Friday, December 30, 2011

Winter Has Arrived in the Grasshopper Valley

And I'm so glad Walt is home to do the driveway and the shoveling!

And the ski hill opens tomorrow!  Happy New Year to all!

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Solar Eclipse in the Grasshopper Valley

WOW. How amazing it was this morning to capture this total eclipse of the moon over Maverick Mountain Ski Hill. Not sure when we will have another one of these, and of course, this one was even more of an event because of the fact that out on the plains one was able to see the sun rising at the same time of the solar eclipse. Impossible! So thankful Walt saw it! I totally forgot about it. Love these images. Not great, but good enough!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Breakfast in Ecuador

Walt and I went out this morning and did our 3 1/2 mile walk and on our way back passed a little produce tienda (shop) just down the street that had a big bin of ripe mangoes.  So we came back to the apartment and got some money and went back to buy breakfast!  November is Mango Month in Ecuador - I remember from when we lived here.  And I love the small Hawaiian papaya.

All of this for $2.  Unbelievable and so delicious.  Food of the gods!  My diet till we go back home!  Fresh fruit.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Children Are A Gift From God

I think I was a little surprised when Jenny and I saw this morning that the Duggars are expecting child #20 in the spring.  I mean after all, they already have 19 children AND 2 grandchildren!!!  Isn't it time for them to stop?  I mean, really, she's at least 45 - isn't it time to call it quits?

Well, I've sort of been thinking about it all day and here's what I really think.  Children are a gift from God.  It truly is my belief as a Christian that there is not a child born that is an accident - every child is from God and meant to be.  And as I really think about it, it is certainly interesting that for the most part the families that are choosing to have large families (instead of using birth control, they are allowing God to "control" how many children they have) - these families are Christian families, raising their children as strong believers to impact the culture they will live in.  Many, if not most, of these families are also homeschooling their children in order to protect them from the perverse and destructive attitudes and beliefs being purveyed in the public school systems across this nation.

So I say, "God bless you Jim Bob and Michelle Duggar and may God bless all those beautiful children He has given you and you are raising up to love and honor Him."

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Shopping With Luna

We went to Nuremburg yesterday to go shopping.  It's a great city for walking and shopping and people watching and eating and enjoying medieval architecture and . . . .  (Especially when the sun is shining!)

 Here we are - shopping with the Queen!  And she's learning from a master.  :-)
 Shopping for buttons is always fun - even if she doesn't need any!
 And these are particularly intriguing.
 Look, Mama!  There's a puppy in the store!  And he likes me.
 I see furs in my future. . . .
 Time for a little break.  (Mama's practicing her shopping!)

 I think I like this shirt the best.
Guess I won't need one of these for a few years!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

It's A Challenge! Hooray!

My quiilt buddies came today and we showed our center blocks and then drew numbers to begin the "round robin" challenge exchange.  Each one of us in the round robin exchange will *secretly* add a border to each block and then pass it on to the next person.  We won't see our blocks until each of our buddies has added a border to it and then we'll get it back - as a total surprise.  Should be fun!  So here's our blocks:

 This beautiful block was made by Ellen.
 And this beauty was created by Drin.
 This "welcome" pineapple was made by Joan.
And this is my contribution to the challenge.  I made this block about 20 years ago (!) and have been saving it for something really special.  This is it!

The interesting thing about our blocks is that they are all applique and they are all "on point."  We plan to take about a month per rotation (skipping December, of course) so we'll be back with our finished blocks for show and tell in a few months!  Stay tuned!  Should be exciting.

Monday, October 3, 2011

More Color!

 I never tire of taking reflection pictures of this pond.

 I discovered this wasp nest yesterday.  It's right by the road and I've walked past it hundreds of times and never saw it.  They're so fragile that I doubt it will last long, but for now it's beautiful.
Can't believe I've brought up wood to the porch - the aspen are still green!  But I'm on my way to Germany to visit Katie and I may want a fire when I get home.  There may even be snow!  One never knows. . . .

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Life Happening - The Colors, They Are A-Changin'

Every day there is more color!  It's so beautiful.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Life Happening - In Our Back Yard!

These certainly are not great pictures of moose, but it is so interesting and fun to have them in our yard and close enough to be able to hear the sounds they make.  They have no fear of me nor my puppy and I can stand around on the deck photographing them and they totally ignore me.  Just hoping so much those little twin moose will make it through the winter/wolf season.  Our moose numbers have been decimated by the burgeoning wolf populations in our valley and neighboring valleys.  Just sayin. . . .

 The bull is on the left with the cow and her twins.
 Mama Moose and her twin calves.
 Pretty small rack on this bull.  Must be fairly young.
 The Twins.
 This all four of the moose that have been hanging around the house a lot lately.  I'm very careful when I'm out walking! 

 It's so fascinating to me how they get down on their knees to eat.  They love the nice, lush green grass around our house.

Hi, Mama!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Monday, September 19, 2011

Life Happening - Lunch with my Quilt Buddies

One of my favorite days is a work day with my quilt buddies - Drin, Ellen and Joan.  And of course, we like to have lunch together. 

 I always enjoy setting a table, and like to look for new ways to do that.  So yesterday I headed for the dining room cupboards to find something different.  And I did!  Some years ago Walt's mother gave me a beautiful luncheon set that is onyx (black) and clear glass.  It includes 4 black luncheon plates, onyx and glass glasses, glass cups and onyx saucers.  It's beautiful.
So I started putting things together and this is what I came up with.  I liked it!  And we had a delightful lunch together.  Another great day with my quilt buddies.  Life Happening!

Sunday, September 18, 2011

LIFE HAPPENING Sunday, 18 September 2011

Just a hint, but it's coming.  And it's beautiful here in the Grasshopper Valley.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Rhubarb Patch

What a story.  In the late 1800's when the gold rush began here in southwest Montana at Bannack on Grasshopper Creek, "gold diggers" spread out through this area looking to make their fortune.  Several of them ended up here in our Grasshopper Valley.  One of them staked a claim high up on the side of the valley, but was not particularly successful at his gold and silver mining.  Not too sure exactly what inspired him, but he decided that perhaps he could make his fortune out of rhubarb - that is rhubarb wine to make and sell to other miners in the area.  He planted a huge rhubarb patch that continues to flourish to this day.  All the locals know where the "patch" is located and make regular forays up Wellman Creek draw to harvest beautiful, excellent rhubarb.

 This is one part of the patch.  I took this picture today and it is at the end of the season, so the stalks are beginning to lean over, but for the most part the rhubarb is still usable.
 The patch at one time and for many years was maintained and watered by Roger Cox and his son, Stan, but for several years now they have not been able to continue to care for it.  There's now a lot of weeds growing in the patch and I think it is getting smaller, but what is there - in spite of the weeds - is still wonderful.
 Many years ago soon after we finished our house I started bringing down plants from the patch and planted them next to our house.  I now have about 15 plants that are flourishing and I am able to havest stalks throughout the two months or so of the season without making the 9 mile trip up the mountain.
 This is one of my recent harvests.
 Ready to be chopped
 and bagged to freeze or to share with neighbors for all kinds of rhubarb treats - not just pies.
 Today we took Helen and David up to the patch as Helen does the baking for the Grasshopper Inn and loves to make rhubarb pies.  They had heard frequently about the patch, but had no clue where it was.
 She also dug a couple plants to take down to her house to start her own patch.
 We stopped on our way down for a photo op - a spot overlooking the valley below.  Beautiful.
The road up there is not the greatest, so we normally go up on our 4-wheelers, which in itself is a fun outing.  Today was perfect for a ride and a harvest.

These Boots Are Made For Walkin'

And that's just what they'll do!  For approximately 150 miles on two different walks in Ireland.  We're getting ready.  We're walking 6 to 8 miles every day in preparation for this adventure.  We will walk The Suck Valley Way in central Ireland and also The Dingle Way on the coast for 11 days total of walking.  Very different areas of Ireland and should be wonderful and beautiful.  We're so excited.  We fly on Thursday!  Depending on internet service at the hotels and bed and breakfasts where we will stay, I will make every effort to post a few pictures every day.  We will begin this adventure with 3 days in Dublin and will end with a couple days in Limerick.  Can hardly wait!

I figured out how to wear (carry) both my camera in a secure manner and also my daypack.  Certainly can't make a trip like this without my camera (obviously!), and it looks like we're going to need a rain jacket most days.  Just hoping it doesn't get too wet.  And of course, we have to carry water for the 15 (average) miles we will walk each day.  Hope I'm ready for this!!!