Friday, September 16, 2016

You live where?

Greetings from the Forest

If I had a nickel for every time someone said "you live where?" I'd have a big ol bag of nickels.  Most of the time this question comes from someone that is not from this area.  Like when I go back to Arizona to visit.  Having lived in the city all of my life it is even foreign to me at times that I now live where I do.  And it is an adventure, to say the least.  I now live on 35 acres, in the mountains, surrounded by ponderosa pines and lots of wild animals.   So how big is 35 acres?  Well in round numbers an acre it is 43,560 square feet.  A football field is about 48,000 square feet.  So I live on almost 35 football fields.  Good thing it's not grass that I have to mow!

I first came to Trinidad for work back in 2008.  I met so many wonderful people, saw the forest and decided to work towards making the move.  Fortunately in 2012 my job was ending in Arizona and thus the decision was made for me.  I had no idea the adventure I was embarking on, oh ignorance is bliss.  City girl moves to the forest.

The first thing I noticed was the silence in the forest.  Although at times I can hear the highway, if the wind is blowing just right, but most of the time I hear the birds chirping or one of my favorite sounds, the wind blowing through the trees or absolutely nothing.  Especially after it snows, the silence is peaceful.  I don't hear sirens, airplanes, traffic, neighbors and it is just blissful.  

Several years ago I was traveling with a dear friend from Sedona to Spokane.  We were in the middle of the Nevada desert and had pulled the U-haul truck over and she said come listen to this.  I stood there looking at her, thinking she was crazy because I didn't hear a thing, nothing, no traffic, no wind, no noise, nothing.  I said I don't hear anything and she said exactly!  Isn't is wonderful.  It took a minute for that to sink in, I'm a bit slow at times, but then I realized just how wonderful it was and to now live somewhere that I notice and appreciate the silence daily is just, well, amazing.  Thank you Gloria for pointing out the sound of silence.

The Nevada desert

Can you hear the silence

Recently Trinidad hosted the Artocade Parade and Cardango party.  It is the second largest, after Houston, art car festival in the United States.  Many amazing cars decorated in all kinds of fancy, wacky, crazy ways.  It happens the second weekend in September and is great fun.  I might mention there were 83 entries!

This car was made by the Trinidad Correctional Facility

This car won Most Creative by C. Wollard, Tulsa, OK

Even kids got in on it - this is Mihelich from Pueblo, CO
Ok last photo -

Until next time -

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

New Gallery in Town

Greetings from the Forest

Today's blog is about small town advantages and the excitement of a new business opening in Trinidad.

One big advantage is no traffic.  Trinidad, Colorado has 4 stop lights.  Yup 4.  I like getting stopped at the red light because it gives me an opportunity to look around and see who is in town to toot my horn and wave at.  The first time someone honked and waved because they knew me as I was walking down Main Street I got so darned excited.  Having lived in the big city for most of my life I really had no clue what small town living was like and was thrilled.  It's much like going to Walmart (our only stores for groceries besides Safeway) and seeing my general practitioner doctor in the frozen food section with his son.  That was a new experience.  Small town life at its best.

Trinidad used to be known as the sex change capital of the world but it no longer offers that surgery at the local hospital and hasn't for several years.  Working hard to change that stigma, Trinidad, in 2013, became a "Colorado Creative District".  Many local artists are world renowned and show they work in the local galleries along Main Street. 

Here is another great benefit to living in Trinidad, those earlier mentioned Galleries.  During the summer we experience Last Friday Art Trek.  This is where the Galleries along Main Street are open in the evening and you can wander into and out of them to enjoy the local talent.  Many of the specialty shops and restaurants are also open.  It is a lovely time to wander along, listen to live music being offered by local musicians set up on the sidewalk, and enjoy the people.

Now, I'm finally getting to the title of the New Gallery In Town -  I am excited because I know the artists opening Marketplace Gallery LLC.  Located at 149 East Main Street, Marketplace Gallery will offer a vast array of talent and artistic treasures.  From original paintings to specialized glad to pottery to furniture, it will be just a joy to walk in the doors!  The grand opening will be Thursday, September 22nd from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm.  If you live in the area please stop by and get to know the ladies behind the artistic venture.

There are tons of other reasons I find living in a small town a positive experience but I'll save those for another day.

So for now, that's it from the forest except for Max and Ollie -

Bidding you a lovely day!

Monday, August 29, 2016

Fall is Right Around the Corner

Greetings from the Forest

The feeling of fall is in the air.  Particularly in the mornings when the air is cooler and crisp.  Soon the oak brush will begin to change colors and the aspen trees leaves will turn a beautiful yellow and orange.  Along with the change of colors there is the mating seasons as well.  For deer it it is October through November and for elk it is September through November.  The crazy thing, in my mind, is that is when hunting season is.  Yikes.  If the deer and elk survive hunting season and do mate, the babies will be showing up in about 200-260 days.  Coming from the city, all this is still new to me but I find it fascinating learning about the animals.  Plus it helps to know to watch out for an amorous bull elk! lol.

One of the major landmarks in Trinidad is Fisher's Peak.  It is of volcanic origin.  Scientists date the formation of the mesa to a period of volcanic activity more than a million years ago.  The elevation rises to 9,626 feet. Fisher's Peak marked the beginning of the Raton Pass or the end depending on the direction being traveled, North or South.  It is said the peak is named after a Prussian Officer named Captain Waldemar Fischer who traveled through Colorado around 1846.  Today the peak and surrounding land is privately owned and access is limited.  The view, however, of the iconic peak is free to everyone and is captured by many local artists.

 Max and Ollie send their greetings.

And finally - cheers from the forest!

Friday, August 19, 2016

Monsoons and Morley

Greetings from the forest

Having relocated from Arizona to Colorado about 4 years ago, I can say without a doubt that I do not miss the heat of Scottsdale in the summertime.  In fact, my house in southern Colorado does not even have air conditioning.  This was something I was terribly skeptical about but many said "oh you won't need it" and they were absolutely right.  The evenings cool down and opening the windows at night does the trick.  The house is nice and cool all day long.

Having been born and raised in Arizona I knew what to expect from the summer monsoons.  The sky would darken in the late afternoon, the dust storm would roll through and we would wait and wait for a sprinkle of rain.  Apparently this summer the valley of the sun is getting its fair share of rain which is great.  Arizona needs the moisture!

 In the forest we have been getting afternoon storms which offer quite the lightening and thunder show and rain almost every day.  Some days just a lovely sprinkle and some a drenching downpour.  So I'm curious, are the deer, turkey, bunnies, foxes, mountain lions and bears afraid of the big claps of thunder or do they just hang out under a tree and wait for the storm to pass.  I'm guessing, like me, they've become used to it and just look for fire and enjoy the cool moisture that envelopes the forest.

Just down the road, located in the community that I live, are the ruins of the town of Morley.  The area was first developed in 1878 by the Santa Fe Railroad Company as a railroad stop and a place to house the railroad workers.  In 1906 the town was built when the land was taken over by the Colorado Fuel and Iron Company for coal mining.  There was a school, store, church and stables.

At its peak in the 1920's the town had some 600 residents.  In 1956 the mine was closed.  CF & I demolished all the buildings as they didn't want the liability for squatters or trespassers.  They did leave the old St. Aloysius Catholic church standing.  Today the front of the Church and parts of the walls still stand and can be seen from I25.  The property was recently purchased by a private party and is no longer accessible.

And of course, what would Lanae's blog be without the boys...

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Deer Days of Summer

Greetings from the Forest

Our forest is happy this summer.  We have gotten so much rain that the trees are smiling.  I really think I can hear the trees giggling in delight when the rains begin.  Of course along with most of our rains come nasty lightening so it's not as relaxing as one would think.  The other night we had an amazing storm.  It started with the moon behind the clouds lighting them up like frosting.  Then came the lightening and it was scary.  Many close hits. The ground rumbles for what seems like forever and I just pray for a downpour so no fires will occur.  It rained like I'd never seen it rain and in the morning you could feel the dampness of the forest and the smell was of clean wet pine.  Beautiful!

Earlier in the evening we had visitors.  Many in our community have been watching a Mama bear and her triplets.  Last night I looked out the door and thought - that's no turkey.  It was Mama and the babies. I jumped up and ran to another window and took a picture.  The one baby came right up to the fence!  I ran upstairs and out onto the balcony and took more pictures leaving the dogs inside of course.  It was an amazing sight to see and to be so close.  The babies have grown a lot in the past couple of months.  Mama however, looked a bit haggard but I guess watching after three little ones does a Mama bear in.

The bucks are in velvet as its known.  I think it looks really soft and wish I could touch it but then that wouldn't be possible so I'll just continue to imagine the feel of their antlers.

So I thought it might be fun to add a bit of history to the blog.  The community is knows as Santa Fe Trail Ranch for obvious reasons; The Santa Fe Trail was a 19th-century transportation route through central North America that connected Independence, Missouri with Santa Fe, New Mexico and into
Colorado. In the 1820s–30s, it was also sporadically important in the reverse trade, carrying foods and supplies to the fur trappers and mountain men opening the remote Northwest, esp. in the Interior Northwest: Idaho, Wyoming, Colorado, and Montana—connecting via mule trail (trapper's trails) to points north to supply the lucrative overland fur trade.

There is a beautiful tree along one of the main roads known as the "cross tree".  I've been told that many travelers back in the 1800's would tell each other "we will meet you at the cross tree".  It was a meeting point along the trail in southern Colorado.

As always in this blog there is a Max and Oliver update.  The fur boys are just fine and photogenic as always.

Happy summer from the forest!!

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Lets catch up

Greetings from the forest

I can't believe its been almost a year since I've written!  Have you missed me?  I've missed you.  So much has happened in the last year so lets catch up...

Work.  I am no longer a partner in Scenic West Properties.  Too long of a story for here but lets just say the parting was for the best.  I am now out on my own with a company I named Red Bear Real Estate.  It is still in its infancy and just getting going but I'm hoping to be busy but not too busy.  Working seven days a week became just too much.  I am still working for the Arizona group and just about to finish my year end to do list.  Whew.  I'm excited for the new company and could use the referrals so please don't hesitate to give out my name and number.

My sister Deb.  We moved Deb into town last June in hopes she would feel safer and do better.  While she loved living across from the Senior Center and her daily lunch there the problems she was having before the move sadly continued.  As a result we saw a new primary care doctor who referred us to a neurologist in Pueblo.  Since then we have received a diagnosis and many changes have occurred.  Deb now lives at the assisted living facility here in Trinidad and absolutely loves it.  She has a cute little room, gets 3 meals a day, they clean her room, they do her laundry - what's not to love.  They have activities and she's made friends.  Most importantly she feels safe and although not able to live independently any longer she is happy in her new environment.  I'm not terribly comfortable putting her diagnosis out there so if you'd like to email me for more information I'd be happy to communicate with you as I know a couple of Deb's friends read this blog.

My sister Linda.  Linda is now a single gal living in her new home in Prescott Valley.  She just recently moved in and loves it there.  She spent 6 months in Glendale waiting on her house and I know she won't miss the heat of the valley!

My niece Kelly and her boys.  Still living in San Diego and happy as clams.  The boys have grown into handsome young men.  Hard to believe they are teenagers!!  How time flies.  So there you have the family update.

My boys.  Max and Oliver are just fine.  Still loving their forest and right now the snow.  Although, Max likes it more than Ollie.  When we've had a lot of snow its difficult for Ollie because he is little but he's a trooper.  Funny that Oliver will not go out in the rain but will go out in the snow.  Right around thanksgiving we had a lot of snow, like 24+ inches.  I went out with the boys to take a walk and because of the drifts couldn't hardly walk in it.  Then I turned around and Oliver had fallen into one of the foot holes and was gone.  I fished him out, he had his leash on, and we went inside the house to warm up and have hot chocolate.  So much for hiking in the snow.  Max of course had no problem and wanted to keep going.

The forest is still just an amazing place to live.  Deer stop by my property on a weekly basis.  I think they have a route they take and its always just fascinating to me when I drive by and see them they just look at me.  Don't really run, just kind of stop munching on grass to look up to see who it is.  I wonder if they recognize me. lol. And of course during the summer there is the occasional pretty cow!

The turkeys are plentiful.  In fact some days there are like 25 in a group and I just love watching them.  Sometimes they run across the road and sometimes they run back and forth not knowing which way to run.  Makes me smile every time.  So what are a group of turkey?  A herd, a gaggle, a flock?  I go with group just to be politically correct.

The bears should be sleeping but when visiting my neighbor last week we saw bear tracks in the snow.  Then I saw something on the internet that some male bears never hibernate in the winter.  I haven't seen any since the fall and really only saw a few bears last year.  Maybe there will be more this spring.

So that's the update for now.  I promise not to wait a year to write again!

With love from the forest,