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Leo the Wonder Cat-or why we tolerate naughtiness

July 22nd, 2016 by katy

From left to right: Sal Batsu, Leo, Scout

From left to right: Sal Batsu, Leo, Scout

Before I begin extolling upon you the wonder that is our old boy Leo, let me just say this. We do not pick favorites among our furbabies. We love them equally. In total we have 4 cats and 2 guinea pigs. Our cats are Sal, 18 (soon to be 19) Leo, 18 Scout (our young lady cat), 17 and Bad Batsu Maru, 2. Our piglets are Ellie and Teddy. Our two year old boy has a condition called Cerebellar Hypoplasia. He wobbles a bit when he walks. It seems since we moved here we have also become aunt and uncle to a whole host of doggies belonging to our neighbors, and possibly one large cat who comes into our yard on occasion. I have taken to telling our guests, if they see two little dogs or a large cat in our backyard, they are very nice, but they are not ours. We don’t mind having an extended fur family. Dogs are high maintenance. This way we get all the fun with little to no responsibility.

 

Having given mention to all our babes, I remember this blog is about Leo. He goes by many names. The Boo named him for Leo Tolstoy. When I came along, he became Leonid, and eventually Leonid Breshnev. The Boo sometimes thinks he only answers to the name “No.” And that is quite possibly true. We spend a good portion of our time telling him to stop being naughty. His hobbies include knocking things off of tables and ripping up paper. When we aren’t talking to each other, me and the Boo spend an awful lot of time saying things like “Leo, stop that.” and “Leo, no.” Or my personal favorite, “\What is he ripping up now?” He doesn’t seem to care. You will notice on his portrait the piece of paper stuck in his teeth. Clearly he embraces who he is without shame.

Our wonder boy

Our wonder boy

None of our cats roam the main house. I’m just not cool with that. I would worry that they could get out, or ruin things; Leo isn’t the only naughty one in the bunch. Plus people have allergies and we like our guests to be able to breath. But when we have guests that want to see our cats-many of you have cats at home that you are missing-Leo is who we reach for to be that surrogate kitty. He LOVES attention. He LOVES to be pet and for the most part he likes to be held.

So, while Leo is probably our naughtiest cat, he is also our most lovable(to strangers). If you stay with us and happen to be missing your own furbabies we have no problem letting you snuggle our Leo. In the process you may even get to see Sal try to slink out of our apartments. He likes to explore on occasion.

 

 

 

 

The blog with the shameless plug

July 14th, 2016 by katy

V is for Victory…Tacos.

When we moved here almost four months ago, we found ourselves chit chatting with our neighbor. I do not remember the specifics of that conversation except that she mentioned a food truck in Bozeman that had tacos. I thought that sounded super cool, since I love tacos. A lot(true story).

For anyone interested, Bozeman is about an hour and a half drive from Gardiner. Give or take ten minutes. We go out to Bozeman about once a month. These trips are, for the most part, all business, no fun. We go to Costco and Target and the pet store. Than we drive home. We don’t really have time to do much more. I’m perfectly happy about this, if we had time to chillax in Bozeman that would mean we have no business, and that’s very uncool.

Yesterday, we were lucky enough, and efficient enough, to spend a little more time in the big city. And I was finally able to get my tacos. OMG! YUMMY! I had two tacos, and they were both totally delicious. I had the Kim Jong, which has Korean BBQ beef and the Piggly Wiggly, which is pork. I am thinking to myself that if I had ordered more tacos, I could be enjoying one right now. Sadly, I did not. HMMMMM….. Maybe they could drive down to Gardiner once or twice a month. Or even Livingston. I’d meet them there with a big old smile and wad of cash. I’ll be posting this idea on their Facebook page. In the mean time, I highly recommend that you go and eat at Victory Tacos in Bozeman. Get the Kim Jong, it’s super yummy.

Our very nice hardware guy recommended to us Heap Burger-another food truck in Bozeman. Be forewarned Heap Burger-you are next on our food truck’s of Bozeman list.

Here is a link to Victory Tacos.

Stay tuned next week, when I tell the world about our cat Leo. That’s not a joke either. I could right a book about our alien cat, he is just that interesting.

Ice cream. Enough said.

July 2nd, 2016 by katy

Yesterday was creative ice cream flavor day. How exciting is that? I once read that in the Summer something like 10% of people eat ice cream as a meal.  I don’t see a problem with this, in fact I would definitely encourage this. We currently have all sorts of ice cream in our freezer. And I recommend, if you visit the area, that you try Wilcoxson’s ice cream. It’s local to us and we like supporting local businesses.

I grew up in Greendale, WI. When we were kids (and by we, I am referring to me and my brother), we would often walk to the “Cone Shop.”  It was a small ice cream shop that served soft serve cones and slushies. I don’t have any specific memories attached to this place, but I will always remember what it looked like, and it smelled exactly like an ice cream cone. It smelled not just like the ice cream, but the cone as well. It was a very basic place. Simple. They sold cones. And tasty ice drinks. I think, but I am not 100% certain, but I think my brother liked the graveyard slushies(all the flavors mixed together).  I was a purist. A twist cone. Chocolate and vanilla. That was good enough for me.

In honor of Creative Ice Cream flavor day, go out and get a cone. If you can, walk to a local place, and get yourself messy. Let it melt on your hands and face. Pretend your a kid.

Or stay in air conditioned comfort and try out my recipe below. It is a rif on Medieval Madness, a flavor Blue Bunny does not offer and has not for years.

 

Medieval Madness-Katy’s version

2 cups heavy whipping cream

2 large eggs

3/4 cup sugar

1 cup milk

1 tsp vanilla

1/3 cup malted milk powder (I use Ovaltine)

4-6 3 Musketeer Bars

A few squeezes of caramel sauce

–Whisk together the first six ingredients and pour into an ice cream maker. Follow your ice cream makers instructions. About 3-4 minutes before ice cream is done, add broken up 3 Musketeers. When ice cream is done fold in a few squeezes of caramel.

You can eat it right away, or put it in the freezer. Either way, you’ll enjoy it.

 

 

Adventures in gardening part 2-or why I feed the birds

June 9th, 2016 by katy

So I have already established that I can’t garden. My popcorn was a flop-and while it has actually started growing, its just too little too late. We have six tomato plants now, and the growing season is too short. I haven’t killed my tomatoes yet, and I think they are growing so that’s a good thing.  We also have some irises and another pink flower that smells like a rose, but looks like a carnation. I can’t take credit for these they just showed up in our yard. We are more than happy to have them, and as long as they need no assistance from us they should be fine.

I have decided that I do not like gardening. I don’t even like running the sprinkler(but I do). If it wasn’t so windy in our little corner of Earth, I would probably just put in a rock and sand garden. I’d especially love to go back in time and bring back my plastic Scooby Doo pool and put that in our yard. Ah, the good old days.

So, why am I writing such a seemingly negative blog? Because through my efforts to hide my distaste for gardening I have learned to love birds, and see them as a more than suitable substitute for whatever is lacking in my yard.

Last week me and the Boo went out and bought several bird feeders. We bought a boat load of food for them as well. Peanuts, seeds, sunflower seeds. I even bought dried meal worms, but the only thing interested in those seem to be June bugs. We currently have 5 birdfeeders, and a hummingbird feeder(the ants are enjoying that one). And what a hoot it is to watch all our feathered neighbors!

I have been consulting a birding book to identify some of our guests. Obviously we have robins (who doesn’t). But we also have yellow finches, and Eurasian Collared Doves. I decided that we have a LOT of Brewer’s Blackbirds and at least one Pine Grosbeak. I know we have other ones, but I haven’t been able to see them all as clearly. We also have one very sweet and cute chipmunk that frequents one of our bird feeders. I sometimes put peanuts on the ground for him(or her).

Anyway, I could literally sit and watch these birds all day. I bring out my binoculars and my camera and sit on the porch and just watch my little feathered acquaintances eating and flying around. And boy do they eat! I cannot wait to see what craziness ensues when I put out my homemade suet cakes. These birds are lucky to be living near an establishment that cooks a ton of bacon.

Lastly, I find this to be very, very serendipitous. Today on Google, their logo was dedicated to Phoebe Snetsinger. I have never heard of her, I am sure most people probably haven’t. In any case, she is a birder who documented over 8400 species of bird. Good for her, I say! Birds rock!

Our Brewer's Blackbirds. This must be bachelor hour, their ladies are brown not black.

Our Brewer’s Blackbirds. This must be bachelor hour, their ladies are brown not black.

Some of our Irises and our platform feeder.

Some of our Irises and our platform feeder.

Our pretty carnation/roses.

Our pretty carnation/roses.

 

On Being a Caretaker of history

May 24th, 2016 by katy

Every now and then I rummage through the drawers in this house. I don’t know what I am expecting to find. Possibly a treasure map…the meaning of life…who knows. I have yet to find much of note. The other day I did come across a second dustpan in one of the cabinets in the laundry room. That was a bit exciting.

Today, I was cleaning the Roosevelt room. I looked in one of the drawers and began paging through the old journals that we leave out for guests to sign. I had been planning to throw the old journals out. I like to think I am a firm believer in starting new, on a clean slate. But I realized something while I was reading through one of them. These journals really aren’t mine to throw out. Yes, technically they are in my possession, they belong to me. But in a way they belong to this house.

Journal pic

I was able to to look back in one of them and find when Julie bought the B and B. There were notes wishing her good luck and much success. A lot like the notes people are leaving for us. I feel like throwing these out would be like breaking a circle of sorts. These are part of the history of the house.

It’s not only that. These journals are a reflection on the people that have stayed here. They are a reflection of the diverse group of people that chose to visit-both us and this area in general. The most recent entry in the Journal in the Roosevelt room is in Chinese or Japanese.(I’m not entirely sure. I am pretty sure it isn’t Korean, only because I saw a lot of Korean writing when we lived in the AH). I don’t know what it says, but it is nice to know that someone took a few minutes to write something, even though they probably knew we wouldn’t understand it.

The year before last, I entered a contest to win a B and B in Maine. I had to write an essay and send in 125 dollars. Obviously I didn’t win, but that’s a whole other story. In my essay I wrote about being a caretaker of history, of the old bones of a solid house. Since we took on the responsibility to care for this place, it is important for me to know and preserve it’s history. I plan to do that, even if that history is something as simple and recent as a few guests book.

 

Just a few notes-May 28th is The Hells-A-Roaring horse drive. I am so excited we are making big bold breakfast burritos and a side for our guests.

And an update on our planting (from last weeks blog)-Our Petunias are meh. They are alright. The Boo never did use his jewelry box to plant anything. It is currently unusable as both a jewelry box or a planter. And the popcorn never even germinated. I know this because I dug it up yesterday. Watch for updates on a planned fairy garden in that space.

Adventures in Gardening

May 16th, 2016 by katy

     To say I like gardening is a bit of an overstatement. I love gardens. I like flowers, I like plants and I like trees. I enjoy seeing butterflies and birds. I love the smell of my lilac bushes.Lilac Bush I’m just not all that interested (or good at) creating garden spaces. I try though, and that really is what counts.

When me and the Boo lived in Arlington Heights we had a vegetable container garden. The first year we planted tomatoes, Brussels sprouts, sweet peppers, hot peppers, cucumbers and summer squashes. Oh and little teeny round carrots. That year we had crops of what can only be called micro vegetables. Aside from our tomatoes everything else grew in miniature. One night for dinner we ate our entire harvest of teeny weeny carrots. We got about a fork full each. Later that fall we had a two fork harvest of Brussels sprouts. The next year we decided to go with cucumbers and tomatoes. Really tomatoes are pretty reliable. If its a good year anyone can be successful with them.

The third year we transitioned our fourth floor balcony garden to mostly flowers. I bought a Yellowstone flower seed mix(Or what I like to call pretty weeds) the year we vacationed out here. They grew great and they were very colorful. We also bought marigolds, snapdragons and petunias. I also planted Mexican sunflowers. The flowers were a much greater success than the vegetables. And they were darn pretty.

So this year, I have planted several things. I have some calibrachoa hanging flowers. They are just little guys now. I put them outside a week ago, only to bring them back in because it was too cold. I have some petunias also. We are actually mildly excited about planting the stuff we bought. I am still trying to learn what “zone” we are living in. I know it’s different than Milwaukee/Chicago, I just don’t know how. I do know to plant nothing in the front yard, as the elk will eat everything they can reach.

For our petunias me and the Boo even bought some fun and odd things to plant them in. He found a tall jewelry box (which he has been fighting with for about an hour-there are no plants in there yet). And I found some blue wooden thing. It looks like a tiny bench. (You can see them both in the pictures) I also planted some petunias in the ground.

Hopefully the boo will work something out with his planter.

Hopefully the boo will work something out with his planter.

Crossing my fingers that my petunias grow.

Crossing my fingers that my petunias grow.

The birthplace of my corn.  We hope you join us in about 145 days to enjoy it.

The birthplace of my corn. We hope you join us in about 145 days to enjoy it.

The last thing I planted was popcorn. This place came with a raised bed. I was going to plant tomatoes, but lost interest in that. Than I was going to plant kale, but I don’t eat kale fast enough to justify growing large quantities of it. At the grocery store I found seeds for popcorn and that just spoke to me. I hope that in about 130-150 days I can treat our guests to some fresh home grown popcorn! I will certainly keep everyone updated.

Greetings and Salutations from your Innkeepers

May 10th, 2016 by katy

It has been a month since me and the boo purchased Yellowstone Suites Bed and Breakfast. We have posted quite a bit on Facebook, and I have even attempted tweeting. But I have held off writing a blog. It is much easier to scribble out a few words, or post a picture. But here I find myself ready to start my blog. This first one is just an introduction. I might start to wax sentimental, and it might get wordy. But that’s me.

If I wanted to make a long story short I would say that me and the boo had a five year plan to own a B and B. We came out to Yellowstone on a vacation in 2014 and fell in love with the area. When Yellowstone Suites came on the market it wasn’t an option at the time. We looked around a little bit and almost pursued a few B and B’s in Canada. Things eventually fell into place and here we are today, innkeepers in one of the best places on Earth.

For those of you more interested in flights of fancy, this is the long version.

I wanted to live out west since I was 19 years old (For those keeping score, I’m almost 41). I went on a trip to North Carolina to see Biltmore Estate-a house that comes in a close second to this one on my list of houses I love. There I was, 19 years old, driving from Raleigh to Asheville. It seemed like out of the blue in the distance there were the Appalachians. I loved the Appalachians. The colors were at peak(it was fall). But in the back of my mind, I wanted to see the big boy mountains. The Appalachians are an old mountain range, I think they are shrinking. I wanted to see snow caps.

20 years went by before I was able to get out west. It was absolutely worth the wait. The first time I saw the snow cappers out in the distance I cried. I was speechless. We spent that vacation at Yellowstone and the Grand Tetons. We both fell in love with the area. To be able to say we live here is an absolute blessing. I look outside my window and I can see mountains, a river, elk, deer. We go for a hike and see snakes and marmots. I love it. And I love talking to our guests who are seeing this stuff for the first time. I’m probably just as excited as they are.

So that’s a little background on how two people from Chicago and Milwaukee ended up running an inn in Gardiner MT.

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