Sunday, March 7, 2021
Monday, February 15, 2021
When we look at today's weather map, we all see the same thing: the Polar Vortex that covers both Canada and most of the USA. Our sub 0 temperatures began late last week. Inside we stay cozy and warm, but we have to worry about the outside critters--rather the Head Gardener who tends to them has to problem solve the effects of such extreme cold, like the -15 degrees that held through most of the night. Even at -6 and a heat wave of 0 cause certain problems for horses. Take POP for example. At 34 while he looks robust and even acts robust, but the cold is hard him. The HG dug out his winter blanket late last week and covered him up. Sundance suffering from arthritis is stiff and presumably, like we humans, probably has cold aggravated pain.
Experts will say that horses are build to endure the cold, that blanketing isn't all that necessary, often overheating them, even in this extreme cold. The most important way to keep a horse warm is feed, which as the Vet told us fires up the horse's internal furnace. So Sundance can graze, but POP can't because he doesn't have good enough teeth to grind up forage, so he gets pellets that become a warm mash with hot water added. Only, yesterday his mash was freezing before he get it eaten, so late in the evening when the HG became frustrated that he couldn't keep the mash soft, I suggested using the dog's heated dog food bowl and it worked. We felt much better knowing that POP would get his full ration of food, hoping to help keep him warm.
The Barn Cat Callie is quite spoiled with a heated lamp above her dog crate home, still her water freezes, as does the pigeons' water. The hens stay toasty in their house with another heat lamp. The ponds are frozen, so we try to keep the bird bath filled and the feeders full.
I've been keeping myself busy making greeting cards for my DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) chapter to ship to Cards for Soldiers in Michigan, an organization that takes handmade cards and ships them all over the US, but mostly to soldiers deployed overseas. I host card parties here in my basement where several DAR members will join me every few weeks to make cards. Our last party created valentines for the residents at the Cheyenne VA nursing home.
This group of cards are all occasion cards that soldiers will be able to send home to loved ones. As an avid scrapbooker, over the years I have acquired quite a stash of embellishments and papers, so I dug it out and began to create. Mostly we have done Thank You for Your Service themed cards in red, white, and blue, but this program gives us the opportunity to be more creative. It's relaxing and gives us a great sense of contribution to the men and women who serve in the military.
Monday, February 1, 2021
Not to be negative, but what a mess January has been. Usually we can at least look forward to National Western Stock Show. I took the girls last year. We had such fun.This year the big stock show where ranchers, cowboys, and cowgirls come from all around to compete and show their animals that they have groomed, fed, and trained to compete for generous awards was canceled due to the pandemic. The grand and reserve grand champion beef, sheep, and hog are auctioned off with the winner receiving the proceeds which also are shared with the organization to provide scholarships and to fund the next year's event. Last year the top steer brought t$150,000.
Here, too, COVID cases shot up along with the controversies that seem to define the pandemic. I took my first vaccine shot with only soreness at the injection site. I get the second one February 9. The Head Gardener has not received his invitation from our health care organization. We continue to be cautious about going out. I use the Click List for my grocery store and do parking lot delivery. It is so much easier than trudging through the store where I am inclined to over spend. I go to Hobby Lobby routinely, but it's never crowed, so I feel less intimidated shopping there. And that's about it.
January brings the end of year bookkeeping and tax prep. Ugh.
Yesterday we loaded up Brody to take a drive out on the prairie, the Pawnee National Grasslands. This time of year a dead, brown landscape meets the pure blue sky. The land is dotted with the remnants of century old, abandoned homesteads, such as the black circle in this photo that isolates the homestead of my husband's great grandparents, Pete and Ella Rasmussen. As the story, goes they were the first to lose their homestead when the government began reposing properties for back taxes. We used to be able to drive up to the site, but the roads have been shut down. While this road serves the windmill, only the rancher has use. Along that ridge are the remnants of teepee rings where the plains Indians camped. The area, bland as the land is, carries a rich history of the growth of the west.
I always find myself imagining the very harsh living conditions year round; it is little wonder that farmers went broke and lost their farms. And before them the Indians who no doubt traveled their own paths, headed to the mountain hunting grounds.
While Montana is known as the Big Sky state, eastern Colorado had plenty of big sky, too.
And then as we return back west to head home, the Rocky Mountains suddenly appear, less snow capped this year with the snow pack far before normal. We're in for a drought wrought summer.
July will be the hot month. I had to take this photo last summer as I returned from shopping one day: 100 digress at 1 PM. On this cold, dry winter morning, the warmth certainly sounds inviting.
I bought a new DSLR camera, too. It has a photo editing feature that allows you shoot in that mode to get interested photos without editing. A fun feature to play with.
He likes it.
Monday, January 11, 2021
It's more that it's winter and cold and there's snow on the ground and probably patches of ice here and there that's keeping me home, while I still have to admit that the pandemic has something to do with my limited movement in the outside world. Regardless of why we are staying close to home, we have to keep busy. What has kept you busy these cold, dreary winter days?
I always pick up my crochet hooks in the winter to keep my hands busy and to make things for the grandkids like these little cloche or beanie hats. I got started early because Nathan explained that he had lost the hat that I made for him last year, so I him another one: black with red, green, and blue stripes along with the fingerless mittens that he really likes. I made several hats for the girls with flowers and matching fingerless mittens, but didn't take photos. There will also be a new baby girl in the family to spoil, so I made her a little sweeter and hat. She's not yet arrived--any moment now--so I still have time sew on the flower. Right now I'm making myself beanie.
I've started a new dollhouse project, an ambitious one with an addition shown on the left. I picked up this 1998 Dura Craft kit for $40 on Craig's List. Just what I needed--another house.
I always do a dry fit before I start glueing just to work out the assembling process and to figure out where all of the pieces go. It's very easy to get confused and put pieces in the wrong place.
It's a large house to begin with and adding two more rooms will make it a very spacious house.
I am waiting for new windows to arrive and a door that will connect the addition, which I am thinking will be the kitchen. You will be able follow my progress on the dollhouse blog Ann's Dollhouse Dreams.
As I look out on the snow-covered landscape, I can't help think about the lovely summer flowers. With the pond is covered with ice, it's fun to look back over the summer's photos to remember how pretty the flowers will be come spring and how good it will be to watch the goldfish and the Big Boy koi scoop up a dozen food pellets in on gulp.
Jackson and Perkins roses have been in the garden for at least 10-12 years. This year they have been spectacular. The bushes were taller and...
For the first time, I am joining Mosaic Monday hosted by Judith at Lavender Cottage . Since August is my blog anniversary month, I though...
"It smells like spring. Come out and smell the air," said the Head Gardener as he left the house to feed the horses. I obliged, t...
It's not safe to say that Winter has made his exit. He's still hanging around waiting to surprise us. We know the routine: freezing ...