Fall Checklist Off the Grid

Don’t forget the bears!

Living off the grid can inspire us to grow our own food, including apple trees.  Be mindful that the bears really appreciate this token of generosity and will make night raids to enjoy the sweet snacks while  in the process wreak havoc on your trees.

Branches will be broken and apples munched away in no time, so be prepared to harvest your fruits as soon as feasible.  BEFORE the bears do what bears do… help themselves!

Fall in Helena

Local Apples

Take time to smell the apples as your evening walks take you through the neighborhood.  One of life’s simple pleasures can provide a great aromatherapy to the soul!  These gorgeous local apples were given to us by friends here in East Helena and made an awesome batch of  hand-pies! Helena is a great climate for tasty back-yard apples and those coveted, sweet, end of the year tomatoes.

August Heat

Just a blurb to wish you all some coolness in this August Heat. It’s been a scorcher and the summer days will melt one’s soul if you don’t take time for refreshment. Remember to fill your water bottle with plenty of good ol’ fashioned ice tea or beverage when out on the road!

How to Brew the best Tea:

Using a quart size canning jar, fill 1/3 full of water, microwave for 1 minute 20 seconds, add a LARGE size (for 1 gallon) tea bag and steep for 3 or 4 minutes. Remove tea bag and add 1 teaspoon of honey, fill 2/3 full with cold water and top off with ice. mmmmm….cool.

Being Flood Aware in the Backwoods

Living in the urban interface creates many unique situations that as city dwellers we tend to take for granted. So when planning your building site/location always consider the proximity of seasonal drainages and creeks that might wield unsuspected surprises during springtime runoff. Small waterways can be amazingly powerful when the warm weather melts the snow from the peaks above. These waterways become fierce contenders when more water tries to deluge them than the creek bed has capacity to hold.

A couple of handy tips when you prepare your landscape to withstand such events include the following:

Be sure that natural drainage areas are cleared of debris. A glance around your yard and into the exterior surroundings will give you an idea of where water has runoff in the past. Before you pick up that shovel and fill low spots in your driveway, consider what caused them in the first place. The last thing you want to do is divert low spots by filling them up so that runoff now heads toward your foundation instead of the path of least resistance.

Go on a scavenger hunt for items such as branches, large stones, fallen trees, objects from your yard that may have blown into the ditch on windy days such as buckets, children’s toys, leftover lumber, tires, etc…you get the drift. (no pun intended) These things will get washed along with the runoff until they are lodged against a narrow spot causing the water to overflow around them. Roads get washed out and anything in shallow areas will become inundated with water. Culverts are a natural place these things lodge against and many wash out during springtime flooding. Save yourself from rebuilding and reinstalling them by maintaining the area prior to springtime thaw. You can click on the photos below for a closer look at the destruction caused by spring flooding near my home in Wolf Creek.

For more info on Flooding in the Helena area visit the following site from L&C County: http://www.co.lewis-clark.mt.us/flooding      This website link has a helpful form called  “Homeowner Damage Assessment Form” and “After the Flood, water and mold Cleanup” PDF for your convenience.

Historical Helena Photos

On the walking mall, downtown Helena.  Take a stroll and find peaceful relaxation along this strip of  on foot-only businesses.  Another unique part of our past that houses the future.  Don’t forget to stop by The Parrot for a good ol’ fashioned soda and The Panhandler for all your kitchen wares. You’ll need a pack mule to tote home your goodies if you are a good shopper!

...a long way up, but what a view!

...along the walking mall
…along the walking mall

Off The Grid!

Wolf Creek, Montana – Although I was not a licensed Realtor at the time, living in Wolf Creek proved to be a valuable education in land and home ownership.  Through the years I’ve met plenty of good people whose hearts yearned to live the freedom lifestyle of Montana’s backwoods.

This is an experience that I had mastered for 20 years of my life.  And in itself was one of many “lives” that I have lived which has hand-hewn me into the creatively weathered person I am.  Today, I am a licensed Realtor, Buyers Agent in Helena, Montana.  This Blog is a portal to my present and past knowledge combined, to share with others what I have experienced.  It is offered to those of you who hope to someday build similar lifestyles for yourselves.