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.

Looking for a Free Chicken Dinner

Looking for a Free Chicken Dinner

I was in my office yesterday afternoon when I saw an unfamiliar black pickup driving very slowly past the house. Stuff like that makes my antennae go up; people have been known to drive that way through the neighborhood to determine who is home and whose house makes an easy target. I was just about to walk outside and make my presence known when the phone rang. It was the husband.

“Did you see the bear?”

“Bear? What bear?”

D— (our new neighbor around the corner) just texted me and said he was driving by the house and a bear was going through the yard.”

I grabbed the bear spray and made sure the dogs stayed in the house and went out onto the porch to see if I could find the bear. Our renter was walking over to our house and looking in the direction of the chicken coop. Sure enough, the bear was about 30 feet from the coop (in the woods), nose in the air, sniffing. I went into the coop and got most of the chickens closed inside.

The bear didn’t come any closer. Eventually, with some encouragement from our renter, it ran off. I stayed outside for a bit, though, to make sure it didn’t circle back. I also called the bear specialist from FWP—not that he could do anything, but they like to keep track of these bears’ activities and I thought he would want to know what it was doing. I am pretty sure it’s the same bear that broke into my friend’s chicken yard the other afternoon and killed some of her chickens. And now it’s looking for more.

I’m carrying this around with me (the shotgun is a bit unwieldy and I really don’t want to hurt the bear):


The bear guy from FWP says he thinks the electric fence around the coop will be enough to keep the bear out of the coop, because they can smell the ozone from the wires. Still, I am not thrilled that it is wandering around so close to the house.

[In case you are wondering where the dogs were, they were inside the house, sleeping. When it’s sunny and warm, they nap on the back porch, but that doesn’t guarantee that they would know there was a bear walking through the front yard.]

I’ll be on lookout today.


I went over to my friend Marcie’s house after dinner last night so we could work on our faces. I think I’ve found mine. No, you still can’t see it. This is getting easier, though, and I feel more confident about moving on to the next couple of steps, hopefully today.

I spent some time yesterday dealing with scraps and now I have this:


And this:


That scrap bag had been overflowing and making me slightly nuts. It was full of my lighter value fabric scraps. I dumped them all out onto the bed, sorted them by length of strip, and started sewing them together. This is basically the “Candy Coated Quilt” from the Sunday Morning Quilts book. I’ve done a couple of these quilts now. The design is great for using up scraps. Even though it looks like a hot mess right now, somehow the finished quilt ends up looking great.

I may not have enough for a large quilt yet, but at least the scraps are getting sewn together and trimmed and put in the “quilts in progress” pile.

I may have to do the same thing with the other scrap bag soon. That one contains all the bright, saturated print strips. It is also overflowing.

I do move a lot of fabric square footage through here.

Quilts on the Fence

Quilts on the Fence

Finding Your Face

Finding Your Face