Monday, January 24, 2011

Bits and Pieces







by Chris Noel/Broker

NoDoubt Land Company, Kalispell


Upon arriving at the entrance to this unique 20 ACRE property located only six miles from town, I ask that you allow me to blindfold you until we have completed our tour.  I would like for you to “experience” the property from your soul first, but promise to re-trace our steps for a final “visual” tour before I take you back to reality.

     Thank you for your trust; just take my hand and let’s begin your sensual real estate showing.  Begin by clearing your mind and focusing on your sense of smell along with the gift of hearing.  Before we are through, you will be allowed to add the visual perspective, but for now concentrate on what you feel and hear.

     A soft breeze is stirring the branches of the aspen and evergreen trees, leaves are rustling across the field… the gurgling sound of a creek running under our feet as our boots make a thumping sound crossing the “foot” bridge leading to the paddocks and pastures.  The distinct snort and whistle of a white tail deer family we have startled in their trespassing into the alfalfa stack, the cry of a hawk soaring overhead followed by welcoming knickers from the equine residents who are lucky enough to live here.  Wait!  I see the hair standing up on the back of your neck in alarm wondering what that sound is coming from the brush behind us!  Relax; it is only the hens, scratching away in the brush in search of “chicken delicacies”, all the better for laying organic eggs for breakfast.

     Do you hear the horses munching their hay?  Can you feel their soft warm muzzles nudging your hand looking for a treat or simply trying to get to know you?  Or perhaps their thundering hooves as they take flight in play or fighting for position in the pecking order all animals exhibit?  Run your hands along the rail fencing and imagine what the view is like.

     Judging from the smile on your face, I can see that you are enjoying this unorthodox property showing technique.  You have done so well that I am now going to remove your “blinders” and take you through the ranch house.

     Notice the wood flooring, cozy wood stove, 2 bedrooms (one an enormous master), 2 bathrooms (one with a Jacuzzi Tub), kitchen and combination living/dining area on the main level.  A great addition is the covered deck providing dynamite views of the property and Glacier Park while allowing year round use!  A cool place on hot summer days, or a welcome haven on rainy nights… it is a natural entertainment area.

     The lower level has a second kitchen, 2 more bedrooms, a third bath, a second laundry area and a separate entrance.  The floor plan allows for a great single family residence or opens up the possibility of other uses:  mother-in-aw quarters, rental, caretaker, guests or??


     Granted, this is the ultimate equestrian dream property with an indoor arena, stable, round pen, paddocks, shelters, hay barns and pastures.  Since there are no zoning restrictions, it works well for professionals involved in the horse world (income from boarding, training, breeders) or for private use.  Any type of livestock would thrive here from a herd to family 4H Animals.

     But what if you don’t like horses or animals?  Perhaps you are simply craving a private country retreat but need to be close to town.  REMEMBER the timeless phrase when investing in real estate… LOCATION!  LOCATION!  This could be the perfect solution to your search!  The outbuildings could be used for other ideas…  The arena could double as recreational space for various sports, park your classic car collection out of the weather, or any type of equipment!  Convert the building for your business… let your imagination run wild!

     Reluctantly, we must return to reality now.  Thank you for your time and don’t hesitate to bombard me with questions, schedule a second tour or to make an offer on this intriguing paradise.

     Proudly Offered by CHRIS NOEL, NODOUBT LAND COMPANY, Kalispell, Montana *$699,900 with a $25,000 Buyer Bonus upon receipt of an acceptable offer by April 1, 2011.* 

     Interested in a re-cap?  Please go to my website at  Check out MLS#296855 to view photos and details.







Thursday, January 20, 2011

Montana Woman - Gretchen Finch

Focal Point - Gretchen Finch 

by Eleanor Maier


Gretchen Finch emanates a warmth that makes you feel at ease, instantly.  Her knowing eyes and big smile are wrought with a connection to God that is palpable.  “God is first in my life, oh, and my family too, of course!” exclaims Gretchen, when asked what is most important to her.  We take a pause.  My eyes wander over her numerous watercolors that hang on every wall.  Gretchen is, without doubt, immersed in her passion—painting. 

     Besides Gretchen’s devotion to God and her family, she has three specific areas on which her life is focused.  First is the Christian Fellowship, which meets at noon, weekly, in her home.  There is never an agenda, just women getting together, sharing, studying the Bible and meeting in the Lord, over homemade soup and bread: nourishment for the body and soul.  Her second main focus is her love of painting.  “I try to be a painter, and maybe if I keep going and paint until I’m 90, I might become a real artist!”  We laugh because Gretchen will turn 80 by the time this story goes to print.  Thirdly, Gretchen’s heart is centered on Owen, her Welsh corgi.  Owen is trained in agility, and is also a therapy dog at the Montana Veterans Home in Columbia Falls.  “He’s kinda the worst dog and I’m the worst at handling him, but he’s the cutest, that’s for sure!”  Owen delights in sitting on my feet for the majority of our interview…

     Gretchen is a self-taught artist who has taken a workshop here and there.  Her advice to those who have a desire to paint is to, “try it—you won’t know till you try.  The main thing in art is to paint what you know, and paint what you love.  You need to care about your subject.  How you ‘see’ is more important than how you paint.”  Using photos as reference rather than to copy, Gretchen cuts and crops images from various places she has visited—a Wyoming sky blankets a Montana cattle ranch, creating a seamless scene, full of life and character. 

     The love Gretchen has for the West stemmed from her time in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, where she and her husband, Pete Finch, owned a dude ranch.  Pete, who passed away in 1990, was a constant source of encouragement for Gretchen.  For over a quarter of a century, Gretchen would sketch a favorite snowy landscape and Pete would write a poem to describe it.  They would send these images off as greeting cards to family and friends letting them know all was well on the ranch.  These illustrations and rhymes have been compiled in the book Whiter than Snow.  This compilation follows Pete’s revelations and realizations—from non-believer to knowing the Lord in his heart.  Gretchen’s endless prayers were heard and Pete became quiet enough to hear God whisper in his ear.  Pete’s poem “Alone?” (p. 14) expresses the start of his awakening to God and connection to Jesus. 





The purity of

Untracked snow.

The grandeur of

Laden-boughed pines.

Pure-blue sky,

A man alone.


We, each

In our own way

Move through

This stillness.

Making our mark.


A wake,

A turbulence,

A peaceful wavelet.

Making our mark.


Climbing, achieving,

Seemingly alone.

Making our mark.


Are we alone?

Is there Someone



Where came the

Untracked snow.

Where came the

Heavy-laden pines

And virginal sky?


Why turn the trail

This way

And that or

Climb the hillocks

Rather than descend?

Are we alone?


Christmas is a

Day for reflection,

For revelation,

For understanding.


Christmas is a

Life-time long

As is His presence.


He has created

The snow, pines,

And sky.

The hillocks

To be climbed.

The turns of the trail.


He is there

To guide

To ease the climb.

Seek Him

And be not alone.


     More information about Gretchen Finch can be found on her website  Gift certificates for portraits of loved ones and pets are available upon request.  Give the gift of memories that last forever.