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Friday, May 20, 2016

A Journey

My mother’s husband, our dear Chuck became very, very ill Thursday.  I will be leaving early Saturday morning flying to Arkansas to be with my family.  Michael and Emmi will hold down the fort here in Montana.  Life can change so quickly--

Last night when my brother called me, I began looking at plane tickets.  United and Delta are the major carriers here in Montana.  United flies to Little Rock, Arkansas with one stop in Denver.  Delta has two stops, one in Minneapolis and one in Atlanta(ugh!).  On the Delta website I found information about benevolent flights for extreme illness or death, nothing on the United site.  When I called United this morning I was told by a person with an extreme foreign accent, “United doesn’t offer those fares any longer.”  Well then!  The Delta agent was wonderful, giving me a slight discount on the last minute ticket price but the best thing was they made my ticket fully changeable with no fee so my return date can be flexible.  I have always been a Delta champion, even more so now!

So—expect blogs to be sporadic/boring.  We do appreciate our readers so much!


The cowboy has been busy being a mechanic lately—seems my car needed new brakes but before that when the weather was exceptionaly icky, he painted--




Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Billings Day And Baby Buffalo

Yellowstone National Park seems to be inundated with idiots these days and there is no other polite word for people who would walk up to a buffalo or put a buffalo calf in their SUV—idiots!  There has been lots of back and forth on social media about the poor little buffalo calf and why couldn’t the National Park Service save the calf.  Yellowstone National Park buffalo are carriers of a disease called brucellosis which can cause the female buffalo to abort her calf.  Buffalo are prolific breeders and survivalists—the wolf population has done very little to decrease the buffalo herds prefering to feast instead on the easier prey, the elk.  Buffalo are like cattle and at times lose their offspring or just don’t feel like being a mother that day—those calves die or are eaten by predators such as bear and wolves. 

Burcellosis is contagious and can be contracted by domestic cattle herds living outside the park boundaries—thus the state of Montana and the USPS have a management plan.  The link is an excellent article explaining how the herd is managed.  Yellowstone Park does not have a fence—the buffalo are free to wander. 

The Park made the following statement in answer to the social media uproar:  “In order to ship the calf out of the park, it would have had to go through months of quarantine to be monitored for brucellosis. No approved quarantine facilities exist at this time, and we don't have the capacity to care for a calf that's too young to forage on its own. Nor is it the mission of the National Park Service to rescue animals: our goal is to maintain the ecological processes of Yellowstone. Even though humans were involved in this case, it is not uncommon for bison, especially young mothers, to lose or abandon their calves. Those animals typically die of starvation or predation.”

And then we have the idiots walking on Grand Prismatic Hot Spring for financial gain.  Seems this bunch of morons has performed their tricks in other sensitive areas also.  A warrant has been issued for their arrest.

OK—off my soapbox! 

We were off to Billings Tuesday--

That darn scale—I know I am pounds lighter after my favorite hairdresser cut my hair in Billings Tuesday but that stupid scale doesn’t say so!! SmileI’m supremely picky about my hair, neurotically so I would say (or Michael would say!Winking smile)  I’ve been using Becky at Synergy Salon in Billings for probably close to 15 years—every time I walk out of the salon I love my hair—she does tell me I have hair which is challenging to cut—thick, cowlicks, etc.—maybe that’s why I have so much trouble finding a decent haircut when traveling.  I’m not a Supercuts kind of girl!

We had lunch with two very special people—Katie and Brooks Michael.  Brooks was very accomodating, sleeping peacefully in his carrier the entire time—mom got to eat!! 

Lora learning to make mud pies—don’t know what happened to her shirt!

Well, all you memory foam bed ads popping up in my various feeds—you can give up—we bit the bullet yesterday and purchased a Costco Comfort Grande 14” Gel Memory Foam mattress.  We researched and read, then researched some more.  One of the sites made an interesting statement, “Lower priced mattresses – namely those $600 to $1500 – often rate similar to or better than more expensive options.”  It’s amazing how beds now come in boxes—we opened the packaging and let the mattress expand overnight.  Tonight will be the first test—the dang thing is so tall we may need a stepladder!!! 

Michael has been a mechanic today for us and a friend—he didn’t do so well with our Kawasaki mule—he took it to the mailbox to try it out after working on it for most of the morning.  The mule quit on the cowboy forcing him to make that 1/2 mile hike up the hill to the house!!!

It was mowing (gorgeous day), weed spraying and laundry for me today—oh, joy! 

Monday, May 16, 2016

Thankful For The Rain

While neither of us is enjoying the much cooler temps and having to stay inside, we are thankful for the one inch of rain this area of Montana received last night and today.  During the night I would wake up and hear water pouring over our “must be stopped up” gutter—it was loud!  Today I cleaned that gutter in the rain so as not to have a repeat tonight!  And speaking of noisy—sometime in the night I woke and stretched my leg—next thing I know I am up out of bed dancing around with the worst cramp in my calf—moaning and groaning.  My sympathetic husband didn’t even stir!!!  That calf is still sore today!

I’ve finished the small quilt I’ve been working on and it’s ready for the quilting frame once the backing comes out of the dryer.  I have another customer quilt to do—a t-shirt quilt—I’ve never done one of these. 

Michael painted again yesterday and today turning out another nice one.  He also spent some time researching Cadillac keys or key fobs.  My car came with only one key and one fob—at times it would be nice to have another set but geez they want a lot of money for one of those coded keys!!  So he was looking on eBay and Amazon for replacements.

And, we are in the market for a new mattress—we want to try a memory foam—any ideas out there??

On the subject of buttermilk—Brenda reminded me about using milk and vinegar to make buttermilk—I’ve done that before but sometimes we don’t even have milk as neither of us drinks milk.  Michael uses almond milk on his cereal. 

Have you all seen the news story out of Yellowstone National Park—two men from another country saw a buffalo calf, thought it was cold and put it in their SUV taking it to a park ranger.  They were fined and today the news states the buffalo calf was euthanized as the herd had moved on without him and the calf was approaching people and cars.  What’s the answer—bus people into Yellowstone as they do in Denali???  Today the news shows four young men walking out onto a the Grand Prismatic Spring—they are dang lucky they didn’t fall through ending up with burns!!

  I read this book a long time ago—it’s a great/sad at times read about all the strange things people actually do in Yellowstone National Park.  (can you readers see the Amazon tile with the book name??)

And Brooks Michael at one month old--

Saturday, May 14, 2016

Cabin Fever

My artist in residence completed another painting today, I cleaned house and baked rhubarb bread.  Then cabin fever struck and we were off—first to deliver the rhubarb bread to a friend here in our little valley who has been fighting breast cancer this winter—damn cancer!!  She looks great and is doing well! 


Here’s the recipe for the rhubarb bread—I’m not a fan of rhubarb pie and was tired of my rhubarb crisp recipe.  This recipe popped up on my Facebook feed and it’s a keeper!  It calls for buttermilk which I never have but I do have this:  and it works in any recipe I’ve tried which calls for buttermilk.  You just add the required powder and then water.  The stuff has to be refrigerated after opening which takes up space in my RV refrigerator but I cope!Smile


Back home we retrieved Emmi as we most certainly couldn’t go to Nat’s without Emmi!  We spent the afternoon visiting with Nat listening to stories—Big Timber stories and World War II stories.  After a quick stop for ice cream and groceries we were back up the Boulder where the wind is howling.  Rain/snow in the forecast for the next few days—ugh!


Thursday, May 12, 2016

Robins, FitBits, And Quilting

Before the snow on one of our nicer days the cowboy noticed a lot of dried grass around one of my car tires—seems the robins thought the top of the tire on the Cadillac might make a nice, sheltered place to build a nest!!!  Well—think again bird!!  Michael removed all that grass and we drove the car.  Yesterday I was out braving the cold wind playing ball with Emmi and noticed the grass again—this time the dumb birds had built the entire nest—have you ever removed a robin’s nest—I chose not to think about what that gunk is which holds that nest together! Sad smileSorry robins—go find somewhere else to build your nest!

Do you have a FitBit—I wear one on my wrist but I sure question the accuracy at times.  Once a week an email appears giving me the weekly stats--

FitBitOK—if I’ve burned almost 16,000 calories in a week I should be a walking bean pole, right???Well, I’m not!!  Do I really walk that much??  The FitBit tells me I walk more than 10,000 steps—five miles—per day.  I do go up and down the stairs of this house many, many times a day in addition to our morning walk with Emmi but really??? 

Back in Arizona I wrote about losing my quilting mojo—having no interest in sewing anything.  Well, the mojo has come back—I quilted a customer/friend quilt and she picked it up today.  She loved it—isn’t that a cool log cabin pattern!   I’ve also been working on a small quilt and am going to start longarm quilting some of my own quilt tops—I have quite the stack! 


Beautiful day today—Emmi spent lots of time outside.  Our spring/summer birds are arriving—we’ve had goldfinches, rosy red finches and one lone lazuli bunting. 

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Should Have Stayed In Arizona

Our phone rang rather early this morning and it was Larry and Geri calling to brag about their beautiful weather in North Ranch—that wasn’t very nice was it?? Winking smileWe went from a beautiful day on Sunday to rain on Monday and woke to this on Tuesday morning:

DSCN2532It has snowed off an on all day and the temps never rose out of the 30’s.  At times the wind was howling making for a mighty miserable day!  But, we both stayed busy, Michael painted another landscape and I finished a customer quilt—yep, I actually quilted!! 

Monday afternoon we drove to Livingston and had dinner at the Rib and Chop with Sarge and Sarah to celebrate Sarge’s birthday.  It was a very enjoyable evening—before we left North Ranch, Sarah asked Michael to create a painting for her to give Sarge as a birthday gift.  The two of them met many years ago at a dude ranch on the West Boulder where both were employed.  Michael created a painting using the mountains surrounding that dude ranch as the backdrop—they both loved it!! 

And, of course there are grandchildren photos--

Brooks newborn


Lora and snow

Thanks for stopping by!


Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mother’s Day

What a beautiful day we are having in Montana—a perfect Mother’s Day.  I’m just going to let these photos tell our story—this first one is my sweet Mom and her husband Chuck. 


CCI05082016_0001Mom and her favorite granddaughter (her only granddaughter! Smile)  This photo was taken in 1992, pre-Michael, up on the Beartooth Highway.

CCI05082016_0002And this is Michael’s Mom, Joy, as a young woman in Detroit, pre-marriage to Nat.

CCI05082016Joy as a young mother with Michael on the family ranch here in Montana

CCI05082016_0003And right before her death in 2000 holding her first great grand child, Kristen.

I sure miss my Mom and hope she had a wonderful day spent with the rest of our family!  Saturday night we enjoyed a pre-Mother’s Day dinner at Lonn’s.  I never had children of my own but I am blessed to have Michael’s children and grandchildren treat me as if I were their own. 


DSCN2514DSCN2529Lonn and Michael (Brooks’ Dad) holding Brooks.



Little Lora Elizabeth can now say, “Mimi!”  and as the photos show, she is full of herself at 17 months!!  Brooks Michael is doing what babies do best—eat, sleep, poop, repeat—he’s adorable!

Happy Mother’s Day!!