~The Simple Things in Life

Mehaffey Park History
Mehaffey Park History

A dear friend treated me to a belated birthday lunch today. She picked up bagel sandwiches from Einstein Bagels, which included a bowl of fruit and a dill pickle. All were yummy! We met at one of the picnic shelters at Mehaffey Park; Loveland’s brand new park. (Read about the history of Mehaffey Park from the sign above and note the request from the family.)

While waiting for Gale to arrive, I met a guy and his seven month old Sheba Inu puppy. Needless to say the puppy was adorable. A happy little guy, because he gets to walk to the park from his house everyday.

A lady came along and sat down at another picnic table, soon she came over to our table and sat down with Jeff and I. Of course she had to pet the puppy.  She told me she knew me from somewhere. After a few tries to figure out from where, we came to the conclusion it was from playing Pickleball! Jackie sat and talked with us until her friend Robin arrived along with Pebbles her Chihuahua dog.

I have never met Robin before, nor Jeff, but might see them again sometime at the park. I met Jackie and her husband playing Pickleball several weeks ago. I will see Jackie in the morning on the Pickleball court beginning at 7:30am.

From our picnic table, looking west, Gale and I could see Long and Meeker Peaks in the distance. Brilliant blue skies dotted with white clouds leading the way as we gazed upon these beautiful peaks.

Mehaffey Park with Long and Meeker Peaks in the distance.
Mehaffey Park with Long and Meeker Peaks in the distance. Photo taken on a cloudy day, not today.

I could hear Canada geese down by the pond talking among themselves, perhaps deciding when to head south for the winter. Not far away, pure joy in the form of giggles, floated in the air from kids enjoying their new playground.

I appreciate these kind of days – lunch with a dear friend, meeting new people, all while enjoying the sights and sounds of nature in a beautiful place called Loveland, Colorado.

View from Mehaffey looking west. We live on that hill.
View from Mehaffey looking west. Notice the hill dotted with houses, we live on that hill!

Thanks Gale for lunch, I enjoyed it very much!

Enjoy the Simple Things in Life!

~Rubies after all!

From Howard with Love! This arrangement is gorgeous and I was thrilled to receive it.
From Howard with Love!

Gorgeous in shades of Ruby Red, so I got Rubies on my fortieth after all!

The tag, from McLellan Botanicals, states that this Orchid is a Dendrobium; however I am not quite sure. I looked on their web-site for additional photos of Dendrobium Orchids and it doesn’t exactly look the same. At any rate they are beautiful and I was thrilled to receive them. Number four!

Rubies after all!
Close up.

~On this day

August 9, 1975

On this day,

forty years ago,

we pledged our love,

and said I do.

August 9, 2015

On this day,

and everyday since,

we express our love for each other,

and will, forever and always.

The joy in my heart and the light of my life –  my dear hubby and our two “girls”.

Photo taken last summer as we traveled the Oregon Coast.

~Orchids, my new Hobby

A new hobby for me – purchasing and taking care of Orchids.

My Florida Orchid
My Florida Orchid
I started to say growing Orchids; however I’am not growing them. Should I wish I were? Many years ago I grew African Violets. I had several of them and grew new plants from leaves of older plants. I had a unique grouping of windows with perfect lighting conditions, that helped them prosper. I haven’t been so lucky growing African Violets since moving to Colorado. I have one plant and I am glad to report she is doing well.
While traveling this past winter, I fell in love with my sister-in-laws Orchids. For many years she has had Orchids. Living in Florida and enjoying its mild and humid weather her Orchids are hung from tree branches and decorate their pool side patio in beautiful pots. She has several different species and they are all gorgeous!
During our visit to Florida, I purchased an Orchid telling myself that I must be crazy – “what am I doing taking a moist loving plant to a non-moist environment?”  If  you have ever visited Colorado, then you know what the humidity levels are! What the heck I told myself, I want one.
I can’t say this is my very first Orchid, because MANY years ago my sweet hubby gave me one as a gift. I don’t remember what happened to this special Orchid.
The Orchid I purchased in Florida, was from one of the many speciality grocery stores that sell them. I can’t remember exactly which store. The flowers on my Orchid were a beautiful orangey, rusty color (my favorite) and they lasted several months. When we got home, I repotted my lovely Orchid and it is doing well. It has since lost its flowers, but new, dark green leaves are sprouting out and the root system is growing fast. It is looking good and I will be so excited when, yes when, it blooms again!
Being back home, with lots more room to have house plants, I purchased another Orchid. This time a beautiful dark, pink color, which is still blooming. I repotted this one as well.
My second Orchid
My second Orchid
A week or two ago, while along for the ride with hubby, I purchased yet another Orchid from Lowe’s. Whenever we go to one of the big hardware stores, I like to browse the garden area. Well on this particular day, I came across several lovely Orchids that were on Lowe’s clearance rack. Actually, there were quite a few. I felt very bad for all these Orchids, which I knew would probably be thrown away. I selected one that looked healthy and left the rest with a heavy heart. I have the room at home, but not so much when we begin traveling again in the coach, otherwise I would have taken more home with me.
The flowers on this one are white with reddish centers. I repotted it and she looks happy, happy, happy! So now I have three. Will I leave home with three? {grins}. I think it is sad to see what type of container these Orchids are put in to sell. I know it makes monetary sense, but I am betting some of them don’t survive.
My third Phalaenopsis Orchid
My third Phalaenopsis Orchid
Not long after my first Orchid purchase, I began looking for a book to read on how to care for them. I found and purchased a book by Bruce Rogers called “The Orchid Whisperer”. I enjoyed reading this book and will keep it, in my iPad book library for future reference.
After reading this book, I choose to repot my Orchids using a coarse blend of bark. You will notice, I am trying out different types of pots – one is clay, one is a ceramic Orchid pot and one is a ceramic pot.
Orchid Potting Mix
Orchid Potting Mix
My three Orchids are Phalaenopsis Orchids and I understand that they are the most common, and are the ones sold at grocery, hardware and other type stores. People claim they are easy to maintain and that they produce gorgeous flowers twice a year. They come in many different colors and are commonly called the “Moth Orchid”.
I have placed my three Orchids, along with the African Violet, in a north facing window in my bathroom area. They receive plenty of light and hopefully some moisture. All four plants appear healthy.
A great resource for not only learning about Orchids, but educating yourself about Orchids is the American Orchid Society.
Here is a link to their web page:
Orchid Society

~To Those that Heal

To all the vets and medical staff at CSU Veterinary Teaching Hospital and Cancer Center, a thank you for helping our Kloudy girl!

With dedication and strong minds,

healers stand above,

with compassion and kind hearts,

healers go beyond.

Playing Fetch in Bronze
Playing Fetch in Bronze
We all must have a memory like this. I know I do.
We all must have a memory like this. I know I do.
Making it all better!
Making it all better!
Best Friends
Best Friends

I took these photos on the grounds and in the lobby of the James L. Voss Veterinary Hospital at Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado.

Some updates on Kloudy that I wrote on FB:

July 17, 2015: We picked Kloudy up today around 10:30. She cried all the way home and for the longest time once she was home. For the last hour she is laying down and sleeping on and off seemingly, peacefully. Skye didn’t like Kloudy’s distress and would whine and bark, not liking it one bit. They are both quiet at the moment. Thank goodness! Kloud will have to be confined for 10-14 days, only potty outings, no exercise of any kind, no playing, etc. She is wearing one of those cone collars that the vet said over and over, “do not take off”. We have four meds to give her, first round at 3:00pm. The lab work probably won’t come in until Monday. They removed the rectal tumor, three lymph nodes and the liquid cystic mass. The vet stated they have never seen this type of cystic mass, with lymph nodes floating in there. They must have consulted Oncology and they stated they didn’t know what caused it or even what it was per say. Maybe the lab work will give them a better idea. Let’s hope no cancer cells found!!! Also, I wish for her lots of peaceful sleep, she needs it. It sure hurts to see your four-legged best friends and family members in any kind of pain. Parts of her legs, back and abdomin have been shaved with only her fluffy white tail left back there.

July 18, 2015: Howard sleep downstairs with Kloud and every little movement or sound from Kloudy had Syle whining, barking and wanting to go see what the problem is. I finally just came downstairs and Howard went upstairs to sleep for a couple of hours.  Skye loves her sista!!!

July 18 around 2:00pm: She has been sleeping a lot probably from pain medications, she ate her breakfast and went out to potty twice, which of course is all good! We are now waiting on the lab work to come in, hopefully Monday.

~

I will share what the vet wrote, in her assessment,  in hopes that you will be able to recognize these systems if your dog or cat experiences such a problem:

“Cloud is straining to defecate and has misshaped (flattened) stools when she does defecate. On abdominal ultrasound, the structure dorsocaudal in the bladder was cystic in appearance and about 5cm x 7.c cm in size. In addition, the left medial iliac lymph node was mildly enlarged, a small splenic nodule was identified, and both the spleen and liver have increased echogenicity throughout. Since one of the most common anal sac tumors, adenocarcinoma, can readily metastasize to the medial iliac lymph nodes, we decided to include an abdominal exploratory surgery in the plan for Kloud in order to obtain this lymph node for biopsy.”

If your doggie is straining to poop and has misshaped stools have your vet do a rectal exam. Our vet felt the tumor right away. We don’t know how long Kloudy has had this tumor. I understand that this type of anal sac tumor is common.

“Wish love in my heart for all our four-legged friends.”

~Remember me, the Explorer?

“Hi, remember me? Yawl probably know me from my nickname “The Explorer”. My Mom asked me to write asking for your thoughts and prayers. In the morning I am scheduled for surgery. I have a big, scary problem. It isn’t easy sharing with you, but maybe my experience will help my friends.
I have a tumor in my, oh well here goes, rectum. I am having such a hard time going. I try and try, but nothing. Sometimes, after a long walk I can. Whew! 
Monday, I went to my regular vet and let me tell you, she adores me! She had Sibi’s just like me, and she gives me lots of hugs and a few treats. She told me it would be best to go see another doc. So she sent me to another place, a world renowned place that takes care of doggies, cats, horses, cows, everything!
Let me tell you this place is so big it is scary with lots of people running here and there.  I am use to things being a lot more quiet. I think this place is called CSU Vet Teaching Hospital, have you heard of it? My vet here decided I can have surgery hoping it will help me poop better and you should have seen my Mom and Dad, they were so happy to hear this news.
Me, not so happy. I have to stay here overnight to have two tests. One to check my chest, why I don’t know, and the other to check my butt. So if all goes well with these tests tonight and there aren’t any emergencies in the morning, like one of my friends coming in hurt, I will get fixed up. I sure am hoping that I get all better and won’t have to worry about going any more. I really just want to go home. 
Lately, I have been getting lots more hugs, I sure do get a lot everyday, but I have been getting extra these last few days. Yesterday, Mom and Dad took me to one of my favorite places. A place where water shoots up in the air. I love to run and try to grab a drink before the water goes away. Where does it go, I wonder? Anyway, I get a big kick out chasing the water spout. I get all wet and have to shake before my parents let me get back into the car. It feels so good! My Mom even missed Pickleball to stay home with me, she must really love me!
It is lonely here tonight in the hospital and I miss my sister, Dad and Mom. I’am a little scared, maybe more than a little. I sure hope I get to go home soon. Think of me in the morning okay and I will send you my special doggie kisses.
Oh wait, I have more news. I just overheard my 3rd year attending resident talking to my Dad. She was giving him the results of my two tests. I think from what I heard that one was good and one was not so good.
The chest X-ray showed no problems. The sonogram showed some interesting things. What the vet felt during my exam, which he thought were enlarged lymph nodes, is a mass filled with fluid, on the outside of my bladder and my liver is enlarged.
I could tell, from the conversation, my Mom and Dad were upset. I want to tell them that things will be okay! They will remove the liquid filled mass along with the rectal tumor and I will be fine.
I also heard her say I am going to get to eat in a few minutes, I think I am getting hungry, its past my dinner time!”
Oh, here I am at the water park:
Kloud, having a great time!
Kloud, having a great time!
"Where did it go?"
“Where did it go?”

_MG_4937

~Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow

~

flowers bring a smile

lighten the heart with joy

may they grace all tomorrows

~

Day Lily-in yellow
Day Lily-in yellow

As you gaze,

upon a Day Lily,

Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,

is what you see.

Marigold in Orange
Marigold in Orange
Day Lily in Orange
Day Lily in Orange

~

Yesterday, gone

Today, now

Tomorrow, coming  

~

Marigold in Yellow
Marigold in Yellow
Cherry Tree
Cherry Tree
Sadly, I haven’t planted many flowers in my yard this year, but the few I have blooming bring me great joy everyday.

Enjoying retirement: On The Road & At Home

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