Sunday, March 31, 2013

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Assorted Photos

Easter Parade
Irish lighthouse
Jutland, Denmark
An Edwardian Easter card

Go Gators! Go Shockers!

It's a gorgeous, sunny morning with temperatures near 50 degrees already. The kits are running in and out, and I've enjoyed two walks, with Boo and Finn. Skippy slept with me again last night, but decided to use guerilla tactics to try and make me get up at 5. I did get up, but I placed him out in the hall and closed the door, going back to bed for another hour.
  Today is a big money day in thoroughbred racing - the Florida Derby, the Louisiana Derby, and the $27 million races in Dubai are happening today. .... But, on the down side, the Governor of Oklahoma signed a new law yesterday - Oklahoma's 50-year-old ban on horse slaughtering was lifted Friday when the governor signed a new law that will allow facilities to process and export horse meat, despite bitter opposition by animal rights activists. - Many horses today have been given anti-biotics, steroids, and other drugs that help the horse, but should not be consumed by people or pets. Does the Oklahoma slaughter house have a way to test these poor horses prior to killing them? Will they test them? Or will it be another nail in the coffin for unwanted horses that can be given away, or purchased cheaply, and then sent to die for a profit? It's just plain sick and inhuman.
   The Florida Gators have made it to the Elite Eight in the March Madness Basketball Tourney. Today I'll be cheering for the Wichita State Shockers...

Friday, March 29, 2013

Various Photos

A basket kitty
Baby rabbit and tulips
Jonathan Ryland (aka Garth, the Visigoth)
Wildfire at Taim Ecological Station in Brazil
Hedra Cottage, Accomack County, Virginia

All Sorts of Things...

We have a cloudy morning here in Boulder, but we're expecting a high of 64 degrees. I've fed, loved, and walked Finn and Skippy. Gotten home and loved and fed Nedi and Lovey; then I'll go walk the Rs, and then pick Boo up and take her back to stay with Finn for a couple of days... Lovey and Nedi want more and more affection, and, luckily, I'll be able to spend much more time with them after Saturday.
  Ever since I first saw the Visigoths in the Capital One commercials, I have liked Garth, the usual spokesman. I finally found out that his name is Jonathan Ryland, and he was born in Surrey, England in November 1973 - while I was a senior in high school. (Geez, that makes me feel ancient!) But in any event, I now know his name and can see other things that he has appeared in.
  There is a wildfire burning in Bent County, Colorado right now, where they are under an extreme drought. - And down in Brazil, there is a huge wildfire burning at the Taim Ecological Station. It has already consumed 1,400 acres, and as there is very little water available, it will probably be allowed to burn itself out,,, Which is frightening to me. - And there were two more Accomack Arsonist fires last night in Virginia. Fire-fighters are stating that the second fire, near Greenbackville, was set by a "copy-cat" arsonist.
  Besides the Florida and Louisiana Derbys being run this weekend, it's also the big day of racing in Dubai. Racing network TVG will provide live coverage of the $27 million Dubai World Cup program March 30 beginning at 9 a.m. EDT. Highlighting the action from Meydan will be the $10 million Dubai World Cup (UAE-I), Thoroughbred racing's richest event. "Dubai World Cup day is one of our sport's biggest events, and TVG is excited to once again televise all the action for our fans," said Don Scott, TVG vice president of marketing. "Because of the outstanding group of American-based horses, and the pageantry of the event, we have added resources to enhance an already impressive TVG telecast."

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Chesapeake Bay Vodka

Just in time for summer or a weekend Bloody Mary, a Philadelphia-based distillery has released a vodka with “traditional Chesapeake Bay seasoning.”  “The Bay” is a combination of “classic seafood seasonings familiar to lovers of the U.S. Eastern Seaboard for nearly 80 years,” according to its creators.
  As the newest liquor from Philadelphia Distilling, the brand appears to pay homage to a cousin of Old Bay, which is a staple of most Maryland crab steams and the occasional french fry basket.  The seasoning contains flavors of celery seed, black and red pepper, nutmeg, cardamom and a base of sea salt.  President and Co-founder of of the distillery Andrew Auwerda said the vodka, which will retail for $26 a liter, is meant for Chesapeake natives and visitors to the region.
  “If you spend time on the Chesapeake Bay, these flavors become part of your life,” Auwerda said in a statement that coincided the vodka’s release on March 25 — Maryland Day.


Sandhill cranes
Leaping lamb
Newly discovered lizard in Peru

Quilting; Bits and Pieces

Today the sky is cloudy, but no precipitation is expected, and we're hoping to reach the low 60s. The snow has all melted and evaporated away here in the back yard, while it's only still on the ground in shady, north-facing spots at Finn and Skippy's. There's a possibility of a light showers Saturday night, but we're looking at snow again on Monday, April 1. Yesterday I resupplied myself with quilting needles, clear thread, all-cotton batting, and I also purchased the material that will be one side of the baby quilt I'm making - the other side will be piecework and embroidery, and I made my templates for the piecework yesterday, also.
  In my small news bites:  Rachel Alexandra has been returned to her usual stall at Stonestreet Farm, the vets from Riddle and Rood EH will be visiting her daily for the next few weeks, to ensure she continues making progress in her surgery recovery. .... Reports released this morning state that the shooter at the Newtown school fired 155 rounds in 5 minutes. .... Here in Colorado, it's being reported that the man who is charged with the Aurora theater massacre (who refused to plead last week), may agree to a plea deal - pleading guilty as charged - if he will not have to face the death penalty. He should have thought of that before killing 12 and wounding 50+ people! .... Next Friday, the TV show Vegas, starring Michael Chiklis and Dennis Quaid, will reappear in the CBS line-up. It used to be on the air on Tuesdays. No word yet as to whether it has been renewed for next season, but I know that NCIS and Person of Interest have been approved. .... The Florida Derby will be run on Saturday, and the three big name contenders that are taking the headlines are Itsmyluckyday, Orb, and Shanghai Bobby.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Wild Creatures

A new litter of capybaras
A meercat, absorbing the sun's heat
A mink, eating its dinner

Family Matters

It's a nice, bright, sun-shiny day out - which has already caused the set of muddy paw-prints on my jeans and T-shirt. They start at the ankle and walk right up my right leg, then onto my chest... Lovey then licked my face and marked my jaw line with her chin. I visited Maggie May yesterday and was delighted that she remembered me; I start caring for her on Friday. I sent off a collection of children's books to my granddaughter yesterday, as well as a Hello Kitty activity book and a Carousel of Happiness coloring book. Then I had found some nice, old-fashioned coloring pages for Easter, so they went into the package as well. I sent it Priority mail, so Kennedy will receive it before Easter.
   I spent most of yesterday finalizing my plans for the making of a baby quilt for Sarah's daughter... One side will be an (almost, but not quite true) recreation of my baby quilt that had galloping horses in separate diamond-shaped fields. Instead of the one galloping horse shape, this one will have five shapes of horses, one in each of the 21 diamonds. The reverse side of the quilt will be in a dog and cat (or other animals) print. I know the amounts and sizes of the material I need, and will head off to the fabric store for cloth and batting later this morning.
   I thoroughly enjoyed seeing the NCIS episode last night, in which McGee finally came to terms with his father, the Admiral. I've known a lot of people that are like both the Admiral and his son, McGee. I respect McGee more, but I also know that the times that the Admiral grew up and lived in molded the man he became. I try to keep an open mind and heart toward all of my new, and old, acquaintances. I know my own demons, and I know that I can be a trial to everyone on certain days - those are the days I try to isolate myself, so my nastiness won't spread to others...
   Right now, I'll just wish you a happy hump day!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

European Views

Sheep and the White Horse of Westbury (England) - 1900
Views of a Viking Valkyrie medallion, dated at 800 A.D.
St. Hychan Church, Llanychan, Wales
Waterfalls on a Norwegian fjord
Geroldsee in the German Alps

Critters and Bits 'n' Pieces

Yesterday it was bright and sunny, and that's the forecast for today - but I haven't seen the sun in over an hour. It's 21 degrees outside, and I'm back at home, while Soledad is cleaning Finn's house. I'll be leaving here in about an hour to go walk Remy and Rosie, then I'll visit Darcie at 1:30 (getting instructions regarding Maggie May), and then I'll sit with Remy while Rosie goes running with Katie at 3 this afternoon. Yesterday, I walked Tess and played with Lily in between everything else. It's very intriguing - my "personalized, local forecast" from 9 News says that there will be snow showers Thursday morning; on TV they said that it would be extremely sunny with no chance of precipitation.... Which should I believe?
   There was another fire attributed to arson in Accomack County, Virginia last night. I am (almost) speechless that this person (or persons) hasn't been caught, while leaving a trail of over 70 fires in one county. It just astounds me. .... Rachel Alexandra is continuing to recovery from her abdominal surgery at Riddle & Rood Equine Hospital in Lexington, Kentucky. .... A gorgeous bay colt by Bernardini out of Hishi Aspen by Forestry topped the Fasig-Tipton Sale of two-year-olds in training in Florida with a purchase price of $1.6 million. .... I feel for Amanda Knox. She's the young lady who was accused of killing her room-mate in Italy in 2007, with her accomplices being her boyfriend and her roommate's boyfriend. She spent 4 years in an Italian prison, and then upon appeal, the sentence was overturned, with the judge citing insufficient evidence and mishandling of evidence. Now the Italian Supreme Court says Amanda must under-go another trial, because the judge of the appeal "had lost his bearings." What?!? Amanda does not have to attend this new trial,but if she is once again found guilty, she can be extradited back to Italy, where she would have to serve the rest of her 26-year sentence.... The University of Virginia Cavaliers have gone into the quarterfinals of the NIT tournament, and will next face Iowa. The University of Florida Gators will play in the Sweet Sixteen test on Friday against the Cinderella team of Florida Gulf Coast University. Go Cavs! Go Gators!

Monday, March 25, 2013

Assorted Views

Fall in Colorado
Bryce Canyon National Park, Utah
Sunrise at Wabasso, Florida
Phreddy says, "Peek-a-boo!"
Three Friesians in California

A Foot of Snow

We ended up getting a foot of snow over the weekend - and Nancy, who owns Rosie and Remy, was headed north (and home) up the 19th Street hill, when someone coming down lost control of their car, spinning all all the place. Nancy tried to turn away from the wayward vehicle, but it ended up hitting her car three times. So Nancy spent most of Saturday in the Emergency Room, getting checked out. She, Max and Joel left on their vacation early yesterday morning, and I was there to cover things until Katie arrived to look after Rosie and Remy.
   Because of the morning visit to the Rs, I had very little time to spend with my kits yesterday. I ran in, loved them, fed them, cleaned the litter boxes and returned to Finn and Skippy's house because I was having problems with the front (driveway) gate. It's an electric gate, and opens to the weight of your vehicle and/or a numeric code. The north side of the gate had stuck in the open position Saturday afternoon, and I had gone down and "played" with the mechanism, trying to get it to close and stay closed. Finn, of course, took this as an opportunity to run up to Linden Avenue, and I got to chase him down, while it was snowing and there were 10 inches on the ground - the snow was almost up to my knees. When I got back yesterday morning, the gate had closed by itself, and is currently working normally.
   Anyway, I'm back at my place for the morning, and have been breaking frequently from my reading and e-mailing to stop and love both Nedi and Lovey. And I am not terribly surprised that I didn't win the Power Ball lottery Saturday night. Only one winning ticket was sold, and that was in Passaic, New Jersey - and is worth $338 million; $221 million if the winner decides to cash in totally, instead of having payments over 20 years.
   I enjoyed another episode of Vikings on the History Channel last night, and I will re-watch it Tuesday night, after NCIS. I miss Vegas terribly, and am eagerly awaiting it's reappearance on Friday night after the end of March Madness....

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Funny Fotos

And a razzberry to you, too!

Odds and Ends

It started to snow here about 3 yesterday afternoon - there's about 6 inches on the ground here at the apartment. Bea and I are going to have brunch at Turley's this morning, then go over to "the big house" and watch movies and talk today... I've got a nice, plump roasting hen for the oven, as well as potatoes and carrots (and I'll make gravy), I'm cooking buttery, peppered green beans, and I'll make brownies. We also have a white-almond cake with chocolate butter cream icing from Lucky's bakery that I picked up yesterday, just as it began to snow.
   Skippy slept with me again last night; Finn barked a couple of times from his room, but there was nothing visible outside - I think he wanted company, more than anything else, but he's not allowed to run free inside at night. Rosie and Remy had a blast out walking and playing yesterday, and I met Katie, who will be staying with them this week.
   The CSU Rams defeated Missouri in the March Madness tourney Thursday, and will play Louisville today. The CU Buffs lost to Illinois yesterday, Georgetown lost, and the Florida Gators won. .... There was another arson incident at an abandoned house in Modest Town on Metompkin Road in Accomack County, Virginia on Thursday night. This fire makes 72 confirmed arson incidents since 12 November of last year. .... The last big north-easter did a lot of damage to the beach on the Virginia end of Assateague Island, according to reports. .... The Mayor of Gainesville, Florida has made the news - he was found asleep at the wheel of his crashed car about 12 miles outside of town. He was charged with DUI, having a blood alcohol level of .069 and with one count of property damage. The car was lodged in a ditch on the side of the road. Mayor Craig Lowe is scheduled to be in a run-off election for the Mayoralty next month. .... And, for some reason, folks are raising their brows over the fact that Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper is a good friend of the father of a man accused of two murders in Texas and a deadly shoot-out in Texas. John has been a good friend of Evan Ebel's father for over 30 years, and is extremely sorrowful that his friend's son has turned out to be such a bad apple. The young man is believed to have killed a Denver-area pizza delivery driver and then used that man's pizza work jacket and a delivery box to get the head of the Colorado Prison system to open the door to his house. Tom Clements, the prison director, was shot and killed in his doorway. The young man ended up in a shoot out with police and sheriff's officers in Texas. Evan Ebel had been in prison here in Colorado for murder, and had joined a white supremacy gang while serving time. It is currently thought that Mr. Clements was killed in "a gang hit" and that Governor Hickenlooper's and Mr. Eben's friendship have absolutely no ties to the killing. (Talk about strange twists and turns of fate!)

Friday, March 22, 2013

Around the World

Black Caviar winning her 24th race today in Australia
Coastal Ireland
Home on a Norwegian fjord
Sunrise under the St. Augustine, Florida pier

Weather, Sports, & Critters

It's chilly out this morning - 28 degrees - but the sun is shining. We had a ten minute rain shower yesterday afternoon, but that was all that happened; more wind than rain. The news services are still going crazy here about the killing of our Prison Systems head, a Denver-area pizza delivery man, and the man in the wild chase and shoot-out in Texas. Besides that, Colorado has just approved Civil Unions for same sex couples, and we have more stringent gun laws that will take place on 1 July. We are expecting rain or snow tonight, with up to 10 inches of snow falling during the weekend. Even if we get that amount, it won't make a dent in the amount we need to get our snow and water levels up to the accepted normal....
   Black Caviar cruised to her 24th straight racing win in Australia today. She won easily by 4 lengths, and goes into another thoroughbred racing history entry. .... The CSU Rams (Fort Collins) won last night in their first "March Madness" round and they will play again tomorrow night. The CU Buffs, from here in Boulder, are scheduled to play this afternoon. .... And a rare baseball card, printed in 1909, has a current bid of $1.4 million.... And, if you live in a state that has the Power Ball lottery, tomorrow's drawing is expected to be for about $320 million. I think I'll buy a couple of chances...
   I slept with Skippy last night; wasn't the same as sleeping with Lovey and Nedi. They were very happy to see me yesterday evening and again this morning. I miss them - and I've become used to sitting at my desk, using my PC, and having the TV on, so I can listen to it and glance up and watch it. I can't do that at Finn and Skippy's - the computer is in one room, and the TVs are in other rooms, while the fireplace, which I might use over the weekend, is in another room (the parlor), where the only thing I can do is sit and think or sit and read.... Decisions, decisions...

Thursday, March 21, 2013

Assorted Scenes

Is it time to get up, or time to go to bed?
A gull at sunset on Bodega Bay, California
Hummingbird on a thistle
Ice crystals in mares' tails cause rainbow clouds

Screaming Cats

Apparently my neighbor Chris and his lady haven't been home before when Lovey has a screaming fit at the Harlequin. It happened last night, again - but the patio door was open and Nedi was outside. Lovey started to scream, and I went over to the door; the Harlequin was standing about three feet from the door jamb, and Lovey jumped up onto the cat tree when I walked by her and onto the porch. At that time, Chris came out, looking very spiffy (going out to dinner),and asked what was going on... so I had to explain and apologize. The Harlequin walked over to Chris and got petted and scratched, and while he was occupied, I called Nedi, who came running and slipped inside the apartment like a shadow. - I feel bad for the the Harlequin; he's a very friendly cat who wants love and attention (and Neel has said the cat lives in B building, to our south), but Lovey has become more and more territorial lately...
  Today I'll arrive to walk Rosie at 10:15, so our walk will coincide with Remy's acupuncture appointment. Then I'll head over to Finn's house, and get reacquainted with him and Skippy. I just grabbed 5 books from the public library, so I should have enough to read for the next few days - plus I'll have access to the huge TVs and the computer while I'm there. I'll miss sleeping with Lovey and Nedi, but I can take naps with them in the afternoon...
  There was a brush fire in Parksley, Virginia earlier this week that is being examined to see if it's yet another in the long string of fires caused by the Accomack arsonist. That person needs to be apprehended and/or caught in the act. .... The Galena Wildfire, near Fort Collins, is completely contained, after burning 1500 acres. Investigators are still looking into the cause of that blaze. .... Two houses that I care for (house- and pet-sit) have been sold recently, both for over $1 million, so the neighborhood is going through some changes. And I'll be calling folks on my waiting list to see if they are still interested in my services. At least in Boulder, I never have to worry about finding employers!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Pope Francis Blessing a Guide Dog & Wild Creatures

Three-week-old Bengal Tiger kitten
Pope Francis blessing a guide dog in Vatican City
A young hippopotamus enjoying a carrot
Mishmi Takin and new kid
Long-eared owl in Belarus