Thursday, April 30, 2009

It is The End of April??

Snowed off and on all day and is snowing as I write this. It is warm enough that the snow is not sticking, just makes for lots of juicy mud! We did see some wildflowers this morning on our walk and chokecherry tree buds, there is hope!

Nat came up for lunch today and I fixed a hamburger/potato casserole--gotta keep giving these ranchers their beef! The rest of the day I got ready for our little social hour.

We live on the East Boulder River, 22 miles from anything, no grocery store, no gas station, nothing! Our primary way of socializing is to get together with friends. Just down our 1/2 mile driveway live George and Shirley and a few miles up the road, Robyn and Claire live. We three couples get together frequently for wine and cheese. When Nancy and Geoff are here, they also join us, they are back in California now and we miss them. George is a great wine connoisseur and brings the most awesome wines. Tonight I fixed shrimp cocktails and pizza--such a combination but it was great. Shirley brought Robyn and me May Day baskets with pansies--since it is still too cold to have flowers outside, we will just have flowers inside. Good friends and fun!

To my family tonight, I am thinking of you all, and love you.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Billings and More Winter

We woke to more snow and cold today and it even got to old Mr. Optimistic today, Michael. We took a wet, muddy walk then got ready and headed to Billings.

Michael dropped me off at JoAnn's and Target while he went to Harbor Freight--perfect solution, don't you think? After a little shopping, we met Lonn (Michael's son) and his wife LoraLee for lunch at CJ's. They happened to be in Billings today, too.

When Michael had a construction business, he purchased mega dollars of pipe and plumbing fixtures from a company in Billings called Mountain Supply. Every new year they had the best calendars with gorgeous Montana photos. I was so disappointed this year that we didn't get one before we left. Michael had to go to Mountain Supply today and they still had calendars, yahoo.

The mountain in this photo is called Lionhead and a portion of it burned 3 years ago when we had the huge, awful fires that got so close to our house. Remember the fairy tale about the mouse getting the thorn from the lion's paw and being spared--if you look closely, Lionhead looks like the head of a lion with a mane and the little bump out in front is the mouse. I know, it requires some imagination and it is easier to see when it isn't socked in by winter clouds.

We think this is a Harlan's Red Tailed Hawk and yes that is blue sky in the background--it appeared for a short while this evening when we got home.

To our coming summer visitors, Jim & Ellie, Mark and Dortha, I will really try to have the snow gone by the time you get here!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Rain, Snow and a Beautiful Bird

Is anyone surprised, it's snowing again!! It mixed with rain all day so no accumulation except for more mud.

While we were having breakfast, this guy landed on top of one of our gate posts to have his breakfast. He finished his breakfast then sat on top of the post for a long time, probably looking for another tasty morsel!

An American Kestrel
Isn't he adorable?
Michael worked on my Volkswagen all day and I attempted to quilt. I completed a block and decided I did not like it so spent over an hour ripping the whole thing out--I'll be happier with the end results!
Well, we have made a decision, finally. We called the people in Moses Lake, WA who own the Allegro Bus and it is still for sale. We will go over there on Sunday and pick up the motorhome on Monday. It is a 1995 diesel and has only 54,000 miles on it. It will need some cosmetic work but that we can handle. It is the right step for us--we plan to purchase an enclosed trailer for hauling a vehicle behind the motorhome. And for hauling other things such as a quilting machine.
Life is good.


Monday, April 27, 2009

Chores

Mother Nature left us a few more inches of snow last night and we slogged our way through a walk up into the fields today. There is water running everywhere, the ground can't absorb any more--we have miniature rivers everywhere.

It was time to clean house, I had postponed it too long and the dust bunnies were threatening to take over. I participated in a conference call with the quilt machine company APQS at 9 this morning then started cleaning. It is amazing how much dust and spider webs can accumulate even when no one is living in a house for 3 months!

The Boulder River yesterday when I was driving home from the retreat.

Fluffy birds in a snowstorm

Another of my quilting projects
Not much going on around here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Quilting Retreat

Friday morning we woke to about 8 inches of new snow, again. I did a lot of scurrying, I was off to my very first quilting retreat at Camp on the Boulder, a church camp located about 20 miles from us. I had some reservations about whether or not the retreat would even happen with the weather as bad as it was but the quilt store in town said to head on up.

The Boulder road even on the best of days is atrocious! It is a gravel/rock/potholed/narrow road on most days and with a snowstorm, it was terrible. Took me an hour and a half to drive the 20 miles and my Explorer has enough mud attached to start a garden! My teeth were about jarred loose!

The Boulder Road in a snowstorm


I was a little concerned about the accommodations for this quilt retreat being held at a church camp. If any of you ever went off to church camp like I did to Boggs Springs in Arkansas, you know that sleeping arrangements can be a little rustic to say the least. Well, I shouldn't have worried, it wasn't the Hilton but it was certainly adequate. I had my own room, no bunk bed to crawl out of in the middle of the night, and my own sink, showers and potties were down the hall.
My first glimpse of Camp on the Boulder Friday afternoon.There were 24 women at this retreat, a few I knew and most I didn't. I had a ball--it was such a liberating feeling to have nothing to do but sew--no dog to let in or out, no meals to cook, no husband wanting help with a project. It was a great group of women and I came away with new friendships and some finished projects. The food was wonderful, prepared by the couple that lives at this remote camp year round with their children who are home schooled.
Busy quilters

One of my finished projects, a quilt for our bed. Jazzy is napping on top of it as I write this!
Another view

OK, house update--we were going to fly down to AZ this next week and make an offer on a house our realtor found. She called us Friday afternoon and the house had two offers all ready, both more than the asking price. Oh, well, maybe we will buy a motorhome????
When I got home from the quilting retreat Sunday just after lunch, I must have been energized. Michael and I got busy and unpacked and put away all the RV stuff that had been sitting in the middle of the basement floor. Now, of course we will probably find a motorhome!

Oh, by the way, it is snowing, again.





Thursday, April 23, 2009

Change in the Weather

We've gone from walking in our shirtsleeves this morning to a fire in the fireplace and snow flakes!! After lunch the temperature dropped to 32 degrees.

I baked most of the morning, getting goodies ready to take with me to the quilting retreat. Did some laundry and fixed lunch for Nat--we had steaks on the grill and roasted potatoes. Nat and Michael are confirmed beef eaters so I try to indulge them!

Our neighbors and friends, George and Shirley had picked up our mail for us while we were in Seattle so I ran down to their house this morning and got it. Had a nice visit with them--they bought a condo in Florida this winter.

We are still debating house versus motorhome but really leaning toward house. Nat voiced his approval today and Michael went and talked to our friend Terry, the builder, and he thinks it is a good idea, too.

Ducks on our pond
This is the dog that avoids a bath at all cost, shivers and cries when she finally does have to get a bath--she loves to get in the irrigation ditches.
Our flying Jazzy dog


Tomorrow I am off to Camp on the Boulder, a Methodist church camp where an annual quilting retreat is being held. The Camp is located about 20 miles from us, hope I don't get stranded in a snow storm while up there!


Wednesday, April 22, 2009

We Are Home, Finally

Remember all those pretty photos of green grass, flowers and budding trees in Seattle the last couple of days--well, not in Montana! Most of our snow is gone except for the drifts in the coulees and at this present time it is dry but very little green grass and for sure no flowers or leaves budding! We are under another winter storm watch beginning tomorrow evening!

Montana spring

We made it home about 6pm Wednesday night and boy are our minds churning! The folks with the motorhome did not call us back last night after their counter offer and then our subsequent counter offer. We assumed that it was a no deal. Later in the evening we received a call from our realtor in Arizona and she had found a house she thought we would really love and she was right! It is unfinished as in no kitchen, no bathroom fixtures, etc. The sheetrock is hung and painted but there are no floor coverings--right up our alley. So, we backed off on motorhome looking and are again plotting house strategy. Needless to say, we are kind of going in circles. But, what will be, will be--one or the other will work out and we will be thrilled with the results, that's just the way we have been our entire married life--life is good!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Michael Did It

We were up bright and early this morning, packing and cleaning the good ole Holiday Rambler one more time. Denny called and he was ready for us. We arrived at the "farm" a little after 9am and began the process of deciding just how to get this 34 foot 5th wheel into the tight space the Freed's had picked! We moved concrete curbs and trimmed tree limbs. Michael would back the trailer a small distance then get out and ponder--back a little farther, get out and ponder. As you can see from the first photo, coming straight up their driveway off the busy street was not an option due to the overhang of the beautiful trees that line both sides of the driveway.

And as you can see from this photo, there was NOT much room between the trees and the gutter on the farm house. Michael was able to back the rig onto the grass lawn then turn uphill and get started by the house.Denny is just looking so pleased that we managed to get the RV in the really narrow gate, he hasn't figured out that we may not fit between trees and house! But we did! I stood under the overhang of the house and looked up as Michael drove slowly--at times we only had less than a foot to spare but we made it!

Whew!! The Freed's new home is parked and they and their grandchildren that live in the farm house are delighted!
We said our goodbyes and headed toward Spokane stopping off in Ellensburg to look at yet another motorhome. Our friends Ellie & Jim have a Tiffin motorhome as do Mark and Dortha--those guys can't say enough good about this company. So--we looked at an Allegro Bus, older but very good quality and with only 54,000 miles on it. It was beyond filthy, incredibly dirty!! The rig was parked at a local mechanic's who told us it was very sound, just dirty. We decided that dirt we could clean, carpet we could replace and if we could get the motorhome for the offer we were willing to make, we have a great deal. The owner has called us back twice to tell us they are thinking about it so we shall see. In the meantime, we are heading to Spokane to spend the night with Gene and Mary. If the owners call, we will just travel back the 150 miles to Ellensburg.
I am really liking this Verizon aircard--it is handy to be able to access the internet going down the interstate!!



Monday, April 20, 2009

Sequim, WA and More RVs

Off to look at more RVs today--Yesterday I spoke with a guy about a RV we saw listed on CraigsList. It was located at a dealership in Olympia, was in "good condition, runs great, you will like it." There wasn't a RV on that lot that wasn't ready for the RV graveyard--YUK!!! Since we didn't like that one, we decided to journey to Sequim, WA out on the Hood Canal to look at another motorhome. Because we were all ready south of Seattle in Olympia, we took Hwy 101 up the west side of Hood Canal. What a beautiful drive--right along the water, snow covered mountains everywhere and sunshine--we could not have asked for a more beautiful day. Now, the RV, another bust!!

I participated in my first monthly telephone sales meeting for APQS while we were driving along--I really can't wait to get involved with this company and to get out there and sell some of those longarm quilting machines.

We decided to take the Kingston Ferry back across the canal, a much shorter route for us to get back to Bothell and the RV park. Our friend Denny who purchased our 5th wheel was flying in from MT today and we expected him about 5pm.

They are loading us on the Walla Walla Ferry.

A sailboat on the canal enjoying the beautiful day.
Look at MT Rainier--it looks almost ghostly rising up above the Seattle skyline--if you look closely, you can see the Space Needle.

While on the ferry, a man standing next to me pointed up at the sky and said, "what's that?" Michael and I turned and looked up and could see nothing but seagulls. He pointed again and repeated himself, "what's that?" I looked up again and said, "what, the sun??" I was right, he was making a point that as a native Washingtonian, he had not seen much sun this winter!!
Denny arrived and we met him at the "Freed Farm". Denny has owned this 10 acre parcel of land right in the middle of suburbia Bothell for almost 40 years. It is such an oasis. We discussed the pros and cons of several routes for bringing this 34 foot 5th wheel into the farm--think I will hide somewhere and close my eyes! I'll post photos tomorrow of the driveway and the process. All this planning made us hungry and Denny treated us to dinner at a fabulous Thai restaurant in downtown Bothell--one of the best meals we have had in a long time!
We got back to the RV late, I am blogging and Michael is walking the dog. We have a busy day tomorrow.


Sunday, April 19, 2009

Bothell, Washington

It was a beautiful day in the Seattle area today, Mt. Rainier was splendid all snow covered, the sun was shining and all the flowers and trees are blooming. We left Montana Friday morning and arrived in Spokane before 4pm. It was so good to see Mary and Gene--we all went out to dinner and had a great time catching up. Sadie and Jazz behaved themselves (mostly Sadie just ignores Jazz).

Yesterday morning we had coffee and breakfast with them before heading out for Seattle. We made good time with a tail wind and arrived at this beautiful little RV park, Lake Pleasant RV Park in Bothell, a suburb of Seattle. The park sits around a couple of small lakes and there are hiking trails around the upper perimeter of the park. The sites are tight but a planting of evergreens between each site helps maintain privacy. It is quiet without obtrusive lighting. Who would have ever thought such a little oasis would exist in busy Seattle. It is expensive, $44 per night!!
One of the little lakes with the RV's around its perimeter.
Another view of one of the lakes.
The hiking trail that Jazz and I took on our walk this morning.


The plantings between sites.


Today we looked at motorhomes without success! Michael had noticed a classic motorhome listed on CraigsList, a GMC motorhome. They were built from 1973-1978 and only about 13,00 were made--9000-10000 of those are still on the road. They have developed kind of a following and people buy them and remodel the interiors. We looked at a trashed one and an absolutely gorgeous lemon yellow one that had been lovingly restored. While beautiful, I'm not sure that is where we should be going. Oh, well, the fun is in the looking isn't it??? We have not found ONE decent diesel pusher in our price range.
Tomorrow we may look for motorhomes and then again, we may give up and go to La Connor and see the tulip fields!



Thursday, April 16, 2009

Loading the RV AGAIN

Geez--seems like I just got that RV unloaded and here we are semi-loading it again!! We are off to Seattle tomorrow to deliver our fifth wheel RV to Denny and Ellen's farm in Seattle. While in Seattle, we have several motorhomes from CraigsList that we are going to see and we may purchase one but if we don't all the stuff we take with us has to fit in the truck along with us and the dog to come home. So--I've been very selective about what I take--we will be eating out a lot to say the least.

Tomorrow night we will stop in Spokane and spend the night with dear friends Gene and Mary. We met them many years ago while involved in the sport of Cowboy Action Shooting. They are both retired school teachers and have led the most wonderful lives--retiring young, sailing on a beautiful sailboat, RVing, and just enjoying life. They have an English Cocker dog named Sadie and she and Jazz have a love/hate relationship.

Michael made it over to his son's today not without issues--the clutch died in his old truck on the way over so he left the equipment there and limped home--that old truck may be headed to the graveyard!

Another winter scene--doesn't it look bleak? The trees that look so stark are the ones that burned in a forest fire 3 years ago this fall--got a little too close, didn't it??

In past months many of the blogs I read mentioned this great bread cookbook, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. Michael gave me a copy for Christmas and I finally got around to trying it this week. I am thrilled--one of the problems I always have when making bread is how long to knead it--you don't knead this bread--it is so easy and it tasted great. As I write this, I have another loaf in the oven to take to Mary and Gene.

The forecast is for sunshine in Washington and sunshine and warmer temperatures here in MT, YEA!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Early Birds

I was right--we were white this morning. About 2 inches and more fell during the day but as the day warmed up to a balmy 40 degrees, most of the snow melted. I spoke with my Aunt in Arkansas where it was sunny--she said, "but it's April and you have snow?? My flowers are blooming." Well, yes, April it is but we still have snow, no flowers and won't have flowers until late May.

This is the scene to which we woke.


The Rosy Red Finches arrived a few days ago, a little early for them--usually we don't see these birds until the first of May.And these little yellow guys are really early, the Gold Finches usually arrive around the middle of May.
It was a good day for quilting which is exactly what I did. Got that binding on the king size quilt and took it off the frame. Loaded one of my Aunt's quilts and am ready to start quilting on it tomorrow.

This is a link to a U-Tube video sent to me by a quilting friend. If you watch American Idol, you have probably seen this clip--it is positively amazing and will bring tears to your eyes. It does take a little bit to load but well worth it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RxPZh4AnWyk




Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Nasty Weather

Well, we don't have feets of snow but it has snowed all day--the ground is warm so it is not sticking and it has hovered just at 32 degrees all day. If it had kept snowing as it was about 9am this morning, we would have had feet! Jazz and I went for a short walk and we were both white when we got back--she wasn't impressed!

Michael was going over to Lonn's today but the weather was too bad so he worked on one of his old trucks.

I puttered with things--laundry, changing bed linens, cooking, etc. Made a really good stew--it was stew weather. I also finished quilting my king size quilt, squared the quilt and made the binding. I'll attach the binding tomorrow then comes the tedious chore of sewing what seems like a mile of binding to the back by hand. I am attending a quilting retreat the end of the month, that may be one of the projects I take along.

I bet we are white in the morning.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Mother Nature Is Mad At Us

Our snow is melting fast making the creek full and fast. Taking our walk each morning is easier without slogging through snow. But, old Mother Nature has a trick up her sleeve. The forecast is for 2-3 feet of snow tomorrow into Wednesday and Thursday!!! When our neighbor, Curtis brought Jazz home Friday, he told us that in the last month, the East Boulder drainage where we live has gotten 60 inches of snow--we just don't get that kind of snow usually!

Leaving around lunchtime, we headed to Billings. I had an appointment with my dermatologist for follow up of my last summer problems. Her first comment when entering the exam room was "do you have a tan?" Of course she didn't like my answer but I did wear my sunscreen!

We ran by the quilt store, Costco and Wal-Mart. Picked up a pizza at Wal-Mart and stopped and had dinner with Nat at his house in Big Timber. Michael's son Lonn and his wife LoraLee were had also stopped in to visit--it was good to see them.

The East Boulder mountains

Isn't she the cutest thing??

Let's hope the weather man is wrong!

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Easter

Today was a wonderful day, took an early walk, quilted a little, made some lunch then went out north of Big Timber to the home of our good friends Jeane and Steve for Easter early dinner. The food was awesome as usual especially the homemade chocolate layer cake with homemade ice cream! I was thinking I should have skipped dinner and gone straight to dessert. The company was great, Jeane's parents, Caroline and Frank were visiting from Missoula. Jeane and Steve's daughter Jordan and their granddaughter PJ were also there. Good friends rounded out the crowd and we had a delightful afternoon and evening--you know you had a good time when you look at your watch and say, "oh my gosh, it is 8pm!"

Frank, Jeane's Dad with his granddaughter Jordan and great-granddaughter PJ. Frank will be 83 on Friday, looks pretty good doesn't he!
From the left, Chris, Steve and Michael squinting into the sun with the big bear watching over him.

Friday was an eventful day--I went to town for the 10th anniversary celebration of the store I and partner Kathy opened in 1999, Cinnabar Creek. After we visited at the store for a while, Jeane and I met Jill for lunch. Just as we finished lunch, my cellphone rang and it was Michael--he had lost Jazz, she had been missing for 2 hours. One of my errands for the day was to get new batteries for her electronic fencing system collar. I roared home, crying most of the way, fearing the worst because Michael also told me he had heard coyotes. I hadn't even been in the house 5 minutes when our neighbor rode up on his four wheeler with Jazz. Oh, what relief, I couldn't even be mad at her. She took a long, long hike to get to his house. She came in, I washed her feet and she went to bed and didn't get out the rest of the day--one pooped puppy. I went back to town and completed my errands, especially the batteries.
Saturday we cleaned and cleaned on the RV and Denny and Ellen the new owners came over to preview their new home. They are extremely pleased and we will deliver it to Seattle for them the end of next week. We have found a maybe motorhome in Seattle so we will see.
Saturday evening we went to Nancy and Geoff's our friends and neighbors up the road for another delightful evening. Nancy had cooked all day and the food was great as was the wine and company. Their home is located in the most beautiful spot right on the East Boulder River--it is the home Michael and I were married in when it belonged to friends Jill and Terry.
It was a busy weekend, our social calendar was full! And the sun has been shining!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Another Grey Day

It rained most of the night making our all ready soggy ground even more soggy. We still have piles and piles of snow, too. Today was cloudy and cold all day.

We took a walk down to the road and back, we still can't walk up in our fields, too much snow. It was good to get out and the Jazzy girl enjoyed it even more.

I was feeling a little weather blue this morning so decided to ignore all the stuff from the RV that needs to find a home and quilt instead. I have a king size quilt on the frame that will go on our bed when it is finished. It was as if I had never been gone--quilting was wonderful!!

Nat came up for lunch and before he arrived, I baked his favorite cookies--oatmeal/chocolate chip/pecan. I grilled steaks and we had baked potatoes and salad with cookies for dessert.

Michael worked out in the garage all day today, he is so glad to be home with all his tools and treasures. I did get a little of the stuff from the RV put away this afternoon--maybe when we get a different RV, I will remember this and not put so much stuff in it--probably not!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Unloaded

Michael said we should sell our RVs yearly so that all the stuff you haul along with you and never use gets thrown out. We started unloading stuff this morning and Michael finished up about 4pm. We are exhausted--we had a lot of things stuffed into that RV!

I made a batch of friend Ellie's chocolate muffins, we are trying to get rid of the weight again. All this physical activity should help shouldn't it?? Oh, in case you didn't see the earlier blog about the muffins, they are very Weight Watcher friendly, only one point per muffin.

Well, I have a new career. The director of sales for APQS, the manufacturer of my longarm quilting machine called today and I am going to become a sale representative for APQS. It is strictly a commission position but I am excited and determined to make something of this.

The large window on the right is in the master bath and the huge soaking tub sits under that window. Michael was in the tub trying to soak away some of the soreness from all this moving and saw the disaster in the next photo.


I planted these two evergreen shrubs many years ago and they were becoming so nice and tall and bushy--blasted deer--while we were gone, I guess the deer decided the needles looked like tasty morsels and the pesky things stripped my evergreens!

Remember the garage building project last summer, the garage is built into a bank of dirt? Well, with all this snow and moisture, some of that bank slipped off today and crushed a corner of the roof of the garage--needless to say, Mr. Clark is not a happy camper.

Maybe I'll get most of this stuff put away tomorrow and then I can quilt!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A Thousand Trips In & Out of the RV

It sure seemed like a thousand trips up and down those RV stairs and then down the stairs to store all the stuff in the basement. And, as we have sold this RV, everything has to come out and into storage--may take a few more days.

Michael plowed some more snow today in order to give the two horses a couple round bales of hay.

Just after lunch we headed to Billings for the haircut and a couple other errands--I needed some muslin for quilt backs--got it for a great price--when I walked into the store there were sale fliers in a basket containing coupons for 40% off any one regular priced item. I needed two different sizes of muslin so I called Michael on his cellphone and told him to come into the store, he was buying muslin today so we could each use a 40% off coupon!!

Got a surprise when I walked into the hair salon--my hairdresser was obviously pregnant, due around the first of June--she, husband and three year old are very excited. She also had some other news today--her husband is a policeman for the city of Billings and he was shot in the face with a BB gun by a 15 year old two weeks ago. The 15 year old is very lucky that her husband nor his partner killed him!

We had late lunch, early dinner at our favorite restaurant, CJ's. Nat's cellphone has been on the blink lately so we stopped by the Verizon store and got him a new phone--one without a camera and other buttons he is always pushing by mistake and then can't figure out what he did. When we got back to Big Timber, we delivered his phone and spent some time visiting with him.

The drive up the Boulder tonight was beautiful with the moon glowing off all that snow!

Monday, April 6, 2009

We Have Arrived

Not a good day! Usually we manage to arrive back in Montana on a nice day, Michael watches the weather patterns and we try to time our trip back home to correspond with better weather. He didn't do so well this time! We knew that we had lots of snow but didn't imagine it would be as bad as it turned out to be.

We left Dillon about 8:30 and stopped at the Bozeman Costco to stock the pantry. Then it was on to Big Timber to stop and say hello to Mike's Dad, Nat. About 30 miles from Big Timber we blew the turbo charger air hose on the truck--uh, OH! Michael was able to re-clamp it and we went about 1/2 mile before it blew again, we did this 4 times before he finally got it wedged in tight enough to stay. We said a quick hello to Nat as we knew it was going to take us some time to get the RV up the driveway. That was the understatement of the year!

We blew the turbo charger hose one more time on our way up the Boulder and arrived in our driveway about 3pm. We stopped on the road and put chains on the rear wheels of the truck and attempted to get the RV off the road and up the driveway a short distance. That is what we managed to, a short distance. We then unhooked the truck leaving the RV and tried to get up our driveway, taking a run, grinding to a stop, backing up, making another run, it was bad--we were pushing snow with the front bumper and our truck is 4 wheel drive! We finally got to the house. Our backhoe had a flat tire, Michael got that aired up and then put chains on the backhoe and started plowing the driveway. I started trying to muck out the house. At 6pm I began to get really worried and drove the truck back down the driveway--he was just finishing the plowing. We put another set of chains on the truck rear tires and went down to get the RV. At 7:30pm we finally drove into the yard with the RV and began to unload the essential stuff. Tomorrow is supposed to be 65 degrees, maybe some of this white stuff will melt--let's hope so.

Looking up from the bottom of our driveway, that is our old garage (belongs to the owner of our previous ranch) and our driveway is there under all that white stuff somewhere. The tracks are deer tracks.
Our house, it may take a while for all that snow that slid off the roof to melt!
What our world looks like tonight.

And as if we haven't driven enough the last few days, my hairdresser called today and changed my Saturday appointment to tomorrow so we will be heading to Billings around lunch time tomorrow.



Sunday, April 5, 2009

Cold, Snow and Back in Montana

Twenty-three degrees and frost when we got up this morning--we were ready to roll by 7:30 and headed down the road. We changed to Mountain Standard Time just over into Idaho and stopped for lunch in Arco, ID. We chugged on down the road and arrived in Dillon, MT about 4pm. Dillon is always our last night stop because we can be in Bozeman, MT in less than 2 hours and hit Costco and the grocery store before heading on home.

We have been getting such encouraging news from all our friends--we have close to 3 feet of snow on the ground--highly unusual for this time of year. There is no way we can get our RV up the driveway with that much snow so we will turn into the driveway, unhook the RV, chain up the truck and drive the 1/2 mile up to the house. Michael will then use our backhoe to plow the snow off the driveway so we can get the RV up to the house. Am I wishing I was back in Arizona--only about a thousand times!!
Snow on the mountains above all these people returning north, the majority of them are Canadians.

A resident of the RV park--strange looking chicken, I'll have to ask Judy or CJ what breed she is??
Mr. Rooster, Jazzy really wanted to talk to this guy but he wasn't interested.

There is a great steakhouse here in Dillon called the Lion's Den--we went and had a great burger tonight. Onward to home tomorrow.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Snow???

Settled in at Well, NV where there is snow on the mountains around us and it is cold, I walked Jazz in a coat, gloves and a hat. We drove from Pahrump, NV to here, over 400 miles. The wind at times seemed to bring us to a slow crawl and reduced our fuel mileage to around 5 mpg!! Michael has taken lots and lots of grief today for bringing us toward home in this miserable weather--he has been a good sport. I have made him promise not to leave Arizona next year before the first of May! Oh, the good news--talked to Michael's son and his wife today--we have 18 inches of new snow as of yesterday!

Thanks Ellie for the bird identification--Ellie thinks the bird in the photos from last Wednesday is a great blue heron.

Friday, April 3, 2009

We Were Bums

Woke up to a very cool morning, lost my flip flops to socks this morning making me very grumpy! The wind is blowing and it is a cold wind. Jazzy got to go for a couple walks and chase the ducks.

Homemade macaroni and cheese for lunch, a new recipe and a keeper we both decided--it was made a lower fat way and was delicious.

After lunch we relaxed, rested our eyeballs, read, played on the computer and in general acted like a couple of bums. I did get some backing fabric ordered for my Aunt's quilts that I am bringing back to MT from AR to quilt. About 4pm, Michael decided the truck needed fuel and what better excuse did we need for ice cream?

When we got back from town, we headed down to the casino. As I said before, we were staying here under a promotional deal--2 nights for the price of 1 and they threw in $10 worth of gambling credits. Neither of us are gamblers but we thought we would spend their money. By the time we were finished gambling, we figured it cost us $11 for the two nights we stayed--not bad!

And we are being really bad tonight, pizza for dinner. Tomorrow we head north again hoping to get to Wells, NV.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Travel to Pahrump, NV

We traveled about 350 miles today and paid $2.39 for diesel, UGH! The last 60 miles of the trip from Boulder City to Pahrump were terrible, we were driving into a strong head wind and going uphill at the same time--rough on the fuel mileage to say the least.

We are parked in Terrible's Lakeside RV Park and Casino. It is a nice little spot with a 7 acre lake, lots of green grass and trees. They were having an internet deal, pay $19.95 for one night and get the next night free so here we are. When we traveled through Pahrump last year on our way home, we stayed at the Charleston Winery RV Park which is also very nice.

Our trip over the Hoover Dam was uneventful except after the police officer looked into our storage bays and looked inside the RV he walked past the passenger side of our truck and Jazzy dog went berserk and stuck her head out the window barking frantically--scared the poor guy to death, he jumped three feet and screamed--then he saw Jazzy and just died laughing, his fellow officers were sure giving him grief for being scared of such a small little dog. Don't know what got into Jazzy, she usually does not do things like that!

If anyone has been over the Hoover Dam lately then you know a bridge is being built so that traffic will no longer drive over the Dam. That bridge is a long, long way up in the air and there were some workmen up there today, suspended out over the gorge--made my stomach turn over just watching them--you could not pay me enough money to be up there! Of course the camera was in the RV and we were going down the road in the truck--something to be said for motorhomes, huh??

It is good to be heading home even though we know we are going home to lousy weather. But we also know that summer is coming and it sounds as if many of our RVing friends such as Jim & Ellie and Mark & Dortha will be coming our way.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Verde River and a Bobcat

I had another conference call, education session with APQS (manufacturers of my longarm machine) about 10am--it was very interesting and made me ready to get home to that machine and start quilting again.

After lunch we took a drive, just up the road from the entrance to this park is another US Forest Service recreation area called Verde River Needle Eye. You drive this winding road for 6 miles and all of a sudden you are in the middle of nowhere and there is a huge river and massive boulders. The actual Needle Eye in the huge boulders is very impressive but hidden by a grove of palo verde trees. Totally unexpected, all that water in Arizona!

After the drive we hit McDonald's for an ice cream. We had invited our friends Arch and Gwen and Roy and Sandy to have dinner with us tonight in Cave Creek. On the way to the restaurant, we stopped by a house we saw yesterday that was totally unfinished, it only has the outer walls and roof done with particle board, nothing else. While we were walking around inside the house looking at where all the rooms should be, I happened to look up and on a ledge above my head was a huge cat watching us--well, we looked a little closer, it was a bobcat!!!!! He was beautiful and just watched us as we walked around.

Verde River and the huge boulders.
A bird in the river, will have to get the bird book out, feel free to chime in Ellie!
Michael and I spent a sleepless night wondering about purchasing property here and both of us decided almost simultaneously that it just wasn't a good time. We are so lucky to have the kind of life we do and it doesn't make sense to go into that much debt at this time, maybe when we sell our property near Billings.
We enjoyed our great dinner at Harold's in Cave Creek with our friends and we said our sad goodbyes--Michael and I are starting north tomorrow. Blog posting may be spotty for the next few days.