Saturday, April 27, 2013


Hubba and I were out for errands on this completely, gorgeous afternoon and saw cars pulled over and people walking with cameras.

He exclaimed, "There's something in that tree!" But all we could figure out was that there was a nest.  So we decided to drive past on our way back.

I saw there were chicks and was pretty sure they were raptors, but couldn't tell if they were eagles or owls.

So I came back later with my camera.  :-)

Can you see her?

stretching those wings

Last photo as I was starting to leave, then...

A 3rd owlet popped up

and gave us a little show.

Clearly these are Horned Owls, but I have not done enough research to know if these are Great Horned Owls or if there are other varieties of Horned Owls.

Living in Colorado continues to amaze me.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Shaking the Funk

I've felt a bit of a funk lately.  The explosions at the Boston Marathon didn't help and neither did all of the snow we've received over the last two weeks.

But my Donegal Hat is finished.

Yes, I have one (1!) end to weave in and still to soak it.  It is not nearly as scratchy as I thought it would be.  So I don't expect to be knitting a liner for it.

All of the snow has turned our pasture green... and our grass... at least what survived last summer is currently green.

It's was more than 60F when I took these photos yesterday.  The sun was shining and yes, that is snow on the right.  We have snow in the forecast.

I hate the advertisements on the free apps... um, no thank you. :-/

The traditional last freeze is Mother's Day (2nd Sunday in May) and to be honest, Memorial Day (last Monday in May) can often be quite cold around here.  So it really is not unusual and I'm happy that we aren't seeing as much lake-bottom as we were a few weeks ago.

Our Cherry, and other fruit trees are nearly ready to leaf out.  Which reminds me to make sure I have enough CDs available to hang in the branches once we have fruit.

Our dogs are ridiculously cute and sweet.

I love having a puppy again.

He has two brothers and one sister who are available, if you feel the NEED for a Tibetan Mastiff.  I have photos and can put you in touch.  :-)

The house next door was a short sale, then a foreclosure and has essentially been vacant for 9 months.  It closed last Friday.  So we have new neighbors!  They are nice and excited about the dogs and alpacas.

So, I'm shaking the funk.  Life really is good.  I am happy.  But sometimes the world gets heavy.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday. :-)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Just the Facts

21 inches snowed and melted over the last 10 days.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Introducing: Timberline's Colorado Gunnison (aka Gunnar)

We've been waiting for the right boy for what seems like a very long time.

We were excited to learn that this litter would, indeed happen and made several visits with the Breeder, Timberline Tibetan Mastiffs, over the last few months to visit the puppies (Puppy Therapy and More Puppy Therapy).

Our puppy is now 9 weeks old and moved in on Thursday.

Since we have grown dogs (four now), we always make a point to do the introductions one-on-one in a neutral location.  However with all of the snow we received earlier this week, that was not possible and we made the introductions in the garage, which is dogs' territory.

They all did well and were playing together in a matter of minutes.

Since Thursday, we've been working on things like walking on a leash, coming when he's called, and going in the potty place. He's doing very well at all of these so far. :-)

He's also met a couple of the alpacas.

Timberline's Colorado Gunnison is the son of Timberline's Barni Drakyi (Barnes) and Timberline's Janey.  We will be calling him Gunnar.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Marathon Monday

Hubba ran today's Boston Marathon.

He doesn't like crowds, so we booked him a room outside of the city.

He was back at the room when the explosions happened.  So he is safe.

The other runners from Loveland are also safe.

Many people are not.

Our thoughts and prayers are with the other racers and spectators.

Spring in the Rockies

I've been feeling frustrated that I haven't gotten my seeds in the ground yet. I guess I should give myself some slack. ;-)

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Brewing Kombucha at Home

Hubba loves Kombucha.  I like some Kombucha.

With Hubba's love, we've been bothered by the number of bottles going to the recycling bin.  We had tossed around the idea of making our own, but hadn't really gotten beyond talking and a small bit of reading.

Then my friend Kristi offered that she had some SCOBYs that would be ready to share, so I jumped at the chance.  First, having the starter rather than beginning from scratch and second, having Kristi's wisdom available made the whole process a little less scary.  ;-)

The donated SCOBY made it home in one piece and I set it up on a shelf in my office and covered it with a towel.  It's supposed to be kept in a warm, dark place, out of the way so it doesn't get disturbed and away from fruit, for some reason.

I left it there for nearly two weeks, checking on it occasionally.  It was exciting to see the "baby" SCOBY being formed.

I tasted it for the first time on day 12 of brewing.  It was a bit vinegary so I plan to start tasting the next batches sooner.  Also, as we approach summer and the house gets warmer, I expect the Kombucha will brew faster.

I pulled together two flavoring/recipe suggestions, made our next batch of black tea (Pekoe I brought home from India a few years ago) and brewed two 1/2 gallons.

Since I needed to reserve 2 cups of Kombucha from the first batch, that only left about 48 ounces available for flavoring.  I decided to use two pickle jars we had set aside a while back... Everything I read had me concerned about using soap and chlorinated tap water for cleaning and I'm not exactly sure how the "rinsing in vinegar" thing works yet.. at least without using large quantities of it.  The pickle jars are short enough to fit in my regular soup pot for water-bath sterilization... no soap, no vinegar and no bad bugs. :-)

The Grolsch style bottles are often recommended, but I also found resources that said both canning jars and re-using other jars is acceptable... as long as the head-space is minimized, the pressure is less likely to build up too much that the risk of "rapid seal failure" is minimized.  So far, so good.  ;-)

We had our first taste of the flavored Kombucha on Friday.  Hubba, who had been a skeptic about the whole process proclaimed with a big smile, "It tastes like Kombucha!"

A few resources I've found helpful: Delicious Obsessions, Food Renegade, Weston A Price, Cultures for Health, Fiber Fool.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: I'm a Winner!

Wha???  I won something?  Yea!

I've been wanting to crochet something, but haven't had the right project bite me yet...

I have Denise's most recent collection and printed out one of the patterns I really liked... and, of course, it's the only one in the collection that is a knit.  I haven't started it yet, so perhaps there will be something delicious in this magazine?

Thank you very much Denise!  I promise to put your yarn to good, crochet use.  :-)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Fiber Arts Friday: Spinning Bison

Well, it seems I've been on a bit of a spinning kick lately.  ;-)

I had a small amount (1/4 ounce) of Bison that came in the same package as the Qiviut.

All I can really say is that spinning Bison is the exact opposite experience as spinning Qiviut.  This preparation of Bison was hairy with a varied staple length.

It required a tight twist to keep the yarn from separating.

All of the hair and varied lengths has resulted in a more rustic looking yarn.  The downy part is quite soft though.  So I suppose with more practice and perhaps a different preparation I could make a nicer yarn.  I plant to look for more at the Estes Park Wool Market in June.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Slow Living: March 2013

Somehow it's already time for the March installment for the Slow Living Project.  I guess that means it's been a busy month.  ;-)

NOURISH: Make and bake as much as possible from scratch. Ditch overpackaged, over-processed convenience foods and opt for 'real' food instead. Share favourite links/recipes/tips from the month here.

We've been experimenting in the food department, and I've been feeling little bits of inspiration... We've had several versions of Brussels Sprouts, which I've recently learned can be quite delicious and not at all like the nasty, yucky things my mother made me eat as a kid.  I made up a pork stir-fry and my first-ever leg of lamb.  We went out for a Korean feast with Hubba's coach, who is originally from Korea and tried all kinds of new-to-me foods.  We made Sushi Rice for the first time and experimented with a few new-to-us recipes.  Cooking is a lot more fun when you're feeling inspired.  :-)

PREPARE: Stockpile and preserve. Freeze extra meals or excess garden/market produce. Bottle/can, dehydrate or pickle foods to enjoy when they are not in season. Aim to reduce dependency on store bought items especially those known to contain BPA and other suspect additives. Stocking up on dry goods when prices are low counts too.

I finally got to do some garden preparations yesterday (!) and received my first ever SCOBY from a friend earlier this month.  There will be veggie planting and Kombucha making soon.  :-)

REDUCE/Reuse/Re-purpose/Repair: Cut down on household waste by re-using, re-purposing and repairing. A ladder into a strawberry planter? A sheet into a dress? Share ideas and project links here, allowing others to be inspired.

I don't believe we accomplished anything out of the ordinary in this category... but are taking some steps that should reduce a large amount of waste... fingers crossed that these plans work as intended.

GREEN: up our lives. Start (or continue!) using homemade cleaners, body products and basic herbal remedies. The options are endless, the savings huge and the health benefits enormous.

I might be reaching for this one... I use a Neti Pot fairly often.  Especially after sweeping, dusting or digging in the dirt.  It's just warm water and salt and keeps me from having to use allergy and cold meds, for the most part.  It keeps those sinus related headaches almost non-existent.  I do still occasionally get sick or have bad allergies but usually that's because I've been running myself too hard.

GROW: plant/harvest. What's growing this month? What's being eaten from the garden? Herbs in a pot, sprouts on a windowsill or and entire fruit/vegetable garden -opt for what fits space and time constraints. Don't have a backyard? Ask a friendly neighbour or relative for a small patch of theirs in return for some home grown produce, they may surprise you!

We had a fair amount of snow in March and a little bit of rain which has been wonderful.  It means though, that I wasn't able to get into my garden until yesterday, 3/31.  I, hopefully, will be able to get my early-season seeds into the ground next weekend.  In the meantime the pastures are turning green and the trees are on the verge of budding out.

CREATE: to fill a need or feed the soul. Create for ourselves or for others. Create something as simple as a handmade gift tag or something as extravagant as a fine knit shawl. Share project details and any new skills learnt here.

I have been spinning up a storm.... wool/mohair and Qiviut as well as a few other fibers that I have yet to share.  :-)

DISCOVER: Feed the mind by reading texts relevant to current interests. Trawl libraries, second hand shops or local book shops to find titles that fill the need. Share titles/authors of what is being read this month.

A little tease from a friend launched me into a mini research project about Qiviut and Muskox and an opportunity for a SCOBY from another friend  has had  me reading up on how to make Kombucha.

ENHANCE: community: Possibilities include supporting local growers and producers, help out at a local school/kindergarten, barter or foodswap, joining a playgroup or forming a walking or craft group. Car pooling where possible and biking/walking instead of driving. Even start up a blog if you haven't already - online communities count too! Or maybe just help out someone trying to cross the street! The rewards for your time are often returned tenfold.

I sent off my 3rd Pay-it-Forward Project... one more to go.  :-)

ENJOY: Life! Embrace moments with friends and family. Marking the seasons, celebrations and new arrivals are all cause for enjoyment. Share a moment to be remembered from the month here.

Puppy Therapy... in early March.

More Puppy Therapy.... at the end of March.  :-)

Even though we've been getting a fair amount of snow, and had our first two (!) wild fires already, I am loving all of the little signs of spring... red-winged black birds, Flickers that chatter like monkeys, shedding dogs, green-tinted fields, budding trees and lady bugs.

Happy Spring.