Mad Dash To Keep The House From Flooding.

Yesterday evening during and after three flash flood warning calls from Rachael Plath, two brain wrenching emergency warning sirens from both of our cell phones and the near constant Manitou ‘Move To Higher Ground’ man voice and flood siren, torrential rains fell.

A hurricane must have made landfall somewhere in the near vicinity because in my life as a Colorado Springs native, I Do Not Believe I’ve ever seen as much and as hard and as dramatic sideways rain as I saw yesterday.  Had it been snow, it would have been a white out blizzard.

Our new gutters spouted water out of their overflowing ends from the 20 foot high roofline, causing the boys to glory in the: “Look Mom, Waterfalls!!!”…while I mentally proclaimed, water is supposed to go DOWN through the downspouts…not OVER and OUT the ends of the gutters.

We gaped in awe as the dry gully below us became a dangerously rushing Class 5 that carried with it an entire tree trunk.

And, thank you very much, in true Mom fashion, I used that as a teaching moment:  “DO NOT EVER go in a dry ravine Before, During or After rain.  YOU might get TAKEN OUT by a Huge Tree Trunk like that.  LOOK IN MY EYES: DID YOU HEAR ME????”  Aaah, yes, another one of my prime mom moments.

Just north of the house, the parking area rapidly filled with three to four inches of water.  Problem:  If the water continued to make its way around and behind the barrier logs and flow toward the house, the basement would likely be the recipient of that Garden of the Gods colored water.

As I began donning my rain gear, I saw The Animal Whisperer had beat me to it.  He was in full on water control mode, complete with ski pants, rain slicker and pick ax, tromping out to greet Noah and the Ark.

By the time I gathered tools and shouted at the children to PUT ON YOUR RAIN BOOTS! The Animal Whisperer had already drained at least half of the parking area with a series of rapidly dug miniature trenches AWAY from the house.

It became a whole family affair with the boys, The Animal Whisperer and me all on some sort of tool, eventually moving from the north swamp to the barn.  Thank Goodness The Barn Has A NEW Roof!!!  The animals were safe and semi-dry inside, but another lake had begun forming in the flats around the southwest corner of the barn.  Quick ditch digging began again, culminating with a group effort of laying one of those long, black, snakey drainage pipes from the downspout all the way out to the south 40.  There Ain’t No Rain Gonna Settle There No More.  Hmmmf.

And, so there.  We saved the basement from becoming a swimming pool, and we completed a barn drainage project that has needed to be done for some time.  And, when, may I ask is a better time to do it than in the crux of a crisis?

Man we work fast.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

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Anyone Know A Community Blogger?

I do!

Check out the new, expanded IndyBlog today!

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We just might see each other there.

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

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Such A Bounty Of Wild Grasses!!

One walk through the Garden of the Gods and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

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It may seem, to the unenlightened, that I am just plain weird to thrill over the return of waist high prairie grasses, but if you’re me, you long for the days of Little House On The Prairie, when Pa could touch the grasses while sitting on his horse.

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When the grasses were not over-grazed or ripped out to plant wheat during the Dust Bowl days.

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It is the first time in my life in Colorado Springs (i.e. since birth)  that I have seen such a tapestry of seed heavy grasses.

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There are grasses with fluffy seed heads, blockish seed heads, twisty seed heads, pokey seed heads and regular seed heads.  I’m sure they all have names, but unfortunately I don’t know them.  If you do, please share!

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  And the grasses are just the icing on the cake…the wildflowers in the Garden of the Gods have been incredible this year!

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I Thanked It For Warning Me…

Then chopped off its head.

Yesterday, in the 95 degree late afternoon, I trudged down the stairs to the garden with the express intent of opening the greenhouse door to let a breeze through.

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I was wearing a dress and loafers.  (ie.  Ankles exposed)

Just as I reached the garden gate, and having noticed nothing out of the ordinary, I heard it.  The sound you will never mistake once you hear it.

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“There is nothing so eloquent as a rattlesnake’s tail.” -  Native American Proverb

Oh, how true.

You don’t take time to stop, look and ponder where the sound came from, you scream and jump as far AWAY from it as possible.  No thinking involved.  Just FLIGHT.

The rattlesnake, on the other hand, seemed to only be thinking FIGHT.

It must have been laid out across the ground in front of the gate sunning itself, BUT THEY ARE SO INCREDIBLY CAMOFLAUGED, I never saw it.

The rattle screamed it’s warning and only then did I noticed the snake recoiled in strike position.  Not the typical round coil like you see in pictures, but a sort of standing up S shape.  Head raised off the ground a good 8 inches and tail perched in the air rattling.

I was alone.  No husband to shout to for help.  No kids to command, ‘Run Inside And Get Papi!’  Just me.  And one of nature’s most awesome, fear instilling creatures.

And four gallons of adrenaline pumping through my veins.

Within 15 seconds, after a cautious sprint to the barn, a flathead shovel found its way into my grip.

The rattler stayed in the same FIGHT position the entire time.  Not retreating, just rattling and ready to attack.

A plethora of thoughts went through my mind before killing it, including, maybe it could be trapped and relocated.  Eh hem…NO.

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After looking it in the fangs and thanking it for warning me,  I dispatched of it.

“A rattlesnake loose in the living room tends to end all discussion of animal rights.”       - Lance Morrow, essayist, American Journalist

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

P.S.  Yes, I saved the rattle.

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There Was A Chef In My Kitchen.

Seriously.  And I’ve now decided that’s the best thing that can happen to a person.

At the Farm to Table dinner we hosted with Colorado Collective and Full Circle Cuisine last Saturday, The Animal Whisperer and I gave a tour of the farm to our 20 guests…and then we did nothing.  We did not have to buy the food, prepare the food or clean up after making the food.

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Drool over these photos by  Kelly Fischer.  That’s what I’m doing.

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Would you have thought to use the sweet-spicy flowers of an onion blossom from our garden on the smoke roasted Callicrate beef ragu over goat cheese polenta?

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The marinated goat cheese salad over toasted bread was TO DIE FOR…it might have had something to do with the white truffle oil.  OH MY GOSH!!!

All we had to do was drink wine and EAT the food.  Kevin Campbell, the chef in my kitchen, did the rest, AND IT WAS DELICIOUS!

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(did I mention I didn’t even have to clean up???)

Note to anyone who might get me a gift in the future:  A CHEF.  Thanks, that’ll be perfect.

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Despite rain pouring and hail pelleting from the sky an hour earlier, the dinner, although a tad bit muddy, was dry.  As a typical afternoon Colorado Springs storm does, the sky cleared around 5 and the evening was beautiful.  The table…and the farm (if I may humbly add) looked as if they came from a magazine photo shoot.

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Yes.  I live here.  On this paradise.  I am the luckiest person I know.

We hope you can join us here for a future Farm to Table Dinner!

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

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Wanna Come To A Farm To Table Dinner?

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At our Farm!!  We are  so excited!!!

When:  Saturday, June 21st, 5:30 pm.

Where:  The Goat Cheese Lady Farm.

Who:  Put on by  Colorado Collective and Full Circle Cuisine.

What:  An extravagant three course menu of locally produced food (some from our farm, some from other farms) prepared by Kevin Campbell of Full Circle Cuisine.  Garden, greenhouse, orchard and animal tour.

How:  Purchase your tickets by clicking HERE.

Space is limited to 20 people…we hope to see you here!

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

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Can You Find These Bird Houses?

Next time you come for a class…look for these bird houses.

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Only the religious birds use this house.

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Rustic birds live here.

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Rich birds.  They can afford a two story.

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Street birds.

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Artist birds.

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Any ol’ birds.

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Robins.  Seriously.

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Their eggs have hatched and there are three little birdies in their place!

See you at a class soon!

-  The Goat Cheese Lady

 

 

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