Tag Archives: dog

Spring 2017, a dozen and more projects.

This winter, while not as cold as some, the cold has lasted. Nightly, falling well below zero neighbors across the state have had frozen water and drains. Not just those in rural areas but towns and cities have had water simply creep to a frozen standstill. Up here on the mountain water has remained the same for us. Off grid certainly has its advantages.

The cold has however, eaten up the wood stack impressively. Last week when the weather gave us a break and we got above freezing it was cause for days outside. A dozen spring projects to began in a flurry of activity not seen since the last few days before the snow arrived. img_20170121_193401_714The unsold wreaths came down to start with. The ornaments and now dry boughs were all unwound and put away for next season. Thor decided the big ones made great beds after a day chasing snow balls and helping haul wood.

Large boxes from costso we turned into new indoor nest boxes for the ladies. They loved them at once and eggs started to show up.

img_20170121_192921_172The big dead tree by the driveway came down, was bucked up, hauled up the driveway via sled, and split. Shane came up to cut down the old Pondarosa as my chainsaws have deiced to stop running. They are both in need of carburetor, work so they look useful, but for now they do little. James and I saw to the rest of the tree and got it all stacked in one long afternoon. The beetle killed pine split so easy we had to remind ourselves not to chop it too small.

The deck had to be shoveled of snow and ice from almost record breaking snow fall. Of course a sled hill had to be tested… img_20170131_195319_546…sticks had to be tested for strength and bonfires had to be built.

We had four glorious sunfilled days before the snow returned last night and buried us under another foot. We will be back inside the rest of the week finishing up the long overdue sheet-rock in the Little Cabin.

Yesterday, however, was stunning. I woke up to a dozen types of birds all greeting spring, chipmunks were chirping, and the squirrels shouting their chatter. Thor hasn’t been so excited to get outside since the snow first arrived. I let him out and sat down to have coffee before James woke up.

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After seeing to morning chores it was warm enough out the greenhouse to sit down for projects without even needing to build a fire.

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The beadwork my grandma had started before she passed away this fall I finished while the chickens debated if it was truly spring or not.Craft supplies from the last homeschool kid co-op visit were sorted and put back in their drawers, and most of the glitter swept up. (I doubt it will ever be truly all gone. By time that happens I am sure a handful of little girls will be back for another art workshop.)

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Thor on guard duty. he likes the snow this year if for no other reason than he can sit up very high and watch the driveway.

Waking up to snow this morning was very pretty but I will be glad for the next day with sunshine and thawing weather. I count the days to get the first seeds into the ground int he greenhouse. The thermometer is in the ground. It will be soon.

 

Is that earth I see?

The weather has remained remarkably warm for this time of year and this place.  Up here on the mountain it has dared to reach so high as 38 degrees but 10 miles away it has been as warm as 42! The snow has begun to reveal things known as rocks and even MUD!

january 009The heavy over-cast has made it a very grey day and the camera was having a hard time with the light.  Lumix and I debated about how to deal with it.  On some it worked but on others not so much.

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It was so nice out that James and  decided to go do a photo scavenger hunt and set off.  The idea was to take as many pictures as possible and each of us make a list of five when we got home, then see if we had pictures to cover each others list plus our own.

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We had just not gotten down to the creek when James discovered his phone, (he opted to take that for pics over the camera) had gone dead.

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Instead he decided to play with the dogs while I tried to take pictures in the dusk light.

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At 5:30 the light was low enough it was very difficult to get good focus.

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We headed back up the mountain towards home.

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Wet with the snow and the creek my reaction to Thor when he came inside was “oh good Lord dog, you stink!”

“Oh yes, he does!  he is a stinky puppy but he’s MY stinky puppy!” James says laying down on the floor with him.  He must really love that dog to think Thor as a pillow is worth the stink up the nose.

Winter Walk

For the last year it seems I have been in an endless round of edits. Books written over 20 years ago have been fighting for the light of day and chapter by chapter have clawed their way from the battered pages of old notebooks and old floppy disks. This last week I have been compiling chapter names, page numbers, title pages and debating dedications. Today I ordered the proof for book 6 in the series and while there is one more book before I step back from this series, to dive into another, I can see the end top of the wall. So forgive me in this blog, (as I have mentioned earlier) if I don’t edit.
As a lover of words, of clever phrases, of well written and clever insights, I have been known to cringe when I look back at some of the rough draft things I have poster. Then again I remind myself that those things I have read that follow strict rules either of formula or grammar laws I find less then enjoyable. This blog is not however supposed to be about writing. It is about the moment after the order notice came back saying my book proof would arrive on the 3rd. I felt my shoulders drop just a little. I noticed my coffee was just on the cool side and it was snowing like the depth of a Narian Winter outside.
The dog looked at me hopefully!
“Yes please!” She seemed to say.
So still in my fuzzy jamma pants I slipped into boots, grabbed my camera and a go mug of fresh hot coffee. Stepping from the warm indoor and away from the computer, away from the music and away from the endless rounds of nit-picking how to say “said” as many way as possible and not sound like a jack ass, I entered another world.
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Dashing outside the dog stopped, she looked at the snow fall and back to me to make sure I was seriously going to join her on such a great day.
The snow had been coming down since about 4 am and pushing 1 pm it had all but hidden the knee deep foot paths that criss cross the yard from one point to another. A path around back to the water tanks, another to the fire pit; cutting across to the propane tank, to the green house/storage shed and a twisting trail to the solar panels that need to be kept swept clean.
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The fire pit seems lost at this point, only the nearly buried chairs even shows where it hides under the deep blanket of snow.
We waded through the snow to the road with the idea I might hike up tot he spring and try to find the stump I had sat on a month ago to listen to birds and soak in the sun but once on the road looking at the 4 feet of snow on my path and down at my rather unlikely hiking gear I decided to stay to the road. So we walk from one end of the property to the other.
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Thankfully more than one of the neighbours on this little road come though and keep it plowed. Even so the snow was past the top of my boots and trying to get down inside. Even so it was hard to turn back.
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There is a beauty to winter that can not be grasped from behind the wheel of a car trying to get to work. With such views I can only be grateful I do not have to attempt to wind my way down this road to get to work daily. Editing seems a small price to pay for the option.
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It is hard to walk in such a reality and not dream up new stories, eager to be told. A hundred old notebooks whisper at me “remember us? We have such scenery in our pages remember out heroes.”
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All the snow on the trees is from today alone. Yesterday sunshine and a gust of breeze now and then had left the trees clear, their limbs and needles clean and lifted upward.
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For all my desire to be planting things, to be breaking ground for building and sinking in roots it is impossible to not be caught up by the beauty of a mountain forest draped in winter.
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On such a day, in such a deep silence, where the loudest sound is the snow falling, you can almost imagine snow dragons watching from the mountain cliffs above you, of fairies catching snow flakes, or ancient Elves and Druids whispering blessing on the forest and all those who walk among their trees.
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