Thursday, July 31, 2014

Canton Church Historical Site

Townsend, MT  High 92  Low 57

We’ve had a couple of great excursions this summer. The first one was at the Montana Historical Society in Helena.

They were celebrating Helena’s 150th birthday and Ellen Baumler who writes the Montana Moments blog was the speaker. I love Ellen’s blog and I was very impressed with her presentation. She talked about the buildings in Helena and the history behind them. It was fascinating. Ellen is an interpretive historian at the Montana Historical Society and really knows her stuff.

A couple of weeks later, Judy called and wanted to know if we wanted to join her and Don in a visit to the Canton Church where the Williams Family was playing. That would be a definite yes.

P1080822In 1872, Canton boasted a mercantile, post office, saloon and dance hall, a doctor, and a hotel. The church was constructed in 1876. It is the state’s oldest standing Roman Catholic church not built by a religious order. The Northern Pacific bypassed Canton in favor of Townsend in the 1880s and after World War II, federal officials planned to upgrade Canyon Ferry Dam and raise the reservoir. In its path lay 4,000 farm acres and the village of Canton. In 1952, St. Joseph’s was moved two and a half miles to a higher location before water swallowed the town.

P1080828The church has been restored by volunteers and donations and offers programs during the summer. The Williams Family play some country, some bluegrass, and some rock. Those boys could really play the fiddles. However, one boy is headed to Costa Rica and one to Maryland so I’m not sure what is going to happen to the family band.

We really enjoyed ourselves. Hopefully, we’ll get to a couple more performances before the summer is over.


Beautiful views from the Church. That’s Canyon Ferry Lake, Jim’s fishing hole, in the distance.


Fresh walleye for dinner tonight.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Bungalow Couch Redo

Helena, MT  High 87  Low 58

I’m behind on blogs again but at least this time I know why.

We finally reached a decision on that horrible couch situation. We decided that we were going to spend money on changing the Bungalow or on chiropractors. The Bungalow won.

First of all Jim had to remove the jack-knife sofa.



That left this really ugly blue rug covering the platform. It looks a whole lot better in the picture than it looked in person.


I wanted it removed and Jim said okay.


You can see some of the slide mechanism stuff that makes this platform a necessity.


Then we went shopping. We had talked about putting wood paneling on the front of the platform and carpeting on the top. We found some carpet we really liked and Jim cut up some wood for the front. I didn’t like the wood at all, so I sent Jim back to the drawing board. He decided to cover the front with carpeting as well as on the top. I love it.


Then the big day arrived.


We went from this


To this


The chairs look bigger than they are because of the angle of the picture. We sat in every chair and loveseat in Helena trying to find something that would work. We measured and remeasured and Jim carried his tape measure with him everywhere we went just in case.

We finally decided to try Joslyn’s Furniture as a last resort. We explained to the salesman what we were trying to do and he said, “I have the perfect chair for you. I sell these chairs mainly to RVers.” They are La-Z-boys and the minute my butt sat down, it knew this was it. They are the perfect size rocker/recliner. (I do need to use my stool in order to get in my chair because they sit up on the platform.)

Big problem – they are mauve. Definitely doesn’t go with our blue furnishings in the Bungalow. That is what brought about the carpet removal from the platform. Now we (by we I mean Jim) is going to cover the valance. He took off the side pieces and I really like the fact that they are gone. Simple is good.


P1080815All these changes meant we had to get a different set of steps for the girls to get on the bed. They were used to getting up on the bed from the couch and they can’t do it from the chair. The steps we had were not tall enough for the bed so off to Amazon. Got the new steps and they are the perfect height but the plastic was causing the girls to slide going up or down. Not a good thing with their touchy backs. So we (Jim) covered the steps in left over carpet and they are just perfect.


The fish bedspread just doesn’t go with the pretty new chairs and Jim and I were going to go shopping for something different. But first we had to hit some garage sales with my sister. And look what she spotted for us. It matches perfectly with the chairs and it cost us all of $3.00. It cost us more than that to wash and dry it. (There is just no way to take a picture of our bed without a couple of doggie lumps under the cover.)


Sure makes the dinette benches look really ugly. Hint, hint, Jim.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Panic and Relief

Helena, MT  High 80  Low 58

As Jim and I were driving down our street headed to the Bungalow, I looked up and saw Skittlez in the middle of the road and the door to the rig wide open. I got out of the truck and grabbed Skittlez and put her back in the rig. Looked for Scooter and couldn’t find her. She is our hunter so who knows how far she could have gotten.

Panic set in and Jim went one direction while I went the other way, praying, calling and looking for a black tail in the tall weeds. I went to the end of the tall weeds and couldn’t see her anywhere so I headed back to the rig. I could hear Jim hollering for her down the hill the other way. I stopped at the rig to check on Skittlez before we got in the truck to look for Scooter. As I started into the rig a little black dog came prancing out of the bathroom. My joy at seeing Scooter was incredible. I let Jim know she was okay and we both collapsed.

I have no idea where she was when I looked for her before and why she didn’t leave the rig I’ll never understand because she’s ready to go out the door every chance she gets. But we sure are happy she’s home with us and safe. Jim figures Skittlez was trying to find me because she is such a Mama’s girl.

What I learned was that the door we don’t use very often is difficult to close tightly. We had it open earlier in the day and I closed it to turn the air on. But I didn’t really close it and the wind must have blown it open. That door will definitely be closed from here on out.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

Holy Smokes

Helena, MT  High 92  Low 61

Remember when I posted those pictures of our spot.


This is that same view on Friday.


And then on Saturday. Do you see any mountains out there?


That is the smoke from all the fires out in Washington. I feel so bad for all those folks out that way who have lost homes.

Jeff and Tina came to town before the smoke got so bad and we had a really great visit with them. Went for pizza and we won’t ever go back to Howard’s again. Since I don’t eat cheese, I had their chicken basket and it was really quite good, but nobody liked their pizza very much. They had plans to do the tour train, tour the capital building, and take the Gates of the Mountains boat ride.

This dude has been tormenting Scooter.


I dare you to come down off that pole.


Clark Rambling this next picture is for you and Gerry. We stopped for a caramel roll and this outfit stopped at the light. So Jim snapped a picture through the window. Big truck, tractor, a motorcycle, snowmobile, trailer and a car. What more could you possibly need.


I am way behind on reading blogs. Have no idea why I keep running out of time. But I’m going to try and catch up maybe this week.

Yesterday was my birthday. We went to garage sales in the morning and Jim got himself a new shirt and a spotting scoop. I got a couple of books. Then he took me to lunch at the Atomic CafĂ©. Another one of those – we’ve been there, done that, and won’t go back. He was going to grill me a steak and corn on the cob for dinner but the wind was so bad we had to put it off until lunch today. It was wonderful.

I also want to say welcome to three new followers: John Smith and Shirley Whitelaw. I don’t see any information about a blog for you guys. Follower 200 is rv_4me however you have a restricted blog and I don’t have permission to see it. Welcome to all of you.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

If Only It Was That Simple

Helena, MT  High 80 Low 58

For all of you who said just get rid of the couch and put in recliners or a new sofa, I really wish it was that simple. If it was, we would have done that before we left Arizona.

However, that is not the case. I’ve been Goggling suggestions and I found this guys post on one of the RV forums. He states our problem really well.

“My only regret is that I overlooked the really poor back support on the over stuffed Jackknife love seat. The problem is that this trailer has a mid wall slide that does not move the floor. The slide itself is directly under the seat cushion rather than on the floor. We don't need this to be a jackknife, just a seating area and it is really terrible to sit on”.


The cushions sit directly on top of the platform (or box) that contains the slide mechanisms. So that box has to stay. And remember that when I sit on that couch my feet don’t reach the ground. So putting chairs or anything else up there would make it that much higher.

Nobody had any suggestions for him. Jim hasn’t given up trying to come up with some idea but for now we’re doing fine with my feet up on the stool and Jim in his chair.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Bungalow Living

Helena, MT  High 92  Low 54

Nancy asked me a couple of questions and that gives me something to blog about.

Nancy wanted to know if Jim was a fly fisherman. He has done some fly fishing but he much prefers to sit in his boat and troll for fish. Especially now that he is older because fly fishing is much harder on his back.

She also wanted to know what we thought about living in the Bungalow after two months. We love it. It really is the perfect length for us (23’) and with the one slide, we have more than enough room.

However, there are a couple of issues. The major problem is that the couch is so uncomfortable and we both have back aches from sitting on it. The bench seats aren’t any better. I’ve found that if I sit with my feet on my step stool (with a pillow on top) that I have less problems. Still not very comfortable. We ordered Jim a new folding rocking chair. It fits between the couch and the bench seat and works so much better for him. Makes for interesting contortions as we move around in the rig but that can also be a lot of fun.

The other big problem is mine, not Jim’s. I can’t reach anything. I can’t even reach to plug in the toaster if I don’t stand on my stool. I also can’t reach to turn on the fan which is over the bed. My sense of balance is really lousy so I can’t climb up on the bed to reach it.

Other than those issues, we love our Bungalow. The Hensley Hitch is incredible. Can be challenging to hook up if the ground isn’t level, but when you are towing, the camper doesn’t sway at all. Jim thinks that with this hitch, the Bungalow tows better than the fifth wheel.


Last week was my sister’s birthday so we took her and her hubby out to dinner. We let her pick and she picked Mexican. Only problem is, she doesn’t really like Mexican. Took me forever to figure out that she was trying to please her husband. Sometimes I just don’t get their relationship. If it was my birthday, I certainly wouldn’t pick a restaurant just because Jim would like it. It would have to be my favorite. He can pick the one he wants on his birthday.

Anyhow, it was pretty good. Judy ordered tacos with ground beef and no tomatoes. Came out with tomatoes so she sent it back. Second time it came out with no tomatoes but chicken instead of the beef. She didn’t want to “create a scene” so she didn’t send it back. Once again, I would have sent it back. Can you tell that we may be sisters but we have very different personalities.

We’ve have some beautiful sunsets this summer.


Mom, stop with the pictures.


Did you say go hunting?


Had a couple of small bucks trot by the rig this morning and then on our way home from church, wandering down the roadside on one of our busiest streets, was a momma with twins, both of them still with their spots. Didn’t have a camera.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

We’re Still Here

Helena, MT  High 90  Low 55

We all rejoiced when the fireworks finished on the 5th of July. Skittlez, especially, was really happy.

We had dinner at my sister’s house on the 4th which is always a good time.

The most exciting thing to happen around here was our friends came to town. Ed and Linda were headed from Glacier to West Yellowstone and made a stop over the week-end here in Helena.

Ed and Linda

We first met these folks in Quartzsite, AZ in January 2010. We had a great time visiting and catching up on all our adventures.

On the 4th Ed and Jim went fishing. They had such a good time it ended up being a marathon day. They headed out at 5:00 a.m. and didn’t come home until almost 5:00 p.m. Ed got to take some walleye home for dinner and was a really happy fisherman.

We were watching TV Sunday night when all of a sudden, I saw antlers moving past our window. This fine fellow decided to enjoy part of our tree for his dinner. (taken between the blind slats)


I really don’t know how to make one of those neat maps that so many people have on their blogs and I thank everybody who tried to help me with suggestions. This is what I finally came up with.

This is our very tentative plan for our journey to Virginia in September. We are leaving Billings, MT on September 2. We don’t plan on doing a lot of sightseeing along the way but do you have any suggestions for a “do not miss” sight?

We are headed to Virginia to visit with Jim’s family and we want to spend most of our time exploring Virginia – especially the Civil War sites. I haven’t figured out what our route from Virginia to Arizona will be.

Also, if you are anywhere near our stops and want to meet up, we would really enjoy that.


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Family Times

Helena, MT  High 76  Low 51

I wasn’t quick enough with the camera to really catch these guys in front of our neighbors house. They also had a doe with them but they were all spread out and on the move.


We’re finally having some beautiful weather this week. No rain and lots of sunshine. In fact, we’re supposed to be in the 90’s by the 4th.

One day last week my sister, Judy, and I drove over to Butte to visit with her granddaughter, Tara, and her first great-grandson, Emmet.


That makes Emmet my great-great nephew. He is sooo cute.


We had a wonderful visit and we’re hoping they can make a trip over to Helena sometime this week.

Jim caught 7 more fish yesterday but none of them were big enough to keep. Our propane regulator valve decided to give up on us so Jim had to replace that. I need to keep him busy when he’s not fishing. New tires on the truck are also on the agenda.

P1080680This is going to be a long week for us because of the fireworks. It is legal to shoot off fireworks here in the county until midnight. (We are about a block out of the city limits)  Skittlez just falls apart when they start going off. On goes the Thundershirt and we climb into the bed and make sure her head is covered.

Scooter doesn’t like them either but she wants to attack them. All four of us will really be happy when this week is over.


The sky looked like it was on fire last night at sunset.