Thursday, August 26, 2010

Repetition ~ Photo Challenge ~ Apples!

This one came to me right away, when I heard we were doing Repetition, via Chania over at Razmataz. You see, I have two apple trees. And when they are in "production" I have a chore that keeps me hopping, keeps my muscles a bit sore, but keeps 2 deer very happy. For weeks and weeks, I rake up the apples, and shovel them into white 5# buckets. I haul them to my alley and when I have about 6, a fellow I call the "Deer Man" comes down out of the mountains and fetches them and leaves behind, clean, empty buckets. And then the process repeats itself, over and over and over again. I have to admit I am looking forward to the time when I am done, but it does my heart good, to know that "Apple Deer and her baby" will have apples way into the Winter to snack on.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Back to School!

Well, it has been an incredible Summer filled with lots of fun. Projects, trips, gardening, you name it. But now the "school bells" are calling me and I must return to the land of teenagers, food and FUN! In a word, or maybe three ~ to Lunch Lady Land. Yes, I am one of those chosen few who get to serve Sloppy Joes, make endless sandwiches and clean tables. And not only do I do all the latter, but I get to run my own program (my official title is Head Cook) and I just love love love it! When I fell into this job 15 years ago, I never imagined that one day I would have my own kitchen, that I would eagerly go to work each day and that I would meet the most incredible kids. My school is an alternative high school, and if ever anyone got a "calling" to be someplace; that person was me. I arrived 7 seasons ago, and tomorrow my Jeep will be full of all the items that I need to make a sterile school kitchen into something warm, inviting and FUN! Posters, magnets, my various collections, bulletin board, tablecovers, flower arrangements, quirky art, kitschy aprons and scarves & Smarties candies. Check and check! By Monday (the first day of school) I will have the place transformed and the kids will nudge each other and think ~ "Hmmmm, she's alternative too!" :)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

My Give-Away Prize!

I received my prize from the lovely Julie Marie over at the wonderful blog, Idyllhours! ( I am thrilled! A perfect set of coasters for my home and the loveliest note written, even while she was recuperating from a recent surgery. You are the best my dear lady! And thank you. I will always remember my first prize! :)

Friday, August 20, 2010

Photo Challenge ~ PINK ~ !!

Chania over at Razmataz ( is having a photo challenge and today is of course ~ PINK! This photo came to mind when I heard what the word would be this week. From one of our "extravaganzas", this was my daughters 25th birthday party. A lovely mixture of PINKS! Enjoy!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

An Incredibly Wonderful Day!

I am soooo blessed to live in (what I consider) the most beautiful place on the planet. Montana. So to spend the whole day, just tiddling about her countryside was such a pleasure. We loaded up the Cobra (husband's 2 year project - see story titled ~ A Dream is Reveled~) with the necessaries: water, camera, snacks and a good strong hat! And off we went. As you travel North out of Missoula, you are immediately thrust into acres and acres of pine. What a delicious scent on a hot summer day. And I sniffed my fill as we motored along. My biggest thrill is the moment when you top the hill and head down into St. Ignatius and you get the first glimpse of the incredible Mission Mountains. We were both so excited, that we squealed like the pig in that new Gecko commercial ~ Wee, Wee Wee, all the way down the hill! LOL The mountains are so huge (some still with last year's snow) and the valley so flat, it makes you feel sooooo small in comparison. Our next visual moment is when Flathead Lake comes into view, and it just makes you grin. That lovely expanse of blue water, dotted with boats and you just want to jump in! The drive along the East Side of the lake takes us back many years to when we lived in Kalispell. Lots of homes, hidden amongst the trees, large ones and little aging cottages. Many with cherry trees, as this region is known for their delicious fruit. A lot of the homes have little stands out front near the road and I made a mental note which one I wanted to stop at on the way back. Onward to Bigfork. A cute, touristy, artsy, friendly town. We found a new restaurant: The Pocketstone Cafe and we were not disappointed, the food was excellent and the staff so welcoming and helpful. We visited the art galleries, and shops and I oohed and ahhed over all the lushly growing flowers. But alas it was getting late and so we reversed our course and headed home (of course remembering to buy two huge bags of fresh cherries). A day well spent. I am a bit sunburned, I ate a few too many cherries, and I swear my jaw hurts from smiling all day....LOL But oh, being outside visiting with Mom Nature is the best, and can make one feel on top of
the world!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A Fantastic California Adventure!

I have been such a procrastinator, I apologize. It has been a week since we got back and it seems all I have been doing is working in the yard and taking care of household business. But now all is caught up and I am ready to share some picts and experiences. First off and most important, my daughter and I had a fabulous time. We packed so much into 4 days it would make your head spin. From the moment we took off from the Missoula airport we were in fun mode. This was our "Princess" trip complete with surprise tiara's on the plane. We looked gorgeous! Landing at John Wayne airport in LA, we got our rental car and with the help of our GPS, we were off to find Rodeo Drive and Beverly Hills. What a lovely street, and the stores! Oh my, Versace, Cartier, Tiffany's. The place was crawling with tourists even tho the stores were all closed. (which is probably a good thing for this economic shopper) We snapped picts and enjoyed all the glamour. Even saw a black Rolls Royce with a driver and body guard and two mysterious people in the back. Hmmm, who could it have been? Fun to imagine. Off to find the Hollywood sign and People's Revolution on Melrose Ave. E just had to have her pict taken in front and I wasn't about to let her down. We found both and headed back to the hotel (jiving to rap music) very happy, tired and excited about the next day. Disneyland! We started the day getting a special birthday button for E to wear, and the whole time we were there, everyone from perfect strangers to cast members wished her a Happy Birthday and she loved it!. She also seemed to get free desserts with every meal. I liked that part too! First ride had to be "Mr. Toad's Wild Ride" (her favorite) and from there on, we hit as many rides as we could fit in. We had a special appointment tho. A visit to the Bibbity Bobbity Boutique to have our hair styled so that we would indeed look like princesses. What a crazy fun experience! By the time we got done, we had the whole place laughing and cheering us on. You have to remember, we were the only two people that were above the age of 6 getting their hair done. My E came out looking very much like the beautiful Audrey Hepburn and I was a rockin' diva princess with multi colored hair, with lots of glitter!
We scurried off to California Adventure for our special lunch with the princesses and to see what this new park was like. As you enter, "California" music greets you and makes you smile. The place is all about sunshine, beaches and board walks. Our lunch was fab, and we got to meet all the Disney Princesses including Ariel, my daughters favorite one. My fav? Cinderella. We hit the boardwalk and rode the biggest Ferris Wheel I have ever seen. And checked out all the attractions. Such a fun, happening place and so much to do. What I like about these two parks, is that you can hop between the two, catching parades and shows and eating at special places whenever you want. And we wanted the Haunted Mansion and the Pirates of the Caribbean. Later, after a much needed coffee break, we saw Fantasmic, the night show (which always makes me cry) and the fireworks over the castle. Which had an new feature of not only Tinkerbell flying thru the sky, but Dumbo too! That made me cry also. ...LOL To finish the evening, it would be riding the Teacups in the night. Such a party!Day two! We rode as many rides as we could, visited Tom Sawyer's Island, the Tiki Room and had a scrumptious lunch at the Blue Bayou (the restaurant that you float by when you ride the Pirates of the Carib ride). It was magical! We sat at a candlelit table in the dark (but it was actually 3 in the afternoon) and enjoyed a great feast and had the extra fun of waving to the folks as they floated by .....LOL Now we were ready for a little shopping. We had to get our hats! E chose Mickey ears with fireworks & the castle, and I had to have a Peter Pan hat, complete with red feather.Dinner was at the Wine Country Trattoria which came with a special ticket to the World of Color show. A wonderful light show, full of Disney music and water! It brought tears to the eyes and a smile on every face. We were so energized we headed over to the Glow Fest where we danced and sang with hundreds of people. What an incredible feeling!But just like Cinderella and the ball ending at midnight, so too does the Park. We wandered arm and arm over to Disneyland to say our goodbyes. Found ourselves in front of Sleeping Beauty's castle and the statue of Walt Disney and Mickey Mouse. A fitting place to say Thanks for the great time! But the story doesn't end there. We had one more day and even tho we had to catch a plane later, we headed out to get some sand between our toes. First up, Laguna Beach. Pretty and rather wild looking. But I wanted to see a REAL California beach, so we headed north to Huntington Beach (I had heard it was a Surfer's paradise....LOL). But a sign caught our eye on the way ~ Fashion Island ~ and we just had to stop and E bought the killer of high heel shoes at Nordstroms. Blue velvet and very fancy. She is going to look so great on Stiletto Night.
Yes, we did make it to the beach and it was all I had imagined it would be. Hot, sunny, lifeguards (cute ones too!) lots of people, palm trees and the sea. So cool and refreshing. And then these two very happy campers, caught their plane back home to Montana, with the song "California Gurls" playing in their ears and a bottle of white wine to sip, and yes I have to say it, and they traveled home happily ever after!