Monday, December 30, 2013

We have begun the second part of the repair on the furnace—the first step is to get TO the furnace

Terry can get to the furnace by crawling on his belly, and has done that for years.  But, now, since we are both old and the crawling seems awful he is digging a trench, by hand, under the house.  This way he won’t have to be on his belly but can have space to too and fro, from there to here

FurnaceThis really is a ‘big deal’ requiring lots of work…first he goes in (with my old scoop shovel)

Shovel-3Fills up the shovel,(with another shovel that has a broken handle) hands the shovel back out to me, I load it into the wheel barrow

Furnace-1After the wheel barrel is full (another favorite tool of mine–the wheel barrel!  I have two of them and I use them for everything) I haul it to different spots along the canal, or the road, or next to a ditch to fill in holes.

We work until we can’t work any longer, then it takes two to three days to recover.  YES, I know that a young person could get this whole thing done in a day…but we aren’t young…Terry will be 70 in May and I will be 65 in three weeks.  So we trudge along.  Gradually it will get there.

Terry has replaced all the pipe to the furnace already, so that job is out of the way.  Once we get the trench dug then it will be time to go to Grand Junction to see if we can find a new valve for the furnace.  If we can’t then we have to dig even bigger trench and drag the old furnace out; replacing it with another furnace, which we will have to drag in an put in place.

It will take time, we will do it in stages, there isn’t a rush because we have the wood stove and lots of wood.

We worked the day after Christmas; this afternoon we will start again.  We wait until it’s warmer outside—I don’t know why, we get so hot we have to shed our layers of coats before we are done.

SO off I go to help him now!  Everyday we gain a little bit more!

Your friend,

Linda

 

 

 

Sunday, December 29, 2013–My Christmas Present

I know I promised you I would show you my completely delightful surprise that Terry gave me for Christmas.

All the kids were here and their families; we had just opened all our gifts and watched the kids open their gifts (we don’t give lots…one gift a piece).  Terry and I exchanged our presents…Carhart jackets.  Perfect for those cold but not over the top cold days.

When Terry went outside for a short while and then came back in.

He walked over to me and handed me

THIS!

Shovel-1A NEW Scoop Shovel!!!

I so desperately needed one, but figured I would just have to use Terry’s Grandfather’s

Shovel-2Until I could pick out the one I want.  It’s a nice old shovel, but it’s heavy.  Still I was glad I had one to use.

(I’m really picky about my shovels…there are lots of scoop shovels and shovels out there, but I want one with a solid wooden handle, the scoop or the shovel bolted into the wood and the size of the shovel not too big or not too small.)  You can buy those things just about any place, but they are cheaply made, the scoop comes off the handle after a couple of uses — I think you get the picture.

Shovel-3My other shovel broke in two…too much use this fall after years and years of use already.  (Remember we had to scoop out the pinto bean hopper and the corn hopper because of break downs.  Then our neighbor, Sam, wanted us to grind corn for him.  He forgot to bring his scoop shovel so I threw him mine—the first scoop finished it off.

I was sick.  I almost cried.  I didn’t, but I sure thought about it.

I know, it’s just a shovel.  But it’s the shovel I use the MOST!! I use it for all sorts of things. I thought about just replacing the handle, but I’ve done that before and it’s never really a good as it could be.

I decided to wait.

******************************************************

Terry said that when he pickup the shovel.  When he went to pay for it our oldest daughter was with him and she asked if the cashier could wrap it since it was a Christmas present for her Mom.  Terry said that caused LOTS of conversations: one man said he would never give his wife something with a handle on it as she might use it on him.  Another man said if he gave his wife a shovel he might as well move on out.. the jokes were rapid and wild.

Shannon asked again if the shovel could be wrapped…the poor checker said she wasn’t sure what to do, then reached down and stuck several bows on it!   The customers clapped!

Terry said it didn’t bother him what was going on because he KNEW I really wanted a new scoop shovel!  No diamonds for me–nor a fur coat –nothing of that nature, but I will fall for a scoop shovel, or a pitch fork, or a new wheel barrel!!

There you  have it…my gift of the year!  Have a good one everyone!

Your friend on the farm,

Linda

Christmas Eve, Tuesday, December 24, 2013

The moon is coming up later and later now, still the dogs and I go for a walk. We go around one to one thirty in the early, early morning.  I dress up like a huge abominable snowman—many, many, many layers…its COLD out there that time of night!  🙂

Night-Walk-2This was taken about 14 days ago.

One a side bar note–I would HATE to run into a Yeti…well, I wouldn’t see a Yeti here but there have been sightings of Bigfoot, also known as Sasquatch in Colorado.

There is some who think Bigfoot has been seen as close as the Lake City Area (which is not far from Montrose or Gunnison) so far nothing on the Uncompahgre Plateau or around the canyons next to our mesa….but one never knows!  🙂  da,da,da,da ♪♫♫♪

Night-Walk-1

Still off we go.  We don’t go for long and we don’t go far.

Sunset

In the evening we either walk to the old tree site, (a tree the ditch company just had to destroy in the fire a couple of years ago), or we walk to the end of the grain bin field…both are about 15 minutes one way then 15 minutes back.  If Fuzzy could move a little faster we would get back faster.

Colorado2001

 

(This was shamelessly taken from the internet-The credits are on the map the web site is here with other photos of Bigfoot in Colorado)

Since I don’t have worry about big furry unknown creatures, and the bears are sleeping away the winter, the dogs and I only have to worry about the coyotes, foxes, and big cats (the skunks are sleeping right now also)—which is why I don’t like to go far.  In the middle of the night  we just walk down the lane to our house.   Boomer has a bad habit of running off after smells, if I contain him to boring smells we both do much better.

Happy Christmas Eve everyone!  We will have our big celebration tonight with all the family here.  Tomorrow is family day…buffet of snack foods and lots of family games.

Your friend,

Linda

Monday, December 23, 2013

We are entering the last of the count down to Christmas now…today I will clean the house and make my deserts.  There will be twelve of us for Christmas Eve Dinner, and ten for Christmas day buffet. The cooking is shared by all, which really helps, as you know.

The sunset last night was just outstanding

Red-skyI love watching the sky.  The sky is full of music and the music is made up of colors.  When out walking I can sometimes feel the energy of the land and the sky and beings that make up the ‘outdoors’.  It lifts my soul up until I feel like I have become one with them.  Like listening to a really good symphony…if you are calm and allow the music to surround you then you can pick out certain things that are a part of the whole…the the piccolo, or the single note or a base.

Yellow-Moon When my brother and I were growing up we had the great pleasure of living at the end of the cherry orchard.  In the evenings of summer, we would walk, with our Mother, down through the cherry orchard, then the apple orchard to our Grandparents house. (Our Dad would come home late from work and join us.)

They lived in a beautiful old rock house that had a wide front porch facing the east.  As the evening darkened and night softly surrounded us my brother and I would lay on the cement walls connecting the columns of the porch to the house.

It was here that we would play and listen to our family talk about the day. Sometimes Uncle Henry would be there, sometimes Uncle Herbert, or all the relatives from Texas, even Uncle Jay.

Now when Uncle Jay came so did his golden fiddle—as the magic of  the Little Brown Church in the Dell, or Red Wing or the Yellow Rose of Texas (to name a few) fill the air, I was lifted to another place and time where the music and I became one.

It is that same feeling I get, now, as I walk upon the land and watch the sky, the land on the farm and the plants and animals –as silly as it sounds…I feel like I and nature are one!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Your friend,
Linda

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Yesterday Terry and I celebrated our 46th Anniversary!  Four more years and it will be the big 5 0!  My how time has flown!  Like a very wonderful lady told me sometime back-‘there are good years and there are bad years, but as the years go by and you look back they are all wonderful years.’

So true!  So very true.

Ice-1

Our house is growing icicles–we have been that cold here.  Warm up a tad, melt a little, cool down –bam! Icicles!

Ice-2

For our honeymoon we went to Monte Visa, Colorado…not because it was this special romantic place, because there was the potential of a job opportunity there.

Ice-3

Terry was working at Holly Sugar and Coors Elevator when we got married.  Mr. McCart told Terry there was going to a job opening at Monte Vista in January.  Since Terry was on his long change-over at Holly and McCart gave Terry three days off we decided to drive to Monte Vista and see if we liked the country, what the housing situation was like, and if we could live there.

What I remember the most about Monte Visa was how cold it was…the icicles were from roof to ground and thick as my arm.  Cold was an understatement.  We had purchased a trailer house so we looked into the cost of parking it and other things.  That night we stayed at a motel whose windows looked right into the drive in theater…the rooms were complete with a speaker to the movie.  Of course it was winter so no movie that night. 🙂

The next morning our car didn’t want to start…it was just way too cold.  Gradually we got the car going and headed home.  On the way back we decided to take our chances at home. In the end it worked out perfectly…Terry and I purchased a farm, he got a great job with the local power company as a lineman and I picked up work here and there until the kids started coming.  Then I didn’t work until they were all in school.

My Mother was a great one for trying to ‘control’ outcomes and create positive experiences.  A couple of years before she died she started saying: “Everything works out for the best, if you will just let it”.  One day, not long before she left this earth she told me that she knew that the major thing she was supposed to learn in this life was to –work toward the good, then leave it alone.  “It will work out for the best, if you just let it.”

Looking back on that up and down time of getting established, finding work, paying bills and just plain living, she was so right…It did work out for the best.

More-Ice

Sometimes things get a little wonky (like this icicle) but who cares!  46 years and counting! That’s really cool in and of itself.

Your friend on a Western Colorado farm,

Linda

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

I love the moon!  I love when the moon is full — spreading sliver and crystal and blue lights upon the land.

Rising-2

The dogs and I go for a walk, just to be showered in the lovely glow

Rising-1

 

 

We go just as it’s just coming up and we go again just before nine at night

December-moonI always try to wake-up sometime during the night, just to take the dogs and go walking down the lane…oh, sometime around one or so in the morning.  The dogs know the second I start putting on my Carhart we are going for a walk.

I don’t walk out into the fields late at night…too many coyotes and other critters I don’t want to meet, but in the evening we do.

PaoniaIn the evening we are surrounded in the glow of the winter sunset

Raggeds1With the air full of winter bird calls…the Canadian Geese and the Sandhill Cranes…later after mid-night the owls will hoo-hoo -hoo , we will hear a fox barking and the coyotes yipping as the moon light and the star light fills the shinning clear air.

We will walk along, the dogs sniffing out news and I watching stars fall from a million years ago.

The neighbor’s dog (who lives outside, no matter the temperatures) will hear us crunching along in the snow, or hear me calling to Boomer to not go off too far…he adds his warning bark to the other sounds.  His people, either don’t care nor never hear, I call to him…’It’s okay…it’s just us walking in the moonlight.  It’s okay…’  He stops.  Then calls out again…”GOOD NIGHT” I call back…’Sleep Well, little dog!  Sleep Well.”  Then the dogs and I go in to the warmth of the wood stove and snugly blankets.

December-moon

By five in the morning the moon has made it’s way to shine into the bedroom windows, lighting up Sammy the cat as he sleeps on the edge of the bed. Sam puts a paw over his eyes and keeps on sleeping.  Monkey jumps into the window to watch the world from the warmth and safety of the house.  I too watch the world as the moon slowly sinks and the day begins.

Good Morning everyone!

Your friend,

Linda

 

 

 

 

A SURPRISE!!! Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Yesterday was just like all the other days…way too busy and yet not over the top (yet).  Our eldest daughter lives two miles from us and works about an hour away.  I always go down and check on her wood fire to make sure everything is still toasty warm.  We do this because she lives alone and we would hate for her to have frozen pipes.  That has happened before, which requires Terry to go down and help her thaw them.

We have a new mailman…a really nice kid.  He is still learning the route that we live on (it’s a big’un 75 miles) so he sometimes doesn’t have our mail to us until late in the day.  (I feel really sorry for him — he said he is getting better, it just takes so much time to sort the mail before he can get started in the day.

Anyway, I stopped at the mailbox on this trip down…no mail.  Next trip down around five the mail was there having come sometime between noon and five.  Inside was a box addressed to me!

Cool!

Back home I opened it up to find that FarSide had sent to Terry and I and each grandchild a hand-carved ornament for our trees!

From-Connie-!These whimsical ornaments were  from the huge branch that fell last summer from our Cottonwood tree.

I have followed FarSide’s blog for several years and knew that she and husband loved to do wood carvings.  They particularly liked to use Cottonwood bark.  I gathered a box and shipped it off to her to see if she could use it.  She could.  Wonderful!

I did not expect to have a craving from the wood, I just wanted her to have some of the bark.  Gradually over-time I forgot about the wood, knowing that, if and when, it was carved it would be blogged about with pictures for all to see.

The gift was a total surprise!!!  Just plain delightful!  Terry and I commented how creative they are to be able to ‘see’ what the wood is saying.  I’m afraid I only see firewood, mulch, wood chips…ack!  I’m not able to see what stone or marble or wood really is projecting.

Thank you so much, Connie!  They are just perfect!

Your farm friend,

Linda

 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

The weatherman says our days of 25-28* high is about to change.  When it does it will do so rapidly!  As of the moment of this writing it is 17* here and clear, but the high today will be 36*.  That will probably only be for an hour before everything starts it’s downward fall to 7* or less tonight.

River-1

BUT I WILL TAKE IT!!  To get to 36* it has to pass by freezing to warming up! (Of course if it stays this way very long we will head into mud, which is not a fun place to be on a farm.)

River-2

By Thursday we will be back to snow and ice.  For a short time, just about four days we will think we’ve lost winter.  I can guarantee I’m going to be enjoying this false warm-up!

River-3

The Gunnison River is floating ice…it’s pretty darn cold when running water starts to make ice in huge chunks.  🙂

Christmas is close now.  I have all my shopping down except for the food purchases…I will get that accomplished this week then it will time to get the two day’s of entertainment and activity in place.  December is winding down.

Even at my advanced age the idea of and the preparation for Christmas has never dimmed.  As the song says: (to me) ‘it is the most wonderful time of the year!’

Your December loving friend,

Linda

 

 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

We warmed up to 18* yesterday so the dogs and I went for a walk to the upper end.

It was beautiful…the snow sparkled in the sunlight (although there really isn’t lots of snow), the air was crisp and bright.  We laughed lots.  Fuzzy had a slow time, but Boomer and I weren’t in any hurry.

The walk lasted some time bringing with it gifts of (not only sunlight, and crisp cheek freezing air),shadows on the snow

More-ShadowsThe colors of winter are full of blues, mixed with white, shades of pink and lavender

Mud-1

While fall is orange and brown and gold

Last-showSummer’s colors are rich and vivid and robust–with many shades of green and red and purple

Columbine-2While spring brings us the colors of hope and new life…yellow green, white, and yellow.

ShadowsEven though we are frozen the shadows and the sun bring us beauty of another kind.

Your Friend,

Linda

 

 

 

 

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Winter Skies

Winter-Sky-3

Filled with lavender and blue
Dreaming of a Summer Day
Winter-Sky2
The colors scream of silence
Yet the Winter birds fill the air
Calling to us from a far
Upon the frozen air
Winter-Sky-1The Northern Star sits closely now

Within the frosty sky
As moonlight filters through the air
And Sunlight sparkles snow
Winter-Sky-1
Winter Skies
Casting sliver shadows on the land
Peace
 (A very poor attempt of poetry)
From the sleeping farm,
Linda