Monthly Archives: May 2016

Hot Water Tuesday

We returned from a fabulous Hawaiian holiday and bailed out his sorry butt picked Sam up a few days ago and all 3 of us are trying to get our Mile High legs back. The weather has been mild, the garden coming to life and we’re slowly easing back into old routines. Including some of the bad ones apparently.

It seems that our boy Sam is the least discriminating dog on the planet. He has successfully christened Wayne into the family by the same intractable behavior he assured me was ancient history.

We were enjoying a lovely meal Sunday evening and all of a sudden, there was some bizarre crunching sound. OH GOD, nooooo…I am way too familiar with that noise (first comes an eery silence, then a weird smacking/chewing sound and as your brain is trying to wrap your head around it and then finally the oh-too-familiar realization that the tearing, munching sound you’re hearing is your worst nightmare and will soon greet you once you find that idiot dog). Immediately running into the guest bedroom where Mr. I’m-So-Proud-of-Myself had managed to eviscerate the lining and corner of a small leather portfolio that belonged to Wayne’s grandfather. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?!!?!?!?! He’s gone and done it again! I can’t believe that stupid knucklehead dog went in that room, sniffed out said portfolio on top of the bed and then proceeded to pull it down to chew the living corner out of it. Gah!!!!!

Does anyone else notice the lack of remorse on the miscreant’s face?


I can’t decide whether to be pixed at him for the misdeed and shifting his attention away from my stuff or, grateful I’m no longer the target of these antics. Either way, I’m sorry Wayne is now part of the victim’s club a member of the same group as I’ve been…that of undeserved canine attacks on sentimental leather items…also known as fair game on the uprights stuff when they leave me in dog prison. That or he likes him better. With this hound, you just never can tell.  All I can say is we both need to be diligent about this little pill of a monster…that and keep all valuables put completely away from inquiring noses. And here I thought I was finished raising kids. Apparently not.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Memorial Monday


Today is Memorial Day in the U.S., a day where we remember those who died in the service of their country’s armed forces. Originally known as “Decoration Day” back in 1868 following the American Civil War by the Grand Army of the Republic, a Union organization of veterans, as a day to decorate flowers on the graves of Union war soldiers. Confederate groups celebrated on a different day but eventually both Union and Confederate supporters merged their commemoration of all war dead on what we now know as Memorial Day.

The transformation from “Decoration Day” as first used in 1882, to “Memorial Day” wasn’t common until some time after World War II. The name was officially recognized in 1967. When Congress passed the Uniform Monday Holiday Act on June 28, 1968, Memorial Day was changed from the traditional May 30th date to the last Monday in May creating a 3-day weekend and it became effective in 1971. The change initially caused some confusion and a certain amount of noncompliance but eventually all 50 states adopted it.

So on this date we here the Ranch acknowledge the service of the servicemen and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice in the service of their country. Wishing you and yours a safe and happy ‘howliday.’

Live, love, bark! ❤

Reflections on Hawaii – 2016 Edition

We’re back from Hawaii full of the 3 “E’s”…exhausted, exhilarated and ecstatic to be reunited with our pup. His demeanor when we picked him up was somewhat subdued and it’s clear he was totally overwhelmed. Confusion best described his reaction but with each passing hour he appears to be settling in to the normalcy he was used to before his prison sentence. When they brought him out, he had a fresh wound on his face, perhaps the outcome of an unpleasant encounter with another pup? Was he ‘sharing the love’ with an unwilling recipient? Had he been banging is head against the bars of his kennel in an effort to escape his personal prison? Who knows? The staff hadn’t noticed it (it was pretty small and his coat is a bit long right now) but very recent. My over-active imagination had all sorts of scenarios at the ready, but suffice to say I’m just content my Muppet boy is home. Notice the effective ‘hang-dog’ look of the newly released ‘parolee.’ It appears I shall be reminded of his mistreatment while we were away having fun in Hawaii.


When I went to Hawaii in 2014, I came back and tried to reflect on what the trip meant to me. You can read about those thoughts here. Certainly this trip had similar reflections on the beauty of The Big Island and the importance family holds in my heart. Hawaii is quite the state (as in…the 50th state) but also it’s a state of mind. On our first walk back at home, I reflected on the trip and also about being home. Sure the lupines, poppies and irises are making their beautiful presence known here, and their appearance is always something I look forward to each Spring and yet this year, it seems surprisingly different. And I was truth be told, kind of non-plused. Like Sam, I guess I too am out of step. It’s clear I’m not physically in Hawaii-there are no Jacaranda or other tropical plants to stimulate my senses and no breathtaking sunsets of the beach. Yet being back in the Mile High seems odd too and I feel like a foreigner here. It’s all very unsettling. The neighborhood changed, the city changed or at least my perception of them both changed and it makes me wonder if we still belong here? Can’t answer that yet, still trying to process this state of mind, the feeling of being at home and yet not belonging. Maybe it’s just more of the retirement adjustment period, but one thing is certain, it’s will require some time to figure out. In the meantime, we are trying to slip in to what our old routine was like by doing hospital visits.

Yesterday we were back at the hospital. While I would have preferred a few days to get both of us back on solid ground and fully rested (the return flight was pure living hell), but the schedule for the month was a bit tight and I didn’t want to let the hospital down. I wasn’t sure how Sam would handle it. But like the trooper he is, he was patient and extraordinarily calm, even if a bit off kilter. And of course wouldn’t you know it, so many people wanted to spend loads of time with him. He was so patient with everyone wanting to pet him, though I knew he would have preferred taking a nap at home. Sam stood there and while he kept his eyes on me in true Velcro-dog fashion, he tolerated every single person hanging on or stroking him. My boy was a champ. We ran into the director of volunteer services, who stopped to chat with us. In addition to wanting some one-on-one time with Sam, she thanked us profusely for our volunteer work and said how much of a difference it makes for patients as well as the staff. I told her that we get far more back than we give but it was very gratifying for the acknowledgment. It reminded me how valuable appreciation is for people’s morale note to former employer.

Some last thoughts (or rather images) of ‘there’ vs. ‘here.’ Maybe you can see my conflict or maybe you can share some tips on how to get back on track from a vacation that clearly impacted my soul and essence. I’m missing those incredible sunsets from my son’s lanai, the love of an incredible family…then again, shouldn’t I embrace the beauty and love that surrounds me where I am?





Wishing you and yours a safe and happy Memorial Day weekend.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Red Nose Day – 2016

Red Nose Day_MG_6285-(ZF-0799-11403-2-001)Today is Red Nose Day, where entertainers all over the world make people laugh and raise money and awareness to lift kids out of poverty. We’re all doing our part today. How about you?

Live, love, bark! ❤



Tail-Wagging Wednesday


Sam here. I’ve been a bit depressed these past few days and haven’t been eating but I managed to figure out a way how to steal borrow the kennel’s computer. The nice people at The Daily Wag told me that I would be getting a surprise later today.  I wonder what it will be?  Wait…what? My mom’s coming??!! No way-I thought she had furgotten me! Woo-hoo!

Happy Hump day, sports fans. Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy.

Live, love, bark! ❤

Tuesday Travelogue

Today is my last day on this incredible island. While I’m ready to rescue my poor lonesome hound from his prison kennel stay, I will miss spending time with my son and his family and seeing the amazing sights this island has to offer. It has been a remarkable trip. As Dr. Seuss said, “Oh the places you’ll go. Today is your day. Your mountain is waiting. So…get on your way.” So with those words in mind, here’s what else we managed to visit.



We drove up to Waimea to check out the Parker Ranch. Nestled below the slopes of Mauna Kea, the ranch is one of the largest (and oldest) in the U.S. at nearly 250,000 acres. Founded in 1847 by John Palmer Parker, it is the second largest private landowner in Hawaii. The two homes photographed below are now museums. The Parker Ranch has a fascinating story with a number of up’s and down’s, but it has become a success story in Hawaiian history. It is now run by a charitable trust. This trip has been amazingly remarkable and I hope you’ve enjoyed visiting some of these irresistible sites as much as I did.

DSC01400But first…we had to pick up a hitchhiker on the way to the ‘big’ house. This Jackson chameleon was the exact color of the biggest Cook pine tree (often called Norfolk Pine)  I’ve ever seen (encircled by the family tree huggers). And because it’s Tuesday, here’s a little trivia about the Jackson chameleon – their tongues are one and a half times the length of their bodies!


The grounds had spectacular gardens and a nearby pasture with several horses and their new foals  (it was nearly impossible shooting them as they galloped past too quickly before I could even focus). Here are some pics including a gorgeous Jacaranda tree I was finally able to capture and dozens of ginormous Allium, and lovely Bird of Paradise




In addition to incredible gardens, there were many tools, saddles and pieces of gorgeous koa wood furniture and period clothing, all far too handsome not to share.





















Lunch was crashed at the nearby brew house by a gold dust day gecko who loved my Brownie a la mode as much as I did. final


I could go on and on, there’s so much beauty and far too many unusual sites on this fascinating island but I’m rushing off to catch a plane soon to rescue the hound. The owner of the kennel called to tell me poor Sam was on a hunger strike. I can hardly wait to try to make it up to him but wonder what that’s gonna cost over the long-term? Time will tell, so stay tuned.

It’s been such a terrific trip and I want to extend my warmest thanks to my son and his family for their graciousness and for making it so entertaining. Know I love you all to the moon and back and look forward to my next visit to your beautiful island home. Hopefully by then the newest fur-kid will have out grown the annoying puppy stage and the neighbor won’t be such a douche.  Nala…you are a goofball; and I will miss you and your family very much. ❤

Conner got lei'd at graduation.

Conner got completely ‘lei’d’ at graduation.

Live, love, bark! ❤


Monday Mischief

Sam must have been in time out because it wasn’t until just now that I was able to capture a shot of him. No doubt he’s been a naughty rag-a-muffin boy. We’ll see you soon, buddy. Hang in there!

Screen Shot 2016-05-23 at 7.19.08 AM

david-fleetham-lavender-colored-blossoms-on-jacaranda-trees-jacaranda-mimosifolia-in-a-field-maui-hawaii-usaOne of the many fabulous flowering trees we’ve seen in Hawaii is the Jacaranda tree. I tried to capture an image while out and about but could never catch it properly so I snagged an image from my friend, the Internet. Originally from Brazil, the Jacaranda was imported to many tropical locations. Their spectacular blossoms announce the arrival of spring. Aren’t they gorgeous?

IMG_3285Hope you had a fabulous weekend. We celebrated Conner’s graduation and even the sunset shined a spotlight on the occasion as the class of 2016 held their ceremony. We are so proud of this capable young man who graduated with academic honors. Way to go, Conner! Next stop, Menlo College, California.

Live love, bark! ❤