Who We Are

Sunday, September 30, 2018

Studio Serenity

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  Yesterday, Maggie and I went down to our mom's Studio ...

"Hi.  What are you doing?  Quilting?"
"Ha roo, Mom."

She was trying to quilt something bigger than she's done in a few years, so we were sure she needed our help!  She seemed stalled out or something.  Getting the Bernina manual out, using HBO words, using the seam ripper ... we thought she could do with a big dose of serenity!

"I have an idea, Maggie."
"I'm with you, Cam.  Hey, Mom - this should help!"

We flew all over the Studio, racing around like crazed River Otters, under Mom's table, between her chair and the table, round and around -- I might have even tried to jump into her lap a time or two!  She forgot all about trying to quilt and just watched us.

"There.  Isn't that better?!?"
"Thanks, Cam."

She forgot all about her frustration and just cheered us on.  Or urged us not to knock things over.  Something.  I don't know.  (For the record, neither Maggie nor I have ever knocked anything over.  We can't say the same for Mom.) Anyway, we helped her get back into her mental happy place and brought serenity to the Studio!

We hope you have a wonderfully peaceful day!  Call us if you need any help in that regard.


Saturday, September 29, 2018

Sunflower Poses

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Thanks for all the wonderful comments yesterday on how nicely we posed by the Sunflowers!  We are always, ALWAYS super cooperative for photos, as you may know.

"Hey, look, Cam.  What's that?"
"Oh, yeah.  I'm not sure."
"I think there's someone coming ... no ... no one."
"I am so bored.  Bored, bored, bored."
"Mags?  Cam?"
"I saw something over this way."
"I think it was a cricket.  Could have been a grasshopper."

I mean "super cooperative for Siberian Huskies".

Have a great weekend!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, September 28, 2018

Sunflower Safari!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  It's that time of year -- Sunflower Season!  On our walk the other morning, we went searching for them.

"I don't see any yet!  Do you, Cam?"
"No ... maybe around this bend!"

And sure enough ...

Sunflowers in the sunrise

I thought I spotted more, but they were Goldenrod.

Ashy Goldenrod

Goldenrod was all over the place.

More Sunflowers!


We kept walking and looking:

"Keep looking, Cam!"
"Keep your peepers open, Peeps!"

We were having such fun!  On the other side of the Kansas Ocean, we saw tons upon tons of Sunflowers!


Here's one with a cool neon-colored bug:


They were all over the hillsides!


Mom asked us to pose by them and we were very obliging!

Maggie and me!

Well, OK, we weren't looking at the camera, but it's STILL a nice shot!

Thanks for coming on our Sunflower Safari with us!


Thursday, September 27, 2018

Why Didn't You Say So?!?

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Like many of you, we are thrilled that the cooler temperatures have arrived!  Our walks are longer and afterwards, we've been getting in a little deck time!

So there we were the other morning ...

"Hey, Cam!  Crazed River Otter Games ... and ... GO!"
"You're mine, you little crazed River Otter!"

... you know, just relaxing after an exhausting walk.  We were thoroughly enjoying a nice round of CROG, when Mom announced that she had treats.

"Wait.  What?"
"Why didn't you say so?"

... and then ...

"She's out of treats.  Resume CROG?"
"You're on!"

Very relaxing morning!  Have your temps started to fall, too?!?

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Tuesday, September 25, 2018


Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  Have I told you about these before?  Maggie may have mentioned them.

"Is this what you want, Cammie?"
"Don't toy with me, Mom."

Greenies Breath Bites. No, I'm not getting paid; they weren't given to us by anyone; Mom buys them.

"Would you like one of these, Cam?"
"Yes, I'd like one.  I NEED one!"

I'm normally fairly quiet and easy-going, but every day after lunch, I yell at our mom until she gives us one.

"C'mon, Mom!  We need a fix!"

Mom and Dad call them Siberian Crack.  All I know is ... yeah, OK.  I may have an addiction problem.  


Monday, September 24, 2018

Doodling Around The Gardens

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  This morning after our walk, I got to go doodling around the gardens with Mom.  She and Dad have been working hard over on the south side of the gardens, but we wanted to check in on the north side.

I stopped for some contemplation in the Friendship Garden first:

"Hello from the Friendship Garden!"

After that, we doodled some more, then I struck a pose by the Maximillian Sunflowers.  They're sprawling all over themselves in the Wildflower Garden:

"Hello again!"

Mom caged the Max Sunflowers this year.  It helped a bit, but we had a little storm a week or so ago with 45mph winds, and that didn't help much.  She still likes them - they are so colorful and happy-looking!

Speaking of happy, Mom had treats.  What a great morning so far!


Sunday, September 23, 2018

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  This week, for Serene Scenery Sunday, Maggie and I thought we'd share photos from our most recent trip down to Quivira NWR.  Rather than stretch this out, we're just going to jump into it all and  get this over with  present the photos in one post.

This is a shot of us on the way home:

"We aren't posting all 87,000 photos, are we?"
"No, Cam.  Promise."
"Soooooo many birdies.  So, so mannnnny birdies!"

OK.  Back up, and into the refuge!  The first birdie we saw was this guy:


He's a young Snowy Egret.  He seemed to like Mom and kept trying to get her to follow him.  He'd walk down the canal, then wait for her.  If she didn't come after him (Mom does NOT like to scare the birds off!), he'd come back for her.

"Right this way, Camera Lady!"
"Um... OK."

We think maybe because he's a youngster.  Anyway, he led Mom to where a congregation of more Snowy Egrets was gathering.

"Oh.  Did Junior bring you?"
"Just ignore her; she'll go away."

Check out the legs on that guy on the right in the photo above.  Maybe that's the Egret version of the Paw Tuck?  Crazy!

There was more to the gathering - let's pan out!

Snowy Egrets, Least Sandpipers, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, and an American Avocet

That Avocet still has a bit of the breeding plumage -- the pretty orange head.  This next guy has pretty much transitioned into Winter mode:

American Avocet

It would seem we're not the only ones ready for Winter!

Anyway ... here's another group of birdies:

American Avocets, Lesser Yellowlegs, Greater Yellowlegs, and an Ibis

The Ibis is either a juvenile White-Faced Ibis or a Glossy Ibis.  Mom can't really tell, nor can her birdie friends.

In addition to the Snowy Egret, we also saw a Great Egret ...

Great Egret

... and a Cattle Egret tucked in with a small flock of Avocets:

Cattle Egret and American Avocets

Mom was pretty thrilled to see all three of our Egrets!  If you look closely at the Avocets, you can tell we were fighting some wind gusts - the guys on the left are squinting and the ones on the right are hunkered down.  30mph isn't too bad - unless you're a little birdie or unless you're toting a 600mm lens around.  Moving right along ...

Mom was even more thrilled to get close to a group of Long-Billed Dowitchers!  She was within 20-30 feet, which is the closest she's ever been to them.  The guy posed nicely, as he splashed into the surf:

Long-Billed Dowitcher - angel wings display

The Dowitchers were hanging out with Avocets and Sandpipers.

Long-Billed Dowitchers and Stilt Sandpipers

Fall not only means "migration time", it also means "sunflower time"!  They were popping out all over the refuge:

Sunflowers at the Big Salt Marsh

One more birdie shot:

American Avocets fishing

It was a very successful birding adventure!  On the way home, we stopped to stretch our legs in Ellinwood again.  Here is a shot of Maggie and me checking out the park and bandshell:

"So that's an example of the Art Deco style, huh, Cam?"
"That's what they say. Built in the 1930s."

We wandered around that park a bit and found this beautiful bell:

The plaque reads:
"Ellinwood Volunteer
Fire Department
Fire Alarm Bell 1900
Dedicated to all past, present and
future firefighters
for their service to the community."

Very special!

That about brings us back to where we started this post.

"That's about it, right, Mom?"
"Wait.  I smell burgers."

When we pulled into the truck stop, Mom spotted a small cabin that she wanted to photograph.

A little something we're calling The Sunflower Shack

Maggie and I really think we should have gotten a burger out of the deal, but no.  I need to file a grievance with someone.

Anyway - we hope you enjoyed our photos and that they added some serenity to your day!  To view the complete set, please click here to visit our FlickR album.  Have a wonderful Sunday!


Saturday, September 22, 2018


Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  We were going to start telling you about our trip to Quivira from a week and a half ago, but the cool front is here!

"Let's welcome in the cool front the best way we know how!"
"Yeah!  With some Crazed River Otter Games!!!"

It's time to celebrate!


Friday, September 21, 2018

How Touching

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  After our walks, after a round or two of Crazed River Otter Games, Cam and I like to do this:

Cam and me!

Oh, I know. Here. Here's a close up:


What can I say?  

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Thursday, September 20, 2018

Ideas In The Studio

Hello, everyone.  It's me, Cammie.  The other afternoon, Mom went downstairs to get creative in her Studio.  Maggie and I thought she could use a little help, so we went down, too.

Mom had an idea about something she wanted to do, so she went into the inner Studio room.  We had an idea of our own!

"Try to catch me, Peep!"
"I'm gonna get you, Cam!"

We were still working on that idea of ours, when ...

"Are you two wilding out there?!?"
"Who, us?"
"Yeah.  Who, us?!?"

Honestly! Where does she get these crazy ideas?!!?


Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Wordless Wednesday


Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

In Position

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.

"Hey!  Just hanging out here in the Living Room!"

You know, just relaxing, being a very good puppy -- that sort of thing.

... Of course, I also just happen to be in prime position to jump Cammie, should she come wandering in here from the kitchen!

♫ "Oh, Cammmm-mmmie?!?" ♫

Mom wanted me to point out that we don't normally have stuff stacked all over the Dining Room floor and table - it's all due to the remodel.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher