http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: June 2014

Sunday, June 29, 2014


It was so cold this morning jackets were required attire for our walk—the wind was cold and howling.  Yep, it’s almost July in Montana.  I think by the end of this week we should see some 80 degree temps—I’m ready!!

Mom and Chuck arrived about 10am this morning—it sure was good to see them!  I think I’ve mentioned Mom is spending the summer cooking for a dude ranch over in Ennis, MT—a ranch where she cooked while my Dad was still alive.  The ranch has not had guests for several years and now the granddaughter and her husband are giving it a go asking Mom to return as their cook.  Chuck is helping out at the ranch and is also driving a fly fishing/rafting shuttle—all that training Rollie gave him is paying off!! Smile

We enjoyed a great visit and a wonderful Sunday lunch—pork tenderloin, smashed potatoes, melon salad and some more of that to die for coffee/dark chocolate homemade ice cream.  Nat was to have joined us but was feeling a little under the weather.

After Mom and Chuck left to head back to Ennis the cowboy mounted a tractor and started to cut hay.  I mowed the grass and played ball with the pooch.  About 5:30 I retrieved Michael and we headed over to the West Boulder.  He wanted to check on his road project to make sure it was dry enough for a gravel delivery tomorrow—it is.  It’s such a beautiful drive—saw this little family:



Life is good!

Saturday, June 28, 2014

Small Town USA

Although the weather didn’t cooperate for most of the day, it was still a spectacular small town USA celebration in Big Timber today.  It’s late June and it’s rodeo weekend—friends and family from near and far turn out to celebrate our small town-ness making it hard to maneuver the streets and sidewalks without stopping to greet a friend and catch a hug or two. 

IMG_1698Jill admiring our friend Dava’s car—it belonged to her late dad.

I felt sorry for the street vendors selling goods and food—they were all having a hard time hanging onto their tents in the wind—with most of them packing up and leaving when the rain started just after noon.  But by the time the parade started at 2pm, the wind was still blowing but the sun was out and we found a prime spot for watching.


IMG_1693The little children standing next to us began to shout, “it’s coming, it’s coming!!” and here the parade came led by our friend Stuart carrying the United States flag down the main street of our little town packed with people.  I love watching as off come the many cowboy hats and hands fold across our hearts in respect for the flag.

IMG_1702IMG_1704The volunteer fire department of Sweet Grass County, MT has a lot of equipment—it was all spiffed up for this parade and the fundraiser breakfast the firemen held early this morning. 


IMG_1713I love this photo—the kid was looking right at my camera, he was tickled pink to be driving this old John Deere.IMG_1712IMG_1720

IMG_1740Our friend JoJo and her team of horses.

IMG_1734Even the dogs got to ride in the parade!!

And, not only is it rodeo weekend but our Carnegie Library is celebrating its centennial birthday—100 years.  A few years ago our library underwent an extensive remodel and is very nice and modern inside—the outside still retains its old time character.


On days like today, I am so glad we live in a small town!

Thursday, June 26, 2014

A Surprise

Several years ago when we created a new garden spot below the house on the creek bank, I discovered a packet of seeds for poppy flowers mixed in with all the other garden seed packets.  I planted those poppy seeds outside the garden fence by the creek.  Notice I said several years ago—well finally—coming home from yoga on Tuesday I noticed a flash of red down by the creek and investigated—look what I discovered:


IMG_1675Beautiful, vibrant poppies, their petals look like the crepe paper flowers we  made in school.  Today I discovered a pale pink poppy and there are several more about to open—I am so excited!!  We will also have a bumper crop of strawberries if I can beat the birds to them!  We didn’t plant a garden this year as we will be leaving for Alaska late July/early August.

Wow, am I ever tired—I spent seven hours on the longarm today and my back is killing me!!!  Seven hours bending over, stitching in the stitch.  But that deadline quilt is close to being finished!!  Michael is just as tired, he spent all day getting his haying equipment ready—the weather seems to be taking a break from raining starting about Sunday. 

Poor Emmi was feeling neglected—I did play a couple games of “ball” with her and in this photo her ball had become wedged in the rocks—she was so cute standing up looking inside that crevice as if to say, “come on, I know that ball is in here somewhere!!”  Her little tail was going strong!


Life is good!

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

It Was A Girl’s Day


I used to work with a woman who refused to be called a “girl.”  As far as she was concerned if you were an adult you were a woman or a lady.  To me—who cares!!  Today was a yoga girl’s day—sounds better than yoga woman’s day??? 

Michael was off to the West Boulder again finishing up his project for the time being.  I was off to yoga leaving Ms. Emmi holding down the fort.  IMG_1660This is how Lesley and Pilgrim travel to yoga, Lesley gets the motorcycle started and then Pilgrim jumps up.  The afternoon was spent quilting and I finished another one—yippee!!  I almost didn’t finish a quilt and I almost didn’t have a machine—I had my audiobook going in my ears and began to notice these thumps—I took one ear bud out and realized it was thundering.  About that time I heard a loud crack then a sizzle sound and my longarm began stitching all by itself—I rushed to the “off” button and thought, “I’ve fried this expensive sewing machine!”  Our house is wired with a whole house surge protector and the machine is plugged into a very good surge protector.  I held my breath and punched the “on” button—it worked and I finished the quilt—scary!!

Plans were made at yoga for going up to Lesley’s cabin for happy hour this evening.  Mother Nature had other ideas—the thunderstorm we had made things way too muddy so Lesley moved the happy hour to her house.  We had a great time laughing and talking—I am fortunate to have this group of ladies (girls) as friends! 


Life is good.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Back To Quilting and Rick To The Rescue Again

It’s amazing what I can get done when the cat is away—aka, the cowboy! Smile  Finished one small quilt for my friend Gay and loaded another one of those thorny rose quilts—this one belonging to Donna.  It felt good to have my hands on the longarm again!  What with all our camping and traveling to find trucks, I’ve let myself get behind—time to catch up!

My gosh did it rain last evening—from Saturday night to this morning we have had an inch of rain!  Lots of ranchers around here are chomping at the bit to get in the hay fields for a first cutting while my brother Ross in Arkansas is probably on his third cutting!

Michael was off early this morning for the West Boulder doing some work for one of our famous neighbors whose ranch manager just so happens to have had daughters living in Alaska.  Doug is giving us some great tips!

IMG_1650While this guy is not the size of Nina’s buck—he will be impressive by the time fall rolls around.  He and two of his buddies were up on the hill above the house last night probably snacking on my lilac bushes!!

Is anyone still having trouble with the “sitemeter” pop-up asking for a password when reading our blog?  Seems the whole Sitemeter site was having problems, I couldn’t even log on to see if I could figure out what was wrong.  The site is now working so I hope the problems are resolved??

Not long ago I gave in and let iTunes do an update—boy was that a mistake!!  All of a sudden all my iTunes music with the exception of those songs purchased directly from iTunes was gone, vanished!  The songs were still on my iPod and so were my audiobooks but iTunes was empty.  I Googled and Googled trying various things before resorting to sending Rick an email—one of these days I fear he is going to change his email address!!  We tried a couple solutions before finally hitting on one which worked—I downloaded a program which restored iTunes from the iPod.  I’m back in business—evidently I’m not the only one who has had this problem—the forums and chat rooms common to Apple users were full of disgruntled users trying to find solutions to this stupid Apple problem!

Saturday, June 21, 2014

OK Mike, Here It Is

IMG_1641As we began discussing this Alaska trip and truck campers, the cowboy started looking for trucks.  His 1995 truck would probably take us to Alaska and back but it is a single cab—no space to store anything—and we are traveling in a truck camper which has almost zero outside storage.  So, the cowboy has been searching.

We’ve had a difference of opinion regarding the age of the truck we were looking for.  Michael is so disillusioned with newer Ford vehicles after having to remove the engine from our 2004 in order to replace the injectors.  He wanted a vintage truck he could confidently work on, I wanted a newer one.  I refused to buy a truck with a zillion miles on it or one that had been beaten around a ranch for years. 

Last Monday this truck popped up on Craigslist—it’s a 1997 one ton, one owner with only 60,000 actual miles.  The former owner used the truck to pull a large 5th wheel to Yuma, AZ and back to Montana every year—the rest of the time it was garaged.  The guy who owned the truck ordered a basic Ford and then had it customized—thus the paint job and the upholstery.

IMG_1642IMG_1645The trim is real wood, the upholstery is leather.  In the back of the truck is an extra fuel tank with an electric pump and a custom painted tool box plus a 5th wheel hitch—the cowboy is probably going to try selling all that stuff. 

We are both pleased with the truck, Michael drove it home and loved the way it handled.  Today we got out and washed off the mud we acquired coming home Monday night in a rainstorm and I used my carpet cleaner to shampoo the carpets. 

So there you have it Mike McFall—our secret revealed. Smile

This afternoon about 6pm we had our daily thunderstorm—this one was a touch wild for a while! 

Friday, June 20, 2014

Still Using Heat

It’s the 20th of June, tomorrow is the first day of summer yet every morning we are still turning on the heat!!  Each day starts out cool but sunny, by lunch time it is warmer but clouds are building, by 4pm the clouds are darkening and thunder is booming in the distance.  Then it rains—most days only enough to get the ground wet—but enough to keep any thoughts of haying at bay! 

I did get the lawns mowed before it rained, even Tammy and Joe’s down at our former house.  If you have to mow grass it doesn’t hurt to have this kind of view:

IMG_1635The cowboy was taking the mower down to the yard for me—he had welding to do—thus I was the designated mower today.  I mowed our walking paths up in the pastures before lunch and after lunch I tackled the waist high grass along the worm fence by the county road.  In the process I killed the riding mower—nothing the cowboy can’t fix but that was the end of my riding mowing! Sad smileOut came the dreaded weed whacker—thoughts of full time rv-ing kept running through my head all afternoon!!!  Geez, weed whacking is one chore I wouldn’t miss!!  But now all our lawns, paths, driveway edges and fences are neat and tidy—that’s a good thing!  And my back is killing me! Smile

We’ve unloaded the truck camper and hope to stay home for a while—we’ve been on the go.  I haven’t forgotten Mike McFall—I promise to reveal what we purchased last Monday in Dillon soon! 

IMG_1634Wildflowers are gorgeous this year.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Lewis And Clark Caverns State Park

Lewis and Clark never saw these caves but they did travel nearby through this inhospitable valley looking for Indian tribes hoping there would be horses for sale.  They were foot sore, ill and weary.  They never did find the Indian tribes nor did they see these caves.  The federal government in a round about way acquired the caves naming them the Lewis and Clark Caverns.  The caves eventually ended up under the ownership of Montana state becoming Montana’s first state park and a popular one it remains today.

IMG_1615Our friends Terry and Boo just purchased their first ever RV--

IMG_1606and asked us to take a little educating trip with them.  We welcome an excuse to take the rig out and off to Lewis and Clark Caverns State Park we went yesterday afternoon.  Boo and Terry took their dog Rio for a long walk while Michael and I started trying to install mini-blinds on three of the windows in the truck camper.  When they returned we all gathered in their rig for a little happy hour and education on RV’s.  The weather was miserable—raining, cold and windy—sitting outside was not an option!

Today we had a leisurely morning before heading to the dump station for more education—here’s the cowboy getting ready to be the “teacher.”


IMG_1605Can you tell the sites were just a mite un-level???  It’s a great park this time of year—a few of the sites have electric—which you will most definitely need come July and August when the landscape becomes dry, brown and rattlesnake infested. 

Education completed we headed up the hill for a tour of the caves.  Boo elected to stay above ground while the rest of us met our tour guide and started the steep climb up to the mouth of the cave.  Michael toured this cave when he was a senior in high school.  At that time there was a scary tram—the tour group sat on open bleachers and were pulled up the hill on rails—by some type of winch operation.  Guess that method became a liability!!—imagine that!!  So, trails were built and they give you thirty minutes to hike to the cave entrance. 

We descended over 300 feet into the cave before exiting and walking back to the visitor’s center.  It’s hard to take photos inside a dark cave but here are a few:

IMG_1616In we go--

IMG_1620IMG_1624IMG_1628Almost in the center of this photo is a pool of water—you are seeing the formations under the water it is so clear—it does have a slightly green tint due to the hundreds of copper pennies people threw into the pool for luck—not allowed any more.  Smile


IMG_1627The tour was great—strenuous at times—at one point we were crawling on our rear ends sliding down this slick rock—I’m not sure how some of the folks in our group managed—lots and lots of stairs, it wasn’t easy! 

Back on the surface we headed to the rigs, fixed quick lunches and pointed the RV’s toward home.  Oh, and we did get the mini-blinds installed without murdering each other! 

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Around The World

Well, not quite around the world but certainly around Montana!  Monday morning I called our veterinarian in Big Timber to see if it would be possible for one of the three vets to see Ms. Emmi.  She needed her regular shots and her rattlesnake vaccine.  Off we went to town.  Long ago I began giving my dogs heart worm preventative medication year round and Emmi is no exception—if you gave your dog the meds year round no additional blood tests were needed once the initial test confirmed the dog was heart worm free.  Well, the animal medicine world is not immune to lawsuits it seems and now a yearly blood test is needed.   Once Emmi had received all the sticking and blood letting needed we headed home after picking up some oil filters for the cowboy.

Before I left for town I had made a pan of Pioneer Woman’s chicken enchiladas and put the dish in the oven with auto start activated.  The house smelled heavenly when I walked back in.  After we ate Michael sat down at his computer to peruse the internet finding an item on Craigslist which caused our second trip of the day—all the way to Dillon—a three hour drive one way.  I will keep you in suspense but suffice it to say this particular item will go to Alaska with us!  We didn’t leave here until 2pm and by the time we finished the transaction we were very late leaving Dillon—home at 11pm!

Early today we headed to Billings, dropping Emmi off at Nat’s—I was in need of a haircut and our groceries needed restocking.  If I could have rescheduled my hair appointment for this past weekend while we were in Billings with Katie and Michael I would have, unfortunately my hairdresser was off running a half marathon with her husband in West Yellowstone.  Smile

We are both exhausted but accomplished everything in Billings which needing doing—new blinds for the truck camper, a Harbor Freight stop and a Costco stop.  Lunch at CJ’s was delicious.

Now home with the car unloaded I can hear my bed calling—more adventures tomorrow!

IMG_1600Our columbine are gorgeous and prolific this year!IMG_1602

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Happy Father’s Day And A Remodel

Daddy Mom and MeMy Dad has been gone almost twelve years and we miss him greatly—it’s a rare day that I don’t think of him or think of something he might have said.  The above photo was taken in Yellowstone Park probably around 1993, my Dad, Mom and me. 

Daddy loved his three grandchildren with all his heart and they loved him, this photo is of Daddy with his youngest grandson Clayton who I might add just graduated from high school!

Daddy and Clayton

Daddy and Mom BeartoothsMom and Dad on the Beartooth Pass probably taken in the early 1990’s. 

We are blessed to have Michael’s Dad still with us at the ripe ole age of 92—he lives alone, drives, and makes his own decisions.  He drove from his house up to ours for lunch today—about 24 miles—that’s as far as he travels these days.  We had steaks on the grill, garlic mashed potatoes, brown sugar carrots and coffee/dark chocolate homemade ice cream for dessert.  Once I tasted the ice cream I was wishing I had skipped the rest of lunch and just had ice cream—it was that good!!IMG_1274

Friday afternoon we headed to Billings—our granddaughter Katie and her husband Michael needed some remodeling help—Katie’s Dad Lonnie went too.  Michael just received a promotion causing a move from Miles City, MT to near Billings.  Katie gave up her teaching job in Kinsey, MT (a very small school) to take a position teaching kindergarten at a much larger school in Shephard, MT (near Billings).  They bought an older home on 10 acres so Katie could keep her horses nearby. 

So we painted and painted and painted some more.  Lonn and my Michael laid new flooring in the living room and hallway.  Michael’s Mom and Dad came on Saturday to add more hands to the work party.  We had a great time together and the house looks so much better!!  We spent Friday night in the truck camper parked in their driveway. 

OHHH—great news, too—the Foretravel motorhome we on a whim purchased had an almost new very plush memory foam mattress.  Well, the cowboy had a light bulb moment Thursday night and we took that mattress and placed it in the truck camper—we slept like babies in the kid’s driveway!! 

By the time we got home Saturday night paint splattered and exhausted, we headed straight to bed!

A good weekend and again, Happy Father’s Day to all you Dad’s out there!