Trust and Loyalty: A Wonderful Dog Shows Us What We Could Use More of Today

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s nearly  7 years ago (late October) that I rescued my precious Slick from the street. Hard to believe he’s about 8 years old now.  He and Toro and Tico are my loves and I cherish every moment with them… And they seem to like me, too. It’s like having three toddlers…they follow me around, cuddle, and seek me out for an extra belly rub at the most inopportune moments!   (LOL!)

Recently, I’ve heard this observation a few times:  that, with today’s troubles and our uncertain futures, TRUST will be the most important commodity of all.  Having people to trust will be paramount in terms of survival.

I think that applies to our animal friends, too. The trust and loyalty they show us is a rare quality among people.  So, it  makes it even more important that we work to keep our babies’ trust and keep them safe and secure.  Sadly, too many animals are being dumped at shelters because of economic hardship….and then, there’s this dog who lost her family in a car crash.

Or, did she?

If you haven’t seen this video, watch the whole thing, and then tell me that it didn’t move you.  Just notice what this wonderful animal did…to stay close to her family…And it isn’t over yet…And if you cried, like I did…well, it was a good cry, wasn’t it?

Loyal Dog Waits at Crash Site

Vodpod videos no longer available.

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Kisses and cuddles to Ella…(and extra special hugs for my three tonight…)

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 25, 2009) The Squirrels Invade

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

I had a very busy week in the garden this week and posted the details here.

Today, I finally got the chocolate flower into the ground. Hopefully, I won’t drown this one…it’s tricky with desert plants because they need some moisture to get established when first planted. BUT…it’s sometimes hard to tell what is too much.

The big event of the week actually occurred yesterday.  The SQUIRREL WARS have begun in earnest!

After the carnage in the garden a week or so ago, when all my baby swiss chard and mesculin was munched on by bugs, I bought on the spur of the moment a 9-pack of buttercrunch lettuce.  To be safe, I planted them in the patio pots, in with the tomatoes and peppers.  Perfect, right?

Continue reading

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 18, 2009) Glorious Organ Mountains; Apricots; Quail on the Wall; Sneaky Slick the Min Pin

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s been a frustrating week in the garden as the winds have continued and the temperatures have dipped the last day or so.  I’ve managed to put a couple of veggies and flowers into the patio pots, only to cover them up again to protect them from the weather.

Yesterday I bought a new Belle of Georgia peach to replace the one that is languishing.  I’ll get that in the ground over the weekend.

A big surprise is that I found a little apricot growing.  One seems to be finally showing on the flower I saw…but this one never seemed to have a flower that I ever saw, so imagine my surprise to see a an actual baby apricot!!  Let’s see if anything more shows up!

Last Tuesday I took advantage of the short trip over to my chess teacher’s house and took some wonderful pictures of the Organ Mountains. These views are literally a couple of minutes from my house…I’ll share one with you now:

Organ Mountains 4/16/09 Looking Like a Painting...

Organ Mountains 4/14/09 Looking Like a Painting...

New Mexico has wonderful light, which attracts a lot of artists.  The changes in the skies and the light that changes from second to second are things which never cease to amaze me.

Closer to home, the quail are beginning to show up on my wall.  I love these guys and their plaintive calls.

A Curious Quail...

A Curious Quail...

Finally, Slick the Sneak was into all sorts of trouble yesterday.  We left the house for an appointment and when we got back we found garbage all over the floor!  This hasn’t happened in quite awhile.  It really was close to the boys’ dinnertime, so I guess Slick was the leader of the pack in search of some grub.

This picture, which I took a couple of days ago, shows the little flash of the devil in his eyes:

Sneaky Slick

Sneaky Slick

Let’s hope the winds die down next week! I have to put up the new grape trellises, plant a chocolate flower and really have to decide if I should bag the peaches. So far the squirrels haven’t shown up, which is amazing. I see the papa or mama when I look over the wall and they gobble up the lettuce and other veg scraps I toss over right away.  I suppose they’re busy with babies and as they grow, I’m sure they’ll be hunting for a lot more food…including peaches!

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (April 4, 2009) Spring Winds; Squirrel Wars; Bees Invade Feeder; Wounded Butterfly; Sunrise Over the Organs; Slick Lounges Around

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s been a tough week for the garden in some ways.  The spring winds have arrived so I’ve had to put wind barriers up around the raised beds. I’m using the sunshade for this, because it’s bright and I don’t want my plants to dry/fry!!!  The temperatures are still in the 40’s overnight so with the winds coming through, although they weaken overnight, I don’t want too much of a temperature shock.

Still have some of the plants saved for the pots…a couple of peppers, an eggplant, and a couple of tomatoes…but I’m keeping them inside overnight. I bought some annuals…zinnias, petunias, a new geranium and an interesting spirally plant called “Rush.”  But these are all sitting safely under protection for now…

The squirrel wars have started. They’ve been gnawing at the cactus in the far corner of the yard and nibbling at the eggplant and lettuce. I’ve got tons of peaches on the tree in the warm corner and I’ll have to “bag” the fruit soon or else the squirrels will be busy there too as soon as they start smelling something sweet.

The hummingbird is coming all the time now…until today. The feeder was full of swarming bees!  This happens every year and I think these may be Africanized bees. So, the hummer and I will back off until they go.

A few days ago I spotted this butterfly on the ground. I picked it up and placed it in the Texas Ranger.  The poor thing obviously had some problems with its wings. A short while later it had gone…

Wounded butterfly

Wounded butterfly

This past Thursday I had an early morning blood test.  The Healthplex branch of one of the hospitals is near our house and has stunning views of the Organ Mountains.  And being up so early, I knew I could catch the sunrise….

2009_0401sunrise0037

As I write this, I’m just back from a rendezvous with Animal Control. This morning I was walking Slick and Toro in the arroyo and suddenly spotted a golden lab (?) who had obviously recently given birth. I thought I had seen this dog barking from behind a wall on the far side of the arroyo. We left in a hurry and I figured she could easily jump back over the wall and get home.

At 8:30 PM as I as out with Slick and Toro again for their last walk, I thought I saw the dog near the path into the arroyo. It seemed to go back down into the arroyo.  I immediately call Animal Control and I took the officer down to the path and pointed out the house I thought the dog came from. We scanned around with a flashlight but didn’t see anything moving.  The officer was going to stop by the couple of houses where she could have come from to find out more from the owners.  I sure hope this all turns out OK, because if there are puppies involved, I’d hate to have the mother wandering lost for days or sitting in the shelter.  It’s expensive to get dogs back these days and I wouldn’t want her to be left there and the puppies orphaned.

This sort of thing always makes me go and give mine a hug…I’m not bragging, but they have a really good life…because they run mine!!

Slick lounging, safe and sound

Slick lounging, safe and sound

Let’s hope next week bring less wind so I can finish planting…and that the lost dog is found.

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (March 28, 2009) First Hummingbird and First Cactus Flower!; Wisconsin Robin; Happy Birthday, TORO the Dog!; Trooper Shows Off)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Just because we’ve been enjoying some great spring weather lately (although the last couple of days have been cool and windy), it doesn’t mean there aren’t signs of spring in other places, too.

Kenosha Marge sent in this report from way up north in Wisconsin after reading last week’s Saturday Sanity:

SO and I have seen a couple of Robins the past few days and were getting that “Spring Is Coming Soon” spring in our step. Yes, yes I know that the offical first day of Spring was Friday the 20th. That’s what the calendar says. When a Robin is in your backyard birdbath and on one of your backyard bird feeders that really means Spring is coming. Or maybe not. Here’s some expert who just had to rain on my parade.

Steve Lewis of the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service’s Division of Migratory Birds in Minneapolis said some robins in northern Wisconsin might have come south from Canada, “but they’re not birds that are coming back early from their wintering areas.”
Some may wonder how a bird weighing under 3 ounces can survive in a climate that can drop below zero degrees without warning.
For robins and other winter birds, it’s simply a matter of sprouting a few more down feathers for extra insulation and finding a steady source of food.
Frozen ground means no worms and frozen air inhibits crowds of insects, so robins and other birds like cedar waxwings will seek out fruit from crabapple trees and other berries still hanging on branches.
If they can keep their stomachs full, they see no reason to leave, said Dick Verch, a retired DNR employee who organizes the annual Christmas bird count for the Chequamegon Audubon Society.
“If you look at a lot of the fruiting trees – mountain ash and others – they still have fruit on them, and very often at this time of the year they’ve been stripped by birds,” Verch said. “That’s an indication there’s a good quantity of food, so maybe as the birds went into the winter with a lot of food around them, it kept them here.”
Verch said participants in the 2008 count spotted 76 robins – 56 more than the previous record of 20, set in 2004.
A few weeks ago we had this in WI...

A few weeks ago folks in in WI were doing this...

Wisconsin Robin!

Last week...a Wisconsin Robin!

While we’re on the subject of our animal buddies, I thought I’d share a pic of  Toro, our first dog, who turns 10 on March 31st!  Happy Birthday, TORO!  With spring in the air, Toro has taken a fancy to eating al fresco!

Birthday Boy Toro

Birthday Boy Toro

Here’s an update on TROOPER, my betta fish.  Over the last few weeks he seems to have really “grown up” in his behavior….he’s gotten larger and more aggressive about going after his food. He’s probably reached maturity and he certainly is robust in health, especially since I change him every 4 days!  I picked up a calendar at my State Farm office which feature golf courses…and the greens and traps seem to bring out Trooper’s colors very nicely.  He’s such a dark blue that he needs the contrast to be seen at his best!

Trooper likes to hang out on the 18th hole...

Trooper likes to hang out at the 18th hole...

Disappointing news…I’ve had to give up hope that I could entice Mario, the runaway chihuahua. The food was being eaten by birds, so it seems Mario is gone.  Best of luck, little guy…

But, some good news…On Tuesday (3/24) I was buzzed. A few moments later I saw my first hummingbird of the season!  The feeder is up and it looks like it’s being used.

The desert plants are beginning to wake up and within a couple of short days, the cactus in the front yard started blooming!

Cactus flower

Cactus flower

The NM privet that was flowering last week is now leafing out and the larger privet in the front yard is also starting to show some leaves.

Backyard NM privet

Backyard NM privet

The peach, fig, pomegranate and apricots are all continuing to bud out and the baby figs and peaches are really growing fast.  And my oldest grape vine is really starting to rev up:

Flame grape

Flame grape

Finally, here’s a shot of my garden beds with a lot of the plants waiting for transplanting under the sun shade. I cover them at night because it still gets chilly and the wind over the last few days dries things out in a very short time.  By the way, I found Ichiban eggplant and those fantastic pimiento peppers this week, so I can’t wait to get all these wonderful things into the ground!!

Waiting for a little less wind...

Waiting for a little less wind...

Hope spring is happening wherever you are!

Saturday Sanity: The Antidote to the Madness (March 7, 2009) (The Many Faces of Pansies and Other Garden Delights; Tico Goes Belly Up!) Pics!

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

Another miserable week in Obama’s Land of Hope…but let’s not dwell on that…we’re here  today to forget about it!

My old camera died and I went out and bought a Canon Power Shot SX110 IS.  I bought it because I wanted more zoom.  It’s already paid off because I got a really great series of shots of the mystery thrasher this week. I thought it had left, but he/she was at one of my feeders yesterday. This pic is so much better than the one in last week’s Saturday Sanity because with the zoom I could get the “close-up” shot from my usual spot at the kitchen window.  I think it’s a “cressal” thrasher for sure…with its beak open.  This bird is apparently endangered…

Cressal Thrasher (I Think...)

Cressal Thrasher (I Think...)

Last week I posted a picture of a flower that had sprung up next to my neighbor’s driveway, where a tire had formed a tread in the sandy soil.

Well, this week, we now have FOUR flowers, all lined up!

Now there are FOUR!

Now there are FOUR!

The little cacti are starting to bud out…

Budding cactus

Budding cactus

The stars of the garden are the pansies, which are rejuvenated in the warmer weather…at least until the heat gets to be too much for them…

Violas

Violas

Interesting pansy color combo...

Interesting pansy color combo...

Love the color contrast...

Love the color contrast...

Unique...

Unique...

I love the black lines and the yellow/blue combo...

I love the black lines and the yellow/blue combo...

Cool an elegant...

Cool an elegant...

Most dramatic of them all...

Most dramatic of them all...

The purple stock is really beautiful this year…

Purple stock

Purple stock

And so is this first bloom on the verbena…

First verbena bloom...

First verbena bloom...

And, to finish up, here is Tico in one of his more unusual poses…He loves belly rubs, but yesterday he was especially…provocative!

Tico Belly Up!

Tico Goes Belly Up!

After the belly rub ritual, I went out and took advantage of the overcast day and cool temperatures to prep my two raised beds!  All I have to do is add some compost and we’re ready to roll!  I’ve already planted the thyme and cilantro, so now it’s time to get the artichokes, tomatoes and peppers in soon.  I’ve also got a couple of sprouting sweet potatoes sitting in water, in hopes of getting some slips so I can try a crop out this year.

Enjoy the day! And get dirty…

Wells Fargo Bank Goes Insane! (Antidote: Nice Pictures)

~~By InsightAnalytical-GRL

It’s way past my bedtime and after a very busy weekend tending to my mother, just home from the hospital, I ran out of gas when it came to doing a post for today.

However, I’m still up and wired since I got off the phone with Wells Fargo Bank.

It all started when my mother and I set up a joint checking account, a sort of  “just in case” account so I could pay bills, shop, etc. if she couldn’t get out on her own.

First paper statement comes, no problem.

I go online tonight to check this little account, as well as another account that is for an A-B  trust we have.  WELL……………I see that when I sign in to the checking account, there’s the info from the A-B Trust.  Then I try my mother’s separate account and the little joint checking account is there, too.  Well, that’s OK, but what’s freaky is that I don’t have the totals for each account separately. I get the info on the A-B trust,  HER account (a living trust), each combined with the the info from the joint checking account (money which is outside the trusts) into one total.

In other words, each trust account doesn’t have its total separate…the totals both include the  joint checking account. Not good!

So I call Wells Fargo. Around and around we go on the phone…it all has to do with Social Security numbers and since I’m a trustee of  the A-B trust, well, that little checking account is joined to that.  Same thing with my mother, whose SS on the joint checking account screws up her trust and the A-B trust.  And I get linked to my mother’s trust, too!  We’re all thrown in together.   And I’m finally told that the checking account can be de-linked, but if I do that, I won’t be able to see the trust account I need to access online.  WTF???  I’m supposed to straighten it out at the branch, but they are the ones who set it up to begin with…

I can sign onto an account at Schwab and find two accounts there, mine and a trust…but when I click on the one, I get that ONE account, not the money mixed together!  At TDAmeritrade, I have a separate sign-in each for my account and the trust.  NOTHING gets co-mingled there, either.

But not at Wells Fargo. The last question the guy on the phone asked me was, “Why would you not want them linked?”    “Shit,”  I thought… but said:

“Well, it’s useless to sign on to get a total on an account and instead get a number that combines another account in with it!! “

I finished with a flourish, telling the guy that now I understood how Wells Fargo could make a dumb deal and buy Wachovia and their mortgage mess.  The same jackasses who did that deal created this nightmare with accounts being glombed together.

Now, they MAY be able to fix all this, but we’ve decided to close the little checking account and take it elsewhere if we can find a place that won’t freak over two accounts and combine them!  I mean, a trust is treated as a separate individual and money outside of the trust, stays out of it!

I know this sounds boring but these people are taking our tax money to get “bailed out” and they can’t even set up a bunch of accounts correctly and according to the damned IRS rules.

I won’t bore you with this any longer.  To reward you for your patience, I’m posting a few pictures.  The banks are closed since it’s President’s Day so I can’t do anything to straighten out this mess…so I’ll enjoy the pictures and hope you do, too.

Slick in Stylish Off-the-Shoulder PJs

Slick in Stylish Off-the-Shoulder PJs

Tico with His Mealtime Squeaker Toy

Tico with His Mealtime Dinner Bell Squeaker Toy

Tico squeaks toys when he wants to eat!  This is his favorite…

Toro Trying on Some Thread, Which Went Back to the Store

Toro Trying on Some Threads, Which Went Back to the Store for Obvious Reasons

Awhile back, someone requested more pictures of sunsets, but I thought I’d go with a SUNRISE picture instead…

SUNRISE 1/23/09

SUNRISE 1/23/09

Well, hope you enjoy your day today!

And my condolences to Lincoln and Washington who now have to share one lousy day.  Washington who??