A beautiful fall day, and Halloween is just around the corner!
A collection of some of my favorite pics that give me a very nostalgic, fall-y feeling 🙂
Happy Halloween, Happy Fall!
I found this cute puppy painting for sale at a store in Bozeman.
Bears a certain likeness to someone I know!
Little Miss Piper. She is a wild and wooly little hoot! Never a dull moment when she's around. What a mischief maker – A few weeks ago she shredded the seat of my leather couch :-/ Not so happy about that. I cannot keep a stuffed toy any longer than a week, and they are confetti-ized.
This is her favorite sock to play with (it had a lost mate in the laundry and was nearly new when we bequeathed it to her, and not that long ago either). And her 2nd best thing to play with, wood. Which is also not great, because I'm sure she must swallow some of it. My kitchen floor looks like a beaver lives in my house. We heat mostly with wood and have a huge wood stack in the yard, so there is no way to keep it 100% away from her.
She was scaling to the very tip-top of the woodpile (which is against the alley) whenever she saw a dog, deer, bunny, anything interesting to bark at, so Bruce had to screw an old hollow core door horizontally to 2 posts to block her access to the mountain of wood. She has no fear, and is generally going about 90 miles per hour, so I didn't want her to jump, or fall off the stack and into the alley.
A few days ago we were home on lunch break, and I happened to glance out the window.
Imagine my surprise when I saw wonder dog zipping around the top deck rail! (I grabbed my camera off the table before making her get down.) My deck is pretty far off the ground, so that makes me a tad nervous.
Declan was the most quiet, polite little lady, until the buffalo gal (Piper) came to live with us. She is apparently a pretty terrific teacher, and is turning Declan into quite the ruffian companion…..monkey see, monkey do. You can see Declan's little nose poking out in the right of the photo. She was on the table, and I'm sure was trying to figure out how to get on the rail with Piper.
Boy, are they pals!
I've never had terriers before, and they are an energetic lot, to say the least. Smart, funny, sweet, and bullheaded. Really bullheaded. This is the first time in my adult life that I haven't had some sort of stock dog. I miss having them so much. But we really needed to have more compact dogs now since our circumstances have changed and we have to transport everyone to the cabin when we go – littler dogs are easier to tuck under your arm and go.
We sure love 'em. Bruce always tells Piper ” You might be a goof ball, but you're our goof ball”.
I need some big vitamins.
Last year I put every drop of Halloween stuff I own out. About 5 or 6 big storage tubs full. I do it solely for my own entertainment, because
#1 Mr. Bruce could not give a hoot. I'm sure he is not enthralled with skeletons, dangling bats, and blinking orange lights to weave thru to get to his recliner. 😉
#2 I had a grand total of 1Trick-or-Treater last year.
#3 No one but Bruce and myself passed thru the front door of my house the full month of October last year.
This year I am pleading exhaustion (aka laziness). I put one little ghosty sign, a pretend crow, and a light-up plastic ghost on my front porch, and that is the extent of it. Not that I really need to make excuses to myself for myself, but I guess it is the polite thing to do!
But, needing a little change/pick-me-up, I did switch out the shelf content on my hickory cabinet in the kitchen. Here is how the shelves had looked for quite awhile –
So I packed up most of this stuff, and drug out my bears.
I spent awhile arranging, then re-arranging them. Kind of like playing Barbies, but with bears – guess that's Montana style. (Or deranged CottageLodge gal style.)
I really like this big one. I think he is a very old Glacier Park souvenir bear.
The way he is painted and sculpted is similar to this smaller guy, and I know he is an early 50's Glacier souvenir. Some kind soul placed a piece of cloth tape on the underneath of the bear, stating where they got him and the year. I was glad no one had peeled it off at the antique store where I bought him.
I really like old National Park stuff, and try to snap it up when I come across it, if it's affordable.
This pic came across my feed on face book; I would love to have a bigger, framed version of it. It brought back memories of our family trips thru the park when I was little. We used to open the windows a crack and push cookies out to feed the bears. There would usually be lots of other folks doing the same thing, and most times would have a crowd of around 5 or 7 bears, all schnarfing whatever folks would hand out to them. Sometimes they would jump on the hood of the car and lick the windshield, begging for more snacks. Thankfully, this feeding practice has been strictly outlawed now, both for the good of the bears, and the safety of the tourists. I really don't know why it was ever tolerated. But it sure happened, clear into the 70's.
I can hardly believe October is 2/3s over. I love the fall, and we are having a beautiful one here this year, but I am totally unprepared for the holidays to be just around the corner.
Yep, I need big vitamins.
We've been zipping back and forth to the cabin so often the last several weeks, it has given us a greater opportunity to see an abundance of the wildlife living in our area. I have seen some of the most beautiful birds, but when you are rolling down the highway, it is tough to get pulled over in time to catch a photo of them. There is, of course, no shortage of deer. I think they are so pretty, but they are dumb as rocks when it comes to the highway; I drive in fear of one jumping out. There have been quite a few antelope around. We even have half a dozen or so that hang about in the pasture at the end of our street here in town.
Last weekend we were ever so lucky to come across what was probably a family of moose. This is photo overkill, but they posed so nicely a just kept on clicking.
This cow was moseying about, grazing, but you can see she was a bit annoyed.
This young bull was about 150 feet behind the cow, and was doing his best to romance her, but she was having none of it.
She just tended to her business, but kept her ears back most of the time. He was not to be dissuaded. He just kept sneaking on up. I'm sure he eventually got a comeuppance.
Her this year's calf kept popping in and out of the brush, but kept his/her distance. I wasn't quick enough to get a photo of the baby. If we hadn't been in such a rush to get up to the cabin, I could have spent a good hour there watching them.
A bit further down the road, we came upon this young fellow.
He stood so nice and still for me. I was thrilled, but really wish all of these moose had been a bit more skittish, because I hate like the dickens to see them hunted. They are so much more rare than the hundreds upon hundreds of deer here, and even the elk are much more plentiful.
I wouldn't be a bit surprised if he is last year's baby of the cow we saw.
When I was coming down from the cabin a few weeks ago, a huge bull burst out of the trees and ran along side the truck til I slowed down to grab the camera. He then cut in front of me, then dropped down and ran toward the creek.
It all happened so fast, this is the only clear pic I was able to get of him, and he was already far and away. He was amazing – nearly black, with a massive rack that I would bet was nearly 6 feet wide. As he ran along side the truck, he was close enough I could see his eye, the shininess of his coat, and that huge rack. I was mightily impressed and feel that was a once in a lifetime blessing.
Dang, I love this beautiful state I live in! Not for 1 second do I take it for granted.
So the big day finally arrived! The massive equipment had no trouble navigating the twisty mountain road, thank goodness.
This is Leroy, the crane operator's dog. He really gave wild Miss Piper a run for her money! He was twice her size and they ran laps! Then stuff started moving along fairly quickly, so everyone was rounded up and we (Declan, Piper, and I) stayed in the truck and out of everyone's way.
It was down to serious business now.
All braced, sturdied, and strapped up. It was a very interesting, but stress inducing process. After seeing the miserable lack of craftsmanship while demo-ing, we (but especially Bruce) were so afraid that the cabin might not hold together when lifted.
And here we go – about 4 feet up at this point.
Amazingly, so gentle, and smooth. No swaying, or jerking. No cracking, popping, creaking, or groaning. It was so graceful….and quiet!
And down. A total of 6 minutes aloft. Believe me, it felt like 60 minutes while it was dangling in mid-air!
Safe and sound, Thank you Lord!
What a relief!
I climbed up the ladder to take a look inside.
What a difference. Because it is tucked more in the trees now, the light inside feels completely different. It is up so much higher it feels very tree-house-ish!
Then we took a look at the mess that was left behind.
It is plain to see how badly the north side is sunk down. And even with no building to hold it in, the smell was still horrific while standing on the abandoned floor. This whole mess will be broken up with a backhoe, and hauled in a dump truck to the dump.
Since it was a weekday, there were only about 4 neighborhood folks there to watch the move. They all gave a good round of applause when “the eagle had landed” 🙂 . Bruce came over to talk to everyone, and I jokingly told him “Now the work really begins!” and boy, those folks didn't miss a beat and said “Give the poor guy a break!”. I really was just kidding! I am so proud of all he has done to get this huge project accomplished, and almost completely singlehandedly. It was no small feat, and clearly shows how dedicated he is to this little mountain house.
There are several more projects in the works over the next few weeks……running new electrical to the cabin; having closed cell insulation blown onto the underside of the floor; securing the cabin to the new flooring system; cleaning up all the mess left behind; cutting in and installing a new back door so the wood stove can be moved back in (just so we will be able to use the cabin this winter – it would be near impossible without the stove), and too many smaller things to list. Now we are in a race with the weather. You never know what to expect in Montana, and I thank the Lord the weather held to move the cabin. Big equipment can't make it up the road if it's wet or snowy. So, cross fingers it will be a lovely, long, mild Indian Summer, and we will be able to get everything buttoned up before winter.
Well, Mr. Bruce is, again, fighting with Apple. So, instead of showing you the wonderful little video of the cabin move, you get plain old pictures – dagnabbit. I'll give you a few pics of the low down in getting ready for the move. A few posts back I showed you the floor system on the pier foundation that Bruce finished up without a ton of time to spare. Just soon enough that we had a couple of weekends to basically gut the inside, cut the body of the cabin away from the foundation, and get all the electrical capped off and a temporary source placed outside the cabin. Here are a few pics of the process –
The kitchen in pieces.
The bathroom and bedroom walls gone.
The floor, oh the floor. It slopes, rolls, dips, and bucks so badly, the only way they could lay tile on it was to cut the 12 x 12's into pieces in order to get them down the hills and dales. I was not sorry to see that wretched mess left behind.
There was a lot of water damage on the bathroom floor.
The wood underlayment in the bathroom was just rotted, and slivered off at the slightest rub. The whole floor bounced mightily when you walked on it. Probably lucky no one fell thru.
Here it is with each and every mess of a wall gone. It was insane how badly it was all cobbled together.
From the time we got the cabin, there was always a yucky, musty smell inside. You'd get used to it after a bit, but as soon as we'd get home, that horrible smell was so obvious on clothing, jackets, even your hair. It just reeked when we pulled the cabinetry out of the kitchen and bathroom. I'm sure it was from all the water damage that had occurred over the years.
Take a look at this bay window's damage, caused from snow and water, and from being improperly installed. And the logs beyond, from those decks holding snow up against them for so many winters.
All of the windows are garbage and will be replaced next Spring; and we plan to have the logs sand blasted (with ground walnut shell) then we will stain and reseal the logs inside and out. Resealing should eliminate any lingering gross odors.
Here is the sum total of all our ripping and tearing –
One giant pile to take to the dump
One giant pile to burn
We salvaged all we could, but there wasn't much worth saving.
We slept in Bruce's little camper trailer, and it was cozy and nice. We were all so exhausted (including the 2 vole hunters) we slept like rocks.
The iPad is out of juice, and it's near midnight and I have to work tomorrow, so I will plug this obnoxious little machine in to charge up, and be back tomorrow to finish up this chapter of our continuing saga!