SUNDAY

Sunday is the first of my 3 days off from work each week. It is the only day Bruce and I have off together. Nearly every week I end up doing the same things on my days off….laundry, clean house, pay bills, go to the grocery store, more laundry, etc., etc.

This last Sunday, I got up, was out of milk for coffee, and decided today was a good day for a French vanilla latte! So I hopped in my car and went downtown and bought one ( which is about a 3 times per year special occasion for me).

Coming home, I passed the gas station, and it dawned on me that gas is pretty darn cheap presently!

DAY OFF + CHEAP GAS + SICK OF NOT DOING ANYTHING FUN = ROAD TRIP!!!

Mr. Bruce totally agreed, so we put our heads together to come up with an interesting destination. After throwing out 3 or 4 ideas, I suggested Harlowton, because it is Only 79 miles from here, and I've never been there in my life. We usually road-trip westward because it is more mountainous, therefore a bit prettier in my book. When you head East from here, once past Big Timber it gets fairly flat and prairie-ish.

We loaded up the poochies and were off and running. Just out of Big Timber, we headed north. First stop; Melville, MT. Had never been there before either. It consists of approximately 2 houses, 4 empty buildings, and a little BBQ shack restaurant that is also the post office. Blink and you miss it 🙂 But about another mile down the road is the most charming little church. And you are also on the backside of the Crazy Mountains which gives a beautiful new perspective.

 

 

 

 

It was a kind of funny, overcast day. Even tho it was still pretty scenery, the light was pretty crummy for picture taking. It made the buildings look sort of scary, rather than charming and old. So I skipped pics of the little town.

Next stop, Harlowton. I was surprised at it's size, actually. I thought it would be about half as big. It even has it's own compact little hospital. Checking online, it says they have a population of 991 people.

Here is a photo of their Credit Union. It is such a cool little building! Constructed of all small, round-ish, multicolored local rocks. There were several fences around town built by the same method.

We toured around, took the dogs for a short walk to give 'em a potty break, then headed down the road.

We came upon this sign which gave an interesting history about the Crazies, so thought I'd share.

(For some reason, the way this blog is formatted, all the photos are very small. If you click on the photo you can see a much larger and better detailed version.)

Next little town we hit was Two Dot. About 3 times the size of Melville, making for a grand total of about 18 buildings, maybe 8 of which were occupied. It says online the population is 127, but I think that might be stretching it a bit, unless they may have counted the dogs and chickens 😉

Down the road another stretch, and we came to Lennep, MT. It says online that Lennep is a ghost town, but we saw some vehicles parked by a couple buildings, whatever that's worth. They also had a pretty little church that looks very well cared for, for a ghost town.

 

I think the larger building below was most likely a store, and maybe hotel, guessing by the number of rooms it seems to have held. The smaller building, not sure. The railroad ran right thru the town back in the day.

 

An old squared log home, right on the edge of town.

The next town is Martinsdale. It houses the Bair Family museum, an old ranch homestead that has been restored and opened to the public. It is a wonderful adventure to take in.

Google images

 

Google images

It was closed when Bruce and I drove past, but my Mom, Son, and myself toured it several years ago.

Then we finished the loop by dropping thru Wilsall, Clyde Park, then home. It was a very fun day, and now I can't say I haven't been to Harlowton!

We were blessed by the most phenomenal sunset – it was truly the cherry on top!

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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PYROGRAPHY

While I impatiently wait for the weather to clear, I thought I'd throw a little something at you that you probably don't read up on every day. Pyrography! A most vital subject that everyone should know a little about 🙂 Apparently it was a really popular craft, way back in the day, for young ladies to learn. Kind of like embroidery samplers, sewing, crocheting, tatting, knitting, etc. It involves using a wood burning instrument and burning designs onto wooden furniture pieces, boxes, and the like.

Several times on this blog I have mentioned furniture I have inherited that was originally owned by my Great Grandmother. I'm going to jump on the genealogy bandwagon again and tell you yet another story about some pieces that came from (and, in this case, were made by) her. Her parents had 8 children, and like most pioneers the family lived hard lives. They lived in and around Virginia City, MT, and other small towns in the near vicinity. Both did a multitude of jobs to try and make ends meet and keep their children fed. At one time, the family kept 40 (FORTY!) boarders at their place. This was when gold mining was booming in the area. When the children were smaller, my Great Great Grandfather employed a Chinese man to help my Great Great Grandmother cook for all these folks they boarded, and also an American Indian woman everyone called Indian Mattie to help with the massive amounts of laundry that had to be kept up (this was pre-wash machine days; tub and wash board, heat the water on a fire times). As the children got older, they were put to work helping either their mother or father with many different tasks. By the time my Great Grandmother was 13 years old, she did a large share of the cooking for their many boarders. Learning at that young age turned her into a phenomenal cook for the rest of her life. Most girls of that day (around the turn of the century) only attended school until about the 8th grade. I don't know how my GtGtGrandparents achieved it, and my 96 1/3 year old Grandmother can't remember all the details of the story, but somehow they were able to send my GtGrndmthr to a boarding school for girls. Actually, she attended 2 schools, St. Peter's Catholic School in Anaconda, and St. Vincent's Academy in Helena. Pyrography was one of the skills she learned.

They probably started with smaller projects like this box she did. But look at the detail!

Even on the sides, every bit was covered in detail. That would have taken a lot of concentration for a seventh or eighth grade child to achieve.

As their skill level progressed, so did the size of their projects.

 

 

I think this level of detail is amazing, especially when you think she was only twelve-ish.

This table was also one of her projects; I'm not sure what caused the blackened area damage, but it is old, and I'm sure has been thru a lot over the years.

 

 

Apparently, not only girls learned the skill. This small table was done by my Great Uncle when he was a boy.

He was an Uncle by marriage (married to my Grandmother's sister), so we're not too sure about his childhood history, where he would have learned this craft.

 

And this small piece of art I found at an antique/junk store in Big Timber. I can't control myself when it comes to anything to do with antique sheep art of any kind. I have a lot of prints and paintings of sheep, lots of Putz, ceramic, and china sheep. Which reminds me, it's about time to put the sheep collection into the decorating rotation! I like to see lambies at Easter time……sure says springtime to me.

 

 

I would like to know the story behind this little plaque. I wonder if some astute little student worked long and hard on this project at her (or his) boarding school far away from her parents, if she was a native Montanan like my GtGrandmother, just what the long story must be before it got to my home. That's why I cherish antiques; whether they are from my family and I know their story, or it's a piece I've found and it's story is a mystery, I think they deserve a safe haven and place of honor because they've made it thru all the bumps and dings time dishes out.

TTFN

Teresa

 

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INTERMISSION

A quick break from the long winded long journey saga.

It was our wedding anniversary the other day! We made a fun day of it. There is a lot of awesome stuff to see and do in Montana if you’re willing to drive a tad bit to do it. Some of the touristy kind of stuff tends to shut down after Labor Day, so we decided to make hay while the sun was shining, and take a road trip. Mr. Bruce took a vaca day, we hopped in the truck and headed down the pike to Ennis and Virginia City.

Ennis is a cute little town, good art and antique shopping, the Madison river runs thru the town and is very popular with the fishermen. It was so busy when we were there I couldn’t get a picture of the downtown for all the traffic. I did catch these 2, a mere block off the main drag, having a nice apple snack.

 

 

We moseyed thru lots of shops, then went on to have a gourmet lunch of hot dogs and nachos at the gas station. Delish!! Onward to Virginia City –

Virginia City is a ghost town, brought back to life as a fun, touristy destination. I have been there innumerable times because 4 generations of my Mom’s family has lived and worked most of their lives in the Madison Valley. Here’s a quick picture tour.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Imagine my surprise when I saw this picture at the museum, in the ladies bathroom no less.

It is a photo of my Grandma’s grandparent’s (so my great, great grandparents) general store in Laurin, MT. We were told lots of stories about her adventures there when she was a little kid. She and my Granddad are 97 years old now. They live here, but still travel to the Madison Valley at least once a month to visit folks there.

When we got home, Mr. Bruce gave me 2 very special anniversary presents. Someday I must learn to zip my lip and not whine about cool things I see but won’t buy because I’m too cheap. Being the good hearted fella that he is, he very stealthily picks them up and surprises me with them. He probably figures he’s getting off easy, because then he doesn’t have to listen to me lament about them for a week or better 🙂 .

I thought these were just perfect Cottagelodge –

Cottage

 

Better Homes and Gardens is pretty cottagey, Fishes are pretty lodgey! It’s just right!

And the second present I think is just stunning!

A giclee of a red fox! If lodgey is your cup of tea, I’m sure you agree with me.

I surely appreciate our fun anniversary road trip! Won’t be too long til the snow flies, so it was wonderful soaking up some late summer sunshine and pretty scenery.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

Teresa

 

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