All That Meat and No Potatoes

Two days before Thanksgiving we usually start all the prep work for The Big Day. We wash and chop every vegetable and prepare everything that can be prepared because, if we did everything on Thanksgiving day, we’d be eating in December. Unfortunately, this year our water decided to drop to a dribble and we were unable to begin as usual. Despite the setback, we’ll be celebrating this evening.

In addition to all our normal dishes, this year we decided to attempt our own brine. I both hope it’s fantastic and hope it’s not that impressive since I failed to write down what exactly went into the pot and how much of everything was used. I definitely know two lemons went into the mix, along with what appears to be a plethora of tiny seed pods, and some yard clippings.

Title From:
All That Meat and No Potatoes
by Louis Armstrong

Where My Heart Can Roam

This is one of my favorite photographs from our nomadic summer. I’d like to have a print made to hang around these barren walls but, as I said before, I don’t usually keep track of the original full-size images I finally choose among them all, which I find very annoying about myself at this moment. It’s our favored campsite on the BLM land near Castle Gardens, outside of Ten Sleep, Wyoming.

There was something about the smell of the sagebrush, the open range, the red hills in the distance, and the solitary feeling that appealed to us. If I could build a home anywhere on Earth, it would be right there.

Title From:
Weathervane
by Miner

And May You Need Never to Banish Misfortune

Things are troublesome here at the moment.

When I wrote the mini bio for this blog I said, “the hovel I call home,” but hovel was written about 60% in jest. A hovel is defined, according to dictionary.com, as “a small, very humble dwelling house; a wretched hut.” Originally, I was hinting at the humble dwelling portion of that definition, now we’re approaching the wretched hut portion.

Our bedroom floor has collapsed. I can’t believe I have had to write that sentence. Now, to avoid giving the wrong impression, our bedroom floor isn’t caved in with all the contents in a heap down a giant crack through the room. There are support beams that remain intact and some portions of the floor are still holding solid. However, one 1.5′ x 2.5′ section is now carpet covering a void. I can thwump it like a trampoline. I don’t know how deep the hole goes but it’s definitely a hole. Multiple other sections, all along the main walking path through the room, are soft, with another section immediately on the verge of collapse. Should this new portion fall into the abyss beneath the carpet, I will have to leap along the support beams and crawl across the bed to get to my side of the room.

Title From:
Sleepsong
by Secret Garden

A Cold Wind’s Whispering Secrets in Your Ear

In every state I’ve lived in, someone has used the line “If you don’t like the weather here, give it ten minutes and it’ll change,” but never has that been more accurate than my time here in Montana.

Last Saturday we had our windows open, enjoying the mid-sixty breezes that brought the smell of crunchy fallen leaves and wood smoke drifting through the house. By Sunday night we had the heater cranked up to counter the drop to single digits and snow was whipping furiously in every direction.

In our tiny Connecticut cabin, we had a monstrous wood-stove we relied on for all our heat. There were a few baseboard heaters but they couldn’t keep the drafty former-stable-turned-home above freezing and there is a charge on Connecticut electricity bills for “transfer” as there are no power plants in the state itself, so they have to purchase power from neighboring states, which means any electricity you use is essentially doubled in price. Rather than experience more than one $600 electricity bill, we burned.

Unfortunately we don’t have any alternate source of heating in our home here, where -11 seems to have cemented itself as our daily temperature. Hopefully the electricity is a bit more reliable than it was back in New England. So far, so good.

Title From:
Kingdom Come
by Civil Wars

Nothing Compares to Waking Up in the Sunshine

Since the last time I posted a photo here we:

1. May 2013: Left our old farmhouse in Iowa and moved to Connecticut where we lived in a tiny cabin. It was nestled in a valley along the Housatonic river, in the Berkshire mountains, in the “quiet corner” of the state. There was no cell service or internet and everything was at least 40 minutes away, but there were bears, coyotes, peace, and beauty.

2. June 2014: Bought a cap for our truck, put all our belongings into storage, and headed west — vagabonds with a dream of living in Montana.

3. Summer 2014: Spent three months (hot, hot, hot, hot summer months) camping near a town called Ten Sleep in Wyoming. It was wild and the world smelled like sage. We befriended a few lonely horses, watched a pair of pronghorns grow, had breathtaking moments every day, and saved a dog named Deets.

4. September 2014: Settled in Montana, exactly as we set out to do.

5. Took 9-million pictures.

Title From:
Big Sur
by Miner