Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Fall in Colorado, Oh my!

Here are some scenes around our house today. It's not that unusual to get snow here in October, but it's never been this deep, this early in all the time I've lived here. Check out the measure on the bench on our back deck--it looks like close to a foot. We may be in for a tough winter. Aspen is loving it, but the rest of us are scrambling to find ice scrapers and winter boots. All my kids are hoping for a day off school tomorrow because it's still snowing. We will see...I can't say that I'd be that upset with a day off, but I already wrote my lesson plans and final exams for next week, and if we miss a day I may have to rewrite a lot of these because we won't get to some of the content in time for the exams. Oh well...I'll have to wake up early tomorrow to see what the weather has delivered over night.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We Concede Defeat!

Aspen has been getting out of her kennel again recently, so over the weekend, we bought a bigger tarp and Colin and Lesa helped us put it on the roof. It hangs down on all sides and we cinched it down every 6 inches or so all the way around. There literally isn't a good gap anywhere in the new roof, so we were feeling pretty confident. We even put her in it Saturday afternoon for a few hours and she was still there when he came home. We weren't confident enough to make a bet with the neighbors, but we were cautiously optimistic. Oh how naive the parents are...

She went in this morning at 6:30am and by 7:30 we were receiving emails from the neighbor saying she was out! We aren't sure where she's getting out because it still doesn't look possible (there is a branch out of place in the hedge, so maybe she's going out through the middle of the hedge, but how she's bypassing the roof I'm not sure!). As of now, we are admitting temporary defeat. She's gotten out of every setup we've come up with, and there have been a few! Until we can get metal panels of chain link for the top, she won't be able to use her kennel and will have to stay in her indoor crate.

Lucky for us we have a great neighbor who works from home and who is now tuned to the sounds of rattling chain link. She's quick to catch the escape artist and make sure she stays out of trouble! We really appreciate her!

Visit with Colin and Lesa

We had a great weekend visit with Colin and Lesa. They came out Friday and stayed until Monday. We went to Boulder to buy tea at Celestial Seasonings and then to see a play at the dinner theater Friday. Saturday we checked out a craft fair, went on a tour of the Budweiser plant (really just to see the Clydesdale horses), and attended a hockey game. Go Eagles! Sunday, we went up to Estes Park to check out the mountains. It was a bit cold and windy, but at least they got a little taste of the town and the national park.

It turns out we picked the right day to go up there because yesterday, the town was pretty much closed due to a major disaster. The old Park Theater shopping mall, which we were in on Sunday, burned down on Monday morning! I've posted a couple of the pictures from the newspaper. The entire building and all the shops in it were destroyed (including the glassblower we stopped to watch and the Scrapbook store I bought some paper from), but they were able to say the historic tower that's attached at the west end. No word yet on what caused the fire, but luckily the wind had quit by Monday or it would likely have caught half the town in a sweeping path along main street.

We had a good time with our visitors. It was hard to get back to school and work today!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Good bye Fall, Hello Winter!

Aspen is thrilled with our new weather, though the rest of us could have used a few more days of fall first. We had quite a snowfall through the night. She loves to play in the snow, and it was also quite comical to watch her try to "help" Mike sweep the snow of the back deck. I've attached some video clips of the two of them as well as pictures of playing in the snow.

It is pretty, but it's cold outside. A high of 36 today, so I guess it's time to get the big coat out!

Lesa and Colin are coming to visit next weekend, and we were hoping to be able to do some fall hikes and explore the mountains with them, but it may turn out to be a different sort of getaway. Bring your coats!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Aspen the Escaper

Oh dear...Here's the chain of e-mails Mike received from Lynette, our neighbor, first thing this morning. We definitely owe her!

Sent at 9:16am:

It's official - she's an escape artist! 7:30 a.m. heard her howling, playing the oh-woe-is-me escape artist; 8:30 a.m. not a peep, worried, investigate - she's roaming your backyard. We go for a long walk, try to put her in the back yard again when we got back, but she was in my front yard before I could get to our garage. She's in our backyard right now. I'll put her in her crate later when I've got to leave - about noonish.

Great engineering on the dog run cover for rain runoff, however it won't do with a dog who's learned that she can climb and jump.

More on the continuing "Aspen saga" later, Lynette

Sent at 9:33am:

Continuing saga:

She's decided to jump our fence now. Spent the past 20 minutes trying to chase her, but have a 10 a.m. interview to prepare for. Hopefully, she'll come back home soon and then I can put her in her crate for the day.

Sent at 10:44am:
She returned back here on her own- finally - and is at home in her crate. Not happy, but safe.

Luckily we have a neighbor who really looks out for our dog! Apparently, the little brat will have to return to spending the days inside in her crate from now own.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Helping in the garden

Aspen decided to "help" me in the garden this morning. If mom gets to dig in the dirt, then Aspen should get to too, right? Of course, I was digging up carrots, and Aspen was just digging for fun, but she didn't see the importance in that distinction. At least she kept to her own box and didn't get into the carrots.
We pulled up the rest of the garden today, so the boxes are all empty now until next year. We had quite a few carrots, although
most of them were very small. I also picked my 3 pumpkins today. I am in
credibly proud of these since I grew them myself. They are currently serving as decorations for the front porch and then maybe as halloween gets closer
we'll carve them.

Saturday, October 3, 2009


I had a very enjoyable day, running errands and grocery shopping with my husband in the morning and going to a movie and doing some shopping in the afternoon with my friend KC. We went to see the movie Bright Star, which tells the story of the British romantic poet John Keats and his love affair with Fanny Braune before his early death. He died of TB at 25, before ever getting married. The movie was very good, although very slow and very British. You may need to be an English major (or a British) to enjoy it, but it was reflective and well written. It's interesting that Keats was penniless and basically a failure before his death and is now one of the most well-known British poets from the Romantic period. Here's the poem the movie is named after:

Bright star, would I were stedfast as though art--
Not in lone splendor hung aloft the night
And watching, with eternal lids apart,
Like nature's patient, sleepless Eremite,
The moving waters at their priestlike task
Of pure ablution round earth's human shores,
Or gazing on the new soft-fallen mask
Of snow upon the mountains and the mores--
No, yet still stedfast, still unchangeable,
Pillowed upon my fair love's ripening breast,
To feel for ever its soft fall and swell,
Awake for ever in a sweet unrest,
Still, still to hear her tender-taken breath,
And so live ever--or else swoon in death.

While I was at the movie, Mike spent the afternoon working in the yard and playing with Aspen. I came home in time to see Aspen guarding a tree. She'd chased a squirrel up said tree and was staking out the bottom of it. She's come close to catching the squirrels recently. I hope she never does catch one!

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