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.

Thunder and Lightning

Thunder and Lightning

The husband and I took a break and sat out on the porch for a few minutes on Saturday afternoon. He had been working on the new shop and I had canned 10 quarts of peaches. We briefly discussed going out for date night, but then remembered that severe weather had been forecast for later that evening. The radar didn’t look good, with a line of storms heading up from Missoula, so we decided to stay home. That was a good call.

Some time around 8 p.m., a front rolled through with high winds, thunder, lightning, and rain the likes of which I haven’t see in a long time (but no hail, thankfully). The power went out. The pager tones started going off for various rural fire departments, including ours, so the husband got in the truck and headed up to the fire hall. I stayed in the living room with the dogs and listened to the fire department channels on the scanner to monitor what was happening.

I have to give a shout-out to the dispatcher in the 911 center who was handling the fire department calls that night. She remained cool, calm, and collected throughout what must have been a pretty hellish night. Their CAD system—which helps them locate emergencies—went down, and one of the repeaters up in the mountains was nonfunctional. I was also reminded, once again, that our fire chief is exceedingly good at what he does, which is coordinating multiple emergency response calls when he doesn’t know what resources he’s going to have ahead of time. (It seemed like we were pretty thin on responders.) I do get a bit frustrated with my fellow citizens, though. I really wish that more of them understood that our fire department is 100% staffed by volunteers, and that those volunteers left their own homes and families—the wife of one of our guys had just delivered a baby that morning!—to respond to downed power lines, trees on fire, and trees blocking roadways. I also wish these same people could understand that sometimes, there is a bigger picture that they aren’t seeing. They may have what they think is an emergency in their immediate vicinity, but there may be a more critical situation elsewhere in the fire district that takes priority. I don’t like the Monday-morning quarterbacking that invariably happens, especially when it comes from people who aren’t willing to get out and put their time and energy on the line. I don’t think our chief got much sleep Saturday night.

/Rant over.

The husband came home at midnight and got a few hours of sleep. The pager went off again at 5 a.m., so we both got up and out of bed. He started up the generator so we would have power (and coffee). As soon as it got light enough, I headed out to see if there was any damage on the property. Also, we had no internet, and the only place I have sufficiently good cell phone service is in the middle of the garden.

Nothing had fallen on the greenhouse, but this was in the middle of the pig pasture:


Another tree had fallen and hit the fence line.


Not far from it, on the other side of the fence on our neighbor’s property, was this one:


And finally, this one, which was on our property but fell onto the fence and into our other neighbor’s pasture:


Some of these pines have an annoying tendency to shear off about 15 feet up in windstorms, like this:


The husband, who spent the rest of the day cutting up all these trees—we are not lacking for firewood, although this stuff burns poorly—said that the wind must have funneled through the open area over the garden and into the pig pasture, which make sense given that these storms came up from the south. I am glad we didn’t have pigs out there this year, although they would have been locked in the piggy palace during the storm.

We also got a lot of rain with that system, which is good given the amount of lightning that accompanied it. Every one of those lightning strikes has the potential to start a wildfire, and while that risk hasn’t gone to zero, it’s diminished significantly by the rain we’re getting.

I texted Ali and Elysian and invited them over for breakfast. The power came back on mid-morning. Another line of storms came through last night, but it wasn’t nearly as severe and it brought with it more rain.


I have to deliver the fair apron to the fairgrounds some time today. I’ve been working on another apron, the pattern for which I bought a while ago but never started because I wasn’t crazy about the apron featured on the pattern package. It’s Simplicity pattern #8232:


However, I happened to run across a photo of the View C apron made up (it’s the blue one in the upper right corner). I liked the way it looked so I got out the pattern to see how it was designed. The front of the apron is shaped with princess seams instead of being a flat piece of fabric as on most aprons. I like the way princess seams on dresses fit me and I am curious to see if they make a difference in the fit of an apron.

The apron is coming together quickly. By far, the most complicated part of it has been the pockets, which have both bias binding and rick rack.

[My mother told me yesterday that I should expect a package in the mail. When she read in one of my blog posts that I was having trouble finding bias binding, she went down to her sewing room and gathered up her collection of trims and put them in a box and sent them to me. Thanks, mom.]

The pattern instructions indicated French seams for the apron pieces, but I decided to finish the edges of the pieces on the serger, instead, and sew regular seams on the sewing machine. We’ll see how it turns out. I like it so far.

Cataloguing the Apron Collection

Cataloguing the Apron Collection

A Finished Fair Apron

A Finished Fair Apron