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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They’re Taking Her Down

I didn't do my homework before starting this post, so I'm not sure what year the Teslow granary was built, but this iconic structure has stood in our little town for all my life, and even as far back as my Mom can remember, and she moved here when she was a teenager, many moons ago.

Now it's scheduled for demolition. Many of our townsfolk are very sad! There is a community appreciation site for our town on Facebook, and they have had a kind of photo “contest” to basically just honor and show our appreciation for this long time sentry of of our little country town.

These photos I am sharing from Facebook-

 

 

You can see how it's been slowly falling apart over the years. The wind in this area is wicked, and structures here, especially ones as tall as this, require more maintenance than buildings in areas with less volatile elements. The roof is blowing off, bit by bit, as are sections of the sheet metal cladding. The busiest street in our town runs right next to this granary, so it is more than a little hazardous having chunks of this building fall to the street.

These are photos I have taken of the old building –

 

 

It was for sale at one time, and I heard someone was interested in restoring and putting a restaurant in the building. I guess it all proved to be too much of an undertaking, because it never came to fruition.

So, over the next few weeks, we'll be losing a piece of our little town's history. I really hate to see these kinds of things slip away.

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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PYROGRAPHY

While I impatiently wait for the weather to clear, I thought I'd throw a little something at you that you probably don't read up on every day. Pyrography! A most vital subject that everyone should know a little about πŸ™‚ Apparently it was a really popular craft, way back in the day, for young ladies to learn. Kind of like embroidery samplers, sewing, crocheting, tatting, knitting, etc. It involves using a wood burning instrument and burning designs onto wooden furniture pieces, boxes, and the like.

Several times on this blog I have mentioned furniture I have inherited that was originally owned by my Great Grandmother. I'm going to jump on the genealogy bandwagon again and tell you yet another story about some pieces that came from (and, in this case, were made by) her. Her parents had 8 children, and like most pioneers the family lived hard lives. They lived in and around Virginia City, MT, and other small towns in the near vicinity. Both did a multitude of jobs to try and make ends meet and keep their children fed. At one time, the family kept 40 (FORTY!) boarders at their place. This was when gold mining was booming in the area. When the children were smaller, my Great Great Grandfather employed a Chinese man to help my Great Great Grandmother cook for all these folks they boarded, and also an American Indian woman everyone called Indian Mattie to help with the massive amounts of laundry that had to be kept up (this was pre-wash machine days; tub and wash board, heat the water on a fire times). As the children got older, they were put to work helping either their mother or father with many different tasks. By the time my Great Grandmother was 13 years old, she did a large share of the cooking for their many boarders. Learning at that young age turned her into a phenomenal cook for the rest of her life. Most girls of that day (around the turn of the century) only attended school until about the 8th grade. I don't know how my GtGtGrandparents achieved it, and my 96 1/3 year old Grandmother can't remember all the details of the story, but somehow they were able to send my GtGrndmthr to a boarding school for girls. Actually, she attended 2 schools, St. Peter's Catholic School in Anaconda, and St. Vincent's Academy in Helena. Pyrography was one of the skills she learned.

They probably started with smaller projects like this box she did. But look at the detail!

Even on the sides, every bit was covered in detail. That would have taken a lot of concentration for a seventh or eighth grade child to achieve.

As their skill level progressed, so did the size of their projects.

 

 

I think this level of detail is amazing, especially when you think she was only twelve-ish.

This table was also one of her projects; I'm not sure what caused the blackened area damage, but it is old, and I'm sure has been thru a lot over the years.

 

 

Apparently, not only girls learned the skill. This small table was done by my Great Uncle when he was a boy.

He was an Uncle by marriage (married to my Grandmother's sister), so we're not too sure about his childhood history, where he would have learned this craft.

 

And this small piece of art I found at an antique/junk store in Big Timber. I can't control myself when it comes to anything to do with antique sheep art of any kind. I have a lot of prints and paintings of sheep, lots of Putz, ceramic, and china sheep. Which reminds me, it's about time to put the sheep collection into the decorating rotation! I like to see lambies at Easter time……sure says springtime to me.

 

 

I would like to know the story behind this little plaque. I wonder if some astute little student worked long and hard on this project at her (or his) boarding school far away from her parents, if she was a native Montanan like my GtGrandmother, just what the long story must be before it got to my home. That's why I cherish antiques; whether they are from my family and I know their story, or it's a piece I've found and it's story is a mystery, I think they deserve a safe haven and place of honor because they've made it thru all the bumps and dings time dishes out.

TTFN

Teresa

 

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Big Sky Small Fry Ranch

Where lots of little critters have been raised over the last 20 years!

K, so here's the tour I promised of the inside of my folk's house. And, once again, I'll apologize for the quality of the photos, but these will at least let you get a feel for how cute and cozy this wonderful old farmhouse truly is – the realtor working for my folks has a much better camera than I have, so if you want to see her photos, or are curious about the listing particulars for the farm, just go here.

 

This is from Christmastime cuz I forgot to get a picture outside today. They really do have all their decorations down now πŸ™‚

 

Here is looking back at where we just came in thru the front door.

 

Living room.

I love these prints above her couch. My Mom and I both have a thing for sheep pictures. You will easily be able to tell where I inherited my collecting abilities (aka dysfunction) after taking this tour :). We both like stuff!

 

Another piece of furniture that was my Great Grandmothers, a very pretty quarter sawn oak buffet that lives in the dining area.

A beautiful light fixture above the dining table. It was another great find from Craigslist. This pic is from Christmas, too. The one I took today was a little blurry, so I substituted.

Take a left just thru the front door and you head upstairs.

There are three bedrooms and a half bath upstairs. The next 2 pics are the middle bedroom.

The front bedroom is surprising when you step into it because my folks opened it into the attic. It is a really sunny room, has a loft, and an outdoor balcony. Not exactly what you'd expect to see in a 100+ year old farm house.

 

 

I found the fireplace mantle at a garage sale, it was fairly beat up. The metal insert I found later. It is the front off an antique gas burning furnace and was in an alley to be thrown away. I asked the guy who lived there if I could have it rather than have it go to the dump, and he gladly gave it to me. My Mom said she could use them in this bedroom, so out to the farm they went. My folks combined their artistic magic on both of these cast offs, and now it is a beautiful focal point in the room.

 

Up to the loft.

I didn't climb clear into the loft to take the pic, so this is the best I could get. There are 2 chairs and a small bookshelf, a nice cozy little nook to relax in – I don't know if I would try to tote a cup of tea up that ladder tho!

The door to the balcony is just to the left of the bed. Another sweet place to relax, take in the view, and get some fresh air. It would be easy to take a cup of tea out on this little balcony!

The third bedroom is super cute! Kind of a shocker if you're not ready for it tho –

There's a lotsa babies in this room!

 

 

 

 

This little cutie was also my Great Grandmother's. She is German, and over 100 years old (the doll, not my Great Grandmother ^..^ ). Guess at that age, that would make her the matriarch of the baby doll room.

Now back down stairs. This is the master bedroom.

The ceiling is awesome in here. It took my Mom days and days to get it done with several types of paint, faux painting, and wallpaper border.

 

It's really cozy and old fashioned.

She has some spectacular art pieces throughout her home, but these two are very special to her because her Great Uncle carved them both. The swan piece is carved from one chunk of stone, nothing carved separately and glued on. (Except when I was a kid I threw a pair of my Mom's shoes in her room and the hit the carving, knocking one of the swan's head off. It did get repaired and glued back on, and I am very lucky to be sitting here typing this story right now :-O )

The other one is this horse which he carved out of a single block of wood.

The TV/Family room is next. You have to go thru a short little hallway to get to it. She has a pinecone theme that runs thru the house, and in this hallway she did a cool stenciling treatment with joint compound, and then painted it in a sort of ombrΓ© paint style. I think it is beautiful.

 

Many cute do-dads and China pieces reside in the lovely antique cabinet in the hallway.

And into the TV room we go.

The stove backer is a piece of art in itself. She purchased a thick sheet of metal, drew on a pattern of pine branches and pine cones, and took it to a welding shop where they used a plasma cutter to cut out the design she had drawn. Then she treated the metal with some kind of stuff that makes it susceptible to rust, and threw it out in the snow for a couple of weeks. When it was ready to come in the house, she sealed it, backed the pine branch design with green (for the pine needles) and Amber (for the pine cones) Christmas lights and then attached it to the wall behind the stove. The metal offers the fire and heat protection needed behind the stove. Then there is the added bonus of plugging in the “hearth” and seeing the branches come to life πŸ™‚

The office is a small room off the hallway. Bruce was in there working on my Mom's computer, so I could only catch a picture of this corner.

She has a beautiful collection of pottery pieces.

On to the kitchen –

 

 

 

 

Very cute and farmy! It is a bright, happy room to be in.

Well, that about covers the inside. Nothing was staged or anything, so if there is an odd whatnot sticking out in any of the pics, it's my fault, cuz I didn't give my Mom any warning that I was coming out to take pictures. Oh, and here is a pic of Sophie the deer herder. She wasn't too thrilled about sitting still for her portrait!

And another pic of Lilly the houndy dog.

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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Over the River and thru the Woods

Today, going thru the pictures I have stored, I thought it might be fun to take you for a walk around my folk's place. These are taken at different times, so some are snowy, some are green grass and flowers. They used to raise sheep and goats, along with the miniature horses they still have, but have downsized considerably over the last few years. They have decided it is time to get a smaller place, so they have put the farm on the market (sniff… actually, it's more like wring out the darn handkerchief). It makes me sad, but it is a lot to take care of, especially the way they do – beautiful yard, painted fences, brush cleared on a big portion of the forty acres for grazing, etc.

The house is really only visible when the trees are bare. With everything leafed out, it's tricky seeing the house from the road.

To the right is the milk house. There was a stanchion inside, and that is where the goats were brought to be milked twice a day.

If only this barn could talk, the stories it could tell – it is about 115 years old.

The view to the northwest of their front door. (And, by the way, those are the mountains where our little Moose Springs cabin sits πŸ™‚ !)

A small area of their lovely, large yard, where my Mom toils away spring thru fall making it beautiful, and the deer uninvitedly eat all the fruits of her labor. Needless to say, she is not fond of the deer, and has rescued a hound dog from the animal shelter to prove the point. Except that plan fell thru, as the hound dog doesn't care if there are deer in the yard – she is busy keeping her eyes peeled for raccoons. So the job has fallen to the rescued poodle/schnauzer/muttsky dog to be the deer runner offer :). She chases the deer away while the mighty hound dog lounges in her chair in the TV room.

 

Here is a picture of said houndy dog. I just love her, the big goof. She is so smart and sweet. Her name is Lilly. I can't find a picture of Sophie the deer herder (who is equally smart and sweet). I'll have to get one of her the next time I go to the farm.

 

 

Luckily, they have a back hoe, so my Dad can haul in big rocks as my Mom landscapes to her hearts content.

 

 

If the farm doesn't sell right away, my Mom plans to turn this little round house into a studio so she can have her own private place to paint, sculpt, and be creative with whatever. She's tired of my Dad fiddling with her projects when she has them set up in the house πŸ™‚

A sunny spot in the round house garden.

The geese wander where they please around the farm, but don't ever leave the property.

The Shields River wends it's way around the pastures.

Grazing peacefully.

The backside of the barnyard.

 

 

 

Quintessential farm scene.

Sheep Mountain in the distance.

 

 

One of the barn kitties.

Jig is the boss horse, the only stallion they have on the farm.

A bunch of the girls, having fun.

Hope you enjoyed our walk around the farm. It's a really beautiful place to be. The inside of their house is every bit as charming as the rest of the place. I'll make it a point to post an inside tour soon.

 

TTFN,

 

Teresa

 

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INTERMISSION

A quick break from the long winded long journey saga.

It was our wedding anniversary the other day! We made a fun day of it. There is a lot of awesome stuff to see and do in Montana if you’re willing to drive a tad bit to do it. Some of the touristy kind of stuff tends to shut down after Labor Day, so we decided to make hay while the sun was shining, and take a road trip. Mr. Bruce took a vaca day, we hopped in the truck and headed down the pike to Ennis and Virginia City.

Ennis is a cute little town, good art and antique shopping, the Madison river runs thru the town and is very popular with the fishermen. It was so busy when we were there I couldn’t get a picture of the downtown for all the traffic. I did catch these 2, a mere block off the main drag, having a nice apple snack.

 

 

We moseyed thru lots of shops, then went on to have a gourmet lunch of hot dogs and nachos at the gas station. Delish!! Onward to Virginia City –

Virginia City is a ghost town, brought back to life as a fun, touristy destination. I have been there innumerable times because 4 generations of my Mom’s family has lived and worked most of their lives in the Madison Valley. Here’s a quick picture tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine my surprise when I saw this picture at the museum, in the ladies bathroom no less.

It is a photo of my Grandma’s grandparent’s (so my great, great grandparents) general store in Laurin, MT. We were told lots of stories about her adventures there when she was a little kid. She and my Granddad are 97 years old now. They live here, but still travel to the Madison Valley at least once a month to visit folks there.

When we got home, Mr. Bruce gave me 2 very special anniversary presents. Someday I must learn to zip my lip and not whine about cool things I see but won’t buy because I’m too cheap. Being the good hearted fella that he is, he very stealthily picks them up and surprises me with them. He probably figures he’s getting off easy, because then he doesn’t have to listen to me lament about them for a week or better πŸ™‚ .

I thought these were just perfect Cottagelodge –

Cottage

 

Better Homes and Gardens is pretty cottagey, Fishes are pretty lodgey! It’s just right!

And the second present I think is just stunning!

A giclee of a red fox! If lodgey is your cup of tea, I’m sure you agree with me.

I surely appreciate our fun anniversary road trip! Won’t be too long til the snow flies, so it was wonderful soaking up some late summer sunshine and pretty scenery.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

Teresa

 

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