Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to y'all. We had a good one. We were blessed by having my parents here from Tucson Arizona to spend the holiday with us. The morning we picked them up at the airport it was a seasonal -6. I was so thankful that it warmed up when they got off the plane and was 22 degrees. But it is a dry 22 degrees.
The children and our two grandchildren were here also. The meal was good thanks to our chief cook and bottle washer.
We had tons of fun. So much so, we could hardly contain ourselves!Here are Dennis, Mom and me doing what we love best.

Dad doing what he loves best.

And some pictures of the rest of the family.

The people who are the most near and dear to my heart.

This is the Christmas tree in front of the Severence City Hall. When I got off babysitting, I would always marvel at its beauty. It is probably an 80 foot tree or so. The picture does not do it justice however. Just thought that I would share it with you.

I have been making things from fulled sweaters, it is called upcycling. Here are a pair of mittens

pair of slippers that I made for myself. I am the foot model.

Here are totes that I made from plastic feed bags that they have these days. One I made from a goat/sheep feed bag, and another from a chicken bag. These are a bit larger than the grocery bags that you can purchase these days. My mother told me that down in AZ they are considering charging .05 per plastic bag if you don't recycle. I remember the desert in AZ with all the plastic bag trees and bushes. A lot of garbage in the AZ desert that motorists or illegals throw out the windows or leave in the desert, and when the wind blows, the bags would get hung up in the prickly bushes. So sad. I then knew how that Indian in the commercials, atop his horse, with a tear running down one cheek,felt, as he looked at all the garbage on the land.


Here is Ali who gave birth to a black ewe lamb on December 26Th. She was up and dried when we went out to do chores at 8am. I am going to call her Holly in the spirit of the season.

Wishing you and yours a blessed holiday season!

More later.............................................

Friday, December 2, 2011

Winter beauty!

We had our second snow fall on Wednesday night. This morning we woke to a frosty winter wonderland, with the temp 12 degrees. No wind however, so we were shedding our outer clothes before we were finished with our animal chores.
Here are some of the photos I just had to share with you all. The guinea on the right is no doubt singing out a marching song.

Goats standing up against the barn in the sun.
No, it is not a polar bear hunting seals, just Bear picking up on an interesting scent.

Even the lacy chicken wire protecting our trees was pretty.

I got all my Christmas decorating done yesterday, my quilt club was cancelled, due to bad roads, so was the perfect time. I tried to do a Charlie Brown tree in my entry way. This branch is from one of Ryan's trees that the top broke off with the last snow storm.

I don't think that I will put out a Christmas letter this year, since I do this blog. Hopefully my son will be able to take a picture of Dennis and I and I will send out that.

I finished my Christmas runner yesterday and have it on the coffee table. Dennis says it reminds him of church. So it should do some good.

We had a falconer visit our place yesterday, to talk about birds, and as he was on his way to exercise his falcon on the Pawnee National grasslands. Which we live near.
Quite a beautiful little bird.
He had it in the back of his pickup with a topper of course, and here you can see the stand he made for it. The bird has it's hood on, but the fellow told me that it can see a little bit with it on. The Barbary is from the northern part of Africa. It is smaller than a Peregrine, but I read is sweet natured and easier to train than a Peregrine. They say they are about the size of a crow, but this one looked smaller. I asked him if he was worried about losing it if it were not to come back. He said that the bird is trained to a whistle, but sometimes the bird gets excited when on chase and can fly out of range. It does wear a little back pack with a tracking devise that has a 15 mile range, so he can look for it.And it also knows his white pickup. He also carries a dead young quail in his pocket for the bird, as reward. I was wondering why the dogs were sniffing so much around him. He told me the life expectancy is 10-25 years on these birds.
So,anyway, this fellow also had his hunting dog with him in the cab of his truck. He takes them out hunting, the dog points and flushes up the bird, and the falcon gives chase. If the falcon is successful, the man trades the dead quail for the game.
And no, I am not considering getting one, just thought that they were interesting.
Grandpa and Lily, taking time out to watch a favored cartoon.

More later..............

Sunday, November 27, 2011


Have you ever had that overwhelming feeling that you should have taken it out earlier?? That you did not quite give it enough time???? I did, yet again this Thanksgiving. I had taken our turkey out and put it in the refrigerator on Sunday to thaw til Thursday. When I took it out, there were still ice crystals. Uff'da! Another turkey meal that I have to worry if the other shoe is going to drop the day after Thanksgiving. Luckily, everything turned out OK, and thank you God for meat thermometers. Anyway, we had a good meal and visit with Ryan and his family. Tera was on call, so was unable to come up to share a meal with us, but did spend some time with friends down in Denver for a Thanksgiving meal.

Peeping tom is still strutting his stuff after Thanksgiving!

Ryan and Dennis did start the day off with Pronghorn hunting.
And Ryan got his first Pronghorn ever, so he was really excited about that.
Too much so that he sat down in a patch of cactus, and Julie had to do some plucking to remove some thistles from him.

This is what I woke up to this morning. Almost wanted to go out in my pj's and start singing the Hallelujah chorus. Everytime I see something as beautiful as this, I wonder what the colors would look like made up in a quilt.

Bambee on a sunny day.
the new feeder we built for the sheep family.

I have a few quilts that are waiting to be quilted, so no finished projects in the sewing room today.

Cyber Monday. Better get off and running.

More later...............

Monday, November 7, 2011

regional differences,ramblings, reminiscing

I just finished reading the book called "The Help" by Kathryn Stockett. A truly excellent book about race differences, the plight of black maids working for white families in the 1960's, just before the Civil Rights Movement, that's it in a nutshell. I was a young gal then, and remember some of the instances in the book, but living way up north(just an hour south of Canada), we only watched it on TV, we did not live it. Anyway, it got me to thinking about regional differences.

The other week I went out to lunch with a few of my friends. We got to talking about cooking. I was telling them about this great recipe that I have for sauerkraut hot dish. One of the gals looked at me and said "What is a hot dish"? What???? Then they brought up the movie "Fargo" and said, "Liz, you sound just like Garrison Keiller from Prairie Home radio at times." Should I take that as a compliment? Having lived most of my life up in Minnesota there are regional differences. While working in Arizona, they said that when I spoke, I would go up at the end of a sentence making it sound like a question mark. Also calling soda pop "pop" instead of "soda" was also a give away. And why can't you get decent potato sausage here in Colorado, like they make up north? Aye?

I passed a pickup with two men in it the other night, and on their dash was a blaze orange hat. I started remembering that up in Minnesota, men dress up in their blaze orange outfits, weeks in advance of hunting season, and for weeks after. There is a sea of blaze orange, in vehicles, on the streets, out shopping.

My friend Linda shared these pictures with me from her visit to Budweiser Anheuser-Busch brewery almost three weeks ago. They offer complimentary tours to help one discover the beer brewing process. Also the beautiful world famous Budweiser Clydesdales west coast team that are in residence there. In the background you can see the beautiful Rocky Mountains in all their splendor.

These are the Anheuser-Busch bushes out front. In actuality, they are geraniums.
Linda said that they are more beautiful in person. but they sure look good in these photos. My geraniums have succumbed to our below freezing temperatures here.

My son and his family live in the little town of Severance. Visitors are greeted by this sign when they come into town. Where the geese fly and the bulls cry. .
True, this part of Colorado has a lot of geese that winter here and are often seen grazing the grassy areas of shopping centers, parks and boulevards. Flying en mass from water and fields into town, blackening the sky at times, the sound of their honking, makes many a goose hunter want to run for their blinds. Across the street from this sign is Bruce's Bar.
They have all you can eat rocky mountain oysters on their menu. Every September they have their annual "nut run" and they don't mean the vegetable kind that grow on plants. So, that is the bulls cry part of the sign. Too funny, and just thought that I would share that.


A neat little carry bag that I made out of left over fabrics. Good for cosmetics when traveling, or to carry sewing notions to classes, or quilt meetings.


Here is a picture of my mother when she was a little girl back in Stephen MN, and the spittin image of my grandma, I might add. Seen here feeding one of her bottle lambs. Regarding our love for animals,I guess that the nut really does not fall far from the tree . And I am not talking about bulls here either. Say, Anyone want to go out to lunch to Bruces????? Or how about sauerkraut pizza! It's the best!

More Later...............................

Monday, October 31, 2011

Record breakers,The Hunt, Happy Halloween

Last week was a record breaker for sure, weather wise for us that is. Our plant transplanting and bridge building came to a screeching halt. It was in the 80's one day, and 2 days later the high was 32 with a low in the teens. Not to mention the 8-15 inches of snow that we received on the Front Range. Dennis thought that we received 8 inches, our son, 19 miles from here, got a foot, and I do believe that Greeley just south of us received 15 inches. A lot of the trees still had their leaves, so that held the snow. Which resulted in a lot of tree limbs being overburdened by the heavy snow and limb breakage. The Greeley Tribune reported that over 20% of the trees in Greeley were damaged. Many, many households were without power as limbs broke the power lines. We drove through the small towns of Ault and Eaton, and the streets looked like a war zone. The casualty of tree limbs piled high on their boulevards, awaiting city pick up. A friend of mine from Fargo ND called to see how we were faring, as Fargo does not have any snow on the ground yet.
Well, our trees fared better as they are small. Here is our winter wonderland after the big storm..

Today it is going to be 68 degrees for a high, but then another snow storm is moving through on Wednesday with a high of only 32 and a low of 13, but reportedly we should get less snow. Boy, I sure wish that I would have kept my insulated coveralls when I left Minnesota. One thing that I will say in Colorado's defence is, the weather gets warmer and the snow all melts. It does not hang around all winter until May like it did in MN.

Dennis and Ryan went to Craig/Waldon Colorado to partake in their first ever Elk hunt. They were at 10,000 ft elevation. The winding mountainous roads were icy since the snow storm, and they could only go 10-15 miles per hour in 4 wheel drive. They even slept outside in a tent, and ate their meals from a campfire under the stars. And did other things that the bears do in the woods. The weather that night only got down to 24 degrees so they lucked out, as earlier in the week it was really cold. No Elk were seen, but the camaraderie could not be beat. I was worried about them being bear meat, but Dennis said they were all hibernating. So even though they did not see anything, memories were made, and it was like a scouting mission for next years hunt. And get this, they said they took no pictures. Can you imagine that. So unfortunately, I have no pictures to share.

Happy Halloween and keep all the little tricksters safe. I know that Julie got Lily a cute little bunny outfit. I won't see it on her until later today, so will have to post here picture latter. But, I do have a picture of Brady and his pets all dolled up. Boy, I need to get me some glasses like that!
Also, a picture of Tera and Sister errr ummm, one of her coworkers!

I could not think of anything sneaky to do in the absence of my husband over the hunting weekend, so I got a lot done in the sewing room. Here is my Saturday Sampler quilt that I am quilting. When I am done with that all I need to do is add the binding and a label and I am all set.

Here is my mystery quilt. One more month to go and I should know what the finished quilt will look like.

Also got in a lot of reading for my book club. They chose 3 books this month. Yikes!
The Night Circus, by Erin Morgenstein, Between Sundays by Karen Kingsbury(excellent book, had me bawling) and the last book is Dying for Chocolate, by Diane Mott Davidson. A culinary mystery, even has recipes in it.
So that ends the month of October for me.

More later...........................................

Sunday, October 23, 2011

End of an era

With much sadness, I sold all of my alpacas, after 13 years of raising and enjoying these wonderful animals. They were some of the more easy to handle livestock that we have owned. Very gentle. I feel lucky that I found good homes for them. But I am happy to report that I have about 10 years worth of hoarded fleece from them that is in roving so that I can get busy weaving and spinning when I have some free time. With the costs of hay and life in general, we had to cut down on our "pet" animals this year. We are still enjoying our goats, oh, and the sheep. They are paying for their keep anyway.

I have taken to checking the window wells of the basement since finding one of these guys in them. Boy was he mad, and really wanted to bite into me. This is a Prairie Rattler. Not easy to distinguish until you see the rattle. That is one thing that was nice about Arizona, they had the coon tailed rattler, that the tail before the rattle was striped white and black

Here is a close up of his head. Dennis readily dispatched this fellow.

Here is a beginning of our cottage garden in the front of the house. The border is only going to be 2 timbers high. The 4 stacked timbers are the posts for the bridge over my koi pond. When we get the area filled with compost we will transplant the perennial flowers and bushes from the vegetable garden out back. When coming down our upstairs, this area is framed by our large picture window. When the flowers are in bloom, it will be a sight to behold. Can't wait until next year.

Speaking of our Bourbon Red Heritage Turkey. Tom is no longer roosting outside our bedroom window. He has taken to roosting in the chicken coop since the nights are colder, and his two sons are getting mature, and he wants to keep them away from his hens. I caught him watching me as I was working on the computer, I felt the familir hairs on the back of my neck again. Here is Peeping Tom at the deck window with some of his friends. He still keeps an eye on me whenever he can. To keep me on the straight and narrow so to speak.

Another baby is coming into our family, and here is the quilt that I made for the new arrival. The colors were brown, sage and pink. I really had a fun time putting this quilt together, the colors are so nice together.

More later..............................