http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: November 2011

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

And The Weather Outside If Frightful

Nasty, nasty day—cold, snowing, blowing, you name it we’ve had it today!  Still Emmi wants to go outside and play ball!

I finished Marti’s quilt today and it is simply gorgeous.  It is a pleasure to quilt when things progress so well!

Michael loaded a few items into the storage bays of the motorhome and worked on cleaning his shop.  Remember Steve’s “project” the 1946 Chevy truck with no engine—Michael put an engine in the truck.  Well, that “project” has been resurrected and now the plan is to turn the truck into a hot rod.  So, room in the garage is needed and thus Michael was cleaning. 

We’ve been trying to decide what to do about internet this winter season.  We’ve always had a Verizon aircard and contract until last February when our contract expired.  We continued on with Verizon month to month until we arrived home in April.  Cell phones and aircards don’t work here at our house, not enough signal.  Rollie and Gina introduced us to Millenicom and I think that’s where we are going.  I spoke with the folks at the 3G store today but no one can compare with the 20GB plan for $60 a month which Millenicom offers. 

Did some online Christmas shopping today—my goal is to buy the majority of our Christmas presents online—which I did last year.  I am just not into crowds and traffic.  I do have to go to Billings tomorrow—taking Nat to the dermatologist and to have his eyes examined.   Hope the roads aren’t too bad!



Tuesday, November 29, 2011

A Quilting Frenzy!

Made super progress on Marti’s quilt today—I am grinning from ear to ear tonight—it is looking great Marti!  I am at the halfway point and couldn’t be more pleased!

Leftovers for lunch cause I was a quilting away and didn’t have time to cook a bunch.  I did make cornbread using my friend Cheryl’s recipe substituting almond flour/meal for the regular flour—by george the muffins were good!  A little greasy—I’m sure almond flour has lots of oil so next time I may reduce the amount of additional oil added. 

Michael worked hard today, he fixed the metal roof on the horse shelter and cut up several loads of firewood.  He also got the kitchen fan working in the motorhome. 

Remember a few days ago I talked about him working on the hydronic heating system in our Country Coach motorhome?  A pump died last winter and we had not replaced it—a new one Michael found on the internet was $200.  A couple days ago he ran across the exact pump on eBay, today at just after 4pm the auction was ending for this particular pump.  Well, shortly after lunch we lost our internet and long distance phone service.  Once the phone service came back Michael found out that a major fiber-optic cable had been cut here in Montana—but still no internet and it was getting close to 4pm and the end of the auction.  So, Mike called LoraLee, had her sign into his eBay account and make his bid—he won the pump auction for $50!!!!

In September of 2000 our log barn burned to the ground.  It was not a typical barn for housing animals, we stored “stuff” in the bottom half of the structure and upstairs was a 2 bedroom apartment.  Lonn, LoraLee and the girls lived in the apartment for a short while and at the time of the fire Nat was staying in the apartment—his wife and Michael’s Mom had just died the previous June. 

Nat woke from an after lunch nap to smoke and flames everywhere and barely got out.  Our volunteer fire department could do little else but watch it burn after they arrived. 


See the little red guy in the back with the yarn beard—that was all that was left of our Christmas ornaments after the fire.  A long time ago Nat built these wooden crates for storing things away from mice.  All our Christmas ornaments and the ornaments I had inherited from Michael’s Mom were stored in those wooden boxes in the barn.  Some of Joy’s ornaments dated back to her childhood and certainly to Michael’s childhood.  My own ornaments had been collected through all my adult years.   I was heartbroken and Christmas decorating has never been the same.  The little yarn Santa was made by Michael’s Grandmother when he was a little boy and I was overjoyed when I found it stored in a drawer in our house!

Now, for the really cool part of the barn fire story.  The next day we were digging around in the debris and ashes to see if we could salvage anything when I noticed something white and shiny.  IMG_1267-1 Yes, all six of these little porcelain angels were in the Christmas ornament boxes and all six survived the fire.  The angel holding the music score in the right front is missing her left wing—the only causality.  The angels were Joy’s when she was a child.  How cool is that??!!! 

Miss Emmi decided today those Santa’s and snowmen must be for her to play with—she was soundly scolded, we will see if it helps!  The Santa with the flag I purchased the Christmas following September 11.  The white bearded Santa plays Deck The Halls and scared our previous schnauzer, Jazz, to death.  The others I’ve just collected post fire. 

Having that fire has given Michael and I both a new respect for fires.  You say to your husband, “honey, I smell something funny, something burning,” and he would say, “I don’t smell anything.”  Not any more, when one of us says something smells like it is burning we both start looking and quickly. 

Just a little family history today.  And hooray the internet is back and I can post this blog—isn’t it crazy how much we depend on the internet these days!

Monday, November 28, 2011

I’m Tired

Four loads of laundry, several ball games with Emmi, a walk, finished a quilt and loaded the backing for another one, cooked a fabulous lunch, talked on the phone, geez I’m tired! 

When I lived in Powell, Wyoming there was a much talked about lodge between Cody, Wyoming and Yellowstone Park—I think the name of it was Brannon’s.  The restaurant had a price fixed menu—one price for the meal and wine and it wasn’t inexpensive to say the least.  There were also cabins if you consumed a little too much wine at dinner, you could stay the night and a wonderful breakfast basket was delivered to your door the next morning.  I never had the privilege of having dinner at Brannon’s but I do have Nancy Brannon’s cookbook, The Lighter Side of Italy. 

The cookbook is filled with delicious sounding Italian recipes in which a large portion of the fat and cholesterol have been reduced—still delicious.  I’ve yet to try a recipe from this 1992 cookbook that I didn’t love.  Today I cooked a recipe I’ve used many times, Piquant Tomato Sauce and served it over rice pasta accompanied by a big green salad.  YUM! 

OK, did anyone catch the “rice pasta” in the above paragraph??  When Al of the Bayfield Bunch talked about eliminating wheat from his diet a while back, Michael said, “I’m gonna try that.”  Well he’s been off wheat for three plus weeks and we have established that he is probably wheat/gluten sensitive.  The two times he has fallen off the wagon and had something containing wheat he became VERY congested and the congestion hangs around for at least a week.  He ate TWO big pieces of apple pie on Thanksgiving Day and has paid the price since.  Michael says he feels much better not eating wheat and if that’s the case, no wheat it is.  OH, NO, no more homemade bread!!!!  Guess I will have to figure out how to make some other kind of bread!

Michael worked on the motorhome most of the day, fixing and cleaning—he should have it in tip top shape soon!

I finished Aunt Margaret’s quilt today—here’s a sneak photo just a simple meander but beautiful!IMG_1260-1

I’ve loaded the backing for Marti’s huge quilt she made using Judy’s from the Patchwork Times free pattern—I’ll get started quilting it tomorrow.

Michael is over there on his laptop researching diesel prices in various places across the US—departure day is coming right up!


Sunday, November 27, 2011

Emmi 3 Soccer Balls 0

Since Emmi discovered soccer balls this summer we’ve purchased probably 3 or 4 various kinds of soccer type balls.  Somehow that little dog manages to dig at, worry and bite those balls, stripping away the outer layers until we hear the tell tale “hiss/pop” and the ball is done for.  Emmi has been reduced to this actual pet ball, a hard, unyielding, hard on people toes when kicked ball.  There’s gotta be a better solution!

Nat came for lunch, we had grilled pork chops, roasted brussel sprouts/carrots/pears (Laurie’s recipe) and baked potatoes.  The guys had frozen chocolate yogurt for dessert, I had leftover pumpkin pie.

Michael moved the motorhome forward to the garage area again today and is working on fixing this and that.  One thing was our electric step cover that slides over the steps leading out of the motorhome.   On our way home from Canada this fall it stopped retracting back into its spot—not good.  We would have to crawl out the door and shove really hard on the cover pushing the thing back where it belonged.  Michael checked fuses, lubricated the parts, etc. with no success.  He belongs to the Country Coach Motorhome Forum and searched for step cover issues finding the solution—you won’t believe this—“tap the slide drive mechanism with a hammer.”  And it works!  There is a micro switch inside the mechanism which sticks—solution—hit it with a hammer!  OK!!

I finished the customer quilt today and loaded another one which happens to be for my Aunt Margaret.  Elaine and Sue had questions, “like Sue I'm stumped started a quilt and almost finished it in one day?”and “You started today and almost finished today???? geez.”  Ladies—I don’t piece the actual customer quilts—someone else does the piecing, I am just providing the quilting of the “sandwich”—pieced top, batting and backing.  The customer quilt I started and almost finished yesterday was small 66”X 85” and the quilting pattern I used was a Christmas pantograph—a printed pattern I followed with a laser light.  Quick and easy! 

The wind is back!

IMG_1249 Sunset on the East Boulder.

IMG_1247 Our meandering little creek just off the deck.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

House Is Decorated

Sue of Big Dawg and Freeway left a comment on yesterday’s blog regarding my decorating for Christmas so soon.  Sue also had some thoughts on stockings and Christmas cards.  I love the holidays and love putting up our tree—we only put up the big tree every other year when we stay in Montana through Christmas and I want plenty of time to enjoy it so it goes up the day after Thanksgiving.  IMG_1244 When I was growing up we used a real tree that we went out into the woods and cut—Mom was so afraid of fires she wouldn’t put the tree up until about 2 weeks before Christmas—not long enough!  And when we were kids, we had stockings which contained fruit and nuts—never any gifts.  Michael, Emmi and I have stockings but we don’t make a big deal of it, usually Emmi is the only one that gets anything in her stocking. 

As for Christmas cards, as an adult, I’ve always sent out cards.  I’ve missed a couple years here and there but usually I’ve got the cards out by the first of December.  Like Sue I love going to the mailbox in December and seeing the cards. 

I started a customer quilt today and almost finished it—a Christmas one I’m quilting with gold thread—beautiful!

My husband was such a huge help today—he rarely helps me put up Christmas decorations but must have heard me cursing the strings of lights—you know the ones that you test then hang only to find out sections of the lights have suddenly decided not to work.  Michael found this handy gadget at Harbor Freight (not sure what he bought it for in the first place but it sure worked today).  You plug the lights into this little box then use the wand which looks like a fire starter striker wand—you slowly pass the wand over the strand of lights, it emits a tone which decreases significantly in volume when you pass over a defective bulb!!!!  Now isn’t that too cool!!!!  He was successful in repairing several strands of lights and gave up on a few. 

We saw these three guys on our walk this morning, they were having a discussion about who owned the harem!!IMG_1236 IMG_1229


It was a glorious day, 40 degrees and no wind—a first in many, many days!

Friday, November 25, 2011

It Came A Blizzard Today

Yikes!  While Michael was splitting firewood the Montana wayIMG_1206 a nasty storm blew in and on that bare ground in the photo we got about 3 inches of snow half of which promptly got blown into the next county.  The temps dropped 10 degrees very rapidly and the rest of the day was blustery and cold. IMG_1208

I made about a dozen trips up and down the stairs retrieving Christmas decorations.  Tonight the tree is up and the lights are on but no decorations yet.  For lunch we had leftovers—once again, very good! 

Just after lunch we went into Big Timber to do the only Black Friday shopping we were going to do.  No bargain could entice me to Billings today, nothing!  I used to go out on Black Friday with my sister and Mom when I lived in Arkansas but since moving to Montana, nope, not worth it!  I did hear a rumor that Gina and Rollie were out with Rollie’s sister Dana and her husband Ricky at the ungodly hour of 3:30am!!!!  They found a few bargains.  I did a little shopping at Cinnabar Creek and then we went out to Nat’s and put up a little Christmas tree for him. 

Saw Santa and rumor has it we really know him quite well.  Saw Santa’s wife and had a nice chat. 

Exchanged a few text messages with Gina—they were home watching the LSU/Arkansas game and were gloating just a little!  I bet there are some unhappy Razorback fans tonight!

On the way home from town the sun going down gave the clouds awesome colors.IMG_1227

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wonderful Thanksgiving

We are so truly blessed in our household—we had a wonderful Thanksgiving lunch with friends Terry and Jill, Kerri and James and Jeane and Steve.  And with family, Nat.   My guest list fluctuated greatly before today—Lonn and LoraLee were able to go to Miles City for Thanksgiving at Katie and Michael’s—Katie’s first time to cook a turkey—I’m anxious to hear how it went!  Jill and Terry have always wanted to come to our house for Thanksgiving but family kept them occupied in past years—it worked out at the last minute this year that they were able to come.  Gwen and Arch frequently are here but had family this year. 

I forgot to take photos of my beautiful table and of the awesome array of food!  Jill brought delicious appetizers and Jeane provided a homemade green bean casserole that put the cream of mushroom soup one to shame.  We had sweet potatoes with praline topping and I think that southern speaking James ate 2 pounds of sweet potatoes all by himself—he really enjoyed those potatoes!  The turkey breasts turned out perfectly, garlic mashed potatoes—even my gravy was good (I’m not a very good gravy maker). 

And, those Costco pies were enjoyed by all—you just can’t beat those great tasting, BIG pies for $6.00!!!  It was just a special day, we are so glad our friends and family could join us this year.

Talked to all the family back in Arkansas where they too enjoyed a delicious feast. 

We hope all our friends and family had a wonderful Thanksgiving. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Preparations

When we went for a walk this morning I said it sure would be great when we take off for Florida because then maybe I could have some new material to photograph!  Not only did Emmi need an anchor on our morning walk but so did we—the wind was howling, pushing us around.  And our temps are unseasonably warm—52 degrees today!  Quite the change from last Thanksgiving when our weather was treacherous—3 feet of snow, below zero temps and high winds!

Michael changed the oil in the jeep and truck today.  After he finished that project he pulled the motorhome forward to the shop, put it up on blocks and removed the heater booster pump that died on our way through Texas last winter.   He is such a handy husband to have around! 

I spent the day cleaning house and prepping for our Thanksgiving feast.  Pre-made the sweet potatoes and part of the stuffing recipe.  Got all the china, silver and crystal out, didn’t have to do too much polishing.  And ironed the tablecloth.  Tomorrow I should not have much to do—put the turkey in the oven, finish the stuffing and make mashed potatoes.  I’m ready!

Emmi and I got in a couple games of soccer today—due to the higher temps our yard and driveway are muddy messes and so is the dog when we are finished playing soccer!

I feel much better today and have eaten regular food so I guess my little bout is over—thank goodness—just in time for the Thanksgiving feast!


Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A Breezy Day

It felt great to get out and take a walk today in spite of the fact I’m a little under the weather with what I think is a case of food poisoning.  YUK!

I started swamping out the house—Michael and Emmi home alone does not equal a spotless house for sure and we have Thanksgiving guests coming!  Time to get out the vacuum.

Even Emmi got clean today—I gave her a good brushing which she hates, then a bath and finally a modest trim—didn’t want to cut too much hair off, it might get cold around here again.

When we were in Costco yesterday I purchased a Lacrose weather monitoring station like the one we purchased Nat a month or so ago.  Michael installed the station this afternoon without turning the air too blue! 

We have seven guests coming for Thanksgiving dinner, one of our smaller crowds through the years.  I will start some of the cooking tomorrow and all the guests are bringing something too—it will be a feast.

It was a warm day for this time of year, 48 degrees and of course the wind blew all day.  It is definitely winter—bleak landscapes.


Monday, November 21, 2011


We rolled in the door just a few minutes ago.  In spite of the horrible weather in Little Rock this morning—rain, wind, thunder and lightening—my plane took off on time and I stayed right on time through all my connections arriving in Billings a little early just before 1pm.  Lunch at Jake’s followed by a quick stop at Costco for pies and last minute Thanksgiving stuff.

Before I left for Arkansas we signed up for email statements from our local telephone company.  In exchange for doing that we received a coupon for a free turkey at our local grocery store.  Sounded good to me!  So we stopped in Big Timber, picked up turkey breasts and acquired four more guests for Thanksgiving dinner!

I had a fabulous time in Arkansas with the family!  We ate, shopped, visited and ate some more.  I see some long walks in my near future! 

IMG_2282 My Mom and one of the members of Niki’s extended family.  Isn’t he the sweetest!

Emmi girl was ecstatic to see her Mom today at the airport and I think Michael was a little happy, too!  It is good to be home.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday On Barnes Hill

OH, my, it is so warm and humid here!  I had forgotten what humidity was like--it is as if you are melting--your makeup is sliding off your face before you even get it applied, your hair is falling flat.  But, on the other hand, poor Michael said he would take some of this heat! 

We all went to church where my brother-in-law Danny is the pastor--afterwards the church had their annual Thanksgiving dinner potluck.  Yep, once again we are eating!  It was good to see a lot of the people I grew up with in this same church community.

After church and lunch we all came home to relax and play with babies.  Four children in one small house--the house I grew up in--becomes more than a little chaotic!  Poor Chuck retreated to his motorhome to watch a little football--if I had known that was where he was hiding, I might have joined him!

It has been a wonderful visit and now I am ready to head back to Michael and Emmi, get Thanksgiving dinner all lined out and start making plans for our December departure!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Happy Birthday

Oh, dear, I need to go home before I have to waddle home!!  Today we loaded the entire gang into Niki's Tahoe and headed for the big town of Sheridan--did a little shopping and had lunch at Uncle Henry's!  Delicious barbeque!!! 

My dear Mom had a birthday today.  She has four surviving sisters and they all gathered at the home of Aunt Mary for a birthday lunch.  Our gang stopped by to say hello to all the Aunts and Uncles.  More eating! 

And then tonight we all gathered at Danny and Ann's for a dinner of steaks, baked potatoes and salad.  See, I need to go home!  When my two siblings and myself are gathered together with all the children we number 14, without Michael tonight it was 13.  That's a lot of talking and eating going on! 

Happy Birthday Mom, we sure love you lots!

The weather here in Arkansas is warm tonight, shirt sleeve warm!  Unlike the frigid temps of Montana.  Arkansas won their football game today, I'm not so sure the Montana relatives are as happy!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Shopping in Arkansas

At home I use Live Writer to publish the blog and LOVE the auto save feature.  Blogger Dashboard ate my blog last night then Chuck's internet connection died--so that's my excuse and I'm sticking to it!

Yesterday we did what all good southerners do--cooked and ate, ate and cooked.  I baked some cookies using the Real Simple Magazine Chewy Gingersnap recipe--delicious but don't cook the cookies for as long as the recipe says! 

When my brother Ross went to work for the power company as an electrician 30 years ago, he bought Mom a new dryer.  That dryer has lasted all these years and recently gave up the ghost, think the new one she had delivered from Lowe's yesterday will last that long???  Highly doubt it!

My sister Ann, my niece Niki and I went shopping today in Little Rock.  The girls went with their Dad, one of the foster babies went to daycare and we took the infant with us.  We had a fabulous day!  Lots of good shopping and lunch and more shopping.  Those two foster babies my niece and her husband Eric have are adorable! 

It is deer season in Arkansas, a state holiday almost!  Tonight we are going to the deer camp for supper--hamburgers (I sure hope the burgers aren't venison!!)!  I am sure to see lots of people I know!

Michael is home in Montana holding down the fort and watching it snow. 

Thursday, November 17, 2011

I Need To Get Out More

It was a long, long day of travel yesterday with connecting flights in two cities.  When I consulted for the Kimberly-Clark company, I traveled a lot, at least twice a month I was on an airplane, sometimes more frequently.  I had all the perks--airline status (which I miss significantly) and hotel points.  I flew in first class more often than I did in coach.  I loved my job and the travel that went with it--Michael accompanied me sometimes to places such as Nova Scotia and Hawaii.  Then September 11 happened and travel became NOT fun anymore.  The Kimberly-Clark Corp. changed too and my job became really NOT fun.  So, retired I became.

It's been a while since I was on an airplane, the crazy security practices haven't changed--tell me what difference it makes if I have my liquids and gels in a plastic bag versus my suitcase????  Tell me what difference it makes if I take off my scarf and coat???  Do these security practices make me feel safer--not one little bit, not one little bit!!!!  And airlines charging to carry your luggage--give me a break!!  So, you get to the plane late, no room in the bins, they then will check your bag for free!!  The poor flight attendants are now luggage police trying to fit everyones bags into the overheads because people are sick to death of being pushed around and aren't going to pay to check their luggage, me included.

And did you know the airlines no longer take cash for booze???  As I said above, it's been a while since I flew!!!!  The woman I sat next to on the plane was one big bag of nerves--for one thing, she needed a cigarette in the worst way!  When the flight attendant wouldn't take her cash for a drink, she went ballistic as she didn't have a credit card!  I was going to say, "wait, wait, let me buy you a drink!" but our other seatmate beat me to it!!!!

Flights were on time and Mom and Chuck were there waiting to pick me and my unchecked bag up.  It was late when we arrived at their house and we all headed off to bed.

A day in Arkansas is about to begin.  I will try to take some photos today to add tonight!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I Saved A Chickadee

Last night we thought the wind was going to take the roof off the house.  We were very surprised to see no trees down when we took our walk this morning.  It snowed some during the night and the wind was still howling this morning making the 10 above seem like 10 below!

While cooking lunch I heard a bird hit one of our windows.  We have bright shiny CD’s attached to the windows to deter that happening but sometimes the little guys just seem to be suicidal!  I went to the window and there was a little chickadee quivering on the deck in the snow.  Ran outside, scooped him up and came around the corner of the house out of the wind.  He was blinking his eyes and moving some so I took him out to the garage where Michael was working and there was a warm fire in the stove.  Put the tiny guy in one of those clear plastic lettuce containers and left Michael to babysit.  He said that in not too long the bird began fluttering against the container so Michael took him outside, opened the box and the little guy flew up into a tree.  Success!

After lunch we drove into town to deliver quilts and acquire Michael some bachelor food.  This morning I made two batches of granola and three batches of spaghetti partly to keep Michael fed while I am gone. 

Tomorrow I am heading off to Arkansas to visit my family.  Mom’s 75th birthday is Saturday.  Blog posting may be sporadic as I am not lugging along a laptop, just my iPod Touch—a new one arrived yesterday morning—yea for Apple!! 

IMG_1186 This quilt which I finished yesterday belongs to Barb, one of my quilting buddies.  It is an oversized queen.IMG_1194  Some of the detail shows better on the back.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Quilt Is Done and The Wind Is Still Blowing

Geez what a miserable day weather wise—so incredibly windy that we didn’t walk up into our pastures—were afraid we might end up in the next county!!  Had to put an anchor on Emmi to keep her grounded! :))

I finished the quilt I had on the frame for Barb and it is beautiful.  Once she has seen the finished project I will post photos.  That quilt was a learning experience for me! 

Emmi and played soccer a couple times today.  She is the most comical little thing—obsessed with that orange soccer ball!

IMG_1183 IMG_1177 Kick it to me again Mom, kick it!!!IMG_1174 Now I’m tired!!

Michael did some more work on a cattle guard and our road today at least using the backhoe which has an enclosed cab.

We were busy all day—doesn’t sound like much when you are writing a blog though!

A friend sent us the following:

Indian saying Enjoy!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

A Dreary Sunday

Cold, bitter wind all day with storms blowing through every couple hours—spitting snow and sleet.  We did take a walk but our pace was a little faster than usual trying to get out of the wind.  Emmi and I got in a couple soccer games with her new bright orange soccer ball.

Joe and Jeff came up just before lunch to thank me for the birthday treats I left and to get us all caught up on what’s going on in their family and the beer world.  Joe is the marketing director for a major US brewing company.

Michael cleaned our cattle guards—I wondered about his sanity in deciding to do this type project outside in an excavator without a cab!  But he was warmly dressed and off he went.  For those of you who don’t know about cattle guards—they are heavy steel grates placed over a deeply dug hole—we can drive over these guards but animals such as horses or cows won’t cross the cattle guard, thus the guards serve as a gate without having to open a swinging gate.  The deep holes fill in every couple of years with mud and gravel which washes down the road into the holes.  Michael lifts the cattle guard off its supports and digs out the holes. 

And as for me—I’ve been either playing soccer with Emmi or quilting.  I am getting closer to the end of this quilt. 


This photo shows one of the storms that blew through today.

A friend sent us the following joke and I loved it!!

A teenage boy had just passed  his driving test and inquired of his father as to when they  could discuss his use of the car.
His father said he'd  make a deal with his son: 'You bring your grades up from a C  to a B average, study your Bible a little, and get your hair  cut. Then we'll talk about the car.'
The boy thought  about that for a moment, decided he'd settle for the offer,  and they agreed on it.
After about six weeks his father  said, 'Son, you've brought your grades up and I've observed  that you have been studying your Bible, but I'm disappointed  you haven't had your hair cut.
The boy said, 'You know,  Dad, I've been thinking about that, and I've noticed in my  studies of the Bible that Samson had long hair, John the  Baptist had long hair, Moses had long hair...and there's  even strong evidence that Jesus had long hair.' 
You're going to love the Dad's  reply:

'Did you also notice they all walked  everywhere they went?'

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Yesterday and Today

I spent the day trying to quilt yesterday and didn’t seem to accomplish much!  But I really did get at least one pass made with the longarm.  Today I made a lot more progress, the end is in sight!!!  Yippee!!!

Michael has spent a lot of time looking for used running boards to fit the truck we bought a few weeks ago.  He found a set in Livingston and I bargained with him—I will go with you to get the running boards if you buy me dinner!  So, off we went.

First, though, we went back up the Boulder to take some photographs of the fireplace insert Michael has been building for a very old cabin up there.  It is a cool old cabin which has been in the remodel stage for several years.  IMG_2263 IMG_2262 Michael had to add masonry around the insert, the fireplace was huge!  With time those rocks will darken and look like the rest of the fireplace.  It was fun to see that old cabin, I had never been in it before.

We took the back road over the mountain to Livingston stopping at Lonn and LoraLee’s to deliver some thread to LoraLee.  The running boards were purchased and by this time without reservations we were afraid we couldn’t get into the Rib and Chop House on a Friday night.  We settled for the local Mexican restaurant and yep, it was settling—not the best!

On our way to Livingston, sunset over the Crazy Mountains was breathtaking!IMG_2270 IMG_2269 

Nat came up for lunch today, I made Chicken Fettuccine and we also enjoyed the red velvet brownies with cream cheese icing I had made.  The majority of the brownies went down to Joe and Tammy’s—their son celebrated his first birthday away from home at college here in Montana.  Joe was flying in this morning to spend the weekend with Jeff and I took most of those delicious brownies down to their house—complete with candles! 

Tonight we are going out to the Road Kill Cafe—a local institution.   When I came here 17 years ago, the McLeod Bar, aka Road Kill Cafe was fun, the food was good—homemade french fries, real hamburgers, in the winter on Friday and Saturday nights, the best steaks anywhere.  Many memories were made in that bar—Christmas tree trimming parties, summer McLeod marathon parties, Halloween parties.  The first time I was ever in the McLeod Bar with Michael 17 years ago a party of people came in, one of the men in the group spoke to Michael calling him by name.  After the group had finished their dinner they came up to the bar to pay the tab—the man pulled up a bar stool and began to talk to Michael (this is only our second date).  I kept thinking, geez, that man looks familiar!  As the man continues to visit with Michael I realized, that’s Tom Brokaw!!   Yep, McLeod, Montana is home to many of the rich and famous.

Well, about five years ago the bar was sold and that was the end of the good times.  The bar was owned by people who were perpetually drunk and there were rumors of drug dealing.  The food was inedible and we just stopped going.  This past summer the bar sold again to a single woman from New Jersey.  She gutted it and is trying to bring the bar back from the dead.  Tonight we joined our friends Jim and Kathy at the McLeod Bar for the first time in many years.  The bar at this time serves only sandwiches, soups and some salads.  The new owner hopes to expand the kitchen to include burgers, etc. soon and we are ready.  The new decor is beautiful and clean—a place we would be glad to go to again.  Maybe we can make new memories.

Cold, cold, nasty weather today, even a snowstorm.  Tonight the wind is howling.  And that’s it for our Saturday.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Veteran’s Day

Today we in the United States celebrate Veteran’s Day—a day to thank the men and women who defended our country in past horrific wars and who are still defending us to this day.  Thank you, all of you!!

Nat in uniform Large Web view Nat in about 1942, he served as a bomber aboard B29 aircraft during World War II.

Michael in uniform Large Web view Michael in 1964, my what a handsome soldier!  Michael served in the Army Reserves during the Vietnam War.

And Laci, our Granddaughter who served a tour in Iraq and is currently serving in the USAF in Italy. 

Thank you all so much for helping to maintain our freedoms.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Luncheon and A Whole Lot Of Not Much Else

Wow, Apple does take care of you.  I spoke with the Apple people yesterday afternoon on our way home from Billings, the young lady said my box would ship out for overnight delivery and I should receive the box on Friday.  About 4pm, the Federal Express man drove in our driveway a day early!!!  In order to send the iPod back I would have had to go to town tomorrow.  I asked the young man if he would mind waiting while I packaged up the iPod and he readily agreed.  I was impressed!  So, off it went, overnight to where ever Apple is.

My friend Jeane is on the board of a local organization Sweet Grass Health and Wellness.  They held  a fundraising luncheon in Big Timber today and I was one of Jeane’s guests.  The entertainment was so cool, little tiny tikes, 2-5 years old hoola hooping!  It was amazing how long one little boy could keep that adult size hoola hoop up around his waist.  He received a rousing round of applause!! 

I ran a couple errands, one of which involved dropping off color cards for thread to one of my quilting buddies, Mary, who is the financial officer at the local health care facility, Pioneer Medical Center.  While there I decided to go visit some elderly friends in the nursing home—Jim was glad to see me, recognized me and I promised to go back with Michael in tow.  Jim and his late wife Beryl at one time owned the ranch that adjoins ours.  Maxine and her late husband Barney used to own another ranch just up the road from us—not sure Maxine recognized me—she was intent on playing a nursing home version of the TV show Wheel of Fortune. 

Michael finished his fireplace project up the Boulder today and that is the last of his jobs for the season or so he thought!  One of the neighbors of the woman who contracted with Michael to build the trail up the side of the mountain wants a trail up the back of her property—she waylaid me at the luncheon today.  So, he may not be finished!  On the other hand, the weather forecast for the weekend is for snow so any more excavating work may be on hold till spring. 

And other than playing with Emmi, that’s about it for our Thursday.

When Emmi wants something she can be VERY persistent.  Her spot of choice is Michael’s lap and here is what she does if something other than herself is occupying the lap:IMG_1165 She gives him the “stare.”  And she can maintain that stare for a long, long time until he finally gives in and moves the computer over to the side table.IMG_1166 Finally, she says!!

One of our local rancher friends has a field which grew grain this summer.  Throughout the fall we have noticed several pheasants eating up the leftovers.

IMG_1168 IMG_1167

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

What A Day

Geez, when you haven’t been to the big city in a month it makes for a very, very long day.  Couple that with frustrations and it makes for an even longer day!

Did you know that if you purchase an Apple product at a Best Buy store and it dies in less than a year Best Buy will do absolutely nothing about it????  And as we live in Montana, a state that even FedEx has trouble finding sometimes, there is no Apple store.  Nope, not one Apple store.  So, Apple is now sending me overnight a box with which to ship my iPod back to them—they will then ship me a new one overnight.  I have to say, at least Apple is going the extra mile!

We were surprised last year when researching the purchase of the iPod that Costco does not sell Apple products.  The young man who helped us said that Apple would not work with Costco and so Costco chose not to sell their products.  Costco stands behind the electronics they sell—you can return anything within one year of purchase and you get your money back.  Guess where I’m shopping for electronics from now on.  After the non-service Best Buy gave us on the Toshiba laptop I purchased for Michael last Christmas and now this, nope, not sure I’m gonna be a Best Buy shopper any more!

Michael got his eyes examined at Costco and that’s another story.  I got a much needed haircut and an even more needed coloring of the gray!  We had lunch at Famous Dave’s then it was on to Costco where began the next frustration—yep, even Costco wasn’t immune today!

What store in their right mind would rearrange the whole store right before the holiday season???  I swear it took us twice as long to shop for groceries today.  And they didn’t do a minor overhaul—it was major!!!  Gum and candy, used to be at the front of the store, nope, all the way in the back now.  Couldn’t find the peanut butter for the longest time.  Every woman I passed in the aisles was grumbling under her breath about the “new look”!!!  GEEZ!!

So, here it is after 7pm and we are just now sitting down after unloading our truck!  Had a great chat with Rollie on the way home—he and Gina along with Rollie’s sister Dana and her husband Ricky are headed off on a cruise this weekend.  I told Rollie that since he would have so much free time on this cruise, maybe he could write a blog????

A long day and good to be home.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

A Relaxing Day

I fretted about that challenging quilt during the night and this morning made up my mind to solve my dilemma!  I am doing a design in the many, many little triangles and squares called continuous curve.  In the quilting world I knew there was a way to do this continuous curve business without ever having to stop and tie off your threads, I’d done it before on other quilts, I just couldn’t get my path right on this one. 

A couple years ago I took a quilting class from the national educator for the company which manufactured my longarm and I had kept the notes.  Once I saw Dawn’s comment—“treat it like a house, finish one floor before starting another,”  the light bulb went off, hurray!!!  I am now doing continuous curve at the speed of light—well, not quite!  So, now I am relaxed about this quilt!

Shirley came up this morning to purchase some flannel and batting—she has her own personal quilt store, just up the hill.  We had a short little visit before she left to sew.

Michael came really close to finishing his fireplace insert project up the Boulder this morning and is very pleased.  After he came home for lunch we headed into Big Timber for some tire work on his new work truck and for me to get a massage. 

Now I am really relaxed.  We were in town just as the sun was setting, forgive the light poles, railroad tracks, traffic signs—the sunset was just too beautiful not to photographIMG_2257

On our way home tonight we saw two raccoons crossing the road, two pheasants and a million deer—one was a huge buck mule deer right by the road.  Life is good up the Boulder.


Monday, November 7, 2011

Quilting and Cutting Wood

The title just about tells you everything we did today!  I quilted all day—there is a challenging quilt on the frame and I have struggled for inspiration!  Today I just went for it, didn’t have to do much ripping, only a little.

Michael went up the Boulder and worked on his fireplace project until noon and after lunch he spent the afternoon working hard cutting up firewood.  And even harder splitting it by hand!  I bet he has some sore muscles tomorrow! 

It was another day with sunshine but cold, I think it was a balmy 10 degrees when we got up early again this morning.  Maybe by the end of the week we will have our internal clocks regulated???

While our granddaughter Laci was home recently the family took the opportunity to have family portraits made.  A young lady from Livingston, Jesse Sarrazin took the photos and the results were fantastic. 

Clark Family-1

Lonn is on the left with Laci, our USAF granddaughter, LoraLee, Katie and her husband Michael. 

Clark Family2-1

I really like this one!

And that’s it for our Monday.

Sunday, November 6, 2011

A Cold Sunday

Whew, sunshine coupled with a bitter wind does not make for warm temperatures.  Nasty outside today!  We did manage to get in a couple walks.  I am all ready envying Rick and Paulette their palm trees, green grass and sunshine!IMG_1147

Nat came up for lunch, when he arrived Emmi met him at the door and just “talked and talked” to him.  Made his day I think, he is quite fond of that Emmi girl!  IMG_1156

My iPod died!!!  My less than a year old iPod died!!!  Sure makes for boring quilting—I can’t listen to my audiobook!  Guess we will return it to Best Buy when we go to Billings.

Rod over at Retired Rod has been complaining about strange calls to his cellphone—foreign speaking people wanting loans, etc.  Yesterday when we were getting all the excavator calls the phone rang, it was a strange number we didn’t recognize and had no name attached.  We answered the phone as we were trying to sell something and it was my Mom!!!  Not her cell phone number and when Michael looked up the area code—the Bronx, New York!!!  Later in the day Mom called again, same thing—strange, different number and not her cell number!  Weird phone happenings around the country!

IMG_1145 Photo of Michael’s stove he built—it is working well!



Saturday, November 5, 2011

Our First Real Snow Fall

When I let Emmi out first thing this morning little tiny snowflakes were drifting down.  We probably accumulated about two-three inches.  It has stayed cold all day and now is snowing a little again.


Last night about 7pm I listed our old Komatsu mini-excavator on Craigslist.  The last time Michael used it—remember the story of me pushing the machine up onto the trailer with the backhoe—well, it needs a new engine and Michael felt as if he has done enough mechanic-ing lately.  So, he decided to sell it. 

By 9pm we had five or six calls about it with one guy committing to come look today.  At 9pm we shut down the phones—when we built this house my handy husband installed a switch—all we have to do is turn the switch off and all our phones stop ringing and go to voicemail. 

When Michael got up this morning there were two phone messages and two emails.  One of the phone guys said he would take it sight unseen if the guy coming to look didn’t buy the machine.  Before the looker got here we probably had another 5-6 calls!!!!  The guy wrote the check and left to return for the excavator when the weather is better.  Wish we had about 10 of those to sell!!!  Oh, and by the way, the buyer knows it needs a new engine!!! 

I finished one customer quilt and loaded another one today.  Spent some time just sitting in a chair staring at this one looking for inspiration.

And that’s about it for our exciting Saturday. 

Friday, November 4, 2011

All I Did Today Was Quilt

My Dad used to say, “I wore out my hide last night tossing and turning.”  Well, I think that’s what I did last night.  I’ve had another stupid cold or something—I’m beginning to think it is allergies cause I never give it to anyone else—and spent a great deal of the night tossing and coughing.  Feeling better today but still have the cough. 

Spent the entire day working on a customer quilt but that’s not quite true, I did sew the binding down on the table runner I made at quilt retreat.  A while back Judy from Patchwork Times showed how to sew a binding by machine.  Bindings are traditionally sewn onto the edges of the quilt’s front, turned to the back and stitched down by hand.  I tried Judy’s method of pinning and using the sewing machine once and wasn’t very successful but today I gave it another go on the table runner and was mostly successful!  And it is just a table runner and it is for me.IMG_1125

Michael went up the Boulder and worked on his fireplace/stove project again this morning then spent the afternoon out in shop puttering.

And that’s it for our Friday, snow is in our forecast for tonight—I could do without that!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Sewing Machine Day

Jeane came up this morning and we sat and stumbled through some exercises on our smarter than us sewing machines.  We enjoyed a lunch of homemade spaghetti sauce over whole wheat pasta and a great salad.  Then it was off to LoraLee’s (she has the exact machine Jeane and I purchased) for more sewing machine lessons!  Now, I won’t say I’m a computer expert by any means, I’ve been known to bend Rick’s ear for computer advice, I’ve been known to turn the air blue when the dumb computer won’t cooperate, but let me tell you, these computerized sewing machines are way smarter than me!  It was a fun afternoon and we gained a lot of valuable advice!

Back home we found Michael had installed the new stove he built for downstairs in our basement.  He put a glass door on the front, now it looks so welcoming when you go down the stairs.  Cool!!  And this stove is bigger so will hold wood which will burn for a longer time than the other stove.

And not much else went on in our world today—I did talk to Brenda today—hope she gets those jeep problems resolved!  And as usual, she was cooking away!


Sunrise over the East Boulder this morning.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Success, The Engine Is Out

IMG_1111 This was at 2:30pm this afternoon—this little old thermometer read 10 above early this morning, BRRRR!

Michael went up the Boulder to do some more fireplace work and when he came home managed to get the engine out of the Ford truck.  He comes into the quilting studio and asks, “can you come help me a minute?”  Sure, why not—whoa, wait a minute, you want me to operate the backhoe????  What if I drop the thing???  What if I ding up the truck????IMG_1106 Success, the engine has cleared the truck and I didn’t destroy anything!  Michael finished up the job-IMG_1109 Thank goodness we have equipment!

I spent the day working on a customer quilt and got about halfway—yea!  I have lots of quilts to finish before we leave for the winter and it makes my day when things go well! 

Emmi girl was outside all day—as long as the sun is shining she is a happy girl in spite of the cold.  She needed her coat this morning--IMG_1102

And since Mr. Rollie is way too busy to write a blog I wanted all you guys out there to see Rollie, Gina and their new grandbaby—Abigail Faith—she is absolutely adorableThurstons Michael remarked when he saw the photos, “she has more hair than her Grandpa!”  Such a little sweetheart! 

Congratulations to Kelly over at the Bayfield Bunch—she has a new grandbaby, too.