May You Live in Interesting Times

Oh goodness, last week might have been one of the weirdest yet for Northern Colorado.  It was hot, record hot, and then super smoky when a fire in the north-central Rockies shot an ash and smoke plume 35,000 feet in the air.  We had ash everywhere, and the air was pretty darn hard to breath.  Here are two pictures of the sky Monday:


The one on the left was taken at 1 pm and all the outdoor lights on sensors were on in my neighborhood.  A little later in the day, the sky looked like the picture on the right because the predicted winter storm was acoming, and the wind was blowing some of the smoke south and east, sorry Kansas, Nebraska, and Texas!  Then we had a huge temperature drop and some blessed rain which turned to snow.  I wasn’t complaining too much because it will hopefully turn out to be a good thing for all the fires in our state.  Too bad California and Oregon couldn’t join the party.  Our Cameron Pass fire isn’t out yet, but the fourth largest fire in CO history has been knocked back a bit.

You know who wasn’t thrilled with the cold and snow?  The hummingbirds in my yard that didn’t have the sense to get out of Dodge while the getting was good.  I had to take my feeder down Monday night because the temps dropped to 28° F and I didn’t want it to freeze.  I got up early on Tuesday morning and hung it out right away.  I was trying to get it back on the hook in the snow while standing on a step stool.  A nearby hovering hummingbird got impatient and actually ran into the side of my head and bounced off!  I guess that’s the level of desperation caused by no fuel when your metabolism is off the charts.  The couple of them that I saw drank a one cup feeder dry in a day.  I hope they made it.

The other development in the house that happened right before the snow is that our monarch caterpillars got so big:

that after ten days of nonstop eating and pooping, they went and did this:

The caterpillar on the right is hanging from the lid and making a “J” shape.  I watched waiting to see it form a chrysalis (like the one on the left) but got distracted just for a minute or two and missed it.  In about ten days, I should have two monarch butterflies to release.  Glad I didn’t have to do that in the middle of a snowstorm!  I think that they will be okay, because starting Sunday, our temperatures are going to be 80° F and higher for at least the next ten days.  They always say that if you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes.

Whew, that felt like a whole post right there, and I haven’t even gotten down to business yet.  I won’t be doing a Century of Bags chapter this week because I flat ran out of time.  Maybe Kathy will give me a couple of paragraphs next week.  It’s only the 1970s and we all know nothing good happened in fashion during that decade!

The thrift store had this adobe dollhouse in the front cabinet:

Kathy and I like a well-made and decorated dollhouse.  This one is pretty unusual and it was probably pretty cool before the front arch got broken!  I wouldn’t be surprised if it happened at the thrift store—you should see how things get handled there!  They still wanted nearly fifty bucks for it, which would probably be fair if it didn’t need such a big and tricky repair.  Luckily, the broken piece was still there, so maybe with some glue, plaster, and paint, it could be fixed.  Someone must have thought so because it was gone the next week.  We really liked all the dolly-sized pots in the room.

This made us giggle in a very undignified way:

I think he kind of looks like the Carmen Miranda of lidless spaghetti canisters, or maybe he’s supposed to be for storing kitchen utensils.  Anyway, now the cheesy mustache and smile are totally understandable since he’s rocking those veggies.

I’m about 50% sure this is a moose, but don’t quote me:

He must see through those nostrils since his eyes are covered up by that snout.  Any self-respecting moose would have eaten those flowers, not carried them around in a basket.  I have friends in ID, and they say that when the local moose comes through your yard, you know that a big herbivore has visited.  They can do an amazing amount of damage to your plantings in the blink of an eye.  Do I even have to say that I know why this is at the thrift store?  Somethings are as obvious as the nostrils on your face!

When we saw this, we couldn’t understand why the Portland skyline was reddish orange:


Then we wondered why someone kept this all these years, especially in Colorado.  They were in Portland for heaven’s sake; there are loads of nice places to shop there.  Haven’t they heard of Portland’s Saturday Market, or Powell’s Bookstore, to name two?  Evidently not!  Let’s drag home this rubbishy thing to remind us of our visit to The City of Roses.

I know that people decorated with fake birdhouses a while ago:

The craze must be over because we have been seeing a lot of birdhouses that really aren’t all that useful as, well, birdhouses.  Most of these things would probably fall apart after a year outside, if they made it even that long.  And that assumes that they even function as a safe and useful birdhouse.  Some of them are cute, but if you can’t use them as birdhouses, and they don’t work as decorations any more, then what the heck do you do with them?  Oh yeah, haul them to the local thrift store.  Someone will buy them and decorate their yard with them whether they are functional or not.  I’ll tell you that here in CO, wasps and hornets aren’t fussy; they will live in anything!

This is a pretty fancy cookbook:

It must be pretty notable because it has a plastic cover and a big silver seal on it.  So, if it’s a really good cookbook, why didn’t they hire someone who could take appealing pictures of food?  We both found these two dishes pretty horrifying looking.  That seems to be the hardest part of writing a cookbook—it’s a matter of great skill and art to make food look as yummy as it tastes!

I’ll end on a little mystery:

We saw these three big well-built and heavy hand carts one day.  I can’t believe that a person had these three carts at their house, and we couldn’t think of a business that used them.  Maybe a florist had them in their shop to use in displays, and then got rid of them.  They worked just fine—of course we had to test them.  They were heavy-duty, but attractive and functional.  All three were gone the next week, and we’re none the wiser about where they came from, or where they went.  Maybe we’ll see them rolling down a street one day while we’re out garage saling.

Thanks for checking in with us.  We hope you’re all keeping safe and enjoying the last bit of summer.  See you next week!

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2 Responses to May You Live in Interesting Times

  1. Diane Rhodes says:

    As a Ft Collins resident, I appreciate your great description of what happened in our town last week. Best wishes for the survival of the monarchs. Thanks!

    • kathy & deb says:

      Thanks, Diane. It was awful, wasn’t it? So glad it rained; I think that helped a lot! I’ll let you all know about the monarchs. Fingers crossed.

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