Monday, August 31, 2009


In The Beginning. . . . I guess he's done this a few times before. He looks pretty comfortable up there.
It's beginning to take shape. Notice the "crew boss."
I like what's happening! So fun!
Our summer house is almost done! I can hardly wait. All of the electrical work is completed and the fan is fanning. Kirk says he'll build the screen doors tomorrow and stain the floor. WOW!! I'm loving it.

Wood Work

It would appear that Brother Ty didn't get enough "wood work" while he and David were here helping Walt with his winter work, so he went home and got really busy!
I'm impressed!

Who said Clematis won't grow at 7000 feet in Zone 2?

I have no clue anymore what motivated me to plant this clematis, but it's been there for seven or eight years and gets a little bigger every year. It's in a very protected place and I take good care of it. Guess I just got lucky! It certainly shouldn't be growing here!

Sunday, August 30, 2009


I GOT A GOOD REPORT FROM MY DOCTOR!!! Even though I've been put under "house arrest." The doc still is not sure exactly what happened that landed me in the emergency room, but he did tell me that I have to stop "burning my candle at both ends." (I'm inclined to think that I was totally stressed out--exhausted.) The "event" of that day (whatever it was) set off some weird stuff that I'm still experiencing, so he is putting me on a low dose of nitroglycerin for three months to get everything heartwise regulated and stabilized and back to normal. He told me that I have a very healthy heart and shouldn't experience anything more--but I can't do another summer like this one! (I blame it all on Walt--I was fine until he crashed and caused me untold worry!) But the doc did tell me to keep the nitro prescription that I have and to keep it with me and to renew it every year. . . . Hmmmmmmm. I said, "it really is an art, isn't it?"

I can't begin to imagine what it will be like to be home for the next three months. . . . . September, October, November. Wow. Guess I'll get started on Christmas.

Walt is doing great! Better every day. We're so thankful for that. Thanks to all for love and caring and prayers. We are so blessed.

And we had a really fun weekend! Saturday morning we drove out from Billings to visit Walt's brother, Ty and Betty, and their daughter, Kelle and family in Fromberg. We spent the morning with them and I got a tour of Kelle's amazing garden--it's such a treat to see everything she and Cortney are growing and canning. And then we got to have some of Betty's delicious cake--I'm still thinking about that!

When we left there we drove on up to Red Lodge where we met another of Walt's brothers, Larry and Paula, and had lunch with them at our favorite Red Lodge restaurant. Walt and I are dieting, so we skipped dessert and then headed on up the mountain toward the ski hill to visit their cabin and check out all the changes and additions they are making to their place. It is one of my favorite places to visit as it is the perfect example of a cozy, inviting, rustic mountain cabin. If you dream of a mountain retreat, then this is it. Yeah, you're right--I should have taken some pictures to share!! It's so beautiful and the setting is idyllic.

We left them and headed back to Billings to meet my mother, my sister, Elaine and Bill and my brother, Jim and Marijane. We tried out a new restaurant called Jake's. So how was it? Well, it was mighty awful expensive to begin with. I had to go back out to the car to get a jacket because it was so cold. I had to send my "medium" prime rib back as it was crawling off the plate. Well. . . . We probably won't go back in spite of the fact that our waiter was really great and the place had a most inviting atmosphere and ambiance and was beautifully decorated--guess that's what we were paying for. Other than that. . . we had a really fun evening with my family! We always enjoy each other whenever we get together.

So that was our weekend. Really great. It's always so good to be able to spend time with family. We are back home today and getting ready for the week ahead. And it is a week we are excited about because the Grasshopper Inn will be reopening under new management on Tuesday--and that will be a good thing for all of us in the Valley.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Work Those Brothers!!!

Another day of work around the home place for the brothers. Amazing what they accomplished! Sure was a good thing they had the ATV or Ty might have packed up and gone home on the spot.
Even the wood cart helped make the work easier. Well, a little easier.
David is now a woodcutter extraordinaire! He's earned his chain saw diploma.
The crew boss needed to take a break after watching such exhausting work. . . . (Actually, the fluid in his lung was making it difficult for him to breathe properly, so he didn't have much energy. He went to the dr on Tuesday who aspirated a quart and half of fluid from his lung. He's now breathing a little easier, but was told absolutely he is not to get on an airplane before 8 weeks post-accident--that will be about 15 September. Guess he's getting more summer break than he planned. He's feeling well enough to go back to work, so he's more than a little bummed.)
It's awful high up here. . . . Hold that ladder steady.
What a great time those brothers had. Lots of laughter. And you know, laughter is the best medicine. . . . Very healing.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Walt has had a mug collection that was started at West Point in the early 80's. It's grown to about 50 cups and we have them hanging on the wall in the kitchen. Whenever we have guests they go to the wall and choose their mug for their coffee. Well, wouldn't you know, this is the mug Ty chose for his coffee while he was here. I think he liked it a lot. One day I had the audacity to put it in the dishwasher to clean it and he moaned and groaned and complained about where was his mug!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

32 YEARS SOBER. . . . NO MORE!!!

Drinks for everyone! Set 'em up, bartender! Cuttin' and splittin' wood at Walt's house has made me awful dry, and that brother David is a hard taskmaster!

Thus we see the start of the slide of a once reformed tippler, and we all know where this leads. . . .

Yup! Landed Ty right back in the hoosegow. He's beggin' for help to get away from those hardcore gold miners (and even the ghost of Sheriff Plummer!) who are in there with him.

I guess we all know where this road leads. . . .

The local boothill. Got a space reserved for every hardcore drinker who thinks he can escape this inevitable end.

Wait a minute! There might be a way out after all???
Yup! You guessed it! He's joined the hallelujah gang! Saved from the grip of the demon drink!

Preach it, Brother!!!

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Bye Bye Skunks!!

This is the storage shed which used to harbor nesting skunks every year. Well, I've had enough. So Kirk came in and moved the shed and poured a cement slab so I won't ever again have to deal with a skunk anywhere near our house. (I hope. . . .) (At least that's my plan!) The cement is cured so yesterday he came to move the shed to its new foundation.
Our hard-at-work contractor.
With a little help from David!
And Ty!
WOW! I'm impressed! Looks great. Now all we have to do is rebuild the entrance to the "cat house." (I'll let you ponder that one. . . .)
David is making friends with Mildred (a.k.a. Millie). She loves everybody!
After that they got to the real work of the day--splitting the logs they cut the day before. No way am I ever going to be able to lift one of those hummers into the fireplace--I think they weigh more than I do!
Man the hammer.
They had to take turns. (I'm thinking next time they will look for some lodgepole pines that rarely max 12 inches diameter. This was way too much work!!!)
But that woodshed surely is gettin filled up! WOW! Loving it. Thanks Ty and David. You're the greatest! And they have earned their rest.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Cavalry Has Arrived--Cuttin' and Cookin'

I can't start this post without including this amazing rainbow from a couple days ago. We are probably having the wettest summer on record (!!), but this rainbow was truly unique. I love photographing the skies here--sunrise, sunset, storms, rainbows. Lovely and beautiful.
So, this was David's initial chain saw "lesson." He's doing pretty darn good and Walt and Ty are letting him get lots of practice. . . .
It frequently takes two to do an efficient job of bringing down a tree--and a crew boss, of course!
And when you get as sweaty and overworked as Ty obviously is, then it's time to take a much-needed break. And what a lovely spot in which to do it. (It's the aspen grove beside the house and we call it "the park.") And whatever you do, don't get dehydrated. . . .
OK. So now they're ready to move on to bigger and better--just think of the chunks of firewood they can get out of this baby--or big daddy!
So David decides to give it a try.
(Whoops! I guess I loaded this one twice.)
Now this is probably half an hour into the process and some are beginning to wonder if it's ever going to come down. So they decided to use a come-along to help it. (This tree is a pine beetle-killed tree on a neighbor's property.)
David is now trying a crow bar to try to pry open the cut in order to help it along. Push, David! (If you click on the images, you can see them full-size and you can see Ty working the come-along---directly in the path of the falling tree!!!)
I took a whole series of pictures of the tree as it was falling and have posted several of them here in order to give one an idea of what it was like--it came down in slow motion--it was in no hurry--heck, at this point they had been at it for about an hour! Hard work, to say the least. David is getting out of the way--fast. Ty is watching it come down on top of him. . . . Everybody is yelling at him!
He still is standing there. You can't really get an idea of how big this tree is. Huge.
Now the real work begins! Cleaning off the branches and then cutting it into firewood chunks. Boy, did they earn their fresh wild salmon dinner.

WOW! We had to do a lot of sawing to get that daddy down. There was hardly anything left keeping it standing. Amazing. Ty said it was the hardest tree he's ever brought down.
And this is a view of our beautiful valley that I captured as I was on my way home to start dinner.
So. Everybody slept well, but Ty promised us the best biscuits in the world this morning, so he had to get up early to get started. He was hard at work well before I even started my first cup of coffee. And some know what that means. . . .
Gotta get them shaped just so.
This was very intense work.
I know. . .they're upside down, but they sure do look good!
David's hard at work on his computer (actually, he was researching something about WWII and the 30th Division. . .part of their morning conversation while waiting for breakfast). And the beginning of another day---of hard work! And the crew boss will make sure they do it right!