Yet Another Crazy Week.

We thought it was going to be fairly easy. (yeah, you can start laughing now) Our friend Ethan was heading from California to Colorado to be our new STEM teacher. Well, at first he was suppose to arrive on Sunday at midnight. That didn’t happen. He left California on Sunday afternoon. Keep in mind that it is a 14+ hour drive and he was due to start work at 11:30am on Monday.

Well… at some point, he realized that he wasn’t going to cope. He and Dan talked and they decided to meet in Las Vegas, NM. Dan told me of this plan around midnight. (insert cussing) So, we went to bed and got up at 4am. We had time enough to dress, and head out the door. Awwwgh!

We got to Las Vegas at 7am. We had breakfast at Charlie’s Spic and Span Bakery. Bought tortillas, macaroons and sugar cookies. I drove Ethan’s car and Dan drove the truck while Ethan sort of slept.

We got to school with 30 minutes to spare. Dan went home and Ethan and I went to New Teacher orientation. When it was over, we headed home as Ethan was staying with us. He napped while I made a salad. Why? Well, because at 5:30, we had the Staff and Family BBQ. Ethan, Dan, Mom and I went. It was a lot of fun.

Tuesday we got up and Ethan and I went to the first Teacher Inservice day. I only had to be there for a few hours. Then I headed off to work on signatures for my petition, and a few other things. Yes, I’m running for school board again. We had a Town Hall meeting at Washington School as well. An attempt to get people to understand what the school district is up against and how everyone should work together. We had 25 people. Not bad, but it could have been better.

Wednesday, a repeat of the day before, only I cleaned up the clothing bank. Thursday I went up to Gardner and taught some of the staff how to run a WordPress site. 🙂 In a fit of craziness, I volunteered to do the district’s websites. At least start them up. Overall, it saved the district about $5000. They look pretty good too.

Friday… Mom and I went shopping while Dan figured out why his computer fried. He was trying to get the SQUARE program set up on the website for the Celtic Music Festival. He’s had a lot of frustrations. Oh, and everyone has been asking when will it be done. Aieee-ya! We went to Bargain Box and I found some neat stuff for Battlemoor!

Today… Celtic Music Fest Board meeting. We are about a month out from the festival, and everyone is a bit edgy. Frustrated. Panicked. So, tempers got a little warm. The dust is now settled, but… there is still work to do. If you like Celtic music, check it out. Better yet, Come to the festival. If you can’t come, donate towards a good cause!

Tomorrow is gardening for me and sewing work on the bespoke tunic. Dan will be battling with SQUARE, and we will both help Ethan move into his new home.

Okay, it’s been like FOREVER since I last posted.

It’s been busy. Never Ever let anyone tell you that taking care of your elderly parents is easier than babies. Nope. Not even gonna believe that. It’s been three months of adjustment and reorganizing. Between shopping, drives, housecleaning and just everyday things, my life has been HECTIC.

Plus, it’s been busy. Usually our lives slow down around the end of the Celtic Music Festival. Not this year! Our one client in Denver moved, and we’ve been doing a lot of work getting their new home tech ready. On top of that, having new admin in the school district has been interesting. We’ve gotten more done in the last few months than we have in the last few years. Oh, and Morgan goes off to College in January.

So, now for some highlights.

Sunday Drives. In trying to meld my parent’s schedule in with ours means that we try to take Sunday drives. We saw some brilliant aspen in October. November and December brought sunny but cold days with snow. We also try and have breakfast at this little diner in Trinidad, called Bob and Earl’s. It’s the kind of place you walk into and everyone knows each other. Good food too.

Along with this is the Wednesday shopping in Pueblo which has been fun and yet eaten my life!

The Spanish Peaks Community Foundation Gala.  A night to dress up and honor people in the community. It was a very nice evening and lovely to dress up!

Skunked! We were woken up out of a dead sleep around 3am. Our dog Brandy got skunked on the front porch of the Wendy House. We had to open all the doors and windows, and I sat up until nearly 6am, trying to breathe. Ugh…

So, instead of working on some of our various projects, we will be washing Brandy and her area along with bedding, curtains, etc. I hate skunks.

Halloween. Dan and I handed out candy on my parent’s front porch. We must have seen over 300 kids. It was a lot of fun, and the weather was so nice!

Outlander Yes, I’m a fan. The series was fantastic. And… All the costume work. So much of it that a group formed on Facebook with all sorts of knitting, sewing, crocheting, etc. I have knitted two shawls and a cowl. 🙂 One man put out a survivor’s guide.

School stuff Our new superintendent is great. We’ve worked out a lot of the issues that the district has had problems with in the last 6 months. We have a lot of new staff as well, and it seems to be going well. Plus, we took a big chance. We bought iPads for every student in the district. It’s been interesting. We’ve also started a clothing bank. Too many kids without coats or basics. We are running out of a class room. 🙂 I went to the CASB Winter Conference at the beginning of December as well. It was a really good conference. Lots of info, ideas and connections.

We’ve had a Veteran’s Day celebration which honored Vets from our community, and local nursing home, and some creative literary nights. Night at the Museum was a lot of fun. The One Room Schoolhouse was great too. We also had a holiday dinner at La Plaza. More dressing up. 🙂

Weather November had some bitter cold and snow. Brrr! December has had it’s surprises as well. We are having a white Christmas as there was about 6 inches of snow on the 22nd. Oh, and it’s going to snow on Boxing Day as well. (26th) Lots of deer in the yard too, eating everything.

The Wendy House. We painted! We trimmed! We built another raised bed and oh have we gathered, chopped, split and burned firewood! We got permission to trim up two dead trees and were given two loads of wood. Wow. Morgan teased us that we love Halloween so much that we live in a pumpkin. Oh, and we got a bathtub and on demand water heater for the bathroom! 

Family. My Great Uncle Richard Ridge passed away on Halloween. He was 91. My Great Aunt Ann Sudar had her 100th birthday on December 13th. That was a wonderful party with 75 friends and family present. I got to see a lot of Sudars I hadn’t seen in years.

The Great Experiment Dan and I have been looking into hydroponics and aquaponics. So, we tried a small inside experiment. There will be more on that on this blog. We learned some lessons and will be trying it again in the spring.

Thanksgiving. My sister and her family, my aunt and her family, my parents and my family all got together for Thanksgiving dinner. Eleven people for three days. Wow! It was really nice.

And now for some pictures. 🙂

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Crazy Week(s)

I am fried. Brain dead. Zombified. Tired. The last few weeks have been plain crazy. Between lots of meetings, temper tantrums, weather, a Superintendent Search, three graduation ceremonies, Ludlow, oh, and trying to work on the house, I’m toast. It’s also cold! We had a really intense rain/hail storm yesterday, and today is cloudy and cold. (55F) I’m waiting to see if we get more rain.

Last week we had a board meeting in Gardner that was a long and rather hectic event. Then there was the high school graduation and the Ludlow Centennial event. This week we had yet another long board meeting. This was a rehash of some of the previous meeting and work on the superintendent search. Wednesday was Gardner 8th grade graduation at 1pm, and Peakveiw’s 8th grade promotion ceremony at 6pm. It made for a very long day.

I also did some gardening work. Well overdue! I planted everything that had been living in the house because of the bad weather. I have Russian sage, raspberry canes, flowers, herbs and of course, my garden guru, RedTom.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

This evening we have a retirement party for 5 or 6 teachers. Friday, I meet with the school lawyer to discuss contracts. After that, I’m curling up with a cup of tea, my book and only answering the phone if there is an emergency! I’ve got to recharge my mental batteries as there is yet another school board meeting on Tuesday!

Oh what a crazy month!

This month has been crazy. Chaotic. Dizzying. Now, I thought it was a little crazy, because I spent most of the first week at the CASB Winter Conference. This is the big school board association conference held every year at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs. It was a very good, although COLD conference. Average temperature was about 13F outside for most of the week.

I went up on the 4th, as I was presenting at the New Boardmember’s Boot Camp Workshop. 🙂 Five minutes of fame. LOL! Well, it started snowing on Wednesday morning and I was taking a school district vehicle. The VAN. A huge 12 passenger van, which made me feel like a five year old. I nearly needed a step ladder to climb in. Granted, it was nice to have the weight, as I was driving in snow and on ice most of the time.

This was also the first time in almost a year that Dan couldn’t come with me. As it was so cold, he stayed home to keep Brandy from turning into a Pupcicle. We had no one to feed her or dog sit her, so there was no choice but for him to stay.

Thursday was great. I went to my first session about Rural districts and then presented that afternoon. Five minutes on ‘how data is important.’ The rest of the conference was good, and I was very glad to get home on Sunday. Once I got home, we went and picked Morgan up from La Junta. Monday, I spent time with Daniel and Angela. We went shopping in Pueblo and had a great time. I should have gone to a District Accountability meeting, but I didn’t make it.

Tuesday was our board meeting. A long one, but good. Thursday was busy. Two events. A school holiday party and a school district office party. Sort of stacked together, but we managed both. 🙂 Good thing they were next door to each other.

Friday, we drove to Denver. We did a bit of shopping and on Saturday we saw our computer client. Got home late Sunday. The week started out busy. A trip to Pueblo, work for Dan, the holiday program at Gardner on Wednesday, cleaning my parents house and then up to Denver again on Thursday because our computer client was having weird issues. Friday we did shopping and then drove home late.

Saturday was Solstice. Yule. We got up at dawn and enjoyed the sun rise. Then instead of a nice breakfast, we had to check on the school wrestling tournament. Should have been a 10 minute stop. Nope. It wasn’t. At noon, I left to go help my dad stack a cord of firewood. I was done in 90 minutes, and went back to the wrestling tournament. We were there till about 7pm. Afterwards, we grabbed dinner and then collapsed in bed.

We woke up to snow this morning. Today we did odd jobs around the house and tried to relax a bit. Oh, and Dan built a faux satellite transmitter to test his ground station. The rest of the week isn’t looking much calmer.

This is the song that I woke up with on Solstice.

1 Room School House and a dash of snow

Every November, Gardner School celebrates the one room school houses that use to exist in Huerfano County. Malachite, Redwing, and Chama are just a few of the schools represented. Gardner School, which teaches PreK through 8th grade divides itself up into the 6 or 8 schools. They are populated by families instead. So, one school might have three Vigils, two Thomas’ and six Cordovas of mixed ages.

Each year there is a theme as well. This year’s theme was the Ludlow Massacre and Mine. The entire state is commemorating the 100th anniversary of the Coal mine War which started in September 1913 and had a ‘high point’ with the Ludlow Massacre in April 1913. Our local newspaper, the Huerfano Journal has been running a series of articles about the Ludlow Massacre.

The front door of the school was covered in paper to recreate the coal mine. The students were miners or ranchers and many of them dressed up. A local historian, Carolyn Newman came out and gave a presentation as Mother Jones.  At lunch time, a thanksgiving dinner was served. They had a contest to build the best supports for the mine and below are pictures of that contest. I thought it was very brave of Mr. Purnell, the principal to be the “Sheriff”, as the sheriff of that time period was not a well liked man.

At the end of the day, they got in a big circle, or as Cathy Cordova, a teacher said… “We are one big Family.” Then they called out a series of names. All of the people who died during the massacre. As each name was read, a child stood up and moved to the center. Many of the students were surprised at how young some of the victims were. It gave the students some perspective on the event.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


And as is usual for this time of year and the day an event is held at Gardner, it began to snow. We’ve had at least 8 inches fall, and the temperatures have been very cold. I was very happy to have a load of firewood delivered this morning!

First Real Snow of the Season

Tuesday night, on the way back from a candidates forum, we stepped outside into a gentle snow storm! Wet heavy flakes. We lit our first fire of the season in the wood stove and enjoyed the warmth as the world turned white.

We woke up on Wednesday morning to 4 inches of thick, wet snow. Gardner got 14 inches and lost power, so there was no school. I took some pictures. By the time we left for work, it was warm enough to not need a jacket. By the afternoon, you could barely tell it had snowed in town, although the Spanish Peaks were glorious.

We are suppose to get more snow tomorrow morning. I’m hoping it is light as we have construction work to do on Saturday.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Spanish Peaks International Celtic Music Festival!!!

Yes, it is that time of year again. Bagpipes, harps and drums echo in the mountains and towns of Huerfano County. The festival is one of our favourite events. It is also a very hectic time for all of us. Dan and I do lights and sound as well as anything else Barbara Yule has in mind for us.

Dan was off early to pick u sound equipment. Today the festival musicians and performers are in our schools. 🙂 So, Dan will be setting up various venues in Peakview and John Mall. Tonight is the artists pot luck up in La Veta.

Unfortunately,  I will miss the Ceilidh up in Gardner for the first time in years. I have a regional school board meeting up in Pueblo. sigh… pout… However, I am the only member of my board going and so I can’t miss it.

I’ll be posting pictures of the festival. Hope if you’re close enough that you can come and visit. There are some free events that are wonderful. Friday from noon until 2:30pm, there is a free concert up on old La Veta Pass and another one from 3:45 till 5pm, there is a street concert, downtown Walsenburg.

Plus, there are free harp, whistle, and drum classes on various days. In the evenings are the concerts with The Tannahill Weavers, John Doyle, Duncan Wickel & Friends, and many others. I hope you come visit. If you do, stop by the sound and lights and say hello.

Supersonic September

This month has rushed by. We started with Battlemoor and will end with the Spanish Peaks Celtic Music Festival In between, we have had birthdays a plenty. Morgan’s, Dan’s, Mom and Dad’s. And, since we got paid, there were new glasses for Dan and Morgan, new shoes for Dan and new tires for the truck. Then it was back to the daily grind of house work, computers and cleaning.

I thought I’d get a breather in there. Wrong. Day after his birthday, Dan felt ill. By Monday night, he was in bed. I won’t share the gory details, but he was not a happy camper. Oh, and he passed out/fell at one point. One moment he was fine, next… out. So, he spent most of the next day in bed and has been making a slow recovery ever since. Why? Well, when he fell, he smacked his hip and cracked a rib. We knew about the hip right away… Can’t miss it if it hurts to sit. And yes, plenty of bad jokes were made about cracks… However, it wasn’t until he actually began to feel better, and stopped hurting everywhere, that he realized he’d cracked a rib.

Now of course, it’s the beginning of the music festival. Dan is up in Gardner today with some of the musicians at the school. Tonight is a pot luck which I need to make a cake or something for and Thursday night is The Taste of Things to Come, the first concert. It is going to be a really good festival this year.

Oh, and on top of that, we are 1) cleaning house to do the plumbing-don’t faint, 2) cleaning house because it’s time to get ready for winter, and 3) Natalie is coming to visit October 1st!!!!!  I’m sorry that she’ll be here when it is all chaotic, but we haven’t seen her in nearly 6 years. (bounce! bounce! bounce!)

After mid-October, when I think I’ll get some time to sew, we’ll see what else crops up.

I should have known better

Life didn’t mellow out, slow down or get easier. Instead, it got crazy.  The school board meeting that should have happened on the 8th was canceled. We had snow and the auditors that check the election couldn’t certify the vote. You can read all about that here . I started a blog about my school board life.

The 9th was my birthday. I made dinner and a carrot cake. It was great and while we did nothing really special, it was a good day. Thursday and Friday Dan had to work sound for the local high school play. Saturday we had dinner in Trinidad with my parents. We went to Wonderful House for my ‘birthday’ dinner. Yum!

Over the weekend, I attempted to seal cracks in the Wendy House. The wind was brutal and my parents called us on Sunday to tell us how they’d driven up HWY 12 and came across the wind damage at Stonewall. We were lucky here in Walsenburg. A few limbs down and that was about it.

Monday… Bryan and Katie have been having issues. Not exactly fighting, but issues. They decided to talk, but didn’t set a time. Katie kept pestering Bryan when he was either just waking up, going to sleep, heading to work, etc… Not a good time to talk. So, he said ‘let’s talk on the weekend’ (ie Nov 19th) She said okay. He went to work. Tuesday morning around 6:45am, Bryan knocks on our door. Katie and the kids are gone. The house was trashed and she apparently packed as much as she could get in the car and left.

We were all devastated. Eventually we found that she was in Ft. Smith, OK. with her girlfriends. I have to admit I am worried about the boys. I miss my two grandsons, Talon and Gavin.

Wednesday was the make up meeting for the school district and a Accountability meeting. Dan and I are now part of the District Accountability Committee. So, Dan went to the Accountability meeting and I went to the school board. We got sworn in and then held elections for officers. I’m now the president of the school board.

Thursday morning, we had the police doing a welfare check on Katie as she hadn’t reported to work. Then that afternoon, her boss from the hospital was by. Katie never called the school, daycare or her job. She just left. The day was lightened by the fact that I had a mouse try to run up my pant leg and then later ran across the sleeping dog.

Friday we went out to Gardner School for One Room Schoolhouse. Each year they have a day where the whole school reverts to the one room school system. It was a lot of fun. Dan helped make ice cream cone cones and we both helped Pam’s class make telephones. Afterwards we went up to see Jack and Barbara Yule. Dan did some computer work and then we had a nice lunch.

As for this weekend, it has been fairly quiet. We did some work, got paid, enjoyed a good meal in Pueblo and Brandy got sprayed by a skunk. We also took a drive where we saw at least 100 deer and 60 wild turkeys. It was great.  Today I got to spend two hours visiting with a dear friend I haven’t seen in 30 years. Bill Farquhar and his wife Kristen were on their way to Denver and stopped in town long enough to eat lunch and visit. 🙂 It was so good to chat and catch up with him.

Now I’m catching up on all the blogs, emails and other things, because if things go as they have been, the next two weeks will be busy!


An End of an Era

Yesterday was Morgan’s 8th Grade Graduation. It was a big day in so many ways. It started early with all of us getting up and trying to find an eyeball per socket. Dan dyed Morgan’s hair and helped her with her nails. The chemicals just kill me. Then after we all got dressed in the ‘nice clothes’, we headed to Gardner.

Keep in mind that Gardner School is a small family type school. Under 80 kids, Pre-K through 8th. Rich, poor, rancher, townie or alternative lifestyle… one big family. We had lunch with Morgan and the other graduates. Afterwards, I helped Morgan into her dress and it was time for the ceremony. There were five graduates this year, and Kevin Crossen, their Science/PE teacher gave the commencement speech. Kevin is a big guy. Well over 6ft. He’s standing there giving his speech about these kids he thinks of as his own. Some of them he’s taught since they were 5. He started out saying that he wouldn’t cry, and we could see him trying so hard not to do so. For the most part. We cried with him.

Morgan got the Presidential Award for Academic Excellence and she was the Valedictorian for her class. They did an imovie and gave speeches. Best part though was that Morgan, legendary for her Morgan Moments, didn’t trip once, stumble or fall. 🙂 She’s a klutz, and for once, she was graceful. In heels no less!!!

Afterwards, there was a reception in the cafeteria. Dan videoed the graduation and we took lots of pictures. It was a great day!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.