Tuesday, October 28, 2014

And Naples it is.

Spanish Fort, Alabama
And we made it! To Naples that is, after four days of travel. The extra day in Dallas was pretty special with Lisa's one woman art show and reception and a mini family reunion. So many people we haven't seen in years, and in some cases children grown we've never seen. Wow!

First though, had dinner with friends and Star Mt. neighbors at one of our favorites, McBride's Steakhouse in Wichita Falls, our first night stop. And then stopped by the next morning to see their wonderful new home in the wilds. There are feral hogs, deer, turkey, and quail that they raise. Spectacular country and home. Thanks Glenn and Barbara for the hospitality!

Made it Spanish Ft as well for our usual yummy stop at the Oyster House. This is the start of gorging on fresh fish. We live in beef country which is great, but ohh, been missing the seafood.

Lisa had a ton of people show up for her presentation, which was inspiring and entertaining. No surprise, she's been a wonderful speaker for a long time.

Look at that wall of juicy, special talent! There were a number of paintings sold during the show - way to go Lisa!, and we are also the proud owners of one ourselves. So proud can't even stand it!

Ah yes, Mark's birthday was celebrated too
We took over a bar for some conversing and had 24 at dinner, family et al. Fun times!

kid's table?
What a shock as usual to make the transition down here. 85 today, and we're back in the land of verrry clean cars, perfectly manicured landscape, and gently swaying palm trees. Two months of enjoyment and we'll make the most of it, never fear.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Goodbye Star Mt. Hello Florida

We leave in the early am tomorrow so doing a quick post before we go. What a madness to pack for 2 months and winterize the house. We have a great neighbor who will be watching the house, and our snow prep is done. The big snowblower purchase will be delivered while we're gone, in plenty of time for the big winter snow accumulation. Let's hope for big snow, it's important here!

The Halloween pic is early I know but how cute! We;ll be going to a Halloween party in full costume as we did last year so had to plan and pack costume too. Never thought I'd get back into the spirit of the thing, just shows you never know...

We are making an extra stop this year in Dallas, to attend Lisa's one woman show at the art gallery that represents her. Very exciting stuff! She is one very talented lady and we're so proud. Come join us!   Details at   Lisaadamsreed.com

All the leaves are almost gone, and it will be very quiet here before the mountain opens for skiing. Hunting still goes on with a vengeance for some weeks and then just silence.

And the elk still roam below our fence. They clearly know they are protected here, but will all be gone to other parts when we get back.
I'll post from Naples as always. Palm trees are calling!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

The winding down of the season and thoughts of palm trees and white sand.

Where has the time gone? I still have a lot to do and my lists for my lists are quite long.We leave for Florida in just a matter of days and the house needs to be winter ready.A lot will happen while we're gone and we will come back to bitter cold and snow.

Snow poles are going up to protect ditches and well, septic,etc. and we've put up a 100ft snowfence off the driveway (this we tried before doing it all wrong, hopefully learned the correct procedure this time). Its supposed to help with the major snow drifting we get. Deck furniture in and flower/herb pots taken down. Cut a bunch of herbs to use before leaving. They last a long time in a vase of water.

yep those are more elk, I hasten to say this is not the hunting ground
Many comings and goings at pre -dawn and late hours during Mark's 5 day hunting period. He did at least get to shoot the new gun, but sadly did not "bag" one. His friend and our neighbor, who was his hunting companion, did get a cow and is sharing the meat. Terrific, as this was a big part of Mark's decision to hunt again. Mark helped with the cleaning, etc., I think this qualifies as the icky part.

Last lunch at Ryce today after picking up my seasonal ski equipment rental in Gunnison. Gotta do it now and it's super cheap to rent for the whole season. Still hard to imagine since there's no snow on the mountain at the moment, but it's coming. Crested Butte has gone very quiet, and finally all that blue from the "Whatever" promo has removed off the main road (diamond milled - serious stuff).

And about the moment I was congratulating myself that we were leaving the barrage of dreadful non-stop political tv commercials and phone calls, I was reminded that apparently we're going to a state that has equally obnoxious political races going on. Oh, well.

No big list of books read as I'm still on the repeat of the Outlander series. Deep into book 4, Dragonfly in Amber. These are really long books folks!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

The dwindling days of fall

As I write it is blowing wildly outside and snowing/sleeting/raining with no visibility. A blazing fire in the fireplace and hot spiced tea makes it a cozy place to be inside.

never had flaming orange and camouflage in the house before
This is day two of Mark's hunting adventure, with day one unsuccessful. He has opted out today due to the weather. At least he has that option since he is hunting on our private land Not so much for the hunting tent/camping mini cities set up in the valley.

Elk are everywhere except where Mark is hunting. As he left the hunting area last night, there was a 6 x 6 in the middle of the road as he drove out. You hunting people will know what I'm talking about. He has 3 more days after this, we'll see what happens.

This was yesterday as I walked,

And this is right now. Hard to capture the wind, but our umbrella has a 50lb weight base and it's practically airborne. I think it's safe to say the best fall color pics have come and gone. Most of the leaves were just blown off - in 30 minutes. And I realize we look pretty silly having outdoor furniture still out, got it. The blue sky and sun will be back out and there's really no accumulation of snow - its just a warning.

Flap's twins
The deer are also everywhere and before the storm blew in they were in our yard. Flap and twins were there and I caught the above photo - family love.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Fading color, early snow, and cattle

And it's gone all quiet here. After more encounters with cattle, oh yes.

Around here it's quite important to know the difference between cows, calves, steers, and bulls. Really, it's the bulls. Since so much of the land and roads are open range here, cattle roam freely until stopped by a cattle guard. As I walked down Carbon I saw quite a number of cattle wandering on the road, not a cattle drive I hasten to say, and approached cautiously. Breathed a sigh of relief when no big boys appeared. Then the grunting began.

not so pretty right?
Happily he, actually there were 2, was behind the fence, but not happy with me walking close by at all. Grunting, pawing the ground getting the cows around me a bit unsettled. Honestly I swear I don't try to disrupt, its a knack.

Ohio Pass was still crowded with end of season leaf watchers but surprise, surprise snow was also a visitor. Real winter will be here soon enough.

And back to cattle. Ours at Star Mt. are gone after gorging on our grass all summer and becoming twice as large as they started out. Burt and his cowboys came and rounded them up and whoosh back open went our gates. It's a love/hate thing...

We are now on a bit of a countdown, leaving for Florida in a little over two weeks. A lot to do outside and in to prepare. Moving wood, bringing in hammock, outdoor furniture etc. Whee.

It is very hard to watch the fall disappear and the leaves float away. The restaurants will soon close for off season so we hurried in to have a lovely dinner at Soupcon before they close. Love that restaurant! This is normal seasonal change but we fight it like crazy. Aah, a Florida break is called for.

We will listen to the coyotes and the owls in the night as the animals continue on with their lives. Mark is back from a business trip tomorrow (work - what's that?) and then his first hunting (elk) experience in decades begins. For those non-hunters, remember that elk are over populated here and must be managed. We'll see how it goes...