Rain, Glorious Rain!!!

Yesterday was hot. The breezes were light and it was just miserable. We saw a few smoke plumes on the East peak, but they were up so high, that we figured that the firefighters would just let them burn to treeline. One of those areas you just can’t see a human trying to walk or climb to to put out a fire. 

So, I ran some errands and settled down to work on gear for Battlemoor. 🙂 Dan and I discussed a design for a gambeson for him. He has finally decided that he will get back into fighting trim, with a goal being to become a marshal. (the referee for combat) It did help that a cracked rib that had bothered him for nearly 4 years finally stopped hurting last September. I’m working on embroidering my clothes. I also have a caftan coat to rework. 

But back to last night… After a Mach 30 hangout where we are planning an October event, I went out to the Wendy House to write. For about 45 minutes, I watched the dry lightning dance across the sky and hoped that it wouldn’t start another fire. And then the miracle… a sniff of moisture. 🙂 

The lightning storm got bad enough that I shut down my computer. Then the rain started. Heavy soaking rain! 🙂 We watched the lightning storm for over 3 hours and enjoyed the rain even though my dog was going nuts. Brandy doesn’t like thunder or lightning. 

This morning, we were treated to lovely soaked soil. 🙂 So much better than the sand box it had been yesterday. I’m hoping that the rain soaked the fire as well. It was a glorious rain.

Hot and Windy

Right now, it’s about 93 with wind gusts up to about 15mph. The fire is down to about 5 major hot spots that we can see when we drive up to the football field. Oh, and it has eaten 13,491 acres as of this morning, and is considered 50% contained.

Today we are officially off pre-evacuation status. Phew! What it has shown Dan and I is that we need to re-evaluate how things are stored. I’m returning items to more concentrated and/or collected spots. I also plan to scan all of the umpteen million family pictures when the weather cools. This way, if they burn, oh well. I have digital copies.

Another thing I’ve been looking at are family treasures. Some I’m going to pull out and use! Others, I will do my best to figure out which of the 6 kids would want some of them. Other items, I may simply give to my sister and hope she has something to do with them in the next 30 years. 🙂

Meanwhile, amidst the fires, and hectic weekend, we got a bit more plumbing work done on the Wendy House. And…. We’ve Filled In The Ditch! Okay, 95% of the ditch. 🙂 What this means is that I now have more of a back yard and can move on to other projects. A compost bin and a keyhole garden are next up on the agenda for outside work. Oh, and finishing the last 5% of the plumbing. 🙂

Now to go work on some embroidery. Battlemoor is only two months away!


Wednesday night around 6:30pm, a fire started on the East Spanish Peak. Life went from this:

huajatolla-3.jpgto this:EastpeakfireAnd by the evening it looked like this:Fire from Lathrop State park

The fire started on the Boy Scout Ranch were there were about 178 boy scouts from Kansas and Texas staying. They were evacuated with short notice and were taken to John Mall High School where the Red Cross had set up a shelter.

We saw the fire when we sat down for supper on Wednesday night. Friday morning, I went to the high school and checked how things were going. I ran the rest of my errands after making sure that the scouts had what the district could provide for them.

Dan set up the weather station on the roof so that the local incident control group could use it’s stats. We’ve watched the fire ebb and race with the wind. Yesterday, we thought it was going to die down, only to have the wind pick up and energize the fire. The smoke was really bad, as the East Peak Fire smoke joined with that of the West Fork Complex fire smoke. Not only was the sun orange, but so was the moon last night. Last time I saw the sun look like that was in the 1970’s when we climbed Mt. Whitney and California was burning.

Whitney sunrise

It is now Sunday and the fire has burned 12,442 acres and is about 10% contained. Fire investigators have found the source of the fire, a tree struck by lightning. People have been evacuated from just east of La Veta all the way to I-25 and from south of Walsenburg and HWY 160 to the county line. Walsenburg, La Veta, Aguilar and Trinidad are all on what is called Pre-Evacuation notice. In other words, pack your belongings that you wouldn’t want to lose and be ready to leave.

So, my life is in boxes yet again.

We have National Guard, the Army, A bunch of wildfire fighting teams and lots and lots of locals working the fire. We hear planes flying overhead to drop slurry and helicopters dropping water. We have watched the small planes check out the fire and guide the bigger planes in to do drops. Check out the Huerfano World Journal’s Facebook page for further information and lots of photographs.

And for a bit of dark humor… Everyone around here knows that the Spanish Peaks are also called the Wahatoyas… Breasts of the Mother Earth. Well, in a moment to try and relieve tension, I had one thought. Mother Nature picked one hell of a time to Burn her Bra.

Of Digging and sticking

This weekend was full of digging, plumbing and sticky things liked grout! First off, we tiled the top of the rolling cabinet in the kitchen. It has needed a new top ever since the Formica peeled off years ago. And, I’ve had these tiles for oh… 15 years at least. Pretty ones with herb pots on them.

I glued the tiles down on Friday morning. Then I went up to Pueblo to get what I thought was the last of the supplies needed. Wrong! sigh.. The tiles I bought were too narrow for the space, so it was back to option B. Glass blobs, or whatever it is you call those little round bits of glass people put in vases and use as game markers. I have this huge bag of them.

Saturday, we grouted the tiles and then while I dug the trench for the water pipe, Dan worked on drilling holes in the Wendy House wall. As he drilled there was a high pitched squeal. He pulled the drill out and there was an old pepsi bottle. He couldn’t move it, so he pulled the board out. The reason he couldn’t move it was because there was a bunch of coal in between the walls! We ended up with two small buckets of coal. 🙂

Then he fought with the tin on the wall. Nearly burned out his drill and then found out that his little saws-all worked the best. After that, we collapsed.

This morning, I made steak and eggs for breakfast. While Dan did school work, I cleaned up the digging work and placed the water pipe into the ditch. Of course, the minute I did that, it started to rain! At least I know the drainage works in the ditch!

I ended up using window caulking around the little glass blobs as there wasn’t enough grout. Fussy. Next time I’m filling the channel with grout and THEN putting the glass blobs in place. It looks okay though.

After dinner, we got all the plumbing we could done because we were short a coupling and a 45 degree elbow. We plan to finish up the plumbing on Tuesday.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Weekend Entertainment.

Oh my! At least it was entertaining for my Dad and anyone watching.

A better title might have been “working on the chain gang”. We started on my Dad’s yard at 9:30am on Saturday. Dan cut up wood with the chain saw and I carried it to the truck. About a quarter of a cord. Then, while he mowed the front, I picked up about 30 gallons of twigs and sticks. While he mowed the back, I weeded in the front and trimmed up a rosebush that hadn’t been pruned in probably 15 years. The lawn mower had a sense of humor and ran out of gas when Dan had a 10 yard strip left to mow. We finished at 12:55.

When we got back to the house, we had to unload the truck. We had the wood to stack, Spearmint for the front and an Italian plum tree sucker we hope will transplant.  I pulled weeds and did gardening out front with Morgan while Dan washed dishes.  Then it was time to collapse. We finally recovered around 7pm.

Then I made pizza. Yes, homemade pizza. Morgan nearly burned her mouth again, trying to eat it when it was too hot. 🙂

Sunday… we did not sleep in. Instead, we got up and I made bacon and fried potatoes. After breakfast, I had a board meeting with Mach 30. Once that was done, Dan and I started to repair the roof of the Wendy House. He tarred and I sifted dirt for the cover layer. I also did a bit of weeding in the alley while he was on the roof. We will be touching up things for the next few days as everything soaks in. There were a ton of nail hole leaks. Oh, and the drips. It was 90 yesterday. Brandy of course walked right under some of them. She’ll just have to wait until the tar wears off. She’s speckled.

We pulled off some of the old tar paper siding on the west side of he Wendy house to see what was under there. Wood! We will need to replace some of it and then put siding on. I told Dan it WILL be before winter! I can see daylight through the cracks. However, the paper being gone will help in doing the plumbing.

Next up, Dan inspected the lower chimney on the main house. OMG! Nearly 3 feet of damage. Loose bricks, crumbling mortar, etc. He took it down to a safe level and capped it. I am very glad that we do not use that chimney. Funny part is that use to be the furnace chimney and supposedly safe. And… Grandpa Sudar wouldn’t use the fireplace chimney as he thought it was damaged. Nope. Other way around. We are lucky the house didn’t burn down.

While Dan threw bricks off the roof, I cleaned up part of the back patio and did more garden work in the front. I planted the yarrow in the yard and watered the transplanted mint and plum tree. The mint looks like it will survive. I’m not so sure about the tree.

Exhausted doesn’t even cover how we felt. We cleaned up, ate dinner and were in bed early. It was a lot of work, and while it may not seem that much was done, we were very busy.

And now for…

Something completely different. Yesterday we woke to fog, mist and later on rain. All day long was a study in mist and moisture. The plants loved it. My asthma hated it and it was one of those stay warm kinda days.

Dan took us to Wonderful House for dinner. On the drive to Trinidad, we got to watch the fog roll in, the clouds hang low and the rain fall. Lovely. It was like being in England again.

Today, we woke to blue skies and sunshine. Mother Nature, you are one crazy woman at the moment! Hope you stay calm for the next 24 hours. I have to drive up to Cheyenne to pick up Daniel. His sweetie’s sister is getting married on Saturday.

Dust Storm!

Yesterday got a little windy. In fact, it sounded like it was raining… that tap-tap-tap of raindrops got my attention. I looked out the front door and realized that there were no mountains. (yah… no Spanish Peaks!) Then I realized that the cloud was actually dust. The Cuchara Ridge disappeared as did Ideal Road. That’s when we realized that the dust was really flying.

Dan and I ran to close doors and windows as the dust/sand poured in with the wind. It was nasty! It sounded like rain, but it was dirt and dust hitting the house. I’m sure that the windows on the west side are etched.

About an hour after it started, the wind settled down and we could once more see Ideal Road. It took a bit longer and by sunset, we could see the Spanish Peaks again. Every surface we touched had a fine layer of dust. Ugh!

Flamin’ June!

Or should I say Windy? Here it is the 3rd of June, and the wind just hasn’t stopped.

Friday we went to Pueblo for some needed shopping and just plain relaxation. We got soil for the raised beds, plumbing bits for the Wendy House, a staple gun (wheee!!!! ) and groceries. When we got home, we could smell smoke and discovered that HWY 160 was closed off. There was a fire in town. The Main Event, also locally known as the Walsenburg Walmart had a fire behind it. We looked at the fire for a bit and then went home.

Saturday, I went to Rock Ledge Ranch, in Colorado Springs. They were having a sheep shearing and spinning event. I was suppose to meet a friend there, but her ride didn’t appear. I still had a great time though. It’s well worth the visit. I loved the houses and walking around the grounds.

Afterwards, I went to Joann’s and got some stuff for Battlemoor. It’s in just over 2 months! I have some sewing to do and I’m going to try and make some more nalbinding needles. 🙂

Sunday was suppose to be a workday around the house. Well… we slept in. While Dan worked on his school work, I did a little gardening, and cleaned house. Next weekend though is all about the plumbing! 🙂 Who’d have thought the idea of running water could make a person so happy? 🙂