Sunday, July 23, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday?

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie, here with this photo for you today:

Me, watching intently!

I know. You're wondering, "Birdies? Bunny? Kit-cat?" Even better. My very favorite neighbor Tao is replacing his mailbox. I offered to help, but he seems to think he can do it without me and Mom didn't want me sitting in his driveway, watching. Fine. But I'm not giving up.  I'll stay right here and supervise from here.  You know -- in the air-conditioning.  It's hot out there!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, July 22, 2017

Beat The Heat

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  Yesterday, I took a very early morning walk to get out there before it got way too hot.  To burn more energy later in the day, Mom and I played indoor Siberian Rules Fetch with my Squeaky Red Football. Here's one of the times I ran off with the Squeaky Red Football and tried to destroy it:

"You're going down, Squeaky Red!"

It's a great way to beat the heat!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Friday, July 21, 2017

Photo Finish Friday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  The other day, Mom wanted Cam and me to do some porch posing for her.  This is pretty much the best we gave her:

"Hey.  I see someone across the street!"
"Is it the new neighbors?"

Sadly, it wasn't the new neighbors, nor did Mom have treats.  It is a nice shot of the Sweet Potato Vine and all the other stuff in the porch pots, though!

Stay cool, everyone.  It's beastly-hot out there!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher 

Thursday, July 20, 2017


Hello, everyone! It's me, Cam. So there Maggie and I were last night, just relaxing before dinner, when I heard Mom start slicing up a ...


Quite possibly my very favorite food in all the lands.  And this one is a real beauty, too.  We were more than happy to do a quick taste-test for Mom, to make sure it was OK.

Mmm.... CANTALOUPE!!!!!!  Do you have a favorite food, too?


Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Wordless Wednesday


Cam and Mags

PS:  Mom says thanks for the kind words on yesterday's post.  This was for the thumb on the non-broken wrist side, to clear up any confusion.  She really knows how to fall!

PS again:  Burgers!!!

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Road Trip!

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  Yesterday morning, we all got up and moving before the crack of dawn.  Maggie and I wondered what was going on, but seeing as how we did get breakfast, I wasn't too concerned.  We all loaded up into the HR-V, and hit the road.

We had been going for a couple of hours (with a rest stop for us girls tossed in) when ...

"Did you forget your camera, Mom?"
"Hey ... this isn't the way to Quivira!"

It was very odd.  We started going the Quivira way, then headed toward a city.  Hmm.  Eventually, we pulled into the parking lot by a bunch of huge buildings, got to walk around the grassy areas a little, and had some water.  Then Maggie and I got back into the HR-V with Dad, cranked up the air conditioning, and just hung out.  For quite a while.

Meanwhile, Mom had gone into one of the buildings and stared at this for a couple hours:


There were also a bunch of people who came and went and bent her thumb all around and looked at the x-rays and MRI they had taken at Fort Riley and then someone called "the specialist" said the words Mom was hoping to hear - "no surgery needed".  YAY!

Remember the fall Mom took back in March?  In addition to everything else, she also did some damage to the ligaments in her left thumb.  The orthopedic surgeon she had been seeing at Ft. Riley wanted her to see another orthopedic surgeon with more specialization in injuries to the hand/wrist, and gave her a referral to a guy in Wichita.  That's where we went!  (And we girls only went because Mom and Dad didn't know how long it would take and as is, it was shorter than they thought but we were gone almost 8 hours.)

Anyway, we celebrated the good news by going to a magical place called Spangles afterwards!

"I smell burgers!"
"I smell chick-hen!!"

It was totally worth the trip!  Maggie and I got a bite of Mom's burger!  It was the tastiest burger we've ever had!

And don't worry, Maggie and I are continuing to take good care of our mom.

"Don't do anything we wouldn't do, Mom."
"Hey, Mom. Looks like you're only up by one in the Opposable Thumbs Game now."

Mom is relieved and we all hope that this will allow her ligaments to heal up - it's just going to take time.  And patience.

Some of you have been asking about Mom's recovery, so that's why we shared this.  Everything else is going splendidly.  We appreciate you asking very much.

Have a great day, everyone!  And stay cool!


PS:  Did I mention we stopped for burgers??????

Monday, July 17, 2017


Greetings to all! It's me, Maggie.  It's Monday morning, and you know what that means, right?

"You DO know what this means, don't you?"

"Keep it down, Mags; I'm working."
"Thaaaaaaaaat's right.  Nap time."

Seriously. We've got a schedule to maintain here.

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, July 16, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  This week, for Serene Scenery Sunday, Cam and I thought we'd show you around our gardens to see what's in bloom.

"Someone other than us needs to walk around and take some garden shots. Mom."
"Yeah. It's getting hot.  Time for us Sibes to head inside."
"No problem, girls."

She's not a Northern Breed like us; she'll be fine.

This is going to be photo-heavy, so I'll keep the chit-chat to a minimum!  Let's start in the gardens out back!

Beth Coneflower in the Friendship Garden
Day Lilies
Butterfly Weed in the Wildflower Garden
Moonshine Yarrow in the Wildflower Garden
Let's look at what's blooming on the south side of the house!

Hummingbird Mint on the lowest side tier; it's over 3 feet high now!
Blackberry Lily in the Butterfly Garden
PowWow Wild Berry Coneflowers in the Butterfly Garden
Common Milkweed in the Butterfly Garden

The Monarch Butterflies are going to LOVE that milkweed!  It's over 4 feet tall and is ready to burst into blooms!

Now let's look around at the street-level bloomers!

Fire and Ice Hosta in bloom
Sorbet Lantana by the mailbox, mixed in with Silver Mound
Begonia on the front porch
Another Begonia on the front porch

I like the curly-cues in the center of that one!

One of my favorite pots of posies is right by the garage.  I check on it just about every time I go outside.

"Ha roo, Petunias!"

I'm pretty sure those flowers are doing so well because of my encouragement!

We hope our garden tour helped make you feel nice and serene!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Road Block

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cam.  So there Maggie and I were the other day, trying to get cool on the tile floor, when ...

"Excuse me, girls!  Can I get through, please?"
"You're not going to get up, are you, Maggie?"
"Nah.  Just ignore her.  She can step over us!"

I mean ... we had just gotten comfy!  

Have a good weekend, everyone - and stay cool!


Friday, July 14, 2017

Is That You?!?

Greetings to all!  It's me, Mags.  The other morning after our walk, Cam and I went out on the upper deck with Mom before it got too hot to be out there.  I was walking around, checking everything out when ...

"Hey ... what's this?!?  I smell something on the underside of the deck!  I ... I hear something!"

It was really odd ... but I did have a vague idea of what it was!  I decided I should call for backup, just in case there was trouble, like they do in the really cool detective shows I like to watch.

"I need to call in the big guns!"

Fortunately for me, Cam was right there, and was ready to investigate!

"Is it what I think it is, Cam?!?"
"Yes.  Yes, I think it is!  Hey!  Hey, you down there!!!"

Can you guess what -- or should I say who -- it was?!?  Long-time readers of the Ao4 Digest will probably get this one -- it was Bart!

Our great-brothers and great-sisters first posted about him in 2007.  Bart is a little Brown Bat who lives under our upper deck!  We can see him from the lower deck, but Mom hasn't gotten a decent shot of him yet this year.  (Please click here to see a shot from a couple of years ago.)

Mom always is very careful to wash all the guano off the lower deck before we go down there, so we've never really gotten a good smell of him before -- but we did now!  This calls for one thing, and one thing alone!  A round of Crazed River Otter Games!

"Oh, no!  It's a crazed rive--UMPH!!!!"

Cam was a little quicker on the draw than I was, but I jumped right in!

"Gotcha, you little crazed river ott---"

What fun!  Who'd think you could have a bat AND crazed river otters on the same deck - right?

Mom is always happy to see Bart.  Little guys like him can eat up to 1,200 mosquito-sized insects per hour! He's a great friend to have "hanging around" Ao4 Headquarters!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher 

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  We've been going through quite the heat/high humidity spell here lately.  Our temps have been over 100 and the heat index at about 110.  Some might call that "sweltering".  Anyway, it wasn't quite as stifling this morning, which was great.  Even better was a "find" I made on our walk:

"This feels so good on my feety-feet!"

Now that's a great way to beat the heat!

Stay cool, everyone!


Wednesday, July 12, 2017

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

You've Got Mail!

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  The other day, Mom called Cam and me over and said we had received a postcard!  How exciting!  Cam checked it out first, then I gave it a good snoofing:

"Ooh!  A photo of Chatsworth - in SNOW!"

I knew right away it was from my dear friend Princess Leah!  I was super excited, so I ran into the living room!

"Play bows, Leah!"

She said the snow-covered lawn at Chatsworth looked like a perfect place for a round of Crazed River Otter Games (CROG), and wow, is she ever right!  I got so excited thinking about it that I broke out in zoomies!


That lawn looks like an even better location than our living room.  Especially covered in SNOW!  (Chatsworth, not our living room.  I've never seen that covered in snow, though it does sound interesting!)

Anyway, Mom thought I should pose with the postcard.  Cam was previously engaged on the bed (ahem), or she would have joined me.  Based on a comment Princess Leah made on our blog yesterday (something about knowing about the silly "No Siberians On The Ottoman" rule), I came up with the perfect place to strike a pose!  Check it out:

"Thanks for the great postcard, Leah!"
"OK, good, 
Mags.  You can get down now."

"Get down"?  Is she joking?  That thing is comfy!

"Nah, that's OK, Mom.  I'm good."

Seriously.  Why would she even think I'd want to get down?

Thanks again, Leah -- from both me and Cam!!!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Monday, July 10, 2017

Monday Musings

Greetings to all!  It's me, Maggie.  So ... did you all see Cam's garden tour yesterday?

"I can't believe Cam and Mom went out there without me!  
And that my sad, sad song didn't break their hearts and make them come back in immediately!
Wait ... where'd they go?  I can't see them ..."

"Oh.  Oh, hi, Mom.  Back in so soon?"

Yeah.  So, anyway ... I thought you might enjoy a few more photos of the gardens.  Oh, no.  I'm not going out there - it's hotter than blazes now.  Let's send Mom!

Here's a better look at the Butterfly Garden, like Cam promised:

Part of the Butterfly Garden

You can see one of the Butterfly Bushes.  Or as our dear friend and favorite Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Princess Leah, likes to call them, Buttie Pillar Bushes.  In fact, the Latin name is Buddleia -- I mean BuddLEAH.  Ha roo roo roo.  You can also see some of the Butterfly Weed (the orange stuff), PowWow Wild Berry Coneflowers, and some Russian sage in the back.

Let's step back a bit and get another view!

The Butterfly Garden

In the front is the first of the Hummingbird Mint, or Agastache, Mom put in - and just beyond it, to the right, is one of the big Milkweeds.  Monarchs especially like that; we're hoping they get word that our crop is going strong this year!

Just down a tier from the Butterfly Garden is a tier with mostly Maiden Grasses, but Mom also planted one more Hummingbird Mint there last year.  It didn't do too well at first, but look at it this year:


Mom's pretty stoked about that!

While I've got Mom out there ... let's head to the Friendship Garden and see if there are any butterflies hanging out down there.  They like the Coneflowers down there.  Check it out!

To view on YouTube, please click here.

We hope all of you and especially our friend Princess Leah liked that!!! And how about a still shot?

Butterfly on Coneflower!

Pretty cool, huh?

Speaking of cool, I'm hot and tired just thinking about Mom sweating out there in the gardens!


I hope you enjoyed another look at our gardens!  Stay cool, everyone!

Yours sincerely,
Margaret Thatcher

Sunday, July 09, 2017

Serene Scenery Sunday

Hello, everyone!  It's me, Cammie!  How about a tour of our gardens this week for Serene Scenery Sunday?  Let's take a quick look at the Butterfly Garden first!

"Looking colorful!  The butterflies will love it!"

The Butterfly Bushes, Butterfly Weed, the Coneflowers, and lots more are doing well!  We'll try to get better pix down there later this week.  Right behind that tallest Butterfly Bush is one of our flowers that's just starting to open!

Blackberry Lily!

It's a pretty cool plant!  We'll take more shots as it blooms more!

Down past the fence is the Friendship Garden ... so how about we walk down there and see how that's doing?

"Welcome to the Friendship Garden!"

I love the Friendship Garden!  Everything is looking pretty good in there, but I could use a shade break.  How about a quick rest under the Amur Maples?

"Just what I needed!"

From there, I can see to the bottom of the yard, where the Crape Myrtles are blooming!

Crape Myrtle!

And if I look toward the south, I can see my Daisies!

Bug on Becky Daisy

Since we're looking that way, let's head on over and take a look at the Wildflower Garden!

"Well, the Black-Eyed Susans and the Sedum right in front of them are looking good ..."

Some of the things Mom put in last year are struggling, but the Black-Eyed Susans have really taken off ...

Black-Eyed Susan

... as has the Yarrow!

"Moonshine" Yarrow

Some of the Sedums and Milkweed plants are doing ok ...

"... but the rest of you need to step it up!"

I've heard you should talk to plants to make them grow.

Oh. Right. If you look closely at the photo above, you can see Maggie in the top-left window!

I think that's enough for today!  Time to head inside and get some water!

"Race you to the water bowl!"

I hope our garden walk has made you feel nice and serene!