Who We Are

Sunday, June 30, 2019

Not Very Serene Sunday!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Over here.

"Is it just me, or is something different around here?"

Oh.  No.  I'm still not allowed on the ottoman.


But back to how strange things feel at Ao4 Headquarters!

"Seriously.  Something is off."
"OK, there's the sound thingie and the Apple TV and Roku do-hickies, then the ..."

I'm the one who needs to remember how to hook it all back up!

Mom said she took photos of all the wiring with her iPhone.  That made me feel a bit better.

"OK, then.  Dad'll be able to figure it all out.  He's almost as good as me with that kinda stuff."

But still ... it just feels different in there right now.

"It seems like something's afoot."
"Hey, I don't watch all those British detective shows for nothing!  I'll have everything figured out in no time!" 

Stay tuned.  It might not be serene, but I love a good mystery and I WILL get to the heart of the matter!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, June 29, 2019

Just A Short One

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  It's been very hot here for the past few days (heat indices over 100℉) so I've only gone on very short morning walks - but then I get to explore the gardens a little bit!  It's shady out there in the morning, so it's not too bad.  Want to take a quick look with me?

Here's how the Bee Garden is shaping up:

"Hello, everyone!"

There were quite a few bees buzzing around the Russian Sage, but I did not try to eat them. Not that anyone around here would.

You can see the Wildflower Garden from up here:

The Wildflower Garden

When the Maximillian Sunflowers bloom -- those tall things -- it's going to be wild!

Just over from them, we have some pretty daisies:

"I love the daisies!"

Here's a close up:

Becky Daisies

OK, it's getting warm, so ...

"That's enough for me!  Let's head inside!"

... let's hit the air conditioning! And remember to get big drinks of water!

Stay cool, everyone!

Friday, June 28, 2019

Good Helper

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Just to dispel any myths floating around out there that I am not extremely helpful when our mom is working in her Studio, I thought I'd share the following photos.  Here I am, working ever-so diligently:

"Zzz ..."
"Good girl, Mags!"

See, Mom is at a stage on one of her quilts where she has to do a lot of really careful organizing and lining up and stuff.  I know exactly how to help with that!

"Zzz ..."
"I'm getting there!  I'm GETTING THERE!!!"

See?  I am a very good helper!  ... especially when I'm tired and it's close to 100 degrees outside.

I hope all of you are staying cool!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Thursday, June 27, 2019

I Think She Meant Me

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie.  The other day, after lunch, Maggie and I hit the Studio with Mom to get a little  Pickle time  work in. It seemed like I was just getting started when ...

"Hey, Cam!  I'm done with my Pickle!  Wanna play!?!  We could get in a round of Crazed River Otter Games!
Hey, let's talk about taxes ..."

"C'mon, Cam!  Round of CROG!  Let's go!  Hey Cam!  Hey Cam!  Hey Cam!
About the state of our roads ..."

"I'm still working on my Pickle!"

Maggie went on like that for quite some time.  Then ...

"One of you is being way more helpful than the other here, girls."
"Gee, Mom.  You don't want to hurt Cammie's feelings like that, do you?  She's trying to help."
"I think she meant me, Mags.  I think she meant me."

Maggie means well, but wow, does she ever like to make political speeches -- very long political speeches!  I guess it's part of being the Prime Minister, but I don't think it helps Mom when she's cutting things.

Stay cool, friends!

Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Wordless Wednesday


Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Tuesday, June 25, 2019


Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Yesterday afternoon, Mom said, "Hey, girls!  Let's go downstairs and get to work!" and so Maggie and I raced down to the Studio.  It was sort of an automatic reaction.  But once down there, I wasn't sure I was up for doing a bunch of work.  I mean, we had gone on a super long walk earlier and ...

"Awesome, Mom!  Let's get busy!!!"
"I dunno.  I'm pretty tired ..."

But then Maggie said ...

"CAM!  She's stuffing our Pickles!!!"
"Wait!  WHAT!?!?"

That was a different matter altogether!

"I knew Mom wouldn't work us too hard, Cam!"
"Now this is the kind of work I can really get into!"

I mean, there's work and there's work.  Right?!?


Monday, June 24, 2019

Wonderful Walk, Wonderful Find!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  This morning when we headed out on our walk, it was still remarkably cool for Kansas in Summer!  We got right about here ...

"The trail is just beyond that little hill!"
"It will be nice and shady!"

... and decided to head left on Hudson Trail!

There was a lot to check out ...

"I see a bunny!"

... plus lots of people, bunnies, and squirrels out enjoying the coolness of the morning.

"What a great walk so far!"
"I'm having a great time!"

We decided we were having such fun that we should take that extra leg of the trail Maggie showed you last week, to make it a nice, long one!

And that is when ... I found it!!!  Check.  This.  Out:

"Now THIS is a puddle!!!"

It was the best, the biggest puddle I've seen in a long time!  It was so wonderful, Maggie couldn't resist getting in it, too!

"Isn't it a beauty?!!?"
"It's awesome!  Great find, Cam!!!"

We eventually turned and retraced our steps, so I got to step in it again.  It was delightful!

I hope your week is starting off as great as ours!


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  As many of you probably know, our weather has been much less than serene lately -- either muggy and hot, hot, hot, or severe storms.  Yesterday, I showed you one way Cammie and I cope with the heat; today, I thought I'd address the storms.

When it's doing this outside ...

Storm clouds, taken from a moving vehicle. No, Mom was not driving.

... what I like to do is this:

"Ah, sweet serenity!"

Oh, alright, fine. I know what some of you bipeds are thinking. Here:

"One tum-tum, available for rubbing.  Limited time offer."

Just don't get carried away.  I am part kit-cat, you know; I like tummy rubs until I don't.

Have a serene Sunday, everyone!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, June 22, 2019


Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Summer has definitely arrived here in Kansas (and the rest of the Northern Hemisphere).  It is hot, hot, hot outside, so after our early-morning walk, Cam and I are planning to do a lot of this:

"The tiles are nice and cool!"
"And the A/C is on!  I might move over to a vent soon.  If I can get up."

Stay cool, friends!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, June 21, 2019

Quick Tour

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  I only wanted to go on a very short walk this morning, but then thought Mom and I could take a short stroll around the backyard when we got back.  How about a quick tour of things.  We'll start in the Friendship Garden, OK?

"I don't like the way those clouds look out there, Mom."

Can you see the "Beth" Coneflowers over my left shoulder?  Here's a closeup:

"Beth" Coneflowers

OK.  That's good enough.

"Let's go, Mom!  Time to go in!"

There was a big Kansas storm on the horizon and I knew we needed to get inside!


Thursday, June 20, 2019

Another Leg Of The Trail

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Wasn't that a great shot of Cammie yesterday?  I had Mom take that while we were on our morning walk.  We were having such fun!  We got to go on a leg of Hudson Trail we haven't been on for a very long time!

Our walk started out normal enough, going up a bunch of hills ...

"I wonder which route we're taking today?!"
"I feel like taking a long one!"

Cam gets to decide those things!  We took the part of Hudson Trail that goes behind our friend Murphy's house. At the end of that segment, instead of turning to make a loop or back-tracking, we kept going!

"So awesome!  What a great hill!"
"I love hills!  Engage your turbo-boosters!"
"Boosters engaged!"
"Onward and upwards!"

We walked part of that section (it was already getting toasty out, and Mom and Dad didn't want us to over-do!), then turned and headed back.

"If we're on the way back, how come we're still going uphill?"
"One of the benefits of this route, I guess!"

When we got to the top of that hill, we paused  to have a look around:

"What a view!"
"We should walk this section of the trail more often!"
"I agree!  But only on cool mornings!"

It was great fun!  I can't wait to take that leg again soon!

Yours sincerely, 
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

I Left Something Out

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  When I told you how my mom makes Prescription Diet Treats for me, I left out an important step!  After you've let the boiling water soak into the kibble for a few hours, it's critical to give it a taste!

"Oh, fork-tender!  Perfection!!!"

Once it has reached that tender stage, you can give your biped the green light to mush it up, then freeze it!  But you HAVE to try it first!  I love that part of the process!!

And licking the bowl out after she's mushed it up and put it in the freezer tray is very helpful, too!


Monday, June 17, 2019

About That Closet!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  The other day, I showed you the ever-so-interesting closet in the Studio.  Mom was unable to get video of me opening the closet door, but trust me, it's a piece of cake.  You might be wondering what's so interesting in there.

Some of Mom's friends who know I've been checking out things in the closet wondered if I'm getting interested in fabric like my great-brother Dave.  Our mom is color blind and he worked very hard as her Guide Dog For The Color Blind.  He had a remarkable affinity for putting colors together.  But me?  No.  Let's take a look at what I find so fascinating ...

"Oh, hey.  Look at that.  The door popped right open!"

Can you see them up there?  They used to be on a lower shelf, before I learned how to open the doors.  Take a look:

A bunch of Siberian stuffies and a Koala Bear

I mean ... do they all look interesting, or what?!?  Our great-brother Zimmie's girlfriend Sitka sent him the little Siberian holding the purple heart.  Is that sweet?  I just want to see it.  Reeeeeeally.

Let's see what else is in there ...

"Yeah.  Further to the right!!!"

The closet goes the length of the room -- look down the line a bit!!!

It's Roger and Ted!!!

My mentor Teddy Westlife's great-sister Huffle Mawson sent Roger the Rat to Zimmie -- all the way from Australia!   For some reason, I've only gotten to meet Roger one time, and that was years ago when I was a puppy!  Even Cam doesn't get access to Roger.  Why?  I had to check the archives.  Apparently she wanted him as badly as I do.

Ted is a friend of Mom's from when she was a biped kind of puppy.  He gets a really high shelf and hasn't made an appearance in the Studio itself since ... well, anytime I can remember!  I'd just like to say, "Ha roo!" to him!  Honest!

So then, we have ...

"Can I help you, Mom?"
"Maggie, would you please stop opening the closet doors?!?"

Not any time soon, no.  Too many interesting things in there.  Maybe I'll get to meet one of the special stuffies now that I'm a really good puppy!

I'll keep you posted.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, June 16, 2019

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  Today, I thought I'd show you around our gardens just a little bit. We have some really pretty blooms going on.  Ready to take a look?

Let's start right here by the Bee Garden.

"Yeah, whatever.  Let's move along ..."

Really not too exciting, but everything is much bigger than when Maggie showed you last time!

You can see the Wildflower Garden from up here -- take a look:

Our Wildflower Garden

Beyond that, you can see some Butterfly Weed (I'll show you a different one in a sec!) and the Creeping Red Thyme (that's the pink stuff).  The really tall plants in the center are the Maximillian Sunflowers!  On the left, the yellow flowers are Moonshine Yarrow.  Behind the sunflowers are these coneflowers:

White Swan Coneflowers

There are more coneflowers in the Friendship Garden. Let's move over there! How about these ones?

Glowing Dream Coneflowers

Here I am, sitting next to them:

"Wait ... what's over there?"

Up behind me, beyond the fence on the middle tier is our Butterfly Garden. Take a look at the Butterfly Weed growing in there:

Butterfly Weed

We have a few doing really well this year!

Here's another shot of me in the Friendship Garden:

"I feel so relaxed now!"

There are a couple other coneflowers doing well - and even though the Sedum plants aren't blooming yet, they are filling in nicely!

I hope you enjoyed your tour! Do you feel nice and serene now?  Have a wonderful Sunday!