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Our names are John and Cathryn and we live in  Kalispell, Montana with our beautiful Golden Retriever, Annie.  After we both experienced some rough patches late in life, we met each other through a mutual friend in October of 2014. Last summer (2016) we returned to Cathryn's home in Montana after a year long RV trip together around this beautiful country.  We traveled over 31,000 miles and drove through over 35 states.  It was an adventure to remember and one that sealed a friendship between us that we hope will last the rest of our lives.  We have decided to continue living here in Northwest Montana and have started building our "together" home in the country outside of Kalispell.  As our new home on two country acres becomes our special place to live out our golden years, we hope you will share the adventures with us through this blog. We are happy, content and enjoying life "one day at a time" to the fullest! 

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.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Our New House Construction and Fun Times

September 7th, 2017

We are on a roll now!

After removing the forms for the foundation, framing has started.  We drive out every few days to see the progress and are impressed with the changes we see.  This house is going to be a very well built home!  Our builder, Anton Reichbach, owner of Richcreek Homes, states on his business card that he builds "fine Swiss quality" and it shows.

This is looking across the foundation of the house before the floor joists were installed.

Installing the main floor beams.  These babies are big timber!  No squeaky floors in our house!

These floor joists are resting on the large beams in the previous picture.  You can see the smoke in the background from the beginning of our forest fires which are all around us now.

We have power, water and internet!  
Other things happening with us.

Cathryn and I having dinner with friends Helen and Carol before going to a folk music concert in Glacier Park.

I had quail because I had not had quail in many years.  Very good!  Also....very tiny!

Cathryn's shrimp salad was larger than my quail!

We had Helen over for dinner for her 92nd birthday and she brought the wine!  She actually made this wine from a small grape arbor in her backyard.  It was very good!

We had a nice visit with Cathryn's cousin Jon and his son Colby from Dewitt, Iowa.

A boy and his (our) dog.....very special and Annie was real happy to play with a kid!

We were pleased to have a brief visit from two of our Canadian family members who were in the area attending a wedding.  We were sure glad to see them and happy they they were able to stop by.  Pictured above are Leslie and Rick from Thunder Bay, Ontario, Cathryn and Bart, Cathryn's son. 

We were invited to our friend's Gary and Carol's cabin on Flathead Lake.  This picture was taken from their back deck.  Very pretty!

Our friends took us on a boat ride near their cabin.  Flathead Lake is the largest freshwater lake west of the Mississippi.  It is 27 miles long and about 10 miles wide....very big lake!  

Homes on the shoreline range from mansions to cabins.  There's even a 20 million dollar mansion on it's own island and another island called Wild Horse Island that actually has wild mustangs!  
The house goes up and up!

Back to the construction.  Our house is a single story home but it has the appearance of a two story because of the high great room ceiling.

This view is from the back looking at what will be a large covered back porch.  I will show you a picture of it in the next blog.

This view is looking at the front where we will have a front covered porch.  The round pillars are the supports for the porch beams.

The large open areas will be glass so we can enjoy our expansive southeast views of the mountains and valley.

Let it snow and blow.  This house is not going anywhere!

Other things going on in our part of Montana.....

Our resident hawk in flight.  I am not sure yet what kind of hawk it is.

We welcome input on what kind of hawk this is.  He loves hunting the voles in our area!

Annie at her happiest!  She has gotten into great shape this summer swimming.

This little sweetie is Phoebe, son Josh's best pal.  She weighs a whole six pounds!  Josh is almost 6'4"....go figure.  He said she's a real "chick magnet"!

#1 of two sons, Josh.  We really enjoyed his visit!  He just made it before the fires got crazy!

Josh and I took a short hike up the Avalanche Trail in the park.

Josh's hand is actually submerged in the water of Lake McDonald in the park. Crystal clear!

We took Josh to Hops, a local favorite where he had a Yak Burger!

I have been in this area for almost four years and only saw one bear on a hill far away.  Josh comes and we see this 1000 pound grizzly bear along the road in Many Glacier!  
Josh taking pictures of the remaining glaciers while we were in Many Glacier on the east side of Glacier National Park.

This is the Many Glacier Lodge....over 100 years old and beautiful!

Josh at St. Mary's Lake in Glacier National Park looking at Goose Island in the distance.

So we say adieu until next time with one more picture of what this area is all about......the mighty grizzly bear!