Signs of Spring

 

With the recent precipitation, our south pasture (aka as the “new field” these twenty years) has enough green stuff that I let the horses out on it for two hours for the first time since last fall. With his age (thirty-two) and chronic conditions, I expect Rags’ next non-routine vet call to be his last, so I was amused when he managed a few crow hops to celebrate being let out to graze. He even achieved a little altitude, though not as much as Lily.

Abandoned

From the road, I could see this abandoned structure in Cibola National Forest in a valley below the road. I found a path from a parking pull-off and was able to reach the ruin with an easy walk. The house contained one main room and two small rooms. A stone wall enclosed the area.

There was no marker indicating its age, but I did notice that the windows had a strip of iron or steel across the top. I cautiously explored the inside as there was no building debris or trash. The stone shell looked quite stable.

I was baffled by the stone wall. It looked like a lot of work for not much protection.

One Year

One year ago today, Bandit came to live with us. It’s been occasionally exciting, and not always in a good way, but life has settled down recently. He is doing well in agility class.  His missing eye doesn’t seem to interfere with doing courses: his main issue has been getting overly excited by the other dogs. However, he is doing much better now at staying calm.

He has learned to sit politely and wait for an invitation before jumping up in my lap. He had some minor housebreaking issues when he arrived, but I am starting to trust him almost as much as Rion finally.

I hardly ever feel like I am trying to walk a small, uncooperative tank on the leash now.  I don’t know if we will ever break him of his counter-surfing habit, but Jack and I have learned that we absolutely cannot trust him with food when we leave the room for more than thirty seconds.

Too Cold to Snow?

For years I heard the phrase “too cold to snow” but decided it was a lie after moving to Colorado.

Jack’s personal weather station this morning:

Notice the minus 4F which was the outside temperature and the humidity of 86 percent. It’s not showing any precipitation because we are getting a very light, dry powder snow at present.

The view outside our house:

I googled the phrase “too cold to snow” and found that is is almost never too cold to snow. However, very cold snow will not hold as much moisture as temperatures closer to freezing. Another mystery explained, courtesy of Google.

Tree

20161203tree

Jack and I put the tree up Tuesday. This is the earliest we have ever done so. This is a new tree: our previous one was shedding so badly that Jack bought this one on clearance after Christmas two years ago. This is our first self-lit tree: Jack doesn’t miss wrangling the strings of lights at all.

New Gig

MCSS Shuttle

Today I had my first solo experience driving the Mountain Community Senior Services shuttle.  I first heard of this service over a year ago, and since I had been looking for a volunteer opportunity, I signed up a few weeks ago. MCSS provides two types of transportation for community seniors: volunteers who drive seniors to appointments in the volunteer’s vehicle, and volunteers who drive the shuttle for what is called the “social” program. For the social program, the shuttle picks up clients at their homes, delivers them to lunch, and then returns them to their homes.  At present, I am driving once a month.

I was fortunate that the first woman I picked up today was adept at giving directions, so I didn’t have to rely on the GPS of my telephone. Although I thought I knew northern El Paso County fairly well, I have discovered completely new neighborhoods sheltering among the foothills.

The shuttle was easier to drive than I expected. I had figured it couldn’t be any more difficult than our (no longer existing) horse hauling rig, and I was right. I was amazed about how small the Subaru Forester  seemed when I drove it home afterward.