Monday, December 31, 2018

The end of the year celebrations. It's party time.

Our Christmas with all of our family is really a celebration of both Christmas and New Year's.  The traditions include the sled run down the driveway, a bonfire, playing board games and a white elephant gift exchange.  Add to that just lots of general craziness and fun with quite a bit of good food thrown in.

Brotherly love.

White elephant gifts.  JP was the lucky recipient.

This one was irresistible.

  The sled run.

The "stern" parents?

The lighting of the bonfire.

The glow from the fire.  "Grandpa, that's really warm."

Great Grandson's first ride down the sled run.

Pink flamingo socks.

Hugs in the kitchen.

Lots of food to eat.

Quick snuggles and naps on the floor.

  Lots of time on great-grandpa's lap.

Opening gifts.

Goofy grandpa photos.

Everyone wanted to try on this white elephant gift.  Who would end up with it?

Unusual gifts - roto clean automatic wiper for your toilet?

A Golden Goose.  Who would get the golden goose?

Could it be Dylan's?

More time at the bonfire.

Roasting marshmallows for s'mores.

Boxes and more boxes to open.  Down to the very smallest box.

The smallest box revealed a dime-a-mond ring.  Wow!  How lucky could you be?

 Ohhh!  DVD's of The Great British Baking Show!

A lucky dagger reappears as one of this year's white elephant gifts.

The mystery of the night was the eerie glow down in the yard near the Currant bushes.  There was a lot of discussion about what it might be.  Retired Mountain Man was the only one brave enough to put on his boots to hike down in the dark to see what it was.

It was a pink flamingo glowing in the dark.  The next day we brought it in the house and I am trying to decide where it's permanent home should be.   Front lawn?

We are still not positive just exactly who has graced us with this lawn ornament but we do know that many of them have shown up on lawns in Missoula.  We have some of the usual suspects in mind....

Happy New Year 2019!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Yes, it's taken me a week to post this.

I started this post on the "fall back" day.

I have finally put my gardens to bed.  Just in time for the "fall back" tonight.  It was a very productive gardening year which means our root cellar and pantry are full of canned goods:

dill pickles - 8 quarts
dilly beans - 9 pints
salsa - 32 pints
peaches - 24 pints
apricots - 20 pints
apple pie filling - 7 quarts
grape juice - 10 quarts
hot pepper jam - 26 half pints
jalapeno and apricot jam - 9 half pints
plum cardamon jam - 8 half pints
huckleberry jam - 14 half pints
applesauce - 8 pints
6 pints of beet pickles

And in the freezer, assorted peppers, broccoli, cauliflower, green beans, squash, tomatoes, and sweet corn.

I have lots of grape, apple and plum fruit leather for our grandkids, plus some dried apples and Italian plums.

I love gardening and preserving the harvest, but I'm very happy to be finished.

Retired Mountain Man has been busy cleaning up his woods.  He has 36 slash piles to burn and was happy to see all the rain so it's wet enough to start burning.   The rain has stopped my leaf raking, so much so that the rest of the leaves may be there until spring.  Oh well.

We hiked down to the bench to look for oyster mushrooms.  We did find enough for a dryer full, but not as many as usual.

I finished raking my leaves yesterday and I would say that it's just in time.  Here comes the snow.

Maggie says, "Hey, don't you realize it's snowing out here?  I need to come inside."

I'm ready.  My holiday lights are on.

I'm looking forward to Thanksgiving and all the good things that come with it.  Happy November!

Friday, October 5, 2018

Photos of the largest, gargantuan, biggest, gigantic, enormous amount of firewood in the USA!

Brought to you by Retired Mountain Man....





Kind of smallish....





All I can say is, "wow"!


Tired of looking yet?



And "yes".  There are 36 piles of brush and they are all covered with plastic, drying out and waiting until we get enough rain that he can burn the piles.

We are going to be warm this winter no matter what the temp is.  I don't know how many cords of wood Retired Mountain Man made, but it's a lot and it was a lot of work.  He is so awesome!