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Saturday, January 19, 2019

Winter Photos

 Light and shadows on wind blown snow...
 Ice cycles....
 Wind drifted snow...
 Shadows on fresh wind driven snow....
Back yard with 6+ foot piles of snow and paths for dogs to use to go potty....

Thursday, January 17, 2019

Trimming Tire Chains

The tighteners for the tractor tire chains is pretty much one size fits all. The chains that pull the tightener taunt are longer than needed as is the inner chain that holds the actual tire chains on. I need to get the tractor out so I can cut the excess chain off. The new bolt cutter I just bought handles the smaller tightener chains just fine but I'll see how it handles the heavier chain.

Waiting for the tractor to warm up with the block heater and then will move it into the open where I can get at the chains without laying on the cold hard ground.

Losing Our Fur Family


There is nothing easy about losing a family fur member. The grief and pain over saying goodbye to them is extremely hard. Even harder is making that decision for them when they cross that 'Rainbow bridge'. Once that decision is made and carried out there is no coming back. They are gone forever. It is important that it be made with their interest foremost. We don't want them to suffer and when their quality of life is no longer there and they can no longer function it is time.

We just lost Bozley in the photo above to a major stroke. When it happened we rushed him immediately to the vet and when we arrived he was so weak he couldn't move anything but his eyes. It was clear to us and his doctor he was not going to recover from this sudden stroke. Our Sarah had at 14.5 years congestive heart failure. Several medications were given to her to prolong her life and keep her comfortable but at the end she grew weak and lost interest in eating, drinking or moving. She was not in pain but there was nothing left for her and it was time to let her go. She clearly was ready.

There is always that nagging question could we have done one more thing that might have helped but sometimes even when faced with the obvious it is hard to let go. That is when we have to say what is best for our beloved fur family member and not be so selfish that we keep them that extra few moments because it so hard to say goodbye that final time. They won't be coming back and the decision is ours to make for them and it has to be the right one.

I tend to tell them goodbye by telling them how good they are, have been, and how much I love them and it is my hope and faith that I will see them again. That I don't want to see them suffer any more and this will relieve their suffering. Finding that appropriate time without guilt is important and I consider them and not my own selfish desires to keep them around longer. It never gets any easier and as we face two more future goodbyes it is none the less hard even leading up to that time. Our vet has told us that one day Echo won't be able to get up due to his disease and then it will be time. We do not look forward to that time arriving because each day he seems to get a little more unstable and weaker.

They tend to let us know when they can't go on if we just take the time to pay attention to their desires. This is the one decision that when arrived at is non-reversible so we have to be very careful when we make it for them. They have been there unfailing in loyalty and love for us and in the end we need to be there for them decide for them and not just ourselves. It is painful but they let us know if the time is right or not and they are ready to die.

RIP Clarence, Ben, Gypsy, Sarah and Bozley - all magnificent family members who remain in our memory and heart for as long as we live.


Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Snow Infringing On Width Of Roads

 Top photo is the main road and bottom photo is our road down to one lane now. The road crew is having difficulty dealing with all the snow and equipment can only push it so far off the road. I'm having problems at the house so I can only assume they are working hard on the drifts and accumulation. They are doing a good job keeping the roads open so we residents can get in and out.
These photo's were taken yesterday on my way back from town to pick up mail. I had the cruise control set at 65 mph, which is the speed limit and cars and trucks were passing me at 80+ mph. I was concerned that maybe the state was being evacuated as everyone was sure in a big hurry to get some where.

Saturday, January 12, 2019

Where To Put The Snow.


Up at the crack of dawn to shovel out the back yard. We have 15" of snow so far and still counting. It is too much for two disabled dogs to cope with so we had to shovel an area out for them to go potty. The top photo is the snow about to cover our windows. When it is raked off the roof it will cover our windows.


The weather people predicted up to 8" and it was supposed to stop three hours ago. The storms have come this year about one week apart and each storm dumps about 14-15" each time. We are at the point that we have run out of places to put new snow. The above photo reflects our 6' 4" fence in the back yard - the piles are higher than the fence and we can only throw the shovels full so high. They just roll back down and we shovel 2-3 times the same snow. Our heavy snow months are ahead of us still.

Since we have lived here 21+ years we have had high snow piles but never like this where there is no place for new snow. Just getting the dogs a place where they can go potty is a dual effort. Next shovel off the deck and then plug in the tractor and do the driveway. We are not really into our snow season yet compared to past years and we are wondering what to do with the new snow the next 3-4 months.

Friday, January 11, 2019

Clean Again


Above is the dirty snow that has soot all over it and below is the snow that is falling as I write this. Clean snow again for a couple days is refreshing. Same area for both shots.


The chickadees don't mind the snow and this one came into the feeder as I was getting the above photo. We have nuthatches, chickadees, stellar jays and Clark nutcrackers who are going through a brick of suet every two days. Our entertainment....


Wednesday, January 9, 2019

Bozley's Remains Are Home

 Bozley who passed away 12/17/18, is back home to be will be put to rest when the ground thaws in a few months. His final resting place will be next to his sister Sarah, in the pet cemetery situated in a very beautiful spot on our property. We already have his headstone but now there is about 3' of snow on the area as other area's on our property.
Emotions are still a little raw over his passing but he was unique in many ways from other dogs. I will write more on him later when I don't have to fear dehydration. Needless to say he is very deeply missed.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

Dirty Snow

 After four days of strong wind this is what our snow looks like. The wildfire has produced dead pine needles, ash, and soot that turns our snow grey and littered with little pieces of ash and needles. A unfavorable side product of a wildfire. Hopefully one day we will have clean snow again.


What Are The Odds?


Last year just as the NCAA National Championship game started the power went out. We only watched the first few minutes of the game and then the power went out and when the electricity came back on we hurriedly turned the TV back on just in time to see the post game celebration.

This year we settled in to watch the game with the same two opponents and the first quarter was exciting with three touchdowns in the first four and one half minutes. At the end of the  first quarter the game really had our interest as an exciting game. The score was 21 - 16, and "you gotta be kidding me", the power went out again.

We were suddenly in total blackness and stunned. What are the odds that this would happen two years at the same time. When the power came back on at 2:00 AM we found out Clemson had won but we missed 3/4's of the game. What are the odds this would happen two years in a row at almost the same time? ..... Pretty rare I think...

Friday, January 4, 2019

Sledding

What do old people do on a nice winter day?  We get out the sleds and sled down the driveway. Actually can get up to about 15-20 MPH and we have the snow pushed off the road to stop us. Great fun and those little sleds can go pretty fast. Note the 3' of snow on the left side of the driveway. That is about what has accumulated on the ground so far this winter. Pretty hard to get around unless you have snow shoes. 

Tuesday, January 1, 2019

Winter In The Mountains

 Weather predictions were pretty accurate as the temperature dropped to -5 degrees (f) and we ended up with 12" of snow over night.  It is still snowing so we will get more accumulation today. Cold start to the new year..
Happy New Year to all our blog readers.

Sunday, December 30, 2018

Experience and Expectation

One year ago this time we looked forward to expectation and hopes for a good year. Now we do the same for the next year with no idea what really lies ahead. As we look back on our experiences from this past year we clearly see hardship and gain. Hardship in having experienced the third worst wildfire in Colorado history, the loss of our beloved Bozley to a stroke, the struggles of our two remaining dogs Bozwell and Echo with cauda equinus a lower spine stenosis. The gain is two stronger people and expectation for a better year to come.



Unpleasant occurrences experienced for sure but once the trauma passed we believe we came out stronger people. Difficult circumstances was not the dominating or controlling factor but simply a hurdle to move past and learn from. We did get our firewood in for this winter safely and even managed to donate several cords to LaPuente to distribute to those unable to obtain their own firewood to keep warm. There were many people and organizations like the Red Cross and Church for Christ that stepped forward and helped us move through the wildfire. There were so many friends and family that were there for us that it humbled us greatly. We live a pretty self sufficient lifestyle and to have so many come forward for us is truly humbling and we will forever be grateful.

We had strong wind throughout the year and it broke trees off but none really did any damage to our home or structure and their removal opened up the forest for new and stronger growth. The wildfire burned a few trees but for the most part our homestead is green and intact. We feel blessed to still have our home and land virtually untouched. Our view is certainly different but the new openness gives us better views. Our home was the only one on our road to survive for which we are grateful but we feel sadness for the 134 land owners that lost their homes.


We/I had one very nice surprise when our daughter came for a few days visit. It was so good to have here here and to do things together like we used to when she was a young girl.


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We have no idea what the next year will bring but we know from what we have survived so far that we will deal with it in the same manner that we dealt with this past year thanks to so many supporting us. We will face the new year with hope and good expectations and if bad things happen face them with the same resolve that got us through the past ones. God blessed us greatly this past year and He will bless and be with us this coming year if it is His will for us.

We wish all readers a healthy, happy, prosperous 2019 and may any problems encountered end up to be your strengths.  Everyone from time to time has difficulties and we hope for peace and tranquility for friends, family and readers but if difficulties do come your way our hope is that you have the same uplifting support we had this past year. Friends, family and strangers all came forward to assist, support and encourage us to move on.  A hearty heartfelt thank you to all those who helped us through difficult times.

Happy 2019..... and may your new year be filled with peace, joy and happiness.


Saturday, December 29, 2018

Clear Sky - Beautiful View

But for the dead trees that were burned by wildfire this would be a perfect view. Even with the dead trees it is a beautiful view....

Friday, December 28, 2018

Missing Bozley

Bozley had his stroke and was gone so fast that we were in shock for several days. Bozley was the healthiest of all three of our fur family and even though he was getting old he kept on going like the energizer bunny. As the days go by we miss him even more.

We often eat on TV trays in the living room and the kitchen is in the back of the house. Bozley would lay down on a flat dog bed near me with his favorite ball and I would ask him if my supper was ready yet. He would jump up, run to the kitchen and come back barking if it were ready. A little game (among many) we would play each afternoon.

It seems now that he is gone we miss the little things he did every day that kept us entertained. Both Bozwell and Echo miss him too. The photo below is Bozley and Echo hunkered down in the kitchen staying safe from the thunder.

Yesterday I took a couple dog beds, two cartons of canned dog food, sheets, and a large garbage bag of squeaky toys to the shelter. While there I noticed three German Shepherds (2 males, 1 female) and it was all I could do not to bring all three home. They were all 2 years old and one was a stray and two came from a puppy mill. Being young their enthusiasm would bump into Bozwell and Echo and could seriously harm them with their cauda equina.

  As I looked around I saw mostly a shelter that was full of two year old dogs.  I don''t understand how people can keep a dog for two years and then surrender them to a shelter where it is likely they will be euthanized. One was a friendly dog that did not have a collar and was picked up as a stray. Take his collar off and dump him somewhere and leave. People simply don't understand that to adopt a dog is a life time commitment to the dog not an adoption for short time convenience. It is sad going to a shelter and leaving any dog behind with tears in my eyes over the sad feelings I have for them. They had a home and now don't and they don't understand why. As I was leaving a person was carrying in another dog to surrender. I could tell from the man's look he was giving the dog up. Incredibly sad........

The Good And Bad Of Winter

 Above is the bad, we went snowshoeing and the day after our snowshoe tracks were filled in with soot and ash from the wildfire. The soot and ash just seems never ending sometimes.
Looks like we are going to have a few days of cold weather. We are predicted to have sub-zero temperatures for the next few nights and the high today is predicted to be 12 degrees (F).  Yup, winter is here for sure now.... What tree boring insects that weren't cooked in the wildfire will be frozen with these frigid temperatures, which is good as it will save some still alive trees.

Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Christmas Breakfast Done Right

Got up at 5:00 AM this morning to cook breakfast outside on the cook stove. My special potatoes with my secret seasoning, coffee, eggs and Yoder summer sausage from our friends Gayle and Gil in Tennessee. We were remembering their fur family member Stella who just recently passed away as did our Bozley. Summer sausage is a great breakfast ingredient for cooking a breakfast outside.

Friday, December 21, 2018

Tail Patch

Echo has adapted to his cauda equina syndrome when playing with his favorite ball. He now plays with it in the dog bed where it can't get away from him so much. The vet tells us that he has the sore on his tail probably from a nerve that tingles and he then licks it much like an itch. He had licked it sore and when we would put wound spray on it he would lick it off.

We therefore put anti-bacterial ointment on it and then a gauze bandage and wrapped it all secure with vet wrap.  Looks funny but he doesn't seem to pay it any attention any longer. His back legs are getting weaker in slow increments and the vet told us when the day comes that he can't get up it will be time for him to cross the rainbow bridge. He struggles some times but so far he is able to get up for which we are very grateful..

It is difficult to see him get slightly worse day by day but he is still able to live a full life and is happy life. Bozley was older but we thought he would outlast Echo but Bozley was taken suddenly last Monday by a major stroke. It was sudden and totally unexpected and he was assisted across the rainbow bridge within two hours from having the stroke. We are still in shock at how fast it was and he is missed deeply. Thank you for everyone who sent us condolences and comforting words. It is going to take us and Echo and Bozley a long time to get over his sudden loss.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Bozley

Bozley: DOB unknown - December 17, 2018. 12 + years old. 11:45 AM Carol was looking at Bozley and he had his ears laying back and head down. He collapsed in the breakfast room his favorite place. She called to me and said she thought Bozley had a stroke. I went to him immediately and he had a vacant look like he didn't know where he was. 
I called the vet and told them we were on our way in and we lifted him on a towel and got him in our Jeep. He was awake but not using his legs and his breathing was shallow. 
The vet agreed that he had had a stroke and he did not move anything but his eyes. It was obvious that he would not make any recovery. At 12:45 Pm he departed this life to be with Sarah..
He was in bed with me this morning giving me sweet licks and snuggling with his head under the covers. 5 hours later he is gone and we are all devastated. RIP Bozley you were the perfect boy and you are already missed deeply and you will forever be in our hearts and memory. .
Out of all three of our fur family Bozley loved his new boots more than any of them. I'm so glad that he was able to get some use out of them and his back legs did not slip out from under him any more. 

Sunday, December 16, 2018

Dog Boot Update

 The dogs have worn their boots for a week now and they actually like them. I put them on in the morning and take them off at night. The boots have given them confidence to venture into parts of the back yard they previously avoided. We only put them on their back legs as it was their back legs that would slip out on them and twist their body which aggravated the cauda equina syndrome. They would also occasionally slip in the house and these boots give them gripping ability. We also bought the socks that go on with them and they seem to help put the boots on. They are Ruffwear Grip Trex and we bought them through Amazon. So far they have lived up to their promotion data.

Thursday, December 13, 2018

Fresh Snow

 Woke up at 4:00 AM to let the dogs out and had to push the door open due to fresh snow. While we were sleeping 14" of snow occurred. The forecast was for 40% chance with 2-4" possible. Missed this forecast by a country mile....
 So I was out at 4:30 shoveling the back yard for the dogs to be able to go to the bathroom. There was not a single sound outside and it was so quiet and peaceful. Not a bird chirping, door closing, engine running - nothing but total silence. It was wonderful even though it was 8 degrees. I don't think with the current population we have many people that have total silence without some noise. Those who hear the noise probably are used to it so they don't even notice but for a few hours today we had total and complete silence and it was wonderful. Stars tinkling overhead and wonderful silence - not a sound.

Sunday, December 9, 2018

Dog Boots

 With almost everything on a 30-45 degree slope the dogs with their smooth pads (house dogs ya know) tend to have their back feet slip out when the snow gets packed down. We bought them boots with rubber grips on the bottom through Amazon and distributed by Ruffwear Grip Trex, all terrain,that should help them keep their footing better. We only bought them for their back feet as they don't need them for their front feet. A set of two are $37.00 each but if they keep their paws from slipping it will be worth in in reduced vet and Rx costs.
Since they also slip on the carpet inside they have kept them from falling or re-injuring themselves so far by providing increased traction.

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Animal Tracks

More fresh bobcat tracks in the snow this morning. It appears we either have an over active bobcat  or there are two of them.  Bobcat tracks above.
The bobcats are hanging around because of all the rabbits and squirrels we have. In fact I could see where a rabbit sat next to the driveway and was apparently watching the bobcats down on the road. That kind of bravado will convert it to dinner one day. Rabbit tracks above and squirrel tracks below.