Total Pageviews

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Fresh Snow In The Mountains

 We woke up this morning to fresh snow. Total about 5 1/2" which brings the total snow fall so far this snow season to 35". We are lucky that the temperature went down to 16 degrees because this snow is very light and easy to handle. 

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Then And Now

 The above photo was taken on November 29th and the bottom photo was taken on December 9th.
What a difference a few days makes. All due to low temperatures at night. 

Friday, December 8, 2017

Number Nine

I recently posted 8 things that have gone wrong in the past 6 months and advising we were looking forward to 2018 for a new start. Well 2017 is not over yet and this is number nine. Our Caloric propane gas stove has stopped working. The pilot light is on but the oven burners are not lighting. A repairman from the co-op will charge $75. to make a service call and then if he doesn't have the parts it will be another call and another $75. not including labor if it can even be repaired. New ranges are less than $500.00, so getting repairs could be a trap.

The stove is an old one that has served us well for over 20 years. Carol called Sears and they can have one delivered for less than $500.00, next week. I guess it is time for a new stove. Now to go turn off the gas supply to this one so we don't have any loud surprises.

We are clearly at the point where neither of us will say I wonder what can go wrong now!

We Never Know

 Two days ago Carol was feeding the dogs and called me to see two turkeys walking down the mountain right outside our breakfast nook window.
Then yesterday I looked out the front window and there was a bobcat walking down the road. I did not get a picture of him so this is a borrowed photo from Google images but he looked exactly like this.
Then three days ago we had a herd of six deer that hung around the house all day. When we go outside or look outside we just do not know what we will see. No wonder when we let the dogs out into the fenced back yard the first thing they do is stick their noses up in the air. Add that to the coyotes out in front of the house last weekend at 2:20 AM singing and howling it just shows life here in the mountains is never boring....

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

I consider Alamosa a small town - especially when compared to the cities or mega cities where I have lived in the past. The population is approximately 9,500. and it has a friendly small town ambiance. Today I went into the tire store we have been dealing with for 20+ years. We needed snow tires for our truck and I called the owner yesterday and told him my need and he had the tires this morning to install on our truck.

The waiting room is large, clean and friendly. A gentlemen came in and said hello to me and we struck up a conversation. Since we were about the same age we discussed the culture today and when we grew up. We discussed our military time and hunting and the valley and how it has changed. Next thing I knew our truck was ready to go and I had made a good acquaintance and enjoyed pleasant conversation.

To me this is small town friendliness and most everywhere you go in town it is the same. People look at each other, smile at each other, strangers talk to each other and life goes on at the leisurely pace of a small town. We have dealt with this same tire store over the years - even though other places might be cheaper, because of the friendliness of the people who work there and they have never once given us bad advice or tires that were not just right for our need.

I don't say this doesn't happen in some bigger cities but here it happens all the time and just makes life more pleasurable. Alamosa has growing pains and will get bigger but for now I'll just enjoy it as it is..   

Monday, December 4, 2017

Another First

In the twenty years we have lived here this is another first for us. Carol put an aspen log on the fire this morning and we noted it burned green. I looked up what on the element chart burns green and it is barium. This tree must have grown over a barium deposit and absorbed some of the barium. I don't believe it is dangerous but it sure makes the flames in the wood stove unique and pretty.

Sunday, December 3, 2017

Serenade At Night

Coyote tracks in the fresh snow. They were not there yesterday but came from a 2:18 A.M. serenade this morning. The dogs woke up suddenly as did I when we heard the coyotes yelping and howling in front of the house. An almost full moon serenade in the middle of the night almost on our door step. I finally got up and turned on the front light and spoiled their song to us. When the front lights came on they stopped and left. What they lacked in harmony they gained in volume. At first I thought they may be in the living room it was that close and loud.
From the tracks it appears that they milled around out front until I must have turned on the flood lights. Just another stop on their journey to sing us a song. It also verifies that in the mountains there is no status quo as incidents like this just 'happen' and then are gone again.
If our dear old girl Gypsy was still alive she would have howled back as she was an excellent howler. As it was our three males just looked at each other like what the heck is going on. It was nice that we were one of their stops to receive a serenade regardless of the time.

Friday, December 1, 2017

View From Front Window

This was taken a few moments ago. The Christmas lights in the window reflecting off the glass and the moon in the background with the outline of the trees in the background. There are also snowflake stickers on the front window. This just seemed like an interesting photo...

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Ice

We have a spring that originates on our property and it runs about 100 yards down to the road where it then empties into a ditch and runs to the culvert in the photo and empties out to sheet flow on down the mountain. Where it empties out of the culvert it creates an ice sculptor each year that is different due to continuous flow. This year it is beautiful....

Friday, November 24, 2017

Life Can Be Difficult

Sometimes life and its difficulties can come at you fast like being a hurdler jumping endless hurdles. Other times life can be like taking a nice pleasurably float trip down a river. The last six months has been a hurdle experience for me. Certainly not complaining or even whining but simply reporting this to encourage others that the light at the end of the tunnel is not always an oncoming train. Especially if you don't have to tackle problems all at one time and take them as they come.

The first 6 months of this year started out like a leisurely float trip down a gentle river. Then it all changed with a tick bite that turned out to be a tick with Lyme disease. After a few weeks of strong antibiotics and a subsequent blood test I was declared free of Lyme disease. Hurdle one cleared!

Then our beloved Sarah got sick and on July 29th went across that rainbow bridge to be in a place where she can run free and frolic in beautiful fields of grass. There is no pain like the passing of a loved canine companion but we pulled through that ordeal. Hurdle two cleared!!!

Then we received notice that the company I retired from had decided to no longer cover us retired employees under the group medical/dental plan. Panic!! When we finally got the phase out package we found it was actually quite fair and we are now on our own with that coverage. Hurdle  three cleared!!!

Then I was cutting down an aspen tree and due to a freak accident where another tree caught the falling tree and shot it back at me like a spear. It hit a tree behind me and rolled off its limbs and right at me. It caught me across the side and lower back which sent me to the emergency room and with a large area, very sore and bruised and colorful area on my low back. No bones broken, and I made a pretty normal recovery. Hurdle four cleared!!!!

Then Carol on her way into town had a flat tire in the middle of no where. Our insurance company provides towing coverage free so we called them. As it turns out it takes about two hours to get a tow truck and the coverage only covers up to 15 miles. We were 45 miles from our tire store so our part of the tow was $120.00 and two new tires brought the incident to $500.00, total and it took two trips into town over two days to complete the job.  Hurdle five cleared!!!!

Then more recently the back blade for the tractor broke and could not be repaired. A 75 mile trip one way to get a new blade and $440.00, later and we had a new blade. The blade is essential for removal of winter snow. Two weeks and almost $1,000. later we are back in business again. That much money out of a paltry retirement income is a big blow to us. Hurdle six cleared!!!!

Then yesterday while tidying up a stack of firewood I managed to step on a rusty nail that went through my boot into my foot. My tetanus vaccination is current so all I need to do is wait for the swelling to go down where I can get my boot on again and the pain to subside. Using Epsom salts soaks and antibiotic ointment and expect to recover in a few days. Hurdle seven cleared!!!!!

While recovering from the nail in the foot episode it finally dawned on us that we had also been ripped off when  we bought our new truck several years ago. When I hooked up the trailer the trucks tires kept sliding on the minimal snow. I realized that our truck with its 'off road' package did not have tires suited for snow and mud. I realized this after it slid sideways and the trailer connection hit the bumper and cut a 4" gash in the bumper.

We also noted last year that the battery didn't hold a charge and when we had it replaced discovered it was not a factory installed battery but a knock off. We were suspicious when we took the Jeep into the same dealer for air bag replacement and the factory re-call said it would take a minimum of 2-4 hours. They had the Jeep in for less than 15 minutes and as with other recalls said they were highly proficient and could do it faster than expected. Crooks, but we are moving on and cleared hurdle eight!!!

What is scary for us is that we still have some of 2017 left and we don't know how many more hurdles are waiting for us.... Come on 2018 - we are ready for a fresh start.... 

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

Feeling Stressed??????

In addition to the normal stress we encounter daily we have the on going news soap opera events. I recall when I was young we could go to a movie on Saturday mornings for 10 cents admission. They would have a brief serial before the main attraction that always ended with the star in peril to get you to anticipate the next segment next Saturday. It seems to me that today we have the same technique from the various news sources which we get 24/7.

With social media and smart phones, Twitter, Face Book, and other social media venues we get bombarded with news and the vast majority is biased and misleading or outright distortion - no exceptions regarding the source. I'm sure there will be disagreement on the news sources but I have tried to analyse each of them objectively so feel free to defend your news source.

We listen to it on our radios as we sit in traffic, get automatic notifications on our smart phones, get news alerts on our computers and it is 24/7 on television. I don't see much difference between what we are bombarded with from the talking heads and news venues and the old serial episodes at the movies. It is all designed to get us to be vicariously involved in what the latest ridiculous scandal might be or some other headline breaking event that is really not a headline at all. I have ceased calling it entertainment because it fails there also.

We never as citizens trusted the media but now days they make no pretense about how and who they are. As we go about our daily lives and the stress builds from normal events we have the added influence of the news media telling or rather brainwashing us to believe what "they" want us to believe. It is no longer reporting the news but now it is analyzing every event from a very biased viewpoint. We are left to decide based on what others tell us and not the facts.

And we wonder why we are always stressed over matters that actually don't concern us in the first place. We used to have sports as conversation points but now even sports have gone political. I know people who when they are home have Fox News, MSNBC, or CNN on all day long and when they are away they have apps to notify them of what is happening on their cell phones. And we wonder why our country is so divided.

Whether you like President Trump or not he deserves credit for bringing the true virtue or lack there of regarding the news to the forefront. As for me I plan to have news time reduced to a very minimum. No need to add stress to myself and there is nothing I can do about all these "breaking news" stories anyway....

So if you seem especially stressed maybe it is because of all the propaganda you are being fed on a constant basis. 

Monday, November 20, 2017

Lion Tracks

 It looks like the bear are not in hibernation yet. Not sure of these tracks but they are bigger than a wolf and don't have the five toes that a bear has. It passed about 25 yards behind the house...

Friday, November 17, 2017

Ya Never Know

 We are trying to wrap up all those things that need to be done before winter really sets in here. One of the last things on the list was to get both vehicles serviced. I was taking the truck in today for just that purpose and on the way I saw a herd of elk which I would estimate to be between 150+ in number. Some were in the woods and it took two photos to get most of them included. A little further down the road two mule deer bucks with very impressive racks ran across the road in front of me and a little further a coyote zoomed across the road like its tail was on fire.
Living here in the mountains just going into town for a routine task can be an adventure.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

Bring out the big guns!/Carol


No, this isn't about gun control. Some time ago I hurt my neck...right side and down into my shoulder. Carrying wood, carrying branches, using my chainsaw, carrying laundry up the spiral staircase into the loft? Who knows. What I do know is that I tried a supportive neck collar, Blue Emu (doesn't smell) and Sportscreme (smells good) and got a new pillow. The new pillow helped some but I decided yesterday to get out the above....Bruce got it years ago at Big R in Alamosa...and it does the trick. Yes, it smells like liniment...but whatever works! YAY!! Figure in a day or two I will be as good as new.

Tracks In The Snow

 Coyote and bobcat tracks in the snow. Yesterday I used the tractor blade to drag the snow smooth and today there are fresh tracks. We don't always see the animals but they are always around as evidenced by the tracks.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Wind

The wind recently has been gusting more than normal. It has been happening over the past several months and I have lost count of how many trees we have had blown over. The wind is gusting today and is forecast for the next seven days. Winds of 15-20 mph and gusts up to 40 mph or higher. We normally have wind in the mountains but this is very unusual.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Firewood

 LaPuente brought a group of middle school students from Boulder, CO. They came with high energy and enthusiasm along with their three chaperones. They left with two full trailer loads of prime firewood for those who are unable to afford or get it themselves. Houses will be warm due to their efforts.
 It is always a joy to be around these youngsters with their energy and enthusiasm....
 Three people from LaPuente came yesterday and in a couple hours cut up down trees and today brought the volunteer group to do the loading. I hope the snow holds off for a while so they can get more firewood.
 they usually take firewood off our property but our neighbor down the road needed it more than we did this time. I have some already cut up for them but that will wait until next time.

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Comments

Above is a photo of our boy Bozwell. He is the one the other two look to for guidance.

If you have made comments on our blog and they were not posted it was probably my error. Any comments are suppose to go to my E-mail for posting but I just found out some don't. I just posted a bunch of comments that I was unaware of and dating back quite a while. I will try to be more diligent and and check the alternative place where comments go. I apologize for not being more attentive to this alternate site on our blog. If readers take the time to respond to a blog topic  their response should be posted. This is clearly my fault for not checking the proper place in the blog for comments.

Trail Camera

 I haven't checked the trail camera for a few weeks so I don't know when these were taken. I suspect a couple weeks ago since they were at the beginning of the memory card. I try not to post current photos as local poachers then are driving up and down our road looking for the animals. I only post photos that I know are old and not current.  It is always a surprise to check the memory card.

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Fly Fishing People


I got to thinking of the things I have accumulated over the years. I have always tied my own fishing flies and in the past few years I have developed arthritis in my thumbs which makes it very difficult to tie flies so my fly tying vice, bobbin, dubbing material and all the materials have been in the cabinet unused. When I pass away I don't want these items to end up in a dumpster or landfill so I am giving the entire kit away if anyone wants to pay the postage.

Fly tying is a good hobby and catching a trout on flies you have tied is very rewarding. Therefore if anyone wants the kit for the cost of postage or know someone who does let me know and I will mail it to them. It is a quality kit and it shouldn't end up in a landfill when it can be used by someone who fly fishes.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Mountain Views

 Mornings here can be spectacular. We get to see the sun rise but sunsets are on the opposite side of the mountain so we don't see them.
Several days ago we looked out and there was a 'scout' elk. It was the lead elk from a herd that was just passing through. We never know when we step outside what we will see.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Wind

 More trees that just blew over due to the high wind we have been having. Hard to keep up with the down trees. Some are dead trees and some live trees. It seems that I just get them cleaned up and the wind blows again and there are more to do. All the rain we have had over the summer and the 12" of snow so far this winter has softened the ground so when the wind blows 35+ mph, they uproot and blow over. These will take years to clean up now with so many.

Monday, October 16, 2017

Cowboy Breakfast

Today was the perfect day for cooking my cowboy breakfast outdoors on the old wood stove. We had a friend over to share in it. We had fried potatoes with my special seasoning, fried spam, Texas toast, boiling hot coffee, orange juice and over easy eggs. Yum....

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Winter In The Mountains Photos

 The side of our house.
 Looks like my bachelor buttons and marigolds are done for the year.
Morning temperature.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Dramatic Weather Change

 Yesterday it was in the 60's and very pleasant with blue skies. Last night the temperatures dropped like a rock. We woke up to 24 degrees and light snow. Yesterday I was sitting out on the deck enjoying the day in shirt sleeves and today I'm hunting around for my winter clothes and debating whether to get the snow shovels out.


Saturday, October 7, 2017

Deer And Elk Dine Together

 We see deer and elk eating browse together and being together in the same area. Two totally different species. If deer and elk can co-habituate in close proximity to each other and get along and be respectful with each other why can't people do the same?

Grits

Cool morning in the mountains today. It is 32 degrees with an accompanying wind of  18-20 mph. so I thought having grits was a good idea for breakfast. These are instant grits with a dollop of cream cheese in them. So good...