“If life is a bowl of cherries, what am I doing in the pits?” is the title of a book written by Erma Bombeck many years ago. She was an author of many books and newspaper columns about family life. As I considered writing about our country, Christian, woodworking, caregiver life, this title kept coming to mind. For me, life IS like a bowl of cherries, some pits but more sweet and tangy wonderfulness than hard enough to break your teeth. Not that our life is without challenges but with much hard work, faith in God and, the timely out-of-the-blue miracle, life is generally good.
The purpose of our site is to share our country way of life, salute caregivers (whether they care for people, plants, or animals), and to show off Cam’s woodworking projects and ways he can help you.
Cameron (aka Handsome Husband) and I (aka Rhonda or choclady because of my love for creating and eating of chocolate creations) have been married for over 30 years. I was born in Idaho and he was born here in Eastern Montana. We have had many adventures together, including his 8 years (6 of them married to me) in the U.S. Navy. While we have lived several places around the United States. we have met many wonderful people in our travels. We moved back here over 20 years ago because we love this area and the people here.
A Little About Our Family
Cameron and I have 3 adult children, one boy and 2 girls. Honestly, I am amazed at what wonderful, talented people they turned out to be in spite of me. Two are married and have given us our 1 grandson and 2 granddaughters. Those little ones bring light to all of our lives and we are so grateful that we can be a part of their lives. Our youngest daughter’s life plans took a different path than she had planned about 5 years ago when she developed chronic migraines. Through a lot of prayer, trial and error and about a million doctor visits (ask her she will tell you I’m not exaggerating) she is doing much better.
Almost 9 years ago, Cameron’s parents came to live in an apartment attached to our garage. We helped Gramma take care of Grampa because he had dementia. We all treasure our memories of him. There were so many blessings during his illness including that even when he lost his ability to move by himself and didn’t always know who we were, he still maintained his humble, grateful, humorous personality. For the last eight years, Gramma (who is also a very talented lady) has lived there alone. Sometimes she is independent and doing well, sometimes she needs assistance.
Things change on a daily basis. We are constantly learning more about caring for our elders and how folks in general each deal differently with pain, grief, hard stuff, and joy. Sometimes it is difficult, sometimes frustrating, sometimes fun and exciting. We are finding more and more that as we rely on the Lord for his guidance and help, we can do more and more “impossible” things.
Cameron has many talents (by the way, there is a very good reason he is dubbed “Handsome” Husband). He is our fixer, mender of broken stuff, chef extraordinaire, problem solver and consultant, woodworker, and fan of classic cars. There have been several amazing careers in Cam’s life. He now has a cabinet making and woodworking business. Visit our Cam’s Custom Cabinets and Woodworking Page to see some of his amazing work. You really need some of his masterpieces in your life!
He is incredibly patient and is my best friend. I cannot put into words how much I appreciate all the sacrifices he makes for his family or how very much I love him. He was born on a ranch near here and grew up riding horses, branding and driving tractor. Cameron has spent several years working with and repairing electronics, he is the technology expert in our partnership.
I was raised on a farm and have always preferred the country life to the city life. My mom and dad raised us kids, a large garden, pigs, chickens, draft horses, and milked dairy cows. I loved canning produce from our garden and orchard and cooking and baking with Mom. I must admit when I started my own gardening adventure, I had to call and ask Dad and Mom lots of questions. Apparently, I didn’t help as much out in the garden as I thought I did. I have always enjoyed the small animals more than the large ones. Kinda lucky for me that H.H. is fine with how I feel about that.
I love summer with its warm, long days and lots of sunshine. Setting sprinklers and hearing them go around makes me happy. I love sleeping with the windows open and the smell of rain when it happens. The short days of our winters are hard for me. Because we are so far north the sun doesn’t come up until about 8 AM and goes down about 4:30 in the afternoon.
I love baking and cooking and spending time with my family and friends. My friends and family are scattered all over the world so keeping it touch also involves social media. Our keeping in touch methods are so different than they were just a few years ago. I’m very grateful to live in a time of so much technology even though keeping up with said technology threatens to drive me insane on a regular basis, but as my offspring say quite often “we all know Mom is crazy…”
These Are a Few of My Favorite Things
Our animal friends make me smile even though they are sometimes naughty like when the crazy cat takes a 100 mph trip through the house and runs up the wall high enough to knock pictures off the wall. I absolutely LOVE chocolate, in fact I love making chocolate candy, truffles, flavored cream-filled chocolates and candy of all sorts. Being a grandma is one of the most fun things I get to do. Both Cameron and I love that in our role as caregivers, our grandchildren are some of those that we give care to.
About Our Gardens
We live in a small home on 1 acre. We have lived here for over 20 years-more than all of our youngest daughter’s life. In the 12 or so years before that, we lived in somewhere around 9 different homes so settling down here has felt very good to us. From the time we moved in, we have had many gardens around our lot. We enjoy working outside a lot. My dad was really disappointed when I told him that one acre did NOT mean we would be getting a milk cow unless we really wanted to buy feed for her all the time. The rainfall amount is very different here from where I grew up.
Most of eastern Montana experiences huge temperature differences. It gets as cold as -45 degrees Fahrenheit and as hot as 115 degrees Fahrenheit. We have many apple trees, a plum thicket, raspberry bushes, and cherry trees. Rhubarb plants abound in our back yard as well as many perennial herbs, including horseradish. Our flower gardens grow lilies, roses, hostas, peonies, and bleeding heart.
The south side of our house is called our Hawaii Garden and contains many Japanese- and Hawaii-inspired features. The shade on this side of our house comes from Sumac trees to inspire thoughts of Japanese Maple. Most of the non-fruiting trees in our yard are cottonwoods like much of our region, but we do have a Maple tree and an Ash tree in our front yard that we have carefully tended until they are quite large.
About Our Animals
Libby (Lady Liberty because her birthday is on the Fourth of July) is our Golden Retriever. Our new puppy is Donnie (Lord Donatello) who will be our youngest daughter’s psychiatric service dog. Princess Poppy is a very small, insane, whirlwind of a calico cat named who lives in the house.
We also have lots of chickens. Our chicken coop can hold 40. The chickens are pretty vital to our gardening adventures but we also love the eggs. We have a variety of breeds because it is fun and the variety changes whenever we get new chicks.
We look forward to sharing the ups and downs of our family life out here where dark is reaaallly dark and traffic jams are because a tractor is taking up both sides of the road.
Join Our Adventures and Share Yours
Our genuine hope is that as we share our issues and solutions in our life, we will inspire you to search for the solutions in yours.
As we share our gratitude and frustration, disappointment and excitement with you, we hope that you will share your life’s ups and downs with us. We are firm believers in “nobody’s perfect” and “we’re all in this together”. People all share similar problems in different circumstances. We would love to hear your solutions too. Glad you stopped for a visit, we’d love it if you subscribed and stayed longer.