EXIT Realty truly is a different way to do Real Estate

EXIT Realty truly is a different way to do Real Estate

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Organizational Revolution Challenge

Well, well, well...It has been a LONG while since I blogged. This year has been NUTS since DH went back to school and J-baby has learned to walk and get into EVERYTHING.  Although it has been a crazy year a lot has been accomplished.  We moved from a large log cabin with a ton of storage to a small 3 bedroom town house.  Our Brother in law moved in, we have a one year old and we have so much stuff.  You would think that after all the yard sales and trips to the consignment store we would have purged enough items...

Sometimes I feel like I'm going to be swallowed alive by this place...As a couple DH and I have been really challenged this year to live contently and simply.  So, why not do it willingly and with STYLE! :)

Please join me as I participate in the Organizational Revolution Challenge!

I'm so super stoked about this.  I will be reorganizing our Office Area for week #1. You can Check out my blog tomorrow and I will have before and during pics. Good Luck and Happy Organizing!

Ask Anna

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Sharing is Caring

Hi friends and family.  I apologize for the long absence from blogging about my domestic endeavors and mishaps.  I ran into what I like to call a creative blockage of some sort.  It seems every once in a while I have an impossible time writing, sewing, decorating or coming up with anything original or fun.  I think summer must have worn me out BUT now we are back to fall.

Ahhhh, the end of fall.  My very favorite time of year.  Halloween is over and now we have the onslaught of parties, dieting dilemmas, runny noses, chapped lips and then straight on to winter.

As penance for my long absence I would like to provide you with my very favorite links that have seriously helped me become a better housewife.  These websites will help you meal plan, budget, get out of debt, feel better about yourself and challenge you in new ways. 

But first I would like to reassure the Domestic Do It Alls, Stay at Home Super Moms and the Wonderful Working Women in my life.  Remember this my beautiful woman friend: You are a treasure, far above rubies, and are created just as you are.  This season is known for it's depression and discouragement, it's known for its commercialism and comparisons.  So when your stretched for cash and your tired of attending countless parties and you've about had it with your friends and their countless diet restrictions remember this one thing: "your shoe is untied..." Just kidding.  The moral of the story is to laugh it off.  Don't take it all so seriously. Remember that your creator is the same creator who created the platypus....When things get too tough, to serious, to obnoxious, watch your favorite hilarious youtube video and move on.  Yup, that's all I got for you. :)

Now to the goodies:

Learn how to effectively coupon and not end up on TLC:

 My favorite website as of right now, so practical and wonderful:

Get out of debt!

Lovely Lady with a passion for Christ:

Organizing Junkie, Type A personalities beware, your mind will be blown:

For those of you with babies, this website gives great advice.  She follows the babywise books but if that doesn't jive with you she still has amazing advice and tips.



Sunday, August 12, 2012

Same ol' Same ol'

Sometimes being a Domestic Goddess is seriously boring...at times super lame.  Since I have a tendency for having a not so positive mind I can get pretty bogged down in the day to day stuff.  It is so easy to forget how blessed you are and how much we have when we get into the "same old thing" attitude.

Romans 12:2 says:  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

Which reminds us that really our daily life is formed by our thoughts.  Let's read chapter 12 so we can get some context on what this verse challenges us to do.

Romans 12

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is —his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Humble Service in the Body of Christ

For by the grace given me I say to every one of you: Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the faith God has distributed to each of you. For just as each of us has one body with many members, and these members do not all have the same function, so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your[a] faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead,[b] do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.

Love in Action

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10 Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11 Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12 Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13 Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
14 Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15 Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16 Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.[c] Do not be conceited.
17 Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone. 18 If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19 Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”[d] says the Lord. 20 On the contrary:
“If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
    if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head.”[e]
21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.

 When I read this I am convicted, because lately my attitude has been so sour and negative.  I keep thinking of escape routes and easy way outs...but listen to what Christ is telling us.

1. Renew your mind in Christ and you will know his will for you. (Romans 12:2)
2.  Christ has given you a gift-that gift is today and you must used whatever resource or talent God  has given you. (Romans 12:6)
3.   Don't get stuck in the same ol same ol. (Romans 11)

Lastly he gives us instructions on how to live a good Godly life.

You can't live life dependent on our feelings.  Being Joyful, patient, faithful are all choices.  It is a choice to use what God has blessed us with.  If you are a stay at home mom or a working woman or man you have resources that we would never use for God's glory.  

Let me challenge you:
I know how this feels...
Do you use Facebook to share God's love?  Are you kind to your neighbors? Do you volunteer or serve in your church? What are you good at and how can you use it to share the love of Christ?  How can you better your relationships with your spouse and children?  How can you better yourself? 

If your stuck or feeling stagnant, stop it.  Stop feeling and start doing.  When your mind feels negative then fill it with positive things.  Because if your reading this-most likely you have most everything you need and most everything you have ever wanted.  



P.S. Your feelings called-they are tired of being your excuse

Sunday, August 5, 2012

There is no substitute for Ranch Dressing

There are some things in life that just aren't worth it.  One of those things happen to be Fat Free Ranch Dressing.  My brother-in-law and I discovered that last night as we poured ranch dressing on our pizza and salad---it was disgusting.  Never again will I buy fat free ranch dressing, it is simply not worth the it.  My low calorie substitute was not even close to being comparable to the real thing.

Often we make decisions (conscious and subconsciously) to substitute what we know is good for something that is mediocre.

Do you find yourself speeding through things?  Do you find yourself irratated if your phone doesn't load up the Facebook app in 3 seconds?  In our microwave mentality we literally fly through our day. For social interaction we have Facebook, for our family we have 'quality time,' we eat at our desks, we have the 5 minute cookbook for dinners and we have tv on demand...do you get the picture?  We have substituted a full and abundant life for something less than.

Those things that I listed earlier are great and they are supposed to enhance our productivity and time.  But just like the fat free dressing, Facebook doesn't taste as good as having a coffee and conversation with a friend.  Or spending a Sunday with the family with no agenda other than to enjoy eachother's presence.

I'm telling you right now, if you buy into the Quality Time notion-your full of it and your family needs you.  You can't qualify time.  It is simply a measurement.  You can't measure laughter, love and the presence you bring to your family.  Your work isn't that important, there were always be a chores, there will always be ministry needs and there will always be something to distract you (satan will make sure of it).  For those of you who are 'martyrs,' ask someone for help with your work, your house, your ministry and spend some time with your family.  For those of you who are workaholics, your are being disobedient to God by not honoring your spouse and your family with your presence.

There is no substitute for your presence.

You can apply this to every aspect of your life.  Ask yourself this question: What have I been substituting for real wholesome things?  Whether it's social interaction, physical or mental  presence, unhealthy eating habits, vices or  relationships, we all fall to the microwave mentality. But remember shortcuts aren't always satisfying. 

And yet our society praises shortcuts.  Our society praises quality time, whirlwind affairs, quick money, the latest gadgets and the hottest bods.  They praise things that  are quick, easy substitutes promising an amazing end result.  So often their amazing end result is a 72 day marriage, or a stressed out dad or mom trying to give their kids every thing under the sun, or an unethical decision---because the end justifies the means right? 

The best things in life take time and presence.  This is your life, so show up.  Don't fast forward.  Don't substitute anything for what God has given you.  You are responsible for your life and responsibilities.  Oh, you can blame society and others for being less than.  But the truth is: it is a daily decision whether or not substitute things of this world for the things God has given you. What decision are you making today?



Thursday, July 5, 2012

Grocery Store Strategy & Psychology

It was brought to my attention at one of my Weight Watcher meetings that Restaurants and Grocery stores are using in depth psychology reasoning for marketing their products.  Even grocery shopping is rife with conflict:  I want to save money and 'they' want me to spend money.  Off the top of my head I was trying to think about everything I've ever told about the best way to grocery shop.

1) Write a list
2) Eat before you go
3) Stay on the out skirts of the store
4) The lowest priced items are always below eye view

I decided to do more research on the art of grocery shopping and how those grocery store chains are using our impulses and predictability to their advantage.   I learned from Psychology Today that Dole is planting a specific banana whose color is Buttercup Yellow, this color of banana compared to other colors is by far more pleasing to the eye and sells at a higher rate than other color of bananas.  Stores also strategically place necessities such as milk, eggs, meat and cheese at the back of the store so that you must walk through the entire store.  I've even heard of stores using certain fragrances that may trigger your subconscious to spend more and linger longer.

I kind of want to scream after reading all this research...as if we weren't getting bombarded enough with advertising.

Tonight I make my meal plan, my shopping list and I look at the grocery ads. Tomorrow I attempt my shopping (or should I say battle) and I'll be ready. I was reading a blog titled "Frugal For Life," Dawn has some really great tips and tactics for grocery shopping.  The link is provided HERE for you.  Please be sure to comment on her site and to let her know how much you appreciate her tips!

Until next mine,


Sunday, April 15, 2012


Question: Why manage your household?

Answer: Because if you don't, it will manage you.

I want to clarify, my house often gets the best of me.  EVERYONE knows that my house is not the most picked up and spotless house in the block, far from it.  Cleaning is not my strong suit, BUT I have many other talents that helps me manage the chaos of being a stay at home mama.  I'm good at budgeting, shopping, sewing, creating meal plans and decorating.  I'm NOT good at gardening, keep things picked up, folding laundry and keeping projects from going out of control.

With that said, there are 3 things you need to ask yourself when deciding how you are going to be a domestic goddess.

1) What am I good at?
2) What do I enjoy?
3) Why should I ______ (be frugal, live on a budget, shop second hand..ect)

First find what you are good at.  I am good at organizing, creating, decorating, analyzing.
Now, what do you enjoy.  I enjoy sewing, cooking, being outdoors, crafting, shopping, being girly.

Often I have found that these things coincide with each other.  You will use these skills and abilities to save you $! (on to that later)

Lastly, why should I be frugal, live on a budget, shop second hand.....This list is personal to you.  I really think before you start to try to go through all these steps to save money or manage your household more effectively that you need to know why.  Have a purpose and a reason for the madness before you start couponing or using cash envelopes for everything.  Here are my reasons.

The reason why we live on a budget and try to be as thrifty as possible:

1.  To save money (on a macro level) to accomplish our dreams : (get out of debt and for DH to graduate college and for me to stay at home...and eventually so we can give back and honor God with the mission he has given to us).
2.  To save money (on a micro level) monthly on our bills (and sometimes out of absolutely necessity).
3.  To be a good steward of the environment: reduce, reuse, recycle.
4.  To make living life more enjoyable and with less chaos (that's where meal planning comes into play)
5.  To be content and live within our means.
6.  To set a good example for Baby Boy and so we can provide him with the best future possible.

It CAN BE really difficult to live on a budget and to change your habits and to get out of debt or meal plan or make hand made gifts and ect.  BUT once you have the reasons why (goals) and a vision (where you want to be in 5 years) it comes easier.

We are in our 2nd year of paying of debt and living on a cash budget.  It's not easy, but I am confident the reward is going to be super SWEET when we finally get there. :)

Until next time,


Bringing sexy back to Meal Planning

Ok, can you tell I was listening to Justin Timberlake when I came up with the title?  There is really no way to glamorize grocery shopping, and drafting a meal plan is really not cool or sexy (unless your doing it in your lingerie... I've not tried that one yet much to DH's dismay).  But I have found that in order to save my money (and sanity) that I must have a plan. 

The Objective: Save $ and trips to the grocery store.
The Plan: Create weekly meal plan

How to:  It's as simple as grabbing your recipe books and sitting down with a pen and paper and writing down what your going to have for dinner each day.  To make life easier here are some things I do.

1) Designate certain days of the week for certain meals or types of food.  We always have homemade pizza on Fridays and now I am starting Soup Sundays.  You can do this for other days.  For instance, we have church on Wednesdays so I usually make a casserole on Wednesdays so that it is quick and easy and yummy.  A certain friend of mine always makes spaghetti on Sundays because that's what her mama did.  Don't be afraid to jazz it up!  If you are a creative type and like trying new things allocate one of the days to trying a new recipe out you found on pinterest.  If you do a certain type of food on a day make it different every time.

2)  Create a meal plan based on what's on sale.  You have to do a little research on this.  For instance, I knew that hams where going to be on sale during Easter time.  So I bought this giant ham for Jesse and I, I knew I could make at least 4 meals off of one ham.  Safeway does a really good job of letting you know what's on sale (check online) and often has coupons in the Sunday paper and in store coupons, as well as using your member card.  Here is a Safeway hint: Often I will make my meal plan first, then go to Safeway to the clearance meat section and make minor adjustments if there is a specific cut of meat that is 30-70% off.  I have talked to the butcher and there is nothing wrong with the meat they can only have meat on the shelf for a certain amount of days, they just suggest freezing it immediately when you get home.  Here where I live they have 12 hour sales at Roseurs and Super 1, if it is a 12 hour meat sale...get on it!

3)  Make sure your pantry has the necessary basics.  Rice, Flour, Salt, Pepper, some canned veggies, some canned soups, ect.  Or hopefully you have a nice neighbor you can run to and ask for a couple cups of flour (I had to do that one 2 weeks ago on pizza night....DOH!)

4) Have a good recipe book.  I don't know what I would do without my Better Homes and Garden Cookbook, My Cambells Cookbook and my own personal cookbook.  The internet is great, but I know the recipes in these books are time tested and approved!  I recieved a photo album with recipes as a wedding gift and I have kept adding each time I find a good recipe I love.  This makes for easy meal planning. 

5) Sit down and actually write it.  Doesn't have to be neat, doesn't have to be pretty, just do it.  The first couple times I tried meal planning...it got all messed up.  This week got all messed up for me, but that is ok, keep on keeping on.  The goal is to save money and not go out and to have all that you need so you don't make impulse trips. 

6)  Leave yourself a couple of free days.  DH and I like to to enjoy 1 night out every 2 weeks.  It keeps us from going insane.  I think going out to dinner twice in one month is not going to kill the plan (as long as it fits in the budget).  Also, you will notice on my meals plan a day will just say 'meat.'  In order to fulfill my creative side I buy some type of protein and figure out what I want to do with it on that day.  That's when I get my pinterest on.  :) Keeps me challenged.

7)  JUST DO IT!  Take the meat out the night before, follow the recipe, make the dinner and ring the dinner bell.

There you have it.  Here are some examples of my meal plans, if you can decipher them:

Here is to successful meal plans and fatter wallets!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012

There is No Try

As I wrote to you before, I decided to write a series of blogs on saving a little money and how to be the best frugal-ista possible.  BUT before I do I must write about the attitude in which to approach budgeting and frugal-ing! ALSO, I just want you to know that by me writing these series of blogs does not mean that I have "arrived" at frugal-dom.  I am writing for the sole purpose of sharing my ideas, just in case you need some help.  I am always in search of a good blog to help me be a better household manager. 

And now, on to; 'There is No Try.'

 I've realized that no matter where you are, who you are, your position (or lack thereof), you can always strive to be better.  This is especially true when it comes to managing your household.  Being a Stay at Home Mom was not my idea of how to use my Business Degree.  In fact, I struggled with becoming a stay at home mom especially since I only graduated a year prior...Struggled is not the right word, bitterly fought is more appropriate.  I was really convicted when I read Dave Ramsey's book called "More than Enough," where he writes about the value of working hard no matter what your circumstance may be.

Does this sound familiar:  Still in PJ's until 11am, teeth not brushed, trying to figure out what to make for dinner, paper work pile a disaster, laundry spread to the ends of the earth, devotion not read, random splurge here and there, bad attitude on the verge of eruption

Then you sit on your bed and you think, "Well, isn't this glamorous?"  This was not the life I imagined myself having.  Mind you, I've always wanted to be a Mommy, but not like this.  I finally realized that it was me who had to change.  The demands of having a baby was not going to change, my dishes weren't going to wash themselves, my DH is (for the time being) going to have to work 50-60 hours a week (and now he's going back to school too!).  I had to TRY to be who I envisioned to be.  Now, before you come at me with a pitch fork, I'm not telling you to do something that doesn't work.  My goals were simple: Dress myself nicely in the mornings and make sure my teeth were brushed and get my devotional done.  I don't believe in pressuring yourself to do something that is impossible: BABY STEPS!

So.  The moral of the story is, if you want to stay on a budget or save money or be a domestic goddess you must work to achieve it.  I decided I will be the best Household Manager possible.  I clock in every morning at 7 am and clock out at 7:30PM (when baby boy goes to bed).  How I spend that day and with what attitude is entirely up to me. 

"Work is doing it.  Discipline is doing it every day.  Diligence is doing it well everyday." Dave Ramsey-More than Enough

I'm not going to tell you that I'm a diligent household manager.  I'm not, but I have decided to be purposeful about it.  I am envisioning what I want to be, how I want my husband and children to perceive me and how to live in a way that gives glory to Christ. 

Now, on to the REALLY glamorous stuff: painting my toe-nails  :)


Friday, April 6, 2012

The secret of enjoying life...on a budget

I was reminiscing (ok, having a pity party) about our life only a year ago.  We didn't have a child, we were living it up large and could afford mostly everything we wanted to do.  I thought how our life has changed and what had changed about it.  Of course I would NEVER trade Jaxon for the world, and we absolutely LOVE Montana, that being said our lives and our bank account has definitely changed dramatically.  Most of our financial problems are due to dumb choices like; having credit card debt, student loan debt and two car payments.  Now I'm a stay at home mama and that adds to the strain.

SO! How does one enjoy life on a shoe string (or floss string) budget?  Here it is, the secret weapon:

Be content with where you are and what you have. 

DH and I felt so convicted because we had become whiners caught up in stinking thinking.  Here we are with a beautiful healthy baby and money to pay the bills and we were being total schmucks!  The secret to enjoying life is to be content with what God has blessed you with.  Did you know that most likely all of you that are reading this are in the top 10% of the worlds wealthiest people?  Think about that.  90% of the world does not have what you have.  Shocking....and yet we whine and complain and look at our neighbors grassy yard and become the same color of that grass because we can't stand that someone has it better than ourselves.

I decided that for the next week or so that I am going to write how to live (and enjoy it) on a budget.

A final word about being content:  Being content is a spiritual and emotional thing.  Often I find myself having to brain wash myself and start counting my blessings.  Being content is looking at your paycheck and saying: "Thank you Lord for my paycheck" NOT "Wow, my paycheck sucks."  Being content is looking at what you have and saying "Thank you Jesus that I get to enjoy these things."

Here is Webster's definition of content: "Desiring no more than what one has; satisfied."

Work on being content and you will be able to have more fun, do more with what you already have and you will definitely be a more joyful person.

 All this content piggy has is mud and he LOVES it!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

From the Wild to Your Table

As you may know my game cooking experience has been quite limited. So join me on this journey as I share the tips and tricks I have learned.

My husband shot a doe this year and it was tasty!  I have heard that doe's (female dear) are often more tender and better tasting than bucks (male deer).  So, don't let your husband's pride get in the way if he can't score a killer buck.  Here are the basics: After killing the deer you must gut it (I leave all the cleaning to DH) then you can process the meat yourself or take it to a butcher. If you are a new hunter do the latter, or find someone who can teach you.

At the butcher they will ask you what you want and how much of it you want it in. Steaks and ground are the cheapest. Since venison is usually very lean you can ask for 10% fat added in your ground venison. You can ask more if you so desire. You can ask for it to be packaged in 1lb, 1.5lbs, 2lbs or I'm sure any combination. Check your local meat locker, butcher or processor for their prices and packages. Our ground venison came out to be about a dollar a pound.

For cooking: I use ground venison interchangeably with ground beef. If you happen to have a very gamey deer or elk you can mix it with ground beef or rinse it before or after you cook it.
Deer steaks are very easy to cook, you can grill them or broil them. If is too gamey for your liking I suggest marinating it over night with your favorite marinade.

For geese: If you have to eat goose (haha just kidding) you must soak it overnight or else it will be so thick you will think your eating shoe leather. We soaked ours over night in salt water. But I've been suggested to soak it in milk for a more tender bird. I used our goose in a stew.

For Grouse:  Grouse is AMAZING it is like natures chicken but BETTER! Also soak this in salt water over night and then prepare it like chicken.  It is very easy to clean.  My DH told me you put your foot on the grouse and pull the legs, it rips out the breast of the chicken and VIOLA! Ok, I would google that or ask your favorite hunter.

If your needing some recipes visit this website; Cooking Wild Magazine.  My dad met the owner and editor and said their always taking recipes! :)


Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Wishful Thinking Spring

It's March...FINALLY!  Most of us (those located in cold weather areas) are breathing a sigh of relief, mostly to due with the fact that winter should be over soon.  While I type this the sky outside is grey and threatening to snow or rain or send showers of graupel our way.  It seems all I can think about is sun and warmth and floating down the Bitterroot in my kayak.  But there will be plenty of time of that when summer. finally. gets. here.  (deep pitiful sigh)

Until then, I have concentrated my efforts on spring cleaning.  Spring cleaning is a difficult and arduous task in itself filled with explanations like, "I didn't realize mold could grow on this," or "That's what happened to the (whatever you've been missing for a whole year)," or heaven forbid "MOUSE!!" If your my mother a mouse is Satan reincarnate living in a tiny whiskered form.  Which brings me to tackling spring cleaning in a log cabin.  I wish I could pause right now for dramatic effect. 

To truly understand the daunting task it is, I'd like to bring your attention to the construction of a log cabin.  Wondeful logs that gather dust on top of them, tiny crevices where daddy long legs like to spin cobbwebs, a wood stove where ash expels freely, a kitchen whose construction was made for hobbits.  Ah, yes, this is spring that will test my domestic abilities in every way. 

Until next time,


Sunday, February 12, 2012

If you give a Madison a chicken....

She's going to want 10. And then she's going to want a goat, and then a pig, and then a mule. You get the picture.

Since the great chicken massacre of 2011 I've been planning the next chicken project. With spring just around the block and chick day around the corner I've been hard at work figuring out how to create a 'gitmo' like coop. No one comes in, no one gets out.

But now I'm realizing the hobby farm is becoming quite addictive. All thanks to 'Craigslist.' The one major difference between the Montana Craigslist and everywhere else is: a massive amount of free farm animals. Although it is quite sad that people must be rid of their animals, it's amazing for people like me whose favorite part of the fair is the petting zoo. (no joke, just ask my husband)

So now I want a goat and a pig. I have no idea how to even begin with these animals, let alone keep my chickens alive. Hopefully the land lord will be ok with it. We didn't rent 7 acres for nothing.

Let the spring adventure begin.

Saturday, February 4, 2012

The Dead Heads

No, I am not referring to the Grateful Dead following. I am referring to mounted animals that grace the halls of many a Montanan folk. Montana is famous for its bountiful herds of elk, deer, bison and other eatable creatures. My husband has begun this journey of becoming a Montanan and so 'a hunting he will go.' Fall arrives and weird rituals and intense preparations begin. You know your married to a hunter when:

1. You refer to yourself as the fall widow. And your ladies bible study suddenly has more time to hang out with each other.
2. You begin to hear strange noises in the spare bedroom and ask your husband what the heck that awful racket is. He looks at you indignantly and says it's a predator call....Duh!
3. You look outside and see that a bush outside has suddenly sprouted legs and is moving but really it's your husband trying out new camouflage.
4. Apparently not all camo is the same and God-forbid you don't know the difference between mossy oak and real tree...
5. Your husband FINALLY writes down what he needs on the grocery list...then you realize he wrote "ammo" underneath the milk and butter....
6. You say things like "well I'll cook it but you have to gut it and dress it.." and "did you want to eat the heart?"

I also have come to believe that the amount of mounted animals in your home is a status symbol. And if your really cool you will have a whole room of dead heads. Then and only then will you have reached the title of A True Montanan.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It is whats for dinner!

For living in the central valley I actually grew up exposed to hunting, fishing and miscellaneous outdoor activities. I grew up eating deer and elk meat and have always been 'down' for trying new things. But now I'm being pushed to new limits. Among the new foods are Grouse and Goose. Grouse is like natures version of the chicken very, very delicious. Goose on the other hand is like chewing on leather that tastes like turkey...Who knows what random animal I will cook up next. Mountain lion? Bear? Alligator? Sasquatch?

No matter!!! I will just make my standard 'go to' recipe; what ever my husband shoots and dumplings! Bon Appetite? P.S. apparently there is a Testicle Festival in which native Montanans eat deer, cow and elk testicles. I'm sure that is what makes lumberjacks' beards so magnificent.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dead Chickens

There is something I have learned about living in the country surrounded by the beautiful Bitterroot Mountains...Something that is not very glamorous. Dead animals....everywhere. Whether by mother nature herself or at the hands of my mountain man hunter. Which reminds me of a loss that I incurred not very long ago. Dead Chickens. 10 to be exact, eaten by my two dogs. It was my first experiment with starting my hobby farm and will forever be known as "The Great Chicken Massacre of 2011." Of course this all went down while I was in the hospital giving birth to my sweet baby boy.Reflecting on my dead chickens that I so lovingly cherished (thank goodness my Husband did NOT let me name them) brings me to a saying that I have never heard before and that quite frankly had me appalled. "A downed horse is a dead horse." Clearly Montana life has me in a bit of shock and awe. Ranch and farm life (even for the hobby farmer) can be very harsh. That is why I have this silly look of awe and reverence for the rancher that comes into our favorite watering hole with (yes they actually do wear them) spurs on and his holstered Smith and Wesson. Even my valley girl thick skull can, like, learn a lesson from this experience. 1. There is no life without death and 2. Just like horses when we are downed for too long we die.Not to be overly morbid but with all my friends, family and acquaintances going through financial, relational and spiritual trouble it can be so easy to be downed. Down for the count. Down and out. Down and dirty...ok that one doesn't count. BUT you get the point. We must keep trudging on for the sake of our family and for ourselves.You know what I'm going to do this spring? Buy more chickens.P.S. Country girl tip: Australorps are very hardy chickens and can withstand very cold climate.