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Friday, May 29, 2020

Trail Camera Photos



I wondered why the trail camera had moved on the tree. This elk wanted a close up selfie and he got real close.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

History


This is an appropriate time to reflect on the history of this blog as it dates back over a decade now and is growing to almost (not quite) 400,000 views. When we took an early retirement in 1997, our venture to our homestead was unique and different and took us far from family and friends. We set up the blog to maintain some contact with family and friends we left behind.

It was only intended to let our friends and family know what we were doing out here on the mountain. By word of mouth, and when I started to write blogs for Mother Earth News Magazine, the readership of our blog picked up readers and we are nearing 400,000 views to date. We enjoy doing the blog and are dumbfounded that people would find our lifestyle is worthy of following.

We enjoy our lifestyle and as we reach more and more readers we are humbled and grateful for all those who read and follow our lifestyle. We have readers from almost every country around the world and that humbles us even more knowing that people are interested in us and our lifestyle.

Thank you to all readers, followers and visitors to our blog site. It never occurred to either of us those many years ago that we would have so many followers and readers. THANK YOU ALL......

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Annual Turkey Visit

Each year about this time when we go outside we hear a singular Jake gobble every few minutes. He starts each year down lower from our cabin and progresses higher and higher. He just covers this small area where we live. He will persistently gobble until he finds a hen that will reply then he will strut his stuff and facilitate more new turkeys.  I have heard him go on for several weeks patiently waiting for a hen to respond. His enthusiasm never wains and he just keeps going until he finds his hen regardless of how long it takes.

His patience and persistence reminds me of a joke I heard many years ago. A college professor was teaching a sex education class and to determine what his students were about he asked them to raise their hand if they had sex every night. Several responded and then he asked how about every other night? More hands went up and he went on, how about once a week? Fewer hands went up and he went on, how about once a month? A few more hands went up and he asked how many every six months?  A small number of hands went up so he went on and asked how about once a year?  Just a couple of hands went up and he finally ask how about every two years? One guy towards the back of the auditorium jumped up waving his hands and jumping around and the professor asked him when he settled down, how come you are so excited over every two years?  The guy answered - tonight is the night.. Tonight is THE NIGHT!! That kind of reminds me of our Jake turkey...he just keeps on walking around gobbling and sooner or later he will find his hen and his day will be a very happy one..


Monday, May 25, 2020

Memorial Day

Please take a moment to stop and pause today and HONOR those who have given their lives so we can enjoy the freedoms we have today. Remember them every day but today just take time to honor them and their ultimate sacrifice.

Saturday, May 23, 2020

A Tough Job

 One of the tougher jobs we have each year. We have our firewood in for next winter and now we can rest and heal before the next difficult job. We have about 11 cords cut, split and stored for this next winter. This winter was a mild one for us with about 100" under our average snowfall. One winter does not set a pattern however and next winter we could be 100" over average and some very cold spells. It is a relief to have it done which enables us to enjoy ourselves knowing we have sufficient firewood for next winter.

Monday, May 18, 2020

Spinach Plants Just Peeking UP

Spinach plants are just poking up in the garden box. Lettuce will be up soon and the potato  plants in the potato box on the front deck are just getting a good start.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

New Life

 Last year we had a large 20" pine tree fall over and it came within inches of our well head. This little aspen caught the weight of the tree and broke. We decided to splint the tree together and see if it would live or not. The weight of the snow bent it over this winter but come spring it bounced back up and now has a few leaves showing on it. So far so good and we are hoping it will live on. 

Rare - Two Days In a Row

This has been rare for us and I can't remember when we had clouds laying down in the lower meadows two days in a row. We must be having temperature inversions. Yesterday we had low pressure and today we have high pressure so that doesn't explain it. Yesterday the morning temperature was 35 degrees and today 50 degrees but both mornings we have clouds in the low areas. Beyond any explanation I can come up with....

Saturday, May 16, 2020

A Different View Of The Rockies

Our view from the front of our house this morning. The clouds had settled in the lower elevations and a view we don't see often. Wanter to share it with viewers.

Friday, May 15, 2020

Stress

I have seen a lot of postings lately regarding stress on social media and how to deal with it due to the corona 19 virus and people staying at home. I'm sure some of the suggestions and techniques work but I have a comment on stress also.

Did you know that a piano mother board or sound board has 40,000 pounds of stress on it from the tension of all the strings? Yet out of all this stress comes some of the most beautiful music known to mankind. Maybe relieving the stress isn't as important as how we manage the stress.

Amazing Engineering Feat

We have several wren's around our house - probably because I have made several nesting boxes for them. Have you ever paid any attention to wren nests? They start out with twigs and then after they have the nest outline they fill in between the twigs with dry grasses and then they find really fine material like dog hair to pad the nest with.
Each female wren comes with the ability to make this same nest. It is quite an engineering feat. It is a pretty amazing process. I hope I'm never to preoccupied to observe and watch wildlife.

Donut Recipe


CAke donuts
14 donuts
Directions
1.   In a large bowl mix the sugar, baking powder, salt and nutmeg.
2.   Add eggs, milk and melted butter. Beat well.
3.   Add 3 cups of the flour, beating until blended. Add one more cup of flour and beat well. The dough should be soft and sticky but firm enough to handle. If you feel it’s necessary, add up to 1/2 cup more flour.
4.   Cover with plastic wrap and chill for *at* *least* one hour.
5.   Remove your dough from the fridge and begin heating about 1" of oil to 360F in a large metal skillet.
6.   Working half the dough at a time, roll it out on a floured surface to about 1/2" thickness. Cut out circles using a doughnut cutter or large biscuit or cookie cutter.
7.   Gently drop the doughnuts in batches into the hot oil. Flip them over as they puff and turn them a couple more times as they cook. They will take about 2-3 minutes in total and will be lovely and golden brown all over.
8.   Remove from the oil and set them on paper towels or brown paper bag.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Thirty More Fresh Donuts

Yummy, 30 more donuts plus donut holes. The technical people haven't figured out how to do scratch and sniff yet so no licking your computer screen. They smell heavenly and taste even better. 

Monday, May 11, 2020

New Stone Wall

Every winter as the snow comes down off the roof into our garden area it eventually builds up and drifts onto the sidewalk to block the door to under the house. Then we have to shovel to the door to get the walk behind snow thrower out to clear the snow away. Every winter I have said I need to have a wall between the garden and the walkway and as soon as winter is over I promptly forget until next winter.

Between getting in our firewood for next winter (the wood shed is already full) and other tasks we gathered up as many flat stones and I used up a bag of mortar mix I had on hand and went ahead and put the wall up. This should eliminate much of the drifting snow. We still get snow from this side of the garden area but without the drifting it will be manageable. The wall is secured to a 't' post firmly hammered into the ground and a wire fence that is nice and solid. Life is looking up for next winter. 

Monday, May 4, 2020

Watch For New Mother Earth News Blog

Watch for a new blog about ozone generators and their ability to destroy virus'. It was submitted today and should be published later this week.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Happy Birthday Bozwell

Bozwell turned 13 years old today. With the exception of his back legs he is fit and hearty and he doesn't let his back legs hamper him much. For a boy who weighs 99 pounds he still gets around pretty good but he is starting to show his age just like his mom and dad. HAPPY 13th BIRTHDAY BOZWELL........

Wednesday, April 29, 2020

Firewood Time

Here is the reason I haven't posted lately. This is about 2 cords of split firewood thanks to a very nice and pleasant change in the weather. Normally we are doing this in the snow but this year we are far below our average for snowfall. We average around 265" and so far we have only received 191" and what we have has melted off and the ground is dry again. It is not even May and the temperatures are in the mid to high 60's. Last year we got our last snow at the end of May.

Hummingbirds are back, song birds are back and grass is showing green as can be seen in the above photo. We are well on the way of getting our most labor intensive job done and that will free us up to get to some of those tasks we put off.

Our governor has the entire state on "you are safe at home" where we are to stay at home unless it is absolutely necessary to go out. If we do go out we are to wear a face mask, continue with social distancing and wash our hands frequently. While some businesses are opening again they have to adhere to some very special safety guidelines also. We are told by the governor that this will continue until such time as the virus has an effective treatment or a vaccine is developed.

It may be some time before we can return to what we knew was normal. Now the news channel in Denver tells us we are to include social distancing with our pets. Thankfully our dogs are not pets but valued family members who are in no way exposed to the virus.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Good Weather

Our temperatures have been in the low to mid 60's for the past few days and no nasty weather is predicted. I have not been posting on here as we have been outside mulching limbs and doing outside work that has accumulated over the winter. We are also working on getting our firewood in for next winter.

Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Covid 19

I have not posted anything about the corona-virus as it is being reported endlessly on the internet and media. We were running low on some food items however (we do not horde) so Carol has to go to town for groceries. Walmart and City Market will both shop and bring the items out to your vehicle for you. That sounded like a good option but I was still concerned if any of the food items could have the virus on them.  I then wondered if the items she would bring to the vehicle may have been touched by someone who was infected (2 new cases yesterday) and if so how long it would last. Here is what I found out. 

"A recent study found that the COVID-19 coronavirus can survive up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard, and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel."

I was concerned because people are shopping in the store and anyone could transfer the virus to a can, box or item of groceries. While she would not have contact with but one person the product itself could have the virus on it. I was wondering if getting groceries was worth the risk. 

I don't know the persuasion of the readers but I find sometimes I will awake suddenly at night for no reason and it is like the Lord is telling me something. That was the case last night and what I was being told is to look up ozone. That sure didn't come from me. I found that ozone will kill the covid 19 bacteria with 30 seconds exposure at 99% effectiveness. We bought an ozone generator to deodorize our home following the wildfire. So when Carol brings the groceries home I will put it in the Jeep and turn it on for a few minutes to kill any bacteria. 

Care has to be taken as ozone is dangerous to some products and especially people if it is breathed in. The coronavirus destroys your lungs and I don't want to do the same with ozone. The virus is an enveloped virus and therefore more sensitive to physio chemical changes and in studies 99% of a virus have been damaged or destroyed after 30 seconds of exposure to ozone. 

Ozone is a gas that destroys by diffusing through the protein coat and destroying the nucleic DNA.  It has been effective in killing the SARS coronavirus  which is almost identical to the Covid 19 virus. It is therefore safe to believe it will kill the current virus. 

Therefore by going shopping if Carol takes proper precautions she will only come in contact with one person who will put the groceries in her vehicle. The groceries however could be transmitters so by using ozone any virus will be destroyed and our safety will be enhanced somewhat. Check out ozone on the internet as there is ample information on it.  Ozone generators are fairly inexpensive and readily available. Check it out for yourself and see if it is something you would find of value to you. 

Wednesday, April 15, 2020

Next Months Supply

I have an Rx that says take with food. Donuts are my choice of food so I'm good for the next 30 days. (I had two left from the last batch) The donut holes are fewer because I share with Carol and the dogs. When I'm making donuts they are always close by, within 10 feet, and they lay patiently waiting for theirs and so it is a pleasure to share with them. Nothing like fresh cake donuts freshly made.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Remembering Our Past Fur Family - Echo

Out of our past fur family I left one off - not by accident - but because he was so dear and speccial to me that I was and still am unable to write about him. He is in the forefront of the above photo with Bozwell in the background. I will write about him in the future but just the mention of his name makes me emotional.

Monday, April 13, 2020

Mountain Morning

A sudden cold front coupled with frost can turn even a burned out area pretty. With temperatures at 10-12 degrees and the fog in the background and the mountain tops showing an inch of fresh snow and frost it transforms the bleak burned trees into something beautiful.

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Window Collision

This little guy flew into the window and it really rattled him. Kept him warm and from going into shock for a long time but when put on a flat surface he was still unstable. I don't know if he will make it or not but we gave him a chance. 

Tuesday, April 7, 2020

Witty Sayings That Educate

https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/witty-sayings-zbcz2004

The above link directs the reader to the latest blog for Mother Earth News pertaining to witty sayings that educate and teach.

Monday, April 6, 2020

Potato Box

I made this potato box to grow potatoes in. I have a plastic container but the critters manage to get into it and chew up the plants. This one will go on the front deck and there is room for 4 plants in it and I built it high enough so I could put 50% sun screen around the extended posts and it also allows room for the plants to grow upward. I have a screen cap for the top to keep the critters out. It will be in direct sunlight so the sunscreen will mute the harmful rays of the sun. There is a door on the front to dig around to get the potatoes when they are ready. It also has screen covering the bottom to keep critters out. As the plants grow you keep adding potting mix until the dirt gets toward the top of the wooden box. Hopefully I won't have to share potatoes this year with mice, ground squirrels and chipmunks. Now I'm just waiting for it to warm up where it doesn't freeze nights.

The best part of this box is it was totally built out of scrap wood and materials I had on hand so the cost was zero.

Saturday, April 4, 2020

Post Wildfire Aftermath

 It appears that we will be dealing with the post wildfire aftermath for several years to come. The dirt in the road is black from blowing ash. The snow around our house is speckled with black ash. When it all dries out it will again be picked up on the wind and blow everywhere.
 
It is a concern that we have only had 187" of snow this year. We are about 100" short of what we received last year. While that will cut down on the mud/ash slides it will increase the chance of wildfire. .

Monday, March 30, 2020

Excellent Read

I met Anna because both of us blog for Mother Earth News. Her wisdom and articulate way to express herself speaks to many and I believe those reading this article coming from Northern Israel is very reflective and insightful of our own country. I value Anna's comments and advice and those who read her article will certainly benefit as it is spot on.

If we all pull together we can win over this virus.

https://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/getting-through-the-coronavirus-crisis-zbcz2003?fbclid=IwAR0WrNBH4i9M8u-uufCcWPLySqS0oorgo2oZC5ykTWys4yK3FLo1nj

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Another First

 In all our years here (23) we have never had tumble weed blow up around the house. I suspect this is the result of our high wind (40+ mph) and the wildfire. Something new for us because it has to be coming from quite a distance away to arrive at 9,800' elevation. The trees are just black sticks without branches with needles to stop tumble weed so I'm sure that has something to do with it. The wind blew so hard a few days ago that it froze the wind meter on our weather station.

Friday, March 27, 2020

Remembering Our Past Fur Family - Gypsy

Last but certainly not least in our past fur family is Gypsy who is the bottom left corner of the photo above. She is the one with the huge smile which was indicative of her character. Gypsy came to us at two years old and lived until she was 14.5 years old. Prior to her coming to live with us full time (we had previously doggy set her) she was mostly kept outside by her prior owners. She had to deal with coyotes, bears and mountain lions living outside. She was not chained up nor did she have a fenced in area to keep her safe. She was allowed into the garden room on very cold nights but was outside most of the time. A friend finally convinced her prior owners to surrender her to us.

She had a close encounter with a bear having been chased. With her prior owners they didn't know she had gotten out of the vehicle at the post office and they pulled off without her. They were a few miles down the road before they realized she was gone. Fortunately when they went back she was huddled up and shivering but safe. They she was involved in an auto accident with her prior owners. We were able to keep her safe except when I was walking her down the road on leash and a coyote ran out after her. Our dog Ben who could be very frightening dissuaded the coyote immediately.

With us she was an inside family member and safe. Gypsy in spite of her being in a roll over accident was a good traveler and she was always happy like she is in her picture. She had a wonderful personality and was never out of our sight. She did exact her revenge on a bear that had wandered up and was right outside the door that goes under our house. She could smell a bear a long way off and when she would get excited we knew there was a bear around. On that occasion I went on the front deck to see where the bear was and she went out with me. When she saw the bear she ran along the slanted overhang and leaped off and landed in the middle of the bears back. I have never seen a bear as scared in my life. It bolted and ran up the nearest tree wondering what happened. I quickly retrieved her to the bears delight and it came down and ran (actually ran) off and never came back.

Gypsy was an important part of our fur family and I hold a special place in my heart for her and will always miss her. She ended up with a long,happy and healthy (and safe) life until the very end. We miss that smiling face of hers and having her curl up in my lap.

For now this is the end of our past fur family.

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Life's Hazards

Let the dogs out in the dark and this time of year is difficult. It melts during the day and freezes at night leaving the ground slippery. Feet slid on the ice and I fell landing on my hand. The ice is like little razor blades and since it is ice it is hard. My hand is all puffed up and swollen but everything seems to work. Glad it wasn't worse.

Monday, March 23, 2020

Remembering Our Past Fur Family - Sarah


Sarah is in the bottom right of the photo. We adopted Sarah when she was 4+ years old. We did learn a little about her because she was a surrender to local authorities in the mid-west. She and her sister had gotten loose and chased a calf into a fence where it was injured. The husband told his wife that if Sarah and her sister Misty were still there when he came back from his task at hand he was going to shoot both. The wife called a local rescue and they came immediately and took both dogs into custody. Sarah was transferred to the rescue here in Colorado and Misty was sent on to Utah.

Sarah apparently was an outdoor girl kept in a pen and had been traumatized or mistreated and abused probably by the husband. When we got the call from the rescue to see if we would take her we jumped on the opportunity and went to meet her with Bozwell and Gypsy. She was excited to meet us but then her fear kicked in and she ran and hid under the porch of the rescue. We spoke softly to Sarah, tried to carefully introduce her to situations that would build her confidence.  We did not force situations on her and after a few months she came out of her protective shell and started to act like a new confident girl.

It breaks my heart to see a sweet girl (or boy) like Sarah so broken like that. It was only through gentle handling, not making sudden moves to her and speaking softly that her true self finally broke through. It took over two years but when Sarah came out of her shell she was an absolute wonderful girl. I miss not having her jump up and lay in my lap and her rare but  tender sweet kisses.

Sarah lived until she was 13 1/2 years old and died of congestive heart failure. We had her for 9 1/2 years and I will never regret bring her to our home to become what she was capable of being. Her prior owners never knew what a great potential she possessed and for that I'm happy as they don't deserve to know how wonderful she was. They don't deserve anything but contempt or worse for what they did to her. To me there is nothing better than bringing the best out of a previously abused dog.

We had never adopted a seriously abused dog before but Sarah still makes my heart swell to overflow. If you have a chance to adopt a seriously abused dog all the training you need is patience, more patience and compassion. To have the trust and love and adoration from an abused dog is beyond description. As with all our past dogs I miss Sarah tremendously. I would not hesitate to do it all over again. RIP my sweet girl - you are whole now......

Sunday, March 22, 2020

Early Start On Firewood

One of the biggest tasks we do here is get in firewood for next winter. We have a start and have found it important to start early. A tree here and a tree there is a start. The wildfire has killed many trees and if not cut down they will in time fall over and pose a danger.

Saturday, March 21, 2020

Remembering Our Past Fur Family - Ben

Top Right of the photo is Ben. We adopted Ben from the Shelter in Harrisburg, PA.  Ben was around 6 months old when adopted and his prior owner had cut his collar off him and turned him loose in rural PA. He was picked up as a stray and when it came time for him to be adopted Carol was at the shelter when it opened. He actually adopted us and wanted to go with us when we first met him at the shelter but we both had to wait.

Ben was so smart he could tell his left from his right, read the time on the clock and had a very large vocabulary to the point we had to be out of his hearing range to discuss going camping, dogie doctor etc.. Ben was referred to by friends who knew him as Dr. Ben because his intelligence was so great it was easily seen. Ben led a life of luxury and constant pampering. Ben actually taught us much of what we know about German Shepherds. If the average dog knows 200 words, Ben knew over 1000.

Ben also had a terrific sense of humor as he would come over almost every day when I was putting my boots and socks on and plant his big foot on my sock to keep me from pulling it on - smiling all the time.  Ben was terrified of snakes and when we encounter one on our hikes he would literally jump 3' off the ground straight up. One time I was fishing trout along a creek in PA and Carol had Ben on leash and he slipped off the bank into deep water. I rushed in to rescue him and he never forgot that rescue. After that he would not go into water over ankle deep.

Ben holds a very special place in my heart and always will. Ben died at 12 1/2 years old of a brain tumor at home. I miss Ben to this day and wish often he could still be here to know Bozwell, Ruby and Lucy. He would have loved them greatly.

Friday, March 20, 2020

Remembering Our Past Fur Family - Clarence

Top Left: Is Clarence the basset hound golden retriever mix. Clarence used to draw comments from others as what kind of dog is he. We used to tell folks he was a mix and very loving and gentle boy. Clarence was an easy going boy who we adopted from a shelter. He was in the very last stall Sasha and I came to having viewed many other dogs. Clarence was laid back and looked pathetic in his stall waiting for someone to adopt him. He was with us many years and moved with us from Tallahassee, Fla to Ohio then to Harrisburg, PA. He even made a trip to our property here in Colorado so Clarence was a traveler and stayed with us for many years before he started to have strokes and finally lost all ability to control himself.

Clarence was a loving boy who had ear problems most of his life. He therefore had many visits to his vet and we spent many hours cleaning his ears. Clarence  liked being an only child and when we adopted our German Shepherd Ben he pouted for days. We kept them in crates initially and Clarence would sit in his crate and stare into the wall. After a few days of this Ben went over to his crate and grabbed his rug and literally pulled him out of his cage and into the middle of the room. Clarence sat on his carpet all that time stoically looking the same as he did in his crate. Ben went in front of him and lay down in a submissive position until Clarence looked at him.

A little sniffing by Clarence and the bonding took hold. They were fast buddies after that. Clarence was always up for food and never missed a meal. Having  moved with us as much as he did he was very resilient and adaptable. Clarence will also be missed and what I miss most is when I would come home for lunch he would always be sitting on the steps to greet me.

I will post the other fur friends in the photo above separably.


Thursday, March 19, 2020

Corona Virus

This virus from China came on us rather rapidly and caught us unawares. Now we are experiencing a form of life we hardly ever expected. Self quarantine and keeping away from others by 6', not shaking hands which is a natural function for us. We are facing a disease that is potentially deadly and has normal people very concerned. Our lives have changed and businesses, churches, schools, restaurants, malls and any place where up to 10 people congregate are closed. For most of us we are just now realizing the potential of this virus and what it is doing to our society.

It is something we have not experienced before. People in a panic have emptied store shelves and are buying far more than they can possibly use for the duration of this epidemic. There are lines to get into stores to stock up on food. This reminds me of a time during world war 2, when food, gas and supplies were rationed. Families were provided the bare minimum to get by on but Americans are flexible and they pulled together and did get by. It was a time when people had to rely on each other. I remember those days even though I was just a child.

These are similar times. We need to rely on each other to each do their part and trust each other to comply with the requirements so we may all survive. What we don't need is hoarding or not following the requirements to keep us all safe. We have to put aside our 'me first' mentality and adopt for a little while at least - 'together' mentality.  If we all pull together as a large combined unit we will survive this virus and move on together. That will require putting religious, ethnic, political, and racial differences aside and working together to beat this virus.

If we do that and come together as Americans at least for the duration of this virus we will prevail. If not we will all fail together and that will be disastrous and fatal for many. There will be many families that suffer when it is unnecessary and needless. Let us decide to pull together and put this virus behind us quickly and move on with our lives as we were used to. United together we are strong. Let the rest of the world see our strength and true fabric. That is my hope for us as Americans.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Pet Peeves

Here is the blog that has gone live on Mother Earth News. I hope that this blog changes some peoples attitude toward transporting their pet in the open bed of a pickup and confining them to their back yard. With the readers of Mother Earth News reaching up to half a million each day I hope it will resonate with some readers. https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/pet-peeves-dog-abuse-and-neglect-zbcz2003


Monday, March 16, 2020

Donut Day

Donut day today...Yumm...

Saturday, March 14, 2020

New Blog Coming

When I submitted my last blog to Mother Earth News my assistant editor suggested I do another blog about dog issues. I have been working on that blog which will be titled "Pet Peeves"  and it should  be done soon and submitted for publication early next week.
Doing a blog requires much research and memory recall. It also takes up to 5-6 revisions and sometimes more before it is ready to submit. These blogs are read by half a million or more people around the world so they have to be done to satisfy varied interests. 
Keep an eye out for it and don't let the title fool you.

Tuesday, March 10, 2020

Choosing the Right Dog

Check out the newest blog for Mother Earth News about choosing the right dog for family and homestead. https://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/choosing-the-right-breed-of-dog-zbcz2003

Remembering Past Fur Family - Priscilla

Priscilla was a young Basset Hound female given to us by a prior owner and she was all Basset Hound. She didn't do much in the way of a guard dog except lay in front of the door where any intruder would trip over her. She loved us and was a good family member. We lived on a lake but she didn't particularly like the water so rarely went down to the water.

Actually she was pretty aloof and while she loved the family she wasn't into playing ball or anything. One day we had her outside on her run for some exercise and it was a bright sunshine day and out of the blue a bolt of lightning struck in the lake right in front of our eyes. She was thrown about 6' in the air and lay lifeless. I ran out to her and gave her CPR and after a while her eyes came back down and she was weak but able to focus. I carried her in the house and called the vet who advised us to keep her warm. Her back legs didn't work but soon she was able to function again and was back to her normal self.

After that she was pretty normal but she could hear thunder far off before we could even hear it and she would find a safe place to hide. Pris never was one for walks and spent most of her life just lounging around the house. She is the only Basset Hound I ever had so I don't know if the breed is like Priscilla or not.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Remembering Past Fur Family - Ching

When I was just a young boy my uncle thought every boy should have a dog. He bred Chow's and those dogs seemed to have a mean streak and were not friendly and a poor choice. One day he showed up with a Cocker Spaniel with golden fur named Honey. We lived one house off a very busy traffic street and I had Honey on a lead on the front porch and went inside to use the bathroom. When I came back out a few minutes later someone had stolen her right off our porch.

Then my uncle brought over a pekingese named Ching that someone had shot with a BB gun and hit him in the eye. He only had one eye and he had black and white fur like in the above photo. He was my companion for years and later died of heart failure. I taught him tricks and he not only had a flat flat face but a flat butt as he could sit up for the longest time. A young boy with a fairly large paper route and school didn't leave much time for Ching but I cared for him and made sure he had plenty of water and food.

One day I was out with Ching and heard him gasp and I ran over to him and he had died. I was heart broken and at a young age learned how much you can love an animal. Ching was not the brightest bulb in the box but he was loyal and most of all he was mine. Looking back now I wish I had known more about dog behavior like I do now. Just giving a dog without some basic training on how dogs behave is clearly not right for a child. People need to teach children how to care for and handle a dog before one is brought into the house.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

Remembering Past Fur Family - Sheba

When I was in the military I was in a combined unit of all four major branches serving together. While I was Air  Force an Army buddy asked me if I wanted a dog his brother had brought him when he hitch hiked down from Alaska. He said it was a husky but to me it appeared to have more than husky in it. He didn't want a dog and hoped I would take her. She was super smart and made a good member of our family with one exception. She did not like my ex wife but the feeling was mutual. Sheba avoided my ex wife so all went fairly well.

Sheba was only a few months old when we got her and as she grew I realized there was far more than husky in her. My buddy's brother said he bought her as a husky but I quickly noticed her eyes were yellow and she did not have anything that resembled a bark. She was very strong and very protective of myself and the children. Also she could crunch up cow bones easily.

Sheba was very smart: I taught her to heel, sit, stay, come and lay down in a single morning and she never forgot these commands. As she grew older it was more apparent that she had significant timber wolf in her as well as husky. As it turned out she was a very protective and loyal, intelligent family member. She always slept curled up on the floor next to my side of the bed. Sheba was sometimes good around other dogs as long as she was on heel and under voice control and leash but if one wandered to close to her she would try to kill or harm it.

My military dog trainer friend wanted to mate her with his large male German Shepherd dog but she would not even allow him close to her and he withdrew him for fear of his life. Even though he was much larger than her she was far more powerful. It is because of her that I do not recommend anyone trying to raise a wolf dog. The dog doesn't know if it is wolf or dog and switches from one instinctive trait to another. It is unfair to the animal as she was dangerous to other animals but highly protective of our family. Most people do not understand the characteristics of a wolf nor are they skilled to handle this strong animal. I was always having to warn people to keep their pets away from her and not to try to pet her unless I was present and prepared her first. Life was unfair to Sheba and she deserved far better than to be conflicted whether she was wolf or dog.


Friday, March 6, 2020

Remembering Past Fur Family - Bozley

This is Bozley who was an owner surrender. The owner brought him down to us from the Denver area as she had to move and could not find housing that would take a large dog. He was an absolute delight to our family and kept us entertained with his herding of squeaky balls.  I would wake up each morning with him about two inches from my face with his big smile.

Since our kitchen is in the back of our house I would ask him if lunch/dinner was ready yet and he would bound off to the back of the house to check and come back and let me know by his body language. It is important to be able to read a dogs body language and Bozley passed away suddenly on Dec. 19th one year ago. He was perfectly fine in the morning and just collapsed suddenly. There was no hope he would recover or get better and it was with deep regret that we said our last goodbye. When we got him to the vet - withing one hour - he was just too weak to lift his head.

There is not a day that goes by that I don't miss him and how he would come over and lay his head in my lap for ear rubs and attention. We only had him for three years but he will forever be remembered in our hearts and we miss him to this day. He was very intelligent and understood most of what we said to him.  He was always as happy and smiling as the photo above reflects...Rest in peace Bozley until we will meet again.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Heavy Snow

We just keep chipping away at the heavy snow. We chop it into blocks and haul them off in the sled. Very heavy work and this pile is about 7-8' high and it is all hard packed.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Heavy Snow

The snow slides down the roof of our A-Frame and piles up several feet deep. About two times a winter we have to shovel it out of this area and push it down hill. Today was the start of the second time this winter. We have a long way to go yet but I calculated we probably moved around a ton of hard packed snow/ice. We will keep chipping away at it until it is out of the area, making room for the snow still coming. The depth of the snow pile is over 6' deep and we only just started.

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Murphy's Law

Murphy says if something can go wrong it will go wrong. I'd like to add that it will go wrong at the absolute wrong time. Measuring snow in our community depends on where you are located. We may get 8" of snow and the back of the park can get 12" and the front of the park can get 2".  We received 4" one day and 5" the next day followed by 2-6 degree temperatures and wind with gusts up to 25 MPH,  The wind redistributes the snow and when it gusts it is white out conditions as drifts form and grow. Maybe we should refer to it as socialism snow because the wind takes it from one person and redistributes it to another who may have just cleared their driveway. 

Anyway - back to Murphy:  Our association has two pieces of heavy road equipment and Murphy is in charge as both pieces of equipment have broken down at the same time. Parts are to be received today and they will be repaired but it couldn't come at a worse time - thanks Murphy. With the winds and snow being redistributed the roads are pretty much drifted in and going out or coming in is highly risky. It is brutal to be out in this wind and drifting snow and while the temperature is single digit the wind chill is negative numbers. Getting stuck in a drift could end up in frost bite or freezing to death. 

Best option is wait until the roads are cleared once again (maybe tomorrow) and be careful then. So far this year in the middle of the park we have received 170" of snow and it is waist deep on the ground. We had a family stop in the road in front of our house recently to look at a lot for sale down the road and I went out to make sure they were alright and they had only walked about 100 yards down the road and were totally exhausted. They were young and in good shape and the wind had blown much of the snow off the road so they were only wading through about 1-1 1/2 feet of snow. You can get in trouble quickly in the mountains in the winter so if you are inclined - use extreme caution and go prepared.