Another Busy Week

After spending Wednesday in Billings where the temperature was 94 degrees, I just couldn’t summon the energy to write a Wednesday blog. I left home at 9am leaving the Cowboy and Emmi to fend for themselves and didn’t get home until after 6pm. Haircut, mammogram and pedicure–plus a quick Costco stop–it was a long day.

Thursday was to have been just a quick trip to the vet in town for Emmi’s yearly exam and vaccinations, particularly the rattlesnake vaccine! Instead the vet visit turned into an all day affair. Seems Emmi had an impacted anal gland (yes, it’s gross) and they had to sedate her to drain it. When the vet office called us at about 1pm to tell us Emmi was ready to be picked up, I could hear the princess howling in the background. They loved the way she throws back that little head and howls. We are so incredibly fortunate to have the best veterinarian care in our small Montana town!

Friday we had the wheels rolling again–physical therapy for me and the Cowboy went along because I promised him a milkshake at Mark’s In and Out. This week the therapist needled the muscles along the outer aspect of my legs. If anything is helping my hip, it’s not very noticeable–the therapist tells me I need to have patience! It took a year to get to this point; I shouldn’t expect to be cured in three weeks! Humphhh!!

Saturday evening we had friends join us for a lovely dinner outside on our backyard patio. Max and Dave plus Ken and Lesley. As always we dined well and enjoyed great conversation! When I had lunch with my friend Sarah a week or so ago, we both ordered the lemon ricotta gelato for dessert. It was love at first bite and I was determined to recreate this treat at home. I asked Mr. Google and found a recipe. This lemon ricotta gelato is amazing!! Even the Cowboy loved it!

Sunday I worked inside the little RV–hanging the curtains I had washed and ironed, washing some windows, removing the mini-blinds and hosing them down, etc. The Cowboy is finished with the hot water heater install which is under the bed–the mattress has been sitting propped against the couch, in the way. Today the mattress went back to its home.

More lilac blossoms than we’ve ever had–when Nat was building his indoor horseshoe pitching court this lilac bush was in the way–we dug it up and transplanted it up the Boulder.

The sun is setting casting our world in a golden glow.

Sunday Morning

While I rarely rise before the Cowboy this Sunday morning I did. It was chilly in our house and outside, 41 degrees outside and 61 degrees inside. The aspens are all leafed and our house sits in a jungle like atmosphere. The birds are singing and chirping, the little hummingbirds zipping around–it’s a beautiful Sunday morning.

In years past there has never been the need for air conditioning in a Montana summer at 5200 feet elevation. We might have a few 90+ days and seldom see 100+. At night the air most always chills down and we sleep so well with all the doors and windows open to that cool air. When the sun rises along with the temp, we shut all the doors and windows. Our log home stays cool all day if it’s not too hot outside.

The last four days it’s been HOT at 5200 feet elevation, HOT as in 90+ degrees! Very unusual for early June. It’s been too warm at night for the house to chill enough to stay cool all day in those temps. We tried to order mini-split air conditioning/heating units last summer without success. We’ve been discussing it at length this season–is it worth the expense for just a few days of summer when we actually need air conditioning?

On Thursday I had another physical therapy session in Livingston and enjoyed a fabulous lunch with Sarah again. The only drawback about our lunch–the restaurant was not air conditioned and it was literally like an oven in there. I felt so sorry for the people in the kitchen! The guy at the counter did tell me the air conditioning was being installed this coming week. Once home I did very little–it was so HOT in our house.

The Cowboy is enjoying a little more freedom now that we know his skin graft is working. He’s been working on our new to us little travel trailer–the previous owner failed to winterize the hot water tank causing it to freeze and split. He said to us, “I just never fixed it, my wife would heat water on the stove to wash dishes.” Well, the Cowboy’s wife is not so accommodating about dishes much less willing to take a cold shower!

The little trailer is older, is in decent shape and has a good layout for us. Because it’s older the original hot water tank was not available and the Cowboy has had to manufacture pieces to make the new one we ordered fit into the space. I will say again, I’m so glad I have a handy husband! Of course it was dirty and I’ve been cleaning, washing curtains, etc.

This is a camper, it’s for camping with ATVing friends and with the grandchildren. We don’t think we will be hauling/driving a camper back and forth between Arizona and Montana any longer.

We had a thunderstorm Friday night which dumped a little rain in a short period of time. Our gutters were overflowing so Saturday I tackled that project. It should be done in the fall after the leaves have fallen from the trees but we are usually so busy gutter cleaning doesn’t happen.

The physical therapist gave me extra homework this session and it seems I’m spending a lot of time downstairs exercising. She is trying to help me build strength back in my lower body parts which should in time help this hip problem I have. So off to exercise I go, willingly! Who knew that at the age of 65 I didn’t know how to bend over properly???

We’ve had a lazy Sunday–I did exercise and make lunch but the rest of the time I’ve been in my chair knitting. It’s been a marvelous, beautiful, cool June day in Montana–hopefully that heat is gone for a while!

A grouse who seems to think our deck rail is her new home. Grouse are domestic chicken size birds who leave chicken sized poop! UGH!

Working on the trailer–don’t you like his chair!

Fragrant chokecherry blossoms

What A Relief

Said the Cowboy when they took off the bulky dressing and removed all his stitches today–“what a relief!” And he can now see! The dressing along with the ointments made it very difficult to see. The graft took and he only has to wear a very light dressing for another week or two, mostly to remind himself to not touch the area.

On Monday afternoon we drove into town just to get the Cowboy out of the house. There had been a ceremony at the cemetery that morning and the flags were still in place. It’s a peaceful, beautiful spot to remember why we have a Memorial Day. These are the photos I took–

Tuesday I stopped by the nursery on the way to physical therapy and purchased a few plants for our deck before meeting friend Sarah for lunch. We enjoyed our meal and visit immensely. Our two spouses are meat and potato kind of guys and wouldn’t set foot in the restaurant where we dined. So, we dine without the guys when wanting to try a new place. ๐Ÿ˜

Wednesday was a Billings day–Costco, lunch and the dermatologist. I drove and my hip did not seem to bother me as much–maybe it is finally going to improve.

It was a way too hot for this time of year day in Montana–I think we had a high of 84! And we had no power all day–the power company was repairing a major line and shut down the power for over eight hours. So, it was a good day to be gone!

Sunset Tuesday evening was gorgeous!

Slow Going

The days since I posted last have been dragging simply because the Cowboy wants this to be over. This Mohs recovery has been tougher than any he has experienced; or his Dad experienced. The area is right below his eyelashes thus it was tough for the nurse to bandage. He can’t see over the bandage, his eye is irritated all the time making it difficult to focus, it’s just been a tough trip for him. Add all this to the fact he is under orders to take it easy and you can understand why he is super restless.

Thursday the Cowboy went with me to physical therapy just to have something to do. The physical therapy this time consisted of a whole lot of questions on my part and the dry needling of my hip again. I think my hip is slightly better.

There is a daily feeding frenzy at all the bird feeders including the hummingbird feeder. It’s such a pleasure to watch all the little birds competing for a bite of food–they can be rude little buggers! This time of year I’m filling three feeders once a day!

Saturday we took a drive and things are different in our neighborhood–and most of what we saw wasn’t a good different. We’ve seen logging done very well and we’ve seen it done poorly–poorly would be the word for the logging we saw. A neighboring house is gone, not there. The mine is expanding and creating change. To say things in our neighborhood were different is an understatement!

Sunday the Cowboy puttered in his shop under strict orders not to lift anything heavy. I worked in the quilting studio and also made us a fabulous Sunday lunch.

The neighbors have quite the nursery going on up on the hill–last count there were seven new foals. This photo just shows some of the seven babies.

This afternoon we drove to Big Timber for ice cream–just to get out of the house. Yes, Wednesday can’t come soon enough.

We Have Leaves

Finally spring has sprung–we think! It’s not very warm, our high temp today was about 55 degrees but we do have leaves. Nat’s (the Cowboy’s father)birthday was May 24th and he always said the leaves would pop before his birthday. Some years he almost missed that prediction, this year was one of those.

Leaves and vivid green grass
Looking west

Monday was just a day of chores which compared to the next two days we will take the chores!

Tuesday the Cowboy made a run to the sawmill in Reed Point for slab pieces we will use as firewood. The sawmill has an excess supply of slabs; they are selling a loader full of slabs for $7! The Cowboy’s dump trailer held three loader scoops! Cool beans!

I stayed home and made lunch. After lunch we headed to Livingston for my first physical therapy appointment. Seems there is a shortage of physical therapists in our neck of the woods. Our local physical therapy clinic in Big Timber could not see me for probably two months. Another therapist who has started a private practice in Big Timber never returned my phone call.

So off to Livingston and Granite Sports Medicine. The therapist–Dr. Alison was amazing! So intelligent and thoughtful plus she had therapeutic suggestions, not just “here’s a list of exercises, do these twice daily.” She performed a dry needling (similar to acupuncture) procedure on my hip, inserting two needles into the “spot” where my hip hurts and hooked a mild electric current to those needles. I left her office with optimism–something I haven’t had about this hip in almost a year. My hip felt better than it had in a year and continued to feel better until Wednesday afternoon. I am seeing Dr. Alison twice a week–let’s hope I continue to improve! She also gave me stretching exercises and was the first person to tell me that there can be such a thing as “too much exercising” of a painful body part.

The Cowboy has also had a not so great time this week–he would like to go back to a “just chores” day too. We drove to Billings bright and early this morning–no moon eclipse for us–too much cloud cover. The Cowboy had another MOHS procedure today and this one was a doozy! Right underneath his eye requiring two “slices” before the surgeon declared the margins “clear.” Then it was time to repair the site and that required a skin graft. He’s under strict orders to take it easy for the next week until we go back to the surgeon–that’s going to be really hard for my Cowboy! He declined to be photographed for this blog–he is going to have one heck of a black eye/face/etc.!!

This little guy flew into the window on Tuesday–the first photo is right after he hit the window and the other photos are after he hopped over to the edge of the deck and flew away.

Emmi went along today and was such a good girl waiting in the car. Parking around the two medical centers in Billings is a challenge and I had to move the car once as I was parked in a two hour spot. Emmi was glad to see me when I came to move the car but went right back to napping when I left to re-join the Cowboy. It was a cool, overcast day in Billings.

Sitting In The Clouds

Last Wednesday night it began to rain and we’ve been sitting in a cloud bank watching it rain or snow since Wednesday. And it’s been cold and breezy. The forecast tells us we are going to be sitting in this cloud bank until maybe Thursday–not nice!

We’ve been hanging out in the house/garage puttering, reading, cooking and enjoying some down time. Friday I had a massage in town and then joined friends Jill and Jeane for lunch–it was good to see them! Saturday the Cowboy had a lunch date in town with a bunch of his high school friends.

Sunday morning after I made breakfast (pancakes and bacon) we took a walk up into the hayfields where eagle eye Cowboy spotted this bald eagle watching over the neighbor’s horses–

Not very clear photos–zoomed and no tripod
See the legs of the mare’s baby?
OK, Lady, I’m done with you taking photos, I’m out of here!

After our walk the eagle was still in tree so I jumped on the ATV and drove down the driveway to see if I could get a touch closer–he allowed me the one photo above before soaring away.

For lunch today I was preparing this recipe our friend Pam had shared on Facebook–Gluten Free Baked Feta Pasta. Following the recipe to some extent the first time, I used the oven and what a mess–the olive oil splatters everywhere. Pam had used her grill so today I placed my Pyrex casserole dish on the grill–something I’ve done many, many times before as I use our gas grill for way more than grilling. Years ago I took a gas grill cooking class and learned to even bake using the grill.

I also didn’t use gluten free pasta but stuck with the rest of the recipe. Everything was cooking, I had added the shrimp and set the timer. I went outside to check and noticed a tremendous amount of smoke coming from the grill–opened the lid and said a few choice words!! My Pyrex dish had literally exploded–that was the end of that lunch! What a mess to clean up!

As I’m finishing this blog the sun is shining!!–for the first time in days!!

Earlier in the week when it was snowing!

The Cowboy Falls Off The Pedestal

The last few days in Montana have been perfect–temps in the high seventies, blue skies with puffy white clouds and very little wind. Perfect! But those perfect days end today as for the next several days our forecast calls for rain and snow–but that’s OK–Montana needs the moisture.

And here comes the cold front bringing the rain.

Sometimes the Cowboy falls off his pedestal and Tuesday he fell hard! I know I’ve written about the time he towed us home in a blizzard with ME steering the truck AND trailer loaded with lumber being towed!! Nothing worked in the truck I was steering–windshield wipers for one–and I had to hang my head out the window to see anything–such as how close I was to the truck the Cowboy was driving. I was hysterical by the time we got all those vehicles home and told the Cowboy then (that was way back in our early madly in love days!) I was NOT impressed!

The Cowboy has a 1997 Ford Powerstroke diesel one ton pickup with less than 80,000 miles on the odometer–a highly coveted truck in the diesel world. It needs to go to a diesel shop–it won’t start–so how do we get it to the shop?? Here comes the why he “fell off the pedestal!” A friend loaned us a tilt bed trailer, the Cowboy is in the mini excavator attached to the truck. The truck is pointed downhill and momentum will help move the truck onto the trailer and the mini excavator will keep things from going south–he hopes. Then he tells ME that I am going to steer the pickup onto the trailer!! Remember this truck won’t start so steering is extremely hard and this trailer has little wiggle room between the fenders where the truck will sit. I could feel the gray hairs popping out on my head!!! As you can see from this photo all went well, the truck was delivered to the repair shop on Wednesday morning. The things I do for the Cowboy!

Shortly after the Cowboy left Wednesday morning, I headed to Billings for my last knee injection and a few groceries. While in Costco I left my partially loaded cart sitting while I headed down a crowded aisle. When I came back, my cart was gone–disappeared!! I never, ever put my purse in the grocery cart, it’s always on my shoulder–that was good. There was another cart sitting where I left mine with someone’s jacket and water bottle. I waited a bit but the cart thief never came back–so I found another cart and re-shopped. Good grief!

Life is good.

Cleaning

Still no leaves

Now doesn’t that sound like an exciting blog anyone would want to read?? There’s been way too much cleaning going on in this house lately but on Saturday our friend Debbie came–that woman can clean! When I worked for Kimberly-Clark and traveled extensively, Debbie cleaned my house every two weeks. She still cleans for various people and agreed to come spring clean my house–windows, baseboards, floors, ceiling fans–our house is squeaky clean and I found it very exciting! Boring to most people but exciting to me!

Thursday we were back in Billings. The Cowboy had his photodynamic therapy procedure just on the top of his head. First the nurse applied the photosensitizer drug then sent him to the lobby to wait for two hours. Then he was placed under a super bright light–he said it looked like the hair dryers salons had in the past. The light creates an intense heat, almost unbearable heat. He had to sit under this light for 16 minutes, 40 seconds which is 1000 seconds. The top of his head has turned a deep red color as if he has a major sunburn. He had to keep that area out of the sun totally for 48 hours and even now finds it painful to be outside without his hat. He declined to be photographed for this blog!๐Ÿ˜

A few years ago I lost my sewing mojo and haven’t quilted or sewn much of anything in that time. I’m starting to feel twinges of interest in sewing again and goodness knows I have enough fabric to start most any project! While Debbie was cleaning upstairs on Saturday I was downstairs making potholders and started an apron which I finished on Sunday.

Saturday evening we went to Lonn’s to have dinner with the family. Our Brooks celebrates his birthday in mid April thus we are usually not home for that birthday. He was disappointed this year that we wouldn’t be back for his birthday and I told him we would celebrate again when we got to Montana. He didn’t let me forget! We took presents for he and Millie plus I baked a three layer chocolate cake. Brooks insisted on putting candles on the cake and us bringing the cake to the table as we sang happy birthday. He was so cute!

The Cowboy changed the oil in the mini-excavator in preparation for digging out some rocks for friends. Emmi chased balls and enjoyed treats. It was a good day and life is indeed good.

Regular Programing

My Dad had a saying when I was a teenager, “you are just keeping the road hot!”–meaning I was going out way too much to his way of thinking! Well, this week we are keeping the road hot!

Monday we did stay home and I cleaned parts of the kitchen–who knew so much dust could collect behind closed kitchen cabinet doors??

The Cowboy tinkered with the new Polaris RZR we purchased trying to decide where to mount the GPS, etc.–guy stuff! He’s also been collecting tools–can’t get many tools in a suitcase and Amazon has been making almost daily deliveries of stuff that wouldn’t fit in those suitcases and had to be left in Arizona.

Yesterday Amazon delivered this BIG, LONG box containing running boards for our truck–you can have anything delivered via Amazon it seems! Those running boards are 6-7 feet long and heavy!

Tuesday was a “road” day–to Billings. The Cowboy found treasures on Craigslist and the Facebook Marketplace–an air compressor identical to the one we left in Arizona and a battery operated Kobalt lawnmower of all things–new in the box!

We don’t have much lawn, it takes us less than 15 minutes to mow. Our small gas powered lawn mower is on its last legs/wheels and we were looking for something to replace it. The Cowboy charged the battery and I mowed the grass. Oh my–I’m hooked! Quiet, light weight–amazing technology! And I still had two of four bars left on the battery when the lawn was finished!

The joy part of my day Tuesday was having my long time hairdresser cut my hair–Becky has been cutting my hair for probably almost 20 years! She wasn’t very old and not married when she started tackling my hard to cut hair. She just celebrated one of those “zero” birthdays, is married and has two children–one who is going to be a high school sophomore in the fall–where have the years gone??

Becky runs her salon like a business should be run. She is always on time, keeps her appointments and is super efficient. My appointment was for 11am and about a week ago Becky sent me a text asking if she could change my appointment to 9:15am. She never does this so I agreed and jokingly said, “only if you are bringing breakfast!” Well–look what she brought me! โค๏ธThe muffin and cinnamon roll were divine!

Next stop was for the poor Cowboy–the dreaded dermatologist! He just has the skin type inherited from his father Nat, that is prone to skin cancers. Dr. Williams biopsied one spot and scheduled the Cowboy for Photodynamic therapy (PDT) which is a two-stage treatment that combines light energy with a drug (photosensitizer) designed to destroy cancerous and precancerous cells after light activation. The biopsied spot is right under his eye and is ouch-y!!

Emmi tagged along on Tuesday–as long as she can be with us she is a happy pooch. It’s still cool enough for her to go with us but soon it won’t be and she will have to stay home.

At Costco I purchased new towels–not because they were organic but because I loved the coral color. I really don’t see why I would need organic towels?? I buy some organic foods–milk always, sometimes fruits and vegetables–but towels? Do you buy organic towels?

Wednesday the Cowboy spent the day under the truck installing those running boards and I spent the day inside my lower cabinets–cleaning again!

Mr. Grouse is still around tormenting Emmi and calling for a lady friend. Emmi put him up on the deck railing.

We love it when our neighbors run their horses and babies in the pasture that borders ours–

Wednesday was a beautiful spring day in Montana–

We have returned to our regular programming without even a hint of politics. Life is good!

Tranquility

“It is neither wealth nor splendor; but tranquility and occupation which give you happiness.” ~Thomas Jefferson

A friend posted the above on social media and I like it very much–the Cowboy and I have a lot of tranquility in our lives and as you all know we certainly have MUCH occupation!

We don’t watch very much TV–almost none in Montana and very little in Arizona. We don’t watch Fox News or CNN with all their talking heads and conspiracy theories. We don’t listen to talk radio for the same reasons. We chose what news we want to read from the internet and we take it with a grain of salt–all of it. We vote and that’s all we can do. Nothing else we do can change the outcome of any election or the direction of the politicians. We don’t donate to political causes–did that once, and were burned, not doing it again. Are we happy with the current administration–no–but there is nothing we can do so why worry ourselves into what I call a “stew?” Why worry about something we can’t change? We like the tranquility of our lives together; we both have no trouble sleeping–there is something to be said for sleeping well at our ages!

On the way to Livingston late Saturday afternoon to meet Sarge and Sarah for an early dinner the storm clouds were brewing into strange formations–

Taken through a dirty windshield.

I had no more than taken this photo and we were driving into the eye of the storm–black clouds, incredible wind, rain and snow. Exciting! The weather these days we call “spring in Montana.” One day it’s beautiful, the next day it snows, or one hour it is beautiful and the next hour it’s snowing. It is still good to be back in Montana!

The missing piece of countertop is now installed in our Arizona home and let’s just say I’m no more impressed with Lowe’s and their countertop install company Stone Systems than I was when we first started the project way back in late February! And I’m very glad to be done with both companies!

Sunday we spent the day being bums–I fed us and walked Emmi. About 4pm we decided to take a drive up the Boulder–it’s still wintry up there–no leaves on the trees and very little green grass. We did see a few elk and a whole lot of deer.

We wish all our friends and family a happy Mother’s Day!