Off the Grid  Retirement at our remote log cabin in Colorado

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Joyful Moments

Posted by: Lynne

Have you ever had a moment in time when everything is just perfect and you have a feeling of serenity and peace wash over you? Rick and I call those joyful moments. Over the course of our years of marriage, whenever either one of us was feeling particularly joyful we tell each other. I'm having a joyful moment right now, we say. That way we each get to share in the moment, even if it's not our own.

There have been times when those joyful moments have been far and few between. Stress at work, stress in our personal lives, etc.

We've had more joyful moments since arriving here than we've had in a long time. They happen just sitting around looking at the inside of the cabin, or sitting on the screen porch after dinner and hearing coyotes and a bull elk bugle (what the heck, it's not the right time of year!) within minutes of each other. They happen on walks as we take in the sweeping vistas of green meadows dotted with wildflowers. It happened to me the other evening on our Ranger ride, just Rick and me. I was driving, flying down the road at 20mph laughing like a little kid.

Our land, as far as the eye can see in this photo.

I know we are still in the honeymoon phase of our life here and that there will be times ahead that won't be as joyful, so I am reaping them in as they come along.

Joyful moments are what life is all about.

Is it any wonder that we happened to end up with a puppy with JOYFUL in his name?

Destin: Summit's We Were Made for This v Joyful

Monday, June 13, 2016

OtG Progress Report

Posted by: Lynne

Painted birdhouses that Rick's dad built for us.

When we first arrived we still had snow in the meadow, and for a short time there was an actual little creek running through it. Now the meadow is grassy and green and star arnica is blooming everywhere. Just gorgeous. It remains to be seen if the wildflower seed we planted last year actually came up. We have more seed coming from Pawnee Seed Company — a mix of prairie grasses and wildflowers that we'll spread around the burn pile areas and the area that was excavated for the trenches for the new solar panels.

There is lots of lupine coming up around the house as well as Wyoming paintbrushes, pink plume, larkspur and fireweed. Most of it will probably be blooming later this week. Soon we will be surrounded by flowers of all different colors. Already the meadows are full of brilliant paintbrushes!

The pasque flowers have gone into gossamer seed mode, but still equally as beautiful.

Unfortunately the mosquitoes are also "in bloom" right now. They say the mosquito hatch only lasts three weeks up here, so we shall see. Right now we douse ourselves with repellent before we go outside. We both smell like Lemon Eucalyptus all day, not a totally unpleasant smell. We've found a repellent without DEET that appears to work great. We also have one of these handy little gadgets, the Thermacell Mosquito Repellent Appliance, that uses butane to heat a synthetic form of natural insecticide, forming a 15-foot-wide area of protection. We used it yesterday while out in back potting the herbs we bought. No mosquitoes dared come close!


Thursday, June 09, 2016

I’m Melting ...

Posted by: Lynne

Here is the progress on our huge snow bank on the road below the cabin. It's melting, but it's also had some help along the way. 

Two days ago when we walked up to the top of our driveway we saw a truck parked at the edge of the snow bank. The tailgate was down and there was a guy doing something, but it wasn't clear exactly what was going on. Since either side of the road where he was is our land I walked up to him to see what was going on. It turns out that he's a new neighbor and he and two friends were digging with snow shovels to create a path for them to get through. 

They seemed nice enough, young men in their 20's, and said they wanted to be "good" neighbors. The parcel they bought shares a property line with the cabin parcel up the hill in back. There is nothing on the land, no cabin, etc., so I am not sure what their plans on for it. I hope that they are just weekend campers. More than likely they bought the land for hunting purposes, and if so we'll have to have a conversation about where the property lines are.

They were not successful that day at getting through, and I warned them about the steep drop-off if they tried to squeeze through in their truck. Plus, the weather turned stormy and I think they turned tail and went back to wherever they came from. 

You can see that soon it will be possible to get a vehicle through but there is still A LOT of snow to melt.

Wednesday, June 08, 2016

UPS Success!

Posted by: Rick

I retired from my job shortly after my 10th anniversary with the company. At 10 years, I could choose a Service Award gift, (I chose 4 nice hefty steak knives), but it did not arrive by the time we left New Jersey. So, I had the company ship it to me via UPS at the cabin address.

As you can see from the photo, it arrived well annotated. There are several notes on it, one with a smiley face. "Good Address", "Send out with Roy on Tuesday", etc.

When I knew the package had been shipped, I visited the local UPS store and explained our situation and they "put the word out" locally to look out for the shipment. I also signed up for UPS's online service that notifies me whenever they have a package in their system addressed to the cabin. That way, I can leave special instructions, etc. FedEx has a similar service, but I've not received any FedEx shipments yet to see how it works. The UPS system worked fine. I was notified of the shipment being "on it's way".

It was to be delivered on Saturday before Memorial Day. But, Roy, our regular UPS delivery driver, was on vacation and Sean was driving his route. Sean had no idea what to do with the package. He did call in the afternoon, but by then he'd missed our drop-off location. I told him it was no big deal (he was about 75 miles away by then), and to deliver it next week. He also called Roy and I guess Roy explained what to do.

There is a UPS drop box at the Wooden Shoe Ranch were we pick up our mail. If there is a UPS package, Roy leaves it in the locked drop box and also leaves a note in our mail box. Everyone is given a key. (Ours was taped to a note in the mailbox on the day of the delivery. Oh boy, another key to keep track of.)

Roy even called us from his vacation to make sure we got the key and the package. That's what I call great service.

We grilled steaks the next night for dinner. They were delicious (nothing like local beef), and the knives worked great!

Saturday, June 04, 2016

Settling in (kind of)

Posted by: Lynne

We are starting to settle in. Well, mostly. We still have two huge dish pack boxes sitting in the middle of the kitchen floor to deal with this weekend, and also a box of assorted bathroom things that we have no place for and need to figure out where to put them.

Even though we have now been here longer than any other of our exteneded cabin stays, it still feels a little bit like we are just on vacation except for the fact that our little cabin is starting to look more like a home than a weekend place. Some people might think it's a bit crowded but to us it just look cozy. It still has a long way to go. We need a file cabinet to put next to the "desk" and something else to put all the related TV gear in/or on (TiVo, VHS/DVD, etc.) but those are not critical right now. Hopefully we'll get to spend enough time in town to snoop around Bart's and find something unique. So far we have so much to do when we do go into town that we can't leave Destin for that long. Forty-five to fifty minutes each way, plus errands adds up in a hurry. So, he is cramping our style a bit right now with so much going on, but what a cute and wonderful little style-cramper he is!

On Thursday Rick and I parted ways and I went into town to do laundry and a big grocery shop at WalMart, while Rick stayed home to babysit and wait for the electrical inspector to come. The drive into town was almost surreal to me. I had never driven those roads by myself before. How can that be, I asked myself?  I left the house at 8:30 arriving at the laundromat just before 9:30. I loaded up 5 washers in a row. I don't really like laundromats but one thing great about them is that you can do a lot of laundry in a lot less time than the one load at a time at home! By just before 11:00 all the laundry was washed and dried (except for what I would come home and hang out on the line) and I headed off to WalMart.

We needed quite a bit so it took me a while in a nearly unfamiliar store. By 1:00 p.m. I was ready to head home, arriving about 1:50 p.m. I was exhausted! We still need to work out trips in to town and try to minimize what we have to do. Normally we would have both gone in and one stayed to do laundry while the other went to do whatever else was needed to be done. But Destin changes all that, just like any baby. I don't feel good about leaving him in his crate that long yet, plus he would have his feeding schedule all messed up. You can't do that with little ones!

Today we are sticking around the house because the Direct TV guy is coming to install our HD. We have those boxes to unpack and find a place for everything that's inside them. Rick is cutting little aspens that have popped up over the ten years that the wind generator pole has been on the ground, trying to make way for its reinstallation on Tuesday. He's putting around out there with the Ranger, collecting the cut up trees and dumping them near the cabin.

And me? Well, I'm sitting here typing and telling you all about the minutiae of my daily life. I'll bet you're bored silly. I really appreciate your taking the time to read this!

In other news we have a new renter for our new bird house.

See the sticks poking out of the hole? We're excited even though it's a house wren in the bluebird house and not a family of bluebirds. Wrens are such sweet little birds with a lovely song. It has so many sticks in there now I am not sure how it even gets in!

Okay, I am beginning to feel guilty that Rick is out there working hard so I need to go and at least see how he's doing, then to get busy on the seemigly never-ending unpacking! The unpacking is not the worse part, it's the deciding where it all goes that wears a body down.


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