Saturday, September 14, 2013

Notes From The Country - When it Rains...

Here's a bit of what I've been up to lately , but first, yes, much rain, much flooding, much devastation around Northern Colorado. Many places we frequent from Denver north have been damaged and shut off for several days. The thing is we have numerous rivers and creeks running down from the nearby Rocky Mountains through the towns in the foothills continuing down to the bigger towns and cities near the foothills and on out East to the plains of Eastern Colorado. This is true throughout the whole Front Range which extends from South of Denver to North of us here in Fort Collins. We see an average yearly rainfall of about 15 to 20 inches along the Front Range and when you get a freak stalled storm that dumps 6 inches to a foot of water in a few days, well it's not pretty. We had one of those 500 year storms here in Fort Collins in 1997 and for us that was worse than this one. It was more localized and dumped a foot of water in two days here. Back to the present. Just to give you a brief idea. 

This was the bridge on our walking path by the Poudre River on Father's day this past June.

 This was it two days ago. Yesterday they showed it on the news and it had risen to just below the little white sign on the top that says clearance 7 feet. And our Poudre River hung in there really well compared to the other major rivers.

 Another view of our walking path.

I LOVE this photo (from Durango news) "...through rain, snow, sleet, or hail..." Well our mail was delivered about four hours late yesterday, and I think I can safely assume there were many people - and towns in general - that did not get their mail delivered. That saying didn't include flooding.

Especially if roads into your town looked like this... which some did.
Wild, rushing, debris filled water is powerful, destructive, and deadly.

We were fortunate here at home. The worst flooding was in the chicken yard. I let them out to wander so they wouldn't be stuck in muddy water all day.

Some soaked and muddy alpacas.

And some drowned pine cones.

In more typical Colorado fashion we had a break in the afternoon with some sunshine and the cats were happy to be out after a soggy few days. (My cat thinking, "I know we're the same color but that's where the similarity ends.")
 Feeling grateful and sending my hopeful thoughts to everyone around us who has been affected by this ruinous event.

Moving on to the minor happenings in my past week...
The advice I've been getting is to fill my Etsy shop with more more more. So that's my goal. I've spent this past week cutting, sewing

making yards of binding...

and creating more choices of all my apron lines. I'm also working on some new accessories and other apron styles. 

I bought this lamp so I can have some overhead light for the ever - shortening days ahead. It's a chicken wire lamp. I thought it was fitting.

Ambiance matters. I always have candles lit. 

We went for a walk down the road. The dairy farmer's field is doing well - although all summer was struggling because of lack of water - go figure. And although the corn is not as lush and abundant as some seasons it is growing, and so are the sugar beets. Sugar beets are big around here. As in of the current world production of more than 130 million metric tons of sugar, about 35% comes from sugar beet and 65 % from sugar cane. It's all in the root.

 We watched the sun set over the neighboring pastures. 

We've had really pretty sunsets lately. This is one over the garden. Speaking of the garden I've been harvesting some things here and there. We picked some beans, cucumbers, zucchini, and of late tomatoes, carrots, some baby beets and corn. Being gone for 5 weeks in the middle of the growing season does not contribute to success.

I did make some potato corn chowder on one of our rainy, cool evenings 

I like to make this Moroccan salad every summer because it is so fresh. It is made of chopped fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, onion, mint and olive oil, lemon juice and salt and  pepper. I added some feta cheese on the top - just doing my part to blend cultures. ;)

I planted a grape vine last year by the pergola on our back patio and it not only survived the winter but it has grown up the side and produced 5 clusters of little Himrod grapes. So fun! And they were so crisp and sweet. 

The chickens have started laying. I always think of this as miraculous. This was the first one.

And now they're up to 7 a day. No I can't possibly use 7 to 10 eggs a day. I have some new friends who seem to be excited about them though. 

I also sampled some delicious snacks from my favorite establishment downtown. I told my bartender I was feeling like something carb-y and this appeared. Some kind of divine smoky, spicy potatoes and garlicky asiago stacked french fries. Yup. I'm spoiled. And I like it that way. 

We also happened upon one of our last summer concerts in the town square. It was a boisterous good time for all.

 I'll leave you with this - until next time...

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