Who We Are

Monday, December 31, 2018

Sock Monkey Update

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  When I last mentioned Sock Monkey, it was merely to let you know I hadn't seen him yet this year.  Now that Mom has started packing things away, however ...

"Ooooh, look who I found!"
"Uhh ..... hello."

Yep.  Sock Monkey!  And do you know ... I have decided to be friends!  I mean, come on!  I'm FIVE now.  I can be friends with Sock Monkey!

Mom asked us to pose together and I showed her I put all that "I'd love to rip Sock Monkey apart" stuff behind me!

"Seriously.  You can leave the room and everything, Mom.  We're FRIENDS!"
"Ummm ..."
"Oh, sure!  I might grab my best friend and sister Cam by the neck and throw her around a bit,
but that's just playing!!!"
"Help me ..."

I don't think I convinced Mom.  Or Sock Monkey.  I REALLY tried to look innocent and snuggly and stuff, too, but Mom wouldn't turn her back on us.  Or get much further than 6 feet away.

Next year, Sock Monkey.  NEXT YEAR, you'll be mine!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Remember last weekend, we told you we went on a really cool adventure?  We showed you the Gingerbread Village, and said there would be more of our trip to come!  Mom finally finished processing everything, so we thought we'd share a handful of the photos with you today!

The most abundant birdies were Red-Tailed Hawks, like this handsome fellow:


They were all over the place, but don't sit still very long.


We also saw a lot of Northern Harriers, but only in flight:


Mostly what we saw at the refuge was this:


Gorgeous, but where are the birdies?!? So ... we decided to take the long way home and see what we could see!

After our stop at the Gingerbread Village, we were headed to a lookout by Cheyenne Bottoms - another wildlife refuge. We stopped in the small town of Claflin -- as one of the signs for their town reads, "Claflin. If you can't stop, smile as you go by." That always does make us smile!

Here's what we found in Claflin!




It was really a fun step back in time - and a great place to explore!

The scenic overlook gave us a really cool vantage point to see Cheyenne Bottoms -- WAY out in the distance:


It was a very fun, different trip!

In unrelated news, since Mom forgot to get pictures of us girls (I know -- what was she thinking?!?!), here we are, helping down in Mom's Studio:

"Cammie!  Cammie!  Cammie!  Are you done with your Pickle?  Can I have it?"
"Pickle?  What Pickle?!?"

I hope you enjoyed a look at our trip!  For more photos, please visit our album on FlickR.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

I Tried!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  The other day, we went on a long walk, then Cam and I played several rounds of Crazed River Otter Games, then I supervised Mom in her Studio, and THEN ... I needed to stand Guard Duty at the living room window.

"Yeah ... maybe if I just rest my head for a minute ..."

I tried to stay alert, but wow, was it hard - I was actually tired!  I know.  I was as surprised as you are!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, December 28, 2018

For The Record

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  Our mom has been working in her Studio a lot lately, and Maggie and I have been doing our very best to help!  Here's a shot of us, hard at work:

"Ha rooo!"
"Ha roo to you!"

Mom says we make her smile, keep her happy, and is reassured that if a "certain someone is playing with her sister, she isn't getting into mischief".  For the record, I don't think she means me.

I think all of us girls like working in the Studio!


Thursday, December 27, 2018

List, Schmist!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Now that Santa has come and gone AND Cam and I made the "Nice" list, it's time to get back to important things - like a rousing round of Crazed River Otter Games! I decided to throw a little surprise into the games!

"Maggie!  What are you doing on the ottoman?!?"
"Isn't this great?!?!"
"You know we're not allowed on there!"
"I'm not really 'ON' it; my back feet are still on the floor!"
"Hey!  This could make a cool launch pad! Where'd you go, Cam-a-roo?"
"Maggie!  What about next year?!  You don't want to be on the 'Naughty' list, do you?"
"List, schmist!  Like Santa's going to remember about one little ottoman!"

Then Cam mentioned something about teaching me not to get on the ottoman ... so I sort of snuggled up to Mom real quick-like.

"Prepare to be boomed!"
"You can't boom me; I'm on base."
"She's right, Cam.  No booming someone who's half on top of me."
"As soon as you're off-base, you're mine!"
"Thanks for the back-up, Mom.  I hope you're good and comfy."
"I can't feel my leg..." 

Are things getting back to normal around your house?  Everyone's welcome to come over for a round of CROG with us!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, December 26, 2018

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas 2018

Hello and greetings to all!  Here at Ao4 Headquarters, we may do a lot of clowning around at Christmas, especially in our Santa hats:

"... but we also remember the true meaning of Christmas ..."
"... and we thank God for the birth of His son!"

"Merry Christmas to you!"
"And God's blessings to all!"

Merry Christmas from all of us at Ao4 HQs!

Cam and Mags

Monday, December 24, 2018

Christmas Eve 2018

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  It's Christmas Eve, time for last minute Christmas preparations.  You know ... like making sure you're on Santa's "Nice" list.  Maggie and I pulled out all the stops on this one:

"Let's make this one count, Mags."
"Yeah.  Snooter Hanging.  This one's for you, Santa!"

I'm not sure how much longer we can keep this up!

Ho ho ho!


Sunday, December 23, 2018

Santa Hat Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  We really did try to avoid some of this, but Mom was armed with cookies and can be as stubborn as a Siberian Hu --- uh, I mean ... well, let me just show you instead.

It went something like this:

"For the last time, Cam.  We're wearing the glasses so nobody recognizes us."
"Ohhh, right.  Good plan, Maggie."
"Girls, come on!  Everyone knows it's you!  Lose the glasses!"

She then said something about "no cookies until you show yourselves" or something like that, so we begrudgingly handed over the glasses.

"Fine.  Happy now, Mom?"
"I thought it was a good plan, Maggie.  But Mom has COOKIES."
"Better.  Let me back up a bit."

Great. Back away.

"Keep backing up.  A little further, Mom.  
-whispering- A couple more steps, Cam, and I'll show everyone just what I think of these hats!"
"Maggie!  Shh!  She has those crunchy Zuke's!"
"Maggie?  Are you whispering to Cam?  Are you saying you want to wear the hats on your heads?!?"

She knew full-well that wasn't what I was saying!  But did she do what she wanted to anyway?  Did I mention how stubborn she can be?!?

"This is only because Santa's watching!  ... and because you have cookies."
"Yeah.  The good kind of cookies."
"Thanks, girls!  That wasn't so bad, was it?!?"

Do you see what we have to put up with around here?  We're bound to be on the "Nice List" -- don't you think?

It's so very, very hard to be good sometimes.  Now ... where did she put my glasses?!?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, December 22, 2018

Adventures In Gingerbread Land!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Yesterday, we went on a birding adventure, but did some exploring on the way back.  We stopped in one of our favorite towns, Ellinwood, KS, and made a cool discovery -- there's a big Gingerbread Village in their park!  How exciting -- we just had to check it out!

"Oh ... I just can't even ..."
"Cam!  Check it out!  A whole train made out of gingerbread!"
"C'mon!  All aboard the Gingerbread Express!"

Rather than go on a train ride, Cam thought she should check on those candy canes ...

"Nope.  These are fake, Maggie."

... then noticed the Jack-in-the-Box.

"Hi, Jack.  My sister likes boxes, too."

Oddly enough, he didn't answer.  I get like that in boxes, too.

"Cam!  Over here!  A carousel with horses and stuff!"
"It's so pretty!!!"

We both love horses.  Too bad they weren't real ones.

THEN, I found Santa!

"I wonder what he's looking at?"

He was staring at something, but I have no idea at what.

Anyway, we struck one last pose before it was time to load back up into the HR-V:

"Do your best cool look, Cam!"
"Thank goodness Mom didn't bring the Santa hats!"

It was really fun exploring the Gingerbread Village.  There's always something exciting to see in Ellinwood!  We'll fill you in on more of our adventure as Mom goes through her photos!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, December 21, 2018

Million-Dollar Smile

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  On our walk yesterday morning, we had just gotten to the "it's all pretty much downhill from here" point ...

"What a gorgeous day!"
"Lots of sun, really cold, windy ... it's wonderful!"

... when Mom and Cam jumped ahead so Mom could snap a pic of me. I wasn't exactly ready, so ...

"Hang on!  Shake-shake-shake!"
"How's this, Mom?!?  Every hair in place and a million-dollar smile!?!"
  Oh, MAGGIE!!!  💜"
"It doesn't take much to make Mom happy, does it, Cam?"
"No, it doesn't!  Good job, Maggie!"

Sure, she'd like for me to do that with a Santa hat on in front of a Christmas tree, but I can't give her everything, can I?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Thursday, December 20, 2018

Prepare To Launch!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  So there we were the other day, playing with our "under supervision only" toys, when ...

"Maggie?  What are you --"
"Unattended Eggplant spotted. Prepare to launch in 3 ... 2 ..."
"Eggplant Parmesan, here I come!"

"Wait a minute!  Is there really Parmesan cheese in here?!?"

Well ... you never know!  It pays to check!  And yes, Maggie does keep things interesting around here.


Wednesday, December 19, 2018

Tuesday, December 18, 2018


Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  The other day, Maggie and I got to have "under supervision only" toy time.  I had my Eggplant:

"Who doesn't like a good Eggplant!?!"

And Maggie had her Zogoflex Qwizl thingie:

"Thanks, Mom.  Yeah.  Right there."
"Just remember to spit the pieces out, Mags."

As you can see, "someone" needed close supervision.

"Wait.  What in the name of Balto are you doing now?"
"Hey, check it out, Cam.  I'm like that Herb Alpert dude!  Doo doo doo ..."


"Do you see what I'm dealing with here?"

She does keep things interesting!