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

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Winter let fall fool us all...

Winter let fall fool us all.  We were enjoying 70 degree days and then BAM, the polar vortex nailed us.  I went to work Thursday and it was -20.  Blah.  Did Old Man Winter have to come in with such a bang?  

We braved the cold temperatures to go hunting this morning.  I actually wasn't looking forward to it.  Last year I didn't see anything and finished the season with a bowl of tag soup.  Again I was fooled.  Despite the cold (5), snow, and strong winds it was a great hunt.  

I saw a small doe on the hike into my spot.  I decided to sit tight and my instincts were right.  A nice buck showed up and gave me plenty of time to make the decision to pull the trigger.   It was a good shot and I took my time dressing him out.  I had wonderful company as a covey of curious sharp tail grouse flew in to watch me.  By the time I was finished and had pulled him to a place where he could be loaded, my husband arrived.  We loaded him up and brought him home.

Tomorrow, I will be the butcher and we will eat grilled back straps.  A much more delightful meal than tag stew.
 I enjoyed watching them hang upside down to reach the Russian Olive berries.  They watched my progress with great interest.

It wasn't a bad way to start the winter.  At least we will have plenty of venison on these short cold days.  Happy hunting.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Winter is coming...

Winter is coming.  It was bound to happen.  We have had a good run of it.  One of the nicest falls we have had for a long time.  I didn't need the weather service to tell me a storm was coming the birds and chipmunks were a pretty good indicator.  

The chipmunks really enjoy the squirrel feeder my parents gave me.
The cry of the cranes as they fly over.
The turkeys are frequent visitors.  Would they be so bold if they knew Thanksgiving is around the corner?
The goldfinches, pine siskens, and white breasted nuthatches are sure thirsty.
If you are wondering why there are so many sunflower hulls in my bird bath the photo below will explain.  He likes to picnic by the water.

 This nuthatch has it all figured out.  He grabs a seed from the feeder, crams it into the crack, and then pecks until he gets it open.  It is a pretty slick deal.  The pine sisken below is looking to see if the nuthatch is getting seeds from the crevasse.  He seems confused.

I'm very pleased with the bird bath and feeder we made from the old cow drinking bowls.  On one side the blue jay is getting a drink and on the other he gets his peanuts.
I guess I'm as ready for the snow as I will ever be.  Hope my furred and feathered friends have filled their bellies.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Twenty and counting...

This week was perfect!  My husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage.  Something I am extremely proud of.  Why?  Because we made it look easy.  

We spent the day Jeeping, enjoyed a picnic on a ridge overlooking the Hills, had Roughlock Falls all to ourselves, took a wonderful nap, and then went out to eat.  It was grand spending the day with my best friend.  

I also grew a little older this week (thanks for the birthday wishes Robyn).  I say it every year and I'm still saying it... "I love to get older."

I am happily married to a very thoughtful man.
I live in a beautiful cabin in the woods.
I have a strong and supportive family and in-laws.
I know wonderful people and gladly call them friends.
I work with great students and staff.
I have a happy dog that greets me at the bottom of the steps every morning.
I am healthy and somewhat in shape (thanks to my doggie running partner and husband walking partner).
I am truly blessed.  Why wouldn't I want to celebrate another year?

I am a lucky woman.  My birthday wish is that all of you are happy, supported, settled, and healthy.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

I'm still gardening and still harvesting...

Despite snow in September, October has proven to be a beautiful Indian Summer.   I am still gardening.  I pulled out the last of the annual flowers and put the strawberry bed back into strawberries.  I was quite slow ordering and ended up with 50 June bearing plants.  Normally, I do 25 June bearing and 25 ever bearing.   Of course, I don't garden alone.  Ella is my gardening partner, or maybe I'm her pine cone throwing partner.  Either way we got the job done.  

She acts like she cares about my gardening, but really she is staring at a pine cone she dropped in the midst of my work (in case I didn't know what she wanted).  She can't understand why I'm not as excited about that pine cone as she is.

I'm also gathering leaves to wrap my roses against the pending winter.  Some went into the compost pile.  I have no idea where the pine cone pursuer is at this point.

I managed to harvest my herbs.  They have been drying for awhile.  They were finally ready to be put in jars and put in the pantry for this winter.  I gathered pine cones for that little planting partner of mine.  When the snow falls it is hard to find her favorite toy.  Needless to say by the nose in the photo, she was very happy about a plethora of pine cones.

The jars hold:  Top left to right; peppermint, blackeyed Susan seeds, parsley.
Bottom left to right; sage, chamomile, thyme.    I will use the peppermint for tea.  The seeds will be gifted and sown around the place.  Parsley is one of my favorite cooking herbs.  I will mix the sage with honey and lemon for sore throats.   The chamomile goes into a hair de-tangler and facial toner.  The thyme will be used with chicken and also in my hair de-tangler 

How is the weather elsewhere?  Do you have a planting partner?  What is your pet's favorite toy?  What are your plans for the harvested herbs?

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.