Thankful Thursday ~ December 30, 2021

Normally I don’t post in the Thankful Thursday blog hop but simply couldn’t NOT participate this week. If COVID and current events have taught me anything, it’s to embrace gratitude wholeheartedly and don’t procrastinate letting people know how much you care.

Earlier this week while I was reflecting about the Christmas holiday, the mailman delivered a small package. What’s this I wondered, since I knew I hadn’t ordered anything? Thinking it was simply some end of the year appeal for a donation from a group I’d supported before, I figured it was some mailing labels or greeting cards. To my surprise, it turned out to be far more.

Card

Back when I began blogging, many bloggers I followed were influencers with various companies promoting their products. I had hoped to join those ranks but by the time I had any measurable number of followers, many of those companies changed their policies and stopped working with bloggers. Chewy was one of them. I was disappointed but then again, hadn’t really lost anything and just continued to do what I’d been doing-posting about the resident Knucklehead and his hospital adventures.

People seemed to enjoy the posts, the blog grew and readers fell in love with Sam whose legendary knuckle-headed adventures seemed to touch hearts on our little acre of the Internet. When Norman joined this merry band, his adorable face and sweet nature seemed to appeal to readers as well (for which I’m also grateful). Oh sure, there was a story or two about the Ninja, but Elsa’s presence here has been fairly minuscule. Her puppy mill background doesn’t exactly lend itself to sharing heartfelt stories beyond the numerous episodes of her inexplicably chewing up eyeglasses (I think she’s up to 6 or 7 pairs of reading glasses now) and assorted ‘stuffie’ assassinations. I adore this complicated girl but she’s not exactly the kind of dog people understand or favor. Coupled with her ongoing battle with epilepsy, her “still waters run deep” personality is tough to share in a post. Then this arrived.

Card

The inside massage took my breath away and my emotions got the better of me. Around Thanksgiving I placed an autoship order for food and pet supplies. I received an email indicating an earlier-than-expected delivery date and couldn’t have been more thrilled, given supply chain issues these days. Now understand, I place orders about every 3 weeks for food for the Ranch’s ‘livestock.’ I live in an older, very well known neighborhood and rarely have problems with deliveries. Delivery companies know the area well. Amazon, FedEx and UPS trucks are plentiful, delivering packages all day long and yet for some reason, UPS managed to bungle delivering this one. After two emails indicating they had ‘tried’ to deliver said order (which they had not), the following Wednesday UPS sent a notice that “because delivery had not been made, they were returning the box to sender.” What the bloody heck?!?! We were down to the bottom of the food bag so I called Chewy’s explaining the online exchanges I had with UPS (all efforts to reach a live UPS representative were fruitless) and the kind, patient and very pleasant service rep at Chewy assured me a new order would be sent out with priority status. I was extremely grateful and assured both Ranch Hands no one would go hungry. The order arrived a day and half later and all was good at the Ranch. I softly said a prayer of thanks; the dogs had full bellies and all was well in Ranchland so my focus, like most people’s turned toward getting ready for the upcoming Christmas holiday. In other words, I moved on. Supply chain issues has become the new buzzword these days with delays being routinely expected especially during the holidays.

Elsa

This 6″ x 6″ canvas was lovingly packed with the sweet card and brought tears to my eyes. I. Was. Simply. Stunned. The image from Elsa’s profile was a favorite of mine. As a black dog, she’s hard to capture photographically without looking like a dark blob. As she’s too reluctant to pose, when she does (or when I get lucky like here), it seemed like the obvious choice to use it as a profile pic but I never expected anything like this treasured gift.

Elsa

Meaningful words of gratitude seem so inadequate. All I can offer is a heartfelt “THANK YOU” from the bottom of my heart. This little piece of art means so much and I’ll cherish this sweet gesture forever. Say what you will about large, unfeeling corporations, but this kind gesture shows not all companies treat their customers so cavalierly. Let me just say I think, Chewy is ‘picture perfect.’

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Nearly Wordless Wednesday ~ December 29, 2021

Sunset
Sunset while traveling on the road.

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 27, 2021

For those who celebrated the holiday, we hope it was a merry and bright Christmas. Today’s smile rather sums up things post-Christmas around here.

Christmas

Here’s to locating loads of survivors and a great, last week of 2021. Happy Monday!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ Christmas Eve Edition 2021

Nature FridayWelcome to the Christmas Eve Edition of Nature Friday where we we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in our Backyard. The drought remains front and center in the Mile High although to be truthful, Denver has basically been in a drought for the past 20 years but is now in the ‘extreme drought’ category. Check out this graphic prepared by the U.S. Drought Monitor which shows the City and County of Denver in proverbial deep stuff. I’m guessing the Eastern Plains winter wheat crop isn’t going to be very plentiful either.

Drought

Earlier this month Denver (with it’s skiff of snow) set a new record, going 232 days since the previous snow. It’s beginning to especially take a toll on evergreens in the Mile High as they lose moisture from their needles all year long. More and more trees are showing dried/dead branches.

Drought

While the forecast is calling for a winter storm in the high country, because of Denver’s location, the Gulf Stream is expected to curve any moisture around and to the north of the city. Drat, foiled again. Sigh.

I did manage to find a couple of interesting sights along our daily walks about the neighborhood.

Flowers

Have no idea what this shrub is but it caught my eye because of those interesting seed pod/flower bracts and their color. Since everything is pretty drab because of the lack of winter moisture, this stood out for me.

Berries

These berries will ensure the local bird population will at least have something to eat this winter even if it’s dry and/or shriveled.

Even this cottage with it’s ‘sweater’ of ivy looks a bit dried out. Not sure I’d call it an ugly sweater, but usually ivy looks a bit more lush.

Cottage

The Ranch Hands and I send our best wishes for a very Merry Christmas. I hope wherever you’re at, you are able to enjoy a moment reflecting on the true spirit of the season and by catching some time experiencing Mother Nature. Just make sure you don’t ‘deflate’ the season’s message. 😉

Christmas

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ December 22, 2021

Christmas

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 20, 2021

Smiles

Law enforcement doing its level best on the pun front. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark!🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 17, 2021

Despite a wild week with hurricane-force winds, we managed to make it to Friday where we join our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in our Backyard for this week’s edition of Nature Friday.

Record setting winds blew through Colorado on Wednesday with winds as high as 107 mph in Lamar in southeast Colorado while Colorado Springs saw winds from 88-92 mph. Closer to my neighborhood, wind gusts ranged from 51 to 85 mph. One home in nearby Golden had its roof ripped off. Sadly one La Junta city worker lost his life when a tree fell on him as he was clearing a right of way of fallen debris. At one point, as many as 50,000 customers were without power, while intermittent power outages occurred throughout the day at the Ranch. When we resumed our regular walks the following day, several trees were extensively damaged. Luckily the Ranch was spared the most severe damage, with just a general cleanup of twigs and branches and trash blown from parts unknown.

Moody skies foretold of potential danger.

Clouds

As many as 27 drops of rain fell during the wind storm, just enough to warrant a window cleaning once temperatures  permit. With Christmas in just over a week, that chore will need to wait until after the holiday. Goodness knows there’s more than enough to deal with as it is but the view from the studio in particular, sure looks ugly on a clear sunny day. Still the drought continues to remain front and center with the state average at only 75% of the usual winter snowpack with the eastern half of the state far lower. We can only wait and cross our fingers that measurable moisture will appear soon. The spitting of a few drops or flakes simply won’t cut it next spring and summer.

Moon

On the plus side, one of my neighbors installed strings of lights highlighting a tree in his front yard begging to be watched. It reminds me, that just maybe everything will be ok, in what is shaping up to be a very strange holiday season of weird weather conditions.

Christmas

As we head toward the winter solstice and into Christmas week, I’m making plans to join members of my family for a get-together with Dad and those who weren’t able to make the Thanksgiving trip to Texas because for us, holidays are synonymous with family more than anything else. Do you have plans for getting together with family or friends over the holiday? Whatever you do, I hope you are able to spend some time enjoying the many facets of nature and the season.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Happy ‘Howlidays’ from the Ranch Hands

While it may be Wordless Wednesday, we’re using this opportunity for sending out our ‘howliday’ greeting with apologies for its lateness. Thank you to everyone who has sent us their greetings; we loved them all. Both Norman and Elsa wish you a  season that is merry and bright.

Feliz Navidog from all of us at the Ranch.

Christmas

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Tuesday Tidings ~ December 14, 2021

Greetings mates! You’re probably wondering what’s going on with a Tuesday post. Norman here to fill you in on the weekend event to benefit the Old English Sheepdog Rescue of Colorado. For a small donation, we wrapped gifts purchased at the local Park Meadows mall Orvis store. Well, that’s not completely true, I played greeter and breed ambassador at the doorway and worked my charms on visitors; mum just drove me.

It was a super long day and I was totally knackered by the end of it, but I did manage to bring a lot of smiles to people of all ages which was good experience for my time at hospital this week. Woof, woof!

Norman

One of the customers and her son smiled so much, they bought me a brand new toy! How cool is that?! They even let me pick it out from the other great toys they took home.

Norman

It was a tough decision because I liked them all. I sniffed and checked them all out but finally settled on the duck and let everyone know with my paw: This. One. Is. Mine. I even slept on it when I got home so the Ninja wouldn’t play with my beloved new toy.

Norman
Mine!

Norman

We are very grateful to everyone who stopped by to share their OES stories and who left donations to help sheepies like me find their own ‘furever’ homes. Everyone was so generous and gave me loads of attention. You know, I think I’m getting pretty good at this ambassador thing. We managed to raise far more than we expected which will help sheepdogs that come into our rescue and who will likely need spay/neuter, possible procedures, health/vet checks. Without the generosity of folks like the ones who stopped by, the rescue wouldn’t be able to help others like they did with me in 2020. A big woof-out to the kind-hearted staff at Orvis who continue to help our rescue with their gracious kindness and generosity. We absolutely love them!

The day ended successfully with a beautiful sunset and one happy bloke. Thanks again to everyone who made this event such a rousing success!

Norman

Well, we’re off to bring more smiles to folks at the hospital. Have a pawsome Tuesday!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 13, 2021

Happy Monday everyone. We hope your weekend was filled with good cheer and you’re getting closer to welcoming a certain chap in a red suit. Norman and I worked at a local store to benefit the rescue and we’ll share the details and photos about it tomorrow. Until then, let’s begin our week with a smile.

Smiles

Don’t forget to wear your mask properly and make it a terrific Monday; we’ll see you tomorrow (before we leave for our hospital visit).

Live, love, bark!  🐾