Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Notes From The Country - A Couple of Weeks in Winter

 Just reflecting on winter and the volatile weather conditions and winter health conditions and such.
If you're not familiar with Colorado weather, it can change - literally- at the drop of a hat. In the past two weeks, we've seen snow on the ground, freight train winds, balmy sunny days, and, in the last 2 hours, the frigid cold of impending snow in the air. As I'm saying this, my friends back in San Francisco are starting a group where we all get together at the same time every day and focus our energy on rain for that area. 
Anywhoo, pesky-hanging-on-till-summer-screwing-with-my-everyday-life-and-enjoyment-bronchial-infection aside, it's been a quiet, reflective, yet productive few weeks. I've been trying to find small moments of winter joy. I've once again been observing the colors outside. They're a pale reflection of their spring fresh coloring, and their full, vibrant, summer coloring - and, of course their last hurrah, fiery coloring of fall. 

After the extreme, persistent winds died down, and I retrieved the garbage and recycling cans, errant garbage, and righted deck chairs and garden ornaments, there were a few calm, warm days, so I let the alpacas out to stretch their legs. 

The new neighbors were a tad hesitant and bolted for safety beyond the bare Cottonwoods. So brown and grey and muted and dormant and....waiting.

Not much to eat out there right now. 

One morning whilst feeding the animals, I took my time through the forest. It's coming along nicely. Every year more and more pine needles fall and are making a nice blanket for the forest floor. I was just noticing little things amidst the brownish-greyish (again) feathers (hawk?)

Pine cones. Duh.

Not something you naturally find in a forest, however, we have neighbors through the back pastures who have always engaged in golf practice? I thought the boys were grown and gone by now, but these keep showing up. We used to walk around our pasture and pick up stray balls and drop them in a little pile on the other side of the fence for them to collect. Every now and then I find one in the forest or in the corral area. I don't see people out there during the day. Is night golf a sport?

Bare winter Aspen

On the first pleasant day this past week I let the chickens out as well. They were happy.

It was so warm on Sunday, that as I sat on the deck in the morning trying to absorb some winter vitamin D, the chickens were surrounding me sunning and preening. Clingy little things.

You can't tell from this picture that he's dragging his legs and progressively getting worse. He was just happy to be out in the pale sunshine playing with a stick.

Have been doing a bit of baking and soup making. Cornbread

And some hearty chicken, spinach, mushroom and wild rice soup

 Also a few special breakfasts to jump start my day. Coffee in my new inspirational mug from my sister-in-law, and sustenance - with nutella. 

Yes, I do wear an apron every time I cook! And they get dirty!!

I've also been sewing. Adding to my shop and selling items! And working on new designs for all. 
The skies have been abundant with geese lately.

With a nearby reservoir, they have a home base for the winter and they sound so - powerful - in numbers when they take flight. I just have to try not to run inside when I hear the gunshots that accompany their takeoff. ugh. 

                                                                        The neighbors have been visiting recently as well. hmmm. 

And all the animals have been following the sun spots during the morning.

There have been happy hours. Yes, especially during the winter

And even a night or two of happy hour out - with jazz. Sigh.  

But no more snow.

As I was walking past a storefront one night, I had to stop. First of all because of the couch. But then because of the garlands. Can you tell what they're made of?   Marshmallows! I thought this was too cute. Like oversized eatable snowflakes.

A good deal of football lately too. My two teams. One's moving on and well one's moving on. One on to the superbowl and one out of it's awesome city. harumph. 

 And now I have to get ready for a show. We have season tickets. Not a broadway show tonight. It's a dance show. And my husband just informed me they have a number where they are doing an ode to the Bee Gees.  I have no words. 

So. Winter. Still have a long way to go. I know people right now who are not having a particularly spectacular winter. In fact, they're having anything but a warm, safe, cozy, healthy winter. I'm trying to take my cues from nature. It's dormant time. Hunker down time. Feel the grey, live in the brown, but know that the vibrant colors are coming. I guess that's called hope. Or faith. Snow and bitter cold are in the forecast tonight. But there's sun coming. I know it.The thing is, the sun is out of our control. We know it's coming. We just don't know when. 

 To me this is about the dark before the dawn, not the dark before the end. That's crucial. Radioactive

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