Tuesday, November 30, 2010

A Good Day

Michael got up feeling much better today and did some more puttering with the motorhome—mainly trying to figure out how to work the heating system so we won’t freeze when we head out in fifteen days!  Gina, we are also trying to figure out whether to take the couch out and put the recliners in or leave the couch.  I know what Rollie’s vote would be!  I think the washer/dryer is staying at least until we are around some more muscle!

I quilted ALL day and Ellie, your quilt if finished!!!  It looks wonderful, I think you will be thrilled.  I even got the binding sewn on with the longarm and tomorrow I will load another quilt—three more to go!

It was warmer today if you call 20 degrees warm but with a cold north wind blowing.  And that is about it for our day around here.

Strange clouds Strange clouds over the Crazy Mountains this morning. 

Monday, November 29, 2010

Here Comes The Cold Again

Emmi and I just got back from a walk, her afternoon stroll and I am frozen!  It is right at 18 degrees and the wind is blowing!  The skies are also clear so can you imagine what the temperature is going to be tomorrow morning??

Michael was kind of under the weather today and doesn’t feel like he accomplished much of anything except for changing the oil in the Jeep.  He did take a care package for our USAF granddaughter out to the post office for me.

Ellie’s quilt is coming along nicely, I am almost at the halfway point quilting it—I used a wool batting for the first time and I love how it looks, so puffy and nice!  This quilt will give me something to do to pass the miles as we travel—hand sewing the binding—as big as that quilt is it will probably take me all the way to Arkansas! 

I made that Chicken Tetrazzini recipe for lunch again, YUM!

Boone Mtn Stormy looking mountains this morning but we have had sunshine this afternoon.

Golden Eagle A golden eagle perched high up in a tree watching us this morning.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

OK, Are We Finished Eating??

Tonight we went over to Lonn and LoraLee’s to have Thanksgiving with them, Katie and Michael along with Michael’s parents.  The owners of the ranch where Lonn and LoraLee live and work were here over Thanksgiving.   Michael also had to work over Thanksgiving so tonight was the night for us to eat turkey and all the other stuff that goes along with it.  I am stuffed—shouldn’t have eaten that pumpkin pie but it sure was good! 

LoraLee has a new puppy, a Heinz 57 variety and it sure is cute—the puppy wasn’t too thrilled with Emmi though.

I did get Ellie’s quilt loaded onto the frame today.  Michael spent some more time puttering around the motorhome—he got all the wiring put back in place and the Cradlepoint router installed in its new home.  He also put two more batteries in the coach. 

November snowfall A recycled photo of our snowstorm.  As we drive around—to town and up the West Boulder to Lonn and LoraLee’s we see more and more evidence that this snowstorm was one heck of a storm—there are HUGE piles of snow where the snow drifts have been plowed off the road and out of driveways.  Downtown Big Timber is a mess with piles of snow everywhere.  An older man who lives out north of town fell in the snow Wednesday night and came close to dying.  A variety of circumstances saved his life—here is a link to the Billings Gazette with the heart warming story.  We can all be thankful the storm has passed and we are all safe and sound. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Making Preparations

Our high temp today was to be between 40 and 50 degrees—Michael decided to start the motorhome and pull it forward into driveway area so he could work on replacing the rubber ducting surrounding the radiator.  I heard a lot of colorful language out there but he finished the chore.  The driveway was slushy in spots and bare in others—we decided to take the coach down the steep driveway while the getting was good.  The motorhome is now parked in front of the big garage down by the road.  I loaded some stuff into it but without heat inside I can’t load much.  All the other things will have to wait until closer to time to leave.

I didn’t get much quilting accomplished today.  Nat eats lunch at the Big Timber Senior Center four days a week and then usually comes to our house for lunch at least one day per weekend.  This week the weather was so bad on Wednesday he didn’t go, Thursday and Friday the Center wasn’t open and now it is the weekend.  I decided we needed to take Nat dinner tonight as the roads still aren’t the greatest.  I had inherited a spiral cut ham this week, made some garlic mashed potatoes and salad with apples, almonds and poppy seed dressing.  We arrived at his house about 5pm and he provided the appetizer (cheese and crackers) to go with our drinks.  We had a great meal and a great time visiting.  Leftover pumpkin pie and cherry cheesecake pie completed our delicious meal.

Emmi played with her duck she keeps at Granddad’s then had to take a nap in his chair--Sitting in Granddad's chair Dortha and Ellie—Emmi’s original duck had an untimely accident this week, Emmi broke its neck.  I had purchased a couple spare ducks and today gave Emmi a new one—you should have seen her—talk about excitement—she loves her ducks!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Heat Wave

Yippee, the sun was shining today and it was almost 40 degrees.  Gave us both encouragement—yes, we are going to get out of here!  Michael plowed snow for much of the day and did a little puttering around the motorhome.

I finished up Mary’s quilt--Mary Freund's Forest View

It is a Thimbleberry pattern, Forest View—I loved the colors Mary chose and enjoyed quilting it.  Mary Freund's Forest View detail

After lunch I attached all the borders to Ellie’s quilt top and tomorrow I will get the quilt on the frame.  This is my last custom quilting job and I must say, I am ready to take a break.

Mary and Ron stopped by around 5p and picked up the quilt.  After they left we took a walk down the driveway in the almost dark—it felt so good to be out without ten layers of clothes, boots, gators, etc.  Emmi even got to go without her socks! 

Eighteen days and counting!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

We are thankful today for warmer temps—all the way up to 20 degrees, not as much wind as predicted and being able to get down our driveway.  We are so thankful for our friends, family and all our other blessings.

Our Thanksgiving feast was only about a mile up the road from us at the home of our friends Geoff and Nancy—a few years ago, they converted an old shop building into a guest house—with its big open living area, it converts easily into a large dining area.  There were 14 of us this afternoon and it was a very enjoyable gathering.  Boo and Terry were to have joined us but were unable to get through the snow drifts near their house having to turn around and go back home, bummer!

George called us about noon and asked if they could ride with us, they had gotten their truck stuck in the driveway half way up.  Mike took the skidsteer down and plowed them out.  This storm has been incredible—we have never had this much trouble navigating around here!

Our meal was delicious and as usual we indulged too much.  But the good part about having the meal at someone else’s house—they get to keep the leftovers!  I did bring home way too much pie that wasn’t eaten. 

Emmi stayed home alone and told us how woeful it was when we arrived back at home. 

Thanksgiving6Hard to believe this building used to be our friend Terry’s workshop!Thanksgiving5 Thanksgiving Claire, Shirley, Rich, George and Nancy. 

Thanksgiving2 Nancy and her daughter Beth.  Thanksgiving3 Shirley, Robyn and Nancy.Thanksgiving4  Shirley, Robyn and Michael.

And while it is always hard to be away from family, it is wonderful to have such good friends with which to spend the holiday. 

Hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Oh My Oh Me

Roads to Billings Minus 12 degrees and a little wind when we pulled out at 6:30am—this is a photo of the roads all the way to Billings.  At least the driving lane was mostly dry pavement.  Tonight coming home was an all new story!  Both westbound lanes were mostly clear on I90 but the wind, oh my, the wind.  Snow was blowing everywhere and it was all Michael could do to keep that little Jeep on the road.  Al and Kelly, don’t ever think about driving that Jeep on snowy roads, Jeeps don’t do well and that is an understatement!!!  We are used to heavy diesel pickups on snowy roads and we can go anywhere without chains, not in a Jeep! 

When we got back to Big Timber Nat’s front doorway into the house wasn’t useable, there was a 3 foot drift in front of the door.  We used the side door into his horse shoe pitching building to retrieve Emmi.  Nat tried his best to get his son to spend the night and try to get home in the daylight but nope, his son wasn’t listening. 

The Boulder road was fine, the snowplows had been over it recently and it didn’t seem as if the wind was blowing as strong as it had been out on the freeway.  Again, when we got to our driveway, it was a whole nother story!  The wind had blown at some point today and our 1/2 mile driveway was one big drift and remember, it is very uphill.  With chains on the little Jeep, we barely made it up the driveway—we pushed ahead, came to a complete stop, backed up, pushed ahead again—it probably took us 20 minutes to come 1/2 mile.   I am having a BIG glass of wine after that trip!  One side of our driveway is down into a very steep ravine and I thought we were going over several times and so did Emmi! 

OK, enough weather, on to Michael’s doctor’s appointment.  The rheumatologist thinks Michael may have some systemic process going on—more of his joints are tender than even Michael thought.  They took 9 tubes of blood today, countless x-rays and he is to have a MRI of his hands soon.  The doctor also put Michael on a malaria drug—supposedly it helps certain auto-immune type diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis.  So, again we wait. 

We checked out Ipods at Best Buy, rumor has it Santa may bring me one.  Had a real Geek waiting on us—he at least knew exactly what he was talking about! 

A very long day but we are snug inside looking forward to turkey (not Michael, he doesn’t like turkey, eats it only one day a year)!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

More Snow

I’m sure everyone is bored to death with all our weather talk lately but the weather is all consuming right now.  Our high was minus 5 today and we got another 4-5 inches of snow this afternoon.

On the good news front, Michael did get the skidsteer going and was able to plow snow and stock up our woodpile.  Plowing snow

Our walk this morning was frigid—there was the slightest of breezes and that coupled with the temp made for a very cold walk.  Emmi does fine in her new stockings!

Cold weather makes me hungry—I made pizza for lunch and cooked a batch of extra meat and sauce to freeze.  I would love to bake a cake or cookies but know if I did we would just eat every bite of it!

My quilting meeting in Big Timber tonight was canceled, the speaker lives halfway between Big Timber and Livingston and it was decided not to ask her to drive on these terrible roads—smart move.

On the other hand, we have to go to Billings tomorrow, I have an eye doctor appointment and Michael has the long awaited rheumatologist appointment.  If the weather and roads are too bad we won’t go but I sure would like to get Mike to that appointment!

snow Snow on the deck rails—probably 14-15 inches.

Christmas Tree REflection The reflection of our little Christmas tree in the window. 

Monday, November 22, 2010

Weather Makes For Problems

Very cold again this morning but by george, we took a walk!  What will Mom think of next What do you think of our stylish dog and her new boots??  I whipped these socks up out of an old pair of Michael’s and attached elastic straps—it worked like a charm—Emmi ran around like crazy so glad to be outside without hurting feet.

Michael finished up the latest round of work on Steve’s project truck and decided to plow snow with our John Deere skidsteer which is diesel.  He had the block heater plugged in all morning and after lunch went to start the skidsteer.  Uh, OH—the diesel fuel jelled clogging the fuel filter—Michael managed to keep the skidsteer running long enough to get it into the garage where there was a fire burning in the wood stove.  Off to town Michael went in the Jeep to get a fuel filter—our driveway is treacherous  as is the road going to town.  He had to put chains on the Jeep to get back up the driveway, something we just never have to do—this snowfall has been the worst!

Where are you Mary F.—I almost have your quilt finished.  The quilt has just turned out gorgeous—are you sure you don’t want to give me this one as a gift?? 

I’ve been busy keeping the fireplace and the downstairs wood stove filled with wood.  At some point we are going to have to get up into the pasture where our extra wood is stored!  November snowfall

Rose Hips and snow

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Staying In

Not much else we can do, it is way too miserable to be outside!  We are under another winter storm watch for tomorrow and Tuesday with more snow expected.  We may have to get a metal detector to find the motorhome if this keeps up!

So, I quilted all day—I made a lot of beautiful progress on my friend Mary’s quilt.  This quilt may just accidentally get lost before it gets back to Mary, I love the colors and the pattern. 

Michael built me a foot stool!  We decided to leave the couch in the motorhome for this season—we would like to replace it with a love seat recliner but not this year.  I sit on the couch and wanted something for propping my feet—so my sweet, handy husband built me a foot stool.  It can also be used as a step stool.  In the Beaver motorhome which we sold, the passenger seat had a foot rest which could be used when you were stationery and had the passenger seat facing the living area.  This Country Coach passenger chair is an oversized one and does not have a foot rest—strange.

A reader asked if I was taking the longarm and quilting in the trailer again—nope, I’m taking a break this winter—I intend to sit in the sun and enjoy Arizona. 

The almost full moon was so bright on all the snow last night I think you could have read the newspaper outside--Moon going down The moon going down this morning.  It was 14 below this morning when we got up and I bet it is colder tonight, BRRR.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Just Watching It Snow

A little more snow when we got up this morning and about 2 degrees—can you say BRRRRR??  We tried to go for a walk but it is just too cold, the snow at these temps freezes inside poor little Emmi’s paws and she just can’t go.  I did shovel a path out past the wood stack so she could do business without drowning in snowEmmi's spot and even managed to shovel down to some green grass.

Michael finished the shelves he was making for the motorhome and I have tried to quilt—did get the first batch of crosshatching done but am having a hard time deciding what design to put in some of the spaces. 

Today was the big football game here in Montana—can you imagine playing football or sitting in bleachers watching football when the temps are hovering right at zero degrees???  The University of Montana in Missoula played Montana State University which is located in Bozeman—UM has a much higher percentage of wins—well today MSU pulled off a good one, final score—MSU 21, UM 16.  Our granddaughter Katie graduated from MSU so I am sure there are some happy fans in that household today. 

Snow and more snow We have over a foot of snow on the ground, it snowed all day and the high was 10 degrees.  Here at 6pm as I type the thermometer has dipped below zero.  December 15 can’t arrive fast enough!

Friday, November 19, 2010

Yikes, Why Aren’t We Leaving

First big snowfall Nov 10 Winter came and got us today.  I was downstairs quilting last night about 7pm, came upstairs, flipped the outside lights on and got a surprise, about 3 inches of snow.  It must have snowed all night—woke to about 7 inches.  It snowed all day and tonight we have about 10 inches on the deck rails.  We would indeed be gone from here if we didn’t have post-surgical checkups in December.  That arctic cold front Rick was talking about has hit us—as I type it is about 10 degrees.

I had customer quilts to deliver and quilts to be picked up.  We arranged to meet Jill and Terry for an early dinner and off we went to town—not our smartest move!  The roads are terrible, very slick, lots of snow and tonight on the way home, wind. 

That’s about it for our day in Montana.  We took a walk this morning and poor Emmi was just loaded down with snow balls, poor baby.  I don’t think she is too fond of snow either.  My Michael and my Emmi

Thursday, November 18, 2010

This and That

I fell off the “goal” wagon today and decided to take a break from quilting.  I put up some Christmas decorations—before you start groaning that it isn’t even Thanksgiving, remember we are leaving here on December 15 and I wanted to enjoy the decorations for a little longer than waiting until after Thanksgiving.  And the little tree I decorated will travel in the motorhome with us so all we have to do is unplug it and take it along.

After a lunch of really good tacos I did go downstairs to the quilt studio.  The Grace frame which came with the new little Juki sewing machine needed some new leaders—the fabric to which you attach the quilt backing.  I had some leftover canvas, got out the serger and quickly had new leaders.  Loaded some practice fabric on the frame and tried out the newest acquisition.  What a sweet little machine and so easy to run, I can backtrack easier than with the big longarm.  I am going to load one of my Christmas wall hangings and use the Juki to quilt it. 

I did work on a client quilt, got the backing loaded and the top measured.  Heading back downstairs in a few minutes and will get the batting and top loaded, too.  See, I did quilt some today.

Michael was feeling under the weather today, hope he is just tired!!  Emmi was her usual busy self. 

Sam asked me to post some photos of Steve’s project—well here it is and as you can tell by the photos, this project is going to take a loooooong time!

Steve's truck

Steve's truck2

The wind blew today but not nearly as bad as the forecasters were predicting and we had some sunshine.West Boulder this morning

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Goals

My goal for this week was to longarm a quilt per day and so far so good.  The quilts are small and the quilting patterns simple. 

We just can’t seem to sleep in since the time changed, we are both wide awake at 5am and at least it has been good for my chores around here.  Before 7:30am this morning I had bread rising and 3 dozen cookies made with another 3 dozen mixed up. 

When it is daylight enough we take our walk.  No wind this morning so it wasn’t as bitterly cold.  Mr. Red, my horse was jealous that Mr. Roan had his photo on the blog so here are both horses:Mr Roan and Mr Red Fat, handsome boys!

Welcome sight This is always a welcome sight when we come up the hill from our cold walk!

Michael made lots of progress on Steve’s project today (the old truck).  His hands still swell in the day time and are sore.  He has been exercising as the doctor told him, trying to restore the muscle mass he lost when he didn’t use his arms and hands for almost two months. 

eagle Is this an eagle or not Steve??  It sure was a big bird.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

All Ready To Go

No, not ready to go south just yet but the Juki quilting machine is all set up and ready to go.  I just need to make some new canvas leaders.The Juki

I took one quilt off the frame today, loaded another small quilt and got it finished, YEA!  It is a sweet little quilt that the customer intends to use as a tablecloth.  I used white flannel as the batting so the quilt would lay flat on a table. 

Michael got the Juki all put together and ready to go this morning, we had lunch and he spent some time this afternoon building a shelf for the motorhome.  He likes to sit in this leather office chair we purchased and prop his feet on a built in table—well, he had nowhere to put his coffee cup in the morning—so he built a shelf that will hang from the window sill and is removable.  He is so handy to have around!

We took some walks today but our weather was incredibly nasty—it was raining when we got up but mid morning the rain turned to snow/sleet and the wind was howling dropping the temps about 10 degrees.  YUK

Monday, November 15, 2010

I’ve Got Lights

In the summer of 2009, Michael bought a pickup truck load of used fluorescent light fixtures.  He used several in the garage and had been planning to install a couple in my quilting room—today was the day—I now have light, lots of light over my cutting table and over the new little quilting machine.

It has been another cold, dreary, gray day with snowflakes falling for most of it.  Nothing accumulates except mud.  I can see how people get seasonal depression!

I finally finished a custom quilting job today—I have eight hours of quilting in that small 59x59 quilt—does that mean I am slow or did I do a lot of quilting??  It was a hard one and I am glad it is finished.  On to much easier stuff tomorrow. 

Michael split wood today with a sledge hammer and wedge—against my advice I might add but he seems to have done OK.  Then he installed all those light fixtures—I think is is way tired tonight.

I went out to the post office this morning and then stopped by Gemma’s to drop off thank you cookies—she and Mark brought lunch up to Michael while I was at the quilt retreat.  One of their horses died yesterday—a rough day for everybody concerned.

Mr Roan

A photo of Michael’s old roan horse, Mr. Roan (original name, right??).  As we were walking by the horses the other day, we speculated on their ages.  I got out their paperwork yesterday afternoon and Mr. Roan is twenty years old and my horse, Mr. Red (he’s a sorrel, could you have guessed that??)  will be twenty next spring.  No spring chickens anymore!

Had a couple people ask me about the pretzel recipe—use regular salted pretzels.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Another Sunday Blog

Here are the recipes for the pork chops and the pretzels.  Brenda, when I come south I will bring a catalog for the Private Quarters stuff. 

CINNAMON PRETZELS

These were so good and the recipe came from a Midwest Living magazine my friend Shirley had. They would make great Christmas hostess gifts packaged pretty.

2/3 cup vegetable oil

½ cup sugar

2 tsp cinnamon

16oz package small pretzel twists

In large roasting pan stir together oil, sugar and cinnamon. Add pretzels, tossing to coat well. Bake uncovered in a 300 degree oven for 30 minutes. Store in an airtight container.

 

PORK CHOPS WITH APPLE CORN BREAD STUFFING

4 ½ inch boneless pork loin chops, trimmed

1 tsp dried thyme

1 ½ TBS butter

½ cup chopped onion

½ cup chopped/peeled tart apple

¾ cup corn bread stuffing mix, crushed (I have used whatever stuffing mix I have on hand)

¼ cup water

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Season pork with ½ tsp dried thyme, salt and pepper. Melt butter in heavy skillet, add pork chops and cook until done. Transfer chops to small baking dish.

Melt remaining 1 TBS butter in same skillet over medium-high heat.

Add chopped onion and apple to skillet and sauté until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes.

Add stuffing mix, water and remaining ½ tsp thyme. Stir until water is absorbed and stuffing is moist, about 30 seconds.

Mound ¼ of stuffing mixture on top of each pork chop. Bake until stuffing is crisp and beginning to brown, about 5 minutes.

I’ve had this recipe forever and don’t remember where it came from.

Quiet Sunday

Here Comes the snow The mountains were barely visible this morning and it has spit snow all day but the temps were too warm for the snow to stick.  But now that the day is fading and it is snowing hard we may get some accumulation.

I mucked out our house this morning—at least that’s what it felt like—wood fires are so nice and warm but so messy.  And one husband and one dog are also messy—so I mucked it all out. 

Nat came for lunch and I made pork chops with apple and onion stuffing with garlic mashed potatoes.  YUM!  When I suggested to Mike that he serve he and his Dad a small serving of ice cream Nat asked, “don’t you eat ice cream?”  I told him I was going to a gathering this afternoon and I was sure my friend Shirley would have goodies and boy did she ever!

Shirley hosted one of those Private Quarters parties—extremely nice bed linens/towels/robes, etc.  The stuff was not as expensive as I had previously thought and it was all so luxurious.  I would love to cover my bed in all the things the party consultant recommended—padded mattress cover, feather bed, fleece sheets, down blankets—the list goes on but my pocketbook does not.  I did order two new pillows—I have a terrible time with pillows ever since my brother tried to kill me while water skiing (not really) but I fell really hard and couldn’t move my neck for a week.  These pillows I ordered at least have a guarantee, if they don’t work I can send the pillows back. 

After all that hard work deciding what to order, Shirley served us some of her husband George’s good wine, pumpkin bars, iced pumpkin bread and some delicious cake.  Nothing like a little wine and sugar to get the checkbook flowing???  Shirley also had these delicious pretzels coated in sugar and cinnamon—I could have eaten the whole bowl but didn’t—did come home with the recipe for those. 

Came home to a nice warm house with a dog and husband that were very glad to see me.Our Emmi Emmi has sometimes decided the coffee table is her current bed???  Isn’t she just the cutest?

Saturday, November 13, 2010

All Over The Place

By 9am this morning we were at Robyn and Claire’s cutting firewood and boy was it cold up there!  They live about 5 miles up the East Boulder from us and the site where we cut firewood is a north facing slope, never seeing sunshine this time of year.  My feet were frozen blocks of ice two hours later when we finished cutting, bringing home a trailer load of cut logs that Michael will finish cutting into firewood lengths later.

As Michael has gotten into repairing sewing machines he has also been keeping a close eye on what’s for sale on Craigslist.  Several weeks ago he noticed a Juki quilting machine on a Grace frame for a reasonable price.  We’ve been emailing the owner back and forth and after getting home from cutting firewood decided to go to Billings and see this machine—as if I needed another quilting machine!!??

Well—what a sweet running little machine—of course the “throat” is much smaller than my longarm but I could see a use for this little guy.  It quilted like a dream and was fun and easy to use.  So, it came home with us:Juki

We weren’t hungry when we left Billings at 5pm so decided to return to Big Timber and try the Grand again.  The gift certificate we had that is to expire in December was also a deciding factor in choice!  We sat in the bar, saw lots of Big Timber folks and enjoyed a delicious steak sandwich. 

And, finally we are home and glad to be home!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sitting In The Clouds

Our weather missed several good chances for snow throughout the day and here at 5pm, we are sitting in the clouds and it is snowing.  We just got back from a late afternoon walk, exercising the pooch.

Michael worked on Steve’s truck all day and I quilted.  Once I decided to use the same color thread top and bottom, my tension problems went away. 

And I discovered today that here is some customer service left in this country.  A while back I purchased a 5-pack of Colgate toothpaste at Costco.  When I started using this toothpaste my first thought was, “yuk!”  It was thin, runny and every piece of clothing I own had toothpaste dribbled down the front. Nasty stuff.  I’ve always used Colgate toothpaste and thought I would just return the un-used tubes to Costco—they are great about returns.  But then I thought, why should Costco have to deal with Colgate’s problem.  So, I did something I have never done before—I emailed the customer service department listed on the back of the toothpaste box.  In two days I received a reply and in less than a week from that reply—today, I got a check in the mail for the entire amount I paid for the toothpaste plus a coupon for a free tube of Colgate toothpaste! 

And that is about it for our day—nothing much going on around here!

East Boulder

A photo I took a couple years ago—The East Boulder river in winter.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Internet Connection

Today was a great day—I met one of the “strangers” who reads my blog.  When I was cooking and serving food at the Livingston quilt show in October, Carol and her husband briefly introduced themselves but I was too busy to chat long.  Today Carol and I met for lunch in Livingston.  A fellow quilter with a positive and healthy outlook on life!  Carol quilts for herself and a little bit for other people.  I told her there was no such thing as “a little bit of quilting for other people.”  The quilts sneak in and overwhelm you!  We will do this again and thanks for buying lunch Carol!  Carol writes a blog called My Third Act, check it out! 

There is no dry cleaners in Big Timber so I dropped off dry cleaning in Livingston today—I don’t wear much anymore that needs dry cleaning but winter coats. 

Michael and Emmi held down the home front while I was gone.  Emmi decided one of my coasters that Jill gave me for my birthday was her new chew toy—bad dog!  She didn’t hurt the coaster—it just needs to go in the laundry now!  And where was Dad when this was happening??

Michael put Steve’s “project” back in the garage today—he is just so glad to be feeling better and able to work on “stuff.” 

West Boulder in Nov

It was nice to have a quilting break today!

And today on Veteran’s Day, thank you to all our past and present servicemen and women!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Tension Headaches!

Normally my longarm gives me no tension problems but today its tension problems gave me a tension headache!  I wish quilters would think about this—if you use a very dark colored backing for your very light colored quilt top, the longarm quilter is going to have one heck of a time choosing threads to match!  Because if I use black thread on the backing and a lighter colored thread on the top, it is almost impossible to adjust the tension so as not to get what we call “pokies”—the top thread pulls the darker thread to the front and it shows on the lighter colors.  I don’t like the way it looks and I doubt the owner of the quilt will either—so a ripping I go!

Michael worked on the Jeep again today replacing the transfer case rear oil seal—sure am glad I have a mechanic for a husband!  He does good work. 

At the spring quilt retreat and again at this fall retreat, we all teased Shirley about her noisy sewing machine telling her she really should have the poor thing seen about.  Well, she called today, “it died.”  Shirley brought it up to Michael, he cleaned, oiled and found where the lose washer that was rattling around belonged.  He also did some minor adjustments and took it home to her tonight, getting a glass of George’s good wine as partial payment!

Rick will be so proud of me, I switched internet browsers!!!  About a week ago I switched to Google Chrome after getting sick to death of all the stupid pop-up messages Internet Explorer 8 kept sending me, “do you wish to only view the content sent via secure server” or some stupid nonsense—every time I opened an email, every time I tried to leave a comment on someone’s blog!  It was driving me crazy.  So far, so good.  I am having a little trouble finding things, I miss the toolbar on Internet Explorer and I can’t seem to figure out how to get back to a previous page except by clicking on the “back” arrow.  But, Chrome is so much faster and so far has no goofy messages.

Cold again today, very cold, our high was about 25 all day.  We did take some walks and Emmi still enjoyed herself—Mike and I shivered!

Boone Mtn November

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Another Long Day In Billings

Kind of a messy weather day but early this morning we were off—dropping Emmi at Nat’s, getting to Billings in time to fill up the Jeep with cheaper Costco gas and get me to my hair appointment by 11am.  The lengths we go to get stuff done in Montana boggles the mind of most city dwelling folks.  We frequently get the question, “you drive how far to Costco and Wal Mart???”  One hundred and five miles to be exact!  We used to go more often than we do now before gas and diesel began to cost so much.  It wasn’t unusual for us to head to Billings on a Friday, just for something to do—we’d shop and go out to eat. 

Michael ran a few errands and saw his internist while I was getting beautified.  We then had lunch and ran some more errands.  Costco dented our pocketbook as did the Walton family.  But our pantry is well stocked now and I even picked up some things to take south with us.

Nat and Emmi had a great time today playing duck—Dortha and Ellie—even Nat has started to thank you (tongue in cheek) for the ducks!

On the way home tonight we had a scare and a treat—something big crossed the road in our headlights and I said, “thaaats an-------elk!!!”  And just beyond the first one, a whole herd standing in the middle of the road.  They all quickly moved off the road and down into the ditch—so cool!

And while unloading the Jeep when we got home we heard coyotes in the distance.  Even if it is 105 miles to Billings and Costco, we love where we live!First Snowfall November

Monday, November 8, 2010

Winter Is Here

First Thing This is what our world looked like this morning on our walk and by 4pm, this is what it looked like:First Snowfall Our House We probably have accumulated about 4 inches and a lot melted during the day.  Winter is back for sure—highs in the twenties the next couple of days!

I quilted and sewed all day, Shirley came up this morning to get my help ending off her binding—she has been so busy, inspired by our quilt retreat.  I finished this small quilt for my friend Caryl who lives in Congress, AZ—I love how it turned out and hope she does too.

Caryl's Quilt Front Caryl's Quilt Front Center Detail

Michael fixed my Pfaff sewing machine this morning, YEA!  He isn’t sure that the same thing won’t happen again, though, but at least he can fix it and I don’t have to pay someone else to do it!  He spent the rest of the day resting for which I am glad, he has had two really good days in a row.

Tomorrow we head to Billings for a cover the gray appointment for me and a checkup doctor’s appointment for Michael. 

First Snowfall November2

Paying me no mind

Emmi was just having a barking fit at this doe who wasn’t really sure what that little black thing in the Carhart coat was!!

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Cookie Baking

It was another warm, sunny day in Montana but the weather is changing—we are under a winter storm watch starting tomorrow.  I hauled firewood from our stack up in the pasture down to the house this morning.

Michael felt much better today and even did some work on the Jeep.  He just isn’t ready to do 5 hour sports car rides! 

I baked cookies all morning, ended up with eight dozen—froze the cookies to send to Laci in Italy.  Nat came for lunch and I made meatloaf and twice baked potatoes—he spent a long time after lunch talking with Michael about World War II. 

Tonight Lonn, LoraLee and Katie came for dinner and we had ribs, potato wedges and coleslaw.  And imagine that—we had cookies for dessert! 

I managed to sew some of the quilt squares together for my little Christmas wall hanging from the book my sister and niece sent me for my birthday.  I would have gotten all the squares even put together totally but my dear Pfaff sewing machine died AGAIN!  This is the third time in less than six months—I start to sew a seam, the machine grabs the thread and JAMS, bending the little arm that holds the bobbin mechanism in place!  Michael has recently purchased an online sewing machine repair course and thinks he can fix it—obviously I don’t want to take it back to the people who supposedly fixed it the last two times!  GRRRR

Emmi is sacked out on Michael’s chair—lots of playing tonight with new people!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Not So Good A Day

Michael’s car ride yesterday didn’t agree with him and he has laid low today.  He sure would like to get to feeling better!  For some reason we slept in this morning and took a later walk.  Can you believe here on November 6, it was 70 degrees?? 

The Big Timber Women’s Club hosts an annual bazaar the first weekend in November every year.  I drove in to look things over, bought some cards but that was all.  Ran into Jill and her daughter-in-law—had chocolate sodas with them at Cinnabar Creek—yum! 

I also attended Wyoma’s funeral today—a friend who died about a week ago in a horse accident.  The funeral was held at the school gym and even more room was needed.  Wyoma had a heart of gold and participated in many programs dedicated to helping troubled children.  She will be missed! 

Just caught Emmi outside the yard fence snacking on horse poop—what is it with dogs????? 

I’m fixing hamburgers on the grill for supper since it feels like a summer evening. 

Don’t forget to change your clocks tonight!Mr Buck

Mr Buck2 We spotted this big boy on our walk this morning, we gave him the usual lecture about staying on our side of the fences if he didn’t want to get shot!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Is It November

Our walk this morning was after the sun came up but it also was a much warmer day than the last few.  Emmi had spotted a deer when I took this shot of Michael and her. Michael and EmmiEllie and Jim here is a photo of Emmi looking like a real schnauzerSeventeen months I didn’t want to cut off all her hair as it is supposed to be winter here in Montana but you wouldn’t have known it was November from today’s weather.  About 11am Michael came into the quilting studio and said, “it’s just too nice a day not to take a drive in the car with the top down.”

So off we went to Yellowstone Park of all places!  It was wonderful, absolutely NO people, we saw very few cars or tourist.  Mammoth Not a normal Mammoth Hot Springs scene, looks deserted doesn’t it??

Mammoth Hot Springs

Mammoth Hot Springs2

Big Boy The elk were all napping under the big fir trees.

Big Boy2

Me I am the photo taker and rarely get my photo taken—Michael snapped me coming out of the visitor center at Mammoth. 

We had a great day, Michael is very tired tonight but that is probably to be expected.  Our weather is headed for a change this weekend.