Where to start?

When last I was here, my aunt had just passed and my mom had returned home. Then all hell broke loose.

On Monday, Bryan came by to let me know that he’d bought the house from Stefan. He wanted to let us know that he planned to move in and that we’d have to stuff everything in storage and/or the Wendy House and live there. We tried to explain that this just wasn’t viable. We wasted our breath. Shock. Horror. Disbelief. A week later, we were told we had to totally leave the property. Leave the Wendy House…

While we were reeling from this, my Dad had a major ‘sundowners’ moment. Yelling, screaming, threatening people, etc. We called the police and the EMT’s. When all the dust settled, Dad was in hospital in Pueblo. In the mental unit. Meanwhile, we moved in with my mom, as she was very upset and didn’t want to be alone.

We have been up to see Dad. He’s been diagnosed with moderate to severe dementia and psychosis. From what the doctor and nurses said, he’s been bipolar all of his life, but could deal with it. The dementia robbed him of the control to cope. When my sister and I talked, we could see it looking back. My dad has always ‘escaped to the mountains’, and we figured he just didn’t like living in the city. Now we see it was his way of coping. Now we are working on Medicaid paperwork and other bits. It has been a crazy time.

And… in the mean time, we’ve been packing. It’s very hard to leave our home of 10 years. Hard to leave behind all the work we did on the Wendy House. We are doing our best to keep positive. It’s just tough.  Brandy isn’t doing too badly. She has a new yard to explore and we hope to build her a dog house soon.

Frro Frro Frrozen!

Since Yule, we have had a lot of snow. Probably a foot all total, maybe a little more. We’ve also had really LOW temperatures. One night was -27C. Brrrr! Most nights have been -15C. On New Year’s Eve, the truck door froze, and Dan broke the handle trying to open the door.

Our pipes have been freezing every night, and today Dan ran an errand and left the tap open. He came back to find the Wendy House bathroom flooding out into the front porch area. Luckily, it was only about 25-30 gallons of water. I just laughed, and Brandy kept running up to me and barking as if to say, “Dad messed up! Dad made a mess!”

It’s also been cold enough that we’ve had both RedTom and Brandy in at night. We’ve had a furbaby detente,  with minimum growling and hissing. What made this really “fun” was that the first morning, we woke with about 8 inches between the dog and cat. Dan was the separator. This morning, Brandy had her head over Dan’s leg, so they were about 4 inches apart. Gaaah!

At least heat has not been an issue in the main part of the Wendy House. We replaced the two tin can lids with three brand new mica windows. The stove works so much better.

In the mean time, we’ve been catching up on reports for work, and a few other projects. I finished a pair of socks and on New Years Eve, we watched Longmire until the clock turned.

Plus, 2015 so far has been the year of meetings! I have 6 in the next week. Aieee! The pictures below are of the two snow storms, RedTom, and Brandy.

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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. 🙂

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Oh the Chaos…

Since last I had a chance to write, life has been just a little chaotic. First we had the Mountain Miners Day on September 20th. While I didn’t watch the parade or go to some of the events downtown, I was involved with a play written by Barbara Yule. It’s called “For Tomorrow We May Die”, the story of Mary Thomas. It was about a woman who survived the Ludlow Massacre. Originally it was a 3-4 person play, but turned into a one woman dramatic reading by Tanya Perkins. I made an apron and scarf for part of her costume and was the school connection as we were holding it at Washington School. It was lightly attended, but Oh My! It was beautiful.

The next week was a surgery for my dad, a school board meeting, a field trip with the school STEM class, a CASB (Colorado Association of School Boards) conference and the Celtic Music Festival. Yes, just a little jam packed. Dan drove my parents up to Colorado Springs for Dad’s surgery. I stayed home and attended the school board meeting.

On Wednesday, I went with Mark Thompson and his students to the Wings over the Rockies flight museum in Denver. That was a lot of fun.

Thursday was crazy. Once again, lots of stuff to get done. Dan was gone doing Celtic music festival stuff while I got things done around the house and prepared for the concert in Gardner. A Taste of Things to Come is always fun. The Gardner community center was packed.

Friday, 5:30am. Up, dressed and out the door to the CASB conference in Pueblo. Dan was out the door an hour later to work the festival. Lots of good info at the CASB event, and then home just in time to help at the first concert at the Fox. Full Set played. It was heavenly. Got home and got a phone call… My Dad was in hospital with an infection.

Saturday, 5:30am. Up, dressed off to Pueblo. Legislative delegate day at the CASB conference. I finished up by 2pm. Took Mom out to the hospital to see Dad. Then off to the evening concert and the 10th Anniversary concert afterwards. We got home around 1am.

Sunday. We got to sleep in until 7am! Wow! Off to La Veta for the final day of the Celtic music festival and the final performance of “For Tomorrow We May Die.” Oh was it grand. Packed house. Not a dry eye either. Oh… Oh my.

Afterwards, we went to see my Dad again. He was not doing well. Confused, etc. Monday thru Thursday was a mix of hospital trips, running errands, meetings, and playing catch up with work. Oh, and lots of planning. Friday, we got to bring Dad home. It was also the day that the doctors told him no more driving. So, Dan and I are now “Driving Mr. Sudar.” Luckily, Dad took it well after an initial bit of shock.

Over the weekend, we’ve tried to get ready for winter. We chopped firewood, cleaned up the yard a bit, brought plants in and have driven Mom and Dad wherever they needed to go. Somewhere in here we got our bathtub for the Wendy House. We hope to plumb it soon.New tub2 On Sunday we took a drive up Cordova Pass to see the aspen. Ahhhh… it was beautiful.

This week has been yet another rush of work, driving and meetings, and it is only Tuesday. Ah Chaos, thy name is normality around here…

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.  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? 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. 🙂 Then I made a bespoke tunic for a tournament prize for Battlemoor. 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. 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. 🙂 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.



700 pounds of garbage.

Yes, 700 pounds of building rubbled hauled to the dump. When we took the sheds down oh… 4 years ago, we piled stuff off to one side with great plans to recycle and reuse the corrugated roofing and other timbers. You can stop giggling. The pile has been great housing for Red Tom, and killed weeds. However, we realized that our expectations were a little off. There was just too much work to be done to reuse it. So, we cut it up and with the help of Daniel, hauled it to the dump. Our little pickup was so full, I swear the front tires were barely on the ground.

This was the start to our crazy busy weekend. Once we finished at the dump, we headed to the grocery store. Our original intent was to grab a few needed items like toilet paper and dish soap and then head home. Well… we decided to have a celebratory picnic. We grabbed chicken, potato salad, drinks, and dessert. Then we headed up old La Veta pass. We sat in a huge meadow, watched the ants and birds and listened to the wind blow through the trees. It was a much needed bit of solace. On the way home, we grabbed sandstone for our garden.

After we unloaded the truck, we started to look around and figure out what was next. Dan decided to mow the back yard. He got 4 ft done when our mower died. Yes, our brand new mower. So, we loaded it in the truck, and headed to Pueblo. We dropped it off at Lowes and then grabbed flooring for the Wendy House. When we got home, we cut the law with the weed wacker.

Sunday, I cleared the living room space while Dan went over to mow my parents lawn. When he came home, we tried to put a shelf up. This originally was a wooden fireplace mantle. Forty minutes later, we realized it would not fit where we wanted it and moved it to the East wall.

Then it was time for the flooring. We are covering old cement that has cracks, oil stains and is a bit of a mess. A variety of interruptions made a hash of the day, our tempers and stamina. By 9pm, we were exhausted, but… we had 90% of the work done. To our frustration, we realized that the area of the old ramp was still spongy inspite of everything we’d done. The solution of course is to put another layer of flooring down. sigh… However, for the moment, we have a level floor. We built part of the plinth that matches the height of the one under the wardrobes. This has been needed because of the uneven nature of the foundation on the north and east walls.

By the time we flopped into bed, I think every muscle I have ached. We loaded and unloaded huge weights of material six times. Our poor pickup! Then we shuffled, moved and built until we couldn’t see straight. In spite of all of the delays, we got a lot accomplished.

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Boxes and screws and paint, Oh My!

I am exhausted. After our adventures with the Front Range Open Source Hardware Symposium, we went shopping on Friday. Trader Joe’s and IKEA. Yes, the crazy Swedish store, that I love!

Originally, we just went in to grab a few bits and pieces. Napkins for my mom, a couple of light bulbs, that kind of thing. Well… we walked through furniture, trying to figure out how we were going to deal with a few issues on the Wendy House. That’s when we found this wardrobe. Normally it was $250, but discounted down to $179, as it was discontinued. We bought two. Plus we got a file cabinet and a kitchen table piece that we are going to convert to our bathroom sink stand. Yes, we spent a lot of money, but oh was it worth it.

Saturday, we cleared the area and began to build the wardrobes and the ‘closet area’ that we were going to put them in. Also known as “Yet Another Change of Plan.” It worked out much cheaper and over all better than what we’d planned. We worked until 10pm, collapsed in bed and slept.

Sunday, we woke up to SNOW. Not a lot, but enough that we would not be mowing my parent’s lawn. Instead, we came home and worked on the Wendy House. We got the wardrobes all finished, and moved into place. We were so tired, that we crawled into bed and just shuddered until our bodies decided that they’d punished us enough for all the hard work.

This morning, I shuffled clothes out of various spots. The wardrobes work a treat. Next on at least my agenda is to move the vanity and the big blue dresser out of our bedroom. They are both empty. Then I can re-arrange the bedroom/office side of things. Wheee! It grappled for a few minutes just before Dan took me out to lunch. This week the low temps are all suppose to be in the low 30’s. I had to bring all my plants inside!

Now if only I can move out of this chair… (creeeek!)

Closet project 2 Closet project.1

Second Winters

Yeah, sort of like second breakfasts in Lord of the Rings.


Why? Well… um… You saw the pics in the Albuquerque trip post. That snow left us with 4 inches. It was all gone by Tuesday, and it even warmed up a bit. Wednesday wasn’t bad either. A little cool in the morning. Hot by noon. I even hung out some of my laundry.

By 3pm, the clouds had rolled in and the rain started. I dragged the clothes in and hauled in firewood. It kept raining. By 5pm, we had snain. Yes, snowy rain. By 7pm, it was snow. We woke up to 4 inches of new snow and about 21F temps. Brrr!

Of course, by Thursday afternoon, most of the snow had melted, and the mud was awesome!

Today of course we had a high of about 73! Next few days are suppose to be in the high 60’s with rain. 70’s again by Tuesday. This weather is just crazy!

Today I did some sewing, and learned how to pick and place parts on circuit boards. Apparently from what Dan says, I’m pretty fast. Did 9 boards in the time he could have done 3 or 4. 🙂 Tomorrow we are doing my parent’s yard work, shopping in Pueblo and then working on the Wendy House closet! Whee! Pics when we are done.

That itch…

To clean. Yes, Spring Clean. It’s almost warm enough. Nearly 68F if you don’t derate it for the wind… 🙂 I want to be cleaning. To dust, sort, shake out, sweep and wash windows. (don’t faint!)

However, Dan is writing the last paper for his class. I have a crazy week to get ready for and my allergies are… impressive. Achoooo!

Instead of working on some grand project, I’ve been nibbling at things. I did a clean and organize on the main house. Swept floors, tidied up my desk, etc. Did a little of that in the Wendy House. What I’m waiting for though is next weekend. We are planning to build the closet. When this is done, a whole domino of events can take place.

  • move, sort and shuffle clothes. (winter to summer wardrobe)
  • put floor in WH
  • move big dresser into the living area of the WH
  • rearrange ‘office area’ in WH bedroom.
  • Clean WH. (yes, that includes washing windows!)

And that doesn’t count other things like making raised beds, moving the compost pile (yet again!) and other bits. Now to just get through the next few days.