http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: April 2010

Friday, April 30, 2010

More Winter

When I got to town this morning, Jill told me I was dressed as if it were winter outside—I asked her what did she call 29 degrees, snow, and howling wind cause where I come from, that ain’t spring!!! 

Emmi and I braved the elements and took our morning walk while Dad headed off to help Lonn with the truck flatbed building. 

Ran some errands in town and had lunch with Jill at the new place in town—had quiche, shrimp bisque and a delicious salad.  Then we split a dessert, chocolate mouuse that was to die for! 

I was home just after 1pm and got started on the quilt again.  Finally got in the groove and managed to make some headway—two feather wreaths and some crosshatching done.

Michael was late getting home and we are just relaxing in front of the fire, glad to be inside and warm.

I just love digital photography—you take a photograph, download from camera to computer and get the best surprises such as this photo I took of a little white flower (probably a weed) with droplets of water on its leaves:  April flowers

And this photograph really captures the storm which was blowing through:  Crazies April storm

And then there is Emmi—she has decided the birds on the feeder are invading her territory and she goes out each morning to let them know who is boss.  Our deck sits about 12 feet over the little creek and Emmi sticks her head under the lower deck railing so she can see—makes me a little nervous!

sending birds packing Long way down

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Horizontal Snowstorm

April winter Now does this look like a late April day or a January day?  The weather has been truly miserable today—howling winds, horizontal snow and sleet, only about 29 degrees.  The fireplace has been going full bore all day and we haven’t ventured farther than the garage except to take a very short walk before the snow started. 

A good day for quilting.  I got the quilt back on the frame and all the borders quilted, I only have to do the center of the quilt now.  I tried a new method of quilting all the borders first instead of as I go and I am not sold, got a couple of tucks in the backing that had to be removed making me grumpy.   Sometimes new ways are not better ways of doing things!

Emmi has been a little restless today—I was quilting and thought to myself, “it sure is quiet upstairs.”   The basket that holds her toys was in the middle of the living room floor and pieces of the basket were everywhere, she had one of Michael’s slippers and all the toys out of the basket.  A mess—then when I got out the vacuum cleaner Emmi attacked it—barking and growling.  We played fetch with the duck for about 15 minutes, maybe that will tire her out for at least a little while!

An evening to curl up in front of the fire with a good book!

11 months

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


There is a new quilting rule in this house—if I am quilting and don’t like the looks of something whether it be the color of the thread or the pattern being stitched, I WILL NOT wait until I have quilted both the top borders  and 12 inches of the side borders on an 89 inch wide quilt to change my mind.  It took me forever to rip out all that stitching—probably 8 hours total.  My fingers and hands are sore and so is my back.  Lesson learned!

Michael decided to be a mountain goat this morning and took us on a mountain climbing expedition for our walk.  I was huffing and puffing!  Today may be the last day for a while to get in a good walk—our weather is getting really crummy.

Mixed up some bread dough today and made a beef/vegetable soup.  I also made cornbread—Michael doesn’t eat cornbread (he must be touched in the head) so I half my recipe and it is just the right amount.

Michael headed over to Lonn’s this morning to help him build a flatbed for his truck. 

The wind has howled today and blown in storm after storm—snow, rain, sleet—nothing accumulated yet but it sure is miserable.  This weather pattern is supposed to stick around for several days now, YUK.

yellow flower view

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sewing Machines and Plants

It was time to pick up my sewing machine at the repair shop in Billings and Jeane’s Pfaff machine had a glitch while at the quilt retreat this weekend.  So we sent the husbands off to an auction in Park City and Jeane and I headed to Billings.  We dropped off the sewing machine, picked up mine, went to JoAnn’s and purchased Jeane a back up small Singer.  Then it was downtown for lunch at a wine bar.  We both ordered crabcake burgers and it was the best crabcake I have ever eaten—delicious!

Next stop was Costco for a few groceries—noticed when we walked in that Costco had a lot of plants displayed.  There were some beautiful, healthy small blue spruce trees for $13!!!!  The trees are probably about 3 feet tall and we managed to stuff 6 of them into the back of my Explorer.New trees

On to the nursery for flowers, plants and herbs.  The first stop at Village Gardens put both of us into a bad mood—rotten customer service, dingy help.  We purchased stuff there then stopped in Laurel to see what that nursery had—after stopping we were wishing we had purchased there instead of the one with the rotten customer service!

OK, we can’t get another thing in that Explorer and headed for Big Timber.  Mike and Steve had an enjoyable day—didn’t purchase anything at the auction but had a good time. 

Emmi spent the day with Nat and was one happy puppy when Mom and Dad got home!  I took her for a short walk—our weather was beautiful today—tonight and tomorrow a cold front is due to arrive bringing rain/snow for the next few days, UGH!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Quilt Repair

Mexican Star After our walk this morning, I got right on to fixing those two quilt blocks on my Mexican Star wall hanging.  It took me a while then I attached the borders.  After I get my Pfaff sewing machine back tomorrow, I will roll back the edges of the triangles and top stitch those giving the illusion of curved piecing.  I love the way it turned out!

After eating and drinking with no exercise for the past three days, the walk up our hills and valleys was rather hard this morning I must say!  Did a little bit of laundry and some house spiffing today.

Michael went to Livingston with Steve to gather parts for the “project.”  He was back just after noon—he and Emmi spent the rest of the day out in the shop working on various projects. 

Tomorrow everyone is off to Billings, Mike and Steve are going to an auction, Jeane and I are dropping off and picking up sewing machines with a little shopping thrown in.

It is really starting to green up around here although our weather forecast for the next four days calls for a chance of snow/rain every day.

Green Grass Green grass

Spring snow on the mtns

Sunday, April 25, 2010

The Best Weekend

My second quilting retreat was a total success!  Yesterday we were all quilting busy beavers for sure.  And we continued to eat and drink.  Our cooksOur cooks made absolutely certain no one went hungry.  They served a brunch/lunch each morning at 10am and supper/dinner at 5:30.  We dined on dishes such as chicken with wine and mushrooms, homemade peach cobbler, salmon stuffed with pesto, asparagus, blueberry crisp, breakfast enchiladas, and delicious soups and breads.  Just fabulous food!The food

After dinner last night we all quilted and quilted but began the drift toward our cabin and beds a little earlier than the night before—all this fun was starting to be exhausting!  When we woke this morning a surprise awaitedMorning view

Soon after breakfast/lunch everyone began to pack and gather up and just before noon we were headed toward Big Timber.  Jeane and Shirley had some pressing needs at the Washoe Quilt Shop and also at Cloud Nine—the local economy needed a little more stimulation!  While at Cloud Nine we ran into some of the quilting retreat gang who were also in the process of economy stimulation. 

It was one of the best weekends I have ever had, I enjoyed my friends and made new friends.  I was able to complete projects as was everyone else—the first Iron Maiden quilting retreat was a total success.  And we learned that quilters don’t iron, we press according to teacher Jane!  Below are some photos of our finished projects. 

Donna & Shirleys projects Donna Mary Gay Jane projects Jannas Mexican Star OK, fellow quilt retreat folks, this is my Mexican Star quilt that I finished rather late last evening—how come none of us spotted the two misplaced blocks, Michael picked them out of this photo?????

Shirley and her project Jeane & Betty projects

Thank you Mary F for putting together such a great retreat.

One little dog and one husband were sure glad to see me this afternoon and it is good to be home.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Quilt Retreat Spring 2010

The day finally arrived and eleven of us quilting ladies loaded into vehicles very early Friday morning and set off for Red Lodge and Medicine Flower Lodge for our 3 day quilting retreat.

Of course between Big Timber and Red Lodge are quilt shops to be visited and restaurants to try.  Our first stop was at the Cloud Nine Quilt Shop in Absarokee where we managed to almost overwhelm the quilt shop owner with our purchases.  I also forgot to take the camera into this store.  The Montana Quilt Shop Hop is also going on so we dutifully got our “passports” stamped in hopes of winning a quilt retreat in Deer Lodge. 

After all that shopping made us hungry we decided to have a late breakfast, early lunch at Cafe Regis in Red Lodge:

Regis Grocery Lunch or breakfast

On to Red Lodge after an awesome breakfast which included huevos rancheros for some of us.  Next stop on the list was the famous Washoe Quilt Shop which is housed in an old historic mining assay office complete with vault.

Washoe Quilt Shop

We spent a lot of time in that special quilt store also nearly overwhelming the young lady behind the counter who was very accommodating (more on that later).  Several yards of various fabrics, thread, books, kits and other quilting items were purchased by all.  What a great store!  Jane getting caught

Finally we arrived at the Medicine Flower Lodge and received the grand tour of our quilting room and sleeping accommodations.  It took many trips to haul all the quilting supplies and tools into the lodge, some people (Mary P) having brought their entire quilting stash from home!  We quickly got down to quilting, our main reason for being there! 

In the late afternoon we took a break from quilting and Mary  F gave us a lesson in glass etching, having each of us etch a glass for our happy hour wine.  Then Mary P taught us to make the coolest fabric coasters—what fun!  Wine and some wonderful appetizers prepared by Janet and Linda were enjoyed before dinner was served over in the dining room.  Oh, my—can the women that run this resort cook—a delicious meal was followed by more quilting.  I managed to finish a bag, others finished quilts and wall hangings. 

We all straggled off to bed at various times and some slept better than others.  This morning we all rose early and got to quilting.  The resort ladies served an incredible brunch around 10am and we are all almost too stuffed to quilt but not quite! 

Gang shopping All tired out Dinner first night Shirley

Now, for the “later” comment.  One of us quilting ladies left her credit card at the Washoe Quilt Shop.  The gracious young lady who helped us remembered one of us saying we were staying at the Medicine Flower Lodge—when she closed the shop for the day, she came to find us and deliver the credit card to its rightful owner—now isn’t that great customer service??

A great group of ladies, lots of laughter and learning.  Off to quilt, more later.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Getting Ready

This weekend is our long awaited quilting retreat in Red Lodge.  There are 11 of us and we are going to have so much fun!  I have packed way too many projects and food, probably won’t get half the projects finished or half the food eaten but we will certainly give it a good try!

We had a great walk this morning, our good weather held out for one more day, weather forecast is for cold, rain and possibly snow starting tomorrow.

Ran into town to pick up a few things at the grocery store so bachelor Mike wouldn’t starve this weekend although as long as he has peanut butter, popcorn and ice cream he will be OK.  Had a coffee and nice chat with Jill and checked in with Nat before coming home.

Came home and started baking and cooking all those goodies I am taking to the quilt retreat.  Packed and did laundry too.  I think I am ready.

We have been slowly looking for another vehicle.  The Explorer we have was a good vehicle until we hit the deer last Labor Day weekend—the car now has a lot of wind noise and rattles plus it has a lot of mileage.  There was a nice looking Jeep on Craigslist today and we drove over to Livingston about 6pm tonight to look at it.  I just don’t get it—people list things for sale on Craigslist then act surprised when someone wants to see the item.  The Jeep was trashed and filthly besides!  Dog hair everywhere, ripped seats, dents and of course they want premium price.  Oh, well, guess we will keep looking!

I am taking the laptop with me and if I find the time in between quilting, gabbing, eating and drinking—I will post a blog!

Some scenes from our walk this morning:

Another spring storm view

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A Busy Day of Quilting

My quilting client has left for home and I am relaxing—being a teacher and constantly on the alert for questions and machine issues was hard work!  She was to have stayed tonight and quilted tomorrow morning, too, but decided the quilts she had left to quilt were just too big for her to complete tomorrow morning.  I am relieved to have tomorrow to myself to get ready to leave for the quilting retreat on Friday.

Michael headed over to help Lonn again today and spent a full day digging in the dirt. 

Emmi girl progressed with fence education today—she stayed outside a lot by herself and wasn’t just sitting by the back door shivering.  We took a nice walk this morning, too, before the quilting client arrived.

I have all my projects cut out for the quilting retreat and my quilting supplies gathered up.  Tomorrow I have to fix treats to take, run into town for a couple of things and pack my clothes.  I am so looking forward to this retreat!

Judy and Emma asked to see a photo of this quilting machine/longarm machine I talk about all the time so here are a couple:

Me & Millie The head of the machine you see in this photo weighs 46 pounds, the table to which it is mounted is 14 feet long.  A quilter brings me a top she has pieced and I put it together as a quilt with stitching, sometimes fairly plain, sometimes fancy.  Quilting in the trailer This is a photo of me quilting in the trailer we pulled behind the motor home to Arizona this past winter.  This table Michael made and it is 10 feet long.  I wasn’t a quilter until about 4 years ago and I have a serious addiction now—I love the whole process, piecing, ironing, mounting to the frame and the quilting.  What’s not to like about a job you love to do??

Our beautiful weather is coming to an end for a few days,  rain and snow with much colder temps. 

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Another Day of Quilting

It was a gorgeous day in Montana, I even ate my lunch while sitting outside on the deck, a first this spring. 

Michael headed off to meet Steve early this morning, they were on a mission to find parts for the “project.”  Now you look at this photo and tell me if you think this looks like a “project!”Steve's project

Susie showed up a little after nine and we began another day of quilting—she started to be very independent today allowing me to do some things such as transplant seedlings and get a project cut out for the quilt retreat I am attending this weekend.  Susie completed two quilts today, one a larger quilt and the other a baby quilt. 

Emmi still is leery of going outside with that dreaded purple collar round her neck.  She will stay out there if someone is with her but doesn’t like to be left alone.  Yesterday afternoon I turned the shock feature of the fence off just leaving the noise alert signal on.  Emmi was outside by herself and I could see her getting close to where I knew the underground wire was located—when Emmi heard the warning signal through the collar, she streaked back to the house and the back door.  So, I am pleased that she recognizes what the signal means—“do not cross!!”  Encouraging!

That’s about it for today, another beautiful spring day in Montana.

Sunset April

Monday, April 19, 2010

Quilting Student

A few weeks ago APQS (manufacture of my longarm) sent me a potential lead—someone looking to purchase a longarm.  As I am a sales rep for APQS, I called the woman, Susie who lives in Helena and spoke with her about the machines.  She and friends had thought to purchase one together but had decided against it.  Susie told me she was driving to Billings to rent a longarm on occasion.  I explained that I rented my longarm and could probably arrange accommodations if she wanted to come over for more than one day.  Well, to make a long story short, she arrived today and will be staying in Joe and Tammy’s house for 3 nights, using my longarm during the day. 

My brain is tired, teaching is hard work! 

This morning Michael headed off for Lonn’s to move some more dirt and Emmi and I went for a walk.  Emmi did a little better today being outside with the electric fence collar on, not much, but a little.   I went outside and we played fetch the stick which seemed to help get her a little more comfortable.

It was another beautiful day today, I hung my sheets outside to dry, I love the smell of sheets hung outside. 

Nat & Emmi Emmi visiting Nat at the sawmill.Horses These horses seemed to be saying, “hey, don’t you have anything for us to eat??”

Sunday, April 18, 2010

A Yellowstone Day

In spite of the fact I should have spent the day quilting, it was just too gorgeous a day to stay inside.  Michael suggested we put the top down and take a drive over to Yellowstone.  I packed a picnic and off we went.

First was a stop at Nat’s.  He called this morning, his TV died.  We had an older Sharp TV we weren’t using so he drove up and we loaded the heavy old thing into his truck.  The stop in town was to get the heavy old thing out of his truck, into the house and working with his cable—success—now we are really off to Yellowstone.

We were getting hungry about 2pm and stopped at a fishing access along the Yellowstone River and ate our lunch.  The view was beautiful and the sun warm.

Picnic spot along Yellowstone Picnic spot

What a wonderful, wonderful day!  When we reached the north entrance gate, the park ranger told us we didn’t even need to get out our senior pass—the fee was waived all week for everyone—entry was free!  We have been in the park so many times it is impossible to count—my first time was when I was 17 years old, Michael’s was at a much earlier age as he lived near the park all his life.  Usually no matter what month or day you go the traffic and people are unbearable.  Today, there was no one in the park, very few vehicles and very few people.  All the roads are not open yet but we could have driven to Old Faithful if we had chosen to.

MHS deserted On Labor Day last year my sister and her husband were visiting, it was also my birthday and we drove over to the park to meet my Mom and Chuck for a picnic.  We sat at a table just to the right of where the above photo was taken—we had trouble finding a parking place or a picnic table and people were swarming everywhere—not today!  It was wonderful!

We got into a different sort of traffic jam, buffalo on the road—meeting buffalo on the road in an open top car is almost as scary as meeting them on a motorcycle.  Emmi didn’t know what to think about those big ole shaggy critters!

 Mr BuffaloMammoth Hot Springs deserted  MHS deserted2

See, there was really no one there, in the photo above you can see the hotel and the restaurant around which there are usually hundreds of people, not today—have I said it was wonderful??

There was still some snow around, this is a shot of the Mammoth Hot Springs terraces with just a little bit of steam in the top middle of the photo.

Mammoth Hot Springs

An absolutely perfect day.  Home about 6pm and relaxing, life is good.

Good Morning

It is a glorious beautiful Sunday morning here in Montana, a little on the chilly side but I bet the temps warm up today.  We are slow getting about, we had a busy day yesterday getting ready for our dinner party—Jeane, Steve, Jill and Terry joined us for a great meal and even better conversation.  Terry has become very involved politically the last few years and our discussions can get a little rowdy and at times off the wall!  It was a great evening.

I wish I could have been in Arkansas yesterday, my dear Mom got married to Chuck at a ceremony in the home of my sister Ann and my brother-in-law Danny’s house last evening.  We wish them both the best.  In late May they will travel out to Montana in Chuck’s motor home to start their jobs in Yellowstone Park for the summer again.

Mike and friend Steve drove to Livingston yesterday to visit “junk yards” to find parts for Steve’s “project” truck Michael is assisting with.  No luck, the junk yards were closed, on a SATURDAY??? 

Poor little Emmi is traumatized—she doesn’t like to be outside by herself with all those scary white flags around the perimeter of her yard—we still think it is for the best and Emmi will be around to enjoy a lot longer if she is forced to stay in the yard.  She will learn to cope with some positive reinforcement from us.  I gave her a bath yesterday, she is so huggable and good smelling now.

That’s it for now, I will do a longer blog tonight with photos.

Friday, April 16, 2010

64 Degrees

Now that’s more like it, sunny and 64 degrees today, hardly any wind.  Maybe spring will come to Montana eventually.

We had a great time at Nat’s last night with Lonn, LoraLee and Laci.  The pizza was good and the company was better.  It was fun to watch Lonn and Nat play cribbage and interact with each other—Nat has a wonderful sense of humor and I think Lonn inherited it—the two of them traded insults constantly.  Laci heads back to Lackland Air Force base on Sunday, we have enjoyed seeing her so much, she left us two years ago a rebellious, mouthy teenager and now she is a very mature young woman who is a pleasure to be around.

Nat & Laci Nat & Lonn Laci and Us

We took the little car into town and of course Laci had to accompany her Grandpa to get the pizzas.  She said riding in that cool car was worth messing up her hair!

Today was a very traumatic day for little Emmi—I think she was shocked by the fence twice and probably has it figured out.  I have white and red flags around the perimeter of the fence and she is giving those flags a wide berth.  It didn’t hurt me as bad as I thought is would when she got shocked because I know it is safer for her.

I am sitting in my easy chair writing this blog and Michael may have to help me get out of this chair.  I have spent the entire day cleaning and cleaning some more.  I started on our house and ended up down at Joe and Tammy’s.  I have a client coming on Monday to rent my longarm and to stay in Joe and Tammy’s house for a few days while she quilts so thus, I am cleaning! 

Michael worked on his little skid steer project all day so he may also have trouble getting out of his recliner.

I am going to just sit here now and enjoy my glass of wine!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Poor Emmi

When I moved to Montana to marry Michael I had two Airedales, big dogs.  These dogs had been trained to one of the underground electric shock collars.  The transmitter collar each of them wore emitted a signal if they got too close to the underground wire—if they got really too close the dogs received a shock.  Sounds cruel but so is getting eaten by a coyote, run over by a car, etc.  We installed the fencing underground for the Airedales and also trained our other miniature schnauzer Jazz to the fence.  The fencing works like a charm—Jazz was smart enough to know if she had the collar on or not, the Airedales just stayed inside the perimeter all the time.

Well, now it is Emmi’s turn.  The weather has been nice the last couple of days and I spend half my time going outside looking for Emmi.  Today I called and called, beginning to get very worried before she finally appeared covered in burdock burrs.  So, I spent today repairing breaks in the fence and putting up flags all around the perimeter to give her fair warning when her collar signals.  Nat is picking up some batteries for the collar in town and tomorrow I will train the dog.  I have stuck my finger to the shock collar and it does not hurt, it just will hurt her feelings—it will probably hurt Mom more than it will Emmi.  Can you tell I’m not looking forward to this??

Nat came for lunch and I made potato soup, salad and homemade bread.  Tonight we are going into Nat’s to meet Lonn, LoraLee and Laci for pizza. 

Michael has spent the day working on the skid steer.  Doug, a skid steer is a Bobcat—you can move all sorts of things with one—manure, garden dirt, rocks, equipment.  It is one piece of equipment I don’t think we could be without! 

Up close Spring blossoms

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Chores and Chores

We slogged through a walk this morning, lots of mud leftover from yesterday’s rain and snow.  After the walk I started on the laundry and was about to start transplanting sprouted seedlings into bigger pots when Michael decided we would take the motor home to Big Timber for its new tires.  OUCH—six tires and they aren't cheap ones, either!

Came back home and made lunch—tried a new recipe—shrimp with garlic, butter and panko crumbs—it was very good.  A big salad and lots of veggies finished off our meal. 

Then I got to start on the gardening in between loads of laundry.  My little seeds spouted and now I have baby plants—cucumber, squash, tomato, etc.  Planted some more seeds today—I want to have some gorgeous sunflowers ready for Katie’s wedding. 

One of my newest save money ideas is never if I can help it pay full price for anything—today I established a wholesale account with Moda Fabrics one of my favorite lines of quilting fabric.  Now I just have to decide what I need from their website without breaking the bank! 

Michael got his small skid steer painted bright yellow and when he came inside about 3pm, I noticed his facial whiskers and hair are just a little yellow tinged—sure hope it come out and off!

Winter view of house West Boulder with snow

Life is good.