Friday, January 30, 2009

Is Cheesecake with caramel sauce diet food?

Yeah, I know it isn't! But I had a weak moment. Who knew Pizza Hut now sold Cheesecake??!! By the time dessert rolled around, I was already so far off my diet, I knew THIS wouldn't do any more harm. Joe and I went for some hot wings, then ordered a personal sized pasta meal. I only ate half, saving the other half for lunch, but then the waitress tempted me,and I am a weak... very weak... soul when cheesecake is offered. I would sell secrets for this stuff! LOL

So, that meal last night most likely just tipped the scale the wrong way, but that is ok. It's not like I am going to eat like that everyday. The weekend is almost upon us and I can do an extra aerobic tape (DVD, old terms die hard) tonight and again tomorrow. Like I said in an earlier post, I am not weighing in except on the 15th and last day of the month, so come Monday I'll post a status report.

I have been having fun exploring Facebook. I have been playing a game there called Mob Wars, which at one time I had played online way before Facebook was around. Nothing like mugging someone, or breaking and entering to feel nostalgic! LOL It's all just fun and games, RELAX!

We don't have much planned for this weekend, but I have a mountain of laundry to do, change my bed linens, vacuum, and all those other weekend chores we working ladies have to do. (UGH!) There is a reason I have a magnet on my house door that reads " I don't Do Housework... I just turn off the lights!"

Thursday, January 29, 2009

The U.S. Banking crisis

I tried to do something new to me, but couldn't figure out how! I have never tried to attach a YouTube video before, and failed! Tips on how to do this would be greatly appreciated.
BUT, since this is one video that is really worth watching, here is the link and a quote from the page I found it on-
"This video drives home a point: we have entered a new era. We have just barely entered it. Our world will not be the same for much longer.
This is what a home-brew video can do. After seeing it, you may have doubts about the financial media. They never explained things this way

I was directed to this from another blogger: k. Baxter's Survival Kitchen

Wednesday, January 28, 2009


OK, I did it. I was talked into joining Facebook, so I am now a part of all that hype. If anyone here is part of Facebook and wants me as a "friend", let me know. I don't want to put my full name on here, so I will give it to you in an e-mail.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Musical Monday (even though it is Tuesday)!!

Two weeks ago, I wrote a post about listening to all my CD's. I realized I never posted last weeks picks, so here I am to remedy that, and include this weeks music.
Last week the home CD Changer gave me:
Godsmack "Awake"
Earshot "Two"
and The Firm "The Firm".
Godsmack is one of my favorite artists, so I knew I was keeping this one. It was fun to listen to it top to bottom again. I usually just have my home cd player on shuffle so I don't listen to full cd's except in the vehicle. Earshot must have been an impulse buy, because I felt like I was hearing most of it for the first time. It is an OK cd, but I don't know if I am going to keep it. I'll have to listen to it a few more times before I make a decision on that one. The Firm "The Firm" has been a favorite of mine for many, many years. I wore out two cassettes before switching to cd, and I know I have had at least two cd's over the years!

This week, the home changer spit out these CD's for my listening pleasure:
Enya "Watermark"
Def Leppard "Vault"
and Cold "13 Ways to Bleed On Stage".

Time to catch up

To everyone who asked (here and in personal e-mail)-- Yes, I am OK. Wait...! I am as ok as I get-- we are not counting mental health here! LOL
Saturday afternoon Joe and I decided to head over to Missoula for a Geocaching event there. It was a pizza party and many of our geocaching friends were going to be in attendance. Missoula is about a two and a half hour drive from Great Falls. Joe was driving, so I could just sit and relax and watch the scenery go by. We had plans to stay in a local motel overnight before heading to Helena on Sunday.
The event (party) was tons of fun! Joe and I met some new cachers (people who geocache), caught up with many others, we both won a gift, ate some awesome pizza, and had a very good time. If anyone takes a trip to Missoula, Mt I would suggest the buffet at Freemo's Pizza. Excellent food for a great price.
Near the end of the evening, as people were heading out into the cold and snow, we were asked by a family we are friends with where we were planning on staying the evening. We told them the name of a local hotel, but that we hadn't checked in yet. They offered up their home and their good company for the evening. We accepted, and finished off Saturday evening visiting with Peggy, Ron, and Peggy's mom, Mary. They opened a very nice bottle of Port wine, then when that was gone, Mary produced Blue Martinis for everyone. We were all tucked into bed by midnight. SO, a Saturday that started out very badly, ended very nicely.
After leaving our friends home, Joe and I headed to Helena, which is about two hours from Missoula. Since the route takes us close to Deer Lodge, MT (only 15 miles out of our way); we dropped in to see Jeff and Barb. They are friends who moved recently from Helena. Jeff had been called in to work, and his wife Barb had decided to take a trip to Missoula to go shopping. We ate a good lunch (prepared by Jeff since he is a cook at a local restaurant), visited with him for a minute or two, then, while we were there, dropped in to see "Mom", Jeff's mother.
After about an hour in Deer Lodge, we were back on the road to Helena.

Once in Helena, I had to take my couch frame over to my dad's wood shop for repairs. This is part of a whole 'nuther post (tomorrow, maybe?) that started with this post on "Diary of a Stay at Home Mom's" blog about cleaning out the couch! Stay tuned for THAT story!

A late Sunday afternoon nap, then a visit to another friends home for about an hour, followed by a salad for dinner (had to redeem myself after pigging out on pizza the evening before). I picked up my now FIXED couch at about 8pm, loved the puppy for awhile, then off to bed.

All in all, a very good weekend, once I got the body moving! I saw many friends that I had not seen for months, travelled a total of 458 miles (and didn't have to drive at all!), and got my couch repaired when I was thinking it was "done for"!

Saturday, January 24, 2009

If I was a horse, I'd have been shot!

Today can be summed up in very few words. I don't feel well.

I woke up at about 5am sneezing and stuffy. Allergies. I hate 'em. I drugged myself then fell back asleep about an hour (and half box of kleenex) later when the pills finally took hold. If dealing with my allergies wasn't enough, my entire body hurts. OK, not the entire thing, but enough of it to make it seem that way. (For those new here, I suffer from Rheumetoid Arthritis)
I went to bed last night with slight pain in my neck (from a displaced cervical disk) and my legs were uncomfortable. Tylenol helped, but I slept fitfully until after 1:30am. Then the 5am sneezing thing. Then I tried to crawl out of bed at 9:30, but my body revolted against me and demanded I just roll over and sleep some more... so I did. 10:30 nature called, and I felt like I needed a walker just to get there. My feet and ankles hurt SO bad, the knees didn't want to bend, my lower back was nearly seized up (regular arthritis there from a 1985 broken pelvis), and my hands were so affected I could hardly move them. On top of all of that unpleantness, that monthly womanly curse is upon me as well. I stumbled into the bathroom, took more Tylenol, fell back into bed and slept until the cell phone rang at 12:15!! Yep!! I chatted for a few minutes, thought I was getting up and showering, but I actually just rolled back over and slept for another hour. DAMN!! I know my body does this. When I am in major pain it just shuts down and I sleep. I finally got up and moved around a bit to loosen up the seized up joints. Well, hopefully the rest of the weekend is better!

Friday, January 23, 2009

The Laptop and I had a fight....!

Old business first-- here are the links to the original posts that should have been attached to the interviews:
Chief Rock Chef's page
TZ's Zimmerhouse

Thanks for your questions! That was fun. If anyone wants to be interviewed by Me, just post a comment.

OK, now on to our regularly scheduled post!
For the main part of the week I have been struggling with my wireless connection here on my laptop. I had purchased an upgrade to the Belkin USB wireless card I use, installed the new software, and attempted to get online. The computer would "see" the wireless network, but refused to connect to it. All day on Tuesday and a good part of Wednesday I tried to troubleshoot the problem between the customers and repair work (yeah, real work had to come first). I even called my ex-husband (a computer guru) for advice. Now, I can get around a computer a bit, but I by no means what-so-ever really know much about these little machines. I am always afraid to ask for advice because while I may understand the first sentence or two, after that my eyes kinda glaze over and all my ears hear is "Blah Blah Blab blah Blah". From what I understood, my computer was trying to use both the old and the updated drivers (even though I had uninstalled the previous version) at the same time, cancelling each other out (or something like that). There is a file that stores any drivers a computer used during it's life that could be cleared, but that is a last resort. OK, I was at the blah-blah stage by now!! (Think-- adults "speaking" in the old Charlie Brown movies).
Exasperated I asked WHAT CAN I DO??!! Of course, the answer was easy. Just re-install the old software and use the old card! DUH!!!!! So, I am seemingly out $35, but live and learn, I guess.
I had taken my laptop home last weekend, and only brought it and the new card, installation disk, etc with me to work. I had to wait until I drove to Helena, found the old software disk, then bring the old stuff back to work. Yesterday (Thursday) I was able to re-install the old card. Guess what? Yep, all the old stuff is working like a champ! YEA!!!!!

Have I ever mentioned I have a love/hate relationship with computers? I love 'em when they are working just like they should.... but as soon as they start acting up I really hate dealing with them. It is one of the very few things that really stress me out.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

TZ Sent an interview, too! Woo Hoo!

The only rules are that you have to link back to the original post and you have to put these rules in your post:
"Want to be part of it? Follow these instructions:
1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."
2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions."

** Does anyone (CRC, Maybe?) have the link to the "Original Post"? I didn't get it attached via hyperlink when I received my questions in my e-mail. I'd like to add it if I can. **

Here are the questions that TZ sent to me. Very Good! You made me think all afternoon on some of these ones! Sometimes we don't even really know the answers ourselves--LOL.

1.I, myself, struggle with eating right, what do you find the hardest, the easiest and what do you have in place to help you succeed?
I find that being single, with no kids at home (for the most part) makes dinner times the hardest. It is too easy to just go to a drive thru instead of preparing a "meal for one". I counteract this by trying to have home made dinners in the freezer in single serving sizes. Just thaw then bake (or even pop 'em in frozen- just add longer cook time).
The easiest? Hmm... drinking water instead of sodas. Sure, I have my slips and drink a soda on occasion, but not like I used to. I don't really have anything in place to help my success, but Joe helps keep me going in the right direction--usually! Other than that, I guess just how I look in the mirror is my motivation, as well as health concerns.

2. Having kids who are older, what is the best advice you can give those of us who haven't hit the teen years yet, about parenting a teen?
My best advice would be to remember what it was like when you were a teen. Remember how much fun it was, what ticked YOU off back then, and try to spin that around into adult thinking. Really listening to what your kids say, asking about their friends without being pushy or judgemental, and letting them become their own person by giving them a little room to spread their wings are good, too. Relate your own stories of your teen years, the more embarrassing the better. If they realize you really DO understand what "they are going through" they will stay pretty open with you. Good communication is always the key to good relationships... even teen- parent ones. Expect angst and sullenness, as that is just what teens do. Don't over react, but if you do, don't be afraid to apologize.

3 You had a post about wanting to experience a nudist colony before you die (fun peek into who you are by the way), name a couple of other things you would like to accomplish before you die and why.
**Clarification on "nudist colony"-- they prefer to be called "Naturalists" and colonies, camps, and many beaches have been re-named "private venues" or "resorts"** Just a little FYI!
1.) I would love to travel to all 50 states, staying in small towns along the way. I would compile a photo journal of my travels, too. Why? Because I long to see more of America, learn more about other Americans, and I love to travel!
2.) I would also like to travel to Europe, most notably the Celtic regions because of the history and beauty of the area. I am English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh by heritage, and would like to see those regions of my ancestors. BUT, if I got the chance to get that far, I would have to go to Spain, France, and Italy too! If time was unlimited, I would travel to see as much as I could from Russia to the Mediterranean!
3.) I would like to purchase at least one Brand New Car. All of mine, so far, have been used. I'm not saying that is a bad thing, but I would like to have the chance to break in and enjoy my very own vehicle.

4. What is the 'thing' that defines who you are, the thing that if anyone said this -- characteristic, color, object, whatever -- others would think of you?
I would be: color- Cobalt Blue with Sparklies (nuff said)
characteristic- Realist (I'm not over pessimistic or optimistic)
object- Snowflake (at first meeting, a bit cold or frosty, but with a closer look very unique with a hidden beauty).

5. What is your favorite room in the house and why. What would you do to change it, if anything?
This changes by the day... lol! With just Krystle and me in the house, and we each have different "home hours" it is as if I live by myself most of the time. SO, if it is sunny outside I like to be in my living room because it fills with light and I have crystals hanging in the windows so there are rainbows everywhere. IF it is my day off and it is cold outside, I like to be in the kitchen baking or cooking; filling the house with warm smells. IF anyone else is in the house (daughters, etc) I tend to stay in my bedroom. I have a small TV/DVD player attached to a Nintendo 64 in there, as well as most of my yarn or sewing projects, and my bookcase filled to overflowing with books (read and not-yet-read)... and the electric blanket! When I am not feeling well I tend to stay in my bedroom, too.
If I could change anything...I would give myself a larger kitchen. I live in a mobile so none of the rooms are very large, but a larger kitchen would be awesome!

Now it is up to all of you readers out there! If you want to be interviewed, you have to let me know in the comments section. Remember, I get to pick the 5 questions! :-)

CRC's Interview of Yours Truly

Chief Rock Chef tagged me with interview questions. It is always interesting to see what people want to know! I really enjoy this kind of thing because 1) I like to share, and 2) I don't have to think of a subject to write about!

1. The earliest thing I can remember is being in a pushchair and falling out if it into the road. What is your earliest memory?

My earliest memory is when I was three or four years old. It was a summer day and I remember sitting at the table eating Rasin Bran cereal while my mom brushed my hair. I never really liked that cereal (still don't) and was just picking out the rasins. A few strands of hair fell into the bowl so mom let me leave the bowl unfinished. Mom also reached into the cereal box and gave me the "prize" from inside. It was a sticker of Mr. Sun (the Two-Scoops cartoon sun character). I ran outside and put the sticker onto my new tricycle.

2. I suspect that you get some rather unpleasant weather where you live. Have you ever thought of trying to escape from it, moving to somewhere else?

Actually, the weather here isn't as bad as many believe! When I lived in Illinois, we would get more snow and ice storms than we get here. Sure, it does get cold sometimes but it doesn't last very long. As for leaving? I couldn't stay away for long. When I retire, I may travel to warmer areas during the coldest part of winter, but my home will always be Montana.

3. When you worked at the radio station did you get to rub shoulders with any famous, or almost famous, people?

Yes. Famous to me, anyway. My two favorites were: Meeting (and getting a photo together) the lead singer of Cinderella (an 80's rock band) and going back stage to meet the band 7-Mary-3. I met many local celeb's, too. The govenor of Montana, Brian Schweitzer (many times) and many local bands among them.

4. The eagle that you featured a while ago is wonderful. What other wildlife do you get to see where you are?

In the wild I have seen bears (black and Grizzly), Moose, Big Horn Sheep, Mountain Goats, Elk, Wolves, Coyotes, Marmots, Skunks, Beaver, tons and tons of Deer, and tiny rodents like mice, Chipmunks, and Squirrles. There are SO many different types of birds, too. Eagles, Osprey, Hawks, Jays, Magpies, Pelicans, Blue Herons, Seagulls (even though we are not near the sea!), Doves, Pidgeons, Robins, Starlings, Bluebirds, Chic-a-dees, and many, many others I don't know the names of. The Rocky Mountain West is a photographers paradise with all the wild life!

5. (Stolen from Ali because I love this question). If you could have one super-power what would it be? What would your super-hero name be?

This is a hard one! I think I would want the ablility to fly. Yeah, I know CRC said the same thing, but it would be SO awesome to just fly to anywhere I wanted, at anytime. Saving drowning people, or finding lost hikers would be a breeze (as well as many other situations). On my own time, I would be able to fly into a private lake high up in Glacier Park that is impossible to hike to. As for a super-hero name? The Raptor (after many types of beautiful, graceful hunting birds).

There ya go. This was fun! Now, the rules state I need to interview someone else. If anyone wants me to ask them a few questions, let me know. Otherwise I get to pick! LOL

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Some People....!!

Today is going to be a few random items that have been simmering in my brain today.

You know what really burns my butt? When you make a deal with someone and they go behind your back and don't follow through. What happened, do I hear you asking? There was a posting on Craigslist for a free couch. I went on Monday night and took a look. It was decent and I told the guy I would like to have it, but I was without a full size truck until Wednesday evening. He said that would be alright. SO, last night I called him to make arrangements on a pick up time and he told me "I had Goodwill come and take it". WHAT??!! Why did he say it was ok to wait till Wednesday if it really wasn't? If he knew it was being taken by ME on Wednesday, why did he call charity to come and get it? AARRGGGGHHH!!! Yeah, I was steamed all night over that one.

Since I was already peeved before I headed home, I was not amused by all the stupid drivers that occupy the highways with me. I really hate the drivers who refuse to dim their lights. I'm not only talking about the jerks who are coming from the other direction, but the really arrogant ones who are travelling 20 miles an hour over the speed limit (or more), weaving in and out of traffic, barrelling down on you like you are sitting still, all the while keeping their bright lights on. Then they get right on your ass-end before getting into the passing lane, jump right back in barely passed you, spraying winter road sand (pebbles) all over the windshield... usually leaving a star in the glass. Yeah... those ones! I had one do that to me last night, then he stopped at the rest area (too much beer in the bladder, maybe?)... only to do an encore performance. I called him all kinds of colorful names that I will not repeat here.

And now I will leave you on a lighter note... It is now day 15 of the new year, and the new diet. I am still doing OK. I weighed myself this morning and found I have lost a solid five pounds! I have decided to try and stay off the scale except on the 1st and the 15th of every month. I did have a small fast food burger one evening, and Joe and I had pizza on Tuesday, but all in all, we are sticking to healthier eating. Neither one of us have had soda's throughout the day, and fast food lunches have been non-existent this year. My sleep patterns have improved, my mood is better, and, yes, I do feel a little better, too. I'll keep you posted.....

Ahhhh...getting all that out of my head is SO nice!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

I Am Part of Blogroll!

One of the blogs I follow had a link to
It is a cool site that shows random blogs for a few seconds, then on to another. If you see one that seems interesting, you can stop the randomization and read it. It's fun! You should check it out here:
I added this blog to the mix. Should be fun....

The Music Of My Life

Wow! Had I known that I would gain so many visitors, I may have written about my Lifes Dreams and Journeys Yet to Take much sooner! LOL
I want to say Hello to everyone who visits from cnvillage. Your visits and comments (here and over there) have all been taken to heart. Thanks for the kind words and encouragement.

Now on to today's subject...
I was at home last night looking through my extensive music collection and an idea hit me. There are so many CD's that I own which I haven't taken the time to listen to in quite some time. I spend quite a number of hours in my vehicle, but for the past year I have only listened to the radio or Books on CD during my commutes. Well, last night I decided I am going to have my 300 cd changer randomly pick three CD's for me each Monday morning and those are what I am going to listen to for the week. Once a month I will fill in the empty spaces in the home CD changer with the music that didn't originally fit. Yeah, I said I have a large collection! At the top of my head I think I own close to 500 music CD's. It's no wonder there are some I haven't listened to in over a year (or more).

The purpose of this exercise? I am going to try and thin out my collection a little. I know there are going to be some CD's that I just don't care for anymore, or ones that I bought thinking I would enjoy but really didn't. Many of the latter have one or two songs I like, so maybe I'll put those songs onto my computer playlist to burn onto my I-Pod or cell phone (Sony Ericsson W580i) then sell the CD to someone who would enjoy it more than I do.

This morning (even though it is Tuesday) I was given Sheryl Crow, Billy Idol (Charmed Life), and The Foo Fighters by the "All Knowing CD Player God". I promise I'll do better next week and know the album names, too! LOL

Friday, January 9, 2009

Yep, I DID say Nudist Camp!

I have been thinking about writing about a few different things. The first subject was writing about one of the "ones that got away". I am sure we all have a story about someone in our past who we let walk away and years later we wonder "What If...". I have one that seems to haunt those sleepless nights, creeping in uninvited.

The other subject I thought to write about was an extension on one of my answers from yesterday. Since that subject is still fresh here, I will go with it.

In my answers to "things I want to do before I die" I mentioned I would like to go to a nudist camp. Oh Hush!! I hear the murmurs from the peanut gallery!!
This is the event which planted the seeds of this strange idea in my head:
I have a good friend who has travelled all over the US and even some places overseas. He is a fellow writer and we met at a writers conference. One evening, while enjoying drinks and good company at his mountain cabin he asked if Joe and I wanted to see some photos of his last trip. Since his photos are always accompanied by great stories, we most certainly were willing.
After a few computer files of various photos and his reminiscing, he opened a photo file and quickly closed it saying he didn't think we would be interested in those ones. After a bit of goading, we got the story. This friend had visited a nudest camp for a few days and it changed his views on some of the trappings of society. THEN he showed us the photo file. The people in the pictures were all very happy folks. Most of them were older. There was just this sense of freedom and oneness with nature. A childlike happiness. There was no feeling of sexual tensions or shame that accompanies many people who are undressed. These were not beautiful people, but very ordinary. They had tummies, wrinkles, and sags but nobody seemed to be worried about how their bodies looked. My first thought was "This is awesome!"

Before that evening, I had never given a thought one way or the other about these camps or beaches. I have always lived with a "Do what makes you happy, just don't push your beliefs onto me" attitude. It has been quite a few months since that evening, and I find myself remembering the happiness and joy in those strangers faces in the photos.
Now that I have had some time to think, here are my thoughts on the whole idea. I know that being naked is not "dirty", "nasty", or something to be ashamed of. These views are learned behavior. Anyone who has had small kids around have seen the naked kid just out of the bath run from the bathroom throughout the house, using the towel more as a cape than a cover-up. They are always laughing and have no clue that in only a few short years they will no longer be able to behave "that way". It is as natural as one can get. There are many cultures in which women do not wear tops, and never have. Then there are the places like Rio and the Riviera where women have the option to be topless. Then there are places like the California and Florida beaches were women prance around in string bikinis with only three itty-bitty triangles strategically placed on their bodies. Hell, I have washcloths with more to them than some of these swimsuits! We all know what is under the fabric. It is only our CULTURE that makes us cover up our bodies. It was the early Europeans that decided the body must be covered, and we civilized cultures still hang on to those beliefs.
I think a few days of living life without the rules of society deciding what, or how much, I have to wear (or cover up) would be very enlightening. A feeling of being one with the sun and the wind with other like minded people. A place like that may make me enjoy MY body more, with all of its varied bulges and sags. I'd like to give it a try, in any case. If I felt uneasy, I could always leave. I would at the very least be able to say "Yep! I did that!"
(Also, Think of the stories that would be past on for generations.... hahaha)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

I Didn't Have A Subject Today, Sooooo.....

I was wasting time reading back posts on a blog that I just recently found ( ). I found this little gem:

8 things I am passionate about:
1. My Family
2. My home
3. Montana
4. Glacier National Park
5. Photography
6. Nature in all her forms
7. The freedoms given to me as a Natural Born United States Citizen
8. The freedoms that SHOULD NOT (in my opinion) be given to non-U.S. citizens (illegal immigrants)
8 things I often say:
1. Not especially
2. You guy'ziz (As in " What are you guy'ziz plans for the weekend?") *note: this is one of the very few regional terms used in the Northwest part of the U.S.*
3. Are you coming home tonight? (Asked of Krystle on weekend nights)
4. Did you feed and water the dog? (Asked of Krystle on weekday nights that I stay in Great Falls)
5. What happened to it!? (Asked to the majority of customers who come into the shop looking for cell phone repair)
6. What's our plans for dinner? (Unless Joe asks me first!)
7. FOUND IT! (Exclamation when finding a Geocache hide.)
8. Can I have the salad dressing on the side, please?
8 books I have read recently:
"T" Is For Trespass-- Sue Grafton
2. Alaska -- James Mitchner
3. The Chase-- Clive Cussler
4. McNally's Caper-- Lawrence Sanders
5. McNally's Risk-- Lawrence Sanders (reading the entire series right now)
6. Blood Lure-- Nevada Barr (for the third time!)
7. The Better Homes and Gardens Baking Cookbook
8. Thriller: Stories to keep you up all night-- collection of short thriller stories Edited by James Patterson
8 things to do before I die:
1. See New York, New York.
2. Stay at least one night in each of the 50 United States.
3. Travel to Europe (mainly the Celtic areas, but If I am there, I would hope to see many other areas, too!)
4. Hike to, and stay a few nights in the bottom of the Grand Canyon.
5. Get my affairs "in order" so my kids aren't burdened with unnecessary things when I do pass on.
6. Try whitewater rafting at least once.
7. Fly an Ultra-light aircraft.
8. Take a hot-air balloon ride (longer than 1 hour).
and, #9-- extra credit! Go to a nudist camp just so I can say I Did It! (Albert, this one is for you!)
8 songs I could listen to over and over again: (Only 8??!! Oh, Jeeze....)
1. Sweet Child Of Mine-- Guns and Roses (My theme song for Heather)
2. New York State of Mind-- Billy Joel
3. Fields Of Gold-- Sting
4. All I Have To Do (Is Dream)-- Everly Brothers
5. (Hey Man) Nice Shot-- Filter
6. Your Lies Become You-- Monster Magnet
7. Pretty Much Everything by Pink Floyd (including solo work from Roger Waters)
8. Anything and Everything by Godsmack
ok, I have to add a #9 here, too. Anything and everything by the band Tool.
Do not think, in any way, that this is a complete list of even the most favorite of all my favorites. Five minutes after I post this, I will kick myself for forgetting some band or another! Music is the soundtrack to my life!
8 things that attract me to my friends
1. Their sense of Humor
2. Their zest for life.
3. My friends cannot be petty.
4. My friends do not play head-games.
5. Loyality
6. Sincerity
7 and 8. I can't think of anything else. Either we click right away, or we don't.
8 things I have learned in the last year
1. That the Apple i-phone is not as good as it is cracked up to be
2. I learned that even at 63 someone can finally meet their best friend.
3. Blogging is a great stress reliever, time waster, and friend maker.
4. Grandkids are God's way of thanking you for not killing your offspring!
5. People who you think are your good friends can suddenly become strangers to whom you never speak to.
6. On the otherhand, I learned it can be both scary but awesome to re-connect with an old friend you haven't spoken with, or heard from, in over 15 years. (Thank you, Google White Pages!)
7. Nabisco's Chicken in a Biscuit crackers are actually REALLY GOOD!
8. I learned how to ride (and purchased) my very own motorcycle, I no longer have to ride double behind someone else.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Is it spring yet?

I can't wait until spring. I am tired of it being pitch dark before I even leave work at 6pm. I am one of those rare breeds of people who love to live here in Montana, but can't stand the winters. It is not so much the snow, cold temperatures, or driving on bad wintry roads. I really don't like being stuck in the dark for so many hours a day (night?). Yeah, I know the solstice was on Dec 21st, so yeah, I know the days are getting longer... but at THREE minutes a day?! Today the sunrise was at 8:11AM, the sunset was at 4:58pm. Eight to Five. Since when does the sun work the same hours as much of the United States?

I guess it goes without saying that my favorite day of the year is the Summer Solstice. Here in Montana the sky is light until 10:30pm, and the morning light streaks across the sky about 4am. You are able to head out for a mountain hike early, and arrive back at camp (or even home) before the sun sets. Right now? It is dark when the alarm goes off, then dark long before the work day is finished. There is no way to get in a bit of cross country skiing in before or after work, unless you really know the trail and don't mind skiing in the dark. My weekends are full of chores, so it doesn't look like I am going to be heading out to the trails anytime soon.

Oh well.... I guess I can still put in an aerobics DVD. Fun, Fun!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Where Did Everyone Come From?!

Wow! I just logged on and see I have TEN followers! I have been happy with just the five that have been tagging along since I first began blogging back in the fall. OK, so four of those are actual personal friends who just want to know what I am doing from week to week. In just two weeks I have doubled my followers! And here I was thinking I was pretty much just talking to myself and wasting away the slower times here at work. *I can admit to this because as I am sitting here writing this, my boss is sitting next to me surfing Craigslist!!*

I have noticed I am picking up some regular readers. I always check out my Live Traffic Feed and am amazed at some of the places folks have wandered in from. The World Wide Web is truly an awesome place (I mean that in it's true context-- Awe Inspiring). I'd love to hear some comments from some of you readers out there, even if it is just a "hello"!

Now, what I really was going to write about!
A few days ago I announced to the world that I was to begin eating healthier and exercise more. Guess what? Here it is, the 6th of January and I have not fallen off the wagon, so to speak. Sure, there have been a few times I have been barely hanging on, but I have not totally lost grip yet.
This past weekend I went to that Big Box Store everyone loves to hate (but we all still shop there) and ended up in the fitness section. Ok, I admit I was only in that section because I had to pick up some oil for the Rav-4 and the auto section is one isle away from the fitness section. Anyways... I picked up the two latest issues of Shape Magazine. I used to read this publication when I was younger and healthier, and this particular magazine was in its infancy. I have to say, I liked it much better back then. The articles were geared for the novice, average people who needed a little knowledge, and involved easy recipes or exercises that could be done in a gym, or at home using everyday items (canned goods for weights, sturdy chairs, porch steps, etc). Now it is a glossy paged glamor mag, with style sections showing Dulce & Gabonna purses and $1000 dresses. Most of the articles or exercises are things related to speciality equipment that only speciality gyms have. SOooo, I was flipping through these mags, while Krystle was sitting on the couch next to me munching on French Onion dip and Potato Chips. You can see this coming... I reached over and grabbed a handful (but I did skip the dip).
Later that day, Krystle just HAD to mention there were three hand-dipped, speciality shop chocolate covered cherries left over from the holidays. She doesn't care for the regular boxed varieties, so she was asking if these ones were really that different. I had not tried one, as I was the person who purchased them for the relatives to indulge on. So... yep, you know this one too... I ate one. YUMMM.... Soooo Gooood!!! Much better than store bought boxed varieties.
Now, since I was feeling a bit guilty about reading a fitness mag while eating chips and later chocolate confections... I put in an exercise DVD. I did a 20 minute workout, and realized that I am no longer the 20-something, NOR the 30-something person I used to be! I could keep up with the low-impact foot work, but I had to drop the hand/arm movements because I was feeling my out-of-shape-ness.
I am happy that I have almost purged soda from my daily intake of junk. I have had trouble with that very first sugar-caffeine hit of the day, but I am limiting it to 10 ounces or less most mornings. That would be half a standard 20 oz bottle. In my mind, I counteract this transgression by taking my vitamins with it...LOL.
I have been hopping on the elliptical trainer, too. I only did about 5 minutes yesterday evening, then about 5 minutes this morning. Joe and I both have not been feeling well, both of us having minor flu-like symptoms, but we are both upright and fairly functional. I hope to keep up even a small amount of exercise daily if I can. He is blaming his illness on the lack of fat and fast food! He is sure that the healthy lifestyle is making him feel worse...Hmmmm, he may have a point there....LOL

Monday, January 5, 2009

My Life in 100 Words

OHN put out a challenge to write your life story in 100 words. No more, no less. Try it!

This is what I came up with. It seems so negative. I hope you read this and understand there is SO much more to me. I am a very happy kind of person, even though I have lived through plenty of adversity during my adult years. Maybe I will expand on some of these subjects at a later time... but don't hold your breath! I tend to live in the present, looking towards the future. The past is over, but it is what made me who I am today: A Strong, Confident, and Happy woman!

Born in Tucson. Moved to Montana when 2. Moved to Illinois when 10. Met lifelong best friend. Dad retired, moved back to Montana. Graduated High School, got pregnant, got married in 1986. Second child, 1989. 2 ½ years college, quit school to work. To Kalispell in 1993. Husband in and out of jail, drug treatment, other ladies beds. Divorced 1997. Met Joe. To Helena to care for ailing mom, 1998. Ex-husbands lifestyle came back to haunt me, charged with felony. 1-year supervision in Butte=HELL. Back to Helena, work at Radio station 5 years. Conflict. Now work in Great Falls=2 years.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Emergency Travel Only? Who knew?

Well, 2009 has started pretty much the same way 2008 ended-- cold and snowy! The drive from Helena to Great Falls this morning was not something to be tried by the feint of heart! I arrived in Great Falls only to hear I-90 was closed to all but emergency traffic. How was I supposed to know this? Unlike other places in the U.S., we do not have those fancy LED reader boards telling us current conditions at every overpass, we do not have barriers that get lowered to close off the highways, and most of our radio stations are "Voice Tracked" (sorry Program Directors, your secret is out) so there is very little up-to-the-minute information even there.

I'm not saying that I didn't know the roads were bad... I was VERY aware they were, and visibility was right around, oh, I don't know-- 1/8th to 1/4 of a mile. The passing lanes were filling with drifts so you were pretty much stuck behind anyone you caught up to. Yes, this did slow down the manical drivers who feel they are invincable, but us "normal" drivers were slowed by this person who decided the rest of us were not to exceed 35mph until he became so intimidated by the tanker truck on his ass he pulled off onto an exit ramp. Our little group of intrepid travellers averaged speeds of 45mph to the whopping high racetrack speeds of 60mph in a few clearer areas. It took me over two hours to traverse 80 miles! And the best part of all this? I get to do it all in reverse at 6pm! YIPPIE! At least the snow has stopped falling (for now) and the wind seems to have died a bit.

My little 1997 Toyota Rav-4 is quite the little trooper! I haven't had any troubles with it in the snow, on the ice, or even not starting in sub-zero temperatures. I have owned it for a little over a year now, and I am sold on the product line. When I upgrade once again, I will look for another Rav-4 (if I can't get my hands on one of the new F-J's at a reasonable price).
**I just tried to upload some snow photos of right outside of our shop, but the server wasn't working right. I'll try again later--**