Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Nelson

 This is "The Nelson", our lawn tractor sprinkler.  It runs almost every day during the summer from June to September.  We have front and back lawns plus the gardens and flower beds.  It all needs water to thrive.  Retired Mountain Man is in charge of the watering schedule, deciding which locations need water and he does a great job of keeping everything green and lush.

Back in the days before 1991 our water came from a well, which did not have enough flow to keep a garden.  I would try to grow a vegetable garden, but we always ended up hauling water from a neighbor to keep the plants alive.  There was never enough water.

 Things changed in 1991.  We joined with our neighbor, Glen Ford, and installed a water line from Cougar Creek.  It was no small endeavor since the water intake was 4500 feet up the mountainside.  The water line had to be dug underneath the county road and also underneath our driveway in two locations.   There was also the issue of the water pressure in a gravity-flow line (130 lbs.) so pressure reduction valves needed to be installed in multiple locations.  Retired Mountain Man and our two sons, Jamie and David, worked long hours digging and laying the pipe for 6 weeks in what was often really rocky soil.  Both of our sons were working at other jobs and spent their days off and evenings helping.  Retired Mountain Man's father, who was in his 70's at the time, came from Missoula to help us.

Every day Retired Mountain Man would record how many feet of pipe had been installed.   On August 26, 1991, he cracked opened the valve at the water intake up on the mountainside and soon there was a trickle of water coming out of the hose in my garden.  The soil in the garden at the time was just a lot of dry dust.  I remember being out in my corn rows in my bare feet, holding the hose and watering my sweet corn.  Needless to say I was a very happy muddy mess!  I did not care.  We had water!  Lots of water.  An endless supply of water!

I kept the calendar. (Sorry, I didn't keep the copy of July)
Some of you might recognize this "band calendar" from Clark Fork High School.

This is happy Sweet Candy Corn.

Yes, it is wonderful to have our own water system and what seems like an endless supply of water and no monthly water bills, but there are some drawbacks.   The entire system needs to be monitored and maintained, especially throughout the summer months.   Some of the pipe is laying in the creek and we've had a moose step on the line twice and break it, plus several other leaks and pressure valve failures over the years.  All in all, it works really well and every time I see the Nelson at work I think of that August day.

This year the gardens are thriving.

Squash Row, protected from the deer.  Do they eat squash?  Probably.  I don't know, but I don't trust them.

I almost forgot.  The new door is finished.  I think I should have a sign on it somewhere that says, "Band Entrance", or maybe "Cougar Creek Band Entrance"?

As my daughter-in-law, Julie, pointed out, there have been a thousand loads of firewood go through this door and so many Cougar Creek Band rehearsals over the years, and last but not least, a wedding party.

What a lovely day that was.  I hope you are enjoying this one.

Friday, July 19, 2019

The first of their 4-H years.

I confess that I stole these photos from my cousin Tena's FB page.  Tena lives in Elyria, Nebraska, which is near where I grew up.  We stay in touch mainly through FB and we will be seeing each other soon at a family reunion in Denver.   Her grandchildren were at their first 4-H show at the county fair and you can see from the photos how proud and excited they were.    I am now a photo thief.

Meanwhile, back at the garden it has been harvest time all week long.   I have been working on getting veggies in the freezer and it is almost full.   I harvested 10 heads of cauliflower and I think they must have weighed about 20 pounds.  At least that's what it felt like as I carried them from the garden to the house.

The flowers are blooming their hearts out.

There are dahlias in this bed but the nasturtiums have taken over.  I need to prune some of them back to give the dahlias a chance.

Another week has gone by and it's Friday.  Time for more music at Trinity.   This is the view that the crowd sees while we're playing.   Since it's behind the band, we get to look at it during our breaks.   It's a pretty nice view looking across the lake. 

Happy Friday!

Monday, July 8, 2019

Dust off the sun and moon and sing a song of cheer....

My weekend began as planned.  The Friday night gig went well for our opening night.  My good friends, Marcy, Kathy and Denny were there enjoying dinner and the beautiful view of the beach and the lake.  It was fun to visit with them between sets.

Saturday morning I was back in the garden harvesting and taking photos.   The sweet corn has definitely taken off....

I have a tomato turning red!  Yes, finally!  This is on one of my Red Robin tomato plants.  I start them under my gro-lights in my basement.  I have found this variety to be the best one for a patio tomato.  It's very convenient to walk out onto my deck and pick some tomatoes for dinner.

Almost all of my begonias are blooming and the clemetis looks good.

This planter is for the hummingbirds.  It's close to the feeders and they love it.  We have dozens of babies happily humming.   Every morning I wake up to the sound of hummingbirds feasting on this plant or at the feeder.

I was happily taking photos when Retired Mountain Man came out to tell me the bad news which was that we needed to replace the basement door.   We have had problems with water seeping in and after checking to see how to fix the problem he discovered that everything at the bottom of the door was rotten.   It really wasn't surprising since the door has been in place since 1980.

After some quick research online, we decided to head to town to buy a new steel door and hopefully everything we needed to install it.  (Retired Mountain Man was pretty nervous about whether he could install a door, but I knew he could do it.)

This meant that the logging pickup went to town.

You should know that it rarely drives off the hill.  It only makes trips down the hill to fill up the gas tank and once in a blue moon, a trip to the dumpster site.   I'm also allowed to use it to haul manure, but it must be on a tarp.  I have been told by RMM that logging trucks are really for making firewood.  Nothing else. 

Here is a photo of the logging pickup in Ponderay - just for public record.

We found what we thought we needed and we were back home by 5:00 p.m.

Retired Mountain Man was really hoping that the new door was going to just slide in and fit.  As it turns out, with quite a bit of maneuvering, it did just that.  The foam sealant was pretty convenient, but a bit messy.  The custom cedar trim will be a bit difficult since it has to be cut to fit over the log siding.

We didn't finish with the basics on the door until 7:00 p.m. and that was enough of a day for the two of us. 

On Sunday we cleaned up the mess in the basement and Retired Mountain Man hauled the old door (in the logging pickup) to the dumpsters.  He left it at the "free table".  I'm sure someone can use it.

I was back in my garden in the afternoon.  I hope you like the photos.

The garden veggies are coming on fast now which means I will be harvesting something almost every day.  I finished the day by mowing the lawn and it looks good.  All in all, it was a good weekend, even with the addition of the door project.

Since I connect everything with music, this is where I'm at today.

"Roll out those lazy, hazy, crazy days of summer...." Nat King Cole, 1963.

Friday, July 5, 2019

Happy July 5th! The morning after and time to reminisce.

A relaxing 4th of July, not for Leslie and Alex, but it was for Retired Mountain Man and I.  We watched them.  It is really hard work with a crosscut saw.

This was just too easy for Travis Kiebert, but someone else was faster!  Under 6 seconds!

Alas, my camera battery wore out on me so this was the last photo I shot.   Travis won the Large Saw Competition this year.  Congratulations!

I've been up at the crack of dawn on many a 4th of July to get ready to march in the Clark Fork Parade.  Retired Mountain Man drove the truck which carried the parade float.  

The Cougar Creek Band has been marching in the parade for more than ten years.  I am posting some photos from years past. 

We decorated a float every year.  Part of the band rode on the float which carried a PA system to broadcast the music.   The brass players and drummers marched behind along with the Second Line of the  Krewe of Cougar Creek. 

This is the Krewe of Cougar Creek's pirate ship.   Ann and Marilyn are tossing candy, moon pies and beads to the crowd.

One year the parade stopped on the corner and a marriage proposal took place. 

Every year the group posed for a photo after the parade.  I love this one because it was the year my sis from South Carolina joined us to play trumpet in the parade and also because my mom was in the parade.  She's the one in the cowboy hat on the right.   This was in 2011, the town of Clark Fork's centennial year. 

Retired Mountain Man and I did not make it to the parade this year, but after the Saw Contest we went to a barbecue potluck at Lyndsie and Alex's farm.  We had a chance to talk to a lot of people we haven't seen in awhile and at the same time enjoyed some really great food.   I hope you enjoyed the 4th as well!

Mark on the trumpet, Mike on the Sax, Neil on the recorder and Julie playing the drum.