Thursday, January 31, 2013

Various Critters

Tabitha, a Highland pony
A young Sifaka Lemur
This Shar-Pei adopted two tiger cubs
A friend's dog in Florida always declares it's love...

Arson, Gold and Guns

Lovey and Nedi allowed me to stay in bed until 7:30 this morning - after I showered and dressed, fed them and cleaned their litter boxes, I headed off to the PO to send a package to Michele in Wisconsin, and I picked up a couple of boxes so I can send stuff to Carolyn and Greg and my granddaughter. I stopped at the store on the way home and got fresh fruits and veggies for today's meals. The kits are chasing each other through the melting snow in the back yard and enjoying the sunshine, and I am looking forward to seeing Person of Interest this evening. I also have two different research projects to work on, as well as all of my new books to read... I'm in heaven!
  At the beginning of this week, another arson-caused fire destroyed the forty-third building in Accomack County, Virginia. The first fire happened on 12 November; generally they occur at night and the buildings are not in use and without occupants. This is getting to be a little crazy. I realize that there are hundreds of old farm sheds, cow barns and out houses scattered throughout all of Accomack County. It's an old, established farming area and there are many wooden buildings falling into ruin. However, I would think, that after 43 instances of arson, The Fire Marshall and Sheriff of Accomack County would have some idea of who is using what to start these fires....
  It was announced yesterday that a ninth golden wreath has been found in a tomb/crypt during excavations along the route of the Thessaloniki subway to the new Republic station. This wreath was found encircling the head of a woman in a 2,500 year-old Macedonian grave. The wreath is made in the shape of an olive branch, with leaves and berries. I suppose it's an everyday thing to find ancient treasures in excavations in Greece - but I had not previously heard of the other eight wreaths, nor of the necklaces and earrings found in other graves that lay along the subway route. ... In Dublin, Ireland, during the renovation of an ancient pub, a thicker concrete pad was needed for supports during an enlarging process. In digging below the previous slab, the construction foreman found a cache of 81 gold coins from the reigns of Charles II, James II, and William and Mary. The coins were declared and handed over to the closest Gardai post. They are now being evaluated at a local museum.
  Yesterday, too, while ex-Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was testifying before a Senate Judiciary Hearing on Gun Control, it seemed surreal to hear of multiple shootings occurring at the same time in Phoenix, as well as the shooting of a Deputy (in the hand) here in Denver during the delivery of a warrant. Having been shot in the head by a gunman in 2011, and having to learn everything all over again - walking, talking, reading, etc. - it was extremely moving, to me, to hear her state, "Too many children are dying" and, "This must stop." I hope that the Committee will listen to her, and judge her words as being weightier than those of the President of the National Rifle Association.

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Wild Things

An Arctic wolf
Clouded leopard cubs
Baby elephant, less than 24 hours old
A Scots Capercaillie cock

I Hate Being Ill!

It's nice and bright outside today, but the wind has started to pick up, and the weather forecast is "Windy with a high of 36 degrees." So, even if we get up to 16, it will still feel like it's in the teens... Lovey and Nedi let me sleep in this morning, I'm not sure why, but they did. I wonder if they somehow osmosed what the doctor told me last night: "You're not going to get better unless you rest. Rest, rest, rest!" He listened to my lungs, looked at my ears, nose and throat, and said I still had an acute upper respiratory infection... I now have an inhaler, Tessalon Perles for coughing, and another round of antibiotics. Plus I've been told to stay on bed rest until Valentine's Day... I got him to say it was OK for me to sit up and read, so here I am. Other than walking dogs, I don't have any jobs until the 17th of February, so I've notified the folks that pay me to walk and play with their dogs...
  I enjoyed NCIS and Vegas last night on the television. Yesterday afternoon I spent with my friend Bea, and we had a leisurely lunch at The China Gourmet, then we wandered through Lucky's Market and also visited the newly opened Lucky's Bakehouse and Creamery. It's a good thing that we were so stuffed from lunch, because I lusted after/over almost every single item in the new store. Everything looked tempting and it certainly smelled tempting, too. Then we went to the Carnegie Library and started working on Bea's family tree. Unfortunately, her Mom's surname was Jones, so it's becoming a search for a needle in a haystack, in seeking her Mother's parents. Since they were from Louisiana and had strong ties to the church, I hope to find the answers in Parish records.
  Besides looking for Bea's ancestors and my usual computer play, I am half-way through reading The Man on the Donkey, then I have Wolf Hall to read (thanks to Alexy), and then the next two Chronicles of Camulod books by Jack Whyte. At least I won't be bored!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Odd Adoptions

Amanda adopted four puppies with her three kittens
Kittens were adopted by this maternal dog
This miniature Sika elk was adopted without question
This mother dog dearly loves its pot-bellied piglet

Snow (!) and Horses

My clients decided to end their vacation in Washington state early, and, so, I am home again. Lovey and Nedi loved having me to curl up on and talk to last night... Just as I was leaving Aiko and Yoshi's big, white drops were falling - not quite snow, but a little too cold to be a raindrop - it was very interesting. It fell on the roadways and ground and melted; it hit the bus windshield as liquid; but by the time I walked the last block home, it was truly snowing. There were three inches of snow on the ground this morning, and we're expecting a few more tonight, when our low is 10 degrees. Nedi had to play outside in the snow for a while, like any little boy, and then I had to towel him dry when he decided to stay inside. Lovey walked out, sniffed the air, and came back inside and curled up on the bed. I am still riding a "high" from being able to visit the Stock Show - I hope it continues to last! And I have an appointment to see my MD again at 5:45 this afternoon because I am still coughing up gunk, and coughing until I choke... Hopefully, he'll give me more Tessalon Perles, so I won't be gasping for breath all the time.
  It's the end of January, and the North American racing scene is stating to think about the Kentucky Derby. Shanghai Bobby, who won the Breeders Cup Two-Year-Old championship, was defeated by Itsmyluckyday by two lengths in last weekend's Holy Bull. This was Bobby's first defeat in his career. Both colts are being pointed at the Florida Derby. ... Jackson Bend was retired to stud duty after a freak accident on the track last summer - a riderless horse ran into him broadside and knocked him down. Jackson Bend had a swollen and very back and ribs, and it's thought he had a concussion. He bred a couple of mares this past week, but seemed to experience back pain while covering the ladies and dismounting. It has been decided to postpone his stud duties until next year.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Critter Photos

A week-old tapir and its Mom
An albino nuthatch
A tiger in Thailand
Sled dogs in Bucharest

Mom's Birthday

If my Mother were still alive, she'd be 92 years old today, and that just doesn't seem possible.  It is true, however, even if my mind doesn't want to stretch time back that far.  Dad would turn 90 in March.  It just doesn't seem right, somehow.  I can easily accept the fact that I'm 56, heading for 57 now; but Mom and Dad being that age? No way!  My first real recollection of their faces comes from when I was four years old and we were living in Kingsville, Texas; Dad was still in the Navy, and every two weeks he took Kathy, my sister, and I to ride horseback at King's Ranch Livery stable.  Kathy rode a beautiful bay mare named Cricket, and I rode an old-timer whose name was White Cloud.  Kathy and the other kids would walk, jog and lope around this huge field - since I was so small, and was sitting on a 16-hand horse, White Cloud just sort of ambled about - he went where I wanted to go, because I knew about reining, and he was an old cow horse, but we walked slowly. Everywhere.  We just walked.  One day, I caught White Cloud in the flank with a corn stalk, and he crow hopped a little bit.  I was ecstatic!  We had done something other than walk! I looked back toward my parents, and Mom's face was blue-white, while Dad was laughing hard with a red face.  Mom was scared that I'd fall off, and Dad was laughing because I was laughing. ....
   Mom gave me life, and taught me to love books and reading.  She inspired me with tales of hardship of early Chincoteaguers, and things she could easily remember, as the Island was so isolated.  She planted the seed for love of knowledge of the past, for the love of art work and creative sewing.  She was never an epicurean, but she definitely taught me how to cook and bake.  I was always amazed to hear what simple, small things brought her pleasure when she was a child - and now I find that I find those same things endearing and heart-warming.  Mom taught me to love totally, and to forgive those that hurt me, and to give as generously as I am able to good causes and things I believe in.
  Here's to Mildred Louise Johnson Nocks, a woman who was good, in every sense of the word.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Camouflaged Creatures

Tiger in reeds
Tabby in tree
Owl in pussy willows
Kangaroo on rocks

A Smiling Sunday

I am still all smiles after Friday at the Stock Show. Being around all the creatures was a breath of fresh air for me - even though I laughed a lot at young city kids pinching their noses and placing handkerchiefs over their faces, trying to escape the ammoniac odors of the animals' excretions. Friday, besides being the Draft Horse, Donkey and Mule Show day, was also the last "school kids" day at the show - there were more than 3,000 kids from the fourth grade on down to kindergartners at the show that day. Country kids, who thought everything smelled normal, to inner-city kids who were amazed at the size of the animals and appalled at the odors. I almost had as much fun watching the kids as I did everything else.
  My kits are enjoying the sunshine, just as they did yesterday - and just as Aiko and Yoshi and Tugger and Sasquatch have been enjoying the warmth and the light. I've tried to be sure they have all had time out in the sun, just to play, as well as the dogs' scheduled walks. I'm heading up to Nederland to take photos of the Carousel of Happiness in about an hour as per the request of a friend in Wisconsin. I am still coughing and I guess I'll have to call my MD again in the morning to see what, if anything, I should do... Kathy and Jim now have this monster flu, and they believe they caught it from Mike and Erin. Luckily, Sarah and Michael seem to have escaped this affliction so far.
  I hope the rest of your weekend is grand, and that this coming work week passes by quickly. Take care, folks!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Stock Show Photos


Denver National Western Stock Show

I am exhausted. I felt well enough to go to the Denver National Western Stock Show yesterday, and I was there for 9 hours. I don't regret a single second of being there, but I sure am pooped today. I arrived early, and since I had purchased my ticket at King Soopers, the local grocery store, I didn't have to wait until the box office opened at 9 to be able to enter the show areas. Draft horse Halter classes began at 8 a.m., and I was there. I was able to see about half of the exhibits - and declined trying to ride the mechanical bull. I did, however, have my photo taken sitting on a 17-hand Texas Longhorn steer, and on an 18.5 hand Belgium draft horse. I visited the children's area early, before the petting zoo opened, but I was able to see the critters as they were brought inside. There was also a very nice poultry display and some of the geese, chickens, roosters, doves, and chicks were for sale. I wandered through the Stockyards, originally built in 1886, and was able to see and pet a wide variety of cattle, miniature cattle, Yaks and bison. I had a wonderful chat with some folks who had started showing Longhorns just 5 years earlier - they already had two Grand Champion bulls, and it was a wonder to watch their 8-year-old daughter groom them, loose, in a 30-foot round pen. I was invited to enter and interact with the bulls, and I did so with great pleasure. The cattle dogs were working cattle to whistles and hand signs in the afternoon. That was quite a sight, as well. I wandered through the livestock stabling areas, and visited with goats, sheep and rams, cattle galore, and the draft horses, mules and donkeys. In classes yesterday afternoon, I got to see the log skid, the single horse cart, donkey hunters under saddle, mules under saddle (English and Western), and the double hitches. I was also lucky enough to see some of the "Roman riders" at practice - they were standing on the backs of the last pair of a 6-horse-hitch, and moving at a walk, trot and canter. I wish I had the guts to try that. Their classes are today. I was able to see and pet the Express black Clydesdales in their stalls in the barn area, as well as getting a good look at their harness and wagon - I was glad that I already knew a little bit about them, thanks to RFD-TV's "Gentle Giants" program. I looked at boots and saddles, western furniture, lamps, fencing, gates, horse and stock trailers, tons of ads about stock for sale and breeding availability, custom made boots, signs, and tons of all sorts of other things. As I said, I had a fantastic time, even though I'm tired after a day on my feet... I'll share my photos soon.
  Lovey and Nedi have forgiven me for spending only 30 minutes in their company yesterday - they have twined all about me, and I'm covered with their scent. Tugger and Sasquatch are fine and dandy, as are Aiko and Yoshi. It seems that both of the munchkins are 3 to 5 pounds overweight, so we take two long walks and two short ones each day; and their snacks have been cut off. They are not really happy with that, but that's their folks' rules, and I follow them. Nedi has been outside, chasing, and being chased by, the ravens. Lovey has spent most of the time in my lap. I gave them a special treat for breakfast, since I was gone for 24 hours... Spoiled? My kits? Where on earth did you get that idea?
  I hope you have a super weekend!

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Snow on the Islands

Chincoteague Island got 4 to 6 inches of snow last night
The beach on Assateague Island is snow covered...
Chincoteague ponies in snow on Assateague Island

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Unusual Adoptions

An Alsatian has adopted a wild boar piglet
This poodle adopted squirrels
Do we call the babies tiglets?
The cat adopted an injured squirrel

Dolphins and Whales

We nearly reached 60 degrees yesterday, and hit the mid 60s today. Lovey and Nedi are enjoying the warm weather, as are Tugger and Sasquatch. I finally grabbed my reserved book from the library, but am 2/3 of the way through another book. I plan on finishing the first one and then reading Ms. Prescott's novel.
  The two Boulder police officers, Samuel Carter and Brent Curnow, arrested for the killing of the Mapleton Hill elk, have resigned, effective immediately from the Boulder Police Department. They face 9 counts each; 3 felonies and 6 misdemeanors. The Fish and Wildlife office is still investigating on their end; and so is the Boulder Sheriff's Office, checking into the assistance of an on-duty deputy the night of the shooting.
  I was delighted to see in the news today that a pod of sperm whales off the Azores have apparently adopted a bottle nose dolphin that suffers from a spinal condition. Sperm whales swim slowly and generally ignore dolphins; dolphins usually pick at, tease and haze whale calves. This dolphin has a partial S curvature of the spine, and cannot swim quickly. Observers and divers watched the pod of whales interact with the dolphin for a period of 8 days. The dolphin nuzzled the whales, and the whales nuzzled the dolphin... What a wonderful world! .... And, off Hawaii, a scuba instructor and dive leader was approached by a lone dolphin, who was impaled on a fishing hook and had monofiliment line wrapped around its; nose, head, flippers and dorsal fin. The diver removed the hook and started cutting away the line. The dolphin swam to the surface, got another breath of air, and returned for the diver to finish removing the line. They had 8 minutes of interaction... and it was filmed... I wish I had been there!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Young Critters

A painted burro
Holstein calf
Kids will be kids - paint foal, or not
This baby walrus looks startled....

Inauguration Day

Gee, I started off the day watching past Presidents and their spouses arrive for President Obama's official Inauguration in Washington - this was interspersed with local coverage of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, and the annual Memorial Marade in downtown Denver. I know that today is a Federal Holiday - but at the same time, I forgot it. since the buses were running on a regular (not Holiday) schedule, and I showed up at the front doors of the public library to pick up my reserved book. It's a Holiday! The doors were closed and locked, with a sign showing it was MLK, Jr Day. I certainly felt foolish! But I'll stop by there tomorrow, pick up my reserved book, and drop off the other two that I've finished...
  My kits have been wonderful, warm and snuggly since I've been ill. Today the kits have have fun running in and out of the warm sunshine, and are running around like loonies at the moment, as the sun has gone down, and Jupiter is spectacular beside the moon... I spent several hours with Sasquatch and Tugger today - and I think everyone had a good time. I hope to start walking Rosie and Remy again tomorrow - that's up to Nancy and Joel, the owners.
  I hope that you have a good week!

Sunday, January 20, 2013

My Two Loves on Vegas

Two very different men, portraying two very different characters on Vegas - but gosh, I love to watch them move, talk, and kiss their ladies!  I just love Dennis Quaid and Michael Chiklis!


English pasture
Isle of Skye
The Palm Coast of Florida
Snowman and Snowcat love

Books and Things

Not a whole lot to comment on today - Sasquatch and Tugger were great last night and this morning. I've read the first two books of the Camulod series by Jack Whyte and have embarked on the third. I just received a notice from the Public Library that my inter-library loan book has arrived and is available for pick up (The Man on a Donkey). Today is much cooler than yesterday, but it's still bright and sunny out, and Lovey and Nedi are playing and running outside and back in. And I double-checked with two different bus drivers this morning, making sure whether they will run on a regular or Holiday schedule tomorrow (regular, thank goodness!). Sunday's are a pain in the patootie, trying to coordinate bus schedules to get to certain places by certain times - the buses only run their route once an hour on Sunday, as opposed to every 15 or 20 minutes on weekdays - and if you miss a connection, you're stuck for another hour, or you get to walk, or pay for a taxi.
  My cough and bronchitis are much better, but since I'm still making gunk in my lungs, I'm still coughing. At least I'm not coughing until I choke, as I was before. I've finished my antibiotics, and have 4 days of cough medication left. That'll cover me until I start caring for Rosie and Remy again. After their strange weight gain, the dogs are on a very strict diet; then I take on the munchkins, Aiko and Yoshi. The next week will be interesting, and I hope to be able to improve my stamina.
  In the past two days, five people have been accidentally shot at three different gun shows here in the US. .... Samuel Carter, the Boulder police officer who killed the Mapleton Hill elk, was heard to announce to several people at the end of a shift briefing on December 26 that he was going to kill the elk. The Fish and Wildlife office is upset because with him because he told them the elk was "road kill". This man has gotten himself into some deep stink - I don't know if it was the elk's antlers, or his meat, that was the driving force behind his killing. I guess we'll find out, as the story continues to unfold. ....
  The United Kingdom has been hit by heavy snow storms, causing flight delays, as well as slowing their rail and subway systems. In Scotland, a party of six mountain climbers went to climb in the area of Glen Coe; four were killed in an avalanche. .... Then there's the heat wave and fires in Australia. Do you think Mother Nature is making a statement?

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Assateague Island Views

Assateague's coves and inlets are inviting
Crab for lunch
A Chincoteague pony foal shows it's been walking in marsh mud
The shrimper "Cassandra" heads back home