Join Janet on her adventures as a designer, writer, maker, and farmer in montana. no two days are ever the same. you might even see a bear or two.

A Weekend of Surprises

A Weekend of Surprises

Yesterday was a busy day. Back in February, my friend Susan told a few of us after church one Sunday that her son-in-law wanted us to throw a surprise baby shower for Susan’s daughter, Rosemary. We have been planning it since, and yesterday was the big day. The kicker was that Rose currently lives in El Paso, Texas, and somehow her husband had to get her up to Montana without her suspecting anything. Fortunately, Susan’s birthday was Friday, and that provided a great excuse. Susan told Rose that I was going to throw Susan a combination birthday/retirement party and Rose’s husband surprised Rose with a plane ticket home.

We almost made it—there were a few twists toward the end and Rosemary figured out what was happening before she got to the church, but she was still touched and pleased that so many people had come together to throw her a party. DD#1 flew home on Friday and she and I spent the morning at the church getting things ready.

My gift to the baby was a quilt, of course—I haven’t been able to show it until now, for obvious reasons. The picture isn’t great because I was in a hurry and the light was awful, but here it is:


There is a story behind this. When DD#1 was doing her fieldwork in Boise in the fall of 2017, I visited her and went to The Quilt Crossing, a huge store in Meridian, Idaho. As soon as I walked in, I spotted this charm square pack of fabric called “Big Sky,” by Annie Brady for Moda. I said to myself—no lie, this is actually what was going through my head—”Rosemary is going to have a baby eventually and the baby is going to need a Montana-themed quilt. I will buy this and save it until I need it.”

I am not crazy about the color scheme, but the prints are wonderful. There are several of bears:


And one that has some morel mushrooms in it:


As well as several with elk, moose, buffalo, birch trees, rocks, and other things that are very Montana.

The sashing is Kona Forest and I quilted straight diagonal lines with some variegated dark green Signature 40wt thread.


We were at the shower until mid-afternoon, and then I had to come home and get ready for this:


This event also involved a surprise, one that we were actually able to pull off. ALERT is our valley’s air ambulance service. Our fire department works closely with them on lots of medical calls, and our neighbor, Mike, is a flight medic. This year, our fire chief, Gary, was being honored with the Clyde Smith Award:

The Clyde Smith Award is presented to a member of a local Emergency Medical Service or Quick Response Unit. The recipient is chosen from across northwest Montana for his or her dedication, volunteerism and service toward lifesaving efforts in the community. The award is named in honor of Clyde Smith, who put up his business, Smith Logging, as collateral against the original loan that funded the hospital's purchase of its own helicopter.

A group of us has known about this for a couple of months. Gary’s wife, Luann, had to get him to the banquet without him suspecting anything, and someone else brought Gary’s mom so she could be there, too. (The award was given at the beginning, just before dinner, so she was able to come and join us for the meal.) I can’t think of anyone who deserves this award more. Gary has been our fire chief for 37 years. The husband and I did the math on the way home and Gary has been chief since we were juniors in high school. His dedication to the community and especially his vision in carrying us forward through all the changes our fire district has experienced are truly amazing. And he does it all as a volunteer. No one gets paid in our department, not even the chief.

The dinner gave us an excuse to dress up and visit with some friends. (Yesterday was also the husband’s birthday.) Cathy and her husband came, too—this event is attended by a lot of the hospital staff—and we walked in with them and chatted for a bit. The food was prepared by the hospital’s food service, which sounds like it would be awful, but I can attest to the high quality of their meals. Our dinner was delicious.

I have church this morning and then I am going to come home and take a nap. This was a lot of activity and visiting for one weekend.

And DD#1 took a picture of me feeding my very spoiled rooster on Friday. This is how he expects to get his scratch grains every day:


I wish the rest of my hair would turn silver already. I rather like it.

Where Did that Blogger Go?

Where Did that Blogger Go?

Descent Into Mediocrity

Descent Into Mediocrity