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Thursday, June 3, 2010

Typical day in the mountains /by Bruce

I stopped today to watch two wren's build a nest in one of several bird houses we have situated around our house. I noted that they first took great care in selecting just the right bird house. Then they started to build a nest inside one small twig at a time. That is probably equivalent for us building a one story house out of Popsicle sticks. Then they will hatch eggs, spend several days incubating them, and then endless hours in the day getting bugs to feed those chicks. Fortunately we have plenty of bugs. When I look around I also see Robin's building nests, Fly Catchers, Western Tanagers. and several other species of birds. I think that we work hard just getting in 10-11 cords of split firewood a season but then I look at the dedication of these birds, and don't think I measure up that well. They work all day for several days just building a nest.

My typical day starts at daybreak just like the birds, but I have a list of people to pray for each morning and a bible study to do, then some coffee. The dogs need to be fed so that is next. After they eat our ritual is to go out with Sarah and I collect the dog poop while she has her private potty break. That done I get myself breakfast consisting of cereal and juice, take the dogs for a 1 1/2 mile walk down our dirt road, then when we get home check e-mail, and away I go. Head out the door with my chain saw, hike down to where the fire wood is stored, and spend an hour or two cutting up fire wood. Bring it back to our wood shed by tractor and trailer, split it and Carol stacks it and then it is time for lunch.

After lunch it is time to take the tractor down the road to where the water from our spring flows out of a culvert, and collect about 40-50 gallons of spring water to haul home and fill our water barrel. We carry it in five gallon buckets. I use that water to water my garden so we don't have to use well water. Then it is time to rake up the area where the firewood is split and carry the chips to any area on the property that needs to be filled in. Instead of a nap or rest, it is time to take the dogs for another mile walk down our road. Back home again and now it is time for a pet-a-cure, or trim the dogs toe nails. Did I mention that they always need brushing too this time of year?

Time for dinner and then out to hand pump water from the water barrel into the sprinkling can and water the garden and lilac plants, raspberry bushes and rhubarb. That takes about 5-6 sprinkling cans of water and a lot of hand pumping. Time to rest yet? Not quite, time to take the dogs out in the back yard to play and then settle down and watch a movie on TV. Darn, not quite yet because just as we sit down the dogs need to go out for another potty break. Back to the movie - but wait, its been less than an hour and another dog now needs a potty break.

Back to the movie and maybe it will be finished tonight but its now getting dark outside and time to turn in. That is a pretty typical day living in the mountains and heating with a wood stove in the winter. It doesn't include that once a year job of cleaning the chimney and wood stove. Another story, another time. Carol has her own tasks she does each day but that too is another story. Nothing like working in the thin air at 9,750', where the air is pure, the temperature cool, and the views breath taking. Not easy but pure pleasure just being outside. Just another typical day.


Ron and Thelma said...

I am worn out just reading what you do. I guess that keeps you in good shape. How many dogs do you walk.about 3. Can you let them run loose.

Mike McFall said...

Ron and Thelma have a good question. I'm also wondering if you can't let some of the dogs loose?

Keep this up Bruce,,its GREAT.

Bruce said...

I can write about our lifestyle but the technical stuff like replying to questions leaves me baffled. So here I am hoping you see this reply for the answer.
We don't let the dogs run loose because of the lions, lynx, bobcat, wolves, coyotes and bear. They can also be killed or injured by deer. We watched a coyote one time get hoofed by a doe. Not a pretty sight. When dogs do get loose in the wild where we live they are not often heard of again. It is not safe to let them loose if you love them. Some people do but the dogs thus far have been fortunate.
Hope that answers your question and that you get to see the reply. Besides our three dogs are literally house dogs and smart. They instinctively know that danger lurks in the woods so they love the pack and den we provide.
I'll be writing about the dogs very soon.

Carol said...

Really there are only 2 walks a day. The other times we let the dogs out in the fenced in area of the back yard...but we always keep an eye on them. You just never know what might jump the fence. It would be the one time that we put them out unattended that that would happen.