LIfe is Good

LIfe is Good

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Eve 2011

Love Maxine, don't you?   Her and I think about the same....
Today for New Year's Eve day, I'm sitting in my woman-cave ( my sofa), surrounded by afghans and shawls to keep warm and cozy.  I'm looking out the windows today to the high winds and sideways snow coming down & over the mountain,  across this South Park valley where I live.   I'm snuggled in nicely today, thankful I had the last firewood delivery put in my garage!!   what was I thinking? having to go outside and haul it in here!  
Much nicer!  I haul it into my house with my big camping cooler!  

View out the front today, glad I'm inside!

This year has been a year of achievements and adventures.  Starting last January when I moved out of my house in Centennial, into an apartment, to wait out the months until I retired in September to live my dream.   Moving into the Rocky Mountains in the South Park Valley has been such an adventure and fulfilled my dream of getting back to my roots of country living.  No regrets leaving the city.  :)

Happy New Year!   Blessings for 2012!

quote by Gandalf in Lord of the Rings:
".....all you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you"

Friday, December 30, 2011

The Red Door

Well here is a picture of me today by my red front door.  I was out taking pictures of all the snow and snow drifts while the sun was shining and wind calm.  Calm before tonight that is, when high winds after midnight tonight, Day 3 of it, and this lady is ready for dead calm.  :)   Had to have my driveway plowed twice this week for the snow drifts across it and in front of my garage door.   Not much new snow, just Mother Nature blowing it down here across Brown's Pass to the west of here.
I'm standing in my driveway looking to the east towards Pike's Peak in the distance, with that big pile of snow that was plowed last night.  The fields out there have no snow on them, because the wind blew it all away.  lol

And up against my house!   I put up that tarp earlier this week to keep the drifts from blowing onto the porch.  Works great.  :)

Big drift on the side of house.  Probably be there until Spring.  :) Those are my boot tracks in the front.   My dog Paddy sits in that window on the right and looks out from the back of a sofa.  Last night, he went nuts, and we saw a bunny out there on that snow drift!   He was heading to the shelter of the trees in the front.

A "sea" of blown snow looking west.  Leadville is over those mountains BTW. 
Come on over and we'll climb on this huge pile of snow!  Almost big enough to sled down! That's where snow is piled up when it's plowed.  My little camper over there is snuggled in, surprisingly warm in there!....waiting for next summer for the camping trips I'll be taking.   :)

I love my life in the mountains, even though the weather is harsh.  I am grateful everyday for a nice place to live, where I can gaze out everyday, every minute, and feel that feeling of accomplishment and peace.

Life is Good

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Mother Nature is winning today

The days between Christmas and New Years this year are so different than when I was working.   Since everyone left the wind has been blowing and drifting the snow in high winds coming off the mountains into the valley here.  All I see is blowing sideways snow out my windows, piling into high drifts that are surrounding my house.  They say tomorrow will be the same.   So I thought I would drive into town today, checked Hwy 285, it was closed yesterday, and today there was a wreck blocking it this morning.  When it looked like it was open and the skies were clearer, I warmed up my car, put a sweater on Paddy, and we tried to get out of the garage. not!   snow had drifted up against the garage car was high-centered on the drift, so I pulled back in and shoveled the middle between the tire tracks and tried it again.   With my SUV in Low 4 wheel drive, it went over and through that drift, only to get stopped by the next drift in the driveway.   SO...I pulled back into the garage, shoveled the snow away from below the garage door, so it would shut, and came back into the house.    There's no going anywhere today.     I'll have to wait until the driveway can be plowed to get out.   gosh, I haven't been anywhere for 6 days, was looking forward to going to the post office and to the store and to just get out of the house.    Mother Nature says "no you're not today"
My daughter said Mother Nature is testing my mountain woman-ness.   lol    I think Mother Nature is winning today. 
I've done my laundry and hung it up in here on my clotheslines to dry, ate a couple of chocolate cookies and bacon for lunch.  don't laugh, it was excellent,  :)   and am settling in for a long night of hearing the winds outside again.   This weather reminds me of my Kansas winters as a kid, when we had white-out blizzards, and couldn't go anywhere.  Sideways snow blowing and blowing and blowing.   
From my front window of the snow drifts.
I put up a tarp to keep the snow from drifting onto the porch.

This drift is 3-4 feet deep looking out towards where Pike's Peak should be.

This picture was taken last week.....and I am looking forward to the blue skies and sunshine again!

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Good Times

Christmas was wonderful this year with my family here for several days and nights.  We had such fun being together for longer than an afternoon like in previous years.  We made a "gingerboard" house on Christmas Eve.   Alicia made the house out of cardboard instead of gingerbread, much easier!   So much fun "glueing" it together with icing! 
A centerpiece for our Christmas gathering.
We played a new game, Telestrations for hours, so much laughing about what everyone drew and guessed what the others drew. 
Santa was here, too!  Left a nice gift for my grand-daughter, a new bike!   :)

Best white elephant gift!   My son bought this for his white elephant gift.  Of course my grand-daughter stole it to keep.  You can put your hand inside the mouth puppet style.   Fun for everyone! 

I enjoyed every minute.  So today the house is quiet again, Christmas decorations will stay up until after New Years.  I need a couple of days to recooperate and rest! 
Best Christmas Ever!

Friday, December 23, 2011

Getting used to the snow....

Lots of snow out there this morning!  I didn't realize how much until it was shoveled and my driveway plowed.  Not by me!  The sun was shining again today.  Grateful for so much sunshine here....warms my heart and home.
Even when it's in the 20's it feels "warm". haha
Today has been a busy day.  Cleaning, baking, getting my house ready for guests this weekend.   Another trip into town for the mail, and one last stop at the grocery store.  I have a plan and just have to check off the list.
It's going to be so nice to have my house full of family.
What a gorgeous view this morning!
Happy to be here

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Woke up to white white and snowing this morning.   8-10"?    Shoveled a path for Paddy to go out, the snow was deeper than he is tall.  :)
I've been baking today.  Waited til yesterday and today to make candy and baked goods, because I can't stay out of them.   lol   Peanut clusters yesterday,  banana bread and chocolate cookies today.   Will make fudge today, too.   alot of chocolate, but that's the best, right??   Now I'm sleepy from eating 3 cookies and a cluster.   oh my...better drink more water!
The sun is trying to come out!  yah!   

  Here I am in my apron I made in 4-H when I was 9 years old, I found it in the cedar chest.  It still fits.   haha    It's cross stitched on gingham cotton.  Those were the days.....      here's the pink one I made when I was 8.  It's the first thing I ever learned how to sew in 4-H.  Oh the hours I spent ripping and re-stitching to get it perfect.  Blue ribbons for both at the county fair.   

I think I need some caffeine after eating all that sugar!   break is over!    Heading back to the kitchen for the dishes.    Looking forward to everyone coming to visit!   

It's a Wonderful Life
....mmmm I haven't seen that on TV yet.....

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Ho Ho Ho

White Christmas in Colorado this year.   It's a comin' tonight and tomorrow..lalalala...I see the 1st flakes a-fallin' just now at noon.....
When I got up this morning so early before dawn, the sun was behind Pike's Peak to the east....Winter Solstice tonight--- it will begin it's treck the other way towards spring and more light each day...I am ready....

I opened my curtains and this is what I saw this morning! 
  Looks like Father Christmas in all his glory!  
 A blessing for the Winter Solstice.

Weatherman saying 6-12 inches here tonight and tomorrow, so I plan to bake, wrap, clean, bake, wrap.....well you preparations for Christmas on Sunday.


Monday, December 19, 2011

Dragonfly in my window

 As you all know, dragonflies are my favorite, right up there with moose.  Barb and Linda gave me this dragonfly when we had lunch this month.  It's so pretty with the background of the mountains behind.   

Looks like snow on the way again, so I moved wood again to the porch and inside the house this morning.   whew!  18 armloads should be enough until Christmas Day.  That's when my two strong sons arrive.  :)

Another pic of the elk tracks I took yesterday in my yard.


Yesterday with the sun coming in the windows and the stove not burning, I was running around with no shoes or socks on and in a t-shirt.   I had to open both doors because I was so hot.   :)   maybe I'm getting used to the cold here.  It's 25 outside today and am wearing a t-shirt again.  
Today I'm catching up on the TV shows taped last night.  so thankful I can do that...  am doing planning in my head for the cooking and baking for Christmas.   plenty of time!   :)

It was kinda chilly in here this morning after we got up, my dog Paddy and me.  Found him laying by the stove, so I moved his bed over by it, and he layed in the warmth for awhile.  cute...  smart dog...   sometimes I fill my hot water bottle, you know, the old fashion kind, not electric, and put it between us on the sofa.  Feels good on my back with him snuggling next to me.  

Hi!  I love it here by the stove! 
Snowflakes are beginning to fall here at 1245pm.   24 degrees. Time to snuggle in, and put my slippers and warmer shirt back on.  :)

Sunday, December 18, 2011

and they're back!

As I was getting my 1st cup of coffee after starting the fire this morning, I looked behind the house and spotted an animal over there.   Grabbed the binoculars....herd of elk!   I counted 26!  They were feeding in the big ditch over there, and watched as they crossed the road and headed up into the trees.  wow!

(added later in the day):
Discovered the elk were in my yard again last night!  Missed them again....they come in at night...some guard dog I have, he didn't hear anything either.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Early Riser

I was up early today and took this picture of the sunrise.   I've been busy  "decorating" and "re-decorating".    Christmas tree is standing tall and happy with all it's adornments.   The two extra bedrooms were next, so they're both ready for guests next weekend.  looks pretty nice back there...  :)   And got my exercise for the day!   moving boxes mostly....
WARM today.  40 over freezing.  Can hear the snow melting and trickling down the downspouts.   Sun is intense today, with clear skies and no wind.  
I'm watching the Dew Tour live from Breckenridge on tv.   kewl     amazing what they do!
Saturday and one week til Santa arrives!     Santa, I have a wood stove, and don't think you'll fit in the chimney, so you're going to have to use your magic to get in here.   Satori will be here you know...she's probably already told you.    :)   Stockings will be hung and ready for you to fill!       Santa, I have a stocking, too.   Please fill it with treasures for me....I really like snickers. 

 Here's a picture of my front door so you get the right house.  And that's my old sled from my childhood!   My Dad used to hook it on the car and pull me and my sisters down the road.   oh my...the things we did...didn't kill anyone...   lol!
It's a great day to be alive.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Winter winter everywhere

This is the view of my backyard.  Haven't seen the bare ground for weeks, guess that's what I get for moving up here.  :)   Is cold in the 20's everyday.  I went for a walk today with my dog out to the road and walked down the road aways.  Blue skies and clean air fill me with contentment.  I appreciate my surroundings everyday.  There are rabbit and animal tracks in this photo, but may not be able to see them.  On my walk today, out by the road, I saw a path where deer? have been trudging through the snow along the fence out there.  And no I haven't seen them!    Since it is pitch black outside I don't venture any farther than the front porch at night.  :) 

jack rabbit tracks
Today I hauled firewood, a great amount, to the front porch and inside here; probably enough for a week, before I took my walk; was outside for over an hour.   Next time I'll put on warmer socks!  wool ones I've knitted.   The nights here get down into the that a word?   I am warm inside here even though it's 6 degrees outside.
Last week the full moon was was huge coming up!  I watched it from my living room out the front window...this pic doesn't show how big it was.

 I'm looking forward to having Christmas decorations are in progress.  :)

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Be Grateful

Mother Earth is my rock.  I can feel her deep inside me as a guide to my daily living and paths ahead. 
My favorite quote:
"The earth is your grandmother and mother, and she is sacred." 

Every morning I open the curtains and look out.  I see white snow covering most everything except the pine trees.  Snow hasn't melted since the last major storm because the temps are under freezing everyday.  We just got a dusting of snow last night.  As I look out my windows each morning while my coffee is brewing, I marvel at the new tracks in the snow near my house, mostly from rabbits and mice I think.  They are harboring the winter under the back deck, the wood piles, and in the barn and shed.  The moose spotted in September has not returned, at least when I was looking.  :)  When I was in town the other day, I overhead someone talking about seeing a moose near Hoosier Pass, so they are here.  I hope to see one again this winter.

Since I last wrote, gosh it's been 3 days, I've been busy with Christmas preparations. It doesn't look like I've done anything in here, the tree is up but not decorated.  I decided to use an artificial one this year, because where I put the tree is close to the wood stove, so will cut some pine boughs to bring in for the mountain aroma.
I've been making beaded jewelry this week, that's where all my time as gone.  :)  I better not say anymore about that.  smile....
I have a desk in my living room, so I unpacked all my beading supplies last week, and made the desk into a beading center.  It is in the full sun from the windows, and helps me see the tiny beads that are being weaved to create my own designs. 

 It is good to be back at beading.  My beading adventures started in 1995 when I saw a pair of earrings and said "I can make that", so began my love of beads and the endless ways to create beautiful jewelry.  My dear sister-in-law Carol, who passed in 2002, was my beading buddy, (sister of my late husband Jim).  We taught each other and had endless times of sitting in my camper beading at the Bluegrass Festival in Winfield, KS, where we met each year for 14 days of fun and family gatherings.   Oh those memories are just like yesterday.  

Well I can see snow blowing from the north, may be just drifting over here.  Time to get busy here. 

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Season of Giving

Today is Sunday, and 2 weeks from today, Christmas Day, will be here before we know it.  I look forward to being with my family, sharing stories, playing board games, sharing yummy home-made food by everyone, and enjoying the day together.  We decided 2 years ago to stop the presents, except for the young ones, and now there is no pressure or obligation to buy gifts for everyone.   We see the season for the reason it was created, about giving of ourselves, not getting gifts.    And we are happy.     So today I bought a gift for my grand-daughter.  I can't wait to see her eyes when she opens it.  My heart is full of love for my children and grandchild.
Saturday I had lunch with my two friends from my job in Boulder years ago...we still meet once a month for lunch together.  Laughter and stories are shared and we sit and talk over our food and drink as long as we have something to say.   We are 3 of a kind.    We call it our "group therapy".   :)    good food and drink once a month with friends heals a body good.   
Last night I stayed with my daughter and g-daughter.   They put up their Christmas tree and we watched Christmas Vacation movie.  Even though we've seen it many times, we laughed and laughed at the antics of the Griswald Family.  

beautiful isn't it? 

Today I drove home, unloaded my treasures from shopping, and started the fire.  It's always good to be home in my place of comfort and solitude.  Tomorrow I'll start decorating my house for Christmas, with everything I've collected for many years.  You know, those hand-made-by-little-hands kind of ornaments.  Some are faded and worn from many years of hanging on our Christmas trees.   All are valued the same.

Happy Birthday today to my Mom!  

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Each day has it's own beauty

"Each moment of the year has it's own beauty....a picture which was never before and shall never be seen again."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

As I look out my windows each morning, I see a different scene everyday.   The quietness and solitude brings me peace within.   The clouds are floating above from the north, their ever-changing misty shapes will never be the same again.   The trees are standing with their branches reaching to the sky, and the breeze through the needles is a dance from nature.   Aspens by the house have tiny buds...sleeping til the warm air comes back again in the spring.    I can see rabbit tracks in the snow, but they must come out at night, since I've never seen one during daylight. 
As I keep my house warm tending the wood stove everyday, I realize how blessed we are in this century to have instant heat and lights.  140+ years ago this valley was a mecca of gold miners and their quest for fortunes.   I can't imaging living here in the winter back then. 

I checked out the book "Silverheels" from the library here, and started reading it this week.   It's a story about a woman who came here from St Louis in 1862 alone.  She helped save a mining town from a smallpox epidemic.  Her dancing at a fundraiser earns her the nickname "Silverheels".  A mountain near here was named Silverheels after her.  This book was written by my landlord Tara Meixsell.  It is a story that should never be forgotten.  

Life is a gift

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Good to be home

I spent the weekend at my son and dil's house over the weekend in Lone Tree. My car was in for a repair, and had to wait til Monday for it.  Had a great time at their house!  A dip in the hottub with snow everywhere was wonderful.  We stayed home since it was so cold and snowy all weekend, getting out a few times for groceries and a bit of shopping.   David and I visited a friend in the hospital on Sunday, family friend who is too young to be so sick.   We felt so lucky to be healthy after that.  
Sunday I helped David make home-made noodles with beef, and pie crust for a cherry pie.  Both were so good! now he has the old family recipes for both.  
My car was done mid-day on Monday, so I came home.  Roads were a little icy in the mountains getting here, but I drive like a Grandma, so got here safe.  
Fairplay got quite a bit of snow over the weekend, maybe 8-10 inches, so my driveway was pretty deep.  Turned on 4WD and it drove right through it to my garage.   Called the guy that plows for me, and he was here in 2 hours in the dark to plow, also shoveled my sidewalk.    nice!     good service.   He's going to bring me more wood for free!   I buy the leftovers from cutting and splitting logs, cheaper and easy for me to handle and load my stove.    It's getting warm in here already this morning, started it at 730am. 
It is good to be home again.   Thankful for this house and gorgeous surroundings.
I took some pics driving home yesterday, and pics last night of the sunset and snow covered yard and fields.
....think it's about time to decorate for Christmas family is coming here this year.   :) 
West of Bailey on 285

Going west on 285 to Fairplay

Snow in my yard. Pike's Peak in the distance.

Sunset last night

I am grateful

Friday, December 2, 2011

I love being a Grandma

Today I drove back to Centennial.  Visited my friends where I used to work.  It was SO GOOD to see and visit with them again....SO GOOD.  All of them are missed in my daily life.  Hello YOU, if you are reading this....  :)
It's good to be back in the city, good because I get to spend the weekend with my son and his wife.  They have a new hottub, so you know where I'll be every evening.   lol 
But I'd rather be in the country you know....where peace and tranquility abounds--no traffic, no noise, no throngs of people everywhere.   I value my life as much as ever.  
Last week my daughter sent this pic out.   My grand-daughter found this sign in a catalog, and wrote her own beside it.   cute and witty, don't you think?

****************I love being a Grandma*****************

Pic taken yesterday during the snow.   View from my front porch.