Monday, September 30, 2013

One Year is Cookies, Right?

Anniversaries seem like a good time for looking back and for lists and since we've now been here on the side of this mountain for a year, I thought I'd share with you some of the lists we've been keeping both in our heads and written down.

When a dear friend sent me a surprise giftie in the mail of a woodland creature cookie cutter set that had a a fox AND a porcupine* I decided to make cookies of as many of our locally spotted critters as I had the cutters for. Luckily, I have a lot of cutters and I'd already started this post as a handy-dandy list. Neither Eric nor I are huge fans of cookie icing, so I applied only outlines. The cookies are Martha Stewart's shortbread recipe.

Critters we've seen at home or within a few miles of home:
White-tailed Deer
Mule Deer
Foxes (we've each seen them one or more times in the daylight since this post)
Flying Squirrels
Red Squirrels (I think)
Least Chipmunks (I think)
Skunks (one visual down the mountain a bit, one purely olfactory at the house)
Rabbits (probably Mountain Cottontail)
Marmot, probably the Hoary kind usually along the road, sometimes "sleeping"
Porcupine ("sleeping" by the highway)
Black Bear (cub)

I tried to include a turkey and a duck  cookie, but the turkey dropped when I tried to move it to the cooking rack and the duck wouldn't come out of the cutter with both its feet or its bill.

Mallard Ducks
Wild Turkeys
Bald Eagles
Blue Heron
And these:
Plus two different as-yet-unidentified larger, grouse-yish types.

Phyciodes orseis herlani butterflies
Some kind of swallowtail butterflies (9 species in Montana)
Other Butterflies
Yellow Jackets
Horse Flies
Mosquitoes (just a few)
Ten-lined June beetle
Western Conifer Seed Bug
Etcetera and so forth

I spotted the Ten-lined June Beetle one night on the deck when Eric was setting up his small telescope for us to peep some stars.  He's REALLY big and freaky looking in the dark, let me tell you. (the beetle, not Eric)  We all played it fairly cool though; the beetle went about his beetle business and we peeped stars. (photo from wikipedia)

Mystery Jumping River Fish or Fishes
Mystery Swimming Creek Fish or Fishes

It has been interesting for me, whose only memories are of living in Northwestern Oregon, to get used to this type of forest and it was fun (and a bit of a relief) to watch it get so green and relatively lush in the spring. From late-May to mid-June or so our part of the National Forest was carpeted with wildflowers. I bet we saw more than 2 dozen kinds over that time in the area within 10 minutes walk from the house.

We've lived through all four seasons (five if you include fire season) and can already tell this autumn is cooler, wetter, and less smokey than last.  We've already had a few fires in the wood stove, something we didn't do for a few-to-several weeks after we arrived.  We've had a few weeks of overcast and rainy weather, not real rain-rain, but probably what passes for real rain-rain in these parts.  If your head is covered (with lots of hair or a hat) you don't even really get wet and what wet you do get drys really quickly.

Eric with our Realtor, Sherry Kolenda, on our one viewing of the property back in August 2012.

We've done some cosmetic work in eight rooms. When I itemized it here and looked back at so many posts to make the links it seems like a lot has been accomplished.

Laundry Room (not yet photographed or posted even though it was the first room I painted, etc.)
Kitchen (appliance)
Living/Dining Room
Upstairs Hall Bathroom
Master Bedroom
Guest Bedroom
Master Dressing Room
Master Half-Bathroom
Plus replaced ALL the door knobs

When I think about the things we still have on our list to chance it seem like there's a long way to go.  I think that the stairwell and upstairs hallway, the master water closet. and the downstairs bathroom are at the fore of my mind.  The first three can probably be accomplished with just a little money, but quite a bit of work. The last one will be quite a bit of work, too, but will probably require more supplies be purchased to get to the image I have in my mind.

And tomorrow is October 1, one year from the day I took this photo.


I'm sure it's supposed to be a hedgehog, but as long as it lives under our roof it's a porcupine!


  1. Happy Anniversary!!! Love the cookie panoramic. You have done a lot to the house and it looks great.
    Hey, I recognize those box's in that last photo :)

  2. Wow, Tara! I can't believe it's been a year already. You guys have seen, done and experienced so much and so many changes it's hard to believe it's all been in this one single year, a hearty congratulations to you both!

  3. Congrats on your year! (And yeah, about that rain...I count the drying-out-really-fast thing as one of the biggest perks of intermountain livin'. Having dry towels all the time is the BEST!)

    1. Thanks! So funny that you mention the towels, because we've had a couple of relatively wet weeks here and I noticed that my bath towel is taking ages to completely dry. [shakes fist at sky]


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