Thursday, February 28, 2019

Just a bit of wandering...

Yesterday I took a break from watching Rich watch Netflix.

I can't take that much TV and it is loud!
I did CrossFit at 8:30 for two mornings in a row and had set everything up for him. Meds, coffee, and whatnot.

After we had lunch, I was going stir crazy so I grabbed the camera bag and set out for a short walk.

The little sandstone wall where the trout like to hang out in the deep pool....

Just beyond the wall. This tiny fall changes daily. Tomorrow it will be frozen over with water running under the ice....

A slightly different view of what I normally take. The trout spot is just in front of me and the icy wall is what is on the left beyond the log.

The cold was ferocious here and a cold wind skimmed over the waters.

I didn't linger long and hadn't brought snow shoes so I could only follow my trail from the other day.

I'm skipping CrossFit today for a muscle rest and going to try and get out to the Reserve to look at Ice formations on the bluffs along the Kickapoo River.

A change of scenery would be helpful.
I'll come back to this spot in the creek after the next arctic blast and snow and see what has changed.

I think I am going to have to find Rich some more programming. He watches TV so intently now that he rarely moves from his spot.

I feel like I am sitting in limbo. Just waiting for something.

Sven got de-budded yesterday and as soon as the weather breaks and he can come here, he will start his leash training.

Wednesday, February 27, 2019

Making Peace with Winter

Monday morning I was rather displeased with winter. I had 5 drifts covering the lower section of the driveway. The drifts were like concrete and two of them rather deep.
The temperatures were hovering at 3 degrees, my Subaru was parked where the water flowed before the freeze up. The driveway near the house was one huge mix of ice ruts and I couldn't see the roof vent for the toilet.

I was so frustrated I took my little shovel and walked towards the biggest drift. I heard the town truck go by up on the ridge and sighed. I considered running up there and asking for help but decided that IF necessary, I would warm up the skidsteer or plea with my neighbor to help.
Soon the plow made its turn around and he backed down our driveway sanding the hill.
He stopped and got out to look at the drifts.
We talked for a few minutes and he was kind enough not to laugh at my little puny shovel.

He drove back up the hill and came down and plowed the drifts with a vengeance. Snow flew high and into the yard. He'd asked if I cared about my yard ... I said Absolutely NOT! Dump the snow in it, mess it up, I do not care at all. Yards can be fixed.

By the time he left my mood had brightened. I returned to scrapping snow off the roof so it would slide down. I made lunch for Rich and announced that I needed to go for a hike. The snow was crusted enough for Charlie to walk on top and perfect for snowshoe hiking.

Mister Charlie. He is wearing his beeper collar. He gets distracted by his nose and sometimes doesn't want to come. It is a good way to break his concentration. Plus the rattle of the treat bag helps.

My cousin has a Dachshund and she calls them low riders. Most Dachshunds are known for a bit of a stubborn streak. She also said that cold was tough on little Low Riders. Indeed. Charlie seems to be okay so far and I don't take him out in subzero weather no matter how much he asks. And he is getting a coat, it just has not arrived.

Charlie got stuck in a trail and didn't want to forge through the soft snow in the creek bottom here. He waited for me to break a trail for him.
Smart little dog.

We did walk down along the creek edge. Saturday everything was melting. Monday though, it was as if a flash freeze had occurred.

Walking on the edge of the creek wasn't too bad. I carried my snow shoes which was awkward.
We didn't go far and Charlie kept running ahead 'rock leaping' across the water and leading the way. He seemed quite confident in knowing the way to go.

I wanted to get into the other half of the creek to take some more shots but having Charlie to watch over and getting distracted by the scenery was something I decided not to do. I'd come back and do that part solo.

I put my snow shoes on and literally climbed like a rock climber up an old deer trail, knee deep in snow and sliding backwards with each step. Charlie followed me.

We made it home following the trail I'd broken on Saturday, the surface and the edges were very crunchy, the result of the heavy rains and then the quick freeze.

So I looked down as we left the valley and decided that perhaps winter wasn't such a horrid thing after all.

Charlie bounded ahead on the trail. He knows the paths now and seems to be a bit more adventurous. He came back and asked to be picked up when we got to the meadow. Over the years I've known that the woods to the east have had coyote dens in them. I picked him up and we forged our way home.

Both of us pleased and refreshed.

Monday, February 25, 2019

The Magic of Winter

I sometimes go on and on about how wonderful winter is and how much fun it can be.

Well, it was fun this weekend in a wicked odd sort of way.

Saturday it was snowy and drizzly and warm, so my Kenosha friends and I went hiking. Ugh. Amanda and I broke trail with snow shoes. It was deep soft smushy snow, hard to walk in. Charlie jumped from one track to the next all the way down to the creek.

There the walking was easier as we could walk in the water or on the rocks.
We all took a break mid valley. It started to rain lightly and busting through the soft snow that was knee deep was tiring.
Amanda was cuddling Charlie while the girls discussed making a snowman.


The snowman was completed!

We thought we'd try cross country skiing after dark, but the rains came hard and driven. With the deep snow we already had, it was not a good thing. The weather forecast said the heavy rain would change to snow and the winds would become wicked.

The forecasters were right. The rain did turn to snow and the winds came.

So after chores, we went out to see how the driveway looked and how the ridge looked.

Justin came down and did a bit of plowing over the slush in the lower driveway. All that rain combined with draining off the hills collected as slush and water in the lower part of our driveway. It would later freeze into a horrible mess of ruts and footprints. 
Such is winter.

The ridge view was incredible. In this shot you can see the trees are iced and frosted with snow. We didn't get much snow but what snow there was was being blown by the high winds. There is a spot where slushy water was across the road from the night's rains.

The kids had to go check out the road. They were amused at the fact that there was no traffic.

I took photos of the beautiful ice.

We discussed the sanity of my friends driving back home. They said they wanted to do some cross country skiing and then they would make the decision.

Amanda and I stayed out of the winds and watched this scene unfold...

I must say it looks like they are explorers forging their way in no man's land!
The town plow had been through and had busted up the drifts, but with those winds, the drifts came back rapidly.

Lauren and her oldest son joined us.
And the adventure was on...

We stuck close to the woods where the winds were blocked.

But even close to the woods we had snow tornadoes...

Then Lauren and the kids took off down the long slope to the Tree Tunnel.
I didn't.
I watched.
I knew how hard that trip would be coming back up the hill and against the winds....

I tried to point out the humans...

Our guests are gone.
The winds died down.

And this morning I saw this as I was making coffee.

I love it.
I hate it.

It sure can be magical.

Last thought added....after chores.
Wicked. Driveway drifted. Subaru iced in its parking spot. Roof vent is covered buried which has never happened before.
Can't get to it.
Can't get out.

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Well that was fun!

After chores I headed up the driveway. We were supposed to get about 3" of snow.
Three inches had already fallen as it was chest high on Charlie when he'd gone out on the porch. Three inches had blown into there.

It was over ankle deep and even though that is not an official measure, it was deep enough to call it 4 to 5. No matter, the snow was there and it was deep enough and the winds on the ridge were howling.

I can't resist trying to take some photos of snow blowing and snow drifts....

The road is out there. Just not very visible.

After Rich decided to take a nap, I headed up to feed Sven and introduce him to Charlie.

Charlie tried to play with him like he would another pup. Sven tried to butt him in the head. After a bit, everyone got along with a lot of sniffing. Charlie even went in Sven's crate with him.

We felt it was too cold and snowy to take Sven outside we all got dressed and ventured out. The temps were pretty mild and soon the kids and dogs were at play.

I keep forgetting how much fun I had as a kid with huge piles of snow. Huge piles are the best for throwing yourself down and over the side.

The dogs just ran and chased and rolled in the snow.

Dixie must have heard us from her big bed in the shed down at my house. She appeared and joined in the fun. She watched over the kids like she was their mom.
As the kids dropped over the steep pile of snow, Dixie went down to make sure they were all right. They used Dixie to help get themselves up.

Charlie and Dixie had a blast. Lauren had to take Basil in as her legs got so full of snow balls she could barely move. Dixie and Charlie have hound dog coats so they don't collect the snow.

But we all had a blast and too soon I had to take my dogs and head back down the hill and return to my mundane tasks of chores and supper.

It was a great snow day. Sure the schools were closed and the roads were terrible, but we made the best of it.

Good neighbors are the best.


All dogs slept soundly last night.

This morning brings sunshine and we can prepare for another 'event' this weekend.

Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Why do you do that?

Black and white photos in the winter versus color?

Well, let's say that black and white just is something winter is great for. Winter is stark in its beauty. Leafless trees, stark shadows, clear skies, overcast skies, white and black.

or...this version...

The color version is beautiful. Look at that gorgeous sky with a wisp of a cloud drifting through. 
The monotone one [I choose a bluish tint just well...just cuz.]

Another friend of mine can't always understand why I love the winter so much. 

I love the lines and shadows the sun and trees create.

I mean just look at those lines! The tree shadows create geometric shapes on the road in the winter.

Here is this road in the summer...

Not quite as striking is it?

Tainter Creek from the west bridge.

Tainter Creek from the west bridge in the summer:
[I used a painting technique on this....]

The red rocks...well I don't do those red rocks ever in black and white. They just don't deserve it!

I love these rocks. I stop and admire them every time I take this road.
See? This is with the new 'Ru.

This is with the old Chevy my son gave me....years ago.

No way I'd ever photograph these rocks and make them black and white...well...

Let's see:

Okay, to me that could work as the light colors are accented. But I do like the color version much better.

Last two shots from yesterday. Color and black and white:

I lied.

And although I loved the colors of the creek and hillside, I thought it was too distracting so ....

When I go through my photos, it is just a matter of what tickles my fancy.

Storm photos of drifts and blowing snow...that was today's adventure.

I can pretty much assure you that those shots will be almost naturally black and white.

Looking back on my blogs...I had this very same arguement with myself before in 2015. Tell me should it be color or black and white?

And it was all with photos from Tainter Land.

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

This and That

Well, a bit more fun with Sven the little goat.

Basil who is my neighbor's dog, greets Sven. She stayed by him while I bottle fed him and then she wanted to play.
He wasn't quite sure what he should do. A couple of times he tried to hide from her.

When I took them outside for some fresh air, Sven did go potty and Basil supervised. She was a good host and as you can tell, she loves having her picture taken....
Here she is cuddling with Sven and I after coming in from outside.

We had a short session of play and then Sven was tired. After all, he is only two days old.

Soon I will bring Charlie to a bottle feeding and see how they get along. I want Charlie to understand that goats are not to be chased. He likes to chase ALL things except the mules.

Gearing up for our next storm. Need to push some snow back further. My duties don't seem to end this winter.

PT went okay. Not much they can do for Rich. But Aric did suggest a few exercises to help him maintain some leg strength to assist him in getting up and down from his chair [he doesn't do recliners]. He also gave him a compression sleeve for the knee.

Other than seeking a visit from our local ortho guy there isn't much else to do. Though we will see Aric in another two weeks to see how it is going with the little light exercises and the adjusted chain.

Now to find a slightly higher chair for him to sit in. It was suggested to put nail 2X4's to some legs to give it some elevation. We shall see.

Monday, February 18, 2019

Should I?

Wakey Wakey...
to yet
another significant snowfall...

The front open pasture with the bale ring ... view off the porch before I started chores...

The mules. They were moving around to the different hay piles and later, took snow baths.

At 11:30 I walked up the driveway to the neighbor's house to bottle feed Sven. So named because they have a white goat named Elsa. The movie Frozen, seems to have a pattern here this January and February.

Sven is doing wonderfully. I am in current negotiations with the neighbors...well...actually with trying to approach my husband about keeping Sven to do the weed clean up work that Little Richard won't do.

Besides. I think pulling a kid goat and holding him and clearing his airways...and being the first thing he smells in life...may have done something to me..and to him.
Just call it silly, but I feel a special thump in my heart when I see him.

He is small now, but will be a full sized Lamancha [goat with the itty bitty ears]. As he is a male, they will whether him and sell him. They have offered to let me have him for free.

Could you say no?

I've raised goats before and know what a pain in the ___ they can be. And I also know how fun they can be, as well as useful.


PT appt for Rich today. Our driveway is plowed, but I'll have to do some clean up work later today.
And prepare for the next 6 inch snow fall predicted to come in tomorrow evening through Wednesday.

18" of snow since last week. Well. I guess I could go enjoy a snowshoe adventure this afternoon? Or ski?
Make snow fun while the snow lasts...


I don't know if Rich knows that he just agreed to let Sven come and live here or not. I sort of was vague and indicated that Sven would be excellent for clean up of weeds with Lil' Richard. Lil' Richard doesn't it noxious weeds, but Sven will.

Yes to Sven.