If I could live with you, and you would live with me, I would choose a cabin for all seasons in a mountain scenery.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

When you are lucky enough to live in the mountains...

When you are lucky enough to live in the mountains, you are lucky enough.




Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sunday, October 12, 2014

It is all relative...

I was lucky enough to grow up on the South Dakota prairie next to the Mighty Missouri.  That taught me to appreciate so many things.  The golden ocean that is created by the prairie grasses.   The majesty of the cottonwood tree and the hardiness of the solid oak.  The thunder of the pheasant and it's crackling crow.  Unfortunately there are some downsides to the prairie.  There is the incessant wind, hot muggy summers, and many mosquitoes.   Growing up I didn't respect the beauty and couldn't wait to move to the mountains.   

Now I live in the mountains and, lo and behold with the good there is still the bad.  I love the cool mosquito-less summers.  The clattering golden leaves of the aspen vibrant against the dark green of the pine.  The gobble of the turkey and the bugle of the elk that punctuates the morning sunrise and the evening sunsets.    The hills also have a downside.  Months of deep snow, drawn out freeze thaw springs, and little no-see-um bugs that make my head swell like a pumpkin.  

I always say I love to get older.  I try very hard to learn the lessons life provides.  Probably the most important lesson I have learned is that everything is relative.  For every good there is a bad.  It is best to enjoy the beauty of both worlds.  I enjoyed that this weekend as my husband and I went for an evening walk in the hills and a morning walk out on the prairie.  I hope these photos prove my point.


 I see the moon and the moon sees me.
 Green and gold.

A beautiful evening.



 A beautiful morning.

 Playing hide and seek with the moon and the cottonwood tree.
 Bear Butte in the distance.

The golden grasses.

So which is your favorite?  I have decided to just enjoy the best of both worlds.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Garden of eatin...

The Garden's on Sand Creek also hosted an extensive fruit and vegetable garden.  If you look behind the sign there are espalier apple trees.  These make up one side of a huge pavilion that hosts a giant grill and kitchen area.  The whole thing is surrounded by an herb garden, fruit trees, and vegetable plants.  I'm thinking what a great idea.  The seed is planted:) 
These are the extensive fruit and vegetable beds.  They had about every kind of edible plant imaginable.  All of the harvest is donated to the local food bank.  I have to admit one of the volunteers let me sneak an indigo tomato, since I was thinking about planting them next year.  I wasn't as impressed as I am with my little zebra tomatoes.  Again I apologize for the poor quality of photo, it was quite bright.  There are grapes on the fences and arbors.  They were just taking the hops off of the arbor behind the hose reel.  I'm pretty sure that wasn't going to the food bank.

 I loved the colorful plants.  The Brussels sprouts did quite well.  Behind them is every type of berry imaginable.  That is my version of heaven.

 Of course you can have flowers in the vegetable bed.  There was plenty of calendula flowers and I was so impressed with this giant sunflower.  He was the granddaddy of all sunflowers.
  This was the tomato and pepper bed.   It was nice to see the hoop covers.  I am thinking that may be the only way I get a giant pumpkin.
That is the end of the tour.  There were some other beds, but the photos aren't very good due to the sun.  I can't say enough about all of the ideas I got from this tour.  Their use of rocks, the children's garden, the use of arbors and the pavilion.  My head is still spinning with ideas.  I have been to many gardens, but these were so well planned and so creative.  I hope you also got some ideas.  Thanks for coming.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Travels....

I had training in Ft. Collins, Colorado last week.  I wasn't looking forward to it.  I'm not a big city fan (I always feel trapped).  Well, I was in for a pleasant surprise.  Across from the building where our training was held was the Gardens on Spring.  They were amazing.  Especially the children's garden.   I apologize for the harsh light,  I went every day at noon.  A great time to refresh from training, not so good for taking photos.  Our tour today will be of the children's garden.  I do not have kids, but I was one once and I would have been in love with this place.

What a great entrance.
 Information about the different parts of the garden.
 You can't see them, but there are little watering cans everywhere for the kids to play with.
 I had never considered putting a piano in the garden, but it works.
 The signs were bright and bold, as well as the sculptures.
 



This is the entrance to the Secret Garden.  The secret garden had little tee-pees, log table and chairs, and little kid benches  hidden among the trees and plants. There were sound poles also throughout, so a little kid could talk in the shower tube and their friend, somewhere in the garden could hear them.

The sound pole is above and the hidden tee-pee is below.  I walked by the tee-pee twice before I saw it.  I also had to go look up what the little shower poles were for.  

 There are all sorts of things in the path to make you look.  Information about the months and animal tracks to be identified.  There was even a sundial.


 Even a miniature train garden with an actual running train.  I was scared to make it go, but a kind little boy proudly showed me how the whole thing worked.
 Back to the water feature.  It wasn't easy capturing a photo of it without kids.  Right after I took this about 40 little kids and parents showed up.  That was my cue to exit.  It was pandemonium.  
This was just the highlights there were more things than I could take photos of or name.  The vision this garden had was amazing.   If you are ever in the Ft. Collins area, please stop and spend some time enjoying this beautiful place.  I will have more about some of the other gardens in my next post.  I hope this gave you some ideas.  I know I will be working with my sister to help her implement a few of these ideas.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Harvest continued...

 For not having a great garden this year, I am getting a pretty good harvest.  I took my little sweetcorn ears and cut them off of the cob.  The final tally was 8 cups of corn.  Not bad.  Then came the crab apples.  I boiled them then used the fruit press to squeeze the juice.  The juice went towards wine and jelly.  The pulp was put through the food mill to make apple sauce.  Then I put the pulp from the peach wine through the food mill.  I ended up with a wonderful batch of peach/crab applesauce.  It is much sweeter than the crab applesauce I made last week.  Busy busy.  
I also tackled the worm bin.  I took the bottom layer and have it soaking in water for a nice houseplant fertilizer.  I then took potting soil, the leftovers from canning, shredded paper and some other compost for a new home.  Hopefully, they will be happy little worms and make plenty of fertilizer for my houseplants next spring.  

It was kind of a bummer working inside when outside the colors are incredible.  Mother Nature is rewarding us with a fall after keeping fall from us last year.  




 My camera does not do the vividness justice.  Oh to capture the scent of fall and the sound of the blue jays.  It was a wonderful weekend.  I hope everyone is enjoying the season also.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Harvest...

Ok, I can admit that waking up to this (even if it is September) is pretty cool.
 The snow put harvesting on fast forward.  Even the beekeeper came early to harvest the honey.
 I tipped over the potato cage and gathered the potatoes.  They aren't huge, but it is better than what I got when I planted them in the ground.
 I made 6 jars of crab apple jam, 10 jars of spicy vanilla peach jam, 14 jars of spiced peaches, 8 jars of spiced crab applesauce.  1 huge jar of brandied peaches, 1 gallon of rhubarb wine, potatoes, apples, sweet corn, plenty of leftover crab apples and one honeycomb.  
 I will make wine and more jam with the crab apples.  The sweetcorn will be frozen.  Who knows what will happen with the honeycomb.  I'm happy with my little harvest.  There is also box of green tomatoes, as the greenhouse was unable to fend of the freeze.  

I've had lots of people amazed we had snow this early.  Seriously, nobody else got any snow? How lucky can we be:)