After this many moths of sporadic blogging, I can’t afford to bore y’all with the many details of my first solo flights with Maggie Rose and Babyman.

Except that I can’t help myself.

We were required to be at our local airport at 4:30am on Saturday morning.  My sainted mother spent the night with us and drove us to the airport, dropping us, her extra car seats, the double stroller, and one bag containing The Essentials (diapers, formula, iPad, cash, Xanax — just kidding) at the appointed hour.  We were under a blizzard warning and I worried that our flight would be canceled, but we sailed through security and into the round pens waiting area, watching the winds whip the snow lining the runway, listening to them cool the air to the predicted -40 windchill.

I’d never flown Alaska before Saturday.  I haven’t flown much in the last few years, a marked departure from my pre-motherhood existence.  In the interest of being able to get myself, the tots, the double stroller, the car seats, and The Essentials from Kalispell to Seattle to Sacramento, I left our heavy coats, gloves, and hats in the comfort of the pickup.  We wouldn’t need them in California, and my parents would meet us on our return, so why bother?

Should’ve bothered.

The gate agent gave me and my enormous stroller a doubtful look as the clock ticked past 5am, and beckoned me with a curled finger.  “Do you realize we’re boarding on the tarmac?” she asked.

I looked at my eight month old and my two-and-a-half year old, eyes glazed with the sleep they should have been getting, both dressed in footed fleece dinosaur pajamas — and nothing else.   I looked at my thin jeans and loose weave sweater and the swirling snow, suspended in the floodlights, and realized body fat percentage or no, I had made a major error.  That wind chill, even for a brief few moments, would be no joke to my poor kids.

We pushed the double stroller into the howling winds and the kind Alaska luggage gal placed Maggie onto the frozen concrete, as I balanced Howard on one hip and tried to follow her instructions as to how she wanted the stroller folded.  Our fingers — mine bare, hers mittened — were equally clumsy, and another thoughtful flight deck employee, dressed all in black and wearing mirrored ski goggles and looking for all the world like a member of the Taliban, emerged from the darkness, swooped Maggie up, and ran with her to the plane.  I appreciated the gesture — Maggie did not, and her screams shattered on the icy runway.  Cursing, I finally got the stroller folded and ran with Howard into the relative warmth of the plane as I rubbed Howard’s tiny arms and hugged he and Maggie tightly together on my lap.  Maggie continued to howl.

We were the first ones to board, and the most of the other passengers stared at me in disbelief as they shoved their carry-ons all around us.  When one asked me where we were headed, I answered, “Redding,” and hoped that he would assume I was a California native (no offense, Redding folk!) and not a nearly-fifteen-year resident of The Last Best Place.

We repeated this lovely scenario in slightly warmer temperatures an hour later in Seattle, and then I got to try out the “jogging” stroller abilities I shelled out so much for in this particular stroller model as I sprinted to the North Gates.  Maggie’s sunny smile finally broke the gloom of the morning when we dashed onto the subway and she declared that she was a hero, just like Curious George, riding a train.  I didn’t smile until I heard the jetway door close securely behind us as we ran its length, the last three on board the plane to California.

We arrived in Sacramento, the kids no worse for wear, their mother in serious need of therapy in the form of a hot stone massage, narcotics, or simply the ability to forget.

Sorry, kids.  If y’all end up 2nd runner up in the Nobel Prize competition, know that your missing brain cells are still frozen to the FCA runway.

Daddy arrived.  We rented a car not big enough for the double jogging stroller.  I insisted on stopping at Granzella’s for mufalettas, lambics, and cinnamon bread.  Clouds obscured Mts. Shasta and Lassen, but the five months I spent in and around I-5 in the spring of 2012 came back to me, and even without them, I pointed the little Buick north, leaving Honeydew in an almond orchard as we headed north to Redding.

Showing Maggie around our new house, she looked at me in disbelief, and I mentally added up the number of “new rooms” we’ve introduced her to over the course of her short life.  This kid will either be the world’s most well-adjusted or deranged.

Howard caught a glimpse of the yard from the laundry room window, and I grabbed a bottle, a juice box, and a beer, and ushered the kids outside.  As we collapsed in the yard (of our dear friend’s family homeplace that we are lucky enough to stay in during almond pollination-shaking-grafting-requeening season), I saw this:

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My Babyman, sitting in the grass under his own steam for the very first time in his life.

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And my little girl, with her first skint knee of “summer.”

And California, I am glad to be here.  Thank you for having us.

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2014.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

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Loyal blog readers, thank you for indulging us over the last several months, as we’ve used this blog as more of a marketing platform than as a center for prose.  We hope to return to musings on life in Glacier National Park’s shadows and more very soon.

But we truly appreciate those retailers who decide to take the plunge and carry our products, and it seems wrong to us not to let our customers in various areas know when there is a new retailer to support!  So.

That said, meet Brix Bottleshop, newly opened in the historic Loading Dock in downtown Kalispell!  Brix is carrying our honey and our beeswax candles, along with some of our other favorite things: quality beer and wine, yummy offerings from other small farmers, and more!  If you’re downtown, check ’em out at 101 East Center St, #102:

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Brix is owned by Karen Sanderson, a lovely gal and fifth generation Flatheader – that’s saying something, in Montana.  Congrats to Karen on her new venture!    You can give her a ring at 406-393-2202.

And now, for enduring another marketing post, here’s your reward — write BEEMERRY in the comment box of any www.glaciercountyhoney.com order and we’ll take 20% off any beeswax candle or ornament in your basket!  But be patient – our website is small, and won’t take the percentage automatically.  The website will email the order to us and if you paid via PayPal, we will refund the percentage via PayPal; if you chose the invoice option for credit/debit/check, we’ll e-mail you an invoice reflecting the percentage.  Offer good through Saturday, December 15.  Happy shopping!

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

The hustle and bustle of December is no joke.

In between shipping Glacier County Honey Co. packages, feeding the beekeeper and the baby, keeping the fire stoked, baking cheese straws, managing my (pathetic) Fantasy Football team, and in general, living life, we’ve also managed to squeeze in a few outside-of-the-Warehome-adventures:

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Maggie Rose went shoe shopping in downtown Kalispell.

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And delighted in the beautiful snow that fell all morning, bringing in Big Mountain’s opening day with a bang!

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She tasted her first hot-chocolate-with-whipped-cream, too.

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And helped Grandpa help her pick out the perfect tree.

Hope all is merry and bright where y’all are.

Also, if you’re looking for a deal on the best-honey-you’ve-never-tasted, there’s a special on our Facebook page

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.

We’re happy to have honey for sale in the Flathead Valley at the Apple Barrel, My Sweetie Pies Bakeshop, and the Sykes Market, and we’re tickled to announce that our beeswax wares are now also available in the Flathead!

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Flathead Valley, meet Trailhead Supply, purveyor of fine beeswax candles and ornaments, harvested and handcrafted by Glacier County Honey Co.  Trailhead Supply is owned by father-daughter duo Andy Breland & Sydney Paine.  In addition to beeswax, Trailhead Supply carries a large selection of horse packing equipment, camping supplies, tack, rodeo gear, horse feed and dog chow.  Their full line of products is available online, and in person at 860 N. Meridian Rd, Ste A11, Kalispell.

Next time we’re in town, we’re planning on picking up some Bob Marshall Blend Coffee there, and trying their Cross a Ranch Beeswax Hand Cream!

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Andy and Sydney have been online since 2009, and with a physical presence in Kalispell since November 2011.  Their hours are Tuesday-Friday 9-6; Saturday, 8-4; closed Sunday-Monday.

If you’ve got questions about which candles or ornaments Trailhead Supply has in stock, give ’em a ring at 406-752-4437 or shoot an email to info@trailheadsupply.com.  You can also find them on Facebook and Twitter.

Hooray for small business!  Thanks, Trailhead Supply, for picking up our products.

2012.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All photo credits to the Trailhead Supply.  All Rights Reserved.

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.

At this year’s Made in Montana Marketplace, we had the good fortune to have the kind owners of the Wild Rose, a produce/specialty goods shop between Whitefish and Columbia Falls, stop by the Glacier County Honey booth.  End result: the Wild Rose is carrying our 5#, 3#, and 1# squeeze top containers of the best honey you’ve never tasted …

and our beautiful 100% beeswax candles, too …

including our tapers,

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and large pine cones.

We are thrilled to have a retailer in the Flathead Valley, especially one located as centrally to Columbia Falls, Kalispell, and Whitefish as the Wild Rose – their physical address is 3696 Mt Highway 40 W, Columbia Falls, MT, if you’re googling directions – i.e., if you’re westbound on Hwy 40 (the connector between Columbia Falls and Whitefish), the Wild Rose is well marked by a large sign on your left.

Seasonally, the Wild Rose sells beautiful Christmas trees and fresh wreaths.  Year round, it offers fresh produce and delightful gifts, many of which are Made in Montana, just like Glacier County Honey products.  Here’s a smattering of what we found yesterday:

Mmmm, jams, jellies, BBQ sauce, and chocolates …

Fabulous bread mixes from Montana Grassland Mixes – our booth was across from theirs at the Made in Montana Marketplace, and I must say I ate so much of their fry bread that I was … I should say ashamed, but in truth?  I was happy.  Gitchusome.

Yummy cooking and dipping oils.

Awesome salves, lotions, and potions from Pauline Matt with Real People Herbals, just up the road from Glacier County Honey, in Browning, Montana.  I’ve got a jar of Fire Fighters Hands by my bed – you won’t find better, if you’re hard on your hands, like I am.

The Wild Rose offers its own line of delicious yummies, too – do you love pickled asparagus in your Bloody Marys and Caesars as much as I do?  Mmmm.  Oh, and a green salad with goat cheese, pecans, and pickled beets?  Heavenly.

Seeing as how it’s April, the Wild Rose currently has a limited fresh produce section.  But I did find local eggs and Hutterite turkeys and chickens – love that if you buy 10, you can get the 11th free.

In their freezers, the Wild Rose also stocks local huckleberries and Flathead cherries … I was tempted to get a couple of bags, and make a taste of summer pie, but managed to restrain myself.  This time.

If you’re in need, here’s the Wild Rose’s phone number: (406) 862-8995.  Their hours are as listed above.

Since we’re so happy to have a distributor in the Flathead Valley, we will no longer be offering free delivery services to Flathead County – instead, swing by the Wild Rose and tell them you appreciate their support of Glacier County Honey Co!  And of course, by buying Glacier County Honey at the Wild Rose, you’ll be supporting two small Montana businesses with one small step – and the whole state thanks you for that.

2011.  Glacier County Honey Co.  All Rights Reserved.