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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.

Order Of Life by Sakoieta'

There is an order to life that was established long, long ago. It contains all the truths of the universe. Universal truths that are true physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. I am always amused at how much people, will rather than accept these truths, put their own thoughts and ideas forward as a perceived truth, as if that really makes any difference to the long ago established truths. Some of the things that were established, our Elders who have lived before us have shared this information from generation to generation merely verifying the existence of these truths. So we have a choice, either believing in them or spending a lot of time foolishly arguing against them or about them

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Tribute To The Dog by George Graham Vest

George Graham Vest (1830-1904) served as U.S. Senator from Missouri from 1879 to 1903 and became one of the leading orators and debaters of his time. This delightful speech is from an earlier period in his life when he practiced law in a small Missouri town. It was given in court while representing a man who sued another for the killing of his dog. During the trial, Vest ignored the testimony, and when his turn came to present a summation to the jury, he made the following speech and won the case.
Gentlemen of the Jury: The best friend a man has in the world may turn against him and become his enemy. His son or daughter that he has reared with loving care may prove ungrateful. Those who are nearest and dearest to us, those whom we trust with our happiness and our good name may become traitors to their faith. The money that a man has, he may lose. It flies away from him, perhaps when he needs it most. A man's reputation may be sacrificed in a moment of ill-considered action. The people who are prone to fall on their knees to do us honor when success is with us, may be the first to throw the stone of malice when failure settles its cloud upon our heads.
The one absolutely unselfish friend that man can have in this selfish world, the one that never deserts him, the one that never proves ungrateful or treacherous is his dog. A man's dog stands by him in prosperity and in poverty, in health and in sickness. He will sleep on the cold ground, where the wintry winds blow and the snow drives fiercely, if only he may be near his master's side. He will kiss the hand that has no food to offer. He will lick the wounds and sores that come in encounters with the roughness of the world. He guards the sleep of his pauper master as if he were a prince. When all other friends desert, he remains. When riches take wings, and reputation falls to pieces, he is as constant in his love as the sun in its journey through the heavens.
If fortune drives the master forth, an outcast in the world, friendless and homeless, the faithful dog asks no higher privilege than that of accompanying him, to guard him against danger, to fight against his enemies. And when the last scene of all comes, and death takes his master in its embrace and his body is laid away in the cold ground, no matter if all other friends pursue their way, there by the graveside will the noble dog be found, his head between his paws, his eyes sad, but open in alert watchfulness, faithful and true even in death.

Friday, March 6, 2015

Friendship by Sakoieta'

Friendship has always been a sacred responsibility and a sacred relationship between two or more people. Sadly so many people have lost the understanding and meaning of true friendship. It doesn’t mean being a part time friend or a fair weather friend. It is a relationship where two or more people are in a trusting relationship and strive to support each other and stand by each other. They are to always show respect for each other but if need be address behaviors in a positive way. Never the less they remain friends. They know how easy it is to get off center and forgive each other whether they deserve it or not. Friends also have high expectations for each other, maybe even higher than what one has of themselves. When we have someone we can trust who stands with us in all types of weather, that connection becomes a peaceful and solid relationship that never gets old or outdated and being that type of friend to someone is a very good and sacred responsibility.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

High Altitude Gardening

The challenges of gardening at high elevation. Check it out at: http://www.motherearthnews.com/homesteading-and-livestock/gardening-at-high-elevation-zbcz1503.aspx

Dealing With Others - by Sakoieta'

Dealing with other people has always been an area where we need to exercise caution but also keep in mind that people may be hurting and it is sometimes our responsibility to let them find their voice to speak. But when it comes to someone who is angry, spoiled or nasty and they want to spray, burn and make everyone they see pay for their anger. Don’t allow it. We need to recognize their anger is their problem and they alone should be smart enough to know how ridiculous it is to throw it at everyone they see or talk to. We then need to go on with our life, but still be somewhat attentive. We need to allow them to deal with the situation at hand. I was told once, "If you make a speech in anger it is the greatest speech you will ever live to regret."

Friday, February 27, 2015

2-27-2015/Carol

We got a foot of snow Monday/Tuesday and another foot overnight...and still coming down. These are for those of you who love snow pics!! They are taken from the deck of our woodshed.




Trying To All Be Alike by Sakoieta'


It seems like people always want to be the first to know, the first to do when it comes to new fads, clothing styles, diet programs, etc. But when there is a rush off to do what everyone else does, to dress as everyone else does, to diet as everyone else does, we may find ourselves very unsatisfied in the long run because we didn't really do a full self assessment to actualize what is it we really need and what really nourishes our being and our soul. We have all been created individually and there is nothing wrong with saying no to the fads and wearing, eating, or dressing in a manner that makes us feel totally competent to present ourselves as just that, ourselves as a whole, complete human being.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Millions Of Ice Cycles

One of the subtle beauties following a major snow storm are the ice cycles that hang all over the trees. When the sunlight catches them just right they sparkle and make it magical. This morning the sun is behind the clouds, off and on, so I couldn't catch it just right but the photo shows the ice cycles none the less. Another foot of snow predicted for tonight so I need to brandish the snow shovel and make room for the incoming snow.

Our area is also in the avalanche warning area. About the only avalanche we see is the one coming off the steep roof of our A-Frame cabin. When that wall of snow hits you it can knock you right off your feet. At best it just goes down your collar which is very stimulating.  Winter in the mountains has finally arrived and our shirt sleeve weather seems gone for a while.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

New Snow Photos

 We received 24" of fresh snow and it is very welcome. It is that time of winter that the snow is built up along the driveway to about 8' snow banks and the snow thrower can't get it over the top and is slides right back down. Now the winter work really begins. Shovel down the snow banks and then push them down hill.
Even the back yard where the dogs go potty is down to a single lane around the back yard. Next storm is due tomorrow...

Sunday, February 22, 2015

First Snow Photos

 It is still snowing and we have a little over a foot of fresh snow so far. The forecast is for the snow to continue through tonight and stop mid day tomorrow with another 20" possible. Certainly nothing we are not used to and can deal with.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Weather Experiment On Forecasters

The forecasters all agreed that we would have a 90% chance of snow starting at 11:00 AM today. Now six hours later and the skies are blue with a few billowy white clouds floating around. In Denver the news shows heavy snow on the front range but so far here it has been a very pleasant day.

I don't think the forecasters will be wrong for long but so far the forecast they still have up is that we were to receive snow this morning and we have not seen a flake yet. Perhaps they are not wrong but just off on their timing. I think this goes to show that often the weather people do have trouble predicting weather in the mountains.

Friday, February 20, 2015

Weather Forecast - Accurate???

The weather forecasters have predicted 18-28" of new snow for our area. This will be a good test since they are all in agreement. We have had forecasts like this before and did not receive a flake. Usually they are all different in their predictions but in this case they all are pretty much in agreement with each other. A few years ago we had a forecast like this and when the last flake fell we had 72" of new snow. That took a while to dig out from but usually 2-3' is not out of the ordinary and nothing to get alarmed about.

Receiving 28" of snow can be daunting if you live in a city but here it is just something to deal with. I'm posting this now to check the accuracy of the forecasters before the storm arrives so in a few days I'll post the results. In the mountains getting it right for the weather people is really tough. I do feel they are right in this case because the birds are really chowing down on the sunflower seeds we put out for them and the suet is really going fast. Birds and animals know when something is going to happen and are good indicators in my humble opinion. I trust them more than a program in a computer in Pueblo or Denver. Stay tuned for those of you hoping to one day live in the mountains and I'll try to post some photo's. I think the weather people are right this time and I hope folks will enjoy photos of a big snow storm - especially if they don't have to shovel it.

Elements Of A Good Relationship by Sakoieta'

Control is a touchy subject for most people since most people believe they have the right to do anything and say anything they wish and that no one has the right to challenge that. I look to the three precepts of the Two Row Wampum when I think about control. Between two parties there was the understanding that control and relationships would be bound in Peace, Mutual Respect, and Friendship. If a people love and respect themselves, they will love and respect others as well. Do good to others but also do good to yourself. We need to constantly stop and think what we look like and what our actions look like to others. Do we exemplify Peace, Mutual Respect and Friendship or are we seen as being over bearing, stubborn and selfish? Is our nature to get what we want by treading on the feelings and beliefs of others? Kindness only takes a few minutes and heals many wounds. We can always show respect for all people and then if need be with Peace, Mutual Respect and Friendship address inappropriate behaviors and actions.

Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Words Of Peace - by Sakoieta'

More and more, especially with the internet, it is important for people to think before they speak. Once words are spoken they can never be retracted. I really appreciated the teachings I was given with the flute when I was learning to play. I was told our words should be like the breathe we put forth into the flute, very soft making beautiful music. If we breathe with too great a force the flute will squeak and not make the beautiful music it was designed to do, that same with especially when we talk to our female relatives and partner in a strong voice the words are harsh and unloving or kind. The words we speak can either give life to people or take it away. The choice of speaking with words of beauty or harshly is and always has been ours to choose.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Finally Winter Has Arrived

 This is more normal weather today with the new accumulation of 16" of fresh light snow. The 15 MPH wind and the 10 degree temperature makes it pretty cold outside. We were beginning to wonder if winter would ever arrive this year but finally it made an appearance. It is suppose to warm up to 28 degrees later today which will make it less chilling.
I know what I'll be doing the rest of the day today - clearing snow is pretty high up the list of to-do's.
By my rough count we now have a total of 122" of snow which is not quite half average snowfall for us. We are not worried yet because we still have at least 10 weeks of snow season left.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Marijuana

Check out the latest blog on Mother Earth News about the 'great social experiment' regarding marijuana. While there are many positives on this plant and the revenue it brings into the state it does have some draw backs that either were not anticipated or not disclosed to the voters. There are some down sides and the article points out a few of them. http://www.motherearthnews.com/nature-and-environment/legalized-marijuana-zbcz1502.aspx

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Winter In The Mountains


Winter in the mountains is pretty consistent from year to year. We may get more or less snow but the way it happens is consistent. It can be 50 degrees one day and below zero the next. It can be nice and pleasant outside when we go to bed and we will wake up to a foot or more of snow. Weather forecasters are frequently wrong in trying to predict mountain weather. We brace for a major storm and get nothing or we expect nice weather and get significant snowfall.
What is consistent is following the snow we usually get windy conditions that drifts and blows the snow in various places. After we initially clear the snow over the next few days we are clearing it again due to the wind. In the winter moving snow out of the way seems like a never ending process. Coupled with our fluctuating temperatures which put a crust on the snow we can't afford not to keep pushing it back frequently. Failure to keep it pushed back can result in being slowly closed in by snow storms. Some piles of snow will get to 8' deep or more.
What is consistent is the snow happening and the wind that moves it around where it has to be moved again. Wind in the mountains is ever present and something that we are reconciled to deal with.

Wednesday, February 11, 2015

An Additional 12" Of New Snow

Spent the day moving snow and should sleep well tonight. That is Carol the Professional Snow Shoveler out back moving snow. This brings our total snow fall this year to 102" which is 162" below average. We need more snow so Boston can send us all that snow they don't know what to do with - we will take it. We need snow to keep our water table up and to cut down on wildfires. While some complain about the snow to us here in the mountains it is vital.

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Focus by Sakioeta'

Lately there have been so many things happening that have really caused me to examine my focus in life. Focus, so important to use so that we know where our energies are best spent. It is so easy to lose track of that and come to the realization that so much has been offered to so many and that it seldom gets reciprocated. There are just times we need to stop, think, focus on what has been our main course in life and even if we have to refocus and suddenly take a different path than the one we have walked on all of our life, that we just need to do that realizing that is where we are at in our life, with ourselves, relationships and direction. These are things that we sometimes become aware of by ourselves and at other times just trying to work with people in a good way without that happening, helps us to make the change and refocus.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Duct Tape Dog

Seems like one thing or another. Echo had to have surgery to remove four cysts and one had become infected. That one required several stitches to close the opening. The surgery was on the side he usually lays on and he got the wound to bleed so I had to put a 4 X 4" bandage onto him. The surgical tape, cloth tape and adhesive tape all did not hold and the bandage would fall off his side. Carol suggested Duct tape and so we tried it and it worked great. He also can't get it off to lick his side. When we took him to the vet yesterday she also thought it was a great idea.

The collar we bought for him to keep from reaching his side was put on according to directions and worked until some snow got under it around his neck. Then it rubbed his neck raw in a place so we had to take it off for his neck and side to heal. Even without the collar the duct tape keeps his wound dry and safe.

We also noticed his eye was looking a little different so back he went yesterday. The diagnosis is pannus which is an eye disease that can lead to blindness if not treated. Living at a high elevation and the snow with its brightness plus the ultraviolet rays both contribute. The German Shepherd breed has a pre disposition to this disease and while it effects other dogs it effects mostly the German Shepherd Dog and Border Collie breeds and Colorado is a prime location for it to occur.

It is not curable but treatable. Two of our German Shepherd Dogs have it and when it starts showing signs of happening we have to put drops in their eyes to keep them from going blind. It was first discovered in Colorado and Austria but now is found in other places. Pannus is more widespread now days but remains prevalent in Colorado. In the summer and winter with the snow glare are the worst times but we have a pair of Doggles which are tinted that they can wear if they are going to be outside more than a few minutes. That is rare that they are outside more than 4-5 minutes and with the Doggles and eye drops they should be fine.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Down Side Of Legalized Marijuana


I don't like to post topics of any controversy on our blog site but this psychedelic painted building is smack dab in the middle of historic Ft. Garland a small western town that has a population of 433 citizens. This is the second pot shop that has opened in this small town and they now bracket the high school. Ft. Garland is a small western town that is rich with history and its main attraction is the old fort that protected the early settlers against attacks and was commanded by none less than Kit Carson.

There is a third pot shop that is opening next to this tourist attraction and the historic scenic railroad site. It will be a grow and sell pot shop. They are putting the third pot shop in a historic register building. Now when visitors from all over the world come to visit this historic site they can take 100 steps next door and buy their pot from what used to be Hogland's a historic building. Hogland's has been next to the old fort as long as the fort has been there.

This isn't about the pro and con of legalized marijuana but about the down side which was not made known when those advocating legalized marijuana were convincing the voters to adopt the new law. Our little quiet town has now become a bastion of vagrants who have migrated here due to its small size and equally small law enforcement presence. Ft. Garland used to be a town with good family values and no crime to speak of. We have recently had one of our small businesses robbed at gun point -something here to fore unheard of - and we were told by one resident that they are now having to keep driving off vagrants from their yard and property.

Denver is bemoaning that the heavy influx of homeless people who have come to Colorado for the "legal" marijuana and have swamped their social  system to the point they can't help those in actual need anymore. Then we have two adjoining States who are suing our State because of increased law enforcement needed because of pot crossing into their states where it is still illegal. A third state is contemplating whether to also join the suit. It is still illegal according to the Federal Government. One thing we citizens were not told is the large market of consumables that would grow from the new "legalized" pot industry. There are daily reports of children having to go to the ER for consuming what they think is candy only to find out it is look alike candy laced with marijuana.

Statistics are now being released that those who have smoked marijuana in the last week have twice the chance of being involved in a traffic accident. That it causes temporary memory loss. It is showing up in schools at alarming rates. Those are just a few of the many down sides of legalizing pot. The revenue it provides is excellent but at what cost? Regretfully we voters were not told of the down side only all the money it would bring to the economy. Our streets are now filled with homeless vagrants which are draining resources for those in actual need. Our children are getting seriously sick consuming marijuana eatables that they think is normal candy when it is only made to look like regular candy.  Our state is struggling on how to label it so people won't get it by accident. Crime to pay for drug habits is on the increase. Drivers are slowly weaving all over the road being high on marijuana. Advocates claim it has medical value and doctors claim the opposite. Advocates say it is less harmful than alcohol. Opponents say it is a gateway drug that leads to more serious drug use. Personally I do not know who is correct but what I do know is that having three pot shops in a city with a population of 433 isn't doing the community a bit of good. As we drove home from the vet today with our dog Echo we saw a man with probably 20 garbage bags and plastic crates in Ft. Garland. He is known as a vagrant and lives on a street corner asking people for marijuana. I see our quaint and historic city heading down due to one pot shop for every 144 citizens. Parents who have for years tried to keep their children off drugs now have pot shops within walking distance of their homes and schools. All this at what cost??? Is it really in the best interest of small communities like ours to have such a proliferation of pot shops taking over its community with buildings that are covered in psychedelic graffiti?  The jury is out but it looks to me like pot is going to destroy small communities like Ft. Garland...

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Ice Beauty

 As the snow curls off the roof it creates unique beauty to share. Two angles to see this temporary beauty.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Snow

Moving another 8" of snow - which is a total of 90" year to date. We have a lot of catching up to do if we make our average snowfall of 264".

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Echo's Sebaceous Cyst Removal - Poor Boy

Our boy Echo had four sebaceous cysts removed by our Vet yesterday. He is looking a little disoriented here wondering how he got to go for a nice Jeep ride in the morning and in the afternoon he is back home and not sure how it all happened. This is his second go around having cysts removed and the Vet says some dogs just seem to get them and others don't. If they are not removed and the dog can lick them they become infected pretty fast and grow large. We watch him carefully for their presence and unfortunately one had been licked and had gotten pretty large. When dogs have thick undercoats it is sometimes hard to detect them. He is in a collar that goes around his neck and is suppose to keep him from licking his stitches. We will see if it works. Today he is back to his old self except for the limits the collar.
The above is a cyst on a dog with little under fur.  The cyst is easier to find when the family member doesn't have thick underfur. I had checked Echo very carefully before going to the vet and when there we found two more which were undetected in his thick underfur. While I was waiting for the anesthesia to kick in I went over him again and found two more which means he doesn't need to go back any time soon. The Vet reconfirmed that Echo is clearly a high maintenance guy and I wouldn't even try to dispute that. He is at the Vet's more than our other two combined. If you have fur family check them for these cysts as they can get infected in a couple days if not removed. 

Saturday, January 24, 2015

snow forts/by Carol

One of my friends from back in the day were talking about snow fall and she mentioned the snow forts we used to build out of the piles at the end of the driveways after they had been plowed. Those snow forts sure were fun. I remember one time my sister and I were building one and it was to be "L" shaped. We wondered how much further we had to go so I was in one part and she was in the other. The way we were going to measure is she was going to poke a broom stick through the "wall". She sure did...right onto my nose! It was probably the first time I swore out loud! Makes me smile just thinking of it but at the time there was no smiling! Ah, memories from the good old days........

Friday, January 23, 2015

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 22, Snow

 We woke up to a foot of fresh snow today and it was 6 degrees outside. It is a light snow and easy to move and shovel. That makes a total of 82" of snow this snow season which is less than average which is 264" for the winter snow season. We have 182" to go for this season to meet average. With roughly 3 more months to go that means we need to get 60" of snow each month to achieve average snowfall. 5' per month is not out of the question but that adds up to 15' over the next 3 months. We have been enjoying very seasonable weather for us and have been able to work outside during the day in shirt sleeves which is highly unusual.
 the above photo shows the picnic area where yesterday we had a cowboy breakfast because the snow was not a problem. Timing is everything when you live in the mountains.
It is hard to look at that sky without sun glasses as it is so blue and contrasts the snow covered mountain side. We clearly live in a beautiful place but the weather is very unpredictable and often brutal.  We are thankful for the snow because it provides the needed moisture required the rest of the year.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015