Total Pageviews

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Reciprocity by Sakoieta

The one thing I learned in life through experiences of every kind and it has helped shape a way of living and relating to people everywhere is that there is a force in Natural law referred to as Reciprocity. In other words what action that a person, people or nation, put forth is an action that will snowball and eventually return to its source. So if we are sharing good and life creating thoughts, actions and deeds each and every day. that will eventually return to us as well. If we are on this earth to cause damage, hate, destruction, selfishness to people everywhere that to will return to us also in a greater form. So when I read of people trying to put forward good thoughts to all people I am reassured we still have good people in what is seeming to become a very negative world.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Wild Flowers Are Blooming

 The wildflowers are blooming and here are some photos of Columbine, Indian Paint Brush and the wild roses are in full bloom around the house as well as violets and numerous other wildflowers or possibly weeds that I don't know the names of.



Putting Dead Trees To Good Use

Above is a photo of Bruce from Estes Park who is a retired professor from Xavier University. He was delightful to talk to and came with a group to harvest firewood for the local charity. You can read all about putting dead trees to good use by going to  http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/creative-disposal-of-dead-trees-zbcz1606.aspx

If your area doesn't have a program like this it sure is worthy to consider.

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Old Time Entertainment

Transistor radio???? Tube radio???? Who would remember such a thing? I do because that was my entertainment when I was a young boy. All us kids knew that we could wrap a thin copper wire around the antenna in the radio and then wrap it around a metal coat hanger and it would improve reception. Sometimes you would have to fiddle with the coat hanger but you could pick up a wide range of stations. I knew for example if I hung the coat hanger out my bedroom window I could pick up the Detroit stations.

Hence I was a Detroit Tiger fan and also a Redwing fan. Any young man worth his salt in those days could tell you who got hits the day after the game and who had what batting average. We heard games done play by play and names like: Al Kaline, Jack Feller, Johnny Groth, Jim Bunning and Harvy Kuenn. You knew their position they played, their batting average, how they fared in their last game and so on. Us guys would spend hours arguing over who should have played, who did play and how they did.

Gordy Howe was a common source of discussion during hockey season. We would pretend to be these guys on ice rinks and ball diamonds.

Today kids have smart phones, endless internet data and a variety of facts at their finger tips. Not so in the old days when you had to remember ERA's and other statistics but homework somehow never made the list. Those who actually did their homework did it listening to a small transistor radio. We would remind each other of game times and opponents. Ahhhh, times were so different then and I wonder with all the modern technology youngsters have available to them now if they really are better off. For one they never almost come to blows or wrestling matches with those who have a different recollection of statistics, or who made what play.

Little Hands Working Together

The charity from town came out today to get more firewood. It is always a surprise when they come because I never know who or how many will show up. Today Jasper and Vince brought a group from Denver. It was a Methodist youth group with 8 children ages 10-12 years old and their two adult chaperones. I had forgotten how it is to be around children this age it has been so long but these were truly great kids and hard workers. They were working in 85 degree heat and work they did. These kids did a job of rolling or carrying logs down and piling limbs for people in the valley that they don't know. Those people who will get this free firewood will have no idea some kids from Denver are the reason they are staying warm next winter.

One of the girls sided up to me and asked me "Do you know why the ghosts got on the elevator?" I said I didn't and she said "to raise their spirits". It was pretty much like that through the day..Kids are great - at least these kids were and they all worked well together. That should be about 7-8 cords of firewood so far this year. The children all worked pretty hard and I noted that when they left they were pretty spent. I told them that it made me feel good to see that they were walking and getting up from the ground just like I do. Same moaning and groaning. These kids came down from Denver to help people they did not know and they sure worked hard - their parents should be very proud of them. Tomorrow they will visit the Great Sand Dunes and I expect that they will be as tired if not more tired climbing the sand dunes. Every step you take in the dunes you go back a step so it is hot, exhausting and will wear even the most hearty person out.

We are glad to donate the firewood to those in need and it has been quite an experience to meet new people from different parts of the State plus work together with them. There are still a lot of good people in the world and thanks to the local charity many of them have come to visit and work with us.


Sunday, June 19, 2016

Dead Trees

 Last time the charity was out to haul firewood we overloaded the trailer and it buckled in the middle. It was old and beyond repair so we bought a new trailer to use to haul firewood. Much smaller but also very light and it pivots so it can dump off to the side. The old trailer was so heavy I could barely lift it to hook it up to the tractor.
 The charity is coming out again early this week so I have around 20-25 trees down for them to de-limb and cut up for firewood. This time they will have to haul the logs down to the road to load and I am hoping they will carry the limbs down to the edge of the road where I can load them onto the trailer to haul away. Last time they left the limbs and it will take us a month or more to haul them down to be disposed of.
 Photo above and below are the dead trees that I cut up for them for firewood. We have only scratched the surface on cutting down dead trees.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Turkeys Visit

 Last night when I was feeding the dogs I looked out the window and there was a strung out flock of turkeys just outside.  Again this morning as I was feeding the dogs I looked out to the side of the house as I always do and they were still out there. When I took Sarah out they had vanished. Turkeys are good at doing a vanishing act. They were probably still there but behind a tree or some brush where I couldn't see them..


Monday, June 13, 2016

Fast Change In The Mountains

 Two weeks ago we had several inches of snow. After many false starts toward Spring and Summer we finally got growth and warmer temperatures. Things can happen suddenly here in the mountains.
                               
 Plants start to grow as soon as possible and they grow fast. Our long season is winter and the other three seasons seem to all meld together as one. These are good before and after photos that show how fast we can go from winter to summer...
 The trees still produced leaves after a major hail storm knocked most of the leaves off a week ago.

Friday, June 10, 2016

Providing Free Firewood

So far we have had three groups come from a local non-profit that helps the homeless. This is a photo of Bruce a retired college professor who came down with 8-9 others from Estes Park to work for a few days helping the non-profit meet its needs. This group of people were an absolute delight and fun to work with. Bruce is 80 years old and still does his share to help others.

These are some more of the Estes Park group. Yesterday we had a group with three sixteen girls that were giving their time to help others but carrying firewood. These delightful young ladies were rather slight and were pulling and flipping logs that were as heavy as they were. This group came from Boulder, CO. Today we had a third group that is from the non-profit and again what delightful people to work beside.

So far we have managed 6 cords of firewood and hope to provide at least 20 cords before the end of the summer. More if possible. Last winter we cut and provided about 12, and hopefully this year we can provide more to this very worthy non-profit. Hopefully we will have more groups come and help cut and haul that firewood.  The volunteers all have one thing in common and that is a heart that is bigger than life to help others.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Nature's Natural Controls

 We have an ermine that lives in the vicinity of our firewood pile and has been hanging around for the last two years. These guys are excellent hunters and work to keep our ground squirrels and tree squirrels in check.
 Last evening we observed an American Kestrel land on the front deck. These used to be called sparrow hawks. That would explain the feathers on the ground in places as these small falcons will eat other birds.
We have heard owls but they are hard to spot and we rarely see them. They will eat rabbits, chipmunks and squirrels. Our rodent population has dwindled considerably and we have not seen as many as we had previously. I fret because the rodents can devastate our garden if they can get into our garden boxes but it seems when they get numerous the predators move in and keep their balance in check. We had numerous rabbits and chipmunks as well as squirrels and now they are scarce and the one's we do see are always on the move.

Nature has a perfect way to achieve balance and we are now in the controlled balance phase. Soon there will be little for the predators to feed upon and they will move to more fertile areas but right now we are observing nature at its best in keeping balance.

We are concerned over our little hummingbird - Henrietta and also the fly catchers  that have built their nest on top of our electrical box but we will not interfere with nature. We would be saddened if either were claimed by predators but that is simply the cycle of things and nature will have to take its course.

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Gossips, Whisperers And Liars

I only go out
to get me a fresh 
appetite for being
alone: 
Lord Byron 

That seems to be particularly true for our immediate community. While there are some people that are normal and nice there is a disproportional amount of those who are hateful, vengeful and angry. I had an incident the other day that gave me a fresh appetite for staying by ourselves. As I was driving down to the front gate to bring in some volunteers to cut firewood on our property there was a total stranger that made obscene gestures and had hate and anger all over his distorted face and for no reason whatsoever. We have people in the community that make it their life goal and find every opportunity to tell others gossip, lies, rumors and other falsehoods about you. Hence you encounter people you don't know who already hate you because of what they were told. I once introduced myself to a stranger and stuck out my hand to shake hands and when I mentioned my name he pulled his hand back and walked off.  Such people so easily influenced by others are unworthy of friendship anyway but it is sad when it happens and it happens in our community way too often. It happens in other areas I'm sure but in our community it has become a way of life and been refined to perfection. I personally don't let them bother me but I also don't associate with those who are ardent practitioners of gossip, lies, and/or whispering either. Therefore, they have to invent things and make things up about you which are ridiculous.

This is as old a tactic for weak people to build themselves up at others expense and goes back far into recorded history. Euripides (480-406 BC) said: "Never judge till you've heard the other side". Don't you think you should hear the other side? It just might be possible that you heard the wrong report! If you listened to only one version, you may not have heard the whole story, the whole truth. If you consider all the facts, you might be tempted to take the other side. The trouble is, it requires less effort to be hasty than correct; and it is easier to take sides, right or wrong where sympathies lie. But one truth is crystal clear: judgments should never be formed on either half facts or personal preferences. It is an old problem that now seems to get validity from a bias media and the internet. 

I see this in interpersonal relationships and especially now in politics with an election pending. People spew forth speculation as fact. If we took just a moment to research the item and get the other side you might be inclined to see the issue differently. Unfortunately the media and internet usually want you to see something a certain way and hence you get distortion and and when you happen to be inundated with untruths you falsely believe there is some validity to them. It goes back to what I heard many years ago: "if you can't convince them, confuse them". 

Perhaps that is why there is so much hate and rancor in the world today. People are being used, manipulated and misguided by media, internet and others who present falsehood as fact. Perhaps we individually should step back, verify our facts and not be part of the feeding frenzy with gossippers, whisperers and liars. Considering the world around us as it presently exists that would be a nice fresh start.  


Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Homesteading As A Senior

Check out the latest blog on homesteading as a senior citizen. I figured it was time when I went into a Subway for a sandwich and the gal that made it said I already applied your AARP discount. Never have seen her before so I guess I look senior which I am. Read the entire blog at http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/homesteading-as-a-senior-zbcz1606.aspx

Monday, June 6, 2016

Dangers On The Highway

I just came home from making a quick run into town and made some observations along the way. For one there seems to be a high concentration of people driving while on their cell or smart phones. I saw one guy driving, looking down and writing all at the same time. A child darting out (school is out) or a person riding in the bike lane wouldn't stand a chance as he had slowed down some but was out of his lane. What is so important that you have to drive and have that smart phone or cell phone at your ear putting others at risk? Several people drifted over the lane line as well. Some were just creeping along causing other traffic to try to get around them.

Then there is the legalized marijuana in Colorado. Unless caught in the act of smoking it or eating it while driving it apparently is hard to prove. Some people just putz along slowly appearing not to be aware of their surroundings. They go slow, then speed up a little, drift all over the road and then slow down again. If you are behind them you can smell it but it seems there is never a cop behind them.

Then there is the traffic stop. Better be careful here because the police are targets themselves and are very cautious. Keep your hands in sight on the steering wheel and behave yourself.

Then there is the abnormally number of people who seem to find everyone else's driving infuriating or you are not going fast enough for them and they don't like to be held up. I had one such incident right here in our neighborhood. I was going the speed limit - 30 mph - and I came on some guy who was going 10-15 mph. When the road widened out I eased out and went around him. As I carefully went by he flipped me the finger, shook his fist and had pure hate and anger on his face. It seems everyone now days has an abundance of anger especially in our small community. This happens at least one or two times a year in our small community. I didn't know this person but I have known a couple of them and they are bullies and exude hate when you meet them. Last year there was an overturned semi ahead and traffic was backed up. I was in the inside lane and went around another semi that had shut down over a half mile from the accident and was just sitting in the road. I eased in front of him and drove up to where the traffic was stopped. Some guy stormed up and started yelling I didn't stop where he though I should. I smiled back and he got so mad he stomped off cussing.

Then there are the people I see putting on makeup or reading the newspaper spread out on the steering wheel. Or the drunk drivers who think they are in control but in reality are so impaired they can't talk or function normally. I see this in our community often because our roads are private and they don't think they will get caught.

I wonder just how many other people are concerned over the increased hazard we all face every time we go out on the roads. Seems to me to be pretty significant....


Saturday, June 4, 2016

Win Win

 We work with a local charity that provides free firewood and other services to those who can not afford or obtain it on their own. They have volunteer crews come in from all over the country to provide their time and muscle to gather up firewood. As it turns out we have a lot of dead standing and blow down firewood and can keep people warm for many years. This is the third year that we have worked with some amazing people with giving hearts to get firewood those who really need it.
 This crew came from Estes Park and to the person they were delightful to work with and be around.
 The charity will have crews coming in each week. We will have more crews and that is good because otherwise the dead trees would just rot in place and benefit no one.
 These folks come to work and they work hard.
 It is fun to be around positive people who drive long distances to give their time for people they don't know. It also helps us get rid of dead trees that we don't need or want.

Friday, June 3, 2016

Free Firewood

We have a 10 person crew coming tomorrow from a local charity that provides firewood to those who can't afford it or get it themselves. We cut our dead trees down and they will remove the limbs and pile them up (we hope) and then cut the trees into lengths and carry them down to the trail and there we will load them on the trailer and I'll then drive them to their truck where they will be loaded and hauled off. Last year they cut about 11-12 cords of firewood.

It is reassuring to know that the trees won't go to waste and will be used to keep people warm this next winter. I'm glad that they are willing to donate their time and muscle to cut and haul these dead trees  off. Many were blown down last winter and we added some more dead trees that they can cut up. We don't want them cutting the dead down as it takes some skill to do that and with 10 or more people working in the area it could be dangerous. Therefore we have them cut what is already on the ground and not cut any standing or leaner's.

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Lightning In The Mountains

Lightning is a scary thing in the mountains. The thunder rackets through and bounces off the mountains. It is especially scary for dogs. Out of our four - three are frightened over the thunder and lightning. It is easy to see they have at one time been left outside or may have been yard dogs and been exposed to the elements. One shivers violently, one tries to melt into the floor and one paces around the house.

Thanks to Grieg's piano concerto and other classical music that we turn up loud enough to drown out the sound of thunder. What we can't drown out is when the house shakes and the ground shakes. The classical music does help calm them down.

We lived in Florida where some really severe lightning and thunder storms can be scary to humans also. The ones in the mountains are different inasmuch the thunder roars and rattles for several minutes and due to the elevation and the configure of the mountains.

Classical music does calm the dogs where thunder shirts and other techniques have not worked. We also try to distract them and they seem to be getting better. When it is thundering and the lightning is popping the hail on the metal roof just seems to add to the din and keeps them upset.

Patience and perseverance is paying dividends and they are all getting better as long as the classical music plays.    

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Revenge - Why? by Sakoieta

Only time heals most wounds as long as we don’t keep irritating old hurts and expect them to heal, but we cannot let them control us either. I was totally blown away yesterday when my partner and I went for breakfast. Sitting next to us was this beautiful little elderly woman and her husband. We could hear them talking and all of a sudden I hear this little woman say, the way I do things if any one hurts me in any way I will do whatever I can and how ever long I have to do it to get even. I couldn’t believe I was hearing her say these things. All of us in life have missed the mark and we just pick ourselves up and try again. Others hopefully do the same. But I could not imagine spending my life’s time using it to get even with someone because they missed the mark as well and hurt us in some way or fashion.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Our Extended Family


When I walked down to the other end of our property earlier today these guys were down there. Four ran off and one stayed and looked at me curious until I spoke to her and called her Daughter which is the name of the adopted "daughter" of our old friend Daisy. Daisy took her under her wing (so to speak) when she was an abandoned fawn and we named her Daughter. Daisy is now gone onto deer heaven but when I said "hi Daughter" she immediately calmed down and I could tell she recognized me. I just looked out the window and saw her and her followers bedded down beside the house. 

For those who don't know, Daisy was the mother of Junior and when you go back in my blogs you will find lots of stories about them. Daughter is the third generation now and we recognize them and they clearly recognize me. When I'm out working on the property they will often come around and I'll have a lengthy conversation with them and they have nor show no fear since they know they are on protected ground. We prefer to live with them and they know they are welcome and safe at our home.


Post Five Inches Of Snow

 The snow melts off fast when the sun comes out and the temperatures rise 20 degrees and eight hours later. .
 Lettuce did survive the snow and cold.
 Spinach made it too.
 The snow comes off the steep roof and accumulates along the sides of the house. In the winter it gets 8' deep or deeper some years.
 Looking out to the side of our property the snow has melted and the green is showing through again.
For many years we have had a Flycatcher nest under our deck and last year after she raised her baby chicks she accidentally flew into the window and died. I buried her where the cross is as nothing will disturb her there and she can RIP. She was an excellent mother and we hope one of her off spring will return and nest in the same place to continue the family. Other birds have started nests and I don't know how this late season snow will effect their nesting. I hope they will take up where they left off. I have not seen the wrens since the snow.

Where Has The Green Gone????

 Yesterday it was green outside and today - well not so much. They said to plant my garden after Mother's Day. I had planted twice before that and lost both times. I thought that planting as they said it would be safe. yesterday I watered my little 1/2" sprouts and today they are under 5 inches of snow and the temperature went down to freezing last night. I think this year is a bust regarding my garden as I'm out of seeds now.
 The wrens had been building their nests in the bird houses I put out for them and now they can't find material to finish the nests with. The hummingbirds are swarming the feeders once I cleaned them off. Looks like a typical day in the mountains.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Firewood Season

Have been  busy getting our firewood in for next winter. Have been spending a lot of time trying to get something done for someone else but have been working on our firewood in between times. Slightly behind schedule but it won't take long to get about 25 trees at the far end of our property and get caught up. About another 5 cords to do yet so hope to have it all done in the next week or two. We have a good workable system set up.
Actually at my age and with creaky and sore joints this has been a much needed break to allow myself to heal. Something I would not have done on my own and it worked out perfectly to give my body a chance to restore itself...

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Henrietta

 For those who showed an interest in Henrietta's survival during our last storm be advised that she did survive and is doing well. If her courage and stamina could be imparted to a single human they would have tremendous power. Henrietta is one tough little hummingbird who takes all that nature throws at her and flips her wing at it.