29 September 2015

Green Acres and Charlotte's Web

Green Acres and Charlotte's Web, All Rolled into One.

The wasps have gotten out of control around here so I decided to spray under the eaves.  Unknowingly I dislodged this beauty from behind the window sill. I was worried I had poisoned her but am pleased to say she is still alive and spinning.

A cat face spider. 
Beneficial and harmless and BIG!

I like spiders. I really do. As long as they know their place which is outside or up in the high corners, not bothering or biting. I have had a few bad reactions to spider bites; one while I was in Mexico that required a doctor's visit.

But this one is HUGE.  The body is almost the size of a dime. Thinking it might also have a huge bite, I figured I needed to know it's name. Or type. You know, some background on my guest.

A few spider Google Image searches yielded nothing.

Next step: Salida Swap. This is a local Facebook page for people to find, sell, buy, or trade items or ask local questions.   

And this is where the Green Acres aspect comes in.

Not only did I get an immediate identification on my friend, I got comments, stories, pictures, videos and general entertainment. 

Screen shots of the replies, names removed to protect the innocent. 

So many people went out, took pictures of their spiders and then shared them with me. I love that.
Also love that the spider is friendly and beneficial.

She gets to stay. No more spraying around her window. But she needs to get to work on the wasp population.

28 September 2015

Out of Work

(In honor of National Coffee Day which is today, September 29.)

Out of Work

I mentioned last week that I went to Florida and came home to no work. 

And yes, it was a bit of a surprise. 

The coffee shop where I have worked since last November closed. While business was steady, it takes a lot of coffee sales to make money.  I had been told that the store would close in December if business didn't improve. 

The building was also put up for sale, in case someone else wanted to buy the whole place and run it on their own. 


While I was in Florida I got a text from the owner's son that the shop was done.
Apparently the other part time employee was in the hospital, there was no one to work, so Hey! Why not just shut the whole place down?
At first I understood that the shop was just going to be closed while I was gone. 

Then I realized, no, it's being emptied. No register, no ice cream, no fudge, no nothing. 

And the kicker?  I never got a message from the owner. 

No text. No email. No phone call from my employer. 

Her son was kind enough to let me know what was going on. If not for him, I would have shown up bright and early last Wednesday morning to discover the place had been ransacked. 

I am sad.   

I loved going into work: the smell of the coffee, the routine of turning on the music and making the daily brew.   A lot of love and labor went into that building and daily people would exclaim over what a welcoming place it was. 

My little domain for the past 11 months. 
Beetle kill pine on the walls. 
Everyone commented on that paneling.

I miss my regulars who were given zero advance notice. And still have been given no explanation.

My friend, the espresso machine. 

The paycheck was fun and I only slightly regret cashing the last two and spending them all in Florida on Belle's new apartment. 

Latte, anyone? 

The characters. I said from the beginning that there was a book to be written from working there. Being a barista is akin to being a bartender. People share. A lot. I was a captive audience. And a sympathetic listener. 
That book is still going to be written. 

But on the bright side, my time is again my own. At least as much as a mother and dog owner can say they have their own time. I'm really still a slave to both.

Even Carlos loved the coffee shop.
Bunny would bring him in sometimes.
He may or may not have gotten ice cream. 

And I'm still waiting for that text. Or phone call.  

You know, the one that says "thanks for working for the past year, sorry it didn't work out."

That one. 

(Or Hell! Even one that says "Store is closed for good.")

24 September 2015

Breaking a Bad Habit

Habits: Good and Bad


Know what I have discovered? Once you get out of a habit, it is soooo much harder to start up again. That's a good thing if it is a bad habit. (smoking, drugs, just about all the fun stuff in excess) Not so great if it is a good habit. (exercise, forward movement and -yes- writing)

So I am diving in.

A quick catch up.

August was mostly just work.   Carlos hated it. I was gone all the time.

September has been a whirl.

School for Bunny.

We both went to Florida for Belle's TWENTIETH birthday.

 Bunny and Belle (blowing in the wind) 
after Belle's birthday dinner. 
💗 that these two hold hands.

I got to meet Belle's little dog, Dakota. 
He has three legs. 
And he adores Belle. 

I came home to NO job.  Yep, that was a surprise.

This past weekend was Uncorked, the Wine and Music Festival, in Lake City.  I invited myself to my friend Liddy's house for the weekend.

Chairs lined up to to watch and listen to music.
The tents are home to bottles and bottles of wine.

Liddy and me, partaking.
(She'll probably shoot me for posting this because
  she really is way more beautiful than this pic suggests. 
Awkward expression but best I got.)
Groups get together and set up tables of food, just in case you don't 
want to buy from the many vendors.

Fall arrived.

Bunny has been put on the Homecoming Court for school which  apparently requires dresses, more dresses and parental involvement.

And how am I doing on the list? Horrible. No movement at all. Will that change?  Hope so.

There are 2 or 3 of the items I hope to check off before October is over.   But October is going to be busy. Lots of visitors.  Can't wait!

In the meantime I am enjoying Fall with a capital F.   The calendar says it is here and for once, the calendar isn't lying.  
How do I know? The aspen were almost in full glory when I drove over Monarch Pass last weekend. (Last years pics here) Everywhere leaves/trees are turning and I confess to wasting gas just driving around, admiring Mother Nature. Hiking weather is perfect although bear weather is also perfect so that's a bit of a push/pull for me.  My Twin Sisters are speckled with yellow.

Also, I'm reaching for my jeans most every day instead of shorts. I grab a light hoodie if I leave the house early or late.  Lows have been in the 40s, highs in the 70s. There's no snow on the peaks of the Sisters but that will come. Another month....
And a sure sign of Fall and cooler temps: the electric blanket  is out of its plastic bag and back on the bed. I'm waiting on the heavier comforter but some mornings...well, let's just say I've been thinking about that electric blanket fondly.

Now that I'm not working, I promise to get back on schedule.

09 September 2015

Still at Green Acres....

Still at Green Acres....

O! I've been bad about updating and I know it. Summer really took over, with a lazy attitude and mindless occupations. O! And work. Lots of work.

But now it is September, Labor Day weekend is done, kids are back in school and life goes on. 

I realized over the last two years I have updated with my thoughts on living here at (what seems like) Green Acres. (Here and Here and Here.)  Except you know what?  It no longer feels like Green Acres so much. Dishes by hand? Just how it is. At least there isn't a dishwasher to empty.   The recycling center is second nature. We don't compost per se but all the veggie scraps go to the goats who come over every night to graze.   Sometimes I use the dumpster at work to dispose of trash, some Saturdays I make it to the dump. Sometimes the dumpster at work is flipped on its side by the bear. I just wait for someone to show up that has more muscles than I do and we flip it back up. This is all just daily living.

 Traditionally dumpsters work better when they are
upright.   Bad bears.

Bunny is back at school. She will graduate in December thanks to the efforts of her high school principal that did not want to lose her back to Texas for her Senior year.  I think we are both very happy with that decision. The school is reasonable about absences and it's only a four day week and Bunny is learning to think, not learning to take tests. 

But because Bunny is here that means another season of my being in limbo. Pretty much it is a way of life now. When I started this blog, "Move" was on my list. It was pretty much wishful thinking. I did not really expect it to happen. The hubs is not one for change. At all. But here I am, starting my third Fall in Colorado. Last April I would have told you I would be in Texas at this time. Same for the April before that. Things change. It's all good! 

And we still have our Third World moments.

Sunday we had no internet. For about 6 hours, nada. And we use the Internet a lot. We text to keep in touch. But not without internet because...
Verizon is not the cell provider of choice around here. We've been with them so long, and our return to Texas was imminent (so so many times), we have kept with them. That means my cell phone does not work at all at home or work or anywhere in my little town. We can text but only iPhone to iPhone and it requires WiFi.  Except. Except. It works at the cemetery and the dump. Which of course makes perfect sense.    
But yesterday, Verizon decided not to work ANYWHERE around here. A whole day of just no service. Not at the dump, not even in the next town over, nowhere. Ridiculous. Like two counties of people just didn't have any cell service yesterday. Finally came up about 7pm. 

Then this morning I was talking to my mom on the land line and the power blinked off, which made my phone blink off. Really? Is it that hard to keep phone lines open? The electricity flowing? The internet online? 

Green Acres. Still. 

02 September 2015


Overachieving on No. 39: Grow a Vegetable.

Overachieving might be an exaggeration but the crops are ready for harvest.
I counted potatoes as the qualifying vegetable for No. 39. But there are still some veggie plants doing their thing.

And by crops I mean three tomatoes, a couple of jalapeños and some habanero peppers.

 The plants are pitiful but look at that little tomato.

 A tomato in the hand is one less tomato for the birds.

There's still a couple more waiting to ripen.

Vine ripened tomatoes, at least for as long as I could stand it. Little mice run through the garden. Birds fly around the cages. Squirrels frolic. So many perils await my little red babies.  They are finishing off on the kitchen windowsill.

No pictures of the peppers since green on green really doesn't photograph. No idea what will become of them once they are ready since three (or 5 or 8) tiny peppers probably aren't enough for pepper jelly.

But in the surprise category we have a volunteer. Literally.

I noticed some squash looking leaves out in the middle of the yard. A week later, those squash leaves had doubled in quantity.

The plant that ate the cabin...
But surprisingly the deer have totally left the plant alone. 

 Then the bright yellow flowers started poking through the huge leaves.
Yesterday I noticed little ...whats? I don't know. Gourds? Squash? Probably squash is the best guess.
Maybe pumpkin?  I know the kids threw the Halloween pumpkin seeds out in the yard last year.
Whatever they are, they are growing fast.  Wonder if I will get to find out before the first freeze?

What are those little yellow things? 
They look like yellow pumpkins.  Maybe.

Anyway, while I haven't been so great at completing many of my other tasks, the plants are certainly pulling their weight. Thank goodness.

(And for you serious gardeners, I know this is just a hoot that I think I have "crops". But we all have to start somewhere and this Colorado gardening is so different than what I grew up with in Texas. I'm learning and experimenting which I believe is the whole idea behind my 60x60 list. Doing my best.   So there.....)