Sunday, July 27, 2014

We Have Visitors and A Birthday Party

First they were coming then they weren’t, now they are coming and we are thrilled.  Larry and Geri had some family obligations which they thought might hinder their going to Alaska with us—those obligations solved themselves and we are now good to go!!  Larry and Geri arrived Friday afternoon with their rig:IMG_3330The cargo trailer sitting back beside our motorhome contains their ATVs—we thought we would show them some country before we take off for Alaska.

We’ve had some questions—“when are you leaving” being the most frequent.  Our granddaughter Laci and her husband John are expecting their first child—our first great-grandchild—and we are not leaving until the baby is born—the official due date is tomorrow, July 28. 

Our friends Angela and Ralph once said, “you people change your RVs more often than you change your underwear!”  Now can you imagine someone thinking that???? SmileSometimes you develop an attitude of—”oh, my, we are going to Alaska, we need a truck camper NOW!”  so, we bought one and it was a dud!!!  It leaked—we fixed it, the refrigerator was too small, we didn’t fix that, the bathroom was so small if the cowboy or I gained a single ounce, we would not fit, Winking smileand most importantly at least in my menopausal book—it didn’t have air conditioning.  So, we listed the rig on Craigslist about two weeks ago—today it rolled down the driveway with a happy new owner. 

Yesterday the cowboy and Larry went to Billings to purchase a Lance truck camper—a 1999 which needed a little work (would we have it any other way???).  Larry said Michael made the salesman cry—the cowboy made a really, really good deal!!!!  It has more space particularly in the bathroom plus it has air conditioning.  It is filthy but I’m a good cleaner! 

Last night we celebrated my dear friend Jill’s momentous birthday with a spectacular dinner party—we had so much fun—dinner was fabulous:

IMG_3319A tri-tip roast grilled with chimichurri sauce, rosemary potatoes (as our friend Bradley calls them, “potatoes a la weed”) and salad with homemade dressing.  Dessert was a three layer chocolate cake with dark chocolate/coffee ice cream!!!

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Today I quilted, Geri cooked walleye from Minnesota for lunch and this afternoon we took an ATV ride—more on that adventure later!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Heading Home and Quilts

It’s been a sad, quiet day for me—Mom and Chuck headed down the driveway early this morning on their way home to Arkansas.  It’s been ages since I spent that much time with my Mother and although it wasn’t in the best of circumstances, I will take that time!! 

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After lunch the cowboy and I went to Big Timber to run some errands, one of which was to deliver this beautiful quilt to my quilting buddy Donna.  Donna’s great-grandmother made the Dresden plate blocks—isn’t that amazing—Donna then chose the old fashioned green solid for the border and sashing, tying the blocks together.  The border will be scalloped when Donna is finished with the quilt.

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On another quilting front, it is fair time in Sweet Grass County and one of my quilt retreat friends, Mary P. won Best of Show with her stack and whack quilt—congratulations Mary!!!!!  I quilted the quilt for Mary while we were down in Texas last year.

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Back home we went our separate ways—the cowboy is installing camper tie downs in the back of the truck, I’m cleaning house and doing laundry—not very exciting but necessary. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ATV Adventure And One Major Storm

Sarge and Sarah have a new toy—a Polaris RZR—so off we went on an ATV adventure today.  It was great to be back out on the ATVs—it was my first time since we came back from Arizona.  We had a beautiful day—sunshine, wildflowers, water—the bugs were a touch nasty, actually more than a touch!!  Horseflies, biting flies of some sort tormented us every time we stopped.  And they really tormented Sarge and Sarah’s black lab, Callie—she is quite adapt at catching the bugs!!

IMG_3289IMG_3292Doing what labs do best—taking a swim.

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Sarge and Sarah came over from Livingston way and we headed up to Moccasin Lake for a picnic with Callie leading the way many times—that dog has more energy—she would much rather run alongside than ride on the ATV.  The many water crossings provided Callie with lots of soaking chances—she would lie down in the water with only her head showing.

Our picnic lunch was spent expending as many calories as we took in by swatting at the horseflies and other pesky bugs!!

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Back home about 2pm we put together a great lunch, a tri-tip roast on the grill, oven baked french fries, salad and homemade chocolate/coffee ice cream. 

After lunch the dark clouds started building and sharp lightening streaked across the sky—Sarge and Mike ran out to put our ATVs in the garage, Sarah and I ran out to close motorhome windows.  About the time we all got back to the house the bottom fell out.  Holy smokes—what an incredible storm—one and a half inches of rain in less than 15 minutes—torrential rain and hail, high winds!  Kind of strange to have mud in July!!!

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Monday, July 21, 2014

Wonderful Weather

Sorry Mike and Pat but it was a beautiful day, less than 70 degrees, rainy and cloudy—not normal Montana July weather but we will take it.  Unfortunately, back up in the mid 80’s tomorrow.

Let’s see, what did we do today??  Normal stuff—laundry, helping Mom, making lunch (the last of the okra Sad smile) , making homemade coffee/dark chocolate ice cream, YUM.  In the afternoon Chuck and Mom decided to take a drive—I think they were bored—otherwise Mom has become the lap of choice for Ms. Emmi.

IMG_1849Mom’s black eyes are fading, her forehead laceration is healing beautifully and the rest of her bruises are fading.  The broken arm is much less painful but it still hurts if moved the wrong way. 

Michael and I went to town this afternoon to run errands and deliver some quilts. We have an adventure planned for tomorrow and I was picking up supplies.  And that’s the extent of our day! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Feast and Hanging Out

Mom and I have just been hanging out—she is making progress day by day—she now can leverage herself out of a chair—a big step!!  I go downstairs and quilt keeping one ear tuned to upstairs—I started and finished a hugs flannel quilt for my friend Shirley yesterday and today. 

Chuck flew home to Arkansas Wednesday morning and arrived back here in Montana this evening—and he wasn’t flying, he was driving back! SmileWe were glad to see him as he was bringing us a feast:

IMG_1847My sweet sister Ann sent fresh garden tomatoes and Arkansas peaches plus okra from their garden.  The cowboy isn’t too thrilled about the okra to say the least but the us southern folk are looking forward to a meal of fried okra!

I just finished an amazing book, The Orphan Train by Christina Kline.  Amazon has a new program—purchase the Kindle version of a book and get the audio version for a greatly reduced price.  You can toggle back and forth between the print and audio versions using the Kindle app on the iPad.  I listened to a great deal of the book on my midnight run to Idaho Falls the other night and finished it a couple nights ago.  Children picked up off the streets of New York city and transported on trains to total uncertainty—some were lucky, being adopted and loved.  Others were beaten, starved and mistreated.  A very good book!

Montana has no forest fires as of yet but we are getting smoke from all around us—Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Canada.  The smoke was so thick this morning it made our eyes burn!

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Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strength And Goodness

I will start this story with an apology if I don’t have all the facts straight.  Wednesday I met an amazing woman of strength and goodness!  Probably about 12 years ago my Mom and Dad began talking about this couple at their church in Arkansas who were going to Romania to adopt three boys—when they got to Romania it was discovered the three boys had an older brother—Donna and Daryl refused to leave Romania without the fourth young man. 

Donna and Daryl brought these children into their home in Arkansas, homeschooled them, took them to church and as we witnessed yesterday—made them into superb young men.  Life wasn’t kind to this family with Daryl losing his life to cancer about a year ago causing Donna to make some life changing decisions.

Southern speaking and small, Donna purchased a Dodge truck and a 42 foot Raptor toyhauler fifth wheel having only before pulled a boat with a truck.  They did have a travel trailer with which she also practiced.  She drove to somewhere in Kansas, purchased the toyhauler and drove it home to Arkansas.  She told me, “my little Mom drove a log truck for my brother when he needed help, I thought if my Mom could do that, I could surely learn to drive this truck and trailer down the road.”

Donna wanted to travel with the boys who remained at home, Ivan (20), Valik(16) and Nikita(14).  She applied and was hired by a lodge near West Yellowstone, MT as was Ivan.  They have become members of the community by attending church and helping others in need.  Donna continues to homeschool Valik and Nikita.  Their future plans include Ivan working the sugar beet harvest in the fall and they all have fallen in love with Montana with talk of living here.  All three boys are so articulate and polite—a pleasure!

Donna is a woman of strength and goodness with a heart of gold—it was such a pleasure to meet her and the boys—they drove over yesterday just to visit with Mom.  Life has dealt Donna a nasty card yet she is preserving, living her life as she wants for herself and her children.  Amazing!!  I wish I had thought to take a photo of this family!

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just Perking Along

That’s what we are doing—Mom and I rolled in about 3pm yesterday—we dropped Chuck at the Bozeman airport where he rented a car and drove back to Ennis and the guest ranch retrieving all their belongings.  The ranch provides them with a small bedroom/bath and my Mom manages to make a home for the summer.  Mom was the guest ranch cook so she has full use of the kitchen—needless to say she won’t be doing any more cooking for a while!!

Mom’s pain has diminished but pain is still a constant when you’ve been in a vehicle going from 40 miles per hour to dead stopped.   Chuck is over in Yellowstone Park today retrieving some things from the truck and getting a copy of the police report.  He discovered that the man who was the first to reach Mom was an off duty park ranger.  He took some photos of the truck—

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I spent the day washing clothes, cooking and taking care of Mom—Ms. Domesticated!  I did load a quilt backing onto the zippers this afternoon while Mom napped.  Emmi was sure glad to see me come home—someone to play ball with her!

It’s been a strange day weather wise for July, thunderstorms at 3am this morning with a storm rolling through frequently all day and temps in the low 70’s.