Parade of Homes

First and foremost, THANK YOU LORD FOR THE RAIN AND SNOW!!!!! Usually I fuss about winter coming, but this year I welcome it with open arms if it helps in getting these horrible forest fires put out. It says in the Great Falls Tribune that an estimated 1,103,252 acres have burned in Montana this summer. What a tragedy. You'll see a bit of snow in some of the pictures in this post, and I'm lovin' it!

On with the story. Every fall there is an event called “Parade of Homes” in Bozeman (and neighboring counties if the homes submitted are snazzy enough to meet the Parade's high standards). It is one of my favorite events to attend, and I really look forward to it each year. I wasn't sure I'd be able to go this year because we all have so much going on, and weekends are mighty short. But, thankfully, we were able to get things straightened around enough to be able to take in the very last day they had the homes open. There were 15 homes this year, 13 in Gallatin County, 2 in the County where I live. There are so many people milling around in the homes it is nearly impossible to get any good photos, and I'm not sure they really want you to anyway since they charge admission, and probably don't want folks showing the home photos around and maybe putting a dent in the ticket sales. I took exterior photos of my 2 favorites, just to give an idea of the awesome views they have surrounding these beautiful homes.

Look at that lovely snow!

 

 

I did snap one quick one of the living room in this home.

 

 

 

 

This home was up Paradise Valley. This particular builder always does a great job every time he's had a home in the parade. I think this is the 4th house he's built that I've been fortunate enough to see.

After touring this home, we drove back to town, then headed over the hill to Bozeman. We went thru the catalog provided with the ticket purchase and decided to pare it down a bit. We chose just the ones we thought looked most interesting, and picked 6 to tour out of the remaining 13. I was not terribly impressed this year. Most were extremely modernized versions of “farm houses”, or “traditional houses”. The outside would look fairly true to form, then you'd step inside, and eek! Holy smoke, ultra modern. Not my cup of tea by a long shot. One we went to was fairly normal, a roomy 3200 square feet, vaulted ceilings, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a modest media/theater room (some of them are vast in these parade homes), attached garage, and a tiny yard that was barely a strip on each of the 4 sides of the house. It was the most liveable for a family with children I thought (except for the tiny yard which didn't give kids much room to play), and I supposed the price would be somewhat affordable for a typical young family budget…….I was shocked when I saw it was $749,000! It is beyond me how a young family can take on those kinds of payments. And what is even more shocking is the fact that they sell rapidly! That is why the real estate market in our little town is going haywire – we are getting the overflow of folks from Bozeman that can't afford those outrageous prices. But they can pay more than most people employed in our little town, so it is driving the prices up here by leaps and bounds.

It makes me worry for my big little son. He has a good job for this area, and yet he would have to make five times his wage to afford something half as much as this “normal” home on the parade. And that is the case for most all the young adults that I know around here.

Anyhoo, the last house we saw was my very favorite. It was just a few miles down the road from Bridger Bowl Ski Resort, and the area is spectacular in every direction for views.

It was hard to get a decent photo because it was built high up on the hillside, and had a treacherously steep driveway to get up to it. The whole road, from where you left the pavement, clear to the house, was basically a glorified cow track. It made the road to our cabin look perfectly tended and groomed!

They made you park far below, then walk up the road to the driveway, then hike the whole driveway to the house. Whew! But as you can see, almost all the front of the house was windows – and get a load of the view out of said windows….

 

 

 

 

 

This is looking directly at some of Bridger Bowl's ski runs. Just a sprinkle of snow on them now; much, much more to come later!

 

Even tho we probably should have stayed home and worked on the to-do list, it was nice to take a break, see some lovely (and some interesting) homes, and get off the beaten path for a change.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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WILDLIFE

There's plenty of wildlife in our neck of the woods. Some become adventurous and decide to visit the city side of things. I've had a couple of interesting visitors over the last few weeks, both at work and at home.

This big, beautiful golden eagle showed up for about 3 days in a row at work.

It was quite content to just hang about, and didn't seem to be bothered much at all by the traffic thru the scale house.

You can see how extremely large it was in comparison to the magpie a rail below and to the left in the pic. The magpies were ganging up and trying to bully the eagle into leaving. It didn't work. A bit of a joke since, size wise, they look like they are canary sized versus the 3 feet plus size of the eagle.

It was working really hard pulling the tarp back with it's big toes, trying to find something yummy to snitch out of that garbage laden trailer. Yucky!

Probably does smell pretty tempting judging by the number of crows, magpies, and other garbage eating birds that hang about on a daily basis. The department of transportation brings in all the road kill deer and other animals for disposal, which to carrion eaters, must smell delectable!

And speaking of delectable, cat food is a gourmet treat to be had if your nose is good enough to catch a whiff of it in your nightly meanderings.

Apparently this little critter has a really good sniffer, since he/she invited itself to a snack on our front porch this last week. I thought it seemed like my kitty was eating a lot more than was possible for her, and blamed it on the big cat that lives down the street.

It's finally been cooling down really well in the evenings, so I leave the doors open until I go to bed. I lock the screen door to the front porch and leave twinkle lights (wrapped on branches in a small barrel) on for a soft night light. I was reading the other night and could hear crunching. I assumed it was Angel and peeked out the door to check on her and caught this little busybody instead. The pictures aren't good because the light was so low, but it was a sight to see. It had made itself comfortable on Angel's blankets, laying flat on it's belly with it's little feet sticking out behind it, and would pull one piece of food out of the dish at a time with it's little paw and eat it. Then take a nice long drink of water followed by some more food. This went on for a long time, and when it decided it had had enough, got up, stretched, and waddled off into the flower bed and under the porch. It must sleep under the front porch all day and come out at night to eat and mosey about.

 

It was so darn cute to watch, but now we have to be very careful to turn lots of lights on outside in the back yard (we're staying away from the front yard at night for awhile) and whistle and talk before we take the dogs out to potty before bed. It is not a fun task washing a skunk squirted dog, let me tell you.

The deer are still thick in town. I saw a doe with tiny little twin fawns standing on the side of the street when I came up the hill to my house a few days ago. And the berries have been abundant this season, so there have been a wide variety of birds in my yard lately, also.

Pretty cheap entertainment!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Fostered

As much as I wanted things to to work out, as a course of events sometimes goes, it didn't work. This little gal ended up being a foster baby for us. I have never in my life given a pet away, but things need to work properly to have a happy home. We did our best to work out the kinks, but in the long run it was to no avail. She was/is a sweet little thing with people and other dogs, and her transition to our home was 90% smooth, but we could not get over the hurdle with the rub between she and my old kitty. I wracked my brain trying to work out a way for them both to be able to be in the same house once the weather turns cold enough that Angel chooses to come indoors again – Even if I had to partition off the family room to keep Angel in a safe space away from the Tasmanian devil. We even went as far as ordering a training collar (which, due to her bullheadedness, had absolutely no effect). I had Ginger for 4 weeks, and we worked diligently to overcome her natural tendencies. Every evening we'd all take a nice long walk to take the edge off, and when we got home I'd hold Angel, and Bruce would hold Ginger, and we'd sit on the double rocker on the front porch together. We'd rock, relax, and let them check each other out safely, in close proximity to each other. While my kitty purred and made biscuits, Ginger would look for every opportunity to try and take a chunk out of that little cat.

Three nights ago I came home from work, and while getting the dogs dinner ready, heard the gate clanging and rattling, and instantly thought OMG my cat. I ran out the door, and a cottontail rabbit was frantically trying to escape thru the gate. I think all 3 of the dogs had taken chase, but as it tried to flee under the gate, that little 8 pound dachshund grabbed it, pulled it back thru the gate, and absolutely annihilated that fairly good sized rabbit. I could not run fast enough to save it, and it took probably a sum total of 30 seconds, start to finish, for the dog to decimate that little creature.

That did it. I knew it was not, and never would be, a safe environment for my cat to live in. I knew there would never be a time, no matter how hard we worked at it, that we could ever totally trust her in the same proximity with the cat, even if we were at home. It was, without a doubt, not worth the risk after seeing the damage she could inflict in a matter of seconds.

Apparently the stars were in perfect alignment for such a situation, and after making several calls, a couple that Bobby and his family knew, came that very evening and picked up Ginger and all her toys, beds, and other belongings. I cried like big baby for the rest of the evening, because I had become very attached to her, and she to me. But some dogs are just not meant to live with cats, and she was certainly one of them.

Her new Mom called after 3 days and let me know that Ginger is doing very well. It is a good setting for her as they are an older couple, just the 2 of them, and no other animals whatsoever. They had a dachshund they lost a few years ago at the ripe old age of 18. I feel so very thankful they were able to take her and give her a good loving home.

Something I've learned from this whole ordeal is that I have a tremendous respect for folks with hearts large enough to foster any and all living things, from critters to children. What a tough job to love, bond, and care for someone, knowing full well you will eventually have to let them go. I guess I'm too selfish – it's sure not my cup of tea, it breaks your heart.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

 

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