Welcome All! I'm a dreamer, I hope you are too! A Posse ad Esse, or From possibility to reality, is a general state of mind. I hope you'll share your possibilities with me as I will with you. Namaste~

June 23, 2010

Around the 'Stead

It's getting to be that time of the year around here.
Some things have been a surprise, others a little slow to get going, but over all, I've been pretty happy so far. I guess I just have to keep in mind that after all, it is only June 23rd.

I could go into more detail, but in the interest of my just getting caught up, I think I'll just give you all a little over view.

These are my Hamson Tomatoes. A very good producing, heirloom, determinate canning tomato.

Peppers. Two varieties of Green Bells, some Reds, and Jalapenos.

This corner is harder to get to because of the fountain, so we filled it with Beets and Turnips.
This is the first year that we're trying out Turnips. So far they seem to be doing well!
Here's a new tomato trellising method that I'm trying. I needed to find a way to effectively trellis along my back wall. Hopefully this will hold up well. This trellis is holding 14 plants (7 heirloom San Marzanos, and 7 Roma Tomato plants that I saved seed from.). At the end of the row is some Eggplants too. The front is my spinach beds. They've been producing really well too.
One of my three cut and come again lettuce beds. These will be getting trimmed this weekend. Mmmm Salad time...
A perennial family favorite, Kohlrabi. I never seem to plant enough of these.
Early Girls setting tomatoes should be reddening soon.
Peas... filling out and nearly ready to harvest the bulk of them.
One of this years biggest surprises. Our Artichokes.
You can't see it very well from here, but there were 13 artichokes on the plants at the time I took this. I've harvested a few already too. These were the Artichokes that I over wintered in the greenhouse.

Like so many things, I sometimes have higher expectations of myself and my garden than are realistic, but it seems every year I feel behind. I can only assume that it's because the season seems so much longer as I work on my off season growing and preparing.

The biggest thing I can say was successful so far this year, is this. With the exception of the Artichokes. Every plant I just showcased for you was started from seed. This is a first for us. Some did better than others, and lessons still come with every year, but I have to admit I am proud.

Hope you enjoy the tour. More to come soon!

All the best to you all.

June 22, 2010

Cruising the West (Day 3 & 4)

I decided to get to the chase and wrap up day 3 and 4 together. Particularly since day four was just a drive home.

As we left off I asked if anyone had any ideas of where we may be stopping next... I heard crickets chirping and lurkers lurking, but no guesses. (Must've been my excellent riddling skills right?)

Well after day two's long drive through a part of Arizona, that I actually found to be surprisingly much prettier than I expected it to be, we made it to major stop number three... and with that, I again leave it to the photos to tell the tale.

As the sun set over the desert, and the heat finally slipped off us, we made it to the rim...

I was so pleased to find that, even with their generations dependence on electronics and seeming need for quick fix entertainment, our teenage boys still had a deep appreciation for the wonder that was
" T h e G r a n d C a n y o n ".

This was a trip that we had debated for literally years. My wife and I had both been there and though we remembered it, albeit with far less grandeur than it truly held, we didn't have it high on our list of locations... we were wrong.

Because it was really not on the way to or from anywhere and required a concerted effort to get to, and because we wanted our kids to be old enough to remember it while still being young enough to have the child's fascination with it, we had waited. I think we found just the right time.

The morning of day three we hiked the rim of the canyon. There were so many views it was hard to find the right ones to share.

If you've not made it here, you must.

The Colorado River nearly 4800 feet below us. It was truly a great experience.

After spending the morning checking the canyon and marveling at it's depth, we again hit the road for "greener pastures". This time heading out toward Las Vegas.

But man must after all have his diversions, And what would a true American Road Trip be without a detour to Historic Route 66!

And if your gonna detour off to see Route 66, you may as well grab a frosty root beer float at Delgadillo's Snow Cap in Seligman AZ! It's just like the real life version of the little town in Disney's Cars movie.

It's a pleasure to be able to say I sat on the side of an old American Main Street and just "Watched the cars roll by...". The boys soon joined me with their treats and we certainly had a moment.

We also pit stopped for a few minutes at the Hoover Dam. It wasn't as wide as I expected it to be, but let's just say I was never able to get a good vantage point to see to the bottom. It was Deep!

The new bridge that will be bypassing the damn-top road for national security reasons. A reasonable thing I would say.

We finished our drive to Vegas, walked the strip till we were completely worn out then all crashed hard for some sleep.

The next day we were to head out and back home. but we HAD to make one quick stop just because... well, just because!

A~ and two of the boys heading into the Gold And Silver Pawn in Las Vegas. Otherwise known as the home of the "Pawn Stars", one of our favorite History Channel shows.

We got to meet "The old Man" who, honestly, was just as we would have expected. My son ended up finding an amp for his guitar that he's been looking for and we picked it up there. The old man was nice enough to give him an autograph on the top of it just for memories sake.

We caught a glimpse of "Big Hoss" and "Chumlee" as we were leaving and they were coming in.
Not much to say about Big Hoss but I do have to say, Chumlee, was a arrogant ass from what I could see. I mean I know it would suck to always have people pestering you, but no one's twisting his arm to be on the show. When a person was nicely asking him if he minded letting her take a picture he waved her off and made some snide remark to her. If you're busy, you're busy but geez, ask like a decent person. Anyway, I just had to say that. After that stop we were on our way home.

It was an uneventful ride, one we've made many times before. But as a passenger for part of this drive I found myself truly enjoying the view. We are so blessed to live in such a beautiful country.

And yet, amidst the pastoral beauty, a coal processing operation... Sad but true. One day we'll move beyond this... One day we'll HAVE to!

Closer to home, near Mona UT, I began thinking.. Hmmm, could I commute from hear?

The last photo taken on this trip says it all. From the sun rise peering through the clouds on our opening day of driving to this Sunset welcoming us home, we were treated to a wonderful time together.

Thanks for coming on our little trip with us. I hope you enjoyed it even a fraction of how much we did. We're home now though, and harvest season is upon us.
Soon to come, a well deserved garden update!

Till then, all the best.

June 18, 2010

Cruising the West (Day 2)

As promised, Day two of our long weekend found us waking in Mesa Verde Colorado.

I had been to Mesa Verde a long time ago. It left a very vivid memory in my young mind. A lot of the things I loved to do as a kid were directly traceable to the visit that I made there I think. I was absolutely fascinated by the fact that these prehistoric peoples we able to construct and live in these beautiful homes in the sides of sheer cliff faces. I remember trying to copy and replicate their Atlatl and even showed my boys when they were little the idea of it as an example of leverage. Who knows, may be the reason I want to have an earth sheltered home in some way comes from the homes I saw in these cliffs and from walking in the cool shadow below the cliff faces...

Enough with the waxing poetic though, I promised photos and by golly photos you shall get... Enjoy...

A view from the top of the Mesa. The Ancestral Peubloans farmed this flat sun drenched mesa for corn, beans and squash beginning nearly 1400 years ago. Look below to see what a task that was.
This is the 30 ft ladder that we climbed to get into the dwelling knows as the Balcony House. Keep in mind, the Native Americans that lived in these homes did not use ladders... They climbed the rocks. All throughout the area you can see the hand and foot holds carved into the sandstone cliff walls.

The Balcony house dwellings. These buildings have been fortified and strengthened, but they have not been rebuilt. They are original buildings that were left as is around 1200 A.D.

The detail and craftsmanship were amazing! For anyone who's ever built anything, let alone from stone and clay (with no metal carving implements mind you) it was a wonder to see the plumb walls and perfectly straight and square corners.

The wood you can see sticking out of the buildings indicates a ceiling and floor. Did I mention that these dwellings were two, three and even four floors high? The wood is also original.

After going through the Balcony House we headed over to a different part of the mesa to the largest Cliff Dwelling of it's kind, the Cliff Palace. It's huge and amazing and, and, and, well, I'll let the pictures talk...
The Cliff Palace from the side of the cliff on the way in.

A four story dwelling... like prehistoric sky-rises!

This is a Kiva, the center for religious activity in the community. Each family had one of their own. They had ceilings that were constructed making them flush with the ground above so they were walked right over and used a ladder to get in through a whole in the roof.

Here you can see more of the dwellings and the Kiva.

As the park ranger put it, "We like to paint and decorate our homes... and so did the puebloans that lived here. Look up to the second floor and you can see the original paintings on the walls.

Prehistoric apartments at another location called the Spruce Tree House. Here you can see the ladder coming out of a Kiva that has been rebuilt to demonstrate how they looked.

Note the blackened ceiling from the prehistoric fires.
And that was the majority of the Mesa Verde. There was more of course, but you get the gist. Very amazing and historically significant. If you can make it there once in your life it would be worth it!

Late that afternoon we headed out for our next stop. On the way though we wanted to make one quick pit-stop. At the four corners of the states Utah, Colorado, Arizona and New Mexico.

And to our disappointment it was "under construction." But I did take this picture just for posterity. We did try after all!

And on the way out, the funniest State sign award goes to..... New Mexico.

Keep in mind that this is two sides of the SAME SIGN! I guess if I stood right next to one of the side posts I would be in New Mexico, too funny.

The day was wearing on though and we had another 500 miles to go. so we were on the road again. Till the next stop. Any guesses? Here's a hint. It's probably the deepest sight the you can see in the Southwest.
Till next time!

June 16, 2010

Cruising the West (Day 1)

The weekend before last, the family and I hit the highway for what amounted to a miniature version of a great American road trip. We left our home in Northern UT early Friday morning and headed South to parts yet un-seen. Day one found us driving through the Southern UT red rock and Arches country and we made the best of it.

As it turns out, by luck or dicine intervention, we happened to land smack dab in the middle of the very hard to hit 3 week desert bloom season. What followed was an amazing sight of beautiful rock formations, scenic landscapes and surprising floral beauty. For anyone resigned to thinking that deserts are barren, lifeless, moonscapes... I offer the following. Enjoy!
A little reminder... The desert is ALIVE!
Balancing rock... obviously!?

This view is of a place called "Garden of Eden".
Can you believe this flower? I didn't even know this shrub bloomed!
A place called the "Windows". We hiked up with our lunches...
and this was the view from our "table".

If this old tree could tell stories???

I loved this flower! I could hardly believe something so delicate was out there.
Utah's famous "Delicate Arch"

The hills were almost glowing with the green haze of grasses. A sight seldom seen in this arid landscape!

Aren't these beautiful? They were all over the roadside.
This was one of our final views before leaving the park.

It was truely a magical day of adventuring and getting to enjoy each others company.
After leaving Arches, we continued South through Moab and toward Cortez CO, on the way I found this tourist stop. I've tried to remember where it was at for many many years. I went here as a child and have always remembered it. It's a home that a man carved, by hand mind you, into the side of the native sandstone cliff. It was once he and his wifes home where they ran a small diner. Today it's a little tourist stop with a tour through the home. I HAD to take the boys through it. Hopefully they'll remember it as much as I did!

And of course, how could I not get a picture of this??

Hope you enjoyed the photo tour. Day 2 will find us in Mesa Verde CO. Home of the Ancestral Pueblo Cliff dwellers. Very very cool. You'll like it I promise!

Till next time.