Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Happy Holidays!

♥♥♥ Happy Holidays! ♥♥♥
Warm greetings to all in this season of the year. I hope you are well and safe.

The pictures were taken at the top of Logan Pass or Going-to-the-Sun Highway in Glacier National Park! I always love pine trees covered with snow!

It has been very cold here lately...some days, with the wind chill, it was -57 degree below! No wonder I am not getting any eggs from my chickens!

I made them a big batch of warm oatmeal today, mixed with a banana. They thought this was a very good change from the dry feed they normally eat. The chickens love table scraps, old fruits, vegetables whatever you can give them.

There is snow on the ground but it is not that much. However, I see the wind has come up and that will make for hazardous traveling if the snow is blowing across the road and visibility is non-existent.

Take care everyone and be kind to each other!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Baby it's Cold Outside!

Goodness...the weather reports were not kidding on what was coming our way! The temperature is - 9 degrees but with the 20 mph wind chill it is - 57 below. Yikes! I do not like this part of Winter -- Very cold temperatures!

I got up early this morning and started gathering water in pots, tubs, you name it -- just in case our rural electric went out! Then worried about if it did go out...how would we get our well running again. So far, so good, no electricity failures.

The snow did not amount to too much here in Babb where we live. However, the winds are coming right through the windows! I remember the builders stating that they were installing the "very best" windows! Never were!

Attempting to put up our Christmas tree, of course, some of the lights are not working. Where is that darn light tester when you want it?

Made a big pot of beef stew today! Am glad we are home and close to the wood stove.

Am glad the calves have been shipped to market.

I am now worried about my chickens! It was in the 40's yesterday and now this temperature is a real shock to anyone or anything!

I will add a picture of some new little lambs I just made! I am going to go and make an all wool size 3 lamb. The first two pictures of a little all wool lamb size 3 that has been sold and found a good home. I need to replace her in my shop.

It is cold on the upper portion of our home, because the wood stove is in the 3-foot basement section of the house. Usually, the heat from downstairs is plenty to heat the whole house, but not today.
Back to work...sewing, organizing, getting the tree decorated! Happy Holidays!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Just what did Jena look like...

Some people have wondered just what Jena the Gentle Ewe looked like. Well, here she is with me (when I was much younger -- like 21 years ago when I was in my 40's) and my wonderful Shu-Shu-La (Great Pyrenees) in 1987. Because of bear problems I went out of the sheep business in the late 1990's. But I will always remember Jena with great joy! She was one of "my girls" and a sweet ewe who always came when she was called. I loved her so much!
Shu-Shu-La was raised with Jena and when the sheep went out to pasture, Shu went along with them to guard and protect them. We had two other Great Pyrenees during this time: Barnyard Barnie (who guarded his dog dish) and the wonderful Pal-of-Mine (Shu's mom, Barnie was Shu's dad). Pal did all the perimeter checks of the pastures -- she did not like staying with the sheep. the Pyrs did not fear much (except when they heard guns shots from hunters in the area and thunder). The Pyrs lived on the ranch for 11 years and saved many lambs, calves, and ME from bears, wolves, coyotes, dogs and othe predators. They were great family dogs and loved being with the family as well as the sheep. When the Pyrs were getting old we then began raising Anatolian Shepherd Guard Dogs (a very sturdy guard dog and also family pets).
One thing to remember when buying or adopting these type of dogs -- they love to bark at night -- ALL night, because they are on guard! They also like to challenge vehicles that are entering your ranch and this can be a real problem. One of our Anatolians, Feather, likes to attempt to grab tires, or wheel wells -- always a horrible scare. But they feel the need to challenge anything new that comes into their territory -- the ranch and home area. When we know the UPS man is coming we keep the dogs close to us and restrained. After all these years (15) the Anatolians still hate the Big Brown Truck when it comes roaring into the ranch.
...and so it goes on the ranch...have a good day...

Red Skies in the Morning....

...Good Golly Miss Molly...look at this cloud! You know the old saying?...red skies in the morning sailor take warning...and on our windy side of the Rocky Mountains, that's no joke!

...I just took this picture (approximately 0750 hours) of this fantastic cloud to the northwest! Batten down the hatches and where is the root cellar, Dorothy!

...here is another part of the sky as the sun begins it's rise.
When the wind blows in our part of the country, high profile vehicles are swept off the roads, trains are blown off the tracks, and no one wants to drive!...I have had the wind come under my vehicle and lift it off the ground. Who needs a tornado when the winds blow at 95 mph gusts. Even at 56 mph to 70 mph it is very difficult to walk outside and do the chores on the ranch!
...our home place (of the ranch) is located on a flat plain (no trees to speak of) right off the Rocky Mountains and the wind howls down upon us with extreme force. Nothing is safe from the winds this time of year. Trips to "town" , sometimes three hours away, have to be planned around the wind (or blizzards) but the wind is the real problem. If it just snows or rains a smidge, the winds pick up and just whip the land something terrible! The winds are the worse from now on through January.
I have tried to grow trees in our yard at the house only to have them grow to a certain height and then get snapped in half by the wind! We have our roof cabled down on the northwest side!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Some pictures taken in our area

The wind really howled here last night. This morning it was 38 but with the wind chill it was 14. I saw the wind register at 56 mph earlier today. It is calm now. A gray day. Fed and watered my chickens waiting for them to lay their eggs. With all the weather changes, they are really down on their egg production. I have about 30 or so hens...and I am only getting about 4 eggs a day if I am lucky. I know some are getting old and do not lay anymore. I let my chickens just grow old whether they are laying eggs or not.

I will add some pictures of our milk cow Keisha. She is Brown Swiss and gives about 2 gallons of milk a day. Part of her milk is feeding the bum work horse filly, Meadow Muffin, and the rest the family drinks. Keisha has a lot of cream on her milk. The picture of Keisha is early this year when her calf was just a few days old.

This time of year when the wind howls and the grass is no longer green, we need to be reminded of the beautiful country we do live in, I will add some pictures taken of the area and Logan pass.

The first picture is at the top of Logan Pass (Going-to-the-Sun Highway). The second picture is of a bear in the trees taken on Chief Mountain Highway. In all my encounters with bears I did not have a camera with me...but then I was trying to get away so no pictures would have been taken anyway.

The third picture is of our Anatolian Shepherd Guard Dog -- Turk. A beautiful member of the family with a wonderful temperment...unless you are a predator!
The forth photo is of a moutain sheep that was in the tunnel and could easily have been hit by a car. We have seen this guy in the tunnel on several ocassions as we go across the Going-to-the-Sun highway early in the morning.

The fifth picture is of a waterfall on the hike to St. Mary Falls...we turned around at this point because there had been bear sightings on the trail.

The sixth picture is a well-known place to visitors to Glacier National Park -- Wild Goose Island. Probably the most photographed area in the park.
The seventh picture is of Keisha and her heifer calf.

Our area where we live abounds in wildlife. Elk, deer, cougars, grizzly and black bear, eagles, hawks, cranes, herons, geese, swans and so much more! All of this right out our back door.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Newest lamb!

This is the newest little lamb that I am adding to my shop on ETSY. It is a size three and is about 7 inches tall and 10 inches long. The little lamb has a beautiful red felt bow and a special brass bell.

It is a cold and windy day here by the mountains. Wind -- is what this time of year is all about. The wind can get very wild and unpredictable from now through January (or whenever it wants for that matter).

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Creating more of the Flock

November 05, 2008

Cold and snow on the ground here by the mountains. Not a lot of snow, just enough to let a person know that winter could come at any time.

I have just finished creating the flock pictured above of new little Columbia lambs shown above. This is before they are dressed in their bows and bells.

Today, I received some very yummy "Salsa Jam" from Juliana's Jammin! It is so very delicious. I call it a jam with an "attitude"...Juliana is a team member from the Big Sky Montana Team. Juliana makes all kinds of delicious jams, pickles, jewelry -- check out her website on ETSY. http://www.julianasjammin.etsy.com

This is just a short note! Everyone take care!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Is that snow falling outside my window?

It is November 04, 2008...it is trying to snow...the skies are very heavy and it is cold! A few days ago we have temperatures in the high 60's. We just never know what will come next, we can have three seasons in one day, it changes so rapidly!

Well, Halloween is behind us...next will be Thanksgiving...and then Christmas, my most favorite time of the year! I am busy making lambs for Christmas orders and have started making my Christmas Tree Angels again. Here is a picture of Willa! A full description and more pictures can be viewed on my web site: http://www.judyelizabethsflock.etsy.com/
I just heard today that there will be a Craft Fair at the Babb School (in Babb) on November 30th. That will be a fun event to attend (reminder to me, in case I forget)! I love to go to Craft Fairs.
I have to end this and get back to work!
For Christmas shopping or for any gift giving check out the ETSY site for items made in the United States and all over the world: http://www.etsy.com
The Big Sky Montana Team has beautiful items in their shops on ETSY. When you get to the ETSY site, you can type in "montanateam" in the search area and that will take you to most of the teams creations.
Enjoy your day!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Fall has come to the Mountains

I have been very remise in keeping up my blog! Where did September go??

We have had some very cold weather 17 degrees the other morning. Water in pump house was frozen until Marvin thawed it out! Our garden took a direct hit! All my flowers on the back deck are toast. It is hard to believe that it was "too hot" just a week ago, almost 80 degrees. I have lived here long enough to know anything can happen to the weather at any time during the day let along a week ago!

I have taken some pictures of the orphan work horse filly, Meadow Muffin, she has really grown since she first came to live with us. She has gone through a lot of milk replacer. She is now on fresh cows milk.

Our milk cow Keisha is back and weined from her calves. Marvin is getting about 2 gallons of milk each milking. Meadow loves her milk!

It will soon be time for our beef calves to go to market. Marvin, Jason, and Kara have been gathering cattle and tracking down missing cattle.

I have also added a picture of my pup, Boo-Boo, his dad is our huge Anatolian Shepherd, Turk! Boo-Boo is going on 7 months.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Great Montana Sheep Drive, Reed Point, Montana August 31, 2008

Reed Point, Montana -- a very small town with lots of attitude! The population is approximately 100 but can they put on an event! This is called the Great Montana Sheep Drive and it takes place every year.
We had always wanted to go to this event, but we could never get away and it was a "far piece" down the road! Probably close to 400 miles away (one way).
Our son, Mitchell, and daughter-in-law, Nichole live in Judith Gap with their three sons (which is a whole lot closer to Reed Point)...anyway we decided to attend the event and to also set up our little booths with our handmade products. Mitch is a saddle maker and creator of leather goods, Nichole makes leather jewerly and does beautiful bead work (hat bands, earrings, etc.) and also is a distributor for "Laid in Montana" Emu products. We were told that they expect 5,000 to 7,000 to attend the sheep drive and to shop at the booths.
Was excited to be able to meet a Big Sky Montana ETSY Team member, Juliana Stevens, from Columbus, Montana -- Juliana makes jams, salsa, pickles, and jewelry! Brought some of her jam home...yum!
As weather goes in Montana, we experienced about 3 seasons of conditions and temperatures! No snow however, but the rain was quite discouraging -- thank goodness for the booth and the side curtains! Met a lot of people, sold some items, all in all it was a nice day.
The picture of our booths: Marvin, my wonderful ever helpful husband, is standing in front holding a hat full of candy that was tossed from the parade vehicles. To the left is our son, Mitchell and two of our Grandsons -- Kacey and Steven! Nichole is half hidden behind their information sign between the two booths! My photography was rather bad and hurried -- I was so involved in talking to people, looking at all the booths (almost 100 booths), and watching the parade, that I forgot I had brought my camera and did not take any pictures! Bummer! Then when I wanted to take pictures, there were usually so many spectators by the booths, that it was hard to take a photo!
I believe this weekend is the "Choke Cherry Festival" in Lewistown -- where we plan to be with Mitch and Nichole!

Friday, August 29, 2008

What a Beautiful Morning!!!!

I got up this morning and went out to call in the guard dogs...this is the splendor that was all around me. One picture is of Chief mountain in the glow of sunrise and then Yellow Mountain and the mountains to the southwest! What a gorgeous greeting to a day!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Ranch Activities

It is haying time on the ranch. Kara, daughter-in-law is driving the International Farmall. Marvin and Jason are pitching on the hay! They make two sizes of bales, large round bales (which are picked up with the tractor and front end loader) and the small square bales that they pick up by hand and stack onto the haywagon seen in this picture.

The top pictures are of Marvin and Meadow Muffin, as far as Meadow is concerned Marvin is her "mom" and follows him anywhere she can. She is an orphan work horse filly and is a few months old. It looks like she will get rather large. She really goes through the milk replacer!

Kara, Marvin, and Jason tried to get me to help with haying by driving the tractor! But I would rather create my little lambs. I will attach a picture of my new creations using all wool! I do believe they are darling!
I have a lot to do, so will close for now! Enjoy your days!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Going to town over Going-to-the-Sun Highway

Whenever we travel to Kalispell Montana, in the summer, we take Going-to-the-Sun Highway. Fifty-two glorious miles and the very most scenic mountainous environment ever! Who needs to leave their home state when we live here!

Traveling the Pass (as I shall call it from now on) saves us about 60 miles and lots of gas. We hate to see the pass close for the season each year, because then we have to go "down and around" the park to get to Kalispell and on west.

I will show you some scenes that we see as we travel the wonderful route. I think I need to learn to make my pictures smaller, probably simple procedure, but I have yet to learn it. (I also wonder how to put my pictures where I want them??!

I absolutely love Indian Paintbrush...the color varies and I adore the pale to the intense coral colors -- these plants/flowers are along almost the entire Pass...joy!

Let's see the pictures so far are: The Indian Paintbrush; the waterfall at the top of the Pass going around the bend and down to the west side; Haystack waterfall; at an overlook at the top of the pass looking over to the road that we still need to travel down on. There are actually some mountain goats, jumping down the side of the mountain to the left of the picture!

I think I shall go see if I can make the pictures smaller so I can fit more in! Enjoy!

Okay, I did some "thumbnails" of the Weeping Wall; river on west side as we get down into the vegetation and pines; and a vista shot; I left the picture of the road large to show how steep the road is above the lower part of the park!

...and so that is how we travel to our "town" of Kalispell some 100 miles to the west (in the summer only). It is usually 6 hours of traveling and some fast shopping, doctor visits, etc., then back home -- but summer daylight gives us plenty of time to get home before dark!