Who We Are

Friday, January 31, 2014

Photo Finish Friday

Ha roo, pups and cool cats. It's me, Zim. Mom said these photos of my sisters and I...




... reminded her of this:

Funny, Mom!

We'll pay her back for it; have no fear.  Have a great weekend, everyone!

Play bows,

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Training Run!

Greetings to all, it's me, Maggie!  The other day, Mom took me on something called a "training run".  Oddly enough, there was no running involved except for before we left - so that's the "run" part.  The "training" part involved riding in the car and stopping by the vet school.  Here's how it went!

I got all buckled in and was ready to roll in no time:

"All set, Mom!  Let's go!"

I've decided I quite like car rides, much to Mom's delight.

"Can we turn on the air conditioning?  No?
How about the vent then, since it's a balmy 20 degrees outside?"

Mom can be very stubborn sometimes.  I decided to nap with my head on the gear shift.


I think it would have been more enjoyable if Mom drove an automatic instead of a 5-speed standard transmission.  She kept making me move my little head!

When we got to the Veterinary Health Center at Kansas State University, we went in and I got to meet a few people, jumped on the scale for a weight check, and basically just had a fun trip so I get comfortable going there.

We didn't take any pictures inside, but when we got outside, Mom wanted to take my picture in front of the sign.  She set her purse up on the wall and asked me to sit.  I decided I should jump up on TOP of the wall instead!  Check out my pose:

Me - Polargold's Margaret Thatcher

Mom was impressed that I jumped up there all by myself.  It's about 3-4 feet high.

I also posed on a bench and ... wait a minute.

"There's someone back there!"

I had to check it out!

"Oh, yeah.  I remember now!"

It's a statue.  You can see Cammie posing by it at this link.  Mom tried to get me to pose by it, but I didn't want to.

We got back into the car and Mom said we could take the scenic way home!

"Are we going where I think we're going?"
"I can smell the sea air!!!"

Do you all know where we went?!?  Yes!  To the Kansas Ocean!

"It's frozen solid, Mom!"

It was a great training run.  I just love going in the car - and seeing all the kind people at the vet school!

Thanks for coming with me!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Wordless Wednesday



Play bows,
...and Cammie!
...and yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


Hello, everyone. It's me, Cammie. I've got to tell you, on top of lots of walks and playtime, and after Maggie's big, long PMQs yesterday, we're all pretty wiped out around here!


We need to just relax on the deck for a bit. Right, Zim?

"Oh, yeah, Cam.  I just want to enjoy this gorgeous sky for a bit."

Yep. We're just going to kick back for a while.

"I'm not tired, Cammie!  Want to play?!?"

OK.  Some of us are more tired than others.


Monday, January 27, 2014

PMQs, Session One

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with my first installment of PMQs - Questions to the Prime Minister.  I know it's Monday, and I know PMQs are normally conducted on Wednesdays, but (a) I'm a puppy and (b) I'm a Siberian Husky.  That's right.  Two very good reasons to break the rules!  Besides, the way Google and Blogger have been about updates to the feed lately, some of you might not even see this until Wednesday!  Anyway - let's proceed!

Our first question today comes from our dear friend and fellow Sibe Typhoon over at the Thundering Herd. He wanted to know, "Why are the humans always asking when we are going to grow up? I like being a puppy and I am almost 2 years old." Oh, what a good question! I've been wondering that myself! All of us still act like puppies and it's FUN!  I'm sure the humans just want to enjoy the puppy spirit to its fullest.  I mean, my brother Zim is 14 and he still has lots of puppy-ness in him!  It makes our parents smile; I'm sure it's the same Chez Herd!

"Ooh!  What did you find, Zimmie?!?!"
"Smooshed ornamental fruit!  Snarf it down fast, Mags, before Mom can grab it out of your mouth!"

I think your humans are just asking to be polite and secretly hope you hang onto puppyhood as long as possible! 

Lily had a question for Cammie!  She asked, "Cammie, how is the training going with little squirt?"  Take it away, Cam!

"Stay right here, Maggie."
"Yes, ma'am."

Thank you, Maggie.  Lily, by "little squirt", I assume you mean our mom?  I've been here, what, about 9 months now?  Her training is coming along quite well - I seem to have her right where I want her!

"C'mon, Cam.  Do you need to do your business?"
"No, Mom, I'm fine.  I just said I wanted to come outside; I didn't say I needed to do anything."

Thanks for asking, Lily!  Back to you, Mags.

Our third question comes from that wonderful Dachsie duo Frankie and Ernie!  They wanted to know, "When is Spring coming?" Spring came yesterday, here at Ao4 HQs.  It was sunny, over 60 degrees, and just a slight breeze.  We spent a lot of time out on the deck with Mom.

"Don't worry, Maggie.  Nicer weather is on the way!"

Then, yesterday evening, the winds shifted, a cold front blew in, and our temps dropped by 60 degrees!  YEA!  It even snowed a bit!  So... Spring came, but then it left.

Our dear friend Molly had an excellent question!  Her query was, "Should one remain on the straight and narrow as the lady is not for turning????? What happens if I know a squirrel is behind me? Can I do a u-turn??? Does this mean I have no conviction in the path I choose previously? Tricky stuff MT." Tricky, indeed, Molly!  As you well know, the Lady's not for turning!

Walking the straight and narrow, not turning!

There are times, however, that turning in the literal sense, rather than the figurative sense, is entirely appropriate! In your case, for getting the jump on a squirrel; in my case ...


... a sneak attack on Aunt Cammie.  U-turns are unexpected and can be a great weapon in your arsenal!  Use them in your squirrel chasing pursuits, Molly, and happy hunting!

Our sweet Airedale friends Mitch and Molly asked, "Have you ever thought of painting your nails purple, Maggie?" Oh, how delightful! If I were to paint my fingernails, I think purple would be a lovely choice! Nail polish doesn't seem to be in my near-future, though. My mom said it doesn't pair well with someone who never sits still.

Me, playing

I'm not quite sure what she meant, but my current hobbies of playing, walking, playing, running, playing, zooming, playing, chewing, and playing sure take up a lot of time in my schedule, so maybe she just means that we can't fit it in right now.

Question number six is from Isabella and Angel over at the Beaded Tail.  They asked, "Do you like kit kats?" I'll assume you don't mean the chocolate covered candy bar, since chocolate is one of the very serious "nononoMaggienonono" things. As per feline kitty cats ... I think I do! I certainly have had a warm welcome from all of our kit-cat blogging friends - so a BIG yes to all of our fellow bloggers! But neighborhood kitties? I have to say, so far, so good! I got about 5 feet away from Zimmie's friend Fluffy Black Cat and did fine! Mom and Zim were quite pleased! Aunt Cam wasn't available for comment.

"FBC?!?  It's me, Maggie!  Are you out here?!?
No... Aunt Cammie is in the house - really!"

Our next question is from those fun-loving Golden Doodles, Fiona and Abby!  They wanted to know, "Why does our Mom have to have a camera on hand ALL THE TIME? If it's not her new one, it's her old pocket point-and-shoot, and she just got Dad's old DSLR fixed so she can use that, too. Yes, we are beautiful, but it seems like Mom can't throw a frisbee without a camera in her hand. Is it a sickness? Can she be cured? Or is she going to just have to keep buying more and more external hard drives to store all the photos?"  First of all, yes, you two certainly ARE quite beautiful! And I think all of us here at Ao4 Headquarters understand where you're coming from on this Photo Bug thing!  When Cammie and I each got here, Zim briefed us on it, since our mom has a similar condition.  Basically, no, it cannot be cured.  He told us just to get used to it - and to learn to use it to our best advantage.

"Come on, Mom!  There could be birdies down this way!  Really!"
"Oooh!  Was that a flock of Snow Geese?  Hurry, Mom!"

Isn't Zim smart?!!?  An extra walk for him and Cammie, all in the name of photographing birdies!

Our Aunt Shelli asked us, via email, "Have you met Roger, Maggie?"  As some of you know, Roger is a stuffed rat from Australia who resides in Mom's Quilt Studio.  Zim's bestest friend Huffle Mawson sent him to live here at Ao4 HQs.  Cammie got to meet him not too terribly long ago, but I hadn't met him yet.  I thought Aunt Shelli had a great idea there, and the next time I was down in the Studio, well ... Mom made a wild throw with my Hol-EE Roller ball and ...

"Hey, what's this?  Some kind of hamster ball?  This looks like--"

"Helpppppp!!!!  Hellllppppp!"

I don't think we need to discuss this any further.

Our last question for this session of PMQs comes from our cute friend Sasha! She inquired, "Maggie, do you think I should have my favorite cookie every day after supper or after lunch or(hopefully) both??" Oh, Sasha! Your favorite cookie!?! Not only should you get one after lunch AND supper, but you need one for a bedtime snack, as well. Seriously. Just look at your mom like this:

"Sigh.  I'm so sad.  And hungry."

Use those big, brown eyes of yours with gusto!  Your mom will be doling out extra treats in no time!

This concludes PMQs for this session.  I hope my answers have been satisfactory.  Please feel free to leave any further queries in the comments section or zip us an email!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone, it's me - Cammie!  Zim, Maggie, and I drew straws to see who would do today's post.  Figuratively, of course; a certain little almost 6-month old might be prone to eat straw.  Anyway - these photos are from a trip Mom and our friend Beth took to Tuttle Creek State Park last weekend. We did not get to go. Having said that, the photos did help us feel serene. We hope they will do the same for you!

While Mom waited for Beth at the rendezvous point, she saw lots and lots of Canada Geese flying overhead:


Before hitting Tuttle Creek, they decided to go to the Rocky Ford Fishing Area. On the way there, they stopped to photograph an old, stone barn.

Beef.  It's what's for DINNER!
Sorry.  I don't know what came over me.

...and its residents.

Here's a shot of the area below the dam at Rocky Ford:


Does it look cold? It was supposed to be nice that morning. It was! For Siberian Huskies like us. Fortunately, Mom had tucked a hat and gloves in her pocket. It got COLD and windy!

Over at Tuttle ... Mom liked these dried Milk Weed pods:


This Great Blue Heron looks like he was playing Hide And Seek!


Down in the Big Blue River, Mom saw some Gadwalls swimming by:


There were Mallards swimming in one of the channels:


There had been some Canada Geese there, too ...


... but they left.

Another Great Blue Heron was having a hard time walking across the ice on the River Pond:


Doesn't he look a bit worried? Check this out:

"Uh... uh... no, I've got this!  I've.  Got.  Thiiiiiiiis!"

There were a couple big flocks of geese that Mom photographed. These guys were right by that Heron:

IMG_2667 CanadaGeese Mallards CacklingGeese Greater White-Fronted Geese

After she processed the photo, she realized there were also Mallards in there, plus Greater White-Fronted Geese and Cackling Geese! (The White-Fronted Geese have the orange bills and legs; the Cacklings look like Cananda Geese, only smaller -- and shorter bills! She had help IDing them from a group on FB!)

This lone Canada Goose looked very serene:


I hope you're feeling serene, now, too.


Time to go!


PS: If you'd like to see the full set from that day, please click here.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

The Saturday PhotoHunt - Vast!

Ha roo, pups and cool cats!  It's me, Zim.  We decided to take part in The Saturday PhotoHunt.  This week's word is "vast".  Who better to head out with Mom in search of something vast than your favorite explorer pup?!?  Let's get going!

"OK, let's get going, Mom.  
No... I can see fine out of the side view mirror!  You're clear.
Oh.  Oh.  I get it."

After an adjustment or two, we were ready to roll.

"Did you bring my sunglasses?"

We thought "vast" called for getting out of the neighborhood!

"Oh, yeah, Mom!  I think just beyond this little hill."

"Almost there!"

Whether it's our incredible Kansas sky, the rolling Flint Hills in the distance, or the warm, wide-open prairie ... this says "vast" to us:


"My work here is done!"

I hope you enjoyed our take on "vast"!

Play bows,

PS:  For more on The Saturday PhotoHunt, please click here!  Join in the fun!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Photo Finish Friday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Yesterday, Mom expressed her desire to head out to Tuttle Creek State Park.  It was cold, cold, cold out, so she and Dad thought it might be a good day to see Eagles.  We took her for a walk before she headed out ...

"I think we need to beef up security, Cam!"
"Mmm... BEEF!"

... and discussed stepping up her security a bit.

After a short conversation, we reached a decision - one of us would guard Dad and Mags back at Ao4 Headquarters and Mom would take "the big guns" with her to Tuttle.

"Who did you THINK I was talking about?!?"

That's right - me!

There was someone right by the dam outlet when we pulled up.  I mind-melded Mom a "be careful" message; she considered going elsewhere until she saw who it was -- our friend Beth!  How cool is that?!?  As Head of Security, this pleased me very much!  (And I'm not just saying that because something Beth said reminded Mom that she had Zuke's treats in her pocket.  Really!!!)  Safety in numbers!  Anyway ... back to Photo Finish Friday!

Here I am, being serious:


Pretty good, don't you think?

Sure, there was a pelican down in the river ...

American White Pelican

... but I was working!

"I've got your six, Mom.  
Go ahead and try to get a shot of the heron on the opposite bank while you're at it."

Just because I wasn't looking at it doesn't mean I didn't know it was there.

Great Blue Heron

I was totally in the zone.


Mom said I was a very good girl - I kept her (and Beth!) safe, I was calm and quiet, and Mom got some decent shots.  (For the full set, please click here.)  All in all, a very successful mission!

Thanks for coming along with us!