Time For Another Round Of “Mountain Picture Overload”!

We made a day trip up to the cabin. I can handle the hovel for a day. And a beautiful day it was! We left the poochies at home, much to their chagrin. As soon as the snow duds and packs started coming out of the closet, they knew where we were going. There was much hopping and jumping, then some very sad little faces when they were made to stay home. There is 3 to 4 feet of snow at the cabin right now. When snowmachining in, it is important to stay on the trail other snowmachines have already packed down. If you go off the trail into the soft snow, there is a darn good chance of sinking in and getting yourself good and stuck. Digging out is no fun. So to stay on trail with snow this deep, it means lots of standing, sitting, hard steering, and generally wrestling the machine around. Hard to do when you are trying to hang on to a wiggly puppy. We sure don't want to risk anyone ever being hurt, so home was the safest place for both of the wild woollies this time around.

It was a brilliant, sunny, sparkling, blue sky day! After so much stormy and cold lately, it was a welcome break. The drive up is half the joy, and I really put the push on my little camera.

This guy and his friends met us at the park spot for leaving the vehicles. Then we fire up the snowmachines for the remaining 5+ miles to the cabin. I was sure wishing I'd had a treat for them, but no such luck. I did give him a good ear scratch and tickled his nose. He seemed happy with that.

A lot of the snow had blown off the bushes, and the chunks that were left looked like blossoms; snow blossoms I guess ๐Ÿ™‚

The snow in this field was so sparkly and unmarred.

Winter wonderland.

This was one of my favorite sights of the day. Those very black Angus bulls against that clean white snow was so striking.

 

 

That's a 3 1/2 foot jump down into the “shovel out” to get into the potty. Note to self: don't drink a big swig of coffee on the 50 mile trip up. Really. Ever again.

The snow slides off the metal roof and makes it pretty tricky trying to get in the door. That's really the whole reason we were up there. A few weeks before, when Bruce was up there by himself, the snow avalanched off the roof again during the night. Even though the chimney has straps on it, the snow is so heavy it bent the chimney off it's base. Oh joy! Crawling on a metal roof covered with snow to fix a chimney is every one's idea of a good time, right?!

Good neighbor John came to give Bruce some back up, and lend his big ladder. At the hardware store they had these harnesses you could attach a rope to and use for roof work. So Bruce traded in the gift card my folks gave him for Christmas, and hooked up a heck of a unit with ropes and straps to keep him safe on that slippery roof.

 

It was a scary endeavor, but he got the job done and the stove was drawing well when he finished.

A doe moseyed by with her fawn close behind just as we went back into the cabin.

We decided to take the snow machines around the quick loop, for fun before heading home.

 

 

 

 

 

 

We then put all the tools and such in the garage, buttoned up the cabin, and snowmachined back the 5 miles to the truck.

The weather didn't waver all day, and it was just as beautiful a drive home as it had been coming up.

 

Gosh, I can hardly wait for the day that everything is put together and we can really spend some good, long stretches up at that little mountain house. Be able to cook properly, do dishes in a sink, wash your face at night in a bathroom, and pile into a real bed in a real bedroom at the end of your day…….but for now, it is just like a big, messy garage! And apparently serves well as a “man cave”, as Mr. Bruce has no problem with the disarray.

But, then again, he lived just like that as a bachelor for many, many moons! :-/

TTFN,

Teresa ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Winter Decorating

All the Christmas stuff is put away. The stuff I left out is WINTERY….. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

For Christmas my brother gave me this box he made. He found an old, abandoned wagon far up in the mountains that was wasting away to the elements. He thought it was a shame that something with so much history was left to rot away. Imagine the stories it could tell. So he packed up what he could carry (which was no small feat since he was deep in the mountains), brought it home, and made it into several of these beautiful, thoughtful gifts. I might, eventually, bring it to the cabin and use it as an open wall cabinet to put in the kitchen or bathroom. Then you could better see the craftsmanship that went into building it. He is so very talented.

Saving old things must be part of our genetic make-up. I dressed up the pretty old settee that I saved from the land fill with my antique Navajo rug, and moved it into the living room. It looks happy there for the minute.

And speaking of rescuing, I was able to glean these from a fellow's load to the dump the other day at work. They aren't in perfect shape by a long shot, but there has to be at least a dozen cabinets, and my Dad was plenty happy to get them for his big, new, empty shop. Now he'll have a few spots to park some tools and supplies, and have a work bench. Saved the guy some dump fees, saved still useful things from going to the landfill, saved my Dad having to spend money on cabinetry/shelving for his shop. Win, win, win!

TTFN,

Teresa ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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A Dab of Christmas Cheer

Our Winter days are mighty short, but oh-so-beautiful. I don't seem to remember having so many splendiferous sunsets so many days in a row as we've had here this winter. I've taken so many photos of the mountains surrounding our town, I'm surprised my little camera isn't plumb worn out. It seems every day they are spectacular in just a little different way than they were in previous days, and I'm compelled to try and capture that just a bit of a difference. I unfortunately don't have the knowledge it takes to be able make my camera capture the true and extreme beauty my eyes are lucky enough to experience.

This particular evening the sun was going down fast, and for just a few minutes the Crazies were set ablaze with a pink glow. I pulled over and jumped out of my car to try and get a quick pic, but between the wind practically blowing me off my feet, and the low light conditions, I couldn't catch but a fraction of how stunning it truly was. Too bad, because it was a sight to behold.

The wind was gusting so hard, I couldn't steady myself enough to get a non-blurry shot.

There have been several interesting storms blow through over the last several weeks. Even some fog, and frost freezes, which are pretty rare for this area.

 

Some pretty cloud formations –

 

Wonderful slanting afternoon light. It shone beautifully on the Yellowstone and it's visiting Canadian honkers this particular afternoon. But again, unfortunately, the photos are nowhere near how beautiful the scene is when actually standing there in person.

 

 

A handsome young buck, and shy doe, that have been keeping me company at work.

 

The cedar wax wings paid a visit to our house the other day. Their preference was cedar berries, rather than the dried crab apples that they usually gobble up.

And the Christmas lights are popping out all over town the last week or so. I really enjoy seeing these on Park St. in our town. They go to great efforts to wrap all these trees in lights.

 

 

 

I decorated a corner at work with cute thrift store finds. The scale house is so small I don't know where I'll store them after the holidays. Guess I'll find somewhere to tuck them.

Again this year I just have a dab of Christmas decorations out at my house because the multitude of containers from the cabin (that are here to keep from the mice from invading them) are usurping my entire holiday storage room. It makes me so cranky I can't get my decorations out, but it's not worth having a meltdown over. I'll just try to look at the bright side and think about how easy it will be to put the few things I have out away after Christmas.

Tomorrow starts the baking extravaganza, so soaking up some calm and relaxation tonight.

Merry Christmas m^..^m))

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Good Old Fashioned Christmas

This is a pic of a painting by local artist David Swanson, borrowed from Facebook, of our town at Christmas time.

Merry Christmas, all! It feels like Christmases from years back around here, because we have had blizzard conditions in the last few weeks, just like when I was a kid.

Photo borrowed from Facebook.

The street crews were working round the clock for a few days because the wind was blowing so fiercely they couldn't keep any streets or roads clear.

 

We won the “lowest temp with windchill” game! It was wretched! I had never in my life had a “snow day” before last Monday, but they closed where I work, and kids weren't required to attend school if it was too difficult for them to get in.

Pic posted to Facebook by a local.

 

Another area pic posted to Facebook by a local.

 

This was at the beginning of the rough weather late last week. I took this photo as the deer came in to forage from the green waste pile at work, where it is easy pickins. A local brewery dumped their many bins of spent grain, and there were at least a dozen and a half deer having a smorgasbord there for several days. They just love it.

 

 

We all stayed snugly warm in the little scale house. Piper enjoyed watching the deer out the window, and Declan stayed all tucked in her blankies.

I didn't end up putting a lot of Christmas decorations out after all. The small storage room where I keep my holiday decorations is currently where all the more fragile, and non-mouse proof cabin goods are being kept. And there are bins upon bins stacked in there. I have beautiful Christmas stuff, and hate skipping a year of seeing it all, but it would have been plain old self abuse to try and man-handle all of that cabin gear to get to the decorations, to then man-handle all those tubs, boxes, and bins that hold the decorations. Then, in just a few short weeks, it would be time to go thru the whole process again to put it away. So, hopefully, next year the cabin will be finished enough to have all those tubs back where they belong at the little mountain house.

Here is what I did manage to scrounge up to add a little holiday cheer.

I kind of have a little “farmy” theme going here this year, because these do-dads were easily accessible. Santa and his jingle bell sheep, with a few pine trees, and an old plaid camp blanket.

Santa and his reindeer, just landed in the barnyard.

 

An old toy truck (from Bruce's boyhood), filled with bottle brush trees, and towing the cute little bird house trailer my Mom and Dad made me for Christmas a few years ago. (I will never put that sweet thing in the yard for the birds – selfish me……. Don't tell Santa shhhhhh.)

And the pretty antique deer family (that really belongs to my big little son, but I won't relinquish guardianship of them until he OWNS his own home, and I'm sure he couldn't give a hoot one way or another how long I keep them ๐Ÿ™‚ ) nestled in a bed of pine boughs, with a deer shed antler candleholder. I have a few other things scattered here and there, but not much to speak of compared to what I usually put out. I will be grateful for such a small amount when the time comes to “un-decorate” because it will take about 1/8 the time it normally takes me.

We will all be going to the farm for Christmas dinner. My poor Mom keeps getting stuck hosting all the Holiday dinners, even tho I argue and try to get them to come to my house. I'm sure she thinks that each holiday we are upon may be the last one spent at the farm, because they are still in the process of trying to sell it. It is a heart wrenching experience, and they are finding that potential buyers can be very mean and demanding people. They love their farm with all their hearts; it's not just a piece of property to them. That makes the whole process even more difficult. So, we will make more good Christmas memories at the farm; eat, drink, and be merry!

Merry Christmas and Glad Tidings to you all!

TTFN,

Teresa ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Winter Mantle

I don't decorate for Christmas in my bedroom, but I did decide having a few of my favorite deer out would make a nice Winter mantle.

I kept the wreath my Mom made, the wooden box, and the little cabinet, but switched all the birds for deer.

 

 

 

I told Mr. Bruce he was off the hook for a stocking stuffer for me, and got this pretty little roe deer faux mount for myself.

We're just 11 short days away from Christmas, and I'm ready to start baking and candy making for the remainder of my gift giving. All the “bought” presents are waiting to be wrapped. I made it easy on myself this year and just put a minimal amount of decorations out. This is the very first time since I've lived in my own house that I haven't gone hog wild and decorated the house from top to bottom. Even with just a pretty tree, and a couple of cute, cheery things set out, it looks cozy and festive and is good enough for who it's for!

Best wishes for a safe, memorable, and joy filled Christmas to you and yours!

TTFN,

Teresa ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Hometown Charm

There are a lot of very talented and artistic people that live in and around our little town. Lately there have been some especially nice photographs locals have been sharing of our area, on Facebook. Thought I'd share a few here to try and spice up this dullish little blog-o-mine.

This is a nice shot of Park Street, the main street that runs from east to west across town. On the left is the Murray Hotel, on the right is the the very beautiful old train depot. I am not sure who took this photograph, but if anyone seeing this knows who did, let me know and I am happy to give the well deserved credit.

A very pretty old barn a few miles east of town, on the Old Clyde Park Road. I believe Debby Perryman's took this photo, and the two that follow.

 

I took these, below, of our neighborhood deer (I'm sharing not because I'm talented or artistic, but because I'm amazed these ding-a-lings will practically let you walk up and pet them when they're supposed to be “wildlife”). This is just around the corner, about a block from my house.

 

Not anything too terribly exciting going on lately, which is good! I'm not much of a fan of trauma and drama, so I'll take nice and quiet any time. If I don't post again before Thanksgiving, I hope you all have a safe, happy, healthy one!

TTFN!

Teresa

 

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A Crazy Ride

Here are a few photos of a nice afternoon ride we took around the cabin on the 4 wheeler this summer. The Crazy Mountains are a beautiful place to be. This was a sort of last hurrah knowing that the work on the cabin was going to get very real, very shortly. So we dedicated the whole weekend to goofing off.

 

 

A lot of the mountain wild flowers were starting to peek out. It was cool, and beautiful, and the flies were not tormenting us.

 

 

 

We caught this gal taking a nap not far off the trail.

I was sorry we had disturbed her, but she didn't seem to be too bothered by Us.

I had taken Declan on short rides on the scooter and 4 wheeler, but this ride was a couple of hours, and she loved every minute! Since we've gotten Piper, she has gone on a few not quite as long jaunts, and is also quite the mountain girl. I just tuck one under each arm, ride on the back while Bruce drives, and off we go!

We came across this old abandoned cabin, which was quite large. I wonder if it was a family homestead back in the day, which many people often left for “proper houses” closer to town eventually. I wouldn't think someone would go to the trouble of building a weekend cabin just to let it fall to such ruin.

Since there were so many flowers coming out, there was an abundance of butterflies nectar hunting. I was able to catch a few shots of this one.

 

 

A lot of the old pine trees at higher elevations were covered with this moss. They looked a little spooky.

 

There are some pretty spectacular views to be had in the Crazies. I cannot tell you how blessed we feel to have a little piece of this paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such a wonderful day!

Now back to reality, and the labor of love that lies in front of us! YIKES! A humongous labor of love!

TTFN,

Teresa ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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This and That

Not much going on, so this is going to be a scattered, random, pretty nonsensical post.

So, Declan has commenced losing her baby teeth. (YAY) It has been pretty hysterical! She lost her 2 front teeth first, and looked every bit a kindergartener. This was followed by the checkerboard look as the others in the frontline followed suit. Now she has a double row of the very sharp eye teeth. The new ones are coming in, and the baby ones remain tightly anchored. She will not sit still enough for me to take a picture of the full effect, but here is a very close likeness! (TeeHee ๐Ÿ˜‰ )

She is growing by leaps and bounds, but is still pretty little! Since I take her to work with me, she gets to visit with a lot of folks. Most ask what breed she is, and I tell them her story, and that it's pretty much a mystery, but that I tend to think she is mostly Jack Russell terrier. Well, that opens the gate to the guessing game, and everyone has their very own opinion as to what they think she may be – I've been told she's everything from chihuahua to collie (?!?, she's only 8 pounds, don't think there's enough room in there for collie!), with everything in between…beagle, corgi, manchester, and on and on. If I was extremely wealthy I would order one of those doggy DNA kits to solve the mystery, but they are about $75! So I believe I will just start telling folks, with a very definitive air, that she is a genuine terrier mutsky.

I got a new phone for Christmas that has a camera. I didn't feel comfortable taking either of my “real” cameras to work for fear I would damage them. It is so darn pretty out there most days, I was just in mourning when something awesome would present itself (or my little beasty would do something adorable) and I was camera-less. I'm finding it's pretty hit-and-miss with this phone camera, but at least I can kinda capture the moment.

The heater was broken at work for about 3 weeks. It was COLD out there first thing in the morning til I could stoke up the space heater. Declan didn't fuss at all when we would go straight in and bundle her tight in her shop blankey.

After it warmed up some, she was ready to visit with folks as they came thru, or wrestle around with her toys. She is so good at work, no trouble at all. It is really nice to have her for company during slow spells.

There is absolutely no zoom on this phone camera. Which is a shame, because if you could see how the light is reflected off the Crazy Mountains bright and early in the morning – it is breathtaking! Magnify this by about 100 (which is how my eye sees it), and this is just a quarter of the 360 degree view I have all around me at work.

I can remember sitting in my cubicle at my old job (where I had spent my entire adult life), stacks of papers and books all around me, feeling overwhelmed and sick with stress, and just thinking “if I could just sit and look out the window for a minute, I would feel so much better”. Thank you, Lord, I've gotten my wish! It is a grand thing for your mind and soul when you have a phenomenal job!

I've not gotten to the cabin yet this winter. Bruce tries to make it worth his while when he goes, so usually leaves Saturday morning and comes back Sunday evening. I work every Saturday, so our schedules are not in sync. But it has been dreadfully cold and windy this winter so far, so guess I can hold out on going and not be too terribly sad. His snowmachine is out of commission presently, so he is grounded til he can get it repaired. Since we had some weekend time together, we went to dinner at the Chinese restaurant last Saturday and did a bit of tourage on the gerbil wheel here in town.

This big boy came over to see what the dickens we were looking at.

 

A couple of old abandoned log homes down on the island. See the doe standing to the right at the 2nd cabin? I can't believe someone hasn't fixed these up. You just don't see abandoned homes in our area much, if ever. I was appalled when we vacationed in New England and saw so many awesome, historical homes boarded up, or in a derelict falling down state. It just made me heart-sick! I told Bruce if we could figure out how to transport them to Montana for cheap, we could plop them on a couple acres, fix them up, and sell them for bazillions of dollars! But that is a far fetch between New Hampshire and Montana.

 

Even when it's cold and blustery, you can still find something wonderful to do if you're up for it. See the fisherman mid-picture? He's not letting the weather slow him down any! We saw lot's of folks walking their dogs, kids sledding, even one couple cross country skiing right on the streets in town!

We stopped and fed the ducks at the park.

FLASH MOB! Boy, were they hungry! Lots of folks feed them, but it's just been so cold, they need lots of feed.
No skaters tho. It's been too darn windy. It makes the ice freeze like ~~^~~^~~^~~^~~ which is a much too rough surface to skate on.

 

 

 

More of these goofs in town. These guys were about a block from my house. They are totally urbanized and not scared a bit.

My favorite giant.

 

Late afternoon New Years Day out at my folk's farm. We had a fun potluck, and my Mom made a kettle of chili and some delish desserts.

That's about all the excitement I have for now! Bet it about knocked your socks off ๐Ÿ™‚

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 ๐Ÿ™‚ .

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 ๐Ÿ™‚

 

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Yup, Still Winter

It was a below zero weekend, but lovely nonetheless.

A big bunch of cedar waxwings came to my yard and helped themselves to the freeze-dried Japanese flowering crab apples that are still clinging to the branches.

These pretty little birds were a mere 4 feet away from my back door, and very graciously ignored me while I took their pictures.

 

I love the soft little trilling sounds the make when they come to feed.

 

 

The wind wasn't blowing (which is very unusual around here), so minus a couple of degrees was pretty tolerable. You tend to get used to having to deal with a windchill factor that will have you growing icicles off your beard….Bruce was testament to that this week while out shoveling the sidewalks! He had an icicle long enough dangling from his mustache that he tried to make it in the house to show me, but it fell off at the door and shattered ๐Ÿ™‚

We decided to try and shake off some cabin fever, and hopped in the truck for a short drive around town.

We have a lot of deer right in town. They are not terribly afraid of people and this doe was not bothered at all by me taking her picture.

There are 2 in the pictures; can you see the second one?

On the outskirts of town there is a trail where we walk the dogs when the weather is a bit more cooperative. You cross a little bridge over this creek and it feels like you are miles away from any town. There were several ducks there when we took our drive. Had I known we would be seeing them, I would have brought some bread for them. Even tho they are wild, they will let you feed them, and when it's this cold, a little nourishment goes a long way for these critters.

Anyhow, it is supposed to be in the forties starting Tuesday, and last the entire 10 day extended forecast per Weather Underground. We'll see…… ๐Ÿ™‚

TTFN

Teresa

 

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