Friday, December 15, 2017


December 11, 2017

Fall Fun and Festivities

This blog starts out with the above picture of what our new home looked like early this week.  However, our continuing story begins mid October to bring you up to date on what has been going on around here since our last blog. The weather made a quick turn in late October from mild Indian Summer to cold and blustery winter!  Having been raised in Texas, I am familiar with sudden weather turns but Montana can hold her own with Texas!  Since writing the last blog we have had extremes from very warm sunny days to close to blizzard days.  The early snow storm we had around Halloween stuck around for a few weeks and delayed our home construction a bit.  However the snow went away and we have not seen any more until today as I write this, and it is just a small dusting with some very needed sunshine.  The forecast calls for much more snow this coming weekend.

Here are a few pictures of what we have been up to lately.

Beautiful Autumn scene from our back deck at our present house in Kalispell.

We never get tired of how beautiful the drive is from our new home to Bigfork along the north end of the Flathead Lake.

This could be a nice fishing hole on the Swan River south of Bigfork.  I took this photo during one of our frequent local road trips about mid October.

 Our church family friends, Phil and Ruby, sponsor an apple cider press party for charity each year.  It is a lot of fun and a lot of hard work but well worth it plus we all share in the fresh apple cider.

 Helen is 92 years old and none of us can keep up with her! She is our inspiration!

Everyone takes a turn on the apple press and quickly work up a sweat!  We do it the old fashioned way! 

House construction pictures.
This is how the house looked from the front about the middle of October.  Not much going on.
Do you see anything different in this picture and the next picture?

Notice the cupola on top of the rv shelter.  You will see what is going on top of it in the next picture.

Please excuse my pj's!  This is my birthday present from Cathryn......a copper weathervain for the new cupola.  Beautiful!  Why a pheasant instead of a rooster you ask?  Because we are building in an area south of Kalispell in the Lower Valley called Pheasant Haven on Pheasant Tail Court! 
This is going to make our new home very special!
 Winter came early to the Flathead!

Our early snowstorm the end of October.

Annie loves the snow!

This is what the roads looked like driving out to our house on my birthday!

Birthday breakfast at the Somer's Cafe with my beautiful lady was worth the drive!

And this is where we are as of Monday, December 11th.

The door on the right is 12 feet high to allow clearance for our future smaller RV.

Windows and siding are starting to be installed.

The sliders for the back were delayed but should be installed along with the upper windows in a few weeks.  We really like the way our builder pieced all the beams together without using metal straps.  It all fits just like puzzle pieces!  

There is a lot of things going on inside.  Electrical and plumbing and windows!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year from our family....


Jason and Kaitlen

Jason and Shawn

Bart with this year's Christmas roast!


John and Cathryn

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

New Home Construction - Sept and Oct 2017

October 11, 2017

Montana wildfires were the worst in many years burning almost a half million acres.

Our new home is coming together now.  The smoke from all the wildfires this summer settled in our pretty little valley but it didn't deter our builder and his crew.  When we last posted, the detached garage/rv shelter/bunkhouse slab was being prepared for the slab and walls.

This is the floor area of the garage before they poured.  That's the bunkhouse (apartment) in the back.  It will be self sufficient for our family and guests to stay in when they visit.

Putting the final touches on the slab after pouring.

Our front porch before they poured and installed the posts and beams.

The view of the Swan and Mission mountain ranges we will have from the back patio.

View of the house from the back.  Some of the windows are still covered with plywood but there will be glass windows and doors where you see the openings above the patio.

Inside looking toward the front door and master bedroom.

The great room looking toward the front porch after enclosing it.  The wall behind Cathryn will be 12 feet tall and the peak in the center 18 feet.
That is the first wall of the detached garage.  The door will be a small roll up that will enter the garden/tool area of the garage.

They are getting the shingles on the roof and wrapping up the exterior all around now.  Soon we will see windows and doors installed.

This is how things looked the last time we were at the site.

That is about all we can tell and show you about the house construction at this time but we will continue to document as it progresses.  Our builder is doing a wonderful job and we are very impressed with the quality of work he and his crew are doing.  It certainly is exciting to drive out to our little piece of heaven every couple of days and see the progress being made.  

Other things happening with us......

Our garden was very nice to us this year other than the apple tree which only gave us a couple of apples after producing about a hundred last year!  Our new peach tree gave us three and our new plum gave us about seven.  Not bad but we now have to start all over at our new place.  We are planning a nice orchard and garden.

In addition to our local hawk (we named him Boots) and owl we shared with you previously, we recently had a visit from two beautiful bald eagles and a bunch of wild turkeys like this guy.  

These beautiful birds are looking over the Flathead River which runs close to our new home.  

We recently took a roadtrip to the National Bison Range, located about 75 miles south of Kalispell. Established in 1908 to provide sanctuary for the American bison, it is the oldest Wildlife Refuge in the United States and consists of 18,500 acres.  It is home to about 350 - 500 American bison and shared with elk, white-tail and mule deer, pronghorn antelope, bighorn sheep, black bear and over 200 species of birds.

These are elk antlers.  Elk shed their antlers during March and April every year.

We will do another posting next month.  Until then....happy trails to you and yours.  We hope you are enjoying this very beautiful time of the year as much as we are.  Happy Pumpkin Time!

John, Cathryn and Annie.