http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: October 2013

Thursday, October 31, 2013


Although it was 45 degrees today there was a mighty wind blowing off a snow bank somewhere—nasty!  Emmi almost needed an anchor.  We had a great yoga session this morning, toward the end I did remark, “I sincerely think she (Julia, our instructor) is trying to kill us!”  Julia’s yoga isn’t for the faint of heart! 

Michael used the excavator to lift one of our cattle guards out of its spot so he could clean out all the mud which had washed down the driveway to fill up the cattle guard opening.  He spent the rest of the day puttering in the garage—too nasty outside to do anything.

I finished another of Mom’s quilts today and got an email from Karen saying she had received her quilt up there in Wisconsin—it looks mighty good on her bed, doesn’t it!  I am so glad she liked the quilting!

quilt from Linda12-001


Jeane is coming up tomorrow to use the longarm and I made us a big pot of chicken and wild rice soup for lunch plus I have bread dough rising. 

That’s about it for our day here in Montana.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

A Regular Day

IMG_9167Sun coming up over the East Boulder.  The mountains around us got fresh snow last night, we didn’t, thank goodness!

What’s the consensus out there—do you like fruitcake??  I don’t or at least I didn’t until I tasted CJ’s!  I left her a Facebook message holding her responsible for the weight I will probably gain eating those delicious cakes!  These aren’t your usual dark, dry, sticky fruitcakes.  They are light, golden and filled with dried fruits which were soaked in brandy for over a month.  CJ used to write a blog but does no longer, is a quilter and lives in Arkansas.  She gave me permission to share this fabulous recipe:

CJ's Yummy Fruitcake

This is not your mother’s fruitcake. Rather than dark and spicy (good too!) this one is light, fruity and sumptuous all at the same time!  My comments are in pink.

6 cups diced dried fruit of your choice (I used dried apricots, cherries, figs, dates, and cranberries)
Enough brandy to cover the fruit, or put it in a bag and vacuum seal the air out, so much less brandy is needed.  It will pretty much take an entire bottle.  Let it marinate at least 24 hours, but weeks or months is even better. :)  I let mine marinate for about a month.

1 cup (8 ounces) unsalted butter
2 cups (14 ounces) sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
3-3/4 cups flour (16 ounces – all purpose, unbleached)
1 cup (8 ounces) orange juice
2 cups (7-1/2 ounces) broken walnuts or pecans (I prefer pecans)
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Lightly grease three 8 x 4 loaf pans, (I didn’t have 8x4 pans, used three 5x9 pans and reduced the cooking time) or use 8 mini loaf pans.
In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar and add the baking powder, salt and vanilla; mix. Beat in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the flour alternately with the orange juice.
Drain the fruit and stir in along with the nuts.  Reserve the "juice".
Spoon the batter into the prepared pans. They should be about three-quarters full. Bake the cakes for about 60 - 70 minutes (50 - 55 minutes for mini loaves). They will be golden brown in color, and a toothpick inserted into the center will come out clean.
Remove the cakes from the oven, cool for 10 minutes and remove from pans. Brush with brandy. Feel free to use the leftover fruit infused brandy that you drained, unless of course you drank it.

When completely cooled, wrap well and let rest at least 24 hours, or up to a month, brushing with brandy weekly.

I prefer to wrap in plastic wrap and freeze at this point, or you can wrap in cheesecloth and brush with brandy weekly.  I brushed mine with the fruit infused brandy, let is all soak in, wrapped the cakes in plastic wrap and froze.  Of course I kept half of one out for us to sample!


Emmi got a bath and a minor haircut today—I didn’t trim much of her body coat, only her face, skirt, legs and feet, wouldn’t want her to get cold!  She has never been to a professional groomer, I’ve always trimmed her and cut her toenails.  Our previous schnauzer had to be muzzled for toenail clipping and the dachshund I had in another life almost had to be sedated!  Emmi is a jewel—maybe because I deliberately played with her feet when she was a puppy, clicking my fingernails against her nails to simulate the sound of the clippers—she doesn’t even flinch.

Michael came to me this morning and said, “would you help me split firewood?”  In spite of wanting to get started in the quilt studio I said yes—can’t turn the cowboy down!  We made another big pile of split firewood up in the pasture and Michael hauled some down and stacked it under our deck.  We are ready for the next storm.


IMG_9163In two days time these leaves went from being a beautiful golden yellow to brown—guess those 19 degree nights did it!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Silver Tip Ranch, Grizzlies, Fires

Silver Tip Ranch fireplaceSlough Creek, Third MeadowApproach to Silver Tip Ranch

The above photos of Silver Tip Ranch were borrowed from the Yellowstone Park Foundation website. 

SILVERTIP RANCH AT THE END OF THE SLOUGH CREEK TRAILThis photo belongs to someone named Andy Davidson and I found it on a website called Panramio.  I’ve lived here nineteen years and have always heard about Silver Tip Ranch and Slough Creek.  Michael’s Uncle Bo, Nat’s twin brother had a hunting camp on Slough Creek, just outside the boundary of Yellowstone National Park.  Bo, Nat and Michael can tell some great stories about the hunters who came and the game they killed. 

Silver Tip Ranch which sits 43 miles from Gardiner, MT is reached by traveling through Yellowstone Park via foot, horseback or in one of the wagons belonging to the ranch.  Silver Tip isn’t your typical dude ranch, it is used by the owners and their invited guests—you can’t just call up and reserve a room, unfortunately!  A man named Milton Ames applied for a homestead in September, 1913, one hundred years ago—this piece of ground and other acreage purchased through the years became the Silver Tip Ranch. 


This is where we ate our lunch in Yellowstone the other day—this building  is called “Transfer” and houses the wagons belonging to Silver Tip Ranch—these wagons are used for transporting guests and supplies into the ranch—no motorized vehicles are allowed.  If you squint, you can see one of the wagons—I had to stick the camera inside a crack in the door! SmileHow in the world this ranch and its owners have managed to co-exist with a national park for 100 years is beyond me!  The Bliss family was one of the purchasers of the ranch from the original homesteader, Ames, and the Bliss heirs still own a 10% share in the ranch.

“The Yellowstone fires of 1988 seemed poised to devour the Silver Tip Ranch but a crew led by USFS ranger Larry Sears and the ranch hands at the ranch labored for days cutting, clearing and raking deadfall plus constructing sprinklers to water the wooden shake roofs.  The flames of the Storm Creek fire, shooting 300 feet high, burst through the trees on September 3, 1988.  There were 70 mph winds and thick smoke—the crew and animals raced to the meadow to huddle under tents of non-flammable material.  Not one animal, person or building was lost.”   Twice Told On The Upper Yellowstone.  We have a friend who was working in the kitchen of the ranch during this time, Sharon said when the fire roared overhead it felt as if every bit of oxygen in the world was being sucked right out of her non-flammable blanket. 

Slough Creek is grizzly bear country, the homesteader, Ames, killed eight grizzlies the first spring he owned the ranch.  Frenchy Duret whose land was purchased by the Silver Tip Ranch met his end in a fight with a grizzly bear.  The caretakers for the Silver Tip Ranch in 1964 were Margaret and Jack McDonald.  Margaret stayed home on April 30, 1964 when Jack rode out of the back country to town.  A grizzly visited her porch that night stealing a slab of bacon kept in a screened box on the porch.  Margaret knew the grizzly would probably be back; the next night she locked the dogs in the barn, got a 30-06 gun which she had never fired and retired to the bunkhouse—she could see the porch of her home from this structure. 

The grizzly returned, Margaret fired her gun, the grizzly ran toward her almost brushing her as he ran into the timber.  She got a flashlight and lit a lantern—NO way could I have done this—and went to find her bear.  He was dead and by the time her husband returned early the next morning (there is a telephone at Silver Tip) she had used a snowmobile to drag the grizzly to the cabin.   The bear was almost 8 feet long and his foot was 12 inches long!!  YIKES

OK—this post has gone on long enough but I find the history of this area fascinating!  Our family has its own grizzly story too.  Michael’s cousin Pete (Uncle Bo’s son) and his wife Margie were guiding hunters near Yellowstone Park when a grizzly attacked one of their hunters—the hunter was able to get one shot at the grizzly before it charged.  With the bear mauling the hunter, Pete could not get a shot for fear he would shoot the hunter.  The grizzly suddenly released the man and ran off into the timber.  The man was an emergency room physician and thought he was OK, bruised, some lacerations, but OK.   Once back at camp it quickly became apparent the hunter was not OK and would need medical attention.  Margie, an expert horsewoman rode a horse over five miles in the dark to reach the telephone at the Silver Tip Ranch.  The magazine, Outdoor Life, published an article about this grizzly attack in January, 1997. 

I’ve always longed to see Slough Creek—Michael and many of his friends say it’s one of the most special places on earth.  But to do it I either have to hike with the grizzlies or ride a horse—which would you pick???

Monday, October 28, 2013

A Good Day For Quilting

My cowboy was coerced into taking Karen’s quilt to the post office this morning after we took an abbreviated walk.  The wind was howling, cutting into you like a knife and spitting little snowflakes into your face.  Nasty outside all day with a high temp of about 28 degrees.  Not much snow has accumulated as it has all blown into the next county.

I made Gina’s taco soup recipe for lunch and she must have felt the vibes as she called me while I was chopping and measuring.  It’s been a while since I talked to that girl and we had a good chat!  She’s been off traveling with those beautiful daughters and grandbabies—I borrowed a couple of the photographer’s shots from Facebook so you could all see what beautiful daughters and grandchildren Gina and Rollie have. 


I finished the little quilt for my Mom plus I started  a small one for Shirley—it’s good quilting weather for sure—just stay inside and keep warm kind of weather!  We did get out again this afternoon to walk the Emmi girl, she was going stir crazy.  She will come up behind me in the quilt studio with a toy in her mouth and hit me in the back of the knees—if the machine is going I don’t even know Emmi is there until she almost knocks me down with her, “pay attention to me” moves!!

IMG_9153As you can see, the cowboy is wearing his red coat, it is hunting season and while we don’t allow any hunting on our property the neighbors do, we want to be sure they can see us! 

Michael sharpened saw blades and puttered in the basement, it was even too cold for him to be outside today.  In spite of the weather, it is a good day on the Boulder.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Storm Is Coming

Our dear friends in Canada are sending us a doozy of winter storms—the wind is howling and the temps are dropping.  Brenda had posted a photo of Dogpound North today covered in snow and when I thanked her for sending us this storm she promptly informed us that we had snow long before Canada did—yep, we did! SmileSnow isn’t supposed to start until around midnight but the wind sure is blowing!

I finished Karen’s quilt today and will get it off in the mail tomorrow if the snow doesn’t get too deep.  I then loaded one of the three my Mom has sent me lately.  It’s a small one which won’t take long.

Nat came up for lunch and we dined quite well—steak filets, baked potatoes, carrots and brownies for dessert.  The steaks were so good!!

Michael went up to Geoff and Nancy’s and did a little gravel/leveling work.  He is very glad to have his shed finished and our equipment stored in the dry before this storm gets here.  Maybe if we keep talking about this storm it won’t happen??? Smile

Yesterday our friend Larry brought us several loads of gravel which we really needed.  He has a dump truck and does excavating work—after he brought the last load around 5:30, he stayed for supper.  I did hamburgers on the grill and homemade oven fries. 


IMG_9140-001Larry travels with his trusty sidekick, Johnnie, the Dalmatian. 

Saturday, October 26, 2013

A Busy Saturday

IMG_9096For some reason when we have an appointment or something to do we sleep late—if we don’t have to be anywhere for any reason, we are up early—totally backwards but it happens!  We seldom use an alarm clock unless we absolutely have to go somewhere such as for a doctor’s appointment.  Our friend Kathy was coming at 9am to bring a stove door so Michael could repair it before the next blizzard hits. She was also bringing her new laptop loaded with Windows 8 to see if I could help her make heads or tails of it.  I (amazing isn’t it??) taught Kathy how to use a computer from pressing the “on” button to navigating files, to enhancing photos and to surfing the internet.  But we almost had to call Rick today!!

The person who set up this computer for Kathy needs to find another line of work!  It is loaded with useless stuff and he took away some of the cool stuff inherent to Windows 8.  He had the computer set up to always log on with a password which both Kathy and Jim hated—that took me a long while and a YouTube video to remove.  We all live out in the middle of nowhere, Kathy and Jim use their computer  ONLY in their home, it isn’t necessary to have a login password.  I went to Rick’s blog and re-read all his posts on Windows 8 and fixed a few things for her.  The computer needs to be re-configured for easier use—maybe Kathy and I will get it fixed sooner or later!

Michael finished roofing the other side of his shed add-on today—it’s all under roof now, let the snow fall! 

Cinnabar Creek has a yearly hunter’s widow sale—hunting season started today (run deer/elk, run!!)  Kathy and I went into town and did a bit of browsing.  The store sells these great candles which don’t drip, I think they are made by Root—I got several of those, some cocktail napkins and some container candles.  Kathy and I started the store Cinnabar Creek about 14 years ago and it is still going strong.  Kathy only sold her interest in the store about 3 years ago due to health problems. 

And that’s it for another beautiful fall day on the Boulder—winter is coming again tomorrow.


The photos were taken in Yellowstone yesterday, enjoy!

Friday, October 25, 2013

Our Backyard

Yellowstone National Park—yep, to us it’s our backyard, a mere 113 miles from our door to the north entrance of one of the most spectacular, spirit restoring places you will ever visit.  And on this fine, Indian summer day in late October, the park wasn’t full of those “other” folks who come to visit our backyard in summer—a very good day for a drive.  Our usual route is in through the north entrance and out to the Lamar Valley.  The sun was so bright my photos suffered as a result—but when we arrived home, there were some surprises when I began working with all the photos in Picasa.


Our first animal sighting was a chipmunk moving way too fast to pose for a photo.  The next group we saw were enjoying a late morning breakfast:



IMG_9083-001See anything in this photo??  I didn’t when snapping it—guess I should have been paying more attention to the scenery instead of composing photos!!!

IMG_9083IMG_9083-002Cropped even more—that’s looks surprisingly like a bear to me!!

We ate our lunch looking out over the Lamar Valley and talking about how lucky we were to have “this” in our backyard.  Michael and I both avoid YNP in the summer but this is twice now that we’ve visited the park in late October, early November—spectacular!!!  The park probably received the same snowstorms we did but as on our place, most of the snow has melted. 

On to the buffalo—many, many buffalo.  This guy was taking a bath—a dirt bath.  It’s a short video.

On the way back out of the park we ran into the usual and customary YNP traffic jam--IMG_9116and around the corner we ran into these guys—get outta my way!!


But the most exciting sighting (since I didn’t see the first bear today) was a grizzly—yep, my second one to ever see and Michael’s probably fifth.  We came upon a bunch of cars parked on the side of the road, in the middle of the road—more cars than we had seen all day—most be something cool—yep, it was.  The grizzly was along the edge of a river in the mud and never raised his head, he must have been eating something good getting ready to hibernate.  He was also some distance from us—so the photo isn’t the best.


And last but not least were the Mammoth Hot Springs elk:


IMG_9132“And if you don’t stop that little black thing from growling at me, I am going to come over there and give her what for!”

When I married Michael we used to go to YNP every year for my early September birthday.  My family loved to come to Montana for my birthday, go to YNP and hear the elk bugle.  There would be HUGE bull elk all over Mammoth, bugling, chasing the girls and each other.  Rangers would be everywhere keeping the people away from the elk.  In the last few years it doesn’t seem as if we are seeing as many elk in the fall. 


IMG_9135Goodbye YNP, see you next year.IMG_9136Only in Gardiner, MT, two elk visiting the USPS!

I convinced Michael we needed to end our spectacular day with dinner at the Rib and Chop House.  My spirit is revived, I’ve had my YNP fix for the year, life is very good!

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Another One Of Those Productive Days

Wow, did we ever get a workout this morning at yoga—Julia must have been feeling her oats as she had us working hard.  We all frequently marvel at how wonderful it is to have such a great teacher and such a great spot in which to practice yoga—it’s the best!!  We also have yoga dogs—Nancy’s labradoodle, Shine, loves for the other ladies to bring their dogs—Lesley frequently brings Pilgrim who rides sitting in front of Lesley on her dirt bike—gonna have to get a photo of that one!!  If no one comes to play with shine he stands on his bench looking in the windows forlornly at his Mom—he gets a little vocal at times too but we don’t mind! Smile

Michael worked long and hard today getting the roof extension mounted to the other side of his shed.  And, Butterbean, we worry more about wind in this country than snow sliding—we’ve lost more than one shed roof to the wind—thus this one is tucked down in the hillside and isn’t too tall. 

Karen—that quilt is just about finished—I have one more pass to go across the bottom and it will be ready to ship back to you—it’s gorgeous!!

I spent some time on the phone this afternoon arranging appointments and talking to friends and family.  And that’s about it for our Thursday on the Boulder—speaking of the Boulder, look at the fog which was all along the river early this morning—we had a temp of 22 degrees.


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

One Spectacular Fall Day

60 degrees, sunshine and no wind—a perfect day for a trip to Billings with the sunroof open.  We needed groceries but we also had some fun errands to do.

As Paulette would say, “score!”  Wool is outrageously priced right now, $30/yard!!!  I’ve loved the wool work I’ve done lately (it’s all Paulette’s fault!) and have some more patterns I would like to try but at $30/yard—that’s a little pricey for a hobby!!!  Well, we visited our local (Billings) Goodwill Store.  I scored a beautiful red jacket, a camel colored jacket and two men’s tweed type jackets, all in 100% wool for the whopping price of $19 total!!  There’s a lot of wool in a jacket!!  Now I have to go back through Paulette’s blog and learn about dying wools!

I made a stop at JoAnn’s while Michael was at Home Depot and purchased a bolt of premium muslin, 90 inches wide at 50% off!!!!  That’s a whole lot of quilt backs!! 

We enjoyed another great lunch at CJ’s and then it was off for more mundane errands—Costco, Sam’s Club (no tables for ironing boards Jeane), and Wal Mart.

Finally we were back to Big Timber visiting with Nat and retrieving Emmi girl.  It was just a good day spent with my cowboy!!


Tuesday, October 22, 2013

I Think I’m Tired

A walk, yoga and lunch before I got out the shears and clippers to clean up the flower beds.  Four hours later I can hardly move—I hauled three Kawasaki mule loads to our burn pile.  I’m not finished, the wild rose bush is out of control and needs trimming plus the apple trees really took a hit when that heavy wet snow fell.  But I couldn’t do any more this afternoon—maybe Thursday I will finish???

Michael has spent the day working on his shed—the roof is on and he’s a happy camper!  IMG_9058This photo was taken yesterday before he got the last little bit of metal on.

IMG_9054One of Emmi’s “chickens.”

On my last trip up the hill to the burn pile Emmi was being a stubborn schnauzer and wouldn’t get on the mule with me so I left her in the yard.  By the time I went to the burn pile and started back down, Emmi had joined her Dad at the shed—bad dog!!!  She has done this a couple times lately—we don’t want her leaving the yard—I need to catch her in the act so I can give her a good scolding.

That’s it for our gorgeous fall day on the Boulder.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Routine Day And Costco Facts

I had the most awesome surprise email last night from a reader, Sandi, who started reading our blog while we were in Texas.  She sincerely thanked me for taking the time to write a daily blog and mentioned some of the things she liked best about our blog—I was totally taken aback—it made my day without a doubt!!

It’s just been a routine day around here with lots of wind, sunshine and warmer temps.  Just look how much of the snow is gone in this photo of Red and Roan (aren’t we original in our horse names??).

IMG_9052Nat came up for lunch and we ate well once again—he too liked the apple cake!  I spent the day loading Karen’s quilt and have started the quilting process.  It’s looking good Karen!

As Michael was surfing the internet early this morning he read some amazing Costco facts to me:

1.  Costco sells 69 million roasted chickens at $5 each every year!!!!!  Do the math, that’s $345 million in chickens alone!!!  Guess this salmonella scare is putting a dent in the profits??

2.  Costco sell $1.4 billion in wine per year with more than half of the sold wine being fine wines. 

3.  More than 400 of the original 1,000+ employees from its founding in 1983 are still at Costco today.

4.  Costco sells 100 million per year of their $1.50 hotdog/soda combinations.

We are diehard Costco fans, don’t buy many rotisserie chickens but we do seem to buy our share of wine! Smile

Another good day on the Boulder.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sunday On The Boulder

Not much going on around here today as even our usual Sunday lunch guest had more pressing matters to attend to today—he (Nat) had horseshoe pitchers coming!  In making lunch I discovered I can still cook “southern!”  I made chicken fried steaks, mashed potatoes and a salad.  Plus I made a fresh apple cake from a Little Rock, AR Junior League cookbook—I told Michael you can tell a good recipe when the page in the cookbook is stained with butter/vanilla, etc.  I’ve used this recipe often in my adult life—it’s definitely not a low calorie dessert but is simply delicious!


Michael has one more sheet of metal roofing to lay on his shed roof—he made progress today!  I spent the day (other than cooking) sewing on a project for myself, piecing a Christmas quilt my sister Ann and niece Niki gave me in 2010—I’m a little behind, aren’t I?? 

The wind and warmer temps dried much of our mud yesterday—what did we wake to in the night, rain!!  Not much but just enough to make things sticky and muddy again.  Much of our day was in clouds but the sun came out this afternoon. 


IMG_9047The logs we are cutting for firewood were cut standing dead—when the bark peels off we see these really cool pictographs or petroglyphs??  Looks like sea creatures doesn’t it??


And that’s it for our Sunday.