A busy summer so far

We’ve been doing a lot of gardening between the two houses. It has been very hard to bring back the yard at 203. Pruning, digging, planting, digging, mowing, digging. You get the picture. I’ll post pics when I have a bit more done. We had some really windy days, and my rose trellis snapped. argh. I’ve sort of fixed it, but it needs totally redone, which won’t happen until the fall when I trim back the rose bush.

There’s been a lot of work as well. Dan has been doing a wiring job for the school district. I’ve been doing sewing. I’ve also repaired two chairs. Check it out!

Life has been busy with SCA meetings, SCA beledi dance and bobbin lace classes, School board stuff and the Huerfano RE-1 Schools Foundation. We are working on a mill levy overide to provide more money for our school district. In order to make it a bit more sustainable, we are setting up a foundation that can raise money any time for the schools. If you’d like to contribute, you can send a check to the Huerfano RE-1 Schools Foundation care of the Huerfano RE-1 School District, 201 E. 5th, Walsenburg, CO. 81089.

Stats Explosion!

Well, now I know how to make my stats on views go crazy. All I have to do is post a new tutorial in the SCA section. ๐Ÿ™‚ 1367 views just today. Last time I had this many was when I posted about the Viking Hat. That was 1490 views.

Meanwhile, I’ve had a quiet week. Two days of no meetings, no crazy adventures. For the most part, I’ve been sewing, picking lovely tomatoes, working on websites and had lunch at George’s. ๐Ÿ™‚ Tomorrow we are off to Pueblo. Shopping of course. King Soopers, Gagliano’s Deli, Walmart and then Chinese for lunch. Ahhh…

Oh, and sewing during the drive. I have a tunic to finish!

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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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.


The last two weeks have been.. Hell. Not the kind where you feel the ship sink or the train heading to run you over. No, this is more like being nibbled to death by ants or ducks. I don’t think I could even start to list all the wonky things that have gone on, but here are the highlights:

  • The president of the Celtic Music Festival resigned because of health reasons. Then the treasurer resigned. The only officer left? Me. We are meeting Saturday to see what we can do.
  • Car repairs. New tires, one tire replaced after the new tires. (curb bite) Two new CV joints. Still stuff to do.
  • Heat. Nuff said.
  • Late nights in spite of attempts to go to bed early.
  • People not thinking before they email 6-12 others with erroneous information. Argh!!!!
  • School stuff. OMG. Resignations. Interviews. More interviews. Special meetings to hire people. (4) Oh, and at last count, 20 new staff members. Keep in mind that we have just under 70 all total in the district. And… issues finding housing.
  • Our Superintendent having health issues. Emergency room to hospital to minor surgery. Gahhh!
  • Schedule changes. I don’t think we’ve gone a day without something being shuffled.
  • New bespoke sewing project. Good for the reputation and the pocket book, but have I had time to sew? NO!
  • Contract canceled, and another one just starting. The waiting is crazy. Meanwhile, the bank account dwindles. Oh, and trying to work from Mom’s house is problematic.
  • The land we wanted to buy hit access issues and neighbor issues. So, we start again.

Walsenburg also had a ‘brain fart’ yesterday. Two attempted suicides. One by train. An assault that ended up with shots being fired at police, and an arrest. Plus tire slashings, a semi rear ending a car and other bits of mindless stupidity.

One of the few good things going on is that our garden is going gang busters! I harvested the first crookneck squash and green beans. ๐Ÿ™‚

I am hoping that the only thing on my schedule tomorrow will remain harvesting veg, cooking dinner and sewing. Keep your fingers crossed!


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.ย  A night to dress up and honor people in the community. It was a very nice evening and lovely to dress up!

Skunked!ย We were woken up out of a dead sleep around 3am. Our dog Brandy got skunked on the front porch of the Wendy House.ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚ 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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!ย 

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 Experimentย 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.ย 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. ๐Ÿ™‚

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Bits and Bobs

At least that’s what it feels like we’ve accomplished since we came home from Battlemoor. Lots of little jobs. Clean this area, cook dinners, work on the gardens or the Wendy House. One big improvement was storage. We ‘floored’ the loft over the kitchen and rearranged the storage. No more tubbies on the ground. Plus, we added coat hooks, hooks for the iron, etc. It makes life just a little more livable. I even had a Western Scrub Jay come check out RedTom’s food dish.

Some of the time has been spent with Morgan. Her 18th birthday was on the 10th. Wow has time passed. I made green chile and a carob mayonnaise cake. The recipe uses may instead of oil and eggs. Our friend Mark and his daughter Catherine came over for dinner and cake. It was a good evening. Thursday night we went to their house. Friday was chaos. ย It was Cold! I think we got to 41F! Fire in the wood stove and heavier clothes than I’ve worn in months. Brrrr!

Inside there was packing, laundry and trash. Morgan was getting ready to move out. Dan took her to do laundry and a few errands. Morgan left for Fowler, a room mate and a job on Friday night.

Yesterday, Dan worked on organizing his office (an ongoing project) and concealing the network wiring. We no longer look like we live in an IT closet!

While he did that, I cleaned Morgan’s room, moved sewing storage tubbies in and made the last loaf of Artisan’s bread. This is the first time I’ve tried it. Very nice. I’ll be playing with the recipe over the next few months.

Then it was time to tackle the Wendy House. Threw all the scatter rugs outside, and emptied the bathroom and Brandy’s area. Swept, mopped, dusted, etc. I wiped down everything in the bathroom as I replaced and reorganized it. I hosed down the rugs and Brandy’s bedding. Most of them were too doggied to throw in a washer. While I was doing that, I got bit by red ants. Ugh… It burns! It swells! It makes me feel horrid! I slathered on Benadryl and kept going. Vacuumed the bedroom and swept the main living area. It was so nice for it to be clean.

Plus, while we were waiting for things to dry, I had a thought. Brandy would be warmer if her bed wasn’t on the floor. While trying to engineer this in my head, I was cruising Off Grid Quest, a website I visit. I came across one of the pallet stories and *POOF*! An idea was born. Dan went down to our local feed store which gives away pallets, and grabbed a load. A bit of circular saw work and Brandy had a bed platform. She was a bit uncertain at first, but it looks pretty good. We might fancy it up a bit, but for now, it works. We also have pallets for future projects and/or firewood.

Today is going to be low-key. I still feel like dreck from the ant bites and all the dust I ejected from the Wendy House. Dan mowed my parents yard and is finishing up the last of the office work. I’m going to make another batch of artisan’s bread and dinner with all of the veggies from the garden.

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Where did the time go?

I swear that every time I think I have a moment to write, “POOF!” it’s gone. And of course, now that means I get to play catch up. Where to begin?ย Umm… Oh yeah… House guests. They were with us for a month. It meant that life was a little crowded. I guess I’ll list some highlights.


Painted the north wall of the Wendy House. Plus, we did a few additions to the plumbing, cut down trees and added a bunch of stuff to the compost bins. We did a lot of yard work in the back as well. Trees trimmed, firewood stacked, stairs fixed, etc. I hope to have more pictures soon.

Wendy House work1I got a new desk. I’ve been wanting something with drawers, and we found a gem. A roll top desk.New Desk4

I did a lot of sewing as well. First off, I made Dan a Utility Kilt. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then I made a bespoke tunic for a tournament prize for Battlemoor.ย I did a lot of embroidery work on the Viking style tunic. I finished an under tunic as well, all hand sewn. I’m still working on two apron dresses.

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We had a LOT of rain as well. Some of it was so hard that it flooded the streets, and washed out alleys. On July 15th, we got over 2 inches of rain in less than an hour.ย Along with all the rain, we’ve had fog, mosquitos and lots of weeds! I think that we’ve hacked, chopped, mowed and composted enough for three bins.


Dan and I have been working on a wiring job for the school district. Lots of ladder work for him, and running around for me.

Our company found a house and we cleaned house. ๐Ÿ™‚ This was in preparation for Morgan finally arriving home. The Fuck up Fairy had done a number on that process, and were growing tired of delays. Daniel is also moving into an apartment in Pueblo, which means that the house will soon be back to it’s less crowded state.

On Sunday, we helped at a benefit concert for the Spanish Peaks Celtic Music Festival. Dan helped with sound and I helped where ever Barbara Yule needed me. The concert musician was Carlos Nunez. The music was wonderful. The venue was full, and everyone was happy. After the concert, we drove to Fowler to pick up Morgan. We saw 26 owls, a fox, a badger, frogs, and rabbits. Unfortunately, we hit two of the owls in spite of trying to avoid them. Morgan is very glad to be home, and we are happy too.

Last, but not least, we’ve been enjoying our new superintendent, Michael Moore. He is such a change from our last one. He likes getting things done and we are moving forward as a school district for the first time in ages! I attended the staff in-service day and it was wonderful. Laughter, good ideas, lots of sharing and in general, a feeling of hope and progress.



“Air you can Wear!”

It was indeed. Last Thursday, (June 26th) we headed to Indianapolis, Indiana. Why? Well, we had a conference to attend. Mach 30’s Apogee. Club Cyberia, the maker space there was hosting it. As we 1) didn’t have money for airplane tickets and 2) had WAY too much stuff to put on a plane, we drove.

1014 miles, give or take a few, one way. We stopped in Fulton Missouri for the night and then drove the rest of the way on Friday. We met up with the Mach 30 bunch. J. Simmons, Maureen, Greg, Jeremy, and some of the Club Cyberia makers. Dinner and conversation until we were exhausted. It was also So Humid! One lady on the news said it was “the air you can wear” and she was so right!

Saturday morning, Mach 30 had meetings and I sewed on my contract tunic. (For a Battlemoor tournament) I also visited an estate sale and got two really cool baskets for $10.ย IMG_0056That evening, we had an awards ceremony and Dan got Volunteer of the Year. He was so surprised. ๐Ÿ™‚ Then we watched 2001.

Sunday, I stayed in the room, as I had an asthma attack. Dan was gone most of the day and we ate at Texas Roadhouse with everyone.

Monday, more of the same. This time it was Olive Garden for dinner.

Tuesday, we headed home. We stopped in St. Louis and we saw the Arch. Went all the way to the top of it no less. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was so cool! We spent the night in Hays Kansas.

Wednesday, we got home and went right into work. Dan had an appointment and I had school board stuff to do.

This weekend we are recovering from our trip. Relaxing, cleaning up and hopefully, we will get some work done on the Wendy House. We also have temporary house guests. They’ll be with us until they find a house.

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Ah the difference of a fortnight!

Two weeks ago we had snow. Today it is 83, and even the breeze is a tad warm. My backyard looks like a jungle, and I will have to pull tons of weeds just to find the patio. ๐Ÿ™‚ I plan to do lots of yard work tomorrow. (insert giggle)

Friday, I went to see the school lawyer. We had a good chat and worked out various contracts and other bits and pieces. Afterwards, I indulged in a bit of retail therapy. Yes, I went shopping at Joann’s. I bought a bunch of fat quarters for a prayer flag swap I’m hosting with my online quilting group, QuiltersCoven. (350 online crazy pagan quilters.) I think we have 10 or 12 people participating. There was linen on sale, but I didn’t have the cash for it. sigh…

Saturday, we were sort of stuck, as it was rainy and damp. ๐Ÿ™‚ Dan suggested that we head up to Pueblo and get that linen I hadn’t got the day before. I’m terrible about buying stuff for me. In the end, we got $180 worth of linen and thread to match for about $88. Rust, teal, navy blue and cream colored linen.

Sunday was suppose to be a sleep in and catch up day. Projects for the Wendy House and other things. Instead, we drove out and ‘rescued’ my parents. The oil and check engine light had come on and Dad pulled over. When Dan checked, there was less than 1/4th of a quart of oil. Three quarts later, we got them home.

My parents were suppose to head up to Littleton on Monday. However, the Subaru needed to be checked by a mechanic, just to make sure there were no hidden issues. That meant I drove my mom up to Littleton. We left around 9am. Listened to Old Blind Dogs on the stereo, talked and had a good time. I visited with my sister and her family, and picked up about 1/3 of a cord of wood. They had just chopped down a tree, and I said I’d take it. I’ll pick the rest up on a future trip.

While I was gone, Dan did some work on the Wendy House. He built the sink base for the bathroom and opened up a vent between the bedroom and living room. He also cleaned up the back porch that we use for a shop. Now to re-clean the herb room where he piled all the stuff that doesn’t belong in the shop!

Today, I’m catching up on a three day absence from the computer. ๐Ÿ™‚ It was kind of nice. While I was reading email, I had a bird fly in the door, around my desk three times and then out the window. Tonight I have a school board meeting and tomorrow I’m gardening!

Front Range Open Source Hardware Symposium

Thursday we left Walsenburg around 10am and headed to Boulder for the front Range Open Source Hardware Symposium. Originally, we were just going to attend. Congressman Jared Polis was going to be there and some of the companies that do Open Source Hardware (OSHW), like SparkFun. This is the point where chaos stepped in and twirled us in a waltz. Dan got an email asking us if we wanted to attend as presenters, and showcasing the Ground Sphere receiving station that we’ve been working on for months with Southern Stars and Mach 30. So, we went as representatives of Mach 30.

Panic ensued, but we managed to pull enough stuff together to show.ย We managed the drive in plenty of time, found our hotel, relaxed for 10 minutes, and then headed out for a late lunch before setting up at the event.ย We found the place, The Studio, ahead of time, which was a good thing. Downtown Boulder had some interesting construction going on, and it was right in front of the turn off for The Studio. At 5:30pm, we returned and set up. We met Alicia Gibb, the executive director of the Open Source Hardware Association (OSHWA), got set up and began to chat with people.

It was a small crowd, maybe 50 of of at the peak, with nine other presenters besides us all from Colorado’s Front Range. (ok, Walsenburg isn’t exactly front range, but it’s close. ) Nathan Seidle of Sparkfun, Jeff Moe of Aleph Objects (Lolzbot), Michael Ossman of Great Scott Gadgets, Ryan Edwards of Sparky’s Widgets, Eric Schweikart of Modular Robotics, along with people from Denver and Loveland Maker Spaces. (can I find all the business cards? No! Awgh!!!)

Dan took part in the roundtable discussion with Jared Polis. Questions were asked about What part should government take in the OS movement. Sort of a help or hinderance viewpoint question. Another one was how could Colorado help with the growth of the OS movement and what the benefits could be. This morphed into a discussion of the benefits of OS versus patenting. Last, a brief bit on how the companies present had helped the economy.

Interestingly enough, the most correct answer for most of these questions was Advocacy, Education, and Don’t get in the way of progress. Very much a “let people invent!”, and don’t stagnate. As Nathan said on his TED talk, that people have to innovate. Otherwise, they are unfit. Business moves too fast for patent law, especially as it only pertains to US patents. The TED talk is well worth the watch.

I had a lot of fun talking with the people there. The ground plane that I made got a lot of attention, as did the whole project that is Ground Sphere. I even managed to talk about Dan’s part of the project without messing up too badly. ๐Ÿ™‚ Guess you could say I earned a few geek creds. And best of all, as with any symposium or conference, you get to see all the gadgets that everyone makes. I got lots of ideas. Oh, and Nathan gave us a lab coat with the Sparkfun logo on it and the word GEEK over the pocket. We gifted it to Mark Thompson, our STEM teacher. ๐Ÿ™‚

We helped take things down and were back at the hotel by 10pm. It had been a great evening, and I’m looking forward to the next one. We got lots of invites to hacker/maker/creator spaces, and we will be taking them up on the invitations.

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