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Saturday, July 2, 2022


 Our new shed was delivered yesterday. Previously I had kept the implements for our tractor along the edge of the driveway but they could be seen from the road. I noticed several weeks back two suspicious men stopped and checking them out. One guy was actually hanging out the vehicle window to get a better vantage point. We had last summer some break-in's and theft in our community. I decided it would be better if the implements were not visible so we ordered this shed. 

We also used to park our utility trailer at the end of the driveway but I saw some men checking it over one day so we moved it to the other side of the house. Anyone interested now would have to go right past the front of the house and the dogs would alert me. Our property is posted so they run a huge risk to trespass. It is sad that we have to go to this extent to protect our property but times have changed from what they used to be. 

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Divide And Conquer:


I don't know if others have noted this but I have. I went in to pick up our mail Saturday and was talking to a friend at the grocery store which is next to the post office. We were discussing the sad state of our country. I told him I had little hope for the long haul of our country as I have noted that our citizens have been divided. We are divided by race, gender, religion, political party, and so many other issues. It seems that people can no longer agree on anything without upsetting others. 

I remember how our country came together for a short period after 9/11, but then went back to our divisions. If we had a similar occurrence now I don't see people coming together any longer. We have been so divided and are so polarized we can not see our fellow citizens as equals. We have ceased to be Americans and have become so self centered based on our agendas or manipulation that we lack togetherness. 

We are afraid to even express our minds for fear of hurting someone's feelings. Some won't even listen to those who may think differently or have opposing views. We are so divided that we simply can't come together on anything. We have ceased being a unified people who call themselves Americans and we are issue orientated. It seems to me being as divided as we are we have lost our American ideals and values and are rapidly ceasing to be people. I do not see our country surviving as we are destroying ourselves. 


Sunday, June 26, 2022


 Finally some much needed rain.. It rained yesterday afternoon and evening. It is raining today and so far we have 1/2" of new rain and best of all it is just a gentle rain that will soak in. It seems like forever since we have had any meaningful rain. The forecast calls for rain through today and into next week. It will take a lot of rain to end our drought but this is a very good start. 

Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Bozley's Back Story:

Bozley's back story is a little obscure. He came to us from a Denver school teacher who had to move and couldn't find a place that would accept large dogs. She volunteered at the Dumb Friends League and had watched Bozley for quite some time before she decided to adopt him. She was down to a couple days and didn't want him to go back to the shelter and a friend of mine posted his plight on Facebook. I responded quickly and the teacher drove him down to us. He was 8 years old at the time and we had him for over 4 years. 

We have no idea what ended him up in the shelter but we quickly found him to be a super good boy who fit right in our existing pack. He was number four of our pack.  He had a barking problem which was quickly resolved and is probably why the teacher had to move. 

The teacher had a teenage daughter who attended high school and worked part time so he probably had a lot of time to himself where with us he was with us 24/7. They brought a small bag of food for him and directions as to how he did not like to eat. I checked the food and discovered why he did not like to eat. The food was disgusting and smelled bad. We put him on the same food the rest of our dogs ate and he had no further problems. 

He fit in with us and our pack and lived with us for 4 1/2 years. Most mornings I would wake up with this big nose just an inch from my face and thus Bozley was my alarm clock. He liked to lay his head in my lap and for the life of me I can't figure out how he ended up at the shelter. He was a good boy all around and probably ended up with owners that did not understand dogs and their behavior. Much like the teacher who didn't figure out that food her vet recommended was crap and he didn't like it. 

 One thing that Bozley taught me was that when people adopt or purchase a dog they need to spend time working with and training the dog just like with a child. They also need to be aware of the dogs needs and have enough common sense when the dog's behavior is different - like not eating- they need to figure out why.  In this case is was as simple as giving Bozley a food that he liked. Bozley's real back story is obscured but we do know part of it. I don't think that the teacher obtained his back story or if so did not tell us.  

Sunday, June 19, 2022

Weird Weather:


We have had some very strange weather over the past 7 months. The wind has been strong with near hurricane force numerous times and seems to come in waves like the ocean waves. It is mid June and we are still burning a fire in our wood stove because it does not warm up during the day. I don't remember it being this late in the year where we had to have a fire in the wood stove to stay warm. 

From the very first time we put humming bird feeders out we have had from 20-50 hummingbirds and this year we have had 5 birds. A week ago we had temperatures in the 80's but this week it has been in the mid 50's. We also had a late freeze a couple weeks ago that destroyed the aspen leaves. It was so cold the leaves turned black and are falling off the trees. 

In our quarter century living here we have not witnessed this type of crazy weather before this year. We had weeks of no moisture of any sort and now we see that the forecast calls for a week of rain. This weather has been totally different from any we have experience before this year. The changes have been radical and contrary to any we have previously experience in the last 25 years. Apparently the scientists say that it may even get worse.

We have also had numerous wildfires popping up all around us but none in our specific area yet. This has just been one crazy year for weather. 

Friday, June 17, 2022


Below photo is the tree we cut for firewood. We have been waiting to get to it but couldn't and finally I just took a cable down to the far end of our property and hooked up the tree and dragged it out to where we could work on it. One 14-15" dry aspen is going to provide enough firewood to be at least a cord of dry firewood. That will be one more cord done and only two more cords to go. Below is the tree all cut up into logs. We spent about 5 hours on this one tree but the wood content is perfect. 


Monday, June 13, 2022

Colorado Community - Mother Earth News

For the past several years I have been the Administrator for the Colorado Mother Earth News magazine. Because of all the trees that have been blown over and health issues I have given up managing the Facebook page. I have enjoyed posting daily on the page items that I felt people would be interested in or could learn from. I had multiple sources to choose from which was helpful. With all the homestead work in front of us I just could no longer do the page justice. I will miss posting but it is best for the ongoing integrity of the page. 

The damage from the windstorms will consume almost every moment of our lives so now someone else will administrate the page. 


We are getting more high wind and without looking I'm sure more trees are down. Getting pretty tired of the high winds and the dust and dirt sand blasting me. We have over 100 trees down and they are in such a jumble that we can't get to them. 


Sunday, June 12, 2022

Ruby's Back Story:

Actually Ruby did not come with a back story. I called to inquire about her from an internet photo and the shelter brought her to us. Carol was out of state visiting friends and I checked with her and got the okay. They put her in a crate and she rode up from  Taos, NM in the back of a pickup truck. Her story started when she was brought to us. We were told she was between 12-15 years old and she had incontinence but was on Rx for it. They said her name was Doris but we changed it to Ruby as she was clearly a gem
The shelter did not tell us anything about her background so we had to start from scratch. The next day as she lay on the floor I spoke over 1000 names to see if she responded to any. She did not and I then checked to see if she could hear. She was totally deaf. She had 5 sebaceous cysts on her up to the size of a golf ball. We did not notice them until they left and we scheduled her for surgery to have them removed as they could not have been comfortable. 

We trained her with hand signals and she picked up on those quickly. We had Ruby for 3 years until her back legs finally gave out. She received excellent veterinarian care, was pampered by us and her last three years were lived in luxury with much love. She liked to watch Puppy Bowl on TV as indicated in the above photo. It was a sad day when we had to let her go but she no longer had any quality of life and we couldn't stand to see her suffer. 

She was a real sweet heart and we will always miss her but are thankful we could give her a few years of never ending love and attention.  In her case not having a back story was okay as we were able to start from scratch with her. It is not always necessary to have a back story but generally it helps to correct neglect or bad behavior.  



Friday, June 10, 2022

Lucy's Back Story:

Being able to obtain a rescues back story helps to not only acclimate a new adoptee to your family but also how to deal with any issues the new family member may have. Lucy had a somewhat different back story. Carol was in route to the vet's to pick up Rx for our senior Bozwell and that took her right by a shelter. She looked over and saw Lucy huddled in a corner with a dejected appearance and so she stopped to take a better look. 

An attendant told her that Lucy was being transferred to Denver the next day as she somehow got into a flock of sheep and either killed or injured some of them. The police picked her up and to keep her from  being put down they had to get her out of the area ASAP.. Carol called me and asked if we could take her in by adoption. I said yes and so Carol adopted her with the back of the Jeep full of groceries. Since she was going to the vet anyway she had her checked out while she was there. 

Lucy rode home in the midst of groceries and did not bother any of them. When Carol got home Lucy was really doing zoomies around the driveway on an expandable leash. I brought Bozwell and Ruby out to meet her in the driveway which is contrary to how I like to introduce dogs. Both Boz and Ruby were friendly with her but kept their distance which helped Lucy calm down quickly. By the time we brought her in the house she was much calmer and all three dogs became acquainted and settled in just fine. 

Since we don't have any livestock there was no danger of a repeat performance but we were on alert as to her herding behavior. Oddly enough she ignores deer and elk and shows no interest. The first thing we did was clean the dried sheep blood off her. The entire ordeal really traumatized her she now has fear issues which we are dealing with. Needless to say she is a truly wonderful family member and she and Klaus get along perfectly. 

We have had experience with fearful dogs before so we are capable of restoring her to a calm and normal state which she is presently at. She turned out to be a real lover and wonderful family member. We figured that her sheep incident was not the first time and that the owner gave her up to the police so there would be no other instances and he could avoid prosecution. If ever there was a God instance of being in the right place at the exact right time this was it. We generally don't go to town other than every few weeks and this was one of those times. We benefit greatly having such a sweet and loving girl as Lucy as our family member and love her greatly. 

Next submission will be Ruby. 

Monday, June 6, 2022

Taylor's Back Story:

 Taylor: Taylors back story still haunts me. He was kept in a fenced in yard without shelter from the sun or freezing nights. He dug a hole in the dirt and that was his existence. Fortunately a compassionate lady learned of his plight and rescued him.  He was taken to a local shelter where he remained for a lengthy stay. Since he was an advanced senior no one was willing to adopt him. 

Due to severe arthritis he was kept in a small room with a tiny window so he would be out of the cold. Far better than a hole in the ground. When we saw him we inquired about adoption and the shelter actually brought him to our home to see if he could manage the steps to get into the house. Sadly he could not get up the steps and he had to be returned to his tiny room at the shelter.

We ultimately decided to put another door in the back of our house that would allow him access to the back yard. It took a few weeks but we accomplished it. We went and rescued Taylor the very next day. He was groomed, pampered, and immediately treated like a family member. He had a 6" memory foam bed, toys, (new to him) good food served at regular intervals and was spoiled. 

He had 6 weeks of doggy bliss and then he stopped eating or drinking. It turned out he had a massive inoperable tumor and we were sent home to make him comfortable until his last days.  His days were sadly only one and he departed for doggy heaven. We were happy to give him the short time he had left and he was clearly reveling in true family life. We just wish he could have been with us longer but last  days were good and we could tell he enjoyed them. 

Taylor was an ambassador dog for abused dogs. He had a wonderful life his last six weeks and we wish it could have been longer. He totally captured our heart his final weeks. 


Sunday, June 5, 2022

Dog Adoption And Back Stories:

 We have adopted all eleven dogs from either a shelter or rescue. Working backwards in the sequence we have adopted them we have been able to get the back story on most of the dogs we adopted. On occasion the shelter or rescue did not know their back story or chose not to reveal it but when you know the history it makes it easier to make sure past occurrences in a dogs life are avoided and gives you a base to work from in helping them overcome any fears they may have.  


We saw Klaus advertised at a shelter and went to meet him. We are more concerned with a dogs personality and temperament than their breed. Klaus was advertised as a Belgium Shepherd. When we met him we could tell right away that he wasn't that breed and he was Chow Chow and Akita. We could also tell he was laid back, tolerant and had a good temperament. 

We learned that he had been to that shelter two times and that is a red flag but we could not see why based on his behavior. His family gave him up when the wife became sick and they could not care for him. He was in the shelter for a long time until the wife finally passed away. The husband reclaimed him but after a brief spell he surrender him again because Klaus did not like to travel in his truck. We found he travels just fine in our truck with us. 

Klaus was in the shelter a second time for quite a while as he is black, large (85 lbs.) and 7 years old. All of our dogs were exceptional, loyal, loving, intelligent and well behaved but Klaus is right at the top of the list as special. We're thankful that so many potential adopters passed him by. Because of his past he doesn't like to be away from us like on walks. Knowing his past we take him for short walks and gradually extend them so he will not be so home bound. 

Initially when we let him out in the back fenced area to roam and sniff he would want to come into the house quickly. Now we sit with him out back and he is more comfortable. Knowing his past has helped us deal with his present. He is slowly becoming more secure with us and that is good as it will balance an already well balanced dog to be even better. 

Next I will report on Taylor the ambassador dog. 

Tuesday, May 31, 2022

Before And After:

The above photo is from day before yesterday. The below photo is from yesterday after the bear got through with it. He also pulled our swing down the hill. Normally the bears leave this area alone. 


Monday, May 30, 2022


I'm tired of the high winds that we are getting almost every week!!!!! Winds from 25 50 mph, and they are blowing more trees down. In this storm we have lost at least 20-25 trees and most are live and large. This has been going on weekly since December and it is getting very old. 


Prime firewood
 When we started to gather firewood 25 years ago on our property we decided due to our age we would collect firewood from the perimeter of our property and save the wood closer to the house for when we became older and less able to cut and haul firewood distances. This was a tree closer to the house and is prime dry firewood. 

Due to the high winds -including today - we have had many live aspen trees blow over. They are in area's where we have already harvested firewood so it will take a few years for these trees to dry out enough to be suitable for good firewood. Fortunately we still have trees that are standing dead and nice and dry. Unfortunately the association put a turn around for their heavy equipment at the end of our property and it is so rutted and rough we can't get to those trees. I will be asking the association to fix the area so we can access our property. Then we can harvest those trees for more suitable firewood.

Sunday, May 29, 2022

Living With Bears:

We live where there are various forms of wildlife. Over the years we have learned much about bears and other predators. I tried to remember all the encounters we have experience in the time we have resided here but there were just too many to recount. Usually several each year over the quarter century we have been here. All but one were black bears and that one was a large brown bear complete with the muscle hump between his/her shoulders. Being within 25 yards from a brown bear which are less predictable is somewhat daunting. 

How do you know if a black bear is aggressive or not? Usually when we have encountered a black bear it is a surprise to both of us. They often appear from behind a bush, tree, or out of a depression in the terrain. Sometimes with cubs in tow. If they are afraid that you could harm them they act defensive and if something you do causes them to be afraid they quickly turn offensive. Indications you are over the line with them is when they lower their head and swing it side to side and ears are back. They may stomp their front feet or pop their jaws at you coupled with huffs. They may even false charge you to see if you are the danger they think you are. 

What not to do:   Do not run as they are much faster than a human can run. We slowly back off never taking out eyes off them. Do not turn your back on them  as that could trigger their prey drive and you will be fighting for your life. We talk calmly to them on our encounters and stand our ground unless they show aggression. Until they can figure out whether you are friendly or foe they will most likely stand their ground too. This is no time when you are confronted by a bear to whip out your cell phone or camera as it very well could send the wrong message to the bear. Stay calm and slowly remove yourself from the situation and NO yelling at the bear. 
Stay calm:   I read once that out of 100 black bears only one has aggressive tendencies. I have found that to be pretty much true. Most have poor eyesight and until they can identify who or what you are they are very cautious. They are also curious and I have had them come closer to sniff us from a  better distance. Staying calm is important because I believe they can smell fear and that would be a weakness to them. 

Prevention: It is good to talk loudly or make noise as you walk through the woods. They will usually avoid you if they hear you coming. It is also good to have bear spray with you or pepper spray to use if you are charged. If charged you may not have time to get a handgun out or a rifle off your shoulder. If you are excited you might miss anyway. If the bear charges you they will come very fast and you may be knocked down. If that happens I am told playing dead works some of the time. Cover your neck with your hands and if possible curl into a fetus position. The alternative is to fight back with what ever is at hand. 

In summary, we love our bears and we have been able to live and coexist with them for 25 years. That is not to say we won't one day run into that one that is far from friendly. Their behavior is mostly predictable but you need to know what to look for. If your clothes smell like food or if you have food out where they can smell it your chances for a friendly encounter diminish greatly. I have had them within inches from me and still walked away safely. There will always be that rogue bear but hopefully we will never encounter it. 

This has been our personal experience with black bears and we hope any of your encounters will be equally good. It is certainly best to see them before they see you for obvious reasons. 

Friday, May 27, 2022


Same photo subject - one is in the morning, one in the evening. 

Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Black Dogs:

I have always wondered why in the shelters or rescues people pass up black dogs. It has never made any sense to me. Six months ago we adopted Klaus who is a black dog. He is everything and more what we would want in a dog. To think he had been passed up for so long in the shelter tells me that some people really missed out on a super good family member. Klaus is a super good boy who actually exceeds the good qualities of our prior dogs and that really says a lot as all our prior dogs have been exceptional. 

I still don't understand why people pass up black dogs with the possible exception of black labs. In their case it is the breed not the color but it is a well known fact that black dogs are much harder to adopt out than other dogs. Passing up that black dog just could be a major mistake as it could not just make your life better but it could make your life a whole lit better. We have not had a dog that is so continuously happy to be a member of our family. Carol says often that he is the only dog we have had that is happy to see her each morning. 

When I think about all the people who passed him up it makes me sad but at the same time grateful they did; otherwise we would not have him and he is very special. 

Tuesday, May 24, 2022

Climate Change?????

Climate change or not depends on who you talk to. Saturday we had 10" of new snow after we had enjoyed 6 weeks of very pleasant weather. So pleasant that the aspen trees had their leaves, I planted my garden and all the winters snow melted. Then Sunday and Monday we had rain and cool temperatures. Today it is again below freezing and we are having very wet snow. About 5 inches of snow as I write this. It is forecast to stop around midnight. 

I'm sure my garden is done and the new aspen leaves are all black. Whether they will come back out or not is questionable. After today the forecast is for nice weather again. This is happening at 9,800' elevation and I have no clue what the rest of the country is experiencing. What I do know is that the weather this year has been much different than we have experienced in the past. 

Whether it is due to climate change or simply or cyclical weather change, this year our weather has been radical to say the least. For the past 6 months hardly a week has gone by that we haven't had severe wind. We have so many trees uprooted that we are unable to count them. Now we have this very strange weather with rain and snow. I am not schooled enough to know if this is part of a long term pattern or something radical is going on. What I do know is that it is very hard with this bizarre weather to clean up from the wind or get our firewood in for next year.   


Saturday, May 21, 2022

More Snow:

Our last snow was April 2nd where we received 2" bringing the yearly total to 214". Today we have 7" so far and in-between April 2nd and today it has been into the 60-70's each day. I should have known better than plant my garden so early as this can and does happen in the mountains. I may have to plant my garden all over again.  
I had put the snow shovels away and also my winter clothes. Again I should have known better as we have lived here for 25 years. This is not that unusual for mountain living. Two things are requirements when living at high elevation and that is being prepared for instances like this and flexibility to be able to deal with it when it happens. Fortunately we are both and in a few days this heavy snow will be gone and we will have seasonable temperatures once again. We had planned to work on getting in our firewood today but that won't happen in this weather. Simply explained this is life in the mountains.  

Monday, May 16, 2022


 I learned a lot from grade school through high school. I learned even more in the military and later I learned a great deal in college. I have always been an avid reader and when I was out of the military and entered into a civilian profession it required non-ending reading to keep myself proficient. I studied more about my profession than my contempories which is how I managed to continue to receive promotions and salary increases. 

I studied to achieve certain proficiencies that my coworkers were not willing to undertake. I was also tutored by numerous experts. With all this exposure to learning you would think that I was busting at the seams with expansive knowledge. The hard cold fact however is that I actually learned more from our dogs which is far more valuable. I try not to judge people, I do not anger quickly, I am loyal, I try hard to live in the moment and mostly I have learned to love and respect others. These have lasting application and in truth are much more valuable than all the other knowledge which fades with age.   

Saturday, May 14, 2022

Wind Aftermath:

We have hauled 5 utility trailer loads of limbs to the burn site and only another 100-150 to go. Sadly the trees and limbs are not where we can use the grapple on the tractor which would make the job much easier. We will just have to  deal with it at our pace over a long time. Until today we have been getting strong wind every day and every day more trees fall over or are uprooted. This is going to take time. 


Monday, May 9, 2022

 Incredible winds for the past two days and the forecast is for at least two more days of wind. In our 25 years living here we have never experienced winds this strong. We are getting 25-35 MPH wind with gusts to 60-80 MPH. More trees are down and those still standing are swaying back and forth severely. The house is being constantly pelted with debris and to go outside is hazardous as it is similar to being sand blasted. We lost power for 9 hours. We have had more high wind days in the past 6 months than calmer days. This may be life in the mountains but I am very tired of the high wind. 

Thursday, May 5, 2022

Unexpected Strangers:

 Our community is a gated community so when a stranger showed up at a friends house she called the sheriff. The sheriff came and searched him and then arrested him and took him to jail. Our friend did the right thing but I recall a time not so long ago when a co-worker in our home office used to take his vacations out here. He would start at the New Mexico border and hike the top of the mountains as far as time would allow. He would talk about doing this hike all year long and he relied on the fact that such a hike was safe and if he got in any difficulty he could hike down the mountain for help. 

Now no one trusts each other and for good reason. People can't tell the dopers or criminals from the honest people like Herm. It would not be safe for my co-worker to hike the mountains now unless he was with a group. He wouldn't know when he needed help if he walked up to a door whether he would be shot or not. 

There used to be a basic trust between people but now days with the criminals and low life you can't tell the good people from those who wish to do you harm or steal. Our friend called the sheriff who came and searched the person and then arrested him and took him off to jail. Even out here in the remote area we live in you just can't afford to trust people and I for one find that very sad. Times have really changed from when we could trust each other. 

Saturday, April 30, 2022

Storm Damage Repair:

 The repetitive winds this winter did considerable damage to our shingles on our garage. We had a local friend who fixed the damage for us. Good day to work, showed up on time, good price and it is fixed so good we can't tell where the damage was. 

Carol and I built the garage 25 years ago and we both shingled that roof and it held up until the recent wind storms which were quite severe. First time in out years here that we have ever had winds this strong. Some of the wind was hurricane velocity. Glad to have our garage back to normal again. 

Lower photo is after and if not for the new shingles which were the same as the originals but a different run you can't tell where the repair was made.  

Friday, April 29, 2022

Good Start:

We have a good start on firewood. already. The woodshed is nearly full except for the wood we are still burning. A row and a half on the deck. We have left from last year another bunch of logs that need to be split and that should make two rows on the deck. My guestimate would be 2-3 cords left to cut, split, stack.  It ls always good to get our firewood in early as if there is any wood that is still a little wet it has the entire summer and fall to dry out. 

Thursday, April 28, 2022

Sorry Leadership

The top photo below is how our road washed out several years ago. The next photo doesn't need any explanation. I had pleaded with our leadership to at least make our road passable for many years but they did not answer me or if they did they would just say they would look into it which they never did. We were trapped in our home because we couldn't get out and if we did we couldn't get back home. The leadership of our association all had nice graveled roads smoother than a baby's butt. If you were not one of their friends you got zilch and had to put up with this.  

We now have competent leadership who treats all landowners equally and makes sure our roads are not like the photos any more. I have been watching the comments on the community page and it looks like the same old favoritism people are trying to regain control again. I can only hope that the new people who have moved in post wildfire are smarter than the ones who used to be in control.  
We have a good leadership now and I would hate to see that disrupted and we go back to the corruption, disrespecting the members, and favoritism that previously existed. The previous groups sued each other, spent a great deal of time trying to destroy the character of those who dared speak against them, and allowed roads like this to proliferate. 

Sunday, April 24, 2022


We have had storms in the past but never with such frequency. This winter we have had one wind storm after another since December of last year. That is evidenced by shingles blown off the roof, Multiple trees uprooted and falling on our snow drift fence and debris all ove the ground. We have approximately 15-20 live healthy trees uprooted or broken in half. There is even more dead trees or smaller trees that the live trees have taken with them on their way to the ground. This could be due to climate change but the snow is melting and softening the ground which makes the trees subject to being blown over.  
We have never experienced wind like this short of the 8 hurricanes I have gone through. 


Friday, April 22, 2022


I have been through 8 hurricanes when I was living in Florida and Bermuda and the wind we have today is far worse than all of those hurricanes. I can not begin to count how many trees we have that are either snapped off or blown over. The main trees are green live trees and it is a large number. An aspen that is alive laying along the edge of the road and the trees are in a complete jumble as we look up our property. This wind is just plain scary and to see the remaining trees bouncing and dancing around is mind boggling. The roar of the wind has been deafening all day or most of the day. 



We have finally been able to start on laying up our firewood for next winter. We are still burning firewood but getting a head start on next year is a plus for us. So far we have cut, split and hauled three trailer loads of firewood to the woodshed. These warm days and not so cold nights have melted the snow to where we can get around and were able to retrieve our log splitter. 

Today we are in an extreme wildfire watch due to the dryness and high winds. We have had more high wind this winter than I can remember in years past. Will be having the shingles replaced on our garage roof next week if the high wind subsides. My situation is that I have a blood clot in my leg and it has rendered my foot and ankle numb so even if I could climb a ladder with that problem it is not safe to go on a ladder. 

Also if the weather holds I am having two loads of road base delivered next week so my work is set out for me. Life in the mountains is a never ending litany of work. This wind has been brutal however and I hope it stops soon. 

Wednesday, April 20, 2022


 I don't have a photo to accompany this blog as when we drove out of the park yesterday I was stunned by all the devastation. We have been having high winds for quite a while but the amount of trees blown down was shocking. I thought the views after the wildfire were bad but this is the worst I've seen. It looks like a war zone. Before I retired when there was a major hurricane, tornados or Northeaster my company would send me to handle the larger losses - mostly commercial or high profile homes. Occasionally I would lead a team so others could get experience on more complicated losses.  

I have seen the worst that nature could dish out but what I saw yesterday was very bad. I would put the damage I witnessed yesterday right up there with some of the worst I've seen.  I saw one driveway to a house that had such a tangled jumble of blown over trees that it will take more than a day or two just to clear the driveway. Another with trees on a home and trees just pushed off to the side of the road to be dealt with another time. 

I only saw a small portion of the damage and the sad part the trees that did survive the wildfire three years ago are now mostly on the ground and some were very big healthy trees. It was tearful to see the community following the  Spring wildfire but this devastation just left me numb. To numb to even take a photo.  It was windy again yesterday and coming home we saw numerous trees down on our road that had not been there when we left. 

If I were a landowner and came to see my lot and saw all those trees down I think I would just be sick. Those who clear dead and down trees are going to have a real bonanza of business.  The beauty of our community is lost and it will be many years before it comes back. 

Sunday, April 17, 2022


 We just watched a movie on Amazon titled "The Cokeville Miracle". It was based on a true story where children were held hostage in an elementary School in Wyoming. Without giving up the story line it was a miracle and the children, the town of Cokeville and people around the country were praying. It is a story that is more than worthwhile to watch.

It reminded me of when our girl Sarah went suddenly blind. We were praying, friends were praying and people who knew us or of us were praying. Three weeks later her vision suddenly reappeared. Her vet and the eye specialist said it had not happened before and they were without explanation. We knew the explanation.

Or during the 'Spring' wildfire. We were evacuated for 15 days not knowing if we had a home or not. A friend came to our motel room who knew how to access a cell tower camera. It was pointed directly at our home and we saw clearly from the mountain across from our mountain a bull dozer line around our property.

We were praying, friends/family were praying, people networked out and they were praying and we had people all over the country and several other countries praying. All were praying that our home would be spared. When we were finally able to return home we discovered that there was no bull dozer line at all but the fire had burned up to the perimeter of our property and our home and all our out buildings had been spared. The wildfire burned the grass within 2' of our wood shed, along both sides of the garage, along both sides of our house but we had no damage.

When we surveyed our property we could see where sparks had ignited small area's but mysteriously gone out. When hundreds of Christians - maybe thousands all pray for the same result and the need is immediate you will never convince me that sincere prayer doesn't work. Sarah could suddenly see again and it was baffling to her doctors. Our home and land is the only green area left in a burn scar area.

When bad things happen and you feel helpless to help I suggest you pray to the one who can do something. Our prayers may not all be answered but He can change things. I wonder if all us Christians got together and prayed how some of these world crisis could be resolved that are according to His will. Something to think about.

Saturday, April 16, 2022


 Getting started on firewood.  One tree at a time until we have 10-11 cords of firewood. Still burning the woodstove as it gets cool at night but the forecast for the next week is up in the 60's during the day. 

Thursday, April 14, 2022


 Around this time every year we have springs that surface and run for 2-4 weeks. We have two springs that run year around but these springs are short term. Most years I forget to put my sluice box in the run off area and some years they don't run at all. I leave the sluice box in place for a week or two and the temporary spring yields forth some gold. Sometimes it will be small chunks that I can pick out and always it gives me flour gold. Most prospectors turn their noses up at flour gold but it actually accumulates quickly. 

I would probably have a fair amount of gold if I remembered to do this each year. The one spring that runs year around has an area that it pools up and I took my metal detector and checked that area a few years ago and got a sound on the metal detector. It also has steep banks surrounding it and when I got the hit my feet slipped and I went feet first into the muck where I got the hit. When I climbed back out and tried the detector again I didn't get any sound. I either mashed it down deep in the muck or dislodged it and couldn't find it. 

I'm a lazy prospector but still get some good gold letting the springs do all the work for me. I have another place on our property that I plan to prospect this year and feel certain there is gold there and could be several ounces. Also waiting to see if the spring will run this year. Hopeful!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Mourning Dove:

 Carol looked out the front window and saw a mourning dove perched on the railing. Before I could get my camera it flew up to the tree and is in the top right hand corner of the photo. I don't  believe in the 24 plus years we have lived here I have seen a dove. 

Saturday, April 9, 2022

Self Diagnosis Is Dangerous:

 My numb foot and painful leg is not due to any vaccinations I'm pretty sure but I still don't know how I feel about a 4th covid vaccination. I am almost certain that when I fell on the ice that I pinched my sciatic nerve. I will meet with my doctor Thursday and run this past him to see what his opinion is.  

Thursday, April 7, 2022


 Carol received an email from an acquaintance who is a retired FBI agent. He told her about an ATF agent friend who had his 4th covid shot and went out for a run only to have his legs give out on him. He has now spent months trying to get his blood back to normal and regain the use of his legs. 

I got notice from the State of Colorado that the FDA has authorized the use of a 4th dose and in some cases a 5th dose.  Suddenly my foot and ankle went numb and  I have weakness in my legs. I have had three doses and I have no idea if it is related to the vaccinations or not but it is strange as it came on suddenly. My doctor is trying to figure out what is going on. 

I am a past criminal and civil investigator so I know how to get facts as do the FBI and ATF. I am not prone to conspiracy theory and rely on facts but my attention is aroused.   Just posting this for general information and to see if anyone else has suspicions about this vaccine..

Saturday, April 2, 2022

Signs of Spring:

 Signs of spring are different for us. than many places that have daffodils, tulips and crocus blooming. For us is seeing the chipmunks, ground squirrels and song birds returning. Seeing insects and the buds forming on aspen trees and pines turning a little greener. We are still a long way from spring yet as there is at least 2' or more of snow still on the ground.

The temperatures are generally higher at night and up in the 40's during the day time. All indications are spring is close at hand.  That doesn't mean that we won't have more snow or maybe a significant snow storm but when there are clear indications of spring we can put the majority of winter behind us. 

Thursday, March 31, 2022

The Story Of The Drunken Squirrel::

 When we lived in N. Florida we took a weekend to go camping at Torreya State Park one weekend. We went to relax and rest and we had our string hammocks strung between the torreya trees.  I was reading a book and heard a thump. I looked around and only saw a squirrel sitting on the ground. 

A few minutes later I heard another thump and again just a squirrel sitting on the ground. I stopped reading and watched the squirrel and it sat in place for a couple minutes and then ran over and scampered up the torreya tree to a vine and went across the vine.  

The closer I looked I noticed that vines went from tree to tree and even closer examination revealed the vines were scuppernog grape vines as I could see the grapes. The squirrel would grab a grape and eat away and then I saw it slowly just fall over and fall to the ground. There was probably 6-8" of pine needles on the ground and it would land with a thump. 

The squirrel would lay there a few minutes and then get up, go over to the tree and repeat the process. I watched this happen several times and realized that those scuppernongs had fermented and the squirrel would eat them until  it got good and drunk and fall off the vine to the soft needles below. It fell quite a distance but I guess the buzz was worth it. That is my drunken squirrel story and it still brings a smile to my face today as I write this. 

Monday, March 28, 2022

Little Incidents Often Forgotten:


When I lived in Tallahassee, Fla. I was involved in a Christian Movement called Cursillo. Cursillo was a three day weekend for other Christians with 15 mini lessons in Christianity.  It was put on by lay volunteers and two priests where about 30 men were invited to the weekend. They did not know who the volunteers were and the volunteers were the ones who provided the talks over the weekend. 

I had worked several before this weekend, most talks followed a suggested pattern. I am not an especially good speaker but I can give a suitable presentation. One talk that was the main weekend featured talk was called piety. That talk is where the speaker can follow their own guideline and talk from the heart. Because the talk is not scripted it is carefully analyzed for content by the two people in charge of the weekend and the two priests. I was aware that previous piety talks were critiqued and rewritten numerous times aided by those in charge for the speaker. They were closely securitized.

There are three volunteer sessions prior to the actual weekend where speakers are appointed and they can practice their presentation. Before the three sessions the two people in charge of the weekend spend hours and days praying over who will give which talk. I got a call from the man in charge and he said they  had been praying over and over and my name repeatedly keep coming up for the piety talk. It was a 15-20 minute talk and could I get one together to present to those in charge by the second work session. 

Then I started praying and when the time came I had nothing to present.  I was told to be sure to have it by the next and final work session. A couple days before the due date I still had nothing and I was praying in earnest by now. Finally I sat down in front of my old manual typewriter and told the Lord I needed something to present - it was now or they would have to find someone else. 

I started typing and the words just flowed. I ended up with a 20 minute talk. I made appropriate copies and went off to the last volunteer meeting. I had one personal  practice time, then they called me into a conference room to give the two men in charge and two priests the talk. I gave the talk and they all just sat there silent with no interruptions or suggestions. They usually took notes for the critique but I just got stares. There was total silence for several minutes when they just looked at me and each other and no one said a word. To say I was nervous was to put it mildly. 

Finally the lead Priest asked me to leave the room and wait outside. I didn't know what to think but went and sat on a bench outside for what seemed an eternity. Finally the priest came out and told me that talk moved them all greatly and he personally wished he knew Jesus like I did. He told me to not change a word in the talk and give it exactly like I just presented it to them. I didn't know what to say because I knew who had given me those words and to actually be able to see the priests and two strong Christians moved just overwhelmed me. 

This is what I refer to a  small life incident but I will never forget it because after the talk I learned it changed lives including the candidates and leadership. To be used by my Lord like that still leaves me speechless but it is a story that needs telling.  It is very humbling to be able to speak on behalf of someone you love with all your heart. It may be a little thing in the length of ones life and could easily be forgotten but not for me. I spoke those words but they were  not mine - they were given to me. 

This is an absolute true story and as I write this I am still humbled today. In all my years of life I couldn't write those words on my own accord yet today. They were given to me by my very best friend and I was glad to share him with others so they could see Him as I do.....I guess he moved hearts that day and I was glad to be used by Him.  

Sometimes it is the little incidents that actually end up being the important moments in a persons life. Never to be forgotten. 

Sunday, March 27, 2022

Training Techniques:

 Klaus bird watching

I have read this before but found this on Facebook:. 

“An Alpha Roll is when you physically force your dog onto its side or back into a submissive position and hold it there, supposedly to show them that you are the dominant one in the relationship and they should defer to you.

Original studies of wolf behavior conducted in the 1940s were held in a captive environment. These wolves were unrelated and brought together at various stages in their lives. This led to tension, and there could be a struggle within the group hierarchy.

Since then, as evidenced by renowned wolf behavior expert David Mech and others, in their natural wild environment, a pack is usually composed of related individuals, there is not generally a hierarchical struggle, and the "Alpha" concept is outdated.

You very rarely see a wolf pin down another pack member in a bid to dominate them. More commonly, when there is tension within a group, you may observe a member voluntarily roll over into a passive, submissive position.

Dogs also offer this appeasement behavior; they are showing they are no threat and only have peaceable intentions. An Alpha Roll is not a natural behavior amongst dogs or wolves.

The alpha roll technique first came to popularity during the late 1970s.  A book titled “How to be Your Dog’s Best Friend” was published by the Monks of New Skete and relied heavily on the alpha technique.  However, by the 2002 edition of this book, the alpha roll had disappeared from the recommended techniques.

Many people still consider the book a classic in dog training.  More and more professional and amateur dog trainers shy away from the alpha roll technique in favor of alternative methods.  The whole concept, based on a theory of dominance, has since been disproven and largely considered outdated.”

In the past 35 years we have adopted 11 dogs. We have learned how to train them in that period of time. We have made some mistakes but mostly we have learned from those mistakes and the dogs were excellent in teaching us. We studied and grasped all we could learn to make us better dog parents. Fortunately we made few mistakes and learned early that love, compassion and understanding were the best teachers.

For us a eureka moment came about 23 years ago. We visited a wolf refuge and decided to sponsor a wolf named Lucas. He was an all black timber wolf and the leader of his pack. What we learned from Lucas was that he was more than the leader he was the ultimate leader. He was alpha but not because he was the biggest or strongest but because he truly loved each member of his pack and put their interest first. 

He put the pack first and ahead of himself but was by no means weak. He served and put the best of the pack first and foremost. He could have been the most dominant physical presence in the pack but it wasn’t necessary because each pack member respected and loved Lucas in return. He was the overwhelming pack leader and even when he grew old none of the other males even tried to challenge him due to his intense love for the pack. 

Bcause of his large size he could have easily been the dominant force in the pack but he did not do that he just loved his pack members more than any other wolf. Even when he was old and vulnerable, not a pack member challenged him for leadership. He was the unanimous leader until the day he died. It was with great sadness when we were told our sponsored wolf died but it was with great joy that what Lucas taught his pack he also taught us. 

We have given a great deal of thought to what Lucas taught us on how to lead. We visited the refuge several times and always watched Lucas and his pack. His pack was very orderly, well organized and always content. We have applied his principles over the years and our dogs have responded just like Lucas’ pack did for him. Each of our dogs when they realized how much they were loved responded in 100 times as much love in return. 

We do not talk loud to them, yell, and correct lovingly and gently. They don’t disappoint us ever but they would be devastated if they thought they did. In return they have taught us so much about the canine species and have all made excellent pack/family members.We call it the Lucas method and we have found that it works very well. In fact, I would not recommend any other method especially the one at the top of this blog.