Saturday, November 29, 2008
Michael was a mechanic again all day, poor guy. I drove out to McLeod, which is just a post office, a bar and a one room school house still in operation. Michael went to school there through the eighth grade and our granddaughters also attended school there. The number of students fluctuates year to year, some years 5 and other years 20. I find it amazing that a one room school still exists today and there are many of them in Montana. OK, back to why I was in McLeod, I met John the potter to pick up my sister-in-law's new dishes which she ordered when she and my brother visited this summer.
I called those wonderful folks at Hughes.net today and permanently canceled our internet service with them. We are very happy with our local telephone company's DSL and will depend on RV park wi-fi this winter while in the RV. Our DSL is less expensive and it works all the time, something you certainly couldn't say for Hughes.net!
The rest of the day was spent quilting, I started the last one of my Aunt's quilts and am using a pantograph (a pattern that you follow with a laser light) that is just beautiful.
Made some wonderful tomato soup late this afternoon and that's what we had for supper with some leftover sourdough bread.
Friday, November 28, 2008
In September, 2000, our log barn which had a 2 bedroom guest house upstairs burned to the ground. The lower floor of the barn was used for storage and I had placed my Christmas ornaments in sealed wooden boxes in the barn. Michael's Mother had also given me her Christmas ornaments with some of them dating back to her childhood. Decorating with those ornaments was so much fun, Michael remembered many of them from his childhood. When the barn burned, I lost all these ornaments. It was heartbreaking--it was the only thing in the barn that we lost that could not be replaced. The day after the fire we were there poking around in the ashes and I spotted something white. It was one of the six little angels you see on our mantel. These were Michael's Mother's when she was a child and they all survived the fire. I just sat down and cried when I found all of them.
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Happy Thanksgiving to all our friends and family. We started out expecting 14 guests and ended up with 7! Nat tried out his new horse shoe pitching building yesterday with a couple of his friends and over extended himself--he could hardly move today and he stayed home. Michael's son and his family have owners in residence and owner's families and they opted out. Our friends Robyn and Claire also were unable to join us so we had a nice gathering with Steve and Jeane, their son Reed, their daughter Jordan and granddaughter PJ. Terry and Aileen rounded out our holiday gathering. As usual, we had way too much food and ate way too much. My new recipe for this year was Artichoke/Parmesan Stuffing--it was a hit! Jeane brought a pumpkin cheesecake that was to die for!
After our guests headed out, we packed up a plate for Nat and went into Big Timber. We stopped by the nursing home to visit Jim and Beryl before taking Nat his Thanksgiving dinner.
What are you thankful for this year? Michael and I are thankful for our health, our home and our wonderful marriage. We are thankful for our families and friends and our freedoms. We sincerely hope you all enjoyed your Thanksgiving Day.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
I spent yesterday in Billings again, got my haircut and finished my Christmas shopping! That is a good feeling for sure! I have some presents to finish making here at home but at least the shopping is done.
Today we took a nice long walk and I was huffing and puffing since I haven't walked the last two days. After the walk I got started on cleaning the house and cooking. And finally sat down about 5pm, pooped!
It was a nice day here, weather wise, cool but mostly sunny and almost no wind. Michael spent the day working on his old truck.
I am so thankful that I have Michael and that we live in this beautiful place.
Monday, November 24, 2008
My dermatologist/internal medicine physician was glad to hear that I am much better with no ulcers anywhere!! And I am beyond glad--it was a long summer!!
Getting my teeth cleaned was next on the list followed by lunch at our favorite restaurant, CJ's. After lunch we ran a couple of errands before Michael's doctor appointment which was a routine checkup.
We squeezed in a Costco run and several other stops before finally heading home. I bought 2 pumpkin pies at Costco and we couldn't resist a while ago--might have to stop and pick up another one tomorrow--oh, didn't I tell you, I have to go back to Billings tomorrow for an even more important appointment--my hair!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
When we got back from our walk, Michael started working on another old truck (don't even ask how many he has) that he got running yesterday. By the end of the day he had this truck working well.
I got an early start on sewing this morning and by lunchtime I had completed this little Christmas tree. I made it to take to my friend Beryl in the nursing home, it won't take up much space, it can hang on the wall.
After lunch I started and finished a small quilt for my Aunt Margaret. There is a style of quilting called meandering--you just start off and made loops and curves and hoops. I had been hesitant to try it but was very successful in meadering Aunt Marg's little quilt--no square curves!
This guy had a girlfriend and Jazzy gave chase to both of them but the buck was so interested in his girlfriend that he payed no attention to Jazzy.
It's hard to see in this photo but his horns are mismatched, he has more points on his left side than his right.
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Michael worked on putting one of his mini-excavators back together and was successful.
Jazzy dog slept and that was the extent of our day.
Friday, November 21, 2008
I baked pies this morning and then quilted the rest of the day. My Aunt had sent a Christmas quilt for me to do and I finished it today, it turned out wonderful. Michael (I'm not sure what he did today).
LoraLee decided to celebrate Thanksgiving tonight because Laci leaves early in the morning for San Antonio, back to the Air Force. We picked Nat up at the West Boulder turnoff and headed over to their house about 4pm. It was a great evening until we got ready to come home. Laci is not at all sure she wants to go back to Texas, not that she has a choice. It will help that she will spend Christmas with us in Arkansas. She also thinks Grandma and Grandpa should spend the winter in San Antonio.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Michael is giving up on the old truck and we towed it back up into the field today and he will decide what to do with it later--maybe a deep hole???
I finished up a quilt for my friend Jill--it is actually a table topper and then loaded one of my Aunt's quilts so I can get started on it.
Mid afternoon we took a trip into Big Timber. Jazz had an appointment at the vet for her yearly checkup and shots--she was not impressed! I stopped in at Cinnabar Creek, the store is beautifully decorated for Christmas and they are putting out more stuff all the time. I bought some Christmas socks and our yearly tree decoration.
We stopped in at the nursing home to visit Jim and Beryl and learned some more about the Volkswagen. It has been down the Baja behind a motorhome and lots of other places. I really want to get it fixed up enough to drive into town so Beryl can see it.
Dinner with Nat at the Steakhouse was last on our town list and we enjoyed our time with him. We haven't been out to eat much lately, trying to diet and also bored with the choices in Big Timber.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Just after Michael and I were married in 1994, a platinum and palladium mine opened about 9 miles up the road from us. It changed this valley considerably--our road, the East Boulder Road is a narrow, winding gravel road and the presence of large buses transporting workers and semi trucks hauling supplies was considered to be hazardous by the local residents. Our road saw very little traffic and what traffic it did have we usually knew the vehicle. The residents of the Boulder Valley fought the mine but as usual, the mine won and opened. Stillwater Mine has after all proved to be a good neighbor. The mine buses the laborers rather than allowing them to use their own vehicles helping to decrease the traffic. The mine also actively encourages carpooling by the management staff, too. The mine contributes 40% of the tax revenue for our county. They are the highest paying employer by far in this community. It has been good for Big Timber. On Tuesday Stillwater Mine announced that it was closing the mine for the time being, perhaps even permanently and laying off 526 workers. The price of platinum and palladium has fallen to record lows over the last few months. This news has devastated our community but today the outlook was a little better with news that the mine is all ready calling workers back to the job. Maybe they just needed to do a little housecleaning!
I went to a Pampered Chef party today at the home of a neighbor, Mona. She and her husband Mike run an outfitting and hunting business from their home here on the East Boulder. It was a good gathering of neighborhood ladies and we enjoyed some excellent food! And the mimosas were wonderful!
Poor Michael, the new $350 part did not make his old truck run as he had hoped. What next??
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
I vacuumed the house again, when you burn wood for heat there is a constant mess but I wouldn't trade my fireplace for anything!
After lunch I headed to the quilt studio and did manage in spite of my machine to get LoraLee's quilt finished. The pattern is called a Broken Star and the colors Lonnie chose for this quilt are colorful to say the least--I almost had to wear sunglasses! My machine is acting up and I was on the phone to the company a couple times today without success. We will try again tomorrow.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Michael's Dad Nat wears a particular brand of socks that he has always been able to order from our little department store (the owner is about the same age as Nat!) until the store decided to stop ordering the socks because Nat was the only person who purchased these socks. So, being his favorite daughter-in-law (remember I am the only one) I found the company online and talked them into selling to me direct. I ordered 3 dozen pairs of socks and they arrived today. I called Nat to give him the happy news and told him that the socks should last him the rest of his life (he is 86) and he said, "I'm gonna try and outlive those socks." Now, if I could just get the other company to ship his special shoes, I could remain the favorite daughter-in-law.
It was warm enough in Montana today for Michael to ride his motorcycle into town to pick up a part. Tomorrow the temperature high will come close to breaking records!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I worked on LoraLee's quilt most of the day yesterday until it was time to get ready to go over to Lonn and LoraLee's for Laci's party. Laci is our granddaughter stationed with the Air Force in San Antonio, TX. She has been home about 2 weeks, it was great to see her. The Air Force has been good for her, she has matured greatly!
Today I decided the house better get a cleaning rather than quilting. Michael worked on cleaning out one of our outbuildings so he could get some of the equipment in the building for winter. After lunch, I did get some sewing done--started working on Christmas presents.
Friday, November 14, 2008
I quilted this morning and Michael worked on the vintage Singer sewing machine we bought earlier this week. It was missing its knee control and he constructed one--I'm telling you, the guy is talented!
After lunch we decided to go into town. I needed to mail my Mom's birthday present and we wanted to get a battery for the Volkswagen. While Michael ran the errands, he dropped me off at Cinnabar Creek where I helped my friend Jeane string Christmas lights. The store is packed with all kinds of wonderful Christmas things and the decorations are beautiful.
When we got home we popped popcorn (Michael makes the best popcorn) and read all the mail then I quilted some more--getting to be a habit, isn't it??
The wind has slowed but as I write this at 6:30pm, it is around 20 degrees outside, BRRRR.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
I quilted all day. Quilting a queen size quilt is a little more difficult than quilting the smaller lap size quilts. I worked and worked today and didn't seem to make much progress but I did learn to use a ruler with the machine so that was fun.
When we went to see our friends Beryl and Jim in the nursing home the other night, Beryl gave us a pleasant surprise. Beryl had a daughter, Charlotte who was killed when in her early twenties. Beryl has kept Charlotte's car all these years, a 1959 Volkswagen and asked us if we would like to have it. Of course we said yes! We went and pulled it home today--Beryl and Jim have a small place with a cabin on the river just up the road from us and the car was stored there. Of course the mice have been in it but the outside of the car is in great shape. It has two Mexico tourist stickers on it, Jim and Beryl pulled it behind their motorhome years ago. I can't wait for Michael to get it running--gets 35 miles per gallon!
Jazzy dog is sticking close to her bed with the heating pad--she hasn't been interested in being outside today at all.
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
While Michael was working on the post, I used the skidsteer to haul a couple loads of firewood and to spread some gravel on some muddy spots that had developed when we dug trenches for water and electric to the new garage.
When I came inside to start lunch, I also started a major cooking project. I had some hamburger meat that had partially thawed in our malfunctioning freezer (which is history) so I made batches of spaghetti sauce and stuffing for stuffed green peppers. The rest of the hamburger I cooked and froze for other uses. In between all the cooking, the washing machine was busy, too.
About 2pm I was able to sneak off to the quilting studio. I have been fretting about the queen size quilt (my first of that size to quilt) my daughter-in-law wants me to quilt. I had loaded the backing and batting onto the frame and had the top ready to load but I just couldn't make myself start quilting. Well, today I got brave and hooray, my quilted feathers are beautiful!! I can do this!
About 6pm, the wind started and it sounds as if we are going to be blown off the map!! The temperature has also gone up and here at almost 8pm on a November night, it is almost 60 degrees outside!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
We made stops at the usual places, JoAnn's, Target, etc. before ending our shopping day at Costco and loading up on groceries. Most people who do not live in Montana where it is a long way to anything think we are crazy to travel 100+ miles to grocery shop. It sure is nice that gas has gone down in price a little--we paid $2.13/gallon at Costco today. My sister said it was $1.89 at Wal Mart in Arkansas this morning!!
We stopped in town and visited with Nat for a while and then traveled the rest of the way home. It is always good to get home "up the Boulder."
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Jill and Terry and Claire and Robin came for dinner last night. I made homemade lasagna, salad with poppy seed dressing and french bread. I tried a new recipe for dessert--pumpkin cheesecake, it was just OK, not a keeper recipe. We had a wonderful evening with a lot of political discussion thrown in.
Today I worked in the quilt studio all day and Michael has successfully isolated the problem with his old truck, made him a happy camper!
I only have one niece, Niki, and today was her birthday--Happy Birthday, Niki. She is a special child and we all love her dearly. She and her husband Eric have two little girls, Elizabeth and Leah. I can't wait to see everybody at Christmas.
Tomorrow we are off to Billings for a grocery run and for other important things like quilt store stops.
Friday, November 7, 2008
We have an IGA grocery store in our small little town and I feel sorry for the older people in our community that are forced to shop there. It is so expensive. I had three bags of groceries and it was $77!! It seemed as if every item I picked up had a $5 price tag on it!
Today is Jazzy girl's eighth birthday. She got to go to town with me today so she was thrilled.
Michael worked on his truck all day and it still isn't running, maybe tomorrow.
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I worked in the quilt studio all day and Michael spent a lot of time on the computer watching the stock market and researching ways to repair his old Ford truck. Last summer it just quit, wouldn't start. Michael is a very good mechanic and could not get it running. We took it to the garage in Big Timber and they could not get it to run, so it has been sitting up in the hayfield. Today we pushed it down the hill and into the garage so he can start working on it. I have confidence he will make it run again.
And that is about all that went on around here today. The UPS man arrived at our house at almost 6pm with my quilting thread order. Before the poor man could go home, he still had to go to Camp on the Boulder, a church camp approximately 25 miles from here. The road is dirt/gravel/boulders and is terrible to drive on. Poor guy!!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
I spent over an hour on the phone with the wonderful non-English speaking technical support people of Dell this morning and am still having issues with my seven month old laptop. I will call our internet service provider tomorrow and see if they can resolve the problems, GRRRRR!
I made a wonderful beef/vegetable stew for lunch then headed into town. I attended a birthday party at the nursing home for a friend of Michael's family, Jack--he was 94 years old today. I also dropped in on Beryl and Jim again.
Then it was off for a massage--heavenly! I stopped at the grocery store and picked up a couple of things then headed for home dodging the suicidal deer along the road. There were 3 huge buck mule deer nibbling grass right beside the road.
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Today was a great day! Michael and I got the last tree that he and Lonnie cut down last week out of the creek and all the branches and assorted other junk cleaned up this morning. It looks a lot better now when we look out across the creek.
My friend Nancy picked me up about 11am and we headed to Big Timber for lunch with some of the other "Boulder" ladies. Ellen, Gemma, Janice, Edith, and Peg joined us at the Grand for lunch. Carmen and Judy came in and there was no where to sit so they joined us too. It was a delightful lunch and it was good to see everybody again. Nancy is newer to our neighborhood so she enjoyed meeting all these friends. We also stopped by the Civic Center so Nancy could vote--Michael and I voted absentee a couple of weeks ago.
After lunch we wondered down to Cinnabar Creek. My friend Jeane decided to sell her half of the store recently so my original partner, Kathy, now has two new partners. Everyone is very glad that Cinnabar Creek is going to continue to be part of Big Timber--it is a great little store and gathering spot.
When I got home, Michael had installed a garage door opener--we are really getting uptown these days--first a garage, now a garage door opener.
Cold, cloudy and winter like today.
Monday, November 3, 2008
Michael ran into town after lunch and did some errands while I was giving computer lessons.
When I got back from Shirley and George's, I sat down to watch a video about using the long arm quilting machine to create "feathers" on quilts. Maybe someday I will be as smooth as the woman who created the DVD.
Our weather turned cold this afternoon with a brisk wind and clouds, BRRR!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
In the evening we went to the home of our nearest neighbors, George and Shirley's for a little "gathering" as Shirley called it. Munchies and George's always awesome wines were on the menu. Claire and Robyn and Geoff and Nancy were also there making it a very enjoyable evening.
Today Michael started to clean up some of the logs he and Lonnie cut last week. The logs are green and heavy making it hard work! He accomplished a lot and has just one more to cut up, the one that fell in the creek.
I spent the day in the quilt studio again and finished quilting the baby quilt LoraLee left with me. I also quilted a Christmas project and it turned out nicely.
Our weather is changing, we are loosing our Indian summer and reverting to winter. Rain is expected tonight and tomorrow and it is much cooler.