Friday, April 30, 2010

Spring Traditions Continued

It's spring, and time for our friends JAC and Celina Claudon to come back from Puerto Rico and head back up to their summer home in Glenwood Springs.   I have dropped them off and picked them up at the airport for the last five years.  In return they leave their pickup for us to use.

What I love the most is seeing them enjoying life as an adventure.  Every year it is such a joy for me to have them stay over at our house on their journey to the next adventure.
I was lucky to make friends with JAC and Celina during the Glenwood Caverns project.  I soon discovered that JAC is one of the hardest workers I have ever met in my life.  

So, I was lucky that JAC decided to pitch in and help plant my fruit trees.  I was totally spent from digging the holes and then helping cart 600 # root balls around to the holes.   In true JAC fashion, he quickly took the hardest job and then did his best to accelerate progress.

He is always thinking on how to save a step or not make a mistake that will waste time.  He is truly amazing to work with. 
When we ran out of dirt to backfill with, it was time for some Mexican food and a walk down town to settle supper.

As in years past, they were both up the next day hours before us waiting patiently to say goodbye.

Then they were off to their summer home which is built into a cave in the side of a cliff. 

I did mention they live life as an adventure didn't I?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Another Spring Snow

Just when we thought it would dry out enough for trail riding another spring snow hit.

Which also makes it harder to finish digging fruit tree holes .
However, it did make for beautiful sight when we woke up this morning!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Start of Yard Projects

It is finally spring, and it is now time to start juggling yard projects and increased training volume.  The weather is still pretty iffy and when we get a nice day it is a hard choice between working on the yard or going for a ride.

This weekend I didn't have a choice for several reasons.  First, our friends Jac and Celina are coming back from Puerto Rico on Tuesday, so my free use of their pick-up is about to go away.   They are friends of ours from the cave project in Glenwood Springs.   This is the fourth year they have wintered in Puerto Rico. They leave their pick-up parked at our house over the winter.   I take them to, and pick them up from, the airport, and in return I get to use their truck.  Some years their pick-up has sat idle in the back parking lot all winter, but this year I used it about 6 times.   Hauling a snowblower to get repaired, getting landscape material, etc.    It never fails, as soon as they take it back to Glenwood Springs something will come up that I really could have used it for.  Reminds me of how lucky I am to be able to use it in the winter.

The second reason was that I am planting 5 fruit trees in the back yard this year.  I ordered them and then bad weather interfered with digging the holes and an opportunity to hire some high school kids to help.  So, today was an all out push to get holes dug.
I worked hard Saturday after the rain cleared up, hit it hard again on Sunday and still managed to sneak in a ride up Lookout Mtn at lunch with our neighbor, Nick.   I got the holes done this evening just as it started to rain again - even though the afternoon effort was pretty slow after doing the bike ride!  As my caving buddies would say, "I'm spanked" and it is now time for an advil, hot bath and bed!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Spring Traditions

This weekend reminded me of the unique traditions that we all have in our lives.

For about 25 years Don Braddock has been aerating my lawn for me every spring and fall.

Seeing Don twice a year always brings a smile to my face, and a reminder to slow down, take a breath, and prepare for the visitation tax.

When Don comes over he is going to want to hear about the oil field, give me advice on lawn stuff, and tell me a lot of the same stories I have heard dozens of times.

In fact, Don reminds me of my Grandpa Kriz so much it almost scares me.

Don is definitely one of my life's many treasures!!   

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Early Spring Chores

The snow has finally melted out of the back yard and it is now time to start the early spring chores.

One of my least favorites chores is starting the sprinkler system.   It is normally still cool out when I trun it on. Marking the sprinkler heads so they don't get smashed when I have the yard aerated ends up being a cold and wet job.  This year was warmer than most, but just as wet.

The not-so-fun part of starting the system each year is discovering what  needs to be repaired.

This year I lucked out - all of the electric control valves are working!  :)   That leaves only 6 sprinkler heads to dig out and replace. No problemo! Easy duty this year. Whew.

Monday, April 12, 2010

First Spring Mountain Bike Ride

While the Lucas clan was here, we managed to sneak off and get our first spring mountain bike ride in.

It was cool, but the trails were finally (mostly) dry on South Table Mountain behind our house.

Joanne is keeping her "Man Killer" mountain bike clean, shiny, and locked up in the basement.  [Note from jcm - I am getting a bike fit on April 27 and don't really want to ride the bike until I get the fit dialed in.]

We both know that once she starts riding her new bike, it will be very hard to go back to the old one.  :)

Although I noticed that the old bike seems to be able to keep up with me just fine!  Maybe the "Man Killer" will live up to the name after all.   Oh well, being "chicked" isn't the worse thing that can happen to a guy.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

A Visit from The Lucas Clan

Mitch, Carrie, and Claire Lucas showed up Wednesday night for a whirlwind tour of four colleges Claire is considering (Mines, University of Colorado Boulder, Colorado State University & University of Denver).

Of course Rex and Fritz thought it was great fun!  Three new people to get to know, and two of them are alergic - what could be better than that? 

Well, they found out.   Mitch would growl at them and chase them around.   As you can see they were totally traumatized by the experience - NOT!

Claire has the golfing bug and is totally hooked. She plays on her high scholl team, and wanted to get in a few rounds while in Colorado to stay sharp.   Phil played hookey on Friday and they went to Fox Hollow for 9 holes.  Carrie rode along to keep score and enjoy the afternoon outside with us.

After the first hole jitters, Claire started to show her stuff. Her booming drives illustrated why she has about a 12 handicap.

On Saturday, Joanne joined in and the three of us played 18 holes at Fossil Trace.  It was a little bit cold and breezy, but fun was had by all.   Reminder to self - don't forget to stash a stocking cap in my bag (and long johns, too)!

Claire is looking for a college with engineering programs as well as  a women's golf program.  Considering she is only a Junior in High School shooting a 12 handicap, I think Joanne and I will have our hands full trying to keep up. Oh to have the flexibility of a teenager again . . .

Four days went by awful fast and Rex and Fritz are now in a coma, recovering from all of the excitement.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

A Visit from Ron and Peggy

Joanne's sister Peggy and husband Ron came down from Hardin, Montana for a visit over  the Easter weekend.
Ron and Pegggy took a walking tour around Golden while Joanne and I were at work on Friday morning.  It was sunny on Friday, but windy and cold.   Ron and I went to the driving range that afternoon, but the cold wind wasn't so helpful with our practicing.  At least that is my excuse!  :)

On Saturday we took off on the Joanne "Bataan Death March" for a bagel breakfast! 
Saturday wasn't windy and the walk was a great way to visit and share the outdoors around Golden.   Then we all went up to Copper Mountain to see Rich, Barb and Kevin Ferris.
We had an excellent supper together.

While at the Copper condo I took advantage of having two of the handiest brother-in-laws on the planet.    Here are Rich and Ron fixing the blind in the living room that was installed poorly by the "professionals".

It was fun to hang out and visit.   I hope it happens again soon.

Safe travels home Ron and Peggy!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Wildcatting in Nebraska

I was up in Nebraska drilling a well for my company on Thursday.
The day started out sunny, but by mid afternoon a spring storm came rolling in.

I was reminded how quickly Mother Nature can throw a curve ball - either above the ground or at 6,000 feet below.