Friday, July 31, 2015

The Rodeo Will Have To Wait ...

... because it's a VERY special day here at Ao4 Headquarters!!!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie, and I have a special announcement - IT'S MAGGIE'S BIRTHDAY TODAY!!!!!!!  Yes, it's true - Polargold's Margaret Thatcher, AKA my little Peep - is 2 years old today!!!

"Please join me in wishing Mags a happy birthday!!!"
"Aw, shucks, everybody..."

We've already started the festivities!  We had an early breakfast, then after Mom had hers, we left on a long walk.  Mom and I let Maggie choose the route!

"Let's do a left on the Hudson Trail!"
"Oh, I love this part of the trail!"

We had a great time on the trail, then zig-zagging all over the neighborhoods!

After a nice, long drink and quick cool down ...

Maggie and me, waiting for Mom to get some water, too

... we headed out to the deck!

"There's a little breeze going!"
"It's not too bad here in the shade!"

Mags thought we were just going to chill on the deck, but Mom and I had planned something special - pool time!

"YAY!!!  Pool party!!!  I can dig it!!!"

It was great!  I jumped in, too!

"Ha roo, Cam!"
"Ha roo, birthday pup!"

It was so much fun!

After we got dried off, we came inside and showed Maggie one of her surprises.

"It's a giant box!!!  Oh, you GUYS!"

Mom said it was certainly long enough for both of us girls to get in, too.

"Umm... seriously?  OK, but just because it's her birthday."
"This.  Is.  So.  Awesome!"

I was willing -- but this was a trick box!  It was too tall and narrow for us to get in.  Ha!  Great joke, Mom!

"Ha roo roo roo!  Good one, Mom!"

Oh, don't feel bad for Maggie!  That was just a gag gift.  There was a real one waiting for her in the foyer!  Check it out!!!

"A box WITH crinkly paper?!?!  I'm getting choked up..."

Maggie said it was exactly what she wanted!  We even arranged so there is a bit of a sun-puddle there for her!

There is more celebrating to come - some special gifts AND I understand there is some watermelon waiting for us in the fridge!  We're doing Maggie's big day up right!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAGGIE!!!!!!  We love you!!!!!


Thursday, July 30, 2015

Riley County Fair!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  As you saw yesterday, the Kaw Valley Rodeo was in town!  It comes every year at this time, with the Riley County Fair!  Fortunately for us, the park closest to Ao4 Headquarters is also the county fairgrounds - so it all takes place within walking distance!  Maggie and I got to see both fair stuff and rodeo stuff; I'll tell you about some of what we saw on the fairgrounds today, and Mags will cover the rodeo part tomorrow!

Just the walk to the park itself was great fun, as it seemed to be the morning of the bunny.  Totally exciting!

"DINNER!  Oh... sorry, Mom.
I meant, 'Adorable little bun-bun!'"

Right.  That's what I meant to say.  (Insert innocent whistling sound here ...)

OK!  So, we got to the fairgrounds and it was really cool!  Dad was with us; Maggie was walking him and they went off one way to explore and I headed another way with Mom.  I found something really cool and called Mags over!

"GIANT BEARS!!!  Maggie, come quick!  It's GIANT BEARS!"

Maggie didn't exactly believe me at first.  I mean - giant bears?!?  But then ...

"Like I'm going to fall for ...Great Dane in the morning!  You weren't kidding, Cam!"
"They're behind a fence.  I think we're safe."

I know the fence looks fairly short, but they seemed to respect the boundaries set by it.

After a bit, I found the Ferris Wheel!

"This'll be great fun!  Come on, Mags!"

I met the height requirement ...

Me, by the measuring thingie

... though I would have had to ride with an adult.  That was OK, Mom would have gone with me - but for some reason, it wasn't up and running yet.  I'm not sure why they don't open at 7 in the morning, but they don't.

We walked around a bit more, then hit the concession area!

"Oooh!  Let's get some ice!!!"

After that, it was on to the rodeo! Mags will fill you in on that tomorrow!


Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Some Good News And ...

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Today, I have some good news ... and some even BETTER news!

OK.  So even though Mom keeps our nails and snowshoes trimmed, and even though our tile floor has some texture to it, sometimes we slip.  Mom and Dad bought us a non-slip rug to put by the door so we won't slip going from the laundry room down the one step into the garage!

At first, Cam wasn't sure about it ...

"See?  Check out her ears.  Those are uncertain ears."
"I'm not sure about this.  It's new.  And I might still slip."

Mom let her take things at her own pace, stayed calm, gave rewards ...

"I'm starting to like this thing!"
"See?  Wait ... 'rewards'?  Is she getting treats?"

And before we knew it ...

"I LOVE this!  I'm not slipping!!!"

See?  Happy ears!  The good news is no more slipping!  Ah... but what of the even better news I mentioned?  Step right this way, dear readers!

"Right this way!"


"It came in a BOX!!!"

Mom apologizes for the poor photo of me getting into the box.  She actually - get this - didn't think I'd want to get into this one.  Does she even KNOW me?!!?  I mean - it's a BOX!!!

Yeah.  It's been a box-a-palooza around here!  What great times!  I'm happy about our good news, but am even happier about the even better news!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, July 27, 2015


Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  GREAT news here at Ao4 Headquarters recently -- Mom got me a new box!!!

"SCORE!!!  I love it, Mom!  Thanks!!!"

It was exactly the right size and everything!  Mom must have loved it, too, because she was walking all around it, "squee-ing" and taking tons of pictures.  I was just sitting there, enjoying my new box, when I heard Cam say something.

"What, Cam?!?"

"A new bag, Mags.  Mom got a new bag."

Umm... yeah, whatevs.  We ALL know it's all about the box!!!

"Hey, Mom, could you move your bag and wallet out of my shot, please?

I still think I scored better than Mom!  Anyone want to come over to box with me?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie, here with Serene Scenery Sunday.  I have some photos for you that Mom took yesterday out at Tuttle Creek State Park - and one on the way home - that will hopefully make you feel all kinds of wonderful inside.  It was a hot, hot, hot, humid day.  Mom and our friend Beth saw all kinds of cool birdies, and were delighted to see a couple Green Herons (not common!) and Kingfishers.  Unfortunately, those would be "the ones that got away".  Mom mumbled something about them not playing nice and other non-serene things ... so we'd better get right to what DID hold still for her.  Ready?

First up, a dragonfly:

Widow Skimmer

You know right away the birds are giving Mom a hard time if she's shooting dragonflies.  Just saying.  Moving right along ...

Here's a birdie who held still for a few seconds!

Eastern Kingbird

And shooting through the leaves ...

Female Baltimore Oriole

Here's a tiny Nuthatch, having a bad feathers day:

White Breasted Nuthatch

High in the branches of a dead tree, Mom spotted this guy:

Immature Redheaded Woodpecker

She only knew he was a baby Redheaded Woodpecker because before she could fire off another shot, he took off and joined his family:

Adult Redheaded Woodpecker on top of the utility pole, one juvenile climbing up the pole, and our friend off on the right

Here's another juvenile bird - this one is a bluebird:

Immature Eastern Bluebird

Aren't all of his speckles pretty?  Maybe that's why he wouldn't turn around and face the camera.  He was showing off his pretty markings.  I'll have to remember that excuse ...

The only semi-cooperative heron was this one Great Blue, up in a tree:

Great Blue Heron at Willow Lake

Here's another shot of him:

"It was my day to hold still for you; how did I do?"

He at least held still, but he was mighty far away, according to Mom.

On the way out of the park, Mom stopped to shoot some sunflowers:

Hairy Sunflowers

Mom said she had a great time seeing Beth and walking around the park with her, but the birds (especially the Kingfishers and Green Herons) frustrated her.  Perhaps that's part of why she really appreciated seeing this guy on the way home:

Immature Red Tailed Hawk

He held still and everything!  What a nice birdie!

As for me and Maggie - did we mention it was a hot, hot, hot, humid day?  This is what we did while Mom was out at Tuttle Creek:

"Have fun, Mom.  Don't forget your water.  We'll be here in the air-conditioned house if you need anything."
"I'll keep Maggie out of trouble. Don't forget to douse yourself in bug spray.  Tell Beth hello for me."

It's a tough job, but somebody's got to do it.

If you'd like to see any more photos from yesterday's shoot, please click here to visit the set on Flickr.

Have a wonderfully serene Sunday!


Saturday, July 25, 2015

I Won!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  After our morning walk, Maggie and I like to do the usual - get a nice drink of water, do zoomies in the house, then head out onto the deck with Mom.  Sometimes, we play in the yard with her, sometimes we have a pool party, sometimes we do more zoomies ... and sometimes we combine two or more of those great activities!

The other day, we had a pool party, then decided to do stair zoomies.  It was great fun!

"First one to the top wins!"
"You're on!"

I had Maggie by a snooter, but was able to jump ahead at the finish line!

"I win!"
"Hang on - I've got your prize right here!"

Oooh!  A prize!  Wasn't that sweet of Maggie!  I had no idea there would be a ---


Well, OK.  There may have been a bit of the ol' Bitey Face game thrown in there, too!  All in good fun - and it helped cut down on how much toweling off Mom had to do before we went inside!

Do you have prizes when you play games?