Nature Friday ~ March 29, 2019

It’s hard to believe we finally reached Friday this week after everything that happened earlier but even harder to believe it’s the last Friday of the month. Where in the world did March go? We once again join our hosts, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard, for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday Blog Hop.

Nature FridayMother Nature must have received the memo to stop messing around and start delivering some actual spring to us winter-weary folks. This week we’ve seen a bevy of spring bulbs blooming in bright pops of color in a landscape of brown, underscoring the hope that the things will start to warm up and start acting more normal.

 

Can you practically smell that luscious hyacinth scent?!

Not sure what this tall tree-like shrub is, but the droopy, whorled seed heads were  intriguing. Note to self: keep an eye on this one as it begins to leaf out.

You know spring has definitely arrived when this ‘flower‘ shows up. The common dandelion is already out in full force. Although temps will be somewhat cool today and snow is forecast for the weekend, the past few days of 60’s and 70’s F have been most welcome. And that welcome seems to be on display on the lovely flowers we encountered around our neighborhood after being frequently buried in white stuff. Daffodils are shouting in bright yellow, deep purple hyacinths rich with that heavenly scent and brilliant red tulips have likewise been calling attention to their spring arrival. I noticed some leaf budding on lilac bushes. Wasn’t sure if I’d see spring with the seemingly endless cold winter, let alone what it might look like, but yesterday’s walk-about, reassured me that spring has definitely sprung in the 303.

Sam and Elsa also seem to be noticing fresh, new smells too. They walk with noses down  to the ground, inhaling the scents of spring. That, or they’re reading a canine version of War and Peace. Sam rarely looks up, instead preferring to keep his nose close to the action. He seems to be a slow reader whereas Elsa’s nose gesticulates up and down, back and forth, getting the Cliff Notes version of olfactory clues. Then again, she could be ‘reading’ classified ads for dogs. Who can tell with these guys? All I can say with any certainty is they seem to be enjoying the landscape as much as me.

Whatever your plans include this weekend, we hope it has loads of fun and remarkable beauty.

Tulip

Live, love, bark! 🐾

New Dog in Town Wednesday

So…you know I had to get a bath and groom in order to dogtor this week. Sam here. Look what happened after mom trimmed my toes, nose and tail area. What the dog?! Seems there’s a Mini-Sam now but he seems more flexible than me. Mom even made him his own bandana. Maybe he’ll be less pesky than my Ninja sister.

Funny thing about Elsa on these days when I get a bath or groomed. She now goes MIA, the traitor. Used to be she would at keep me company when the water torture began and I used to think she would watch protect me. Now she leaves skid marks to avoid even being remotely close to me. Maybe she thinks it’s contagious. Don’t tell Elsa but I overheared mom mutter something about Elsa needing a clean up once she recovers from doing me.

Oops, gotta run get floofed up again after the water torture. Sigh. Today we’re visiting West Pines. That always makes me tail wagging happy to see the peeps there.

Mini Sam

Live, love, bark! 🐾

A Dogtoring We Will Go

For the next couple of days, we’ll be dogtoring at hospital, hospice and West Pines but first I have to practice my skills on the Ninja. After yesterday’s squirrel roundup, I think her blood pressure is a bit on the high side. I know mom’s was.

DogtoringWe probably won’t be able to respond as much as we’d like over the next few days, we will try to do our best. Thank you for all your kind comments regarding yesterday’s crazy goings on. PayPal is taking its sweet time responding to us. Mom topped off the day with a trip to the dentist to replace a crown that fell out over the weekend. Does she know how to live or what? Worse than that, I had to endure the dreaded water torture for today’s hospital rounds. Luckily I get over it when kind peeps say I’m handsome.

On a serious note, today is Purple Day, the international grassroots effort dedicated to increasing awareness about epilepsy worldwide. On March 26th annually, people from around the world are invited to wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness. It is estimated that as many as 50 million peeps and 4% of dogs have epilepsy. By bringing awareness to this disease, those who participate with Purple Day events hope to bring much-needed info to those who desperately need it. There are many groups who can help with informational resources, like the Wally Foundation. Our good friend Olivia, from Knotty Toys for Good Dogs hosted a “silent” Auction for The Wally Foundation- canine epilepsy We hope you’ll check it out and support Olivia’s efforts to benefit The Wally Foundation. So get out there and rock your purple today, I know I will.

ELMC Sam

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Moanings

Some serious excitement around the Ranch today. Elsa literally cornered a squirrel near the back door and there were several minutes of it trying to escape the poodle jaws of death while she was trying desperately to figure out why she couldn’t climb up the brick exterior like the squirrel did. I finally managed to corral her as the squirrel figured out how to reach the rooftop and dash away to the safety of the maple tree where he proceeded to hurl insults at us from 25 feet up. He then started stripping small twigs and flinging them on the ground in a tantrum. Sheesh dude, lay off the caffeine. Oh, to have been able to capture that mayhem in a photo. Snap!

Should have figured it was a sign of more sinister things to come.The lovely folks at PayPal have shut down our e-shop account so no orders can be filled at this time. I suspect it relates to the CBD listing but am attempting to resolve it and will advise once the shop has reopened. The joys of trying to be a small business person in a modern e-commerce society.

In the meantime, how about a little humor? Humor can turn that upside down frown into a smile and lord knows I can use one this morning (nothing like sitting on a few hundred dollars that you can’t access). I thought we’d all enjoy the Indian Hills sign from the small mountain town located just west of Denver in the foothills. Indian Hills is a quirky little  community who is fortunate enough to have some guy with a clever sense of humor who changes the roadside sign at the community center periodically from timely public announcements and meetings to some funny memes. It is locally famous and draws tourists to catch up with the fun.

Colorado native and community center volunteer, Vince Rozmiarek began the funny signs over 5 years ago as an April Fools stunt.  When my daughter and her family lived there a few years ago, she was even the recipient of birthday wishes being posted on the sign. She and her husband had been members of the volunteer fire department and were well-known in the community. For other smiles, you can see more signs here on their Facebook page.

Indian Hills

We hope your challenges are few and easily resolved this week. Elsa in particular, hopes everyone has success catching their neighborhood nemesis.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 22, 2019

Happy Friday! Spring officially arrived this week and despite the potential for more spring rain and snowstorms, just seeing it’s officially spring on the calendar now seems to have made a difference with our moods. We join our hosts, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard, for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday Blog Hop.

We’ve been seeing lots of spring bulbs teasing us that spring was on its way (only to be three weeks. With the official arrival of spring, something magical even occurred in our own garden. Yesterday I noticed a small flash of pale blue in some ground cover and thought maybe a wrapper had blown in and gotten stuck. To my surprise, some blue grape hyacinths planted a couple of seasons ago have started to naturalize amongst the Vinca. These little cuties known as Muscari come in shades of white, blue, and purple. They  are very easy to grow and aren’t the slightest bit fussy about soil conditions and will thrive in sun or light shady conditions. My original group was planted several feet south of where they were now and I was charmed to see how far they’ve migrated. I don’t mind another ‘caravan on the march’ and think the garden will be richer for these new additions. The buffet table was set for lunch and noticed the season’s first bees noshing away (bee is located on the back side of the tallest Muscari). Once the photos were downloaded, I also noticed the season’s first ladybug to the right near the shortest flower.

Muscari should be planted in early fall so moisture can nourish them before winter sets in. Plant in groups of ten or more, setting the bulbs twice as deep as they’re tall, and at least a couple of inches apart. Leaves will appear shortly after planting in the autumn but can be ignored. The flower spikes will arrive in spring when you most need to see colors other than tan and brown.

Hyacinths

The crocuses are just starting in my garden but we’ve encountered numerous ones around the ‘hood. They are one of my favorite spring bulbs. the bees sure seem to enjoy them as much as I do, for different reasons. This little guy had sacks of pollen on his legs.

Crocuses should be planted in late summer to early fall and require a minimum of 15 weeks of chilling to break dormancy known as vernalization. Planting times differ from other species and for best results should be planted 6 to 8 weeks before the first expected frost allowing a sturdy root system to develop before going dormant. If soil consists of clay, amend with organic matter, plant 5 inches deep with the flat side down and around 1 to 2 inches apart.

Did you know that saffron comes from the saffron crocus bulbs (Crocus sativus), an autumn blooming crocus? The spice is the red stigmas of its flower. Each flower only produces three stigmas and each saffron crocus bulb will only produce one flower. Now you know why saffron threads are so pricy. You’re welcome.

As for seeing ladybugs, did you know seeing them is considered a sign of good luck? We hope that luck works with digital sightings as well. May the luck of ladybugs grace you and hope your weekend is filled with all good things.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Understanding the Endocannabinoid System & Hemp

Healthful relationships play a large role in the quality of our everyday existence. From our family bonds, the environments in which we live, the food we eat, how we physically feel, to how we see ourselves. Certain connections are critical for balance to make it all work together. This is particularly true for our body, which has a life-essential regulatory system based on biochemical relationships that helps us maintain equilibrium, despite life’s up and downs. These connections comprise the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). Hemp has a unique and interactive lock and key relationship with ECS. 

Cannabinoid graphic
The ECS “Power Couple”

What exactly is ECS? Discovered in the 1990s, ECS is thought to be one of the most vital yet vast receptor systems for sustaining good health. ECS affects many biological processes in humans, in fact, it affects all vertebrate animals, as well as some invertebrates.

ECS contains cannabinoid receptors or “locks,” while the group of chemical compounds called cannabinoids, should be viewed like “keys.” The body produces various endogenous cannabinoids, most notably anandamide and 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG) and are found in the immune system, the central nervous system, brain, various organs, connective tissue, and glands.

Since hemp contains elevated levels of Cannabidiol (CBD), active phytocannabinoids work in concert with other secondary phytocannabinoids and compounds (i.e. terpenes and flavonoids), and works well with the ECS in order to unlock the receptor locks. Think of hemp as the ‘key’ to the receptors.

The major function of the ECS is to maintain system homeostasis by providing a state of internal stability necessary for survival, despite fluctuations in the external environment. The ECS is also involved in many physiological processes like appetite, sleep, digestion, mood, memory, metabolism, neuro-protection, hormones, and heart function.

The ECS has a series of receptors in cells throughout the body that binds the cannabinoids found in hemp extract oil. Two main kinds of receptors are cannabinoid 1 (CB1) and cannabinoid 2 (CB2) and they receive three types of cannabinoids:

Endocannabinoids – Cannabinoids made in our body
Phytocannabinoids – Derived from natural plant cannabinoids
Synthetic Cannabinoids – Synthetically created

CB1 is mostly found in the brain, as well as in the lungs, kidney, liver, bones, heart, male and female reproductive organs. This receptor is more keyed into THC (tetrahydrocannabinol), the main cannabinoid in marijuana. CB2 however lives in the immune system, with a significant presence in the spleen as well as the lungs, liver, bone and muscle. Metabolic enzymes, FAAH and MAGL, are used by the ECS to accelerate chemical reactions and efficiently break down cannabinoids once they’ve served their purpose.

Understanding the relationship with the Endocannabinoid System and homeostasis is key. It’s essential as to how we thrive, heal and function for body and mind wellness. Through science additional answers will continue to reveal why our body is responsive to hemp and whole-plant cannabinoids as much still appears to be unknown.

Hope this introduction provides you with a better understanding how CBD works in the body. We offer only locally sourced, Certified Natural Grow CBD products from our supplier in 300 mg, 600 mg potency and are pleased to now offer a 1200 mg strength for those who need a stronger dosage. While the labels have changed, it’s still the same quality product and formulations we’ve carried since the shop went live. Check the K-9 store for product details and prices. Products are always shipped free when you place your order and are sent out ASAP (same day as ordered presuming the post office is open). Feel free to contact us with any specific questions.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ March 18, 2019

Elsa

{Yawn-stretch} Happy Monday. Oh hi, it’s me, Elsa. We’re running a little slowly today (i.e. mom’s got writer’s block). We’re hoping the caffeine kibble kicks in soon. Not sure why Sam and I have to pick up the slack when mom’s not creative and I’m not saying there was too much paw-tying yesterday, but we could use a few more 💤

How was your St. Patrick’s Day weekend?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 15, 2019

Nature FridayWhile today is the Ides of March, we’re joining the fun with our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s edition of the Nature Friday Blog Hop. According to the ancient Roman calendar, the Ides signaled the first full moon of the month, which generally occurred between the 13thand 15th of each month. Though most of us associate the Ides of March as the day Julius Caesar was assassinated. Et tu Brute.

After this week’s “bomb cyclone,” with hurricane-force winds, extensive power outages (some still in effect today) and 8-12″ of snow and drifts, we thought we’d prefer to focus on the softer side of Mother Nature instead of her damaging impact on the environment.

This weekend is St. Patrick’s Day and a much better way to share a spot of nature by celebrating with some lucky ‘clover?’ While Oxalis is not a true clover (it’s part of the Wood Sorrell family), it does look like a plant most associated with St. Patrick’s Day (beyond hops in beer), the four-leaf clover. I’ve had this plant well over a decade and while it looks a bit bedraggled due to some inconsistent watering of late…my bad, this little guy makes my Irish heritage on my Dad’s side, smile. It recently finished blooming small white flowers. When grown outdoors, shamrocks tend to be somewhat invasive nature as their fast-spreading tuberous roots spread like wildfire. Indoors, they can brighten a sunny windowsill nicely as a charming houseplant.

St. Patrick's Day

As a nod to St. Patrick’s Day, Sam graciously agreed to pose for a photo shoot this morning while his sister, Elsa said “not no how, not no way and I don’t care what kind of treats you’re using as a bribe are involved.” Guess Ninja’s don’t celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. Still, everyone at the Ranch sends our best wishes for a fun and Happy St. Patrick’s Day weekend.

St. Patrick's Day
Erin go Bragh!

Live, love, bark! 🐾