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 🙂

 

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Winter Mantle

I don't decorate for Christmas in my bedroom, but I did decide having a few of my favorite deer out would make a nice Winter mantle.

I kept the wreath my Mom made, the wooden box, and the little cabinet, but switched all the birds for deer.

 

 

 

I told Mr. Bruce he was off the hook for a stocking stuffer for me, and got this pretty little roe deer faux mount for myself.

We're just 11 short days away from Christmas, and I'm ready to start baking and candy making for the remainder of my gift giving. All the “bought” presents are waiting to be wrapped. I made it easy on myself this year and just put a minimal amount of decorations out. This is the very first time since I've lived in my own house that I haven't gone hog wild and decorated the house from top to bottom. Even with just a pretty tree, and a couple of cute, cheery things set out, it looks cozy and festive and is good enough for who it's for!

Best wishes for a safe, memorable, and joy filled Christmas to you and yours!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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Hometown Charm

There are a lot of very talented and artistic people that live in and around our little town. Lately there have been some especially nice photographs locals have been sharing of our area, on Facebook. Thought I'd share a few here to try and spice up this dullish little blog-o-mine.

This is a nice shot of Park Street, the main street that runs from east to west across town. On the left is the Murray Hotel, on the right is the the very beautiful old train depot. I am not sure who took this photograph, but if anyone seeing this knows who did, let me know and I am happy to give the well deserved credit.

A very pretty old barn a few miles east of town, on the Old Clyde Park Road. I believe Debby Perryman's took this photo, and the two that follow.

 

I took these, below, of our neighborhood deer (I'm sharing not because I'm talented or artistic, but because I'm amazed these ding-a-lings will practically let you walk up and pet them when they're supposed to be “wildlife”). This is just around the corner, about a block from my house.

 

Not anything too terribly exciting going on lately, which is good! I'm not much of a fan of trauma and drama, so I'll take nice and quiet any time. If I don't post again before Thanksgiving, I hope you all have a safe, happy, healthy one!

TTFN!

Teresa

 

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A Crazy Ride

Here are a few photos of a nice afternoon ride we took around the cabin on the 4 wheeler this summer. The Crazy Mountains are a beautiful place to be. This was a sort of last hurrah knowing that the work on the cabin was going to get very real, very shortly. So we dedicated the whole weekend to goofing off.

 

 

A lot of the mountain wild flowers were starting to peek out. It was cool, and beautiful, and the flies were not tormenting us.

 

 

 

We caught this gal taking a nap not far off the trail.

I was sorry we had disturbed her, but she didn't seem to be too bothered by Us.

I had taken Declan on short rides on the scooter and 4 wheeler, but this ride was a couple of hours, and she loved every minute! Since we've gotten Piper, she has gone on a few not quite as long jaunts, and is also quite the mountain girl. I just tuck one under each arm, ride on the back while Bruce drives, and off we go!

We came across this old abandoned cabin, which was quite large. I wonder if it was a family homestead back in the day, which many people often left for “proper houses” closer to town eventually. I wouldn't think someone would go to the trouble of building a weekend cabin just to let it fall to such ruin.

Since there were so many flowers coming out, there was an abundance of butterflies nectar hunting. I was able to catch a few shots of this one.

 

 

A lot of the old pine trees at higher elevations were covered with this moss. They looked a little spooky.

 

There are some pretty spectacular views to be had in the Crazies. I cannot tell you how blessed we feel to have a little piece of this paradise.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Such a wonderful day!

Now back to reality, and the labor of love that lies in front of us! YIKES! A humongous labor of love!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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This and That

Not much going on, so this is going to be a scattered, random, pretty nonsensical post.

So, Declan has commenced losing her baby teeth. (YAY) It has been pretty hysterical! She lost her 2 front teeth first, and looked every bit a kindergartener. This was followed by the checkerboard look as the others in the frontline followed suit. Now she has a double row of the very sharp eye teeth. The new ones are coming in, and the baby ones remain tightly anchored. She will not sit still enough for me to take a picture of the full effect, but here is a very close likeness! (TeeHee 😉 )

She is growing by leaps and bounds, but is still pretty little! Since I take her to work with me, she gets to visit with a lot of folks. Most ask what breed she is, and I tell them her story, and that it's pretty much a mystery, but that I tend to think she is mostly Jack Russell terrier. Well, that opens the gate to the guessing game, and everyone has their very own opinion as to what they think she may be – I've been told she's everything from chihuahua to collie (?!?, she's only 8 pounds, don't think there's enough room in there for collie!), with everything in between…beagle, corgi, manchester, and on and on. If I was extremely wealthy I would order one of those doggy DNA kits to solve the mystery, but they are about $75! So I believe I will just start telling folks, with a very definitive air, that she is a genuine terrier mutsky.

I got a new phone for Christmas that has a camera. I didn't feel comfortable taking either of my “real” cameras to work for fear I would damage them. It is so darn pretty out there most days, I was just in mourning when something awesome would present itself (or my little beasty would do something adorable) and I was camera-less. I'm finding it's pretty hit-and-miss with this phone camera, but at least I can kinda capture the moment.

The heater was broken at work for about 3 weeks. It was COLD out there first thing in the morning til I could stoke up the space heater. Declan didn't fuss at all when we would go straight in and bundle her tight in her shop blankey.

After it warmed up some, she was ready to visit with folks as they came thru, or wrestle around with her toys. She is so good at work, no trouble at all. It is really nice to have her for company during slow spells.

There is absolutely no zoom on this phone camera. Which is a shame, because if you could see how the light is reflected off the Crazy Mountains bright and early in the morning – it is breathtaking! Magnify this by about 100 (which is how my eye sees it), and this is just a quarter of the 360 degree view I have all around me at work.

I can remember sitting in my cubicle at my old job (where I had spent my entire adult life), stacks of papers and books all around me, feeling overwhelmed and sick with stress, and just thinking “if I could just sit and look out the window for a minute, I would feel so much better”. Thank you, Lord, I've gotten my wish! It is a grand thing for your mind and soul when you have a phenomenal job!

I've not gotten to the cabin yet this winter. Bruce tries to make it worth his while when he goes, so usually leaves Saturday morning and comes back Sunday evening. I work every Saturday, so our schedules are not in sync. But it has been dreadfully cold and windy this winter so far, so guess I can hold out on going and not be too terribly sad. His snowmachine is out of commission presently, so he is grounded til he can get it repaired. Since we had some weekend time together, we went to dinner at the Chinese restaurant last Saturday and did a bit of tourage on the gerbil wheel here in town.

This big boy came over to see what the dickens we were looking at.

 

A couple of old abandoned log homes down on the island. See the doe standing to the right at the 2nd cabin? I can't believe someone hasn't fixed these up. You just don't see abandoned homes in our area much, if ever. I was appalled when we vacationed in New England and saw so many awesome, historical homes boarded up, or in a derelict falling down state. It just made me heart-sick! I told Bruce if we could figure out how to transport them to Montana for cheap, we could plop them on a couple acres, fix them up, and sell them for bazillions of dollars! But that is a far fetch between New Hampshire and Montana.

 

Even when it's cold and blustery, you can still find something wonderful to do if you're up for it. See the fisherman mid-picture? He's not letting the weather slow him down any! We saw lot's of folks walking their dogs, kids sledding, even one couple cross country skiing right on the streets in town!

We stopped and fed the ducks at the park.

FLASH MOB! Boy, were they hungry! Lots of folks feed them, but it's just been so cold, they need lots of feed.
No skaters tho. It's been too darn windy. It makes the ice freeze like ~~^~~^~~^~~^~~ which is a much too rough surface to skate on.

 

 

 

More of these goofs in town. These guys were about a block from my house. They are totally urbanized and not scared a bit.

My favorite giant.

 

Late afternoon New Years Day out at my folk's farm. We had a fun potluck, and my Mom made a kettle of chili and some delish desserts.

That's about all the excitement I have for now! Bet it about knocked your socks off 🙂

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Christmas Decorations – 3

Next batch 🙂

Because there are so many pics I'm not gabbing much, but if you would like to know more about any of my decorations, go back to December of last year in my archives. I included a bit of history about most of the things I put out. My Mom, who is wonderfully talented, made many of my decorations.

Onward!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cross finger these go thru! See you for part 4 in a minute.

Teresa

 

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One Thing Down, A Thousand More To Go

 

August is fire season in Montana. This year is no exception. We've gotten smoke here even from fires as far away as Canada, and more recently, the Missoula area, which is about 230 miles from here. Everything takes on an orangish hue, it gets very hazy, and distant views are very limited. Sometimes it smells very smoky out, at other times you barely notice. Montana is plagued with a pine bore beetle infestation. That makes for lots of standing dead pine trees in our forests, which is certainly fire fodder. That's why I was so happy the forest service came in last winter to the area where our cabin is, and did some clearing to hopefully reduce fire risk.

There was a huge standing dead pine, and a few smaller ones, on our property at the cabin.

Definitely not an asset. Too much big wind, lightning, heavy snow, etc., around here, and it needed to come down – with help, not on it's own, as it could possibly squash our little outhouse, or worse, if left to it's own devices, fall to where the cabin will be placed on it's new location (that'd be great, wouldn't it, to just get the cabin moved over, then have a huge tree fall on the roof?) Time to get gone, tree.

This tree was particularly bad as the top branched out in 3 different directions, which makes them even more dangerous. A pine tree with a single trunk and a split, multi branched out top is called a “school marm” by loggers. It also already had a bad crack down the side of the trunk, which considerably weakens the stability.

Bruce knows a fellow who formerly logged for a living, and asked him if he could come knock it down since he had the experience. He said he'd be happy to, and would enjoy it since he doesn't often have the opportunity to do that since he's changed professions. Very lucky for us. It took him no more than a few minutes, and he had that giant dead tree laying on the ground in just the right direction.

 

 

 

 

 

Bruce earlier took down the few other smaller trees himself, but this huge one was just too dangerous and really needed someone with the proper expertise to take it down. (Thanks Brian!!)

We had gotten a firewood permit last month from the forest service, and my big little son and I had made one trip up and gotten about a cord plus that we loaded up and brought to the cabin. That is only about a third of what probably will be needed for the winter up there. We knew we'd have to make at least a few more forays out amongst the giant, man eating horse flies (they are horrible up there this time of year, and bite like the dickens) to get a couple more cords, but now with these dead trees felled right here on our own property, there should be more than plenty to last the winter and spring.

Lucky Bruce now gets to cut all the logs to length with the beautiful, new chain saw I asked for for my birthday last year! One of the best, most useful presents I've ever gotten, and comes complete with a fella to run it 🙂 .

There was a full moon when we stayed this last weekend.

We had a campfire and roasted marshmallows, and watched the big, bright moon rise over the mountains. Doesn't get much better than that.

The next morning, this doe was standing right outside the kitchen window as I made coffee.

You can see the wild raspberry bushes growing in front of and under the deck. Glee loves raspberries, so we picked all the ripe ones we could find and she ate them for a snack.

So, at least one more thing checked off the massive to-do list at Moose Springs. Gotta love that!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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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…… 🙂

TTFN

Teresa

 

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