Showing posts with label Kids. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Kids. Show all posts

Thursday, August 25, 2016

On The Map!

Last month I got an odd email.  A little gal claiming to be a TV producer wanted to talk to me.  "Yeah suuurreee," I thought.  She said they wanted to film a TV episode about 6-man football and that she had read a blog post I had written about the Rivals football team here in my little town.  (You can read the post she found if you click HERE.)  I wrote it a couple of years ago when a filmmaker made a documentary about the team. So I did a Google search to check out this "stranger" and found she was a bona-fide producer.  So I wrote her back and agreed to talk to her about my little town.

She called one afternoon while the kids and I were enjoying ice cream from the drive-in in Fort Benton.  I sat there with my soft serve dripping all over and told her a love story.  The reasons I moved here, the many things I love about our little place and a few of it's secrets.  We talked about the football team but we also talked about the life we have here and why it's so special.  I hafta say it was a fun conversation because it's basically what I blog about already.

Alyonka let me know they were coming the week that school starts to do some filming.  That is this week.  The kids had their first day of school yesterday and the film crew was there.  The kids were lit up like the Fourth-of-July!  I got to hear about the experience from my favorite high school kid.  How it was weird, but fun, but really weird to be filmed while you're eating!  Gotta love it!

The feeling I'm having about what's happening here this week is.... tickled.  How cool is it that this tiny town in the middle of nowhere is once again getting a little national attention?!  The kids here will likely remember this unique experience for the rest of their lives.  They are feeling so special and important right now.  They get to do a TV show! The children of farmers, ranchers and truck drivers get a few moments to shine like stars.  Yup, I'm tickled for them.

So sometime in the future, look up "Vice World of Sports" for the episode on "The Rivals" and there you will see our little town, right there on the map!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Winter Bliss

People in the city often think small town, rural living is "boring".

"What do you do for fun?", they ask....

They wonder if my kids are too "sheltered"....
I think the folks that have asked me that need to get out more!


What do you think??

I think.... I wouldn't trade this for the world.

Bye for now,

Monday, January 20, 2014

Just Wanted To Say "Hay"

Hay there!  I brought along my camera while my big boy and I did chores this afternoon.  There wasn't anything "special" going on.  Just another absolutely perfect, mid-January day in Montana.  But I though you might like to come along with me and enjoy the farm for a minute....

Skeeter wanted to be sure you had a good chuckle today....

Miss Ivy says hello.... Doesn't she have the most beautiful gold eyes?

Good ol' Rhett was thankful it was his day off....

The not-so-innocent, but innocent looking lambs were posing nicely for me today....

The big boy got to play mountain goat on the stop of the hay stack....

There isn't a day that goes by that I'm not aware how blessed we are to live this life.  Simple pleasures and beautiful things everywhere we look, no matter what we're doing.  Take a look around you right now.  I'll bet there's blessings everywhere....

Bye for now,

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

"Six Man", A Film You Need To See

Last night I watched something that moved me to tears.  It was about football, of all things.  A wonderful film maker named Kurt Markus has come to our little off-the-map area of Montana and made a documentary film that has me and everyone else around feeling as puffed up and proud as a mother hen.

Taken during the 2013 State Championship game. That our boys won!

The film is called, "Six Man" and highlights our Geraldine/Highwood Rivals, as well as the Big Sandy Pioneers.  As I have previously confessed, I know pretty much nothing about football.  But there is one thing I do know.  Our little community lives and breathes to support our kids and the sports programs that give them some amazing opportunities. I'm so grateful and proud that Mr. Markus had such an affection for our area and our kids, that he spent two years of his life dedicated to making a film that will show the world the blessings and challenges of how we live.  He told us the film is a "love story" for our little towns and the adoration showed through in every way.  I thank Kurt Markus for putting on film the love that I have been writing about for these past two years. 

As a momma to three sons, I must say I feel a renewed sense of dedication to choosing this small town life.  I can only hope that when my sons are old enough, they will have the opportunity to play sports in Geraldine. It may be a long shot, but I hope Mr. Tweet is still coaching by then as well!  I'm so tickled that the class and integrity of our coaches and our team shined through throughout the film. Our boys did an outstanding job of articulating what's in their hearts and minds on and off the field.  Their dedication and devotion to their sport, their team and their towns was pure and evident. 

Mr. Markus showed us the film before it has even been picked up for distribution.  So for now I can't tell you to go pick up a copy.  But please know I will be following the film's progress and if at all possible, I will let you know when and where you can see the film.  It truly is something I think the world should see. I'll be watching for updates, you should too!

Bye For Now,

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Chilly Christmas Cheer

Let me tell you, we are some tough folks here in Geraldine, Montana!  It hovered between 15-20 degrees below zero all day yesterday.  But last night was the annual Christmas Stroll bazaar!  It's a fun event where local folks set up a booth and sell things they have made themselves or are representatives for, such as Mary Kay and Pampered Chef.  A high percentage of the booths are yummy things to eat!  Jams, breads, pies, chicken and homemade noodles, cookies.... But there are also some very crafty folks selling awesome artisan products. (Myself included of course.)

I was pretty amazed that even at 20 below, the old auditorium filled up.  The high school music department played and sang carols for us.  Santa came and took the hopeful requests from the kiddos.  We all ate lots of goodies and had great visits with our friends.  The kids got to earn money for FFA, 4-H and the like.  The little kids had the chance to run around and giggle with their friends....

"Santa, I'd like a pony please..."

If your town still has a Christmas social of some kind, I recommend you get out to it!  It's a bit of a long lost tradition that we should keep alive in my opinion. I think it beats an evening at the shopping mall....

Bye for now,

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

We Are The Champions

You guys all know that I am not a sports writer.  Like at all.... I hardly know anything about any sports that don't involve horses.  But I'm learning.  I've learned that sports are really, really important to the kids in this town and many other little towns like it.....
Saturday was probably this BIGGEST day of the year for our little school in our little town.  Our beloved, six man football team made it to the state championship game.  Our co-op team of Geraldine/Highwood played the co-op team of Stanford/Denton/Geyser.  The other team only lost one game all year.  The game they played against our team.  They were worthy opponents and everyone knew it would be a very good game.  The other team comes from the little towns that are Geraldine's "neighbors".  So it was also a hometown rivalry. 
When I pulled out of Geraldine to head over the mountains to the Highwood field, Geraldine was already a ghost town.  Nobody was here! I am certain Stanford, Denton and Geyser were also ghost towns.  I drove the dirt roads over the mountains to Highwood because it cuts off the miles and it's such a pretty drive.  So many people had done the same thing that there was a hazy cloud of dust all the way through the hills. A dust cloud of hope and anticipation. 
11-Wyatt McKinlay, 22-Dawson Baroh, 34-Jordan Lafontaine, 32-Darren Malek
When Payson and I arrived at the field we found it was standing room only on the side lines of the field.  Well, actually there wasn't even much for standing room on either side of the field. Some folks had even parked one of their vehicles in the "perfect spot" next to the field, days before the game to ensure they'd get a good view.

17- Jeremiah Hinkle, 21- Sean Bronec, 28-Devin Leistiko

Our boys started the game by getting some touchdowns right out of the box.  From then on you could feel the hope in the chilly late fall air....

Coach Tweet with the boys.  55-Ben Rayner, 17-Jeremiah Hinkle, 56-Braden Urion
Mr. Tweet has been the coach at Geraldine for 32 years. His teams have won the State Championship in 1989, 1997, 2001 and 2003. He was inducted into the MCA Coaches Hall of Fame in 2009. Everyone I have spoken to speaks of his fairness and ethics on the field.

The boys maintained the lead for the length of the game. At one point the other team rallied and made us all hold our breath for a bit....

25-Sam Bronec, 32-Darren Malek, 34-Jordan Lafontaine

7- Jake Malek, 25- Sam Bronec, 34- Jordan Lafontaine


Our boys were not about to let the opponents get a lead.  You could feel their determination building.

3-Riley Kurtz gets tackled.

22-Dawson Baroh    He catches it....
and is tackled.

The end of the game arrived to find us with a score of 50-18. The "blue side" of the field erupted with ten years worth of exuberance.

"Good game."

We are the champions again....

Congratulations to our Rivals!  Geraldine and Highwood could not be more proud! 

This post was written with the intent to share these photos with the parents and families of our players.  Please feel free to copy and save any of these photos and use them as you wish.

Bye for now,

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

A Weather Report

One of the things we deal with living in this part of the country is some rapid changes in the weather.  We get sudden storms.  We get "Chinook winds", that are quite a phenomenon. This is the Wikipedia explanation.

 " The reference to a wind or weather system, simply "a Chinook", originally meant a warming wind from the ocean into the interior regions of the Pacific Northwest of the USA. A strong Chinook can make snow one foot deep almost vanish in one day. The snow partly melts and partly evaporates in the dry wind. Chinook winds have been observed to raise winter temperature, often from below -4°F to as high as 50-68°F for a few hours or days, then temperatures plummet to their base levels. The greatest recorded temperature change in 24 hours was caused by Chinook winds on January 15, 1972, in Loma, Montana; the temperature rose from  -54 to 48°F."  

Then there's the cold, fronts that blast us from the North.  Like yesterday.  We the kids and I went out to do chores it was 38 degrees.  But there a thick bank of fog forming to the North and the air was thick with moisture.  A couple of minutes later the wind shifted and came rolling in from the North and it was cold!  We hurried to feed the calves and by the time the hay was in the bunk it was 21 degrees.  We had taken my car down to do chores so the little ones could stay warm.  It also has a very handy temperature gauge.

By the time we got to the barn, about 4 minutes later, it was down to 18 degrees.  A twenty degree drop in less than ten minutes. 

I love how that camo coat is doing it's job in this picture.... Where's my boy?

The fog thickened and the temperature dropped some more.... After supper we were at 11 degrees.  Almost a 30 degree drop in about an hour. 
This morning we have a lovely 8 degrees and snowing steady in the form of teeny, tiny little snowflakes.  The horses were kicking up their heels to stay warm.  Well, Fancy Pants was....

I think I'll be staying inside today....after the chores are done of course.

Bye for now,

Friday, November 1, 2013

Good Enough Is Perfect

I'm not a perfectionist.... well, maybe I am sometimes.  But, like many of you I have dreams and visions of the way things should be.  Here on the farm I have wanted things to be a certain way.  I do not like clutter and junk laying around.  I wanted all my barns and sheds to be clean and bedded deep with fluffy, gold straw.  The garden was supposed to be abundant and weed free and the yard ought to look freshly mowed.  The animals are supposed to always behave themselves.... My little farm is supposed to be perfect.  Ha!  I bet your laughing at me right now!  That's ok because I am laughing at myself.

We've been on the farm for only six months.  I dove right in to many projects.  We raised thirty five baby chicks in the garage if the town house before we were able to move out here. We invested in two wonderful, Livestock Guardian dogs and went to work on their obedience training. I bought a small herd of alpacas and quickly learned all I could about raising happy, healthy camelids.  Then came the ten bottle calves.  Twice a day, every day, for sixty days we were tackled by ten hungry babies. I brought home ten lambs to help with our weed problem and provide us with another source of grass fed, all natural meat.  The weaner pigs arrived in June.  An acre of garden was planted including several raised beds that are scattered around the yard.  Irrigation hoses were laid out. By the end of June it was set up for perfection....

The first week of July brought the biggest, nastiest hail storm I had ever seen.  (I wrote about it here.) The garden had just enough time to get a good start and then it was annihilated.  It looked like there was no way we'd see and produce from this years efforts. The roof of almost every building was damaged. We were lucky though, the animals were all fine no one was hurt.

Soon after the storm we discovered our water system couldn't support the garden that had survived.  We had planted too big for our britches.  We saved what we could and watched the rest wither on the vine or get overtaken by weeds.

One of the "LGD's" had taken a liking to killing chickens instead of guarding them.  We lost about eight before we solved that issue.  We were sure she was going to have to find another living arrangement.

The lambs absolutely refused to stay anywhere we wanted them to stay!  For a while I had a daily round up using the four-wheeler.  Then I put them in the "riding arena" that happened to be full of grass and forage and they actually didn't escape from it. Except one.... We had a lamb just up an vanish.  I like to say it was abducted by aliens.  It was there one day and then "poof", gone.  No sign of a struggle or a coyote feast.  I actually think it must've been a cougar that stopped by for a sack lunch.

The pigs weren't much trouble except for when they figured out how to push their shed door open.  Thankfully they like their home and didn't run too far.  It's just that they like to pick nasty, windy days or the day I'm on vacation for their little excursions.

The tractor broke down and my mechanic was out bringing in the wheat harvest for month before he went on vacation for a month.  Needless to say, the sheds didn't get cleaned out all summer.  The poo piled up until Hired Man Jim bought himself a little tractor and  tested it out on my barn.  We're still waiting on the parts to come in....

Somehow I haven't found the time or energy to get the shop area cleaned out and free of junk.  I have seen worse, but there's definitely a few trips to the scrap yard that need to be made and some clearing out and organizing to be done....

In all of this I have learned a valuable lesson. Joel Salatin has a saying that I just love! "Good enough is perfect!"   If it is working, if there is a profit, if things are trucking along ok, it's perfect.  For the most part, things are working. The kids and the critters are all thriving....

 I have so very much to be thankful for!  I did get an amazing harvest of tomatoes after they regrew.  The alpacas did provide an abundance of fleece that is becoming yarn that is so beautiful it has inspired me to learn to loom knit and people actually want to buy it!  The lambs fleece happens to be just the thing to blend with the alpaca to make even more amazing yarn. 
 The chickens are laying wonderful, fresh, organic eggs.  The calves are all healthy and looking fat and sassy.  The hogs grew like the weeds and are ready to harvest a month ahead of schedule.  The dogs now do a great job of holding off the coyotes and protecting things, most of the time.... I was blessed with a yard full of flowers and beauty all summer.  So even though this year hasn't been just like I had imagined it.  It always feels good to come home.... because it is perfect.

Bye for now,

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Two Whole Years!

My goodness! I can't believe it's been two years since we descended on this little town.  We moved to Geraldine the night before Halloween exactly two years ago.  My rugrats were so little then....

My big boy was in Kindergarten.  He's the handsome one in the yellow shirt.  This was his first school concert, just a few days after we moved here.
Tonight we made the rounds trick-or-treating through Geraldine.  Just like we have for two previous Halloweens.  (You can recap a little about our first Halloween in Geraldine by going here.) This is not one of those places that frowns on trick-or-treaters! No way!  Folks here love to see the kiddos all dressed up and running amok all over town.  Hired Man Jim was over at the V.F.W. hall serving hot cocoa and handing out treats like they have done for more years than he could remember for certain.  We stopped in to Rusty's Bar and CafĂ© to chat with our friends and show off our costumes, then we hit the streets.
 We were lucky this year, it wasn't snowing!  Around here we choose our costumes by making sure we are able to fit winter coats, and snow boots under them.  I spent quite a few Halloween nights trudging through snow when I was growing up over on the other side of the mountains....
There was a little magic in the air tonight.  The good Lord gave us an amazing sunset.  The sky looked as though it were on fire with it's gold, orange and purple lighting up the sky.  Then a flock of eight whooping cranes swooped over head in formation.  I had never seen more than one or two of the cranes in one place before!  It was a very special sight.  Someone shoulda told them they were going the wrong way though!  They were on a path toward the northwest....
The boys had the time of there lives and momma enjoyed it too.  Then we came home to our warm house, had a treat or two and then got them tucked into their beds.  Now I'm off to bed as well.... tomorrow is another day in paradise,
Bye for now,

Sunday, October 13, 2013


As I have said before, kids are very important in this town.  Folks here know that they truly are the future.  Everything possible is done to support our kids and the school here.  Sports are also hugely important to the kids and the town.  Many of the kids know that sports are one of the best chances they have for a college scholarship and pursue it from grade school on.  So I'm sure you can imagine, Homecoming is a BIG day for the town of Geraldine. Yesterday was that day!

Everyone comes to town for the parade.


No Montana parade is complete without kids, horses and tractors....

The homecoming queens must've been cold!  It was only about 40 degrees yesterday morning....

Gotta love the Duck Dynasty float!

After the parade it was time for FOOTBALL!  The make up of the football team is interesting.  We didn't have quite enough kids to form a football team.  But neither did the neighboring town of Highwood.  So they worked together to form a co-op team called the "Rivals", because the two schools used to be rivals.  They now take turns hosting the games and practice at both schools. But that way they are able to have a complete, six man football team.

There aren't any official cheerleaders, but these girls did a pretty darn good job!

The boys won their homecoming game against the Box Elder Bears.  Forgive me that I don't know the exact score. I'm NOT a football expert whatsoever and I'll do better next time! But it was a good game and a very good day....


Bye for now,