Busy Days

I’m thinking I’ve scheduled way too much for one week!!  Sunday we were gone all day to the wild horse range, Monday we were in Billings.  The Cowboy saw the dermatologist and we did a little shopping.

Tuesday morning bright and early had Emmi and me heading to Big Timber–Emmi was getting her teeth cleaned.  What a strange day that was–she had to be anesthetized and intubated so she spent most of the day at the clinic.  It was a lonely, quiet day around our house and there was one excited little dog when I walked into the clinic Tuesday afternoon.  She now is sporting a very interesting “do!”  Seems they had trouble starting the IV and had to shave both front legs–

poor baby!

Today friends joined me and we drove to Livingston to have lunch with Gwen, a long time friend who we’ve not seen in over a year–we had a great day, lunch/breakfast was outstanding–I had eggs Benedict which were scrumptious.  We had a little retail therapy and headed back to Big Timber.

So, you see, I’ve been busy–to town four days in a row is unusual for me and I’ve got lots to do at home!  Saturday I am getting on an airplane flying to North Carolina to spend a week with my Mom, sister Ann, niece Niki and Niki’s two daughters Elizabeth and Leah.  We’ve rented a house on the beach and we all are so excited–a girl’s trip–can’t wait!

Our ATV Wheels Do Still Roll

June 10 was marked on our calendar about two weeks ago–we were again invited to ride with the group heading to the Pryor Mountain National Wild Horse Range in Wyoming/Montana.  It’s been so long since we were out in the CanAm–all three of us were so excited we didn’t even mind the early departure hour!

The following paragraphs were taken from the blog written last year after our visit–

In 1968 an effort by a group of citizens resulted in the establishment of the Pryor Mountain National Wild Horse Range.  These horses have roamed the Pryor Mountains for more than a century and blood typing has indicated the horses are closely related to the old type European Spanish horse. Their unusual coloring points to their Spanish lineage too–dorsal stripes down their back, wither stripes and zebra stripes on their legs.  So–where did these horses come from–unclear but it is a common belief the horses escaped from Native American herds finding a home in the Pryor Mountains.

The BLM manages this herd and tries to keep the numbers between 120 to 160 horses.  Genetic diversity of these horses is high and thus the current level of inbreeding is low.  Natural and man made barriers confine the horses to their current range so the yearly foal population of 20-30 per year is the only source for new horses.  Every two to three years the BLM gathers and removes animals in order to maintain the desired number.  One of the ways horses are removed is through adoption by the general public through application.  (This information was obtained via a BLM pamphlet dated April 2000)

We didn’t see as many horses this year–only about 60+–last year we saw over 100 horses.  The gray skies didn’t make for good photos.This group of bighorn sheep was hanging out by the road and didn’t seem to mind having their photos taken–

Again, this next paragraph is taken from the blog I wrote last year when we visited the range–

The bighorn sheep have an interesting story too–these sheep are originally from a small herd which had been reintroduced into Wyoming’s northern Bighorn Mountains.  In the mid-1970’s they migrated across the ice of Bighorn Lake and remained on the west side of the Bighorn Canyon where their population has increased.  These sheep have persisted where several deliberate attempts at reintroduction have failed.  (From the BLM pamphlet)

Saturday was very warm and windy–Sunday it was still windy but very cool.  As we climbed in elevation it became windier and colder.  We had dressed warmly but by the end of the day I was wearing every stitch of clothes we had packed in our gear.  To add insult to injury, it even rained on us for a bit!

 Looking for horses.Lesley and Bev.

Lunch time.

The wildflowers were simply stunning–I couldn’t stop oohing and ahhing.

 Our day started with sunshine but it wasn’t to last!Greg and Phyllis have a new rig–a four seater so their dogs–a rottweiler and a lab will have a place to ride–we do take care of our pets, don’t we! My Cowboy The Bighorn Canyon

A fabulous day to be out with friends!

Glorious Spring Days

We’ve been busy–I’m sure you all say, “and what else is new???”  Thursday a trip to Billings was on the agenda–hair cut for me and errands.  Emmi spent the day with Nat.

Friday and Saturday morning were spent weed spraying–UGH!  There are few flat spots on this small ranch so weed spraying means climbing up and down hills.  At least I’m not spraying using a back pack sprayer–we have a 15 gallon tank which rides in the “trunk” of the CanAm.  Attached to the tank is probably 25+ feet of hose so I can park the rig and climb up and down using the spray wand and hose.  The pump located on the tank provides good pressure allowing me to really shoot the spray a long distance–it’s still very hard work!

I spent Friday afternoon on the lawnmower–mowing along the driveway all the way down to the county road, mowing our walking paths and then the yard.  Whew!

Friday evening we joined Lonn, Katie, Michael and the two munchkins–Brooks and Millie for dinner over in Emmigrant which is a small spot along the highway between Livingston and Yellowstone Park.  Lonn’s vehicle will hold all of us including two car seats.  On the way over I got to sit beside Brooks and hear him call me Mimi–wonderful!  The restaurant is an outdoor, place your order at the counter, buy your alcohol if you chose at another counter and sit at picnic tables kind of place.  Last night the band was a touch too loud for all our tastes–it was too hard to talk.  And there were about 10,000 mosquitoes for each person–I kid you not–I was sooooooo glad to see containers of bug spray provided free of charge by the restaurant.  The food was great!! and we left room for ice cream at Mark’s In and Out in Livingston.  I really, really wanted to post the photo I took of Brooks enjoying his ice cream cone but I won’t cause his mom stress! 🙂   A special evening and we were glad to have been invited!!  These two children are cuter by the day!

There is more digging going on today–the Cowboy left mid morning heading to Lonn’s–another water leak.  In addition to weed spraying I gave the CanAm and Emmi a bath–adventures are on the horizon!

When we returned to Lonn’s last night this little guy was sitting in Katie and Michael’s driveway–

And More Digging

Monday was unusually warm but Tuesday and Wednesday were cloudy and cool–we will take cloudy and cool over warm any day! 🙂  The clouds/sun make for great photo taking!

In between various chores on Tuesday I loaded a customer quilt.  In the afternoon Tammy came up to hem some curtains using one of my sewing machines and we had a great chat.

Today the Cowboy needed to give his sore shoulder a break and decided to clean irrigation ditches with the mini-excavator.  He was gone a long time so I’m thinking lots of ditch was cleaned.

As I type this we are having a thunderstorm and it’s raining.  When coming back from over on the West Boulder the sky was an eerie color making the river strangely colored too–and geez is the Boulder River high!  It’s an old wives tale around here–when the wild roses bloom, high water is over.  With all the snow still in the mountains we aren’t sure that tale will hold true this year!

Eerie color to the whole landscape.

Perfectly round mushroom in our hay field.

We have a catbird trying to mate with himself in one of our bedroom windows–he best be finding a new mate if he knows what’s good for him!  The birds are eating us out of house and home–I’m filling two feeders twice a day–we have the lazuli buntings, gold finches, rosy red finches, and a black headed grosbeak. We also have a magpie couple nesting in a messy nest located in the spruce tree right outside our dining room windows.  We will see how this progresses–magpie can be very noisy and very messy–they are huge birds!

More Digging

Picasa had a bee in its bonnet tonight but I persevered and finally found the photos I thought Picasa had eaten.  I know I should learn new photo editing software as Picasa is just hanging out there now with no support.  Picasa is so easy and I’m an old dog and don’t want to learn new tricks!

Sunday morning saw the Cowboy heading over the hill to Lonn’s–seems they had a water line leak.  The Cowboy was home by noon and spent the rest of the day puttering.

I’ve been quilting–imagine that!  I’ve worked on three small projects for three small people and am now starting to place a customer quilt on the longarm.  In town today I retrieved two quilt tops from Jeane for longarm quilting.

Probably some sort of noxious weed but it was pretty.

Do you wear a watch?  I’ve never known the Cowboy to wear a watch but I’ve always worn one.  My parents gave me a beautiful watch when I graduated high school and while it no longer runs, I still have it.  I’m lost when the battery dies in my watch which is what happened yesterday–today Ace Hardware fixed that problem and I had the batteries changed in a couple other watches for backup!

Nat and Barb came for lunch today and we had a very enjoyable visit.

Chokecherry blossoms.

It was a warm one today but our temps go back into the seventies tomorrow. The Cowboy was a mechanic changing the oil in the mini-excavator and my car plus he washed the car–good husband!

Just look at these two precious babies–Millie is eight months old and just the happiest child.  Brooks is two years old and not the happiest child all the time but then as I said, he’s two years old–he’s still adorable!

Image may contain: 1 person, smiling, grass, child, outdoor and nature

Life is good.

Install Day

My family in Arkansas is eating fresh produce–squash, probably cucumbers and here we sit Saturday morning with a heavy, heavy frost and 35 degrees on June 2!  And that folks, is why I don’t garden and why I don’t place annuals outside at night until well into June. Did any of our readers see photos from the hailstorm Roundup, Montana experienced on Thursday.  That’s not snow in this video, it’s hail!

“I’ve lived here my whole life and have never seen a storm like this,” said Justin Russell, Musselshell County’s department of emergency services coordinator. “We had baseball-size, sustained hail for about 20, 30 minutes. Took out most north-facing windows, west-facing windows. And any vehicles that weren’t under cover had severe damage.” from a KTVQ news story.

WOW–I’ve never seen baseball sized hail–can you imagine the damage caused by 20 minutes of that size hail??

While we had rain at our elevation, the mountains all have a dusting of new snow.

Today was install day for the monster head gate and once it was in place in the irrigation ditch it didn’t look as monstrous as it did while residing in our garage!  Logistics were a little tough–the Cowboy had to make three trips to the install location–one with the head gate, one with the skidsteer and one with the mini-excavator.  He made quick work of installing the head gate and was home in time for lunch.

The Cowboy, Dave and Jake the pooch.

In place and water flowing–Jake was glad, he was thirsty.

The planks you see on the lower outlet slide down into channels and keep water from going that direction.  There are also channels for those planks on the other outlet.

White water on the East Boulder.

Tonight we enjoyed happy hour with Tammy and Joe.  They purchased our ranch and former home back in 2005 and this past year remodeled the house–it’s stunning!  And they have the best views–I took the camera but the battery decided not to cooperate!  Always good to see them!

It’s been a beautiful day in Montana.

 

Routine Days

The days may be routine but we are enjoying those days immensely.  For the last couple days we’ve had sunshine, tonight we may experience thunderstorms with lots of rain.  This time of year it’s a chore to stay ahead of the grass mowing and weed spraying.  One of the yoga ladies said, “the grass grows two inches right behind the lawn mower” and I think she is correct!

Looking up the East Boulder–the yellow hillside is balsam root flowers.

Wednesday I sprayed weeds, mowed and weed whacked–wore myself to a frazzle!  But today, I’ve done very little so it all evens out.  Yoga was in town at the home of our instructor, Julia.  The Cowboy needed stuff in town so he played chauffeur to Tammy and me.  After yoga the three of us had lunch at the Thirsty Turtle before heading back up the Boulder.  This photo is of the Yellowstone River has it roars past Big Timber.

This afternoon I tackled a pile of mending type chores–I altered two pair of pants which were too big, altered Emmi’s new harness which was a touch too big and modified the sleeves on a top.  The sleeves had elastic and it was way too tight on my arm.

The Cowboy has finished building the head gate and it’s loaded on the trailer ready for delivery and installation on Saturday.  I was chastised by Dan for not posting photos 🙂  I will go take photos of the installation process too.

Our rhubarb is growing like weeds–I picked 5 pounds yesterday, posted it on the local Facebook page and gave it away to the lady who with her husband owns the busy convenience store/gun shop/gift shop in town.  When I walked into the store this morning Jeff met me and said, “Laura said pick out a bottle of wine in exchange for the rhubarb.” That was nice!!

 

Graduation

Sunday morning with the truck camper loaded we headed to Billings and the home of the Cowboy’s daughter Shannen and her family.  Our youngest granddaughter, Kristen (or as most people call her, Krissy) was graduating from high school at 6pm Sunday evening–with honors and as a member of the National Honor Society.

There was a gathering of friends and family with food galore before graduation and after graduation Mark (Kristen’s dad) grilled the best burgers and we had more food.  It was fun and we were glad we went in spite of the crummy weather.

 The white jeans Kristen is wearing made her easy to spot–she also wore some gorgeous cowboy boots.  In the below photo Kristen is just to the right of center, blonde, with her head tilted.  Notice the young lady in the rear with the flowers around her cap?  When I was graduating from high school, the teacher who guided the seniors was Ms. Calloway–she was also our English teacher and my father’s English teacher.  A very proper lady was Ms. Calloway and there is absolutely no way our caps were going to be decorated in any form, period–nor did any of the “girls” wear jeans/pants–it was dresses only.  Notice the varied footwear?? 🙂

Image may contain: textThis is Kristen’s cap decoration created for her by a dear friend.  The hat is just one example of Kristen’s cool personality.

As you can see Kristen didn’t attend a small high school–397 graduates.

Shannen, Kristen and Mark.

Monday morning Kristen was participating in a huge barrel racing event at an arena in Laurel–Kristen and Shannen had horses loaded and were down the driveway before the Cowboy and I were out and about.  After saying our thank yous to Mark we stopped by the arena and said goodbye to Kristen and Shannen.

Back home it was easy work to unload the truck camper and have a nap–we think we might be a touch too old for those late nights like the one we had Sunday! 🙂

Today has been a gorgeous, sunny, blue sky day–finally!  The Cowboy has worked in the garage on his huge welding project.  I went to yoga and chores have filled the rest of my day.  We did receive good news from the dermatologist–two of the Cowboy’s biopsies need only a touch more freezing and the other biopsy needs just a little more scraping/slicing–so no MOHS procedures.  We are thrilled!

Shannen and Mark live up on a hill above Billings and the views were spectacular–

 

Rainy Memorial Day Weekend

The reason we have a Memorial Day–58,000 soldiers died in Vietnam, almost 500,000 soldiers died in WWII, 117,000 soldiers died in WWI, and 34,000 soldiers died during the Korean War.  We have also lost 4,400 soldiers in the ongoing Iraq and Afghanistan conflict.  These numbers are US soldiers lost.  Our military personnel give so much to this country and we are very thankful for their sacrifice and service.

It’s a rainy Memorial Day weekend in Montana–Friday and Saturday were beautiful but Saturday night the rains started and will continue through the rest of the weekend.  All those campers we saw coming up the Boulder are probably rather soggy this morning!

Friday morning we decided to do something different for our morning hike–we went to Natural Bridge Falls near our home–if you hike around to the back side of the falls you get the best views–and photos!  Only in times of high water does the Boulder “go over the top.”  The rest of the year all the river water flows through the hole in the limestone cliff making a “natural bridge.”

And this is what it looks like on a dry summer afternoon–

IMG_4471Natural Bridge falls is our local tourist attraction–we take everybody there!

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The Cowboy has been working on a HUGE project–an irrigation ditch head gate for a neighbor.  The amount of steel in this structure is incredible and it fills our garage at the present moment–huge!

Our youngest granddaughter, Kristen, graduates from high school tonight in Billings–

Life is good!

A Birthday

Tuesday night it started raining and it rained through most of Wednesday.  Add that to all ready high rivers and creeks due to snow melt and you have flooding.  The Yellowstone River breached its banks Thursday afternoon near Big Timber.  The Boulder River is also out of its banks in lower lying areas.  This video was taken from up in our hay fields over one mile from the river–turn up the sound, the river is roaring!

Wednesday the Emmi girl had a routine veterinarian appointment and while in town we stopped at Nat’s to repair a window blind.  If you need window shades–buy Hunter Douglas.  Nat has two huge windows which overlook the Crazy Mountains and the shades are high quality Hunter Douglas.  The people who originally built this house kept a notebook with all kinds of documentation–brand/color of carpet, tile brand and color, manuals for everything, etc.  plus a manual for Hunter Douglas window shades.

When the first cord broke I contacted Hunter Douglas, gave them the name of the shades from the manual and soon we had a new cord–free!  These shades have to be 20+ years old but parts are always free.  When I called to order another cord they had our information in the system and we received another cord–free!

Today is Nat’s 96th birthday.  We took birthday lunch to him as his caretaker Barb is a bit under the weather at this time.  Nat is frail but his mind is still very sharp and we enjoyed spending his birthday with him.  And we all really enjoyed his birthday cake and the homemade strawberry ice cream!

Here’s how you move trailers around when it’s too muddy to drive the truck–the Cowboy ordered a batch of steel from a company in Billings.  This company delivers to the platinum mine which is just up the road from us about nine miles.  They call the Cowboy when leaving Big Timber and he meets them down by the country road where they off load his order before going on to the mine.

The first two photos are the main Boulder River.  The last photo is the East Boulder–all the rivers are muddy and rolling fast!