Wednesday, November 30, 2011


A multi-colored chameleon

A gecko licking its eye - they have no eyelids

A South American horned frog

Horse Slaughterhouses May Re-open in U.S.

A change in legislative language could lead to the re-opening of horse slaughter plants in the United States.  Five years ago federal funding for the inspection of horse meat for human consumption was eliminated. The United States Department of Agriculture oversaw the inspections.  However, on Nov. 18 President Obama signed into law a broader bill that restores the funding. According to published reports, such action could end the “ban” on horse slaughter brought about by the lack of funding.  In recent years the three remaining slaughter plants shut their doors. Federal legislation actually banning the process of horse slaughter has failed to pass Congress.  The legislation is tied to a federal General Accountability Office report from earlier this year. The report concluded, among other things, that the ban on horse slaughter has led to increased cases of horse abuse.
The report, called “Horse Welfare: Act Needed to Address Unintended Consequences from Cessation of Domestic Slaughter,” was directed by Congress. The report, released in June, said the slaughter market shifted to Canada and Mexico; from 2006 to 2010 horse exports for slaughter jumped 148% to Canada and 660% to Mexico.  The report also addressed horse welfare.

Please contact your Senators and Representatives in Congress and urge them to BAN the process of horse slaughtering in the United States!  Use the US Postal Service, e-mail, and/or the telephone...


The rust-colored coyote has been seen every day since Thanksgiving in the neighborhood where I walk dogs and house-sit.  And, on the east end of the Boulder Creek Path, one of the Boulder Open Space Officers shot and killed a coyote that had started lunging at bicyclists, and, at the time of it's death, was trailing a couple with a young child, who were on an adjacent nature trail.
Lovey and Nedi are enjoying what I know is their last day of freedom for a while...  There is an Arctic cold front on it's way; it was breezy this morning when I took Rosie and Remy out, and the wind is expected to grow as the front nears.  All the local weather folks are saying that our high tomorrow, forecast as 22 degrees, will occur soon after midnight, and that the temperature will continue to slowly drop throughout the day.  They say that the low Thursday night/Friday morning will be 4; and that we won't get much higher than freezing through Monday.  -  If the kits really want to go out, I'll let them go, but I'm pretty sure they won't stay out long, once tomorrow arrives.   And I did get some shelled nuts for the squirrels and larger birds, as it's also supposed to snow, too.
At least I have plenty of books to read, and work to do on the family trees!!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Various Photos

A couple in front of an early biplane

A beautiful bloodhound

Pancho, the squirrel, about a week after my kits removed his tail last year

Books and Pancho

The sky is clear to the east this morning, the sun rose without a pretty show because there were no clouds.  There is a small cloud bank sitting behind the Indian Peaks, to the west, but it is the only cloud visible.  The Indian Peaks have about half of their snow cover, as does Mount Audubon.  The weather folks are now saying the snow will start Wednesday night, with a high Thursday of 22, and a low Thursday night of 6 degrees.  Supposedly we'll be back in the 40s during the weekend.  ....  I haven't yet received word about Remy and his X-rays.  I'm guessing that if my instructions have changed, I'll either find a note at the house, or one of the owners will be there to let me know.  Lovey and Nedi again snuggled close to me all night long; I'm beginning to feel as if I shouldn't leave them alone anymore...

I finished reading Clive Cussler's The Race yesterday.  I really like the character Isaac Bell, and his exploits are always daring.  Being able to read a well-researched novel regarding the development of airplanes, and a cross country race, was great.  I learned a lot, and had a great read at the same time.  I started reading the fifth Virginia Lanier mystery last night - Ten Little Bloodhounds.  This wonderful author was only able to produce six books before her death, so I'm trying to extend my enjoyment of her books, knowing there won't be any more.  And, with the recent death of Anne McCaffrey, I feel the need to revisit her Pern books.

One of these days (maybe) I'll learn to stop talking out loud to local wildlife.  I had a man give me a very strange look when I spoke to  a pair of ravens (parent and child); the man gave me a wide berth as he passed.  Then, as I was approaching the doors for Safeway, my local grocery store, I recognized a squirrel I feed (he only has half of his tail - my kits bit the other part off when he was a baby).  I made my usual "tch, tch, tch" sound, and didn't think about it more, as I walked into the store.  Luckily, my friend Joy was working at the Starbuck's booth just inside the building, because she had to tell me that the squirrel had followed me inside.  I turned around, and, sure enough, there was Pancho crouched about ten feet inside the door.  Joy handed me a piece of a bagel, and I managed to convince Pancho to sit outside and eat.  Then the little rascal followed me home when I had finished shopping, and got peanuts, too.  - I guess I shouldn't have clicked at him on my way in....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Denver Defense

The Denver secondary is anchored by Brian Dawkins (20) and Champ Bailey (24)

Elvis Dumervil (92) and Vonn Miller (58) sack Chargers quarterback Philip Rivers

Champ Bailey (24)  bringing down Vincent Brown (86)

*** These photos are from the Official Denver Broncos web site ***

Football and Today's Duties

I am really glad that Dad taught me to appreciate a good defense in football games -  I'm not exactly sure when it started, but I do remember discussing Jack Youngblood's plays during Sunday afternoon Rams games.  I have always appreciated the total physicality of a good defensive player.  Since I moved to Boulder, I've been an unshakable fan of Champ Bailey's.  In the last three years I have added the entire starting line-up for the Broncos, on defense.  Yesterday's Broncos' win over the Chargers was a team effort - but I have to admit that I was standing up and cheering the defense quite a bit!  (And the Redskins were able to win yesterday, too!) - And being able to watch two episodes of Person of Interest before going to bed last night certainly put me into an even better frame of mind for sleep!

It's cloudy outside, the air is damp, and there is a breeze blowing off the snow to the west - it's not a pretty day outside.  Since Remy is having X-rays at 11 this morning, I'll be over to walk Rosie about 11:15.  Then I'll stop by and visit Alexy, and come back home.  I need to do laundry this week, and since the forecast for Thursday is a high of 26, with snow, I'll probably wash then.  I also need to sit down and straighten out my work schedule for December and January - I know I have a few over-lapping days, where I'll be staying at one house, and feeding and medicating furries at another.  (I also need to e-mail Amy and set up a return of her key in exchange for my check.) Then I'll start entering the data for the Snow-Sanford family tree - I have more than 1000 printed pages of information, so it should be interesting! ....  Lovey slept with some part of her anatomy touching me all last night;  Nedi crawled under the covers, but got too warm, and slept beside my pillow.  It's nice to know I'm loved.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Older Scenes

A 1920s view of "Lookout Mountain" in Highland, Doniphan County, Kansas - the sign on the viewing box says that you can see four states on a clear day...

Taken in 1942, this shows the view as one exited the Nevada, Vernon County, Missouri Courthouse, on the Square

Aerial view of NAS Chincoteague, and Chincoteague Island, Virginia in 1947

I Am Pooped

The Gators lost 8 players due to injury last night - I watched to the bitter end, and saw the Seminoles win the Florida Champions title for the second year, having beaten both Miami and UF both years.  Darrin Kitchens was taken from the field by ambulance to be evaluated at Shands Teaching Hospital.  The two scariest injuries for me were Brantley being made into a sandwich, with both defenders' helmets hitting his, and the hip injury to Chris Rainey.  At least I was able to watch the Gamecocks win over Clemson once the Gator game finished.  I'm now waiting for the Broncos' kick-off in San Diego.

I made four pies this morning, two pots of corn pudding, and six batches of brownies.  I'm definitely ready to just sit and watch the up-coming game.  Nedi and Lovey greeted me as if they thought they would never see me again when I arrived this afternoon, but as soon as they both got love and fresh dry crunchies, they started running in and out the back door.  Shady slept with me again last night, while Cloudy slept on Alexy's pillow.  Remy will be getting a whole series of spinal X-rays tomorrow, so I'll be walking Rosie later than usual.  Other than that, I've nothing planned for tomorrow, besides jumping into the Snow-Sanford family genealogy, and getting it on-line.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Howard Carter & Robin Ellis

Eighty-nine years ago, archaeologist Howard Carter opened the tomb of Tutankhamen

Robin Ellis as Howard Carter in "The Curse of King Tut's Tomb"

Actor Robin Ellis today - he's also known in the US for his roles in Masterpiece Theater's "Poldark" and "The Waterfall"

Dreams of Mauda

It's bright, but chilly, today; we might reach 40 degrees as a high.  We'll see.  Supposedly, we'll be in the 60s tomorrow through Wednesday, with snow forecast for Thursday morning.  -  A December first snowfall; how appropriate! - Nedi is lying in the sun on the patio; while Lovey is basking behind the window glass, inside.  I spent several hours with the kits yesterday; Lovey and Nedi both came and curled up to sleep on top of me for quite a while.  ....  Shady and Cloudy came in when I returned to Alexy's yesterday afternoon; Shady spent most of the evening and night in my bed.  Cloudy, on the other hand, was in search of Alexy, and, almost every hour, I could see her on the prowl, trying to find her Mom.  This morning, it was 17 degrees when I got up, and both Shady and Cloudy went outside and came right back in, so I closed the kitty door before I left.  And Cloudy actually allowed me to stroke her for several minutes - she was laying on the divan in the art studio, and just drank up the attention.
I dreamed last night that I was riding Mauda LuAnn - she was round and well-muscled, and we were rounding up the ponies on Assateague.  I always rode her with an English saddle, or bareback, but in this dream, she had on a fancy, silver-mounted Western saddle and bridle, and the leather was a rich burnt oak color.  She looked gorgeous. - I looked like I always do: short, round, dumpy; but I wasn't wearing my indispensable glasses (even though I could see normally).  Even though my brain said we were trail riding in Florida, when we weren't rounding up ponies, the landscape was more like a combination of Colorado and a hugely enlarged Devil's Millhopper.  I woke up smiling because of that dream.  ....  Then, on the bus, the driver treated us to a filk song that he wrote - sung to the tune of "Johnny Angel."  He said he wrote it prior to the Broncos - Miami Dolphins game, and the first line is: "Johnny Elway, please trade Orton..."  When he finished singing, 6 of the 10 passengers broke into applause (including me).
The CU Buffaloes gave fans a big lift yesterday, by winning their third (and final) game of the season against Utah, one of the new Pac-12 opponents.  It was the first game they had won away from Folsom Field in 24 games....  they won by a field goal, 17 to 14.  It was the first time that all of the defensive starters could play together; and much-maligned quarterback Tyler Hansen was able to score a TD on his own two feet.   ............    Today, I'm looking forward to the Florida-Florida State game, and the South Carolina-Clemson  game; their kick-offs are 30 minutes apart, with Florida on ESPN and South Carolina on ESPN2.   On Sunday, I'm looking forward to the Broncos defense wiping the sneering smile off  Phillip Rivers' face!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Thanksgiving Day Food

Our turkey looked, and tasted, very good

My corn pudding, before the feast

My fruit platter, prior to it being munched on

A Super Bowl Doritos Ad?

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving.  There were about 30 relatives at the Snow gathering, but Grandma Anne was at home, and I missed her.  My corn pudding and fruit platter were great successes, as usual - no fruit left to bring home, and only a single spoonful of pudding.  We were at Laura's house in Fort Collins, but it wasn't until we were on our way that Kathy thought to mention that Laura had fallen off the roof of Grandma Anne's house last month - and had dislocated a hip and now had a plate holding her lower leg bones together.  But I was able to have nice conversations with Laura, Tracey, and Kathy (Jim's sister), as well as a lot of the youngsters.  We were all shown the three different Doritos commercials that Adam had made and sent off to the Super Bowl Doritos ad competition.  All three ads feature my nephew, Mike Snow, as the person eating the Doritos.  We're all hoping that one of them will be chosen to air.
It was a beautiful, clear blue sun-shiny day yesterday with highs in the mid 60s.  Today, we are completely overcast, and even though the thermometer reads 50 degrees, the humidity is at 80% and we have a good wind blowing off the snow in the mountains, so it feels like it's 28 degrees outside.  Lovey and Nedi are laying on the patio right now; Shady and Cloudy forgave me for keeping them inside yesterday when I opened their cat door this morning.  But as I was leaving to come home, I had to chase Smokey away - he's a large cat that lives on Poplar, a block away.  Shady is a total pacifist, and Smokey takes huge wads of fur off Shady, who just goes belly-up when attacked.  But Smokey was stalking Cloudy this morning, and I don't know if she would have fought back or not....
I'm looking forward to football this weekend.  Alexy will return home Sunday afternoon, so I'll probably leave her house in time for me to see the Broncos game at home.  Then Monday, I start back on my usual walking routine while staying at home with the kits, and working on uploading the Snow and Sanford family genealogy....
Have a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Anne McCaffrey, Robinton, Tom Baker

Author Anne McCaffrey signing a book for Lee Beavington

A portrait of Robinton, MasterHarper of Pern (with Zair on his shoulder) and the Harper Hall seal

Actor Tom Baker, my favorite Doctor Who

Farewell, Anne McCaffrey - You Will Never Be Equaled

It doesn't seem possible that I heard no news stories, nor saw any write-ups, about the passing of writer Anne McCaffrey.   She died Monday, at her home in Ireland, shortly after having a stroke.  Anne was a prolific writer; she created many worlds in her books, and I have visited each one many times.  She created whole histories and civilizations, but all of her heroes and heroines were very human.  The way that she crafted her characters made you really care about them - whether they were humans, dragons, unicorns, horses, cats, or shape-changers.  Personally, I loved her books about the planet Pern the best.  I'm very happy that I read that series in the order that she wrote the books, and now, whenever I need a vacation from real life, I can go visit Pern at almost any time during it's history.  In the first book of the series, Dragonflight, I cried the first time I read about the death of Ruatha Keep's old watch-wher; now, 40 plus years later, I still cry at that scene.  I learned a lot about the world, and myself, from reading Anne McCaffrey's books.  I don't think that her like will appear on the writing scene in a long time.  Rest in peace, Anne.  May you be reunited with all your friends and loved ones on the other side of between.

Forty-eight years ago, a small new television show appeared today for the first time (on BBC1) - it's title was Doctor Who.  I don't believe the writers and actors in the first few episodes would have believed that the Doctor would be going strong even now - or that the Doctor would be on his thirteenth regeneration.  As there have been so many actors who have portrayed the Doctor, it seems as if  most viewers' favorite actor is the one that they first saw portraying the Time Lord.  For me, it was Tom Baker, he of the wild hair and widow's peak, the flashing grin, and the tremendously long knitted scarf.  He played the Doctor with dash, elan, and, definitely, with tongue in cheek. 

It doesn't seem possible that tomorrow is Thanksgiving Day.  I'm currently back at Aiko and Yoshi's, having had Shady as a bed partner last night.  Cloudy jumped into bed with us, but hissed at me when she discovered I wasn't Alexy, and immediately left.  Yoshi and AIko's family will be returning this afternoon or evening.  And I need to make the corn pudding tonight, as well as rinse and dry the fruit before making the platter tomorrow.  Thursday night, I'll need to bake brownies for my bus driver buddies.  Olie, Annie and Bentley have been totally super on their walks.  Rosie has been full of excitement with the cool fall air.  Remy is still having problems with his hips or pelvis.  He started out walking fine yesterday, but 40 minutes into the walk, both of his hind legs just... failed; and he did a belly flop on the sidewalk.  He looked so confused and embarrassed, it was pitiful.  I stopped Rosie and knelt beside Remy, soothing him, and letting him just lie there.  After about 5 minutes, I urged him to get to his feet, which he did, and I took them straight back to the house.  Remy limped all the way.  Thank goodness Nancy was there, so I could tell her immediately what had occurred.  And, thank goodness, Remy is already scheduled to have a full check-up at the CSU veterinary school on December 8.  This is just not right....

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Baby Critters

A baby Slender Loris

Very new Siberian Tiger cubs

A baby Malayan Tapir

Snoring Dogs

I had forgotten how much Yoshi and Aiko snore - it's almost like having to live with myself!  Lovey and Nedi were miffed when I didn't let them out to run this morning, but they'll have a couple of hours to do so this afternoon.  I've fed my kits and cleaned potty boxes at my house, and have fed and walked Aiko and Yoshi.  In a bit, I'll head over to Alexy's, then back to Rosie and Remy's for their walk.  Then I'll take Aiko and Yoshi out for a potty walk, and then go walk the Anatolian Shepherds.  After that, I'll stop back by at Alexy's, then take the little boys out again, and then head for home for a couple of hours.  While I'm there, I'll get together all my gear for staying at Alexy's, as well as the stuff I'll need to have for Thanksgiving cooking.  I'll get the fruit for the platter late Wednesday.  Kathy says we'll leave between 11 and 11:30, and that we'll take Mike up to Fort Collins with  us and then drop him off in Loveland on the way home.
The construction crew here ignores me for the most part - but the team leader did check out with me before they left last night.  Scott opened the office door, and Aiko scooted out and then went up the stairs.  I had to laugh - this voice came down from above asking, "Is he pick upable?" And I said, "Of course.  Why?"  And the response was: "I just don't trust dogs who are always snarling and showing their teeth."  I said, "Oh.  Ummmm...  Aiko isn't trying to snarl or look meanly at you - he just has a very bad underbite, so his bottom teeth always stick out."  Scott looked a little sheepish when he brought Aiko downstairs....  We're expecting a high in the mid-50s today, so I shouldn't be too cold while I'm out with the doggies.  -  And Cloudy made me laugh yesterday, as Alexy was going to show me that she'd re-made "my" bed, and she opened the closed door only to find Cloudy curled up on my bath towels at the foot of the bed.  Alexy had no idea that Cloudy was in the room, and was horrified that she had slept on my towels.  I assured her that Cloudy fur on the towel was no big thing.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hazel Petree

I just found this photo of Hazel Graham Petree, Sr., of South Carolina and Kentucky....  He is the man my great-great-grandfather, (Judge) Hazel Petree Mobley, was named for, being his mother's brother-in-law.

Noisy and Busy

It's 46 degrees out and very cloudy.  I've walked Rosie and Remy, walked the Wessell dogs, visited Alexy (to learn the ins and outs of her new computer), and am now with Aiko and Yoshi.  The house is being renovated, so I'm closed in Mary's office with the two Shih Tzus - and am surrounded by the sounds of workmen hammering, drilling, and sawing.  I introduced myself to a man in the driveway, who was using a jig saw, and let myself in through the second garage.  I took the boys out for a potty break, gave them a treat, and sat down at the desk.  (I'm very happy I brought lunch along - I'll be having a bagel in a few minutes.) It's snowing in the high country, and all the ski resorts that haven't yet opened will do so this weekend for Thanksgiving.  There should be plenty of snow to go around.  Last Friday, three resorts opened, and there were deaths at two of them - college boys who had a lot of time on the slopes in previous years.  It's so sad that one can die having fun....  And I should know - I've been told multiple times, by doctors, that I should never get on a horse again.  But I still ride, as often as I can.  If I die from falling off a horse, at least I'll die happy.   ....  Anyway, it's supposed to be in the 60s Wednesday and Thursday, so at least it won't be excruciatingly cold for the family gathering in Fort Collins.  And my kits knew something was up this morning, and didn't want me to leave.  Lovey spent the morning laying across my bosom, and crying if I shifted position.  Nedi had a blast running in and out, and trying to get Lovey to chase him. Once I closed the patio door and started getting  my gear together, he attached himself to my lap and didn't want to let go.  But they are good kits and will love me all the more when I return home this evening.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Old Photos

A 1938 parade float in Exeter, Kansas - the float was titled  "Exeter Manufacturing Company - 1827 - 1938, Over a Century of Progress with Cotton and Coloreds."  People didn't turn a hair back then; today it makes me cringe.

An old settlers' cabin in Ripley County, Indiana

The Leobo Ewbank house, built in 1829/30, north of Guilford, in Dearborn County, Indiana.

Thanksgiving Week Will Be Busy

The temperature has actually dropped since I first arose this morning - it's gone down to 23 degrees, and it was 27 when I got up.  It's clear and cold out; walking to the store this morning I was heading east and saw glorious orange-painted clouds against a light blue sky, looking straight up I saw a bright crescent moon, and looking west, the mountains were gleaming gold from the sun, while the snow was a very soothing pink.  It was gorgeous.  Yesterday I spent loving the kits and watching football.  The Gators and the Gamecocks won; I turned to NCIS when the CU Buffs were trailing 21 - 0 in the first 7 minutes of their game - it was just too painful.  And, I had forgotten that Mark Harmon's USA TV movie had originally broadcast on November 6th; so I was highly gratified that I could see Harmon portray Lucas Davenport in "Certain Prey" last night.  I really enjoyed it - considering they had to put a 400-page book into less than 90 minutes of screen play.  John Sandford's books are better, but I like having Mark Harmon as eye candy, so I'll give it a thumbs up.
I will be busy this week - I'll be walking Rosie and Remy, and Olie, Annie and Bentley daily; Monday through Wednesday I'll be caring for Aiko and Yoshi, feeding, walking, and keeping them company; Tuesday through Sunday I'll be staying at Alexy's taking care of Shady and Cloudy.  Lynn doesn't know if her daughter will be around all the time to care for Tessa, Lilly, Lyra and Dhisana, so I'm also "on call"  for their house.  (Not to mention taking care of and loving my own kits!)  Thanksgiving Day, I'll be headed up to Fort Collins for the Snow family gathering - at least Kathy doesn't have to work this year - so I'll cook up some old-fashioned corn pudding and make a fruit platter.  Since we have family members with gluten and dairy allergies, as well as a few diabetics, I'll be making the corn pudding with almond "milk" and a sugar substitute... I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this recipe will turn out well!
I spent an hour on (free at the public library) but didn't find anything new about my great-great-grandfather in that small amount of time.  I was able to look at the original Civil War pension applications, and found that Singleton Busey had used the name William J. Morgan (not Margan) while he was a member of the Kansas Indian Home Guard. And I was surprised to find that both of his wives were granted pensions after his death - both Nancy E. Busey and Mary A. Morgan were granted pensions, I guess because he actually served twice, in two separate units.  (I still think and feel that that is weird...)  And even though I have a date of death for SW Busey of 1900 (aged 82), there is also a record of an "aged man" named SW Busey marrying a widow in 1910....  I gotta dig some more!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Kansas and Florida Scenes

Two new 1908 Mitchell roadsters in Clay County, Kansas  (note the highly-touted mother-in-law seat behind the first seat on the left car)

Rural view outside of Miltonvale, Kansas

View of one of the old houses in Campville, Florida (now described as a ghost town)

****  Oh, it was a chipmunk that Nedi brought in and turned loose under the refrigerator.  I found three-quarters of its' tail in my shower the next morning.  I was able to capture it in a jar and turn it loose outside. ****

Laugh Or Cry Headlines

I don't know whether to laugh or cry at some of the recent headlines I've read...   Some poor, unfortunate fool allowed a man (passing himself off as a woman) to "enhance" their buttocks.  The supposed doctor used a combination of Fix-A-Flat, cement, mineral oil and super glue to enlarge the patient's backside.  The patient finally went to the emergency room with an absolutely horrendous infection - it seems the "doctor" sealed the incisions with super glue, also.  -  That's one of the news stories that made me laugh.
Here in Boulder, three 19-year-old CU students  have been charged with aggravated animal cruelty.  The three males beat a raccoon to death with a baseball bat, a hockey stick, and a machete.  The raccoon was a regular feeder at their trash can, and the students had complained about it for several months to their neighbors.  Their neighbors had suggested the students use a bungee cord to keep the lids tightly closed, so the raccoons couldn't feed easily.  The boys ignored this helpful suggestion, and the trash continued to be raided, until the morning they were seen, by multiple neighbors, beating the poor raccoon to death.  -  That made me cry.  
In  Portsmouth, Virginia, a 22-year-old woman is facing up to 50 years in prison for breaking and entering, and killing and maiming livestock.  She broke up with her boyfriend, and knew he adored his two new piglets.  She broke into the barn, beheaded one piglet, and left it's head on the family's front porch steps.  The second piglet was found, still breathing, but with so many stab wounds that it had to be killed.  -  How can anyone do that to any living thing?  That is just disgusting. 
And now we have this raging wildfire next to Reno, Nevada.    I had hoped we'd be done with fires for awhile - but it has been much drier in Texas and the southwest than it has been in Colorado.  Hundreds of homes lost, people and pets that have perished, and the loss of wildlife and wildlife habitat are just a few things to be mourned.
At least my kits, and all those that I love, are safe and well-cared for.   Have a good weekend!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Opposites And a Path...

Kaan, an Anatolian Shepherd, with his goat herd

A small kitten and a large tater

The path I used to walk on my way to elementary and high school...

Windy, Again

The wind started blowing again around 4 this morning.  The weather folks say that our high today will be in the low 60s, but with this wind blowing, the wind chill is in the 40s.  The wind is blowing from the west-northwest at 15 to 20 mph, with gusts up to 60 mph forecast.  Nedi and Lovey are lying in my wicker patio chairs, soaking up the sun, and using the back and sides as wind breaks.  Remy had an acupuncture appointment yesterday evening, and I'm not walking him or Rosie this morning; but I will be heading out to walk Olie, Annie, and Bentley later.  Afterwards, I'll head for the Carnegie library, so I can use at no cost for a few hours. (There, I can look into Mary Moman and her family.)
I saw my therapist yesterday, and we spoke about how much I enjoyed my trip to Florida.  She asked if I had thought about moving back, so I listed all the pluses and minuses I'd already come up with about moving.  The cost of housing is definitely lower in Florida than here in Boulder, but I would need transportation, which I don't have to worry about here.  Plus I'd need to find a place where I could have the kits - and I am comfortable with them here...  We went back and forth over a lot of things,  and finally agreed it's something to keep in mind - but I also just re-newed my lease on the apartment for another 12 months...  So I'm definitely here for at least that long.
I like a good defensive football game, even though that usually  means it's a low-scoring game.  I thoroughly enjoyed the Denver Broncos game last night against the Jets; it was good, hard-hitting defense for the entire game.  The one offensive touchdown made by the Jets was a fluke - the runner fumbled the ball before the goal line, and an offensive tackle fell on the ball in the end zone...  The Broncos' defense made the first Denver touchdown, by running back an intercepted pass.  We were down 13 - 10 with five minutes left in the game.  Quarterback Tim Tebow engineered a 95-yard drive that saw him make the winning touch down with a minute left on the game clock.  It was a super game!  Go Gators, and Go Broncos!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Civil War Photos

Cavalry horse and soldier of Minnesota's First Volunteer Regiment

Four members of the 7th Kansas Cavalry - 1862

Eight members of the 8th Kansas Volunteer Infantry, Company E  - 1862

A Double Life Discovered

The dogs and I had a blast walking about yesterday - there was a light breeze, and I was bundled up, as it was cold, but all the pups seemed invigorated by the change.  (And at least it was not windy!)  I took Rosie and Remy out first, and we walked and explored a few neighborhoods that I hadn't been in before.  Then I took out Annie and Bentley, and followed them with Olie - Annie and Bentley are eager to move forward, get some exercise, and just plain old "Go."  Olie, on the other hand, feels the need to thoroughly sniff and process each and every scent of every single thing we walk by.  I've found that if I give her 15 seconds to sniff, then give a light tug on the lead, she will generally come along willingly.  (Olie weighs 115 pounds, while Annie is 125; Bentley is all of 50 pounds - and he's the king of the harem.)  While Annie and Olie are very large shepherds, they are also very gentle and loving, but their size frightens a lot of people.  I'll try to take some photos of them...
Yesterday afternoon, while waiting for my lunch to finish cooking, I was sitting at the computer, and just for the heck of it, typed in a search for my great-great-grandfather, Singleton Wilson Busey.  He was a white man who was born in Indiana in 1818, and he married Nancy Goodwin in 1840 in Indiana, and they had several children born in Missouri and Kansas.  Singleton, and his son James, both served in the US 14th Kansas Cavalry (Company C) during the Civil War.  The search engine yesterday kept spitting out refernces to the "Indian Home Guard" and the "Indian Brigade," so I finally checked out the sites.  Surprise, surprise!  Apparently, Singleton led two lives - one, as a farmer and husband to Nancy; the other, as a farmer and husband to a Cherokee woman named Mary A. Moman, with whom he also had children - and it was to Mary that the US government paid Singleton's Civil War pension.  However, he did not use the name of Singleton Busey when he married Mary, and when he signed on to serve in the Kansas Indian Home Guard - there he was known as William J. Margan.  My Dad always told us kids that we had Cherokee blood in our backgrounds - now I really do wonder if that's true. In my genealogy, I have Martha Elizabeth Busey listed as the daughter of Singleton and Nancy.  Records say she was born in Missouri in 1850.  In checking the 1850 Census (which was done in December that year), I found that Singleton and Nancy had a two-year-old daughter named Mary E.  I have not been able to access the Cherokee Nation Census as yet, so I am wondering if he and Mary had a daughter in 1850 - or if Martha is, indeed, Mary E.   -  I love having a mystery to explore!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Available Felines at BVHS

Lucky, aged 16 years

Louie, aged 7 years
Buttercup is 8 weeks old...

Free Feline Friday at BVHS

This evening, there are 100 cats and kittens available for adoption at the Boulder Valley Humane Society.  It has been decided to have free feline adoptions this Friday, in hopes of alleviating some of the crowded conditions.  Any cat or kitten aged 6 months or older is available for a free adoption;  if the kitten is less than 6 months old, the adoption fee is one-half the usual cost.   -  And remember that through the rest of November, any pet 8 years old, or older, is available for free adoption.  Once again, if you have the money, space, time, and love to give, please adopt a homeless animal.   Thank you.

Special Critters

A "Why are you bothering me?" look

Hickstead, with Canadian rider Eric Lamaze aboard

Daniel, the beagle-mix that didn't die in an Alabama gas chamber, with new friend Shelby (a pit bull cross) and his new owner in New Jersey

Is Cold This Morning!

It's 17 degrees outside, there's frost on everything, and, with the breeze, the wind chill is at 6 degrees.  It is cold this morning!  At least it's not windy, as it's been for the past four days - that would make the wind chill in the negative numbers, and I wouldn't be stepping out to walk the red kids and the Anatolian Shepherds.  I do have the back door cracked open, and Nedi and Lovey are on the sunny patio, soaking up warmth.  ....  I still don't know what it is that Nedi caught and turned loose in the kitchen yesterday.  It is still chittering under the refrigerator when Nedi tries to poke at it.  But I haven't been able to get any look at it.  At this point in time, I feel that it's a chipmunk, but that is just a guess.
I have to thank my friend Kathryn for introducing me to author Virginia Lanier; I started reading her first book Monday night before going to bed.  I turned my light out and put the book down the following morning at 6:30 a.m. - took a two hour nap, and awoke refreshed.  I spent yesterday evening finishing the book, Death in Bloodhound Red, and can't wait to read the next five books in the series.  I also need to stop by the public library and return my books; but I won't check out any more until I'm near the end of the latest book in Virginia Lanier's series.
Hickstead, the Olympic gold medal winning Dutch Warmblood stallion, died last week due to a ruptured aorta and subsequent heart failure.  ....  A beagle-mix dog survived the gas chamber in an Alabama animal pound; the other animals died, but this dog walked out when the door was opened.  He has been named Daniel, and is currently living with his new family in New Jersey.  Daniel will become the "spokes-dog"  for a group of people campaigning against the use of old-fashioned gas chambers to euthanize unwanted and unadopted animals.  ....  Bradley Cooper was named People magazine's "Sexiest Man Alive" today.  I've looked at a photo of him, and he does absolutely nothing for me. And, who is he anyway?  Is he a sports figure, an actor, a person with money?  I could understand it when Mark Harmon, Sean Connery and Kevin Costner were named the sexiest man alive - but this young thing that looks as if he has no character whatsoever?  - Nahh!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Colorado Scenes

The St. Malo Chapel in Allenspark, with the smouldering conference center behind it

Estes Park got 13 inches of snow plus the high winds this past weekend

Another cottonwood came down in Boulder this weekend, but without the happy ending my apartment building had...

Free Senior Pet Adoptions Through Nov. 30

This is Adopt a Senior Pet Month, and the Boulder Valley Humane Society is offering the adoption of any pet, aged 8 or older, at no cost.  With today's economy, a lot of people are finding it necessary to release their "adopted family" to the Humane Society due to loss of income, or loss of their own home.  The Boulder Valley Humane Society is a no-kill shelter, and they work very hard to find the right home for each and every critter left with them.  Currently, there are 91 cats and kittens available for adoption - and 12 are aged8 or more.  There are 33 dogs and puppies also available, and 4 of them are 8 or older.  There is nothing wrong with these companion animals - they just lost their place to live.  If you have the money, time, space, and love available please give one of them a good home!
Nedi caught something this morning, and brought it in to play with it.  It is behind and/or under the refrigerator at this point in time, and it chitters when Nedi and Lovey go and poke around the base of the 'fridge.  I am guessing that it's a young chipmunk or squirrel.  I would like to capture it and turn it loose in the front yard...  The newspaper says that the high will be 50 degrees today, and that winds are calm.  If the winds are calm, then I'm Jack Palmer's mother.  They just about blew me over on the way to the bus stop this  morning - I came back home and called Nancy and cancelled today's walk with the Rs.  She had just gone out to her car (parked in front of the house) and had almost been blown away, too.  We decided the dogs could just play fetch with Max when he gets home from school today.  ....  And I found out that the lines that are down at the north end of the building are not electrical lines - they are the telephone and internet cables for the building.  The young man from Century Link asked when the tree came down, and I was able to tell him it  happened Saturday morning, before the CU football game started.  (Luckily, it fell before anyone set up their tents and grills in that space.)  He was very surprised to hear there had been no problem with continuing service; that there was no disruption to the telephone or the internet.  I just hope that's true when it gets repaired.
The visitor and conference center near Allenspark, called St. Malo, was hit by fire yesterday.  Insurance folk are saying there is over $1 million damage.  Trees took down the power lines to the center on Saturday, and management sent anyone staying there home that afternoon.  Six employees were staying there, using various means to keep warm, when the fire started early Monday morning.  With the wind still gusting at over 45 mph, and with no electricity at the site to pump water, multiple fire fighting companies were called to the scene.  More than 11 different fire districts fought the blaze until late last night.  There are still four fire companies  at St. Malo, putting out any recurring flames.  The building is smouldering, but the wind keeps whipping up the flames again.  -  Luckily, the St. Malo Chapel has been untouched.  The small, stone-built church was visited by Pope John Paul, who spent 70 minutes wandering the forested and mountainous site.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Florida Scenes

Point Cottage at Cedar Key, Florida

A Florida bobcat on a pier at Hutchinson Island, Florida

A beautiful front yard in Fort Pierce, Florida

World Diabetes Day

Today is World Diabetes Day - and it's time for the majority of the population to actually learn what having diabetes (or "Sugar", if you're from the South or Midwest) means.  Diabetes mellitus, often simply referred to as diabetes, is a group of metabolic diseases in which a person has high blood sugar, either because the body does not produce enough insulin, or because cells do not respond to the insulin that is produced. This high blood sugar produces the classical symptoms of polyuria (frequent urination), polydipsia (increased thirst) and polyphagia (increased hunger).
There are three main types of diabetes:
  • Type 1 diabetes: results from the body's failure to produce insulin, and presently requires the person to inject insulin. (Also referred to as insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, IDDM for short, and juvenile diabetes.)
  • Type 2 diabetes: results from insulin resistance, a condition in which cells fail to use insulin properly, sometimes combined with an absolute insulin deficiency. (Formerly referred to as non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus, NIDDM for short, and adult-onset diabetes.)
  • Gestational diabetes: is when pregnant women, who have never had diabetes before, have a high blood glucose level during pregnancy. It may precede development of type 2 DM.
My paternal grandmother was a Type 1 diabetic, long before insulin was discovered.  Her doctor told her family that she wouldn't survive through puberty, and that, if she somehow did live that long, she would never have children.  Grandma Grace lived to be 68 and had 7 kids.   My husband was a Type 1 diabetic, diagnosed when he was 10 years old.  He was a "brittle diabetic", and once again, was told he would die at an early age.  He passed away at 55, from a blood clot in his lungs.  "Brittle" diabetes, also known as unstable diabetes or labile diabetes, is a term that was traditionally used to describe to dramatic and recurrent swings in glucose levels, often occurring for no apparent reason in insulin-dependent diabetes.
Any mammal with a pancreas can develop diabetes. The most common in domesticated animals is Type 2 diabetes. This is caused by its diet straying too far from what the animal evolved to eat. The present pet food products tend heavily towards a base of grains, which is not suitable for dogs and cats because they are predators who eat their prey and supplement with occasional leafy vegetation. I take care of several cats and dogs who are diabetic - and it's hard, at the initial diagnosis, to figure out exactly how much insulin a pet should receive.  Please follow your vet's orders.  I have seen and read of documented cases of diabetes in cats, dogs, mice, rabbits, birds (parakeets, love birds, cockatoos, etc.), and a pig.
Please, if you or your pet shows the symptoms of diabetes, have a blood glucose test taken by your doctor, or your pet's vet.  Remember, the three most telling warning signs are: increased urination, increased thirst, and increased hunger.
Take good care of yourself and your companions!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Oh, My!

I stayed awake reading a book until 2 this morning.  Then I awoke at 6, at usual.  I fed the kits, cleaned the litter boxes, and checked my e-mail.  Then I wandered down the corridor to the north to walk over to the bakery and get a fresh bagel.  Taped across the door was a large sign that read, "Please use main doors!"  I peeked out the small window beside the door, and had to do a double-take.  The electric power line and cable line was lying on the ground just outside the door; and the large cottonwood tree that has housed at least three squirrel nests was in pieces, on the ground.  Yikes!  I don't even know when the tree came down - yesterday afternoon, last night, or this morning.  I'd heard several loud thumps during our windy hours, but I had no idea the old tree had fallen, nor that the branches had taken out the power line, causing the power pole to snap and crash, too.  ....  The squirrels who lived in the tree seem to be at a loss, and I can understand that.  I have put out extra nuts for the little guys on the patio, and I'm certain they will avail themselves of it.  I just wish I could also put up some  replacement housing for them!
Looking at Folsom Field and the Flatirons from the main doors of my apartment this morning

The base of the tree trunk, and a now-homeless squirrel

The remnants of the lowest hollow in the tree, at a height of about 5 1/2 feet, which contained a squirrels nest

The broken power and cable pole at the north door of the apartment building

The tree top and the top of the power pole outside the north door

The electric and TV cables ripped from the north end of the building (and my reflection in the window)