Tuesday, June 29, 2010

The Simple Things in Life

Spring/Summer has finally come to our little valley by the mountains. It has been a struggle to get to this season this year but it has been worth it! It is green everywhere -- that intense green with a tinge of yellow green to make it look delicious.

Since we live in a very windy valley with extreme temps and cold nights (thank goodness) it is hard to grow many types of flowers, trees, bushes, and etc.

I once saw a Columbine coming up through a crack in a slab of cement and knew that was the flower for me and our area. They withstand most of the winds, snow into June and beyond, freezing weather, hail, and other hazards of trying to survive in our high altitude and diverse weather conditions. They come up by themselves each year and spread out and bloom. Love them. I would suppose some think of them as a "weed" since they will continue to populate a flower bed. But that is what I need -- tenacity -- to survive here everything has to have tenacity!

Iris's seem to do well if protected from the wind and in a sunny spot -- they, too, spread out and form their own bed and beyond!

Violas and Pansies also do well and will come back year after year! They also can live through a late summer snow storm!

Our Choke Cherry Bushes are full of blooms and should produce those very tart berries. I so love and enjoy our lilacs. It took quite a while for them to get established but now are blooming beautifully!

I marvel at all the types and styles of the Columbines. I thought, at one time, that I had some orange Columbines, but they must have been snuffed out by a dog laying on them. Darn!

Our delightful dramatic orange poppies do really well on the west side of our home...they have just begun to bloom!

...I thought I had lost this post once or twice my computer goes a little crazy once in a while!

Have a great day and enjoy the simple things in life.

Monday, June 14, 2010

There are days...and then there are DAYS!

What a beautiful morning it was today -- checked on and fed my laying hens, let Boo out of his dog pen for the day, put out our lovely US Flag, and then decided to play "kick ball" with Boo and Belle. They love this game -- seeing who can get the ball first when I kick it. Actually they want to catch it immediately in their mouth and since I am a very gentle kicker this makes them very happy. I usually do not play kick ball with both of them -- the reason being that Belle becomes totally focused on what she is doing and nothing else (or no one) matters. All was going well, until Belle came running from behind like a cannon ball and hit me in the back of my legs. I flew in the air and flipped over and landed with a thud on the lawn! I was screaming like crazy thinking I had just broken my new knee, I did not want to even try and move it. Belle took off at the first scream. Boo, bless his heart, stayed with me and licked my ear as I lay wailing on the grass. Marvin came running hearing my wailing from a distance. I was afraid to even get up. But once I was "righted" things seemed to be okay, but some things hurt somewhat. Sigh of relief my knee was still intact and I could stand on it and walk. Good job, I was alive and well. So, no more kick ball with Belle for a while and certainly not with her and Boo!

Next project was to begin to paint our living room -- finished the kitchen -- mixed more white paint with the color from the kitchen and decided it was a good enough color for the living room -- at least it was not white (which, at one time was throughout our home). A kitchen chair was sufficient to reach the top of the walls and complete the job. I will worry (or not) about the ceilings later (they are still white).

I was popping in and out of our home changing the sprinkler in our back yard. I noticed a lot of activity from bees (?), wasps (?) -- I totally do not like bees, wasps, hornets, yellow jackets or what-have-you in that type of structure. I go crazy when they get near my hair! (You can ask my family about my contempt for wasps and hornets -- I was stung below the eye while tubing the river -- after that I carried one of those spray cans with the hornet sprayer on it as we tubed the river...my family stayed away for fear I would spray them along with the hornets. And what about those darn deer flies!)

Back to my day -- there seemed to be an abundance of buzzing objects. Everywhere! Our son, Jason came down and pointed to a swarm of what he stated were honey bees swarming around our chimney on our home. He said they were trying to "get into the house" -- "Get into my house!" my brain shrieked! Then Jason drove off. What??? I am left here with these bees that want to "get into my house!" I don't think so...no, not my house. I envisioned them swarming down the chimney pipe into the stove and into my downstairs! I-eeeee! What to do???

I sprang into action...smoke, I'd smoke them out! I grabbed a pile of papers, carefully opened the wood stove door (you know, just in case they were inside already)...tossed in match -- lots of smoke, good job then added some wood...it was in the 70's here...but this was an emergency...ran outside -- smoke came pouring out of the chimney -- bees scattered! Victory was mine. My son came back (who knew) and said, "Why did you do that?" -- you know start the fire. I guess he was going to help me after all. Actually he wanted to catch the swarm and have it move into one of his hives (like I said, who knew). Okay, now he left again to get a ladder from his place.

I went back inside and began painting again. He did not come back right away. I decided to go check on my chickens. I got to my front porch door...bees (I thought they were wasps) were everywhere...they were slamming against the window in the door...I ran upstairs to go out the back...same scene going on...I was trapped in my own home by a zillion flying somethings! Okay, I thought they are swarming up under the eves of our "let's make a porch in 15-minutes construction" and I knew they would sneak in and get into the porch -- it was only a matter of time. My worse fear was realized when I went back out to the porch...wasps or bees they were inside! I got my can of bug spray and gave them a blast. I felt like I was in the Alfred Hitchcock horror film "The Birds"! I called my son and told him that there was a swarm of wasps...they were everywhere...he came back to get the bees...he told me they were honey bees and would not have "hurt" me! The spray had chased them away. I told him they were wasps and retrieved a small little body on the floor...Oh, dear, they did look like honey bees. Now I really felt bad.

Jason and Kara went looking for the swarm -- in the shop, barn, well house...they were finally located on a bush in the shelter belt of trees and bushes a little ways from the house. They do keep honey bees for our own use. Marvin went and got a new home for the swarm and Kara and Jason put the box by them and in they went...so they now have a new home.

I went in and took a nice hot bubble bath...did some deep sighs and relaxed. And so ends another day on the ranch...

I hope you had a good day. I will post pictures of the swarm -- Jason took the pictures!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Gorgeous Day by The Rockies!

These pictures do not do the day or the views justice! The green is so much more intense and so very lush looking! Everything is just totally "yummy" -- grass green, trees popping, wild flowers coming out to greet the season.

The first picture is of Yellow and Chief Mountain. The second picture is looking toward the Divide and St. Mary some 18 miles away. The third picture is of Yellow Mountain. The forth picture is of Yellow and Chief again. The pictures do not depict the height that we were at when the pictures were being taken.

I was on top of one of my very most favorite hills on our ranch. It is an absolutely gorgeous day here in our valley by the east side of the Rockies. Our family and friends worked the cattle and calves today getting them ready to go to summer pasture, which is not too far away.

Several of us ladies worked very hard getting food prepared for all that came to help. This is a time of year to renew old acquaintances and meet new people that come to help or to just visit.

This piece of land "up north" is my very most favorite piece of our ranch. Where our home is located it is down in a valley and we can really only see the tops of the mountains. But when we go up north we can see for miles and miles! There is another piece of our ranch across the highway from this piece and there is an even higher hill. From this view point you can see St. Mary River and a long way to the east.

Mr. Wind was howling today, but that was okay because it was just too special a day to let the wind get in the way.

I hope you all are having a great weekend! I have to go and wash some more serving trays from the "feed".