The Shabin

Our April, 2012 trip to Montana

Montana is a place of rugged beauty and stark contrasts: Immaculate Escalades with cattle-grill-guards parked next to beat-up Subarus still displaying blood stains from last year’s hunting season; the sharp cut of the Mission Mountains against the rolling plains; the dirt on the faces of beautiful children out playing in the fields; the poverty of shanty houses with luxury homes in the hills above; waking up to cows in our front yard… Not something that happens in our home town! My son claimed that red truck as his own…

On several mornings I was able to make oatmeal with rehydrated fruit on the woodstove. We used local honey as a sweetener.

It’s very exciting to have running water. You can see the 5-gallon tub we’ve been hauling water with. On this trip, my husband finished attaching the drain to the drain-field he dug on the last trip. The water is powered by batteries stored under the house which are in turn powered by our solar panel. He installed a switch under the sink, so can save energy when we don’t need water. No hot water yet…

The kids spent a lot of time on their grandparents organic farm just down the hill. My husbands parents raise much of their own food: gardening, raising cows and chickens and turkeys, and harvesting herbs that grow locally. They rarely go to town and get what they can’t grow from Azure Standard.

I guess you want to see a picture of The Shabin. It’s the lovely 12×20 2-level shabby blue shed that we’ve turned into a cabin. Here it is right before we left. We have to board it up to keep out the rats and … passers by. You can ready my other blog about Montana and The Shabin by CLICKING HERE

Here are more cows. It was calving season, and the field across from us was full of mamas and babies. Funny story: the cows would always gather at the fence and moo and beller at the farmer’s grey pickup truck as he loaded hay for them. Then they’d run along behind him as he drove the hay onto the field. Well, we also had a grey truck with us, and I made the mistake of coming by the field at feeding time. I thought they were going to stampede me! As soon as they realized I wasn’t driving the right truck, they went mooing and lumbering back to the other side of the field. Silly cows!

As I mentioned, my MIL raises chickens but not really for food. She adores them, especially silkies. This little puffball followed her everywhere. She made me sear I wouldn’t put a picture of her online, so I settled for my daughter holding “Angel” the chicken.

Here’s a close up shot… Like I said, she’s a fluffy little thing. You can barely see her beak!  

And here’s me, myself … Showing the sign my parents had made (I know you can’t really see it) … But it says welcome! And our friends certainly are!

I’d be honored to hear your comments or see this pinned. Thanks! Wait, here is one of my favorite pictures of the bluebird bus I can see from my kitchen window. Yes, it’s parked in the field, listing into a ditch. I’m not sure why someone in the family parked it there…

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