Monday Musings ~ November 21, 2023

Greetings, mates. Norman here. Welcome to Monday of Thanksgiving week in the US. Remember us? We apologize for being absent for so long. Mum decided to get sick with COVID so I’ve been busy making lots of hospital rounds to make sure she gets well. She finally turned the corner under my and Elsa’s special care though she’s still very tired most of the time and it will likely take some time for her to get back to full strength. At least she no longer sounds like a barking seal coughing so there is that in the plus column.

Here I am this morning during one of my many daily rounds, taking her vital signs.

Norman
“Ah, let’s see, while your blood pressure looks good…just remember I haven’t released you for work yet, Mum. You need to go back to bed and continue to rest. Dogtor’s orders!”

May I just say, we’ve missed you all and hope to start visiting  all of your blogs and hope you’ll be patient as we catch up. Any comments will likely be small, but our Thanksgiving week wishes will be huge as you celebrate the howl-iday with your friends and family. We’re so grateful for you all.

As you can see Mum finally opened her computer, and lo and behold, she found out I’m the Pet Therapy Dog of the Month at Lutheran. Too bad we won’t be able to visit my hospital friends this month until Mum is cleared to go back to work. I was so hoping I’d be able to hear all their congratulations but hopefully they’ll still be glad to see me the next time we go back to visit. As this is my first time being honored, I’m quite chuffed.

Norman

And lastly, in other news, we’re pausing for a moment of respect to honor Mexico’s beloved search and rescue dog, Frida, the Golden Lab, who recently passed away. Frida worked earthquakes and natural disasters in Mexico, Haiti and Ecuador. You may recall hearing about her brave rescue work during the Mexico City earthquake in 2017. You can read a bit about her amazing rescue work here. We’re sure our beloved Sam greeted her at the gates of the Rainbow Bridge with a furiously wagging tail, welcoming this amazing dog whose work brought respect to dogs throughout Mexico. Well done, Frida. Good girl.

With that, we wish you a safe and happy Thanksgiving holiday week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 11, 2022

Norman & ElsaWelcome to this week’s edition of Nature Friday which just happens to fall on Veterans Day in the US. An official public holiday celebrated in the US annually on November 11, we  honor military veterans, that is, anyone who served in the United States Armed Forces. Also known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in other countries, it marks the anniversary of the end of World War I when the major hostilities formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Prior to 1954, it was known as Armistice Day in the US and still is known by that name elsewhere. The Ranch Hands and I tip our hats to all veterans today so that we may be free. Red poppies are frequently worn to commemorate today but without any blooming poppies, we’ll serve up as different kind of flora and hope you don’t mind.

As always, we’re joining those fur-kids from Adventures of the LLB Gang for this weekly blog hop where people from around Blogville share slices of Nature.

This nimble little dude pretty much describes how the weather has been again this week. Up, down and all around throughout this week. It’s enough to make you dizzy.Yo-yo
We’re now well into the season of brown with countless leaves raining down on the landscape pretty much nonstop. Bags and bags full of leaves are primed to be recycled into luscious compost at the city leaf drop. But first, my back needs to chill after all that raking, which still isn’t complete but at least people can see the sidewalk once again.

With the up and down temps, imagine my surprise at seeing some colorful roses when visiting a friend yesterday. I can’t help but wonder how they fared overnight. When we woke up this morning it was a brisk 18ºF degrees. Brrrrrrr. Norman looked at me with an expression that suggested I was out of my mind. That may well be ole chap, but the truth remains, you need to make a pit stop. An audible harrumph may have been heard as he slowly meandered out to the dog run.

I’m always drawn to vibrant hues of pink in roses and this one punched my dance card nicely.

Flowers

Coming in on the beauty pagent of beautiful roses comes this peachy orange colored one. The fact that it was nicely highlighted in the autumn sunlight also made it worthy to share.

Flowers

But of the three, I think this one is my absolute favorite. Those beautiful shades of peach, pink and yellow spoke to me, saying it was the belle of the ball. And I had to concede that fact.

Flowers

Well that’s it from us. Do you still have roses blooming in your garden? What’s your favorite color of rose?

We hope you have a wonderful weekend but ask that you stop for a few moments and think about honoring veterans in some special way. After all, they are what makes our freedom possible. Whatever name you call it, we hope you have a safe and reflective Veteran/Armistice Day.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

 

 

 

 

Few Words Wednesday ~ November 9, 2022

Pelican

Need to head south now.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Mo(a)nings ~ November 7, 2022

We’re now back on standard time but there’s nothing standard about the overabundance of political ads currently being broadcast. I don’t know about you but the midterm elections can not be over soon enough. The endlessly redundant ads have had me screaming whenever the TV is turned on. It’s gotten so bad I haven’t been able to enjoy any sports; in fact while trying to watch a hockey game over the weekend, there were so many consecutive ads for nearly every state candidate running back to back to back, for one brief moment I thought one of the dogs may have inadvertently changed the channel. I was beginning to think maybe those &#@% gambling app ads (that I absolutely hate and which are played far too often), aren’t all that bad. The worst one that sends me into orbit shows a particular athlete smiling while on the ‘can’ as he’s placing his bets. Seriously. Argh!!!

When looking for a smile for today, this one seemed timely and made an accurate statement about the current state of politics these days in the US. Whichever way you lean politically, we hope you exercise the fundamental right to vote. In Colorado voting is done through mail-in ballots; the system is simple, convenient with no excuse not to vote, but honestly I still think pets would choose far better candidates. Where in the world do they find some of these candidates…under rocks?!

Smile

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ November 4, 2022

SkelliesWith Halloween in the rearview mirror, the skellies have mostly been put away (or seem to be focusing on upcoming holidays), welcome to the first Friday of November. As usual, we are joining the cuties from the LLB Gang for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to check out everyone’s take on Nature in their areas.

It was a glorious autumn week…well until the next season in the calendar lineup decided to make a cameo appearance, just to keep things real.

The trees continue to do ‘autumny’ things by changing colors and dropping leaves (in anticipation of the forecast storm, I raked and bagged leaves Wednesday before a doctor’s appointment so of course, Nature thought she’d prank me by immediately blowing an equal and new batch of leaves down on clean garden beds and sidewalks. Despite four enormously stuffed bags, it looked as if I hadn’t done a bloody thing. Oh, Mother Nature, you sure have a cruel sense of humor.

My doctor’s office is very near my old house in City Park and I always like to walk around before the appointment to see how my old Victorian is faring and how the neighborhood in general is doing. When I lived there back in the late 80’s/90’s it was considered a neighborhood in transition but seems to be enjoying the same development and renovating improvements that have occurred in my neighborhood. I enjoy walking around checking things out and strolling through beautifully manicured yards and garden beds. When I came across this plant, I knew I had to include it today. It was growing up between a garage and the sidewalk in a tiny sliver of dirt between the two. Talk about a showy beauty! Euonymus europaeus, commonly referred to as European spindle tree, is a beautiful ornamental shrub. I had never encountered it before in autumn but oh my heavens, am a huge fan now. No wonder birds and wildlife are drawn to its fruit and seeds. Just look at those colors!

Flowers

After finding that gorgeous beauty, I spotted this ‘lawn ornament’ a half a block away. It made me chuckle out loud.

Elephant

I mean, who wouldn’t want to have an elephant in their garden with an upended wine bottle to water the flowers?

From 70’sF  and sunshine on Wednesday to rain mixed with snow yesterday, the landscape morphed into a different kind of beauty. This was from pre-dawn this morning.

First snow As you can see, it got a bit nippy last night with the first icicles forming on the bird bath.
Bird bath

Well that’s about it from us this week. We’re looking forward to a sunny Friday and sunnier weekend with temps back in the 60’sF. Gotta love the yo-yo weather here in Colorado.

Got any special plans for the weekend? Whatever you do, we hope it’s fun and interesting and you make a point to get out and look around at all that Mother Nature shares. The good, the bad, the cold, whatever..it’s all amazing.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

One Word Wednesday~November 2, 2022

Shallow.

Autumn

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Howl-oween Monday ~ October 31, 2022

Today is ‘Howl-oween,’ a day celebrated by kids of all ages who enjoy dressing up and receiving treats from total strangers. Could it be our own pets think EVERY day should be like that for them? I know the Ranch Hands think they should get treats all the time but aren’t all that keen on the dressing up part.

Whatever your thoughts about today’s festivities may be, do you think you’ll be visited by a bunch of ghosts and goblins this evening? After tonight, our sights will focus on the next holiday-Thanksgiving, which lends itself well to today’s smile.

Halloween

Norman for one, will be pleased the season is coming to an end. He’s somewhat over all the costume changes as evidenced by his expression here.

Norman

Elsa, on the other hand, simply glares a “don’t EVEN think about it” look every time I pull out a costume or go through the hat box and am sure she’s thinking up ways to punish me whenever I cast my eye toward her. But come on Ninja, you gotta admit you look pretty fetching in your new Ranch Hand chapeau.Elsa

Despite the grumbling and/or eye rolling, both Ranch Hands and I wish you a safe and happy ‘Howl-oween.’

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 28, 2022

Holy cow, it’s the last Friday of October. Where in the doggone world has this month gone? Seems like it was just Labor Day, doesn’t it? Now that Howl-oween is upon us, let’s take a look at what Nature dished out this week. As usual, we are joining those cuties from Adventures of the LLB Gang for their weekly blog hop. Don’t forget to check out what others shared from their own natural world.

Nature dealt us a full deck of cards this week. Once again, some very interesting spring plants were blooming and caught our Mom off guard to the point, she did a lot of double takes while on our walks. Norman and Elsa here to share what we found over the past few days.

Elsa: I have a whiplash from Mom going back to check out a couple of plants we saw. Like this Lupine from our own garden! Mom thought it might be a good idea to start winterizing the hoses and water spigot and nearly stepped on this little guy. Naturally I just blinked at it and thought, “whatever.”

Flowers

Norman: Oh come on…we haven’t seen anything like that in over 5 months! How can you not be impressed with that beauty, I mean, just look at that purple flower in the midst of those mahogany leaves of the Plumbago, with its blue flowers.

Elsa: Pfft…well ok…I guess it’s somewhat impressive. But check out this Lobularia Maritima, also known as ‘sweet alyssum.’ Now that’s quite the specimen! For a quick minute I thought it was June again.Flowers

Norman: Right you are, sister! It’s quite something else. And to think less than 24 hours later, this:

Weather

Elsa: Again with the whiplash! 60ºF+ degrees and then in the 30º’s in less than 24 hours. When I went out to do some ‘lady business,’ I was greeted with this. I didn’t even bother chasing that stupid squirrel that constantly hangs out in the alley to filch trash from the bins on pickup day.

Snow

Norman: Those were some mighty large flakes of white stuff but I know just how to deal with conditions like that. Luckily it didn’t accumulate. But still, these brass monkey temps have arrived just too soon for me.

Norman

Elsa: I still can’t get over you needing to bogart Mom’s blanket at the slightest drop in the temperature. Heck, you are always stealing that furry blanket whenever you get the chance.

Norman: Well there’s something very comforting about that blanket. So soft, so cozy…besides, the texture looks great against my furs.

Elsa: Ha…as if you’d know anything about texture. I think you just like to hog the sofa whenever you get a chance.

Norman: Well, I do like being as close to my Mum as possible.

Elsa: {interrupting} “Close?” She can barely fit on the sofa when you stretch out!

Norman: {clearing his throat} Ahem….I’m always happy to share the space with my Mum.

Elsa: ‘Share?!” Is that were she sits on the floor and longingly looks up at a certain sofa-hog?

Norman: {clearly his throat again} Not to change the subject, but did you notice the latest scene at our favorite Howl-oween decorations on our walk yesterday? Mum counted over 20 skellies, racing toward the weekend no doubt.

Halloween

Elsa: Yeah, they’re at it again. There’s even a kidlet skellie on the back of the one to the right of the galloping dog. The guy who creates these scenes must have a huge storage shed where these skellies live in the off-season.

Norman: Oh, I do hope they stay warm while they’re out there. There was a good frost this morning and none of them are even sporting any gloves.

Elsa: Oh good lord, you moron, they’re Skellies, not people. Jeez, how could you be so dim?

Norman: I like to think of myself as extra compassionate. The world can use some extra compassion these days.

Elsa: Well, you do have a point there. Let’s hope everyone has a compassionate and fun weekend celebrating Howl-oween. Will you be ‘Lick or Treating” with your fur-iends this weekend at any events? Searching for treats might just be the ticket, me thinks. Whatever you do, we hope you stay safe and enjoy the many faces of Nature.

Norman: Right-o, Ninja, I know I plan to be chuffed to bits checking it all out. Plus, I do have a height advantage around little people. Those little treat filled hands are just level with my mouth. Here’s to enjoying a top drawer weekend surrounded by Nature.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Therapy Monday ~ October 24, 2022

Monday

While it may be Monday, chasing a ball as a form of therapy won’t be necessary since Norman will be visiting the hospital this week. Assuming I can get him out of bed this morning, that is. We had the teensiest speck of snow last night and the big guy is taking his sweet time getting up from the smallest bed in the house. Let’s just say Elsa wasn’t amused he bogarted her bed. Luckily everyone just snuggled in their respective spots staying cozy and allowing the storm pass. Today will be crisp but sunny. Typical weather for Halloween week. Sorry kids.

Norman

Here’s hoping your Monday is full of joy and sunshine.

Live, love, bark! 🐾