Sunday, July 27, 2014

Sara and Jim Wilson Homestead Cottage

This old stove heated the cottage for its first overnight quest in over one half a century.

One night when I was accidently locked out of my house I used the Christmas lights I had in the car to light up the cottage so I could see. It gave it a very romantic glow so I am looking to use them more in the future. Right now there is good electric to the outside of the cottage but none actually inside the cottage. Leaving it without electricity would be more authentic but electricity could be fun in the cottage. I think future guest might like it better that way. My husband, Ragan, fixed the double window in the picture. it was a hole in the wall with an old door over it when he started. It is helping to let in enough sunshine that a few plants can live inside with a grow light. Ragan was asked the other day if someone was living in the cottage. He said, "Yes, my wife's plants are living there."
The lights in the window did make the cottage seem to come alive. I am surprised how many people drive by and tell me about what they see.
The window was made from windows found in the attic and given by friends.
These are some of the plants that I am trying to keep alive. When it got to 10 below outside many of the plants froze but some are still trying to hang on for next summer. A grow light loaned by a friend added just enough heat that the ones closest to it survived the temperatures near 20 degrees inside.

I am thankful to have this photo as this is one of the plants I tried to keep. They were two for $10 at Kings Soopers. They may only be an annual but I am not sure so I tried to keep them.

Near the cottage is an old stump that I am using to feed birds. I was trying to figure out how to get bird feed in the budget when a friend unknowingly answered my unspoken prayers and dropped by several bags of bird feed.

I really like sweet potatoe and clolieus as colorful greenery for hanging baskets.

The photo below is a living Christmas tree that I splurged on when we were thinking about moving from the ranch. I had so much fun lighting it up with solar lights where I had no electricity at the ranch. They lasted until after I moved them in July.  I was not sure where to plant it so I put it in an old galvanized tub with a hole in the bottom of it. I was planting some seeds one day and thought maybe a few would grow underneath the pine tree shaded from the hot dessert sun at the Lazy Tree ranch. Sure enough they grew so much better than expected. I put them near the cottage in front of the main house of the Sara and Jim Wilson Homestead. They became a center piece of the yard. The moss roses cascaded over the edge with blooms along with the snap dragons and pansies grew well in the shade of the Canadian Blue Spruce pine tree.
 Jeep lovers will notice some of my husband's jeeps in the background. More about them on other blogs.

Above is the view from the back door of the cottage.

This would chop up fire wood great for the cottage if the tractor would start that makes it run. We used it often at the Lazy Tree cabin. It would be fun if I could share the videos of it running.

The roof in the cottage was falling down so I have taken it down so that I could put up drywall unless I find some grant money to actually replaster it.

This is the temporary back wall after 90,000 honey bees were removed to a safer location by our bee keeping friends.  

Tumble weeds grew well after the flooding of the Fountain Creek area in 2013. The water did not even come up to level of the trees in the distance. July 25 th week of 2014 brought another high water mark  that brought the water up to water the roots of the Cottonwoods and elms in the background of the photo.

Cactus Rose takes a jeep trip Tin Cup pass in the Colorado Mountains World War II Battle of the Bulge Vet that lost his eye rebuilding the other jeep on this trip.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.
Cactus Rose with Craig Engelage. Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo of my husband with Cactus Rose. He has had a long affair with this jeep! copyright July 2014.

Photo of Mr. Grey's (sp? Gray's) jeep by my husband Ragan who is wishing he would have taken more action shots while on the Mountain passes near Buena Vista Colorado. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Chris Reed, Craig Engelage, Baron  and others enjoyed Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Top of Tin Cup Pass Colorado

Our dog, Coal (who is black as coal and also has his name spelled Cole sometimes), looks like he thinks the WWII seats were redone with perfect padding for him. The human riders grew in their appreciation of the rough ride soldiers must have had in these minimally padded seats. Coal is part Mastiff, St. Bernard, Australian Shepherd, Collie  and totally lovable mix of a few other breeds of dog from Hanover Colorado. This is Cactus Rose the Jeep rescued from the crusher now making to the timberline passes of Colorado. Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Baron made the trip and the restoration possible for Mr. Grey, the owner and his Grandfather. He worked hand in hand for hours, days, months and years now with Ragan Simpich, jeep rescuer, and Mr. Grey. Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Photo by my husband Ragan. copyright July 2014.

Mr. Grey's jeep and Cactus Rose meet for photo opp at the top of  Hancock Pass.  Photo by my husband Ragan who has helped rescue over 100 jeeps not including Mr. Greys as he and his family did most of the work on the one on the left. Ragan did give advice, many hours and parts to the project. copyright July 2014.

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Cactus Rose WWII Jeep Rescue


This is a true story about Cactus Rose the jeep pictured below that I helped my husband, also known as "Jeep Rescuer", to get on the internet tonight. Ragan Simpich dictated the story to me:
"Cactus Rose" is the name of this 1942 slat grill Willys MB Jeep. I got a call one day from a friend, Tom, who said, "There is a really old jeep at the crusher that you might want to check on." I went over to P and L Scrap Iron in Colorado Springs to see it.
(if you happen to be wondering about the gold line at the bottom that is a the cloth behind the photo when I took the cell phone copies of these photos to get them quickly on the internet in response to posting on Facebook wanting this story on her Blog. I do have better photographs available. Maybe someday I will get them here.)
It was next in line to be crushed, a pitiful yellow hulk sitting next to the crusher. It had 4 tires holding air and an engine compartment reasonably complete even including a radiator.
The grill, windshield, seats and many small items were missing. It said, "Willys" on the back panel. When I saw that writing along with the age of the body, I new it was a slat grill. I ask how much he wanted for it. Three hundred dollars was the price. I had just sold some jeep parts so I went to the ranch and got the trailer and the money and came back to get the jeep.
My son and I went to lunch to celebrate the rescue!
We took it home and began the long process of restoring it. Three years later and much hard work it was finally ready for the Veterans Day Parade in November 2013. I had spent months tearing things apart welding, pounding, and fixing, all the while looking for missing original WWII parts. I purchased three other WWII jeeps plus traded for a WWII original canvas top. Parts were also used off of jeeps I already owned to get the jeep restored.
At the 2013 Veterans Day Parade, Colorado Springs Colorado. I am sure someone has a better photo of it in parade.
Two months of spare time were used welding on the frame alone. Three more months were spent welding on the body before the body work could begin. After much intensive labor it started coming together. Each piece seemed to take several hours to prepare before it became functional.
Cholla Cactus copyright with all rights reserved by Corawithacamera July 2011
She was named "Cactus Rose" for the cholla cactus that bloomed rosie red around the jeep during restoration. Most of the restoration was done during three of the years my wife and I lived on our cattle ranch.   
It was a big day when it was finally driven down to the creek behind our new house, two weeks before the parade.
In the new to us garage two transmissions were fixed and moved back and forth into the jeep three days before the parade to make sure it would not get stuck between gears!

Cactus Rose in the distant upper right corner in its new to us jeep rescue shop.
She was good girl and functioned flawlessly for the Parade with Veterans of the First Cavalry group marching beside and behind it. They had all worked hard to march all the way so no one needed a ride in the parade after all!
Cactus Rose is not quite finished yet.

Ragan Simpich, " Jeep Rescuer" in Cactus Rose after the parade. Photo by Corawithacamera Jan 2014

Cactus Rose now has its name painted on her.

Looking for the meaning of the 2 on orange paint that was original on the first layer of paint on this jeep.

Just received word from Amy of Kaiser Willys that the Cactus Rose story is posted there at the following sites as of Mar 25, 2014:
Hi Cora,
Thanks for sending in the photos and story of your Willys MB! Would you mind if I use this as our Willys Jeep Life Blog and link to your own Blog? I set up an album for you on the Kaiser Willys Blog - (links are below). Feel free to send more photos, special stories and / or information updates at any time to this email address and I will post them for you - Have a great week!
- Amy

Personal Gallery Pages:

Willys MB Customer Photos:

Amy Bodiford


Tuesday, January 14, 2014

I finally learned how to light  up the old Home Comfort cook stove in the cabin so that I could do dishes in the dark of evening. The stove heated the water for the dishes with coal and wood and the candles warmed my heart as I could see to get the dishes clean. Copyright Corawithacamera 2014 January 14. May this warm you heart as you see it.

This Home Comfort cook stove still has the pipe holes where a water heating tank used to be attached to the left side of the stove. I just used the big pots and wash pans that I left behind the stove for the photo to heat water. The pot on the right is on the cooling rack that is attached to the right side of the stove.

The oven self cleans when the stove gets to about seven hundred degrees with a good hot fire. The ashes of spilled items are easily swept out to clean after that if they do not just disintegrate with the heat.

The heavy cast iron of the stove warms up, holds the heat and makes the whole kitchen area cozy warm even when storms are brewing outside like they were on the evening this photo was taken. It was a down pour of rain that flooded the road so bad half of it washed out and I could not make it out to join my husband the next day.

There are a variety of temperatures to be found on the top of this kind of cook stove. The hottest spot is in the middle of the left side where the flames turn to go up the chimney. If the damper is pulled toward the front, the flames and heat go to the right circling the oven within the cast iron frame. The smoke and heat circle around the oven and go up behind the damper at the back of the oven when the damper is shut.

My husband and his roommate saw a stove like this at an abandoned cabin and tried to start a fire in the oven of the stove. This of course does not work well as the smoke has no place to go then but out the oven door and up into your face.

The cabin is usually in a very dry area. You can see the effects of the water from recent rains playing with the sand on the road.

The lush greenery around the cabin was a joy to my eyes as I drove up in August after the dry summer a few rains had finally come. I could see that I had been slack about pulling tumble weeds.

White yarrow was in bloom to the right near the bottom of the stairs. The morning glories had not yet climbed much higher than the weeds around the middle post of the cabin.
 I had just planned to gather a few things and go to meet my husband for the evening where he was working.
The violets, Johnny jump ups and pansies were playing around the base of the morning glories and the strawberry leaves looked so lush there must be a strawberry coming soon.

I usually tried to keep the grass in front of the wicker seat so that it looked mowed by just pulling the weeds but they had gotten away from me this summer. Maybe I could pull just a few more today.

Double rose colored Holly Hocks that friends Mary and Patty had given me were blooming at last after several years of watering in hopes of blooms. I realize the photo is blurred but as it turns out it is the best one I have.

The peach tree that is growing with the Holly Hocks shows in this photo that turns out to be the only other one I have of the beautiful Holly Hocks. My cousins took some seeds to Indiana. Hope they are blooming there now.

I walked around the back of the cabin to the east side and tried to capture the feeling of how special it was to be here at the cabin my husband, friends and family had built. It started with logs that were given to help clear them from the land of Sally Beck near Monument, Colorado. Friends built the shed that became our living room when we unexpectedly found that it was going to be the only place that we had to call home.

A summer thunder shower was brewing.

The color of the sky was changing fast.

I went inside where the Simpich elves greeted me.

  I tried to get a more natural light photo of them so I could share with you how happy they seemed to be in the cabin.

 This one greeted me as if to say, " bout time you came home!

The white yarrow that had grown naturally here was blooming away as if it had been well watered in the dusty arid area.


The trail into the cabin was dry even though signs of some rain showed in the tires ruts and the growth of tumble weeds along the road my husband made  by driving on it and by helping it out now and then with our old Ford tractor. These tumble weeds along the side of the freshly cut trail (about 2002) remind me that I think the Russians have gotten undo credit for carrying these weeds into the United States. I think these seeds are buried in the ground up to twenty feet down. Where ever we dig they grow. The Russians never came here and the ground was undisturbed for the most part until we started driving here to raise cattle and live.
Ahh yes a little sign of water from recent rain. That would mean there might be enough gamma grass for the cattle to eat.

 I love getting to see the two trees that together with another formed the Lazy Tree Grove. They were the only tall cottonwood trees for miles around.
Oh yes a little water was gathered behind the earth dam that protected the spring water. It was enough to water the cattle.
 So good to see cattle on this land again.

 I love those two trees and the great horned owls that had grown there many times over the years. Friends tried to help us fence it in for a camping area and to protect some thirty young trees that are trying to grow in the area. The cattle have gotten in and eaten the young trees and the fence is hardly visible.
Maybe someday it will be a park where many people can come and enjoy the beauty I have seen here. The Indians camped here around 1860's. A young soldiers military button was found here. I have heard that a sheep herder had a camp here. The story of the Elephant that grazed next door can even be found on the internet. It was the Norris family that had the elephant on the adjacent land.

 The cattle seem quite content with the short grass that is growing. They are grazing in the midday though so they are  still looking for more grass to eat.



This photo of the funny bee like bug called a cow killer by some shows how dry the land was in between the rains.

The road in front of the cabin shows that some rain has come to this place in the last few days.

How lush and green the tumbleweeds look.

The morning glories are just barely taller than the tumble weeds.

 Wonder what tales this old wagon wheel could tell us about its  travels to this place. The woman that fence in part of this ranch put a rag on a wagon wheel so that she could tell how to place the fence post evenly. She was only a few feet off from modern survey on her land lines.
I have tried and tried to grow flowers in these large pots by the arched gate that my husband lovingly made for me. I almost got the morning glories to grow up to the top of it. I found that my cat, Miss Kitty was scratching the post and taking down the morning glories down with her catching.

I call these wild morning glories. They are actually very pink in natural light. They have another name that I cannot remember at the moment.

 The cattle trough was full of water. The Cat tails will try to fill up the water tank just like Kenny Burke told me they would if I do not get them pulled up.
 The stick weed or Evening Star as I call them were busting open with beauty.

 I thought I might do a few dishes. I lit the candles hoping I could enjoy them one more time as I did the dishes. The sign on the Home Comfort stove caught my eye. Wrought Iron Range Co of St Louis is apparently where the old black stove was made.
This photo shows a little more of the sign.

The lighting also shows up more of the sign but the natural  light in the other photos is so cozy.

Table looks inviting with the old hobnail white lamp from the Cripple Creek hardware store. We purchased it when we were first married over 40 years ago.

 The candles in the window are only lit when I can be there with them. They are a combination of patio candles and LED lights. Can you tell which is which.

The candles on the curtains are only lit