Saturday, November 30, 2013

Home Photos

Sunrise in my back yard

Fruit and dessert table on Thanksgiving

Lovey, acting shy

The Snow clan: (left to right) Bob, Rich, Kathy (kneeling in red jacket), Erin, Mike, Evie, Sarah, Michael, Jim, Kathy, Olivia, Brian, Tracey (kneeling in dress), Brian, Kent (kneeling), Tim, Andy, Laura (kneeling), Adam, and Jenny.  Not pictured: Jim, Paul, Jaime, and Betty.

Thanksgiving and Plumbing

I had planned on posting yesterday, but other circumstances intervened.  And if today's blog seems a little disconnected, it's because I'm eating breakfast and trying to watch the Florida versus Florida State football game while I'm writing. The weather has been wonderful - temperatures in the 50s, an occasional breeze, sunny skies - and it's supposed to stay that way until Wednesday when the weather people say the high will be 25 and the high on Thursday will be 15.  Yuck.
    Thursday was a very good day - we had 25 of the family gathered - that's the Snow family, my sister's husband.  Ages ranged from Evie, at 18 weeks, to Bob, a father-in-law, in his early 80s.  Grandma Anne spent Thanksgiving in Berthoud with her son and daughter, saying that such a large group was a little too much for her.  Fran and Corky were vacationing in Hawaii; and the South Dakota Snows stayed at home due to health issues; we were missing more than 15 this year.  But we had a fantastic feast at the Niwot Grange and everyone took extra helpings home.  In no particular order, there was:  deviled eggs, stuffed celery, fresh fruit, nuts, two turkeys, a smoked ham, gravy, mashed potatoes, candied yams, Szchewan stir-fry veggies, steamed veggies, a green bean casserole, cranberry-orange relish, three kinds of stuffing, pickles, olives, figs, a chocolate trifle, the Snow family orange rolls, five kinds of home-made pie, and Mike's cocoa-date-nut balls.  Believe me, we all ate way too much, except for Evie...
   After cleaning the Grange, we headed home - which, for me meant Lucy's house.  After I fed and walked her, I went over to Tugger and Sasquatch's and fed and loved them.  Then I went back to Lucy's and collapsed.  Friday morning started with an hour's walk and jog with Lucy, then her breakfast; then over to Tugger and Sasquatch's for their care.  Rosie's walk was next, and a stop by the Snow house to visit with Boo (for Rosie).  Back at Lucy's, I read for an hour or so, and then took her out for her noon walk.  Then I came home to Lovey and Nedi.
  As I stepped inside the apartment, I thought the air smelled damp - like I had just stepped out of the shower - but I hadn't been home for 30 hours...  I closed the door, and stepped onto the hall rug.  It squished under my foot.  I turned on the hall light, and it burnt out as it lit up.  I turned on the closet light, and it burnt out as it lit up.  I stepped into the walk-through closet, and the closet rug squished.  I turned on the bathroom light, and said a few dirty words - the bathroom had more than one inch of water on the floor, covering both rugs in there.  I looked at the tub, which was dry, and switched my eyes to the other side and saw the bathroom sink had backed up and overflowed, and was still at full capacity, with water dripping into the floor and also into the kitty litter boxes.  Super yuck.
  I set my stuff that I had with me at Lucy's on my bed, opened the back door so the kits could go outside and relieve themselves, and walked right over the the apartment manager's office.  I was completely amazed, because, for the first time in 9 months, the office door was open, and JC was at his desk.  I briefly told him what I found, and he followed me back down, bringing a wet vacuum.  I learned very quickly how to wet-vac  and managed to get all the water sucked out of the sink first; after a quick empty run, I had my floor dry.  (I had taken my rugs out onto my patio.)  We put Draino and waited for 45 minutes; then I poured hot water down the drain.  It flowed perfectly - away, down, out of sight.  I was relieved.
  Twenty minutes later, the people who live above me used their garbage disposal.  I walked into my bathroom and watched the water rise in my sink.  So I called JC, since his office was closed, and left a message about what I had just observed; then I sent him an e-mail doing the same.  Then I called our emergency maintenance man - who, it turns out, was out of town.  JC stopped by, looked at my sink, and called the plumber.  Then he relayed the message that the plumber would be here somewhere between 2 and 5 hours from the time of the call.....  At least he came last night, and I didn't have to wait until today to be able to use water again.  (And Martin said that he was getting rice, noodles, celery, potatoes, and peas out of the drain.  He said the folks who live above me must not realize that our units and pipes are over 50 years old, and our disposals are not made like new ones....)
   So I'm going to watch football today and tomorrow, and walk dogs until it gets too cold for us to stir outside (not to mention the snow)...  And I'm going to thoroughly enjoy myself - and not worry about plumbing!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thanksgiving and Hanukkah Wishes

Yesterday evening, the first candle in the menorah of Hanukkah was lit -  Happy Hanukkah!

Today, we Americans celebrate Thanksgiving - Happy Thanksgiving!  I am thankful for my hardy ancestors who were living in what became Delaware, Maryland, and Virginia at the time the pilgrims of the Mayflower were blown into Massachusetts Bay at Plymouth Rock.  My many-times great uncle was aboard that ship (Nocks side of the family, but with the surname of Wentworth).  My brother-in-law's ancestors were also aboard the Mayflower.   Thank you all....

Wednesday, November 27, 2013


Tomorrow I will be rinsing and patting dry fresh berries and fruit for a fruit tray, and I'll be steaming corn, carrots and asparagus and placing them in my crock pot with some melted butter - my two contributions to the Snow clan Thanksgiving dinner.  (If I have time, I'll make a pumpkin pie, too.)  So far today, I have walked Rosie, played with Boo, walked Lucy, and stopped at Sprouts to pick up fresh berries and fruit. Usually I have strawberries along with everything else, but the selection was very poor today, so I got cherries instead.  So there will be a platter of raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, and cherries, with a small bowl of dried fruit pieces, and a large bowl of seedless grapes of various colors.  My white crock pot will keep the veggies warm, and I have spare salt and pepper shakers to take along, also.  And, hopefully, the pie.  As I'm putting everything together at Lucy's house in the morning, after feeding and medicating Tugger and Sasquatch, things might be very interesting...  I'll let you know how things go.
    I have fun making fruit trays:

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Thoroughbreds I Admire

Sunday Silence (left) and Easy Goer battle in the 1989 Preakness Stakes

Sunday Silence as an adult stallion

Deep Impact, the son of Sunday Silence, and sire of the fillies below

Gentildonna, winner of the 2012 & 2013 Japan Cup
(and the 2012 fillies Triple Crown of Japan)

Denim and Ruby (saddlecloth 12) winning the Japan Oaks in 2013

Gentildonna and Sunday Silence

There are beautiful blue skies outside with a light breeze stirring the wind chimes on my patio.  It's 50 degrees outside, I have the patio door open, and am sitting at the desk wearing jeans and a T-shirt.  Lovey is perched on the top of the cat tree, and Nedi is waving his plume between the monitor and my face - with his feet between my arms as I type.  Bob is outside, talking to my kits, while his Mom calls him from two doors down.  I just had lunch with Nancy, Bob's Mom, so I can smile at him easily when he comes in for a mouthful of "stolen" food ...
   I thoroughly enjoyed reading about Gentildonna and her racing exploits last year, and this year.  I think she brings me as much pleasure as I received watching her grandsire, Sunday Silence, defeat Easy Goer in the Breeders Cup Classic at Gulfstream Park.  I always preferred Sunday Silence to Easy Goer, and was disappointed when the bright chestnut colt beat the black one in the Belmont Stakes.  Easy Goer never lost on a race track in New York, but Sunday Silence bested him at Churchill Downs, Pimlico, and Gulfstream Park.  When Sunday Silence was retired from racing, and was purchased by a Japanese syndicate and moved to the Far East for his stud career, I was devastated.  No more.
  Gentildonna, and other grandsons and granddaughters, are making things much brighter. This past weekend, Gentildonna won the Grade I Japan Cup, becoming the first horse in history to do so.  Last year, as a three-year-old, Gentildonna won Japan's Triple Crown for fillies, and followed up with last year's Japan Cup.  The Japan Cup is raced over turf, at 2400 meters (or just about 1.5 miles), and the weight the horse carries in the race is based on the horse's age.  This year, Deep Impact, a son of Sunday Silence was the sire of both Gentildonna, the winner, and of Denim and Ruby, the filly who finished second.  The Japan Cup was worth $5.7 million in prize money, and was open to males and females.  .....   Yeah!!!  Way to go, Sunday Silence!  Way to go, Gentildonna!  ....   Thank you for making dreams come true.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Kits and Dogs

I enjoyed the Ohio State football game yesterday, and I wish I could have seen the Gamecocks game.  I'm glad that the Gators game wasn't carried in our area, and I watched the first half of the CU Buffs playing the Southern California Trojans.  At least the Buffs won the National Title in Cross Country racing yesterday. Today I'll be rooting for the Broncos, and tomorrow for the Redskins.
  There is still a lot of snow on the ground, and the temperature outside is 27 degrees.  I have the patio door cracked open, and Lovey and Nedi are running in and out.  The kits seem perturbed that they can't dig in the grass and dirt easily, and are making faces about using their clean litter boxes.  They won't be complaining when winter really sets in...
  I received my blood test results from the MD's office and am quite happy.  She had been saying that I would need to be placed on cholesterol and diabetic oral medication after this round of testing, and the numbers that came back.  Everything was in normal levels, except for my triglycerides (but they had dropped 40 points) - so no new medications for me.  The only thing I really changed was that I stopped drinking regular Coca-Cola and am now drinking Diet Coke, instead.  That took care of the high sugar levels.  And I've been trying to avoid eating a lot of fried food, so I guess I'm eating healthy.
   Heading back to Rosie's and then over to the A-B Kids (2 dogs and 3 cats).  Turns out I'll be staying with Lucy on Thanksgiving Day and the next, while visiting Tugger and Sasquatch.  It'll be fun.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


Arctic hare

November vine leaves

Nutria (or coypu)

Three Noriker horses

Weather, Critters, Plans

With a quick reference to yesterday's blog entry - the horse in JFK's funeral parade was named Black Jack. You can see photos of him and his replacement, along with an informative article at:
   It's been relatively warm in Boulder for the first part of November - but we had a high of 14 on Thursday, along with 5.8 inches of dry powdery snow.  Yesterday we got up to freezing, and snow melted off the sidewalks, roadways and driveways.  Last night we had another inch or so of snow fall - still light, dry, and powdery - not good stuff for making snowmen, snowcats, or snowdogs.  My cats are outside playing in the white stuff right now - the patio door is open, and they can come inside whenever they want.  I hope it will be soon, as my toes are starting to become a bit chilled, even though I have wool socks on.  I've been putting out a few more nuts for the squirrels, now that the weather has taken a bad turn.  -  Of course, it's a good turn for the ski resorts here in Colorado; Copper Mountain has already had 58 inches of snow fall, not counting what they've made with their snow guns...
  Of the four college football games I'd like to see today, only one is available in my area - and it's on when the 50th anniversary show of Doctor Who airs on BBC America, and in 74 other countries around the world simultaneously.  NPR did a short piece on the phenomenon of Doctor Who today, and played a sound clip that made me smile - because I knew, without a doubt, that Tom Baker (who portrayed the fourth Doctor) was speaking.  And I have always loved Tom Baker - on stage, on television, or in the movies.  It made a very good start to my day.
  I am staying at Rosie's at the moment, and have been doing so since Thursday morning.  I'm also running over to care for Cooper, Lola, Belle, Pounce and Tipsi on Tamarack.  I was supposed to be feeding, medicating and loving Tugger and Sasquatch over the weekend, also, but their owner became ill and didn't travel.  I'll start taking care of T & S on Wednesday, instead.
  The Snow clan will gather at the Niwot Grange Building for Thanksgiving this year.  The younger siblings, Kent and his wife Vanessa, are both just out of the hospital in South Dakota, so we won't see them this year - nor their two sweet kids, Dominque and Karissa.  But it seems that everyone else will be there.  Kathy and Jim will spend Christmas in Santa Fe, getting to know son-in-law Michael Fleetwood's family, so the kits and I will be staying at the Snow house for Santa's visit.  Boo will be ecstatic!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Fifty Years Ago Today...

I honestly have no immediate memories of this Friday, 50 years ago today.  I was seven years old, a student in second grade in Mrs. Baxter's class at Lake Forest Elementary School in Gainesville, Florida.  I don't have a class photo from that year, but I think that Carolyn Davis, Jane Bergadine, Bonnie Hall, Richard Shuler, Alan Rogers, and Riley Dean were in my class.  The school was seven blocks from the house I grew up in, and my Mother usually met me after school and walked home with me from the playground until I was in fourth grade.
   The only things that I can definitely say about my memories of the assassination of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy are that they revolve around my family.  It was the first time I saw my Father cry - and that made a huge impression, since I was a "Daddy's girl."  I can remember watching the TV with Walter Cronkite broadcasting, and seeing him wipe away a few tears - and seeing Mom, Dad, and Kathy doing frequent group hugs and crying.  I was too young to grasp what had happened - to the President, or to the country.
  Embarrassingly, I do remember being angry about the television coverage of the President's funeral; I wanted to see my usual programs - Sky King, Fury of Broken Wheel Ranch and Hopalong Cassidy.  I was very upset when we had hours of coverage of people I didn't know in uniforms and civilian clothes - it was boring.  I remember that Dad tried to get me interested in the black cavalry horse with boots reversed in the stirrups - but I wanted my cowboys and adventure.
  I do remember a sob coming from the other three members of my family when the cameras showed the little boy saluting the horse-drawn casket.  I was amazed, and, at the same time, frightened.  My parents and my elder sister were upset, crying and frightened.  My world seemed to be coming apart - nothing was right.
   Looking back, I feel as if I was living under a balanced rock for the next five years - between LBJ and the Viet Nam War and the Cuban Missile Crisis (which was, I admit a bit earlier) and the antagonism against the Civil Rights Movement - I don't think that I ever really felt safe.  I know I was shocked and grieved when the Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr was assassinated in April of 1968.  I was watching the news when Robert Kennedy was assassinated in June of 1968.  I remember my sister, then 18, hugging me and crying, and saying, rather wildly, "Oh, my God, Betty - They are killing all of the good men!"
   Who were "they?" People we held in esteem were being murdered and we, the American people, were helpless.  I think that I lost my innocence fifty years ago today.  I lost my trust in my fellow humans, I lost my trust in society, and I lost someone who might have changed history, had he not been killed...

Thursday, November 21, 2013

George Zimmerman

More about George Zimmerman....   The man was found not guilty four months ago.  He's been warned once and ticketed once for speeding,  He's been taken into custody twice since then due to reports of domestic disturbance, but only arrested and charged this Monday.  He claims that he is indigent, has no home address, and owes $2.5 million in debt.  He was allowed to bond out of jail for $9,000 - after reportedly pointing a shotgun at his girl friend's face, threatening her, and breaking a glass table inside her home.  In September, police were called to Zimmerman's wife's home - both were taken into custody, but both told such conflicting stories that police released them both because there was not evidence supporting either story.
  Monday, 911 dispatchers received two calls, almost simultaneously - one from George Z, inside his girlfriend's mobile home, and one from the girlfriend who had been locked out by her boyfriend, Zimmerman.  They both told strange stories to the police.  George Z said his girlfriend and he were discussing things, and suddenly "just went crazy."  The girlfriend said that after she asked him to move out, he became violent, broke the glass table, and threatened her, pointing a shotgun in her face.  She said, according to news reports, that he had two handguns, an AK-15, and the shotgun in his possession.  She said as he was leaving - moving out - at her request, he started throwing his belongings around, and one piece of his luggage crashed through and broke a glass dining room table.  After she started yelling at him for breaking the table, he got out the shotgun, and threatened to kill her.
  Zimmerman's story is that the girlfriend told him she was pregnant, and that, due to his notoriety, she wanted him to move out, but that he would share parenting responsibilities. He said that as he was gathering his belongings, she started throwing things at him and became verbally abusive.  He, therefore, pushed her out the door of the mobile home, locked the door and barricaded himself inside.  Then he called 911.
  The girlfriend said that she was not pregnant, and just wanted him out - she was afraid of him and the four guns he carried with him everywhere.
  One of the conditions of Zimmerman's release on bond was that he turn in all his guns to the police.  -  Hallelujah!  The authorities have finally taken this man's guns away.  Even though I live two-thirds of a continent away from Florida, I feel safer.  ...  Now I am waiting to see what happens when he appears in court once more...

Anette Mossbacher Wildlife Photos

This woman takes some of the most beautiful wildlife photos I have ever seen.  Please visit her website at:   if you like what you see here....

Wednesday, November 20, 2013


I'm going to try to complete my "things I'm wondering about" blog that was interrupted Monday afternoon. I'm still wondering about Jimmy, Black Caviar's brother, in Australia.  The vets' still say he's in "stable condition" and that he appears to be making progress.  His pain medications are being slowly decreased, and he ate well over the weekend.  Considering the amount of care he has been given, I hope that the colt will make it to the breeding shed, even if he doesn't make it to the track.
   Here it is Wednesday, and I'm still wondering about the newspaper headlines Monday morning that described Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning as "hobbled."  Peyton had extra bracing, padding, and tons of tape around his high right ankle strain.  It looked thick and ungainly.  But, during the entire game, Cris Collingsworth was watching Manning's movements, and he only made one comment about the quarterback seeming to be hampered by the sprain and the extra support.  And, really, "hobbled?"  I have hobbled horses many times in my life, and Peyton Manning was not moving as if he had a pair of hobbles around his ankles. Hobbles can vary widely in materials they are made of, in width around the "ankle," and in the length of the strap/chain/rope that determines the size of step a horse can take.  Peyton Manning was not hobbled in any way, shape, or form.
  I'm still wondering about the five children in the care of the couple in Monroe, Union County, North Carolina.  Their Foster Care license expired in 2010 - three years ago.  They lived in Union County, but the children were supposedly under the supervision of a neighboring county's Social Services.  It turns out that the children were home schooled, and this is why no teachers, counselors, or administrators were aware of their plight.  No social worker had visited the family in more than three years.  What still astounds me is that the female of the couple was the Director of Social Services in Union County, where they resided.  It still blows my mind.
   I'm wondering about the laws of our country - the man who attacked the woman next door on Monday afternoon was released from jail Tuesday afternoon.  The only reason I know this is because two men, who didn't live in the building, came walking down the hall this morning, looking for names on door plates.  (I think there are six apartments out of 80 that actually have a name posted.)  I asked if I could help them find someone, and they said they were Boulder PD detectives, and wanted to see Britta and Ted, the folks next door.  I told them that Britta had walked her bicycle out the front door less than 3 minutes earlier, and that ted was in jail. That's when they told me that Ted had been released Tuesday night, and wanted to know if I had seen him....  They left their card on her door, with a request that she call them.
   The other reason I'm wondering about the laws is because of George Zimmerman. He was found "not guilty" of second degree murder in the killing of an unarmed youth in Florida.  Since he was exonerated by the jury, he has been stopped for speeding in Texas and given a warning; he received a $256 ticket for speeding in Florida a month later; in September, police in Florida arrested both Zimmerman and his wife for a domestic dispute, but released both without any charges, because both stories seemed plausible, but both were also contradictory, and they had no evidence; George Z was arrested again in Florida this past Monday for a felony charge of aggravated assault and misdemeanor domestic violence battery and criminal mischief.  He was released today on a $9,000 bond - after claiming he was indigent, had no fixed address, and was currently in debt to the amount of $2.5 million.   ....  More tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Photos of Wildlife

Siberian tiger

Ruffed lemur

Pacific sideband snail on a mushroom


Hamadryas baboons

Monday, November 18, 2013

Jimmy, Child Abuse, Domestic Abuse

This morning, it was downright cold.  It was nice this afternoon, in the sunshine.  We're expecting snow Thursday and Friday.  The Broncos beat the Chiefs last night.  There were terrible tornadoes in the Midwest yesterday.  And I'm still wondering about several things....
   Jimmy, the brother of Black Caviar, the $5 million  colt is now in "stable" condition at his equine hospital in Australia.  X-rays of his fore feet late last week showed a "concerning change" which indicated laminitis.  The pedal bone in a horse's hoof is kept in place by soft tissue.  Laminitis breaks down the soft tissue around the pedal bone, and the bone can move out of place or rotate.  If the displacement or rotation is extremely small, corrective shoeing, such as our Master Flash had, can make a horse rideable.  But I have the awful feeling that Jimmy will never race, even if he can survive the next few weeks without his condition worsening.
   I am still wondering about the two people who adopted the four kids and had the fifth handcuffed to the porch with a dead chicken around his neck.  According to news reports, when the investigators returned to the home in Union County, North Carolina, they found that the five children had been living and sleeping in one bedroom, sharing it with the house dogs.  The room was covered with dog feces.  The boy who had been hand-cuffed outside, was according to reports, routinely cuffed at night to a piece of rail road railing in the room with the four other kids and the dogs.  What was being done to these children, besides threats, that made them not talk to anyone about the conditions in their "home?" How could people not know what was happening to these five children?  Were they being "home-schooled" so that teachers and administrators couldn't see or tell that something was out of kilter with these five?  How can this happen in this day and age?  It's just sickening.
   Last Sunday, 8 days ago, my neighbors to the south of me had another fight.  They have fought ever since they moved in, and she often screams just to relieve her tension.  I'm not used to it yet.  On Sunday, the lady called the police herself.  As they arrived, the man left through the back door, scaring my cats as he went by our patio.  We had seven police units here, with all but two officers searching for the man.  They were searching the building and back yard with weapons drawn and ready, and we were told to "stay inside and keep all doors and windows locked" because they believed the man could be dangerous.  I hadn't heard a bit of noise from either person since then - until last night, when they were noisily banging in the shower.  (I was afraid they'd come through the plastic shower panels.)  While I was typing the first sentence of the previous paragraph, I heard the man next door yell, "God damn you!"  Then there were two heavy thuds, followed by a softer thud.  I dialed 911 and asked for the police to come again for another domestic disturbance in A-114.  He ended up being arrested, and is no longer legally allowed inside the building.  As the police had him in the hall beside my door, and I had gone out to direct the police in, I got to look at my new catalogs while sitting in the upstairs hallway, and the police were in discussion with both parties.  Then I had to write out my voluntary statement, and sign it in the presence of one of the officers.  It's nearly two hours since I first started typing this blog.  -  I'm going to prepare and eat my supper.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Wildlife Around the World

Five day old zebra colt

Snowy owl

Sea nettles

Sheep in the Austrian Alps

Rhinoceros with myna birds and a cattle egret

Weather, Football, Child Abuse

There was an interesting view on the way back from the bakery this morning - pale blue sky with orange clouds almost straight above me, but to the west a haze was hanging over the far peaks.  I could see snow on the top of Green Mountain and Flagstaff; the Indian Peaks were white, but with the haze, it was hard to tell where the mountains and sky parted ways; to the northwest, Mount Audubon was invisible in the haze - or were they clouds? ....  Yesterday was very windy here - winds steady between 20 and 40 mph, with gusts up to 92 mph.  This morning we seem to be leveled out at 20 mph - cold and crisp, with clouds moving to the south at a good clip.
   Boulder celebrated last night - the CU Buffs won a home football game, beating the U of California Golden Bears 41 to 24.  I have to admit I was listening to the crowd in the stadium a block away, but I was watching the Florida Gators - South Carolina Gamecocks game on the television.  I'm a Gator; but I dearly love Steve Spurrier and his team, too.  The Gators have been pretty awful this year - but they have a legitimate excuse, being decimated by season-ending injuries to their starting players.  The Gators had lost the last four games, and the last time they lost 5 games in a row was in 1979 (which I remember) under head coach Charley Pell, who had replaced Doug Dickey...  If the Gamecocks beat the Gators, and if Missouri lost one of their two next games, then the Gamecocks would be in the SEC playoffs.  If the Gators won, neither they nor the Gamecocks would be in the play-offs for the SEC Championship.  I was rooting for the Gamecocks.  I must say I was highly impressed by the first-time starting quarterback for Florida - Skylar Mornhinweg.  He kept his cool, he became more sure of himself with each play, and he made no mistakes until he made a big one late in the fourth quarter.  Overall, his first game was awesome.  I also enjoyed seeing the Gamecocks kicker, Elliot Fry, a 150 pound six-foot string bean, who made 4 of 5 field goals, as well as kicking the PATs.  The Gamecocks won, 19 to 14.  And I'll definitely be watching the Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs tonight - the best NFL offense against the best NFL defense.  (Go Broncos!)
   I am, finally, puzzled and outraged by what was found in North Carolina yesterday.  A Sheriff's Deputy had been dispatched in Union County to check out the report of a loose pig on someone's property.  The Deputy found an 11-year-old boy, handcuffed to a porch railing, with a dead chicken around his neck.  The temperatures were frigid, and the boy was shivering with cold, wearing jeans and a T-shirt.  The Deputy knocked on the front door, and was chased by several aggressive dogs back to his car.  He called for back up.  While awaiting assistance, and with the dogs still growling and barking at the cruiser, a man came onto the porch, unlocked the handcuffs and took the boy inside. When back-up officers arrived, the dogs were caught, and the Deputy went to the door.  The 11-year-old was a foster child, and there were four other children inside the house.  The man was a registered nurse at the local emergency room; he and his wife had fostered and then adopted the four other children.  The 11-year-old was a "new" foster child.  The shocking detail was that the mother-wife of the pair was the head of the Union County Social Services!  Both adults are under arrest; all the children are back under the auspices of the County's Social Services, and the woman has been stripped of her job.  -  There is still no word as to why the boy was outside in freezing weather, hand-cuffed to a porch rail, with a dead chicken around his neck...   What were these people thinking - or even doing - how did they get custody of these children?   Heaven help us.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

More Wildlife Photos

Abert's squirrel in Rocky Mountain National Park

Burrowing owl; photo by Ian Phelps

Pelicans at sunrise

Cuvier's dwarf caiman

Elk crossing at the only traffic light in Evergreen, Colorado;  photo by Kevin Hunt


Currently there is no news about Jimmy's progress, or lack thereof, in Australia - I am signed up for the owners Tweets, and I'll let you know when I hear anything.
  I am again boiling with anger over a case of animal neglect, possibly animal cruelty, charges.  A twenty-four year old woman took a three-month-old French Bulldog into a local Boulder veterinarian's office for treatment. Bamboo, the black puppy, had two broken legs and third degree burns across half of his stomach.  The woman said that the puppy's legs were broken when she "got him" and that his tummy got burned when she place him too close to a space heater in her home.  When the vet described the treatments needed, the woman said she couldn't afford it, and left, taking the puppy with her.  The veterinarian called Boulder Police to report the incident.  The woman has been arrested, and Bamboo is at the Humane Society's veterinarian, getting the care he needs.  This seems to me to be another case of pure selfishness.  The puppy obviously has broken limbs and burns, but the owner will not get them correctly cared for.  The puppy was obviously in pain (and still looks to be so - see below - this photo was taken by the Boulder Police Department).
  If you can't afford to care for a pet, please do not get one.  By "afford" I mean the regular costs of food, drink, annual veterinarian check-ups, annual vaccinations, and any possible accidents that might occur.  If you are a regular client, the veterinarian's office will, 99 % of the time, work with you to set up a payment plan if you cannot afford to pay up front.  The people who work at, and run, vet's offices do so because they care for the animals - they do not want to see one suffer needlessly.
   If you have the time, but not the money, to take care of a pet, volunteer at your local Humane Society and donate what you can to help animals at that shelter.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Black Caviar's Brother

When I think of Australian horse racing, I remember the great Phar Lap, and, more recently the fantastic mare, Black Caviar.  Black Caviar has been retired and is getting ready to assume her duties as a broodmare - one that was never beaten in 25 races.  The racing world was intrigued when Black Caviar's half-brother was sold for $5 million Australian dollars ($4.65 million American).  Now the racing world is waiting to see if the colt will be able to survive.  The two-year-old hasn't been officially named, but is called Jimmy in the barn.  The colt was bitten by a poisonous white-tailed spider about two weeks ago; he was treated with antibiotics.  Jimmy was allergic to the antibiotics, and had to undergo a lot more therapy; now he has developed laminitis in both of his fore feet.  The veterinarians say his chances of surviving are about 50%.
Please send healing thoughts and prayers to this magnificent young horse who is fighting for his life.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Wildlife Photos

American egret at Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge

Barbary lion cubs, both male

Bottle-nose dolphin

Brown bears

Mare on Assateague Island, Virginia

A Walk Down Memory Lane

I just enjoyed a small bit of conversation with someone that I went to school with - from first grade through high school.  There were about 85, or so, of us - started school at Lake Forest Elementary, went to Howard Bishop Junior High, were caught up in desegregation in the 8th grade and were suddenly a part of Eastside Junior - Senior High School, and graduated from Eastside.  I had been assigned a number to post that many things a person might, or might not, know about me (on Facebook).  One of the things I posted was that one of my closest friends had been my music teacher while I was at Lake Forest.  This led to a discussion of the short musical plays that we put on when we were in the fifth and sixth grades - we performed Cowboy on the Moon during fifth grade, school year 1966-67, and The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calaveras County in our sixth grade.  Kenny Evans had played Jim Smiley in our teacher's musical make-over of Mark Twain's short story.  Randy Wiggins played the dastardly "Stranger" and Linda Crowder was the saloon owner and sweetheart of Jim Smiley.  Rabbitt and I discussed the songs we remembered and the parts we played, and the fact that he had given the papier mache frog to Linda after the last performance.  Such nice memories of easier, younger, times.
   I was a bit perturbed yesterday by my wellness checkup appointment.  I was due to walk Rosie at 8:55, as always, and I figured that having an 8:05 scheduled appointment - the first one of the day - would get me in and out quickly.  All the Doc had to do was listen to my heart, my lungs, and my carotid arteries; then blood was to be drawn (a 12-hour fasting panel), and I'd receive a flu shot.  I arrived at the office at 7:45; the door was unlocked at 8:00.  I had signed in and filled out my paperwork by 8:03 -  I was called into the work area at 8:35, my weight and temperature were taken.  Then in an exam room, my blood pressure, pulse, and respiration was measured and timed.  At 8:50, my MD appeared, asked a few questions, listened to my heart, lungs, and carotids, and left (well before 9:00).  At 9:15, my flu shot was given; at 9:20, my blood was taken.  Then I had to catch a bus to Quince Street, and then jog a mile to Rosie's house to walk her.  I spotted Rosie and her owner at 9:42; they were at the front of the Waldorf School, a block away from their home.  I took Rosie and finished her walk....
  I had thought that I could easily be processed in a few minutes at the MD's office.  Now I know that it does not run that efficiently.  Because I was fasting, I didn't sit at the dining room table to eat breakfast, and, so, I also forgot to remove my cell phone from it's charger.  Stuck at the MD's (where no cell phones are allowed, anyway) - but I would have called Rosie's owner at 8:25, when it became apparent that I would be running late....   Grrrrrr.  Yesterday was not nice .
  Reminiscing today with Rabbitt about grade school was fantastic.  Thanks, Rabbitt!

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

In Loving Memory - Mozzi and The Skipper

My cousin's family lost their dog, Mozzi, at the beginning of the weekend.  The Skipper, a Maine Coon cat, that I cared for for over 7 years left his family on Monday.  Both pets will be missed by their families, and by me.

Mozzi: completely relaxed, and sharing food with James

 The Skipper makes his presence known...