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

 

Share

Spring Time in the Rockies

This is a pretty time of year around these parts. The snow is just starting to come off the mountains because it's a bit warmer during the day, but there is still plenty of it to shine against our big blue skies on these early spring days. So, here's a little mountain photo overkill for you –

 

 

 

 

 

Big Spring storm rolling in

 

A hint of a rainbow

 

A meandering Yellowstone River, before the Spring run off

 

Everything greening up

 

 

 

Plenty of snow up there yet

 

There are lots of new baby calves on the ground, magpies building nests with zeal, bunnies chasing each other with abandon, robins feasting on big fat worms that are emerging, and shoots, blooms, and tiny green leaves unfolding at every turn. Yup, it's Spring time in the Rockies for sure!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

Share

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 🙂 ) 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 🙂

 

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 🙂

 

Share

Hang On To Your Hat!

Oh, the wind!!! Usually it simmers down toward the end of November, but it has run right into December this year. This sign I saw posted on Facebook just about covers it!

Nonetheless, it has been ever so beautiful on these wintery days. You can just about always count on that around here.

This was last Tuesday –

The next day was about a 180* turnaround –

 

 

This last photo is of the same trees in the first photo. It was so pretty at work…..blustery and cold, everything in shades of black, white, and grey. Then, a half dozen delicate little does and their babies appeared, trekking toward the trees and down to the river, breaking up the monotone landscape.

The next day was like a snow globe had settled, and it brought brilliant blue skies, and sparkling white mountains.

The Canadian Honkers were flying over by the hundreds before the storm set in. Many were landing in the fields nearby where grain had been harvested, taking advantage of what had been knocked off in the process.

Some took time to rest at the river, taking a break from fighting the wind.

When it gets so cold and windy, it tends to slow down a bit at work. It is so nice to have my silly girls to keep me entertained thru the day 🙂

Must be like sitting on your Mom's lap when you're little. The buffalo gal just piles right on top of little Declan, and makes herself comfortable!

Piper taught herself to get up to the window so she can take a gander at all the goings on outside. That drawer is heated, so she pops up there, gets herself situated, and takes in all the happenings. Best spot in the house!

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

Share

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 😉 ).

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

 

Share

Hey, Where Did It All Go?

Made it thru the first week of the new job! Only a few mental collapses, a handful of melt downs, maybe 2 or 3 near complete nervous breakdowns. I think I masqueraded quite well and succeeded in containing most of it fairly neatly inside my little pointed head. I'll just keep chugging my tension tamer tea and hope for the best!

I am going to have to work on some pretty severe brain retraining methods, though, because this job requires that I WORK EVERY SINGLE SATURDAY (Gasp!!) I am going to have to give up my very most favorite-est thing in the whole world – rummage saling 🙁

Oh Lordy Moses, how will I ever cope?

Anyway, while I was at work Saturday, Bruce and our big little son decided to try and forge their way up to the cabin. Since we were not able to mud bog our way in a few weeks ago, Bruce was getting a little anxious and wanted to make sure everything was OK after that huge, deep snow started to dissipate. So imagine their surprise when they were able to actually drive up the mountain the 5+ miles, and found green grass growing around the cabin!

So, we've gone from snow clear to the top of the gates and halfway up the cabin, to driving the truck right up to the front door! Go figure!

 

 

 

Ah, springtime in the Crazies. (Maybe the name says it all!)

Luckily, there didn't seem to be any new damage. Lot's of assessing pictures were taken, and now a remedying plan can start to be formulated.

They saw a moose this trip, but it was lightly snowing, and the phone camera doesn't have much of a zoom, so all in all not too clear.

She was still there when they came out, but was further away.

Maybe winter is behind us now, and we can begin to look forward to starting this new adventure! I am so anxious to spend time at this cute little house in the mountains!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

Share

GOT SNOW?

It did warm up as promised last week. Even at the cabin. But we have tough snow in these parts apparently. Not much of a dent was made in the drifts and piles up the mountain, despite the 40 to 50 degree temps. Bruce decided to venture up to the Moosey Springs Retreat Center for the weekend, regardless of the to-his-chin snow. He brought his small rummage sale find camera. I'm glad he did; this was pretty impressive.

The garage has less of a pitch on the roof. It really piles on there.

Digging out the privy was first priority.

He dug out enough to get a swing space for the door. Then he had to jump off the drift down into the shoveled hole. He had to use snow shoes (the good ones I got at the thrift!) just to get around outside when he wasn't on the snow machine.

Get a load of how much (or little) of that metal gate is showing.

This is at the end of the covered part of the porch. Get out the shovel!

 

This bay window is broken and was tarped up when we bought the cabin. With all the snow now, we can see that this is most likely what broke the glass in the first place, probably last winter. It was put in by the last owner several years ago, and extends out beyond the overhang of the roof, which caused a lot of water invasion problems having no roof protection from the snow and rain. The snow pressing in also broke a window on the porch just since our last time up, so now it has a blue tarp cover also.

Bruce told me he fixed dinner, played some solitaire, listened to the radio and read a bit, then hit the hay. At 12:30 in the a.m. he was jolted out of bed by a noise, the likes of which he had never heard before. He grabbed a flashlight, jumped into his boots, and ran out to the porch. A great big chunk of the snow had slid off the roof with a crash.

 

By the following afternoon, most of it had come off. There is a wood burning cook stove on the enclosed porch, and where that chimney comes out of the roof, the weight of the snow sliding off bent the stovepipe like a straw.

 

Oh my goodness there is a long list of fixes to tackle this spring to get this little abode back on it's feet! It is most certainly usable right now, but is also at a point where if we don't jump on the disrepair it has befallen, we will be in a peck of trouble a few years down the line. Hmmm……kind of reminds me of a house we bought awhile back 🙂 Thankfully the cabin is less than a quarter the size of our house, so fingers crossed it won't take forever and a day to get it put in good order. Fingers crossed really hard….

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

Share