November Snow Tour My Home in Montana

Page 2
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Tour My New Home in Montana
Moving in...
Moving In
A few days after I rolled down my driveway for the first time, my worldly possessions followed me in the back of a 27 foot ABF trailer. I toiled for three days unloading, sorting and organizing. I did not realize that was just the beginning of a project that could take a year or more to finish.
For the next two weeks I remodeled the first floor master bedroom and turned it into my new shop. At 500 square feet it made an ideal room for a warehouse, shipping center and office. A large, walk in closet was a perfect warehouse nook for lights, tools and bicycle saddles. An adjoining storage room I converted to workshop.
The new shop First customer
A new sign is hung and bikes are serviced Our first customer! He bought the store.
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The shop pays the mortgage and takes care of more than a few people so it was essential to get it functioning as soon as possible. I immediately started to build shelves, lots of shelves. Good shelving and 1/4 inch peg board makes it easy to pick orders, restock merchandise and keep everything organized. Next I set up the original oak shipping counter from the old Main street store and built shelves for the shipping area. Then I installed what my best friend Bill calls a "captain of industry" desk that came from the Main street store. Lastly I built more shelves to hold the computer, printers and fax machine. The new shop
Warehouse shelves
The new shop Shipping Desk View
A well organized shop makes for easy work. The view from the shipping desk.
The moon rises as the sun sets over Mount Emigrant
Montana is often called "Big Sky Country". The view from my new home is expansive, sublime and often breathtaking. The horizons are bigger here and lend credence to the thought that all things are possible and no dream is too large for the landscape. The original owners, David and Marianne, designed the house to bring in the grand beauty of the vast outdoors, when they built this home in 1999.
Afternoon Sun Shipping Desk View
Glass doors frames nature's beauty Mule Deer outside the guest bedroom window
The first floor or ground level floor of my house is dedicated completely to earning a living. The next floor and the loft above is where I sustain and draw pleasure from my life.
It is easy to isolate yourself in the wilderness of Montana. The first appliance I purchased was a large screen television. I connected it to an existing satellite dish. Then I re-subscribed to the New York Times and switched my phone service to Vonage so I get unlimited free long distance calls to the US and Canada. High speed wireless web service completes my connection to civilization. My home is in the woods but my life encompasses the world.
Living Room
A warm fire burns brightly on a cold winter night
A spacious and warm kitchen
I do not know much about cooking but I really like my kitchen. The cabinets are not too high and have plenty of shelves. The sink is stainless steel so I can wash anything in it. There is a dish washer too but I still use a dish pan and drainer. Lots of counter space makes it easy to prepare food and store appliances like a microwave, coffee maker and toaster oven. My Mom gave me a mixer and set of bowls which will soon claim a spot on the spacious counter.
Occasionally I will rise before the sun. When I turn on the overhead lights in the kitchen a beautiful warm glow reflects off the polished oak floor. The warm light fills my kitchen and brightens my mood while giving chase to the darkness.
Ever since I was a baby I ate dinner at the kitchen table with my Mom, Dad and five brothers. I grew to enjoy their company and looked forward to our evening meal at 5 PM sharp. For the moment, I dine alone at 5 PM at my kitchen table. White, cottage style chairs with Victorian rose cushions surround an antique white, pedestal style table with a matching rose print table cloth. A bowl of flowers that Trisha enjoyed from the Main street store lend a spring-like feeling of renewal to my meals.
In my log cabin that I built in the Supply Pond woods I had a window box that looked out to the western horizon. My new home has two window boxes. The one near the kitchen table overlooks Mount Emigrant and is a wonderful place to sit and catch the last rays of the warm afternoon sun.
Meal with a view
Enjoy a meal with a view
Afternoon Sun Spiral Staircase
Sunset from the kitchen window box A spiral staircase connects the three floors
Afternoon Sun
The loft...a work in progress.
A beautiful wooden spiral staircase connects both floors to the loft. Currently I use the loft for web work. Eventually I will turn the loft into my bedroom and a library. I already built a few book cases. Next spring I will clear coat and assemble a log style water bed and add an overhead light for reading. I will need to finish the inside of a walk in closet too. A full bath sits at the back of my loft but is currently not used. This photo was taken at night time. During the day you can see most of Paradise valley through the large, peaked windows. Dormers with sliding glass windows sit on both sides of the loft and offer beautiful views up and down the valley.
Driveway Garage
My driveway is nestled by spruce trees Garage - home for the Jeep and snow plow
Walter and Olga, who live about 2 miles away, have a geodesic green house also. Inside sits a full grown banana tree their son brought home as a seedling from Honduras. This Thanksgiving they had fresh, full sized bananas!
I have not done much with my green house but I will next spring. It captures heat from the sun and it holds it well during the night. Even when snow is on the ground the temperature inside will quickly climb to 80 degrees an hour after sun rises. A propane heater turns on if the inside temperature gets too cold. I would like to grow roses and a few vegetables. Maybe I will add a comfortable chair so I can read a book and enjoy fresh flowers and the warm sun while bitter winter winds blow the snow into ever higher drifts.
Green House
A geodesic dome green house
sits in the front yard
The garage...a work in planning.
When I first arrived here I did not use the garage much. One afternoon a sudden thunder storm turned to hail and I thought twice. When winter came I quickly grew tired of digging out my Jeep from the snow that drifted around and rapidly buried it.
The garage is a good home for the Jeep and the snow plow. I store cartons and shipping supplies in the loft. The back of the garage is currently used for many of my books that will eventually find a home in the loft library.
Next summer I would like to build a mechanic's bench in the garage and add a wood stove for heat. It is an ideal place to work on the car and yard projects.
Laundry Room Garage
No need to visit a laundromat! A rabbit watches over two, snow covered,
1,000 gallon propane tanks
David and Marian seemed to anticipate every situation when they designed and built this house in 1999. Two 600 foot wells and a 2,000 gallon cistern allowed them to weather a seven year drought. Twin, 1,000 gallon propane tanks hold enough fuel to heat and cook with for over a year. An outside, propane powered generator provides backup electrical power. A large grid of lead acid batteries conditions and stores electricity so the house could be disconnected from the power company's lines.
Normally the house is heated by a high efficiency propane furnace and boiler via hot water baseboard units. A backup, propane only, cast iron stove in the shop is designed to take over if the furnace fails. If the propane ran out or the outside temperatures dipped below -40 degrees, the temperature at which propane remains a liquid, a cast iron wood stove on the 2nd floor is capable of heating the entire house. It can also be used for cooking. Finally, if a war starts and the bombs drop, the back 1/3 of the house's first floor, was designed to do double duty as a nuclear fallout shelter.
Home in snow
Always a white Christmas here!
Mule Deer Sunset
A young Mule Deer munches
grass near the cistern
The sun sets over northern Paradise Valley
Proud to live in America
I hope you enjoyed the tour of my new home in Emigrant, Montana. This is the first house and land I have ever owned; the experience is fresh and comforting. I was born to parents of modest means and it has taken me several decades to purchase my own home.
A new habit I picked up in Emigrant is to raise the American flag over my home and property every morning. As I hoist my flag I feel connected to all Americans, past and present. Watching the sun rise over the stars and stripes gently fluttering in the morning breeze, I understand why brave soldiers often sacrificed their lives in battles our country fought. I feel their pride and admire their courage. It is an honor and a privilege to call, what I believe is the most beautiful spot in the world, my home.
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Page 1
My Home in Montana

My Life
Main Table of Contents

Page 3
Montana Sunsets