Melva’s life of goodness

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Melva’s life of goodness


As Americans, our hearts are heavy on this day of remembrance. But mine is especially heavy, not only for those who left this world too soon 14 years ago, but for my cousin Melva Kauer who recently passed away unexpectedly. We celebrated her life last week and I’m so grateful for her example. Read More


HGTV Results

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After my episode of “Living Big Sky” appeared on HGTV on May 30th, I had some great response. I heard from old friends from my days at Utah State University and from law school at the University of Montana who had seen the show and loved it. But most importantly, our Iten Company office received calls, emails and feedback from potential sellers and buyers. Read More

Filming for "Living Big Sky"


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It’s finally time! I’m so excited to announce that the HGTV episode of “Living Big Sky” featuring the Iten Company will air of May 30th at 9:30 P.M. and again at 12:30 a.m.on May 31st. So set your DVR’s to record and get ready to watch one of my proudest moments of 2014. Read More



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We’ve had some beautiful Spring weather in Montana and there’s no better way to enjoy it than from the air in our Cessna 182. I love where I live and I love my work, so add my awesome husband to the mix and it was the perfect day when we flew together to Horse Prairie, Montana, to meet with a ranch owner.

Driving would have taken me three hours to arrive at my destination, but instead we were there in 40 minutes. Read More


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As the snow begins to melt and flow to our rivers and streams, it’s also time to fill the pool and begin another season for the Bitterroot Swim Team. All three of my children are involved in the competitive team that includes swimmers ages 5 to 18 from Stevensville to Darby. Last year, we boasted 115 swimmers and have earned the Montana State Championship title for two years in a row. I just finished a three-year term as the club’s treasurer and am so happy about what we have accomplished. Read More



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I pulled my kids out of school for a week to work on my family’s ranch for calving season. Being on the ranch during the busiest times of the year is truly an educational experience. The part I love the most is taking each of my three children for one-on-one time. The rotation is not only fun, but functional as I teach new skills and make sure they understand the associated responsibility. My 11-year-old is old enough to drive the tractor that pulls the hay wagon, but I wanted to be sure she clearly understood the responsibility that comes with that chore. Read More



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Recently I made my annual pilgrimage to Leadore, Idaho and the Two Dot Ranch where I was blessed to be raised.  Those who know me, know that I travel to the home ranch every year at this time over my birthday which just so happens to fall during the heaviest time of our calving season. During the month of March, we usually get between 85-90 percent of our entire herd calved out.  It is the time of year that requires the most physically, mentally and even spiritually while at the same time being tremendously rewarding in these same areas as new life is born and treated with the utmost care.  In all my life, I’ve never experienced a calving season quite like this one. Read More



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Has everyone seen the Ravalli Republic today?!  Great article by Michelle McConnaha on some of our favorite people.  Congrats to the Johnsons’ on their new adventure!


The true Montana log cabin experience on a private lake is only a few minutes away from downtown Hamilton.

Angler’s Lodge is a hidden gem, offering many options and amenities for a private getaway or for largegroups – like family reunions and weddings.

Mike and Debbie Johnson lived in a city, and owned a large nursing home with heavy business responsibilities. One visit to Montana and they traded it all in. Read More



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Last weekend was a perfect time for a winter cattle drive. I can’t remember when the weather was this beautiful in February. Last year, I was a popsicle – a solid brick of ice on the back of my horse as we moved cattle 15 miles to the home ranch. I have never been that cold in my life. But this year, our Saturday cattle drive was warm enough for the whole family. Read More

our friend’s father’s yacht


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We love to celebrate love on Valentine’s Day, but now that Brian and I have been married this long, we’ve learned that love is much more than physical attraction. We believe that love has many facets – physical as well as emotional, mental and spiritual. If you don’t work on all four, then you don’t have a strong foundation. Physical love is only 25 percent of the whole picture when it comes to intimacy. Read More



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My husband and I never skied with our parents when we were kids, so that’s one goal we’ve made for our growing family. With Lost Trail Powder Mountain Ski Resort so close, our goal is attainable.

At the southern end of Ravalli County on the Idaho/Montana border and the Continental Divide, sits Lost Trail Ski Resort. The mountain receives more than 300 inches of fresh snow every season and the family-owned operation provides enough groomed trails to offer both family-friendly as well as extremely challenging adventures. Read More



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One of the most exciting experiences of 2014 was the opportunity to help create an episode of a new HGTV series, “Living Big Sky.”  A camera crew of five came to Hamilton in December and we spent four days together filming. The producers of the show accepted nominations of Montana realtors to be featured in the reality show airing in early 2015. I didn’t apply, but a friend nominated me and I was certainly surprised when the producer called and said I had been chosen for the show. Read More


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With gas prices falling during December, more people have ventured out for the holidays. As families come and go from the Bitterroot Valley, I hope they make a conscious choice about where they fill up their vehicles. While all gas stations are affiliated with franchised brands, some are locally owned – like Lone Pine Conoco. Read More