Saturday, July 28, 2012

Camp Out!

 We went camping yesterday.

 We roasted hot dogs, ate s'mores, and talked about recently read books.

By the way, did I mention this all took place in our back yard? 

Want to Reduce the Grocery Bill?

Check out Bountiful Baskets Food Co-Op ( to see if they deliver to a location near you.  For $45.00 this week I received two baskets and 5 loaves of organic multi-grain bread.
Our baskets included 2 heads romaine lettuce, 3 boxes grape tomatoes, 2 lg. bags red grapes, 7 1/2 pints blueberries, 4 red bell peppers, 2 bags baby carrots, 4 English cucumbers, 17 red potatoes, 10 peaches, 14 red plums and 8 mangoes.
The produce is delivered to our small town's community center every other Saturday.  Not only did I save almost 68%, I saved a 1/4 tank of fuel by not having to drive 90 miles to get it!

During Mrs.A's visit, we boiled and de-boned two chickens so she could prepared her famous King Ranch casserole for for us, one of my family's favorites!  It is a rare day that I purchase canned chicken stock.  Whenever I boil and de-bone chickens I freeze or can the stock (always use a pressure caner for low acid or animal based foods).  The six quarts of home canned stock, pictured above, would cost more than $12 at the grocer.

She Cried When She Arrived, I Cried When She Departed

Mrs.A & me, Mrs.B, outside my home in Montana
A few weeks ago I found myself in a very blue funk.  As much as I love the area and new home the Lord has blessed our family with, I often find I miss "down home".  I miss the foods - southern, Mexican, Tex-Mex, Cajun & Creole; I miss the culture; I miss the familiarity, I miss the diversity, I miss the thunderstorms, I miss the blue jays, cardinals and mocking birds, I miss pecans (yes, I can purchase them up here BUT they are more than $15 lb.!), ...

Most of all I miss my dear friends.  Last week the Lord made it possible for my dearest friend, Mrs.A, to visit.  Ohhh! was her visit good for my soul!  I didn't realize how much I needed her hug, her smile and the one girl who really, really, knows me to pal around with for a little while.  We drove down to the cemetery near our home and read all the head & foot stones.  We drove across the state line to Roosevelt National Park and enjoyed a picnic and took some GREAT photos.  We cooked suppers together, I taught her to crochet a basic chain stitch (she has since taught herself to crochet granny squares!), we sat outside on the deck just talking.  For me, it was one of the BEST vacations I've ever had & I didn't even leave home.

The only terrible thing that happened during Mrs.A's visit was that she had to go home.  I cried because I wanted her to stay forever.


Mr.B wanted the tree, pictured below, by our front door removed because it was about 70 ft. tall and had a significant lean toward the house.  We hired a tree removal service that has been in business 20+ years to do the work.
 As you can see from the additional photos, someone didn't properly figure the math and physics on this tree removal.

 Even the interior wall and window casing was pushed into the boys' room.  We also have damage to the steel roof.

 We lost our central a/c unit too.  Fortunately, the "hot" summer weather up here in Montana feels like cool spring weather to us Texans.

We are thanking God for insurance, but finding ourselves praying for an available contractor.  So far, everyone we've been referred doesn't even have time to come out and to assess the scope of work.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Guess What We found in a Hollow Log?

A new liter of kittens!  Spook, our mama cat, is once again a proud mother of 4 little kittens.  3 are black and 1 is spotted.  Aren't they cute?

Has My Absence ...

... from the blogging world made your heart grow fonder?  "Busy as a bee" is what we've all been.  Eastern Montana springs and summers are FABULOUS, but also filled with activities and lots of time consuming outdoor work that can't be done during the frigid winters.  Here's a few posts chronicling some of what's been going on around here.

OG dressed for her 1st formal - "Daughters of the King" banquet.  She was invited to attend with one of her schoolmates.

Rural school and home school track meet.  OG was so proud of her 2nd place ribbon  in the running long jump, 9 ft. 11 in.  Pretty impressive for a girl of only 5' 1 3/4".  1st place was won by a 5' 9" student who jumped only 3/4" further!

EJ earned 4th place in the 100 meter dash.

EJ and OG represented our county well on the baseball and softball teams.  OG's 14 & under  girls softball team  played an undefeated season.

Farm Work -

In addition to all the extra activities spring and summer have brought our way, we have been very busy hauling off old abandoned and useless farm & barn equipment (almost 8,000 pounds, thus far), caring for our growing chickens, burning piles and piles of tree debris, putting in the 1st section of our garden and utilizing the long daylight hours to mow a couple of our pastures so we can begin some fence work sometime in the near future - hopefully.

Mr. B mowing one of our pastures

Breaking and removing the sod for garden section 1 (30' x 70') 

Measuring out the planting beds

Planting seed and labeling sections

Beginning to see the possible fruits of our labor

4H Trip to Minneapolis, MN

4-H Trip to Minneapolis, MN
Most recently OG & EJ went on a summer trip with their 4-H friends to Mall of America in Minneapolis, MN.  The 12 students enjoyed the Sea Life Aquarium, Nickelodeon Universe, Moose Mountain Golf, the indoor Water Park and miles and miles of shopping.  Whew! my and the other chaperonage's feet were KILLING us by the end of the trip - none of us adults had never been so ready for a 600 mile drive (which translates to no WALKING)!
Sea Life Aquarium - located on the 1st floor & basement of Mall of America

Sharks!  Only one of  MANY sea life specimens housed in this huge aquarium

Nickelodeon Universe - photo taken from the 3rd story in Mall of America

8 of our 12 students screaming on this rapid decent!

Bumper cars are always lots of fun for the boys

Getting ready to be lifted up for a BIG drop!

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Mr.B Asked,

"Do you want to move back home?"
I replied, "Sometimes."