A Months Worth Of Blabbering

It's been awhile since I've popped in. Just a bunch of this and that going on. I'm never sure lately, when I first peel an eye open in the morning, what day, month, or year it is. If the radio alarm turns on I know it's a work day, then I try to sort it out from there. It went from that really bad snow storm in May, to 90+ degree temps just days later. The hot, dry summer persisted to the beginning of September, then temps dropped to 30's – 40's and we had to fire up the woodstove, after absolutely melting the week before. That lack of transition makes my poor brain darn confused.

Since I don't have any specific subject matter, I'll just toss a few photos out about what's been going on, and a few leaf peeper views.

My flower gardens are pretty much caput after a few hard freezes. But the grass is greener now that it's cool; much more so than when it was so hot this summer and it was cooked and yellowed.

I climbed over, and rearranged the cabin boxes in the storage room, enough to reach a bit of Halloween decorations. Our house is the only one in a 10 block radius that has any decorations out. Not many seem to be too enthused about the holiday yet, but it makes me happy to see the lights twinkling on my little porch!

My folks are 2 months in at their new place. Oh my gosh – what a Herculean effort it has taken to get them just to where they are at this minute. And they are probably only 1/2 way to where they need to be.

A blank canvas, pre-fenced.

The first thing they lined out before even moving, was to hire a fencer to enclose the entire 7 acres so they'd have a safe, secure place for the little horses. That whole process didn't come without it's bumps and bruises. The first guy only did about 1 square acre, then my folks were lucky enough to find a different guy that was a bit more enthused and motivated to get the job done. It was horrendously expensive, but had to be done. Fencers, especially good ones, are few and far between around here.

Then came the barn builders. Wow, they were some kind of organized! I can't say enough good things about this fledgling business. They were phenomenal, and very affordable comparatively. My folks had to hire a separate business to come out an prepare a pad/foundation before the builders came. That took a couple days to haul all the fill dirt/gravel to the site, then level and compact everything with the big construction equipment. The barn builders started the next day. The framing crew came first, and this is what they accomplished in just 1 day. Amazing!

Take a look at that mighty pretty fence in the foreground, too!

 

 

 

On day 2, a 2nd new crew came to enclose everything with metal sheeting. Not an easy task with the wonderful wind we have around here. They, also, were no nonsense, and this is what it looked like at the end of the day. Really, dirt to this in 2 days!

Front view, and to the right of the house.

 

The back side.

 

The opening on the left end will be framed in to make it not quite so vast, and then regular barn doors will be built and hung in the smaller opening. Individual stalls will be put in at some point. For now, it is good enough shelter from the wind, rain, and snow as it stands. The middle section will hold all the hay, and be a place to park much of the equipment out of the weather. The right end, with the door, is my Dad's shop. A third crew came back about a week later and poured a cement floor in the shop section, and finished everything off. All in all, it is a handsome, well built structure that will surely add value to the place.

Then there's the house……my Mom calls it a Barbie Doll house. It is significantly smaller than the house they moved from. She sold a ton of stuff to an antiques dealer before even moving, gave gobs of stuff away, and handed down important heirlooms to us kids and other family members. There still was nowhere to put things, so she pared down even more and had a big rummage sale to boot. Even though they absolutely did not want to take on major remodeling, she decided to go ahead and turn the garage into a living room, as they really had no space for the things that make a house their home. So everything has been turned upside down inside. Farm activities and dogs + pale blue carpet = not a good mix. Out it goes, to be replaced with hardwood floors. Crazy kitchen layout + old appliances + dark wood cabinets and blue flowered bedroomy wallpaper = bye bye. To be replaced with practical new appliances with no added frills or do-dads; new granite countertops in place of 4 inch tile and grout counters; and cabinets to be painted a nice light color, because that's what she likes. New paint, new light fixtures, new window coverings. All this before even starting from scratch in the garage. A couple that did work on my little house, my present house, and my folks farmhouse, have come out of retirement to work with my folks on this new place. That was a lucky break because it is near impossible to find anyone worth a hoot presently with this crazy housing “surge” our town is experiencing. The carpenter that was all lined out to help Bruce at the cabin has never bothered to even show up. While waiting on the many things that have been ordered, they've taken on a half dozen smaller projects, and also got the garage door pulled out and the new window put in.

Having the garage turned into living space should make a significant difference in how they will be able to function in the house. This garage is 600 square feet, with an added area that will be utilized for storage.

To put this in perspective, the whole main floor of our cabin is 576 square feet, and we have to squeeze in a kitchen, living room, bedroom, bathroom, and hallway!

The walk thru door will be removed, and a new door placed on the opposing wall for access to the patio.

 

 

A wood stove will be put between these 2windows.

It's like I said before, it has been their lot in life to turns coal into diamond at every home they've owned. Although this house was more than adequate when the bought it, it just didn't function the way they needed it to. It wil be a most excellent little farm when they get it all put together.

Luckily, the weather has been fairly decent these last several weeks, which has helped them move things along. I have been very much enjoying the beautiful fall colors, and wish it could stick around.

 

 

 

 

 

So beautiful.

We had a lovely sunset tonight, with some really unusual clouds.

They look like big feathers!

 

My silly Piper had to come help me take pictures. Always one to get the best vantage point!

And I'm sure you've always wondered what a big, hungry, vegetarian gal eats for dinner – so I'll show what was on the menu tonight.

Fried green tomatoes with buffalo berry catsup (my great grandma's secret recipe), garlic Texas toast, and peach iced tea. It was pretty darn yummy!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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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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If you don’t like the weather, wait 5 minutes and it will change!

The weather has been all over the place –

Rain

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Really cold

 

Turning to record high temps, and blue skies

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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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HAPPY FALL!

So, I was being very lazy, and thought how I might just skip the Halloween decor this year. Then I remembered I had skipped it last year because we were tearing out carpet in the living room and replacing it with oak floors, and having the existing oak floors in the dining room and hallway refinished. Then I painted: the living room (3 different colors), hallway, dining room ceiling, all the trim in the whole front of the house, the front door inside and out, the screen door, and all the porch railings. I wallpapered the entryway, finally squared off and finished the opening where the gothic window was supposed to go once upon a time, and we added the birch bark backer to the Tulikivi hearth. Truth be told, I was too dang tired to put any Halloween decorations up!

This year, I had none of that for an excuse. I finally decided to get off my dead rear and get in gear. What good is it to have all this stuff if you don't put it out, right?

I started on the front porch and worked my way in.

 

 

I think this is a bicycle basket. I found it at a rummage sale. My thought was to strap it to the gate after filling it with fake flowers (because they won't be hurt if snow sit on them). It works pretty well!

 

These 2 little green pumpkins were the extent of my pumpkin crop from my raised bed veg gardens this year – WooHoo.

 

You flip a switch on this guy, open the top of his skull, and his eyes (sockets) light up, and it looks like flames come out of his skull. Too cool! (I'm easily entertained)

This little gaggle of witches were some of the first Halloween decorations I bought when I got my own place many moons ago.

My bat picture was an illustration in a super old (early 1900's), tattered kids book I found at a rummage sale. It didn't even have a binding on it anymore, just loose pages held between the covers. So I took some of the cuter animal pictures out, brought them to the copy shop, and had them enlarge and print them on heavy card stock for me. I framed the other animals, but decopaged the bats onto an old metal tray from the thrift I cleaned up and spray painted black, and use it for Halloween. I like bats.

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My Mom made the cute jack-o-lantern pillow for me.

I made the crow plate from an image download from Country Living magazine's web site. I printed it onto old dictionary pages, then decopaged them onto a wooden blank plate that I had painted black. It was a pretty inexpensive project and I like it a lot.

This book came from the free bin at the thrift! I haven't read it yet, but knew it would be perfect to set out for Halloween along with the magic wand my big little son made for me in shop class a few years ago. (I was thrilled when he gave it to me, but now that I think about it, do you 'spose he was trying to tell me something? πŸ™‚ )

 

 

I got these little paper mΓ’chΓ© bats about the same time I got the little group of witches. They are pretty fragile and I've not seen anything like them since I got them so long ago.

Haunted barn.

 

 

Here are our counter egos, Bruce, my little son, and me, Halloween style.

 

 

 

 

This witch cracks me up. If you clap your hands, shut the door too hard, or drop something, etc., she goes into a cackling frenzy and rocks back and forth. There's been a few times Mr. Bruce has stumbled out of bed at 6 in the a.m., shut the door into the kitchen, and off she goes. Probably not exactly what you want to hear before your eyes are barely peeled open. She's been the source of just a bit of under your breath muttering in this house…. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

Even if it's a pain in the neck dragging all this stuff out, it's worth it once it's done. It helps me quit whining about summer being gone so fast, and gets me into a cozy fall mood! One (AKA me) really needs to remember to appreciate each and every day of each and every season!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Porch Appreciation

Nothing better than a little porch appreciation on a warm summer evening.

Sitting in the rocking chair with a kitty by my side. Crickets serenading, a cool breeze wafting, carrying on it's crest the scent of newly opened rose buds, and a nearly full moon lighting the big open sky.

Dear Summer,

Oh, how I adore you!!

Please slow down!!

Sincerely,

Teresa

 

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My Secret Garden

Yup, it's summer. I practically need a flashlight to get from room to room in my house because everything in my yard is so big and green and forest-like, it makes it very dark in most every room.

This is an unusual year for my flower gardens. Almost everything that is flowering right now is in shades of lavender and pink.

The Bleeding Hearts were very pretty this Spring. Too bad the bloom lasts such a short time.

The Fern Leaf Peonie was loaded with blooms this year. They, too, have a short time span for their blossoms.

 

 

 

 

My kitties are sure happy to be out camping in their basket on the front porch. They use the doggie door to come in and eat when they feel like it, but for the most part, we rarely see them in the house all summer because they turn into “Porch Panthers”!

 

These are Dames Rocket. Their blooms last a very long time and smell heavenly, a lot like carnations, or cloves. You have to monitor them fairly tightly because they will happily take over your entire garden.

 

 

I planted pink Lupine last year, but so far only the established purple ones have started flowering.

Still waiting for my other peonies to open. The Fern Leaf Peonie beat these by a whole month. That's OK with me. That way, when they all take turns showcasing, you have something pretty to look at all summer.

This is variegated Dead Nettle. The have a very tiny, delicate pink flower, and are a wonderful, hardy ground cover.

 

In about another week I should have a some beautiful red roses to admire.

It's been a very cool, wet Spring here in my part of Montana, and the plants love it! Today is my day off, so I hope to make some rhubarb jam and rhubarb crisp. I have a bumper crop of it this year.

I miss playing in my yard, but it's nice to know that I'm getting some moolah to get my big little son thru school, and fix up our cute, derelict little cabin….. and the gardens seem to be perfectly happy without me hovering over them!

TTFN πŸ™‚

Teresa

 

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY GLEE!!!

Yesterday was my little sweetie's birthday! Of course we had to have a party.

 

Rooti was kinda tired, so we let him snooze and he ate his cookie later.

 

Asia and Angel were following Rooti's lead.

They were dreaming of sleeping in their favorite basket on the porch, with warm breezes, and birds tweeting in the trees.

So I made some puppy cookies, with tasty, healthy ingredients, for the birthday girl (and everybody else after nap time).

Then we went outside for a short walk but didn't get too far…..too icy!

So we did a few chores instead while we were outside.

Have to earn my keep πŸ™‚

With all the lovely weather we've been having, the wood pile is shrinking fast :-/

Back to the house to warm up, and get a birthday cookie now that they've cooled off.

Did somebody say cookie?

TTFN πŸ™‚

Teresa

 

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Brrrrrrrrrrrrr, I’m not kiddin, it’s COLD OUT!!

I'm too big a sissy to go out in this weather to finish Christmas decorating my porch. There are lights and pine boughs, and if this 20 below stuff doesn't break soon, that might be the extent of it. So, I'll just show you some of the stuff I put out last year instead!

That little Santa is so cute; Bruce brought it from his folk's house in Nebraska a few years ago. He said he can remember when he and the Santa were the same height and when he stood next to it they would be eye-to-eye.

The old runner sled I got for a dime at a rummage sale. It was well loved and well worn when I found it at the sale. I was smitten when I saw it and was a smidge nervous to ask the price because I was afraid I was going to end up paying too much because I wanted it to come home with me so bad. When the nice old fella told me 10 cents, I asked if he was sure because I felt like I was stealing it! He said I was doing him a favor getting his garage cleaned out. Guilt instantly assuaged πŸ™‚

Bruce also brought back a few of these old egg gathering baskets. I like to use them in the house for different things, but thought it would be fun to try hooking some old skates in them for Christmas decorations. It was kind of hard to stabilize them when I strapped them between the posts, but once tightened, they stayed pretty steady for the 3 or so weeks they were out there.

 

 

I wrapped lights that look like candle tops around and around the baskets, and they were ever so twinkly and cute at night.

I just love Christmas, and wish there was a way to slow down the clock this time of year. So much to do and see and get ready for, and then it's here and gone in the blink of an eye. I guess maybe those folks we saw putting up their trees a month ago aren't so far off the mark after all! They be a s-t-r-e-t-c-h-i-n-g out the season for sure!

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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