Garden of 1000 Buddha

More strawberries please, just 24 strawberry plants but boy are they big this year. Got it right this time, more acid to the soil, and more food. We have the everbearing kind, they produce right up till the first hard frost. We hope to be able to freeze up enough to last all year.

Hot Days Ahead! A reminder that pets and livestock need extra water to drink. My chickens are drinking nearly double their normal amount.
Our Community Appreciation Day and BBQ Fundraiser is a fun, old-fashioned, Summertime outing for your whole family. Enjoy a delicious meal prepared by our firefighters. Come visit with your friends and neighbors. Check out our fire engines, and meet our firefighters. And, it’s a great opportunity to ask questions, and learn more about fire prevention and fire safety. Old-fashioned community BBQ with Grilled bison burgers, baked beans, potato salad, watermelon, cake and huckleberry ice cream. Live music, fire truck rides, and silent auction.

Everyday we enjoy time on our porch swing. The last two swings only lasted a few years, then all the fabric falls apart. So we’re building our own swing. The frame of the porch swing is 2X4’s a couple pieces of 2×6’s and Trex for the seat and the back. I am hoping that the Trex will out last me, I like to build things to last, sure not going to have to repeat this in a couple of years. Becca just finished stripping our front door, then stain and two seal coats. What a nice looking front door we have now. Summer is here and there are always projects that need to get done. We had to replace a few windows this year also, they had lost their seal. You know the old saying, “If you live in a place long enough you will have to replace the whole thing sooner or later”. I don’t know if anyone really said that, but it sure seems to be true.

Becca made a trip down to Arlee Montana, a small valley just north of Missoula, to Garden of 1000 Buddhas. It was pretty interesting, the gardens were kept nice, the setting was well thought out with mountains surrounding the place. She put together a video of the gardens and statues for you to enjoy.

Thought for Today –
“Nothing ever comes to someone, that is really worth having, except as a result of hard work.”

Life is Berry Berry Good, Steven and Becca

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Bears In Glacier Park

Happy 4th to everyone, we do live in the richest country on earth, and still we find it hard to prosper. Lucky for me, a good garden, good chicken hens, and my good wife, make me one of the lucky ones. I got all I need to be happy.

All American Pie
Blueberry, Strawberry and Rhubarb

I have figured out why one fruit tree has been plagued with aphids. My plum tree has aphid trouble every year, even after spraying. Spraying was the wrong thing to do, seems I killed most of the aphids for a short time only. There were ants protecting the aphids, ants were the problem. Aphids should be controlled by ladybugs and other good insects. So all I needed to do was to get the ants out of the tree. A product called “Tree Tanglefoot” gets rid of the ants. If you have aphid problems, give it a try, sure worked for me.

We’re all about celebrating the fourth of July, however with the heat in the western states this year, we would just like to caution everyone of the fireworks fire danger. I would like to see a standard light show that was not so dangerous to us or the environment. Maybe a trained flock of birds connected to laser lights. Have a fun-and-safe Fourth of July.

Cutbank Bridge Glacier
Bridge in Glacier

Ideas matter. Ideas have consequences. Our free American Republic was founded on an idea – the idea of individual liberty. Life, Liberty and the pursuit of happiness. The sanctity of contracts and private property. The freedom to try. The freedom to fail. The freedom to learn from our mistakes. The freedom to prosper and to keep the fruits of our labors. The freedom to exercise our conscience when it comes to charity and our religious beliefs. It is nothing less than the fundamental principle of self-ownership – that your life belongs to you – not the state – and that the goal is to live free. We Americans were the first in all the history of the world to claim freedom as our inalienable right, granted to us by our Creator and this is the week that we as a country celebrate that right.

Happy Cycling in Glacier Park.

It’s a perfect time to go for a bike ride, but if you ride around in the Rocky Mtns. you must be aware of the bears and other wild critters. This week one of the rangers was out riding with a friend in a secluded area not far from the hwy. when a chance encounter with a grizzly ended badly. This doesn’t happen often, however a reminder that we live in bear country.

General Biking Information,

First of all, make sure your bike and equipment are in perfect working order, and wear proper gear: helmet, cycling shorts or tights, windbreaker jacket, cycle gloves, etc.

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Moving the Baby Chickens

Days are long and nights are short, it takes an effort to get enough sleep.
We were out in the garden working last night, we both love to garden. The chickens are over 2 weeks old now, and it is time to move them out of the brooder house and out to the barn. They’re getting pretty big, and the guineas are starting to fly already. We need to keep them contained for a couple of weeks yet. But with 40 of them, the brooder house just isn’t big enough. Our barn area is more like a half sided carport, a roof and walls that go half way up. It was time to put something on the top of the walls so that they could not fly out. Usually we would use the hen house, however the layers are still in there and putting them together would cause quite a ruckus. Anyway when we finally came in, it was just getting a little too dark to work. Looking at the clock and it was 10.45. That’s pretty late to be working outside, even on the longest day of the year.

Becca had the girls over for a potluck lunch yesterday, 15 of them showed up and by the sounds of it they had a fun time. They can sure get going telling stories and laughing. We weren’t sure if it was going to rain or shine, the weather called for blue skies but when the first car pulled-in the dark clouds appeared and broke loose. We had thunder and quite the downpour for the first half hour. Then the weather cleared up and we all congregated on the deck for the remainder of the party. Potluck, cake and drinks. It’s good to have friends to laugh with.

I see all kinds of animals, running wild and free,
birds in all their glory passing overhead in flight.
I watch the fading sunset across an endless sea,

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Deer Everywhere

There were 11 deer hanging out on the property today. One big buck and many does. Don’t see any of the fawns yet. One more week, then they will be running all over this place. Soon after that we will be seeing the fawns frolicking around the fields. Whenever a bunch of fawns get together, they play like baby goats do. Well, almost like.

Deer In Trees
Too many deer this year.

Let the summer fun begin. We’re heading to Missoula to visit family and friends and go to the big quilt show. I’m so amazed at the work these gals do on their quilts. I was never one for quilting, could not sit still long enough I guess. My sister-in-law does beautiful work though, just walking through her house is like attending a show in itself. I believe she’s making quilts for charity also. She belongs to a quilting club and they all work together on the ones being donated. Joining a club and getting together with others and working on a common goal, or just getting together and playing cards is a great way to improve your well-being. Socializing, one of the best kept secrets to good health and a long life, having a robust social network that includes relatives, friends, and other relationships. These are just a few of the reasons why you should prioritize your family and your pals.

So many things to do, rodeos, hiking, biking, fishing, Indian Powwow, fairs and flowers. Somehow we make time to take them all in. I particularly will be sure to watch-and-film the pig wrestling. The kids seem to have a good time and for some reason it cracks me up. Going to be a hoot.

Some places are having a heat wave, not here, we had frost two mornings ago. All the hot weather plants like tomatoes, peppers, dahlias, etc, aren’t looking so good. What a surprise, frost, it was light frost so I guess we can be glad about that.

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Deadwood Falls

42 birds, 5 kinds, nice new baby chicks. They are so cute, time to make a movie. We love the eggs and meat they provide. 9 Black Stars will be our new laying hens, 8 guineas for guard dogs and bug control, eat the rest. The Araucana chickens give blue and green eggs, my mom says they will class-up the place. The guineas got here two days before the baby chicks, that was all the time they needed to make the place their own. We put the chicks in the brooder house, and within an hour of being together one of the guineas decided that he was the boss. Running from one black star to the next, he would peck and grab hold of their feet to let them know he was the top chick in the house. I don’t know if he would have gone on to attack the rest of the chicks, so I decided it was time to separate him out. I put up a little gate and restricted him to the corner, giving him a couple hours of time out. Seemed to do the trick. We also changed out the light to a red bulb, who knew that white light would make them hostile.

For 22 years we’ve been looking for plants and flowers that the deer won’t eat. Most things get a big fence, 7.5 feet tall, that seems to do it. I can tell you our deer eat rhubarb, pumpkin plants, lilacs, and most other plants just fine. Our neighbor has nice Oriental Poppy plants, wow they look nice. Tomorrow were going to plant some Orange and Red Poppy plants. I’m so thrilled, I might plant them right in the middle of the lawn, why not.

Out of our kiln today we got 7 new large bowls, some of our finest pottery yet. I had fun carving some simple patterns on the sides, two of them had been squared off while still wet, making for a unique four sided bowls. During the summer friends will stop by for a paint party. We paint glaze for a few days and into the fire they go. We all paint-up a storm, sometimes we collaborate and everyone paints on the same piece. The more time we spent on each piece, the better they turnout. Must be at least 100 pieces of pottery we made thru the winter, ready to be finished-up this summer.

Walk just a little further down the trail and you’ll arrive at Deadwood Falls,
a beautiful 10-foot waterfall with deep, crystal clear pools of water above and below the falls.

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Campfires and Fishing

Johns Lake
Fishing at John’s Lake in Glacier Park

Johns-Lake-271Every year we grow flowers and some vegetable plants on our deck. This year we have Cilantro, the smell is quite enjoyable in small amounts. Don’t remember ever growing Cilantro before, can’t wait to use it in a few recipes. Perhaps you can tell us about some good ways to use Cilantro?

Tomorrow we pickup our new Guinea hens. I hear they are fun to watch, I’ll keep my video camera handy for all the fun. We hope to keep them around for many years to eat all the bugs, mostly the ticks; sure would be nice to be rid of the ticks. No kidding, I hear they love ticks.

Next week we get 32 new chicks, 8 new laying hens and the rest for meat. Two are Anaconda chickens, still not sure why we need green and blue eggs.

Have you heard about the James Webb Space Telescope, it will be launched in 2018, on an Ariane 5 rocket. The launch vehicle is part of the European contribution to the mission. They expect to see light that was emitted over 13 billion years ago. Well that sounds nice, I wonder if there will ever be any practical application. Looking back in time, seeing the history of the universe, can’t wait to hear more.

Off to Glacier National Park we go, fishing, hiking and lots of picture taking. This year we plan to include fishing on many of our hikes. There’s tons of nice fishing places in Glacier Park, no license needed either. Just remember the bear spray, there’s plenty of hungry bears roaming around. Oh fun, Becca with her fly pole, and me with my bobber.

Summer around here means late evening walks, sitting by the bonfire with a good drink and enjoying the great outdoors. Ya don’t really need to go camping when you live in the woods like we do. Enjoying the wildlife roaming freely and fresh smells of being surrounded by forest. On our walks we’ve started watching for the baby deer now. The first couple weeks of June is prime time for mommas to be dropping those baby fawns. It’s pretty likely that we’ll see one or two of those little guys lying close to the driveway. One year I spotted a fawn just minutes after being born, hopped out of the car a grabbed the camera. As I was shooting pictures of that one, Steven walked up and noticed another that I had walked passed without noticing. So they are there, you just have to keep looking, the mothers hide them pretty well.

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Dandelion Tea

We set out this morning to harvest a few dandelions from our fenced acre.
Wanting to make our own dandelion tea. After washing and separating the leaves from the root, we decided to try the leaf and flowers first. Using hot (not boiling) water, we seeped the leaves and flowers for about 20 minutes. Strained the liquid and served it up to both Steven and I. The taste was somewhat bland, however not a bad taste at all. I think I will add in some fennel seeds and ginger root next time.

Dandelions picked from the yard.

Some might think of dandelion as a pesky weed, but maybe that’s because they haven’t been introduced to the herbal powers of this humble-looking little flower. Let’s take a moment to peek inside the tea bag and get to the root of what makes Dandelion Root tea so special.

Dandelion is used for loss of appetite, upset stomach, intestinal gas, gallstones, joint pain, muscle aches, eczema, and bruises. Dandelion is also used to increase urine production and as a laxative to increase bowel movements. It is also used as skintoner, blood tonic, and digestive tonic.

Some people use dandelion to treat infection, especially viral infections, and cancer.

In foods, dandelion is used as salad greens, and in soups, wine, and teas. The roasted root is used as a coffee substitute.

Just as a common-seeming little backyard flower can pack an impressive wallop of herbal power, a cup of tea can provide far more than just good taste and warmth.

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Baring Falls, Glacier National Park

What to do with bad teenagers. Several teens broke into the high school and did a huge amount of damage. They broke sinks right off the wall and much more. It could be $50,000 in damages. Three boys did all that damage. Some people want them to do community service, others want them locked up. Montana is known to be harsh when dishing out punishment, sometimes they really get carried away. At least they won’t have to guess what kids were involved. The kids are students at the high school, and it seems they didn’t notice the cameras. Ya, lots of cameras all over the high school. It only took an hour to round up all the guilty ones. Something tells me this isn’t the first time these kids have been in trouble. That’s quite a bill for the community to suck-up for a little teen fun.

East side Waterfall
Waterfall east of the Summit on Going To The Sun Road
Baring Falls
Baring Falls on the East side of Going To The Sun Road

The Humming birds are back. There were just a few around till this last week, now our place is a buzz. Becca has planted lots of flowers already, Dahlias, Sweet Peas, Marigolds and Nasturtiums. The Lilacs are smelling up the place, we sure do enjoy them. It’s a fast show with the Lilacs, another week and show will be over, just walking outdoors and you get a whiff of those sweet lilacs.
The Going To The Sun road in Glacier Park will be opening up a bit early this year. Becca is out of school and can’t wait to get up there to do some hiking and picture taking. Spring fever around here is not just cleaning up around the place, but the idea of getting out into nature and exploring.
A couple of nice one day hikes are on our agenda for the coming week.

On your next trip to Glacier National Park, near Saint Marys Lake, checkout Bering Falls.

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Healthy Potatoes

Another reason to grow your own food or buy organic.

I just want to say that it is not a very good sign to buy a potato, set it in the window and wait for it to grow eyes so you can plant it, and nothing grows. I have never seen a potato that would not grow eyes. It sat in the window for at least three weeks, nothing happened, it did not grow and it did not rot. What is wrong with this picture.
I for one do not want to eat a potato that has so many chemicals added to it that is lasts that long and you can not plant it and grow more. Why would anyone want to put that in their body or feed it to their children?

Purple Russian and Yukon Potatoes
Purple Russian and Yukon Potatoes in a pottery bowl on the Deck.

First, most potatoes in the grocery store have been treated with a sprout-inhibitor that prevents the potatoes’ eyes from developing while in storage and on the shelf. Seed potatoes are NEVER treated with sprout inhibitors.
For nearly 50 years, chloropropham, or CIPC, has been considered the standard anti-sprouting agent. But today, the future of the compound is uncertain. Due to health concerns, the U.S. EPA has classified CIPC as a carbamate and has placed increasingly strict limits on the amount of CIPC residue that can remain on potatoes sold to consumers. Other countries have established even stricter limits on residue levels-some have even imposed zero tolerance policies.

Chlorpropham is moderately toxic by ingestion (2). It may cause irritation of the eyes or skin (2). Symptoms of poisoning in laboratory animals have included listlessness, incoordination, nose bleeds, protruding eyes, bloody tears, difficulty in breathing, prostration, inability to urinate, high fevers, and death. Autopsies of animals have shown inflammation of the stomach and intestinal lining, congestion of the brain, lungs and other organs, and degenerative changes in the kidneys and liver.

Read more about what’s on your potatoes.

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The grass is growing and it’s time to break out the lawn mower for the year. Didn’t have to worry too much about grass the last couple of years, since we had the geese that would eat it down. No geese this year. Going for baby chicks instead. It’s time to replenish our laying hens. This year was a tough one on the hens, for some reason they just did not fair all that well. They went into their yearly molt and only half of them really started laying again. Getting old I suppose. Hope to keep 9 Black Star and one Anaconda for new laying hens. Also will raise up 20 more chickens for eating.

We have just received photos of the Grand daughters getting ready for their proms and military balls with their young men, they look so grownup and beautiful. Time goes by so fast. I didn’t think we were getting that old. We are lucky and blessed to have healthy grandkids, so proud of all three.

Destiny and Shyanna
Ready for the Miliary Ball


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