Sunday, April 24, 2016

The blue, blue sky.

The winds were a little hellacious last night and today, finally subsiding a few hours ago. Here in the mountains the sky always seems to look amazing and sometimes I forget how blessed we are to have a place here that we absolutely love to call home.
I often wonder if people that live here take the view and beauty for granted. When you see something everyday its easy to never really see it after a while. We do our best to remind each other to look at it as if it's the first time, new.
The drive in was amazing as usual.

Getting closer, even more amazing.

When you visit the hardware store, this is the view from the parking lot

We had some light hail last night and a good soaking rain. I was pleased, all the seed I spread around will get a fighting chance, especially considering the winds that were raging today. As usual I managed to get just a little too much sun but I don't like wearing shirts anymore when I'm running, especially when they feel like parachutes in the 30 mph gusts. It was a shorter run than normal but I made myself get out there and do it and since I didn't die I'll consider it a success. The usual headwind both directions at those gust speeds was awful.

Rock had a great time hiking around and swimming in his favorite holes. The creeks have a few deep spots, this one being the deepest and there are brookies for him to paw at and get excited about.

Splash-Splash, taking a pittie bath!

Bobcats, coyotes, deer, elk, turkeys and a whole lot of birds. We saw one of the cats (typhoid) but haven't seen rabies in a few weeks. With any luck she moved on to a better woodshed, but it's not the first time she has vanished for a while.
Birds abound and everything is green and amazing.

The laundry is almost finished and all of the other chores are done. I just got back in from hiking a few miles with my backpack, only a little breeze out in the plains. The Amish neighbors down the road a bit have a new baby horse but it didn't want to visit me. Further down the road there is fresh construction, there are about 4 new places within 5 miles and there is a big field for sale with water rights 1 mile down. I haven't priced it out but I'm sure it will sell no matter the price, it's buying and moving season.

I spied down the road further and a fellow bloggers property and we might be just a little jealous of the view they will have from any window.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Night falls.

Tonight is just amazing.

Rock and I just got back from a great hike and he enjoyed splashing around in the creeks. We are listening to the water from inside, it's spring finally. The water is high and the mountains have a ton of deep snow sitting on them. It's going to be great run-off year and with ay luck we will get a nice amount of rain as well. There is only a small bit of snow left in the yard, mainly next to the spruce tree and along the cabin foundation where it landed as it slid off the roof.
Compared to this picture of yesterday, wow.
It harder to imagine that there was 2-3 feet of snow here on Sunday afternoon. That's what we love about Colorado, all 4 seasons and none of them suck too bad.

Rock and I brought a truck load of supplies down including 80 #10 cans of long term food storage. I did some quick math and have about 200 more #10 can to move down and I'm kicking myself for not keeping them in the original boxes. We hauled down our new bathroom vanity for when we get the electrician out here (he has to do some work in the bathroom before we hang it). In the load we also have most of our battery backup system (for smaller electronics, lights, fans, etc.) minus the batteries that will be in the next load.

I'm going to build a lighting system similar to one that my Dad had in our house back in the day. With all the great LED lighting it should last a long, long time on a dual battery system. Once it's operational I'll get a couple of solar panels hung to keep the batteries topped off. I wanted a much bigger battery bank but that will have to wait, these suckers aren't cheap.

We wanted batteries that will be good for 10 years and the Optima Yellow Top D31 series seemed to be the best choice. The regular ones don't have the same capacity and aren't 75Ah.

It's a big work weekend; bulb planting, limb cutting, wood stacking, yard seeding, wildflower seeding, increasing the spring pool damn size, chimney cleaning, plotting a deck expansion, loading up on lumber, etc. In the city the grass needs to be cut already but we put that off for a couple of days.

Work is... well it's work. I did a compliance audit and we are out of compliance with a half-dozen or more Federal Agencies, literally 100% failure. I'm the only one who thinks it's a big deal and the person who caused this disaster is being protected and if I don't fix it, nothing will change. I'm drafting a letter to my boss, the owner, because I can't let this sort of thing just slide even if everyone else is willing to. Bah.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A little scuba diving!

With work in an uproar it was a perfect time to leave for a scuba diving trip. Truth be told we had this trip planned and although we had worries about leaving, the boss said to go. Something will always get in the way and we won't ever go anywhere.

The hotel was nice but the all inclusive part was horrible. I guess it's designed for people who like shit food and drinking too much while getting sunburned at the pool while being entertained from morning to night....

Yup, we hated it. A basic hotel would have done a better job. Oh well, we ate out all the time and had great seafood.

The diving was great! It was nice to be in good enough shape that my air supply lasted the entire planned dive duration, even in really strong currents. One dive had to be aborted because the current was too strong and everyone was running out of air after just 20 minutes. We had enough air for another 20 minutes, cardio and endurance counts. Here are some pictures, enjoy!

The pool was open so it was time to make a splash!

Some people get nervous, I want to ride them.

I was pointing to an enormous eel, or was asking for directions, not sure.

I love to look up close under the edges of the coral. I spent a lot of time upside down.
When not upside down I was hiding from the sunburn monsters.
There were a lot of these little guys at times.

Some name I don't know coral...

Splendid toad fish. This is one of the coolest fish ever if you get to see the whole thing.

Sleepy fish I nicknamed rock fish for no apparent reason.

These little bastards swarm and sting the shit out of you.

Think this is some sort of crab. It looked so awesome.

Now we are back home and shoveled snow... yup, from 85 and sunny to 20 and 2 feet of snow. No problem, we shoveled at the cabin and went for a run. Everything is greening up nicely and the snow is going to make a big difference and should put the snow levels at normal. The water is flowing great and we just can't get enough of being down there, even after a week in the Caribbean!

Monday, March 28, 2016

Easter Weekend

Life at almost 9000 feet.

The neighbors wanted to talk for a while on Saturday. I took a break from splitting kindling and we had a nice visit. It was a one sided conversation but this is the closest they have been in 2 years. The horse on the right actually got close enough to sniff me but none of them let me touch them. I want to get some treats but need to talk to the Amish about what's ok to give them. Some people have told me carrots and apples but I want to check first, they might not want me giving them anything.

Sunday rolled in and they had plowed the roads in the early AM. I was surprised but then I remembered it was Easter and everyone in the county was going to church (except us select odd balls). We took Rock out for a nice hike once the sun broke over the ridge.
Our little damns are holding fine and we have more water in them than expected. I need to gather up more rocks (not an issue, they are everywhere) and build it up another couple of feet tall and wide. Once that's done I'll shovel a bunch of dirt over the entire contraption to help seal it up. The water looked so clear I wanted to dip a cup into it and take a drink.

The wind at the cabin and in the plains was non existent for a change. We both had a really nice run, I got a slight sunburn because that's just how I operate (who wears shirts anyhow?). It was the perfect temperature at about 55 degrees and the views were inspiring. The wind up on top of the peaks was fierce all day but it never materialized down low.
Back in the city we had received a foot of snow and it's already half gone, the sun is doing a good job of melting everything. The weekend was amazing, just what we both needed before I head off to Vegas for a few days of work.

I hope everyone had a great weekend.

Friday, March 25, 2016

Cake by the ocean!

Part of my job is to make sure I stay up to date on trends, apps, music, whats popular, buying cycles, etc. Sometimes it's annoying and I have a hard time wrapping my head around much of the crap that people like. Other times I get to really enjoy what I do.

So in a nod to the trending song 'cake', here is a photo of cake by the ocean.
What am I doing at the beach?
How about a private concert by Jewel... yup I'll take that, she is one of my favorite artists.

I had to hang out in Miami for work, south beach to be specific. The humidity was brutal and the weather was in the mid 80's. A shock to my system but I loved it and enjoyed the challenge of running in that humidity. I learned a lot of work stuff and enjoy a few hours on the beach.
Views from the room:

Unfortunately while I was flying back home we had a key manager delete everything on his computer and walk out. Didn't bother to tell anyone he was quitting, he just left. I've been filling in and still managing my workouts and cabin time. Unfortunately that's all there is, no time for several projects that we need to work on. I am heading to Vegas next week for work so it's only going to become more hectic at work. We've also started construction on our expansion after a year of hold-ups based on city planning and codes and crap.

We are healthy and happy and it's great to be needed and leaned on when times are tough. Between pushing my limits working out and everyone else pushing my limits at work, I am learning new things every single day. Thats how it should be.

Cheers (and snacks)!

Saturday, March 5, 2016

Early spring

I know we will get a few more storms and some more snow but when it's in the 60's you get as much done outside as you can. Before we know it the temperature will be in the 80's or more. Comparing photo's from last weekend to this, the snow amounts are down at least 50% so there is a lot of work that got exposed with the sun.

We are reloading the woodshed from whats under the tarp, we didn't make a big dent this year so we definitely will have to add an expansion. This will keep our total cordage, on site, at about 10. This year we will get a few loads of hardwood to offset all of the pinion. The softwood burns fine but it does require more chimney cleaning (in my opinions, others say no) and we want to keep a mix of 50/50 hard/soft.

I grabbed a rake after my afternoon run and have about 10 piles of pinecones and pine needles that we will back up tomorrow. I still probably have 2 more bags of just pinecones that will  be picked up. The can wreck a dogs paw and shoot out of the mower like missiles so we pick them up each spring. There are sprouts of clovers and grass coming up and the tree's are starting to but at both houses. The garden is ready to be put in but we know better, the plants are getting big and anxious.

We tightened a lot of screws down on the metal roof, the wind vibrations cause some of them to back out. A barn a few miles down the road lost almost exactly half of it's metal roofing sections. It's interesting to note that the screwed the metal down onto the rafters directly. While it certainly can work it seems to me that if you put plywood down and screw into that you can get 2x as many screws in and make it twice as secure. This is something I've been thinking about since we need to redo the woodshed roof (they screwed into the rafters directly and it's not holding up well). The barn was finished this past fall and it's either a sloppy Amish roofing job or a testament to how the winds have been so far.

Not much going on in the blogs, some have closed and some haven't been updated in ages. I'm trying to post a few times a month, it's a nice record of our lives for the last few years. It's pretty boring but just going back and seeing the pictures is enough reason to keep on posting up. All things end but we shall endure to keep this little journal going.

Rock and I have gotten in about 5 miles hiking today plus my run. There have been some nasty storm clouds around but most of the day it's been incredible. Some would even break out sunscreen.

Friday, February 26, 2016

Happy and inspirational Friday!

Someone told me there was a debate last night...

The only debate I know about was the one I had with my brain about doing a second workout for the day. When the body says stop (and thats really your brain) you have 80% left. I ended up learning some Thai Boxing and even though my knee hurts today, it was great training. Spent almost 3 hours at the gym in total, tonight is a night off and I really need it.

Working hard to stay in top athletic condition because prepping the body is just as important (and perhaps more important) than a lot of things people focus so much time on. This picture includes my coach, he is fighting next week in Bellator MMA. He was in the UFC reality show, fought in the UFC and currently is the RFA welterweight champion.

We work around some of my limitations he always makes me work hard so I don't let myself down. If I'm only going to be here this one time, I'm trying to fill that dash (the one between birth and death on the headstone) so they have to buy an extra long stone.

It's an amazing day, I hope everyone has a great weekend. Get out there and push those limits, exit your comfort zone, do something new.