Monday Musings ~ October 30, 2023

Happy Howl-oween’s Eve. Today is Monday and the snow that blanketed the Ranch has moved out (with apologies to folks who will experience the first visit from ole Man Winter). We were greeted with clear blue skies and 11ºF/-12ºC degrees and optimism for warmer temps today. Elsa greeted the morning with a sniff of the air and a very quick squat. No point dallying obviously.  Despite the cold, the clear blue skies left us feeling excited for the week where temps will reach between 40ºF to mid-50’s (4ºC to 14ºC) and possible even reach the low 60’sF (16ºC) toward the end of the week. All I can say is, yes, please. This blast of Arctic cold came a bit too soon for me, though with Halloween this week, not untypical.

And in the spirit of Halloween (or Howl-oween), today is a nod to this annual holiday. Do you know how Halloween came about? According to the Tai Chi Foundation, I found this interesting article  by Seán O’Neill (Lic. Ac.) explaining its origins:

“…a celebration observed in many countries on the 31st of October, the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day.  It begins the three-day observance of Allhallowtide, the time in the liturgical year dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from ancient Celtic harvest festivals, particularly the Gaelic festival Samhain.  Samhain marks the end of the harvest season and the beginning of winter or the “darker half” of the year. Traditionally, it is celebrated from 31 October to 1 November, as the Celtic day began and ended at sunset. This is about halfway between the autumn equinox and the winter solstice.  Samhain was seen as a liminal time, when the boundary between this world and the Otherworld could more easily be crossed. This meant the Aos Sí, the ‘spirits’ or ‘fairies’, could more easily come into our world.  The tradition of dressing up is believed to have been a way of imitating, and disguising oneself from, the Aos Sí who some believed could take you back with them to their world.  If they saw you looking like a spirit or deceased being they would ignore you as a potential candidate for bringing back with them.

However you feel about these things, we wish you a day filled with only good Aos Si who are kind and benevolent and who don’t get carried away with the pumpkin spice. Have fun this week and join us tomorrow where Elsa actually might dip her paws in the costume pool. Stay warm!

Halloween smile

Live, love, bark! 🐾








The Day of the Dead (el Día de los Muertos), is a Mexican holiday where families welcome back the souls of their deceased relatives for a brief reunion that includes food, drink and celebration. A blend of Mesoamerican ritual, European religion and Spanish culture, the holiday is celebrated each year from October 31- November 2.  While October 31 is Halloween, November 1 is “el Dia de los Inocentes,” or the day of the children, and All Saints Day.  November 2 is All Souls Day or the Day of the Dead.  According to tradition, the gates of heaven are opened at midnight on October 31 and the spirits of children can rejoin their families for 24 hours. The spirits of adults can do the same on November 2.

Nature Friday ~ October 27, 2023


Well, well, well…lo and behold…it’s  Friday. Elsa here, your intrepid blogging queen with another episode of Nature Friday where we join our New Mexico pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

Elsa: It’s been one of those beautiful autumn weeks with mild temps, blue-bird and cloudless skies and then Nature sent out a memo now that autumn isn’t going to last forever and to get your affairs in order. All our walks have been punctuated with the sound of psst as sprinkling systems were getting shut down.

The Mom:  Right. Last night’s freeze was a rather rude awakening, wasn’t it?

Elsa: Sheesh…rude doesn’t begin to cover it. Even with my luxurious furs, I can tell you straight up that I won’t mind wearing a coat on the morning walk. And the forecast of 1-3″ of white stuff for the weekend with highs in the 30’s…yikes! Oh sure the changing leaves have been terrific, at least the trees received and actually read the memo that ‘things be a-changing,’ but what’s up with all the roses in bloom right now? Oh sure, I expect mums to be blooming this time of year, but what the dog are the roses doing by giving nature the middle thorn and blooming all over the place?

The Mom: {interrupting} Excuse me…middle thorn??

Elsa: Yes, I was being metaphorical.

The Mom: Well, let’s not be quite as crudely metaphorical in the future okay, kiddo?

Elsa: There you go again, harshing on my mellow. As I was saying before you crushed my flow, there have been ooodles of leaves that have turned and started their annual drop although these looked like apple slices to me.


The Mom: Yeah, wasn’t it fun to walk through them? Crunch, crunch, crunch {squealing with delight}.

Elsa: Umm, yeah, no. You may enjoy that crunching but I’m barefooted, or did you forget?

The Mom: Oops, I hadn’t really thought about it from that perspective. Sorry..

Elsa: Well I will concede the ash trees have been pretty amazing-they always are but I still don’t like to walk on their fallen leaves.

Ash tree

The Mom: Considering how bizarre the autumn weather has been, the ash trees really have been pretty colorful. Too many of the maples and elms have just turned brown around the edges and will, no doubt be on the ground once the snow arrives. I noticed this spruce tree where fallen leaves ‘decorated’ the boughs like it was some sort of Christmas tree all dressed up. I’d never seen a leaf garland like that before.

Spruce tree and leaves

Elsa: Nice, but did you get a good look at that ornamental plum we passed by? I almost needed sunglasses it was so bright and colorful. The light was just amazing.

Plum tree

The Mom: Yes, I stopped dead in my tracks because of that beautiful color.

Elsa:  Trust me, I did notice that. There I was happily sniffing through the leaves and {imitating screeching brakes} you just froze. You know our walks are for my olfactory pleasure not for your visual delight.

The Mom: Oh, excuse me. I just got caught up in the moment. Sorry.

Elsa: Ok, just this time. So can you explain why all the roses are going bonkers blooming? For a summer flower, I guess these guys decided to go down in a blaze of beauty. I sure hope Miss Rosy likes these babies.

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The Mom: They sure caught my eye too. But nothing like what I saw in the dog run. I saw these weird, swirly tracks in the dirt and couldn’t for the life of me, figure out what or who left them, and then I found the source. A big worm made them. I moved him back toward where he started out because he was quite a bit away from the initial swirls for that picture, before relocating him permanently.

Elsa: I think he was stoned or worse, high-neither one of us could make any sense out of his path or those swirls. Then again, maybe he just was trying to stay dry after a light shower we received but I’m no worm expert. I’m glad you ended up gently placing him in the front garden to hide in the mulch-maybe he’ll do some aerating before the cold/snow gets him. I think I’m going to name him Jake. Yup, Jake, the Snake…er, worm.

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The Mom: I have my paws crossed for him too. You’ve named him, I see. Oh brother.

Elsa: Doesn’t everyone deserve a name? I mean you named the mouse that lives in the compost bin.

The Mom: {stuttering} Er, umm, well okay, maybe we’ll keep our eyes open for ‘Jake’ in the future.

Elsa: Thought you’d see it my way. So I noticed you were going through the box that houses the dog costumes and hats. I know Halloween is next week. You weren’t thinking of dressing me up now, were you?

The Mom: Umm, me? Uh, probably not.

Elsa: Yeah…I heard you giggling as you found some of the stuff you used to dress up Norman and Sam. Please, I beg of you…don’t do it. No self-respecting poodle wants to be dressed up like that. I’ll be the laughing stock of Blogville and I’ll look ridiculous and be totally humiliated.

The Mom: {innocently whistling while looking the other way} Umm, I’ll think about it.

Elsa: Mom, please, I’m begging you {making sad puppy dog eyes…desperately pleading}. People will think I’m a sell-out.

The Mom: You worry too much. {changing the subject} So…got any plans for the weekend, Ninja?

Elsa: With the snow and temps in the 30’s? Umm, yeah, lots of cozy naps while this storm blows over. I’m no ordinary fool. Throw in couple of toys for a good old fashioned chew-fest and I’ll be good.


The Mom: Well whatever you do, we both hope you manage to enjoy whatever Nature has in store for your region. Make it a great weekend.

Elsa: Yeah, what Mom said.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 23, 2023

Monday Smiles

Let’s hope your week’s essay makes the grade. Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 20, 2023

Elsa: {softly speaking} Psst…Mom, oh Mom…time to wake up.

The Mom: 💤 Huh, wha…where am I?

Elsa: Hiya…boy you were out of it! Were you dreaming?

The Mom: Yeah, I guess I was. Weird dream, too. What time is it?

Elsa: Well it’s time to get up. We’ve got stuff to do, lady. Chop, chop.

The Mom: {yawning and stretching} Uh…just a little bit longer, ok?

Elsa: {SCREAMING} Nope, time to get up. Now! As we always do on Friday’s, we are joining our pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

The Mom: You’re being a little overly harsh today. I’m still tired.

Elsa: Well , you shouldn’t stay up late watching a hockey, game Mom. People are counting on me. Come on…let’s get rolling!!

The Mom: Ugh…I’m so exhausted. Yesterday was such a busy day, you know I walked over 10 miles, right? I need to recuperate.

Elsa: No can do, Chica. Time to get rolling. Sorry. I know you walked forever yesterday and losing your phone certainly didn’t help when you had to retrace your steps during the warmest part of the day. While we didn’t set a temperature record, we weren’t all that far off. What’s up with these 80+ºF  degree days? I thought this was supposed to be the time for mild autumn days.

The Mom: {sleepily} Yeah…just a couple more days, {yawning again} then just before Halloween we’ll likely get some moisture, it might even be the white kind.

Elsa: Hmm, good point, it IS that time of year where Nature likes to screw mess with Trick-or-Treaters. But let’s not focus on that…let’s see what we’ve got to share with my readers. I mean, after all, there was an eclipse last weekend for crying out loud. People wanna see the pics. I mean, while you didn’t have the special glasses with you, we did see some wild and crazy shadows. What’s the skinny on those?
EclipseThe Mom: Those were fascinating, weren’t they? Did you know those crescent-shaped shadows are the result of various rays of light passing through to the ground. Only some rays at a certain angle can make it through and those that do are little crescent shapes of the eclipse itself as the Moon passes in front of the Sun. These donut-shaped shadows are the result of the “ring of fire” peak during the eclipse. How cool is that?!

Elsa: They kinda made me dizzy. I was lucky I didn’t have a seizure since eclipses can trigger seizure activity in a lot of us epileptics.

The Mom: Yes, I’m particular grateful. I had completely forgotten about the time when we left for our morning walk. People all along our way were watching it but I made sure not to look up it since I didn’t have any safety glasses.

Elsa: Right and then a couple of hours later you needed to skedaddle over to the hospital for their annual Fall Festival. Sure glad you didn’t take me-I hate dressing up in costume.

The Mom: I know sweetie and figured it was one less stressor you needed. Yes, I popped over there for a quick appearance. The event wasn’t nearly as big as it’s been in years when I took Sam and Norman and it made me very sad recalling those past years when they ‘pawticipated’ in the annual pet therapy parade to start off the festivities. It just wasn’t the same for me. I did however see a cool pup and talked with his Dad about considering joining pet therapy, a St. Bernard ‘puppy’ whose name was Crush and who was a BIG boy at that-145 pounds! Unfortunately he was only 16 months old and therefore not quite eligible according to our age rules (dogs must be 2 years old) but he’ll make a welcome addition when he is old enough. He was adorably sweet. Just look at that smile!
St. Bernard puppy

Elsa: Hubba, bubba…he really was a handsome boy.

The Mom: Indeed he was. It was a bittersweet time for me and because the replacement fridge was being delivered later, I didn’t stay long. Now there’s a story I don’t want to ever have to live through again. All I can say is buying major appliances is not an exercise in fun. At all!

Elsa: Yeah, you seemed pretty stressed. Luckily your son, my uncle Kevin, was able to save the day and gave me lots of nice ear scritches while he helped you out with getting the water line issues resolved. He’s a real lifesaver and a favorite peep of mine.

The Mom: Yeah, I’m so very lucky he lives in town and is able to help me with maintenance things around the house. So what else would you like to share this week?

Elsa: Well, how about pics from your crazy trip to Sloan’s Lake yesterday when you left your phone at the Target store across the street? Autumn sure is starting to be quite evident in some places and yet others, it’s barely registering.

The Mom: True enough. A stroll past these three trees lined up next to one another pretty much shows the various stages of leaves changing colors in the 303. I couldn’t have ordered up anything prettier. Green, gold, orange-the colors of Autumn.

Trees changing colors

Elsa: There are a bunch of trees that are still green and their leaves will likely just fall off before they change colors. It’s been a weird year for leaves changing in the city.

The Mom: You got that right! But it’s been interesting watching them and other plants as they prepare for the next season. Just look at this seeding milkweed pod. It sparkled in the autumn sunlight.


Elsa: Whoa…it looks like some kind of cotton ball! Only it’s not that soft.

The Mom: Yeah, I was surprised it’s not nearly as soft as it looks. Still, it’s pretty cool and if those seeds germinate, there’ll be plenty of nectar for Swallowtail butterflies next Spring.

Elsa: I noticed the reflections on Sloan’s Lake were pretty cool even if you may have been exhausted from all the miles you logged retracing your steps to find your cell phone.

Sloan's Lake

The Mom: Even the skyline casted reflections on the lake.

Sloan's Lake

Elsa: It sure was a beautiful day for a walk, even if it was much longer than you had originally planned on taking. I noticed  neighborhood Skellie-central changed out their scene again. Gotta give them loads of props for their cleverness. This week’s theme is a take off of the Barbie Movie phenomena. I don’t see you making all those changes.


The Mom:  Yeah, Barbie and Ken go to the beach. You’re right, I wouldn’t have the patience to dress and arrange all those skeletons (nor the bank account to buy them or store them) but I will admit, they do make me smile whenever I walk by.

Elsa: Me too, Mom. You humans sure are weird, but funny. So what’s on tap for this weekend? Got any fun plans? Whatever you do, we hope you’ll get out there and enjoy some of the beauty Nature is sharing before she turns nasty.

The Mom: Yes, I’m going to the first of the season holiday craft fairs but we hope you make check out the changing colors and see what Nature offers. Have a great weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Meet the Breed Monday ~ October 16, 2023

Today will be a two-fer. I was recently “reminded” that I’ve neglected for way too long, our “Meet The Breed” series on dog breeds but worse, there was a particular and personal oversight. To today we’ll fix that and provide our regular Monday smile.

Elsa: Yoo-hoo, oh Mom…since you turned the blog over to me, and while I don’t mean to criticize now…but you do realize you hadn’t featured poodles for the ‘Meet the Breed’ series?

The Mom: You’re absolutely right. My bad. Sorry for the omission.

Elsa: It’s about doggone time you apologized! What the dog, Mom?

The Mom: I’m truly sorry; it certainly wasn’t intentional. Let’s fix that right now, okay?

Elsa: Doggone straight you’re gonna fix that. You do realize Standards are just one of three officially recognized sizes of poodles? Sometimes called Spoos, Standards are the largest of the three, being 22-27 inches at the shoulder while Miniature Poodles are 13-15 at the shoulder and Toy Poodles are 10 inches or less at the shoulder. But in my humble opinion, Standards are one of the most handsome of all of them.

The Mom: Now, now. Let’s not get too opinionated right off the bat. Everyone thinks their dog is the best dog in the world and they’d be right. But I realize I need to make it up to you and yes, it’s true, Standards are well known for their stylish looks, superb athleticism, plus that fact that they’re eager, and intelligent.  The AKC places all poodles in the Non-Sporting Group.

Don’t hate me cuz I’m beautiful

Elsa: Carried away? You’re joking, right? I can see we’re just going to have to agree to disagree on this post.

The Mom: {Sheesh} Well on that note, we can agree. Although frequently associated as the national dog of France, Poodles actually originated in Germany.

Elsa:  Mais oui, er, make that, natürlich. The name comes from the German word “pudel” or “pudelin,” which means “to splash in the water.” In France, the breed is called “Caniche,” which is French for “duck dog.” There are however, some notable exceptions to the water aspect of our heritage.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} Yes, we’ve all noticed that you avoid water like the plague which is odd since poodles have a dense curly coat of hair (instead of fur) keeping their core warm with webbed feet, allowing them to more easily swim in water when retrieving waterfowl. That coat lead to the traditional cut in non-show dogs, which is more about function than fashion. And speaking of that hypoallergenic coat, it does require regular grooming to avoid matting since their hair doesn’t shed like dogs with fur. Regular brushing is necessary, including removal of ear hair to avoid potential ear problems.

Elsa: {Pfft} I’m fashionable enough and don’t need any foo-foo puffs of hair around the joints and upper torso to protect my joints and vital organs. My fix is more pragmatic I don’t do water.

The Mom:  Uh-huh, I think we understand that you’re a water wuss. But typically, Spoos are water loving dogs.

Elsa: Um, yeah, no. And you’re not going to convince me otherwise.

The Mom: It’s said that poodles of all sizes are very active and require a lot of exercise although I’ve noticed you seem to enjoy napping with the best of them. Poodles make excellent retrievers and often enjoy a good game of fetch, as well as jogging or long walks.

Elsa: Walks are one thing but you’re wrong again…I don’t fetch and {gasp} would never retrieve. You tossed it, you go get it. I have certain agendas that may or may not coincide with yours. Heh, heh.

The Mom: {Moving along…since this is clearly a losing battle} It is said that poodles are one of the smartest breeds and their intelligence and eagerness to please make them great service dogs which have been utilized as truffle hunters due to their keen noses and by having a ‘soft mouth,’ it makes them favorites with hunters in general. They like attention and with their good looks, can you blame them? Did you know that a team of Poodles competed in Alaska’s Iditarod race back in 1988.

Elsa: I heard that story about John Suter back in 1988 tried to compete in the race. It didn’t impress officials and the rule now specifies only northern breed dogs can compete. Some of his dogs were so cold and were dropped off at various checkpoints but we proved to the mushing world that we’re gamers by finishing the race in 38th place. Plain and simple…we’re versatile and have been used for hunting, hiking, search and rescue, service dogs or, as in my case, just being the best family companion.

The Mom: Standard Poodles generally have a kind and friendly personality, but having a job to do keeps them out of mischief. They tend to be ‘problem solvers and need mental stimulation and are eager to please, making them highly trainable. Poodles do well with kids but Standards may be a bit too energetic for tiny tykes who may get easily knocked down with their active ways. In fact, they have a long history as performers in the circus and on stage because of their trainability. Additionally poodles do well learning basic obedience training rather quickly and advanced training will keep them mentally stimulated and happy. Poodles grow hair in their ear canals, predisposing them to ear problems but plucking or clipping that hair can help to prevent ear infections.

Elsa: You know lots of famous people have owned poodles.  Elvis was particularly fond of Standards and was known to gift them to girlfriends. Richard Nixon owned a Poodles and First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy owned a Standard Poodle named Gaullie. There are oodles of poodles in Hollywood with celebs like Walt Disney, Patrick Swayze, Mike Tyson, Betty White, Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant  among just a few who have owned poodles.

The Mom: I did not know about some those celebs and their poodles. Good research, Ninja.

Elsa: That goes without saying. My research skills are absolutely legendary, Mom.

The Mom: Now, now…no need to be cocky. We hope these factoids provide people with enough info on poodles for this episode of “Meet the Breed.” I’ve owned standards since the late 70’s and they’ve been great companions.

Elsa: Of course we’re great companions. Plus we keep you safe, don’t forget that. If I hadn’t been around, you’ve have likely been abducted by a serial killer.

The Mom: Rather than argue with you on that last comment, let’s just say I’m a big fan of Standards. One thing is certain, poodles will worm themselves into your heart and perhaps on your sofa.

Elsa on sofa

Elsa: I know that you’re not just saying that idly. I’m quite fond of you as well.

The Mom: Thanks, Ninja. And because it’s Monday, we can’t start the week without sharing a smile that I found yesterday. Seems pretty timely given that a spot of moisture a few days ago combined with some low temps have started the annual leaf drop. With my Silver Maple, I’ll likely be raking until December. Three leaves at a time. Sigh.

Monday Smile

Have a great week!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 13, 2023

Tra, la, la, la, la…doh, dum, de, do….Greetings, peeps, Elsa here to share this week’s Hodge-Podge Friday scenes from around the Ranch.

The Mom: Umm, sweetie…it’s “Nature Friday” not Hodge-Podge Friday. Would you like to correct that so we can get started  as we join our pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard.

Elsa: Nope, not happening. I’m calling it Hodge-Podge Friday because none of the photos you took have any real theme. I looked up hodge-podge in the online Oxford Dictionary and it specifically defines it as, and I quote, a confused mixture. So nope, it stays Hodge-Podge Friday.

The Mom: Ahem…well ex-cuussse me. Jeez, you’re pretty scrappy today. What’s got your backside all up in arms?

Elsa: Nothing special. My blog, my post. Now can we get on with it? I got things to do.

The Mom: Bwahahaha, what do you have to do today?

Elsa: I’m a dog, there’s always something to do. We are always busy, even if you don’t think so.

Sleeping Elsa

The Mom: I see…so is that what you consider as ‘so busy?’

Elsa: Erm…I’m thinking…this blogging thing is harder than it looks. Now can I get on with it?

The Mom: Fine by me. What ‘cha got?

Elsa: Well I know you went to another Dragon Boat Race last weekend, this one in Broomfield. You must really like those races. Not sure I’m on board with all that water activity but whatever floats your boat. I will give you the fact that it was a pretty autumn day. Are we through the hot temps…finally?

Broomfield park

The Mom: Well you know Colorado. I’m sure there’ll be a day or two in the 80’sºF over the next couple of weeks, but it’s probably safe to say, most likely.

Elsa: You sure know how to slice the hair in half. Is this from all the years you worked in the legal field, quibbling over terms like ‘may’ as opposed to just stating a fact?

The Mom: Ahem…I don’t quibble. But I am just trying to express the possibilities that may or may not happen.

Elsa: See, you did it again!! What the dog, Mom!

The Mom: Oops, I guess I do tend to equivocate sometimes. Sorry.

Elsa: Whatever. Just wanted you to be aware that I’m keenly aware of how you do that. So I noticed one dog at least tried to compete with the boat racers. What was up with that knucklehead?

Dog in Water

The Mom: Whaddu mean? He was just enjoying a simply swim and there weren’t any Canadian geese to race against the boats.

Elsa: Swim and enjoyment are mutually exclusive in my books.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} To each her own, right? Remember we talked about this thing called tolerance, Elsa.

Elsa: Ugh…I just want people to know how dumb it seems for dogs to actually jump in water and swim. You wouldn’t catch me doing that…not for all the bones in Denver.

The Mom: But some dogs DO enjoy it so let them have their fun.

Elsa: Sheesh…so where’s an actual picture of a race? I know this was not nearly as large an event but let me see for myself.

Dragon Boat Race

The Mom: You’re correct, it was a smaller venue but I mean…Dragon Boats! It was fun watching folks compete and it looked like they all had a good time. I especially enjoyed the entertainment from a couple of dance groups from the Asian Pacific community. Such colorful costumes on kids as young as 10 years old dancing for the small crowd.

Elsa: You think it was small because they’ve only been doing it for the past 3 years at that park? Seems a shame considering how many thousands experienced the one at Sloan’s Lake back in July.

The Mom: Could be, but I’m sure more folks will start attending. It wasn’t even close to hot which was a huge plus. The drawback was I couldn’t walk to the venue and it seemed like so far though it was only about 20 miles away. I just rarely drive that far.

Dragon Boat Race

Dragon Boat Race

Dragon Boat Race

Elsa: Ooh, I’d love to chase those twirling skirts and I’m sure that littlest girl would love to have me lay my head in her lap. Maybe next time, I’ll go.

The Mom: Umm, hate to break it to you, even though dogs are welcome to the event, they aren’t allowed on stage. So, no…that ain’t gonna happen.

Elsa: {ruckus…rats…%$&#} You just never let me have any fun!

The Mom: I’m sure if you learned to dance, they’d allow you on stage, but I don’t make the rules.

Elsa: I notice our neighbors are getting into the Halloween spirit full bore. I heard you tell the lady you’re making them Instagram stars.



The Mom: {snicker} Well I wouldn’t say Instagram stars but a lot of people sure seem to enjoy my posts and have contacted me to get the address so they can see them in person. The theme this week was ‘camping.’ I had to chuckle, though with the 2 dozen Skellies they must have, it must take an entire weekend to dress and set the props for the scene. It makes me smile whenever I go past that house.

Elsa: I saw that one dog who started barking at the big skellies, growling with raised hackles. What a rube!

The Mom: Now, now, Elsa…Halloween can be scary for some dogs. You used to bark your head off whenever Trick-er-treaters rang our doorbell in costume.

Elsa: Those were serial killers, I was only protecting the Ranch.

The Mom: {eyes rolling} Oh Elsa…you slay me sometimes.

Elsa: Glad I can be of comedic entertainment for you. Just don’t come crying to me when something bad happens. I take my security duties quite seriously. So is there anything else autumnal, this week?

The Mom: Well as a matter of fact, yes. Leaves are s-l-o-w-l-y beginning to change. A few here and there. This one was all aglow when we walked over to the library.

Changing leaves

Elsa: Pretty, yes, but the crunching leaves kind of bother my feet. The jury is still out on this whole autumn thing. But I do appreciate the cooler temps. And what the dog was this guy doing sashaying along the sidewalk this week?

The Mom: I know, right? There were 4 dogs in the nearby vicinity and he just waltzed past us. Blew me away. Usually they dash so fast I can’t get any kind of pic that close.


Elsa: Did you see my jaw drop open? I don’t know what he was thinking walking past us and the other dogs. I’m still flabbergasted.

The Mom: It was one of the more unusual encounters we’ve had. Seeing foxes always makes me smile.

Elsa: Me too. I think I could be a good friend if only they’d let me.

The Mom: Probably not, but it’s a nice thought. Well that’s it for this week. It wasn’t too bad, was it?

Elsa: Hodge-podge, Mom, definitely hodge-podge. So what’s on board for your weekend? Got anything going on? Whatever you do, we hope you get to see some of the pretty things Nature is serving up right now.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 9, 2023

Seriously…it can’t be Monday already, can it? Where did the weekend go? At least we didn’t wake up in a cage and all our body parts seem to be in tact, so there’s that.

Monday smile

Wishing you and yours a great Monday with or without tin foil.

Life, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ October 6, 2023

ElsaDoh-de-do-do…”leaf your worries behind,” I always say, because it’s now October. Oh hi, Elsa here to share some 411 about leaf peeping with scenes from around the ‘Hood and our state. As always, we are joining our pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what else has been shared.

So a ‘funny’ thing happened this week. We didn’t see it but heard about it on the news. The weather people were saying if you planned to catch any “gold in them thar hills,” you better get a cracking because some white stuff dusted a few mountain peaks and snow always makes leaves fall quickly, from what I’ve been told. White stuff? What the dog?! Sure, I go on and on about the brutal summer temps but I wasn’t inviting Mother Nature to take me so seriously. Eek…I take it all back, Mother Nature. Can we do a quick rewind? We’re not quite ready for that drastic of a change, though Mom said it’ll be back in the 80’s before we see white stuff. ‘Course, I reminded her we do tend to get bouts of nasty weather around Halloween just to mess with the Trick-or-treaters. Time will tell who’s a better forecaster but you can bet your life I’ll be barking it in her face if it’s me.

Snow and changing leaves
Courtesy of Denver Channel 7, Alaine Nicole
Mountain Splendor in autumn
Courtesy of Denver Channel 7 website

Although it was pretty shocking to see snow in gold leaves on aspens, these are some of the prettiest photos Mom and I have ever seen of the changing colors. I think the first one is from somewhere around Crested Butte and the second one may be near Telluride (or vice-versa). Gotta admit though, you’d be hard press to find anything prettier than that lake reflection photo.

Meanwhile up on Quanella Pass near Georgetown, a mere 56 miles west of Denver, the leaves did what was expected of them this time of year…as in wow visitors and locals alike with their exquisite beauty.

Changing leaves
Courtesy of Denver Channel 7 website ~Quanella Pass

Pretty stunning, huh? Gotta love Colorado for it’s autumn gold. While we may not have the brilliant oranges and reds  typically seen out on the East Coast, I’d put our aspens up against them any day of the week.

High country roads have been filled tourists and looky-loos so Mom and I wanted to see if there was anything around our patch to avoid the cluster of driving I-70 after the recent trip to Glenwood. Turns out there are actually some spots of color around the ‘Hood with more showing up each day.


Mom spied some red on a plant when she was scanning for weeds in a part of the yard that neither of us rarely go out to since it’s on the North side of the house. Initially she thought it might be a piece of trash that blew in on one of the windy days this week. But nope, it was an actual leaf trying to imitate some East Coast flora. Whoa…Mom thought that was a nice present from Mother Nature and I couldn’t disagree with her.

We also found some pretty maple trees just starting to change colors on one of our walks. Hmm…maybe Colorado does have a few reds and oranges but I know they’re nothing like what’s found back East.

Maple leaves in autumn

Late Wednesday, Mom had me pose for her in the Plumbago out in the garden. Regrettably I couldn’t find a plausible excuse not to, so I put on my most bored face and sat there like a lump on a log. Mom was making all kinds of weird noises to try and get some kind of reaction out of me…other than me just turning and waltzing away. Heh, heh, heh. Doggone it though, she grabbed me and put me back in a sit/stay position. Can’t pull the wool over her eyes often enough. She loves the Plumbago since it flowers those pretty blue flowers beginning in late August and turning a lovely shade of mahogany on the leaves as autumn moves forward. Those plants are filling in nicely too like a good groundcover should; in fact she’s had to pull some out of the middle of the flagstone path after they’d migrated where they didn’t belong. I think she should give them a sit/stay command so they don’t go wander off the reservation but again, she didn’t ask me.

Elsa in the Plumbago

I’m sure trees will begin changing in earnest here in the city soon. Hopefully we’ll have more to share next time before we have to start raking them up. Till then, we hope you all send strong, healing energy to Blogville favorite, Brian who’s battling a nasty infection (click on the link to send him your healing thoughts and prayers). He looks like such a nice kitty and could use the collective energy of Blogville to feeling better. I can totally relate and sympathize with him since anesthesia is a bad thing for me too because of my epilepsy. It’s probably why Mom totally freaks out at the slightest little thing.

Purrs for Brian

Well, that’s it from me this week. We hope whatever you do this weekend, you get outside and enjoy the fabulous autumn weather and see a few leaves turning colors. I’ve got my paws crossed for you.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 2, 2023

Whoa…October has officially arrived which means it’s officially wear a sweater in the morning and regret it by the afternoon weather.

Today also means there are only 84 days left until Christmas. That can cause some to experience a fright even more than whether they have to take off that sweater this afternoon. Halloween

Whether you openly welcome October with a new sweater or are feeling a bit stressed by it’s arrival, we hope it’s grand.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ September 29, 2023

ElsaWelcome to the last Friday of September and the latest edition of Nature Friday, where we join our pals, Rosy and Sunny from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on the link to see what else has been shared. Elsa here to share some glimpses of autumn. Not so’s you’d know it here in the Mile High…it’s been warm and dry although the mornings are delightfully crisp. Mom says I’m practically giddy ‘boinging’ along on our morning walks. But Mom’s prone to hyperbole, so I’m not sure we can trust her on that observation. I have no idea what she’s talking about…she’s so weird sometimes.

Our family got together for a wedding this past week in  beautiful Glenwood Springs in the Roaring Fork Valley of Colorado near Aspen. You couldn’t ask for a prettier setting at a prettier time of year for a wedding. Let the leaf peeping commence.

Aspen leaves

Crystal blue skies dominated the weekend and the aspen leaves were just beginning to start changing colors, being somewhat delayed by extended summer temps. But what has changed did not disappoint.

Glenwood Springs

So let’s look at the area historically speaking. Ute Indians originally occupied the region and were nomadic hunter-gatherers who seasonally used the natural hot springs lived in the area. Glenwood Springs, originally known as Defiance, was founded by Isaac Cooper in the late 1800’s. Established in 1883 as an encampment containing tents, saloons, and dare I say, ahem…brothels. Like so many other Wild West towns, gamblers, gunslingers, and prostitutes made it home.

Surrounded by red colored sandstone cliffs, Glenwood has been visited by some famous peeps over the years, including President Teddy Roosevelt. Doc Holliday of the O. K. Corral fame, spent the last months of his life there as well as the outlaw gunman, Kid Curry, who was part of the Butch Cassidy’s gang, are both buried in the Pioneer Cemetery.

Glenwood Springs

Did you know that Glenwood Springs was one of the first cities in the US to have installed electric lights. That says something, doesn’t it? Situated in and around narrow mountain valleys where the Colorado River and the Roaring Fork Rivers meet, the terrain is steep and has some well known geothermal activity (hot springs). Glenwood Springs

Glenwood Springs owns some of the oldest and senior water rights to the Colorado River and has implemented a good conservation plan, so it continues to sufficiently serve its residents. The town itself lies outside of the Colorado Mineral Belt, with no mineral, oil and gas resources near the town so the watershed is clean and pure. Glenwood Springs has none of the typical legacy of pollution like many mountain areas  that had mines did.

Glenwood Springs

People in the valley are avid fishermen (and women) and those lucky enough to live on or near the river are always prepared. Mom said you never know when a 20″ long trout will ‘greet’ you. Even if catch and release is the norm.

Fishing, Glenwood Springs

While walking down to the creek, Mom stumbled on this scrub oak leaf. She seemed pretty jazzed. I’m not sure what the big deal is but I guess it’s pretty. Sort of. Looks like leather to me. Say, isn’t leather good eating? Asking for a friend, mind you.


On the drive home, Mom spied a waterfall on the side of I-70 near Vail. It was nice to see something pretty because traffic was heavy and moved at a snail’s pace. Guess leaf peepers gotta get home to go back to work. Mom wished they would have just stayed in the area and not clogged up the highway. Oops, was that my out loud voice? Sometimes you get lucky to see something beautiful and surprising. Way to go, Mother Nature.

Waterfall, Vail

One last slice of nature that caught Mom’s eye this week was the last Super moon for 2023.


Sometimes things in the city can be as beautiful as in the mountains.

And because I’m such a sentimental schloob, here’s a pic from the wedding of Mom’s nephew and his new bride. Nice setting, isn’t it?


So, have you got any exciting plans for this weekend? Are the leaves changing in your neighborhood?

Live, love, bark!  🐾