Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Tuesday Tickles

1 colt day 1-5

Mare and new foal


Pancho lets us know that he is bored!

a010. horseguards along whitehall

Guard at the HorseGuards' Palace, Whitehall, London

New Screens in Place

It's a beautiful morning (to quote an old song) and I slept like a rock at Yoshi and Aiko's. I got my window screen replaced yesterday afternoon, but I was unsuccessful in getting the window back into place... I'll try again today, and then will ask for help if I can't accomplish it on my own. I watched Antiques Roadshow last night with Aiko in my lap and Yoshi curled up beside me.... so I guess I've made the grade with these two. - Note to self: I did not see the gold fish on my first visit - need to call owners and determine feeding schedule, and how much, as they are not mentioned in the instructions. - While I was changing the window screen yesterday, Lovey found it great fun to be able to jump completely through the window opening, and spent about 15 minutes just jumping in and out (while the patio door next to the window was wide open). Banichi, however, did not like or appreciate this disruption of his usual lifestyle - he disappeared under the bed and did not reappear for several hours. But at least the screen is up, and there are currently no holes in it to allow mosquitoes in!

Aidan O'Brien won his seventh Irish Derby at the Curragh this weekend. He trained Fame and Glory, who won by 5 lengths under jockey Johnny Murtagh. He is now the only trainer to have won more than 6 Irish Derbys with his horses. Fame and Glory is a three-year-old son of Montjeau. ... Tragedy occurred when a 12-year-old lost his life during the "Little Britches Rodeo" here this weekend - the young man had been rodeoing for 3 years in the Little Britches competitions, and his 10-year-old brother had recently joined in the group. The 12 -year-old was wearing a helmet and a "flack jacket" (a protective vest) when he mounted his bull - he was bucked off just before his buzzer, and tragically, the bull landed with all four feet on the boy's chest and stomach. The child's parents have told the media that it was a terrible accident, but they don't blame the bull, or the Little Britches association. The 10-year-old brother has already said he wishes to compete in next month's Little Britches event in Pueblo. ... It was a mixed group that protested at the plea of the female who taped Rex, the dog, upside down on a refrigerator. The group consisted mostly of females and a multitude of dogs. But a man grew angry with one of the more verbal female protesters and ended up throwing a can of paint all over her.... What can I say? This is Boulder!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Pics of England and Wales

Arundel Castle Pic 24 West Sussex - England

A part of the inner compounds of Arundel Castle in West Sussex, England

Shrewsbury - The Severn River - Beth

The Severn River at Shrewsbury, Shropshire - note the chimneys behind the tree tops...

Hay Castle, Hay-on-Wye

The entrance to Hay Castle (also a bookshop) in Hay-on-Wye in Wales

Cats and Creeks

I guess this weekend could be called successful - I put up 6 new web pages of my son's family tree, and I actually did change the screening in the patio door yesterday afternoon. Today, though, I need to replace the window screen after walking the red kids and before going over to Aiko and Yoshi's house. I have everything I need - I just hope I have the strength to pick this 46 by 50 inch plate glass window up and out; and then to put it back... The aluminum screening most definitely works, as Lovey hadn't realized I had the glass door open, but the screen door closed, and she ran full tilt into it and then ended up climbing the entire height. The screen didn't budge, and there are no holes in it from her claws. (Yea!!!!)

It's bright and sunny again, and Boulder will supposedly reach 88 degrees today. I was dripping after my morning walk, and right now I can feel the sweat breaking out on the back of my neck... The local dude ranches are having difficulty recruiting vacationers, and so are breaking out street entertainers to direct visitors to their venues. As I stated yesterday, the Boulder Creek Path is flooded, and in the past two days there have been two deaths of small children who have been swept away in the flood waters - creeks are running at three times their normal force. And, again, I'm sorry for the friends and family of Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson who are mourning their loss - and, even though I immediately changed the channel as soon as I heard his voice, condolences go out to Billy Mays' family as well.

The kits are sunning on the patio, having consumed their salmon breakfast with great relish. Lovey wanted me to get up at 3:45 this morning, but I declined her invitation after checking the time. Banichi has been bringing me his shoe string every night after I go to bed, and I have been lavish in my praise of him. The young male neighbor who lives on my south side stepped out on his patio in the evening yesterday, and both of my kits came rocketing inside. (I wonder if they've gotten into mischief next door without my knowledge?) And I really need to put the window screen up today - I got three mosquito bites last night while working at the computer... and good old West Nile virus is starting up again. -Even though I think I'm too weird to succumb to such a disease!!! - Well, have a good week!

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Paul Family Locations

Hadamar, Hesse, Germany

Hadamar, Hesse, Germany

Appleton Mill

The Old Mill in Appleton, Missouri

Fall scene on lake - outside of Nashville, Illinois

Fall at the lake in the Washington County Conservation Area, outside of Nashville, Illinois

Joys of Genealogy Research

I didn't get a thing done yesterday... except genealogy research. I had forgotten how much I enjoy it. I did love and care for the kits, but I did not replace the screening as I should have. I took myself out for a nice salad for lunch, but ended up cramming a turkey on rye sandwich down for supper, because I didn't want to take the time away from doing research. Lovey and Banichi alternately laid in my lap, on the desk, or on my pillow, watching me work. I finally called it quits after midnight; and then read several more chapters in Jacobean Pageant. Whose family tree is so engrossing? My husband's ex-wife's. I love Sue to pieces, and will do anything in the world for her. She is one of the very best persons on this planet! Anyway, I spent most of yesterday delving into the Paul family and had a ball. I have about 3 new web pages of family info to post today...

Zenyatta ran in the Vanity Handicap yesterday, carrying 129 pounds. She won easily, remaining undefeated. ... Rachel Alexandra ran against only two opponents in the Mother Goose Stakes, winning in a new record time, and by almost 20 lengths, under jockey Calvin Borel. ... It's too bad we won't be able to see a race between these two amazing females. ... I have had to change my walking habits this week, as 4 places of the Boulder Creek Path are flooded and under 6 inches to 4 feet of water. All of the flooded areas are underpasses, which is to be expected at this time of year and with so much rain. ... Lovey just came running back inside, crying to me. Her legs, and even her belly, are sopping wet from the grass in the back yard. Banichi is sitting in the sun on the edge of the patio - I doubt he'll be stepping onto the grass until the sun has dried it well. ... Tomorrow I'll start back walking Rosie and Remy in the mornings, and in the evening I'll move into Yoshi and Aiko 's house for 10 days - which should be very interesting!

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Saturday Soarsies

Irish Sport Horse Cross Country

Going Cross Country at the Burghley Horse Trials in 2003

Wieschoff at Red Hills 2005 Shannon BRINKMAN PHOTO

Cathy Wieschoff riding Cross Country in the 2005 Red Hills Horse Trials

ponies swimming over to chincoteague

2005 Chincoteague Pony Swim

Saturday Stuff

Having released my nastiness for the past two days, I'll try to return to "normal." My bones were hurting badly this morning, so I arose earlier than usual and took my walk in the dark... I saw multiple cottontails, fox, and raccoons out and about on their business, and a very few cars. - And, yes, I know that it doesn't make sense to have bone pain and then to go out and walk, but I enjoy my walks, and if I allow a little pain to keep me from walking or doing other things I enjoy, I'd just be a lump in bed for 24 hours each day. And I refuse to become that. - Today I will pick up my copy of James Rollins' new release The Doomsday Key , as well as going to the public library to augment my reading supply. Yesterday, I finally purchased aluminum screening to replace the holed fiberglass mesh that is currently in the window and screen door. I plan on replacing it this afternoon, once the sun is no longer shining directly onto the patio.

The kits have been loving, and I had to laugh when I returned home Thursday from walking the Rs and visiting the new client's home - the cats were in an ecstasy over the scents on my hands, licking my fingers and rubbing themselves all over... I finally realized that besides having the two Irish Setters on me, I had the two Samoyeds, the two Shih-Tzus, a Great Pyrenees, and 9 different goats ( 1 Nubian and 8 Nigeran dwarfs). I'd guess that it was the goat scent that really made my hands special for Lovey and Banichi.

The 20-year-old female that taped Rex, a Shiba Inu, upside down onto a refrigerator door after binding his legs, tails and ears with elastic pony-tail holders, had her day in court yesterday. She entered a plea of "Not Guilty" to inhumane treatment of a pet; there were over 300 protesters outside the court, and her attorney has requested a change of venue for the trial, stating she wouldn't, and couldn't, be properly tried in pet-friendly Boulder. (Well.... dduuuuuuhhhhh!) ... Rachel Alexandra's connections have stated that she will not be running in the Breeder's Cup in California; after winning the Preakness, the filly will race this weekend in the Mother Goose Stakes, facing only four rivals. Meanwhile, on the west coast, Zenyatta will attempt to continue her record of being un-defeated. Some folks had hoped to see a match-up of Rachel A. and Zenyatta at the Breeders Cup, but it won't happen. ... I am hoping to attend a 3-Day Event in October at the Colorado Horse Park - the first weekend of October will have a sponsored National Horse Trials, and I hope to be there (at least for the Cross Country, if nothing else!). ... I shall be house-sitting on July 29, 30, and 31st, the three days of Pony Penning on Chincoteague - the Annual Swim will take place on Wednesday, followed by the auction of foals and young stock on Thursday, and then the Swim back to Assateague the following day. *Sigh* It will be the 10th time I've missed being there in my life... Late July and early August have always meant Chincoteague to me....

Friday, June 26, 2009

Friday Photos

texas longhorn with calf

Longhorn cow and calf

Spam looking for food

A pot-bellied pig named Spam

sheep sheep sheep, sheep sheep sheep, sheep your booty! sheep your booty!!

Sheep at Colonial Williamsburg


The sun rose this morning like a burnished silver coin behind grey shrouds of cloud. It's very humid (for Colorado), at 83%, and the view of the mountains is hazy from mist. We had isolated sprinkles of rain and some thunder yesterday, while one part of Denver had 1.41 inches of rain in 40 minutes, followed by 3 inches of hail. I'm glad that didn't occur in my neighborhood!

I spent last night reading... I hadn't really planned on spending my evening/night that way, but with the overwhelming coverage of the deaths of two "icons" on TV, a book was the only place of refuge. Farrah Fawcett was 9 years older than I - and I remember the series "Charlie's Angels" very well - Fawcett was a pretty face with a hair style that every young girl wanted (except me), but she could not act. I much preferred Kate Jackson on that show. I have to admit that Farrah acted very well indeed in "The Burning Bed," but other than that, she was just another actress in Hollywood... An icon? Give me a break! Maybe she was considered an icon because of her romance with Ryan O'Neal - but other than a pretty smile and a poofy, fly-away hair-do I would not even give her a rating as an actress. Then there was Michael Jackson, "the King of Pop".... Again I feel for his family and friends; he was very famous, even if it wasn't always a good fame. He was 3 years younger than me, and I have to admit I thought he was fantastic when he was a child and a member of the Jackson Five. I liked to sing along with his singles on the radio as a teenager... but I was lost to him well before his hit album Thriller was produced. By that time I regarded him as an oddity that had too much money for his own good. And, having watched his physical appearance change over the years, as well as seeing his sleeping with children fetish laid out before the public, I just considered him weird. So he revolutionized the music video with Thriller - so he wore one glove - so he could moon walk... An icon? No way. Bette Davis was an icon; John Wayne was an icon; Katherine Hepburn was an icon; as was Gary Cooper. But to put Farrah Fawcett and Michael Jackson in an iconic status??? Just because they are celebrities, just because they made money, just because they craved publicity; these are not reasons to be labeled icons.
Again, I do feel sympathy and empathy for their friends and families - but this mindless regurgitating of old photos and old news stories is a little too, too much for me. I would have considered Ed McMahon as a much more deserving "icon."

Thursday, June 25, 2009


Strange light

Storm clouds building over the ruins of Scotney Castle, Lamberhurst, Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England

23-13 Castle Mountain: Banff National Park, Banff

View of Castle Mountain in Banff National Park, Alberta, Canada

Sunset on the Volta at Sogakope, Ghana

Sunset view of Lake Volta (the largest man-made lake in the world) from Sogakope, Ghana


I've been thinking... which is a strange and disastrous state for me... but I've been thinking about machines, technology, and personal space. I've never been a "people person" - if I'm in a large group, I have a tendency to sit quietly and watch everyone else, or to find one person I know and stay attached to them (using them as a shield). Maybe I lack a gene, or maybe I have sloshed my brain one too many times with concussions, but I do not have the urge to, or feel the need to, be "connected" to the current world at all times. I don't really like the telephone - I use to to speak with friends far away, and to make appointments... but I don't have a cell phone and I don't want one. I dislike it when the phone rings and disturbs what I'm doing.... reading, researching, crafting, playing, whatever. I pay a company for the use/privilege of using the phone, so why do I have to listen to all the recorded messages that are so prevalent? - I don't. As soon as I hear a click and a canned voice comes on, I immediately erase any such message without listening to it. - I dislike being on the bus, or walking down the sidewalk, or being in a theatre and hearing cell phones ring and other people discussing their personal business at the tops of their lungs.

I remember back in the 1960s when some of the new (at that time) technologies were becoming available to the public. A computer? That was enormous, with memory banks taking up the basements of several buildings... A microwave oven? That was miraculous - but you couldn't place a "TV dinner" in one to heat up, because then the food trays were made of aluminum foil....
Every item was touted as a wonderful new invention that would give us "more time for the important things in life..." But it seems that the more Americans have, the more they want. - I grew up in the outer suburbs of a town that has a state university; we were on the very outskirts of the town, the next to last street of platted quarter-acre houses before a large area of wild oak and slash pine, streams, swamps, and wildlife. I grew up in what would probably have been considered a poor household - but my parents always had time for my interests... and I went to softball games and other things that I wasn't particularly interested in as a child, but to which we went as a family. We always seemed to have plenty of time to do what was needed, and what we wanted (and could afford) to do... I was a member of the Brownies and of 4-H (my sister, older by 6 1/2 years, was a Girl Scout), and we attended meetings, camps and jamborees.

Ten years ago, I found myself living in northern Virginia and commuting to work near the Navy Yards in Washington, DC. I got up at 3 a.m., showered, dressed, made my lunch and my husband's, and laid out his medications for him to take during the day. I also removed from the freezer whatever I was going to cook for supper. I caught a bus at 5 a.m., then switched to the Metro (subway) system, and arrived at work just before 7. I worked from 7 to 3:30, and then commuted back home, arriving, if I was lucky, by 5:15 in the afternoon. Then I cooked supper, washed dishes, talked with my husband, played with the cats, and went to bed to begin another cycle. We had a car, a condo, a microwave, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, TV, VCR and DVD players, stereo system, and computer. As my husband was ill, I had to work and be gone those long hours even though I didn't like it. And even then I thought about technology and how it was supposed to give us "more free time." My job in DC was working as a government contractor, and reading , answering, and returning e-mail questions sent to the Environmental Protection Agency. I soon found that the computers created more work than seemed necessary...

In using new technology, America has always promised "more time to do the important things in life" - but what is important in life? I think it is being able to rest and relax; to be able to visit a park or meadow and listen to the wild birds sing; to be able to hike or camp in the woods (or wilderness) without thinking about how one can get back "in touch" with other people; to be able to listen to the music you like, and watch he films that you like, in the privacy of your own home. Maybe I'm an old-fashioned throw back to an earlier time... maybe I should be classified as an "anti-social" type... maybe I should be classified as an "anti-technology" type... I do enjoy using my computer to communicate with people all the the world (but I also dislike Instant Messaging); I enjoy being able to speak with friends spread across the country at the touch of a few buttons, but I dislike recorded telephone messages; I like the fact that technology has, indeed, given me more leisure time.... But at the same time, I dislike what most people have let technology do to them.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009


Starship Enterprise Vulcan

In Vulcan, Alberta, Canada, one can visit a replica of the USS Enterprise...

Beautiful Lindos, Greece atop the Acropolis; 3-17-2007

View from the acropolis, island of Lindos, Greece

The Lizard, Cornwall,  England

View of the lighthouse station at The Lizard in Cornwall, England's most southerly point


Yesterday was our second day in the 90s, and it looks like today will be the third. Today is Colorado's Bike to Work Day, and the state is hoping that at least 1 million people will join in. What's scary is that this Bike to Work Day originated in 1956 - the year I was born - so I guess Colorado was ahead of it's time in being health- and carbon footprint-conscious. A lot of businesses are offering free breakfasts or sustenance stations throughout the state - all you have to do is show up with your bicycle to partake. The Mayor of Denver has already arrived at his office via bike, and I passed 15 stations being set up while walking this morning here in Boulder. All the local news stations are covering at least one of their reporters' ride in to work from their home... It hasn't reached 60 degrees yet, but I know that I'll be baking when I walk the red kids today.

The patio door is wide open, but both kits are perched on the cat tree inside, looking out. They both ran outside earlier when I opened the door, and Lovey has, of course, left her paw prints all across my chest. Thanks to my friend Connie, Alberta has joined Fred as a real green plant in my apartment. Alberta is a young catnip plant, and while the kits have inhaled her heavily, they have yet to lay paw or teeth upon her. Fred, the ivy plant, is still growing apace. And the apartment sprinkler system has been reset so that the back yard gets watered at midnight; the grass in the back yard is a testament to all the rain we've had, as well as judicial watering.

Donna Baron, an artist and home owner in Maryland, is gearing up to fight the development of Belward Farm. Belward is an oasis of green space in the Washington, DC - Gaithersburg corridor. The old farm originally belonged to the Ward family, and one of the owners was my husband's fourth great grandfather. The last owner of the farm sold it to Johns Hopkins with a codicil stating that it was to be saved as a green space, but could be used for a medical center or rehabilitation clinic. Johns Hopkins purchased the property with this condition for , if I remember correctly, $5.1 million; the owner had been offered $141 million for half of the land by a developer, but had refused that offer, knowing the pastures would become concrete jungles. Now Johns Hopkins is trying to bull through an extremely large development - over 150 buildings, varying in height from 4 to 10 stories - on the pasturage.... I have volunteered to help Donna in any way that I can. If you are interested in trying to preserve a pre-Civil War farm on the outskirts of Washington, DC, please let me know!!! And, if you enjoy beautiful paintings, I suggest you visit Donna's website at www.donnabaron.com ; she has gorgeous artwork in her gallery!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Photos for Today


Total relaxation...


View while hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park

6-19-08 Lake Tobias Mom & Baby Goat

Mom and kid at Lake Tobias Wildlife Park

I'm Baa-aack.... And I Owe An Apology

Sorry. My business took a lot less time than I had anticipated.... I opened my e-mail this morning to find a note attached to one of my blog URLs. The note was from Mr. Randy Bray, of Corvallis, Oregon. I used/posted a photo of his on December 22, 2008 - a beautiful photo of Sleepy Hollow Farm in Vermont. It had been posted on Webshots.com with the comment - "I use this for my screensaver." Usually items on Webshots are free to download and share if one makes no money from the use of said item; and if an item is copyrighted, it states so on or under the photo - as in yesterday's photo that I posted of Forego.
The photo of the farm in Vermont had no copyright notice on it when I pulled it up. Mr. Bray contacted me this morning, asking who had given me permission to use his copyrighted work. And the answer is no one. In looking back over his collected work on Webshots.com this morning, I found a note stating that all of his photos were copyrighted in 2009. I have removed the photo from my blog. I have promised Mr. Bray not to use any of his photos in my blog, with or without his permission. And I humbly apologize to Randy Bray for unintentionally posting a photo he had copyrighted.

The kits are fine - Lovey was chased by a raven back into the apartment this morning, so I have no idea of what mischief she was up to.... Banichi was talking earnestly to me early this morning (which usually means he has a shoe string in his mouth and is bringing it to me) - I was surprised when he brought my bra back to bed. (I wonder if he's trying to tell me something?) I will be heading out shortly to walk Rosie and Remy. And we had a thunderstorm last night - I know it's still humid because the backs of my ears are sweating.... 'Til tomorrow!

Later Posting Today

I will be blogging this afternoon instead of this morning.... will write soon.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Monday's Mix


Forego leaving the gate in the 1977 Whitney Handicap at Saratoga

Wolverine (Detroit Zoo)

A wolverine at the Detroit Zoo

The Holy Geronimo 1829-1910 Mitsva to defend his own country against robbing americans

Geronimo at Fort Sill, OK

Odds and Ends on My Mind

My neighbor who caused me to remove my bird feeders received a fright from me yesterday evening... It was just after 6 and NBC was wrapping up their coverage of the Masters, when a smoke alarm started going off in a nearby apartment. (The last time one went off in the middle of the night, I called the fire department and ended up being laughed at by the apartment manager...) I had turned off the TV volume to try to locate the source of the sound, when I heard the next-door neighbor's patio door open. My curtains were drawn, but I had about a 2-inch viewing crack of my patio. The neighbor walked out and appeared at the wall between our places, where she took several swallows of iced tea; after looking around , she suddenly took 6 giant steps and pressed her nose up against my window screen, and I could hear her sniffing. I suddenly said, "We're not on fire." She dropped her glass of tea, which shattered on my patio. "And I hope that you will be good enough to clean up your mess on my patio, " I said. She disappeared like a startled rabbit - and at 8 p.m. I finally went out and cleaned up the broken glass she had left behind. Nosy neighbors! Grrrrrrr!!

I have enjoyed luxuriating in the kits love and company these past 36 hours - they have been super companions. ... The Bloodhorse has an excellent write-up on Forego on their site (see: http://cs.bloodhorse.com/blogs/horse-racing-steve-haskin/archive/2009/06/21/the-mighty-forego.aspx ) - and I love reading about him because he was our stallion's Uncle down at Sleepy Hollow in Micanopy. ... Sailor's Cap necropsy has come in: probable cardiac arrest from colitis-X, which can be caused by a number of things, including salmonella and plain old stress. ... And, for the first time since 1919, Colorado has a documented wolverine living in-state. It's a young male, who has ambled down to the western slope from Yellowstone... he's one of a group of 15 radio-collared wolverines in a study there. In his travels he has successfully crossed several interstate highways. I'd love to be able to get a glimpse of him!

And finally, the United States of America is trying to get a lawsuit against them dropped. The case has been brought by 20 descendants of Geronimo, the famous Apache chief. He died in 1909 and was buried in Fort Sill, Oklahoma; family members wish to re-bury him in Arizona. According to lore and legend, and now supported by a letter written in 1918, a member (or members) of Yale University's Skull and Bones Society took parts of Geronimo's skeleton from the grave and they are reported to be in the Society's headquarters in Connecticut. The Skull and Bones Society was established in 1832 as an anti-Masonic group and usually initiates 15 freshmen from Yale each year - these people being the rich and powerful creme de la creme of society. Members have included President Taft, President George H. W. Bush, President George W. Bush, and Senator John Kerry... New initiates have to kiss a skull, reputed to be Geronimo's... Personally, I hope the Apache are able to proceed with the trial, and that they win it. Geronimo's bones - all of them - should be re-interred together in a final, peaceful resting place.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Shots


Rudolf pauses while hiking

3 Siamese kittens in a box

A Special Delivery of three Siamese kits

Spotted drafts plowing

Plowing with a 3-draft horse hitch...

Dad and Grandpa

Visiting his Father at Troy, Kansas is my Father... (plus the mule team)

Happy Father's Day!

It was marvelous to crawl into my own bed last night... Banichi settled in along my left side and Lovey propped her head on my right shin. It was pure heaven. I thoroughly enjoyed being with the red kids this past week - there are several bird feeders hanging by the windows and French doors that look out onto the deck, and the koi got to know me, and would flock to me at feeding time. Rosie and Remy were super as always, and for once I didn't break anything ( I have a terrible record of breaking ceramic napkin-holders at the Rs house)...

The sunrise was stupendous, and I was eager to welcome the summer sun. (I understand over 36,000 people celebrated the summer solstice at Stonehenge this morning.) Our weather is supposed to change today, and the weather folks are projecting a high in the upper 80s today and the low 90s for Monday and Tuesday - right on time for Summer! We haven't had a day in the 90s since May, and I will welcome the sun and heat again. The creeks and rivers are still running high due to the rain we've had, not to mention the snow-melt. Yesterday was the local "9 Cares, Colorado Shares" summer food drive for non-perishable goods: they had over 15 drop-off points set up from Fort Collins down to Colorado Springs, and at one station alone they collected more than 14 tons of food stuffs for the needy. Way to go, Colorado!

Today is Father's Day... and I have no trouble remembering good times spent with mine. I remember him laughing (because I was) while my horse was bucking when I was 4 while we lived in Texas - Mom was turning purple, and I don't know if she was holding her breath, or if it was a combination of fear and anger. On Sunday afternoons, he'd take my sister and me out for long walks in the woods, or picnics at Devil's Millhopper - he taught me how to track creatures of the forest and read sign, and how to carefully look for shark's teeth and arrow heads along the creek banks and in the water at the Millhopper. I remember one day when he spent the entire day driving me all over north-central Florida, looking for a place where he could rent a horse for me to ride. And even though we visited places from Jacksonville to Ocala and from Hastings to Cedar Key, we never found a spot... but we talked about animals, and his days growing up on the farm and hitching up anywhere from 2 to 8 horse and/or mules for the plow and harvester. Dad preferred mules to horses, after a mare (the only horse in the hitch) kicked him and broke his thigh when he was a teenager. - Think about all the pleasant times you spent with your father, and thank him for the time he spent with you. I can't thank my Dad in person any longer, but I certainly send good thoughts and thanks to his memory on this day, and every day.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Yeats in 2006

Yeats being exercised prior to the 2006 Melbourne Cup, with jockey Kieren Fallon in the irons.


Another beautiful morning arrived at the base of the Rocky Mountains... I've taken care of Rosie and Remy and returned home to blog. Banichi wanted his tummy rubbed right away, and Lovey just wanted to mark me with her chin; after that, they ate, and are now scampering in and out. Gimpy is putting away peanuts like there will be no tomorrow... The Colorado Renaissance Festival opens this weekend in Larkspur and will be open every weekend through mid-August. I can highly recommend it, and advise one to try and catch one of the stage shows by "Snot & Vomit" (yes, that is their name!) - they have an hysterical comedy routine (as pirates) that has everyone from 3-year-olds to grandparents in stitches.

My hat is off to a horse named Yeats. He is an 8-year-old son of Sadler's Wells, and he set a new record yesterday while racing at Royal Ascot - he won the Gold Cup, a 2 and 1/2 mile turf race, for the fourth year in a row. And Americans claim that the thoroughbred isn't bred to run a mile and a half any longer! Well, Yeats has shown that the British and Irish still keep to the old standards! Yeats is trained by Aidan O'Brien and was ridden by Johnny Murtagh in yesterday's race, which he won by 3 1/2 lengths. I am in love with this horse - one with the ability to run long distances, and one still in training at the age of 8! Hooray for Yeats!!!

Unless something earth-shattering occurs, I won't be posting this blog tomorrow; but will write again on Sunday... So, my friends, please have a wonderful weekend, and hope that the Masters Golf Tournament isn't a complete wash out!!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Out West

buffalos_buckng heads

Buffalo bulls sparring in Yellowstone

old house_eagle pt_1

Weathered house on the plains

big horn ram_

Big Horn ram in Yellowstone

Thundering Thursday

Rosie and Remy have gotten so used to me that they tried to knock me out of bed last night. When I was ready to climb into bed, I found Remy stretched out in my spot and Rosie gracefully draped across the bottom of the bed. I patted Remy and finally poked him a couple of times, but he had decided to play dead; so I grabbed his legs and rolled him over to clear a space that I could lay down on. Just before I turned out the light, I was on the receiving end of a very reproachful stare. Around three this morning, the red kids were lying beside me - and both stretched out their legs at the same time and almost pushed me off the bed. Then, as I came out of the bathroom, I found that one of the Rs had pulled all of Joel's work-out clothes out of the hamper and made a nest at some time during the night... Those red kids - they are always up to something!

Lovey and Banichi were ecstatic to see me this morning - and the minute I opened the patio door, Gimpy bounded inside to eat. Right now the kids are out playing in the grass - yes, we actually have a lawn in the back yard now - thanks to plenty of grass seed and our recent abundant rain. I know that Lovey likes having the grass, but am not sure about Banichi - he liked to roll in the dirt, chase bugs and play with dead leaves these two past years. It was 55 outside when I walked the red kids earlier, and it's warmed up to 60 so far... The National Weather Service has compiled all their data on the tornado near Elizabeth (first photo two days ago) and has rated it as an EF2 - it left a trail of destruction 4 miles long and up to one-quarter mile wide in Elbert County.

Soar-sies.... I just can't ignore them right now. Remember Barbaro, the Kentucky Derby winner trained by Michael Matz? His two-year-old full brother, Nicanor, is now in Matz's racing stable. Nicanor has run in 5 races so far - not doing well in his first three outings. He has won his last two races, on the turf, the first by over 15 lengths, and this weekend he won at Delaware Park. - Sailor's Cap, a handsome bay colt, won the Grade III Poker Stakes on Sunday at Belmont Park. Tuesday morning he suddenly had a temperature and collapsed and died in his stall. There will be a necropsy. - And Proud Accolade, a 7-year-old stallion standing at Bridlewood Farm in Ocala, was put down when he "displayed symptoms of a neurological disorder." Proud Accolade's first crop of foals are now two-year-olds in training... My questions are: What type of neurological disorder? Is it genetic? Do we want to keep his get in the TB gene pool? ....

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Mongolia Photos

The other horse. many nomads and their herds live around the lake

Mongolian mount at Lake Khovsgol - August 2002

Inner Mongolia : Dead Forest

Sunrise in the Dead Forest, Mongolia

Bolshi Koty, small town on baikal shore

First building to be seen in Bolshi Koty, a small community on the shore of Lake Baikal in Mongolia

Blah Wednesday

We amazingly had no rain yesterday - a little wind, and overcast occasionally, but no real rain. Remy is totally back to his normal self - he got out of bed with me, and, as soon as we got downstairs, began to bark (at me). I had to put him in "Time-out" mode immediately; so he laid on his bed in the kitchen/dining room and gave me these sorrowful looks that were pathetic. We went for a walk, and then they had breakfast before I ran over to my place. The kits were very happy to see me and I'm drowning in love as I type this - I also have a lot of cat hair up my nose... Gimpy has stuffed himself, as have the kits. I had half a cantaloupe for my breakfast. I finished Bear Island by Allistair MacLean Monday, and read The Diamond Hunters by Wilbur Smith yesterday (it wasn't up to his usual par), and started The Treasure of Khan by Clive and Dirk Cussler yesterday evening.

The Department of Wildlife caught a young male mountain lion in north Boulder yesterday, and turned him loose in the back country. And speaking of back country, with the rain and coolness we've had, there is still snow on the rear peaks of the Front Range today. Sometimes it really feels odd to be sweating in the 80s and look up and see snow-capped peaks ... I rarely want ice cream, but this past weekend I wanted some. I can now recommend Haagen-Dazs Five as a superbly delicious and smooth ice cream. Why is it called Five? Because it contains only five ingredients - cream, milk, sugar, eggs, and (in my case, since I had chocolate) cocoa. The strawberry contains the first four previous ingredients, plus strawberries. I'm sure you get the picture... no preservatives added for longer freezer life, etc. All I know is that the pint I consumed over three days was absolutely delicious!! So if you'd like a taste of childhood pleasures, I'd try it.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yesterday's Weather

This tornado near Elizabeth in Elbert County, CO was clearly visible for over 20 minutes.

Care for some hail? This is just a few pieces that rained down after the tornado near Elizabeth.

A funnel cloud in Douglas County, CO yesterday afternoon... the house in the photo was fine - a barn a little bit away was demolished.

Cool Morning

It was 38 degrees outside at 5 this morning - the sun rose among light clouds, turning them apricot and peach colors. I was out walking Rosie and Remy and greeted the dawn with enthusiasm. Remy has been mopey since his family left on vacation - this morning, however, he was back to his usual self. I fed the koi, and took the recycling and trash out, fed the kids, and then headed home to the kits. I stopped in at Safeway on the way home to get some Temptations treats for the kits, and was collared by a friend, the head of the deli, who had to vent... I was a little later getting here than anticipated, but the kits have eaten and gone out, and Gimpy has consumed his pile of peanuts. We had another stormy day yesterday - a guy near Elizabeth in Elbert County, got more that 20 minutes of film of a tornado that touched down near his house; power poles were snapped off like match sticks about a foot above ground level in some areas; and here in Boulder, on Broadway, a 75-year-old sugar maple was sheared off just above the ground and impaled two Toyota Priuses (through front and rear windows) that were traveling south, against the wind. One driver was taken to the hospital, the second was upset, but unhurt. Typical spring weather...

Banichi is currently sitting in my lap, nuzzling my hands as I type, and then shoving his head under my jaw. Have you seen the video of the three 3-pound chihuahuas that confronted a 100 pound mountain lion in their garage in California? It was on NBC news this morning - The home-owner managed to get a part of the confrontation on film; the dogs are the carry-around pets of the 3-year-old daughter, who likes to play in the garage. Those three definitely get a Good Dog Award from me!! I discovered last night that the Rs family had not locked the balcony door on the second floor - Rosie heard something outside while I was reading last night, and pawed the door open, and the house has been inundated with moths. I made sure the door was locked, once I got her back inside last night. Things seem to be going smoothly - and I'm hoping the rest of the week will be quiet. More later.....

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Monday Choices


Joseph, the Irish Setter, is a good fisherman!

Funnel with wall cloud

We've seen a lot of funnel clouds lately!

Gatlinburg Tennessee Smoky Mountains

The Great Smoky Mountains (a part of the Appalachians) outside of Gatlinburg, Tennessee

Critters, Weather and PBS's Appalachia

Sorry about the lack of posting yesterday. The early morning was delectable: bright sunshine, a few high clouds, temperature in the low 50s. I walked Sadie and Rusty before many people were out and about, fed the whole crew, made sure Coffee went outside for a bathroom break, and was at Rosie and Remy's by 7:45. They were upset, having seen the family pack their luggage, so I took them out on a 15 minute walk (so the family could get the luggage loaded into their van without the Rs seeing it done). I read out loud to the Rs until their folks had been gone for an hour, then headed back up Quince to check in on my morning crew. (By the way, Frippet the frog has an olive colored back, not a pale yellow-green one, like the ACF in the preceding photo.) Then I bounced back and forth between the two houses until about 6, walking, treating, and loving all the critters. We were under another tornado watch yesterday from 3 p.m. until 9 - and it looked threatening several times, but we only received rain and straight-line winds. - Not so in Denver, where they had to clear Coors Field during a Rockies game due to a funnel cloud that was clearly visible from most of the stadium seats. There were no reports of tornadoes actually touching down, but multiple funnel clouds were sighted.

I am currently at home, with Lovey attached to my chest, neck and face, while Banichi is glued to my lap. It makes for interesting keyboarding! Our highs this past week have been about 10 degrees below normal (low 70s), with lows in the mid 40s. Wednesday, the guys have forecast a high of 90 with less than 10% chance of rain. That will be awesome (as my heater just turned on again). I have already walked the Rs this morning, given them breakfast, and come home. The kits have been fed, and I've performed my other house duties; Gimpy has consumed a large pile of peanuts. Unless an emergency arises, I will be at home with the kits from the 21st through the 28th, going on to my next job the evening of the 29th. Yeah! Some time to catch up on my family tree research! I don't have internet access at the Rs, so I will be blogging and answering e-mail only when I'm home visiting the kits. - I saw an outstanding program on PBS last night and was pleased to learn it has 3 more parts to air; the program's name is Appalachia: A History of Mountains and People, and is narrated by Sissy Spacek. I highly recommend this as a must see program - please check your local listings if you're interested in the history, animals, lore and culture of this region! Here's hoping you have a pleasant week!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Saturday Pixels


An African clawed frog

2 12month old miniature smooth female dachshunds Badowski's Dachshunds

Badowski's Dachshunds in Michigan breed AKC champions

Backside of passing thunderstorm

The backside of a passing thunderstorm

New House

Yesterday and today dawned bright and sunny - the thunderstorms that rampaged through the area yesterday afternoon are expected to do the same again today. It's 57 degrees (F) outside, Gimpy is eating peanuts in the living room, and both kits are sunning themselves on the patio. I had to laugh at the dogs yesterday evening - Coffee is a 17-year-old Dachshund, deaf and almost totally blind; Rusty is a 7-year-old Jack Russell terrier; Sadie is a non-socialized 4-year-old Irish setter, freaked out by anyone and anything new. I was feeding them dinner at 6:30, per my instructions, but there was a stupendous storm taking place outside - rain, hail, lightning, and very loud thunder. Sadie, who had avoided me until I broke out the dinner bowls, was suddenly attached to me like a leech. Coffee ate every bit of her food (this after her owner had told me she rarely eats), Rusty had gulped her feed down, and kept going over to check out Sadie's bowl. Sadie would take a bite, and then it would thunder, and she'd hide behind my legs... Finally, I placed her bowl back in the 'fridge, and a couple of hours later fed her when the rumbling had stopped.

I had been told that Coffee could not get up and down the stairs in the house by herself - she was gaily galloping up and down them all evening and night long. Sadie, who is dependent upon Rusty for courage, was deserted when Rusty finished her dinner and went to her bed and disappeared for the night. Sadie sacked out on the floor, touching my foot. If my foot moved away, she would follow it.... She was so upset that I, the stranger, became her security blanket. She slept in bed with me, too. The owners told me the same thing they had told me last time I took care of the dogs - that one neighbor had complained that Rusty barked the whole time that I was there. She barked once last night when a stranger knocked on the door; when I put her out in her run today, I placed her anti-bark shock collar on her (even though I hated doing it); so Sadie can bark, but she can't. I'll have to see what kind of reports the neighbors give this time around. (And I did the same thing the last two times I stayed there....) Frippet, the 18-year-old African clawed frog is doing well. It's been over a year since I last took care of him, and he didn't bounce up and down in his tank when I spoke to him yesterday... after I fed him and gave him a live fly I had caught for dessert, he perked up. And this morning he greeting me with happy bobs. - I had to catch another fly for him, but it was worth the effort! Have a super weekend!!!

Friday, June 12, 2009

Friday's Featured...

SherlockTreeBest ****** Members Choice Photo******

Sherlock in a sugar maple - April 2009

Close Encounters..of the horse-kind...

"Is that you,...mummy?"

more residents of the 1800's farm

Rooster and hen in Tallahassee