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™‚

 

Share

Full of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Now we jump into the thick of the holiday season, and as hectic and wonderful as it all is, it's done in a flash, so enjoy and appreciate every minute of it!

Thought I'd toss in a quick cabin update. We did make some progress this Summer – big ticket items, so although it doesn't add much curb appeal, it is a big step toward getting to the finished product. First, a brand new septic system was plotted, permitted, and installed. This is “part one” in getting the much needed plumbing in place to facilitate kitchen water and a nice little indoor potty once again at the cabin.

This is the septic drain field, and lids to the underground holding tanks

The horrible, smelly, rotten old floor and foundation were demolished and hauled away. The old septic system, which had been inactive for years, was opened up and filled with dirt. Then, the whole area was somewhat smoothed out and left to fill in with native plants.

 

Even though it is still torn up, it looks 100% better than before. We have 1 burning pile left to take care of, and I'm sure Bruce will do that on New Year's Eve (prior to the big, annual New Year's celebration), when the fire risk is very low with the cold and snow.

This is all that is left to burn.

He rented a trenching machine to prepare for electrical and propane lines to be run over to the new cabin site. It was hard going as it is very rocky ground, and required much hand digging to remove rocks when the trencher couldn't get past them.

There was a bit of winterization that needed to be done, so Bruce took the time last weekend to go up and tie up as many loose ends as he could.

I had Election Day off work, and was having such an awful, anxiety ridden day from this horrendous election, that I decided to toss my poochies in the truck, shut the darn radio off, and take a “back roads” road trip up to the cabin.

This is up Brackett Creek.

 

 

 

This is the old Sedan Church, refurbished, and all decked out with Christmas lights, ready for the Holidays.

Such a pretty drive went a long way in soothing the senses. When we got to the cabin, I sat on the deck in the sunshine, read some cabin decorating magazines til about dark, then went in and popped some popcorn. I put in a DVD, sat in the middle of that gosh awful mess of a cabin with Declan and Piper, covered us up with a fuzzy blanket, and proceeded to watch a crazy sci-fi movie. Then we locked up, loaded up in the dark, and hit the trail for home. I felt lucky to have a nice escape day with no TV or computers.

I only put a dab of Thanksgiving decorations out this year. Trying to conserve energy to really get after the “Christmas Extravaganza”!

 

 

 

Already had my Native Americans out. I just love these Skookum dolls.

My big little son is at his new job 200 miles away and can't come home for just one day, so Mr. Bruce and I have been invited to the farm for dinner. My good Mom is cooking, and I will bring a salad and a pie. My Dad is going to BBQ steaks for he and Bruce. It's supposed to start storming tonight, so hope the roads won't be “slickery” for all the Holiday travelers.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

Share

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™‚

 

Share

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

 

Share

Good Company

Look at this pretty little lady that came to share a gift with me.

Right outside my kitchen window, I got to watch the whole, beautiful process of her (and her mate) hatching and rearing their brood. Five perfectly blue eggs, where normally a robin lays only 4. I watched anxiously to see if all five would hatch off.

I stealthily checked each day when she was away from the nest so I wouldn't stress her. It only took a quick peek out my kitchen window to gage the progress. And soon enough…..

Two eggs left, so I kept a close watch to see if they'd hatch.

Four of the 5 hatch, and the funny thing is, the fifth egg just disappeared from the nest! I can't imagine what happened to it – I checked the ground beneath the nest and never did see the egg. So, 4 sweet little babies, and they were this big and feathered just a few short days after they hatched.

A couple more days and they are much more alert and aware of the happenings around them. Their parents spend a lot of time finding food for them. They also spend a lot of time fighting off the wicked awful magpies, who will eat the eggs as well as babies if they get the chance. I am not a fan of magpies. They are very pretty and extremely smart, but noisy, obnoxious, and ruthless.

 

They grow so rapidly that soon the nest is quite tight for them, and is literally overflowing, as they dangle over the nest edge to cool off. Two of them are a fair bit larger than the other 2.

Just a few more days, and the 2 larger chicks fledge. That really surprised me as I assumed they all left the nest at the same time. But nature is very ingenious. This worked perfectly because one parent tended to the fledged chicks, and the other parent kept feeding and tending the 2 smaller ones that remained in the nest.

The 2 smaller remaining chicks.

Only a couple more days of toting and fetching by the parent to the remaining 2, and they were all caught up in size to their siblings.

When I got up this morning and peeked out the window, this is what I saw. I will miss the daily adventure of watching this little family, but feel so blessed to have been able to witness the whole process. And, let me tell you, after having raised a few baby robins when I was a kid, it is a much easier job to watch their parents do all the work! My poor mom got the job of chopping up worms and feeding the babies my brother or I found on the ground because they had been unlucky enough to have been dislodged from their nests by some mishap all those years ago! I guess we must have been squeamish kids; we'd fetch the worms but Mom got the job of chopping and feeding. It was mighty handy having a “Dr. Doolittle” for a mom. She did a great job, and we raised and released several baby robins.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

Share

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

 

Share

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™‚

 

Share

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

 

Share

Bon Fire!

How about the low-down on some home town excitement? πŸ™‚

So, a few weeks ago, we were just getting ready to shut down shop for the day, and I glanced out the window toward the massive log pile we have at work. It is where the professional tree care people drop the BIG trees they've taken down. There was a little wisp of smoke, followed by a short puff of smoke…..I called for one of the fellas to come check what was going on…..then boom!, the whole center of the stack was in flames.

Thankfully, there was no one back there. The fire department was called and came right away.

The smaller brush, and grass, hay, and leaves were in separate but nearby piles.

So they brought big equipment out to push the other flammable materials away from the burning stack of wood.

 

 

It could have been quite the weeny roast / s'mores party if we had known to bring the goods ahead of time (just joshing – our firemen are very professional, safety minded folks, and would never allow such nonsense ;o ). No one knows what started the fire. Maybe a carelessly thrown cigarette, maybe spontaneous combustion; it's a mystery.

Once they got a handle on it and had the flames very manageable , they took advantage (since it was already burning) and added small amounts to the bon fire, a bit at a time, of all the other yard waste that has been piling up for over a year. It took several days, but now there is just a neat and tidy pile of cooled ashes back there. New green waste piles have been started, and there is lots of room for it, which is good, because it has already been coming in fast and furious this Spring. Folks started working in their yards in early March, which is unheard of around here, but Winter backed off extremely early, and everyone is getting after all their yard and garden chores!

This was big news in our little town; made the paper and everything!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

Share

Sweet Spring

Spring is inching it's way in! I haven't posted in awhile because it's been pretty ordinary around here, which is good! I'm certainly not complaining…..I love the slow, comfortable pace of the consistent, simple, everydayness we have in our little town. But not much to pass along in a post that would be of interest to folks.

So, I will just share a few photos I've taken close to home in the last few weeks, and a few pretty shots from Facebook that some of our locals have taken. There really is no rhyme or theme to them, but each is pretty in it's own right, so hope you enjoy.

My garden is coming to life! That always makes me happy, and gives me something to look forward to.

The leaves are unfurling,

bright little shoots are appearing,

a few blooms have popped out,

and the promise of a few more present themselves if the wicked frost stays away.

 

Since I had the day off, and it was such beautiful weather, Declan, Piper, and I decided to forgo all the house chores and take a short car ride. We started off going a few miles South of town.

 

 

 

 

 

My friend Delores, that I used to work with at the clinic, owns this little school house. It sits just behind me as I took the pictures above. Many years ago it was on the front cover of Life Magazine. It hasn't been in use for a long, long time, but they try to to keep it preserved since it is a piece of our local history.

 

Then we went northwest of town and took a few shots of the Crazy Mountains before the snow is all melted off.

 

The photo below is the tail end of the Crazies. If it were a panoramic shot, this would be shown attached to the photos above on the left side.

The tall mound (to the left) is Goat Mountain. The road to our cabin passes to the right of this mountain, and heads several miles deeper into the Crazies.

I took the following on the way back to my house. Since I live on the “hill”, it offers a pretty good overall view of our town.

I like that it catches the back view of the pretty, old train depot. When I was 5, my Grandma took my brother, my 2 girl cousins, and I, on a train trip. Twenty four whole miles to Bozeman, just so we could all experience a ride on a passenger train. I can remember the terrific anticipation, waiting in the train depot, for them to announce our time to board. To me, it was a magical trip. That old depot has always held a special place in my heart since that day.

 

A night shot (by Erik Petersen) of our town I borrowed from Facebook.

Everybody's favorite burger spot in town, only open in the Summertime. Just opened last Wednesday for their 62nd season! (Facebook photo)

When Mr. Bruce got home from work, we took the dogs for a walk down at the dog park next to the river. It was a beautiful, balmy evening.

Luckily, he had his phone with him, so I borrowed it to catch the lovely evening light on the railroad bridge and far off Crazy Mountains.

Ah, sweet Spring!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

Share