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Embrace Montana Vistas


Here is the Madison Valley and Range
as seen from the Gravelly Range

We went on an adventure today into the Gravelly Range
with our friend, Julie, and her dog, Zeke.
Come enjoy the Montana Vistas with us!

The Gravelly Range is just south-west of Ennis. We were looking for wildflowers. This is the time of year when they usually are prolific. However, it has been a relatively dry spring and summer so far, so the flowers were not as colorful or plentiful as usual.

This field of flowers is irrigated –
so they’re not the “wildflowers”
we were looking for.
See that line up the mountain?
That’s where we are headed.
We drove the pick-up with trailer
to the base of our destination
and took the ATV up from there.
Julie & Zeke rode in the back.
TazE sat in my lap.
Bob’s the driver.
TazE enjoyed the views.
That mountain above TazE’s head
is called the Sphinx.

The clouds made the sky
so beautiful and interesting today,
but they also threatened rain.
Fortunately we had about an inch
or two of rain last night,
so it settled the dust.
And it held off until
we were headed back
home this afternoon.

Zeke was quite interested in the beauty
of the Madison Valley vistas.
This is Caroline’s tree!
We always think of her when we see it.
Caroline loves tree skeletons!
As we climbed, the clouds moved
out from the Madison Range
and began to cover the valley.

This is a purple sticky wild geranium. Julie has an app on her iPhone that allows her to take a picture of a flower and then have the phone tell her the name of that flower. What a cool app! “Picture This” is the name I think. I need to check it out.

I can’t remember the name of this hairy wildflower.
Isn’t it interesting?

We reached a place where the road was closed
and we could go no further.
So, we stopped and rested a while
and let TazE and Zeke run around.

Julie took our photo,
and while we were distracted,
Zeke went out exploring.
Zeke found some wet, runny cow poop
and thought it was great fun to roll in it!

Like I said, there were more cows than wild flowers,
so of course, there were plenty of places
for an inquisitive pup to explore!!

Julie was intrigued by some of the leaves.
I walked beyond the closed gate and
took this photo of the US Forest Service sign
and the field of wildflowers beyond it.
They were more brilliant than this photo shows.

Heading back down the mountain, the cows bellowed at us!
They were not happy that we were disturbing their peace.

TazE continued to enjoy the views with us.
The sprinkler systems keep the fields green
in spite of our near drought conditions.

The storm clouds threatened … and we got a few raindrops on our way back to the pickup.

See the squall on the other side of the valley?
You can see that it is raining there.

Ah, home – with great memories of beautiful Montana Vistas!

And a beautiful sunset ended our day…

I hope you had a beautiful day, too.
Embrace Montana Vistas.
Come visit us!

See ya tomorrow (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace Going Home!


Today we went to Bob’s old homestead.

This property on Geer Road in Hughson, CA
(just north of Turlock) is where Bob grew up.
His mom & dad started the Beekman Honey business
when Bob was a kid.
His mom moved to this place
from Pasadena when she was a small child.

Now Bob’s brother, Bruce, and his wife, Ann, have the place.
They have made so many improvements,
including the change of the old “Rumpus Room”
into a Honey and Wine Tasting Room.

The old windmill still stands,
and the hollyhocks that Bob’s mom planted
are thriving.
The bees love them!
Ah yes, this smells and feels like home!!

The Ranch is home to about 9 cats with nine lives each!
They all came to greet us when we arrived!

Out in the field Bruce & Ann have planted lavender.
It is a popular commodity in the Honey Tasting Room
along with other items such as honey-scented soaps,
various honey samples, and bee related items.

That house below – beyond the lavender field –
is where our daughter, De, and her husband, Andre’,
lived when they were first married.
Ah, memories!

Back at Bruce & Ann’s home,
which is just a quarter of a mile
through the almond trees from the bee ranch,
their oak tree has grown so large,
it hides the house
as you approach it from the driveway.
And the almond trees in the driveway are laden with nuts!!

But, as you get closer, you see the beautiful home –
And behind the house, the landscaping pulls you in!

It’s a gorgeous day here.
Wanna join me for a swim?
I’m outta here.
Too pretty to be at my computer.

See ya tomorrow. (God willing)
Love,
JanBeek

Embrace a Tree


Hug a tree for me
Find one you can wrap your arms
Around and hang on

Trees are like people
Some are so big that you can’t
Quite get around them

Like giant redwoods
All you can do is admire
Their magnificence

Some are just loners
They stand apart from others
Saying “Look at me!”

Some are connected
So tightly to each other
There’s no room to join

Others form a line
Saying, “Come and join us, but
You must look like us.”

Others welcome all
They are so hospitable
You just flock to them

Some are quite fruitful
They produce enough to share
And do every day

Others hide their fruit
Above gnarled exterior
Daring you to touch

Some are cold, distant
Dark and often depressing
Warning, “Keep away!”

I love trees who shine
Like bright, colorful people
Beckoning us near

Prickly trees are
Ones we try to steer clear of
Lest we should get caught

The young and tender
Beckon us to hold them tight
And protect their growth

Trees that nourish us
Are like the fruit-filled people
Who say, “Let me share.

Come see what I have.
Come taste of its sweet goodness.
I am rich with love.”

“Come sit beside me
Please let me give you some rest.
Come and embrace me.”

“I won’t hold my love
High above and out of reach;
Won’t put you at risk.”

“I’ll spread out my arms
And keep you safe from all harm.
I’ll listen. You talk!

Tell me your troubles.
Sit beneath my shade and rest.
Come, embrace a tree.”

We come in colors
Bright and shining as the sun.
Bare – when summer’s done

Trees are like people:
We hide our troubles inside
Deceptive faces.

Let’s learn from our trees.
Let’s let true colors shine through;
Show your true beauty.

Unlike this odd tree,
Keep your roots firmly grounded.
Embrace a tree now!

Any old tree will do!!

Thanks for visiting JanBeek today.
Tell me, what’s your favorite tree?
Which one is like you?

Bob & I send our love.
See ya tomorrow.

“Give some tree the gift of green again.
Let one bird sing.”

—From “When Autumn Came” by Faiz Ahmed Faiz
     translated by Naomi Lazard

Two Birthdays in Big Sky


Where’s the perfect place
to celebrate a birthday
if you live in Montana?
Well, Big Sky, of course!

Bob & Jan in Big Sky on Bob’s 82nd birthday

And what’s the best way to celebrate in Big Sky when you get there?
With a friend who shares the same birthday, of course!

Caroline & Chuck Feldman –
CG’s birthday was today, too.

It was their first trip up to Big Sky
through the Jack Creek Canyon …
and the day could not
have been prettier for the trip!

Headed up to Big Sky via Jack Creek Canyon
Jack Creek thawing
I love the jack fences when they are snow covered!
Gorgeous blue sky and snow-covered peaks
Montana Jack’s – the perfect spot for lunch
Easy to socially distance
Tables set 10 feet apart
Complimentary dessert for the birthday boys!
To heck with a plate and spoon –
We all ate outta the dessert plate!
We stopped for some extra fun on our way out.
Of course, we masked up when we were not eating.
Everyone was equally obedient.
Can’t be too careful in this COVID world!
We hate wearing them… it’s hard to breathe….
But we’d hate more to get the virus, so we comply!
My friend, Doris, sent me this meme this morning.
While up at Big Sky, I saw a lot of mask-wearing
that confirmed the concern!!
Back home to Ennis – cross the Madison River
It was a lovely trip –
and a memorable, fun day.
Back Home with my feet up…
Time to kick off my boots!

I hope your Tuesday was a Terrific as ours.
Do you have a birthday to celebrate this end of the year?
If so, I hope you do something memorable.

Have a Happy last week of 2020…
time to kick it off, too!

Photo by YI on Pexels.com


Where would you like to kick 2020 off to
while you welcome 2021?
A beach in Hawaii might be nice!

Thanks for visiting Big Sky with me vicariously today.
We all need to look forward to a safe, healthy 2021
I wish you could travel here for real.
We’ll take you up Jack Creek Canyon!

Hugs,
JanBeek

God is Whistling


As I sat
in my sanctuary
this morning,
with the painting of Jesus praying
looking at me,


I stopped
and appreciated the peace,
the quiet,
the calmness.

I tuned my ears
to God
and
what do you think I heard?
God whistled at me!

No, God didn’t whistle like Roger Whittaker.
He didn’t even whistle like this obsessed whistler below.

No, God whistled through the trees outside in my snow-covered yard.

Didn’t take long for the snow to blow off the trees!


The wind was blowing at about 30 miles per hour.

Some people might find that sound
annoying
or
frightening.
I found it inspiring.

Here is the poem it inspired:

God Is Whistling

God is whistling
At me this morning
The trees are dancing
Sending out a warning

A storm is coming
The sky is darkening gray
We’re going to have snow
Again on Christmas day

I listened to His whistle
For in it there was joy
I heard His song announcing
The coming of His Boy

I can whistle His arrival
I can join God’s happy tune
‘Cuz I celebrate this season
Christ the Lord is coming soon

Alice Paschal drawing

I imagine those doves are cooing
as they peer down on the Christ Child.

I can whistle a cooing sound of a dove.
Try it.
God is listening.

I can whistle. Can you?
Whistle a love song.
Whistle a Christmas carol.
Whistle along with your favorite song of the season.
Here’s another Roger Whittaker for your listening pleasure:

I hope that made you smile.
Nothing like a cheerful whistle!
Thanks for visiting JanBeek.

I love you!


Have a Marvelous Monday.
See ya tomorrow.

Helping Children


Ty with Cosette

This is my son, Ty, with his grandchild, Cosette (my great-granddaughter). Ty sent me this photo yesterday. It warmed my heart so much!

Cosette with The Runaway Bunny by Margaret Wise Brown

Isn’t that the most precious photo and the most adorable expression? Someday with the help of her mom and dad, grandparents, her Uncle Sam, and friends who love her enough to read to her, Cosette will know the difference between an up-side-down view and one that is right-side-up. But meantime, this Great-Grandma (call me “GG”) takes enormous joy in seeing the delight in this child’s face – and her interest in books at her young age!

Uncle Sam, Cosette & her daddy, my grandson, Jordan

When children are surrounded by love, they grow into loving adults who know how to love in return. Yesterday, while Cosette was receiving this kind of nurturing, my friend, Kathy and I took the hour and a half’s drive from Ennis to Helena. We visited Intermountain Children’s Home and delivered some backpacks with school supplies for a boy and a girl who are there.

Intermountain ccottages

Intermountain is a school and residential facility for children who did not have the privilege of a loving start. They are between the ages of 4 and 14 and are critically “at risk.”

I first visited Intermountain about 14 years ago- with my Presbyterian Women’s group. We delivered “Wish List items” to the home for the children. This chapel was not there at that time… it was added to the campus about 6 years ago. I have loved visiting every couple years or so and watching Intermountain grow and thrive.

Intermountain was established in about 1908. It’s been around a long time! It was essentially a home for abandoned children initially. Today it is home to 24 children who need intervention for a variety of reasons. (The numbers were double that before COVID forced the space to house less children for social distancing and safety). There are four cottages with 8 children in each… and a staff of trained professionals who work as counselors, teachers, cottage parents, and administrators.

My friends, Kathy from our PW in Ennis
and Tyler Zimmer, who is Intermountain’s fund-raising coordinator
and an excellent tour guide!
Play is an important part of the children’s rehab.

Children who have been abused or neglected need guidance to learn how to play together peacefully, how to get along, how to trust again.

This is the bell tower in the center of the Intermountain campus
This plaque is at the bottom of the bell tower

Harry “Dibbs” Mitchell is just one of thousands of children who have been helped by the Intermountain brand love and care. Many, like “Dibbs” went on to live successful lives and enjoyed being able to “give back” to the place that changed their lives when they needed that intervention the most. They have about an 80% success rate – sending children out into the world with less traumatic symptoms than they came with. Not every child is receptive and able to change yet. We need to keep all our children in prayer. God’s not through with them yet… nor are we!

Intermountain’s website can tell you how to add your financial help if you are looking for a way to help children that has a long history of success: https://www.intermountainresidential.org/

Meanwhile, back to Cosette:
Grandma Monika, Uncle Sam, and daddy Jordan
(and Grandpa Ty, photographer)
took Cosette to the pumpkin patch
You can see how she loved it!
Cosette got to choose one to take home with her. to show mommy Joss.
I hope their ride home
was as pretty as ours
from Helena back to Ennis
I love this chapel tucked back into the aspen!
I wonder if it still is used every Sunday for worship?

I hope you are inspired to think of a way that you can help children in your life. If you’re a mom or dad with family still at home, you have your task facing you daily. Love ’em, read to ’em, and limit their screen time. Give ’em lots of hugs, encouragement, and face-to-face time!

Cell phones and internet games have their place –
but they are not nearly as good a baby-sitter as you are!
Take a child to a pumpkin patch this month!!
Take a child on a picnic NOW before the snow comes!
It’s predicted for Sunday here in Ennis!

God bless you, Ty & Monika, for being good grandparents.
God bless you, Jordan, for being a loving daddy.
God bless you, Sam, for being an adoring uncle.

Here’s a cute little Halloween kitten to bid you farewell for today.

Have a Happy October Friday!
See ya tomorrow.

Love,
JanBeek

The Joy of Human Love


Oh, for the joy of human love,
Brother, sister, parent, child,
Friends on earth and friends above,
For all gentle thoughts and mild

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
This our hymn of grateful praise.

Enjoy this beautiful hymn while you read the rest of this post. I love The Cambridge Singers directed by John Rutter. Sooooo beautiful!!

Yes, Lord, I raise this joyful hymn
in grateful praise to You!

Yesterday I had the privilege of spending time with my granddaughter, Hope, and her family: her husband, Drew, and their two children, Xander and Sienna. I am so grateful for their visit!

Here is Hope – with her beautiful smile.

I was so busy with the children while they were in the house, I didn’t have time to think about pictures. But once they were strapped in their car seats, ready to leave, I said, “Wait! I need to capture this visit!”

Sienna was tucked in, thumb in place, too tired to smile – ready for a nap on her way back to Big Sky.
This is the typical Sienna – big smiles – big appetite!

I actually captured this photo of Xander & Drew just before Xander was strapped in. His toy phone is his constant companion. He carried on very loud pretend conversations with his dad and Bob and imaginary friends!

This is a scene a mile from our house at the golf course. I bet Sienna was asleep before they got this far!

For the Beauty of the Earth
For the glory of the skies,
For the love which from our birth
Over and around us lies

Lord of all, to Thee we raise
Our voices in grateful praise!

I pray that one day my great-grandchildren will grow to become young people who can sit and listen to a story, a poem, a wise parent… as Hope and Drew share “The Great Realisation” with them. God Bless “Tom Foolery” for his beautiful poem and the timely message he is sharing in this video with his child. If you have not heard this before, please take time to to listen. It is WONderful!!

Thanks for visiting today.
Have a WONderful week.
See ya tomorrow.
Love,
JanBeek

Enjoy the coolness
of these beautiful Fall Days!

Marvelous Montana & Morning Plans


Sharing more pictures
from yesterday’s autumn colors ride
I wonder why some are golden
while others remain green?
So many wonders to behold everywhere we looked!
The picture doesn’t do it justice.
With the sun coming through them,
those trees were pure gold!
Our friends, the Feldmans, led the way.
I posted this one yesterday.
Bob told me today, “Those aren’t aspen.”
Well, anyway, I like their color!

Before I leave you this morning, I want to share something I found on FaceBook:

#11 on the list
is at least a half hour
of journaling and beginning my blog post

I do #9 regularly.
I love the Proverbs.
There are 31 chapters.
Today read Chapter 22. Full of wisdom!

I’m at #11 on the routine list right now.
Do you get notices like this from WordPress?
I wonder what’s magic about 1337?
You’d think they’d wait til 1500 or some round number, wouldn’t you?
Anyway you look at it though, that’s a lot of posts.

I hope you spend some time perusing them
by putting your favorite topic up in the search bar at the upper right.
Topics like bees or animals, Switzerland or Jesus will lend some beautiful results!

I appreciate your visit.
I’m off to do #12…
See ya tomorrow.

Sending you my love,
JanBeek

Montana Aspen in Autumn


There is no better way
To spend an autumn day
Than to take a ride with friends
Up into the Gravelly Range

We traveled along the Madison
Overlooking the Palisades
And enjoyed the river view
And the hint of what’s to come

Every mile closer to
Antelope Basin, our destination,
The scenery became more and more
breathtaking!

Lake at Antelope Basin


At the 7,000 foot level
The autumn colors amaze
The aspen are changing color
From green to gold to orange

Golden grasses and blue sky
Accented the purple mountains
And created a wonderland
For this appreciative photographer

Wow!

We went in and out of twelve
Or more gates to keep cattle in
They stood at the road’s edge
Unperturbed by our noisy ATVs

When you sing of purple mountain majesty
And you wonder what that might look like,
Just come to Montana and you will
Wonder no more… you’ll just be in awe!

We stopped by Hidden Lake
To rest and have our lunch
The lake is soooo beautiful
And it really is hidden down there

Chuck and Caroline relaxed with Bob
After enjoying a picnic lunch
Penny & Rex were with us
And TazE, too, of course!

Isn’t that blue sky spectacular?
And the colors of the trees glorious?
Don’t you wish you could be
In an ATV traveling with us?

golden aspen

‘Tis time to return to our pickups
Load up the four-wheelers
Return down to our Madison Valley
And look forward to the next trip.

Wish you could join us!
I’ll share a couple more pics tomorrow.
Have a good night.
Thanks for traveling with me vicariously!
Hugs,
JanBeek


Wordless Wednesday – 8/12/20



Thanks for sharing a little
of my Montana Wordless Wednesday
with me.

It was a great day!
See ya tomorrow.
Love ya,

JanBeek

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