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A Bustling End


The last two days of our marvelous three week trip to Switzerland were a bustling, busy, blessed time. Our daughter, DeDe, and her hubby, André, treated us royally with a trip to Chamonix, France on Monday and then a tour of the Gruyère Cheese Factory in Gruyère, Switzerland on Tuesday.

Up, up, up and over!

That’s the Rhone River Valley below.
We were headed through Switzerland to France.
It was a surprise gift for us
plus De’s best buddy, Laina (our daughter#2),
and her daughter, Katy.

Wow!
Look at this chalet next to ours.
We stayed in one named “Soli.”
(That’s De’s hubby’s nickname)
Enjoy the views out of every window!

See the snow covered peaks up there? We took a cog train up to that glacier!!

After settling into our beautiful chalet,
we walked to the place where the cog train (tram)
took us up to the top of the high peaks
where the glacier is.
With climate change, it is melting fast!

Here are Laina, DeDe & Katy –
taking the tram up to the glacier
that you could see from that first window view.
Bob with Laina & Katy at the glacier.
Here’s a live view of that trip up in the tram to the glacier…

That night we were treated to a phenomenal dinner.
My choice was veal with mushroom sauce. Mmmmm!
Thank you, De & Andrê.

We’re so grateful for their love of us and one another
… and their generosity!

Tuesday morning we drove back
up and over the mountains into Switzerland
to another surprise destination:
the town of Gruyere.
Gruyere is our favorite cheese.
How fun to see the place where it is made!

Wow! Look at the gruyere cellar where the rounds are aging!
De is showing us how heavy a round of gruyere is!

Tuesday night we returned to De & Andre’s chalet in Vissoie.
We packed, and prepared to go to Geneva to fly home.
Wednesday was supposed to be a smooth set of flights home.
However, with the Queen’s Procession,
our flight to London was delayed,
so we missed our connecting flight from Denver
and had to spend the night there.
This morning we finally made the flight to Bozeman
where our kind neighbor, Gary, met us and drove us home.
It’s a gray, dull, cool day …
not like the warm, blue sky days of Switzerland.
We’re spoiled!
But our hearts are filled
with the beauty and warmth
of our fabulous trip.

The rolling hills and milk-producing cows of the Gruyere area.
Here’s the fun of cheese fondue
and having our grandson, Nick, join us.
Our 3 grandsons & their sweethearts
were with us for so many fun and delicious occasions.
What a joyous three weeks we had!
Goodbye, France and Switzerland… thanks for the memories!

Thanks so much for traveling with us.
Back to reality in Montana now.
(Not a bad place to return to –
just a little smokey and cool right now)

Our house is behind those trees.


God bless you, family & friends.
We love you. 😍😘

See ya tomorrow –
Hugs, JanBeek

(of course God is willing, Laina!!)

Scenes So Lovely


Seeing the falls he named in honor of his queen, David Livingstone wrote in his journal, “Scenes so lovely must have been gazed upon by angels in their flight.”

Waterfalls and all God’s natural beauty affect me the same way. This country of Switzerland is so full of those “scenes so lovely.”

Waterfalls and bridges in Switzerland amaze me!
Chalets with lovely flowers abound
This was on the way to Zinal yesterday
But De & André’s is the best!

As we venture out, the lovely scenes are amazing in every season here.

Tania at Hotel Weisshorn – photo by Mike Solioz – taken last autumn
Way back when … we climbed waaay up with DeDe.

Scenes so lovely!

Flowers are abundant in private gardens and public places.
André’s croûtes au fromage (potato or bread w cheese, etc.) is a Valaisan specialty. It’s a “scene so lovely” too!

André and De are so generous as they share their chalet, meals, transportation and their love with us and with De’s best buddy (our daughter #2 Laina) and her daughter Katy. What a grand reunion we had with them here yesterday!

Katy, Laina, me, Bob & DeDe

Hebrews 13:16 “Do not neglect to do good and to share what you have, for such sacrifices are pleasing to God.”

Last night Mike & Tania joined us for a fun evening of raclette & karaoke. Chris & Nick and their girlfriends came, too. Ah, we are so blessed with this wonderful Swiss family!

Thanks for joining me and sharing these “Scenes so Lovely” today. Wish you were here in person! Come back tomorrow, okay? See ya then (God willing).

Hugs, JanBeek

The Hills Are Alive!


The hills are alive with the sounds of family!

Yesterday our daughter, DeAna, drove us down into the Rhône River Valley, through Sierre, and up into the Alps on the other side to an area called Crans-Montana. It is where she & André lived 30 years ago when they first moved here. On the hillside e hind the restaurant André managed way back then are a few chalets. One of them, built in 1772, is owned by ZuZu & Célia. They invited us to spend the day there with them.

ZuZu (Christian Zufferey) was our AFS son in 1980-81. He is André’s first cousin. He and Célia prepared an amazing meal for us! The first plate was an outstanding eggplant quiche. The second plate was lamb (my favorite) and a ratatouille. All the vegetables they grew in their gardens here in this gorgeous high Alpine place.

The opportunity to be together again with ZuZu was so very special. After the meal we shared various liqueurs – also made by them using various fruits, etc. that they grew.

After our time there, De took us back down into Sierre where we had a nice visit with our friend, Christiane Rielle.

Then (as if day was not already blessed enough), we were treated by our DeDe and our grandson, Nick, to a wonderful dinner at Capri Restaurant in Sierre before returning to Vissoie for the night.

Then today we went on a guided tour of Sierre. Our grandson, Mike’s new bride, Tania, provided the tour. At the Sierre Tourisma Office, my buddy Terry found a hat for a souvenir… and I found a terrific pair of funky glasses that I could not resist!

Now you can see why I didn’t bring a pair of sunglasses with me on this trip. I needed THIS pair!!

Bob, Jim & Terry Groshong, our MT/CA best friends, learned all about the history of Sierre. There is the town hall behind the 4 of us. If you saw my post about Mike & Tania’s civil ceremony, it’s the same place where they were married last weekend.

Then Tania guided us to an old (1700s) chalet. Look at they key Jim is holding. It opened the cellar door where we did some wine tasting.

Next Tania drove us to Chateau Mercier where she explained the history and we tasted more fine Swiss wines.

Lovely Chateau Mercier has beautiful gardens, too. We walked around and admired them before going to Chateau Villa for Raclette dinner. Mike joined us there.

Mike & Tania’s church ceremony is Sept. 20, so we have another couple weeks here to enjoy the hills alive with family. Stay tuned!

Jim & Terry will leave tomorrow – so you can say farewell to them for now nit’s been wonderful to have them with us this week!

I can never tire of these beautiful Swiss Alpine views! Come back tomorrow. We’re going to take the bus down to stay with André’s mom. I’ll share those views with you, too..

Thanks for traveling vicariously with us! Bee 🐝 well, dear friends! See you tomorrow (God willing).

Love, JanBeek (and Bob)

Terrific Tuesday


Yesterday and today we woke to the magical sound of children across the road from our bedroom here in Vissoie, Switzerland. What a joy!

Yesterday evening we were treated to an Alphorn concert. Nine dear people (one being our grandson, Mike) played this age-old instrument. I became acquainted with it when I was a child. My Uncle Hans was my mom’s oldest sister’s husband. He was a young German-Swiss cheese maker when he moved from Switzerland to Washington back in the 1930’s. He & Aunt Evelyn had 3 children. He taught them all to yodel and he taught his son, my cousin, Hanslie, to play the alpenhorn.

Mike is on the left.

My mom would be so proud to know her great-grandson is following in the musical tradition of her family! I get sentimental and cry when I hear these instruments and think of how mom & my aunt and uncle would have adored hearing this!

Today our friends, Jim & Terry, are here to enjoy a few days with us in this marvelous place. Last night they were able to meet Mike & Tania and we all celebrated Jim’s 75th and DeDe’s 55th together. André fixed an incredible dinner of ribs with a medley of vegetables. Yum!!

Here is yesterday’s delicious roast beef lunch.

Last night’s ribs

It is so wonderful to have my forever friend, dear Terry here to share these experiences with us.

This is Vissoie’s Main Street

Later this morning we’ll walk down that street and get a few groceries at the store. Wish you were here to go walking with us!

See ya later! Thanks for traveling vicariously with me. Hugs, JanBeek

Montana Trails with Friends


This is “Lucille.”
Yesterday we joined 12 friends
and went on a trail ride
into the Gravelly Range
above Antelope Basin.

Lucille is our ATV (all terrain vehicle).
Because she’s a redhead
on whom we have a ball,
we named her after the actress/comedian,
Lucille Ball.

Are you old enough to remember her?

Anyway, we met at Antelope Basin
about 50 miles south-west of Ennis,
and took the trails through the Gravelly Range
to our destination of Hidden Lake.

It was a blue-sky-perfect day
with temperatures not rising above 80 degrees.
We had not been up to this site for over a year.
In the meantime forest fires
had ravaged the trees
and changed the landscape.

This tree was lush and green last time we were here.

We stopped and chatted with our friends awhile before taking a lunch break.

Good buds: Sherry Riggs and Penny Hocking

TazE was quite interested
in what Rex & Penny Hocking
were getting from Linda Schott.
Mmm … fresh and yummy Flathead cherries!

TazE was interested in Bob’s Cheetos, too!

After lunch we traveled on up to the lookout above Henry’s Lake.

The wildflowers were prettier
than I have ever seen them this late in the summer.
We had quite a wet spring and that helped!

Traveling back down,
we could see our Madison Valley in the distance.

We gathered to take a group photo of our ATV friends.
And then some couples and quartets, too.

Top left: Kris & Bob (CG’s cousin) with CG & Caroline
Bottom left: Penny & Rex
Right: Sue & Bob Welna

Here are our five ATV’s.
You can see that Lucille stands out
among all those earth tones!

Most of the way to and fro
the trail was a road also traveled
by cowboys in their pickups,
tending the the cattle up in the verdant fields.

Some of the trail was rocky, steep and pretty hairy.
But, we managed just fine…
and I am so grateful that
Bob and I both had
enough stamina to enjoy the trip.

We Thank the Lord for our neighbors/friends
(the Welnas and Hockings)
who came to help Bob prepare Lucille
for the trip, and then
returned this morning to
help him put her back away.
God bless them!!

Maybe you’ll come join us
one of these days
for a Montana trail ride.
Ya think?

I’d be tickled to see you!

Just give me a call
and let me know when you’re coming.
We’d love to see you
and treat you to a Montana trail ride!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek
See ya tomorrow (God willing)


Click on the link below if you’d like to enjoy
Dale Evans & Roy Rogers
(my favorite cowboy)
singing “Happy Trails to You.”

Wonderful Weekend


Enjoying Sunday
Remembering Saturday
And Fish on Friday

Sunday began
with this prayer-filled
good morning photo
from my friend Lisa
in North Carolina

After church,
Sunday continues
with our TazE
needing attention
and us
trying to
just relax!

Saturday memories
include a wonderful evening
shared with Bob
and dozens of friends
at the Madison Valley Ranchland’s
annual “Noxious Weed Dinner and Auction.”

Check out
Bonny Morningstar Guzzo
on Facebook
to see her wonderful pictures
of that highly successful event.

Friday memories
include our walk
along the Madison River
in Lion’s Club Park
where this beautiful
painted fish sculpture
greets us.

The painting on the fish inspires the Haiku poet in me.

“Father, please teach me
I want to learn how to fish
To fish like you, Dad“

Back home, the clouds keep the day cooler
as the sun plays peek-a-boo
The trees provide welcomed shade
And the birds serenade you

The breeze causes the wind chimes
To sing a lullaby
Reminding me of my sis, Sally
She’d love this place as much as I

The deer come quietly to rest
Beneath the shade of verdant trees
They promise not to nibble
But who can trust deer like these?

Time to think about a meal
Don’t know what I’d like to cook
Need to go check out the fridge
Maybe left-overs -Have a look!

Mmmm… I can see shrimp
Waiting for the coconut
Time to make the sauce

Hope all is well with you.
Thanks for sharing
my weekend memories
vicariously with me.

Now it is your turn
What are your best memories
Of this great weekend?

Sending love your way…
Hugs,
JanBeek

EAA Art Festival – Ennis, Montana


Hello, dear blogging friends.
It’s been a busy weekend for me.
Saturday was our Ennis Arts Association Festival.

How’s the weekend been for you?
What were your weekend highlights?

Saturday was a beautiful day
In Ennis, Montana for our 26th annual
Ennis Arts Association
Madison Valley Art Festival

The Madison Valley Art Festival is an outdoor event (held rain or shine) on the historic trail between Yellowstone National Park and Virginia City, a path well-traveled by tourists visiting the state’s national parks and historic landmarks, and fly fishing on the Madison River.

Our Presbyterian Women hold their annual fundraiser at the festival.
They sell baked and canned goods donated by the MV Presbyterian Church members.
There were three tables full of goodies, but by 2:00 pm, this is all that was left!
We enjoyed the left-overs at fellowship after church today!

The Li’l Hog Pit had a wonderful menu
and they served the record crowd
with efficiency and delicious food.
We’re grateful to Benny and her hubby
for their expertise and availability.

Bob enjoyed his lunch with our friends, Bonny & Joel.

From 10: am to 5:00 pm,
the Tune Tanglers provided music
for the art enthusiasts.
We’re grateful for their shared talent!
They spread the gospel message
with their musical choices
as well as good ole western songs.

Artists such as talented painter, Kathleen Van Driessche,
come from far and near.
We had 61 artists in 54 booths this year.
Something for everyone!

I walked around and admired all the
paintings,
pottery,
photography displays,
jewelry,
woodworking,
metal sculptures,
etc.

If I wasn’t saving my money
for or upcoming Swiss trip,
I might have convinced Bob
to get this wooden vase
(with a glass insert)
for me.
I love it!

But the price tag said,
“Not this year, Jan!”

As the afternoon wore on,
the shade was especially appreciated.
We had an unusually calm day
(without our typical Madison Valley wind)
and the temperatures reached into the 90s.

We were happy to return home to our home
where we had opened it up to the cool (50 degree) night air
and closed it up during the day. Ah, God is good!
Life is good! Praise Him for our artists, musicians,
Ennis Art Association workers who set up and took down,
and all the people who came out to support the event.

Maybe next year you can plan to come join us for the last weekend in July.
Ya think?

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Maybe later today…

Love,
JanBeek

Cast Your Cares


I haven’t posted for a week. Have a Happy Cinco de Mayo! Just here for a quick catch up…

Today’s message in my on-line Guideposts devotional contains an unintentional pun. I’ve been told that the doc may cast this hand with the broken finger when I go in for my follow-up appointment next Wednesday. Meantime, it is wrapped like a mummy and the pain pills are an important part of keeping me from full agony. But they also have some unpleasant side effects that I won’t elaborate on…

Here is a screenshot from my iPhone:

Yes, cast my cares. Cast my hand. Rest in God’s Grace. These are important prescriptions.

Thank you for your prayers. God is good 👍🏽 If you read my blog a week ago, you know I misjudged the height of a curb, tripped, landed on the sidewalk with all my weight on my left hand, broke and dislocated the little finger. You know it could have been much worse. Coulda been the right hand. Coulda been the head or the hip. This left pinky finger will heal. I need to be patient, and faithful about elevating and icing it.

Before I go, though, I need to tell you: Love ya… Appreciate your expressed concern. So grateful for neighbors/friends who come with food and friendship. We are blessed indeed. Your kind words are a comfort. I’ve missed my WP blogging… but, it’s too hard with one hand. As the Guideposts message suggested, I need to let go my troubles, cast them aside, and rest in God’s grace.

Yup, this too shall pass.

Hugs, JanBeek

Relish Sushi!


It’s hard to beat Dave’s Sushi in Bozeman, Montana for a great sushi meal. This platter was created for Bob & me and our grandson, Nick (and Celine) when they were here last Thanksgiving.

Knowing how much Bob & I relish sushi at Dave’s, our Daughter #2, Laina, sent us a gift certificate for a meal there to celebrate our 60th anniversary. What a thoughtful present! Bozeman is an hour’s drive from Ennis (where we live), so we don’t go there every day – not even every week. But, we had a dental and a doctor’s appointment there yesterday, so we went to Dave’s afterward.

If we look like we’re happy,
it’s because we are!
You can count on their specials being wonderful!
Cheers!

Dave’s has a varied menu, a good wine list (that’s what I chose – a house white – while Bob had a cold and refreshing beer), great service, and a friendly, lively ambiance. We are blessed to have this restaurant in our part of the world. Laina told me she was hungry for sushi after she saw our photos, but she doesn’t have a sushi place in the Baltimore area that’s as good as this one in Bozeman!

We began with shrimp as our appetizer. It was delicious!

When my California grandkids were little, I used to take them to lunch every Wednesday while I gave their mom (who home-schooled all four of them) a break. Sushi was one of their favorite places to go… and they called those orange fish eggs “Poppies” because they popped in their mouths when they ate them. I always think of Sam, Hope, Jordan & Faith when I eat sushi rolls with “poppies” on them! This one was as yummy as it looks!

My sister, Sally, used to love to take my grandkids (her nieces & nephews) to lunch, too. It was Jordan’s choice to go to sushi. Sam always liked Burger King! (Don’t ask me why he’s looking so serious in this photo! He’s usually more like that picture upper left where he is smiling big with his sister, Hope)

Bob & I are both particularly fond of sushi. He was not a fan initially… and would order some kind of rice bowl instead (Dave’s does have other choices). However, as the years have gone by, he has become wiser! Ah yes, he loved our lunch at Dave’s yesterday as much as I did!

I had passion fruit sorbet for dessert.
Bob chose the mango.
He liked mine better!
Hah! So did I.
Here we are with Laina.

Thank you, Laina, for your very tasty,
and very thoughtful gift!


So, my WP friends, tell me,
do you relish sushi?


Do you have a good restaurant in your area
where you can go and celebrate
a special occasion like we did?

What is your favorite choice of meal?

See ya tomorrow (God willing).
Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.

Great End to a Wonderful Day!


As promised, here is the way our 60th anniversary day ended. We took three friends with us physically (and dozens with us in our hearts) to Pompey Grill in the Sacajawea Inn & Hotel in Three Forks to enjoy an evening of thanks and fellowship and good food.

It’s a beautiful hotel.
BW, Ed & Maria helped us celebrate our 60th.
BW and Ed were both soooo helpful
during this recent move
in and out of our house
while the floor was being done!

We had already enjoyed a shrimp hors d’oeuver and a glass of wine and we were digging in to our meals when I remembered – oh yes, DeAna wanted me to be sure and take photos of us at the restaurant and the food we ate… so here are a few of our plates:

I enjoyed rack of lamb.

You decide what the other plates were!
Everyone raved about the flavors
in the plates they chose.

Bob & I shared our special dessert with our friends.

Wish you could have joined us!

When we returned home,
Laina had sent us this collage
of our 1962 and 2022 pictures:

Thank you, Laina!
(Bob’s as handsome as ever, huh??)

It was a wonderful day start to finish.
Thanks for sharing it vicariously with us.

We hope to celebrate
many more
happy anniversaries
together!

God bless you, my friends.
Have a beautiful Valentine’s Day weekend!

Love and Hugs,
JanBeek

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