Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Critters, Too

One of a pair of red-tailed hawks

who live in urban Philadelphia

Hyena pups in Nairobi

Male coots fighting in St. James Park


Today has been gray and overcast since sun rise. This morning the wind came from the east, but has now switched around to the west. We have another Red Flag warning, signifying high fire danger, in effect through 8 p.m. tomorrow night. Oh, joy. Of course, the weather folks say we'll get a "significant" snow Monday night.... And the Weather Channel says there's gonna be a Northeaster with snow on Friday, April Fools Day, for New England. - And Friday, Nedi will be 1 year old. If you live in the Boulder area, and are thinking about adopting a cat, Friday will be Free Feline Day at the Boulder Valley Humane Society - they have 58 cats and kittens awaiting adoption. Just think - all the critters are already spayed or neutered and are up-to-date on their shots - all you have to do is pick out one you like and take him or her home. If you can afford to feed and care for a pet, please do. - Oh, and, Squeeze, the cat who's head was caught in the pipe? He is being adopted out to a new home tomorrow. His new owner has a farm with a large barn and several feral cats that he has trapped and brought in for spaying and neutering. Squeeze is now neutered, and will be moving into the barn with a feral clowder. That's a happy ending! Remy and Rosie rollicked all over this morning when I appeared to take them for their walk - one would think I hadn't been there for days, when I was there twice (and the second time for four hours) yesterday. We had a great walk with the wind making the kids really frisky. Lucy was super, as usual. And Annie and Oly's family returned last night, so I didn't need to take them out. Lovey and Nedi were very snuggly this afternoon - but now that I'm on the computer, Lovey keeps walking across me and sitting on the keyboard, demanding more attention. I need to figure out what's up with her... Other than the fact that she is spoiled rotten.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I Am Healing!

Well, we got some precipitation last night... how much? I don't know. I can tell you that when I awoke at 5 a.m., my patio was dry, but there was a small sprinkling of snow on the grass near the fence. Some vehicles in the parking lot had less than a half-inch on their roofs, hoods, and trunks (if they had a trunk area). We are still 30 inches shy of our usual snowfall amount. On the western slope, however, it's a completely different story... Steamboat Springs has had over 400 inches of snow so far this season. And Eldora, just southwest of Nederland (on the eastern side of the divide), got 10.5 inches of new snow last night; while out on the plains the reports are of 4 to 10 inches of snow before the system turned to rain in Kansas. Friday will be the Opening Day of the Rockies baseball season, and we're expecting mostly sunny skies with a high of 73. That would be nice... Dr. P says that I am healing! And, unless my body double-crosses me, I shouldn't have to see him again. Of course, just as I was going out the door, he said, "If it comes back, you know where I am...." But I'm happy that I have actually made progress without any more stitches or cutting. Yaaa-hooooo!! - He said that if I continue healing at the current rate, I should be completely healed within the next 4 weeks; to "keep it clean, keep it dry, and keep on walking." You can bet that I will do my best to follow his instructions. Zenyatta has slipped her foal, and plans are already being made to send her back to Bernardini. ... Crocs, the local (weird, or natural - depending on your point of view) shoe company has donated 100,000 pairs of shoes to the people of Japan impacted by the earthquake and tsunami. ... Dana Stabenow's Though Not Dead is a knock-out book! I did not want to put it down at all. And it explains a lot of blood relationships between Kate and other major characters. I'm only sorry that it wasn't at least 2,000 pages long! Rosie and Remy were surprised when I reappeared this afternoon - even though I told them I'd be back after we finished our morning walk. Lucy was her usual super self; extremely well behaved until she sees a squirrel or cat that she desperately wants to chase. Annie and Oly were very good, also, on their walk. But we surprised the house keeper when we returned - she hadn't realized that I had come in and taken the dogs out. She was headed out the door to shake a throw rug, and ran into Annie. She seemed to be very shocked.... Lovey and Nedi had two hours outside this morning before I started my walk routine; they were not happy that I didn't let them out again when I ran home to shower before seeing Dr. P. I'll have to let them out when I return home this evening.

Monday, March 28, 2011


Colorful roosters...

I had a speech impediment as a child - I lisped,

and I couldn't pronounce 'r's - they always came out as 'w's.

So I always sang, "We will kill de owd wed wooster..."

Dry... With Snow

It's the end of a Monday. The 9 News cameras at Broadway and Spruce showed a combination of rain and snow falling this morning - but it was dry up in North Boulder. Around 10 a.m. we had about 10 minutes of light, fine snow and that was it. The weather folks just said that "the Metro area" can expect about a 1-inch accumulation of snow over night, and "the Foothills" about 3 inches. Boulder is technically in "the Foothills," but all the precipitation has so far eluded us. People have been keeping track of snow and rain amounts for the last 130 years - this year, the month of March is the third driest in the recorded history. Dust is everywhere. Nedi is perched in my lap, being scratched and petted with my left hand, while I type with my right. Lovey has gone out to do her nightly "policing" rounds. I've been home for about 30 minutes - Joel brought me home upon his return from San Diego. Nancy and Max will return tomorrow evening, so I'll be spending about 3 hours over there after my appointment with Dr. P. I'm keeping my fingers crossed in regards to my visit to Dr. P... I'd really like some good news, such as "You're healing" or something comparable. The Rs were excellent today - and they were very excited to see Joel come home; but seemed puzzled that Nancy and Max weren't with him. So tomorrow, I'll walk Rosie and Remy, the Lucy, then Annie and Oly; come home, shower, see Dr. P; and then go back to the Rs (and make welcome home brownies for the three humans). Over the weekend, I read Dana Stabenow's new book, as well as the latest Blaize Clement (about a mystery-solving pet sitter), and Linda Fairstein's latest Alex Cooper book. I need to go get Catherine Coulter's latest FBI book tomorrow, too.

Sunday, March 27, 2011


Mules come in every color a horse does -

and they are said to have more sense...

A spotted mule (Arab mare - Pinto Jack)

Reba is a 3-year-old riding mule

Losing Weight? - Yeah... Right...

The weather was absolutely beautiful yesterday, and it seems that today might be a carbon copy. It's just reached 32 degrees, the sun is shining, and the kits are running in and out. We celebrated Connie's birthday by having dinner at Murphy's Bar & Grill - I had my usual, turkey breast, mashed potatoes and gravy, and a combination of steamed green beans, carrots, and squash. Yesterday morning, after my shower, I stepped on the scale at the Irish kids' - this is not something I would normally do, mind you - it's an LED scale with tenths of a pound increments. Suffice to say that yesterday after showering, my weight was 186.2 - this morning, after showering, my weight was 180.0. My digestive system rebelled on me last night - and I spent the hours from 10:38 p.m. until 3:11 a.m. sitting on the throne, with a trash bag-lined garbage can between my knees. My dreaded combo of diarrhea and up-chucks had returned. So today, I weigh less than I did yesterday... And, in no way was it done on purpose! It also has not been good for my medical problem..... Remy and Rosie have been super kids since their folks left - until yesterday. I stepped out of the house for about 2 minutes - walking out to get the mail - and Rosie had opened the trash drawer and tipped the trash can, spilling everything out onto the kitchen rug. Most of it was coffee grounds - Yuck! I let them know they were bad dogs - Remy had a plastic take-out bowl in his mouth, while Rosie was licking the interior of a potato chip bag - and then remembered that I usually keep the key to the trash door up on the window sill while I'm there. So the key is back in its place, and the dogs are good kids again. ... Brandi has been her usual super self, and Oly and Annie have been great on their walks. ... Lovey and Nedi both wanted lots of loving when I appeared this morning, so they each got 15 minutes of uninterrupted love, scratches, pets, hugs and kisses. They both keep running back inside to see what I'm doing right now.... I have a new horse to follow in the racing world - simply because of her name. She is Daisy Devine, a three-year-old daughter of Kafwain and Devil's Dispute, and she won the Fair Ground Oaks Stakes yesterday. In the Louisiana Derby, Pants on Fire won convincingly over Nehro and Mucho Macho Man. Rahy's Attorney, a 7-year-old gelding, won the Pan American Stakes at Gulfstream; and Worth Repeating won the Tokyo City Cup, beating Honour the Deputy and Spurrier. Country Cousin won the Imperial Cup at Aiken. And, to give the country of Japan something to be proud of, horses representing that country finished first and second in the $10 million Dubai World Cup. Victoire Pisa was the winner, with Transcend coming in second. Gio Ponti, the best-finishing US horse, was fifth. ... Butler beat the Gators yesterday, in a good over-time contest.

Saturday, March 26, 2011


Can we be friends?

Blood bay quarter horse

Bay appaloosa foal with chestnut app mom

Missy, Victory & Indiana

Missy, the bay mare, and her two companion black goats, Victory and Indiana, are becoming famous. They belong to Alan and Cindy Martin, who live near Franktown. They were the animals rescued on live TV by the helicopter pilot and two fire trucks during the Burnt Tree fire on Thursday. The Martins were stuck in traffic, trying to get home to rescue the critters, and had to listen to what was happening being relayed by a friend on a cell phone, who was describing the scene as shown by 9 News. (I would have been a basket case!) The work of a South Metro Fire crew and helicopter pilot Brian Toomey helped douse the flames. "I've had days where I can't hit the broad side of a dang barn," Toomey said. Toomey is a pilot for Rampart Helicopter Services, a private fire-fighting helicopter service near Castle Rock. On Thursday, his accuracy was spot on. "It's luck, and I don't get 'em all," he said. Toomey says he dropped a total of 70 buckets of water at 350 gallons each in a three-hour period. (I thought they were 100-gallon buckets...) "It was attacked very well," Alan Martin said. "The firefighters were amazing, and the helicopter drop..." Cindy Martin said, "I watched it this morning, and I can't believe how precise and how amazing - if it hadn't been for him...."
CU Buffs are continuing to advance in the NIT and WNIT. Gators play Butler today in the Elite Eight. ... Today, the Louisiana Derby will be run at the Fairgrounds (1 and 1/8 miles on dirt); at Gulfstream will be the Pan American Stakes (1.5 miles on the turf); Santa Anita will host the 1.5 mile Tokyo City Cup (on dirt); and Aiken has the restricted Budweiser Imperial Cup over a 2-mile flat course. The Dubai World Cup races are underway at the Meydan Racecourse: JJ the Jet Plane has won the 5-furlong Al Quoz, the first race, by a head. Kinsale King, last year's winner of the Golden Shaheen (with a $2 million purse), has broken out in hives and has swollen legs; he has been scratched from today's race.
Lovey and Nedi are making much of me, and I, of them....

Friday, March 25, 2011

Salute Your Fire Fighters!

There is no doubt that I am scared witless by fire. And I am so happy that Jeff was a trained and experienced fire fighter - someone in the family had to have sense in case of fire. Yesterday there were several wildfires in Colorado - besides the Indian Gulch fire, which has now scorched 2,000 acres and is pretty much contained. There was an 8-square-mile wildfire out on the plains near Karval; there was another 2,000 acre fire near Limon; and the one that really scared me was the one near Parker (south of Denver) and Franktown, that they are now calling the Burnt Tree fire. I guess I was so freaked out about the Burnt Tree fire because the 9 News helicopter was flying back and forth over the scene, showing where the fire was burning hottest, how the flames were being driven by the winds (there were 45 mph gusts yesterday), and they finally showed a wonderful rescue - that had my heart in my mouth and had me so tense that I developed a migraine headache. The flames were being blown directly at a small barn with several small fenced enclosures and one larger one. There were two black goats in one of the smaller pens and a beautiful bay horse in the larger paddock. The smoke and wind driven flames were quickly approaching, and the 9 News chopper focused in on the flames, the barn, and the three animals. The flames were less than 10 feet from the barn when two pumper fire trucks arrived, and the men were out and rolling out their hoses. The flames swept closer, and, suddenly, as a gust blew the flames up against the barn, another chopper dropped 100 gallons of water on the edge of the flames and the barn. The horse was pushed up against the fencing, as were the goats - as far away from the flames as they could get. At that same time, the pumpers started their hoses, and all the buildings and the animals were safe. Over 10,000 people were evacuated from that area yesterday, local schools were on Spring Break, kids were home alone, and so were a lot of beloved pets. Somehow the fire fighters managed to save every single building in the fires' path. It was amazing. - In the big fire near Karval, a barn and two out-buildings (sheds) were lost - but all houses were saved. I salute all the fire fighters who made yesterday possible!
The horse rescue can be viewed on-line at:

Thursday, March 24, 2011


A sleeping fox with daffodils in London

Starlings and a sheep in Devon

A cat awaiting evacuation from northern Japan...


The Colorado (CU) Buffaloes have made it to the Final Four in the NIT. The Gators play BYU tonight in the first game of the NCAA's Sweet Sixteen playoffs. ... A full field of 14 will go to the post in the $10 million Dubai World Cup at Meydan Racecourse March 26. The horses and their human connections represent diverse countries from around the globe, including the United Arab Emirates, United States, Japan, England, Ireland, South Africa, Saudi Arabia, and the Chechen Republic. Fly Down and Gio Ponti represent the US.
The kits are running around like mad this morning. Lovey saw my alarm clock get packed, but has been having a wonderful time chasing, and being chased by, Nedi. They are so neat. Heading off for Rosie and Remy's house, and taking my three new books with me for reading material. - Hooray for Spring!

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Boulder County Animal Control to the Rescue!

A rabbit was inside the pipe the cat's head is stuck in...

Trying to remove the cat's head without injury...

He's been named Squeeze.

From today's Boulder Daily Camera: Story written by Heath Urie, Photos by Marty Caivano
Curiosity nearly did kill a Boulder County cat on Wednesday afternoon. Following some tense moments -- and a furry surprise -- Boulder County animal control officers and Boulder firefighters managed to free a tomcat that was found with his head stuck in a pipe. Suzanne Engert, who lives in the 11000 block of Flatiron Drive in Erie, reported finding the black-and-white cat lodged in a large metal pipe around 12:30 p.m. She said she walked behind her shed to see her garden when "something sort of caught my eye."
"This black cat was just laying there," she said. "I must have walked past the cat a couple of times." Engert said it appeared as if the cat had been digging with its feet to try to free itself for some time. Animal control officers suspect the cat may have been stuck in the pipe for as long as two days. After Engert tried unsuccessfully to free the cat herself, firefighters with the Mountain View Fire District arrived and cut away a section of the pipe so that officers could try to free it. Despite efforts to lube the cat's head using vegetable oil and soap, the cat remained stuck.
So officials brought the cat -- pipe and all -- to the Humane Society of Boulder Valley. There, Boulder firefighters worked with veterinary staffers and animal control officers to free the cat. Following several tense minutes when it appeared firefighters could not break open the pipe without hurting the animal, the cat's head popped out to the cheers of a small crowd that had gathered to watch the rescue operation. Brandy Perkins, a Boulder County animal control officer, nearly burst into tears. "I'm really emotional," she said. "You have to love animals to do this job."
Perkins and her partner, Sara Spensieri, said they are sure the cat got stuck while chasing a rabbit into the pipe. But they didn't know that the rabbit in question was still in the pipe with the cat until Perkins was driving to the Humane Society. "We were driving ... and I see this thing flying around the back," Perkins said. The rabbit jumped out of the vehicle at the Humane Society and ran off -- escaping both the cat and the pipe. Perkins said the cat could be feral, or possibly a "barn cat." It was not neutered.
Kim Sporrer, a spokeswoman for the Humane Society, said the cat was in stable condition Wednesday afternoon after coming off of sedatives. She said animal control officers would have to decide what to do with it. Officials said they will evaluate the cat's medical and behavioral health to determine whether it can be adopted, or, should an owner step forward, they'll return the cat -- which they've named "Squeeze" -- to that person. Sporrer said the cat will not be let free where it was found.
"Poor little guy," said Engert, the homeowner who found the cat. "I'm happy I found him in time."

A Visigoth Church

The Church of San Juan Bautista,
consecrated in 661, a wonderfully
well preserved Visigoth church

Snow, Fires and Wind

The winds howled here until well after 2 a.m. - and while I was standing at Spruce and Broadway waiting for the Skip bus, there was a 10-minute long snow flurry while the sun was shining and it was about 48 degrees outside. It was weird. We have a wildfire that is almost contained north of Boulder and west of Hygiene along Nelson Road; and the Indian Gulch fire has not spread any more and is about 25% contained. There are fire crews from Kansas, Wyoming, and Montana working the Indian Gulch blaze. I cleaned a good part of the apartment yesterday, but didn't get the furniture shifted as I wanted. Turns out that's OK because the DirecTV tech arrived at 9, instead of between 12 and 4, and he said it would be easier if I moved the TV over to the other side of the room - so I'll really be changing things around. He'll be back later.
Dr. P examined my nether regions and put in a few stitches yesterday afternoon - so my heinie is sore today, and I'm not walking the doggies. I'll go back to see Dr. P again next Tuesday, and then he'll decide what the next steps will be. Apparently, while my body rejected the glue and mesh, it has actually started to heal more than ever before. Dr. P says maybe the glue gave my body the idea to close up the holes naturally... As long as it works, I don't care.
The kits are having a ball, as usual. There is some construction work going on at the Harvest House, on the other side of the privacy fence. Lovey and Nedi spend a good deal of time peering underneath the fence and over into their lot... when they're not running hell-for-leather all over me and throughout the apartment.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Colorado Scenes

Another view of the Indian Gulch wildfire...

There are miles of dog-friendly hiking trails near Durango

The Castles rock formation at dawn
(near Gunnison)

Indian Gulch Fire Grows

Geez... The Indian Gulch fire has now burned over 1,200 acres and is only 15% contained; 100 homes have been evacuated; and the federal government is now in charge. They are expecting winds up to 75 mph today around Mount Galbraith, so the hopes of water drops and slurry from air tankers are just about nil. There was also a small wildfire along Soda Creek, near Evergreen, yesterday, but that has been totally contained. A third wildfire has also been extinguished. I can tell you that my cough is definitely not any better with all the smoke and particulates floating around in the air! If I look south-southwest from my apartment, I can see the smoke from Indian Gulch - and anyone can smell it. It made the dogs tense this morning while walking. It got up to 75 degrees here in Boulder yesterday, and police broke out a window in a parked car to save a puppy that had stopped moving and was barely breathing - it was 98 degrees inside the car. The puppy is at the vet clinic at the Humane Society and the owner has been ticketed and charged with animal cruelty. The local police also responded to two other instances of dogs locked inside cars yesterday. Those owners are idiots.
Nedi wanted to be picked up and made much of when I arrived home this morning - it was nice, but seemed odd: he's usually quite an independent little guy. Lovey has walked all over me and helped me unpack, and started purring when I put my alarm clock back on the bedside table. She is one smart little queen. I see Dr. P today and tomorrow afternoon I'll (finally) get DirecTV installed - I have kept moving the date back because of pet-sitting and the surgery.
The "Super Moon" that showed on Saturday, 19 March, was very beautiful. I can't really say that it looked any larger or brighter to me, but it was a glorious sight. Since I was small, I have always seen a rabbit on the moon and not a "man in the moon." I still see a rabbit in the moon and was interested to read that the ancient Maya also "saw" a rabbit in the shading on the moon. Does that make me any weirder than I usually am? Does it make the Maya weird? Actually, does anyone else see a rabbit up there? Or do you see something else? Let me know...

Monday, March 21, 2011

Monday Shots...

The Indian Gulch wildfire has burned more than 700 acres so far...

A Turk and his Anatolian Shepherd
(They are big dogs!)


Critters, Critters, Critters

It's absolutely gorgeous outside - the sun is shining, a soft breeze is blowing, and it's almost 70 degrees. The winds will be picking up, however, and it's not a good forecast for the Indian Gulch wildfire (south of us, near Golden). The Indian Gulch fire has burned over 700 acres and is about 10% contained... It's up in the high country where there are no roads, so the fire fighters can't get a lot of men or machinery in to help them. And this afternoon's high winds will not help anything or anybody. - And the young man arrested for murder has admitted to the the police that he is the guilty person. Sheesh; 22 and a murderer in a college town. That sucks.
The kits were ecstatic to see me this afternoon - and I gave them some shrimp as a special treat. Both are sunning on the patio at the moment. Brandi had me jumping up to let her in and out for the first few hours yesterday, and once she had me performing to her satisfaction, she just came inside and snoozed with me. She had a bad dream about 2 this morning, but, other than that, our night was uneventful. Rosie and Remy were super this morning - we walked up Sumac and over to the Elks Club and back by Kathy and Jim's so the kids could chase the blue bone for a while. Then I took out Annie and Oly; they were excellent, as usual. Tomorrow I add Lucy back into the walking mix, and I need to remember that I see Dr. P regarding the surgery tomorrow afternoon. I'll sleep at home tomorrow and Wednesday night, then shift over to the Irish kids' house, where I'll be until Monday night. I have a week with Tessa and the kits in April, and a week with 3 Labs at the end of April and into May... They are my last "new clients" for some time. I have three phone messages from people I've never met who want me to house-sit and pet-sit for them. Once I finish the blog, I'll have to call and give my regrets to all of them.
...Horses... Rogue Romance, who was being pointed at the Derby, has been side-lined with a fractured left forefoot. The Factor won the Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn Park by over 6 lengths on Saturday. And Mucho Macho Man has been named the 9-to-5 betting choice in this weekend's Louisiana Derby.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Southern Images

The cemetery at Madewood Plantation,
near Napoleonville, Louisiana

A red tick hound

Gator eyes at night....

- Duh! - And Books

I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out how a king wore that Visigoth Crown... Turns out it is a votive crown: it was made at the behest of Reccesvinthus to give to the Church, to pledge and show his devotion to the Pope. It was made to hang behind and above the altar; a physical and costly pledge of allegiance to the Mother Church....
Lovey is laying across my chest and Nedi is sprawled in the sun on the patio. I'll be moving to Brandi's this afternoon. I took Oly and Annie out together for their walk yesterday... they actually weren't bad and moved together pretty well. I was very happily surprised! I purchased a copy of the new Clive Cussler book The Jungle to read during my recuperation time. I couldn't find it last night when I was ready to begin it, so I'll head to the library before going to Brandi's. I finally got to read Carolyn Haines' Bone Appetit and enjoyed it as thoroughly as I thought I would. Having grown up in the South, I can identify most characters without any problem - and the adventures of Sarah Booth Delaney, her 'haint' Jitty, and her best friend, Tinkie Bellcase Richmond, are always interesting, well written and have a definite dose of Southern Comfort in them. Every time I close a Carolyn Haines book, I want to head back to the true South. (And her new book, Bones of a Feather, will be on sale in June!) Added to that, James Rollins' new Sigma Force series book, The Devil Colony, will also be released soon, so I'll be back in book reading heaven! - Right now, I'm awaiting the release of 15 new mystery books to "make my days...."
Oh, and a young man has been arrested for the murder of Todd Walker, the UNH football player. The man arrested is 22 years old and worked at a sandwich shop 4 blocks from the murder scene - he was arrested after several co-workers phoned in tips to the police...

Saturday, March 19, 2011

A Crown & Visigoths

This is the crown of the Visigoth King Reccesvinthus,
who was King of Spain from 624 to 672. It is composed of a wide band of solid gold, ten centimeters wide and twenty-one centimeters in diameter (about four and eight inches respectively). This band, which opens by means of a hinge, is surrounded by two borders of gold set with the red stones of Caria, called "gemmae alabandenses," and the band itself is studded with thirty large oriental sapphires of the greatest beauty. Thirty fine pearls of appropriate size alternate with the sapphires on a ground encrusted with the red stones above mentioned. From twenty-three small gold chains depend large letters in cloisonne, and also encrusted, forming the sentence: RECCESVINTHUS REX OFFERET. Each letter has a gold pendant with a pearl from which hangs a pearl-shaped sapphire.

Garth, my favorite Capital One Visigoth...

The Capital One Visigoths playing at the US Capitol...

Failed Surgery & a Murder

It is now a fact that my surgical repairs on Tuesday did not work... so I get to visit Dr. Pohlman this Tuesday, to try and decide on the "next step." There are several more options available - so I'll just have to see what he suggests and is willing to do. Ugh. I hope this next time will work; I'm tired of taking time off and having to curtail my walks and eating a lot of soft foods only. - I walked to the bakery this morning in a T-shirt, jeans and sneakers; it was a little chilly, but not bad. What seemed so strange was to look up and see the entire Indian Peaks area covered in snow, and to see patches of snow above the Flatirons and on Flagstaff. I do realize that we had snow early yesterday morning, and that our temperatures have been in the 60s and 70s, but sometimes that bright snow against the blue sky just looks impossible!
The area west of Broadway (14 blocks west of my apartment) and opposite the CU campus is known as "Uni Hill." Uni Hill has all sorts of funky little shops and bodegas that cater to the CU students, and it also has a great number of apartments and shared housing. There was a huge party on Uni Hill for Saint Patrick's Day Wednesday night and it went over into the early hours of Thursday. According to our local newspaper, the party ended in a riot - students ganging up against the police who were trying to shut the party down between 1 and 3 a.m. - I really haven't read all the copy about the riot. This is also Spring Break week at CU, and kids have friends visiting from everywhere... A football player for the University of New Hampshire was visiting a friend here in Boulder. The UNH student was walking a new female friend home from the St. Patrick's Day party. The couple was stopped by a man wearing a black bandanna; he had a gun. He demanded their money and keys. The girl pulled the covering off the robber's face, and the robber shot the gun into the air. The robber then shot and killed the UNH football player. The search is still on for the killer - he was wearing an extremely popular snow board brand of a black hoodie. The police stopped 4 men wearing the same type of hoodie that morning, within 20 minutes of the shooting. It's very sad...
Lovey has been all over me this morning, while Nedi has been chasing the squirrels. And I have to admit to a bit of bad taste: After my surgery Tuesday, I slept fitfully during the night. I was awakened by the upstairs neighbors' bed banging against the wall at 1 a.m., and the accompanying sounds were very specific. It happened again at 6 a.m. - both times made it Wednesday - "Hump Day." I put a yellow Post-It note on their door that read: "Happy Hump Day (times two!) - Please move your bed away from the wall! - Thanks!" I heard the bed being moved around noon - and have not had to listen to the banging since..... Have a good weekend!

Friday, March 18, 2011

Mucho Macho Man & The Village People

Mucho Macho Man winning the Risen Star Stakes

The Village People's "Macho Man" album cover...

It Snowed!

Lovey keeps bringing me proof that it actually snowed early this morning - little gobbets of snow and ice stuck to her nails. My once clean nightgown now has at least 60 muddy Lovey prints across the chest, there is mud on the desk, and she also shook her feet and sprayed mud onto the monitor. What a darlin' girl! Nedi has been out playing and just came back inside to eat breakfast - at least he doesn't roll in mud, just dirt. - I think that my glue plug has already gone away from the surgery on Tuesday... Yesterday I had drainage just as I did before. I'll speak to the nurse today after the morning dog walks.
Patti Reeves, a co-owner of the three-year-old colt Mucho Macho Man, brought that horse to the Village People's attention. (The Village People is the name of the group that sang "Macho Man" and "YMCA" into the Top Ten Countdown.) She wanted them to be aware that the colt had been named because of their song. Now that Mucho Macho Man appears headed for the Kentucky Derby, the Village People would like to attend, as part of the colt's entourage. Now Ms. Reeves is back-pedaling; she says she'll "have to see what the guys look like" before she'll extend an invitation to them. I think that since she contacted the Village People in the first place, hoping for more publicity, that they should automatically be included in her guest list (no matter how they dress or look currently)!
Wow! A very noisy raven just chased Nedi back inside the apartment! It turned away about 6 inches in front of the glass door, while Nedi slipped inside the 8-inch wide opening. Nedi must have been annoying the big guys. They usually leave Nedi and Lovey alone, realizing they are so much larger and faster than the kits. ... Nedi is under the bed. ... Tomorrow is Dad's birthday - he would have been 88 years old.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Lovey & Nedi

Lovey in fresh snow...

Nedi, basking in the sun...

St. Paddy's Day

I wore my "A Little Bit Irish" shirt today - I figure that since Jeffrey was Irish, a little bit must have rubbed off on me... And, of course, today is the day everyone claims they are Irish. First, a few things about Saint Padraig - he was born a Welshman, into a Christian family; as a youth he showed no special love of the Church; he was kidnapped and served as a slave in Ireland for quite a few years; after escaping slavery, he became "a Religious," and returned to Ireland to convert his previous captors; he died anonymously and alone, without any fanfare; and there never were any snakes in Ireland, so he couldn't have driven them out (except figuratively).
It was really beautiful outside this morning - a bright sun and a cool breeze with azure skies above. This afternoon, a front has arrived, and we are now completely cloud-covered and expecting rain by 9 p.m. and snow before midnight. We've been in the 70s for the past few days, and hit the mid-60s today - but I can still look west from my apartment and see snow on Flagstaff Mountain and the peaks above the Flatirons. In terms of normal snowfall, we haven't received 2 feet that we normally do - and we're extremely dry. Due to our water coming from the mountains, we actually are at 118% of our usual snow pack (looking at water use for spring and summer) - but the ground is really dry, and one can see the surface soil blowing away when we have high winds... Yech.
So I took Rosie and Remy out for their regular walk this morning, then took Lucy out for her walk, and then I took out Annie and, last, Oly. Golly, they are big dogs! I feel as if I'm walking beside a great white shark when I take them out - and other people out walking seem to get the same feeling, for everyone gives us a very wide berth, and nobody wants to pet or scratch or hug the big girls (which happens all the time with the Irish kids and Lucy). Lovey and Nedi are doing well and have been really enjoying the warmer weather. And since I've been home in bed frequently, Lovey has made herself several little nests in the covers, and she gets upset when I straighten things out and re-make the bed every morning. Ah, well.....

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sebastion Hardin

I have more photos of Sebastion, but I can't get them to load...
Suffice to say that he MUST enter and explore
every bag brought into the house...

Crufts Dog Show & Visigoths

First, and this just might be the Percocet talking (after my surgery yesterday), I am really getting tired of Charlie Sheen. Yo! News media! You are enabling this man and egging him on. Just ignore the creep! ... I was incorrect regarding 90-year-old Paddock Guard John Shear - he was not treated and released after observation. The man is still in the hospital, and has recently been moved out of the ICU. ... So far, the highest-priced colt at the Ocala Breeders' Sale has been a $400,000 dark bay or brown colt by Scat Daddy. The colt looks a lot like Avalon, one of the youngsters at Sleepy Hollow.
Crufts Dog Show, the top canine show in England, has just concluded. While Americans are used to the Herding, Hound, Non-Sporting, Sporting, Terrier, Toy and Working Groups, the British have the Gundog, Hound, Pastoral, Terrier, Toy, Utility and Working Groups. The Group winners at Crufts' were: Working - Max, a Boxer; Utility - Theo, a Standard Poodle; Toy - Eric, a Bischon Friese; Terrier - Henry, a Wire Fox Terrier; Pastoral - Elmo, a German Shepherd; Hound - Jilly (the only female), a Petit Basset Griffon Vendeen; and Gundog - Jet, a Flatcoated Retriever. Jet, the Gundog Group winner, took Best in Show; the Reserve was Jilly.
I have to admit I love the Visigoth commercials that advertise Capital One, and most recently, the Capital One Venture card. Please understand this: I do not have any credit cards, I don't want any, and I am not endorsing or trying to promote Capital One. - I just love the Visigoth ads! At first, I hadn't paid attention to the individual actors in the ads - lately, I've "fallen" for Garth - the one in the New Orleans voodoo shop, who says, "I'll take it!" after the doll he's playing with makes one of the other Visigoths mimic his/it's motions. He's also the guy holding the purple sequined mask when the other guy asks, "Seen Garth?" and Garth languidly drops his mask and startles the other one. In any event, if you get a kick out of Garth and his Visigoth sidekicks, they have their "own" Visigoth Sports Network. They are currently following the NCAA tournament, and their mini-programs (30 seconds to 3 minutes plus) always make me laugh. If you're interested, you can view them at: - Now I just have to find out the name of the actor who portrays Garth.... P.S. I do know that the original Garth was played by Richard Ashton... I want the name of the brown-eyed man who plays him now. I can recognize Don Gibb and Ed Ackerman... but not the man playing Garth! (Arghhh!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

I'm Comfy...

Surgery Tomorrow - No Blog

Since I will be pretty-well wiped-out all of tomorrow, following my surgery at 7:30 in the morning, I figured I'd just say that I won't be blogging. Unless, of course, I have some kind of mind-blowing experience while I'm under anesthesia...
I am still amazed and appalled at the amount of damage caused by the earthquake and tsunamis in Japan. The images are so incredibly sad. Our wildfire is now contained and is about to burn itself out. I have the door cracked open, and Lovey and Nedi are enjoying their freedom. (Oh, God... I just had a flashback to Cloud William saying "Freedom?") After walking all the doggies this morning, I arrived home at 1:15 and immediately fell asleep on the bed. I need to eat something and straighten a few things up and re-make the bed for tomorrow... All I want to do is sleep.
National Geographic will be airing a new show tomorrow evening on their own channel - it's called "Finding Atlantis" and looks very interesting. I had no idea that scientists have been seeking the ancient lost city in the tidal mud flats near Cadiz, Spain. For more information, you can visit: .
I hope that I can wake up and stay awake to see this show tomorrow night!

Sunday, March 13, 2011


The Lefthand Canyon wildfire has spread to 600 acres and is now 60% contained. Thankfully, we had wet snow fall early this morning, and that has helped the fire fighters get a grip on the situation, as well as the use of a slurry air-tanker. It still smells like a wet campfire outside, though. ... The Tampa Bay Derby was run yesterday. The favorite was Brethren, at one to two. He finished third, behind Watch Me Too (a 43 to 1 shot) and Crimson Knight (86 to 1). It was the first time Brethren has failed to win his race; and the payouts were enormous. ... Ex-jockey and Paddock Guard John Spears, aged 90, earned the title of hero on Friday. A horse broke loose in the paddock and was running willy-nilly for the gap where Spears was standing - Mr. Spears threw himself in front of a small girl (estimated age of 3 or 4 years) and prevented the colt from trampling on her. The colt ran back to his barn and was not raced. The girl was unhurt. Spears spent the night in the hospital for observation, due to his age. He was back at work the next day. ... I let Dhisana, Lyra, Lilly and Tessa all run loose in the back yard yesterday - and they had a ball. Lilly and Dhisana chased one another all around, and under, the deck. Lyra was concentrating on hunting squirrels; and Tessa just dropped in the sunshine and watched the cats amuse themselves. It was a nice, relaxing time. ... I'm heading home soon and will spend the night with my kits. I'll walk the doggies tomorrow, then go home and do laundry and change the bed linens - if I'm going to lay there all of Tuesday afternoon and evening, the sheets may as well be clean and fresh.... Hope your weekend was super, and that your up-coming week is great!

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Have You Set the Clock Forward?

Don't forget that Daylight Savings Time commences at 2 a.m. Sunday morning..... I set all of my clocks and watches forward before getting into bed tonight!

Photos for Today

Early morning mist on Assateague Island, Virginia

John Velasquez on Life at Ten at Saratoga

A Friday photo of the Lefthand Canyon wildfire

Zenyatta's In Foal!

It has been confirmed that Zenyatta is in foal to Bernardini - there will be monthly ultrasounds to check on the foal's development. ... Life at Ten was the second favorite in betting for the the Breeders Cup Distaff this past fall; before the race began the jockey reported live to Jerry Bailey that the mare "did not feel right," and the news team sent that clip immediately to the Stewards' Room. Jockey Velasquez did not tell the gate master that the mare wasn't well, nor did he report it to the veterinarian on call at the gate that the mare wasn't well, nor did he ask anyone to contact the Stewards. Yesterday the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission released their findings in the Life at Ten incident. The KHRC found that there was probable cause to believe that both Velazquez and chief state steward John Veitch were in violation of racing regulations in connection with the Life At Ten situation. Life At Ten, owned by Candy DeBartolo and trained by Todd Pletcher, finished last in the Ladies’ Classic as the second choice at odds of 7-2. Life At Ten had no run when the field left the gate, and she was not persevered with throughout the 1 1/8-mile race. Before the race, Velazquez told retired jockey Jerry Bailey, who was assisting with the ESPN coverage of the Breeders’ Cup, that the filly did not look right, but did not relay those concerns to the stewards or any KHRC veterinarians. The day after the Ladies’ Classic, Pletcher said it appeared that Life At Ten had an allergic reaction to Salix, a bleeder medication she was treated with prior to the race. The lawyer representing Velasquez says that the findings would fail legal scrutiny, and that the jockey is being used as a scapegoat. - Now, I do not know the legal ins and outs, but I think that once the jockey made that comment to Jerry Bailey on a live, world-wide television broadcast, that he is in the clear. I do not think that he should be held in any way accountable. Of course, that is just my opinion.
The sun is shining and there is only a light breeze today. The Lefthand Canyon fire is under 25% containment, and the fire fighters hope to have 50% containment by this evening. Some folks who were evacuated from their homes have been allowed to return. But the fire is still burning, and the breeze reeks of wood smoke; and we're having a respiratory alert for those people suffering from COPD (me included).
Lovey and Nedi were ecstatic to see me this morning - and Lovey keeps running across my body and presenting her heinie to my nose every few minutes. She loves me, and wants me to know it. Nedi is having a blast rolling around on the cement patio and grinding dust into his coat - he's just like a little boy in that he is not happy unless he's dirty. I need to head back over to Lynn's - I left Lilly outside in the back yard, while Dhisana and Lyra are inside and Tessa is in her kennel. I'll let the kits out in the backyard under my supervision this afternoon - it will be their first authorized adventure. Lyra ran out on Lynn while I was at the house Thursday afternoon, before Lynn and Ed left for the mountains. Lynn sent Tessa out to "round up" Lyra, which meant Tessa chased Lyra around the yard several times before she gave up. I went out and sat on the studio porch and ignored Lyra (or acted as if I was ignoring her), and she came right up to me, so I was able to get her back inside the house without a problem. Those young grey girls are fast!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Too Much Information!

Oh, my gosh... What a day in the news business. Between the huge earthquake in Japan, and the resulting tsunami waves in Japan and Hawaii and on the US west coast - and then our own little wild fire here in Boulder... I don't know which way to look next. It is so hard to grasp that the earthquake was so large that it moved the entire land mass of Japan eight feet to the east. And watching the film of the tsunamis was like watching the original Poseidon Adventure in miniature, but at the same time, hugely magnified.....
We've had high winds forecasted for today since last Sunday - and the winds have been about 25 to 35 mph, with gusts up to 63 mph, all day. Some idiots just west of Lyons decided to go on ahead with a "controlled burn." Within 15 minutes it was an un-controlled burn, and it currently covers over 300 acres to the northwest of us. So far, no structures have been damaged, but 223 homes have been evacuated. And the fire has ended up in the northeast corner of Lefthand Canyon. Now, Lefthand Canyon is a long, meandering, multi-branched canyon,and if it sounds familiar, it's because that's where the big fire that started 9 September 2010 was located. Of course, this is about 7 to 10 miles to the northeast of the first fire, but it's still poor old Lefthand Canyon.
I saw Dr. Pohlman this morning regarding my fistula. I'm having surgery on Tuesday morning, so I've already informed Lucy's and the Rs' owners that I won't be out walking their doggies on Tuesday and Wednesday. Dr. Polhman says I should be absolutely OK for walking by Thursday. I'm currently at Lynn's house, playing with Tessa and the three kits, and looking at the smoke to the northwest.... Hopefully, this weekend will be a little less eventful for the whole world!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

The Snitmans' Gargoyle

This handsome guy guards the mud room entrance...

Family Trees

Boy, I just crashed yesterday after walking Rosie, Remy and Lucy. I got home and pretty much fell in the bed - and stayed there until this morning. I guess my flu is still keeping me wiped out physically. This afternoon, after I walk the same above named three, I'll be headed over to Lynn's house to stay with Tessa and the three kits until Sunday afternoon. Tomorrow would be my husband's 63rd birthday - I still miss him. And I get to visit Dr. Pohlman for my fistula tomorrow morning, too. Oh, joy. I received an e-mail from a gentleman in Wiltshire, England this morning - it appears that he is related to Jeff's great-grandmother's family, the Gingells. It was nice to get his message, which I passed on to Kevin, Etoye and Sue - it made me feel like I needed to do more work on getting the Devine, Snow, Johnson and Nocks family trees added on to and brought up to date... It's a glorious day outside - light winds and a high in the low 60s expected. Lovey and Nedi are having a ball running in and out, as usual.
And I just had to laugh - John Hickenlooper, our new governor, is just as big a klutz as I am - he tripped and fell against a wooden shotgun case and had to get 5 stitches in his head.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


Rosie and Finn



Well, the big snow event that was supposed to start last night... didn't. It's foggy out, the temperature is 21, and a fine, powdery snow occasionally falls. I slept like a rock last night - didn't even move until after 8 this morning, and, of course, I had a warm, purring companion on each side. Lovey likes to lean up against me or to be draped over me when we share the bed. But Nedi is still quite a light-weight, and when I first wake up, I sometimes can't even tell he's snuggled up against me. I am still sick and coughing from the flu that I caught two weeks ago, and I had to cancel walking the red kids again today. I walked over to Safeway to get a fresh bagel for breakfast and coughed for over an hour.... Yuck.
Odds and ends... Rachel Alexandra has been confirmed in foal to Curlin, with an expected foaling date of 1 February 2012. ... The judge found against the woman whose dog ran outside and knocked over an elderly neighbor, causing her death. The dog owner has been fined the maximum of $500 for having a loose dog - and the judge also stated that "it is a very sad case." ... After having such a wonderful meal at Ted's Montana Grill Friday night, I signed up for their e-mail specials - and have already been graced with three coupons for free menu items. ... I've lost two pant sizes, much to my surprise. I haven't been trying to lose weight, but maybe it has just shifted with all my walking.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Short Note

Today we've had fog, rain, freezing drizzle and snow. I'm back home with Lovey and Nedi - both of whom are curled up on the bed; and John Wayne's version of The Alamo is playing on Encore Westerns. I got home from Finn and Skippy's a little after noon - and collapsed in the bed with the kits. I think the low pressure system got to me... Because of the weather and my continuing cough, I did not walk Rosie and Remy today; and I probably will not again tomorrow. Tomorrow we're expecting a high of 27 and more snow - not a good venue for me. Then we're supposed to be in the 50s and 60s through the weekend.... Normal, weird Colorado weather. - Don't work too hard this week!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Finn, Skippy, Et Al



Nedi at 11 months old

Lovey says: "It's Momma's mess."

Congratulations, Chantal Sutherland!

We had tons of fun yesterday! Rosie and Remy came over and visited and played with Finn, and we had a ball climbing onto and leaping off rocks, bouncing around the myriad steps up to the koi pond, and just running like loonies. I made myself some spaghetti and meat sauce and ate like a pig for supper. I looked up Ted's Montana Grill on the internet and was surprised to find that it's a chain that was started by Ted Turner in Atlanta. All I can say is that the food is stupendous. Skippy kept me warm in bed last night. My kits were happy to see me this morning, and both are currently outside. The sun is shining, but we're expecting more clouds and a possible rain or snow shower this evening and tonight. Supposedly, we'll get a large snowfall Monday night through Tuesday - but I won't hold my breath.
The Santa Anita Handicap was extremely interesting yesterday evening... a female jockey was aboard the winner for the first time: Chantal Sutherland brought Game On Dude (at 14 to 1 odds) a nose in front of Setsuko. There was a Steward's inquiry that lasted for 12 minutes before the results were official... Twirling Candy, the favorite, clipped heels with and bumped several other horses on the turn before finishing fifth. Spurrier? My pick? He finished eighth... So I don't always pick the winner... It's horse racing! - And Eibar Coa had a special guest visit his hospital room recently. Eibar was the regular jockey on Mucho Macho Man, who ran in the Risen Star Stakes at Louisiana Downs two days after Eibar's accident. The colt won the Risen Star, and is now being pointed at the Louisiana Derby. The owner of Mucho Macho Man presented Coa with a check in the amount that the winning jockey earned, saying that Eibar had brought the colt along to that point and was still considered a part of that colt's team. (I'll certainly continue to root for Mucho Macho Man in the future!)
Mardi Gras and the Carnivals are getting into full swing this weekend. Fat Tuesday is March 8th, almost 3 weeks later than it occurred last year. A lot of college students are making their way to the Big Easy for their Spring Break. Along with the celebrated merrymaking, flesh-flashing and bead-catching comes the traditional pomp and ceremony of gala balls where debutantes take their bow to society. On Fat Tuesday, the city will be thrown open to the wildly popular Zulu krewe, marching clubs including one led by clarinetist Pete Fountain and the time-honored parade of Rex, King of Carnival. In the bayou country, masked Mardi Gras riders on horseback will saddle up for the traditional rides through Cajun communities. The parades in Mobile, Alabama, draw smaller crowds than New Orleans, but the city's family-friendly Mardi Gras celebration bills itself as the nation's oldest. That's a point of friendly dispute with Louisiana, but it's all in good cheer.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Frozen Dead Guy Days in Nederland

Coffin racing teams

Coffin racing encourages bribery...

You never know who, or what, will appear...

A 2008 Polar Plunge participant

The parade includes a wide variety of hearses -
some even throw flames from their exhausts