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Friday, December 2, 2011

Death Comes To The Ponds

Last Sunday Mike made a sad discovery on our regular trip down to the ponds. A young coyote drowned at the edge of the largest pond. The poor thing looked like it had walked into the water and gotten stuck. He/she was in a standing position with head bent as if looking at something on the floor of the pond. That is probably not what happened, but it was in an eerily lifelike position.

I know coyotes lure and kill small pets from the safety of their homes, and I'm sad about that. But I also grieve for this young one who died alone in the cold water. Rest easy, little one.

At the bottom of the page is a photo that I know not everyone will want to see. If you choose to look at it, please say a prayer for this little soul. Thanks.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Epoxy Grout and I Are Not Friends

Firstly, (is that a word), I had the pleasure of buying 21 bales of straw in Penrose on Friday on my way down to Cañon. Why 21 bales? Because that's how many the clever fellows at the feed store could get in the truck.

Supposedly, some of this straw is barley straw from what Coors Brewery uses.

This configuration didn't even require tying down. Cool!

These bales were much lighter than our last batch, which required 2 people to lug. When the wind stops blowing like crazy, we'll open these up and spread them out in the dog yard to keep the mud tracking down.

Secondly, I painted the legs of the countertop on Saturday. (Mikey was at the Air Force game.) Despite being a different color than we had agreed on, they look fine, and most importantly, are no long lumber colored.

All that is left to do are the tile and sink. And hook up the gas stove. And put up the range hood. And the wall shelves. Oh joy.

The real reason I went down to see 'Dwight' was to grout the hearth and heat shield in preparation for the stove. Despite the fact that it has been 8 or 9 years since I grouted anything larger than a side table, I assumed it would be like riding a bicycle. And I suppose that is accurate for me. The last time I rode a bicycle, I fell off.

I bought epoxy grout because it never has to be sealed, and it comes in a cute little bucket because of its minimal mixing requirements. I should have done some research beforehand. It was not a pleasant experience. It was very hard to mix, and very, very hard to spread. Maybe if the spreader is a guy, it is not a problem. But I worked up a sweat just trying to get this mess of black, stiff marshmallow fluff textured stuff to go where I wanted it to. With regular cement based grout, you can use more water or a wet sponge to move it to the texture you need. But not this stuff. Never again. The best thing I can say is, "It is finished." Alleluia.

I ran out of epoxy grout for the last bit, and used regular grout. I don't think it is noticeable.

Now it is Mikey's turn to add trim to the edge of the hearth. As Daddy used to say, "Everybody gets a turn."
Did I mention that the whole hearth/heat shield is weird colored because we bought all the tile at the ReStore? We limited ourselves to what we had on hand, and what they had there at the store. YAY! C'est Fini!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Mikey's Trash Documentation

The PO (Previous Owner) left us an amazing mess. Both Mike and our wonderful realtor, Trish, said that we should hold back a couple of thousand dollars at closing to make sure he cleaned the place up to our satisfaction. But I said, "Oh, no! He really needs the money! If we hold back money as leverage to get him to do the clean up, that's the same thing as saying we don't trust him to uphold his word. He'll be living right down the road from us, and he won't want to be known for breaking promises - this is too small a town! I'm SURE he'll clean it all up."

The day of closing, it was raining hard to beat the band. When he came into the title company office, he was soaked to the skin, which just reinforced my belief that he would work tirelessly through rain and wind to make the place free of crap, just as he had promised they would.

Yeah, right.

 Mikey wanted to be sure that we documented at least the big stuff, so that if we had a giant dumpster dropped off, we could legitimately send him the bill. 

Most of this is stuff we brought up from the ponds. This is the size of the pile after the scrap metal was removed.

Hey! Rotted and broken doors! We could use those for something!  NOT.

Scrap metal and warped boards. I always need these, don't you?

Roofing from the now firewooded "cabin".

Really, can you ever have too many broken pallets?

The frame of a former something.

Pieces of a former something.

Oh, look! Tires!

A nice view of the pond garbage pile.

I always like to fill the erosion spots on my property with old mattresses and sheet foam.

Let's just not think about this too much.

Former location of The Shed That Blew Away.

This is the shed that DIDN"T blow away, and some of the stuff that fell out of the shed that DID blow away.

Pallets, roofing, OSB.

Roofing? Flooring? Doesn't Belonging?

A nice addition to the woods.

Pallets, vinyl flooring, carpet scraps.

When we said that we wanted him to come and clean up the rest of the junk, he looked perplexed.

What junk?

Monday, November 7, 2011

The Mutant Horse Thingy

How did this not get published back when I wrote it? Oh well, here it is.

Last, last weekend, Mikey and I were walking back from the ponds, and came across some GIANT hoof prints. (Mikey is always the one who notices the footprints. Is this a harkening back to his Boy Sprout days?)

As there is a fence between our neighbor's property and our own, we knew it could not be one of their horses. We were perplexed. I postulated that it was from a giant mutant horse thingy, but from whence did it come? There is really no other access to our weird little piece of land. Well, not that a giant mutant horse thingy could get through.

OK, so you really can't tell how big this is, but it was BIG!

 I decided to call it/him/her MEGAHOOF. (The name reminds me of that awful cartoon show Austin used to watch on the Internet. What was that called? With the heavy metal band characters?) (Evidently, it is Parentheses Day here.)

All you horse people out there - look at the depth of the frog!

Now you REALLY have something to compare it to! That's Mikey's mitt!

We walked a little further (farther? Any English majors out there?) And that is when we came across The Pile of MegaPoop. Holy crap. (Pardon the pun.) This is the biggest pile of poo I've seen out side of the elephant corral at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

Unfamiliar with equine excrement? Then you'll just have to trust me that this is one, big pile o' fertilizer.

So it turns out that the fence is down and we had visitors. (I love horsey visitors!) His name is Dakota and he is a black Percheron. He travels exclusively with a donkey named Kong. (Get it?) And they love our property. One of them dragged one of the straw bales we used to insulate the water line off the top of the cistern, and mushed it around for potential yummies.

Kong is on the left - that's his little spotted hiney. Dakota is the big guy on the right. Pardon the terrible photo - the dogs barking spooked them off to a blurry distance.

Later that weekend, we saw the whole herd - about 8 (?) - hauling ass across their land toward the barn. It was SO COOL!!!

This Is One of the Things I Love About Colorado

So we're driving east on some smallish 2 lane highway, looking at cheap houses in the boonies. (This was before we found Dwight.  [DoubleWideTurd. Say it fast.] )

Suddenly, the cars are backed up and moving at a crawl. Then we all stop altogether.  "What the hell?" , we say.  "Nobody drives this road!"  Well, almost nobody.

A highway cattle drive? What?!?

Hold on there, cows. You need to be going west.

Even cowboys wear Nike.

I've lived here a goodly portion of my life, and this was the first time I'd seen this. 


Mouse Poop and Other Ick I Didn't Want to Write About

I hate it when people write on their blogs, "Oh, I can't believe it's been 16 years since I gave you all an update!"  Yes, you can. You know darn well you've been putting it off forever. Or in my case, since August 23rd. So why the gap? Well...

Fancy no Hanta Virus mouse evicting gear. Where in the hell did all those wrinkes come from? Wear your sunscreen, Chillins.

Evidently, there have been some mice living and doing what mice do, in the house. Under the washer and dryer. In the stove. You heard me correctly. IN the stove. Comfy in their bed of shredded pink insulation, with a 3 year supply of dog food from the previous owners.

A nice cache of dog food for the coming months.


I had to get over my heebie begeebies at the mess. Plus, the cord that allows us to download photos from our phones had to be located, which took until 2 days ago. And I wondered about the wisdom of showing the photos to people we like.

Mouse urine and poop with poison in it under the kitchen cabinets.

 But now that those things have settled out to a distant-ish memory, I'll fill you in on what you've missed in the meantime.

After kitchen cabinet removal. Dear God. I had forgotten.

We knew there was something icky under the stove because Hoopa had an unusual interest in it. If you squatted down and looked closely, you could see little pooplets by the edge of the stove. Having already gotten out the masks and spray bottle of alcohol several times on previous weekends, we knew something foul was afoot. But we didn't know how foul. Or that the PO (Previous Owners) had thrown down some poison and stuffed some tinfoil in the gaps of where the water pipes come up into the house as a "solution".

If only I had had the presence of mind to take a photo of the very pregnant mouse that we created a raceway for to help her onto the next stage of her life - somewhere other than our stove. She listened very attentively while I explained that we didn't want to hurt her, but she was going to have to find somewhere else to live. She moseyed out the door, guided by box lids and folded rugs, and disappeared between the slats of wood of the deck. She was very cute.

A variety of common household materials created an impromptu raceway.

Mikey is very good at envisioning stuff.

The rubber boots were needed to keep the folder rug from falling over.

Even a rodent could figure out which way to go.

Anyhoo, we have now concluded that all cabinets or fixtures with plumbing pipes must be removed, the holes closed up, surfaces disinfected, and new fixtures and cabinets installed. Funzies. We send the stove to Scrap Heaven. I don't think it could have been adequately sanitized.

The thing I can't wrap my head around is how the PO lived with this. And why they didn't address it more thoroughly. Yikes.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Dogs, Again

We have custody of an interesting bunch of fur machines.

The sweetest dog ever, Miss Mollie Moo.

Did you want something, 'cause I was asleep.

Any snoot rest will do, as long as the view is fine.

A good idea.

Whenever there is a good idea, Bubba wants a piece.

What's not to love?

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Gravity Is Our Friend

As you may remember, we have no well at the Cañon City homestead. We have a 1200 gallon cistern buried in the ground slightly above and to one side of the house. It was a royal pain in the patoot to get the water from the truck cistern into the ground cistern. We had to drive the truck up the hill as far as we could - which wasn't very far - and hope that we didn't run over the water line that goes from the cistern to the house, and also hope that we were far enough above the cistern that the water would drain out of the truck and into the ground.

Last week we installed a new and improved system. It was a complete success on it's maiden voyage, but we yet to test it in the winter. Still, we are hopeful.

We now drive the truck full of water part way down the drive and stop at the telephone pole. This is where the magic begins.

Note the pink fabric tie holding the water line to the pole. The line is connected to a ball valve on the truck cistern.
The waterline then proceeds down the hill at a rather severe angle.

See the pink thing? That's the next fabric tie. Hanging on to a tree.

This is looking from the bottom up. It is 175 feet from the telephone pole to the cistern. And no fun at all to climb.

Here are the inspectors checking the permit. The white cap you can see on the straw bale is removed when filling the cistern, and that L portion of the line sits down in the top of the white cistern cap.

Now, you make wonder why this is such a big deal. Well, it now takes only 30 minutes for the truck cistern to empty its precious cargo to the house cistern, instead of the 2.5 hours it took before. And it's way easier. Except we've never had to do it in cold weather. That may not be so neato. It is a long walk to the house from that spot on the driveway.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Sweet Butter Dog

Every living room needs a dog and a weed whacker.

No, not doggie jail. The backseat of the truck, now all dogs, all the time.

Camo dog.

Friends enjoying each others' company.

Sleepy or just avoiding the camera?

Not sleeping now!

This is why we call her The Smilin' Mollie Dog.

Love You, Mollie. Thanks for being our pal.