Monday, March 29, 2010

Today's Critters

Unbridled's Song

Unbridled's Song, standing at Taylor Made Farm, Kentucky

Mule Deer Does

Mule deer does in Sheridan, Wyoming

Banker Dominique Henny Penny chickens in Versailles, KY.

Rooster and hens at Versailles, Kentucky

Thoroughbreds, Cats, and Beware the Rooster!

The Dubai World Cup races were run this past Saturday, with Gloria de Campeao taking home the largest purse, having won the $10 million Dubai World Cup. There was a photo of a very tight three horse finish, showing Lizard's Desire second and Allybar third (each placement by a nose); the US horse, Gio Ponti, finished fourth, a length and a quarter behind Allybar. Kentucky Derby news is waking up, with Mission Impazible (a son of Unbridled's Song) winning the Louisiana Derby; and in the Sunland Derby, Endorsement won over a previously undefeated Conveyance. This Saturday is the running of the Santa Anita Derby, and NBC will be covering the race live at 5 p.m. (EDST). It looks like this year's Derby is wide open.... and, at the moment, there is some thought that trainer Todd Pletcher might have eight entries in the starting gate.
It's in the upper 40s here in Boulder this morning; the weather folks say temperatures in the mid-60s today and in the 70s through Thursday. It would be grand if it happens! And while we're hitting the 70s, the central and northwestern ski resorts on the west side of the Divide will be getting new snow; so it'll be a good deal all around. I've left my client calendar at home, so I need to check it today, as I have received two requests from fun people. Ooch is no trouble to take care of, but I need to be sure that I'm in town to do it; and Aiko and Yoshi need to have me with them most of the time.... I'll just have to check the book and get back to the people. I get to sleep with my kits in my own bed tonight! It's like knowing you're going to receive a present... The deer herd is not in the backyard this morning, and Shady has prowled outside multiple times already, then comes to the office door for me to let him back into the house. Cloudy has yet to rise, but she was out late last night, chasing worms in the soft ground near the flower beds. I'll walk the Rs this morning, and stop briefly at my apartment (returning clothes and personal items) to see the kits and feed and love them. Alexy's plane is due in at 6:30 this evening, but it seems that with the British Airways strike, the flights are departing Heathrow about two hours late, so it might be a long night. We'll see. Then I have my last evening check up on Twister, Tinkerbell, and the gerbils. Tomorrow afternoon, I'll be heading out for Lucy, Pepper, and the chickens and rooster on Brigadoon. Melissa let me know that their rooster has become very protective of his ladies and warned me to carry the broom into the chicken coop - otherwise, I might not get eggs gathered and everyone fed and watered... I can't wait to see how the little chicks have matured into laying birds!

Sunday, March 28, 2010


Double Take Redux (POTD Outdoors)

Deer or Deere?

Arcade & Attica Railroad

Which way do I go?

Fallen tree limb & Love (7-24-08).

I swear something is moving up there!

Cats and Deer

It was cool and windy here yesterday, but it should reach the mid- to upper-50s today. The sky is cloudless and the wind is not blowing. There are ten mule deer does bedded down in the backyard, keeping a sharp eye on Cloudy, who is out investigating. Shady just saw me at the desk, and came in through the office door, pausing to give me a rub before heading out to the kitchen. Alexy and Karen are due home tomorrow evening, and then I'll go home to the kits and my own bed. I've had to laugh over at Karen's - Twister has always been friendly, and I wrote last Sunday about finally laying eyes on Tinkerbell, who had been asleep under the bed covers. Both Tinkerbell and Twister greet me at the door now, and both want to be picked up and loved before feeding. Having seen Tinkerbell multiple times now, and in the light, I can tell you that she is a brown tabby, with patches of dilute tortie orange along her sides and back. She is quite a little lover! And the gerbils now recognize me when I sit down beside their cage and start doing my daily duties with them - they all like to crawl all over me, and neither Twister nor Tinkerbell try to hunt them. Last night, when I laid down to sleep, Shady came and crawled onto my chest and washed my face and my left hand; then he curled up, heaved a big sigh and slept. Cloudy did not join us last night.
My kits were ecstatic to see me yesterday, and I went out and sat on the patio after cleaning the litter boxes and feeding them. They had a ball running back and forth across the backyard, scrubbing their backs on the concrete, and chasing one another. It was a nice, relaxing time. I'm almost finished reading The Wrecker, by Clive Cussler and then I'm on to a James Lee Burke Dave Robicheaux adventure that I've somehow missed... Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Horse, Birds, Cowboy


Alexis, a Welsh-Thoroughbred cross, at Lexington, Kentucky

Roosters, roosters, and more roosters.

Is it an invasion? (Eat Mor Kow!) On Waiheke Island, New Zealand

Black Historry Month Black Cowboys in Waycross GA. 084

A lot of western cowboys were black, or African-American. This cowboy is from Waycross, Georgia.

A Young Fox

I was amazed yesterday morning at the audacity of a young fox. Brandi, the Border Collie I care for is blind, and as she is now a senior citizen, she has slowed down tremendously. After breakfast yesterday, Brandi wished to go out and relieve herself; I let her out the French doors and went about getting my own breakfast. I stepped back by the patio doors and saw a young red fox trot over the hill at the rear of the yard, and then circle around Brandi, so it was behind her. (Brandi was concentrating on taking a dump.) The young whippersnapper then barked four times at Brandi, advancing a few more steps after each yip, until it was less than 6 feet away from her! Brandi finished her business, and turned toward the fox, who then moved to her left - but she kept facing the fox's original position. Brandi barked at the fox a couple of times, and it yipped back at her from her side. As she turned towards it, the youngster yipped twice more, then fled through the fence into a neighbor's yard. I wonder if the young fox felt strong and powerful because it had challenged Brandi in her own yard and approached her so closely. I know that I'll never truly know, but I can't help but wonder....
The weather people said lots more wet snow was due to fall last night and this morning. It fell for about 45 minutes and immediately melted yesterday evening. My kits were extremely happy to see me yesterday and today, and I spent all my time loving and feeding them, after cleaning their potty boxes. Lovey didn't want to leave my lap until she heard Riley and Banichi playing together outside; but once Riley went back in, both kits came to me for more loving. They are my darlings. I'll sleep at home on Monday night, then go out to Niwot for two more nights, and then I'll be home for a week.... I will love my kits like mad....

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Island Scenes


The Riberia Grande Park in Ponta Delgada, the Azores

Bounty Bay as seen from Adamstown, Pitcairn Island

Bounty Bay, seen from Adamstown on Pitcairn Island

guam latte stone park 035

A Japanese tunnel and/or prison cell in Latte Stone Park in Agana on Guam

Wet,Heavy Snow

I didn't blog yesterday because Alexy's PC has lost it's "connectivity with the world wide web." I honestly don't know how it happened, but unless I want to write a letter and print it for myself, I can't use it for anything. Tuesday was an interesting day - warm but cloudy in the morning, around half-past noon it started to rain and thunder; about 2:30 it was large, heavy drops of rain coming down with large snow flakes mixed in (and I do mean large - it looked liked shredded tissue had been added to the rain); by 3:30 it was all snow, and we had 11 inches fall during the evening. Nasty wet, heavy snow. I was privileged enough to get to shovel the porches and walkways of five residences.... At least I'm not taking care of houses and pets near NCAR in southwest Boulder - they got 24+ inches.
Yesterday dawned clear and cold (17 degrees), but it was up to 53 degrees before 5:30 yesterday afternoon... Snow that fell on pavement, cement, or rocks was completely melted by nightfall. I was wandering between houses wearing a sweater and not my coat. When I was out on my rounds late Tuesday, I encountered a 10-point buck between Alexy's and the Rs house; we both stopped and looked at each other, and then he walked slowly across the road in front of me. Yesterday afternoon, I came upon two does eating a newly broken tree branch. They froze, and I quietly clicked my tongue at them, and walked by within 3 feet of both of them. I was amazed that they didn't break and run. The foxes have been busy in the snow, too. I am constantly finding new prints all around Alexy's yard.
I am heading home to my kits, being currently at the library. I read Impact yesterday, and started a new Joe Grey mystery last night. The more I read about Joe, the more I identify him with Banichi... That's it! I need to go home and love my kits!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Yorkshire Views

St Marys Church, Over Silton

St. Mary's Church at Over Silton in the North Yorkshire moors


Roxby Beck, a stream running through the town of Staithes, in North Yorkshire

Country lane, Bishop Burton. East Yorkshire

A quiet ride near Bishop Burton in East Yorkshire

Barbary sheep grazing on the Yorkshire Dales

Barbary sheep in North Yorkshire

Short Hair Again

Yea! I have short hair again! With my normal color, this cut looks like someone transferred Mark Harmon's NCIS haircut onto my head. It feels great - even though we are expecting snow this afternoon. The almost complete cloud cover caused just a line of orange to be seen at the eastern horizon during sunrise this morning. Brandi and I were out walking early; and I'm due at the Rs in an hour. Today is trash day in the neighborhood, so I've already visited all four houses and taken out both trash cans (the recyclables, and the regular trash); and the recycling truck has just passed by. I'm glad I got everything out in time for the early pick-up. Normally, I'd have put the recycling out last night, but the wind was really starting to howl, and I didn't want to have to chase the contents of four large containers all over creation this morning. Currently, it's just gray and damp outside (yes, damp! - Humidity is at 85%, while it was at 14% yesterday).
My kits were even less happy with me when I left them yesterday. Lovey and Banichi jumped onto me, with Lovey perched on my shoulder, and Banichi in my midsection, when I arrived. I fed them and they looked at the food and then came over and attached themselves to me again without even tasting their favorite goody. Luckily, I'll be home on the 29th, and then in Niwot for 2 nights, and then back at home for a week. I hope that will ease their (and my) separation anxiety. I sat and read to the kits yesterday - we were exploring with Hosteen Storm in an Andre Norton novel. I'll finish it with the Rs this morning and my kits this afternoon. I also need to visit the library and get some new books to read - Take care, all...

Monday, March 22, 2010


southern ground hornbill

A Southern Ground Hornbill at Kruger National Park in South Africa

Sunrise from Battle Rock

Sunrise from Battle Rock, Port Orford, Oregon

45. scenary nature paysage ile ile ile ile august august august spring spring spring spring

Spring comes in August in Iceland

Kits, Kits, Kits

It's just turned 8 o'clock and it's already 45 degrees outside... we're expecting 60 to 65 today and rain mixed with snow tomorrow and Wednesday. The grass is greening up and spring flowers are starting to show their heads; birds are singing in choruses; and the Silver Lake Irrigation Ditch is full of snow melt, burbling merrily through it's course. Cloudy is watching a group of six squirrels perform acrobatics in a nearby cottonwood; while Shady has disappeared into the neighbor's yard. It hurt to leave Lovey and Banichi at home yesterday - they ran outside for about 10 minutes, confirming that there was still snow in the backyard, and then they spent 3 hours perched upon my body, grooming, purring, and sleeping. When I closed the door to leave, I could hear Lovey crying, "Momma! Momma! Momma!" until I was out in the lobby. I do miss those two!
I hope to get my hair chopped today; it's at that stage where it just stands out in tufts that point every which way, and unless it's wet, I have no control over it. I had a bunch yesterday evening at my left temple that just wanted to stick out and up, like a wing (or a single horn)... I'll walk Rosie and Remy this morning and then visit the bank, the salon, and then go home to my kits. I checked the British Airways website, and so far, it looks like Alexy will get home safely, and as planned. I also spoke with a BA representative at Denver yesterday, who said that as far as he knows, none of the London to Denver flights will be involved in this strike. Hooray! Cloudy, Shady, I, and Alexy's students will be very happy to have her back in Boulder. I must admit, though, that I have been enjoying her library greatly. Especially a set of books by Frances Hodgeson Burnett that, other than The Secret Garden and The Little Princess, I had never seen in print. They are delightful!
Saturday I added Twister, Tinkerbell, the gerbils, and Brandi to my care list; today I add Toby; and tomorrow I'll add Rosie and Remy to the mix. Can you tell it's Spring Break here? (And I had to turn down 6 other requests...) Have a good week!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

It's in my Blood...



The tall ships sail in the bay

The Star of India, foreground, and HMS Surprise off North Island, New Zealand

P1010056 Kiger Mustang, Bolero

A three-year-old Kiger Mustang stallion, Sundance's Bolero

Black Cat on White Snow

It is 29 degrees outside this morning with oodles of sunshine. Tinkerbell got miffed with me this morning when I saw a breathing lump under the covers of her owners' bed, and lifted them to take a look at my charge. This is the second time I've had Tinkerbell in my care, and the first time I've seen her - she is a very dark black and silver tabby, while Twister, her loving buddy, is white with orange tabby patches. I had forgotten how much fun the antics of gerbils can be, too. I had an enjoyable 15 minutes playing with the tan and black little guys; one of the black ones has a white chin, so they are distinctive. Cloudy is also upset with me, because I wouldn't let her out last night - there were cottontails on the patio, and she wanted to hunt. Shady has spent a lot of time in my lap this morning, but is now crossing the back yard. His sooty black fur against the gleaming snow is an awesome sight.
I spent 6 hours at home with Lovey and Banichi yesterday - most of the time they were curled up on top of me, as if they could force me to physically stay at home. One of my clients has changed their itinerary, so that I will return home on April 1 instead of the 4th. That will give me a good solid week of being at home and only walking the red kids, so that the kits can feel secure again. I took the red kids out for an afternoon walk yesterday, and we had a ball. We visited the preschool play ground at the Quaker Meeting House, where the walkways had been shoveled, but there were piles of snow otherwise. Rosie and Remy dashed around the grounds, looked inside the tunnels, and jumped up onto the different levels of the fort-like jungle gym. Then Ewie, the sheep, got into the act and started baaing and running and bucking in her pen, which set the dogs off running again (but not barking). All in all, it was an invigorating jaunt.
Yesterday's Florida Derby was very interesting - Lentenor, Barbaro's brother rallied mildly, but only finished fourth (of course, it was his first time racing on dirt - he's run on the grass up 'til now...). But a pair of long-shots fought bitterly for the first and second places, while the favored Rule finished third. Ice Box won the race by a short nose, at odds of 20 to 1, while Pleasant Prince (at 29 to 1) came in second. Ice Box was not really regarded as a contender, so trainer Nick Zito was nicely surprised. Enjoy your Sunday.

Saturday, March 20, 2010


I love snow - I love snow - I love snow!

I love snow (times three)

Nigels Nebraska Adventure 048

An old stable and corral in Nebraska

lake jed johnson wichita mountains 1  jan 06

Lake Jed Johnson in the Wichita Mountains of Oklahoma

Snow by the Foot

It's all of 12 degrees outside right now, but the sky is a pristine blue and the sun is causing a dazzling effect on the snow crystals on the ground. We got about 12 inches of snow yesterday, but 3 miles south of here, still in the City of Boulder, they got 24.8 inches of the white stuff. All of the planters and bird baths in the backyard look as if they are wearing white turbans this morning, and I had to smile while looking at the prints of fox paws when I went out to get the newspaper earlier. Cloudy and Shady have been out several times already; but Cloudy was upset with me when I locked the cat door yesterday, after she came back in and left a trail of tiny snow balls throughout the house. Shady would rather not go out into the snow, but Cloudy loves to play in it - sounds like Lovey and Banichi. They were very happy to have me home for six hours yesterday; we read and loved and played, and I gave both of them a pinch of catnip before I left. I miss them.
Today the Florida Derby will be run, and Barbaro's full brother, Lentanor (I think that's the correct spelling) will be in the running. The owners and Michael Matz, the trainer, are hoping to take him on to Kentucky for the first Saturday in May. And a rarity, an all white Thoroughbred colt, will soon make his debut at Turfway Park - his name is Arctic Bright. Putting this information in the blog makes me miss Dick Francis even more. ... Tomorrow I can check British Airways website, to see if Alexy's flight from London has been cancelled, or if it's being run. If it's canceled, I'll have to start scrambling to get her a flight back from London, hopefully in time to return to her teaching. I'm crossing my fingers and hoping that her flight will not be canceled! Not much else for me to ramble on about... I hope that all of you have a wonderful weekend!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Point of View

Looking Up

Looking up in Los Angeles, California - it's how I feel in any city...

Joshua Tree, Joshua Tree National Park

A Joshua tree in Joshua Tree National Park - this is more my style of comfort...

Suwannee River - Suwannee River State Park - Live Oak, FL

This is even more like it! The Suwannee River at Suwannee River State Park near Live Oak, Florida

Farewell, Fess Parker

My sister and I had a few 45 rpm records as we grew up and the ones I remember most were made of bright yellow and red and had a Walt Disney label on them. It seems as if I have always known the lyrics of The Ballad of Davey Crockett, as well as those to The Swamp Fox. I remember seeing the Davey Crockett adventures Sunday evenings on the Walt Disney's Wonderful of Color series (where I cheered on Buddy Ebsen, who played Davey's sidekick) and I remember him well as Daniel Boone, even though I adored Ed Ames (who was Dan'l's sidekick). He was tall, soft spoken, and allergic to horses - which I found odd, but it didn't stop him from making great movies like Smokey or any of his other roles. While I realize, logically, that Fess Parker was a superb actor, somehow I feel as if the world is a little less safe now because such a super American hero (even though an actor, playing a role) is no longer with us. Today my Dad would have had his 87th birthday, so I'll salute him, also. And Keith Olbermann's father lost his 6-month fight with surgical complications this past Saturday. Here's to you, Theodore Olbermann, a wonderful architect. You are all sorely missed.
It was raining at 2:20 this morning, but the temperature dropped and the rain turned to snow before 6 a.m. Boulder already has over 2 inches on the ground, and it is falling steadily. I'm to go out to dinner tonight to celebrate Connie's birthday - I guess I'll shower around 3 this afternoon; that will give my hair a chance to be dry before I go out. I'm not walking the Rs today, due to the wet and slippery snow on the ground - but I did remember to grab my snow boots yesterday. I ended up leaving Lovey and Banichi at home - there's no need to upset them and Cloudy and Shady just for my own comfort for a few days. Cloudy demanded to go out this morning, so I finally gave in to her wishes. She went out and sat on the edge of the patio, and got coated with blowing snow before she was ready to come back in. Shady went out and sat on the edge of the picnic table, observed the snow for a minute or two, and then returned inside. While the ground has only 2 inches of snow on it, I can see a good 4 inches sitting on top of the planters and the bird bath in the backyard. And, warning, Sarah!!! As if you didn't know it, this snow is headed your way!! Which reminds me, have you been able to wear your scarlet hat and gloves yet? - Stay warm, my friends...

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Oh, Shenandoah....

Roadside Barn - Shenandoah Valley VA

A roadside barn in the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Shenandoah Valley

Fisher's Gap, the Shenandoah Valley, Virginia

Shenandoah River

The Shenandoah River in Virginia

T-Shirts Today - Parkas Tomorrow

The sunrise painted the east with beautiful stripes of pink, blue and purple earlier. The sky is now mostly cloudy, with patches of pale blue. Clouds will increase today and the snow will start overnight - they are predicting 6 to 12 inches of wet, heavy snow through Saturday afternoon. The forecast high for today is 65, for tomorrow, 32. I think Lovey and Banichi will be visiting Alexy's house for about a week - and I'll need to pack my snow boots and my knee brace today. Not to mention purchasing canine treats and feline goodies for all of us inmates.... maybe I'll get to spend some real time working on genealogy! Cloudy and Shady are out and about on their own purposes, but Shady has seen me sitting here at the desk twice, and has come to the door to be let in and loved, only to use the kitchen kitty door to go right back out.
I made it to the Carnegie Library yesterday and found the info I wanted off the microfilm. I've already shared what I found with Tina, who is searching for her birth parents. I did have to laugh, as I walked backed to the RTD Station, however: a couple of young men (late 20s, early 30s) were walking behind me and said that after what they had heard of Boulder being a party town, they were surprised not to see anyone falling down drunk in the streets. I turned around, and in my best Irish accent said, "Only in Boston, me boyos; not Boulder." It was nice to see that most everyone had on the color green in some way, shape, or form yesterday. I did see an older man in brown and blue and I told him he was begging to be pinched - he giggled, nodded, and started to jog away from me....
I know that most of the US is getting excited about March Madness, but this year it hasn't yet touched me. I enjoyed the Winter Olympics, but there's nothing that has sparked my interest in spring games yet. I saw an interview with Todd Helton (of the Colorado Rockies) the other day, which made me think how good looking he is, but it didn't make me want to run out and see him. Am I getting old at 53 3/4??? The things that used to get my attention no longer do so - unless it's a nice set of buns on a guy of any age! Enjoy the rest of your week!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


A future sweater and mutton dinner on the road to Dingle

A sheep resting beside the road to Dingle, Ireland

DSCF3988 Dublin - Christ Church Cathdral - Ireland

Christ Church Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland

Dingle Penin. 10-16-07

On the Dingle Peninsula, County Kerry, Ireland

Saint Patrick's Day!

I'm wearing my black T-shirt that says "A Little Irish" beside the drawn figure of a female in a green skirt, a white and green bodice and socks, and Irish dancing clogs. Happy Saint Patrick's Day to all and sundry! Jeffrey, my husband, was very proud to be an Irishman, and with the surname of Devine, I think I can claim to be a little Irish, too. It's bright and sunny out, and we expect a high of 64 today. Every thing is greening up - the snowdrops and crocus are beginning to bloom - a perfect day to celebrate Ireland, all things Irish, and the Welsh boy who became an Irish slave, converted to the Christian faith, and returned to preach the gospel where he had once been a slave. Cloudy and Shady are both rolling and scratching themselves on the concrete walkway in the backyard, and are being ogled by the deer.
My, my, I have been out of touch... There are 6 Saturdays between now and the Kentucky Derby, and I have no idea who is likely to run, let alone whom I'll bet on. The Colorado Horse Park down in Parker is starting to rev itself up for the next 7 months of non-stop showing, and I'm looking forward to the Rolex Three Day Event at the Kentucky Horse Park. Of course, I'm booked solid for taking care of critters and houses through August, so I don't know if I'll really get to enjoy any out-doors things, other than walking Rosie and Remy and my other charges.
Today I'll walk the Rs, spend some time with my kits at home, and visit the Carnegie Library to view the microfilm that has arrived from Toronto. Since I relaxed last night, watching NCIS and then looking at magazines and catalogs, I'd best do some research tonight. Don't eat too much corned beef and cabbage, and don't drink too much green beer!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Dear Deer

A shedding reindeer

Deer at Cherry Creek State Park, Denver, Colorado

Mule deer bucks

Mama Deer  and her fawn...on the road home

White-tail doe and fawn

Deer in the Yard

There is frost on the grass in the backyard, and a herd of seven mule deer are grazing in the sunshine. There are also a great many robins seeking a meal in the grass, also. Shady and Cloudy are out for their morning meander through the neighborhood, and I'll be walking Rosie and Remy within the hour. Then I'll spend the afternoon with my kits at home. My sister Kathy called last night and brought me up to date on some of the family happenings - mostly that niece Sarah has been accepted at Grad School at CU for the September session, and she will be learning the ropes of running a museum.
I told Kathy that cousin Sarah has been looking at engagement rings with Jeremy, and that she'll be moving to Wichita in May. I walked to the Safeway grocery store last night, and brought back my purchases, a three mile round trip on top of walking Rosie and Remy yesterday afternoon. I finally finished The Silent Sea last night - Alexy has a large collection of early- and first edition books that she is allowing me to look at and read while she is gone, so I will have plenty to occupy me, as well as doing research.
The microfilm that I ordered from Toronto has arrived, so I must also visit the Carnegie Library this week and try to find mention of of Tina Pihl's birth mother in the City records. At least I know what her birth-mother's surname was. I had a super time tracing a single branch of Kelly's family back to a man who was captured in Palestine during the Last Crusade and brought back to be "civilized" in France. He was Reginald leTurk (aka Arnold the Turk), and died in France in 1554, having married a French lady and having a multitude of children. That's one of the reasons I think history is so much fun!!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Curious Critters


Pretty bird.

Buddies on the couch

What does "off the couch" mean?

Mother and Son

Their names are Venus and Mars - I think the little guy should be named Hurricane for that mark on his forehead!

Cats, Dogs, and Squirrels

I have now set up base at Alexy's. Shady was happy to see me, while Cloudy has given me the cold shoulder so far. Rosie and Remy went to the groomers this morning, so I walked them from 3 until 4 this afternoon. Those two Irish Setters certainly looked good with their bright green St. Patrick's Day scarves on! Boulder is one of the few places I have lived where people will stop their cars and talk to you about your dogs and their dogs - sometimes it seems really odd.
Lovey and Banichi were in heaven, as I spent almost 24 hours in bed with them yesterday and today. But then I pitched my pill bottles and my alarm clock into the overnight bag, and they were very dis-spirited. Gimpy showed up this morning with four youngsters, and they consumed a large pile of sunflower seeds. I let the kits go out and play for over an hour around noon, and they had a blast, although Lovey ran back into the apartment every 5 minutes or so to assure herself that I was still there. Saturday was bright, sunny and warm in the morning, but by mid-afternoon the clouds were moving in, and the wind picked up. Yesterday morning was grey, and then we had light rain showers most of the afternoon before they turned to snow around 6 p.m. There was a small amount of snow in the backyard this morning, but it had all melted by 2 p.m. The weather folks say we'll get warmer up until Thursday evening, with highs in the mid-60s; but Friday we'll have a high around freezing, and they are guessing about 36 hours of snow.... We'll see. (That, of course, is the joy of Springtime in the Rockies!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Did You Set Your Clocks Forward?

I'm getting ready to head for home. Just have to grab my bags and coat and I'm set to go. Can't wait to see Lovey and Banichi (and hopefully Gimpy,too). Shadow is chasing Natasha around, and Abby just arrived to intervene. We watched Watchmen after Mike arrived home last night; it was good, but I was exhausted and didn't enjoy it the way I could have. Crawled into bed and turned my watch and alarm forward to 3 a.m. (and groaned - I'm usually in bed at 10:30 p.m.). Honeybun will have to deal with the other members of the menagerie from now on - everytime I opened my bedroom door yesterday, she ran in and perched on the end of the guest bed. Mike is now out and about, so I guess we'll be leaving shortly... Enjoy your Sunday!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cute Critters

Snowie haf

A Haflinger gallops through snow...

Why God Created Pets? To show us how to relax...

Taking it easy in bed...

Siberian Cat - Mishka!!!

"Laptop? What's a laptop?"

Home Tomorrow!

It's Saturday morning and I'm in Brighton; will go home to Lovey and Banichi tomorrow. Dogs have been exercised and fed, cats fed; now I need to eat breakfast myself. Mike is due back from St. Louis late tonight, then he'll take me home in the morning. (I wanna go home...) Other than two 36-hour respites, I've been here for the past 3 weeks. The critters are super, and very loving; Kelly has turned into a super friend - but I want my bed and my kits for company. I'm starting to sound a wee bit cranky, aren't I? If my kits could have been here with me, I think I'd feel better, but with 3 dogs and 5 cats already in residence, I know that introducing Lovey and Banichi into the mix would be doomed to failure.
This past Wednesday, snow was forecast. I saw a few flakes hit the windows of the Prius when I left Brighton, and a few when I left Boulder; but snow? Uh-unh. Since Kelly has ciliac disease, we made Berry Uglies with a wheat flour substitute the other day - they turned out quite well - and all the other ingredients (other than the orange extract) were certified as organic. This batch produced 38 Uglies, and I have a feeling they will all be gone before Mike returns tonight. I've started Kelly on her family tree - she was excited that I found a mention of her maternal great-grandfather in the Boyertown Notes in 1907 in The Reading Eagle newspaper. She's very interested in getting her family info together and spent hours on the phone yesterday, asking questions of her mother and grandmother.
Spring break starts for the local schools on March 22nd - and I am booked solidly (for critter sitting) from March 15th until August 1st. I have an overflow of requests, and am now passing on the names, numbers, and e-mail addresses of my my niece, Olivia Snow, and my nephew's lady, Allison, as people I know who would take care good care of pets and homes. I never thought that I'd be so busy taking care of other people's pets! - On the home front, something is eating the peanuts and sunflower seeds I place outside to feed Gimpy. Whether Gimpy and his crew are the ones eating the food, I can't tell... I ran into Keith and Riley, the Shar-Pei, yesterday, and we had a nice chat. He affirms that Lovey and Banichi are still visiting Riley, trying to get him to come out and play with them.
Have a marvelous weekend!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2005 Sand Sculptures at Copenhagen

Sculptures of sand at Amager Beach Copenhagen

A sand sculpture at Amager Beach, Copenhagen, Denmark

Sculptures of sand at Amager Beach Copenhagen

Two more sculptures at Amager Beach

Sculptures of sand at Amager Beach Copenhagen

All I can say is: "...Wow!"

With many and profuse thanks to the photographer known as "pikehunter2005"

Snow This Evening?

I see blue skies outside and the wind that was howling late yesterday afternoon is quiet. The weather folks say we'll have mixed rain and snow this morning, and snow after 5 p.m. At the moment, I'll believe it when I see it. I walked the red kids wearing a T-shirt and jeans yesterday, and was not chilly at all; actually, I worked up a pretty good sweat. And on our walk yesterday, an orange tabby (with whom I am not acquainted; I believe he belongs to the Buster family) walked up to within 8 feet of the Rs and I, sat down, and began to wash his nether portions. Rosie and Remy went ballistic. They both barked and howled and lunged at the cat, who never even twitched a whisker at us. While making them move on, I kept telling them that kitties don't make good doggie food, but the Rs equate cats with squirrels and they hunt and kill squirrels in the backyard. My kits really enjoyed yesterday morning and did not want to return inside from their playing; but when I shook the catnip jar, they both came running to get high. (I'm a terrible Mom, aren't I?)
Yesterday evening, Charlie (the toy poodle) was curled up asleep next to me on the sofa when Abby, the large orange cat decided to get in my lap. I guess he was startled awake by Abby - anyway, he started to lunge at her with his teeth bared, and I put my left hand in between them. Charlie latched onto my left thumb and chewed the knuckle like mad. Luckily, he's an old dog with very worn teeth, so it didn't break the skin, but my thumb ached for several hours. And I felt terribly gauche when I let Nikki out in the front yard at dusk (on her 150-foot nylon tether) and didn't look to see that a man was delivering a UPS package at the same time... it must have seemed to him that I turned her out to attack him and drive him away. He stopped and asked if Nikki was friendly, and I told him that she'd love him to death, given half a chance. So he approached Nikki with his hand out, and Nikki covered him with kisses. I apologized for my bad timing in turning her out, and he said he had several dogs himself, and that I wasn't to worry.
After taking care of my kits and Rosie and Remy this morning, I plan to clean out the refrigerator out in the garage - there are several bowls of salads that are more than a week old out there, and they need to be tossed. Honeybun slept at my feet last night, while I read a few chapters of Clive Cussler's The Silent Sea, which is a new entry in the Oregon series. His action and adventure tales haven't lost any spice or twists over the years. - Well, I'm getting ready to head back to Boulder... Oh, and about a mile from this house in Brighton, the police raided a house (that I drive by every day when I'm here) and confiscated over 200 marijuana plants that were hidden in the rafters and in various hidey-holes around the house!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Pretty, Comforting Places

Looking towards the Boulder Chain Lakes and the basin behind it

Winter camping near White Clouds, Idaho

...The middle of the climb... we just came from Cuzco throught this valley...

On the way to Machu Picchu in Peru


Muller's Old Fashioned Ice Cream Parlor is located on Main Street on Chincoteague Island - right between Bill's Seafood Restaurant and the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

Where Do I Live?

Gee, guess where I am writing from this morning.... Brighton. I had hoped to spend this week at home with Lovey and Banichi, but Mike got sent to St. Louis again for HP, so I'll be here until next Sunday morning... Honeybun was ecstatic to see me, as was Kohlbi. And as soon as I sat on the sofa, I had Shadow and Natasha in my lap. Mike left for the airport around 5 this morning; the dogs made such a racket that I fed them at 6:30; and Honeybun is asleep on my pillow. I will be heading back to Boulder every morning this week except Saturday - to see my kits and to walk Rosie and Remy. It rained here yesterday, and the weather folks are forecasting light snow for tomorrow and flurries on Thursday. March is usually the month Boulder and the metro Denver area get the most snow, with April coming in a close second. I do know that it was snowing in Nederland and up at the Eldora ski area yesterday.
Lovey and Banichi clung to me Sunday and Monday; and I clung back to them. Mike received word about travelling to St. Louis at 9:30 yesterday morning, and he and Kelly picked me up and took me out to dinner at 4:45 yesterday afternoon. I splurged and had a chocolate milkshake, mozzarella cheese sticks, and a grilled chicken sandwich. Yesterday evening, Kelly and I watched Wallace and Grommet and the Mystery of the Were-Rabbit before heading for bed. Kelly is still in bed with Charlie, but I have the rest of the critters out here in the living area with me. Nikki wants to go sit in front of the bedroom door and whine, and I keep calling her to me and telling her to shush. I will place her and Kohlbi in their kennels when I leave for Boulder, and hope they won't disturb Kelly too much. I hope to get some genealogy research done this afternoon, but there is no way I'd guarantee it.
Today is trash pick-up day, so I have to remember to take the can out to the street before I drive off to my kits.... Hope you folks have a good week!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Photos I Like

New Flowers and Roses 001

Beautiful multi-hued pansies

Gianna shoobeedooing.. :)

A giant back scratcher? Or just a leanin' tree?

Marmot on South Arapaho Peak, Indian Peaks Wilderness, Colorado

A marmot on South Arapahoe Peak in the Indian Peaks Wilderness, west of Boulder, Colorado