Tuesday, July 31, 2012

It’s A Good Thing Wal Mart Sells Ducks

Today was a Billings day and a hot one at that.  But since it has been 110 degrees in Arkansas for the last two days, I shouldn’t complain about the heat!!

When Emmi was just a little puppy we met Jim and Ellie along with Mark and Dortha up at Glacier National Park for a few days.  Ellie and Dortha brought Emmi some presents—a duck and a bling collar.  Well, it’s a good thing Wal Mart sells ducks!  I think in the three years Emmi has been part of our family we’ve gone through about a dozen ducks—I buy the things two at a time always having a spare on hand.  Emmi gets just a little frantic when she can’t find the duck!!IMG_4079 

It was my turn to see the doctor today—actually I just saw the technician who told me exactly what I all ready knew, “yep, you have a varicose vein.”  So, in about two weeks I go back for a sonogram and to see the doctor.  $$$$$  My health insurance (Michael is on Medicare) has a $6000 deductible and costs me $251 per month—isn’t US health insurance just the best????  Care to guess what the varicose vein procedure will cost—yep, right at about $6000.  I guess the bright side is I will have met my deductible and anything else I have done this year will be free and clear!  Smile

A haircut for me, lunch at Jake’s, Costco and Wal Mart then we headed the yellow jeep toward home.  We are taking the motorhome out soon—need to get it all stocked up. 

Monday, July 30, 2012

Tasks Accomplished

It was Monday and yes even those of us who are retired still experience Monday.  It is usually the day I chose to do such chores as change sheets and do laundry.  On top of that I wanted to do a little in the Tin Tee Pee and quilt. 

Well, I got it all done!!  Laundry, house cleaned, wonderful lunch, painted in the Tin Tee Pee and quilted for almost 3 hours!  Lunch was ribs, fresh corn on the cob, watermelon and cantaloupe.  YUM—my ribs turned out beautifully!

Marti received her quilt today and was as thrilled as I was with it!!IMG_4021IMG_4025

Michael baled our hay, had a flat tire on the baler—found another tire to replace that one and still managed to get it all baled and in the hay yard.  Hay is done for one more year.

A productive day in Montana.

IMG_4078Sunset last night.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

An Era Ends

Tonight we attended a retirement party for our postmaster, Judy.  She has manned the fort at the tiny McLeod, MT post office for 35 years.  Here in our community mail is only delivered to our homes three days per week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.  If we are expecting a package on the non-delivery days I could call Judy, she would check and if the package was there we drove the 6 miles out to the post office.  Judy helped you complete customs forms when shipping packages to your granddaughter in Italy, she would call and tell us we had packages and ask if it was OK for Ted, our mail carrier to leave those packages by the mailbox.  It is definitely the end of an era and we hope the new guy knows how we like our mail done around here! 

Lots of friends and neighbors in attendance—lots of good food and conversation.  And the weather cooperated!

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Michael cut our hay yesterday and is waiting for it to dry.  Yesterday he got the kitchen counter tile cut and glued down in the Tin Tee Pee.  Today he worked on cabinet doors while I stained woodwork.  Remodeling a RV is hard work!

Another good day in Montana! 

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Fire On The Mountain

Excitement in our neck of the woods today.  Nat walked in the house for lunch and said, “there’s a fire just starting on Long Mountain, you better call it in!”  I jumped on the mule, roared up the hill and this is what I saw:

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I called the sheriff’s department and was relieved to hear someone else had all ready called in the fire and resources were on the way.  As I was speaking to dispatch, I could hear a helicopter overhead.  They scooped water from our neighbors big pond and had the fire out in less than a hour.  Yippee—we dodged a BIG bullet with that one!  Every afternoon there is a lightening storm with gusty winds—we all feel it is only a matter of time before we have a fire. 

This afternoon I went into town to pick up my quilts at the quilt shop and to get our Bountiful Basket.  Drove over to Lonn and LoraLee’s to deliver their portion of the basket—we got an order of fresh corn, too—it looks great!

Now I am home with my feet up! 

Our hearts go out to the family of the young man (a senior in high school) in our little community who was killed in a 4-wheeler accident last evening—too sad. 

Friday, July 27, 2012

Bragging Rights

Remember the quilts I took to the county fair on Monday—well today is the first day I’ve been back out to the fairgrounds to see all the quilts.  I won both a purple champion ribbon and a blue first place ribbon on my two quilts!!!! Smile  I am thrilled to say the least!!IMG_4039

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Here are some of the other gorgeous quilts displayed at the fair:

IMG_4044This belongs to Bette, one of my quilt retreat buddies. 

IMG_4045This one belongs to Bonnie—the woman who spearheads all the fine art displays at the fair including quilting.

IMG_4046This one’s for you Paulette, all wool, just gorgeous, made by one of our quilt shop workers, Betsy.

IMG_4048And Barb’s patriotic quilt which I quilted for her. 

This afternoon Bonnie had arranged a demonstration—how to make a ten minute table runner—we timed our teacher and by george, it did only take 10 minutes and so cute with many variations.  I then demonstrated a little make and take—fabric flowers with button centers.  It was enjoyable and everyone got to take home their finished product. 

As we were leaving the fair we ran into Geoff, Nancy and Shine the puppy.  Along came Denny and Ellen with Ned the puppy—those two dogs had so much fun!

A very, very good day in Montana!!  It is raining as I write this—we are praying for lots of rain!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

One Of Those Good Days

We took a longer than usual hike today—over to the headgate where our irrigating water enters our ditch—by the time we got back, it was getting warm. 

The Tin Tee Pee needed my attention this morning—I gave in and painted the inside of one of the closets and the cabinets over one of the beds—that’s hard, messy work!  I’m a messy painter at best and when I’m working inside a cabinet, it’s even worse!  Took me a while to get all the paint scrubbed off my arms!

Michael also worked in the Tin Tee Pee cutting holes in the countertop base for the stove and sink—it is exciting to see actual progress!!

Sometime during the day I managed to get a quilt for Shirley on the frame—she and George are at their condo on upper Vancouver Island for a couple months—I’d like to have her quilt finished way before she comes home!

This evening we drove out north of Big Timber to the home of friends Denny and Ellen.  They’ve built a new home out there and it is gorgeous.  Ellen treated us to a wonderful meal of ribs, potato casserole, salad and sautéed vegetables.  Dessert was ice cream sundaes and brownies—can you say stuffed!!!  They have a delightful new puppy, a goldendoodle named Ned—just a bundle of joy.  I’m not a cat person but Denny and Ellen have a new little kitten too named Boo—he has a black spot around his nose and the sweetest disposition—I could have tucked him in my pocket and brought him home—I think Michael was tempted.

A very good day in Montana.

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Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Something Is Working

Usually when we make a run to Billings we have Nat babysit Emmi especially this time of year when it is so hot.  Well, today he and Michael both had appointments with the dermatologist and rather than try to find someone else to keep Ms Emmi, I stayed home.  And boy was I productive!! 

We all went for a walk in the wonderfully cool morning before Michael took off then I got to work.  Put another coat of varnish on the Tin Tee Pee bathroom door and a coat on the kitchen cabinet framework. 

On to the quilt studio—finished Marti’s Anna’s Waltz quilt and it is stunning!!  I will try to get it mailed to her on Friday then will post photos once she has seen it.  Loaded a small quilt for Dava and finished it about the time Michael got home.  The phone rang today and I only answered it once when my sweet niece called, the rest of the time I just ignored it.  I ate a sandwich for lunch—no cooking—I can be very productive without distractions! 

IMG_4031Dava’s little quilt with a simple meander for quilting.

Michael went by Costco and came home with a jeep load of fruit—cantaloupe, watermelon, honey dew melons, pineapple, cherries, grapes—we should eat healthy for a while!! 

When we first built this house 11 years ago a Kimberly-Clark colleague sent me all the way from Atlanta, Georgia a box of day lily plants.  We planted them in various places, we get lots of green foliage, flower stems form and just about the time a flower is ready to bloom a blasted deer comes along and mows the plant down to the ground.  It has been this way for years!!  I curse the deer, I let Emmi chase the deer out of the yard, nothing helped—no day lily flowers to enjoy.

Until this year—Michael bought me these three solar lights in the shape of a dragonfly, a hummingbird and a butterfly.  The lights slowly change colors all night—I have these little lights in my flower beds.  This year I have the most beautiful crop of day lilies!!!  We think the deer might not like the lights at night????  Whatever happened, it worked!IMG_4017IMG_4019

Much cooler temps today—nice!  A good day in Montana.  Mike and his Dad got good reports from the dermatologist!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Reminiscing

As there wasn’t much going on around here today except vehicle maintenance and quilting I decided to step back in time.  Bayfield Bunch Al mentioned hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon—he didn’t think it was impossible at this stage in his life but probably not going to happen.  That statement in his blog brought back many memories.

As I said in a blog the other night, my Mom loves to travel and Dad wasn’t so thrilled.  Daddy would go if it was something he really wanted to do.  Mom and Dad decided to ride the mules into the Grand Canyon—I think my scared of heights Mom spent the entire trip with her head turned to the canyon walls!!  A couple years later my Dad and my sister did the same trip.  Now, me, I have no desire to let some 4 legged animal carry me down a trail when I can’t see or imagine where the bottom might be! 

But in about 1995 my sister and Mom started talking about our hiking to the bottom of the Grand Canyon.  Reservations had to be made and money paid a full two years before your actual hiking date—Ann made the reservations, my friend Jill agreed to go with me and in April, 1997 Jill and I were waiting in the Billings airport for our flight to Phoenix meeting my Mom (who was 60 years old at the time) and sister Ann. 

There was snow on about the first 1/2 mile of the trail—kind of scary being on such a slippery slope but we survived arriving at Phantom Ranch late in the afternoon.  Phantom Ranch has dorm style accommodations for hikers—girls in one, boys in another and no sharing even if you are married!!!  Food was provided family style at two different seatings and was delicious.  We spent two nights and hiked back out on the fourth day. 

Everything brought to Phantom Ranch—food, paper goods, linens, anything—is brought in by mule train.  All waste is taken out by mule train.  We were passed by several mule trains and had been told to stand on the uphill side and let them pass—all righty, go right on by Mr. Mule—it was just plain scary to watch how close those animals were walking on the edge of that trail high above the canyon floor.  Hiking down into the canyon gives you a whole different perspective than does the rim.  There are shorter hikes which can be done in a day giving you some of that vastness feeling. 

These are photos I took way back then in 1997:Top-002Ann, Mom, Jill and me with a really bad haircut!

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Top-004Phantom Ranch, a welcome sight after hiking 9 miles!

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In May, 2000 we all went again with more friends from Montana joining us.  Jeane and Gerda along with Jill came on this trip.  Mom and Ann once again joined us.  It was hot, very hot the day we hiked into the canyon—we ran out of water on the way down—if we ever do it again, we’ll go earlier in the year!!

 TopGerda in the lead, Jill, Jeane, Mom and Ann. 

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Those were trips of a lifetime, I felt such a sense of accomplishment and had so much fun with friends and family. 

Monday, July 23, 2012

It’s Fair Week In Our County

Lots of goings on out at the fairgrounds in our county today—RV’s rolling in so kids can stay near their animals, entries being accepted, animals being hauled in and political candidates setting up campaign headquarter tents.  I took two quilts out there to be exhibited and I sure felt sorry for Bonnie and Diane—it was HOT in that un-air-conditioned exhibit barn!!

IMG_2409IMG_2410Bonnie hanging quilts.

It took me three hours to finish hand sewing the binding on my bear applique quilt this morning.  I made this quilt several years ago, the pieces even traveled to Mexico with me.  I first used Patchwork Times Judy’s method of machine sewing the binding on the back of the quilt and it looked terrible—Judy’s looked great, mine looked awful!  But since it was my quilt I just left it and didn’t think too much of it.  But, obviously I couldn’t enter the quilt in the fair with it looking like that so this weekend I ripped the binding off and started sewing it back on by hand—looks much better now and the quilt is fair worthy. 

The inside of our jeep was looking a little grungy and I spent some time vacuuming and wiping before going to town.  When we came back home last night from seeing Nat, it had rained, the jeep was so muddy and Michael washed it when we got home.  Danged if the same thing didn’t happen to me today—these afternoon thundershowers crop up, dump a little rain, the road gets muddy and the jeep gets filthy!  So, I washed the jeep again when I got home this afternoon. 

Michael took the mini-excavator and went over to Terry and Boo’s today to do a little work—he didn’t get home until after 6pm, one tired guy!

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Here comes that afternoon thundershower!  Jill and I enjoyed a fat free frozen yogurt milkshake at Cinnabar Creek—a good day in Montana.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Rattlesnakes And Wanderlust

Emmi almost got nailed by a rattlesnake again this morning but we think maybe she has figured out that buzzing noise is not a good thing—all this happened in seconds—Emmi was in the lead, she heard the buzz, came running back to me, I heard the buzz at about the same time Emmi did, I yelled at Michael to stop (he didn’t hear the buzz) and yep, there it was, right on the trail.  I hate rattlesnakes with a passion!!

The Bayfield Bunch Al frequently talks about his desire for travel—his wanderlust.  Do you have a desire for travel??  In my family growing up I was blessed to have two Grandmothers with us until I was well into adulthood.  One Grandmother, Dad’s mother hated to go anywhere—she would go to church or to town but never anywhere else if she could help it, in later years, Dad became a lot like her.  Now Mom’s Mother, her suitcase was packed all the time, if someone said “go”, she said “where”.  My Mother inherited her Mom’s love of “go.”  And I guess to some extent so did I.

Michael’s Mother loved to travel, Nat hated to travel.  He frequently paid for someone else to travel with Joy rather than go himself.  Nat still refuses to travel, has not been back on an airplane since WWII ended.  We try to talk him into going somewhere warm with us for the winter, nope, not happening.

I am the only person in my immediate family that does not live on or near the family farm where I grew up.  I left Arkansas in 1985, moving to Texas and in 1992 moved to Wyoming.  I’d say I have a touch of wanderlust.

So, do you have wanderlust, is the grass greener somewhere else??  If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live?? 

Last night the sunset was breathtaking, stunning, I stood outside for a long time watching the colors change.

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Nat has a terrible summer cold, I made chicken noodle soup and we drove into town late afternoon to see about him.  He is feeling a tad bit better.

A good day in Montana.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

This and That

I’m sure I’ve used this blog title before but oh well!  That’s what today was, a little of this and that.  It started out as a very hot day and ended with a thunderstorm and much cooler temps.

After our walk we went into town to get some paint for the back of the cabinet doors and a few grocery items.  I cleaned out the refrigerator and used what I found to make lunch—nothing growled at me when I opened the containers so it must have been OK! 

This afternoon we decided to work on the Tin Tee Pee—my husband doesn’t paint, hates to paint but today he must have been in a really great mood, he painted the insides of the kitchen cupboards and one of the closets—not an easy place to paint!  While he was doing his painting thing I painted the backs of the cabinet doors with the dark chocolate brown paint we bought this morning.  And I did some more sanding—I thought I was finished sanding??  At least I was doing it outside and not cooped up in the little trailer.  And speaking of little trailer, dear husband got the bright idea, why don’t we turn on the air conditioner while we are painting—hallelujah!!  (He hates air conditioning!) 

On the way to town this morning my dear sister in law, Vicky sent me a nasty photo—of three watermelons she got for $10!!!  I think she might have been teasing me about my ONE watermelon which cost $12 and wasn’t even that good!!! SmileIMG_3968Dark clouds brewing this afternoon making the trees look so green.

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A very good day in Montana.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Welcome Relief

It was so hot yesterday—when Jerry and Wanda were here last night we dined outside in the backyard trying to find a cool spot—we were still hot!!  It never cooled off during the night which is unusual.  This morning it was cloudy and stayed that way most of the day with cooler temps and a slight breeze, a welcome relief for sure!

I was determined to quilt today and quilt I did making great progress on that huge quilt belonging to Marti.  Michael worked on Tin Tee Pee cabinet doors all day and moved irrigating water here and there. 

Nothing much going on around here other than quilting and Tin Tee Pee work—look what I picked in my garden this morning:IMG_3967I just may get some produce out of all our efforts yet!!  I have little tomatoes which seem to grow visibly by the day. 

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A good day in Montana.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Visitors

Another one of those nasty hot days, really hot!  Emmi and I took a walk early this morning while Michael drove down to the main road to meet the steel delivery truck—the steel company delivers to the platinum mine just up the road from us and will drop off orders for Michael on their way to the mine—convenient.

Jerry and Wanda have been traveling from Mississippi heading to cooler weather in Columbia Falls, MT.  Last night they were in Douglas, WY and we knew it would be possible for them to make Big Timber today.  I left a comment last night and sent an email.  Guess who came for dinner all the way from Mississippi.  We met Jerry and Wanda in Cedar Key last winter—Wanda was the lady who says to me in the clubhouse, “are you the lady with the pink motorhome, my husband reads your blog.” 

And look what they brought me from an Arkansas road side stand:IMG_3965 Home grown tomatoes!! 

In spite of the heat we enjoyed a wonderful dinner out in the back yard in the shade—hamburgers, salad from the garden, some of that $$$ watermelon and cantaloupe.  It was so good to see them and visit again—we hope they find cooler temps tomorrow!

Life is good!

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Farmers Market

Oh, my, someone turned on the furnace again—we had almost a week of  nicer temps but today it got hot, very hot—99 degrees in Big Timber! 

Michael spent the morning working on the irrigation ditch—the big one.  IMG_3961I sprayed weeds, made lunch and quilted. 

This afternoon late we left Emmi home alone AGAIN and headed to Livingston for the farmers market.  Still a little early for produce in Montana—most vegetable vendors were selling things I am all ready harvesting from my own garden.  We came away with two bunches of radishes!! IMG_3963IMG_3964It was a busy place, though.  Lots of jewelry, craft and food vendors.

Then it was off to Albertson’s for a few groceries and where I pulled a huge blunder!  We were in search of produce such as cantaloupe and watermelon.  OK, cantaloupes were on sale and watermelons were $.69 a pound.  I selected a watermelon, grabbed three cantaloupes,  got the rest of our stuff and off we went to check out.  Sometimes I watch the screen to see how much I am being charged—maybe I should watch all the time!!!  When we got home Michael asked me how much the watermelon cost as he was carrying it inside from the jeep—he thought it was heavy.  That stupid watermelon cost me $12.46!!!!!  It weighed 18 pounds!!!!   Holy smokes—I better eat every single little tiny morsel and then some, maybe I should pickle the rind—do people do that??  Smile

Ms Emmi howled her delight in seeing us again, we were only gone 3 hours but you would have thought we left her alone for days. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

What Happened To Tuesday

An uneventful walk, startled some sandhill cranes and watched Emmi chase the shovel.

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Salads for lunch as we knew we would be dining large tonight and boy did we ever!  But first we delivered Geoff and Nancy’s outdoor fire pit screen—this is Michael’s design and I think he did a great job!  Looks like a tee pee—we must have tee pees on the brain around here!IMG_3946

About 4pm we headed up the Boulder for dinner with Mary Beth and Bill.  Last fall our friends Peg and John sold their home up the Boulder and had a new one built near town.  Talking to Jeane one day (she works for our realtor friend Gwen) she told me a nurse from Powell, WY and her husband had purchased the home.  Before marrying Michael almost eighteen years ago I was the director of nursing for the Powell Hospital—low and behold this nurse was one of the nurses I supervised all those years ago—one of my best nurses, easy going, caring  to her patients, efficient, a sweetheart!  We enjoyed a wonderful evening with them—I had never met her husband—what a talented man as Michael said.  He builds airplanes, re-builds cars, is a pilot and gave Michael the grand tour of his shop while Mary Beth and I reminisced.  What a meal, glad we had salads for lunch!!  Steaks on the grill, salad, potatoes, bread and strawberry pie!! 

We were rather late getting home and Ms Emmi voiced her displeasure loudly!!  Another good day in Montana!