Frosty Mornings

We are at about 6,200 feet above sea level here at Cortez, CO.  Sea level being where Everette and I (and the kiddos) are most familiar being.  Much of our 27+ years of marriage has been lived around the ocean, within a few hundred feet of it at least.

So with this elevation we are suddenly getting cold nights and freezing mornings.  Many mornings are crystally.  I don’t like the cold but I find the crystals beautiful.  See….

Last of the flowers. Plants preparing for another Colorado winter.

Last of the flowers. Plants preparing for another Colorado winter.

Mitchell's boat project is safely wrapped every evening with the tarp.  This is what it looks like come many mornings.

Mitchell’s boat project is safely wrapped every evening with the tarp. This is what it looks like come many mornings.

Cool reflection of the cabin in the van's back window with a small forest of jackfrost.

Cool reflection of the cabin in the van’s back window with a small forest of jackfrost.

Smell Skunk & Other Views

Shortly after we arrived at Smith’s in June we watched off in the distance a skunk waddle down to the creek.  By the time I located & grabbed the camera and ran down the bank the stinky creature had found solace in the dense brush alongside the creek.  I missed a photo shoot.

View to our right

Lots of brush for the skunk to hide in down there at the creek

However, there are quite a few evenings when I’ve left the kids tent trailer that I can smell skunk.  He/she must have recently waddled by in the dark, leaving an unmistakable odour wafting thru the evening air.  I’m glad I haven’t mis-timed it or I’d be sitting in a bath of tomato juice, neither of which we have, the bath nor the tomato juice.  Besides, does that trick even really work?  What do you do for skunk essence?

We haven’t missed getting photos of all of the non-BC (British Columbia) residents that look fascinating to us.  A small sampling but here they are:

Praying Mantis.  I remember the first time we saw one in 'the wiles', on the basketball court in Maricopa, AZ 2008.  Such cool creatures.  Now, we often have them in our camp, on the back of our chairs, or perched on the top of our tents (under the fly) hiding out

Praying Mantis. I remember the first time we saw one in ‘the wiles’, on the basketball court in Maricopa, AZ 2008. Such cool creatures. Now, we often have them in our camp, on the back of our chairs, or perched on the top of our tents (under the fly) hiding out.  On our van, too.

Marmot.  We see them in the fields, often sitting on top of irrigation pipes.  Or they are sunning amongst the rocks on our walks. Fat furry creatures, I remember first learning about them from good 'ol Sesame Street!

Marmot. We see them in the fields, often sitting on top of irrigation pipes. Or they are sunning amongst the rocks on our walks. Fat furry creatures, I remember first learning about them from good ‘ol Sesame Street!

Perfect specimen, this badger waited for us to get a good photo.  We found him alongside of the country road, obviously had some recent interaction with a passing vehicle.  He still looked potentially dangerous, so before approaching from the opposite side of the road, Everette tossed a few rocks at him.  With not a blink of the eye or a turn of the head, he looked pretty safe to approach.  What a beautiful creature, really.

Perfect specimen, this badger waited for us to get a good photo. We found him alongside of the country road, obviously had some recent interaction with a passing vehicle. He still looked potentially dangerous, so before approaching from the opposite side of the road, Everette tossed a few rocks at him. With not a blink of the eye or a turn of the head, he looked pretty safe to approach. What a beautiful creature, really.

A Scanner of Lost Things & a Farrier

So we bought a wand scanner last weekend to try it out.  To see if it is an improvement over taking photos of receipts for tax purposes and paperwork we send to Teacher to ‘prove’ we are educating our kiddos.  The result?  I found a bunch of pictures I had totally forgotten about!

How’s that? you ask.  Well, the scanner requires an SD card that doesn’t come with it, so I took the one out of my htc I used as a phone in BC but now use it for playing Jewels or setting the alarm.  Once I scanned a whack of receipts from Everette’s recent trip to BC I plugged the scanner into the computer to find those new pictures and What???

There’s all these pictures from like…2 months ago when Kathe picked up our crew to spend the afternoon at her place while the farrier reshoed her horse, Crow.

So with no farther adieu The Kid’s Afternoon @ Kathe’s:

The woman: Kathe

The woman: Kathe

Gaelyn

Gaelyn

Maret

Maret

Kathe leading Crow with Anders and Laars astride

Kathe leading Crow with Anders and Laars astride

 

Well behaved Alice

Well behaved Alice

Toveli

Toveli

 

Crow, staying put

Crow, staying put

Farrier doing his trade....he's come late to it, gave up his profession & learned this art of blacksmithing after 50yo I think the story goes.  I wasn't there, but that's what the kids told me.

Farrier doing his trade….he’s come late to it.  Gave up his previous profession & learned this art of blacksmithing after 50yo I think the story goes. I wasn’t there, but that’s what the kids told me.

ferrier3Thanks, Kathe, for including the kids in this afternoon.  Helping their understanding increase in a fun and memorable way.

 

Pizza Bribery

Tim getting the pizza's all ready to be gobbled up

Tim getting the pizzas all ready to be gobbled up

Our time camping here at the Smith’s will be ending soon as the nights are often freezing, literally, snow comes and goes on the mountain tops, and the hoses delivering our running water will soon have to be drained and shut down until spring.

There's snow on them there hills!

There’s snow on them there hills!

Before our time is gone and we go our own ways, Tim and Ann decided to have a Pizza Night last evening around the fire pit.  Their treat to us.  And boy, does our family love pizza.  It’s one of those “most missed foods” we gorge on when the opportunity presents itself.

Maret, Ann & Tim

Maret, Ann & Tim

Danaka, Gaelyn, Anders and Everette

Danaka, Gaelyn, Anders and Everette

Mitchell, Maret, Ann & Tim

Mitchell, Maret, Ann & Tim

Tim made an offer.  Whichever of the kids wanted to eat pizza 3 times a week through the winter could stay with them while the rest of the family continued to travel.  There were immediate takers by about half the kids.  But by this morning, they had all decided they’d rather continue to live with us “forever” (according to Anders).

Jeesh, I thought we’d finally get more space in the van, and our food would last longer, and there would be less people to bicker over computer time.

Maybe 4 times a week for pizza, Tim!!  Then you can keep them!!

 

Slow at the BMX Track

(most of) Maret

(most of) Maret

We take it slow because we don’t have safety equipment, not even basic helmets.

The bikes are borrowed from our hosts, Tim and Ann, who had them for when their grandchildren would visit.  Now they are getting lubricated and used a bit more with the Johnson kids and their new love of the BMX track.  I’m sure if Mitchell were here he’d be loving it, too.  And Laars, well, he isn’t riding a bike yet so he climbs the hills and doodles while watching his siblings cycling.  He doesn’t seem to mind, and doesn’t initiate learning to ride.

We go when the track is vacant.  Less people for our kids to cause an accident with.

Perfect during school hours, earlier in the morning when it isn’t hot yet.

None of them are racing, just enjoying the ups and downs and the corners.  No pressure, no timer, no starting gun.  Just fun with their siblings.

I enjoy watching them give tips to each other, to better their skills.  And to hear them encouraging their siblings on, delights this mama’s heart.