Oct 30, 2010

November 2

My favorite celebration day!
Do you celebrate?

Oct 26, 2010

Exciting times my friends

Last night we added to our collection.

The kids thought it fitting that our pumpkin family had the same number of members as our human family.
And we needed a dog.

So there we are. The five of us.

Wondrous things were going on under the cover of dark..........

While we slept this happened

I started the morning with a happy dance.
Took pictures.
Looked on-line at the cameras the road department has placed
on top of the passes.
Saw that the roads had been plowed.
7" of snow. SEVEN.INCHES!!!!
Did many more happy dances.
Went down into the crawl space and retrieved my ski boots.
To the ski shop I must (read, get to) go!

Oct 13, 2010

Flying away

Yesterday, Saturday, our family went out.
Off the mountain and into town.
We were soaking up the last bits of warmish weather.
When we left the house at 10am the temperature read 37-degrees F.
Not so warm.
The geese were rallying their flocks as they were circling the grain fields
setting their compasses for the long flight south.

We adjusted our flight north in search of adventures ~

It was one of the last of the farmers market's for the season.
A time that always makes me sad.
Saying goodbye to those who I see weekly and feed my family off their land.
I will miss the ritual of market.
And the fresh food.
The farmers are tired and ready for winters rest.
They deserve to put their feet up and take a break.
I guess I am ready to put my boots on and do some sliding,
as I may have mentioned, I love skiing!

Harvest celebrations were being held at many different farms.
We choose one and went to partake in the celebration.
Our local farmer had hauled in his pumpkin harvest and was selling them.
They were in four different sections - Small($5), Medium($6), Large($7) and Extra Large($8)
We choose two from the large section, carried them out to the car and went on to enjoy the rest of the festivities at the farm.
Which included wagon hay rides, live bluegrass music, bobbing for apples, pumpkin carving-for those so inclined, apple pressing and of course fresh apple cider, bee keepers collecting fresh honey(free samples!) and pony rides.

Even with the wrath of heavy frost I still find beauty in this sunflower.
It's head turned down. Sun at her back.
Sad to see Summer and her warmth go.

The precision with which the bees create is amazing.
Mind blowing.

Great day together as a family.


Fall has firmly planted her feet on my valley.
You can feel her presence in the way the grasses along the ponds blow west, instead of their summer lean towards south,
in the way colors are starting to show on the mountain sides
and tree lined river banks.

We have had our first nights of heavy frost.
Frost that left us scrambling in the morning to find the ice scrapers,
ice scrapers that will now reside inside the vehicles
till late May or early June.
Frost that made all things green and growing in the garden a desperate
shade of blackish-green.
And all that was looking up for so long, now looks down to the earth
in such a longingly way.

Our first sightings of snow on the peaks
have brought great joy and excitement.
These are just the type of clouds that we will be needing
to fill our mountains with snow.

The light shows and productions that have been put on by the
clouds have been stunning.

But before winter slides in for the next five months,
a little fall action

Heading into town for an evening game

A beautiful setting for a soccer game

Our #10 in motion

As we headed home from the game, the sun had set
and the temperature had dropped
to a balmy 38 degrees.

I'm glad we only have two more week of this.
It is freaking cold standing on the side lines.

Oct 8, 2010


I wonder how many garments this machine
sewed in the years it was used?
The patterns laying on the table were labeled Trousers.

This summer one of our family adventures was to an abandoned town.
Left amazingly in tact.
I was overwhelmed with strong urges to back
the truck up and start loading.
There were so many treasures.
Of course, I did not.

I was in awe by the sense of place.

As if one day everybody just decided to get up and leave.
Taking very little.
What struck me and really blew me over was the respect that has been shown by all of us strangers who have walked through their lives and
been blessed to peak back into a simpler time,
and left it there.

How many people made love on this bed,
took a sip of water during the night,
relieved themselves?

This was a hotel/boarding house for the workers in the area
The rooms were tiny and the walls were thin.
B said the wood slats were less than one half inch thick.
Apply cloth wall coverings to each side and that was it.
No insulation. I can't imagine the cold in the winter.
Imagine conversations and the eves dropping one could do.

I loved the feel of this kitchen.
I could imagine the hustle and bustle of busy meal times.
But wondered out here, out in the middle of the mountains where did they get there ingredients.
What did they cook?
I would imagine wild game was on the menu quite often.
Did they have huge gardens and preserve?
How often would they take the horses and mules into town to
That trip must of taken at least two days in and two days back.
At the very least!
It took us, on modern roads with our spiffy modern truck,
just over 2 hours to drive from the closest re-ration town to here.
Back in the day when this town was in full swing there were no roads! Only trails on which four legged animals moved what ever was needed or produced in the town.

Pffft, simpler times my ass.

Which brings us to these....
...why is it that OLD outhouses always have side by side seats?
Was it common to want to take a piss or a crap next to someone.
Makes no sense to me.
But a least the seats are pink(ish)!!

My boy wanted to go in all the tunnels.

Lots of conversations were had about safety, how things deteriorate and how to make wise choices in choosing whether to do something.
Or not.
So we compromised and came to the agreement that looking in the first few feet on some was okay.
He loved it!

Not a bad view from the couch

B and Miss I checking out a house

The kids were impressed at how close the mine shaft was to the house.
We figured it was the best way to protect the miners work and investment.

Stream Crossings, old tar paper, moss and summer shoes.

B checking out a tunnel that was started
but for some reason was abandoned

Every time we saw a new place we stopped
and got out and looked around.
Made up stories of who lived here.
Why they chose this remote area.
Why they left.

We had a great day!

Then we headed home.

Thankful for all of our modern amenities.
Especially the toilets!!

Oct 6, 2010

Three Things ~ In my opinion

1. Beer should be consumed fresh.

Straight from a brewery. I would include wine, but grapes are not known to grow very well at my elevation. But would love to be able to buy that too!

Every town, village, community, borough whatever you call your surrounding place, lets say within 38 miles, should have a local brewer. Then hopefully you will have a farmer or a local co-op with a way of procuring locally grown barley (malted of course) and if possible fresh local hops.

No cans. No freaking glass! No pasteurization shit. Just the fine elixir of life. Pure and real. In half gallon refillable containers. 2 or 3 at a time. Or as one dear lady does, fill up at least 6 every week. One of each on tap. All the girls moan and run when they see the milk crates bearing empty growlers.

And for crap's sake no damn fruit in the brew!!! {Though just to be honest, I once asked the brewer to brew a coconut porter....let that sink in.....it was incredible, that is if you like coconut, which I do VERY much and if you like porter which I'm not so fond of. But ohhh my that is one fruit that once a year in very skilled hands is a treat to partake of.}

[Oh, and I like stickers]

And for reality and truth....I have full growlers in my refrigerator right now. Sitting along side a few cans and glass bottles of beer.
One does NOT take glass of any sort on the river, so cans are used. Often.


2. Our neighboring community scarecrows were the best!!

This won Peoples choice

And why wouldn't it!??!!!

The sign reads - All in a day's work!

Fantastic! Well done local vet folks. Well done!


3. My home is beautiful

One of the views from my backyard

Summer discoveries with the family

A view of my daily drive, thought not normally wrapped in a lovely blanket of fog.

Do not swerve. Look down. Meet oncoming traffic, because if you do, one of you is going to backing up. Very.Carefully!

My favorite roof line
From my favorite barn
Proportions are just right, so is the dilapidation

Oct 4, 2010

{this moment}

This is where I long to be

Oct 1, 2010

Tonight's Sunset


Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Sep 30, 2010

Now is the time

This week has been one of the nicest of the summer.
Even though it is now fall.
Our summer weather was odd.
And now our fall weather is odd - in a nice way.
The sun has decided to shine her smiling face and warm us up as we prepare for the cold.
Even though I would like to see the snow accumulating up in the mountains. I know it will come.
I'm trusting Mama Nature to do it up right this winter and give us a glorious spanking of snow on a daily basis. Please.

Out of respect for all of Miss Nature's efforts in boggling our minds with exceptional days, beautiful colors and nights that still beg for windows to be left open so she can wander in and out of rooms gathering a last glimpse before we shut our windows to Winter, I have been playing...

B and I took out the motorbikes and cruised 178 miles
Smiles and smiles all on dirt roads through the mountains

I took a day trip to a lake with a new friend.
No kids. Gosset champagne. Sunny skies. Warm gentle breeze.

She laughed when she saw me taking these pictures, but not as hard as when I pulled out the glassware. Silly girl thought we would be enjoying our beverage out of paper cups.
Ewwwwwww ~ Indeed NOT!
I may have been born and lived my whole life here in the sparse world of amenities and refinement. But I know how to have a good time and that we did.

The trees are just starting to show us their colors.
Disrobing just for us.
I tried not to stare, but that was hardly possible.
Such beauty all around us.
Each time we rounded another bend in the road and caught a new glimpse of the lake we remarked about the beauty of where we live.
Stunning really. Living here in this general place my whole life I forget to take it all in on a daily basis and revel in the place that is my home.

We sat for a long time talking and sitting in comfortable silence listening to the 'waves' lapping at the shore. I made mental notes to bring the family here next summer. Many times. It is so worth the drive.
We ate lunch at a great little dive restaurant with a quirky menu and an even more interesting wine list.
Made a quick stop into a brewery. Had the worst flavored beer I have ever tried. I just don't understand the whole fruit in beer crap. I'll take hops. Lots of them, please.

On the drive home got stuck for just under and hour as the brilliant ranchers moved several hundred head of cows across the highway (2 lanes) and then proceeded to have to chase several juveniles who had decided that they would skip out of the herd.
Perhaps on a Wednesday at 4:30pm is NOT the time to do this. There isn't a whole hell of a lot of rush hour traffic, but I'm thinking 1o:30 in the morning when school buses are not trying to take kids home and folks are not trying to get home from town might be a better option. Just saying. I'm no rancher, but...
This nutty mayhem resulted in my missing of my boys soccer game and my friend being very late to pick up her boy from his sitters.
Thankfully we were laughing the whole time. Not much else we could do. Getting all pissy wouldn't have helped the cows cooperate any better. So we had fun.

Aug 31, 2010

Fall is nearly here....then comes WINTER!

{ my boy heading up the trail}

This summer we have spent many hours walking trails, riding bikes, floating rivers, climbing rocks, sitting stream-side, going to the lake and best of all being together.
It has been fun to have the both kids at an age where they can walk into the mountain lakes, ride for miles and we all have fun.
The complaining is very minimal.
Which is SO nice.
Makes me want to get up early pack up our packs with food, water and GO.
I like going.
A lot.

On this particular day we headed up a trail for a walk, it was only a few miles into our destination so Chaco's were the footwear needed instead of heavy duty hiking boots. Plus we needed water worthy shoes, for we were headed to the most amazing natural water slides.
Well, maybe not the most amazing.
I have seen photographs of natural water slides on tropical islands. And those, with their warm water, SMOOTH rocks and tropical flowers blooming, must be most amazing.
But for us and where we live, we were excited to go slide down bumpy granite slabs of rock and splash into icy cold pools.
On a hot day and after a 3 mile hike they sure seemed amazing to me.
Or maybe that was the nips of Sauza while trekking up the trail.
Who knows.

What fun we had!
In the midst of all the fun, I forgot to take pictures of the water slides.
Oh, well.

At least we didn't leave our sunglasses sitting on a bed of moss along side the trail.
The Boy was concerned for the person who had left them.
Sweet he is.

After we had all the cold water we could take, we headed down the trail towards home.

I love the contrast between the rocks on the trail and foliage of the trees.
Hard and cold. Soft and warm.

My trail gear...sun hat, backpack, water bottle, sun glasses and camera.

This summer has been great.
Thank you summer. We have enjoyed playing with you.

(I am starting to look forward to winter.....SKIING!!!!!)

Aug 28, 2010

Remember when I

said that there were no forests fires.
Well, we now have several.
Great. Let the sneezing and watering eyes begin.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry

Aug 26, 2010

Thursday Sunset

Laundry on the line.
Sun setting across the valley.
What a spectacular way to end a fine day.

We took in another hike up into the mountains today. Splashed in the icy waters and hung out.
Maybe pictures later, who knows.

On belay? Belay on. Climbing! Climb on.

After they braved the 40 minute drive up the side of the mountain. Navigated all of the switch-backs and managed to park their cars...
We asked them to walk out to the overlook and hang out till we started the wedding.

The topic at hand...where was the groom??!?

Of course, I knew.
I was smiling.

I knew that 70 feet below the ledge, my man was roping up*, getting ready to make his final climb as a single man. His good friend JB had surprised him by making the trip from the east coast to belay* him on our wedding day.
B was surprised. I was delighted*.

(* B had wanted to solo the climb that day, meaning climb up with no ropes. No protection.
I said "what the hell are you thinking????!!!!!!!!!!!! No way in HELL are you doing any such thing!"
Then, I quickly got on the phone and enlisted help from his climbing partners)

I know many of the activities B loves involve risk. A lot of risk.
I'm okay with that.
I was not okay with that kind of risk on our wedding day.
Nope, I'm an odd one that way.

After what seemed like an eternity, this is what everybody saw.
(And when my snot started flowing)

His Grandmothers wanted to kill him and smother him with kisses all at once.
I was proud and anxious to have him next to me.
We had told no one of this plan, the climb.
People freaked out, but in a good way.

B in a tux, harness, shoes and a chalk bag = SEXY!

Our wedding day is still discussed and talked about by all who were there.
It was all rather unusual, but then so are B & I.
We like it that way.

This one is for you Eleanor, thanks for asking!