(Nearly) Wordless Wednesday

The resident UK Ranch hand ‘leprechaun’ hopes you have a safe and happy St. Patrick’s Day. ☘️ Erin go bragh.☘️

Norman

So does the reluctant leprechaun. Oh Elsa…see…modeling isn’t so bad.

Elsa

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Monday Musings ~ March 15, 2021

Welcome to the 74th day on the calendar, otherwise known as the Ides of March. For a brief historical look, you can check out a previous post about the Ides of March. Clearly the Soothsayer’s abilities did not have much in the way of meteorological skills.

Smiles

It felt like living in a snow globe this weekend. You may have heard the Front Range of Colorado was hit with a monster of a storm. I haven’t seen snow like this since 2003 though this one had the dubious distinction of being a full on blizzard. The airport, public buildings and schools are all closed while we dig ourselves out. The airport is set to open shortly after noon today. The governor called out the National Guard to help rescue stranded motorists and both north/south I-25 and east/west I-70 were shut down yesterday in both directions.

Snow

A good 2 feet of the wet stuff was dumped on the Ranch (official Weather Service tally was listed at 27.1 inches) and we were lucky enough to not have lost power so lots of baking ensued over the weekend. The satellite dish needed multiple clearing off sessions so the dogs and I could veg out in between potty breaks and a few sessions to try to keep the sidewalks from getting too bad. But after making one swipe, by the time I got back to the start, it was covered again.

The accumulation wasn’t all that bad (there have been other storms far worse) but the blizzard-like conditions made any traveling dangerous and treacherous. Even the foolhardy who were bored found cross-country skiing in the street too difficult judging by the fact they took off their skis and carried them home on their shoulders.

Snow
Drifts

Even potty breaks were brief and quick. At one point Elsa showed her displeasure with the small area I shoveled so her breaks would be easier by jumping over into…a deep drift. When she managed to dig herself out, she was covered in snow and looked as though she’d been flocked. I had to laugh out loud as she ran passed me to the back door lickety-split. She apparently wasn’t as amused and immediately began to take out her embarrassment on the first toy she found. RIP little birdy.

Snow

The snow made for a fun weekend and like Elsa, I learned a valuable lesson about snow. Don’t stand directly under the satellite dish when clearing it off. Norman is decidedly not a fan of the white stuff. And my hero neighbor with the snowblower is plowing the sidewalks as I write. Bless that man!

Snow

So how was your weekend?

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 12, 2021

Happy Friday where we’re joining our friends, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard for another Nature Friday blog hop. Don’t forget to “hop” over to their backyard by clicking on the link and checking out all the other images that folks found this week in nature. Nature Friday

While the Mile High anxiously awaits a major storm scheduled to arrive sometime tonight, Elsa continues to look high and low for signs of Spring. The National Weather Service said Denver could expect between 15-24 inches and has issued a winter storm warning for the slow moving storm beginning early tomorrow. Snow should fall through the weekend and end around noon on Monday. Highs will only be in the mid-30’sF which may be a bit of an adjustment after approaching 70ºF earlier this week. The temperature yo-yo continues.

March snow storms are not unusual in Denver; I am reminded of another spring storm that pounded fell on Denver back on St. Patrick’s Day in 2003 when 30+ inches fell. That storm occurred when this was a two sheepdog household and my back was better equipped to shovel massive amounts of snow. Shoveling around these two crazy sheepdogs was always an adventure.

Snow
St. Patrick’s Day, 2003
Elsa
Are you up there, Spring?

Alas, if only Elsa would looked a bit closer to ground level where spring bulbs continue their annual march toward sunny exposures.

Flowers

The same garden that had those lovely reticulated irises and crocuses that I recently posted also has a small patch of miniature daffodils. These guys are the absolute cutest things and are only about 3-4 inches tall. Their bright color always elicits a smile from me in the sea of brown.

Flowers

I mean how cheery is that little cutie pie?

Norman, on the other hand is somewhat less enthusiastic about “Springtime in the Rockies” and has taken a somewhat more laissez-faire attitude when looking for signs of spring usually from the comfort of his sofa. I’m sure he’ll most likely keep me company while I ‘bake up a storm’ in the kitchen as nature unleashes her own storm outside. Fingers crossed the power doesn’t go out. So what are your plans for the weekend?

Norman

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Wordless Wednesday ~ March 10, 2021

Wordless Wednesday
Dusky Silhouette

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Monday Musings ~ March 8, 2021

Monday

To strong women everywhere, Happy International Women’s Day.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ March 5, 2021

Nature Friday

Happy Friday folks! Once again we join our weekly hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see exactly how crazy it has been. Don’t forget to click on the link to check out to see what all Blogville has shared.

Will you lookee here…despite last weeks snow dump, signs of spring are popping up all over. Yay…color me happy!

One of the nicer aspects of our long walks is that the dogs get to sniff around and explore. Elsa is my huntress Ninja and I can always tell when she’s tracking a bunny or squirrel who’s run through a yard. Her nose undulates as her head slowly moves back and forth taking in all those delicious smells. It’s good for her mind as well as her body that she can track critter scents. When she’s looking for a place to pee, she adopts the “Goldilocks…this one is just right” approach, turning in circles over and over and over again. On a cold blustery day it can be maddening and I’m often mumbling, “just pee for crying out loud already.” But it’s her process and somewhat ‘entertaining.’ Norman’s only prerequisite for peeing is ‘yup, looks just fine to me’ method. Corners and trees always receive extra attention, especially now that 95% of last week’s snow has melted and the ground is damp and apparently full of interesting smells.

We normally pass by a few gardens in the neighborhood every day where spring is definitely sprouting. Take for instance these tulips. What an inspiring sight to see tulips after the bitter cold and snow from recent days.

Flowers

Last weeks wild weather didn’t impact the reticulated irises that had begun to bloom or the crocuses either for that matter. They seemed to flourish after the moisture almost in defiance. Look at this bouquet of sunshine!

Flowers

I even noticed a tiny emerging bit of sedum mixed in with the irises.

Flowers

My own garden seems to be waking up too. Yesterday was a chilly day (after a gorgeous sunny and warm Wednesday) with a bit of drizzle but these emerging hyacinths still caught my eye with their bright green color against the brown mulch and leaves. Note to self, time to start cleaning up the flower beds of blown in leaves. Again.

Flowers

Considering the lack of sun exposure in my yard (it’s pretty shady from large trees), this was a most welcomed sight. I can expect there will be lots of victims candidates for Norman’s sniffing sessions in the near future. A word to the wise…lupines…you’ll need to grow strong and expect lots of ‘water’ in the future.

Any big plans to enjoy nature this weekend? Whatever you do, hope your time outdoors is well spent and you are able to catch some visible signs of spring bursting forth in your neck of the woods.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

In Purrsuit of Flavours ~ March 2021

NormanWelcome to the March edition of “In Purrsuit of Flavours” hosted by our ‘fur-bulous’ chefs and hosts, the Weim boys over at Easy Rider and kitties from Canadian Cats in sharing a recipe made in a single pot. Make sure you click on their links to see other recipes being shared. Chef Norman is ready to go!

While I’ve posted this lasagne recipe before, it’s still a good one since everything gets put together in a pot single baking dish. You couldn’t ask for a dish that’s easier or quicker to throw together and perfect for cold winter meals. It’s easy to make whether for 2 or 10 people.

Purrsuit of Flavors

What I love most about this dish is the opportunity to use whatever is on hand. The basic ingredients are ravioli, pasta sauce and shredded cheese. This time I had a couple of different jars of pasta sauce that needed to be used up and was a bit shy of shredded mozzarella cheese so used Parmesan in the layers. First world problems, right? Parm makes everything taste better so I wasn’t particularly heartbroken. I did add some Burrata for the top (like a cherry on top). What is Burrata you ask? It’s an Italian cow milk cheese made from mozzarella and cream. The outer casing is solid cheese, and the inside contains stracciatella and cream, giving it an unusually, soft texture. It’s delicious and every so creamy.

Recipes

Because I’m basically lazy when it comes to cooking, I cut corners wherever possible. I NEVER precook ravioli when preparing this dish.

Recipe

Begin by pouring a layer of your sauce on the bottom and lay the ravioli on top of that first layer. Top with more sauce and sprinkle with your grated cheese on top.

Recipe

Continue layering until you either run out of space in your dish or ravioli. I used a different kind of ravioli this time, triangular shaped filled with spinach and mozzarella. Bake at 400ºF for about 45 minutes. While dinner baked, it allowed me time to make dinner for the Chef and his food critic sister. A quick tossed salad (which I forgot to photograph-my bad), a slice of toasted bread spritzed with a little olive oil to sop up that tasty sauce and voila! a tasty dinner is ready to enjoy.

Food

The best part of this meal was the addition of ooey gooey Burrata on top but this is the first time I’ve used that ‘secret ingredient’ and I’m so glad I did. Sorry for the melted mess. I cut it before it had cooled down for the cheese to form up but let me just say it tasted great.

On a cold night, this meal can really hit the spot with plenty leftover for future meals (yay, no additional cooking-just heat and serve).

Hope you don’t mind the repeat of this recipe, but like I said, it’s quick, easy and can be made as different as your onhand ingredients. Norman says “Bone Appetit!”

Live, love, bark! 🐾

National Read Across America Day ~ 2021

Dr. Seuss

 

Welcome to “Read Across America Day.” Created in 1998 by the NEA, the celebration was created as a way to encourage children to read. Yesterday marked the start of National Reading Month which focuses on motivating kids to read. The annual reading day has typically been held on March 2, Dr. Seuss’s birthday. Even Blogville is celebrating today so be sure to check your favorite blog.

Around the Ranch, “Thing One” and “Thing Two” will celebrate (as soon as they wake up from their latest naps). I recently ordered a couple new dog books and today seems like the perfect time to begin reading them. Having Thing One and Thing Two in my lap will make it all more fun.Dr. Seuss

We hope you’ll celebrate today by reading a book to a child but a fur-kid will work too. Happy Birthday, Dr. Seuss.

Live, love, bark! 🐾

 

Monday Musings ~ March 1, 2021

Welcome to March 1st! Remember, just under 3 weeks until the official arrival of Spring. Color us happy!

Winter has been fine, but to a certain Ninja, it’s become rather boring. It’s a hard rule that bored dogs get themselves into mischief. Notice anything missing?

Toys

So when I came across this smile, it definitely seemed poetic. Elsa has not been amused with my sense of humor. Here’s hoping all your squeakers survive the week.

Smile

Live, love, bark! 🐾

Nature Friday ~ February 26, 2021

Nature FridayWelcome to Friday where we share scenes from nature  around our ‘Hood. Today is the last Friday of the month and its gone full circle crazy. Once again we join our weekly hosts, Rosy, Sunny, Arty and Jakey from LLB in Our Backyard to see exactly how crazy it has been. Don’t forget to click on the link to check out to see what all Blogville has shared.

The week started out with the promise that spring was getting ready to make a glorious entrance. We’ve been keeping an eye out for subtle signs and indeed, things seemed to be moving along nicely.

The sky had been brilliant blue and sunny and highlighted the moon early in the week.

Moon

We pass by a certain magnolia tree every day on our daily walks, it being just a few houses away. Magnolias are not common around here so they always captivate my fascination whenever I see one. For weeks it’s looked like all the other trees in the “Hood and then practically overnight, it began to signal a bit of a change. Check out those buds.

Trees

A couple of days later another garden we walk past also suggested a change might be coming…reticulated irises and a few more crocuses. Despite a sea of brown, those little irises with their vivid pop of color always provide me hope that change is coming.

Gardens

On that same walk, the dogs and I noticed a new visitor and one I don’t see very often. He caught all of our attention because he was fairly low to the ground but moved up the trunk quickly once I pulled my phone out. Apparently he’s a bit camera shy. If I’m not mistaken, he’s some kind of Flicker woodpecker. His little red ‘hat’ provides a nice contrast, don’t you think?

Birds

So the week moved along heading toward the weekend. A weather forecast said we’d probably have a brief storm with 1-4″ of white stuff blowing through. No biggie, this is February, the driest month of the year in the Mile High. Check out what 1-4 looks like to weather forecasters.

SnowWell shut my mouth! I can’t recall a February where this much snow fell at one time. How deep was it? Well here’s some perspective from the front walk.

Snow

Were it not for a good Samaritan neighbor on the next block over, I’d still be shoveling the heavy white stuff. Bless him; he brought his snowblower and made two passes over the whole corner lot along with the rest of the block…on both sides! It gave me time to bake up some cookies for all his efforts as a small token of appreciation.

So from 70ºF early in the week to low teens this morning, reticulated irises to a white landscape, we’ve kind of seen it all this week. The weekend looks promising again though with temps moving toward the 50’s by the end of next week. Excuse me now while I put a neck brace on from the whiplash.

We hope you have a groovy Friday and weekend and enjoy a bit of nature, whatever she doles out.

Live, love, bark! 🐾