Thursday, June 27, 2013


My next project is re-doing the rock garden, already a work in progress.

I awoke this morning with the realization I am on the threshold of the rest of my life. That could be one minute or twenty years. Whatever it is, I'm beating my own drum and leading my own parade.

Ranch..... finished. Yesterday I turned in my key, signed over the deed to new owners and I will never, never, never visit that land again. I've moved many times in my life and I never revisit or look back.

I always need a project..... ask my family. Next project..... bring back the rock garden and all the forgotten gardens on this 2 1/2 lot yard.  This old house has stood vacant for 8 years and working in the yard is like the story of the "Secret Garden," I never know what I'll uncover. Already,  I've added many new trees, scads of perennials from neighborhood cuttings and new nursery plants.

Here's to a splendiferous summer. How is your summer project going?
In case anyone is curious about the header plant...... it is a Sea Holly. It has thistle-like blue flowers and foliage. Plant where you want it because it resents being transplanted.  The bloom will retain it's vivid color when dried if picked when bloom is fully open.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

A Murder in Birdseye Area

If you look at my wall header and just over that first ridge is Threemile Road, with a short road offshoot, Turk Road. Since it's inception, Turk Rd. has been the center of contention by it's landowners. Road violations, trespassing, boundary disputes and people being the target of a high powered rifle were common happenings on Turk Rd. To my thinking, all residents were equally guilty of being "trigger happy hotheads."

Then the monstrous violation occurred when Mike Crites put a chain over an easement road so owners couldn't get to their property.  Lawsuits and threats became the norm as neighbors took sides.  Mike Crites, with his 4 wolf dogs, was living his Montana dream off the grid as neighbors gave mixed messages about his personal life. In June, 2011, Crites wolf dogs were discovered running loose and Crites was missing. Where would he go since his wallet and pick-up were in his yard.

Six months later, Crites dismembered body was found in plastic bags at McDonald Pass outside of Helena. From news reports, there seem to be a couple of suspects but without any evidence.  No one is talking. Perhaps the neighbors know and are honoring a code of silence as to who did this chilling murder. The crime has put a halt on all real estate sales within the Birdseye area. Who would buy a house in an area where a crazed killer resides? Some people just left their homes and "for sale" signs reign supreme. I guess I am lucky that a neighbor is buying my ranch. The deed will pass this coming Wednesday.

Most people don't dwell on the fact that a murderer is living among us. I didn't....... not until another article reminding us of the crime appeared in the newspaper.  There is very little crime in Helena, made apparent by all the unlocked houses and car doors. But when there is a crime, it's a bone-chilling whopper.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

When is a Rock Not a Rock? When It's a Wall.

 Around 20 some years ago, my son asked me, "What is the most permanent legacy one can leave? " Perhaps half joking and without thinking, I answered, "A rock wall." To my surprise, son and his wife spent half the summer searching out and gathering local rock and the last part of the summer, building the wall.  The header picture shows the length of the wall.

The wall is a work of art, hand crafted with love and respect of the nature that produced the rocks.  I cannot imagine a more hallowed legacy to prove that someone had lived upon this earth.

The ranch is sold. People ask if I feel sad. Sad for some buildings that will eventually wither and rot? No, not my style. But then my voice cracks and my eyes fill with tears, "It's the wall I don't want to leave." I close my eyes and I can hear my husband's voice whenever I cried, he'd say, "Stop all that caterwauling.  That wall will be here long after all signs of humans are gone."

 It will make a lot of people happy, it's the greatest legacy you can leave, Zahnie and Katie.
Have you ever thought what you would leave as a legacy?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Better to Remain Loyal

A smallish to medium tree in my yard died. The location was good and when cut, it would fall free of obstacles.  I called Mr. Bushy the tree man I've used many times. He said he was busy but may be able to squeeze it in  the next day. 

The next day I was outside planting new trees to fill the dead trees vacancy. Another tree man, Mr, Bradly drove by, spotted the dead tree, stopped and said he could cut and remove it at that moment.  I was put in a dilemma because Bushy had not come. I asked the price and Brady said $50. I was tempted to accept and have it over with here and now but something gnawed inside me that I HAD called Bushy so I felt obligated to wait for him.  Obviously he was too busy and would do it next week.

The week end came. On Saturday I was in the house when the doorbell rang. It was Mr. Brady's helper who gave me the same spiel again, in the neighborhood, could cut/remove right now.  I explained again that I had called Bushy first and I felt my loyalty was to wait for him.

Bushy came Monday morning.  He remembered the tree because he had trimmed it last year, in one last attempt to save the poor tree.  The first thing I asked was, "How much?"   He said forty bucks and I smiled inwardly because I was still a loyal customer and saved ten bucks.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Alan's Song

Hey Bloggie Friends
Have any of you kitchen dancers (esp. Su-sieee and the husband) taken up dancing after A-Z?  My granddaughter, Ashly, wrote an excellent WALTZ song for beginners.  You can't lose the beat as the 1-2-3 literally shouts at you.  The song is written in old-timey country and called ALAN'S SONG. I made a short vid of Ashly washing Cody Dog so you can hear the song. (I haven't made a video for such a long time, I forgot how to add titles. )  Ha

Ashly wrote the song for me after Alan died.  I never expected to find a dancer in Montana with as much natural rhythm as Alan had. We danced every Sunday at a little Honkey Tonk that catered to excellent bands, not only country, but swing, blues and jazz. Alan had 10 years on me, but he was still the best swing dancer I had ever danced with. He had danced in competition during WW2 while he was in the Navy. Holy Moly, dancing with Alan was just plain fun. I haven't been out dancing socially since Alan died. My heart just isn't in it. But I still teach a little so at least I get my DANCE FIX. I think about social dancing and some day I may venture out again.

Ashly's band with her singing Alan's Song. (Washing Cody)