Saturday, September 26, 2009

Why I Love Geocaching

Along highway 2 on the way to Kalispell. A beautiful place that I would never have stopped to see if someone hadn't hid a Geocache near here.

Friday, September 25, 2009

I haven't forgot about you!

Yeah, I know.... I made a personal promise to write at least three times a week. Well, we can all see I have failed miserably on that one! It isn't because I don't have anything to say. Actually, quite the opposite. I just seem to be away from a working computer whenever I have the time to sit and compose a posting. My life goes in stages, and right now it seems to be taking me away from home quite often. When I am at home, there just seems to be so much to do that I haven't had the time to give myself the quiet time I sorely need.
Here are a few of the highlights of these past few weeks:

Every weekend from August 22nd through Sept 20th (5 weekends) Joe and I were cabin sitting for Albert. I have promised, and will fulfill that promise, of a post describing this awesome opportunity. Yes, pictures too!

My tiny garden is still producing, but I think this next week will send it into it's last days. We have been having some record high temperatures and I finally have some ripe tomatoes that the deer haven't eaten! The carrots are still in the ground and seem to be doing great. I do pull a couple out each weekend to eat as a snack, and they have grown from the size of my pinkie to the size of my thumb in two weeks! I may be able to get enough to actually do something with! The parsley will be cut and laid out to dry on Sunday since that will be the beginning of a whole week of nights in the 30's. The lettuce was doing great, but I have eaten as much as I want and have a bit in the fridge, too. I uncovered it and left it to the grasshoppers and rodents who have feasted well on it. I may get a little more from it before it freezes out.

Last Sunday (9/20) Brooke managed to get herself sprayed by a skunk. How? I don't know. She was in the fenced in yard and the skunk was out of the yard but by the gate. I guess the skunk was spooked and got the poor girl right in the face and neck. Brooke is well into her winter coat so the musk soaked through the long outer hair and into the soft downy stuff... and into her collar as well. To make matters worse-- Joe didn't realize what had just happened and let her into the house where she proceeded to rub her just-sprayed muzzle onto my living room carpet! Monday evening after work I gave Brooke a bath (have I ever mentioned she HATES baths?) with a Peroxide / Baking Soda / soap mixture. It worked really well... on the parts I was allowed to get washed really good. The other places? Well, It cut the smell down alot, but she still smelled pretty bad this past week. As for the carpet? Carpet Fabreeze, Oxiclean, and more Fabreeze. When the house is closed up tight it still smells. Looks like another week of the same! On the bright side? The stench is slowly fading from carpet, dog, and yard (where Ms. LaPew sprayed).

On the work front, The Owner of my place of employment has been to town the past two weeks, and has promised another visit next week. He is not coming into town to check up on us, but to supervise a remodel of a hair salon he owns next door to us. In the past two weeks I have now seen the man more than I had in the nearly three years I have been working for him! There was a good side to this, too: since he didn't "have time for us" and really wanted to take us out to dinner he just gave us each $100 to spend "on the town". Not a bad, and totally unexpected, bonus! Did we go out? No, but Joe and I are heading up to Glacier Park on Saturday so the extra cash will come in handy for that. We haven't been up North for quite a long time....

And, tonight I just finished dying Krystle's hair. I don't see much of her anymore since she is pretty much living her own life and with the girls all grown, I am living mine. This gave us a bit of a chance to catch up and chat. SOooo NOW it is going on 2:30 in the morning! One more spray down of the carpet with Fabreeze and it's off to bed! Tomorrow is Glacier, seeing Heather and Lucas, and hopefully our friends Stacey and Trudy either tomorrow or Sunday before heading back home.
Busy, Busy, Busy... but soon winter will be here and life will slow WAY down!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Montana Fire Season, from quiet to busy in one week!

Fire at Holter Lake 9/9/09

Is that tiny bucket of water really going to do much good?! 9/9/09

The big news around here is about fires. We had been enjoying a very quiet fire season this year, but not anymore! Wednesday of last week a large fire broke out near one of our most popular lakes. Holter Lake, formed by a dam on the Missouri River, is a sportsman's paradise. The lake is usually dotted with boats of all types and the surrounding land is dotted with many campgrounds and private cabins. On nice weekends, folks flock to the lake from Great Falls (to the north) and Helena (south of the lake) to fish, hunt, boat, or camp. During the week, especially now that school is in session and summer is unofficially over, there aren't many people playing in the area. That was a good thing last week. The fire broke out in or near a campground in the late morning and burned out quite a few camper-trailers before taking off into the wooded hills. The pine beetle had killed enough of the trees to allow the fire to take a quick jump in size... 2400 acres in only one day! The good news? The fire was on the 'far side' of the lake, where there are fewer cabins. The state had fire crews in place quickly, but the flames were too high and fast for men on the ground. By Wednesday evening the fire was being fought with chemical drops from airplanes and water drops from helicopters. My photos were taken Wednesday evening as I was driving home to Helena. **For you locals out there... my vantage point was the Augusta Exit. Now, five days later, there is hardly any smoke rising from the valley and roads into the area are reopened. I hope it is all under control BECAUSE... only a relatively few miles to the south:

Helena North Hills Fire 9/14/09

....Today, Monday, a fire broke out in the North Hills of the Helena Valley. This is a much more populated area, and the smoke plume could be seen clearly throughout the valley. I figure my house is, as the crow flies, about five or six miles from this fire. I can smell the smoke drifting into my windows as I am typing. I don't know anything about this fire yet... like how it started, or where EXACTLY it is, but looking out the window and seeing the smoke is a bit unsettling. As I watched from my driveway (where the photo was taken) I could see the setting sun reflecting off of two firefighter planes. I am sure this fire will be attacked from all sides and put out quickly. Our wildfire crews are awesome, and with many houses in danger they won't be getting much sleep until the entire thing is contained and totally out.

Unfortunately, Mother Nature is not planning to help out any time soon. The afternoon temperatures are supposed to be in the mid to high 80's, lows in the 50's, and no rain.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Be Careful What You Wish For!

In yesterdays post, I said I wished I would have visitors just drop by.
Only a few hours after I posted that, my dad called me. Now I know he doesn't read this blog so this is where it gets weird--
He wanted to know if he could come over during this upcoming long weekend and repair the door frame to my main front door (it has started to crack and possibly rot at the bottom). Fixing this problem was actually one of my goals to accomplish in the next three years. I just needed the money, for one thing, and the knowledge from a How-To book for another. Dad knows how to do these things, AND he has the wood, tools, and apparently the time to do this repair.
So... what did I say?
Of course he can come over and do the repairs...even though I am going to be up in the mountains cabin sitting.
Now, I don't know about you, but when a parent wants to come over you don't want your home in disarray!! I guess I am heading home, doing a "quick clean" of the visible areas before I head to the cabin.... is proof! Wishes CAN come true. Unfortunately not in the way you expected them to!

Have a great Labor Day, everyone!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

I've been in a bit of a funk lately.

What does that mean?

Well, I don't really know to tell you the truth. All I know is I am totally unmotivated to do anything. I haven't been writing. I haven't been keeping up with my blogging friends. I haven't been reading any of the many "to be read" books laying around my house. I haven't even kept up on housekeeping (the days I am home, anyway). Even my garden is feeling the effects, but I haven't killed it!

I get up and go to work...then leave with no plans to do anything or go anywhere besides home. Once I am home, I plop my butt in front of my home computer and play mindless games, mindless Internet surfing, or mindless chatter on Facebook. I haven't cooked for myself in over a week, choosing to either forage around the kitchen or grab fast food. My laundry has piled up... most of it clean, just heaped in baskets on the bedroom floor. My fridge needs a good cleaning. My floors all need vacuumed and mopped. I have clutter sitting all over the house, and a layer of dust on top of it all!

I recognize all that needs to be done, but I just turn my back to it. It's not that I am being lazy (or maybe I am?). I'm not depressed about anything (or life in general). I just don't feel like doing it. A pouty little voice in my head says "I don't wanna, so I'm not gonna!" I tell myself that I'll do it later, or the next day. No motivation, no desire. Surprise, Surprise! It hasn't gotten done.

Sometimes I wish I lived closer to town and I had drop in visitors! That would give me motivation to kick myself in the ass and clean, at least. Once the house is clean, I am sure all my other simple pleasures would fall into place. I hope so, anyway! Anyone want to come visit so I can give this idea a try? :-)

Maybe I am all off kilter because my weekends have been too busy? I haven't had a Saturday morning to dedicate to housekeeping in a few weeks now. I'm not complaining.... I have been loving the idea of cabin sitting for Albert. The forest is so peaceful, and the cabin cozy. I am ecstatic that I get two more weekends up on the Continental Divide before giving the keys back. The manual labor of cutting, splitting, and stacking firewood feels good to the body and gives me a sense of accomplishment. I will write about this experience in another post. I need time to put all of the feelings into words.... and decide which photos to post out of the many that I have taken!

Maybe the juxtaposition of the two lifestyles is what is causing this strange funk I am in? Only time will tell.