Thursday, May 29, 2014
Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Our granddaughter Laci, due in a couple months—I think pregnancy becomes her!
Another glorious day here in Montana—sunshine, blue skies, a little breeze—nice enough for the cowboy and I to drag out the lawn equipment, first time this year! The yards could have used a haircut a week or more ago but too many other things to do—such as go camping!
I thought a photo of the truck camper made it into the little video creation but no—so:
And here are some photos from Katie’s camera:
My little bear art quilt—completed! I quilted it using a technique called piano keys in the striped border, crosshatching in the green background and after sewing an applique stitch all around the outside of the bear, flower and paws, I heavily stippled the bear’s body. It’s hanging on the living room wall and makes me smile every time I walk past! The pattern is by Laura Heine at Fiberworks Quilt Shop in Billings.
Tomorrow afternoon I am heading to Arkansas for a week of visiting with my family—just taking the little iPad so blogs could be even more sporadic!
Monday, May 26, 2014
Thank you to all our veterans who are serving and who died serving our country. We also pause on this Memorial Day to remember friends and loved ones who have left us.
Late Friday evening Lonn called and we made a quick decision—let’s go camping—and since we have such an assortment of RV’s from which to choose , it was hard to decide between the truck camper and the new to us Foretravel motorhome. Not knowing what kind of campsite we might find on this holiday weekend we chose to take the truck camper.
And we received quite the education!!! Larry and Geri—truck campers are tiny!! And I do mean tiny!! Ours has what is called a wet bath—and if Michael and I were taller or bigger we would have become wedged in that tiny bathroom!! When you take a shower everything in the bathroom gets wet—toilet, sink, toilet paper if you leave it out —the entire bathroom is fiberglass and the floor has a drain. You must be much more polite to each other living in a truck camper—“excuse me, could you step this way so I can step the other way???” We most definitely will be needing a new mattress—the current one is made of concrete! Oh, and one more thing, you better have your wits about you when navigating the stairs down out of a truck camper—geez!!!
But seriously—it is the perfect rig for traveling to Alaska on the ferry system. For one thing, when you get too long in length the Alaska Ferry System starts charging by the foot and it ain’t cheap!! We want to be able to get into USFS campgrounds and to fit in pullouts along the roads. We have given lots and lots of thought to our rig choice and have decided to go with a truck and truck camper—selling the new to us Foretravel we just purchased—anyone want to buy a really, really cool, totally remodeled 29 foot Foretravel motorhome???
Saturday was Nat’s 92nd birthday and we had a small family party here at the house before we headed over to Red Lodge, MT for our camping trip. Nat received books (he loves to read), a bottle of excellent scotch (he has one scotch each afternoon at exactly 5pm) and family photos.
We were off to Red Lodge as was the entire population of Montana I think!! It’s possible Lonn, Katie and Michael (Katie’s husband is named Michael also) got the last campsite anywhere in the vicinity of Red Lodge!! We were boondocking—which we prefer and had some fairly close neighbors just over a little hill but they were great neighbors—friendly and controlled their dogs and children. And we had a fabulous weekend!! I took a zillion photos so I chose to show you a few in this little movie—you will see our campsite, the scenery around our campsite, our boy scout starting a fire, and our daredevil riding his motorcycle up onto the flatbed of the pickup.
Yesterday we drove up to the top of the Beartooth Pass—it’s tradition in Wyoming and Montana for the Beartooth Pass to be plowed and open for Memorial Day weekend. The pass elevation is 12,000 feet so this tradition sometimes doesn’t happen. In the video you will see how deep the snow was along the roads—in some places only the narrow road was plowed and it would have been easy to trade paint jobs with passing cars if not paying close attention!
The weather was perfect for Memorial Day weekend—very unusual for Montana—it usually snows! The temps are unseasonably warm causing the mountain snow to melt and parts of Montana are under a flood watch:
This is the first overlook on the Beartooth Pass out of Red Lodge heading to Cooke City—it’s a beautiful spot and we’ve taken many, many photographs of friends and family at this overlook. We’ve also never been up the Beartooth Pass this early in the year and as you can see, the overlook was closed!!
Sunday evening we drove to Roscoe, MT and had dinner at the Grizzly Bar—delicious!! We love their “Grizzly Delight” dessert—a ball of ice cream, rolled in tiny chocolate chips and drizzled with raspberry sauce! This morning we drank our coffee around one last campfire, packed up and headed for home—it was a fabulous weekend with family!!
Thursday, May 22, 2014
Not quite around the world but the little Juki mid-arm quilting machine has done a bit of traveling! About four years ago, we purchased a Juki sewing machine mounted on a Grace frame—it’s called a mid-arm instead of longarm due to the reduced space available for moving the quilt machine around—the Juki set up has about nine inches of quilting space, my longarm has 26 inches. Well, it didn’t take me long to figure out I really didn’t need two quilting machines and I sold the Juki to my friend Mary. She too decided to buy a longarm—with my encouragement! --and our friend Jeane bought the Juki. A couple weeks ago Jeane sold the Juki to a young woman in Billings.
Tuesday Jeane and I headed to Billings to see if we could get the machine set-up completed for Katie—her husband had given up. Well, Jeane and I struggled without the cowboy but we did make progress—just not quite perfect yet. The cowboy gave us some advice once I got home and hopefully Katie has her new sewing machine up and running now.
Jeane and I had a great lunch at a Thai restaurant—somewhere neither of our husbands would think of going! We visited a couple quilt shops and Costco before getting back to Big Timber.
As for the quilt part of the blog title—I’ve been trying very hard to make a dent in my customer quilt pile and two of the finished ones belonged to Jeane. I also finished another one today—one of those “thorny rose quilts.”
The trees finally have a few leaves, the grass is green—spring may finally be here! Yesterday and today were gorgeous days. We’ve about finished up all the repair work on the truck camper—roof vent covers replaced, paint, cushions shampooed, it’s looking great!
Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Wow—maybe I should never have written a daily blog—when I don’t write one for a couple days I have lots to tell you about!!
So, let’s start in order:
Sunday afternoon late the skies clouded, the temps dropped and all of a sudden I could hear hail/rain over the noise of the longarm! It’s May, not July/August when hail storms are common! Our hail was about marble size—the cowboy says, “big marble” as he was heading to the house from the garage and was pelted!! Billings was hit with some baseball size hail!!!
And here’s a very good Nat story about hail—Nat told me when he was about six or seven and out helping his Dad fence they experienced a hail storm. His Dad was stretching the wires with a team of horses when the wire caught on some obstruction. Nat tells me he doesn’t remember if his Dad told him to go lift the wire or if he decided to be a big man and run release the wire himself. But no matter how he got to the wire, when Nat lifted the wire it snapped and lashed him across the palm opening up a big cut. His Dad grabbed him, jumped on one of the horses and headed for the house. They were nearing a bunkhouse when the hail started and the horse stopped—Nat said all the ole horse wanted to do was turn his butt to the hailstorm. So, his Dad, holding Nat and the horse reins ran for the bunkhouse and let the horse follow them into the building! Now, isn’t that just the coolest story!
Nat doesn’t think the doctor even stitched his hand but he does remember (typical little boy) how he couldn’t wash his hands for a few weeks!
A friend posted great wildlife photos from up the Boulder—five different moose, one a mom and baby, seen over the weekend. The cowboy suggested we take a drive last night and look for wildlife. Well, we saw herds of deer, a marmot, a muskrat in the neighbor’s pond and a fox. No moose, elk or bear—but it was still a gorgeous drive and sunset over our mountains when we were coming home was spectacular!!
This is not the greatest photo but somewhere along the line yesterday evening Ms. Emmi decided to help Michael drive—now before you get all worried—we were on a gravel road going about 10 mph!
Next up—a fun girl’s day out and quilts.
Saturday, May 17, 2014
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time you know I usually post daily—when we are not traveling I’ve been struggling to write something I thought someone might find interesting. Rick gave me the kick in the pants to finally make a decision. We exchanged an email when Rick wrote his post about giving up his RV blog and starting a new—not daily blog. One word in his email stuck in my mind—“albatross.” That’s what the blog has become—an albatross—and I don’t want that to continue.
I love to write, I’ve kept a journal for the last 20+ years—hand written before I started this blog—and I want to continue that, just not every day. Michael and I like the blog platform as it gives us a searchable document for when we need to remember something (and at our ages that’s important!) My leather bound journals require a little more sleuthing—takes a while!
So, with that said, I am going to continue this blog, just not every day. I will write when I have something to write about—it may be every day, every other day or not for three or four days.
We had a beautiful day today and the cowboy took advantage burning several brush piles we had accumulated from the winter damage to our trees.
Yesterday and today I worked in the truck camper—some of the wallpaper had started peeling, the former owners had peeled some of it away and the rest looked awful. So, I ripped all the wallpaper off a week or so ago and went to work painting the wood left underneath—it’s looking good! One more coat and I should be finished—a nice, soft, restful yellow—the same paint we used in the Tin Tee Pee we sold.
Every summer we get an influx of little lazuli bunting birds—almost always we see the first one on May 15 and this year was no exception—I saw one bunting on May 15 and I haven’t seen another one since! What gives with that??? Shirley or Nancy probably have better bird seed!!
Friday we made a run to Billings—I desperately needed a haircut and it was time for a teeth cleaning at the dentist. I should be 10 pounds lighter as much hair as Becky cut but no, of course not! We made lots of other stops and had a great lunch at CJ’s.
Look at this gorgeous quilt a client brought me for quilting today--
We thank you all so much for your faithfulness to this blog and for your concerns when I don’t show up daily. I trust you will understand when I’m absent for a few days! I am sure when we head to Alaska I will once again be blogging daily!
Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Finally the weather cooperated long enough to brand Lonn’s calves today. Lonn and his gang of cowboys started early at another ranch branding those calves before coming back home and rounding up the ranch’s calves:
My cowboy and I made a trip into town retrieving the food for lunch—brisket, beans and salad—catered by our friend Brian Engle who owns the local meat market. When the rest of the gang arrived, Michael headed off to help while Emmi and I watched over the roasters.
A little after 3pm I heard truck doors slamming and conversations—everyone was hungry and thirsty—a lot of the folks helping are young people, still in school or just getting started in life. They are a joy to be around—listening to their stories and their good natured ribbing of each other is just fun! We caught up with friends we haven’t seen in a while—a good afternoon!
I sure was surprised to read Rick’s blog this morning! We wish him well as he starts his new blogging adventure!
Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Sunshine, glorious sunshine today—hallelujah!! Michael spent the entire day working on the truck camper—he’s taking out the windows and re-caulking them, replacing broken roof vents, etc. I finished scrapping off all the wallpaper inside this afternoon.
Yoga this morning, steaks for lunch then I baked all the desserts for taking to Lonn’s tomorrow—it’s time for branding—he’s having the main food catered from Pioneer Meats in town.
Our Dogpound North friends, John and Brenda are both on the same wave length today—this afternoon I got this photo from John who called it a “project for Mike.”
Early this morning I got this photo from Brenda who called it “a project for you and your bug.” I thought it was paint but no, it’s beads!!!
Bird Lady Judy—you will be proud of me when you see these photos:
And yes, Judy, we are going to Alaska this summer—putting the RV on the ferry and heading north—may take the ferry back down or we may drive—we are flexible!! We aren’t leaving until after our great-grandchild is born sometime in late July.
It’s amazing how much a little sunshine improves my mood!
Monday, May 12, 2014
Yep, this is just one of those springs, even the horses are thinking—is it ever going to stop snowing and warm up??? Our first snow fall this past winter was on October 4, 2013—two feet. It is still snowing seven months later—that’s a very, very long winter if you ask me!!
Michael spent the morning getting all the mud and muck off the motorhome and jeep—that was a cold, nasty job! I finished Jeane’s pink quilt and got another one for her on the frame. Gertrude (the Roomba) did her thing today too—I still love that vacuum cleaner! That’s the extent of our day—the weather is giving me the doldrums!!
Thanks to all who left comments about our new rig—we still think it’s a keeper! I forgot to say last night—it’s an unusual RV—it was clean, immaculate—no cleaning needed. Foretravel has some nice touches, too—a central vacuum system (remember this is a 1990 coach), pantry shelving which pulls out:
The wooden piece on the right is the table—the portion with the hand hold you can see lifts and folds out—there are no chairs, we would have to carry a couple folding ones I suppose. The original furniture consisted of two easy chairs which you could use for dining also—that would have been wall to wall furniture!
The black appliance you see below the counter top is a full size ice maker!! We will probably remove it and convert that cabinet into a trash can spot—one which rolls out on a drawer slide. We don’t use a lot of ice and the ice maker requires electrical hookups—we plan on boondocking a lot in this rig!
The bedroom is all bed—at some time in the life of this older coach the bed was a full size and there was room to walk around. One owner built a larger platform to fit a queen size mattress and now there is just barely room to squeeze between that set of drawers you see in the photo and the end of the bed. One of us will be sleeping up against the rear wall of the coach—unhandy but better than crawling down out of a truck camper bed??? I don’t like the curtains in the coach and will probably order some day/night shades for the three windows which have curtains. And I will make new drapes for the front windshield—the current ones are probably original and show it.
Alaska here we come!