My itty bitty brain is just whirling – just a few weeks ago it was snowing pretty mightily around here; now it feels like full blown summer. I mean windows open, birds tweeting, grass growing inches per day summer! A few weeks ago, I was a domestic diva 🙂 tending my house, chopping wood, keeping my laundry up; now I'm back to alarm clock waking, trying to figure out what would be fastest to prepare for dinner after work, and making lists so I can try to keep up with everything that needs to be done in my very condensed at-home-time. Yup, no mo fairytale, it's back to the real world.

So, in order to try and achieve a little zen, I will share some pictures of random this and thats I have captured in the spare minutes I've grabbed over the last several days.




I have lots of pretty little flowers popping out. I was sad to see that I did lose many plants and ornamental bushes to this vicious winter we just escaped from – what a cold mean bugger he was!

We have had a few pretty substantial downpours over the last few weeks, and the bright side to that, along with the glorious greenness that presents itself, are these wonderful gifts from nature –

Morels! Oh, they are so yummy! Just soak them in water with a few teaspoons of salt and about a teaspoon of vinegar to dislodge any buggies trying to make a morel it's home, drain 'em, make sure they are nice and clean, cut them in half lengthwise, and drop them into a frying pan with a little butter, olive oil, sea salt, smoked paprika, and a smidge of pepper. For real, they are a gourmet gift to your taste buds! My big little son went down to the river and scouted out a few, which we ate for dinner that night. The next day he went out to my folk's farm and found about a quart of them. They are shiny clean and residing in the freezer, to be carefully doled out on special occasions.


There were at least a dozen Western Tanangers in my yard today, flitting about, eating from the suet feeder, and having a merry time. I just love watching all the birds that come to my yard. I think this giant window we put in during the kitchen remodel was the smartest thing we've done with this house. Actually, that would probably be second to the Tulikivi.

I changed a few things around in the family room. I found a beautiful print by one of our local artists, downtown at an antique/junk store. I needed another picture like I need a hole in the head, but it was so reasonably priced I couldn't resist.

I had the frame which I'd purchased several summers ago at a yard sale, so just had to have a mat cut and was good to go. It is a Russell Chatham print. I looked thru his archives online, and I believe this one is named “March Afternoon”. I truly love his work. He has lived here for decades, and the biggest majority of his art is done of this area, primarily Paradise Valley. His lithos and oil paintings go for many thousands of dollars, so I was happy to just be able to have stumbled across a print I could afford. Any kind of affordable work of his is about as scarce as hen's teeth to find. (Sorry about the reflections on the picture – I don't know how to get around that in photography yet.)

I found the “Indian Lane” street sign at a rummage sale the week before I started work. (Don't even get me started on having missed the last 4 weeks of rummage saling – I could just cry about it!) The metal Indian head is also a rummage sale find from a summer past.

Work has begun on the cabin.



It's still chilly enough in the evenings to have to start the wood stove up.

Coming home we saw this Mama and baby. Within a half mile stretch we saw the moose, at least a dozen deer, 10 antelope (which was strange because we were still in the mountains and they usually prefer being out on the flats), and these 2 courting cranes below.

So, that's a lot of randomness for sure, and is probably just the tip of the iceberg for what the summer holds. We have a lot of irons in the fire! Guess I better stock up on Wheaties! Or spinach!





The Five Seasons of Montana

Yup, five of 'em – Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring, and Mud!

I went for a short drive a week or two ago and really got a kick out of this little trailer when I saw it! Someone is going to capitalize on our 5th season, and they must really think it is going to be a doozy if they're going to the trouble to start a boot cleaning business!

It's an actual trailer that hooks to a vehicle! I don't have any idea what the real story is behind it, but knowing full well how sloppy, sticky, and goopy it can get here in the Spring, I thought maybe someone was really on to a money maker. It sure tickled my funny bone when I saw it. But I'm not pulling your leg about the mud around here.

We were hoping to be able to get in one more snowmobile run to the cabin since there is so much snow left yet. We actually had a bit of a flurry here yesterday and it stuck, which usually means 2 or 3 times more snow than we get in town lands in the mountains. So Bruce loaded up both the snowmachine and the 4wheeler not knowing what we'd encounter for sure, and off we went. It looked pretty dicey when we got there –

The forest service has had some loggers doing work up there this winter, so they had kept a section of the road plowed. Now that the melt off has started, the road is a wreck. Bruce thought he would try to drive in as far as possible (with the truck and trailer), then if the going got too tough we'd unload the 4wheeler or snowmachine to get in the rest of the way.

Well, I nearly stuck both of my feet thru the floor board in the truck I was so braced. It was too, too scary for me, so he had the monumental task of getting the truck turned around in all this muck, while pulling the trailer no less.


We got back to the main road, unloaded the snowmachine, and thought we could ride in on the snow beside the road. We had to ride double which makes it harder, and that snow was the consistency of snowcone ice, not nice and fluffy which works to keep your machine on top of the snow. Plus, it had melted down enough that the tops of all the sagebrush was sticking out and you had to drive right over them, breaking them off as you went. Some of the tracked vehicles had made huge ruts in the snow which nearly tipped us over when we'd hit them. Finally I said “STOP! I'm getting off!”, and I bailed. Bruce kindly suggested we turn around and head home, such a wise man 🙂 I was in a bit of a dither by then. So, we drove back down, loaded up, and pointed our noses toward home. It was a pretty day to take the snowmachine and 4wheeler for a ride on the trailer, hope they enjoyed it!

In consolation, it's always a pretty drive up there, and we did see some interesting things, so not a complete loss. The cranes are coming in, and I was able to get a few pics of these guys. We saw probably a dozen overall.


My folks have a pair that come in and nest at their place on the river every year. Mom says that is how she knows when Spring is finally here.

Well, that was my adventure for the week…. I suspect we won't be trying that again in the too near future! Lordy, I don't know how those folks that live up there full time do it! I'm not a sissy for the most part, but I sure didn't want Bruce and I to turn into a Donner Party of sorts – I'm a vegetarian for Pete’s sake.





Doh – More %{?£*# SNOW

So, how about some pretty pictures of Hawaii……

Maybe you live in a place where there is actually hope of Spring being just around the corner. That does not seem to be the case here. So, in order to placate my own grumpy, restless, hairpulling self, I'll dust off some of my 6 year old Hawaiian vacation pictures and give myself at least a visual break from the snow, snow, snow around here. Even if it is lovely weather where you live, Hawaii is still awfully darn pretty to look at, any time.


Beautiful, pounding surf.


Whale watching.

Dolphins kept everybody on the boat entertained.

They would swim up to the boat, stick their heads out of the water, and look right at you. I wanted to pet one so bad. I suppose that is the same way tourists feel when they come to Yellowstone, and that's why a lot of them end up gored by a buffalo, or stomped by an elk etc., because they don't want to be petted by no darn tourists. Needless to say, I kept my hands in the boat.

We were on the Big Island, where even being so far away, there were lots of reminders of home. Lots of cows and horses, and open ranch land.


This was the beach at Honolulu. There was not a shortage of people there for sure.


They had some mega goldfish at a downtown shopping center. I don't know if they were considered koi or not; I'm not up on my fish breeds.

There were lots of funky people standing around on the streets in downtown Honolulu, all with different costumes or talents. Each had boxes for you to toss money into as you passed – here is one fella we went by, sitting still as a statue.


This giamongous aquarium was in the hotel we stayed at. You could watch the fish as you ate breakfast. The guy swimming around with them was cleaning the glass inside the tank. That would be a fun and different job, wouldn't it?

They had so many beautiful and different kinds of flowers and birds, everywhere you looked.




Beautiful sunsets.


We went to a Luau, waited a very long time for our dinner, and very shortly after the show started, here came the rain. The show cancelled, and we all ran back to our rooms, getting soaked in the process. At least the rain was warm. I was sad we missed out because they really sock you in the pocketbook for that kind of touristy entertainment, and if Mother Nature interrupts, too bad, no refunds.

We had wanted to go snorkeling, but while we were on the Big Island, a volcano erupted a little, which caused what they refer to as “vog” (volcanic fog). It makes it overcast and the water is dark from the cover, so when snorkeling you can't see the fish very well at all, we were told. So that plan got chucked.

It was a pretty view of town from the balcony on our room. The wind was warm, and it was so nice to sit and listen to the ocean.




So many places we stopped looked just like a postcard.

Had to visit King Kamehameha.

Lots of folks enjoyed this very calm swimming spot.


There, now I feel much better. It's nice and dark out, so I can't see the frozen tundra on the other side of my window. I can go to bed thinking of warm trade winds, sunny skies, and cocoanut drinks 🙂 Not that I'm griping or anything.





Yup, Still Winter

It was a below zero weekend, but lovely nonetheless.

A big bunch of cedar waxwings came to my yard and helped themselves to the freeze-dried Japanese flowering crab apples that are still clinging to the branches.

These pretty little birds were a mere 4 feet away from my back door, and very graciously ignored me while I took their pictures.


I love the soft little trilling sounds the make when they come to feed.



The wind wasn't blowing (which is very unusual around here), so minus a couple of degrees was pretty tolerable. You tend to get used to having to deal with a windchill factor that will have you growing icicles off your beard….Bruce was testament to that this week while out shoveling the sidewalks! He had an icicle long enough dangling from his mustache that he tried to make it in the house to show me, but it fell off at the door and shattered 🙂

We decided to try and shake off some cabin fever, and hopped in the truck for a short drive around town.

We have a lot of deer right in town. They are not terribly afraid of people and this doe was not bothered at all by me taking her picture.

There are 2 in the pictures; can you see the second one?

On the outskirts of town there is a trail where we walk the dogs when the weather is a bit more cooperative. You cross a little bridge over this creek and it feels like you are miles away from any town. There were several ducks there when we took our drive. Had I known we would be seeing them, I would have brought some bread for them. Even tho they are wild, they will let you feed them, and when it's this cold, a little nourishment goes a long way for these critters.

Anyhow, it is supposed to be in the forties starting Tuesday, and last the entire 10 day extended forecast per Weather Underground. We'll see…… 🙂





Pre-Halloween Mantel

I'm having a heck of a time scrounging up pictures of my house before we really tore into the remodeling phase. I would really like to have a starting point reference to share, for anybody that likes that sort of thing. Personally, I live for before and afters 😉 . I really do appreciate seeing how rooms/houses evolve. I feel that all the care, thought, interesting colors, furniture choices, decorative additions and such a person shows in a home, let other folks see the heart of that person, sometimes so very different from how they present themselves in every day life. So I'll keep digging for those pictures, and get a post together for a little later, but for now I'll show you my pre-Halloween mantel in my bedroom. We're in the middle of a big tear-it-up project (which I will also share later), so I'm lagging in my fall decorating.

I just have a little point and shoot camera, so nothing too fancy here, but it lets me share my heart 🙂 .


A pretty wreath my mom made for me


A little robin's egg shell I found in my yard


One of my favorite things to look for on walks, heart shaped rocks


A couple feathers from the naughty, noisy magpies that live in my yard, and a few cute, quiet little birds



The fake logs make a great night light with their pretend flickering fire