It’s Labor Day today in the US and its territories where we celebrate and acknowledge the contributions of workers. Every first Monday in September we honor the labor and union movements (if you work 40 hours or less a week, you can thank unions) as well as the role all workers made to the strength and well-being of the nation. Many of us will have today off (Labor Day is a national holiday) and this day often signals the new school year along with the start of football season. Although with the current age of the COVID panDAMNic, nothing is the way we were used to on past Labor Days when swimming pools, amusement parks generally close at Labor Day, summer concerts and festivals wrap up the season. Labor Day is usually considered the unofficial last weekend of summer with BBQ get-togethers often being a frequent pastime as well as any number of retail sales events. All that has been turned upside down if you’ve been following common sense, local mandates about personal distancing and mask wearing in public.
Ungodly heat has marked these past days of summer (we send particular sympathies to our friends in California after the weekend of hellish temps), and because it’s 2020, nothing is normal this Labor Day (including tomorrow’s forecast of snow with temperatures in the 30’s after again being in the 90’s today.
If you’ve ever wondered how Labor Day came about, a look at history indicates 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 and was one of the first five states to enact legislation recognizing Labor Day, with Oregon being first to officially make it a public holiday in 1887. Labor Day became a national holiday in 1894. Our Canadian neighbors to the north also celebrate “Labour Day” on the first Monday in September.
But as is often the case with social change, it wasn’t all roses and candy. Following deaths of workers during the Pullman Strike of 1894, Congress unanimously approved legislation making Labor Day a national holiday and Grover Cleveland signed it into law by shortly after the end of the strike.
So on this Labor Day, we hope you celebrate (safely of course) with pride for all your work accomplishments, just like we will.
Welcome to Friday where we join our hosts and friends, Rosy & her brothers for this week’s edition of Nature Friday. For uprights in the U.S. we’re entering a long, July 4th holiday weekend. Due to COVID cases spiking throughout much of the country, it may be a very different kind of Fourth than usual (though we have our paws crossed it means less fireworks which both dogs detest but we’re not holding our breath). Anyway, let’s check out Nature’s finery around the city.
Despite temps in the 90’s again all week long and for the foreseeable forecast, you’d think I’d plan running errands a little bit better by doing them early in the day, but you’d probably be wrong. Yesterday afternoon I needed to get something out in the mail missing the early mail drop so I had to walk over to the nearby Post Office. As I got closer, I kept hearing a strange bird making a ruckus but couldn’t figure out from where it was coming but lo and behold, I stumbled upon this fella bathing in a puddle of runoff water. Wha….wait, what the heck is that?!
I couldn’t believe my eyes! Seeing red-tailed hawks (which is what I think this guy is) in the city isn’t a frequent occurrence, at least not in my neighborhood. I stopped to watch him bathe and sip some water. Slowly I moved a closer being careful as to not startle him. That noisy bird I heard must have been part of his security detail and was on the overhead powerline I soon discovered.
Cropping this photo pixelated it but I think you can see a fairly decent profile. Isn’t he something special? Last week the dogs and I were treated to raccoons and rabbits and now this week, a hawk. Pretty amazing considering the ‘Ranch’ is just a couple of miles from downtown Denver’s central business district.
On the way back from the Post Office I came across this garden beauty, Kniphofia, often called Torch Lily or Red Hot Poker. That last moniker seems to describe the weather…hot! And since it is frequently windy, it’s very dry. Fifty-six percent of the state is under severe drought conditions, while 68% of Colorado is experiencing at least moderate drought. With the majority of the snowmelt gone, it’s clear that it will be a rough summer. We can only hope monsoons will arrive later this month to help in the short term.
The Ranch Hands and I hope you will be able to enjoy some nature this weekend and enjoy a happy and safe ‘howliday.’
Whether you celebrated Passover yesterday or Easter this Sunday, the Ranch hands send their best ‘howliday’ wishes to everyone. With social distancing/stay in place mandates, please remember some “bunny” in Denver loves you and sends their best virtual greetings. While we may not be able to physically touch or hug, we still want you to know that we’re thinking of you at this time of year (with a-pawlogies for being a day late on Passover greetings).
Today in the U.S. we are celebrating Martin Luther King day around the Ranch. A legal holiday, it was first celebrated in 1986, despite taking more than a decade before all 50 states adopted the holiday, it is marked every third Monday of January.
A soaring orator, Dr. King is known for many inspiring quotes. Here is one that seems even more appropriate in this day and age.
No celebration of the life of Martin Luther King is complete without revisiting the speech that defined his life. Only one of many transformative speeches, the “I Have A Dream” speech still gives me goosebumps whenever I hear it.
We hope that whatever you do today, you contemplate the words of this remarkable man and strive to perform some act of kindness or service.
Today is the last day of 2019 and the last day of this decade. Where did the time go? We here at the ‘Ranch’ will spend a quiet evening of reflection and hope whatever you do, you do it safely. No wheels falling off, okay?
From all of us Knuckleheads, have a safe and Happy New Year. Make 2020 be your best year ever. Remember tomorrow begins with a blank page of a 365 page book. Write a best-seller.
Happy Monday peeps and pets. The big day is almost here…are you ready? Today is Monday and we always like to start the week out with a smile.
You may recall that last week Sam worked at hospital and West Pines bringing relief and smiles to staff and patients alike. We’ll share some details of a couple of those visits soon.
As we were leaving West Pines, for some odd reason, Sam was mesmerized by the fish tank in the lobby. In the past he’s never paid any attention to it, we’ve walked past it a jillion times. Yet, this time he just couldn’t stop watching one of the large angelfish and seemed to be captivated by this swimming creature following his every turn, from one side of the tank to the other.
Sam seemed to be wondering if Santa visits those fish. The funny thing is that fish followed him as much as Sam followed the fish. Maybe he needed some pet therapy too?
Here’s hoping the smiles are plentiful this week and you are filled with the love, joy and peace of the season. We will be taking a few days off from posting and wish you all Happy “Howlidays!”
Happy pre-Thanksgiving Day. As many of you know, Denver was hit with a gigantic storm yesterday that buried the city with a foot of snow. It prevented Sam and I from doing our hospital visits and has us pretty much confined. It did however allow me to enjoy my favorite blizzard beverage, hot chocolate. With Schnapps and whipped cream. We are warm and fine if not a bit stir crazy. It’s too cold and deep to take the dogs for their usual walks and apparently not possible for Sam to use the dog run to relieve himself beyond the occasional pee over Elsa’s spots in the freshly created pee-atio in the dog run. Elsa however could practically pee or poop on command but Sam is nothing, if not discerning about where he goes. I have to chuckle about his refusal to not poop in the run, but know if I scooped out a square over at my neighbor’s house, he’d drop a log in a heartbeat.
We wish all of our US readers a day filled with good cheer, good food and a football win tomorrow. To all of our readers, we will spend the day staying warm, cozy and being grateful for your digital friendship and good company every week. We are truly blessed you are in our lives and we thank you for our good fortune for the connection. Cheers!
It’s almost here, the eat-yourself-stupid ‘howliday’ that dogs all over America howling their approval. Sam gave his sister the “talk” about how it goes down.
But before Thanksgiving arrives, Sam and I will be working at the hospital the next couple of days bringing cheer to patients and staff at the hospital. We will also be training a new therapy team who is joining our ranks. Woof woof! Let’s just hope Sam doesn’t give the new guy a similar Thanksgiving “talk.” Our hospital visits may limit our ability to post or comment much this week but we will do our level best.
Mother Nature plans to factor into the holiday with a winter storm watch being issued with up to 10″ of snow expected to start arriving later today. We’re keeping our fingers crossed it doesn’t impact travel plans.
We hope you have a safe and happy ‘howliday’ and Elsa in particular, is wishing you drop a few peas or gravy drippings for the 4-legged visitors. Remember though, turkey skin is bad for dogs but sweet potatoes/yams are good if you’re sharing any bounty.
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 honorall 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.
The 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.