Monday, November 29, 2010

Disney Men

Leslie Neilsen as Francis Marion

"The Swamp Fox"

Patrick McGoohan as Reverend Syn and
the Scarecrow of Romney Marsh

Goodbye, Leslie Neilsen

I was very sorry to hear of the death of one of my favorite actors yesterday. Leslie William Neilsen died from complications of pneumonia in a hospital in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Most people, these days, remember Nielsen as a superb comedian in multiple movies. When I think of Leslie Neilsen, however, I am immediately transported to South Carolina during the American Revolution - and I see him as Francis Marion, "The Swamp Fox." Working for Disney from 1959 through 1961, Leslie Neilsen was, for me (as a child), the epitome of the American hero. Of course, Neilsen was a Canadian-born actor, from the union of a Welsh mother and a Danish father (who was a member of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police), not American. But he was a magnificent actor, whether it was live TV, on stage, or on film. I did have to laugh at a clip shown today - he was asked what he wanted as his epitaph, and he said: "Let 'em rip!" and then blew a raspberry. Then he laughed.
It was very chilly here this morning - I took care of Ooch and loved on him for an hour, and then I wandered over to Rosie and Remy's and took them out for our hour walk. As I wrote earlier, it was cold, and I couldn't stay out in it for more than an hour. I took the Rs home, and then came home and collapsed. I could not get warm. I was under all the bed covers, had on a sweatsuit, and had both kits on top of me, and I didn't begin to feel warm until after 4 this afternoon. I began sneezing and coughing yesterday, and one side of my nose is stopped up. I had chicken noodle soup for lunch and dinner - I hope it helps!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Evening in Colorado

Night time on the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder

Sunset with Denver lights and
a mountain backdrop

Greeted by a Twelve-Point Buck

When I went to visit Tugger and Sasquatch this morning, I was greeted by a twelve-point buck in the front yard and a doe in the side yard. Looking up, I saw that both cats were watching the deer graze while they were comfortably ensconced on living room window sills. The buck took two steps away from me, but the doe had an injured left hind hoof, and she didn't move an inch - even though I had to pass with 2 feet of her. I do love wildlife! Sasquatch had left me a hairball on the landing, but otherwise everything was fine. I fed and medicated the kits, cleaned their litter boxes, and left a note for their people. Then I visited Ooch. He is such a sweetheart! At 20, he's thin and occasionally a bit tottery - but he is always talking to me, and begging for attention. After I finished my chores around his house, I sat down and held him in my lap and loved, petted, and stroked him. His purr is so rumbly these days that I thought he'd shake himself to pieces. I left him sitting in the front window, soaking up sunshine.
My kits greeted me with enthusiasm, as if I hadn't spent all night in bed with them... Lovey and Nedi wanted much more love and attention, and I was very happy to supply it. Then we curled up and took an early nap together. This afternoon, the kits have been allowed to run in and out because of the warm temperature (55 degrees). The temperatures when I arose the last four mornings tell a tale: 4 degrees on Wednesday, 6 on Thursday, 11 Friday, and 25 this morning. We're in a warm up! If the wind isn't blowing, I find the temperatures comfortable. It is when the wind blows that my ears, chin, and fingers are not happy. The kits don't seem to care - as long as they can get in and out - unless it's less than 10 degrees outside; then they want to stay indoors and nap.

Friday, November 26, 2010


Best In Show winner at the 2010 National Dog Show -
GCH Windntide Mr. Sandman -

A Red Kid Is Top Dog

Besides being Thanksgiving, yesterday was also the finals of the National Dog Show in Philadelphia. The seven Group Winners vied for Best In Show, with the award and trophy going to a three-year-old Irish Setter called Clooney. It's been 9 years since an Irish Setter won the Best In Show at the National. Congratulations to Clooney and all his connections!
I'm at home for a few hours - have walked Rosie and Remy, walked and fed Lizzie, fed Maggie May, taken care of Ooch, and fed and medicated Sasquatch and Tugger. The kits were excited to see me, since we didn't see each other yesterday. Lovey and Nedi both wants hugs and squeezes and pats, and then they both demanded fresh food. I gave them salmon, Kitten Chow, and Healthful Life, plus opened a package of seafood Temptations for them. They have been running in and out, but the wind is picking up and temperatures are dropping again, so I just closed the door. (They are inside, of course.) I'll soon be headed out to care for Lizzie and Maggie this evening (their owners are due back at 8 p.m. tonight), then take care of Ooch, and then feed, medicate and love Tugger and Sasquatch again. (I get to sleep in my own bed tonight, with my kits!) Tugger and Sasquatch's family will return Saturday afternoon, so then I will just have Ooch through Tuesday morning.
Of course, I'll be taking care of the Rs Monday through Friday as usual next week, and I'll also be walking Lucy on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. I need to check with Lynn about her next set of 14-hour days, so I'll know when to start walking Tessa again. And when I start walking Tessa, I'll be able to visit Dhisana, who finally came home from the vet's on Wednesday night. And Brandi's folks just booked me for two nights in December.... She is such a sweet heart! - I hope that none of you over-did it in any category yesterday - food, exercise, good times and high spirits. And I hope your Thanksgiving was joyful.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good Eats of the Season

Venison is super - especially in a stew
or in chili

I love the choices of apples available

And I certainly enjoy good ol' Tom Turkey, too!


Sorry for the infrequency of my recent posts - I can't guarantee that I'll be any better until after December first, as I am staying at and caring for one house (with Lizzie and Maggie May), taking care of Ooch twice a day, taking care of Tugger and Sasquatch twice a day, walking Rosie and Remy, and trying to spend at least 3 hours a day with Lovey and Nedi. Thursday, is, of course, Thanksgiving and I'll be baking like mad tonight and tomorrow; and, to top things off, the abscess located in the nether regions of my anatomy has reappeared. I get to go visit the surgeon this afternoon. (Oh, boy!) There was snow here Sunday night, very light, but enough to cover the grass and make a dazzling scene when the sun rose Monday. Dhisana, the little kitten from Ohio, should be able to return home today; it's costing her owner $300 per day just for her to be in the animal hospital, not to mention her treatments, meds, etc. I hope to see her this evening. Thursday, we'll visit Fort Collins, and have the Snow family get-together for Thanksgiving - probably about 30 people this year (that's why I'll be baking like mad). I'm making fresh pumpkin bread, peach cobbler, and I need to come up with something that's gluten-free, also, as several family members can't stomach gluten. Kathy has to work until noon, and then we'll go straight up to Laura's house. Sarah and Mike will also be traveling with us, as their respective loves are heading home for the holiday.
Lovey and Nedi were ecstatic to see me, and have been running across the keyboard as I type. I fed them, cleaned their litter boxes, and then opened the patio door for them to go out and play for a short while. The weather folks are now calling for snow showers tomorrow, and a high on turkey day of 28 degrees. It'll be interesting. Nedi has turned into a little lover. He wants to be petted and made much over; his special treat is having his chin scratched. Lovey is her usual self - running around like a maniac and she's found a cat several patios down that she now terrorizes through the glass door. She's getting to be a menace. I want her to be nice.
Lookin at Lucky, who won the Preakness this year, has been retired to Ashford Stud. Both he and Blame (who gave Zenyatta her only defeat) will begin their careers at a price of $35,000 each for a cover. Calvin Borel was in a nasty racing accident two days ago; his filly fell and then another horse stepped on his face. He has a large cut on his chin, and his jaw was broken (cleanly on the right side, with multiple fractures on the left). He won't be cleared to ride again until sometime in December.
If I don't blog before then.... I hope that each and every one of you has a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Snow on the Flatirons

I see the Flatirons every time I step out
of my apartment building.

Dhisana has Pneumonia

The new kitten has been named Dhisana, after the Hindu goddess of abundance and Keeper of the Sacred Flame. Poor little thing - she has lost a pound in the last week, one-quarter of her body weight. She was much weaker this morning, and I was afraid that her upper respiratory infection had turned into pneumonia. When Lynn came home at lunch, we conferred, and she started calling to find a vet. I suggested Arapahoe Animal Hospital after she had tried contacting five others. They could see her at 3:30 this afternoon, so Lynn and I took her in. She is now being hydrated by an IV, and is getting broad-spectrum antibiotics IV. They did blood work in house and also did her lung X-rays and her FeLeuk test (negative, Thank Goodness!). So she might be able to go home tomorrow afternoon, but probably not until Monday. And Monday is the day Christina will arrive with the other, older female cat from the same Humane Society. The older cat is eating and drinking well, but is still coughing. She'll be visiting the vet on Tuesday. Tessa and Lilly should be fine.
Lovey and Nedi ran out early this morning before I headed over to Lynn's. I had to go get Lovey - she had an elderly Beagle cornered on its' patio, and wouldn't let the dog move. She can be fierce. Nedi is currently shredding a shoe box into one-eighth-inch pieces. They both went out again this evening while I was eating fettucine alfredo with broccoli and a chicken breast. They're both in fine fettle.
Starting tonight, the western slope of the Rockies here in Colorado will start getting between two and four feet of new powdery snow. We folks on the eastern side might get a snow shower, but that'll be all. But we've been having fairly warm weather. The front bringing the snow will also be bringing very cold air, so we expect a high of 28 on Wednesday and 34 on Thanksgiving - with lows those nights in the single digits and teens. It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Devil's Millhopper

High water level in the Devil's Millhopper
near Gainesville, Florida.

My Own Bed

Okay. I'm home to spend the night with my own kitties. It's going to be wonderful. The kits are full of themselves and have been running around like mad. Rosie and Remy were wonderful this morning. And Maisie, her owner, and I had a doggie conference with Kathy Goldstone and her two dogs, and ChiChi, the little Westie, came and joined us, too. Lilly and Tessa were their usual marvelous selves; and the kitten is continuing to recover. She's well enough to fight having the syringe placed in her mouth to feed and hydrate and medicate her now. Poor thing, her nose is still so full of junk that she breathes through her mouth, so she can't smell food or water. We've been putting chicken broth, and holistic remedies mixed with water into her, as well as Clavimox, and I've been placing Gerber baby food (turkey and gravy, pureed) on her tongue to make her eat. It's been a fight since she got home on Monday morning. Thank goodness she is doing better! She has gone to the litter box by herself, and this evening, when Lynn came home, I went out to greet her, and the kitten was sitting right next to the door when I returned to the den (which we've been using as an isolation ward).
In the horse world, Hollywood Park is having a Zenyatta Appreciation Day on December 5th. The great Z will be shipped to Lane's End Farm in Kentucky to begin her life as a broodmare the first week of January. Goldikova, the mare who won her third Breeders' Cup Turf Mile this month, has been named Cartier's Horse of the Year (the European equivalent to America's Thoroughbred Racing Association's Horse of the Year). And jockey Mike Smith, the jockey of Zenyatta, has been awarded the 2010 Big Sport of Turfdom Award from the Turf Publicists of America.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Tennessee Fall Folliage

Loud Squirrel

I am soooooo tired! Still taking care of the sick kitten, as well as doing all my other usual planned activities - Rosie and Remy, Lucy, and spending a little time with my kits... Lovey and Nedi are absolute lovers, and keep coming back to me for more loving. The new kitten is still spraying mucus when she sneezes, and her nose and eyes are still dripping like mad. She still does not have a definite name yet - Bindi, Josie, and Flambe are candidates. I'll propose the name Miranda tonight... I'll be home sleeping in my own bed with the kits tomorrow night. It will be nice to not have to worry if the kitten is breathing or not when I tuck myself in.
Rosie, Remy, Suki and Boo were visited by Maisie this morning; her Mom let her romp with Boo for about 15 minutes. And Lucy's Mom has a pumpkin sitting outside the front door. It had a large hole in it this afternoon, and a very belligerent squirrel was giving me what-for because I was interrupting his dining. It was quite funny - he wouldn't move away from the pumpkin until I was less than 2 feet away from him - and he was chittering away at the top of his lungs. He was a little quieter when I left after walking Lucy - I don't know if he was thanking me for leaving, or had just run out of voice and energy.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Snowboarding in Colorado

New Kitten - Where I'm House-Sitting

I'll be spending the night at Tessa and Lilly's - but it will be so I can take care of the new kitten, while the "Mom" concentrates on Tessa and Lilly. The new kitten is a dilute tortoiseshell and brown tabby combination - she has a few orange patches on her, including a little orange flame that begins at the top of her nose. Her name has not yet been settled on - but she does have a very nasty upper respiratory infection - runny eyes, a stuffy and running nose, sneezes, and she coughed up two large hunks of mucus onto my arm when she first arrived home. But she's a little sweetie, and loves to snuggle. - Don't worry - I washed well before touching my kits, as well as changing my clothes, and putting the dirty ones inside a closed plastic bag. But I'll be staying with the new kitten tonight and tomorrow night, definitely.
Lovey and Nedi ate and then ran outside as soon as I arrived home. Lovey then went down to building B, chased an older dog, and then picked a fight with a cat who lives in the third apartment down. She is full of herself today. I rounded her up and she rode on my shoulders on the way back home. Nedi was waiting for us, and I gave them both treats. - At least Lovey came when I called her! I walked Rosie and Remy for 90 minutes this morning - construction is still going on at their house. And, since the weather is supposed to be better (cool, but no snow) for the rest of the week, I'll probably have them for 4 or 5 hours a day until Friday. Thank goodness I can take them over and read and play with them at the Snow house!

Sunday, November 14, 2010


Johnnie Walker Red

A young Pete?

And an Alex look-alike, too...


We had a light snowfall yesterday afternoon - just enough to cover the grass and make things slippery. I enjoyed my 3 hours with my kits yesterday, and am once again enjoying their company and love. Then I need to head back to Tessa and Lilly's for the night. Lilly spent much of yesterday afternoon and evening in my lap, and then she slept curled up against my legs, as Lovey does. It was very comforting. Tessa went out for a potty break yesterday evening and stayed out for 10 minutes, not coming when I called her. I was about to slip on my jacket and shoes and head out back when I saw her eyes gleaming at the back door... I'm thankful that she returned, as I am not entirely familiar with the acre-sized back yard, which has several nooks and crannies - and I couldn't get the flashlight to work.... Oh, well... It all ended well. I did have to laugh at one thing - I purchased a lattice-top pie at the bakery on Friday that was labeled "Apple Pie - no sugar." It wasn't until late last night that I finally realized I was eating a peach pie, not an apple pie. I guess it's a good thing I like a peach pie as much as I like an apple one. Tessa and Lilly's Mom informed me yesterday that she is bringing a 6-month-old kitten home with her from Ohio, and she wants me to help her acclimate the kitten to the new house, and help Tessa and Lilly accept the new kitten. It should be interesting - and she's asked me to visit both Monday and Tuesday evenings, with Wednesday possibly added. We'll see.
I won't arrive home for the kits until tomorrow afternoon - I'll spend the night with Lilly and Tessa, and then walk Rosie and Remy. I'll wait at the Thore house until the new kitten arrives, and then I'll head home for a few hours; then head back for the evening. I'm sure that Lovey and Nedi will be distraught, thinking that I'm spending the night away again, so I'm going to make certain that Lovey (especially) sees the alarm clock is on the night stand.
The doctor told me Thursday that I'm over-doing things, and that I haven't recovered from the food poisoning plus the infection plus the 2+ weeks of antibiotics. I'm trying to be more choosy about what I do and when I do it - but I don't realize that I'm pushing myself until I feel ill again. Other than that, she took more blood for tests and said she'd let me know if the results were unusual. Hopefully, I'll start getting stronger again. - Just as a throw away fact, it was 17 degrees here this morning, and is now 32. We're expecting a rain/snow mix tomorrow, and then clearing with highs in the mid 50s. Hurray! It's back to "normal" Colorado weather...

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Odds and Ends

Monte, a Friesian stallion, playing in pasture

Round straw bales in Wyoming

Bart and Bonnie are the names of the mule team
learning to plow - the mules and a plow
do not compress the ground as much as a tractor would

Beautiful Saturday Morning

It's a beautiful morning out - the sun is shining, and we're expecting a high of 44 degrees, with a possible snow shower this evening. I spent last night with Tessa and Lilly - Lilly slept on top of me, like my kits do, and Tessa slept next to the bed. Tessa awakened me this morning at 6:30 by beating a tattoo on the wall with her tail - otherwise, it was a very quiet afternoon, evening, and night. And Tessa has been trained to jingle the bell strap next to the door when she needs to go out - it's a wonderful aid, since I've had my nose in a book most of the time I've been there. As soon as Lovey saw the alarm clock go in my overnight bag yesterday, she was pretty much physically attached to me until I left. She talked and cried and did everything in her power and vocabulary to have me stay at home. It was an impressive show. I fed the kits and put out extra treats before I left, but I still felt bad about leaving them. - But this is my job and business, and it's how I have extra money to feed them goodies and get them special treats. I don't plan on being gone for long blocks of time during the winter - so the kits, hopefully, won't feel too abandoned. Currently, I've returned home and Lovey is basking in the sun on the edge of the patio, while Nedi is sitting just inside the door and is looking out. Today CU has a home football game, so there is extra activity in the Harvest House parking lot, as well as the apartment's north end lot.
I was extremely saddened to hear of the fire in the Petting Zoo area at the Karlsruhe Zoo in southwestern Germany. At least 26 petting zoo animals died, including Shetland ponies, goats, sheep, and one llama. The petting zoo area was next to the elephant and hippo exhibits, and , at least, those animals were saved. The police suspect arson was the cause. Neither smoke inhalation nor flames are good ways to perish. I send a prayer for all of them in their desperate attempts to escape a raging inferno. - And, finally, the owner of Life at Ten, the betting favorite in the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic who finished last, states that her mare should have been scratched, and not run at all in the race. John Veitch, previously a well-known trainer, is now the head of the Kentucky Racing Stewards; he states that either the trainer or the jockey should have expressed their concerns about the mare to the vet stationed on the track, who would then have notified the stewards. ESPN commentators, who covered the race, sent the jockey's and the trainer's comments directly to the stewards office, as soon as they were expressed on camera. The Kentucky Racing Board is still reviewing what happened, and where the "breakdown in communications" occurred.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Sick, Sick, Sick

Turns out that I'm still ill. I tried to walk over to Sunflower Monday afternoon and just about passed out. I barely made it back to my apartment. Yesterday, I visited with Tessa and Lilly's Mom, then walked the Rs. Got caught walking west into the wind blowing rain and sleet to the east. Spent 9 hours in bed afterward. I got up for 2 hours and then slept again for 8. Something isn't right with my system. I see my GP tomorrow morning at 8:20, and then my therapist at 2. Hopefully, we can figure out what exactly is going on with my body. I hate feeling as if I can't go outside for more than 5 minutes!
There was actual frost on the ground in the back yard this morning - of course, it was 23 degrees outside, and there had been all that rain and sleet yesterday. It's supposed to start snowing tonight, with an expected 3 to 5 inches falling in total. Grabbing the buses tomorrow for both appointments will be interesting - especially as the battery in my watch has died. I guess I'll be carrying my alarm clock in my pocket again, for a while. Both Kathy and Jim are ill, also. Jim's voice last night was hoarse and his throat sounded scratchy. He told me only that Kathy was pretty sick, too.
The only bright thing that occurred yesterday was that MSNBC reinstated Keith Olbermann to his regular show. He was suspended without pay for "an indefinite period of time" Friday morning, when MSNBC management learned that Keith had made three campaign donations. MSNBC only allows journalists to make political donations if they get prior approval from the management. What a crock! Mr. Olbermann did not urge anyone to vote for any specific candidate; the three people to whom he made donations do not even live in the same state where he lives. I was one of 300,000+ people who signed a petition to get Keith reinstated. I will not watch Countdown if Keith is not on... period.
The kits and I are going to go back to bed and cuddle and nap some more. Take care!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Today's Shots

Today's sleet here in Boulder

Now ex-coach Dan Hawkins

Mike Smith, one of the top jockeys
riding in North America

Sopping Wet From Sleet

What a difference a day makes! When I arose this morning, the sun was shining and the sky was blue in the east. I wore my sunglasses out. By 8:30, dark clouds were racing to fill the sky from the west, a cool breeze was blowing, and I stuck my sunglasses into my carrier bag. I spent almost an hour with Tessa and Lilly's Mom, going over their routines and feeding schedules, and making sure I knew how much of what food for each critter. Then I walked over and gathered up Rosie and Remy - it looked like dusk outside. We had a good 45 minute walk and stopped at Kathy and Jim's to run and play for the last 15 minutes. That's when the sky opened up, and not only rain, but little round pellets of frozen ice, too, were pounding into our faces are we trudged against the wind and sleet to get the kids back home. Nancy and I dried Rosie and Remy off with towels, and then Nancy, bless her heart, drove me home, so I wouldn't have to wait for the bus. And today is Remy's birthday! He got a special treat from me.
Our high for today was at midnight - 58 -and the temperature is continuing to drop. I opened the patio door for the kids when I got home; they both stuck their heads out and returned to bed. We're supposed to be cloudy with no precipitation tomorrow, high in the mid-40s, and then snow on Thursday, with a high of 34. In the meantime, CU has decided to fire their head football coach as of today - it will cost the university $1.6 million to buy out Dan Hawkins' contract. I think they are nuts. - But then, the Dallas Cowboys just fired their head coach, too. Oh, well... I certainly enjoy football - but, come on, folks... it is just a game!
Oh, and it has been determined that the Boulder Dome Fire was started by a campfire where a couple of homeless men were living in the rough. So, who's going to pay for the fire fighting costs?

Monday, November 8, 2010

An Odd Mix...

Goldikova winning the 2010 BC Turf Mile
Scott Caan, portraying Danny Williams
in the new Hawaii Five-O

James MacArthur, 8 Dec 1937 - 28 Oct 2010.
I fell in love with him in Swiss Family Robinson;
I admired him in the original Hawaii Five-O.
His acting will be missed by many around the world.

Last Warm Day of Fall

We reached a high temperature of 72 this today, after a low this morning of 36. After walking Rosie and Remy, we visited Suki and Boo, and I sat in the back yard at the Snow house reading and playing with the dogs. Everyone behaved well, and Mary brought Maisie over because she'd had a bad experience visiting someone's home over the weekend. Maisie and family visited a family with a male and female Husky; Maisie decided to play with a ball that the male regarded as "his only." So Maisie was tackled, rolled over, and he bit her several times on the ear, around the face, and on her butt. Luckily, he didn't bite hard, and she only has one small mark on her face - but her family were afraid that she'd be frightened when she met again with other dogs. It didn't happen. She was fine, even when she knocked Suki over in her exuberance, and Suki chased her. Maisie thought it was a great game to play. Other than Maisie's visit, it was a quiet day. The kits have been out three times today; Lovey is curled up in the chair next to me, and Nedi is curled up inside the clothes hamper. (Since his collar spells Nedi correctly, I decided I'd better start doing it also.)
Leftover information from the Breeders' Cup: Zenyatta is being retired, as had been previously announced. Mine That Bird is now retired to stud. Four-year-old Blame, who won this year's Classic, is now retired and will stand at stud. Life at Ten, the heavy betting favorite in the Ladies Classic, who cantered home last, has been withdrawn from auction, and the KHRC is investigating the failure to communicate between the trainer and jockey of the horse with the vets and stewards at the track. For Friday's fight, Javier Castellano has been fined $2,500, while Calvin Borel, who started the fight, was fined $5,000. Castellano was also found guilty of rough race-riding in the incident that caused the fight, and he has had his jockey's license suspended for 6 days of racing by the stewards. - And, trainer Frederic Head has announced that the owners of the super racing mare Goldikova have decided to continue her in training, and, barring injury, that she will return for next year's Breeders' Cup Turf Mile to defend her Championship title for a record fourth consecutive year.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Kits Today

Lovey in the kitty tree

Neddy attacking a leaf

The kits' new collars
(Neddy's real name is Zephraim Cenedi.)

Masterpiece Mystery

Benedict Cumberbatch plays Sherlock Holmes,
Martin Freeman is Dr. John Watson
in this up-dated series on the
world's greatest detective.

Quiet Sunday

It's a gorgeous day outside - in the low 60s, the sun is shining with high cirrus clouds floating by, and all the losses of Saturday are now in the past. I do wish that Zenyatta had been able to retire undefeated, but that was a wonderful fairy tale - Life is real, and sometime it hurts. Zenyatta is the Queen of American racing, but today, Goldikova is the Queen of the World in thoroughbred racing. She is truly a superb race horse.
The kits are running in and out of the back door, and Lovey is complaining because I keep walking down to the laundry room (I've now got 3 loads in the dryers) - she believes that she should be allowed to accompany me. Neddy keeps running in to see what I'm doing, and then he scoots back out again. I had to stop and really look into one of the washers after I unloaded the clean clothes; i couldn't figure out what all the little pieces that looked like asparagus were... They were the remains of Neddy's grasshoppers - so I made certain that I cleaned all of the washers that I used.
While we are expecting a high in the low 70s today, rain (with a possible snow mix) is expected for Tuesday, and honest-to-God snow is being forecast for Thursday. Besides walking the doggies, I have an appointment to see my therapist on Thursday in the afternoon. I hope we don't get a blizzard that day. And next Friday I move in with Lilly, a black cat, and Tessa, a black dog, for the weekend. Hopefully, we'll all get along - I haven't met them yet. Other than finishing the laundry, I have dishes to do today, and then some furniture rearranging - then I'll read. I do recommend PBS's Masterpiece Mystery! tonight - it's "Sherlock: The Great Game" tonight, and I have been delighted with the switch to a current setting, as well as the casting of both Sherlock and Dr. Watson. I hope you enjoy it!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Zenyatta's Last Race

Blame wins by a short head, the
only defeat for Zenyatta

My Betting Today - STANK!

After the end of today's first Breeders' Cup race, I had the feeling that all of my choices would fail to win - only one won, and that was not the fantastic Zenyatta; it was the superb Goldikova. In the first race, the Juvenile Turf, one of my picks, Rough Sailing, had his hind end slip out from under him, landing heavily on his left shoulder and sliding. He sprang back up, but the motion of his forelegs did not look right to me. Luckily, his jockey Anna Napravnik was able to roll clear, as the field was due to run over that same section of track again. Anna was shaken, but not hurt. Rough Sailing was returned to his barn, where swelling was reported; X-rays showed that he had broken his left shoulder. He was euthanized. For me, that was the beginning of the end of the day. The Juvenile Turf, all two-year-old colts, was won by Pluck, a half-sister to More Than Real (both sired by More Than ready), who won yesterday's Juvenile Filly Turf. The second place finisher was Soldat, and in third was Willcox Inn. Typhoon Slew was scratched from the race in the early morning, and my other two picks finished fifth and sixth - I still grieve for Rough Sailing. In the 3/4 mile Sprint, Big Drama was the winner, with Hamazing Destiny and Smiling Tiger following. Another horse was taken by the horse ambulance off the track at the end of the Sprint - Atta Boy Roy, who finished in seventh, was pulled up quickly by jockey Calvin Borel, who said the colt had taken several bad steps on his right fore. It was decided by the vets that Atta Boy Roy had a sprain. My picks finished fifth, sixth, and ninth - so I knew I was doing a lousy job with yesterday's picks. I decided to choose one "new" horse to bet on in each race, and see how that went - the choosing being done by looking at the horses in the Post Parade. The third race of the day was the Turf Sprint, and my new pick was Central City, a Florida-bred. Chamberlain Bridge won the race, Central City was second, and Unzip Me was third. My choices from Saturday night ran in sixth, tenth, and thirteenth places. The Juvenile seemed to be wide open; I chose Uncle Mo in the paddock. I was shocked when Uncle Mo won the race. He was followed by Boys at Tosconova and Rogue Romance. There were ten runners in the race; my other picks finished seventh, ninth, and tenth. (Groan!) In the Turf Mile, I was rooting for Goldikova and Gio Ponti. Goldikova won the Turf Mile for the third straight year! She was followed home by Gio Ponti, The Usual Q T, and Paco Boy. My other picks finished fifth, seventh, and eighth. For the Dirt Mile, I chose Dakota Phone, because he seemed to be radiating - something - in the Post Parade. You could have knocked me over when he won - the biggest long-shot of the day. He was followed by Morning Line and Gayego. Cool Coal Man, a sentimental pick, finished fourth, and Mine That Bird was tenth. My other picks were in sixth, ninth, and twelfth places. (Oh, my...) The next-to-last race was on the Turf, and Workforce was scratched from the race early in the morning because the course was too hard (even though Churchill Downs had been watering the course every night to soften it up for the Europeans - especially Workforce). So only seven horses went to the post, and I picked Champ Pegasus as my new betting choice. The Turf was won by Dangerous Midge; followed by Champ Pegasus and Behkabad. My earlier choices finished fourth, sixth and seventh. Finally, there was the Classic - hopefully the crowning glory for Zenyatta... Mike Smith, Zenyatta's jockey, cried in his interview after the race, blaming himself for the mare's only loss in her career. It was one heck of a race - Zenyatta, as usual, dropped back to last, and Mike Smith began to urge her to run before she started her usual roll forward. (That's why he blames himself - he urged her before she was ready.) Blame had taken the lead, and Zenyatta zoomed up on the outside, as usual. What was not usual was that Blame's nose crossed the finish line first - he won by either a long nose, or a short head, which ever way you look at it. Fly Down finished in third. Etched finished sixth, and Espoir City (Sunday Silence's grandson) finished tenth.
After my picks for Friday had turned out so well, I thought I'd do well today.... Well, that's horse racing! Seth Hancock, who owns Blame, is already on the campaign trail to have Blame named Horse of the Year. If not Zenyatta, then I think the Horse of the Year award should go to Goldikova!
And, had anyone placed 8 $2 exacta bets, and chosen the first and second place winners of each race, their $16 in bets would have returned $1541.00...... It definitely was not me, today!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Tomorrow's Contenders

Cool Coal Man will run in the BC Mile

Espoir City, grandson of Sunday Silence,
will run in the BC Classic

Zenyatta, pictured after winning the 2009 BC Classic,
will try to take her record to 20 wins, no losses tomorrow
(Mike Smith is the jockey)

Saturday's Breeders' Cup Races

Coverage of the Breeders' Cup races will be on ABC from 1:30 through 3:30 EDT, with the rest of the coverage being carried on ESPN from 3:30 until 7 p.m. EDT. (And I'm going to turn my clocks back an hour, after the races are over, so I won't forget to do so.) Two European horses that I like might be scratched from tomorrow's races - Delegator, in the Mile Turf, has developed a quarter crack in one of his hooves; and Michael Stoute, trainer of Workforce, will decide whether he will run the Epsom Derby and Arc winner tomorrow, after he walks the turf course. So two of my probable picks possibly will not run. All of the 8 races seem to be wide open to me, and I really haven't studied up on any of the runners, except the Great Lady, Zenyatta....
So here are my picks for tomorrow's Breeders' Cup races: In the Juvenile Turf, 13 2-year-olds will carry 122 pounds each over a one mile course. In this race, I like Master of Hounds, Banned, and Rough Sailing. The Sprint has 12 entrants, who carry between 124 and 126 pounds each for three-quarters of a mile on the dirt. My choices are Riley Tucker, Wise Dan and Warrior's Reward. The Turf Sprint covers five-eighths of a mile; there are 15 horses running, each carrying 121 to 126 pounds. In this race, I like Quick Enough, Stradivinsky, and Due Date. In the Juvenile Colts, the entries dwindle to 10; all 2-year-olds carrying 122 pounds over one and one-sixteenth miles on the dirt. Here, I would bet on J B's Thunder, Murjan, and Jaycito. I am conflicted in my feelings about the Turf Mile - I would like for Goldikova, the mare who has won this race the last two years, to win again. I also would choose Gio Ponti as a sentimental favorite. There are 11 horses entered in this race, carrying between 123 and 126 pounds each. I also think that Court Vision, Proviso (another filly), and Delegator (if he can run with that quarter crack) will perform well. There are 13 entries in the Mile, carrying between 123 and 126 pounds each. I would like for Mine That Bird to return to his winning ways in this race - he has been winless since the 2009 Kentucky Derby, and if he doesn't finish in the top 3, he will be retired to stud after this race. I also have a sentimental favorite in Cool Coal Man. Otherwise, my choices for this race would be Mad Flatter, Vineyard Haven and Hurricane Ike. In the Turf, we drop to a low of 8 horses running, possibly 7. The horses will run one and one-half miles, and each will carry between 122 and 126 pounds. If the turf feels good to trainer Michael Stoute, and Workforce agrees, I think he'd be unbeatable. But my choices without him running are Winchester, Telling and Al Khali. The final race will be the Classic, in which 12 contenders race one and one-quarter miles on the dirt, carrying between 122 and 126 pounds each. Zenyatta, the undefeated 6-year-old mare, is seeking her 20th win before her retirement to the breeding shed. I really want her to win and retire as the best, undefeated thoroughbred mare since Kincsem, the chestnut mare born in 1874 who retired undefeated after 54 races. If Zenyatta can't, or doesn't win for any reason whatsoever, my other betting choices would be Fly Down, Etched, and Espoir City (the Japanese-bred grandson of Sunday Silence). Zenyatta will carry 123 pounds, Fly Down will carry 122, and both Etched and Espoir City will carry 126 pounds.
The Breeders' Cup races are weight for age and sex races. Females carry less weight than the boys do; and younger horses, such as 3-year-old Fly Down, carry less weight than their elders.
As with yesterday, I can't say that any of these horses will win - this is just a list of my betting choices based on the horses pedigree, the jockey and the trainer. Hope you have good luck! - And enjoy the races!


Eldaafer, who won the BC Marathon today,
winning the 2009 Brooklyn Handicap

Awesome Feather winning today's BC
Juvenile Fillies

Today's Breeders' Cup Races

Well, I didn't do too poorly in today's 6 Breeders' Cup races - I chose 3 winners, 1 second-place finisher, and 5 third-place runners. Today's races at Churchill Downs were different from past years: there was a fight between jockeys in the Winner's Circle after the Marathon - and it was between jockeys on horses that ran under the finish line in the second and fourth positions. There was a claim of gross interference, which was upheld by the stewards, and the horse who actually finished in second was placed last, with the other horses being moved up one place in the finish order. And a betting favorite ran in a race when both the trainer and jockey were afraid there was "something" wrong with her, although the track veterinarians OK'd her. And the last two races of the day were run under the lights at Churchill - a very big first-time event.
In the Marathon, 5-year-old Eldaafer, a son of A.P. Indy, won the race. Prince Will I Am crossed under the line second, but was disqualified to last place for interfering with Romp and A U Miner. My picks, Gabriel's Hill and A U Miner were placed into the second and third spots. The next race was the Juvenile Filly Turf: my friend's pick, More Than Real, owned by chef Bobby Flay, won the race easily. Winter Memories finished second, and one of my picks, Kathmanblu, was placed third. Rightly So was scratched from the Filly & Mare Sprint, which was won by one of my picks, Dubai Majesty. A $2 win bet returned $19.20. The second and third place horses were Switch and Evening Jewel. In the Juvenile Fillies, Indian Gracey was scratched. Awesome Feather, one of my picks, won the race; R. Heat Lightning was second; and another of my picks, Delightful Mary, ran third. A $2 win bet returned $10.40. In the Filly & Mare Turf, Shared Account was the long-shot winner, paying $94 for a $2 win bet. My friend's pick, Midday, finished second, and Keertana, one of my picks, was third. (Red Desire, the grand daughter of Sunday Silence, was fourth.) The last race of today was the Ladies Classic, and Life at Ten was the heavy favorite in the betting. In the saddling paddock, Todd Pletcher, the trainer of Life at Ten, was concerned because she was "not acting like herself. ... It almost seemed like she'd been sedated." John Velazquez, her normal jockey, stated that she didn't "feel normal" after warming her up before the race. - To me, it looked as if she were moving very stiffly, without the usual fluidity that a thoroughbred has. - In any event, the track vets cleared her to run. She finished last, far back on the track. The winner and third place finishers were my picks, Unrivaled Belle and Havre de Grace. Blind Luck finished second. These three fillies were 10 lengths in front of the rest of their rivals - Wow! A $2 win ticket for Unrivaled Belle paid $17.
If someone had had the foresight (or fore-knowledge) of the results, and they made 6 $2 bets (which chose the correct first and second place finishers in each race), that someone would have turned $12 into $1127.40. -I wish it had been me!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Grand Daughters of Kentucky Derby Winners

Red Desire, grand daughter of Sunday Silence

Unrivaled Belle, grand daughter of Unbridled

The Next Three Days

The next three days I will write for the most part about the 2010 Breeders' Cup at Churchill Downs. But first - the Rs, Suki and Boo, and Lucy were all great today. Neddy and Lovey are doing well. And I had no idea that Walter Cronkite, whom I grew up adoring, was born in St. Joseph, Missouri - that's a hop, skip and jump from Troy, Kansas, where my dad grew up. Hunh!
Tomorrow is the first day of the Breeders' Cup - 6 BC races will be run, all designated for the fillies and mares, other than the first BC race - the Marathon. Now, I like to look at the horse in the paddock and/or saddling enclosure before I actually place a bet. This year, however, I'll tell you who I like prior to seeing the horses on the day of their race. - The Marathon will be run at one and three-quarters miles on the dirt; there are 12 entries, and they all carry between 122 and 126 pounds. I like A U Miner and Gabriel's Hill; a friend recommends Alcomo. The Juvenile Fillies Turf is run at the distance of one miles; since all the fillies are 2-year-olds, all 15 entries carry 122 pounds each. I like Fancy Point, Together, and Kathmanblu; my friend likes More Than Real. The Fillies and Mares Sprint has 16 entries, running seven-eighths of a mile on the dirt. The 16 contenders will carry between 122 and 124 pounds each. I like Informed Decision, Sweet August Moon and Dubai Majesty; my friend likes Sara Louise and Rightly So. The Juvenile Fillies is run at one and one-eighth miles on the dirt. Thirteen fillies are entered, and all will carry 122 pounds. I would have chosen Indian Gracey as one of my favorites, but she has a sore right forefoot, and will be scratched early Friday. Therefore, my picks are: Awesome Feather, Izshelegal, and Delightful Mary. My friend has chosen Tell a Kelly and A Z Warrior. The Fillies and Mares Turf race will run at one and three-eighths miles. There are 11 entries, and each will carry between 121 and 124 pounds. I like Keertana, Harmonius, and Forever Together. My friend likes Midday and Red Desire - and he delighted in telling me that Red Desire is the grand daughter of Sunday Silence. The final Breeders' Cup race on Friday will be the Ladies Classic, run at one and one-eighth miles on the dirt. There are 11 entries, and each one carries between 122 and 124 pounds. I like Havre de Grace and Unrivaled Belle; my friend likes Life at Ten and Malibu Prayer.
There is no way that I will stand here and say that any (or all) of my picks will win, place or show in tomorrow's races - and the same goes from my friend's picks, too. But this is who I like, looking at pedigrees, jockeys and trainers - without seeing the horse, in the flesh, prior to the race. Horse racing is exciting and dangerous - and there is never a guaranteed winner. Best of luck in your betting!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

2010 Breeders' Cup Entries

All entries for the 14 scheduled Breeders Cup races may be viewed at: The top section of the page covers "Today's Headlines"; the second section is "Breeders' Cup." Under 8 or 9 headlines is a blue button reading "More Breeders' Cup News." Under this button you will find rectangles containing the names of all 14 Breeders' Cup races. A click on the rectangle reading "Classic," for instance, will yield the information for each of the 12 entries in that race - post position number, name, age, sex, and assigned weight. Then follows the horse's sire and dam, and the horse's "connections": Jockey, Trainer, Owner, and Breeder. If you want further information, you can click on the horses name - you will go to another page, which will list the horse's Bio (or his connections, as listed above); you can also choose the Pedigree tab, which will show 3 generations of pedigree, or you can click on a button for a 5 generation pedigree; you may also choose the Auction History tab, which will tell you if and when a horse was sold at open auction, and how much was paid for him/her at that time; and the final tab is from The Stallion, which informs you about the horse's performance in races, his/her speed rating, and what the Stallion Registry thinks of his/her racing form so far....
Please enjoy this plethora of information prior to the races on Friday and Saturday!


Six Dogs Plus Two Cats Equals One Great Day!

I woke up with Lovey and Neddy in bed with me. And I have Neddy in my lap and Lovey sprawled across my chest right now. The red kids were very happy to see me - they've been to the groomers' recently, and they both looked super. We took a 45 minute walk and then went over to Kathy and Jim's to visit Suki and Boo. The girls are fine, but Suki seems to be just a bit slower each time I see her now; I know that she's 12, but old age is hard to accept. Mary brought Maisie over, and we had a five dog free-for-all for about an hour in the back yard. Maisie went digging in the irrigation ditch, and got covered in black mud, so Mary and I washed her off before they headed for home. Then I walked down the block and gathered up Lucy - she had had a bath this morning, and seemed embarrassed to greet me with a damp coat. I made sure she stayed in the sunshine, and when we returned home, she was completely dry. She is such a lovely lady. - So I had two red dogs, two white dogs, a golden dog, a black dog, and my two kits - a black long-hair and a sleek DSH brown tabby as company today. It was heaven!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Just Stuff...

I voted in today's election...
I hope you, also, used your vote to voice your opinion.

John Hickenlooper, running for Governor of
Colorado, gets a kiss from Gidget the sea lion.

An unusual sight - a badger
outside of Estes Park, Colorado.

My Last Day of Vacation

Today is the 18th and last day of my vacation - and it's a national voting day. I have spent the majority of my vacation either in bed, in my bathroom, or at the Urgent Care Center. I was back there this morning, seeing my doctor again. I am still running a low fever and my lymph glands are enlarged, so she has me on another week of both Augmentin and Cipro, in hopes that we can kill this bug. I'll be visiting her again on Friday. I voted by mail-in ballot last week, so I did not have to go to the polls today.
The kits have been great - we have cuddled and loved and played a lot today. Neddy is quite happy lying in the sun and watching the leaves blow about in the breeze. Lovey always wants to be on the hunt, or at least observing something. I finished reading a new Alys Clare novel today to the kits - it's the first in a new series and I heartily recommend it.
Apparently the construction guys are still making quite a racket at the Rs' house, so I after I walk them tomorrow, I'll be back in Kathy and Jim's back yard with the Rs and Suki and Boo. And I'm waiting to hear if Lucy's Mom wants me to begin walking her at lunch again tomorrow, also.
Today, post positions were drawn for all 14 Breeders Cup races. Zenyatta drew the 8 post in the Classic, and is already listed as the odds-on favorite to win at 8 to 5. The connections of Workforce, the English colt who won this year's Epsom Derby and the Arc, are discussing withdrawal from the Breeders Cup Turf, where he has also been named as the favorite betting choice. Workforce's people are concerned about the turf conditions - Workforce prefers a soft, yielding surface; but the turf at Churchill is dry, firm, and fast. Currently, one must skip all over the web to find the draw for each Breeders Cup race; however, it will soon be posted on one site:

Monday, November 1, 2010

The Devine Family

Neddy today - 7 months old

Lovey today - a little over 5 years old

Darmina, my sister, and me - October 2010
I have my messenger bag on, on the way to walk the Rs

Neddy is 7 Months Old Today

All Saints' Day was created by those in power at the Catholic church to give the pagan Celts a "real Christian holiday" to celebrate instead of Samhain. It was decided to lump all of the Saints that did not have a personal Feast Day together, and to celebrate their day, as opposed to celebrating the first day of the Celtic New Year. Samhain began at dusk on what we now regard as October 31 and ended at dusk on November 1. - And today marks Neddy's 7-month birthday. I have had to laugh, because both Neddy and Lovey seem to be intrigued by the Hallmark channel's showing of That Darn Cat! this morning. Between DC, the Siamese, being vocal on the TV screen, and my kits talking back to him, the apartment is full of meows!