Summer Tales From Montana ~ 8-29-05


And up your nose, and down into your lungs, and follows you into the shower….It’s late summer in Montana, and this year that means smoke from wildfires. There are about 8,000 acres under burn in the local area, but it’s almost as bad smoke-wise as the summer of 2000 when hundreds of thousands of acres were burning. We have to keep the windows closed and the air cleaner running just to avoid burning eyes. Dad, you and your hose need to make a trip to Montana…we could use firefighters like you! :-)


We woke up one morning to find that it had become fall overnight, just when my basil has finally decided to grow. That’s the way the seasons go here. The nights are cold and damp now, and the deer are hungry. They’re actually coming up onto the front porch to eat my potted flowers! Our first frost is only a few weeks away. It’s been a fun summer – dunking in glacial Kootenai Creek in June, swimming in the Bitterroot River with the dogs in July, putting the down comforter back on the bed in August. The growing season has been so short this year, I’ve only actually gotten three tomatoes out of my garden. Better luck next year!


Steve and I have finally started our garage remodeling project. We spent this past weekend taking the garage doors off (easy) and ripping sheetrock off the walls and the underside of the loft (hard!). We’re taking down all the sheetrock and fiberglass insulation and replacing it with foil/foam radiant barrier insulation. Better R-value and, more importantly, prevents the 97% radiant heat loss that fiberglass does not address. Plus, it won’t kill you, which is something we look for in home building materials. :-)

Luckily, there’s a place in Missoula that will take the fiberglass and resell it. It’s this great place that takes donated home materials and resells them cheap. We bought the doors and a window for our new office for a grand total of $67. Wouldn’t Bob Villa be proud?


Steve and I spent May and June creating some beautful flower beds and a smaller, fenced garden in our front yard (see website for pics). It’s a good thing I took pictures last month because the deer have decided they really like what I planted and they’ve eaten it all. We tried a couple of sprays on the plants that are supposed to repel the deer, but the ones that live around her must have defective taste buds. I think next year we’ll fence the whole sheebang.


We finally replaced our ailing woodstove, so we don’t have to choke on smoke all winter, too, but it means it’s that time of year where our life becomes all about trees. We’ll be taking breaks in our new career as home remodelers to put up some more wood for the winter. We still have a bunch left over from last year since we had such a mild winter, but the Farmer’s Almanac and the oldtimer who lives down the road say it’s going to be a harsh winter so we’d better be prepared. Of course, the new stove has no chimney because the stove installer found that our chimney was damaged and he didn’t have all the parts to fix it. He’s so busy, he couldn’t even tell us when he’d have time to come back with the new parts. I hope it’s before Christmas, or I’ll have to wear Boots on my head as a hat. She wouldn’t like that.


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