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.

"Historic?" Maybe Not.

"Historic?" Maybe Not.

Did the “potentially historic” storm live up to the hype? East of the mountains, they got hammered with about four feet of snow and blizzard conditions, so yes—for those poor people, I would say it was historic. For us, not so much. It was mostly a windstorm. We lost power, internet, and cell service. (The cell service disruption was unusual.) Our yard is minus half a dozen trees. The snow has just started as I write this, and I suppose that has the potential to snarl things a bit further, but “historic” might be stretching it a bit.

Just for the record, I don’t like wind. It’s one of the reasons we don’t live in Great Falls. Constant wind grates on my nerves. This side of the state is fairly calm, although I do think western Montana is windier now than it used to be. The big surprise to me when we moved here was these back-door cold fronts that come down from Canada and create pressure gradients across the Continental Divide. Wind comes from the east down the western slopes of the mountains—along which our property happens to sit—and wreaks all sorts of havoc.

I don’t sleep well when it’s windy. Consequently, neither does the husband. Every time I heard a crack followed by the telltale “whump,” I poked him and said, “There goes another one.” We lost several trees in the woods south of the house:


That’s the side of the house our bedroom is on, so this was all happening on the other side of the wall from my head.

When the sun came up, I walked out to the garden and through the pig pasture to make sure everything was okay. I didn’t see any more downed trees. Just before lunch, the husband came in and said, “I’m going out to go cut up the tree that fell on the pig shelter,” and I said, “What?” I went out to help him and sure enough, he was right:


This must have happened after I was out there, because I had walked right past this spot and that tree was still upright.

[We had a bad storm in June a couple of years ago. I could tell the wind was picking up, so I said to the husband that I was going to go out and close up the greenhouse. By the time I got it secured, things had really ramped up, to the point where I had to run (literally) back to the house. When I got to the porch, he turned me around and pointed in the direction I had come from and said, “Look.” A tree had fallen across the path just moments after I had run through there.]

It took him about 15 minutes to cut up the tree, and then he stacked the logs and I pulled the branches over to a nearby brush pile to be burned. The pig shelter is fine. Everything he builds is designed to withstand a 9.0 earthquake. One little tree isn’t going to do any damage.

The power was out again yesterday afternoon for about five hours. We had the generator running and I spent the afternoon sewing. (I can sew when the power is out, too, on either a treadle or one of my hand cranks.) He cut expansion joints into the slab with the concrete saw (yes, the sun was shining):


Later on, he got out the forklift and pushed over another three or four dead trees. He’ll use a chainsaw when he has to, but using the forklift falls under the “work smarter, not harder” category, and honestly, it’s probably safer. He can get the entire root ball up using that method, too, although then he has to fill in the holes in the yard.

We are not lacking for firewood.


What did I sew? On Friday, I made myself an apron out of the chicken fabric I ordered a few weeks ago:


I used the same pattern I used to make Marcie’s apron. For the pocket and the reverse side, I used that chicken wire print fabric. I thought it coordinated well.

[The lighting is so bad in my house, but I didn’t want to haul the dress form downstairs and onto the porch for a better shot.]

Yesterday, I fixed a pair of the husband’s work pants (only to be informed afterward that there was another pair of pants with a blown-out crotch, so I’ll find and fix those today). I also finished the Metro Hipster Bag. That certainly was a quick and easy make. It turned out nicely, even with my fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants pocket hacks. I’m just not sure it will be big enough. Also, my love-hate relationship with recessed zippers continues. They seem to make getting into the bag more difficult. We’ll see. I will field test the bag this week and report back. I’ll also get some pictures.

I’ve got enough tomatoes frozen for another batch of sauce and likely will work on that tomorrow. I’ve also got to address a PayPal API issue so I can get closer to making the BSKD website live. And I have an embroidery retreat coming up in a few weeks for which I need to do some prep work.

A Skiff of Snow

A Skiff of Snow

Shop Slab Pour

Shop Slab Pour