Friday, June 15, 2012

building a "magic fence"

Since the big storm a week ago or so, I've been working to get things cleaned up again... raking up the leaves and branches, trimming broken branches, moving things that were washed down (like mulch) back where they should be, and replanting and reseeding areas that couldn't be salvaged.

Once the clean-up is done I'll finish my latest "just for fun" project.... turning our old wooden fence out front into a "magic" fence. (This is done with a bag of marbles from the dollar store, a drill, and several hours with nothing better to do than make the neighbors wonder why you are drilling a hundred or so holes in your fence.)

Here's a sneak peak...

Our magic fence:



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I love how the shiny marbles look, especially with the sun shining through them, next to the old rough wood.

And now it's back to work...

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

One week ago today...

... we were hit with the worst hail storm either Joe or I can remember. It poured rain (we ended up with somewhere between 4-5"... a LOT for Colorado), the wind blew a gale, and it hailed... for close to 4 hours straight. Luckily we had no tornadoes too close, but having to head for safety in the basement was a definite possibility as tornado watches and warnings kept piling up for our area. (I get email alerts about severe weather watches and warnings, and received somewhere in the area of 45 email "warnings" during the 12 hours before and after the storm!)

During most of the storm we stayed busy trying to keep the family room dry since that part of the roof sprung multiple leaks shortly after the wind and hail started. By the time the storm finally wound down we had pots and bowls strategically placed all over the room to catch the water dripping down. When we weren't catching drips, we were watching the storm... it was an amazing, breathtaking thing.

Our little dry lake bed was overflowing with water, and the gully down in the back pasture turned into a 6' deep rush of raging water wildly picking up everything in it's path and carrying it downstream.

Part of the driveway was washed down into the pumpkin patch, and many of the trees were almost stripped of their leaves. My gardens were, of course, virtually destroyed, and they'll be little/no fruit from the fruit trees this year... On the bright side though, the berries are coming back quickly, and a few pumpkin seedlings even made it through.

Here's what our back pasture usually looks like...



And how it looked during the storm...



I was SO thankful that all that water didn't have to flow around (or through) our house... Our land is in a small, shallow, valley but the house is kind of nestled on a higher spot on our piece of hilly land, well out of the way of the torrents of water that were flowing through...) The barn also stayed dry (hurray!), although it was an unreachable island for awhile...

A few more storm pictures...



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Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day...

The peonies bloomed just in time to cut a couple bouquets to take to the cemetery.

I remember how much Mom liked peonies...



R spent a lot of time arranging the flowers just "so".

While we were there we got to put the flag on Dad's grave ourselves... ( it's a veteran's cemetery, so each grave gets a flag each Memorial Day)



It's such a peaceful place, and it was a beautiful day to visit.

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A labor of love... (house before and afters)

In a comment to my post about some outside projects I've been working on, a friend asked if I had any before and after pictures. I'm not good about remembering to take "before" pictures, but her question got me thinking... and going through my files of old photos. I also headed outside trying to recreate those same photos...

Here you go Angela, a few before and afters...

Here is one view of the barn, in Feb. of 2005, just before we moved in.



The same view now...



A different view of the barn after we'd started fixing it up... This was probably summer of 2006.



The same view now... (complete with nosy donkey!)



I couldn't believe the difference in these next two pictures... Here is the east side of the house, looking towards what would become the kitchen/remembrance gardens, in 2005. This was before we basically rebuilt the outside of the house... the only things we'd done here were the new chimney (stone is new, old sided chimney is gone) and the railing around the deck above the garage. (The deck had been just open to a 10' drop to concrete!)

Before:





After:



Looking toward the house from the west (barn pasture) in 2005. (Note the deck above the garage doesn't have a railing, this must have been just before that work was done...)



Same view today...



I hadn't realized how much the place has changed over the past seven years... thanks for "planting the seed" Angela!



Friday, April 27, 2012

outside projects

I was telling one of my brothers about some of the outside projects I've been working on this spring, and I thought I'd post some pictures here so he can see what I'm talking about.

Here is the new fence that started all the work... (No I didn't do this fencing, we hired it out) Chain link is gone, nice pasture fencing is up:



The front yard changes include this new path along the flower bed, and the "bench" under the cottonwood tree (that huge log is the only bit of wood left from the big ponderosa pine we had to have cut down last year).



I also moved the small trough planter from outside the yard by the fence to inside the yard, and planted a row of dwarf burning bushes along the fence line. They should be pretty in the fall when their leaves turn crimson.



On the other side of the driveway, my on-going project is cleaning up the border along the terraced area and filling it with large sized cobblestones.

This project is about half done...



This is the little planter I put next to the barn (this used to be a little weed covered hill). I'm not sure what I'm going to plant here... something the deer won't eat, for sure, because it's so far from the house they'll be all over it if it's something they like...



A still-to-be-done project is to terrace the area on the other side of the barn door and plant a lilac bush there. I'll have to protect it with field fencing for awhile (years!) to keep the deer from devouring it, but it will be pretty someday...

Last project... the fencing across my kitchen garden area. It's made from salvaged pieces from the outhouse that used to be out back.

Here's the outhouse... (this picture was taken right after we bought the house, it's since been torn down)



And here's the fence...



And a close up of the old logs...



I left the logs "rough" because I wanted to show their history... If I'd wanted new perfect wood I could have easily bought it down at the lumber yard, but I wanted to repurpose the wood that's been here since before the house was built, before anyone really lived here... wood with a history here.

So... there you go Steve... I'll be looking for pictures of your latest outside projects. :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

spring snow...


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Equals...

green pastures.


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Saturday, March 3, 2012