Where Do The Days Go

Anyone know what this evil looking contraption is??

First I want to apologize to our Canadian readers–seems in the last blog when I copied and pasted from a news article the location of the horned dinosaur bones, the writer of that news article had misspelled Ottawa and I didn’t catch it–neither did spell check.  This mistake was bluntly brought to my attention in an email from a reader.  Perhaps he was being tongue in cheek as he misspelled two words in his email to me???? 🙂 🙂

June is more than half over and I would be hard pressed to tell you what we’ve done so far in the month of June.  I do know we’ve made way too many trips to Billings but when you live in the middle of nowhere you have to go somewhere for the dentist, doctor and decent groceries.  I made another trip to Billings on Tuesday for a haircut and to see the optometrist.  I’ve worn contacts in the past; mono-vision and bifocal.  As my up close vision worsened as it seems to do as we age, the contacts didn’t correct my close up vision as well as glasses. I stopped wearing contacts except when we ATV and I wear goggles.  I can see in the distance but have to really focus on things such as the GPS.  I was hoping the optometrist who I had seen in the past could help with the contact lens issues better than the optometrists I had seen at Costco but it was not to be.  He said the contact lens companies had spent billions in trying to develop a lens for people who are both farsighted and nearsighted without success.  The field of vision is too large for something as small as a contact lens to fix.

Monday I spent a couple hours on the phone with homeowners insurance companies.  We’ve used the same local company for our home/ranch/auto insurance needs the entire time we’ve been married and the Cowboy used them before we married.  About two years ago our insurance agent retired–how dare he!–and to say the least, we miss him greatly!  As a result I was shopping and was successful. I had all ready moved our auto insurance to another company.

I loaded a quilt on Sunday afternoon and Monday afternoon spent about two hours quilting–it was a joy to be back on the longarm and it performed beautifully!

Today the Cowboy has been puttering with the motorhome and I’ve been cooking.

This time of year we live in a green jungle of aspen trees, cow parsnip plants, grasses and wild rose bushes.  Seems one little dog lost her ball in the creek and as the water was down a touch the Cowboy went fishing for Emmi’s ball.  He was successful and we have a happy pooch!

Wednesday evening we drove over to Lonn’s to have dinner and see the gang–a very special evening!  Our granddaughter Laci and great granddaughter Lora are visiting from Germany.  I will never tire of hearing those babies say, “Mimi, watch this, Mimi watch this.”  Lora is almost five years old, Brooks is three and Millie is almost 21 months old.  It’s chaos in that house but it’s a joyful chaos. Here is photo overload–

On the way home tonight the skies were so full of color–

 

We Take A Trip

And it was not to Billings–it was a trip for fun.  Friends Boo and Terry from up the Boulder also have a place in central Montana.  They are in the process of developing the property for bird hunting.  It’s Missouri Breaks country and beautiful–totally different from “up the Boulder” but stunning country in its own way.  Extremely rugged, home to some fabulous dinosaur finds, missile silos and slimy roads when it rains.  Boo called asking us to come visit and off we went with ATV in tow.

The Judith River  It pays to live on a road leading to one of the numerous missile silos–the roads are very well maintained but those signs are a touch scary!  Thursday evening before dinner we took a truck tour and then enjoyed a fabulous dinner of steaks on the grill, corn on the cob and salad.  Boo and Terry have a lab named Rio and of course the little princess Emmi was not thrilled having to share the people attention.

Friday morning we loaded into the ATVs and went for a tour of their property.

  Beavers build dams backing up the numerous creeks forming these ponds.

Rio loves the water!

Checking out the planted food plots.  Terry and Boo are cultivating both food plots and cover crop plots hoping to attract birds.  The ranch also has multiple hedge rows which provide cover for the birds.

Incredibly rugged country!

Friday evening we headed into town for dinner.  A wealthy benefactor has attempted to revitalize the tiny Montana town of Winifred.  One of the new businesses–a fabulous restaurant/hotel/bowling alley.  Beautiful restaurant and fabulous food.  Before dinner we visited the museum and saw one of the largest collections of Tonka Toys in the world.  Bones from a horned dinosaur were found on private property near Winifred and a replica cast of the head is on display in the museum.   The actual skull and several other bones of the dinosaur nicknamed Judith are on display at the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottowa.  After touring the museum and picking the brain of the curator we headed for the Missouri River and the site of the McCelland–Stafford ferry.  The ice flows on the Missouri river destroyed the ferry cables this winter thus the ferry is not operating and I could find no information as to when operations might begin again if at all.

Not a bear–it’s a cow.

On the way back to Winifred for dinner the skies opened and it poured rain.  After dinner to headed back out to Boo and Terry’s–their road is mostly well maintained by the county but in spots could use some more gravel.  When it rains in this country the roads can become impassable–slimy, slick, tire size increasing roads.  Terry did a great job of navigating the slick spots and we made it home where Rio was patiently waiting for us.

Saturday morning the guys started working on a garage project and mid morning we enjoyed a late breakfast before packing the truck and heading back to our neck of the woods.  It was a great little getaway and we so appreciate Boo and Terry’s invitation and hospitality!

 

 

Road Trips

Meadowlark singing for us–one of my favorite things about spring!

Our road trips have not been the fun kind! Monday we went to Billings–I had another of those pesky doctor’s appointments which need to happen every year.  Tuesday it was just to town for a pedicure.  Wednesday it will be back to Billings for a root canal–horrors!!

Other than road trips it’s been quiet on the home front.  Chores and some actual relaxing if you can believe that!  Sunday was even a nap day–we are losing it aren’t we!

The Cowboy came in the house Sunday morning and told me to get my camera–a doe had just had a fawn up near our barn.  We drove up in the jeep coming around the back way so as not to disturb the mom and baby.  The mom was gone–maybe to get a drink of water but the little guy was standing by the fence and laid down quickly when he/she saw us.  They are pesky critters but I still love to see the babies.

Our almost five year old great granddaughter who with her mom just arrived from Germany yesterday.  This little girl is a traveling trouper!

I’ve spoken about the website Modern Mrs. Darcy   She is a book lover and each day has a Facebook post detailing book deals she has found.  One of Monday’s picks was the book Becoming Odyssa about a young woman of 21 who decides to hike the Appalachian Trail alone after she graduates college.  The premise of the book is great, the writing stinks and the amount of misspelled words, non-capitalized words and grammatical errors made me very glad I only paid $.99 for the book!!  Get a proofreader for goodness sake!!

The West Boulder mountains were a touch snowy Sunday morning.

A Change In The Weather

Earlier in the week in Billings we were running the motorhome air conditioner. Friday the heat was running in our house with a high of only 49!  The rain started Friday about lunch time and it has rained steadily–rain is good this time of year in Montana.  We are just very glad it didn’t snow–snow is hard on trees/plants with new growth!

Thursday we had visitors–our friends John and Pam who until recently were fulltiming in their motorhome.  They purchased a home in Nevada and now spend just a few months each year on the road.  They are both retired educators and hiking machines–those folks put miles on their boots almost every day.  We took them to Natural Bridge–our go to scenic attraction close to home and then enjoyed a wonderful evening and dinner.

I’ve told the story of Natural Bridge many times on this blog so I will be brief–in normal water flow times all the river water flows through this large hole and out the bottom as you see in the third photo down.

The “hole”

In years with lots of snow the snow melt adds to the river flow producing more water than will fit through the “hole,” creating an eighty foot water fall as this photo taken in 2011 shows.

Thanks for stopping by Pam and John–we enjoyed your visit!

Friday morning before the rain started we made quick work of emptying the motorhome and taking photos.  Know anyone who wants to buy a Beaver motorhome, 42 foot tag axle, 500CAT engine, with only 57000 miles in really good condition????

Thursday was our Emmi girl’s tenth birthday–no cake but she did receive a new duck–her favorite squeaky toy.  Jim and Ellie gave Emmi one of these ducks when Emmi was just a little puppy–it’s been her favorite toy always.

Whew did it ever rain Friday night and Saturday–over two inches in the gauge and we did see some snowfall just after lunch but the flakes didn’t hang around long.

Our mountains have a dusting of new snow.

Parking Lot Camping

We’ve spent the night in parking lots before–visitor centers, closed museums, rest areas but never a Walmart.  The motorhome had a 10am Monday morning appointment with Tire-Rama in Billings and I had a 9am doctor’s appointment.  Billings, Montana has three RV parks.  One is a KOA and their going summer rate is $95 per night.  The other RV park near the KOA is about the same price. We don’t like sleeping near trains/freeways so that eliminated the last RV park.  Billings also has a bad reputation in the RV world.  Until recently spending the night in any parking lot was against a city ordnance. About two years ago that ordnance was changed and it’s now OK to spend one night in a parking lot with the business owner’s permission.

The Walmart stores in Billings aren’t very big rig friendly.  So, I called Home Depot and was very nicely told we could spend the night in their back parking lot–not as close to the freeway/trains.  It was hot in Billings–we ran the generator and our basement air conditioner until the sun went down.  We spent a very restful night in our spot behind Home Depot.

Tire-Rama had told us that replacing the lug bolts on one of our inside dually tires would take about two hours.  After my doctors appointment I ran a couple errands, stopping at the new WinCo store and Costco before heading back to the motorhome.  The motorhome was still in the repair bay where it stayed all day long.  Tire-Rama was confident they could find our particular kind of lug bolt at one of their three suppliers in Billings–nope.  Had to order it and have it shipped over night.  Another night in the parking lot.  And because Tire-Rama had worked on the motorhome they would prefer we stay in their parking lot which is very close to the train tracks/freeway.  We spent a not so restful Monday night.

We didn’t leave Tire-Rama until 4pm Tuesday.  Let’s just say we weren’t impressed.  I had enough time to have my yearly mammogram while we waited! The Cowboy’s daughter Shannen and granddaughter Kristen came and visited with us while we waited.  Emmi was bored–

We did enjoy a couple good meals while there–it’s nice to have restaurants close by.  All systems in the motorhome worked perfectly–a good thing!

Today we’ve been busy at home–lawn mowing, motorhome bathing, laundry, etc.  Tomorrow we have visitors coming–RVing friends.

Wednesday was one of those why we live in Montana kind of days–77 degrees and sunny with a cooling breeze–perfect!

Clouds building Tuesday evening.  Our weekend weather forecast is miserable looking–lots of rain and much, much cooler temps!

We’ve Had Some Beautiful Days

Wednesday was our first full day of sunshine in many days.  There was a cool breeze but that warm sunshine felt wonderful! We’ve planned a short trip with the motorhome and the Cowboy started testing all the systems–does the propane work–yes, once we figured out the cook top!  The generator runs like a top, the refrigerator works, I think we are good to go.

Thursday was an in town yoga day and while there I ran several errands and enjoyed lunch with Jill at the Grand. I delivered some items we had sold through our local Facebook group, too.  Back home the sun was shining and the Cowboy decided we should tackle the “dome” which came with our little R-Pod trailer.  Thank goodness for YouTube as the instructions were worthless!  The “dome” gives you a bunch more room when camping in that tiny trailer and people on the R-Pod Facebook site rave about these attachable tents.  We will see!

Friday we made another trip to town to deliver some things we had sold on Craigslist.  At home the Cowboy begin to replace the brakes on the R-Pod and I shampooed the carpets in the motorhome.  After lunch I was going to do some weed whacking but for the first time in its life my gasoline powered weed whacker wouldn’t start!!  The Cowboy thinks we need a new spark plug–I hope that fixes it!  So many weed whackers are a pain in the neck to start but mine is easy to start and as I said has always started–dang it!!

Today, Saturday, was branding day at Lonn’s.  It was a gorgeous Montana day.  I babysat the food while everyone else did the work.  It was good to see our gang and especially the babies!

My Cowboy and our friend Ken–they went to high school together.  Ken and his wife Lesley live near us too.

Life is good!

Soggy

Yep, we are soggy.  We did see the sun for a bit on Sunday afternoon but on Memorial Day it rained all day long.  Sunday we traveled to Livingston to meet our friends Sarge and Sarah for brunch at the Rib and Chop House.  It was good to see them and brunch was a hit!

While quilting a customer quilt last summer/fall I broke a needle in the longarm.  When that happens the machine frequently needs re-timing.  We were going to tackle that task today but after using a practice piece to quilt a bit we determined the machine didn’t need re-timing–Whew!  It felt good to be quilting!

We are still in de-clutter mode.  I spent the day in the quilt studio straightening and tossing.  The Cowboy spent the day in the garage doing the same thing.  A misty rain fell for most of Memorial Day and in the evening the skies opened.  Close to one inch of rain again.

Tuesday was a yoga day for me and the Cowboy decided to wash vehicles–the rain had stopped and we even saw the sun for a bit.  At yoga I met the cutest pooch (except for Emmi! 🙂  Tofu belonged to a friend of Lesley’s from Florida.  He is a maltese/schitu cross and weighs only 9 pounds.  Tofu had the same coloring and looked like a smaller version of Zoey who belongs to Gina and Rollie.  When yoga started he walked around to each person, was petted then climbed into his little bed.  I know for sure Emmi would not have been so accommodating!

 

It’s Memorial Day Weekend

Why do we observe Memorial Day—Memorial Day is an American holiday, observed on the last Monday of May, honoring the men and women who died while serving in the U.S. military. … Originally known as Decoration Day, it originated in the years following the Civil War and became an official federal holiday in 1971.  Many people visit cemeteries and memorials on Memorial Day and it is traditionally seen as the start of the summer season. (www.history.com)

I love this photo and think I probably used it on another Memorial Day.  It was taken by John Novotny, a Big Timber resident.  This is the Big Timber, MT cemetery and each Memorial Day a ceremony is held at the cemetery honoring all those who died while serving in the US military.  Saturday the Cowboy and I paid a visit to the cemetery to search for his grandparents headstones–it took some sleuthing and walking but finally we were successful–

My father was a big believer in Memorial Day.  He and my mother would go to the cemeteries, neaten the graves of our deceased relatives and place flowers.

Thursday the Cowboy worked on the R-Pod all day.  We do indeed need new brakes in spite of being told the brakes were fine.  We had a couple water leaks which were quickly/easily repaired.  The furnace works as does the refrigerator, hot water heater and water pump.  As soon as the sun decides to shine again we just might head out on a little shake down cruise!  We joined a Facebook R-Pod group which has turned out to be a very, very active bunch of folks.  We’ve learned a lot and acquired some great ideas.  I finished the valances for the motorhome and remodeled the dining table chairs–they had this icky, dusty, dirty skirt around the bottom of the fabric cushions–not any more!

Friday was a town day–tons of errands, lunch at the Grand (my favorite place to eat in Big Timber) and finally home where I threw together a fruit salad and walked the pooch before heading up to Geoff and Nancy’s for dinner.  Claire and Robyn were also there and it was so good to see them again.  A very enjoyable evening as always!

While in town on Saturday we met up with friends Jon and Joan–Jon has a greenhouse north of town and it seems he had tomatoes ready.  Big, beautiful, tasty tomatoes–I brought home six pounds!!  This southern girl does like tomatoes!

Do you know that if you ship a USPS One Rate Box to a US military address in a foreign country the box will ship for the same one rate as if you were shipping in the US?  Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know 🙂 –the clerk in our Big Timber post office didn’t know it either but she quickly learned when I said I wasn’t paying $71 to ship a birthday present to our granddaughter in Germany!! 🙂 We had a good laugh/conversation while she clicked buttons on the computer and finally made it cooperate!  Success!

Saturday it stopped raining long enough for the Cowboy to work on the blasted motorhome again and for me to get the grass mowed.  Sunday the forecast is for lots of rain–I feel sorry for the folks trying to camp this weekend!

 

 

A Little Organization

Wednesday morning in Montana, three inches of snow on the ground and by day’s end another half inch of moisture.  Late in the afternoon when we walked Emmi the sun actually came out for a short period of time.

 Kind of looks like the wind wreaked havoc this winter with neighbor Keith’s irrigation pipe! 🙂

The Cowboy puttered on Monday–seeing what did and didn’t work on the R-Pod. Seems folks aren’t always so honest when you purchase used things.  On both the motorhome and this little camper the previous owners were dishonest and lied to us.  It’s a dang good thing the Cowboy is handy but he’s getting mighty disgusted with fixing things that we were told worked.

Tuesday I went to yoga up the road at Nancy’s.  It was so good to see the ladies and so good to be doing yoga again.  In the afternoon I worked on the window valences for the motorhome.  The old ones were in sad shape. We purchased new fabric and I’m using the old ones as a pattern.  My measuring skills are a touch rusty I guess as when I hung the first two valences I made, they were about two inches too long–back to the drawing board! 🙂

The longarm needs some maintenance and the parts came today.  The needle is held in place by a small screw.  That screw can be inserted on either side of the needle bar.  I had stripped the threads on one side and was working on stripping them on the other side.  It’s so important that the needle be secure that I err on the side of “too tight.”  So, the Cowboy had to drill the hole larger and use a tap to re-thread the hole.  Success!

At some point in time people begin to downsize.  We have two houses now and this Montana house/barn/garage is full of stuff.  We’ve been talking about what to do and today we just buckled down and started.  Bunches of stuff went in the discard pile, things were put in bags for the thrift shop and we listed a bunch of stuff on our local Facebook garage sale site.  I’ve all ready sold four items this afternoon.

While cooking lunch I also made a big pot of Ainsley’s clam chowder–can’t wait until supper!

We’ve Done It Again

Friday was a long day for all three of us spent in Billings.  It was finally “good haircut day” for me–the first good haircut I’ve had since leaving Montana last November.  When I got back in the car, the Cowboy said, “now you look like you!”  I think that’s a compliment?? 🙂 🙂

We had a fabulous lunch at CJ’s, visited Petsmart (someone has an upcoming birthday), picked up our Walmart grocery order, shopped at Costco and then I went to the dentist.  Seems one of my root canals needs to be re-done.  A root canal I had done in Mexico–I may be finished with Mexican dental work.

Saturday the Cowboy remade the table we brought home from the Lion’s Club garage sale.  The motorhome we purchased last summer was missing a few things–one of them the table–all four chairs were there but no table–weird!  Now it’s my job to stain and polyurethane the top of the table.

We purchase all our meat at Costco in quantity as we have two refrigerators.  I package the meat into two person sizes and vacuum seal.  Last summer we discovered our Costco had stopped selling “flat briskets.”  These are briskets which have been trimmed of most of the fat.  Guess I will have to find somewhere else to buy briskets this summer.  Billings has a new WinCo grocery store–may have to check there.

We’ve done it again–purchased another RV that is.  More like a truck camper on wheels but you don’t have to crawl up into the bed.  It has two bunks at one end, a slide, and a large half circle dinette which makes into a bed.  The bathroom and refrigerator, both small will be the challenges.  It’s made for getting out and having fun which is what we intend.

The young couple who sold us the camper were so nice–they are living their dream with their two babies, and two pooches in a log cabin high on the mountain above Bozeman, Montana.  Matt is a physical therapist in Bozeman and his wife is a stay at home mom.

Looks like winter at their place when we were picking up the camper. I would not want to traverse their roads to work every day in winter!!

As we were coming down the mountain I spotted something moving way up on the hill.  It was snowing and my lens was zoomed all the way–thus the poor photo but you can tell it is a moose.Weighs 2800 pounds, is 20 feet long and has an amazing amount of outside storage–inside not so much! 🙂

Horrible weather–there’s over an inch of rain in the gauge and more to come maybe in the form of snow–UGH!  Makes for hungry birds and this time of year they eat us out of house and home–