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Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Another Set Winter Of Photos

 When the sun comes out and the temperatures remain in the mid 20's icicles form...


Post Wildfire Snow Photos

 Trees like this one continue to fall over every day post wildfire and some fall close or into the road and get covered with snow. The road grader comes along and the operator doesn't see the tree because it is hidden in the snow and the tree gets caught up in the equipment. I watched as the operator had to stop the grader, get out and lug the tree off to the side of the road
 Trees have cracked bark and many are falling over or leaning and each time the wind blows over they go. After the wildfire this view had no leaning or fallen trees but now they are everywhere.
 Trees like this that are burned half way or more through are just waiting for a good wind to blow them over. After the wildfire volunteers came along our road and marked trees that appeared to be at risk for falling into the road but many are still standing and adjacent trees that looked pretty good have fallen. While the trees have been marked no one ever came along to cut them down yet. There are so many trees and so few volunteers. I plan to cut the dead ones in front of our house down before long so they don't fall on us or our vehicles or garage. I don't like cutting trees in the winter but I have done it in years past and now it is to not being under one as we walk the road so it will be for safety sake.
Dead black sticks pointing skyward. These used to be trees but now only ugly vertical sticks. The bark is blown off the pine and aspen trees with the wind. As can be seen in the photo the burn scar is as far as we can see which is several miles. These are probably things that folks don't realize occur after a wildfire.

Monday, January 13, 2020


The wind makes some interesting sculptures in the wind drifted snow. 

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Donut Saturday

One of my Rx prescriptions (I don't have but 2) says to take with food. What better than taking it with a donut in the morning... When City Market stopped making them I decided we would make out own.  It turns out I like ours a lot better.  I' m now good for another 28 days.

Sunday, January 5, 2020


Our drive to Alamosa has spectacular views...

Thursday, January 2, 2020

Lucy Watching Bozwell's Walk

Lucy wondering where Carol is taking Bozwell on his walk....Ruby just looks out the front storm door but Lucy has to be different.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

A Pleasant Surprise

 Last summer one of the groups of volunteers from LaPuente came to cut firewood for those in the valley who can't cut it for themselves or afford to buy it. Ron Hazeloop was one of the volunteers and he clearly has an eye for photography. He just sent me some of the photos he has taken and they are posted here. It takes a certain skill to see a good photo in the devastation that we are surrounded by and Ron has that skill. Enjoy some photos from Ron Hazeloop. 

Monday, December 30, 2019

2020 Happy New Year

Happy New Year and new decade to all our readers. We hope that 2020 brings good health, happiness and peace to all.

Monday, December 23, 2019

Merry Christmas/Hanukkah

We wish you a happy Hanukkah or Merry Christmas or what ever you celebrate this time of year..

Saturday, December 21, 2019

Lucy Follow Up

We took Lucy in for an exam to see why she was bleeding when she pooped and the vet said she didn't know but to keep her on soft food for 5-7 days. She checked her rectum and said her anal gland was slightly enlarged but didn't ask many questions.

We put her on soft food and this morning when she went poop there was blood spatter all around where she pooped. We called the emergency number and the vet that seen her called right back and I told her there was blood on her poop, and all over the snow. Her reply was at least we know where the blood is coming from.

She said I could bring her in but I told her we would drive the extra distance to Monte Vista instead. I was not impressed by the exam she gave her and she did not do many checks and only gave her a cursory look at best.  Clearly she was not happy to hear that but I was even more unhappy at her lack of professionalism.

Carol drove Lucy to Monte Vista and Lucy's diagnosis is an infected anal gland that was drained and she was given antibiotics. Different vet and one we have known for a long time. Won't be going back to the first vet.

Thursday, December 19, 2019

Lucy To The Doggy Doctor

Taking Lucy to the vet today as she has some bleeding when she poops. The shelter told us she had been spayed but on close examination there is no scar to indicate same. Being a young dog the spay scar should be quite visible. We want to know if she is in heat or if there is something else going on. Next will be Ruby as we want this vet to have a record of her (we use two vets) and to check her over too. Then it will be Boswell's turn to be checked. 

We use two vets because one vet which is 25 minutes closer requires us to go over a mountain pass and in the winter that can be iffy to say the least. The other vet only requires a drive through the valley. The closer vet has many more years experience but driving over the pass in the winter can be dangerous and each year there are accidents on the pass. Driving through the valley is a little safer. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2019


We have had our Christmas tree angel for 35 years. It is special to us as it was made by a friend in Tallahassee, Fla. It is a crochet angel and all we have to do every 4-5 years is spray starch it to keep its shape. We think it is unique..

Monday, December 16, 2019

Mountain Weather

25" of new snow - enough said.....

Sunday, December 15, 2019

A Long Ago True Story

As is characteristic with most of us seniors we tend to look back on our accomplishments and failures. This was an accomplishment that happened almost 50 years ago. I received an invitation from several Florida congress persons to meet them at the Sheraton in downtown Orlando. No details - just meet. I went and found they had invited 18 of us and they explained they wanted a "new" workers compensation law. They had been working on it for quite a while and were so overwhelmed by all the special interests that were presenting bills that did not fairly represent all interests. Therefore they sought out people (both plaintiff and defense) to secretly draft a new law.

They appointed both myself and a plaintiff attorney to co-head the committee. We were to each have equal members and they would like us to re-write the law and change it from indemnity to wage loss. We were to do it in total secrecy and those on the committee would at our direction take certain portions and re-write the law as the old law was outdated. After our committee met together and discussed the difference between what we had and what they wanted I assigned each committee member a portion of the law, including myself, and we went to work on drafting a totally new concept for a statewide law.

Then when they would submit their proposed changes I would meet with the other co-chairman and we would negotiate and finalize the final product. After several weeks of meeting in secret we had a new law ready for congress. It was typed up in its final form and I hand carried it to  our contact representative. Several more weeks went by and one day a congressional delivery person came to my office and said he had a package for me. The secretary said she would see I got it but he said it had to be hand delivered to me personally. It was the new law passed almost unanimously by the state legislature and signed by the governor. 

I closed my office door and laid it on the desk next to our proposed draft and went through it line by line. They had not changed one dot or word and passed our law in a bi-partisan vote. No one knew who had drafted it not even our immediate family and when my boss found out he was furious that I had not told him. He in a rage fired me but that did not diminish what we few had done and I was quickly hired by another company.

I have only told this story in the almost 50 years to a handful of people.Mainly because I to this day do not want it to appear I'm bragging or trying to boost myself. I tell it now to show that 18 people working to sincerely produce a lasting law irregardless of political affiliation can actually do something that has lasting and permanent effect. What I see now days clearly lacks the ability for our politicians to work together and make anything meaningful favorable change for our citizens. I am very saddened by what we have today.

We secretly left a make on Florida law and while it is something to be proud of I have never felt it so important (even though it was) to openly talk about it. Now as I reflect back the change we made has benefited untold numbers of workers. Florida had industrial judges across the state and it was these judges who recommended individuals like myself to the legislature which I found out later. I only tell this story now not to embellish my career  or puff myself up but to show the comparison of our politicians of the past and those we have today which I consider a very sorry lot. I will leave the adjectives to describe them up to others but I find the entire lot pitiful. Instead of helping people like our past congressional leaders did they help themselves only.

Many who have known me for many years do not know my participation in this and but for the low quality of politicians now days still would not know I co-produced a brand new totally radical WC law. I hope this will inspire some to vote thoughtfully next election. 

Monday, December 9, 2019

Mountain View

We have such a nice view of Blanca mountain when we drive to town.

Sunday, December 1, 2019

Worst Winter

This is our 24th winter here and 23 years of full time mountain living. This is by far the worst winter that we have had thus far. The snow is either wet and ends up being pushed in large sheets or it is so cold and windy that it blows right back at you and after you clear it out it drifts right back in again.
The wind has been blowing for two days at 20-30+ MPH and the wind chill is so cold it is not worth it to go out and try to move the snow. The wind comes from several directions so we can't adjust the chute to any one direction. Trees are whipping around and several have been blown over. This is perhaps the worst winter we have experienced here. Hope it is not the new normal. Other area's have gotten 80-94 MPH wind so I guess we are actually pretty fortunate to only have gotten what we have.

This is only just south of us and the wind is blowing so hard we didn't even feel any earth movement and would not have heard it over the wind.

Saturday, November 30, 2019

Blowing Snow

 The fresh snow we received yesterday has been blown around due to 15-25 MPH winds. It is single digit outside and the wind chill is around 4 to -2.. The drifting is substantial and just minutes after clearing the driveway yesterday it started snowing and now we have knee deep snow in the driveway.

 Above is a chunk of bark that was off a burned tree. The wind is strong enough to blow chunks of burned bark from 60-70 feet away. The bottom photo is some of the trees that the bark is coming from. The blowing snow stung my  face but pieces of bark does more than sting. There are branches and pieces of bark all over the ground.
 Below is one of the drifts resulting from the road being plowed yesterday. To see the photos better click on them to enlarge.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Thanksgiving Afternoon

 What would it be on Thanksgiving if not a time to just chill out. I hardly want to move and the three dogs are all sacked out in different area's of the house. It is 30 degrees outside and snowing and no one feels like even going outside. Holiday music on and a warm wood stove just makes us lazy.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Gross Mistake

 Part of the clean up has several contractors in the park grinding up or cutting down burned trees. These are the marks they put on trees to mark property lines. The only problem is that the contractor disregarded the boundary line my neighbor laid out 28 years ago. It was clearly marked and I have checked it and accepted my neighbors work and have agreed all these years. My neighbor has passed away and his son has re-affirmed the property line. The contractor missed the line 75-100' when the boundary line was clearly marked.
I had two of our board of directors come out and see what had happened and was told to paint over the line the contractor marked and they would inform the contractor to use the property line laid out by my neighbor 28 years ago. The irony is that they marked a property across the road from us and even though the corner pin was clearly visible they missed that line by 45'. Those who do not live here as we do may be surprised when they visit their lot next time to find their property line moved.

Saturday, November 23, 2019

Welcome Lucy

Carol went to town today to get our thanksgiving dinner and get Bozwell some of his Rx to relieve him of the pain from his cauda equina.  As she drove to the vets office she has to drive past the animal shelter and sitting there in a corner of one of the outside stalls was this girl.  To shorten the story one of the attendants told Carol this girl was being transported to Denver tomorrow so if she was interested she had better be quick. Carol came home with Lucy who is now the newest member of our family. 
The meet and greet went well but Lucy was terrified of Ruby and Bozwell. We let them greet her in their own way by staying their distance and slowly she came around. She has explored the house and checked out everything, had a little food, a couple drinks and now she is taking a nap and has settled in real well. I can tell these three are going to be fast friends. She is a petite girl, 62 lbs, just a few pounds less than Ruby, but now with a home, brother and sister she will probably put on a few pounds. She has been adopted, chipped, got her rabies vaccination at our vet and now is settling in. 

Friday, November 22, 2019

Turkey Strut

 When we look out the window we never know what if anything we will see. Last week it was a flock of turkeys strolling down the road.

Monday, November 18, 2019

Adopting Senior Dogs:

In prior blogs I have been at a loss for words about the love you get from adopting older dogs. This is Ruby who is 12-13 years old according to the shelter we adopted her from. She is deaf and has some arthritis problems but I believe this photo is a clear example of what it means to adopt senior dogs. She looks at us many times a day with this look of admiration and love. When she is laying on the bed sleeping she will about every 30 minutes suddenly raise her head and look to make sure we are still here. This photo encapsulates the reason we adopt senior dogs and what they do in return for us.

Friday, November 15, 2019

Toxic Components That Effect Our Pets

 When our children are small we take great measures to child proof our place of residences to keep them safe from chemicals and hazards that can injure them. I see more and more incidents where people are requesting funds to pay for treatment to their pets resulting from cancer. We apply chemical herbicides/pesticides to either kill unwanted weeds or pests.

There are add's from attorneys on television seeking clients who have had certain types of cancer to collect from manufacturers who have put these carcinogenic compounds together that have shown they cause cancer. Our community and many landowners use herbicides that are even more toxic than the one attorneys are advertising for clients for.

When I challenged our association for using a highly toxic herbicide it was necessary to be very familiar with Amine 2- 4-D, to be effective. While it has a half life of only days outside where the sun breaks down its components if tracked inside and transferred to the carpet it remains potent for one year. It can enter our body or that of our pets up to one year. It can be ingested  (licking paws), absorbed through the skin, or inhaled.

What about carpet shampoo which our fur family on all fours walks on, lays and often eat off. Or window cleaners, bleach, kitchen and bathroom cleaners. Many have components that over time are toxic to our pets. Then there are fertilizers, antifreeze, deicers and detergents. We keep our antifreeze under lock where dogs can't get to it. We don't use fertilizers and detergents and soaps are all safe for our canine family.

Most people know chicken bones, grapes, chocolate, onions, macadamia nuts and alcohol are not good for our fur family. It is also good to keep prescriptions away from our pets. Anything you drop on the floor there is a good chance your pet will find it. Heavy metals are toxic to our fur family. Responsible pet owners owe it to their pets to keep them safe from toxic chemicals, heavy metals and items that they may ingest that  could harm them. Rodent poisons will harm our animals. Also if they eat dead rodents that have been poisoned.

Responsible pet owners will provide their pets the same safe environment as they do young children. Consider the use of other pest control measures that are not harmful to your pets. Some hazardous toxins are dangerous immediately and some are cumulatively over a period of time.  Think before making application for the good of your pets. 

Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Rocky The Basset Hound

Several years ago I was contacted by Rocky's dad wondering if he could use some of my comments in the blogs I have done for Mother Earth News magazine about dogs. I told him sure and go ahead. It turned out he used a good portion of them throughout his e book. All proceeds went to a Basset Hound rescue and I was pleased he found so much of what I had written in the past worthy to become a major portion of his book.

I just learned a couple months ago Rocky passed away but his wisdom and his book are still available on Amazon I believe.

Several people have asked me why I don't write a book but by doing this blog and writing for Mother Earth News I really don't need to. We have been featured in Mother Earth News and either two or three books written by other people. I prefer to keep it like that.

Dog's: What Is Not To Love....

Recently someone made an off hand attempted demeaning comment that anyone like myself that favored animals was lacking ability to properly communicate with humans. But take a minute and think about our dogs and why that comment may have been intended to show myself and others as lesser people due to our love of animals - especially dogs.

I've never had a dog stab me in the back or gossip about me. Dogs teach us infinite patience. They don't hold grudges and are quick to forgive. They love you more than they love themselves. They don't complain. They have a sincere desire to please. They live and enjoy the moment. They don't need expensive toys to play. They always want to be with you. In one look they make you feel important. They are 100% loyal. They are protective and will give their life if necessary to keep you from harm. They entertain us and make us laugh. They sense when we are troubled or sad and are by our side to cheer us up. When we come home they are always there to happily greet us. When they do something they do it with all their heart and give 100%.

So my question is: What is not  to like about dogs? I have found very few people that can consistently possess these qualities in my lifetime.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019

Monday, November 11, 2019

Pack Rats

So far this fall/winter season we have live trapped 8 pack rats. We let them out to continue to live down the road from us. We believe we are seeing so many now because it is getting colder nights and they are looking to find a warm place to live. Plus we are an oasis of live trees and growth in an other wise area of burn scar devastation. I can't imagine a pack rat (wood rat) would find it very comfortable in ash and burned trees.

I don't like to kill them as they are just being true to what they are but what they are is destructive. They can chew the wiring harness under a closed hood of a vehicle over night. They can chew the insulation off electrical wiring in an instant and use it for a nest. They tend to gather small items like nails etc. to hoard in their nests. They can chew through walls and you know they are present because they pee and poop which smells terrible.

We therefore run a relocation service and since they are suckers of peanut butter they go into the live trap and stay for a few hours until they can connect with our relocation service. With their big ears they are cute little guys but smelly and destructive so we put them in an area that they are more suited for. Normally you don't see them except when it gets cold and then they are looking for a warm place to winter. That is when they join our relocation service.

Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Newest Blog For MEN

Check out the newest blog for Mother Earth News about coping with life at high altitude as a senior. May not be as easy as one would imagine...

Sunday, November 3, 2019

New Behavior

 As I was about to feed the dogs breakfast 4 weeks ago Carol noticed a few elk outside. The more we looked the more there were and they were all around the house. Separate herds just kept coming and hanging around the house. As we began to watch them for the next hour we noticed that there were 9 mature bulls and that 9 herds had actually congregated around the house for as far as we could see.  I have never seen 9 distinct herds combine and hang around so long.

We had to take the photos from inside the house so we wouldn't spook them by going outside which is why the railing is in the pictures.
Other that the two bulls in a pushing match, which didn't seem very serious, all the bulls got along with no competition between them.  There were so many elk that we could not begin to count all of them but there were many. Almost on cue they broke into the smaller herds that they arrived with and each went their separate way and in different directions. They all mingled together and then just as suddenly as they arrived they departed in different directions.
I have waited for a month to make sure they were not coming back and none have nor have we seen any signs of elk around. We know some poachers watch our blog to keep track of the location of the elk which is why I have waited this long to post the photos. We have never seen so many separate herds come together like this and then intermingle - then each go their different directions.

We have not seen any for weeks before this congregation all came together and since they have left we have not seen any sign of a single elk. One group went toward the big lake at the end of our road, two herds went up the mountain in different directions, another went down the mountain, and the others all got into their respective herds and moved off. I would estimate that there were 30-75 in each individual herd. The 9 bulls don't include the younger spikes we saw. We may never see that phenomenon again. We felt privileged to watch for a solid hour.