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

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

We Are Not Very Nice To Our Guests

Rollie fixes the septic system when he visits, Larry and Geri get roped into helping fix up and clean the new truck camper—we aren’t treating our guests very well are we???


But we have taken time out for fun—Sunday afternoon we took an ATV ride to Moccasin Lake and today we took a ride up Elk Creek.  Geri and I made a run to Livingston yesterday—my drivers license expires in September—I won’t be here so it was essential I get the license renewed.  The drivers license dude only comes to Big Timber on two Wednesdays’ per month and I missed both of those, so it was off to Livingston where there was not another soul in the office but me—sweet!!!

Geri and I gave that truck camper a very good cleaning today—and now I am off to load some stuff—we have another adventure coming up while awaiting the arrival of our great-grandchild. 


IMG_1860Geri in the phone booth up in our hay pasture—Emmi thought she was some big, bad monster!!



Sunday, July 27, 2014

We Have Visitors and A Birthday Party

First they were coming then they weren’t, now they are coming and we are thrilled.  Larry and Geri had some family obligations which they thought might hinder their going to Alaska with us—those obligations solved themselves and we are now good to go!!  Larry and Geri arrived Friday afternoon with their rig:IMG_3330The cargo trailer sitting back beside our motorhome contains their ATVs—we thought we would show them some country before we take off for Alaska.

We’ve had some questions—“when are you leaving” being the most frequent.  Our granddaughter Laci and her husband John are expecting their first child—our first great-grandchild—and we are not leaving until the baby is born—the official due date is tomorrow, July 28. 

Our friends Angela and Ralph once said, “you people change your RVs more often than you change your underwear!”  Now can you imagine someone thinking that???? SmileSometimes you develop an attitude of—”oh, my, we are going to Alaska, we need a truck camper NOW!”  so, we bought one and it was a dud!!!  It leaked—we fixed it, the refrigerator was too small, we didn’t fix that, the bathroom was so small if the cowboy or I gained a single ounce, we would not fit, Winking smileand most importantly at least in my menopausal book—it didn’t have air conditioning.  So, we listed the rig on Craigslist about two weeks ago—today it rolled down the driveway with a happy new owner. 

Yesterday the cowboy and Larry went to Billings to purchase a Lance truck camper—a 1999 which needed a little work (would we have it any other way???).  Larry said Michael made the salesman cry—the cowboy made a really, really good deal!!!!  It has more space particularly in the bathroom plus it has air conditioning.  It is filthy but I’m a good cleaner! 

Last night we celebrated my dear friend Jill’s momentous birthday with a spectacular dinner party—we had so much fun—dinner was fabulous:

IMG_3319A tri-tip roast grilled with chimichurri sauce, rosemary potatoes (as our friend Bradley calls them, “potatoes a la weed”) and salad with homemade dressing.  Dessert was a three layer chocolate cake with dark chocolate/coffee ice cream!!!



Today I quilted, Geri cooked walleye from Minnesota for lunch and this afternoon we took an ATV ride—more on that adventure later!

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Heading Home and Quilts

It’s been a sad, quiet day for me—Mom and Chuck headed down the driveway early this morning on their way home to Arkansas.  It’s been ages since I spent that much time with my Mother and although it wasn’t in the best of circumstances, I will take that time!! 


After lunch the cowboy and I went to Big Timber to run some errands, one of which was to deliver this beautiful quilt to my quilting buddy Donna.  Donna’s great-grandmother made the Dresden plate blocks—isn’t that amazing—Donna then chose the old fashioned green solid for the border and sashing, tying the blocks together.  The border will be scalloped when Donna is finished with the quilt.


On another quilting front, it is fair time in Sweet Grass County and one of my quilt retreat friends, Mary P. won Best of Show with her stack and whack quilt—congratulations Mary!!!!!  I quilted the quilt for Mary while we were down in Texas last year.


Back home we went our separate ways—the cowboy is installing camper tie downs in the back of the truck, I’m cleaning house and doing laundry—not very exciting but necessary. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

ATV Adventure And One Major Storm

Sarge and Sarah have a new toy—a Polaris RZR—so off we went on an ATV adventure today.  It was great to be back out on the ATVs—it was my first time since we came back from Arizona.  We had a beautiful day—sunshine, wildflowers, water—the bugs were a touch nasty, actually more than a touch!!  Horseflies, biting flies of some sort tormented us every time we stopped.  And they really tormented Sarge and Sarah’s black lab, Callie—she is quite adapt at catching the bugs!!

IMG_3289IMG_3292Doing what labs do best—taking a swim.


Sarge and Sarah came over from Livingston way and we headed up to Moccasin Lake for a picnic with Callie leading the way many times—that dog has more energy—she would much rather run alongside than ride on the ATV.  The many water crossings provided Callie with lots of soaking chances—she would lie down in the water with only her head showing.

Our picnic lunch was spent expending as many calories as we took in by swatting at the horseflies and other pesky bugs!!


Back home about 2pm we put together a great lunch, a tri-tip roast on the grill, oven baked french fries, salad and homemade chocolate/coffee ice cream. 

After lunch the dark clouds started building and sharp lightening streaked across the sky—Sarge and Mike ran out to put our ATVs in the garage, Sarah and I ran out to close motorhome windows.  About the time we all got back to the house the bottom fell out.  Holy smokes—what an incredible storm—one and a half inches of rain in less than 15 minutes—torrential rain and hail, high winds!  Kind of strange to have mud in July!!!



Monday, July 21, 2014

Wonderful Weather

Sorry Mike and Pat but it was a beautiful day, less than 70 degrees, rainy and cloudy—not normal Montana July weather but we will take it.  Unfortunately, back up in the mid 80’s tomorrow.

Let’s see, what did we do today??  Normal stuff—laundry, helping Mom, making lunch (the last of the okra Sad smile) , making homemade coffee/dark chocolate ice cream, YUM.  In the afternoon Chuck and Mom decided to take a drive—I think they were bored—otherwise Mom has become the lap of choice for Ms. Emmi.

IMG_1849Mom’s black eyes are fading, her forehead laceration is healing beautifully and the rest of her bruises are fading.  The broken arm is much less painful but it still hurts if moved the wrong way. 

Michael and I went to town this afternoon to run errands and deliver some quilts. We have an adventure planned for tomorrow and I was picking up supplies.  And that’s the extent of our day! 

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Feast and Hanging Out

Mom and I have just been hanging out—she is making progress day by day—she now can leverage herself out of a chair—a big step!!  I go downstairs and quilt keeping one ear tuned to upstairs—I started and finished a hugs flannel quilt for my friend Shirley yesterday and today. 

Chuck flew home to Arkansas Wednesday morning and arrived back here in Montana this evening—and he wasn’t flying, he was driving back! SmileWe were glad to see him as he was bringing us a feast:

IMG_1847My sweet sister Ann sent fresh garden tomatoes and Arkansas peaches plus okra from their garden.  The cowboy isn’t too thrilled about the okra to say the least but the us southern folk are looking forward to a meal of fried okra!

I just finished an amazing book, The Orphan Train by Christina Kline.  Amazon has a new program—purchase the Kindle version of a book and get the audio version for a greatly reduced price.  You can toggle back and forth between the print and audio versions using the Kindle app on the iPad.  I listened to a great deal of the book on my midnight run to Idaho Falls the other night and finished it a couple nights ago.  Children picked up off the streets of New York city and transported on trains to total uncertainty—some were lucky, being adopted and loved.  Others were beaten, starved and mistreated.  A very good book!

Montana has no forest fires as of yet but we are getting smoke from all around us—Washington, Oregon, Colorado and Canada.  The smoke was so thick this morning it made our eyes burn!


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Strength And Goodness

I will start this story with an apology if I don’t have all the facts straight.  Wednesday I met an amazing woman of strength and goodness!  Probably about 12 years ago my Mom and Dad began talking about this couple at their church in Arkansas who were going to Romania to adopt three boys—when they got to Romania it was discovered the three boys had an older brother—Donna and Daryl refused to leave Romania without the fourth young man. 

Donna and Daryl brought these children into their home in Arkansas, homeschooled them, took them to church and as we witnessed yesterday—made them into superb young men.  Life wasn’t kind to this family with Daryl losing his life to cancer about a year ago causing Donna to make some life changing decisions.

Southern speaking and small, Donna purchased a Dodge truck and a 42 foot Raptor toyhauler fifth wheel having only before pulled a boat with a truck.  They did have a travel trailer with which she also practiced.  She drove to somewhere in Kansas, purchased the toyhauler and drove it home to Arkansas.  She told me, “my little Mom drove a log truck for my brother when he needed help, I thought if my Mom could do that, I could surely learn to drive this truck and trailer down the road.”

Donna wanted to travel with the boys who remained at home, Ivan (20), Valik(16) and Nikita(14).  She applied and was hired by a lodge near West Yellowstone, MT as was Ivan.  They have become members of the community by attending church and helping others in need.  Donna continues to homeschool Valik and Nikita.  Their future plans include Ivan working the sugar beet harvest in the fall and they all have fallen in love with Montana with talk of living here.  All three boys are so articulate and polite—a pleasure!

Donna is a woman of strength and goodness with a heart of gold—it was such a pleasure to meet her and the boys—they drove over yesterday just to visit with Mom.  Life has dealt Donna a nasty card yet she is preserving, living her life as she wants for herself and her children.  Amazing!!  I wish I had thought to take a photo of this family!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just Perking Along

That’s what we are doing—Mom and I rolled in about 3pm yesterday—we dropped Chuck at the Bozeman airport where he rented a car and drove back to Ennis and the guest ranch retrieving all their belongings.  The ranch provides them with a small bedroom/bath and my Mom manages to make a home for the summer.  Mom was the guest ranch cook so she has full use of the kitchen—needless to say she won’t be doing any more cooking for a while!!

Mom’s pain has diminished but pain is still a constant when you’ve been in a vehicle going from 40 miles per hour to dead stopped.   Chuck is over in Yellowstone Park today retrieving some things from the truck and getting a copy of the police report.  He discovered that the man who was the first to reach Mom was an off duty park ranger.  He took some photos of the truck—


I spent the day washing clothes, cooking and taking care of Mom—Ms. Domesticated!  I did load a quilt backing onto the zippers this afternoon while Mom napped.  Emmi was sure glad to see me come home—someone to play ball with her!

It’s been a strange day weather wise for July, thunderstorms at 3am this morning with a storm rolling through frequently all day and temps in the low 70’s.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Mom Update

We turned a pain control corner Saturday afternoon and Mom's world became a whole lot brighter.  She is maneuvering much, much better now and when the doctor came in Sunday afternoon we told him we were ready to try it on our own.  So, we are bound for home early Monday morning--the cowboy and Emmi are anxiously awaiting our arrival. Thank you all so much for yout prayers, thoughts and well wishes!

Friday, July 11, 2014

Life Changes On A Dime

Michael and I left Emmi in the care of Nat and took a trip to Billings Thursday--we needed some groceries and the cowboy was in desperate need of a Harbor Freight run. :))

Little did we know what lurked in the background as we shopped and had lunch. Back at home the phone rang a little after 8pm and when I saw the words "Eastern Idaho Regional Medical Center" on the caller ID, I was immediately nauseated.  See, eastern Idaho is where Yellowstone National Park trauma is taken--my Mom and Chuck are just outside the Park near Ennis working on that dude ranch. 

My Mom's voice was not right. Traveling to Yellowstone to visit a friend with whom she used to work Mom's truck left the road near the Gibbon River bridge and crashed.  A kind soul called 911 and stayed with her holding her hand and trying to keep her calm while waiting for paramedics.  Mom was helicoptered to this medical center with multiple injuries, none life threatening thank God. 

I left home at 9pm arriving at the hospital about 3am. The owners of the ranch where Mom and Chuck are working took Chuck to the hospital. Mom is alert, talking and getting out of bed, albeit in a great deal of pain. It has been a day of scans and doctor visits, phone calls with insurance people, etc.  blogs wil be sporadic, Mom declined to have her photo taken for this post! :))

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Wedding and Mini-Reunion

On Sunday we attended the wedding of Megan and Michael—Megan is the daughter of our good friends Kelli and Larry.  Megan and Michael are both in the USAF stationed in Washington, D.C.  but chose to celebrate their wedding in Montana. 

Jill and I drove down to Billings for the actual wedding held in the Greek Orthodox Church.  Having never attended a  Greek Orthodox Church, I was curious.  In Billings it’s a very small sanctuary, gorgeous wood floors, ornate decorations, quiet and peaceful. 

I have to say it was one of the more interesting weddings I have ever attended—meaningful service, no music but lots of chanting, many rituals with interpretations which made sense.  Each wedding guests was presented with a program which explained the Greek Orthodox ceremony.  The wedding ceremony has remained almost entirely unchanged since its origination centuries ago.  Another notable aspect of the Orthodox marriage is that the bride and groom do not exchange vows; instead it is their presence before Christ through the priest and the congregation that signifies their wish to be joined and to accept the Lord into their new home.  It was a joy to watch Megan and Michael—they are meant for each other. 

Back to Big Timber post wedding we all gathered at the home of Megan’s grandmother Jean.  Her home is a bed and breakfast with beautiful grounds—perfect for a wedding reception.  The food was delicious and I don’t think I have ever heard a more articulate “toast” at a wedding than that given by the groom’s brother—quite entertaining!  Michael joined me at the reception and we spent the evening visiting with various friends. 


IMG_3273Bonnie, Megan’s sister and Megan. 

IMG_3278I think my little Canon camera which is small enough to tuck in my handbag spent too many days riding around on an ATV gathering dust—most of my photos turned out blurry. Sad smile

We received a pleasant surprise last night—we were scheduled to have dinner at the Rib and Chop with Sarge and Sarah.  When they arrived at the restaurant they had some additional guests, Royal and Nancy plus Sox and his date—all the guys of the group graduated from high school together long ago!  I think the folks at the Rib and Chop thought we never were going to give up our table—the place was literally packed on a Tuesday night—summer in Montana!

Michael spent the day in the hayfield and in between he installed a master brake cylinder on his old 1995 Ford pickup.  I spent the day quilting finishing up Donna’s special quilt.

Monday, July 7, 2014

July 4 Weekend Is Over

Whew! That was one busy July 4 weekend—mixed in with haying we were meeting ourselves coming and going. Guess we got what we deserved for being such social butterflies! SmileOn Sunday we attended our last holiday weekend event—the wedding of Megan and Michael—Megan is the daughter of our good friends Kelli and Larry. Megan and Michael are both in the USAF stationed in Washington, D.C. but chose to celebrate their wedding in Montana.  As there have been no photos posted online of the wedding I won’t post any here until I’ve seen photographs on Megan’s or Bonnie’s (her sister) Facebook page. 

Michael was in the hayfield before 8am this morning—it was very hot and windy yesterday making it difficult to bale the hay—he’s just now coming in the house at 7pm.  Emmi and I took a walk then it was on to quilting for me—I’m working on another special quilt for my friend Donna—her great-grandmother made the Dresden plate blocks!!  It took me a while to mark the quilt and I finished almost all the stitch in the ditch. 

Emmi and I played taxi driver for the cowboy ferrying him to and from the hayfield.  He is finished haying on the ranch we formerly owned—that’s a relief to him! 

Here’s a couple non-wedding party photos from yesterday:

IMG_3274Isn’t that a handsome cowboy???

IMG_3277Our friend Jill.

It was a beautiful day—80 degrees and a cool breeze—doesn’t get much better than that!  For some reason most of the time we don’t have too many mosquitoes here on our place—there are years when the dang bugs are worse than others but for the most part, we are lucky.  Not so everywhere else we went this weekend—my ankles look as if I have chicken pox!!  At Jill’s on Thursday night she gave me some kind of non-toxic bug spray—thus my ankles look as if I have chicken pox!! SmileI am a mosquito magnet so on the 4th and at the wedding yesterday I used the toxic stuff—with DEET—no new bites.  The cowboy doesn’t have any bites—and he used no bug spray--what’s up with that???

Saturday, July 5, 2014


IMG_1805Many years ago when Michael and I first married, the community gathered donations and purchased fireworks setting off the fireworks on property owned by our friends Ken and Lesley.  The entire neighborhood attended and I have such fond memories of those July 4 times.   In Montana I’ve watched July 4 fireworks attired in coat, hat and gloves—last night it was warm enough for just a light jacket.  Our friend Geoff loves fireworks and donated the ones we watched at George and Shirley’s last night.  It was a delightful evening—tons of delicious food, lots of friends and neighbors, ending with a spectacular display of fireworks.  The weather cooperated sprinkling rain just as the party started but the sun came out shortly giving us this gorgeous rainbow:


Today our social calendar was empty—thankfully, we both needed an evening of rest!!!  Michael spent the day in the hayfield and I spent the afternoon doing yard work—mowing and weed whacking.  I did manage to load a quilt backing onto the frame. 

Nat came for lunch as we have a wedding to attend tomorrow on his normal day for coming up the Boulder. 

Taking good fireworks display photographs has always alluded me until last night—I discovered a “fireworks” setting on my camera:



Life is good!