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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Fog VS Clouds

 We watch the clouds slowly come lower and settle in the mountain meadows and then they start to slowly spread out and move up the mountain to where we are. We can see them coming through the trees and then it gets really dense.  We let our three dogs out to go potty in the top photo and you really have to look to see all three. They are not fond of the clouds either because they can't see very far and don't feel safe.
In the bottom photo it shows our detached garage but it is pretty hard to see in the clouds. Just as suddenly as they lower down and settle in they raise up again and the air is clear. In lower elevations it is usually fog but in the mountains it is just the clouds passing through.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Two Mountain ConsiderationsMos

Check out the latest blog on Mother Earth News at: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/two-high-altitude-considerations-zbcz1505.aspx

When people purchase property in the mountains it is usually when it is accessible in the summer or fall time. Then they are looking for a place to build their home and the beautiful vistas or land. Many do not consider that over the winter that same land had many feet of snow on it and where the run off goes when it melts. Check out the latest blog for some ideas on snow melt. As the photo shows our run off is sheet flow down our driveway. We have so many disappearing springs that they all can not be channeled off the driveway.

Also it is best to visit the mountains prior to a vacation or residence. Altitude sickness can be a real game changer for permanent living or temporary visits. Also a consideration if you plan to spend time at high elevation and it is best to know if you are prone to altitude sickness beforehand.  

Monday, May 18, 2015

Over Run With Rodents

We have noticed that our resident raven has been around now for every day. These are highly intelligent birds and this one found the mother lode of chipmunks and ground squirrels at our house. We have chipmunks galore and the ground squirrels are all over the place. We also have owls around as I hear them hooting to each other at night. These birds need to get more on the ball as these rodents are multiplying rapidly. The chipmunks seem to claim the ground around the house and the raven perches on a tree limb in front of the deck to swoop down on one when it gets far enough from a place to duck into.

We need Mr. Raven to step up his game a little as the chipmunks seem to be winning this round.

Friday, May 15, 2015

May 15th In The Mountains

Yes, that is snow in the middle of May which is not all that uncommon at higher elevations. Notice how the driveway is wet from water sheet flow. As the ground thaws the springs open up and start flowing. We have more than a few springs that run for a few weeks in springtime. We have two that run all year long on the property. Others just bubble up at random places out of the ground. This is a good reason to have a tractor to repair washouts and ruts from the steady flow of water coming out of the mountain. We are about 800' in elevation from the top of the mountain and water runs down hill. Some years it runs so hard that where it comes out of the ground it will shoot up 6-8" high. I have traced the source to way up on the mountain so really there is not much we can do except channel it off where it will do the least damage. We have evolved to pretty good ditch diggers. It only lasts about two weeks and then it will dry up again. We have 7-8 disappearing springs and two full time springs that flow steadily all year.

Water is good and this should give us 30-40 days of wildfire protection. We have been taking advantage of the pleasant breaks in weather to haul our broken branches to the local burn site and remove fuel from our property. We work around the weather when possible. Ah, life in the mountains is just a minor distraction. This also explains why we like to get our firewood in at the end of winter. Like the weather forecaster on television just said: In the springtime in Colorado we can experience all four seasons in a single day.  We love it!!!!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Morning View

 Sunrise is spectacular from our front deck. Good enough to share.

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Planting Time

Withing the past week I have planted peas, kale, zucchini, carrots and lettuce. When gardening in the mountains at high elevation (9,750') timing is important. In real estate they say location, location, location... In high elevation we say timing, timing, timing. Sometimes the timing is good, sometimes bad. With the snow melted and everything turning green along with the springs on our property bursting forth it appeared that we were safely within the time frame of planting. So far we have about a half inch of grapple with snow predicted tonight. Grapple is like tiny hail that is small round pieces of frozen snow that is not hail nor snow but something in between.

Timing, timing timing - is vital to having a good garden. Just when you think you have it timed right the weather throws a curve ball your way. This will not damage our garden but it will slow the seeds from germinating. Plants like peas and  spinach are more hardy and this will not slow them down very much. The other seeds will be set back a while but will finally grow.

Aspen Trees

Aspen are prolific trees in our area. They all share a common root system but do transplant by seed too. If I understand the process right the seed is what you see in the photo. They look like a long grey worm that has a brown head and that is where the seed is. When they drop these seeds in the early spring it looks like little grey worms laying all over the ground. Most of the trees we have are sharing a common root system however.

The mother tree will send out suckers from the roots and they pop up as new trees, hence the common root feeds all the trees. They say they only live on average 20 years but a few years ago the wind blew a 20" diameter tree over and it took several other large aspen with it. I counted the rings on the largest tree and it was well into its nineties. We still have several that are still alive that are as big or bigger than the one that blew down.

It is classed a hardwood tree but at the bottom of the hardwood scale. It does not make good furniture even though I have used it in furniture and sometimes done well. Often when I mill it out the surface has a lot of 'fuzz' on it because it is so wet and retains water. It does make good firewood and burns hot and clean. It is important to insure that it has dried fully before any attempt to use it as firewood.

It is called a quaking aspen because during the slightest breeze the leaves shake and 'quake'. We find it an interesting tree and we have an abundance of them so our firewood supply is assured for several years..

Some people confuse the aspen with the birch but they are a totally different species and different trees.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Horseshoes

I thought it would be fun to have a set of horseshoes to play a game when we were able or had friends over. Carol bought me a set of horseshoes for Christmas and when the snow melted I commenced to look for a 40' stretch of land that was relatively flat. I looked and looked and did not see a suitable location. Finally I chose an area that was not entirely flat but with a little elbow grease it might work. I raked it as flat as I could and thought we may have a good location. That is until we threw a few horse shoes and found there were rocks just under the surface of the dirt. Those shoes can roll quite a ways down the mountain when they jump off a rock.

Then I commenced to dig the rocks out and some turned out to be sizable. More raking and filling in the holes left by the rocks and we are now ready to go. I ended up with two sizable piles of rocks but our landing zone is now free of rocks. It is not perfectly level but it is level enough to play a game and we don't need to peek out from behind a tree nor stand on a ladder to see the stake.
Things that are easily done in other locations can present a real challenge in the mountains. Most people just go out in their yard and measure off 40', drive two stakes in the ground and begin playing horseshoes. In the mountains you have to start by raking the area as flat as possible and then dig up all the rocks that interfere with a game of horseshoes.

I ended up with two pretty good sized piles of rock but at least the landing zone is more playable. Now we look forward to having some friends over to play a game or two.

The Winged Hunter


We had a big old raven perch in the tree outside our front window. Wondered what he/she was up to and then suddenly it swooped down to the ground out of my sight line. A little later it was back and perched in the same place looking for something. Suddenly it swooped down and it was after a chipmunk which we have in abundance. I think it may have been raised by a raptor as it was thinning our chipmunk and ground squirrel population like a hawk or falcon would. Hope it stays around as we are knee deep in these little rodents. This particular raven is an excellent hunter. It wasn't perched over 30' from the front window so we have an excellent view of this magnificent large bird as it hunted a meal.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

From Snow To Rain - Rain Suits

 Thanks for a thought full sister-in-law giving me a rain gauge for Christmas last year I can tell how much rain we receive. It has been lightly raining through out the night and the rain gauge shows that we have 1/2" of rain. This rain will help the seeds I planted earlier germinate and those I planned to plant today will have to wait for the rain to stop or tomorrow. I also planted wild grass seed on a horseshoe court I am making and this should get it going too.


I had to scrounge around for a rain jacket to take the dogs out and pick up dog poop this morning and rain is so infrequent that this is the only one I could find. This one has been used off and on for 40 years and still is as good as when it was new. I got a set of rain gear when I was president of our local BASS fishing club in central Fla. from Cotton Cordell to test. I used it for fishing in the rain and other rain events since and it is clearly going to out live me. I gave Cotton a good report on it then and now I could say it keeps me dry and may just last forever. I heard that Cotton died earlier this year but his Big O lures are awesome and I don't know if his company still manufactures these rain suits but they are an excellent investment. Old Cotton did it right and I highly recommend his rain suits it he still makes them. Clearly a once in a lifetime investment.  Thanks Cotton, - RIP

Monday, May 4, 2015

Profiting From Mistakes by Sakoieta'


It’s often in the darkest of the night when fear grips us and tells us how vulnerable we really are as well as it causes us to question our gifts and worth. We need to recognize this fear comes from things we did that may have been wrong or incorrect. We are different now. We have all made mistakes but there is no reason to carry those mistakes into the future with us. we learned lessons from them and that we can appreciate. We can look at each new day as a gift that we have learned to receive and enjoy it to the best from all the lessons we have learned.

Friday, May 1, 2015

New Day - New Beginnings by Sakoieta'

We wake up to each new day as a new person, waking again into life and living. By having been thankful the day before and when the sun went down putting that day to rest as our Elders taught us to do. We wake up to the new day as a new person with more knowledge about ourselves, the world around us and how we are to live in it. We grew in so many ways from our many different experiences from the day before. We can now continue onward with more skills than we had before

Editors note: As you start each new day consider where you are in the overall scheme of things. 

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Post Snowstorm

 My camera is a good one but not good enough to capture the magic happening in the trees. The sun is going down and is just in the tops of the trees and is melting the snow. As I looked up it was if the entire top of the tree was decked out in sparkling diamonds but the camera lens couldn't quite manage to capture the sparkle.
The snow was melting so fast it was like rain coming down. The camera couldn't pick up the drops of water either but these photos are still pretty with the shaft of sunlight coming down through the trees. The snow bombs are falling with authority as they come off the tree limbs.

Monday, April 27, 2015

What A Difference A Day Makes


Yesterday most of the snow was melted except for a patch here and there. Check out the bottom photo of the same area today. This is exceptionally wet snow and the storm is far from over. It is still coming down fairly heavy. So far we have about 14" and this is clearly heart attack snow. I'm pretty strong and it is all I can do to lift one shovel full it is so heavy. The snow plow came down the road but getting from where we parked to the cleared road would present a problem. We would ride up on the heavy snow and become stuck as it lifts the vehicle up to where it loses traction. We will just have to wait for this to melt down as it clogs up the shoot of the snow thrower.


Yesterday I was sitting in this chair drinking a mug of water in my shirt sleeves after having cut up some down trees.


I guess this will ruin my grilling out today. Oh well, there will be other days soon enough.


And today things are much different - check out the top photo. 12 hours later and things are completely changed. We really need the moisture though.

Saturday, April 25, 2015

the calendar may have said that Spring started on March 20 but this is what indicates to me that Spring is here in the mountains. first day out!!


Making Mistakes

Check out my latest blog about making a mistake at: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/potting-soil-vs-potting-mix-zbcz1504.aspx

If you can avoid making a mistake by reading about someone else's mistake it can make life much easier. My mistake was costly and confusing Potting Mix with Potting Soil isn't hard to do so maybe this experience will help someone not make the same mistake.

Also, when buying either the mix or soil it can come with larvae or insect eggs in it. I have not had a problem with Miracle Grow mix over the years and will now stick with that brand. The organic aspect enticed me to go with the more expensive brand, with a mix of various soils, bat guano and other natural ingredients that would enhance plant growth. Perhaps I could call the mosquitos that hatched inside organic too. I consider the entire purchase a waste of money and while organic vegetables and fruit are one thing dirt is dirt (except when you need MIX) and I think I carried the organic aspect a little too far.

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Fishing Snipe Hunt Prank - Part Two

Ron and I met at the appointed time and place and it had been a very interesting day but now we were ready to do some serious fishing. We loaded his aluminum jon boat into the creek with our gear along with the 15# block of dry ice. Ron got out his contraption of a trolling motor and attached it on the jon boat. I had never seen anything like he had before nor since. It had a large blade like from a box fan that must have been 12-15" in diameter. The shaft was secured on the back of the boat and it had a handle that he would pump up and down to turn the blade. I was always surprised how well it worked and all he did was pump the handle up and down and we would move slowly forward. Lots of stories went with that trolling device like the time we put in at Black Creek and he was pumping us along and we ran up on a stump about an inch below the water surface. We were stuck in that black water like a teeter totter smack dab in the middle of the boat. If either of us moved the boat would tilt and we would get water over the front, side or back. We had to be very careful as this creek was full of nasty large snakes. I had seen one water moccasin that was as big around as my leg and 6-7' long. It was clearly not a swimming creek.

He had me throw the anchor out to try to catch the bottom and pull us off and he would pump that trolling device like mad to propel us off that stump. The anchor was a window sash weight on a clothes line and wouldn't hold to the bottom to pull us free of that stump. All he was doing was putting foam on the top of the water with his mad pumping of that device.  We had tipped forward and back and pivoted on that stump for a good hour before we got pulled off by another boat we hailed over to help us. I expect those guys are still talking about the two idiots that were perfectly centered on a stump and couldn't get off. Every once and awhile I get a sense of uproarious laughter and I know that story is being retold.

Anyway back to this story. The first thing we noticed was that the mosquito's were fierce. Luckily I had brought some repellent with me and we both slathered in oily repellent. Then we were ready to fish and Ron said to hand him some dry ice. I had a ice pick with me so I chipped off a piece for him. That is when we noticed that when the smaller pieces flew out of the cooler and hit the metal boat that they would zing across that metal making a zip-zinging sound everywhere they hit. It was hard not to have them fly out when we broke off pieces of dry ice. After both getting baited up he tossed his out and so did I. The bubbles and gurgling were obvious. Big frothy bubbles coming up from the creek bottom. We fished several pieces of dry ice as he pumped us along the creek and made a lot of zinging and gurgling sounds on the way.

Neither of us got a bite but we kept fishing that dry ice lowering the temperature of the creek as we went. We knew that 12 pounder would be moving off with our dry ice bait at any minute. We fished along talking about this technique and our expectations until about 3:00 AM. After that we just fished and had nothing much to say. After a little more fishing and using the remainder of our dry ice in total silence I could tell that Ron was thinking that young woman in the silk house coat would make a much better fishing pardner that I was being. I was thinking about pretty much the same thing. Around 4:00 AM, I mentioned discretely to Ron that I thought we had been had and he promptly agreed. Actually he was a little too fast on agreeing. I suggested that we head back to the dock hopefully to get the boat loaded and be gone before the proprietor showed up as I didn't want to hear the laughing and "well, how did you do", questions. Ron pumped us back to the ramp in record time almost putting that boat on a plane and we fortunately avoided the guffaws and questions.

No question about it that we surely had been had and this time really good. I'm glad we deprived them of the satisfaction of seeing the result of their handy work.  

Fishing Snipe Hunt Prank - Part One

Several years ago when I was living in Jacksonville I was out one morning trying to track down a witness and couldn't find the road she lived on. I stopped at a bait shack on Little Pottsburg Creek to ask directions and while the proprietor was giving me directions a boat pulled onto the ramp and I could hear fish flopping around in his live well. The proprietor heard it too and asked the man how he did. The guy said 'look' and opened his live well top. I looked in and he had his limit of 10 large mouth bass and the smallest was over 5 pounds. A couple looked to go 10-12 pounds. I was stunned and we commenced to talk about them. I asked him where he got them and he told me they all came from Little Pottsburg Creek. My next question was what he caught them on. He and the proprietor exchanged cagey looks and finally he was told its okay to tell me as I seemed like a pretty good guy.

He commenced to tell me I probably wouldn't believe it but he caught them on dry ice. He said I would need a Bull Durham tobacco bag, a half ounce slip sinker, a treble hook and lots of dry ice. He then told me how to rig it up by putting the slip sinker on the line, then running the line through the Bull Durham bag and out the bottom and then tying on the treble hook. He said you then put a chunk of dry ice in the bag and pull the drawstring closed and toss it out to lay on the bottom. Only the big fish would go for it as it scared the smaller ones away. He said the dry ice bubbling would make the fish curious and then angry and they would grab it and try to carry it away. That is when you set the hook and the fight would be on. He told me he knew it sounded crazy but it worked and the proprietor said he too knew it worked too. They made reference to a recent article in Outdoor Life magazine about fishing with an Alka Seltzer tablet that did the same thing.

I then left and went to get my witness testimony pondering what I just heard. I found the witness location quite a ways back off the road and was invited in and sat at the kitchen table. I started to take the testimony and these young women started to come from the back of the house partially clad. One came out only in her birthday suit and got a cup of coffee and sat down cross legged across from me while I was taking down the needed information. The older lady told her to go put something on so she left and came back with a silk house coat open in the front and untied. She again sat cross legged on a chair across from me. There had to be 6-8 young women all partially dressed drinking coffee and making toast for themselves and I was anxious to get my testimony and leave. It was clear they were not all artist models or in the garment business and they were pretty distracting while I was trying to do my job. Anyway, back to the fishing story...

As I went on working that morning I kept thinking and pondering that technique for catching BIG largmouth bass. The more I thought about it the more it sounded just crazy enough to work. I thought I should discuss it with my fishing partner so later that day I drove by the department store he managed and told him about it. I also told him about the scantly clad young women I had encountered especially the one in the silk house coat that left nothing to the imagination. He thought about the technique too and said it just might work. He said the furniture they sold had to be assembled and the parts came in a bag much like a Bull Durham bag and he would empty out the nuts and bolts and bring some bags and we could try it that very night. We would take his flat bottom aluminium jon boat and meet at 8:00 PM at the boat ramp. I was to buy some dry ice so I drove across town to an ice cream manufacturer and bought a 15# block of dry ice. I then headed home to get my fishing gear and make some sandwiches and pack some chips.

We met that night at the appointed place and time and part two will tell the rest of the story. Continued.....

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Mountain Chickadee

This little guy was grateful for sunflower seed this morning when he had his usual diet source covered in snow.

Friday, April 17, 2015

Much Needed Moisture

 No surprise if you live in the mountains to wake up this time of year to a foot of snow. We assumed that summer was here but that is not the case. Last snow was 3/25, and most of the accumulation of snow had already melted. Perhaps that was the shortest spring, summer and fall on record.
 This is a wet and heavy snow with the temperatures at 17 degrees from the 60's we have been experiencing the past several weeks. The moisture is very welcome to mitigate our wildfire hazard.
Yesterday I was out raking up the pieces of bark and debris from getting our firewood in for next winter. Little did I realize as I was raking it up that next winter could come later the same day. We are actually grateful for this snow as it provides the needed moisture we need through out the rest of the year. This will melt off in no time and before I can get the tractor heated up to start and move it out of the way. At least it isn't the 72" of snow we received one year that happened over two days. Of course it could happen again since the weather prediction is for snow showers through Monday. If so we will deal with it again - it just takes longer to clear a path.

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Start Early On Tough Jobs

We have our firewood about 90% done now for next winter and as the photo reflects the snow is still on the ground from this winter. We have also cut 3.5 cords for folks in Alamosa to come pick up when they are able. Glad to have one of the toughest jobs we face each year out of the way. That leaves time for other tasks that need to be done.

Monday, April 13, 2015

Long Time True Friends by Sakoieta'

True friendship does not come apart at the seams when a strain is put on it. A long enduring friend is someone you recognize from a long way off. It’s a kinship that reaches past barriers and leaps over differences. Friends may not always agree on things but will defend each other with fervent loyalty. They each give of themselves and really appreciate the life long relationship that was, is and always will be there.

Natural Truth by Sakoieta'

Often we ignore listening to the truth and wisdom of simple people. We feel the truth can only come from someone famous, a great orator, someone on TV or in Radio. Instead listen to those who fully and carefully observe the whole world around them, who know how the environment works and who seek the Spirit in every little living thing. Those are the people who know the truth and wisdom that can be counted on, People who are of the earth and based in the earth.

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Meet Echo

Hello!!! My name is Echo McElmurray and I love my forever family and love my home. My early history wasn't so good because I ended up being on my own in the countryside  where I nearly starved to death and was outside all the time. I love my new home as there is plenty to eat and I'm inside with mom, dad and my brother and sister all the time except for when we go for walks or I go out to go potty. Mom and dad are always with me when I go outside. I was real un- trusting and scared when my mom and dad adopted me. Now they have shown me that people are okay and it is just some people that I should beware of. This is a great place to live and dad even lets me snuggle with him at night when we sleep.

When dad picked me up at the shelter where I had been for a very long time I knew he would be my forever dad but he did not realize it yet. I was fed by a farmer for a while before I 'playfully' went after his chickens and he took me to the shelter. They told me I had over stayed my welcome and they were going to send me to a kill shelter unless they could find something else for me.

That is where dad came in because he worked for a rescue that specialized in my breed. When he picked me up to take me to the rescue I was so embarrassed because I had feces on my tail and was so dirty. I didn't think anyone could look at me and love me. He did but he took me to the rescue anyway. When people would come to see if they wanted to adopt me I would turn my back on them and they would adopt another dog. Finally when dad realized I was ready for their home he came back to get me. I was beside myself with pure joy. It has been a wonderful experience living here ever since and I couldn't be happier. I was number four but my old sister Gypsy died of old age and I really miss her.

Dad says I am 5-6 years old but let me tell you to me it doesn't matter to me. I have a FAMILY and I love living where I do. That rough start I had in life is just a long ago past memory and I'm loving it in the here and now. My doctor says I'm a high maintenance because I occasionally get neck spasms from an injury I had when I was on my own. Some people can be mean and hurt you if you are not careful. Mom and dad give me a special medicine when that happens and the pain goes away. I also have skin problems and have had several cysts surgically removed. I don't care for that much but I know it is for my own good so I let the doctor take them off. I also have pannus which is an eye problem that can cause blindness if not treated but dad puts special eye drops in my eyes and mom and dad bought me a pair of Doggles to wear to protect my eyes. I think I look pretty cool with those Doggles. High maintenance - I don't know about that but my doctor always calls me by my first name. She is really nice to me so I do go to see her a lot.

I love my forever family and especially my dad because he loved me when I was dirty with poop all over me and very distrusting. He constantly tells me I am a good boy and how much he loves me. Same with mom. Bozwell is the best boy and that is just fine with me as I like being good boy. I try to be by dad's side every moment of the day to show my love too. I don't know about this high maintenance stuff though....I feel pretty normal but I guess I need to think about that a little. I LOVE my family and I LOVE my forever home. Dad told me the lady at the Subway also calls herself Echo and that there is a park named after me. Makes me feel special.....


Gardening Is Tough Enough


Recently I started 24 zucchini plants inside to later transfer outside in my earth boxes. The plants had reached their growth limit inside so I planted them in the earth boxes and put them in the basement where it is warm and dry and put a grow light on them 24/7, so they would get enough light to keep growing. They did well for about three weeks getting bigger and bigger and looking very healthy. 

I had gone into town for potting mix (specified by manufacturer) at a local garden spot. I was told that this organic mix is far superior to the Miracle Grow that I usually purchase at Walmart. I was told it was potting soil and that the salesperson uses it instead of the mix in their garden boxes because the stuff at Walmart had mites and insect larvae in it which could ruin plants. If I would have stopped and thought a minute I'd realized that what I buy at Walmart has worked very well over the years. Walmart had not received their shipment yet so I went elsewhere to shop and ended up buying three bags at the new place but I should have waited for their shipment to come in. 

The earth boxes have a water reserve in the bottom and I had noted that when I would go into the basement that I was getting bites that looked like mosquito bites. After numerous bites over several days I saw a mosquito on the wall. With a foot and a half of snow on the ground, freezing temperatures and never having had a mosquito in the basement previously it took a little while to figure out they were in the potting soil and breeding in the water storage area of the earth boxes. 

I didn't know where this potting soil came from so I didn't know if it could have West Nile virus or not and didn't want to take the chance. I took the earth boxes outside where the plants promptly froze and died. See above photo.  I emptied the water from the earth boxes onto the ground where it also froze. It was several days later before I could drive back into town where I promptly bought two bags of Miracle Grow potting mix and then put the high priced potting soil into the planter in front of the house where any remaining larvae could no longer breed.  

I was impatient and bought what I should have known was wrong and ended up with a costly mistake. I now have three bags of very expensive organic potting soil in the planter out front. Two 4 cf bags of Miracle Grow was equal in price to one of the 'organic' bags that ended up in the outside planter. It doesn't pay to try to force early growth when it comes to gardening and it also doesn't pay to go against what has been proven over the years.  When the maker of the garden boxes says planting mix they sure know best because potting soil doesn't wick up water like the mix does. For the cost of one bag of potting soil those insect larvae must have been designer bugs due to the high price of the stuff. Lesson learned!!!

Monday, April 6, 2015

Rhubarb Emerges

That is three feet of hard packed snow that has finally retreated far enough for the rhubarb plant to come forth. Rhubarb has deep roots so it is ready as soon as there is an open area to do so. We have two other rhubarb plants but they are still under all that snow and ice. I also noticed yesterday that the spinach seed I planted in the garden box has started to sprout and also peek up from its winter slumber. Those seeds have been buried under feet of snow and inches of ice and as soon as it melts off they come to life. I love the spring time when new life starts to appear. 


Sunday, April 5, 2015

Bozwell


Hello! My name is Bozwell McElmurray and I'm the oldest boy in our family. I'll be 8 years old next month and I love my family and our lives together. I originally came from the mid-west and my family there didn't take care of me and so I learned to open the back gate and let myself out. I thought it would be better to be on my own than live where I wasn't wanted. They didn't even look for me for a month and a half. I didn't get to be on my own long as I was picked up by animal control. I wasn't really suited for street life at nine months old and put up with a lot of abuse on the streets and was scared all the time. Living on the street in a big city was scary with all the vehicles and people yelling at me, not to mention I was always hungry and felt alone. I had an accident while I was on my own where I have a very long scar on my foot to show for it. I'm glad I am safe with my forever family now.

I was put in an animal shelter that was killing others like me but they kept changing my name and moving me around to save me. Finally some guy with a large truck came and picked me up and drove me all the way to Colorado where I went to a nice rescue. My new parents picked me up there 2-3 days later and life has been really good since then. My new forever family treats me like a king and I love it here and I love them. I miss my older sister Gypsy sometimes as she and I were very close but she got real old and died. I do miss her sometimes though.

When I was on the street I got giardia but that was cured with medicine. I was also pretty weak and even had to have help getting into the back of the Jeep when I went to live with my new family. My mom and dad thought I had allergies to something that kept me itching a lot. They tried different foods, allergy medicine, and a lot of other things.They had some expensive allergy tests done and actually I'm not allergic to anything but just get anxious some time so I itch. It wasn't a bad deal though when they were trying all those different foods because they were delicious.

Mom and dad tell me I'm the best boy ever and I know that is the highest compliment since I have seen the photo of one of the family called Ben who must have died before I came to live here.  I know how much they loved him and how smart they say he was. I know how much they loved him so if I'm the best boy ever that means a lot to me.  I love it when they tell me I'm the best boy ever and work hard to prove I am the best boy ever.

Life is very good here and the food is good too. I love my mom, dad, sister and younger brother. He was on his own too and the stories he tells me - all I can say is - wow - I didn't have it bad at all. I love it here and like my position as 'best boy ever'. Life is really good....and I love my family a lot.

Friday, April 3, 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Meet Sarah - The Sweetest Girl Ever


Hello!!!! My name is Sarah McElmurray. I just came back from a short walk and my dad took my picture even though I'm pretty camera shy. I will be 11 years old this August and my folks tell me I'm not showing my age at all. When I was adopted I was scared of just about everything and very shy. In fact when I first met mom and dad I greeted them and then ran and hid under the porch. I didn't want to do that because what if they didn't like me and adopted someone else. Not much to worry about because they immediately loved me and have loved me ever since. I'm doing much better now days. My mom and dad have really made my self esteem better and helped me overcome my fears and I'm now what they call a normal loving girl. They say I'm the sweetest and most gentle girl they have ever known. I think they are right because I try to get along with everyone. I even come out to greet visitors now and I am not scared any more.

I had a scare a couple years ago where I suddenly went blind but I was one of the very few ever recorded who had their sight restored again. Mom and dad and my doctor all said it was miracle. They said I had SARD's which is non reversible and non treatable. Mom and dad say I was cured because of all the people I don't even know who were praying for me. It was a miracle I'm sure because suddenly I was blind and a few weeks later I could see again. My doctor and the eye specialist said my condition was not reversible and couldn't explain how it happened that I recovered my sight.  I love my mom and dad and two brothers.

I also have vagus nerve spasm but since mom and dad have helped me not be so scared anymore that doesn't happen any more. When I would get a spasm I couldn't breathe but mom and dad knew how to calm me down and I would then be able to breathe again. Now that was pretty scary when I had one of those spasms.

My mom and dad have worked with me over the years and I'm glad I was rescued when I was four years old. My first mom and dad seemed nice but my first dad was going to shoot my sister and myself for playing with a calf. My first mom and dad weren't very nice to my sister and I and I am glad to live with our present family. My now family treat me like a queen and spoils me rotten but I don't take advantage of it but I sure enjoy it. Even my two brothers are good to me and we play and get along well together. I'm so happy now and I love my family. One of my favorite things to do is lay on the plush rug in the mud room where the sun shines on me. It feels good just to lay in the sun and not have any worries. Life is very good for me now...

Monday, March 30, 2015

Hope

That is the end of my garden box that is just showing now that the snow has melted down a few inches. Hope that one day soon I'll be able to get some lettuce seeds planted soon. The other two garden boxes are uncovered because I shoveled them out. It took nearly half a day but the snow that was inside them is now melting so maybe I'll be able to get our garden started in those boxes sooner.

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Springtime In The Mountains

Spring time inside and outside. Each morning more and more rainbows appear. Outside the sunrises just get more spectacular each day. 
Click on the photo and it will enlarge. 

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Rainbows

When I posted our indicator of spring I mentioned that as each day progressed into spring that more rainbows appear on the ceiling. On the first day of spring one rainbow appeared to let us know that spring was here. This was today and as we get farther into the season dozens will appear and float around the room giving us a spectacular rainbow array each morning. To see the photo better just click on it to enlarge it.

Sunset In The Mountains

Sunset from out front deck. With the days getting into the high 50's the sunsets are beautiful. The mountains with the subtle evening sunlight on them and the snow capped mountains tipped in pure white. This photo was taken last night.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Signs Of Spring On Our Homestead

 Almost on cue the signs of spring show themselves when spring officially starts according to the experts. The day after spring the rainbows appear on the ceiling, chipmunks mysteriously appear, the birds reveal spring is here too. On the first day of spring we see our first robin, the gross beaks suddenly start to gather in a flock where as before they were either in pairs or single. We see an occasional insect buzzing around and most of all the snow starts to melt. We still have two feet of snow on the ground but a week ago we had four feet.
 The prism and cut glass trinket we have hanging in the triangular window in the front of our house starts to radiate rainbows on the ceiling around the first day of spring. It was right on time this year and clearly in the mountains we officially have spring. The rainbows were precisely on time this year as in past years. We don't need a calendar or astronomer to tell us when spring officially starts - we have our prism and cut glass forecaster. Our house is perfectly situated so when spring officially starts our forecaster tells us hanging in the front window.  
As we near summer this prism will have hundreds of rainbows floating all over the ceiling and it is mesmerizing to sit and watch them move around in their brilliance. It is SPRING now at our home..

Friday, March 13, 2015

Starting From Scratch - Would We Do It Again?

Check out the latest blog at: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/homesteading-remotely-would-we-do-it-again-zbcz1503.aspx

Would we do it again if we had the chance. Starting from raw land to a functional homestead is a tremendous amount of work. Check out the blog at the above link to see just a little of what is involved.