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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In A Good Path For The Eclipse

Our little town is not too far away from the path where folks had the ultimate view of the eclipse. We were able to view about 95% coverage of the sun. Boy, people were sure wound-up about it! The eclipse viewing glasses were a major hot ticket item everywhere you looked. Just before the big day, some enterprising soul was trying to sell the silly little paper and plastic things for $25 a pair on Craigslist! One of the gals I work with came out early to relieve me for lunch (and so we could both have a nice clear view to gawk at the eclipse together πŸ™‚ ), and she read on the Internet to stack old film negatives about 8 deep and clip them together, on each end, with a clothes pin. You could hold them up like steampunk opera glasses of sorts, and take quick peeks at the eclipse in progress.

I took a few pictures while at work during the height of it, which was about 11:35 a.m. mountain time. I had read it makes the birds confused and they think it's time to bed down, but it has been so smokey here from all the forest fires in progress, the birds I saw didn't seem to notice the eclipse at all!

This was at 11:30 a.m.

This first pic was around 5 to 8 minutes from the most obscuring we would witness. The shadows were odd, and it got darkish in the scale house like before a good rain storm, but it really wasn't that dark out.

This was the height of the whole shebang, about 11:38 a.m.

I took this pic of my hand's shadow on the side of the scale house to show just how much light there still was.

 

This was the tail end of it, about 11:43 a.m. It was still odd light, but rapidly getting brighter.

Anyhoo, there is my slide show/book report on the whole get up! I'm so lucky to have a window to hang out of and take pictures where I work!

TTFN

Teresa

 

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Goodbye Farm, It Was Good Knowin Ya

I guess the title says it all. It's been a mighty difficult last couple of weeks. Twenty seven years makes for some long, hard roots to pull out. My poor folks are completely exhausted. But at least they have everything out, and hauled to the new place. There have been a number of fiascos to overcome, but they've managed. One being, the man they had lined out for over a month prior to the agreed upon start date to fence a portion of the pasture at the new place, pulled out 2 days before he was to start. He called and said “I'm not going to make it to your place – I'm just too bushed from my last fencing job, and you can understand my side.” At that point in time my Mom had a bit of a short fuse, and she really didn't understand his side (what a way to run a business, that big knot head). Boy, did she let him have it. Needless to say, he was Johnny-on-the spot 2 days later, and fencing away at the new place. They would have had absolutely nowhere to contain their little horses had he not shown up, and I'm sure she made that abundantly clear. There are too many people who have garbage work ethics these days. Or at least it sure seems like that around here.

My folks did the lion's share of all aspects of the move themselves…..and they are no spring chickens. Far too proud to ask for, or accept help, no matter how many people offered. The way all the legal paperwork shook out at the end, with the vacate date of the owner of the home they were moving to, and they themselves tied to a move date decided by the people that bought the farm, gave them exactly 5 days to move all of their worldly possessions 15 miles from the farm to the new place. They had rented a “Pod” moving container about 3 weeks earlier, so were able to box up many things and stack in the pod, which helped. But, when you move a whole 2 story house, barn and outbuildings, and farm equipment, there is a lot more than a pod's worth. Oh my gosh, that 5 day move period was a killer. Bruce and I each took a vacation day, and also went out every evening after work; and my big little son, my brother, and his son, also pitched in as best they could (as my brother and my son both work 10 hour shifts each day with their jobs). We were loading 3 trucks (cabs and boxes), and a 2 horse trailer for each trip in – and made trip after trip….after trip. Oh Lordy. And to make matters worse, they are in the middle of a huge highway construction project between the farm and town. You could expect a 15 minute wait for a pilot car each way, both coming and going. And a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

But that part's done now, and there are just a bazillion boxes to sort and unpack at the new place, more fences to build, a new barn to build, water hydrants to install, and the list goes on. Even with all that, I believe the good Lord helped them get a place that will suit their needs; with a nice little house, just enough land to support the little horses, only a couple miles from town, and best of all, the fact that they were able to nab it in this out of control real estate market we're experiencing presently.

I took a few pictures in parting, but only a few, because I was ready to bawl and didn't want to make my folks feel bad. I don't deal well with change, and this was a mighty big one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Celebrating Independence Day!

Isn't this just awesome!

Man made fireworks competing with Mother Nature's fireworks! This is the rodeo and fireworks celebration we have over the 4th of July in our little town every year….but with a little extra kick this particular evening. I wanted to be sure and share this wonderful photo since we're not too far out from the 4th. We do have some extremely talented folks that live in our town, and I borrowed this from Facebook to share with you all.

Here are a few more shots I took myself while just moseying around close to home, over the last couple months. Since it'll be Christmas in just a few weeks, guess I'd better share the few warm weather photos I've taken (kidding!…….but not really :-/ )

 

 

The park geese with their new broods, in varying stages – some have newer fluffy yellow babies, some are 1/2 way to looking like their parents.

 

This is the Crazy mountain range.

This is about 7 miles from the cabin. Such a pretty day it was!

About 4 miles from the cabin as you top a hill and look southerly, this is the Absaroka mountain range.

 

A golden eagle in a field near the road.

And a bald eagle on a telephone pole just above the golden.

 

 

 

Hope you all are having a nice summer, and are making the most of it!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Happy Birthday to my Honorary Irish Siamese Cat

She doesn't care if it's her birthday, she does not want her picture taken.

 

Born on St. Patrick's Day, pretty Miss Angel turned 18 years young today! My big little son (who was just my little son way back then) and I decided on a whim one day to go to the local shelter to pet and play with all the lonlies there. We walked in the door, and about 1 minute later were making arrangements to take home a beautiful little Siamese Mama cat and her one and only 2-day-old baby. They had been abandoned in an apartment by run away renters, and the landlord brought them to the shelter the day Angel was born, which was St. Paddy's Day.

She's always been on the reserved side (and just a tad bit grumpy), compared to her Mama who was talkative and a lot more interactive. As she's gotten older, she's less shy and less distant, but I think in part that's because she hasn't had her Mom to lean on (since Asia passed away a few years ago), and relies more on us for company.

She likes the poochies a lot, and they really like her, but these wild woollies are a bit too rambunctious at times for her to handle. Once in a while she takes it upon herself to discipline them, just a little. When they get in crazy mode and jump on her chair, she is forced to lean over and give them a good bite on the leg. They know then it's time to simmer down, and they let her get back to her all important snoozing. When they are being good mannered and calm, Angel is happy to have one or both of the doggies sit in the chair with her, snuggle up and relax.

 

 

She sleeps a lot these days, which is to be expected as she is a cat, and an ancient one to boot! But on occasion, when she's having a perky spell, we can still tempt her to play with a string, or she'll zip around and pretend scratch on furniture, or ask to go outside on a sunny day and make a lap around the yard. Then she'll settle back in her favorite chair, and resume napping.

I sure love the little thing, and feel blessed having had her in our lives for this good long stretch, and hope to have her around for a long time more! Happy Birthday my sweet Angel cat!

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 πŸ™‚ ) 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 πŸ™‚

 

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Happy 4th! Summer Fun!

How did it get to be the Independence Day holiday already?! Sure snuck up on me! This is when our little town really hops. There are lots of activities over the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th. Back in the olden days, I used to partake in all of it. Nowadays, I find it much nicer to stay in my little house on the hill, far and away from the thronging crowds. I do cave a little and go to the “Art in the Park” sale they have at the railroad park. They have a ton of juried exhibitors, and it is an adventure to see all the talent brought to this event. I will post separate pics of that, since all that I took are on Mr. Bruce's phone camera, and he is presently sawing logs (ZZZzzzz… πŸ™‚ ).

So I borrowed a bunch of pics from Facebook to share with you, taken by folks who are far more adventurous than I.

First on the agenda is the big, whopping parade on the 2nd. It's gotten so popular that a few new rules had to be imposed on the process this year. No more throwing candy to the spectators. Too many kids run into the street to fetch the candy, and many folks were concerned for the kiddles safety with all the moving vehicles and livestock in the parade. Also, it is pretty tricky to get a choice viewing spot with the grand amounts of folks that amass throughout the parade route, so some people were cheating a bit and setting up folding chairs as early as the evening before the parade to “hold” their favorite spots (the parade isn't until 3 o'clock on the 2nd). Well, that was causing a bit of discontent among a goodly majority of the locals. So, the City made it official and put their foot down on the aforementioned practices. Nonetheless, there was still lots of fun to be had, apparently, judging from the many pics that were snapped during the procession –

 

 

This is an old retired Yellowstone Park touring bus.

 

 

A mule pack string brought in by a guide service.

 

 

 

 

Get a load of the driver's beautiful cowboy boots!

 

This is just a small sampling of the many delights in the parade, which takes nearly 2 hours to complete. Then, many of the folks stick around after the parade and eat dinner, and mosey around for a few hours, waiting for the infamous rodeo that starts at 8pm. Here are a few shots from the first of three nights of wild rodeo action.

 

 

 

 

 

At the close of the rodeo, they dim all the arena lights, and start the massive fireworks display. The fireworks are ignited on the golf course grounds which are directly behind the fairgrounds. It makes for a pretty spectacular show with them all bursting directly overhead. It's not too shabby taking in the show from our great vantage point here on the hill, either. Mine didn't turn out, so here are a few more from Facebook.

It's been really nice having a few days off to enjoy this lovely summer that is slipping by entirely too quickly!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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In Montana, a Road Trip Can Cover a LOT of Miles!

Well, we made it to the St. Regis Flea Market, and are back in one piece. It was a long haul, 598 miles round trip, plus about an extra 100 miles doing tourage around the area since neither of us had spent time in that part of MT before. It is a really beautiful place to visit.

 

 

 

 

We got there early Friday evening, and checked into our room.

It was pretty sketchy, but allowed pets, so we just bit the bullet since there aren't many options in an itty bitty town like that. They did have these cute little humming birds just outside the office, at least half a dozen.

 

 

We got up bright and early Saturday morning and were lucky to get a parking place nice and close.

We made a quick trip thru to do an overview, then had to head over to their food pavilion/cabin since we were having major caffeine withdrawal. They had 2 choices for breakfast; pancakes, eggs, and sausage or bacon – or – biscuits with sausage gravy, and eggs. So while Bruce waited in line, I zipped over to the Hutterites booth where they had a multitude of baked goods (since I don't eat meat), and got a pan of cinnamon rolls.

Oh YUM! The cinnamon rolls were delish, and Bruce said his breakfast was wonderful as well. The bonus was, I got to have those cinnamon rolls for the next 3 days for breakfast!

There were lots of folks there enjoying the good grub.

And a couple little beggars who also thought the cinnamon rolls were pretty darn good!

Then we got down to business! I hadn't seen a lot of furniture on our quick sashay thru, but there was A LOT of smaller stuff to dig thru.

 

 

 

Several booths had Lodge-y type stuff.

 

Some of it was really intriguing, but I think I already have plenty enough of this kind of stuff to fill up the cabin without having to spend money on more.

 

 

The booth above had beautiful lodge pole pine furniture. I wish we could furnish the whole cabin with the awesome stuff, but it costs an arm and a leg.

I was really hoping to find antique cabinetry pieces that we could fashion into kitchen cupboards for the cabin. No such luck, darn it! I was disappointed, but it was still a pretty road trip. We did go to 4 or 5 antique stores in and around St. Regis. There was a really nice one in Missoula that had 4 floors full! We didn't end up with a lot of stuff, but what we did find was good stuff!

This is what I ended up with –

The booth owner gave us 50% off on this old print.

 

 

For my doggy collection, a staffordshire looking hound.

 

This wooden sign reminded me of Yellowstone Park signage, and will look cute at the cabin.

 

Bruce said this will work at the end of the bed at the cabin to sit and put our shoes on.....He bought it for me for me for my birthday present!

So that's a round up of our holiday/birthday/much needed road trip weekend! Even tho I didn't get the furniture pieces I had hoped for, all things for a reason. It would have been a challenge storing any big stuff, and Bruce is so tied up with a work project that the cabin refurbishing is going at a snails pace right now.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Lots Going On!

 

These big Ravens are really entertaining to watch while I'm at work.

We had a week of high 70's, low 80's temps. I was contemplating hooking up the little swamp cooler at work because it was getting pretty toasty in the afternoons. Glad I didn't jump the gun…..cuz after our tropical week, we were back to wearing parkas and cranking up the heaters. Welcome to Springtime in the Rockies!

A few days of cold and sloppy, then back to sunny Spring. Great traveling weather for a much anticipated event –

My big little son finally reached the finish line on his 4 long, hard years of college education. Bless his heart. He graduated on Saturday and, thank the Good Lord and all the Saints in Heaven, started a wonderful job the following Monday! And right where he hoped to be, here in Montana, in the middle of all the things he holds dear – skiing, hiking, fishing, biking, camping, and all the other treasures our area has to offer. Next hurdle is finding an affordable apartment, which is a trick these days, but thankfully he can commute from here for now, and can grab the right one when it pops up.

It was a nice graduation ceremony and a pretty day for a road trip.

 

Canyon Ferry lake was a pretty sight to take in; water so blue, and only a boat or 2 to be seen. Not many campers yet. They all come out of hibernation on Memorial Weekend.

We got to go to a flea market at the civic center in town a few weeks ago.

Not lots of stuff there, but it was fun looking.

 

 

That kind of starts the season off for rummage sales, auctions, and other fleas around here. I found only this “it's so ugly it's cute” 50's dolly that I got for the Cowboy and Indian bedroom.

We hope to go to a GIANT flea market they are having in northwestern MT later this Spring. We need to outfit the cabin kitchen, and I hope to do an unfitted kitchen with antique pieces for cabinetry. So, hopefully we will be able to hit the jackpot at this sale, and not have to worry about buying from antique stores and paying those inflated prices. And Bruce reminds me, a scenic, much needed road trip is always good for the soul! I fret when I have to go anywhere, but this time should be easier because the wild woollies are coming with us (which might be a fiasco in itself), and my big little son will be home to tend the antique cat, not that she needs much tending since she sleeps about 23 hours a day, but it's reassuring none the less. My good neighbor Eileen is the bestest critter sitter in the West, but it will be nice to not have to pester her. Getting gone for a few days will make Mr. Bruce very happy. He has to sort of pry-bar me out of my comfort zone. I'm one of those weirdos that likes to stay at my own little home, home on the range. I don't know how anyone could blame me when you have a view like this out your kitchen window!

 

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Community Rally – A Teslow Update

A few posts ago I told about the impending demolition of the antique Teslow granary in our town. I mentioned how sad a lot of folks were about losing this icon…..boy, I was not exaggerating! Even tho it was really down to the wire, a bunch of concerned citizens jumped right on it.

There were folks popping out of the woodwork at the very last minute, rallying to save the Teslow.

With cooperation from the owner, and some very generous people, they were able to purchase the building and stop the demolition.

Even a TV actor who owns a home locally stepped in to help the cause.

Actor James Denton

The effort made papers and news stations around the state.

How awesome! I'm so glad it gets to stay. Because once they're gone, they're gone.

The big question now – What are they gonna do with it? It's, as yet, a mystery!

Stay tuned…………… πŸ™‚

TTFN,

Teresa

(all the pics are from Facebook)

 

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