To Every Thing There Is A Season

When I started this blog almost 2 years ago, I knew I wanted it to be a “no trauma, no drama” blog. Just sharing lots of beautiful scenery from my little Montana town and surrounding area, occasional changes and additions to my home and gardens, fun snippets about my sweet critters, that sort of thing. No droning on and on about personal things, family malfunctions, health problems, political goings on, etc., etc.

So, I guess I'm going against my own self imposed rules with this post, but these last 11 months have been tough ones, and have left big gaping holes in what I like to talk a lot about.

Three weeks ago today, we lost our sweet little Glee. We are all sick and heartbroken. I have been thru this so many times with pets, and it never, never gets any easier. It is all I can do to post these pictures of her that were taken such a short time ago.

Just 1 short month before Glee passed, our cherished little Mama cat, Asia, very unexpectedly passed away. As hard as that was, we were a bit more braced for it as she was 17 years old, and age was making her fade a little bit each day, right before our eyes. She still ate well, but I'm sure weighed less than a pound when she died.

And last year in July, we lost our Rootin' Tootin' Twister. At nearly 17 1/2 we knew his days were numbered, but it sure doesn't make it any less heart wrenching.

So here we are with little miss Declan, who is lost without Glee. Without a doubt, Glee was the very most important thing in her life, far above the people in our household. Every morning she gets up and goes from room to room looking for Glee.

And our baby cat Angel, who at age 16, has never been without her mother Asia. She is horribly sad and bewildered – it is truly obvious how forlorn she is. They were always snuggled together in their porch basket, or snoozing together on the recliner or couch.

 

 

 

I know I can't bring another cat home. At Angel's age, and with her temperament, there is no way she could cope with a new cat. Not that I even want to, but if having a companion would help her, I would certainly do that for her. And there are so very many that need homes. But, I know Angel so well that I understand it would only scare and alienate her. And she certainly does not need that right now.

But miss Declan is another story. She is still a baby. At 10 months of age, she needs someone to play with and develop a bond. Dogs are pack animals, after all. So, being the not terribly bright people that we are, we will get up early tomorrow morning, hop in the truck, and head for Anaconda. It is there that we have an appointment with the animal shelter, to meet an 8 month old terrier mix puppy, that, like Declan, is another reservation rescue dog. We will see how that all pans out, and I will most assuredly be back with an update! Oh my Lord, I just hope we don't come home with the whole back seat full of fluffy tail-waggers!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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PLAY DATE

Lucky little Declan got invited to a play date. Sure looks like she could use some fun time, doesn't it! (So bored!)

We were lucky enough to be invited over to play with this baby girl, who, like Declan, was also adopted after a rescue from a reservation.

Cricket is just 3 months old, and her new mom thought it might be fun for she and Declan to get together to play since they're both babies. So we popped over to their house knowing we were in for an adventure!

There were so many awesome, fuzzy, bouncy, and squeaky toys! Glee was happy to meet everybody, but once she figured out we weren't there for a smorgasbord, she had better things to do than play. So she just explored while everyone else was playing in the yard.

This is Cricket's family; her Mom tickling her tummy, Waylon the Corgi, and Maisey the mystery mix. She, too, was a reservation adoption puppy.

Here is a better pic of sweet Maisey.

Declan was pretty reserved when we got there, and we all tried our best to get her to run and play, but it was just too darn scarey she thought. She gave it a shot a time or 2…

But when the other dogs paid any attention to her, it was back to hiding between my feet, or finding Glee and gluing herself to her side.

So, it was a great exercise in learning to be social, and was a wonderful way to spend part of a beautiful, blue skyed Monday! Thanks so much for the invite, Cricket, Waylon, Maisey, and Amy!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Faces To Love

These are my bestest girls in the whole world!

She's got me wrapped around her little dewclaw!

I love this little sweet pea with all my heart!

I can't for the life of me understand why animal shelters are full to overflowing. These little friends are some of the best parts of living a full and happy life. They ask so little, and give so very much.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change!

The weather has been all over the place –

Rain

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Really cold

 

Turning to record high temps, and blue skies

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Then jumping to Rip Snorting WIND!!

And back to rainy, and a bit gloomy.

But I'm not complaining. Those poor folks on the east coast; they have every right to complain with snow practically to their chins right now.

I took the poochies out to potty before bed last night. I like to stand on my front porch at night, look at the stars, and say my prayers while I wait for the dogs. It was such a warm, calm night. So quiet, and I could hear rain falling softly on my flower beds. Then I looked a little harder, and the street and sidewalks were not wet at all. I walked out into the yard, no rain at all. The sound I was hearing were worms (probably hundreds) crawling thru the leaves in the flower gardens! That, I can assure you, is not a common occurrence in Montana in February! This would explain the robin we saw when we went for a walk on Sunday. They are hardy little birds and will put up with some winter weather if they have some nice fat worms to feast on between snowstorms. Normally, tho, they don't show up here until late March.

 

She was hard to catch a picture of – I'm sure she was on a worm fetching mission.

It was was a perfect day for a walk.

There is an awesome walking trail across the river that is 2 miles round trip. This is a little resting spot for anyone who would like to set a spell and contemplate.

 

Students from the art department at Montana State University built this neat wind instrument. When the wind blows (as it always does in this neck of the woods) this pipe construction catches it and produces very soulful little songs.

There is this lovely old barn to look at as you meander along the trail.

All the bushes and trees are beginning to bud out.

Everybody was so happy to be out in the sunshine.

 

Our beautiful view as we headed back.

 

See what all that good fresh air does for a body………tuckers ya plum out!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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So Blessed

It seems everyone in my family had a wonderful Holiday. I know I sure did! And baby Declan loved the toys she got for her first Christmas – she had something fluffy dangling from her lips for about 3 days straight. She even took Santa outside to potty with her!

When I saw her out the window I made a mad dash for any camera I could get a hold of, found the iPad 1st, and tried to catch Glee and Declan both. It was so cute. Glee was following Declan really closely making sure she didn't leave her toy outside πŸ™‚

 

 

After playing so hard, she had to try out her new red bed, even if it was still on the couch.

A quick nap, lots more playing (inside and out), then another snooze in front of the fire to toasty up before hitting the hay for the night.

I'm so lucky to have these 2 little bugs at my house – they are pure joy, and darn cheap entertainment to boot!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Growin’ Up, As Babies Will

Declan is turning into a big girl.

I believe she may have just entered the “terrible 2's ” in doggie years.

She just can't seem to contain herself when it comes to tormenting my old cats.

 

I'm sure Angel is thinking “maybe if I just ignore it, it will go away”.

The darn pesky thing.

The funny thing is, I think Angel really does like that wild little puppy. She doesn't have claws in the front and when she is chillin' in the chair, Declan will bounce up and down in front of the chair and they play “box the puppy pest's ears”. And when they are both on the floor, Angel spends more time chasing the puppy than vice versa. Angel won't run from her. They both seem to think they're having a wonderful time. But my old mama cat, Asia, just spends most of her time downstairs rather than fiddle with the brat. My kitties are 16 and 15 years old, so a new wild and wooly baby beast in their house is a big adjustment.

But Declan really is a good little baby, and tries her darnedest to listen and behave. It's just so hard when you have that much vim and vigor all bottled up in such a small package!

 

Everybody does get an occasional break. She's so busy growing she has to get in some battery re-charge shut eye.

 

 

Then it's re-coop time for everybody else. Wonder if this is the siamese version of the Vulcan mind meld…..two heads are better than one to devise a plan to defeat the enemy!

My good, sweet Glee has the patience of the Saints, and just plays and plays with the wild thing (and snoozes with her, and her boy).

We're all very lucky to have had this little bright spot land at our house and in our hearts! She's a good one!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Birthday Present for Mr. Bruce

Here it's his birthday, and he is slaving away at the cabin (for reals – he's desperately trying to get the new foundation in place before it snows). It's an exceptionally beautiful day and I am very much enjoying his birthday present while he is away. I don't feel a bit guilty because every year, for any occasion I would merit getting a gift, I always ask for something that benefits all of us. Usually something for the house, and usually it entails labor. More than a couple of times I've heard “why can't you just ask for jewelry, like most normal women?” Well, this year, his “present” is not just for him. It's something we will all love and share, hopefully for many, many years to come.

Her name is Declan, she is 8 weeks and 2 days old. She weighs just over 4 pounds and is about 5 inches tall at the shoulder. Her name is Irish/Gaelic and means “Full of Goodness”! Oh, are we ever in love, and I mean all of us including Glee. She arrived at the shelter in Bozeman, from a shelter in northeastern Montana that rescues animals from the Indian Reservation. Apparently on the reservations, they don't believe in spaying and neutering, because I checked 3 separate shelters in Montana, and they all had received an abundance of puppies and dogs that had been taken in during a sweep rescue from the reservation. Many were feral, and they keep those dogs longer to try and restore their health and socialize them so they will be adoptable.

We lost our little Rootin' Tootin' Twister in July. He was 16 years and 5 months old. That is amazingly elderly for a Border Collie/Australian Shepherd. He started failing badly. A lady that ran the Animal Welfare League in Laurel many years ago told me something that has stuck with me all these years. She said “We must remember to choose quality over quantity in the time our pets have here on earth; that is our duty to them.” So we decided it was time, and did our duty because we loved him. He was a fine and awesome little fellow, and it was truly a gift that he spent his life with us.

I had been very tentatively checking out adoptable dogs in shelters across the state, not sure if it was the right time to add another member to our family, but looking none-the-less (what is wrong with me? I just can't seem to help myself). Every so often, I would peruse the shelter sites, and Friday morning I had a break at work and decided to take a look. This little baby just sprang off the screen and basically said “Here I am! What the heck are you waiting for?” It said she was a Pembroke Corgi (like Glee), Chihuahua cross. So, a bit smaller than Glee, which is good because we need smaller for more portable now that we have the cabin. That way we can bundle them up and sling/secure them to the front of us, and we can all ride (putt-putt) in to the cabin on the snow machines this winter. I've seen folks perch their dogs in front of them on snowmobiles, but I think, for safety sake, I will try to fashion something out of a sheet to keep them secure against us when we ride in.

I decided to call the shelter and see if they had more info about her, because there was some conflicting info in her file they sent home. It turns out they have no idea what breed she is, as they just scooped up as many dogs and puppies as they could when they did the sweep. Apparently, they did not see parents of any of the puppies they collected, or if they did, they didn't know which babies went with who. So the shelter staff just guessed at her heritage. I think she looks very much Jack Russell terrier, but does have the Corgi coloring. Who knows? I just hope and pray she doesn't get St. Bernard sized. That would be more than a little inconvenient, but we would still love her πŸ™‚ !!

The way things fell into place, it seems it was just meant to be! I saw her on the shelter site Friday morning and contacted them immediately. There was another family that had sent in an application to adopt her, so I figured we were out. The shelter called Friday afternoon and said the other family had cancelled, that if we wanted to meet and possibly adopt her, we needed to get there that afternoon. They will not hold puppies because they want puppies placed and bonding with their new family ASAP, and they knew she would go fast. By a lucky twist of fate, Bruce was home, gathering equipment etc., to take to the cabin to start his foundation job. Bless his heart, he dropped everything and flew over to Bozeman to pick her up.

She has been such a good little baby. She cries for only a few minutes when I put her in her crate when we go to bed. She has slept all night long the 3 nights she has been here….knock on wood! I am so lucky that with the job I have now, she can go to work with me! I took her to work Saturday and she did so well. Glee has been so very patient with her, but it will be nice for her to have a break while Declan is at work with me. Puppies do tend to pester a bit!

There are so many animals out there that need families that love them, I am glad that we were able to shorten the list even by one! We will love and cherish her cuz we are of the clan of folks that are dedicated (probably beyond reason πŸ™‚ ) to their furry kids!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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HAPPY FALL!

So, I was being very lazy, and thought how I might just skip the Halloween decor this year. Then I remembered I had skipped it last year because we were tearing out carpet in the living room and replacing it with oak floors, and having the existing oak floors in the dining room and hallway refinished. Then I painted: the living room (3 different colors), hallway, dining room ceiling, all the trim in the whole front of the house, the front door inside and out, the screen door, and all the porch railings. I wallpapered the entryway, finally squared off and finished the opening where the gothic window was supposed to go once upon a time, and we added the birch bark backer to the Tulikivi hearth. Truth be told, I was too dang tired to put any Halloween decorations up!

This year, I had none of that for an excuse. I finally decided to get off my dead rear and get in gear. What good is it to have all this stuff if you don't put it out, right?

I started on the front porch and worked my way in.

 

 

I think this is a bicycle basket. I found it at a rummage sale. My thought was to strap it to the gate after filling it with fake flowers (because they won't be hurt if snow sit on them). It works pretty well!

 

These 2 little green pumpkins were the extent of my pumpkin crop from my raised bed veg gardens this year – WooHoo.

 

You flip a switch on this guy, open the top of his skull, and his eyes (sockets) light up, and it looks like flames come out of his skull. Too cool! (I'm easily entertained)

This little gaggle of witches were some of the first Halloween decorations I bought when I got my own place many moons ago.

My bat picture was an illustration in a super old (early 1900's), tattered kids book I found at a rummage sale. It didn't even have a binding on it anymore, just loose pages held between the covers. So I took some of the cuter animal pictures out, brought them to the copy shop, and had them enlarge and print them on heavy card stock for me. I framed the other animals, but decopaged the bats onto an old metal tray from the thrift I cleaned up and spray painted black, and use it for Halloween. I like bats.

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My Mom made the cute jack-o-lantern pillow for me.

I made the crow plate from an image download from Country Living magazine's web site. I printed it onto old dictionary pages, then decopaged them onto a wooden blank plate that I had painted black. It was a pretty inexpensive project and I like it a lot.

This book came from the free bin at the thrift! I haven't read it yet, but knew it would be perfect to set out for Halloween along with the magic wand my big little son made for me in shop class a few years ago. (I was thrilled when he gave it to me, but now that I think about it, do you 'spose he was trying to tell me something? πŸ™‚ )

 

 

I got these little paper mΓ’chΓ© bats about the same time I got the little group of witches. They are pretty fragile and I've not seen anything like them since I got them so long ago.

Haunted barn.

 

 

Here are our counter egos, Bruce, my little son, and me, Halloween style.

 

 

 

 

This witch cracks me up. If you clap your hands, shut the door too hard, or drop something, etc., she goes into a cackling frenzy and rocks back and forth. There's been a few times Mr. Bruce has stumbled out of bed at 6 in the a.m., shut the door into the kitchen, and off she goes. Probably not exactly what you want to hear before your eyes are barely peeled open. She's been the source of just a bit of under your breath muttering in this house…. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Even if it's a pain in the neck dragging all this stuff out, it's worth it once it's done. It helps me quit whining about summer being gone so fast, and gets me into a cozy fall mood! One (AKA me) really needs to remember to appreciate each and every day of each and every season!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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One Thing Down, A Thousand More To Go

 

August is fire season in Montana. This year is no exception. We've gotten smoke here even from fires as far away as Canada, and more recently, the Missoula area, which is about 230 miles from here. Everything takes on an orangish hue, it gets very hazy, and distant views are very limited. Sometimes it smells very smoky out, at other times you barely notice. Montana is plagued with a pine bore beetle infestation. That makes for lots of standing dead pine trees in our forests, which is certainly fire fodder. That's why I was so happy the forest service came in last winter to the area where our cabin is, and did some clearing to hopefully reduce fire risk.

There was a huge standing dead pine, and a few smaller ones, on our property at the cabin.

Definitely not an asset. Too much big wind, lightning, heavy snow, etc., around here, and it needed to come down – with help, not on it's own, as it could possibly squash our little outhouse, or worse, if left to it's own devices, fall to where the cabin will be placed on it's new location (that'd be great, wouldn't it, to just get the cabin moved over, then have a huge tree fall on the roof?) Time to get gone, tree.

This tree was particularly bad as the top branched out in 3 different directions, which makes them even more dangerous. A pine tree with a single trunk and a split, multi branched out top is called a “school marm” by loggers. It also already had a bad crack down the side of the trunk, which considerably weakens the stability.

Bruce knows a fellow who formerly logged for a living, and asked him if he could come knock it down since he had the experience. He said he'd be happy to, and would enjoy it since he doesn't often have the opportunity to do that since he's changed professions. Very lucky for us. It took him no more than a few minutes, and he had that giant dead tree laying on the ground in just the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce earlier took down the few other smaller trees himself, but this huge one was just too dangerous and really needed someone with the proper expertise to take it down. (Thanks Brian!!)

We had gotten a firewood permit last month from the forest service, and my big little son and I had made one trip up and gotten about a cord plus that we loaded up and brought to the cabin. That is only about a third of what probably will be needed for the winter up there. We knew we'd have to make at least a few more forays out amongst the giant, man eating horse flies (they are horrible up there this time of year, and bite like the dickens) to get a couple more cords, but now with these dead trees felled right here on our own property, there should be more than plenty to last the winter and spring.

Lucky Bruce now gets to cut all the logs to length with the beautiful, new chain saw I asked for for my birthday last year! One of the best, most useful presents I've ever gotten, and comes complete with a fella to run it πŸ™‚ .

There was a full moon when we stayed this last weekend.

We had a campfire and roasted marshmallows, and watched the big, bright moon rise over the mountains. Doesn't get much better than that.

The next morning, this doe was standing right outside the kitchen window as I made coffee.

You can see the wild raspberry bushes growing in front of and under the deck. Glee loves raspberries, so we picked all the ripe ones we could find and she ate them for a snack.

So, at least one more thing checked off the massive to-do list at Moose Springs. Gotta love that!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLEE!!!

Yesterday was my little sweetie's birthday! Of course we had to have a party.

 

Rooti was kinda tired, so we let him snooze and he ate his cookie later.

 

Asia and Angel were following Rooti's lead.

They were dreaming of sleeping in their favorite basket on the porch, with warm breezes, and birds tweeting in the trees.

So I made some puppy cookies, with tasty, healthy ingredients, for the birthday girl (and everybody else after nap time).

Then we went outside for a short walk but didn't get too far…..too icy!

So we did a few chores instead while we were outside.

Have to earn my keep πŸ™‚

With all the lovely weather we've been having, the wood pile is shrinking fast :-/

Back to the house to warm up, and get a birthday cookie now that they've cooled off.

Did somebody say cookie?

TTFN πŸ™‚

Teresa

 

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