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Friday, July 31, 2009

and a tag

Okay, I haven't really been tagged, because most people I know aren't keen on them; but I thought it might be fun. If you're allergic to tags, well, that's okay, you can leave now, and come back in a little bit. Or just read my sidebar. :)

So here we go, on a made-up tag:

Have you ever dyed your hair? Yes---henna. It used to be blonde, but I got tired of dark roots in winter, and attempted to turn it that elusive shade of reddish-gold always emoted about in novels. It doesn't show much.

Thing you'd like to change about yourself? I'm too vain. I can never pass a mirror, or window, without looking at myself in it! I suppose it's better than hating how I look.

Thing you're proudest of: Probably making "Road to Freedom". That movie was an EPIC journey! I'll have to post about it soon.

Favorite vacation? Europe in '07. Definitely!! England and Germany.

Favorite star? Sirius!!! I've watched that in the South, at night in February, when you can see ice glittering in the moonlight.

Political leanings? Definitely Libertarian/Constitution Party. I did work at the Republican phone bank this election, for an epic length of time. Went to a few Tax Day Tea Parties on Apr. 15th. Waved signs.

Favorite smell? Eye-yi-yi! Hard one. Uh--probably goats. Or maybe lavender, or hay, or leather--and there's this awesome natural soap that I love, that smells just like a health-food store!

Perfume? I can't stand perfume!!!

Top of Hate List? Monsanto. Not the people who work for it, just that monolithic company that steals and destroys and hounds farmers.

Last holiday? To the Oregon Coast, on Tuesday.

What did you dream last night? Oh like I'm going to say...

A food you should eat less of? pasta, and other bread-type foods. Ohh but it's hard!

Favorite herb? Mugwort. It's related to wormwood; smells like sagebrush; we always go to the mountains in summer, to gather it. Wonderful tea herb! Promotes dreaming.

What are you wearing? Plaid shirt (faded lavender colour) and shorts made from a pair of decrepit blue-jeans. The holes were only at the knees, so snip snip!

A musical instrument you'd like to be able to play? The guitar.

Are you arachnophobic? Yep. Spiders are scary. We found a black widow the other day, in my grandma's basement. Yeieie!

Favorite word? Toothsome! [it means tasty]

Favorite month? Weather-wise, September. Or June.

What are you looking forward to right now? The AAA Theatre performance! Whoot! And folk dance, on Sunday night.

What are you going to do now? publish this post, look up some songs on iTunes, remember more stuff I should have posted, hopefully write some more [with pencil and paper], play with the goats.

County Fair

My dad and I went to Fair yesterday evening.
The weather had fortunately cooled down--I was very glad to be wearing jeans, as the coastal wind picked up around 8 and we were sitting on the bleachers.

We wanted to see Lady Antebellum at 8--were worried about being able to get seats, so we went at 5:30 and also saw a country group from California, Whiskey Dawn, perform. They were pretty good, did several classic country songs.

We wandered around, looked at my stuff in the 4-H building--my water-colour of a maple leaf (extremely detailed) got Champion, as did one of my photos, which I was excited about as the judge had not seemed terribly enthused about it on judging day! I'll post pics after fair is over.
Then into the animal barns--well, really just the goat barn. I saw people from my goat 4-H club, and the mum and sister of one of my dear goats.

Lady A was very good--I do wish I'd known their songs better than I did.
The traffic was dreadful, took about 15 minutes to get out of the parking lot. One the way out we saw two random guys fencing with what appeared to be real fencing swords, and of course I had to hoot and wave at them. Not the sort of thing one sees every day!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

and it's a record-breaker!!!

It's official: Yesterday's temp was 108, which ties with the all-time hottest-in-my-town record set back in 1981.

The newspaper said we could have been cooler in Miami, Houston and a place in Saudi Arabia.
A few animal events have been postponed at the fair, til later in the week.

My animals are well provided with water but they are still suffering. As are we.
It's actually kind of fun, for a change!!
Wednesday farmers' market is today. We need tomatoes really badly. I can't believe it was just a week ago that I did a very long post about going to town, and "Food Inc". Anyway, market runs from 3 to 7, and we have to decide whether to go right at 3 to get the best selection, or wait until it cools down slightly.
I just found a really good song, "Shuttin' Detroit Down", about the economic slump. Now I don't like Detroit, for one reason and another, mainly due to a rather ghastly sojourn there two years ago when our plane got rerouted to there, because of a tornado at Chicago. We spent an hour on the tarmac, in the plane, watching storm clouds getting closer, then a few more hours at Detroit airport, then a 6-hour nocturnal bus ride to Chicago through classic rust belt urban desolation...anyway, Detroit is not my favorite place. But it's a good song, if you like country music, which I do. I posted the chorus in the sidebar [look right!]

And there were 4 more cases of swine flu confirmed in my town recently. Oh-be-joyful.
September 30th, here we come.
We don't need no education
We don't need no force-control

Will you take the vaccine??? We're here from the goverment, and we're here to help you.

As one of my friends said a long time back, jokingly, when I was discussing how I was swamped with one thing and another, "Don't die, Bethany! Don't die!"

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

turning up the heat!

We just got back from a day-trip to the coast. We decided it was well worth-while to escape the valley heat on the hottest day of the year!

The trip started out with my dad holding not one, not two, but three stalks of celery [with leaves attached] in his mouth whilst attempting to speak. [He told me to include that bit of trivia.]
Also in the picture were two of his thick sweaters. Yes, it was about 80 when we left but we always anticipate the coast to be cold. Oh yes, and a wool hat. We were nothing if not prepared.
I had specially picked two new songs from iTunes for the occasion.
That was when I got up at 5:45 this morning. I had gone to bed early, so as to be able to rise before the sun and garner a few hours in which to function without dripping with sweat
Took some nice photos in the wheat field across the street, of the sun rising swelteringly from a dusty haze. Practically as soon as the sun rose I could feel it warming up.

Here's a nice self-portrait! hehe

Pottered about Newport, Lincoln City, and other coastal areas. Nothing greatly out of the ordinary happened, save for a few humorous encounters with sundry enthusiastic dogs.
Here's me on the beach.

I am not doing anything, well, just sitting in front of the computer moving my fingers, and occasionally shifting, to avoid sticking fast to the chair...anyway, scarcely moving and there is a slow mist of perspiration forming on my brow! Ugh.

Monday, July 27, 2009

h e a t

It is so hot. About 95 now, I should say, and it's 6 pm.

This morning we worked at grandmother's again, moving 2x4s and plywood. Grandma exhorted us not to work too hard. I swilled water.
Went to town, ran some errands, bought a ticket for County Fair, bought a watermelon. Came home and drank more water.
Cucumbers and their larger cousins watermelons are a true boon to the person attempting to subsist in a hot climate. Not that Oregon can be described as "hot"; it is rarely above 90, and almost always a dry heat. I've experienced Virginia and, to a lesser extent, Midwest heat and we are balmy in comparison.
The lower 1/8th of the sky has turned an indecisive shade of pale tan.

I have true sympathy for those comrades of mine who I know are even now engaged in preparing their animals for County Fair. Tomorrow and Wednesday are supposed to be over 100, and fair week is the hottest we are likely to have this summer! Just the thought of sweating at the Fairgrounds, feeling the tarmac radiate heat, wearing showmanship clothes, trying to stay in the shade, and, if you are lucky, perhaps locating a puny whiff of hot air terming itself a "breeze"...
I'm going to Fair on Thursday evening....there is a country music group performing that night, Lady Antebellum, which has received various accolades.

One can stay bearably cool if one does not move.

We harvested our first tomato yesterday: very passable.

Do pardon the extreme lucidity of this post; I have just been reading the authoritative Eats, Shoot and Leaves and that, combined with a reaction from writing my extremely casually-voiced story, has made me feel very wordy.

And now 'tis off to read Rochelle Blue's post here about unschooling: an education philosophy to which I must admit considerable leanings at times. Aren't I lucid?

I like that word, lucid. I used it at a shoot for The Rose of Gondor, the movie I filmed last summer. It was at the beginning of the shoot, and I was telling someone to "Allow me to elucidate what you will do in this take". The other: "What was that--hallucinate?" with a look which implied as much.


Saturday, July 25, 2009

Never put off til tomorrow...

4-H judging is in 3 hours and I am still working on my photos. And in case you're wondering why I am typing this, it's because a photo is printing right now and there's nothing else to be done for a bit.

Notice the quote at the bottom of my blog.


Friday, July 24, 2009

Last night I saw "The Music Man" at the local theatre...very nice performance. I practically came out of there singing "76 Trombones". And a few of my ballet friends were dancing--fun to actually know some people.

We are continuing to work at my grandmother's place. A lot of heavy lifting, taking screws out, organizing, painting. My grandfather, during his lifetime, amassed a huge quantity of nails, bits of metal, and screws. There's a joke I could make here, but I won't. lol.

Today I did lunch in town with one of my friends--a lot of fun. She's finally succumbed to getting a Facebook account. I am considering taking the plunge--or rather, taking the plunge of asking my parents!
And my friend and I hatched a plan! I have, for the past year or two, wanted to have a big party in one of the grass-seed fields around our house after the grass has been cut [in agreement with the farmer of course]. She was totally excited about it, and we're in the planning stages. I mean, just think how fun: partying under the moon on a long summer night in the middle of a field!!
I don't know who all is reading this, but if you live in the area, you'll probably be invited!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

watch this movie!

Just got back from "Food Inc." and I've got just one thing to say: If you watch one movie this year, this should be it! Nice photography, and etc, but the message is what's so important. Interviews with a lot of big names--Eric Schlosser, Michel Pollan and so forth.
It didn't tell me a lot I didn't know. I'm informed, I've read "Fast Food Nation" and "The Omnivore's Dilemma" and so on, I know the dirty business that produces our food; but this film reinforced my theoretical knowledge.

For thousands of years, growing food occupied people pretty much. Now we don't have to think about food; we think we've risen above that.
But people still eat. What you put in your body will limit you, determine what you can do.

Do yourself, your descendants, your family, a favor and go see this film.

life sings

Whoo! Life is good!

My parents and I worked for several hours at my grandmother's place today, painting and such.

My dad and I then proceeded to the local farmers' market. That was even more than usually wonderful.

I amassed several points on my recognize-people-I-know-while-in-town challenge.

Listened to several good musicians.

Then off to the co-op for cheese, where I saw more people I know, and poked around the parking-lot while my dad disposed of some recycle. The yard around the co-op has been beautifully land-scaped, with a lot of drought-loving plants and flowers. Thought I saw an oleander, but discovered it wasn't when I got up close.

We made our merry way into town again, this time to the Oriental market which somehow manages to have Dutch-made chocolate-hazelnut spread [which = epic!].

At one point, while driving in town, there was a pickup in front of us with two young guys riding in the back facing backwards. Rather awkward for me, as I was in the front seat and got stared at. Oh well.

We drove past the video-rental store and my dad and I simultaneously remembered we hadn't seen a movie in a while. [I haven't watched one in several months, I think.] But then we decided to go to the movie-theatre instead, to see "Food Inc.", which we'd been wanting to see. Our local, tiny theatre [The Darkside, it's called--there used to be a Whiteside, but it went out of business, I think when Carmike Cinema came to town.] Tonight is absolutely the last night we can go--the showings are almost over, and tomorrow we're going to see The Music Man in a local theatre.

Anyway, I'm excited to see it.

Here's dinner! I wish the photo weren't so out of focus. YUM! I love tomatoes!

something tasty

Idzie's post here reminded me that I haven't posted any recipes yet!

Here's a truly toothsome pasta sauce. It is SO rich--lots of egg and cream--that you only want a tiny bit, not like tomato sauce, but it's so good!
Just was messing about in the kitchen one day and came up with this.
Amounts are variable--I never measure anything.

Saute some leeks or onions or green onions in olive oil or butter til limp. Add a sizeable dollop [nice and specific, aren't I?] of cream and cook a minute longer. Add any and all herbs you like. I've done basil, or a selection of herbs like marjoram and sage.
In a small bowl, beat one or two eggs [depending on number of people to be served] slightly. Mix with a little cream, and add to the mixture which is by now bubbling aromatically. A little salt, maybe. Keep stirring until it thickens. It'll probably curdle, but it still tastes fabulous!!

Well, we're off to pick blueberries, as it is a nice cool cloudy day. Whoo! Love blueberries!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009


I just finished a Western by Louis L'Amour--excellent. I've read a few of his books and really enjoyed them, but they mostly didn't seem very "deep". This one ["The Sackett Brand"] was so different! It was a follow-up from "Sackett", a traditional Western where the guy gets the girl and they live happily ever after, just like all the other L'Amour books I've read. But in this one the girl [now the hero's wife of a few months] is murdered. That didn't become evident til about half-way through the book and I was just so surprised, and sad. The rest of the book becomes Sackett's personal quest for justice and vengeance.
Anyway, if you like Westerns, I highly recommend it!

My dad just came by and said that "our home is our campsite". We get all the fun of camping without having to crouch in a measly tent. Food can be cooked outdoors, but we've got a refrigerator. There's wildlife outside. In fact we've got everything except the tent!


Ooooh! *squeal*! Just reserved a ticket for the AAA Theatre show!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

giving the goats a bath

Yes, I bathed the goaties today--it was 90+, and they have a penchant for sitting in the ash pit which makes their fur feel exactly like a chalk-board...

Spent about 4 hours painting walls, moving stuff etc. at my grandmother's house. Not fun. Then we had the thrilling experience of chasing out the deer...we had a very expensive deer fence installed but it's keeping the deer in...we periodically [after adjustments to the fence] have to chase them out...which involves a lot of beating the bushes and whooping frantically.

The AAA Theatre group in my hometown [I know a lot of the people in it] is putting on "An Ideal Husband" in August and I am very excited...have heard a lot about their impressive amateur productions...held in the basement of one of the main theatrical families. website here Have to reserve my seat! EXCITEMENT!!!!

Now if I was a good 40 years older than I am, I would have nostalgic memories of that "giant leap for mankind"--as it is, I'd scarcely remember it without Google!
What'll I remember?? I certainly do not have fond memories of election days/enaugurations *cough cough*
--how about "the fall of '09"? That was the 5th of October of last year--a major economic meltdown was predicted...didn't happen all at once like that. But it's coming.

That's what my count-down gadget is set to now...4th October, which is the full moon. Who knows if the moon has any influence on that sort of thing. But various sources are expecting something dire around the end of Sep./beginning of Oct. --which I think could be swine flu coming back meaner than ever, co-inciding with what my dad says naturally happens in the fall--an economic slump. Then there are reports of grain crops doing poorly around the US.
To make everything worse, our apple crop is very meagre!!! lol! Anybody else getting vibes like that?
And regarding the gadget, is anybody else seeing about 72 days, or is it just 00:00:00? Little electronic snafus! We love em!

Other randomness: My hair is long enough to tie into a knot. Not that it stays very well [no pun intended].

Sunday, July 19, 2009

dumpster diving

The Scientific Method--a how-to guide

Step 1. Develop a hypothesis based on observations.
My County Fair registration forms are missing. I think back to where they might be. On the table which got cleared off a few days the recycle???

Step 2. Perform experiments to test your hypothesis.
I dig through the clutter on my desk with no results. On to the recycle bin!

Step 3. Your hypothesis is now a theory. Perform more experiments.
I find most of my forms at the bottom of the can.

Step 4. Repeat!
I realize, after replacing the clutter in the bin, that I am still missing some of the forms. I consider forging them, but decide to once more burrow in the dumpster. Success.

Josiah is home! Welcome back!

I am going to folk-dance tonight.

Nothing else is very interesting right now! When life is interesting, I don't have time to write!

Friday, July 17, 2009

resolutions and other things

Who says resolutions are just for New Year's? I've been thinking about stuff that needs doing.
There's just one letter between resolution and revolution.
So here are a few for the rest of the year:

-finish at least one story/novel
-learn self-defense...there's a class in the works for October.
-not get the flu--OHHH I'm so paranoid.
-hike at least 20 miles...need not be up/down-hill
-dry our apples etc.
-stay stretched-out...I've been slowly getting more stiff ever since stopping ballet.

and down at the bottom, with plenty of room for more additions in between:
-survive 'til Christmas [at least]. I'm not talking figuratively.

Well. Other than that,
.watermelons smell so good!

.my town has a very geeky and awesome festival going on [daVinci Days]

.old geezers like roosters [we've a free ad in the paper for our roosters and 4 old chaps have called so far]

."Lady Madonna" is great to dance to.

.fencing is fabulous. that's with sword, not the type used to keep out varmints.

.i heart my Kershaw knife!

.i'm reading "to kill a mockingbird" for American Lit.

.that's all.

oh wait, I watched Road to Freedom [the movie i made] last night for the first time since the premiere and was very happy with it!

hopefully I'll be able to post more elucidative material tomorrow.

Thursday, July 16, 2009


Was woken at 5:15 this morning by the hum of harvesting machines in the grass-seed fields across the street. I've always enjoyed watching farm equipment. Out of bed and across the empty field directly across from our house. The windrowers [two] looked like great metal insects or suchlike. They're not as huge and slow as the combines, which come later to thresh the seeds out of the cut grass. The sun was not up yet, and there was fog all over the field.
The lights on the machines were like great unblinking eyes through the mist.
When one got near I waved at the driver, and was so surprised when he actually was one of our neighbors, who lives a few miles down the road. He asked me if I wanted a ride, and I got in, and explained that my friend Samantha has worked in these fields sometimes...he said she was in the harvester right behind him, and I could get out and ride with her.
[insert happy reunion, we hadn't seen each other in a long time. ]
And I wound up riding around in a harvester for an hour and a half, at the road-blistering pace of five mph, chatting with Sam and being glad I'd gotten out of bed!

Last night I stayed up late and at 10 pm was outside playing with the goats. We've got a sheet of plywood which the goats adore to run up and down on when one of us holds it at an angle. They tend to be frisky at night. A very summery thing to do!
You gotta love living in the country!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

writing again!

Yay! I've started writing again...after an unfulfilling, dry expanse of a month or two.
A story set in a town we went through on our trip. I've gotten several pages done [in my tiny handwriting, so that's rather a lot], which I must admit is just about the farthest I've ever gotten on a story. And I like the premise, but it's hard to keep the characters from too much resembling the people they are based on in real see I know people that are placed so interestingly, they're just begging to have a book written about them! And I keep getting ideas for other novels, but I'm going to stick with this one....D.V.
On a different note, I may not be spending as much time posting here--my parents are not keen on my long computer hours--and there is a lot of farm and other stuff to be done--and writing!
I will try to post every day or so, though.

Monday, July 13, 2009

I'm in a much better mood now! :)

The title says it all!

Here's a few random things of interest:

-Non-traditional finger-snapping.

Phillip started it, you can blame him. It was the constant (k) at all rehearsals for the movie. He's there, snapping his fingers. Sophie picked it up. Then Dallan. Then I decided it would be a good project for the summer. It takes dedication.

Here's what you do: make the "OK" sign with your thumb and middle finger...flip your hand away from you, and as quickly, pull it back. Your index finger should snap against the two fingers pinched together. When done correctly, it will be at least as loud as a boring, traditional finger-snap.

This is the peak of geek-dom.

-I have semi-soft chickens. There are about a dozen half-grown birds running around, that were hatched a bit ago. Their father is the same but they mostly have different mothers...all the ones which are half-Silkie, however, have feathers which are tending towards the Silkie fluff. Hence semi-soft.

-"Dogs, like yin and yang..." One morning at the farmers' market my dad and I saw two dogs on a single tether, looped around a tent-pole. The tent was in imminent danger of going down, as they were pulling mightily. Thinking swiftly, he lifted up the pole--no owner was in sight. They went off swiftly through the crowd, still linked, and scarcely got twenty feet before nearly tripping someone. The owner never did show.

The dogs were the same breed, I think, big and fluffy, but one black and the other, white--hence the comment from my dad, "like yin and yang".

-Don't play Rock Paper Scissors anymore--it's a bit passe. Bear Salmon Mosquito is the cutting edge.

[okay, I got one from "The Geek's Guide to World Domination''.]

Other stuff: I took the goats out for a run, on their leashes. Then I let them off the leashes. Whilst I was practicing showmanship with Starlight, Fiona went off to the flowerbeds. THERE went one of my mom's cosmosi [I have a passion for correct plurals--'calenduli' is particularly fun.]

Tomorrow is the Owner Appreciation Day Sale at the local natural foods co-op. The Co-op is epic!! They just finished expanding the North Store. I've been shopping at the South [original] branch for as long as I can remember. The Co-op is an institution in my town...
anyway, there's a sale tomorrow, so it's time to stock up on essentials...pasta, cheese, yogurt, etc.

I was listening to some music today, and I wondered how many people have had "At the End of the End" [Beatles] played for their funerals.

Chopped a lot of thistles this morning. And slugs--from yesterday's rain.

And I just remembered that I didn't finish my "travel tales"!

Glacier Nat'l park...up the infamous "Going to the Sun" road--infamous, that is, for scary precipices. At one point there was a lot of road construction, and we had to stop right under a nice cliff, with overhanging rocks, and my dad said, "Don't worry, the cliff looks really stable right here."
And "You notice when you look over the cliff in this spot, the next thing you see is distance..."

Saw bear-grass and snow.
At one of our stops my mom said that the trash-cans must have been designed to baffle the omnipresent bears, but that they'd baffled her too.

Then there were the muskegs. Muskegs are common in Canada and other parts of the far north. The word really means peat-y area that tends to be damp, as I just learned from Wiki, but I've always thought of them as smallish ponds in cold territory. Mosquitoes and moose are a given.
I think I first heard about muskegs in one of L. M. Montgomery's books, and tend to classify any little pond in woodsy country as a muskeg.
All through the trip it would be, "Oh look! A muskeg!"--there were lots in Yellowstone. And Glacier was filled with them--it was "muskeg!" every ten minutes. At one point my dad put me into stitches by saying, "I don't get it about a muskeg! A muskeg does not have any moving parts, and it's not going to do anything"

Then there were the mountain goats. We wanted to see a mountain goat. There was one time when we passed a lay-by with a lot of cars, and people staring upwards with binoculars, and I thought I saw two white things on the mountainside. By the time we turned the car around, the other tourists had left and we got a clear sight at the "white things". You would not believe how much a WHITE ROCK looks like a mountain goat!
My dad claimed to be jaundiced about mountain goats, but he sure dove for the camera at the first sight of white woolly critters--yes, we finally did sight some.

At our campground on Flathead Lake [also in Montana] I did a spot of early-morning swimming. We also got rained upon. There were jokes by me about a "water bed" when the rain got under the tent...

and that's that, folks!

later update:
Oh yes, I'm going to see Music Man at the local theatre next week--I'm excited, I haven't seen a play in a loong time...


How's that for a title?

Entangled in a miserable online morass of trying to view my SAT scores. Mixed up accounts and passwords.

Having to decide what CLEP exams to study for this summer. WHY do I have to decide TODAY??

Later: finally viewed my SAT scores--whoo! Not bad, if I do say so myself.

But I still don't want to go to college.

The problem is, I don't really want to do anything. I like to write, and garden, and that's it.

good morning

not much going on around mom has informed me that I can't spend the whole summer on the Internet...I felt very guilty this morning, the goats were rather wild, because I haven't taken enough time to play with them recently...there's a good bit of work to be done in preparation for the coming storm [see this forum ]...there's a pile of mail to be sorted through [fun, actually]...tomorrow is owner sale day at our local natural foods grocery [yay! always exciting]...other people's blogs to be caught up with...
It looks like there's actually a good bit going on around here, doesn't it?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

here's a lot of pics from the trip! out of order, mostly.

me at Old Faithful

Glacier Nat'l Park

can she swim??!

these red tour buses abounded in
Glacier...I made a point of waving
to every one I saw, without many waves
in return!

She should NOT be on that wall--GET DOWN!

At Glacier, the road collapsed and they had to bring in the heavy equipment to get us out...JK!

A rather wary expression...

At the Little Bighorn battlefield.


At the art museum in Cody WY photos were allowed!

Here comes that bison!

At Yellowstone...that's me, far right...yes, that is the hat I wore!

The Grand Tetons!

A typical camp scene

il pleut

It's been raining all afternoon. We lunched at my grandmother's, and on the way home the windshield was fogging up----60 F and rainy is NOT what Oregon is supposed to be like in the summer!
It's stopped now. That'll be good for gardening, and trimming the goats' hooves--they're much easier to trim when damp.

I wonder who reads this blog...please comment! :) :) I noticed my profile got about 25 more hits while I was on holiday...welcome, folks! And I just got done toodling around adding blogs to my "follow" list, so hopefully a few more people will find this!

Hopefully I'll get time this week to make this blog a bit more interesting with gadgets and such, and more pictures...viewers with dial-up, wail and weep! heh

My dad just came in looking, as I cheerfully commented, like a drowned rat. He'd been fixing a broken gutter. We love rain!

And what does everyone think of the new style? Was the black background easier to read?

a few things

It's cloudy this morning.
The young roosters are dad said, when he heard them, "time to do some neck-wringing!" But he's joking, we never eat our birds...and won't, unless things get really bad.
But the bantam chickens I buy don't come sorted, so it's always a guessing game as to who's the rooster. We only have an acre, so can't keep many roosters--the neighbors would probably not be too happy if they heard crowing as a general thing. Time to start advertising!
There are still cherries on the trees outside my bedroom, sweet wild cherries. I look out into a cherry orchard, practically!

My iPod is set to Shuffle--that's a pretty eclectic mix. Right now it's an introspective Celtic sort of thing, piano and vocals.

Have you ever smelled a potato flower? I knew they had flowers, but I've never seen so many as there are in my 'taty patch this year.

Yesterday when we were coming down I-5, through Oregon, we were all surprised at how crowded it seemed. I wasn't exactly homesick for Montana, but it came pretty close to that. I've always thought Oregon was the most beautiful state in the Union. Now I'm not so sure. The wild, the loneliness..."that empty land somewhere"...

I'll go for a walk later. Maybe that field of grain, half a mile across grass-seed fields, has not been cut yet. There's nothing so pretty as a field of ripe grain.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Just got home from our trip...will be posting pics SOON, I promise ;)

Sure is good to see the garden and critters, although I was not terribly happy with the way they'd been taken care of while we were gone. Oh well, we're back now.

Ahhh, the happiness of seeing all those little green fir trees on the Oregon licence plates as we crossed the border!

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

heading out

last post before heading out into the wilds of the far north--aka Glacier Nat'l Park.
beautiful sunny day here, but it is forecasted to rain in the afternoon. we are in the mountains y'know!
and y'all will be happy to know that the iPod is successfully charging even as i speak...we'll really need it in eastern Washington, which is our journey home. I expect to be home by the weekend...can't wait t get back to goats & garden! then I've got a theatrical fencing class the 15th thru the 17th, then various movie-type projects that need to be thought of...and oh yes, i'll post some pics from the trip!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

ah yes, Act II of the Soap Opera...that came on the evening of the second day. I returned to camp to find great disgruntlement. the guilty bottle of the previous night's soap incident had leaked again. the situation was complicated by the presence of hordes of mosquitoes and the necessity of excluding them from the tent and car.

the first night's rest was fragmentary for several reasons, chief among them being Bethany's decision to "rough it" and forgo the usual pad under the sleeping bag.

Night 2 [near Jackson Hole, WY] I was awakened by simultaneously feeling rain on my face, and hearing my dad scrabbling about to deal with it. we had neglected to put the rain fly on the tent. that occupied about half an hour or so and sounded very difficult. I scarcely felt guilty at all about remaining snugly in my sleeping bag. when he climbed back into the tent i heard birds beginning to chirp [this was at about 4 am] and he said "tweet-tweet", and then, after a pause to allow me to digest this, "chirp-chirp".
it was a scant few hours after this diverting escapade that we were roused from a woozy slumber by my mom. the rain had stopped and we packed up swiftly. we only left camp after a swift game of "count-the-dead-beetles-in-the-tent".

the campground was plastered with warning signs--"Be Bear Aware" and 37 Qwik Tips on how not to leave food out in the campsite. I made it very clear from the outset that " I do not want to be Bear Aware!", but I was nevertheless the model of prudence in this regard!

that was the day we first sighted a bison. my dad, who was eating cashews at the time, addressed the worthy critter from a safe distance--"Here boy! Ever had a cashew?"

in Yellowstone, we encountered a frightful lot of road work and dreadful delays.
scenery was very good.
Me: "Lewis River Canyon! we're pretty high up here!"
Daddy [driving]: anything visible?
Mommy [riding shotgun, right next to the precipice]: YES stay on the road please!

later that evening my dad returned to the campsite from firewood-gathering. he came up with a load of wood in his arms, and trailing a piece of string. I watched, and waited for the end to appear; it did not. by that time he had discovered the trailing string, and there was a very substantial length behind him; about 50 feet ,to be exact. Instant hilarity.

must sign off now. alas, i fear i shall not be able to write again unless we are fortunate enough to get another good hotel...

okay, here are some more travel tales as promised.

our first night, in Vale Oregon, was characterized chiefly by the first manifestation of a distressing tendency on the part of our bottle of liquid soap [Dr. Bronner's brand, great stuff] to spill. It was packed up with our general soap-type supplies in a traveling case of sorts. when i reluctantly looked in, to investigate a very strong smell of lavender, the satchel was awash. the clean-up process involved all 3 of us, the picnic table, an undisclosed number of paper towels, and, finally, the realisation that the hydrogen peroxide had entered into the spirit of the thing, and spread itself at large.

must run, it seems we're going out to dinner...will try to write more later, the soap tale only gets better...and no "Soap Opera' jokes, that's my perogative!

Jul. 7

spending the night in Polson MT----we deemed the weather too stormy to continue to Glacier Nat'l Park today.
today was a really LONG drive. really wished the iPod was up and running! it is charging as I speak, in the hotel comp---hopefully there will be no hiccups this time...
we got delayed for a good while when we left the highway to investigate the park at the "Headwaters if the Missouri River!" ran into roadwork and had to sit about for a long while, waiting for a "pilot car" to appear to escort us thru. there was this other car next to us, and the driver got out and asked us, "so i guess we have to wait here for the pilot car" and Daddy [already fed up with the extremely long wait, joked "here's what we'll do. I'll walk ahead of the cars, and act as guide.". There was a general laugh and the other fellow replied, "I've got a red vest you can wear!".

last night in the parking lot and Barnes and Noble [you remember that incident?] there was an absolute downpour. there was a substantial lake forming and we joked about having to hire Lewis and Clark to get us to the other side.

I am keeping a detailed travel journal [in my notorious tiny handwriting] and it is chock-full of episodes. to read it, one would think that our traveling life consists mainly of hilarious or uncomfortable [or both] incidents, with only an occasional mention of Yellowstone or the mountains.

the trek through Eastern Oregon was desolate. in the stretch between Bend and Burns i swas, "LOOK! A tree!" then "Look! A cow!" and then my dad came in with "last cow for 97 miles" but there were some truly thrilling moments, like the Tick Incident. My dad and I were out of the car, trying to get down to the alluring river 6 feet down the bank, when he exclaimed there was a tick on him--must have crawled out of the sagebrush. that was exciting! we beat a hasty retreat to the car, dusting ourselves down frantically.

while in Yellowstone we made inumerable bear-jokes, but did not actually see any. then there were the bison. the first time we saw one we were thrilled: "Oh LOOK!! A BUFFALO!!" by the time we saw the herd, it was "oh there's a herd." by the end of the day it was more along the lines of: "There's a bison on the highway!" other person replies--"no I do NOT want to see another bison!". but that is exaggerating a bit, the time when we were driving along and saw a bison walking down the opposite lane towards us, leading the line of cars, we were very enthused. [yes that really happened, we have the pictures to prove it.]

we decamped earlier than planned from Yellowstone, we'd pretty much had our fill of mud-pots, geysers, bison, and mosquitoes. as my mom said, upon going 1 mile along a trail proclaiming itself "1/4 mile to paint-pots!!", only to find that the deceptive trail wound off another stretch up the hill, anyway, she said, "seen one mud-pot, see 'em all."
and the campground was not pleasant, what with generator motors running, and the crowds, and the lights, and the ever-present mosquitoes, drat 'em.

the night we spent in Billings was more than usually incident-prone. [I had found, while we were staying in a cabin in WY, that not so many funny things happened when we were not camping; I hoped that would change, once were back in the ole tent. It did.]
anyway, the campsite had a streetlight right next to it, shining into the tent. my dad has a special fondness for dark nights. he tried to convince the groundskeeper to just turn off that one light--no go. he discarded ideas of taking matters into his own hands only reluctantly.
the night began innocently enough, after the interesting pursuit of a skeeter round the tent. it must have been about midnight when i was roused by my parents' voices, discussing the noise that i was vaguely aware of...a repetitive, annoying sort of screech or squeal. from what i gathered later, my dad went off in search of it along the riverside. he was pretty sure at first that it was an animal--then, that it was a human snore--though what sort of snore! Finally traced it to a FROG.

i'm going to post this, and run down to our room and get my travel journal, i can't remember all the things that happened--stay tuned, folks!

Monday, July 6, 2009


Here i am in Bozeman Montana--yes folks, in case you were wondering, i did not fall off the edge of the globe last Tuesday. We've been in Yelowstone, the Grand Tetons, all over Wyoming, and now MT.

We're driving of course. that can be very interesting, as it involves daily shuffling of stuff to and fro. then we either camp or spend the night in hotel, depending on weather.
this is the first time i've managed to get near a computer for more than a few minutes at a time!
last night was spent just outside of Billings MT. tolerable campsite, near a river, but the town was dreadful, very run-down looking, an oil-refinery, lots of homeless people, so many empty buildings.
and there was a certain amount of precipitation in the atmosphere too.

tonight we were waiting out the thunderstorm in Barnes and Noble bookstore [love that place] and as i was standing there reading, this old guy comes up to me and starts talking. about 60 probably, white hair, portly, seemed slightly vague in his speech. commented on my golden hair [ha--haaa! to my mom who says it's gone red after the latest henna treatment]. said he was a songwriter, going down to Tennessee with his song, the traditional Western-type about a girl with golden hair, and summer days gone by. quoted a few lines.
i was meanwhile smiling politely but getting nervous, and slowly bringing my elbow up into defensive range [I took that self defense class a while back, you know]. but he went off harmlessly after a bit.

randomnity! lol

We spent Independence Day in Cody WY. splendid parade in the morning, very hometown-ish. and highly patriotic. good firework show too, better than my town.

i could really get used to the western mind-set out here. i come from Oregon, a highly liberal sort of place. while that has its perks [ROCKIN' HEALTHFOOD STORES! for one], this is some ways.... big trucks [which i detest in the ole hometown because you KNOW the owners are "putting on", but are cool here because you know they really DO ranch, and have to haul haybales and cattle and such; lots of Western wear [which is fab] and as for hats, wel, everyone wears a Stetson!; not ashamed to smoke and drink [which I'm not so keen on!]; wide open space; yee-haw!

it was pretty hard to find good food in WY. Jackson Hole was okay, but in Cody, well, people just gave you a blank stare if you asked for organic.
Montana is beter so far...imagine our excitement at finding a HUGE natural-foods store here in Bozeman, and it's not a Whole Foods either...a co-op.

sadly my lovely new iPod's battery is dead. we've tried to charge it at a few public computers, but no-go---USB outlets aren't hi-speed, it seems. not happy!!

my dad came very close to buying a western hat in Cody...i did buy a really splendid knife--Kershaw flick-opener. sweet.

must run...excuse sp. errors lol