Monday Musings ~ Labor Day 2022 Edition

Monday

The Ranch Hands and I wish you a safe and relaxing Labor Day with a minimum amount of exertion on the unofficial last day of summer. Enjoy!

Flowers

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Happy July 4th ~ 2022

July 4th

Two hundred and forty-six years ago, a scrappy bunch of folks in the New World  stomped their feet and declared independence from their British rulers and they’ve managed to remain scrappy ever since. Sadly, not all of that ‘scrapiness’ has been attractive or positive. These days we tend to delude ourselves that we managed that ‘more perfect union’ that was originally sought. Still all us Ranch hands continue to pray that we can actually achieve it for everyone.

As the U.S. celebrates its country’s independence with the culmination of a long weekend, the Ranch hands and I wish our U.S. based readers a safe and happy Fourth of July. To everyone, we hope you have a great Monday and even better week. With temps hovering in the pizza oven range all week long, we hope you manage to stay cool with a minimum of cowering in the bathroom today.

July 4th

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ July 1, 2022

July 4Welcome to the first Friday of July…my goodness…how is it possible 2022 is halfway over? One minute we were taking down holiday decorations and now we’re hoping to safely get through another holiday-July 4th. {Head shaking} Hi, it’s Elsa, your intrepid award-winning correspondent ready to share a fresh batch of nature scenes from our recent walkabouts. As always we’re joining our pals, Rosy, Sunny and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for their weekly Nature Friday blog hop. Be sure to click on the link to see other posts including scenes of nature from around Blogville.

Rainbow

You may have heard there was a bit of a ‘celestial happening’ recently with mom’s favorite team winning the most prestigious sports award, the Stanley Cup. It’s been a week of celebration culminating with a ‘few’ people gathering for a parade and rally yesterday. The local paper estimated some 500,000 people attended and while there was LOTS and I do mean LOTS of alcohol, everyone was well behaved and enjoyed the team’s first Cup win in 21 years. The skies were moody, but not even thunder, lightning, or a little rain shower, could not dampen spirits of the Colorado Avalanche faithful.

Hockey
Stanley Cup rally, Civic Center Park

Anyway, let’s get to checking out some nature scenes of another type from around the Ranch, shall we? Mom found some rather unusual blooms on our daily walks. Take this Mediterranean Sea Holly (Eryngium bourgatii) plant. It likes sunny and dry well-drained soil. The flowers feel like balsa wood and it’s drought and rabbit resistant. Sure hope she doesn’t plant any in my yard since I’m all about wanting to attract bunnies. Besides, anything to keep the stupid squirrels away is fine with me. Isn’t that blue color unusual?

Flowers

We also discovered some unusual Calla lilies. A striking hot pink one and a black one. I was ready to keep on walking but Mom had to examine them for several minutes. “Come on, Mom…” Ugh, parents!

Flowers

Flowers

One of mom’s friends has this Clematis next to her front door and she took this pic because it was so gorgeous. I can tell you her Clematis is not at all this pretty-I keep telling her to stop being so stingy with the H2O but she mumbles something about when I start paying the water bill, so I put my paws in my ears. Funny how that gets her to pipe down. But what a welcoming sight for her friend’s visitors.

Flowers

Here’s another lily we pass by every day. Norman and I are mostly unphased by it but probably because we’re too busy hoping to see ‘Fred,’ the Akita who lives there. Fred always likes it when we walk by because it allows me to bark like as maniac at him. I like to think it’s little our joint effort to get mom to cough up treats in her pockets to calm us down. She’s so gullible but it seems to work every time.

Flowers

We usually don’t see red lilies like that so it’s nice to see such bright color. This lily marks the halfway mark on our walk, which seems to appease Norman. I could go a lot farther than that lummox but whatever cranks your handle, right? Mom says after a hot week and Norman’s visits to the hospital he deserves a relaxed, easy going walk. I’ll get even with him, I’ve already hidden all his favorite toys in the studio and plan to block the doorway so he won’t try to come in and play with them. I’m like that, yeah I am. {snicker}

The sunflowers are starting to bloom now and they’re fun to see all the different kinds and colors. Sunflowers are a natural squirrel attractor so naturally, I’m all over them. Doggone varmints-they can’t just be content with stealing my strawberries, they have to harvest the sunflower seeds as well. Let me tell you, I’m keeping my eyes open for them. Nobody steals my strawberries without me having something to say about it even if the sunflowers looks like a bullseye.

Flowers

I guess I’d be a poor correspondent if I didn’t mention the July 4th holiday weekend.  We’re not fans of fireworks so we’ll just be holed up away from the noisemakers. Please be considerate of us pets who are afraid of fireworks, as well as some peeps who are equally traumatized.

Until next time when I share moments of nature with brother Norman, stay safe and as cool as possible in this dog-awful heat but make sure you get out and experience some of nature’s beauty early in the day. Only 82 days until autumn arrives. {wink, wink}

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Memorial Day Monday ~ 2022

Holidays

While today is the ‘unofficial’ beginning of summer, we think of it as a day of reflection around the Ranch and plan to honor all service members, particularly those in our family who have served their country, with a special shout out to a niece’s son who graduated from high school this past week and enlisted in the Air Force just like both of his parents did. Way to go, Levi.

Memorial Day, a national holiday in the U.S., is where we officially remember and mourn all who died while serving in the country’s armed forces. Originally known as “Decoration Day” following the Civil War when both Union and Confederate soldiers honored their dead by decorating their graves with flowers, it has morphed into its current form honoring all Americans who served and paid the ultimate price of freedom.

Have a safe and reflective day.

Holidays

Live, love, bark!  🐾

Top ‘O the Morning To Ye

The  Leprechaun Ranch Hand sends his best Irish wishes to you. ☘️ Erin go bragh! ☘️

Norman

Meanwhile the Celtic Sluagh…aka The Ninja, seems to be [once again] preparing to hunt down my soul. If there’s anything to that adage, ‘luck of the Irish,’  now would be a good time for it. Then again, she could just as easily be channeling the Celtic goddess of evil magic, “Carman” who, as a destructive witch, roamed around with her three evil sons: Dub (“darkness” in Irish), Dother (“evil”) and Dain (“violence”), destroying anything or anyone in their path.

It was thought that Carman was responsible for cursing Ireland’s crops until the Tuatha De Danann (peoples of the goddess Danu) used their magic to fight and defeat her.

Elsa, St. Patrick's Day
I am NOT amused, nor am I Irish

May your blessings outnumber the shamrocks that grow, and may trouble avoid you wherever you go. Happy St. Patrick’s Day from everyone at the Ranch. Slainte!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ February 21, 2022

Today marks a national federal holiday (Presidents’ Day) in the U.S., originally implemented by Congress in 1879 to honor George Washington, the first president and ‘father’ of the country on his birthday, February 22 but subsequently switched to the third Monday in February on January 1, 1971 by the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, honoring both Washington and Abraham Lincoln’s birthdays. Both Ranch Hands will tip their hats to the office of the presidency today so we may be somewhat late in responding to comments or reading your posts as Norman be visiting nurses and patients this week. As usual, I am merely the designated driver.

After a weekend filled with grooming, baths and more dog hair than I could have imagined, Norman is all fluffed and spic and span clean to mark Presidents’ Day at the same time Winter decided to reappear with a vengeance with snow and bitter cold temperatures for most of the week. Tomorrow’s HIGH is only expected to be in the single digits which makes today’s smile seem all too appropriate. Guess I’d better re-locate the extra warm gloves.

Smiles

However you mark today’s holiday, we hope you’ll stay warm and snuggly. Here’s to a super Monday. And remember there’ll be no postal deliveries and bank’s will be closed.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ “Gong Hei Fat Choy”

[Editor’s note: Sorry for our absence for most of last week. The laptop required a regular tune-up and spent the time comfortably resting at the computer repair store until late Friday (my guy is a good tech and therefore often up to his eyeballs in alligators and malware-we had neither but it took a number of days to get through the queue). We sure missed you guys (I’m not adept at reading posts on a cell phone and had to wait to begin catching up on your posts and response to all the good Gotcha Day wishes for Norman until the laptop was returned. I’ve been working through the backlog as quickly as possible processing over 150 emails over the weekend but am still working through the remaining ones and hope to be finished later today.]

Welcome to the last day of January as well as the last day of the Year of the Ox on the Chinese lunar calendar. Beginning tomorrow, we will enter the Year of the Tiger and not just any tiger…the Water Tiger, which arrives every 60 years. The Water Tiger is action-oriented, representing strength by clearing away evil and a show of bravery.

Chinese New Year

We can all probably agreed that the Year of the Ox was a ‘tad’ stubborn and obstinate so we’re looking forward to a year that clears away the evil that seemed so prevalent for much of last year.

Did you know that Chinese New Year has been around since the 14th century? Based on the Lunar calendar, it is represented by one of 12 zodiac animals-the rat, ox, tiger, rabbit, dragon, snake, horse, sheep, monkey, rooster, dog and pig. Along with those animals, five elements of earth, water, fire, wood and metal are also associated with each year.

The Year of the Tiger occurs in the following years: 1902, 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022 with individuals born in those years often possessing qualities of the animal itself, and are frequently courageous, assertive and natural leaders. Tiger sign individuals may be “hungry for thrill or crave attention, may be short tempered but capable of generosity.” Those born this year are said to have great interpersonal relationships, and are very family oriented. The last year of the Water Tiger was 1962.

Celebrations during the New Year include family banquets, parades which include outdoor spectacles featuring firecrackers/fireworks and dancing dragons. The Ranch Hands are definitely not keen on the whole notion of fireworks-instead we’ll stick with eating ourselves stupid and hoping for a few red envelopes with money (another tradition during Chinese New Year. In other words, no boomers for this ‘Boomer’ or her pups.

Chinese New Year

For a gander at various sites about the Chinese New Year, check out this link: https://g.co/kgs/14Lif7I especially enjoyed the animation added by those clever Google geeks.

The Cantonese New Year greeting is “Gong Hei Fat Choy” (恭喜發財), which means “wishing you prosperity.” Around the Ranch we’ll just say “Happy New Year.” Anyway you say it, we hope the Year of the Tiger brings you prosperity and good luck.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ January 17, 2022

Welcome to Monday but today is not just any Monday.  Today we honor two giants of humanity, Martin Luther King (MLK) and Betty White. Around the country, parades are being held with an emphasis on the participants honoring the civil rights leader through a day of national service. Since 1994, the day of service is being coordinated nationally by AmeriCorps, a federal agency which provides grants to organizations coordinating service activities on MLK Day. The only other national day of service in the U.S. officially designated by the government, is September 11th’s National Day of Service (9/11 Day).

MLK

Today would have been Betty White’s 100th birthday. Fans of the “Golden Girls” star who passed away recently, have created a virtual event asking for donations of $5 be made to animal rescues or shelters in her name. White was a big animal lover and well known for her efforts of saving endangered species. She helped fix conditions at the Los Angeles Zoo.

In addition to her efforts at the LA Zoo, White was also a big supporter of the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The zoo’s entrance to the “Heart of Africa Exhibit” was named Betty White Way in 2014 in her honor.

Betty White

We typically use Monday’s for sharing a smile, but today we also support of the efforts of both of these legendary Americans. Everyone at the Ranch supports the essence of MLK Day as well as the remarkable work of Betty White and hope you’ll participate in a meaningful way to honor both of these special people. May your Monday be the beginning of a good week filled with smiles and positive actions, just go easy on the mice, okay?

Smiles

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ December 22, 2021

Christmas

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! 🐾