Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Montana WILD

Helena, MT  High 81  Low 55

Thanks for all the comments about my orange chicken. Linda hit the nail on the head with her comment that it looked a lot like Panda Express Orange Chicken and I just had to try it. I love Panda Express.


Remember the bear enclosures we can see from our spot?


We wandered down there one day and discovered that the Montana Fish and Wildlife has a wonderful exhibit hall.

This is from their website: Montana WILD is FWP’s flagship education and conservation center, located in Helena, devoted to celebrating this deep connection people have with Montana’s fish and wildlife and its wildness.

One of their major goals is to educate Montana youth about wildlife whether it be through hunting, fishing, archery or conservation classes.

This cute little guy is a Tiger Salamander and the Ranger was able to coax him out of his hiding place by tempting him with yellow tweezers that they use for his food. He’s kind of their mascot along with his buddy in the next cage.


The neighbor – a Rubber Boa. This is the only Boa that is native to Montana. I had no idea we even had a Boa in the state.

Rubber Boas are considered one of the most docile of the boa species and are often used to help people overcome their fear of snakes. Rubber Boas are known to never strike at or bite a human under any circumstances but will release a potent musk from their vent if they feel threatened.


A Grizzly and cub.


Beautiful exhibits.




I took this picture of a picture because a lot of folks don’t know that Antelope do not jump fences – they bend their legs and go under them. And they are really fast. Antelope are runners unlike deer which are jumpers. That is why you see more dead deer on the highway than antelope.


Can you see the black bear cubs in the aspen tree?



This is a red-breasted merganser. They can be found at the lake we can see from our spot.


We had a wonderful time and learned so much talking with the Rangers. One of them was a fisherman and I didn’t think I’d ever get Jim away.

If you’re ever in this area, please take an hour and visit this place. It’s free which is another plus. Still no bears but they are also working on building a bird rehabilitation pen.

Pumpkinseed Fish


Monday, July 29, 2013

Analyze This

Helena, MT  High 75 Low 53

Okay gang – here’s the recipe. I saw it on FB. Mine definitely did not look like this picture. The chicken looked anemic and the sauce was as runny as water.


Slow Cooker Orange Chicken

2 large carrots, peeled and slice. 2 green or red bell peppers, cut into chunks. 2 stalks celery, cut into chunks. 3 cloves garlic, finely minced. 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts. 3 tbps soy sauce. 2 tsps ginger. 1 tsp each salt and pepper. 8 ounces orange juice concentrate. 2 cups mandarin oranges. 2 green onions chopped

Put everything but mandarin oranges and green onions in crockpot. Cook on low 4 to 6 hours. Serve over hot rice and top with mandarin oranges and green onions.


Also want to explain this picture. We have three steps outside and one step inside our fifth wheel to enter the rig. Skittlez loves to lay on that inside step in the sun. Nice and cozy. I took the picture looking down at her from my chair.

Had a really exciting t-storm go through last night but no hail so I’m grateful even though I’m tired today. Certainly cooled down our weather.

Hope you’re enjoying your summer. It’s really slipping away rapidly.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Dinner Disaster

Helena, MT  High 83  Low 54

Found a new recipe and it sounded so good. Crockpot Orange Chicken. I chopped veggies and chicken and went to the store for everything I didn’t have. Put everything in the crockpot and figured dinner would be ready in about 5 hours.

Five hours later, I took the lid off the pot and thought, this doesn’t look very good and it really doesn’t even smell very good. But I tried a bite. Then I made Jim try a bite, just to be sure. It was horrible. In fact, it was not edible. I double checked the recipe and everything was as it should be but it still wasn’t edible.

So we went out to dinner. All that time and money. In the garbage.

Once again, I am almost out of gigabytes so I’m not spending much time on line. I’ll have to catch up with everybody next week.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

The Bucket Truck Returns

Helena, MT  H  94  Low 62

The electrician showed up about 9:00 this morning and headed right on up and up and up.


He installed the new conduit and wires and then installed the new meter base. Sure looks different than the old one.


After Darren finished his installation, it was time to call Dean. Dean is the one who could give us the seal of approval. That green seal means we can have the power company come out and hook us up again.


Finally, the bucket truck arrives. Hooks up the power and installs the meter dial. We have electricity!!


Scooter is so happy.


Skittlez just wants sunshine.


Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Almost Had Us A Fire

Helena, MT  H 94  L 59

Yep – we were really lucky.

Monday night, Skitz needed to go out in the middle of the night and we noticed that the power was off. We weren’t sure if it was just us or everybody else but since we didn’t need any power while we were sleeping, decided it could wait til morning for Jim to check out. When Jim checked the surge guard, he found that the voltage had dropped to 107 it should be 110 to 120. By the way – if you don’t have a surge guard, I highly recommend that you get one. It just saved us from losing everything electrical in the rig.Don called the Power Company and the guy came out with his bucket truck. As you know, we are hooked up to electric on my BIL’s lot. There used to be a mobile home here and the electrical meter base and all that stuff has to be about 50 to 60 years old.

Front of the unit:


This is what the guy found. This is what is behind the dial that shows your meter usage. Notice all the burnt wire on the left lower side.  Once again, if you don’t have a surge guard, you really do need one.



Then we found out that this part of the whole set-up is the owner’s responsibility, not the power company. He disconnected the power at the top of pole by using his bucket truck. I missed that with my camera. When everything else is replaced, they will come back out and hook it all up again.


It is amazing how much work is involved in getting this fixed. You have to get a permit. Sounds easy – yeah right! When they pulled up the actual address of this lot the records showed it’s in the city limits. But we’re not in town, we’re in the county. That means that the city and the county have to get this straightened out before the permit can be issued.

And all the new rules – we have to have two ground rods eight feet long, at least six feet apart, put in the ground. It’s in the 90’s and they are pounding the rods.


The conduit that runs up the pole has to be 6 inches away from the pole so you need special spacers to hold it in place. Originally they were told they had to have a outlet box with a 20amp outlet with GFI for some reason. Meant another trip back down to the power company office to explain that we just need a 30 amp RV hook up.

We had a nice discussion about the fact that I will not let either of the guys install the conduit up to the top of the pole. They did agree with me that it would probably be stupid of them to try. So we will hire somebody younger with a bucket truck to take care of that for us.


Then they need to go buy all the necessary parts. Everything has to be replaced because it is so old nothing meets codes. So Jim was busy this morning taking all the old stuff down off the pole.


The Home Depot receipt shows a 125A Meter Main Outdoor, a 30 AMP Travel Trailer Panel, a Breaker GE 30A 2-Pole, Rigid Conduit Nipple, and some Raintight Hubs. Means nothing to me.

Found an electrician who will be out in the morning to help get everything installed and up to specs. Then hopefully the guy from the power company can come out and certify that everything is good to go.

I can’t imagine how we would have survived this heat without our generator. It may be noisy but it runs the A/C and that’s all I cared about when it hit 92 in the rig. Both Scooter and I had our tongues hanging out.



I’ll let you know how tomorrow goes. Wish us luck.

Saturday, July 20, 2013


Helena, MT  High 91  Low 61

Thursday night my sister, Judy, and her hubby, Don, took us out to dinner at the Marysville House Restaurant. Marysville is a an old mining town that almost became a ghost town. Along came a ski area and brought the small town back to life.

I blogged about Marysville last year  Marysville

P1060177I had one of the best steaks I’ve had in a long time. Jim and I split a rib eye dinner. Even the broccoli was good and I am not a cooked broccoli person.

We all agreed that we just would have to make another trip back up there again.

This was the view from the back deck of the restaurant.


Judy, Jim and Don relaxing before dinner.


I loved this chair.


Friday morning Jim took me to breakfast for my birthday. After we got back home Judy and I went garage sailing. My sister is a hard core yard sale person. I usually go along so I can drive and she can concentrate on the deals. I hit the jackpot – a new to me t-shirt and some books.

We met up with my niece, Kim, for lunch. Her birthday is on the 20th so we were celebrating both days.

Friday afternoon Don bought me a new birthday present (NOT). He bought himself a new toy and brought it over for Jim to check it out. 


A really wonderful day.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Montana Skies and Wildlife

Helena, MT  High 84  Low 54

I really don’t remember Montana having  so many beautiful sunsets. We have them occasionally but this year they seem to be night after night. Normally these red skies are the result of forest fires but not this year.


These pictures were all taken on different nights.



Can’t leave out the beautiful daytime clouds either.


We’re also seeing lots of wildlife.

This guy wandered through the lot across the street from us one evening. Jim watched a doe walk through our lot but didn’t have the camera with him.


Saw this guy down on the Gulch when we were Polly and Vern. He had an ice cream cone and was the happiest squirrel ever.


DSCN1449We have an Osprey nest just up the road from us but I don’t have a camera that can get a good picture of the parents or babies. We are having a wonderful time watching the chicks grow up. Mom and Dad go fishing at the lake that is just down the hill. One day we had a pretty good wind and Mom or Dad caught a rather large fish to bring back to the nest. He/she had to circle the nest several times before he could get up there with dinner. No camera, of course. The little ones are flapping their wings, building up their strength so they can fly.

For a much better picture of an Osprey check out Judy's blog.

Storm clouds


Hail out of those storm clouds


We’re done with severe storms for at least the foreseeable future. Up into the 90’s and the fire danger is on the rise.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Internet Works at Laundromat

Helena, MT   High  85   Low 58

I figure I really need to apologize. I guess I should have said that Scooter got away from us rather than we lost her. But I want you all to know that when one of the girls dies it won’t just be a mention in a paragraph somewhere in the post. I’m hoping it isn’t anytime soon but Scooter is now 13 and Skittlez is 11, so they are getting older just like Jim and I.

I’m sitting at the laundromat and my internet connection is working just fine. Guess I’ll just have to make a trek down to their parking lot whenever I can so I can read blogs and make posts.

Life is pretty routine. I did go to lunch with my sister and three of her friends. They have a girls’ lunch every month. We’re supposed to get some severe weather tomorrow afternoon and that’s about all our news from here.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Internet Issues, Scooter, and Hailey

Helena, MT  High 87  Low 53

I am having major internet connection issues. My WIFI keeps going into “limited” mode which means that I cannot use the internet. Went to the Verizon store and they put a new SIM card in for me but that didn’t help. I think it is our location.

If I do get on line it will only last for a few minutes so I don’t have much time to read blogs or comment.

We lost Scooter this morning (but we finally found her). She loves to chase rabbits and chipmunks and lizards and mice and all kinds of critters but squirrels just put her over the top. She spotted one this morning out my window and went berserk. Jim got dressed and let her out. By this time the squirrel was long gone.

The minute Jim opened the door, Scooter took off and never looked back. She’s never done that before. Jim hollered for me to come help him. I was still in my nightgown but only took the time to put on my shoes.  We spent a half an hour calling and looking everywhere for her. Finally found her in one of the neighbor’s back yard.

I really was concerned because this road below us is a major highway and very busy. When she got in the house she drank a bunch of water and just flopped by the water dish and didn’t move.

Yesterday, when we were getting out of the truck, this sweetheart came bounding up to us with her tongue hanging almost to the ground. I am so glad she had her collar on with a name (Hailey) and a phone number.


We got her some water and she just plopped down with her paws on each side of the bowl and drank and rested and then drank some more. Called the number and her owner came to get her immediately. He’s a young guy who lives with two other guys on the other side of the highway and down a ways. He had left her with his roommate and he was on his way home to have a LONG discussion with this roommate about his dog. She was such a love but you could sure tell she was a guy’s dog. I sat and held her on one of our leashes but her eyes never left Jim. And when she heard her owner’s voice, she about went nuts. So glad we found her.

This is the only picture for this blog because I want to be able to get it posted before I lose my connection for the 50th time today.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Fat Fergie

Helena, MT  High 88  Low 50

Yesterday was my sister’s birthday and we were really looking forward to dinner up at Marysville, MT. One problem – when we got up there we discovered the restaurant is closed on Monday and Tuesday.

P1060118Judy had another place she really wanted to try so we went in the opposite direction to Winston, MT. Winston consists of a a bar and grill and a general store. Judy had heard that the hamburgers were great but when I looked at the menu I saw they had pork chop sandwiches.

Jim and Judy got hamburgers and Don and I got the pork chop sandwiches. Then we all shared. They were okay and rather expensive so we won’t be going back there.

The owner of the bar made all of the metal wall sculptures in the bar.


P1060119We will be going to the Marysville restaurant for my birthday and I am hoping we have better luck with the food. We did have a good time even if the food was just okay.

On the way home we stopped by my nephew’s (Chris and Randi) house to I could meet Fat Fergie. Remember Bella from the 4th of July? She has two sisters, Daisy and Fergie.

Bella – she wouldn’t stay still long enough to get a good picture.


Daisy – she is 13 and very, very shy. But she loves Zach.


Then there is Fat Fergie.


Bella decided that Fergie looked lonely in her pool.


The weather was perfect today but it’s warming up tomorrow.