Who We Are

Monday, August 31, 2015


Hello and good morning, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  I'm here with Mags at one of the entrances to Hudson Trail.

"I still feel half in the bag, Maggie."
"Me, too."
"Just kidding.  Let's GO!"

What can I say? Some of us around here are ready to start the day and some of us would like to be laying on a nice, fluffy, queen-sized bed.


Sunday, August 30, 2015

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  This morning, we took Mom and Dad on a great (albeit foggy) walk to the Kansas Ocean.  We thought we'd take you along with us for Serene Scenery Sunday!

Me and Maggie at the KSO

Mom took Dad's camera so she could get shots of the wildflowers and potential birdies.  Here are some gorgeous Kansas sunflowers to kick things off:

Plains Sunflowers

How about some Snow On The Mountain?

The Snow On The Mountain wildflower, not the snow on the mountain preferred by Siberian Huskies!

And Blue Verbena:

Verbena by the Kansas Ocean

And some colorful Thistle!

Thistle, all dewy from the fog!

We continued on our walk, and when we got even with this road, I stared into the trees off to the left - like this:


Mom couldn't figure out why I was staring, but Dad said I probably saw something.  Mom gave it a second or two, then ...

Wild Turkeys!

I could have tossed in an "I told you so", but with it being Serene Scenery Sunday and all, I declined.

"How could she doubt you?"
"Dad knew!"

It was mighty serene walk!  We hope you enjoyed coming with us!


Saturday, August 29, 2015


Hello, everyone.  It's me.  Cam.  (whispering.)  Over here.

"Shh!  Don't tell my mom!  It's me."

This whole "wearing outfits" thing that I know full-well was instigated by my Auntie Trace (Teddy Westlife's mum) MUST STOP!  Earlier this week, Mom was getting wintery things ready and came across an ear band our grandmother knitted.  Fortunately, I was not in the area, but Maggie was.  You all know what happened, right?  Check it out:

"What's with the babushka, Mom?  I feel like Little Blue Riding Hood."

That remark gave Mom another idea, of course.

My ... what a big snooter you have ...

Sadly, Mom didn't think Mags quite pulled off the whole Big Bad Wolf posing as Little Red Riding Hood's grandmother thing, and so who did they turn to?

"Seriously, Mom?  Sigh.  OK.  Fine.  'Come here, Little Red, and give Granny a kiss.'  Happy now?"

I think that was type-casting and I was not pleased.  I mean, sure, I'm a grandmother - and I'm quite proud of all of my puppies and my lovely grand puppies ... but STILL!  At least when she made my great sisters Jesse and Lucky play the Big Bad Wolf and Little Red Riding Hood, they didn't have to wear granny glasses!!!  (Click here for that post!)  This is out of control!

So yesterday, Mom was going to go downstairs and do some sewing.  She asked if I wanted to come help.

"Umm ... 'Cammie'?  Haven't seen her."
"What's up, Mom?  I'll help!"

So I stayed and helped Dad while Maggie went downstairs to the Studio.

Maggie said they had fun down there - a LOT of fun!  Mom made a cool basket out of fused plastic bags.  Somehow, part of it ended up up-side down, but Maggie thought that would make a better liner anyway!  This was Maggie's proposal for the outside of the basket:

"Awesome, Mom!  Way to recycle!"

I was done helping Dad by the time they got back upstairs and made the mistake of wanting to see what they'd been working on.  What was I thinking?!?

"If this was a bit wider, I could do an awesome Napoleon imitation."

She didn't like the Napoleon look, so she tried something else.

"Hey, look!  It's the Good Humor pup!  I scream, you scream, we all scream for--"
"Isn't it Maggie's turn, Mom?"

Mom indeed thought Maggie should share in the fun.  Oddly enough, Maggie seemed to have disappeared.

So anyway, both Mags and I are laying low, hoping Mom will forget about Auntie Trace's challenge.

"OK, I've got Dad's Desert Storm hat.  I need to get those sunglasses from Cammie, then I should be good to go."

Anyway ... no idea where Maggie is. And of course, I'm totally incognito, so there's no way Mom will find us.  Right?

Have a great weekend!


Friday, August 28, 2015

The Elm, The Supervisors, and Other Things

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie! Did you enjoy Maggie's post about our Elm tree being taken out? It was quite the feat! We also put together a video for you. It shows the tree removal from beginning to end (don't worry, we did a super-speed thing!) and how our supervising went. If you'd like to see it, here it is:

If that doesn't play, please click here to watch it on YouTube.

Very exciting morning. And everyone was safe. Perfect!

In other news, we've had some beautifully cool mornings recently, so Maggie and I have been taking Mom on some wonderful walks! Here we are, posing at the trailhead on one of them:

Me and Mags, very happy at the Hudson Trail

We are SO READY for the cool weather!!!

Have a great day, everyone!


Thursday, August 27, 2015

Elm Be Gone!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags!  We've been meaning to tell you about some excitement here at Ao4 Headquarters from a couple weeks ago.  Some of you might remember back in November, we had some guys come take a couple of our pine trees away?  Well, they came back!

"Umm... Mom?  You might want to see this."

I knew that door would come in handy!  How else would Mom and Dad have known the guys were driving through her garden and onto the lawn?  And, no.  It's not like I barked or anything; we don't do that.  I did stare, though.

Apparently, Mom and Dad knew they were coming.  The tree in question this time?  Our King's Choice Elm:

King's Choice - but not mine - Elm

The neighbors' Weeping Willow was planted after our Elm, but it was choking it out, and both trees are just a mess. Or the Elm was. Anyway, it needed to go.  Long story.

They couldn't get the truck down to the back yard, so they parked the truck in the front yard and extended their crane even further than when they did the pine - over the house and into the yard!

The truck/crane

They were real careful and didn't kill any of Mom's plants or the grass or crunch a lawn sprinkler head or anything!  Now let's get going on that tree!

Just like before, this one guy Travis was lifted into the tree, so he could hook up a sling to lift the branches out as he cut them.

Travis was in this tree somewhere, hooking up the crane

We were out on the back deck, so we could supervise.  We heard some buzzing, then ...


I mean - check it out!

Tree chunk #1 has lift-off!

Mom had two requests of the crew - please don't get hurt and please don't drop a tree on our house!

"Hey, Cam!  Is this cool or what?!?!"

Here's Travis, going in for the next chunk:

Ready to tackle the next chunk!

We thought he might need our help for this part.

"Safety first, Travis!"
"Yes.  Do be safe, Travis!"

Waiting for them to haul out the section he just cut

And there it goes!  Up and over the house!

This part always made Mom nervous!

Still lots of tree to go!

"I'm not sure how he'd be able to do this without my supervision!"

They lifted the next section up and out.  Mom ran around to the front of the house to shoot that part:


They had their chipper machine in the street, so it went right in and was turned into mulch!

Just one more section and the trunk to go!


All hooked up!

Giving the thumbs up to go ahead and haul it out!

Cam and I managed to supervise and stay busy while the crew worked:

Me and Cam

We have lots of videos of the whole process, too.  We'll try to put those together for you, too.  It was pretty cool.

Here's what the area looked like at the end of the day:

No more Elm!

Mom's plan for that area is to dig out those big bushes (already done, by Dad!), remove the river rock to other parts of the garden, then to plant a wildflower garden! Mom and Dad are already hard at work on it; we'll keep you posted on their progress.  We've been supervising, of course!

Do your bipeds come up with crazy changes for your garden?  Are you as helpful as we are?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Let's Ride!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Remember we mentioned a while back that Dad got us a new vehicle - a Husky Recreational Vehicle, HR-V?!?  What we didn't mention is that Mom also got one for us, only hers had to be ordered and took a while to get here.  It came a while ago.  It's just like Dad's, only blue.  Let's check it out, shall we?

"Let's ride, Mom!"

Isn't the blue cool?  Here's another look:

Our other Honda Husky Recreational Vehicle (HR-V)

Anyway, I thought Mom and I should take hers for a little spin.  I called "Shotgun!" and hopped right in.

"Wait ... you don't have any whacky music in here, do you?"

Seriously.  It's all about the playlist, isn't it?  Fortunately, Mom lined some good tunes up for us.

"Oooh, Donald Fagen.  Good choice, Mom!"

Great cruising music!  Mom told Dad we'd do a recon to find a new BBQ place in town.  I'd never been downtown - it was really cool!

Here's a great game, for those of you who drive through downtown-type areas:  when someone pulls up even with your vehicle at a light, stare at him until he looks at you - then smile!  Once he looks at you and smiles back, do this:

Me, downtown

It is so fun!!! I hope I get to go downtown again soon. I might even be willing to wear the sunglasses for that!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, August 24, 2015

The Madness Must End!

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cam.  This madness must end.  You know what I'm talking about.  Maggie showed you the start of it the other day for Wear Red On Friday.  You'd think after that killer shot of Maggie and me that Mom would stop.  But no.  And now?  She's still at it!  Let me take a selfie to show you her latest.

"Seriously?  I can't even look into the camera for this one."

I'd hate to have to rip up some of these "props" of hers, especially Dad's Kansas State hat, but this must end.  It must end now!!!

Have a great Monday, and beware of moms with cookies.  I mean eat the cookies, but just know your mom might be up to something. 


Sunday, August 23, 2015

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello and greetings, everyone!  It's us, Cam and Maggie, here with this week's Serene Scenery Sunday photos.  This week, we're sharing a bunch of photos Mom took yesterday out at Tuttle Creek State Park.  Are you ready to go birding?

Here's a sweet, little bird, posing on a sign:

Eastern Phoebe

Here's a bird Mom has probably only shot once before:

Yellow Warbler!

Hey, look who's up in a tree!

Great Blue Heron

Speaking of herons, here's another variety:

The ever-elusive Green Heron

Mom said she had to shoot that into the sun, with the birdie in the shadows. She may have used an HBO word to describe the uncooperative nature of this bird. Maybe. (Good chance of it, but let's stay serene!)

Moving right along ... anyone up for a game of volleyball?

Turkey Vulture

Umm ... perhaps another time?

Here's a colorful bird!

Female Baltimore Oriole.  Or a juvenile.  We don't know.

And here's an even more colorful bird!

Red-Headed Woodpecker

Mom whispered to her birding buddy that she'd love to see a woodpecker in that hole, peeking out!

"In here?!?"

Well, he kind of got it backwards, but it was STILL creative and rather cooperative of him!

This guy shared the tree with the Red-Headed Woodpecker:

Yellow-Shafted Northern Flicker

When Mom was driving to another part of the park, she spotted this next guy in one of the little beaver ponds.  She thought he was someone else, so she stopped her vehicle in the middle of the road, threw it into reverse, and backed up to take a shot of him.

This is not an Egret, it is a Great Blue Heron. 

Cool picture anyway, Mom! Even if you have ... (wait for it) ... no Egrets.

And here's a shot of one of our favorite wildflowers!

Snow On The Mountain!

Seriously. Siberian Huskies and Snow On The Mountain - what a great pairing!

Anyway, we hope you feel nice and serene now! Have a great rest of Sunday!

Cammie and Mags!

PS:  If you'd like to see the rest of Mom's pix from yesterday, please click here for the set on FlickR.