OK, I want to start this by making you hungry. My son told me about these quick and easy hash browns and I love ‘em! Just add some hot water to the line in the carton, let ‘em sit for 12 minutes and they are ready to cook. I think they come out great and it is really convenient for being up in the sticks. I add onions because I like them and I cook them longer than the directions because I like them crispy. Also, you can see I had to put some biscuits in the Sun Oven, because we just can’t get too many processed carbs, right? To offset this huge carb intake, I ate some bacon and eggs, so hopefully that helped to get it healthy!
Naturally, I will spend some time here to burn those calories. Studies have shown that at over 8000 feet altitude your body will burn more calories because your mind doesn’t work well. Of course, most of these studies were done by overweight people.
Here is the bird sanctuary from a couple of angles. If you look closely at my iPhone photos, you might be able to see the feeder and a couple of our birds who choose to dine here. Normally, we see Finches, Nuthatches and Chickadees, but the Towhees like to come in and see what they can find on the ground. Once you get past those “devil eyes” they are very likeable. So far this summer I have seen some Mountain Bluebirds and Western Tanagers. I have only seen one Clark’s Nutcracker. The nasty old Bluejays try to come in and take over, but I have a special way of dealing with them. I won’t go into detail for sensitive viewers
So, I did get busy and finish the trail I started last year down the mountain. I made the trail in case any tenderfeet visitors come along and are afraid of getting lost on these vast 5 acres. Happy trails to you!
Getting our home back into place this year was so much easier with the driveway alteration. The water tanks sit in the “old” driveway. I have been here a month and have only used about 200 gallons or so, including a daily shower. It is amazing how little we need with some simple conservation. If you look closely you might see the Dish Network antenna on the back of our rig. It took a little engineering to get it mounted up there, but I kept having tree trouble with it on the ground. Dish Network came out with a pay as you go program, which is nice, so we have news, weather and some entertainment for about 30 bucks a month. I did have to buy the equipment, but got a good deal on the receiver on Amazon, and a good deal on the antenna through Ebay. It is a known fact that I am a devoted shopper of “the deal.”
See, it just takes some “engineering.” I have another word for it, but cannot use it for fear of NSA surveillance.
The solar has been great, but we are getting a replacement controller from Morningstar since this one has kept us in the “float mode” a few times and this keeps the batteries from getting fully charged. My thanks to my solar guru “Handy Bob” Shearer for his advice and assistance in keeping the system working properly. And, for teaching us we can do just fine with 300W, with proper wiring and equipment. His expert installation and advice have been invaluable. If you want to find out all about living off the grid with solar, please check out his blog at handybobsolar.wordpress.com
I was very happy to find our deck built last year was in good shape. Another thank you to my good friend Wayne for the great idea! All I had to do was buy the lumber and do what Wayne told me to do and we got it built! It is an awesome addition, especially, for cool summer mornings, drinking coffee (my wife’s drink of choice is Chai Tea) and watching the birds. I highly recommend it to decrease blood pressure. I rarely think about the disaster on Capitol Hill while sitting out here.
In the foreground (on the right picture) you can see our very expensive bird bath/fountain and the most interesting thing there, so far has been to see the male Broadtail Hummingbird taking his daily bath. I hadn’t seen that before, but evidently this guy likes to spruce up for the Hummingladies. Hey, if I could move like that, I wouldn’t have to spruce up.
Hidden in the trees is the privy. We try to camouflage it so that we don’t offend those who deny that everyone has bodily functions. Note to self: It is easier to put this up when the wind isn’t blowing!
Last year we added the “Sea Biscuit” a sea container for storing our stuff for the winter. In previous years we had to rent a storage unit in Alamosa and this addition made it oh, so much easier to get set up this year. I had to run solo coming up here, because Mrs. King’s work required that she remain southward. We got this unit from Gunbarrel Storage in Monte Vista and they were very nice people. They even delivered the unit, and as you can see in the unloading picture, it was tricky for them, but they got it in here!
These photos were taken last night, one to the West and one to the East. Two very large fires are burning out there too close for comfort. The town of South Fork to the West is under evacuation and the town of Walsenburg to the East is under pre-evacuation, at this writing. A sobering reminder to be careful and vigilant. Our thoughts and prayers are with those who have lost homes around the State in this horrible fire summer of ’13. Every day we are reminded of the beauty around us and how quickly it can turn into disaster.
I hope wherever you are, you are having a good summer and enjoying yourself.
By the way, I don’t wear a tie, but this summed up how I felt earlier, when I had gone through and put this blog together, but evidently forgot to save the draft, properly and it all disappeared. Know the feeling? But, I gathered myself, called friend Bob and got his sympathy, then went back in here and completed it. (I hope)
I must finish this, so I can start reading a book I just downloaded called “The Liberator” by Alex Kershaw. A friend of mine, Bob Badger, read the book and noticed that the hero of the book, Felix Sparks, was a resident of my hometown of Delta, CO for some years and asked me if I knew him. I mentioned to him that General Sparks’ daughter was in my class in grade school and that I had met him once, briefly. I had no idea of the General’s WWII heroism, so I am anxious to read the book. Check out Bob’s blog at bounderrv.wordpress.com. It is all about gate guarding oil rigs in Texas. He has some very interesting stories and insight.
Easy reading is damn hard writing.Nathaniel Hawthorne