Saturday, December 29, 2012
I grimaced and said, '"Probably". grrrrrrr.......
So we built a fence and two gates and a three sided pole barn, borrowed a trailer from a retired co-worker and hauled the beasts home. Stanley came here with his name attatched, an angora billy. The Llama had no name. She was gifted to Brad along with another Llama and he only had room for one. We threw names around for what seemed like a good while and settled on Hazel the Llama Mama. She was brown and white, really needed a shearing and was pretty stand offish. After a while she would eat out of our hand on occasion if we had the right kind of sweet mix in our mitts. She would make a calling sound at the site of dogs or coyotes or me wearing the wrong hat, and the other animals would come running and duck under her belly. By this time there was another angora/churro goat (Choco) and a little Alpaca (Princess Buttercup).
There is an account further back in the blog of the rodeo the first day I roped her. Then there was a shearing that she was good as gold during, surprising us all. Mostly she was a calm presence that meant we didn't have to worry about our other little guys.
When we came home last Thursday, the 27th Mama wasn't doing well. Her breathing was labored and her lower lip was hanging way down. We went in to gather our stuff to get set to try to help her out and a half hour later when I checked on her.... Mama Llama was gone.
We buried her today, in a nice deep grave where the coyotes she fended off can't get anywhere near her now that she's defenseless. Crys* made sure she had a handful of sweet mix to munch on her way to the next pasture where goats won't ride her back and crazy Denny's won't chase her around the pen.
Stanley misses her already and so do we. It was way too short a time and we got so attached to our friend Hazel. I hope her rest is good and the grain stays sweet.
Friday, December 21, 2012
Thursday, December 20, 2012
Sunday, December 2, 2012
So now the walls are up, the roof is up and soon we can start shingling. Haven't bought the shingles yet.
And we have this afternoon off. 'Cause you gotta rest sometime!
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Thursday, November 22, 2012
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Life is good.
Thursday, November 1, 2012
Saturday, October 27, 2012
Monday, October 22, 2012
This was the last useable spot for the "extra" concrete. It's a footer about 12 X 4 and we'll set some windows into frames with a temperature operated fan to blow the hot air into the studio. We'll see how well it works but hey........ any added heat is a bonus.
When we got done pouring this the truck driver looked into the back of the cement truck and pronounced that there was less than a wheel barrow's worth of concrete left. And he gave me a thumbs up.
This is a bit of a milestone in the project. It took upwards of 3 weeks to get the propane tank and underground lines all moved outta the way and the site prepped. The concrete went down in less than 4 hours. Above are the local fellas I hired to give me a hand. And here's the pad, with the bolts in place for the 10 X 23 foot building addition for storage and the post anchors for the covered storage (no walls since you can't have an enclosed building within 10 feet of the propane tank. :D And we're all about the safety. Now to get the wood ordered and put that sucker up!
My dad taught me to just order a full truck load of concrete and build more forms than you think you need. Above was the reason for the project, the building pad. I figured I'd have enough left over concrete to do at least most of this sidewalk. Surprise surprise surprise, there was plenty there to do the whole thing!
Sunday, October 21, 2012
The boys and the concrete truck got here together. We started on the 19X28 pad, the driver helped make sure we did it in a way that involved a whole lot less shoveling of wet concrete. I took one end of the scree board and the boys took turns on the other end. When we got that all in the forms, Nick and Alec went off to work on the sidewalk while I and boy #3 went back over the building pad. About the time the sidewalk got filled up the boys started in with trowels and I went with the driver to fill up the footer I'd formed up for the studio/solar house passive solar stuff. Then I went back to the building pad. We tried the power trowel I'd rented but the mud was still too wet and it just sank and screwed up the flatness of the mud. The boys kept troweling, and I set in bolts for the building and post forms for the covered storage.
About then the boys were done, driver was long gone. So I paid the kids and kept working until I was done enough. Gave the power trowel one more shot but it just never got dry enough before I had to return the thing. Live and learn I guess.
I went back to work, then the store, then came home and covered the building pad and sidewalk with tarps and every other cover kinda thing I could find. Had to steal 2 tarps from the hay for the barnyard. The goats didn't seem to mind. :D
We left it covered overnight and yesterday I pulled forms, and tarps and cleaned up the bits of flotsam concrete.
It looks pretty good. We're going to love having a sidewalk and now I can work on the building and not have to worry about the weather.
One more bit done toward our studio. That makes me happy.
We had a little campfire by the creek last night. With family. And today I ain't doin shit.
Sunday, October 14, 2012
Crys* has done a lot of farming this weekend. She also did a good bit around the house and worked with her goats and Llama and Alpaca. They got fresh water, more treats than they deserve and lots of attention. And she spent lots of time taking care of that lazy old man of hers.
I got my pad prepped for the solar house addition. I've been working on it for a while. It took a ridiculous amount of time to get the propane tank moved and the underground lines re-routed. With that finally done it was time to dig out and level for the new building and covered shed pad. As of today it is leveled, formed up and ready to go. This week I'll get building anchor bolts and post anchors and mark things out so that when we pour and level the concrete I can put in the bolts and anchors. A co-worker is going to loan me her sons on Saturday and we'll get that sucker poured. I figure I'll order a whole truck of mud and I'll have a sidewalk and a kiln pad framed up in case there's extra. :D Might as well save on the trip charge.
Tonight we're chilling. Crystal is knitting Christmas presents and I'm doing this. Lots of good dinner is cooking on the stove thanks to the girl.
I need a week off, and I can really get some stuff done.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
Sunday, September 16, 2012
Saturday, September 15, 2012
Friday, September 7, 2012
Saturday, September 1, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
But the coolest thing ever? When I'm out hauling wood and Crys* is out hanging laundry and there is a gigantic bone jarring hum that pervades the air ground and every solid thing for a hundred yards.... then you look up to see a tornado of bees circling, humming....
and they circle and fly and hum and beat the air as the entire cloud of thousands of bees winds it way through the yard as we walk into the cloud and travel with them until the crest the mountain to the east and out distance us, flying to a new home and a new life with their new queen among them.
It was beautiful.
So the wood is cut, the laundry is done, the bees have divided themselves and we'll harvest honey this coming weekend.
Pretty damned cool.
Monday, July 16, 2012
Friday we set up the tent and got things situated.
Saturday I somehow hurt my back and spent the day in a chair while Crys fought an illness and we made the best of a day that was still pretty darned good.
Sunday was a day of fun finishing up with take down of the whole shebang. Brad helped us out a whole lot with the big tent. Melissa and Alina and Christie were good help too. :D Special thanks to Alina for giving Melissa a ride home after the somewhat tiring take down.
Of course when we got home Oomie was missing which we discovered after unloading the giant tent from the trailer and preparing to settle.
We finally found him scared under the deck. We only had to remove half a dozen boards to get him out and herded back into the house. After that, all was well. Fernandez for dinner and a little TV and bed.
I'm home sick today with my crotchety back. Waiting on a call back from the Chiropractor since this is just not going to fix itself. :D
Good weekend. Fiber and friends and family. Wish I could have made it to the memorial service for Mando, but sometimes the blending of blended families makes it better to send notes later.
Sunday, July 8, 2012
Saturday, July 7, 2012
If I don't have to work too much.....
Sunday, July 1, 2012
Sunday July 1st at the Taos SolarFest. Michael was amazing and such a nightmare for the security folks :D He kept wandering out through the crowd with guitar in hand, dancing with children. You never knew where he was going to be: up front hugging fans; strolling through the crowd; all the way in the back singing with a child; oh yeah, sometimes he was up on stage rocking the f out too. :D
Sunday, June 24, 2012
The range hood over the stove? Now finally properly installed and cleaned.
Floors swept and mopped and vacuumed.
3 year old watched and played with Friday night and Saturday.
Joint shopping trip that was fun.
Trashed and dented barbecue grill disassembled pounded flat/round/angled reassembled and screwed to the deck, then cleaned and prepped for summer.
Wii games played.
LOTS of laundry done.
Footprint of new building laid down, rearranged, re-staked out and decided on.
Goats and Llama and Alpaca babied and treated and sat with and played with.
Little messes in the corners picked up and put where they go.
Now if it would just rain.......
Friday, June 22, 2012
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Thursday, June 21, 2012
Sunday, June 17, 2012
We're having a bit of a struggle with the bee hives. Since both blew down in the crazy assed winds from our drought..... we've moved both of them. The Buckfast hive seems to be doing well but the Carniolians are struggling. They keep clustering outside the hive, we're figuring that the queen got smashed in the destruction. At this point Brent from Grandpa's Honey just emailed me and he has a couple queens and some nucs left so we can at least still get a hive going for them.
Yesterday we volunteered at the Roots fest in Alamosa with ALMA. I rolled in getting a ton of hay for the critters and that worked out well. So now our drama queen Stanley the goat has a whole pile of hay. We got 2 bales last year and that lasted about 9 months. This year we're getting the hay 3 months earlier so I'm going to get 4 bales and we won't end up hunting for hay just before they cut (and when the protein content is too high for our goats anyway). See....
The first hay cutting of alfalfa is the richest in protein and the content goes down with each successive cutting. IF you know a farmer you can still get one big bale when they cut the first harvest in early June. This is because they leave a bale in the chute of their baler through the winter. SO... that means you get a nice old bale from last years second or third cutting. And they have to get rid of it and it's composition makes it essentially worthless for dairy cattle or horses so you get a deal. :D I love a deal.
education time over.....
Today we'll work on a layout for the studio/apartment and we hope to get a building shell up before winter. Good luck us.
Also we'll lounge in bed with coffee and internets and music until it's almost to late to accomplish anything. I love Sundays.
Saturday, June 9, 2012
Monday, June 4, 2012
Sunday, June 3, 2012
Pronounced Oh I ate One Two. :D
We spent over a month fixing up the old '77 Dodge Tioga for the trip and it would appear that we did just fine. The motor held up fine, and though it got a little hot going up hill in a heavy wind in the desert in the afternoon (go figure) the old beast just kept going. I did the structural repairs and Crys made new curtains with a little help from our Sis and Niece. We fixed the water, the roof vents, the roof, and all kinda other stuff. Now we'll have it and working well for years to come.
Sure..... it only gets about 6 MPG but it's really really FUN. And I'm working on the MPG next. A new ignition system, headers, and a cold air intake to start. That and some new shocks so we won't bottom out going through the roller coaster roads in New Mexico and Arizona .......
First night at the Grand Canyon. We LOVED the shuttle buses. This is from a vantage point near the Visitors Center which is also wonderful. We happened to get there the night of the full moon and got to this spot too late for the sunset but in perfect time for moon rise. The other folks have lots of very cool pics of us pinching the moon, farting the moon, kissing the moon and mooning the moon.
But I go this one of the kid holding up the moon.
I like it.
Thursday, May 31, 2012
Last night there was prodigious wind.
Destroyed frames. Bees scattered. Varrora trap dented. Queen excluder bent outta shape. Short super sugar feeder twisted and tossed aside and empty with sugar juice dryed all over the place.
Pandaemonium. Bee Pandaemonium.
SO.... into the house I went. And like any good man, safe in his manhood, secure in his presence of self....
I put on my wifes bee coat and my gloves and went back outside. :D
I re-assembled the hive as softy and gently as I could, making sure to not squash any bees. They were predictably upset.
Both hive bodies went back on the stand, on top of the reworked varrora trap. Then the queen excluder followed by the sugar super, the top cover and the lid. It went well. No stings. Then I strapped it together again and went back to work.
Tonight I installed 6 screw in anchors. Then I started strapping everything together.
Yep. bee in shirt. Sting. Ouch. This was after Crys* went to look at them with me and picked up the very first bee sting of her whole life. My shirt sting was followed by the complete and sure knowledge that there was a bee up by pants, somewhere around my thigh.
I did not panic.
I did vacate the premises, strip and let the bee loose. She landed next on my nuts.
OK, now I did freak a little bit. :D
But it turned out OK. Mostly by shooing her off my scrotum and then running pel-mel down the drive way like a lunatic until I had outdistanced her. :D
In the morning we'll feed them some sugar water and put the last strap on.
Hee hee.... strap on........
For now it's dinner time, and I'm a little weary. Vacation starts Saturday.
Should be fun.
Hope it was the wind and not a bear.......
Monday, May 28, 2012
This should be a whole whopping lot of good fun!
Saturday, May 19, 2012
Sunday, May 13, 2012
Yesterday we got a LOT of brush clearing done, and it looks beautiful down by the creek now. We also fed the bees their "getting started sugar syrup" meal and we're hoping that's about all they'll need and can get to foraging soon.
We got a LOT of nice rain Friday night and Saturday (all day). A new shelf for all the cookbooks is up above the desk in the stove room, I built it so it's...... rustic ..... but functional. Crys is getting the place all shined up for Summer.
Today I'm hoping to get the final repair on the exterior of the 77 RV we just bought and are taking on a canyons trip in June.
We've loved having some company this week. We got to see Dave and Tonya, Christie and Autum, and Alina. It's always nice having folks out. So if you've been thinking about it? Pop out, just txt first to make sure we're home.
Monday, May 7, 2012
Sunday, May 6, 2012
Yesterday was one of those completely wonderful days. Get up slowly with coffee and internets and kitties. Make a delicious asparagus and parm cheese with poached eggs breakfast. Do a little laundry and a little cleaning with some music playing in the background. Swap stuff from the old '76 RV, to the new '78 RV in prep for our canyons trip in June. Move 2 nucleus colonies of bees to their new hive homes.
That was fun. :D And like the shearing last weekend we set up the video camera and captured it. One of these days we'll sit down and process the raw footage to take out all the butt views and center in on what we're really trying to get done.
The wind kept jacking with us, and the Buckfast queen tried to camp out on the lid so we had to keep a careful eye on her while we got new frames set. Was satisfying to see her slide back into her hive, it really looked like she was going home. Never saw the Carniolian queen, but I reckon she was on one of the frames and we didn't see her out of the hive. We just didn't take too long with the rehiving because of the wind.
Then we did a workout, P90X2 Base and Back with AbRipper. Our shiny new pull up bar works quite well. I set it up last week, the prep had been done for a long time. Last year when we built the deck around the house I set two 4X4 posts really tall. (Bought 12 footers) so all I had to do was drill a 1 1/4 inch hole through the tops and slide an inch and a quarter pipe through the holes. :D The new pull up assist devices that Crys* got work really well too. We worked our backs off then we did our abs. One of these days I'll see the results. Mostly I just notice that I've lost some weight and that's good even if I don't look like Arnold.
Then we fed the bees. A sugar water mixture with a feeding stimulant that is also good for their health, just to get them started. Our Bee Dude, Brent from Hafeli's gave me some advice.... we'll probably have to do a little feeding in June and then they'll just take off. I still have to buy a couple more deep hive bodies and maybe a couple more honey supers, but we're just about done with the outlay on that.
Then we drove the old RV over to Uncle Dave and Aunt Tonya's. They're gonna drive it around for the exposure and maybe we can sell the old beast. We really love it, the newer one just has a much better layout. :D We hung out with those guys for a while, they're really nice to visit with, then hit the store and came home to get to bed. L o n g day. And very good. Today looks much the same.
We love Sundays.
Thursday, May 3, 2012
Sunday, April 29, 2012
Saturday, April 21, 2012
This was one of those really long and yet really good days. :D We drove up in our old Honda Wagon the night before and made it even thought the alternator went out along the way and we drove up to Pablo's house on the last of the battery. Lucky for us Crys* found that the Autozone we'd pass along the way had, in stock, an alternator for an 88 honda civic wagovan. Go figure, so we stopped and ran in to get that and ended in Pablo's driveway in the fading light. He put us up for the night, and bought us dinner at nice place he knew of in Grand Junction. He drove :D since navigating by braille wasn't the best idea. Next morning I was up to put the new alternator in. It didn't go too bad, got all set up and Pablo got up at just the right time to point me toward his tools in the garage. He had everything I needed including a drift pin to line up "stuff" that was way down and impossible to see and impossibly tight. Let me just say that to get the old piece out required jacking up the car, pulling the oil filter off and help from both Pablo and Crys* before it was all said and done. The new one went back in the same way and needed about the same level of help but we were done by 10 AM, headed to breakfast and then the fest! That was an extremely well done fest. You paid $20 and got a 10 or 12 ounce glass and a ticket to vote for your favorite. (I found an extra ticket on the ground so I got to vote twice). My favorites were an Irish beer by Horsefly brewery. They sampled us an Irish and a Scottish beer. That made it tough, with my Wallace/Collins background. :D But the Irish was what I liked, Crys* preferred the Scottish with it's long smooth finish but her absolute favorite (and mine) was the Chocolate Porter by Great Divide brewery. She even got a shirt from them for free!!!! (Hey, if I wanted to advertise beer I'D put a shirt on that body!!!) We had the greatest breakfast at a place called Louis' there in Grand Junction, and the waitress was wonderful as well as the food. We all ate like pigs. OK I got out of order but with our workout program we haven't been drinking and there was BEER BEER BEER!!!!!! Goodness but there were between 17 and 20 microbrews at the fest and each of those vendors had at least 2 samples some with 3 and a few with an enormous pile of choices. There were wine like beers and oak aged beers and ciders and ....... Yes. I got shit faced and loved it. And the only things better than the beer were spending a nice day with each other and our Pablo. We came home late, arriving here about 11:30 to feed the goats and kitties and do chores, all because we all worked together to get that alternator changed so we could drive after dark. Wish Pablo coulda come home with us. We love him.
Friday, March 30, 2012
Thursday, March 29, 2012
"Added later" This was our fancy fancy dinner out for the trip. We usually get one fancy, decadant dinner in. Crys* set this one up by way of a groupon a good while before the trip. Guess it's time to start on Houston now.......
The Nirvana exibit was great. And the space on the movie Avatar was really fun too. The coolest was the whole room where kids get to play with guitars and drums and stuff.
It was raining so hard when we got done that we took the momorail downtown. Nice dry warm ride. And it ends at a mall!