http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: July 2013

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

We Went To Billings AGAIN

Yep, again.  We really, really try hard to organize all our appointments for the same day but sometimes it just won’t work.  I had appointments for a haircut (made five weeks ago) and an eye exam today and of course I couldn’t get the appointment with the orthopedic surgeon for today, only for yesterday, so off we went again this morning.  My hip feels better, the ride to Billings didn’t make me want to scream so the trip to the surgeon was worth it yesterday.


Michael had some routine blood work drawn then we headed for Costco where I had my eyes examined and ordered new glasses and contacts.  Up in the Heights we retrieved another hat Michael had Law Dog Hats clean for him—a black one—I’m not used to seeing my sweet cowboy in a black hat! 

Lunch at our favorite place, Jake’s then off to look at new cars—nope, we aren’t in the market for a new car but Nat seems to be!!  Nat has a truck, a nice Chevrolet, six years old with only 30,000 miles on it.  A couple years ago he started saying he wanted a new truck and we talked him out of it.  Now he has become more insistent—he wants a smaller vehicle, easier for him to get into and he wants Michael and I to buy it!!!! 

I suggested he and Michael go look at vehicles when they go to the dermatologist in Billings next week.  Nat’s reply, “no, I want nothing to do with looking at cars, I want you and Mike to do it.”  I said, “now wait a minute, what if you don’t like the one we pick???”  Nat replies, “well then I would have someone to blame now wouldn’t I???”  Good grief—he is 91 years old, a truck with 30,000 miles on it is going to last his lifetime for sure but oh, well—I guess we are car shopping!!!!  Smile Smile

Finally we are home and relaxing.  I am filling the hummingbird feeders at least once a day, watering plants once a day, there is always something to do!


A friend had this posted on Facebook today—I love it!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Granddaughters And Health Care

We have the best granddaughters—Laci is about to leave the military after serving over five years and doing a tour in Iraq.  She is now married to a wonderful man, John, who is also in the USAF and is staying in.  She posted this photo on Facebook recently and I loved it!

Don’t know who the grinning guy behind her is.

Photo: Dirty dash Brooke Griffin Kmetz Mitch Bundy Wyatt Hammersmark Elly Gilbert JaworsAnd I will probably catch heck for posting this photo of Katie but I like it too.  This is the second year she has participated in this race and somehow she conned her husband Michael into keeping  her company this year—Katie and Michael are the couple on the left.  I took the following quote from the Billings Gazette,”

“The Dirty Dash tours towns across the western U.S., partnering with a local charity in each town. In Billings, Dirty Dash teamed up with the YMCA, which will receive a percentage of the registration fees from the event.

Pre-race day registration fees started at $35 a person and increased until Saturday, when it cost $55 to do the mud run.”

OK—health care and NO, I am not jumping into any bear pit this time!!!  I am actually giving the ole USA health care a pat on the back today!!  For over two years I’ve had hip pain—only when sitting or laying down—it would wake me up at night hurting, riding in a car (which you all know we do a lot of around here) really causes it to flare.  I tried the regular stuff—exercise, Advil, massage, heat, ice, etc., avoiding going to the doctor as my then health insurance had a $6000 deductible.  All the remedies I tried helped some but there was still that aggravating ache.

Fast forward to Michael working for Rollie, having great health insurance and me continuing that health insurance under the COBRA law.  I’ve met the deductible due to the procedures I had on my varicose veins while in Texas.  I saw a family practice physician last Thursday and was referred to an orthopedic surgeon whom I saw today—that’s fast!! 

Young guy with an excellent bedside manner—I gave him lots of grief as any self respecting retired operating room nurse manager should!!  I asked him, “are you a pain in the butt in the OR or are you one of the few nice ones??”  When he stopped laughing he replied, “I would like to think I am the latter.” 

OK—diagnosis—bursitis.  The surgeon paid me a great compliment as he was injecting my hip, “gee, this is great, I rarely get to do any sort of procedures on people as skinny as you.”  I could have hugged him, it’s been a long time since anyone called me skinny!!! Smile

On to Costco to pick up the prescription for an anti-inflammatory and I got another shock.  When I changed the health insurance to a COBRA policy I received a new prescription drug plan card in the mail.  I presented that little card, the young woman comes back out with my pills and said, “that will be $0.70.”  I almost fainted!  Seems it is an inexpensive drug but my little ole drug plan knocked another $5.00 off the cost making the pills only $0.70 for a thirty day supply!! 

So, I am thrilled with my USA healthcare experience today at least!! 

Michael had a great day too—he and four other guys took the ATV’s up the Boulder to Independence, an old abandoned gold mining ghost town. 

Emmi stayed home alone and was thrilled to see me!!

Monday, July 29, 2013

Busy, Busy Day

Strange weather for August—our high temp today was under 70 degrees and it was cloudy a large portion of the day.  It rained just a bit during the night—we were hoping for more.  After our walk, Michael tended to his irrigating water and I pulled weeds.  We have this nasty vine which attaches itself to other plants—the seeds of this plant are little round, sticky green balls which attach themselves to every inch of Emmi when she chooses to do her business around this weed.  When I saw her covered in those little green balls once again this morning, I declared war on that weed!IMG_7559

Michael decided today was a good day to work on his truck—the 1995 diesel which several years ago ran well one day and didn’t run the next day.  This truck has stumped my handy husband, every summer we drag the truck down the hill and into the garage where Michael tries to figure out what’s wrong with it.  A while back, he ordered a set of Ford Motor shop manuals and today he made progress—maybe it will run soon!

After lunch I finished loading LoraLee’s quilt on the frame and started with the design which is going to be stunning—wish I could stay home and work on it tomorrow instead of going to Billings!

The robins flew the coop at some point in time—we now have empty nest syndrome! Winking smileIMG_7553


Saturday, July 27, 2013

Trying Out The New Toys

We were smarter this morning—up early, walked and took off on the 4-wheelers while it was still cool!  And we had a ball—we went up the East Boulder to Moccasin Lake. 

The wind blew in the smoke from the multiple forest fires burning in Montana so the scenery was not as good as it could have been plus there was the smell of smoke in the air—but in spite of smoke it was a glorious morning.  I am NOT an athlete and have no desire to ride these machines hanging off the side of cliffs, I have no desire to race up the side of mountains—I just want to ride along, look at the gorgeous scenery, take photos, stop and have snacks and be with my husband and pooch. 

Michael has traveled the route we took today but only in winter on a snow machine—he said it was a whole different world with no snow on the ground!  Wildflowers were everywhere in spite of the lateness of the season, the little creeks were still running—it was just beautiful.  We are going to love these new toys!


IMG_2699Moccasin LakeIMG_2701


The wind which brought the smoke also brought cooler temps so I guess it was a good trade???

Friday, July 26, 2013

Leaving The Nest and New Toys

Remember my baby robins with no feathers all crunched down in the nest—this photo was taken on July 22. 

IMG_7527Today as I was coming in the basement door I caught sight of this baby robin standing on the edge of the nest—he looked as if he was thinking it might be a long way to the ground.  I bet the nest is empty tomorrow—isn’t it amazing how fast they grow!!


We have new toys, Michael headed back to Billings with truck and trailer this morning, bringing home these:

IMG_2683Pretty fancy I must say, they even have power steering—a lot easier to ride than any other 4-wheeler I was ever on.  We are looking forward to taking lots of rides “up the Boulder.”  We took our first ride late this afternoon up Elk Creek just checking out the scenery.  Even Ms. Emmi got to go along:



IMG_2674I think as we get older it is easy to get into a rut and Michael and I were in one, too much work, too much time on the computer—it was time to put some fun back in our lives—off we go!  We’ve got a little trip planned, more on that later!

While Michael was in Billings I made lots of head way on the customer quilt now on the frame.  If we are taking a trip, I need to be caught up!

Another scorcher day in Montana—UGH!

Thursday, July 25, 2013

A Feeding Frenzy

When we lived in the house on the larger ranch we had lots and lots of hummingbirds—I would fill and the birds would empty two hummingbird feeders per day.  When we moved “up the creek” to our new house we didn’t ever have as many hummingbirds—one feeder would last several days.  In the last few days our hummingbird population has exploded, I am back to filling a feeder per day—is it because George and Shirley left for Vancouver Island and their hungry hummers are looking for groceries??  Here’s a video I took at “dinner” time last night, turn up your sound and you can hear the hummers chirping and buzzing.

We made a trip to Billings today—we both had appointments with new doctors—I really liked the doctor I saw, Michael’s was a dud!  For quite some time I’ve been having issues with my hip and decided it was time to get an opinion—well, this doctor referred me to an orthopedic surgeon, we will see what he has to say next week. 

Our usual stops at Costco and Wal Mart were also on the agenda, we enjoyed a delicious lunch at Jake’s and made another really fun stop where we purchased two items—more on that later when we have retrieved the purchase!  Winking smile

At Nat’s Michael helped him change out the fluorescent light bulbs in all his fixtures in the horseshoe pitching building—it entails being up on scaffolding to reach the 12 foot ceilings, something we really don’t want Nat to do!  We enjoyed a pizza with Nat before heading for home.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Another Scorcher

Michael headed over to the West Boulder this morning to retrieve his equipment and was back before lunch time.  He spent his day replacing the tires on the jeep and irrigating.  We both spent a lot of time indoors as did Emmi—it was a scorcher outside, 92 degrees. 

Here are some irrigating photos to kind of explain how the process works—when this country was settled people knew water would be important.  Water rights were applied for and granted as far back as the 1800’s.  The water rights on this land we own date back to 1899.  We have the second oldest water rights on Elk Creek meaning there is another person in line in front of us for irrigating water—he happens to be a very wealthy individual and has bought the three larger ranches which surround us.  So far we have managed to maintain good relationships with his employees—essential when you are talking water!!    Back in the wild west men were killed over water rights—even in Michael’s day people he personally knows have been threatened with guns over water usage!!  Neighbors and friends became enemies over stolen water or hording of water.  Downright scary when down south all people have to do is wait for it to rain!!!

There is a main head gate about six miles from us which is opened allowing the water from the creek to flow into the main ditches.  We control the water which rolls into our ditches with a series of head gates and with dam material.  IMG_7532

IMG_7533Water dammed and flowing out through a series of cuts we make in the ditch:


The water flows across the pastures into the next set of ditches which we also dam allowing the water to flow across the next field.  If we have lots of water, the dams need to be moved at least twice a day if not more.  Sometimes the neighbors send us too much water and we have water, water everywhere—flowing down the driveway, etc.

And there you have it, Irrigating 101. 

And hey Robyn and Claire—that horse of yours just loves to pull up the irrigating dams we’ve set!! Smile

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I Was Busy Today

Before Michael took off for the West Boulder he got the irrigating started and it seems as if that’s all I did the rest of the day—didn’t want any water running down the road so I kept a close eye on the flow.  I did go to yoga this morning and thoroughly enjoyed it—our yoga is a relaxed session, no one gets uptight about not being able to do some of the poses, Shine, Nancy’s dog comes to the door and stands up looking in as if to say, “come on, Mom, I know you are in there,” making us all laugh with his antics.  It is a great group of women. 

After I irrigated and had some lunch—I am enjoying fresh lettuce from the garden—I checked the water one more time before making a quick run into town for some groceries and horse fly spray.  The bugs are unmerciful to the horses this time of year—we use a bug spray called Tri-Tec and I almost fainted when told the price today, $72/gallon!!!!  Sure am glad that gallon will probably last us a couple years—it lasts several days on the horses unless it rains.  Our horses are so cooperative when it comes to being sprayed with the stuff, I don’t even have to halter them, just bring them some treats and they just stand there letting me spray them down with that stuff made from gold! Smile 

There are several forest fires burning in Montana, it is hot, dry and windy, our humidity was 12% today—a forest fire waiting for a place to happen. Emigrant fire grows to 420 acres This photo borrowed from the Billings Gazette is of the fire near the community of Emigrant where Emmi came from. 

The last couple days Michael has been doing a little project for our friends Terry and Boo—developing some springs—and the heat has just about done him in, he comes in exhausted but he finished today and said he wasn’t taking any more jobs until it cools off, if then!

We had a delicious dinner—the crispy herbed chicken I discovered the recipe for a few weeks ago and corn on the cob.  Yum! 

Monday, July 22, 2013

Mountains and Dogs and Birds

We are so blessed to live here—I can remember vividly the first time Michael brought me “up the Boulder” and gave me a tour of his land and partially finished home.  It must have been love, too—this city girl moved into a house which had a wood burning cook stove, a refrigerator and a dishwasher.  No sink but a dishwasher—the cowboy had his priorities straight!  No kitchen cabinets, no flooring—only particle board, yep, it must have been love.  We had some glorious times in that house as this was our view from there--IMG_7515Michael was working as a ranch manager on a place near Big Timber and housing was provided.  The house on the East Boulder had very little furniture—a bed, an old dining table and a wicker couch in the living room.  We used to pull that wicker couch up in front of the big windows looking out over this view, prop our feet on the window sill and drink wine and eat popcorn.  I have never been happier in spite of that wood burning cook stove, which by the way, I did learn to use very well!

IMG_7512 Nat came for lunch Sunday and Emmi decided his lap was the place to be—he isn’t asleep, just looking down at her.  She rarely gets in anyone’s lap other than Michael’s or mine—Nat was tickled she chose to honor him! 


IMG_7527And we have another nest of robin babies—the nest is in the same spot year after year—we have hops vines growing up the deck support timbers--the robins build their nest on the crossbeams of the deck support sheltered by the huge leaves of the hops plants. 

I finished Gina’s quilt today and got another one loaded—until I realized the backing was going the wrong direction, the “tree” pattern in the fabric was going sideways instead of up and down.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Wedding

Laci and John arrived about 9am—seems Laci was in need of a nurse—I knew she was coming over.  She had a smallpox scar removed the other day and today was the day for the stitches to be removed.  Laci and John are here from Great Falls for the weekend and the wedding.  Grandma didn’t hurt her too bad and she didn’t faint—it’s a good thing.

We really took it easy today—reading, surfing the internet.  Michael did mow some grass and I loaded a backing onto the longarm frame but that’s about it.

This afternoon we drove into town to attend the wedding—Brittany, the bride, is the daughter of friends Terry and Shelly.  Michael and I took Brittany and Laci to Mexico when they graduated from high school about five years ago—she is a special young woman.

IMG_2656-001Brittany and Darrell—the happy couple.  Photos taken without flash in a darkened church don’t turn out so well.

IMG_2662Our granddaughter Laci and her husband John.


It was a warm one today and again we had that same old problem here in Montana—there are probably less than 30 days a year where air conditioning is a welcome convenience—the church wasn’t air conditioned and neither was the American Legion hall where the reception was held.  We left before the dancing started—I was starting to feel like a limp dishrag as we say in the south! 

Friday, July 19, 2013

Where Was Rollie When We Needed Him??

In 2010 when Michael was so ill and Gina and Rollie were staying here with us we experienced septic tank issues—because we live on the side of a hill beside a creek we must by law have our drain field located somewhere else—in our case up the hill in the field.  That means we have two septic tanks and the liquids are pumped up the hill to that drain field.  Our pump failed when Rollie and Gina were here.  While Michael could operate the mini-excavator for the digging he was physically unable to do much else—Rollie was a God send to say the least.

IMG_7507Look familiar Rollie????

Well—today I was doing a load of laundry and heard water gurgling in the sink—uh,oh—that never happens.  I quickly shut off the washer and waited for Michael to come back.  My news of course did not make him a happy man! Sad smileWith all that said, we had a blockage in the line which comes from the house into the first tank.  Here’s what my handy husband used as a “snake” for clearing the pipe--

IMG_7509Yep, barbed wire, only a rancher!

I did some weed whacking and caught up the ironing—exciting, huh! 

My day lilies are loaded with blossoms this year—sure hope Emmi can keep those deer run out of the yard!!


Thursday, July 18, 2013

An Oldie But A Goodie!

A couple weeks ago Dawn Cavanaugh, Director of Education for APQS, the company which manufactured my longarm called me asking if I would be willing to do a service call in Whitehall, MT.  I am a dealer/representative for the company—off we went this morning leaving Emmi with Nat as usual.

What we found in Whitehall was an Ultimate I—sold in 1994 to a delightful lady, Rose.  Non-stitch regulated, very basic machine with no bells and whistles—none, not even a needle up/needle down button.  And you should see the quilting this woman turns out with this machine—she gave us a mini trunk show when we got her machine re-timed, tension adjusted, belts adjusted, oiled, etc.



IMG_7494Look at those feathers and look at the gorgeous, perfect stitches—remember NON-STITCH REGULATED!!

IMG_7495IMG_7497There is cording under each row of stitching in this crosshatch pattern.


IMG_7500She was attending the big quilt show in Puyallup, WA one year after she made this quilt. She dropped by the booth for the company selling the embroidery software used to create the quilt and showed them a photo of it.  They asked if the quilt could be taken to Japan for a quilt show there—she gave permission but said she didn’t rest very easy until that quilt was back in her hands again. 

IMG_7503I wish I had looked at the photo I took before leaving as Rose has the most beautiful blue eyes.  We spent a delightful time with she and Daisy Mae—her seven month old Boston bull terrier. 

It was a great day—we enjoyed a scenic drive home through Willow Creek, had lunch at a cafĂ© in Three Forks, stopped for some groceries and made it home just about 7pm!  If you are looking for an excellent book, read, Blind Your Ponies, by Stanley Gordan West, a novel set in Willow Creek, MT.  A basketball coach with 93 consecutive losses is about to quit coaching when he gets a look at the new kid in town—a 6’ 11” Norwegian exchange student—this kid and the other four players on the team become a sensation—one of the best books I’ve ever read.