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

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Back At Home

Long road trip, not enough stopping time!  I think we seriously under estimated how far away Fort Peck Lake was!

Yesterday we toured the interpretive center at Fort Peck Lake—at its peak President Roosevelt’s project employed over 10000 workers when many Montanans were on the verge of starvation.  Whole towns sprang up around the lake project to house men and their families.  The project took 7 years to complete, sixty people lost their lives during the building of the dam and most of the towns just went away when the dam was completed.  Fort Peck dam is the largest earthen dam in the world and the lake created by the dam has twice as much shoreline as California has coastline. 

Leaving the lake behind we headed towards Billings spending the night just outside Winnett—one of those “don’t blink” Montana towns.  We camped by the road on a piece of BLM land and slept like babies—we are really getting into this boondocking stuff!

Today we traveled to Billings picked up the Jeep, ran a couple errands and headed home.  Mike drove the motorhome and I got to drive the new Jeep.  Stopped in Big Timber and bought license plates—in Montana if a rig is over ten years old you can license that car/truck permanently never having to pay license fees again—so the Jeep and the motorhome are licensed permanently now.  All trailers in Montana can also be licensed permanently. 

A good trip but good to be home.

Fort Peck cooling towers Fort Peck Dam power stations.  All my photos of the lake just didn’t turn out and doctoring didn’t help.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Missouri River

Boy was it ever hot yesterday as we traveled north from Billings headed to a BLM recreation site—we arrived just before 4pm and proceeded to melt the rest of the afternoon and evening away.  We sure have a knack for picking hot days to travel don’t we Gina and Rollie??? 

Kipp BLM Rec campsite Our site at the Kipp BLM Recreation Site along the banks of the Missouri RiverMissouri River Mr. Kipp was a fur trapper and a very successful one at that.  Lewis and Clark camped near this site in 1805. 

Today we got on the road shortly after 9am and quickly came to a screeching stop behind thisWhat is this thing3 What is this thing2 What is this thingwe (along with many other cars and trucks) followed this rig for over 20 miles averaging around 15mph!!  The rig and all its pilot cars and a big loader pulled over at the turnoff to the Zortman Gold Mine so it may have been some sort of mining equipment??

Back on the road again we are headed to Fort Peck Lake—largest lake in Montana, 134 miles long and 1500 miles of shoreline.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Fort Peck Here We Come

We were heading down the driveway by 6:30am this morning and dodging deer all the way to Big Timber.  The buck deer are suicidal this time of year, they only have one thing on their minds!  Michael loves this new motorhome, he says it drives like a Cadillac! 

And we found a vehicle—now the question is do we own TWO impractical vehicles or just two fun vehicles??  A convertible and now a Jeep??  Yep, Al, we found us a Jeep this morning—a 1997 Sahara in really great shape.  We will pick the Jeep up on Thursday when we come back through.  It even has air conditioning so the wife is happy!  We are excited to have a “desert” vehicle for this winter’s travels!  And it will fit in the enclosed trailer with a little butter spread down the sides!

I’ve never been to Fort Peck, the largest lake in Montana but have read Ivan Doig’s book about the building of the Fort Peck dam and have always wanted to see the lake.  So, that is our destination for today and the reason for writing the blog early—odds of our having internet or phone connections out there in eastern Montana are slim to none!  So, blogs will be posted when I can—we will be back in civilization Thursday.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Running Around In Circles

We’ve decided it is time to get the tires on the motorhome rolling for a little trip—we are tired of seeing the rig just sitting out there so off we go tomorrow morning.  And, we have to get out of here very early—there is a platinum mine several miles up the road from us and as part of their “good neighbor agreement” dust suppression is applied to our gravel road several times a year.  The solution makes the road a sticky, icky mess for a day or so and tomorrow is the day the mine chose—so we are getting out of here early!

Mom and Chuck finished their jobs in Yellowstone Park today and came through Livingston about 3pm—we drove over to give them goodbye hugs—they are heading to Seattle to see Chuck’s daughter and grandson.

Then it was over the pass to Bozeman to look at a used Toyota RAV4—would have made a great tow vehicle—manual transmission but it was way too used for us.  Back over the pass and home to begin loading the motorhome.  The UPS man delivered our replacement blue flame heater while we were gone, YEA!!

Here it is 9pm, the motorhome is loaded and the blue flame heater works, YEA!  And we are beat—it will be great to get away for a few days—we have to be back by Friday afternoon, Lonn and LoraLee are hosting a September birthday party and a party for our USAF granddaughter Laci before she heads to Italy for two years. 

Big Boy What do you think about this big guy, Ross?

I know she can't see me

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A Road Trip and A Gorgeous Day

It was shaping up to be another gorgeous day when we took our walk this morning--Fall color Fall color2 It seemed a perfect day for a convertible road trip so off we went.  High temps were predicted so we left Emmi with Nat—he really enjoys her company!

Michael got to chose the destination and he chose Neihart, MT where his high school buddy owns the convenience store.  The fall colors were beautiful all along our route.  We had lunch at White Sulphur Springs and indulged in milkshakes.  Michael and Royal spent a couple hours yakking and telling lies, Nancy and I just listened!  Their little store is developing quite the following—there are friends and acquaintances going in and out constantly.  I picked up some new hand made cards and a sweatshirt with a unique drawing of the store.  

It was late when we left Neihart, MT and we arrived at Nat’s at almost 7pm, chatted for a while, grabbed Emmi and came home.  It is good to be home even if we were only gone for the day!

A Handsome Cowboy Isn’t he a handsome cowboy??  Today was the first time in close to six weeks that he has been able to drive!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Summer Came Back

This was one of those “why we live in Montana” kind of days, sunny and very warm for late September—just glorious!

Once again Michael worked out in the garage all day—his hands and wrists are still swollen but there is very little pain now. 

Nat came for lunch—we had pork chops, twice baked potatoes, peas and coleslaw—very good!

And I quilted the rest of the time finishing this adorable quilt my Aunt Marg made for her friend Marti’s husband Larry.  Isn’t it just the cutest thing—I swear the little puppy in the upper right corner is Emmi!  My Aunt also made me a smaller version of this quilt—I just don’t have it quilted yet!Aunt Margs & Martis Puppy Dog Quilt

We took a nice walk this evening—didn’t see any wildlife other than a deer.

Friday, September 24, 2010

I’m A Quilting!

OK, my dear husband is better—he had a great day today!  Lonn needed someone to run our mini-excavator to dig holes for shrub planting and off Michael went (against his wife’s advice) but he had no problems.  Came home, had lunch and then he pushed his old 1995 truck down the hill with me driving and put the truck in the garage so he could work on it again.  Tonight Michael says he is a little sore but feels as if he may be getting well and I so hope so!!!

I spent the day quilting.  I finished a quilt for my Aunt and put another one on the frame for her friend Marti in Arkansas and that’s all I’ve done all day.  My caramel apple jam didn’t set so I did re-cook it today and this afternoon I was pleased to see it was finally jelled.  I think I need to develop some high altitude canning directions!

hiding  When Emmi and I went on our walk this morning this lady was lying down and thinking she was hidden from our view.  I love the black trim around her ears.

I did bathe Miss Emmi today, she had started to smell like a dog!  And that was our day.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

A Trip To Billings

Dropping Emmi at Nat’s around 10am we headed to Billings for a day of errands, no appointments.  First stop was Billings RV to pick up caulk for our roof—when it rained so hard last week we had a leak around one of the air conditioners. 

Big R was next in line.  I needed some new jeans and this ranch/farm/garden store has a huge line of jeans.  Off to the dressing room I went with an armload of jeans and as usual when trying to buy pants I encountered my pet peeve—if it says “size 8” why can’t it fit like a “size 8” and why can’t all women’s jeans that say “size 8” be a “size 8” no matter what the brand????  In spite of all the groaning and moaning in the dressing room I was successful in finding two pair that I could wear and at the price, that was all I wanted to afford today!

We then went to look at a used truck and boy was that a scary process—the guy owning the truck was high as a kite on something and really needed to sell that truck I am assuming so he could go buy his next round!  I didn’t even get out of the truck and was silently encouraging Michael to get his rear back in the truck so we could leave!

After that experience, we needed lunch and decided to try a new place, Jake’s.  It really isn’t new—it has been in this location for a couple years and many, many years in a downtown location.  Our meal was excellent, we will go back!

Petsmart, Costco and last but not least Wal Mart.  By that time we were more than ready to head to Big Timber, retrieve Emmi and go home.  We are unloaded into the house but not put away—I’ll do that tomorrow. 

Chokecherries and rain Chokecherries in the rain this week.  There are no more chokecherries, Gina and Rollie’s bear and his cronies have eaten all the berries. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Caramel Apple Jam and A Trip

We are in the clouds again with a misty rain falling, very cool temps.  Took our walk then I spent the morning making 14 half pints of caramel apple jam.  Had a few apples left over and made an apple tart.

Since we don’t have the Explorer any more we have been trying to decide if we even need another vehicle and if so, what vehicle.  Today we went over to Livingston and drove a 2000 Jeep Wrangler—and that’s not the vehicle for us.  This particular Jeep had been driven here from New Hampshire and had lots of rust, photos can be so deceiving!

Tonight we went to George and Shirley’s for a welcome home to them party and to eat some of the wonderful salmon they brought home from Vancouver Island.  Our usual crowd of friends were there; Geoff & Nancy, Boo & Terry and Claire & Robyn.  Great food, great wine and great friends.

Emmi was home alone while we were gone and was a good little dog.  No photos tonight, too tired.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

They Are Gone

It was with sad hearts that we watched Gina and Rollie roll down the driveway this morning.  We will miss them but understand that they need to get back to Mike and Pat’s and finish up a few things before Mike and Pat head to warmer country.  Rollie loading the 4 wheeler Rollie loading the 4 wheeler2 Rollie loading the 4 wheeler3 Rollie made loading that 4 wheeler look so easy.

Yesterday I alluded to Gina and Rollie’s excitement when they arrived at our house.  Well, for those of you who have not seen their blog—the excitement was—they spent over 30 minutes watching a bear and taking lots and lots of photos.  The bear was totally unconcerned that they were there and just kept on stuffing his face with chokecherries.  Just before lunch Rollie road down to their rig to get me some eggs and the bear was still there so we jumped in the truck and all went back to watch.Mr Bear

Mr Bear3 Mr Bear4 For some even greater photos go to Gina and Rollie’s blog.  Today when we headed down to tell them goodbye we saw another bear but he was a little more worried about us being there and took off.Mr Bear another one

After lunch today I headed into town and picked some apples from the trees of a friend—Michael was able to help me peel and dice the apples and tomorrow I will make batches of caramel apple jam. 

The firewood fairies came again today, Claire brought us a truckload of wood and stacked it up in the pasture.  Michael is a little better each day and for that we are so thankful!

Monday, September 20, 2010

It’s Monday

Michael woke this morning saying he had slept better than he had in several weeks and felt better.  YEA!!!  We took a nice long walk and even went up and fixed some broken fence which got us in trouble with Gina!!!  How dare we try to fix fence without them???  What were we thinking???  But, they had great news about their morning and I will leave the photos and their blog in the morning to tell the story!

We had a lunch of leftovers from the refrigerator and then I’m not sure where the rest of the day went!!  Gina and I did pull all the tomatoes out of the garden and hang them in the dark in the basement--New garden Michael says the tomatoes will ripen in a cool dark place—so here is my new garden.

Gina and Rollie spent some time in their own home this afternoon and we had visitors—Sarge, a high school buddy of Michael’s and his friend Sarah. 

After Sarge and Sarah left Gina and Rollie came back up and Rollie and Mike removed the ice maker from the refrigerator in the motorhome—the thing took up so much space in the freezer and we rarely use ice—it we do, I can use an ice cube tray!

We spent the rest of the afternoon chatting then the Louisiana folks started cooking.  We had a traditional shrimp/corn on the cob/potato boil!!!  The food was so good and HOT!!! as in spicy hot, YUM!  We are sitting here like two fat pigs in the sunshine, happy as can be!  See, my southern roots are coming out spending so much time with these Louisiana folks!

The recently made quilt which I have talked about has been presented!!  My sweet niece and her husband Eric have been out to see us many times and have brought another couple with them, Kerri and Bradley.  The two couples have daughters, Harley and Elizabeth which are close in age.  Kerri and Bradley are expecting their second daughter in early October and Niki wanted me to make them a quilt—the baby quilt that my Grandmother and Niki’s Great Grandmother made countless times.  I inherited the pattern and this is my third one.  Niki gave it to Kerri tonight in Arkansas and Kerri loved it--Kerris Baby Quilt Kerris Baby Quilt2 The photos don’t do justice to the colors—it turned out so nicely!

Plans for tomorrow are up in the air—Gina and Rollie are making noises about leaving us—we knew it had to happen soon but are sad to see them go!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Glorious Sunday

Michael decided this morning that he needed a day of rest not being on his feet so we decided to see if Gina and Rollie would like to take a drive.  And too, today was to be our only day of sunshine for a few days if you believe the weatherman. 

Gina and Rollie were totally game and off we went with the 3 furkids in tow.  Our destination was the Beartooth Highway out of Red Lodge, MT.  First stop was the Grizzly Bar in Roscoe.  We had a delicious lunch and indulged ourselves with two Grizzly Delights—the vanilla ice cream rolled in tiny chocolate chips and drizzled with raspberry and chocolate sauce—OH, YUM!!

It was a beautiful sunny, cool day and the views at the top of the Beartooth Highway could not have been better.  Beartooths fall color

Beartooths a lake Notice the waves on the surface of the lake, the wind was blowing so hard up there it was difficult to stand up!

Beartooths more fall color

Beartooths the tooth The sharp pointed spire is the actual “bear tooth.”

The Beartooth Highway is a steep, crooked road connecting the towns of Red Lodge, and Cooke City with another road—the Chief Joseph Highway going to Cody, WY.  It is only open from about Memorial Day weekend until the first snowfall in the fall closes it.  It is another one of those places we never tire of showing to friends and family.

Beartooths Gina & Rollie

After taking in the views we turned around and headed back down the mountain making a quick stop in Red Lodge at the candy store and one other place in which I always like to stop.  We then stopped at the local gas station to purchase drinks for the trip home—don’t know why poor Rollie got the job walking all three furkids--Beartooths Rollie walking the dogs

We arrived home happy and tired having seen some incredible scenery with great friends today!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Motorhome Improvement

You should have gone for a walk with us Gina and Rollie!!!  Mr Bear We walked over to the gulch after Gina and Rollie left for the evening and stepped up to the spot where we normally stand looking down into the gulch and Michael whispered, “there he is!”  About 60-70 feet from us this guy was hiding behind the bushes.  He soon turned and left and it was too dark to get any better photos.

Michael and Rollie were successful today in getting our flat screen TV installed in the motorhome--New TV looks mighty professional, doesn’t it??

Gina and I spent the day in the quilt studio—Gina has become a pro at cutting quilt pieces and squares and I finished a little baby quilt for LoraLee which turned out nicely!Gina cutting fabric

Rollie went back to their rig this afternoon and returned with Zoey and Angel.  Zoey loves to hoard toys and Emmi is not impressed—nor is she impressed when someone else is in a lap she is used to sitting in!15 months talking to Rollie See how her head is thrown back—she was just howling because Angel was sitting next to Mr. Rollie!

We had another marvelous dinner—pork tenderloin, garlic mashed potatoes and green beans.  Gina and I had sauteed squash, too but couldn’t get the guys to try any.

It was another wonderful day spent with the best of friends. 

Gina, Rollie & the girls

Friday, September 17, 2010

What Happened to Fall

BRRR—we were sitting in the clouds this morning and it was a cool 45 degrees with a cold mist.  In spite of that we took a walk down the driveway.  Lots of bear sign—poop with chokecherry seeds and downed limbs.Leaves rain

Michael was a little under the weather this morning and spent his time sitting in his recliner then advanced to the bed.  We are both so tired of this illness whatever it is.  While he is tremendously better as compared to a week ago, he still has a long way to go.

Gina and Rollie rolled in around 11:30 just in time for lunch—those Thurstons again!!  Seriously, yesterday and this morning were so hard for Gina and Rollie and we understood perfectly not even giving them a hard time for being so late.  They both made up for it tonight!!

Gina and I made a quick trip into town this afternoon—one to pick up a product called Retayne at the quilt shop—you wash quilting fabric with this product and it stops darker/brighter fabrics from bleeding or running onto the lighter ones.  I needed to wash Ellie’s fabric or so I thought until I got home and started to put everything in the washer—the fabric was folded wrong, and then I realized that Ellie had all ready washed and ironed it!!!  Oh, well, we at least picked up a full propane cylinder for Rollie and scored some fresh veggies from one of the members of the Hutterite colonies. 

The guys ran into problems installing the blue flame heater—it was brand new and it has a cracked fitting!!!  GRRR—but—Northern Tool was very accommodating when I called them—they will ship us a new one on Monday and send UPS to pick up the old one.

I am teaching Gina how to cut out quilting fabric—started her on the project my sweet sister Ann and my niece Niki sent me for my birthday.

Gina and Rollie brought up some absolutely melt in your mouth steaks—Rollie grilled those, we baked potatoes and had steamed green beans and sautéed asparagus—can you say “stuffed??”  It was a delicious dinner!

After dinner they treated us to photographs of their garden and yard in Louisiana—Gina has created a beautiful memorial garden to their son Rollie Joseph. 

They have headed back down the hill to their home and as I write this it is about 45 degrees outside and there is thunder/lightening/pouring rain—strange weather we are having!!!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Lots Done

Michael and I got a late start this morning, it was even warm when we took our walk.  Gina and Rollie came up later in the morning and he and Michael got started on some motorhome projects—installing our new blue flame heater and the flat screen TV. 

Gina helped me complete a project I started—using those chokecherries Michael and I picked.  I got 11 half pints of chokecherry jam and 4 pints of chokecherry syrup, YUM—think we are having pancakes for breakfast in the morning.Chokecherry Jam & Syrup

Late afternoon we all headed into town—I mailed a quilt and the guys picked up supplies they needed to complete projects.  Then we all headed over to Lonn and LoraLee’s.  Lonn had agreed to take Gina and Rollie up to see and hear the elk—Michael, Lonn, Gina and Rollie piled into our truck and off they went—I think Gina and Rollie were impressed by Lonn’s elk herd!  LoraLee and I stayed behind and grilled some burgers. 

For dessert we had a fresh peach tart that I had a little difficulty making—the directions were written in some foreign language—“use 6 3/4 ounces of flour”—now who ever heard of measuring flour in ounces?? (I missed the part in parentheses where it said “or 1 1/2 cups of flour!”)  Couldn’t figure out why the mixture wouldn’t mix until I re-read the recipe—in the garbage all that went and I started over with just 1 1/2 cups of flour instead of 6 3/4 cups of flour—it might have helped if I hadn’t been talking to Gina, too! 

As I write this the door to the deck is open and I can hear the elk bugle in our neighbor’s hayfield above us,  the elk bugle and Emmi growls and snorts. 

We know today was a difficult day for Rollie and Gina and our hearts hurt for them—our hope is that we made the day just a little bit easier if that is possible. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

They Are Back

Each day, little by little Michael is getting better.  He has very little chronic pain and only has pain if he requires too much of his wrist or arms.  We are so incredibly thankful that he is better and healing. 

I spent the day cleaning and sewing.  We picked a few more chokecherries and I used my new Nurta-Steamer to extract the juice—made the house smell so good.

Those Thurstons—they were supposed to be here by noon—the phone rang at 11:37am and I answered, “so, you haven’t left Great Falls?”  They were camped on base at Malmstrom Air Force Base and sure enough hadn’t left in spite of the fact they told us they would be here in McLeod by noon and enough though Rollie might drive that big rig fast they weren’t getting 200 miles in 23 minutes!  Rollie was enjoying talking to all the other retired military folks and it was just OK that they weren’t in a hurry!

But, we sure were glad to see them when they rolled up our road about 4:30pm.  We parked them in the driveway of our former house just down our driveway.  After setting up they rode the four wheeler up here and Gina broke the rules, even though it was a travel day for them she brought dinner—Louisiana gumbo and the makings for cornbread. 

Michael and I are so incredibly glad Gina and Rollie stopped back in to see us—they are the most enjoyable people to be around and Rollie is an excellent “hand/helper” to have around, too.  Let Me In We have a bridge over the creek that just goes to the other side of the creek, I call it the “bridge to nowhere.”  I glanced outside today and this doe seemed to be saying, “let me in.” 

red berries We have several of these bushes with vivid red berries—anybody know what they are??

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

More Firewood Fairies

When we were returning from our walk this morning we heard the sound of a vehicle coming up our driveway—we both were thinking it was the UPS man bringing our blue flame heater for the motorhome, but no, it was more firewood fairies—Lonn and LoraLee.  They brought us a truck load of split firewood and LoraLee did most of the splitting on crutches!!  Lonn and I unloaded the wood and then we all enjoyed coffee/cokes and homemade cookies.firewood2

I finished my little quilt today, now for the handwork.

This afternoon I went into town to pick up some stove pipe for the garage, the one Mike had rusted out and fell off making the stove not draw very well.  Finally got the license plates for the motorhome, too.  Jill and I met at Cinnabar Creek and had a peach shake made with fat free yogurt—boy was it good!

All the way to town and back I noticed leaves turning everywhere—fall is definitely in the air. 

The UPS man did come late this afternoon and brought us our blue flame heater—we installed one in the older motorhome we sold and just loved it.  It was nice to purchase one from the internet at a much cheaper than Quartzsite price and we didn’t have to pay Arizona sales tax. 

Gina and Rollie left Canada today, are spending the night in Great Falls and will be here tomorrow—we can’t wait!turning leaves

Monday, September 13, 2010

Not Much Going On

Hip, hip hooray—we got the title for the motorhome—the UPS man brought it about mid morning along with my 1000 watt hairdryer I ordered from Brookstone.  Hairdryers cause an enormous power draw on generators and you really don’t need 1800 watts to dry your hair!

Michael is still improving just a tiny bit each day—the swelling is down significantly in his right hand and wrist this evening.

I spent the day doing laundry and quilting.  Finished up a little quilt and now all I have to do is sew the binding on. 

Made homemade pizza for dinner and Michael finished off Mom’s cherry cheesecake.  I bought some peaches at Costco the other day and they are really good—I had one of those with a little ice cream for dessert.

I have been looking for a new electric blanket for our bed here at home for a while—when we wandered into Costco the other day there was a huge display of electric blankets—although these days they are called warming blankets.  Whatever—I put the new blanket on the bed today—probably won’t need to try it out tonight—it was a beautiful, gorgeous day.

When we took our late evening walk last night we realized the firewood fairy had been back—they must have snuck  up while Michael was sleeping and I was quilting in the basement yesterday.  What would we do without good friends??firewood

Crazies2 View of the Crazy Mountains a few days ago when all the mountains around us had new snowfall. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

A Little Bit Better Every Day

I think the good Lord was watching over us—Michael came very close to being very, very sick and he is still not out of the woods yet.  An infection that has migrated to your blood stream isn’t something to mess around with and we are so thankful we may finally be on the right path.  Michael felt a tiny bit better yesterday and a tiny bit better today.  He has taken no narcotic pain pills today which is a first in about 2 weeks.  So, he is feeling better and so am I!!! 

We ventured out yesterday afternoon to do something fun, a first in almost a month—our doctor friend Arch who has been such a help to us through this illness turned 80 yesterday.  Arch doesn’t look eighty and is still so sharp mentally.  His wife Gwen planned a huge surprise party—all his children and grandchildren were there as well as many medical colleagues and friends from Virginia where Arch lived before retiring to Montana.  Gwen sells real estate and one of her clients offered Gwen the use of his ranch for the party—Gwen sold him the ranch.  It was a breathtaking spot for a party along the Yellowstone River in what is called the Paradise Valley between Livingston and Yellowstone Park.  Archs BD We only stayed a couple of hours as Michael began to tire—headed to Nat’s and retrieved Emmi then dodged deer all the way home.

Today Michael has gotten out and walked a couple of times, we picked chokecherries this morning and he has spent the rest of the day resting—it will take a while to get his strength back!  Our dear friends Robyn and Claire showed up about lunch time with a present that brought tears to both our eyes—a load of firewood!!!  Wood We are so blessed with the friendships we have formed in this valley! 

We were surprised when we got home last night and were walking from garage to house—we heard an elk bugle!! 

Friday, September 10, 2010

An Encouraging Day

A chance comment by our friend Boo led us to call Michael’s urologist this morning and finally something went our way—we were able to see him today just after noon.   He did some tests and has us going in a positive direction with medications to treat an infection that he thinks may have migrated into Michael’s blood stream.  Today was a good day, a very good day!

Emmi girl stayed with Nat and both enjoyed each other’s company! 

We were able to get in a Costco run and a stop by Wal Mart for some much needed groceries.  A slice of Costco pizza on the way in served as lunch and a frozen yogurt served as dessert on the way out—you gotta love Costco, a one stop shop!

We are very late getting home and Michael is exhausted but our spirits are much improved!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Not So Good Day

Yesterday when Michael took one of his “I’ve got to get out of this chair” kind of walks he noticed multiple piles of bear poop on our walking route.  Last night we decided to drive the VW over to the gulch where we have seen bears eating on the chokecherry trees.  No bears but we did see a whole tree full of these birds, what are they Judy?Mystery bird

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on my blog reader report this morning—I went over 1000 readers for the week—first time ever!!  And I know my blog readers are getting tired of hearing about Michael’s illness but it is what is consuming us lately.  Mike and Pat, Gina and Rollie, and all our other readers, please keep those prayers and thoughts coming, we need them! 

Now, for my rant.  The next person who says to me, “I don’t want socialized medicine, or I don’t want the kind of health care they have in Canada” better be prepared for my anger!  I have a husband who is in the worst kind of pain, it wakes him in the middle of the night with a vengeance and totally brings him to his knees.  It strikes in the middle of the day with the same devastating results.  His arms and hands are incredibly swollen.  Guess when I can get him in to see an internist---October, 7!  Guess when I can get him in to see a rheumatologist—November 29!  Yea, right, we have the best health care in the world, NOT!

And, in spite of the fact that we told the doctor we saw yesterday in Big Timber that non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as ibuprofen and naproxen did not agree with Michael, he insisted that Michael take ibuprofen in prescription dosage.  Last night about an hour after taking ibuprofen, Mike is sitting in his chair and says to me, “Janna, I feel as if an elephant is sitting on my chest, I can’t breathe and I have this terrible ringing in my ears.”  OK, no more ibuprofen for Michael—why don’t doctors listen to their patients????  Non-steroidal medications have an incidence of causing heart attacks in people!

So yesterday was a good day, last night and today we took 10 steps back. 


Boy, if this doesn't hit the nail on the head, I don't know what does!

Two patients limp into two different medical clinics with the same complaint. Both have trouble walking and appear to require a hip replacement.

The FIRST patient is examined within the hour, Is x-rayed the same day and has a time booked for surgery the following week.

The SECOND sees his family doctor after waiting 3 weeks for an appointment, then waits 8 weeks to see a specialist, then gets an x-ray, which isn't reviewed for another week
And finally has his surgery scheduled for a month from then.

Why the different treatment for the two patients?

The FIRST is a Golden Retriever.

The SECOND is a Senior Citizen.

Next time take me to a vet!

Mom and Chuck came over today to see about Michael and Chuck had the above in an email—it certainly is appropriate at this time!  Mom made Michael his favorite pie—cherry cheesecake, in hopes it would either make him better or cheer him up!

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Today Is A Good Day

Dang it’s cold—cloudy, what happened to summer or at least fall???  I wore a jacket to Big Timber this morning.

It is a good day today, Michael got up this morning saying, “I feel better than I have in weeks.”  His pain is lessened and he seems to have a little more movement.  We visited the Big Timber clinic this morning seeing a physician—let me tell you, if my husband hadn’t needed to see a doctor, I would have gotten up and walked us out in the first minute, (sorry Mary).  The physician’s attitude—he hadn’t bothered to read Michael’s chart, and upon listening to Michael and I describe his symptoms said, “what do you want me to do about it?”  I got a little grouchy sounding with him and he began to be a little more personable.  He stated rightfully so that the ER at St. Vincent’s had done a thorough work up and that he was not a specialist—we needed to see a rheumatologist and started the ball rolling for a referral.  In one aspect he was a huge help explaining to Michael the necessity of taking larger doses of the non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, getting an accumulation built up—something Michael’s wife had tried to explain and gotten nowhere!  But his bedside manner could use some sprucing for sure!!!  And read your patient’s charts before you come in the room!!

Michael was feeling well enough for us to call Jill and suggest lunch.  We went to the newer restaurant in town, Del Norte Cuisine, pretty fancy name for Big Timber, huh!!  Jill brought me a birthday card and a much appreciated gift certificate to the local quilt shop.  We both enjoyed just being out and Jill’s company is always good!

When we got home I stirred up a batch of bread dough and talked to the state of ID about our missing in action title.  As it stands now, we should have a title by Monday of next week.  We aren’t happy but there isn’t a dang thing we can do about it except file a complaint against the dealership which I am going to do. 

I started working on a special quilt today and made some progress!  Got my Aunt’s and her friend Marti’s quilts mailed today, too. 

Thank you to all our friends and family for the thoughts and prayers sent Michael’s way—we appreciate it so much.  

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Another Day

Michael was up and down, down and up all night, I think we finally slept from about 2am until 6am.  We are seeing another doctor on Wednesday morning.  The gout medication we tried yesterday made no difference in his symptoms whatsoever. 

I spent the day receiving birthday wishes, quilting and napping.  Michael and Emmi spent the day napping.

My dear sister and my sweet niece sent me the bestest birthday present—a Christmas quilt book and the fabric to make one of the wall hangings shown in the book, a great present. 

Kelly, my Kansas City friend, who in spite of the fact has been dealing with a seriously ill mother this past week, sent me a great gift—new flip flops and a pedicure kit—I am all set for Arizona now! 

I have the best of friends and family, I really do!  I received many, many cards and lots of phone calls.  Gemma came over late this afternoon also in spite of dealing with major family issues to bring me a sweet little present that was just perfect—quilting note cards and  quilting socks. 

Now, if I could just get my dear husband well!  Last Friday when we went to meet Laurie and Odel in Big Timber we started out in the Ford truck, got several miles up the road and blew the turbo hose off.  Limped back home, got the car and went to town.  The truck has just sat, Michael couldn’t put the hose back on in his condition.  Lonn and Lora Lee came over tonight, put the hose back on and I cooked dinner—marinated steaks and salmon, YUM!

And to end this blog tonight on a funny note—my sweet niece Niki has two little girls of her own, the youngest Leah will be the death of us all—here is her latest from her Mom’s Facebook page:

“This weekend, Leah came to me after her sister Elizabeth had yelled at her and had been quite mean. Leah: “Mom did you have any brothers or sisters?”  Me: “No”  Leah: “Wow, you must have had lots of peace and kindness”  Out of the mouths of babes!!! 

Thanks to all my friends for the great Facebook birthday wishes, too!  It has been a good day!

Here is the quilt I finished today for Marti:

Marti Thimbleberry Lazy Crazy quilt Marti Thimbleberry Lazy Crazy detail quilt

Monday, September 6, 2010

September Snow

We were expecting white stuff this morning but the snow only fell on the mountains around usSept snow Sept snow2 Michael and I appreciate all the caring comments and wishes for good health we have had.  Today has not been a good day—we called our doctor friend and got some advice which we are following this afternoon—we will see what happens. 

Our fields are so saturated with irrigating water that water is coming up in places it shouldn’t such as the driveway.  So, I walked up to the head of our irrigating ditch to see why we still had water in the ditch—the head gate had fallen down—I raised it and wedged it open so the water would flow down the creek.  The whole time I was walking over I sang to the bears just to let them know I was in the area!

This afternoon I have quilted and am one row from being finished with this little quilt.  A reader asked about this “crazy quilt”—it really isn’t a typical “crazy quilt”—it is a Thimbleberry pattern that uses several flowered panels giving the illusion of appliqué. 

I sure hope my sweet husband is better tomorrow!