Flower Friday ~ September 21, 2018

Well here we are…the Friday before the arrival of our good friend, Autumn. Summer has stayed too long in my mind and has acted much like an unwelcome rude guest. So today we join Rosy and the Boyz for another Flower Friday. While summer yawns and relaxes before (hopefully) exiting for the year, let’s pause to check out a few garden plants who always perform admirably in hot temperatures-some annuals.

You may remember when I stumbled upon a secret garden a couple of weeks ago that featured some adorable “bathing beauties” (in case you missed it, read it here). With a simple annuals including petunias and a bevy of zinnias to complement the water fountain in separate alcove of that garden, it’s easy to contemplate the ‘complexities of life’ in a place like this. No wonder the tiny sparrows filled the various corners with their antics. Whether to just enjoy some fresh air or escape the hustle and bustle of the city, this respite easily transports visitors for a few moments and allows the mind to relax and savor a pretty side of Mother Nature. 

So as you welcome the official beginning of Autumn this weekend, don’t forget to take a moment to savor those hardworking but simple heroes in the garden: annuals. Here’s hoping your weekend is ‘pawsome.’

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Pirate Party Wednesday

We are joining the Speedy’s Annual Pirate Party event today. Sam isn’t  keen on getting dressed up as you can tell here, but he adores Speedy and is always willing to walk the plank for fur-iends.

So ahoy, mateys. Don’t be a scalawag today.

Avast Ye Mates…

Many of you have contacted me about the issue of your comments disappearing on our blog and some of you have indicated that some of my comments have been pillaged off to your spam folders. We’re working on it with the nice blokes at WordPress and hope you’ll be patient while they try to figure out why Akismet thinks I’m a bot. Shiver me timbers…I’m not even Russian. Aaaarrrrgggghhhh! 

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Gotcha Monday

Yesterday was the Ninja’s second ‘Gotcha Day.’ It’s estimated that she’s around six-years old now. My, how time has flown by. You can read Elsa’s initial story here or re-visist last year’s festivities here. This puppy mill survivor has come a long way indeed. When she first arrived at the Ranch, she was completely shut down and didn’t even know how to eat food from your hand. She just stared and blinked and it broke my heart that this sweet girl didn’t know how to react.

She is often a blur when she play bows, then pounces on an unsuspecting object.
Is this organic cotton?

As is typical for any six-year old, the day was marked by loads of silly goofiness and lots of barking. For some reason these days, Elsa seems to think barking is the ‘in’ thing to do every day…especially in the early morning hours until noon.  My only question now is should I be grateful she’s graduated from eating eyewear and wool socks to cotton? Yeah, I don’t think so either. But…baby steps, right? Hope you had a wonderful Gotcha Day, Ninja.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Flower Friday ~ September 14, 2018

What’s the first flower you think of when you think of autumn? If you’re like most people, the first one that comes to mind are mums. Have you ever experimented with other autumnal plants? While rounding the last block on our walk this morning, I came across something quite magical. An autumn crocus…Colchicum cilicicum.

Colchicum is free-flowering with up to 25 bright purplish pink flowers that deepen in color at the tips. When I looked it up, everything pointed to it being vigorous and easy to grow. Yay!! Colchicums prefer well-drained soil that doesn’t dry out in summer and they need shade where summers are hot. 

Look at that color!! Isn’t it beautiful? I think I may try planting some of these guys for next year. Whatever you plant this weekend, we hope it’s grand.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ September 12, 2018

With the official arrival of autumn less than two weeks away, Summer isn’t giving up her seat at Mother Nature’s table. Yesterday we set a new record of 93 and today’s forecast may be slightly hotter. Much like an unwelcome suitor, this one just won’t seem to go away quietly.

Following a visit with a dear friend at CU Medical Center yesterday, I happened to stumble across this hidden garden on the campus and came across these “bathing cuties” frolicking in a water feature among a bevy of plants. It was a serene spot and a the zen moment that whisked my mind miles away from the hectic pace of the city. Ahhhh…deep cleansing breath.

It’s mid-week and we’ll start to pick up steam cruising toward Friday. While you move in that direction, make it a great day.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Never Forget Tuesday

FlagToday we remember 9/11, the day where 2,996 innocent people lost their lives and over 6,000 where injured. It was also the single deadliest incident for firefighters and law enforcement officers in the history of the United States.

There are seminal moments growing up that trigger strong emotional memories. The assassination of John Kennedy and 9/11 both fall into that category and I  remember exactly as if it happened yesterday. Do you remember where were you when the Towers came down?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

No-Bake Monday

Our temperatures are gonna be back in the 90’s this week so the thought of turning on the oven is not very appealing. Sadly the heat doesn’t diminish the sweet tooth so I decided to “not-bake” some tasty  snacks to start out the week with a smile. Coconut and cocoa are a match made in cookie heaven.

Cocoa-Nut Peanut Butter No-Bake Cookies

1/2 cup. coconut oil
2/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup honey
6 TBS dark cocoa powder
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3/4 tsp. sea salt
1-1/2 cup coconut flakes
1-1/2 cup whole rolled oats

Combine coconut oil, peanut butter, honey, cocoa powder, vanilla and sea salt; beat until well combined and smooth. Add coconut and oats and beat until well incorporated and mixture becomes a loose dough. Using a tablespoon or small scoop, drop on wax paper or parchment. Chill for 30 minutes in freezer or 1 hour in frig. Serve cold. Makes 20-25 depending on size. Enjoy!

[Per cookie: 200 calories; 4 g protein; 15 g total fat (10 g sat. fat); 15 g carbs; 0 mg cholesterol; 90 mg soda; 2 g fiber; 8 g sugar]

And don’t forget to swing by the now open e-shop (Sam’s K9 Kreations). More items are being added all the time so check back often.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ September 5, 2018

Taking Flight

The Ranch may be incommunicado for the next few days but hope to be back soon.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Therapy Tuesday

Last week I worked my shifts magic at the man hospital and hospice. Sam here. Yes…it was disappointing that West Pines wasn’t on the schedule but I made the trips worthwhile nonetheless. While the hospital was a bit slow, I was busy, busy, busy visiting with many nice people.

Whenever I go visit, mom always makes sure we pay attention to staff. They need therapy visits too she says and wished she had a dog visit when she worked at the law firm but I think she wanted a guard Rottweiler most of the time. Any-who, we always try to swing by the gift shop. the coffee bar and the reception wait areas. Lately she’s been going up to the Lab because everyone there loves visits from all of us therapy dogs. I love them because they make such a fuss over me are so nice. It’s definitely a win-win for everyone.

On our second day of visits, we had to drop by the Facilities Department to replace my badge holder that snapped off on the previous visit. Located in the basement, it’s kind of a dreary place with no windows or sunshine. We had to walk around to find it and saw lots of people scurrying around heavy mechanical equipment. Some of the engineers I meet on the various floors and they know me well. It’s always nice to run into them because being engineers, they know right where my sweet spots are on my ears. Ahh…they rub them sooo well.

We walked into Facilities and Rachel was there so I patiently waited outside her office as she helped another person on the phone. When Rachel got off the phone she looked a little frazzled and asked who I was since we hadn’t met before. She chatted with mom and told her my story. I only remember the ‘blah, blah, blah’ part. It was then that I took matters into my own paws and sidled up next to her and looked long and lovingly into her eyes, wagging my tail. She melted. Bingo…score! She began rubbing my ears and telling my mom what a rough day she had been having but seeing me made it all better. My job there was done so after a few more minutes, off we went to visit other staff folks and patients throughout the hospital.  This was one of my best visits of the day.

It always makes us feel good to lighten the load of hospital workers and patients and this time was no different. Mom always asks me how do I know how to make people smile, but I just wag my tail. A guy’s gotta have a little mystery about him, right? I’m already looking forward to next month’s visit.

Live, love, life! 🐾

Labor Day Monday

The first Monday of every September is known as Labor Day in the US, a “howliday”  created as a way to acknowledge the social and economic achievements of American workers. Labor Day was a long time in the making, beginning with local ordinances in the late 1800’s which eventually morphed into the state legislation. Although New York was the first state to introduce legislation, the first state to actually pass it was Oregon on February 21, 1887. Four more states-Colorado, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York joined the movement in 1887 and passed state laws creating the Labor Day holiday. By the end of the decade Connecticut, Nebraska, and Pennsylvania followed and by 1894, 23 more states adopted the holiday. Congress passed a national law on June 28, 1884, making the first Monday in September of each year a legal holiday in the District of Columbia and the territories.

There has been some dispute as to whose idea it was to propose a day  acknowledging the contributions of workers. Some records points to Peter J. McGuire, (general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a co-founder of the American Federation of Labor) was first suggesting a day to honor those “who from rude nature have delved and carved all the grandeur we behold.”

However, the history suggesting Peter McGuire’s was the ‘father of the Labor Day movement has not gone unchallenged. Many suggested it was Matthew Maguire (a machinist and later union leader), and not Peter McGuire, who founded the holiday. Recent research seems to support that notion. What is certain is that the Central Labor Union adopted a Labor Day proposal and appointed a committee to plan a demonstration and picnic.

The first Labor Day holiday was celebrated on Tuesday, September 5, 1882, in New York City, in accordance with the Central Labor Union plans. A second Labor Day holiday was held the following year on September 5, 1883 and in 1884 the first Monday in September was selected as the holiday, as originally proposed, with the Central Labor Union urging labor organizations in other cities to follow the example of New York and celebrate a “workingmen’s holiday” on that date. The idea spread with the growth of labor organizations throughout many industrial centers in the country.

Public parades showing “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations,” followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families were the original ideas behind the celebration and continues to this day. In recent times, Labor Day is often associated with the informal end of summer. Our friend, autumn officially arrives in just 19 days. Hallelujah!

While more people are associated with high-tech work than with manufacturing these days, it’s the entire work force that contributes to the standard of living we enjoy and only seems fitting to acknowledge the economic contribution workers made toward the nation’s strength, freedom, and leadership. Here at the Ranch, we’re going to kick back, hang out and enjoy a pleasant day and be grateful for all  workers who contributed in making this day a national holiday. For those of you enjoying the long weekend, we hope you enjoy this extra day off but don’t forget to remember it was all made possible by hard-working folks. Here’s to a pawtastic day and wagnificent week.

Live, love, bark! 🐾