Tuesday, January 31, 2017

The Après-Pickle

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  The other morning, after our walk, Cam and I got to play with our Pickles for a while.  After that, we played Crazed River Otter Games (CROG) for a bit, then went back to our Pickles.  After that, we entered into a bit more subdued version of CROG - Winding Down. You know - sort of the après-Pickle.  We thought you might want to take a look.


To view on You Tube, please click here.

What an enjoyable way to spend the morning!  If anyone would like to join us, come on over!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, January 30, 2017

Training Mission

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam!  Yesterday, I got to go on a special mission with my mom.  Our friend Beth recently adopted a Border Collie baby named Flynt.  She is in the process of training and socializing him and wanted him to be around another dog who would be calm and basically just ignore him and Moss, her other BC.  Mom said I was just the girl for the job!

(For the record, Maggie and I both love other dogs, but Maggie is a bit too exuberant for this type of work.  I like to play, too, but as a former show dog, I know when to play and when we're working!  I've also had two litters and am extremely good with puppies!)

OK - so Mom and I set out to meet everyone at the park!  I ignored Flynt as best I could, then also met Moss, and was good at ignoring him, too.  We went on a nice walk together, ignoring each other along the way, and being calm.  After our walk, Mom asked us all to sit so she could get a group picture - here is one of them:

IMG_8220MossFlyntCam
Moss, Flynt, and me.  Mom didn't even have treats.  That's how good I was!

Mom said she thought I'd be good, but didn't think I'd be as good as I was. She was really proud of me.  Not to brag, but the word "perfect" was tossed around a bit.  I would have LOVED to play with those boys, but understood I was working.

To make up for it, this morning on our walk, Maggie and I did a bit of this:

IMG_8240MagsCamPlay
"Ha roo!"
"Ha WOO!"

... and a bit of this:

IMG_8238MagsCamPlay
Maggie and me, thoroughly enjoying a bit of Crazed River Otter Games as we walked

It was super fun.

I'll hopefully get to see Flynt and Moss again soon!  Maggie will get to meet them eventually; she said she knows all kinds of great things she could teach Flynt.  Mom said that's what she and Beth are afraid of.  Ha roo woo roo!

Cammie!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Serene Scene!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Maggie is usually the one who is right by the door when Mom and/or Dad come home - the first to greet and tell them how much we missed them.  Yes, sometimes we mix it up just to keep them on their toes, as we showed you the other day, but generally speaking, I hang back and let Maggie do the meet and greet, then I come and say hello.  Friday, however, after Mom being gone all day long all week ...

I heard Dad talking on his iPhone.  I knew he was talking to Mom.  I just knew it.  And I knew she was on her way home this time, not just on a late lunch break.  Maggie hadn't figured it out yet, but I had!  So what did I do?

IMG_1541CamWaiting
Me, when Mom was a few blocks from the house.
Photo courtesy of our dad.

What can I say?  It was a long week for me, too!

Cammie!

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Sticking Close

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Our mom's been gone all week for Jury Duty.  Sure, Dad was here with me and Cam, but we missed Mom like crazy!  We're doing a lot of this now:

IMG_2419MeAndMags
Mom and me

It's been a long week for all of us!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, January 27, 2017

Welcome Home!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Usually, when both Mom and Dad leave the house, Maggie lays right by the door to the garage, so she can be the first to greet them.  I lay about 5 feet away from her, in the door between the laundry room and the kitchen, so I can be the next one!  The other day, we decided to change things up a bit.

IMG_8149MagsCamWelcome
"Welcome home.  We missed you!"
"Yeah.  Hey, you know, the treats are right over here.  You know.  In case you wanted to give us one."

I like it better the other way, but it was fun to try something new.

Cammie!

Thursday, January 26, 2017

At The Park

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  We went on a great walk the other morning.  We walked and walked, and eventually got to the park!

IMG_8079CamMagsCiCo
"The park!"
"I love the park!"

We walked all through the park, chit-chatting and quite possibly playing a bit of Crazed River Otter Games as we went. It was great!  When we got to the other side, I saw something rather interesting.

IMG_8081MagsFarmersMkt
"Huh.  'Farmers Market'."

So ... does anybody need me to pick up a farmer or two?  Just let me know.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Watching Like A Hawk

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  The other day, Dad took me out front and we saw a really cool hawk on our neighbors' roof.  We ran in and told Mom; she grabbed her camera, then came running out to join us.

Here's a look at him:

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Red-Tailed Hawk

Yes, Mom was very close to him. But fear not! I was watching her ...

IMG_1351MaggiePortrait

... like a hawk.  So to speak.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, January 23, 2017

Monday Motivation

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Is anyone else having a hard time getting motivated today?

IMG_8047MagsGoughNutsStick
"Ha roo, everybody."

Now that we've had breakfast and our long walk, I was thinking about playing with my GoughNuts stick.  I'm not sure I have the drive to go get it, though.

IMG_8050MaggieGoughNutsStick

The struggle is real.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  Kansas can be a funny, funny place in January - yesterday, our temps climbed into the 60s!  Whereas Maggie and I would love to be belly-deep in snow, our mom seemed to be super pleased about this.  Hmm.  Anyway, the good news was that we got to go on a super-long walk and we got to go out and play on the deck!  We even let Mom take a few posed shots of us.  You know.  Given that she brought treats.

IMG_8105MagsCamDeck
"C'mon, Mom.  Wouldn't you rather have a ton of snow?"
"Yeah ... wouldn't you?"
"No."

I had to admit ... it did feel mighty nice out there!

IMG_8107MagsCamDeck
"How about an inch or two?  Or seven?"
"I don't really mind this too much."

This being Kansas, we can still have a lovely blizzard roll in.  In the meantime, a couple warm days feels kind of nice.  And serene.

Have a great Sunday, everyone!

Cammie!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

We Tried!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Yesterday was a beautiful day here in the great state of Kansas!  Actually, it was like this:

IMG_8051Fog
Foggy!!!

... but we thought it looked cool! And it was great walking weather!

IMG_8055MagsCamFog
"Hey, you know what we should try to do, Cam!"
"Yes.  I'm thinking the same thing..."

So we tried!  We tried up by the water tower ...

IMG_8057MagsCamWaterTowerTrail
"Not yet..."
"Nope..."

We tried down the water tower trail ...

IMG_8061MagsCamWaterTowerTrail
"Oooh! Just a bit farther, maybe?"
"I think so!"

But we knew once we reached the bottom that we weren't able to do it!

IMG_8063MagsCamWaterTowerTrail
"Well, we tried to catch the fog ..."
"... but we mist!!!"

Ha roo roo roo.  Sorry; we couldn't help it!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, January 20, 2017

Calling Cadence

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  As many of you may remember, our great-brother Zim was named after a Drill Sergeant - and he took his Drill Sergeant duties seriously.  I remember when I first got here, he taught me how to walk in formation and everything.  He also spent a good deal of time training Maggie.  Zimmie's spirit is still with us in so many ways!  I think Maggie and I both were channeling him out on our walk the other morning!

IMG_8033MagsCamWalk
"All right, Cam!  Ready?"
"Ready, Mags!"
IMG_8034MagsCamPerfectSynch
"Lefts, lefts, lefts, rights, lefts!  Count cadence, delayed cadence, count, cadence, count!"
"Hup, hoop, heep, hua...."

I think Zimmie would be proud of us!

Cammie!

Thursday, January 19, 2017

TV Show Reviews

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  As many of you know, I do appreciate a good TV show or movie - and it's been a while since I've posted any reviews.  I thought I'd discuss a few today.

Like many of you, we watched the new season of Sherlock.  There was plenty of action and plot twists - and that was all great!  In one episode, however, they kept breaking busts of Margaret Thatcher, and I found that to be a bit distressing!  I mean ... that's a little too close to home, if you know what I mean!

MargaretThatchers
Just to clarify, I'm the one on the left.

Yeah.

So, anyway, overall - Sherlock was pretty good.  Except for the smashing Margaret Thatcher parts.

We also watched Agatha Raisin, a rather light-hearted British murder-mystery show.

IMG_2424MagsTVAgathaRaisin
"Oooh, there's Agatha with Jemma!  I keep hoping Jemma and Bill will get together ..."

It's got a good combination of humor, mystery, and action!  It's lighter fare, which is sometimes just what you need!

IMG_2427MagsTVAgathaRaisin
"I'm pretty sure I know who dunnit."

And, as you can see, it holds my interest!

We also just started watching that series Victoria.  It's an OK show ...

IMG_2448MagsTVVictoria
"Hmm!  British history drama!  This could be good!"

... but they take a lot of liberties with history and frankly, Tori, the Cavalier King Charles Spaniel who plays Dash, should have had a much, much larger role.  Seriously.  I'm sure my very dear friend Princess Leah would agree with that!

IMG_2449MagsTVVictoria
"Oh, enough already!  Where's Dash?  Zzz...."

Those are my TV reviews for now.  What have you all been watching?  Anything good?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher (you know which one!)

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Walking and Birding

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Yesterday morning, our ice melted (yea!) and we got to go on a nice, long walk!  In the rain.  And mud.  And splashy puddles.  It was great fun.  Not too many photos, though.  Anyway, this morning, our skies started clearing finally and we went on a nice, long walk!

Here we are, about to head down my favorite hill to go up:

IMG_8021MagsCamWalk
"Too bad most of the puddles are gone!"
"I know!  I love stepping in puddles!"

It was nice, even without the puddles.

We saw lots of birdies!  This little one was all by himself:

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Eastern Bluebird

This birdie was part of a big flock that flew off before Mom could focus the camera:

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European Starling

And this guy ...

IMG_3635EasternFoxSquirrel
"Umm... tweet?"
Eastern Fox Squirrel

... that guy wasn't really a birdie.  Mom thought he was cute, though.  🙄

We saw lots of geese!  Here is a small flock enjoying a swim in the Kansas Ocean:

IMG_3638CanadaGeese
Canada Geese

They were probably as happy about the "great thaw" as Mom!

We headed up the trail by the water tower and Maggie and I were very patient girls while Mom and Dad looked for more birdies.

IMG_8023CamMagsTrail
"I hear things."
"Me, too!"

Mom and Dad saw lots of tiny Goldfinches in the brush, like these two:

IMG_3660AmericanGoldfinches
American Goldfinches

It was hard for Mom to get a clear shot, as they kept going deeper into the branches!

IMG_8026CamMagsTrail
"Look up, Mom!  I see gooses over there!"
"I see gooses over this way, Mom!"

Both Maggie and I were very helpful.  I saw this small flock of Canada Geese flying by:

IMG_3665CanadaGeese
Canada Geese

And Maggie spotted this wave of Snow Geese overhead:

IMG_3676SnowGeese
Snow Geese!

Snow Geese always look like they need a good Drill Sergeant to straighten up their formation!

IMG_3672CamMagsTrail
"I don't really see anything else ..."
"Oh, I do!"

Maggie is really good at spotting things, so we were all curious as to what she saw.

IMG_3673CamMagsTrail
"What is it, Mags?"
"A STICK!  Still connected.  MIGHTY tasty!"

Mom and Dad thought we should move along after that.  Me?  I thought it was a good find!

We saw one more beautiful birdie on our way home - check her out:

IMG_3682NorthernCardinal
Female Northern Cardinal

What a great walk - and a great birding spree!  Thanks for coming along with us!

Cammie!

Monday, January 16, 2017

Ice and Pickles

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  We couldn't go anywhere yesterday due to the ice storm, so we played all kinds of indoor games, to include spending quality time with some of our "under supervision only" toys like our Pickles!

Here I am with mine:

IMG_7487CamToy
Me and my Pickle

And here is Maggie with hers:

IMG_7513MagsToy
Maggie and her Pickle

She's better at doing the one-paw thing than I am!

Cammie!

PS:  These photos are actually from last month, because Mom forgot to take pictures of us yesterday, but you get the gist of how we spent some time!

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Remember we told you we celebrated New Year's Day by going to Quivira National Wildlife Refuge?  We said we'd eventually share some of Mom's birdie pix with you and I figured since we're stuck inside today due to the ice storm, this was as good a time as any!

Ready to take a look?

IMG_2440MagsCrossedPaws
"You might want to get comfy!"

One of the most exciting things we saw was a Great Horned Owl!

IMG_0830GreatHornedOwl
"Who?"

Yes, a Great Horned Owl!  They are nocturnal, so Mom was very surprised to see him in the middle of the morning!  In fact, if Dad hadn't spotted him from VERY far away, she never would have seen him.  Way to go, Dad!  Even though we hear them at night sometimes, Mom has never been able to photograph one in the wild, so she was super stoked about it and considered him a "lifer" (first time sighting).

The other "lifer" for that trip was this tiny birdie:

IMG_0876WhiteCrownedSparrow
White Crowned Sparrow

Maybe not as dramatic as the owl, but it's a mighty cute birdie!

Since we were in a marsh area, we saw some ducks and geese where there was open (non-frozen) water, and several flocks of geese flying overhead.  Here is part of a small flock:

IMG_0966GreaterWhiteFrontedGeeseCanadaGoose
Greater White-Fronted Geese, with a Canada Goose tagging along for the ride

I wonder if anyone noticed him?

We saw LOTS of raptors, too!  Check out this guy:

IMG_0997RedTailedHawk
Red-Tailed Hawk on the move!

I'd hate to be a mousie on the receiving end of that flight!

Speaking of flights ... here is a shot of two Bald Eagles in flight:

IMG_1057BaldEagles
Immature and Adult Bald Eagles

They were playing "King of the Branch".  The younger one won that round, but the adult prevailed in the end.  Check him out - he looks like he's posing on top of a trophy!

IMG_1103BaldEagle
"I win!"

They put on quite a show!

Here's another look at an adult in flight:

IMG_1085BaldEagle

Aren't Eagles gorgeous?!?

The other raptor we saw in good numbers were Northern Harriers.  Mom usually sees females, which are darker in color.  She was excited to get some shots of a male that day:

IMG_1222NorthernHarrier
Northern Harrier male, also known as a Gray Ghost

Getting back to water birdies ... we only saw one Heron.  This guy was out fishing with some ducks:

IMG_1173GreatBlueHeronMallards
Great Blue Heron and Mallards

Here are some more ducks:

IMG_1292NorthernPintailAndMallards
Mallards and a Northern Pintail Duck

It was a great trip!  For more photos, to include a whole series of Bald Eagle shots, please visit our FlickR album at this link.  It's a two-page album (Mom couldn't help herself).

That's a wrap for now.  The ice storm is on us now, and will be, off and on, through tomorrow.

IMG_2434SweetMaggie
"...and please keep everyone in the path of the storm safe..."

Stay safe, friends!  And keep it serene!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher