Could It Finally Be Spring

And another week is gone. Time seems to speed by so quickly these days–one minute it is Monday, then it’s Sunday and time to write another blog. We three took a trip to Billings on Tuesday. The Cowboy saw the dermatologist and escaped for two years in a row any more MOHS procedures. I lost 10 pounds–not really–but my haircut with my favorite Montana stylist left me feeling pounds lighter! We enjoyed a good lunch at Jake’s, shopped at Costco and picked up groceries at Walmart.

I had started doing Walmart pickup for groceries before covid hit and I’ve never stopped. Walmart pickup saves us an hour when we all ready have too many errands on our plate in the big city. I’ve never enjoyed just wandering in a grocery store–I go in with a list and get what I need.  Sometimes Walmart pickers aren’t the best but not often. The picker this time chose awesome radishes for me and not so great lettuce. Is there a shortage of romaine lettuce AGAIN?? Costco had no romaine and Walmart substituted green leaf lettuce for my requested romaine.

The snow drifts in our backyard flower beds finally melted and I was able to do a little yard work in between horrific wind and chilly temps. A brief snowstorm blew through on Thursday with no accumulation. Our weather finally turned to spring on Friday and we’ve both been outside–the Cowboy working on the roof of our toyhauler RV and me in the flower beds.

Friday evening we journeyed to Lonn’s for dinner with all the gang. All the adults in the gang work so I offered to bring dinner with the exception of the lettuce for the salad–see above paragraph!:)  I cooked a brisket, cheesy potatoes, and chili rellenos. I made Katie’s favorite salad dressing–Boulder River Ranch poppy seed dressing and baked a new to me chocolate cake with cream cheese frosting.

Mount Rae

I’ve used the same chocolate cake recipe for a long time but every time I bake the cake, the centers of the layers fall and the cake is almost crumbly. Finally I decided to do something about that little issue instead of filling the craters with extra frosting and Googled “best high altitude chocolate cake.” In Montana we live at 5200 feet and in Arizona at 4500 feet so we really are high altitude on both ends of the country. The new recipe worked!! No sunken centers! I had tried modifying the cake recipe I had used forever by adding a bit more flour, reducing the leavening agents, etc. with no success. I’m glad I found a chocolate cake recipe that works–it was delicious! The greats had asked their mom several times if Mimi was bringing cake–Millie and Brooks showed their appreciation by eating two slices each!

Poor Daisy–Brooks and Millie decided she needed bracelets???

Did any of you catch the above sentence–“the Cowboy on the roof of …….” The heavy snowfall this winter in Montana collapsed the rear portion of the roof of the toyhauler we purchased last spring. When the Cowboy removed various sections of the roof he found this wasn’t the first time the roof had been damaged by water–lots of rotted wood. Being the handy husband he is repair work began, supplies were purchased in Billings/Big Timber this week and on Saturday he spent one very long day putting things back together. He still has to tackle repairing the floor adjacent to the drop down rear door–same thing, this isn’t the first time it’s seen water damage.

Our little Emmi continues to enjoy her food, loves to play with sticks and balls, and loves to go for walks. She will be 14 soon and is slowing down–after our morning walks she will sleep for hours. This little nine pound girl brings so much joy to us. Our friend Gay has three well loved pooches and on each of her blogs she will post photos of all three as they too are getting elderly just like our Emmi. I told Gay I was going to start posting Emmi photos–so here you have it——-

Mom–this dang chicken won’t let me catch him. That grouse led Emmi on a merry chase, staying about four feet in front of Emmi who would tire and stop. The grouse would stop as if to let Emmi catch her breath–the grouse aren’t know for their intelligence!

Until the grass is tall enough to mow my yard work is finished–the flower beds are clean and grass free. The mice/voles did a number on our shrubs this year, girdling so many branches. The mice/voles tunnel under the snow and then snack on anything they find–our grass, the shrubs, etc. Heavy snow stayed on the ground so long this year the varmints snacked a LOT!

Sunday morning the Cowboy decided it was time to harrow the hayfields. He hooked the harrow to the old farm truck and off he went–didn’t take him long.

And we have our first wildfire of the season–can you believe it!! Way, way too early! The fire is burning on the mountain above the guest ranch our friends Jeane and Steve owned.

21 thoughts on “Could It Finally Be Spring

    1. Mike doesn’t think crawling up ladders to work on the roof of the RV is very much fun! A guy was burning brush and started that fire–it’s hard to believe stuff would burn–we still have monstrous snow drifts!


  1. He gads! I can’t believe there is a wildfire…seems it should still be way to wet. Fingers crossed tight this isn’t a trend of months to come. I love the photo of the farm truck in the hayfield and the sunset is gorgeous. We haven’t had clouds very much here and the sunrises and sunsets haven’t been very dramatic. Chocolate cake sounds divine! Frys here didn’t have romaine either last week…😩. Have a great week and thank you for posting Emmi’s photo and story about the grouse…it’s interesting neither one of them was afraid of the other. Gay


    1. The fire is out–a guy was burning brush, the wind came up and a fire started. Hard to believe when we still have all these huge snowdrifts! Emmi seems to understand that the grouse is as big as she is–better not catch it! 🙂 Mike and I are trying to drop some pounds–I left the chocolate cake with the gang!! 🙂 🙂


      1. Glad the smoke is all gone! Shedding pounds is not easy. I always say…”diets help loose pounds, walking helps loose inches”. It’s a constant struggle to walk past the ice cream at Frys so once a month we indulge! Smart girl that Emmi is!


  2. Oh no. wildfire already? Would wish that might be a prescribed burn, we are having them around here already. Another chocolate cake? I still make your best ever cake, but at 1200 feet don’t have a problem with the altitude. Will have to try that cream cheese frosting though. Emmi is so cute, and so happy to see her going strong. Mattie is 9 this year, so watching them get a bit older is always scary. Such love and happiness they add to our lives. Voles!! They used to eat us alive when we lived in snow country. Here we only have gophers, gray squirrels, digger squirrels (don’t ask, it is an oregon thing), skunks, possums, crows, scrub jays, acorn woodpeckers that destroy all the birdhouses jamming in the acorns, and oh yes…can’t forget the deer. Herds of them. And the earwigs. We don’t have mosquitos though, thankful for small gifts.


    1. The fire was caused by a guy burning brush–the wind came up–and we have a fire. Mike doesn’t burn unless there is snow on the ground–period–no other time. The cream cheese gives the icing a bit of a tang instead of being so sweet as is butter icing. Emmi is loosing her eyesight and is almost deaf–the deafness seems to have happened overnight. But she is still going strong otherwise and does add so much happiness to our lives! I hope my shrubs survive the voles! We don’t have squirrels or possums but do have all the rest–the deer drive me crazy! We usually have only a few mosquitos.

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  3. I’m glad spring has arrived for you, but I don’t like hearing that you already have a wildfire nearby. I was just thinking about wildfire season yesterday, because we would like to plan a road trip west sometime next year and I was debating about spring or fall, thinking maybe spring would be better to escape fire season. I guess there really isn’t anytime anymore except for winter to be sure of no fires. :-((

    I’m always impressed by the meals you cook. It would take me two days (at least) to fix that delicious sounding dinner you made, LOL. Emmi is so feisty and also cuddly! Very cute.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just people not thinking I guess–the fire was caused by a guy burning brush. Mike doesn’t burn unless there is snow on the ground–he’s not taking any chances! In my opinion, spring is best to avoid the wildfires. I do love to cook but—it is hard work!


  4. I’ve never used the pick up option at a grocery store….I’m too much of a control freak to have someone else pick out my food, he he he! I love seeing the pictues of little Emmi and the picture of her and the grouse reminded me of when our dogs would chase ducks off the lawn and into the lake….as soon as the dogs would turn around and swim back to shore, their “job” done, the ducks would do the same and follow them back. It’s almost as if they enjoyed the game!


  5. Most of AZ is under a red flag warning today so fingers crossed no fires or idiots. That is the cutest picture of Emmi girl. We always seem to be at war with nature be it animals, wind, rain or whatever. Sorry about the damage to your toy hauler. Thank goodness for the Cowboy’s skills.


    1. I keep getting AZ red flag warnings on my phone–as you said, let’s hope no one starts a fire! Yep, I am very thankful for the Cowboy’s skills! Hope your ankle is improving!


    1. I love Walmart pickup and my family has even taught my 86 year old mother how to use the app on her phone. She orders her groceries and one of the family will do the pickup. Thanks Donna–I think I’m starting to be on the mend!

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  6. Nice to see the bare ground again,I’m sure. Cowboy never gets much time off from building and repairing,but It keeps him gainfully employed. Hope the fire burns itself out soon.


  7. Love the Emmi/grouse photo. Emmi was brave chasing that thing. It certainly has been a changing weather season this winter/spring. Our ski area north of Vegas has extended their season into May because of the snow. It was still snowing up at Lee Canyon into April. With temps staying mainly in the 50’s down below, it kept the mountains in the 20’s. A total of 265 inches this year. Maybe…a cooler summer, well, I can dream! Sorry to hear your newish Toy Hauler had water damage. But master Michael will have it as good as new soon. Hope spring is your way soon to stay. No!!! The wild fires can’t start yet. Hope they put it out quickly.


  8. I too started grocery pickup pre-COVID and have continued ever since. Even on the road I do pickup rather than having to go in large grocery stores. I’ve only had a couple not-so-great produce picks, usually they do better than I do! Emmi is so dang cute. Grouse medicine is strong, she chose a good playmate 🙂 We’re seeing more Spring here in Utah although the Aspens continue to be naked on the mountains. Enjoy your warmer temps!


    1. Yep, our aspen are still naked–Mike’s Dad always said, “you will have leaves by my birthday” which is in late May. Last year we almost didn’t make it–will have to see what happens this year. The chokecherry trees are leafing. I love Walmart pickup!


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