Goodbye Farm, It Was Good Knowin Ya

I guess the title says it all. It's been a mighty difficult last couple of weeks. Twenty seven years makes for some long, hard roots to pull out. My poor folks are completely exhausted. But at least they have everything out, and hauled to the new place. There have been a number of fiascos to overcome, but they've managed. One being, the man they had lined out for over a month prior to the agreed upon start date to fence a portion of the pasture at the new place, pulled out 2 days before he was to start. He called and said “I'm not going to make it to your place – I'm just too bushed from my last fencing job, and you can understand my side.” At that point in time my Mom had a bit of a short fuse, and she really didn't understand his side (what a way to run a business, that big knot head). Boy, did she let him have it. Needless to say, he was Johnny-on-the spot 2 days later, and fencing away at the new place. They would have had absolutely nowhere to contain their little horses had he not shown up, and I'm sure she made that abundantly clear. There are too many people who have garbage work ethics these days. Or at least it sure seems like that around here.

My folks did the lion's share of all aspects of the move themselves…..and they are no spring chickens. Far too proud to ask for, or accept help, no matter how many people offered. The way all the legal paperwork shook out at the end, with the vacate date of the owner of the home they were moving to, and they themselves tied to a move date decided by the people that bought the farm, gave them exactly 5 days to move all of their worldly possessions 15 miles from the farm to the new place. They had rented a “Pod” moving container about 3 weeks earlier, so were able to box up many things and stack in the pod, which helped. But, when you move a whole 2 story house, barn and outbuildings, and farm equipment, there is a lot more than a pod's worth. Oh my gosh, that 5 day move period was a killer. Bruce and I each took a vacation day, and also went out every evening after work; and my big little son, my brother, and his son, also pitched in as best they could (as my brother and my son both work 10 hour shifts each day with their jobs). We were loading 3 trucks (cabs and boxes), and a 2 horse trailer for each trip in – and made trip after trip….after trip. Oh Lordy. And to make matters worse, they are in the middle of a huge highway construction project between the farm and town. You could expect a 15 minute wait for a pilot car each way, both coming and going. And a speed limit of 35 mph or less.

But that part's done now, and there are just a bazillion boxes to sort and unpack at the new place, more fences to build, a new barn to build, water hydrants to install, and the list goes on. Even with all that, I believe the good Lord helped them get a place that will suit their needs; with a nice little house, just enough land to support the little horses, only a couple miles from town, and best of all, the fact that they were able to nab it in this out of control real estate market we're experiencing presently.

I took a few pictures in parting, but only a few, because I was ready to bawl and didn't want to make my folks feel bad. I don't deal well with change, and this was a mighty big one.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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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 πŸ™‚ 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.

TTFN πŸ™‚

Teresa

 

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The story of Rootin Tootin Twister, plus a very important Thanksgiving message

Once upon a time, a roly-poly little puppy came to live at the CottageLodge. My folks picked him up as he ran down the busiest street in our town, following a bunch of little boys on bicycles. My Mom got out of the truck, scooped up the puppy and told the little boys that they couldn't let their puppy run behind them on such a busy street. Much to her surprise they all looked at her and piped up at the same time “it's not our puppy”. She hopped back in the truck, puppy properly tucked under her arm, and made a bee-line for guess where? Yup, to the home of the biggest sucker in town. That would be me. Oh my goodness he was cute.

This isn't Rooti, but he looked just like this when he was a baby.

Most probably 1/2 Border Collie, 1/2 Australian Shepard as close as we could tell. I notified the animal shelter and all the veterinarians offices the next day in case someone had lost him. It turns out, some awful person had dumped 15 puppies in town. I would guess he was probably 5 to 7 weeks old, and just a fur ball. When we went to the vet for his first shots and check up, they noticed his eyes were sort of odd with mis-shapen pupils. We took it in stride, as it didn't seem to affect him too adversely.

My son was lucky to be able to spend his days with my Mom on her farm, rather than go to daycare. My folks raised miniature horses for a lot of years, so my son got to help her think up pretty exotic names for all the baby horses registrations. So, a few days after the puppy came to our house, little son decided a good name for puppy would be “Rootin Tootin Twister”. Not too shabby a handle for a 5 year-old to pick all by himself! So be it, Rooti for short.

Part of the thundering herd at the farm. Minis are so cute!

Well, I think Rooti's mom was most likely also his grandma, sister, and perhaps cousin. I'm thinkin there was a bit of inbreeding at the place he was born. As he grew, we could tell he couldn't see well at all. He also had hearing problems, he had skin allergies and always itched, and his hips were very weak. Good thing he landed at our house. He wouldn't have lasted a week if he had ended up on a ranch or farm (where most dogs of his flavor should be). He preferred living outside (first time I've ever had an outside dog), had a nice cozy dog house, and everybody loved him. He memorized his way around the yard and did just fine. But, having so many health problems, he was nowhere near as active as most Border Collies are, and he really got pudgy.

Rooti tipping the scales at 78 pounds.

About 78 pounds pudgy. He was sickly, but what a guy. Always happy, never crabby about anything, and even when he was feeling bad he always had a tail wag for you. I fed him good quality dog food, and the amount recommended on the package, but he was f.a.t. Then one day, he was really sick. I took him to the vet and they didn't know if he would make it or not. He had a severe case of pancreatitis. They kept him for about 4 days and sent him home with strict instructions, and canned dog food that smelled terrible and looked like glued together sawdust. He hated it, wouldn't eat it, and wasn't getting well too quickly. I decided I had better try to cook something for him, or he'd be a lost cause.

This is the recipe that saved his life – 1 large margarine container of white rice, cooked in 2 1/4 margarine containers of water. 1 pound of boneless, skinless chicken breast, boiled, cooled, and finely chopped. 1 – 32 ounce container of plain, low fat yogurt. 36 ounces of frozen green beans, 12 ounces chopped carrots, 1 large can pumpkin purΓ©e. 24 ounces no sugar added applesauce. Stir altogether in a large bowl, and throw it in the fridge. Rooti gets a rounded cup in the morning, and 2 rounded cups in the evening. Glee was also a little pudge bucket (Corgis get really round, and very easily) so she started the home cooked diet with Rooti. She gets a cup in the morning, a cup at night. They LUUUVVV this stuff. It didn't seem like they thought they were deprived at all. And, get this, Rooti went from 78 pounds to 48 pounds. Glee went from 47 pounds to 28 pounds. They both look terrific, and feel much better. Rooti is getting some age related cuckoo-ness, but is probably overall healthier now than he was at half his age. At 15 years 8 months, he is doing pretty darn good for a blind-deaf-bad hipped pooch :). It's a pain in the neck to cook their food, and a bit expensive, but in the long run much cheaper than vet bills, and they are totally worth it! As he got older, he decided he liked being in the house, and has lived inside for the last 4 years. I am very happy about it; it was a big worry when it got cold out, even tho he had an awesomely insulated, strawed, blanketed, sheltered dog house. I would start to fret about it when the temps dropped, and Bruce said gosh, he would sleep in Rooti's house and wouldn't be worried a bit about being cold. (I didn't make him sleep out there ;). Yet)

Sort of posing for me.

You can see his crazy pupils in this pic.

A beauty shot of skinny little Miss Glee.

So the most important reason behind this tremendously long post is that it is getting close to Thanksgiving: PLEASE DO NOT FEED YOUR DOGS TURKEY SKIN!!! DO NOT FEED THEM BUTTERY PEOPLE FOOD!! If you love them, just feed them their normal diet. My vet said this is one of their busiest times of the year because people love their dogs to death. They feed them things that dogs should not have. If they get pancreatitis, they can die. We were lucky we didn't lose Rooti Tooti, and he didn't even get turkey skin.

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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The long, long journey, part quatre (part 4 :)) – the Big Move In

The boxes had been packed and were waiting on the front porch. All the closing paper work was behind me. I had cleaned and scrubbed every square inch of my little house. This was it – the BIG MOVE IN! I was nervous sick, excited, scared, tired, and more than a little overwhelmed. Some of Bruce’s friends came over and it was game on – just like a big ol’ fire brigade line, boxes were being loaded, furniture going out the door, people dashing past one another; it was like we all knew what we were doing! I could only hope everything would land safely at the new house.

Many hours later everyone had left. It was pitch black outside and it was just Bruce and I to take up the last load. My folks had kindly loaned me their big 4 horse trailer, which was wonderful because it was so big it cut our trips by 2/3 versus just having the back of a truck to load. The only problem was that the little house was on a dead end street, and it took some really good navigating to back that big old trailer down the street, turn it onto the adjoining street, and then go. It started raining, really raining. The last things in the load were several tall plants, and Bruce said he would ride in the back to hold them up and keep them from tipping over. Oh brother…pitch black, pouring rain, I’m near exhausted, nobody to help steer me cuz he’s in the trailer, and you guessed it, I turned too tight to get onto the adjoining street and crunched my Mom and Dad’s trailer with the truck bumper :(. So water is pouring down outside, and now it’s pouring down inside – my personal water works had turned on full faucet and I was bawling my eyes out. And it wasn’t just crying from the trailer incident, it was the whole last couple of months that came out all in one big tirade. I’m sure Bruce just felt like grabbing his hat and running!! But he hung in there, got me calmed down, we straightened out the trailer, and headed on down the trail. So there is a semblance of calmness now, we back the trailer up to the door and start unloading. I walk into the kitchen with my arms full, and there is a waterfall pouring out of the ceiling. OMG.

Source Flickr

Let the renovations begin.

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

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The long, long journey, part trois Get this house! (part 3 :) )

source Flickr

K, so I’m in the house, and once the angels quit singing, and sunshine beams stop blindingly bouncing off the walls, we start the tour (which was pretty much unnecessary for me cuz like I said, I was sold 3 feet in the door). Livingroom, big eat in kitchen, a nice sunny family room with a wood stove, 3 bedrooms and a bathroom, that’s the upstairs. Then, there’s a big ol’ basement yet to see! Yes there is! So down we go; another bedroom (not legal because there is no egress window, but who cares! It’s another room to decorate!!), a half bath (woo-hoo, more than 1 potty in the house!), a room that, if this basement had been an apartment, would probably be a kitchen, but for now, more empty space to decorate (yay), then, yet another family room/tv room. Thru another door a good sized laundry room (I have to admit, it really was scarey/icky to look at, but a whole room just to do laundry?…BONUS! The washer and dryer at the little house is in the kitchen and what a pain in the neck to have sorted laundry all over the kitchen floor on laundry day), and attached to that, a small work shop (also really scarey/icky). And finally, a good sized storage room off the would be kitchen type area, perfect for storing all holiday decorations and stuff. Back upstairs and out to see the yard. Holy smokes, this yard is a small farm compared to what I am used to – 10,875 square feet!! I am smitten!

So , there are probably a few things I wasn’t noticing due to the stars in my eyes (like the old windows, badly painted fakey wood paneling, the upstairs bath that was near to falling off the house, only about half the basement being sort of finished, no garage, the yard a complete weedfest with sickly unwatered trees, etc., etc.), but I didn’t care one whit! This house had good bones in my estimation, and it was BIG! Yowza, I could rummage til the cows come home! And have a place to put all those doodads I mean fine antiques, and just put those cows that came home out to pasture in the yard! (Just kiddin :), I wouldn’t really put a cow in the yard…a goat? Maaaybeee)

Then the seller’s realtor casually mentions that there is an offer on the house – WHAT???? How’d anybody see the house before me? It had only been on the market 1 day. Turns out one of the realtors in their office had a client that was looking for a place with this house’s specifications and they had gotten them in about the minute the house had hit the market. “So I’m out?”, I said. “Not necessarily”, she said. Their bid was low. Boy, I pursed my lips, put my hands on my hips and said “let’s write up an offer – FULL PRICE plus another hundred bucks if she’ll throw in the fridge. No financing clause, no closing date clause, no red tape – let’s just get this house”. Well, darned if it didn’t work! As fate would have it, I think this house was just waiting for us! The realtor told me that they had the house listed the previous year with nary a looker, no offers at all (that’s cuz it was waiting for me to come love it πŸ˜‰ ). HALLELUJAH!!! I’m in!

 

 

So, stay tuned for part quatre (part 4) of this spine tingling cliffhanger – the Big Move In!!

TTFN

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The long, long journey – part deux (2 :) )

( Should probably have spelled deux , do, because that certainly would be indicative of the next few years of our lives – do this, do that, do everything!)

Alrighty then, we left off with beginning the search for a new home cuz I’m betrothed now, and for sure can’t squish a husband and all his belongings into my little house. Oh the drama and trauma! I’m scared out of my wits to get married (even tho he is a fine, upstanding, peach of a fellow); I have to sell my sweet little “itty bitty” house; my car is starting to have some nagging issues so I have to sell it and get a different one right in the middle of all this; and I have to find a new house – and not just any house – it has to “feel” just right.

This is not a big town. I am not a rich girl. Homes for sale here were pretty limited at the time. But, one bonus, my Aunt is a realtor, and she took me to every single house in my price bracket in this County. Nada, zip, zilch. They were all awful. I am not a nit picker. I have good insight and can see past purple walls with lime green trim. If a house has strange decor but good bones, hey, I’m in. Mr. Bruce was a carpenter for quite a few years before he became a SOTA (student over traditional age), so I was pretty confident we could turn a place into whatever we needed ( oh, ignorance is bliss – I’ve since learned boyfriends do stuff pronto for their girlfriends, husbands do stuff when they get around to it πŸ™‚ ). We looked high and low. Still nothing. Then one day, I went to work and my boss announced he had taken another job far, far away and was moving. I want to look at your house ASAP! He was happy to comply! I went over the next day, and even tho it wasn’t zactly what I was hoping for, it was a darn site closer than all those others I had seen in the months prior. Dang, I was settling, but the clock was ticking and had to get in gear. So I told him “sold”.

Meanwhile, I had been spreading the word about my little house being for sale. I wanted to sell it myself because it was important to me to be able to pick to whom it would go. I loved my dear elderly neighbors, and didn’t want some honyocks moving in, tearing up my good little house, and making life miserable for these people I held near to my heart.

Sure… why not add a little more stress to all the other stuff that was already going on!!! Great idea!! Ya, be your own realtor! Good one! (And, by the way, my realtor Aunt was thrilled with this decision – not!)

Well, as luck would have it, a girl I worked with was getting married the same month as me, and she wanted to come see my little house….. Well come on down!!! I believe my hand was nearly crippled by the time she came over a few days later because I’m sure I kept my fingers crossed for that entire time. She and her Dad covered every square inch of that little house with the most serious looks on their faces. I was a wreck. They stepped outside and conferred, came back in and told me she wanted it! YAY!!!

Okay, so somebody nice wants my little house, and I have found another house we can work with – good to go. Ya, right. Every weird nuance that could pop up does. Stuff gets all discombobulated – the girl I work with backs out (they decide they want acreage); another nice girl and her fiancΓ© come look and they want it, YAY again; they want in in 2 months; my boss isn’t moving for 4 months; he won’t close earlier; the new couple doesn’t want my house if they can’t close in 2 months; my Folks say I can move in with them (God bless ’em) but what am I going to do with all my stuff? Can’t afford storage, need all my monies for closing. BRUCE WILL BUILD A GARAGE AT THE BOSS’S HOUSE!! All my stuff can then go in storage there and I can live with my folks. Wait, build a garage at a house we don’t own yet? (and borrow the money aside from the house to do so)..not a great idea. TIME TO GO TO THE LOONIE BIN!!! BOOK MY ROOM NOW, PLEASE!

So, a few days later (no immediate openings at the Loonie Bin,so I’ve got a little time to burn), I’m looking at the local newspaper, and I see this little tiny ad. There is a picture of a house for sale, in my price range, no address listed, and the strangest thing – I don’t remember ever seeing this house before in my life! Now remember, I was born in this town. In addition, I am a rummage sale aficionado supremo, could probably be the best taxi driver this town has ever seen as I was sure I knew every back alley/side street/any and all houses in this town. For real, don’t recall ever having seen the house in the picture. Smoke was coming off my heels I ran to the phone so fast to call my realtor Aunt. I’m sure she was convinced I needed an exorcism when she heard my voice – GET ME IN TO SEE THIS HOUSE, little teeny ad, paper, don’t know where, NEED TO SEE IT NOW!!!! She’s like “what????????”. So I calmed down, backed up, and told her what I had found. She said she’d call me right back, which she did, and we were to see the house the next morning. In all my exorcited state, I forgot to ask where it was. She called me in the morning, told me the address, and I hot footed it up there. So strange – even looking straight at the house, I didn’t recall ever having noticed it before. She turned the key,we walked in, and I was no more than 3 feet into the house, and I knew I was HOME πŸ™‚

Holy Moses, is this a book or a blog?

Stay tuned for part trois (3 πŸ™‚ ), be there or be square.

TTFN (Ta Ta For Now)

Teresa

 

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