http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: July 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Motorcycle Ride

We were having trouble with our internet service last night, so no blog posting. Yesterday we took off about 11am on a motorcycle ride. We went 250 miles on a loop through Harlowton, Martinsdale and back to Big Timber. The weather was nice and cool until about the last 60 miles of the ride. We had lunch and took our time, enjoying the scenery. When we got back to Big Timber, we stopped and had ice cream sandwiches (not on the diet) and noticed the black clouds building to the south toward home. We got it in gear and headed home getting sprinkled on a couple of times but about halfway up our driveway, less than a quarter mile from the house, it dumped and we got soaking wet. Those were the biggest, coldest raindrops! It was a great day.

The Ringling Church in the VERY small community of Ringling, MT
An abandoned homestead, if those walls could only talk!
Summer thundershower up the Boulder Valley
Rain is coming and soon.

I got really energetic this morning and went out with the weed sprayer and weed cutter. I cut and cut and came back with a Kawasaki Mule load of houndstongue and burdock plants--a good morning's work! Michael is out working on the garage and I have been doing some phone and paperwork.
This retirement life is the greatest.

Monday, July 28, 2008

A Busy Summer Day

We started the day out with a nice walk then Michael got started on garage building again. I did one of my least favorite chores, vacuuming. I also got brave and got online at the Social Security website (yes, Michael is old enough to get Social Security) and changed the bank where we have his checks deposited. It was so easy I was nervous!!

After lunch I headed into town with the truck and dump trailer. I had an appointment to get my hair cut and gray disguised and Michael needed some supplies from the lumber store for the garage.

I also stopped by the nursing home and visited our friend Beryl. My heart hurts for her, she is 92 years old and very independent and has always said she never, ever wanted to be in the nursing home. Her husband has been there since March and she only recently developed a health problem that caused her to be admitted to the hospital section and now that she is better, she feels she cannot leave her husband there by himself. I wish I could wave a magic wand and make it all better for her. She and her husband were our neighbors until their health forced them to sell their ranch and move into town. They still own a cabin and small acreage just up the road from us and Michael just cut the hay on their place for them--they worry about fire danger so much. They have spent many holiday gatherings with us and were good friends of Michael's parents also.

I picked up a few groceries and headed home. I attempted to rent a carpet cleaner to clean the RV carpets but they charge you extra if you don't bring it back the same day--do they think everyone that needs a carpet cleaner lives in town?? So, I will have to come up with another solution.

Just some photos of my glorious summer flowers on the decks

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A Summer Sunday

I kind of took the day off today and puttered. Nat came up and had lunch with us, chicken on the grill, wonderful cantaloupe and potatoes. The rest of the day I worked on quilting projects and ironed the mountain of clothes that had accumulated!

This is a photo of Kelly and me that Kelly's husband Tom took while I was visiting them in Kansas City.

This is our granddaughter, Laci, upon completion of USAF boot camp in San Antonio, TX this month.
This is one of the quilting projects I completed today. It is a large tote bag for taking to the grocery store or wherever.
The entire bag when not in use folds into its own pocket--how cool is that??

Michael worked on the garage until lunchtime and after lunch, he and his Dad spent a long time visiting about the history of this area. Michael's family came to Montana in the 1880's so there is a lot of history to talk about! When Nat headed back to Big Timber, Michael started baling hay. He had to work on his old tractor a while before it would go--the tractor and hay swather are both over 40 years old!!! Only Mike Clark could keep them running. He got most of our hay baled and all the hay belonging to our neighbors baled.
It was a very warm Montana summer day.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

The 4-W's Workshop

It was another wonderful day in the Boulder Valley. We took a nice long walk this morning with the Jazzy girl and then Michael got started on the garage building again. I puttered, watering plants, feeding the birds and picking the rhubarb.

Several weeks ago I ordered a pattern from the quilt store Creations in Kerrville, TX. The pattern is for a bag to take to the grocery store, farmer's market or anywhere and eliminate using one of those awful plastic things. It took me less than an hour to make the bag and it turned out great!

This afternoon we attended a workshop at the old Historic Main Boulder Ranger Station. It was sponsored by our local watershed group and the USFS. It was called the 4-W's Workshop and a short 30 minute presentation was given by various people such as our local weed control coordinator, Stacey. It covered weeds, wildfire, water quality and wildlife. You could also take a tour of the Ranger Station. Following the presentations, an absolutely wonderful meal was catered by Brian, a local young man with an up and coming meat market.

The Ranger Station was built in 1905 by Harry Kaufman, a Guard Ranger who in 1903 signed on with the Forest Reserve as our Forest Service was called then. As a prerequisite to the job, Kaufman had to provide 2 horses, riding and packing gear, camp equipment and his services 24 hours a day in exchange for about $60 per month!! Kaufman was a ranger in this area for many, many years and was well known by Michael's family who lived just down the road from this ranger station.

Lots of friends and neighbors were at this gathering and it was fun to visit and also to sit and look at the wonderful views and be grateful that we live in this beautiful place. Of course, I forgot the camera!

Friday, July 25, 2008

Hay Cutting

Michael started cutting our hay this afternoon. Our hay fields are not very big and don't produce a great deal of hay but enough to feed our two horses in the winter. He also cuts a small field for our neighbors. Our equipment is old, old and I think only Mike Clark is capable of keeping it running.
Hay Cutting
More Hay Cutting
I feel so much better today, my mouth is not as painful and eating is easier. I got a lot done today because I feel so much better--laundry, weed whacking and lawn mowing. This afternoon I have started a sewing project--another bag and also some bags to take to the grocery store to eliminate the use of those plastic ones.
The ranch adjoining ours has cut their hay and is now irrigating with a center pivot sprinkler.
My Kansas City friend's husband is sending me some of the photos we took from this past week and I will post them when they arrive.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Billings, AGAIN

No improvement in my mouth and hand ulcers this morning, perhaps even a little worse. Bright and early I phoned my internist in Billings and was able to convince them to see me this afternoon. So, just after lunch we were off to Billings again! My doctor seems to think as the one in Kansas City that this is a viral problem and gave me some steroids in addition to the medication I got while in Kansas. If things are not much improved by Monday, we will go back for a biopsy.

I spent the morning cleaning, unpacking and doing laundry. Jazz and Michael sure seem to be able to create more messes when I am gone than when I am here!

When we got back to Big Timber about 6pm, we took Nat to the Steakhouse for dinner. We haven't been eating out much as we are trying to diet--Michael has lost 30 pounds!! We had a severe case of sticker shock when we got the menus, maybe our pocketbooks will have to be on diets, too. This is a little restaurant that will seat probably less than 50 people and it costs over $50 a couple to have dinner, now. We aren't talking tablecloths and cloth napkins--the restaurant is attached to the local bowling alley and has a very busy bar, too.

It was a beautiful day in Montana weather wise--sunny and in the mid-80's with a breeze--perfect!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008


4am came awfully early this morning and my friend Kelly was kind enough to get up with me and take me to the airport. It is good to be home and I had a wonderful, wonderful time--Kelly is such a gracious hostess.

Yesterday we went to Atchison, Kansas home of the famous home decor store, Nell Hill's. I read an article about the store in Southern Living Magazine several years ago and told Kelly about the article. The store is very well known, many of its customers come from long distances and Kelly says at Christmas time, it is considered an "event" to go to the store. I wasn't disappointed--beautiful things on top of gorgeous things. I bought a birthday gift for my friend Jill who lives here in Montana.

Since before July 4, I have been having problems with these mouth ulcers and they are not getting any better. While in Kansas, the ulcers really began to hurt and cause me problems even to the point that I couldn't sleep. Yesterday afternoon when we got back from Atchison, Kelly took me to one of the urgent care centers run by the hospital where she formerly worked. The clinician I saw isn't sure what is causing them but gave me a truly nasty tasting rinse for my mouth and some pills. The ulcers are no better today so I guess I will be seeking further medical attention and soon. I was really bummed, too, because I could not eat fresh tomatoes or peaches--it just hurt too much!

I had such a great time visiting with Kelly and her husband Tom, meeting Kelly's family and seeing Kansas City through her eyes. It was good to get home to Michael and the Jazzy girl, too, today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Kansas City

My special friend Kelly and I met thirteen years ago when we both went to work as nurse consultants for the Kimberly-Clark Corp. Kelly has lived all her life here in Kansas City and continues to work for Kimberly-Clark.

We are so much alike that sometimes it is spooky, we like the same kinds of clothes and home decor, we both love to cook although after this trip I am sure Kelly is a much better cook than I am--she cooked baby back ribs to die for last night with corn on the cob, wonderful coleslaw and a great new recipe for oven fries. We had to take a 3 mile walk after dinner to try and avoid the pounds.

We have been shopping and eating and visiting. Sunday was Kelly's 50th birthday and her family consisting of her parents, her brother and his wife joined her to celebrate. Also included was a close friend couple whose children are close in age to Kelly's son Ryan. We had hamburgers on the grill and tons of other wonderful fixings.

I am having a little trouble with this weather here in the Midwest--it is beyond HOT! Yesterday Kelly's car thermometer said it was 102 degrees and of course the humidity is dripping. When we went for our 3 mile walk last night, I about had a heat stroke!

Having a great time, today we are off to a neighboring little town to check out a home decor store that was featured in Southern Living Magazine a couple of years ago. Hopefully we will also find a fruit stand with fresh tomatoes and peaches.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Traveling Week

Whew--Billings again today--we were just there on Monday and I am going again tomorrow, Saturday. Monday was a normal Billings day for us, grocery shopping and other shopping.

Today, we took our realtor friends, Gwen and Jordan, to look at a piece of property we own near Billings with the intention of listing it with their firm. Gwen is the realtor that sold our ranch 3 years ago. It is a beautiful property with views in all directions--it was a little hard to get any photos today, it is very hazy from smoke drifting into Montana from California and Canadian fires.

We were also delivering for repair a Polaris Ranger, a type of four wheeler all terrain vehicle which belongs to the ranch Michael's son manages.

A quick Costco stop and then we headed back to Big Timber. While Michael picked up some garage lumber building supplies, I stopped by the nursing home to visit with a friend, Buryl. She and her husband owned the ranch adjoining ours until their health forced them to sell and move to Big Timber. She is 92 years old and her mind is very sharp but her body is starting to not cooperate. This winter while we were gone, her husband Jim fell and broke his hip, so he has been in the nursing home since February. We had a good visit, I wish the two of them did not have to be there.

We are getting late afternoon thunderstorms every day with rain. Many of our rancher neighbors have hay on the ground so they are wishing this rain would go away for a while.

I probably won't be posting any blogs until next Wednesday, tomorrow I am leaving for Kansas City to help my good friend Kelly celebrate the big 50th birthday. We are going to eat and shop and eat and shop.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Rain and Home Early

Well, I didn't get to spend too much time on that new mattress on Tuesday night. Jazzy was up and down all night, restless, covered in hives and needing to go outside due to the prednisone. Wednesday morning she was still not eating and was extremely restless and jumpy. I was getting ready to head to town to the veterinarian but all of a sudden when I sat down to get a bite to eat she was right there begging for a treat and then ate her dog food and began to boss all the other dogs around. All from an insect bite!!

As I write this tonight, it is raining again. Yesterday afternoon late we had thunderstorms with spectacular lightening and we received 1/2 inch of rain which is very welcome in Montana in July. It has been raining for a while tonight.

We finished up the excavation project around the little bunkhouse today about noon and came home. Michael headed out to work on his garage project and I started cleaning up and doing laundry getting ready for my trip. I am leaving on Saturday for Kansas City to help my wonderful friend Kelly celebrate the big fiftieth!! Kelly and I worked together as nurses for the Kimberly-Clark Corp. before I retired.

Our granddaughter Laci called this evening to tell us she survived USAF boot camp--she sounded incredibly happy--her parents and sister are there with her in San Antonio today and for the weekend.

We have been having satellite internet problems the last few days, Michael tweaked the dish tonight and things are better. That is one of the things I love best about my husband--he is a great handyman!!

Life is good!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Working and Bee Stings

Is it called work when you can look at scenery like this all day??
We went over to the ranch managed by Michael's son to start another excavating project this morning. On the first trip we hauled the mini-excavator and then I came back to our house and got the John Deere skidsteer. It was the first time I have ever loaded the skidsteer into the trailer and I was successful!

While we were working, Jazz was hanging out on the front porch of the bunkhouse near where we were digging. At one point I noticed her scratching her face with her back paw. A while later, all of Lonnie and LoraLee's dogs came over and I let Jazz off the porch to play, noticing that her face looked strange. When I finally got her to slow down and let me look--oh my gosh!!!--her eyes were almost swelled shut, her lower jaw was huge and snake bite and bee sting crossed my mind but she was chasing the other dogs and rolling in the grass like normal. We headed home shortly thereafter and she was extremely restless and when she sat in my lap, I could feel her wheezing which really concerned me. After calling our veterinarian, he told me to bring her in and he would give her some prednisone, it was probably an insect hyper-allergic reaction. I had prednisone left over from last winter when she was so ill and he said that would work fine--less than 30 minutes after the prednisone she was resting and the swelling had gone down significantly.

Our new mattress worked so well last night and I can hear it calling me now!!

Monday, July 14, 2008

A Trip to Billings

On Saturday of this past weekend, it was 35 degrees at 6am!! Our friends Robyn and Claire who live several miles up the road from us had frost, killing their tomato and cucumber plants--Claire was not happy!! Saturday and Sunday remained cool, sunny and cloudless but today, it warmed up and it was really warm in Billings.

As I had to have some blood drawn this morning before I could eat breakfast, we headed to Big Timber early, had the blood drawn and then ate breakfast at the Frosty Freeze. Then it was on to Billings looking like a group of gypsies with the mattress we were returning tied down in the back of the truck. We picked up a new mattress along with a bunch of groceries. I found some clothes on sale at Talbot's and some new bedroom rugs and other things at Target.

When we arrived back in Big Timber and exited the freeway, we noticed a truck and horse trailer beside the road along the exit ramp and a cowboy walking up the ramp. We stopped and asked if we could help--he had run out of gas so we hauled him into our local gas station, they loaned him a gas can and we hauled him back out to his truck where his patient wife and dog waited. He was very grateful and we were glad to help.

Motorcycle Michael yesterday, the sky really was that blue!

One lazy little dog enjoying her afternoon siesta!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Birds and Motorcycle Rides

After having guests for two days, Michael and I decided to take it easy and even slept in yesterday. I finally got motivated enough to go and cut some houndstongue weeds that were too far gone to seed to spray. As I was heading over to cut the last one I could find, I almost ran over a flock of baby Blue Grouse. I slowly backed away and came to the house for the camera. Grouse are notoriously slow moving and with a flock of babies, I didn't think they would go far and I was right. When I came back with the camera, I could see Mom poking her head up now and then and I started walking toward her. Well, those babies gave me a scare of my life, I must have almost walked right over the top of them and they squawked and took off over the ground. Mom was very incensed and puffed herself up and began to hiss at me--I got great photos of her--but I walked a huge circle around her and never did see the babies again, they must have hidden themselves well!!

Momma Blue Grouse

Today, after lunch, we decided to take a motorcycle ride. Although windy, it was a beautiful day, just the right temperature! North of Big Timber about 20 miles is the small ranching community of Melville where most of the large ranches have been in the same families for generations. We rode that direction and even went on to Harlowtown, MT which is about 45 miles north of Big Timber. The scenery was beautiful and I got some great shots of Sandhill Cranes.

These three were just walking slowly across this pasture and we were paying attention to them when I spotted several more just up the hill from this trio.

As we turned around to go back and take some photos of the other gang, they took flight. In the center of this photo you can see about eight of the cranes flying low to the ground.

This is the Melville Lutheran Church established in 1885 with the Crazy Mountains in the background.

What a great day!!

Friday, July 11, 2008

A Family Visit

It seems like family visits are never long enough when you live as far away from family as I do. My brother, Ross and his family have been on a trip across the country starting on July 4. They arrived here on Wednesday and departed this afternoon.

While here, they toured the famous C. Sharps and Shiloh Arms gun manufacturing plants, went for long walks with us and the boys got to visit the local water park yesterday afternoon. Last night we grilled burgers and then headed over to the ranch Michael's son manages to see if we could spot any wildlife. Ross and the boys are big hunters. Most of the wildlife stayed out of site with the exception of buck mule deer. No elk or bears like we had hoped.

This morning, we drove over to the West Boulder area to the home and studio of a friend who makes beautiful pottery. My everyday dishes and many of my serving pieces were made by John. My sister-in-law ordered a complete set of dishes in the color she likes and I picked out a serving dish--John presented the serving dish as a gift to me--what a delightful surprise.

After we got back to the ranch, we had a light lunch and then the scurrying began to get all packed and loaded up. They drove down the driveway with promises to see us at Christmas--we spend every other year in Arkansas for Christmas.

So, as I write this, I am sad and lonesome but it was a good visit and we will spend a longer time together in Arkansas in December.
This big guy was totally unconcerned about us taking his photo.
Vicky took this photo of Michael and I while we were out looking for critters last night.
My "little" brother Ross, Vicky, Trenton and Clayton. Ross is the youngest of my two siblings and is 6' 4" tall--I still call him my "little" brother. His boys are also showing promise of being very tall, Trenton, the 14 year old is all ready 6' and Clayton is not far behind.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Yellow Warbler, I Think

A while back I wrote about our psychotic little yellow bird that kept flying at the windows, pooping on the windowsills and chirping and chirping. It still returns every few days to do the same routine. I thought it was an immature Gold Finch but Howard and Linda from RV Dreams had photos of a little yellow bird they rescued and it looked just like my neurotic little bird, a Yellow Warbler. So, I have been educated. Guess I should use my new bird book more often!

Michael and I are both getting hitch itch but it is a little early for that. We still have a 3-4 day excavating project to do and we have friends coming to visit around the first of August so we won't be going anywhere for a while. We have discussed British Columbia and even just northwestern Montana.

My brother and his family should be arriving any minute I hope. I baked cookies all morning, Snickerdoodles and my famous Oatmeal Chocolate Chip/Pecan Cookies. I have a Costco spiral cut ham and will warm that with some potatoes and a salad when I see the whites of their eyes.

Michael finished manufacturing the rest of the roof trusses today and I helped him set them up on top of the walls with the help of the backhoe.

No photos today--maybe later. It was a beautiful day again today but still that pesky wind!

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Leafy Spurge

Not a very exciting day around here. Nice temperatures but a little too much wind. I did some "seasonal" laundry today, rugs and blankets--it was a nice day to hang it all outside and it dried very fast.

Michael has been working on his garage all day and if I read the noises right coming from out that direction, things are not going as well today as they have. He did take a break mid-afternoon and leveled the road through one of our ravines so I can get the Kawasaki mule farther up the road to spray weeds. I have a 10 gallon tank on the back of the mule and if you happen to get tipped sideways on a hillside just a little too far, the liquid shifts and can cause the mule to flip very easily.

We have a very noxious weed here in Montana called Leafy Spurge--it is a beautiful weed as many are, bright green stems and leaves and vivid yellow flowers. In the fall it turns an awesome shade of red. This weed takes over allowing nothing else to grow and cows and other animals won't eat it with the exception of sheep. Here in the valley where we live, the spurge is not as prevalent as it is in the main river valley coming from Big Timber. On our own place, we only have small patches of it here and there and we keep a close watch, pulling and spraying any we find. I found a larger than normal patch this morning and it was located where it can be reached only by back pack sprayer, UGH, so Michael felt sorry for me and leveled the road. Many of the locals living here work hard at controlling the weeds, we can only wish that our more wealthy, famous neighbors cared as much!! It is a strong bone of contention in this valley of millionaire, billionaire absentee land owners.

On our walk yesterday, we surprised this mom and baby and they took off as if to say, "let's get out of here."

This is a red columbine in my flower gardens. Some of the guests at the July 4 party accused me of having fake flowers they are so plentiful and beautiful this summer.

Monday, July 7, 2008

A Good Watchdog and a Motorcycle Ride

Last night I snapped this photo after hearing Jazz barking loudly. The deer in the upper right of the photo is a young buck mule deer and he was obviously in the Queen's territory and she was telling him about it. He was totally unconcerned. As you can see in the photo, Jazz is on one side of a cattle guard--her electronic fence runs under that cattle guard and she knows she cannot go past that point. Love that electronic fence.

I was brave today and took the Kawasaki mule up onto one of the irrigation ditch banks to spray weeds. Last year when I did this, I panicked at one point and almost put myself and the mule in the irrigation ditch. The ditch is high up on a hillside and on one side of the narrow driving spot is a deep ditch filled with water and on the other side of the driving spot is a steep hillside and that I would not want to tumble down! I was successful today and got lots of houndstongue pulled and sprayed.

It was a beautiful day in Montana, perfect temperatures but hazy from forest fires somewhere, probably California. After lunch we took the motorcycle into Big Timber to pick up a few groceries and I do mean few--the saddle bags on the Honda are small--the eggs rode home on my lap!

Wild Roses--the water in the rivers is still very high but the level is going down some every day, so the old timers must be right when they say, "high water is over when the wild roses bloom."

Sunday, July 6, 2008

A Quiet Day

It has been a very quiet day around here. We had thundershowers last night and started this morning out with cloudy skies and cooler temperatures. It has been that way all day, cloudy and cool--unusual for July 6. We took a long walk this morning around our former ranch and managed to avoid the brainless horses. By the time we got back, Jazzy was a hot little dog.

I decided to spray at least one tank full of weeds and after I fell down the hill twice, decided one tank was enough! Michael worked in the garage all day long--he is making such great progress. We enjoyed our lunch out on the deck, the weather was so nice.

This afternoon, I installed a new HP printer/fax/copier/scanner successfully, finally and did some cleaning and straightening in my sewing room. Michael loves these shirts called brushpoppers by Wrangler--they are a very heavy cotton and have snaps instead of buttons. The shirts are hard to find sometimes. One of his brushpoppers had a fraying collar and I remembered that Grandma and Mom used to turn collars that were frayed if nothing was wrong with the rest of the shirt, so I gave it a try and it worked--so he can get some more wear out of one of his favorite shirts.

I noticed this small butterfly in the front yard grass this morning--he looked so delicate. We also had these large yellow butterflies today but I was never able to get a photo.

Garage building going on.
Another garage building view.
It is thundering again as I write this--it is that time of year in Montana. There have been 2-3 fires in the Billings area all ready; I hope we can avoid those this summer!

Saturday, July 5, 2008

July 4 Celebration

Yesterday was a wonderful day. It was hot but bearable in the shade, we ended up with 29 guests and way too much food.

It was a day to remember what a great country we live in. While we all have some complaint of some sort about our country I am sure, it is still the greatest place to live. Our freedoms are unmatched by any other country. It is such a tragedy--the Olympics being held in such an oppressive country as China. Our travels into Mexico last year were eye opening. I for one, am very thankful we live in the United States.

We had way too much food to eat--hamburgers, hotdogs, salads, baked beans, homemade ice cream, pies and all sorts of other goodies. This is my flag cake creation. All our friends brought potluck and outdid themselves!

This is a very rare site, look quickly, Michael is cooking! He did a fabulous job and relieved me of that duty!

The person on the left is a friend and neighbor, Robyn, the couple in the rear are Joe & Tammy, the owners of our former ranch and the lady on the right is Shirley, our closest neighbor and friend.

This is a gang of friends and neighbors in our backyard which looked wonderful yesterday. A beautiful little creek flows through this grove of aspen trees.

It is a wonderful life!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

It Got Hot!

Very, very warm day today and supposed to be 96 degrees tomorrow on July 4. We haven't ever had a July 4 party and took the plunge this year. We have 30+ guests coming!!! I have been cooking and cooking some more today and I can't wait to eat. Everyone is also bringing potluck so I doubt there will be a shortage of food. This diet we are on is sure working but homemade ice cream is not to be resisted!

The new owners of our ranch are here and Tammy came up and visited this morning. They live in Colorado and Joe works for a beer brewing company. He always comes to visit bringing us great beer to try. They have two teenage sons and brought along an extra teenager this time. We are invited to their house for dinner tonight which is great since I have been cooking all day for tomorrow.

My brother, his wife and their two sons are coming to visit sometime next week. They live in Arkansas on the farm my grandfather owned. It has been a long time since they have visited so we are really looking forward to their coming.

No photos today but I will post some of the big July 4 party tomorrow.


Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Laid Back Day

Michael headed off to work today early and Jazz and I went for a short walk--the grass was so wet, we both had very wet feet when we got back.

I did some phone work on health insurance and our state of Montana contractor's license. I also got a head start on some of my cooking for July 4. After lunch, the grass finally dried enough for me to mow our small yards.

Health insurance is such a rip off. As I have said in this blog before, we are basically self-insured with a very high deductible policy in case of catastrophe. The agent I spoke with today gave me better options for lower deductibles ($6000 instead of $10,000) but the premium was over twice as much as what we are paying now. So, I guess I either do more research or live with what we have.

We seem to have smoke in the air today--don't know if it is coming from the California fires or if a fire has started here in Montana from all the lightening we have been having. We have had so much rain it would be surprising if the fire was in Montana.

All the old timers say "when the wild roses bloom, high water is over." The rivers are still running strong but don't seem to be rising any higher, so maybe high water is over. This a waterfall Michael created in our little creek to give us more water noise and to the right of the waterfall is a wild rose bush in bloom.

A closer view of the wild rose bush.
Michael finished his project today and brought all the equipment home, YEA! Now he can help me get ready for this July 4 party.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Cooler Temperatures and Rain

It started out to be another very warm day but by late afternoon, it was 60 degrees and raining.
When I came home from Big Timber, there was hail in big piles along the side of the road. The lightening was fast and furious for a while.

I went into Big Timber today to get a massage (heavenly) and to pick up a few groceries for our July 4 party. Two of the teenagers belonging to the owners of our former ranch hitched a ride with me, they wanted to check out the fireworks stand--they weren't disappointed. I also had 4, yes 4 propane bottles to fill--I for some reason hate to get propane bottles filled, so I put it off until I have one left--the one attached to the grill. And as I will be grilling lots of hamburgers and hot dogs on July 4, I thought it might be smart to get some more propane.

Before going into Big Timber, I cleaned out our little creek bed here by the house, making it look and sound so nice. This is a wonderful time to be in Montana.

This is a blooming prickly pear cactus we saw when visiting Natural Bridge on Sunday--you can't see the cactus for the blossoms!
Another Montana sunset looking out toward the West Boulder Mountains.