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.

2020

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! 🐾

 

Wednesday Wishes ~ December 23, 2020

It’s mid-way during Christmas week and we wanted to send our best doggone wishes for a Happy Christmas. Christmas this year will look and feel different but our wish remain the same. May peace, joy and love of the season fill your heart this Christmas season and remain throughout the coming year. All the Ranch hands wanted to send their very own best ‘howliday’ wishes.

Norman hopes the glow of Christmas lights brighten your day and your heart.

Christmas

Elsa finds this an odd time of year, because it’s the only time of year in which she can sit in front of a dead tree and eat treats out of a sock (but hopefully not the sock). She also has her paws crossed for a respite from any other photo sessions. Sorry old girl, no promises.

Christmas

Angel Sam also sends his best wishes to you from across the Bridge. Miss and love you, Knucklehead.

Sam

The Ranch will be taking a few days off to relax and reflect on the season.

Christmas

From our family to yours, may the spirit of Christmas shine in your heart and light your path. We thank you for being in our world.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 21, 2020

On this, the shortest Monday of the year, here’s a little something to ponder at the beginning of Christmas week.

Smiles

Do you know Olive? Happy Monday.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 18, 2020

Welcome to Friday where we join our friends, Rosy, her little sister Sunny, as well as her brothers Arty and Jakey from over at LLB in our Backyard to take a gander from around Blogville to see what Mother Nature served up this week. And what a busy week it’s been. We’re busy trying to get ready for the big day next week, baking up a storm and trying to get a couple of photo shoots in between. Not much success and Elsa and I are singing in two-part harmony on both fronts. Hrmph!

Elsa

In true 2020 form, the baking hasn’t gone quite as planned. I threw out a tray of gingerbread cookies this morning that more than slightly resembled holly leaf bricks-ugh. I’m new to baking gingerbread despite having gobs of Christmas cookie cutters and misjudged the timing they needed to bake. Plus (as seems typical of gingerbread and probably why I haven’t made them in the past, too crunchy for my tastes.

We had another small snow storm blow through earlier this week but nothing like the Nor’Easter that dumped on the east coast a couple of days ago. We hope everyone is safe and staying warm. Ole Man Winter may swing by later today but I suspect the forecast has been oversold as the next storm scheduled to arrive later today. Still, we managed to see a little bit of the local landscape around the neighborhood to see how nature is faring.

We pass by this house every day on our walks. It’s a haven for birds but alas, they are the little tiny ones who flit in and out long before a cell phone can even begin to focus on them. But it’s a charming spot which the owners nurture nature with plenty of bird seed, suet and water for a variety of birds who must compete with rascally squirrels looking for their next free lunch. Norman and Elsa find the squirrel action more than a bit enticing and I’ve had to pull them down from the retaining wall (not in view here) around this large Ponderosa pine which has been turned into quite a festive site. I nearly ran into the low hanging ornaments the first day.

Christmas

On the morning of our most recent storm, the ornaments were frosted with accumulating snow.

Snow

We hope you have a fantastic Friday and hope any holiday baking you do goes better than mine has. And if you’re not baking or decorating, I hope you can get out and see what nature has to offer when you ‘run into it.’ Happy weekend!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Meet the Breed ~ December 2020

NormanWelcome to Meet the Breed Monday. Norman here. We’ve been AWOL these past few months with this series (and by ‘we,’ I mean mum, who neglected to help me with research). And every time I was ready to finalize the post, something else came up so here we are. But no more banging on about who dropped the ball…BALL?!?! Wait, somebody’s got my ball?? Sheesh, almost got off track there. Whew.

So let’s see who’s the star of this edition. Which breed shall we highlight this time? Our breed lottery winner for this month is…drumroll please…the affable and regal looking German Shorthair Pointer (“GSP”). Please note, all images in this post are from mum’s son who owned Copper for more than 14 years. We’re sure he greeted Sam at the Rainbow Bridge with the same enthusiasm as when he stayed with us before clearing quarantine for his move to Hawaii 8 years ago.

Dogs
The buddies

According to the AKC, GSP’s are rated the 9th most popular of registered breeds and range in size from 21-25″ high while weighing between 45-70 pounds. Their life expectancy is between 10-12 years.

GSP’s can be summed up in a few words: friendly, smart, and willing to please. Bred to work long days in the field or on the lake, this powerful, agile breed requires lots of exercise. They live to run, swim, and participate in activities involving movement. So, if you’re looking for an active partner, then the German Shorthaired Pointer may be just the right dog for you. They make great family dogs as well.

Dogs
Copper and Kevin spending a day at the beach-that dog absolutely loved the water.

So what’s the history behind the GSP? The German bird-dog tradition dates back to at least the 1700s, with master breeders experimenting with tracking hound–pointing dog crosses in the quest for a quick and powerful hunter with a good nose and plenty of versatility. A key player in the early development of this breed was nobleman, Prince Albrecht zu Solms-Braunfels. The prince and fellow enthusiasts succeeded in creating a do-it-all hunting dog. A breed historian summed up the GSP’s credentials as being “a staunchly pointing bird dog; a keen-nosed night trailer; a proven duck dog; a natural retriever on land or water, with pleasing conformation and markings, and great powers of endurance; and an intelligent family watchdog and companion.”

GSP hunts a variety of quarry: gamebirds, possum, rabbit, raccoon. With  webbed feet and a sleek but sturdy construction, the GSP punctates his résumé as one of dogdom’s finest swimmers.

Dogs
Note the drool bomb in anticipation of getting into the water

GSPs make happy, trainable pets who bond firmly with their families. They’re always up for physical activity that will burn some of their boundless energy while spending outdoor time with their human buddy.

Dogs
Sweet ole ‘sugar-faced’ Copper-2012 making himself comfy in Sam’s bed

Do you have any experience with this great family and hunting dog?

Remember if you’d like your dog featured in our “Meet the Breed” series, be sure to email photos to mum so she can feature your good dog in a future post.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 14, 2020

Wait…it’s Monday already? Blech! How’d that happen?!?! Well however this sorcery came about, it’s time to start out the week with a smile. With the Winter Solstice a mere week away and Christmas just a few days later, let’s lean on a holiday-themed smile, shall we?

Smiles

Here’s hoping your pup catches you ‘under the mistletoe’ multiple times this week. Happy Monday!

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 11, 2020

Welcome to Friday where we share bits and bobs of nature scenes around our neighborhood. So let’s get started and join our weekly hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on their link to check out what Blogville dished out for everyone’s enjoyment at their blog hop.

This week has been a dream for December weather. On Wednesday our temps were just shy of 70F and like a welcome mat to go for a mid-afternoon walk before the sun dips and cooler temps arrive. As I was walking the dogs along our usual route, we happened past a spot of bright yellow that caught my eye. At first glance I thought it might be a discarded wrapper but when I stopped to look closer, this is what I found.

Flowers

I think this is a primrose that may have reseeded itself with the warm temps. The name comes from the Latin word “primus” meaning “first” or “early” and primrose do tend to be one of the first blooming plants in spring. Its leaves and flowers are edible and can be served in salad form. Young flowers of primrose have also been used in the manufacture of wine.

I’ve never grown primrose myself but decided to do a bit of research on this charming December surprise. Primrose are a herbaceous plant that belong to the family Primulaceae (primrose family). Originating from Europe, primrose prefer moist but well-drained soil in partial shade. Primrose typically blooms from March to May. In mild winters, it could begin blooming in December though I suspect this one was protected enough to rebloom. You typically wouldn’t see this little gem blooming in December in Denver’s Zone 5.

Primrose was historically used in treatment of paralysis, gout and rheumatism. These days, a tincture of primrose can be used in the treatment of insomnia, restlessness, headache and cough. More historical info about the tiny primrose is that it was used in the preparation of magic potions during the Middle Ages. As a perennial plant, Primrose Day is celebrated on 19th April in the United Kingdom. I’m either early or late depending on your perspective.

We hope you enjoyed seeing a spot of color from our otherwise drab landscape and hope you can enjoy some outside time this weekend. We plan on staying busy in the kitchen making Christmas goodies because this just began a little bit ago.

Snow

Yup, snow. Welcome to the wild and wacky world of weather in Colorado. Have a great weekend and stay safe.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ December 9, 2020

Sunrise

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ December 7, 2020

Smiles

We hope you have a smile-filled week. Happy Monday from the Ranch hands.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ December 4, 2020

Welcome to the first Friday of the last month of one helluva year. We’re joining our Nature Friday weekly hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard. Don’t forget to click on their link, to see what they and others around Blogville have discovered in nature this week.

It’s been another busy week with loads going on around the Ranch. It also was a bit on the chilly side. Yesterday was so ‘crisp’ with the wind chill that when I walked the dogs in the morning, one side of my glasses not only fogged up, it frosted for the majority of our 2 mile walk-about. It’s hard to see spots of nature through permafrost, although the ice crystals were pretty cool. Literally.

I’ve been busy working on Christmas gifts, a bit of organizing (out of necessity-where DOES all that junk come from??) and finding some holiday spirit…as in looking for holiday lights. Junk I can find, but Christmas lights and decor seem to be MIA. All of which has conspired to keep me from finding much in the way of nature in the ‘Hood.

Although I did happen to notice some ‘wildlife’ a couple of days ago on our walk and did a double take when I saw a deer from a block away, so naturally we had to investigate it up close.

WildlifeI’m in awe of how some people go all out for holidays. These neighbors had quite the front yard scene at Halloween (pirate skeletons having a garden party) and now they are working on Christmas. This is the largest outdoor blow up decoration I’ve ever seen and I’ve never found any there weren’t all vinyl or plastic. This guy had fuzzy fur!  Of course, deviating from our usual route tends to cause all sorts of canine consternation for Elsa who wasn’t all the keen on getting too close to Rudolph, though she eventually did give it a perfunctory mini sniff and then promptly looked away as soon as I pulled out my phone. Elsa, Elsa, Elsa {head shaking}. Why do you always have to look away as soon as the shutter is released?

Norman on the other hand seems perfectly content to stop, sniff, and cast his best pose. This guy needs to find a modeling agent.

We hope you are able to get out and enjoy some of the nature’s beauty or at least, check out some amazing holiday decorations this weekend.

Nature Friday

Live, love, bark! 🐾