Monday Musings ~ December 28, 2020

MomWelcome to the last week of the dumpster fire also known as 2020. We hope you had a blessed and Merry Christmas. Christmas this year marked an extra special occasion, marking the 90th birthday for my mom. My Mom has lived through some pretty horrific times. She survived the bombing of Frankfurt during World War II as child as well as through some pretty intense health issues over the past few years. I wrote a bit about it back in 2016 here, after Angel Sam spent a week on her bed at hospice care following an ER doctor’s prognosis giving her 48 hours to live. Long story short, she “flunked out of hospice” then. In 2017 she ended up back in hospital for 4 weeks, with a number of days in ICU. Another surgery was performed where more of her colon was removed for an obstruction but she managed to eventually bounce back once again.  These days we affectionately refer to her as a ‘semi-colon.’ So yeah, this was a very special Christmas birthday. I’m so incredibly grateful to have been able to celebrated it. Happy 90th to my spunky, special Mom who has defied the odds in numerous ways.

Like everyone else, we’re hoping 2021 provides a path toward normalcy. It won’t come overnight (especially if ‘mask holes’ continue to not wear masks and congregating in large groups) and pray the recently approved vaccines provide a way back toward the ‘good ole days.’  The world has so much healing needed to embark upon and pray that 2021 is the beginning of that process.


We look forward to waving goodbye to 2020 while remaining upbeat that 2021 provides more smiles and joy for our COVID weary hearts. To 2020, we say “don’t let the door hit you on the way out.”

So how was your Christmas?

Live, love, bark! 🐾


A Midweek Introduction

Hello friends, I’m a bit late to this party, I could not let an opportunity to share the news of someone who’s been a good friend of the Ranch and introduce you to his new blog despite being tardy. Let me just say this seasoned blogger knows how to serve up a tasty post.

Allow me to dish up the inaugural post from our friend, Frank, he of the former “AFrankAngle fame.” Frank thought he was done blogging but then realized he had another voice where he could showcase his “Beach Walk Reflections” posts on a new blog. His insight and thoughtful prose is definitely worth a check out, so please drop by. Frank also has some of the cleverest followers and everyone will leave you with a good feeling with thoughtful observations at a time when we need it the most. Very best wishes, Frank…may you experience continued success my friend. I know I am looking forward to this new batch of thoughtful posts, lovely images and videos and smart followers. So check it out at and see why the Ranch hands gives this new puppy their 4 out of 4 paws endorsement:  Keep up the good work, Frank!


Live, love, bark! 🐾

We’re Back…sort of

Hi there, remember us? You know, that merry band of misfits consisting of two dogs and an upright who thinks she runs things but let’s face it, we all know Norman and Elsa are the real brains around the Ranch. Sorry we’ve been AWOL. A series of life events tripped us up pretty hard and took the wind out of my sails with little to no bandwidth remaining in the tank to do any kind of job at blogging. I began to sink in mental mud rather than focus on much of anything else.


Although we were served a large crap sandwich, I realized when I ran into a nearby neighbor couple this morning that life can easily serve a bountiful meal as well. They were loading their newborn baby boy into the car (egad, I hadn’t even been aware they were expecting)!  What a beautiful and reaffirming sight to see their new son peeking out over dad’s shoulder gazing at the world while the two fur beasts and I observed this blessing from a more than social distance. The realization that a new life joined the rest of us in 2020 had an impact on my psyche and that made me realize I absolutely needed to begin to post.

In the ‘more good news’ category, the hospital recently contacted the pet therapy teams to see if we were interested in participating in some form of hybrid form of pet therapy visits. While visiting patients and staff in the hospital would not be possible (and probably won’t for the foreseeable future given the recent uptick in cases in the Mile High City), they worked on creating a new way to bring smiles at least to the staff of the Emergency Department. Norman is scheduled to visit their parking lot venue for greeting doctors and nurses (today is our first day and we’re wiggling with excitement and will report back on just how it goes so wish us luck). Norman is all spiffed up having survived the water torture and is now ready to make his first appearance spreading a little joy later this morning.

Pet Therapy

Please know we’ve missed you all and hope to pick up where we left off with new adventures to share. I’ve continued to visit your blogs and left a few microscopic comments but you’ve all been in my heart. It appears the summer has been good to the fair majority of you and we hope autumn continues in that vein. Until the next time where we update you on how Norman’s inaugural entry into the world of pet therapy goes, remember…

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ July 22, 2020


Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ May 18, 2020

So I was walking the dogs a couple of days ago and noticed a bunch of young guys had hopped the closed and padlocked playground at the neighborhood elementary school. They obviously have whistled past their ability to continue to deal with shelter in home restrictions. I just shook my head. Not sure what’s worse. Not wearing masks or ignoring social distancing rules.


Even the pandemic’s official animal observes those protocols. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not making light of the current situation. It’s definitely serious and not a laughing matter but it seems that gallows humor is becoming more and more prevalent in dealing with these unprecedented times. Around the Ranch, we’re still observing social distancing and wonder if those who are wearing masks are smiling back at me or silently mouthing “stupid Boomer” while I hopscotch back and forth across the street maintaining social distancing. When you have a dog like Norman who simply invites being pet and totally enjoys it, it’s hard to act nonchalant while maintaining appropriate social distance. For his part, Norman doesn’t seem to understand why people can’t shower him with attention these days.

So how are you coping? Has your state ramped up relaxed restrictions? Has shopping for groceries become easier? Is life moving back toward the ‘old normal?’ The Ranch-hands want to know when passersby are going to start petting them again.

Norman & Elsa

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Earth Day 2020

Earth DayIn a world where we are battling a war against the coronavirus, is it possible to celebrate Earth Day? Last night as I took the dogs on a different route for their evening constitution, I came across this latest piece of chalk art and wondered if it would be possible to mark the 50th anniversary. Obviously with social distancing being the new norm for safety during the pandemic, marching in person wouldn’t be possible. Enter digital technology to step in and continue this important work. Continue reading “Earth Day 2020”

Wordless Wednesday ~ April 15, 2020

Red-headed male House Finch

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ April 10, 2020

Greetings fellow Nature lovers. Welcome to Nature Friday where we happily join our fur friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in our Backyard for this week’s edition.

You may recall where I’ve shared the Mile High area has ‘enjoyed‘ a lot of up and down weather these past 3 weeks. We seem to be in a pattern that repeats itself weekly…sunny and warm for a couple of days, a small snow storm, then warming up again. It may be a bit challenging to have any Easter egg hunts as the forecast once again calls for snow to arrive, this time on Easter Sunday.

We relished absolutely gorgeous days this week that highlighted beautiful spring bulbs which in this age of sad COVID news helps brighten low spirits. And a couple of real stunners to boot helped lift my spirits.

The Ranch hands experienced a couple of scary encounters on their normal walks with unleashed pets (along with their unleashed owners not adhering to social distancing) so we’ve been mixing up our routes to avoid as many people as possible which is why I decide to walk over to Sloans Lake, the urban, man-made lake in the park with the same name. We were richly rewarded for our efforts on the warmest day yet.

On the way over, I saw Hellebore flowers in someone’s front yard. I have never seen them outside of the pampered environment of the botanic gardens. They’re so pretty but fussy about their environment but look how well they’re doing in an urban landscape and just beginning their seasonal bloom.


Along with the Hellebore, another spring beauty were these Scilla Sardensis, known as Glory of the Snow. I love seeing these little blue flowers popping up in spring. So cute and colorful.


One of the best reasons to visit Sloans Lake are its lovely city views. With a beautiful city skyline toward the east, I often look toward downtown, but when you look in the opposite direction, you can catch snowy mountain peaks. On a mostly clear day, that view was just too beautiful not to share.


The Ranch Hands and I wish you a lovely weekend. Please stay safe, keep smiling and wash those paws. We also recommend wearing a mask if you must go out. Shopping trips have turned into a gigantic scavenger hunt. Some items you find, others remain elusive. I’m learning how to function wearing a mask which makes my face sweaty and fogs up my glasses while simultaneously getting by with less. Norman made his own PSA for staying safe.


Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾

A Little Protection Goes a Long Way

It’s been said, never underestimate the protective qualities Old English Sheepdogs will employ when it comes to their pack. Looks like Norman understands that responsibility by safeguarding this long sought after household necessity. Not wanting his mum to have to start collecting leaves and grasses from the garden, he’s guarding this precious prize like a mob boss. #AttaBoy


This is the first time I’ve seen any “white gold” available in any store over the past four weeks. And who’d have thought buying a simple package of toilet paper could make a person so happy?!  I nearly walked past the pallet, now a  single entrance (have your stores clamped down on how you’re allowed to enter and exit stores?). For the most part, I had pretty much forgotten what TP packaging looked like. So let’s see, I could buy a single pack of 12 rolls of which there were many, or I could rearrange the pallet to pull up one of three packs containing 24 rolls from the bottom. Yeah, of course, I rearranged…are you crazy? Who knows when I’ll be out again shopping at an unholy hour, let alone whether or not supplies will be available? It’s called, a roll bird in the hand, people!

Apparently being of a…ahem…certain age group has some benefits since I recently learned I could shop during an hour that is reserved strictly for ‘old ladies and curmudgeons’ (aka seniors) at 6 AM on Tuesdays. Other than it was still a tad dark out, it wasn’t a bad experience at all. I didn’t know what to expect…would there may be mass hysteria or an all out brawl in the TP isle like some sort of insane Black Friday event or what. What I found though was a single pallet carefully positioned near the front entrance…right next to the security guard station. Coincidence? Maybe, but stores have begun to clamp down on panic buying by entire families coming in and each member snapping up limited supplies. Now there’s a single purchase rule PER FAMILY in place (such as it can be enforced). What I did notice throughout the store from the cashier, stocking clerks and other associates offering assistance for finding items, was that everyone was extraordinarily cheerful, kind and helpful in the face of what is becoming a stressful situation during in a global pandemic. Perhaps they were just grateful to still be employed unlike far too many others who have been furloughed or laid off, but every single person I encountered left me with positive feelings. In fact, I may never shop during daylight hours again. I couldn’t help but wonder what kind of elixir they started the day out with to be that chipper, so early in the day. By the way, would that be located in Isle 12? I could use some of that.

Not everything on the shopping list was available and the hunt for the ever elusive bag of whole wheat flour continues. The ever dwindling supply in the pantry has not yet reached critical mass, but I remain hopeful that (a) I’ll find another golden pallet near the front of a store soon or (b) that the local, bored hipsters in the neighborhood will have stopped baking and panic buying and gone back to the “simple” life…otherwise known as take out around here.

What would your dog protect if called upon?

Live, love, bark🐾

Pet Safe Soap & Natural Sanitizers for Your Pet

As a subscriber to Vet Dr. Andrew Jones’ YouTube channel, I was delighted to see his latest video where he shared his recipe for keeping pets safe and protected during the pandemic. Would you like to make a pet-safe soap or hand sanitizer that won’t harm your pets and can also be effectively used by peeps as well? Check out these easy-to-make products for yourself. I plan on making some sanitizer once I can get my hands on some aloe vera gel. I was lucky having a bottle of the rubbing alcohol on hand prior to panic-buyers wiping out most store supplies.

Have you made any sanitizer yet? What was your experience? Sit, stay, remain healthy, observe social distancing rules, wash those hands and most of all, keep smiling. The Ranch-hands insist on it.

Elsa & Norman

Live, love, bark! 🐾