Happy Birthday Susie and Pinky!

They have grown up much too quickly. They are still very much the babies of our family.

Miss Pinky

Miss Susie

Today, they are seven. To celebrate their day on Easter Sunday makes it extra special. Ever so perfect in their loving.

Happy Birthday Susie and Pinky!

xoxo

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Clocking

Miss Calico’s clock says it’s 8:53.

The Tidy Cat clock says it’s 10:17.

Perhaps the musical question needs to be asked, like the band, Chicago, asked here.

Side Note

My sis, Ginny, won a pair of tickets to attend the informal show Chicago was taping at Caribou Ranch, near Nederland in 1973. The show was on her first day of class, at the start of her sophomore year in college. Ginny was wondering who she could give the tickets to. Though I raised my hand high, she thought about giving the tickets to her best friend. Her friend couldn’t take them because she had to work her shift. Ginny, reluctantly, let me have the tickets. Nancy and I skipped our first day of school (high school) to attend. We met the band during one of the taping breaks. Better yet, I got a kiss from Nancy for a great day.

Happy Birthday Egypt!

Our much loved Miss Egypt would have been 13 today. Greatly missed, our tabby girl is not far from our thoughts.

Always sociable and friendly, she was always ready for a visit. Miss Egypt, though, only had eyes for her one. And, yes, her spirit has come with us to the new house.

We were glad and much privileged to have been her forever family.

Happy Birthday, Egypt!

xoxo

Easy Like Sunday

… or should it be “Escape From New York”?

My daughters had some equestrian business in upstate NY last week. When the weather upstate became decidedly blizzardy, the meeting was moved to Manhattan. Granted there would be no riding or making new horse friends, but when you have riders in the same room, the talk of horses can be unending. Sitting around a hotel suite, in riding attire, lends itself very well to the horse talk.

homeward bound: after takeoff from JFK, first to Atlanta then home to Colorado
photo credit: Deborah  camera: BB Classic

Three days after the storm, JFK was still a mess. Rebooked for today, their flight left this afternoon nearly 2½ hours behind schedule. Instead of a four-hour layover in Atlanta, it’ll be a two-hour layover. Fortunately, the possibility of icing in Atlanta and North Georgia will develop very late tonight, after the girls are back home.

Their host, she was still waiting for her flight to Florida. Her horses will follow in a few days.

Christmas Eve

A maze of boxes and furniture is all about the house. The kitties love the arrangement. It’s a playground. In place, their food and water stations, and litter boxes, of course. And, Andrea’s piano. The barn set-up is almost finished. There are certain priorities after all.

boxes and furniture: the living room maze

Tara’s temporary nightstand: a dual-purpose wooden crate

After a late breakfast, it was a day of moving around of boxes and furniture. Though most of our dinnerware, tableware and cookware remains boxed, enough is out for everyday use. The refrigerator is full, and we can make meals.

breakfast time: French toast

breakfast of champions: French toast drenched with syrup and a slab of butter

After dinner, it will be a crackling fire in the hearth. A few songs around the piano. A few, unexpected presents found under the tree.

later: preparing the Christmas Day checklist

To all our friends, may you have a merry and blessed Christmas!

Easy Like Sunday: Eclipse Day Preview

The anticipation is great. It’s been called the celestial event of the year, and more. And, it begins in a matter of hours.

Its transcontinental path across America is most rare. Not rare is the zone of totality, about 67 miles wide. Outside the zone, a partial eclipse. For example, Grand Teton National Park, lies within the zone of totality but its immediate neighbor to the north, Yellowstone National Park, will experience a 99% partial eclipse. While the experience should be the same whether in Grand Teton or Yellowstone, it has been suggested it is not. Both places of nature’s grandeur will be dark regardless.

click on the map to view the interactive Google eclipse map*

If the plan is to directly observe the eclipse, partial or total, you will need to be properly equipped. The eclipse glasses or handheld viewers should be certified to meet the ISO 12312-2 standard. Many reputable outlets have already sold out their stock. One alternative is to make a DIY cardboard pinhole viewer. The pinhole viewer does work; it is a matter of practicing in the hours before the eclipse. Practice can also be done using a lamp as a substitute for the sun.

The other direct view methods are a telescope or a welder’s lens. For a telescope, a sun filter that attaches to the eyepiece is needed or a sun projection screen. If it is a welder’s lens, a shade 14 lens should be used according to NASA. Anything less does not provide the necessary eye protection. Most welding supply stores have said a shade 14 lens is a special order item.

ready: 400X Jason refractor telescope and kitty station

If the plan also includes to photograph the eclipse, partial or total, you will need to have the proper filtering lens for your camera. A sun filter should be attached to the end of the zoom lens. The stacking of neutral density filters along with polarizing filters will not protect the camera sensor from damage. With the camera essentially turned into a refractor telescope, increasing the optical zoom will decrease its light gathering ability. It will require a judicious use of zoom, ISO speed and aperture to capture a decent image.

The wild card in viewing the eclipse is weather. In general, the forecast is expected to be good to fair. Along the Colorado Front Range, we’re expected to have sky conditions featuring thin, high-level cloudiness. In Casper, WY, the closest point of totality, they are expected to have similar sky conditions. The level of cloudiness maybe enough to provide a momentary glimpse of the sun without protection.

Regardless of approach, a total solar eclipse of this kind should not be missed. If you watch online or television, mute the sound. What matters is your sense of marvel and experience, not the commentator’s.

Note

If you click on the map above, you will redirected to Google’s Interactive Eclipse Map. Combined with their satellite street mapping, you are able to project the eclipse, partial or total, to your street address. At our house, we’re expected to have a partial eclipse of 88.892% at maximum. The shadows are expected to be similar to an early dusk twilight. The eclipse will begin at 10:23:40.7, reaching its maximum at 11:47:55.0, and ending at 13:15:59.4.