Happy Birthday Musketeers!

A tightly knitted trio of littermates. Two tuxedos and one solid black. They are the Musketeers – Maxie, Midnight and Tuxie.

Today, they are celebrating their 14th birthday.




They truly look out for each other, exemplifying the Musketeer ethos of  “all for one, one for all.” The sudden loss of Tuxie, three years ago, tested Maxie and Midnight. They met and passed the test.


Happy Birthday Musketeers!



Second To Twenty Five

Equestrian, medical student, romantic.

“I believe in romance,” she begins. “It brings light into darkness. It brings kindness and politeness. It brings beauty into chaos.”

Tara: Iowa Gold (Aug 2014)

A romantic, Tara lives it, defining her the best. “Romance is not about falling in love at every turn. Nor, is it about being in love. It is being swept away by those things that bring you great happiness. Yet, they can break your heart too.” She has found its underlying wisdom.

Tara is a very lovely young woman. Poised and confident. Quiet and reserved. Studied and bright. A maker of smiles.

“If I had to choose,” saying in a hushed tone, “it would be a romantic. There is no greater romance than learning how to heal, no greater romance than being close to a horse who would do absolutely anything for you.”

a quiet moment: Tara and Candace (Happy Girl)

Tara is very observant too. “There is a good chance you believe in romance too.”

“You set off a dream in me
Gettin’ louder now
Can you hear it echoing?”

Her song of the moment is Never Enough from the motion picture, “The Greatest Showman”. A video of the original song can be found here.


Happy Birthday, Miss Tara!

mom and dad

First To Twenty Five

A special post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN.

I ran into a friend I hadn’t seen for awhile. She knew I had daughters. “Your girls must be young ladies, fifteen, sixteen?”

“More like 24 and 23,” I replied.

“It can’t be,” she said.

Of course, like any good mom, I reached into my shoulderbag and pulled out my wallet to show the pictures I carry. First, I showed her their photos as young girls around four and five, then more recent ones from a couple of years ago. I also showed the couple of photos I carry of Tara. “Though not my step-daughter,” I said, “it warms my heart when she calls me mom. She’s a very sweet girl.”

Deborah: Iowa Gold (Aug 2014)

It is hard to believe our first princess, Deborah, is twenty-five.

Her dad and I are proud of the beautiful woman Deborah has become. Witty, intelligent, thoughtful and sweet. She loves being a horsewoman. And, yes she still slips her hand into ours. Those tight hugs, can’t have too many of them.

Deborah with her Comet (JN Ranch, Apr 2014)


Happy 25, Baby Girl!

mom and dad

Happy Birthday Egypt!

Our tabby girl, Miss Egypt, would have been 14 today. She remains much loved.

Miss Egypt was very sociable and friendly. Any visitor to the house had to be ready to play with her. Before bedtime, Egypt would always bring a toy with her. She would play with her toy, in bed, before falling asleep.

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

Happy Birthday, Egypt!


Twenty Three

A special post by Andrea Kanakredes, RN, MSN.

Oh, how my heart skipped when I learned you were conceived. It was pure joy, to know another babe was on the way. I asked dad, “Girl or boy?” His answer came easily. “Girl. They are sweeter and finer.” Such a sweet, kind answer.

shaded yet bright: Elizabeth flashing eyes and earrings (age 5)

Our second princess, Elizabeth, is twenty three. Dad and I are so proud of who you have become. Gorgeous, inquisitive, talented. We so love how close you are with Deborah. And, with Tara. A heart full of love.

The chapter you’ve just begun will prove to be most challenging of your life. Dad and I know you will give your best effort, learning and perfecting your skills. Whatever your life’s work may be – physician, rancher or equestrian – you will be successful.

kindred spirits: Elizabeth and Lilith on an autumn walk (JN Ranch, October 2016)

Another beautiful princess, we are so blest. A princess who still slips us love notes and listens to our hearts flutter with love.

My perfect princess, your dad’s perfect princess.

Happy 23, baby!

mom and dad

Happy Birthday Meezers!

Birthday week continues.

Though they’ve been gone to the Rainbow Bridge for awhile, we still mark the occasion of celebrating their special day, Dino and Pebbles. Littermates, they came to live with us two weeks apart. First was Dino – a very happy, very friendly Siamese-mix boy. Then came Pebbles – a more cautious seal-point Siamese girl. Both had white mittens.

In play, they were inseparable.

Dino and Pebbles: checking what’s under the carpet runner

They were kitty blurs in motion.

the Dino blur

the Pebbles blur

After playing or doing other cat stuff, they often would relax and nap together.

sweet innocents: the towel covers the hole they made in the arm of the couch

In kitten life, they perfected the ability of taking nearly the entire bed for themselves during the overnight. Dino and Pebbles also pioneered “the early breakfast” concept – that’s the breakfast served at 1:30 am. “No!” was not an acceptable option in this regard. Regular breakfast came between 7:00 and 7:30 am, with a bacon snack at 10:30 am.

They made our home complete. Perfect companions, perfect love.

Happy Birthday Dino & Pebbles!

mom, dad, & girls

Photos: From the Two Cats Two archive. They were taken using a Canon FTb 35 mm SLR with Kodak Gold film (ASA 200).