http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: May 2011

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

We Have Sunshine, Yippee

Finally we have sunshine—it and the wind really got rid of lots of our mud today! 

I’m not really sure what I accomplished today—talked to the guys at the 3G Store about routers.  We have a Cradlepoint router for use with our Verizon aircard when in the motohome.  At home we have DSL from the local telephone cooperative and use a router/modem combo.  Malone commented the other day:

“Comment on the new computer...I got a new Dell with Windows 7, and I had a lot of trouble getting it to connect and stay connected. Turned out to be my older router. I got a new one and it all works slick and fast now. Might be some compatibility between older routers and Windows 7 which has more secure connections”

So with that in mind and the fact our router is probably 4-5 years old, I began researching routers hoping to find something that would work for both places, home and motorhome.  Because our DSL comes into our house via a regular phone line I would have to have both a modem ($40) and a 3G router ($179).  Called our telephone company tech support—great guys and very knowledgeable.  The tech talked me out of a new router for the time being until we get the laptop back—could be an issue between the computer and the security settings on the router.  He had some other great suggestions as did Rick.  Maybe between all of us we can keep Michael’s new laptop connected.

We had pan seared tilapia for lunch with roasted potatoes and green beans, Michael has decided he can eat fish a couple times a week—I’ve been reading the Mediterranean Diet Cookbook which advocates less meat in your diet with  more vegetables and fish.  Michael is trying it!

I also did some cleaning in the motorhome today, you know Rollie and Gina will be here before we know it!  Michael puttered around all day, cleaning and picking up—going to measure a Geoff and Nancy project—playing with Emmi. 

So, I guess we did get something accomplished!


Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

As another blogger said, “it isn’t about another day off, a bar-b-que, or a party.”  Memorial Day exists for all of us to say a special thanks to those men and women who died to protect our values and country.  Memorial Day exists for all of us to say thank you to those men, women and their families who served and are still serving to protect this country.

I was in high school during the Vietnam war—I wore a MIA bracelet but unfortunately never learned the fate of the man who’s name was inscribed on that bracelet.  I baby sat during the summer my younger cousins whose father was serving in Vietnam—I remember their mother, my Aunt Mary coming home from work in the evening and gluing herself to the TV in hopes of seeing her husband’s face. 

A distant cousin lost his life in Vietnam and I can still remember standing in that cemetery listening to the sad, sad notes from the bugle and the gun salute.  I can remember in later years finding his name, Johnny House, on the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington, D.C.

Michael’s Dad Nat served in World War II, he was a gunner on B29 planes.  He has really begun to talk about that war a lot lately and I try to write down every word he tells me.  He was only 20 years old, married and his wife delivered him a son he knew nothing about until Michael was more than 2 months old.  That son Michael, served six years in the Army Reserve. 

My Uncle Len served in the Korean war and Uncle Si in Germany during the Korean war.  My cousin’s husband Pat served in the military and made it a career.  Mom’s husband Chuck was in the USAF.  The list goes on of men and women who gave their time, energy and lives.  And, if I haven’t mentioned someone, please forgive me, we still thank you!

Tonight we are having dinner in the home of dear friends Steve and Jeane.  Steve served in Vietnam.  My friend Rich served two tours in Vietnam.  Rollie spent many years away from home on Navy ships, his and Gina’s son Rollie served our country in the Navy also. 

And then there are the people still serving—Thomas Thurston, the son of our dear friends Rollie and Gina and our sweet granddaughter Laci along with so many others putting themselves in harm’s way to protect what this country holds dear.

Thank you so much to all of you on this Memorial Day.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Not Much Going On

This photo says all there is to say about our crummy weather today--IMG_7122 Taken through the windshield of the jeep—we got so bored and decided to take a drive this afternoon.  Close to another 2 inches of rain today and just downright nasty and cold.

Michael is staring to build the new cabinets for the toyhauler and I worked on a customer quilt today.  Leftovers for lunch—see, it was a very boring day around here! 

My sister called earlier today and it was almost 90 degrees there in Arkansas—made me homesick for all the times we headed to the lake on Memorial Day weekend to ski endless hours behind my brother Ross’ boat.  Michael made the mistake of saying we had plenty of water for skiing here, too—that earned him “the look!”


Saturday, May 28, 2011

Fourth Day Without Rain

Today was our 4th day without any moisture and the surface of the ground is finally drying.  It was a sunshiny day but very cold day with a nasty wind.  The doom and gloom weather people are predicting another nasty storm heading our way tomorrow and Monday—we shall see.  Still very few leaves on the trees here on May 28.  You can just see a hint of green in the tallest tree in the photo.


Nat came up for lunch today and to see our roaring little creek—he was impressed!  Michael moved more dirt and I quilted some on a customer quilt.  Emmi was outside much of the afternoon and as a result is a collapsed puppy in Michael’s lap!

While Michael and I were moving dirt the other day he dropped a big rock out of the bucket and the rock split.  Look what we found on the inside—isn’t that just too cool????IMG_7116

 IMG_7117 IMG_7118

Rick sent me a note the other day about my inability to post comments to my blog or other’s blogs.  Once I did as Rick suggested—cleared my cookies, etc.—I was back in business.  Thanks once again Rick for the computer help!

Friday, May 27, 2011

A Quiet Day

Mom and Chuck left headed back to North Dakota this morning.  The campground which employed the two of them as camp host has flooded and repairs will have to be made.  In the meantime—Mom and Chuck are going to plant flower beds!  And as there is no campground in which to park their motorhome, the organization they are working for is providing a motel room.

I caught up on a few chores that had been neglected while we fought water the last few days—things like laundry, cleaning out the refrigerator and filing appeals with Medicare.  I also baked cookies to send as a gift to someone having a birthday next week.  I even found time to take a nap this afternoon, just a quiet day.

Tonight we enjoyed having dinner with Jill and Terry at the Grand in Big Timber.  The food was good and the company just great! 

IMG_7068 IMG_7058

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Almost Another Day Without Rain

Now the weather people are predicting snow—hey it is Memorial Day weekend—but at least until now we haven’t had any more rain today and in fact had sunshine for most of the day.  The temp has dropped to below 40 degrees the last hour, the wind is howling and it is spitting something.

Last night we had a phone call from a neighbor who explained why we had all the silt, black water and debris come roaring down our creek yesterday—at the head of our little Coyote Creek a piece of ground the size of our house slipped down the hill into the little creek.  This little creek is small enough to wade across at any given time—it has been roaring the last few days with all the rain water, yesterday it roared with black water, silt and tons of debris. 

The slipped hillside is about a mile from our house straight uphill I think—we hiked up there this morning to see the slide.  Oh, my gosh!!!  It is just unimaginable the amount of damage that little creek and all that mud caused yesterday—it is mind boggling! 

Mom and Chuck made it into town today for haircuts.  Michael and I moved some more dirt and Emmi slept the afternoon away after her long hike this morning. 

The area which we hiked to this morning is just beautiful—it is the site of an old homestead cabin with to die for views.

IMG_7078 IMG_7065

Thanks to everyone for their comments and concerns about all our rain!

Blogger Get Your Act Together

I can’t sign in to Blogger, can’t post comments to my blog since last night, what’s the deal Blogger, can’t you get your act together???

EDIT:  While I use Chrome as my browser I still have Internet Explorer on my computer—opened IE and was able to access Blogger Dashboard and post the comments.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

No Rain Today


Looks a little like Seattle weather doesn’t it??  IMG_7026

It’s been a rough day here, we have been moving dirt and mud trying to keep the back wall of the garage from collapsing.  More water is pouring down our creek from a major break in the main irrigating ditch.  And the weather man is predicting more rain for tomorrow.  The Boulder Road from Big Timber to here has been closed for high water, I90 has been closed outside Big Timber for high water, what next?? 

Mom made us a delicious lunch of meatloaf, mashed potatoes, salad and homemade bread.  We needed it to keep up our energy for working so hard! 

Happy birthday Aunt Margaret! 


Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Turn Off The Faucet!

It is a mess around our country.  Three inches of rain in a hard, steady deluge this morning and another one and a half this afternoon and evening.  Our creek is once again a roaring river heading downstream—all the irrigation ditches between here and town are overflowing, there is a foot of water across the main county road in one place, there are lakes and ponds everywhere. 

We had a family birthday celebration for Nat tonight at his house in town.  Lonn and his family tried going home after the party via one route and were turned back by a mudslide which had closed the road.  They were heading back to Big Timber and would try getting home via another way.  If not they will come here for the night. 

And although we are in danger of losing our driveway we are still so much better off than those poor people in Joplin, Missouri.  Our hearts go out to them!

Today was Nat’s (Michael’s Dad) 89th birthday!  He is amazing—still lives alone, drives, makes all his own decisions—we feel very blessed to still have him with us and for him to have his health!  The plan for tonight was for us to order pizza at the American Legion—I fixed a salad and baked another one of those fresh apple cakes.  But—we do live in a small town—the American Legion kitchen is in the basement and is flooded!!  So, no pizza—OK, our choices are severely limited for carry out food in this small town—and there are three guys there Nat, Michael and Lonn who aren’t crazy about chicken but chicken it was from the Timber Bar.  Nat did say, “never thought I’d be eating chicken on my 89th birthday!”  It was still a very good evening and party.  Katie and her husband Michael joined us along with ranch hand/friend Charlie. 

Other parts of the country are flooding, too.  My Mom and her husband Chuck are work camping in a campground along the Little Missouri River in south western North Dakota.  They were awakened at 4am this morning and told to evacuate immediately, the river was rising.  Since they can’t do anything at the campground they drove over here in the car to spend some time with us.  Now, if we lose the driveway they may be stranded here with us! 

What a day!  I did get my massage this morning and boy do I have some sore muscles from all that ceiling cleaning!  Our friend Brenda left a cute comment on the blog today, “Shampooing the ceiling OK you thought I was a clean freak lol” 

Monday, May 23, 2011

One Major Job

Michael has gone over to Lonn’s to finish a little project, haul Lonn a few more bales of hay and to haul home some firewood.  I am sitting in my easy chair with my feet up trying to recover from my major job today.

For some strange reason this morning I decided today was the day to shampoo the motorhome ceiling carpet.  Oh my—forty feet of looking up and also dragging a wand over my head across all that carpet!  I started about 9am this morning and finished up at 5p.  Every bone in my body is aching especially my neck and shoulders.  I can be very thankful I have a massage scheduled for tomorrow morning—maybe that’s the reason I decided to tackle this job today???  The ceilings look great!

Michael got busy outside while I was inside and washed the motorhome—it looks great, too. 

Our flood waters have receded some thank goodness!  As of this morning I90 near Hardin, MT was still closed with several communities being isolated by the flood waters.  It sprinkled rain for a while today but most of the day we have had sunshine—YIPPEE!!!

IMG_7012 IMG_7018 IMG_7014 Mr. and Mrs. Sandhill

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Sunshine and Showers

With that strange golden globe in the sky and a serious case of cabin fever, we put the top down and headed off to Billings leaving Emmi with Nat.  By the time we got to Billings it was showering again, by the time we started back to Big Timber the sun was out and back down the top came!  It was almost 70 degrees today, a welcome warmth!

Michael’s Christmas present laptop died again—we had the computer in to Best Buy a few weeks ago for the same problem—it won’t stay connected to the internet.  It may connect for 15 minutes then kick off or it may not connect at all.  My older Dell has no problems with our DSL or router. 

Toshiba replaced the wireless card the last time and the repair lasted maybe 10 days.  The cheerful young woman at the Geek Squad desk was pleasant enough telling me the wrong thing, “you should have bought our service package, then we would work on the computer here for the life of the computer.”  I said, “I shouldn’t pay $500 for something that has to have an additional service package and has stopped working correctly when less than six months old.”  She became less cheerful especially after I told her very nicely I might add with a smile on my face that if Toshiba didn’t fix it this time someone would be producing a new computer.  GRRR

We stopped at Costco quickly purchasing just a few items such as Greek yogurt and produce.  Back at Nat’s I made us a late lunch/early dinner from Friday night dinner party leftovers.  We had an enjoyable time visiting with him. 

Back home our water levels have gone down several inches, we no longer have as much water running in places it shouldn’t be.  And as Michael said, “our damage is nothing compared to what other people are experiencing.”  Big Horn County (home of Custer’s Last Stand) has serious flooding, I90 is closed there, people have lost homes/barns and livestock. 

Last evening late we were so cabin fever bored we decided to take a drive, here are some photos of the flooding around here:IMG_6991 IMG_6992 This is Elk Creek—Ellie and Dortha, we crossed this little creek in the car several times heading to our hiking trailhead and this is the same little creek at which we ended our hike.  This is normally a creek about 4 feet wide that you can wade across. 

 IMG_6997 Elk on the banks of a very muddy Boulder River.

IMG_6999 Much better!

American Kestrel An American Kestrel

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Water, Water Everywhere

In twelve days we have had over a foot of rain—unheard of for this country!  Elk Creek Road just up from us has a washed out bridge and the several residents there are stuck.  Our friends George and Shirley have water in their basement.  We have earth sloughing off from the hillside all up and down the driveway.  Our little babbling creek is a roaring torrent--

 IMG_6990 IMG_6973 IMG_6967 



 IMG_6986This is the torrent of water heading down George and Shirley’s driveway.    And it hasn’t stopped yet, it sprinkled rain all day with no accumulation but certainly nothing dried up! 

Mary braved the weather and came over this morning to try out the Juki quilting machine—she quilted a little baby quilt completely and was thrilled with the machine leaving me a deposit for it.  When her little quilting area is finished Michael and I will deliver it and set it up for her. 

On our slog through all the mud and water this morning we were again attacked by the psychotic chicken (dusky grouse)!!!!  Here are two photos of how close this stupid MALE bird is getting to usIMG_6977 That’s my foot!

IMG_6979 And that’s Michael!  That bird is mentally deranged and I want him to know I am NOT his girlfriend, go somewhere else!!!

And that’s another day in rainy/gray Montana.

Quack, Quack

We better be growing some web feet soon!  Over two inches of rain in the gauge since yesterday and it has been snowing or raining hard all day.  IMG_6953-1 Wasn’t very happy to wake up to this scene!

IMG_6954 A group of geese came to visit our little spot this morning—we occasionally have ducks but haven’t seen geese before.

Have quite the gang coming for dinner tonight:  George & Shirley, Geoff & Nancy, Terry & Ailene, along with Robyn & Claire.  I made my friend Linda’s strawberry shortcake recipe, homemade bread—am grilling a ribeye roast and serving garlic mashed potatoes, almond green beans and a salad.  We should be sufficiently stuffed don’t you think??

My table for tonight looks great—when I worked in Powell, WY one of the surgeons had two young twin boys who were basically out of control.  When Nick and his wife Madelyn wanted to go out of town I was the designated babysitter because I was about the only person who could control the brats!  The twins and I went over one day to feed their dog and I noticed this old table sitting back in a corner of the garage.  When I asked Nick if he would sell me the table he said no but he would give it to me with one stipulation—if I ever wanted to get rid of it he wanted it back.  Seems it sat in front of a huge fireplace in his family’s cabin in the Appalachian Mountains and he could remember doing his homework sitting at that table. 

The table is a drop leaf—both ends fold down and then it has 3 additional leaves.  I can seat 10 people at this table very comfortably.  When Nick gave me the table I totally sanded and refinished it.  We use it every day—the leaves are a different color now as they are stored in the basement out of any light.  


The dinner party was great—wonderful food and wonderful company!

It continued to rain all night, as of Thursday morning when this storm started we have had almost SEVEN inches of rain.  As I write this Michael and Emmi have gone to take a drive to see if there is any flooding or damage from all the rain.  I walked out onto the deck to feed the birds and was shocked to hear our normally little babbling stream ROARING.  IMG_6962 IMG_6958 In one spot on our driveway the water is about to go over the road—we might not go anywhere today!  There is close to two feet of water running over the road at Elk Creek—there are people who live up that road who won’t be going anywhere today!  It is not raining at present although the clouds still look dark and heavy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It Fits Barely

IMG_6947  You can see the top half of the jeep door leaned against the inside of the trailer to the right of the jeep—there are cabinets over the wheel wells and the jeep door wouldn’t open against those cabinets.  So off came the top of the door.  If we had a hardtop like Al and Kelly we would have to crawl out the back!  Almost needed Crisco to get that jeep in there and the remodel has started! 


IMG_6949Just in front of the driver side front tire of the jeep was a cabinet containing the cooktop/oven.  Underneath the oven was a small furnace.  In order for the jeep to fit that cabinet had to be smaller—thank goodness for a handy husband.  We are moving the oven over to the sink cabinet just inside the door, getting a different sink and Michael is going to build a whole new cabinet to house oven and sink.   The furnace is being shifted over a little and then Michael will build a set of drawers over the furnace.  There won’t be much counter space but this is not the rig we are going to be living in while down south in the winter.  We will manage!

IMG_6951 Someone asked about the decor—here it is—safari!  NOT!  I have some wallpaper borders left from when we remodeled the inside of our Holiday Rambler 5th wheel that I think we will use.  And, we are probably going to paint all the white walls as Al and Kelly did.

I spent the day trying to organize myself for a dinner party we are giving Friday evening.  Emmi got a brushing and a brow trim so she could see and that’s about the extent of our day.

Rollie called while he was driving home to Louisiana from Houston tonight—he wanted to hear all about our new toy.  We are so ready for those two to come visit us! 

Nasty day weather wise, about 40 degrees and rain—right now it is raining really hard!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Bet The Suspense Was Killing You??

Nah, I bet most of you had forgotten what I said in Sunday’s blog, “We took a trip this afternoon to Harlowton and bought something—more about that later!”  Well, in case the suspense was killing you, here’s what we bought--IMG_6944 IMG_6942 It’s a short little toy hauler, the sports car or the jeep will fit inside.  We can use it to go “camping” here in Montana in places such as national forest service campgrounds where our 40 foot motorhome won’t fit.  We are excited, remodeling plans are all ready in the works and definitely redecorating!  Who in the world chooses the interior color scheme for toy haulers???  Talk about UGLY! 

We stopped by Jeane and Steve’s on the way back from Harlowton to look at the layout for a sprinkler system they want to install.  Got a look at Jeane’s new kitchen remodel—way cool.  Their son is one talented cabinet maker—his cabinets are gorgeous!

IMG_6927 Take a good look at that sunshine photo—the weather man is telling us—2 to 4 inches of rain from Thursday to Sunday afternoon with heavier amounts of rain in some areas.  I can hardly wait!

IMG_6932 IMG_6939 Here comes the storm across the Crazy Mountains between Big Timber and Harlowton. 

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

New Windshield

We took the truck into our local glass dealer this morning for the installation of a new windshield.  It is a common joke on the Montana Craigslist sometimes when people are selling vehicles here.  The ad will say, “has the usual Montana cracked windshield.”  In our neck of the woods in winter sand is spread on the roads instead of salt—sometimes the sand gets a little bigger grained than necessary, thus all the broken windshields.  Just a part of living in paradise!

After dropping off the truck I took Michael out to Jill’s where he worked hard all day and finished the sprinkler system with the exception of installing two small sprinklers tomorrow—he’s tired but happy!

When I got home I delivered Shirley’s quilt—her little triangle quilt which I guess I forgot to take a photo of since I can’t find one if I did!  We exchanged magazines and talked about our barter idea.  Shirley knits incredible sweaters, beautiful things—we are going to exchange services—quilting for knitting me a sweater!  Now I have to pick out yarn!

I loaded a customer quilt on the frame today and played with the flowers some more.  Here is a photo of my flower garden indoors for the time being—probably until the end of May.  IMG_6925 On nice days which seem to be few and far between I will carry them outside onto the deck. 

Lonn, LoraLee and Charlie came over this afternoon late and got a load of hay.  Lonn is hoping to ward off a snowstorm by getting hay.  His theory is that if he didn’t get more hay we would have a blizzard, if he got hay it wouldn’t snow—so let’s hope he has warded off a blizzard.

Monday, May 16, 2011

They’re Back

The little lazuli buntings that is.IMG_6921 I noticed the first one this morning.

Went into town to change Nat’s bandages and ran some errands while there.  You know—the lumbar yard, the feed store (where I got the sorriest bird seed I have ever bought), the courthouse—those never ending errands.

Headed out to the garden when I got home with the new Mantis garden tiller.  OK, there is certainly no need for me to lift weights or do any cardio workout tonight!  That was a job—my arms will be sore tomorrow.  I tilled some manure into the soil, picked rocks and just generally got beaten to death!   The garden looks great now! 

Planted my flowers into the containers until I ran out of potting soil—will have to pick up some more in town—I thought that huge Costco bag would have lasted all summer. 

What’s up with the wind around here—very breezy today and cool again.  Everywhere you go in town people are asking, “is spring ever going to get here?”


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Happy Birthday Brother Dear

Fifty years ago today when I was almost six years old I remember Mom bringing home a BOY to our house—life would never be the same!  Ross joined my sister and me completing our family.  The whole entire Barnes family was so glad to finally have a boy as my father was the only son, too.  Ross was the apple of our Grandfather’s eye and followed in every step Grandpa took—inheriting the family farm when Grandma and Grandpa were gone.  Ross and Vicky have raised two great sons on that farm where Ross continues to raise cows and hay.  Not only does he farm full time but he also has a fulltime job as an electrician for the utility company in Arkansas.  Ross works hard, too hard and is also a very giving neighbor and friend.  I am blessed to have him as a brother—Happy Birthday Ross.

Ross & Family Ross & Janna

Another gray, cold, cloudy morning but by the time Nat arrived for lunch the sun had come out—glorious!  Spent the morning cooking—meatloaf, garlic mashed potatoes, green beans, fresh bread and a new recipe—Fresh Apple Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting—OH MY!  was it ever good!IMG_6916

IMG_6899 IMG_6915My new toy, the garden tiller.

Transplanted some garden plants to bigger pots today and planted the blueberry bushes which came in the mail this week. 

We took a trip this afternoon to Harlowton and bought something—more about that later!