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Monday, April 30, 2012

Montana Outdoor Views

Okay, so I did it again. I grabbed the camera and took photographs from different views around our place.
It amazes me how the skies and colors are always changing.
Of course, I couldn't resist taking some pictures with trees in them. I find them beautiful and strangely like animated characters -- always moving around here with the help of the winds.
Caught some sights of a storm/rain passing over in the distance this evening as well. The local farmers aren't talking about how dry everything is these days. We are even having some chilly nights with near freezing temperatures.
My boys and I are planning on spending some time later this week painting on our neighbor lady's picket fence as shown in the picture above. We are making it all white again and even have to throw on some coats of primer as most of the paint has worn away over the years.
These last photos were from my running outside again as the sun was setting. I put these up on Facebook and a high school friend wrote "and this is why they call Montana Big Sky Country". Yes, Kris it is and I will keep running outside to snap shots of this natural scenic art.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Country Lawn Mowers

Thought I would show you how we conserve and save on those high gas prices -- we have country lawn mowers. These characters show up every day on our lawn and do some munching. They stay a little longer when they don't get spooked. I carefully opened 2 doors and hung my digital camera out sideways to capture these photos. These sheep are known as hair sheep and are known as improved as they don't need sheering but they shed on their own. This first picture is of the leader to the bunch. He doesn't like to have his picture taken and I was pleased to capture him at the foot of our front steps.
There are four in all that come to visit. Another one is a new mother and stays pretty close to the shed out in the field on the property. I would love to snap a picture of her with her little one.

Montana Stormy Skies

With Spring arriving, we have been experiencing a fair number of days with gray clouds rolling overhead. I stepped out onto our back porch and snapped a few photos to show how massive these look here in Big Sky Country. Even with "bad" weather I think there is beauty seen here. Hope you like these pictures.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Rural Montana Photos

I found these photos to be beautiful when thumbing through a mini-magazine we get from our telephone or electric cooperative here in Montana. Thought I would share them with you to enjoy.
This one is titled "Little Drummer Bird" taken by Merle Ann Loman of Victor, MT. Meriwether Lewis called this bird, "the small brown pheasant," noting it was "booted" or feathered to the foot, Merle reports. If you're in the woods and hear a drumming sound, that will be this guy.
This photo is titled "Bird on Fire" Nikki Kirk of Kalispell, MT got first place with this dramatic image. I love the colors.
This one is titled "Bird on Ice" taken by Lana Smith of Broadus, MT. This is a ringneck pheasant proudly dancing across the ice on his toes. Pheasants are everywhere in the area of Fort Benton, MT (where I currently live) and can be seen along the sides of the roads about as much as mule deer. I love seeing and listening to Montana wildlife. Hope you enjoyed these photos.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Visit with Sara Jo

Memories, how precious they are. I hope to never lose them.

Just this week I was at our rented storage shed rummaging through boxes looking for one particular book (which ended up being on our bookshelf at home). I ran across a stain, tattered, folded index card. Upon opening it my heart jumped. The recipe is that of a sweet lady that meant so much to me. She passed away unexpectedly over 3 years ago. Her name was Sara Jo. She was known to me as a sister-in-law. While growing up and during my teenage years, she always treated me as a person with a mind, a person of substance. I can't say I felt that way with most of my "relatives" in the foster home (from age 4 to 21).

Even when I took my major departure from the South at the age of 21, Sara Jo was the one who always wrote me long letters of family and church events. She was consistent and I always responded. We were truly pen pals.

Sara Jo was a very godly and totally family oriented soul. That was all she lived for. At many family and church social activities where food was brought and shared, she was known for her green bean casserole, her deviled eggs, her spiced apple cake and her pineapple pies.

I remember asking her for her recipes for the spiced apple cake and pineapple pie. I also remember when I got the one for the cake, I thought 'there are so many steps' and I folded it up and put it somewhere. I know I shall run across is someday and then I will take the time to prepare one no matter how much preparation there is. It will be worth it and bring Sara Jo back into mind as fresh as she is today.

I took her recipe card and prepared two pies as instructed. I have already had my family sample a taste from the spoon. Tears came to my eyes when I tasted mine. I miss her and the connection we had. People who know me and my upbringing know that I do not show emotion very often, but this has been one of those days with Sara Jo.

Painted Silk Scarf Class

Savannah Rose and I attended a painted silk scarf class this afternoon at The County Shoppe in Fort Benton, Montana.

I had made a resolution that I wanted to explore working with paints this year to add to my hobbies and crafting. Well, we are into our 4th month of the year and I have finally picked up a brush.

As anticipated, my having "control" does not apply to using paint. I am please with how my scarf turned out, but it is not like the sample one I was looking at that the instructor showed us. Now I wish I had taken a picture of hers! Also, the iris is not something I was totally happy with, but others say it is pretty.

One thing was noticed whether a child or adult, this is a craft for all ages. You just don't have to mind getting your fingers colored (guess gloves could even be worn). Mine are still a purple tint. We all laughed and complimented each other on how everyone's scarf looked much different the the others. The same materials were used by all.

Hope you enjoy the pictures. Now I just have to set the colors permanently with a hot steam iron and maybe a turn or two in the dryer.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Going to the Birds

A dear friend of mine asked me yesterday to send her some pictures of what I have been working on lately. One might could say that my life is "going to the birds" here recently. I have been stitching a new set of blocks that have birds in each one of them. I also think they look like Kaliescope pictures or even Mandala type art.

Now just have to figure out how I want to place them in a quilt and what fabrics to use. Lately, I have been using very vibrant colors because I have so wanted Spring to get here. Thanks goodness it has finally arrived, but we did have quite a bit of snow fall just the other day.

I am so happy the snow melts quickly once the winds start to blow and the sun comes out again. Does make for interesting driving down our mud pit though.

Also, people have been delivering vases of dafodils to the residents of the nursing home and personal care where I work. I love seeing this bright yellow around and the flowers make wonderful conversation pieces to get everyone talking to each other.

Enjoy your Spring and I hope it doesn't fly by too quickly!!

The Kid in You

Here is hoping this Easter is being kind to you -- in happiness and health!

My family has been plagued with the CRUD flu bug for nearly 6 weeks now. I am, of course, the last one to have the pleasure of battling sickness. There have been times through it all that I have had to clean our bathrooms (2) three different times in one day, do multiple loads of laundry daily, and tackle the worst mess in my daughter's floor that I never want to see again. Most unpleasant.

Recently on a trip into town and while at a pharmacy, my kids and I had fun browsing the Easter aisle. Jelly Beans were definitely placed in the basket. But the most fun my Wynston and I had was to look at the "cheap" toys. We came home with two for a grand total of $5. I have one pictured at the top. I think those bunnies are so adorable. The idea of the game is to roll a dice and then using a plastic hook shaped stick take one bunny off without making the whole thing fall down.

I didn't capture a picture of the second toy which are leaping bunnies that have suction cups on the base and then are pressed down only to spring high up into the air. The object is to use provided baskets to try to catch them. My kids just roared at how high they fly and then the bunnies jumping out the basket due to the springs.

I say one is never too old not to have the "kid in you" come out especially with inexpensive toys and candy.

Happy Easter!