A Vengeful Spring Storm

The pretty little mama robin came back this spring. She reclaimed the nest she and her husband built last year. I was so happy to see her flitting to and fro out my kitchen window. The lilacs were in full bloom, as were the apple, Schubert's chokecherry, buckeye, and cherry trees in my yard. Spring was springing!

Then, Montana being what it is, it hit.

And this year, it was particularly bad.

A horrible, heavy, wet snow that weighed down the trees made fragile by the sap freshening in their branches and trunks, and the new leaves holding the snow, which further pulled the branches down. The next morning was disastrous in our little town. Whole trees downed, and broken branches everywhere. I heard there were homes damaged from falling trees and limbs, as well as fences, vehicles, and anything else that happened to be in the way as the snow laden trees were torn to bits. Working where I do (at the City's refuse transfer station, recycling, and green waste drop spot) I saw first hand the carnage the spring storm produced. People brought pick up truck loads, trailer loads, and some dump truck loads full of broken branches, crushed bushes, and whole trees that had fallen. It was fairly chaotic at my little scale house, to say the least. After 6 days of people hauling load after load to the green waste pile, over 200 TONS of green waste had been brought in by folks. And that doesn't even count the the BIG City dump trucks that were running full loads (which were not weighed) out of town to a spot of land where they can deal with the massive amounts later. Boulevards and alleys are still littered with stacks of branches and bushes as they wait for the city crews to make their way through the town to load them all and haul them away.

Comparatively, I got off fairly easily with just one large branch broken off my apple tree, and a medium sized branch off my Ohio Buckeye. The lilacs and pussy willow were flattened, and are just starting to try and pull up again. Bruce wrapped a ratchet strap around the willow to get them off the ground.

My little Mrs. Robin couldn't take the whole ordeal, and flew off, leaving her one cracked and frozen egg in the nest. I wonder if she'll be back, or if she's packed and headed for warmer climes, where you don't have to worry about our unpredictable Montana weather.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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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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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 πŸ™‚

 

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Bon Fire!

How about the low-down on some home town excitement? πŸ™‚

So, a few weeks ago, we were just getting ready to shut down shop for the day, and I glanced out the window toward the massive log pile we have at work. It is where the professional tree care people drop the BIG trees they've taken down. There was a little wisp of smoke, followed by a short puff of smoke…..I called for one of the fellas to come check what was going on…..then boom!, the whole center of the stack was in flames.

Thankfully, there was no one back there. The fire department was called and came right away.

The smaller brush, and grass, hay, and leaves were in separate but nearby piles.

So they brought big equipment out to push the other flammable materials away from the burning stack of wood.

 

 

It could have been quite the weeny roast / s'mores party if we had known to bring the goods ahead of time (just joshing – our firemen are very professional, safety minded folks, and would never allow such nonsense ;o ). No one knows what started the fire. Maybe a carelessly thrown cigarette, maybe spontaneous combustion; it's a mystery.

Once they got a handle on it and had the flames very manageable , they took advantage (since it was already burning) and added small amounts to the bon fire, a bit at a time, of all the other yard waste that has been piling up for over a year. It took several days, but now there is just a neat and tidy pile of cooled ashes back there. New green waste piles have been started, and there is lots of room for it, which is good, because it has already been coming in fast and furious this Spring. Folks started working in their yards in early March, which is unheard of around here, but Winter backed off extremely early, and everyone is getting after all their yard and garden chores!

This was big news in our little town; made the paper and everything!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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COLLECTING!

Many of the things I have collected for the cabin I have posted about already. I'm afraid to get too far ahead of myself because our little cabin is fairly small (about 580 square feet + about 126 usable square feet in the loft; and the porch is about 192 sf, 1/2 enclosed, 1/2 open). The size of that little log house tends to grow quite a bit in my head when I'm away from it for awhile, and I seem to think a lot more can fit in the space than really can. So, I'm sharing some photos of things I've picked up over the last several months, and am hoping mightily that all this loot can fit!

These are antique metal “baker's cabinets”. I have never seen one as large as the bottom one before. They both have several shelves inside and hopefully will make good hanging upper cabinets in the limited space available with the cabin kitchen being somewhat re-formatted. Luckily, both of these were priced well below what I have seen even the smaller of the 2 of these antiques go for in my travels. The metal is fairly decorative, sort of like the old pressed tin ceiling tiles. Cleaned up, I think they will make unique cabinetry for the kitchen.

I've had some changes at work, and I feel like the luckiest person on the planet right now….they've decided to close on Saturdays, and boy, am I ever making hay while the sun shines! I don't know how long it will last (for good and ever, I hope) but while I have weekends free I have been hitting every rummage sale, flea market, estate sale, and antique show I can drive to within a semi-reasonable distance. I've been lucky enough to happen upon some excellent finds which has saved us a bundle off retail price.

This light fixture will be perfect for the bathroom at the cabin. It came from a rummage sale a builder was having, to get rid of excess surplus so he wouldn't have to store it. He got this fixture from a custom lighting company that was going out of business, and said he still paid way too much for it, but didn't want it to get broken in storage. So he said he'd take it in the shorts and give it to us for $20 bucks! That made me one happy girl!

It is awesome! That is real leather strapping wrapped around the metal “twigs”.

Then, of course, I couldn't resist a few do-dads!

This is not something I ever remember having seen before, even tho I have been thru bazillions of antique stores! It's like a powder box of sorts. Take the lid off and there is a well inside. It stands on 3 little metal legs. Love the picture of the Indian, and that's why I bought it. It came from my favorite antique/junk store in Big Timber.

I found 2 babies for the Skookum doll my Mom got me a while back. I am obsessed with Skookums right now, and look high and low for them, but they are super expensive. I feel extremely lucky to have found these babies in my itty-bitty budget bracket.

I'm not sure if they call these small figures Skookum or not, but she is blanket wrapped and cute as the dickens, and had to come home with me. Like a custom fit, she tucks right into the birch bark canoe I already had from a rummage sale.

This picture is my anniversary present from Bruce this year. I am enthralled with tee-pee anything.

And this beautiful Indian maiden picture was my Christmas present from my thoughtful husband. If I end up having enough wall space, I think they will both look terrific at the cabin.

I'm not sure if my bear collection will end up at the cabin, even if there does happen to be enough room. But, I may play “swap” on occasion, and they can spend part of the time up on the mountain. This big bear I found at the same time I got the Indian head powder box thingy.

 

Then I found this one at the “Little Bear Antique Sale”. They have a phenomenal sale every fall, over the hill. It never disappoints.

He is a Black Forest style mantle clock, and is about 14 inches tall. A lady was getting rid of the tail end of her personal bear collection, and added them to the rest of her inventory. Sure wish I could have gotten in on the rest of her collection! Her stuff was very reasonably priced.

I don't know if I've come right out before and said where I work, but it's at the Transfer Station for our town. There is no landfill here any longer, so all refuse is trucked out by a company to a huge landfill in northern Montana. I'm the lucky girl who gets to run the Scale House! I really love my job, BUT do have a few problems with it – I am a horrendous penny pincher. It is one of the priorities in my life not to be wasteful. I've come to the conclusion that I am in a tremendous minority. Oh my gosh people are wasteful! I put a lot of effort toward trying to redirect folks to our local charities if they have useful items, rather than having it go to a landfill. A few times I have been presented with golden opportunities to rescue things from loads destined to be dumped – let me show you a few of the things! These aren't good pics because most of this stuff is shoved in storage, or squished in the back of the garage, but you'll get the idea.

These awesome lodgepole pine benches were my first rescue. They came from a dude ranch nearby that has a long, long history. They decided to clean up and modernize a bit I guess, and came in with a big truck and huge trailer FULL of stuff. I could see these benches on the top and nearly fainted! I told the guy I wanted them and he said I was welcome to them! One has a seat so old it is stuffed with metal springs and horse hair for padding. I cringe when I think of the things I couldn't see on that load that went into the refuse trailers. There is also a solid wood, 6 foot tall cabinet, and a lodge pole pine lamp/table combo that didn't make it into the picture that I scavenged. A few weeks ago, I pulled an antique, quarter sawn oak rocking chair off a load. It has arms, and a padded seat and back. It was so full of mouse poop that Bruce pulled all the material off and shook it out, and it will stay in storage til I get the time to re-upholster it. I have some great, high end upholstery material I got at a rummage sale, that came from an interior design store. Or maybe I'll use one of my Hudson Bay blankets for the upholstery.

K – so I almost fainted again when I saw this. I said incredulously “You're not dumping that are you?” And the guy looked at me like I'd lost my marbles and said “Well, yeah…, it's just an old door.” I told him immediately that I wanted it. He didn't think it would fit in my car trunk so even volunteered to drop it at my house! I think at this point he was a little scared of me, and offered to drop it off so he could get gone from there πŸ™‚ I was so darn excited! I'm not sure just where it will go yet, but someplace it will look awesome will pop up I'm sure.

OK, and for the grand finale I saved the best for last! This was the best Christmas present! And FREE to boot!

A genuine, cast iron, claw foot tub!! Oh Joy! I had been scouring loads for months looking for one. Most contractors just bust them up with a sledge hammer and pack them out in pieces because they are so heavy to drag out of a house and load whole, just to trash them anyway.

This most wonderful young man came in with a truck and topper and told me he just had a load for the metal recycling bin. I couldn't see what he had since it was in the topper, so just gave him the OK to go ahead. Fortunately for me he said “You don't know anybody that could use an old claw foot tub, do you?” I nearly jumped for joy and said “ME!!” This kind fella helped me load the whole works into my truck, faucets and all! And the cherry on the top was when he said “How about sinks – need any of those?”

Good Lord, it felt like I'd won the lottery! A high backed, cast iron kitchen sink…..with faucets!! And…

This awesome little cast iron bathroom sink!

He had painstakingly packed all of these out of the UPSTAIRS of an old house, hoping that someone could use and appreciate them. Well, needless to say, he found the right person!

So, stay tuned! I hope I'll be having a bit of the luck o' the Irish, and will be able to make all of this stack of goods work. Otherwise, I may end up having the rummage sale of the century!

TTFN,

Teresa πŸ™‚

 

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