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 πŸ™‚ ) 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 πŸ™‚

 

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A Quick Trip Up The Mountain

We made a quick trip up to the cabin to make sure all was well. This has been a really busy winter for Mr. Bruce at work. That, coupled with the wacky weather, made it difficult to spend any time at the cabin. And who would really want to at this point anyway; it is a disaster up there (insert stressed out shudder here).

The last trip I made was in November when we emptied out the storage unit and brought everything, all boxed up, back to the cabin so we wouldn't have to pay the $40 per month storage fee. Bruce went up for the big New Years Eve party that many in the cabin neighborhood attend. He has no problem camping in the hovel. Me, not so much. He had a blast at the party, where they snow machined progressively to 4 separate cabins (in the dark no less), and ate, drank, gabbed, made merry, and rang in the new year. They had about 50 folks attend this year.

The cabin neighborhood webmaster made this nice photo collage of the party for website we all can access for updates. Note the lovely cabins - that is our inspiration!

But, with 2 months having passed, we thought it would be a good idea to make a trip up to check the pump, and make sure everything else was doing OK.

So we hooked up the trailer with the snow machines, loaded up the poochies, lots of warm hats, gloves, and other snow clothes, and we were off and running.

Once we got off the paved road, the rest (which is normally a dirt road) was mixed stretches of snow pack, then muddy slushy, but it was pretty manageable for this time of year. We were able to drive up to about a mile or so away from the cabin before having to park. The snow got too deep for driving, and it was time to unload the snow machines.

We've had the dogs on the 4 wheeler before, but not the snow machines. They most definitely knew where we were going, and didn't fuss one little bit when each of them got tucked into our bibs/coats, and we putt – putted down the road to the cabin. Snow machines are so loud, I thought it might scare them, but they loved every minute!

This is the new back door and porch deck that Bruce put in before it got too wintery. There was only one door in the cabin before, and that didn't feel safe to me. So we worked a back door and small deck into the new layout. The door replaces the window where the bedroom was before.

You can see where we taped off the potential new floor plan. It looked pretty good on paper – it looks pretty small when you actually see it on the floor. I don't know how those tiny house planners do it! We don't need GOBBS of room. It is just a cabin after all. But I don't want the new layout to be so horribly tight like the way it was set up before. The bathroom before was just ridiculous. But at least there is a bathroom there! I am more than happy about that! We just want to be able to maneuver in the space.

 

 

 

It is a heck of a mess right now, and will most likely get worse before it gets better. I'm having a hard time seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If we could work on it full time, or hire it done, it wouldn't seem so gargantuan. But this is something we have to do in our spare time, and there doesn't seem to be an over abundance of that lately. I guess it's always like that with remodeling, tho. We've been going thru it with our house for years and years! I hate the process, but LOVE the results! I'm sure we'll get there…….just don't want to have to add handicap accessibility so we can get in with wheel chairs and canes because it's taken so long to get to the finish line!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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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 πŸ™‚

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

 

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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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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 πŸ™‚ 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

 

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