October 2012

The scariest trick or treater of all? A sick 17 month old … We were so excited about the costume Big Mama and Sissy sent her, but she’s not sharing our joy… May your Halloweens be more spooktacular than ours …







Our apologies for our absence from the internets in the last few days.  We know y’all missed us and our drivel terribly.

Between the summer visitors to the Warehome, the lovely retailers who carry our products, and our own website, we don’t have a huge need to spend the year traveling from sales show to sales show.  Thank goodness.  Shows are so much work!  But every now and again, the timing is right and the invitation is intriguing and we forget how exhausting it is to haul heavy honey and delicate beeswax candles and fake Christmas trees over the Continental Divide, and we say, “Sure, we’d love to exhibit!”

For example: late this summer, we found ourselves accepting an invitation from the Conrad Mansion Museum to exhibit in their 29th Annual Christmas Bazaar. I couldn’t resist a chance to dress like a Victorian beekeeper and set up shop in the hallowed — and gorgeous — halls of the Mansion, as I have a fun connection to it.  I’ve written a little bit about the history of the land I live on, the old Bar X 6 Ranch/Park Saddle Horse Company.  Its most famous matriarch over the years was undoubtedly Edwina Noffsinger, and she happened to grow up in the Conrad Mansion.  So, I said yes, I’d love to exhibit.  And that’s where I’ve been for the past few days.

Although the Conrad Mansion is now just a few blocks from heart of Kalispell, when it was built it was on the edge of the frontier.  Amazing, no?

The most beautiful indoor tree I’ve ever laid eyes on … will have to bring Maggie Rose next year to have her picture taken next to it.  Wow.


This huge archway in the Mansion’s front room allows music to be heard throughout the three story home.  I enjoyed hearing live Christmas music in late October – Christmas isn’t always my thing, but I surely do love the tunes associated with it.

The whole house was dressed to the 9s!

As was the Glacier County Honey Christmas tree, located in the Rose Room.

We brought several new candles to the Bazaar, all of which sold out!  Look for a post of those later this week.

Do I look like a Victorian beekeeper or what?  Honeydew looks pretty modern.  And pretty handsome, too.  Except that his head is lining up in a funny way with our logo.  A striking Tester resemblance?  Whoa!

Over the course of our 3 days exhibiting in the Mansion, I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the wares for sale.  The Bazaar was filled with talented local artists and craftsmen – there was hardly any kitsch in sight!  Our beeswax candles and ornaments, and honey — of course!  — were well received, and we had such fun visiting with our customers, some new and some old.  Thanks for having us.  We’ll hope to be back in 2013!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

The weather people were having an awfully good time predicting TWENTY-inches-near-the-mountains-batten-down-the-hatches-and-feed-your-dogs-prime-rib-for-dinner on Sunday night.

We got about 6″. Maybe.

But the Warehome roof slid, as ever, and it was a good reason to check out one of the greatest things that has ever happened to me, near Babb: The Snowblower. Oh, if only we’d had one back in 2010-2011.

And now that we’ve finally acquired the dang thing, we’ll never see another winter like 2010-2011, when the roads were closed more often than they were not, and my pregnant self tapped my foot in impatience, and at times, fear, of the stifling cabin/Warehome fever that ensued.

And that’s just fine by me. Thanks for clearing the World Headquarters lot, Brother Dear!

Also — random announcement aimed at folk in or near the Flathead Valley – we’ll have the best-honey-you’ve-never-tasted, gorgeous beeswax and wool (new!) ornaments, and beeswax candles (some new!) at the Conrad Mansion over the weekend. Save yourself the shipping and attend their Christmas event! Call 755-2166 for details.

2012. Glacier County Honey Co. All Rights Reserved.

In October, all around Glacier County, trains and semis roll.  They’re in the far north country to pick up boxcars filled with wheat, sugar beets, and hops; honeybees on pallets headed for their annual pre-pollination sojourn in California; and cows, destined for market via tractor trailer.

Our bees won’t go until later this month, and so over the weekend we found ourselves with a little extra time to help a neighboring rancher sort and ship cattle.

These particular neighbors are good friends of ours — in addition to allowing us a few bee yards on their land, they let us gather all of our bees together in one of their pastures and bring our semi in to load them! — and they’re moving next month, so it was a nostalgic morning, as they introduced us to the new managers of their spread and hellos and goodbyes were made.  The new managers, by the way, are delightful young parents, and Maggie Rose was thrilled to make a new friend in their young daughter.  Me, too!

Honeydew and Keith left in the icy pre-dawn, and when Maggie Rose and I arrived at the corrals a few hours later, the work of sorting cows and calves was nearly done, and the ranch bottom echoed with mournful bovine cries.

Cows have got the market cornered on their whining noise – boy, is it ever pathetic!  I grew up with a tiny herd of Simmental cattle, and my Pa Pa was a big cattleman, having an especial fondness for his “Holy Boys” — Holsteins — near the end of his life, and so the cattle’s bawling did not make me sad, but reminded me of childhood afternoons, watching my parents run our girls through the squeeze chute for ear tags and shots, and Pa Pa cheerily hauling a cattle trailer down the red dirt road, off to market, window rolled down, and his dog in the pickup bed, supervising it all.

It made me very happy to have Maggie Rose with us, and to think that while she might never be a cattlewoman, hearing cows make a ruckus on an October Sunday morning will surely remind her of her childhood.

We let her eat oversize marshmallows and fresh steaks for lunch.

Y’all already knew that we’re destined for the Parents of the Year Award.

Shippin’ season’s nearly done, and soon we’ll all have time for coffee and visitin’ … or I will, anyway, until the holiday retail season heats up.  Which I’m looking forward to!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

When we were done paradin’, we headed to the Tack Barn for a little grub and conviviality.

The Tack Barn was probably a granary for the former Bar X 6 Ranch, but thanks to Brother Dear’s carpentry skills, now it’s our bar!

There were so many old friends to catch up with, and new friends to meet.

And tons of fabulous food to eat!

This party sponsored by Pinterest.

Mrs. Calgary’s cakes – wow! And delish, too.

We continued to admire each other’s floats …

And plan even better ones for next year …

And compliment Sarah’s amazing cowboy boot/sneakers …

And admire Miss Duck Lake, post-wardrobe-change.

Y’all come back now, ya hear?

And one last plug for Marc’s cause: you can help our awesome photographer raise money for Camp-Mak-A-Dream by clicking here.

2012. Glacier County Honey Co. All photo credits to Marc Ankenbauer. All Rights Reserved.

After we got everything, and everyone, decorated in full on red-white-and-blue style — well, blue for the Americans, just red-and-white for our Canadian neighbors! — we paraded south on West Shore Road, hanging a left to visit our friends at Duck Lake Campground.

Honeydew did not find any bikini-ed gals to ride in the forklift basket, but he did find the Hot Buns, and that’s even better!

According to us, anyway.

Chuck, Julie, and I escorted Miss Duck Lake in the ole convertible.

Darling-Brother-in-Law had the best pickup of ’em all, and this shot, with Chief Mountain in the background and the Montana and USA flags flying, is worthy of being the next Chevy ad, befitting the best trucks in the country. Right, DBIL?

In addition to forklifts, convertibles, and pick-em-up-trucks, the parade boasted pirates …

bicyclists …

runners …

off road dune buggies …

four wheelers …

Mrs. Calgary and her darling progeny …

Nan on her lawnmower and JC in full NASA regalia …

an awesome party barge, including local celebrity — and sweet neighbor — David Walburn …

and our tractor, of course.

There were also battling neighborhood restaurant floats! Brother Dear lent Tammy, our adored busted up Ford Explorer, to the Park Cafe crew, and pulled their float, since Tammy don’t run no mo …

Pie for strength! The Park Cafe crowd went head to head with the Johnson’s crew, which is pretty funny, since Tammy got “busted up” during Jay Franck’s employment at Johnson’s … we keep it in the family near Babb. Cousin.

Here’s the 2012 Johnson’s of St. Mary float …

pulling the 2nd half of their float, containing a couch, and part of a mini golf course … awesome.

When we did our turn around on the north end of West Shore Road, it got hairy between the competing restaurants, which are literally located across the street from each other in St. Mary …

It was quite a motley crew, headed down the south shore of the lake …

As we rode, I kept thinking about all the other 4th of July parades simultaneously occurring, and how not one of them, in the entire country, had the view we enjoyed …

If that’s not a framer, I don’t know what is.

As we headed back to the Tack Barn, for the potluck, we added some walkers to our entourage, and some dawgs, of course.

We arrived at the Tack Barn ready for refreshments and merriment … and we’ll showcase all that fun tomorrow.

Again, thank you to Marc Ankenbauer for his awesome photographic skills and willingness to share. As you might remember from yesterday, Marc’s on a 1 man mission to jump into every last one of Glacier National Park’s named lakes — there are 168 of these frigid, remote beauties, and Marc only has 12 to go! He’s raising money to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream, giving kids and young adults with cancer a medically supervised once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Montana wilderness. You can donate, and check out his fun blog detailing his jumps, here.

See you tomorrow!

2012. Glacier County Honey Co. All photo credits to Marc Ankenbauer. All Rights Reserved.

There’s really not much down time in commercial beekeeping – although we’re done with pulling and extracting honey, we don’t sit around twiddling our thumbs until it’s time for pollination, shaking, splitting, and requeening.  There is wax to melt, equipment to build and repair, retail orders to bottle, candles to pour and package, industry meetings to attend, inventory to take, honey to deliver to landowners … the list seems endless at times.

But the waning sunlight does mean that we tend to quit closer to 5pm than to 9pm, and that means time to clean up the books, polish up the website, tend to the blog, and open the mail.  Our friend Marc Ankenbauer sent us a CD of awesome photographs he took during our 2nd Annual 4th of July Parade & Potluck, and we finally had a moment to sit down and review them — with absolute delight.

Marc is a neat guy, and one of those friends that keeps popping up in our lives.  I memorably ran into Marc on a remarkable September evening at the foot of Glenn’s Lake, years ago, riding out a soaking rain/snow storm under a tarp in a backcountry campground, playing cards and drinking whiskey with mutual friends.  But I didn’t know until Marc mailed us the fabulous CD of pictures that he is on a one man, ten years in the making, mission to be the first person to jump into every last one of Glacier National Park’s named lakes — there are 168 of these frigid, remote beauties, and Marc only has 12 to go!

Why in the world is Marc doing this?  Well, in addition to being an adventurer — a recent check of his blog reveals that he’s accepted winter employment in Antartica! — Marc is survivor of youth cancer, and has a heart of gold to boot.  He’s  raising money via his Glacier Explorer project to benefit Camp Mak-A-Dream, giving kids and young adults with cancer a medically supervised once-in-a-lifetime experience in the Montana wilderness.  That’s pretty darn cool.  He’s a little over half way to his goal, and you can donate, and check out his fun blog detailing his jumps, here.

Marc — above — took so many fabulous photographs of our 4th of July festivities that we’re going to devote several days to recapping the 4th – enjoy!  And remember, only eight months till July, and the next Parade – y’all should join us!

Glacier County Honey Co. decided to decorate the forklift basket, in hopes of finding bikini-ed gals along Duck Lake who wanted to dance in it.

You’ll have to check back tomorrow to find out if that mission was successful.

So happy to see Canadian-born, dual-citizenship-holding, Honeydew carrying THE flag around our parking lot!  What a great shot of him.

There was a lot of decorating in the hour leading up to the parade.  Here, Neil and Chuck got the approaching-senility-1987-Chevy-Cavalier looking snappy!

JC borrowed Chuck’s 4 wheeler, and it never looked finer.

Duck Lake, where we live just east of Babb, boasts a large number of Canadian residents, and their enthusiasm for our 4th of July Parade (held just after Canada Day on July 1), was refreshing and … adorable.

Once all the floats were decorated, and stocked …

and hitched to whatever was pulling them, if they were being pulled …

and all the last minute costume adjustments made …

it was time to crown Miss Duck Lake!  Maggie Rose took the honors for the 2nd year running.

Our awesome Canadian neighbors, the Shillidays, boast a former Mrs. Calgary in their ranks, and as Royalty we believe that she had the power to so crown Maggie Rose.  That’s Grandpa Shilliday’s rig, above.  So cool.

Quite a crowd gathered at Glacier County Honey World Headquarters in anticipation of the parade.

And when the parking lot was full, Brother Dear busted out his megaphone and got us moving in the right direction.

Once we had a horse and lady up front — that’s Miss Emily Williams, and her trusty steed, Bullet — we were ready to parade!

And away we went, heading south down West Shore Road … pictures of the parade itself to follow!

Marc, thank you.  These pictures are priceless.  If you’re lovin’ ’em, maybe consider making a donation for Marc’s cause?  Here’s the link!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.    All photo credits to Marc Ankenbauer.  All Rights Reserved.

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