Who We Are

Monday, August 03, 2020

Broadening Our Horizons

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  As the title reads, we've been broadening our horizons a bit here at Ao4 Headquarters since Ragnar joined the family.  Oh, I don't just mean while out on our walks - though we certainly are doing that!  We've been taking some awesome long walks!  But I digress.  Ragnar and I have also expanded our zoomie zone!

Usually, we zoom through the living room and dining room -- sometimes into the bedroom for some aircraft carrier landings.  But Ragnar and I have added the kitchen - boy, is that great fun, sliding all over the tile floor! - AND check this out:

"Prepare to be boomed, little bro!"
"I don't think so, Mags!!!"

Yeah! The bathroom! How cool is that?!?! I never would have thought to zoom in the bathroom!

Just when I thought I had Ragnar trapped ...

"Hey, wait a sec!  I thought I had you!"
"Ha!  I can swing through the shower!"

We also did this last night during TV time:

"Zzz ..."
"Zzz ..."

Mom seemed to like that better than bathroom zoomies. I have no idea why.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, August 02, 2020

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hi everybody!  It's me, Ragnar!  We had amazingly beautiful skies on our walk yesterday, so Maggie and I thought we'd share some of the photos today for Serene Scenery Sunday.  Ready to take a look?

Here we are, heading up into the hills:

"What a great day, huh, Ragnar!?"
"It sure is, Mags!"

Then Mom said, "Ooooh!  Look behind us!"  This was the view that way:

"Wow!  That's some sunrise, Mom!"

Here's a nice shot of it:

Sunrise over the Little Apple!

Mom tried to get a photo of Maggie and me with the sunrise in the background, but it was early in on the walk and we didn't really feel like holding still quite yet.  She did manage to snag one of Mags somehow:

Mags and the sunrise

We kept climbing up, up, and up.  We took a detour down into a cul-de-sac Mom and Dad have been wanting to explore and as we headed out, we got another nice look at the sunrise:

"Mighty spectacular!"

We looped around in the hills, then started our descent:

"Great view up here, too, huh, Ragnar?"
"It is!  I like this route!"

One turn down at the bottom of that hill and we were at the Kansas Ocean!

"You're bordering on being really cooperative, Mags."
"Well, we are going to use this for Serene Scenery Sunday, so ..."

What a great, beautiful walk!  We hope the photos helped add some serenity to your day!


Saturday, August 01, 2020

What A Day!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Wow, what a day yesterday!  I have to say, so far being 7 is AWESOME!  Thank you all SO MUCH for all the wonderful good wishes!

As Ragnar mentioned, we had a great walk in some cool temperatures, did zoomies, hung out on the deck as a family for a while -- and that was all before 8 o'clock!  Later in the day ...

Mom bought some special treats to help celebrate the day!!

"Happy birthday, Mags!"
"Oooh!  Carob and peanut butter?!?!"

They're so GOOD!  They're made by the Three Dog Bakery people - they sure do make tasty treats!  I'd never had this kind before and couldn't wait to give one a taste!

"Whoa!  They smell awesome!  Ragnar gets one, too - right?!?"

Mom didn't get a shot of Ragnar with his, but trust me, he loves them every bit as much as I do!

So ... really, since we had such a long walk in the morning, we just hung out being very good, innocent puppies for the rest of the day.

"Hey, Mom.  We're just hanging out.  Nothing to see here."
"Uh ... yeah.  What Mags said."

See?  Just being ever-so innocent.  And calm.  And ...

"Oh.  Hi.  Just leaning, not sitting.  And I have no idea how Ragnar got back there."
"Uh ... hi, Mom."

OK.  Perhaps there were some birthday shenanigans ...


Just a little harmless Siberian-style fun!  Have I mentioned Ragnar's leaping ability?!?  So graceful, so fast, so ... sneaky!!!  What a great day indeed!

Thanks again for all the good wishes!  You helped make my day special!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, July 31, 2020

Maggie Is 7!!!!

Hi everybody!  It's me, Ragnar!  Today is a very special day here at Ao4 Headquarters -- it's my big sister's birthday!!!  Everybody, help me wish Mags a happy birthday!

Polargold's Margaret Thatcher!!!

There's been all kinds of singing and special hugs & kisses and lots of happy stuff!  Oh.  And a treat or two -- that's how Mom got that picture up top!

And presents!!!  The best gift so far is cool weather!  We had a ton of rain, and then this morning it was breezy and cool!  We celebrated by taking a nice, long walk!

Maggie and me!

Mom and Dad surprised us by taking a turn down a road neither Mags nor I have been on!

"This is exciting, huh, Mags?"
"It's GREAT!!!"

We got 5.25 miles in!  When we got home, it was all we could do to get a drink ... then do zoomies and play, play, play for a while!  Then we went out on the deck and played some more.

Mom took us out front for a birthday photo shoot.

"Man with a truck in the cul-de-sac, Mags!"
"It's the FedEx guy.  He's really nice!"
"Look this way, puppies!!!  Maggie!  Ragnar?!?"
"I ... think ... she might have treats, Mags.  Let me peek ..."
"Still not gonna look!"

We got treats anyway - since it's Maggie's birthday!  Is this a great day or what?!?!

And here are a couple favorite pix of her, just because!  Here we are at the top of a hill in CiCo Park:

Me and Maggie!  She's doing her Prime Minister Look.

She's very regal, isn't she?  Err ... I mean "prime ministerial".  Whatever.  Like a chieftain or a carl, as we Vikings say!

And here she is on one of our local trails:

The Mag-star!

More celebrations to come later on, according to Mom!  Please help us celebrate!  HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MAGGIE!!!!!!!


Thursday, July 30, 2020

Enjoying The View

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Sometimes on our walks, we get to the top of a hill and we just have to stop to enjoy the view!

"Check it out, everybody!"
"What a view!"
"You can see all the way to ... I don't know.  Whatever that stuff is."
"Yeah.  Hey.  I think somebody's coming down the trail!"
"Behind us?"
"No, the other way, Mags."

Oh.  Did I mention our mom wanted a shot of us looking at her, in front of that vista?  Without treats. Ha.  Yeah.

Have a great day!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

The Best Part Of The Day

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie!  Ragnar and I have been having such great fun on our walks lately - we just have to invite you along on another one!

This morning, we did a 4.5 mile route we've done before, only backwards.  Oh, I don't mean we walked backwards, I mean we did the route the opposite way we ... yeah.  OK.  You know.  Anyway, from home, we headed up some hills, then hit the KSO:

Ragnar and me on the boardwalk along the Kansas Ocean

It was really humid, but cooler due to some rain -- and we had fog!

"I feel a howl coming on.  Do you feel a howl coming on?"
"I'll howl if you howl!"

Mom is pretty much convinced that going this way is all up hill.  The whole time.

"Look, Ragnar!  The other 'M' gates!"
"So this is where we are!"

It's confusing going the other way.  It's like a whole different route!

"Oooh!  CICADA!  Ah.  No.  False alarm."
"It's 'M' for Maggie!"

Seriously.  Is Ragnar fun enough!??!

Anyway, those Maggie gates are on quite the hill, so we plowed on through!

"You don't think Mom's right and it really IS up hill the whole way, do you?"
"It seems like it ..."

It did level out a bit after that climb!

"Whew!  That hill was fun, huh, Ragnar?!?"
"VERY fun, Mags!!"

We love our walks.

"I love this!  It's the best part of the day!"
"It sure is!  ... unless it's dinner time ..."

He has a valid point there.  We do love our dinner time!  But walking time is AWESOME!

Thanks for coming with us!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, July 27, 2020

Trying It Out

Hi everybody!  It's me, Ragnar.  Now that I've been here about a month and a half, Maggie and I have been trying this thing after dinner called "settling down".  It's really strange, but kind of nice at the same time.

"This is ... nice."
"Yeah.  I guess we can play more tomorrow.  Hey, Dad!  Pop a mystery show on, OK?"

It's funny - we aren't walking or playing or anything and Mom says we're being very good.  Huh.  Who knew?

This "settling down" thing might be OK!  ... for a little while.


Sunday, July 26, 2020

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  For this week's dose of serenity, Ragnar and I thought we'd share pix with you from this morning's walk.  We went over 5 miles today, so get a drink of water and let's hit the road!

After doing some hills, we ended up in the development known as Sharingbrook.  While there, we enjoyed the sunrise:

"Oooh, look at the sunrise!"
"Whatevs, Mom."
"Keep an eye out for Cicadas, Mags!"

That's one of the things I love about Ragnar - he knows what's really important!  The road we were on, for some reason, is a real Cicada hot-spot!

Anyway, we looped on through, then exited at the big road:

"Anneberg Park, straight ahead!"
"I love that park!"

Instead of sticking to the roads, we hit the trail that runs along the perimeter of the park!  Crazy as it sounds, it's called the Perimeter Trail.  None of us had ever been on it, so it was a really exciting adventure!

Some parts are paved:


And some are dirt and gravel:


There was a fork off the trail.  We wanted to see where it went!  We took this bridge over Wildcat Creek:

"Check for 'gators, Ragnar!"

I was serious.  Some jerk stole some alligators from a rescue/rehab place and "set them free" in Wildcat Creek.  Sadly, one didn't make it, but the other was found alive a couple days ago and was returned to Reptile World.  Anyway ... getting back to more serene things ... after the bridge there was a small trail:

"Looks like it goes to that housing development, everybody!"

Mom and Dad thought it looked like an interesting thing to try once the weather cools off; we headed back to the park.


The trail was nice and shady; Ragnar and I like the woodsy parts!


There are lots of ball fields all over Anneberg, for baseball and soccer!  This next part of the trail ran right alongside one:


And let's not forget perhaps the best feature of the park -- the Anneberg Ocean!


Once back at the entrance, we looped back through a couple different housing areas; we took the shadiest route we could!

"Almost home, Ragnar!  Less than a mile!"
"What a great walk this has been!"

It was a great walk - and very scenic and serene, too!  Thanks for coming with us -- don't forget to rehydrate!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Testing Out Cute Poses

Hi everybody!  It's me, Ragnar!  Maggie has been teaching me the importance of doing cute poses.  You know, like if you do something you really shouldn't like ... I dunno ... jump off a retaining wall or something ... you need to do a cute pose to erase that out of Mom's computer-like brain.

Mags showed you how she's been mentoring me and that I've mastered the "under the chairs" poses. I've even managed to expand on that with a couple of my own:

"Hi, Mom.  Look at how cute I am!"
"❤️ Oh, Ragnar!!!  ❤️"

Retaining wall?  What retaining wall?!?  Right?

And ...

"Must hold this pose until she forgets about me surprising her in the shower ..."
"❤️ Who's the cutest little Viking?!? ❤️"

(Have I mentioned Maggie taught me how to open the door to the bathroom? She's brilliant!  And wow, do I like splashing in water!  And the smell of Olay body wash.  Have I mentioned our shower doesn't have a door on it?  Does anyone know what "privacy" means?  Anyway ...)

I've also discovered not only do our windows have built-in chin rests, but we look really cute when we use them:

"I wonder what Tao's up to out there?!?"
❤️ Look at how cute you are!!! ❤️"

Who cares if there are smudgies all over the window, right?!?  It's nose art!

And of course, tops in my personal arsenal, as I showed you the other day ...

"Zzz ..."
"❤️ Mr. Smooshyface!!!  ❤️

Maggie said it's good just to toss a cute pose into the day, even if you haven't done anything on the "questionable" list.  She's the best big sister a guy could ask for!

I hope you're all enjoying the weekend!


Friday, July 24, 2020

Photo Finish Friday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  Today, I thought I'd do a Photo Finish Friday, using some miscellaneous pictures Mom has taken since Ragnar joined our family.  I'll try to cut the chit-chat down to a minimum.  Ready to take a look?

Here we are on the first day Ragnar arrived at Ao4 Headquarters:

"Hey, bro.  How's it going?"
"Doing great, Mags!"

I know. We look like we've always known each other, don't we?

Here we are, the next day, on our first long walk together:

"Isn't this great, Ragnar?  We'll do this every day, weather permitting!"
"This is great fun ... but I thought Kansas was supposed to be flat!"

It's a common misconception.  When the heat breaks, we'll take Ragnar to the flatter part of the state!

Here we are on that same walk -- his first time down Hudson Trail!

Ragnar and me

And a day or two later, with his first time at the Kansas Ocean:


If you look closely at the little peninsula, you can see we're being watched by a Great Blue Heron.

We even stopped to pose that day:

"Hi, Mom!"
"Yeah.  Hey, Mom!"

I normally wouldn't do that without treats, but I was just so happy I couldn't help it.  Besides, I was tired.

And lastly, here's a scenic shot, as we stopped beside a field full of Black-Eyed Susans:

"Hey, Maggie.  Aren't you going to look at Mom?"
"No ..."

He's still learning!

Anyway, we still have some catching up to do, photo-wise (Mom's been crazier than normal taking pictures!), but at least that's a start!

Happy Friday -- have a great weekend!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher