Remembrance Monday ~ November 11, 2019

Once again, today marks the anniversary to the end of World War I where major hostilities formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, and the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Originally known as Armistice Day, this US holiday was signed into law on May 26, 1954 by then President Dwight Eisenhower to honor the service of all veterans who served in the Armed Forces. The grammar police (as well as the US Department of Veterans Affairs website) say the officially correct spelling is the attributive case (rather than the possessive) as the proper reference “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, but rather a day to honor all veterans. Using the apostrophe is nonetheless grammatically correct.

Today we honor the service of all U.S. military veterans, and should not be confused with May’s Memorial Day which honors those who died in military service.

Veterans DayThe Ranch hands and I salute veterans who have served their country and once again pray today brings people together as this will be a very contentious week in our nation’s capitol.  Let us remember this is a country where we all long for safety for our families and our country, where we all breathe the same air and enjoy the freedom provided by those who have served their country, and not just those with whom they agree politically. More than ever,  we urge everyone to come together as a united nation as we remember those who  served this great nation.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Happy ‘Howleween’ ~ 2019

We survived Snowmageddon and its evil companion, Jack Frost this week and are looking forward to thawing out and getting back to our regular long walks. We await any souls brave enough to participate in the ritual of trick or treating but personally think they might want to think twice about it since it’ll still be pretty cold tonight. Then there’s this outdoor decoration we came upon along one of our walk-abouts before the snowstorm. I can’t decide if I want to get to know these neighbors or steer clear of them. The dogs absolutely refused to get anywhere near this outdoor decoration even though it was completely quiet (thankfully). Cool or creepy?

Halloween

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ October 14, 2019

Monday…again?! Gosh, where the did weekend go? Let’s hope it wasn’t in a wormhole. Here’s a little smile to start out the week with a chuckle.

Humor

Today is Indigenous People’s Day (sometimes known as Columbus Day) and is a national holiday in the U.S. We like that name better considering Columbus never actually set foot on U.S. soil. The traveling Italian from Genoa first made landfall in the Western Hemisphere on this date in 1492 on one of the various islands of the Bahamas and then Cuba and Hispaniola, establishing a colony on what is known as Haiti. Today we salute the native people of the Americas.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Paw-ty Time Highlights

Sam here. I managed to live through a pawsome day of celebration yesterday, otherwise known as my 14th birthday. Many thanks to everyone who left sweet comments wishing me loads of treats and many happy returns. I wagged my tail with appreciation.

Sam, BirthdayMom whipped up my favorite treat, a lip-smackin cake quiche (recipe is in our BarkBook if you want to make it for your own pup). Both Elsa and I love this snack and what could be better for a paw-ty than a tasty yet healthy birthday ‘cake.’ This time it was made extra special with the addition of rabbit meat (mom never has ham in the house and Elsa can’t eat it anyway due to the salt content when it’s cured which is bad for epi-warriors). But get this…I even ate the veggies! You guys  know I’m no  fan of veggies, right? But in this quiche…eggs, cheese and rabbit with those veggies, even this anti-veghead ate. every. morsel. Can you say….Y.U.M.?  It was so tasty in fact, the Ninja snarfed two of the bone-shaped mini-quiches before mom had her camera focused. #baddog

Mom took that photo of me before we were allowed to dig in (but after Elsa made like a thieving raccoon hitting garbage bins around the neighborhood). The Ninja however, absolutely refused to wear the birthday celebration hat though. Little brat…you know I’d do it for her. Oh well, she said she wanted to enjoy the game of pinning the ‘Tail on the Squirrel.’

Squirrel

So, do you think she should have been allowed to nosh on that tasty goodness?

Elsa

Thanks again for making No. 14 extra special. It was the pawfect autumn day, very sunny and bright. Mom says our forecast calls for a big freeze with the first snow by Thursday. What the dog?! Good thing I’m good with snow. So long as I don’t have to wear those stupid boots. Happy Tuesday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

 

Monday Musings ~ October 7, 2019

SamFourteen years ago today, a small apricot-colored curly, bundle of knuckleheaded-ness entered the world. Who knew at the time this silly boy would bring so much joy to everyone whose path crossed his way? Elsa here. Although he wouldn’t arrive at the Ranch until he was two, that photo was one of the earliest images showing his sweetness.

Sam

While he may not be quite the same pogo-stick he was when he joined mom, the boy’s still got game and continues to walk anywhere from 2-4 miles a day. Please join me in wishing him many happy returns. Come back tomorrow to see the blackmail photos highlights from his party. Happy birthday, bro! Mom and I love ya, even if you’re a goofball.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Ahoy Mateys!

Greetings swashbucklers…today is International Talk Like a Pirate Day. Created in 1995 by long-time friends John Baur (Ol’ Chumbucket) and Mark Summers (Cap’n Slappy) of Oregon, who while playing a friendly game of racquetball and for reasons still somewhat unknown, began shouting pirate slang at each other. The silliness began to take on a life of its own when they decided to create a holiday celebrating ‘piratude.’ Summers has been credited with choosing the date (his ex-wife’s birthday).

For a few years, their holiday remained in relative obscurity until they happened to connect with the syndicated columnist and author, Dave Barry. With media coverage following Barry’s column about it, the event is now celebrated internationally,PirateNaturally the Knucklehead and Ninja are joining their Blogville fur-iends, Captain Da Nelly, First Mate Kismet and Swashbuckler Shoko in the merriment. So grab a bottle of beer rum and enjoy some good ole fashion pirate booty. Just make sure to watch your step if you plan on walking the plank…we hear that first step can be a dousie.

Pirate

Live, love, bark!

Labor Day 2019

Today is Labor Day throughout the US and its territories where we celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of workers. On the first Monday of September we honor the labor and union movements (if you work 40 hours or less a week, please thank a union member for that benefit) and the role all workers have made to the strength and well-being of the nation. For many of us, we have the day off and frequently welcome in the new school year along with the beginning of football season this time of year. Labor Day is often thought of as the unofficial end of summer with BBQ get-togethers often being a frequent pastime as well as gobs of retail sales events.

Labor Day

A brief history of Labor Day shows that as the trade and labor movements began to grow, calls for a day commemorating workers’ contributions were proposed. Colorado has long been progressive on social issues like this and was one of the first five states to enact legislation recognizing Labor Day. Oregon was the first to officially make it a public holiday back in 1887. Labor Day became a national holiday in the U.S. in 1894. Our Canadian friends also celebrate “Labour Day” on the first Monday in September.

But life in the labor movement wasn’t all roses and candy. After the deaths of workers during the Pullman Strike of 1894, Congress unanimously approved legislation making Labor Day a national holiday. President  Grover Cleveland signed the law into effect shortly after the end of the strike to recognize all workers and their efforts and contribution to the nation.

Whatever you do today, please keep all those in the path of Hurricane Dorian in your thoughts and prayers. We are hoping for their safety.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

July 4th, 2019

July 4th

Two hundred and forty three years ago, a scrappy bunch of New World folks declared their independence from the British Empire and we’ve stay scrappy ever since. Happy Birthday, America from the Knucklehead and the Ninja. While there won’t be a tank or  fly-over at the Ranch, we hope your ‘howliday’ is safe, filled with great food and fun shared with friends and family.

July 4

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Memorial Day Monday ~ May 27, 2019

Memorial DayToday is Memorial Day in the U.S. where we remember all those who gave the ultimate sacrifice serving their country. A national ‘howliday’ now,  it was originally known as Decoration Day back in the years following the Civil War. On May 30, 1868 General John A. Logan, head of a Union veteran association spearheaded the decoration of the graves of fellow comrades who died in defense of their country. Many Northern states held commemorative events and reprised the tradition in subsequent years so that by 1890 each one had made “Decoration Day” an official state holiday. Still bitter about the loss in the Civil War, many southern states refused to officially recognize the day until after WWI and many southern states (Texas, Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, Louisiana, and Tennessee) held separate days honoring their Civil War hero’s. Memorial Day did not become the preferred name after World War II. In 1968 Congress mandated Memorial Day as the last Monday in May creating a three-day weekend for federal employees with the change going into effect in 1971.

Memorial Day is also the ‘unofficial’ beginning of summer and as is often the case, been turned into a shopping fest. We however, will mark the day with quiet reflection.

FlagPlease join us as we honor those who served and gave the ultimate price for the freedom we have been blessed and remember the two and four legged who served and gave their all.

Live, love, bark! 🇺🇸

Nature Friday ~ April 19, 2019

Today is Good Friday and another week is in the books. I hope you’re ready for the Easter weekend. We’re once again joining our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard for this week’s Nature Friday Blog Hop, Good Friday edition. Today we’re gonna take a look at Mother Nature’s flowering trees that are starting to enter into the spring landscape. Ornamental pears have begun to blossom and when we see these around the 303, we know spring has definitely sprung (yes, I do realize that there is still good chance for a snow shower or two over the next few weeks but I’m too busy enjoying spring to worry about it now).

Ornamental pear trees (known as Bradford Pears) have been planted all over the urban Denver landscape. Known for its conical shape and showy blossoms, they are taking front and center stage now. My two assistants graciously agreed to pose near a band of them lined up along the parking strip between street and sidewalk (for Elsa, it was a sit/stay training moment and she passed…we like to multitask on our walks).

Trees

A closeup shows clusters of pinkish centers amid white blossoms. When I was researching these trees, I was shocked to learn many people are not fans, in fact, many have called for their removal as a menace to modern landscaping. They cite invasiveness and lack of biodiversity as well as structural issues since their branches tend to split when the trees are anywhere from 15-20 years old. In the early 1900’s, Frank Meyer, a plant explorer from the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture went to China to find the most disease-resistant strain which could be grafted to existing pear trees. Good Ole Frank found what he thought would be a good variety and brought back 100 pounds of seed and, for a while, it worked like a charm. The trees will grow in nearly any soil, mature quickly and bloom early in spring with bright orange foliage in autumn. They are one of the first blooming trees in spring and the last to drop their pretty leaves in autumn. Landscape architects thought they’d found the perfect tree. It soon became the most widely planted tree in the U.S. By the 1990’s however, landscapers discovered the ugly side to these pretty additions to suburbs and office parks. While these trees’ symmetrical structure is attractive, it leads to what’s known as “weak crotches” (all limbs branch out from the trunk). This weakness often causes them to split apart. Additionally, storms contribute to extensive splitting damage. Over the past several years in my own neighborhood, storms have decimated many of the trees (including the two across the street leaving them badly deformed and misshapen). The owner can’t bear to cut them down and continues to try to save them. Bradford pears don’t self pollinate, but cross-pollination can occur with the other strains of ornamental pears resulting in problematic hybrids.

The introduction of these trees underscores the fact that too often there are unintended consequences requiring contemplation before moving ahead. Remember, it’s not nice to fool Mother Nature.

And because they have been as spectacular as I’ve ever seen, here are more tulips from around the neighborhood with apologies to my Instagram followers who are probably sick of seeing tulip after tulip on my feed. My own tulips are taking their own sweet time (in their defense, that happens when they aren’t bathed in sunlight the livelong day). They give a real Keukenhof Gardens feel even if I’m thousands of miles from Lisse, Netherlands.

Tulips

Tulips

 

 

 

 

 

 

TulipsTulips

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hope you are able to enjoy the lovely renditions of Mother Nature and have a wonderful and joyous Easter weekend.

Easter

Live, love, bark! 🐾