Friday, October 31, 2008

Dentist or Car Repair... THAT is the question!

Happy Halloween!
Today must be a dentists nightmare with all the sweets given out to all these cute kids in costumes! That being said, it was a sandwich from Subway that broke one of my teeth this afternoon, not a jaw breaker or other hard candy. Unfortunately, I am one of the millions of Americans that do not have dental insurance... Hell, I don't even have regular health insurance! Now, I don't blame the sandwich for the broken tooth, or anything in it. It was actually quite good. This particular tooth had been cracked already, and that was after a filling fell out of it, so it was only a matter of time before it cracked again.
Now, I am like many adults and don't really like to go to the dentist, but then again, I don't fear them either. I just can't afford to go. SO, here I sit, dealing with some tooth pain, thinking that if I was to break a tooth, today had to be the best day to do it. "Why?" you ask? Easy! Tonight is one of the only nights I go out to the bars and drink. Is there a better way to deal with mouth pain than to numb and cauterize the wound with some good, high quality antiseptic (aka alcoholic drinks)?
I'll have to see how the pain plays out on whether I do head to the dentist or not. I know, I know, I really should be heading there right this minute... but I also just got a leak in my Rav4's cooling system that needs to get fixed. To me, that is more important since that is my only vehicle... and I need it to get back and forth to work, so I can pay the repair man, and eventually the dentist. Sometimes I really hate being one of the working poor in this country!

p.s. Yes, I am dressing up... a cave woman. If it turns out good I will post a photo.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

How 'bout being a windmill for Halloween?

Here we are, Halloween is tomorrow, so that means election day is fast approaching. Many people I have talked to have already cast their ballots. I haven't, but I will have to vote early. Monday, to be exact. I don't think I want to drive to Helena on Monday night just so I can vote on Tuesday, when I can save a round trip and just do it before I leave Helena on Monday morning. This political season has been a long one and I am glad it is almost over.

On a whole 'nuther thing, I just read a news story of a study on the health affects of Daylight savings time. It seems that there are less heart attacks on the Monday after "falling back" then on any other normal Monday, but just to even things out in the grand scheme of things, there are more heart attacks on the Monday after "springing forward". The scientists are crediting (or blaming, depending on the season) the hour change in sleeping patterns. I keep telling "morning-person-Joe" I need my beauty sleep, now I can cite proof! Yeah, any excuse to be able to sleep in!

In keeping with the pseudo-political theme here, I just placed a widget (Hey! I don't name them!) here for the Pickens Plan. If you don't know what that is, check it out. If you do, and agree to it, then by all means, sign on! I have long thought we should not be dependent on fossil fuels, and although Mr. Pickens wants to change more cars to Natural Gas, which is a fossil fuel, I think he is heading in the right direction with his wind power. I think the potential of wind energy is in its infancy. With more attention being made to the benefits of wind power I foresee there will be alot of research into better, more efficient, or quieter turbines. I have been to the Judith Gap wind farm and it is amazing to stand there among the giant windmills. I have read some reports from some who are against the wind farms, citing they block the natural view, kill birds, and the constant whoosh-whoosh sound is enough to drive a person crazy. Now, I haven't done any research on this, but I would think the turbines don't kill as many birds as cars and trucks do, they don't block as much of the view as a cloud of smog (and don't smell as bad, neither), and I am sure a person gets used to the sound just as people in the city get used to sirens, people by the railroad tracks get used to trains, and people on the ranches get used to cows mooing. I, for one, would much rather stand in the middle of a wind farm, then drive over Great Falls' 9th street bridge and smell the sulphur and other stomach turning scents belching from the refinery.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

More photos of Glacier Park

Looking down into the McDonald Creek Valley. The Going To The Sun Highway follows the river through the valley before climbing to Logan Pass.

Clouds cresting Logan Pass from the east. In a matter of minutes the clouds had surrounded the base of the peaks surrounding the pass.....Mount Oberlin peaking above the clouds.

Me trying to be artistic! It was a very bright afternoon and many of my photos turned out with a washed- out look. These photos, by the way, were taken with a camera that I am not used to using. Joe upgraded his digital camera and gave me his old one since the one I had decided to die on me. This is along the shores of Lake McDonald in Glacier Park.

Fall in Glacier National Park. Taken along the Going To The Sun Highway.

Last Weekend, Part 2

Lets see... where was I? Oh yeah, lunch time at Nickle Charlies.....
During our meal, we tried to contact all our contacts in the Kalispell area. Mom and Dad had gone up the day before, but they weren't answering at their motel; Heather wasn't home; and no answer from our friends Stacy and Trudy. We were really looking forward to seeing them because Stacy had been in a very serious motorcycle accident in July and we wanted to see how he was doing.
Since no one was around, and with the advent of Voice Mail so everyone knew we were in town, we decided to go find a few more of the Kalispell area geocaches. There was one in particular I really wanted to check out. It was called "Fairy Steps". Apparently the founder of the city, Charles E. Conrad, is buried in a mausoleum in the city cemetery. Yeah, that is the ordinary part. This cemetery is on a pretty big hill, and his plot is in a prominent place at the rear. Behind this, is a narrow staircase that had been carved out of the bedrock into the steepest part of the hill. Who did this, or why I don't know. My kids had been there, but I had never seen it. It was my kids who told me the place is haunted, and the fairy steps are a magical place. It seems that if you count the steps down, you will not get the same number going back up. I was trying not to fall down the steep, narrow, moss and pine needle covered steps so I did not count going down, but got 99 on the way back up (afterwards, I read on the cache page that some counted 101, 100, or even 105.. but never did get matching numbers for down and up... crazy, huh?).
At the bottom of the steps you find yourself in a whole different place. We found the cache, then explored a little. There is a trail that we followed for a bit. This is what it looked like:

Remember, this is in the middle of Kalispell! Wal Mart is nearby, Highway 2 is close (one of the busiest highways in Montana) and houses are so close, but hidden, to the left that you can hear the people. To the right is the hill with the cemetery on its top. I don't know if this is part of the original cemetery land, but it is a really neat piece of nature hidden away. It was even cooler looking about 30 seconds before I snapped the photo. The sun was shining through the trees lighting up the dust motes and making the yellow leaves almost glow. Very magical looking! The sun would not be coming out from behind the clouds again for quite a while, so I took what I could get.
It was about this time that our friends called and invited us over to their lovely home.
We visited Stacy and Trudy for a few hours, catching them up on the happenings of Rockin' the Rivers and our lives, while they caught us up with Stacy's rehabilitation. When we last saw him, he was in a wheel chair after breaking his ankle (surgery to put it back together), and the opposite leg. This time he was up and about with the use of crutches and occasionally a walker while in the house. At the time of his accident they were in the middle of a remodel of their upstairs. They have been living in the ground floor, apartment style, for over a year now. I'm sure they will be glad once the house is finished, and once Stacy is back to 100% mobility. The answer to everyones question "will he ever ride again?" is "Of Course!". He already has a brand new motorcycle, and it is a beauty!

The evening concluded with my mothers 65th birthday dinner at Capers Restaurant. We all met at Heather's house, and after playing with Lucas and Talia a bit, we headed to eat. Capers is a VERY nice place, the food was excellent, and the wait staff very good. The only downfall was it is not a place to take a 6 year old, and a 1 1/2 year old. They did good, considering. Talia was a bit bored, but really enjoyed her dinner of marinara with penne pasta. She had never had fresh snap pea pods and she ate them by breaking them open and eating the peas from the shells. She thought they were the coolest food she had ever had. Lucas was, well, one and a half! Banging anything he could reach on the table, crying if said noise maker was taken out of his reach, and doing his best to show his mama what she was headed for when he reaches the "terrible twos". His best performance of the evening was reaching for, then spilling a full glass of soda and ice all over Heather not more than 10 minutes after we sat. She was cold, wet, and sticky for the rest of the evening, but hid her discomfort well.
Mom had a good time, and really enjoyed her dinner of gourmet steak and potatoes. Joe had the same, dad ordered scallops, Mike (my son in law) chose buffalo sausage lasagna, while Heather and I shared a meal of Dungoness crab stuffed trout. Dessert for mom, Heather, and me was a very rich brownie served with a scoop of vanilla bean ice cream with a raspberry liquor sauce that was lit at the table. SO COOL! It was awesome! Dad had a creme brule', Talia a scoop of ice cream with caramel sauce, while Joe an Mike passed on dessert. All the adults had coffee to end the meal. It was not normal restaurant coffee, either. It was, like everything else, very good, and served with a pitcher of real cream.
I didn't realize until later that no one took a single photo of the evening.

Sunday morning broke with clear blue skies and bright sunshine. Joe and I were itching to go to Glacier Park, if even for only a little while. We met my ex-husband, Harry, for breakfast at a place "where the locals eat" named Cislo's. They have really good, but cheap, breakfasts there. My ex and I get along these days. We caught up a bit, shared some funny stories of our past with Joe and before we knew it, an hour had passed. There was only one more thing to do before we dropped Harry off at his place.... he had to help us grab a geocache! We had "found" it the afternoon before, but neither Joe or I are nimble enough to climb trees, and that is exactly where this cache was. Harry had fun pretending to be 14 instead of 41, and got some first hand knowledge of what Geocaching is all about.

Leaving Harry at his place, we crossed town to say good-bye to Heather and her family. By the time we left there, it was after 1:00pm. We were finally done with the visiting and able to do our own thing.... GLACIER! Yippie!
Before even heading into the park we took a side trip back to the Old Belton Bridge. It was sunny, so a little nicer for photos. I took this one right outside of the truck door:

Then I crossed the bridge and took this one (below). Right around the far bend of the river is the town of West Glacier and the new bridge where you enter the park.

Now, all this time we were thinking the park service had closed most of the road that goes through the park. That road is commonly known as Going To The Sun Highway. At the check-in station the ranger told us that the road was open all the way to the top of Logan Pass. Oh Joy! We hadn't expected that! This was to be the last day the road would be open that far, with the winter closings to be in affect Monday. Our original plans were to find a quiet place along Lake McDonald to relax while taking in the beautiful scenery and clean, cedar scented mountain air. With just a look at each other, plans changed and we headed to the pass. We did pass McDonald Lake on the way, so we stopped and took a few fall photos. Here is one of my favorites:
I will post other photos of this trip. They are too gorgeous not to share. The drive was beautiful, but relatively uneventful. We always enjoy any time in the park, no matter where we are. The views change with the weather and the seasons. I have taken photos of the same mountain peaks many times and each time they have a different character.
The skies were still bright and sunny, with little popcorn clouds gathering on the peaks. After the rain the day before, the air was clear and visibility was at least 10 miles. As we neared Logan Pass, a low cloud was cresting the saddle from the East. It was pretty cool to watch as it first backed up against the mountains, then overflowed over the pass's low point. At one point, the peak of Mount Oberlin was above the clouds. Quite striking, and I had never seen it quite this way before. When we got to the top we were in this low cloud (now fog-- LOL) and it was quite obvious that this cloud was much colder than all the air surrounding it. The temperature dropped about 10 degrees from what it was only an eighth of a mile down the road. It had moved in fast, but there was no wind. In the clouds wake, it left a strange fairy land like landscape. All the trees, plants, light poles, etc were decorated with hoar frost on their eastern-facing side. Here is a flower stalk in the visitors center's garden covered with it:

All the crystals point to the east, while there are no crystals on the western facing side. Isn't mother nature neat?
We spent more time in Glacier Park than we intended, and ended up driving to Helena in the dark along the Seeley-Swan highway. At least the deer weren't out in force that evening. We got to my house at about 11:30pm. Quickly crashed and left the house early to be back to the daily grind of employment in Great Falls.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's WHERE?! (Busy weekend pt.1)

The Old Belton Bridge; West Glacier, MT

This past weekend, I got to do just about all my favorite things. I went geocaching, went to Glacier Park, visited with our friends Stacy and Trudy, saw my daughter and her family, and had a wonderful dinner with my parents, Heather, her husband Mike, my grandson Lucas, step-granddaughter Talia, and my best friend Joe. All this was packed into just a normal two-day weekend! *whew!*

I normally get to take Saturdays off, but Joe has to work 10-3. Usually our fun part of the weekend starts after he drives from Great Falls to Helena to my house. I use Saturday mornings to 1) sleep in, and 2) laundry. Anyone who knows me, knows I DO NOT do mornings very well at all. Some would say that is an understatement...! Keep that in mind for later.

My mother's 65th birthday was on Friday. One of the things she wanted was for the family to get together for a nice dinner at a nice restaurant. She knows Heather, Mike, and their young family cannot afford to travel to Helena so she and dad took a road trip to Kalispell. Mom also asked if Joe and I could head north, too. Krystle was the only one who couldn't take the time off from work (she is a manager at a local pizza place). Joe received clearance to close the shop for a day, so the plans were finalized.

I stayed in Great Falls on Friday night so Joe and I could get an early start. Too Early! 6AM early! The only consolation to me was we had plans to try and find some of the newer geocaches that had been placed along our way. The small town of Valier seems to always have at least one cache hidden, but we have always been on such a time schedule that we have not been able to stop. On Saturday we arrived in Valier just as the sun was rising. The cache was an easy find and we were back on the road not more than 10 minutes later. The day broke with quite a few clouds, but not much wind and the temps were awesome for mid-October. Our next stop was in East Glacier. This was another easy cache to find, but we were distracted by this cute little friendly dog who came to play in the park with us. He was SO adorable! I was petting and talking to him while Joe found the cache... signed the log, re-hid it, and moved on about a mile down the road. Right outside of East Glacier is a sculpture of two Indians sitting on their horses made out of automobile parts. Yeah, sounds tacky and trashy, but it is actually pretty cool. This particular geocache has just been placed, but had not been found yet. Joe was looking in one area while I looked in another. I ran my hand into a hidden area and there it was! In goecaching "speak" I was the "FTF" of this cache. That means First to Find. Some cachers strive to be the FTF-ers of all the new hides in an area while others don't really care but get a smile if it happens. I fall into the later group, said "Yeah! First to Find!" and then we went on our way to the next.

The next two were at the top of Marias Pass. One was really easy, and only a few feet from the truck door. The other one was at the top of a mountain. We had to hike up, huffing and puffing, along a pretty steep trail that was made worse by being very muddy. It had snowed the previous weekend, then warmed up just enough to melt. Some places the mud was thick and sticky enough to suck at the shoes--- YUCK! The joy of adding another cache find to our list kept us going. Joe made the find on that one. We sat on a nearby log, caught our breath and enjoyed the cool mountain air while sifting through the cache contents and signing the log. Nothing I couldn't live without (meaning no rubber duckies) so we put everything back, re-hid the cache, and headed back down the mountain to continue on to Kalispell.

Our next stop was in West Glacier. It was there that we looked for, but did not find, our only bum-cache of the weekend. I have to say that searching through wet, prickly juniper bushes is not my idea of a good time, so we only half-heartedly looked.

Since we were already off the highway, I asked Joe if he would mind taking a slight detour to the old Belton Bridge for a few photos. He likes scenic areas as much as I do, so off we went. I had only a few photos left on my film 35mm SLR camera, so decided to finish those off. As soon as we got out of the truck, it began to sprinkle. While we were snapping photos of the river, the old bridge, and fall foliage the rain really began to come down. I clicked off my last two photos and we headed back on our way.

We picked up a couple more geocaches along the Flathead river between Columbia Falls and Kalispell along the Columbia Falls Stage road. It had been quite a number of years since I had been on this particular road. I really enjoyed the change of scenery!

Once in Kalispell, we claimed our hotel room and headed to lunch. Yep, over 200 miles, and caching along the way...still made it to town at 12:30. Maybe there is something good to getting up early! Notice I said "Maybe".... LOL

Lunch was at Nickle Charlies. Very good sandwiches! While we were there, we caught part of the Montana Griz whooping the pants off of Sacramento State. All in all, a very good morning. Stay tuned... the afternoon and evening in my next post.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Halloween is coming!

I love this cartoon! Just mental enough to cause a pause in the brain matter.
I want to thank Dave from Greater Falls for stumbling on my little piece of the net and adding it to his list of local blogs. His blog, and the list of other area writers is at: . I spent most of the day yesterday checking them all out. We Montanans are an ecclectic bunch! A very warm welcome to anyone who ventures here from his site.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Will It Blend?

My brother just sent this link, and Joe just got an i-phone. Hmmm, it says "Don't try this at home". Does that mean I can do it at work? Anyone think Joe will get upset if I do? hee hee hee

I'm just kidding, Joe.

Feeling Mortal

I drive Montana's highways more than pretty much anyone else I know. With all the miles I put on, I have, of course, had my share of what I like to refer to as "Mortality Moments". These would be those instances when life passes before your eyes and adrenaline pumps into your bloodstream. Moments like just missing the deer, or the semi that cuts back into your lane too close, or the moment when the tires decide to loose their grip on the black ice over a bridge.

I had that experience yesterday morning while driving to Great Falls for work. I was driving Joe's pickup since Krystle is still using my Rav4 until her car is out of the shop. The Wolf Creek canyon was snow covered and a little icy since the sun doesn't shine for very long into the narrow passageway. I was my normal careful and wary self. Once out of the canyon though, the sun was shining bright and the roadway cleared. I sped up to the speed limit and settled back for a relaxing drive. I still had 50 miles to go and it was a beautiful morning. The leaves have been changing colors and the weekend snow and cold temperatures turned the more stubborn green trees to gold. The wind was blowing at a good clip, I am guessing at about 30mph, blowing the leaves around... as well as occasional gust that nudged the little Nissan truck I was driving a bit to the left. Yeah, a typical Montana fall morning. Passing the sleepy tiny town of Craig I could see a bit of fog clinging to the Missouri River and thought how pretty nature can be. Not even five miles later, I was thanking God and any other higher powers that I was still in one piece and still headed in the right direction down the highway.

There is a bridge that spans the Missouri River within spitting distance of Craig. This same bridge is not straight, but curved. Not a sharp curve, and with normal driving conditions it is not uncommon to see drivers taking it at the speed limit of 75mph or higher without even blinking an eye. I am an uncommonly cautious driver, and I could see the bridge deck looked wet. I slowed a bit, then drove onto the concrete..... when Whoops! That is NOT water but black ice!! First shot of adrenaline hit the system as experience and training took over all my muscles. I eased off the accelerator and about to think I was OK. In that moment, the tires break free of the pavement and the truck slides across the road into the passing lane of the interstate instead of following the curve to the right. When I think about it in retrospect, I think I may have been hit by a gust of wind that pushed me at just the wrong moment. Second shot of adrenaline! Oh shit! I ease the steering to try to control the slide and avoid a collision with the guard rail and a possible very cold dunk into the river. Even the tiny adjustment of the tires causes the front tires to go in the right direction, but the back end wants to fishtail I steer back to the left to regain a tiny bit of control... when the back end decides to kick out to the right.... I see the end of the bridge deck ahead and it is dry but I fear that I will hit it at an odd angle and possibly loose total control or worse, roll. At the same time, fine motor skills and experience are on autopilot keeping me in a fairly straight line even though the back end is doing its own thing. The only thing I remember going through my mind over and over is "don't over correct....don't wreck Joe's truck... s**t, f**k,... don't over correct". I do know that the rear end slid back and forth about 5 or 6 times and I managed to stay on the road, never kissed the guard rail and hit dry pavement going straight. WHEW!! All that was three very long seconds of my life, but at the time felt like about 15 minutes.
The rest of the drive was, thankfully, uneventful but I had so much adrenaline coursing through my veins that I was unable to enjoy it. It is the little things like this that remind me that I am just a human and life can be upended or even just ended in a few short seconds. Enjoy it while you can!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Burrrr! It's Cold Outside!

Snow along I-15 near Cascade
Hey! What happened to Fall? I went home Friday night with all the intentions of doing everything I said I was going to do. It seems 'ol Mom Nature decided differently. The wind kicked up in the late evening hours dropping the temperatures, and brought in the clouds. When I spoke to Joe on Saturday morning, he said it was snowing in Great Falls. I was trying to be optimistic and hope against all odds that the snow would stay in the north. Unfortunately, by the time Joe arrived in Helena early Saturday evening the snow flurries had begun... and the wind was still blowing hard and cold. We decided to brave the wind chill and see if we could at least remove the starter from Krystle's car. Of course, as these things tend to do, the starter went bad right out side of her job and of course, she HAD to park over a huge puddle. To make a long story shorter, we towed the car to a nearby parking lot, jacked it up, crawled under (yes, got dirt in the eyes), and said..."oh shit!" There is NO way we can work on this stupid, bleeping, starter without a vehicle lift. (The car is now sitting outside of our favorite mechanics garage. There is a point in your life when you decide some things just aren't worth the effort and call in the pros!)
As we were playing on the ground under said car, the snow began. By the time we grabbed a bite to eat and made it back to my place (9 miles out of town) the ground was turning white. I said a mental prayer, then sent a TXT to Krystle to drive MY Rav4 very carefully home from work (She has been using it ever since hers broke down).
Now, if you read my previous post, Joe and I were going to help some friends move to Deer Lodge, but when we got up at 7am on Sunday morning, there was a few inches of snow and more falling fast. We decided to head over to Barb and Jeff's to see what they thought, and after looking at the road reports and Highway Cams we all decided to postpone the move to another weekend. Jeff made us one of his signature breakfasts (YUM) and we all sat around the kitchen table killing time while watching it snow like a bat out of Hell.
Now that all our plans and good intentions were thrown out the window, Joe and I went back to my place and did our best to be lazy. We haven't had a truly lazy Sunday in a LONG time so it was a special treat. Joe made me some of his mothers Potato Soup that he had been promising to make me for ten (yes, TEN) years. It was very good, and Krystle even graced us with an appearance from out of her room when she realized food was being cooked.
So, what was supposed to be a full Sunday turned into a relaxing day. It is now Monday, the snow is just about melted away, and the sun was shining bright all day. Of course, I had to be at work..... Figures!

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just a few moments.....

I am writing this in the last 15 minutes before we close the shop. I'm the lucky one that gets Saturdays off, while Joe has to work. This does put a bit of a damper on weekend plans, but we manage. I use Saturday mornings to do laundry and house work... if I don't get side tracked with a mindless video game like Zuma or Bejeweled 2.
It looks like the road in front of the business may be open by the end of next week... if the weather holds. It was too cold today for them to do any work (pussies). It was 38 degrees today so they couldn't pour concrete, and that is where they are right now... curbs are done, they just have to do the entrance areas to the parking lots and alleys. It will be SO nice to have the road open again.
This weekend looks to be busy. We (Joe and I) are taking out the air conditioners then we may have to help Krystle change out a starter in her car. She doesn't seem to have any guy friends who know anything about basic car repairs. What happened to ALL guys knowing about car repairs? But, I digress... back to the weekend projects. On Sunday Joe and I will, once again, be helping Jeff and Barb with their move to Deer Lodge. It looks like this will be the final trip, hauling all the basic stuff they needed to live with before the move was final. Did I mention that I really hate moving-- so I have compassion for anyone who has to go through it.
Time is up... time to go! Weekend is starting......................!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Yep, I do read other people's blogs!

"I don't mind Christians individually. It's when two or more are gathered in His name that they start to worry me."--Marc Beaudin (on his Blog: CrowVoice Journal)

I was playing online, reading random blogs by random writers that matched the keyword "Montana". I found a few that held my interest enough to make me want to follow them, and I found this gem of a quote. Yes, I did e-mail him and ask if I could quote him here... just in case some of you are purists and wanted to take me down for plagiarism! OK, so I don't confuse those of you who really know me, Yes, I am still Christian (Krystle has not converted me to an agnostic yet) and yes, I do believe the wisdom behind these words. How many wars have been fought with "God's Blessing"? Sometimes each side has their own blessing from their own particular rendition of God. Many times, the will of God is determined by "the powers that be" and preached to us lemmings every Sunday morning by the leaders of whichever church we choose to belong to. I don't think that is what religion should amount to. Now, I do have to admit that my upbringing was a convoluted mess of churches and religions. My great-grandfather was a Methodist minister, my mother would attend Luthern services on Easter and Christmas Eve, my babysitters would take me to their Baptist church when I was in their care on Sundays, and my Dad pretty much didn't have a view one way or the other. As I grew, my best friend attended a Southern Baptist church, and that is what I attended throughout my grade school and adolescent years. On a few occasions though, I would go with another friend to a Catholic church if I happened to stay over on a Saturday night. In My Opinion, the Catholics are very cult-like with all the pomp and circumstance... incense... chanting.... I didn't like it at all. When we moved away from that church (from Illinois back to Montana) I was between my Freshman and Sophomore years of high school. Without a friend to go to church with, and parents who didn't go but twice a year, I pretty much ended my church-going era. As I matured into a grown-up, I began to think of God again, but in a purely Genesis "God created all" kind of way. I do my worship my own way, in God's nature. The mountains are my Cathedrals; the rainbow reflections from waterfall spray my stained glass; the sound of wind, birds, and animals are my choir; and the rain my baptismal. THIS is my religion, and how I choose to worship. AND, I live in America and I am free to have this as my choice!

OK, back to the subject that I intended this post to be about! I have found that I really enjoy reading other people's writing, even the mundane day to day stuff, because it makes me realize my life is pretty much like so many others out there... and in some cases much better. Although, there are the ones that I read just to live vicariously through because they live life on a larger, grander scale than I ever will. For example, I am reading a blog that belongs to a mountain climber. How cool is that?! Maybe if I lost about 100 lbs and got over my fear of falling from high, unstable places I could do that too! Uhhh.... no, I don't think so. I'll stick with my fairly easy to moderate hikes that do not require anything other than a water bottle, small first aid kit, pepper spray, and my cameras. If a rope is needed in any way then chances are I will not be on THAT hike! Then there is another writer I am following who is having some health issues with her husband. I read it because it is real. Her feelings are raw. I have laughed at some of her stories, and others I had a tear in my eye as I nodded in knowing agreement (she was talking about her kids going out on their own).
The things people write about... love, family, beliefs, grief, travel and home -- now this is life. Not the commercial life of reality TV, but REAL life documented by real people.
Thanks to everyone who writes so the rest of us can experience your life with you!