Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Great Falls and Philipsburg, Montana

Friday, September 30th and Tuesday, October 4th

Friday we drove up to Great Falls for the day.  The History Museum building was built in 1929 for International Harvester and was a farm machinery dealership for 30 yrs.  In 1930 International Harvester produced over 200 tractors per day.  Freight elevators would carry these tractors to the third floor for storage.  The building became a museum in 2007.  It is near the Missouri River falls that delayed the Lewis and Clark Expedition for two weeks in June of 1805.  Great Falls was founded in 1884 and by 1893 it had a population of 10,000. 

This fur-lined coat with Persian lamb collar was tailor made in the mid-1930s and owned by a man from Romania.  He wore it while he was in a concentration camp for Jews in 1943 and 1944.  It helped him to survive and probably saved his life.  His son wore it while he fought in the Russian Army at Stalingrad and went, via a displaced persons camp in Vienna, to New York, then Minneapolis and finally to Great Falls in 1950.  So it's over 80 years old and still looks to be in fine shape, despite all it's been through.

This 1895 Bovey Carriage and horse were advertising for the Mady Clothing Company.

The Storytone Electric Piano, the world's first electric piano, was built in 1939 and debuted that year at the World's Fair.  In 1946 this one was used in Havre, Montana at KOJM radio station.

This 1918 Model T Roadster is in working condition and was driven to the museum in 2007.  It cost just under $300 new in 1918 and was purchased from the original owner in 1954 for the same price.  It was totally restored, finding several of the needed parts at dumps.  The first Model T rolled out of the factory in 1908 and they kept rolling off the assembly line for almost 20 years.  In 1923 the U.S. and Canada turned out their all-time record high of 1,866,307 Model Ts.  October 31,1925 a single day's output reached 9,109 cars, a record unequaled for 30 years.  The final total production in 1927 was 15,007,034 - a record that stood for 45 years.  In 1926 "Cannonball" Baker did a cross-country trip from New Jersey to Los Angeles 3,306 miles in five days two hours and thirteen minutes without relief at the wheel and the transmission sealed in high gear, the fastest time ever made across the continent by one man in any kind of automobile.  He reported losing time from natural hazards such as stray cows, a sand storm and a washed-out bridge.

This is a clever little gadget I'd never heard of or seen before.  Just close it around all your buttons and polish them all at the same time.  I wonder if the service men still have to polish the buttons on their uniforms.

This turn-of-the-century Millionaire mechanical calculator was the first successful commercial mechanical calculator that could perform direct multiplication.  It adds, subtracts, multiplies and divides and was made in Switzerland from 1893 to 1935 with a total production of 4,600.

The original balls for the new game of basket ball were made of leather with laces on the outside and were larger than current day basketballs.

One of the major claims to fame of the Fort Shaw Indian Industrial School was its Girl's Basket Ball Team.  In 1904 they won the World Championship at the Louisiana Purchase Expo in St. Louis.

The team members also performed scarf dances to entertain the audience.

Cute t-shirts in the gift shop.  Waterfall:  Go with the flow, Roar with excitement, Let your cares fall away, Create your own music, Immerse yourself in nature, Stay active, Make a splash.  River: Slow down and meander, Go around the obstacles, Be thoughtful of those downstream, Stay current, The beauty is in the journey.  Trout:  Show your true colors, Be a good catch, Know when to keep your mouth shut, Cherish clean water, Don't give up with out a fight, Don't be lured by shiny objects, Scale back.  All good advice.

After a quick stop for lunch, we went to the C. M. Russell Museum.  This blue two-story frame house was built in 1900 and is where he and his wife lived after they were married.  It was located in the most fashionable district in Great Falls.  Next to it on the left is his log cabin studio that was built in 1903 when his wife got tired of all his art stuff all over the dining room.  Behind the house to the right is the museum and the Charlie Russell Riders Sculpture Garden.  It's a wonderful museum if you like western art, cowboys and Indians, buffalo, guns, wagons, horses, etc.

Besides all the fabulous paintings and sculptures by Charlie and several others, there is this collection of miniature wagons, carriages and stagecoaches.  There is also a whole gallery of guns.

I thought this was a rather cool sculpture of a buffalo jump, the way the Indians used to stampede the buffalo over the edge of a cliff.  For11,000 years the Indians hunted by means of buffalo jumps.  The giant bison was prized for their enormous horns and became extinct over 6,000 years ago.  The true buffalo is the Asian/African water buffalo.  50 to 60 million bison once ranged across the Great Plains from Mexico to Canada.  By 1889 only 541 bison remained in the U.S.  and they were moved to reserves and private ranches.  Charlie lived near the Blood Indians in Canada for three months.  He arrived in the Judith Basin of the Montana Territory in 1880 and worked for seven different ranch outfits over 11 years.  He worked round-ups in the Bear Paw Mountains, Big Sandy, Chinook, Lewistown, Helena, Cascade and Great Falls areas until 1893.  He made over 75 buffalo paintings, the first by 1890, as well as numerous scenes of the daily life of the Northern Plains Indians and cowboy and ranching activities.  He signed his work with a horned buffalo skull in the foreground.  Many of his contemporary artist friends stayed with him at his famous Bull Head Lodge on Lake McDonald in Glacier National Park.  Five of these artists are featured in the museum.

"Trails End"
  Charlie hated automobiles.  This 1888 Cunningham Funeral Carriage led by a team of black horses carried his coffin.  It was followed by a riderless horse outfitted with Russell's saddle and bridle and his six shooters and holsters strapped behind on the cantle.

More detail if you are curious.  From here we went to the Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail Interpretive Center.  There are about ten different museums in Great Falls and 48 miles of trails on both sides of the river for hiking and biking, about 20 miles paved, so there is lots to do here.

There are a couple of really good films here in their very nice theater and a ranger-led walk around the native prairie grounds.  Within a 15 mile stretch of the Missouri here there was an overall change in elevation of 500 feet.  Four of the five falls as Captain Lewis first discovered them can still be seen today: Great Falls 80 feet high, Crooked Falls 7 miles upstream 19 feet high and 300 yards across, above that Rainbow Falls 50 feet high, and two and a half miles above that was Black Eagle Falls 26 feet high and 600 yards wide.  Colter Falls a 6 foot cascade has filled in with sediment since the completion of Rainbow Dam.  Lewis and Clark kept journals, writing more words than are in the Bible, plus four sergeants and two enlisted men kept diaries and recorded their experiences.  As with most 19th century writers, they spelled words they way they sounded.  Clark spelled "Sioux" 27 different ways without ever spelling it correctly.  The scene above shows what it was like for the expedition for the two weeks it took them to haul all their gear uphill around all the falls.  On June 23, 1805 Merriwether Lewis made this entry in his journal " every halt these poor fellows tumble down and are so much fortiegued that many of them are asleep in an instant; some are limping from the soreness of their feet, others faint and unable to stand for a few minutes, with heat and fatiegue, yet not one complains all go with cheerfullness."  Another entry said the winds were so strong at times that they could put sails on the canoes that were on wheels and sail them on dry land.  Giant Springs State Park along the river here includes one of the largest springs and one of the shortest rivers in the world.  Every 24 hours, 156 million gallons of water bubbles up from the springs and flows into the Missouri via the Roe River, the world's shortest river according to Guinness World Records at just 201 feet long.

This is Sakajawea's husband's buffalo sausage recipe, in case you might like to try it.

We stopped at the famous Sip 'n Dip Lounge and Casino for supper to watch the mermaid swimming in the glass tank behind the bar.  Famous might be over rating it a bit, but the meal was good and we were home by 10:00 PM, a long day.

Tuesday we drove over to visit friends we met in Yuma, at their home near Drummond.  This is the Drummond dinosaur, just a little artwork by one of the townsfolk.  That afternoon our friends took us for a ride way out in the boonies toward Deer Lodge in the Pintner Mountains.  Very remote and scenic.

Wednesday morning we stopped at the Ohrmann Museum and Gallery in Drummond.  About 2010 there was a PBS documentary done about Bill Ohrmann who began painting at age 78 when he retired from ranching.  He had been a wood carver since he was a kid, but got serious about his art when he retired.  His paintings were expressions against human disregard for nature.  His theme was "Be thou always as a guest".  The museum and gallery are right next to his ranch home on Montana Hwy. 1.

His huge metal sculptures are all around the yard, including a giant woolly mammoth, polar bear, buffalo, donkey elk, turtle, etc.  He got the idea when he was 80 to start creating larger-than-life welded steel sculptures.  The polar bear is listed as 1 of 60 outstanding steel sculptures in the world. 

This sign was out front.  Be sure to read the fine print at the bottom.  He is known for his series of paintings originally titled "Something to Offend Everyone".  Maybe he had to change it because Donald Trump already had a monopoly on that theme.  

This was in the corner of one of his paintings.  

Then our friends took us over to the little tourist town of Philipsburg on the Pintler Scenic Route edged by the Flint Creek Range and the Sapphire Mountains southeast of Missoula.  Their downtown has handsome Victorian buildings.  Their turn-of-the century courthouse and grade school and 1893 Opera House are still in use.  It is one of Montana's best preserved late 19th century mining towns.  Silver was discovered south of here in 1864.  Three years later it was growing at a rate of one house per day.  Only two years later the nearby Hope Mill shut down and was largely deserted.  The revival of mining from the mid-1880s to 90s led to its greatest growth when tens of millions of dollars worth of silver bullion, ore and slag were shipped to out-of-state markets.  When silver mining was curtailed in 1893, recently discovered sapphire deposits helped stabilize the local economy.  That year Philipsburg became the county seat of Granite County.  During WWI it was the largest supplier of domestic manganese.  After that boom it slipped into a stable existence based on agriculture, government, logging, limited mining and tourism.

We had lunch at Doe Brothers, an old soda fountain place, and wandered around looking through the shops.

Notice the sign in the window.  "Our town is so small that we can't afford a town drunk, so we all takes turns."  Reminds me of the town I grew up in, population about 85.

Just a few sayings I noticed that I could relate to.

We bought some candy at the candy shop and a few knick knacks and headed home.

  Thank you again Duane and Paula for all your hospitality, the great meals and showing us all around.  We had a great time.  Hope to see you in Yuma this winter.

What beautiful country it is out here.

Nice scenic drive back to Helena.

Oops!  That is until we started heading up to McDonald Pass where it was 34 degrees at 4:00 PM as we drove over the top at 6,312 feet.

It was looking a little iffy there for a while.

But once we got over the top and started coming down again, it cleared right up.

Thank goodness!

We've got to start heading south pretty soon, which we did October 29th.  More about that next time.

Life is all about how you handle "Plan B".
To become old and wise, you must first be young and crazy.
Take life with a grain of salt and a wedge of lime.

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Summertime Family Time, Glacier National Park, Bozeman Museum of the Rockies

Thursday, May 19th - Saturday, October 29th

We arrived at my brother's place in Ohio on Thursday, May 19th and stayed until Monday, June 6th.  We went to my niece's graduation while we were there, the last of all my nieces and nephews.  Her Dad, my oldest little brother, is as usual trying to be funny.

My sweet nieces.

Then we went back through Iowa where we visited with friends and family and on to Sioux Falls for a visit with Dawn.  Then Brookings for our annual check ups and more visits with friends, including a Coast to Coast reunion.  Then we went to North Dakota and spent a few days with my Mom.  While we were there we walked over to the park to watch my great-nephew's T-ball game.  He is just taking a little break while awaiting his turn to bat.

My gosh, can he see the giant ball with that helmet on.  Oh, I guess he can.  Way to go Braylon!

And finally, back to our grandkids on Thursday, June 29th.

Let me help you, Dad!  There was lots of work to be done for the new storage shed.

You can borrow my shovel, Dad!  I'll put the pavers down.  Right.

Dad's just about done.  Can I help you, Mom?

This kid can never get enough baseball, and I don't mean Grandpa!

Batting is his favorite, but he likes it all, and he's pretty darn good for a two and a half year old.

I'm ready, Grandpa!

When Grandpa gets tired he will settle for whoever he can get.  If no one will play with him, he just tosses the ball up in the air, and hits it one-handed a good percentage of the time.

Lookout Carter, it's comin' your way.  I think Mom has a rule against baseball in the house, but boys will be boys!

We start 'em early in this family.

Picking up baseballs around here is like an Easter Egg Hunt, but it happens many times every day.

Here's our number one grandson putting the batter out at first base.  We've really enjoyed watching him play over the years, but this might have been his last season.  He doesn't think he will play again next year.

Our girls at the baseball game are much more interested in running around and socializing than watching the game.

At one of Carter's baseball tournaments, Dallas found a really cool place to sit and totally lost interest in the game.

Forget baseball.  The girls just love to perform.  Singing, dancing, plays, gymnastics, you name it.  Everyday is dress up day here.

Just a little rock star attitude!

Dallas, of course, loves to join in whenever they will allow him to play with them.  They usually lock him out of their room, because he wrecks everything they are doing, or so they say.

The sweetheart country star...

greeting her fans.

And here's the mastermind behind most of the productions, writer, composer and director.  Here they are performing a part in one of their plays, showing a whole lot of attitude in the dialog of this scene.

Happy Belated 4th of July from my granddaughters!

We attended a very good evening concert and fireworks on the hill side of Carroll College campus, football field in the far right corner.

Another day we took the kids out to a lakeside park at Canyon Ferry Lake.

This is baby K's favorite place to play.

Mama Tierney, she just hates to put her down and let her play on her own.

Everybody gets in on giving Digger a bath.

And they can't wait to play in his bath water as soon as he is done.  Yuck!

Not the best picture, but since I'm the camera lady nobody ever takes one of me.

Poor Digger.  The kids just use him for a chair, step stool, pillow, bed or whatever they want.

Not enough riders for everybody, but Dallas figured out how to make it work.

We went downtown to watch the Royal Stampede Kiddie Parade during Vigilante Days.

All kinds of little cowboys,


and even Dracula!

Back at home, Dallas wants to hitch a ride, but the going is tough.

So he decides to help out.

Then Tally decides it's her turn to have a ride.

Kids playing in the 1913 Daughters of the Confederacy Fountain while we waited for the Vigilante Days Parade to get started.

Look Dad, here comes the parade.

The usual horses, buggies, bands and Corvettes.

I don't think it was as good as last year's.  It had lots more imaginative and entertaining floats.

But they did have the One-Armed Bandit who was riding his horse zigzagging back and forth across the street and almost falling off one side and then almost falling off the other side.  But suddenly he jumped his horse on the back of the truck.

Then up the ramp on the front of the trailer and onto the roof.

He dismounted and got his horse to poop on command.  Then he got a shovel and scooped it up and walked back and forth on the trailer trying to decide which way to throw it into the crowd of spectators.  Pretty funny.

And the parade finished with a clown giving out candy.  How does it get any better than that?

We all went up to Glacier the last day in July for three days.   Carter brought his friend, Zack, and we dropped them off at Lake McDonald to go kayaking for a couple hours.

Back at the campground, the girls and I went for a little walk.

Monday morning we were up bright and early, hoping to get a parking spot up at Logan's Pass and do some hiking.  I think we were there a little before nine, but the parking lot was already full.

Wildflowers everywhere.  The light purple ones that look like daisies are Siberian Asters.

These funny looking ones with the white tops are called bear grass, or turkey beard.


Having a look down into the valley below the Going-To-The-Sun Road.

Indian paint brush.

Since we couldn't find a parking spot at Logan's Pass, Jeff just drove around for about 20 minutes, so the rest of us could have a short hike and quick look around.

The kids spotted a little hoary marmot in the grass and that was the extent of our wildlife sighting.

So we went for a drive through other parts of the park and went for a few short hikes.

Let go of me Mom.  I do it myself!

Crystal clear water.

And very cold!

The kids had fun wading and throwing rocks.

Then we headed back to camp for some grill time and relaxation.

Our camper was parked right next to the playground.

So the kids could come and go as much as they wanted and they were never out of our sight.

"Let's see how far I can get up this tree before someone spoils my fun."

After lunch we drove back into the park and stopped for pictures in this big chair right near the entrance to the park.

Come on boys, you're not to big or cool to be part of the fun.  In fact, you look very tiny and cute up there.  Isn't that the look you were going for?

A little more hiking was in order, so ....

"We're off the see the Wizard, the wonderful Wizard of Oz...."

Just a few views along the Rocky Point Trail, overlooking the west side of Lake McDonald.

About time you guys got her.  What took you so long?

Jeff, Zack and Carter.

This way guys.

Look at the awesome view!

This little girl hiked the whole trail with no complaints at all.  The map said it was 4 miles long.


"Over hill, over dale, as we hit the dusty trail...."

Glorious views!

Next we decided to stop at Lake McDonald beach and let the kids play in the water for a bit.

I thought it was icy cold.

But I guess they didn't mind.

"I take a break, Momma?"  "Yes, and next time you do what I say."  "Okay, Momma."

I think they were starting to get a little cold.

A born hiker with her two walking sticks.

Why is everyone in such a hurry?  Why don't you slow down and enjoy the moment?

Boo! Gotcha, Daddy!

Avalanche Creek coming from Avalanche Lake.

Everyone trying to spot a bird that we could hear.  We did the short Trail of the Cedars before we headed back to camp.  On our way home the next day, we all stopped for huckleberry shakes.

Momma time.

Our favorite parking spot.

Love my little sister.

Daddy time.

I think they must be cooking up a feast for Mardi Gras.

"Sup, Momma?"

Happy Birthday, Kira!


All cleaned up.

Sunday, August 14th we headed back to North Dakota to help Mom move into her new apartment.  We spent the weekend at Claude and Jodi's brand new beautiful lake home.

My Mom with her smiley great-granddaughter, Miss Kenna.

My baby brother and his family all relaxing in the new lake home.

The boss with Mama and Benson.

After we got Mom all moved in and arranged and rearranged a couple times, we took her with us and headed back to Montana on Monday, August 29th.  We stayed overnight in Billings so we could visit with Mom's brother and a neice.  Then we drove up north through Lewistown to visit her sister-in-law and nephew.

We arrived in Helena Wednesday.  Great-grandma with Baby Kira.

Dawn drove out to join us for a week while Grandma was here and so she could drive her back home.

These girls love to pretend they are twins.  It's not a stretch for them at all.

Digger, you are the most patient dog in the world.

Aww, but the hugs make it all worth it, don't they?

We all picked out our pumpkins from the pumpkin patch at Harvest Festival and then went to see the goats and horses and fire and rescue equipment.

Then we trooped around the farm to check out all the games and see how many prizes we could win.  Dallas didn't really care about prizes at all.  He just wanted to keep on tossing balls at targets.

Smiley faces back at home.

Sometimes for free fun we go to the pet store and watch the mice and gerbils run in their wheels and see all the fish, birds, snakes, turtles, lizards, ferrets, cats, dogs, etc.

All ready for church.

Now we're home and ready for pancakes and sausage, our usual Sunday brunch, with lots of syrup.

Baby's first steps.

Aww, the illusive teenager.  Don't blink or you'll miss him.  Such a busy social life!

"Look Grandma, quick.  I did it!"  I had been trying to teach them how to stand on their heads and Tierney finally go it.

"Me too, Grandma!"

Sept. 16 - 19 (4 days) Hilary and Jeff left us with the kids to go on a trip to Oregon to celebrate their 20th anniversary.  It was busy, but great fun.  Grandpa knows how to settle the kids down, just break out the videos.  That's a special treat, as Mom and Dad don't let them watch stuff very often.

Another of Grandpa's clever babysitting tricks. At least it slows her down a little bit.

Playing at the park.

Saturday, Sept. 25th we all went to the Museum of the Rockies in Boseman, all but that illusive teenager.

Lots of dinosaur stuff here.

In the children's play area they could try on costumes, pan in the sandbox for gems, go fishing, play in the kitchen or watch the geysers erupt.

They had a big exhibit from Oplontis B, a village near Pompeii, that was also buried by lava when Vesuvius erupted.  A strongbox was required to secure proceeds and records of all Roman commercial operations.  This one was found at Oplontis B and is about the size of a coffin.  On the lid two dogs face each other.  Near their heads are two small rectangular bases, on one of which a bronze duck perches, the other duck is missing.  In the center of the lid a female head emerges from a tondo (circle).  The feet of the chest are decorated with two griffins in relief facing a wine vessel.  In the middle of the front is a square panel inlaid with a silver and copper head of Silenus, a follower of the god Bacchus, god of wine.  Above that panel is a bronze lion's head with a ring in its mouth between two bronze busts of cupid.  Above the lion is a Greek inscription meaning "Pythonymas, Pytheas and Nikrates, the workers of Heracleides made this".  Imagine craftsmen still receiving credit for their work done over 2,000 years ago.  It has a complicated locking mechanism.  The dog and duck sculptures on the lid hid the bolt that was used to close the chest.  To open it, one first had to pull out the female tondo, which covered the keyhole.  Internal bolts were then moved by pulling the lion's head and rotating the cupid's head.  Seems like an awful lot of thought and work went into making a box just to store money and records.  Jewelry and coins were found in 1984 along with 54 skeletons of men and women who had sought shelter from the eruption in one of the vaulted storerooms.  Among them a young woman 20 to 25 years of age may have been the wealthiest.  She wore or carried expensive jewelry, including a pair of double pendant pearl earrings, the single most valuable item of jewelry discovered with skeletons in the Vesuvian area.  She also carried two hoards of gold and silver coins, one in a purse and the other in a box, 313 coins total.  Much of the jewelry and coins found is on display in the museum.  Another woman 25 to 35 was carrying a cloth bag containing a large amount of jewelry made of precious materials, including an emerald and pearl crescent-shaped pendant and silver spoons.  A third woman 41 to 50 was carrying a cloth bag with six gold rings and wearing two gold and emerald bracelets.  Two were wearing gold foil bracelets with the image of Venus and Cupid, representing Venus as patron goddess of Pompeii.  She must have been off duty the day of the eruption.  Wouldn't the Antiques Road Show have a heyday with this stuff?

The floors were paved with imported marble cut to create geometric patterns, some from Tunisia in North Africa, some from Turkey and some from the island of Chios in the Aegean Sea, all a part of the Roman Empire.  Marble was also used in the columns and walls and some were produced around 50 B.C.  This is a reconstruction of a part of a room with wall paintings, frescoes, mosaics and stucco molding.  The paintings were over a century old when Vesuvius erupted.  This elegant dining space, or triclinium, was designed to hold three couches along the side and rear walls for reclining in the Greek manner.  A small marble table would have been in the center for a variety of small dishes and vessels.  Delicacies the host might have served to impress would have been lobster, oysters, wild boar, roasted peacock and stuffed dormice.  Yum, Yum.  The themes were of gods, heroes, athletes and victory.  There were 14 sculptures along the 60 meter swimming pool in Villa A's east garden.  Wine was shipped from Villa B.  Bottling and exporting of wine was a major seasonal activity.  The Bay of Naples has a long history of grape cultivation and wine consumption traced to the arrival of the Greek colonists in 8th century B.C.  Roman poet "Martial" wrote of how saddened he was by the loss of the spectacular vineyards that once stretched over the slopes of Vesuvius.  It drastically
disrupted the wine making tradition when they were all wiped out by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 AD.  The empty containers they found would have held the equivalent of 3,333 cases of wine.

Another great family day.

Finally, the big day has arrived!  Their birthdays are two days apart, so they always celebrate together.  They had 17 little girls over on Tally's birthday and did the family party on Tierney's birthday.

Just what I wanted, matching outfits for me and my doll.  Too bad Tally didn't get one, too.

Exactly what I wanted.  I'm in charge now.  Get out of my way.  This was the start of a big problem for Dallas.  When he saw that fireman outfit, he wanted it so bad, he just didn't know what to do.  Every morning when he got up, he asked, "I get fireman?"  Every time he woke up from his nap he asked again.  This went on for several days and they decided to order one for him and give it to him for Christmas, or maybe Halloween.  One day when he was asking, Hilary tried to explain to him that it was Tally's birthday present and that's why she got it.  So he said, "I get fireman for my birthday?"  At that point I think she was relieved that he finally seemed to understand and she said, "Yes!  You can definitely have one for your birthday."  Unfortunately, that just changed his several times daily questions to "It my birthday?  I have cake?  Blow candles? Get fireman?"  He was willing to jump through whatever hoops he had to in order to get that fireman outfit.  He just wanted to know when and he wanted it to be now, so he just kept on asking and asking and asking.

  One day the package came in the mail and Mom said I can't take it anymore, so she ran out to Walmart and bought a little bundt cake, brought it home and let him decorate it himself and blow out the candles.  I'm sure he was thinking best birthday ever!

 He got his fireman outfit (with hatchet, fire extinguisher and hose) and that's the story of how the second 2nd birthday party came about.

Bonus, everybody got to eat two pieces of cake, so it was all over and done with and we didn't have to hear about it anymore!

What?  Oh no!  What's all this white stuff? Oh my gosh, it's only October 9th.  We were supposed to be long gone before it snowed.  We are totally allergic to the white stuff.

Oh, but the kids loved it!  Yummy!

Wanna try some?  Fortunately, it was all gone in a couple days and the weather was beautiful for a few more weeks.

The kids just love it when Jeff gets out his guitar and sings for them.

We all went to see the play Peter and the Star Catcher, except Grandpa and the illusive teenager.  It was written by Dave Barry and Ridley Pearson, a prequel to Peter Pan, explaining how he ended up in Neverland.

We saw three movies while we were here, Sully, The Magnificant Seven and Deep Water Horizon.  They were all good.  We also took the little kids to Finding Dory and The Secret Life of Pets.

Jeff's folks were here for a week for the girls birthdays and we took that opportunity to do a little traveling, visiting some friends and seeing a few museums.  More about that in my next blog.  We left on Saturday, Oct. 29th heading south.

Hilary sent us pictures of our little goblins out trick or treating on Halloween.  The snow queen, shark, princess, and fireman.