Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

It was 48 degrees outside when I got up this morning - and the wind is beginning to rise.  The sunrise was pretty, but weird: the edge of the grey band of Chinook clouds is in the east, and the sun rose in colors of yellow and white.  Then the sun seemed to be an incandescent circle sitting on the edge of the horizon, before it rose behind he cloud bank...   With the Chinook of Thursday and our sunny and warm days for Thursday and Friday, the majority of the snow from last week's storm is gone.  In heavily shaded areas, there is still snow, and snow-and ice-packs on driveways persist in some place.  I think that after today's wind, much more snow will be gone.  But it's supposed to be in the teens tonight, with a high of 40 tomorrow - at least the New Year will begin brightly!
If John Denver were still with us, he'd be celebrating his 68th birthday today.  I miss his songs and his musical abilities.  My favorite song of his? "In Grandma's Feather Bed" - and then almost all of his number one singles would be tied for second place, in my list.
Did you know yesterday's couple?  They are Olivia Hussey and Leonard Whiting, who starred in the Franco Zefferelli production of Romeo and Juliet, which was released to theaters in late 1968...
Happy New Year!

Friday, December 30, 2011

Anyone Recognize...?

Does anyone recognize this couple?  They are not married, but in 1968 and 1969, it seemed you saw them everywhere!


The palomino is not a breed of horse, it's a color.  Horses can be of any breed (i.e.: Arabian, Holsteiner, Quarter Horse, Thoroughbred) and also be registered as a palomino.  According to the Palomino Horse Association: The ideal color is that of a gold coin, but the shade can vary from light, medium, to dark gold. The mane and tail should be white, ivory, or silver, but we allow 15% dark or sorrel hair mixed in. And one other requisite is that the skin color under the golden coat must be dark.  Golden colored horses have been described, painted, and sewn throughout history.  The most recent famous horse was Trigger, the mount of Roy Rogers - and Nautilus, "the horse with the flying tail," who was on the USET jumping team in the 1950s...
A palomino mare and foal

Trigger with Roy Rogers aboard

A gaited palomino

Regular Stuff ... And a Wish

So Samoa "skipped back" across the International Date Line, and instead of being today there, it's now tomorrow.  Sound confusing?  When the IDL was set up, Samoa's biggest trading partners were in California and along the west coast of the US; they are now Australia, New Zealand, and Japan...  so the people there voted to skip a day and now have the same date as the Far East and Down Under, rather than the west of the USA.  ....  I stepped out to grab the mail while at Rosie and Remy's yesterday, and I had to laugh.  Nancy and Joel have described to me how Remy turns over the bar chairs and dining room table chairs when they are afraid during thunderstorms.  A few seconds after I stepped outside yesterday, I heard this tremendous banging sound - so I snuck through the back gate and was able to watch both Rosie and Remy happily turning all the chairs over. They weren't afraid - they were upset because I had left them!  (Just wait 'til I tell their family!)
We are supposed to have a quiet day today - with a light breeze and a high around 50.  Yesterday, we ended up with a wind gust of 83 mph here in Boulder, and 102 mph in Pinecliffe, which is 15 miles to the southwest and back in the mountains.  We're expecting the wind to pick up again tonight, and we have another High Wind Warning set up for all day tomorrow, with gusts expected up to 75 mph.  A lot of limbs have come down around the city - and at Finn's, a large branch is hanging on another limb in the "no mans land" between the house to the north and the Snitmans'.
I will probably be too busy to blog the next two days, so please don't expect anything until Monday.  Kathy and Jim will start bringing things over to Finn's tonight, and Kathy plans on doing it through Saturday afternoon.  I told her about the Home and Garden Channel's broadcast of the Parade of Roses on Sunday morning that is shown without commercials, and shows every float, band, and group participating in the Pasadena parade.  Thanks to my friend Mary, I know that this year's Parade will include a salute to Roy Rogers (Leonard Slye), and will include a group of 100 people riding golden palominos down Pasadena Boulevard.  I'm looking forward to seeing a good part of the parade!
In case I don't blog tomorrow, I wish each and every one of you a very wonderful New Year, filled with love, luck and laughter and filled with friends and family!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Chinook & Clouds

We get Chinook winds on the east side of the Rockies

Chinooks can be spotted by a break in the cloud cover....

Lenticular clouds over the Flatirons at sunrise


I thought it was windy yesterday.  My mistake.  We have a "High Wind Warning" posted for today until 5 p.m. - we've already had one gust clocked at 73 mph, while Pinecliffe has recorded a gust at 93 mph.  I know that tree branches are down everywhere, and I'm glad that I can scoot around, and in between, things with the Mini.  Plus, it was 52 degrees when I arose this morning - usually, it's in the teens or twenties.  Finn is trying to destroy one of his felt tug-o-war toys, but isn't having much luck.  Last night he eviscerated Dino the dinosaur, who was made entirely of felt.  If he keeps on at this rate, he won't have any toys left...  except his antlers to chew on.  Getting ready to head over to my apartment and spend some time with my kits...  I also need to do some grocery shopping for myself and for Sunday's family gathering.

The folks in the government have come up with an alternative plan for the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge and the Assateague National Seashore on Assateague Island, according to The Chincoteague Beacon: U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials met with representatives from federal, state, and county agencies and elected officials from Chincoteague and Accomack County on Dec. 21 to review public comments on the first draft of alternatives for the Chincoteague and Wallops Island National Wildlife Refuges comprehensive conservation plan.
The refuge initially solicited public comment on a first draft of management scenarios between Aug. 14 and Oct. 31. At the meeting, the planning team clarified the attributes common to all alternatives and discussed proposed refinements to the draft alternatives based on public comments received.
Some key elements included in each proposed alternative include:
» A one-mile long recreational beach will be maintained;
» Some level of parking in the vicinity of the recreational beach will be maintained;
» Personal motor vehicle access to Assateague Island will continue to be permitted;
» The Chincoteague ponies will continue to inhabit Assateague Island and management will be specified in the agreement with the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
"The surrounding community is understandably concerned about the future of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands, and how we are managing these public lands as they continue to be affected by sea-level rise and climate change," said Refuge Manager Louis Hinds.
"This meeting was an excellent opportunity to come together with our community partners, clarify the management scenarios, and talk about how we can refine the alternatives to consider comments we received."
The refuge plans to release a newsletter this winter that will summarize public comments that were received, clarify the proposed alternatives, and explain the next steps of the CCP process, which will include completing a draft CCP/Environmental Impact Statement.
The EIS evaluates potential impacts that would result from the proposed alternatives. The public will have an opportunity to comment on the draft CCP/EIS.

I am looking forward to January 13, when I will be able to sleep in my own bed again - and with Lovey and Nedi.  Rosie and Remy, and Skipper and Finn, are great house companions and pretty good bed companions - but getting to sleep with my own kits will be fantastic.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Johnny Weissmuller, Cheetah and Maureen O'Sullivan in 1932

Cheetah, We Barely Knew Ya'

As a child, I always looked forward to Sunday afternoons, after lunch.  I always hoped the weather would hold and we would be able to pick up the channel 12 transmission from Jacksonville on our TV antenna.  At one o'clock on Sundays, channel 12 would play Johnny Weissmuller movies - Tarzan or Jungle Jim - and I would get to see African wildlife.  Everyone in the family got a big laugh from watching the antics of Cheetah, the chimpanzee, in both of those movie series.  If I remember correctly, it was in Tarzan's New York Adventure that Cheetah supposedly ate several tins of face cream and followed it with a cologne topper.  Cheetah's kidneys failed him last week, at the age of about 82, and he passed away the day before Christmas.  It is generally accepted that Cheetah was never bred, so his genes are gone.  He had lived for the past 50 years at the Suncoast Primate Sanctuary, having lived with the Weissmuller menagerie until the mid-1960s.  Chimpanzees are very special creatures, and Cheetah was a master of comedy.  He will be missed.
We have a Chinook wind blowing today - if it will take away some of the snow and ice left from last week's storm, I'll be very happy.  The snow has compacted and melted, so there's about 6 inches in the back yard at the apartment - at Finn's house, there is still 8 to 12 inches on the ground.  I'm currently driving a MiniCooper around Boulder.  It's a neat little car, but you don't want to try to drive it in, or through, soft snow.  The major roads are almost clear, here in Boulder, but a lot of the residential roads are still snow- and ice-packed.  I drove over to walk Rosie and Remy yesterday, and, having parked in the tracks of a previous vehicle, I thought I was safe.  I walked the dogs for 50 minutes, and when I returned, the sun had melted the snow around the tires, so each tire was in a little valley - and the car is so light that it couldn't get traction.  Joel and I had to push the car out of the softer snow and onto the ice-pack, so I could get it to move.  -  Talk about embarrassing! -
All the critters in my care are doing just fine!  Lovey and Nedi are currently chasing each other through the snow and in and out of the apartment.  Sasquatch and Tugger are doing great, and their folks come home tonight.  Lyra, Lilly and Dhysana are full of them selves, and will be very happy when Lynn and Tessa return home tomorrow.  Skippy and Finn are being their usual super selves; and Rosie and Remy are being their usual "veteran trouper" selves.  Brandi was superb over the past weekend, and I've truly enjoyed myself being able to play and interact with all the personalities.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Round-Up of Nevada Mustangs

The End of the Year

Well....  We did not see world peace, the end of communism or socialism.  We did not find a way to make every person on this earth happy and responsible.  We still have people living below "the poverty line" and people who are mega-rich.  We have had a lot of disasters strike all around the world.  ....  It's still our one and only inhabitable planet.  We need to take better care of Mother Earth.  We also need to stop puppy factories; to stop killing critters for their skins, pelts, noses, tusks, and bones; to stop killing unwanted or unloved pets.  We need to spay and neuter all of our pets.  We need to be certain that each critter we share our life with is loved, fed, cared for, and given appropriate medical attention.  -  As a whole, we, people, need to become more mature and responsible for ourselves and others.
And I want to share this small article by Martin Griffiths of the Associated Press:
" Federal land managers have agreed to postpone their precedent-setting plan to castrate hundreds of wild stallions in eastern Nevada pending a federal court's review of the issue.   
The U.S. Bureau of Land Management's action came a week after a coalition of conservationists and wild-horse defenders sued the government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the plan's implementation.Under a compromise approved by the court Thursday, the agency will be allowed to begin a long-term removal of roughly 1,800 wild horses from the sprawling Pancake Complex near Ely beginning about Jan. 12 as scheduled.
But the BLM agreed to put on hold its plans to castrate 200 wild stallions before releasing them back to the complex.
Horse activists think the court will rule in its favor."

                     *** Lovey, Nedi and I hope you had a wonderful 2011...
                            and that 2012, the New Year, will be even better. ***

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Local TV Viewers Are Awesome!

A young couple was devastated when they returned home from a doctor's appointment.  They had just been told their 4-year-old son had leukemia.  They had finished their Christmas shopping the night before, and Mom and Dad had wrapped their two sons' presents and left them under the tree.  When they got home from the doctor's appointment, they found their door broken, standing open.  All the Christmas gifts were gone.  What an awful thing to happen to a young couple, who are just getting by - and it was the Thursday before Christmas.  Our local NBC station, KUSA, covered the story.  The couple had emptied their bank accounts to be certain the boys had a nice Christmas - and now they had nothing.  Yesterday, the producer of that news segment had the joyful job of visiting the couple and their sons.  She brought with her an SUV full of donated toys and gifts, as well as $5,200 in donations. And, as she was leaving the station, another donor appeared - he has a daughter with leukemia, and he had a check for $3,000 to help pay for the youngest child's medical expenses.  The viewers of KUSA truly represent the spirit of Christmas.
  Merry Christmas,  Happy Hanuka, and a Joyful Kwanzaa  to all of you.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Tomte Claus - a Swedish Santa

Tomte Claus in Stockholm

Merry Christmas!

I know it's a day early, but I probably will not blog tomorrow - right now, it's 20 degrees outside.  I spent the night with Brandi, and after giving her breakfast and her meds, I made sure she had a good, long potty break.  Then I headed over to Sasquatch and Tugger - they both scarfed down their food last night, so I wasn't surprised that it took a while for Tugger to finish his meal this morning.  Then home to my kits...  Nedi is outside, but Lovey keeps running in and out this morning.
I need to gather up all the presents and stocking stuffers, wrapping paper, ribbons, tags and tape, and get them ready to shift over to Brandi's.  That way I can make the corn pudding and pumpkin pies while I'm wrapping gifts...  I'll just  be sitting in front of the TV during the Broncos game - I certainly hope we win today.  Buffalo still has more than 24,000 un-sold tickets, so the game will be blacked out in New York; even though it's cold, I'm glad I'm in Colorado!
I hope that all of have a wonderful Christmas, full of love and laughter, and that you get to spend the day with people (and animals/pets/furred family members) you love.  Have a super, wonderful weekend!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Snow Critters

Snow horses

"I'm gonna get you!" - Snow cats

Snow dogs

COLD, Trees and an Anniversary

It was very cold out early this morning - 5 degrees - when I left my place to go feed and medicate, love and groom Sasquatch and Tugger.  Each bus that I rode had one of my favorite drivers behind the wheel, and they each reminded me that on Monday the buses will run on a Saturday schedule, and when I debarked, they each gave me a kiss and wished me a Merry Christmas.  Tugger usually takes 45 to 60 minutes to eat his meals, but this morning, he was licking an empty dish in 15 minutes, so I was able to return home fairly early.  I'll head out around 1 to spend the night with Brandi, and once I get established there, I'll go walk Rosie and Remy and spend a few hours with them, before I return to Brandi.  (Then it will be time to feed and medicate S & T again...)  I won't be sleeping in my own  bed again until after the New Year... but I will be here every day to take care of my kits.  They need food, love, grooming, and clean litter boxes, too.
I have been "fleshing out" the Snow family tree on line for the past couple of weeks.  I originally had 337 family members that were related to my brother-in-law.  Last night I refreshed the tree and it now has 837 members on it - and I haven't even started work on his maternal family tree, yet.  I am currently going through and trying to find missing dates and places, and any missing relatives that I might have overlooked - which is how the tree has grown with  500 additions, so far.  In any event, once I start house-sitting tonight, the tree won't be touched or added to until I get back home... 
It's bright and sunny out, and the temperature has risen to 18.  At least the wind isn't blowing!  Nedi keeps running out and jumping into the snow, completely disappearing, and then erupting again with snow all over him.  Lovey sat out in the sunshine for a few minutes, but then came back inside.
*** And today is Carolyn and Greg Remling's wedding anniversary - Happy Anniversary, you two!  You know I love both of you!  Have a super weekend celebrating!! ***

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Snow Views

Broadway and Pine in Boulder this morning

Looking toward the Flatirons....

The Flatirons from Chautauqua earlier this month

Snow, Snow, Snow!

It started snowing around 4 yesterday afternoon - and, at the moment, there's about 12 inches on the ground in the backyard, and the snow is so light and fine - the skiers' powder - it's drifting as it falls and my patio is almost totally covered.  The weather guys say to expect another 4 to 5 inches before it stops falling this afternoon.  The temperature is at 20 degrees, and once the snow clears, we've been told to expect a low of 2 tonight.  I have peanuts out for the squirrels, just in case some intrepid critter decides to pop his (or her) head out.  Nedi is excited by the snow, but isn't happy because it's covered all of the patio... Lovey poked her nose out the door and got back in bed.  If you want to know what it looks like here, go to:   - this site gives an updated view of Boulder Creek every 30 seconds (about 15 blocks from my apartment).
Students are gone for the holidays, but due to the weather, CU is completely closed today.  The city of Boulder will open it's offices at 10 a.m., instead of 8.  Traffic is moving pretty well in downtown Boulder, but the roads are all snow-packed, and there is ice underneath.  The traffic in and around Denver is very slow - and flights in and out of Denver International are getting backed up.  I'm certainly glad that I had no travel plans for today!  I do have to go spend the early evening with Sasquatch and Tugger over on Redwood - they are both in their later teens and both have medical problems.  Since it's not too far from Kathy and Jim's, I'll see if they will agree to run me home tonight, so I don't have to take the bus in the dark (and cold)....   Have a great day!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Scots Pipers

There's just something...

about a man playing the pipes...

Dave Allan has been playing for years

A Ceiling Leak

Today started off with the sun, but clouds are building up, and the temperature is beginning to drop.  I started out a little earlier than usual, but as I was heading out the door, I heard snapping sounds from the foot of my bed.  That just didn't make sense, so I turned back to investigate - and found that my ceiling was leaking.  I was afraid that the couple upstairs might have a waterbed, and that was what was watering me, so I ran upstairs and knocked.  Turns out she had just over-watered her Norfolk pine, and there was a huge puddle on the floor under it.  She had no idea that it was leaking downstairs and through my ceiling.  She's getting a pot to set the pine in, so it won't drip anymore.  The leaking had stopped by the time I got back into my apartment, so I decided not to report it -yet.  I'll keep an eye on the spot, and if it continues to leak, I'll caulk it myself.
The red kids were eager to go this morning, and I had to discourage them several times from trying to chase the squirrels.  We had a good, long walk, because our high tomorrow is only forecast at 20 degrees, and I won't walk the dogs in that.  Plus it's supposed to start snowing this evening and continue until noon tomorrow - they say we'll get 5 to 14 inches - it just depends on how the front moves.  My ATM card expired at the end of this month, so I stopped by the Credit Union and got another one, so I wouldn't be without a source of money for New Years.  Then I stopped by the Barnes and Noble store and grabbed their last copy of Sports Illustrated, and continued on to Target, where I finished getting stocking stuffers.  Then back here and hot food.  The kits both ran out when I arrived, but both came right back inside - I don't know if they can sense the coming storm, or if it's just too chilly for outside play.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Christmas Lights

Desert lights....

Snowy lights....

And everything but the kitchen sink lights...

Snow and Changes

Most of the 2.5 inches of snow that fell yesterday has already melted.  But since it was such a small amount, the folks that normally clear the sidewalks decided to let Sol do it today, so the dogs had a slippery walk this morning.  I had my YakTrax on and had no problems...  I opened the patio door when I returned, and both kits ran outside immediately.  Now they are both back inside - but the sun is shining nicely, and it's above freezing, so I'm happy.
Folks have rearranged their schedules, so I've had to rearrange mine, and I'm about to scream.  One family has completely changed the dates they will be gone; luckily, I can work around their changes, but for a few days I'll be doing nothing but running from one house to the next.  -  I don't know why I'm complaining about it - it happens every year around Christmas time....  At least I'll still have every house covered, as I promised.

Monday, December 19, 2011

An Idiot, But ....

Saturday afternoon, a delivery driver for Domino's Pizza had his car stolen.  The 55-year-old driver told police that, yes, he had left his keys in the ignition, and, yes, all the doors were unlocked - but he was only inside the Domino's for 3 minutes.  In those three minutes, someone decided to help themselves to a VW Jetta.  The guy was an idiot, but, come on,.... it's Christmas.  Whoever did this was a true Grinch!

And the Broncos turned the ball over too many times in the second quarter, after a good first quarter.  We didn't get the ball in the third, and the fourth did not give us enough catch-up time.  I really dislike Tom Brady, and he did nothing to make me like him any better yesterday. He played extremely well - even after getting nailed by Elvis Dumervil.  Ah, well...  it was a good, hard-played game.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

More Critters

Squirrel eating a peanut from the shell

A raven vocalizing

A pair of wild mustangs (or broncos) in Utah


The sun is shining and it's 32 degrees outside.  I have the patio door open about 8 inches, so the kits can run in and out, and I'm wearing jeans, a T-shirt, and a sweater to keep my arms warm.  Today is game day in Denver, and they believe the temperature will be about 56 at our 2:05 kick-off time...  Tomorrow the high might get to 27, and we are expecting snow Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday this week.  The weather guys say that we won't have any falling from the sky on Christmas Day, and we'll have to "make do" with what's on the ground.
I had to laugh at the ravens and squirrels yesterday.  In the afternoon, the squirrels were busy burying the peanuts in the shell that I had left out for them.  Each squirrel was being stalked, on the ground, by a raven.  As soon as the squirrel buried the nut and scampered back to the patio to grab another one, the raven would use its bill to dig up the peanut, open it up, and consume it.  And even though this was happening right before the eyes of the squirrels, they kept on hiding the nuts for the ravens to eat.  Both I, and the cats, found this to be a fascinating process for an hour, while I was taking a break from searches for the Snow genealogy dates.  (I must say that I've found "Find A Grave" to be an excellent resource recently.)
Not much else going on  - the kits are sunning, I still have to do laundry and dishes, and I've just started a P.C. Doherty Hugh Corbett mystery (set in 1303 England).  Other than wishing for a new head (due to the dizziness from the inner ear infection), I'm great.   -  And Tebowmania has gripped Colorado - even Saturday Night Live had a Tebow and Broncos comedy sketch last night....   Hope you have a super Sunday!

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Wisconsin Scenes

A red barn in Eau Claire County

A beaver lodge in LaCrosse County

Sugar Creek in Dane County


I finally figured out why I've felt so weird this past week - I have an inner-ear infection.  I turned over in bed and the world turned red and black and started spinning at a really sickening angle.  Once I got myself back under control, I staggered over to my meds cache and took an anti-vertigo pill.  Now I'm much better.   I've done my grocery shopping, and the kits have been outside playing for 90 minutes.  I had a delicious hot breakfast sandwich from my local deli this morning - scrambled eggs, cheese, and bacon on a toasted square of panini.   And I'll be making a pot of meatballs today....  (The forecast is  a high of 46 today, 50 tomorrow, and 34 with snow on Monday.)
When I got the kits to come in the morning, just before I sat down to blog, I gave them each a toy that had been buried in a bag of my home-grown organic catnip.  Lovey is now curled up, sound asleep, with her toy snugged up against her chest.  Nedi is curled up in his chair with his toy laying on top of his side - I gave him the toy on the rug in front of the patio door.  I have to admit that I didn't want to get up this morning; it was nice and warm in bed, and I had a purring kit on either side of me.  They are definitely wonderful bed companions.
Strike the Gold, the 1991 winner of the Kentucky Derby, was put down in Turkey earlier this week, at the age of 23.  He had had problems with laminitis, but while playing and striking out in his paddock, he shattered a fetlock.  Due to his laminitis history, he was euthanized without trying to save him with surgery.  And Indian Charlie, who had a brief, but meteoric, racing history, was also put down this week.  He was only 15 years old, but he had developed a rare form of cancer, which attacks the lining of the veins and arteries - he did not respond to chemotherapy or radiation therapy, and was sadly let go.
The South Carolina Gamecocks play Ohio State today.  Go, Cocks!!!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Cravendale Milk's Cats With Thumbs

Bertram grasping his ball

Eva, sharpening her shivs

Jack, snapping his toes

Rex, plotting

Odds & Ends

Over on the Eastern Shore,  I drive through the small community of Gargatha frequently, as it's on highway 13.  I read, with horror, last night of the fact that a State Trooper was sent to check up on a possible suicide call in a mobile home in Gargatha.  The Trooper found five bodies inside the home.  An investigation is continuing.   ....  The Great Western Bank at 1900 9th Street, here in Boulder, was robbed this morning.  A man wearing a hoodie and "with long brown hair" robbed the three open tellers inside - a hoodie and a hat, with a long brown wig sewn into it, were found in the parking lot.  The man was described as 5 foot 9 inches, white, about 200 pounds, and "with a gut."  ....  Joel called me this morning to let me know that Remy had a 10 a.m. chiropractic appointment - but I had already left home.  So I walked Rosie by herself - and we covered a lot more territory than the three of us normally do.  I was doing a walk/jog half of the time we were out and moving.  ....  The kits cuddled on me last night while I watched Person of Interest and The Mentalist.  Thank goodness that Carter decided to help Reese and Finch in the end! Of course, she'll probably get into a lot more trouble because of her help.  At least one of the new shows is worth watching!  .....  Not much else is going on; folks like the idea of seeing bison on the mesa approaching Boulder, but are extremely wary of backing the plan due to lawsuits and/or litigation in case one of the big guys gets loose and a vehicle plows into it.  Someone offered the idea of having a Boulder Bison Foundation, and having folks contribute to it - including sponsoring a bison, or part of a bison for a year.  (I think kids would get a kick out of that idea!)  But most people keep bringing up the cost of fencing and insurance coverage.  It's too bad that we have become such a litigious society!   ....  And, of course, I hope the Broncos and Tim Tebow stomp Tom Brady and the New England Patriots on Sunday!
And, if you want to laugh at a commercial, visit  this address - it is a British ad for Cravendale milk:     You can even "follow" Bertram Thumbcat on Facebook or Twitter....

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Just a Bit

Daniel's drive to raise money for the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center has achieved and exceeded its goal - they have raised $125,000.  They are now hoping to raise another $230,000, which will allow them to buy their new building/home outright.  I send them my best wishes!
Remy and Rosie were great today - even though they were teased by 30+ squirrels and several deer.  Nedi is laying in the sun.  Lovey is laying across my chest.  I sent out Christmas cards yesterday, and Christmas packages today.  Now all I have left to do is wrap local presents, and, on Christmas Eve, make two pumpkin pies, a large corn pudding, and a double batch of brownies.  Yesterday afternoon and evening I was very nauseous, but today I only have a mild headache - and that's a great plus for me.
Ooopps! - I almost forgot - If you live in the Boulder area, our Humane Society is having another Free Feline Friday, tomorrow, December 16th.  Any cat six months old or older is available free - kittens less than six months old are available at half of their cost.  Each cat or kitten is spayed or neutered, has been micro-chipped, and is up-to-date on any vaccinations they need.  If you can afford it, and have the time and love to give, please adopt one of these needy critters.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Daniel and the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center

Daniel is a neat cat.  He is a rescue, once doomed to be euthanized at an animal shelter.  Amy Rowell, who runs the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center, a no-kill shelter, was walking through the other shelter when Daniel raised a paw to draw her attention.  He got it.  Daniel is a white cat with orange tabby patches, and while most cats have 18 toes, Daniel is endowed with 26.  Amy took him back to her shelter, and he is now the "spokespurrson" for the MARC.  There's only one problem now - the lease has not been renewed for the MARC, and Amy Rowell has to purchase or rent a new premises.  Since this was announced, donations have been rolling in at $26 each - one dollar for each of Daniel's toes.  A total of  $120,000 is needed, and, so far, $80,000 has been raised - mostly in the name of Daniel.  I have sent a donation to the Milwaukee Animal Rescue Center - and I hope that you will, too.  If you feel like it, please visit    (The following photos of Daniel were taken by Carrie Antifinger with the Associated Press:)

Daniel is pooped from all this publicity....


I'm walking Remy and Rosie this afternoon, as per the owner's request.  I've visited the grocery store, and checked all my usual news sources and my e-mail.  I did not sleep well last night, as I was given the answer to three mysteries by a neighbor - and the answers upset me.    I hadn't seen one of my neighbors recently, and I ran into him in the hallway yesterday evening.  I commented that I had just seen his cat, Molly, for the first time in a while, and I was happy to see her playing on the patio.  He informed me, much to my chagrin, that Lovey stalks Molly, and has even gone inside their apartment on several occasions.  I apologized.  He laughed and said that "cats will be cats" and then made the comment that "at least the evil witch that used to live next to" me "had moved."  -  He was referring to my old neighbor Chokey, who frequently ticked me off, but who always acted as if sugar wouldn't melt in her mouth.  I asked Tom why he called Chokey an evil witch.  His reply shocked me.  He had reported her to the apartment manager because he had seen Chokey throw rocks and bricks at both his cat, Molly, and at Lovey.  When the manager visited Chokey to ask her about it, Tom was invited.  About half-way through a 15 minute conversation, according to Tom, Chokey became quite upset, admitted to throwing various items at Molly and Lovey, and also admitted to poisoning Banichi three years ago, and that she was sorry that Lovey hadn't died, too.  Both Tom and the manager were shocked. - I was shocked when I was informed of this last night. - And that answers three questions I've had - (1) Who poisoned my Nichi-ji?  (2) Why are Lovey and Nedi so wary of strangers?  (3) Why was Chokey's lease revoked and she was told to move before her lease expired?  (She had said that she had absolutely no idea why it was happening....  What a lying so-and-so!)  Right now, I hope that I do not run into her anytime soon....  I'm afraid I'd be booked on Murder One.....

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Old Cabins

Smoky Mountain quietude

A sodded roof in Nebraska

In the woods of northern Michigan

A Rant

I've returned from walking Remy and Rosie; Nedi and Lovey are sunning on the patio.  It was 17 degrees when I walked to the grocery store this morning, but it's up to 30 now.  I have the patio door cracked, and I'm working at my desk wearing jeans and a T-shirt.  My hair is slowly drying after being totally soaked with sweat from wearing my cap while walking the dogs.  I was due to spend the night with Lucy and Pepper tonight, out at Brigadoon, but that was canceled at 8:30 this morning.  At least I get to watch NCIS at home...

I'll wrap gifts and package them this afternoon and send them out tomorrow.  I still need to figure out something to give my nephew.  Everyone else is taken care of; so far, so good. ....   Earlier this morning, three men mounted on horses, rode into the Starbucks store located inside a Safeway grocery store in Steamboat Springs, over on the western slope.  The men wore jeans, boots, plaid western-style shirts and cowboy hats.  They each purchased coffee, and one also purchased a large bag of chips; and they paid cash.  The Safeway manager was not amused, and the Starbucks employee appeared to be frightened of the horses (a man caught it on video on his cell phone).  The men later rode into a pub in the downtown area, refused to leave, and the police were called.  One of the men was Tasered and fell from his mount when he refused to respond to a policeman's orders.  All three are currently in jail.

I know that I'm getting older every day.  I try not to be a total cynic, but it seems that I am becoming a bigger one with each day.  I have learned to hold my tongue out in public, but I am still greatly vexed by things that I see and hear daily.  I don't think that I'm a "grumpy old woman," but sometimes I have to wonder.  I don't see the time of my childhood as a golden age; nor any time of my life as a golden age.  But I am dismayed by the way the world seems to be headed. I'm not sure what dismays me most -  lack of respect for elders, or of anyone, by todays' youth;  what is now called music; the proliferation of so-called reality shows (that have absolutely NO basis in reality); and the fact that computers and microwave ovens, etc. were supposed to give the general population "more leisure time," but seem to be running our lives now.  I hate being run into by kids and adults who are too busy texting to look where they are going.  I hate talking to someone, face to face, and have them walk away and ignore me if their cell phone rings/sings/raps/or makes an obnoxious noise.  I hate having a personal one-on-one conversation with someone and being put on hold because that person has call waiting.  This is just downright RUDE.  .....  Maybe my folks were right and I should have been born in an earlier time - when one depended on oneself, a horse, family, friends and neighbors......

Monday, December 12, 2011


You called?

Sound Circle

Matt Prater, Broncos kicker

Great Music, Bad Food

I missed seeing it yesterday, as I left home for a concert and dinner with 13 minutes left in the fourth quarter, but, thanks to Matt Prater's legs, the Broncos won again in overtime.  The only quarterback currently playing that has a better win-loss ratio this year than Tim Tebow is Aaron Rodgers, who is undefeated with the Green Bay Packers.  With three defensive starters injured during the game, I wasn't sure who would win; but I should have just believed, as always.

Last night's concert was performed by Sound Circle, an a cappella women's group.  Their rendition of "I'll Fly Away" actually choked me up and made me cry.  Several of the of the performances were of poems, with the words set to tones - and some of the three-part harmonies were so moving that they left me breathless.  They are truly a group to see and hear in concert.  Last night, there were only percussion instruments, and a bowed saw used for accompaniment.  One of the "songs" was a group of five percussionists, two using deer antlers, one using dried bean shakers, one using a stick on a spine, and one using a stick on a pelvis.  The concert was truly amazing and absolutely beautiful.  I highly recommend seeing this group perform!

As we were having a late celebration of Bernie's birthday, we also went out for supper.   I have eaten once at Ted's Montana Grill as part of an 8-person sitting; I have eaten there several times by myself, too.  The service has always been excellent, as well as the food being hot and delicious.  We convinced Bernie to try eating at Ted's MT Grill last night - and Kathy, Jim and I wish now that we had not.  Other than having various people frequently refill our water glasses, the service was awful; two-thirds of my plate of food was cold - the mashed potatoes and gravy and the string beans.  Kathy and Jim ate up every bite of their dinners, but I only finished my bison pot roast.  Neither Bernie nor Connie finished their meals, partly because they were cold and partly because the food tasted bad.  So supper was a disaster following a superb concert.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Critters (Again)

A Calliope hummingbird

Maggie May in a recent snowfall

Is it time to go with Betty to her Doggie Daycare?

A Calliope

I watched in awe last night as Nedi leapt from the top of the cat tree onto a raggedy white mouse (toy), walloped it, and sent it flying down the hall, and then grabbed it in his mouth and deposited it in the bath tub.  When I got up this morning, the mouse was still in the tub, but its head has been removed.  Apparently Nedi was busy last night while I slept....  We have bright blue skies today and it's 30 degrees outside.  The weather folks say Denver will be at 50 degrees for the Broncos' game, while Boulder will be in the upper-40s. The kits have been outside playing for the last 90 minutes, and I finally got both to come in at the same time, so I can close the door and remove my sweater.  According to the 5 day forecast, we should have lows in the 20s and highs in the mid-40s for the rest of the week.
I have to admit that while I was transcribing family records last night, I had the GOP debate from Iowa on.  I laughed out loud several times - because what was said was funny, and because what was claimed was unbelievable.  I have to admit, listening to the GOP snipe at one another was cathartic, and I was happier than ever to be a Democrat. 
There was one bright snippet of news that perked me up - a Calliope hummingbird was spotted by several folks in Easton, Maryland last week.  They've recently had warm weather, and people were surprised to see a Western hummingbird over on the Eastern Shore.  They have normally migrated to South America at this time of year.  Calliopes have been seen, singly, on the Eastern Shore for the last seven years.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Local Winter Scenes

Frozen fog in a creek valley

Denver's City Hall in 2004, hoping for Peace in 2005

Boulder's open (and free) ice rink downtown

Frozen Fog

I had a terrible migraine yesterday, and spent most of the day and night in bed, with kitties cuddled around me.  Today I need to do my laundry and wash the dishes.  That way I can hole up and ignore everything while the Broncos game is on tomorrow afternoon.  I'm 'watching' a Randolph Scott movie with Lex Barker as the bad officer who thinks he knows more than he does.  Lovey is sunning in the window, while Nedi is stretched out on the concrete patio.  It's all of 25 degrees outside, but the sun is shining brightly, and we're supposed to reach the low 40s today.  Every time I looked outside yesterday, I could see ice crystals dancing in the air - we had frozen fog all day long, and it made me feel like I couldn't focus my sight on anything.  ....  I'm supposed to go to a mucical presentation and supper tomorrow (which means I miss the end of the Broncos' game), and to see the Foothills' Renaissance Revelers on Saturday, the 17th.  Then I start in on the "Holiday Craze" and have at least two households a day to care for....
Have a happy weekend, folks!

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Good-bye, Harry Morgan

Well, we haven't had any snow flurries yet, but they are forecast for today.  It's 28 degrees outside and I've walked Rosie and Remy and have visited the library.  Lovey wants to be in my lap, while Nedi is sunning in the window.  Everything is calm and quiet.  -  Unlike the campus at Virginia Tech which is on lockdown with two shootings having occurred.  The poor Hokies!  They seem to have the worst luck.  - And I wish to say an humble good-bye to actor Harry Morgan.  I first remember him on Pete and Gladys; but I also remember him in many movies, on  Dragnet, and, of course, as Colonel Sherman Potter on M*A*S*H*.   I always found his roles believable, and I dearly loved to watch him act.  He will be missed by many fans and his co-workers.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Hickory and 'Stache

Hickory was the first Scottish Deerhound to win Best In Show at Westminster

Hickory running and playing with her puppies earlier this year

Mister Moustache