CHRISTMAS DAY 2017

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….. And so it begins, the late wrapping is done, the presents are under the tree, and the Hallmark films are playing. The forecast overnight snow showers I don’t think made it, but there were some signs of dampness but now the sun is up and it feels quite warm.

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The morning moves on, presents first and my list arrives in full, as well as some much needed slippers and a super Tom Sellick type granddad’s sweater.

Sticky bun breakfast, extra wood for tonight, then after the mega trash run, time for the first of the Dangerous Christmas Cocktails, but where are the sugar lumps? Strangely our very expensive grocery is open and he has cube sugar so once more……………….. “Peace on Earth” is restored!

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Dangerous Cocktail No1

Now coming up to vegetable time with swede, parsnip, Brussel sprouts, leeks, carrots and corn to prepare … Ho, ho, ho.

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Parsnips ready

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Leeks, carrots multi colored, and sprouts

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Swede going well

Veggies done and now sitting waiting for 1600 feast and my mouth is watering already at the thought of the 5lb beef! Second DCC in the glass and first call to the UK but Edward goes to answer phone (as always)

Edward rings and we have a good laughing chat over all life’s events and misfortunes.

Cooking continues, par boiling, mashing and eagerly awaiting the food to come. Several transfers later carving begins and everything looks good and tastes even better.

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The roasted veg leave the meat pan, parsnips and potatoes come out of the fryer

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She rests!

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Carving begins

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Fit for a Queen

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mine, all mine ……. yes a bit OTT ……but delicious or YUUMMEEE!

Once again, I fall foul of the “Big eyes, old age” routine over eating, but boy it was good  ……… I made it to about 7 pm but then it was a straight 12 hours in bed!

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Haven’t heard from Santa yet, “I hope he is OK”

 

TONY DOWN

THE LAST DECS OF THE SEASON

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Christmas approaches very quickly and the last of my decorating will be completed today, Friday 12/22. Fortunately outside was completed before the arrival of the snow and cold that descended on Colorado Wednesday night which coincided with the last day of School.

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Thursday morning …. but No driving!

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Her snow dance worked

Today’s other missions are a haircut and then Christmas fare shopping of the Beef! Last year marked the change from Turkey to Prime Rib and it was SUPERB !

When the beef and veggies are purchased and the curls are gone it will be time to finish the office area and the Yoga/Lodge room which I got a good couple of hours in on yesterday.

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Lodge room complete

Christmas goodies all done and my garland is coming together well, just a few more add ons this morning.

Last look at the Christmas lights contest  …….. and suddenly we have moved from 83% of the vote to equal 1st as suddenly, and quite unrealistically, the Fire Dept surges up the leaders board. By the time I get home from the shopping we are now behind as the Fire Department has taken over the lead …….. looks like I’ve had some “Russian hacking” of the vote? As the afternoon moves on the lead has got bigger and bigger and Brenda calls for a recount after the last voting is done at 1700.

Sometime later the organizer texts Brenda so say there was a lot of bidding from the same email and those votes have all been removed and we are once again the WINNER!!! I honestly can’t imagine why anyone would want to rig the vote especially as their display was not that good. Point made, back to the garland ……..

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This is like the tree adding more “bits” each year

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Left side

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Middle & Right side

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Nearly done

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Happy Christmas

1200, Saturday and sadly I’ve finished and have NOTHING left to decorate …….. so that’s it for 2017

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TONY DOWN

CHRISTMAS LIGHTS FINAL!

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Well done!

The longest, and at times, most frustrating year for putting up Christmas lights there has ever been! It all starts before the other holiday of Thanksgiving.  Yours truly,  with several reminders from Mrs Claus, gets a head start rewiring the 2 major decs for the balcony with some stronger brighter lights on the Angel and Reindeer. That takes a complete day with 300 lights cable tied onto the originals.

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Reindeer done!

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Angel rewired

Two of the Shooting stars need the same treatment but persistence pays off and they are ready. Other sets are beyond reasonable repair time and are junked before my patience has expired.

With Thanksgiving done all the Christmas goodies in the loft are brought down and now Brenda can’t get the expensive Balsam farms tree to light up and after a couple of days and a few SNOTOGRAMS she rips off all the lights and puts 1200 new ones on!

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I think it looks better

Initially outside goes well with layout and design and I seem to have things under control but then along comes another little cold and I’m feeling pretty poorly. The weather doesn’t help as temps drop and the winds get stronger but eventually it all comes together and the power comes on.

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Classic “Christmas Vacation”

Be careful with the overseas sourced lights!

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Need to check the “font” before selling to English speaking nations

However we press on and after 4 weeks, a load of cables, strings of lights, and some new features, I’m ready for the nighttime pictures

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The Maple in sunlight

Time to send out the cameraman on a dark December night ………. and we start at the Maple ……..

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Many hours up here!

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moving on

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Santa and crew fire up Scuffy and the golden wake starts at the base of the Maple

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Team Santakins in Economy while the Santas are in 1st Class

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With hand on the throttle, Santa powers away from the dock while the Center Bed looks on

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Bye Santa, see you Christmas Eve

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The lighthouse in center picture is the Rose Bed

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Time for a distant look at the house

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The ever popular Shooting Stars

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……. and some green laser lighting

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The Center Bed

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…… a bit more detail

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Another new Santa and a Darth Vader

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and now some new stuff

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The Reindeer enclosure with the NEW blue Cherry Tree …… and she likes it!!

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…….. and for the first time some lights on the Cozy sign

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adds some balance to the front beds

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Worth another look

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So this is 2017 without the snow ……… but SHE has started  the well proven “Snow Dance” …… and the fire burns “blue” again …….. and true to form tonight and tomorrow  we are forecast for 4″ !!!

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTMAS DECS PHASE II

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Into the weekend, only 13 more driving days to the Christmas break, and the last of the outside displays MUST get finished before Winter arrives in all it’s glory!

We have had yet another nonsense visit from the “woman” at the Chamber of Commerce who truly does NOT have a clue when it comes to organizing the Christmas Lights Competition. After last year’s debacle she was going to do the same thing again having annoyed everybody in the town by letting the kids from the High School be the judges !!!!  Personally if that is the case I would rather have nothing to do with it .

What’s left to do? Well the Maple Tree needs to be trimmed to give me access to get cables and lights up and running, the leaves from said tree need the “blower” treatment to reveal the gold colored “wake” rocks, Goofy needs a bit of “Velcro” on his tummy as the high winds swept him overboard last year.

On Scuffy the boat, hooks along the side need Brenda’s touch while I need to construct shelving for “Santa’s Presents” and all the moving Santakins  who work that section.

Two NEW movers are here and  while old Santa drives the boat Santa Jnr and his NEW wife are learning their trade as this year’s helpers (his wife is excellent on gingerbread men!)

As the week got underway, the New Arrivals of Santa Jnr & Wife were delivered and de-boxed only to be replaced by a “Blackcat”

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Very pleased with these two

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Yes, Midnight is in the box!

Brenda’s birthday arrived on Tuesday and her mini gifts all made it along with a repeat (at her request) of the Chocolate Ganache that we had for our wedding anniversary.

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We arrived at the weekend with Scuffy and the Maple Tree still to do and more festive work in the office and yoga room.

Upstairs the dec boxes are put back in the loft and all the Maple Tree and Scuffy boxes are wheel barrowed over to the corner of the lawn. All 3 ladders surround the tree.

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New shoots and unwanted branches are cut back, and after a serious senior moment when the leaf blower refused to work and the master decorator was at his wits end, a bright bulb lit up the east as I remembered the circuits I was plugged into were on timers!!…. and of course they were in the OFF position!

The leaves were blown away, Goofy got the Velcro touch, and yet more checking of lights. With 3 ladders on the go a fair number of ornaments and lights were secured in the tree but by nightfall there was still a lot to do.

Monday and the bitter cold is here. I don’t mind the cold but the wind chills me to the very marrow. One hour is spent searching for the wire cutters and I eventually find them UNDER one of the red boxes ……. don’t ask!

Not enough progress this morning and this manifests itself over night as after 4 hours I’m wide awake and can’t get back to sleep as these bloody decorations are now stressing me out.

Now 0520 Tuesday morning and hopefully although cold at 16F with any luck I might get the maple tree finished this morning. Close but no cigar, the temp continued going down and by the time I got to work it was down to 9F and only 18F on the way home. Some good progress this morning and I finish up with only one string of meteor lights left to put up before connecting all the cables.

Now I suddenly have a cold and now I can’t sleep, never mind I need to get these lights finished!!! Back from the morning runs and I get the last string of lights up and now start linking up the  connectors  in the hope everything will work as planned.

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The high winds are a nightmare for the outside decs but no major disasters so far.  Cables are connected and all the lights checked one more time to make sure they are plugged in to something … anything! ……. final tests look good and only one string of meteor lights may not be working.

Home at 1800, wind still vicious, but the lights look good other than the suspect line. Firewood chopped, dogs walked and time for a Hallmark movie.

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The Maple Tree has now officially joined the 2017 display so now I’m left with Scuffy, the Lazer light show in the trees, a couple of extra spot lights to find …… and maybe that little something extra for the Cozy Comfort sign area and Waterfalls ?

The winds were horrendous overnight and 3 sets of step ladders have been blown over. Warmer this morning and a lot less windy so time to get out there and attempt to fix that last string of meteor lights. There were 3 sets of 8 lights and I had to fit a plug on each set of 8 rather than have a continuous string. Its done! Scuffy tomorrow.

Pool on Saturday afternoon and 24 players and I win my way through the first 4 rounds so I’m back in the money and finish in a respectable 3rd.

Sunday and its Scuffy time and a lot of work gets done but the task is not finished although I do get the extra spotlights set up along with the Laser lights for the big trees.

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New spots

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Lasers in

Back from the morning runs and now only 7.5 driving days to go! Coffee and dogs first then out to the boat and start wiring up. Wire all the gifts in, now the 4 Santakins, fit Darth in place and connect the 2 new Santa and Mrs Claus along with the 3 spotlights. First sets of red lights around the hull.

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Crew ready to embark

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Music while I work

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First sets of reds in

Tuesday, and I’m too tired to do anything! I will perhaps take a few daylight shots of what is done so far.

Wednesday and another sleepless night and nothing gets done so I now have to see a Doctor on Thursday.

Thursday and after the Doctor’s visit yet more antibiotics and some mucus remover!

Friday, a much nicer day and I’m back on the task. A major round of repairs after another very windy night. Some stabilizers for the “Santas” and now more hooks on the hull and the red and white lights are finished and once again I’m out of time. A couple of visits from a school girl and the local sheriff who says he parks his car opposite the display to catch speeders and enjoy all the lights.

Back home from the afternoon run at 6 p.m. only to find some idiot has driven over the corner of the lawn and collided with the huge rockery stone and nearly destroyed the Lasers! More repairs for Saturday morning!!!

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Can you believe it ?  A clown with a travel trailer tries to turn in front of the house!!!   Yes, he was caught on the security cam

Last items to add for today are the front blue water lights, the rear yellow wake lights on the gold rocks and a last collection of Darth and the “blue” cherry tree and the LED’s around the Cozy sign. Then it will just be minor details outside and my office garland downstairs.

Work begins, and I WILL finish everything by Sunday! My starter for 10 is to repair the damage caused by the idiot with the travel trailer, some people should NOT be allowed behind the wheel of anything.

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Bloody halfwit !

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All repaired

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Laser Cabins built

Repairs complete, and  time for the Laser Cabins to keep the snow out. Now onto final wiring for Scuffy with warm white lights up the wake and 4 sets of blue water lights on the rocks with a shimmering effect.

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Wake lights on the gold rocks

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Blue lights down the starboard

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Bit more water on the port

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Last checks on the Crew

Wiring complete, and time for Saturday pool. 19 players today and I battle my way through with 5 wins to the final and a guaranteed 2nd place or better. 2 very good games in the final but I lose both and end up in 2nd position again.

Well its Sunday night and I’m done!  Yes, it only took 4 weeks to do and I’m pleased with the overall result. Next article will reveal all the lights in their glory.

 

TONY DOWN

 

TURKEY WEEK & CHRISTMAS DECS

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A full week off school and now I need to get into full swing with all my Christmas lighting and displays. This ritual, although enjoyable, takes longer and longer every year.

Sunday cracks off with a redo of the two major figurines that are out on the balcony. I thought they needed some extra lights as the originals, some 12 years old, seemed to be on the dim side. 150 new lights per unit later I’m done!!

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150 new lights later

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Another 150 here

Monday and the job starts in earnest with everything to be brought down from the workshop loft and tested before layout can begin. However, before that all the shade garden cushions need to be put in the boiler  room and stacked for the winter, and once the Christmas lights are done then the Gazebo needs to join them.

Outside the clematis restraints have been removed for the lights that go up the poles. Hoses rewound and branches from the last bout of high winds put in the trash.

Despite putting everything away in good order with the increasing volume of stuff its difficult to remember where it all goes. The brain is trying to recall where it all went  and after 3 days of repair and thinking I’m moving along.

A rebuild on a twinkling star took a fair time but is now functional and extra deer for the waterfall were constructed and mounted on their stands and should survive the blizzards to come! The old polar bear had to have some repairs and now all the major items are laid out in the center bed. Just cables and lights for that sector and then on to front of house.

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More repairs

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The herd gets bigger

Its been way too cold and windy to even think of a ride but I did manage to change the troublesome tube on the Roubaix and maybe this morning I’ll do the Giant MTB tires now that I have the bike repair stand functional.

Wednesday, repairs completed (I hope) and front bed layout in full swing. A quick visit to Walmart and a few more lights replace the 1200 or so that are now beyond use! Cables everywhere and it comes together as dusk arrives ……. not too bad, just one little fir tree that needs some lights.

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The NEW Santa with Darth

Thanksgiving Day, and while tradition says Brenda will be hard at it preparing the delicious feast I will be outside dealing with front of house lighting. If I can complete this then I will be pretty much on schedule. Remaining sectors are; Rose Bed, the Balcony, Maple tree and Scuffy.

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Chef in full “cook” mode

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“Here’s a pumpkin pie I made earlier”

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A helping hand from me!

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Yumeeeee!!!

The Center Bed gets finished with all the passengers in the sleigh and the clear lights on the last fir tree. The lights go up the 5 poles out front but the Christmas cocktails are kicking in and work up a ladder is not a good idea. Eat and be thankful!

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Friday and the weather continues up in the 60’s so make the most of it as it will surely change. Today is  all the household decorations that are up in the loft which Brenda will dive into as I try to finish the front of the house.

Brenda not feeling too good this morning and my dizziness is not helping and becoming very worrying. Several hours spent rectifying lights and eventually the lower section of front of house is complete. Some of the boxes are brought down from the loft so I can get on with the balcony section on Saturday morning. Yet MORE lights to repair.

Seems the lights are not working on the expensive Balsam Tree so after much, and I mean much frustration, Brenda rips all the lights off the tree and replaces them with another 1200 ……. and sends Balsam a snotogram of epic proportions!!! ………. however, we now have the 2017 tree completed and it looks very good.

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A lot of hard work!

By Sunday evening I have ALL front of house completed save for the last shooting star which also now needs rewiring! Monday and now I find one section of ice lights out so after replacing those, the last shooting star is hauled up and checked. Timers are now fitted and tested.

Just when I thought I was done the “Shivering Polar Bear” lights are starting to fail so they get replaced before I really start losing it. Now its Friday and I actually manage to rewire the Rose Bed and connect it into the display.

Only the Maple Tree and Scuffy to finish 2017. This MUST be completed by Sunday night as the weather is turning wormy from then on, but it is December after all.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

PRE THANKSGIVING WEEK

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Dry and VERY warm start to the working week so better make the most of it before the weather changes later in the week. Having a bit of trouble with the valve on the Roubaix back tire, sometimes flat and other days it stays up. Time to change it, but today pump it up and get out there for 25.66 with a ride up to the lakes and the extra 5 miles around the town.

Tuesday and supposed to be nasty but manage a good run out to the 8 mile marker before turning round and knocking up another 23.42 although I was not enjoying the headwind!!

Time to reflect on Thanksgiving for a moment and remember our poor religious pilgrims who were being persecuted back in their homeland and decided to sail the Atlantic against the prevailing winds. As we know the Mayflower and others had to get quite a few repairs done before their epic journey but eventually made it to Plymouth Rock having left Plymouth several months earlier.

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Political cartoon for Los Angeles Sentinel

Despite landing in a bountiful area of marine life (lobsters!) our religious brethren were neither farmers nor fishermen …. in fact just believers. In the fall of the following year, with failing crops and ever diminishing supplies there was a bit of a breakthrough when someone discovered ears of corn in baskets buried in the sand ? Now of course it never occurs to our religious hardliners that this must belong to somebody …….   Nay, nay! a thousand times nay, this is Providence and provided by our good Lord ……. and look, …..here come those turkeys …….. providence again! (Nay, nay, dumb arse, the birds are here because they eat corn!!!) Providence ?? I don’t think so, this is THEFT!

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Now, to add insult to injury,  you invite the indigenous people (who of course were the owners of the corn and turkeys) to your Harvest Supper. Well done to you! Many years later the Government moves Thanksgiving  to the backend of November …… and there you have it.

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Meanwhile back in Dolores the weather continues in its general winter trend. Wednesday and the Grandfather presses on for another 12.64 before getting the bus going again on the last pre Thanksgiving early release. Time to stop and pick up the new tires for the MTB and the tube for the Roubaix.

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Two new tires for the MTB

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New tube for the Roubaix

Thursday and despite headwinds another 18.35 goes in the books and with more dogged persistence the Old Man with a bicycle born in August continues on Friday in even colder temps for another 12.39 to bring the total up to 3593.62 ……….  and then it snowed and temps shot down to 17F for the dawn.

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Here we go again!

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Currently around 32F but not too windy so time to crack the last few miles of the week before afternoon pool.

Only 8.47 on a very brief cold ride but the objective was achieved and the total is now 3602.09

TONY DOWN

THE LAST TWO WEEKS …..

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First fire of the season

Only 2 weeks until all the excitement  begins and I’m off for the Thanksgiving Week. Tasks to get under way before then are the last loads of firewood, and some work rewiring some of the older  Xmas figurines for the balcony and a couple of deer that go out by the Waterfalls and then my do it yourself Christmas tree for the Rose Bed.

The week gets off to a good start with load No7 from the wood yard which is all nice dry stuff, although it took a long time to sort through and load into the car. Worth the effort and extra time but that left me no time for a ride.

Tuesday, very cold, with frost on the car and a day in the 40’s. Time to get the Walmart stuff including another “Santa” and I weakened with  a Darth Vader. I did get the lights, a few ornaments for my downstairs garland, some extra electric cords, and a fistful of cable ties.

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Another Santa ……. couldn’t resist

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Darth Vader ? am I losing it????

After unloading and breakfast a very short 10 miles, but every mile done today is one less for tomorrow.

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My new furry boots arrive and are a great replacement for the ones I wore all last winter driving the bus. Wednesday is “Early Release” day so only 13.78 for a quick 1 hour ride.

Improving weather on Thursday and high 50’s with little wind so a decent ride and 25.65 gets done having gone out to the 10 mile point before coming back into town.

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Friday and with no elementary kids today a 1 hour long lie in and another 1 hour later afternoon start means its time for the last load of fire wood …… and maybe a ride?

Seems Aspen Wallwood are still cutting fresh green Aspen which will take a couple of months stacked and drying so I’m sorting through the cliff for the dry fir which they cut back in May/June. About an extra hour to find it and toss it down to the car but I’m back in time to stack it and get out there pre lunch and knock out a few miles.

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After lunch another 13.24 joins the total which now stands at 3469.20 and if I knock off another 10 tomorrow 20 on Sunday should be easy!

With load No8 home and stacked I’m done, and I think we will make it through the winter.

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The Great Wall of Dolores rebuilt

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Front of house stacked

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Wheelbarrow of “Chunky Monkeys”

Saturday and the Ski Swap Shop but nothing we want this year so just sign up for our Telluride Card and be on our way. Nothing happening on the pool front for us this weekend despite a HUGE turnout! I did manage a quick 10 miles before we left so only 20.5 to do on Sunday.

Sunday then! Bloody cold with an Easterly wind and only in the low 30’s this morning but the promise is a high of 58F so don’t complain, it could be snowing!!

Garden tasks that need to be done; cut down the Russian Sages, trim the Rose Bed, and wait for the last of the Maple leaves to fall off.

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The Russians need cutting back

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Serious pruning required

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Always the last to drop

I have a slow flat on the Roubaix so I stayed in town for the 21.70 to take me through the 3500 mile marker.

TONY DOWN

LOGS & PEDALS

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” Is that you Mr Fawkes?”

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Nearly November, no Guy Fawkes for me, but only three weeks to get the last 6-8 loads of firewood and the last miles on the cycling front before conditions become just too unpleasant.

We start the week in a good place with 4 loads harvested and stacked. The Giant Wall of Dolores is rebuilt and now stacking moves onto the front of house.

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The Giant Wall of Dolores rebuilt again!

A bit precarious at the lumber yard working on the towering cliff face where all the nice dry pieces are located like gold nuggets. If you can find a seam of the good stuff a load can be done in around 30 minutes!

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Where is the nice dry stuff?

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Obviously under the dark overhang!!!

With the current changes in the weather I’m having to be very flexible with logging and riding as we now have rain and snow in the forecast.

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First step in the winter clothing addition was the purchase of some thermal riding boots as I remember my feet getting very, very cold last year.

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Should be good with all my other thermal gear but a balaclava might also be a worthwhile addition as most heat loss is through the head.

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The masked avenger rides again!

 

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Good thermals make a big difference

Monday and load number 5 is stacked in front of the house. Bad weather for Tuesday with rain and snow and between 5-10 inches above 9000′. Just manage a wet 15.83 miles. The new boots arrive but not familiar with this “boa system” so try them on in daylight on Wednesday.

Quick consultation with “Google”  and U-Tube has a video which explains everything and they fit very nicely and are as warm as toast just sitting in the lounge.

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Got my “eyes” on these for bus driving

Miles wise the pedals keep going round and after yesterday’s 15.83 the total is up to 3337.01 so with a bit of determination 3400 might fall by the weekend, and I must get this week’s second load to stay on the firewood target.

Thursday and load 6 is home and stacked. It took time to climb the cliff and prise out the good stuff and throw it down towards the car and then load it and repeat the operation. Not enough time left to get a ride in so try again tomorrow and hopefully collect the last loads next week if the weather holds.

Friday,colder but sunny and that crisp wind! Never mind, thermal on, too early for the new boots but another 21.06 is completed but I failed to get my “23” as too much pre ride coffee forced an early stop back at the house!!

42 miles left to complete this weekend, and now thinking 3700? before winter shuts me down. Of course once the firewood task is done then it will be full swing into the Christmas decs and all the fun of that. As yet nothing planned by way of any new features but there are a few things that need some extra lights replaced.

Saturday again and despite the cold the 70 year old braves the harsh elements and knocks up another 23.13 before afternoon pool.

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This goes better than it has and Brenda beats me for a guaranteed “third or better”. I fight my way through the losers winning all the way and meet her again in the 3rd & Better frame. I win this one and also the first frame of the final but lose the second. Can’t complain as the family takes a 2nd and 3rd !

November 5th, Guy Fawkes Day, and the clocks go back. However, the mileage must go forward so quit whining and get out there and find somewhere wind free to bag another 20 miles.

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Bonfire night in the UK

Back in the UK Edward and Grandson James at the local bonfire and fireworks. Meanwhile I soldier on in the cold and unpleasant windy conditions and grind my way to 20.72 (I could have quit at 12 as I was NOT enjoying it!!!) …….. however I’m now at 3402.52

TONY DOWN

 

PLAYING “FALL” AND CATCHUP

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It always starts very slowly but then a single branch on a tree turns gold amongst all the green and that signal seems to trigger every tree to join in and before you know it the season has changed and you had better get your WINTER act in place!

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First frosts, and some pretty serious cold snaps herald the time to say goodbye to all the annuals and hanging baskets. Tomatoes, cucumbers and delicates are done, autumnal displays need to be built and the quest for winter firewood begins.

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Off to Jones Pumpkin Patch we go, a quick sample of cider, and then the business of pumpkin and gourds selection for Brenda’s tribute to Autumn.

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Plenty of choice

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The Team’s 2017 selection

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Straw bales have to wait until Monday as our local source got the mildew.

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The Shade Garden under “leaf attack!”

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Monday and 3 bales of straw gets Brenda’s build underway. I’m off on my winter quest for 12 “Cadi” loads of firewood from my local sawmill at Aspen Wallwood.

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Two loads home, I don’t think they realize how much wood goes in the Cadi.

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Special upstairs autumn theme for the cat who changes it round as the mood takes him.

 

TONY DOWN

HOW MUCH FURTHER ?

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Having hit the 2017 target of 3000 miles at 7000′ the question is how many more can I do before the weather shuts my operation down?

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Coming soon !

So far, October has been a very mixed affair with rain and strong winds although I did enjoy 2 good days and knocked up 42.67 going out to my 8 mile point, twice, and savoring all the magnificent fall colors along the Dolores River.

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Monday, October 9th,  and its colder and windy and we have to take Plan B in for winterizing having completed the Safari on Sunday. The overnight forecast was a low of 23F and true to form the Coleus in the shade garden are now toast! Still looking at temps to see if a ride is in my wheelhouse or not……… NOT!!

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Tuesday, and our 10th wedding anniversary! Remember we were in Napa at Calistoga, and have been back many times over those 10 years, but fortunately we didn’t go for any wine tasting this year as the place has some dreadful fires raging everywhere. We hope there will be no lasting damage.

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A lot of smoke

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Not looking good!

The rest of the week was pretty miserable for the cyclist with very cold mornings and a biting cold wind increasing as the day went on. However, after collecting Plan B on Friday morning I managed a shorter ride around the town trying to stay in more sheltered areas and did the same again on Saturday before our 8 Ball Competition where I eventually did a little better and qualified after 6 weeks of dismal performances. A third place was very welcome!

A poor week overall with only 50 miles achieved in my three rides but next week looks a bit better with warmer temps and much less wind.

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Sunday morning, very cold, at only 25F but I’ll be pushing for a 20 miler today!!   ………. and then we will be pumpkin hunting along with some straw bales for the autumn display in the shade garden.

Denny’s for pumpkin pancakes and then Walmart for a few oddballs and off to Cliff Rose Nursery for the straw bales. NONE ! their supplier lost them to mildew so looks like IFA on Monday. Time for the Jones Farms pumpkin patch and we make the most of the selection.

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Monday and 3 straw bales from IFA has everything ready for Brenda to set about the Shade Garden. I push on and clock up another 16.10 in town miles to add to yesterday’s 22.77 run after the pumpkin task.

Tuesday and onto other tasks, and with temps on the way down as we move into mid October time to think firewood. Off to Aspen Wall Wood and $5 later a full Cadi returns and the stacking begins.

Usually I plan on 12 loads for the winter. As they told me many moons ago “a man’s net worth is judged by the size of his firewood pile”

Wednesday does not lend itself to a ride, but Thursday after a little motivation goes well with 27.30 to crest 3200

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We are in bear country but, thankfully I haven’t had this happen!!!

Friday and another load of wood wraps up the work week and although Saturday morning is now here and its cold and blustery I would like to get a “20” before pool.

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I think 4000 might be pushing it a bit but 3500 I see as “doable”

 

TONY DOWN