http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: April 2014

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Sunshine, Finally!

Sunny with blue skies and not a cloud one—it’s been a while!  It was a beautiful day—a little cool but better than gray and cloudy!  We took a nice long walk this morning then Emmi and I took another one late this afternoon.  Gravity has been working on us—our hills are steep around here and after walking in the flat desert for two months, these hills are kicking our butts! 

I finished unpacking from quilt retreat and cleaned the quilt studio.  This afternoon I loaded a quilt and even stitched a little—it’s a small quilt so it shouldn’t take me too long. 

Michael changed the oil in the Cadillac and the jeep plus he hauled dirt up to Geoff and Nancy’s.  Routine stuff around here, nothing exciting.

Lonnie showed up about 5pm looking for a spare water pump which his Dad just happened to have.  We convinced him to have dinner with us—but sent him on his way before dark as he was on the motorcycle—it’s way too dangerous in our neck of the woods to ride bikes after dark; too many dang deer!


IMG_1058Our resident duck taking a nap.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

One Step Closer

Well, as of this afternoon we are one step closer to having our “going to Alaska” rig.  We purchased a slide in truck camper made by S&S of Kalispell, MT.  It is an older one—we didn’t want to spend a lot of money until we see if all three of us can survive that small of space! SmileNow for a truck—anyone know of a good, used heavy duty truck for sale??  We left it over in Bozeman—I didn’t think we should tie it to the top of the Cadillac—and will pick it up in a couple weeks. 

Michael finished up his cattle guard project—over the weekend he built a 20 foot cattle guard for a neighboring ranch which operates as a corporate retreat.  Today he removed the old cattle guard and installed the new—yep, Larry, the cowboy got to operate equipment again, the backhoe this time.


Another gray, cold and breezy day in Montana—the grass may be greening but the mountains sure look wintery!! 

Chicken fajitas for lunch with the watermelon and cantaloupe we purchased at Costco yesterday—both melons were delicious—I love watermelon, could almost eat my weight in it.  I often wonder if my love for watermelon has anything to do with the fact my grandfather raised acres of watermelons in the hot Arkansas summers—once picked the watermelons were piled under the old pecan tree in the yard.  People would stop to buy watermelons, Grandpa took some to town to sell and we kids could eat as many as we could hold!!

IMG_1045 On our pond this morning.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Super Customer Service At Costco

For quite a while Michael has had a sore elbow which would swell from time to time.  We decided to see an orthopedic surgeon today—he has a simple case of bursitis, painful and annoying but it will go away.  Emmi spent the day with Nat while we visited the doctor and did major Costco and Wal Mart runs. 

We had about an inch of new snow again this morning and it was so incredibly windy all day.  On the way home from Billings the wind was blowing us and the semi-trucks all over the road.

Remember these new glasses I got at the Glendale, AZ Costco store:

IMG_0442The first time I wore the glasses in the Costco store I knew something was wrong with them—I felt as if I had to tilt my head sideways to see—the technicians told me to wear the glasses for a while.  Once home I realized I couldn’t see the fine print on various items and I could not read the computer screen clearly with the computer in the same position I always have it.  Next time we were in Glendale I took the glasses back and was given the brush off by the Costco eye technicians who told me the adjustment to the fit of the glasses would correct the issues I was having—NOT!  Still couldn’t see and glasses, even Costco glasses, are not cheap.

I knew something was wrong as the glasses were made from the same exact prescription used in my current glasses and I see very well with these.  So, today I took the glasses to our local Costco store and the technicians there could see something definitely wrong—the distance between my pupils was way off and the line where the bifocal starts was also off.  Costco is re-making the glasses and I should have them in a week or two—whenever we go back to Billings.  Yea for Costco customer service!

Back home we retrieved Emmi, drove up the Boulder and unloaded the car.  Tomorrow I think we get to stay home—yea!!


Sunday, April 27, 2014

Quilt Retreat Is Over

Exhausted, over stuffed, did I say exhausted??—but I am one happy quilter.  What a wonderful group of ladies this is—the Iron Maidens.  Let me explain the reason behind the name—as any quilter knows, you “press” your fabrics instead of “ironing.”  Ironing as if you were ironing your husband’s shirts stretches your fabrics resulting in not very square quilts.  Gently pressing your seams helps you get those nice, square quilts.  Thus we call ourselves the Iron Maidens, probably because the Pressing Maidens doesn’t sound as catchy! Smile

Look what we woke up to this morning at quilt retreat:

IMG_0106About eight inches of heavy, wet snow which caused the power to flicker on and off making eleven very worried quilters—no power, no sewing machines!!  Thankfully the power never stayed off longer than just a few seconds.

The Medicine Flower Lodge is a perfect set up for a quilt retreat.  The resort has undergone changes since we were last there a year or so ago.  We’ve always used the downstairs meeting room of the main lodge for all our sewing activities.  We also utilized two bedrooms with baths upstairs in the main lodge for sleeping.  There is another cottage with three bedrooms and baths which we also used—those of us staying in this cottage had to navigate the dark night, possible bears, wolves, mountain lions, etc. in order to get back and forth to the lodge and our sewing machines. Smile 

This year, the owners Pat and her husband Paul had moved out of their apartment in the lodge to another house on the property freeing up the entire lodge for our use.  They had installed very comfortable brand new queen size beds—there are seven bedrooms and four bathrooms in the lodge—a kitchen and two living areas—decks and a hot tub.  Mighty nice place to have a quilt retreat, family reunion or wedding!!  Catering is available through Pat’s daughter Terry—and boy can she cook!!  They serve us two meals per day, brunch at 10am and dinner at 5:30pm. 

Saturday we attended the quilt show and as usual the Red Lodge quilters put on quite the quilt display.  Here is just a small sampling of ones which caught my eye:

IMG_0095IMG_0096This little quilt was for display only, not part of the voting.  The attached note caught my eye—the owner of this quilt paid $10 at a garage sale for this little beauty!!


IMG_0097Each of these log cabins squares measured ONE INCH!!!

IMG_0103Mary F., our fearless leader hard at work.

Now for the Iron Maiden quilt show:

IMG_0058IMG_0057From the left, I can’t remember who made the little table runner, then Gay made the middle quilt and Linda the one on the right.

IMG_0072Roxie—isn’t this cute!IMG_0073Bette made this little winter scene.

IMG_0068Jeane, Jane and Donna made this quilt which due to the poorly written pattern went from being the Wild Rose quilt to the “pain in the rear Thorny Rose quilt.”  The fabric is gorgeous as is the design but come on pattern writers—have several people make your quilt before you publish your pattern!!

IMG_0077Sweet little toddler apron—that’s Mary F. hiding behind her creation!

IMG_0074-001Gay made the beautiful star quilt in Christmas fabrics.

IMG_0100IMG_0107Roxie made the beautiful panels quilt and there is Jane hiding behind her patriotic little twister quilt. 

I finished the Christmas door quilt, appliqueing all the pieces down yesterday and last night.  I started another quilt making great progress. 

Last night we also enjoyed our usual Chinese gift exchange—the first person opens a gift, the second person can either steal that same gift or open another one.  I had the good fortune to be the last person to choose and I chose to steal a present I had been keeping an eye on throughout all the stealing and hilarity—this sweet snowman pillow made by Mary F.


An awesome weekend spent with the best of friends!! 

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Day Three Quilt Retreat

Lots or projects being finished, lots of laughter, and today we have a quilt show to attend, what more could we quilters wish for??

This an UFO which our leader Mary finished.

Roxie bought this fabric Thursday and all ready had this made Thursday evening--she is our over achiever.
Mary P. made this sweet little baby quilt, a free Moda pattern.
I made this little tool caddy, my Mom started it in Texas, got frustrated and it became an UFO.  The wallet is a gift from Roxie, she made one for each of us. 
I attached all the appliqué pieces last night, isn't that the coolest quilt!!

And our Gay made this sweet star.
That's Mary ducking out of the photo, she hasn't been up long!! :))

We are having so much fun!!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Day One Quilt Retreat

Two awesome quilt shops before lunch then off to the resort. The wonderful owners of the resort have changed things up a bit giving us access to this entire building meaning we don't have to go out in the dark to go to bed--we only have to go upstairs. We are all sewing away with our over achiever Roxie completing a table runner before dinner!! And speaking of dinner, we had another great meal prepared by the owner's daughter Terry. I am taking photos with the iPad--not my best but I am traveling light.  More tomorrow!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Seventy One Degrees To Snow

Yep, just as Rick said in his comment, there should be a law against going from 71 degrees to snow but that’s what we had this morning—not much snow and it was melted by 10am but it left a nasty, brisk wind behind.



Nat came for lunch today—it’s been a while since he has driven up the Boulder, our winter weather kept him in Big Timber.  He loves to come up here but admits his days of driving up the Boulder are limited.  We had pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes and green peas.  I spent the morning baking cookies for him and for we quilting ladies.

Michael spent some time today puttering with the Yagi antenna we acquired from Jim and Bev at North Ranch—he used the booster and antenna we bought and was able to get us good voice cell service and OK data service.  I called Laci on the cell phone and it worked perfectly.  We are still debating our options—I hate to give up our fast DSL through our local phone company, we will see.

And speaking of Laci—doesn’t she look beautiful!


Larry and Geri—the folks we were hanging out in Moab with have started a blog.  Geri is going back and entering all their ATVing adventures from previous years so the most recent blog is from 2011.  Check it out, ATV Across America.

The car is loaded and my bags are packed, quilt retreat here I come!  The cowboy and Emmi are holding down the fort.  I am only taking my iPad so the blogs may be short, I’m not much on typing one finger-ed!  But at least you will get to see photos.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Another Busy Day

Yesterday we both noticed this rather large puddle in our backyard over our buried water cistern—was it snow melt or did we have an issue???  If you guessed issue you were right but the cowboy has the equipment for making quick work of those issues and soon all was well with our plumbing!  The backyard will need a little attention once everything dries out.  The cowboy also fixed our driveway, too.IMG_1016

The dentist made quick work—in and out in 30 minutes—of putting the crown back where it belonged so that was a load off my mind!  I ran a couple quick errands and was back home in time to make lunch. 

Our bird population is increasing by the minute—big birds:

IMG_1018and little birds, rosy red finches:


I decided to pack the important quilt retreat stuff today—all my sewing projects and tools.  Tomorrow I will do some cooking and pack the toothpaste, etc. 

IMG_1021Stopped by the road on my way home from town—the first “coming up the Boulder” shot of the season.  It was 71 degrees today but our weather forecast for the next week stinks—rain and snow every day—we can hope those guys are wrong, right!!

Monday, April 21, 2014

Home Sweet Home

A leisurely start this morning had us at Nat’s house just after 11am—Emmi girl was sure glad to see him as he was to see her.  After a quick visit and promises to see him in the next couple days we headed up the Boulder.  Our lower driveway is kind of a mess but Michael was able to slowly inch his way along getting the motorhome to the house just about lunch time.  By 5pm we had it unloaded and all the stuff put away!  I’ve even had the washing machine going—now ask me if I’m pooped!!

We still have some snow drifts, not in the yard but on the hillsides.  The horses look good as do my plants—thanks Lonnie!!  Green grass is showing and the aspen trees have what I call “fuzzies”—spring might finally happen in Montana.  I’ve fed the birds and they seemed glad to see me.


On the way home today I was eating a caramel and noticed something hard mixed in with the candy—yep, one of my crowns came off—GRRRRR!  I managed to get an appointment for 10am tomorrow with the local dentist who put this particular crown on long, long ago.  Going to the dentist was not really in my plans—I need to pack for my quilt retreat!! 

The last two months have been great but it’s also good to be home.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Moab, Utah to Dillon, MT


We were just a little later than our planned departure time of 6am this morning but even so we were set up and relaxing by 5pm in our usual stopping spot the night before reaching home.  We drove 572 miles today!!  We had planned on doing about 450 but it was just too early in the day to stop—we are out of sightseeing mode and in getting home mode I guess!  I even drove the big motorhome for a while. 

It was hard to tell Larry and Geri goodbye last night, we so enjoyed getting to know them better and we certainly enjoyed having them as our guides.  Hopefully we will be seeing them again soon!


Peter asked where we were parked while boondocking in the Moab, UT area—off Mill Canyon Road about 15 miles north of Moab.  John asked a while back if Michael’s friend Sarge made it home to Montana on his motorcycle—he had to spend an extra night on the road waiting for a storm to clear I think but yes, he made it home—a little frozen but back in Montana.

Lonnie drove over to our house the other day thinking he might have to plow the road—the driveway is clear but will need a little repair work before we can get the motorhome up the driveway. 

We’ve had pizza delivered and are enjoying a glass of wine—it was a good day.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

These Glorious Days Just Keep Coming

I woke to rain sometime in the night—what???, rain???  Yep, just enough to get Emmi’s feet dirty when she and Michael went out first thing.  It was just about lunch time before the sun decided to peak out.

We were mostly bums for the entire morning although Geri and I worked our brains hard!!!  While at North Ranch I had helped both Geri and Angie start blogs—not to the point of publishing one but on the right path.  Geri was having connectivity problems that day and wasn’t able to fully load Window’s Live Writer. 

When Geri tried to log on to Live Writer later she kept getting “password/user name incorrect” messages knowing full well she was entering the correct information.  We tried all sorts of combinations, turning the computer off, uninstalling and re-installing Windows Essentials, etc.  I was almost to the point of calling Rick when I noticed the words “change proxy” at the bottom of the log-in screen.  I thought, what the heck, clicked on those words, found a screen which gave me an option, I used that option thinking I could change it back if all you know what broke loose!!  Went to the log-in screen and we were in!!!  Well, now—that took about a hour!!

Next up I had to remember how to make Live Writer use a default photo size—I searched Rick’s blog and found enough instructions that we were able to make that happen also.  Wow, we were on a roll!! 

After consulting the guys we decided to take a short jeep trip to Gemini Bridges after lunch.  As I was getting ready to call Mike to lunch a guy rode up on a dirt bike—with a badge and a gun—he works for the Utah Department of Natural Resources as an enforcement officer.  His dirt bike even had blue lights!!!  He’s the one who will give you a $750 fine for traveling off trail!  He was just checking to see if we were having a good time and if we needed any information.


Gemini Bridges—two rock “bridges” side by side suspended over a hundreds of feet deep canyon—standing on the bridges made my stomach clench!!  Michael and Larry weren’t having any part of getting too close to the edge!IMG_0968

IMG_0966The two bridges side by side.

IMG_0967IMG_0969IMG_0972Opening between the two bridges—the canyon wasn’t so deep here but you wouldn’t want to fall down there!



Notice the off leash dog in the photo above—that’s the reason folks, we aren’t allowed to take dogs on the national park trails—get  your dog on a leash!! not to mention the fact it’s a long way down if the dog misses a step!!!!

Back home we started the generators and the grill.  Larry grilled foil wrapped potatoes and onions plus some chicken breasts.  We dined like kings outside in the sunshine.  It was another perfect day in Moab, Utah!!!