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..............................

Monday, October 3, 2011

Time flies when you're having fun!!!!

Boy, does it ever fly. It has been almost a month since I last posted. Not for lack of things to write about,but rather, not enough time. I am full swing into canning, and it has taken a lot of my time. We had a bumper crop of tomatoes, corn and beets this year. And sure do not want this to go to waste, family and friends will only take so much. I think we over did it with zucchini and yellow squash. Yesterday I harvested herbs, thyme, oregano, chives, and dill weed. Here is the dill weed hanging in bunches in the kitchen window, since the dehydrator was full of the other herbs.

I did have my three little doelings sold but the deal fell through at the last minute. So now I am scrambling and trying to find them new homes. I hate when that happens, I even held onto them for a month for him. So we still have 8 goats, but hoping to cut down to 5. Now that the weather is cooler, I am starting to make cheese again. My first batch of Fromage Blanc was a huge success.

I sold Roxie, one of my alpacas to a nearby alpaca breeder. She is still young and this way she will be able to have babies, since I am no longer breeding alpacas. My two males are up for sale, then I will be down two alpacas.
We thought that the guineas were done laying eggs for the year, but imagine Dennis surprise when he pulled back the tarp to get at the hay!

We did attend a goat show. Here were some of the entrants.
Always have a good time when we go to anything goat related. Ladies waiting for their turn in the ring.

We got a bunch of posts for raised flower beds and and plan to border a flagstone walkway with these. Just waiting for the weather to cool somewhat, and the ground to loosen so we can move a bunch of flowers into the front of the house. Here is kind of a rough plan the way we have them laid out.
As you can see, we have one gate done, and just need another on the arbor side, then all my flowers will be safe from the chickens. Still waiting to build my bridge, may make an easier one than the one I had planned on.

My friend Sue and I did a Thelma and Louise to Nebraska, to the Brown Sheep Company.
Everything yarn, wool and pattern related. I bought some warping thread to warp my looms. Finally will have no excuse not to weave now. The Brown Sheep Company is near Scottsbluff. We met a friend of hers there, and went out to lunch and visited the local Goodwill to look for wool sweaters for repurposing. Sues friend got us fired up for making mittens and such out of these sweaters after felting them. I have some grand plans for leather bottom socks and flowers to put on bags for mine. Was a really fun time had by all of us, we are all RN's so had a lot to talk about. The countryside was beautiful. Here are a few pictures, through the car window I am sorry to say, as we had to get back to those husbands of ours.

We went to the Octoberfest at Windsor Colorado. Went with Ryan, Julie and Lily. Lily just loved the puppet show they had of "Jack and the Beanstalk". They also had Dachshund races.
Here she is waiting for the races to begin, contemplating who is going to win the first race.
These were great, the little wieners are such feisty dogs. I always had wiener dogs when I was growing up. Love those little dogs. They have a heart of a Great Dane however. A lot of bickering going on between the contestant dogs, trying to determine who the "top" dog was. Food highlights, we had krautburgers, never heard of these till we moved down here. They are hamburgers with sauerkraut,and onions, baked in a bread like dough, with no opening. Dennis was hoping for a good Germain beer, but they did not have any.

I did manage to get some sewing done. With one of the clubs that I belong to, we have a small project that we do once per month. I made a pumpkin table runner, and a snowman/snowflake pillow pictured here. Was a lot of fun putting this together.
Will make great Christmas gifts. I am also working on a mystery quilt in plaids, a mystery quilt is, they give you a block each month, and you don't know what the ending quilt will look like. It is a, well, a mystery until you finish it 12 months later. I am having allot of fun with it.

Here are the neighbors cows, who we share a fence line with. I can't recall the breed of cow, starts with a C or S. The black one is the bull they are leasing.

Another thing that has occupied a lot of my time is the new Kindle that I recently purchased. Both my mother and I bought one of these. We have been conversing almost daily on the attributes of the Kindle and what we have been finding out about it. We can carry 3500 books in our purse where ever we go, can borrow books from the library from the comfort of our home, and don't need to worry about returning them, they just disappear. We can also share books with each other, can purchase books on line, for as little as .99 cents or free,can sample the first two chapters of books before we purchase them, can download pdf files off of our computer onto the Kindle, and the list goes on. I felt that my brain was going to mush, and needed to start reading again in earnest. I also joined the Ault Public Library book club that meets each month. I thought that I would be one of the last to let go of books with paper pages, but after moving books cross country with all our moves, and wanting to keep up with technology, I joined the ranks of folks with ereaders.

More later, if I can just get my nose out of this Kindle........................