Friday, June 26, 2015

Tale of a Tree - and what a tale to tell!

While we were visiting the grand baby we received a text message from our house sitter asking if we had dug around one of our trees. What? We asked her to send a picture.

How very odd! Our Blue Spruce seemed to have sunk about three feet into the ground.

Uh oh!

Just before we left for our San Francisco trip I turned on the irrigation system for the first time this season. Apparently something terrible had gone wrong with the system. Mr. Dreamy called the sprinkler guy and he stopped in to check on the system. Nope. Not his problem. All is working as it should.
Our next thought was that we had a leak in the water line that runs from the well to the house. However, our housesitter dutifully checked on the pressure on the tank, and reported that the pump wasn't running.
So, perhaps the sinkhole was an aftereffect of our rainy spring and most recently, a 3 inch rainfall in less than an hour.
When we arrived home we looked at our sunken tree and scratched our heads. It didn't make sense....
until Mr. Dreamy checked the historic aerial photos on Google Earth... and talked to neighbors... and found out that the existing farmhouse on the property was located in that area, and was burned down in 1993 prior to the construction of our home.

Aerial photo from the 50's.
The farm house was located to the left of the drive.
No buildings from this photo remain.

Current satellite photo.
If you look at the new house relative to the trees
which appear in both photos, 
you can see that the farm house was behind our home.

The firemen were invited to practice and the burned remains were pushed into the earthen basement and covered with soil. Over the years things began to disintegrate, allowing the soil to compact or wash away with all of our rain. We have a bonafide sinkhole in our yard!

When I put lights on the tree at Christmas, I needed a pole to get to the top.

Mr. Dreamy begins to excavate.

We took turns digging where the tractor couldn't reach.

The hole grows deeper.
The dirt pile  grows taller.

Getting deeper, still...

Getting wider...

More digging...
The tree was finally pulled out of the hole.

A new hole is dug.

The tree gets planted.

There is a bit of difference in height!
Our next step will be exploring the sinkhole. We have found some "artifacts" - nothing spectacular, however!

From upper left, going around clockwise:
broken plastic fork
bit of bone
plastic mouth piece for a small cigar
bottle cap
piece of a china bowl
castor wheel
metal top of jar
pieces of glass

From upper left, going around clockwise:
plastic binder "hinge"
crackled glass piece (due to the heat of the fire, perhaps?)
A small table leg - maybe a TV tray
Small pieces of 'wrinkled"
remnants of a can or package - some writing is visible
a thick piece of white porcelain - part of a toilet?
piece of metal
remnants of a carpet
a beer can
ham bone
and in the center, 
a nail
base and element of a light bulb

Lower portion of a squeeze mop

We will continue to explore our mystery sinkhole. We are curious as to what we night find. 
Wouldn't it be lovely to find a hidden treasure trove?
Probably not gonna happen!
The next challenge will be filling the hole, and ensuring that it doesn't happen again!

Thursday, June 25, 2015


My eyes went wacky today. I was playing pickleball, and noticed that I was seeing what looked like negative afterimages one would see after looking at the sun. But, since I had reached for a high shot, and had been briefly blinded by the sun, I just figured my eyes were taking their time getting back to normal.

Then, as I walked back to the car, I noticed some blurring in my peripheral vision, on the bottom edge of my left eye. I figured my sun glasses were smudged, and I trudged on to the car. However, once I got there, I realized the blurring was actually alive. I was seeing fractured shimmers, with pretty colors. It almost seemed like I was underwater, looking up at the sunlight playing on a windy surface.  Wow! thought I... how strange!

This is kinda what it looked like:

I figured that maybe, just maybe, I was dehydrated. I had just played about six games of pickleball with only one break. I grabbed my bottle of water and began to guzzle it down. The shimmering continued as I began the drive home, then it began to progress across the field of vision of my left eye and only the least bit on the right. The vision on the periphery improved as the fractured shimmers progressed toward the center of my vision in my left eye. As I drove there was a moving, crooked line of color down the center of my vision - enough to blur the white line of the road, but not much more. How annoying! How strange! And...  how (just a tiny bit) frightening.

By the time I walked into the house, about 25 minutes after first noticing this strange effect. It was gone. I hate it when things like this happen. Do I call a doctor about something that is no longer a problem? And next... what doctor do I call? Is it a problem with my brain? Is it simply my eyes? Do I see an MD, or an eye doctor? Do I wait to see if this happens again? Oh, what to do?!
I finally decided to call a local optometrist. We Dreamers had recently decided to switch to a small, local practice, but had yet to make an appointment. I explained what was happening. The receptionist explained that they had no openings until next week, but she put me on hold, and evidently talked to the Optometrist. He would make room for me within the next hour. So, off I went, feeling a bit weird about seeing a doctor while having no symptoms.

I really like the Optometrist. He was very interested in my symptoms. He was very thorough. After listening to my description of the vision impairment, and examining my eyes, he inquired as to whether I had a headache. Nope. Well, maybe just a little. Then he explained that I had experienced an ocular migraine. I had a migraine aura, without the headache. It can be brought on my bright lights and dehydration. Hmmm.... spot on! I consider myself lucky. If I must have a migraine, I'd much rather have it my way!

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Today's Post is Brought to you by the Color Purple

Storm moving in...

Ominous, purple clouds...

Baby's nursery with a purple mountain valence 
made by a happy Grandma....

Purple gardens...

Purple makes me smile.

 What about you?

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Emphasis on Breakfast

My son, daughter-in-law and their new baby live in a San Francisco-style condominium. Small. Their place is so small that before baby arrived, they hired a planner who specializes in helping people utilize their space more efficiently. Suffice it to say, unless we want to be very cozy with the new family, we can't stay there! 
Sadly, lodging in San Francisco is not convenient to my son's home, nor cheap. Heck, even the Travelodge advertised as a "cheap" hotel is $170/night! So, as hard as it is, we bite the bullet and stay at a delightful Bed and Breakfast establishment about a quarter mile from the new family. The bed part is nice. The rooms are lovely, with beautiful antiques and bric a brac, in a beautiful victorian San Francisco home. But it is the breakfasts that won me over...

The large round table in the dining room can seat up to 10 guests.

Each morning, the table is set with beautiful hand-made china.
A bowl of yummy berries, hot coffee or tea, and juice awaits.

When you finish your berries,
the breakfast arrives.

 Each day it is different.
Here are our breakfasts from our most recent trip:

Poached eggs on Black Forest ham
over a fresh Brioche from a local bakery.
Spinach & mushroom quiche, sausage
and Tartine's sour dough bread.
Asparagus and cheese bread pudding,
spinach salad and more yummy bread.
Goat cheese shuffle, home made croissant
and... sour dough bread.
Sour dough waffles (using the starter that originally belonged to the
proprietor's father) with fresh fruit, whipped cream and bacon.
the diet begins tomorrow.

Breakfast will not be much of an eye opener around here!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Who Knows Best?

I separate Malachi (the bony pony) from the herd to feed him. He is such a sweet, gentle horse that he lets anyone steal his food. I've gotten to the point where I don't tie Malachi any more. Once he has finished his meal, he has the opportunity to wander around in my back yard (which is fenced) until I have the inclination to put him back with the herd.

We Dreamers noticed that Malachi likes eating the weeds growing on the gravel driveway.  Knowing that there are many poisonous plants (to horses) in he world, I checked up on what he was finding so tasty. He was eating the Redstem Fillaree. 

After a little research I discovered that Redstem Fillaree has the highest percentage of non-structural carbohydrates of all weeds generally found in the Rocky Mountain area. It has higher levels of sugar than grasses. So, does Malachi instinctively know that the Fillaree will give him the biggest bang for the bite? 
Further reading yielded information linking Fillaree with laminitis. I had little concern for that, given Malachi's slim build. But, a suggestion that Fillaree might cause issues in digestion in the "hind gut", causing colic, and that nitrates found in Fillaree at some points during the growing season, can be toxic to equines, had me stepping out to put Malachi back with his buddies in a hurry!

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Baby of Mine

I never would have thought that being a grandparent is as wonderful as all of my friends claim it to be.


Never would have thought that at all. But then... I found myself in the elevator at the hospital, heading up to the Maternity floor, where I would soon hold my first grand baby. Oh, my! Emotional overload!

Dreaming with Alexis @ 1 day of age

My sweet Alexis, daughter of my son, was born on June 9 at 7:13 PM. She chose to arrive a bit late, being due on May 29. She also resisted coming into this world, deciding to let mom labor for a looonnngggg time! Sweet Alexis complicated matters by turning the wrong way, and with reluctance, turned around so she could slip through the birth canal. One wonders if Alexis will always be the sort to be a bit late to events, and stubborn about going where others want her to go!

We are so happy she is here. She is healthy. She's practicing all those things that babies must figure out. She sucks her fist. She kicks her feet. She works on building her lung capacity. We are all smitten!

Mother & Daughter
Proud Papa - looking a bit scruffy after three days without a razor.
The other Grandmother... "How hard can it be?!"
A Daddy-Daughter moment
Sleep my child and peace attend thee...

Monday, June 8, 2015

Bunny in the Well

I went down to the basement to finish the quilting on my latest project. This is a "sampler" quilt created from strips of 20 different coordinating fabrics (available as a roll at quilt shops). All I have left to do is the hand sewing on the binding.... oh, and painstakingly picking off tiny pieces of fluff from the batting that seem to have found their way all over the quilt.

As I began to work, I heard a funny sound. At first I thought it was more hail. But, the sun was shining. The sound stopped. Then it began again.

I walked over to the window and saw a darling bunny in the well. Poor thing. He probably fell in there trying to outrace the rain... or Tucker!

Although the bunnies are a nuisance, I couldn't stand by and let him starve. So, the rescue mission began. Mr. Dreamy came down to help. First, he tried enticing the bunny into a 5 gallon bucket.

The nimble, scared-out-of-his-mind bunny was pretty fast and eluded the stick and the bucket. Had it not been for the screen, he would have been living in our basement!

I created a make-shift net and was able to snare him. I lifted him out of the well, and before I could get a picture, he scampered off to live another day... and partake in the goodies in my garden!

Dreaming puts pencil to paper to see what she can draw...
Collage from