Monday, June 22, 2009


OK. I think Jenny has laid down the gauntlet--she has started a new activity on her blog called "Top Tip Tuesday"--she obviously thinks I can't/won't do this, so I guess I'll just have to prove I'm more blog savvy than she thinks! (And that will totally depend on her ability to give directions!)

So, my top tip for this Tuesday is one of the most important lessons I have learned in a long time--and I've been around for a loooooooong time! There are certain things that I intensely dislike doing (like weeding my flower beds--hate that job). Procrastination pops right up there when my to do list is topped with "weeds." I can find all kinds of very important things to do when that is my job of the day--like writing a letter to my mother-in-law, cleaning my closet, defrosting the freezer--you get the picture!

And then when I finally get out there on my knees in the dirt all I can think about is coming up with some reason to quit--go in the house and get a drink, get something to eat (I get ravenously hungry when I'm in the middle of an activity I hate doing), stop and go write a note to myself about something that is vitally important to remember to do--you get the picture!

Now, how silly and childish is that? Some time ago I read an article in my daily devotional about such situations and the method the writer came up with to get through things she didn't want to do was actually very simple: "Do the next thing." "Keep moving." "Do the next thing." "Just get it done." A mantra. It may not sound like much, but it has worked tremendously well for me. So, now I don't procrastinate nearly so much!

(P.S. Yesterday I hired someone to come and do the weeding in the rest of my flower beds! That also works!!!)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

It Was a Hail of a Storm

This was about half way through the storm. It rained for a couple hours after the hail stopped. We are having unusual June rains this year. Guess that bodes well for July and August and for the ranchers' hay crop!

Sweet Memories

Chokecherries were always a part of my childhood. I remember so well being out at my aunt and uncle's place on Pryor Creek and picking chokecherries and then lying on the bottom bunk of the kids' room eating them!!! If you've ever eaten a chokecherry, you will think that something had to be wrong with me to even think of eating one, let alone snacking on them! Well, I did.
But certainly the best thing about chokecherries was the syrup that my mother always made of them. In fact, I remember one of the first things I did with Walt when we first started dating was to go pick chokecherries with my mother. We all loved the syrup. Our favorite thing was to make waffles, slather on a thick layer of sour cream, and then pour on the chokecherry syrup.
Memories, sweet memories.
Now that we are living in Montana again one of my fave things is to be able to make chokecherry syrup myself. The only problem is that while there are a few bushes here in the valley, the growing season is so short that the berries never ripen. That means I have to find them elsewhere. The best place is around Billings, but a few years ago I found some at the Dillon Golf Course, so spent a couple days there harvesting their bushes. The batch of syrup I made today is from that harvest. Now I'm looking forward to some sourdough pancakes with my fresh batch of syrup! Yum, yum!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009


The end of an era. The Grasshopper Inn is permanently closed.
It looks pretty lonely and empty. It has been the valley gathering place for many, many years. A lot has happened here--many, many memories. We stayed here in 1986 when we came and bought our first piece of property in the valley. I will have to find out when it opened. It was originally called "The Bed Spread."
We miss you, Tucker and Marti.
The cows are on the move. The ranchers are moving small herds to "staging" areas before they move them up to the high mountain pastures for the summer. That happens on 1 July. These are some of the Tash cows.
This is a pasture full of camus in the Big Hole Valley. (I had to go to Jackson today to get a haircut.) It's very difficult to capture the water mirage created by a field of camus--this is about the best I've done. The Bitterroot Mountain Range is so beautiful.

Remember you can click on the image to see it full screen.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Country Living Today--Surprise!!!

This is what we came home to today when we finished up in town. . . . The one in the cage is the baby. The one below is the (dead) mama. We're not sure how many babies there are, but probably several. We'll get those, also. They live under the storage shed and mama feeds herself from the food in the "cat house" inside the shed. This is the last year we will provide nesting and food for local skunks. Walt will move the shed and we will pour a cement slab. That will end the skunk problem. (In case you're wondering, Walt shot her dead instantly with one shot so she didn't "spray" before she died.) It's called "country living."

On to happier subjects! This is my rhubarb patch after I harvested this evening--still so much left! It will last for several weeks. I have a thing about rhubarb! All of my plants have come from the "rhubarb patch" up on the side of the mountain. It was planted by a miner decades ago when his mine wasn't producing, so he planted rhubarb and made wine out of it! Probably didn't make his fortune, but we valley people continue to reap the bounty of his efforts. Tomorrow I will make rhubarb cake to go in the freezer for when the Gang comes to visit!! Can hardly wait.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Look Who Came To Visit!!!

Joan Mohr showed up at our door yesterday! She celebrated her 90th birthday this year and doesn't she just look great--and beautiful as always!
She left the valley several years to go to Kansas (now) to live with her daughter, Lani, but she's come back every summer to visit--except last summer. (She had fallen and wasn't able to drive.) So it was wonderful to see her again. Driving all the way by herself from Kansas in her brand new little Jeep Liberty.
You are the greatest, Joan. We love you and miss you. The valley will never again be the same without you here.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Daisy, Daisy, Give Me Your Answer, Do. . .

This was my last view of Daisy when I dropped her off at the trainer's on 4 May--six weeks ago. And this----was my first view of her today! Daisy under saddle. WOW. What a change. From a wild and free, spoiled rotten little filly to a fully outfitted school girl.
What a change. I really do think she recognized us. . . .
Drin said she wouldn't. . . .
This is her trainer, Patrick, getting ready to take her through her paces. Well, if you really want to know the truth, that little doggie in the background is the real trainer--he just lets Patrick help!
She sure looks beautiful.
We were amazed watching her how well she was doing. Not at all nervous nor even rambunctious--like she used to be!
And then-----the real test. A rider on her back. She was just as smooth and well-trained as she could possibly be--after six weeks. Get a load of that beautiful, awesome Montana mountain scenery. Wow! We really do live in God's country. The Last Best Place. Big Sky Country.
She's calm and well-trained. Patrick says she has a really nice even gait and is very comfortable to ride. We'll see.
She was just as smooth as silk--as was Patrick. To be able to ride like that. . . .
Obviously, she's had superb training. Two more weeks then she gets to come home.
So. Daisy, how do you like being all grown-up???

Thursday, June 11, 2009

A Trip to the Post Office

Every day I have to go to the Post Office to pick up our mail--although I have to admit there are days I don't care enough to make the trip. It's four miles--an eight-mile round trip, so it's close enough to ride a bike, but not really to walk. Yesterday I went down and parked and behind me pulls in this: It was Mark Marcheasseault heading up the road in his tractor with a round hay bale--must have been off to feed cows somewhere. He's a sweetie and stopped to ask me if I got my picture when he saw me standing there with my camera.
The mail lady had just arrived, and I knew it would be a little while before the mail was up, so I walked around with my camera and got some updated images--not that anything around here changes all that often. . . . (LOL) This is the very famous Polar Bar. I'm not kidding about the famous part. Obviously, it's closed.
This is the old outhouse that sits behind the old used-to-be general store and post office. I have a thing about outhouses--I keep trying to find one that somebody will give to me for a garden shed in the "park" beside our house. In 14 years I've not yet been successful. This one I like--it's quite large.
This is the interior. It used to be a two-holer and it was obviously not your basic outhouse, as I can see that at one time it was actually insulated for those cold winter "sittings."
This is the back side of the used-to-be general store and post office. The building was originally one of the buildings at the site of the Polaris Mine which was a few miles east up the valley. It's been around for awhile!
After I got my mail and headed home I noticed the camus in bloom all along the road. Seeing as how I had my camera I decided to stop and try to get some good images. They're not great, but representative!
It is totally awesome when the camus is in full bloom in this valley. I can look off across the pastures and it looks like the pasture is actually a lake--a mirage. It's so beautiful. It doesn't last long.
One of the things I like best here is the beautiful blue, crystal clear skies with delightful cloud formations floating by. It makes for wonderful photography!!!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

You have GOT to be kidding!!!!

This is what I woke up to this morning--not exactly what I was hoping for, but actually not all that surprising for June in the Rockies!
On days like this, we always have to remind ourselves that "it's wonderful moisture". . . . Oh, yeah???
It was all gone by early afternoon, of course. I'm just hoping that I haven't lost any of my new plantings. I was out at 11:00 last night draping sheets everywhere in hopes of saving them all.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

News From the "Hangar" in Germany

This is a recent note that Sheila sent me about what is happening at the Hangar. David is there helping them do some outside work--I would say they have taken on some massive projects. We're looking forward to more news and pictures, Sheila!

"Roger and David have been digging the volleyball court for the last 3 days. We got an estimate from a local company to dig the hole, but they said they could do it WAY-Y-Y cheaper. So they rented a little digger and borrowed a trailer to pull behind the van. They load up the trailer with dirt and then drive to the back of our property and dump it. Unfortunately, the trailer doesn’t tilt, so they have to hand shovel all the dirt out of the trailer every time. They have worked from sunup to sundown every day and come in exhausted and filthy. All the energy they have left is to eat a little something, take a shower and fall into bed. But their spirits are good and they keep saying that they are getting good exercise!! Praise God we have had good weather and neither of them has injured anything.

I could definitely relate with you about the weeds in the garden. It is a never ending battle!! We have been laying down the weed stopping material in the new areas we are doing, but that doesn’t account for all the old areas that still have the weeds. I have spent the last week trying to get all the moss and weeds out of the cobblestone walkway between the garden area and the barn. It is about 6 feet wide and at least 100 feet long. I have to dig down between each cobblestone and uproot all the plants and dirt and yuck that has accumulated there. It is a time-consuming, arduous process, but the result is fabulous. I am about halfway done and the finished cobblestones look so beautiful that I am motivated to finish it all. Someone gave me a homemade weed-killing recipe of vinegar, salt and detergent that I have been pouring over my cleaned cobblestones to at least slow the growth of new weeds."

Hangar Happenings!

Here are the pictures Sheila sent of what's happening around their house. Looks like David is hard at work--a lot of work!
This is the yard area beside the house. Beautiful!
She now has curtains in her fabulous kitchen. What a great place to hang out!
We're hoping for more pictures, Sheila!