and the weather folks are saying 6 to 12 inches of snow might fall overnight in the Foothills (that includes Boulder). We shall see. - Later!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Virus Free!

Yahoo! Everything is working again! I'll need to modify some font settings, but, otherwise, all other things seem to be back to a "normal" working status - normal for me, that is!
The high today was 56, which occurred a minute past midnight - it got up to 49 at noon. The weather guys are now saying we might have snow, with some accumulation on grassy areas by Wednesday morning. - It is Colorado!

On Assateague Island

Me on Assateague - about 1988?

Cool Weather, Last Day of Summer

About 30 minutes after I turned off my reading light last night, I heard Banichi talking to himself as he came down the hall. Therefore I wasn't surprised when he presented his shoestring to me - curling it up very precisely on my face, while sitting on my chest. (Lovey was snuggled up against my side between the flannel sheets.) It was a nice welcome home greeting. Having watched the weather forecasts carefully, I told the Rs' family that I would be taking today off, and not walking the kids. It's currently 42 degrees outside, and the temperature is still dropping; the snow line has been dropped to 7,000 feet, and a few flakes have been seen in both Boulder and Denver, mixed in with the light rain. It's quite a change from yesterday's 82 degrees with sun and a slight breeze!

I am booked to work from Friday the 25th through October 6th; 3 nights with Cloudy and Shady, 3 nights with Suki and Boo, 3 nights with Coffee and Rusty and Sadie, and 2 nights with Ooch. Then I'll be home with the kits for two nights, and then away for 4 with Sammie and Tupper - luckily, all the houses are in North Boulder, so I can easily get home to visit the kits each day! Lovey is currently curled up next to my pillow, and Banichi is curled up in his special chair; I have the window barely cracked open for fresh air. (And I put a handful of nuts out on the door sill for Gimpy...) I did not restart my PC last night, and am about to do so now. I have a Vaughn Monroe movie, The Man From Arizona, on as background noise... to drown out the squeals and yells of several small children who are visiting next door. And, Kathryn, I sent the CD-ROM on Friday.... let's see how long before it arrives at your house! Have a good week...

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Blasts from the Past...

Court Jester and I at Sleepy Hollow Horse Farm - around 1989 (Gosh, I'm pale! - This was when I worked midnight shift at Shands Teaching Hospital for 8+ years.)

Who Dat Cat, my companion of 21 years - in Florida, about 1987

Home Game

I've had the red dogs out for a 90-minute walk this morning - it was 47 degrees, and the kids were very frisky. Today is a home game for CU; the Buffs are playing Wyoming - and it was amazing to see how many BMWs and large vehicles with Wyoming tags were parked in the front lot of the apartments this morning. Usually Jim has the barricades up before 7 - but they weren't in place when I walked in to see the kits this morning at 8:20, so the lot has filled with vehicles that plainly do not belong to us (po') tenants. The kits are playing outside in the sun, having eaten their breakfast as fast as they could, and then running out doors. There is so much activity that I have yet to see Gimpy - but there are people out in the backyard, and quite a few folks in the Harvest House parking lot on the other side of the fence, so he might be feeling shy.

I'm currently working on a crossword puzzle called "Shooting Stars" - a lot of the clues are just names of characters and the year a movie was first shown ... or something like: "Milburn from Gunsmoke". I'm not doing too badly, at the moment... I started reading The Founders on the Founders yesterday, and am finding it interesting, but not completely absorbing. And when I arrived home this morning, there was another book box sitting outside my door, so I now have the new New York at 400 to read, as well. According to the weather folks, the high temps are supposed to drop 25 degrees on Monday, after a cold front comes through. It's supposed to be 80 today and around 82 tomorrow; but the forecast is for snow above 7,500 Sunday night. (Boulder ranges from 1 mile to 6,000 feet.) I should be home by 6 p.m. tomorrow evening, so I'll completely restart the PC then - hopefully I can blog tomorrow from the Rs... Have a great weekend!!!

Friday, September 18, 2009


Writing this blog from the Rs' office eyrie... I can look out one set of windows and see Aiko and Yoshi's backyard, and the team of Friday gardeners; another set of windows looks out over Twister and Tinkerbell's house, where the house is being power-washed (and I bet both cats are in the basement right now!); and through another set I can see the Silver Lake Ditch (irrigation) flowing towards Githen's Acres. The place is light and bright - if I actually lived here, this would be my office space, too. I've already had the red kids out for a walk - they were getting excited while the luggage was being brought down, so we left early and returned just before the family departed, so everyone could say their good-byes. - And I still can't get my .exe files to work on my home PC, after I managed to get the virus out... I guess I'm just going to have to restart the entire programming system again... If I didn't have to sit and watch it, it wouldn't be bad. I'll probably do it Sunday evening, after I return home from the Rs house.
The kits saw the alarm clock go into the backpack this morning, but it was after they had been outside and had a good run. Lovey looked disgusted and Banichi started to snuggle as close as he could get. I'll be seeing them this evening, tomorrow morning, and early Sunday, and returning Sunday home afternoon - so it's not as if I'm not around at all. But the kits can always make me feel guilty. And I am looking forward to football this weekend.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Party!! Parrrrrr-ty!!!

Why it's not safe to leave kits at home, unsupervised.

Back - and then Gone Again

I am still enjoying Saturday's Festival... One of the T-shirts I purchased pretty much sums things up - It's titled "As Others See It":
First there were the Scots who kept the Sabbath and everything else they could lay their hands on.
Then there were the Welsh who prayed on their knees and their neighbors.
Thirdly there were the Irish who never knew what they wanted but were willing to fight for it anyway.
Lastly there were the English who considered themselves a self-made nation thus relieving the Almighty of a dreadful responsibility.

A couple of CD-ROMs I ordered with genealogy information arrived yesterday evening, so I will have things to occupy myself with. I'm still working on Kevin's family tree, as well as my own; and I was given a surname today, with the question of, "Where did they come from?" from a fourth generation member. That should be fun, as well.

The kits are fine; Gimpy the squirrel is eating peanuts. I'll be heading off in a few minutes to walk Rosie and Remy, whom I'll be spending the weekend with. I am not 100% sure that I've cleaned the virus out of my system, and I seem to have picked up all three viruses that I've had this past year when I was importing photos to use for the blog - so you'll have to put up with my photos only for a while - which means I need to download them, so I can share them... work never ends (*sigh*).... The Breeders Cup folks are hoping to set up a show-down between the three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra (the girl who keeps beating the boys) and Zenyatta, last year's champion older mare with a current record of 12 races with no defeats; they are offering a $1 million bonus to the Breeder's Cup Classic, already worth $5 million, if both of the girls will run.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Back in Business...

I finally cleared up my PC. Actually, I sat down at 1:30, and since I knew the name of the virus, or mal-ware, that was attacking me, I looked it up online; and removed as per the instructions. Then I ran a full virus and spy-ware scan, which took over 2 hours.... but I'm clean once more!
And I highly recommend the site ; they told me how to get rid of the virus at no charge! (My virus suddenly told me that the PC was infected, and wanted me to purchase "Windows Police Pro" - but that was the virus, itself.... )

I'll write a more usual blog and post it tomorrow morning. Have a good night!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

Kilts and Dogs



scottish terrier

A Scottish Terrier

Pepsi the Westie having a rest

A West Highland Terrier puppy


Pipers in kilts

Beneath the Kilt? A Bullwinkle!

This man wears a Bullwinkle under his kilt!

A Full Day

I am laying back in Jim's Captain's chair in the loft at his house. Kathy and Jim should be in South Park by now, celebrating Jim's 66th birthday tomorrow. I have had a full day - I loved, fed, and took care my my kits this morning; then came over and spent 45 minutes with Ooch at Connie's; then I walked Remy and Rosie, with a quick stop by to see Suki and Boo. Then I went to the bank, cleaned out my 'fridge, and went grocery shopping. Stopped and loved the kits some more. Lovey was not happy when she saw the alarm clock go into my backpack. Then Riley, the Shar Pei from two doors down, appeared on the patio and the kits and I went out to see him. He is such a big, slow, loving dog - neither Lovey nor Banichi are afraid of him, and he follows them around the yard, as if he's on a leash the kits are holding - it's kinda cute! After Riley went back into his apartment, I gathered up the kits, gave them a treat and some catnip, and then headed over here to Suki and Boo's. They have been fed and had a short evening walk; and I've spent some more time with Ooch next door. The composting and trash cans are at the end of the driveway for tomorrow's pick up. Right now, I just want to curl up and go to sleep.

My cousin Sarah is as bad as me when it comes to critters needing a home. On her way home from work yesterday at the vet's, she spotted a vehicle pull over to the side of the road, and then speed off. She stopped and looked, and took home 2 half-grown kittens; one orange and one gray tabby. DiNozzo is happy to have younger playmates; Sam is disgusted with more young'uns around.

At the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highlands Festival, they had a Parade of the Dogs of Great Britain - there were 47 representatives of the 80 different breeds. There were Corgis galore, Scottish terriers, Yorkshire terriers, West Highland terriers, numerous Border Collies, several Irish Wolfhounds, and a handful of Irish Setters, just to name a few. Of course, I am definitely prejudiced, but I thought that every single one of the dogs I care for deserved to be out there - Remy and Rosie, Walt and Sophie, Sophie and Spitfire, Pepper and Lucy.... And I think that every dog I just named would have enjoyed the spotlight and attention that all of the dogs at the Festival received. About 20 folks dressed their dogs in kilts for the Parade of the Clans - but I could never do that - it seems (to me, anyway) to be demeaning to the canine. ... Also at the Festival was a to-scale railroad model of one of the British trains that run from Charing Cross Station in London up to one of the towns north of Edinburgh. That was an amazing sight! Looking at the miniature countryside on both sides of the track was just ... amazing. I was in awe of the builders' meticulous reconstructions of businesses, homes, towns, and countryside. And the Model RR Association is going to have a get-together and much larger display in October in Estes Park. - My favorite sight from this year's Festival was of an Estes Park policeman, wearing his patrol dress shirt and jacket with a kilt, tam, knee socks and ghillies, riding by on a Segway 2-wheeler.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

I'm Infected

PC infected - may be down a f ew days.....

Festival Photos

Sunrise on Long's Peak

Sunrise on Longs Peak

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US Marine Corp Band at the Longs Peak Scottish Irish Highland Festival, 2007

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The First SCots Battalion Band marching onto the field, 2007


Charlie Parnell, of Fort Collins, sitting on the Irish Vardo's steps


A knight preparing for Light Armor combat on the jousting field

Estes Park Celtic Festival

Wow! What a wonderful, but tiring, day! It was cool and drizzling here in Boulder, so before Kathy and Jim picked me up, I put on a long-sleeved T and wool socks; and took a heavy sweatshirt and my water-proof jacket with hood, and my umbrella. I needed all of it. A heavy cloud was hugging the top of Longs Peak, and before 11:30, the cloud cover had descended to cover all the surrounding mountains. A military fly over was scheduled for noon, but made several passes between 11:40 and 11:45, as the weather was deteriorating more quickly than expected. Kathy and Jim and I stayed together for the morning, then split for two hours and recombined at the Heavy Armor combat for the rest of the afternoon and evening. All of us saw things that we had missed at our previous visit to the Festival. The first thing was the International Jousting competition - this is not the scripted fights one sees at the Renaissance Fairs; these folks were in earnest, trying to win the $30,000 grand prize. Most of the mounts were Percherons or Clydesdales, and there was a Belgium stallion (Samson), a couple of Foundation quarterhorses, and several draft crosses. Zeus, the Percheron stallion, was the most impressive horse; but Samson, the Belgium, had a quiet, steady presence. (Can you guess he was my favorite?) We met his knight/rider/owner and were invited to visit them on their farm in northern Texas... Dustin, the owner, said that his Belgium mare had more presence than Samson, and that she had just dropped his foal. (I want, I want!!!) We then wandered through the booths, having also stopped and admired some Gypsy Vanners from Fort Collins (and receiving another invitation for a visit); at 11:20 we grabbed a hot brunch, as it was drizzling. I had a chicken pie, while K and J had Scotch eggs and haggis. Then we quickly found seats in the stands for the fly over, the US Marine Corps Band, the presentation of the colors, the combined bands, and the parading of the Clans. There was more music (piping) scheduled - but I was getting cold and left for the vendors' tents. (It had started raining in earnest about 11:30 and continued until 2:30.) I was a very bad person. I spent almost every penny I had with me. I purchased a new canvas courier's bag; 3 t-shirts; a sterling silver Celtic ring; and a hand-made stuffed dragon. And I am still extremely happy with all of my purchases, so I guess I really wasn't "bad."

By watching the fly over and the bands, I had missed the Light Armor Combat with the horses; so I was determined to have a seat for the Heavy Armor. I arrived about 2:30, and secured three seats, as Kathy and Jim were to regroup with me there. I had a blast, and K & J showed up between the second and third bouts between the first two riders. I stood up and yelled "Snow!" and waved like a maniac until they saw me... They joined me in the stands and then they enjoyed watching the jousting, too. - Barkon, the eldest knight, was unhorsed on his first pass, but he re-mounted Duchess, his Clydesdale, and returned for three more bouts. Considering that Barkon is in his 60s, that he was knocked off a Clydesdale at a gallop, and that he was wearing 145 pounds worth of metal armor when he fell, I have to totally admire him. The breaking of the 9-foot long lances was impressive, and the splinters flew for some distance. Shane, the Captain of the Canadian team, won the Heavy Armor contest; and it was announced that 3 of the horses used in the competition were abandoned and abused equines that had been rehabilitated. At the end, the knights autographed splinters of the lances for the audience. We took another turn through the booths, bought a few items, shared a funnel cake, made another turn through the vendors' tent and then departed for home. On our last turn through the vendors', I suddenly realized that a man in a blue plaid kilt had an orange and blue Auburn jacket on above it. I stopped, initiated conversation, and found that he and his wife cook, can and sell haggis and whiskey cakes around the world. (Jim, the Auburn man, had retired 16 years ago and immediately went into the haggis business.) We finally arrived back at the truck around 6, and then drove back to Boulder. When I arrived home, I fed and loved the kits, took a hot shower and curled up in bed. I turned on a football game and immediately fell asleep - and the kits let e sleep like a rock until after 8 this morning. ... I hadn't realized I was that tired!!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Sarah's Cat Trap

My cousin Sarah placed a box on the floor - instant cat trap!! This is Sam, looking outraged at having his photo taken.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Just Stuff...

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Raspberries on the bush

Little Bull Run at Manassas Civil War Battle Field 3

Little Bull Run Creek at the Manassas Civil War Battlefield Park

Sir William and Sir Aiden Joust

Jousting at the 2008 Scarborough Faire

Shay and Sammy relaxing in the van April 2006

Shay and Sammy, Irish Wolfhounds

Dreaming of Mauda, Again....

It feels a little chilly out this morning - it's in the low 50s, but the wind is coming from the north at a steady 20 mph, with gusts up to 40. Traveling up to Estes Park tomorrow, we might see some "fall color", but the peak of the season is supposed to be a week away. With tomorrow's highs only in the 50s at Estes Park, I somehow believe that the peak may arrive a little earlier than the forecasters think. I saw both skunks last night - it was like watching a couple of receivers do a bump and run down field together. They were awfully cute. Walt and Sophie and I had a peaceful walk yesterday; we saw a lot of squirrels and cottontails, but no raccoons (thankfully). And I had very wild and crazy dreams last night, which I am claiming came from the bottle of Mountain Dew I had yesterday evening. I had a strange dream wherein my favorite actor met me and called me his "little mustard seed." I dreamt that I was on board the Royal Charles as she sailed from The Hague to Dover in 1660, and saw and conversed with King Charles and the Duke of York. (Now, I know that one came from reading The Plot Against Pepys... Which was excellent, by the way.) And I again dreamed I was riding Mauda LuAnn through a dreamscape that she and I have gone through thousands of times in my sleep - her coat is glossy, her hooves gleam from a touch of oil, and I am riding her without bridle or saddle, since we think and move as one....

To more mundane things - I am really beginning to believe that if I am rooting for a particular person on a particular sports team, then it's the kiss of death for that player. Last year, my three favorite defensive players were injured in the first two games, and two of those three were "let go" this season. Last night, watching the game, one of my favorite players injured his knee and will be out for 3 to 6 weeks, at a guess; if it's worse than they think, it might be the whole season. And one of my favorite baseball players was injured this week as well. Am I a jinx? - I'll let you know on Monday, after the weekend games are finished. ... This area is having an outbreak of Leptospirosis - a disease of worldwide significance that infects both animals and humans. The scientific name of the infecting organism is Leptospira interrogans sensu lato. Within this species there are many different strains (serovars). Of these different strains there are eight that are of importance for dogs and cats. These different strains produce different levels and types of disease depending on the animals they infect. While cats can be infected, they rarely show signs of disease. The disease is much more of a problem in dogs, people, and livestock. There are vaccines available, but usually only for one or two of the more common strains. Unfortunately, vaccination against one strain does not protect against the other strains. The current canine vaccines protect against the serovars canicola and icterohaemorrhagiae. These two serovars have been decreasing in total number of infections, but unfortunately, other serovars that infect dogs such as grippotyphosa, pomona, and bratislava have increased. Local vets are suggesting that concerned pet owners have their critters inoculated, which consists of a series of two or three shots, 2 weeks apart. Leptospirosis is transmitted between animals through contact with infected urine; venereal and placental transfer; bite wounds; or the ingestion of infected tissue. In acute infections a fever of 103-104°, shivering, and muscle tenderness are the first signs. Then vomiting and rapid dehydration may develop. Severely infected dogs may develop hypothermia and become depressed and die before kidney or liver failure has a chance to develop. In lesser infections, the animal usually develops a fever, anorexia, vomiting, dehydration, and increased thirst. The dog may be reluctant to move due to muscle or kidney pain. Animals with liver involvement may develop icterus. Dogs that develop kidney or liver involvement may begin to show improvement in organ function after 2 to 3 weeks or they may develop chronic renal failure. Please protect your pets! ... And I get to sleep with my kits tonight! It will depend upon how much they allow me to sleep/rest during the night as to whether or not I blog before leaving for the Scottish Festival tomorrow.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


Engelbert is hunting

What's under the bed? - Engelbert in Hungary

Christopher Wren's Monument to the Great Fire of London!

Close-up, at base of Christopher Wren's London Monument (to the Great Fire)

The Monument by the Current London Bridge

Another view of the Monument, near London Bridge

Caber Tossing

Tossing the caber


Pipers in Philadelphia

Festival, Festival!!

I took the kids out for a short walk yesterday afternoon, and I met one of the neighbors, Ron, and his sweetheart, a Dachshund named Sadie. We also ran into Shasta, one of the neighboring dogs, out for a walk with his owner and the two small children he watches over. It was a nice walk - I got to meet four new people (and will hopefully remember their names), and the kids got to visit and greet two of their friends. I did watch for the skunks in the evening, but saw only one - the one with the plainly marked white stripe. Since I was looking at wildlife, I did not see the President's address on health care reform; I did, however, see the clip of the South Carolina Representative who yelled, "You Lie!" during the speech. I saw his later apology for his "loss of civility." Humpf! I cannot imagine cat-calling at a Presidential address - especially this broad statement of "You lie." If the Representative had or has proof of this lie, he should have immediately produced it, since he had the nerve to yell out in the middle of a televised speech to the nation. The only thing that jumps into my mind is the old saying, generally about men, "More ___ than brains!" (After all, I am trying to keep this a g-rated site for a few youngsters who read this.....) - And, The Plot to Kill Pepys is turning out to be an excellent book - well thought out, good presentation, and quite a few giggles for me, reading snide comments about some of the important people of the day.

I am beginning to look forward more and more to the Long's Peak Scottish-Irish Festival on Saturday. The event actually starts tonight, and will continue through 5 p.m. on Sunday. Jim and Kathy have said that they'll pick me up at 8:30, so I can be in place to see the jousting at 10 a.m. At 11, there will be light armor combat and at noon, heavy armor combat. There are vendors with just about everything imaginable for sale, there are pipe and drums corps parading, there is a dog show with "Breeds of the British Isles" and sheep-herding and agility contests, and the guys get to toss the caber and the hammer and the haybale (the haybale is a vertical throw - up and over what looks like a high-jumper's pole). One of my favorite memories of the Festival is of seeing a bow-legged cowboy type - tight jeans, worn boots, plaid shirt, silver buckled hand-tooled belt, and a sweat-stained felt hat - walking towards me, carrying a 6-foot claymore in its sheath slung up on his shoulder, like it was a rake or hoe and he was on his way to the garden. - Of course, Mother Nature isn't quite happy with me being happy... the Festival is in Estes Park, and they are expecting a high of 56 with wind and rain on Saturday... but I shall go and have a good time, even if I do have to carry my umbrella all day!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

West Virginia Scenes

Campbell Falls; Camp Creek S.P., W. Va. 10-23-07   #4704

Near Campbell Falls, Camp Creek State Park, West Virginia

Glade Creek Grist  Mill at Babcock State Park

The Glade Creek Grist Mill at Babcock State Park, West Virginia

Black Kids and Red Kids and Cats

Sorry for the late posting today - I've just been very busy and haven't had the time to sit down at the keyboard until now. Yesterday's walk with Sophie and Walt was uneventful, until the end. We wandered the neighborhood, with them off leash, and had a slow but good time. We were not slow due to Sophie's arthritis, we were slow because both kids were busy chasing rabbits and squirrels in almost every yard. And then we came to the creek - it's just before the turn for their house, and on warm days, they both like to wade in it. Sophie waded into the creek, while Walt stayed with me; Walt barked at a squirrel, I looked, and Sophie vanished. She didn't really vanish - she had walked into the culvert where the creek flows under the road, and was making her way downstream. Walt and I caught up with her and had to persuade her to come out of the water. Poor thing! She bounced around like a puppy all afternoon, but once it started to cool down outside, she stiffened up terribly. I didn't let her play in the water this morning.

I went into Boulder today and walked Rosie and Remy, after taking Walt and Sophie out. You would have thought I'd been gone for years by the way the Rs greeted me. We had a good 80 minute walk, and at the last, Rosie got to play in some sprinklers, so she was soaked and happy. Remy just kept leaning into my leg, as if he was trying to literally bond with me. Afterward, I went home and saw my kits. Lovey started crying the second my keys were in the lock, and she didn't stop until she had a fresh can of food opened in the plate and had gathered several minutes of petting and stroking. Banichi was in his chair when I arrived, and all he did was turn over onto his back for a belly-rub greeting. After both of them had eaten and run outside for a few minutes, they curled up with me in the reading chair and soaked up all the love I could give them. Then I listened to my messages and returned a call to a possible new client. I then returned to the black kids' house, where I currently have Walt trying to help me type. I will start a new book about Samuel Pepys this afternoon... I hope it's good, as it's the only one I have with me at the moment!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Tuesday Treats

skipjack 019

A skipjack in the Cheasapeake Bay

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A bald eagle with a fish (Alaska)

Baby skunk close-up - August 2005

A young skunk helping himself to goodies on an Arkansas porch


The proper way to walk (?!?) your rabbit - this is Honey.