Thank you weather

Wow. The weather has turned a touch cooler which makes for more tolerance to be outside.  Seems like it’s been a really hot summer.  The nights are getting cooler which helps too.

I’ve been trying to get things done but I start melting as soon as the it gets the least bit hot.  Some days when it doesn’t cool off during the night it’s hot by 7:00 am.  We’ve had a few days over 100 and that’s just too hot for me.  It’s impeded my progress.  So does stepping on a wasp and being on antibiotics because I don’t have immunities and who knows what bacteria a wasp is carrying around.  So does avoiding mosquito time in the morning and evening because there is a lot of west nile virus up here.

The last two mornings I’ve sprung into action before it gets too hot.  I finished painting the chicken coop and built a pathway.

The chicken coop was half painted for the last few months.  It was just too hot after doing garden work and watering to stay out in the sun and work.  It was a nice cloudy morning though and it took me three and a half hours to finish painting but it’s nice to get that task out of the way.  It’s still not a chicken coop, it’s a cat house.  It’s also a drying room for some lavender.  I’ve been hanging flowers and herbs off the shelves so maybe it will become a potting house.  Now to tackle that ugly garden where I pulled out all the grass and planted seed that didn’t come up and the weeds grew in.

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Earlier I mentioned I had gone around the property and gathered some pavers that were just lying all over not doing anything that I can tell.  At the driveway out front over to the front sidewalk there were three stones that had been laid there.  The stones to nowhere.  They didn’t connect with anything or take me anywhere.  I took the stones I gathered up and continued the path over to the front door.  I plan to put some Veronica Turkish Speedwell around the stones and possibly one whole section.  It will have nice purple blooms and you can walk on it  It only gets about 2 inches tall and doesn’t attract bees so would be perfect for the path and a sitting area.  Love the bees but don’t want to walk or sit with them.  The four blue mist spireas I have along the fence do a good job for the bees.  The last two weeks the bushes have been loaded with honey bees and bumblebees and I think some ground bees.  I try to see if they have stingers and I don’t think all of them do so they are community bushes.  There are so many I’m trying to teach Sweet Pea they are not to be chased.  She was trying to swat them all and play with them.  Now that I have the stones in it’s the perfect spot for Sweet Pea to dig and poop.  Ah, nice fresh dirt!!

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Sweet Pea is a sweet cat.  She follows me everywhere now.  She helps me garden and paint or whatever I’m doing.  She’s getting to be a real homebody.  She’s been snoozing inside during the day but today she was trying to fall asleep on top of a pole.  Well, that won’t work very well.  Usually if I’m looking for her I will find her tucked into her little place.  Not the place I would choose to nap but I guess she feels safe there.  I was going to pull the weeds there but I think she likes them there  I’m afraid if I mess with it too much and clean it up she won’t go there and then I won’t know where to find her.  I hate all these weeds but the cats seem to like sleeping in them.  They frown at me when I mow them down.

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School is back in session.  I went to the first girls volleyball match.  It was quite a marathon.  All three teams played full matches.  After this I think they split them up so they all don’t play on the same night.  Football starts this week so it’s nice the evenings are getting cooler.  Before we know it we will be complaining it’s too cold.

I still need to finish the bathroom.  I was trying to get away with not putting another cabinet in there but I just don’t have enough room so will need to put it up.  I brought a cabinet from the old house but I need to paint it white.  As soon as I get that done I will take pictures of it.

I did go to my old home and dig up some iris and day lilies.  I think they are special iris.  They are from Israel.  They were in my Mom’s yard and I brought some to my old house and now I’ve separated them and brought some up to the new house.  I gave some to friends so maybe they will start spreading around this area.  I got all mine planted so hopefully they will take hold and will bloom in the Spring.

That’s all that’s happening in this neck of the woods.  With the cooler weather I’m hoping I can charge into action and get more done.

 

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Escape Artist

Whew, I haven’t posted lately.  Mostly because I haven’t done any significant work on the house for the last month.  I’ve been having lots of fun though.

I went to Wyoming for a photo shoot.  Was good for my soul to get back out and snap a few images.  Was great to see some old friends and make some new too.  Here’s a few images from my trip.  Cowboys and Horses – Yee Haw  We stayed at the Absaroka Ranch in Dubois.  A very beautiful ranch.

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Two of the participants ( a lovely couple from Belgium, Peter and Mirielle (pronounced Miray)) bake cookies.  They have a bakery in Mississippi and bake Belgium cookies.  They brought some and I’m happy to say I have found them since coming home  They are Pirouline.  Rolled wafer cookies filled with chocolate.  They make 14 million a day and they come in a tin and we couldn’t believe they sell them for a dollar.  You can find them dollar stores, Safeway, Costco, and a few others stores.  We asked why they came to Mississippi and it’s because it’s the perfect climate to bake the cookies.  They just wouldn’t be the same if they made them somewhere else.  They have a website and are also on facebook.  https://www.facebook.com/DebeukelaerCookies/?fref=ts

Garden

I got skunked on a lot of the seed I planted.  I don’t think I gave them enough water.  I hand watered every day but I think I should have put the soaker hoses out before I did.  I have them out now and things to be growing better.  I planted about 15 different plants and got about 5 that came up  The clover did well in the garden out front; I got Bells of Ireland; osteospermum; carnations; and two zinnias out of two packs of seed.  Hopefully I can dry some of these for flower arrangements.  I planted a bunch of different perennial seed and all I got was clover and one Black Eye Susan Vine.  It’s been a very hot summer  Hopefully more of the seed will come up in the Spring.  I planted a whole bed of catnip seed and didn’t get one plant.  It has to be the water.

The front bed is doing well.  Tonight I found some really pretty blooms hiding in some tall stuff that is growing.  I’m not sure what it is and it wasn’t there last year and I didn’t plant it this year.  It should bloom soon.  I pulled some of it so you could see the plant that was hiding.  Some sort of asters maybe.  I’ll find out when it blooms.  The rose garden I put out front is doing very well.

Funny – all the seed and plants I bought have died and all the free stuff lives.  It’s good to be free!!  I did buy three cherry bushes (tart cherries on bush instead of trees).  They are doing well.

 

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The other night I let the cat in and later was looking for her and I couldn’t find her.  I opened the door and she was outside.  Hmmm, I’m pretty sure she was in but maybe I let her out and forgot.  In the morning when I got up I couldn’t find her  She was outside again.  Little devil, there was a small slit in the window screen.  Enough for her to push through and make it bigger of course.  I closed the window enough so she couldn’t get out it anymore.  The next night she was in and we went to bed and in the morning she was outside.  What??  I know she didn’t go through the window again because there wasn’t enough room for her to get out.  I checked the upstairs windows and the bedroom window screen was pushed out.  She went out the upstairs window on top  of the roof to the front entrance and jumped off.  Ye gads, that is high.  I took a trip to Poulsen’s and got some new screen, and the stuff to hold the screen in.  Turns out I just had to reroll the rubber around the screen.  No more escapes since then.

I have a new passion.  Spinning and weaving.  I found a book at the library sale before I left there that was about hand spinning yarn.  I’ve always been interested in spinning wheels and looms.  Denise cut her dogs hair and gave it to me.  I’ve wanted to try spinning dog hair.  I needed some carders (kind of like combs to comb the hair) so I looked online and found a place in Ft Collins called Lambspun.  I talked to Denise and she said “Oh, I have been meaning to go there, I have some books that are based on that place.”  She gave me a couple of them.  They are cozy mysteries.  Knitting Club mysteries by Maggie Sefton.  They are really fun.  I read the first two and when we went there the place is exactly like the book describes it.  It is an old farm house that Ft Collins grew up around and it’s a yarn, textile, fabric arts place.  Lot of spinning, weaving, knitting, crocheting, felting and other cool stuff going on.  There is a community table where anyone can come in and sit and do their projects and there are always tea and cookies.  I got a class schedule and decided to take the spinning class.  I then took the weaving class and I’ve made 8 rugs (that took two weeks).  Two are for my newly painted bathroom and the rest I can sell at the shop.  There’s a show in Oct/Nov/Dec where I can have a display.  It was first attempt at weaving but apparently I’m good at it.  She invited me to make some stuff and put it in the show.  Their website is http://www.lambspun.com and they are also on facebook.  Just look for lambspun and you will find it.  Here is a picture of one of the rugs I made for the bathroom.  They are made from  linen and French organic 100% cotton chenille.  Reminds me of the bathroom rugs growing up that our grandparents had.  Really soft on the feet!!

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My friend, Sue Randolph, finished her second book in her Trilogy.  It’s called Visions of Magic.  I went with her to Cripple Creek to see if there were any bookstores that would like to carry the book.  It was fun.  We had a nice lunch, found the bookstore and they agreed to carry some of the books, and we both won a few bucks (she won more than a few $500 and I won a $100).  Both were on penny machines.  I’m too cheap to play anything else.  I’ve finished reading it and it’s really good.  It goes into more depth about what we read in the first book.  This one is not on Amazon but will be available soon at an online bookstore.  You can order the books on her website: www.suerandolph.com and soon from Mira Publishing’s Storefront.   She is on facebook too.   https://www.facebook.com/Magichronicles/?fref=ts

Today I got a new DR Brush and Field mower.  I got the 7.25 mower/trimmer.  Wow, wow, wow.  It really does a great job.  Right tool for the right job.  The mower that I cut a fat hog on died (well, the engine still works but the metal it was attached to broke so when you try to pull the cord the engine pulls out).  It got me through the first year and a half when I had nothing and needed something quick to get the job done.  These weeds really are hard on a regular lawn mower.  Things I love about the DR mower/trimmer:  it is so well balanced I can almost push it with two fingers (I think it weighs 50 to 65 pounds).  It feels so light.  I can swing it around into corners so easy (no pushing and pulling and yanking around a heavy mower); I got the one with an electric starter (the pull cord on the other mower almost killed me – this new one will save by boobs from injury); I can trim and mow at the same time; and it cut the job time in half.  I was thinking about getting a riding mower, or another lawn mower and I thought of all those commercials I’ve seen showing people chopping down waist high weeds.

I had a campground place up by Fairplay and I got rid of it two weeks ago.  I went up and picked up my Mom and we went and cleaned out the trailer.  It was a fun day.  We checked out some old places I haven’t been to in a long time. and had a good time.  I forgot how pretty the valley is around Fairplay.

To top off this month I will be going to a 45th class reunion.  Wow, we must be old.

Ok, I’ve played a lot lately so it’s time to finish painting.  Just the kitchen left but I want to see about moving some cabinets before I dig into it.  Of course there is still the ugly cracked stair hallway I’m leaving for last.  And then I need to patch and paint the outside (especially that place where someone ran a truck into the house and then threw cement on it to fix it – such a neat job)., and then there is STILL that stupid cellar door I’ve been talking about for two years; need to get a new electric box; need to build a garage/studio (or a carport and a studio).  I’m sure the list will never end.  Oh yeah, keep purging the old house and moving stuff……..

 

 

 

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Homestead Report – you won’t believe it

Wow, has it really been a month and a half since I’ve posted?  It was boring for a while.  No painting and just puttering and the same old thing.  I have been busy though!

(OK, since I did this a week ago it’s almost two months)

Cats

The Barn Cats Ladies Society has now had fixed:  12 cats (I think).  That will put quite a dent in the cat population around here.  Still some new babies so it’s never ending but we’re getting it done.  There are still two more appointments to take in cats.  Weld County has a grant so all we have to pay is $5 for pain meds.  They neuter/spay and give a rabies and distemper shot for free under the grant.  My little Sweet Pea is quite the house cat now.  She goes in and out at will (her will is usually in if she’s out and out if she’s in).  Brother (Sweet Peas brother) had a hidden gonad so they had to operate on him.  He stayed in the house for two days and didn’t act like he wanted out.  He went out one day and came back in for two.  Then he went out and has been hanging at the neighbor’s house.  If he’s around at night he’ll come in but I think he’s content outside.

This week we gave away 2 mommas and two litters to a lady who has a huge barn and didn’t mind taking them.  9 in all I believe.  Denise took one of the town cats whose owner is now in a nursing home.

Gardens

My little rose garden I planted in the Fall is in bloom.  The plants did very well on the south side of the wall.  It protects them from the brutal winds up here so I think they will actually do very well.  The hibiscus I put in with the is doing well too.  I reported last blog that I ripped out all the grass along the fence and planted seed.  The clover seed is coming up in clumps but I don’t see many other seeds doing anything.  This is why I don’t seed much.  I am very impatient.  Hopefully there will be more seeds popping up.  Of course the Kochia and Bindweed are in full force.  I think I was letting another weed grow that I was hoping were seeds coming up.  Speaking of weeds, I am trying to decide if Feverfew is a nice plant or a weed.  I have so much I have pulled and pulled.  I had to rip a bunch out so I could see the other plants in the front shade/sun garden.

Which brings me to my friend who keeps me up to date on what’s going on around town.  I saw her Memorial Day at the cemetery and she said “I have some plants I want to bring you.  I don’t remember what they are called but they look like little white daisies.”  I said, “Oh great.  I can always use plants.”  I wasn’t home when she dropped them off but when I saw them I started laughing.  Guess what?  Yep, Feverfew.

I ripped out all the grass and moved the box thing (I think we decided it was a chicken brooder).  It’s next to the chicken coop.  I planted more seed (I’m a glutton for punishment).  Hollyhocks and Lupine.  I plan on putting a clematis there.  I have some catnip seed which the cats will enjoy (it makes a great tea too).  I think I will plunk whatever plants I get that like the sun in there.

I got two bags full of Chickens and Hens.  I planted them around in places where the mower won’t reach so hopefully it will fill in some spots.  I have some to Denise.  They would be nice around iris I think.

Speaking of iris, I had many beautiful blooms this year.  Last year I didn’t have any and I planted more so I wasn’t sure what I would get but there are some cute purple dwarf (I think from Rob Proctors), and some beautiful maroon and pinkish (thanks Leslie), and some dark purple and yellow, and some gorgeous deep violet.

My peas are in bloom so I should have peas soon to put in the freezer.  I planted lots this year because I really enjoyed them last year.  I haven’t done many veggies this year.  I decided to try some cut flowers from seed.  I have lots coming up so I hope they all make it and bloom.  I want to do the squash bed again but time is a wasting.  If I don’t do it soon it won’t get done.  I planted some Armenian Cucumber and Lemon Cucumber seed so I hope it comes up.

Still lots to do.  There are still a lot of weeds out there.  I have mowed them twice now.  That pesky Common Mallow is just a pain in the butt.  They end up being bushes and it’s everywhere you look.  Every time I pull a blade of grass a mallow pops up.

Painting

You won’t believe it!!  I actually painted the bathroom.  Woo Hoo!!  The kitchen and the ugly stairway are all that remains.  I packed up bathroom stuff just today and brought it  up.  I have a cabinet from my south house bathroom that I brought up.  It is wood so I think I need to paint it.  Everything in the south house was wood baseboards and doors etc. so some of the accessories I added I left in the natural wood but I don’t think that will cut it up here so I think I will paint it white and shabby chic it.  If it’s a mistake, that is why they make paint remover.

I have almost finished painting the chicken coop.  I finally gave in and paid $15 for a gallon of paint at Habitat for Humanity Restore.  When did second hand paint start being over $5 a gallon.  Even Home Depot mismatch wants that much.  Oh well, I checked and it’s still cheaper than buying it new (not much, but still cheaper).  I just have the porch left to paint and it will be finished.

Entertainment

Denise and I went to the Memorial Day program at the cemetery.  It was put on by the 4H club.  The kids sang patriotic songs, read poems, and presented the colors and the kids from the shooting club did a gun salute.  A very nice program and great to see the young people doing most of it.

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I started volunteering at the community library.  Not too much activity but it serves a purpose.  I can’t believe some of the books in there.  One of my favorite books is very hard to find.  I wanted to read it again and the library had to use Prospector (to find books the library doesn’t have).  They shipped it over from Regis College because that was the only copy in Denver.  Yeah, you guessed it.  The little community library has it.  It is called “The Silver Chalice”.  One of my favorite books.  Written by Thomas Costain.  If you’ve never read it I would recommend it.  It follows the silver chalice used at the last supper and the people and lives it touches.

Another farm sale.  I scored a cool 50’s (I think) pink clothes hamper.  I was just talking to my Mom and telling her I was going to start going to antique shops to see if I could find one and I went to the farm sale and there it was.  Kind of sad.  A couple who settled in New Raymer in 1948 (if I remember correctly) and have been there since.  Oh my, the stuff that was there.  I don’t know why they thought they could do the auction in one day.  At 3:00 pm they were only through half of the antiques.  I grabbed the hamper in the households section.  There was so much stuff they were auctioning if off by the box.

I think I mentioned the cool wool/yarn/spinning/weaving shop in Ft Collins.  Tomorrow I have the yarn spinning class.  It will be some fun!!  Saturday I take the weaving class.  I have always wanted to weave.  I can envision the rugs on my floor now HAHA.

Last weekend I did the Chalk Festival in Lodo with my chalk buddy and good friend Victoria.  We have been doing this since the first one in 2000 or 2001.   This is what we did this time.

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I am still Master Gardening for Douglas County so have those duties every other week.  I just have one more office shift to fill my volunteer time for that.  I am writing the Demo Garden blog.  The garden is starting to be in bloom and gorgeous.  I can’t wait for the peonies to bloom.

I am going on a photo trip to Wyoming in July so it was only fitting that my lense stopped zooming and Sweet Pea knocked my camera off my bag and it won’t turn on.  Grrrr.  Not her fault.  I shouldn’t have had it there but I have given it way more abuse than that so not sure what is up.  I had to mail them in to the tune of $700.  Uggg, an unexpected expense.  I have another camera body but of course it was the one I use the most.

I still have to mow the south house lawn and keep that up.  Uggg, that house really needs painted again.  Can’t wait any more so need to get that scheduled.

NO REST FOR THE WICKED!!  Or if you want something done, give it to a busy person.

I just need to publish this so pictures next blog.

 

 

 

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It’s a mystery to me

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The cats have been using the chicken coop so now it’s a cat house. I know I need to finish painting it.

Hey, how wonderful that we have some nice days.  Hopefully winter is really over.  The neighbor boy is mowing the lawn right now.  Crazy how it goes from snow to stuff growing underneath all that cold.  He does the front and I do the back.  There’s at least a little bit of grass, but mostly weeds.  Poor kid.  I just went out and he was mowing it and stopping to empty the bag.  I told him no need to do that.  It’s mostly weeds anyway.  Hopefully if it mulches and lays there it will help stop some weeds.  I’m not sure where he was going to dump it.  He was walking away like he was going toward his house and I thought, “wow, that will be one long day if he walks over to his house to empty each bag”.  I was always taught that mulching in Colorado made no sense because it wasn’t wet enough to decay the grass and it wouldn’t break down.  My lawn was looking awful and I learned in Master Gardener class it was better to mulch.  I thought, hmmm, we’ll see about this.  I started mulching and immediately my lawn looked so much better.  I cursed all those years I bagged and threw away lawn clippings.  Tugging and pulling and dumping it into a trash bag and putting the bag back on the mower, and not being able to get the bag around small areas.  Arrrggghhhh.

Speaking of grass.  Once upon a time there was grass all out front.  Over time and non-watering and the house being vacant the lawn pretty much died and weeds crept in.  It looks like there was a nice garden bed in front of the tall fence to the left of the driveway.  It had a drip system (eaten away by time now) and everything.  Why is it that if the lawn died that garden bed is full of thick lush tall grass?  I go out to plant some clematis that would be perfect there.  Hopefully they will grow to cover most of the fence  I am pulling and pulling and pulling out grass.  I am thinking, why isn’t this in the lawn?  If the lawn and garden both died how is it that the grass grows there?  It’s a mystery to me.

I am upstairs in my bedroom and I look at the window.  Eeeewww, the glass is covered in bird poop.  How can it be that it came through the fine mesh screen?  There is no place for birds to be sitting outside the window.  Was it a fly by bombing?  Was it during a gale force wind strong enough to go through the screen?  If it was during a gale force storm why wasn’t the rain pushed through the screen to wash it off?  I’ll have to take the window out to clean it  Crap, literally!!  It’s a mystery to me.

I went out and added some soil to part of the garden beds.  I took half of the old soil and distributed it amongst the other beds I didn’t use last year.  I took new soil and topped off some of the beds.  The cats have never paid too much attention to the garden.  I look out and who of all cats is out there pooping in my new soil?  My very own Sweet Pea.  There’s a whole half acre and a whole alley and town to poop in and she has to use the garden.  It’s a mystery to me.

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Doesn’t she look innocent?

Speaking of cats, I’m outside and it’s dusk and I see something HUGE in the tree across the alley.  I run grab my camera (sometimes I use the zoom for binoculars) and it’s some sort of hawk or a raptor for sure.  It’s watching the cats.  There are tons of rabbits in the field if the bird just turns its head and looks the other way over the field so not sure why it’s watching the huge tom cats unless it has nothing better to do.  I alert Sandy and she says that there is a turkey vulture that hangs around sometimes.  Not sure if this is it but it was a BIG bird.

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The “Pea” wants to help me when I’m at my computer.  She keeps insisting on trying to walk over the computer or sit in my lap and its just not the time.  I knew there was a reason for side boards on a desk.  The perfect spot for her to be near me but not in the way.

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I am sitting watching TV and I look at the cute plant stand that I got a few weeks ago and I see leaves on the leg.  I’m thinking “hmmm, I didn’t remember it had leaves on it”  I’m looking at the other legs and then I’m saying “hey, it doesn’t have leaves on it”.  It’s that crazy bindweed again.  Some people have houses built around trees.  I have a house built around bindweed.  Good grief, what next?  It’s a mystery to me.  Hey, those are my new curtains in the edge of the picture.

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Things that aren’t a mystery.  I finished burning the weeds, I hacked out the part of the bush that was growing over the driveway, and the bush that was inside the fence (with a pruner – I really need to get that tree saw I’ve been wanting).  I cleaned out along the chain link fence next to the driveway and planted Sweet Peas in there.  I hope they grow and cover that fence, that would be nice.  I planted 13 perennials, two clematis and a lilac bush (very surprised it lived in the pot over winter and didn’t die).  I still have two roses to plant.  Now that I’ve started putting the clematis in front of the fence I think that would be a good place for the roses.  They would get the sun they need but be somewhat protected from the harsh wind we have up here.  That means pulling out all that grass and redoing all that along that fence.  Even if I pull out the grass and get it mulched it will be ready for whatever comes my way to put in there.  Wasn’t planning on doing that just yet but it seems like that will be the next project.  I went to an event at the little community library.  A local author just wrote her first book.  I really like it so will read the 2nd one (a trilogy).  If you like Colorado authors (the story is set in Colorado) the name of the book is “Back to Magic” and you can find it on Amazon, http://amzn.to/1q1l89W  I’ve been trying to go watch the HS baseball team but it kept snowing.  They sneak in the makeups and I don’t know when so I’ve missed them.

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I haven’t been to Poulsen’s hardware lately but I feel a trip coming on.  I need an auger for my drill and some paint to finish the coop and the greenhouse.

I am hoping the nights will be warm enough soon so I can finish painting.  Only two more rooms to go (and then the ugly staircase but that’s a whole project).  WooHoo.  I’m almost finished with the inside (painting that is).

 

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Homestead Report

I know, I know, it’s been awhile since I posted.  Lots of stuff happening!!

Lady Falcons – the ladies took 2nd at state.  Not bad.  I’m sure the seniors wanted that championship to remember but they did well.

Painting – I can feel it in the air.  The nights are getting warmer so unless the rain unleashes again this year I should be able to paint soon.

Weeds – most of the weeds are burned.  There are tumbleweeds that have blown in with the wind the last couple of weeks and I have to clear them out along the fence line and then it will be time for them to grow again.

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Pet Cemetery – ok this is a little creepy.  I’m out in the shed and when I come out I see something sticking up out of the ground.  What is that?  I get closer and I see it’s a cat paw sticking straight up out of the ground about 6 to 8 inches.  There appears to be no digging around it and I’m sure during the winter that 6 to 8 inches of soil did not just blow away.  My cat lady neighbor came over and I said “Hey, I have something I want you to see.”  I took her over and she said, “Oh, that’s awful.  It looks like it was buried alive.”  Now, I think this is a cat that didn’t make it last year.  I came up and my neighbor told me she had found one dead and she found a place to bury it out by the fence by the shed.  Hmmmm, very weird.  Even if it is I don’t think it was buried with one paw reaching up like that.  Help me, help me.  I haven’t had time to get out there and dig it up and rebury it.  It still looks really good.  Shouldn’t it be deteriorating?  It’s a fun story.  I scare all my friend with it.

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SweetPea – she has settled in comfortably.  She comes in every night to tromp around on my head when I’m trying to sleep.  She comes in and out when she wants to now.  She still has a lot of fun playing with her brothers and sister.  Little devil.

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Garden – It’s getting nice outside.  Time to plant peas!  I move half of the soil to the squares I didn’t use last year and I run to the grow store and get six more bags of soil and top some of them off.  I will go get six more bags to top off the others and this year I will plant them all.  So far all I have planted is peas.  Soon it will be time to do the warm season veggies and it will really get going.

Warm nights – the nights are getting warmer so it was time to unplug the heater in the root cellar that keeps the pipes from freezing.  We didn’t have the wicked cold winter we did last year so they probably would have been ok but better safe than sorry.

 

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New kids in town – John and Denise’s goats had two kids.  They still have one more goat waiting to deliver. Very cute kids.

The boys are back in town – Rockies home opener tomorrow.  WooHoo

It seems I’ve been a lot busier than this but I hit the highlights!

Hopefully next report I will have painted something!

 

 

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It really is Little House on the Prairie

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It’s the Wednesday to take more feral cats into be fixed.  We are going to take in six this time.  I talked to one of the other Barn Cat Ladies Society members and if the weather looks good it will be a go.  I wake up at 4:00 am and look outside.  No sign of bad weather so it will happen.  This time my neighbor will drop them off in Greeley on her way to work and I will go pick them up about 4:00 pm.  I go back to bed and at 6:00 am I get up and it’s starting to snow.  The wind is blowing like crazy.  I see my neighbor at the back door and she says if this keeps up she will not make it into work.  She plans to call and say she will be late.  We decide it’s not a feral cat taking day.  The lights are flickering on and off and I think we may lose power.  I think I should fix breakfast in case the power does go out.

I sit down at the computer and I have the radio on and I’m listening to how much snow has fallen in Denver and areas south.  A lot more than here.  They are really getting the snow.  All of a sudden the radio goes dead, then it comes back on and the lights go on and off.  I unplug the microwave because every time it goes on and off it beeps.  Hmmm, looks like the power is going to be funky today.  I haven’t been here when the power has gone out yet.  All of a sudden the power does go off and appears it will stay off.  I wonder how long before it comes back on.  Maybe an hour, maybe two?

I should have fixed breakfast when I had the chance.

I want to make a pop-up book so I dink around with trying out a design and decide maybe making a pop-up book is not for me.

About 10:30 I am getting hungry so I decide I can start the wood stove to heat some water.  I have some green chili stew in the freezer (I’m wondering how long that stays cold) so I get out a bowl and I heat that on the wood stove.  Hey, this is just like being a pioneer.  When this house was built in 1912 it was four cement walls, an upstairs, and a cook stove.  If it worked then I guess it will work now.  Hey, that was fun.

My cell phone battery is almost dead so I’m conserving what little power I have.  I still have dial tone on my regular phone (fiber optic with a battery pack that should last 8 to 12 hours which I didn’t know when I got service up here – for all my old phone company friends “You just can’t beat a good POTS line”).  I try calling Denise but no answer.  It’s ringing but voice mail doesn’t come on.  I call her on my cell phone and it starts to die.  Hmmm, it’s too nasty to go out and charge it in the car right now.  Hey, I just got my Rockies tickets and the gift they gave this year is something called a power pack.  I assume it’s to charge things so I get it out and it lights up so it must have come with some charge in it.  Luckily it charges my phone back up.  Whew, that will last awhile then.  It’s an odd feeling to think I have no way to communicate with anyone outside except where I can walk to.  My computer is running on battery.  This one is better than my last one.  I can get at least an hour out of it so I jump on and off checking the news to see if there is any mention of us losing power and how long it might take to get it back.  My computer finally dies just as I am trying to find Xcel’s phone number.  Their web site isn’t working to report and see what’s happening with outages.  I just paid the bill so I dig around in the trash.  I have almost hand shredded the bill but I piece it back enough to find the repair number to call.  Oh well, I’m sure the power will be back on soon.

Hey, great chance to just sit and read a good book.  I let Sweet Pea inside because it’s awful out there.  The wind has to be blowing 50 mph.  No snow is sticking because it doesn’t have a chance to land on the ground.  She will be happier and more content in here where the wind is not blowing and its dry.  As I sit and read I hear the thump, thump, thump of the wind.  Well, now I’m hungry again.  It’s 2:30 pm and still no power.  It was good timing that I had some pizza in the freezer.  I grabbed a pizza on the way back up here because it was late enough I didn’t want to cook when I got here.  I get some out and put another log on the fire and heat it up.  My regular heat is propane and I don’t need any electricity so that is good.  My water is well water from town (I don’t drink it but I have enough water on hand and if I had to it wouldn’t kill me to drink it) so I have running water.  The battery starts beeping for the fiber optic phone.  Hmmm, every minutes it beeps four times.  I look at the battery and it has a light that says “alarm muted” and a button that says “silence alarm”.  No matter how much I push it, it won’t stop beeping.  I talk to Denise and hers has started beeping as well.  I tell her about the button and light.  Hers works so the beeping stops.  Why won’t mine?  I still have dial tone so don’t want to unplug it because it’s not dead yet so I just listen to it every minute, beep beep beep beep.  I have the wood stove and I’m eating so hey, life is good.  It’s getting dark now.  Oh I better think about that instead of stumbling around in the dark.  I have two of those 6″ round lights you press and they come on (like for a closet or something).  Luckily I have 8 AA batteries so I load those up.  I put one in the bathroom and I take one upstairs to the bedroom.  I have my really cool DeWalt super duper flashlight (see previous blog) and luckily the battery is charged.  I make it an early night and read by the battery operated “Moonlite”.  I feel just like a kid trying to sneak reading in bed.  I’m sure by the time I wake up tomorrow the power will have come on sometime in the night.  I unplugged everything just in case it surges when it comes back on but I’ve left the radio on so when I hear it I will now the power is back on.  Someone is running a generator across the street to the north.  It’s far enough away I can’t tell who it is.

Day 2

Well, doggone, it’s morning and the power is still out.  Yesterday was fun but how long will this last?  It’s been out for about 26 hours now.  My neighbor has to go back to work today.  She is out feeding the cats.  They have a really nice generator and have had that running since the power went out so it’s business as usual for them.  Yesterday she took hot water to the neighbor and made sure they were ok.  Today she asks if everything is ok over here.  I say yes, I am using the stove to heat up water etc.  I haven’t motivated myself this morning to get the stove going again.  Do I really need coffee or tea this morning?  My neighbor disappears and about a half hour later she stops by on her way out of town to go to work and drops off a mug of hot water and a scone. Oh yumm.  A cup of hot tea and a scone.  This is good.

Things I am doing today:

I call the Xcel number and they say that there were 290,000 people  who lost power in Colorado.  They are 89% finished getting power restored, 10 more will be today, and the other 2% by Friday.  Well, I am sure we will be up today.  We couldn’t be that last two percent.  I all Denise and we hash over reports we’ve heard.  Rumor has it some of the new poles are down.  If they are new then why are they down?  When it comes to stuff like this, please don’t do a mediocre job.  New poles should not be falling down.

I read two art books I have on how to make a pop-up book, and working with precious metal clay.

I invent a new song and dance titled “We need our power” to the tune of La Cucaracha.  OK, is this the starting of insanity?

I see the phone guy at the telephone building and he enters the door and the generator noise stops.  OK, that’s who is was.  The generator immediately starts up again.  It’s a gorgeous day outside so I put on my boots and stomp around town talking to anyone who is outside.  I take my neighbor’s cup back and give it to her uncle who is staying there (his house just burned down so is staying there for a while and he is elderly – he’s doing ok) I talk to the phone guy about the battery pack;, check on my neighbor who has her 95 year old mother with her (they are not home so assume they decided they need to go somewhere there is power because they have no heat); talk to Duane who is out shoveling snow out of the back of his truck; take a quick walk and head back in the house.

Now someone across the alley south of me has a generator going.  It sounds like everyone is outside mowing their lawns.

I am worried about the stuff in the refrigerator and freezer.  Some of the stuff is starting to slightly thaw so I take everything out of the freezer (including the ice holder) and put it in a plastic bag, then put it in a cardboard box and tape the seams shut.  I take it out behind the shed and bury it in snow.

I take my camera outside but nothing too exciting to take a picture of except the cats congregating.

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It’s The Pea

Twice I have received “your rural mailbox is out of regulation”.  I am supposed to put my house number on the outside and my name on the inside so April 1 when there is a new mail person they will know who is who.  OK, we all know who our mail person is personally and since there are like six mailboxes in town (most people in town have a PO Box and there are only about 6 mailboxes on the street for those “who live on the wrong side of the street” – is that like the “wrong side of the tracks”?) it would be hard not to know who is who but why not make it pretty?  I take out some patio (outdoor) paint I have and paint my numbers on the front of the box.   I have my name prepared to tape on the inside of the box.  Ok, now I’m not illegal anymore.

I take a broom and go around the outside of the house knocking off icicles.  All day I have had the song “Bibbity Bobbity Boo” in my head.  I can’t get it out and I can’t remember all the words.  All I can remember is “Put it together and what do you have? Bibbity Bobbity Boo”  Ok, I am going insane.

I’m also going insane because I want to take a baseball bat and go break the generator across the alley.  Aren’t they done mowing their lawn yet HAHA?  Yes, I know.  How selfish of me for those just trying to keep warm and cook food!!

OK, I am hungry again.  I do more pizza on the wood stove.  I guess you could say I’m having wood fired pizza.

Guess I’ll read some more.  I finish the book I’m reading.  A very good book titled “Priceless”.  It’s written by the guy who worked for the FBI and ended up going around the world getting back stolen treasures.  Was very interesting on what was stolen, how long it was gone and when it resurfaced again, and the people who have the money to try and buy these things to put somewhere they can’t be seen except by them.  Strange.  A very good read if you like this type of thing.

OK, guess I’ll start a new book.  OK, I am hungry again.  I heat up another bowl of green chili again.   I’m glad I have it but I’m tired of it.

Someone knocks on the door and the third member of the Barn Cat Ladies Society  is at my door on her way home to check on me and make sure everything is ok.

It’s getting dark so off I go and read by the “Moonlite” again.

I tell Denise I’m sure we will have power by 10:00 pm because we shouldn’t be in the last 2% they fix.  I lose the bet.

I try to go to sleep but people are still mowing their lawns and it’s really loud in my bedroom.

Day 3

I was just sure I would wake up during the night to the sound of the radio but no deal.  I call Denise to see if they would like to go find some breakfast somewhere.  I don’t feel like lighting the stove just for water so decide I don’t need anything hot to drink this morning.  She says they are not going anywhere until they can shower.  In addition to no power over there they have an electric pump for their well so they have no showers.  I think they should boil some water on the wood stove and get out the wash tub HAHA.  I am fortunate that I could take a shower and feel human.  I am sure that we will have power by 10 am.

Report from Xcel this morning is they are 98% finished.  How dare they put us in the last two percent.  It seems that we are at the very last tip of where Xcel has service.  Around us to the north, east and west is Morgan electric and Poudre Valley REA.  They were all out 10 to 15 hours.

Neighbor calls to see if I want hot water.  I decide I don’t care about eating until the power comes on again.  If it doesn’t I’m heading to town to find something different to eat.

I call Denise at 10 am and tell her I’m sure we’ll have power by noon.

Report from Xcel two hours later.  All is finished except 3,000 people.

I call Denise at noon and tell her I can’t believe it will be much longer.

Ok, we are not the last 2%, we are the VERY LAST percent.  Two hours later we get our power back @ 2pm.  It’s been 58 hours without power.

It was fun the first day, ok the second day, and I’m really glad the power came on the third day.  And thank God that generator was turned off.  All day I was needing to go shopping but didn’t want to go until we had power again.  I ran outside and got the food box and everything still had ice crystals so I didn’t lose any meat.  I lost some frozen fruit but that was about it.  Not bad considering.  I don’t know why I didn’t think of it earlier.  I could have just gone and bought a bag of ice or dry ice and put it in there.

I run shopping and everything is back to normal.  Hurray for electricity!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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And I thought caulk fixed everything

My friend Karen Z fixed the wall for me.

 

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