A Vacation Day Morning

Enjoying the cool morning, on my vacation day.

Sitting in my porch glider, with my biggest cup full of Java, listening to the birds sing, and watching my silly puppies play. The trees are obscuring, from my neighbors, my still being in my pj's, and I'm happily flourishing on this beautiful summer morning.

So blessed!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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A Vengeful Spring Storm

The pretty little mama robin came back this spring. She reclaimed the nest she and her husband built last year. I was so happy to see her flitting to and fro out my kitchen window. The lilacs were in full bloom, as were the apple, Schubert's chokecherry, buckeye, and cherry trees in my yard. Spring was springing!

Then, Montana being what it is, it hit.

And this year, it was particularly bad.

A horrible, heavy, wet snow that weighed down the trees made fragile by the sap freshening in their branches and trunks, and the new leaves holding the snow, which further pulled the branches down. The next morning was disastrous in our little town. Whole trees downed, and broken branches everywhere. I heard there were homes damaged from falling trees and limbs, as well as fences, vehicles, and anything else that happened to be in the way as the snow laden trees were torn to bits. Working where I do (at the City's refuse transfer station, recycling, and green waste drop spot) I saw first hand the carnage the spring storm produced. People brought pick up truck loads, trailer loads, and some dump truck loads full of broken branches, crushed bushes, and whole trees that had fallen. It was fairly chaotic at my little scale house, to say the least. After 6 days of people hauling load after load to the green waste pile, over 200 TONS of green waste had been brought in by folks. And that doesn't even count the the BIG City dump trucks that were running full loads (which were not weighed) out of town to a spot of land where they can deal with the massive amounts later. Boulevards and alleys are still littered with stacks of branches and bushes as they wait for the city crews to make their way through the town to load them all and haul them away.

Comparatively, I got off fairly easily with just one large branch broken off my apple tree, and a medium sized branch off my Ohio Buckeye. The lilacs and pussy willow were flattened, and are just starting to try and pull up again. Bruce wrapped a ratchet strap around the willow to get them off the ground.

My little Mrs. Robin couldn't take the whole ordeal, and flew off, leaving her one cracked and frozen egg in the nest. I wonder if she'll be back, or if she's packed and headed for warmer climes, where you don't have to worry about our unpredictable Montana weather.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Maybe Blogsy is Back On Task??

Well, that was a surprise! I have had the post prior to this one sitting in Blogsy since July, and last night did a little fiddling around with some settings and, prest-o change-o, the post published! So that is the reason there is an Independence Day story hot off the press in November! Gives me some hope that maybe I can pick it up again without bothering Mr. Bruce, because he is still up to his neck in gray hair popping, filthy word inducing work issues, and hasn't the time or energy to mess with this frivolous bit of my chattering,

 

 

My garden squeaked out a few pretty blooms this summer.

I toted home a few awesome finds from work. I thought this raggedy little trunk was worth bringing home to park under my pine tree.

Love this little bench. A man was moving and had this on his load to dump. It breaks my heart when I see beautiful, useful, OLD pieces like this that have managed to stay all in one piece for so many years, just to end up in a landfill because someone doesn't have the room, or time to re-home it.

 

This flock of seagulls came to visit us at work in September. They stayed at the mud puddle “lake” for about a week, much to the delight of Piper and myself.

 

My Virginia Creeper was exceptionally beautiful this fall.

 

Sweet baby Declan.

 

Funny Piper Doodle catching a quick rest before she's off and running again!

 

Lot's of fall colors down at the river.

I'll cross fingers and see if this smidge of an update will post. Guess if you're seeing it, it worked!

TTFN, Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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So Ready For It!

Gosh, this has been a pretty Spring so far! I guess I feel like it is my responsibility to inundate you with globs of happy, Springy photos πŸ™‚

This year the fruit trees are absolutely loaded with blossoms in town. Light pink, dark pink, creamy white; and now some of the lilacs are starting to pop, lending to the explosions of color. And, it seems like overnight, it is as green as Ireland around here.

 

 

 

The birds planted this Japanese flowering crab outside my back door. It is about 4 years old now, and it is packed with blossoms this year. The funny part is, it is actually 2 trees growing together, and 1 has dark pink blossoms, the other has light pink! Looking like just one tree, it is surprising to see the 2 different colors.

This apple tree below is the first tree I planted when we moved into our house. I can't remember the name, but it's a crab variety and has the most delicious, sweet little apples. I have to try to beat the birds to them every year.

We're not too far off from yummy rhubarb everything – from pies, cobbler, and muffins; to conserve, and punch…..because I can't stand to waste a bit of it. I think my little family isn't all that fond of the stuff, but too bad, so sad for them! If I grow it, I use it!

I've had a small box of potatoes sitting on a blanket on my couch in the kitchen since last fall. Miss Piper shredded the seat of this particular leather couch shortly after I got her, when she was having a sock mauling frenzy. I repaired it as best I could, all the while reminding myself that it was an old couch (even if it was in perfect condition prior to the mauling incident), and I couldn't hold it against her since she is just a fun loving puppy dog. I no more than turned my back, when she completely undid my repair job, complete with a little extra flair and fluff kicked in. Hence the blanket over the boo-boo, weighted down with the box o' potatoes!

Come Spring, the remaining spuds were merrily sprouting away in the box – sans dirt. So, I risked taking the designated couch protector away, leaving just the blanket covering the wounded cushion. My Grandpa O'Connor told me when I was a little kid that St. Patrick's Day is the best day to plant potatoes. Out they went to my raised bed garden. I plopped them in the dirt, taking care to point the sprouts up and barely, barely poking out of the dirt (March is normally darn cold in MT, and I was hoping they wouldn't freeze off)

 

Here is one of about eight that are making their way thru.

There were 9 to start………..

See the fresh crater at the bottom of the photo?

Yup. She dug it up, toted it into the house, dirt up her nose, potato full of holes, and apparently a good time was had by all (except the potato). She is ever so busy.

What a goof ball! Here she is in “taking a break” mode, her rump plopped on the step with feet dangling. This resting thing is a rare sight to behold.

I don't know how it's possible that she and Declan weigh more than a pound a piece (they weigh 24 and 16 pounds respectively) – they go like wildfire and I would think burn, bare minimum, three times the amount of calories they consume! But they are both fit as fiddles, sleek and muscled.

 

Little Declan is a bit more collected than the Buffalo Gal. She is definitely not the instigator in all the shenanigans around here. She is very sweet tempered.

These girls love to go “bye-bye”. So we loaded up and went to the park to see if the swans were here yet to let us know it's officially Spring. No such luck, but we found a close second!

 

Those are some darn cute, fluffy little Spring conveyors!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Time For A Rousting Party

 

 

 

So many pretty colors popping out in my flower gardens right now. Thought I'd best get some pictures while the gardens shine, because next summer they might look like this –

 

Because of these –

 

I'd noticed some kind of odd marks in the lawn, but didn't give much thought to them because we've had 4 baby skunks ambling thru the yard thIs last month. (I took a bunch of pics of them, but until Bruce can get the Apple/iPad situation under control, those photos are in limbo.)

Then I noticed a few small holes near the stacked rock garden retainers. I pulled some of the plants back, and, holy smokes, the flower beds are full of raised tunnels! We have a terrible problem with voles in the yard around the cabin, so I recognized what they were right away. It doesn't much matter up there because there aren't any flower beds or gardens that will be sacrificed.

I'm really miffed they decided to move in here. Gardening isn't an inexpensive hobby, and if these buggers kill all my plants off, I will not be a happy camper having to replace all my plants next spring. And the bigger problem is, I don't know how to get rid of the pests. My options are limited, having critters. I sure can't use poison bait. One website recommended snap mouse traps. They would be hanging off the end of my dogs noses if I tried that. My Mom's friend said she heard placing a stick of unchewed gum near the opening of their holes will have them eating it, then dying from it. I don't know why that would kill them. And I would have to take out a bank loan to keep the dog groomer paid for removing gum from my dog's and cat's hair for sure.

Even if mice are a pain in the neck, at least they are cute. These voles are creepy. They don't hop like mice; they kind of scurry/slither. I told Bruce they move like mercury balls, and look a lot like a big drop of water when they move.

The rodent population is getting a bit out of hand around here. As is the lagomorph population (bunnies). I looked into it a bit and learned that the fox population in several areas in Montana was nearly decimated a few years ago from distemper. That is one of the main reasons the rodent and rabbit population is so great. They are tremendously prolific, and there are presently very few predators to control them. Especially in town. The folks who have good mousing cats are very lucky right now. So far this Spring and Summer, my kitty has brought 3 mice into the house (to feed us, the good girl), but no voles, and thankfully no bunnies. But she is no spring chick, and it's probably not the easiest task for her to catch stuff.

So, I will appreciate my flowers for now; try to hope for the best and plan for the worst.

Better add some bubble gum to my grocery list :-/

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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FLOWERS, SALAD, and BUGS

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The flowers are trying to do their best in this very unpredictable spring weather we are having. It spit snow and rain all day today. The honey bees are out and about trying to work, but it's so chilly they are like they are in slow motion. I even left the dandelions growing in the flower beds because I read an article that said the bees can utilize the dandelion blooms, and I try to do all I can to help them.

My Mom stopped by and said “You had better get after those dandelions, or they will take over all your flower beds and your lawn.” I told her what I had read, and she reassured me that I have enough flowers popping out to get the bees by without keeping the dandelions. So out they came, and they were by far the healthiest crop in the flower beds!

My Great Grandmother used to make salad with the dandelion greens, but I haven't been ambitious enough to try it. She also used to make watercress salad that everyone raved about. I finally got to go to the cabin last weekend (it had been 6 months since my last trip up), and I found lots of fresh spring watercress in several places up there when we took the dogs for a walk. I really want to try it, and I'm sure my Gramma probably still has my Great Grandmother's recipe, so maybe I will give it a shot. I remember the trickiest part about getting it ready was getting all the little water critters out of it before eating it. She would soak it all day in her kitchen sink in cold water with a whole bunch of lemon juice added, and that would bring the bugs to the top. GROSS. Call me squeamish, but I would just as soon not eat bugs as my protein for the day! A couple of summers ago I was at my cousin's, and we were picking raspberries in her yard and eating them. I tossed a big juicy one in my mouth and it felt like I got a shock! I spit in my hand, and there stood a big ol' ant, looking me right in the eye! The bugger had apparently been a hitch hiker on the berry and bitten my tongue! No thanks, I'll pass on the bugs.

Well, this turned into quite the random little story. My intent was to just show you all a few pretty posies. I believe I inherited a blabbering gene from somewhere in my very mish-mashed lineage πŸ™‚ .

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Hippity-Hoppity!

Ten days til Easter! Out come the bunnies – the real, fuzzy ones are hopping all around our neighborhood, the cute do-dad ones are scattered here and there in my house.

 

 

My Mom cut back her rosemary plant and brought a big chunk to me. My nose is in heaven! I just plopped the bunch in this old bowl, and it fills the whole room with that wonderful aroma.

 

 

These are really old light covers that were in a box with equally old Christmas ornaments that my Grandad found at the green boxes. One man's trash is another man's treasure! He knows I'm goofy about antique stuff so he gave the whole box to me!

Same story with this guy. He was badly broken and going in the garbage at the flower shop my Mom worked at, and she rescued him, brought him home, and repaired him (you can barely tell, if at all, where he was broken after she fixed it). Garbage is apparently my cup of tea!

Not all my do-dads are garbage or from thrift stores (but most of them are πŸ™‚ ).

 

A bunny “snow baby” box (that came in it's original box) I got for 50 cents at the thrift. I think it's so cute.

 

 

 

These are probably my very favorite bunnies. They are very old German candy containers.

These are also German candy containers I found at an antique store in Minnesota.

Here is a very woodsy little hippity-hop!

 

 

There's not a chance I will be able to get a picture of a real bunny in my yard. Miss Declan has discovered the fuzzy little critters while peering out the windows. Now she is obsessed! Thankfully they are staying out of harms way by sticking close to the woodpile.

My poor flower beds are in a dreadful state. They look terribly bedraggled, but Mother Nature is nursing them along, and there are bright spots starting to pop up here and there.

Sunny little daffodils.

Tough crocuses, who will show their pretty purple petals even with snow all around them.

I don't know what these tiny little flowers are called. They are spread all over the gardens, even jumping into the lawn in spots. I love their color.

The bleeding hearts are just bursting thru!

Hope you all have a very Hoppy Easter! And do remember the reason for the season!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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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

Google Images

Really cold

 

Turning to record high temps, and blue skies

Google Images

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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A New Hat For My House

Guess what just got finished at our house!

Yup, we have a brand spanking new roof!

This was another thing that just snuck up on us. I knew the porch shingles needed replaced because the front of our house faces east and spends the biggest part of the day in shade, so when it is snowy here (which is a big part of the time) the sun doesn't shine on the porch long enough to get the snow melted off the roof. So, consequently, it just sits on those shingles week after week, which really wrecks the heck out of them. Several times over the last few winters, Bruce had to get a ladder, climb up on the porch roof, and shovel the great drifts of snow off. Not fun, not safe. And as bad as we knew the porch roof was, we weren't prepared when we saw that the rest of the house shingles were all of a sudden looking pretty darn shabby as well. Great.

Boy, this was sure the year for it, tho. By the looks of how many roofing companies were hard at it this summer, a goodly portion of folks in our town were doing just as we were and digging deep in their wallets to remedy the “rotten shingle epidemic” our County was struck with.

This cupola and weather vane were a big splurge for me when we finished up the addition to the front of our house several years ago. I just love it, and am very happy we spent the money on it, which is a rare thing for me to say! When we scheduled with the roofing company, we made sure they did metal roofing as well as shingles. I picked a metal the same color as the cladding on our windows (which is called weathered bronze) and had them put metal on the porch instead of asphalt shingles. Now, hopefully, the snow will just slide off that metal, rather than sit there for weeks on end. They re-attached the cupola and weather vane and it looks so nice on the metal roofing. With all the trees in our yard, plus the height of the house, you can't even see the new shingles on the rest of the house. That's not necessarily a bad thing, because the garage and garden shed weren't re-roofed, and their shingles are now a different color than the house. Only those in an airplane will know that little secret!

Even tho it practically made my hand bleed to write that check to the roofing company, I am very glad we won't have to worry about leaks and/or shingles blowing off in the blizzards to come in the winter that is just around the corner. It's a good thing to take care of your home, because then it reciprocates and keeps you warm and sheltered and snug.

I know I said I wouldn't say the “f” word, but there is no sense in denying the fact that fall is now most assuredly here.

My hops are a little freeze dried, but will make nice additions to fall decorating indoors if I can get my rear in gear.

 

 

 

There is a lot of beautiful color popping up in my yard, and all over town for that matter. The birds will be able to feast on berries in my yard for the next few weeks.

I have carrots and a few onions to harvest from my veg garden boxes, and a few yummy little crab apples to pick. The worms unfortunately also love these little apples, so the lion's share goes to them. Actually I will gather all those I am unable to use, and take them to the cabin for the deer to snack on (they won't mind a worm or two in their apples πŸ˜‰ ).

I need to hustle while the weather is decent and get the flower beds cleaned up and tucked in to keep them snugged up for the winter. I lost a lot of plants last winter, so I need to pay better attention this fall and mulch the dickens out of everything to blanket them.

MORE COFFEE, MORE COFFEE!!!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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I Will Not Say The “F” Word (Fall will not be uttered)

Well, just look at what we woke up to yesterday morning….

It was a balmy 37 degrees when I got up this morning. What the heck…? Plenty of the Old Timers around here are already comparing all the folklore signs that are sure fire indicators that it's going to be a particularly nasty winter – NOOOO!!! Not ready for it!

We need some more of this –

And this –

Not this

Or this

Miss Asia must know that there won't be much more of this warm weather left, too.

She's just been soaking it up these last few weeks when it was in the high eighties. She's been lounging in this spot on the lawn so much that it's made a little nest tucked right in the grasswhere she lays.

She and her little daughter were snuggled up on the rocking chair on the porch when it was so cold this morning, but came in the house a little later in the morning, I'm sure to get thawed out. We have a fire going in the wood stove…….We actually had to start a fire in the stove Saturday night, AUGUST 23rd, and have had it going since :-/

But, there's always a silver lining – with all this rain/snow/cool, it really brings the fire risk down significantly in the forests up here, and that is surely a good thing.

Hot chocolate anyone? πŸ™‚

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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