Tuesday, November 7, 2017

We did it!

We’ve been worried about getting our fence posts in before the ground freezes. Well, we did it. 

This weekend we put in the last of them. We may be a bit sore but, for now, the digging is done. There’s still a lot to do, the connecting boards and braces, putting up the fencing, we’ll need to do boards around the bottom, too, to connect the fencing to so foxes don’t push under it or pull it up. But all of that can be done on nice days in the winter. One good thing about Colorado is the complete fluctuation of temperatures.  

  It may look a little bit like a pole garden, or an abstract sculpture But we won’t have to worry about digging through frozen ground. 

And maybe, just maybe I can convince lumberjack to do some easy inside work this weekend.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Building a garden

Lumberjack and I definitely wanted a big garden. I'm very excited to start gardening again, however, living where we do means we need extra precautions. We need a tall fence to protect against deer. We need something that reaches the ground and maybe even covers the ground for several feet on the outside of the fence to protect against digging animals. It needs to be strong so bears don't knock it down. So, essentially we need a prison.

To make it easier, so we don't have to do a fence around each, we're combining the garden, compost pile and chicken coop into one big well guarded compound. Sounds good, right? Well, it's a lot of work.

This is the area we wanted it in. It's fairly level, for the mountain anyway. It's large, it's south facing for sun and warmth. Plus, it's over our leech field so we're hoping for some extra nutrients. You can see at the back left the huge slash pile we had to clean up, plus there were a couple trees back there that needed to come down.

The next thing we had to do is build a small retaining wall in that back corner where the slope was too big to deal with. That area will be our compost area.  

Eventually it will have raised beds, with covers we can take off/put on to extend the season. We're more worried about putting in the fence posts before the ground freezes though so raised beds can wait. What can't wait is preparing the soil. So we laid out where we want our beds and did some compostable layers with cardboard packing boxes, packing paper, hay, and lama manure we got from a friend. Hopefully, with the warm/cold and wet/dry crazy weather we have over the winter it will all be nice soil ready for planting in the summer. Looks a little funny right now though.

That'll be a lot of veggies for us.

We started the fence posts this weekend but with all the rocks, and the length of the fence it's taking awhile. 

This is what we're doing based on our needs/wants and what we think will work. If we're doing it wrong or you have any suggestions we'd love to hear it!

Wednesday, October 4, 2017


Firewood isn’t the only way we’re getting ready for winter. I was fortunate enough to have parents who planted fruit trees. They can’t use the fruit this year and my sisters didn’t take their fair share so we ended up with a lot of fruit. I spent all of last week bottling. ALL. My kitchen was (let’s face it, it probably still is) a sticky mess but we ended up with 

19 quarts of pears

26 quarts of apple pie filling

12 pints of apple jam

10 pints of apple sauce

4 pints of chutney

3 pints of Apple Cider Syrup

And 1 ½ pints of Apple Butter. 

Previous to this I’d made and frozen a dozen peach and blueberry pies. 

Looks like it will be a yummy winter. 


Wednesday, September 13, 2017


Somehow I thought life would slow down into regularly regimented sections when the kids went back to school. Instead I'm still running around here and there, trying to catch up and get everything done.

Cooler temperatures are sliding in, inserting themselves between beautiful days of seventy degrees sunshine. Winter is coming. This will be our first winter here, living in the mountains. We're trying to prepare.

This is the first of our firewood stacks.

There are plans for more.

We have lots and lots of log piles, but we're trying to get them cut and sorted and ready to burn. There have been a few nights already we've thought about lighting the stove. We have no idea how much wood we'll go through in the course of a winter, so we'll keep splitting and stacking. We have the wood so it's not a problem. And if we don't use it, it will keep for next year.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017


Not only are we getting to know the altitude, we're getting to know the weather. This summer, and people have told us this is not completely irregular, June was the long, hot, dry month. In July and August there are almost daily afternoon thunderstorms. Our potted vegetable plants haven't done as well as we expected, in part to cooler weather then we are used to, in part due to....I don't know yet. But last week we had an unexpected storm.


It covered the ground completely by the time it was done. An inch of white on the ground. It melted quick, fortunately, but it destroyed a few things on the way down.

Our plants were shredded.

We wont' get much of a harvest this year.

Thursday, August 3, 2017


We had a spectacular storm last night. The kind you stay awake in bed to listen to. Safe in bed I find the rain drumming on the roof to be very soothing.

We awoke to a mysterious, mist filled world.

It's going to be a good day.

Monday, July 10, 2017


When we first moved in we had so many plans. So. Many.  It was a little overwhelming. Where did we start? How did we do everything we needed to do? We made a list and prioritized what needed to be done first. Still, it was exhausting just looking at it, and things kept coming up. So finally, we just started. No use waiting for an 'opportune time', cause that would never happen.

Know what?

It made things so much better. Just having that first step done made it easy to go on. Having something to build off of was much easier than looking at a blank canvas.

Now all we have to do is keep working and not give up.
Easy peasy.

Monday, June 19, 2017

Gone but not forgotten

We've finally had time to go through all our boxes. Twice. And we're still missing things. We are beginning to think we lost a box on the road somewhere. I've thrown away so much, and donated more. Why couldn't we have lost junk, rather than pictures from our travels, and momentous from our parents?

Ah, well. Loved or not they are still just 'things'.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Night, night.

We've lived in the new house for 7 weeks and we are loving it. It' so nice for the kids to go outside and play, to be able to hang things on the walls, and unpack non-essential but sentimental objects. It's taken us awhile to get sorted. In fact, this last weekend we finally put up our bed. Before that we were sleeping on a mattress on the floor. Which has been infinitely better than the air mattress and fold out couch bed we've slept on for the last two years.

Two years without my bed. I missed it so much.

We inherited our bed at least 15 years ago from my mother's neighbor. She'd had it 20 or so years after inheriting it from her grandparents, so it had been around the block. Add two cross country trips with us and it was pretty banged up. So I decided to re-finish it before we moved in. I didn't quite make the deadline. Of course, we had so much work on the house we barely made the deadline for moving in, so I can't be upset that I didn't get the bed finished, also. It was sanded, re-stained and varnished within two weeks of moving in.

But still we couldn't put it up. We couldn't find the brackets to put it together. We went through all the boxes. Twice. No brackets. I was beginning to worry we would never get our bed back when a lucky thought led us to exactly where they were.

I haven't even started the headboard yet, but we don't need a headboard to sleep on it. It takes up almost our whole small bedroom, and I've never been happier.

Good sleeping.

Monday, May 15, 2017

Easy Street

I don’t know why Lumberjack and I always do things the hard way. Maybe if I could figure it out I could stop doing it. Why do we always make the decisions contrary to popular practice, or financial benefit? Do we see the world differently? Or are we just stupid? 

The problem is, sometimes, we know it’s not the ‘best’ decision by worldly standards, but we know it’s the ‘right’ decision. And all the way through the struggles and living, we still know it’s the right decision, but that knowing doesn’t make it easy.   

Maybe someday we’ll reach easy street. Until then, we’ll try to keep making the ‘right’ decision and hope that someday it’s also the ‘easy’ choice.