Sunday, October 21, 2012

September and October 2012

August blew by and along came September...preparing for 6th grandson...a family funeral...helping before baby came and after...lots of miles traveled during the month of September...I was not home very much!

Somewhere along the line I got a new puppy, Tessa-Two, a pure-bred Anatolian -- full of fun and frolic!  (What was I thinking getting another puppy was what runs through my mind at times.)...she was put into my arms and melted into me...but wow did she ever come to life back at the ranch.  Chewing on everything and everyone...intelligent but very independent just as they are suppose to be (guard dogs after all and have to think on their paws)!...our two adult dogs -- one Anatolian cross and his sister thought that I had brought a wild wild stranger into their well-adjusted life...they did not like her at all.  Belle (aka Door Belle) has adjusted to her better than Boo-Boo -- but both have taken to playing with her and attempting to keep her from biting off all their body parts!  The cats have to run for cover...I have tried and tried to have her quit her rumps on top of the poor cats...but she thinks that they will play with her just as the bigger dogs do.

This is Tessa-Two in my van getting used to "going places"...so she can be taken to the vet and so forth...she is not very keen on riding in a vehicle and does not like to get very close to them.

Tessa-Two and Boo-Boo...we found out that we cannot let the two of them out together or Boo will take Tessa-Two off with him to chase coyotes etc.

Chief Mountain at sunset

Yellow Mountain at sunset

View from my deck out back door

Chief Mountain...wild wind and clouds

Yellow Mountain wild windy day



Beaver pond out back door

I cannot believe that it is on the tail end of October!...this year has gone by so fast...having problems with my knee since my patella was removed...finally was given an easy effective exercise by a wonderful chiropractor in Lewistown, Montana!  Hurray, it really helps.  I was told by so many that I had to strengthen my quad to keep my tendon on "track"...and it kept going out...but his simple exercise is doing the job...I am in hopes this will solve the problem...I was told I did not need a knee cap (patella)...well, I had no choice since I broke mine had it repaired and then it fell apart and needed to come out...take care of your knees is all I can say...of course, over the course of our lives we may try to achieve that but when we fall or get injured the injuries set in motion very detrimental damage to our bodies...in my case, my left knee.

The temperatures have varied quite considerably this month and during September.  This morning is was 28 degrees with a skiff of snow on the ground.  There is a considerable amount of snow in the mountains and they are beautiful today.

Topping the Ridge at Duck Lake -- home-ward bound

Top of Duck Lake Ridge

Yellow and Chief Mountains

Getting on down the road to home

Mountains towards southwest and upper St. Mary Lake
 I spent a week helping out at Mitch and Nichole's after they had their 6th little boy and it was so good to top the Ridge at Duck Lake and come on down into our valley and home to our ranch!  These are my "There is No Place Like Home" photos...there had been a fresh snow right before I came home making it the view that much more spectacular!

Hoping everyone is having some good months -- I am not really ready for winter and the perils it presents now that I must watch every step I take so as not to fall on ice and hit my knee again...I can see why folks move to warm climes when they get older!...but I do love our valley and the view...just not the WIND!




Thursday, August 23, 2012

Jennifer (niece)
Nichole, Mitch, Jennifer (cousins)
Jason and Jennifer (cousins)
Sun Rift Gorge in Glacier National Park
Avalanche Gorge Glacier National Park

It appears that I lost my total post for June, July, and now August...June is a blur...July was a delight, my niece, Jennifer came for a nice long visit and we had a great time traveling through Glacier National Park and our beautiful area.  She got to meet her uncle Marvin and her cousins Jason and Mitchell and his wife, Nichole.  Jennifer was here for 19days and they went way too fast...it was wonderful spending that much time with a niece that I have only seen on two other occasions.

There is so much to see in Montana and so many miles/hours between the sights to see. 

We have had a great spring, summer, and now hopefully and lovely LONG fall...our area has stayed a lot greener than most of Montana.  It seems that most of our wonderful state has been on fire since early in the year beginning with grass fires in the Browning area.  So much grass and hay land has been lost and this affects our cattle grazing, wildlife grazing, haying, and cropping -- which all affect our markets for our products that we sell once a year. 

Jason and Marvin are finished haying and now have to haul in the bales to the stack yards for winter feed for our livestock.

Hope everyone is doing well and enjoying life...take care of each other and be good to each other.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Spring 2012

I have been getting some "flack" for not having my blog up-to-date or at the very least some kind of an entry...

...so here it is Mother's Day 2012, May 13th.  It is a very most beautiful day here in the valley by the Rocky Mountains.  Grass is greening up, peonies are poking their little heads above the ground thinking about maybe blooming sometime in July (the usual time)...the poppies have been trying to grow for about three months now...they are serious about it with the good weather we have been having.

...2012...a year with an actual Spring and hopefully, a real Summer.  It was a mild winter which I totally enjoyed.  Since I cannot go out when there is ice and snow -- so as not fall and injure my knee, again -- I am pretty much house-bound during the winter unless it clears up and there is no ice to try and walk upon.

...my sweet brother in Alaska has been sending me Polar Tracs to put on my winter boots to stay upright on the ice...but I am still very worried about falling...it does not seem all that long ago when I never thought about falling anywhere or on anything...I would fall and pop right back up!  I do so remember hearing from my surgeon after my knee replacement and the nurse mentioned it several times as I was leaving from an after surgery visit -- "Don't fall...!" -- Since I did not plan on falling it never entered my mind to ask what could happen.

...then, of course, I found out what could happen when you fall on a metal replacement...you can and I did, fracture my patella, spoink, broke and part went that way and part went the other way!  I was hoping that the fall would give me more "movement" in my knee...so, more surgery...then I have posted about the fact that the patella after being repaired decided to fall apart some months later.  So that would make three surgeries on the same knee cutting down the same scar!

...actually, my knee felt quite good until I attempted to do some upper body exercises and kind-a march in place...something went wrong in my knee...I had a very bad spasm, pain...not nice...back to the doctor...MIR and x-rays...hard to tell what may have gone wrong...so I have been taking care of it and it has its good and bad days and nights.  Suddenly going upstairs has become rather painful...a burning pain, but otherwise I am doing well on the "straight-away"!

...the boys (Marvin and Jason) brought me some beautiful plants home from town the other day for Mother's Day...so lovely...one plant states that it can go outside (not in our zone) but anyway it states that it can grow to 3 to 5 feet tall...wow!  The other plant was a lovely orchid!...

I planted some Pansies, they can grow in our extreme weather area and seem to be able to handle the wind.

...the week before last we drove to Judith Gap area to be with Nichole and Mitch and their team of boys (5) with another little boy on the way!  Six boys...6...we were thinking pink, but not to be!!!

...the school at Judith Gap had a fund raiser and "open mike" night...it was fun...Nichole had prepared a pictorial slide show and sang a beautiful song to Mitch for their upcoming 10th anniversary.  It was a surprise for Mitch.  Kacey (their oldest son) sang and played the piano by himself.  Bobby and Steven were in a few skits and it was a fun evening.  Our nephew and his wife (Michele and Steve) came and we had a good visit with all.

...cut the grass yesterday...what a job...

...the geese that stayed all winter with their family (about 10) are setting up nest building and are quite noisy outback...and then there are the ducks...

...we lost our wonderful Anatolian, Turk, this year. Because of health problems we had to have him put to sleep...such a joy he was for eight years.  ...and such a loss...

 Our "blue-eyed-baby boy" Mitchell


...I hope everyone is doing well health wise and enjoying their families and friends...take care -- joy and love to you all! ♥


Thursday, February 2, 2012

February 02, 2012

Grandpa Peter Bullinger (white shirt) in front of his Engineering & Automotive Shop in Chicago
My Mom, Theresa; Grandma Bessie; Aunt Viola (Mom's wedding day 1940)
An original blotter from Peter Bullinger's Business in Chicago, Illinois
February 02 is my Grandmother's, Bessie O'Hara Bullinger, birthday. We would always kid her about Ground Hogs Day! Grandma came from Ireland and that is about all we ever knew about her "history" before coming to the United States. Bessie was my Mom's mother and lived with us after our Aunt Viola died. She married Peter Bullinger and they resided in Chicago and had seven children. My mother was the third child.

The picture above depicts Grandma with myself, little brother Bobby, and big brother George in Northbrook, Illinois. The dog's name is Blackie. (I can see the milk order chart posted on the wall of our little rental above George's head -- the days of the milk man and bottled fresh milk on our door stoop.)

I tried and tried to have Grandma tell me about her childhood and family. She would never speak of them. She would say that she did not want to talk about the past just the present. After Grandma's husband died during the 1930's it left the family without much money and these were hard times for them. I know my Mom quit high school to go to work to support her Mom and younger siblings -- as did Viola (older sister).

Grandma was not the easiest person to get along with but I loved her and enjoyed spending time with her. She loved to crochet and made beautiful bedspreads, table clothes, and dollies -- some of which I have to this day. In her later years she had many problems with her hips and if she was living today she would probably have had hip replacements and be able to walk about. However, back then she had to use crutches to get around and she must have been in considerable pain. There was a time when I wanted to take her back to Ireland but she would not go she said in a wheel chair. I would take Grandma on little drives to get her out of the house. I so wish she told me about her childhood and her family.

...I read that the ground hog saw it's shadow and we will have 6 more weeks of winter...let's hope it is as mild as it is now. I'm all for that. Just let it snow in the mountains and pack in the moisture for the run off.

Everyone have a great day!

Doing some Backtracking here! Nov & Dec 2011

Grandpa enjoying the Chaos of all the grandsons hollering and rolling around on the floor!
The boys favorite people at the ranch -- Aunt Kara and Uncle Jason!
My boys making Mom "look slim"...oh well, they tried! Love our boys -- Jason and Mitch!

Puppet making day and the results!

For some reason or other I have neglected my blog. The days, weeks, and months are speeding by. I failed to make at least one post for the month of November and December.

We had Thanksgiving at the home place in Babb with Nichole, Mitch, Kacey, Steven, Bobby, Adam, and Jasper coming for the holiday. We also had some good friends come to help celebrate the holiday.

I had purchased a new stove a few weeks before the holiday. I had hoped we would be able to pick it up and I could test it out before the big day and cooking for 15. However, that was not to be. I did get the stove home a few days before the big day. I baked some artisan bread and other items to test it out. I planned on cooking the big turkey via the convection part of the oven...it was suppose to cook faster and be juicer. I had a meat thermometer stuck in the appropriate place in my bird. I checked the time it was to be done using the convection oven baking. The turkey browned to a golden color and the thermometer appeared to be at the right temperature.

I was so happy...I could take it out and have it set up and then cut it up and have all the mess done before everyone got there. I was talking about the new oven with my daughter-in-law when I decided to begin slicing it up for the serving tray. I let out a gasp because it was very obvious by the juices on the platter that the turkey was not done! I had an hour to get the bird back in the oven to complete the baking. This was my first "turkey disaster" in all my years of making Thanksgiving dinners.

Luckily there was enough white meat to go around. Later I reread my directions (which I thought I had "down" and understood)...and saw that I should have put the convection setting on "Roast" not "Bake"...on Bake it automatically reduces the set oven temp by 25 degrees. Yikes, I was "warming" up my turkey inside instead of baking it! It still amazes me that it was so brown and done looking!

I have yet to figure out the Broil feature. I purchased an all black stove -- since a white stove (propane) turns black by the burners, I thought it would be good to start with that color to begin with. Black has it's problems, too. Fluff of any kind shows up on the stove. Scratches show up a lot more on black than on white or so it seems. I spend my time polishing the all black top by the burners...

The burners are like torches! Thank goodness there is a little burner in the back that you can cook puddings and eggs without them sticking or going to over the top. The first time I made tapioca on my new stove I used the "torch" back burner. I left the pudding for a minute and when I came back the whole top of the stove was a puddle of tapioca...Wail! That was a real clean-up job!

There are five burners with two huge pieces of "Grates" (I think they are called) that cover the burners. If not careful these can scratch the surface of the black finish. Each burner has a metal cap which comes right off for easy cleaning. They are like little saucers.

Hopefully we will adjust to each other and I am really happy about the small not-so-intense back burner. Making puddings and eggs is a very easy pot cleanup!

Christmas was low key and enjoyed at home.