Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Oh, What A Time We Had

Today's a quiet day with snow on the ground and temperatures around 10 degrees.  Yesterday we took Erika, Ben and Juno to the airport to return home to Scotland.  I didn't feel sad; we had so much fun and enjoyment over the past 3 weeks I was happy and grateful for the time we had together.  Being a grandparent is a blast!

In a couple of weeks we'll have Rachel and Paul coming to visit for Christmas and New Year's.  It doesn't get much better than this.

Here's a few fun photos for everyone to enjoy.....

Monday, November 28, 2011

Thanksgiving Daze 2011

It's been a while since you've heard from me..... wonderful bliss!  Life has been uneventful, with no traumas or dramas... just an easy flowing speed that has been deeply enjoyed.  Not even anything exciting has happened to report.  Dan and I have waited many months for such ordinary times.

This Thanksgiving, Dan and I have been delighted to spend time with our daughter Erika, her husband Ben, and our adorable new granddaughter baby Juno.  It's been heavenly!  Simple days with good food, laughter, baby talk, and hugs.... even the grown ups have been having fun!

Our dogs Pepper and Chilli have quickly mingled into the new family dynamic as well.  Here's a few photos over the past several days to share:


Friday, September 23, 2011

Compare THIS to Life in the Suburbs...

Consider this my weekly whine.... (actually, I don't whine that much, but I'm due)

Wake up this morning to coyotes yipping in the distance.  (In the east, it's ki-yo-tees; out west, it's ki-yotes.  Still getting used to that.)

Get my shower ready and hear a steady 'clunk-clunk' on the back deck.  Look out the window and see Chilli and Pepper chewing on an entire leg bone of some critter.

Get dressed, then freak out when Chilli comes in the living room with a gooey hoof- seems that the leg bone belonged to a deer.  Throw the hoof away in disgust.

Go on a killing spree and knock off about 14 flies buzzing around the house (apparently this happens every year about this time).

Attend the morning work meeting; seems the guys are going to 'blow out' the water lines for irrigation.  I'm not needed, so I go back home.

Feeling unmotivated, look around the house and ponder things to do.  Stare at the end table that is covered in dust, which I dusted 1 1/2 days ago.  I know I mentioned before that dust was not my enemy, but it sure isn't my friend, either....

Decide to do the many mundane things I so love to do, like laundry, sweeping (even though I swept last night before the dogs came prancing in with hundreds of burs stuck to them and everything they then touched), cleaning the kitchen, blah, blah...

Look out the kitchen window and see my 2 dogs prancing across the front yard, each holding an end of a nasty, smelly deer hide (that apparently was in the same vicinity as the earlier deer leg).

Freak out again and run after them to get the disease-ridden thing away from them and put it in a trash bag.

Then drive up to the work barn to put the trash and the putrid deer skin indoors in the garbage where other wild animals can't reach it.  (Sighted 2 wolves on our side of the basin on Monday, and the neighbor on the other side of the valley shoo'ed away a grizzly and 2 cubs trying to get into his garage).  Idly consider the fact that whatever eats a deer would probably see both of my dogs as appetizers.

Get back home and look at the clock- it's only 10:30.


Monday, September 12, 2011

The Chilli-Pepper Bone Dance

I've mentioned before that our two dogs have become the best of friends.  They spend most of the day playing, and a new favorite game is the 'bone dance.'

Both dogs grab one end of a bone, and play a tug of war/dance together.  It's all play; no growling or aggravation allowed.

Here's a few photos of the two in play:

You get one end; I'll get the other

No, we're not kissing cousins!

Whose turn is it to lead?

Say what???

Didn't they do this in Lady and The Tramp?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Gerta Gets A Makeover

Gerta is our house, with whom I have an uneasy alliance.  She's a little bit ranch dirty, and I guess I'm a bit of a clean diva.  The problem, I realized in an earlier post, is she was and is a tomboy and loves it, and she does her best to remind me that when it comes to dust, grime and rough edges, she thinks she is the boss.

Gerta reminds me of Calamity Jane in the HBO series called "Deadwood".  (Rachel sent us the first season on DVD to occupy Dan as he recovered, and we have both been enjoying it.)  Calamity Jane is portrayed as a tough, grimy, drinking, profane woman who has a soft heart, deep underneath her facade.

If Gerta were a person, I could see her cussing someone out while spitting chewing tobacco on the ground and loving it.  But... she'd keep you warm and comfortable when you needed it.

In spite of her foibles, Gerta has a new look.  All the buildings on the ranch were painted this last summer, and Gerta went from her yellow house/green roof to a new beige house with gray roof:

Gerta's spiffy new look

What she looked like a year ago

She also got a new garage door installed; previously, there was a picture window in its place.

We are close to finishing what started out as our first project on the house- the front door.  The original door could have been a finalist in the 'Ugliest Door Contest':

We came up with an abstract mountainous scene, which Dan cut out of wood and carved and I painted:

We also painted the door off white.  All that's left is putting a finishing frame around the piece.

Next on our list is an update of the bathroom.  Since this 'first project' took a year, we'll see how quick that gets done..... :)  Pictures to one day come!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

What the #&%* Happened??

Chilli had a run-in with a wild critter (badger or coyote), and Chilli lost.  We heard hideous dog screams and ran out to then absolute silence in the tall grass and trees next to our yard where Pepper was furiously barking.  Both dogs had been taking long forays in the fields around us... until this panicky time.

Chilli came stumbling out, blood dripping from her head and in shock.  We rushed her to the vet (about an hour away), and the end result was several stitches and a mild concussion.  She's now on antibiotics and anti inflammatory meds.

Poor little thing looks pretty ragged now.... we're talking about fencing the yard (to keep wild critters at bay), and she's now staying closer to home.....

Do I look as pathetic as I feel?

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Mud-Puppy Party

Ring around the couchie
Paw prints leave an ouchie
Bad dog! Bad dog!
We all had fun......

One day last week while I was at the main lodge working, Dan was home in the living room resting.  The dogs had taken a run outside and disappeared in the fields behind our home.

Suddenly, both dogs came roaring through the back door chasing each other and did a mad dash around the couch, circling several times.  Unfortunately, they must have run through the stream beside the home that offers pitch black mud, and left a few souvenirs.....

It's actually MUCH worse in real life

This gives you an idea of the final result.

Who puts off-white carpeting in a ranch home, after all??  You can see the carpet steamer in the first photo, waiting to be put to use.  Although discouraging, I had to laugh.  Aggravating but funny.

Since then, the carpet has been cleaned and looks as good as it will ever be.  Chilli and Pepper are continuing their best-buddy adventures...

A Case of Mistaken Dog-dentity??

I'd been looking online at photos of available dogs for several months, wanting to find a doggie companion for our dog Pepper.  After Dan's accident, he finally acquiesced (meaning: gave in) to the idea of having 2 dogs.  Actually, I owe thanks to the ranch manager Rowdy who agreed with his wife to get a new puppy in addition to their 3 dogs.  That tipped Dan over the scales, and the search was actively on.

I came across this photo of a dog in a shelter in Idaho:

I called the shelter quickly.  The dog was identified by a number- 4658.  There was a bit of confusion when talking to people at the shelter; the had been 2 dogs- one was gray and white and had been taken, and the other was gray, white and brown and was available.  It sounded like the 2 had similar looks.

I was told the available dog was a miniature schnauzer mix, had been picked as a stray, was about 30 pounds, and was very sweet.  She sounded perfect, and since I'd been looking for months, I told them I wanted her. She was about a year old, spayed, and sounded like a great match for Pepper.  I arranged to pay her fee on the phone, and told them I'd work out a way to get her to us.

A friend of the ranch manager's son lived in Idaho, and we arranged for him to pick up the dog (which we named Chilli) and bring her to us.  In the meantime, a woman who fosters dogs for the shelter volunteered to keep Chilli in her home, since the shelter environment is very stressful.  This angel/woman's name was Sandi, and she gave Chilli a good home visit until the dog could be picked up.  Sandi told me Chilli was very sweet and loving, and we were excited about our new addition.

A week and a half later, Chilli arrived on our doorstep.  She and Pepper hit it off immediately.  Although skittish at first, she quickly adapted to her new forever home and we all settled in comfortably.  Here's a photo of our little girl:

The question I still have is... is this the same dog?  To be honest, I don't know.  One minute I think it's a match, and the next I don't.  The photo at the top shows a lot more white around the muzzle, but maybe that's the lighting.  The Chilli we have is about 15 pounds, and looks like a Yorkie-Dachshund mix.

Regardless, we're very happy with our Chilli, and still feel getting her was meant to be.  She and Pepper are now inseparable- they play together, eat together, go out on forays together, and sleep together.  It's been mostly great fun adding her to our family.

Here's a few more photos:

Another closeup- "mom" has trimmed some of her hair, but only on one side

Naptime after a hard day playing

Life is good with a bone and a toy

A tight fit in a comfy bed

But I want to share EVERYTHING......

Friday, August 5, 2011

Montana Misc. in July

Summer is swiftly passing us by, and we have to celebrate many things:

Family who came to visit:

A double rainbow we enjoyed

Ranch horses courtesy of niece Megan

Eek! Bear claws on a tree.....

Nephews Eric and Ryan with Pepper, and the giant get-well Bear I got Dan

A great visit with my mom and dad late May, Jennifer and Megan in June, and the Godziellas in July (angel helpers when Dan was hurt), the guardian angels who looked over Dan and kept him alive, generous managers and ranch owners who stood by Dan during his recuperation, a first grand-daughter coming soon from our daughter Erika, a new home and future wedding plans from our daughter Rachel, a beautiful place to live and work, the blessing of a pain shot for me in by lower left back (hallelujah!), a new companion dog and playmate for Pepper we named Chilli.....

In spite of the trials, our blessings are manyYee haw kippee kiy yiy yay!  (that's Montana talk for "it's all good....")

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Montana Blooms

With snow each day on Memorial Day weekend, we went straight to Summer and skipped Spring.  That resulted in a bit of flower confusion- iris blooming on the same par with roses, lilac blooms in July, and general posy mayhem.

Once things get going, Montana makes up for lost time with flowers everywhere- even the weeds go crazy!  Below are a sampling of pretty petals that have been on the ranch in the last few weeks.  Dan has been responsible for many of them along with his crew (he did the planning, buying and some of the planting until his accident).  Enjoy!


Let's not forget the dandelions!  Pepper shows them off in her new summer cut.