Used to be a ‘new’ Jersey Girl   : now A Colorado Girl

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Back in New Jersey

Not New Jersey

We are home in New Jersey as of Saturday late afternoon. My own house feels strange to me. I am in still in a Colorado state of mind and I'm finding it hard to adjust back to the noises of neighbors mowing their lawns and the annoying small planes that fly over the house on the way to the local airport. 

However, an incident last night reminded me of exactly where I was. We had our first bear of the season. I got up to close the curtains as it was getting dark. Out the window I saw our trash can toppled over and trash strewn in a wide swath across the front yard. Then I saw the big black bear. I stood on the front steps and clapped my hands and yelled at it. It took one last tasty piece of prime trash and retreated into the woods. 

Yep, we're back.

It pretty much either rained or was extremely overcast on our 3-day journey home. It seemed that the entire state of Nebraska was inundated with water. The Platte river was out of its banks and newly formed "lakes" appeared in so many fields. So. much. moisture. It was that way in Colorado too and it was nice to see it so green.

We listened to a very interesting book on the way home called "The Buried Giant." It was fantasy with a mix of King Arthur and The Hobbit, complete with ogres and dragons. It was so well read that the author's descriptive words and wonderful dialogue came to life. The story had a very interesting premise which kept us talking about it long after it was over. The 12 hours of CD time seemed to fly by as Lex's tires ate up the miles. Between that and podcasts of America's Test Kitchen we kept ourselves well entertained.

The pool is open and warmed up. However, it has mostly rain and stormed since we've been home. Rick did take advantage of a quick dip on Sunday, but since that afternoon we've had nothing but rain. I am not sure we even have fireflies since it's rained every night, and if they are here I'm sure they are all drowned. I did catch this little froggie on top of his "kin" upon opening the pool yesterday. Whenever it rains we get frogs in the pool. They are the devil to catch.

Most people ask if it's good to be "home" again. I would have to say, no, not really. I'm sure I will settle back into my normal New Jersey routine before too long, but right now I am not ready. We both become so immersed in cabin life that it's not easy to rewire ourselves. Plus, we kicked off a few things in preparation of living there full time while we there, such as next month we'll have new batteries installed and more solar panels. We found a great shed/small garage/storage barn that is going to be perfect for what we need. A neighbor is going to be clearing and leveling the spot for it this week (depending on the weather). 

Our yard was about to become a virtual garden with the promise of lupine, Wyoming paintbrush, fireweed, pink plume, blue flax and more. We won't see it in bloom. Neither will we see the fruits of our efforts to reseed the slash pile burn areas where we spread seed and native wildflower mix.

We're missing all the animals that come to our brand-new mineral and salt licks.

It takes a while to adjust to having moose, deer and elk visit vs. a bear getting into our garbage.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Critter Update

 

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 This colorful tiny lizard was at the foot of the tree where I toss food out for the birds this morning. When I first saw him I thought he was a plastic toy, as those kinds of things pop up in my yard on a regular basis from the kids that lived here years and years ago. But he was real enough and very pretty. I've never seen one like him before.

 

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First off is an update on Alex. I'm glad I had that moment swimming on Saturday night because the past two days have pretty much been hell. Alex had a bad reaction to the chemo treatment and spent two miserable days not eating, having diarrhea, and basically lying around feeling crappy. It was scary. We plied him with anti-nausea meds and anti-diarrheal meds. Last week he had one off day; this week he had two. The vet said this is not uncommon at all and we just have to ride it through. Thank goodness today he is much better, eating a little and barking and wagging his tail again. He's not on the top of his game, but way better than he was. I try to let it not affect my life but it does. My stomach churns and I worry that we are doing the right thing. After all, Alex can't tell us if it's all worth it or not. It weighs on me. Heavily.

The vet visit last Friday went well and he declared Alex in partial remission from the lymphoma. He said that one set of lymph nodes on the front of his chest were still a little more enlarged than they should be but not by much. He was thrilled with his progress! Yeah! Now I can't even feel his nodes they are so far down. So, that's the good news. As long as he has more good days than bad ones I think he'd agree it's worth it.

We have a bear in the neighborhood. A big one if the information coming from two of neighbors is correct. Aileen said he looked like a big black refrigerator. Kim has seen it too, but not me. Not yet.

The fox (or a fox) is still living under the deck. I saw it just the other day and it looks bushy-tailed and healthy. It has not been a problem at all except for the turkey foot I found in the yard. I was wondering why I hadn't seen any turkeys in a very long time. I'm afraid the fox is dining rather well. I can't do anything about that. It's nature at work. 

I have to fish a frog out of the pool quite frequently in the morning. 

Not much is going on right now. I am in the role of care giver and there isn't much space for me. I don't like it, but there it is.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Over the Weekend

Breakfast:

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Bacon corn hash from Smitten Kitchen! We had this two days in a row. Really tasty. The corn added sweetness that was kind of unexpected.

On Saturday we dragged the Booster Bath out into the driveway and gave all three dogs a much needed bath. It was not too hot and overcast so it was perfect weather for dog bathing. None of them were really excited about it but I know they feel better when they are clean, and god knows they certainly smell better than they did!

We bobbed around the pool in the afternoon after running errands (pool store, grocery, liquor store) and the weather was beautiful by then. Not too hot; not too humid with a nice breeze. The pool had cooled off by four degrees with all the rain and cooler nighttime temps of the past few days, so we didn’t swim. Dinner was a very disappointing pizza that I had remembered was better the first time we tried it. Blech!

After walking the dogs on Sunday morning we headed to the Warwick Farmers Market per usual. We needed pesto and goat cheese but came back with beautiful orange beets, a french baguette and some beef jerky too.

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Instead of buying ingredients for our lunch we opted to eat the Warwick Valley Winery instead. I still had not satisfied my pizza craving, so pizza it was! And a bottle of wine of course.

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When we got home we realized we had had a visitor in our absence. One of the deck flower pots was off the railing, the potted petunias laying on their sides on the deck and the bird feeder hanger was bent all to heck. A bear. Nice. My Squirrel-Buster bird feeder held up pretty well, but the bear managed to poke a few holes in the heavy duty plastic … again. The iron hanger did not fare as well. It even bent the bolt! We haven’t had any bear activity since just before my sister’s visit, so we were kind of surprised. And all the way up on our deck!

A little more pooling (we both fell asleep on our floats) and grilled tequila-jalapeno shrimp for dinner and our weekend was done! The bear, by the way, did not make a return visit.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thunder in the Highlands

Tonight is our local fireworks display. We have yet to attend in the six years we’ve lived here. I have to say, right now, it sounds just like the thunderstorm that passed through around 4:00 a.m. this morning. The dogs don’t like it.

Thunder for the reverberation off the mountains and Highlands for where we live. (The high school band/sports teams, etc. are called the Highlanders.)

Previous to the start of the fireworks we were taking advantage of the pool. As you’ve already read here on the blog, we do it au naturel at night.

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These were handheld on Program mode because I like the blur.

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Maybe it’s because I am getting older and I don’t mind blurriness!

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Or maybe it’s because I just like trying to be creative.

(Do you like any of these, and if so, why?)

P. S. DUH! I forgot to add that just before it got dark we were sitting in the cabana and Bella was out with us. Bella started barking and I thought at first she was barking at the dog that I thought I heard barking down the street. Then we heard it. That distinctive snort of a bear. I ran over to where Bella was and could see a bear just over the perimeter of our fence. We called Bella and got her inside so we could access the situation. For sure, a large bear, making protective noises just outside our fence. Momma again? Rick saw her pawing at the tree and when we looked up we could just make out the little Mickey Mouse ears of a cub in the crux of the tree. Probably the same bear, but we backed off and let her be. I guess she likes it around here!

How could I have forgotten about momma bear? Swimming makes me sleepy and forgetful I guess.

Or maybe it has to do with the “getting older” thing I mentioned before????

Friday, June 22, 2012

First Day of Summer & More Visitors

Whew. Summer arrived right on time. The past two days have been in the 90’s with high humidity, taking the heat index right over 100 degrees! It’s good for the pool (which was opened last week right before we got back) since it needs to come up a bit in temperature, but it’s not good for much else. I need to get some more weeding done but it’s too muggy out there for me.

The ferns are going crazy.

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The bee balm is starting to bloom.

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And the day lilies poolside are blooming too.

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Last night after dinner Rick couldn’t stand looking at the pool any longer and he had the first swim of the season. 77 degrees isn’t too bad for the water temperature, but it’s still pretty chilly. I watched and cheered him on from the sidelines.

Bella was out with us as usual but Alex and Hailey preferred to stay in the air conditioned house. Can’t blame them.

Rick had just gotten out of the water when I heard a noise and Bella took off down into the yard and into the woods barking. Uh oh. I know what that kind of bark means. I ran to see what it was and saw a bear climbing up a tree. We grabbed Bella and bless her heart she listened and came with us.

I walked back down to the edge of the yard to take a closer look. I’ve learned over the years we’ve lived here to look up, way up in the tree. Sure enough, this bear had three cubs with her! I was so excited I was jumping up and down with joy! This is the first time in two years since they initiated the bear hunt again that we’ve had a momma bear! So great to see her and the cubbies!

It was getting dark so trying to get photos was challenging. This was the best I could do.

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The three little monkeys!

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Pretty momma!

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Another one of the three cubs. I love the little guy sitting astride in the crook of the branch! They are so darling when they’re little. Three cubs is quite a lot. Two is pretty normal, but nothing like Fertile Myrtle’s Five. Do you remember them? Here’s a link to a video of them.

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Here’s a pic so you can see how far apart the cubs were from the mother bear.

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She was inside the perimeter of our fence which means the cubs had to crawl over it. We have several low spots in the fence from the bears climbing over so it’s not a big surprise. Still, it’s always a little unnerving to have them in your yard!

I don’t know if she’ll be back after all the ruckus or not. She didn’t seem too worried. I’m just so excited to have bears again. They are such interesting animals.

About

Welcome, I'm Lynne. You know me better as a 'new' Jersey Girl. But now I've moved back to my 'home' state and I am living in NoCo (Northern Colorado).This blog will be about my thoughts, good food, and of course, dogs.

© 2006-2018 Lynne Robinson All photography and text on this blog is copyright. For use or reproduction please ask me first.

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