Full of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Now we jump into the thick of the holiday season, and as hectic and wonderful as it all is, it's done in a flash, so enjoy and appreciate every minute of it!

Thought I'd toss in a quick cabin update. We did make some progress this Summer – big ticket items, so although it doesn't add much curb appeal, it is a big step toward getting to the finished product. First, a brand new septic system was plotted, permitted, and installed. This is “part one” in getting the much needed plumbing in place to facilitate kitchen water and a nice little indoor potty once again at the cabin.

This is the septic drain field, and lids to the underground holding tanks

The horrible, smelly, rotten old floor and foundation were demolished and hauled away. The old septic system, which had been inactive for years, was opened up and filled with dirt. Then, the whole area was somewhat smoothed out and left to fill in with native plants.


Even though it is still torn up, it looks 100% better than before. We have 1 burning pile left to take care of, and I'm sure Bruce will do that on New Year's Eve (prior to the big, annual New Year's celebration), when the fire risk is very low with the cold and snow.

This is all that is left to burn.

He rented a trenching machine to prepare for electrical and propane lines to be run over to the new cabin site. It was hard going as it is very rocky ground, and required much hand digging to remove rocks when the trencher couldn't get past them.

There was a bit of winterization that needed to be done, so Bruce took the time last weekend to go up and tie up as many loose ends as he could.

I had Election Day off work, and was having such an awful, anxiety ridden day from this horrendous election, that I decided to toss my poochies in the truck, shut the darn radio off, and take a “back roads” road trip up to the cabin.

This is up Brackett Creek.




This is the old Sedan Church, refurbished, and all decked out with Christmas lights, ready for the Holidays.

Such a pretty drive went a long way in soothing the senses. When we got to the cabin, I sat on the deck in the sunshine, read some cabin decorating magazines til about dark, then went in and popped some popcorn. I put in a DVD, sat in the middle of that gosh awful mess of a cabin with Declan and Piper, covered us up with a fuzzy blanket, and proceeded to watch a crazy sci-fi movie. Then we locked up, loaded up in the dark, and hit the trail for home. I felt lucky to have a nice escape day with no TV or computers.

I only put a dab of Thanksgiving decorations out this year. Trying to conserve energy to really get after the “Christmas Extravaganza”!




Already had my Native Americans out. I just love these Skookum dolls.

My big little son is at his new job 200 miles away and can't come home for just one day, so Mr. Bruce and I have been invited to the farm for dinner. My good Mom is cooking, and I will bring a salad and a pie. My Dad is going to BBQ steaks for he and Bruce. It's supposed to start storming tonight, so hope the roads won't be “slickery” for all the Holiday travelers.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!





Country Churches, Country Blessings

I thought, since Easter is just a few days away, it might be fun to see a few Montana Country Churches. I'm sure many will be visiting churches this Sunday; you can see if your own Church is similar to any of these by chance.

This is the St. Francis Xavier church in Missoula.

A true country Church, the D'Aste Church near Charlo, MT

St. William's Church in Gardiner, MT, in all it's springtime splendor!

The inside of the St. Ignatius Mission, St. Ignatius, MT. Aren't the paintings beautiful! There is wonderfully interesting history that goes along with this Mission.

The Holy Spirit Episcopal Church, Missoula, MT. I bet a lot of rice has been thrown outside those doors!

This little Church near Malta, MT is so lovely. The photograph is by a photographer named Todd Klassy, and I found online he has many beautiful country church photographs from all over the state that you can buy.

And probably the most grand church in the state is the Cathedral in Helena, MT. It is extremely beautiful inside and out. Probably doesn't much fall into the Country Church classification 🙂

All of the above pics came from Google Images.

All of the following pics I took in and around our little town.

This is the church I went to when I was a little kid. I remember sitting in the balcony, listening to a serman delivered by our very hot tempered Irish priest, which was full of fire and brimstone! I couldn't have been much more than 4 years old, and let me tell you, it certainly made an impression on me! (ie: scared the daylights out of me!) They later sold this church and built a new one on the other end of town. This Church is now called the Living Hope Church.

Pine Creek Methodist Church is in Paradise Valley, about 12 miles from town. They have a most awesome fall auction every October, where they auction fresh pressed Apple Cider, chocolate cakes that at times have fetched up to $100.00 plus dollars, split firewood, even cow dog puppies one year! The ladies in the church get together and make a quilt every year to be auctioned. The event is just like something you would see in Country Living Magazine. Free sandwiches and chips for lunch, a many feet long table covered with a huge variety of homemade pie slices for just $1, and just good old fashioned socializing! So fun!

If any of you saw the movie “A River Runs Through It”, this is the church they used in the movie. Brad Pitt's character's father (Tom Skerritt) was the minister of this church in the movie. It is the Redeemer Lutheran Church.

This is a window in the Holbrook United Methodist Church, which is located directly across the street from the Redeemer Lutheran Church. Guess that's small town for ya! Many churches clustered together in one part of town; many bars/saloons clustered together in another part!

Here is the pretty little church (I showed you all a few posts back) in Melville, MT.

And, from the same road trip, the church in Lennup, MT.

The First Baptist Church, here in town, has a faux bell tower. But they used to “broadcast”, over speakers that reached every corner of town, recorded ringing church bells. I just loved listening to them. But some folks must have complained, or the church's equipment gave out, or something, because they quit doing it. 🙁

This is the only pink church we have in town! It is St. Mark's Church of the A M.

Personally, my favorite church is the one the Good Lord provided free of charge!

The one with the sky for a ceiling…

And the good earth for the floor.


Where the mountains stand in for altars –






And all of nature surrounds us, reminding us of the many, many blessings and gifts the Good Lord has given us! That is where I have my best conversations with him 🙂

Wishing you all a very happy Easter!






Sunday is the first of my 3 days off from work each week. It is the only day Bruce and I have off together. Nearly every week I end up doing the same things on my days off….laundry, clean house, pay bills, go to the grocery store, more laundry, etc., etc.

This last Sunday, I got up, was out of milk for coffee, and decided today was a good day for a French vanilla latte! So I hopped in my car and went downtown and bought one ( which is about a 3 times per year special occasion for me).

Coming home, I passed the gas station, and it dawned on me that gas is pretty darn cheap presently!


Mr. Bruce totally agreed, so we put our heads together to come up with an interesting destination. After throwing out 3 or 4 ideas, I suggested Harlowton, because it is Only 79 miles from here, and I've never been there in my life. We usually road-trip westward because it is more mountainous, therefore a bit prettier in my book. When you head East from here, once past Big Timber it gets fairly flat and prairie-ish.

We loaded up the poochies and were off and running. Just out of Big Timber, we headed north. First stop; Melville, MT. Had never been there before either. It consists of approximately 2 houses, 4 empty buildings, and a little BBQ shack restaurant that is also the post office. Blink and you miss it 🙂 But about another mile down the road is the most charming little church. And you are also on the backside of the Crazy Mountains which gives a beautiful new perspective.





It was a kind of funny, overcast day. Even tho it was still pretty scenery, the light was pretty crummy for picture taking. It made the buildings look sort of scary, rather than charming and old. So I skipped pics of the little town.

Next stop, Harlowton. I was surprised at it's size, actually. I thought it would be about half as big. It even has it's own compact little hospital. Checking online, it says they have a population of 991 people.

Here is a photo of their Credit Union. It is such a cool little building! Constructed of all small, round-ish, multicolored local rocks. There were several fences around town built by the same method.

We toured around, took the dogs for a short walk to give 'em a potty break, then headed down the road.

We came upon this sign which gave an interesting history about the Crazies, so thought I'd share.

(For some reason, the way this blog is formatted, all the photos are very small. If you click on the photo you can see a much larger and better detailed version.)

Next little town we hit was Two Dot. About 3 times the size of Melville, making for a grand total of about 18 buildings, maybe 8 of which were occupied. It says online the population is 127, but I think that might be stretching it a bit, unless they may have counted the dogs and chickens 😉

Down the road another stretch, and we came to Lennep, MT. It says online that Lennep is a ghost town, but we saw some vehicles parked by a couple buildings, whatever that's worth. They also had a pretty little church that looks very well cared for, for a ghost town.


I think the larger building below was most likely a store, and maybe hotel, guessing by the number of rooms it seems to have held. The smaller building, not sure. The railroad ran right thru the town back in the day.


An old squared log home, right on the edge of town.

The next town is Martinsdale. It houses the Bair Family museum, an old ranch homestead that has been restored and opened to the public. It is a wonderful adventure to take in.

Google images


Google images

It was closed when Bruce and I drove past, but my Mom, Son, and myself toured it several years ago.

Then we finished the loop by dropping thru Wilsall, Clyde Park, then home. It was a very fun day, and now I can't say I haven't been to Harlowton!

We were blessed by the most phenomenal sunset – it was truly the cherry on top!