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Saturday, June 5, 2010


This is what we are now waiting for. Wildflowers are a major part of what makes Colorado so beautiful in the summer. We have already had our 30 minutes of Spring, and it is now summer, bugs and all. This particular photo was taken right next to our house. The wildflowers in Colorado are profuse and beautiful. There are so many varieties and colors that I don't know most of them. My personal favorite is the State of Colorado official flower, the Columbine. It is so intricate and the various hues of white, purple and lavender are awe inspiring. This posting is not about wildflowers but because they contribute so much to the breathtaking beauty of Colorado it just seemed to be a good way to start out.

It says in Ecclesiastes 3:5, that there is "A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones". For us, today was that day. I don't know where they all come from but each year in early summer we have more rocks (large and small) appear in unlikely places which are all in the way of getting around safely on our property. So the last couple of hours I have gathered up a trailer load of rocks, grunted, moaned, strained and grumbled and used them to fill in around the front of the house. Next is to get a few trailer loads of dirt where it falls off the dug out area we use as a turn around. I will fill in the area's washed away by the numerous springs we have on our property. When they open up in the springtime some of them shoot a foot of ice cold water out of the ground. They run so hard and that it washes out area's that need to be filled back in. God is really great, he takes away the dirt in one place and gives it to us in another. I mean how much better can it get when everything balances out in the end? All in all it is hot miserable back breaking work that has to be done or else next year will be twice as bad and generate even more work. This afternoon will be used to move several trailer loads of dirt to cover where we put the rocks. No wonder I sleep well at night.

Great news this week. I came in from working outside yesterday (so what's new there) and had an E-mail from Mother Earth News. I had written them about two years ago to tell them when we built our retirement home that I had used many of the idea's from their magazine over the years. Like downsizing to a 900 square foot house, a pantry, wood mill, tractor, garden boxes, how to live and conserve our resources, especially water, and several other good ideas to implement. When I first picked up a copy of Mother Earth News on my lunch hour back in the early 70's, I recognized it was just the magazine for me. Back then it was more like a small newspaper than a magazine. I liked the reader contributions, the feature articles, and I have read it faithfully ever since. Over the years I have made mental note of many of the good suggestions in the magazine and when we built here I was able to put several to use.

Well, I got a letter back from the Asst. Editor and they suggested I write an article about our lifestyle here in the mountains. I had never done that but after thinking about it for several days I decided to go for it. Sent in the article, and they wanted photo's; of which we took several, and they sent me the layout that will go to the printer next week. It will be on the news stand on July 20th, and my article will be included. It will be one of the feature articles. When I reviewed the article I couldn't believe I had actually done it. The folks at Mother had taken what I had sent in and made it look wonderful.

I initially decided to do it in the hopes of helping someone else who may have doubts as to whether they can do what we have done. It looks like that is now going to be a reality. And the really good part is that I was told they will cross reference this blog site to the article so we may have lots of visitors wanting examples of how to live our lifestyle. YEA!! Whether you want to live a lifestyle like ours or just enjoy getting back to nature this magazine appeals to a lot of people. Some will only dream of practical living, and some will hopefully enjoy that kind of life vicariously through our article and blog site. We are really excited over this new development. God has not only blessed us with a wonderful lifestyle and place to live it, but now has blessed us with the ability to share it with others. It may inspire some, it may excite some and it may appeal to some. Pick up the August/September issue of Mother Earth News, and let us know if you enjoyed the article.

Well, back to work before I end up to stiff and lazy to get it done. Loads of dirt are waiting...More later. Bruce


Mike McFall said...

WOW,,,,How exciting Bruce!! What a GREAT blog....My attention span is real short, but you had me on the edge of my chair...all the way.
It has always been obvious to me the special love you have for your Dogs... Your companionship with them is Priceless!!! They are sure lucky to have found you two.

The hair was standing up on my neck just reading of your encounters.. Do you carry a BIG GUN ? I think I would, I know wild amimals well enough to know you can never tell what mood they might be in....Especially when encountered in their territory..

SUPER BLOG,,,Keep it up!!!

Bruce said...

Thanks Mike for the encouragement. It really helps when I've never done anything like this.
Nope don't carry a gun - never figured I needed one. When you have been around enough bears you learn their traits. Closest I've ever been to one is about 4" - nose to nose. I opened the door to go out and there he was standing on back legs with his nose on the storm door glass. My nose was only 4" on the other side. We looked into each others eyes and I could see his confusion and I'm sure he could mine. His head was veeeery big. I stepped back, closed the door and he went to all fours and walked away.
I have been around them enough to know when they are threatened, agitated, or curious. Contrary to common belief they are not aggressive. Maybe one in a hundred but they always leave you a way out. I've even had 5-10 lb cubs around me and mama had no problem. It is only when the cubs are afraid that she will get nasty.
I can't be as complementary with my encounters with mountain lions, the closest being about 8 feet away. They hiss, spit, snarl, curl their lip back to show nice yellow teeth to try to intimidate you. It works on me most of the time.