Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Scene Along the Road: Truck Stop

I am suffering from cognitive dissonance. 
I ran across this "everyday" object at the truck stop, 
and I didn't know how to use it!

Did I take a wrong turn?
Should I have gone in a different stall?
Was this intended to be a toilet?
…. or not?!

The instructions were hanging on the wall.
I could find buttons for heating, for spraying, for washing and drying.
No where could I find anything about flushing!

Uh oh!

Monday, August 25, 2014

From Here to There

This weekend Mr. Dreamy and I spent over 17 hours in a car. Delightful, I'm sure you would agree!
We helped the littlest Dreamer move to Columbus, NE, where he begins a new job today.

We packed up a lot of his stuff…
and some of our old stuff…
and travelled from 

to there.

We drove over hill and dale in Colorado. Then through corn fields… and more corn fields, and even more! Yup, I now understand why Nebraska is the Corn Husker state - they have a lot to husk!

Today I'm thinking of my 'little' boy as he begins this new chapter in his life. I wish all good things come his way!

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Divide… and Conquer


"Go Forth and Multiply"


"One Iris, Two Iris… Two Hundred-Twenty Five!"

The iris I planted less than three years ago are thriving. 
I planted, at most, two dozen single rhizomes,
and they turned into this:

The iris are overtaking the tulip bed.
It is time to thin the ranks!
(Especially since I ordered tulip bulbs and will 
need access to the bed to dig up the old and plant the new.)

Since I had created a nice, fluffy bed for the iris previously,
(Which may be one of the reasons why they prospered!)
It wasn't all that difficult to get them out of the ground.

The clumps of rhizomes looked happy and healthy!

I separated them. Threw 'mother' rhizomes out,
and trimmed the leaves.

VoilĂ !
225 iris plants. I counted them!

Care for an iris or ten?

Watch out day lilies…
you are next!

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

An Apple a Day

The neighborhood deer couldn't stand it one day longer…

They crashed the fence.
They just had to find a way to get to the apples on our tree.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Fat Camp

Hi there! I'm Ladybug - I'm the sassy one, people say. 

But don't you believe them! 
I'm just cute!

I work at the Son and Reins Ranch.
It's hard work!
I help people feel better about themselves.

This year some of us had the opportunity to go to camp. 
Here we are, arriving at camp. 
We sang songs all the way from our home. 

Dreaming offered to host camp for us equines
while our program is on a break.
She said she had too much grass 
and hated to see it go to waste.
But, actually, our owner hopes it goes to waist…

Well, at least the others could stand to put on a few pounds.
I'm just beautiful the way I am!

When we arrived, we ate...
and ate…
and ate some more.
Dreaming thought our jaws might get sore!

When we were let out of the paddock on the second day, 
we didn't even run.
We had to test the grass on this side of the fence.
You know what they say about the grass being greener…
it isn't necessarily so.
Trust me!

After grabbing a mouthful (or three) off we went!

If you look closely…
You'll see that I am still carrying my last mouthful of grass!
I'm never one to miss an opportunity to eat!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Through the Ages

We have been having severe afternoon storms. On Saturday, I experienced one of those bright flashes and a simultaneous crack of thunder, as chunks of bark pelted the front door. I opened the door to check the Ponderosa pine. It had been struck by lightning. I could smell burning wood and fresh pine. 

This was the largest tree in this part of our yard.
Hunks of bark littered the area around the tree.

Some of the pieces were thrown almost 100 feet.

Mr. Dreamy and I began speculating about how old the tree was.
Trees in this part of Colorado just don't grow all that fast.
We went online and checked Google Earth where you can see
historical imagery if it is available. 

Here is a recent satellite view of our home.
The tree that was hit is circled.

So, let's take a look back through the ages
to see if we can get an idea of the tree's age.

Here is the house in 2010. 
The house has a blue tarp on the roof.
(I still find blue tarp 'strings' when I work in the yard!)
No one lived there anymore. 
The owner gave up the property around 2008.
Shortly after this the bank began preparations to sell the property.
They had the roof repaired, and not long after, we purchased the home.
Yes, the tree is there.

Here is the property in 2007.
A new owner had purchased the house.
He made a lot of improvements inside and out.
Do you see all of the 'dots' in the yard between the
house and the white building (the barn)?
Those were 25 large trees he had recently planted.
Sadly, the new owner's wife passed away.
He sold the house sometime before this photo was taken
(All of the trees subsequently died.)
Yes, the Ponderosa is there.

This photo shows the house in 1999.
The 'barn' (the white square)
consists of 2 stalls only. 
At some point after this picture was taken, 
the barn was expanded to include a garage on the left side,
and white pipe fencing was added to enclose a paddock.
The tree is there.

We have heard conflicting reports about our property before our home was constructed in 1994. We have heard that the original farm house was near where the barn is currently located. We have also heard that our current home was built on the same plot of land as of the original house. 

This view from 1956 confirms that the original house was closer 
to where our barn is currently located.
The row of trees provides a good landmark.
In the more recent photos, those trees are just west
and slightly in front of the barn.
Not too coincidently, I am always picking up nails and glass
in the area where the original house stood!
I added a copy of this shot, with labels, below.

The tree shows in this shot, too!

 And the first available aerial photo from 1937...

If you look straight down from the little house on the left of the drive….
There's our tree!

How sad. A tree that was over 75 years old was struck by a random bolt of lightning, and in all likelihood won't live on. Nature is a cruel mistress, indeed!

As I received several comments about not knowing Google could do this, I thought it might be helpful to provide information so you can search areas back through time.

First you must download Google Earth. (Different from Google the search engine). It is free.

Once you have it downloaded and open it, there is a box in the upper left corner where you can enter a location, address, city, whatever. You will 'fly' to that location. 

On the upper toolbar there is an icon that looks like a clock surrounded by a green arrow pointing around the clock face going counter clockwise. If you hover over the icon it will say, "Show historical imagery…." Clicking on it will open a slider that shows the beginning and ending date of images from the area you are viewing. The white vertical lines on the slider bar are the points where images are available. Here is a screen shot from my search:

It's a great way to see the world!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Thinking Outside the Box

Gosh darn it…


Not to worry….

If I cock my head this way…
and hold my tongue just so…
I'm outta here!

I just wish I could be outta there!

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Another Project


"I Can See Clearly Now, the Fog is Gone"

As you may recall, our house needed a lot of work when we first bought it (2010) to make it livable. Once we moved in, most of the project work came to a halt. Well, heck, up to that point we had commuted to the house from our previous residence, working about 9 hours each day, it was time to take a break and enjoy the fruits of our labor, don't ya think?!
This spring Mr. Dreamy and I talked to window replacement companies. We were given quotes for replacing our windows. Yikes! But, our windows desperately needing replacing. Several had fogged panels. Many couldn't be opened without a struggle, and almost all of the windows allowed the cold north wind (or wind from the east, west or south, for that matter) to blow into the house with such joyful abandon that the moving curtains were a testament to its entry. I posted a video of a candle in the wind on a previous post. 
Six weeks ago we placed our order. This week the installers arrived. For three days they sawed, and hammered, and pulled apart, and put together. And now… we have lovely new windows!

 Windows Arrive

Al begins to remove a window

This one's gone...

Hey, you're letting the flies in...

And now, the daunting task of caulking and filling, and priming and sanding, and painting and cleaning, and rehanging window blinds…. oh, but it will be nice (she keeps reminding herself) when that cold wind begins to blow!

Oh, and in case you are wondering, we chose to use Renewal by Andersen. Although there are a number of vinyl replacement windows on the market. We didn't care for the way they were installed, inside the existing frame, which cut down on the glass area of the window itself. We are really pleased with the new windows. If you are considering replacement and want more information from me, leave me a comment.

Friday, August 1, 2014

OK…but which one?

You may recall that I love tulips. 

So do the deer…

This year our entire tulip bed was mowed down. We only had two or three bulbs (out of more than 100 bulbs) that managed to blossom, as they were smart enough to hide amongst the iris. You can see the row of iris on the left in this photo from a previous year. (Oh, and yeah, you can see the ugly wire I strung around the tulips to keep the pesky deer away… I neglected to put the "fence" up before we left for the winter this past year.)

We planted the tulip bed in the fall of 2011 and it provided two years of enjoyment. However, the showy tulips tend not to be true perennials. They don't do well year after year. So, I decided to buy more. But… how does one choose?

My catalog from Colorblends has 150 pages of incredible, knock-your-socks-off, breathtaking floral beauty. It was a daunting task, but I finally narrowed it down to one blend with 100 bulbs. I wish I could plant more, and have masses of tulips like I saw at Keukenhof Gardens, but as much as I think the deer are cute, I don't particularly care to feed them!

I will have my work cut out for me come November, when I thin the iris, dig up the old bulbs and replant the new. But, it will be worth it in the spring - I hope!

And, Sew it Begins!

No sewing! Sewing had to come to an end, for now!  The last few weeks have been rather hectic preparing for our annual trek west to visit wi...