Conversation with an Angel

Ahem…you-hoo?

Elsa: Huh? Wha…

Psst…Elsa…you awake?

Elsa: {yawn, stretches, shakes head looking around} Sam??? Is that you?

Norman: Hello there, mate.

Sam: Hi guys, good to see you.

Elsa: Wait…what are you doing here? I thought you crossed the Bridge?

Sam: I did, but I watch over you guys, especially mom. She still seems so sad that I asked the powers to be if I could drop in and have a chat to see if we could make her feel better.

Elsa: Yeah, she is pretty sad; there’s waterworks nearly every day thinking about you. She really misses you.

Norman: We do try our level best to make her feel better, but I think you must have had an extra special place in her heart.

Sam: Yeah, I was her heart and soul dog and miss her too. Ours was a special bond and I feel so badly she’s hurting now. But let’s see if, by working together, we can make her feel better. You guys in?

Elsa and Norman: {in two-part harmony} Woof, woof! Let’s do it.

Sam: Cool. Ok, first we have to take care of a few matters from my estate which was settled in probate court.

Elsa: Estate? Probate? Dude, what in the world are you talking about-you don’t own anything.

Sam: Um…that’s not entirely accurate, Ninja. I’m here to read my Last Will and Testament dividing all my worldly goods between you and uh…the new guy, what’s his name?

Norman: Uh…sir, for the record, it’s Norman.

Sam: Oh yeah, right. Where were we?

Elsa: Never mind, already taken care of it…its all mine.

Norman: She’s right, you know. She pretty much owns everything around here and is especially not very keen about sharing any of it.

Sam: Well, my Last Will and Testament will take care of that. Legally anyway. Let’s begin the reading, ‘kay?

Last Will and Testament

Elsa: If it makes you feel better, but know everything is still mine.

Sam: {eyes rolling} Ahem…”I, Yosemite Sam McDonald, veteran Pet Therapist and all around Good Dog, being of sound mind do hereby leave the following personal effects to my survivors. To my sister, I leave my comfy bed from the living room, who I note for the record, bogarted it frequently while I was still around, despite having her own large comfy sofabed.

Norman: Yeah, she did kind of take over your spot, mate…although mum swears she’s seen you out of the corner of her eye sleeping in it a couple of times when the golden afternoon sunlight shines on it.

Sam: Oh good, I’m kind of new to this whole angel thing of how to send signs letting her know I’m still with her. Yup, that was me. As a Bridge newbie, I haven’t had a lot of training yet as to how to send signs to your loved ones but I have managed to pick up some tricks from watching others.

Elsa: Someone is trying to train you? Hahaha…this should be a hoot. Hope they have better luck than mom did. She always did say you were either stupid or stubborn. Personally, I always had my own suspicions but that’s another story. Either way, it’s probably a fine line in your case.

Sam: {clears throat} Well, I see you haven’t changed much, have you? Anywho…let’s get on with the rest of the worldly possessions.

Norman: Yes, please do…was wondering if there are any bits and bobs you might have for me?

Sam: Yes, bro…I thought of you as well. I hereby bequeath all my toys to you.

Norman: Jolly good, dear brother! But being a proper British bloke, I confess, I did kind of help myself to the toy basket. The little sister was none too happy with me because apparently I didn’t recognize which ones were her favorites and hers alone.

Toys

Sam: Oh yeah, I should have mentioned that before. You definitely want to avoid that hot pink slipper. And anything that squeaks. Those are her favorites and trust me dude, she’ll kick your tailless tush if you try to take any.

Norman: Right-o sir…I discovered that…the hard way. I say, good chap…who knew such a sweet face could be so…vicious?!

Sam: Yeah, you do want to stay on her good side. That’s just one of the reasons why we call her a Ninja Warrior.

Elsa: You both got that right and if you try to take my slipper I’ll chew you a new one. Got that, you gigantic British dolt?

Norman: I say, dear sister. There’s no need for name calling. I’m just trying to fit into the Ranch bunk house by familiarizing myself with stuff and (so far) I haven’t destroyed any toys, even though my jaws are quite able to tear the stuffing out of any of them or you should I so desire.

Elsa: {Gasp!} You better pray you don’t destroy any of my toys, pal! Although that’s rather laughable…you might be big, but remember that I’m a Ninja so don’t even think twice about it, chump!

Sam: Okay, okay, look I don’t have all day here and I didn’t come down here to host Mixed Martial Arts. Now that we’ve taken care of the physical property, let’s get on with my lasting legacy.

Elsa and Norman: Legacy? Are you joking?

Sam: Nope, I was thinking the best way to make mom smile again is for you guys to channel my very best enduring behavior so she’ll know I’m still with her, even if it’s just in spirit. See, I was thinking…

Elsa and Norman: {in unison} You were…thinking? {raucous laughter} How could we possible replicate your most annoying enduring behavior? Mom said you were one of a kind.

Sam: I’ll have you know was a model citizen on our walks, in fact everywhere…I just displayed certain “skills” that mom found particularly enduring when she needed a smile…or something.

Elsa: “Something’ is right! I suppose you mean something like moving as far away from her when pooping…oh…and bonus points if it’s in the absolutely deepest snow you could find.

Sam: P.r.e.c.i.s.e.l.y. I know she muttered some HBO words but I knew perfectly well she thought it was ‘charming’ and know for a fact that she. loved. it, okay?

Norman: Oh mate…that’s a load of tosh! She specifically told me NOT to ever do that (among other things you used to do). Like make sure I don’t poop in front of someone’s sidewalk leading up to their front door. She was especially specific about that one.

Sam: Nonsense Norman, she loved that about me. Why do you think I did that every chance I could? Now Elsa, if you could just stretch the leash as far away from her whenever you’re crossing a street. I’ve noticed she isn’t doing enough upper body workouts and that way she’ll have to bench press you closer to her to work those puny biceps. Sheesh, I’m gone three months and the woman’s let herself go to pot.

Elsa: Hmm, I guess I could do that. I do want to do my part making her feel better so if that means channeling some of you, I’ll do it.

Norman: Right Gov…I’ll raise my leg on all your favorite spots and try to do my part on the poop parade…per your instructions.

Sam: {eyes rolling} Umm, yeah, we don’t say ‘Gov’ around the Ranch, Norman. We just say…

Live, love bark! 🐾

Angel Sam

Nature Friday ~ April 17, 2020

It may be April 95th but if the calendar is correct, it’s still Nature Friday which occurs even during the pandemic. So that must mean we’re joining our friends, Rosy and her brothers from LLB in Our Backyard  (click on their link to see other posts from around Blogville) all the while maintaining social distancing. Pandemic or not, there’s still beautiful aspects of nature out there to enjoy virtually, right? 

SnowToday is a beautifully clear blue sky day (albeit with the windchill hovering at 16, quite chilly). The forecast though is calling for a high of 50F so the garden should get a nice cocktail from the melting.

After going from flowers to flakes (as in snowflakes) in a matter of hours, it snowed yesterday. Again. And what a storm! Officially the city was blanketed with a foot of heavy, wet snow though I think it’s more like 6-8 inches here at the Ranch. Early yesterday morning, the visibility was so limited, it was hard to distinguish where the roofline of my neighbor’s house  ended and the sky began.

Snow

The flower scene really hasn’t changed much this past week but some of the chalk art has been impressive. If you follow us on Instagram (you do follow us, right?), you know I’ve posted images from along our daily walks and some very impressive chalk art has been showing up in the ‘hood. Many are created by people just trying to fill boredom during the pandemic, some are just there to inspire or make you smile. Either way, it’s been nice to see how  neighbors continue to deal with the stay-at-home restrictions. Nature isn’t the only artist around.

Chalk art

Chalk art

Norman is hopeful today that the weekend offers more spring-like beauty with far more mileage than we experienced yesterday. What are your plans for the  the weekend? Hopefully you can get out and enjoy some of the beauty nature offers this time of year. Without the white stuff, of course and at a safe distance.

Norman

Nature FridayLive, love, bark! 🐾

Bedhead Monday

Yawn…please don’t tell me it’s Monday already. Ugh. Think I need a spot of a groom to deal with this bedhead look.Norman

This is no way to usher in a new week. Any chance they make Sheepdog mousse? It’s bad enough that it’s snowing again, but to look this bad on top of it…argh!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Some Bunny Loves You

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).

Easter

Chag Sameach, Happy Easter!

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

Norman

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🐾

Monday Musings ~ April 6, 2020

We’ve begun to notice a certain “large beast” around the ‘Hood who’s been adapting to the natural habitat. Norman

Elsa wasn’t particularly keen that her special space had been co-opted by the likes of said beast. Not that he seemed to care one whit.

Wishing you a lovely Monday. We’re beginning to look forward to a visit from the Easter Bunny. I wonder what he’ll look like?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In Purrsuit of Flavours ~Inaugural Post

Have you heard…a new blog hop called “In Purrsuit of Flavours” debuts today. Norman wanted to do the honors so he donned the chef’s toque and apron. I’ll let him share our recipe with the international hosts, Chef Shoko from The Canadian Cats, and French Chef Phenny from Easy Weimaraner. Don’t forget to check out all the links for some pawsome recipes. Take it away Norman.

NormanHello mates, today I’m super chuffed to share this tasty and easy to prepare dish that would be pawfect for Easter brunch. Mum calls it the Kitchen Sink Quiche for reasons you’ll understand from the ingredient list.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 sheet of puff pastry (half of one a 17.3-ounce package),
  • Cube bits of ham for meat eaters or chop vegetarian sausage for the vegetarians (or whatever kind of meat or substitute you have on hand)
  • 1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 3/4 cup grated Monterey Jack cheese. We always add grated Parmesan to the jack, because, well it’s Parm and nothing tastes better
  • Small chopped zucchini, red and green peppers, broccoli, mushrooms or whatever veggies may have on hand
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary which will make this quiche  gobsmackingly tasty
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt or sour cream

INSTRUCTIONS

  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Unfold pastry sheet on a pie dish or lay it flat on a baking sheet and create a rectangular quiche.
  3. Place meat (or substitute) first on the pastry sheet.
  4. Pour your egg, cheese and yogurt mixture over toppings over the puff pastry. Bake until pastry is golden brown and toppings are set, about 18-22 minutes.
  5. Start licking your chops while you wait for this tasty concoction to be served

Tips:

  • Meat and veggie ingredients are dependent on what you have on hand or what you prefer in your quiche ~ remember the name-use whatever you have-be creative.
  • If the edges start to brown but the quiche is still jiggly, cover the edges with foil until fully cooked and firm. Nobody likes jiggly-wiggly eggs.
  • Mum’s all about this dish looking ‘rustic’ (a fancy way to say it looks like you meant for it to look less than pretty) and rarely bothers with fancy crust edges.

Now how simple, quick and versatile is that? Feel free to substitute or add whatever meat/vegetable ingredients you have in your pantry. No dog hair was served on the side with this ‘kitchen sink’ meal.

Recipes

Happy noshing, mates!

In Purrsuit of Flavours

https://www.linkytools.com/thumbnail_linky_include.aspx?id=297067

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! 🐾