Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Bright Day

It's very bright and clear outside today - Colorado at it's finest during the winter.  Blue sky in every direction, light breeze from the south, and sun, sun, sun.  I've fed and walked Aiko and Yoshi, been home and taken care of my kits, taken one load of recyclables out, and returned to the munchkins.  They played in the back yard while I shoveled the driveway.  Their folks are due home around 2 this afternoon, then I'll go home and be cleaning like a whirling dervish until our city apartment inspection tomorrow morning.
  Not much else going on - I'm almost finished reading The Lance Thrower, and still have 4 more books waiting for my eyes to devour them.  It doesn't seem like March is one and a half days away.  My nephew's birthday, is on the 4th, as is my friend Bea's, and then it seems there's a birthday every other day until the end of the month.  The last 10 days of the month, I'll be at the Snitman's, taking care of Finn and Skippy.
  I was surprised that when I was ready to leave the apartment and return to the boys, only Nedi came when I called.  I had to step out to the edge of the patio and call Lovey several times before I saw her appear, at the southern apartment building.  Then she ran like a wild thing, springing along on top of the snow's crust, until she hit a spot too close to the edge, broke through, and went careening off to her left and onto some one's patio.  Then she reappeared, turned on her jets, and flew up to me, jumping from the ground to my shoulder, as she arrived.  Luckily, I knew she'd do it, and had myself braced for it - she has knocked me off balance a couple of times when I wasn't prepared for 15-pound cat to suddenly appear on my left shoulder...

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


Carricknarede Rope Bridge, Ireland

Manatees under the Crystal River Bridge, Florida

Popocatlpetl erupting in Mexico

Starry night in the Sequoia National Forest, California

Critters, Snow & King Richard III

The weather forecast said it would start snowing at noon and end before dark today.  It started snowing at 7 a.m., and shows no sign of letting up.  The house is being "shown" by Realtors this afternoon, as it's been decided to have 4 or 5 back-up offers in hand by the man who is listing the home.  So about 12:30, I'll go out with shovel and broom and clean off the front porch, steps, and walkway.  The showings are supposed to occur between 1:30 and 3:30 this afternoon.  I'm taking Aiko and Yoshi over to my sister's house; I can read, and they can play with Boo.
  My kits were happy to see me this morning, but were not so happy when I opened the patio door and they realized it was snowing again.  At least Nedi went out and played in the snow, as usual; Lovey ran around inside making tiger growls and yowls, then settled down.  It'll be nice to sleep with them tomorrow night.
  Let's see:  Rachel Alexandra, the ex-racer, is now off of intravenous fluids and feeding.  She's eating on her own and takes several short walks each day.  I don't know if they will risk breeding her again, or not.  Her filly is doing well on a nurse-mare.  ....  Violence, who seemed to be a strong contender on the Triple Crown trail, has fractured a sesamoid , and probably won't be on the track again until the summer campaigns.  .... 
  King Richard III's DNA will soon be compared to other male relatives, and will have that to add to the mitochondrial DNA evidence.  Nine of King Richard's relatives had an open letter printed in the London Times stating that they wished for the King's remains to be buried in York, rather than in Leicester.  It looks as if the two city's will be slugging this out.  It will be an incredible tourist draw.  Normally, the Leicester Guildhall has about 37,000 visitors per year; two weeks ago,  they opened a display regarding the dig for, and discovery of, Richard III, in 5 days, the Guildhall had 15,000 visitors... 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Critters Near and Far

Big horn ram in Rocky Mountain National Park
Danish kestrel with prey
Fox in Yellowstone National Park
A murder of crows

Accomack Arsonist, Books, and Home Details

We had about 9 inches of snow fall here in my apartment area, and about 11 inches up in north Boulder at the Munsinger's. I had to shovel a path out to the back yard's grassy areas 4 times yesterday, so the Shih Tzu's wouldn't have to "swim" through the snow to relieve themselves... Someone was supposed to come shovel the front walkway and the drive yesterday, but I never saw hide nor hair of them. I shoveled the front walkway this morning, so the house cleaner would be able to get inside without having snow up to her knees. The house was put on the market, for sale, on Thursday; it was shown once on Thursday, twice on Friday,and twice on Saturday. The first people who looked at the house had financing already in place (the house sold for $1.19 million), and they signed the contract on Saturday. Now the Munsinger's have to find a place to move into until they decide where they are buying to "down size."
  Our apartment inspection is Thursday, and I still have a lot of trash to throw out, so the place won't look so cluttered. And I bought a new fire/smoke detector alarm system to put in the hall way. The existing one is wired into the ceiling, but it started going off for no reason during a 3-day weekend over a year ago, and one of the neighbors said he knew how to "turn it off." I allowed him to do so, not realizing until the next day that he had totally cut the wiring. So at least I now have an up to specifications combination smoke, fire, and CO2 alarm system. I just put it up.
  The kits were happy to see me this morning - more to get outside than anything else, but they've been stymied with the snowfall. Nedi has been jumping in and out of the snow and chasing imaginary whatsits, while Lovey is sitting in the sun on the corner of the patio looking regal. Yesterday I spent with Aiko and Yoshi, reading and giving belly rubs; this morning I need to give my kits some love, having already fed them, giving them fresh water, and cleaning their potty boxes. I finished reading all 917 pages of Uther, and have now started the story of Clothar, The Lance Thrower. Then, once I read The Eagle, I will have read all nine of Jack Whyte's books regarding the Chronicles of Camulod. And I am really enjoying this man's writing and ideas of how the story of Camelot came about. The books are fantastic!
  There was another fire near Wachapreague, in Accomack County, Virginia Sunday night. If it is confirmed as arson, this will mark the 53rd fire since November 12. The person or people responsible for these fires must be caught. Any unused or abandoned building in Accomack County seems to be within the perpetrator's grasp. This causes higher insurance costs, fire department costs, and policing (both city and county) costs. It's crazy. Let's pitch in to catch this pyromaniac!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


Round-up of Chincoteague ponies
A roan feeling saucy in Colorado snow
Buddies in the pasture
Andalusian opposites

Chincoteague Spring Round-Up; House-Sitting, and My Kits

It's partly sunny out,and about 20 degrees. The snow from Wednesday has compacted a bit, but hasn't disappeared in any way - other than from the scraped streets. This morning's weather report says Boulder will get 10 inches of snow, beginning tonight. I'll be at the house with Aiko and Yoshi, and as the house is now publicly listed "For Sale" I have to keep the house immaculate and be ready to whisk the boys away with me whenever a realtor makes a showing appointment. I can always take the boys over to Kathy and Jim's - and, I guess, if it's snowing hard, I can drive them over. The owners are trying to set up staying across the street, with a neighbor, but Nancy works night shift in an ICU, and I don't want to put her out in any way. My apartment complex is also undergoing an inspection by the City of Boulder on the 28th - and the management wants everything to be spic and span for that - which will make things very interesting, as I need to do some more tossing of recyclables at my place, but be available to clear the house of the munchkins for sale showings ...
  If you happen to be in the area of Chincoteague and Assateague Islands (Virginia) on the weekend of April 5, 6 and 7, you can be witness to the Annual Spring Round-Up of the Chincoteague ponies. The Ponies will be rounded up for vet checks. The southern herd will be rounded up on Friday and the Northern herd on Sunday. The Southern herd will be viewable by the public in the Southern Corral, just off the road that takes you to the beach. There will probably be a few new foals to look over, and, if Surfer Dude is still ranging on the south end of the island, the foals will be cute and/or pretty.
  I had to laugh this morning - I had the patio door cracked open, and Lovey and Nedi had been in and out quite a few times, when I heard Lovey make an odd noise. She was sitting on a perch in the cat tree, looking down towards the open door. She finally changed from a burble to a very short, hesitant hiss, and I asked if her brother, Nedi, was stalking her. She didn't pay any attention to me, so I walked around the corner from my desk, and saw that Bob, neighbor's cat, was sitting half-in and half-out, on the door sill. He was just calmly sitting there, staring up at Lovey. So I called Nedi, who came running from ChickenMan's patio; he ran in past Bob, who withdrew, and I closed the door. Lovey watched the door for several minutes before she relaxed.

Friday, February 22, 2013

Squirrel Money


Television Programs and Snow

Wednesday evening's snow is still just sitting there on the ground - it's all of 15 degrees at the moment (in the single digits overnight), but the sun is shining, and we're supposed break the freezing mark this afternoon. Expecting more snow Sunday and then again Tuesday. The kits are pretty bummed with the snow, but they did have a couple of wild chases this morning, running up and down the lengths of every ones patios. Nedi is asleep in the cat tree, soaking up sunshine, while Lovey is curled up on my pillow in bed. Tomorrow evening I start "working" again - I'll be house-sitting for Aiko and Yoshi, the Shih Tzus, through Wednesday night. I'll start walking them Sunday, and, thankfully, with their short little legs, I won't have to exert myself too much to keep up with them. I will, hopefully, start working with Rosie and Remy again on Monday. I've recently lost two clients due to the "illness" of old age: Brandi, the Zen Australian Shepherd, who was blind, passed away last month; and Peach, a wonderful and very lovable yellow Labrador, left us two days ago. It doesn't seem possible that they are no longer here, in the fur. I'm sure, however, that they crossed the Rainbow Bridge in loving company and they are running happily through heavenly fields.
  While waiting for Person of Interest last night, I ended up on the BBC America channel, watching Wild Things with Dominic Monaghan. I was amazed and entranced by the young man, and was immediately reminded of Steve Irwin, the Crocodile Hunter. Young Mister Monaghan was very interesting and knowledgeable about the things he talked about, and he had the verve, excitement, and intensity that Steve Irwin had. Last night, the episode was about seeing the white Goliath beetle in it's natural habitat in Cameroon. The show introduced us to the insect collection trade, the country of Cameroon, the customs of the local people, and introduced the local wildlife that was seen during the search for the beetle. I haven't been so riveted to the TV since Steve Irwin passed away. Dominic Bernard Patrick Luke Monaghan has always had a spot in my heart since he portrayed Merry (Meriadoc) Brandybuck in The Lord of the Rings trilogy. He certainly has my attention now, as a master craftsman of a very informative wildlife show.
  Speaking of television, I thoroughly enjoyed Person of Interest last night, and both NCIS and Vegas on Tuesday night. But then I realized that I kept seeing ads for a new show called Golden Boy that will be showing in the Vegas time slot beginning next week. - I admit that my TV is on quite a bit, without me truly watching whatever is on. I use it as background noise, since I live in a downtown area with frequent heavy truck traffic, fire trucks and ambulances, plus the fact that I can hear my neighbors in the building without any problem, if there is no background noise. I don't like being an eavesdropper, and it can be very embarrassing at times, if one does not have some background noise covering the sounds that come through walls and ceilings. (You must remember I'm living in an apartment building that is older than I am.) - I was upset to see that Vegas will more than likely, not be on the air next year, due to low viewership. Now I don't sit camped in front of the TV: I watch local news and weather; I watch Jeopardy!; I faithfully watch NCIS, Vegas, and Person of Interest. If I have nothing that has seduced my attention, I usually watch CSI:NY and Blue Bloods. All of those shows, with the exception of the game show, are on CBS. I watch local NBC news, and Jeopardy! is on ABC. So, in trying to find out why the new show was coming on in the Vegas time slot, I was amazed to find out that both CSI:NY and Vegas are under the proverbial hatchet... If they go, I'll just have more time to read and do research... I truly like both shows, but I love Vegas. Too bad that people don't enjoy a good, twisted story line involving family, the law, crime families in Vegas, gambling, and classic cars and clothing. I have a blast each time I watch the show. Apparently very few others enjoy the same thing, however. That's just too bad.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Snowy Colorado Mountains

View in the Colorado Rockies
The Gore Mountain range
More Colorado Rockies
Mountain goat in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado

Snow; Horse Slaughterhouse in Oklahoma

It started to snow about 4:15 yesterday afternoon - we got about 3 1/2 inches during the evening, and then it started snowing again around daybreak. The kits ran out into the snow this morning, then came right back inside. I left the door open long enough to put nuts and cookies out for the squirrels and birds, and then I firmly closed and locked it again. The wind is blowing from the south-south-east, and, as my patio faces east, almost half of the area is snow-covered. Nedi did a drop and roll in the snow when he first ran out, but then shook most of the snow off. I've taken my meds and had a banana and half of an orange for breakfast - I decided not to walk over to the store and bakery this morning (for once).
   Personally, I don't even like to think about eating horse meat. I suppose, that in extremity, I might survive by doing so, but only if I didn't have to kill the horse myself. I just love horses too much - as living, breathing, thinking companions. I know that I grow extremely attached to any animal in my care - which is why I never raised a critter for 4-H.In any event, I've been watching the news from Europe regarding the discovery of horse meat in burgers and other items that were supposed to be beef. I was surprised to see, a few days ago, that Nestle was recalling a pasta and meat dinner (lasagna?) from several European countries, as it was discovered they contained horse meat. I know that the French, Japanese and several other countries, or cultures, believe horse meat to be a better meat than beef. Me, I simply can't swallow that idea. I am wandering. My apologies. The following is from today's electronic version of The BloodHorse magazine: "Oklahoma could soon allow the slaughter of horses for human consumption, ending a ban that has been in place in the state for close to 50 years, under a pair of bills easily approved Feb. 20 in the state legislature. Both the House and Senate passed separate bills that would end the ban and allow a horse slaughtering plant to open in the state. Both measures still would ban the sale of horse meat for consumption in Oklahoma, but would allow for the meat to be exported to other countries. Rep. Skye McNiel said passage of the bill could provide a humane option for unwanted, aging horses, many of which are abandoned or eventually shipped to horse slaughtering facilities in Mexico. She said where she lives in rural Oklahoma, older horses often are abandoned on dead end roads or pastures by people who can no longer afford to care for them. "Nobody wants horses to be abused. I don't," said McNiel, R-Bristow, who said during debate on the bill that she grew up riding horses. "They have value as live animals. Why can't they have value after they're done with their usefulness? Why can't they have value as a dead animal?"..." I really don't feel that this is a good idea, folks. I really believe this might lead to the killing of mustangs for profit, once again.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Silly Captions



The day began without a cloud in the sky, but now the clouds are starting to roll in... Today's local newspaper says to expect between 2 and 4 inches of snow this afternoon and evening... It's certainly chilly enough for it, and we're supposed to get some of the moisture from the California snow storm over our area; but it hasn't arrived yet. I am still coughing from my bronchitis, but it's now occurring a lot less frequently than before. I visited the store this morning, and purchased more crunchies for the kitties and cereal for me, plus a couple of oranges. I plan on using my 50% off coupon today to purchase a large pizza - that will give me three full meals for $6, so I can't complain.
  My friend Geary managed to be home in New Orleans for Mardi Gras - he sat on his Auntie's porch in the French Quarter and watched the parades and crowds go by. He also loaded up on Cajun cookin', and he says he'll have to diet for the rest of the month to get back to his normal weight. I am currently reading jack Whyte's Uther, which is only 917 pages... the first 100 have been riveting, and I haven't wanted to put the book down. And I'm a little concerned for my next-door-neighbor: the lease for my apartment states that I can't run or operate a business from here, and I'm sure that's in all the rental agreements. Chris and his friend and partner just got a SBA loan to start up their own business, doing mirror etching. For the last week, they have been working on their patio, making the etchings in the mirrors. I'm afraid that the maintenance man and/or the building owner will see their set-up (it covers the whole patio) and they'll get kicked out. Chris is one of the nicest neighbors I've ever had, and I'd be sorry to lose him...

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Views of Denmark

The  Amager Ark in Copenhagen
The Bork Viking Museum in Jutland
Earth cottage in Bratton Strand, Jutland
Danish sunrise


It's 32 degrees outside at 12:30 in the afternoon, with a sunny sky and a very cold wind blowing. The kits ran out and then ran back in, so I was rather happy with their quick visit outside this morning... I visited my therapist this morning at 9, and was scheduled to return to see my new psychiatrist at 1. My therapist found that Dr. Leone had an open appointment immediately after I finished seeing her, so she managed to get my appt. changed so that I didn't have to make another trip out today. After seeing both of them, I stopped at the library and returned my last four books; then scooped up four that were on hold for me... I have two more requested that haven't been found yet...
  The weather folks still can't say whether we'll get snow from the "big storm" Wednesday night or not. As I keep saying, I'd love to have 3 or 4 feet of it fall... They are predicting more snow on Sunday afternoon, too. We'll see. I'm due to move in with Aiko and Yoshi Saturday evening; their people leave at 7, so I'll plan on arriving about 7:30... Hopefully I 'll have more books to read by then.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Cute Young Critters

Endangered Scottish Wild Cat/Kitten

Presidents Day

Another fire last night in Accomack County - I'm still waiting for word as to whether this one is arson or not. .... Rachel Alexandra is still getting better, bit by bit; her vets are encouraged by her improvements. .... My kits enjoyed being allowed outside for most of yesterday; it's much colder today, and the wind is razor sharp, but it is still sunny. Supposedly nice weather until Wednesday evening - the forecasts change each hour, so we're told we'll be getting 6 inches of snow and then we're told no snow will fall.... I'll just wait and see.
   After all the wild atmospheric events on Friday, the sighting of a fireball on the eastern coast of Florida was nothing big. It was declared another meteor burning up in the atmosphere, and was seen from Jacksonville down to Homestead. I know that, after the Chelyabinsk explosion, people will be keeping an eye to the sky for a while.
  When I was small, today was not a holiday. We celebrated George Washington's Birthday on February 22, as he was "the Father of our Country." We also tipped our hats to Abraham Lincoln's birthday on the 12th of February. In 1968, President Nixon designated the third Monday in February as Presidents Day - to honor the combined birthdays of Washington and Lincoln in between both birthdays. It now is a celebration of all of the Presidents of the United States, and is a Federal Holiday. There usually are not huge celebrations of Presidents Day - small communities might have parades - but, by and large, the day is just a day off for most federal and state employees. I, personally, remember songs and plays about the Presidents, that we, as school children, performed... but no more.
  I hope you have a pleasant holiday and a good week.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Colorado Mountains

The Cimarron Mountains near Ouray
View from Westcliffe
In the San Juan Mountain range
New Year's fireworks above Telluride

Boulder Weather; Accomack Arson & ES Trail Ride

Rachel Alexandra is still in serious, but stable, condition at Rood and Riddle in Lexington, Kentucky. Her veterinarians are becoming a little more optimistic about her recovery chances with each passing day. ... Gary Stevens rode Great Hot to victory in the Santa Maria Stakes yesterday; that makes three Stakes wins on three consecutive weekend days. Way to go, Gary!
  It's a beautiful sunny, but breezy, day here. The western side of the continental divide has gotten a lot of snow recently - and skiing conditions are great. Here, on the eastern side, we are dry and windy, and under a Red Flag warning for High fire danger. The weather folks are saying we might get snow tomorrow night, but will definitely get snow this coming Thursday and Friday. We'll see. It's in the low 40s right now, and we reached 55 degrees yesterday. It was great being able to soak up the heat and sun in a place sheltered from the wind (my patio). The kits really enjoyed it, I know.
  Poor Accomack County, Virginia. As far as I know, none of the 50 arson fires have happened on Chincoteague Island, but folks on the mainland are getting burned - quite literally. The Accomack Sheriff's Office is now offering a $25,000 reward for information leading to the arrest of the arsonist/s who is/are responsible for the 50 destructive fires since November 12th. ... And, if you own a horse, and plan to be in the area of the Eastern Shore of Virginia on March 23, please consider a riding/camping trip with the proceeds supporting the Eastern Shore Special Olympics...  More information can be found at:    Please donate and/or participate, if you can!

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Sweet Things


Look! Up in the Sky, It's....

Black Caviar raced in Australia today, and won her 23rd straight race, in a race named after her - the Black Caviar Lightning Stakes. The sprinter started slowly in her first race since Royal Ascot, but she won by 2 1/2 lengths, setting a new course record for 5 furlongs. The mare tore muscles and ligaments in her back during her single race in England, and it was not known if she'd be able to race again. Well... Black Caviar is back in impressive style! ..... Former Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra is still in serious condition at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. She is still listed as being in "serious" condition, but her attending vets said that she had "brightened" yesterday, and actually wanted a mint as a treat, which she hadn't before. Best wishes to Rachel A. and her filly, now on a nurse mare at Stonestreet Farm.
  Look, up in the sky! Wow. Three "close encounters" yesterday between our mother Earth and errant space debris - that was quite a surprise for the day after Valentine's Day! We all knew about the asteroid that passed between the Earth and our GPS, etc. satellites at 2:24 EST - I watched it live on NASA, myself. The surprise encounters occurred in the Ural Mountains in Russia Friday morning, and in northern California Friday evening/night. The most frightening event happened above the city of Chelyabinsk: The meteor was a once-in-a-century event, NASA officials said, describing it as a "tiny asteroid." The space agency revised its estimate of the meteor's size upward late Friday from 49 feet (15 meters) to 55 feet (17 meters), and its estimated mass from 7,000 tons to 10,000 tons. The space agency also increased the estimated amount of energy released in the meteor's explosion from about 300 to nearly 500 kilotons. By comparison, the nuclear bomb the United States dropped on Hiroshima in 1945 released an estimated 15 kilotons of energy. The whole event, from the meteor's atmospheric entry to its disintegration in the air above central Russia, took 32.5 seconds, NASA said. Reports from Russia have said that up to 1,200 people have been treated for cuts and abrasions caused by flying glass and the pure concussive force of the blast. More than 4,000 buildings received damage, and the roof of a zinc manufacturing plant collapsed from the force of the blast.
  What freaked me out, was a headline that appeared a few hours after the blast, stating that US fighter jets had scrambled when two Russian bombers had appeared over Guam's air space. The last paragraph of the story explained that this had happened during President Obama's State of the Union Address on Tuesday evening, and not after the blast over Chelyabinsk. I guess I still haven't out-grown our Kindergarten and first grade training during the Cuban Missile Crisis - just goes to show how old, remembered drills and training can jump into life again.
  The third encounter was seen and recorded in northern California last night - The fireball was seen around 7:45 p.m., by witnesses as far north as Fairfield and as far south as Gilroy. It was also reportedly seen in Sacramento and Walnut Creek. Folks in Monterey said it was visible along California's Central Coast, too. said Candice Guruwaiya gave this account on Facebook of seeing it in San Jose: "I was leaving Safeway on Branham and Snell when I saw it. ... It was a bright green when it first appeared, then it went to a bright yellow. It was awesome!" An astronomer at the Chabot Space and Science Center in Oakland told that Friday night's event wasn't related to the asteroid's passing: Gerald McKeegan, an astronomer at Chabot, said he did not see it, but based on accounts he thinks it was a "sporadic meteor," which can happen several times a day but most of the time happens over the ocean, away from human eyes. Sporadic meteors bring as much as 15,000 tons of space debris to Earth each year, according to McKeegan. He explained that meteors, which are hunks of rock and metal from space that fall to Earth, burn up as they go through Earth's atmosphere, which is what apparently caused last night's bright flash of light.

Friday, February 15, 2013

Pretty Paint Babies

JRR Paint Me Gold and dam
Nice butt!

Denver Dog Show; Rachel A.

Rachel Alexandra is in very serious condition following her abdominal surgery at Rood and Riddle Equine Hospital. A part of her small intestine had perforated, and was removed; the abdominal cavity was washed out with large amounts of saline. Peritonitis is what is most feared...
  We had four inches of snow fall yesterday; the weather folks say we'll warm up through the weekend and then get more snow on Monday and Wednesday. I hope we get several feet. It would be enjoyable, and the ground - land - earth - really needs the precipitation. A week of light rain would be good, too.
  The 18th Annual Rocky Mountain Cluster Dog Show is taking place today through Monday at the National Western Stock Show Complex in Denver. The entrance fee is $5 per person. It's called a Cluster dog show because it is four separate all breed dog shows, obedience trials, rally trials and agility trials taking place under one roof over a period of four days. Strollers are not allowed at the dog show, as strollers place children's faces pretty much at a dog's mouth level - and all dogs, show dogs or not, do bite - this rule is to insure the safety of your child/children, as well as the safety of the dogs.
  I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Thursday, February 14, 2013