Sunday, January 8, 2012

Wet Mountain Snow

Oh, what a difference some snow makes to the heart.  The Wet Mountains have had over six feet of snow this fall!  Really fantastic.



I've got this new blogging app that I' m trying to figure out so I'm loading some photos and just having a hell of a time with how they're moving all over the page. Great fun.  

Made some scones today and am totally dismayed about the amount of butter the recipe called for.  Found ann

sourceother recipe in Cooking Light cookbook that made so much more sense, heartwise.  Dried Pear and Cardamon Scones using lowfat buttermilk instead of butter.  I'm going to try them.  Just tap that "source" button and see if it takes you to the page.  If I could only get it to move to the right spot on this why does it say "source"?   Hmmmmm.

This is the time of year to be thinking about spring time gardens and the seed catalogues are very enticing.  I just love these.


Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Hay Prices, Rain, and Purpose

Rain on the Ridge

It's raining. And since this part of Colorado is in a "severe drought" category, that news just tickles the hell out of me. I think I've mentioned how I have cultivated the habit of looking just for green things this summer which has been some peace in the midst of worry. Hay for the critters is topping out at $8 a bale - due to the drought most folks only got one cutting this year.

But, it's raining now, the kind that soothes the soul. I've been thinking some about how weather connects us all to our One Purpose which really is to just live. That's all. Glorious.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Summer Rains and Drop Noodles

It rained at home while I was at work! I saw the clouds and the darkness covering the Wet Mountains and was so excited all afternoon. Drove home - lickety split - and delighted in the few light showers on the windshield that splattered all through Coal Creek and lands south. Tried to prepare myself for the likelihood that there was nothing more than wetting sprinkles. I even ditched yoga class. It's cooler here - about 70 degrees and it looks like there was SOME moisture. Not the deluge I had been imagining - but some rain. That is more than we've had for two months. The air is humid now and there is that smell in the air that is promising. How does that smell so fine? That mixture of dampness, sheep manure, grass, and buffalo grass. I inhale it, I gulp it.

I made harvest stew tonight to celebrate early summer and the rains. New potatoes, new carrots, new peas, some scallions, chicken and broth. The drop noodles are scrumptious and are made simply with 3/4 cup of flour, 1/2 teaspoon salt, some pepper, 1 egg, and a little milk. Drop them into the finished stew by scant teaspoonfuls and cook for 7 minutes or so. I always make a double recipe because everyone loves the drop noodles so.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Drought, Pestilence, and Dreaming of Yurts

So we had another wildfire close to our place yesterday. I was quite dismayed and even more so to hear that it was caused by a small plane crash carrying our neighbor, Doc Hamilton, and the pilot. The pilot died on impact but somehow the doctor bailed out and is the hospital with undisclosed injuries. So sad for their families. The wildfire crew was here is less than 2 hours with slurry planes, "smoke jumpers", and ground folks. All day yesterday helicopters and planes flew over our house, rattling the windows and ruffling the chickens. My daughters and I climbed the hill that is front of our place to get a better view. (I've still got my apron on - so handy to pack refreshments.)

The reverse 911 call came at about 6 pm to "prepare for evacuation". Rats! I'm really getting tired of this routine. If we were nomads we would simply pack up the yurt and move to a place where it friggin' rains once in a while. It's hot today and very dry but the winds are down. Another positive is that this fire is very close to the wildfire in 2005 that burned 14,000 acres so a lot of the underbrush and "old growth" is already cleared.

And the very, very Good News is that some monsoonal moisture is making it's way up from Old Mexico! You can see the white vapor coming up in a clockwise motion (it's circling a high pressure area right over Colorado). In the next few days we are promised our summer rains which will hopefully end our extreme drought conditions. If the rains don't come, I'm seriously considering the yurt idea.

As an aside I think you need to know that the natural ant remedy that I made a week ago did have a little effect on the ant population in the garden. 6 tablespoons of sugar, 1/3 cup of molasses, and 6 tablespoons of dry yeast. It was an incredible bait - thousands joined the feast - but we noticed them eating around the yeast for the most part. Still, many, many ants met their demise. And many more were still chomping my vegetables (which has to have something to do with this drought). In desperation I used some pyrethrum and neem oil to spray on the vegetables to protect them from the ants. Pyrethrum is made from chrysanthemums and is supposed to be the least toxic pesticide if one must be used. It was such a relief to go out to the garden this morning and see healthy ant-free plants.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

Haven't had rain for weeks and we're parched in this part of Colorado. We keep hoping for the monsoonal weather patterns to kick up and I check National Weather Service every day to see if it's going to happen this year. It always does but can it possibly get rid of this scorched desert land that we have become? On my way to work every morning instead of noticing the brown - ness I have cultivated the trick of searching for green. It helps. We're putting water on the garden a lot and are keeping things alive out there. Nothing beats a nice summer afternoon cloudburst, though.

I have thousands of sugar type ants eating anything green -that is, they are eating my garden. Googled for some natural ant remedies and found a recipe for "bait". Molasses, sugar, and powdered yeast. I mixed some of this goo up this morning and laid it about. The ants love it -they're swarming all over it - but I don't see that they are decreasing in number at all. At the very least it provides some distraction from my poor vegetable plants.

It's still beautiful around here in a sort of dry way. I'm working on my knitting and finished some awesome curtains for our 1978 wilderness camp trailer. They totally fit in with the plaid and paneling. Jerry and I have gone for a couple of trips in this little vintage wonder. I love it. Especially when we go someplace that is still green.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Soil Testing and Cousins

It has been nasty windy for the last two days. Too windy to plant anything, really. The garden is ready and waiting, but we've had a cold Spring so far. The peas are up finally and they love cold weather so you can guess how cold the soil has been. Barring planting I decided to do a soil test using the "Mosser Lee Master Soil Testing Kit" that I purchased last year and never got around to using. I felt like I needed a lab coat - it was very cool. It seems that our soil is pretty nice provided that these home test kits are at all close to accuracy. I always fret about soil amendment and whether we've done enough - and Jerry always tells me that we have. "That garden soil is PERfect, Suzan!" I need proof.

Memorial weekend has been oh so fine because all our lovely daughters came to visit. I made gathering bags for the grandkids the week before. I can't say they were an extreme hit but there was some gathering going on.

There was some wagon play, too. Those cousins went down the hill a thousand times. Fell out, too. They're still in their pajamas. They got up at the crack of dawn and dashed outside while the adults were still drinking first cups of coffee.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

So Much More

Well, I haven't been able to post for awhile but just changed Blogger back to the old editor. What d'ye know? It worked. Let me review the month or so that I've been idle on line.

Each item below would have made a delightful post.

  • We had a wildfire just to the west of us and were evacuated. Crazy weird. House and land okay. Lewis Creek Trail burned. Smells like a wet ashtray around here.

  • Baby chicks are now in the big girl coop.

  • I made goal weight of 132 pounds using Weightwatchers. I can have six points more every day. Whoot whoot!

  • Peas are coming up. At last.

  • Lots of lettuce, radishes, and spinach in the cold frame.

  • It's finally started to rain a bit but we're still in severe and persistent drought. Grass is green.

  • The scrub oak is leafing out.

  • I adore the lone barn kitten. I'm wooing her (because she is very skittish).

  • Lambs are playing together. Sylvia, one of the ewe mothers, made a miraculous recovery from pneumonia.

  • Jerry and I are going to "camp" in Estes Park in June. We are proud owners of a 1978 fifteen foot Wilderness camp trailer. Plaid and paneling galore.

There was so much more - fantastic dinners, trout fishing, wonderful and beautiful adult daughter report. And what about the Ready Ice truck that flipped over just at the Hwy 67 and Hwy 96 intersection? So much more!