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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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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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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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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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 🙂

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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This and That

Not much going on, so this is going to be a scattered, random, pretty nonsensical post.

So, Declan has commenced losing her baby teeth. (YAY) It has been pretty hysterical! She lost her 2 front teeth first, and looked every bit a kindergartener. This was followed by the checkerboard look as the others in the frontline followed suit. Now she has a double row of the very sharp eye teeth. The new ones are coming in, and the baby ones remain tightly anchored. She will not sit still enough for me to take a picture of the full effect, but here is a very close likeness! (TeeHee 😉 )

She is growing by leaps and bounds, but is still pretty little! Since I take her to work with me, she gets to visit with a lot of folks. Most ask what breed she is, and I tell them her story, and that it's pretty much a mystery, but that I tend to think she is mostly Jack Russell terrier. Well, that opens the gate to the guessing game, and everyone has their very own opinion as to what they think she may be – I've been told she's everything from chihuahua to collie (?!?, she's only 8 pounds, don't think there's enough room in there for collie!), with everything in between…beagle, corgi, manchester, and on and on. If I was extremely wealthy I would order one of those doggy DNA kits to solve the mystery, but they are about $75! So I believe I will just start telling folks, with a very definitive air, that she is a genuine terrier mutsky.

I got a new phone for Christmas that has a camera. I didn't feel comfortable taking either of my “real” cameras to work for fear I would damage them. It is so darn pretty out there most days, I was just in mourning when something awesome would present itself (or my little beasty would do something adorable) and I was camera-less. I'm finding it's pretty hit-and-miss with this phone camera, but at least I can kinda capture the moment.

The heater was broken at work for about 3 weeks. It was COLD out there first thing in the morning til I could stoke up the space heater. Declan didn't fuss at all when we would go straight in and bundle her tight in her shop blankey.

After it warmed up some, she was ready to visit with folks as they came thru, or wrestle around with her toys. She is so good at work, no trouble at all. It is really nice to have her for company during slow spells.

There is absolutely no zoom on this phone camera. Which is a shame, because if you could see how the light is reflected off the Crazy Mountains bright and early in the morning – it is breathtaking! Magnify this by about 100 (which is how my eye sees it), and this is just a quarter of the 360 degree view I have all around me at work.

I can remember sitting in my cubicle at my old job (where I had spent my entire adult life), stacks of papers and books all around me, feeling overwhelmed and sick with stress, and just thinking “if I could just sit and look out the window for a minute, I would feel so much better”. Thank you, Lord, I've gotten my wish! It is a grand thing for your mind and soul when you have a phenomenal job!

I've not gotten to the cabin yet this winter. Bruce tries to make it worth his while when he goes, so usually leaves Saturday morning and comes back Sunday evening. I work every Saturday, so our schedules are not in sync. But it has been dreadfully cold and windy this winter so far, so guess I can hold out on going and not be too terribly sad. His snowmachine is out of commission presently, so he is grounded til he can get it repaired. Since we had some weekend time together, we went to dinner at the Chinese restaurant last Saturday and did a bit of tourage on the gerbil wheel here in town.

This big boy came over to see what the dickens we were looking at.

 

A couple of old abandoned log homes down on the island. See the doe standing to the right at the 2nd cabin? I can't believe someone hasn't fixed these up. You just don't see abandoned homes in our area much, if ever. I was appalled when we vacationed in New England and saw so many awesome, historical homes boarded up, or in a derelict falling down state. It just made me heart-sick! I told Bruce if we could figure out how to transport them to Montana for cheap, we could plop them on a couple acres, fix them up, and sell them for bazillions of dollars! But that is a far fetch between New Hampshire and Montana.

 

Even when it's cold and blustery, you can still find something wonderful to do if you're up for it. See the fisherman mid-picture? He's not letting the weather slow him down any! We saw lot's of folks walking their dogs, kids sledding, even one couple cross country skiing right on the streets in town!

We stopped and fed the ducks at the park.

FLASH MOB! Boy, were they hungry! Lots of folks feed them, but it's just been so cold, they need lots of feed.
No skaters tho. It's been too darn windy. It makes the ice freeze like ~~^~~^~~^~~^~~ which is a much too rough surface to skate on.

 

 

 

More of these goofs in town. These guys were about a block from my house. They are totally urbanized and not scared a bit.

My favorite giant.

 

Late afternoon New Years Day out at my folk's farm. We had a fun potluck, and my Mom made a kettle of chili and some delish desserts.

That's about all the excitement I have for now! Bet it about knocked your socks off 🙂

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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The Drive Home From the Cabin

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

What a beautiful day. If you click on the photos it will make them a bit bigger. I wish I could capture and pass on to you what it really feels like while driving thru the midst of this breathtaking scenery; the light and shadows, and hugeness of it all. The vastness and splendor is nearly indescribable. It just makes my heart swell to near bursting. Thank you, Lord, I am so fortunate to live here.

TTFN,

Teresa

 

 

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Grateful

It was a wonderful, but much too fast 4th of July holiday.

I wanted to share some photos from the “Art in the Park Festival”, but most booths would not allow photographing since the majority of what was displayed was original artwork, and I'm sure they worry about people trying to copy/replicate their work.

I enjoy looking at the flag display the Veterans put out around the park.

 

Lots of folks out having fun over the Holiday.

 

As I passed this grouping driving down the street, I was struck by how they perfectly emulate all the things our little town is comprised of – the granary represents our farming and ranching, as does the rodeo sign. The sign is also an indicator of the tourist trade we rely on to a certain extent. The rodeo pulls in approximately 10,000 people according to the roundup committee's website. That is pretty darned amazing considering our town has a population of about 7,500 people! The Mayors Landing sign represents many of the activities the Yellowstone River offers; from fishing, to boating, inner tubing, plein air painting, even rock skipping! There are so many fun things to do at the river. The trains at the right side of the photo are representative of how this town got a spot on the map to start with – if it weren't for the railroad, I don't know if this town would ever have rooted and been able to hang on. There are lots of ghost towns in Montana, and we might well have been one of them had it not been for the jobs the railroad sustained our community with. And last but certainly not least, the beautiful mountains that surround us on nearly every side! They say Montana is “The Last Best Place”, and I don't know about that for sure, because there are a lot of wonderful places in this big wide world we live in, but I feel very blessed to call this my home. That stork sure did me a favor when he dropped me at this longitude and latitude 🙂

TTFN,

Teresa

 

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Sleeping Giant

 

I never tire of looking at this handsome face. Can you see him? Whether it be under sunny blue skies, or star filled night skies, he slumbers away between the two mountain peaks that have held him for more years than are imaginable to me.

 

The Yellowstone River runs right on the periphery of our little town. The beauty it affords all our residents is unbound.

 

Sometimes, having lived here my whole life, this little town can feel a bit like living in a small box with a gerbil wheel. But, all you have to do to turn that attitude around is go for a short walk on the trails around the river. It only takes a minute of absorbing all the beauty around you to realize how very fortunate you are to be living smack in the middle of all this goodness. I have traveled to some awesome places in my life, and can fully appreciate how lovely they are, but it's pretty easy to come home when you live in this wonderful state of Montana.

The Canadian Honkers are plentiful on the lagoon that is nestled in Sacajawea Park, right across the road from the river.

 

 

We've had a lot of snow and cold blustery weather already this early in fall. I woke up to crystal clear blue skies this morning after several days of grey and gloomy ones. I grabbed my iPad, tossed Glee in the car, and zipped to the river to get a few pictures. We are famous for the wind in this area so I made haste before the wind started whipping, taking all the leaves with it. It was worth the zipping 🙂

TTFN

Teresa

 

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