Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Another Summer Adios

 Summer is a season we look forward to maybe more than people in warmer climates. Our winters often feel like they last a good six months. Another lovely summer has come and gone, and I wanted to remember some of it in pictures.

Amy's graduation from Montana State kicked off our summer, even though it was in May. We stayed at a cheesy little motel, circa 1940. We just needed a place to sleep, and it did what it was supposed to. Amy's folks treated us to a hearty lunch at Ted's Montana Grill, and I tried a buffalo burger, which was very tasty. They ordered platters of grilled shrimp too that I can't seem to duplicate at home.

Cassie's graduation was in June. She is a darling girl we have come to love and invest in emotionally. She rocks at whatever she does and is one of the most talented people I know. She's going to college in Minnesota with her Jordanian husband. I miss her.

Ryan and Amy were married in Bozeman on Sunday, June 16. It was a stellar day on so many levels. The hotel, the C'mon Inn, was fantastic--seven hot tubs, a pool, a hot breakfast bar, all in lodge decor. Friends and family made the long trek, and their expense of time and money to show their love and support was genuinely humbling. They took communion and washed each other's feet, which was heartbreakingly beautiful. Our mother-son dance was to Rascal Flatts' "My Wish", and I loved every second of it. It was truly a glorious day.

The kitchen in our rental was in dire need of a makeover, so that was our June project. I sanded and painted the second hand cabinets, and painted the kitchen, living room, and bathroom. Can't seem to find a picture of the finished product, so you're welcome to use your imagination.

This is the last picture I took of my cat. I let him out onto the deck one night, nothing unusual, but the last few times I did that, the thought niggled, This may be the last time I do this. It was actually the answer to a literal prayer that he just simply not come back someday. There was definitely something wrong with him. He was losing weight, extremely vocal, and whenever he used the litter box, the smell was absolutely horrid. Our other cat, Goober, had the same symptoms and withered slowly, eventually dying in the garage. I didn't want that for Leonardo or for us. It was a great grace for everyone. Cheers to you, big kitty.

My niece, Hannah, was married in Idaho at the end of June to her Tyler. The ceremony had fun, novelty, beauty, and worship, and the food was fantastic. I'm so glad we were able to make such a truly meaningful occasion. We wish them a long and happy Ever After.

Eden, Tyler, Emma, and Zane

My niece, Jeny, and her family came for a week from the Tri-Cities. The kids love it here, and they spent hours with the animals, especially the horses. They brought three dinners with them, all really delish. Kev took advantage of Mike's knowledge and experience with barbecuing and learned so much. Mike helped him decide on the right grill, and we enjoyed dinners of chicken, pork, and venison.

Kev's lifetime friend, Mark, came with his wife, Alli, which absolutely made Kev's summer. They went horseback riding, but Mark rode the quad. They were gone for quite a while, and Alli had a great time. They stayed the night, and Kev was so happy. It made him feel really good that they would take the time to come see us. It was a lot of fun.

Kev goes up to Tonasket once in a while to help out our friend, Mark, on their ranch. I made it this summer, and we stayed two nights. Tina took me into town where I meandered around the farmer's market. I bought a tamale and some tomatoes and just enjoyed the diversion. I took some pictures of their little colt, a newborn they named Moonshine after he was born on a moonless night (him being a little light on an otherwise dark night). I think Kev has a man crush on Mark in that guy way. He just really admires him, and they enjoy each other's company. I don't mind the bromance.

Caprese with a balsamic reduction

I planted SO many basil seeds, so now I have a TON. I didn't know it was possible to ever have too much basil, but I'm thinking half of this will do for next year. They almost died as starts though. Something ravaged them out on the deck where I was hardening them. I threw some kind of insecticide powder on them and kept them out of the sun, where they slowly came around and then thrived. I've given away as much as I've used and dried, but there's still so much. At least it's one those horrible deer won't eat. They've eaten all my tomatoes, and the voles annihilated the carrots. Vile creatures.

We bought two heifers last year from our Tonasket friends and named them Normal and Abigail. Normal finally had her first calf on September 9. She's leggier than the Lowlines, but Normal is a Hereford, so that's not odd. She's frisky and energetic, and I named her Annie after the one of Stillar fame since it was born on her birthday.

Exactly one week after Annie was born, Lily had her third calf, which Jylle named Howie.  Howie Cow-y. He's been slow to grow as energetic as Annie, but he's coming around. Lowlines have short legs and big eyes, and this one is so cute! I have to remember not to fall in love with him though because he's going to market eventually. Hmph.

Jewelee treated us to pumpkin donuts at Greenbluff, something we only recently discovered. And what a delectable discovery! Glenice bought a humongous cinnamon roll to share, and I contributed a Belgian waffle with huckleberry ice cream. Rosie and I got coffee, which was just delicious, and I'm not a huge coffee fan. We watched the donuts as they plopped into a channel of oil oil, drifted down to the flipper, then plunked into a slowly turning bowl of cinnamon sugar. We went peach picking afterward and came upon The Fermented Forest. The storm from the previous week did so much damage to the trees at Yaryan's orchard, and the smell of rotting fruit filled the air. Three of us ended up buying a box after enjoying the experience of picking. Next month we want to get together to make our own pumpkin donuts, so I hope that works out.

Tina, Rosie, and I went to Glenice's last week to make soap. We somehow missed doing that last year, and we all wanted to try again. The first batch we made has lavender and lard and smells fabulous. The second and third batches have olive and coconut oils, but the citrus is taking forever to harden. The cucumber melon and the cinnamon coffee turned out fine though. Last time I tied a strip of frayed burlap to each bar with some jute and a tag with a label and gave them as Christmas gifts.

It's officially autumn now, my favorite season with its mild temperatures, abundance of fresh produce, and absence of snow. One season melts into another before I know it, just like in life. I was a little girl last year. I was a sweet bride six months ago. I was a young mom last week. Today I have an empty nest, and I'm about to turn 53. The seasons change. I change. I'm thankful for my God Who never does. I'm thankful for the cycles and the reminders of a better Hope. I'm thankful for some lovely summer memories and all the people who made it so great. And I am thankful for you, wherever you are. xo