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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Parade of Homes

First and foremost, THANK YOU LORD FOR THE RAIN AND SNOW!!!!! Usually I fuss about winter coming, but this year I welcome it with open arms if it helps in getting these horrible forest fires put out. It says in the Great Falls Tribune that an estimated 1,103,252 acres have burned in Montana this summer. What a tragedy. You'll see a bit of snow in some of the pictures in this post, and I'm lovin' it!

On with the story. Every fall there is an event called “Parade of Homes” in Bozeman (and neighboring counties if the homes submitted are snazzy enough to meet the Parade's high standards). It is one of my favorite events to attend, and I really look forward to it each year. I wasn't sure I'd be able to go this year because we all have so much going on, and weekends are mighty short. But, thankfully, we were able to get things straightened around enough to be able to take in the very last day they had the homes open. There were 15 homes this year, 13 in Gallatin County, 2 in the County where I live. There are so many people milling around in the homes it is nearly impossible to get any good photos, and I'm not sure they really want you to anyway since they charge admission, and probably don't want folks showing the home photos around and maybe putting a dent in the ticket sales. I took exterior photos of my 2 favorites, just to give an idea of the awesome views they have surrounding these beautiful homes.

Look at that lovely snow!

 

 

I did snap one quick one of the living room in this home.

 

 

 

 

This home was up Paradise Valley. This particular builder always does a great job every time he's had a home in the parade. I think this is the 4th house he's built that I've been fortunate enough to see.

After touring this home, we drove back to town, then headed over the hill to Bozeman. We went thru the catalog provided with the ticket purchase and decided to pare it down a bit. We chose just the ones we thought looked most interesting, and picked 6 to tour out of the remaining 13. I was not terribly impressed this year. Most were extremely modernized versions of “farm houses”, or “traditional houses”. The outside would look fairly true to form, then you'd step inside, and eek! Holy smoke, ultra modern. Not my cup of tea by a long shot. One we went to was fairly normal, a roomy 3200 square feet, vaulted ceilings, 4 bedrooms, 2 1/2 baths, a modest media/theater room (some of them are vast in these parade homes), attached garage, and a tiny yard that was barely a strip on each of the 4 sides of the house. It was the most liveable for a family with children I thought (except for the tiny yard which didn't give kids much room to play), and I supposed the price would be somewhat affordable for a typical young family budget…….I was shocked when I saw it was $749,000! It is beyond me how a young family can take on those kinds of payments. And what is even more shocking is the fact that they sell rapidly! That is why the real estate market in our little town is going haywire – we are getting the overflow of folks from Bozeman that can't afford those outrageous prices. But they can pay more than most people employed in our little town, so it is driving the prices up here by leaps and bounds.

It makes me worry for my big little son. He has a good job for this area, and yet he would have to make five times his wage to afford something half as much as this “normal” home on the parade. And that is the case for most all the young adults that I know around here.

Anyhoo, the last house we saw was my very favorite. It was just a few miles down the road from Bridger Bowl Ski Resort, and the area is spectacular in every direction for views.

It was hard to get a decent photo because it was built high up on the hillside, and had a treacherously steep driveway to get up to it. The whole road, from where you left the pavement, clear to the house, was basically a glorified cow track. It made the road to our cabin look perfectly tended and groomed!

They made you park far below, then walk up the road to the driveway, then hike the whole driveway to the house. Whew! But as you can see, almost all the front of the house was windows – and get a load of the view out of said windows….

 

 

 

 

 

This is looking directly at some of Bridger Bowl's ski runs. Just a sprinkle of snow on them now; much, much more to come later!

 

Even tho we probably should have stayed home and worked on the to-do list, it was nice to take a break, see some lovely (and some interesting) homes, and get off the beaten path for a change.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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In A Good Path For The Eclipse

Our little town is not too far away from the path where folks had the ultimate view of the eclipse. We were able to view about 95% coverage of the sun. Boy, people were sure wound-up about it! The eclipse viewing glasses were a major hot ticket item everywhere you looked. Just before the big day, some enterprising soul was trying to sell the silly little paper and plastic things for $25 a pair on Craigslist! One of the gals I work with came out early to relieve me for lunch (and so we could both have a nice clear view to gawk at the eclipse together 🙂 ), and she read on the Internet to stack old film negatives about 8 deep and clip them together, on each end, with a clothes pin. You could hold them up like steampunk opera glasses of sorts, and take quick peeks at the eclipse in progress.

I took a few pictures while at work during the height of it, which was about 11:35 a.m. mountain time. I had read it makes the birds confused and they think it's time to bed down, but it has been so smokey here from all the forest fires in progress, the birds I saw didn't seem to notice the eclipse at all!

This was at 11:30 a.m.

This first pic was around 5 to 8 minutes from the most obscuring we would witness. The shadows were odd, and it got darkish in the scale house like before a good rain storm, but it really wasn't that dark out.

This was the height of the whole shebang, about 11:38 a.m.

I took this pic of my hand's shadow on the side of the scale house to show just how much light there still was.

 

This was the tail end of it, about 11:43 a.m. It was still odd light, but rapidly getting brighter.

Anyhoo, there is my slide show/book report on the whole get up! I'm so lucky to have a window to hang out of and take pictures where I work!

TTFN

Teresa

 

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Celebrating Independence Day!

Isn't this just awesome!

Man made fireworks competing with Mother Nature's fireworks! This is the rodeo and fireworks celebration we have over the 4th of July in our little town every year….but with a little extra kick this particular evening. I wanted to be sure and share this wonderful photo since we're not too far out from the 4th. We do have some extremely talented folks that live in our town, and I borrowed this from Facebook to share with you all.

Here are a few more shots I took myself while just moseying around close to home, over the last couple months. Since it'll be Christmas in just a few weeks, guess I'd better share the few warm weather photos I've taken (kidding!…….but not really :-/ )

 

 

The park geese with their new broods, in varying stages – some have newer fluffy yellow babies, some are 1/2 way to looking like their parents.

 

This is the Crazy mountain range.

This is about 7 miles from the cabin. Such a pretty day it was!

About 4 miles from the cabin as you top a hill and look southerly, this is the Absaroka mountain range.

 

A golden eagle in a field near the road.

And a bald eagle on a telephone pole just above the golden.

 

 

 

Hope you all are having a nice summer, and are making the most of it!

TTFN,

Teresa 🙂

 

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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 🙂

 

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Full of Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to you all! Now we jump into the thick of the holiday season, and as hectic and wonderful as it all is, it's done in a flash, so enjoy and appreciate every minute of it!

Thought I'd toss in a quick cabin update. We did make some progress this Summer – big ticket items, so although it doesn't add much curb appeal, it is a big step toward getting to the finished product. First, a brand new septic system was plotted, permitted, and installed. This is “part one” in getting the much needed plumbing in place to facilitate kitchen water and a nice little indoor potty once again at the cabin.

This is the septic drain field, and lids to the underground holding tanks

The horrible, smelly, rotten old floor and foundation were demolished and hauled away. The old septic system, which had been inactive for years, was opened up and filled with dirt. Then, the whole area was somewhat smoothed out and left to fill in with native plants.

 

Even though it is still torn up, it looks 100% better than before. We have 1 burning pile left to take care of, and I'm sure Bruce will do that on New Year's Eve (prior to the big, annual New Year's celebration), when the fire risk is very low with the cold and snow.

This is all that is left to burn.

He rented a trenching machine to prepare for electrical and propane lines to be run over to the new cabin site. It was hard going as it is very rocky ground, and required much hand digging to remove rocks when the trencher couldn't get past them.

There was a bit of winterization that needed to be done, so Bruce took the time last weekend to go up and tie up as many loose ends as he could.

I had Election Day off work, and was having such an awful, anxiety ridden day from this horrendous election, that I decided to toss my poochies in the truck, shut the darn radio off, and take a “back roads” road trip up to the cabin.

This is up Brackett Creek.

 

 

 

This is the old Sedan Church, refurbished, and all decked out with Christmas lights, ready for the Holidays.

Such a pretty drive went a long way in soothing the senses. When we got to the cabin, I sat on the deck in the sunshine, read some cabin decorating magazines til about dark, then went in and popped some popcorn. I put in a DVD, sat in the middle of that gosh awful mess of a cabin with Declan and Piper, covered us up with a fuzzy blanket, and proceeded to watch a crazy sci-fi movie. Then we locked up, loaded up in the dark, and hit the trail for home. I felt lucky to have a nice escape day with no TV or computers.

I only put a dab of Thanksgiving decorations out this year. Trying to conserve energy to really get after the “Christmas Extravaganza”!

 

 

 

Already had my Native Americans out. I just love these Skookum dolls.

My big little son is at his new job 200 miles away and can't come home for just one day, so Mr. Bruce and I have been invited to the farm for dinner. My good Mom is cooking, and I will bring a salad and a pie. My Dad is going to BBQ steaks for he and Bruce. It's supposed to start storming tonight, so hope the roads won't be “slickery” for all the Holiday travelers.

Hope you all have a wonderful day!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Maybe Blogsy is Back On Task??

Well, that was a surprise! I have had the post prior to this one sitting in Blogsy since July, and last night did a little fiddling around with some settings and, prest-o change-o, the post published! So that is the reason there is an Independence Day story hot off the press in November! Gives me some hope that maybe I can pick it up again without bothering Mr. Bruce, because he is still up to his neck in gray hair popping, filthy word inducing work issues, and hasn't the time or energy to mess with this frivolous bit of my chattering,

 

 

My garden squeaked out a few pretty blooms this summer.

I toted home a few awesome finds from work. I thought this raggedy little trunk was worth bringing home to park under my pine tree.

Love this little bench. A man was moving and had this on his load to dump. It breaks my heart when I see beautiful, useful, OLD pieces like this that have managed to stay all in one piece for so many years, just to end up in a landfill because someone doesn't have the room, or time to re-home it.

 

This flock of seagulls came to visit us at work in September. They stayed at the mud puddle “lake” for about a week, much to the delight of Piper and myself.

 

My Virginia Creeper was exceptionally beautiful this fall.

 

Sweet baby Declan.

 

Funny Piper Doodle catching a quick rest before she's off and running again!

 

Lot's of fall colors down at the river.

I'll cross fingers and see if this smidge of an update will post. Guess if you're seeing it, it worked!

TTFN, Teresa 🙂

 

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In Montana, a Road Trip Can Cover a LOT of Miles!

Well, we made it to the St. Regis Flea Market, and are back in one piece. It was a long haul, 598 miles round trip, plus about an extra 100 miles doing tourage around the area since neither of us had spent time in that part of MT before. It is a really beautiful place to visit.

 

 

 

 

We got there early Friday evening, and checked into our room.

It was pretty sketchy, but allowed pets, so we just bit the bullet since there aren't many options in an itty bitty town like that. They did have these cute little humming birds just outside the office, at least half a dozen.

 

 

We got up bright and early Saturday morning and were lucky to get a parking place nice and close.

We made a quick trip thru to do an overview, then had to head over to their food pavilion/cabin since we were having major caffeine withdrawal. They had 2 choices for breakfast; pancakes, eggs, and sausage or bacon – or – biscuits with sausage gravy, and eggs. So while Bruce waited in line, I zipped over to the Hutterites booth where they had a multitude of baked goods (since I don't eat meat), and got a pan of cinnamon rolls.

Oh YUM! The cinnamon rolls were delish, and Bruce said his breakfast was wonderful as well. The bonus was, I got to have those cinnamon rolls for the next 3 days for breakfast!

There were lots of folks there enjoying the good grub.

And a couple little beggars who also thought the cinnamon rolls were pretty darn good!

Then we got down to business! I hadn't seen a lot of furniture on our quick sashay thru, but there was A LOT of smaller stuff to dig thru.

 

 

 

Several booths had Lodge-y type stuff.

 

Some of it was really intriguing, but I think I already have plenty enough of this kind of stuff to fill up the cabin without having to spend money on more.

 

 

The booth above had beautiful lodge pole pine furniture. I wish we could furnish the whole cabin with the awesome stuff, but it costs an arm and a leg.

I was really hoping to find antique cabinetry pieces that we could fashion into kitchen cupboards for the cabin. No such luck, darn it! I was disappointed, but it was still a pretty road trip. We did go to 4 or 5 antique stores in and around St. Regis. There was a really nice one in Missoula that had 4 floors full! We didn't end up with a lot of stuff, but what we did find was good stuff!

This is what I ended up with –

The booth owner gave us 50% off on this old print.

 

 

For my doggy collection, a staffordshire looking hound.

 

This wooden sign reminded me of Yellowstone Park signage, and will look cute at the cabin.

 

Bruce said this will work at the end of the bed at the cabin to sit and put our shoes on.....He bought it for me for me for my birthday present!

So that's a round up of our holiday/birthday/much needed road trip weekend! Even tho I didn't get the furniture pieces I had hoped for, all things for a reason. It would have been a challenge storing any big stuff, and Bruce is so tied up with a work project that the cabin refurbishing is going at a snails pace right now.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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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 🙂

 

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River Art

These photos were in our local newspaper this week. Apparently, the staff photographer found them by chance. They are on the river bank just a couple miles out of town.

 

Aren't they awesome?! Think of the time it must have taken collecting so many of each of all the different colored stones. Nice to know there are still folks out there that have enough ambition to get away from all the electronic stuff, and innovation to find pleasure in the wonderful things nature has to offer if you just put your mind to it…..and maybe use your imagination a smidge.

The last few days the weather has been wonderful; high 50's, low 60's. Then, today, it snowed to beat the band, and the wind blew something fierce. But, it is just February, and it is Montana, so none of it really should be a surprise! But…….I did see a sweet little red-breasted robin today, so Spring can't be too far around the bend 🙂

Hope you all have a wonderful Valentine's Day!

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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