Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Thank Heaven!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  So there we were the other night, settling in to watch a little TV.  Dad got down on the floor with me to give me some lovin' and it was just wonderful!  And then ...

IMG_0648CamMags
"No.... I don't want to play Crazed River Otters right now..."
"Ah, c'mon, Cam!  Nothing good's on TV!  Let's PLAY!!!"

She REALLY wanted to play!  She did a lot of roo-roo-rooing and a lot of ha-wooing and tons of play bows and started to try to wrestle ... and I may have tried to jump into Mom's lap at one point.

IMG_0652CamMags
"Save me, Mom!"
"BOOM!"

I mean, we had gone on a long, long walk, had played on the deck, did house zoomies - it had been a full, hot day and I was ready to chill out!

IMG_0658CamMags
"Dad!  Please put something on that Maggie likes!  Please!"
"Ah, c'mon, Cam!  You know you want to play!!!"
"Maggie!  Off the ottoman!  Off!  Maggie?  Oh, never mind..."

And then Dad - the best dad in the world, I might add - hit pay dirt!

IMG_0659MagsTV
"Ooooh!  Father Brown!  I love this show!"

All I can say is thank Heaven for Father Brown!!!

Cammie!

Monday, May 30, 2016

Memorial Day 2016

Memorial Day is the day we set aside to honor our war dead.  It is a day of reverence, reflection, and respect.


We stop to remember those men and women who died in service to our nation so that we may live in freedom.



The hymn Mansions of the Lord
lyrics by Randall Wallace; music by Nick Glennie-Smith

"To fallen soldiers let us sing
Where no rockets fly nor bullets wing
Our broken brothers let us bring
To the Mansions of the Lord
No more bleeding, no more fight
No prayers pleading through the night
Just divine embrace, eternal light
To the Mansions of the Lord.
Where no mothers cry and no children weep
We will stand and guard though the angels sleep
Through the ages safely keep
The Mansions of the Lord."

God bless our fallen service members - and may He comfort their families.

Cam and Maggie

Sunday, May 29, 2016

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Mom took me out back this morning after our walk, zoomies, and a lot of playing on the deck with Cammie.  She actually brought the camera instead of the iPhone this time, so we thought we'd post some of the photos she took. Ready to take a stroll through the back yard gardens?

Let's start here:

IMG_0434MaggieTopTier
"Ready to see what we can see?"

That's up on the top tier.  The morning is the only time there's shade back there.  I mean anywhere in the back yard.

If we do NOT jump off the wall (yeah, Mom; got it...) but walk down a bit into the sunny all the time area, we have lots of different varieties of Sedum.  Here's one I especially like:

IMG_0589LimeZingerSedum
Lime Zinger Sedum

It will get even a bolder green later in the Summer.  It's totally cool.

Oooh!  Quick!  Look up on the power line!

IMG_0404BrownThrasher
Brown Thrasher

There had been two of them on our fence, but they left when Mom got her camera.  Of course.  She was happy when one came back for a snack.  Back to the garden!

Here I am, in front of the Bee Garden:

IMG_0415MagsRussianSage
Me!

Mom couldn't get a good shot of the garden itself; the morning lighting is challenging.  Trust me when I say that one of the Russian Sages in there is about 4 feet tall now!  How exciting!

Let's check out the Friendship Garden next!

IMG_0416MagsFriendshipGarden
Me again!

Some of the Sedum Mom rooted is doing so well that she'll be able to remove the flags marking where they are!  That makes her all kinds of serene!

Let's go down the hill a bit.

IMG_0419MagsGarden
"Before we go any further, I'd like you all to know that I'm only posing because Mom had treats.
And I was a little bit tired."

Anyway ... I was checking out the Wildflower Garden in that shot.  Here's another look:

IMG_0417MagsWildflowerGarden
"Looking good, Mom!"

On the left, that's a Black Eyed Susan; it's ready to bloom!  And on the right, that is a Mesa Peach Blanket Flower.   Let's very carefully go into the Wildflower Garden!

IMG_0422MagsWildflowerGarden
Guess who?

The Coneflowers are all doing really well!  The one in bloom is a Cheyenne Spirit Coneflower.  Mom forgot to take a shot of it with the camera, but here's an iPhone shot:

IMG_0591CheyenneSpiritConeflower
Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers

Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers can be cream, yellow, gold, orange, scarlet, red, or purple!  Mom put ours in this Fall, so it's the first bloom; we had no idea what color ours were!  We have two other ones that haven't bloomed yet!

Right down from the Wildflower Garden, where the second, or middle tier starts, we have some Butterfly Weed to attract butterflies!

IMG_0424MagsGarden
"Here it is!"

It's the orange stuff there.  To the left of that is a big hunk of Becky Daisies. They'll bloom later.  Behind me are the Maximilian that Cammie showed you last week.  They're so nice and tall that even though they're down on that bottom tier, we can see them from up top!

Moving down that middle tier, one of the plants just starting to bloom is the Red Creeping Thyme:

IMG_0426RedCreepingThyme
Creeping Thyme.  And quite possibly my snooter on the right.

Yes, it's Red Creeping Thyme, but it's pink.  Bipeds!  I'll never figure them out!

Down near the end of that tier is the lavender!

IMG_0431MaggieLavender
"Do not eat the bees.  Do not eat the bees.  Do not ..."

Sorry.  I had to concentrate!  But the Lavenders look really nice and smell good.  The bees think so, too!

That's pretty much of a wrap for this week!

IMG_0626MagsTopTier
"Do you feel serene now?"

We hope you enjoyed walking around the back yard with us and that you feel nice and serene!  Have a terrific Sunday!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Porch Posing

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  Mags and I stopped out front after our walk the other morning to do a little porch posing.  It went something like this:

IMG_0111CamMagsPorch
"How's this, Mom?"
"No treats, no posing!"
IMG_0110CamMagsPorch
"Maggie!  She HAS treats!"
"Hmm... are you surrrrrrrre?"
IMG_0112CamMagsPorch
"Would I be sitting, facing the camera if I wasn't sure?"
"Show me the Zuke's, Mom!"

She had the Zuke's Skinny Bakes.  Cherries and Berries flavor.  I'd know that fruity aroma anywhere; I love those things!

What are some of your favorite treats?  Do you pose better for some treats than others?  Those Zuke's sure do the "trick" for us!

Cammie!

Friday, May 27, 2016

Washing Windows

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  I helped Mom get some work done the other morning.  She said she has a "golden rule" when it comes to washing windows:  Always wash the outside first!

IMG_0457MagsWindowWashing
"Hey, Mom!  Missed a spot.  Right here!  No ... no need to thank me."


I have no idea why.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

PS: We appreciate all of you keeping Kansans and other Midwesterners in your prayers. There were another couple rounds of very nasty storms yesterday afternoon, evening, and night; more storms forecasted for this afternoon.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stormy Weather

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie!  As many of you know, we've been having some very bad storms here in Kansas for the past couple of days.  A few very powerful tornadoes have ripped through our state and have caused lots of damage; thankfully, there have been no reports of loss of life at this point.  We have been very blessed that the worst of it has missed us.

Here are some photos to show you what we've been up to and how we cope.  This is us getting a quick walk in between storm cells the other morning:

IMG_0430MagsCamStorm
"I think we'd best step on the gas, huh, Cam?"
"Yes. No time for Crazed River Otter Games, Maggie."

We made it home just before the storm hit!  This was the scene yesterday morning:

IMG_0438MagsCamWalk
"This is better, isn't it?"
"Yes, but Mom said stuff is going to cook up later."

Mom started college as a Meteorology major and is still a total weather nerd.  I think "cook up later" is one of those technical terms she learned.

Anyway, she was right, and things started getting pretty bad last night.  If you haven't heard the reports, you can click here for a good synopsis.  Once the storm hit Chapman, KS, where a tornado destroyed about 20 houses, we knew it was heading our way.  It's important to follow on radar (and we were) ...

IMG_0474Radar
The pin is where we are

... but Mom said she was taught that the first thing to do to know the weather is to do this:

IMG_0473MagsCamWatch
"Look out the window, Mags!"
"Doesn't look too bad out there yet!"

That's right - look out the window.  Ha roo woo roo!  We were able to get in a quick potty break before the storm hit.  Thankfully, just the edge of that cell hit us and we are fine.  Our prayers go out to the people of Chapman and those in other areas hit by the tornadoes.

We anticipate more storms this afternoon, but this morning we were able to get out on a nice family walk!  Here we are, posing on the water tower trail:

IMG_0499CamMagsWaterTowerTrail
"Smile, Mags!"
"OK ... but I won't look at the camera!"

We even brought something home with us today!

IMG_0506CamMagsRock
"Wow, was that thing heavy!"
"Yeah, but isn't it a cool rock?!?"

Actually, it wasn't so much "we" that carried it home, as it was Dad ... but we did our best to encourage him along the way. Especially during the uphill parts. Especially because it weights about 87 gazillion pounds. Won't it look great in our wildflower garden, though?!?

Please keep the Midwest in your prayers as we batten down the hatches again today!

Cammie!

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

About That Lens...

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  As you saw on Sunday, Mom has a new lens for her iPhone.  It's a fish-eye lens and she's having way too much fun with it.  Oh, it's fine if she wants to take shots of the flowers - like this latest one:

IMG_0357GerberaDaisyFishEyeLens
Gerbera Daisy

... but she's gone too far! Look at what she did to my poor sister!

IMG_9969MagsFishEyeLens
"Hey!  Does this make my snooter look big?!?!  Ha roo roo roo!"

And if that wasn't bad enough ...

IMG_9970CamFishEyeLens
"This is not amusing, Mom."

This must end. This must end now!!!

Sigh.

Cammie!

Monday, May 23, 2016

Supervising

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Yep, it's Monday!  Back to work, right?

IMG_9281MagsBed
Me.  Working.

What? No, it just looks like I'm laying around ... on the comfy bed ... in the air-conditioned house.  I am on Guard Duty AND I'm supervising my mom while she's out in the garden.

It's a tough job, but remember - I am a Working Breed!  I was born for this kind of thing!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Who would like to go look around the gardens today?  There are all kinds of things going on out there, guaranteed to help you feel serene!  Let's start out front with some fun shots!

How about we start out front!  The Clematis by the mailbox is finally blooming!

IMG_0355ClematisFishEyeLens
Clematis

Mom was playing with a new lens.  Here's another:

IMG_0358HenAndChicksFishEyeLens
Hen and Chicks

And one last shot with the Fish Eye lens:

IMG_0359DragonsBloodSedumFishEyeLens
Dragon's Blood Sedum

Down in the Butterfly Garden, the Hummingbird Mint is blooming like crazy!

IMG_0377HummingbirdMint
Hummingbird Mint

And down near the Wildflower Garden, the newer Hummingbird Mint is starting to bloom!!!

IMG_0384HummingbirdMint
The other Hummingbird Mint

Just down from that, Mom put in some huge sunflowers last Fall.  They aren't blooming yet, but the plants look good:

IMG_0386MaximillianSunflowers
Maximillian Sunflowers

If you look past the sunflowers, you can see the Wildflower Garden.  Mom put a bunch of new stuff in there this week:  Black Eyed Susans, Yarrow, Coreopsis, Blanket Flowers - and ordered more things, too!  Some of the coneflowers she put in in the Fall are ready to burst!  Here is one:

IMG_0381CheyenneSpiritConeflower
Cheyenne Spirit Coneflowers

Here's an over-all look at the Wildflower Garden:

IMG_0207WildflowerGarden
The Wildflower Garden

It will look much fuller when the plants mature!

If you stand in the Wildflower Garden, and look up the hill, you see the Friendship Garden:

IMG_0234FriendshipGarden
Looking up at the Friendship Garden

All the tiny sedum cuttings Mom put in in the Fall are taking hold and are growing!  She's very happy about that!

If you step up on that rock wall to your left and turn, you have a nice view down the first tier of the yard:

IMG_0380TopTier
Top tier

There are Blue Oat Grasses, lots of different sedum varieties, some spirea bushes, the Amur Maples -- and the long grass area is a great place to run, run, run!!!

Here's a look at the next tier down:

IMG_0395BottomTier
Bottom tier

The grassy area down there is perfect for playing Siberian Rules Fetch!  Anyway, in the shot, you can see the Magic Carpet Spirea, Feather Reed Grass, a Switch Grass, near the end - the Lavender!  Here's a better look at those:

IMG_0288Lavender
Lavender, just starting to bloom!

I wish you could smell it - it would make you feel so good!

Thanks for walking through the gardens with me!  Have a lovely, serene Sunday.

Cammie!

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Armed Forces Day 2016

Hello and greetings to all! Cam and Mags here! Today we would like to wish all of those who serve or who have served honorably in our nation's military a very happy Armed Forces Day!

IMG_0315MagsCamArmedForcesDay
"Hey, Cammie.  Do your war face!"
"This is my war face!"

Remember:
     Memorial Day, the last Monday in May, is a day to honor those who have fallen in the service of our country - our war dead.
     Veterans Day, the 11th day of November, is when we honor those who served or who are serving in combat.
     Armed Forces Day, the third Saturday in May, is a day we celebrate and thank all those who served or who are serving in our military.

To all of you who serve or who have served honorably in the branches of our military - Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard -


- we appreciate you, we honor you, and we pray for you daily.

IMG_0322MagsCamPorch
"Dad's my favorite soldier of all time!"
"Mine, too!"

Happy Armed Forces Day!   We know we have you to thank for the freedoms we enjoy every day.

Cammie and Mags

Friday, May 20, 2016

New DVDs!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Cam and I got a terrific package in the mail the other day - a set of DVDs we won in a giveaway sponsored by our pal Oz the Terrier!!

Mom unpacked them, then let me take a look.  I am, after all, the TV and movie aficionado around here!  I gave the boxes a quick read ...

IMG_0251MagsDVDs
"WOWZERS!"

... and then gave Cammie a call!

IMG_0253MagsDVDs
"Cam!  You've GOT to check these out!"

The star of BOTH movies is a Malamute!!!  How cool is that?!?!

IMG_0258CamDVD
"Oh, he's so handsome!  How do I open this thing?"

Cammie wanted to open the first movie up right away and stick it in the DVD player!  Mom said she wanted to get a couple shots of us with them first.

IMG_0261CamMagsDVDs
"OK, but then we can watch the movies, right?"
"We do get to watch them, right, Mom?"

Mom has this thing about not watching sad movies.  Even the classics.  You know - like Bambi ... Charlotte's Web ... need I even mention Old Yeller?  Yeah.  Anything where an animal gets hurt or killed and CLICK.  Off.  We worked on her a bit:

IMG_0255CamMagsDVDs
"But the Malamute's in BOTH movies, so we know he'll be OK!"
"Yeah.  C'mon, Mom!"

She mentioned a strong possibility of having movie night over the weekend!  Yea!

Anyway, these movies sure look like good family viewing!  Thanks so much to Oz for sponsoring the giveaway!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher