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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Perfect Timing

Many years ago we bought a cut glass prism at a craft show. When we moved here 22 winters  ago we hung it in the front window and noticed on the first day of spring each year that the rainbows appeared on the first day of spring. I have been watching for them to appear and today they were all over the room for the first time.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Refilling The Woodshed

 We have been working for the past 3 days refilling the woodshed. First we have to dig out the stacked firewood in the bottom photo then carry it to the shed where we have 2 1/2 rows so far. Another 21/2 to go.

 Above photo shows a cloud that drifted in this morning as we were working on filling the woodshed. Kind of eerie working in a cloud. 
The last photo is before the last storm where the yard stick is barely showing in the forefront and the 6' driveway marker which was about 3' showing is now covered by snow from the last storm.

Saturday, March 16, 2019

We Can See Out The Back Windows

 Above photo is the before where the window was blocked by 7-8' drift of snow. Bottom photo is after having to shovel 30' to clear the drift and after shoveling the drift down below the window... We can now see out our back windows.

Empty Woodshed

 Top photo is where the extra firewood is found. It is buried under roughly 2' of snow and the rows are about 4' tall so Bozwell is standing on some pretty deep packed down snow.
Wood shed is empty which means coupled with the firewood we had on the deck we have burned around 8-9 cords of firewood so far. We will probably burn another 2-4 cords before the winter is over. In the past we have used firewood outside the snow but this year we took it strictly from the shed and this is the first time we have burned all in the shed.

Now we dig out the buried firewood and put it in the shed to melt and dry off. Then when that is done we start the whole process of getting firewood in again.

Finally we can see out the back windows and still shoveling out from the big storm a few days ago. One more window to go...Lots of work associated with our lifestyle.

Thursday, March 14, 2019

Storm Has Passed

 Winds were high and bled 20 + mph, with higher gusts. Drifting is over the tops of some windows.. We will spend the next few days digging out. Not the worst storm we have experienced but bad enough.
Now the work begins....

Wednesday, March 13, 2019

Worst Storm Ever To Hit Colorado Experts Say

This is the type storm that you try to survive. It is blowing hard, snow is coming down about 2" per hour and it is cold. This is the kind of storm where we measure the snow in feet and not inches... We still have power but don't know for how long. We hope we are prepared for this kind of storm. I hear a prop plane going over and wish they would find somewhere else to fly as we are also in the middle of the red zone for avalanche. Don't need them breaking loose snow on the peaks. 
Time to really hunker down and suspect it will be several days before we can shovel our way out of this storm. 

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Crazy Weather

We have 3-4' of snow on the ground and today we had thunder storms, rain (maybe up to 1", and temperature of 46 degrees. The next four days are more of the same. We are for the next two days in a high avalanche warning area.
Serious weather and according to some weather forecasters this is the worst storm to hit Colorado in decades. Ugly and dangerous weather.

Thursday, March 7, 2019

Echo

RIP Echo: Your cauda equina finally beat you but you gave it a good fight. You have been by my side ever since we adopted you. Always there for me every time.  You will be missed greatly.

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Snow Accumulation

 The top photo was two years ago when we had 2.5 feet of accumulation on this day.   This bottom one was taken today. I stuck the yardstick in the snow in front of where we have a 6' driveway marker. The marker is stuck in the ground and I had to clear away some snow to show the tip of the yardstick. The difference between this year and prior years is that the snow has come steadily and measured intervals and there has not been any significant melting. It just keeps getting deeper. So far 196" of total snowfall and more snow season to go. An average year is 264" and I don't think we will have any trouble getting there this year. 

Mountain Sunrise

Woke up in time to see this beautiful sunrise this morning...

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Monday, March 4, 2019

Not Spring Yet

 The nice weather we had was just a teaser as over the last two days we have received 11" of new snow. No more dry ground and we have plenty of winter left.

Sunday, March 3, 2019

Confusion Over Lent

"Lent is traditionally described as lasting for 40 days, in commemoration of the 40 days Jesus spent fasting in the desert, according to the Gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke, before beginning his public ministry, during which he endured temptation by Satan."

Not many are up to challenging church traditions but think about the season of Lent for a moment. Above it cites the reason for the forty days which is when Jesus actually started His ministry by fasting in the desert. Lent comes now 40 days before Easter, the day He rose from the dead; not at the start of any ministry but at the end of his earthly ministry. 

Those who celebrate Lent for the most part deprive themselves of something or give up something they like to draw them closer to Jesus. Various things are given up with the intent of when they want or desire that item that they think about Jesus. 

I think about Jesus all the time and I don't have to give anything up to get to that point. This Lenten season I am going to do something good instead of taking away something or depriving myself. In thinking of Jesus as I do I wonder if he would approve of us depriving ourselves of something that God has provided us for our benefit or enjoyment or if He would rather I do something good in his name. I think this is going to be more difficult than giving something up. 

I personally think the church over the years may have gotten this all wrong and by doing something good to/for someone else would help set a Christian pattern which we could carry forward the rest of the year. If we all just did something good for someone else each day what kind of a world would be have?

Saturday, March 2, 2019

Eureka...The Ground Is Showing In Places.

 Four days of temperatures getting up into the 40's, and today it was 45 degrees. Melting has started and we actually can see the ground in a few places. We knew it was under all that snow but we haven't seen the ground in 4 months.

Aspen Trees

Also contains mostly water and is a hard wood.

Monday, February 25, 2019

Donut day!


Bruce makes the best donuts about once a month. Mouth watering and the house smells so good. Both dogs lay in the kitchen area knowing that they will get two donut holes when he is done and they are cooled off. (I get two too!!!)

Mother Earth News Blog

Check out the newest blog about planning ahead at the following site: https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/planning-ahead-zbcz1902

Saturday, February 23, 2019

Weather Forecast

I checked the weather forecast late yesterday afternoon as the sky didn't agree with the prediction of clear. It then did clear up but when we awoke this morning we had received 5-6" of new snow. We get our forecast from Pueblo Nat'l Weather Service which is 110 miles away. Our forecast is based on our longitude and latitude so it should reflect our weather by location.

When I checked the forecast this morning there was a weather warning posted just as the storm abated. I could be accurate too if I posted a weather warning after the storm had passed. I then checked Accu Weather which is done in State College, Pa. and 1,800 miles away. They can generally tell us what time the storm will hit, what percent chance we have of snow and accurate wind forecast.

I wonder how it is that the U.S. Gov't with all its sophisticated equipment 110 miles away can't seem to get it even close and Accu Weather 1,800 miles away can give us pinpoint accuracy....

So far this winter we have had 184" of snow. This has been by far the worst winter we have experienced in 22 years. It has been colder so the snow hasn't compacted down like normal and the wind has blown harder - especially with the trees gone or nothing but sticks. That makes drifting a major problem and if that isn't enough the power company has alerted us of the likelihood of  mud/ash slides this spring that may generate extended power disruption.

It shouldn't have been necessary to warn us as if we just look to the top of the mountains it is apparent that heavy accumulation of snow is going to either melt and run down or break loose and travel down. With all the snow and lack of melting so far this spring may be an epic one for our area.

If it breaks loose and comes down as an avalanche it will destroy everything in its path and if it comes down as liquid it will do the same. I'm hoping for neither to happen and that it will melt slowly and evenly and do no further damage.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Thursday, February 21, 2019

I/Carol drove to Alamosa today. Lots of wind and drifting. On the way home I took these two pictures. This is the sign at the corner of the main road in Forbes Park and our road. The bottom picture is looking up the road from the corner. The house belongs to someone we do not know. Note all the burned trees on the mountainside behind their home. It is another mile up the road to our house. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2019

Book Review

I have lost track of how many times I have read this book. When it was gifted to me by my mother-in-law initially I read it at least two times and loaned it to a friend to read. The above photo is its replacement as the loan quickly became passed around and I never saw it again. I don't know how many times I have read this book.

All the reviews give this book high praise and that it should be mandatory reading in schools. It is fiction and because it reads so well it is almost impossible to put down. Every time I read it I get something new from it. Joseph Girzone is an excellent writer who can keep readers spell bound and entertained through out the entire book.

This is going to become a classic and I highly recommend it.

Monday, February 18, 2019

February Is A Cold Month

According to the weather prognosticators the next 7 days is going to be cold and either negative numbers or low single digit. In the last 22 winters February has been the cold month with less snow than the other months. We received 4" of snow over night and the forecast is for another 12" through tomorrow morning. Snow accumulation forecasts are rarely accurate for us here in the mountains so we will just have to wait and see.
For us here at this elevation the only good thing about February is that it is a short month as it has since we have lived here always been a very cold month. If this year is the same as prior years March and April will be warmer months but more snowfall. We are just over 14' of snow this winter so far with about 3-4' on the ground. 

Sunday, February 17, 2019

Grits

If you like grits you might want to try this way - you will love them. I put a dollop of cream cheese in with the package of grits and microwave it for 1 minute 15 seconds and then stir well. It is a creamy tasty bowl of grits - which hits the spot on a cold morning.

Temperature Change

It warmed up a few degrees when the sun finally came up. For the past week it has been getting down to 32-28 degrees each night. Suddenly it dropped to 1 degree. It is actually colder now than when I took the photo a few minutes ago. It is now 1.4 degrees,.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Checking Burned Trees

Carol and I strapped on the snowshoes today to check on the burned area on our property and to see if we could (later) drop some of the burned trees horizontally to keep the ash from flowing down hill when all this snow melts.

The going was rough as much of the snow was wind blown and fine granular which did not even support us even with snowshoes. We also would break through and one leg would drop down about 2' into the snow. We did discover that the area we were concerned about was not at risk for a mud slide and there were plenty of live trees to stop any mud flow.

I would estimate that we have snow accumulation now on the ground of approximately 4' or deeper in some areas. We have a total according to my measure of 164" so far and a prediction of more snow in the next week. This snow is much different that the snow we are used to in the past as it is a very fine granular and even with snowshoes  very hard to walk in.

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Spring Wildfire

Located a photo taken from a tower aimed at our house and area. When I see this the fact our home was virtually unscathed is even more of a miracle.... 

Monday, February 11, 2019

Senior Sledding

 Conditions perfect for sledding.  We decided to give our bob sleds a try on the hard packed driveway and road. Top photo is heading down and the next photo is zipping past Carol with the camera.
 Below is Carol starting out and the next one is her zooming down the driveway.  We have had these sleds since we moved out here 21+ years ago and have sure gotten a lot of use out of them. We tried sledding at different places but found our driveway was by far the best. We can reach speeds of 20-25 MPH and you would think at our ages we would have outgrown the kid in us - but nope, we love to sled down our icy driveway into the road and then down it as far as we can go.
 We have several inches of hard packed snow on the driveway with a coat of ice on top. Hard to steer but fun for a couple of old timers. No road traffic so the way is clear and we take full advantage of it.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Shrimp Fried Rice

When I was in Alamosa last week grocery shopping I picked up some chicken fried rice which we had for dinner today. It reminded me of the best shrimp fried rice I had ever had. It was a restaurant on Front Street in Jacksonville, Fla.  Back then Front St. was not a place to go as it was a pretty rough area of Jacksonville. Now it is the river walk and has been redone - modern with unique shops, a stadium, high class restaurants and full of friendly atmosphere.

The Chinese restaurant was right next to a pool hall and upstairs in an old dilapidated building.  I'm sure it was family owned and operated as the best way to get your order is point to it on the menu. English was not the spoken language in this restaurant except by the customers.

I worked in down town Jacksonville and all I needed to do for lunch was get on the elevator and go up to the top of our building which had a revolving floor that was a restaurant from which we could look out upon the entire city of Jacksonville. We passed on the lavish restaurant and took our chances down on Front St. to get some outstanding Chinese food instead.

It was in a rough area that you only went into at your own risk but the food in that restaurant was second to none I've ever had and the shrimp fried rice was truly outstanding. Well worth the risk of venturing into a dangerous neighborhood for. I have tried it in several other oriental restaurants over the years but none like that place on Front St.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Colorado Mountains

Taken on the way home from shopping in Alamosa today...Why we love Colorado....

Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Feeding The Birds

We put out about 120 pounds of sun flower seed for the birds each year. A block of suet is scoffed down each day. With the wildfire and all the destroyed trees it is hard for the birds to find food in the winter. We have a variety of birds and they can sure go through a lot of food.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Winter Weather Advisory

Posted early as we are under a weather winter advisory where wind gusts are expected up to 70 MPH.  That means power outages likely today.
 We went down to check on where a snow mobile had came down the road and it appeared to have turned over where the road crew pushes the snow up, They stop plowing at our house since we are now the only ones on the road - the rest burned in the wildfire - and noticed how much soot and ask are in the snow. Below the tracks from yesterday are already filled with soot and ash.
 The snow mobile apparently tried to jump the end of the pushed up pile and either bogged down or turned over. We were inside and didn't hear a thing. The snow was mixed with copious amounts of gas and it could be smelled from several feet away. It appears the driver did not know they were going along the ditch next to the road where the snow  is soft and just past the pile of snow on the road they may not have seen the dirt road plowed until they went over the top of the pile. Most likely going to fast and they wiped out at the edge of the road. We were inside and never heard a thing outside and hope they were not injured.
Snow machines can be used on un-plowed roads but when you see a pile of snow pushed up 8' high you should realize that the road has been plowed on the other side. Going to fast, not paying attention and you are in trouble. There must have been 2-3 gallons of gas that leaked out and hopefully it will dissipate before snow melt occurs. I'm actually surprised that we didn't hear anything and when the dogs barked they were looking in the other direction. Also looks from the tracks that someone came and picked the snowmobile up from the plowed end of the road. Again, hope no one was injured in the accident. 
Sunrise this morning...

Monday, January 28, 2019

Finally A Break In The Wind....

 Life in the mountains - especially in the winter - requires patience and perseverance. This morning the wind had laid down but it was fog or a cloud that enveloped the area. The temperature was 19 degrees and without wind it was a good time to cook outside on the old steel stove. 
 With the cloud drifting in the visibility was very limited but I only had to see as far as the cook stove so I got the stove going and cooked breakfast outside. See photo below. I was mostly blocked by large piles of snow anyway so the snow diverted the wind away from the fire and myself.
 We had potatoes with my special seasoning which gives them a little bite, over easy eggs, fried spam, and a glass of V-8 juice. It was worth waiting for and slow cooked outside on the old cook stove added the element of "delicious".
I may be able to do one more breakfast outside but then I will need to do some serious shoveling to get to the wood pile I use in the stove.