http-equiv='refresh'/> Tin TeePee/Log Cabin: September 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

A Gathering of Friends

When I married Michael in 1994 I had worked as an operating room nurse for sixteen years—as a worker bee in the actual OR and in management.  Big Timber has a very small hospital, with the nearest hospital having an operating room being about 58 miles from us.  So, in 1994, I quit working.  I’ve worked since I was 14-15 years old—my first job was in a Western Auto store and I was employed from then until I married Michael.  I quickly became very bored, did some interim management for a hospital management firm and by some stroke of luck was in the right place at the right time.

I interviewed for a position at a Billings hospital to work in their heart surgery program.  I declined the offer after deciding I didn’t want to drive that far on nasty roads in winter.  But, the person with whom I interviewed, Linda, the assistant director of the operating room remembered me from that interview.  She worked on call/interim for the Kimberly-Clark Corporation doing sales support for a line of drapes and gowns used in ORs.  Linda called me out of the blue one day to say Kimberly-Clark was looking to hire three nurses on an as needed contract basis, would I be interested.  After hearing the details, I was more than interested.

For twelve years I traveled for Kimberly-Clark on a contract basis, not being paid when I was not working, but having the luxury of saying yes or no to assignments and being paid well when I did work.  My dear friend Kelly and I went to work in June of 1995 for Kimberly-Clark.  We joined a team of other nurses, two of those nurses, Shirley and Elaine along with Kelly and myself have kept in touch over the years making the effort to see each other at least once a year.

Wednesday morning (way, way too early), I flew to Chicago meeting up with Kelly and Elaine.  Poor Shirley took a tumble on her kitchen floor the other day and wasn’t able to travel so we are missing her very much!   In this photo (2013) we were in Corpus Christi, TX—from the left, Shirley, me, Elaine and Kelly.   


Kelly is hosting this gathering and we are going to the opera—her daughter-in-law, Alison is an aspiring opera singer—quite good—and we are going to one of her recitals.  I am sure there will be lots of laughing, eating, shopping, and wine drinking along the way.

The cowboy and Emmi are holding down the fort back at home, finishing up the last minute motorhome packing!

IMG_0392In West Palm Beach, Florida, October, 2014

Monday, September 28, 2015

No Eclipse Viewing Up The Boulder

Clouds and rain obscured any view we might have had of the moon—but as we were driving up the Boulder about 7pm, the clouds treated us to an awesome, colorful sky.

DSCN1679-001DSCN1688As you all know, Montanans think nothing of jumping in their cars and driving 100 miles “just for the day,” or to go to Costco, Wal Mart, etc.  Yesterday we jumped in the car and drove 160 miles “just for the day.”  Actually, we had a more important reason—to see friends Jane and Rich.  When I worked in Powell, WY as Director of Nursing for the hospital, Jane and Rich were my best-est of friends—their children Jonathan and Elizabeth were a joy.  I was a transplanted southern girl far from home—Jane and Rich welcomed me into their family with open arms.  Life over the years dealt them a nasty blow taking their talented, wonderful son and now Rich is very ill.  We met them in Cody for lunch then headed out to their home halfway between Cody and Powell.  Saying our goodbyes yesterday afternoon we made plans to have them join us in Arizona this winter. 

Michael spent the day digging trenches and helping a friend/neighbor install a pump and water lines.  I attempted an organized trip to town with plenty of time to do errands before meeting Jill for a leisurely lunch then off to a massage appointment.  Organization went out the window when due to the rudeness/ineptness of the MT state highway department it took me over ONE HOUR to even get part of the way to town. 

There were two trucks, one re-painting the center stripe/outside stripe of the highway with a caution truck following—big lights, big sign—“WET PAINT, STAY OFF THE PAINT.”  OK, I will stay off the paint but after 10 cars pile up behind you on a two lane road, I expect you to pull off the road in one of the numerous places to do so and let us pass.  Nope, they just kept on painting.  Then it became dangerous when people behind me just started crossing the paint stripes and roaring around the trucks when double yellow lines were in place.  Nope, they just kept on painting.  I was not a happy camper—Jill and I gobbled our lunch in about 30 minutes and I headed off for my now even more needed massage!

Back home Ms. Emmi let me know how unhappy she was being left alone all that time but a little ball playing and she was happy again. 


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Even The Cowboy Makes Mistakes

And this was a messy mistake!  The cowboy does all our vehicle maintenance—and with as much equipment and vehicles we have—it keeps him busy.  Friday was oil changing day for the big Country Coach motorhome.  The filters and oil for this change cost about $165—can you imagine how expensive it would be if labor were tacked on???  The coach holds nine gallons of oil. 

Well, the cowboy learned a lesson yesterday—do not use an air wrench to remove the oil drain plug!!  Picture this—he is underneath the motorhome, oil pan ready, the oil drain plug is really, really tight and he can’t get it lose with a BIG socket attached to a 3 foot handled breaker bar.  SOOOOOO—he thinks, that new little air wrench should loosen that plug.  Well, it did loosen the plug—as in instantaneously!!!  Oil went everywhere giving the cowboy a nice drenching—his wife refused to let him come in the house clothed—his shirt went in the shop wood burning stove—(one of those well loved fire retardant ones Rollie!! Winking smile)  I laugh every time I imagine the horrified look on his face while underneath the motorhome!!

We’ve spent the last couple days packing and loading.  We are taking all kinds of different stuff this year—saws, sanders, paint brushes, etc. for working on the house.  Then there is all the stuff we always take.  I have lists on top of lists.  And in the midst of all this packing—I am off to Chicago on Wednesday for a girlfriend gathering.  Whew!

Dang it’s been hot here the last two days—it was 90+ on Friday and near 90 today.  I’m ready for those cooler fall temps to come back! 

DSCN1664A cowboy creation—I love it!

DSCN1667Emmi catching a ride with dad.

DSCN1671Some fall color.

Life is good.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Well, That Didn’t Last Long

“The wireless provider previously servicing the OmniLynx Program has recently expressed an inability or unwillingness to continue supporting the program.  As a result ,and regrettably, we will be unable to accommodate your recent order.  Within the next 48 hours, you should receive a full refund of your initial payment.  This refund will be transacted through the PayPal portal.  We are exploring alternatives for the continuation of the OmniLynx Program and will notify you immediately upon resolution to this issue.     Thank you for your patience, support, and understanding in this matter. “ 

We received the above email this morning.  In late August, early September we became aware of a data plan being offered by Huntsville City Schools—huh???  Yep, a school system in Alabama negotiated  with Verizon to buy unused bandwidth and re-sell it to their employees—unlimited data for $47/month.  Yes you read that correctly—unlimited data for $47/month.  The problem began when the school system formed a company—OmniLynx, and began offering this fabulous, not to be believed deal to the general public all across the US.  And then the real problem began when the RVing world got wind of this unheard of deal!!

The cowboy and I when traveling south in the winter are limited to 15GB of data on our Verizon plan—we are limited because that data plan costs as much as we are willing to pay Verizon.  So, unlimited data sounded absolutely awesome and I ordered a device only to be told the devices were on back order.  Then we get the above email—it was too good to be true indeed.  On their blog post Technomadia (I can’t provide a link to Technomadia as their blog site won’t load for me tonight) gives more information stating that “at this time current customers will not be affected by this change……”  I think the key phrase there is “at this time.”  And I will say, OmniLynx has all ready refunded our PayPal account.

And I made a big score—I belong to a Facebook group—Sweet Grass County Online Garage Sales and have been quite successful selling stuff.  Today I bought—a set of dishes for the Arizona house—probably a 10-12 place setting of just the right color dishes!  Score as Paulette would say!

DSCN1662The dishes are all mix and match—the dinner plate in this photo is a deep chocolate brown, the salad plate is sage green, the bowl pale yellow and the mug a terra cotta-ish red. 

What happened to our nice, cool fall days??  It was 85 degrees today, kind of warmish! 

Lora Elizabeth

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Strange Phenomenon


In 2003 after my Dad died the previous December we started traveling south—in January that year for a couple weeks--increasing the time spent in warm country year by year.  We left just after Thanksgiving one year when we were going to Mexico but most years never any earlier than we did last year on December 2.  Usually we wait until closer to Christmas even if we are going to Arkansas for the holidays. 

Loading the RV in winter temperatures with snow on the ground is brutal—we wouldn’t turn on the heat in the motorhome until a couple days before departure meaning we couldn’t load any freezable items until then.  With every load I carried to the motorhome I would kick my shoes off at the door and endure freezing floors while I put items away.  I would have to wear a heavy coat as I loaded—last year the temps were below zero when we were getting ready to depart.  Miserable!  And then there was always the worry of how to get the motorhome down our steep driveway if it snowed—the cowboy would watch the weather closely and if a storm was coming he would take the rig down the driveway parking it at our old garage.  That opened up another can of worms meaning everything had to be ferried down the driveway in a vehicle then transferred to a frigid motorhome.

Not this year!!!  It’s been a pleasure loading the motorhome—sunshine, no coats, no need for heat!!  We can even have water in our tanks—a first!!!  A strange phenomenon!!

Today I had a great yoga class then headed to town for lunch with friends Gemma, Ellen and Jeane.  I haven’t seen Gemma and Ellen in a long time—we had a very enjoyable lunch just catching up.

Back home I did some computer work then loaded some more stuff into the motorhome.  About 5pm Michael asked me if I wanted to take a little CanAm ride and off we went.  We just took a short run up to the Elk Creek trailhead, stopping on the way back down for a little happy hour.  You can’t beat our happy hour view!




Sunday, September 20, 2015

Timber And A Visitor

While Gina and Rollie were visiting we had rain—almost an inch which made things around here rather muddy to say the least.  Yesterday morning the cowboy discovered we had had a visitor sometime during the time it was muddy.


Today we went up to Claire and Robyn’s to cut some trees—two of the dead trees were all ready down and resting on the fence, the other tree the cowboy cut was a doozy!  The cut tree instead of falling hung up in the top of another tree located downhill.  Without the mini-excavator we would have had to leave a leaning tree—never a good thing when other people (Claire) are using the same area for cutting.  Cutting dead trees is hard work—more so for Michael than for me—but that little mini-excavator makes the work much easier!


We are enjoying perfect weather, cool nights, warm days and the colors are starting to pop!


Michael gave me a Fitbit Flex for my birthday and I’m enjoying using it—the dang thing startles me when it starts buzzing on my wrist after I’ve reached my goal of walking 10,000 steps which isn’t every day but I’m gaining!

I know it isn’t nice to say, “I hate…..” but today, once again, I hate cancer.  Cancer is evil, cruel and takes those from us we are not ready to let go.  Our little community lost a young woman to breast cancer this weekend.  Connie just saw her only child off to college for his freshman year.  She gave so much to this little town—she volunteer coached the high school cheer leaders, she promoted our community by organizing the rodeo and Christmas parades, she taught various fitness classes over the years and she always had a smile on her face.  Rest in peace Connie, we will miss you. 

Friday, September 18, 2015

Kind Of Quiet

Thursday morning Rollie and Gina loaded up and headed down the road—we followed them to Big Timber so we could transfer title for the aluminum trailer Rollie purchased from the cowboy.  We had such a great visit with them and were sad to see them go but their currents plans include some time spent in the Arizona desert this winter.  They are headed to North Ranch with plans to stop in Utah for a few days of ATV riding. 

On Wednesday when Gina and I drove to town we spotted a black bear beside the road—when we came home from town two hours later the bear was still in the ditch and we noticed a deer carcass he must have been eating from.  He paid us no mind whatsoever—he was trying to take a nap with his full belly!


A reader asked me for a link to the Airplane Plane quilt pattern Gina is making and I found one—the pattern can be downloaded or purchased.  The creator of this pattern has a lot of other cute three dimensional quilt patterns.

Today we went to Big Timber and took Nat out to lunch—came home and Michael headed up to Claire and Robyn’s—something to do with a tractor??  I spent the rest of the afternoon adding a different size sleeve to my bear collage quilt—seems she is traveling to the 2016 Road To California quilt show.  The creator of the bear collage pattern and owner of my favorite Billings quilt shop, Laura Heine, asked for the loan of collage quilts from the classes she has taught.  Road to California has asked Laura (she is a vendor) to create a display of her collage quilts.  So, I thought—why not—and my bear quilt is going on a trip but first it had to have a new sleeve and a permanent label to meet Road to California specifications. 

Fall is most definitely in the air—we’ve had about an inch of rain over the last couple days and much cooler temps. 

DSCN1606And snow on the mountains!



Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Visit Is Winding Down

Long day in Billings on Tuesday—I had multiple appointments—mammogram, dentist and hair dresser.  Gina and Rollie had a list a mile long of things to adapt their trailer and new ATV for their use.  So, we spent the entire day and part of the evening in Billings!  Emmi spent the day with Nat and was one happy puppy when we walked in the door.

And talk about service—my mammogram appointment was at 9:45am Tuesday morning.  Today at 12:30pm I retrieved the mail from our mailbox and had a letter from my nurse practitioner stating the mammogram was normal—now that’s service!!!

Gina and I went to Big Timber this morning searching out fabric for airplane making and were quite successful—I LOVE the colors we found!

FullSizeRender (4)Again, the photo doesn’t do the colors justice, the background is a rich, rich gold, the plane is a very dark gold/black—gorgeous!

Rain today and much, much cooler temperatures—Michael and Rollie spent the day working on their ATV trailer adding spare tire mounts and storage boxes—they are now ready to roll.  Gina and I worked on airplanes and made a fabulous dinner—southern style—pinto beans, cornbread, cooked cabbage, green beans with leftover ribs and tri-tip. 

Here are some more photos and video from our ATV trip to Blue Lake on Sunday.




Monday, September 14, 2015

Trying Out The New Toy And A Cute Quilt Block

Sunday morning we joined Lonn and his dog Lucky for a trip to Blue Lake with Gina and Rollie in their new Artic Cat side by side.  It was a much warmer day than Labor Day weekend when we were bundled up in winter gear—we rode in shirt sleeves for most of the day. 

Fall is on its way to the Boulder Valley, the air is a little crisp in the morning, up the Boulder the pine scent fills the air and color is starting to appear.  It is so incredibly dry right now as you can see in some of our photos but over the next few days we may see some rain and much cooler temps.  IMG_3069

As with everyone we take to Blue Lake, Gina and Rollie loved the trip—it’s a rough journey—almost 60 miles round trip over boulders, rocks, puddles and streams.  Even though we were all just beat when arriving home, we all agreed it was worth every jar and bump!




FullSizeRender (3)FullSizeRender

After a slow start this morning we all got in gear and managed to find some projects to do—before Ashley and Parker had their youngest child, Job, Gina (Ashley’s Mom) sent me a little quilt pattern with lots and lots of paper pieced airplane blocks asking if I had time to make the quilt—at the time I was extremely busy quilting customer quilts and couldn’t commit .  Today we made a trial block—it is adorable!!

IMG_3111The photo doesn’t do it justice—it is a three dimensional block—so Gina and I are off to find quilt fabric—she has found a quilting method she really likes!!

Life is good and we have good friends!

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Separate Directions

Well, we have visitors and the visitors have a new toy—the cowboy and I headed off this morning one going east, one going west.  I went west to Bozeman to retrieve Gina and Rollie from the airport, the cowboy went east to Billings bringing home their new Artic Cat Wildcat side by side ATV.  We all met back up in the same place—our place—about 4pm this afternoon. 

It is so good to see these friends—we haven’t seen Gina in two years and neither of them have been to Montana for any length of time for about four years.  We enjoyed catching up over happy hour and dinner—I cooked a tri-tip that was delicious!  And I baked a cream cheese pound cake yesterday—the cowboy isn’t fond of cake so I purchased a cherry pie at the farmers market on my way to the airport.

After dinner and before we enjoyed those spectacular desserts we took a short ATV ride up Elk Creek—a little chilly as the sun had gone behind the mountains. 

More adventures are in the works and I promise lots of photos and movies—maybe we will see the moose again??? 

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Well It’s Official

The Crestor is helping and not only helping—my nurse practitioner thinks my numbers are “amazing!” DSCN1598-001

My overall cholesterol which was 290+ dropped to 151.  I’ve had no side effects and am very pleased!  Even before I received the letter I had used the doctors’ office patient portal to see my “amazing” results—you can log in to your account and get lab results usually the same day—there’s that technology business again!

After our busy weekend it’s been a quiet rest of the week.  Michael has puttered in the garage and I’ve puttered in the house.  Wednesday in the afternoon we went to Livingston for farmers market and then out to dinner at the Rib and Chop House—my salmon was delicious!

Our yoga group is very loose knit—we all know each other well and sometimes there is a little/lot of talking or a little/lot of laughing.  Julia worked us hard today at her house north of town—during one particularly difficult pose which involved strengthening our abdominal muscles, we performed about four of these maneuvers and Max sat up quickly and said, “I don’t want to do any more of those!”  We all had a long fit of the giggles after that one!  I don’t think I would fit well in one of those serious yoga groups!

While I went to yoga Michael visited with his Dad solving the problems of the world and talking a lot of history.  Emmi kept them company and speaking of Emmi—on one of those cool, blustery days we’ve had recently I looked out the window and spotted Emmi working on her suntan—she was so relaxed!


My little rose bushes have finally decided it’s time to bloom--DSCN1593

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Another Family and Friends ATV Ride

Sunday of Labor Day weekend dawned cold (35 degrees!!!) and windy but again we didn’t let the weather deter us!  The cowboy loaded the CanAm the night before and about 6:30am (yes, AM) we were rolling down the driveway to meet Lonn and the gang.  Our Sunday destination was the summit of Mill Creek—Michael and I had been there once before but the rest of the gang had not.

Laci, Katie and Lora rode in the RZR, Sarge and Sarah joined us in their RZR, the rest of the guys rode motorcycles--Michael and I brought up the rear.  Dang it was cold!!  I had four layers on top and we had a big blanket wrapped around us and Emmi—still we were none too warm!  But still, we had a great day!

Katie, Laci and Lora

Here’s a short video of us reaching the summit:

Even in spite of the cold, Lora once again enjoyed the ride—she was a smiley baby all day!  At lunch time she sat on the ground keeping us all busy trying to keep the rocks and dirt out of her mouth!

LoraIMG_3032Fall is coming!IMG_3045Standing on the summit of Mill Creek.


Time to head home, no moose Sunday but we all enjoyed the ride!  Back at Lonn’s we made hamburgers on the grill and various other sides, some friends/neighbors of Lonn’s joined us for dinner. 

IMG_3066Birthday flowers.

What a spectacular birthday weekend—I appreciate so much our family and friends—it made turning sixty a breeze!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Turning Sixty

The cowboy and I don’t think we could physically handle my turning sixty again any time soon!  We’ve had such a great weekend and I am feeling very loved, special and blessed!  A surprise party, ATV rides and dinner with family plus phone calls and Facebook birthday messages—turning sixty has turned out not so bad!!  But today on my actual birthday we elected to hang out at home and chill—we are both exhausted! Smile

The weather forecast for the Labor Day weekend was not great—much cooler and rain.  But Saturday we ignored the forecast and met up with Lonn, Katie & Michael plus John, Laci and Lora Elizabeth.  This was Lora’s first time out on an ATV and as her Mom was riding one of the dirt bikes, Lora rode in her car seat strapped in next to Aunt Katie—the driver. 


IMG_2984She likes Aunt Katie—”Aunt Katie made my hat!!”

IMG_2987Gearing up for the cold!

IMG_2991Dirt biking granddaughter Laci.

IMG_3014Off we went, as we neared Box Canyon, it began to sprinkle rain and we stopped to don rain gear—thanks Lonn for the fabulous Christmas present!—by the time we got to Box Canyon it started to pour accompanied by thunder and lightening!!!  Box Canyon is the trailhead for horses/people heading into the back country and there was a newer horse trailer parked there.  Lonn and Michael discovered it had local license plates and was unlocked—we all gathered inside the trailer, sat on the hay bales and waited out the storm which was short lived.  Thanks to whoever owns that trailer—it was a lifesaver! 

We enjoyed a picnic lunch then headed back down the road.  We’ve seen several moose over the years up the Boulder but never one like Mr. Big Moose we saw on the way back to the trucks.  The cowboy and I were bringing up the rear—Lonn and the kids had noticed a jeep parked by this pond and a lady sticking her camera out the sunroof but hadn’t been able to spot anything.  Just as we neared the sharp corner which skirts around this pond I spotted the moose, yelled “MOOSE” and Michael pulled into the parking area beside the jeep.  The people in the jeep had been watching the big guy for about 10 minutes and the moose seemed unconcerned about the paparazzi!! 

IMG_3021IMG_3022Isn’t he cool!!

We had a great day and Lora loved riding in the ATV and being outside.  This was Saturday of my birthday weekend—more adventures to come in the next blog with some cool GoPro footage.