We are blessed with a life estate in Montana where my husband grew up as a boy, running wild and free. Twenty acres of land currently used by his father for hay and cows and chickens now also holds a tiny, blue cabin. It’s a shabby little 12×20 shed with two levels, making it roughly 480 sq. ft. We’ve dubbed it “The Shabin.”

Shabby Shed + Cabin = The Shabin

We never experience a dull moment here. Each time we return, the cabin is dusty and overgrown. We also plan plenty of projects. This time we worked on connecting a water line to The Shabin from the well that was dug a couple years ago. We also connected some solar panels, so we can have a little electricity. Here is a fun picture of my husband sitting behind them up on our mini deck…

staying off the grid

We are normally the visitors in these parts, and we are always blessed to go visit with local family and friends while we are here. However, this time around we got to have visitors of our own. My sister and her family came and dry-camped with their tent trailer for a few days on our property. It was great to have them right outside our front door, and it was fun to be the ones to show the sites to the “city folk.” My sister was quite thrilled when my husband’s father started mowing hay in the field  next to us.

my sister taking a picture of my FIL mowing hay.

We always get asked about the wildlife here. This year we’ve seen plenty of deer, a flock of Canada geese, hundreds of butterflies, and hundreds of these horned caterpillars. It’s hard not to step on them, and the kids enjoy getting them to crawl onto their fingers.

Does anyone know what kind of caterpillars these are?

Of course, we are not all work and no play. That would make jack a dull boy, right? We go down to Flathead Lake for a dip in the cool water or up to Lake Mary Ronan for some burgers and boating. This is one of my favorite pictures of my small son. Paddle boating is sure a good workout! Whew!

My son preparing to climb into the paddle boat

Here’s a funny picture I took of some random items stacked against the wall of the boat house up at Lake Mary, MT. This thistle was growing up through the theater seats. I find this to be a very VERY very good reason to work on our squatting muscles.

Thistles in your chair squats
Better have good squatting muscles if you don't look before you sit!

Thunderstorms are quite common in Montana, but this one hit at dawn on Sunday morning. I knew my sister and her husband were packing up to leave, so I thought they were just making racket. Then I was disturbed by some bright flashes. The other night, I counted over 300 flashes from three storms in the mountains within one hour! The first thing my husband says when there are thunderstorms is, “Don’t touch the stove!”

Unusual morning thunderstorm at sunrise. Photo taken from our porch.



6 thoughts on “Montana

  1. Jean Kelsey says:

    Bethany it looks like a great place to just completely get away! I haven’t been in a paddle boat in years and do remember the workout! Those are such great fun! Enjoy your time and beware of the thistles! I agree…squats are a good thing 😉 Good thing they weren’t on the paddle boats or that could make for an interesting ride 🙂

  2. June Stoyer says:

    What a great story about real life in the country! I love your “shabin”!!!! What a great name for it! Thank you for taking the time to share a little bit of your world with us!

  3. Sebastian St. George says:

    Wow it looks so peaceful – away from the craziness of city life and the madness of traffic! I would LOVE to move there! My only thing is the cold and winter LOL but I think I would get used to it…. somehow LOL Excellent blog! It looks so beautiful and a great way/place to get further in touch with yourself and earth and lead a happy peaceful life 🙂 Thanks for sharing!!!!!!!!!

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